PODCAST: Economic Fallout From Coronavirus to Disrupt Middle East (Second Coming Watch Update #942 with Daniel Whyte III)

This is Daniel Whyte III with the Second Coming Watch Update. This is update #942. 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 TURMOIL IN THE MIDDLE EAST — According to Aljazeera, The economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic is expected to bring about the largest contraction in the past 20 years for most countries in the Middle East and North Africa, the International Monetary Fund said on Monday, with some fragile states in the region at higher risk of mounting social unrest due to coronavirus disruptions. The October outlook included a breakout section addressing the humanitarian and economic challenges the pandemic is posing to “fragile” MENA states – defined as those that are racked by armed conflict or steeped in political and economic uncertainty. The region also hosts a disproportionate number of the world’s refugees and internally displaced people, leading to larger “informal” economic sectors where people carve out a living. The IMF said, “The large informal sectors of fragile states have been hit particularly hard by coronavirus containment measures, with lack of digitalization and limited remote working. Although most governments have activated social safety nets, these remain weak because of poor design and insufficient information about recipients (especially given the presence of internally displaced people and refugees).” In Lebanon, where a severe financial and political crisis had taken shape prior to coronavirus and has worsened during the pandemic, the IMF sees the economy shrinking 25 percent this year.

Second, today, under the Sign category of RE-ESTABLISHMENT OF ISRAEL — According to The Jerusalem Post, US Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism Elan Carr tweeted on Friday the US and Bahrain have signed a memorandum of understanding on fighting “antisemitism together in the Middle East and beyond.” The historic agreement, defined by Carr as the “first ever in the Arab world,” was signed on Thursday in Washington between Carr and Dr. Shaikh Khalid bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, chairman of the board of trustees of the King Hamad Global Centre for Peaceful Coexistence in Bahrain. Shortly before signing the MOU, Carr noted that Bahrain has made itself the first Arab country in the Middle East to have agreed to join the US in combating “the ancient, recurring human sickness that is antisemitism; the first to include the delegitimization of the State of Israel in that project.” The agreement begins by laying out the conditions making it possible and necessary, including that “Arabs and Jews are both Semitic peoples that are threatened by hatred or intolerance towards Semitic peoples” and that “purveyors of antisemitism in the Middle East seek to spread this evil as a political tool to manipulate the Arab and Muslim world.” Therefore, the initial agreement marks the beginning of a joint effort meant to share and promote efficient “practices for combating all forms of antisemitism, including anti-Zionism and the delegitimization of the State of Israel.” The detailed areas of cooperation will be defined in a periodically revised work plan which will be developed within six months of signing the agreement.

Third, today, under the Sign category of FAMINES — According to FOX5 New York and Spectrum News, The lines are long and the need is enormous. More than 1 million New Yorkers can’t afford food, and standing on long lines at food banks is now too common amid the pandemic. Alexander Rapaport, the executive director of Masbia soup kitchen network, said, “We have done disasters before but nothing is even close to what we are doing now.” Rapaport said there is so much need. So much so that for the last three days, Rapaport, his staff, and volunteers have been operating around the clock. All three locations are now open 24/7, feeding 1,500 families a day, but it is still not enough, he said. A new study finds the city was not prepared for a food crisis of this magnitude and duration. Nicholas Freudenberg, a professor at the CUNY School of Public Health, said, “Emergency food programs were always intended to be a temporary solution. Especially when the demand has gone up so much, the capacity of that temporary solution to meet the need is even less so. And so I’m concerned that the city has not come up with more sustainable solutions to keep up with the increase in food insecurity.” According to Feeding America, the nation’s largest hunger relief organization, about 11 percent of New Yorkers struggled with putting food on the table back in 2018. Feeding America says that number is expected to hit 19 percent by the end of this year, and that even when the pandemic ends it will still take a while for the food crisis to end, too.

Fourth, today, under the Sign category of APOSTASY IN THE CHURCH — According to ABC News, Pope Francis became the first pontiff to endorse same-sex civil unions in comments for a documentary that premiered Wednesday, sparking cheers from homosexual Catholics and demands for clarification from conservatives, given the Vatican’s official teaching on the issue. The pope’s remarks came midway through the feature-length documentary “Francesco,” which premiered at the Rome Film Festival. While serving as archbishop of Buenos Aires, Francis endorsed civil unions for homosexual couples as an alternative to same-sex marriages. However, he had never come out publicly in favor of civil unions as pope, and no pontiff before him had, either. Conservative Bishop Thomas Tobin of Providence, Rhode Island, called for clarification. He said in a statement, “The pope’s statement clearly contradicts what has been the long-standing teaching of the church about same-sex unions. The church cannot support the acceptance of objectively immoral relationships.” Catholic teaching holds that gay people must be treated with dignity and respect but that homosexual acts are “intrinsically disordered.” A 2003 document from the Vatican’s doctrine office stated the church’s respect for gay people “cannot lead in any way to approval of homosexual behavior or to legal recognition of homosexual unions.” Doing so, the Vatican reasoned, would not only condone “deviant behavior,” but create an equivalence to marriage, which the church holds is an indissoluble union between man and woman.

Fifth, today, under the Sign category of ARAB HOSTILITY TOWARD ISRAEL — According to the Jerusalem Post, The Palestinian Authority said on Friday that it “condemns and rejects” the normalization of relations between Arab countries and Israel. A statement by the PA presidency in Ramallah said that normalization with Israel is in violation of the Arab summit resolutions and the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative. The statement was published hours after the announcement that Sudan and Israel have agreed to normalize their relations. Previous statements by the PA condemned the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain for agreeing to establish relations with Israel, drawing sharp criticism from the two Gulf states. Friday’s statement by the PA, however, did not accuse Sudan of betraying the Palestinians or stabbing the Palestinian people in the back, as was the case with the UAE and Bahrain. The statement said, “No one has the right to speak on behalf of the Palestinian people and the Palestinian issue. The path to a just and comprehensive peace should be based on international law and legitimacy so as to end the Israeli occupation of the land of the State of Palestine and achieve independence for the Palestinian people in their state, with east Jerusalem as its capital – on the 1967 borders. The Palestinian. Leadership will take the necessary decisions to protect the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people.”

The prophetic passage of Scripture that we are looking at today is Ezekiel 36:33-38.

Ezekiel 36:33 reads: “Thus saith the Lord God; In the day that I shall have cleansed you from all your iniquities I will also cause you to dwell in the cities, and the wastes shall be builded.”

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.

According to Ezekiel 36:33-38, Israel’s God will restore His reputation among the nations by restoring the land, repopulating its cities, and rebuilding the waste places. Having restored the people to the land, the Lord will now restore the land to the people. The announcement of this eschatological resettlement opens with the introductory formula “thus says the Lord GOD” in order to introduce a specific declaration concerning the “salvation” of the land. This metropolitan restoration will occur “on the day that I cleanse you.” The figure is a synecdoche using the phrase “the day” to speak of an indefinite period of time, since the rebuilding of edifices and repopulation will not be accomplished in a single day, but rather, when the time of eschatological fulfillment comes–specifically, “on the day that I cleanse you from all your iniquities” (that is, in the time of national restoration in the millennial kingdom.

At that time the Lord will “cause the cities to be inhabited [Hiphil perfect]” and the “waste places will be rebuilt [Niphal perfect]”. The different nuances may imply that the increase in Israel’s population will be the result of divine activity, while the rebuilding of waste places will be the result of human activity. However, verse 36 states that the Lord is the One who will rebuild the waste places. In either case, whether by divine fiat or by the divine increase in manpower to perform this rebuilding, the result is the work of the Lord. The “garden of Eden” is a simile that may imply that the newly created state of things in the millennial kingdom will be in some fashion analogous to the original state before the fall. The completion of this restoration is emphasized by the description of renewal that follows. This scene of restored order bears a testimony to the surrounding nations. If the Lord has changed the verdict of the nations concerning His land, those nations must also change their view of His sovereign power, which accomplished this restoration. Verse 36 declares that this reclamation of formerly ruined conditions will demonstrate to the nations that the Lord is God and will vindicate His name before them as He assumes His theocratic rule over all the earth.

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 William Barclay. He said, “The best way to prepare for the coming of Christ is never to forget the presence of Christ.”

Let’s Pray

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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.