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.