Lead

Mar 18 09 1:14 AM

Tags : :

QUOTE
Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them,
When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts,
and set him for their watchman:
If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people;
Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come,
and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head.
He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him.
But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul.
But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take [any] person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity;
but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand.
So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel;
therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me.

    ~Ezekiel 33:1-6


For six weeks prior to the September 11th  of 2001,  events, Pastor David Wilkerson's Times Square Church had been heavily burdened for prayer.  As a result of this weight within the congregation, Times Square Church cancelled sermons and all activities during these six weeks including mission programs, speakers and youth programs. 

As the events of September 11th unfolded in Manhattan, the watchmen and workers of Times Square Church began to realize the urgency of a persistent heaviness. What neither the congregation nor Pastor Wilkerson could have imagined was weight of the Glory which had just fallen in Manhattan. 

On October 11, 2001, Pastor Wilkerson gave a message to his congregation to address the World Trade Center attacks the preceding month.  Although the once mighty republic had for decades been in spiritual descent, the weeks of the late summer in 2001 carried disturbing urgency and Pastor Wilkerson chose a verse from Isaiah 9 to examine the attack.

The ninth chapter of Isaiah is familiar to all: “For unto us a child is born, a Son is given,” but this was not what Pastor Wilkerson was called to address. Instead, he used the subsequent verses, frequently applied to the pattern used in the judgment of two houses of Israel.  Providentially and prophetically, Pastor Wilkerson read Isaiah 9: 8–11:

“And all the people shall know,
even Ephraim and the inhabitants of Samaria,
that say in the pride and stoutness of heart, 
The bricks are fallen down,
but we will build with hewn stones:
the sycamores are cut down,
but we will change them into cedars.


The significance was clear: Israel had turned her back.  Ezekiel cites the conditions that preceded the departure of the Glory and the judgment of the nation.  He saw at the gate of the altar, looking to the north, the image of jealousy, perhaps Baal, but a strong enough affront to a jealous God who was Himself married to Israel.  Ezekiel was promised a vision of greater desolations: at the door he saw “every form of creeping things, and abominable beasts, and all the idols of the house of Israel portrayed on the wall,” the sins of the “ancients” of Israel, their self love, their dark deeds.

As the sins of the nation are expanded and exposed, the women of the land are included: at the door of the gate of the north entrance,  Ezekiel saw the women “weeping for Tammuz,” engaged in craft and cult, sorceries, castings and lewdness, participants in rites of the idol later called by the Greeks, Adonis.

As his vision continued, Ezekiel saw men in contempt, their backs to the altar, facing the sun.  Here, in view of the brazen altar of burnt offerings, they worshipped the sun, the god of the eastern idolaters: the worship of creature over Creator.

The final abomination witnessed by Ezekiel was the violence in the land, the defiance of God and the celebration of Bacchus, to whom they bent their bodies in the ritual ceremony of bundled branches.  For these offenses, after the warnings of the prophets, there would be no pity, no hearing of cries.  Judgment was due, and judgment was delivered. The nations are called, the nations choose: Ninevah saw brief repentance, but later departed once more. 

For Israel, the watchmen sounded: the warning unheeded, the northern house fell to the Syrians, the chosen rod of judgment, the powers came, an initial attack.  Rather than heeding the warning, there was defiance and arrogance of heart. Again in character and mercy, a warning is given, a lull which would precede greater judgment if grace is rebuffed in defiance and arrogance of heart.

Four times in Isaiah 9: 8-10, Israel was accused and four times the judgments followed.  There is consistent agreement among commentaries describing the patterns of the unleashing of destruction.  Matthew Henry speaks of the consequences of unrepentance, “The Lord warns before he wounds: He tries to call his people back but if they do not, there will come greater judgment.” The Interpreter's Bible defines the consequences: “What further horror of judgment is yet to fall on unrepentant man?” 

The nation's leaders spoke in defiance and arrogance of heart: “We will build, we will replace,” with the inference of larger and stronger.  Devastation fell on the southern kingdom.  The Diaspora of the nation had begun.

Pastor Wilkerson had been given a glimpse of what would soon become, the most precise prophetic and relevant utterance in the history of the United States.

Rabbi Jonathan Cahn of the Beth Israel Congregation in Lodi, New Jersey, was given the same understanding of Isaiah 9 two years earlier. In July of 2005, Rabbi Cahn delivered a message before the Messianic Congregation parts of which could only be understood from the perspective of the near future events. 

The scale of the attack of the World Trade Center on September 11th, 2001 was massive. Technology insured the continued visibility and recollection of insistent images.  Was this event in New York unique in history?  On the surface it would appear that it was not: catastrophic and unimaginable yes, but unique? 

Rabbi Cahn describes the “Eight Harbingers of Judgment” experienced by Israel and their uncanny parallels to the events of September 11, 2001: his insights are prodigious, overwhelming and foreboding.  The consequences that would befall the nation that would not hear the Watchman after experiencing the prior warning which would be a shadow of the cataclysm to come.

1. THE FALLEN BRICKS

The ashes of bricks

The newspapaers rolled: “Acts of War,” “A Day of Infamy,” “Who did this?” “Terror’s Toll,” “Nightmare,” “Freedom Under Siege,” “Under Attack,” “Second Pearl Harbor,” “A Nation in Sorrow,” “Attacks Paralyze US,” “Devastation,” “Terror Hits Home,” “Evil Acts,” “Unthinkable,” “Our Worst Day,” “War at Home,” “Darkest Hour,” “Our Nation Saw Evil,”

“Oh my God!,” “Our Purpose as a Nation is Firm,” “From the Ashes,”

“The Day That Changed The World.”


There has been no event that has touched the United States and the world more indomitably than the attacks of September 11th, 2001.  As the images of the smoke, dust and death gorged the airwaves, the descriptions of devastation penetrated every media source.  Fire, smoke, dust, ashes.

Only sources with archives of the devastation of World War II had comparable images.  Berlin,

London, Nagasaki, Kassel, Hiroshima, Dresden, Rouen, Naples.  Images of earlier holocausts. These cities today, a generation later, reveal little of their broken past, their fallen bricks.  But the bricks of Ground Zero in Manhattan were reduced to ash, with little more than dust and metal to recover.  Is there a different message in these fallen bricks?

2.WE WILL BUILD

The woe of the wills

Empowering the rulers

On Wednesday, September 12, 2001, as a transfixed nation and world waited and wondered. Expectation was high for answers and outrage: it came in through the airwaves in the Joint Response of the Nation on the Senate floor in Washington, DC.  Representing the Congress and the nation and by authority as majority leader, Senator Tom Daschle addressed the world.

Recorded in the Federal Register, the words of Senator Daschle for the Joint Resolution of Condemnation for the attacks the morning of September 12th, 2001 can be read as they had been spoken:

    “Mr. President, it is with pain, sorrow, anger, and resolve that I stand before this Senate, a symbol for 212 years of the strength of our democracy, and say that America will emerge from this tragedy, as we have emerged from all adversity, united and strong…

    ….The world should know that the Members of both parties in both Houses stand united. The full resources of our Government will be brought to bear in aiding the search and rescue and in hunting down those responsible and those who may have aided or harbored them.

    Nothing, nothing can replace the losses that have been suffered. I know there is only the smallest measure of inspiration that can be taken from this devastation. But there is a passage in the Bible, from Isaiah, that I think speaks to all of us at times such as this:

        The bricks have fallen down, but we will rebuild with dressed stone; the fig trees have been felled, but we will replace them with cedars.


    That is what we will do. We will rebuild and we will recover. The people of America will stand strong together because the people of America have always stood together. And those of us privileged to serve this great Nation will stand with you.”

If there are any acceptable uses for a misapplication of Scripture, it is clear from the text that Isaiah 9 is not one.  The heart of the message speaks specifically to the consequences of an improper response to a first judicial incursion.  The illustration is a rebuke for lace of contrition and pompousness of will.  It will be demonstrated by examination of the 8th Harbinger that this very action is the most offensive of all.

Of over 31,000 verses in Scripture, the Isaiah 9:10 verse would become, for those in governmental authority, the flagship verse of the Nation and be specifically spoken by four other prominent politicians [that are in public record and related to this event]. 

The more esoterically inclined might find the use of five “We Will’s” as an echo and progression of the five, “I Will’s” of Isaiah 14…but this context is at the fall of Lucifer, before the creation of Adam, and before the enmity of the seeds of Genesis 3:14. 

In the years following the 2001 event, each of the five leaders in the line of Presidential Succession for the former and current administrations would follow the resolve of the majority leader’s precedent with a pledge to rebuild from this event, apparently unaware of Isaiah 5.

A haunting undertone is found in the 1851 English Translation of the Greek Septuagint by Sir Lancelot C.L. Brenton translates Isaiah 9:10:

            The bricks are fallen down, but come, let us hew stones,

            and cut down sycamores and cedars,

            and let us build for ourselves a tower.


To date, at the sites of the totally destroyed buildings, one new tower has been completed, World Trade Center Tower 7.

3. BIGGER AND BETTER
The arrogance of defiance

On the day of the 911 tragedy, Rudy Guiliani, the mayor of New York City punctuated the resolve of the city. "We will rebuild: We're going to come out of this stronger than before, politically stronger, economically stronger. The skyline will be made whole again."

Seton Hall University Professor A.D. Amar described the devastation as, “A scene that no movie has captured,” correctly determining that, “America will rise out of it. We will build new Towers, larger than the ones we lost to these cowards.”

In a 2005 interview with MSNBC, real estate developer, Donald Trump weighs in:

    “What I want to see built is the World Trade Centers stronger and maybe a story taller. And that's what everybody wants. ‘The New York Post’ came out today strongly.  ‘The Wall Street Journal’ yesterday in their editorial came out strongly for that.”

Lower Manhattan Info reveals details of the construction project, initially scheduled for completion in 2011:

    Rising from its square base -- which will be constructed of impermeable concrete and steel -- the redesigned Freedom Tower will taper into eight tall isosceles triangles, forming a perfect octagon at its center. An observation deck will be located 1,362 feet above ground and there will be a square glass parapet at 1,368 feet, the heights of the original Twin Towers. From these, an illuminated spire containing a television antenna will rise to a final height of 1,776 feet.

3. THE HEWN STONE

Quaried, not brick

The Freedom Stone

The first stone to be used in the construction of the 1,176 ft. Freedom Tower was hewn from New York granite and lowered by crane in a ceremony on July 4, 2004.  Governor George Pataki of New York presided: 

    "Today is indeed, a momentous day. Today we take 20 tons of Adirondack granite - the bedrock of our State - and place it as the foundation, the bedrock of a new symbol of American strength and confidence. Today, we lay the cornerstone for a new symbol of this city and this country and of our resolve in the face of terror.  Today we build the Freedom Tower.”

The polished and inscribed garnet flecked stone was lowered by a crane into a 5 story, 70 foot deep cavity to rest above the earlier foundation.  Rich in historic and ceremonial significance, cornerstones are often associated with unspoken dualistic motives, but reminiscent of a similar event at Babel, “The Freedom Stone” was removed on June 23, 2006, purportedly for design conflicts. A more specific explanation was given in July, 2008.  Detailing the circumstances, Michael Daly of NY Daily News wrote:

    “…What ensued was senseless squabbling, near-criminal incompetence and bald-faced lies, all of which constituted a betrayal of the murdered innocents the stone purported to honor…We arrive at this Fourth of July with that 20 tons of disgrace sitting in the Long Island lot.”

The unity and selflessness so abundant two years earlier, was once again deteriorating.  Things were back on track on Wall Street, the good times began to roll again.

5. A SPIRIT OF DEFIANCE

Poking a finger in the eye of God

Repeatedly Scripture and commentaries record defiance as the highest insult against the Most High God.  Senator John Kerry, in his statement before the United States Senate on Wednesday, September 12, 2001 remarked:

    “…And I believe one of the first things we should commit to - with federal help that underscores our nation's purpose – is to rebuild the towers of the World Trade Center and show the world we are not afraid - we are defiant.”

On the day the cornerstone was laid, then New York Governor, George Pataki again insisted:

    “Today, we the heirs of that revolutionary spirit of defiance, lay this cornerstone.”

6. THE SYCAMORE, THE BUTTONWOOD

Rooted and grounded, Ground Zero in bronze

1 Timothy 6

Rabbi Jonathan Cahn reveals the significance of the harbinger of the sycamore:

    The Bible records the sycamore tree as being a sign of judgment. It even says in Egypt the sycamore tree was struck down as a sign of judgment.  On September 11th, a freak event happened in the devastation:  a steel beam from the North Tower was hurled from the sky.  As the Tower fell, it went through the air and struck down an object: it was a tree. 

The next day [when] the people returned to ground zero, they found a tree lying on the ground, pierced by the beam of a falling Tower.  There, at Ground Zero was a sycamore tree – struck town…after the tree of Isaiah 9…a harbinger of judgment…’the sycamore has fallen’…

…and strange, eerily, the people made a display of it, not realizing what it was in the Bible… and put it on display, its roots exposed…not realizing, as if to draw more attention to the sign. And a sculptor was commissioned to make a cast of it.  He poured metal into the cast: he cast it into bronze, the Biblical metal of judgment…an image of the fallen sycamore to be displayed on Wall Street.

The significance of the bronze sycamore root sculpture is chilling.  In May, 1792, twenty-four stock brokers met underneath a buttonwood tree, along Wall Street in New York City.  The Buttonwood Agreement would be birthed as the golden calf of commerce, the bull of the New York Stock Exchange, but would be delivered, uprooted and cast in bronze.

The buttonwood tree is more familiar as the American sycamore. This memorial on Wall Street would come to represent the riches of a nation uprooted, overturned, judged and displayed in bronze: and yet another idol.

7. THE CEDAR, THE AREZ

The Tree of Hope

Rabbi Cahn continues: 

    On the same Ground Zero, you had three [physical SIGNS] of the harbingers.  But there’s one more, there is the cedar tree, the seventh harbinger is the cedar tree, the arez tree….’the sycamores are fallen but we will put cedars in their place...’

…Two years after September 11th …a strange site was seen on Ground Zero, a crane, a different crane, was lowering a different object… the object was being lowered to a place where there had been a hole in the ground, it was being laid over the place where the fallen sycamore tree had been struck down...It would have been natural to replace the sycamore tree with a sycamore tree, but the Scripture says ‘we will replace it with an arez [cedar] tree…The object lowered was an arez tree, a conifer tree, the same as the cedar of Lebanon…

He pauses at this point: …

Now that would be enough, but there’s actually more:

    …In Hebrew parallelism…a verse is often matched with a verse that rhymes in thought and so it matches the fallen bricks and the fallen sycamore together and they were both found the day after 911 in the ruins.

    And then there are the two others, which are the cedar tree and the hewn stone. They are together because they both are lowered by cranes, they both had a ceremony surrounding them… they both labeled these icons: one was called the “Tree of Freedom,” the other was “The Tree of Hope.” 

    [At] the ceremony, as the tree was coming down to where the sycamore was, there was a clergyman there….he said:

    We are gathered here today on holy ground. Ground hallowed by its witness to the dust, and death and destruction of September 11th.  The ground is sanctified by our presence here as we dedicate this Tree of Hope in witness the divine within each of us. 

    It replaces a sycamore tree destroyed on September 11th 2001 by the collapsing Towers. Our prayer is that this Ground Zero Tree of Hope will be a sign: a sign of the indomitable nature of human hope. As we walk this hallowed ground, may this Tree be an icon of hope, a symbol.”

The ceremonial planting of the cedar Tree of Hope took place on November 22, 2003.  The inaugural lighting ceremony was held the following week.

THE VOW OF ARROGANCE: IMPENDING JUDGMENT

The ultimate harbinger is the vow

The words of the rulers in the wake of destruction.

Rabbi Cahn continues:

    At the end of November of 2003, the tree came down to replace the sycamore.  Seven months later, the quarried stone came down on the ruins of Ground Zero…..two months after that was complete, there was a Presidential election and the Democratic candidate for Vice President was John Edwards.

    He was speaking in Washington DC at a gathering, it was September 11th, the third anniversary of the devastation.  And since it was a prayer breakfast he chose a Scripture which he linked to the events of September 11th. These now are his words on September 11th [of 2004]. Listen:  Washington DC.

        “Good morning. Today on this day of remembrance and mourning, we have the Lord’s Word:  [Listen]

              ‘The bricks have fallen, but we will build - with dressed stones:

              the sycamores have been cut down, but we will put cedars in their place….’


Of all the thousands of Scriptures he could have chosen, he chose this one obscure verse from Isaiah, which even most Believers don’t know, not realizing what he was saying: it was a Scripture of judgment – marking it, he linked it to September 11th and said that it was the Lord’s Word to us…. not knowing this, [he] then he based the whole speech on this scripture. He goes on to say:

        “Let me show you how we are building and putting cedars in those three hallowed places, the Towers, the Pentagon and the Field. Walk with me through this day and you will see that while those bricks fell and the sycamores cut down, our people are making those cedars rise.”

And he closed with,

        “Each time that bell tolls it calls us to a greater purpose. To never forget: it calls us to always remember that when we walk together this day that the cedars will rise and the stones will go up.”

CLOSING THE CIRCLE

The specificity of these parallel harbingers is profound and should surpass any standard of plausibility.  But there is yet more.  The response to the nation by Senator Tom Daschle on September 12th, 2001 reveals another, far more disturbing reference. 

    “It’s with pain, sorrow, anger and resolve that I stand before this Senate, a symbol for 212 years of the strength of our democracy.”

At the time, few listening would have challenged the apparent inconsistency: 212 years before 2001 would have been 1789, our national documents record July 4th 1776 as being the birth of the nation.

Once more, Rabbi Jonathan Cahn explains:

America was born, not on July 4th  but was conceived on July 4th…  America was born as a fully formed nation on April 30th, 1789.  On that day, for the first time, America had a Constitution, a House of Representatives and a President together. It was the birth of the United States as a fully formed, constituted nation.

On that day, the government, the House, the Senate and the President all gathered in the Capital together, it was the Inauguration of George Washington.  It was the nation’s Dedication Day.

Now often in the Bible, the threshold of a new beginning gives promises and warnings and prophetic truths:  Moses at the Jordan River, Solomon at the dedication of the Temple. So after being sworn in, Washington went inside the Capitol Building and issued the first Presidential address. The first Presidential words were short and in the middle of it was a prophetic warning. He said this:

“We ought to be no less persuaded that the propitious smiles of heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and the right which heaven itself has ordained.”

The warning was, [that] America’s future blessing would be, as with Israel, will hang on its relationship to God. If America should begin to depart from God, its blessings its prosperity and its protection shall be lifted up.

The warning was given on the Nation’s first day, its day of dedication.  After finishing the address and giving his warning, the first act of the American government was undertaken. It was this:

After the address, Washington, and all the other officials, the Senators, the House of Representatives, the Vice President, all left the place of Inauguration, travelled on foot to a small church, a chapel, they went inside…and we don’t know exactly what they said there, we know they were there for one purpose. For two hours they prayed, they committed, they consecrated this nation into God’s hands. The entire government was kneeling before God.

n ancient Israel, when judgment came, it came to the place where the nation was dedicated to God - the Temple Mount where Solomon had dedicated it.  America, like ancient Israel, also departed from its foundations: it sought the prosperity instead of the One who gave it.  The warning of Washington on that day: there would be the removal of God’s blessings if that happened. 

So there was a day that epitomized to God’s people the first tolling of that removal, and that, without a doubt, was the 11th of September, 2001…

…the key is:  Where is America’s ground of consecration?  Where was America was dedicated to God? The first inauguration did not take place in Washington DC…[not] Washington at all - or Philadelphia. The first Capital of the United States was New York City. 

It was there America began as a nation, it was there that the warning of judgment was given on the first day. Not just New York City, but lower Manhattan ... everything just described took place in New York City, in the southern part, [Washington’s] statue overlooking Wall Street.

After he gave his warning, he led the government on a journey, to a place to dedicate the nation….a little chapel – there, they dedicated it to God.  It would be here, according to the pattern, [that] we would see the beginning of judgment: this consecration ground. 

“Now listen closely, I’ll tell you something unspoken but profound, says Rabbi Cahn:

America, on its day of its birth as a nation was dedicated to God at the corner of a plot of land known as Ground Zero.  Ground Zero is the ‘mystery place’ of American history.’ It was right there at the corner of Ground Zero they all prayed. The terrorists had no idea they were touching the very place America was dedicated and where God’s favor and protection were prayed for, the very place linked to the warning of Washington that day, that would be lifted.

    …The spiritual birthplace of America is the corner of Ground Zero….the place where George Washington was, and knelt on the day of its birth.  America’s national seal, the depiction of its power: the Eagle with the arrows and shield and olive branches: this earliest depiction was kept -  not kept in the White House, not in the Pentagon. It was the sign of its protection. It is kept in a chapel that still remains standing to this day.

The words on the plaque above Washington’s Pew in St. Paul’s Chapel:

    ‘Almighty God, we make our earnest prayer that you will keep the United States in Holy protection.”

    And in that place is where that protection was lifted.  As for ancient Israel, the bricks have fallen, we will rebuild, in fact, it says, the sycamore trees have been struck down: the sycamore, the 6th harbinger, where was it, where did it stand?  It all happened on that very same ground where America was consecrated to God.  Where in that place, is where the sycamore grew, in the back yard of the chapel in the graveyard.  And where that arez tree, that pine tree, came to replace it, it was lowered into America’s consecration ground. The signs of judgment have been all there. 

    And yet Washington’s prayer was also fulfilled as well as his warning.  In the wake of 911, all of the buildings around ground zero were badly damaged except one: they called it the “Miracle of Ground Zero:” the little chapel where America was dedicated to God. 

    In the cloud of destruction that covered Manhattan, that covered the chapel…this one building was protected, where America was dedicated to God…and what they believe protected it was a tree, a sycamore tree: the Biblical sign of the beginning of  judgment:  also a sign of  the mercy of God. For as the steel beam went through the sky, the only thing blocking it from the chapel was the sycamore tree…the very place George Washington knelt was Ground Zero. 

    Judgment or salvation?  Which will it be for America?  Well, it could be both…we see all the same harbingers as with ancient Israel.  Isaiah 9:10 before America on 9/11.  Because they have not turned to Him, he will bring a greater judgment on the land.  The ultimate purpose was not to destroy, but to call it back.  A nation that cannot hear the whispers of God will only be reached by His shouting.  The purpose was primarily not to destroy but to save…. revival comes when God shakes.

How has the nation responded since the catastrophe of September 11th, 2001?  How has the nation responded since the time of Rabbi Cahn’s remarkable presentation in 2005?  Perhaps the tragic outcome of the events surrounding The Freedom Tower provide a useful measure.  The American culture has been in serious decline for well over forty years and the condition of American society is not the product of a government, the government is the product of the society. 

HEADS AND TAILS

Ceremonies or invocations:

The power in words

Therefore the Lord will cut off from Israel head and tail,

branch and rush, in one day.

The ancient and honourable, he is the head;

and the prophet that teacheth lies, he is the tail.

For the leaders of this people cause them to err;

and they that are led of them are destroyed.
Isaiah 9:14-16

The repeated acknowledgment and petitions to God by President Washington evidence the humility of purpose and manner. 

    No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the Invisible Hand which conducts the affairs of men more than those of the United States.


    “…it would be peculiarly improper to omit in this first official act my fervent supplications to that Almighty Being who rules over the universe, who presides in the councils of nations, and whose providential aids can supply every human defect, that His benediction may consecrate to the liberties and happiness of the people of the United States a Government instituted by themselves for these essential purposes, and may enable every instrument employed in its administration to execute with success the functions allotted to his charge.”

Of the many troubling revelations within the text of the most recent Inaugural Address on January 20, 2009, perhaps the most subtle is the determination to rebuild, to begin anew and rise from the ashes of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries without collective petition and sanction from God.  Any provision apart from Divine Will brings inescapable defeat and correction. “Yes we can!” do a great deal, but should we always?

    “…Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America. 
   
    … For everywhere we look, there is work to be done.  The state of our economy calls for action, bold and swift.  And we will act, not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth.  We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together.  We'll restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology's wonders to raise health care's quality and lower its cost.  We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories.  And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age.  All this we can do.  All this we will do…

There have always been subtle signals: numbers, words, gestures and innuendo, but as with Ezekiel’s vision, when words and deeds begin to face the sun, no longer practiced in darkness, but in contempt of the brazen altar of judgment, a judgment falls: individually or collectively.  Although many in America had witnessed, “The Moment,” many were astonished to hear the passion and the provocation:

    …We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense.  And for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken -- you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you…

A study in contrasts, the ancient and honorable: the elder. George Washington in 1789, the head of the Republic, consecrating a young nation to an acknowledged “Invisible Hand” of  Providence, while entreating His holy protection, joined by his government to walk to a Chapel, and then, in prayer for two hours, knees bent in reverent supplication for their sacred charge.

And another, bearing the name of a prophet’s son, possessing a discourse which blends through shades of gray, speaks to “this moment” that will “define a generation” infused with a spirit of service that “must inhabit us all?”  Two walks: a prayer and a parade.

Can the “sum of individual ambitions,” armed solely with the indwelling of this ‘spirit of service,’ pocket talismans and the indeterminate collective folly of “we will’s and devoid of Providence, dare assume righteous favor under the shadow of the cedar? “Out of many, one.”

While millions stood crowded in the “coldest of months,” in a Capital that was far from abandoned, a spirit was felt. But again, can the words first spoken by the elder President, now repeated by the younger, be again applied without the requisite piety?  “Let it be told to the future world…that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive…that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet [it].”

We will recall Ezekiel’s vision of bodies bent in ritual, and the castings and sorceries of the women, some will heed the prophets of old and the prophets of new.  The Nation’s back has been turned for some time, with little apparent recognition of a judgment that was delivered in one day.

Isaiah 9 provides clarification of instruments of judgment used by God:

Therefore the Lord shall set up the adversaries of Rezin against him,

And join in enemies together;

The Syrians before and the Philistines behind;

And they shall devour Israel with open mouth.

For all of His anger is not turned away,

But His hand is stretched out still.

The initial incursion into the land was through the rod of Syria: the Philistines would be used to deliver the final judgment.  It is of note that the Biblical Philistines are often represented by the modern day Palestinians.  The adversity of the people of Gaza, themselves tragic victims of ancient enmity between rulers of the world, is a simmering fuse in a volatile climate. For the recipients of often interrupted humanitarian aid, on January 27, 2009, within one week of assuming the Presidency, BH Obama signed Presidential Determination No. 2009-15, the “Unexpected Urgent Refugee and Migration Needs Related to Gaza,” a memorandum directing $20M in funds to be released for those Palestinians affected by the conflict for relocation outside the area of Gaza. A similar Presidential Determination, No. 2009-16, authorizing funds for Pakistan was issued on March 11, 2009.

The Tree of Hope, the cedar, was placed with great ceremony on November 22, 2003: new roots were taking hold in the nation’s consecrated ground.  Ezekiel reminds us as well of his instruction to lie on his side for 40 days to reveal the 40 years before Israel would be destroyed.  This date in 2003 would have be the 40th anniversary of the assassination of another US President in 1963.  We have since begun to experience the loss of provision, the loss of prosperity.  The pattern is holding and this judgment is prophesied to be repeated in kind, with an enormously heavier hand. Deliberate defiance is always met with swift judgment.

As Ezekiel looked to the north to see the Glory depart over the gate to the east, so the willful rulers of a nation’s Capital gathered to look north, to watch billowing smoke from the ashes of New York drift through the gateway of the city.  The consecrated has been desecrated and in stunning arrogance of heart, the leaders proclaimed, in willful darkness, the very words prophesied 3,000 years ago: 

The bricks are fallen down,

but we will build with hewn stones:

the sycamores are cut down,

but we will change them into cedars.

With divine correction rebuffed, Isaiah once again admonishes, “Woe unto them that call evil good and good evil; that put darkness for light; that put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.”

The chapter closes:

      Through the wrath of the Lord of hosts is the land darkened,

and the people shall be as the fuel of the fire: 

      no man shall spare his brother.

And he shall snatch on the right hand, and be hungry; 

      And he shall eat on the left hand,

and they shall not be satisfied;

they shall eat every man the flesh of his own arm.

..For all His anger is not turned away,

but his hand is stretched out still.
Isaiah 9:19-21

Rabbi Jonathan Cahn asks, “What further judgment will befall the nation? There will be a greater calamity because His anger is not turned away.

During the message delivered on October 11, 2001, one month after the events of 9/11, and with a nation bearing a glimmer of repentance, Pastor David Wilkerson continued his vision:

    “Right now, I believe God is speaking a warning to New York City and I wrestled with His severe word as I prepared this message and I prayed, Lord, is this really going to happen?  Again and again I heard this still small voice, "Preach it and warn the people.  Those who want the truth will receive it." 

    Saint: This warning is not meant to scare you.  It's meant only for you to take to the Lord and pray.  This is what I believe the Lord has shown me.  Thirty days of chastisement will fall on New York City such as the world has never seen.  God's going to let down the walls.  Unimaginable violence, looting, a thousand fires will be burning at the same time throughout the city and it's burroughs.  Times Square will be ablaze and the flames that ascend into the heaven will be seen for miles.  Fire trucks will not be able to handle it all. 

    Trains and buses will be shut down. Billions of dollars will be lost.  Broadway shows will stop completely.  It will cause businesses to flee the city in an unstoppable hemorrhage.  The violence will be ferocious.  It will shock the whole world.  Our streets will be lined not just with National Guard but the militia.  The Los Angeles fires were confined to a few sections of their city but New York will be ablaze and its burroughs.  Such things are expected in Third World countries but not in a civilized nation like the United States.  Yet in not too long a time afterward New York City will go bankrupt.  The city's Queen city will be cast into the dirt.  A city of poverty.

    You ask, when will all this happen?  All I can say is I believe I will be here when it happens.  When it happens, no matter where we are, in your apartment or on the job, God's people are not to panic or fear."

On March 7, 2009, Pastor David Wilkerson once more put forth an urgent message: one of warning, preparation:

    I am compelled by the Holy Spirit to send out an urgent message to all on our mailing list, and to friends and to bishops we have met all over the world.

    AN EARTH-SHATTERING CALAMITY IS ABOUT TO HAPPEN. IT IS GOING TO BE SO FRIGHTENING, WE ARE ALL GOING TO TREMBLE - EVEN THE GODLIEST AMONG US.

    For ten years I have been warning about a thousand fires coming to New York City. It will engulf the whole megaplex, including areas of New Jersey and Connecticut. Major cities all across America will experience riots and blazing fires—such as we saw in Watts, Los Angeles, years ago.

    WHAT SHALL THE RIGHTEOUS DO? WHAT ABOUT GOD’S PEOPLE?
   
    First, I give you a practical word I received for my own direction. If possible lay in store a thirty-day supply of non-perishable food, toiletries and other essentials. In major cities, grocery stores are emptied in an hour at the sign of an impending disaster.
   
    As for our spiritual reaction, we have but two options. This is outlined in Psalm 11. We “flee like a bird to a mountain.” Or, as David says, “He fixed his eyes on the Lord on his throne in heaven—his eyes beholding, his eyelids testing the sons of men” (v. 4). “In the Lord I take refuge” (v. 1).
   
    I will say to my soul: No need to run...no need to hide. This is God’s righteous work. I will behold our Lord on his throne, with his eye of tender, loving kindness watching over every step I take—trusting that he will deliver his people even through floods, fires, calamities, tests, trials of all kinds.

May God bless and cover the many and mighty Watchmen of this nation.