A Messianic Jewish rabbi believes the United States is in the midst of great shaking where the nation may soon pass the point of no return absent large-scale repentance.
In a Friday interview with The Christian Post, author Jonathan Cahn explained that his latest book, The Harbinger II: The Return, is a follow-up of sorts to his previous book, The Harbinger: The Ancient Mystery That Holds the Secret of America's Future, which explains the template for national judgment and begins with a strike on the land. For the United States, he believes that strike was the events of Sept. 11, 2001.
That would be followed by a window of time where a nation has time to repent and turn back to God. Yet when the window closes, divine judgment is imminent. Ever since the publication of The Harbinger, he has been calling for and envisioning an event like The Return, a gathering of mass repentance that began on Sept. 18 and will last until Sept. 28. A Global Day of Prayer is planned for Sept. 26, along with a prayer march in Washington, D.C.
Together with Kevin Jessip, who is the president of the Strategic Global Alliance, Cahn felt strongly that 2020 was the year for this event to happen.
"I had this sense that 2020 was going to be a year of great shaking," Cahn said.
"I believe we're at a very critical point, a very dangerous moment, more dangerous than America was at on 9/11. If we don't rise to this call to return we may pass the point of no return ... I believe everything is converging to this moment," he said.
Cahn believes that this present national call for a return to God and an appeal for divine intervention happened previously in U.S. history. As a new believer in Jesus as the Messiah, he remembers in 1979 how it appeared that everything seemed to be falling apart in American society. The economy was falling apart with double-digit inflation, high unemployment, and people waiting daily in long lines for gasoline. Fifty-two American hostages were being held in Iran and people were chanting "Death to America" around the world.
"There was a gloom upon America and it looked as if the days of America's preeminence were coming to an end," he recalled.
Around that time there was an event called "Washington for Jesus" on the National Mall that was focused on 2 Chronicles 7:14, as is The Return this week.
The text reads: "If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."
Cahn noted that the context of this oft-cited passage is sometimes neglected, noting that in the preceding verse God speaks of sending a pestilence on the land, which is particularly relevant in light of what 2020 has yielded thus far.
Two main prayers were lifted up in 1979, he said, that God Himself would set the hostages free in Iran and that God would install into government who He wanted and would do His will.
"Months later, there was a revolution at the polls and people who supported biblical values were swept into power, most specifically Ronald Reagan. And when he was sworn in they changed the inauguration site which it had been for over a century on the east side of the Capitol building. They changed it for the first time to the western side, which was where we were praying. He's standing on the western terrace at the very place we were putting our hands to that day," Cahn explained.
"In that same moment as he's standing on the terrace the hostages are set free after a year on that day."
A turnaround in America occurred, he added, noting it was called "Morning in America," the economy subsequently boomed, America's military prestige resurged, and the years that followed were the lead-up to the demise of the Soviet Union.
"I literally saw God change the history of America and the world based on the prayers of His people. If that was needed then, it is all the more critical now. We are at a much more dangerous place," he stressed.
Earlier this year, Dana Coverstone, a Pentecostal pastor from Kentucky, released several videos that ended up going viral, in which he explained what he believed were prophetic dreams he had regarding the future of the United States. In one such video, about which he was interviewed on the Jim Bakker Show, he spoke of the month of September wherein he saw a massive call to prayer, a movement for intercession and revival. In one particular dream that he had he saw the words "A Solemn Assembly" written across a calendar page for the month of September.
"Pastor Coverstone had no idea about The Return when he had that dream," Cahn told CP.
The Return occurs during the 10 days of Awe, the period between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur (the first 10 days of the Hebrew month of Tishrei), where Jews seek reconciliation with those they have offended and take time to self-reflect, repent, and practice acts of charity.
During this 10-day period, a most significant day exists on the Hebrew calendar which falls this year on Sept. 26, Cahn explained. The day is called Shabbat Shuva. Shabbat means "sabbath" and shuva means "return." It is the day established to return to God, specifically for a national return to Him.
Joel 2 is a portion of Scripture that is appointed to be read on Shabbat Shuva, which speaks about coming before God with repentance and consecrating a solemn assembly of prayer and fasting. Jews around the world will be unrolling the scrolls, reading that scripture in their congregations that day.
"We had no idea," Cahn said of the seeming coincidence of this day and The Return.
"When I look at the biblical template and I see it unfolding and coming to pass, I know the stakes here and the stakes are that if we do not return to God then we may pass the point of no return, that without revival America is gone as we know it. And without repentance there is no revival."
The Messianic Jewish rabbi thinks the shakings are not finished in America and people have long inquired of him if he sees calamity and judgment coming or revival. He always answers: "There can be both."
"There can be shaking and things can get worse. But there can be revival at the same time. And in fact, sometimes revival will come through shaking. Many of us have come to the Lord because we were shaken," he said.
"My sense is that the shaking is not over but at the same time there can be revival in the midst and God will speak to and use both. In fact, it may be that America has become so deafened and so hardened to the voice of God that only through shaking will it hear the voice and will people come [back to Him]. That may be the way it has to happen," he emphasized.
Cahn's ministry is based in Wayne, New Jersey, at Beth Israel Worship Center, approximately 20 miles from New York City.