WASHINGTON – Everyone knows what happened to America Sept. 11, 2001.
It was the single worst attack on American soil by a foreign enemy – the deadliest, the costliest and the most unexpected.
But what happened six days later on Sept. 17 is largely forgotten.
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Sept. 17, 2001, marked the beginning of the economic calamity associated with 9/11 with the lowering of interest rates by the Fed resulting in the collapse of the stock market. Seven years later, on Sept. 29, 2008, the next big stock market crash followed – bigger than the previous one – resulting in an economic crisis that continues to this day.
What does all that have to do with today, Sept. 15?
It's Sept. 15 on the Gregorian calendar, but it is Elul 29 on the Hebrew calendar. And both of those previous economic calamities occurred on Elul 29.
The good news is that today is not a Shemitah year on the Hebrew calendar. On Elul 29 on Shemitah years, the financial accounts are wiped away, debts are canceled and the land is to be given a Sabbath rest, according to Deuteronomy 15:1-2 and Leviticus 25:3-6, with Elul 29 being the last day of the civil calendar year.
The next Shemitah year will end Sept. 13, 2015. And, because of the unprecedented popularity of the No. 1 bestselling Christian book in America this year, "The Harbinger," and the No. 1 bestselling faith movie in America in 2012, "The Isaiah 9:10 Judgment," some people are already marking their calendars.
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Jonathan Cahn, a messianic rabbi and author of "The Harbinger," and the narrator of "The Isaiah 9:10 Judgment," is the person who first noticed that America's two great financial shakings occurred on successive Hebrew Shemitah years following the 9/11 Islamist terror attacks on the U.S., the key to the series of limited judgments the author sees as a result of America's turning away from God just as ancient Israel did before the dispersion.
Though Cahn prefers not to speculate on what, if anything, might befall America on Sept. 13, 2015, the story of this economic shaking on a seven-year cycle is laid out in "The Harbinger" and "The Isaiah 9:10 Judgment."
"A clear pattern has been established," says Joseph Farah, producer of "The Isaiah 9:10 Judgment." "I don't believe it's a coincidence what happened in America on Elul 29 in 2001 and 2008. It would be foolish to ignore the possibility that a greater judgment might be in the works – especially if America continues to move away from God and His Word."
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It's also worth noting that Elul 29, 2015, represents the eve of the Feast of Trumpets or Rosh Hashana at sundown. An unusual astronomical phenomenon, a blood red moon – or tetrad – is expected to occur that evening, according to NASA. The Feast of Trumpets begins a period known by Jews as "the days of awe" that lasts through Yom Kippur a week later.
Hebrew roots pastor Mark Biltz of El Shaddai Ministries in Washington state noted several years ago that a cluster of tetrads will occur in 2014 and 2015 – all of them on Hebrew high holidays. There won't be any more for the rest of the 21st century.
Joel 2:31 says: "The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the LORD come." Other biblical references can be found in Acts 2:20 and Revelation 6:12.
Whether or not anything significant occurs of a prophetic nature Sept. 13, 2015, Farah said he is immensely pleased with the documentary treatment of the message found in the best-selling book "The Harbinger" by Jonathan Cahn, which has remained on the New York Times bestsellers list for all of 2012.
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"If you haven't seen this movie yet, I urge you to get it, screen it with your family, show it to your friends and arrange church viewings," said Farah. "This is the most important project I have been involved in through my 35-year media career. This is a message, I believe, God directed me to be involved with for a time such as this."
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, already read by hundreds of thousands nationwide.
"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 says he has since found nine harbingers that tie the problems America has experienced beginning Sept. 11, 2001, to parallels that led to the destruction of ancient Israel.
See the highlights of the "Isaiah 9:10 Judgment":
"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 documentary – that beginning the day after Sept. 11, 2001, American leaders began repeating that 2,500-year-old vow, word for word.
"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 says. "It was the reenactment of an ancient mystery – and bore the most grave of consequences."
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. But the foundation of Federal Hall was ominously cracked.
All of this is covered in "The Isaiah 9:10 Judgment," using actual archival footage along with narration by Cahn.
"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 video is directed by award-winning filmmaker George Escobar.
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."
The majority leader 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. Even Barack Obama's Inauguration Address in 2009 made similarly eerie allusions.
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."
Farah says events continue to unfold that seem to link directly to the message of Isaiah 9:10 right here in the United States.
In "The Harbinger" and "The Isaiah 9:10 Judgment," Cahn gives some remarkable answers to the following questions:
- Does a relatively obscure verse of Scripture hold the secret to the pain and suffering America has been experiencing in increasing doses since 9/11?
- Does Barack Obama play a role?
- Are America's key leaders unknowingly fulfilling a prophetic destiny of national judgment by uttering words from the Bible they don't comprehend?
- Is the United States following in the footsteps of ancient Israel with a spirit of defiance against God leading to increasingly severe judgments?
- Is America in danger of impending judgment? And is this judgment revealed in an ancient mystery that foretells current events down to the exact dates?
- What can Americans learn that can prevent their nation from falling like ancient Israel did when it failed to heed God's warnings?