Editor's note: Jonathan Cahn is one of America's best-known messianic rabbis and New York Times best-selling author of "The Harbinger," which remained on that list for more than 100 weeks in 2012 and 2013. In 2014, his "The Mystery of the Shemitah," also became a New York Times best-seller. His latest, "The Book of Mysteries," was, once again, one of the best-sellers in its first week in release this month.
Another harbinger has appeared in the land – and this one in New York City.
In the last days of ancient Israel, warnings, prophetic signs and harbingers appeared in the land, foreshadowing the judgment to come. The nation ignored these harbingers and headed to destruction.
In "The Harbinger," the mystery is revealed that those same harbingers and warnings of national judgment have now appeared on American soil. But in the ancient case, Israel ignored the warnings and plunged even deeper into apostasy, immorality, ungodliness and brazen defiance of God. America is following the exact same template of judgment, the same course and the same progression.
But Israel's defiance of God was linked to a specific entity – the god Baal. Baal was the god to whom they sacrificed their children, before whom they practiced sexual immorality and called good "evil" and evil "good." Baal was the god in whose name Israel persecuted the prophets and the righteous of their day.
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Baal was their anti-god, their substitute for the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the god of their apostasy and the god of their destruction. Baal was their devil god. In fact the name for satan, Beelzebul and Beelzebub, is derived from Baal – meaning "Baal of the flies" and "Baal of dung."
So in the template of "The Harbinger," when the judgment finally fell, when the ancient kingdom of Israel was wiped off the earth, the people were worshiping Baal. In the last days of Israel, when the harbingers appeared, they appeared in a land covered with the images of Baal. It was the worship of Baal that ultimately brought about the harbingers of judgment. Thus Baal was the god of the harbingers.
What about America? If America is following in the footsteps of ancient Israel away from God and to judgment, could there be a link to Baal? Of course, no one in America would admit to worshiping Baal. But the truth is American culture is filled with other gods and idols. When a civilization turns away from God, it always ends up bringing in other gods in His place. We just don't call them gods.
As much as America has driven God out of its life and waged war against His ways, as much as America has sacrificed millions of its unborn children, as much as it has called evil "good" and good "evil," as much as it has celebrated sexual immorality, and as much as it has persecuted the righteous – it is following after the god Baal, animated by the spirit of Baal.
So could the sign of Baal actually appear on American soil?
The idea that anything linked to an ancient Canaanite god would be erected in America would seem unthinkable. But just as it was with the nine ancient harbingers of judgment, so it has now taken place – the Sign of Baal has manifested on American soil.
It took place on a rainy Monday afternoon, Sept. 19, 2016. It happened in the city of the harbingers of judgment – New York City. No one who erected it or who unveiled it had any idea what they were doing – just as with the harbingers – but they did it anyway.
One of the centers of Baal worship in ancient times was Palmyra, Syria. The city contained not one but two prominent temples to Baal. The Romans erected an arch there to lead to the Temple of Baal. So the worshipers of Baal would walk through the arch and approach the temple in which they would venerate their god. This arch that led to the Temple of Baal was reproduced down to the smallest detail and erected in New York City.
It was erected in the park outside City Hall. It sat covered in a giant sheet to keep it cloaked until the time of its unveiling. Seats were set up around the veiled arch so that leaders and dignitaries could watch.
Before the moment of unveiling, a live band began playing Middle Eastern music. As one listened to the drumbeat, one could imagine similar music being played as worshipers ascended the ancient Temple of Baal.
See Jonathan Cahn introduce the unveiling of the arch in New York:
A black slate of stone sat at the side of the arch reminding the people of the connection. On the slate was an image of an ancient temple with the words "Temple of Bel (Baal)."
Among the dignitaries and media gathered were a handful of God's people, a man with a shirt bearing witness to Jesus, another carrying a cross with the inscription Jeremiah 1:5 and still others silently bearing witness.
And then the moment came: to the sound of the Middle Eastern instruments, and to the applause of those gathered, the giant sheet was pulled off of the object to reveal the ancient arch – looking very much the same as it would have to Baal's ancient worshipers in Palmyra – only now it stood in a new land – America.
As I stared at the ancient object being set up in New York City, I was struck in the same way as I was when I saw the nine prophetic signs of "The Harbinger." Since 9/11, America has not only not returned to God – it has rebelled against Him in an ever deepening, ever intensifying and ever accelerating apostasy. It is eerily following the judgment template of the harbingers and the footsteps of ancient Israel as it headed to destruction.
And now, against all odds, the sign of Baal has appeared on American soil, the sign of a nation that had once known God, having fallen away, the sign of the god of the harbingers, the sign of national apostasy, the sign of judgment.
When I stood on Capitol Hill, one year earlier, and spoke before leaders and members of Congress, I said this:
As Elijah stood on top of Mount Carmel and cried out to Israel in its hour of decision, in between two altars and two gods, his voice now cries out to America and says to us, "Choose you this day whom you will serve." Seventy years ago, the chaplain of the United States Senate cried out in the same voice, and said to this nation, "If the Lord be God, then folllow Him! But if Baal, then follow him … and go to hell!"
As I watched the unveiling of the ancient monument in New York City, I feared the coming true of those words – an America now turning to Baal … and going to hell.
Watch the final portion of Cahn's 2015 speech in the U.S. Capitol: