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 ↑
In the early morning hours of Jan. 21, the day President Obama is scheduled to be inaugurated, the Presidential Inaugural Prayer Breakfast will be sounding a powerful warning to Washington, D.C., to – in the words of its keynote speaker – turn from its prideful ways or face the judgment of God.
Rabbi Jonathan Cahn, the controversial author of “The Harbinger” – the startling New York Times bestseller that claims the U.S. is receiving the same divine warnings ancient Israel once did … and following the same path to destruction – has been chosen to deliver the keynote address of the Presidential Inaugural Prayer Breakfast, to be held from 7-11 a.m. at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park.
Other distinguished guests – including Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., Dr. Pat Robertson, Jan Crouch, Pat Boone, WND Editor and CEO Joseph Farah, Rosemary Schindler, Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., and others – are also scheduled to appear at the prayer breakfast.
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.
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.”
Now, on the very day President Obama is to be inaugurated the second time, Cahn joins with pastors, clergy, lay leaders, congressmen, senators, ambassadors and diplomats to pray, in part, that America will not continue its path of defiance unto judgment.
“According to the ancient mystery revealed in the Book of Isaiah, if after that first calamity and warning, the nation doesn’t return to God but responds in defiance, it will end up triggering a second calamity,” Cahn explains. “It was because of this ancient key, that, seven years after 9/11, the American economy collapsed. In the days after 9/11, the Federal Reserve slashed the base interest rate in an attempt to defy the consequences of the attacks. That action put us on the path leading to the collapse of the American economy seven years later. In 2008, the government made a second fatal mistake, another ill-fated financial decision that would trigger the collapse of the American economy. Amazingly, it took place on the seventh anniversary of the uttering of the ancient vow on Capitol Hill.”
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.”
The Presidential Inaugural Prayer Breakfast has been put together by a committee that includes, among others, hostess Rev. Merrie Turner, Chaplain of the U.S. House Father Patrick Conroy and Pennsylvania State Sen. Stewart Greenleaf, and tickets are available to the public here.