What if "the breach" and "the terrorist" had been observed in 1812 or 1861 ot 1941? In theory, could sojmeone have discovered the 'hidden ancient mystery' of Isaiah 9:10 in 1949? And if it had been claimed that Pearl Harbor was a breach by an enemy who persistently used terrorist tactics throughout the war in the Pacific (which the Japanese did), then could it not be argued that God's hedge of protection had been withdrawn prior to December 7, 1941? And if the hedge of protection had been removed long before 9/11, had God put yet another hedge of protection in place since WWII? The questions are truly endless.Well, there is no such thing as James' straw-man version of The Isaiah 9:10 Effect which he persists in making into a general biblical principle apart from its application to 9/11, that's true, but that's not what Cahn means by it. Even in its own specific context as a description of Israel at that particular time you can say that the attitude of defiance DID set in motion further judgment so that it's right enough to speak of an Isaiah 9:?10 Effect in that context alone.
This is not an attempt to mock the author. This is a very serious issue because if he is correct about the Isaiah 9:10 Effect, then it could have happened at any time in the past or it could happen again at any time in the future. On the other hand, if it could only have happened one time on September 11, 2001, then there is no such thing as the Isaiah 9:10 Effect as a principle [p. 130].
Beyond that it functions as an effect BECAUSE of its application in America. IF it had applied to America at an earlier time then one has to assume that it would have been a principle and an effect at that time just as it is now, but it DIDN'T apply then. God sovereignly disposes these things, the events, the discovery of the events, in this case by Cahn, and so on. In His will it applies NOW and it is in its applying now that it becomes a principle and an effect from which further events can be expected to follow, just as they followed for Israel.
This is the usual problem the critics have of getting the cart before the horse and imputing their mistake to Cahn. Isaiah 9:10 is a principle and an effect AFTER we see that it is being repeated in America. As it concerned ancient Israel alone it is simply a description of what happened to Israel, with of course the obvious message to the reader that it's not a good thing to ignore God's judgments.
But once we see that the message to Israel in all its parts also applies here, even to the manifestations of the harbingers that so uncannily echo Isaiah 9:10, then we can expect that the implication of further judgment to Israel also applies to America.
But James finds more problems to bring up:
If Cahn is right about the Isaiah 9:10 Effect, this raises another very important question: Are there any other prophetic passages in the Old Testament that also function like the Isaiah 9:10 Effect? How many other prophecies that were directed to israel can also be correlated to historical events in the United States?Short answer: Only those that APPLY to the United States.
And again we have the situation of the cart before the horse. The critics keep locating the effect, the principle and now the prophetic import of Isaiah 9:10, along with America itself, back in Isaiah, when none of these things become effect, principle or prophecy UNTIL they apply to America.
He asks if there is
also a Genesis 12:2 Effect?: I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing.Or a Joshua 1:2 Effect?:
Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you , as I said to Moses.
Are there dozens of others? Or is Isaiah 9:10 the only such passage in the entire Bible? If the Isaiah 9:10 Effect really exists, then it seems remarkably unlikely that it would be the only such principle in the entire Old Testament. But if not from the context, how could it possibly be known whether any given passage is supposed to functon in this way:? And yet there is nothing whatsoever in the context of Isaiah 9:10 that would suggest the existence of such an effect.Quite true. The Effect is not IN Isaiah 9:10 or its context. James keeps making the Effect INHERENT in the verse, but Cahn does not make it inherent in the verse, same as he doesn't treat America as inherent in the verse as the critics so persistently and mistakenly do. Again, the Effect BECOMES the Effect in its application to America.
There is no way that I can see that Genesis 12:2 or Joshua 1:2 would or could ever apply outside their specific immediate context,* and there also don't seem to be any implications of those verses that could become a general principle anyway. But Isaiah 9:10 embodies, even in its context as a message to Israel alone, a principle that we can also take as a warning to us: that God does not overlook defiance of His judgment but "His hand is stretched out still" in further jugment.
Then beyond that, we can see that it clearly and specifically applies to America's response to 9/11 as it describes America's own defiance of the attack on the WTC as God's judgment, and then beyond that we have Cahn's revelations of the appearance of all those harbingers or signs that SHOULD tell anyone with any biblical sense at all that America is on the same course to much more severe judgment that Israel was on as described in that passage in Isaiah.
James has missed it entirely, got it all as wrong as it can be got, and yet he's so sure of his analysis of the situation he concludes the chapter with this:
If a proposed theological or spiritual idea is not found in the Bible, or if it cannot at least be supported by the text in some way, then someone made it up. This is exactly the nature of the Isaiah 9:10 Effect -- someone made it up [THFOF p. 131].Well, somebody sure did make up a whole lot of stuff about The Isaiah 9:10 Effect that completely turns the meaning backwards, stuff that's certainly unsupported by the text to say the least, and it wasn't Jonathan Cahn.
* Except as "Israel" MIGHT refer to the Church as it often does in the OT, but I'm not arguing that one here one way or the other.