This past spring, The New York Times published an article about worldwide bestselling author Jonathan Cahn. Within the article, journalist Sam Kestenbaum explored Cahn's ministry at Beth Israel Worship Center, his reputation as a modern-day prophet and, most notably, the modern-day fascination with prophecy.
"A charismatic preacher inveighing against imminent devastation is nothing new," Kestenbaum writes. "America has long been fertile ground for would-be doomsday prophets, stretching back centuries."
Cahn's success is evidence of a strong hunger for prophetic writing and preaching. But why?
Kestenbaum quotes Valparaiso University professor of religion Daniel Silliman, who says Cahn and his ministry echo a tradition of Americans "looking to prophecy as a way to absorb the chaos" of current events.
"It can make someone feel that God is working through human history," Silliman says, "transforming anxiety into a sense of fullness."
In his newest instant New York Times' bestselling book, The Oracle: The Jubilean Mysteries Unveiled, Cahn reveals the "mystery of the ages"—and even of Donald Trump, the White House and more. Cahn also opens up ancient mysteries that lie behind the current events and leaders of modern times. Throughout the book, the reader is taken on a journey of angels and prophetic revelations waiting to be discovered behind each of the seven doors—the ancient secrets that lie behind the world-changing events of modern times—and events that are yet to come.
As to the overwhelming response and success of his books, Cahn has an answer very different from that given in Kestenbaum's article.
"There is indeed a strong hunger for such things," Cahn says, "but that would mean nothing if there wasn't an objective reality to the facts themselves. And the fact is that modern events are lining up with prophetic templates given over 2,000 years ago in the Scriptures. And the truth is that God, indeed, is at work in the world just as much as He was in Bible times, and there is indeed a plan and purpose to human history. I believe that the success of The Harbinger, The Paradigm and The Oracle is based on the fact that the manifestations of this phenomenon is so exact, precise and uncanny that it actually pinpoints specific dates when specific events must take place."
In 2012, Cahn debuted his breakout book, The Harbinger, which revealed the parallels between biblical events and current events. In the same way the Israelites were attacked by Assyrians, for example, Americans were attacked by al Qaeda terrorists. In the same way the biblical character of Jehonadab looked to Jehu to lead the nation out of apostasy, conservative Christians looked to Trump to lead the country out of liberalism. Some of these themes are built upon in The Oracle, Cahn's highest-debuting book yet.
Then in his 2017 New York Times' best-seller The Paradigm, Cahn revealed another dimension of the parallel between ancient Israel and modern-day America—revealing how the template or paradigm not only foreshadowed current events, but specific leaders who would come to the national stage and to power in our day.
He addressed sexual immorality: "As in the days of Israel's fall from God, when the erotic images of Canaanite goddesses were everywhere, so too in the modern apostasy erotic and pornographic images have saturated the culture."
He addressed proponents of abortion: "The priests of Baal were the ones who oversaw and participated in the sacrifice of children. Their modern-day equivalents would be those who oversee the killing of unborn children in abortions."
For a large part of the book, Cahn discussed today's political leaders and their ancient-Israel counterparts. For Trump, it was Jehu, a warrior king who led the Israelites away from worshipping the pagan god Baal.
At the same time, Cahn writes that America's moral and spiritual fall cannot be salvaged by simply electing the right leader.
"A political answer cannot solve a spiritual problem," Cahn writes in The Paradigm. "The only answer is revival."
Perhaps that's another reason why prophecy is of such great interest. Not only does it contextualize the present, but it also promises a future steeped in spiritual meaning.
Jonathan Cahn caused a worldwide stir with the release of his explosive first book, The Harbinger, which became an instant New York Times' bestseller and brought him to national and international prominence. His next three books were also New York Times' bestsellers: The Mystery of the Shemitah, The Book of Mysteries and The Paradigm. He was named, along with Billy Graham and Keith Greene, one of the top 40 spiritual leaders of the past 40 years to have radically impacted the world. Called the prophetic voice of this generation, Cahn is a much-sought-after speaker and has been highlighted in The New York Times as well as in many national and international media. He has spoken on Capitol Hill, at the United Nations and to millions of people around the world. Cahn is known for opening the deep mysteries of Scripture and bringing forth messages of prophetic import. He leads Hope of the World ministry, an international outreach of teaching, evangelism and compassion projects for the world's most needy. He also leads the Jerusalem Center/Beth Israel, a worship center made up of Jews and Gentiles, people of all backgrounds, just outside New York City in Wayne, New Jersey. His ministry can be contacted at HopeoftheWorld.org and Jonathan Cahn Facebook.
Never miss another Spirit-filled news story again. Get Charisma's best content delivered right to your inbox! Click here to subscribe to the Charisma News newsletter.
Three Summer Deals from Charisma: