LISTEN: 4,000 U.S. ground troops headed to Kuwait; Will Ukraine ceasefire hold? (Second Coming Watch Sunday Roundup #55)

This is the Second Coming Watch Sunday Roundup for February 15, 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 the Associated Press, More than 4,000 US soldiers based at Fort Carson, Colorado, are heading to Kuwait, where they will take over as one of America’s largest ground forces in the region after President Barack Obama asked Congress to authorise military action against Islamic State militants. Obama ruled out large-scale US ground combat operations similar to those in Iraq and Afghanistan, but he asked for the option to use military force against Islamic State fighters for three years. The unit headed to Kuwait is Fort Carson’s heaviest force, armed with tanks and Bradley Fighting Vehicles. Many of its soldiers are veterans of one or more of the brigade’s previous combat tours in Iraq.

2. According to ­Reuters, Shelling suddenly stopped at midnight in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk after President Petro Poroshenko gave the order to government forces to halt firing in line with a ceasefire agreement reached last Thursday. Poroshenko, wearing the uniform of the armed forces supreme commander, said in a televised address in the capital Kiev that there was still “alarm” over the situation around Debaltseve, a key transport hub, where government forces are hard pressed by encircling Russian-backed separatists. And he warned that Ukraine, if it was slapped once, would not offer the other cheek.

3. According to Press Trust International, Islamic State fighters led a suicide attack on an air base where U.S. and coalition troops are training Iraqi forces after taking a nearby town, the first territorial gain by the militant group in months. Pentagon spokesman, Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby, said most of the Islamic State fighters died in the attack, killed either by Iraqi government forces or by detonating their suicide vests. An estimated 20-25 Islamic State militants were involved in the attack on al-Asad air base in Iraq’s Anbar province. No Iraqi or U.S. troops were killed or wounded and no U.S. troops were involved in the gunfight.

4. According to the Jerusalem Post, Israeli military officers believe that “it is only a matter of time” before the radical Islamic State jihadist organization attempts to “employ its significant military capabilities” against towns and cities that straddle the border with the Sinai Peninsula. Israel Radio on Friday quoted a senior officer serving in the IDF Engineering Corps as saying that the military spent the past year preparing for anticipated hostile actions from armed Islamist groups in Sinai.

5. According to the Associated Press, U.N. Security Council members are considering the first resolution on Yemen since a rebel takeover spun the Arab world’s poorest country into the danger of collapse. A draft resolution obtained by The Associated Press demands that Shiite Houthi rebels “immediately and unconditionally” withdraw forces from government institutions, release U.S.-backed President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi and his Cabinet from house arrest, and engage “in good faith” in U.N.-led peace talks. But the draft falls short of what the Arab countries of the Gulf Coordination Council would like. Alarmed and worried that Shiite powerhouse Iran is backing the rebels, the largely Sunni Muslim states of the council have demanded a resolution that condemns the Houthis and acts under Chapter 7 of the U.N. Charter, meaning it can be militarily enforced.

6. According to Reuters, Germany’s Foreign Minister warned Kiev, Moscow and separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine on Saturday of the “high price” of violating a ceasefire agreement as fighting intensified hours before its start. Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said he did not expect such an intense surge in violence following Thursday’s accord and urged all parties to obey its terms, which went into effect at midnight. Steinmeier said breaking the ceasefire pact would threaten European security as well as “the possibility of cooperation in international institutions including the Security Council.”

7. According to The New York Times, Iraqi soldiers and militants of the Islamic State group clashed again over the weekend in a western Iraqi town that has changed hands several times in skirmishes near a military base where American troops are training Iraqi soldiers. Hundreds of Islamic State fighters captured most of the town, Baghdadi, on Thursday, but by Friday evening Iraqi soldiers had retaken several government buildings. Then early Saturday, in what has become a familiar routine, the soldiers suddenly withdrew, all but handing the town back to the militants, according to local security officials.

8. According to CNN, An Iraqi tribal leader said Saturday that ISIS militants are gaining ground in Anbar province, and he predicted a “collapse within hours” of that province’s cities and towns if Iraqi forces withdraw. Sheikh Naim al-Gaoud, the Sunni leader of the Albu Mimr tribe, which was a U.S. ally in the mid-2000s, called for more U.S. intervention — including ground troops, arming tribes directly and pressuring the Iraqi government to give the tribes more firepower. While U.S. officials have said that ISIS, which calls itself the Islamic State, is on the defensive in Iraq and Syria, al-Gaoud says that’s definitely not the case where he is. He said, “In Anbar, we are losing ground, not gaining.”

9. According to the Associated Press, Yemeni security and military officials say fighting between Shiite rebels and Sunni tribesmen in the country’s south has left 26 dead. The rebels, known as Houthis, were supported by army troops when they fought the tribesmen in Bayda province in clashes that began the night earlier. The Houthis lost 16 fighters and the tribesmen lost 10. Tens of thousands marched in protest against the Houthis on Saturday in five cities including the capital Sanaa.

10. According to Reuters, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has responded to overtures from U.S. President Barack Obama amid nuclear talks by sending him a secret letter. Citing an Iranian diplomat, the paper said the Iranian cleric had written to Obama in recent weeks in response to a presidential letter sent in October. Obama’s letter suggested the possibility of U.S.-Iranian cooperation in fighting the Islamic State if a nuclear deal was secured. The diplomat was quoted as saying that Khamenei’s letter was “respectful” but noncommittal.

The Bible says in Matthew 24:36: “But of that day and hour knoweth no [man], no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.”

Our Second Coming quote for today is from Alexander Maclaren. He said: “The primitive church thought a great deal more about the coming of Christ than about death, and thought a great deal more about his coming than about heaven.”

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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