LISTEN: U.S. defense secretary holds summit on fight against ISIS (Second Coming Watch Update #596 with Daniel Whyte III)

Daniel Whyte III
Daniel Whyte III

This is Daniel Whyte III with the Second Coming Watch Update. This is update #596. 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, U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter convened an extraordinary war council on Monday on Iraq’s doorstep, six days after taking office, to discuss the nitty-gritty of the administration’s oft-criticized strategy for countering the Islamic State militant group and probe for gaps and weaknesses. The Army general commanding the war effort in Iraq and Syria, told reporters that the Islamic State’s fighters are “halted [and] on the defensive” in Iraq and facing a new counterattack by Iraqi forces in Anbar province to retake a town the militants seized earlier this month. Carter said he assembled an array of U.S. generals, diplomats and intelligence officials not just to hear the latest on battlefield progress but also to better understanding the intellectual underpinnings of the anti-ISIS strategy.

Second, today, under the Sign category of WARS & RUMORS OF WARS — According to the Associated Press, Egypt’s president said on Sunday that the need for a joint Arab military force is growing every day as the region faces the threat of Islamic militancy. President Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi said in an address to the nation that Egypt’s military has no interest in invading or attacking other nations, but will defend Egypt as well as the region “if required and in coordination with our Arab brothers.” The Egyptian leader said both Jordan and the United Arab Emirates have offered to dispatch military forces to aid Egypt following last week’s beheading of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians by Islamic State militants in Libya.

Third, today, under the Sign category of DISTRESS AMONG NATIONS — According to Religion News Service, the Italian government is on high alert after threats from the Islamic State called Italy “the nation signed with the blood of the cross.” Italy is one of a handful of major Western countries that has not been victim of a large-scale terror assault since the Sept. 11 attacks. The Vatican — considered by many to be the de facto seat of worldwide Christianity — is in Rome, so the city could be a target. Italian officials fear extremists could enter the country amid the growing tide of refugees arriving by boat from North Africa. About 500 extra troops have been stationed to guard symbolic targets in Rome and monitor the streets of the capital for suspicious activity.

Fourth, today, under the Sign category of THE TURMOIL IN ISRAEL & THE MIDDLE EAST — According to the Associated Press, the Palestinian president has threatened to stop security coordination with Israel if the country continues to withhold millions of dollars of Palestinian tax revenue. President Mahmoud Abbas has warned European leaders that Palestinian officials would discuss the matter during a Palestinian central council meeting next week. Israel has withheld tax revenue from the Palestinians since they joined the International Criminal Court last month. The Palestinian Authority said the withheld revenue amounts to $140 million per month for the last two months.

Fifth, today, under the Sign category of DISTRESS AMONG NATIONS — According to The Guardian, Russia has reportedly offered to sell Iran powerful and advanced anti-aircraft missiles in a deal that could have an impact on nuclear talks approaching a deadline next month. The head of the Russian state arms conglomerate Rostec was quoted as saying that the firm was willing to supply Tehran with missiles capable of intercepting and destroying ballistic and cruise missiles as well as aircraft. Tehran is said to be considering the offer. If the sale goes ahead, the missiles are likely to represent a significant defence against any future air strikes aimed at Iran’s nuclear facilities, and so could in theory diminish pressure on Iran to come to an agreement in nuclear negotiations.

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

The prophetic passage of Scripture we are looking at today is Numbers 22:4-6 which reads: “…Balak the son of Zippor was king of the Moabites at that time. He sent messengers therefore unto Balaam the son of Beor to Pethor, which is by the river of the land of the children of his people, to call him, saying, Behold, there is a people come out from Egypt: behold, they cover the face of the earth, and they abide over against me: Come now therefore, I pray thee, curse me this people; for they are too mighty for me: peradventure I shall prevail, that we may smite them, and that I may drive them out of the land: for I wot that he whom thou blessest is blessed, and he whom thou cursest is cursed.”

Allow me to share with you some commentary on this passage from the Popular Bible Prophecy Commentary, edited by Tim LaHaye and Ed Hindson.

Balaam is not a Jewish prophet but a syncretistic Gentile seer, or soothsayer, from the region of Mesopotamia. Balak, the king of Moab, commissioned Balaam to supernaturally curse Israel. So renowned was Balaam’s reputation as an effective diviner that, according to Numbers 22:6, it was believed that whomever he blessed would indeed be blessed, and whomever he cursed would likewise be cursed (in a twisted echo of the Abrahamic Covenant’s promise that whoever blessed or cursed Abraham’s progeny would be reciprocally blessed or cursed). Apparently more than a little nervous at the prospect of Israel’s arrival at his nation’s border, Balak designs an offensive strategy built upon his expectation of Balaam’s powerful sorcery and magic.

Prior to Balaam’s journey to Moab, the soothsayer has three consultations with the Lord. In the ancient world, it was believed that the particular gods worshipped by specific nations wielded the greatest power over those nations, so naturally, Balaam consulted Israel’s God (probably one of many deities to whom Balaam gave homage). In these encounters, Balaam is repeatedly told to speak only the word of the Lord and, specifically, not to curse Israel, whom God has blessed. In fact, once Balaam arrives in Moab, not one of his efforts to curse Israel will come to fruition. Rather, they will result in the blessing of God’s chosen people.

The first three of Balaam’s four prophetic oracles to Balak are each preceded with the setting up of seven altars and the sacrifice of one bull and one ram on each altar. The discovery in the 1930s of thousands of cuneiform Mari tablets dating from about 1700 B.C. revealed the existence of a school of Mesopotamian seers whose recorded divination activities strongly resemble Balaam’s practices as described in this narrative.

The initial oracle expresses two reasons Balaam is unable to fulfill his commissioned mandate to curse Israel. First, as God’s covenant nation, Israel was to be different, distinct, and separated from all other nations. Second, Israel was blessed by God. The nation’s numerical strength at this time confirms God’s covenantal promise to Abraham of incalculable numbers of descendants. The oracle concludes with Balaam’s expressed wish that his final destiny would be like Israel’s. Understandably, Balaam’s blessing does not sit well with his patron, Balak.

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.W. DeHaan. He said, “The fact that our Savior is coming again gives us hope. It makes us want to stand our ground. It encourages us to continue fighting the good fight of faith. It assures us of victory. Fierce as the battle may rage and difficult as the conflict may be as we serve Him, we dare not give up. Christ is coming again—perhaps today.”

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 Follow Daniel Whyte III on Twitter @prophetdaniel3 or on Facebook.

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