He gave the keynote address at the Presidential Inaugural Prayer Breakfast in 2013. He was recently invited to speak at the United Nations on behalf of persecuted Christians. Now more than 7 million people have viewed his latest speech on Capitol Hill.

Born of the Tribe of Levi, the line of Aaron, the priests in the Bible, Rabbi Jonathan Cahn rose from relative obscurity in recent years as his books The Harbinger and The Mystery of the Shemitah became New York Times best-sellers with more than 2 million copies sold. Both reveal an ancient pattern of judgment that is now rapidly unfolding in America and the world.

“I believe I’ve been called to sound the alarm, to bring forth a message of warning,” says Cahn, the senior rabbi at the Beth Israel Jerusalem Center in Wayne, New Jersey. “That’s what I’m called to do for this hour. Beyond that, I’m called to call my ancient people back to Messiah and the church back to its biblical roots and destiny.”

Hubie Synn, a New Jersey accountant known for his prophetic gifting who encountered Cahn at an airport and played an instrumental role in the publication ofThe Harbinger, says, “It’s really amazing the platform that God has given him in such a very quick way.”

“When God has a word for somebody or a people He always finds a way to get it out there, and he may not do it in the traditional ways,” Synn says. “In The Harbinger, He had a message for America. It went out very quickly on a grand scale, which I don’t think anybody ever expected. You can see God’s hand at work through The Harbinger. Even a lot of government officials have read the book.”

Born into a reformed Jewish home, Cahn’s mother’s parents escaped persecution in Russia and his father escaped Hitler in Germany. They met in America while pursuing doctorates in chemistry, married and had three children.

Raised in a synagogue, Cahn listened to the accounts of the great people of the Bible—questioning why God had spoken so clearly to the Jewish people in ancient times “but was silent for 2,000 years.” In seventh grade, he became friends with a boy who spoke of Jesus, but argued with him and he became known as “the atheist.” After a search that took him through the occult, UFOs and Nostradamus, Cahn discovered Hal Lindsey’s The Late Great Planet Earth, the best-selling book of the 1970s about end-time prophecies.

While he continued living as before, leading a rock band, he began to tell everyone about the prophecies. Eventually, he made a deal with God that if He would grant him a long life he would accept the Lord before he died. Not long afterward, he nearly died twice, including an incident in which a train demolished his car but he somehow survived without a scratch.

At age 20, he went up a mountain, kneeled on a stone slab and dedicated his life to following God. Later, he learned the stone slab was an altar to the devil—a discovery that “appeared prophetic, as (Cahn) would later be called to the nations, and several times to ascend mountains dedicated to the enemy to help bring spiritual breakthrough.”

Following several prophetic encounters, Cahn was led to work with the needy, in outreaches to the homeless, and full-time with disabled children. He also founded Beth Israel. Soon, the congregation doubled and tripled in size and is now the largest Messianic congregation in America.

Today, his books have been read by members of Congress, leaders on Wall Street, handed out on Capitol Hill and referred to and endorsed by presidential candidates.

Rosemary Schindler Garlow, the wife of Skyline Church Pastor Jim Garlow and a relative of Oskar Schindler, the German businessman whose story of saving thousands of Jews from the Holocaust was depicted in the Steven Spielberg filmSchindler’s List, says Cahn is a “modern-day prophet to America and the world.”

Through his ministry and books, Cahn has “helped to lead tens of thousands and millions in dedicating their lives to Messiah, from India, to South America, to Africa and beyond.”

“It amazes me as much as it does anyone,” Cahn says. “It’s written that God chooses the unlikely things, the weak to confound the strong, the foolish things to confound the wise—a Jewish man who once denied God and any religion to call a nation to return to God.”—Troy Anderson