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, under the Sign category of DISTRESS AMONG NATIONS — According to The Times of Israel, US Secretary of State John Kerry said in Saudi Arabia on Saturday that Lebanon-based terror group Hezbollah has more than 80,000 rockets, adding that most of its weaponry comes from its sponsor Iran, through Syria and into Lebanon. Citing as an example Iran’s “support for terrorist groups like Hezbollah,” Kerry told reporters, “The United States remains concerned about some of the activities that Iran is engaged in in other countries.” The Saudi foreign minister also told reporters, “Iran remains the world’s chief sponsor of terrorism. Overall I think the United States is very aware of the danger of Iran’s mischief and nefarious activities. I don’t believe the United States is under any illusion as to what type of government Iran is.”
Second, today, under the Sign category of EARTHQUAKES IN DIVERS PLACES — According to the Associated Press, a magnitude-6.8 earthquake knocked items off shelves and walls in south-central Alaska and jolted the nerves of residents in this earthquake-prone region. But there were no immediate reports of injuries. The earthquake struck about 1:30 a.m. Alaska time and was centered about 160 miles southwest of Anchorage. About two hours later, a magnitude-4.3 aftershock hit the Cook Inlet; it was followed by a slightly stronger aftershock — magnitude-4.7.
Third, today, under the Sign category of DISTRESS AMONG NATIONS — According to Agence France-Presse (AFP), German Chancellor Angela Merkel called for “intensive action” against anti-Semitism on Saturday, urging vigilance particularly when dealing with young people from countries “where hatred of Israel and anti-Semitism is widespread.” Merkel said in her weekly video podcast, “Anti-Semitism is more widespread than we imagined. And that is why we must act intensively against it.” In late November Josef Schuster, President of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, expressed concern that many asylum seekers coming into the country come from cultures “in which hostility toward Israel and antisemitism are a common practice.”
Fourth, today, under the Sign category of DISTRESS AMONG NATIONS — According to Israel National News, a spokesman for the Kremlin on Friday denied reports that Russian President Vladimir Putin sent a senior intelligence official to Damascus late last year to ask Syrian President Bashar Assad to step down. A report in the Financial Times earlier in the day quoted Western intelligence sources detailing the apparent mission of Colonel-General Igor Sergun to Damascus. According to that report, Sergun delivered a message from Putin that it was time for Assad to stand down, but was firmly rebuffed by the Syrian leader.
Fifth, today, under the Sign category of DISTRESS AMONG NATIONS — According to Reuters, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Saturday called for closer economic and security ties with China, saying Iran had never trusted the West, as the two countries agreed to increase bilateral trade more than 10-fold to $600 billion in the next decade. Iran’s most powerful figure told Chinese President Xi Jinping that Iran wanted to expand ties with “more independent countries”, adding the United States was “not honest” in the fight against terrorism in the region. Xi is the second leader of a U.N. Security Council member to visit Tehran since the nuclear deal Iran struck with world powers last year. Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Tehran in November.
You can read these stories in more detail and get more prophecy-related news at SecondComingHerald.com.
The prophetic passage of Scripture that we are looking at today is Isaiah 33:13-16 which reads: “Hear, ye that are far off, what I have done; and, ye that are near, acknowledge my might. The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites. Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings? He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly; he that despiseth the gain of oppressions, that shaketh his hands from holding of bribes, that stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil; He shall dwell on high: his place of defence shall be the munitions of rocks: bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure.”
Allow me to share with you some commentary on this passage from the Popular Bible Prophecy Commentary, edited by Tim LaHaye and Ed Hindson.
Verses 13-16 describe the state of the people at the time of the invasion. Those who put their trust in the invaders will be insecure. By contrast, the faithful remnant will feel secure because they put their trust in the God of Israel. Their spiritual security will come from their trust in the Lord, and their physical security from the place where they are hiding.
As reaffirmed in Isaiah 41:17-20 and Isaiah 65:8-16, food and water will be provided to the remnant. This hiding place will also be “on the heights”—that is, in the mountains. It is described as “impregnable rock,” meaning the nature of the place will make it easy to defend. So there are four clues about this hiding place: it will be in the mountains, in the wilderness, in a place prepared in advance, and very defensible. Micah 2:12 reveals this place to be the city of Bozrah, which is now known as Petra.
Isaiah next deals with the state of the people at the time of the restoration and points out that they will seek their Messiah and will find Him. They will also see the land extended to include all of the Promised Land, and they will see their enemy no more.
Isaiah concludes this section by pointing out the state of the nation at the time of the restoration. Jerusalem will be a place of appointed feasts, characterized by quietness and confidence because the Lord dwells there. As for the state of the government, this kingdom will have a righteous king, the Messiah Himself, whose presence in the city will be a visible and living testimony that the enemy’s goal of destroying Israel has failed.
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 John Bunyan. He said: “Let this then encourage the saints to hope, and to rejoice in hope of the glory of God, notwithstanding present tribulations. This is our seed-time, our winter; afflictions are to try us of what mettle we are made; yea, and to shake off worm-eaten fruit, and such as are rotten at core. Troubles for Christ’s sake are but like the prick of an awl in the tip of the ear, in order to hang a jewel there.”