In 2011, Jonathan Cahn caused a national stir with the release of the New York Times Best Seller, The Harbinger. Since the publication of that book, he has addressed Members of Congress, spoken at the United Nations, and was named as one of the top forty spiritual leaders of the last forty years “who radically changed our world.” He has become well-known as a prophetic voice in this generation and for the way he reveals the deep mysteries of God. Books by Jonathan Cahn have become New York Times Bestsellers – The Harbinger, The Mystery of the Shemitah, The Book of Mysteries, The Paradigm, The Oracle, and his latest bestseller The Harbinger II.
I recently sat down with Jonathan for an interview, and I found him to be very open and honest. He shared at length about his life and ministry – especially about his books The Harbinger and The Harbinger II.
JAMES: Jonathan, I know that you are a busy man. So, I really appreciate you taking the time to visit with me today.
JONATHAN: It’s my pleasure, James.
JAMES: I heard you share your testimony at a conference a while back. You have a fascinating story. You were raised in a Jewish home, at age 8 you became an atheist, somewhere along the way you read The Late Great Planet Earth by Hal Lindsey, and you were hit by a train. How did you become a follower of Christ? Would you share your story?
JONATHAN: Well, yeah. You did a good job right there (laughs). My father came from Germany. He escaped Hitler. I was raised in a liberal Jewish home. I went to synagogue, and I went to Hebrew school, but there never was a lot of belief. Still, I was taught that there was a God. When I was eight years old, I remember asking, “How do we know that?” I didn’t see any signs in the synagogue of the God of the Bible being alive. In the synagogue, there was a big disconnect from the God who showed Himself and moved in the lives of people. So, I said, “How do we know there is any God?” So, I became an atheist. That lasted until I started going deeper and I realized that atheism doesn’t work. I thought, “There’s got to be something. There’s got to be a reason why we are here.”
So, I started seeking. I explored everything: science, religions, cults, Nostradamus, UFOs, everything. One day, I picked up a book. At first, I thought it was a UFO book because it looked like it. The earth was on the cover, and it looked like it was on fire. But God tricked me. The book was The Late Great Planet Earth by Hal Lindsey. The book was all about biblical end-time prophecy and how it was coming true with Israel and everything else. I had no idea that was in the Bible. The Late Great Planet Earth totally changed my thinking. So, I started telling my friends about the book, but I still wasn’t living for the Lord. I did not have a relationship with Jesus Christ.
I looked in our Hebrew Bible at home. It spoke about the coming Messiah who would die for our sins, who would be born in Bethlehem, and all these things I thought were Catholic were in our Bible. I realized that I couldn’t just be telling people about this. I mean, I was telling people about it, and leading them to the Lord, but I wasn’t saved. Finally, I got to the point where I understood that I wasn’t right with God, but I didn’t want to give my life to the Lord. I thought, “If I get saved, I have to join a monastery and that’s the end of my life and fun.” So, I made a deal with God. I said, “God, if you give me a long life, I will accept you when I am about to die on my deathbed.”
Right after that, I almost got killed twice. The first time it was a car accident. The second time I was crossing a train-track in a Ford Pinto. I don’t know if you remember, but the Ford Pinto was the car that used to blow up if you touch them the wrong way. I was in the car one night and I pulled up on the track. I look to my left and there was a light. It was the train coming right at me. Traffic was stopped in front of me. I couldn’t go forward. So, I backed up. I didn’t realize it, but I wasn’t all the way off the track. I was still in the path of the train. The train slammed into the car. The front of the car was crushed like aluminum foil. The only thing I could do at that moment was call out to God. So, I did. The car was destroyed, but I didn’t get a scratch.
I realized that my life was fragile. There was only a breath between me and eternity. So, I said, “Lord, can we renegotiate?” (laughs). I came up with a new plan. I said, “God, I will accept you when I turn twenty. Just give me until then. Don’t kill me until then.” About a year later, on my twentieth birthday, I made good on the deal. I didn’t know how to do it, but I remembered from Hebrew school that God met people on the mountain. So, I found a mountain. I went up the mountain. There on top of the mountain, I kneeled down and gave my life to the Lord. The Bible says that Jews need signs. I need a locomotive train.
JAMES: I want to thank you for having the courage to speak the truth. Back in January of 2021, you issued a mind-blowing prophetic message for the newly elected United States President, Joe Biden. Although many tried to censor that message, it still has been seen over four million times. Tell me about that message.
JONATHAN: I had been asked to speak at the Presidential Inaugural Prayer Breakfast the last few times. I always said, “Okay, but I’m not going to hold back. I’m going to do whatever the Lord says.” But with COVID, they asked me to do something online. So, I put this message out to Joe Biden. In a day, it had a million views.
Then something weird happened. When we typed it in, we couldn’t get the video. YouTube had shadow banned it. It was still there somewhere, but they cut off all the roads to get there. So, we complained, and they put it back. But even with them trying to ban it, it went totally viral. I believe the Lord will get his word out, and we can’t hold back. There’s a big push by the culture to silence believers, and the worse thing we can do is go along with that and keep silent. This culture needs the truth, and we have to be the watchmen.
JAMES: Let’s talk about The Harbinger. That book really thrusted you into the national spotlight. The book was released back in 2011 and with the 20th anniversary of 9-11 in 2021 and with the release of The Harbinger II there is a new interest in The Harbinger. For those who have not read the book, what is the harbinger?
JONATHAN: Yeah. The Harbinger is subtitled The Ancient Mystery That Holds the Secret of America’s Future. It is the first book that I ever wrote. I knew that I had to write it. I knew I had to get it out. I knew it was from the Lord. In the last days of ancient Israel, there were nine harbingers or nine prophetic signs of warning. These harbingers warned the nation of destruction if they didn’t turn back to God. The amazing thing – the stunning thing is those same nine harbingers have now been reappearing on American soil. Some have appeared in New York City. Some have appeared in Washington, D.C. Some have involved ceremonies. Some have involved American leaders, even the President. These harbingers are a warning that America is now the nation in danger of judgment. Now, in the time we are in, we have to come back to God or face judgment. And two things: First, since The Harbinger came out, the harbingers have not stopped. Second, the mysteries have not stopped unfolding. There’s a chapter in The Harbinger called “Things to Come,” and we are there. The harbingers have continued. It is a critical biblical mystery that has affected every one of us and will continue to affect us in the days to come.
JAMES: Isaiah Chapter 9 and Verse 10 reads, “The bricks are fallen down, but we will build with hewn stones: the sycamores are cut down, but we will change them into cedars.” Help me understand the context. Would you set the stage for those last days of ancient Israel?
JONATHAN: This is a nation that had once known God, but they turned away from God and were racing away from God. So, God sends warning to them to call them back. He sends them prophets, but they don’t listen. Finally, something happens – the first stage of biblical national judgment. This is the templet. It happened with the Northern Kingdom. Then the same thing happened with the Southern Kingdom. Years before the nation’s destruction, there comes a warning in the form of a strike on the land. The hedge of protection is lifted and an enemy breaches the land. The strike is to shake them, to wake them up, and to call them back. But it is temporary.
It happened in 732 B.C. to ancient Israel. At that time, Isaiah is given a word. That’s the word you just read – Isaiah 9:10 which is a key Scripture for unlocking the mysteries of the harbingers. The bricks fell during the attack, but the people said, “Instead of repenting, we are coming back stronger.” Instead of saying, “We were wrong. We are humbled and we’re coming back. We are going to change.” They say, “We are going to come back better than before. We are going to build with quarried stone instead of bricks. And since the sycamores were cut down, we are going to use stronger cedars. We are not listening to you God. We are defying you.” So, that’s what happens to ancient Israel. Then, a number of years later, they are destroyed because they didn’t listen to the harbingers.
In that verse, are revealed, the harbingers that have come to America. America is also a nation that has known God, but we have turned away. We are rapidly racing away from God just like ancient Israel. Actually, America was founded after the pattern of ancient Israel. Now we are replaying the fall of ancient Israel. Now the judgment of ancient Israel is beginning on America. It begins with that strike on the land. The nation’s hedge of protection is lifted. An enemy makes a strike. That is 9-11. September 11, 2001 is where the mystery of the harbinger begins. All nine harbingers are going to come out of what began at 9-11.
James, I was standing on the corner of Ground Zero. That’s when the whole thing began. I saw this object, and Someone said to me, “You have to seek what this means.” I looked it up in the Bible, and it started unfolding and getting bigger, and bigger, and bigger. One puzzle piece, the next puzzle piece. When I didn’t know what the next one would be, somebody would say the word. When I would type something in my computer, my computer would give me something that I didn’t even ask for. However, it was the answer to the next harbinger.
All nine harbingers have come to America and America after 9-11 did the same thing that ancient Israel did. Instead of repenting and turning back to God, we said we are going to come back stronger without Him. Instead of revival, America has gotten worse. We are now racing away from God, we are racing to judgment, and the harbingers have appeared.
JAMES: You mentioned the breach. In The Harbinger, you write about the breach. What is the breach?
JONATHAN: The breach is that first opening up – really the first sign of judgment. The breach is when the nation’s hedge is lifted with the attack. So, you have 9-11, that’s the beginning of it. But the second harbinger is the terrorist. It wasn’t just an attack by enemies. They were terrorists that attacked ancient Israel. The Assyrians who attacked ancient Israel are the fathers of terrorism. Every terrorist in some way is linked to Assyria. And 9-11 wasn’t just an attack, it was an attack by terrorists. They came from the same part of the world. They came from the Middle East. Some were even descended from the Assyrians. The Assyrians spoke Acadian, which is extinct language, but its sister language still exists to this day. The sister language to Acadian is Arabic. So, 9-11 was carried out in the sister language of the ancient Assyrians.
Another harbinger is the fallen bricks. What was the sign of 9-11? The falling buildings – the Twin Towers. It’s all there. The warning is if America doesn’t come back to God, it will collapse, just like those buildings.
But remember, the people said, “We will rebuild with quarried stone.” They began rebuilding Ground Zero and they said, “Hey! We’re going to come back stronger and bigger,” just like ancient Israel did. The stone mentioned in Isaiah is a gazit stone. It’s a massive rectangular block of stone. Amazingly a biblical gazit stone was placed at Ground Zero after 9-11. They held a ceremony around it. The governor of New York said, “We are doing this in defiance of our enemies.”
Then you have, “the sycamore has been struck down.” As the last tower came down on 9-11, a beam from the northern tower falls across the sky and strikes a tree. It was a sycamore growing at Ground Zero.
JAMES: That’s amazing.
JONATHAN: The sycamore was struck down as a sign of national judgment. Then they say, “We are going to replant it with another tree.” The tree in Hebrew is called the erez tree. A few years after 9-11, a tree appears in the sky. It was lowered down into the same spot where the sycamore stood. It is a biblical erez tree. They have a ceremony, and they say, “We’re coming back stronger.” They planted exactly where the sycamore stood.
Now, one of the signs is that a national leader will actually make this vow. On the day after 9-11, on Capitol Hill, America made its response to 9-11. And the Senate Majority Leader gives America’s response. At the end of his speech, Tom Daschle said, “There is a Scripture from Isaiah that speaks to us now.” Then, out of his mouth, to America, he said, “The bricks are fallen down, but we will build with hewn stones: the sycamores are cut down, but we will change them into cedars.” Word for word, he said the ancient vow that brought judgment to Israel on the day after 9-11. Now, he has no idea as he is saying it – he doesn’t know as he speaks about a sycamore being struck down that there was a tree at Ground Zero that had been struck down. When he said, “The bricks are fallen down, but we will build with hewn stones,” he didn’t know it, but he spoke prophetically. That’s just a little taste of how the ancient mystery has been replaying in America in exact detail.
JAMES: Well, The Harbinger is certainly amazing, but you didn’t stop there. You also have The Harbinger II. Tell me about The Harbinger II. How did it come to you and what does it reveal?
JONATHAN: Well, when I wrote The Harbinger, I knew that there was more. There was more to reveal, and the mystery has not stopped. Also, there were things revealed to me back when I wrote the first book that I didn’t put in. There was too much to put in. So, I put those things in the first part of the book in a section called “The Unrevealed.” The second part is called “The Manifestations” and that is what has happened since 9-11 since I wrote The Harbinger. I deal with how the harbingers have continued to be manifested. The last section of The Harbinger II is called “The Coming.” That is about what is happening right now. From the plague that has come on America and all the turmoil, is it all linked to the harbingers?
You know, James, before COVID came to America, I was praying about my next book. I strongly got from the Lord that a shaking was coming to America, and it would be the continuation of the mystery that began with The Harbinger. So, I had to write The Harbinger II to get the word out to God’s people to let them know what is happening, where it is going, and how to be prepared.
JAMES: So, the things that you wrote about in The Harbinger are now coming true, correct?
JONATHAN: Yes! We spoke about when the first strike came on ancient Israel, but that wasn’t the end of the warning of judgment. That was the beginning. Then the nation is given a window of time to come back to God. If it doesn’t come back to God, the shakings or greater shakings are going to come upon the nation. With ancient Israel, they didn’t come back. They got worse. That’s exactly what’s happening now to America, and it was all foreshadowed in The Harbinger.
The rest of this interview can be heard by going to the broadcast archives for October 25th and 26th, 2021, at SWRC.com. Jonathan Cahn’s books and DVDs including The Harbinger and The Harbinger II are also available at SWRC.com in the online bookstore.