Have you read the book The Harbinger, by Rabbi Jonathan Cahn? It was published in 2012, but I only recently heard about it. It was my mother, actually, who urged me to read it, and I’m glad she did because few books stir my spirit the way this one did.
Like all best-seller books that deliver a controversial theme or message, criticism is a natural response, and The Harbinger is no exception. Based on an ancient Biblical prophecy (Isaiah 9:10), The Harbinger tells a story (in narrative form, with fictional characters), that reveals what the author believes is the answer to the mysteries that lie within the prophecy. The answers, according to Cahn, explain the occurrence of such events as 9/11 and the 2008 Stock Exchange collapse. But central to the mysteries revealed, is the underlying and explicit reminder that there are grave consequences of rejecting God and His Word.
I don’t have the theological background or understanding to argue whether or not Cahn’s interpretation of Isaiah 9:10, and how it relates to current-day and future events is accurate or even plausible, but it is nonetheless thought-provoking. This book was intriguing, difficult to put down, and spiritually arousing. Of all the words written in the book however, the most compelling of all – to me – were these:
[The following dialog is in reference to eternal salvation]
“AND IT BEGINS…..”
“IT BEGINS WITH THE RECEIVING….WITH THE OPENING OF ONE’S HEART…..WITH THE TURNING AWAY FROM DARKNESS AND TO THE LIGHT……WITH THE GIVING OF ONESELF……..THE COMMITTING OF ONE’S LIFE – A VOW OF LOVE…….A PRAYER….DECISION…..A TOTAL AND UNCONDITIONAL YES.”
“AND IT TAKES PLACE……”
“ANYWHERE, ANY PLACE, ALONE OR WITH OTHERS, WHEREVER YOU ARE. IT TAKES PLACE ANYWHERE, FOR IT TAKES PLACE IN YOUR HEART.”
“AND AT ANY TIME?”
“NO, NOURIEL,” HE SAID. “IT DOESN’T TAKE PLACE AT ANY TIME. IT ONLY TAKES PLACE AT ONE TIME.”
“WHAT ONE TIME?”
“NOW….” SAID THE PROPHET. “NOW IS THE ONLY TIME IN WHICH IT CAN HAPPEN. AS IT IS WRITTEN, ‘NOW IS THE TIME OF SALVATION,’ NEVER TOMORROW, ONLY NOW.”
“BUT IF WE WERE TALKING TOMORROW, IT COULD STILL HAPPEN THEN.”
“YES, BUT ONLY WHEN THEN HAS BECOME NOW, AND TOMORROW IS TODAY. BUT WHEN IT DOES, YOU MAY NOT BE THERE.”
“AND WHY WOULDN’T I BE?”
“HOW FAR AWAY FROM ETERNITY DO YOU THINK YOU ARE, NOURIEL?”
“HOW COULD I POSSIBLY KNOW THAT?”
“BUT YOU CAN KNOW THAT,” HE REPLIED.
“THEN WHAT’S THE ANSWER?” I ASKED. “HOW FAR AM I AWAY FROM ETERNITY?”
“ONE HEARTBEAT,” HE REPLIED, “ONE HEARTBEAT. THAT’S IT. THAT’S ALL. YOU’RE ONLY ONE HEARTBEAT AWAY FROM ETERNITY. EVERYTHING YOU HAVE – YOUR LIFE, YOUR BREATH, THIS MOMENT, IT’S ALL BORROWED, IT’S ALL A GIFT. AND AT ANY MOMENT IT ALL ENDS WITH A HEARTBEAT…..JUST ONE HEARTBEAT, AND THERE’S NO MORE TIME. ONE HEARTBEAT AND THE CHANCE TO BE SAVED IS GONE. ONE HEARTBEAT AND THERE’S NO MORE CHOOSING – IT’S SEALED FOR ETERNAL LIFE OR ETERNAL DEATH.”
“BUT IF I DIDN’T CHOOSE….”
“THEN YOU ALREADY HAVE. IF YOU DON’T CHOOSE TO BE SAVED, THEN YOU’VE CHOSEN NOT TO BE SAVED. YOUR LIFE AND YOUR ETERNITY…..IT ALL RESTS ON ONE HEARTBEAT. AND WHAT WILL YOU DO ON THE DAY OF JUDGMENT? REMEMBER THE QUESTION, NOURIEL…..BECAUSE IN THE END IT’S THE ONLY QUESTION. REMEMBER THE QUESTION……BECAUSE NO ONE KNOWS WHEN THAT DAY WILL COME. THE ONLY THING YOU CAN BE SURE OF IS THAT IT WILL COME, AND THE ONLY TIME YOU CAN BE SURE OF IS NOW. NOW IS ALL YOU HAVE. AND NOW IS THE TIME OF SALVATION.”
“IT’S TOO BIG A DECISION TO MAKE JUST LIKE THAT.”
“IT’S TOO BIG A DECISION NOT TO,” HE SAID.
“I WOULD HAVE TO SEE TO BELIEVE.”
“NO, NOURIEL, YOU HAVE TO BELIEVE IN ORDER TO SEE AND TO FIND WHAT YOU ARE SEARCHING FOR.”
“AND WHAT IS IT THAT I’M SEARCHING FOR?”
“THE MEANING, THE PURPOSE OF YOUR LIFE, THE REASON YOU WERE BORN. IT’S THE ONLY WAY YOU CAN EVER FIND IT…..ONLY IN HIM WHO GAVE YOU LIFE, CAN YOU FIND IT’S MEANING.”
“I NEED TIME.”
“AND YOU HAVE IT, NOURIEL…….UP UNTIL THE LAST HEARTBEAT.”