Drew Zahn is a WND news editor who cut his journalist teeth as a member of the award-winning staff of Leadership, Christianity Today's professional journal for church leaders. A former pastor, he is the editor of seven books, including Movie-Based Illustrations for Preaching & Teaching, which sparked his ongoing love affair with film and his weekly WND column, "Popcorn and a (world)view."More ↓Less ↑
On May 16, every member of the Oklahoma State Legislature, the governor and the lieutenant governor received a copy of an explosive new book on God’s judgment of America and an urgent message: “Consider ‘The Harbinger’ and the dire warnings it contains before it is too late.”
The message came from Joe Esposito of Owasso, Okla., who only a few weeks before had read his own copy of Jonathan Cahn’s book “The Harbinger” and was so stunned by the parallels between the fall of ancient Israel and America’s current struggles that he knew his state’s leaders needed a wake-up call.
So he purchased out of his own pocket 152 copies of the book and hatched a plan.
“Years ago I had a lot of dealings with the legislature, so I just knew the importance of leadership,” Esposito told WND. “I didn’t think they understood what’s taking place, and I thought it crucial they understand what’s going on. It’s crucial that Jonathan Cahn’s message gets out. I just wanted to help.
“Even if you’re not a Christian,” Esposito continued, “I don’t know how anybody can debate or ignore those nine [harbingers described in the book] that are already happening. It’s amazing.”
“The Harbinger” has skyrocketed to the top of the New York Times bestsellers list by suggesting America is following in the defiant footsteps of ancient Israel as recorded in Isaiah 9:10 by insisting on rebuilding bigger and better without considering what God was trying to tell the country through the catastrophic events of Sept. 11, 2001.
Isaiah records that Israel had known God and yet turned away from Him. Following a devastating attack by Assyria, rather than returning to God, the leaders declared “with pride and arrogance of heart” (NIV) a defiant pledge: “The bricks are fallen down, but we will build with hewn stones: the sycamores are cut down, but we will change them into cedars” (Isaiah 9:10 KJV).
“The Harbinger” reveals the startling reality that beginning the day after 9/11, several American leaders began repeating that 2,500-year-old vow, word for word, in speeches across the country.
“Having no idea what he was doing, the majority leader of the U.S. Senate [Tom Daschle] was declaring America as under the judgment of God,” Cahn gives as just one example. “It was the reenactment of an ancient mystery – and bore the most grave of consequences.”
Earlier this year, WND Films released “The Isaiah 9:10 Judgment” as a documentary follow-up to Cahn’s stunning research revealing the eerie parallels between the reaction of ancient Israel and the national leaders in the U.S. It quickly became the No. 1 faith video in America.
Esposito told WND he knew that after our nation’s leaders had repeated the ancient words of defiance over and over again, what is truly needed now is a public declaration of repentance.
“Oklahoma is the center of the U.S. and perceived as part of the ‘Bible Belt,’” Esposito said. “Whether that perception is true or not, we need a statement out of the legislature; that would be huge for the country.”
So Esposito distributed 152 copies of “The Harbinger” to his state’s elected leaders, along with a letter, excerpted below:
As citizens of Oklahoma, we respectfully and prayerfully ask you, as the leadership that helps guide our state, to consider “The Harbinger” and the dire warnings it contains before it is too late, not only for our State of Oklahoma, but for Americans as a nation.
As God promised ancient Israel, we also trust “If My people, which are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” II Chronicles 7:14 KJV
Response and … coincidence?
Esposito also told WND that while he hasn’t heard much response from the Legislature, that’s to be expected, because the lawmakers were under an intense deadline to get the state’s budget passed.
He did, however, get a personal phone call a week later from Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb.
“He was real grateful for my efforts,” Esposito told WND. “We visited, and I made the comment that it’s important the Legislature comes up with resolution or statement referring to ‘The Harbinger’ and the prayer of 2 Chronicles.”
Esposito also said he was in for a real surprise when he went to distribute the books and discovered someone else had just been there distributing copies of the “Isaiah 9:10″ video.
“There was another young man named Jason who worked in the House,” Esposito told WND. “He had the opportunity to have a prayer meeting or breakfast, but only had a half hour. He took that opportunity to show a shortened version of the ‘Isaiah 9:10′ video, so he could return and distribute the whole video to legislators.
“I gave away the books on a Wednesday; [Jason] had been there on Tuesday passing out few copies of the video,” Esposito continued. “Here I come, I show up next day with the books, and neither of us knew the other existed.”