Is the “City on a Hill” facing remedial judgments?
To answer that question, were were blessed to have on our program Christ in Prophecy Messianic Rabbi Jonathan Cahn. Rabbi Cahn is the spiritual leader of the Beth Israel Worship Center in Wayne, New Jersey and best-selling author of the book The Harbinger and a new book titled The Mystery of the Shemitah. Both books have been best sellers and highly controversial in Christian circles.
The Bible teaches that God never pours out His wrath on a nation without first sending remedial judgments and prophetic voices to warn of God’s impending judgment and to call the nation to repentance. Rabbi Cahn believes that when it comes to the United States, God already has been emphatically warning us, and since we haven’t listened, is delivering us from judgment to destruction. And, as always has been the case with anyone who historically speaks out in prophetic manner calling people for repentance, Jonathan has of course been severely attacked.
In this series we are going to discuss his basic message concerning God’s warnings to America and also ask him about some of the accusations that have been hurled against him.
[Note: The interview has been put into article format for ease of reading. For an unedited transcript, please click the PDF button above.]
A City on a Hill
Dr. Reagan: Jonathan, I think your writing has impacted a lot of people, but I’ll tell you what has impacted me the most. What has impacted me the most was the incredible speech that you presented at the Presidential Inaugural Prayer Breakfast in January of 2013. Unfortunately, the President was not there. I wish he had been. It was a fantastic speech! I just want to point out that this is a speech that can be seen on YouTube.
In that speech you made this comment, “The city on the hill,” speaking of America, “has grown dark. Its lamp has grown dim. Its glory is fading. For God is not mocked. No nation can war against the very source of its blessing and expect those blessings to remain.”
Nathan Jones: Jonathan, this statement you made at the 2013 Inaugural Prayer Breakfast, you called this nation a “city on a hill.” You proclaimed we were no longer a beacon of light to the world and that our lamp has grown dim and our glory is fading. Can you explain those remarks you made at the prayer breakfast?
Jonathan Cahn: The “city on the hill” is the first real symbol ever given to America before the America flag and before the eagle.
This label was given to us by John Winthrop when he wrote a famous sermon right at the beginning of America. He was saying that our nation shall be as a “city on a hill.” He was quoting from the Messiah who in Matthew 5:14 said, “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.” America was dedicated to God back by the Puritans. Winthrop said that if we follow God we will be the most blessed people on earth. If we turn away, the judgments of God will come. People forget the next part of what he said.
America in many ways has been the beacon of the Gospel to the world, and God has blessed it because of that. And you know that it has been blessed, just as the Pilgrims said, just as Israel was blessed. Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach.
But we are now rapidly turning away from God. America is now the greatest exporter of pornography in the world. I mean exporting darkness. It is accelerating, too. America’s apostasy is accelerating. Even in the last few days we are watching it happening here. We are opposing God’s ways. We are really holding our fist up in God’s face.
No nation can be blessed by God as it has been if it turns away from God and defy His ways continuously. Those blessings will be removed. God is a patient God, but patience will only last up to a certain point.
So, we are watching in a sense the “City on the Hill” greatly darkening. It is actually at war with its own foundation. The nation’s at war with its light, and that was the light of America. We are standing in danger of judgment.
Dr. Reagan: The Bible seems to indicate that God never pours out His wrath without sending remedial judgments and raising prophetic voices to warn a nation. Certainly you are one of those prophetic voices today together with others that I could name.
But what about remedial judgments? Do you think God is placing remedial judgments on this nation?
Jonathan Cahn: Yes, and that’s how my book The Harbinger really began.
One of the classic signs of warning that God gives in the Bible, and it happens more than once because it happened with the Northern Kingdom and with the Southern Kingdom, is that years before full judgment there would be a breaching of the nation’s hedge of protection. It is a strike that happens in the land. With ancient Israel in the Northern Kingdom, it happened in 732 BC when the Assyrian army was allowed to ravage the land. In the Southern Kingdom, it happened with Babylon in 605 BC as Babylon came in before the great judgment. With the Northern Kingdom, it was about ten years between the first strike and then that final judgment. With the Southern Kingdom, it was about 19 years. There’s not a formula, but there is a pattern.
With America we have experienced the harbingers begin with that first strike that happens when America’s hedge of protection is removed. When 9/11 came it was a shaking of America. It was a wakeup call to America. I think most believers even felt that. What happened was people flocked to churches. It looked as though there was going to be a revival, if you remember. People were flocking. Everything was all about God for three weeks, and then after that period it just ended because there was no repentance. Without repentance there can be no revival. So, instead of growing better, we got worse.
Dr. Reagan: There was also a surge of patriotism. In fact, we saw bumper stickers everywhere that said “God bless America.” My wife one day said, “That’s wrong.” And I asked, “What do you mean?” She answered, “He’s already blessed America. We need a bumper sticker that says ‘America Bless God.'” She designed one and we printed it.
Jonathan Cahn: You know, I heard of that sticker’s staying and I’ve repeated that myself. I didn’t know that it came from your wife. Truly, that is exactly it!
What happens if you don’t come back in repentance? What happened with Israel when they had their first warning strike with an attack. They continued to turn away. They grew more defiant instead of repentant.
What happens then is these harbingers, or these remedial judgments or these signs of a nation in danger of judgment, start coming one after another. What happened with America is that we have grown worse, far worse than before that warning. That is what happens when you reject God. That’s what happens.
In my book I identified nine harbingers of warning and judgment that happened to ancient Israel and are now reappearing in America. They are now on America soil. Some have involved American leaders, and even the President. That’s why I think the Presidential Inaugural Prayer had something to do with that. God keeps calling me to Washington now for some reason.
I believe that without any question we are on a progression towards judgment now. Even if you didn’t know about the harbingers, it’s clear, very clear.
The fact is the harbingers are reappearing. It is one right after another. It happens in precision. Some have happened in New York City where my congregation is. Some have happened in Washington D.C. Since my book The Harbinger came out, harbingers have continued. They’ve not stopped. These manifestations of signs of warning have continued, just as America has accelerated in its apostasy.
We are in grave danger.
In the second segment of our interview with Jonathan Cahn on America, we’ll look to see if there are any historic parallels between Israel and the United States.