LISTEN: War rages in Ukraine as peace talks fail; Hagel: Ground troops may be sent to Iraq (Second Coming Watch Sunday Roundup #53)

This is the Second Coming Watch Sunday Roundup for February 1, 2015. On the Roundup we feature the top 10 prophecy-related news stories that happened this past week which point towards the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ and the end of the world as we know it.

1. According to ­Reuters, thirteen Ukrainian soldiers and at least seven civilians have been killed in fighting in the past 24 hours, as Kiev authorities reported widespread clashes with Russian-backed separatists a day after peace talks collapsed. Kiev’s military spokesman said, “Fighting continues across all sections of the frontline.” The civilian and military death toll has mounted in the past two weeks after rebels launched a new offensive. Hopes of de-escalation evaporated on Saturday with Ukraine’s representative and separatist envoys accusing the other of sabotaging negotiations.

2. According to Reuters, Outgoing Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said in an interview on Friday that the United States might eventually need to send non-combat ground troops to Iraq to help turn back Islamic State forces. Hagel, who announced his resignation under pressure in November, told CNN all options must be considered in Iraq, including sending troops for non-combat roles such as gathering intelligence and locating Islamic State targets. He said, “I think it may require a forward deployment of some of our troops… I would say we’re not there yet. Whether we get there or not, I don’t know.”

3. According to the Associated Press, the Islamic State group has acknowledged for the first time that its fighters have been defeated in the Syrian town of Kobani and vowed to attack the town again. In a video released by the pro-ISIS Aamaq News Agency, two fighters said the airstrikes by the U.S.-led coalition were the main reason why ISIS fighters were forced to withdraw from Kobani. One fighter vowed to defeat the main Kurdish militia in Syria, the People’s Protection Units known as the YPG. On Monday, activists and Kurdish officials said the town was almost cleared of ISIS fighters, who once held nearly half of Kobani.

4. According to the BBC, in his first remarks since a deadly attack in the Sinai region, Egypt’s president has said that the country faces a long and difficult battle with militants. Abdul Fatah al-Sisi spoke a day after a group linked to the Islamic State said it killed at least 32 soldiers and police. In comments broadcast on state TV, Sisi said, “This battle will be difficult, strong, evil and will take a long time.” He cut short a visit to an African Union summit to return to Egypt in the wake of the Sinai attack.

5. According to The Times of Israel, Israel’s air force commander gave an apparently unintended insight into his priorities and preoccupations, when he remarked during comments about the defense budget that Israel might need to send its attack planes to Tehran at very short notice. Speaking about the imperative for the government to allocate additional funding to the armed forces, Israel Air Force chief Major-General Amir Eshel declared that “there’s no one in this room who’d be prepared to ride in a car as old as our planes. I’m telling you, no-one. Yesterday these planes were in Gaza, and tomorrow we may send them to Tehran.” The remarks were not delivered in the tone of a threat, but rather as a statement about a possible mission that would require up-to-date equipment.

6. According to Reuters, Islamist insurgents attacked the outskirts of northeast Nigeria’s main city Maiduguri on Sunday, engaging in a gun battle with soldiers that killed at least eight people. Militant group Boko Haram has killed thousands since it launched its revolt in Maiduguri five years ago and wants the city to become the capital of a separate Islamist state. Idris Abubakar, a resident of Polo on the western outskirts of the city said, “There is heavy gunfire going on. Everybody is panicking and trying to flee the area.” Growing violence by the insurgents is a major headache for President Goodluck Jonathan who faces elections on Feb. 14 that analysts say are too close to call.

7. According to Politico, President Barack Obama on Saturday denounced the “barbaric” beheading of Japanese journalist Kenji Goto by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. In a White House statement, the president condemned the video, released Saturday, which reportedly shows Goto’s death at the hands of an ISIL militant, as “heinous.” Obama said in the statement that through his coverage of the conflict in the Middle East, Goto “courageously sought to convey the plight of the Syrian people to the outside world.” He added,” Standing together with a broad coalition of allies and partners, the United States will continue taking decisive action to degrade and ultimately destroy ISIL.”

8. According to the Jerusalem Post, The head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari, told reporters in Tehran that Hezbollah’s attack against Israel last week was the minimum response to its previous air strike in Syria and that from now on Zionists should not feel safe anywhere in the world. Commenting on the Iranian-backed Hezbollah’s rocket attack that killed two Israeli soldiers, Jafari said, “we hope that this response will be a lesson for them not to do such wrong deeds anymore.” He added, “If Hezbollah cells decide to give a response to the Zionists’ recent move, they (the Israelis) should wait for more crushing and stronger responses not only alongside their borders but in every part of the world that an Israeli Zionist or their supporters are present.”

9. According to Reuters, Chadian forces have killed 120 militants from Boko Haram in a battle in the north of neighbouring Cameroon that began when the insurgents attacked its troops. Three Chadian soldiers were killed. Boko Haram has recently launched cross-border attacks from Nigeria into Cameroon and Chad as part of its five-year drive for an Islamist state in the northeast of Nigeria. Chad and Cameroon have stepped up troop deployments to fight the militants and on Saturday Chad’s army said it bombarded Boko Haram militants.

10. According to AFP, the Washington Post has reported that the CIA and Israel’s spy agency Mossad were behind an elaborate plot to kill Hezbollah commander Imad Mughniyeh in a 2008 car bomb attack in Syria. Citing former intelligence officials, the newspaper reported that US and Israeli spy agencies worked together to target Mughniyeh on February 12, 2008 as he left a restaurant in the Syrian capital Damascus. He was killed instantly by a car bomb planted in a spare tire on the back of a parked car, which exploded shrapnel in a tight radius. The bomb, built by the United States and tested in the state of North Carolina, was triggered remotely by Mossad agents in Tel Aviv who were in communication with Central Intelligence Agency operatives on the ground in Damascus.

The Bible says in Revelation 12:7-9: “And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.”

Our Second Coming quote for today is from Matthew Henry. He said: “Christ will come when he pleases, to show his sovereignty, and will not let us know when, to teach us our duty.”

You can read these stories in more detail and get more prophecy-related news at SecondComingHerald.com.

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.”

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