Jonathan Cahn’s “The Harbinger”
The book “The Harbinger,” by Rabbi Jonathan Cahn has created quite a stir and today, I’m going to add my thoughts to the mix. I’m sure my comments will not be the final word on the subject, and they should not be. I’m amazed at how quickly this book has gained such a following. There are hundreds of accolades connected to the book and that leads me to ask WHY?
On the surface, it purports to offer up previously unknown knowledge or connections with passages in Isaiah related to America. This information has now been “decoded” for the world.
Ultimately, Rabbi Cahn refers to Isaiah 9:10 and notes that though this occurred with Israel, he believes the same TYPE of thing is happening in America. The bulk of the book explains how and why.
From the book itself, we learn “Like the ancient nation of Israel, America ‘is a nation conceived and dedicated to the will of God from its conception…’ and ‘is in covenant with God’.” (pg 19).
Throughout the book, Cahn directly connects America with Israel. He does this over and over again.
“The Nine Harbingers that manifested in ancient Israel in the nation’s last days. Each one was a sign. Each one was a warning of judgment…of their end…the Nine Harbingers of judgment.” “I don’t understand.” “It’s all happening again according to the same pattern, according to the judgment of ancient Israel. The Nine Harbingers that appeared in the last days of ancient Israel are now appearing in America.” “Appearing in America?” “Each one manifesting on American soil. Each one containing a prophetic message. And upon these, the future of the nation hangs.” (p. 23)
In fact, these nine harbingers – according to Cahn – occurred in Israel and now the harbingers have or are taking place in America. They are being sent by God as America’s wake-up call and to continue to ignore these harbingers means to receive God’s full judgment.
Through the “prophet” in the story, Cahn reveals that there is a direct connect between Israel and America based on the alleged covenant that both countries have had with God. It is because of this covenant that those who first came to this country had with God, and the fact that America has gone way off track, like Israel of old, God is now preparing to judge America.
Within recent days, a number of critiques have come out. First, one from T. A. McMahon and more recently, another from Joseph Chambers. Terry James has also issued his review of the book as well. McMahon’s and Chambers’ reviews were critically harsh based on the content of Cahn’s book and the individual reviewer’s understanding and interpretation of Scripture.
Both McMahon and Chambers have a serious problem with the way Cahn has seemingly taken a passage of Scripture that applies directly and only to the nation of Israel – Isaiah 9:10 – and has either directly or indirectly implied that the same type of thing that happened to Israel is now happening in America.
When anyone takes any portion of Scripture that is expressly directed toward Israel and either directly or indirectly applies it to other situations or nations, serious error could be the result. He appears to do this in several places in his book.
The overall theme of “The Harbinger” is that as a nation, America needs to repent because God has been sending us “harbingers” or warnings that if we do not repent, what happened to Israel will happen to America. In fact, judgment is now happening to America, according to “The Harbinger.” Because – it is stated – that this country began in earnest with a covenant with God and we have moved further and further away from that covenant, then God is being forced to bring the arm of His judgment to bear on the situation and our country.
As can be expected, “The Harbinger” has received accolades from people numbering into the hundreds. Many give it high ratings because they believe – as Jonathan Cahn believes – that America as a nation DOES need to repent. They agree that this country was founded as a Christian nation, in covenant with God, and therefore, since having gone way off the original moorings, we need to RETURN to our first love so to speak and once again acknowledge and adhere to our covenant with God. If we do this, then this nation will avoid further judgment. If we fail to acknowledge God’s coming judgment, then we have only ourselves to blame for what will happen.
A few days ago, I went to Amazon to check out the ratings and reviews for Cahn’s book and found that there were a total of 442 customer reviews at that time. Of those, 351 gave it five stars, 25 gave it four stars, 13 three stars, 12 gave it two stars, and 41 rated it a one star. Obviously, the majority of people believe that the book is very well written and more importantly, the message of the book is sound.
Here is an example of what one reviewer stated:
“Anyone searching for answers in the midst of the chaos, unrest and fear that is prevalent in America today will find “The Harbinger” provides a glimmer of hope. Cahn offers these words from scripture “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 I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14. This book surely is a wake up call for Americans to get on their knees and reclaim this great nation before it’s too late.”
That type of review was by far referenced by the majority of reviewers, with few dissenters.
Jan Markell, founder of Understanding the Times states how disappointed she is with T. A. McMahon’s critical review of “The Harbinger.” She obviously believes that McMahon to be wrong. She states:
“Cahn’s book and Joseph Farah’s brilliant film, “Isaiah 9:10 Judgment,” are counting for eternity. Both are calling for individual and national repentance and nothing more. It had to be discovered by a Jew and I believe it is one of those phenomenons Daniel predicts will be sealed until the time of the end. It is now unsealed so that many would be saved and a message could be given to America.”
She also references the previously mentioned Terry James’ review of “The Harbinger” and of course, James’ review is outstanding. In fact, he sounds like he could have written the sales pitch for the book itself. He calls the book “inspired” and I can only hope that he did not literally mean “God-breathed,” in the way that the Bible is inspired or God-breathed, though in the next paragraph, he clearly states that he believes God wanted “The Harbinger” written.
With so many people obviously in love with Cahn’s book, the question becomes, how can anyone deign to disagree with it?
There are a number of issues related to Cahn’s book that I believe cast it in a negative light. I believe one of the main issues has to do with the way people view America and its founding. Many patriots and conservatives alike fully believe that this country was actually founded as a Christian nation, not merely on Christian or biblical principles. They believe that since at least some of our Founding Fathers quoted the Bible and prayed to God, this proves their Christianity. If this country was actually founded as a Christian nation, then it is just as clear that as a nation, we have obviously left our first love. It is because of this that we are heading toward judgment. These folks agree wholeheartedly with the message of “The Harbinger.”
That premise needs to be investigated. Was this country actually founded as a so-called Christian nation? Did groups like the Pilgrims and Puritans enter into a covenant with God to dedicate this land and resulting nation to God for His purposes and for His glory? We’ll get to that shortly.
One of the other issues has to deal with the nationality of America. We know for instance, that God specifically CREATED Israel, to be a light to the world. This is very clear from Scripture. We also know of course, that from Israel, the Messiah would be born into this world and ultimately offer Himself as an atonement for sin. This then allowed God to provide the only possible way of salvation to a lost and dying world.
Israel was literally part of God’s plan of redemption, which is the main reason He created Israel. The entire chapter of Revelation 12 briefly outlines the entire process, starting with Israel’s inception. The woman in that chapter represents Israel. We learn of the dragon – Satan – who wanted to devour her offspring – the Messiah. Satan tried but failed to devour Him and eventually the Messiah was taken back to heaven from where He came after He completed His work here on earth, culminating in Calvary’s cross and resultant resurrection.
It cannot be denied that Israel is the centerpiece for the entire plan of redemption and because of that, we know the reason WHY God created Israel. Interestingly enough, God has always dealt with Israel as a nation, though the nation itself is made up of millions of individuals.
We recall the sin of Achan recorded for us in Joshua 1:1-26. The entire nation was warned before going into battle that they should keep none of the spoils. Unfortunately, unknown to the leaders of Israel, Achan disobeyed and had spoils hidden in his tent. Because of this, the nation was defeated in their latest battle and it was only after seeking the Lord that the reason for their failure was revealed.
Achan – one person – caused the FULL nation to be defeated because of his sin.
On another occasion, the 12 spies went into Canaan as recorded in the book of Numbers. Upon their return, ten complained that they would not be successful if they tried to enter Canaan. Only two – Joshua and Caleb – proclaimed that the Lord would grant the victory if they simply trusted Him. The ten spies won the crowd over and because of it, the entire nation had to wander in the wilderness an additional 40 years. The entire nation suffered because too many believed the report of the ten spies.
Israel was created as ONE nation and I fully believe God will call His final Remnant out which will represent the final Israel, as explained by Paul in Romans 9-11. Yes, God uses specific people WITHIN the nation of Israel, but it has ALWAYS been for the benefit of the ENTIRE nation and ultimately, for the world.
Jan Markell believes that “The Harbinger” calls for national AND individual repentance in America. I have been reading the book and I see something else going on, which I’ll get to in a moment.
As I indicated, one of the issues relates to the actual founding and founders of this country. The question must be answered as to whether or not this country was actually founded as a Christian nation. While we cannot argue against the fact that our Founding Fathers USED the Bible and referred to it often, as they drew up documents upon which this country was founded, that in and of itself does not mean that America began as a Christian nation.
The only real Christians that existed BEFORE this country was officially founded were the Pilgrims and the Puritans. They came here to escape the religious persecution that they suffered while living in England and parts of Europe. However, there were plenty of criminals who came to these shores as well. In the end though, neither the Pilgrims or the Puritans actually founded America, or created a nation.
But for the sake of argument, let’s say that these Pilgrims and Puritans did somehow enter into some type of covenant with God regarding this nation.
So? America was not even a nation during that time and just because people enter into a covenant with God, does that mean that God recognizes that covenant?
Businessmen like George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, and John Hancock actually founded this country, creating the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights. They formed our government and laid out the design of Washington DC.
More importantly, at least 44 of the 55 Founding Fathers were involved in the esoteric as either Freemasons or Rosicrucians. On top of that, it is clear that most, if not all, of our Founding Fathers, were DEISTS, not Christians at all. They pray to the Great Architect of the Universe, not the God of the Bible.
So was our country FOUNDED as a Christian nation, or simply founded upon biblical PRINCIPLES that were designed to guide the way this country worked?
If these men were heavily steeped in the esoteric, then it is fair to say that they could NOT have been Christian at all. Yet, we have people like Joseph Farah (World Net Daily) and many others who fully believe the opposite; that this country WAS founded not simply on biblical principles but as a CHRISTIAN nation.
Here is the problem for me. According to Scripture, I do not believe this country can or will be saved. It WILL become part of the coming one-world government as foretold in Daniel 7 and many portions of the book of Revelation. I know that God wants to save people out of it, so again, unless I am completely misunderstanding Cahn’s premise, I disagree with it. I also know that God wants me to pray for the leaders of America. Ultimately, God wants me to pray that His and only His will is done where America is concerned. I hope you would agree with that.
So IF America was never really a Christian nation in the first place, but actually BEGAN and was FOUNDED on occult teachings (Freemasonry and Rosicrucianism), then how is it possible to bring this country back to its foundation? If we do, then we are only going to go back to its intended foundation, which was and remains thoroughly occultic.
Be that as it may, whether Isaiah or any other portion of Scripture RESEMBLES what America seems to be going through now is actually not the point. Is God judging America? I believe He is getting ready to judge the ENTIRE world, including Israel. That’s what the entire upcoming period known as the Tribulation is all about.
If Rabbi Jonathan Cahn believes that God is sending harbingers to America – ostensibly to get our attention so that we can avoid judgment by getting this nation “back” to God – then I would have to ask why doesn’t the same passage in Isaiah point to every other nation that is far removed from God? Is it solely because the United States SEEMS to have originated on Christian principles, whereas other countries did not?
Time and time again, Cahn relates America’s condition to Israel’s. Cahn also connects the dots with the ancient Assyrians and the terrorists of today. At one point, the “prohet” in “The Harbinger” states, “when the leaders of al Qaeda plotted their attack on America, and as the terrorists communicated with each other on 9/11 to carry it out, they did so using words and speech patterns that mirrored those used by the Assyrian leaders and warriors as they planned and executed their attack on Israel two and half thousand years earlier in 732 B.C.” (p.39)
Again, the book tells us, “What I’m about to read, Nouriel, is the message given to ancient Israel in the days after that first attack. In this lies the key to unlock all the Harbingers.” “How?” “By revealing their mysteries—the key to the nation’s future.” “The future of ancient Israel.” “And the future of America.” (p. 45).
He then quotes Isaiah 9:10 and relates it to what happened on 9/11.
Isaiah 9:10 says this:
“The bricks have fallen, But we will rebuild with hewn stone; The sycamores have been cut down, But we will plant cedars in their place.” (p.46)
He then connects this directly to America by stating that what happened to Israel is now happening to America.
Cahn teaches – through his book – that America was a covenant nation with God and the vow that created that covenant has been rejected by current generations and leaders. Because of that, judgment is going to happen unless the nation and individuals repent.
It seems to me that Cahn is placing a greater emphasis on repentance here to avoid judgment as opposed to repentance that leads to salvation.
This is the main point of Cahn’s book – that America was in covenant with God. Because our leaders have progressively rejected that alleged covenant, as Israel did, then America is suffering the same fate as Israel did. This point is driven home time and time again throughout the Harbinger. It is impossible to miss.
However, it also must be noted that Cahn offers very little in the way of proof that America did in fact enter into any type of covenant with God. As I mentioned, even if people DID enter into some type of covenant with God, does this mean that God agreed to it?
God CREATED Israel. He came to Abraham and said that He would make him a great and peculiar nation, a people that would be designed to be a light to the world. God BEGAN the process with Israel.
But here is the problem: If it can somehow be proven that the Pilgrims or Puritans somehow entered into a covenant with God for this nation, the reality is that America was NOT a nation at that time. By the time, America finally and fully became a nation, it was founded by people who in all likelihood were fully steeped in the occult and the esoteric – Freemasonry and Rosicrucianism. If that is the case – and it seems to be – then how could God be judging us NOW, when He has had every reason to judge us since our formal founding?
IF God is specifically targeting the United States at all for judgment, I believe there is only ONE reason He is doing so: the fact that we have consistently thrown Israel under the bus and that fact has never been more obvious than with the current administration. I think the U.S.’s support of Israel through all the years has been the ONLY thing that has been our saving grace. But going all the way back to Carter and before, through ALL the presidents since Carter up to the current administration, the U.S. has steadily reduced its support for Israel until we are where we are now. It is clear from Scripture that in the end, ALL nations will stand against Israel and Israel will have no one to rely on except God Himself. I believe that definitely includes the United States as one of the nations that will no longer support Israel.
In essence Cahn appears to be saying “Hey, look at this passage in Isaiah! That’s the kind of thing that’s happening in America right now! God is warning of His impending judgment! America needs to wake up!“
Okay, but EVERY nation needs to wake up, or more specifically, the people WITHIN all nations need to wake up. The only difference between America and the other nations is that at one time, America endorsed Israel and their right to exist. We WERE allies.
One of my biggest concerns is that Israel is the ONLY nation that God ever created, according to the Scriptures. I do not believe He created America. I believe He certainly allowed it to come to fruition, just as He allowed other nations to come and go.
I’m scanning through the last chapters of Cahn’s book and it would certainly appear as though Cahn is one who believes this country was founded as a Christian nation. He quotes Washington as saying, “But it was Washington’s message, the warning for a nation that disregards the eternal rules of heaven.” 
Yet, Washington was a Deist, not a Christian. There is absolutely NOTHING in Washington’s history, his writings, or anything written about him that cause people to believe he was in fact, a Christian. Yet, Cahn groups Washington with Solomon.
He also states – referring to Solomon – that “nation that has turned from God, for that nation from which the smiles of heaven have been withdrawn.” Here, he is referring to America and the implication again is that America was at one point dedicated to God as a Christian nation. How can that be IF America was founded by individuals who were fully engulfed in the esoteric societies?
He then directly connects another passage of Scripture – which is in its context solely connected to Israel - and applies it to America: “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 I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”  This passage in 2 Chronicles 7:14 is applicable to Israel because God created Israel to be a special people. He deals with Israel as though they are ONE – always has and always will. He does not do this with any other nation.
People often use this same passage of Scripture to refer to the Church! God was speaking to Israel with the passage. This does not mean that people outside of Israel do not need to repent, but it is clear from Scripture that God has always considered Israel to be HIS people.
Cahn makes this statement: “America was founded on prayer. Therefore the removal of prayer from its public life was a central part of its fall from God. A nation that turns away from prayer will ultimately find itself in desperate need of it. The calamity returned America to the ground of its consecration—the nation was being called to return to God in prayer.” 
I beg to differ. Though the Puritans and Pilgrims certainly prayed a great deal and established their own form of worship once they landed on the shores of America, this country was NOT founded on prayer.
Once this country was formally FOUNDED and created, it was done by people who were for all practical purposes, not even Christian! To WHOM were our Founders praying to? America was founded on the esoteric by Deists. Those individuals NEVER knew God. They never served God. They served themselves by believing the lies of Lucifer that were heavily imbedded in their religious dogma. They prayed to the Great Architect of the Universe, not the God of the Bible!
They picked and chose from the Bible what they wanted, but they refused to take it in its entirety. Numerous Founding Fathers ignored major parts of the Bible, even wanting to cut major passages out of the Bible. They denigrated the Bible. They castigated it. Many of them had a very difficult time understanding basic tenets of Scripture, much less being able to believe them.
Cahn’s book would like us to believe that because in the early days of this country, the Ten Commandments were posted in public buildings, and prayer was not only allowed, but encouraged, that this proves the covenant relationship America had with God. It is simply not true. The trappings of Christianity was there – yes – however, it is very clear from history that America itself was dedicated to the purposes first written about by Francis S. Bacon when he referenced the “New Atlantis.”
This is why America was founded. It was created in order for the European global elite to be able to create a nation from the ground up that was in tune with their specific esoteric belief system and this country was not dedicated to God per se, but to Lucifer. There are too many books that produce the evidence that proves America’s diabolical origins. Read “Petrus Romanus” as merely one source. Unlike Cahn’s book, “Petrus Romanus” is replete with footnote after footnote and reference after reference showing the actual beliefs of our founding fathers and the reasons why this country came into being.
In order for this nation to become a truly Christian nation, we would have to eliminate ALL of the idols in Washington and there are many of them, sculptures that date all the way back to the founding of this nation, but were dedicated to a plethora of gods, NOT the God of the Bible. We would have to cleanse the land of all idolatry and false religions. Not only would the Ten Commandments and public prayer be restored, but many more things would have to take place in this country in order to make it a Christian nation.
Cahn’s book also ignores the fact that there are millions of authentic Christians here – people who love the Lord and serve Him daily. Because God is building His Church (not another physical or geographical nation), then He is taking people OUT of all nations, kindreds, tribes, and tongues, and building them into His Church. I don’t believe God is concerned about nations, though I DO believe that if we had a president who supported Israel, blessing would be ours (and THAT is what I am praying for, by the way). However, the fact that we NEED to get to a one-world government tells me that even IF our next president supported Israel, that would not last long. Ezekiel 38-39 needs to occur. Psalm 83 needs to happen and too many other things need to take place that will bring God’s prophetic discourse to fruition.
I think too often, Christians come to the erroneous belief that if God will heal our land – our nation – then all will be right with the world. Yet, it is absolutely clear to me that we are SOJOURNERS – STRANGERS – in a foreign land and our job is to call PEOPLE (not nations) to repentance. My citizenship is in heaven, not here on the earth, according to Paul in Philippians 3.
Look, I certainly could be making a huge mountain out of a molehill. It just seems to me that Cahn has created a terrible situation based on his own faulty reasoning.
Regardless of McMahon, Joseph Chamgers, or Brannon Howse or others, the reality seems to be that any controversy stemming from Cahn’s book may be solely due to the fault of Cahn himself. He writes that God is and has been sending harbingers of judgment to warn America. America needs to repent as a nation. How does THAT happen? Obviously, it happens when our LEADERS repent. But what does THAT mean?
I’m scanning the last few chapters of his book and I don’t even see where he presented a clear presentation of the gospel. He spoke of judgment. He spoke of hell. He spoke of a nation needing to repent. He spoke of the cross found at ground zero. I don’t see where He talked about needing salvation from Jesus Christ.
His concern then is more about our nation repenting than individuals repenting.
I’m not sure what I think of it, but at this point, I’m just not impressed and any problems people might have with Cahn’s book are due to Cahn’s perspective entirely. His initial premise (that America was founded as a Christian nation) is severely flawed. It simply caters to the patriotism in conservatives, but its biblical accuracy leaves a great deal to be desired.
It gives people the false hope that God WILL turn this nation around if Christians simply spend much time on their knees. What about prophecy? What about the passages of Scripture that point to a time when the world will be ONE; when there will be a one-world government and a one-world religion, and a final one-world RULER?
What, will America NOT be part of that because this nation will have repented, therefore God will ignore America by opting to not send judgment?
Look folks, as Christians, we are here behind enemy lines. Satan is referred to as the god of this age (2 Corinthians 4:4), and the prince of the power of the air (Ephesians 2:2). Jesus said just prior to His death that the ruler of this age was coming and had nothing in Him (Jesus; John 12:31).
The truth is that though Satan is the god of this age and the ruler of this world. God reached into humanity’s timeline and created Israel for the purposes of redemption. Through Israel, God brought the Messiah into the world and through the Messiah, people can receive salvation.
America is not nor has done any of these things at all. There is no comparison between America and Israel.
Our job as Christians while we live behind enemy lines, is to introduce as many people as possible to the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and His salvation. God leaves us here once we become saved to evangelize other people. Our job then is to evangelize them so that God will be able to take them out of the kingdom of darkness and into His Kingdom of glorious Light! That’s from Colossians 1:3.
I do not see that God is in the business of SAVING nations. He is going to fully judge this entire earth – all nations. That is clear from Scripture. Yet, even though He is going to do that – which is what the upcoming Tribulation period is all about – He is STILL saving individual people from hell.
While I fully agree that God has been warning this country for years, I don’t believe he necessarily expects the NATION to repent. I believe He is expecting PEOPLE to repent, but the nation itself will still be judged, regardless of how many people actually wind up repenting. Even during the Tribulation period, MULTITUDES of people will come to know the Lord and this is in spite of the fact that Satan (through the Antichrist) is in charge (Revelation 7). So many people will come to know the Lord because of immense persecution, that the apostle John was not able to number them. Yet, the nations they came from will be thoroughly godless. God is far more concerned about individuals than nations.
 Cahn, Jonathan (2011-09-03). The Harbinger: The ancient mystery that holds the secret of America’s future (p. 223). Strang Communications. Kindle Edition.
 Cahn, Jonathan (2011-09-03). The Harbinger: The ancient mystery that holds the secret of America’s future (p. 222). Strang Communications. Kindle Edition.
 Cahn, Jonathan (2011-09-03). The Harbinger: The ancient mystery that holds the secret of America’s future (p. 221). Strang Communications. Kindle Edition.
 Cahn, Jonathan (2011-09-03). The Harbinger: The ancient mystery that holds the secret of America’s future (p. 221). Strang Communications. Kindle Edition.
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