WASHINGTON – The No. 1 bestselling Christian book and the No. 1 faith movie of 2012 both deal with the striking parallels between events leading the destruction of ancient Israel and events taking place in America since 9/11.
But the author of "The Harbinger" and the narrator of "The Isaiah 9:10 Judgment" documentary based on the book has discovered yet another striking link between 9/11 and the key verse upon which his teaching rests.
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In 1985, the "One-Year Bible" was published in many translations around the world – from the Living Bible to the Catholic Bible to the New King James version to the New American Standard and the English Standard Bible.
Those Bible translations provide verses to read each day of the year – from both the New and Old Testaments.
Jonathan Cahn, the messianic rabbi who wrote "The Harbinger" and offers his teaching in "The Isaiah 9:10 Judgment" movie, recently discovered that every one of those "One-Year Bible" versions place Isaiah 9:10 on Sept. 11.
"This has been the case since 1985," said Cahn on a recent Jim Bakker TV show. "It's been there for years. Millions of Americans have been reading this verse on Sept. 11 for 16 years before 2001."
It’s just the latest example of dozens of links between the attack of 9/11 in America and the attack on ancient Israel described in Isaiah 9:10, revealed in both the book and the movie. Cahn says the harbingers for America – messages he believes are from God – continue to mount.
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On the series of TV shows that aired just after the November election, Cahn said the vote itself has significance in the context of his teaching, which has swept through America and the world in the form of "The Harbinger" and "The Isaiah 9:10 Judgment."
"The leader of a nation can make a big difference," said Cahn. "When you look at Israel, when you had an immoral king, it led the nation into immorality. When you had a righteous king, it led the nation into revival. It's not dependent just on the leader. But what the president does, what the Congress does – the laws affect everyone. It affects the preaching of the Gospel, the teaching of the young and the next generation – all of this. What just happened is significant. America made a choice. It was a sign of a turn against the ways of God."
Cahn also mentioned the effects of Hurricane Sandy on the New York area – particularly on Ground Zero.
He cited the words of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, appearing at the site of destruction and telling a television interviewer: "This is the Ground Zero site. This is a monument to human capacity and human endurance. And, this is New Yorkers' way of saying we're not going to give up. We're going to come back and we will. This city will rebuild and the state will rebuild, and I believe will be the better for it."
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For those who have read "The Harbinger" or seen "The Isaiah 9:10 Judgment," those words have special meaning.
It was a message all-too-familiar from U.S., state and city leaders in the wake of the 9/11 attack: "We will rebuild. We will come back stronger."
The words mimicked – sometimes with precision – those of ancient Israel in Isaiah 9:10: "The bricks are fallen down, but we will build with hewn stones: the sycamores are cut down, but we will change them into cedars."
And that's the pattern that has been revealed in Cahn's bestseller and the movie that has been the No. 1 faith film in America for the last 35 weeks.
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It continued in the words of some officials in the wake of Sandy's flooding of New York and New Jersey – including by the governor of New York speaking on network television from Ground Zero.
Cuomo may blame catastrophic man-made climate change. But Cahn doesn't.
"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 and narrate 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, 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.
"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.
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."
The key to decoding the harbingers, Cahn says, is found in understanding the seemingly innocuous words of Isaiah 9:10, what it meant to Israel and how the history seems to be repeating itself in America today.
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.
Later, in his first State of the Union Address in 2009, Barack Obama hearkens back to the same theme. And now Cuomo – right back at the site of the original attack.
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 and the shockwaves that followed, including two economic crashes?
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."
See the trailer: