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Nouriel Kaplan is a New York City journalist who takes a meeting with Ana Goren, a major publishing executive. He tells her his tale of adventure, enlightenment and conversion. The whole story starts with a strange object that he received in the mail. The object was what appeared to be an ancient clay seal, the kind of seal that would have exuded authentication to anyone receiving a scroll or object by messenger. Nouriel had this for some time, and carried it with him from time to time. One day, he sat on a city bench and he took it out to look at it. Nouriel hadn’t noticed the person sitting next to him, but there was a stranger in a long black coat looking curiously at the seal in his hand. In fact Nouriel soon discovered that this stranger had a similar seal on him as well.
The stranger informed Nouriel that the seal is from the 6thor 7thcentury BC, and from the kingdom of Judah. The stranger turns out to be a prophet of God, and the time has come to reveal the mystery of Nouriel’s seal, the prophet’s seal and a few more of these like artifacts. The message has to do with a specific verse in the bible, from the book of Isaiah. It comes from chapter and verse 9:10 which reads: “The bricks have fallen down, but we will rebuild with hewn stone. The sycamore has been cut down, but we will plant cedars in their place.” This verse is the response from ancient Israel at the time when God had removed his hedge of protection from the nation. His people have forgotten and broken the covenant He had made with them and allowed the ancient Assyrians to attack the Israelites. The people’s response was not to turn back to their God, but rather to proudly put their trust in themselves and vow to become stronger and better than before. God’s hand of protection would not be returned, and the nation would therefore receive more calamities in the future as a result.
The prophet shows Nouriel through the different signs and events how America is currently reenacting the same situation with the Almighty Himself. The events that took place on 9/11 is central, however there are more alarming events that have taken place in the United States as well. The prophet proves that these occurrences are more than mere coincidence, as God has placed deliberate signs, considered specific dates and drawn exact reenactments of history in order to mercifully warn us about our own future unless we turn back to God. Nouriel has taken this to a publishing company that could tell his incredible story to many in order to warn them, now it’s up to us.
I have been a subscriber to Jonathan Cahn on Youtube for some time now. I have been watching his sermons on television as well for much longer. He is a Messianic Jewish Rabbi, which basically means that he is a Jew that believes that Jesus Christ is the Jewish Messiah. I’ve always loved the way he delved into the sometimes ‘difficult to digest’ Old Testament and make sense of it with his vast knowledge of Jewish tradition and more importantly the affirmation of the Old Testament via the New Testament. So, this is possibly the reason why when his novel The Harbinger was referred to me by a relative, I jumped at the chance to read it. My wife read it first, and she finished it in three days, the same with my mother-in-law, who “doesn’t read.” It took me about a day shy of a week, but it was still a fast read. The Harbinger is a book of fiction yet with real facts. Cahn had a great idea in a way to wrap his message of truth wrapped inside of a story of fiction in order to much easily digest what he had to say for the everyday non-theologian. The prophet would bring these ancient seals to Nouriel, not without a clue, and then Nouriel would have to decipher the mystery before the next chance meeting with said prophet. Sometimes Nouriel was able to unveil the prophecy, other times he needed some help from the prophet. The book kept me guessing, as I tried to figure out each and every clue before it was finally revealed. It was as much fun as it was enthralling and shocking.
I was reading this book at a desk in one of my recent hotel stays, and I came to a paragraph where the hairs on the back my neck stood on end, and I nearly came to tears. I don’t want to spoil any part of this book for a potential reader, and so I’m not going to give away anything. I would also urge any potential readers not to look up anything on the net about this book until you finish reading the book, as Jonathan Cahn is not afraid to reveal major spoilers during interviews he has given on the topic of The Harbinger.
I have recommended this book to a couple of people, two “evangelical Christians” only to receive rapid backlash on how they’re above such things. The first one, (who is close to earning two doctorates in theology as we speak), dismissed it as “dumb” without knowing the first thing about it. He told me that he is familiar with the verse from Isaiah and there’s no way that this verse can possibly have anything to do with America, period. The second person I referred this book to was anxious to read about it, but is sadly even more anxious to post every thought she has on Facebook first. She had posted a comment that she had ordered the book. Like a wind waiting in the wings, her pious Christian friend quickly rushed to comment about how Jonathan Cahn believes in the heretical Kabala, and littered the comment with some links to reviews online by other Christian websites about how the book should be taken with a grain of salt, and how the coincidences were nothing but that- mere coincidences. The book is being bashed by Christians, which makes me all the more intrigued by it. Anyone who claims that the book is filled with mere coincidences is at the most a dolt, but more likely a lazybrain who refuses to do their homework before posting their ill-informed review on their websites. (That’s what is great about a site like Epinions by the way, your peers would automatically call this said reviewer on his or her inconsistencies and make sure that the review was buried somewhere along the bottom). This is why I listed the two bible verses above in my Bottom Line. There are Christians, the fundamental types, the evangelicals who are supposed to be the congregation who revere and refer to the Bible the most diligently. Yet they treat Christianity as a kind of Mormonism or Hinduism, where they feel that they can reach a higher status and understanding of enlightenment, where in reality the more that they read the Bible, they should realize ever the more of the wretched sinner that they are. Jesus kind of jokingly says, I’ve only come to help the sinner, yet someone even as prophetic as Paul had the clear mind to see that he was amongst the worst. Not today, today we are more spiritual than St Paul didn’t you know?
Jonathan Cahn has seven pages worth of notes at the end of the book documenting the events listed in this book. Now, I know that book notes backing up your story don’t mean much today. Everyone has a different opinion on facts, yet these are indisputable, as they mainly are events that have happened recently. Don’t believe it? Look it up he gives websites and more for his notes, where you can watch videos or just read about them. How do you dispute a recent event? I guess you can lie and say that it didn’t happen. So when the Christians couldn’t lie and call his notes lies, they instead call them meaningless coincidences. They reviews I read either called in empty coincidences or they argued different points completely. They talk about how God has never made a covenant with America, it’s not biblical. Are they pretending to have conviction when they say this nonsense? Do they want the word “America” to be found in the Bible as proof? Do these “Christians” not view the Bible as the living word, something they preach every Sunday, yet when it comes down to living it, it’s just an ancient irrelevant document. Maybe all of the hostility comes from the fact that Cahn is Jewish? If only Christians could awaken long enough and attack the actual evil ideals in the world.
As I was reading this book, I was thinking all along about how divided America is today. How the name of Jesus is reviled in most secular sections even as an appellative with the word hate. Yet, I believe that what is required by God is not a mass conversion of those who hate religion, but a reawakening of those who already consider themselves saved. Let’s face it, as a so-called Judeo-Christian nation, we are asleep. Is this reawakening possible? Sure. Despite how hopeless and depressing The Harbinger seems to be, I actually see it as good news. It tells me that although for years now it seemed like I was living in a place where God had abandoned us, I have a renewed feeling that God is still in control.
One thing that I was unsure of here is how Jonathan Cahn seems to refer to Bible commentary (for those of you who are unaware, there are things called ‘study bibles’ out there, where theologians attempt to explain most bible verses to the reader in foot notes at the bottom of the page), as God-breathed. In other words, equal with the bible verse itself. He had made some good points about this in the book, but I’m not sure I agree. I had never viewed the bible commentary as “inspired.” I know that when I had read some of the notes in the Oxford Study Bible, I found myself disagreeing with what they said.
I find myself going off on a tangent speaking of the blatant hypocrisy when it comes to today’s Christian. But this is something that I had also learned from this book. I found this book truthful, merely because it contains a lot of truth. If you can look past truths, just because it doesn’t fit your ideology then the problem is with you, not the book. This book is kind of political, and this can turn off some, but God is into politics. Just look at Romans 13:1-3. I know that many can’t stand politics, but even if you admit or not, politics are within every facet of our lives. It’s better to be informed than “blissfully ignorant”.
The Harbinger had changed my life, and I hope more and more people discover it. I hear stories about how some people are going out and buying copies for people, and then these people go out and buy copies for others. In the end, you have a choice to wake up or remain sleeping…spiritually of course.
The Harbinger: the Ancient Mystery that Holds the Secret of America’s Future
Author: Jonathan Cahn
October 23rd, 2012
Rating: 5 stars
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