Sunday, August 5, 2012


Jonathan Cahn’s Harbinger book has stirred the passion of many prophecy enthusiasts as well as generating a lot of controversy. Does Isaiah 9 speak to modern America in some mystical way? Some people, who I happen to respect, have rushed to the book’s defense whereas others find problems with its conclusions. Those who love it point out that it is fiction while others respond that its basic premise isn’t.

For me, the issue basically boils down to hermeneutics.

I think Dave James’ review of Cahn’s book is a worthy read...The Harbinger: Fact or Fiction?


I've noticed that many have taken issue with Dave's critique of Cahn's extremely popular book. Bob Unruh of WorldNetDaily wrote a whole column in support of Cahn while drawing negative attention to Dave James' book.

I want to reiterate that the problem with Harbinger is one of hermeneutics and it is a serious one. Who was Isaiah 9 intended for - Israel or America? When people can justify pointing to America as some sort of second referent then Scripture can be made to say anything. That's why Dave writes:

The Mystery of Isaiah 9:10: A Driving Force?

Not only does Cahn seem to believe that there is a connection, but he also presents Isaiah’s words as functioning as a driving force in specific events in America over the last decade, set into motion by the attacks of 9/11. According to The Prophet, because of the link between Isaiah 9:10 and Israel, once the pattern is set into motion, each step of the progression must inevitably take place.17

The cause/effect relationship is also confirmed in his The 700 Club interview on January 3, 2012:

[The mystery] even has determined the actions and the actual words of American leaders. A mystery that goes back two and a half thousand years and is a warning of judgment and a call of God—a prophetic call of God.18

This comes perilously close to being a mystical view of the prophetic Scriptures because biblical prophecies do not function this way. Any prophecy as specific as Isaiah 9:10 also has a unique, specific future referent in view which sets parameters and limits on what constitutes literal fulfillment. That what is being suggested about Isaiah 9:10 sounds more like a sort of mystical incantation than a prophecy is reinforced when the author introduces the idea of “The Isaiah 9:10 Effect” later in chapter 15.

Undoubtedly, Jonathan Cahn did not intend to give this impression. But he would not be the first person to unintentionally confuse genuinely spiritual approaches with unbiblical and dangerous mystical ones.