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Thread: The Harbinger - A Counterfeit Theology of Nationalism *merged*

  1. #41
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    Mods:

    I understand that the last thread about this book was closed and if you want to close this one to, I'm ok with it. Just please keep the review and link I posted up to give a different take on this book. The review has many more points in it than what I posted in here. I thought it was a little too long to post the entire review in here.

    Thanks,
    Todd
    -Todd
    Desert Storm Vet-US Navy
    America...Land of the free BECAUSE of the brave

    Live your life in a way that causes others to question their disbelief in God.

    We contribute nothing to our salvation except the sin from which we need to be redeemed. – William Temple (English diplomat & author)

  2. #42
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    Good article, thanks, LoudRam.
    "...earnestly contend for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints." Jude 1:3b


    Jesus + something = nothing

    Jesus + nothing = Everything

  3. #43
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    Default The Harbinger-A Matter of Critical Discernment

    http://www.thebereancall.org/content...al-discernment

    The Harbinger is a novel that is becoming very popular among both Christians and non-Christians, even reaching the top of the New York Times best-seller list at this writing. What makes it worthy of review, like other books that we have addressed, is that it offers an important opportunity for believers to exercise critical discernment. In this case, author Jonathan Cahn believes that he has discovered prophetic signs from God that are found in the Old Testament and directly apply to the United States, referring in particular to the events surrounding the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Because The Harbinger ( TH ) is a fictional novel with a large dose of nonfiction added (Scripture), this critique involves two aspects: 1) a personal, subjective opinion, and 2) a more objective consideration of the author’s application of Scripture in his novel.

    Whenever we read a fictional story or see a movie, our evaluation is almost always subjective, e.g., what we like or don’t like about it. As the untutored art critic might say, “I don’t know anything about art, but I know what I like!” Even an art aficionado with some expertise rarely gets beyond the subjective, although he has a great deal more criteria than the everyday art lover for evaluating a work of art. In the end, it’s still just his opinion.

    In my opinion, The Harbinger is a poor script. I say “script” because it reads more like a script than like a novel, lacking nearly all of the elements that go into making a first-rate work of fiction. It tries to fit into the genre of National Treasure and The Da Vinci Code but fails miserably in my view—and I’m hardly an admirer of The Da Vinci Code. The redundancy throughout the book borders on being insufferable. If it were eliminated, TH could easily have been reduced to half its size. In addition, the dialog is repetitious, yet little if any insight into the story’s characters is provided, with the result that we don’t get to know them any better than we would a stranger whom we might sit next to on a three-minute subway ride.

    Good fiction has drama. TH reads like a nine-part seminar, ending with a two-chapter tract. I actually liked some aspects of the last two chapters (though I thought I’d never get there as I struggled through the previous ones). If there had been a clear gospel presentation, these chapters might have the basis for a good tract—but definitely not for a good fictional story. Again, these are simply my opinions. I have little doubt that some will disagree, especially those who are fans of the book.

    On the other hand, although TH is a fictional account that invites subjective criticism, it makes numerous claims regarding actual signs or harbingers from God—which it attempts to justify by supporting them with Scriptures. God’s Word, however, is not fiction. That subjects TH to factual evaluation, because the Bible is God’s objective truth. Therefore, we can challenge Cahn’s claims objectively by searching the Scriptures to see if they indeed are true (Acts:17:11). As Isaiah wrote, “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to [God’s] word, it is because there is no light in them” (Isaiah:8:20). Jesus reinforced Isaiah’s exhortation in His prayer for believers to His Father: “Sanctify [meaning ‘set them apart’]...through thy truth: thy word is truth” (John:17:17).

    The clarion call of The Harbinger , which seems to be quite sincere and is one with which all Christians might agree, is that the American people must repent of their evil ways and turn to God in truth. Amen to that! The major problem, however, is the way that the fictional story attempts to encourage such repentance. It declares that God has sent signs—nine harbingers—to the United States as a wake-up call that the country might take heed, repent, and thus ward off His impending judgment. If Cahn is mistaken about the harbingers and multitudes believe what he asserts, then he has led them astray. That is a serious issue and would identify him as a false teacher. Teaching God’s people wrongly carries a “greater condemnation” (James:3:1).

    The main characters in the story are a journalist and a mysterious prophet. The central contemporary event related to the harbingers is the September 11, 2001, attack on the World Trade Center in New York City. As the fictional story unfolds, it is revealed that the harbingers of warning and judgment are directly related to a prophecy found in the Book of Isaiah. Here is where the major thesis of the book fails the Prophet Isaiah’s own challenge of Isaiah:8:20: the author, Jonathan Cahn, has spoken “not according to [God’s] word” but has misapplied the scriptures in an attempt to support his own ideas throughout The Harbinger.

    Cahn gleans nearly all of his correlations connecting America with a prophecy made to Israel from one verse—Isaiah:9:10. To begin with, this verse applies only to the tribes of the Northern Kingdom of Israel, who, along with the Southern Kingdom of Judah, comprise God’s covenant people. All the way through TH , the United States is presented implicitly as a nation in covenant with God. No, God has only one covenant nation—the nation of Israel. This is a critical error of the book. Although that may be overlooked by someone eager to recognize the U.S. in Isaiah’s prophecy, one must read the entire context, which begins with verse 8 and runs through verse 21 of chapter 9.

    Cahn flip-flops between God’s judgment and God’s warning, giving the latter more emphasis as he promotes the idea that if the U.S. will heed the warning and repent of its evil ways and turn back to God, restoration and blessing will follow. Although that principle is true for every individual who turns to Him, Cahn picked the wrong passage of Scripture as a hopeful warning for America. In fact, the entire context of Isaiah:9:8-21 is a prophecy of judgment of the most devastating kind. God declares that He will send Israel’s enemies to “devour” them (v. 12), destroying her corrupt leaders and lying prophets (vv. 15-16), and “for all this,” His anger would not subside, and in His wrath He would not show them mercy. The carnage would result in civil wars among the tribes of Israel—brother against brother—with utter destruction, starvation, cannibalism (vv. 19-20), and finally captivity by her enemy. Even so, “For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out [against Israel] still” (v. 21). No “warning” is even hinted at in these verses.

    Cahn’s isolation of Isaiah:9:10 and his symbolic interpretation of that verse to make it fit the September 11, 2001, jihadist attack on the U.S. is preposterous. (It’s also very odd that nowhere in the book is Islam or the term “Muslim” mentioned.) Nevertheless, as tragic as 9/11 was, what reasonably discerning person would see this as comparable to Isaiah’s account of God’s judgment on the Northern Kingdom of Israel? Furthermore, even a cursory review of American history will bring to mind far more devastating events than 9/11, from Washington, D.C. being burned and sacked in the War of 1812, to the Civil War, to Pearl Harbor, to the debacle in Vietnam, etc. Ignoring such events, Cahn zeroes in on the devastation of “Ground Zero” as verification that God has removed His “hedge of protection” from the United States. How Cahn decides what events of contemporary history God is using for His very specific purposes is troubling. Are they Cahn’s own prophetic insights or just his speculations? If the former, he is on very tenuous ground.

    For many, selectivity on Cahn’s part creates some of the most compelling assertions in the novel. Again and again, as G. Richard Fisher of Personal Freedom Outreach has noted, “Cahn is playing on the old mistake of saying [that] similarity means identity.” The nine harbingers are selectively (and erroneously) taken from Scripture and are then given life by the comparison to similar things surrounding 9/11, which are then identified with Isaiah:9:10. That’s the faulty method. Fisher explains, “Similarity is not identity. A $100 bill is similar to monopoly money, which is paper, has numbers on it, and is referred to as money.” To attempt to tie them together beyond that similarity, like paying a bill with monopoly money, will have embarrassing consequences at least.

    Isaiah:9:10 cannot be identified with America and 9/11, and that’s all one has to understand in order to reject Cahn’s book. Yet, for those enamored with The Harbinger and still not convinced of its serious biblical problems, consider a few of the harbingers themselves (there’s not enough space here to evaluate all of them). The sycamore and cedar trees are mentioned 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.” The passage uses sycamores as a metaphor for weaker trees being replaced by stronger, taller cedars in an act of arrogant defiance by the Israelites, who will not submit to God. Cahn points to a singular sycamore and what he refers to as a type of cedar tree (actually a Norway Spruce) that replaced it at Ground Zero as harbingers connected to Isaiah:9:10. Although there is a similarity , it takes a great deal of subjective wrangling by Cahn in his attempt to make it match Isaiah’s prophecy. The context does not allow Cahn’s claims.

    Another harbinger of warning to America is referred to as “The Tower.” Cahn seems hard pressed to make a biblical connection to a tower other than a vague reference that the main character makes when he’s asked how he would know what the Tower of Babel looked like. He replies, “I don’t, but I’ve seen pictures of it.” That inane statement aside, Babel was not a Jewish tower. Nevertheless, Cahn finds a Jewish tower that he believes fits. But he had to go to the Septuagint, the translation of the Hebrew Scriptures into Greek, for help. Isaiah:9:10 in the Greek is translated thus: “The bricks are fallen down, but come, let us hew stones, and cut down sycamores and cedars, and let us build for ourselves a tower. ” So, he has his “tower,” but not without an inherent problem for “harbingers six and seven.” Those harbingers are dependent upon a cedar replacing a sycamore tree. The Greek translation says “sycamores and cedars” are “cut down”; the Hebrew says that sycamores (plural) will be changed with cedars (plural). It would seem that Cahn can’t have both his “Septuagint” tower and his “Hebrew” replacement cedar (singular). They contradict one another. [For further explanation, refer to the TBC Extra page in this issue.]

    There are numerous other problems with the harbingers, even though they are constructed subjectively and selectively by Cahn. Granted, the author does raise an intriguing date phenomenon related to the economic misfortunes connected with 9/11 when he attempts to link the Jewish shemitah , the Torah law of letting the land lie fallow and the forgiving of debts in the seventh year of a seven-year cycle, as a warning to the U.S. No matter what one conjectures regarding the significance of a stock market crash occurring on the first day of shemitah, the shemitah itself has no bearing on anyone or anything other than the nation of Israel. It has never applied to the Gentile nations, either in actual practice or figuratively in Scripture. To superimpose a connection with America is just that—a superimposition.

    Another imposition from Cahn’s imagination is his suggestion that the inauguration of George Washington in New York City was a “consecration” of America to God similar to Solomon’s consecration of the Temple in Jerusalem. To even compare the two verges on blasphemy, especially because history reveals that much Masonic ritual was involved, as well as the “works-salvation” doctrine of Masonry contained in Washington’s speech. It was more suitable to the god of the Masonic Lodge, the Great Architect of the Universe, than to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—the God of the Bible.

    Part of the dilemma in criticizing The Harbinger is that if the foundational error in it is not acknowledged (that America has some sort of covenant with God, and that there is a direct biblical correlation between Israel and the U.S. in the events of 9/11 and following), that opens the door for the acceptance of the book’s many fallacious ideas. This creates a perception of “credibility” simply by entering into a dispute over them. Even so, because most of them are so obviously wrong, pointing any one of them out to someone enthralled with the book may still be helpful. Some of these things are addressed in other parts of this newsletter and will be touched on in our future issues as questions arise.

    One final thought—we all know the saying, “You shouldn’t judge a book by its cover,” and that’s a reasonable statement. But I like to check out book covers to see who’s endorsing them. That’s hardly a failsafe practice, but it can put me on “discernment alert” if it raises red flags. In the case of The Harbinger , a big red flag went up regarding the publisher. Though the cover says “Front Line,” it’s actually an imprint title of Charisma Media/Charisma House Book Group, the publisher of Charisma magazine. For those not familiar with Charisma , there is no other publication that has supported and promoted more of the unbiblical Word/Faith teachers, the “wealth and health” preachers, the Kingdom/Dominionists, the Apostles and Prophets of the New Apostolic Reformation, the so-called spirit revivals of the Toronto Airport Vineyard, the Brownsville Revival, the Lakeland Revivals, the Latter Rain/Manifest Sons of God, and so forth. There is some irony in the fact that in chapter 9 of Isaiah, TH ’s key biblical chapter, God brings down His judgment upon Israel because of “lying prophets.” Charisma has over the years featured many who fit that description. That doesn’t automatically throw TH into a bin of rotten apples, but it should at least cause one to examine its fruit very carefully. Jesus said, “A corrupt tree [cannot] bring forth good fruit” and “by their fruits ye shall know them.”

    These are days of rampant and beguiling apostasy. We need, therefore, to test all things by the Scriptures so that we do not “slip” away from God’s truth (Hebrews:2:1). We also need to pray for and encourage our brothers and sisters in Christ that we all might be biblically discerning regarding the latest agenda, movement, trend, or popular book that is adversely influencing multitudes in the body of Christ. TBC



    Revelation 22:17a The Spirit and Bride are now saying, "Come!" The ones who hear are now saying, "Come!" The ones who thirst are now saying, "Come!" so come LORD Jesus !
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  4. #44
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    The counterfeit theology in The Harbinger combines the cultic confusion of nationalism and preterist replacement theology that "America is Israel" (which the Mormons, Masons. and Worldwide church of God keep hammering to their members) and is the main reason the moderators of rr-bb.com can not encourage this reading no matter how uncanny or pretty the story. The Harbinger's eisegesis is an abuse of scripture disguised as fiction. ~Buzzardhut

    Quote Originally Posted by Buzzardhut View Post
    http://www.thebereancall.org/content...al-discernment


    It tries to fit into the genre of National Treasure and The Da Vinci Code but fails miserably in my view—and I’m hardly an admirer of The Da Vinci Code.

    If there had been a clear gospel presentation, these chapters might have the basis for a good tract—but definitely not for a good fictional story.

    Cahn gleans nearly all of his correlations connecting America with a prophecy made to Israel from one verse—Isaiah:9:10. To begin with, this verse applies only to the tribes of the Northern Kingdom of Israel, who, along with the Southern Kingdom of Judah, comprise God’s covenant people. All the way through TH , the United States is presented implicitly as a nation in covenant with God. No, God has only one covenant nation—the nation of Israel. This is a critical error of the book. Although that may be overlooked by someone eager to recognize the U.S. in Isaiah’s prophecy, one must read the entire context, which begins with verse 8 and runs through verse 21 of chapter 9.

    Cahn flip-flops between God’s judgment and God’s warning, giving the latter more emphasis as he promotes the idea that if the U.S. will heed the warning and repent of its evil ways and turn back to God, restoration and blessing will follow. Although that principle is true for every individual who turns to Him, Cahn picked the wrong passage of Scripture as a hopeful warning for America. In fact, the entire context of Isaiah:9:8-21 is a prophecy of judgment of the most devastating kind. God declares that He will send Israel’s enemies to “devour” them (v. 12), destroying her corrupt leaders and lying prophets (vv. 15-16), and “for all this,” His anger would not subside, and in His wrath He would not show them mercy. The carnage would result in civil wars among the tribes of Israel—brother against brother—with utter destruction, starvation, cannibalism (vv. 19-20), and finally captivity by her enemy. Even so, “For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out [against Israel] still” (v. 21). No “warning” is even hinted at in these verses.

    Cahn’s isolation of Isaiah:9:10 and his symbolic interpretation of that verse to make it fit the September 11, 2001, jihadist attack on the U.S. is preposterous. (It’s also very odd that nowhere in the book is Islam or the term “Muslim” mentioned.) Nevertheless, as tragic as 9/11 was, what reasonably discerning person would see this as comparable to Isaiah’s account of God’s judgment on the Northern Kingdom of Israel

    Furthermore, even a cursory review of American history will bring to mind far more devastating events than 9/11, from Washington, D.C. being burned and sacked in the War of 1812, to the Civil War, to Pearl Harbor, to the debacle in Vietnam, etc. Ignoring such events, Cahn zeroes in on the devastation of “Ground Zero” as verification that God has removed His “hedge of protection” from the United States. How Cahn decides what events of contemporary history God is using for His very specific purposes is troubling. Are they Cahn’s own prophetic insights or just his speculations? If the former, he is on very tenuous ground.

    For many, selectivity on Cahn’s part creates some of the most compelling assertions in the novel. Again and again, as G. Richard Fisher of Personal Freedom Outreach has noted, “Cahn is playing on the old mistake of saying [that] similarity means identity.” The nine harbingers are selectively (and erroneously) taken from Scripture and are then given life by the comparison to similar things surrounding 9/11, which are then identified with Isaiah:9:10. That’s the faulty method. Fisher explains, “Similarity is not identity. A $100 bill is similar to monopoly money, which is paper, has numbers on it, and is referred to as money.” To attempt to tie them together beyond that similarity, like paying a bill with monopoly money, will have embarrassing consequences at least.

    Isaiah:9:10 cannot be identified with America and 9/11, and that’s all one has to understand in order to reject Cahn’s book. Yet, for those enamored with The Harbinger and still not convinced of its serious biblical problems, consider a few of the harbingers themselves (there’s not enough space here to evaluate all of them):
    The sycamore and cedar trees are mentioned 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.” The passage uses sycamores as a metaphor for weaker trees being replaced by stronger, taller cedars in an act of arrogant defiance by the Israelites, who will not submit to God. Cahn points to a singular sycamore and what he refers to as a type of cedar tree (actually a Norway Spruce) that replaced it at Ground Zero as harbingers connected to Isaiah:9:10. Although there is a similarity , it takes a great deal of subjective wrangling by Cahn in his attempt to make it match Isaiah’s prophecy. The context does not allow Cahn’s claims.

    Another harbinger of warning to America is referred to as “The Tower.” Cahn seems hard pressed to make a biblical connection to a tower other than a vague reference that the main character makes when he’s asked how he would know what the Tower of Babel looked like. He replies, “I don’t, but I’ve seen pictures of it.” That inane statement aside, Babel was not a Jewish tower. Nevertheless, Cahn finds a Jewish tower that he believes fits. But he had to go to the Septuagint, the translation of the Hebrew Scriptures into Greek, for help. Isaiah:9:10 in the Greek is translated thus: “The bricks are fallen down, but come, let us hew stones, and cut down sycamores and cedars, and let us build for ourselves a tower. ” So, he has his “tower,” but not without an inherent problem for “harbingers six and seven.” Those harbingers are dependent upon a cedar replacing a sycamore tree. The Greek translation says “sycamores and cedars” are “cut down”; the Hebrew says that sycamores (plural) will be changed with cedars (plural). It would seem that Cahn can’t have both his “Septuagint” tower and his “Hebrew” replacement cedar (singular). They contradict one another. [For further explanation, refer to the TBC Extra page in this issue.]

    There are numerous other problems with the harbingers, even though they are constructed subjectively and selectively by Cahn. Granted, the author does raise an intriguing date phenomenon related to the economic misfortunes connected with 9/11 when he attempts to link the Jewish shemitah , the Torah law of letting the land lie fallow and the forgiving of debts in the seventh year of a seven-year cycle, as a warning to the U.S. No matter what one conjectures regarding the significance of a stock market crash occurring on the first day of shemitah, the shemitah itself has no bearing on anyone or anything other than the nation of Israel. It has never applied to the Gentile nations, either in actual practice or figuratively in Scripture. To superimpose a connection with America is just that—a superimposition.

    Another imposition from Cahn’s imagination is his suggestion that the inauguration of George Washington in New York City was a “consecration” of America to God similar to Solomon’s consecration of the Temple in Jerusalem. To even compare the two verges on blasphemy, especially because history reveals that much Masonic ritual was involved, as well as the “works-salvation” doctrine of Masonry contained in Washington’s speech. It was more suitable to the god of the Masonic Lodge, the Great Architect of the Universe, than to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—the God of the Bible.

    Part of the dilemma in criticizing The Harbinger is that if the foundational error in it is not acknowledged (that America has some sort of covenant with God, and that there is a direct biblical correlation between Israel and the U.S. in the events of 9/11 and following), that opens the door for the acceptance of the book’s many fallacious ideas. This creates a perception of “credibility” simply by entering into a dispute over them. Even so, because most of them are so obviously wrong, pointing any one of them out to someone enthralled with the book may still be helpful. Some of these things are addressed in other parts of this newsletter and will be touched on in our future issues as questions arise.

    One final thought—we all know the saying, “You shouldn’t judge a book by its cover,” and that’s a reasonable statement. But I like to check out book covers to see who’s endorsing them. That’s hardly a failsafe practice, but it can put me on “discernment alert” if it raises red flags. In the case of The Harbinger , a big red flag went up regarding the publisher. Though the cover says “Front Line,” it’s actually an imprint title of Charisma Media/Charisma House Book Group, the publisher of Charisma magazine. For those not familiar with Charisma , there is no other publication that has supported and promoted more of the unbiblical Word/Faith teachers, the “wealth and health” preachers, the Kingdom/Dominionists, the Apostles and Prophets of the New Apostolic Reformation, the so-called spirit revivals of the Toronto Airport Vineyard, the Brownsville Revival, the Lakeland Revivals, the Latter Rain/Manifest Sons of God, and so forth. There is some irony in the fact that in chapter 9 of Isaiah, TH ’s key biblical chapter, God brings down His judgment upon Israel because of “lying prophets.”

    Charisma has over the years featured many who fit that description. That doesn’t automatically throw TH into a bin of rotten apples, but it should at least cause one to examine its fruit very carefully. Jesus said, “A corrupt tree [cannot] bring forth good fruit” and “by their fruits ye shall know them.”

    These are days of rampant and beguiling apostasy. We need, therefore, to test all things by the Scriptures so that we do not “slip” away from God’s truth (Hebrews:2:1).

    We also need to pray for and encourage our brothers and sisters in Christ that we all might be biblically discerning regarding the latest agenda, movement, trend, or popular book that is adversely influencing multitudes in the body of Christ. TBC
    Quote Originally Posted by iSong6:3 View Post
    Folks, 2 Chronicles is not for America, we do not have a covenant with the Lord as Israel does. http://rr-bb.com/showthread.php?1412...er-for-America

    In addition, the stuff about the tree and whatever else is just nonsense. I'm staring at a tree in my yard right now, it doesn't mean my property is related to 9/11 and a curse of God.[/COLOR]

    A Critique Of The Harbinger
    A Critique by Jack Kelley

    "The bricks have fallen down, but we will rebuild with hewn stones; the sycamores are cut down, but we will replace them with cedars.” (Isaiah 9:10 NKJV)

    It’s fair to say I was a skeptic when I picked up a copy of The Harbinger, by Jonathan Cahn. I decided to read the book only because I had received several questions about it. But I soon discovered that the author makes a stunning case for a connection between the judgment of the northern Kingdom by the Assyrians in 722 BC and the judgment of America, underway since 9-11.

    The way leaders of both countries responded to a limited judgment with defiance and resolve but no repentance was way beyond coincidence. And by responding with the very same words that Isaiah attributed to Israel (Isaiah 9:10), America’s leaders left no doubt in my mind that the judgments we’ve suffered are warnings from God and they didn’t grasp the meaning of Isaiah’s words even though they repeated them over and over again.

    I was tracking beautifully with the author’s interpretation of our recent history and literally couldn’t put the book down as long as he was comparing Israel’s history with ours.

    Then What Happened?

    “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land” 2ronicles 7:13-14).

    But when he used the above passage to justify his claim that America could experience a different outcome from the Northern Kingdom’s, he lost me. In my mind the book was instantly downgraded to another work of fiction, although with convincing historical and spiritual analysis. I had a hard time getting through the last few chapters, because they were just a human opinion based on an incorrect interpretation of 2 chronicles 7:14. At its end the book had become just as vague and fanciful as it had been precise and direct at the beginning.

    If the author is correct in his assertion that as far as God is concerned political leaders officially speak for their country, then America is not the country of “my people who are called by my name” to whom 2 Chronicles 7:14 is addressed. At a press conference in Turkey in April of 2009 President Obama said that America is not a Christian nation. He was repeating something he’d been saying since 2007. When asked to clarify this he once said, “What I mean is America is not just a Christian nation. We are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, a Buddhist nation, a Hindu nation, and a nation of nonbelievers.”

    That statement doesn’t make sense. A nation may count among its residents people of many faiths, but it can’t be a nation of all of them. Such a nation could only be a nation of no official faith. And that’s what America is, we’re a nation of no official faith. (I sometimes wonder how it makes Christians from other countries feel when American Christians act as if they think America and the Church are one and the same.)

    It’s true there are a lot of Christians in America. But we all belong to the Church and the Church has no national homeland, not in America and not anywhere else. The Church comes from every nation on Earth but our citizenship is in Heaven (Phil. 3:20) and that’s where our home is. American believers are not called to repent and save our country any more than believers who live in other countries are called to repent and save theirs. No matter what country we live in we’re supposed to be like Abraham, strangers in a foreign land looking forward to the city whose architect and builder is God (Hebr. 11:9-10).

    Israel was a nation officially in a covenant relationship with God whose eternal destiny is to live with Him in the land He gave them here on Earth (Ezekiel 43:7). After King Solomon’s death the nation was divided, both physically and spiritually. The Northern Kingdom didn’t just split from the South, they also split from God. The Levitical Priests were expelled, and the faithful from all of the northern tribes fled to the south with them (2 Chron. 11:16). Only the unbelievers remained in the North. A new priesthood was formed and altars were erected to pagan gods. Failing to win the Northern Kingdom back, the Lord sent the Assyrians to warn them. They refused to heed the warnings and were ultimately conquered.

    Even though our relationship with Him was different from theirs, America officially renounced God just as the Northern Kingdom had. Now God is judging America, and the only way for Americans to escape the coming judgment is to flee with the Church, like the believing Israelites fled with the priests. (To his credit the author did provide a moving set of instructions on how to become part of the Church.)

    Once the Lord takes us home, what’s left of America will be destroyed for failing to heed God’s warnings just as the Northern Kingdom was destroyed. The dual purpose of the Great Tribulation is clearly explained in Jeremiah 30:11. The first is to completely destroy all the nations among which the Jews have been scattered, and the second is to discipline Israel in preparation for the coming Kingdom Age. If you’re looking for a Bible verse that refers to America in the end times, look at the first part of Jeremiah 30:11.

    What About Them?

    Things were different in the Southern Kingdom, even though they were in the process of abandoning God as well. On the Eve of their conquest by the Babylonians 120 years after the Northern Kingdom ceased to exist, God had Jeremiah tell the exiles from the Southern Kingdom:

    “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my gracious promise to bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:10-11)

    By no stretch of the imagination can this promise apply to any one but the Jews in exile in Babylon in the 6th century BC. Such a promise was never given to the Northern Kingdom, nor has one been given to America.

    After the 70 years were over, God brought the Jews who were willing to return back to the Promised Land, just like He said He would. But this was not the fulfillment of 2 Chronicles 7:14 either. The 70 year period of the captivity had been predetermined by God and at its end He brought them back like He said. 2 Chronicles 7:14 will be fulfilled when the Jewish leadership invokes the promise of Hosea 6:1-2 and petitions the Lord’s return to save them.

    When Will That Be?

    When Israel’s rejection of Jesus as their Messiah was complete, He finally left them alone. It had been 40 days since He provided the unmistakable sign they had asked for (the sign of Jonah, Matt. 12:39) to prove He was who He claimed to be. 40 being the number of testing, their time of testing had expired and they had failed. In Hosea 5:15 the prophet had Him saying,

    “Then I will go back to my place until they admit their guilt. And they will seek my face; in their misery they will earnestly seek me.”

    When the judgments of the Great Tribulation are at their worst, Israel will officially petition the Lord’s return.

    “Come, let us return to the LORD. He has torn us to pieces but he will heal us; he has injured us but he will bind up our wounds. After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will restore us, that we may live in his presence” (Hosea 6:1-2).

    When they do, the Lord will pour out His Spirit of Grace and Supplication. Their eyes will be opened and they will look upon Him who they have pierced and they will mourn for Him as one mourns for an only child. (Zechariah 12:10). Some scholars have suggested that Isaiah 53 will be their official prayer of confession.

    On the day the Lord returns He will be King of the whole Earth. On that day there will be one Lord and His name the only name (Zech. 14:9). Then Judah will be inhabited forever and Jerusalem through all generations. Their blood guilt which I have not pardoned, I will pardon. The Lord dwells in Zion (Joel 3:20-21). 2 Chronicles 7:14 will finally be fulfilled.

    On three separate occasions just before the Southern Kingdom was conquered by the Babylonians, God told Jeremiah to stop praying for the Jews because He wasn’t listening any more (Jeremiah 7:16, 11:14. 14:11). I believe America may also have reached that point with Him. It’s clear that America’s unbelievers don’t want the Church to save them, and the only believers still fighting for America’s future are the ones who don’t understand what’s ahead for the Church.

    In summary, it’s not the Church’s job to save America. Our job is to store up treasure in Heaven by helping those who can no longer help themselves on Earth. In this way we show forth the light and love of the Lord in this dark and dying place. Selah 01-28-12
    http://rr-bb.com/showthread.php?2-Bo...-Posting-on-RR

    [13]No liberal left wing political agendas, pacifism, socialism, libertarianism, fascism, scientism, Tax Dodging, Anti-American Conspiracies, Anti-War Propaganda; No American nationalist theories that the United States is Israel or Mystery Babylon. No "Financial Fear and panic, store ammo and cans" threads stressing America is going down the tubes and Jesus is leaving us stranded. No plotting to overthrow the American government.



    Revelation 22:17a The Spirit and Bride are now saying, "Come!" The ones who hear are now saying, "Come!" The ones who thirst are now saying, "Come!" so come LORD Jesus !
    Buzzardhut.net |The Watch Parables | The Rapture | Romans | The Virgin Mary | Roman Catholicism
    Never Heard of Jesus? | The Evidence Bible | Tent Meeting | The Beast/666 | The Kingdom of Darkness | The Nephilim

  5. #45
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    The Harbinger, Follow Up

    Q. I sent a copy of your critique of the Harbinger to the book’s author to see what he had to say about it. His spokesperson said He was interested that you were affected by the book, but that the two of you differ on whether America can return to God. He said his book is a message of hope and repentance for America while you feel repentance is not possible.

    A. The point is not whether America can repent and return to God. The point is that the author misused 2 chronicles 7:14 to hold out a promise that God never made to America or any other nation but Israel. Nor did He make it to the Church. The lesson of the Northern Kingdom’s defeat is when they rejected God and the faithful moved to the Southern Kingdom with the priests (2 Chron. 11:16) the Northern Kingdom became a pagan nation ripe for judgment.

    The same is true today. God’s promise to the Church is to take us to His Father’s house to be with Him where He is (John 14:2-3) so the Church has no land on Earth to heal. And when you take the Church out of America what you have left is another pagan nation ripe for judgment. America is not the Church and the Church is not America.
    http://gracethrufaith.com/ask-a-bibl...ger-follow-up/
    "...earnestly contend for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints." Jude 1:3b


    Jesus + something = nothing

    Jesus + nothing = Everything

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    More On The Harbinger

    Q. In your article, “A Critique Of The Harbinger” you wrote: “It’s clear that America’s unbelievers don’t want the Church to save them, and the only believers still fighting for America’s future are the ones who don’t understand what’s ahead for the Church.”

    I know you didn’t say that we shouldn’t go vote, but the second part of that sentence is exactly why it seems utterly pointless to participate in any future elections. Should we go through the motions these days by voting? I suppose we should for no other reason than because we don’t need to roll over like whipped dogs and give up. Trouble is that the choices with any chance of winning tend to be between the greater and the lesser of two evils.

    A. No , I’m not saying we shouldn’t vote. Voting is a civic responsibility. What I’m saying is there’s no way Christians can save America, nor are we called to do so. And as you said, even if we were there’s no candidate calling for a national repentance. Besides, let’s think about this for a minute. Repent means to change our mind about something. In the Bible it’s most often used in connection with our need for a Savior. As Christians we we’ve already done that, and since we have, God considers us to be righteous because of our faith (Romans 3:21-22). Our sins have already been forgiven (Colossians 2:13-14).

    Israel was in a relationship with God that required obedience to His Law before He could forgive their sins and heal their land (2 Chronicles 7:14). The work God requires of the Church is to believe in the One He sent (John 6:28-29) so He could take us to be with Him in His Father’s house (John 14:2-3). Certainly our behavior could improve substantially, but belief is the basis of our relationship with the Lord.
    http://gracethrufaith.com/ask-a-bibl...the-harbinger/
    "...earnestly contend for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints." Jude 1:3b


    Jesus + something = nothing

    Jesus + nothing = Everything

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    To whom it may concern -

    1) Once again, the main page and the bb are separate entities with separate posting rules. Just because something is on the main page doesn't make it suitable for the bb. When in doubt, check the bb posting rules or ask the mods first.

    As Buzz pointed out in post #44: [13]No liberal left wing political agendas, pacifism, socialism, libertarianism, fascism, scientism, Tax Dodging, Anti-American Conspiracies, Anti-War Propaganda; No American nationalist theories that the United States is Israel or Mystery Babylon. No "Financial Fear and panic, store ammo and cans" threads stressing America is going down the tubes and Jesus is leaving us stranded. No plotting to overthrow the American government. http://rr-bb.com/showthread.php?t=2

    We have already said we do not support the premises of the book. Move on.

    2) Ask yourself why you are like a dog with a bone about this issue. It cannot be over a work of *fiction*. You must really feel this is prophetic in nature and important for folks to understand.

    We have proven that the premises of the book are Biblically flawed. If you still cannot understand that, again, move on.
    "...earnestly contend for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints." Jude 1:3b


    Jesus + something = nothing

    Jesus + nothing = Everything

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    Do we really need the Harbinger? Twilight? Passion of the Christ?



    Revelation 22:17a The Spirit and Bride are now saying, "Come!" The ones who hear are now saying, "Come!" The ones who thirst are now saying, "Come!" so come LORD Jesus !
    Buzzardhut.net |The Watch Parables | The Rapture | Romans | The Virgin Mary | Roman Catholicism
    Never Heard of Jesus? | The Evidence Bible | Tent Meeting | The Beast/666 | The Kingdom of Darkness | The Nephilim

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    Don't forget The Shack.
    "...earnestly contend for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints." Jude 1:3b


    Jesus + something = nothing

    Jesus + nothing = Everything

  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by iSong6:3 View Post
    Don't forget The Shack.


    Use Biblical discernment folks!, pray for it.



    Revelation 22:17a The Spirit and Bride are now saying, "Come!" The ones who hear are now saying, "Come!" The ones who thirst are now saying, "Come!" so come LORD Jesus !
    Buzzardhut.net |The Watch Parables | The Rapture | Romans | The Virgin Mary | Roman Catholicism
    Never Heard of Jesus? | The Evidence Bible | Tent Meeting | The Beast/666 | The Kingdom of Darkness | The Nephilim

  11. #51
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    Default What's Wrong with The Harbinger's "Ancient Mystery"?

    The Harbinger has accomplished what most churches choose to ignore: It has alerted America to the Biblical consequences of rejecting God and His guidelines. By linking an Old Testament warning to a coming judgment on America, it rightfully challenges us to trust God, to know His Word and to follow His way!

    Near the end of this book, author Jonathan Cahn shares a sobering reminder. Here his fictional "prophet" gives Nouriel, the main character, a good lesson on the nature of evil:

    “And who is evil?”

    “Those who kill, who deceive, who steal, those who hurt and abuse others.”...

    “And what about you, Nouriel? Do you fit into any of those categories?”

    "No."

    “No,” he replied, “you wouldn’t. But remember, ‘All the ways of a man are right in his own eyes.’ It’s from the Book of Proverbs. That’s human nature.... Beware of the good Nazi.”

    “The good Nazi? And what’s that supposed to mean?”

    “The Nazis sent millions to their deaths out of pure hatred and evil....And yet do you think most of them saw themselves as evil?”

    "No."

    “And why not?... Because they compared themselves and measured themselves by the standards they themselves create....You can never judge yourself by your own standards and your own righteousness, but only in light of His righteousness.” [pp.228-229]

    That part is true. So what can be wrong with a book that alerts us to evil and calls America back to God?

    In spite of my appreciation for the awakening effects of The Harbinger, we have serious reasons for concern:

    Its main theme focuses on a single prophecy (ignoring all others) as the heart of an ancient mystery and the key to America's coming judgment.
    It redefines and misuses the Biblical word "vow."
    The "prophet" blends truth with dreams, mysticism and a false conclusion
    Let's look at each point through the filter of the Bible.
    http://www.crossroad.to/articles2/2012/harbinger.htm

    Very good article.. worth reading!

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    http://www.biblicalintegrity.org/blo...-fact-fiction/

    Does Isaiah 9:10 really contain an ancient mystery that holds the secret of America’s future?

    Note: This review is an abridged version of a book of the same title to be published soon by this author.

    PUBLISHING UPDATE: The Berean Call (Dave Hunt’s ministry) will be publishing this book in late July / early August.

    Article available in pdf format at this link.

    A discussion between Dave James and Jonathan Cahn, moderated by Jimmy DeYoung can be found at this link.
    The first one to plead his cause seems right, until his neighbor comes and examines him. (Proverbs 18:17, NKJV)

    ________________________________
    Introduction

    The Harbinger, by Jonathan Cahn,1 is about a series of signs or omens which he believes have manifested in America beginning with the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The author believes he has discovered an ancient mystery in Isaiah 9:10-11 that “explains everything from 9/11 to the collapse of the global economy.”2 Although he uses a fictional narrative as a framework, the book is based on what he believes are undeniable facts from the biblical text, the corresponding history of 8th century B.C. Israel and current events of the last decade in America. As Cahn states at the beginning of the book, “What you are about to read is presented in the form of a story, but what is contained within the story is real.”3

    The overall purpose of The Harbinger is to call America to repent for turning her back on God and moving away from the foundations upon which the country was built. It is also to warn of the danger of God’s judgment that this represents. Not only is this a valid message, but one that needs to be proclaimed. Jonathan Cahn is to be commended for his passion and commitment to sharing this message with as wide an audience as possible.

    However, because of serious flaws throughout the book, the potential dangers may well outweigh the benefits. Many of the author’s views and ideas as presented in The Harbinger are misguided, having both significant exegetical and theological problems. Additionally, the book could well leave its readers with serious misunderstandings about how to appropriately interpret and apply the Word of God. Beyond this, it is also problematic because in trying to support his conclusions, Cahn appears to variously overstate his case, see prophetic fulfillment where arguably none exists and presses details to draw parallels between historical events beyond what the facts reasonably support.

    Not only does The Harbinger fail to reveal a mystery in Isaiah 9:10, but in spite of the much-needed call to repentance, the book presents a danger to believers and unbelievers alike.

    ________________________________
    A Runaway Success

    Released on January 3, 2012, The Harbinger has already established its place as one of the best selling books of 2012. According to “CharismaNews,” on January 22, the The Harbinger debuted at No. 10 on the NY Times best-seller list in the “print paperback” category and at No. 28 in the “combined print hardcover and paperback “ category. In just 10 days, it had gone to reprint four times. (Charisma House is the publisher of the book.)4

    As of April 26, on Amazon.com, it was ranked at #1 in the “Christian Books and Bibles – Fiction” category, at #1 in the broader “Religion and Spirituality” category, #2 in “Christian Books and Bibles – Theology” category and at #50 for all books. There were also 346 reader reviews of the book on Amazon.com – with 282 giving it a 5-star rating.5

    The founder of “World Net Daily,” Joseph Farah, has produced a two-hour documentary featuring Jonathan Cahn: “The Isaiah 9:10 Judgment.” On March 13, in an email alert, WND noted: “The Isaiah 9:10 Judgment DVD tops faith chart at Amazon.com…It is also the No. 8 most popular documentary of any kind and the 247th most popular video for sale.”

    On the day of the book’s release, Jonathan Cahn was interviewed by Pat Robertson on The 700 Club, who said of the book, “This is one great book…This is the read you need to make…It is a prophetic word.” The author has also been interviewed on a number of other programs as well, giving the book very broad exposure.

    ________________________________
    Departure from a Biblical Hermeneutic

    The heart of a biblical hermeneutic is the commitment to understanding the literary context of a passage. This is where Cahn’s thesis first runs into trouble. Nothing in the context gives any indication that either Isaiah or the Lord intended for Isaiah 9:10 to be understood as having to do with anything other than the Northern Kingdom in the 8th century B.C. Although the author has insisted in a moderated discussion with this reviewer that he does not believe Isaiah 9:10 is to, for or about America,6 the book paints a very different picture.

    Although Cahn has tried to explain that the passage is only functioning as a “sign” to America, this is not a meaningful distinction. Biblical signs are revelatory and therefore prophetic, in that they signify that something is happening or is going to happen. And, this is exactly the way Cahn handles these “harbingers” in the book—meaning that in at least some way he actually does see a direct connection with Isaiah 9:10.

    Also, if Isaiah 9:10-11 functions to demonstrate a pattern of God’s judgment, as Cahn believes, why is it not identified as such, either here or elsewhere in Scripture? If it is a predictable pattern as he suggests, why is there neither a precedent nor repetition of the pattern in the Bible? Yet, it is the author’s contention that the nine harbingers he believes he has found in Isaiah coincide precisely with recent historical events, beginning with the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

    Furthermore, there is no mention of the first seven verses in the chapter. Yet, these form a critical part of the immediate context of Isaiah 9:10 and represent one of the most important messianic kingdom passages in the entire Old Testament. This is a significant omission when dealing with the subject of Israel’s judgment because it includes the unconditional promise that even in the face of the coming destruction Israel’s future is still sure. The kingdom will still be established and Messiah will rule from the throne of David forever.

    ________________________________
    A Prophetic Message?

    Although Cahn says he does not claim to be a prophet, he does affirm that his message is prophetic. But, what else besides “prophet” would be an appropriate title for someone who believes he has discovered the hidden meaning of a biblical mystery and then proclaims this prophetic message as factual? He is doing more than simply relaying a message given by someone else. He is the originator of the message.

    In the brief biography introducing the author, the back cover of The Harbinger has the following: “His teachings are seen on television and radio throughout the nation and are known for their prophetic significance and their revealing of deep mysteries of God’s Word.”

    Others have also identified Cahn’s message as prophetic and him as a prophet. For example, in September, It’s Supernatural aired shows that were produced around interviews with Jonathan Cahn. Of these host Sid Roth said, “This may be—no, this is the most important prophetic show you will ever see.”7

    On Amazon.com, the book description includes the following:

    Hidden in an ancient biblical prophecy from Isaiah, the mysteries revealed in The Harbinger are so precise that they foretold recent American events down to the exact days. The revelations are so specific that even the most hardened skeptics will find it hard to dismiss or put down. It sounds like the plot of a Hollywood thriller with one exception… IT’S REAL.8

    ________________________________
    Fact or Fiction?

    Even though categorized as “fiction,” the story is prefaced by: “What you are about to read is presented in the form of a story, but what is contained within the story is real.”9 In other words, the book conveys what Cahn considers to be biblically accurate and historically factual. However, the lines between what is fact and what is fiction is not at all clear.

    For example, the story centers around a set of small clay discs that are said to date from 8th century B.C. and connected with Isaiah’s prophecy. The purpose of the nine seals is to reveal the ancient mystery and to authenticate that their message comes from God. But do these seals really exist as an archeological find or are they simply part of the fictional storyline? The answer is not clear in the story and it seems very likely that many readers will think these seals do exist, although they do not.

    In addition, rather than simply adding an element of authenticity to the story, the nine harbinger seals only make things more confusing for the reader. The obvious question is, “Does this mean that the author is using them as a literary device to suggest that his views are authentically from God (though perhaps confirmed in some other way)? “Are they inherently fact or fiction?

    In the The Harbinger, the nine seals are given over a period of time, to journalist Nouriel Kaplan by a mysterious figure identified only as “The Prophet.”10 Kaplan and The Prophet are the primary characters in the book, along with a third lesser character, Ana Goren, a Manhattan publishing executive, to whom Kaplan tells the story of his encounters with The Prophet. Are The Prophet and Kaplan purely fictional characters or do they in some way represent real people? Do they represent two different people, a compilation of multiple people or are they rather just two aspects of the same person? Given the central role of The Prophet, is there really someone who is believed to be a prophet who gave the author his message? Or is the answer actually somewhere between the two? Based on the way the story develops and then concludes in the last chapter, one has to wonder if The Prophet and Nouriel Kaplan, when taken together, actually represent Jonathan Cahn. Are they fictional characters or are they real?

    In the second half of the book, Kaplan has a dream about the dedication of the temple in Jerusalem which includes the biblical king Solomon. However, when Solomon turns around, he has unexpectedly transformed into George Washington on the Temple Mount. Is this dream just a literary device in the story or did the author actually have a similar dream? Although he has stated that he did not have a dream as described in the book, it is clear that the idea for the dream sequence did not develop in a vacuum. Could it simply represent Cahn’s contemplation and thought process as he sought to arrive at a meaningful interpretation of some of the events in America over the past decade? Once again, the crucial question is: “Fact or fiction?”

    Another major issue is the interpretation of events in America since 9/11. Can the author’s interpretation of the events rightly be considered to be facts as he apparently does? For example, Cahn believes that God removed His “hedge of protection” from the United States which allowed the successful attacks on the World Trade Center. He also believes that these attacks marked the beginning of God’s judgment upon the nation.

    However, to claim to know these things with the absolute certainty claimed by the author is to claim insight into the very mind of God, including His specific purposes and plans for America in this generation. Although one might speculate and form opinions, these things cannot be known for sure unless God were to personally reveal them. So, does the author believe he has received this necessary revelation? And if so, is he right? Is God using him as a prophet? Has God given him special insight into an ancient mystery? Has God truly shown him that his confidence in the veracity of his conclusions and interpretation is justified? Or does his message amount to nothing more than speculation? Fact or fiction?

    ________________________________
    The Mystery of Isaiah 9:10: A Direct Link between Israel and America?

    The author denies that he is arguing for a direct connection between Israel and America and maintains that the passage only demonstrates a pattern of God’s judgment. Likewise, he concludes that recent events in America, beginning with 9/11, are only parallels to that specific pattern. Yet, in multiple places the book gives the very clear impression that these are more than simply parallels and that a direct connection does exist. Based on what is clearly stated in the book, it is difficult to conclude that this is not precisely what Cahn intended to convey at the time. The following are just a few of the numerous examples.

    [Ana Goren] “How could an ancient mystery have anything to do with September 11?”

    [Nouriel Kaplan] “An ancient mystery behind everything from 9/11 to the economy . . . to the housing boom . . . to the war in Iraq . . . to the collapse of Wall Street. Everything in precise detail.”11

    _______________

    [The Prophet] “The Assyrians are the fathers of terrorism, and those who mercilessly plotted out the calamity on 9/11 were their spiritual children, another link in the mystery joining America to ancient Israel.”12

    _______________

    [Kaplan] “So if the ancient mystery is joined to America, then somehow 9/11 has to be linked to the words ‘We will rebuild.’” 13

    _______________

    [The Prophet] “Well done, Nouriel. So what would we expect to find in Washington DC?”

    [Kaplan] “Some link between this city and the ancient vow,” I said. “Somehow Isaiah 9:10 has to be connected to Washington DC.”14

    _______________

    [The Prophet] “And all referring to America’s campaign to defy the calamity of 9/11, as he links it all to the judgment of ancient Israel. 15

    _______________

    [The Prophet] “Solomon was the king of Israel. Washington was the first president of the United States. There was something in the linking of ancient Israel and America, as with all the other mysteries.”16

    Cahn’s belief in a direct prophetic link between Isaiah 9:10 and the United States could not be more clear. As such, the author’s theory about this direct connection unambiguously forms the “factual” basis for the entire story.

    ________________________________
    The Mystery of Isaiah 9:10: A Driving Force?

    Not only does Cahn seem to believe that there is a connection, but he also presents Isaiah’s words as functioning as a driving force in specific events in America over the last decade, set into motion by the attacks of 9/11. According to The Prophet, because of the link between Isaiah 9:10 and Israel, once the pattern is set into motion, each step of the progression must inevitably take place.17

    The cause/effect relationship is also confirmed in his The 700 Club interview on January 3, 2012:

    [The mystery] even has determined the actions and the actual words of American leaders. A mystery that goes back two and a half thousand years and is a warning of judgment and a call of God—a prophetic call of God.18

    This comes perilously close to being a mystical view of the prophetic Scriptures because biblical prophecies do not function this way. Any prophecy as specific as Isaiah 9:10 also has a unique, specific future referent in view which sets parameters and limits on what constitutes literal fulfillment. That what is being suggested about Isaiah 9:10 sounds more like a sort of mystical incantation than a prophecy is reinforced when the author introduces the idea of “The Isaiah 9:10 Effect” later in chapter 15.

    Undoubtedly, Jonathan Cahn did not intend to give this impression. But he would not be the first person to unintentionally confuse genuinely spiritual approaches with unbiblical and dangerous mystical ones.

    ________________________________
    America: A New Israel?

    In the April 4 discussion, as well as in email correspondence, the author has stated that he does not believe that America is the “New Israel” or has replaced Israel in God’s program. However, a number of exchanges between The Prophet and Nouriel Kaplan could easily leave The Harbinger’s readers with a different impression. The Prophet builds the case for the connection by referencing the thinking and intentions of America’s founders:

    [The Prophet] But there was one other—a civilization also conceived and dedicated to the will of God from its conception . . . America. In fact, those who laid its foundations . . .”

    [Kaplan] “The Founding Fathers.”

    [The Prophet] “No, long before the Founding Fathers. Those who laid America’s foundations saw it as the new Israel, an Israel of the New World. And as it was with ancient Israel, they saw it as in covenant with God.”19

    Although the author denies this, the argument of the book seems to specifically depend on the idea that America’s founders and early leaders had indeed established the nation to be in a covenant relationship with God similar to that of ancient Israel. If it were not for this belief there would be no book. However, God established a covenant relationship with only one nation through His covenant with Abraham. Abraham entered into the covenant by faith, forever establishing Israel as a unique nation in a unique relationship with God that would be enjoyed by no other nation.

    While The Harbinger does not state that God has completely rejected national Israel, there is no reference to either modern-day or future Israel at all. This is a significant omission because the sense one gets from the book is that Israel had failed to heed the warnings of the prophet and was subsequently permanently annihilated. This impression is compounded by the fact that there is no mention of Isaiah 9:1-7 (as noted earlier).

    Granted, it is beyond the scope of The Harbinger to present a fully-developed eschatology. However, all we know from the story is that ancient Israel did not repent and was therefore destroyed. The story then jumps to the vision the founders had for America to be the New Israel. Again, this gives the impression that Israel met its final end, which is precisely the warning the author is communicating to America if there is no repentance.

    ________________________________
    The Ancient Mystery: The Nine Harbingers

    As previously noted, the fictional part of the story centers around a “mystery” connected with nine small, engraved clay discs.[20.Page 9.] The original purpose of the nine seals was to warn the Northern Kingdom of Israel of progressive stages in God’s judgment as prophesied in Isaiah 9:10.

    “The bricks have fallen down,

    But we will rebuild with hewn stones;

    The sycamores have been cut down,

    But we will replace them with cedars.” 20

    The nine seals were “harbingers” of impending events in the passage that would take place if Israel did not heed them as warnings— events which would ultimately lead to a catastrophic final judgment resulting in Israel’s total destruction and collapse. And although the nine seals are only part of the fictional narrative, they do represent nine actual “harbingers” or signs which the author believes he has identified in the Isaiah passage. He also believes that he has discovered an ancient mystery—a pattern of judgment represented by these signs, that is being manifested once again in the United States of America. This is what the author means when he writes, “…what is contained within the story is real.”

    NOTE: A thorough treatment of all nine harbingers is being included in a book-length response to The Harbinger by this author. Each of the nine harbingers has problems comparable to those discussed in this review.

    ___________
    The First Harbinger: The Breach

    Concerning Israel: God’s removal of his “hedge of protection” which allowed the Assyrians to attack

    Concerning America: God’s removal of his hedge of protection which directly led to the breach of America’s security, providing an opening for the terrorists to attack on 9/11

    While God protects whomever, whenever and however He chooses, a “hedge of protection” is a very specific type of protection. Such protection is mentioned only twice in the Old Testament: once in Satan’s accusation against God concerning Job (Job 1:10) and once concerning the nation of Israel (Isaiah 5:5). In the New Testament, it appears in only one parable which is also about Israel (Matthew 21:33; Mark 12:1). There is no indication anywhere in Scripture that any other nation ever has or ever will be protected in this particular way.

    In the absence of any scriptural support, how can it be claimed with any certainty that 9/11 marked the removal of God’s hedge of protection? Furthermore, even if God ever has provided such a hedge of protection around America, is it not possible to also argue that it is still in place? There has not been another terrorist attack since 9/11—even though the motivation, intent and plotting to launch more attacks has continued to the present.

    Also, if America enjoyed God’s hedge of protection, then what about Pearl Harbor? Hawaii was an American territory and therefore the attack was against America and on American soil. The next year, the Japanese captured and occupied two Aleutian islands of the Alaska territory. In the War of 1812, Detroit was captured by the British and Washington D.C. was captured and burned. Mexico invaded Texas in the Mexican-American War. In 1993, the World Trade Center was bombed by foreign nationals with the intent of taking down both towers. Was God’s hedge of protection not in place when these breaches occurred? If not, when was it put into place or put back into place?

    ___________
    Third Harbinger: The Fallen Bricks

    Concerning Israel: The bricks which were originally used to build the city walls

    Concerning America: Bricks that fell from buildings when the World Trade Centers collapsed.

    Fallen bricks meant the Northern Kingdom lay in ruins. However, as tragic as they were, the 9/11 attacks involved only a few buildings, not an entire city, let alone the entire nation. And although there had been an airport security breach, this was not a breach of America’s military defenses, even when the attack on the Pentagon is considered.

    The pattern of forcing current events into the Isaiah 9:10 prophecy continues with the author’s discussion of the bricks themselves. The fallen bricks in ancient Israel were the ruins of a destroyed city, while fallen bricks were only incidental in the World Trade Center attacks. In fact, it has been suggested that it was the lack of masonry construction that allowed the collapse of the towers.21

    ___________
    Fourth Harbinger: The Tower

    Concerning Israel: A spirit of defiance against God when Israel would declare that the destroyed city would be rebuilt

    Concerning America: The declaration by America’s leaders that the destroyed towers would be rebuilt

    On the fourth clay seal is the image of a tower which is described as looking like the Tower of Babel. With nothing in the text about a tower (more on this later), how does this fit in? In the story, it is connected with a “spirit of defiance” which prompts the declaration by ancient Israel to rebuild the leveled city with hewn stone—and in the case of the WTCs, to rebuild a tower at Ground Zero.

    Israel knew that the Assyrian attacks were a judgment they had brought upon themselves. When they declared that they would rebuild, they were shaking their fists in defiance of both their enemies and their God.

    This is not what happened in the wake of 9/11. Yet, in both the book and the documentary by World Net Daily, the author attempts to build the case that America’s leaders were proudly and arrogantly acting in defiance against God when they spoke of rebuilding (even though they didn’t realize it).22 This is very misleading because although standing in defiance of America’s enemies, they were demonstrably not standing in defiance of God.

    The explanation of the ninth harbinger seems even more misleading. In the book, Cahn gives the impression that Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle concluded a speech on 9/12/2001 by quoting Isaiah 9:10.23 But, that was not the end of the speech. In the documentary by World Net Daily, Cahn specifically states that Daschle closes the speech with, “That is what we will do and we will rebuild, and we will recover.”24 However, this is not how the speech ended. There were two more sentences not shown in the documentary:

    The people of America will stand together because the people of America have always stood together, and those of us who are privileged to serve this great nation will stand with you. God bless the people of America.25

    By invoking God and thinking he was comforting Americans by using the Bible (albeit wrongly), his intent was clearly not defiance against God—it was exactly the opposite. To fail to include or mention his last two sentences is very misleading.

    On September 11, 2004, then vice-presidential candidate John Edwards was speaking at the Congressional Black Caucus Prayer Breakfast. Cahn attempts to frame his speech as another unwitting act of defiance against God. However, an honest reading of the speech26 shows that defiance of God was the furthest thing from his mind.

    However, he explains that both Daschle and Edwards were defying God without realizing it. In spite of their intentions, Cahn postulates that God was inspiring them to unknowingly pronounce judgment upon America.27

    But how does he know that God is inspiring America’s leaders to prophecy? Unfortunately, he presents his speculation as fact. This is undoubtedly not part of the fictional storyline.

    The author attempts to defend his theory by referencing Caiaphas, who unwittingly prophesied concerning the death of Christ (John 11:49-52) Cahn concludes that Daschle and Edwards intended to say one thing, but their words carried a far different meaning. However, that is not what happened with Caiaphas. His words were inspired to mean exactly what he intended. He just didn’t know how right he actually was. Once again, the author’s exposition of the biblical text does not stand up to scrutiny and the supposed parallel is simply not there.

    Finally, Cahn appeals to the Septuagint (the ancient Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament) to bring the idea of a tower into Isaiah 9:10. The Septuagint has “let us build for ourselves a tower.”28 However, this phrase is not in the Hebrew text.

    Furthermore, he doesn’t inform his readers that in contrast to the Hebrew text, the Septuagint indicates that it is Israel that cuts down the sycamores. And rather than planting cedars, they, too, are cut down—apparently for the purpose of building the tower. So, the Septuagint eliminates the sixth and seventh harbingers. It is extremely misleading and ethically questionable to pick one phrase out of a translation in order to prove a point when the passage as a whole has a very different meaning.

    ________________________________
    The Isaiah 9:10 Effect

    The Harbinger is roughly divided into two major parts. Chapters 1-13 lay a foundation for the author’s arguments as he attempts to correlate the nine harbingers of Isaiah 9:10 with events of the last decade in America as evidence for the first wave of God’s judgment. In the second part of the book, chapters 14-22, Cahn presents a second wave of God’s judgment, a “second shaking,” as a final warning of impending severe judgment if America persists on its present path and refuses to repent. The “Isaiah 9:10 Effect” is introduced in chapter 15 and is used to explain the second shaking, which is the collapse of the entire American economy. The Prophet explains the Isaiah 9:10 Effect as follows:

    “The attempt of a nation to defy the course of its judgment, apart from repentance, will, instead, set in motion a chain of events to bring about the very calamity it sought to avert.”29

    Thus, the Isaiah 9:10 Effect is presented as having prophetic force, going far beyond a simple parallel or pattern. Cahn believes that the Isaiah 9:10 Effect is what has driven the course of events since the 9/11 terrorist attacks:

    [Kaplan] “And they connect 9/11 to the economic collapse?”

    [The Prophet] “Not only do they connect them . . . they determined them . . . down to the time each would take place.”

    [Kaplan] “An ancient mystery?”

    [The Prophet] “Yes, an ancient mystery upon which the global economy and every transaction within it was determined, a mystery that begins more than three thousand years ago in the sands of a Middle Eastern desert.”

    Thus, the Isaiah 9:10 Effect is presented as an inviolable principle that once set in motion, the corresponding prescribed outcome is inevitable. Furthermore, it is discussed as if it were completely biblical, yet nothing even remotely similar to this theoretical principle is mentioned or implied anywhere in the Word of God.

    The theory of the Isaiah 9:10 effect also raises an obvious, but very important question: Are there any other prophetic passages in the Old Testament that also function in a similar way? How many other prophecies directed to Israel can be correlated to historical events in the United States? Is there also a “Genesis 12:1-3 Effect?”—or a “Joshua 1:6 Effect?” Are such principles to be found throughout the Old Testament or is Isaiah 9:10 the only such passage (which would seem unlikely if the Isaiah 9:10 Effect were true)?

    The bottom line is this: If a theological idea cannot be supported by the Bible, then someone simply made it up. Unfortunately, this is precisely the nature of the Isaiah 9:10 Effect—it is made up.

    ________________________________
    The Shemitah
    The Shemitah as a Mystery

    In the Law God commanded that every seventh year Israel must allow the land to completely rest with no harvesting, reaping or any other work in the fields. In addition, all who owed money to creditors were to be released from their debts (Deut. 15:1-2). This was the Shemitah (or “release” in Hebrew).

    Humanly speaking, the Shemitah should be crippling for any nation that attempted to practice it. However, Israel was not just any nation. It was the one special nation God had raised up to be His chosen people. God would demonstrate His love and faithfulness to Israel by providing enough in the sixth year to meet the nation’s needs the following year. Conversely, Israelites would demonstrate their faith in God as individuals and as a nation by obeying the command to keep the Shemitah and trusting Him for the results.

    The author correctly has The Prophet stating that the Shemitah was never given to nor binding upon any nation other than Israel.30 However, in an apparent contradiction, he also believes that hidden in the Shemitah is a mystery that is now affecting the United States31—a mystery that extends to even the precise timing of events to the day.32 He argues that God has imposed a Shemitah upon the United States as He did when Israel had turned from Him and failed to voluntarily observe the Shemitah for centuries. In what seems to be an attempt to mitigate this contradiction, he presents the Shemitah as a principle as he did the Isaiah 9:10 Effect. Yet, as is true of the Isaiah 9:10 Effect, Scripture nowhere presents the Shemitah as either a mystery or a pattern or a universal principle connected with God’s judgment.

    ___________
    The Shemitah as a Principle

    In order to lay a foundation for the argument that the Shemitah is a principle, the author makes the following assertion through the words of Nouriel Kaplan: “Seven years—the biblical period of time that concerns a nation’s financial and economic realms.”33 While Israel was on a seven-year cycle as required by God, this statement further suggests that the Bible indicates that seven years represent a natural economic cycle in general. However, once again, there are no biblical passages to support this idea.

    Furthermore, extensive internet research does not reveal any uniform conventional wisdom or consensus among economists or financial experts that seven years is a natural economic or financial cycle (although apparently it has been suggested a couple of times). Things are said about various cycles that range from three to ten years, but cycles of specifically and exactly seven years apparently do not exist. And, yet, the Shemitah was precise to the exact day.

    Cahn’s theory that the Shemitah is a principle thus appears to be yet another example of speculation raised to the level of fact, which is once again misleading. Yet, the second half of the book is built on this theory.

    ___________
    The Shemitah as a Sign

    According to Cahn, the Shemitah is not only a principle, but is also a sign which is “given to a nation that has driven God out of its life and replaced Him with idols and the pursuit of gain. The issue is the Shemitah as a sign of judgment, the sign that specifically touches a nation’s financial and economic realms.”34

    However, if the Shemitah is genuinely a sign from God, then it is a predictor of things to come because a biblical sign is revelatory. Therefore, if God warns that judgment will come through a particular set of events, when those events begin to happen they signify that the prophesied judgment is underway. On the other hand, in the absence of such a prophetic warning, even if identical events happen, it cannot be known with any certainty that God is executing judgment. For example, even though God judged Egypt through a locust plague, that another region of the world also experiences a swarm of locusts does not necessarily mean that those people are under judgment.

    Because the Word of God does not give the required prophetic warning concerning America and the Shemitah, there is no Scriptural basis to interpret recent events as a sign that God is imposing a Shemitah as judgment upon the nation.

    ___________
    The Shemitah and America

    What, then, could bring someone to suggest any sort of connection between the Shemitah and America? The only potential explanation would seem to be that the author, in some sense, believes the founders were right about America being in covenant with God, even if not as a new Israel per se, at least patterned after Israel’s covenantal relationship with Him. This is not to suggest that Cahn believes that national Israel has been replaced and has no future in God’s program. Unfortunately, there seems to be a significant disconnect between what the author says he believes about this and the ideas he presents in the book.
    The Case for the Shemitah

    The examples Cahn uses to demonstrate that America is going through an imposed Shemitah feel contrived. In contrast, the Shemitah in ancient Israel was simple. The Israelites were not to work the land and the wealthy lenders were required to forgive the debts owed to them by average people. When God imposed the Shemitah on Israel, He forced them to stop working the land completely by taking the nation into captivity. And, as captives, the wealthy were brought down to the level of their debtors and the financial system completely collapsed. The imposed Shemitah was not simply a sign, it was the judgment itself. It meant utter devastation. Almost everyone lost almost everything.

    Since the situation with America has been significantly different, the author must go to great lengths in an attempt to support his interpretation of both the Bible and history. He has clearly done extensive research and has assembled an impressive array of facts and figures. Because he writes and speaks with conviction and authority, he makes a case that initially seems compelling—and one that has persuaded a lot of people that he is right.

    However, upon closer examination, little of what is presented concerning America remotely resembles the Shemitah imposed by God upon ancient Israel. The first major component of the imposed Shemitah, forcing the land to lay completely fallow, has no contemporary parallel, even if possible economic modern-day equivalents are considered. Nothing in this regard indicates that an imposed Shemitah might be underway.

    An analysis of the other major component, concerning credit and debt, reveals that the parallels proposed by the author are not much closer. He draws his support almost exclusively from the failure of a few large financial institutions and the response of the federal government. He cites four corporations.: Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Lehman Brothers, and AIG.

    However, this doesn’t follow “the ancient pattern.” Ancient Israel was overrun by a foreign army with everything of value either destroyed or taken. In sharp contrast, even though the U.S. and global economy has gone through a serious contraction and certainly many have been hurt, it has not been even close to the scale, relatively speaking, of the utter devastation that occurred in Israel.

    As the author rightly notes, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were rescued by the federal government when the Federal Financial Housing Authority placed them under conservatorship. They did not collapse.35

    When Lehman Brothers filed the largest bankruptcy in history after being denied a federal bailout, the U.S. and world markets were rattled for weeks. However, the analysis in the book includes overstatements and what feels like spin in the effort to find support. Although The Prophet states that the fall of Lehman Brothers triggered the implosion of the American and global economies,36 the fact is that they did not implode. They were seriously shocked, even damaged, but they did not collapse.

    Unfortunately, because the failure was staggering in terms of dollars ($639 billion in assets and $619 billion in debt),37 the reader’s initial reaction might be that the author has made his case on this point—but he has not. If both the assets and debt of Lehman Brothers, at $1.25 trillion are added together, this represents only an extremely small percentage of the world economy. Even when compared to just the American economy, which has an estimated value of $188 trillion in assets,38 it comes out to only about 0.6%—a far cry from what happened when God judged Israel and imposed a Shemitah.

    The author continues to try to build his case by citing the September 29, 2008 stock market crash as the “greatest single-day stock market crash in Wall Street history.”39 However, in only one place does the author note that it was the biggest drop in terms of points not in terms of percentage. At the same time, he repeats over and over that it was the “biggest crash in Wall Street history.” The fact is that at just 7%, the drop in the Dow Jones industrial average did not even rank in the top ten.40

    To be fair, the Dow did drop a total of about 25% in the two weeks following the defeat of the bailout bill in the U.S. Congress on September 29. Once again, however, this does not rank in the same league as the market collapse in 1929 when it fell 48% in just over two months. By the time the crash had run its course, stocks had lost 90% of their value.41 Was God imposing a Shemitah in 1929? What about the other major market crashes that are in the top ten?

    Even the above examples do not exhaust the numerous overstatements in this section, but they do give a sense of just how statistics can be used to prove almost anything.

    ________________________________
    King Solomon and George Washington
    Confirmation of the Israel-America link

    As previously noted, Kaplan, the journalist, has a dream about the dedication of the temple in Jerusalem under king Solomon (chapter 19). Although the author has said that this dream is simply part of the fictional storyline, it seems unlikely that there is not a specific reason behind connecting Solomon and George Washington given what is in the previous eighteen chapters. Why does Solomon transform into George Washington on the Temple Mount? This suggests that Cahn does, in fact, believe that there is much more than some superficial parallelism between the establishment of ancient Israel and the establishment of the United States as an independent nation.

    Although preceded by kings Saul and David, it was Solomon who built and dedicated the temple. This finalized the establishment of Israel as a nation because it was then that God came to dwell among His people once again—not in a temporary tent, but in a permanent structure. So, too, the inauguration of George Washington finalized the establishment of the United States as a nation. The factual message that Cahn believes he is communicating through this fictional literary device is unmistakable (and not too surprising).

    At this point, it would seem difficult for the author to continue to deny that he has clearly connected ancient Israel and America together. In fact, that he believes they are linked is stated explicitly in the book:

    [Kaplan] “Solomon was the king of Israel. Washington was the first president of the United States. There was something in the linking of ancient Israel and America, as with all the other mysteries.”42

    ___________
    Mosaic or Abrahamic Covenant?

    Also, despite denials to the contrary, Cahn seems to affirm, once again, that America is in a covenant relationship with God. As part of his explanation of the dream, The Prophet says, “The nation’s ground of consecration will become its ground of judgment.”43 A few pages later, Kaplan has traced the consecration of the United States to God’s purposes to the first capital, New York City—and more specifically to St. Paul’s Chapel, “The place where America was dedicated to God”44—which is located at Ground Zero.

    In other words, a harbinger had been manifested in America, just as it had been in Israel. The place of Israel’s consecration, the temple, was destroyed, while the place of America’s dedication, Ground Zero, was also destroyed. Immediately following the above quote, The Prophet continues: “The Temple Mount represented the nation’s covenant with God. So its destruction was the ultimate sign that the covenant was broken.” In other words, the destruction of the place of consecration was a sign that the nation’s covenant with God had been broken—both Israel’s covenant and America’s covenant.

    By insisting on pressing every detail as he has, Cahn has either tipped his hand as to what he really believes or has made a serious mistake that needs to be corrected because no one could come to any other conclusion but that he is saying Israel and the United States are both God’s chosen covenant nations. When combined with the fact that he only refers to Israel’s destruction, but never its restoration as modern-day Israel or its future hope as the center of the Messianic Kingdom, he gives the unmistakable impression that America actually does constitute a new Israel.

    Another serious question is that of precisely which covenant was broken? Was it the Mosaic Covenant or the Abrahamic Covenant? The foundation of America has been in view throughout the book, but it was upon the foundation of the Abrahamic Covenant that the nation of Israel was established. If Cahn is somehow proposing that Israel managed to break the Abrahamic Covenant, then that means God is finished with national Israel. If that is not what he is suggesting, then The Harbinger needs to undergo some serious revisions to clear up the theological confusion caused by this ambiguity.

    ___________
    Confirmation of prophecy to America

    In chapter 20, the author once again demonstrates that there is a discrepancy between what he now says he meant in the book and what he actually wrote. He emphatically denies that Isaiah’s prophecy is to America. However, he explicitly states that there is a prophetic word from Solomon to America:

    [The Prophet] “So the message is twofold. There’s another part to it, another prophetic word, and this time from King Solomon.”

    [Kaplan] “From King Solomon to America?”

    [The Prophet] “For that nation that has turned from God, for that nation from which the smiles of heaven have been withdrawn.”

    [Kaplan] “And this word came during the dedication of the Temple?” I asked.

    [The Prophet] “It came when the dedication was finished”45

    ________________________________
    Preparing for Eternity

    As stated in the beginning of this review, the author is to be commended for his desire to proclaim a message of repentance to America. His target audience is believers and unbelievers alike, which is one reason he chose to use the fictional format. He also rightly notes that national repentance can only take place at a personal level, when people individually turn to God. Because of this, chapter 21, “Eternity,” is arguably the most important one in the book. The challenge to be spiritually prepared for the day of judgment is quite clear as The Prophet states: “And no one is exempt. Each must stand before Him.46

    Unfortunately, there are some issues which diminish the impact this chapter could have. A believer, or even an unbeliever who already understands the gospel would understand what the author is talking about. However, there are a few things which are either not stated, are unclear or require the reader to “connect-the-dots”—a difficult task without some prior exposure to Christianity.

    Although the author does present the idea that Jesus is God in one place in the dialogue,47 it could be easily missed by an unbeliever. Neither is Jesus identified as “the Son of God.”

    The book does talk about God putting himself in our place, “In our life, in our death, in our judgment . . . the sacrifice”48 which is a very good statement. However, while the Cross at Ground Zero is mentioned, the connection with Jesus and what He did is not. What is not clearly stated is that Jesus died on the cross, shedding His blood for our sins.

    It was Jesus’ death that secured the forgiveness of sin and it is His resurrection that provides the sure hope of eternal life. Paul makes it clear in 1 Corinthians 15:1-6 that Jesus’ resurrection is an essential component of the gospel and in Romans 10:9 that one must believe in His resurrection to be saved. However, there is no mention of the resurrection in The Harbinger.

    As previously noted, Isaiah 9:10 is in the context of one of the most important messianic passages in the Bible. Yet, the problem of not mentioning Jesus’ resurrection is compounded by the fact that His return is not mentioned either. Although Cahn repeatedly emphasizes the danger of coming judgment, nowhere does he tie it to the Second Coming of Christ. Neither does he mention the hope of the peace that will come to the earth during Christ’s rule over the promised millennial kingdom.

    Cahn describes what someone must do to be saved:

    [The Prophet] “By receiving . . . by letting go . . . by letting the old life end and a new one begin. By choosing . . . by opening your heart to receive that which is beyond containing—the presence . . . the mercy . . . the forgiveness . . . the cleansing . . . the unending love of God.”49

    However, it is never explained that it is by simple faith that one “receives, lets go, chooses or opens one’s heart.” Neither faith in Christ, nor believing in Christ, nor trusting in Christ for one’s salvation are ever discussed. Someone with no biblical background would not understand what The Prophet means when he speaks of partaking in the infinite sacrifice.50 Unfortunately, the gospel is almost obscured in the midst of the many words, while things which could have made it much more clear are missing.

    ________________________________
    The Tenth Seal

    In addition to the nine harbinger seals, there is a tenth, which is Kaplan’s personal seal. In the last chapter of the book, which deals with the tenth seal, the author seems to reveal the connection between himself and Nouriel Kaplan. It actually seems likely that Kaplan is Jonathan Cahn himself.

    Kaplan is Jewish, as is the author. Kaplan is from the priestly line of Levi, as is the author. Kaplan becomes a messianic believer in Christ, as is the author. Kaplan has been given a prophetic message by God, as the author apparently believes is true of himself. Kaplan is commissioned and anointed to become a prophet himself, just as many are saying of the author. Kaplan is to be a “watchman on the wall” to warn of impending judgment, just as the author sees himself. And finally, Kaplan is encouraged to get out the message by writing a fictional novel, as has the author.

    ________________________________
    Conclusion

    Jonathan Cahn wrote The Harbinger to call America to repent and turn to God, as well as to warn the nation that it is in danger of coming under the judgment of God if it fails to do so. This is a legitimate and very important message. He also rightly recognizes that the danger faced by the nation is ultimately a personal spiritual matter for each American.

    This message could have been communicated in any number of ways, including through a fictional novel. That is not the main problem. The real problem arises from the way he has inappropriately handled the Word of God, from the many instances of speculation concerning the interpretation of historical events, and from the many overstatements and misleading statements he has made in order to make his case for an ancient mystery hidden in Isaiah 9:10.

    Unfortunately, The Harbinger is a distraction from properly understanding the Word of God, particularly prophecy and so can legitimately be characterized as dangerous. It conveys what the author believes is a prophetic message, but the book clearly does not meet the tests for a prophetic Word from God. The Harbinger is misleading and therefore does not legitimately achieve what it sets out to do. Believers run the risk of embracing a misguided view of Scripture and a distorted view of history, while unbelievers will likely end up either skeptical or confused or both.

    Cahn apparently anticipated that the book would encounter opposition, launching a “preemptive strike” against his critics:

    [Kaplan] “They’ll do everything they can to attack and discredit it.”

    [The Prophet] “Of course they will,” he said. “Otherwise they’d have to accept it.”

    [Kaplan] “But not only the message.”

    [The Prophet] “No, the messenger as well.”

    [Kaplan] “They’ll do everything they can to attack and discredit the one who bears the message.”

    [The Prophet] “Yes,” said the prophet. “The messenger will be opposed, vilified and hated, mocked and slandered. It has to be that way, just as it was for Jeremiah and Baruch.”51

    To be clear, this reviewer is not an enemy of the Word of God or of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I accept the Bible as literally true and that all biblical prophecy will be fulfilled. I agree that America is truly on a dangerous path and could well find itself under God’s judgment, if that has not already begun. Americans do need to repent.



    Revelation 22:17a The Spirit and Bride are now saying, "Come!" The ones who hear are now saying, "Come!" The ones who thirst are now saying, "Come!" so come LORD Jesus !
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  13. #53
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    Default The Harbinger: Revealing—or Concealing—America's "Ancient Mystery"?

    http://www.thebereancall.org/content/july-2012-extra

    SETTING ASIDE the “ancient mystery” of the nine harbingers (depicted as pictographic clay seals in Jonathan Cahn’s fictional story), there is another “secret” message that flows in the subtext of Cahn’s New York Times bestseller, The Harbinger ( TH ). Evaluating this hidden stream requires some historic “archaeology” but will reveal that Cahn’s nine harbingers are built not on Scripture but on sinking sand.

    Cahn’s fictional Prophet recounts the “consecration” of America by George Washington (GW) in a manner which stirs reverential awe among many Christian Patriots. But early in the book, Cahn acknowledges that “those who laid America’s foundations” came “ long before the Founding Fathers” (p.19). This can only refer to the Pilgrims and Puritans. However, the central premise of TH —that the attack and subsequent destruction of the Twin Towers on 9/11 at “Ground Zero” was prophetic—is based on Cahn’s repeated assertion that divine judgment must strike “the nation’s most sacred ground, the ground of its consecration” (p.198). Cahn’s fictional Prophet reiterates this as a de facto spiritual law: “This, Nouriel, is a critical principle. Take note of it” (p.198).

    Given this declaration, the terrorists of 9/11—guided by this “ancient mystery”—should have targeted a site commemorating the first Pilgrim landing and “consecration to God” under the Mayflower Compact in Plymouth, MA. After all, the language of this historic document is far more “sacred” and intrinsically Christian than either the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution. But instead, Cahn maintains that the “grounds of consecration” are adjacent to “Ground Zero” in New York. According to TH , therefore, the fate of the Twin Towers (and the free-fall collapse of 47-story Building 7, which Cahn neglects to mention) was mysteriously sealed on April 20, 1789—212 years prior to 9/11 (pp.199-205). The entire foundation of Cahn’s nine harbingers, therefore, is built on the presumed spiritual significance and efficacy of our first president’s inauguration on that historic day (pp.207,208,210,211,212).

    (It would seem significant to note, however, that these three demolished towers were not public buildings; they were not federal ; they were not religious . They were, in fact, private office complexes. Why would God appoint, or allow, these structures to be targeted as a direct sign of some “ancient mystery” that allegedly “holds the secret of America’s future”? This unsupportable claim is, quite simply, preposterous!)

    Throughout TH , Cahn insists that the mere utterance of Isaiah:9:10 by an elected official—either “unwittingly” (pp.63,105) or “unknowingly” (pp.111, 117)—in conjunction with 9/11, constitutes the echoing of an ancient vow (pp. 93,117)—which TH asserts are binding words of cosmological consequence for the entire United States. As “proof” that the ungodly can (and do) prophesy over a nation in accordance with God’s Word, Cahn gives the example of Caiaphas in John:11:49-53




    . However, he stretches this principle beyond Israel, and beyond the office of High Priest, to include any ceremonial words spoken by a common U.S. politician that might happen to include Scripture. (pp.118-19) If that is the case, then how many thousands of times have elected officials misappropriated Scripture in the past? And what forces and curses have been “unwittingly” and “unknowingly” unleashed upon our land by their rash words and vows? Words do have meaning. But TH clearly advances the occult Word-Faith doctrine that words have intrinsic power and spiritual effect, “whether we know it or not.” As Dave Hunt and TBC have long exposed, this is witchcraft !

    Readers who are drawn into this mystical mindset of TH are quickly mesmerized by Cahn’s droning repetition of words like “ancient...mystery...vow...sacred...ground...secre t...key” and other terms synonymous with neo-gnostic religion. Indeed, such concepts are the very essence of Masonic pomp and circumstance, as well as an integral part of the occultic “strategic spiritual warfare” practices of the NAR/Latter Rain movement. (This correlation simply proves that professing Christians are susceptible to the same ancient deceptions, resulting in aberrant and unbiblical practices, that are manifested in every era; see Ecc:1:9).

    Given this fact, it is nonetheless cause for dismay—and shock, to many—to discover that contrary to the romantic view most of us grew up with, the United States was “consecrated” and “dedicated” not to the God of Scripture but to the god of Freemasonry.

    The reader should understand that we are not defaming George Washington or calling his personal salvation into question through “guilt by association.” No one can ultimately determine the condition of our first president’s heart during the period of his admirable and sacrificial service to our country. However, we can most certainly ascertain whether GW’s willing participation in Ancient York Rite Freemasonry was in accordance with Scripture—and whether the Lodge’s direct oversight of the very act of “consecrating” the United States was a pleasing aroma to God—or whether it was an abomination of “strange fire.” (Even today, many patriots and professing Christians continue to be deceived by and through their “innocent” or “ignorant” membership in Freemasonry.)

    But curiously, for an author who has taken great pains to present the appearance of a factual, historical account that claims precision in the smallest detail (pp. 3,94,106,216, etc.); Cahn fails to mention anywhere in TH that our first president was himself a Freemason , sworn into office with his hand upon a Masonic Bible, with the oath given by the “ Most Worshipful Grand Master ” of New York Freemasonry, Robert Livingston (first Chancellor of New York City) http://www.stjohns1.org/portal/gwib.

    Compounding this mysterious “oversight,” Cahn deflects attempts at discernment, and redirects inquiry into GW’s Masonic connections: “I would suggest something else: That this rather serves to illustrate the broad-brush attacks of judgment which has [ sic ] become typical of many ‘discernment ministries’” http://thethings2come.org/?p=506.

    “Whatever Washington’s other involvements may or may not have been,” Cahn parries, “what does that have to do with the fact that he was part of a prayer gathering for America’s future held within a church...? And how would that in any way nullify [ The Harbinger ]?” (Ibid.)

    Seriously? Cahn discounts the political importance and spiritual significance of our first president’s affiliation with, and participation in, a neo-gnostic mystery school? A demonstrably pagan, universalist cult which has permeated the United States government from Day One and has been intimately involved in its political and spiritual direction (and deception) ever since? To date, 1/3 of all Presidents, and 1/3 of all Supreme Court Justices are known Freemasons. (Can you imagine the outrage if this percentage had been Mormons instead of “Christians”?) In fact, this antichrist cult (which encompasses all faiths who believe in a Supreme Deity) has not only monopolized the halls of power in government but also in banking, business, and religious/philanthropic institutions. So, to answer Cahn’s question, the fact of Freemasonry’s undergirding and overarching influence in our nation’s founding and “dedication” means everything .

    As in the time of George Washington, Freemasons of all faiths still assemble in virtually every city and town in America. Like Glenn Beck and David Barton, they deem each other “brothers” and participate in “prayer gatherings within churches” (Cahn’s sole criteria for judging GW). Should it not concern readers of TH that the god of Masonry invoked at GW’s inauguration is not the God of Scripture? Or that its ancient, secret, binding vows supersede every other oath of office and trump biblical authority? Should it not disturb “discerners” that Masonry is quite literally a cornerstone of Mystery Babylon, whose doctrines of demons pave the way for a New Spiritual Order—one in which professing Christians , having their “eyes opened,” become “wise,” and bow to an Impostor (Mt 7:21-23, Jn:5:43)?

    Therefore, regardless of whether or not George Washington realized the occult symbolism of “ancient secrets” in The Craft in which he participated, The Harbinger is hung by its own tongue when it declares the efficacy of ancient mysteries and spoken “vows.” Because if America’s consecration was performed by Masons to the Supreme Being they call “Providence,” the “Almighty,” the “Great Architect of the Universe,” then our Lord does indeed have great cause to judge the United States. Not because our nation has abandoned the Masonic precepts conferred to and imparted by George Washington 223 years ago at “Ground Zero,” but because it has almost universally embraced them.



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  14. #54

    Default The Harbinger

    So what is your POV on this book? I am reading it and am finding truth mixed in with error. The author takes some exegetical jumps trying to tie Israel in with America. However some of what he says is true and accurate. I'd expect Reformed to disagree with the content, as they do with books by prophecy expert David Jeremiah, among others.

  15. #55

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by billiefan2000 View Post
    After listening to this program if someone can still defend Cahn’s book and theology then I think we have to seriously question their discernment and commitment to the authority of Scripture not to mention their lack of ability to study the Bible in context.
    Then you are calling into question Tery James (Rapture Ready) and Mark Hitchcock as they both spoke in favor of this fictional book. BTW...I have just heard of this book and just began reading it so I cannot speak towards its accuracy but i did listen to a radio interview and the "prophet" is a fictional character and is part of a fictional story.

    The only thing Cahn appears to espouse is the "signs" or warnings (supposedly in Isaiah 9:10) that say that America was blessed of God, has turned her back on God, and is therefore facing judgment. I don't know whether it has any merit and highly doubt it, but having not searched the scripture about this I will withhold my judgment. Certainly you can't argue that America was as blessed as any nation by God and has turned her back on him and is certain to face judgment. Whether or not it is fortold in the Bible is another question.

    Anyway, from my little understanding of this book, Cahn claims that he has written a fictional story but that the theology in the book is accurate much like Joel C Rosenberg's book series The Last Day, The Last Jihad, etc. Perhaps it is not, as I have already stated I haven't checked it out yet.
    Eternal life is not a reward for effort. It is a gift to those who trust Jesus.

  16. #56
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    Default

    This fuss is about a novel, that is fiction, and not real. Did the author claim his book was a theology text? I think this whole thing is silly. I will not condemn, or otherwise castigate in judgement a brother or sister in Christ. Judgement is best left to God and not indulged in ourselves. This is not discernment, it is bloodletting. I find the whole thing disgusting! Now the enemy has the members of the body of Christ attacking each other, and that is one of the enemies favorite techniques, divide and conquer, very effective too.
    I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. John 14:18

  17. #57
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    Default Harbinger..Have you read?

    What did you think of the book if you read it?

  18. #58
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    Default

    I liked the book and the DVD. The corrolation is eye-opening. I don't consider it prophecy, but it is IMO worth reading/seeing.
    Ph 3:15 (paraphrased):...And if on some point you and I think differently, that too God will make clear to us. Only let us live up to what we have already attained.

  19. #59
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    Default

    There is a large thread on it already, i think in the apostasy section
    For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 1 Cor 1:18

  20. #60

    Default

    I did not read the book. This to me is a challenge to any who would write a book, what of Christ? As you read any book, thats the central point to keep in mind for us, believers in Jesus Christ.

    Quote Originally Posted by jar View Post
    What did you think of the book if you read it?
    Anything that takes your eyes off of the cross of Christ, takes your eyes off of what work Christ accomplished on our behalf, on behalf of the nations, is not worth anything.

    Case in point.

    Quote Originally Posted by Soteria View Post
    The Harbinger has accomplished what most churches choose to ignore: It has alerted America to the Biblical consequences of rejecting God and His guidelines. By linking an Old Testament warning to a coming judgment on America, it rightfully challenges us to trust God, to know His Word and to follow His way!
    If we want to talk OT, then we are all doomed, God has no affinity for the US. It keeps the conversation about "God", what He wants nations to do, how He will bless "nations", how we can maintain blessings, etc.

    Thats not what God wants to talk about though, He wants men to talk about His Son.

    Its easy to keep the conversation about God, generically. Much more difficult to bring Christ into the equation. Once you do, it tears down the other conversation as irrelevant, God is not trying to "save" the US, or any other nation, aside from His people Israel.

    There are subtle falsehoods in all these dominist type teachings, they have nothing to do with Christ, have nothing to do with what God told this world about His Son, have nothing to do with the work of God for men today, which is to believe in His Son. That is God's message today, there is no other.

    Some may feel that is an unfair assessment, that its a good thing that our country "gets back to God." Problem is, that is not what God is telling this world, and that in itself is telling. We all know the scripture: 'there is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death'. I see no redemption in a message of a book, if its purpose is to rally the US behind "God." If you don't believe that, try writing a book thats focus is on Christ and how men of the US need to come to the cross, see how many buy it. The truth doesn't sell quite like a novel approach to Christian Politics.
    Don't panic! Just be Rapture Ready.

    Joel 3:2

    I will gather all nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. There I will put them on trial for what they did to my inheritance, my people Israel, because they scattered my people among the nations and divided up my land.

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