Jonathan Cahn, The Harbinger
Many of the things Cahn says that are wrong with the USA are on target, but it does not take a “secret” prophecy to reveal them. I have most of the same things―and many more―in my book on the ten commandments (go here). The USA is in serious trouble BECAUSE the Church has apostatized, mostly, in the West. The Church controls the light, not the politicians in Wash, DC, or anywhere else. The parallels between Northern Israel in Isaiah 9:10-11 and our situation are interesting, but they are not prophecies of the USA. If there are parallels, it is because of moral principles, not prophecies, and Cahn has to stretch the Hebrew out of shape to make it say such. How many people have to be wrong in their end time predictions before we stop listening to them? Of course, we are in serious trouble, but that is because the Church has been disobedient to her covenant, and to His Ten Commandments. Our disobedience spills over into the society as a whole, but that is not a specific prophecy but what happens to any country where the Church is disobedient. The Church controls the light and the darkness, not the culture.
As for stretching the Hebrew, he looks up the Hebrew word for stone in Isa. 9:10, which he says means a “hewn stone,” which is possible, but one of the latest Hebrew lexicons translates “dressed stone” (HALOT). From that Cahn concludes that it must have been hewn from a mountain, and from that it must have been a mountain close to ground zero and from that the stone was the stone laid for the new tower. That’s too many if’s for me.
My personal opinion is that in the USA we have crossed the line, and all we have waiting for us is final judgment, but I’m not going to make that a prophecy to sell a million books. In fact, if you have eyes to see, His judgment has begun and is all around us. (See the link above and my book on the Ten Commandments.) Yet Jesus is infinitely more merciful than we think. After all, I’m not in hell, and I don’t mean that as a joke. When or if the Lord God may lower the whammy on us with some cataclysmic judgment (or slowly let us boil to death in the water as the proverbial frog), no one knows, not even Cahn. The northern ten tribes were taken into captivity by Assyria in 722 B.C., as Cahn said. Judah was taken away twice, first in 605, when most likely Daniel and Ezekiel were taken to Babylon, and again in 586. That is over 100 years from the time of 722 to 605, and Jeremiah kept talking about it. No one listened, but God’s patience waited for over a century. Cahn is saying we might have 20 years from the original 9/11, but that will be an embarrassment if it does not come true. It is presumptuous to set dates. It sells books, though, and makes big money. I could not tell you for sure that we’ll have a severe judgment, but I can tell you that His judgment is already here, all around us and happening now, if you have eyes to see. To keep saying it is future puts people to sleep.
One can tell that Cahn is not a dispensational scholar for they don’t set dates. The lay people with little theological understanding set dates, such as Hal Lindsey, Tim LaHaye, and the man who set the exact day several times. End time hysteria sells, especially if you set a date, or at least set a time period.
Another point, God is not in the secret business but in the revealing business. I deny all books that talk about “secrets” that God has just now revealed. Christianity is the transparent religion, not the secret one. We have a Book open to all. We are not Masons with secret handshakes and secret doctrines. The prophecy of America has apparently been locked up in Isa. 9:10-11 for all these centuries, but now Cahn has finally unlocked the mystery. He does so by stretching the meanings of Hebrew words and by doing what all the other end time prophets do: reading the news back into the Bible. This is called eisegesis, not exegesis. If we read it as fiction with some principles of judgment that apply to all nations, it has some profit; but if you read it as prophecy, you’re dealing with another nut.
Moreover, the whole book is predicated on the USA government being in covenant with God (p. 19), but we are not. The founding fathers of the USA could not have made a national covenant with God if they had wanted to, because that is over. I just think they wanted a nation founded on the Gospel and Holy Scripture. The national covenant with Israel has become the “national” covenant with the Church (1 Peter 2:1-10). Israel has been upgraded to the Church, and the church is in every political nation on earth, and now the Church is the holy nation, as Peter explicitly states (1 Peter 2:9). As I said in my book on the Ten Commandments, and as I said recently (few Sundays ago) in one of my sermons, the USA is not in covenant with God; the Church is. Israel’s national covenant was unique. I wrote a whole book on this that has been out of print (refutation of dispensationalism), but I’m trying to update it and republish it. They are back in the land as apostates who deny the Triune God and deny their Messiah and persecute Christians. We are now the fulfillment of Israel, whereas modern day dispensationalists make the Church the replacement of Israel, and then after the so-called rapture, they make Israel replace the Church. I’m not into replacement theology but fulfillment theology. Our kingdom is not politics, but the Gospel and the Church are the kingdom, and as I’ve said in many sermons and in the latest pastoral letter (on this blog, titled “Obama Won―So What?”), the man in the Oval Office does not rule, Jesus does, NOW, by virtue of His Ascension. He does not have to be on earth to rule. He said just before His Ascension that “all authority had been given to Him in heaven and on earth,” NOW (Matt. 28:18-20). He was enthroned at His resurrection and Ascension, as we specifically see in Psalm 2 and Acts 1 and 2.
Whether anything more happens to the USA is determined by the Church, whether we will stand for righteousness or not. The Church is in process of being judged, and the culture hates us, and we deserve it. Sutton’s recent meeting with the Pope and with the number two Russian Orthodox bishop in Russia (representing the ACNA) recently was because they see what we see: the West is heading for destruction. They are very concerned to preserve the West, but it does not take a secret prophecy to see this. It just takes discernment. The discernment is written for all to see in God’s Book. I’ve been talking about it for 20 years, and especially the last 10 years. We are in free fall, and God won’t rapture us out.
Another concern is that though I did not read the whole book, yet I searched the book on Google books, and there were only three times the name Jesus was mentioned and none for the Holy Trinity.
Bottom line is that I can’t really recommend The Harbinger.