Jonathan Cahn, a controversial messianic rabbi, announced on his Facebook page today that he has been asked to be the keynote speaker at the Presidential Inaugural Prayer Breakfast on Jan. 21. Cahn is the rabbi of the Beth Israel Worship Center in Wayne, N.J. and president of the Hope of the World ministry. He is also the author of “The Harbinger,” a prophetic novel that details Cahn’s belief that the United States is receiving divine warnings as a prelude to judgment.
“The Harbinger” centers around Isaiah 9:10, a verse in which the ancient Israelites vowed to rebuild stronger than before in the aftermath of an Assyrian attack. Cahn finds many parallels between modern America and ancient Israel.
According to Cahn, the process of divine judgment begins with the removal of God’s protective “hedge” to open the nation to attack. In the case of both nations, the removal of God’s protection led to an attack by terrorists. In Israel’s case, the attack was by the Assyrians in 732 B.C. In America’s case, it was by al Qaeda on 9/11.
In both cases, the attack was followed by defiance. The Israelites made the vow found in Isaiah: “The bricks have fallen down, but we will rebuild with dressed stone; the fig trees have been felled, but we will replace them with cedars.” Put simply, they would take what was destroyed and replace it with something even better rather than repenting of their sins.
Ironically, this obscure Old Testament verse with its vow of defiance was used not once, but twice by American leaders in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. On Sept. 12, 2001, Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle quoted the verse in a speech to congress where he specifically linked the verse to America. Three years later, on Sept. 11, 2004, Sen. John Edwards, then a vice presidential candidate, again invoked the verse in a speech to the Congressional Black Caucus. On February 24, 2009, President Obama echoed the defiant tone of the verse, saying in his address to Congress, “I want every American to know this: We will rebuild, we will recover, and the United States of America will emerge stronger than before.” The book cites many other striking similarities between ancient history and modern news.
Other confirmed guests at the Presidential Inaugural Prayer Breakfast include Chaplain of the U.S. House Father Patrick Conroy, Rep. Michele Bachmann, Rep. Eric Cantor, and Sen. Roy Blunt. Worship music will be provided by Jeremiah and Wendy Ginsberg and the Philadelphia Tabernacle of David. It is not known whether President Obama will attend.
Tickets to the event are available to the public. They can be purchased online at http://pipb2013.eventbrite.com/ or by calling (804) 971—0414. Limited tickets will be available at the door.
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