“The Harbinger,” a New York Times best-seller by Jonathan Cahn, internationally known minister, and television and radio personality, has been called “a compelling and shocking wake-up call for our nation.” It has also been described as “a blend of biblical prophecy, historical events and action-packed fictional narrative.”
The reader needs to be reminded constantly that this book is fiction, because he or she can be caught up in the biblical prophecy from which it draws much of its appeal.
The suggestion is made that the book was written as “a message, an alarm of warning to America, an ancient mystery behind everything from 9/11 to the economy … to the housing boom … to the war in Iraq … to the collapse of Wall Street.”
This mystery was presented to the story-teller in the book by a modern-day prophet, described as “a man of Mediterranean or Middle Eastern appearance with thin, dark hair and a closely cropped bears, and always wearing a long, dark coat.” The prophet, in unscheduled visits, gives the story-teller nine seals — one for each Harbinger (or warning sign to America as a nation in danger of God’s judgement).
The prophetic key is found in Isaiah 9:10 — a sign given ancient Israel by God through the prophet Isaiah. The message — “The bricks are fallen down, but we will build with hewn stone; the sycamores are cut down, but we will change them into cedars.” (King James Version) The book suggests that this sign applies to America today.
Cahn sees America as the new Israel that replaces the original covenant nation today. In the old Covenant, when ancient Israel fell away from God and turned against His ways, the nation’s blessings would be replaced with times of separation.
The author uses the mystery of the meaning of the images on the seals to add suspense to the modern-day prophet’s explanation of each Harbinger to the story-teller.
The first seal pictured the breach in a broken wall, depicting a break in the relationship ancient Israel experienced at times and foreshadowing a break in the protection America has enjoyed as a blessing of God before 9/11. The second seal reflected images of the ancient Assyrians — and the terrorists of 9/11. These two seals applied to modern and ancient times; to God’s protection and to the enemies of both nations.
The third seal clearly showed a pile of fallen bricks, which the story-teller quickly identified to the prophet as ruins left after the Assyrian invasion of ancient Israel — in the present time, bricks left after the destruction of the twin towers at Ground Zero on 9/11.
The mystery of the fourth seal was what happened after the bricks had fallen. The image on the seal resembled a tower. The ancient Israelites, in defiance, were not humbled or repentant. They were determined to rebuild with a stronger construction — with hewn stone. After 9/11 all of our leaders were defiant in their plan to erect the Freedom Tower and an America stronger than ever before. There was no suggestion of repentance or humility.
This reviewer hopes you will want to read for yourself the mystery of the remaining seals and Harbingers and discover the names of the three present-day witnesses involved in Cahn’s story.
This book contains many biblical truths. In its last chapters there are discussions between the story-teller and the prophet about things to come — judgement or redemption, eternity, heaven and hell.
We are reminded that on the third day after 9/11, a construction worker standing in the ruins of one of the towers looked up and saw “a sign … forged not by human hands, but by the force of the calamity … a perfectly formed cross … 20 feet high … of steel beams from the fallen towers.” This is now called “the Cross of Ground Zero, a sign of faith and hope in the midst of calamity.”
As the story ends, the prophet returns the original seal, first mailed to the story-teller as the mystery began. This seal identifies the story-teller as the modern-day scribe, whose name was the same as that of the prophet Jeremiah’s scribe in the biblical times.
This scribe is expected to become “a watchman on the wall who has seen the signs … And the city sleeps … the people have no idea what’s coming … And to you is entrusted the sound of their awakening … and their redemption. Let the word go forth and have its way. And let those who have ears to hear it … Let them hear it, and be saved.”