The United States: A Covenant People

A few years ago, I came across a YouTube video in which a messianic Jewish author by the name of Jonathan Cahn gave what was essentially an oral summary of the conglomeration of prophetic mysteries revealed in his NY Times best-selling book “The Harbinger.” I was not familiar with any of Cahn’s work at the time, but I immediately recognized him as the messianic Jew whom I had seen deliver an anointed and powerful speech on Capitol Hill in defense of the traditional definition of marriage some months prior. Because that speech had so deeply moved me, I was inclined to give ear and listen to what he had to say. As he began to discuss the revelations God had given him concerning America, its prophetic ties to ancient Israel, and the prophetic significance of the events of September 11, 2001—my mind was blown, in part because so much of what he talked about in that video overlapped with several revelations that God had given me several years prior. Specifically, his claims that the United States of America is following a prophetic paradigm based on the northern kingdom of Israel, that the United States is a covenant people, and that the events of September 11, 2001 were divine judgment for the nation’s idolatry and social injustice—were all things that I had been aware of since 2011, but hadn’t shared with anyone. It was as if I was listening to someone who had been getting his information from the same inside source, which at the time was very exciting. Of course I ended up purchasing his book “The Harbinger,” which to this day is probably the most fascinating book on biblical prophecy I have ever read.

Those of you who are familiar with Cahn’s book will find that much of what I am going to reveal in this post contains a significant degree of overlap with some of the foundational premises and claims he makes in his book. As previously mentioned, we both share the conviction that the Northern Kingdom of Israel is a prophetic type, or figurative model, of the United States of America (although I am not sure if he would frame it that way). We are also in agreement that the United States (like Israel before it) was founded on a covenant with God, and that the events of September 11, 2001 were a judgment on the nation for its national sins and social injustice. Note that all of these premises were things I was aware of before the Harbinger had even been published–a fact which I mention, not as some sort of silly attempt to claim to have been the first to come to the knowledge of these basic prophetic truths, but rather that I might function as an additional witness, thereby affirming their heavenly origin (Deut. 19:15; Matt. 18:16; 2 Cor. 13:1; cf. Eccles. 12:11). That being said, there are a couple of places in this analysis where I will draw upon some of Cahn’s observations presented in his book, in order that I might expand upon them and reveal additional pieces of mystery revealed to me which he didn’t mention in his book. In such instances, I will include a footnote which cites his book to make clear that I am building upon one of his observations (Brother Jonathan, if you’re reading this–it is an honor and I am a big fan sir).

The Hebrew language identifies the United States as a covenant people

The United States of America is called ארצות הברית (aratsuth ha-baryith) in the Hebrew language. This name is most commonly translated as “allied lands” or “lands of the alliance.” It is fairly obvious that whoever first coined this name intended to refer to the fact that the United States is a conglomeration of 50 states (“lands”) united together by a Constitution (“alliance”). Yet, Hebrew is a very ambiguous language, and its nouns often tend to be expansive and have multiple meanings. In this case, the Hebrew noun ברית (beriyth) can refer to any sort of compact or agreement between multiple parties. While it could refer to an alliance between nations even way back in biblical times, it is also frequently used in the Old Testament to refer to a covenant between God and man (Gen. 6:18; 9:9-17; 15:18; 17:2-21; Exod. 6:4-5; 19:5; 2 Sam. 23:5; 1 Kings 8:9; 8:21-23; 11:11; 19:10; 19:14). It thus follows that the phrase ארצו הברית can also be translated as: “covenant lands” or “lands of the covenant.” It is my contention that this latter translation is saturated with prophetic connotations, which lead me to conclude that whoever it was who first coined this name for the United States unknowingly did so under the inspiration of the spirit of prophecy. I say this because the United States is the only nation other than Israel to who can rightly be called “a covenant people.” Accordingly, while the USA is indeed 50 states united as one by a common “alliance” (the US Constitution), it is also quite literally “the lands of the covenant.”

If the notion that the United States is a covenant people sounds foreign to you, I am not surprised; as this mystery is largely forgotten knowledge. It seems that the United States has since its very beginning been hellbent on reenacting the history of ancient Israel, who likewise forgot her covenant with God (Deut. 4:23; Deut. 32:18; 2 Kings 17:38). Recovering the knowledge that the United States is a covenant people requires that we go back to the beginning of the nation, and I mean the very beginning—all the way back to our colonial foundations.

America’s colonial foundations

The United States of America grew out of the thirteen colonies of Great Britain that were in existence at the time of the American Revolution, which became the first thirteen states after they each ratified the Constitution between 1787 and 1790. England was late to the game in its new world colonial endeavors. Both Spain and France had already long had an established colonial presence in North America by the time England planted its first successful colony of Jamestown (Virginia) in 1607. In light of this fact, it is perhaps one of history’s greater ironies that the national identity and culture of the future Republic would ultimately grow out of the English colonies which did not come into existence until much later. Of these, the colony of Massachusetts is of particular importance, as its capital of Boston would become the seat of the American Revolution in 1776. Given that the national identity, values, and culture of our future Republic was conceived in the city of Boston, it is necessary that we take a closer look at the historical foundations of the Massachusetts Bay colony—as the founding of this particular colony in 1630 marks the true beginning of the United States from heaven’s perspective.

The Massachusetts Bay Colony: A New Israel

The Massachusetts Bay Colony was founded in the year 1630. It was to become the third successful English colony in the New World—preceded only by Jamestown (1607) in Virginia, and its neighboring colony of Plymouth (1621); the latter of which would ultimately get absorbed into the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1691. The settlers of both Jamestown and Plymouth had declared publicly and in writing that the planting of their respective colonies was for the glory of God and the furtherance of his Gospel. The settlers of Massachusetts Bay continued this precedent, albeit they would take it a step further than their predecessors.

Like the Pilgrims of Plymouth who preceded them, the settlers of Massachusetts Bay were English Puritans discontent with the state of the Church of England, whose primary motive in coming to the New World was religious liberty. Specifically, they sought a place of refuge where they could freely worship and live out their faith in accordance with their understanding of the Bible, free from the persecution of the English Crown and the ecclesiastical lords of the Anglican Church. While on route to their destination, a Cambridge credentialed lawyer by the name of John Winthrop (who would become the first governor of the colony), delivered a sermon in which he reminded all those involved in the colonial endeavor of the primary purpose of their colonial undertakings. This sermon makes it clear that everyone involved in the establishment of this colony saw themselves as a sort of new Israel, in that they shared a collective awareness that God himself had delivered them from the bondage of Roman Catholic Europe (“Egypt”), had given them the Bible (his Law), and was now carrying them on eagle’s wings into North America (“the wilderness”), where he would nourish them and prepare them to receive a good land of great abundance that he had prepared for them. Like Israel before them, the settlers of the Massachusetts Bay colony possessed a collective awareness that they were now entering into a covenant with the God of Israel, who would bless and prosper their colonial undertakings. All of this is easily discernible from the final three paragraphs of Winthrop’s sermon:

Thus stands the cause between God and us. We are entered into covenant with Him for this work. We have taken out a commission. The Lord hath given us leave to draw our own articles. We have professed to enterprise these and those accounts, upon these and those ends. We have hereupon besought Him of favor and blessing. Now if the Lord shall please to hear us, and bring us in peace to the place we desire, then hath He ratified this covenant and sealed our commission, and will expect a strict performance of the articles contained in it; but if we shall neglect the observation of these articles which are the ends we have propounded, and, dissembling with our God, shall fall to embrace this present world and prosecute our carnal intentions, seeking great things for ourselves and our posterity, the Lord will surely break out in wrath against us, and be revenged of such a people, and make us know the price of the breach of such a covenant.

Now the only way to avoid this shipwreck, and to provide for our posterity, is to follow the counsel of Micah, to do justly, to love mercy, to walk humbly with our God. For this end, we must be knit together, in this work, as one man. We must entertain each other in brotherly affection. We must be willing to abridge ourselves of our superfluities, for the supply of others’ necessities. We must uphold a familiar commerce together in all meekness, gentleness, patience and liberality. We must delight in each other; make others’ conditions our own; rejoice together, mourn together, labor and suffer together, always having before our eyes our commission and community in the work, as members of the same body. So shall we keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace. The Lord will be our God, and delight to dwell among us, as His own people, and will command a blessing upon us in all our ways, so that we shall see much more of His wisdom, power, goodness and truth, than formerly we have been acquainted with. We shall find that the God of Israel is among us, when ten of us shall be able to resist a thousand of our enemies; when He shall make us a praise and glory that men shall say of succeeding plantations, “may the Lord make it like that of New England.” For we must consider that we shall be as a city upon a hill. The eyes of all people are upon us. So that if we shall deal falsely with our God in this work we have undertaken, and so cause Him to withdraw His present help from us, we shall be made a story and a by-word through the world. We shall open the mouths of enemies to speak evil of the ways of God, and all professors for God’s sake. We shall shame the faces of many of God’s worthy servants, and cause their prayers to be turned into curses upon us till we be consumed out of the good land whither we are going.

And to shut this discourse with that exhortation of Moses, that faithful servant of the Lord, in his last farewell to Israel, Deut. 30. “Beloved, there is now set before us life and death, good and evil,” in that we are commanded this day to love the Lord our God, and to love one another, to walk in his ways and to keep his Commandments and his ordinance and his laws, and the articles of our Covenant with Him, that we may live and be multiplied, and that the Lord our God may bless us in the land whither we go to possess it. But if our hearts shall turn away, so that we will not obey, but shall be seduced, and worship other Gods, our pleasure and profits, and serve them; it is propounded unto us this day, we shall surely perish out of the good land whither we pass over this vast sea to possess it. Therefore, let us choose life, that we and our seed may live, by obeying His voice and cleaving to Him, for He is our life and our prosperity.

In Winthrop’s sermon we can clearly discern that the settlers of the Massachusetts Bay Colony shared a collective awareness that they were entering into a covenant with God. The two central themes of this covenant were brotherly love and social justice. God was bringing the colonists into a land where they would be able to worship him freely, without government persecution. He had given them leave to draw their own articles of government. He promised to bless them financially and make their colonial undertakings successful and prosperous. In return, the colonists were to be a holy people, and they were to live as a society founded on biblical principles who walked in the light of his everlasting Gospel. They were to be knit together in brotherly love as one man (Judges 20:1; 20:8; 20:11; Ezra 3:1; Neh. 8:1). The rich and financially prosperous among them were to use their wealth to help care for the poor and less fortunate among them. They were to open their hands wide and lend to their poor brethren without usury, or even give to them in cases where the poor could not repay them (Exod. 22:25; Deut. 23:19-20). Through their unity, brotherly affection, and obedience to the divine mandate to love one another—the new settlement would shine as a city upon a hill, becoming a “light to the nations,” just as Israel had been in old time. Yet, like God’s covenant with old Israel, his covenant with this new Israel also had blessings and curses attached to it which were tangent upon the society’s obedience and disobedience (Deut. 11:26-28).

It is easy to read Winthrop’s sermon and just assume that if such a covenant were ever valid, then surely it would have only applied to the now nonexistent Massachusetts Bay Colony. After all, the colonial period officially ended in 1787 when several colonies ratified the Constitution and became the first states. Yet just as the institution of a secular government in Northern Israel after the death of Solomon did not nullify the covenant that the people of Israel had entered into with God at Sinai many years earlier (1 Kings 12:16-33; 1 Kings 14:14-16; Amos 2:6-16; Amos 3:1-2), so too the fact that America became a secular Republic in 1787 did not nullify the covenant that the Puritan colonists of Massachusetts Bay had entered into with the LORD way back in 1630. Although the memory of this covenant was quickly forgotten within a few generations, it has continued to remain in effect even after we became a secular Republic; the United States has always been a covenant people.

Winthrop’s Prophetic Warning testifies that the United States is a covenant people.

Note again the following excerpt from Winthrop’s sermon in which he warns of the consequences that will follow the failure to uphold the covenant that they have entered into with the Lord:

Now if the Lord shall please to hear us, and bring us in peace to the place we desire, then hath He ratified this covenant and sealed our commission, and will expect a strict performance of the articles contained in it; but if we shall neglect the observation of these articles which are the ends we have propounded, and, dissembling with our God, shall fall to embrace this present world and prosecute our carnal intentions, seeking great things for ourselves and our posterity, the Lord will surely break out in wrath against us, and be revenged of such a people, and make us know the price of the breach of such a covenant. . . . For we must consider that we shall be as a city upon a hill. The eyes of all people are upon us. So that if we shall deal falsely with our God in this work we have undertaken, and so cause Him to withdraw His present help from us, we shall be made a story and a by-word through the world.

Notice how Winthrop states that “the eyes of all people are upon us,” and warns his fellow colonists that they will be made a public spectacle in the eyes of all the world when God judges them for their breach of covenant. Here we find in Winthrop’s words yet another prophetic parallel between their settlement and the Northern Kingdom of Israel, whose later capital of Samaria was literally “a city on a hill” (1 Kings 16:24), and whose name in Hebrew literally translates as “watch mountain” (as if to infer that “all eyes are upon” this particular “city on a hill“). Thus Winthrop’s own words indicate that he was speaking under the inspiration of the spirit of prophecy, as his own words in the sermon indicate that he was unconsciously helping to establish this prophetic paradigm in which he is a “new Moses”, and this “new Israel” that they are planting will gradually grow into a nation that will eventually declare its independence (1 Kings 12:16-20), become a secular nation (1 Kings 12:26-33), and from there become the latter-day fulfillment of its corresponding prophetic form–the northern kingdom of Israel. Thus it is as if the entire history of the United States was written thousands of years before it occurred.

September 11, 2001

Winthrop is very clear that the divine judgment that would result from failure to uphold the covenant agreement that they are entering into would be a very public one. Undoubtedly the best historical example of the realization of his divinely inspired prophetic warning are the horrific events of September 11, 2001. On that day, the entire world watched in astonishment as the most powerful and prosperous nation on earth was attacked by a foreign enemy on her own soil (Amos 5:2). The nation’s symbols of economic prosperity and power were destroyed while the entire world watched the horror unfold live on television.

Like the northern kingdom of Israel before us, after we became a secular nation–the leaders of the United States cast away God’s law and began promoting the worship of the Almighty Dollar as a sort of substitute national religion in place of biblical Christianity (1 Kings 12:26-33). This is exactly what Governor Winthrop, under the inspiration of the spirit of prophecy, warned us never to do. Like northern Israel before us, the political and financial elite of our nation became exceedingly greedy and obsessed with the pursuit of their own material pleasures, and this idolatry led to grievous social injustice and oppression of the nation’s poorer classes (Amos 2:6-16; 5:11-12). This was a blatant violation of the covenant God made with the colonial settlers of Massachusetts Bay (out of which sprang the United States of America). The nation’s colonial forefathers had entered into an agreement with God in which they pledged to live in brotherly love and maintain the biblical definition of social justice, and their descendants were now in breach of that covenant agreement and showed no intention of turning from their ways. In response, God had no choice but to temporarily remove the nation’s hedge of angelic protection and allow a foreign enemy to send his slumbering covenant people a much needed wake-up call.

The details of the 9/11 terror attacks are full of prophetic markers which collectively testify that the events of September 11 were divine judgment for breach of the national covenant. It should first be pointed out that New York City was the original seat of the federal government. As a matter of fact, President George Washington was sworn in on the balcony of the old Federal Hall building overlooking Wall Street on April 30, 1789. Immediately afterwards, what one might describe as the first inaugural prayer service, was held at St. Paul’s Chapel at Ground Zero. Here the nation’s first government gathered together to pray and consecrate the new nation to God. This makes the geographical location where the Twin Towers once stood, what Cahn has rightly described as the nation’s: “grounds of consecration.” As he points out in the Harbinger, the attacks were carried out not only at the nation’s original capital, but at the very same geographical location where the nation itself was consecrated to the will and purposes of God.1

Another prophetically significant detail of the attacks can be seen in the fact that the World Trade Center was in God’s eyes the seat of America’s national apostasy and idolatry. Here again we see the USA fulfilling what had been prophetically foreshadowed thousands of years ago by the Northern Kingdom of Israel. Shortly after declaring their independence from the United Monarchy in 931 BC, the Northern Kingdom’s first king Jeroboam I instituted a substitute national religion, which was symbolized by two golden bulls. This cult would become a national religion that every king who came after him would uphold and promote. The institution of this apostasy by Ephraim’s first king was a prophetic foreshadowing of the establishment of the NY Stock Exchange during Washington’s first term in 1792, which became the foundation of America’s apostasy and its cult of the Almighty Dollar.2 The truth that this is a prophetic foreshadowing can be seen in the fact that that the total time elapsed between the institution of this idolatrous cult in Northern Israel (which is symbolized by two golden bulls) by Jeroboam I in 931 BC, to the Assyrian attacks on the land in 722 BC, is 209 years. Likewise, the total time elapsed between the creation of the NY Stock Exchange at Wall Street (which once again is symbolized by a bull) in 1792, to the attacks of September 11, 2001–is 209 years. These parallels are charted on the timeline below:

The total number of years between the time that Jeroboam I instituted a state-sponsored false religion (symbolized by two golden bulls) in the Northern Kingdom of Israel, to the Assyrian attacks on the land–are 209 years. Likewise, the total number of years that elapsed between the formation of the NY Stock Exchange (symbolized by the Wall Street Bull), and the 9/11 terror attacks–are 209 years. The former is a prophetic paradigm that foreshadows the latter.

As can be seen, Jeroboam I’s institution of a national idolatry in 931 BC symbolized by two golden bulls, foreshadowed the establishment of the NY Stock Exchange in 1792 (whose symbol is a bull)–which in the eyes of the LORD would become America’s seat of national idolatry. Likewise, the Assyrian attacks on the northern kingdom in 722 BC, are a prophetic foreshadowing of the terrorist attacks carried out by 19 brainwashed pawns of Al Qaeda on September 11, 2001. The fact that there are exactly 209 years between both sets of events testifies to the truth of this. This is a fine example of what Sir Isaac Newton referred to “histories of things to come.” In his perfect foreknowledge, God designed the northern Kingdom of Israel to function as a figurative prophetic representation of the future United States of America.3 Accordingly, it is as if the entire history of the United States was written thousands of years before it happened (Acts 15:18). The following table charts some of the other more obvious parallels between the two kingdoms, thus showing how the prophetic form foreshadows its prophetic fulfillment:

From heaven’s perspective, the Twin Towers were essentially the national altars where the idolatrous priests of the apostate cult sacrificed to their false god known as “the Almighty Dollar.” To give some added context here–it must be noted that many of the financial firms and banks that occupied the Twin Towers at the time of the attacks were licensed to trade in government bonds and securities. Such notes allow governments to take out loans of apocalyptic proportions to finance government programs and projects. They are considered low-risk for the lender because they are government backed, meaning that if the government were to go bankrupt–the government can simply raise taxes on its populace in order to pay back the loan with accumulated interest. One can easily see how such a practice has the potential to lead to oppression of the poorer classes and grievous social injustice in the eyes of the LORD, and this is literally the exact same thing that the upper classes of the northern Kingdom of Israel were guilty of (Amos 8:4-5). The point I am trying to bring out here is that not only were the attacks in NYC carried out on the nation’s grounds of consecration, but the Twin Towers themselves were in God’s eyes the seat of the national idolatry which was breeding the rampant social injustice that caused the nation to be in violation of her covenant.

As if all of that isn’t enough to convince one of the certainty of this truth, it should also be noted that the two airplanes that flew into the twin towers that day (American 11 and United 175) both flew out of Boston International Airport–another detail that is saturated with prophetic meaning. As previously noted, Boston is the city where the American Revolution began, and was thus the seat of the nation’s national and cultural identity. But even more importantly, it was also the capital of the former Massachusetts Bay Colony, where the covenant that the nation was in breach of was made. All of this was divinely orchestrated by God to establish a prophetic link between the 9/11 attacks and the covenant made with our colonial forefathers of Massachusetts Bay. By having the planes that took down the towers fly out of the city of Boston, God was establishing the context for the judgment that was about to unfold–linking it to the capital of the former Massachusetts Bay Colony. He was, in other words, providing divine affirmation that the attacks were the realization of Governor Winthrop’s 371 year old prophetic warning, which promised that we would be made a public spectacle in the eyes of the entire world if we ever failed to uphold the stipulations of the covenant.

Conclusion

From heaven’s perspective, the United States of America is and always has been a covenant people. While she has failed to uphold the stipulations of the covenant agreement and has suffered gravely for it, God has nevertheless been faithful to his end of the bargain. It is precisely because of this covenant and God’s faithfulness, that America is the most prosperous and powerful nation on earth today. Yet because she has forgotten her covenant with her God, she fell into the error of falsely believing that she had taken to herself horns of her own strength (Amos 6:13).

In closing I must add that I am in no way shape or form condoning, celebrating, or rejoicing in the actions of the terrorists responsible for the events of September 11, 2001 (1 Cor. 13:6). I am a very patriotic American who lived through that horrific day and am as angered towards those responsible for the events of that day as any other red-blooded patriotic American. I am simply relaying what God has revealed to me with regard to the reason for the attacks and why he allowed them to be carried out. Everything I have shared here with regard to the events of September 11 was revealed to be directly by the word of the LORD. We must understand that God is just (Deut. 32:4; Job 4:17; Isa. 45:21), and his thoughts are far higher than ours (Isa. 55:8-9; cf. Job 36:4; 37:16; 1 Cor. 13:9). Moreover he is both the playwright and stage director of human history, and the Bible is filled with countless examples of him using evil men driven by their own sinful motives and demonic impulses to judge and chasten his backsliding people (Isa. 10:5-15; Jer. 27:6), and carry out and advance his divine purposes (Isa. 45:7), yet that does not mean that he condones or endorses the evil actions of those he uses (Matt. 18:7; Luke 17:1). God is so perfect in wisdom and knowledge that he is able to use the evil intentions and actions of fallen men for ultimate good (Gen. 50:20).

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  1. Jonathan Cahn, The Harbinger (Lake Mary: FrontLine Charisma House Book Group, 2011), Kindle edition, 205-207.
  2. As Cahn points out in the Harbinger, the foundations of the NY Stock Exchange were laid when a group of bankers and financiers signed a compact known as the Buttonwood Agreement underneath a sycamore tree on what is today Wall Street, in the year 1792. Jonathan Cahn, The Harbinger (Lake Mary: FrontLine Charisma House Book Group, 2011), Kindle edition, 147.
  3. Note that I am not in any way insinuating that ancient Israel was merely a figurative shadow of the United States. Nor am I arguing that the USA is equal in importance to ancient Israel, or that the USA is more central to God’s divine plans than ancient Israel. I am not teaching replacement theology. What I am arguing is that God in his perfect foreknowledge knew that the colonial founders of the United States would see themselves as a “new Israel”, knew that they (like ancient Israel) would found themselves on a covenant agreement with him, and he carefully guided the history of the northern Kingdom in such a way that its history as a kingdom would mirror that of the future United States.
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Categorized as Mysteries

By Zerubbabel

Zerubbabel is the pen-name of the founder of this ministry. He has an academic background in history, classical literature, and biblical studies; and possesses a peculiar gift for understanding and explaining the deeper mysteries of the Holy Bible.

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