As he looked across the waters of the Hudson River from the Statue of Liberty, the twin towers of the World Trade center spiking the New York City skyline, Jonathan Cahn had a deep sense of foreboding.

The Messianic rabbi had joined with other prayer and prophetic leaders at the nation’s symbolic gate – Lady Liberty greeting the many immigrants arriving at nearby Ellis Island, where they would take their first steps in their new land – to seek God. They had gathered with a shared burden to pray for the city and a sense of concern about a possible terrorist attack on the United States. Two years later, the suicide flights that stunned the world would touch Cahn’s, too. His future wife, Renata, was to have been at the World Trade Center for an appointment but changed her plans at the last minute, as did other members of his congregation who worked there. Two who were in the Twin Towers were among those who escaped before the collapse.

But in addition to feeling personal relief, Cahn was pitched into a journey of discovery. It would take him to ground zero, historical sites and research libraries, collecting hundreds of pages of notes in a mission to uncover the deeper story behind the shocking news footage.

From disparate fragments of present-day events, key moments in America’s past and somewhat obscure biblical passages, he has pieced together a jaw-dropping jigsaw puzzle that presents a disturbing picture of a nation on the brink.

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