Rabbi’s Reflections – Sunday, September 6, 2020

Shavuah Tov,

The 9/11/2001 Attack on America    A Warning of God’s Judgment? (Part 1)

By Dr. and Senator Raymond Finney

BACKGROUND: Next Friday, September 11 (9/11), is the anniversary of the day America was attacked at two important places– her “gates” (New York City and Washington, D.C.). America’s two greatest symbols of strength were attacked without warning– the economy (the Twin Towers in NYC) and the military (the Pentagon in Washington). These cities are “gates” for America’s strength (her strongholds). The Bible speaks of the importance of gates and strongholds. For example, see: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20141001184612-50506295-understanding-the-importance-of-gates .

By the seventieth birthday, a person has lived 25,567 days (365.25 x 70). Although most days merge into a blurred past, most Americans can vividly remember certain days of shared importance– such as, the day President John Kennedy was assassinated (November 22, 1963) and the day four commandeered jetliners, loaded with passengers and fuel, were flown by Muslim terrorists into the Twin Towers (New York City), the Pentagon (Washington D.C.), and a field (Pennsylvania) to the pilots’ jubilant shouts of “Allahu akbar!” (“Allah is the greatest!”). These two days seem as though they happened yesterday. The 9/11 attack on America occurred nineteen years ago on September 11, 2001. 

Rabbi Jonathan Cahn may be America’s best-known living author of books on Judeo-Christian faith. He is the Messianic rabbi of Beth Israel Worship Center in Wayne, New Jersey (on the outskirts of New York City). His first novel, “The Harbinger: The Ancient Mystery That Holds the Secret of America’s Future,” was a great success. I use this book as source material for this RR series. Then, Cahn published: “The Mystery of the Shemitah,” “The Book of Mysteries,” “The Paradigm,” and “The Oracle: Jubilean Mysteries Unveiled.” Within the past month, he has published a sequel to his first novel: “The Harbinger II: The Return.”

Cahn believes America and the 9/11 attack were foretold as a dual prophecy in parts of the ninth chapter of Isaiah. Some of Cahn’s conclusions are controversial and debated (detractors attack writings about matters of faith). But, parallels with the Isaiah passage and the 9/11 attacks are compelling. Consider some of Cahn’s assertions, as we recall a most significant day– a day America was attacked by Muslim terrorists– and as we wonder if this day could be a warning for America.

Much of these RRs (first part) are my musings; most of the second part (next Sunday) summarizes “The Harbinger.”

GOD SEAMLESSLY SEES ALL TIME: We only see a small sliver of time, but God sees the entirety of time from eternity past to the present to eternity future. Pertinent Scriptures, which I summarize for space conservation, include:

** Isaiah 46:8-10: God makes known the end from the beginning of time.

** Isaiah 42:9: Adonai declares to us new things before they spring forth.

** Amos 3:7: The Lord Adonai does nothing, unless He has revealed it to His servants the prophets.

** Ecclesiastes 1:9: Kohelet [“the Preacher”] declares that which has been done will again be done, because there is nothing new under the sun.

The human mind cannot fully grasp time. Consider time as a parade. Standing on the sidewalk watching a parade, we have a limited view of the floats and bands that are in front of us (the present). We can remember the floats and bands that just passed us (the past). We can hear bands in the background and imagine what might be coming (the future). But, our view of the entire parade (time) is limited.

God, though, from His position on High sees the entire parade– from its beginning to its end– time’s past, present, and future. How can God see the future, when it has not yet happened? (Theoretical physicists love to consider time travel through warps in the fabric of space [wormholes] and so forth. I will not prove my ignorance by trying to explain these theories.) We cannot understand many mysteries of the Bible– mysteries which confounded even the Apostle Paul. We should just accept that “all things are possible with God” (Matthew 19:26; Luke 1:37, 18:27; Mark 10:27; etc.). God does just fine, without our kibitzing. 

DUALITY IN PROPHECY: Much of Bible prophecy is dual in nature (occurs twice). For example: What happened to Israel in the past may similarly happen to America in the future. Among many sources, see: https://www.bibletools.org/index.cfm/fuseaction/Library.sr/CT/PW/k/521/Duality-Prophecy.htm . Dual prophecies are discussed in this RR series. Because of this feature of duality (the past predicts the future), there is value in studying prophecy. Of course, some prophecies are one of a kind and will not be repeated. For example, prophecies of a virgin (Mary) giving birth to the Messiah (Yeshua) have been fulfilled and will not be repeated.

WHY AMERICA? I could write more than this one RR about the similarities of Israel and America. America has developed a special relationship with Israel, the apple of God’s eye (Deuteronomy 32:10). I believe America has become strong and has prospered for two reasons:

** America has protected Israel since her post-World War II rebirth in 1948. In so doing, we have benefited from the Abrahamic Covenant (Genesis 12:3a): [Adonai said to Abram] “My desire is to bless those who bless you, but whoever curses you I will curse,….” 

** America, until recently, was a leading example of the Congregation in Philadelphia (Revelation 3:7-13). People of this congregation were greatly beloved by Yeshua because of their faithful works eventually leading to worldwide mission works (Matthew 28:19-20, and other Scriptures). In the past century, the true Philadelphia-style church has been passionately evangelical.

America, an outgrowth of thirteen backwoods British colonies, should have taken a back seat to far more advanced European nations, but God chose to bless us. Unfortunately, America’s support for Israel (with the exception of President Trump’s strong support) and worldwide evangelical mission efforts from America have significantly waned in recent years.

In recent years– especially after America was instrumental in stopping the Jewish Holocaust (by 1945) and became an early, ardent supporter of the new nation of Israel (since 1948) – America has become powerful and prosperous. But, Yeshua taught a principle that applies to persons and to nations (Luke 12:48b): [Yeshua said] “… From everyone given much, much will be required; and from the one for whom more is provided, all the more they will ask of him.”

Because so much has been given to America, God expects more in return. He expects more from America than, say, from Bangladesh. Even the most casual observer must agree that America is fast turning away from God. Recent news reports include: At their national convention, the Democrat National Committee on more than one occasion removed the phrase “Under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance to the American flag. Protesters (rioters) are pulling down and destroying statues of Yeshua (Yeshua is called “a gross form of white supremacy”) and are publicly burning Bibles (the Bible is said to contain “hate speech” against homosexuals, transsexuals, and others who do not live by words of the Bible).

America is becoming less spiritual and more apostate because of abortion on demand, pornography, selfish greed, violence, lack of faith, and other sins. This apostasy was prophesied by Yeshua and some B’rit Chadashah authors. 

Israel was punished in the past when that nation turned from God. America should also expect God’s punishment. “God’s people who are called by His name” have not fulfilled requirements for national repentance and healing (2 Chronicles 7:14).

9/11 AS THE BEGINNING OF JUDGMENT? God is a God of pattern. God usually follows three steps in executing judgment:

** Warning– God does not spring judgment on a people unexpectedly. We need not be ignorant of God’s wishes for our nation. We have His Word (Holy Bible) and there is ample promulgation of His message through churches, synagogues, television, radio, and other vehicles. No person can claim he/she has not been exposed to God’s truth. Was the 9/11 attack on America a warning from God?

** Grace– God grants a quiet period (relative peace) after the warning to see if there is repentance. Could the present post-9/11 period, in which there has been relative absence of terrorism, be God’s grace? Have Americans repented of our sins? Have “God’s people who are called by His name” humbled themselves, prayed more, sought His face (presence), and turned from their evil ways?

** Judgment– If people fail to heed God’s warning during their grace period, then follows judgment.

Since we need to always remember the symbolism of the 9/11 attack, I repeat it:

** First symbol: The Twin Towers (New York City), the symbol of America’s wealth, were completely destroyed by two jetliners. Was God’s message this: America’s economy (wealth) cannot save her?

** Second symbol: The Pentagon (Washington D.C.), the symbol of America’s military might, was severely damaged by a third jetliner. Was God’s message this: America’s military might cannot save her? 

** Third symbol: The fourth jetliner, thought to be intended for the Capitol Building (Washington D.C.), was overtaken by passengers who steered the plane away from the seat of our government and laws and drove it into a vacant field in Pennsylvania. Was God’s message this: We need government to administer man’s laws, and government must be preserved. The Constitution begins with, “WE THE PEOPLE.” Is it time for Americans (the people) to take back their government from selfish, corrupt politicians and demand that we return to constitutional law? Since God demands that “My people who are called by My name” must return to Biblical law, is it solely up to Believers/ Christians and Jews to return our nation to God? Only the people can save America! (Only the people? Should we be depressed?)

WHAT IS A HARBINGER? Rabbi Cahn chose “The Harbinger” as the title of his first novel. Why? A harbinger is a person who (or a thing which) announces or signals the approach of another person (thing). A robin is said to be a harbinger of spring. Waves of robins signal that spring is close at hand. (Wave = group of robins)

Rabbi Cahn sees the 9/11 attack on America as a harbinger of America’s future (a sign of what will come). In other words, the attack was a warning for America, and the relative post-9/11 calm is a period of grace before His judgment, if we fail to repent. Is there evidence of Americans’ repentance, or have Americans wallowed even deeper into the mire of rebellion against God? (Now, even more depressed?)

“BUT, SURELY GOD WOULD NOT BRING JUDGMENT AGAINST ‘GODLY’ AMERICA:” Many Americans foolishly believe this lie. This belief is what psychologists/ psychiatrists call a defense mechanism. A defense mechanism denies reality and is used to protect a person from anxiety, conflict, and other unacceptable feelings or thoughts. Believers/ Christians may seek to delude themselves that America will find favor with God, but closer examination will show that America, as a nation, is far from Godly. If God did not spare Israel from judgments, why would He spare America from judgments?

WHAT IF…? Think about Cahn’s novel (summarized, next Sunday). Ask yourself:

** What if God has determined that America must be punished for her sins? Could  God write America’s judgment today, as He wrote King Belshazzar’s judgment many centuries ago (Daniel 5:25-28): MENE, MENE, TEKEL UPARSIN (translation: “God has numbered the days of your reign and brought it to an end. You have been weighed in the balances and found wanting. Your kingdom has been divided and given to [another].”

** What if September 11, 2001 was God’s warning to America?

** What if God extended His grace to determine if America’s leaders and people– especially Americans who are called by His name– will follow the formula for national repentance and healing in 2 Chronicles 7:14 (quoted elsewhere)?

Whether Rabbi Cahn has accurately interpreted the Isaiah 9 prophecy becomes less important than realizing that America, which has been shown such favor from God, may now be an abomination to God.

WHERE IS AMERICA? Students of Bible prophecy are disturbed by the lack of  convincing evidence of America in Bible prophecy. I have found a couple of passages that may hint at America, but you would need healthy faith and some  imagination to agree with me. Why would God be so silent about a major national power in what we believe to be the last days? Two possibilities are obvious:

** First possibility: The Judeo-Christian faith is a myth. There is no God. Prophecy cannot foretell the future. The Bible is a fairy tale. I strongly reject this possibility.

** Second possibility: America will be destroyed and rendered impotent before the end times are fully developed. This frightening possibility is most plausible. In a future RR, I may write the ways America could vanish as a world power before the Antichrist is revealed. There are many “tools” already in God’s “tool belt,” which He could use to destroy America in the twinkling of an eye.

QUESTIONS: Consider an example from history: Many Germans living in the Third Reich in the 1930s and 1940s were likely deeply opposed to the systematic murder of Jews and other “undesirables” (the Jewish Holocaust). They were unable to oppose Hitler and his evil Nazi thugs in a meaningful way, though, and the slaughter of innocent people continued. To outsiders today, the slaughter of Jews and others seemingly was unopposed by the German people. 

** Question: Can you and I change America? No. We are as helpless as righteous Germans living in the Third Reich would have been in stopping Hitler’s evil.

** Question: What, then, should we Americans do, as we wait for God’s judgment? Most persons would say to vote for better leaders. We should vote, of course. But, Shomair’s few votes will not affect the outcome of a national election. Even so, I believe God will judge each person on whether he/she supported or opposed evil, as best as he/she could. Voting against evil may be the best a Believer can do. 

If judgment is coming, there may be some time for the Believer to prepare. Of course, stockpiling food and supplies is prudent preparation. But, it is far more important to prepare yourself, your family, and your neighbors to be ready to meet the Divine Judge. Now is a time for Shomair to minister to its congregants (Hebrews 10:25): And do not neglect our own meetings, as is the habit of some, but encourage one another– and all the more so as you see the Day approaching. Take note of the last portion of this verse (…all the more so as you see the Day approaching). As God’s judgment may loom ahead of us, we must not neglect worship of and service to God.

Also, recall the warning that Believers should be “watchers on the wall,” warning others that danger is approaching. Read Ezekiel 33:1-20. We are responsible, when Adonai brings the sword against a nation, to sound the shofar– the warning trumpet– that danger is approaching. If we fail to warn others, blood of the innocent persons is on the watcher’s (our) hands. What a difficult passage!

I will stop this RR at this point. Next Sunday, I will discuss the possible harbingers of America’s future judgment, as written by Rabbi Cahn in “The Harbinger.”  

SIDELIGHT: I close my weekly RRs with two words (Shalom and Maranatha), which are meaningful in the context of today’s RR:

** Shalom, of Hebrew origin, has multiple meanings: peace, harmony, wholeness, completeness, prosperity, welfare and tranquility, and even hello and goodbye. We Americans may seek peace and tranquility, but God’s future judgment may give us civil disobedience and even wars. Our cities are on fire and are being destroyed by Marxists in the name of social justice (racial equality). Whether Trump or Biden wins in November, I suspect the civil disorder could intensify. Read the First Amendment (https://constitution.congress.gov/constitution/amendment-1/ ). Any assembling of the people must be “peaceable.” Throwing bricks and Molotov cocktails, burning buildings, shooting police officers, looting, and other such  demonstrations are NOT “peaceable.” 

** Maranatha, of Aramaic origin, has two interpretations, depending on whether the “n” sound is attached to the first word or the second word. Marana-tha translates to, “Come, our Lord.” Maran-atha translates to, “Our Lord has come.” Maranatha was a watchword, confession of faith, greeting, and parting salutation of first century Believers. Depending on pronunciation, this word could be a prayer for the return of Yeshua (Second Coming) or a statement of faithful belief that Yeshua had come (First Coming).

The Shomair Yisrael sanctuary contains several images of the Messianic Seal of the Church of Jerusalem (see: https://threemacs.org/themes/jewish/answers.htm ). This seal, dating to the first century congregation of Believers in Jerusalem, combines the menorah (Judaism) and the fish (Christianity) to form the Magen David– the Star (Shield) of David. From the very beginning, Judaism and Christianity were meant to be one faith. But, religious men…. Many errors in faith can begin with the phrase, “But, religious men….” I am sometimes asked, “Are you religious?” I answer, “I certainly hope I am not religious. I have deep faith in God, Yeshua, and the Bible, but I never want to be characterized as ‘religious.’” Pharisees were religious men of Yeshua’s time, and He strongly opposed them for their shows of “piety.”

Shalom and Maranatha share the same meaning in words that the Messianic Seal captures in a visual image. The separation of Judaism and Christianity was a most  shameful, damnable event– “But, religious men….” END sidelight.

Until next Sunday, Shalom and Maranatha!