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Showing 1-10 of 204 reviews(2 star). Show all reviews
on March 23, 2012
While this book has some decent reflections on OT prophesy and events and God's purposes behind both, it builds it's central message on a flawed, though apparently common, understanding of America. The author makes a comparison between the nation of Israel and the USA that has no basis biblically. The author says that there have been only two nations in the history of the world that have been established with a covenant between the nation and God. He then uses this reasoning to link an OT prophesy given to Israel with current day America. While the linking of the prophesies with current events is impressive, and surely we can learn something from these prophesies that applies to us today, there are some huge errors and dangerous implications if we make such a link between Israel and America.

First of all, Israel did not "choose" God. God chose Israel. So, any attempt to say that Israel and America are similar in that they both set out as nations that "chose" God falls flat. There is no evidence that God has a similar "choosing" of America. Sure, God has purposes for America in his overarching plan of redemption for the world, but America is not a "chosen" nation, whom God works with in elevated and special ways, different from other nations.

Secondly, such a comparison between pre-Christ Israel and current day America fails to rightly understand God's means of engaging and reaching the world. God chose Israel as his people, that he might reveal himself to them and reach the whole world through them. God chose to enter human history through a specific people at a specific time. He didn't only come for the Israelites but He came through them. Today, post-Christ, God's primary means of reaching and engaging the world is not through any nation or state. It's through his church, the universal, all nation encompassing body of believers. America is not his chosen means to spread his salvation and love to the world. The church is.

Such misunderstanding seems to be quite widespread in America and leads me to believe that it has at its root an idolatry of a certain perception of America. "America is a Christian nation and until we get back to these roots there is no hope for our country." False. Hope does not come from our government, from our country being based on Christian ideals, or from having a godly president (though none of these are bad things). Hope comes from God and as the church spreads His gospel to the world. Don't put your hope in our country or government aligning to certain ideals or us getting back to being a more "christian" nation. This is idolatry. Seek the good of our country for sure, but don't make our country the greatest good. God is our greatest good and are only hope.

America is not the current day Israel, God's chosen people. America is not the hope of the world. God is. The church is his means of spreading that hope.
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on February 15, 2013
Jonathan Cahn in his fiction book, The Harbinger, ties together an obscure verse - Isaiah 9:10 - with God's judgment on Israel allowing the Assyrian invasion in 732 BC. A similar fate for the United States is also tied to Isaiah 9:10. A prophet appears to the author with a list of harbingers or omens delivered one at a time. Essentially the book gives evidence that God is about to remove his hedge of protection from the United States because we have ignored and disobeyed him and followed other gods. Cahn finds amazing parallels between Israel's destruction in 732 BC and the 9/11 attack in 2001 and the economic collapse seven years later. Any one interested in prophesy may find this intriguing.

I have two problems with the book.

1. It is biblically flawed in many ways. Here are two. The United States has never had a covenant with God as Cahn suggests. The scripture is taken out of context and stretched to apply to the United States and 9/11.

2. The entire book is a repetitive, repetitive, repetitive dialog. Fifty percent could have been edited out. We don't have to read the same thing three or four times in order to get it. Did I say the book is repetitive? It's repetitive.

On the plus side, our country does need to repent and return to God. The book may lead some to humble themselves, repent, call on God's name and be saved. And hopefully it will help some Christians deepen their commitment and do all they can to spread the Gospel.
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on May 11, 2012
A disappointing book, the writing was sophomoric; the dialogue flat and unconvincing; and the plot, if one can call it that, predictable, dull and an insult to the intelligence. Extraordinarily repetitive, too. It was honestly painful to read.

The book was essentially the pulpit for a sermon on the author's own view that America has lost its moral compass and is being warned (punished?) by God through events such as Nine-Eleven and the recent financial/economic meltdown. Of course he fails to address the facts that, even in our nation's more moral days, we have always had national tragedies such as the Great Depression, the dust bowl, the burning of Washington DC during the War of 1812, the Civil War, WWI & II, race riots and on and on.

I, too, cringe at the moral decay that can be observed and don't deny anyone their religious views. But if you're going to write a book, at least show some literary skill, Mr. Cahn. The only reason I didn't give it one-star was the research and imagination shown in linking Biblical and historical facts to present day circumstances.

If you're a fundamentalist, born-again Christian (nothing wrong with that), you'll likely LOVE this book for its message (many rated it five-stars). But if you're looking for a good book to read, better choose something else.
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on January 13, 2014
It's fitting that a "prophet" is used as the voice for the author, freeing him to wax firm confidence in his own agenda of interpreting an obscure ancient prophesy to somewhat obscure modern words/deeds surrounding our nation's founding and 9-11. As a Christian, and someone who also leads educational tours to New York and Washington DC, I took an interest in the book, but was skeptical of its agenda from the start, and my skepticism was largely confirmed. I will say that the book's historical facts are largely accurate, the "coincidental" nature of some of them does merit examination toward the supernatural, but a number of them are too much of a stretch in an attempt to fulfill the "prophecy" in modern times. I see it in a lot in revisionist history popular today - it's quite easy to single out convenient quotes or recorded deeds of a historical person to over-simplify them into being a christian visionary on one hand, or a self-serving secularist on the other. I see the same over-assumptions in this book: taking snippets of history to show the US as a nation blessed under a godly covenant unique to the rest of the word, and then similarly assuming this generation is corrupted and deserving of calamity. It is both wise and foolish that the book avoids specifying our nation's fall from grace beyond generic words of immorality, greed, pride, not relying on God. The vagueness allows the reader to invoke their own beliefs and agenda of why our country is losing its way, and buffers the book from proper critique, as evidenced by the number of high reviews it has received here (which I find more distressing than the book itself, because "it's real"). Every generation has had it's array of people to blame for our nation's trials, and if the author were to venture to name them more specifically, I doubt he'd find as much consensus of opinion.
I do believe there is a thematic rise and fall to nations, and I think the US is experiencing decline and there are valuable lessons to learn from our own past and the past of other powers, but the formulaic nature of this book is over-wrought. It pulls fragments from the vagueness of the past, to cast judgements on the present that are too vague to be applied on a personal, much less national level.
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VINE VOICEon October 4, 2014
'The Harbinger' is a novel that seems to be portrayed by the author as prophesy. Part of the message of the book is very good, but the way it is portrayed as prophetic is unbiblical.

One message that is portrayed throughout the book that is good is that America is way off course and in need of repentance. That seems indisputable. I think that everyone should take heed to that, myself included, and humble ourselves before God and submit to his direction. Unfortunately, the author has taken a passage in Isaiah that was written to ancient Israel and tried to portray it as applying to modern day America. That is an overreach that is not in line with the message contained in the Bible. There is nothing in the text that makes it appear that this prophecy was intended to apply to any nation in the future other than the one to which it was originally directed. It seems to me that the author is way out of line in trying to make his story appear to be a prophecy.

I recommend skipping this book.
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on April 22, 2015
Well, this is a sort of novel sort of in the Richard Bach style which leads one at first to think, "Wow! Is this for real? Is this actual-factual?!!" and then I began to realize it is sort of an allegorical tale about how events in our recent history might be interpreted, especially if one is a religious and social conservative who is quite angry about certain recent events...However, I am a progressive and very liberal Christian who does not look for the type of 'interpretations' that Mr. Cahn proposes. It can be entertaining in places but the tone is a bit didactic and the story seems to take itself way too seriously...
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on October 20, 2013
Thus says the Lord of hosts: "Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you, filling you with vain hopes. They speak visions of their own minds, not from the mouth of the Lord." (Jer 23:16)

Misguided theologians have taken single Bible verses out of context and built religions. Around 26,000 denominations--some teaching mutually exclusive things--are proof of that. People must still want their ears tickled (2Tim 4:3-4), but to the truth-seekers beware.

The Harbinger uses an old covenant (fulfilled in the oc) passage to allegedly warn America God's judgment is imminent unless it repents and turns to the Lord soon. Most Christians already realize the need for repentance and true dedication to Christ in our society, in fact it is so fundamental it is MILK NOT MEAT.

Cahn asserts that God pronounced exacting judgment on America and that judgment is found in Scripture.

Isaiah 9:10-11 is the specific text of Scripture that frames The Harbinger. In context Isaiah 9:1-7 is one of the clearest prophecies in the Old Testament concerning the coming of the Messiah, both His first and second comings. This is followed by a warning of coming judgment on Israel because of its arrogance and rebelliousness (9:8-21). We know from subsequent revelation and from history that God's judgment DID ALREADY fall on Israel just as the prophecy promised.

Cahn's assessment is that Isaiah 9:10-11 contains a hidden second prophecy directed not to ancient Israel, but to modern America. Nothing could be further from the truth. Even more drastic, once someone decides they can cherry-pick verses at will, change the meaning of texts to fit his theories and use random hermeneutical methods, anything can allegedly be "proven" to those not well versed in the Bible. If you are interested in the future of America and want to discover hidden prophecy with a lot of meat (not milk), built on two or more witnesses (passages) I recommend "Massive Deceptions in Modern Christianity - The Last Days Edition of The Christian MythBuster Series". [...]. Massive Deceptions in Modern Christianity: (Vol. 1) Exposing Myths & Sacrificing Sacred Cows on the Altar of Truth (The Christian MythBuster Series: The Last Days Edition)
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on July 26, 2013
This is a love it or hate it book

Either the author has unlocked a Biblical mystery that holds the secret to America's future, or he is guilty stretching Scripture to make it say something it doesn't say.

Either the author has uncovered the mystery behind the 9/11 attacks and the collapse of the global economy, or he has ripped a couple Biblical verses out of context to make a good story and a buck.

So, is Jonathan Cahn a modern day prophet or Dan Brown?

The Good part of the book is the overall message. The message is that America needs to return to God or judgment is coming. All sin has consequences, and America can't escape the results of her actions. Of course, this is true for all individuals and nations, and has been throughout all time. I also found the story engaging, in spite of disagreeing with many of the author's claims.

The Bad part of the book is the author's premise that Isaiah 9:10-11 was written not just to Israel, but that it specifically applies to the USA. This is nuts. There are 8352 verses of prophecy in the Bible (about 27% of the Bible is prophecy). To pick out one verse written specifically to Israel and apply the details of it it to 9/11 and the USA is practicing dangerous hermeneutics. The Bible is clear enough in what it teaches without trying to find secret messages by pulling verses out of context.

The Ugly part is this book was selling it as fiction but writing it as fact. That was a bit Da Vinci Codish to me. That said, Jonathan Cahn is no Dan Brown. Jonathan doesn't distort history to discredit Christianity. Instead Jonathan distorts Scripture to warn America.

Good message. Wrong method. Jonathan is neither a prophet nor a Dan Brown. I wish I could recommend this book, as I enjoyed the read and loved the warning to America. However I can't recommend a book that makes such a mess of Scripture and advocates a dangerous hermeneutic in the process.
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on March 30, 2014
I found the narrative style demeaning to the intelligence of the reader. The repeated simplistic questions of clarification and statements of "supposed wonder" by the reporter character leave the reader with an impression that the author feels his target audience may not be intelligent enough to keep up. The story line has no depth, no character development, no intrigue and indeed no mystery. The entire book is based on a few author interpreted words plucked out of the bible crafted to fit the events of 911 and the subsequent market crash in a thinly veiled religious message of "repent ye sinners or else". Factual or not....who knows? The whole book could have fit into a two page pamphlet.
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on June 14, 2014
I liked the read. I know it scares some people I know. They are not well grounded in the Bible. I was disturbed by the lack of facts and the fact that many will take this as a scary truth. God loves us all and wants us in Heaven. The world will end someday and we don't know when. I don't believe it will end because we are evil. God has washed away our sins by his Son dying on the cross. I would suggest any who wonder about this book to read their Bible and attend church and read the books that debunk this and then decide.
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