On a Sunday morning at Beth Israel Worship Center in Wayne, N.J., a bearded pastor named Jonathan Cahn stood on an elevated platform, gazing over a full house. Stage lights shifted from blue to white as the backing band played a drifting melody. Two men hoisted curled rams’ horns and let out long blasts.

“Some of you have been saying you want to live in biblical times,” Mr. Cahn said, pacing behind a lectern. Then he spread his hands wide. “Well, you are.”

Sitting at the end of a sleepy drive an hour from Manhattan, Beth Israel may look like any common suburban church. But the center has a highly unusual draw. Every weekend, some 1,000 congregants gather for the idiosyncratic teachings of the church’s celebrity pastor, an entrepreneurial doomsday prophet who claims that President Trump’s rise to power was foretold in the Bible.

Mr. Cahn is tapping into a belief more popular than may appear.

A recent Fox News poll found one in four Americans believe “God wanted Donald Trump to become president.” Celebrities like the televangelist Paula White and Franklin Graham have boosted the idea. The president’s own press secretary suggested as much in a January interview. And on the opening day of the Conservative Political Action Conference this month, the millionaire businessman Michael Lindell took to the stage and declared President Trump “chosen by God.”

Mr. Cahn was ahead of the curve.

He has dedicated an entire book to this very thesis, an insight he claims to have received from God. “The Paradigm: The Ancient Blueprint That Holds the Mystery of Our Times,” in fact, is only the most recent installment of a best-selling series dealing with the supposed mystical meaning behind all manner of current events. In it, Mr. Cahn likens Mr. Trump to the biblical king Jehu, who led the ancient nation of Israel away from idolatry.

With his growing stature, Mr. Cahn is also a rising figure in some quarters of conservative politics. In an email to congregants, Mr. Cahn shared his latest good news: This weekend he is making his first trip to the president’s vacation retreat, Mar-a-Lago. He is set to address a small gathering of activists and advisers.

After worship on a recent Sunday, in a roped-off section flanked by security guards, Mr. Cahn signed piles of his books before a small crowd. At 59, Mr. Cahn cultivates a refined demeanor, rarely appearing without a signature all-black suit and tie. He laid his hands gently on one man’s shoulders and offered quiet counsel. “Be patient,” he said. “Keep praying for breakthrough.”

Gail Greenholtz, an elder member, stood near the end of the line. “Many of us consider him a prophet of our time,” she said. “A visionary.”

Central to Beth Israel’s story is the unlikely rise of its pastor, a liberal Jew transformed into an end-times evangelist. The tale is also a step into a controversial and burgeoning layer of American religion, where commerce, supernatural belief and patriotism blend freely. Daniel Silliman, a Valparaiso University professor of religion, called Beth Israel and its pastor part of a long tradition of Americans “looking to prophecy as a way to absorb the chaos” of current events. “It can make someone feel that God is working through human history,” he said, “transforming anxiety into a sense of fullness.”

The son of a Holocaust refugee, Mr. Cahn was raised in a nominally Jewish family in the New York suburbs. But from an early age, he was drawn to the more esoteric corners of belief.

He devoured the writings of Nostradamus, the Virginia psychic Edgar Cayce and far-out conspiracy theories about ancient astronauts. Mr. Cahn soon stumbled on “The Late Great Planet Earth,” the 1970s best-seller that argued doomsday prophecies of the Bible were playing out with events like the Cold War and Israel’s Six-Day War. Mr. Cahn bought the book thinking it was about UFOs; instead he was given a crash-course in Christian eschatology.

“I was just floored,” Mr. Cahn said. On his 20th birthday, after a near-death experience — and to the dismay of his Jewish father — he became a Christian.

By the 1980s, Mr. Cahn was leading outreach for a hippy-style church in New Jersey. His hair and beard grown shaggy, he led services with a guitar slung around his neck. Mr. Cahn later broke off to lead an independent congregation, Beth Israel, and built his following through a slot on Christian radio, where his messages took on an end-times flavor.

After the 2001 terrorist attacks struck Manhattan, Mr. Cahn adopted a sharp, even more apocalyptic focus.

Mr. Cahn said abortion, gay rights and the perceived retreat of religion in the public square were all troubling signs that America, like ancient Israel, had lost its way.

Once rolling with this comparison, Mr. Cahn began seeing patterns everywhere. As the Israelites turned away from their God, they were attacked by Assyrians; America, in modern times, was also attacked by a foreign army from the East, Al Qaeda terrorists. After the ancient siege, the Israelites vowed to replant a destroyed sycamore grove with new trees; near ground zero, a huge sycamore tree was also destroyed, as the towers fell.

The supposed connections go on. Tenuous as they may seem, Mr. Cahn saw the links as compelling. His flock did too. “God revealed patterns,” he said. “I called it the download process.”

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