Jonathan Cahn Brings Prophecy, Politics, Publishing, and Self-Promotion Together in ‘The Return’

End Times author Jonathan Cahn (Image from video promoting "The Return")

In an impressive bit of cross-promotional marketing, Jonathan Cahn, the End Times author who is organizing a political prayer rally called “The Return” on the National Mall in September, is releasing his latest book, “The Harbinger II: The Return” on Sept. 1.

Cahn, who calls himself a Messianic rabbi, has sold millions of books in which he claims that all kinds of events in U.S. history align with a biblical “paradigm” that he has uncovered. He has claimed, for example, that the elections of Bill Clinton, Barack Obama and Donald Trump were all foretold in the biblical books of 1 and 2 Kings. Cahn’s books, in which parallels are explained via a long-winded narrative style involving storytelling by mystical characters, are sold as fiction, but promoted by Cahn and his publisher Charisma as containing “completely real” truth.

An excerpt from a chapter of “The Return” that has been released in advance summarizes the thrust of this series of books:

The mystery centers on nine harbingers, nine warnings of coming judgment, calamity, and destruction, the signs that appeared in the last days of ancient Israel. But the mind-blowing thing is that those same nine harbingers have now reappeared in modern times…on American soil, some in New York City, some in Washington D.C., some involving objects, events, utterances, even American leaders, and with eerie precision and without anyone orchestrating them. And as they did in ancient times, they [are] giving warning…now to America.

An Aug. 10 press release promoting the new book says that it “reveals that America is standing at a most critical and dangerous hour—as was foretold long ago.” The press release breathlessly promises:

In “The Harbinger” sequel’s closing chapters, Cahn masterfully dissects critical points in American History: the Civil War, the Second World War, moral decline, economic recession, the threat of communism, the hostile takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Iran, President Reagan’s vision of America as “a city upon a hill” — to name a few — and weaves them together in a stunning revelation that many have called “mind-blowing.”

Cahn’s historical-biblical exegesis has drawn plenty of criticismmuch of it from fellow Christians—and some of his high-profile predictions have flopped. But none of that seems to disturb his publisher or readers—or right-wing members of Congress.

Cahn’s books are published by Frontline, an imprint of Charisma’s publishing arm that “publishes books to inform Christians on current issues and rally them to take action.” Charisma is headed by Stephen Strang, who has written multiple books about God and Trump and is doing everything he can to support Trump’s reelection.

Cahn’s books make repeated claims about how the Bible predicted events in recent U.S. history down to the exact day, but his promotional claims for “The Return” rally have botched both history and math. Cahn has explicitly tied the rally to Trump’s reelection, saying in a video announcing plans for “The Return” rally, “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 ever before.”