Signs That We Are Living in the Last Days and Russia and Bible Prophecy (Second Coming Watch Update #968)

This is Daniel Whyte III with the Second Coming Watch Update. This is update #969. Let’s take a quick look at today’s prophecy-related headlines which point towards the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ and the end of the world as we know it.

First, today, under the Sign category of WARS & RUMOURS OF WARS — According to CBS News, Senior Russian officials have slammed Finland’s decision to seek membership in the NATO alliance — which came as a direct reaction to President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. Finland’s President Sau-li Nii-nis-to and Prime Minister San-na Mar-in both said on Thursday that their country should apply to join the transatlantic military bloc “without delay.” Sweden’s Foreign Minister Ann Linde said Friday that her country would follow suit without delay, arguing that “Swedish NATO membership would raise the threshold for military conflicts and thus have a conflict-preventing effect in northern Europe.” As Russian political analyst Fy-o-dor Luk-ya-nov said on his Telegram channel “Russia in Global Affairs,” Finland joining NATO would increase Russia’s land border with NATO member states by around 800 miles. Putin has repeatedly cited the eastward expansion of NATO — which he calls a threat to Russian security — as one of the primary reasons for launching his war in Ukraine. Russia’s Foreign Ministry quickly warned that if Finland was accepted into the alliance Moscow would be forced to respond, including with unspecified “military-technical” measures. The Foreign Ministry said, “Finland’s accession to NATO will cause serious damage to bilateral Russian-Finnish relations and maintenance of stability and security in the Northern European region. Russia will be forced to take retaliatory steps, both of a military-technical and other nature, in order to neutralize the threats to its national security that arise from this.”

Second, today, under the Sign category of THE RISE OF GOG & MAGOG — According to the Jerusalem Post, After Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov made statements about “Hitler’s Jewish blood” and blamed the Jews for being “the worst anti-semites,” the verbal and written exchange between Israel and Russia quickly escalated. During the last few weeks, while relations between Israel and Russia became tenser, the volume of communication between Moscow and various Palestinian factions kept growing. First, there was a call between Putin and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, then Lavrov initiated a conversation with senior Hamas leader Is-ma-il Han-iy-eh. On Wednesday, a Hamas delegation led by veteran leader Mu-sa Ab-u Mar-zouk paid a visit to Moscow. For the last few years, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict has not been at the center of Russian attention. What are the chances that Moscow will leverage its relations with Fa-tah – the ruling party in the Palestinian Authority – or Hamas now that its irritation with Israel is growing and the situation in Gaza, the West Bank, and east Jerusalem is volatile? Abbas Gall-ya-mov, an independent political analyst and a former speechwriter for Putin, believes that initially there was no plan to undermine relations with Israel. He told The Media Line, “Lavrov could issue an apology after that incident, and that would be the end of it. But the Kremlin’s political style is based on a criminal logic – they are always right, and owning a mistake, recognizing that a mistake was made, is a sign of weakness.” Gall-ya-mov said, “If Israel insists on its position and Russia fiercely defends its views, there is a potential for deterioration of relations. Moscow might activate Iran, Syria, or Hamas – without considering the outcome. That’s the problem: Putin never considers or evaluates the consequences. He is eager to join any fight in order to come out as the winner.”

Third, today, under the Sign category of WARS & RUMOURS OF WARS — According to Bloomberg, China’s top diplomat warned the US it is heading down the “wrong road” with its support for Taiwan, comments accompanied by Beijing again sending military aircraft towards the island. Mr Yang Jiechi, Beijing’s top diplomat, said in a phone call with National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, “If the US side insists on playing the Taiwan card and goes further and further down the wrong road, it will certainly lead the situation to a dangerous point.” Mr Yang said Washington should “have a clear understanding of the situation”, according to a statement posted online by his nation’s Foreign Ministry. He added, “China will certainly take firm action to safeguard its sovereignty and security interests.” The White House issued a short statement on the Wednesday (May 18) call, saying the pair “focused on regional security issues and nonproliferation”. They also discussed Russia’s war against Ukraine and specific issues in US-China relations. Meanwhile, Taiwan’s Defence Ministry said on its website that four People’s Liberation Army aircraft, including a pair of J-16 fighter jets, entered its air defence identification zone on Wednesday, skirting close to the median line of the Taiwan Strait. Earlier this week, Admiral Michael Gilday, the top American naval officer, said Taiwan must prepare itself against potential Chinese aggression through military deterrence that includes getting the right weapons and training. He said this was a “big lesson learned and a wake up call” following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Fourth, today, under the Sign category of INTEREST IN THE REBUILDING OF THE TEMPLE IN JERUSALEM — According to Israel 365 News, on Israel’s 74th Independence Day, Knesset Member It-a-mar Ben-Gvir entered the Temple Mount. During his visit, Ben-Gvir said: “The time has come to build a Jewish synagogue on the Temple Mount.” Before ascending the Mount, Ben-Gvir emphasized the importance of visiting the Temple Mount, writing: “Jews ascending the Temple Mount today proves that Hamas is an organization of pushovers that will easily surrender. On Israel’s 74th Independence Day, it’s important that government officials remember that we are an independent nation.” Israel has prevented any effort to build a Temple on the Holy site for fear of Arab backlash. Instead, the Jewish pilgrims visiting the mount are forced to settle for silent prayer, an act recently allowed by the police stationed there. Ben-Gvir called for full Israeli control over the holy site in the past. In his opening speech in the Knesset, Ben-Gvir lamented the hesitancy of the Israeli government to assert full sovereignty over Jerusalem and, more specifically, the Temple Mount saying: “I will act to ensure that Israeli control returns to Jerusalem and to the Temple Mount specifically.”

Fifth, today, under the Sign category of EARTHQUAKES IN DIVERS PLACES — According to CBS News, An earthquake struck Wyoming in the area of Yellowstone National Park on May 12. There were no reports of damage or injuries. The 4.2 magnitude earthquake struck just after 7:30 a.m. local time at a depth of 8.7 miles. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, “The Yellowstone region is one of the most seismically active areas in the United States.” The area sees an average of 1,500 to 2,500 quakes a year, but most are too small for humans to detect — 99% of them are below magnitude 2. However, USGS has about 50 seismographs, which capture and measure earthquakes, located throughout the park. The park is situated on top of a “supervolcano,” with the potential to unleash a cataclysmic eruption. The National Park Service says the volcano has only had three major eruptions with the first eruption spewing ash as far away as present day Missouri and ejected 6,000 times the volume of material ejected from the 1980 eruption of Mt. St. Helens.

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The prophetic passage of Scripture that we are looking at today is Ezekiel 38:17-39:20.

Ezekiel 38:17 reads: “Thus saith the Lord God; Art thou he of whom I have spoken in old time by my servants the prophets of Israel, which prophesied in those days many years that I would bring thee against them?”

Allow me to share with you some commentary on this passage from Exploring Bible Prophecy from Genesis to Revelation, by Tim LaHaye and Ed Hindson.

In the opening verse of this section about the divine defeat of Gog, God mentions that the prophets had foretold this last-days invasion. Though Gog is not named by the other prophets, the other prophets did make reference to the future defeat of the enemies of Israel.

The drama of Gog’s miraculous defeat through divine intervention is presented in 38:18-39:8. Four different words for divine judgment are used in verses 18-19: “fury” (Hebrew, che-mah), “anger” (Hebrew, ‘af), “zeal” (Hebrew, qi-nah), and “wrath” (Hebrew, ‘e-brah). These words express the intensity of God’s display of vengeance against the invaders of His land (“My mountains”). According to 38:19-21 a divinely appointed earthquake will be so severe as to disorient Gog’s multinational forces and cause them to fight each other. The earthquake will apparently set off volcanic deposits in the region, bringing down on Gog’s army a hail of molten rock and burning sulphur (volcanic ash) with the result that the enemy troops are utterly destroyed before they can strike a blow against Israel. This divine demonstration against Gog and his allies will extend even to the farthest reaches of their homelands–“Magog…coastlands”–nullifying any reprisal or future attempts at invasion. This complete annihilation of Gog’s vast army will bring God greater glory and distinguish (set apart, “sanctify”) Him to the other nations as Israel’s sovereign Lord.

In 39:9-16 Israel is instructed on how to dispose of the abandoned weapons and the slain bodies of Gog and his allies. The first instructions deal with the disposal of the weapons, which are to be burned. This task will take “seven years” and be performed by the inhabitants of nearby cities. Rather than simply destroy the weapons, they will be used for fuel and thereby benefit the Israelis. This ironic disposition of weapons designed to kill the people will be considered a “plunder of those who [intended to] plunder them.” If this battle takes place after the rapture but before the seventieth week (the seven-year Tribulation) begins, there will be ample time and freedom even through the first half of the Tribulation (the time of pseudo peace for Israel under the Antichrist’s covenant) to accomplish this job. Moreover, the statement about not needing to gather firewood from the forests would make more sense in such a time frame, for after the first trumpet judgment, one-third of the trees will be burned up. If this battle were to take place at any point in the Tribulation, the people who are burning the weapons would run out of time to complete this task before the intensified persecution of the final 42 months–a persecution that drives the Jewish remnant into the wilderness to escape the Satanic onslaught.

If the Lord tarries His Coming and we live, we will continue looking at the prophetic passages of the Bible in our next broadcast / podcast.

Our Second Coming quote for today is from C. S. Lewis. He said, “God will invade. But I wonder whether people who ask God to interfere openly and directly in our world quite realise what it will be like when He does. When that happens, it is the end of the world. When the author walks on to the stage the play is over. God is going to invade, all right: but what is the good of saying you are on His side then, when you see the whole natural universe melting away like a dream and something else – something it never entered your head to conceive – comes crashing in; something so beautiful to some of us and so terrible to others that none of us will have any choice left? For this time it will be God without disguise; something so overwhelming that it will strike either irresistible love or irresistible horror into every creature. It will be too late then to choose your side. There is no use saying you choose to lie down when it has become impossible to stand up. That will not be the time for choosing; it will be the time when we discover which side we really have chosen, whether we realised it before or not. Now, today, this moment, is our chance to choose the right side. God is holding back to give us that chance. It will not last for ever. We must take it or leave it.”

Let’s Pray

***

If you are not ready for the return of Jesus Christ, may I encourage you to get ready today by receiving Him as your Savior. Here is how.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now that is bad news, but here is the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will. Romans 10:9 and 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. … For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the Cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at dw3@gospellightsociety.com and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.

Keep looking up for your redemption draweth nigh. Let us join in the prayer of John the Revelator — “Even so, come, Lord Jesus.” God bless you.

Signs That We Are Living in the Last Days and Russia and Israel in the Bible (Second Coming Watch Update #968)

This is Daniel Whyte III with the Second Coming Watch Update. This is update #968. Let’s take a quick look at today’s prophecy-related headlines which point towards the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ and the end of the world as we know it.

First, today, under the Sign category of HOSTILITY TOWARD ISRAEL — According to BBC News, Israel has reacted with fury after Russia’s foreign minister claimed that Nazi leader Adolf Hitler “had Jewish blood”. Ser-gei Lav-rov made the comments to try to justify Russia’s portrayal of Ukraine as “Nazi” despite the fact that its president is Jewish. Israel’s foreign ministry summoned Russia’s ambassador for “clarification” and demanded an apology. Mr Lav-rov made the remarks in an interview on Italian TV programme Zo-na Bi-an-ca on Sunday, days after Israel marked Holocaust Remembrance Day, one of the most solemn occasions in the Israeli calendar. When asked how Russia can claim that it is fighting to “de-Nazify” Ukraine when President Vo-lo-dy-myr Ze-len-sky is himself Jewish, Mr Lav-rov said: “I could be wrong, but Hitler also had Jewish blood. [That Ze-len-sky is Jewish] means absolutely nothing. Wise Jewish people say that the most ardent anti-Semites are usually Jews.” The minister’s statement was met with outrage across Israel’s political spectrum. Israeli Prime Minister Naf-ta-li Ben-nett said: “Such lies are meant to blame the Jews themselves for the most terrible crimes in history and thus free the oppressors of the Jews from their responsibility. No war today is the Holocaust or is like the Holocaust.” Israeli foreign minister Ya-ir La-pid reacted angrily, calling Mr Lav-rov’s words “unforgivable”.

Second, today, under the Sign category of WARS & RUMOURS OF WAR — According to the Daily Mail, China is accelerating its construction on more than 100 missile silos that can house nuclear weapons capable of reaching the United States, a move that the country’s leaders say is meant to deter American forces from intervening in a potential future conflict over Taiwan. Although Beijing has accelerated its expansion of nuclear weaponry in recent months, the government claims its plan is to only maintain enough arsenal necessary to ensure the nation’s security interests. Estimates by intelligence analysts and private-sector firms put China’s nuclear arsenal somewhere in the ‘hundreds’ – far less than either the U.S. or Russia, which hold more than 4,000 each. Pentagon officials say that if China continues developing its technology at the current pace, it will have just over 1,000 warheads by 2030. Currently, Chinese military officials believe their nuclear weapons are too ‘outdated’ to act as an ‘effective deterrent’ against an American attack. This acceleration has raised concerns among American military officials and security analysts that China may be willing to make a ‘surprise nuclear strike’ against the U.S. Beijing insiders, however, maintain that Chinese leadership is committed to ‘not using the nuclear weapons first.’

Third, today, under the Sign category of INTEREST IN THE REBUILDING OF THE TEMPLE IN JERUSALEM — According to Ha-a-retz, Half of Jewish Israelis support Jewish prayer on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount according to a report released on Tuesday by the Israel Democracy Institute. The two main reasons given by those in support are because it provides “proof of Israel’s sovereignty over the Temple Mount” (38 percent), and because it is a religious commandment (12 percent). In contrast, 40 percent of Jewish Israelis oppose Jewish prayer at the site with 23 percent saying it might “invoke a severe negative reaction from the Muslim world.” An additional 17 percent said that they believe doing so is forbidden by hal-ak-ha, or Jewish religious law. Religious Israelis have shown increasing levels of interest in visiting the Temple Mount, which, as the location of the first and second temples in antiquity, is the holiest site in Judaism. But while the holiness of the site is undisputed by orthodox Jews, the propriety of visiting very much is, with the issue of how to approach the sanctity of the site a matter of fierce debate between ultra-Orthodox and religious-Zionist Jews.

Fourth, today, under the Sign category of WARS & RUMOURS OF WARS — According to the Associated Press, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un warned again that the North could preemptively use its nuclear weapons if threatened, as he praised his top army officials for a massive military parade in the capital, P-yong-yang, this week. Kim expressed “firm will” to continue developing his nuclear-armed military so that it could “preemptively and thoroughly contain and frustrate all dangerous attempts and threatening moves, including ever-escalating nuclear threats from hostile forces, if necessary” The North’s official Korean Central News Agency said Saturday Kim called his military officials to praise their work during Monday’s parade, where the North showcased the biggest weapons in its nuclear arsenal, including intercontinental ballistic missiles that could potentially reach the U.S. homeland. The North also rolled out a variety of shorter-range solid-fuel missiles designed to be fired from land vehicles or submarines, which pose a growing threat to South Korea and Japan. The parade marking the 90th anniversary of North Korea’s army came as Kim revives nuclear brinkmanship aimed at forcing the United States to accept the idea of his country as a nuclear power and remove crippling economic sanctions.

Fifth, today, under the Sign category of EARTHQUAKES IN DIVERS PLACES — According to Newsweek, The Yellowstone region was hit by around 1,000 more earthquakes in 2021 compared to the previous year. This week, the United States Geological Survey’s Yellowstone Volcano Observatory released its 2021 annual report. The report identified 2,773 earthquakes in the region in 2021. While this is much higher than the 1,722 quakes that were recorded in 2020, it is not significantly outside the historical average of about 1,500-2,500 earthquakes per year in and around Yellowstone National Park. The Yellowstone region is one of the most seismically active areas in the United States. Since 1973, there have been more than 50,000 earthquakes in the region, although the vast majority are too small to be felt by humans. Yellowstone National Park—located in Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho—sits atop a large, relatively young and active volcanic system that is often referred to as the Yellowstone Supervolcano. This system features magma boiling and pressurized waters, and a variety of active faults.

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The prophetic passage of Scripture that we are looking at today is Ezekiel 38:1-16.

Ezekiel 38:14-16 reads: “Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say unto Gog, Thus saith the Lord God; In that day when my people of Israel dwelleth safely, shalt thou not know it? And thou shalt come from thy place out of the north parts, thou, and many people with thee, all of them riding upon horses, a great company, and a mighty army: And thou shalt come up against my people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days, and I will bring thee against my land, that the heathen may know me, when I shall be sanctified in thee, O Gog, before their eyes.”

Allow me to share with you some commentary on this passage from Exploring Bible Prophecy from Genesis to Revelation, by Tim LaHaye and Ed Hindson.

The pre-tribulational view also finds support from a comparison between the modern situation and the conditions set forth in Ezekiel 38:8-13 concerning Israel and the nations. The people and land of Israel, at the time of the invasion, are described as those who have been “gathered from many nations” to a land described as having previously “been a continual waste.” This land is “now inhabited,” was “restored from the sword [foreign domination],” and is now “living securely” with enviable economic resources. All these conditions describe the present state of Israel since 1967 when it occupied the “mountains of Israel.”

Today the modern state of Israel is populated by Jewish immigrants from all over the world. They have restored the barren lands in this region and live without walled cities (only the Old City of Jerusalem has a wall, and the modern city exists outside these walls). Israel’s security is based on the strength of its military, which is acknowledged as one of the best in the world and has defended the country against overwhelming odds in numerous past invasions.

These modern conditions in Israel may be complemented by those concerning the nations launching the invasion. Since the collapse of the communist Soviet Union, Russia has been in an economic free fall that threatens the coherence of the central state and the ability of the government to control its arsenal of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons as ultranationalist factions to usurp the present power structure. It has also maintained support of Israel’s enemies, equipping them with weapons for their past invasions of the Jewish state. Six of the former Soviet republics in the south (but still north of Israel) have become independent Islamic nations: Az-er-bai-jan, Ka-zakh-stan, Uz-bek-i-stan, Kir-ghi-zi-a, Turk-men-i-stan, and Ta-jik-i-stan. All six are allied with the Islamic aim to remove the Zionist state that they claim is preventing the comprehensive unity of the Islamic world in the region. Moreover, Russia has forged alliances with most of the nations listed in Ezekiel 38:2-6, including Iran (Persia), Syria, Pakistan, Libya (Put), and Turkey (Me-shech, Tu-bal, Go-mer, Beth-to-gar-mah). These countries are Islamic countries that, for the most part, have pledged to help destroy Israel.

These facts demonstrate that conditions at the present time are sufficient to permit the fulfillment of the Gog prophecy. In other words, there is no reason to relegate the invasion to a mid- or post-tribulational setting when the present pre-tribulational setting already meets these conditions. Even so, the invasion probably will not take place until after the rapture of the Church.

If the Lord tarries His Coming and we live, we will continue looking at the prophetic passages of the Bible in our next broadcast / podcast.

Our Second Coming quote for today is from Herb Van-der Lugt. He said, “The return of Christ represents not only the ultimate sense of accountability but the ultimate sense of hope as well.”

Let’s Pray

***

If you are not ready for the return of Jesus Christ, may I encourage you to get ready today by receiving Him as your Savior. Here is how.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now that is bad news, but here is the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will. Romans 10:13 says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the Cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at dw3@gospellightsociety.com and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.

Keep looking up for your redemption draweth nigh. Let us join in the prayer of John the Revelator — “Even so, come, Lord Jesus.” God bless you.

UN Warns That Ukraine War Has Created a Global Food Catastrophe (Second Coming Watch Update #967)

This is Daniel Whyte III with the Second Coming Watch Update. This is update #967. Let’s take a quick look at today’s prophecy-related headlines which point towards the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ and the end of the world as we know it.

First, today, under the Sign category of FAMINES — According to the Associated Press, The U.N. food chief warned Tuesday the war in Ukraine has created “a catastrophe on top of a catastrophe” and will have a global impact “beyond anything we’ve seen since World War II” because many of the Ukrainian farmers who produce a significant amount of the world’s wheat are now fighting Russians. David Beasley, executive director of the U.N. World Food Program, told the U.N. Security Council that already high food prices are skyrocketing. His agency was feeding 125 million people around the world before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, and Beasley said it has had to start cutting their rations because of rising food, fuel and shipping costs. He pointed to war-torn Yemen where 8 million people just had their food allotment cut 50%, “and now we’re looking at going to zero rations.” Beasley said the war in Ukraine is turning “the breadbasket of the world to breadlines” for millions of its people, while devastating countries like Egypt that normally gets 85% of its grain from Ukraine and Lebanon that got 81% in 2020. Ukraine and Russia produce 30% of the world’s wheat supply, 20% of its corn and 75%-80% of the sunflower seed oil. The World Food Program buys 50% of its grain from Ukraine, he said. The war is going to increase the agency’s monthly expenses by $71 million because of rising food, fuel and shipping costs, he said. That will total $850 million for a year and mean that there will be “4 million less people we’ll be able to reach.” Beasley warned that focusing on Ukraine should not lead the international community to neglect of Africa, especially the Sahel, and the Middle East, because “otherwise, you’ll have massive migration” coming to all parts of Europe.

Second, today, under the Sign category of WARS & RUMOURS OF WARS — According to the Guardian, A Russian minister refused to rule out Mol-do-va’s breakaway region Trans-nis-tri-a being drawn into the Ukraine war, in a potential escalation of the conflict to another European country. The deputy foreign minister, An-drey Ru-den-ko, said on Tuesday Moscow “was concerned” over the string of recent explosions in Trans-nis-tri-a, saying Russia “would like to avoid a scenario” in which Trans-nis-tri-a would be dragged into the war. Speaking to journalists in Moscow, Ru-den-ko said the “situation with the explosions” in the region indicated that “certain forces” behind the attacks were interested in creating “another hotbed of tension in Europe” – a reference to two episodes of violence reported in the enclave in as many days. RIA Novosti cited Rudenko as saying, “An investigation will be carried out accordingly, and we hope that the reasons will be established and those responsible will be punished”. Trans-nis-tri-a, which is controlled by pro-Russian separatists and permanently hosts 1,500 Russian troops as well as a large arms depot, borders western Ukraine. Ru-den-ko’s statements came after Mol-do-va’s president, Maia Sandu, convened a meeting of her security council on Tuesday following the two incidents.

Third, today, under the Sign category of WARS & RUMOURS OF WARS — According to Insider, China on Tuesday called for “restraint” after Russia’s foreign minister raised the prospect of the “real” threat of nuclear war amid Russian President Vladimir Putin’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wen-bin told reporters during a briefing on Tuesday, “No one wants to see the outbreak of a third world war”. Wen-bin added, “We hope that relevant parties can keep cool-headed and exercise restraint, prevent escalation of tension, realize peace as soon as possible and avoid inflicting a heavier price on Europe and the world.” Wen-bin said, “We should reflect on why Europe has again got caught up in the geopolitical conflict more than 30 years after the end of the Cold War, on how to build a balanced, effective and sustainable European security architecture, and on how to strengthen the global security governance system”. Wen-bin was responding to a question about recent remarks by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who warned the West to not underestimate the “serious” and “real” risks of a third world war by getting involved in Russia’s two-month-long war with Ukraine.

Fourth, today, under the Sign category of TURMOIL IN THE MIDDLE EAST — According to Israel National News, Za-her Ja-bar-in, one of Hamas’ leaders, has threatened to fire over 1,000 rockets at Israel. Last year, Hamas leader Yah-ya Sin-war referenced the number 1,111 but did not detail the context. At the time, he said, “We are confident in our ability to obtain our rights and remember the number 1,111.” It was assumed then that the number was in reference to how many terrorists Hamas would demand released in the next prisoner swap. Now, Ja-bar-in has clarified, in Sin-war’s name, that 1,111 is the number of rockets which will be fired during the first barrage on Israel in the next round of fighting. Ja-bar-in added, “We are capable of increasing the number if necessary”. Though Israel does not believe Hamas is capable of firing a barrage of 1,111 rockets at once, recent barrages have been relatively heavy, with the goal of overcoming the Iron Dome missile defense system by firing more rockets than it has the capacity to intercept at once.

Fifth, today, under the Sign category of HOSTILITY TOWARD ISRAEL — According to NBC News, The fighting in May 2021 between Israeli forces and the militant group Hamas had an effect that rippled across the United States, and gave rise to a record number of anti-semitic incidents of assaults, harassment and vandalism in more than 40 years. The Anti-Defamation League, a Jewish civil rights organization, said Tuesday it counted 2,717 incidents in 2021, a 34 percent increase from 2020 and the highest number since it began tracking reports of antisemitism in 1979. Its annual audit is based on reports from law enforcement, the media and community groups, and does not consider general anti-Israel sentiments the same as anti-semitism. Jonathan Greenblatt, the ADL’s CEO, said in a statement, “While we have always seen a rise in anti-semitic activity during periods of increased hostilities between Israel and terrorist groups, the violence we witnessed in America during the conflict last May was shocking. Jews were being attacked in the streets for no other reason than the fact that they were Jewish, and it seemed as if the working assumption was that if you were Jewish, you were blameworthy for what was happening half a world away.” Apparent hate crime incidents, including vandalism against synagogues and street assaults, were reported in New York, Los Angeles, suburban Chicago, South Florida and elsewhere, as large-scale protests were held in response to the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

——–

The prophetic passage of Scripture that we are looking at today is Ezekiel 38:1-16.

Ezekiel 38:8-13 reads: “After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them. Thou shalt ascend and come like a storm, thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the land, thou, and all thy bands, and many people with thee. Thus saith the Lord God; It shall also come to pass, that at the same time shall things come into thy mind, and thou shalt think an evil thought: And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates, To take a spoil, and to take a prey; to turn thine hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabited, and upon the people that are gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land. Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof, shall say unto thee, Art thou come to take a spoil? hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil?”

Allow me to share with you some commentary on this passage from Exploring Bible Prophecy from Genesis to Revelation, by Tim LaHaye and Ed Hindson.

In Ezekiel 38:8-13 we see Israel not yet restored and threatened by the nations surrounding it, and the promise of restoration will not be fulfilled until after the defeat of Gog. By contrast, during the millennium, the nations are ruled by Christ with a rod of iron and are no longer a threat, and Israel has already experienced its restoration. Likewise, the defeat of Gog is followed by seven months of burials “to cleanse the land” and seven years of burning weapons, followed by the time of restoration. By contrast, the millennial kingdom begins with a cleansed land and the defeat of the invaders of Revelation 20 is followed by the final judgment, the creation of a new heavens and earth, and the eternal state. Finally, in Revelation 20, there will be no need to bury the slain because the conflict will immediately be followed by the resurrection of the unjust for the Great White Throne Judgment.

The pretribulational view of the rapture allows time for the seven months of burial and the seven years of burning up the weapons to take place before the beginning of the millennial kingdom. What’s more, after the rapture, when the world will be in chaos, it’s likely that a vacuum of power (especially in the west) may encourage the Gog allies of the east to launch an attack against Israel. And a subsequent divine demonstration of God’s power against Israel’s enemies before the Tribulation will equip the Jewish people to trust God alone throughout the Tribulation, during which Satan and the Antichrist seek to destroy Israel.

The pretribulational destruction of Gog would also eliminate a military obstacle for the Antichrist, making it possible for him to consolidate his power by the middle of the Tribulation–which may explain why he has both the power and the motive to make a covenant with Israel at this time. This covenant may well make possible the rebuilding of the Jewish temple. If the seven years during which Israel will burn the weapons of these nations is the same seven years of the Tribulation, then this burning, along with the burial ground of Gog and the slain multitude, will serve as a witness throughout the Tribulation to both the promise of the universal judgment of the nations and Israel’s complete restoration.

If the Lord tarries His Coming and we live, we will continue looking at the prophetic passages of the Bible in our next broadcast / podcast.

Our Second Coming quote for today is from J C Ryle. He said, “A true Christian has a good hope when he looks ahead: the worldly man has none. A true Christian sees light in the distance: the worldly man sees nothing but darkness. And what is the hope of a true Christian? It is just this, – that Jesus Christ is coming again, coming without sin, – coming with all His people, – coming to wipe away every tear, – coming to raise His sleeping saints from the grave, – coming to gather together all His family, that they may be for ever with Him. Why is a believer patient? Because he looks for the coming of the Lord. He can bear hard things without murmuring. He knows the time is short. He waits quietly for the King.”

Let’s Pray

***

If you are not ready for the return of Jesus Christ, may I encourage you to get ready today by receiving Him as your Savior. Here is how.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now that is bad news, but here is the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will. Romans 10:13 says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Keep looking up for your redemption draweth nigh. Let us join in the prayer of John the Revelator — “Even so, come, Lord Jesus.” God bless you.

Europe is the Closest It Has Been to War in 30 Years (Second Coming Watch Update #966)

This is Daniel Whyte III with the Second Coming Watch Update. This is update #966. Let’s take a quick look at today’s prophecy-related headlines which point towards the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ and the end of the world as we know it.

First, today, under the Sign category of WARS & RUMOURS OF WARS — According to the Jerusalem Post, Europe is nearer war than it has been in 30 years, Poland’s foreign minister warned during the third round of diplomacy this week aimed at defusing tensions over Russia’s demand that Ukraine never be allowed to join NATO. Addressing envoys from the 57 members of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Zbigniew Rau [Z-BIY-GN-I-YEH RAW] did not name Russia, but listed a string of conflicts in which Moscow’s involvement has been alleged. Rau [RAW] said in a speech outlining his country’s priorities as it holds the OSCE’s rotating chairmanship this year, “It seems that the risk of war in the OSCE area is now greater than ever before in the last 30 years.” “For several weeks we have been faced with the prospect of a major military escalation in Eastern Europe.” Poland is among the NATO members that are most hawkish in confronting what it sees as Russia’s revisionist ambitions in Eastern Europe. “We should focus on a peaceful resolution of the conflict in and around Ukraine,” Rau [RAW] added, calling for “full respect of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and unity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders.” Russia has deployed more than 100,000 troops near its borders with Ukraine, which is already battling Moscow-backed separatists in its east.

Second, today, under the Sign category of PESTILENCES & FATAL EPIDEMIC DISEASES — According to the Jerusalem Post, Five human cases of the H5N6 strain of avian influenza have been reported in China in recent weeks, the Center for Health Protection of the Hong Kong Department of Health reported on Thursday. Two of the patients have died. Four out of the five cases had confirmed exposure to poultry, although it is as of yet unclear how the fifth case got infected, according to the Department of Health. All the cases were infected in December. The World Health Organization reported on Friday that all the cases had a history of exposure to poultry prior to infection and that none of their family members had developed symptoms. No epidemiological links were found between the five cases. Additionally, between January 7 and 13, four new cases of human infections of the H9N2 strain of bird flu were reported in China. All four are in mild condition and have already recovered. All had a history of poultry exposure and no epidemiological links were found between the four cases. 24 cases of H9N2 were reported in China in 2021.

Third, today, under the Sign category of THE RISE OF GOG AND MAGOG AND THE KINGS OF THE EAST — According to SpaceWar.com, at the national conference on Nation and Defence, Swedish Security Police (Sapo) chief Charlotte von Essen said more countries see space as a possible arena for conflicts in the future and already today, space is used as an arena for intelligence. According to Sapo, with space as a new arena, “foreign powers” get new opportunities, Sapo warned. A conflict in space can begin with the disruption of socially important functions through an attack on an important space system, such as a navigation satellites. Two countries singled out as the biggest intelligence threats to Sweden, and which Sapo named as having high ambitions for their space activities, are China and Russia. Von Essen said, “For China and Russia, space is important from both a military and civilian perspective. The countries are also very interested in acquiring knowledge about Swedish research that contributes to the development of space. More people with activities that can be connected to space need to create increased awareness of this.” Earlier, during the same conference, Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist [HUL-TUH-KWA-VIST] claimed Russia was “questioning and threatening” the entire European security system. Citing Russia’s massing of troops within its own borders, which he referred to as “military escalation with Ukraine”, and Moscow’s recent set of proposals to NATO and the US that feature non-expansion and the non-placement of materiel and troops, Hultqvist [HUL-TUH-KWA-VIST] claimed that Russia “challenges international law when it questions other countries’ right to self-determination”.

Fourth, today, under the Sign category of RE-ESTABLISHMENT OF ISRAEL — According to the Times of Israel, A total of 27,050 new immigrants arrived in Israel over 2021, representing a 30 percent increase over the previous year’s particularly low figures, the Immigration and Absorption Ministry, Jewish Agency and Ne-fesh B’Ne-fesh announced Wednesday. The new arrivals included 4,000 immigrants from the United States, the highest figure since 1973 and a 30 percent rise over last year. Another 400 immigrants arrived from Canada, bringing the total number of immigrants from North America in 2021 to over 4,400, the figures showed. France saw a 40% leap, with 3,500 arriving, the highest number in four years. There were 7,500 immigrants from Russia, a 10% increase from 2020, and 3,000 from Ukraine this year, up 5%. Other countries also saw an increase, with 900 arriving from Argentina — 55% more than last year — 630 from the UK, 550 from South Africa, 550 from Brazil and 280 from Mexico. The figures also showed that 1,636 immigrants from Ethiopia came to Israel as part of “Operation Zur Israel,” which has renewed the immigration of Jews from the country after a years-long hiatus. Overall, immigration rose by 30% this year compared to 2020, though it remains below the annual figures recorded in the years preceding the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fifth, today, under the Sign category of PESTILENCES & FATAL EPIDEMIC DISEASES — According to the Jerusalem Post, The United States is concerned that Russia is preparing for an invasion of Ukraine soon by fabricating a pretext for war if diplomacy fails to meet its objectives. Talks between the United States, its European allies and Russia ended in a stalemate this week with no current plans to meet again about Russia’s deployment of tens of thousands of troops along Ukraine’s border. A cyber attack against Ukraine has further inflamed tensions. A US official said the United States has information that indicates Russia has already positioned a group of operatives to conduct “a false-flag operation” in eastern Ukraine. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said, “The operatives are trained in urban warfare and in using explosives to carry out acts of sabotage against Russia’s own proxy-forces”. The official also said that indications are that “Russian influence actors are already starting to fabricate Ukrainian provocations in state and social media to justify a Russian intervention and sow divisions in Ukraine.” Biden has warned of severe economic consequences for Russia if Russian President Vladimir Putin launches an invasion of Ukraine. Russia denies plans to attack Ukraine and has demanded NATO stop its eastward expansion and agree to legally binding security guarantees, demands that the United States and NATO have rejected.

——–

The prophetic passage of Scripture that we are looking at today is Ezekiel 38:1-16.

Ezekiel 38:4-7 reads: “And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords: Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet: Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee. Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself, thou, and all thy company that are assembled unto thee, and be thou a guard unto them.”

Allow me to share with you some commentary on this passage from Exploring Bible Prophecy from Genesis to Revelation, by Tim LaHaye and Ed Hindson.

A more precise timing with regard to “the latter years” is problematic. It could conceivably occur before the Tribulation, during the Tribulation, after the Tribulation (in the interim 75-day period before the beginning of the millennium–Daniel 12:11-12), or at the end of the millennium (cf. Revelation 20:8). Because this event is prophesied for Israel, it probably occurs after the church age. However, the text itself does not preclude the possibility of an earlier fulfillment during the present era. There is nothing in the text itself to indicate when this battle will take place. The only clear designation is in the “latter times.” In like manner, the regathering of Israel to the land of Israel in unbelief can be fulfilled (and seems to be in the process of fulfillment) before the rapture without sacrificing the immanency of Christ’s return.

One view is that this invasion is the same as that mentioned in Revelation 20:7-9, which refers to its participants as “Gog and Magog” (Revelation 20:8) and takes place at the end of the millennium. It cannot be doubted that the reference to “Gog and Magog” is to the invasion in Ezekiel 38-39, but only as a point of past comparison with this historic destruction of the nations by divine intervention. The differences between these two accounts make identification problematic. In Revelation it is an international army that has been deceived by Satan to join in a rebellion against God (Revelation 20:8), not an alliance of localized nations drawn by God (Ezekiel 38:2-4). In Revelation 20 the attack is “up on the broad plain” and against “the camp of the saints” (Revelation 20:9), rather than “against the mountains” and “against Israel” (Ezekiel 39:2; 38:16). It also appears that all weapons of war will have been destroyed at the beginning of the millennium (Isaiah 2:4), and universal peace among the nations is one of the distinguishing characteristics of this age (Isaiah 2:4; 9:7; 11:6-9; Micah 5:4-5), factors which contradict the conditions described for the nations in Ezekiel 38:4-7.

If the Lord tarries His Coming and we live, we will continue looking at the prophetic passages of the Bible in our next broadcast / podcast.

Our Second Coming quote for today is from Samuel Rutherford. He said, “The figure of the passing-away world is like an old man’s face, full of wrinkles, and foul with weeping: we are waiting when Jesus shall be revealed from heaven, and shall come and wipe the old man’s face.”

Let’s Pray

***

If you are not ready for the return of Jesus Christ, may I encourage you to get ready today by receiving Him as your Savior. Here is how.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now that is bad news, but here is the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will. Romans 10:13 says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Keep looking up for your redemption draweth nigh. Let us join in the prayer of John the Revelator — “Even so, come, Lord Jesus.” God bless you.

China Tests Nuclear-Capable Hypersonic Missile (Second Coming Watch Update #965)

This is Daniel Whyte III with the Second Coming Watch Update. This is update #965. Let’s take a quick look at today’s prophecy-related headlines which point towards the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ and the end of the world as we know it.

First, today, under the Sign category of WARS & RUMOURS OF WARS — According to the Daily Mail, China secretly tested a nuclear-capable hypersonic missile which orbited the globe before returning to Earth to strike its target in a technological development that would overcome US anti-ballistic missile systems. A report from the Financial Times, which cited five unnamed intelligence sources, said the Chinese military launched the Long March rocket in August carrying a ‘hypersonic glide vehicle’ into low orbit. It circled the globe before descending towards its target, which it missed by about two dozen miles. The incident has left US intelligence officials stunned, sources say, as it shows ‘China has made astonishing progress on the development of its hypersonic weapons’. This is the latest development in a terrifying arms race taking place in Asia as tensions between China and Taiwan continue to grow. China’s ministry of defence did not immediately respond to a faxed request for comment on Sunday. It comes as the Chinese military today condemned the United States and Canada for each sending a warship through the Taiwan Strait last week, saying they were threatening peace and stability in the region.

Second, today, under the Sign category of TURMOIL IN THE MIDDLE EAST — According to CBN News, Israel is advancing military plans to confront Iran’s nuclear program and oppose the Islamic Republic’s growing influence in the region. “The Iranians today are closer to creating fissile material for nuclear weapons than they ever were in the past,” an Israeli security official told journalists during a briefing attended by CBN News. “In light of Iranian progress of their nuclear program, we are preparing for all options and scenarios, including military capabilities.” Israel’s military is establishing new headquarters to deal exclusively with Iran, which is entrenching itself in unstable countries in the region and using “subversion, terrorist financing and arms exports” to reshape the Middle East, the official warned. Israel sees a power struggle developing in the region – one that pits Shi’ite Iran and its proxies in Yemen, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon against moderate countries who are threatened by Tehran’s actions.

Third, today, under the Sign category of ARAB HOSTILITY TOWARD ISRAEL — According to the Times of Israel, “Israel does not want war with Hezbollah, but is prepared to face about 2,000 rockets a day from the terror group if conflict breaks out, a senior Israeli military official told AFP. During the 11-day May conflict between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip, Palestinian terror groups fired around 4,400 projectiles towards the Jewish state. The Iron Dome air defense system intercepted around 90 percent of the rockets headed for populated areas, while just under 300 hit inhabited districts. Cities like Tel Aviv and Ashdod experienced the ‘highest number of fire towards them in the history of Israel,’ said Uri Gordin, chief of the army’s Home Front Command. ‘We saw a pace of more than 400 rockets fired towards Israel on a daily basis.’ Gordin said that in the case of a future ‘conflict or a war with Hezbollah, we expect more than five times the number of rockets fired every day from Lebanon to Israel.’ ‘Basically, we are looking at between 1,500 and 2,500 rockets fired daily towards Israel.’

Fourth, today, under the Sign category of RE-ESTABLISHMENT OF ISRAEL — According to the Associated Press, The man known as the last Jew of Kabul could soon be heading to Israel, after agreeing to grant his estranged wife a religious divorce in a Zoom call — a precondition for smooth entry to the Holy Land. Zebulon Simentov, who fled Afghanistan last month after the Taliban takeover, landed Sunday in Turkey on what his rescuers say is a final stop before traveling to Israel, perhaps as soon as this week. It caps a weekslong odyssey that included an escape from his homeland as well as a videoconference divorce procedure meant to ensure he will not run into trouble with Israeli authorities. Simentov, who lived in a dilapidated synagogue in Kabul, kept kosher and prayed in Hebrew, endured decades of war as the country’s centuries-old Jewish community rapidly dwindled. But the Taliban takeover in August seems to have been the last straw. Moti Kahana, an Israeli-American businessman who runs a private firm that organized the evacuation on behalf of Rabbi Moshe Margaretten, told The Associated Press last month that Simentov was not worried about the Taliban because he had lived under their rule before. He said that threats of the more radical Islamic State group and pressure from neighbors who were rescued with him had helped persuade him to leave. Hebrew manuscripts found in caves in northern Afghanistan indicate a thriving Jewish community existed there at least 1,000 years ago. In the late 19th century, Afghanistan was home to some 40,000 Jews, many of them Persian Jews who had fled forced conversion in neighboring Iran. The community’s decline began with an exodus to Israel after its creation in 1948. In an interview with The Associated Press in 2009, Simentov said the last Jewish families left after the 1979 Soviet invasion. The Taliban, like other Islamic militant groups, are hostile to Israel but tolerated the country’s miniscule Jewish community during their previous reign.

Fifth, today, under the Sign category of PESTILENCES & FATAL EPIDEMIC DISEASES — According to the Daily Mail, A new coronavirus variant has been detected in Louisiana. The EVT Viral Genomics and Sequencing Lab at Louisiana State University Health Shreveport detected a new COVID-19 variant last week. KSLA reports. The variant — called B.1.630 — was found in two samples collected in Baton Rouge. The variant reportedly has the E484Q mutation, which means it could escape the immune system and cause infection, per KSLA. Jeremy Kamil, an associate professor of microbiology and immunology at LSU Health Shreveport, told NOLA.com that the variant isn’t an immediate health threat. “This is mostly academic curiosity,” he said. Dr. Krista Queen, the director of viral genomics and surveillance for the Center of Excellence for Emerging Viral Threats at LSUHS, said the vaccine is recommended to combat this new variant. “Even though the predominance of this variant is low, we will continue to keep an eye on it and watch for any changes or if it starts to increase,” she told KSLA. “Any lineage or sub-lineage of SARS-CoV-2 with this E484Q mutation is watched because of the possibility of immune evasion. Some of the variants that do not have other mutations that increase transmissibility will eventually die out, but it is important to monitor any changes in abundance.”

——–

The prophetic passage of Scripture that we are looking at today is Ezekiel 38:1-16.

Ezekiel 38:2-3 reads: “Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him, And say, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal:”

Allow me to share with you some commentary on this passage from Exploring Bible Prophecy from Genesis to Revelation, by Tim LaHaye and Ed Hindson.

In the invasion, these countries will be joined by other nations (38:5) that represent the other three directions of the compass: Persia (modern Iran) from the east, Cush (northern Sudan) from the south, and Put (modern Libya) from the west. Israel will be defenseless and surrounded on all sides by its enemies. That these forces are overwhelming is indicated in verse 16, which describes them as a cloud to cover the land. This impossible situation would serve to heighten Israel’s need for divine intervention to rescue them from complete destruction.

Other nations that seem to object to this invasion of Israel in the last days are mentioned in Ezekiel 38:13: Sheba (Yemen), Dedan (Saudi Arabia), and Tarshish (probably located in the western Mediterranean) with its merchants (an economic union). Although the modern names of these places may change again before the fulfillment of this prophecy, all these locations are mentioned in the table of the nations in Genesis 10:2-7.

Ezekiel 38:8 states Gog’s invasion will occur after many days and in the latter years, which are designations of a future time. Verse 16 makes this future time more explicit by stating “it shall come about in the last days” (Hebrew, be’archarit hayamim), and verse 18 says “it will come about on that day” (Hebrew, bayom ha-hu’). Both phrases are common prophetic designations for the future. Therefore, in keeping with the eschatological context in which it is set, the Gog War will find its fulfillment in the final period of time known as the eschaton or time of the end.

If the Lord tarries His Coming and we live, we will continue looking at the prophetic passages of the Bible in our next broadcast / podcast.

Our Second Coming quote for today is from John MacArthur. He said, “Why there must be a Second Coming: 1. Jesus must return because the promise of God demands it. 2. The claims of Christ Himself demand it. 3. The testimony of the Holy Spirit demands it. 4. The future of the church demands it. 5. The corruption of the world demands it. 6. Jesus must come because the covenant He made with Israel demands it. 7. The vindication of Christ Himself demands His return. 8. The judgment of Satan demands His coming. 9. The hope of believers demands it. 10. The groaning of the whole creation demands it.”

Let’s Pray

***

If you are not ready for the return of Jesus Christ, may I encourage you to get ready today by receiving Him as your Savior. Here is how.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now that is bad news, but here is the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will. Romans 10:13 says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Keep looking up for your redemption draweth nigh. Let us join in the prayer of John the Revelator — “Even so, come, Lord Jesus.” God bless you.

Ukraine Warns of All-Out War With Russia (Second Coming Watch Update #964)

This is Daniel Whyte III with the Second Coming Watch Update. This is update #964. Let’s take a quick look at today’s prophecy-related headlines which point towards the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ and the end of the world as we know it.

First, today, under the Sign category of WARS & RUMOURS OF WARS — According to Reuters, Ukrainian President Vo-lo-dy-myr Ze-len-skiy said on Friday that all-out war with neighbouring Russia was a possibility, and that he wanted to have a substantive meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Asked at the Yalta European Strategy summit if there could really be all out-war with Russia, which seized the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine in 2014 and backs pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine’s east, Ze-len-skiy said: “I think there can be. It’s the worst thing that could happen, but unfortunately there is that possibility.” Ky-iv says the conflict in eastern Ukraine has killed 14,000 people since 2014. Ze-len-skiy said relations with the United States had improved, but bemoaned the fact that Ukraine had not received a clear answer to its request to join the NATO military alliance – a move that would be certain to infuriate Moscow. He said a refusal to admit Ukraine would weaken NATO while playing into Russia’s hands.

Second, today, under the Sign category of TURMOIL IN THE MIDDLE EAST — According to the Jerusalem Post, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and other Palestinian factions have called for a “day of rage” on Friday in protest of Israel’s decision to transfer security prisoners to other prisons following the escape of six Palestinian inmates from Gil-bo-a Prison earlier this week. Meanwhile, a Palestinian Authority official warned that Israel’s “repressive” measures against the prisoners could ignite a new intifada. The official said that the PA has warned the Israeli government that the West Bank “is on the verge of explosion” because of the anger over the measures taken against the security prisoners. Hamas said in a statement on Thursday, “In light of the frenzied attack against our prisoners, we call on our Palestinian people to make Friday a day of Palestinian rage in the face of the arrogance of the occupation and its aggression against the prisoners, and to head toward points of contact and clash with the enemy army.” The call came after Wednesday night’s widespread protests in the West Bank and east Jerusalem against the Israel Prison Service’s decision to disperse hundreds of Palestinian inmates among various prisons.

Third, today, under the Sign category of ARAB HOSTILITY TOWARD ISRAEL — According to the Times of Israel, The Taliban are willing to establish ties with all countries except for Israel, a spokesman said Tuesday as the extremist group announced its new government after taking control of Afghanistan. Spokesman Su-ha-il Sha-heen told Russia’s Sputnik news that The Taliban were willing to work with the US after they swiftly toppled the 20-year-old Western-backed government last month just as President Joe Biden was completing a pullout to end America’s longest war. Sha-heen said, “Yes, of course, in a new chapter if America wants to have a relation with us, which could be in the interest of both countries and both peoples, and if they want to participate in the reconstruction of Afghanistan, they are welcome.” However, there was no chance for ties with Israel. “Of course, we won’t have any relation with Israel. We want to have relations with other countries, Israel is not among these countries.” Last month, Sha-heen caused some surprise when he gave an interview to Israel’s Kan public broadcaster; however, he later explained he had been duped into doing so. Sha-heen, who has been giving interviews in English from Qatar since the Taliban retook control of Afghanistan, said he had no idea that he was speaking to someone from an Israeli news organization. The Taliban, an Islamic fundamentalist group, has a history of supporting al-Qaeda, which routinely makes threats against Israel and uses anti-Israel rhetoric in its propaganda.

Fourth, today, under the Sign category of RE-ESTABLISHMENT OF ISRAEL — According to the Times of Israel, There are now 15.2 million Jews worldwide, a 100,000 increase from the year before, according to the Jewish Agency. In statistics published ahead of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish Agency said 8.2 million Jews live outside Israel, with the largest population in the United States, which has around 6 million Jews. In Israel, there are 6.93 million Jews, accounting for 45.3 percent of world Jewry, according to the research, which was compiled by Prof. Ser-gi-o Del-la Per-go-la of Jerusalem’s Hebrew University. Following Israel and the US, the countries with the largest number of Jews are France (446,000), Canada (393,500), Britain (292,000), Argentina (175,000), Russia (150,000), Germany (118,000) and Australia (118,000). The Jewish Agency said there 27,000 Jews living in Arab and Muslim states, with 14,500 in Turkey, 9,500 in Iran, 2,000 in Morocco and 1,000 in Tunisia. The statistics are based on self-identification as Jewish and not as any other religion. The Jewish Agency said when looking at those eligible to get citizenship under Israel’s Law of Return, which requires at least one Jewish grandparent, there are 25.3 million Jews worldwide.

Fifth, today, under the Sign category of PESTILENCES & FATAL EPIDEMIC DISEASES — According to CBS News, Authorities in India’s southern Ker-a-la state are racing to contain an outbreak of the Ni-pah virus. The virus, which is not related to the coronavirus behind the current global pandemic and is far more deadly, killed a 12-year-old boy in Ker-a-la over the weekend, prompting stepped-up efforts to trace his contacts. New infections have been confirmed. Government authorities have stepped up contact tracing efforts, identifying, quarantining and testing people who may have come into contact with the young victim. According to the state’s health minister, Veena George, 188 people who came into contact with the boy had been identified by Monday. Of them, 20 were considered high-risk primary contacts — primarily his family members, all of whom were being held under strict quarantine or hospitalized. Two healthcare workers who came into contact with the victim were already showing symptoms of Ni-pah infection by Monday. They were admitted to a hospital and their blood samples sent for testing. Authorities sealed off the area within about a two-mile radius of the boy’s home, and they were screening people for symptoms in all adjoining districts of Ker-a-la state.

——–

The prophetic passage of Scripture that we are looking at today is Ezekiel 38:1-16.

Ezekiel 38:2-3 reads: “Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him, And say, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal:”

Allow me to share with you some commentary on this passage from Exploring Bible Prophecy from Genesis to Revelation, by Tim LaHaye and Ed Hindson.

Ezekiel prophesies that three additional northern nations will be allied with Gog in the invasion. Me-shech and Tu-bal are best identified as ancient Mos-choi and Ti-bar-e-noi (in Greek writings) or Ta-bal and Mus-ku (in Assyrian inscriptions). Go-mer is probably a reference to the ancient Cim-mer-i-ans (Kim-mer-i-oi) who occupied part of An-a-to-li-a in the early eighth century B.C. Cognate toponyms to Hebrew Go-mer appear as Akkadian Gi-mir-ra-a and Assyrian Gimirai. Beth-to-gar-mah (“house of To-gar-mah”), “from the remote parts of the north”, appears in various ancient texts as Til-gar-a-mu (Assyrian) or Te-gar-ma (Hittite) and has been mentioned previously in Ezekiel 27:14 as a nation that traded horses and mules with Tyre. All three of these ancient locations are today part of the modern country of Turkey. Attempts to identify Me-shech and Tu-bal with Mos-cow and To-bol-sk lack any serious linguistic support.

If the Lord tarries His Coming and we live, we will continue looking at the prophetic passages of the Bible in our next broadcast / podcast.

Our Second Coming quote for today is from Melvin Worthington. He said, “The Second Coming should comfort our hearts, cleanse our habits, and compel holiness.”

Let’s Pray

***

If you are not ready for the return of Jesus Christ, may I encourage you to get ready today by receiving Him as your Savior. Here is how.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now that is bad news, but here is the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will. Romans 10:13 says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Keep looking up for your redemption draweth nigh. Let us join in the prayer of John the Revelator — “Even so, come, Lord Jesus.” God bless you.

Israel and Hezbollah Exchange Strikes Across Lebanon (Second Coming Watch Update #963)

This is Daniel Whyte III with the Second Coming Watch Update. This is update #963. Let’s take a quick look at today’s prophecy-related headlines which point towards the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ and the end of the world as we know it.

First, today, under the Sign category of WARS & RUMOURS OF WARS — According to the Jerusalem Post, The Israeli Air Force struck southern Lebanon early Thursday morning, in a fourth round of retaliatory attacks following rocket fire toward the city of Kir-yat Sh-mo-na. The air strikes were the most severe since the Second Lebanon War in 2006, and followed some 100 artillery shells that were fired by the IDF in response to the rocket fire. The strikes targeted the direct areas from where the rockets were fired, as well as other locations from where rockets had previously been fired. The IAF also struck additional infrastructure used for terrorism. A statement released by the military said, “IDF attacks will continue and even intensify in the face of terror attacks against the State of Israel and its citizens,” and that Israel holds the state of Lebanon responsible for all attacks originating from its territory.

Second, today, under the Sign category of PESTILENCES & FATAL EPIDEMIC DISEASES — According to USA Today, Health officials in Colorado on Thursday urged residents to be cautious around local wildlife after lab reports confirmed the presence of plague in animals and fleas from six counties. The warning comes after a 10-year-old resident recently died from complications of the disease, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. The state’s last plague-related death was in 2015. Plague is a broad disease that spreads through a variety of animals, including rodents, flies and humans. The disease comes from Yersinia pestis bacteria, a bacteria which can be found all over the world. There are three forms of plague: bubonic, septicemic and pneumonic.

Third, today, under the Sign category of EARTHQUAKES IN DIVERS PLACES — According to Idaho Statesman, More than 1,008 earthquakes shook the Yellowstone region in July, U.S. Geological Survey Volcanoes said Monday. That number could still increase as experts count smaller earthquakes they may have missed. The region hit that number largely in part to seven earthquake swarms, including a massive swarm that rattled the region starting July 15. The swarm, which was centered beneath Yellowstone Lake, had more than 764 quakes. The largest was a magnitude 3.6 on July 16. Swarms are typical in Yellowstone and account for about half of the total seismic activity in the region. Some people, however, still worry earthquakes in Yellowstone are a sign that the “supervolcano” that lies beneath the park will soon erupt, which could have regional and global consequences. USGS said on its website, “Such a giant eruption would have regional effects such as falling ash and short-term (years to decades) changes to global climate. Those parts of the surrounding states of Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming that are closest to Yellowstone would be affected by pyroclastic flows, while other places in the United States would be impacted by falling ash.”

Fourth, today, under the Sign category of FAMINES — According to Natural News, Large swaths of the United States are still dry as a bone due to record-breaking drought conditions, and America’s crops and cattle are suffering. Almost the entire West Coast and maybe a third of the Midwest is seeing severe or worse drought conditions. This is affecting wheat, barley and alfalfa crops, as well as cattle herds that are not getting the water they need to live. The U.S. Drought Monitor through July 27, 2021 shows Eastern Washington and Oregon, and nearly the entirety of Idaho is in an extreme or exceptional drought. The same goes for California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Western Colorado, the Dakotas and Minnesota. Northern California and the Pacific Northwest, however, are not faring so well. These areas, along with Canada to the north, are seeing prolific wildfires sweep through the region, eating up anything vegetative they can find, including crops. The Pacific Northwest has been hampered by a terrible combination of high temperatures, exceptionally low humidity, erratic winds and plenty of dry fuel. To the east in the central and southern Plains, the weather has similarly been hot, leaving rangeland, pastures and the southern crops that grow on them withering. In these areas, soil moisture reserves have helped to keep things from getting too dry. The longer the droughts continue, however, the more these reserves will get depleted.

Fifth, today, under the Sign category of THE RISE OF GOG AND MAGOG — According to Reuters, Russia managed to disconnect from the global internet during tests in June and July, the RBC daily reported on Thursday, citing documents from the working group tasked with improving Russia’s internet security. Russia adopted legislation, known as the “sovereign internet” law, in late 2019 that seeks to shield the country from being cut off from foreign infrastructure, in answer to what Russia called the “aggressive nature” of the United States’ national cyber security strategy. The legislation tightened Moscow’s control over the global network and caused consternation among free speech activists, who feared the move would strengthen government oversight of the country’s cyberspace. Tests involving all Russia’s major telecoms firms were held from June 15 to July 15 and were successful, according to preliminary results. A source said, “The purpose of the tests is to determine the ability of the ‘Runet’ to work in case of external distortions, blocks and other threats.” The legislation seeks to route Russian web traffic and data through points controlled by state authorities and build a national Domain Name System to allow the internet to continue working even if Russia is cut off.

——–

The prophetic passage of Scripture that we are looking at today is Ezekiel 38:1-16.

Ezekiel 38:2-3 reads: “Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him, And say, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal:”

Allow me to share with you some commentary on this passage from Exploring Bible Prophecy from Genesis to Revelation, by Tim LaHaye and Ed Hindson.

Clyde Billington has concluded,

Historical, ethnological, and archaeological evidence all favor the conclusion that the Rosh people of Ezekiel 38-39 were the ancestors of the Rus/Ros people of Europe and Asia… The Rosh people who are mentioned in Ezekiel 38-39 were well-known to ancient and medieval writers by a variety of names which all derived from the names of Tiras and Rosh… Those Rosh people who lived to the north of the Black Sea in ancient and medieval times were called the Rus/Ros/Rox/Aorsi from very early times… From this mixture with Slavs and with the Varangian Rus in the 9th century, the Rosh people of the area north of the Black Sea formed the people known today as the Russians.

Therefore, despite the objection of critics to this position, the prophecy of Ezekiel 38-39 most likely is a prophecy of a “Russian”-led invasion of Israel. Which parts of “Russia” may be a matter of debate, but Russia’s involvement in this invasion is clearly indicated.

If the Lord tarries His Coming and we live, we will continue looking at the prophetic passages of the Bible in our next broadcast / podcast.

Our Second Coming quote for today is from Paul David Tripp. He said, “The Coming of the Prince of Peace is a promise that everything that is damaged by sin will be restored.”

Let’s Pray

***

If you are not ready for the return of Jesus Christ, may I encourage you to get ready today by receiving Him as your Savior. Here is how.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now that is bad news, but here is the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will. Romans 10:13 says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Keep looking up for your redemption draweth nigh. Let us join in the prayer of John the Revelator — “Even so, come, Lord Jesus.” God bless you.

China and Russia Increasing Military Cooperation (Second Coming Watch Update #962)

This is Daniel Whyte III with the Second Coming Watch Update. This is update #962. Let’s take a quick look at today’s prophecy-related headlines which point towards the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ and the end of the world as we know it.

First, today, under the Sign category of WARS & RUMOURS OF WARS — According to American Military News, On Wednesday, Japan’s number two defense official said China and Russia are showing increased signs of military cooperation and their activities in the Pacific could show signs they plan to launch a Pearl Harbor-style attack on the U.S., similar to how Japan did on Dec. 7, 1941, propelling the U.S. into World War II. Speaking at a Hudson Institute event, Japanese State Defense Minister Ya-su-hi-de Na-ka-ya-ma said, “Seventy years ago, we attacked Pearl Harbor, but now the U.S. and Japan [are] very good allies, one of the best allies all over the world.” Na-ka-ya-ma went on to say now Russian naval forces “are really exercising just right in front of the western part of Honolulu, and so I don’t want to remind them of 70 years ago, but we have to be careful of the exercising of the Russians.” Na-ka-ya-ma said, “We have to show the deterrence towards China, and not just China but also the Russians, because, as I told you, that they are doing their exercises together.” Na-ka-ya-ma also drew a comparison between a potential nuclear attack by Russia or China and the U.S. nuclear attacks on Hir-o-shi-ma and Na-ga-sa-ki, Japan during World War II. Na-ka-ya-ma said, “If some country shoot’s [a nuclear weapon] from their continent towards Honolulu, that missile’s . . . the warheads compared to Hir-o-shi-ma, it’s 200 times more than Hir-o-shi-ma. So I’ve been to Hir-o-shi-ma before and I went to the museum before, from that experience and the perspective, if 200 times more strong atomic bombs or torpedoes or missiles, warheads towards Honolulu, I think Honolulu will be erased from the map. So we have to think before using those powers, we have to think how to stop it.”

Second, today, under the Sign category of FAMINES — According to BBC News, UN officials say recent fighting in the Tigray region of Ethiopia has resulted in a famine that is now affecting more than 400,000 people. In its first public meeting on the crisis, members of the UN Security Council warned that as many as 33,000 children were severely malnourished. Officials said that a further 1.8m people were on the brink of famine as a result of the eight-month conflict. They also warned of further clashes despite the declaration of a ceasefire. The Ethiopian government, which has been fighting regional forces in Tigray, declared a unilateral ceasefire on Monday. On Friday, the UN’s acting humanitarian aid chief told members of the Security Council at a meeting in New York that the situation in Tigray had deteriorated dramatically in recent weeks. The humanitarian aid chief said the region was experiencing “the worst famine situation we have seen in decades”.

Third, today, under the Sign category of TURMOIL IN THE MIDDLE EAST — According to Newsweek, Israeli security officials said Iran is likely behind an alleged attack on a cargo ship in the northern Indian Ocean, Arabic TV stations reported Sunday, with the vessel having been hit by an “unknown weapon” which started a fire. The Al-May-a-deen Lebanese television channel reported early Sunday that the Liberian-flagged cargo ship, the Tyndall, was damaged this weekend in the wake of a series of sabotage incidents between Israeli and Iranian ships in the region. Although some outlets initially reported that the cargo ship was owned by Israeli businessman Ey-al O-fer, sources later confirmed that it had been recently sold and the crew was not from Israel. The ship currently flies the Liberian flag, and defense officials from several countries in the region are still investigating the Sunday incident. The Israeli N12 news outlet reported Sunday that the cargo ship was hit by an “unknown weapon” and a fire broke out on its deck, prompting fears that “that this was a deliberate attack.”

Fourth, today, under the Sign category of RE-ESTABLISHMENT OF ISRAEL — According to Ynet News, Honduras on Thursday opened its embassy in contested Jerusalem, becoming the fourth country to follow the U.S. move under former president Donald Trump to relocate its chief diplomatic mission in Israel from Tel Aviv. To mark the occasion, Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez and Prime Minister Naftali Bennett signed several bilateral cooperation agreements in Jerusalem on Thursday. Israel views the entire city as its unified capital, while the Palestinians want East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state. The rival claims were at the heart of the unrest in April and May that eventually ignited an 11-day war in the Gaza Strip. The U.S. inaugurated its embassy in the city in 2018, and Guatemala, Ko-so-vo and Honduras followed suit. Bennett said that the opening of the Honduran Embassy in Jerusalem, and the planned reopening of the Israeli Embassy in Te-gu-ci-gal-pa, was “another demonstration of the deep friendship and deep connection” between the two countries. Israel previously had an embassy in Honduras until the 1990s.

Fifth, today, under the Sign category of PESTILENCES & FATAL EPIDEMIC DISEASES — According to the Daily Star, In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, a deadly new outbreak of “black fungus” infections is surging in India. A few dozen cases of mu-cor-my-co-sis fungal infections were recorded in May, but Indian news channel NDTV reports the number of cases has now risen to 31,000. The fungus has claimed over 2,000 deaths. The fungus can take hold in the stomach, lungs or bloodstream but has its most devastating effect when it infects the nasal passages and sinuses – from where it can easily affect the eyes and brain. In addition to the growing death toll, many patients are being blinded. Manchester University professor David Denning, an expert at the Global Action Fund for Fungal Infections, told Reuters: “There have been cases reported in several other countries – including the UK, U.S., France, Austria, Brazil and Mexico, but the volume is much bigger in India”. The Indian government has ordered all states to classify mucormycosis as an epidemic.

——–

The prophetic passage of Scripture that we are looking at today is Ezekiel 38:1-16.

Ezekiel 38:2-3 reads: “Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him, And say, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal:”

Allow me to share with you some commentary on this passage from Exploring Bible Prophecy from Genesis to Revelation, by Tim LaHaye and Ed Hindson.

When Ezekiel wrote this prophecy in the sixth century B.C., several bands of the Rosh people lived in an area to the north of the Black Sea. Linguistically, the name Rosh was originally associated with the tribe of Ros/Rus, which lent its name to a variety of topographical features in what is now the Ukraine and Russia. On historical, geographical, and toponymic grounds it seems best identified with the modern-day Russian people. Linguistically the very name Russia appears to have derived from this term Rosh. This location is also confirmed by the first-century Jewish historian Flavius Josephus, who identified Magog (the land of Rosh) as the land of the Scythians [SAI-THEE-UHNZ], ancient northern nomadic tribes who inhabited the territory from central Asia across the southern steppes of modern Russia. Based on such evidence, the noted Hebrew lexicographer and grammarian Wilhelm Gesenius [GEH-SEN-EE-UHS] stated over 150 years ago that Rosh must be “undoubtedly the Russians, who are mentioned by the Byzantine writers of the tenth century, under the name the Ros, dwelling to the north of Taurus…as dwelling on the river Rha (Wolga).”

If the Lord tarries His Coming and we live, we will continue looking at the prophetic passages of the Bible in our next broadcast / podcast.

Our Second Coming quote for today is from Vance Havner. He said, “When I studied arithmetic, I remembered that the answers were in the back of the book. No matter how I floundered among my problems, the correct solution was on the last page. I have failed often in working out life’s problems, and I dwell in the midst of a people who are hopelessly trying to untangle the riddle of this present age. But I am cheered by one unfailing uncertainty-there is a Book that solves the enigma and the answer is in the back of the Book, “Behold I come quickly.” “Even so, come, Lord Jesus.””

Let’s Pray

***

If you are not ready for the return of Jesus Christ, may I encourage you to get ready today by receiving Him as your Savior. Here is how.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now that is bad news, but here is the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will. Romans 10:13 says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Keep looking up for your redemption draweth nigh. Let us join in the prayer of John the Revelator — “Even so, come, Lord Jesus.” God bless you.

Israeli Opposition Working to Form a New Government (Second Coming Watch Update #961)

This is Daniel Whyte III with the Second Coming Watch Update. This is update #961. Let’s take a quick look at today’s prophecy-related headlines which point towards the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ and the end of the world as we know it.

First, today, under the Sign category of TURMOIL IN THE MIDDLE EAST — According to Israel National News, The Shin Bet warned Monday of an increase in incitement against the chairman of Yesh Atid [YESH AH-TEHD], MK Yair Lapid [YAAR LAH-PEED], and senior members of the Yamina [YAA-MIY-NAA] party, MKs Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked [AH-YEL-EHT SHA-KEED], who are working to form a unity government. According to a report on the Haaretz website, the Shin Bet ordered the police and the Knesset Guard to increase security around Bennett and Shaked to level 5 – one level below the highest level of security. The Shin Bet fears that protesters will break into the Yamina [YAA-MIY-NAA] leaders’ houses, throw firebombs, and even assault them and their families. The Shin Bet provides security to Yair Lapid [YAAR LAH-PEED] because he is the current leader of the opposition. Other MKs receive security from the Knesset Guard.

Second, today, under the Sign category of PESTILENCES & FATAL EPIDEMIC DISEASES — According to the New Scientist, The first human case of a rare strain of bird flu known as H10N3 has been reported in a 41-year-old man in eastern China. The man is from Jiangsu [JAANG-SOO] province, north-west of Shanghai, and was admitted to hospital on 28 April. China’s National Health Commission said he is in a stable condition. Until now, no human case of H10N3 has been reported elsewhere, and the risk of large-scale spread among people is low, the commission said. Bird flu, or avian flu, is caused by influenza viruses that spread between birds. It can often spread easily between birds, but very rarely causes disease in humans. Symptoms resemble those of normal flu – fever, cough, muscle aches, sore throat – but it can develop into a serious respiratory illness.

Third, today, under the Sign category of TURMOIL IN THE MIDDLE EAST — According to the Jerusalem Post, A huge fire broke out at an oil refinery in the southern part of the Iranian capital of Tehran on Wednesday, Iranian state media reported, saying there were so far no reports of casualties. Iran’s semi-official Tasnim news agency said all operations had been suspended at the facility, known as the Tond-guy-an refinery, as firefighters tried to contain the blaze. Man-sour Da-ra-ja-ti, the head of Tehran’s crisis management organization, told state TV, “A leak at a liquid gas pipeline at the facility sparked the fire.” A spokesperson of the National Iranian Oil Refining and Distribution said the fire was caused when a gasoline tanker with a capacity for 20,000 barrels caught fire, but said there was no blast.

Fourth, today, under the Sign category of FAMINES — According to Phys.org, The economic cost of the global pandemic as well as conflict and climate change are fueling food security fears that in 2020 reached their highest level in five years. Last year, 155 million people in 55 countries faced acute food shortages—20 million more than in 2019, according to a report by the EU, the Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Food Programme, which see the problem as getting steadily worse. Last year saw the Global Network Against Food Crises, which groups together the three international organisations, identify 28 million people in 28 countries as suffering emergency levels of acute hunger with DR Congo, Yemen and Afghanistan worst affected. A further 133,000 people were judged to be living in the most severe, “catastrophic” phase of food insecurity in Burkina Faso, South Sudan and Yemen. Africa remains the continent worst hit by food shortages with 98 million people affected, or 63 percent of global cases—up from 54 percent in 2019. Dominique Burgeon, FAO emergencies director, said that “the pandemic has exacerbated vulnerabilities,” singling out Sudan, Zimbabwe and Haiti—the latter also hit by climate issues affecting the food security of some 15 million people. With COVID restrictions still in place across much of the world, Burgeon said the coming year would be very difficult, exacerbating food security in already fragile economies. He estimated at least 142 million the number of people who would be affected in 40 of the worst-hit countries.

Fifth, today, under the Sign category of TURMOIL IN THE MIDDLE EAST — According to the Jerusalem Post, Hamas called for a Day of Rage in the West Bank on Friday, encouraging mass rallies by Palestinians against what it termed a “frenzied settlement attack on the West Bank.” The call for a day of rage comes a day before Palestinians mark Naksa Day to commemorate the Six-Day War in 1967. Clashes broke out between Palestinians and Israeli security forces in multiple locations on Friday. At least 10 injuries due to live fire were reported by the Palestinian Wafa news agency in clashes in the town of Beita [BEY-TAH], located south of Nab-lus, with at least one person seriously injured. A number of attempted shooting attacks have been reported in recent days. On Friday, a Lebanese newspaper reported that Hamas is threatening to renew clashes with Israel after the Qatari grant intended for families in need in the Gaza Strip was reportedly halted by Israel. The terrorist group reportedly warned Egyptian mediators that they would activate tools along the border area “shortly” and that the terrorist groups in Gaza may go as far as to completely reopen the conflict if the grant isn’t allowed in within the next week.

——–

The prophetic passage of Scripture that we are looking at today is Ezekiel 38:1-16.

Ezekiel 38:2-3 reads: “Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him, And say, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal:”

Allow me to share with you some commentary on this passage from Exploring Bible Prophecy from Genesis to Revelation, by Tim LaHaye and Ed Hindson.

The name “Rosh” has been the subject of considerable debate among scholars. Some have taken it as a proper noun and identified it with Russia. The other alternative is to take the term as an adjective meaning “head,” which would make Gog “chief prince of Meshech and Tubal.” However, on linguistic and historical grounds, the case for taking Rosh as a proper noun rather than a noun-adjective is substantial and persuasive. Rosh appears as a place name in Egyptian inscriptions as Rash as early as 2600 B.C., and one inscription from 1500 B.C. refers to a land called Reshu that was located to the north of Egypt. As a toponym (place name), Rosh (or its equivalent) is found over 20 times in other ancient documents, including three times in the Sep-tu-a-gint, ten times in the inscriptions of Sar-gon, once in the record of A-shur-ban-i-pal, once in the annals of Sen-na-cher-ib, and five times in the U-gar-i-tic tablets of ancient Syria.

If the Lord tarries His Coming and we live, we will continue looking at the prophetic passages of the Bible in our next broadcast / podcast.

Our Second Coming quote for today is from Samuel Rutherford. He said, “The figure of the passing-away world is like an old man’s face, full of wrinkles, and foul with weeping: we are waiting when Jesus shall be revealed from heaven, and shall come and wipe the old man’s face.”

Let’s Pray

***

If you are not ready for the return of Jesus Christ, may I encourage you to get ready today by receiving Him as your Savior. Here is how.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now that is bad news, but here is the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will. Romans 10:13 says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Keep looking up for your redemption draweth nigh. Let us join in the prayer of John the Revelator — “Even so, come, Lord Jesus.” God bless you.

Russian Official Says Relations With US Are Worse Than Cold War (Second Coming Watch Update #960)

This is Daniel Whyte III with the Second Coming Watch Update. This is update #960. Let’s take a quick look at today’s prophecy-related headlines which point towards the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ and the end of the world as we know it.

First, today, under the Sign category of WARS & RUMOURS OF WARS — According to American Military News, Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov [SUR-GEI LUH-VRAAV] said relations between the United States and Russia are now worse than they were during the Cold War era. Lavrov [LUH-VRAAV] said, “Our relations with the United States are really ‘hell.’ Personally, I don’t recall them being at such a low ebb ever before. This is even worse than the Cold War times, in my opinion. Ambassadors have returned back to their home countries. What’s going to happen next? What is the possible scenario? In my opinion, tension did run high during the Cold War and there were numerous high-risk conflict situations, but there was also mutual respect. I believe that this is lacking now.” He also accused the U.S. of rallying other western nations to oppose Russia and China. Lavrov’s [LUH-VRAAV’s] comments comes just weeks after Biden ordered a series of new sanctions against Russia and expelled 10 Russian diplomats. Russia responded a day later by expelling 10 U.S. diplomats from Russia.

Second, today, under the Sign category of TURMOIL IN THE MIDDLE EAST — According to the Jerusalem Post, The IDF carried out attacks against Hezbollah outposts near Quneitra [KU-NY-TRAH] on the Syrian border Wednesday night, according to Syrian reports cited by Israeli media. This is the second consecutive night that Syrian media reported an attack by the IDF in Syria. The IDF disseminated leaflets to the Syrian Armed Forces in Quneitra [KU-NY-TRAH], warning them not to cooperate with Hezbollah. On Tuesday, an alleged Israeli airstrike targeted a site near Latakia [LUH-TAA-KEE-UH] and Tartus [TAAR-TUHS] along Syria’s Mediterranean coast. According to Syrian media, a civilian was killed and six were injured, including a child.

Third, today, under the Sign category of FAMINES — According to CNN, Army helicopters are spraying agricultural land in northeast Lebanon to help farmers battle swarms of locusts that flew to the country in what a United Nations agency said was a “very rare” event caused by a change in the wind direction. The agriculture ministry, which is on full alert, said on Monday large numbers of the locusts had been destroyed. There have been no big farming losses so far but there are concerns that more swarms could be blown to the south of Lebanon. The locusts, which threaten crops, are the latest addition to a long list of challenges faced by Lebanon, which is battling its worst financial crisis in decades. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization said the occurrence was unusual for the area but that a change in wind direction had blown the locusts in from Saudi Arabia to Jordan and onwards to Syria and Lebanon.

Fourth, today, under the Sign category of TURMOIL IN THE MIDDLE EAST — According to the Times of Israel, The commander-in-chief of Iran’s powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Major General Hossein Salami [HOH-SAHN SAH-LAH-MEE], said Wednesday that Iran can easily disrupt Israel’s sea trade routes, which he said recent attacks on cargo ships have shown to be vulnerable. Salami [SAH-LAH-MEE] spoke about the shadow maritime war between Tehran and Jerusalem during an interview he gave to Iranian television on the eve of Quds [KUDS] Day, Iran’s day of protest against Israel, held on the last Friday of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Referring to a recent spate of attacks on Israeli-owned cargo ships that were blamed on Iran, Salami [SAH-LAH-MEE] said the incidents showed that “the Zionist regime’s shipping and commercial shipping are vulnerable anywhere in the world,” according to the semi-official Fars News Agency. “No one thought that the Zionist regime would have such great damage in the field of maritime trade. It is very easy to seriously disrupt the Zionist regime’s maritime trade.” He added that Israel’s political turmoil, which has seen four inconclusive elections in two years, was bringing an end to the country. Salami [SAH-LAH-MEE] said, “The Israelis are in a state of decline and are living in a political sunset, and this time it seems that the collapse of the Zionist regime can be from within.”

Fifth, today, under the Sign category of WARS & RUMOURS OF WARS — According to Sky News, China is “preparing for its final military assault” on Taiwan, the island’s foreign minister said, as he vowed to “defend ourselves to the very end”. In an exclusive interview, Joseph Wu said that China had “been conducting misinformation campaigns, hybrid warfare, and recently they have increased their grey zone activities against Taiwan. And all these seem to be preparing for their final military assault against Taiwan. Taiwan happens to be on the frontline of China’s expansion of its authoritarian order. And if Taiwan is taken by China, I think the consequences will be global.” Chinese military aircraft have been making almost daily incursions into Taiwan’s air identification defence zone recently, with April being a record month. Taiwan says it is an independent country, with its own government, military and elections. China insists the island is part of its territory and has vowed to claim it by force if necessary or if the territory “secedes” from China.

——–

The prophetic passage of Scripture that we are looking at today is Ezekiel 38:1-16.

Ezekiel 38:2-3 reads: “Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him, And say, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal:”

Allow me to share with you some commentary on this passage from Exploring Bible Prophecy from Genesis to Revelation, by Tim LaHaye and Ed Hindson.

The invasion of Gog opens in Ezekiel 38:2-3 with an introduction to the aggressors, whose paired names have given rise to this prophecy popularly being called “the Battle of Gog and Magog.” However, “Gog” (a people) is the ruler of “Magog” (a place), so it’s more correct to say “the Battle of Gog of Magog” or “the Battle of Gog,” or simply “the Gog War” (hereafter).

The name “Gog” occurs 11 times in these chapters as the title of the leader of the invasion. Since he is directly addressed several times by God and also called a prince, it is evident that he is a historical figure. Although scholars have tried to identify Gog with Gyges [YEE-GUHS] (Gugu), a seventh-century BC Lydian king mentioned in six inscriptions by the Assyrian monarch Ashurbanipal [A-SHR-BAA-NUH-PAAL], this ruler never led an allied invasion into Israel. The eschatological context argues against finding a past historical reference to this specific figure.

The prophecy of the Gog War begins with a list of ten proper names in 38:1-7. The names reveal an alliance of foreign nations from “out of the remote parts of the north”, the land of Gog, and the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal.

If the Lord tarries His Coming and we live, we will continue looking at the prophetic passages of the Bible in our next broadcast / podcast.

Our Second Coming quote for today is from Charles Spurgeon. He said, “When the world had revolted against its Maker, and the Creator had been defied by His own creatures, a great gulf was opened between God and man. The first coming of Christ was like a bridge which crossed the chasm, and made a way of access from God to man, and then from man to God. Our Lord’s second advent will make that bridge far broader, until heaven shall come down to earth; and, ultimately, earth shall go up to Heaven.”

Let’s Pray

***

If you are not ready for the return of Jesus Christ, may I encourage you to get ready today by receiving Him as your Savior. Here is how.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now that is bad news, but here is the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will. Romans 10:13 says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Keep looking up for your redemption draweth nigh. Let us join in the prayer of John the Revelator — “Even so, come, Lord Jesus.” God bless you.