Tuesday, December 5, 2023

The Problematic Manifesto of Jonathan Cahn — Part 6

This is part 6 of a multi-part review and critique of Jonathan Cahn's latest book published in 2023. You can read Part 1 here, Part 2 here, Part 3 here, Part 4 here, and Part 5 here


 In this part of the book, Cahn tries to draw parallels between the events of spring 2020 and the Passover, the Jewish celebration of liberation from slavery in Egypt, which is celebrated in the spring. He writes, “One of the unique aspects of Passover is that it focuses on the coming of a plague. So in April of 2020, the ancient holiday that tells of the coming of a plague fell in the midst of the coming of a plague” (108). He then goes on to state that Passover involved a lock down, and in fact was “the first recorded national lockdown in world history” (109).

There are a few things we should note here. First, the death of the firstborn in Egypt wasn’t so much a plague like the previous judgments. Those took place over a period of time, after which Pharaoh had a chance to entreat Moses to pray to YHWH and ask Him to take away what was tormenting the Egyptians. , which took place over time, and . The death of the firstborn was an immediate, all-in-one-night, event, which could not be lifted afterward through an entreaty by Moses to YHWH. To compare the COVID pandemic, which grew in impact over time, to the death of the firstborn, which happened all in one night, is really not valid. As for Passover involving a lockdown, the “lockdown” in Egypt was only for the children of Israel, who were commanded to stay inside the homes marked with the blood of the Passover lamb on the doorposts. It wasn’t the whole nation of Egypt, and it wasn’t for an extended period. Again, Cahn picks broad things that at first glance may appear to support his narrative, but he conveniently ignores the finer details that cause his analogies to break down.

Cahn then moves on to discuss the second springtime Jewish feast, which is Pentecost. He asks, “If the first appointed feast manifested in the form of judgment, could the second do so as well?” (112). He then claims that when the season of Shavuot (Pentecost) comes in judgment, instead of bringing the wind or breath of the pneuma/ruach, the judgment would take away breath. Just as Pentecost celebrated the theophany of holy fire on Mount Sinai when Moses was receiving the law from YHWH, which was echoed in the tongues of fire that appeared over the gathered disciples’ heads in Jerusalem, the judgment would also bring fire, but this time in a destructive manner. And wouldn’t you know it? Cahn finds a way to link this to the events of spring 2020, particularly the murder of George Floyd (whose dying words were, “I can’t breathe”) and the destructive riots that followed that tragic death: “In the year 2020, when did the feast known as Pentecost and Shavuot fall? On both the Jewish and Christian calendars, it fell in the last days of May. When did the shakings that would set cities on fire come upon America? They came upon America in the last days of May” (114). The question that came to my mind when I read this was, “Why in the world is he trying to link the purifying fire of Pentecost that represents God’s presence with destructive fires set by men?”

Next, in chapter 31, Cahn writes about the “Days of Awe,” a series of “the most sacred and awesome time of the ancient biblical calendar” (116). He mentions a Hebrew prayer recited at the Feast of Trumpets, which he says is also known as Yom Ha Din, or the “Day of Judgment,” which talks about God as the judge of all. “As the summer draws to a close, the Jewish are fixed on a court” (117). Continuing to build his argument, he writes that just as the Jewish people focus on the highest of courts at this time, the attention of America turned to the nation’s highest court, the Supreme Court:

And so as the sacred calendar turned to the days on which it was believed that the heavenly court passed its verdict as to who would pass from the earth, a verdict was passed. And one then passed from the earth. One who had sat on the nation’s highest of courts, Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg, passed from the earth. (118)

Judge Ginsberg died on Friday, September 18, 2020, the same day that the Feast of Trumpets started at sunset. Cahn tries to argue that if she had not passed from the earth on that exact day, all the other events that had occurred for “return and reversal” up to that point would have amounted to nothing. Somehow, in Cahn’s thought processes that seem to be heavily influenced by Jewish mysticism, her “passing had to have taken place at the time of the ancient holy day” (120).

It's all very intriguing and interesting when events in modern-day countries occur on Jewish feast days, but can we really claim that the Jewish calendar is a controlling factor for nations that are not God’s covenant people? This sounds a lot like the YouTube “prophets” who every year try to find some kind of spiritual significance in the number of the year on the Jewish calendar (though remarkably, they seem to always do this around January 1, which is the beginning of the Western Gregorian calendar, rather than at the time of year the Jewish calendar actually begins). Dr. Michael Brown, a Messianic Jewish scholar, has plainly stated that trying to find special meanings in the number of the year on the Hebrew calendar is absolutely not a valid method of finding prophetic significance.

Read part 7 here

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