WASHINGTON – It's not the highly marketed special edition of "The Ten Commandments."
It's not the well-reviewed "Faith Like Potatoes."
It's not even the latest Veggie Tales release.
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The No. 1 faith movie or TV show in the nation over the last three months and most of 2012 is a WND Films production called "The Isaiah 9:10 Judgment," a documentary, based on "The Harbinger," the No. 1 bestselling Christian book of 2012, that suggests America is being chastened by God for turning away from His ways.
"Of all the thousands and thousands of faith movies being sold this year, 'The Isaiah 9:10 Judgment' has dominated the field," said Joseph Farah, producer of the film that has also ranked consistently among the top 10 documentaries at Amazon.com since it was released in early March.
Both the book and the movie show the uncanny parallels between events prior to the dispersion of Israel and events taking place in the U.S. today. In fact, the events continue to unfold even after the release of the book and movie.
Two weeks ago, Barack Obama scrawled a handwritten message on a new building site at Ground Zero that sounded optimistic, upbeat, non-controversial – at first glance.
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However, the message continues a pattern of American leaders fulfilling an ancient biblical prophecy and a curse of judgment on the U.S., according to the book and the movie. Obama signed a steel girder with a message of interest to the hundreds of thousands who have read "The Harbinger" or seen the video documentary "The Isaiah 9:10 Judgment."
"We remember," he wrote. "We rebuild. We come back stronger!"
The book and the video have shocked readers and viewers around the country and the world by showing the eerie and striking parallels between the vows of the leaders of ancient Israel before its judgment and fall and those of American leaders since Sept. 11, 2001.
"What was foreshadowed in 'The Harbinger' and 'The Isaiah 9:10 Judgment' film is now being fulfilled by the president of the United States," said Jonathan Cahn, the messianic rabbi-pastor and author.
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The book and film specifically connect Obama's words from his first State of the Union message in January 2009 with the ancient vow that brought judgment to ancient Israel.
"The ancient vow begins with these words: 'The bricks have fallen, but we will rebuild with hewn stone,'" explains Cahn. "The vow declares Israel's defiance of God, in the face of a devastating strike on the land. The hewn stone, which begins the rebuilding, symbolizes the nation's intention to come back stronger than before. The book then reveals the parallel to a proclamation given by Obama:
"'Tonight I want every American to know this: We will rebuild. And the United States of America will emerge stronger than before,'" he said.
However, that comment, which represented the theme of his first major speech upon taking office, was not addressing the attack of 9/11. It was addressing the economy and the state of the country generally. Now, Cahn points out, Obama returned to the location of the attack – bringing the message full circle.
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He points out how Obama's words even parallel a Bible commentary on the verse Isaiah 9:10: "They boasted that they would rebuild their devastated country and make it stronger than ever before."
In "The Harbinger" and "The Isaiah 9:10 Judgment," the focal point of this vow of judgment is the tower rising up out of the ruins of Ground Zero. It comprises the fourth harbinger – and remains the one harbinger that is still under construction.
"On June 14, two of the mysteries of 'The Harbinger,' foreshadowed in the book came true," explained Cahn. "Obama went to Ground Zero to see the still rising tower. He was given a beam which will constitute the tower's final and highest beam. On the beam, the president wrote eight words – which were, in effect, a summation of the ancient vow of judgment: 'We Remember, We Rebuild, We Come Back Stronger!'"
Cahn continued: "So now the now the tower will be crowned and finished with words paralleling Isaiah 9:10, the ancient vow of national judgment. The tower was begun with the laying down of a hewn stone, the very same object mentioned in Isaiah 9:10 which begins the rebuilding.
"Now the words and the tower have been joined together in reality – and the one who did it was the president of the United States," he told WND. "One subtle difference in the words is that the vow is spoken in the future tense. But now the words inscribed on the towers are in the present tense. In other words, they not only speak of the defiant vow, but of the fact that the vow is being fulfilled. This," says Cahn, "constitutes another ominous sign."
In January, "The Harbinger," by Cahn, a messianic rabbi from New Jersey, exploded onto the publishing scene, immediately becoming a surprise New York Times bestseller.
"A number of years ago, as I was standing at the edge of Ground Zero in New York City, I came across the first puzzle piece of an ancient biblical mystery and a prophetic message known as 'The Harbinger' that concerns the future of America," explains Cahn, who helped write the two-hour documentary "The Isaiah 9:10 Judgment."
Cahn say he has since found nine harbingers that tie the problems America has experienced beginning Sept. 11, 2001, with parallels that led to the destruction of ancient Israel.
"Before God judges a nation, He sends warning," explains Cahn. "He sent warning to ancient Israel. He even allowed its enemies to breach its borders in a devastating strike that would traumatize the nation. It was a wake-up call, the call to return to God. But the nation responded with defiance. God then gave nine harbingers of judgment, nine prophetic signs, alarms and foreshadows of what was to come. Now America is the nation in rapid departure from God's will. And God likewise allowed an enemy to breach its borders in a devastating strike – the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. It was, likewise, a wake-up call. But America, like Israel, has not responded with repentance, but with defiance. And now the nine harbingers of judgment have reappeared and have done so on American soil."
Isaiah 9:10 is a verse in which Israel's national leaders utter a vow of defiance following an attack by Assyria. It declared that the nation would not repent before God, but would defy Him instead. Cahn reveals in "The Harbinger" – and in even more dramatic fashion in the video – that beginning the day after Sept. 11, 2001, American leaders began repeating that 2,500-year-old vow, word for word.
He continues: "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. 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 also reveals in "The Harbinger" and "The Isaiah 9:10 Judgment" something that readers and viewers universally find astonishing – that New York's Ground Zero actually represents more than the former financial center of the country. It represents the exact place at which America was first consecrated to God in prayer by the country's new leaders.
"When judgment came to Israel, the calamity returned the people's attention to the place where the nation had been consecrated to God – the Temple Mount," says Cahn. "God was calling the nation back to Himself. What about 9/11? Could there be, in the American calamity, as well, a mystery of return? Could there be a prophetic message hidden in the place where it happened? There is a place where America was consecrated to God in prayer. It is also a place linked to a prophetic warning given on that same day – uttered by the nation's first president – now coming to pass."
In 1789, newly inaugurated President George Washington gave a prophetic warning at Federal Hall in New York City. He declared that America's prosperity and protection were dependent upon its adherence to God. Later, the political leaders of the young nation gathered at St. Paul's Chapel to commit the nation's future to God's purposes. That chapel is located at Ground Zero and miraculously survived 9/11 virtually unscathed.
Cahn, the pastor of the Jerusalem Center-Beth Israel Congregation in Wayne, N.J., says America is uncannily re-enacting ancient Israel's behavior prior to its judgment and eventual fall. He found a sympathetic ear for his message in WND founder Farah, who produced "The Isaiah 9:10 Judgment," as a follow-up to "The Harbinger."
"I had a chance to hear Jonathan Cahn's message last fall," said Farah. "Then I had an opportunity to read an early manuscript of 'The Harbinger' before it was released in January. I was determined to produce this video documentary, 'The Isaiah 9:10 Judgment,' because I believe its message is the most important one for Americans at this moment in history. In fact, I believe this project may be the most important one of my life. That's how strongly I feel about it."
The key to decoding the harbingers, Cahn says, is found in understanding the seemingly innocuous words of Isaiah 9:10 (King James Version) what it meant to Israel and how the history seems to be repeating itself in America today: "The bricks are fallen down, but we will build with hewn stones: The sycamores are cut down, but we will change them into cedars."
These words were first uttered by leaders in Israel and in response to a limited strike by Assyria on the lands of Zebulun and Naphtali – an attack the prophet makes clear is actually part of a limited judgment by God against apostasy. It wasn't meant to destroy the nation, but to awaken it, according to most commentaries.
But, says Cahn, Israel didn't take the cue. Instead, the response from the people in Isaiah 9:10 is one of defiance. The brick buildings were toppled, but they vowed to build bigger and better. The little sycamore trees may have been uprooted, but they vowed to plant bigger and better cedars in their place.
God, speaking through Isaiah, explains what will happen as a result of their pride and arrogance and failure to heed the harbinger: Bigger and more potent attacks will follow. Because neither the northern kingdom of Israel nor the southern kingdom of Judah truly repents, the first is eventually swept away by Assyrian invaders and the latter is carried off into captivity by the Babylonians for 70 years.
But what does this have to do with the United States of America – particularly what the U.S. experienced on 9/11 and since? Cahn has found some eerie parallels.
"In the aftermath of the 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. Nothing … nothing can replace the losses of those who have suffered. 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."
Incredibly, 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 running for vice president that year and who would famously run for the presidency four years later, 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.
In "The Isaiah 9:10 Judgment," viewers get to see these remarkable, largely forgotten or overlooked speeches, which directly link the events of 9/11 and the events referred to in Isaiah 9:10.
"Like Daschle, Edwards thinks he's invoking inspirational and comforting words from the Bible, but he's actually inviting judgment on America," says Cahn. "He's repeating the vow that provoked God to bring calamity on ancient Israel."
Even more astonishing, Daschle and Edwards were not alone among U.S. leaders in making similar statements, as "The Isaiah 9:10 Judgment" shows.
But aside from such statements, which could be chalked up to political talk and coincidences, is there anything else linking Isaiah 9:10 to 9/11?
The video documentary, like the book, is full of shocking parallels. There was actually a very famous sycamore tree felled in the attack on the World Trade Center. It was replaced by trees in the same genus as the cedar. There have been many plans made to rebuild the twin towers bigger and better and a large "hewn stone" was actually quarried out of the Adirondack Mountains in New York and brought to Ground Zero as a cornerstone.
"The parallels are truly stunning," says Farah, founder of WND, who produced the documentary for WND Films. "In fact, they are overwhelming in their number and their exactitude. I am persuaded God is trying to tell America something and Rabbi Cahn has found the key to unlocking the message."