Rabbi Jonathan Cahn, author of “The Harbinger” – the startling New York Times bestseller that suggests the U.S. is in the shadow of judgment from God for its rejection of Him – stood at the podium for this year’s Presidential Inaugural Prayer Breakfast in Washington on Inauguration Day.
Amid weeping, praying and the sounding of shofars from the audience, Cahn said the U.S. has chosen a path that takes the nation away from God, and he pleaded with its leaders to return.
“What we once knew to be immoral, we celebrate,” he said. “What we once knew to be right, we war against.”
And he warned that no level of political correctness will change right and wrong.
“A thousand apostate ministers swearing on a thousand Bibles will not change one jot or tittle of the word of God,” he said.
Just hours later, Barack Obama rose behind another podium and gave his vision for the next four years in America, speaking of advancing “gay” rights and referencing the “Stonewall Uprising as a great American event we should honor,” Cahn told WND.
The conflict, he said, continues, between what the Bible prescribes for a nation seeking God’s blessing, and the nation that America appears to have become.
“There’s always been a parallel with the going forth of “The Harbinger” and “The Isaiah 9:10 Judgment” [the video documentary of 'The Harbinger'], and what’s happening in America,” he said.
“The address at the Presidential Inaugural Prayer Breakfast was another example. It was strange. that morning, in Washington, D.C., President Obama gave his vision for the next fours years and I gave the message of ‘The Harbinger,’ a call of prophetic warning.
“I spoke of America’s moral apostasy, and Obama spoke, for the first time in any inauguration, of advancing gay rights and of the Stonewall Uprising as a great American event we should honor.
“Both tracks are continuing, America’s spiritual departure from God, and the warnings of judgment given,” he said.
He said the reaction to his message at the prayer breakfast was overwhelming.
“The event erupted in an explosion of prayer and worship. People were weeping. People were shouting. Some were on their knees. Some were sounding shofars. Others were cheering and praising the Lord. There was at attempt to have the program continue, but it couldn’t. God was there. It was just too powerful to do anything but stand in His presence,” he said.
“Even now the word is spreading. Just as an inauguration is, by definition, a beginning, I believe, somehow, that the giving of that speech in that place on that day was the beginning of something. Even now the word is spreading. I pray it’s the beginning of awakening,” he said.
He told WND he went into the event very physically weak, as he’d been ill and on very short sleep.
“I prayed for the Lord to do it. He did,” he said.
He told the gathered crowd that when people pray for America, they should remember that, “We have to pray according to His will. We pray for blessing, but true blessing only comes at the will of God. The truth must be spoken as well.”
He said the ancient kingdom known as Israel was founded on God’s word, and was blessed.
“But the people made a fatal mistake. They turned away from their God, removed Him from their lives, their culture, government, economy, public square, out of the instruction and lives of their children.”
“They made themselves strangers to the God of their fathers, and as God was driven out, their idols were brought in,” he said. Those were immorality, materialism, carnality.
Warnings from God were not heeded, and the nation fell into captivity, he said.
Then there is another civilization founded on God’s word.
“From its very inception America, those who came to these shores and founded a civilization, dedicated it to God. America was to be a city on a hill, a civilization to which others would look,” he said.
“But something happened. … We, too, as a nation turned from God. We, too, have removed Him from our lives, step by step. … We, too, have made God a stranger.”
His presence was replaced by intolerance, immorality, profanity and blasphemy, he said.
Others were shaken by the message, too.
Two residents of Israel, watching online, wrote to Cahn, “It’s hard to even put into our brains how God has directed all of this and is using you like this … What is next?”
Added Jeffrey Bernstein, “Your message … needs to get into the hands of every congressman and senator and beyond … Only God knows what’s next.”
Cahn told WND his “call to the nation” was a direct appeal for America to return to God.
“Even a calling to the president – in which I asked him … how he can place his hands on the word of God to be sworn into office and then act against the very things the word of God clearly declares.”
Rev. Patrick J. Conroy, chaplain for the U.S. House of Representatives, earlier led the opening “Prayer for the Nation.”
No book in 2012 made more of a national impact than Cahn’s “The Harbinger” – remaining on the New York Times bestsellers list longer than any other title. It’s now been there for 52 weeks, and has sold more than a million copies.
Part of its appeal: The shocking signs appearing in the U.S. today, even as Democratic leaders – like former Sen. Tom Daschle, one-time presidential hopeful Sen. John Edwards and even President Obama himself – utter the same prideful words spoken by ancient Israel in Isaiah 9:10 that prompted the judgment of God.
“The bricks are fallen down,” Isaiah 9:10 reads, “but we will build with hewn stones: the sycamores are cut down, but we will change them into cedars.”
In context, the verse records Israel’s national leaders uttering a vow of defiance following an attack by Assyria. It declared that the nation would not repent and humble itself before God’s disciplining hand, but would defy His judgment and rebuild without Him.
Cahn reveals in “The Harbinger” – and in even more dramatic fashion in the film documentary produced by WND’s Joseph Farah, titled “The Isaiah 9:10 Judgment” – that beginning the day after Sept. 11, 2001, American leaders began repeating that 2,500-year-old vow, word for word.
“In the aftermath of the [Sept. 11] attack, the nation was stunned,” said Cahn. “Everyone was trying to make sense of what had happened – this unprecedented attack on America. The very next day, Sept. 12, then Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle presented America’s response to the world. And what did he say?”
Daschle said: “America will emerge from this tragedy as we have emerged from all adversity – united and strong. … I know there is only the smallest measure of inspiration that can be taken from this devastation. But there is a passage in the Bible from Isaiah that speaks to all of us at times like this.”
He then went on to read Isaiah 9:10.
“Daschle has no idea what he is doing here,” explains Cahn. “He thinks he’s offering comforting words to a grief-stricken people, but he is actually embracing the spiritually defiant and arrogant words of the children of Israel, proclaiming the ancient and ominous vow of the leaders of that nation. He doesn’t realize it, but he is actually inviting more judgment on the nation.”
It might be of some significance that Daschle, one of the most powerful men in the nation when he spoke those words, later fell into disgrace – to the point where he couldn’t even serve in Barack Obama’s Cabinet.
That might have been the end of the story – if no other top leader in the nation uttered those strange and obscure words after 9/11. But that’s not the case.
On the third anniversary of the attack, Sept. 11, 2004, another powerful U.S. senator who would eventually also suffer a disgraceful fall from the public stage, gave a speech to the Congressional Black Caucus.
This time, John Edwards’ entire speech was built on a foundation of Isaiah 9:10:
“Today, on this day of remembrance and mourning, we have the Lord’s Word to get us through,” he said.
He then read Isaiah 9:10. He went on to talk about how America was doing just that – rebuilding with hewn stone and planting cedars.
Later, in his first State of the Union Address in 2009, Barack Obama hearkened back to the same theme.
On Feb. 24, 2009, President Obama echoed the defiant tone of the verse, saying in his address to Congress, “I want every American to know this: We will rebuild, we will recover, and the United States of America will emerge stronger than before.”
Cahn, who heads the Jerusalem Center-Beth Israel Congregation in Wayne, N.J., warns, “Before its destruction as a nation, ancient Israel received nine harbingers, prophetic omens of warning. The same nine harbingers are now manifesting in America with immediate ramifications for end-time prophecy.”