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 DISTRESS AMONG NATIONS — According to Reuters, Russia’s top general said on Friday that a strong nuclear arsenal will ensure military superiority over the West as Moscow forges ahead with a multi-billion dollar plan to modernize its forces by 2020. Despite the country’s deep economic woes, he said the Russian military would receive more than 50 new intercontinental nuclear missiles this year. The general said, ‘Support for our strategic nuclear forces to ensure their high military capability combined with the growth of the military potential of the general forces will assure that the United States and NATO do not gain military superiority over our country.’
Second, today, under the Sign category of WARS & RUMORS OF WARS — According to Voice of America News, at least 12 people have died in eastern Ukraine within the past day, in clashes between Ukrainian troops and pro-Russia separatists. Local officials said at least seven civilians were among the victims of Friday’s violence, the latest in a month of clashes after a cease-fire ruptured at the beginning of the year. The latest battles have centered on a strategic rail junction connecting the regional centers of the separatist-held provinces of Luhansk and Donetsk. Shelling also took place in the city of Donetsk, injuring at least 23 people.
Third, today, under the Sign category of DISTRESS AMONG NATIONS — According to Russia Today news, the Pentagon has expressed deep concern about the U.S. eventually losing its military technological superiority over rivals such as China and Russia, and is urging NATO states to develop innovative weapons in close cooperation to optimize military spending. Pentagon arms buyer Frank Kendall told a House Armed Services Committee hearing, “I am very concerned about the increasing risk of loss of U.S. military technological superiority. We’re at risk and the situation is getting worse.” He specified that his concerns lay with the heavy investments into weapons design being done by China and Russia, noting that some of these investments were targeting “critical” US military capabilities.
Fourth, today, under the Sign category of THE TURMOIL IN ISRAEL & THE MIDDLE EAST — According to Bloomberg News, Hezbollah has warned that it may carry out further attacks on Israel in retaliation for an airstrike that killed six of its fighters, saying it’s not seeking a wider war but is ready for one. In a speech to supporters, the head of the group said, ‘The assassinations have led to adverse consequences and will lead to more adverse consequences. There’s a difference between the casualties suffered by the two sides, and we’ll see how we’re going to deal with it.” He added that while Hezbollah doesn’t want war with Israel, “we don’t fear it.”
Fifth, today, under the Sign category of WARS & RUMORS OF WARS — According to CNN, ISIS militants have attacked Kirkuk in northern Iraq, an effort that might be an earnest attempt to capture the key oil-rich city or perhaps to divert Kurdish troops fighting to capture the Islamist extremist group’s stronghold of Mosul. For months, ISIS has been facing off with Kurdish fighters to the west of Kirkuk. It had gone into areas on Kirkuk’s outskirts, but not the central city until now. Kirkuk is a strategically important city; it is one of the few notable cities in northern Iraq that have not fallen to ISIS. Part of its significance stems from the fact its oil reserves are almost as much as those in southern Iraq. The Kurds and the central Iraqi government in Baghdad have long wrangled over control of those reserves, with each side wanting to keep hold of them. ISIS, which relies heavily on revenue from oil smuggling to fund its operations, has been coveting them, too.
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 23:23-25 which reads: “And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation. Ye shall do no servile work therein: but ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord.”
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 Feast of Trumpets is the initial holy day of the three festivals of Israel’s fall cycle. Each of the three festivals occurs successively within the seventh month, Tishri. The Feast of Trumpets is the seventh and most solemn new moon observance of the year (seven being the biblical number of perfection).
Moses reveals very little about this day, with neither Leviticus nor Numbers providing even a complete name or motivating reason for this day. Unlike most of the Jewish festivals, the Feast of Trumpets is not biblically linked to any historical deliverance or agricultural occasion. It was a one-day celebration, to be observed as a Sabbath, on which tabernacle offerings were presented by the priests and no labor was to be carried out among the people. The word trumpets itself must be supplied by the context, as it does not even appear within the original Hebrew text, which merely has a phrase that translates to “a memorial of blowing.”
As to what the memorial was to commemorate, the text is similarly silent. God’s silence in this matter, however, proved motivational to the ancient rabbis, who wasted no time before assigning various meanings to this biblical mystery. They called this holiday, “the Day of Judgment” and “the Day of Remembrance,” creatively recognizing the day as the anniversary of the world’s creation, on which God annually judges His people for their sin and inscribes their fate for the impending year.
Annually, at the outset of the ten-day period of divine judgment bracketed by the two holy days, the Feast of Trumpets and the Day of Atonement, known collectively as the “Days of Awe,” three scrolls (or books) are opened in the heavenly courts. One scroll is designated for the completely righteous, who are inscribed in the “book of life.” Another scroll is designated for the thoroughly reprobate, who are immediately recorded in the “book of death.” And a third scroll is designated for the temporary inscription of the names of the vast majority of Jews, those somewhere in between the states of thoroughly righteous and reprobate.
As to the trumpet itself, the shofar (ram’s horn) retains great significance within Jewish theology and practice. The shofar is the only biblical musical instrument still utilized within the Jewish synagogue worship service. Today the shofar is blown every day for 30 days in preparation for the Feast of Trumpets. On the day itself, a total of 100 blasts are blown on the shofar. The final, dramatic series of blasts blown during the service, urgently calling the congregation, one final time, to repentance, is called the “great trumpet.” The theme of the festival could be summarized as “repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand.”
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 Stephen Travis. He said, “The Christian hope is not a matter for tickling our minds, but for changing our minds and influencing society.”
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.