What an ancient mystery means to America’s future—and your ministry
What could an ancient mystery more than 2,500 years old mean to the future of your ministry? To understand its relevance for today, let me set the stage and go back to the last days of ancient Israel.
Before Israel’s destruction as a nation, nine harbingers appeared—nine warnings of destruction in a biblical template of national judgment. These same nine harbingers of judgment are now reappearing in modern America in specific detail. Some have appeared in New York City, some in Washington D.C., some have involved the highest leaders of the land, even the president of the United States. The manifestations of the harbingers involve such things as the Stone of Judgment, the Sign of the Sycamore, the Tower, the Utterance, the Prophecy and more.
The pattern begins with a national wake-up call: The nation’s hedge of protection is breached in some way. Years before the judgment, an enemy is allowed to strike the land. In the case of ancient Israel, that assault took place in 732 B.C. with the Assyrian invasion. In America, it happened on Sept. 11, 2001. After Assyria’s attack, Israel did not repent or turn back to the Lord. Neither has America. In fact, both nations descended deeper into apostasy. And in both cases, the first strike led to further shakings. In America, we saw the second strike as the U.S. economy collapsed. Behind this modern-day collapse was a stream of ancient mysteries, some of which actually identified and ordained the very dates, days and hours of the greatest economic crashes in American history.
The supernatural story of how The Harbinger found its way to the nation
Based on your reading this magazine, I assume you’re the type of leader who wants your life—and ministry—to make a difference. Yet if you’re like me, you know that something serious is happening in America today. Rabbi, pastor and best-selling author Jonathan Cahn understands both of these dynamics, which is why I asked him to serve as guest editor of this issue of Ministry Today on ministering in the last days. Rabbi Cahn’s best-selling book, The Harbinger, has served as a national wake-up call. Through its narrative, he connected the dots for us to see that God is warning America in the same ways He warned Israel in Isaiah’s day through prophecies and harbingers of things to come!
I had the privilege to publish The Harbinger. Though having a best-seller like this has been a blessing to my company, I appreciate The Harbinger even more because I believe it’s the game-changer book I had asked God for and believed He would let me publish. The Harbinger came to me as a result of prophecy not once, but twice.
Here’s what happened. In late 2010, I was seeking God for a book to put into perspective what was happening in the world, how God viewed these changes and what Christians should do. I knew a man who had what I thought was this message, and I recruited him to write a book like this. Looking back, my journal during that time is full of references to this book and my wondering if it would impact a nation. Sadly, for a variety of reasons, the book was never written.
God had a better idea.
I have been a pastor for more than 29 years and have ministered to hundreds of pastors and visited numerous churches over the past three decades. During this time, I have noticed often that key marketplace leaders who love the Lord have a hard time connecting to a local church.
Because of this, some in the marketplace have felt compelled to consider their businesses and employees as their local church! In my opinion, this should not be necessary. The following observations are based on interaction with entrepreneurs and business leaders. Here are ten reasons business leaders reject their local churches:
The Rev. Samuel Rodriguez will be the first Latino leader to serve as the keynote speaker for for the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Annual Commemorative Service.
The special event which serves to observes the civil rights movement leader's birthday, will be held on Monday. King Center CEO Bernice A. King called Rodriguez an “electrifying orator and “one of the most dynamic and inspiring proponents of the social gospel in the spirit of Martin Luther King, Jr.”
Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC), turned down a request to participate in President Obama's inaugural services in order to speak at the event, which is the nation's 'flagship' ecumenical religious observance on the MLK holiday.
As a little boy raised in the church, I was often confused by the words of certain songs. For instance, whenever the song “Bringing in the Sheaves” was sung, I thought we were singing about bringing in the “sheeps.” I always wondered where we would get these “sheeps” and why we wanted to bring them in anyway. Spiritual themes, whether spoken or sung, can easily confuse the simple mind of a child; and while I learned quite early that “sheeps” is not even a word, the topic of God’s will continued to be a point of confusion for a long time.
I remember another song we used to sing, usually after a missionary had told depressing stories about the hardships and toils of the mission field: “Jesus, use me / Oh, Lord, don’t refuse me / Surely there’s a work that I must do / And even though it’s humble, help my will to crumble / Though the cost be great, I’ll work for You.”
As wonderful as those words are in and of themselves, there was something about the combination of the lyrics, the music and the context that made me afraid of God’s will for my life. I thought He must have something simply dreadful for me to do. I just knew He was going to send me deep into the jungle where I would live in a mud hut, survive on a diet of grubs and wind up being eaten by cannibals.
If you think the church can’t solve the world’s problems, think again. We were made to bring the good news—and Jesus modeled exactly how we can.
The greatest need in the world today is to release the latent energy bottled up in believers who are doing nothing for the kingdom of God. It’s time for the church to rise up and be the church. The church is the body of Christ, but it seems like our hands and feet have been amputated, and most of the time we’re just a big mouth. It’s time for the church to stop being known for what we’re against and start being known for what we stand for: grace, compassion, mercy, forgiveness, salvation and new life in Jesus Christ.
That’s why we began rethinking our mission strategy at Saddleback. Jesus tells us to “go everywhere in the world, and tell the Good News to everyone” (Mark 16:15, NCV). Go is a key word for believers. You can’t spell gospel without “go.” You can’t spell good news without “go.” You can’t spell God without “go.”