Return of the gods - Part 1 (Transcript)

Dr. James Dobson: Welcome, everyone, to Family Talk. It's a ministry of the James Dobson Family Institute supported by listeners just like you. I'm Dr. James Dobson, and I'm thrilled that you've joined us.

Roger Marsh: Welcome to today's edition of Family Talk. I'm Roger Marsh, and Family Talk is the listener supported broadcast division of the Dr. James Dobson Family Institute. We have a very special program for you today and tomorrow right here on Family Talk. This interview features our own Dr. James Dobson with one of his all-time favorite guests, the esteemed author, messianic Jew, dynamic and always encouraging thought leader and faith speaker, Rabbi Jonathan Cahn. Here now is Dr. James Dobson.

Dr. James Dobson: I'm James Dobson, the host of the program, and I'm so pleased to welcome back a great friend and a frequent guest, who is with us. Actually, today he is with this virtually by computer hookup. He's usually here in the studio. I'll talk to him about that next time. He is Rabbi Jonathan Cahn, who is the New York Times best-selling author of The Harbinger, The Paradigm, The Book of Mysteries, The Oracle and The Harbinger II. I've interviewed him on every one of those books, and that's why they were such great sellers.

Rabbi Jonathan Cahn: Well, that's a big part.

Dr. James Dobson: He also produced The Return, which was a live spiritual revival on the side of the National Mall in Washington, DC. It occurred on September of 2020, which was the height of the COVID pandemic. Rabbi Cahn has been called the prophetic voice of this generation, and I think that's true. He's a messianic Jew, who serves as the senior pastor of the Jerusalem Center Beth Israel in Wayne, New Jersey. His teachings focus on deep scriptural passages that have had a profound impact on millions of readers. Rabbi Cahn, and his wife, Renata, have three sons. I have got to meet them sometime.

Rabbi Jonathan Cahn: Oh, it'd be an honor.

Dr. James Dobson: Jonathan, it's so good to have you here, even virtually today. You always bring a message from your books that are profound in their understanding of Scripture, and I really look forward to talking about your new book. You have a brand new publication bearing a very curious title. I want to start by having you explain it. You call it The Return of the Gods, which some Christian readers might misunderstand or even find objectionable. We all know and believe that, of course, that there's only one true God in three persons, known as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Together they are the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, but the title of that book implies that their other gods from long ago, who have made appearances in our day. Explain where you're headed with that. I know what you mean.

Rabbi Jonathan Cahn: Yes. Yeah. Well, the Bible speaks about the gods. There's only one God. There's only one true God, Elohim, Yahweh. There's only our God, the God of, as you said, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and who is manifest in Messiah. So that's the foundation of our faith, but the amazing thing is the Bible does speak of the gods. It says like, "[foreign language 00:03:45], who is like you, oh Lord, among the gods." And the Lord speaks about judging the gods, so now, of course, these are false gods. So the enemy is called the god of this world. So there's certain definitions here.

So I'm going to share in the whole opening of this, of what the Bible actually says about the gods, and the answer is that there are false gods. The Bible speaks about false gods, but what are the gods? And that's the beginning of the mystery, and what it's saying, these are speaking of spirits or entities. And the Bible says these are real. I mean, not that they come as gods, but they're behind the gods, and they come as that, and what The Return of the Gods is saying is that there are evil forces. There are forces that the Bible speaks about that were very real in the days of the Bible. They were behind the gods.

Dr. James Dobson: So, these are satanic characters?

Rabbi Jonathan Cahn: Yes. Yeah. You know what? I'll go right into that, because if you look in every nation, every culture, they're all worshiping gods. It's a universal thing that they're all over it. It doesn't matter where you were in the ancient world, there were gods. The only exception was Israel, which had God. And so the Bible says something. It's interesting because in the Torah, in the book of Deuteronomy, Moses, when he speaks about the gods, he says, "They sacrificed to the idols and the gods," and the Hebrew word is the shedim. He says, "Not to God, but to gods they didn't know, to new gods that had come." The word shedim speaks of spirits or entities, and you'll find this again in the Psalms when it says, "They served idols," and it says, "They sacrificed their sons and daughters to the shedim." So the shedim means these are spirits or entities. So it's kind of an amazing thing, because it's saying behind the gods, the gods are fiction, but behind them were entities, were beings.

And when Paul, the apostle, he speaks about the same thing. He says in Corinthians, he says that what the Gentile sacrificed they sacrificed to the... instead of saying shedim, he uses a Greek word that is the daímonas, and we get the word demon or demonic spirit from that. So the first thing is that the Bible says that behind the gods are actually spirits, or evil, or demonic beings. So there's something going on. Now, it doesn't mean that whatever people said about the gods were true, but that the spirits will do anything to get the worship of God away from God. And so that this was a common thing back then. This was the world back then.

Dr. James Dobson: That's very clear. You talk about three of them, the dark trinity. Who are those three?

Rabbi Jonathan Cahn: Yeah. Well, when Israel turned away from God, they turned to other gods, and as they turned to other gods, there were three main or kind of very iconic gods of all of them, and the first one I call the possessor in the book, and that is... And we'll get into it. And the second one is called the enchantress, and the third is called the destroyer. And each of these gods were they were really the center of Israel's fall from God, and the thing is that what The Return of the Gods is saying is that America and the West is now dealing with those same spirits.

In fact, if you want to understand what's been happening in the last really 50 years or 60 years as America has fallen away from God, this is really behind everything. It's behind things that seem so irrational now because it's accelerating. This is behind it, and I'll give you something to add to this, and that is that in ancient times, if the spirits and the gods were interchangeable, and all these nations were giving themselves to the worship of gods, then they were giving themselves to spirits. And so what we see, the phenomenon all across the world, in the pagan world, we see the phenomenon of possession. They all record it. If you were the high priest, or if you're in pagan worship, you were even more likely to show the signs of possession.

Back then, they had these women called the Oracles, and they were literally possessed women. They spoke for the gods, but they were speaking for the spirits, and so the entire culture was possessed. And so, the only thing that changed this, the only thing that has changed our world is the gospel, because when Jesus came into the world, He had the power to cast out the spirits, power over evil. And when He sent His disciples into the world, they were going into a world of God's, world of spirits. And when they came in the world, that's why there was such a big clash in the Roman Empire. There was a war, and it was over believers who were told, "You have to worship the gods, and if you don't worship the gods, then you are going to be killed or thrown to the lions."

So it was really a war of the gods that was happening, and when you read the book of Acts, you see this again and again, the possessed woman following Paul, a city in uproar over the gods. So the thing is that finally it was the gospel that won, and that drove out the gods, drove out the gods from the temple. And this is unique. This is why our culture is unique, this Western civilization, because it's the only culture that was dispossessed, that was exercised of the gods. And that's really where we have been, but now we're turning the other way.

Dr. James Dobson: Of all the things that offended God, the worship of those false gods was the most offensive, and yet they continually did it, and then suffered the consequences.

Rabbi Jonathan Cahn: Yeah. Dr. Dobson, we have talked from the book when I wrote The Harbinger and the others, it's all showing that the templates in the Bible are being replayed, and America was really founded after the pattern of Israel. The Puritans said, "We are to be like Israel was." And so we've been blessed. John Winthrop said, "If we follow God, we're going to be blessed with the blessings of Israel, but if we turn away from God," and he said, "If we get seduced by the gods, if we turn to the false gods, then these judgements are come upon you." So that is where we are, because there's a warning.

And actually, it goes back to a parable that Jesus said. Remember the parable He said that if a spirit goes out of a man, He said, "It goes out, looks for a place to rest, finds no place to rest, and if it finds no place, it comes back and says, 'I will return to my house,'" talking about the man. He comes back, finds it all clean and empty and says, "I'm going to now bring my seven other friends, my seven other spirits," worse than itself, and now the man is repossessed, and Jesus says that the latter state is worse than the beginning, but then He says, "So it will be with this generation." He wasn't just talking about a man being possessed and turning back. He talks about an entire culture or civilization.

And here is the, I guess, the big picture and the warning, and that is that we as a civilization, Western civilization, was exercised of the gods and the spirits. It was the only culture that had even known this. That's why it's so unique, but the warning is in the biggest application, if we ever turn away from God, if we ever turn away from Jesus, if we ever turn away from the gospel, from the Word, then these spirits of darkness are going to come into our culture. The "gods" are going to return. What was cast out will come back to repossess it, and that is what is behind what we have been dealing with for the last half century.

Dr. James Dobson: Explain how these false gods operate through the centuries. You say that they've made a reappearance now, and have they been there all along? Have they been the source of mischief and evil all the way through man's history?

Rabbi Jonathan Cahn: Yeah. Well, I believe as long as the enemy is alive and well or not well, but is alive, and the spirits are, then, yes, there's always going to be that source of evil as much as people turn away from God. The amazing thing is that we've had an entire culture that was at least a "Christian" culture. When I've gone to other nations that have not really known the gospel, you see signs of possession all over. You see all sorts of things. Well, many things that you don't see in the West because we have been by and large cleansed of that, but as much as we turn back, then we're giving a foothold. So, Jesus said, "The spirits go out into the wilderness, and they look for a... they're in a dry place." Well, I believe these were on the fringes of our civilization, because they couldn't have the same foothold they had with a pagan civilization, but if America and the West starts turning away from God, then it's a whole different story.

And to give you an example, He didn't just say that the man will be repossessed, but that it's going to be worse than before. There's seven more coming in. So take this in a big picture, and that is when you look at cultures or civilization, when they turn away from the gospel, look what happens. When Russia turned away from God totally, turned to communism, what came in? It was demonic. It wasn't neutral. It was demonic. It was millions who were killed.

Look what happened to Germany. Germany that produced the reformation, Martin Luther, all that, when they turned away from the word, and they turned away from God, what came in? It wasn't neutral. It was demonic. The most demonic we've ever seen. So the warning is that in a pre-Christian culture, you might have a Nero and a Caligula, but in a post-Christian culture, you'll have a Hitler. You'll have something worse. So it's going to be worse when you turn away, so that's the big warning here.

Dr. James Dobson: As a matter of fact, it comes from Matthew 12:43 and 45, and Jesus is speaking, and He's giving a parable here. And He says, "When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then he says, 'I will return to the house I left,' and when it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, and swept clean, and put in order. Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits, more wicked than itself, and they go in, and they live there, and the final condition of that person is worse than the first. That's how it will be with this wicked generation." So, He was really speaking in prophecy. He was really talking about our generation, wasn't He?

Rabbi Jonathan Cahn: Yeah. I mean, people don't realize that. They look at that, and they think, "Okay, He's talking about a possessed man." Well, it's using the picture of a possessed man, but as you said, He says, "So it will be with this generation," and it was a generation. First, you have Israel that knew God, but turned away, and so it's saying it's going to be worse, but then you have an entire culture really which has spread all over the world, and again, it's the only... We don't realize. You don't know what you've got till it's gone.

When America started turning away from God, they didn't realize that what was holding back and keeping all these forces at bay was only God, the gospel, when you take that out, when we started taking God out of the prayer at school and all, the culture had no idea where it was going now, and you look at where it is now, and people say... Even liberals. There are liberals who say, "This is crazy. This is demonic. This is irrational." Well, this is possession. If the spirits or the ancient gods come back, they're going to seek to repossess the culture, to repossess the civilization, repossess government, as they had back then.

And so what we're going to start seeing if there's a return is that they will seek to take a Christian nation and turn it into a pagan nation, and that is exactly what we have been seeing over and over again. It's exactly what we've been standing against. It is the paganization of America and Western civilization, and that's exactly what is behind all these things.

Dr. James Dobson: Are the members of the dark trinity operative here and now, and if so, who are they? What's their name?

Rabbi Jonathan Cahn: Well, the first one, and in The Return of the Gods, the first one who've I called the possessor was really the beginning, the key, the first one that got in. When you look at the parable, there's one spirit that goes in and then brings the rest.

Dr. James Dobson: Is that Baal?

Rabbi Jonathan Cahn: Yes. Yes. In Hebrew called Baal, which means the possessor. It means the possessor. It means the owner, means the master or Lord. And he was the one who really or the spirit that Israel turned to at the beginning, and when you look at the list of the gods, Baal or Baal, he's always first, and he was the god of the falling away. He's the alternate god, the substitute god. He's the one who contends have the true God, and then you had Baal or Baal. The warning is, if you look back, when did America really start turning, start taking those steps? Well, if you look at the early sixties-

Dr. James Dobson: I think it's in 1960s.

Rabbi Jonathan Cahn: That's it, yeah. The early sixties, you see that really, it starts becoming obvious that you have the first is the removal of prayer from school, then you have the removal of the Word from school, then you have the removal of God from the public square. When you look at Baal, the nature of Baal or this spirit is to drive God out of the culture, drive Him out of the children's life. If you notice, it was a war back then between Baal and God, and it was always trying to drive God out. And what we've been seeing since the 1960s is this progressive spirit of driving God out of everything, and it's a spirit that is seeking to repossess America.

The Bible says that Baal caused Israel to forget God. It was like a spiritual amnesia. Here was Israel, here was the God of its foundation. Now you have America, and you have the God of its foundation, which is God of the Bible, and what's been happening is there's been a progressive amnesia, a forgetting of God, and even a forgetting that America was ever a nation under God, that's where we're coming to right now.

Dr. James Dobson: You said to me on the phone one day that the Christian community seems to be running from God as fast as they can get away. Does that characterize what we're seeing?

Rabbi Jonathan Cahn: Well, yeah. We are seeing it in the culture, and unfortunately, Dr. Dobson, we're seeing it, Christians, the church being affected by the culture, and when Baal came in, it started to being a mix between God and Baal. It was first, "Hey, we can have..." Baal was the god who promised prosperity, "I'll make your fields prosper." So America started going after prosperity, after materialism. The signs that we see of this is that... And since the 1960s, we've been seeing a pagan morality or immorality overturning. Baal was the god who overturned the ways of God. It says that he caused Israel to turn away from the law, the 10 Commandments.

Well, it's amazing, because in America, we actually have been striking down the 10 Commandments. We actually have been removing it just like Israel did from our public square. That's a sign of Baal with that. We have a pagan morality. Dr. Dobson, one of the things about we don't realize how it's affecting us now, but a pagan morality says, "Basically, you can create your own god. You can create your own idol. You're creating reality. You're creating truth." So everybody has their own god, everybody has their own truth. So now you hear a lot of, "Well, that's your own truth. That's your truth. That's my truth." If a man thinks he's a woman, then that's his truth. We have to accept that truth. That's pagan. That's paganism.

Another sign of paganism, when you take away God from a culture, everything starts becoming gods. Sex becomes god. Money becomes god. Ideology becomes god, all these things. So we're watching all these signs, and we don't realize, because it has new names like wokeness or political correctness, but this is all pagan. This is exactly what happened in the pagan world and with Israel when Baal came in.

Dr. James Dobson: Where does it lead, Jonathan?

Rabbi Jonathan Cahn: Well, if we don't have revival, this... And by the way, remember Baal was only the first. He was only the first of the gods. Without God, if you take away God, and kind of we've been saying this, you've been saying this for years, that if you take away God, it's not going to remain empty. Jesus said, "The house will not remain empty." Something is coming in. If you take God out of the schools, something else is coming into the school, and when we started removing God back then, "Well, that's not a big thing. We're just taking prayer from the school. You can pray at home," but if they had any idea of what would be coming into the school now, it never remains empty. The spirits are seeking to possess America. Without the revival, without the power of God. This is where it goes. And so that's why we need revival, and the only answer to the gods is God.

Dr. James Dobson: That is profound. We've been talking to Rabbi Jonathan Cahn about his new book, The Return of the Gods. We talked about some people questioning the use of the word gods here. There's only one God. Yeah, well, they were false gods, and they're mentioned throughout the Scripture, and I would like to close by sharing some of those Scriptures. I'd like to read them in sync. I'll read one, and you read one.

Rabbi Jonathan Cahn Okay.

Dr. James Dobson: And it's amazing how many times in the Scripture it talks about false gods, whether it uses those words, you get the point. Matthew 24:4-5, "And Jesus said to them, 'See that no one leads you astray, for many will come in my name saying, 'I am the Christ,' and they will lead many astray."

Rabbi Jonathan Cahn: 1 John 4:1 says, "Beloved, don't believe every spirit, but test the spirits, see whether they're from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world."

Dr. James Dobson: Isaiah 45:5, "I am the Lord. There is no other beside me. There is no god. I equip you, though you do not know me."

Rabbi Jonathan Cahn: Isaiah 43:10, "'You are my witnesses,' declares the Lord, 'and my servant whom I have chosen, that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor shall there be any after me.'"

Dr. James Dobson: Exodus 20:3, "You shall have no other gods before me," reference to their gods. If there weren't other gods, it would not have been stated that way.

Rabbi Jonathan Cahn: Matthew 24:24, "For false Christ and false prophets will arise, perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect."

Dr. James Dobson: To our listeners, let me say this is the fascinating book. This book comes out what day?

Rabbi Jonathan Cahn: It comes out on September 6th. That's the official release, but you could pre-order it now on Amazon. Everywhere where there are books, you can get it. And one special thing, that Charisma, the publisher, has a special site. If you go there and pre-order it, you'll get many of my other books for free. Just go to,, but get it for others as well as for yourself.

Dr. James Dobson: Rabbi, I appreciate you.

Rabbi Jonathan Cahn: Oh, likewise.

Dr. James Dobson: I appreciate the work that you've done. Our time is gone for this program, Jonathan. Let's stop here, and then we're going to pick up with the second of the trinity.

Rabbi Jonathan Cahn: Yes.

Dr. James Dobson: The first is Baal, and now we're going to talk about the second, and that god, false god, is operative here too now.

Rabbi Jonathan Cahn: Yes. Yes.

Dr. James Dobson: Let's pick it up there next time. It's always so good to talk to you. This is a fascinating book. Thank you for being here to talk about it.

Rabbi Jonathan Cahn: Thank you. Dr. Dobson.

Roger Marsh: You've been listening to Family Talk, and that was part one of Dr. James Dobson's most recent interview with his friend and recurring guest, Rabbi Jonathan Cahn. They've been discussing Rabbi Cahn's newest book called The Return of the Gods. In this book, Rabbi Cahn explains that America's turn from the one true God has made space for the return of the ancient little G gods, specifically three spirits that Rabbi Cahn calls the dark trinity, which is comprised of Baal, the god of apostasy, Ishtar, the goddess of sexual perversion, and Molech, who enticed the Israelites to sacrifice their own children. Dr. Dobson and Rabbi Cahn only had time to discuss apostasy on today's program, so they'll tackle the other two spiritual forces on tomorrow's broadcast. Make sure you listen in for that.

In the meantime, to learn more about Rabbi Jonathan Cahn, or how you can get a copy of his newest book called Return of the Gods, visit The book will be released on Tuesday, September 6th, and is available for pre-order right now, so visit for more information. Well, that brings us to the end of our time for today's Family Talk. Once again, I'm Roger Marsh. Thank you so much for making family talk a part of your day. From all of us here at the Dr. James Dobson Family Institute, we hope you'll join us again next time right here for another edition of Family Talk.

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