Jonathan Cahn is the author of the popular yet controversial book, The Harbinger. On Friday, 4 January, Cahn announced on his Facebook page that he will be the keynote speaker for the Presidential Inaugural Prayer Breakfast on 21 January 2013.
While Cahn’s book was quite popular, reaching the top of the New York Times bestseller list, it nevertheless was met with its share of criticism. Many of those who engage in patriotic idolatry, teaching and propagating the idea that America as a nation must “return to God,” praised and defended the book, while others shared concerns with the book’s claims as well as its handling of the biblical text.
The story of The Harbinger is focused upon what Jonathan Cahn has called “the Isaiah 9:10 Effect.” The book suggests that God has sent to America a series of warnings that, if not heeded, will lead to God’s judgment on the nation. Dr. David James of Prophecy Today, a vocal critic of the book, shares his thoughts on this concept:
[T]he Isaiah 9:10 Effect is presented as an inviolable principle that once set in motion, the corresponding prescribed outcome is inevitable. Furthermore, it is discussed as if it were completely biblical, yet nothing even remotely similar to this theoretical principle is mentioned or implied anywhere in the Word of God.
The bottom line is this: If a theological idea cannot be supported by the Bible, then someone simply made it up. Unfortunately, this is precisely the nature of the Isaiah 9:10 Effect—it is made up.1
David James’ initial critique of The Harbinger has since been expanded into a book of its own, The Harbinger: Fact or Fiction? and was released in the Fall of 2012.
CRN also was among the critics, initially raising concerns in the article, “Implications of The Harbinger.” Also called into question by some was the clarity of the gospel presentation set forth in the pages of The Harbinger, with one site asking, “Could the gospel message of The Harbinger stand alone and bring a sinner to salvation and faith in Jesus Christ?”
In spite of the popularity of the book, and perhaps because of the many concerns that have been raised, at this important upcoming event the story of the harbingers must not eclipse the sharing of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Presidential Inaugural Prayer Breakfast is described thusly:
The Inaugural Prayer Breakfast is an interdenominational, bipartisan event which will be held on the morning of Inauguration Day. The intent of this event is for people of faith to gather together to pray for President Obama and for America.2
At this ecumenical gathering, there undoubtedly will be souls who need to hear the full gospel of Jesus Christ as revealed in Scripture. To believe that God is speaking to America through veiled harbingers will not save a soul—the preaching of Christ is the only thing that can lead to repentance and faith. In a forum such as this, the good news of salvation in Christ alone must be declared above any other message a man may deliver. Jonathan Cahn has been granted this audience, and many will be praying that individual repentance and faith in Jesus Christ will be proclaimed.