WHAT ABOUT "THE HARBINGER"?
JONATHAN CAHN’S ‘KABBALAH’ TEACHINGS?
There has been more and more ‘kabbalah’ teachings entering into the church in the past few decades. These teachings of Jewish mysticism have been a part of Judaism for millennia, but are to be rejected in Christian circles. The mystical school known as Kabbalah, from the Hebrew root Qof-Beit-Lamed, means "to receive, to accept" and is often translated as "tradition."
"Kabbalah" is a doctrine concerning God and his creation asserting that revelation came down to certain wise men from a remote past, and preserved only by a few. Kabbalah is considered part of the Jewish Oral Law. It is traditional mystical ideas claimed to be hidden in the Torah. Kabbalah claims to reveal in hidden clues, the rules and ways God administers and reveals.
Kabbalah teaches that every letter, word, number, and accent of scripture contains a hidden sense; and derives methods of interpretation for ascertaining these occult meanings.
Jonathan Cahn, who wrote ‘THE HARBINGER’ books, includes reference to Jewish mysticism, kabbalah, and in his message at his church includes detailed references to mystical writings. His writings on "Gulgatah: The Cosmic Skull: The Rabbinic Mysteries V" has a segment uploaded to YouTube on February 25, 2010, "The Zohar Speaks." In it, he says: "Something never before revealed , to the glory of Messiah! The Cosmic Skull, the mercy of God, and the hidden and mystical writings of the Rabbis that point to Messiah." So, he claims to be ascertaining ‘truths’ from the kabbalah teachings of the Zohar.
The Judaism 101 website says:
In the middle ages, many of these mystical teachings were committed to writing in books like the Zohar. Many of these writings were asserted to be secret ancient writings or compilations of secret ancient writings. The way Cahn describes teachings of the "Zohar" shows that he considers it a credible source of truth. He continues by saying: "I found it in the mystical Jewish writings of the Zohar, something I never heard mentioned anywhere, ever. . . . The Zohar speaks, the rabbis are writing of the redemption of the world with Messiah’s coming. They speak of life from the dead. They speak of resurrection, the redemption of the world... They say it all will come, the power of all this, the miracle of all this will come from a sacred thing, a sacred place. And this place, this thing, is where all the mercy of God is stored. All the mercy of God pours out from this place, this thing. What is it? Very strange. They call it the "gulgatah." ... The most famous scene in human history, the center of salvation. Messiah dying on that hill which appears as a skull. That’s why they called it "gulgatah"—Golgatha.’
In the middle ages, many mystical imaginations were written down in books, the Zohar being one of them. In THE HARBINGER, Cahn asserts incorrectly, Isaiah:9:10 has a secreted, never before understood mystery that no one ever understood before he did. This supposed mystery, predicted by ancient rabbinic writings, is now to be accepted, by Christians, according to Cahn. Because the end of the message is that we all need to ‘repent’, does not mean the assertions preceding that truth, need be accepted as ‘truth’.
Tom Daschle was supposedly inspired by God to proclaim defiance against God’s plan of judgment, and thereby supposedly set up our nation for judgment, even though he didn’t know what he was doing.
The mystical nature of Cahn’s thinking is becoming more and more clear. And once again he notes that perhaps no one has ever said the words he has just uttered:
Look at his ‘mystical’ idea gotten from his understanding of ancient ‘kabbalah’ writings... He asserts that in the gulgatah, i.e. the hill called ‘Golgotha’ there are myriads of worlds. And from that mountain any drips of dew, fill the world and the dead will awaken in the world, when any of this dew is applied to them. This ‘dew’ is supposedly, according to him, the light of the ancient ones. As this dew touches mystically, or literally, dead ones come to life, the radiance of God which brings life. He says that one must be a believer to understand that the ancient rabbis were the same level as what is written in the Bible by Moses.
Cahn elevates the mystical believing rabbis to the same level as Moses:
"The death of Messiah—all pinpointed in time and space. Moses zeroed in on the day. Passover. He dies on the day that the lamb is killed. The prophets—Daniel zeroes in on the time period, mathematically, before 70 A.D. Daniel—those seventy sevens. ... And now the very hill, the very place, here in, of all places, the rabbinical writings, the Zohar. . . . you want mercy, you go there (Golgotha). Listen to the rabbis on this point."
How can anyone tell Christians to "listen to the rabbis" who produced the Zohar with all its mystical, and strange unBiblical teachings, that its authors were inspired by God?
The Zohar is not simply an separate and innocent source of information—it is an unbiblical, errant, mystical, occultic source of demon doctrines.
Cahn asserts that the Zohar cannot be understood easily, but requires preconception of spirituality, before one approaches the book. Cahn believes that having cultivated his perception, a higher reality becomes noticeable to him and other kabbalists, to see things that God has hidden from we ‘dumber’ humans. He asserts that when we accept his mystical interpretations of a passage, we can avoid be lost in the obvious teachings of the Bible, and can maximize the hidden teachings.
Cahn tries to justify his practice of using mystical teachings of the Zohar by noting that Paul referred to teachings of pagan philosophers in his sermon to the Athenians. Paul’s approach is nothing like Cahn’s.
Cahn referred to the mystical writings of the Zohar by positive acceptance of them. He tells us we need to "listen to the rabbis." He presents the Zohar as a book needed to be studied and accepted.
However, Paul told us and those to whom he spoke then, that what the heathen philosophers has taught, about the "the unknown god" was completely wrong.
Acts 17:22-31 (KJV)
22 Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars' hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious.
23 For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, Him declare I unto you.
24 God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that He is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;
25 Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;
26 And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;
27 That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though He be not far from every one of us:
28 For in Him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also His offspring.
29 Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device.
30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:
31 Because He hath appointed a day, in the which He will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof He hath given assurance unto all men, in that He hath raised Him from the dead.
Paul does not accept the philosophers who had erected and taught on their ‘unknown god’, and Paul never suggested that their sayings were hidden mysteries, inspired by God. Paul never said that the Athenians should listen to these men, but rather called them ignorant, superstitious, and their ideas needed to be repented.
Paul denounced their idols, and the teachings of their philosophers. Paul taught that the truth of the Bible is not a hidden mystery, but has been made plain to everyone.
Romans 1:18-32 (KJV)
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: ...
28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
Untold numbers have unwittingly accepted mystical teachings not Biblically sound, and some pastors-teachers have preached messages founded on the mystical claims in the book, The Harbinger.
Within the book, ‘The Harbinger’, we note its main theme focuses on a ‘single’ prophecy, and ignores all other prophecy in the Word, singling this one passage, irrespective of its context and other passages, as the one truth to be found. He uses the one passage as a key to America’s coming judgment. Surely, all nations will be judged, but this passage speaks of that of another nation. Cahn redefines ‘vow’, and misuses the word to exploit his mysterious idea. He also blends truth with dreams, mysticism, and false conclusions that are unBiblical.
Centering on September 11, 2001, which was a far too memorable time of destruction in the United States, he begins a trail of unsubstantiated claims of prophetic ideas. The two hijacked planes crashed into the twin towers, and on the next day, Senate Majority Leader, Tom Daschle said ‘We will rebuild... there is a passage in Isaiah... speaks to us at times like this, ‘the bricks have fallen down, but we will rebuild with dressed stone; the fig trees have been felled, but we will replace them... Isaiah 9:10." Page 117 of ‘The Harbinger".
Tom Daschle probably searched the Bible for some passage to encourage the people in that tragic time, and perhaps had not noticed that the context of that passage did not apply to America at all. His purpose was to take a Biblical truth, that ‘rebuilding’ following a disaster is to be our goal. Jonathan Cahn takes those words, misapplies, misinterprets, and claims Zohar passages to validate a very unScriptural teaching.
Using nine ancient ‘seals’, with hidden symbolic, mystical teachings, he leads toward the conclusion that Isaiah 9:10-11, links America’s fate to the destruction of ancient Israel. Cahn asserts that troubles on Wall St, our horrible economy, and the 911 destruction of the twin towers are what that passage spoke.
He says that the ‘vow’ that Tom Daschle spoke angered God for its ‘pride’ and America needs further judgment due to that vow.
Read the context of the passage in question:
Isaiah 9:8-17 (KJV)
8 The Lord sent a word into Jacob, and it hath lighted upon Israel.
9 And all the people shall know, even Ephraim and the inhabitant of Samaria, that say in the pride and stoutness of heart,
10 The bricks are fallen down, but we will build with hewn stones: the sycomores are cut down, but we will change them into cedars.
11 Therefore the LORD shall set up the adversaries of Rezin against him, and join his enemies together;
12 The Syrians before, and the Philistines behind; and they shall devour Israel with open mouth. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.
13 For the people turneth not unto him that smiteth them, neither do they seek the LORD of hosts.
14 Therefore the LORD will cut off from Israel head and tail, branch and rush, in one day.
15 The ancient and honourable, he is the head; and the prophet that teacheth lies, he is the tail.
16 For the leaders of this people cause them to err; and they that are led of them are destroyed.
17 Therefore the Lord shall have no joy in their young men, neither shall have mercy on their fatherless and widows: for every one is an hypocrite and an evildoer, and every mouth speaketh folly. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.
Then and now, there is time to repent. The passage is written to that day, that sin, and not a mysterious revelation that in our time, the twin tower disaster is an incontrovertible declaration of God’s unchanging judgment for the words of Tom Daschle that we will rebuild.
Cahn believes that all who repeated those three words, ‘we will rebuild’ were guilty of making a vow of pride. So, God, in Isaiah 9 recorded, according to Cahn, a prophecy that was later then fulfilled. Read his words:
"...the prophecy was proclaimed on the day after 9/11. Here the nation vowed the vow to emerge stronger than before. Seven years later the vow would be undone. ...With the collapse of the economy... what event... would bring about that collapse? ...The fall of Lehman Brothers... So the economic collapse was triggered on the seventh anniversary of the proclaiming of the ancient vow. ...A very dangerous vow." [pp.179-181]
Stretching the encouraging words of Tom Daschle of ‘we will rebuild’ to be a vow to God of pride and rebellion against His judgment is not Biblically justifiable. The inauguration of George Washington and of Solomon are joined in Cahn’s prophecy, and he makes the United States akin to being the new Israel. Cahn claims a ‘prophet’ who ‘ran a little bookstore’, and studied all sorts of mystical Hebrew writings, and Cahn figured he would be ‘the right one’ to interpret the events of the 911 tragedy. (Page 240 of The Harbinger). Many of the words of this ‘prophet’ are found in the Zohar, and are kabbalah mysticism. Remember, kabbalah is a doctrine of supposed revelation, seeks to ignore the Written revelation of the Bible and find hidden symbols and ideas, to let chosen ones see real truth not found in the Bible.
There are multitudes of warnings and admonitions for our nation, and for every nation and people in the Bible. To single out this one, to apply it to some encouraging words spoken by Tom Daschle, and then ignore all other Bible prophecy concerning Cahn’s point of interest, is not right. Surely, our nation needs to repent, needs to turn to God, and is ripe for judgment, as is all the world, but God has not hidden in symbols found at the 911 site, some mysterious revelations of distraction from the ‘repentance’ the whole world needs to be doing. The sins of the radical Muslims who flew those planes, and their financial and ideological supporters need to repent of their evil. The destruction of those edifices, the tree that was felled, are not, as Cahn asserts, ‘the ancient mystery that holds the secret of America’s future...’
God is concerned with wayward, prideful, unrepentant people, unsaved due to their rejection of Jesus, the Savior. He is always seeking to bring us to humble repentance from our wayward ways. He has not hidden this plan and desire to save all of us, but the distractions of finding hidden symbols to add unnecessary, and unBiblical ideas is not from God.
The Harbinger is a series of mysterious signs which Cahn believes reveal his concept of America’s collapse. His teachings are misguided, exegetically and theologically unsound. It leaves its readers distracted from truths the Lord wants us to see, from inspiration the Lord wants us to truly comprehend from the Bible.
Cahn presents 9 harbingers that he thinks are from Isaiah, predicting events starting with September 11, 2001. Yet, he ignores the context of the passage, and adds mysterious ideas from kabbalah.
The book and its messages center around a set of small clay discs that are said to date from the eighth century B.C., and are connected to Isaiah’s prophecy. The set of these nine seals are said to reveal this ancient mystery. Do they really exist, or are they just part of this deception. The Book of Mormon are said to have been translated from supposed gold plates, but none of us have ever been able to validate that either. Many will think that the seals do exist, although they do not.
In his book, the nine seals are given to journalist Nouriel Kaplan by a mysterious person called ‘the prophet’, and are told to Ana Goren, a publisher. Some believe that the ‘prophet’ is Cahn, unwilling to identify himself as the same person.
Later in the book, Kaplan has a dream, where Solomon suddenly turns into George Washington on the Temple Mount. Dreams need always tested to be sure they agree with the Bible, we do not change Bible truths to agree with dreams. Dreams can be influenced by things we ponder, contemplate, imagine, and are susceptible to input by evil spirits. Therefore, to simply accept a dream as being from God is a leap into the darkness. We need to test and verify. To express confidence in the veracity of his conclusions and interpretations is not justified. The dream can be speculation, fiction, or deception.
Cahn says that he is not trying to make a specific connection between Israel and the United States, but his book states otherwise:
‘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. Everything in precise detail..."
The truth is likely that Nouriel Kaplan and the prophet mentioned are really Jonathan Cahn. We shall see. They are part of a deception that this book is putting into the church. Beware kabbalah, and its proponents. God said what He meant, meant what He said. He has not hidden ‘real’ truths that millennia have been unable to see or know. We have a ‘sure word’ of God already.