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 & RUMORS OF WARS — According to the Associated Press, Ukraine’s president courted European support on Wednesday against what he says are 9,000 Russian troops occupying 7 percent of his nation’s territory. Addressing the World Economic Forum in Davos, where he appealed for political and financial support, President Petro Po-ro-shen-ko held up a piece of a bullet-riddled bus as evidence of shelling last week by heavy artillery in “occupied” parts of Ukraine. He demanded that Russia close the border and withdraw all its “foreign troops” from Ukraine saying that his country’s intelligence has confirmed from independent sources that there are more than 9,000 Russian troops on its territory, including more than 500 tanks, heavy artillery and personnel carriers.
Second, today, under the Sign category of DISTRESS AMONG NATIONS — According to CNN, the Syria-based terror group ISIS is active and recruiting inside the Middle Eastern state of Yemen, already a hotbed of terrorist activity. The disturbing information comes from a Yemeni official, who told CNN on Wednesday that ISIS has a presence in at least three provinces in southern and central Yemen, and there is now a “real competition” between ISIS and the Yemen-based terror group al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
Third, today, under the Sign category of THE TURMOIL IN ISRAEL & THE MIDDLE EAST — According to Ynet News, the Israeli Defense Forces have sent armored personnel carriers and tanks to the northern front. It has also closed a section of highway close to its border with Lebanon and directed farmers to avoid fields by the border. A Lebanese television station also reported increased activity by the Israeli Air Force in northern towns and in southern Lebanon, near the border with Israel. The military moves follow this week’s airstrike against Hezbollah in Syria which killed six fighters as well as an Iranian general. Media outlets also reported that Iron Dome batteries were being deployed in the north.
Fourth, today, under the Sign category of WARS & RUMORS OF WARS — According to the Associated Press, Separatist forces deployed more arms and manpower on Wednesday to an emerging flashpoint in eastern Ukraine, undermining hopes for a new peace initiative taking shape. The events unfolded ahead of a meeting in Berlin of the foreign ministers of Ukraine, Russia, France and Germany aimed at laying the groundwork for a long-lasting settlement. In advance of the talks, the Russian Foreign Minister proposed that both sides in the conflict pull their heavy weapons back from a previously agreed-upon dividing line to help defuse hostilities.
Fifth, today, under the Sign category of DISTRESS AMONG NATIONS — According to The Times of Israel, Russia and Iran have signed an agreement to expand their military ties and resolve a long-standing dispute over the sale of a controversial air defense system to the Islamic Republic. The Russian Defense Minister said in Tehran that the new agreement includes expanded counter-terrorism cooperation, exchanges of military personnel for training purposes and an understanding for each country’s navy to more frequently use the other’s ports. The deal provides for joint exercises and military training, as well as “cooperation in peacekeeping, maintaining regional and international security and stability, and fighting against separatism and extremism.”
You can read these stories in more detail and get more prophecy-related news at SecondComingHerald.com.
The prophetic passage of Scripture we are looking at today is Leviticus 23:10-11 which reads: “Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye be come into the land which I give unto you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then ye shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest unto the priest: And he shall wave the sheaf before the Lord, to be accepted for you: on the morrow after the sabbath the priest shall wave it.”
Allow me to share with you some commentary on this passage from the Popular Bible Prophecy Commentary, edited by Tim LaHaye and Ed Hindson.
The first two of the seven main appointed times, Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread occur together in the spring.
The observance of the holy day of Firstfruits, the third of the seven main appointed times, was agricultural in nature. This feast was not to be observed during the wilderness wanderings, but was to commence only after Israel had settled into the land of promise. On this holy day, a sheaf of barley, the firstfruits of the barley harvest, was given to the priest to wave before the altar. The priest would then retain the sheaf for his personal enjoyment. In addition to the waving of the sheaf, a year-old, unblemished lamb was sacrificed for a burnt offering, and offerings were made of both grain and wine. The instructions for this day conclude with the prohibition on consumption of any produce of the barley harvest until the firstfruits sheaf had been presented before the Lord within the sanctuary.
There is a typological connection between Jesus and the day of Firstfruits that was fulfilled by Jesus’ resurrection. During the events of the gospels and Acts, the Jewish religious leaders known as the Sadducees were in control of temple worship. This means that their system of determining the Feast of Weeks date was probably in place at the time, meaning that both Jesus’ resurrection and the Pentecost events described in Acts 2 fell on Sundays, 50 days apart. Later, following the destruction of the temple in A.D. 70, the Jewish leaders known as Pharisees determined the Feast of Weeks date, using a methodology that differed from the one used by the Sadducees.
Specifically, if the Sadducees’ reckoning was the accepted practice in the year of Jesus’ crucifixion (universally accepted as falling between A.D. 29-33), then Jesus’ resurrection on Sunday, Nisan 17, would have corresponded with Israel’s observance of Firstfruits. If, however, the Pharisee’s reckoning held sway (and Josephus indicates that it did), then Jesus’ resurrection would have occurred on the day following Firstfruits. Since the initial day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread fell on Friday, Nisan 15, then, according to the Pharisees’ methodology, the offering of Firstfruits would have occurred on Saturday, Nisan 16, while Jesus was yet in His tomb.
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 R.A. Torrey. He said, “The imminent return of our Lord is the great Bible argument for a pure, unselfish, devoted, unworldly, active life of service.”
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. John 3:16 says, “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.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry which publishes a monthly magazine called The Torch Leader. He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica for over twenty-seven years. God has blessed their union with seven children. Find out more at www.danielwhyte3.com. Follow Daniel Whyte III on Twitter @prophetdaniel3 or on Facebook.