Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Follow-up on Jan Markell's interview with Jonathan Cahn. Objections and Answers.

In this post I want to publish and in some cases also respond to some of Jan Markell's follow-up thoughts on her interview with Jonathan Cahn that I wrote about yesterday:
The Harbinger: Is This God's Final Warning to America? By Jan Markell www.olivetreeviews.org April 24, 2012
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.
I haven't seen the film but the trailer looks like it was well done. But I really don't know how Jan can say she doesn't know what this book is. Well, of course I don't know either if this is God's "FINAL" warning to America, but I do know this is a message from God Himself and not just somebody's imaginative fiction. Whether it's "rambling" or not, well, I don't know, Rabbi Cahn wasn't called to be a novelist that I know of but I thought he did a pretty decent job of it myself.
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.
This is certainly true but it would apply to this revelation only if it were a human invention intended to complement the Bible, but it appears to be a revelation direct from God and if this aspect of it is not addressed nothing else said about it is relevant. The whole reason the story is so compelling is that it could not have been invented by human beings, AND the facts are too complex for it to be mere coincidence. That leaves God.  

And that means that in this particular case God wants to give us something more direct and personal than the Bible, in spite of the fact that so many ignored the Bible's warnings of judgment on 9/11, or maybe because of that.  He certainly didn't have to do this, to give us such palpable evidences of His existence and His interventions in the affairs of this earth, but He did in this case, and I think it should be regarded as an extraordinary mercy that He did.  If enough in the nation are jolted into recognition of this and do repent and seek Him that would be a very great mercy.   If not, then those who continue to ignore Him will have both the word of God in the Bible AND these special communications to us to condemn them.

Jan Markell comments:
(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.)
This suggests a good reason why God would be giving us this revelation at this time, for the sake of unbelievers as well as those Christians who ignore or misread the Biblical warnings. When I hear that people are being saved through it I have to suppose this is God's last-minute mercy to our nation and our world. Yes it's a warning to the nation of America to repent or else, but it comes straight from God Himself. There is no other way to understand these omens Cahn has observed and reported on. Christians who are paying attention know we are in the very last minutes of the end times. For God to send such a direct message to us at this time is an extremely touching gesture. It makes me cry every time I think about it.
• 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.
The same consideration applies to this objection. If these omens come from God Himself and not from man, you are in the position of arguing with God, not with Jonathan Cahn who didn't invent these things.

Also I don't get how America is being regarded through this revelation as a "means of reaching and engaging the world" instead of the Church. God warned NATIONS in the Old Testament. Not just the nation of Israel but the nations round about them. For whatever reason God does deal with nations as a unit of His concern. Laws are given for whole nations. Whole nations are warned when they transgress the laws. God speaks of judging the Assyrians, the Chaldeans, the Edomites and so on and so forth.

Without even having a specific revelation from God we can know simply from the Old Testament examples that God would judge America as a nation as well. America proudly defied God after 9/11, vilified those few who even regarded it as God's judgment on the nation, vowed to get even with the enemy, not acknowledging that it was God who had brought the attack.

In that light this seems a very special mercy that He would have sent us these signs or omens that Jonathan Cahn has observed, to force us to recognize His hand in the attack and give us a surprisingly direct heads-up that repentance is what is called for.

But I'd also make the point that a call to a nation to repent must be primarily a call to the Church anyway. Judgment begins at the house of God, says scripture, it's the Church above all who SHOULD be able to recognize a warning from God (even without such a direct intervention as these omens), AND, sad to say, it was pastors all over this nation who DENIED that God had anything to do with 9/11.  It's the Church that needs to repent before anyone else!  These omens are not just a mercy to the nation, but above all a mercy to a blinded and backslidden contemporary Church.

Jan Markell comments:
(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.)
Through the Church, of course, which makes the objection irrelevant anyway.
• 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.)
I don't either. People who say such things haven't read the book or really heard what Cahn said about 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.
Again, this treats the information as having been dreamed up by Jonathan Cahn. If you really think about what is being said you have to see that it didn't come from any human source and the only option is that God Himself arranged these harbingers or omens. You therefore put yourself in the position of telling God He's going about this all wrong.
• 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. (Jan's 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.)
Chris Pinto has recently most tellingly shown that the American founders were not Christians, at least those most prominent founders we are always referred to: Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Franklin, also Paine. When you see what he has quoted from them you can only be appalled to discover that not only were they not Christian they were ANTI-Christian -- they specifically rejected and even in some cases denounced and ridiculed essential tenets of the faith, the supernatural events particularly such as the virgin birth.

As I've been saying in my blogs for weeks now, Pinto's studies are essential information Christians need. Yes, they were anti-Christians, they were Unitarians and Deists and Masons and when Pinto shows you what all this means you may be aghast but you will also understand something essential.

NEVERTHELESS, Masons, Deists and Unitarians in those days did at least believe in Providence, believed that God's Law ruled nations, believed that it was important for a nation to follow moral standards and that a failure to do so would lead to disaster for that nation.

It was on this basis that Washington and his first governing body went to the chapel at what is now Ground Zero to pray for the nation right after he was inaugurated into the office of President. There is a famous statement he made that is on a plaque either at that chapel or where his statue is on Wall Street, I forget, about the importance of the nation's adhering to God's laws if we are to expect God's blessings.

Christians have misunderstood this level of belief in God and God's law and morality to reflect a Christian mindset. Pinto makes all this clear if you will spend the time to get into his teachings on this subject.

So Washington's prayer for the nation WAS a consecration of the nation to God, and God apparently honored it as long as the nation remained committed to a moral standard.

Obviously over the last few decades the nation has overthrown God's laws in a variety of ways. This is why God allowed the attack on the WTC, as a first warning of His displeasure. And it is why it the attack occurred at Ground Zero, where Washington consecrated the nation to God, one of the uncanny facts that Jonathan Cahn unearthed for us.
• 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.)
I agree with Jan's comment. I do have to say that the choice to write the book as a novel still bothers me even though I've come to appreciate why it was done that way and how it may be an important factor in bringing the information to a wide readership. Since it is fiction I certainly don't mind that it includes a prophet, and he can be taken as a sort of shadow or spirit of Isaiah himself if you like, but I also believe that God really did send a prophet to Cahn when he was sitting in the airport, as I report in my previous post, another thing that is a simple FACT and not an invention, that people who make these criticisms need to think about.
• 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.
Of course. Yet all Cahn claimed was that America WAS consecrated to God at Ground Zero by our first President and his government, not to mention that the very first American settlers were true Christians who did their own consecrating of the land. And again, none of this comes from Cahn himself, who simply observed what God himself has done that ought to demonstrate to anyone really paying attention that it is GOD who is calling this nation to turn back to Him.

I have to take a break from this post but I want to publish it now and may come back to it later to think about the rest of Jan Markell's article -- or may let it stand as is anyway.

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.
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.