Someone once called me a “practical Pentecostal.” I’m a pretty level-headed guy. I try to be led by the Spirit. I pray about all major decisions, and I seek wise counsel. I don’t look for prophecies, yet they sometimes come in unusual ways. And though I appreciate them, the prophetic words are rarely dramatic.
But one day the Lord caused something unexpected to happen. I saw up close and personal that God does reveal to prophets what will happen, and it can make a huge difference. In my case the prophet was an unassuming accountant from New Jersey named Hubie Synn. I hope this story inspires faith that God still uses the gift of prophecy to accomplish His will.
As a book publisher, my company, Charisma Media, is always looking for new ideas, learning about authors and excavating through manuscripts to see what projects we should work on next. I never in a million years thought that a simple accountant with a prophetic gift would connect me with a Messianic Rabbi who would turn the world upside-down for the kingdom of God.
One day one of my staff members said he met a man who had a word for me and asked if it was OK for him to give it to me. Something felt different about this—maybe how polite the request was. So I said yes and gave my staffer my personal email address, and soon I received an encouraging but general word from the prophet. Later I met him, and we are friends to this day, and it was out of this relationship that God performed a miracle—maybe the biggest in the history of Charisma Media. Synn had a prophetic word that God has used in ways I could never have imagined. It was a word he gave a complete stranger in an airport early one morning while he was waiting for a flight.
The stranger turned out to be Jonathan Cahn, now a well-known best-selling author. At the time, Cahn had never published a book but had finished the first draft of what was later published as The Harbinger. A Messianic rabbi from New Jersey, Cahn had been praying as he waited for his flight in Charlotte, North Carolina. He was asking the Lord what to do because friends were giving him conflicting advice on publishing his book. With a busy schedule and on his way to a speaking engagement, he decided to spend the travel time praying about what to do regarding publishing his book.
Meanwhile, in the same airport, Synn was flying to visit his sister, who was dying. He was irritated by the bad weather and the flight delays. So when the Lord impressed on him to speak to a man with a black beard whom Synn took to be an Orthodox Jew, he wasn’t happy about it, as the man seemed unlikely to want a prophetic word from a Christian.
After initially resisting the prompting, Synn finally asked the man, “What’s the good word?” Cahn had been reading his Bible and praying when he looked up and saw Synn, who is of Korean, Mexican and American Indian descent, and assumed he was a secular businessman. Thinking Synn was witnessing to him, he answered, “God loves you.” Suddenly, Synn knew he should give the word that Cahn had a message for the nation and world and that it would impact both believers and nonbelievers.
Unknown to Synn, his act of obedience in the airport had an added layer of prophetic significance. It mirrored the opening scene of Cahn’s written but then unpublished book, The Harbinger, in which a stranger, who turns out to be a prophet, sits to the left of the main character, Nouriel. The prophet strikes up a conversation with Nouriel in a public place to give him a prophetic word, which ultimately leads Nouriel to publish a book warning the nation of judgment and calling its people to repentance and salvation.
A few weeks later I got an email in which Synn told me he gave Cahn a word just as Cahn was praying about what direction to go concerning publishing his manuscript. He said after receiving the word, Cahn decided not to make any moves until he could discern how God was leading.
Synn went on to say in the email that he felt led to contact me: “I mentioned your name to Jonathan (I hope you don’t mind), and he was excited about it. Maybe this can be a blessing for both of you. Jonathan wrote down the word he got, and some of it was something about being monumental. He will write a few books. Steve, I feel something is up with this, so pray about it.”
Less than a year later, The Harbinger was released. It hit the New York Times best-seller list the first week and was on the list for 102 weeks. But more important than the remarkable publishing success were the countless lives touched, seeing God’s hand at work, and launching Cahn’s ministry to a level of prominence it never had before. It’s amazing to think that Jonathan Cahn has now published seven New York Times best-sellers with Charisma, and is releasing his eighth book with us this fall. God gave me a publisher’s dream in the wildest, most unimaginable way possible. And that is exactly why life with the Holy Spirit is so exciting.