FULFILLMENT OF BIBLE PROPHECY IN TODAY'S NEWS
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COMMENT: It is clear that Muslim terrorsts attacked America's symbols of wealth, military, and laws in the name of Allah on September 11, 2001 (9/11). I believe God used this day as America's warning, a warning delivered by modern-day Assyrians.
INTRODUCTION. A book contains an important message about America's future. This book, The Harbinger — The Ancient Mystery That Holds the Secret of America's Future, is written by Jonathan Cahn, a Messianic Jewish rabbi. He leads Hope of the World ministries and the Jerusalem Center/ Beth Israel, a congregation of both Jews and Gentiles. His ministry is based in Wayne, New Jersey, which is less than fifteen miles from mid-Manhattan.
I will try to summarize (very poorly, I fear) The Harbinger. This book is 261 pages in length. Since this summary is only a few pages in length, my notes are necessarily incomplete. Although the rabbi chose to write this book in the form of a novel (which I regret, as I am not a fan of novels), he demonstrates deep understanding of Scriptures. He presents an important insight into America's future, as told by God to His prophet Isaiah many centuries ago.
MY APOLOGY TO RABBI CAHN. In the following lesson, I have taken the rabbi's basic ideas and added other comments of mine. I have not clearly distinguished whether the rabbi or I make a statement. I apologize to him. If you want the “pure” version of Rabbi Cahn's teaching, purchase his book. Also, I have omitted a few parts of the book due to space limitations. Such limitations necessitate that I omit discussion of important parts of Rabbi Cahn's book, including:
The mystery of the shemitah;
Financial collapse related to this prophecy;
The importance of the number seven in this prophecy;
The mystery ground (George Washington's inauguration at this site);
And so forth.
Photo gallery of some of the topics discussed in this lesson may be viewed at the following sites (use keyboard back arrow to return to this page):
Airplane crashing into one of Twin Towers YouTube clip — removal of America's hedge of protection
Collapsing Twin Tower YouTube clip — "the bricks have fallen down"
Fallen buildings at Ground Zero AND Ground Zero
Terrorists' attack on the Pentagon
"We the people," U.S. Constitution
Bronze replica of stump, roots of Ground Zero sycamore "the sycamores are cut down"
Freedom Stone "we will rebuild with hewn stones"
Tree of Hope "we will replace [the fallen sycamores] with cedars"
Cross in Twin Tower rubble a twenty-foot cross of steel beams in perfect proportions for a Christian cross rose up from the Ground Zero rubble, prompting immediate lawsuits from atheists to deny it from being shown in public.
GOD SEES PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE TIME. Recall Scriptures telling of an eternal God's ability to see the future from ancient times (even from the foundation of
"Remember this... I am God, and there is no other.... I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please." (Isaiah 46:8-10)
[Says God the LORD] "Behold the former things have come to pass, and the new things I declare; before they spring forth I tell you of them." (Isaiah 42:9)
[The words of the Preacher, Son of David] "That which has been is what will be, that which is done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun." (Ecclesiastes 1:9)
Paul,... separated to the gospel of God, which He promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures,.... (Romans 1:1-2)
THE TEXT. Rabbi Cahn bases his book on a prophecy (Isaiah 9:10) originally directed toward Israel, but which seems to have dual application (as typifies prophecy) to present-day America. I will quote the entire passage (9:8-9:14) for context and underline the principal verse (9:10): The Lord sent a word against Jacob, and it has fallen on Israel. All the people will know— Ephraim and the inhabitant of Samaria— who say in pride and arrogance of heart: "The bricks have fallen down, but we will rebuild with hewn stones; the sycamores are cut down, but we will replace [them] with cedars." Therefore the LORD shall set up the adversaries of Rezin against him, and spur his enemies on, the Syrians before and the Philistines behind; and they shall devour Israel with an open mouth. For all this His anger is not turned away, but His hand [is] stretched out still. For the people do not turn to Him who strikes them, nor do they seek the LORD of hosts. Therefore the LORD will cut off head and tail from Israel, palm branch and bulrush in one day.
DUALITY IN PROPHECY. The concept of duality in prophecy can explain prophecies. (WARNING: Such interpretation may also lure us into a trap of erroneous understanding.) Many prophecies were fulfilled in ancient times, as they applied to Israel. It appears that some prophecies apply again in the present time. Because God often repeats the past, we study prophecy to try to better understand Him.
In this sense, the Isaiah prophecy certainly applied to Israel, but it seems to apply today to America. In many ways, ancient Israel and modern America share certain blessings and judgments from God. Even Muslims understand the connection between Israel (“Little Satan”) and America (“Great Satan”).
Why would a collection of little frontier British colonies in the New World in the eighteenth century rise to the powerful, rich nation of the United States in the twenty-first century, if it were not for the blessings of God? Being blessed, we have even greater responsibilities.
WHAT IS A HARBINGER? A harbinger is a person who, or a thing which, announces or signals the approach of another person or thing; a forerunner of something. For example, robins are commonly called “harbingers of spring,” meaning that a sighting of robins signals that spring is close at hand.
Rabbi Cahn sees the events of September 11, 2001 (9/11) as the harbinger of America's future. I have partially known and taught this connection for years, but Rabbi Cahn's study of Scriptures presents the case better than I have been able to do.
“SURELY GOD WOULD NOT PUNISH SUCH A 'GODLY' NATION AS AMERICA.” Many Americans— pastors and congregants alike— live in a delusional, make-believe world. They seem to believe America is a “Godly” nation (first delusion) and will always be blessed by God (second delusion). America certainly is not “Godly,” but is ruled by Satan. Americans' sins surely must create a stench in God's nostrils. This attitude (God will not punish “Godly” America) is a defense mechanism against reality. Psychiatrists call this reaction “normalcy bias,” a flight from reality by recalling past safety and refusing to acknowledge future danger.
While Americans may seek refuge from reality in a make-believe world by basking in God's presumptive, continuing blessings, we fail to remember that Israel's blessings also carried great responsibilities and judgments. Even though many Americans are Christians, I would not classify America as a Christian nation. I do not need to recount America's many sins against God. If you do not know them, cancel your social networking accounts and start reading your Bible.
God repeatedly and harshly punished His people Israel because of their rebellion and sin against Him. Why should America be spared God's severe punishment? In speaking of the last days, Jesus explained an important principle (Revelation 3:19): [Jesus said] “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.” Our nation and her citizens may be loved by God, but we will be rebuked and chastened.
GOD'S PATTERN OF JUDGMENT. Consider God's pattern of judgment:
First, there is warning.
Then, there is a period of grace. During this time, neither additional warning nor judgment occurs. Rather, God waits to see if persons will heed His warning.
Finally, if people fail to repent during the quiet time of grace, judgment will follow.
September 11, 2001 (9/11) surely was God's warning to America. On this day, Islamic terrorists:
Destroyed the Twin Towers in New York City;
Heavily damaged the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.; and
Were headed toward the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., until passengers wrested control of the plane from its Muslim “pilot” and crashed the plane into a field in Pennsylvania.
Notice the symbolism in the 9/11 attacks:
The Twin Towers were at the heart of American finance. God's likely message was: America's fabulous wealth cannot save her.
The Pentagon is the center of America's military. God's likely message was: America's military might cannot save her.
The Capitol building, seat of America's laws, was saved because of the sacrifice of ordinary citizens, who took extraordinarily heroic steps to prevent destruction of the symbol of our nation. God's likely message was: Only the people— not wealth or military prowess— can save America.
I believe God was enacting 2 Chronicles 7:14 for Americans: [The LORD said] “... if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
Christians and Jews are “God's people called by His name.” It is up to us to save America. The U.S. Constitution importantly begins, “We the people....” Only “We the people” can save America, and we are failing miserably. Only “God's people called by His name” can save America, and we are failing miserably.
Following are the nine harbingers Rabbi Cahn has identified for us from the prophecy in the ninth chapter of Isaiah, with some of my additional comments.
HARBINGER 1: THE BREACH. Pertinent text (Isaiah 9:8-9): The Lord sent a word against Jacob, and it has fallen on Israel. All the people will know— Ephraim and the inhabitant of Samaria— who say in pride and arrogance of heart:
A “breach” is a break in something, e.g., a leaking dam has a breach. God had placed His hedge of protection around the United States. The last time America was attacked on our soil was in the War of 1812. (Pearl Harbor? Hawaii was not a state in 1941.)
When God removed His protection (that is, when He allowed a breach in that protection), He allowed America's enemies (the spiritual descendants of the ancient Assyrians) to attack the symbols of America's pride, strength, and excellence, just as He allowed Israel's enemies (the Assyrians) to attack her many centuries earlier.
Ground Zero, the site of the Twin Towers, is symbolically hallowed for Americans. On this site on April 30, 1789, the first president of the newly formed United States of America, George Washington, was inagurated. Washington took his oath, by placing his hand on a Holy Bible. His speech included the following: "... It would be peculiarly improper to omit in this first official act my fervent supplications to that Almighty Being who rules over the universe, who presides in the councils of nations, and whose providential aids can supply every human defect, that His benediction may consecrate to the liberties and happiness of the people of the United States a Government instituted by themselves for these essential purposes, and may enable every instrument employed in its administration to execute with success the functions allotted to his charge. In tendering this homage to the Great Author of every public and private good, I assure myself that it expresses your sentiments not less than my own, nor those of my fellow-citizens at large less than either. No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the Invisible Hand which conducts the affairs of men more than those of the United States. Every step by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency; and in the important revolution just accomplished in the system of their united government the tranquil deliberations and voluntary consent of so many distinct communities from which the event has resulted can not be compared with the means by which most governments have been established without some return of pious gratitude, along with an humble anticipation of the future blessings which the past seem to presage. These reflections, arising out of the present crisis, have forced themselves too strongly on my mind to be suppressed. You will join with me, I trust, in thinking that there are none under the influence of which the proceedings of a new and free government can more auspiciously commence. ... Having thus imparted to you my sentiments as they have been awakened by the occasion which brings us together, I shall take my present leave; but not without resorting once more to the benign Parent of the Human Race in humble supplication that, since He has been pleased to favor the American people with opportunities for deliberating in perfect tranquillity, and dispositions for deciding with unparalleled unanimity on a form of government for the security of their union and the advancement of their happiness, so His divine blessing may be equally conspicuous in the enlarged views, the temperate consultations, and the wise measures on which the success of this Government must depend." Washington and others then walked to the nearby church and prayed. (This church survived the terrorist attack on 9/11.)
HARBINGER 2: THE TERRORISTS. Pertinent text (Isaiah 9:8-9, see above).
Ancient Assyria was centered in present-day northern Iraq. The Assyrians originated terrorism. They were uncommonly, viciously cruel, having no respect for life.
The ancient Assyrians attacked Israel. Descendants of the Assyrians now comprise Middle Eastern terrorists, and these terrorists, having disregard for the lives of other people, attacked the United States on 9/11, shouting praise to their god: Allahu akbar (“Allah is the greatest”). The Arabic Allahu akbar is still written on the Iraqi flag. This Arabic exclamation is used in the call to Muslims' prayer, as a call to the defense of Muslims, an expression of approval, and a funeral litany.
HARBINGER 3: THE FALLEN BRICKS. Pertinent text (Isaiah 9:10a): “The bricks have fallen down....”
September 11, 2001 is a day seared into the consciousness of nearly every American. Most Americans watched the horror in New York City, as fuel-heavy airliners flew into one of the Twin Towers and, later, the second tower. Dense smoke billowed from upper floors of the towers. After a time, debris started falling (“the bricks have fallen down”). Finally, each weakened tower collapsed upon itself into a pile of rubble.
These mighty architectural gems— the centerpiece of the New York City skyline— were completely destroyed.
HARBINGER 4: THE TOWER. Pertinent text (Isaiah 9:10b): “... but we will rebuild....”
One politician after another— at local, state, and federal levels— defiantly in arrogant ignorance promised, something like: “The terrorists will not defeat us. We will rebuild.” They all promised to rebuild— to make the new, rebuilt edifice bigger, stronger, and more beautiful. In time, they commissioned the Freedom Tower to replace the Twin Towers.
HARBINGER 5: THE GAZIT STONE. Pertinent text (Isaiah 9:10b): “... we will rebuild with hewn stones....”
Political leaders chose grander, stronger building materials. “Hewn stones” translates the Hebrew gaziyth (pronounced: ga-ZEET). Gaziyth (English: gazit) means a stone that has been hewn (cut, dressed) from a mountain. We likely would say a quarried stone. The cornerstone of the Freedom Tower is called the Freedom Stone. It is a 20-ton block of granite quarried in upstate New York's Adirondack Mountains. Thus, smaller, less valuable “bricks” were replaced by massive granite blocks.
The Freedom Stone— the cornerstone of the new Freedom Tower at Ground Zero— was set into place on July 4, 2004. Its inscription reads: “To honor and remember those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001 and as a tribute to the enduring spirit of freedom.”
HARBINGER 6: THE SYCAMORE TREE. Pertinent text (Isaiah 9:10c): “... the sycamores are cut down....”
This portion of Isaiah's dual prophecy symbolized/ symbolizes destruction of a nation's valuable resources. When Assyrian terrorists invaded, they decimated the land, as part of their terror.
In the ancient world, the sycamore symbolized protection, divinity, eternity, and strength.
“Sycamore” translates the Hebrew shaqam. “Sycamore” is a correct translation, but this particular Middle Eastern sycamore is fig-bearing. Such a tree would not survive New York City's harsh winters.
A large American sycamore grew on the perimeter of the land upon which the Twin Towers were built. As the second tower collapsed, a large steel beam was propelled from the building. This beam struck the sycamore tree, destroying it. Modern-day terrorists, descendants of the ancient Assyrian terrorists, literally cut down America's sycamore tree. The stump and roots of that felled tree, now called "The Sycamore at Ground Zero,” are displayed as a bronze casting. Interestingly, bronze in the Bible symbolizes the metal of judgment, an irony probably unknown to governmental planners.
HARBINGER 7: THE CEDAR TREE. Pertinent text (Isaiah 9:10d): “... but we will replace [the felled sycamores] with cedars."
To replace the destroyed Ground Zero sycamore tree, an evergreen tree— a 21-foot Norway spruce, called the “Tree of Hope” — was planted in November, 2003 in exactly the same spot occupied by the felled sycamore. Although depicted as a tree of hope, in God's eyes this tree was a tree of arrogant defiance.
“Cedar” is a correct translation of the Hebrew erez. Erez can denote any evergreen, coniferous tree (including the planted Norway spruce).
The Tree of Hope may have been the most important tree in New York City. Immediately after planting, it began to die. Extreme efforts were made to maintain a healthy tree, but it died and was removed. Does the death of America's Tree of Hope foretell that America's hope will die?
HARBINGER 8: THE UTTERANCE. Pertinent text (Isaiah 9:9): All the people... who say in pride and arrogance of heart:....
Politicians lined up for months to speak words of encouragement and hope. For example, Senator John Edwards gave a speech to the Congressional Black Caucus on September 11, 2004 (the third anniversary of 9/11). Edwards based his entire speech on Isaiah 9:10. He said, in part: “Today, on this day of remembrance and mourning, we have the Lord's Word to get us through.” He, then, read Isaiah 9:10. Continuing, Edwards spoke reassuringly of our resolve to rebuild bigger, better, and stronger buildings to replace the demolished Twin Towers. He probably thought he was speaking inspiration and comfort to the nation. Not recognizing the reason for the attack, though, he was repeating the boastful vows made centuries earlier by Jewish leaders— vows which provoked God to bring judgment upon ancient Israel.
Politicians and average citizens viewed the priority of replacing the towers as defiance against the terrorists. They boldly spoke, “We will rebuild.... We will rebuild.... We will rebuild.... We will not be defeated.” Few of them understood that the towers' destruction had nothing to do about an act of war against America by terrorists. The destruction was a sign from God that America's judgment was at hand, if her citizens fail to repent.
HARBINGER 9: THE PROPHECY. Pertinent text (Isaiah 9:10 in its entirety): "The bricks have fallen down, but we will rebuild with hewn stones; the sycamores are cut down, but we will replace [them] with cedars." AND (Isaiah 9:11-14): Therefore the LORD shall set up the adversaries of Rezin against him, and spur his enemies on, the Syrians before and the Philistines behind; and they shall devour Israel with an open mouth. For all this His anger is not turned away, but His hand [is] stretched out still. For the people do not turn to Him who strikes them, nor do they seek the LORD of hosts. Therefore the LORD will cut off head and tail from Israel, palm branch and bulrush in one day.
The ninth harbinger repeats the first eight harbingers. That is, the first eight harbingers speak of “what is,” and the ninth harbinger repeats the others to speak of “what will be.” Note that destruction was prophesied for an unrepentant Israel and is likely prophsied for an unrepentant America. But, God always promises that His hand remains stretched out to His people.
This verse has two aspects. In one aspect, Isaiah told of the stubborn vow of Israel to defy God. In the second aspect, Isaiah, as God's prophet, told his nation what would befall them because of their arrogance and disobedience.
Today, we can view this passage as applying to America. God has warned America of punishment, through the 9/11 harbingers, because:
We have ignored God.
We have continued to sin in many ways.
We have become more estranged from the God who loves us so much.
We continue to elect corrupt politicians who avoid any direction of God in their lives.
We tolerate and follow weak pastors who fear telling their congregations, “Thus saith the Lord....”
And so forth.
God has warned us. He has given us a period of grace. We have not accepted His warning and changed our nation. Expect God's judgment. There is some evidence to believe that His judgment may have already started, and likely will worsen.
CONCLUSION. It appears that September 11, 2001 (9/11) was God's warning for repentance in America. On this day, He lifted America's hedge of protection. Spiritual descendants of the world's original terrorists (the Assyrians, now forming such terrorist groups as al Qaida) attacked symbols of America's strength.
The symbol of America's wealth, the Twin Towers, was destroyed. Message: America's great wealth cannot save her.
The symbol of America's military might, the Pentagon, was attacked and heavily damaged. Message: America's military cannot save her.
A fourth plane was headed to destroy the U.S. Capitol, the symbol of America's constitutional law, but ordinary citizens on that flight caused the plane to crash into a Pennsylvania field. Message: America can be saved IF “We the people” [U.S. Constitution], more correctly “God's people who are called by His name” [2 Chronicles 7:14], arise and take control of an out-of-control government and culture, and restore morality.
For a few weeks after 9/11, churches were filled with persons crying out to God for mercy. Then, the nation resumed living as it had been living before 9/11, as “in the days of Noah” — [Matthew 24:37-39].
Politicians, the media, and most citizens completely missed the importance of 9/11. Americans arrogantly, defiantly vowed to rebuild bigger, stronger, and better. Virtually no one recognized God's warning for America. No one taught that Americans should be on their knees, asking forgiveness, instead of rebuilding a Freedom Tower. Americans have learned nothing from the mistakes God's people Israel made. God's judgment against America will become increasingly evident. One grim reminder: A nation resembling America is absent in end-time prophecies.
AN INTERESTING STATISTIC. The 9/11 terrorist attacks resulted in the death of 2,977 innocent victims. America still mourns the mass murder of this many persons— and rightly so. Yet, more than this number of unborn babies are killed by abortion every day in America's abortion mills. Using a low estimate of abortion deaths in America this year (1.1-million), there will be 3,014 unborn babies killed every day (1,100,000 / 365 = 3,014). As regrettable as it was, the 9/11 deaths were “only” a one-day event. Abortion deaths continue today, tomorrow, the next day, the next day, the next day,... with no end in sight. Abortion— and, especially, Americans' acceptance of abortion— surely is one sin for which God will judge America. He has commanded us not to commit murder, to defend the weak, not to pollute our nation with the blood of innocent persons, and so forth. I have great empathy for a young woman who has an abortion. God stands ready to forgive— and forget— the abortion, if she seeks God's forgiveness, as outlined in Scriptures. However, unrepentant abortionists and proponents of (activists and politicians for) abortion surely place their eternal souls in the balance for their opposition to God's Word.
See also: The Harbinger Project.
GOD'S JUDGMENT IS COMING. BE READY! PLEASE BE READY!
ACCOUNTABILITY. The author of this lesson, RAYMOND FINNEY, is solely responsible for its content. No staff person or congregation member of the RIO Network of Churches has
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REFERENCE. This lesson may contain information gleaned from multiple sources. To conserve space in class notes, source attribution may be omitted.
The Harbinger is published by FrontLine, Charisma Media/ Charisma House Book Group, © 2011.
SCRIPTURES. Unless otherwise stated, Scriptures are taken from the NEW KING JAMES VERSION (NKJV) HOLY BIBLE, © Thomas Nelson, Inc. Usage herein conforms to the publisher's fair use policy, except that “NKJV” is added only in this note and understood to apply to each Scripture quotation.
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