...world leaders gathered in Beijing to discuss the creation of modern-day land and maritime «silk roads» to improve the economic conditions of nations around the world. Nothing more could have illustrated the massive divide between the concerns of many of the nations of the world and those of the United States, which is rapidly descending into second-rate power status, along with its NATO allies Britain, France, and Germany.
If the Trump administration hoped to convince world leaders to stay away from Beijing, it was sorely disappointed. The United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, was there, along with the President of the World Bank Jim Yong Kim and International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde. Also present in Beijing were the presidents of Turkey, Philippines, Argentina, Chile, Indonesia, Kyrgyzstan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Switzerland, Kenya, Uzbekistan, and Laos, as well as the prime ministers of Vietnam, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Serbia, Malaysia, Mongolia, Fiji, Ethiopia, Cambodia, and Myanmar.
The Silk Road initiative has projects planned in all the nations whose governments were represented in Beijing, except for the United States and Israel. In addition to the nations represented by their government heads of state and ministers, Silk Road agreements were signed between China and Palestine, Georgia, Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania, Tajikistan, Brunei, Croatia, and East Timor.
President Xi, in his keynote address to the conference, said that the «One Belt and One Road» initiative is «a project of the century» and that will benefit everybody across the world. And to put his money where his mouth is, Xi said China will contribute 80 billion yuan (US$113 billion) as added financial impetus to create a global network of highway, railway, and maritime links in a recreation of the ancient Silk Road that linked China to the West.
China and Russia used the Beijing summit to showcase several Eurasian initiatives, including the Russia-inspired Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) and the China-initiated Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). Both the Chinese and Russian heads of state let it be known that the BRICS alliance of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa was still a potent world entity, even though South Africa was not represented in Beijing by its president and India chose not to send any representative to Beijing.
Just hours after today's second consecutive successful launch of a North Korean ballistic missile in one week, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un approved "the deployment of the new intermediate-range ballistic missile for combat use" as the country succeeded in test-firing it, Pyongyang's state media said Monday, cited by Yonhap. KCNA also redundantly added that Kim personally observed the launch of the new ground-to-ground Pukguksong-2 missile, and approved the deployment of the Pukguksong-2 for action, calling it a "successful strategic weapon," the KCNA said... as if there may have been something more important for Kim to do during that time.
"This type of missile should be rapidly mass-produced in a serial way" to arm the strategic force of the Korean People's Army, Kim was quoted as saying by the report. He set forth the strategic tasks for bolstering the country's nuclear force, it added.
According to South Korean military, quoted by various media outlets, the missile is the same type that was launched Feb. 12. It was developed with the technology applied in submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs). Today's test marked North Korea's second missile launch since South Korean President Moon Jae-in took office May 10. According to Yonhap, North Korea's continued missile launches are likely to test Moon, who earlier vowed to seek a dual approach to the North's denuclearization and inter-Korean dialogue. On Friday, North Korea condemned Moon's policy, saying dialogue can never be compatible with confrontation.
The latest provocations out of Pyongyang came despite the U.S. top diplomat's latest assurance that the U.S. has no intention to seek a regime change in North Korea. Shrugging off what appears to be Washington's conciliatory gesture, North Korea said Saturday that it will develop and produce more powerful weapons, which may prove a self-destructive gamble now that not one but two US aircraft carrier are set to anchor off the Korean coast.
Pyongyang said it has successfully tested the Pukguksong-2 intermediate range ballistic missile, after it was detected landing off Japan’s east coast, causing no damage. The nuclear-capable missile was launched just one week after the previous test by North Korea.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un personally supervised the test of the new missile, which the KCNA state news agency said verified the reliability of the late-stage guidance system of the nuclear warhead and tested its solid-fuel engine, Reuters reported.
South Korean military officials said it was a solid-fuel rocket, in contrast to last week’s liquid-fuel test rocket. Solid-fuel rockets, such as those used in previous submarine-launched tests, are considered more complex to design and operate, but are more stable, and offer greater long-term military capability.
On Monday, the UN Security Council demanded that Pyongyang conduct no such tests again, stating it was crucial that North Korea “immediately show sincere commitment to denuclearization through concrete action.”
“North Korea wants to continue to attract global attention, it wants to continue to exert pressure on the US and on South Korea. It is preparing itself to achieve the ultimate objective of being able to attack the US with nuclear long-range missiles,” political scientist Joseph Cheng told RT via video link from Hong Kong. “However, it seems to be exercising a little bit of self-restrain as nuclear tests at this stage are seen to be too provocative at the moment.”
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un continues to fire off missiles that fail shortly after lifting off. But there are enough successes to portend a time when he can arm them with nuclear devices to kill hundreds of thousands. The ayatollahs and military of Iran continue on course to produce deliverable nuclear weapons to rain upon the hated Israel. Russian president Putin becomes more bellicose by the day, sending his bombers near America’s Alaskan shores. He has fighter jets buzzing American aircraft within twenty feet in some cases.
Syrian dictator Assad continues to inflict genocide in the region, no doubt causing Israel’s military to consider preemptive action to protect the Jewish state.
China, despite some minor, peaceful overtures to President Trump and America, continues to build its military and new bases in waters that are considered international rather than Chinese territorial waters. ISIS and the many Israel-hating terrorist entities continue to plan and carry out murderous assaults around the world.
This is a time that there is a cry for peace and safety, while there seems little peace upon the planet.
Our president is going to the Middle East to have a go at formulating a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians–a thing many diplomats of every stripe have tried but failed to achieve.
Everything in regard to those geopolitical exigencies seem to point to just how near this generation is to the time of Tribulation, the final seven years immediately preceding Christ’s Second Advent. But, those represent only one side of the equation that makes up the signals we are to look for in being watchmen on the wall as Bible prophecy fulfillment draws near.
While the volatility and violence that will be part of end-times indicators are certainly something to consider, Jesus painted a much different picture that will be on the scene when He next catastrophically intervenes into the affairs of fallen mankind.
We know that the Bible–that God’s prophets–never contradict one another. If we search deeply enough and long enough, we will see the interconnectedness and the absolute integrity of prophetic truth. So, how, as God’s Word says, does Paul’s prophecy, “evil men and seducers will [get] worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived,” comport with Jesus’ own words about the moment He will next break in upon this rebellious world?
How does, for example, the Lord’s own declaration make sense? He prophesies that people will be buying, selling, marrying, and building–doing all the things of everyday life. How does that declaration not conflict with the Revelation foretelling twenty-one devastating judgments given to John on Patmos?
That is, how does such a not-unpleasant set of circumstances like Jesus describes using the days of Noah and of Lot not contradict the Olivet Discourse? The Lord’s words there describe conditions so horrific when Christ comes back that no flesh would be saved if He did not return at that moment (Matthew 24: 21).
The only answer to why there are these diametrically different prophetic descriptions–that of business as usual and that of the worst times of human history–is, of course, wrapped up in the apostle Paul’s foretelling.
Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. (1 Corinthians 15:51-52)
The pre-millennial, pre-tribulation view of Christ’s return is the only view that answers the big questions about the apparent contradictions.
God’s next catastrophic intervention into the affairs of rebellious mankind’s evil doings will take place in two phases. The first involves the “mystery” Paul describes in 1 Corinthians 15: 51-55. All born-again believers who have died or are living will in one stunning moment be translated into supernatural bodies and instantly appear with Jesus Christ above planet earth.
Jesus tells that at the time of that event–the Rapture–things will be relatively normal for most living on the earth. As a matter of fact, I believe His words tell that it will be business even better than usual.
I will expand on this greatly in my next book which, God willing, will be available late this year.
The second phase of Christ’s Second Coming will, of course, be that moment when He comes back with all the saints to put an end to man’s most terrible war–Armageddon (Revelation 19:11-12).
At that time, the earth will have been devastated by war and God’s wrath. Again, Jesus said that all flesh would die if He didn’t intervene at that moment.
God’s judgment will begin, Jesus said, the very day He is next “revealed.” That will be at the Rapture, when all the earth will know there has been a tremendous event that made millions simply vanish. Like in Lot’s day, God’ judgment will begin that very day, Jesus says as recorded in Luke 17:26-30. God’s wrath won’t begin until the covenant of Daniel 9:27 is confirmed. But judgment will begin immediately, we are told by the Lord, Himself.
It will be a catastrophic intervention right from that twinkling-of-an-eye moment!
I believe we, as watchmen, should be observing the times to see if there is in the near future a noticeable upswing in national and international economies–this in conjunction with considering all the traditional signals that the Bible describes.
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