Cahn explicitly connects “The Return” to the 2020 presidential election, describing the date as 40 days before the presidential election and the 400th anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower. (Cahn’s End Times books are filled with similar historical and biblical numerology.)
“This year—2020—is crucial, as it leads to a presidential election in which the stakes are higher and the necessity of prayer more critical than before,” Cahn says in a video promoting the event as a photograph of Trump appears on-screen. “And even if the election goes in the direction of biblical values and righteousness, if we don’t see a spiritual turning, an awakening, a repentance, revival, then all the political, legal, judicial, and cultural efforts will ultimately fail or be undone,” he warns.
“We have driven God out of our public life and have called what is good evil and what is sin good,” Cahn said in an Apr. 14 press release. “America’s fall from God is not only progressing—it’s accelerating—to the point that it is no longer just a falling away, but a war against the purposes of God.”
Cahn has recruited a gaggle of Trump-supporting religious-right leaders to help promote the event, including Focus on the Family founder James Dobson, televangelists Pat and Gordon Robertson, Charisma publisher Steve Strang, Daystar Television President Marcus Lamb, the Family Research Council’s Pierre Bynum, former member of Congress and current FRC board chair Michele Bachmann, and preachers and activists Anne Graham Lotz, Mark Gonzales, Harry Jackson, Alveda King, Robert Morris, Carter Conlon, and John Kilpatrick. Gonzales, Jackson and King are all members of POTUS Shield, a network of Trump-supporting “apostles” and “prophets.”
Helping Cahn organize the event is another POTUS Shield member, Kevin Jessip, who introduced Mike Pence at a political rally in Miami just before the 2016 election. The word of God “was and will continue to be the bedrock foundation of this great nation,” Jessip said at the time. “This is a Judeo-Christian nation. Christianity was born out of the womb of Judaism, and America has a spiritual umbilical cord tied to Israel that can never be taken away.” He said evangelicals who in past years had not voted were now “arising as an army.”
In the video, Cahn describes Jessip as “a faithful man of God” who has “for years carried the burden of a sacred assembly” for the purpose of national repentance and “restoration.” Jessip is a former Assembly of God preacher who now runs the Global Strategic Alliance. Jessip promoted The Return in an Apr. 12 post on the Prophecy Investigators Facebook page, writing, “We are at the threshold of the greatest move of God in our time.”
On Tuesday, Jessip promoted on his own Facebook page a video mixing QAnon references with old clips of Kim Clement prophecies about Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, and a failed impeachment effort, along with video of right-wing activist Jerome Corsi claiming that a group of generals once told him they had been planning a coup against former President Barack Obama but changed their minds after they talked to Trump and he told them he’d run.
Clement was a “prophetic worshipper” who died in 2016 and was known for explicitly political prophecies. The video shared by Jessip was published by Clement’s daughter Donné. In the video of Corsi, the right-wing activist claimed, “QAnon is military intelligence and close to Trump, and the intelligence we’re getting really is a lot of the inside script.” He claimed that after efforts to remove Trump from office failed, “in the counterattack he’s going to launch, they are—there’s a very simple word that describes what they are: traitors. Traitors. It’s a capital crime, and I want to predict here today that when the tables turn, Donald Trump will be invoking military tribunals, and even Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are going to be facing treason charges.”
In spite of some high-profile prophecies that failed to materialize, Cahn has received plenty of coverage in conservative Christian media, and presumably made a lot of money, with a series of books that purport to tie modern-day events to narratives in the Bible—everything from Mark Twain’s travels to the death of Vincent Foster during the Clinton administration to the 9/11 attacks to the exact date that the Trump administration moved the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. And, in his telling, it all points to the approaching End Times.
The title of Cahn’s September event, The Return, might be drawn from his most recent book, The Oracle, in which he describes “the return” as a theme and a missing piece of the puzzle of the mysteries the book describes: the return of individuals to relationship with God, the return of the Jewish people to the land of Israel, the coming return of the Messiah to Jerusalem, and the reign of God over Earth. It also refers to America’s need to “return” to the biblical principles on which Cahn says the country was founded.
Cahn’s promotion of The Return makes reference to 2 Chronicles 7:14, a Bible verse that has been featured at virtually every religious-right gathering in recent years: “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their sinful ways, I will hear from heaven, I will forgive their sin, and I will heal their land.” Vice President Pence has frequently used the phrase “heal our land” in remarks and interviews on the COVID-19 pandemic.