Sunday, May 20, 2012
The Harbinger by Johnathon Cahn
This is the second in a series of book reviews I'm posting on End Time prophecy. For the first post you can go here.
I bought this book because Jonathan Cahn is the pastor of a Messianic church that I used to visit when I lived in New Jersey. At first I went out of curiosity because I had never been to a church that was comprised of Jewish people who acknowledge Jesus as Messiah. I continued to visit, however, because I was impressed with how in depth and insightful Mr. Cahn’s sermons were. Many people from my own church would join with members of Beth Israel and do missionary work in Russia, Ukraine, Cuba and Mexico. Although I never was able to go on these trips it was encouraging to hear the tremendous work God did in the lives of the people in these countries through our two church’s mission work.
Mr. Cahn’s book is a work of fiction that nevertheless holds a very real scenario and warning for our times. A man, Nouriel, meets a mysterious stranger who gives him artifacts that he calls harbingers. Each harbinger has a seal with either writing or a type of picture on them. Every time Nouriel is given a harbinger he must discover the mystery behind it and report back to the stranger.
Using this story formula Mr. Cahn reveals disturbing truths about America’s history and possible future and their connection to Old Testament prophecies and harbingers that pertained to Israel. Much of the prophecies he refers to are in the book of Isaiah where the prophet warns Israel of their impending doom if they continue to worship idols and reject God. In the book, the prophet explains to Nouriel God’s purpose for Israel:
No other nation had been called into being for the will of God… No other people had been given a covenant… If (Israel) followed the ways of God, they would become the most blessed of nations. But if they fell away and turned against His ways, then their blessings would be removed and replaced by calamity, as they did and as it was. (pg. 16)
Nouriel goes on to explain the original purpose of America:
To be…an instrument of God’s purposes, a light to the world. It would give refuge to the world’s poor and needy, and hope to its oppressed. It would stand against tyranny….As much as it fulfilled its calling or aspired to, it would become the most blessed, the most prosperous, the most powerful and the most revered nation on the earth-just as its founders had prophesied…but, like Israel, if the people fell away from God and turned against his ways, its blessings would be removed and replaced with curses.(pg19)
Nouriel then compares Israel’s devotion to idol worship of the Baals and Asherah poles to America’s idol worship:
"As God was expunged from American life, idols came in to fill the void-idols of sensuality, idols of greed, of money, success, comfort, materialism, pleasure, sexual immorality, self-worship, self-obsession. The sacred increasingly disappeared, and the profane took its place….the nation forgot its foundations"
“Some would call it ‘tolerance.’”
“Yes. The same tolerance that overtook ancient Israel.. a tolerance for everything opposed to God….a tolerance that mocked, marginalized, and condemned those who remained faithful to the values now being discarded…. A tolerance that put the profane on public display and removed nativity scenes from public sight..contraband, as if somehow they had become a threat- a strangely intolerant tolerance.” (pg. 21)
He compares the attack on the World Trade Center with the Assyrian invasion of Israel. Both, he asserts were warnings to the people that they need to return to the God of their fathers. Throughout the book Cahn compares Israel’s relationship with God to America’s. He quotes several sources showing that America started out as a country devoted to God-not privately but officially. He cites George Washington’s inaugural address which clearly states that without Judeo-Christian foundation, it is impossible to uphold the constitution. Washington gave this speech next to a wall where Wall Street now stands. After the speech, he and the crowd walked to his church which stands to this day at ground zero and was the only surviving building of the attack.
He also exposes some interesting facts about Israel’s response to the Assyrian attack and America’s leaders’ response to the 9/11 attack. In Isaiah, Israel’s response was to declare that they would replace the sycamores that had been torn down with cedars. The metaphor meaning that in spite of Assyria’s destruction, by their own will and might, Israel would rebuild itself. In the book, Nouriel’s prophet directly quotes Presidents Bush and Obama as quoting this very same scripture. He has references and sources in the back for those who wish to verify his assertions.
If you’re familiar with the Jewish year of Shemitah, which is a time of resting the land every seven years, forgiving debts and setting slaves free, then you’ll appreciate the fact that God promised Israel that they would face economic collapse if they didn’t observe Shemitah-which by the time of Isaiah they weren’t. In the book the second harbinger was the fall of Freddie Mac, Fannie May, Lehman Brother and Wall Street which happened on the anniversary of 9/11 seven years later. Both these real life tragedies happened on years of Shemitah.
Cahn makes many startling comparisons such as these. You may or may not believe all he has to say and I personally found it all very interesting and informative concerning the different Jewish promises and warnings as recorded in the Old Testament. However, I really didn’t need this book to show me that America was once a country that followed God and was consequently blessed and now that we are a country that has largely rejected Him that He is going to remove his hand of protection over us and 9/11 was the first harbinger.