Broadway producer and playwright Jeremiah Ginsberg called it “historic and breathtaking.”
Ginsberg, the born-again producer of “Rabboni,” raved about the incredible stories told in the new documentary, “The Harbinger Man,” which explores the life and teachings of Jonathan Cahn, the Messianic rabbi many are calling “America’s Prophet.”
An overflow crowd estimated at 700 people attended the Jerusalem Center/Beth Israel in Wayne, New Jersey, for the first live screening of the smash hit documentary on Nov. 21.
Though most of the audience was made up of members of Cahn’s congregation, some came from many miles away to attend the widely anticipated event.
Several attendees traveled from other states, including Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Georgia. Some even came from other countries. One person traveled from the Caribbean nation of Trinidad. Another flew across the Atlantic from Switzerland.
They were of all races and ages and spoke different languages. But the crowd was united in its belief that it was part of something special.
“I’m the pastor of a Presbyterian church,” one Christian leader told WND after the event, “and you have to be spiritually tone deaf not to hear God speaking through this movie.”
The crowd appeared to agree with that assessment, as members of the audience leapt to their feet in a thundering ovation at the conclusion of the screening.
“I was all the more amazed at how good and powerful the film is,” Cahn told WND. “I think I was as impacted as much as everyone else.”
It was a triumphant but strange night for Cahn, who was clearly touched that congregants were paying tribute to his “humility.” He confessed to WND the experience was an unusual one.
“Anything about me is out of my comfort zone,” he said. “It’s my calling to speak about the Lord. But when something focuses more on me, it’s something I’m not used to and probably never will be.”
From the beginning, Cahn told WND, he wanted to ensure the focus of the movie was firmly on God.
“When WND told me they were planning on doing a film on my life, I told the director that the most important thing for me is that it’s not really about me, but about the Lord’s hand and message, and that this be the focus,” Cahn said. “And it is. Beyond everything else, the stories, the testimonies, the historical footage, the personal revelations and all the rest, ‘The Harbinger Man’ is a testimony to the grace and power of God, how He calls us, how He moves in our lives, how to find and fulfill the calling God has given to each of us. If God can use someone like me for His purposes, then He can use anyone.
“‘The Harbinger Man,’ more than anything, focuses on the works of God and powerfully brings forth His word and calling. So I was very blessed about that.”
Ultimately, Cahn hopes the film will lead others to the Messiah. And the famous author, pastor and speaker believes “The Harbinger Man” will be an effective tool for evangelism.
“The film is very strong in presenting the Messiah and salvation,” Cahn said with enthusiasm. “So it’s great not only for believers, but to give to nonbelievers. At the end, it contains a call to salvation. It also contains an entire section presenting the reasons why there’s only one hope, and that hope is Jesus, Yeshua, and that He’s the only one in Jewish history and human history who could be the Messiah.”
The audience clearly responded to the message. Cahn said he was “amazed” at the turnout, with hundreds of people packing the Jerusalem Center, prompting the staff to put out additional chairs.
George Escobar, who directed “The Harbinger Man” and who has decades of experience in media and films, told Cahn it was the best screening he’s ever had in his career.
Cahn recounted: “Several people came up to the director to tell him it was the most powerful film they had ever seen. George was so overcome by the reaction that he hardly knew how to react.
“It was an amazing and an amazingly powerful event, far beyond what even we believed it would be.”
Despite the large crowd, the screening was an oddly intimate affair. Cahn’s mother, who is featured in the film, attended the event. During the film, the audience laughed appreciably at the footage of their pastor as a child and chortled at the jokes. When the film covered Cahn’s experiences witnessing God’s power over pagan idols, the audience applauded. When there was a more somber or emotional moment, sobs and gasps were audible.
“A very surprising reaction was that even people who had been at the congregation for years said they had no idea about some of the things about me or my life until it was revealed in the movie,” Cahn observed later. “Even my closest co-minister, someone who has ministered with me for 20 years, told me there were things he had no idea of.”
Audience members told WND they were both informed and entertained by the film.
“My heart was racing!” enthused one young man who attended the screening.
“This is the most outstanding movie I’ve seen in a long, long time,” a woman told WND.
“I don’t think we were prepared for the reaction,” Cahn said. “When ‘The Harbinger Man’ reached its conclusion, everyone rose to their feet in giving it a long standing ovation. Everyone said that the movie far exceeded anything expected. The most often used description of the movie was ‘Powerful!’ ‘Awesome!’ ‘Amazing!'”
Indeed, there was a palpable sense the audience didn’t want the evening to end, even after the screening concluded. After answering questions, Rabbi Cahn led the congregation in singing songs of worship. Hundreds of people either danced or stood silently, their hands raised in the air. Cahn then performed an Aaronic blessing on his parishioners, ostensibly concluding the event.
However, even after that, few wanted to leave. Hundreds congregated around a table and congratulated Cahn and Escobar as they signed autographs.
Everyone took away something unique from the event.
“‘The Harbinger Man’ has so many different dimensions to it that everyone commented on a different part,” Cahn observed of the audience’s reaction. “Some were especially struck by the part about my father’s escape from Hitler, others by the story of how a Jewish atheist came to accept the Messiah, ultimately by being struck and almost killed by a locomotive train. For others, it was the signs that took place around the world concerning the gods and idols of the nations, for others it was how God supernaturally brought a woman from Brazil to be my wife, for others it was the story behind the story of ‘The Harbinger’ and what caused it to go forth to America, and for others it was the prophetic message itself. The film opens up with a prophetic word I shared on Capitol Hill and closes with another, the most recent prophetic message I gave there.”
He continued, “The way George Escobar put it together with images creates some of the most powerful pieces I’ve ever seen. I think that’s what especially blew away those who watched it.”
Reluctantly, audience members eventually trickled out of the Jerusalem Center, most leaving hours after the event had actually concluded. But in the days that followed, Cahn reports his congregants say “The Harbinger Man” is not something people can leave behind.
“Even up to this day, those who were there at the screening of the movie are still in a state of awe and still blown away by what they saw,” he marveled. “‘The Harbinger Man’ has ended up being beyond anything we imagined it would be. It’s something truly unique, and hard to convey to anyone who hasn’t yet seen it.”
See the “Harbinger Man” trailer: