The author of America's hottest book on faith and prophecy says the spiritual polarization of the U.S. is exactly what you would expect from an "end-times civilization."
Rabbi Jonathan Cahn, author of New York Times best-seller "The Harbinger" and the star of 2012's No.1 Christian documentary "The Isaiah 9:10 Judgment," was speaking with WND's Kevin DeAnna at the 2012 BookExpo America in New York City, when the conversation turned to why the mainstream media hasn't covered the phenomenal success and message of his work.
Cahn's book and subsequent documentary detail how in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks on America, the nation's leaders repeatedly stood and cited the words of Isaiah 9:10, promising the U.S. would rebuild bigger and stronger.
Advertisement - story continues below
But as Cahn points out, those very boasts spoken by America's and ancient Israel's leaders were the words God used, not to inspire the Israelites, but to condemn them for their pride. Cahn's works then show the startling parallel between the warnings of judgment that fell on Israel and events in America today.
"Do you think there's an increasing divide between Americans who [recognize these eerie harbingers of judgment] and Americans who don't attribute any significance to these types of things?" DeAnna asked Cahn.
"Absolutely," the author replied. "We're watching a polarization – and this is a dynamic of end-times civilization – that the dark gets darker, the light gets lighter."
Advertisement - story continues below
"Yet," Cahn says, "'The Harbinger' is such that you can be an atheist … and still say, 'Wow. There's something happening, there's something going on.' And I think there's an underlying sense in America that there is something wrong, that we are in a critical period, and 'The Harbinger' is connecting the dots in way that, again, if you are a total skeptic, it's still hard to avoid."
Despite the near silence from the mainstream media and traditional pushers of publishing success, "The Harbinger" has surged up best-seller lists for 22 weeks straight.
"Why do you think that is?" DeAnna asked Cahn.
Advertisement - story continues below
When asked why the mainstream seems so reluctant to cover this publishing phenomenon, Cahn suggested the world will naturally resist proclaiming dire news from on high.
"There has to be a wall," Cahn said. "It's a prophetic message. If we were back in Israel in ancient times and there was a prophetic message going forth, I don't know if we could expect the media to say, 'Great! Let's go with this [message] of judgment!'"
"If it's God behind it, He still will get it out. He's the publicist," Cahn said. "He will have His way with this."
The full interview can be seen below:
Advertisement - story continues below
See the DVD trailer for "The Isaiah 9:10 Judgment":
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 Joseph 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."
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 Videos. "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."