This is part 8 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, Part 5 here, Part 6 here, and Part 7 here
VIII—DAY OF THE TURNING
There were signs of something unique concerning The Return.
The sacred assembly called for in Joel takes place against the backdrop of a
plague that had come upon the land. So The Return would take place against the
backdrop of a plague on the land.
The context of the most famous of verses on national
repentance , 2 Chronicles 7:14, is this: “When I...send a plague among
my people, if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and
pray...” Again, the conte4xt specifically mentioned a plague. We were
now in that context. The plague had come. Now it was time to humble ourselves
and pray. (136)
I certainly believe that God wants His people to humble themselves, pray, and turn from wickedness. But Cahn here seems to be equating the people of God with the modern nation-state of America. This is something he does in all his books, according to what I have seen others write in reviews of them. But the people of God is represented in the New Covenant by the Church—by those who literally are called by the name of Christ—Christians, as I wrote about here several years ago.
simply equating modern America with ancient Israel as God’s people, Cahn
proceeds to draw linkages between this event he helped organize and things
going on in U.S. politics and government at the same time. He traces out how a
few speakers at the gathering had gone past their scheduled times a bit, so that
the planned start of a time of prayer
and intercession at 5:00 p.m. was missed by a few minutes. Draped in a Jewish
prayer shawl Cahn prepared to blow a shofar seven times as the gathered crowd
interceded for seven purposes. Cahn announced to the people present that “in
the Scriptures, God ordained the trumpet as a vessel of His power” (145). I
would like to see a biblical citation for that assertion, as I am not aware of
any text in Scripture that states or even implies that God’s power resides in a
ram’s horn or its sounding.
at least according to Cahn, his blowing the shofar four-and-a-half minutes past
the scheduled time had spiritual significance.
I had planned for one last prophetic act to be performed at The
Return to seal—one final blast of the trumpets—the blast of several trumpets at
In the Bible the sound of the trumpet marked not only the appointed times of God but the appointed moments. The shofars of Jericho are an example of it. It was at the exact moment of the blast that the walls fell down. So too in the Book of Revelation, seven angels are shown sounding seven trumpets. The blasts are matched by an immediate corresponding event in the heavens and on the earth. (146)
According to Cahn’s
telling of events, at the exact same (delayed by a few minutes) moment he and
six other men in prayer shawls were blowing the shofars, the president was beginning
his announcement of Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to replace Ruth Bader
Ginsburg on the Supreme Court.
It was 5:04 p.m.—4 minutes—and 33 seconds.
When the president opened his mouth to set in motion the
overturning of Roe v. Wade, it was 5:04 p.m.—4 minutes—and 33
The turning, the undoing of abortion, the altering of history began at the exact moment the trumpets began their blasting and the shout of the multitude went up—the exact same moment. (148)
All of these
anecdotes are curious, and maybe even interesting, but they do not actually
establish the outworking of any “ancient mystery” that is just now being revealed.
Is it possible
that Cahn is stringing up all of this red yard between events thumbtacked on
the wall in an attempt to build his own credibility as a “prophet” or as having
special insight for uncovering “ancient mysteries”? Could he be trying to stamp
his own actions at The Return with divine importance, as if God needed Cahn to
be doing these things at this place and time in order to accomplish His will?
providence would have it, the very weekend I was writing this review of the eighth
part of The Josiah Manifesto, I came across the following in Stephen D.
Barkley’s Pentecostal Prophets: Experience in Old Testament Perspective,
as Barkley writes about the acted-out prophecies of the Old Testament prophets,
First, prophetic sign-acts had no innate power and should not
be viewed as a form of “sympathetic magic.” The signs had no metaphysical power,
nor did they trigger a divine act when performed correctly. The power of these
signs lay in their rhetorical force. (85)
Yet Cahn seems to believe (or at least wants his readers to believe) that his “prophetic act” of blowing the shofar was an actual cause or trigger for God to move. This skates dangerously close to the magic and sorcery forbidden by God in the Old Testament. YHWH, the God of Israel, is not to be ordered around and manipulated by the whims of human beings.
out this part of the book, Cahn attempts to build yet another Jubilee parallel:
Trump’s presidency began with his inauguration on January 20,
2017. His least year as president began on January 20, 2020. January 20, 2020
was also the inauguration of the plague, the day it officially entered American
soil. January 20, 2020, was also the inauguration of the Jubilee, the Jubilean
day of abortion’s entrance into America on January 20, 1970. So the day that
inaugurated the final year of the Trump presidency also inaugurated America’s
dark Jubilee. (153)
Cahn here is playing games with the math (and it’s not the first place in this book he does so). Earlier in the book, he makes it clear that the fiftieth year, the year of the Jubilee, starts one day after forty-nine years have passed (see p. 29, comparing the resignations of Batista and Castro; p. 103, when calculating the window of the “Jubilee year” of Roe v. Wade, during which “the reversal” would have to take place; and p. 129, when stating that the majority of Judge Barrett’s first year on the Supreme Court took place during her personal “Jubilean year”). Think of it like birthdays. Your first year starts the day you were born, not on the day you turn one year old. Your fiftieth year begins on your forty-ninth birthday, not on your fiftieth birthday.
So even if
the biblical Jubilee worked on anniversary cycles of events, as Cahn mistakenly
seems to believe and teach, the “Jubilee year” of abortion starting its path
toward being legal in the United States would have begun on the forty-ninth anniversary—January
20, 2019—and not on January 20 of 2020, which would have been the ending of the
fiftieth year. But Cahn can’t seem to make up his mind whether to use the
beginning of the forty-ninth or fiftieth year as the beginning of the Jubilee.
He simply goes with whichever of the two makes things fall into place for the
tale he is weaving (possibly hoping that no math nerds like myself are paying
attention to hi sleight-of-hand).
Read part 9 here