Is The Harbinger a Dangerous Fiction or In Essence Non-Fiction for America’s Future!? Part 2
My growing opinion regarding the book, The Harbinger part 1 is here and now for part 2. It is not unlike other dangerous fictions such as The Shack, Left Behind series, and This Present Darkness. It appears if you publish a book in Christian circles, “poof!” you are now an expert in eschatology, or spiritual warfare or… you name it! No recantation here, strengthening the argument and warning against it. The Harbinger by inferring and implying the prophecies of Isaiah 9:10-11 crosses the lines of false prophecies I have objected to here at Truth with Snares blog in the past.
The author Jonathan Cahn cleverly rides the fence with a fictional-nonfiction, and after reading his objections to criticism that they have it all wrong about The Harbinger on a variety of points (some discussed later), and that his associations with Charisma magazine and others are misplaced or misguided attempts to attack his person. How did that old commercial go? Sorry Charlie, that’s not good tasting tuna!
The indisputable arguments Cahn cannot answer is calling what he has presented as “real” meaning the prophecies and their judgments are for America today but at the same time fiction that they can apply to both or any, Israel then America and then fill in the blank. While at the same time placing such an emphasis on Israel and America being the only countries in a covenant with God — or America not being in covenant, Cahn hazes that over pretty well in my opinion – I will explain later please continue reading.
Much like we witness with the emergent crowd, Cahn muddles the fiction and nonfiction but here is the rub, he goes to the crowd of TBN and 700 Club among others to present the message. These groups love his message! Why!? Because they live and breathe for dreams, visions signs and wonders! The oft use material that is extrabiblical! Maybe if Cahn was only using his friends at the Rapture Ready site (a pretribulational/discernment site that openly endorses The Harbinger) to post his defenses and promote his material would his arguments have a smidgen of plausibility, not the case he uses whatever medium is available. Ok, perhaps there are some offers Cahn has turned down he mentions the offers to make a movie.
As for Rapture Ready and their posts recommending The Harbinger? I pray they wake up to what they have said and done, it is foolhardy at best. If there are other endorsers of The Harbinger as Cahn alleges of conservative Biblical backgrounds and scholarly notoriety, oh please post the list! Let us see who is chosen your line and reeled it in hook, line and sinker!!
Next point, I will clear the muddied waters, if you watch Sid Roth with his show, It’s Supernatural!, as he introduces Jonathan Cahn comparing him to the “prophet” David Wilkerson who for years had been prophesying judgment against America but now that God has raised up Cahn as “standing on the prophet David Wilkerson’s shoulders” with the same prophetic word! And the same results,
Roth emphasizes “this is the word” the SAME WORDS as from Wilkerson but commends Cahn for saying the SAME things with clarity,
“…you have brought clarity to it that anyone can understand”
Then at 2:45 minutes into part 1 of this interview, Cahn follows Roth’s introduction without correcting him that he is not a “prophet” and I quote:
“Yeah, the amazing thing is he said it the week after 9/11 and it wasn’t because he was seeing these things it just came to him from the Lord, and he said this is the word. I also at that time I prayed it, I got it, and didn’t realize what it meant, and then it started unfolding and with precision exactly so, from 9/11 to now, the stages of judgment and it begins with, and here’s the pattern also with ancient Israel we’re following the same pattern…”
So this is the SAME PROPHETIC WORD, this is not saying it is fiction, Cahn aligned this to America and 9/11 and it is the book The Harbinger being used as a literary device and connected by Cahn’s own words. Others such as Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson did so publicly, and later to their shame backed away from their statements. So now it is ok? The 2012 book The Harbinger whether or not it says it outright, Cahn did so in at least this interview that we (America) are following the same pattern of judgment starting with 9/11 the World Trade Center attacks!
This is not only saying it is a pattern – but a PROPHETIC WORD anyone seeing that?
At this point, this is speaking for God and no man has the right to do so UNLESS it is God directing him and that is how Cahn appears to me. Based on the introduction by Sid Roth alone on his show It’s Supernatural! in September 2011, lauding Cahn with the praise as a prophet that God has raised up, and praise of the clarity Cahn has brought to the SAME PROPHETIC WORD as Wilkerson. – that is not implying, inferring, or ‘in essence’ saying something but a statement of belief. If Cahn wants to deny The Harbinger is real, he did not say it, he accepted the introduction as being a prophet of God, he speaks as being a prophet of God, and proclaims it as being real.
Cahn cannot have it both ways, and I state based on this he has violated scriptures in more than one way. The Harbinger is fiction but paired together with Cahn’s statements, forms a pattern of false prophecy because its “prophet” in the book is the author (Cahn) talking to himself using that literary device to propagate his prophetic word. It is hard not to be redundant (because they are in the interview) in stating this and it is needed to untangle and untwist what is going on here. I believe it is deception, whether or not it is deliberate I leave to God in prayer!
I believe Cahn explicitly ignores the Bible, God’s warning regarding the dangers and deceitfulness of dreams and visions (Jer. 23:25-32; 27:9-10). And that no prophecy is of private interpretation 2 Peter 1:20 says, “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.”
Next, comparing the popular use of 2 Chronicles 7:14, as being directed to America as a Christian nation (or in Cahn’s own words “founded and dedicated to God from its inception”) to Cahn’s use of Isaiah 9:10-11:
“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14
Many pointing to this verse are equating Israel and America not merely saying this is a verse in principle that we as a nation need to repent of wickedness, but like Pat Robertson (700 Club) among others mean it as a reconstructionists and dominionists. Cahn can deny it all day long but the 700 Club is one of the more notable stages used for selling his book, and Robertson is well-known as a reconstructionist that Bible believing Christians should avoid and repudiate as a teacher of error. So was and is our country a Christian nation? Is it the new Israel as it was founded? Cahn also likes to remind his readers and listeners of that as well in order to use a host of Old Testament scriptures to prop up his prophetic word. Frankly, his use of Isaiah 9:10-11 is far more abstract and removed from the thinking he goes to such great lengths to use then simply using 2 Chronicles but I believe he is saying “in essence” the same thing. What follows is from the site I maintain that addresses this directly and more reasons why it is so very wrong to follow Cahn’s leading and believe his strong objection to criticism here is why:
(I keep this in context as best possible giving as complete a quote of Cahn possible) From: The Harbinger: Jonathan Cahn Responds To T.A McMahon, Central Confusion #1: What The Harbinger Does and Does Not Say
“…The Harbinger never declares that America is in covenant with God It does note that America’s founders did believe this, did consecrate it to God, and did establish the nation after the pattern of ancient Israel. This becomes of note in view of America’s following in the same pattern of Israel’s apostasy and, now, in the appearing of the signs and warnings of its judgment as revealed in The Harbinger – Thus God can use that pattern to speak to such a nation. But even if The Harbinger had asserted the idea as fact, which it does not, none of the mysteries or revelations within the book are dependent on any such premise. Thus this central charge is groundless.”
“…The Harbinger never says that Isaiah was prophesying of America, or that the Shemitah was for America, etc. etc. What it does say is very different – namely that this ancient pattern of judgment is now recurring in America, and in a stunningly precise way – and that God is able to use such patterns and signs to warn America, a nation in rapid moral spiritual apostasy and in danger of judgment.”
So because Cahn believes that America’s founders did consecrate the nation to God that we are under a set of Biblical rules just like Israel as some sort of Christian nation? Yes, God can use whatever pattern he wishes but there is not a precedence of Biblical support for this nor is what Cahn says about the nation’s founders accurate. Cahn slices this both ways, on one hand saying the The Harbinger doesn’t say America is in a covenant with God but on the speaking circuit, just listen to the Sid Roth video mentioned earlier – go listen and decide for yourself but what is presented is presented as a real a prophetic word. Even if the book doesn’t say it, through means of alleged prophecy Cahn is saying it! I can give the benefit of a doubt to Cahn up to a point but Cahn doesn’t get it, and appears blind that his critics have demonstrated fundamental flaws in his defense and misapplication of scriptures.
As for history showing America as a Christian nation:
When the Continental Congress drafted the Declaration of Independence and later, the Congress formed under the Articles of Confederation drafted the Constitution of the United States of America, no mention was made of Jesus Christ. Rather, the only references to deity in the Declaration of Independence were to “God”; none are in the Constitution. In fact, many of the framers of these documents were anti-Christian, being comprised of Masons and deists of many persuasions.
God does not enter into covenants that do not invoke the name of His Son, so there exists no covenant between the Father and the federal government of the United States, or with any state government. Had the constitutions of all these governments, including the federal government, named faith in Jesus Christ as the principle criterion for holding any elective or appointed office, this would have had to be done in the name of Jesus Christ with full understanding of the true Biblical character of His role as Savior and Lord. This the founders of this nation of sovereign states failed to do.
It is apparent that the Western European influences that shaped America were part of what had become known as “Christendom.” But a culture based on the idea of “Christendom” does not of itself constitute a culture based on Scripture or an inviolable covenant with God. The history of Christendom is an ugly history fraught with tyranny and the enslavement of those who are less “enlightened.” If God gave the knowledge and means to subdue the earth and take dominion in the name of Jesus Christ, then that privilege has been terribly abused. If, on the other hand, Satan gave that knowledge and means, his purposes have certainly been accomplished. The fruit of Western Civilization, in spite of its enlightened accomplishments, demonstrates that no attempt to institute the Kingdom of God on earth before Jesus returns can succeed. So the idea of a covenant between America and God is pure fantasy.
Nevertheless, the “Christian America” myth lives on. We again return to the previous question: If America was truly founded as an explicitly Christian nation (as is continually proclaimed by “Christian” activists such as James Dobson, Pat Robertson, D. James Kennedy, Chuck Colson, Tim and Beverly LaHaye, Jerry Falwell, Bill Gothard, etc.), then why do we find no mention whatsoever of Jesus Christ in America’s founding documents? — not in the Declaration of Independence nor in the Constitution of the United States! In fact, the Constitution does not even make a single reference to God! (When Alexander Hamilton was asked why the Constitution fails to mention God, he allegedly replied, “We forgot.”) And the reference to God in the Declaration of Independence is merely “Nature’s God,” a God that is vague and subordinated to natural laws that everyone should know through common sense, i.e., “self-evident” truths. Moreover, the Bible is never mentioned nor alluded to in either document! Nor is God or Jesus Christ mentioned in the hundreds of pages of the Federalist Papers (the “working documents” of the founding fathers). In fact, the United States was the first Western Nation to omit explicitly Christian symbolism, such as the cross, from its flag and other national symbols.
Further incidental evidence of the founders’ own views is the statement from a treaty with the Islamic nation of Tripoli in 1797. This treaty was negotiated under Washington, ratified by the Senate, and signed by President John Adams. The telling part is a description of religion in America:
“As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion — as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Musselmen [i.e., Muslims] …, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries” (The Search for Christian America, p. 131).
Strange stuff for a nation that some like to say was founded as a “Christian” nation! Strange stuff, indeed! But myths die hard, if ever. (Source: Biblical Discernment Ministries)
In closing, we do not need The Harbinger to tell us what is wrong and that we are ALL deserving of judgment but in Christ Jesus there is a Savior by His grace and mercy! As for harbingers, the Apostle Paul said, in 2 Timothy 3:13, But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. This has not changed! Cahn’s special interpretation is a distraction with endless analogies with the bombing of the World Trade Center and finding some message from God in it, it is ridiculous to speculate in that matter what was done was evil and evil continues to grow on this Earth. I find it hard to resist at this point saying this, Cahn. ‘cannot see the forest because of the trees,’ his Biblical connections/analogies with the harbingers and trees to me were laughable – if he were not serious! Those parts were more than a stretch and are blown away by closer examination I read by David James The Harbinger: Fact or Fiction?
Consider this instead, my observation of people who call themselves Christian today are constantly grabbing onto whatever comes along like the list of books I mentioned in my opening. So many Christians are reaching to extrabiblical resources, not relying on the sufficiency of scriptures but instead supplanting it with whatever book comes out, whatever some popular leader says and especially if someone is talking about prophecy. Do we need a harbinger? Here is one that doesn’t need a special interpretation or prophetic word,
1 Peter 4:17 For the time [is come] that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if [it] first [begin] at us, what shall the end [be] of them that obey not the gospel of God?
Judge yourselves now if you are indeed in Christ Jesus! If you are one who is carried away by every wind that blows, every fad, and host of other things people tag as being Christian and compare them to the Bible. If you are like that by definition you are an unstable Christian! Time for introspection in the mirror holding your beliefs to what the Bible says versus what you feel to be true. Since we are talking about some Old Testament verses and prophets consider Elijah in 1Kings 18:21, “And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD [be] God, follow him: but if Baal, [then] follow him. And the people answered him not a word.” Give that a New Testament Christian application, are you relying on men or God? You can draw endless analogies, prophetic ideologies (like The Harbinger) and beat yourself senseless trying to figure it all out or just rely on the unadulterated pure and Holy Word of God, trust the Bible not men or women! Learn what it means to rightly divide the Word of God but you have to do it by faith in Christ the gift of God.
Mark and avoid the snares! There are a lot of them the Bible warns us repeatedly of false prophets and teachers here in closing through the Apostle Peter as well,
2 Peter 2:1-3 “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.”
Is the The Harbinger another book fitting this category? I do not claim to know Cahn’s heart but believe him to be a false prophet and teacher when weighing what he emphatically teaches not only through his fictional-nonfiction but listening and comparing what he is saying to scriptures.
I hope this continues to help some of my readers and awakens others that because a book is popular does not mean it is good for a Christian!
John Beardsley – Truth With Snares
2Co 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
1Pe 1:22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, [see that ye] love one another with a pure heart fervently:
Links to more warnings: