THE HARBINGER: A REVIEW AND COMMENTARY BY PASTOR LARRY DEBRUYN


The following is originally published by Herescope and is republished here with permission:

By Pastor Larry DeBruyn

A Review and Commentary On The Harbinger

Jonathan Cahn, The Harbinger: The Ancient Mystery that Holds the Secret of America’s Future (Lake Mary, FL: Front Line—Charisma Media/Charisma House Book Club, 2011). 254 pages + Notes. In the Front Matter, it is stated: “What you are about to read is presented in the form of a story, but what is contained within the story is real.” (Emphasis added)

By applying words of judgment spoken and written to ancient Judah (circa 732 BC) by the prophet Isaiah (i.e., Isaiah 9:10-11), Jonathan Cahn creates a prophetic picture in The Harbinger—one the author admits to be part fiction and part fact—of God’s looming judgment over the United States of America (i.e., harbingers being signals of what is to come). As Jehovah judged His chosen nation in the ancient world for their iniquitous ways (Israel and Judah), so God has begun to pour out His wrath upon His chosen nation in the modern world (the United States). As such, The Harbinger (TH) delivers a spiritual wake-up call to the church and citizens of our nation.*

The Story—Fact and Fiction
The Journalist
In a dream (whether or not Cahn dreamt it is uncertain), a New York journalist by the name of Noriel KaplanThe Harbinger’s main character—sees the dedication of the Solomon’s Temple (circa 959 BC), in which dream George Washington (1789 AD) also appears.** (TH, 193)[1] As a sort of quantum “time traveler,” the appearance of America’s first President identifies the divine role of the United States in the modern world with Israel’s in the ancient.[2]

The Prophet
In his dream, Noriel also sees “a sheet of paper descended from the sky and landed in his [Washington’s] left hand.”[3] (TH, 193) The sheet of paper, it turns out, is the message of the prophet—the mysterious and reappearing (time traveling?) second main character in Cahn’s book. Like Jeremiah did to his scribe Baruch, the prophet instructs Noriel to transcribe the story for others to read (Jeremiah 35:5-6). (TH, 246-247) Presumably, the heavenly paper’s contents lay behind the story of The Harbinger.

 The Listener
Then to Ana Goren—a successful and skeptical New York business executive, the book’s third character—and with the prophet’s help, Noriel divulges a stunning series of mysterious correspondences between modern events and ancient texts which reveal “The Secret of America’s Future” (TH, Front Cover); namely, nine harbingerswhich portend the doom of America unless our nation, unlike ancient Israel, repents and returns to the Lord (2 Chronicles 7:14).

Israel Then and America Now
The Harbinger’s prophecy relates to and grows out of what the author calls “The Isaiah 9:10 Effect.” (TH, 131-144) In this biblical text describing the divine judgment that befell ancient Israel, Isaiah states: “The bricks have fallen down” (Isaiah 9:10a, NASB). With the prophet’s description of destruction, Cahn sees a mysterious connection to Ground Zero’s rubble after the terrorists destroyed the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. From “The Isaiah 9:10 Effect” stem nine prophetic warnings or harbingers for America. Also key to the narrative Cahn creates is ancient Israel’s response to God’s judgment. Arrogantly and defiantly, the nation asserts: “But we will rebuild with smooth stones; / The sycamores have been cut down, / But we will replace them with cedars” (Isaiah 9:10b, NASB). In other words, the response of Israel was not one of contrition before and repentance toward the Lord as it should have been, but rather that they would triumph over God’s judgment and rebuild their city better than it was before. Young comments on ancient Israel’s words: “Here is haughtiness indeed! ‘Let the judgment come, we can more than make good the losses that we may sustain.’”[4]

The Wrong Response
In this defiance, Cahn sees resemblance to America’s attitude after “9/11” when three political leaders, in addition to others, both local and national, ignored the tragedy’s prophetic warning; that America had better set its collective moral, spiritual, economic and political house in order lest worse calamities befall her. Like Israel in the face of God’s judgment, these leaders confidently asserted before a national audience, “We will rebuild!” The “three witnesses” who uttered the words that uncannily identified America’s arrogance with that of the ancient Hebrew people were PresidentGeorge Bush, then Senate Majority leader Tom Daschle(who quoted Isaiah’s text) and President Barack Obama(Deuteronomy 19:15). On different occasions all of them said: “We will rebuild.” (TH, 62, 117, 182-189)

Other Prophetic Omens
Upon correspondences between the United States’ calling and role in the modern world paralleling that of Israel in the ancient (See Exodus 19:5-6.), between the terrorist attack of “9/11” paralleling the Assyrian threat to ancient Israel’s national security, between America’s defiant attitude toward God paralleling that of ancient Israel’s arrogance toward Yahweh (“We will rebuild!”), and between many other symbolic correspondences, The Harbinger portrays nine prophetic omens that, if there is no humble repentance and national turning to God on America’s part, portend further judgment upon this nation, judgment that will reduce the American way of life to rubble and ruin. In other words, if there is no national repentance, more bricks will fall.

To summarize: flowing out of a first seal that comes unsolicited to Noriel in the mail (divine providence?), nine harbingers portend God’s judgment on America. They are: “The Breach” (America’s security is threatened); “The Terrorist” (the land is traumatized by outside forces); “The Fallen Bricks” (destruction caused by terrorists); “The Tower” (America defiantly responds by rebuilding on Ground Zero); “The Gazit Stone” (symbolically indicating her renewed sense of security, America rebuilds with a sturdier stone quarried from upper state New York); “The Sycamore” (the terrorist attack destroys a Sycamore tree at Ground Zero), “The Erez Tree” (the warning of the uprooted Sycamore tree is ignored as a more “permanent” Cedar tree is planted in its place), “The Utterance” (as a national rallying call, the nation confidently asserts, “We will rebuild!”), and “The Prophecy” (America is oblivious that “we-will-rebuild” assertion is, as it was to ancient Israel, a defiant and therefore self-incriminating harbinger of future judgment). Along with the harbingers, the contents of two further seals“The Mystery of the Shemitah” (effectively describing the ominous collapse of the American and world’s economy) and “The Last Seal” (the prophet’s order to Noriel to transcribe and make public the revelations he received), form “the story.”

Commendation
As with the publication of Hal Lindsey’s best-selling book The Late Great Planet Earth in 1970, Cahn’s best-selling book may arouse the curiosity of a sleeping church and general American public in the prophetic word.[5] But after Noriel asked him if the ancient Israelites listened to the prophets God sent to them, the prophet answered: “Some would; most would not. They preferred to hear pleasant messages. But the messages of the prophets weren’t meant to make them feel good.” (TH, 10) Like God’s ancient people, American Christians have grown numb to the prophetic word for reason of listening to false prophets/preachers who in their godless attempt to heal the “brokenness” of God’s people superficially preach to them, “Peace, peace; when there is no peace” (Jeremiah 6:16b, KJV).

If news reports give any indication, it is no secret that in midst of spiritual apostasy, America and the world are heading for economic bankruptcy, social anarchy and political tyranny at breakneck speed. To this point, I found Cahn’s description of the financial indicators of the coming economic collapse to be informative(Chapter 17—“The Mystery of the Shemitah”), but ironicin view that many Charismatics and evangelicals continue to buy into the personal prosperity and peace message. Seemingly, Christians are oblivious to the coming oblivion. So like a modern prophet, Cahn’s “real” story sounds an alarm to a church that over the last several decades has, for reason of “user-friendly” and “audience driven” preaching, grown anesthetized to the prophetic word.[6] We are living, I believe, in the last of the last days before Jesus comes again (See Jacob Prasch’s, The Daniel Project.).[7] The prophetic vectors in Scripture inform us the end is nearer (Note: I did not say, “near.”).

In many ways, Jonathan Cahn has written a courageous book, though objection to it may be muted by the claim that its contents though “real,” are “presented in the form of a story.”(TH, v) As a general rule stories, though entertaining and intriguing (and The Harbinger is that), do not offend. Yet critical to Cahn’s narrative is the linking of “9/11” to the divine judgment portrayed in Isaiah 9:10 (The bricks are fallen . . .). I remember when in the immediate aftermath of the terrorist attack on America by Muslim extremists, televangelist Jerry Falwell stated (then agreed to by Pat Robertson) that the destruction of the World Trade Center represented God’s judgment on America. The blow-back on Falwell’s perceived insensitivity to the victims, fallen heroes and their surviving loved ones affected by the tragedy was so intense and immediate that both televangelists qualifiedly retracted their statements.[8] Yet a decade later, in a story format, The Harbinger makes the same association. In a turnabout, Pat Robertson calls the book, “Extraordinary.” (TH, Front Cover)

Concern

Modern America = Ancient Israel?
Indicating sympathy with the premise of Dominion theology, Cahn believes that the United States occupies the place in the modern world like that which Israel occupied in the ancient world, of being God’s chosen or most favored nation. This identification is foundational to Cahn’s story. One passage is telling. After Noriel asks the prophet, “But what does America have to do with ancient Israel?” the prophet tells the reporter:

“Israel was unique among nations in that it was conceived and dedicated at its foundation for the purposes of God.” . . . “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 in covenant with God.” (TH, 19)

This mutual identification is confirmed by George Washington’s appearance in the dream of Solomon’s dedication of the Jewish Temple. (TH, 193) For applying “The Isaiah 9:10 Effect” to America, this identification is crucial. But for a number of reasons, biblical and theological, I believe such an identification to be mistaken.

First, God chose Israel. To that ancient people the Lord said: “For you are a holy people to the Lord your God; and the Lord has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth” (Deuteronomy 14:2; See Deuteronomy 7:6; 26:18). Though after His choice of them Israel later entered into covenant with Yahweh, the nation did not originally choose the Lord (Compare Exodus 19:1-6 and Exodus 24:3.) Metaphorically, that nation is His only wife(Isaiah 54:6). Opposed to all peoples claiming a national identity, ancient or modern, the Lord knows only Israel as, “My people” (2 Chronicles 7:14, NASB).[9] God never uttered such “choice” words (like those spoken by the Lord to Israel in Exodus and Deuteronomy) to America. America may have chosen a generic deity, but Yahweh(That’s His covenantal name.) chose Israel. Ancient Israel was a theocracy (God rules). At its founding, America was a representative democracy (the people rule).

Second, though for the most part since Jesus’ time  Jews have not accepted Him as their Messiah, and have therefore been temporarily cut off from the Olive Tree of divine blessing, they remain God’s chosen people until “the fulness of the Gentiles has come in” (Romans 11:1-2, *25). Then, when that time comes, they who are“the natural branches” will be re-grafted onto the Olive Tree to again become a conduit for the Lord’s spiritual, social, economic and political blessing upon the world (Romans 11:21, 24). Even though down through their history Israel has broken covenant with the Lord, the Lord has not irretrievably broken covenant with Israel (1 Samuel 12:22; Jeremiah 31:35-37).

Though in his story Cahn does not embrace replacement theology per se (that in the divine outworking of history, the church has wholly replaced Israel), he believes that as far as the modern world goes, America has replaced Israel. To this reviewer, and acknowledging that the Lord is sovereign over all nations (Psalm 2:1-12), such a replacement seems a bit odd in that Cahn himself is a Messianic Jewish believer. (TH, 262)

Peter told the earliest Christians: “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light” (1 Peter 2:9; Compare Exodus 19:5-6; Deuteronomy 7:6.). In the chronology of history, it’s obvious the apostle identified the early Christian church, not America, as the Lord’s “holy nation.” As“wild branches” now grafted onto the Olive Tree of God’s blessing upon the world (Romans 11:17, 24), the true and un-apostate church occupies the place in the modern world that national Israel once possessed in the ancient (Philippians 3:3). Cahn’s equation of America’s role in the modern world to equate to Israel’s in the ancient is misleading.

Thinking that identifies America as the new Israel resembles (Note: I do not say “is.”) the Anglo-Israelite cult which theorizes because the original American settlers were the Anglo-Saxon or British descendents of the “lost” tribes of Israel, they are the “inheritors of the covenants and blessings of God.”[10] The Harbinger, as Dominion theology in general, hitchhikes on a variation of this theory.

Current Events as a Prophetic Template
A current events template should not be forced upon biblical prophecy. In The Late Great Planet Earth, Hal Lindsey went out on a limb and predicted Jesus would come within a generation (30-40 years) of the modern Israel’s national founding in 1948.[11] Now after more than sixty years have elapsed, that limb’s been cut off. Tim LaHaye has revised the time of His return to be sometime during the first half of the 21st Century (circa 2031-2050).[12] Of late, Harold Camping, to his and others’ embarrassment, tried it. He announced first that that the rapture would happen on May 21, 2011, and then later, with the passing of that date, revised his prediction to October 21, 2011.[13] The “times” we live in do not determine the timing of the Lord’s coming (Matthew 24:22). As Jesus tells us, this whole age is pregnant with signs of His return (i.e., “But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs,”Matthew 24:8).

I am fearful that despite Cahn’s correct assessment of our national problems, America might, for the time being, survive the harbingers. This survival may result in more scorn and disrepute being heaped upon the study of biblical prophecy, and as such, provide ammunition for “the last days scoffers” who mockingly ask, “Where is the promise of his coming?” (2 Peter 3:3-4a).

Cahn’s “Pesher” Interpretation [14]
Especially popular amongst the Essenes—that separatist Qumran sect which inhabited the desolate area near the Dead Sea at the time of Jesus—the pesher method of scriptural interpretation was one in which “everything from the past was transformed and given a contemporary value and meaning,” especially texts taken from the prophetic books.[15] Despite his frequent references to biblical commentaries, Cahn’s method of interpretation, like that of an ancient rabbi, is pesher. He takes a forth-telling prophetic text intended for ancient Israel and employs it as a for-telling prophecy to unveil the mystery surrounding America’s demise.

A word about pesher interpretation as it relates to Cahn’s story: In the following quotation, one taken from a dictionary of interpretation, bold brackets with comments are inserted to connect the dots between this hermeneutical method and The Harbinger.

Formally, pesher consists of the explicit citation of an extract from scripture [Isaiah 9:10] which is then given an interpretation [the story of The Harbinger] . . . . The content of pesher [the three seals and nine harbingers] is first a scriptural passage that was thought to be prophetic or visionary [Isaiah 9:10] . . . Secondly, the interpretation describes, albeit in a veiled manner [as the book’s subtitle reads, “The Ancient Mystery that Holds the Secret of America’s Future”], something relevant to the present experience [modern America] of those for whom it was intended [ancient Israel]. Past experiences, whether real or imagined [Washington is dreamt to have appeared at the dedication of the Solomon’s Temple], are depicted to give the community an identity [the founding of our nation] . . . Future hopes [2 Chronicles 7:14 employed as a prayer to inspire national repentance and restored blessing] are expressed to give the community a purpose . . . This exegetical method . . . when used to convey understandings based on inspired insight [the words of the prophet as they reveal the harbingers contained on the paper that, in Noriel’s dream, descended into Washington’s hand]. . . allows an audience [the book’s readers] to perceive the aptness of an interpretation. [16]

What can be said of this method of interpretation? Though in their writings the apostles used hundreds of quotations and made hundreds of allusions to the Old Testament, there’s no evidence to suggest they employed a pesher method of exegesis to interpret the meaning of these texts (i.e., exegesis means to lead the meaning out of [ex equals “from”] the text rather than to read meaning into the text, which is eisegesis [eismeans “into”]).[17]

In this regard, Kaiser notes that it’s “doubtful . . . that Jesus and the apostles used . . . a pesher . . . [value] for the Old Testament text in order to establish their claim that the Old Testament doctrine and Messiah had been fulfilled in Christ and the church.”[18] Later he added, “Jesus gives us no examples of . . . pesher exegesis.”[19]

I would agree that Isaiah 9:10 and its context may contain appropriate applications for modern life at both the personal and national levels. National or ecclesiastical pride and confidence can be especially hubristic, and as wisdom cautions: “Pride goes before destruction, / And a haughty spirit before stumbling”(Proverbs 16:18). But I do not see that in some mysterious way, nine harbingers of divine judgment upon America lay embedded in Isaiah 9:10 and its environs.

Perhaps this explains why Cahn’s story needs the prophet to unravel, perhaps even embellish, the matrix of correspondences between ancient Israel and modern America. The problem with pesher interpretation is that it leaves the impression that like a deep sea diver, it probes the mysterious depths of the prophetic word even while everybody else’s snorkeling in it. Thus, can arise a cadre of esoteric and gnostic “knowers.” Personally, to allude to Winston Churchill’s assessment of Russia, I do not see that the prophetic word “is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.”

National Trouble:
Sovereign Judgment
Readers can note the Lord’s indictment of Israel in the context of Isaiah’s “9:10” prophecy. The Lord’s anger is aroused against the nation for its pride and arrogance (Isaiah 9:8-12), against the political and spiritual leaders for their deceptiveness (Isaiah 9:13-17), against the citizenry for their insatiable greed (Isaiah 9:18-21), andagainst the legislators for exploiting the less fortunate in society (Isaiah 10:1-4). Does this look familiar? Each section closes with a refrain stating God’s unabated wrath: “In spite of all this [the Lord’s] anger does not turn away, And His hand is still stretched out” (Isaiah 9:12; NASB; 5:25; 9:17, 19, 21; 10:4; Compare Daniel 9:16.).

At the Exodus, the Lord told Israel: “I will redeem you with a stretched out arm, and with great judgments[against Pharaoh and Egypt]” (Exodus 6:6). Now, for their apostasy hundreds of years later, in a total turnabout, Yahweh’s outstretched arm of deliverance becomes His arm of destruction. The sovereign hand which delivers can also destroy. As one commentator puts it, “The same determined energy that saved Israel at the outset of its life is now determined to punish.”[20]

Self-inflicted Judgment
Though Isaiah states that God was directly judging Israel by raising up the dreaded Assyrians and Philistines to“devour Israel with open mouth” (Isaiah 9:12), many of that nation’s problems were of her own making. Israel’s national wounds were also self-inflicted.

This can be observed in the recurrence of the word“woe” in Isaiah. To Jerusalem and Judah, the prophet says, Woe unto their soul! for they have rewarded evil unto themselves” (Emphasis added, Isaiah 3:9b). Again, in warning Judah not to make an entangling alliance with Egypt, the prophet announces: Woe to the rebellious children, saith the Lord, that take counsel, but not of me; and that cover with a covering, but not of my spirit, that they may add sin to sin” (Emphasis added, Isaiah 30:1). And as Judah later lamented her demise, Woe to us, for we have sinned!”(Lamentations 5:16). Of these “woes,” one commentator observes that,

. . . the term “woe” (“ah”) introduces a warning that those who act foolishly will come to a sorry end. It is characteristic of woe sayings that the bad consequences come intrinsically with the foolishness, that is, without any intervening, punishing agent. [21]

God’s judgment upon sin is sin. The reaping resides in the sowing for as the Bible says, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap” (Galatians 6:7; Compare Hosea 10:12-15.). In the outworking of life, a culture or society gets worse because sinners make it worse. God has not mismanaged our economy. In our overspending and materialistic indulgence, we have. But sooner or later the point in time arrives, because of people’s iniquitous ways, that the divine verdict is spoken, “God also gave them up . . . God gave them up . . . God gave them over . . .” (Romans 1:24, 26, 28). To this point, and explaining much of the reason behind the trouble America is in, Proverbs explains that, “Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people(Emphasis added, Proverbs 14:34).

While I agree with most of Cahn’s assessments regarding the trouble America is in (the what), I do not see that every problem America faces results from the explicit judgment of God (the why).[22] Like sowing and reaping, most of America’s troubles result from God’s implicit judgment. Reaping is embedded in sowing. Yet, despite all the trouble the church and America is in, God still offers the promise that if the people repent and reform their way of life together according to His righteousness, He will, like Nineveh at the preaching of Jonah (Cahn points this out), bring about a spirit of moral, social, economical and political renewal in this nation (Jonah 3:10).[23]

Missing Harbinger?
Though just a few verses away from “The Isaiah 9:10 Effect,” conspicuously absent from The Harbinger is any emphasis upon “the prophet who teaches falsehood”(Isaiah 9:15). Yet, this too was an ingredient which explains why divine judgment loomed over Israel. The influence of these prophets was pervasive, and at the time the bricks fell their message had saturated the nation, even to the extent of affecting the spiritual well-being of young men, widows and orphans (Isaiah 9:17). On this point, the parallel between ancient Israel and modern America can be noted. Equal to the financial bankruptcy our American economy faces (false profits), is the spiritual bankruptcy this nation faces for reason of the proliferation of false teachings (false prophets). Even though Jesus (Matthew 24:11, 24), Paul (Acts 20:29-31), Peter (2 Peter 2:1-22), John (1 John 2:18-19), and other New Testament writers (Jude 4) warned that false prophets would proliferate in the last days, Cahn gives scant, if any attention, to this “harbinger” of divine judgment.

Though the author constructs his story around the prophet, he has nothing to say about false prophets,even though his book may have been endorsed by one.(TH, Front Matters) Jeremiah and other prophets noted that a great reason for Israel’s destruction was that the nation, while it rejected the true messengers the Lord sent them, chose instead to listen to the messengers He did not send, prophets who saw “false” visions and dreams, prophesied “lies,” and peddled the “deceit” of their hearts to God’s people (Isaiah 9:15; Jeremiah 14:14; 23:16, 30-32; Ezekiel 12:21-13:23).

Conclusion
In closing, we should know that we can most easily be deceived in matters that relate to biblical prophecy. When the disciples asked Jesus when the Temple would be destroyed, thus ending Israel’s life as a nation, and when He would come again, thus bringing the present way of life to an end, the Lord told them, “Take heed that no man deceive you” (Matthew 24:3-4). Whenever we enter into the study of the prophetic word care needs to be exercised lest we don’t get it right. As this review and commentary indicates, while I do believe there is much in Jonathan Cahn’s assessment that harbingers, like a sword of Damocles, are hanging over America’s head, I do not believe, for biblical and theological reasons stated, that they (the harbingers) are in anyway imbedded in Isaiah’s forth-telling prophecy of Isaiah 9:10, or in its context.

Furthermore, there can be no separation of America from the other nations which the Psalmist states have“set themselves . . . against the Lord and against his anointed” saying, “Let us break their [Yahweh and the Messiah’s] bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us” (Psalm 2:2-3). This prophetic picture presents the nations to be perpetually plotting against any divine takeover of the world by the true Messiah. In a final act of desperation, the nations will choose their leader, and He will not be King Jesus (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4). And in this Psalm, America, like every other nation, ancient or modern, stands indicted. All the nations of the world are united about one political agenda: they will have neither the Lord nor His Anointed to rule them. And the United States stands implicated in this rebellion. This is what the Psalm pictures.

To this point, Keith L. Brooks (1897-1954), whose Bible study books still remain a blessing to thousands of believers, observed that,

The United States, let it be remembered, is a composite of all the nations of the Roman Empire, and all others beside. The evil blood, the wickedness, the false religion and philosophy, and all the principles contrary to truth and righteousness developed among other peoples have been brought into America to mingle with civilization. As the Old World is fast ripening for judgment, so is the New World. [24]

ENDNOTES
[1] All page references to The Harbinger are noted in parentheses (TH,     ) throughout this review.
[2] “Time travel is the concept of moving between different points in time in a manner analogous to moving between different points in space. Time travel could hypothetically involve moving backward in time to a moment earlier than the starting point, or forward to the future of that point . . .” See “Time Travel,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_travel). [Ed. Note: See "Quantum Teleporting Through Time," Herescope, 5/22/12,http://herescope.blogspot.com/2012/05/quantum-teleporting-through-time.html]
[3] Of course, the descending paper raises the question of whether God is still giving prophetic revelations today, messages which carry the same weight and authority of Holy Scripture. Paul does state that, “But whether there are prophecies, they will fail” (1 Corinthians 13:8, NKJV). The question is not whether revelations will fail, but only when. Did revelations stop when the Scriptures were completed or the early church matured (that is, quit speaking like a baby), or will revelations continue to be given to Christians until Jesus comes? To be fair, it depends on how “the perfect” (a neuter noun, 1 Corinthians 13:10) is interpreted. Does “the perfect” refer to the Second Coming, or to the maturation of the church or believers? I would note that Paul, though he could have, does not employ the technical word to designate Christ’s coming, the word Parousia. However, the apostle does suggest that the Corinthians put away their “ba-ba” or “da-da” baby talk (1 Corinthians 13:11).
As for me, I choose to deal with the issue of additional revelations (i.e., call them descending sheets of paper) as follows:

  • If the new revelations repeat the Scriptures, they are unnecessary.
  • If new revelations contradict the Scriptures, they are heresy.
  • If new revelations add to Scripture, then they accent the Scriptures’ inadequacy and insufficiency, and to this point Proverbs warns: “Add thou not unto his [God’s] words, lest he [God] reprove thee, and thou be found a liar” (Proverbs 30:6, KJV; Compare Deuteronomy 4:2; 12:32; Revelation 22:18.).

[4] Edward J. Young, The Book of Isaiah, Volume I (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1965): 349.
[5] Hal Lindsey with C. C. Carlson, The Late Great Planet Earth (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1970).
[6] For example, when writing about a person’s meaning, significance, and mission in life, Rick Warren dismisses the importance of Bible prophecy. He states: “When the disciples wanted to talk about prophecy, Jesus quickly switched the conversation to evangelism. He wanted them to concentrate on their mission in the world.” See Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 2002): 285. This he does despite the fact that two-thirds of the Bible is prophecy!
[7] I highly recommend that readers watch Jacob Prasch’s The Daniel Project (Studio Scotland Ltd., 2010). Available at: www.thedanielprojectmovie.com. Taken from the biblical prophets, this DVD contains an excellent survey of the worldwide trends of the last days featuring Jacob answering questions posed by a skeptical interviewer.
[8] “Robertson-Falwell Terrorism,” TruthOrFiction.com (http://www.truthorfiction.com/rumors/f/falwell-robertson-wtc.htm).
[9] So often this conditional promise is employed by Christian leaders in an attempt to invoke national repentance in America so that blessing might be restored. But these words were spoken to Israel, not to America. Israel, not the United States, is“My people” (2 Chronicles 7:14). That is where the interpretation lies. The application in this text is the church, not America. The church needs to humble itself and pray. Then the Lord may be inclined to heal the church and perhaps through the church, our nation. But like other Dominionists, Cahn applies this verse to America. (TH, 222)
[10] Walter Martin, The Kingdom of the Cults, Ravi Zacharias, General Editor (Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House Publishers, 2003): 513. Dager notes the presence of the “Anglo-Israel-Identity Movement” among charismatic Christians. He notes that, “‘Israel-America’ (comprised of Anglo and related descendents in the United States) has a special anointing to lead the nations in establishing God’s rule throughout the world.” See Albert James Dager, Vengeance Is Ours: The Church In Dominion (Redmond, WA: Sword Publishers, 1990): 66.
[11] Lindsey, Late Great Planet, 53-54.
[12] Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins, Are We Living in the End Times? (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 1999): 60.
[13] Alexandra Ludka, “Harold Camping Admits Rapture Prediction ‘A Mistake’,” March 9, 2012, abc NEWS (http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2012/03/harold-camping-admits-rapture-prediction-a-mistake/). Camping is quoted: “We humbly acknowledge we were wrong about the timing. We tremble before God as we humbly ask Him for forgiveness for making that sinful statement.”
[14] A sub-genre of pre-rabbinic midrash (a commentary on Scripture), the rabbis would preface their interpretation of an Old Testament passage with a statement containing the word pesher. Perhaps it would be helpful to liken the occurrence of the word pesher to the Psalmist’s use of the word Selah.
[15] See chapter by Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., “A Short History of Interpretation,” in An Introduction to Biblical Hermeneutics: The Search for Meaning, by Walter C. Kaiser and Moisés Silva (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1994): 215.
[16] George J. Brooke, “Pesher,” A Dictionary of Biblical Interpretation, Edited by R.J. Coggins and J.L. Houlden (Philadelphia, PA: Trinity Press International, 1990): 532.
[17] In this regard, I’m reminded of the following ditty that describes eisegesis: “Wonderful things in the Bible I see, things that are put there by you and by me.” All students of Scripture, from pastor-teachers to Bible study leaders, need to be careful of reading our thoughts into the meaning of Scripture. The question is not what we might think about what the text might say, but rather what does the language of it state?
[18] Kaiser, Biblical Hermeneutics, 210.
[19] Ibid: 217.
[20] Walter Brueggemann, Isaiah 1-39 (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 1998): 88. Though I agree with Brueggmann’s comments, I am not in agreement with his theology.
[21] Ibid: 90.
[22] One example of God’s explicit judgment will be the coming Day of the Lord (1 Thessalonians 5:2-3).
[23] One must remember that in any Israel-Assyria and America-Terrorist analogy—that God might spare America that if like Nineveh she repents and turns to Him (TH, 219-220)—that the Lord’s prophet went and preached to the ancient terrorists and they repented! Thus, God spared the terrorist Assyrians from destruction for reason of their repentance and for the time being, spared Israel. Do we believe the Gospel possesses the kind of power to convert Muslim extremists and thereby spare America from their terrorism? That is the analogy.
[24] Keith L. Brooks, Prophetic Questions Answered (Wheaton, IL: Van Kampen Press, Inc., 1951): 41.

*Ed. Note: In the previous post, “Quantum Mysticism Goes to Market,” there is a subsection concerning Cahn and his book The Harbinger, titled “CAHN’S CODES AND CONNECTIONS.” Cahn’s book appears to fall within the recent genre of books and personnel describing secret hidden codes in the Bible that portend endtime events. See:http://herescope.blogspot.com/2012/06/quantum-mysticism-goes-to-market.html

**Ed. Note: It seems very odd to place George Washington in Solomon’s Temple, since this association is a core tenet of American Freemasonry. See, for example,http://district26.hiram.net/washington’s_apron.html

This article republished with permission of Pastor Larry DeBruyn. A few minor stylistic editing changes were made for blog posting, including links and the addition of several editor’s comments at the end. The original is posted here:http://guardinghisflock.com/2012/06/09/the-harbinger/A Review and Commentary