Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Yes, The Harbinger IS a "matter of critical discernment" Pt. 4

Another harbinger of warning to America is referred to as “The Tower.” Cahn seems hard pressed to make a biblical connection to a tower other than a vague reference that the main character makes when he’s asked how he would know what the Tower of Babel looked like. He replies, “I don’t, but I’ve seen pictures of it.” That inane statement aside, Babel was not a Jewish tower. Nevertheless, Cahn finds a Jewish tower that he believes fits. But he had to go to the Septuagint, the translation of the Hebrew Scriptures into Greek, for help.
This attempt to find fault with Cahn almost gets humorous.

As I understand it, the tower connection was DISCOVERED by Cahn as he delved into the scripture versions and commentaries to be sure he understood the verse correctly. He DISCOVERED that the Septuagint version of Isaiah 9:10 HAPPENED to mention the idea of rebuilding a tower. Hey, pretty uncanny don't you think? He didn't NEED a tower to demonstrate the correspondences, he had plenty already, but the Septuagint just came along and gave him a tower to add to his harbingers.

These critics keep attributing to Cahn himself what only God could have done.
Isaiah:9:10The bricks are fallen down, but we will build with hewn stones: the sycomores are cut down, but we will change them into cedars. in the Greek is translated thus: “The bricks are fallen down, but come, let us hew stones, and cut down sycamores and cedars, and let us build for ourselves a tower. ” So, he has his “tower,” but not without an inherent problem for “harbingers six and seven.” Those harbingers are dependent upon a cedar replacing a sycamore tree. The Greek translation says “sycamores and cedars” are “cut down”; the Hebrew says that sycamores (plural) will be changed with cedars (plural). It would seem that Cahn can’t have both his “Septuagint” tower and his “Hebrew” replacement cedar (singular). They contradict one another. [For further explanation, refer to the TBC Extra page in this issue.]
Clearly the Septuagint mistranslated the verse IF all the other translations are correct, but the fact that it even MENTIONS a tower adds an element that ties in with 9/11 in a way that it would be hard to ignore if you're researching this verse. Blue Letter Bible doesn't show what word got translated as "tower" so there's no way to judge the choice, but does Cahn have to point out the obvious, that the translations are different?
There are numerous other problems with the harbingers, even though they are constructed subjectively and selectively by Cahn.
Just gonna repeat that this is utterly false.
Granted, the author does raise an intriguing date phenomenon related to the economic misfortunes connected with 9/11 when he attempts to link the Jewish shemitah , the Torah law of letting the land lie fallow and the forgiving of debts in the seventh year of a seven-year cycle, as a warning to the U.S.
I'm at a loss to understand why this connection finds favor with McMahon but not the stones and trees, but at last he appreciates something in the book. The dates are exact according to Cahn's understanding of Hebrew. The more he researched the more he discovered. Discovered, not selected, not subjectively made up, discovered.
No matter what one conjectures regarding the significance of a stock market crash occurring on the first day of shemitah, the shemitah itself has no bearing on anyone or anything other than the nation of Israel.
Yup, clearly this is the preconception, the biased mindset that makes it impossible for McMahon to see what is really going on here. The scripture applies ONLY to Israel, THEREFORE Cahn MUST HAVE made up these connections, and that mindset leads McMahon to magnify the trivial differences and overlook the obvious similarities that make the harbingers so uncanny and revealing of God's own handiwork.
It has never applied to the Gentile nations, either in actual practice or figuratively in Scripture. To superimpose a connection with America is just that—a superimposition.
The degree of uncanniness is so far beyond such a supposition it OUGHT to wake anybody up out of it and make it plain as day that God for whatever reason -- whether you believe the scripture was written only to Israel or meant to apply to the Church or the future -- for whatever reason God Himself is here applying it to America. You don't need to assume that America is a covenant nation in the same sense as ancient Israel was, or that God is making any equation between the nations beyond the fact that He's clearly decided to make His law of the shemitah apply in America today. For whatever reason!

Attempting to rationalize away the amazing connections that Cahn has unearthed in fact reminds me of the thinking of the extreme "replacement theology" camp, the very kind of thinking the Israel-only people such as McMahon deplore, where because of their preconception that all the Old Testament references apply now only to the Church they have to deny or rationalize away the plain fact that Israel is back on their ancient land. They seem to be blind to the fact that various scriptures can be better applied to Israel's reestablishment in fulfillment of prophecy than to the Church, and that their being a center of world attention and especially world hatred sure does look like that verse about God's making Jerusalem a "cup of trembling" to the world at the time of the end, AND that in the various wars in which they were attacked by their Arab neighbors there's very good reason to see the hand of God on their side, even something like miracles. ALL THAT is ignored by the "replacement theology" camp, dismissed as mere accidents of history, as if there ever could be such a thing, or even treated as a work of Satan, as if Satan had any reason to want Israel reestablished, or as if God couldn't keep Satan from any project if it didn't fit with His plan.

This is really the same kind of dismissive thinking as McMahon is doing with all the uncanny connections Cahn has discovered, making what is clearly God's own work into mere inventions of his own.
Another imposition from Cahn’s imagination is his suggestion that the inauguration of George Washington in New York City was a “consecration” of America to God similar to Solomon’s consecration of the Temple in Jerusalem. To even compare the two verges on blasphemy, especially because history reveals that much Masonic ritual was involved, as well as the “works-salvation” doctrine of Masonry contained in Washington’s speech. It was more suitable to the god of the Masonic Lodge, the Great Architect of the Universe, than to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—the God of the Bible.
Well, has God specially blessed America with unusual peace and prosperity as we've all thought for so long, or not? If so, to what do we attribute that fact? If the nation was consecrated to Satan which is what a purely Masonic consecration would be, why has the nation been so favored down the centuries, as recognized by the whole world? Is this to be attributed strictly to the Pilgrim founding and the fact that we've been a Christian nation by population and general philosophy up until recently?

We don't know what was prayed in that chapel. What about the men who accompanied Washington? His whole cabinet were with him. Did they pray in the name of Jesus? There were more true Christians in the government even then than Deists, although it is true that the big name Founders were Deists and Unitarians. Nevertheless Washington himself regularly attended a Christian church. And although thanks to Chris Pinto I now understand that Washington was a Deist* and not a Christian I also know that we've been indoctrinated to believe that the Founders WERE Christians and you can't fault Cahn if he believed that, you can't accuse him of blasphemy if he believed the propaganda that the whole American Church has believed for decades now and honestly assumed that the prayers were in the name of Christ.
Part of the dilemma in criticizing The Harbinger is that if the foundational error in it is not acknowledged (that America has some sort of covenant with God,
There is nothing "foundational" about the apparent relationship GOD HIMSELF seems to be owning between Himself and America by simply giving us these harbingers! It's a CONCLUSION that must be drawn FROM them. Not a BEGINNING point but a CONCLUDING point.

Cahn DISCOVERED that God had given us these signs or harbingers. In thinking about them and following up with further research he discovered that Ground Zero where they all occurred turns out to be land that originally belonged to the church Washington and his cabinet prayed in, a church that was then most likely a true Christian church, although it is now apostate (you can read their teachings at the Trinity Wall Street Church site).

But I repeat: these are all uncanny correspondences Cahn uncovered. That's a pretty dramatic historical coincidence to try to sweep away as if it were meaningless.

and that there is a direct biblical correlation between Israel and the U.S. in the events of 9/11 and following), that opens the door for the acceptance of the book’s many fallacious ideas.
Again, this correlation with the verse was DISCOVERED BY CAHN. The connections are just THERE, he merely DISCOVERED them. If he went too far trying to understand God's mind in interpreting the prayer in the chapel beyond what is warranted, and I personally don't think he did -- he certainly said nothing to imply he believes that America is a covenant nation in the same sense that Israel was and when asked if he does he denies it -- but if he did misinterpret to some extent you still have to acknowledge that:
Only God Himself could have directed the beam that felled the sycamore tree which so uncannily echoes the verse in Isaiah, in the graveyard of the church at Ground Zero where George Washington and his cabinet prayed for the nation after his inauguration as our first President;

Only God could have directed the memorializing of its roots in bronze (which sure looks like a harbinger of God's intention to uproot the nation to me) and had it placed at the main sanctuary of that church on Wall Street a few blocks from the Stock Exchange;

Only God could have directed the replacement of the sycamore by a tree of the same type as a cedar, you know, a tree with needles and cones;

Only God could have planned the correspondence between the uprooted sycamore tree at Ground Zero and the Buttonwood tree (another name for sycamore) under which the agreement that began the Stock Exchange was signed, known as the Buttonwood Agreement, which ought to give you chills as you contemplate what this must mean about the future of the American economy;

Only God could have directed the bringing in of a quarried stone to be the cornerstone of the new building even though it turned out not to be needed, if only for the purpose of talking to America through Isaiah 9:10;

Only God could have had New York Governor Pataki express a version of the attitude of Isaiah 9:10 in his speech over this cornerstone -- a declaration of defiance in so many words;

Only God could have directed Tom Daschle and John Edwards to read Isaiah 9:10 as their message of supposed reassurance to the nation after 9/11;

Only God could have directed David Wilkerson to preach that same verse after 9/11 as His message of judgment instead of reassurance;

Only God could have directed the journalists to describe the rubble as a pile of bricks;

Only God could have directed the placement of the twin towers on land owned by a very old church that goes back to the founding of the nation, where the first President of the United States went to pray with his cabinet right after his inauguration.

Only God could have directed the timing of the events of the fall of the American economy to occur on dates He gave to ancient Israel concerning THEIR economy.
I mean, COME ON, Mr. McMahon. You are letting preconceptions blind you to the simple uncanny FACTS here.
This creates a perception of “credibility” simply by entering into a dispute over them. Even so, because most of them are so obviously wrong, pointing any one of them out to someone enthralled with the book may still be helpful. Some of these things are addressed in other parts of this newsletter and will be touched on in our future issues as questions arise.
Seems to me once you've made the mistake of attributing to Cahn what only God could have done, accused him of predetermining his facts when all he did was follow them out and research them and interpret them after the fact, once you've got a mind to make the minor details into a major indictment, you can't correct your course and you therefore end up accusing this honest Messianic Jewish pastor of enormities out of your own imagination.

He goes on but I think I'll end this here and probably finish up in one more post.


*"Deist" may not be the right description of Washington or the others: Today [June 8]both Chris Pinto and Brannon Howse were talking on their radio shows about a new book that's out, Religious Beliefs of America's Founders, by Gregg Frazer, who is on the staff of John MacArthur's church and Master's College. As he studied the writings of the Founders he came to the conclusion that not only were they not Christian, they were also not Deists as that term is defined. He invented a new category, theistic rationalism, he thinks fits better for some of them.