North Korean Leader Kim Jong-il dead
North Korea's iron-fisted ruler Kim Jong-il, who had long drawn international attention for his unceasing nuclear ambitions, died of a heart attack on a train ride on Saturday, the communist state's state media reported on Monday. He was 69.
What does this mean in terms of biblical prophecy, if anything?
This is hard to know at this point. Below are a couple of commentaries on the potential ramifications of this death:
Tears for a tyrant: He oppressed, starved and had them shot for 16 years...West fears show of strength from rogue nuclear state
The news immediately prompted South Korea and Japan to put their militaries on high alert while the U.S. said it could postpone decisions on re-engaging North Korea in nuclear talks and providing it with food aid.
And in a development likely to worry western observers, the pariah state today test-fired a short-range missile on its eastern coast.
Observers also fear a behind-the-scenes power struggle, or nuclear instability, between the country's military and politicians - despite the announcement his third son Kim Jong Un, 28, is to be his successor. He is seen by many as too inexperienced, and to have spent too little time in the country, to take on the top role.
Rod Lyon, a Korea expert at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute in Canberra, said: 'The reason people are watching closely is not because we expect the North to strike out, it's because events within North Korea could have unsettling ramifications.
'If there's a contested succession, it means there's a struggle over things like who controls North Korea's plutonium, not just who controls North Korea's army.' The other key regional player is China, the closest North Korea has to a major ally and which has a sometimes testy relationship with the United States.
North Korea's coming power struggle and the Mid-East nuclear race
This article from Debka provides a more detailed analysis:
The sudden death of Kim Jong II, of a heart attack aged 69, Monday, Dec. 19 – even though his youngest son Kim Jong-un was hailed as successor – confronts the world for the first time since the Cold War with a leaderless nuclear power about which it knows almost nothing.
Though anointed as heir, his youngest son Kim Jong-un, believed to be 26, is more than likely to be challenged for his claim to power. At present, therefore, no one knows who controls North Korea's nuclear arsenal - any more than the identity of the country's next ruler after the dust settles.
There has been no sign of motion from this huge army apart from test-firing a short-range missile Monday morning from the east coast.
This is almost certainly the calm before the storm. A year ago, Kim Jong Il began grooming his son for the leadership, the third of their dynasty, by appointing him Vice Chairman of the Central Military Commission of the Workers Party of Korea and conferring on him the rank of four-star general.
Still, he is as shorter on military experience than he is in politics. After the dead leader's funeral on Dec. 28, the army, or parts therefore, will have to decide whether to continue supporting the Kim family's rule in Pyongyang after 60 years or replace it with a different kind of leadership.
This paragraph summarizes the entire situation:
The prospect of uncertainty and change there sends shudders down many political spines in Washington, Tokyo and Seoul, as well as in Beijing and Moscow. In recent months, world powers were deeply immersed in the war threats hanging over the Middle East, Syrian bloodshed and Iran's nuclear weapons momentum. Monday, they woke up to a completely unforeseen scenario, an unstable Far East state armed with a nuclear bomb which could take the region in any of five directions:
1. Elements of the North Korean army or its security services could go head to head for a power grab in Pyongyang, potentially sparking civil strife in this enigmatic nation of 24 million.
2. To keep any such violence from spilling across its borders, China may send troops into North Korea bringing similar action from Seoul, possibly with US backing.. China has a large North Korean expatriate minority which respects Pyongyang rather than Beijing and is therefore a source of unrest.
3. The big difference between then and now is that today North Korea has nuclear arms and there is no knowing at what point someone in Pyongyang may decide to use them.
4. A recent Pentagon situation paper estimates that if the Korean Peninsula descended into domestic anarchy and civil strike, the United States would be called on to raise an army of intervention numbering 400,000 soldier
5. North Korea maintains thriving nuclear, military and technological relations with Iran and Syria. Hundreds of technicians and engineers, including nuclear and missile experts, have worked for years on their nuclear and missile programs.
And below we begin to see what the prophetic implications could be:
Western and Israel intelligence services have never been sure how deeply China is involved in North Korea's nuclear and military assistance to Iran and Syria. Is it just passive? or does Beijing use Pyongyang as a channel for pumping nuclear technology to Tehran and Damascus?
Some Western agencies have recently come to believe that China has a bigger stake in those Middle East countries than realized and much of the military technology transferred by North Korea to Iran is actually of Chinese origin.
A power struggle in Pyongyang, which could be drawn out for as long as a couple of years, could go in many unpredictable directions including stepped-up contribution to the Middle East nuclear race.
Also in the news:
2 earthquakes rattle Puerto Rico
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico, Dec. 17 (UPI) -- Two offshore earthquakes rattled Puerto Rico early Saturday and were also felt in the Dominican Republic.
The first measured 5.3 on the Richter scale and the second 5.1, the U.S. Geological Survey reported. Both were centered in the Mona Passage off the west coast of Puerto Rico, about 80 miles from San Juan.
Should You Worry About Europe's Back Door Bank Run?
On Wednesday, Fitch Ratings Inc. downgraded its credit ratings on five of Europe's biggest banks, and while that decision made headlines, it's not the most important story to come out of Europe this week.
The real story, which the mainstream media is neglecting, is that there are signs of an underground run on Europe's banks.
Almost nobody's talking about it, but there are indications money is already moving out of the European Union (EU) faster than rats abandoning a sinking ship.
For now the run is through the back door, and there are four things that make me think so:
Italy's planned ban on cash transactions over 1,000 euros, or about $1,300.
French, Spanish, and Italian banks have run out of collateral and are now pledging real assets.
Swiss officials are preparing for the end of the euro with capital control measures.
Europe's CEOs are actively preparing for the end of the euro despite governmental reassurances.
Financial Panic Sweeps Europe
Are we on the verge of another Great Depression?
Christian Lagarde, the head of the IMF, said this week that if dramatic action is not taken immediately we could actually see conditions "reminiscent of the 1930s depression" and that no country on earth "will be immune to the crisis". Right now, financial panic is sweeping across Europe, but most Americans are not too concerned about it because they simply don't understand how important the EU is.
The truth is that the EU has a much larger population than the United States does. The EU has an economy that is nearly as large as the economies of the United States and China combined. The EU has more Fortune 500 companies that the United States does, and the banking system of Europe is substantially larger than the banking system of the United States.
Anyone out there that believes that a massive financial collapse in Europe would not dramatically affect the rest of the globe is being delusional. The European debt crisis is one of the biggest stories that we have seen in a long, long time and the coming financial meltdown is going to permanently change the global economy.
We are already seeing the world-wide ramifications:
The global banking system is a giant house of cards. There is simply way too much debt, way too much leverage and way too much risk.
If the value of the assets held by those banks declines by just 4 percent, they will be wiped out.
Yes, that is how serious things are.
And already we are starting to see major banks fail in Europe.
So if Germany's second largest bank is failing, are any banks in Europe safe?
Just like we saw back during the 1930s, we are starting to see a run on banks all over Europe.
In fact, according to a recent Der Spiegel article, a run on Greek banks has been going on for a while now and is rapidly accelerating.
Europe is in a massive amount of trouble. The euro is dropping like a rock and the European financial system is paralyzed by panic and fear.
It is going to take a miracle to prevent a massive financial collapse from happening in Europe in 2012.celerating....
"Holy War": Thousands Gather To Support Tx Nativity Scene Against Atheists' Attacks
The battle over a nativity scene in Athens, Texas, reached new heights this weekend when up to 5,000 supporters flooded the town square. Their purpose? To stand firmly opposed to the attacks a prominent atheist group has waged on the religious display.
As the Blaze reported earlier this month, the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation, a group that frequently targets the presence of faith and religion in the public square, is demanding that a nativity scene be removed from public property.
On Saturday, thousands of supporters assembled in Athens Town Square to rally around and support the religious display. According to WTKR, some likened the ever-intensifying scenario a “holy war.”
Supporters of the nativity scene claim that there’s an attack on Christianity in America. ”It’s time for us to stand together and protect the very principles that made this nation great from its birth,” said Pastor Nathan Lorick, a nativity scene supporter. ”We‘ve become so busy with our lives that we’ve forgotten our first love.”
Rather than a protest, WTKR reports that the event resembled more of a church service, as thousands said prayers and sang hymns. ”What we need Christians is to stand and say Jesus Christ is the only way,” Pastor Derek Rogers proclaimed.
See protesters, below, singing a Christian praise and worship song:
The brief video clip referenced above is definitely worth watching.
Coming War Threat: Terrorists Developing A Safe Haven In Egypt To Attack Israel
In the Sinai Peninsula, Hamas is building support bases and arms-manufacturing facilities including those for building rockets. Over time, these rockets will no doubt be upgraded. In other words, Egypt is becoming a safe haven for anti-Israel terrorism. We know that these attacks will come from the Gaza Strip. The only question is whether at some point they will come directly across the Egypt-Israel border.
What does this tell us about the army’s future willingness or ability to stop the Islamists from running wild, attacking Israel, etc.?
Next, what happens when there is an Islamist parliament, a president who is either Islamist or dependent on Brotherhood support, and an Islamist constitution? Who is going to order Egypt’s army to crack down on Hamas and to close its facilities? Nobody.
And finally, what happens when Israel goes to the United States and asks President Obama to put pressure on Egypt to close down Hamas operations? Just guess.
Here’s a wonderful example of how this system works in another country. In Lebanon, Hizballah is creating its own secure strategic communications network without any government sanction. The Lebanese communications minister refused to interfere, supporting Hizballah’s actions. He explained that the Lebanese government accepted the project since almost anything was justified since Hizballah was fighting Israel.
One paragraph really jumps out:
In practical terms, however, predicting anything about the future of the Middle East these days is likely to leave one looking foolish. Who thought Tunisians would toss out their dictator? Or that Egyptians would demand and get Mubarack to resign? Or that Syrians, after two generations of dictatorship, would turn on the Assad family? Revolution is in the air in the Middle East which is to say that change—rapid change—is the order of the day.
Indeed. Things in the Middle East are changing rapidly - and most, if not all of these changes are movements towards radical Islamic regimes. Regimes who would very much like to see Israel destroyed.
The stage has been set. Now its just a matter of time before the predicted, prophetic wars begin.
And when that begins - if we are here to see the early stages, then it's time to start looking up even more-so than we already are.
Scott, Great job as usual . Thank you for taking the time and hours to put this website together :) Now , on a side note does anyone ever think that there is a reason why God seperated all of the nations and tongues from each other ? (Old Testament) Now as "globalization" rapidly shows its face , and the combination of ideology ,market places , resources ,technology starts intertwining itself together we seem to have never ending conflict , financial crises , Chaos, Wars , rumors of wars , and instability across the Globe ....Just a thought . God Bless .
Dear Scott: I really thank you too! One day you will know what your blog meant to us. Anyways:
Evacuation plan for Brits in Spain amid warning euro collapse could leave them stranded
FOR YOUR INFO >>>>>
I ACCEPTED JESUS ON THE 30TH OF
THIS IS TO REMOVE ALL DOUBTS AS
TO WHETHER I AM SAVED OR NOT.
YOU GUYS DO NOT OPEN YOUR MINDS.
DID U KNOW THAT BOB PRECHTER
PREDICTED THESE BANK RUNS 6
MONTHS AGO THAT ARE STARTING TO
HIT THE EU ??
GIVE ME A BREAK
GIVE ME CREDIT AND EWI CREDIT
WHEN I TALK TO JESUS ABOUT ALL
THIS CLOSEMINDED STUFF AFTER THE RAPTURE YOU
GUYS WILL NOT BE ABLE TO DELETE.
THAT I KNOW
James, i know you and me do not like each other very much, but
I give you credit for calling OUT
Anon like that....seems this person
is always trying to HIDE OUT behind
a name.....called Anon ????
ANON....if you read this, PLEASE
reveal your name, stop concealing,
cos in the end we will ALL find
out your identity,
AND U KNOW THAT
PLEASE PRAY FOR MY FRIEND
THIS IS NOT ABOUT STOCKS OK ??
PLEASE PRAY FOR MY FRIEND BRADLEY
HE IS STUCK IN NIGERIA WITH SOME
PROBLEMS THAT ARE NOT HIS FAULT.
PLEASE PRAY THAT HE CAN GET BACK TO ME IN HAWAII OK ....
Stephen-I prayed for your friend. That is one of the wonderful things about this site. Despite our differences, we love one another very much here. Remember...where two or more are gathered...I hope your friend returns to you soon :)
Thanks Ally I will always remember you for your help, can u talk to other people as well about Bradley,
As I am not in any email contact with others concerning the situation over a sick soul, and intend to keep it that way, I am presenting a case here, in the affected area, and also a second that I strongly believe, has been made aware of what has been falsely termed as an ‘attack’ against your person.
My appeal to Scripture includes ‘vengeance belongs to the Lord’; ‘turn the other cheek’ and ‘forgive those who falsely accuse’.
Personal emotions, with subjective feelings, must never replace the application of the Bibles doctrinal directives to life.
Attack the Argument not the Person
by Kenneth Samples
“Informal fallacies—defects or errors in reasoning—cause arguments to break down. The ad hominem fallacy (argument against the person) occurs when one arguer presents his point and the second arguer ignores the point, instead attacking the character of his opponent.
This tactic is not only personally offensive but also logically unacceptable because it violates two core principles of reasoning. First, a person has an intellectual responsibility to respond to the content of an argument. Second, the character attack itself is irrelevant to the person’s argument (whether or not it is true). Even morally flawed people can present sound arguments.
The ad hominem fallacy comes in three identifiable varieties:
1.abusive: directly denouncing character (old-fashioned name-calling).
2.circumstantial: raising special circumstances in an attempt to discredit a person’s motives (also known as “poisoning the well”).
3.tu quoque: accusing the other person of hypocrisy as an attempt to avoid personal criticism (tu quoque is Latin for “you too”).
To criticize a person’s character may be appropriate—if the person’s character is the logical issue at hand.
For example, jurors in a courtroom need to know if a witness has been found guilty of perjury in the past. Believability is closely connected to the issue of discerning truth.
For dealing with ad hominem attacks, I offer two recommendations:
(1) Don’t give in to the temptation to respond in the same abusive manner, and
(2) help the arguer (and others) to see that the attack is logically irrelevant and then refocus attention on the argument at hand. Once the focus is back on arguments and not a person, listeners (even opponents) are likely to consider and be persuaded.
The Christian’s goal is to present arguments shaped by sound logical and moral principles and to trust God to use them as He pleases.
Reasons to Believe
Knock it off, enough is enough. I can tell you right now if something happens to him I have no problem revealing the evidence collected here. I am only posting to ask you to stop harassing me well as others. A mere day goes by and your back picking an already open wound. This is wrong. I am done with this non-sense. Leave me alone as well. I have other things going on that you seem to deem less important. My family and I wish for you to respect that now more than ever.
"But the fruit of the Spirit is
There are ways to correct and discuss and ways not to. Baseball bats, badgering, indifferent intransigence, name calling, belligerence, and the like are not mentioned....timely compassion and patience are often mentioned.
Most really good and self confident scholars and teachers of His Word acknowledge that there is room for valid differences of opinion in scripture.
Further, I saw no denominations mentioned in scripture.
One final thought on the subject from here....each and every Christian either backslides or grows and is grown by the Father....there is no staying still and I know of few quantum leaps but it is a growth and normally, over time. We all teach, we all learn...and grow. Concepts are normally brought up, studied, discussed, and mediated on....and with the help of the Holy Spirit growth and conviction happens....over time. Its a process, not an event.
Growth or true conviction is not accomplished through badgering.
There's a huge, huge difference between knowing His Word and knowing and experiencing Him, His ways, and His love.
Many thanks - its a labor of love :)
Caver, Amen brother.Sometimes we just have to agree to disagree.
By bringing up things continually it just reopens old wounds. Let it be done because some day in eternity it will all look really silly.
Lets all keep our eyes on JESUS!
I believe his hand is on the doorknob.Soon and very soon....
In Christian Love,mary
I pray that your friend Bradley will be home soon. Let us know when he returns home safely.
Let's get something straight right now. I have never acted like, or said that I don't like you. In fact I have nothing but love for you.
I know you love God but you don't make it easy for us to help you. We've all adressed you here and asked that you stop updating us about the stock market. I know what you believe and I respect that. I'm not saying your right please understand that. To me it's not if you are right or not it's can you respect the wishes of others. What I mean is this...we all have great attributes alone but together in Christ we are stronger. The way this blog family works is we find our place here and try to be there for others more than we are for ourselves. When we get the focus off of us and on to Christ only then do we begin to u nderstand who we are in Him. The stock market as everything else in this world was created by and controlled by God not man. Surrendering to Him here in this blog joins you with the family you were intended to be with all along. God bless you my friend. Go in peace and may all your days be blessed with the grace and understanding of how and who you are loved by.
That WAS me done and dusted. Regardless of what you wrote in reply; I was not adding another word. However, threats are another matter; that is exceedingly nasty. Don’t threaten GG; you get on with it and do it; run to the Police with your ‘evidence’. They will see it for what you have chosen to make of it and make yourself look even sillier than you have already done. You have ripped apart, your charade of ‘love’, all by yourself, by baring your teeth and flexing your claws for the world to see. Oops!
Why are you falsely accusing me of harassing people? That is a spiteful and blatant lie. All I have said is up front for all to read. With your mischief making emails, it is something you cannot put claim to. As for your family troubles, who doesn’t have them? However I always fight my own battles and do not hide behind them as an excuse.
The difference between us is that I know I am a sinner, one of the worst I expect, but you have managed to wreck your own façade of the ‘ever loving’ GG, embarrassed yourself, and now you want to put the blame onto someone else. How many times does that make?
Perhaps your venom here will be used as evidence against you as a witness for the cause of my own suspected suicide! No, that isn’t a threat; I don’t make threats, not like the boy who cried ‘wolf’. Mine’s been planned to the smallest detail!
By the way Caver; I am more than aware that I do not yet bear the ripe fruit of the Holy Spirit. This nonsense has gone to prove it is impossible to fake. Unless the Lord builds the house, they labour in vain that build it.
Over 1500 folk a day come visit this little site.
That's a lot of folk.
Stop and think about that a few moments. Think about the opportunity afforded us here.
Think about the chances the Lord, through Scott's efforts, has given us to affect someone's coming to faith....and maybe he or she is THAT last one.
That's a huge number of folk that...
...have already been saved but want to understand where we're at on the prophetic timeline, or simply to start learning about prophecy,
...and those considering who we are and what we're about, what does Christ have for them, if anything.
...as well as some to ridicule us and cause strife
What do they see?
Do they see a fellowship that lifts each other up, is rock solid in their faith in the prophecy of the bible, and devoted to being salt and light to the rest of the world.
Do they see folk that have something they want?...something they need in their life? something that is the rock they need to hang on to?
Do they see the love and strength of Christ here?
Or do they want to laugh, turn, and run?
Personally, I'm totally reevaluating my presence, words, and actions here. Its time to get real close to that mirror and go "log" searching-n-looking.
Well said, Caver, well said. There are a lot of us out here reading not only the posts but also the comments section.
Scott - keep up the good work.
Watching and waiting, looking above... it won't be long now. I can hardly wait!
FWIW, I believe Caver is absolutely correct. There has been a certain level of combativeness in some of the comments lately that, in my opinion, goes beyond loving and civil disagreement and/or correction with respect to false teaching.
This site, through Scott's wonderful work and the group's very often insightful and inspiring comments and discussions, has the potential to help a great many people (believers and non-believers alike) in these trying days. I'd hate to see people turning away from such a powerful gift.
1 Peter 4:7-11 - The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray. 8 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 9 Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 11 If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.
God bless all.
Stephen, your friend Bradley is also in my prayers.
John 13: 34-35
A new commandment I give unto you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, ye have love one to another.
Not trying to be trite , but our many offenses toward God are far far worse than what is occuring here and yet God still loves us.
Well said, Caver and others , well said .
I can think of nothing to add, only repeating my greatest concern being with seekers of the Truth being repelled by the attitudes and postings of a few.
For many, this blog is the closest they will ever get to reading the Word. That is such an awesome responsibility . Diane
Agreed everyone,one more Bible verse then I'll be quiet.. maybe...
A gentle answer turns away wrath,but a harsh word stirs up anger.
One more verse..
Search me O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!
We who call Christ our Saviour are doubly His:
"It is He who made us and we are His." Psa. 100:3
"You are not your own. You were bought with a price." 1 Cor. 6:19.
What a comforting knowledge in these uncertain times ! Diane
From a post on Fuel Project (Know your Enemey):
The Law of Christ is not 613 rules made up of thou shalts and shalt nots. (Col 2:20-23)
It's not petty squabbles about days, times, seasons or Sabbaths. (Col 2:16, Gal 4:9, Titus 3:9-10) It's not about obedience to obsolete Jewish laws. (Gal 3:10) It's not about burdening and condemning others with those laws. (Acts 15:10)
It's not about becoming Jewish. (Gal 3:28)
It's not about what you eat or drink (1 Cor 10:31).
It's not about imposing your conscience on others (Rom 14, 1 Cor 10:29).
And it's not doing whatever you want either. (Gal 5:13)
This is what the Law of Christ looks like. (Matt 22:36-40, Jn 13:34-35, Rom 13:10, Gal 5:14, James 2:8)
It's love expressing itself in selfless action, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and self control. (Gal 5:22-23)
It's beautiful, it's simple and it's what happens when we live by the Spirit.
This is what a Christian community should look like. Love one another and stay free!
Food for thought......Diane
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