Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Another off-the-wall criticism of The Harbinger, by Thomas Ice

Update: Here's Jonathan Cahn's answer to Thomas Ice, linked as a Page in the margin.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Another misbegotten criticism of The Harbinger from Brannon Howse's site.

Oh please Lord, bring some sanity to this issue, inspire some Christian leaders to defend the Harbinger against all this nonsense.
A Critical Look at The Harbinger
Tom's Perspectives

by Thomas Ice

"The bricks have fallen down,
But we will rebuild with smooth stones;
The sycamores have been cut down,
But we will replace them with cedars."
-Isaiah 9:10
First off, that's a bad translation. It's stone cut from a mountain or a quarry that they intend to rebuild with, cut stone, hewn stone, not "smooth" stone. Just another Bible-distorting legacy from Westcott and Hort.
The Harbinger[1] is a fictional account of what its author, Messianic Rabbi Jonathan Cahn believes is a scenario that is on the verge of happening to America, unless there is national repentance.
While this statement isn't false, I have to object that to start with the emphasis on judgment that is about to come, and the need for repentance, skews the meaning of the book in a very subtle way, and suggests that the writer doesn't really grasp the import of the book.  There are people who need to know that the nation is under judgment, but many of us already know that America is under judgment and can expect more to come, and that repentance is the only answer. We don't need a book to tell us that, and while the book does make that point the WAY it makes it is what it is really all about.

The book is about the "harbingers" that occurred in the wake of 9/11, literal material actual occurrences that precisely reflect a verse in the Old Testament book of the prophet Isaiah, verse 9:10. The appearance of these harbingers could only have been brought about by God Himself, and that being the case it is God Himself who is for some reason acting in a very unusual personal way to warn America of the judgment we are under. This is the core of the book and this is where any meaningful discussion of it should start, but it is precisely this central message that all the critics so far fail to grasp, while they go on and on about side issues that don't even have anything to do with the book rightly understood.
This New York Times bestseller, though written as a work of fiction, it is clear that Cahn believes his nine harbingers are truly a pronouncement of impending judgment against the United States. At the beginning of the book it says, "What you are about to read is presented in the form of a story, but what is contained within the story is real." If this was not clear from the book, it is made very clear when one views any number of the one-hour presentations of this material by Cahn on the internet's YouTube. There is even a two-hour DVD movie entitled: The Isaiah 9:10 Judgment[2] with Cahn. The question that any Bible-believing Christian should ask about The Harbinger is as follows: "Is this really a true message or revelation from God?"
It's a good sign that Thomas Ice appears to have actually read the book, seen the movie, and heard some of Jonathan Cahn's other presentations. So far so good.
Is America A Covenant Nation?

Rabbi Cahn begins his presentation by saying that there are only two nations in the history of the world who are in covenant relation with God. They are Israel and America. Israel is clearly in a direct covenant relationship with God . . . but America? "But there was one other-a civilization also conceived and dedicated to the will of God from its conception . . . America." Cahn continues, "Those who laid America's foundations saw it as a new Israel, an Israel of the New World. And as with ancient Israel, they saw it as in covenant with God."[3]

Amazingly, the Jewish Christian Rabbi, Jonathan Cahn is advocating a form of replacement theology by presenting America as "a new Israel."
How is any "replacement" involved by merely speaking of TWO nations in covenant with God? What Ice quotes says America was "conceived and dedicated to the will of God from its conception." There is no equivalence in that with Israel's covenant with God implied here, merely a nation dedicated to God by godly men who wanted to model it after Israel as a nation under God's laws.

Again, why can't two nations be in covenant with God? The difference is obvious enough: God called Israel to be His own, and God Himself made the covenant with Israel. Nothing like that is implied for America by The Harbinger, but only that godly men sought to build a government on God's laws and dedicated it to God in hope of God's blessing their work. God can hardly fail to be pleased or to honor such an intention.
Israel and Israel alone is the Lord's only covenant nation. While there are a number of biblical passages that make it clear that the twelve tribes of Israel are God's lone covenant nation (Ex. 20:2; 34:27; Deut. 4:1, 6–8, 13, 20, 34, 37, 44; 7:6–8; 1 Kings 8:9), Psalm 147: 19–20 says, "He declares His words to Jacob, His statutes and His ordinances to Israel. He has not dealt thus with any nation; and as for His ordinances, they have not known them. Praise the Lord!" Only once in history did God choose to make a covenant with a nation and it was Israel.
Context, context, context. There is nothing stopping others from desiring to be under God's rule and dedicating their work to God in covenant form. Initiated by men, not God Himself, but still an intention God would honor. Why not?
If Cahn somehow thinks that America is a covenant nation with God because our founders primarily during the Colonial Period were devout Christians, which they were, that does not mean that God recognizes such nations as being in a covenantal relationship like Israel. Things like the Mayflower Compact were not made with God but horizontally between the Pilgrims to honor God and do other things. No doubt, the 167 years of Colonial America provided perhaps the greatest Christian basis for any nation in history, but somehow making our country a "covenant nation" like Israel simply could not and did not happen.
I suspect if Jonathan Cahn had any idea of the hairsplitting denunciations that would come against him for his book he'd have more carefully chosen his wording, but even as it is it's hard to avoid the impression that the critics are bending over backwards to find fault where there is none.
Cahn compounds his error by citing 2 Chronicles 7:14 (one of the most abused verses in the Bible) as God's message to America for today in one of the closing chapters. "And My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." Cahn applies this passage to America, not Israel as in the biblical context when he says: "It's the call of God to a nation once dedicated to His purposes but now falling away from His will. It's the call of God to return."[4]
This represents T. Ice's own theology which he is imposing on Cahn. He's apparently an Israel-only dispensationalist same as Jimmy DeYoung and no doubt denies that it has always been the Church that is in covenant with God, that the Church has inherited the Abrahamic covenant, that it is the Church who are "My people who are called by My name." Not America but Christians including American Christians -- American nonChristians wouldn't know what to do with the command anyway. And we certainly ARE called by 2 Chronicles 7:14 to humble ourselves and pray for our nation wherever we are.
Only Israel is called by the Lord's name. In the surrounding context of this passage the phrase "Thy people Israel" is used seven times in chapters six and seven in 2 Chronicles. The Lord declares, "but I have chosen Jerusalem that My name might be there and I have chosen David to be over My people Israel" (6:6). You don't volunteer to be God's chosen people, He must choose you and He has only chosen the nation of Israel!
Yes, but the Church IS Israel. I know I'm courting the accusation of replacement theology by saying this, but I'm probably not speaking for Jonathan Cahn here anyway, but God HAS chosen the Church and always HAS chosen the Church, the true believers going back before Israel, the Remnant. The ELECT. The Messiah came for that Remnant, saves that Remnant, The Elect, not national Israel. Not America either, but the Church. It's the Church that has the responsibility to pray for America. And for Israel too for that matter, which even in its current apostate condition is scripturally slated to play a role in the last days, out of which many will be saved.
The Harbingers

What bothers me the most about this book is that Cahn, who appears to be a strongly committed Christian and zealous in his work for the Lord, is not zealous to protect and rightly handle the Scriptures. How can anyone take a passage that is clearly addressed to Israel (Isa. 9:10) and one that has already been fulfilled in history for Israel and say that it also applies in some way to America
There is only a single meaning to any passage in the entire canon of Scripture.
NONSENSE, BALDERDASH, POPPYCOCK. This is just Ice's own false dispensationalist theology that is not shared by MANY others of the Church.

Sometimes Old Testament passages have double references to begin with, referring to events in the prophet's own time AND to later fulfillment as well, such as in description of the Messiah when He came.

But beyond that, Christians have ALWAYS read the Old Testament to apply to ourselves and to our own times as guided by the Holy Spirit as we read.

And beyond that, Cahn did not even suggest anything BUT a single meaning to Isaiah 9:10 ANYWAY.
Yet, Rabbi Cahn claims that Isaiah 9:10 also is a prophecy about contemporary America.
HE DOES NOT! He has observed that God Himself brought elements of that verse into America in relation to 9/11 and has drawn the only reasonable conclusion from that fact that it is God Himself who is making a connection between that verse and America. NOT A CONNECTION THAT WAS THERE BEFORE but one that is obviously there NOW. Through the HARBINGERS God Himself brought about.
He admits that it was fulfilled in the past in relation to the Northern Kingdom by the invasion of the Assyrians.[5] But it is also a prophecy relating to contemporary America as a mystery that needs to be uncovered.
See above. There is NO implication in The Harbinger that Isaiah 9:10 applied to anything but Israel when it was written, and not even an implication that it contains some hidden implication for America either. AGAIN, it is the fact that the harbingers that reflect that verse have appeared in reality in America in connection with 9/11 that now ESTABLISHES the implication that God is NOW talking to America through that verse.

Seems to me this ought to be obvious and it's hard to explain why it isn't obvious to some.
Cahn claims that when the mystery is unraveled, the same pattern of judgment that happened two and a half thousand years ago will be repeated upon America.
Well, yes, of course, it's the OBVIOUS conclusion to be drawn from the APPEARANCE OF THE HARBINGERS.
"The Nine Harbingers that manifested in ancient Israel in the nation's last days," explains Cahn, "Each one was a sign. Each one was a warning of judgment . . . of their end . . . the Nine Harbingers of judgment."[6]

For Cahn, these nine harbingers are something he says is revealed to be for America.
Yes, this is obvious to anyone who isn't shackled with some sort of theological / eschatological preconception that is as good as wearing blinders.  
[7] Thus, he is under the delusion that some kind of revelation from God to him has taken place via the warnings of American judgment.
No, not "via" the warnings. The warnings are implicit in the fact that these harbingers have occurred in America that so uncannily reflect Isaiah 9:10. If you can't see the harbingers it is you who are under delusion.
Yet, it is somehow linked with Isaiah 9:10 and a series of interesting events that have taken place in conjunction with the attack on the Twin Towers in New York City during 9/11 and various events and statements by important people since that event.. Since America was called to be "a vessel of redemption, an instrument of God's purposes, a light to the world,"[8] and was no longer performing that role, God is giving her a warning of impending judgment upon our nation in the form of the nine harbingers of Isaiah 9:10.
Yes, that's how Cahn explains the fact that the harbingers were given to America, but that's getting the cart before the horse. The fact is that the harbingers are simply THERE, brought about as a result of 9/11, however they are to be explained. You have to address THAT FACT FIRST, the fact that they are THERE, they exist, you can point to them, there are pictures of them or you can take pictures of them yourself or in the case of the speeches hear them or read them over the internet.
The first is a breach in the wall, which means that at 9/11 America's divine protection no longer was in place.[9] Second, the terrorist represents America invading Iraq that was in ancient times the location of Assyria that invaded Israel in the eight century b.c.[10] Third, the fallen bricks speak of the nation not repenting, but becoming arrogant and saying they will build the ruins back stronger and better than at the first.[11] Fourth, the tower represents the leaders not repenting and desiring to rebuild the towers even higher than before.[12] Fifth, the Gazit Stone tells of the foundations and the huge "Freedom Stone" at Ground Zero.[13] Sixth, the sycamore tree is symbolic of the uprooting of the nation through judgment.[14] Seventh, the Erez tree is a tree of hope and pictures a stubborn nation's failure to repent and turn to God.[15] Eight, the utterance of actual judgment upon America.[16] Ninth, the prophecy of judgment reiterated upon America, but she can repent if she heeds the warning of 2 Chronicles 7:14.[17]
Yeah, that's a decent enough summary if oddly enough worded to suggest he doesn't really get it. (The erez tree is NOT a tree of hope, for instance, merely falsely called that by those who dedicated it. The bricks don't speak of the nation not repenting, the intention to rebuild with stronger materials is what speaks of that, and so on) Obviously he doesn't get it and doesn't have any answers to it.

Many American Christians are falling for the message found in The Harbinger as if Isaiah himself had been resurrected and came to America and spoke it himself.
Oh my aching head.  The harbingers were not put in place by Isaiah, they could only have been put in place by God. This again is what the critics keep refusing to think about. God made Isaiah's words come to material reality in America. Isaiah had nothing to do with it. The average reader gets it where the critics keep missing it.
Many might say, "What could be wrong with a message from any source telling America to repent?" Surely a majority of Americans do need to repent, but if we believe it on the basis of someone claiming to speak on an authority equal with the Bible, then we have fallen for a false authority.
Aaargh, gag, ack. JONATHAN CAHN HAS NOT CLAIMED TO SPEAK ON AN AUTHORITY EQUAL WITH THE BIBLE. He has merely POINTED OUT something that was done BY GOD that IMPLIES that GOD HIMSELF is calling us to repentance as He brings judgment on the nation.

Also, THE NATION ITSELF needs to repent. The nation has put laws in place that defy God, that violate God's laws. It would take repentance BY THE NATION'S LEADERS to push back God's judgment if that's even still possible, although the churches could go a long way to preserving the nation by heeding this call without the leaders' participation.
Besides, Paul has already told American and every human on the planet to repent in Acts 17:30–31. "Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all everywhere should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead."
That being the case, you nevertheless have to account for why God Himself brought all these harbingers into America as if He Himself is calling us to be aware of His intention to bring judgment against America and he Himself is calling us to repent.  
If we start giving heed to those who claim to speak for the Lord, especially those who twist Scripture in the process, more and more people will come out with wacko books and mislead even more people.
Sorry, I'm losing it here. This is sheer idiocy. Why can't these people read?

Cahn is reporting on things that GOD DID. God is doing this, not Cahn. God gave Cahn the ability and the mission to RECOGNIZE the harbingers and to SHOW them to us, that's all.
Many are talking today about God judging America and He surely could do that in a dramatic way, but the focus of Paul, even two thousand years ago was on the fact that God has already fixed a day on His calendar when He will judge the world for unbelief. Yes, America is deserving of judgment but so is the entire world. Could anyone name a nation in the world today that does not deserve God's judgment?
It is God who brought about the harbingers, it is God who apparently wants to say something through them specifically to America.  
I cannot and I doubt that you can name one either. Bible prophecy appears to indicate that this world is moving toward global judgment where America and all the Christ-rejecting nations will join the Antichrist's team in revolt against our Lord God Almighty, whom Christ will destroy with the breath of His mouth at the second coming when He will set up a righteous rule through His redeemed people Israel. Maranatha!
That's all true enough but it has nothing to do with the message of The Harbinger.  So you need to talk to God about this. Ask Him why He brought these harbingers to us.  

[1] Jonathan Cahn, The Harbinger: The Ancient Mystery That Holds The Secret of America's Future (Lake Mary, FL: FrontLine, 2011), 262 pages.
[2] Jonathan Cahn, The Isaiah 9:10 Judgment: Is There an Ancient Mystery that Foretells America's Future? DVD. Directed by George Escobar, 2012. 120 minutes.
[3] Cahn, The Harbinger, p. 19.
[4] Cahn, The Harbinger, p. 222.
[5] Cahn, The Harbinger, pp. 16–18.
[6] Cahn, The Harbinger, p. 23.
[7] Cahn, The Harbinger, p. 23.
[8] Cahn, The Harbinger, p. 19.
[9] Cahn, The Harbinger, pp. 25–33.
[10] Cahn, The Harbinger, pp. 34–42.
[11] Cahn, The Harbinger, pp. 51–56.
[12] Cahn, The Harbinger, pp. 57–67.
[13] Cahn, The Harbinger, pp. 68–77.
[14] Cahn, The Harbinger, pp. 78–86.
[15] Cahn, The Harbinger, pp. 87–98.
[16] Cahn, The Harbinger, pp. 99–113.
[17] Cahn, The Harbinger, pp. 114–144.

New radio show on The Harbinger by Jan Markell's ministry

Had the privilege of getting to hear Jan Markell's upcoming weekend broadcast in advance, to be aired next Saturday the 14th, and am happy to report the program does a great job of covering the issues concerning The Harbinger that have been giving some of us headaches for a while now.

Jonathan Cahn gets a generous chance to defend his point of view, other participants have solid support to offer, Eric Barger gives a statement on behalf of Olive Tree Ministries, and there is a long clip of Joseph Farah of World Net Daily describing how he got involved with The Harbinger and came to make his film about it, The Isaiah 9:10 Judgment.

These are the SANE people when it comes to The Harbinger. It did me good to hear it, felt kinks unwinding just listening to them. Yeah I've been collecting some Harbinger kinks as it were for a while now.

It's so hard to understand the frame of mind of those who have been attacking this book, their self-righteous denunciations that for the most part completely misrepresent it.

My own immediate take on the book was very much like Joseph Farah's as he reports it on this broadcast: even from just a few statements heard in an interview of Jonathan Cahn it is apparent that there is something amazing here that needs to be followed up. I followed up by listening to everything I could find by Cahn on the internet and started blogging on this amazing story as soon as possible; and Farah contacted him and made a film about the harbingers.

Others, however, seem to respond instead to superficial impressions based on preconceptions that have nothing to do with The Harbinger, that lead them to outrageously wrong conclusions.

Should also mention here that I've changed my mind about a former position I took against Cahn's choice to appear on Glenn Beck's show or other shows with a questionable point of view. This was discussed on the program. I'm convinced now that it would be wrong to restrict Christians from appearing among nonChristians in the effort to make their case.

It's a good show that gets into all the important questions involving The Harbinger.

Cognitive failure in dealing with The Harbinger as expressed in a comment to my blog

I've been getting comments from a particular visitor for some time now which I've published as they come in but this is probably going to be the last one I'll publish. Thought I'd bring it up here and give an expanded answer to it here because it represents one of the most frustrating trends of criticism against the book.
Nowhere in Isaiah 9:10 has God declared A SIGN OR A MYSTERY which contains A REMOTE OR FUTURE IMPLICATION FOR AMERICA.
And nowhere in any of my posts and nowhere in The Harbinger has such a claim been made.

You are certainly right that the text itself contains no such reference, nor has God declared any such reference nor has anyone claimed such a reference exists. The future implication -- THINK CAREFULLY HERE -- based on the text but not IN the text -- comes from the fact that various events that precisely repeat the elements of Isaiah 9:10 have occurred in reality, in the real world, in actual fact on planet Earth, at Ground Zero in connection with 9/11. Again, NOBODY has claimed any implication of any of this exists IN THE TEXT ITSELF.
AND YOU HAVE FAILED MISERABLY to prove those claims and to SUBSTANTIATE THOSE HARBINGERS from the sacred text itself.
The text refers to destroyed bricks and sycamores as a result of Assyria's invasion of Israel, and Israel's intention to rebuild with hewn stone and replant with pine type trees, and the text demonstrates the defiant attitude of Israel against the destruction as having come from God's hand in judgment, as they determine to rebuild and replant with no regard to His will in the matter.

Nothing else is claimed about the text by Jonathan Cahn or by me.

The harbingers that have shown up in America IN CONNECTION WITH 9/11 are destroyed buildings and a huge hewn stone that was brought in to be the cornerstone of a new building in their place; a destroyed sycamore tree and a pine type tree brought in to replace it. These uncanny things having occurred IN REALITY are what you have to account for as coming from any source other than God Himself. Plus the attitude of defiance of God's judgment as expressed in quotations of Isaiah 9:10 by American leaders also in connection with 9/11, which all too accurately expressed the general attitude of the nation at the time.
In the facts described above to which you and the other critics of The Harbinger are spectacularly blind.
Dear Sir: Get a grip and think through what I have given you above.

This is probably the last time I allow a comment from you here. Make the most of it.

Another off-the-wall criticism of The Harbinger, by somebody Dinsmore

Found this at Brannon Howse's Worldview Weekend site.
-Mark Dinsmore

SETTING ASIDE the "ancient mystery" of the nine harbingers (depicted as pictographic clay seals in Jonathan Cahn's fictional story), there is another "secret" message that flows in the subtext of Cahn's New York Times bestseller, The Harbinger (TH). Evaluating this hidden stream requires some historic "archaeology" but will reveal that Cahn's nine harbingers are built not on Scripture but on sinking sand.
Funny, I'm getting a sinking feeling already.
Cahn's fictional Prophet recounts the "consecration" of America by George Washington (GW) in a manner which stirs reverential awe among many Christian Patriots.
Oh maybe, but the main stirring one gets comes from the recognition of the awesome fact that America's first President George Washington and his cabinet prayed for America on the very land where the WTC was built and attacked. I guess Dinsmore is unimpressed with such an uncanny coincidence.
But early in the book, Cahn acknowledges that "those who laid America's foundations" came "long before the Founding Fathers" (p.19). This can only refer to the Pilgrims and Puritans. However, the central premise of TH-that the attack and subsequent destruction of the Twin Towers on 9/11 at "Ground Zero" was prophetic-is based on Cahn's repeated assertion that divine judgment must strike "the nation's most sacred ground, the ground of its consecration" (p.198). Cahn's fictional Prophet reiterates this as a de facto spiritual law: "This, Nouriel, is a critical principle. Take note of it" (p.198).

Given this declaration, the terrorists of 9/11-guided by this "ancient mystery"-should have targeted a site commemorating the first Pilgrim landing and "consecration to God" under the Mayflower Compact in Plymouth, MA. After all, the language of this historic document is far more "sacred" and intrinsically Christian than either the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution. But instead, Cahn maintains that the "grounds of consecration" are adjacent to "Ground Zero" in New York.
Yeah, you could ask that, but the fact is that Ground Zero happens to be where George Washington prayed for the nation. It wasn't the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution which occurred at Ground Zero, it was Washington's prayer, and Washington was the first President of the UNITED States as a federal -- UNITED -- nation.

Aaa, just a meaningless coincidence I guess.
According to TH, therefore, the fate of the Twin Towers (and the free-fall collapse of 47-story Building 7, which Cahn neglects to mention) was mysteriously sealed on April 20, 1789-212 years prior to 9/11 (pp.199-205).
Oh fer cryin out loud. Cahn is working backwards from the amazing appearance of the harbingers that so remarkably repeat Isaiah 9:10, from their location which anybody ought to be able to recognize has historical significance for America, to the date on which the nation was consecrated by Washington's prayer at that very site, and comes to the CONCLUSION that God took note of Washington's prayer and is now giving the nation warning through the harbingers He brought about on that very site. It takes special exertion to DENY such obvious connections once they're pointed out.
The entire foundation of Cahn's nine harbingers, therefore, is built on the presumed spiritual significance and efficacy of our first president's inauguration on that historic day (pp.207,208,210,211,212).
No, it's not "built" on that at all. As I understand it, Cahn discovered this later in his investigations. The existence of the harbingers is uncanny enough but then he discovered the significance of Ground Zero as property that had been owned by the very church in which George Washington prayed for the nation. Once you recognize that fact, you'd have to go to extraordinary lengths, it seems to me, NOT to draw the conclusion that God must be making some connection here.

Sycamore tree,
echoing the sycamores of Isaiah 9:10,
uprooted by a piece of one of the towers falling on it on 9/11,
turns out to have been growing in the graveyard of an old church that once owned the property on which the WTC was built,
is celebrated by spiritually blind people in a sentimental way that in fact emphasizes its significance as a sign of God's judgment on the nation,
who even cast its roots in bronze,
then even gets replaced by the same kind of tree Israel said they'd replace their sycamores with, a pine type tree.
All at Ground Zero where America's first President prayed for the nation.

Aaa, just a meaningless coincidence.
(It would seem significant to note, however, that these three demolished towers were not public buildings; they were not federal; they were not religious. They were, in fact, private office complexes. Why would God appoint, or allow, these structures to be targeted as a direct sign of some "ancient mystery" that allegedly "holds the secret of America's future"? This unsupportable claim is, quite simply, preposterous!)
Oh I dunno, maybe because the WTC was built on land originally owned by the church where Washington prayed for the nation, and maybe because the WTC was iconic of New York City and the wealth of the nation, and maybe because some events described in Isaiah 9:10 were repeated there in the wake of 9/11.

Naaa, just a meaningless coincidence.
Throughout TH, Cahn insists that the mere utterance of Isaiah 9:10 by an elected official-either "unwittingly" (pp.63,105) or "unknowingly" (pp.111, 117)-in conjunction with 9/11, constitutes the echoing of an ancient vow (pp. 93,117)-which TH asserts are binding words of cosmological consequence for the entire United States.
What kind of obtuseness does it take to blind oneself to these uncanny significances? "Mere" utterance of the verse by two American leaders in an official capacity connected with 9/11, the very verse whose bricks and quarried stones and sycamores and pine type trees were all echoed in amazing uncanny reality in connection with 9/11? Aaaa...
As "proof" that the ungodly can (and do) prophesy over a nation in accordance with God's Word, Cahn gives the example of Caiaphas in John 11:49-53. However, he stretches this principle beyond Israel, and beyond the office of High Priest, to include any ceremonial words spoken by a common U.S. politician that might happen to include Scripture. (pp.118-19) If that is the case, then how many thousands of times have elected officials misappropriated Scripture in the past? And what forces and curses have been "unwittingly" and "unknowingly" unleashed upon our land by their rash words and vows? Words do have meaning.
What kind of mental gymnastics does it take to deny the MULTIPLE lines of connections with THESE PARTICULAR utterances? The connection with 9/11, the harbingers that are also about 9/11, the location of the harbingers on the ground connected with the earliest official prayer for the nation, the ceremonies performed to celebrate the harbingers, the fact that all the speeches expressed America's defiance of the destruction of 9/11 as God's judgment on the nation -- all things done in connection with 9/11 in a remarkable uncanny echo of the same kind of events and attitudes as described in Isaiah 9:10.
But TH clearly advances the occult Word-Faith doctrine that words have intrinsic power and spiritual effect, "whether we know it or not."
Sigh. There is nothing "occult" or "Word-Faith" about this, and no implication that "words have intrinsic power and spiritual effect," there is merely the observation that speeches given by the leaders of a nation have special import and in this case particularly special import because they quote a verse from scripture that in its original context expressed Israel's defiance of God, a verse that is echoed all over the place in connection with 9/11 and therefore also expresses AMERICA's defiance of God. It is an astute observation by Jonathan Cahn that such official declarations in connection with all the OTHER harbingers related to Isaiah 9:10 amount to prophetic statements on behalf of the nation. ALL THESE IMPLICATIONS have to have been brought about by God Himself. There is nothing INTRINSIC in words themselves.
As Dave Hunt and TBC have long exposed, this is witchcraft!
No, it's a recognition of God's hand in an amazing collection of uncanny events. I don't know a thing about this man Dinsmore but if he claims to have discernment of things Christian he's WAAAAY off target.
Readers who are drawn into this mystical mindset of TH are quickly mesmerized by Cahn's droning repetition of words like "ancient...mystery...vow...sacred...ground...secret...key" and other terms synonymous with neo-gnostic religion.
I've answered this silliness before. The critics jump at words that remind them of something gnostic and completely ignore their context in this book. Cahn does not use these words in the sense the critics impute to him. There is nothing "mystical" about his use of them. These critics are letting their own preoccupations color their judgment of this book instead of THINKING -- about the context in which the book uses such terms.
Indeed, such concepts are the very essence of Masonic pomp and circumstance, as well as an integral part of the occultic "strategic spiritual warfare" practices of the NAR/Latter Rain movement. (This correlation simply proves that professing Christians are susceptible to the same ancient deceptions, resulting in aberrant and unbiblical practices, that are manifested in every era; see Ecc 1:9).
I'm afraid all it proves is that this critic doesn't know how to read objectively in context, and is imputing a completely false theology to Jonathan Cahn.

I'm putting up a post on a radio show by Jan Markell on The Harbinger later today, which I hope people will listen to. It deals with this sort of wacky criticism of the book among other things.
Given this fact, it is nonetheless cause for dismay-and shock, to many-to discover that contrary to the romantic view most of us grew up with, the United States was "consecrated" and "dedicated" not to the God of Scripture but to the god of Freemasonry.
Yes, I had this experience myself rather recently, having to recognize that the main founders of the Constitutional period were not Christians. But I believe Jonathan Cahn has answered the implication that therefore the nation was "consecrated" not to God but to the false masonic god by pointing out that the dedication itself would be what God would honor, not the person who makes the dedication.

In any case, what needs to be recognized here is the fact that the many harbingers based on Isaiah 9:10 have shown up on the very ground where this consecration occurred. This does suggest that there WAS a consecration that God recognized, that the nation's current defiance of His will violates to such an extent that He is removing His protection of the nation. It's a reasonable conclusion from the FACTS that Jonathan Cahn has collected and shown to us in his book.
The reader should understand that we are not defaming George Washington or calling his personal salvation into question through "guilt by association." No one can ultimately determine the condition of our first president's heart during the period of his admirable and sacrificial service to our country.
George Washington refused to take communion in his Anglican church which alone suggests a great deal about the condition of his heart. But again, his heart is not what determines the effect of his acting as our first President in praying that God would bless this new nation upon his inauguration, and in fact on its inauguration. The nation was in fact highly blessed by God over the years since then.
However, we can most certainly ascertain whether GW's willing participation in Ancient York Rite Freemasonry was in accordance with Scripture-and whether the Lodge's direct oversight of the very act of "consecrating" the United States was a pleasing aroma to God-or whether it was an abomination of "strange fire." (Even today, many patriots and professing Christians continue to be deceived by and through their "innocent" or "ignorant" membership in Freemasonry.)
Again, the PERSON is not the basis for God's blessing or not blessing the nation. Solomon was not exactly a paragon of faithfulness to God with all his pagan wives and concubines and idolatrous religious practices. Does that mean we are to dismiss his dedication of the temple to God as "really" to the pagan gods he also honored?
But curiously, for an author who has taken great pains to present the appearance of a factual, historical account that claims precision in the smallest detail (pp. 3,94,106,216, etc.); Cahn fails to mention anywhere in TH that our first president was himself a Freemason, sworn into office with his hand upon a Masonic Bible, with the oath given by the "Most Worshipful Grand Master" of New York Freemasonry, Robert Livingston (first Chancellor of New York City)
Sad facts I also lament, but see above.
Compounding this mysterious "oversight," Cahn deflects attempts at discernment, and redirects inquiry into GW's Masonic connections: "I would suggest something else: That this rather serves to illustrate the broad-brush attacks of judgment which has [sic] become typical of many 'discernment ministries'"

"Whatever Washington's other involvements may or may not have been," Cahn parries, "what does that have to do with the fact that he was part of a prayer gathering for America's future held within a church...? And how would that in any way nullify [The Harbinger]?" (Ibid.)

Seriously? Cahn discounts the political importance and spiritual significance of our first president's affiliation with, and participation in, a neo-gnostic mystery school? A demonstrably pagan, universalist cult which has permeated the United States government from Day One and has been intimately involved in its political and spiritual direction (and deception) ever since? To date, 1/3 of all Presidents, and 1/3 of all Supreme Court Justices are known Freemasons. (Can you imagine the outrage if this percentage had been Mormons instead of "Christians"?) In fact, this antichrist cult (which encompasses all faiths who believe in a Supreme Deity) has not only monopolized the halls of power in government but also in banking, business, and religious/philanthropic institutions. So, to answer Cahn's question, the fact of Freemasonry's undergirding and overarching influence in our nation's founding and "dedication" means everything.
I agree that our founding as a nation was lamentably very much something else than Christian, than what most of us had been taught, but it seems to me if you are going to stick to this way of interpreting things you still have to account for why God blessed the nation at all.

In any case, again, you have to come up with some kind of accounting for the fact that the attack on the WTC occurred on the very ground -- land that had been owned by that very church -- where George Washington and his governing body went to pray for the nation. The uncanniness of this fact can't just be swept away.

Also, that church is now screamingly apostate -- go read some of the "sermons" posted for Trinity Wall Street Church. It was most likely orthodox back in Washington's day. My own reading of this fact is that the apostasy of the churches is the main cause of God's bringing judgment against the nation now, as begun with 9/11.
As in the time of George Washington, Freemasons of all faiths still assemble in virtually every city and town in America. Like Glenn Beck and David Barton, they deem each other "brothers" and participate in "prayer gatherings within churches" (Cahn's sole criteria for judging GW). Should it not concern readers of TH that the god of Masonry invoked at GW's inauguration is not the God of Scripture? Or that its ancient, secret, binding vows supersede every other oath of office and trump biblical authority? Should it not disturb "discerners" that Masonry is quite literally a cornerstone of Mystery Babylon, whose doctrines of demons pave the way for a New Spiritual Order-one in which professing Christians, having their "eyes opened," become "wise," and bow to an Impostor (Mt 7:21-23, Jn 5:43)?

Therefore, regardless of whether or not George Washington realized the occult symbolism of "ancient secrets" in The Craft in which he participated, The Harbinger is hung by its own tongue when it declares the efficacy of ancient mysteries and spoken "vows." Because if America's consecration was performed by Masons to the Supreme Being they call "Providence," the "Almighty," the "Great Architect of the Universe," then our Lord does indeed have great cause to judge the United States.
Yes, and I'd like to see the Masons exposed once and for all and brought down, but again, why did He bless the nation at all as abundantly as He obviously did?
Not because our nation has abandoned the Masonic precepts conferred to and imparted by George Washington 223 years ago at "Ground Zero," but because it has almost universally embraced them.
Yes, but again, following this logic how do you account for the fact that God has blessed the nation at all?

And yet again, the point made by Jonathan Cahn is that the harbingers of judgment that have appeared in America, that are based on Isaiah 9:10 which speaks of a nation's defiance of God's judgment on that nation, quite remarkably showed up where George Washington prayed for the nation at its very inception. This needs to be recognized as the uncanny occurrence it is. It suggests to me that God honored that prayer despite the masonic influence, perhaps partly because George Washington DID believe in God's providence based on the nation's submission to His laws, and at least because the nation did adhere to God's laws until quite recently.

I myself hope Christians will come to recognize the anti-Christian mentality of the most prominent of the founders of the nation, which would give us better leverage for dealing with God's judgment, but as far as The Harbinger goes, this critic hasn't succeeded in falsifying Cahn's deduction that God is warning America of judgment yet to come through the appearance of the harbingers that so uncannily reflect Isaiah 9:10. These have to be recognized as something God Himself brought about in America as a result of 9/11.

This is still what the critics have to account for.