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.
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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. It's now been there for 52 weeks, and has sold more than a million copies..
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.
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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.
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"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.
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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.
The event twice has been in the headlines over just the last week through controversy.
However, the report from the leftwing media “watchdog” has been repudiated by the event’s organizer, conservative pastor Rev. Merrie Turner, who purportedly was quoted in the Media Matters report.
Moreover, the event’s keynote speaker, Rabbi Jonathan Cahn, bestselling author of "The Harbinger," says the group's real aim was to “attack and humiliate Joseph Farah.”
According to the Media Matters report, Turner, the organizer of the prayer breakfast, "criticized his [Farah's] work and said he had been incorrectly listed as a featured guest."
"It's surprising that Farah is considered too toxic to speak at the event – which his publication had promoted – considering the history of its organizer and other reported attendees," Media Matters continued.
Media Matters quoted Turner as saying, "It is against my beliefs to be openly targeting someone like the president of our country, we have enough enemies outside the country."
The Media Matters report, which said Turner was going to “remove” Farah from the list of official speakers, was subsequently cited in reports by other media outlets, including the Christian Post.
"Recently a story originating with the organization Media Matters stated that Joseph Farah of WorldNetDaily had been removed from the Presidential Inaugural Prayer Breakfast. This is false. The article also implied that Farah took it upon himself to invite himself as a distinguished [guest]. This, too, is false," she wrote.
"The misinformation resulted from a number of factors: a confusion over the exact status of guests combined with the fluidity of the program, erroneous assumptions, miscommunication, a train of questioning by Media Matters as to whether we would allow anyone to use the event as a platform to attack the president, my desire to clarify that the event was not about anyone doing so, and what appears to be the aim of Media Matters to attack and humiliate Joseph Farah."
She explained, "Joseph Farah was asked for his help regarding the event. He graciously gave it. He never invited himself to the event. Nor did he ever ask or expect anything in return. We affirm that the event is to pray for America at a critical time and juncture, for the American presidency and government. We also want to clearly state and affirm that it would be an honor to have Joseph Farah be part."
Cahn told WND, "Any event of this nature is going to cause a stir. The Presidential Inaugural Prayer Breakfast will see many leaders, both spiritual, cultural, and political whose beliefs are passionately biblical, come together to pray at a time when America and its government appear to be in clear departure from those foundations. So it should not be a surprise that there is curiosity, confusion, and even some controversy surrounding such an event."
He continued, "On top of that, as the event is still forming with more special guests responding, some who are speaking, some leading in prayer, and some just attending, there is much fluidity, without the final status being sealed, which opened the door to some confusion.
"Media Matters is apparently not a friend of such events and certainly not of Joseph Farah. As they questioned Merrie Turner on why they would allow someone to attack the president, she sought to give assurance that this was not what the Inaugural Prayer Breakfast was all about and no one would be allowed to do that. Put together, the fluidity, the confusion, the desire to state the purpose of the event, and the stance of Media Matters against Joseph Farah and such events, and you have a story about Joseph Farah being booted out of the event," he said.
"I'm blessed with Merrie Turner's response in seeking to clear up the confusion," he said. "Perhaps what those at Media Matters didn't understand is that one of the key teachings of Jesus is to love and pray for one's enemies. If that's true for one's enemies, it must all the more be true for one's political opponents, and leaders with whom one disagrees. Beyond all he does in media, Joseph Farah is foremost a follower of Jesus. So it was really a non-issue to begin with. Those who wrote the article were apparently concerned over a perceived attack on Obama. It would have been nice had they applied that same concern as they attacked and humiliated Joseph Farah."
Then it was a "faith" organization that gets money from "Open Society" founder and left-leaning 1 percenter George Soros that said it doesn't want chaplains to participate in a prayer meeting.
The organization called Faithful America has launched an online petition discouraging the official chaplains of the U.S. House and the Senate from praying at this weekend's Presidential Inaugural Prayer Breakfast.
The online effort, which had gathered a little more than 100 signatures by Friday afternoon, said, "The hateful views of Pat Robertson, Joseph Farah, and Jonathan Cahn are deeply offensive to Christians across America. Please don't spend Inauguration Day lending the prestige of your offices to their lies and conspiracy theories targeting President Obama."
It is addressed to Rev. Patrick J. Conroy, chaplain, U.S. House of Representatives, and Barry C. Black, chaplain, U.S. Senate, who like hundreds – in fact thousands – of others from around Washington are invited to the events.
The petition explains to those who are invited to sign that, "The official chaplains of the U.S. House and Senate are supposed to be nonpartisan pastors who offer spiritual support and guidance to our nation's elected leaders. But on Inauguration Day, they're scheduled to speak at a right-wing event in Washington alongside some of the most hateful and racist figures on the Christian right."
According to the online Discover the Networks, Faithful America gets funding from the leftist Soros, along with organizations with sometimes-extreme perspectives such as Amnesty International, the Brennan Center for Justice, Campaign for Better Health Care, which favors a universal government program, the pro-abortion Catholics for Choice, Center for Reproductive Rights, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, Democracy Alliance, Earthjustice, EMILY's List, and others.