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The Harbinger: Is This God's Final Warning to America?
By Jan Markell
April 24, 2012
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The short answer to that question is, I don't know. I do not know if author Jonathan Cahn was given a message from God or if he has authored rambling fiction. I have carefully looked at the book, The Harbinger: The Ancient Mystery That Holds the Secret of America's Future, which is written in novel form but is not a novel. World Net Daily publisher, Joseph Farah, has made a film out of the book: The Isaiah 9:10 Judgment. The film is remarkably well done, and the book and film make a powerful one-two punch. Every reader and viewer must draw their own conclusion.
Jonathan is the Messianic Rabbi of Beth Israel Congregation in Wayne, NJ. "Before its destruction as a nation, ancient Israel received nine harbingers -- prophetic omens of warning," he says. "The same nine harbingers are now manifesting in America with immediate ramifications for end-time prophecy."
This verse in Isaiah is referring to the attitude of the people of the northern kingdom of Israel the first time they were attacked by the Assyrians. Instead of repenting and returning to God, they were defiant, boasting that they would rebuild better than before. So, the judgment upon their nation proceeded as it seems to be with America.
Jonathan Cahn's best-selling book. Olive Tree Ministries does not carry it at this time.
I have talked to Cahn both on air and privately. You can hear my 1 hour 45 minute radio broadcast aired a few days ago here. Cahn insists he is not a prophet but a "watchman" who doesn't want the blood on his hands -- Ezekiel 33:6. There we read, "But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet and the people are not warned, and a sword comes and takes a person from them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require from the watchman's hand."
Jonathan originally had 2,000 pages of notes before he condensed those pages into his book. I suspect he felt somewhat like John the Revelator, stunned at seeing an unfolding drama of biblical proportion.
I am including thoughts here that include criticisms I hear and positive observations. You decide. As I note in various places, this ministry does not carry the products at this time.
Criticisms often heard when discussing The Harbinger
- The Bible has all the warnings we need. The perils of the Tribulation are outlined in the Bible. They are stunning and easy to understand. We do not need Christian books to complement the Bible. (Comment: True, but many secularists and Christians not into the end-times scoff at the last days' issues and warnings in the Bible. Yet this may be the strongest argument.)
- God's primary means of reaching and engaging the world is not through a nation or state -- it's through His Church. America is not His chosen means to spread His salvation and love to the world. The church is. Thus, America has no special calling whatsoever. (Comment: If America has a calling, it is to evangelize the world and be a power-broker friend of Israel. The latter is dwindling thanks to the current administration.)
- Cahn should not be comparing Israel to America for Israel is "chosen" and America, at best, has been "favored." As a result, there are simply no appropriate parallels and his conclusion is bogus. America is not the hope of the world. God is. America has not become God's "chosen people." (Comment: I don't hear Jonathan Cahn saying any of this.)
- All empires rise and fall. We could fit the The Harbinger script into events leading to the fall of the Roman Empire, the British Empire, etc. America is not in end-time prophecy. We obviously lose our influence. Why are we trying to save a sinking ship? At best we're engaged in a rescue mission -- to rescue souls.
- Were the founding fathers really all that spiritual? Is America's "sacred" beginning blown out of proportion in the book? Most were Masons including George Washington who plays a prominent role in Cahn's conclusions. The history books are divided on this issue. (Comment: There are dark forces, then and now. But the voices insisting our founding fathers had little to no spiritual depth are nonsense. Some of them did. Many were clearly secular. Masonry did abound at the time.)
- Cahn's characters in the book seem to have a mystical side with the use of dreams playing a major role. A primary character is a "prophet." Many find these issues too troubling and write the book off. (Comment: Be careful to not throw the baby out with the bath water in case this is a message for today.)
- II Chronicles 7:14 is for Israel, as they were truly "His people." We need to be very careful applying the passage to America or any other nation. Some have written off The Harbinger primarily for this reason. But others say that the template of ancient Israel is always in play. Every pastor in America consistently makes application to ancient Israel. Jonathan insists Israel is Israel and Israel is "His people." He believes America needs to learn from this even though America is not a "chosen nation" as Israel is chosen.
Reasons to Carefully Reflect on The Harbinger Message:
- Sodom and Gomorrah would have been spared if even 10 righteous could be found. God's message is always, "If you will repent, I will restore favor upon you."
- Is the message of repentance ever out of line? Can we not learn from the mistakes of history? Isn't every line of the Bible for our benefit and can we not learn from all the mistakes made in the Bible by Jew or Gentile (Rom. 15:4)? Cahn's basic premise is on target: Israel blew it big time; America, you're right behind them.
- Jonathan Cahn is a Jewish believer. The accusations that he represents "Replacement Theology" are ludicrous. He doesn't want to disinherit his own people. Additionally, he rejects this specific accusation and never even alludes to this false doctrine. He is not making America equal to Israel or placing a higher calling on America.
- The American dream is looking like a national nightmare. Things cannot continue as they are. America is taxing and spending herself into oblivion thanks to our reckless leaders who are motivated only by corruption and greed. We are looking like a Romans 1 nation with pride, ego, money, lust, and self the only motivators. America is being seized by "spread-the-wealth" Socialists and Marxists at the highest levels of government. We are becoming unrecognizable. This scenario will only get worse unless America's Christians get serious.
- To the surprise of many, politics or a new administration will not "save" America. Conservatism won't save America. A more Bible-friendly administration would help the cause of the country, but no political leader will make God the focus of government, education, public policy, and the market place. Cahn is saying, "we the people" can, through prayer and repentance. He is realistic enough to say it may be too late.
Christians are called to preach the gospel and win the lost before we save a nation. But watchmen on the wall warn! I am doing that all the time. I am not a prophet -- I just don't want blood on my hands. I sense the church is too riddled with apostasy and too busy majoring in minors to bring about national repentance and I hope I am wrong. But God calls none to be successful, just to be faithful.
There are consequences for individuals and nations who thumb their nose at God! We can't get away with that forever. Can you really look at the events of 9/11 and not comprehend that that was a nod from God to wake us up as a people and a nation? The northern kingdom of Israel had their hedge of protection destroyed with a limited strike, as did America.
God's desire is always that people turn back to Him. And He's the God of second and third chances, even 50 chances. He is infinitely patient and long-suffering. He almost never gives up. But eventually, the northern kingdom of Israel was dispersed to the four corners of the earth. And finally the rain began during Noah's time. Now there is thunder in the distance again.
I chose to ignore The Harbinger until the pastor of a Bible-based church in Appleton, WI called me and told me about it. He started reading the book and then called his staff, telling them he would not be in that day. Knowing this man as I do, I took that contact as my own wake-up call to make the effort to understand the phenomenon.
I'm one who considers Heaven to be my real home. I want very little to do with anything earthly. But one cannot dismiss the parallels between ancient Israel and America! They are stunning and they're not generalities. They're specific as outlined in Cahn's book and Joseph Farah's film.
Joseph Farah's excellent documentary based on Jonathan Cahn's best-selling book, The Harbinger. Olive Tree Ministries does not carry this DVD at this time.
Find the book and film at www.wnd.com or www.amazon.com. At the very least, you will be reminded that there are consequences when an individual or nation turns their back on God.
What if this is America's final warning? If you're convinced it is, you can blow the trumpet of warning as well. If you disagree, your investment is minimal. I don't think believers can be casual or indifferent to the demise of America even if our longing for our eternal Home is greater than our love for this one.
America is not a shining city on a hill as Ronald Reagan used to say. Heaven is that city. But I don't want to be so Heavenly-minded that I am absolutely no earthly good for whatever weeks, months, or years I have left in America the beautiful.
It would seem the parallels found by Jonathan Cahn in his book, and portrayed brilliantly by Joseph Farah in the film, defy "coincidence." Using his understanding of Jewish culture and Biblical tradition, Cahn makes a convincing case.
This ministry has nothing to gain as it concerns The Harbinger. But if you could hear the story from beginning to end, (and a good place to start is my nearly two-hour interview of Cahn found here) you will be prompted to think and have a fresh perspective concerning the detail of God and you will be engaged in sober reflection. You will be encouraged to be salt and light for whatever time we have left as a nation and a Church.
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