Saturday, June 9, 2012

A few answers to DeYoung and David James. Harbinger is God's own message to America

(June 10 update at bottom.)

I thought at first that the comments on The Harbinger by Jimmy DeYoung on Brannon Howse's radio show were most likely impulsive and would probably eventually be retracted. I assumed that his accusation that the book promotes "replacement theology" was just too over-the-top to stand, and could only be considered at all because he hadn't read the book.

Turns out this way of thinking, wrongheaded though it is, is far more entrenched than I had any idea. I wasn't aware at that time of how rigidly held is the belief that the Old Testament was written only to Israel.

I also really didn't know much about Jimmy DeYoung. Still don't, but I'm now aware of his website, Prophecy Today, which apparently focuses on Israel and the Middle East in these end times. Today on his main page you can see that DeYoung has hosted McMahon's review of The Harbinger, which suggests he hasn't changed his mind.

I did listen to the interview DeYoung did with Jonathan Cahn and David James back in April. There's also a long review of The Harbinger by David James there, which I haven't read through yet. (Also for reference, The Calvary Chapel website I linked in the previous post has lengthy articles from Jonathan Cahn, which I'm not going to reproduce on this blog, at least not all of it.)

The interview brings out the concerns of DeYoung and James about the book, such as their impression that America is treated as replacing Israel, even that Isaiah is treated as speaking directly to America, that there is an implication that prophecy continues today as it did in Biblical times, and the like. They accept that Cahn is not himself intentionally promoting such ideas but it may be that they still think the book is doing so in spite of him. That's not completely clear.

I was particularly struck by David James' arguing that Cahn misunderstood Daschle and Edwards' quotation of Isaiah 9:10. He wants to insist that Cahn missed "the intent of the heart" in those instances, and that if you listen to the whole context you see that they are intending to be in tune with God and not defiant of God. David James even said that you "would need a prophetic word from God to show that they were doing the opposite of what they said they were doing." [this is around 50:00]

This so utterly misses the point it makes it painfully clear why the majority of pastors and Christians in this nation not only failed to see 9/11 as judgment from God but were angry with those who did recognize it as judgment. David James is a seminary-trained man. What are they teaching people in those seminaries?

As Cahn goes on to make clear, the words themselves from isaiah 9:10 are the statement of defiance of God; the mere statement of intent to rebuild and replant is the statement of defiance of God. That both Edwards and Daschle quoted it without recognizing this, even thinking they were giving reassurance from God himself, even wanting to say something in tune with God, does not keep it from being a statement of defiance, merely underscores that their defiance was unwitting. Adding "God bless America" to the message only compounds the defiance.

Consciously, by vowing to rebuild and replant they are in defiance of America's enemies, not realizing that this is the same thing as defiance of God. When Governor Pataki affirmed the spirit of defiance against our enemies at the dedication of the cornerstone for the Freedom Tower, he too no doubt had no conscious intention of being in defiance of God, merely defiant of the enemies of America.

Surely the leaders of ancient Israel who originally said the same words had no idea they were in defiance of God either.

I also want to add that although Jonathan Cahn said it wasn't about Daschle and Edwards personally, not a judgment of what was in their hearts personally, this really isn't true. They quoted that passage because that same sentiment WAS in their hearts and recognition of God's hand and the call to repentance WASN'T. This attitude was shared by the majority of Americans at the time.

A vow to rebuild and replant is the opposite of an attitude of humility and repentance. That ought to be obvious.

The popular refrain in response to 9/11, "God Bless America" was itself defiance of God in that context. You don't ask God to bless a nation when He's just brought judgment against the nation. The only right response is repentance.

James also objects to the various signs or harbingers as insufficiently similar to the originals in Isaiah 9:10 to apply. The many bricks that fell in ancient Israel under the attack by the Assyrians were to be replaced by many hewn stones, whereas in America we have only the one large cornerstone brought in; in the original there were many sycomores that were to be replaced by many cedars, and the sycomore of the Middle East is a fig tree not like the sycamores of North America and a cedar is not a Norway Spruce. Etc. etc.

They seem to be straining at gnats here. They do seem to be asking for absolute identity rather than the symbolic correspondences that so effectively show God's hand. Two towers were struck, not an entire city so the fallen bricks become meaningless? One hewn stone is meaningless because many were called for in the original context, one sycamore is meaningless, one conifer is meaningless. But this completely misses the point that in America these are SIGNS that God gave in clear correspondence with the events of Isaiah 9:10 to show us His hand in 9/11, our defiant attitude and the need to repent.

The odds against such precise correspondences occurring at all in a random accidental way must be astronomical. A tree that has the basic shape of the Middle Eastern sycamore and was named after it too, both being called "sycamore," is a pretty close correspondence. A Norway Spruce isn't a cedar, but they are both conifers and the fallen sycamore COULD have been replaced by, oh, another sycamore, or an oak rather than a conifer, AND as Cahn points out, the Hebrew word erez, which is translated "cedar" refers to the whole class of conifers. {Later edit: The Hebrew word erez apparently applies to the specific class of trees with the Latin name pinacea, or pine type trees, a classification which includes the pine and the fir as well as the CEDAR and the SPRUCE.]

Also, the fact that the quarried cornerstone turned out not even to be needed in the building of the new tower at Ground Zero is treated by David James as eliminating any correspondence with Isaiah 9:10, but it ought to be recognized that it's even MORE uncanny this way BECAUSE it isn't needed. It was brought in nevertheless and dedicated to the task with the same attitude of defiance. NO stone whatever, because modern building methods don't require it, would dash the claim of similarity with Isaiah 9:10 but such a hewn stone brought in spite of its not being needed confirms it.

The main correspondence with Isaiah 9:10 is the vow of defiance, the vow of the INTENTION to rebuild. The actual rebuilding is, if not irrelevant, beside the point as far as the signs or harbingers are concerned. ALL THIS IS INTENDED TO BE SYMBOLIC and the correspondences are eerily uncanny for that purpose.

I don't think those who have such objections to The Harbinger are likely to change their minds. They've read the book and they still believe as they do.

As Jonathan Cahn ends up saying, the fact is that Christians including pastors and church leaders from many denominations across the country have recognized the importance of the message; it's had a huge and growing success and is bearing good fruit everywhere in changed lives, recommitments to the Lord, prayers of repentance and the like.

Scripture says there always have to be some dissenters for the truth to be made manifest (I'm not going to say "heretics" here).

Maybe it hasn't been said, or said clearly enough: The Harbinger is as far as I know unique of its kind. I don't know of any other message that has come so clearly from God Himself to any part of the world since Biblical times. This by itself is enough to raise questions about it, of course, but the specifics of the message are what must convince you that this is no man-invented message, this does indeed come from God. For whatever reason, God Himself IS specially blessing America with this message of warning and we'd do well not to miss it.

June 10, 7 AM: Oh bruuuther. Just went to Jimmy DeYoung's website and found a discussion between him and David James doing their best to further trash the Harbinger as some kind of theological heresy. They are talking about another book that has come out called the Covenant which according to them does treat America as a covenant nation in exactly the same sense as ancient Israel, and they again smear The Harbinger with guilt by association.

First they don't even give the name of the author of The Covenant so it sounds for a while like it was written by Jonathan Cahn. Its author is Timothy Ballard. Then they give the hearsay that the author of The Covenant claims to have had a conversation with Cahn in which Cahn agreed with him about the content of his book. I have to seriously doubt this. There is NOTHING about the Harbinger that goes along with the ridiculous Anglo-Israelism which is apparently what the Covenant is about. If they DID talk and Cahn agreed with him about anything it could only have been with a very limited statement he made.

From the sound of it, if this little bit of information can be trusted, The Covenant IS a heresy and it's probably a heresy in more ways than one as the Google page on it shows that its author has been on Glenn Beck's show pushing the idea that America is a Christian nation along the same lines as David Barton does, who has been shown by Chris Pinto to have been misrepresenting the facts in what could almost be called a near-criminal way. Anglo-Israelism is part of Mormon lore, which would make this book doubly welcome by Beck.

Satan never sleeps. Anything to confuse and bury whatever comes from God. By now Jonathan Cahn must be aware that dozens of accusations can be made up against his book that he could never have dreamed of in a million years. Lord protect him.

What I point out in the post above about DeYoung and James' interview with Cahn ought to demonstrate that they don't know what they are talking about. James utterly misreads the message of the nation's defiance, in a very silly way, committing the same sin himself that Isaiah 9:10 reveals as defiance.

I really don't think this ministry deserves to be followed at all, but apparently they do have some popularity and unfortunately probably do need to be answered.

Checked out The Covenant at Amazon where I found a review that blows its cover: Thinly Veiled Mormon Drivel: Beware! The author did enough research to uncover Tim Ballard's Mormon background. The reviewer is a bit too favorable toward Glenn Beck it seems to me, but all that's needed here is the revelation that Ballard is Mormon.