LIGHT TO THE NATIONS
The massive scale of the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center made for startling images and a new frightening, sober reality for America. But through this devastation Rabbi Cahn was given an understanding of what this meant to America through Isaiah 9:10, and the uncanny parallel this attack has to events in 8th century Israel.
Jonathan says before God judges a nation, He sends warning. He sent warning to ancient Israel. The attacks of 9/11 were a warning, and like ancient Israel, if the nation ignores God’s warning there will be dire consequences, Jonathan says. Harbinger means “warning.” In his book, The Harbinger, a prophetic mystery and message conveyed in the form of a novel, Jonathan tells of the supernatural connection between ancient Israel and America. An unnamed Prophet speaks. However, the events are real, filled with insights the Lord revealed to Jonathan in the years after 9/11.
There are nine harbingers of what happens after the first attack if the nation refuses to return to God. The judgments are progressive, with periods of normalcy in-between, but continue if there is no national repentance. The economic implosion and other national ills spring from this event. Israel and America are the only two nations that God sovereignly planted as a light to the nations. “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 a covenant with God,” the Prophet says. To whom much is given, much is required.
Based on Isaiah 9:10, - “The bricks have fallen, but we will build with hewn stones: the sycamores are cut down, but we will plant cedars in their place,” the northern 10 Tribes of Israel refused to repent after they were struck by the Assyrians - which was a warning from the Lord. Instead of listening to the alarm, of turning back, and humbling themselves in repentance, they boasted of their resolve, that they would rebuild stronger and better than before. They ignored the warning and rejected the call to return. They defied it. Sadly, their defiance led to the nation’s total destruction years later. The ancient prophecy forms the key to the nine harbingers of judgment, which are given to a nation in danger of judgment – each of which have reappeared on American soil – marking America as the nation in danger of judgment.
The First Harbinger: The Breach. In 732 B.C., the hedge of protection was removed and Israel’s enemies invade the land and wreak havoc. The calamity traumatizes the nation but it takes place on a limited scale, as with 9/11. The warning is the removal of the hedge. On September 11, 2001, America’s hedge of protection was removed – the breach of America’s security, and was a sign that God has lifted His protective hand.
The Second Harbinger: The Terrorist. It was the dark shadow of Assyrian terror that loomed over the kingdom of Israel. The danger against which the prophets had warned. And when, years later, Israel’s final judgment came, the Assyrians would again be the means through which it would happen. So, too, the attack
on America is carried out by terrorists. The Assyrians were a Semitic people, children of the Middle East. So too were the terrorists of 9/11.
The Third Harbinger: The Fallen Bricks. The most visible signs of the attack on ancient Israel were that of the fallen buildings and the ruin heaps of fallen bricks. The third harbinger is the sign of the fallen bricks of the fallen buildings. On Sept 11, 2001, Americans were confronted with the same sign, fallen bricks of the fallen buildings of the wreckage of Ground Zero. America was not turning back to God. It was a short-lived spiritual revival that never came.
The Fourth Harbinger: The Tower. Israel defiantly began rebuilding on the devastated ground, vowing to rebuild higher and stronger. So, too, in the wake of 9/11, American leaders vowed to rebuild at Ground Zero higher and stronger – the Tower begins to rise at Ground Zero. Those involved act unwittingly.
The Fifth Harbinger: The Gazit Stone. We will rebuild with quarried stone - The Israelites carve out quarried stone from mountain rock and bring it back to the ground of destruction where clay bricks once stood. Three years after 9/11, a stone is quarried out of the mountain rock of New York. This massive stone was brought back to Ground Zero. In ancient Israel this stone became a misplaced embodiment of the nation’s confidence in its own power. So too the massive stone at Ground Zero became the symbolic cornerstone of the rebuilding. Public ceremonies accompanied the stone placement. Plans to rebuild Ground Zero would be frustrated for years. Eventually they would remove the stone from GZ altogether.
The Sixth Harbinger: The Sycamore. The Sycamores have been cut down - The attack on ancient Israel resulted in the striking down of the sycamore tree, a biblical sign of national judgment. The fallen sycamore is a sign of uprooting, a warning and, in ignoring the warning, it becomes a prophecy of judgment. On 9/11, as the North Tower fell it sent debris and wreckage which struck and uprooted an object – a sycamore tree growing at Ground Zero. The tree was made into a symbol and named The Sycamore of Ground Zero. When it fell in ancient Israel it prophesied the nation’s downfall and the end of its kingdom. What happens to America depends on if the warning is heeded.
The Seventh Harbinger: The Erez Tree. But we will plant cedars in their place- In their defiance of God, the Israelites replace the fallen sycamore with a Cedar tree. The cedar, being stronger than the sycamore becomes a symbol of the nation’s arrogant hope that it will emerge from the crisis stronger than before. The English name for this tree is “Cedar,” but the Hebrew word is “Erez.” Erezstands not only for cedar but for a conifer tree of the panacea family. In November of 2003, a tree was lowered at the corner of Ground Zero into the soil where the fallen sycamore once stood. The tree was a conifer, a panacea tree, the biblical Erez. A ceremony was held around the tree and it, too, became a symbol – entitled The Tree of Hope. There is always hope. A nation’s true hope is found only in returning to God.
The Eight Harbinger: The Utterance. The Eighth Harbinger was the public speaking of the ancient vow of defiance. For this harbinger to manifest, the vow would have to be spoken in the nation’s capital by a national leader, as it had been in ancient Israel. On Sept 11, 2004, every object mentioned in the prophecy of Isa 9:10 had manifested. The public utterance of the prophecy had to take place publicly, which happened on Sept 11, 2004 when VP candidate John Edwards, giving a speech in the capital city, quoted this exact scripture word for word in Wash., DC. Without realizing it, he was joining the two nations together and, without realizing it, pronouncing judgment on America. The ancient and the modern were bound together.
The Ninth Harbinger: The Prophecy. The Ninth Harbinger is the proclaiming of the ancient vow as prophecy, as a matter of public record, and spoken before the words come true. On Sept 12, 2001, the day after
9/11, America issues its official response to the attack. The one in charge of issuing the response was Tom Daschle, Senate Majority Leader. As he closes his speech he makes a declaration – he proclaims the ancient vow of defiance, word for word, to the world. By doing so he prophesies the nation’s future course, all of which comes to pass.
The Second Shaking – The mystery of the Harbinger continues – and lies behind everything from the Global War on Terror, the Collapse of the American economy, the crash of Wall Street, the Great Recession, and more.
Amazingly, events happened with an unseen hand, and people acted unwittingly in the unfolding of this prophecy. The Prophet character says that “The Almighty has His own purposes.” God, in His mercy, always reaches out in mercy. At Ground Zero, the ground of devastation becomes the ground of restoration. Incredibly it was at the site of Ground Zero in the miracle church, St Paul’s Chapel, that this nation was dedicated to God by first president George Washington & other leaders at his inauguration in 1789. The nation’s first government was formed in New York City before DC was formed. God is calling the nation back to Himself. “The heart of God wills for salvation,” the Prophet says. “Greater than his judgments are His compassions.”
THE STORY BEHIND THE MESSAGE
Not long after 9/11 Jonathan sensed that somehow these events were linked to what happened to ancient Israel per Isa 9, the first massive divine warning given to that nation. A number of years later, he was standing at the corner of Ground Zero and his attention was drawn to an object that was the first puzzle piece of an ancient mystery and a prophetic warning for America. He first shared the word at his congregation Beth Israel in 2005. A few years later he was led to begin committing the message to book form. When the Lord started revealing these things Jonathan had an urgent sense that this word needed to get out.
COMING TO MESSIAH
Jonathan was raised in the synagogue but at age 8 questioned what he was taught. Didn’t believe, and at age 11 he decided not to pursue a bar mitzvah. By age 13 he questioned his atheism. In 7th grade he became friends with a boy who spoke to him of Jesus – began searching for answers. Reading The Late Great Planet Earth by Hal Lindsey led him to open the Bible and begin reading about end-time prophecies. There he discovered the prophecies of the Jewish Messiah in the Hebrew Scriptures. It all pointed to Jesus, but Jonathan continued living as before, leading a rock band. He began telling everyone about the prophecies and ended up winning others to the Lord, though he himself wasn’t saved. He eventually realized that it wasn’t enough to just agree with it in his mind. If Messiah came back, he would not be ready to meet Him. He knew there was only one way to God but he didn’t want to give his life to God. But feeling the continual call of God, he made a deal with Him. If God would grant him long life, then he would accept the Lord... at the end – when he was about to die.
Soon after that he was almost killed. Twice. He was driving about 45 miles per hour in two lanes of traffic when the car went out of control, swerving into two oncoming lanes, spinning in and out of cars. By a miracle he wasn’t killed. A few months later, at night, he was driving across a train track and got stuck on it, even though he was trying to be careful. He saw a big light – and it was the train which plowed into his little Ford Pinto. As the car crumbled before him, he could only call out to God. The car was demolished and the crash made headlines, but Jonathan escaped without a scratch. Strike two. Jonathan quickly changed his deal with God and accepted the Lord when he turned 20. Not knowing much about salvation or how to come to God, he drove up to the top of a mountain, kneeled down to pray and dedicate his life to God. Not long after he was asked to lead a Bible study. After college the Lord interrupted his plans and called him into full-time ministry. He wanted to do what Messiah would do, working with the needy, homeless and disabled. He and others helped found a Messianic outreach. A few years later in 1988, he was asked to lead Beth Israel, the largest Messianic congregation in America made up of Jew and Gentile alike.