‘Russian forces invade’ Crimea; Iran drills for takeover of Jerusalem; Hezbollah prepares for 3 wars (Second Coming Watch Update #487)

1. According to The Washington Post, Several hundred troops in green camouflage, without insignia and carrying military-style automatic rifles, entered and secured areas of the civilian airport in Crimea’s regional capital of Simferopol early Friday and deployed elsewhere, drawing protests from the new Ukrainian government against what it called a Russian invasion. Video taken at the scene showed the troops patrolling inside the airport and standing guard outside. Flights continued to operate; no shots were fired.

2. According to Israel Today, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed that his government would not alter the status quo regarding the Temple Mount, a day after Israel’s Knesset held its first ever debate on extending Jewish sovereignty over Judaism’s holiest site. The prime minister’s spokesman said, “The policy of the government of Israel has been and continues to be the maintenance of the status quo at the Temple Mount, including freedom of access for all faiths to the holy sites.” The reason behind Tuesday’s Knesset debate, of course, was that currently Jews and Christians (all non-Muslims, in fact) do not enjoy full religious freedom at the Temple Mount.

3. According to CNN, North Korea launched four Scud missiles into the sea off its eastern coast on Thursday. The missiles were fired in the direction of Russia and fell into the sea, according to the Pentagon, which described the launch as a very low-level matter.The missiles were fired just days after the start of annual joint military exercises between South Korea and the United States that North Korea opposes. The joint military exercises routinely spark tension between North Korea, South Korea and the United States.

4. According to The Times of Israel, in the wake of Monday night’s alleged attack by Israel on a Hezbollah arms convoy, the organization’s chief, Hassan Nasrallah, warned key military personnel of the possibility of war with the Jewish state, A Lebanese journalist with close ties to the organization said on Thursday that “Nasrallah warned that Hezbollah’s readiness against the [Israeli] enemy has nothing to do with other battles. He told his party’s military personnel in closed meetings that Hezbollah may be forced to wage a battle on three fronts at the same time: in Syria, inside [Lebanon], and against the [Israeli] enemy.”

5. According to Israel National News, the Islamist Basij militia force in Tehran ran a special military exercise Thursday and Friday preparing for an Iranian takeover of Jerusalem. The exercise, entitled “March to Jerusalem,” included training in the event of such a takeover. In an official statement, the militia said that the exercise is designed to develop and enhance the capabilities of the Al-Maqdis Brigades, improve Basij military competence, and foster a “self-sacrificing spirit” among the terrorists. The group’s commander said his forces “need to be prepared now, more than ever,” for the great “liberation battle” for Jerusalem, which would “avenge for the innocent blood spilled” by Western powers.

The Bible says in Jesus Christ said in Luke 21:36: “Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.”

Our second coming quote for today is from Martin Luther. He said, “I hope that the day is near at hand when the advent of the great God will appear, for all things everywhere are boiling, burning, moving, falling, sinking, groaning.”

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

150k Russian troops placed on alert at Ukraine’s coast; Jewish leaders demand Israeli sovereignty over Temple Mount (Second Coming Watch Update #486)

1. According to Postmedia News, tensions are high as 150,000 Russian troops have been placed on alert at the Ukrainian coast near the flashpoint of Crimea. A Russian armoured personnel carrier loomed beside the checkpoint controlling access to Sevastopol on Wednesday while other heavily armed vehicles moved into public places to guard Russia’s Black Sea fleet in the Crimean port, as Russian President Vladimir Putin further ratcheted up the pressure on Ukraine’s caretaker government. The 150,000 troops have been ordered to undergo urgent exercises to test combat readiness.

2. According to the Jerusalem Post, Hezbollah on Wednesday acknowledged for the first time that it had been targeted by Israeli air strikes on Monday night. The Shi’ite organization had previously denied reports that targets connected to it were hit by IAF jets. Lebanese Al-Manar television, closely associated with Hezbollah, quoted the group as saying there were no casualties in the alleged Israeli attack against one of its bases. The group vowed to respond to the Israeli attack saying, “The new aggression is a blatant assault on Lebanon and its sovereignty and its territory…The Resistance (Hezbollah) will choose the time and place and the proper way to respond to it.”

3. According to The Times of Israel, the head of a prominent European Jewish group requested on Tuesday that the Israeli government urgently send security personnel to Ukraine in order to protect the Jewish communities there, which have been targeted during the political unrest gripping the country. In a letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, the head of the European Jewish Association, Rabbi Menahem Margolin, urgently requested that Israel “send trained security guards to protect Jewish communities in Ukrainian cities and towns.” The letter stated, Ukrainian Jewish communities are seriously concerned and feel helpless in the face of a “growing wave of anti-Semitic attacks.”

4. According to The Jerusalem Post, at the first-ever plenum discussion of Israeli sovereignty over the holy site on Tuesday, MK Moshe Feiglin said the State of Israel is pointless without the Temple Mount. The debate came on the same day as the latest in a series of rioting on the Mount in the past month, by Arabs who object to any Jewish presence on the holy site. Feiglin said, “Without the Temple Mount, we have no home. There is no purpose and no designation for our sovereign existence in the entire land. The time has come to stop the erosion of our sovereignty in the heart of Jerusalem.” Another Knesset Minister Orit Struck said, “There is no Zionism without Zion. There is no Jerusalem without the Temple Mount…”

5. According to Israel National News, the Arab League plans to hold an emergency session in the wake of the Knesset discussion on the Temple Mount. According to a report from the Bethlehem-based Ma’an news agency, the Palestinian Authority (PA) submitted a request to the Arab League to hold the session, in order to discuss what was described as “recent Israeli attacks on the Al-Aqsa Mosque.” The PA’s ambassador to Egypt, Barakat al-Farra, was quoted as having said that the recent visits of Israeli rightists to Al-Aqsa will lead to more tension and turn the conflict into a religious one.

The Bible says in 1 John 2:28: “And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.”

Our second coming quote for today is from Warren Wiersbe. He said, Isaiah “looked beyond the first coming of Christ to His second coming and the establishing of His righteous kingdom. Instead of protecting a small remnant, God would enlarge the nation. Instead of experiencing sorrow, the people would rejoice like reapers after a great harvest, soldiers after a great victory, or prisoners of war after being released from their yoke of bondage. Of course.”

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

Iran agrees to sell weapons to Iraq; Israel attacks Syrian weapons convoy (Second Coming Watch Update #485)

1. According to The Times of Israel, Israel bombarded a Hezbollah stronghold on the Lebanon-Syria border twice on Monday night, killing several Hezbollah operatives. Lebanon’s Daily Star reported overnight that the strikes targeted a weapons shipment meant for Hezbollah. Residents also confirmed hearing warplanes and explosions near the Syrian border.

2. According to Reuters, Iran has signed a deal to sell Iraq arms and ammunition worth $195 million – a move that would break a U.N. embargo on weapons sales by Tehran. Documents seen by Reuters showed that the agreement was reached at the end of November, just weeks after Iraq’s Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki returned from lobbying the Obama administration in Washington for extra weapons to fight al Qaeda-linked militants.Some in Washington are nervous about providing sensitive U.S. military equipment to a country they worry is becoming too close to Iran. Several Iraqi lawmakers said Maliki had made the deal because he was fed up with delays in U.S. arms deliveries. The U.S. State Department said it was looking into the reports adding that if found to be true, it would raise “serious concerns.”

3. According to Reuters, Brazil and the European Union agreed on Monday to lay an undersea communications cable from Lisbon to Fortaleza to reduce Brazil’s reliance on the United States after Washington spied on Brasilia. At a summit in Brussels, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff said the $185 million cable project was central to “guarantee the neutrality” of the Internet, signaling her desire to shield Brazil’s Internet traffic from U.S. surveillance. She told a joint news conference with the presidents of the European Commission and the European Council, “We have to respect privacy, human rights and the sovereignty of nations. The Internet is one of the best things man has ever invented. So we agreed for the need to guarantee the neutrality of the network.”

4. According to Reuters, official data released on Monday showed that natural disasters including droughts, floods and earthquakes cost China 421 billion yuan ($69 bln) in 2013, nearly double the total in the previous year. According to the government, China has always been prone to natural disasters but a changing climate is causing more extreme weather, which hits food production, threatens scarce water resources and damages energy security.

5. According to Christianity Today, security officials in Libya announced that seven Egyptian Christians have been shot execution-style on a beach outside Benghazi. The bodies were found with gunshots to the head in an area where kidnappings and assassinations are common and Islamist militants are active. Middle East Concern reported that the victims “had been abducted from their homes by armed men who had gone door-to-door through an apartment building searching for residents who were Christian.”

The Bible says in 1 John 3:2: “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.”

Our second coming quote for today is from Madeleine L’ Engle. She said, “Love manifested itself joyously in the creation of the universe, became particular for us in Jesus, and will show itself most gloriously in the Second Coming. We need not fear.”

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

U.S. warns Russia against military action in Ukraine (Second Coming Watch Update #484)

1. According to CNN, U.S. National Security Adviser Susan Rice warned on Sunday that it “would be a grave mistake” if Russian President Vladimir Putin intervened militarily in the ongoing crisis in Ukraine. Rice, who spoke on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” was among U.S. leaders saying they want to see a unity coalition government in the country after President Viktor Yanukovych fled Kiev, the capital, and a unanimous vote in Parliament removed him from power.

2. According to the BBC, U.S. doctors are warning of an emerging polio-like disease in California where up to 20 people have been infected. A meeting of the American Academy of Neurology reported that some patients had developed paralysis in all four limbs, which had not improved with treatment.

3. According to the Jerusalem Post, Israeli Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz said on Sunday that Israel reserves the right to assess the Iranian situation and make the decisions it deems necessary independently, after emerging from some five hours of talks with Wendy Sherman, Washington’s top Iran negotiator. Steinitz said, “Israel reiterated and made clear its position that an agreement with Iran must include dismantling its ability to progress toward a nuclear weapon.”

4. According to Israel National News, Lawmakers from Hamas on Sunday warned Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas against recognizing Israel as part of the ongoing peace process. The lawmakers said that recognition of Israel as a Jewish state would be a “death sentence” against the PA.

5. According to Almanar News, The Israeli army asserted that Hezbollah’s threat to enter Galilee is serious and that Israeli troops are preparing to face it after a TV program, broadcast by al-Mayadeen TV, presented an episode about the issue. The Israeli response was conveyed by an Israeli news website which displayed a report about the country’s military preparation to face Hezbollah’s threat. The commander of northern Israel stressed that the Israeli army is training for encountering a possible decision by Hezbollah to transfer the battle to the Palestinian territories in contrary with what happened in the 2006 war.

The Bible says in 1 Chronicles 16:31-33: “Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice: and let men say among the nations, The Lord reigneth. Let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof: let the fields rejoice, and all that is therein. Then shall the trees of the wood sing out at the presence of the Lord, because he cometh to judge the earth.”

Our second coming quote for today is from David Jeremiah. He said, “My study of prophecy convinces me that God intends knowledge of future events to help us ‘occupy’ with a sense of urgency until the Lord returns.”

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

US readies for effects of solar storm; Israel officially a “Jewish state”?; Over 150 quakes in Okla. cause for concern (Second Coming Watch Sunday Roundup #6)

This is the Second Coming Watch Sunday Roundup for February 23, 2014. 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. U.S. electricity regulators have begun drafting new reliability standards to protect the power grid in the case of a massive solar storm which could knock out power for millions and cause damage that would take years to recover from.

2. Is Israel “the Jewish state”? The answer may seem as obvious as the Star of David on the Israeli flag. Yet the question is starting to complicate the ambitious U.S. effort to ram through a peace deal between the Palestinians and Israel.

3. Syrian government forces on Saturday captured two rebel-held areas on the edge of the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights after days of intense fighting near a decades-old cease-fire line between Syria and Israel.

4. There have been more than 150 earthquakes in the past week in Oklahoma, according to the Oklahoma Geological Survey, which says that is not normal.

5. The Vatican reportedly pressured Israel to turn over control of Mount Zion in Jerusalem during a clandestine meeting of senior city officials.

6. South Korea is developing cyber-attack tools in an attempt to damage North Korean nuclear facilities.

7. For the United States, Syria’s civil war is threatening to start hitting closer to home. The Obama administration is looking at newer, more far-reaching options, including drone strikes on extremists and more forceful action against Assad.

8. Iran’s President, Hassan Rouhani, said on Wednesday that Jerusalem should “be liberated from the yoke of Israel.”

9. Israel’s Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said on Tuesday that Israel should aim to bring in 3.5 million Jewish immigrants within the next decade.

10. Israeli and Jordanian officials signed a deal on Wednesday under which Israel will supply $500 million worth of gas to the Hashemite kingdom from the Tamar natural gas field in the Mediterranean.

The Bible says in Isaiah 24:23: “Then the moon shall be confounded and the sun ashamed, when the Lord of hosts shall reign in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem and before His elders gloriously.”

Our Second Coming quote for today is from Vance Havner. He said: “Some of the saints are singing about the Second Coming, but it is one thing to just sing the national anthem during the war and quite another to go into battle. The best evidence that the Lord’s return has really gotten hold of us is when we occupy till He comes, do business for God, and buy up the opportunities, because the days are evil.”

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

Jerusalem gov’t pressured to hand over control of Mount Zion to the Vatican (Second Coming Watch Update #483)

1. According to Israel National News, the Vatican reportedly pressured Israel to turn over control of Mount Zion in Jerusalem during a clandestine meeting of senior city officials. The meeting took place Tuesday in the office of Attorney Amnon Merhav, the director-general of the Jerusalem municipality. It was attended by officials from the Prime Minister’s Office, the President’s Office, the Tourism Ministry, the Police, Kotel Rabbi’s Office, and more. During the meeting, representatives of Christian groups in the capital pushed Jerusalem leaders to give the Catholic Church control over the Mount Zion area that includes the “Hall of the Last Supper.” There have been reports that Israel’s government is planning to turn the building in question over to the Vatican prior to the Pope’s expected visit in May.

2. According to the BBC, South Korea is developing cyber-attack tools in an attempt to damage North Korean nuclear facilities. The country’s defence ministry wants to develop weapons similar to Stuxnet, the software designed to attack Iranian nuclear enrichment plants. The defence ministry said the South Korean military will carry out missions using the software, but one computer security expert said that using cyberweapons could be “very dangerous.”

3. According to The Jerusalem Post, a group of rabbis and yeshiva heads submitted a petition to Israel’s Knesset demanding legislation to increase Jewish sovereignty on the Temple Mount. Riots broke out again on Friday on the Temple Mount in response to growing tensions on the matter. The petition comes ahead of a Knesset deliberation on policies regarding the Temple Mount, due to begin in the middle of next week. The meeting will review a proposal by MK Moshe Feiglin (Likud) to place the Temple Mount under Israeli supervision.

4. According to CNN, Heavy shelling and gunfire echoed close to the Syrian-Israeli frontier at the Golan Heights on Friday as the long-running war between Syrian rebels and government forces raged in a strategic area. Plumes of smoke rose from Syria’s southern villages, only a few miles across Israel’s northern frontier, and bursts of automatic weapons fire were audible from the rocky plateau of the occupied Golan. The area being fought over by rebels and Syrian forces is strategically important because the Syrian capital, Damascus, lies only about 25 miles away. If the rebels take control of the border area, they could potentially use it as a base to move toward the capital. The border with Jordan is also not far away.

5. According to AccuWeather.com, two earthquakes greater than 5.0 have rocked the Caribbean in the last week and concerns have been growing for a major tremor in the region. On Tuesday, Feb. 18, a strong 6.5-magnitude quake occurred about 100 miles north-northeast of Bridgetown, Barbados. According to Dr. Joan Latchman, the Director of the Seismic Research Unit of the University of the West Indies, it was the strongest tremor since 1980 in the area. Three days later, on Feb. 21, a 5.1-magnitude seismic event occurred near Aruba. While both of these quakes did not cause much damage, they are a reminder that the Caribbean remains a very active seismic zone, prone to earthquakes at anytime. Most earthquakes in the Caribbean are less than 3.0 on the Richter Scale. The two recent, stronger rumbles have rekindled memories of highly destructive earthquakes over the past few hundred years.

The Bible says in Genesis 49:10: “The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.”

Our second coming quote for today is from John Nelson Darby. He said, “Nothing is more prominently brought forward in the New Testament than the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.”

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

U.S. mulls drone strikes, action in Syria; Civil war in Ukraine? (Second Coming Watch Update #482)

1. According to The Associated Press, for the United States, Syria’s civil war is threatening to start hitting closer to home. Peace talks between the Syrian government and opposition are faltering. President Assad’s military is on the offensive and the rebels are in disarray. Most distressing to the Obama administration, however, is that al-Qaida-linked militants are squeezing moderates out of the insurgency and carving out havens for potential terrorist plots against the United States. The accelerating U.S. national security threat is leading the administration to take a fresh look at drone strikes on extremists and more forceful action against Assad. Obama’s top aides are meeting at the White House to examine options.

2. According to Russia Today, in events that may portend a civil war in Europe, protesters in the Ukraine took up arms against government forces on Thursday. At least 75 people, and possibly 100, were killed in violent riots in Kiev. The death toll in the most violent wave of clashes between the protesters and the police is likely to increase, as there are conflicting figures coming from the Health Department, city officials and the opposition.

3. According to The Times of Israel, two Israeli arms dealers have been arrested on suspicion of selling military aircraft parts to Iran. The matter came to initial media attention on Tuesday, but more details, including the names of the suspects, were revealed on Thursday. Avihai Weinstein and Eli Cohen were under investigation by the Israel Police and the Defense Ministry’s security investigation arm. The police would not confirm the reports, but said the matter was familiar to the authorities and that no further comments could be given because the case was under investigation by foreign law enforcement agencies.

4. According to MidEast Christian News, a reliable source has reported that Coptic Pope Tawadros II has reached an agreement with the Saudi ambassador in Cairo to establish the first church ever built inside Saudi Arabia. MidEast Christian News was told that the Pope thanked the King of Saudi Arabia and the current government for their approval to build the first church, which will be Coptic, and for the warm welcome from the Saudi ambassador in Cairo.

5. According to the Jerusalem Post, Israel’s High Court of Justice has ordered the state to clarify several issues in any future advertising for Israel’s new biometric database, implying that its previous advertisements were misleading. The court ordered the state to add three components to the ads – that the program was only a pilot, that no one was required to join it and that not joining it would not cause the loss of any rights. Despite the overall ruling against the state, the court denied the petition of the Association of Civil Rights in Israel and several academics and privacy rights advocates to completely prevent any advertising, let alone abolish the database. A couple of weeks ago, Israel announced that 192,000 people had joined the biometric database.

Jesus Christ said in Matthew 24:27: “For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.”

Our second coming quote for today is from Sam Storms. He said, “Jesus will come bathed in radiant splendor, enveloped within an atmosphere of indescribable brilliance, surrounded by the ear-piercing praise of angels and saints. Scintillating light shining from His eyes. Irresistible power pouring from His hands. None will deny His beauty or escape its transforming energy.”

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