Book Review

The Harbinger

“The first one to plead his case seems right, until his neighbor comes and examines him.” Proverbs 18:17

Until a case is subjected to cross examination its truth can’t be assured. Without examination through the len of other scripture The “Harbinger by Jonathan Cahn stands as its own witness.

The author states his book is fiction and it is. It is difficult to mix fiction and prophecy. It is misleading when fiction becomes accepted as prophecy. Regardless of the intent of the author his work is heralded by many readers as prophetic.

The intent of the author appears to be to call America to repentance and that is admirable. Philosophies and practices in present day America do in many respects resemble conditions in 8th century Israel. Observing their consequence in ancient Israel should be a harbinger to America. However, the glove is stretched beyond reason to make fiction and prophecy fit like a hand-in- glove.

The book is punctuated with theological, exegetical, and hermeneutical flaws.

Hermeneutics is the study of understanding a statement in its original context. There is nothing in Isaiah 9:10 that suggests it is related to any time and place other than the Northen Kingdom of Israel in the 8th century B. C.

Isaiah 9 is a prophetic passage regarding that period. The first seven verses are essential to understand the rest of the chapter in context, yet they are completely overlooked. Therein the destruction of Israel is foretold, but her restoration is assured. The fact the author completely omits modern Israel from the novel implies God’s judgment on her was terminal. Current affairs dispute this.

April 4, 2012 Cahn, the author, stated he does not believe Isaiah 9:10 is about, to, or for America. He says the similarity between Isaiah 9:10 only demonstrates the pattern of God’s judgment. Yet, in many instances he does connect the two. On a number of occasions in the book readers are given the impression there is more than a parallel, there is a connection. The book makes this statement: “Hidden in ancient biblical prophecy from Isaiah the mysteries revealed in The Harbinger are so precise that they foretold recent American events down to the exact days… It sounds like the plot of a Hollywood thriller with one exception …. IT’S REAL.”

These claims are contradictory. How could Isaiah 9:10 not be “about, to or for America” and having precisely “foretold recent American events?”

A significant assumption in the book is that God has a covenant with America. God was obviously at work in the founding of America, but a covenant no. He had a covenant with one country of His choice, Israel. There is no biblical evidence God would have another covenant with any country. His present day covenant is with individual believers made possible by the sacrificial death and resurrection of Jesus.

If Isaiah 9 is the biblical pattern for judgment why isn’t the pattern found at other times in other scripture in God’s judgment of Israel? There is a simple pattern for judgment found throughout the Bible. It is: God warns, God waits, and if there is no repentant response God expressed His wrath. That pattern is a constant and applies to America as it has to other cultures in the past.

The Harbinger is a novel —- an intriguing novel. It has a message that should be a wake-up call for America, but it is not prophetic. Not all books that contain scripture are scriptural. This one isn’t.

Four Blood Moons

Pastor John Hagge in his book entitled Four Blood Moons: Something is About to Change has garnered a significant following of his “end time” thesis based on the moon.

A “Blood Moon” occurs when there is a total lunar eclipse. It bears the name “blood” because the rays of the sun passing through the earth’s atmosphere give the moon a reddish color. A lunar eclipse occurs when the earth is directly between the sun and the moon. When there are four such moons separated by six months it is called a Tetrad.

The next four lunar eclipses will occur on two significant Jewish festivals: Passover April 15, 2014 and April 4, 2015 and Feast of the Tabernacles (Skkot) October 8, 2014 and September 28, 2015. Though rare there have been eight that occurred on these feast days since 162 AD. The most recent Blood Moon Tetrad occurred in 2003 – 2004. Seven more are scheduled before 2100.

Some of NASA’s records and the calculations by Hagge do not seem to correspond.

The frequency of Tetrads vary over time. Italian astronomer Giovanni Schiaparelli has observed that there was a 300 year period when Tetrads were numerous followed by another 300 year period when there were none.

Hagge’s thesis is made all the more intriguing in that some dramatic historical events have occurred in Israel around the time of blood moons. He stated, “Every time this has happened in the last 500 years, it has coincided with tragedy for the Jewish people followed by triumph.” He continued, “Once again, for Israel the timing of this Tetrad is remarkable.”

Hagge asserts the 1493 Tetrad ushered in the Spanish Inquisition involving the expulsion of the Jews from Spain. Wrong, these blood moon occurred a year after the Inquisition.

The second in 1948 saw the return of the Jews to the Bible Land and the establishment of the nation of Israel. This was a fulfillment of Bible prophecy. However, these moons happened a year after statehood. Again Hagge is wrong.

The third in 1967 coincided with the Six-Day Arab-Israeli War.

As a firm believer in Bible prophecy there is one statement in scripture that stands out to me. Related to the Second Coming of Christ and the end of time scripture says no man know “the day nor the hour.” Hagge says he is not setting dates, but that God and NASA set these dates.

I have lived long enough to have know there are reasons to doubt date setters. A couple of examples are the booklet published in 1987 entitled Eighty-eight Reasons Jesus will come in 1988. When He didn’t the author issued a corrected edition entitled, Eighty-nine Reasons Jesus Will Come in 1989.

Will any person who was alive in 1999 ever forget the approach of midnight January 1, 2000 and the Y2K end of the ages?

The Mayans missed with the Mayan Calendar focusing on 2012 as the end of time.

The marvel is millions of people bought into each of these theories.

To be fair with Hagge he does not say these Four Blood Moons will be the end of time, but in speaking of them he reads scripture over and over related to the Second Coming.

Scripture gives sound advice regarding end times: “…be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not expect Him.” Be ready and enjoy life.