This is Daniel Whyte III with the Second Coming Watch Update. This is update #903. 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 & RUMOURS OF WARS — According to Ynet News, A senior official from the Islamic militant group Hamas said incendiary balloons Palestinians launched from the Gaza Strip recently were a signal to Israel to accelerate unofficial “understandings” meant to ease the crippling blockade on the Hamas-ruled territory. The resumption of flammable balloons and other explosive devices flown across the border broke a month of calm that has largely prevailed since Hamas suspended its weekly protests along the Israeli-Gaza frontier. The quiet is meant to bolster an informal truce between Israel and Hamas brokered by international mediators. Speaking to journalists, Hamas official Khalil al-Hayya [KHUH-LEEL AL-HEY-UH] accused the Israelis of moving too slowly. He said the balloons had been launched by disgruntled individuals, not Hamas. But he said his group was “satisfied” with the launches and is ready to send more “if the occupation doesn’t pick up the message.” Israel and Egypt imposed a blockade on Gaza after Hamas, a militant group that seeks Israel’s destruction, seized control of the territory in 2007. The blockade, combined with Hamas’ mismanagement, has devastated the local economy. The incendiary balloons have not caused any damage or injuries on the Israeli side. But last week, an Israeli military helicopter struck an alleged Hamas target in Gaza in response to the resumption of the launches.
Second, today, under the Sign category of PESTILENCES AND FATAL EPIDEMIC DISEASES — According to Reuters, China put millions of people on lockdown in two cities at the epicenter of a coronavirus outbreak that has killed 18 people and infected more than 630, as authorities around the world worked to prevent a global pandemic. Health officials fear the transmission rate could accelerate as hundreds of millions of Chinese travel at home and abroad during week-long holidays for the Lunar New Year. Giving details on infections in China, state television said 634 cases had been confirmed. By the end of Wednesday, China’s National Health Commission confirmed 17 dead in the central province of Hubei [HOO-BAY]. The previously unknown virus strain is believed to have emerged late last year from illegally traded wildlife at an animal market in the capital of Hubei [HOO-BAY] province, Wuhan [WOO-HAHN]. Most transport in Wuhan [WOO-HAHN], a city of 11 million people, was suspended and people were told not to leave. Hours later, neighboring Huanggang [HWONG-GONG], a city of about 7 million people, announced a similar lockdown. The newly identified coronavirus has created alarm because there are a number of unknowns surrounding it. It is too early to know just how dangerous it is and how easily it spreads between people. There is no vaccine for the virus, which can spread through respiratory transmission.
Third, today, under the Sign category of RE-ESTABLISHMENT OF ISRAEL — According to Ynet News, At leats 6,300 police officers and other security forces were deployed to Jerusalem ahead of the arrival of high-profile dignitaries including Russian President Vladimir Putin, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and other leaders from 49 countries, including 41 heads of state, the diplomatic event is set to become the biggest in the country’s history. The two-day event, which includes political meetings between world and Israeli leaders where discussions are expected to be held on the latest Iran tensions and the Mideast peace process, culminating in commemorations ceremony at Yad Vashem [YAD VAH-SHEM] Holocaust memorial and museum. France’s Emmanuel Macron met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin. The prime minister during the meeting urged the French leader to join the United States and Israel in putting pressure on Iran to stop its “aggressive nuclear activity.” Macron replied that France will be “inflexible” about Iran’s nuclear ambitions and that his country is determined Tehran will never acquire nuclear weapons. Netanyahu later said the two have agreed to “establish a strategic dialogue” between the two countries in an effort to advance common interests.
Fourth, today, under the Sign category of TURMOIL IN THE MIDDLE EAST — According to Haaretz, according to Israeli army intelligence estimates for 2020, Iran will have a sufficient amount of enriched uranium to produce one nuclear bomb by the end of the year. However, the Israeli army believes that at this stage, Tehran does not possess a missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead, and would need at least two years to develop such capabilities. The United States’ exit from the nuclear agreement signed in 2015 brings intelligence officials to estimate that Iran’s nuclear program is running again after years of not violating the agreement. Intelligence evaluations reveal that by the end of the current year, Iran will have the 40 kilograms of 90% enriched uranium needed to produce a single nuclear bomb. The information available to the defense establishment indicates that Iran is currently at four percent enrichment. By mid-year will reach 20 percent enrichment, which is 70% of the bomb production process, and by the end of the year, Iran will be able to reach the required amount of enriched uranium for one bomb. On June 17, Iran said that it would surpass the deal’s 300-kilogram limit on low-enriched uranium, and quadrupled its production. It also threatened to raise enrichment closer to weapons-grade levels on July 7 if the three European countries that still support the 2015 agreement didn’t offer a new deal.
Fifth, today, under the Sign category of TURMOIL IN THE MIDDLE EAST — According to Israel Hayom, a survey released by the International Committee of the Red Cross has found that the majority of Israeli and Palestinian youth believe that the bitter Israeli-Palestinian conflict “will never end.” According to the ICRC survey of people between the ages of 20 and 35 living in war-affected areas, 65% of Israeli and 52% of Palestinian respondents said that they expected the rivalry to last for years, if not for the decades to come. The survey also revealed millennials to be anxious across the board, with 42% expecting a major catastrophic war to break out in their lifetime, and more than half fearing that a nuclear strike will be conducted within the next decade. The ICRC said in a statement: “In general, the results indicate that millennials are nervous about the future, and heightened tensions in the Middle East are likely to deepen these fears.” The simmering conflict has been ongoing for decades, and, formally, there are currently no peace talks between Israeli and Palestinian leaders – however, reports of Israel’s under-the-radar ceasefire talks with Hamas, the terrorist group that controls the Gaza Strip, have been emerging recently. Despite that, recent days saw yet another escalation, with the IDF bombing Hamas targets in Gaza following terrorist rocket fire on Israeli communities near the border.
The prophetic passage of Scripture that we are looking at today is Ezekiel. Ezekiel 1:1-3 reads: “Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I was among the captives by the river of Chebar [KEY-BAR], that the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God. In the fifth day of the month, which was the fifth year of king Jehoiachin’s [JEH-HOY-AH-KIN] captivity, The word of the Lord came expressly unto Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi [BU-ZEE], in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar [KEY-BAR]; and the hand of the Lord was there upon him.”
Allow me to share with you some commentary on this passage from Exploring Bible Prophecy from Genesis to Revelation, by Tim LaHaye and Ed Hindson.
Ezekiel, whose name means “God strengthens,” was raised as a priest in Jerusalem until he was taken captive by Nebuchadnezzar to Babylon in 597 B.C., some 11 years before the destruction of the city and burning of the temple by the Babylonians. A contemporary with the prophets Jeremiah and Daniel, who shared the exilic experience, Ezekiel resided in the Babylonian village of Nippur [NIP-PUR] (Tel Abib [AH-VEEV]) beside the river Chebar [KEY-BAR], which served as Nebuchadnezzar’s royal canal. In the fifth year of his exile (592 B.C.) Ezekiel was called to prophesy to his fellow exiles for about 22 years, reminding them of the reason for God’s judgment of the nation and reassuring them of God’s promise of future restoration. God apparently desired to use a man with priestly training to bring this unique prophetic message focused on the temple and its priestly service. As a priest, Ezekiel would have uniquely been concerned for the re-establishment of the legitimate Zadokite [ZA-DOH-KITE] priesthood. The very fact that the Zadokite [ZA-DOH-KITE] priesthood was not reinstated with the return to Jerusalem and the rebuilding of the second temple indicates that the prophecies of Ezekiel were intended for fulfillment in the eschatological (millennial) age.
The book of Ezekiel follows the prophetic pattern of announcing ruin and then restoration for national Israel. While the whole of the book was once prophetic, from the exilic and postexilic perspective it may be divided into two divisions with respect to historical and eschatological fulfillment. The first division (chapters 4-32) contains near-fulfillment predictions, which were necessary to confirm Ezekiel’s credentials as a prophet as well as meet the need of the Babylonian exiles who were awaiting word concerning their nation’s fate. This division may be subdivided as the judgment of Judah (chapters 1-24), the judgment of the seven Gentile nations that surrounded Israel in all directions (chapters 25-32), and the judgment of those Judeans who remained in the land during the exile (chapter 33). This first section has been historically fulfilled, principally in the events of the Babylonian destruction of Jerusalem and the deportation of Judeans to Babylon (586-538 B.C.). Ezekiel’s prophecies in this first section focus on Judah’s cultic desecration by both priests and people alike, and Jerusalem’s destruction in accord with the curses contained in the Mosaic law for national covenant violation (Ezekiel 4-24). These prophecies were communicated through symbolic demonstration (chapters 4-5), sermonic pronouncements (chapters 6-7), prophetic visions (chapters 8-11), and various prophetic signs and parabolic declarations (chapters 12-24).
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 Tony Garland. He said, “Jesus came the first time in humiliation; He will return in exaltation. He came the first time to be killed; He will return to kill His enemies. He came the first time to serve; He will return to be served. He came the first time as the suffering servant; He will return as the conquering king. The challenge the book of Revelation makes to every person is to be ready for His return.”
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. Here is how.
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now that is bad news, but here is the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “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.