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Second Coming Watch Update

A quick look at today’s prophecy-related headlines which point toward the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ and the end of the world as we know it.

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China Could be Hiding Coronavirus Death Toll of Millions (Second Coming Watch Update #911)

This is Daniel Whyte III with the Second Coming Watch Update. This is update #911. 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 PESTILENCES & FATAL EPIDEMIC DISEASES — According to The Daily Star, Fears China could be hiding its true coronavirus death toll have been sparked as 21.5 million people failed to register for the country’s artificial intelligence software. Citizens in China cannot buy food, or log in online without using their facial recognition, suggesting the disappearance, quarantine, or death of 21.5 million people. In the months of January and February the coronavirus bulldozed its way through China, causing much of the country to go into lockdown. The virus itself originated in China, with wet markets in Wuhan [WOO-HAHN], in the country’s Hubei [HOO-BAY] province, said to be the original epicentre of the outbreak. China is slowly coming out of the government-imposed lockdown, and life is going back to normal, but the Artificial Intelligence Organisation reports nearly 21.5 million people have failed to register their mobile phones. The country requires its citizens to use their mobiles to travel, shop online and activate social media. Chinese officials have not explained the large hole in mobile registrations, prompting some to theorise it could be altering death tolls of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Second, today, under the Sign category of FAMINES — According to The Daily Star, footage has shown millions of locusts forming small groups in the desert to battle high winds as a plague continues to sweep across east Africa, the Middle East and Asia. Billions of locusts have ravaged crops in Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia in recent months – leading to food shortages in countries that already suffer severe poverty. Swarms as big as 60 kilometres across have also spread to Saudi Arabia, India, Pakistan and even China. Apocalyptic footage has surfaced showing skies turning black as the bugs swarm over cities. Authorities in Saudi Arabia have desperately tried to stem the locust invasion by spraying thousands of litres of pesticides in agricultural regions. Fears have mounted, though, that a second wave of locusts could soon arrive after they were seen hatching in Kenya.

Third, today, under the Sign category of PESTILENCES & FATAL EPIDEMIC DISEASES — According to CNN, Spain has now seen more deaths from the coronavirus pandemic than any other country except Italy, with officials warning that the peak of its outbreak has still not been reached. The Ministries of Health and Science announced Wednesday the nation has recorded 3,434 deaths from COVID-19, pushing it above China in total fatalities. The numbers are up 27% on the day before. Spain is under a countrywide lockdown, and top health official Fernando Simon predicted the nation had still not reached the crest of its outbreak.

Fourth, today, under the Sign category of EARTHQUAKES IN DIVERS PLACES — According to Newsweek, A 7.5 magnitude earthquake has been recorded beneath the northern Pacific Ocean near Russia’s Kuril [KU-RILL] Islands. The quake struck at 2:49 a.m. on Wednesday at a depth of around 37 miles. The epicenter was located 136 miles south-southeast of Severo-Kurilsk [SEH-VER-OH KU-RILL-ISK] on the island chain, and 870 miles northeast of the Japanese city of Sapporo [SAH-PUR-ROH].

Fifth, today, under the Sign category of PESTILENCES & FATAL EPIDEMIC DISEASES — According to Haaretz, Major Orthodox Jewish organizations in the United States are asking community members to limit preparations for Passover to essentials only, in light of government health guidelines. They wrote in a letter, “We are accustomed to honoring Pesach to the fullest degree, including getting haircuts, purchasing new clothing and tableware, and preparing the fullest menus. This year’s public health crisis mandates us to significantly limit all of the above.” Essential Passover purchases are to be done by “one family member only – who is neither ill, vulnerable, nor of known exposure to COVID-19 – as rarely and as briefly as possible.” In addition, the organizations called for people to cancel Passover travel plans.

——–

The prophetic passage of Scripture that we are looking at today is Ezekiel 16:60-63. It reads: “Nevertheless I will remember my covenant with thee in the days of thy youth, and I will establish unto thee an everlasting covenant. Then thou shalt remember thy ways, and be ashamed, when thou shalt receive thy sisters, thine elder and thy younger: and I will give them unto thee for daughters, but not by thy covenant. And I will establish my covenant with thee; and thou shalt know that I am the Lord: That thou mayest remember, and be confounded, and never open thy mouth any more because of thy shame, when I am pacified toward thee for all that thou hast done, saith the Lord God.”

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.

This prophecy follows Ezekiel’s most severe denunciation and condemnation of national Israel. In these verses the prophet describes the origin of Israel and its moral defection. The condition of the nation is described as “harlotry,” which refers to ceremonial uncleanness communicated by contact with whatever is ritually impure or polluting–for example, illicit sexual activity and unclean animals. Sometimes the simile of a “menstruous (unclean) woman” is employed to depict the “unapproachableness” of Israel. This condition is said to have been incurred by bad “moral conduct” and “reckless deeds.” Therefore, just as the ceremonial impurity of the menstruous woman separates her from the sphere of that which is considered holy, so the conduct of Israel has caused her to be removed from the Holy Land. The analogy of menstruation occurs in Ezekiel 18:6, 22:10, and 36:17, and may have had further intention of showing the Lord’s spatial separation (that is, withdrawal of the divine presence), just as a man was commanded to distance himself from a menstruating woman.

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, “Some of the saints are SINGING about the Second Coming, but it is one thing just to sing the national anthem during the war and quite another to go into battle. The best evidence that the Lord’s return has really gotten hold of us is when we occupy till He come, do business for God, buy up the opportunities, because the days are evil.”

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.

Rabbi Says Coronavirus is Punishment for Homosexuality (Second Coming Watch Update #910)

This is Daniel Whyte III with the Second Coming Watch Update. This is update #910. 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 INCREASED HOMOSEXUALITY AND SEXUAL IMMORALITY — According to The Times of Israel, Rabbi Meir Mazuz [MEER MAH-ZOOZ], an Orthodox Israeli rabbi, has claimed the spread of the deadly coronavirus in Israel and around the world is divine retribution for gay pride parades. On Saturday night he gave a talk at the yeshiva, during which he said a pride parade is “a parade against nature, and when someone goes against nature, the one who created nature takes revenge on him.” Mazuz [MAH-ZOOZ] said that countries all over the world are being called to account because of their gay pride events, “except for the Arab countries that don’t have this evil inclination.” The outbreak in Iran, one of the most serious in any country, he explained as being due to the wicked ways of Iranians and “their hatred of Israel.”

Second, today, under the Sign category of FAMINES — According to The Times of Israel, Rome-based Senior Locust Forecasting Officer Keith Cressman said a plague of locusts the likes of which have been unseen for over 30 years is about to hit Africa and the Middle East. Adding to the perfect biblical storm, the current coronavirus pandemic is affecting travel of international experts and in-country gatherings for training to combat the locust threat. Cressman works at Locust Watch, a division of the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization. According to the organization’s most recent forecast report, there are new “extremely alarming” swarms forming in Horn of Africa. The Locust Watch website says while one locust may not seem a major eater, the swarms can grow to millions of individuals, “with the capacity to consume the same amount of food in one day as 35,000 people.” The current widespread breeding in Kenya, Ethiopia, and Somalia represents “an unprecedented threat to food security and livelihoods at the beginning of the upcoming cropping season.”

Third, today, under the Sign category of EARTHQUAKES IN DIVERS PLACES — According to CBS News, A 5.7-magnitude earthquake struck near Magna, Utah, Wednesday morning. The temblor knocked out power for tens of thousands and operations at Salt Lake City International Airport came to a halt. It is the largest earthquake to hit the state since a 5.9 magnitude quake struck southern Utah in 1992, according to Utah Emergency Management. The quake was felt across Salt Lake County and in Ogden and as far away as Wyoming. According to the governor, the earthquake damaged both the state’s department of health lab and its coronavirus hotline. According to Johns Hopkins, Utah has 51 confirmed cases of the coronavirus.

Fourth, today, under the Sign category of RE-ESTABLISHMENT OF ISRAEL — According to Breaking Israel News, As the COVID-19 crisis worsens worldwide, the Nation of Israel requests that the Vatican immediately return to Jerusalem the Temple vessels that have been stored in Rome for nearly 2000 years. Rabbi Levi Sudri [SU-DRI], an award-winning Bible expert, noted that a divine message must surely be contained within the coronavirus. He pointed out that the coronavirus began in China and very quickly took hold of Italy in a counter-intuitive manner. “What is the connection between China and Italy? They are geographically distant from each other. That is true but they have a spiritual connection in that they are both centers of two different types of idolatry. In Daniel’s vision, he spoke of the feet of the idol which is Rome.” Rabbi Sudri [SU-DRI] noted that the distinctive boot shape of Italy hints at this Biblical reference and is referred to in Hebrew as er-etz ham-a-gaf; land of the boot. Rabbi Sudri [SU-DRI] noted that the word ma-gaf; boot shares the same root as the word ma-ge-fa; epidemic. Rabbi Sudri [SU-DRI] said, “The word ‘corona’ means crown and that is precisely the issue. Rome stole the crown from Israel, the utensils from the Temple, so they are being struck by the crown virus.”

Fifth, today, under the Sign category of ARAB HOSTILITY TOWARD ISRAEL — According to The Jerusalem Post, according to the Middle East Media Research Institute, some members of Turkey’s press and public have said, the coronavirus is a Zionist plot spread by Jews to decrease the world population. MEMRI, which specializes in translating Middle Eastern media into English, has uncovered a number of incidences of Turks blaming the coronavirus epidemic on Jews and Zionism. In a video posted to Twitter on March 13, a minibus driver and his passengers can be heard engaging in antisemitic conspiracy theories. On March 6, Fatih Erbakan [FAH-TEE UR-BAH-KAN], head of Refah Party and the son of former prime minister Necmettin Erbakan, was reported to have said in a speech: “Though we do not have certain evidence, this virus serves Zionism’s goals of decreasing the number of people and preventing it from increasing, and important research expresses this.”

——–

The prophetic passage of Scripture that we are looking at today is Ezekiel 17:22-24. It reads: “Thus saith the Lord God; I will also take of the highest branch of the high cedar, and will set it; I will crop off from the top of his young twigs a tender one, and will plant it upon an high mountain and eminent: In the mountain of the height of Israel will I plant it: and it shall bring forth boughs, and bear fruit, and be a goodly cedar: and under it shall dwell all fowl of every wing; in the shadow of the branches thereof shall they dwell. And all the trees of the field shall know that I the Lord have brought down the high tree, have exalted the low tree, have dried up the green tree, and have made the dry tree to flourish: I the Lord have spoken and have done it.”

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 interpretation that Israel will be restored and the temple will be rebuilt can be understood only in light of the ruin of Judah, which was tied to the problem of temple desecration. From the perspective of Ezekiel’s audience, it should be obvious that the prophet’s exhortation to his people of a literal national destruction would be coupled to the prophet’s encouragement of a literal national restoration. Nothing less would meet the need and expectation of the vanquished nation. And nothing less would demonstrate that the Lord was the sovereign and gracious deliverer of His people. The transformation of the restoration promises by the symbolic symbol as merely the spiritual blessings of the New Covenant transferred to the church violates the fundamental law of biblical interpretation, which demands texts to be interpreted within their context. If national Israel received divine restoration, national Israel must receive divine restoration. This is also true of the messianic prophecies woven throughout the first division of Ezekiel, which, though part of the church’s heritage of faith, were exclusively given to national Israel.

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, “Apart from the second advent of our Lord, the world is more likely to sink into a pandemonium than to rise into a millennium.”

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.

WHO Declares Coronavirus a Pandemic (Second Coming Watch Update #909)

This is Daniel Whyte III with the Second Coming Watch Update. This is update #909. 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 PESTILENCES & FATAL EPIDEMIC DISEASES — According to BBC News, The coronavirus outbreak has been labelled a pandemic by the World Health Organization. WHO chief Dr. Tedros [TEH-DROSE] said the number of cases outside China had increased 13-fold in two weeks. He said he was “deeply concerned” by “alarming levels of inaction”. A pandemic is a disease that is spreading in multiple countries around the world at the same time. Dr. Tedros [TEH-DROSE] said that calling the outbreak a pandemic did not mean the WHO was changing its advice about what countries should do. He called on governments to change the course of the outbreak by taking “urgent and aggressive action”.

Second, today, under the Sign category of MOVEMENT TOWARD A ONE-WORLD RELIGION — According to Neon Nettle, A top UN official has called on world religions to defer their authority on matters concerning law and policy to the United Nations. Ahmad Shaheed [AH-MAHD SHAH-HEED], the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, determined that laws based on traditional morality, often religious in nature, must be repealed if they conflict with the opinions of UN experts and human rights scholars. Shaheed [SHAH-HEED] wrote, “States have an obligation to guarantee to everyone, including women, girls, and LGBT+ people, an equal right to freedom of religion or belief”. The obligations of the state include “creating an enabling environment where pluralist and progressive self-understandings can manifest.” In order to enable these “self-understandings,” laws criminalizing abortion or various sexual behaviors would need to be overruled. Shaheed [SHAH-HEED] noted that laws regarding abortion and homosexual behavior often arise from the application of religious teachings regarding the sanctity of life, the family, and sexual morality.

Third, today, under the Sign category of PESTILENCES & FATAL EPIDEMIC DISEASES — According to NBC News, Italy’s Civil Protection Agency confirmed Wednesday that almost 200 people died from the coronavirus in 24 hours — the highest daily increase in absolute terms registered anywhere in the world since the respiratory illness emerged in China at the end of last year. From Tuesday to Wednesday, 196 people died, bringing the total number of deaths to 897. Confirmed cases across the country rose to 12,462 from a previous 10,149. After an initial lockdown in the north failed to prevent the spread, the government on Monday banned all nonessential travel and public gatherings throughout Italy until April 3, halted all sports events and extended a shutdown of schools.

Fourth, today, under the Sign category of THE RISE OF GOG & MAGOG — According to Israel National News, An Islamic Jihad delegation, headed by leader Ziad Nakhala [ZEE-AHD NAHK-LAH], met in Moscow with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. The Palestine Al-Yawm website, which is affiliated with the organization, said that the talks between the sides focused on the US “Deal of the Century” and on Palestinian unity. They were described as “positive” and “profound”. The representatives of the Islamic Jihad expressed their firm opposition to the “Deal of the Century”, which they said strives to “eliminate the Palestinian problem, as well as to give up Jerusalem, the West Bank and the right of return of refugees.” Russia rejected the “Deal of the Century” shortly after it was made public, saying of its provisions “do not fully correspond to the relevant resolutions by the UN Security Council”.

Fifth, today, under the Sign category of WARS & RUMOURS OF WARS — According to Israel National News, North Korea fired three unidentified projectiles on Monday. No details were provided on the projectiles. The incident comes one week after North Korea fired what South Korea said appeared to be two short-range ballistic missiles off its eastern coastal city of Wonsan into the sea. The North’s state media said at the time that leader Kim Jong Un had overseen a “long-range artillery” drill. North Korea has conducted several tests of ballistic missiles in recent months, ever since talks with the US over denuclearization of the Korean peninsula broke down.

——–

The prophetic passage of Scripture that we are looking at today is Ezekiel 1:1-3. It reads: “Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I was among the captives by the river of Chebar [KEY-BAR], that the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God. In the fifth day of the month, which was the fifth year of king Jehoiachin’s [JEH-HOY-AH-KIN] captivity, The word of the Lord came expressly unto Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi [BU-ZEE], in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar [KEY-BAR]; and the hand of the Lord was there upon him.”

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.

Both divisions of Ezekiel’s prophecy were visionary. Therefore, it is unwarranted to treat the first division as historical (since fulfillment occurred historically with the destruction of the first temple and the exile), and the second division as symbolic (since fulfillment did not occur historically under the return and the building of the second temple). From the historical perspective of Ezekiel’s audience (as well as that of Jeremiah and Daniel), the whole of the book was certainly to be understood literally (historically) as corresponding promises of the nation’s punishment and pardon. Just as the first was realized in their day, so the second would also be realized in a future day.

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 A. W. Tozer. He said, “Christians are never to be caught unawares. They are never to put on their smoking jacket or the lounging robe while it is dark and the call of the trumpet is expected. The only safety for anyone is the blood. While the call of God may come at any minute to take us out of this Egypt we call the world, you and I cannot afford to be careless. Instead of letting the cross keep us always on the alert and ready to go, we have painted the cross and reshaped it, and geared it in with the better element of the world. The people of God are asleep doing their little labors, while we wait for the call of the trumpet that will take us out of this world. Oh, that we might again have that sense of immediacy and urgency that was upon the early church!”

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 Warns of Attack on Hamas in Gaza (Second Coming Watch Update #908)

This is Daniel Whyte III with the Second Coming Watch Update. This is update #908. 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 Breaking Israel News, Israel’s Defense Minister Naftali Bennett revealed that the Prime Minister has agreed to a surprise attack in Gaza that “none of our enemies will expect.” He revealed that he spoiled the surprise to let Hamas avoid it from happening. However, he did add that it will happen “soon.” Bennett also said that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi are preparing a “meaningful move” that will only take place “on our terms and in our time.” He said, “I want to do it on our terms. You want to be effective with a very cruel enemy such as Hamas. You don’t want them to lead you into their game.”

Second, today, under the Sign category of PESTILENCES & FATAL EPIDEMIC DISEASES — According to The Daily Star, A mysterious and horrifying deadly illness killing villagers in Ethiopia could be the dreaded “Disease X”, a concept coined by the World Health Organisation to describe a new unknown pathogen with the potential to cause an epidemic. The gruesome sickness, informally dubbed “bleeding eye fever”, has a higher mortality rate than the plague and has mystified medical professionals for the past couple of years. The Guardian reports one 23-year-old victim first experienced his eyes and palms turning yellow, before he began bleeding from his nose and mouth and his body swelled up. He later died after collapsing with fever. Many of his neighbours suffered the same symptoms and some died. People who report the horrific symptoms are often treated for a short time in hospital, before being discharged and told nothing more can be done. There have been at least 2,000 deaths from the mystery illness since 2014.

Third, today, under the Sign category of TURMOIL IN THE MIDDLE EAST — According to SpaceWar.com, Iran’s UN ambassador in Vienna said Tehran has no obligation to grant the UN’s nuclear watchdog access to sites in Iran when it deems the requests are based on “fabricated information”. It comes a day after a report from the International Atomic Energy Agency reprimanded Iran for refusing access to two sites which diplomats believe could be connected to the country’s historic nuclear activity. Israel has claimed that a trove of information obtained by its intelligence services contains new information on a previous nuclear weapons programme in Iran. The two sites that the IAEA was denied access to were among three locations that the agency had been raising questions over since the middle of last year.

Fourth, today, under the Sign category of PESTILENCES & FATAL EPIDEMIC DISEASES — According to The Jerusalem Post, Israeli Science and Technology Minister Ofir Akunis said scientists are on the cusp of developing the first vaccine against the novel coronavirus. If all goes as planned, the vaccine could be ready within a few weeks and available in 90 days. For the past four years, a team of scientists at The Galilee Research Institute has been developing a vaccine against infectious bronchitis virus, which causes a bronchial disease affecting poultry. The effectiveness of the vaccine has been proven in preclinical trials carried out at the Veterinary Institute.

Fifth, today, under the Sign category of THE RISE OF GOG & MAGOG AND THE KINGS OF THE EAST — According to SpaceDaily.com, two officials in charge of the US Department of Defence program told reporters the United States finds itself behind both Russia and China after the two countries transitioned from hypersonic technologies to working weapon systems, something the Pentagon has yet to accomplish. Mike White, assistant director for hypersonics, said, “In past decades we have been world leaders in hypersonic technology, but we have consistently made the decision to not transition that to weapon applications and build weapons systems out of hypersonic technologies. The Russians and the Chinese quite frankly have both done that. And they have done [that] quite a number of years ago.” Mark Lewis attributed Russia’s success to its Soviet-era legacy, while China, according to him, made “huge investments” and used American studies published since the 1940s.

——–

The prophetic passage of Scripture that we are looking at today is Ezekiel 1:1-3. It reads: “Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I was among the captives by the river of Chebar [KEY-BAR], that the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God. In the fifth day of the month, which was the fifth year of king Jehoiachin’s [JEH-HOY-AH-KIN] captivity, The word of the Lord came expressly unto Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi [BU-ZEE], in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar [KEY-BAR]; and the hand of the Lord was there upon him.”

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.

Furthermore, such interpretation does violence to the literary symmetry of Ezekiel’s prophecies by making the description of restoration figurative and spiritual. Such could scarcely have been the hope of the Jewish exiles in Babylon, as the prayer of Daniel (a contemporary exile with Ezekiel) for a literal restoration of Jerusalem and a rebuilding of the temple reveals. Daniel’s prayer, in turn, was based on his understanding of the prophecy of Jeremiah (another exile), whose statements of geography and chronology had to be interpreted literally in order to be the ground of Israel’s hope and Daniel’s petition for 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 A. W. Tozer. He said, “I think we must note that there is a vast difference between the doctrine of Christ’s coming and the hope of His coming. It surely is possible to hold the doctrine without feeling a trace of the blessed hope. Indeed, there are multitudes of Christians today who hold the doctrine. What I have tried to center on here is that overwhelming sense of anticipation that lifts the life upward to a new plane and fills the heart with rapturous optimism. This is largely lacking among us now.”

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.

Escalating Fighting in Syria Could Lead to ‘Bloodbath’ (Second Coming Watch Update #907)

This is Daniel Whyte III with the Second Coming Watch Update. This is update #907. 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 Al Jazeera, The United Nations warned that escalating fighting in northwest Syria could end in a “bloodbath” as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan phoned Russia’s leader to discuss the quickly deteriorating situation. The Kremlin said Russian President Vladimir Putin and Erdogan agreed to intensify talks on Syria’s Idlib region to reduce tensions and implement a ceasefire. Putin told Erdogan he was “seriously concerned” by the “aggressive actions” of rebels in Idlib. Idlib is the final stronghold of rebels fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government during a nine-year war that has killed hundreds of thousands of people and displaced millions.

Second, today, under the Sign category of PESTILENCES & FATAL EPIDEMIC DISEASES — According to BBC, Saudi Arabia has temporarily halted the entry of pilgrims entering the country to visit holy sites, in an attempt to slow the spread of coronavirus. The Saudi government said it would suspend visas for Muslims seeking to visit Mecca and Medina. Millions of Muslims make the journey each year, especially during the month of Ramadan, which starts in April. Saudi Arabia has also suspended visas for tourists from countries with confirmed cases of the virus. It is not clear when the visa restrictions will be lifted or how Ramadan and the major Hajj pilgrimage will be affected.

Third, today, under the Sign category of TURMOIL IN THE MIDDLE EAST — According to The Jerusalem Post, Incoming rocket sirens continued to wail after Palestinian Islamic Jihad announced it would stop firing rockets toward Israel. More than 100 rockets were fired by PIJ on Monday during several barrages from the Gaza Strip toward southern Israel in a second day of violence with the Iranian-backed terrorist group. Nevertheless, an Israeli security official said Jerusalem has received “messages from various ranks within the PIJ regarding a desire for an immediate ceasefire,” but Israel was skeptical of the claims and only would believe actions on the ground rather than words. The official said, “The IDF will continue to act until quiet is restored to the south.”

Fourth, today, under the Sign category of WARS & RUMOURS OF WARS — According to Israel National News, The world powers that remain party to the nuclear deal with Iran expressed ‘serious concerns’ about Tehran’s violations of the pact, while acknowledging that time was running out to find a way to salvage it. Wang Qun, Chinese ambassador to the United Nations in Vienna, told reporters after talks in Vienna between the parties to the deal, including Iran, that they are ‘racing against time to work out a specific solution so as to safeguard’ the 2015 agreement. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, as the deal is known, promises Iran economic incentives in return for curbs on its nuclear program, with the goal of preventing Iran from developing a bomb. However, Iran has gradually scaled back its compliance with the 2015 deal in response to the US’ withdrawal from the agreement in May of 2018. In one of the moves, the Islamic Republic restarted uranium enrichment at the underground Fordow facility in violation of the deal.

Fifth, today, under the Sign category of RE-ESTABLISHMENT OF ISRAEL — According to Breaking Israel News, recently, scientists have been shocked to discover that the sinkholes appearing around the Dead Sea are quickly filling up with fish and other forms of life previously unseen in the inhospitable region. Now, another rare life form has been witnessed across the northern shoreline of the Dead Sea – colorful floral landscapes. Thanks to Israel’s record rains, the breathtaking flower trails have sprouted from the cliffs to the shoreline of the Northern Dead Sea area. The existence of fish in the Dead Sea, a reality that seems to contradict the laws of nature, has been explained by science and Biblical prophecy as written in Ezekiel 47:8-9.

——–

The prophetic passage of Scripture that we are looking at today is Ezekiel 1:1-3. It reads: “Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I was among the captives by the river of Chebar [KEY-BAR], that the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God. In the fifth day of the month, which was the fifth year of king Jehoiachin’s [JEH-HOY-AH-KIN] captivity, The word of the Lord came expressly unto Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi [BU-ZEE], in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar [KEY-BAR]; and the hand of the Lord was there upon him.”

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 national and spiritual restoration envisioned by Ezekiel did not occur literally with the post exilic community. The returned Jewish remnant did not even attempt to implement Ezekiel’s detailed plan for a new temple when they constructed the second temple. Therefore, critical scholars argue that a literal fulfillment was never expected. Rather, they say Ezekiel’s “prophetic” language was hyperbolic or exaggerated speech, common to the apocalyptic genre whose imagery served to create an inspirational fiction. Christian scholars accepting these prophecies of Ezekiel as apocalyptic (or as symbolic) have traditionally read Ezekiel’s prophecy of restoration (in chapters 40-48) in light of John’s vision of the church in the New Jerusalem, claiming that just as the vision of the heavenly Jerusalem is largely symbolic, so is the vision of the earthly Jerusalem given in these chapters. However, Ezekiel complained that a symbolic understanding of his prophecies was the problem of the unbelieving constituency of his audience: “Then I said, ‘Ah, Lord God! They are saying of me, “Is he not just speaking in parables”‘”. Ezekiel himself gives the reader every impression that he expected a literal fulfillment of his prophecies.

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 A. W. Tozer. He said, “This is the kind of age and hour when the Lord’s people should be so alert to the hope and promise of His coming that they should get up every morning just like a child on Christmas morning—eager and believing that it should be today!”

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.

Locust Plague Spreads Across East Africa (Second Coming Watch Update #906)

This is Daniel Whyte III with the Second Coming Watch Update. This is update #906. 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 Guardian, Swarms of locusts ravaging crops and grazing land across east Africa have reached South Sudan, already reeling from widespread hunger and years of civil war. Kenya, Somalia, Eritrea and Djibouti [JI-BOO-TEE] are battling the worst locust outbreak in decades, and swarms have also spread into Tanzania and Uganda. Desert locusts can travel up to 95 miles in a day and eat their own body weight in greenery, meaning a swarm just one kilometre square can eat as much food as 35,000 people in a day. The invasion is worsening food shortages in a region where up to 25 million people are suffering after three consecutive years of droughts and floods.

Second, today, under the Sign category of WARS & RUMOURS OF WARS — According to The Jerusalem Post, Iran’s Amir Ali Hajizadeh [HAH-JIH-ZAH-DAY], commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’s elite Aerospace force, has said that the region must unite to expel “Zionists” and Americans. In what have been daily statements by Iran’s leadership, the regime is claiming it will destroy Israel and get the US to leave Iraq and Syria. Hajizadeh [HAH-JIH-ZAH-DAY] was speaking to pro-Houthi media in Yemen, which means that his comments were also directed at Saudi Arabia. Iran has sent technology – such as cruise missiles, drones and ballistic missiles – to the Houthis to aid their fight against Riyadh. Hajizadeh’s [HAH-JIH-ZAH-DAY’s] comments matter because his units are involved with missiles, drones and air defense, and have been involved in attacks on US forces using ballistic missiles and the exporting of Iran’s technology that can target Israel.

Third, today, under the Sign category of MOVEMENT TOWARD A ONE-WORLD RELIGION — According to Breaking Israel News, At an address to Vatican diplomats last month, Pope Francis announced that the Vatican will be hosting a global event titled, “Reinventing the Global Compact on Education.” The Pope said when he first proposed the summit, “A global educational pact is needed to educate us in universal solidarity and a new humanism.” The education initiative is a continuation of the Pope’s global vision as laid out in his Document on the Human Brotherhood for World Peace and Common Living Together signed by Pope Francis and Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayeb, Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, in February 2019 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Fourth, today, under the Sign category of THE RISE OF GOG AND MAGOG — According to SpaceWar.com, The Russian capital’s air and missile defence system is one of the most sophisticated in the world, and includes a dense layer of anti-aircraft missile launchers, interceptor systems, and a unique tetrahedral truncated pyramid radio-radar station so powerful it can detect space debris. Missile defence forces commander Maj. Gen. Sergei Grabchuk [SER-GEY GRAB-CHUK] has revealed in the event of an enemy attack, Moscow’s air defences would intercept and destroy enemy missile targets in the space of less than a minute. The officer explained that, in the first place, Russia’s global missile launch detection network would calculate enemy missiles’ projected targets, taking account of warheads and potential dummy warheads. When all is said and done, Grabchuk [GRAB-CHUK] noted, “the missile defence battle is short-lived, and can last less than a minute.”

Fifth, today, under the Sign category of PESTILENCES & FATAL EPIDEMIC DISEASES — According to New York Post, the director of the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention said coronavirus can be spread through people who aren’t exhibiting symptoms of the illness, Dr. Robert Redfield confirmed reports out of China that the virus can spread when the person is still asymptomatic. Redfield said, “There’s been good communication with our colleagues to confirm asymptomatic infection, to confirm asymptomatic transmission, to be able to get a better handle on the clinical spectrum of illness in China.” Redfield said it’s not known how much the asymptomatic cases are contributing to the spread of the virus — which has sickened more than 60,000 people worldwide — but the discovery is concerning.

——–

The prophetic passage of Scripture that we are looking at today is Ezekiel. Ezekiel 1:1-3 reads: “Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I was among the captives by the river of Chebar [KEY-BAR], that the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God. In the fifth day of the month, which was the fifth year of king Jehoiachin’s [JEH-HOY-AH-KIN] captivity, The word of the Lord came expressly unto Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi [BU-ZEE], in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar [KEY-BAR]; and the hand of the Lord was there upon him.”

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 both divisions of Ezekiel, the Jerusalem temple figures prominently as the sign of God’s relationship with national Israel. Therefore the first division, which deals with the Lord’s judgment on Israel, is displayed in terms of the nation’s desecration of the temple and its destruction by foreign nations under the terms of discipline announced in the Mosaic Covenant. The second division deals with the reversal of the condition of exile and foreign domination of the land imposed as the result of the discipline. Return to the land with the ultimate restoration of national sovereignty and national spiritual rebirth is the promised blessing of the New Covenant, whose conclusive sign is the rebuilding of a temple to which God’s own presence has been restored.

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 A. W. Tozer. He said, “The crux of the whole matter is this: our wonderful, created world will be restored to its rightful Owner. I for one look forward to that day. I want to live here when Jesus Christ owns and rules the world. Until that hour, there will be conflict, distress and war among the nations. We will hear of suffering and terror and fear and failure. But the God who has promised a better world is the God who cannot lie. He will shake loose Satan’s hold on this world and its society and systems. Our heavenly Father will put this world into the hands that were once nailed to a cross for our race of proud and alienated sinners. It is a fact. Jesus Christ is returning to earth.”

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.

PODCAST: Iran Looking for Excuse to Attack Israel (Second Coming Watch Update #905 with Daniel Whyte III)

This is Daniel Whyte III with the Second Coming Watch Update. This is update #905. 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 AND RUMOURS OF WARS — According to The Times of Israel, A former leader of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards has warned that Iran is just looking for an excuse to attack Israel and ‘raze Tel Aviv to the ground,’ blaming Israel for allegedly helping the US kill top commander Qassem Soleimani [KAH-SEM SO-LEH-MAH-NEE]. Speaking to Lebanon’s Hezbollah-affiliated al-Mayadeen [MA-YA-DEEN] TV station on Saturday, Mohsen Rezaei [MOH-SEN RE-ZA-EE] was asked if Iran would carry out its previous threats to attack Israel in the event of a war with the US. Rezaei [RE-ZA-EE] said: “You should have no doubt about this. We would raze Tel Aviv to the ground for sure. We have been looking for such a pretext. If they (the US) do something, we can use it as a pretext to attack Israel, because Israel played a role in the martyrdom of General Soleimani [SO-LEH-MAH-NEE]. We were waiting for the Americans to give us a pretext to strike Tel Aviv, just like we attacked Ayn Al-Assad [AYN AL-AH-SAHD].” Rezaei [RE-ZA-EE] also said Iran was extensively monitoring US troops and shipping in the Middle East and could easily target them in a conflict. “Naturally, we have precise information. All the American bases are under our surveillance now. All the American aircraft carriers are under our control. We know the number of American ships in the Indian Ocean and the Sea of Oman, and where they are in the Persian Gulf, and what they have in Qatar and Bahrain, and [we know about] their activity in Iraq.” He said Iran even tracked individual US soldiers, and had information on hotels they stayed at, who their friends were and even “where they get their meat and food.” Rezaei [RE-ZA-EE] said: “Our information is very precise. We bombed the Ayn Al-Assad [AYN AL-AH-SAHD] base on the basis of detailed calculations. We knew that it was a very important site for the Americans that we had to strike.”

Second, today, under the Sign category of THE RISE OF GOG AND MAGOG — According to The Associated Press, Iraq and Russia discussed prospects for deepening military coordination amid a strain in Baghdad-Washington relations after a U.S. airstrike killed a top Iranian general inside Iraq. The ministry statement followed a meeting in Baghdad between Iraqi army chief of staff Lt. Gen. Othman Al-Ghanimi [OTH-MAN AL-GA-NEE-MEE] and Russian Ambassador Maksim Maksimov [MAK-SIM MAK-SI-MOV], as well as a newly arrived defense attache. The meeting comes during an uncertain moment in the future of Iraq-U.S. military relations, following the Jan. 3 U .S. drone strike that killed Iran’s most powerful military commander, Gen. Qassem Soleimani [KAH-SEM SO-LEH-MAH-NEE], and Iraqi senior militia leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis [AH-BUU MAH-DEE AL-MUU-HAHN-DEEZ] near a Baghdad airport. The attack prompted powerful Shiite parties to call for an overhaul of the existing strategic set-up between Iraq and the U.S.-led coalition. According to the ministry statement, Al-Ghanimi [AL-GA-NEE-MEE] praised Moscow’s role in the battle against the Islamic State group, saying they had provided “our armed forces with advanced and effective equipment and weapons that had a major role in resolving many battles”. The statement said the sides discussed prospects for “cooperation and coordination.” Both parties emphasized the importance of exchanging information and coordination to prevent the resurgence of IS. The statement said Maksimov [MAK-SI-MOV] extended an invitation to al-Ghanimi [AL-GA-NEE-MEE] to visit Russia and meet with his counterpart “within the framework of strengthening cooperation between the two sides.”

Third, today, under the Sign category of PESTILENCES AND FATAL EPIDEMIC DISEASES — According to Reuters, the head of the World Health Organization said China’s coronavirus outbreak poses a “very grave threat for the rest of the world” and should be viewed as “Public Enemy Number 1”. WHO director-general Tedros [TEH-DROSE] urged countries to step up measures to detect and contain the virus, especially in at least 30 countries with weaker health systems, where it could “create havoc”. The virus has been named COVID-19, for coronavirus disease 2019, with no geographical association. Tedros [TEH-DROSE], referring to some governments’ counter-terrorism measures, said: “To be honest, a virus is more powerful in creating political, economic and social upheaval than any terrorist attack. A virus can have more powerful consequences than any terrorist action. If the world doesn’t want to wake up and consider this enemy virus as Public Enemy number 1, I don’t think we will learn from our lessons”. Tedros [TEH-DROSE] said, China has reported 42,708 confirmed confirmed cases, including 1,017 deaths, noting that there were fewer than 400 cases in 24 other countries with one death. WHO began a two-day meeting, where it appealed for sharing virus samples and speeding up research into drugs and vaccines.

Fourth, today, under the Sign category of TURMOIL IN THE MIDDLE EAST — According to Israel National News, The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit confirmed that three rockets were fired from Gaza towards Israeli territory after Red Color sirens were sounded shortly after midnight, in Netivot [NET-EH-VOH] and in other communities near the Gaza border. The rockets exploded in open areas. There were no reports of damages, but two people suffered light injuries after falling while making their way to a protected space. They were treated at the scene. Over the last week, there has been an uptick in the number of rocket and incendiary balloon attacks from Gaza on southern Israel. In retaliation, IDF fighter jets and helicopters attacked several Hamas terrorist targets in the northern Gaza Strip, including a structure which serves as a military war room.

Fifth, today, under the Sign category of HOSTILITY TOWARD ISRAEL — According to Arab News, Despite the inclement weather in Jerusalem, for the second week in a row tens of thousands of Palestinians came out for pre-dawn prayers at Al-Aqsa Mosque, Islam’s third holiest site, and remained at the site until noon prayers. Arab Israeli citizens said police turned their buses away to prevent them from reaching Jerusalem’s holy places. Palestinians have been protesting the Israeli security forces’ heavy-handed tactics in putting down Palestinian protests against the US/Israeli peace plan that was announced at the White House on Jan. 28. Four Palestinians, including one policeman, have been killed since Wednesday — three in the northern West Bank city of Jenin and one in Jerusalem. Talal Abu Afifeh [TAH-LAL AH-BU AH-FEE-FEH], head of the Jerusalem Intellectual Forum from the Shufat refugee camp in Jerusalem, told Arab News: “People came out to pray at the mosque and to declare their opposition to the American/Israeli plan. There are protests throughout the occupied territories against this plan that is aimed at liquidating the Palestinian cause, denying our rights and encroaching on our religious holy sites.” Pro-Netanyahu daily Israel Today called on Israeli security forces to “deal with firmness yet with wisdom” against Palestinian demonstrators and to avoid collective punishment “in order to prevent another Palestinian Intifada from taking place.”

——–

The prophetic passage of Scripture that we are looking at today is Ezekiel. Ezekiel 1:1-3 reads: “Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I was among the captives by the river of Chebar [KEY-BAR], that the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God. In the fifth day of the month, which was the fifth year of king Jehoiachin’s [JEH-HOY-AH-KIN] captivity, The word of the Lord came expressly unto Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi [BU-ZEE], in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar [KEY-BAR]; and the hand of the Lord was there upon him.”

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 second division (chapters 33-48) contains more distant predictions of Israel’s restoration in the end time and is therefore eschatological. These prophecies concern predictions of national Israel’s return, regathering, rebirth, and restoration (chapters 33-39). In this section Ezekiel observes the problem of Israel’s “false shepherds” and predicts the advent of the True Shepherd who will establish the New Covenant (chapter 34). Having laid this spiritual foundation, the prophet predicts the rebirth of the nation (chapters 35-36), its national regeneration, and its reunion in the millennial kingdom. This is punctuated with the prophecy of divine victory over the foreign armies in Gog’s invasion of Israel (chapters 38-39). The temple is the subject of chapters 40-48, which present the design and function of the messianic temple and the revival of the sacrificial service (chapters 40-48). These chapters provide the necessary climax to the prophecy of Israel’s final restoration because only the rebuilding of the messianic temple could sustain Israel’s spiritual relationship under the New Covenant and fulfill its national destiny to be a kingdom of priests.

In both divisions of Ezekiel, the Jerusalem temple figures prominently as the sign of God’s relationship with national Israel. Therefore the first division, which deals with the Lord’s judgment on Israel, is displayed in terms of the nation’s desecration of the temple and its destruction by foreign nations under the terms of discipline announced in the Mosaic Covenant. The second division deals with the reversal of the condition of exile and foreign domination of the land imposed as the result of the discipline. Return to the land with the ultimate restoration of national sovereignty and national spiritual rebirth is the promised blessing of the New Covenant, whose conclusive sign is the rebuilding of a temple to which God’s own presence has been restored.

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 A. W. Tozer. He said, “For many there is no emotional yearning for the return of Jesus. The best hope they know is a kind of intellectual, theological hope. But an intellectual knowledge of what the New Testament teaches about the return of Christ is surely a poor substitute for a love-inflamed desire to look on His 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.