Harbingers of…Misinterpretation

Recently, President Obama delivered the State of the Union address to the American public. Chances are pretty good that you didn’t see it, though, since the viewership has been in steady decline throughout the Obama presidency. This year’s speech came in with the 2nd lowest ratings since Nielsen began collecting data in 1993, but according to one very popular author, it should be a warning to all of us about divine judgment which will soon befall the United States. Jonathan Cahn is the author of the New York Times bestseller “The Harbinger,” in which Cahn, who is a messianic Jewish Rabbi, compares the US to ancient Israel and attempts to connect the attacks of 9/11 with OT prophecies concerning the fall of the nation of Israel. Cahn has risen to some measure of fame as a result of the success of his prophetic fiction, but he clearly believes that it is more than just fictional. In fact, he has traveled the country speaking to crowds about the coming judgment of God which he believes will befall the United States if we fail to respond to the signs of doom which he sees in the latest headlines.

Cahn’s rhetoric follows a fairly predictable pattern in which he sees prophetic signs in things as disparate as America’s role on the international economic stage, the Supreme Court’s ruling on gay marriage, and the rise of ISIS as a terrorist threat. He says, “Listening to the president’s State of the Union address, I was reminded of ancient Israel. The people of Israel convinced themselves that they were coming back stronger than before, and then it all collapsed, and the judgment came.” He follows this up with specific examples of the harbingers of judgment:

  • I’ve warned in ‘The Harbinger’ and as I’ve spoken across the country that if this nation doesn’t return to God, its crown as head of nations will be removed. America’s crown as the strongest economic power on earth was removed. It passed to China.”

  • The harbingers have continued to manifest and America’s apostasy from God has only accelerated. In April of this year…the Supreme Court will hear a case that will likely end marriage as we know it. The verdict will be released in June. That will mark a critical point in America’s fall from God.”

  • The judgment and destruction of Israel was carried out by the Assyrians, the fathers of terrorism. The emergence of ISIS and its conflict with America is ominous.”

  • There’s an eerie kind of unease. The stock market has been hit by strange waves of volatility and violent swings….I believe we’re watching a house of cards. It could implode at any time.”

In offering these statements, Cahn is following in the footsteps of many modern-day “prophets” who have tried to predict end-time events only to be revealed as charlatans who are without any theological credibility. These predictions bear little resemblance to true Biblical scholarship and only serve to engender fear in the hearts of those who are unable to discern the errors of Cahn’s teachings and bring scorn and reproach from skeptics of Christianity. In the next few articles, I will attempt to address his position in greater detail.

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