What do you think of Johathan Cahn's "Harbingers"?
My sister sent me this video and asked me to review it (Johnathan Cahn Warns America on the show with Jonathan Bernis). I thought it was interesting. I don’t want to simply discount what they are saying as I usually do with most of these guys who prey on peoples fear and ignorance to get rich. However, I would love to hear what you think about this guy. I know it will take some of your time but it would help me to have clarity and satisfy my curiosity. Thanks. Jonathan Cahn Warns America: Jewish Voice with Jonathan Bernis, January 14, 2013 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zLOhWR_xFz8
I will have to say, this is fairly compelling. Normally, people doing this kind of thing (Hal Lindsey and his ilk) do cartwheels to pull information wildly out of context to create a false impression that there is a pattern when, in fact, there is no pattern(the ten toes on the statue in Daniel 2 = Common Market, Saddam Hussein is Gog, etc…). Here, I will have to admit the pattern is strikingly similar and Mr. Cahn is not pulling details from wildly out of context. He is pulling details which are definitely in context and a matter of public record. He does do some “stretching” when he makes the Assyrians terrorists. Technically, they were not terrorists, but were a well-established, if cruel, civil authority. But this is the only one of the eight harbingers which seems to be really stretched.
I do not know how to respond to this. Like I said, he creates a rather compelling story. So…. Is this coincidence or is this a parallel double-fulfillment of prophecy?
If I had to guess, I would say that it is a really fascinating coincidence. Unlike with Hal Lindsey, the Left-Behind folks and others, where I can say with great confidence that what they write is all a bunch of nonsense, I do not feel I can say that with the set of harbingers Cahn is using. I still feel that it is a coincidence and that this will all blow over, but I say this with caution, not completely sure that I am right.
I guess our response, as Christians, should be the same to any prophecy or interpretation of prophecy. Events will tell us if Cahn’s dire predictions are true. When Samaria fell and when Jerusalem fell, righteous people were caught up in the events and many even lost their lives. We are in God’s hands, so I do not think that much will change for a Christian whether these harbingers turn out to be real or not. I think not, but feel I should reserve judgment and let events be the interpreter of Cahn’s warning.
Editor’s note. The original question was sent to another friend who suggested that this video by Jonathan Cahn can be completely discounted as just another one of those who pull little things here and there out of context in the Bible. I (John Oakes) am more fully explaining why I do not completely agree below.
You can see that my response is a bit more cautious than the other response you got. Let me explain why. First of all, although I believe Cahn is stretching the text, he is taking all of his “harbingers” from a single text: Isaiah 9:8-11. He is not doing what our friend points out that so many of these hucksters do, which is to take little bits and pieces from here and there to fit a pre-decided scenario. He is not pulling a Hal Lindsey, for what it is worth. Also, this may be bad hermeneutics/exegesis and it is almost certainly not true, but it is NOT equivalent to the Bible Code which is in-your-face blatant fact-gathering and irrational creation of a scenario based on literally zero evidence. This is not mere superstition and numerology. Again, I believe his interpretation is wrong, but to compare him to the Bible code is a bit of an overreaction in my opinion. I agree with Steve that making Assyrians of OT times equivalent to terrorists today is bogus, which I pointed out in my response as well, so there we are having the same visceral response to that part of the video. As horrible as they were, and although they did use terror to get their enemies to submit, the Assyrians were not terrorists and, racially, they are not virtually identical to Arabs as Cahn implies. In fact, the Jews are racially closer to the Arabs than the Assyrians/Iraqis.
To be honest, I do not agree that Cahn is guilty of “Zionist ranting.” I think this is a bit of an overstatement. He is calling people to repent and to come back to God, based on his dubious interpretation of Isaiah 9:8-11. I did not hear a lot of Zionist rhetoric in the speech. It seems he is appealing more to the premillenialist/evangelical crowd than to Jews (although sometimes separating Zionism from the evangelical agenda can be tough).
In the end, both of us agreethat it seems vastly unlikely that a prophecy concerning God using Assyria to judge Israel is also a double prophecy applying to God judging American using radical Muslim terrorists. This borders on absurd in my opinion.