Remembering the Forgotten War

Remembering the Forgotten War
Vol: 92 Issue: 30 Saturday, May 30, 2009

On August 6, 1945 and only days before the Japanese surrender, the Soviet Union formally declared war on the Japanese Empire. The reason for the declaration of war was to permit the Soviet Union to liberate the northern part of the Korean peninsula from the Japanese Empire.

As part of the agreement with the United States, the Soviet Union stopped at the 38th Parallel. In September, US forces arrived on the southern end of the Korean peninsula. The USSR agreed to receive the surrendering Japanese to the north while those in the south surrendered to the Americans.

The South eventually adopted a representative government led by Syngman Rhee. The Soviet-occupied North set up a Communist system under Kim il Sung. On June 25, 1950, North Korean forces crossed the 38th Parallel under a withering artillery barrage.

The UN Security Council met hours later. After two days of debate they passed UNSC Resolution 83 authorizing the use of force to drive North Korean troops back across the DMZ.

President Truman immediately ordered the US military to South Korea. On November 1, 1950 Mao Tse Tung decided to quietly enter the war on the side of the North Koreans. In 1951 both sides entered into peace talks although the battles continued to rage for another two years.

When the gunsmoke cleared from the battlefield, US deaths stood at 36,940. The North Koreans lost a half million, South Korean losses were about the same. The biggest loser was China, whose contribution to the Korean war was somewhere between a half-million and one and one-half million (1,500,000) dead.

The Korean War came closer than any war since WWII to ending in a nuclear mushroom cloud. President Harry Truman wanted to use it against North Korean troops, but the US couldn’t find a significant enough massing of NOKO troops to justify its use. General Douglas MacArthur wanted to use it against China.

We came this close.

Assessment:

Now the war is back on. Kim Jong il’s government announced it would no longer honor the armistice agreement it signed on July 27, 1953. Now what?

Most of the existing war scenarios don’t include the use of nuclear weapons by the North Koreans. Instead, they picture a massive artillery barrage followed by attacks by North Korean commandos along the DMZ together with sabotage attacks by NOKO infiltrators and sleepers in the South.

If it came to war, destruction civilian and military would be heavy, even if the North held back whatever nuclear weapons it may have. Seoul, which is home to ten million people, is only thirty-five miles from the DMZ. (Including suburbs, Seoul’s metropolitan population is more than twice that figure).

While the general consensus is that eventually, the South would win, the cost of such a war is almost unthinkable.

U.S. and South Korean forces have had almost sixty years to anticipate how a renewed attack might unfold and plan how they would respond.

The expectation is that the North would slip commandos, commonly called special operating forces, across the Demilitarized Zone that divides the North and South or into southern waters aboard small submarines to carry out sabotage and assassination.

In congressional testimony in March, the commander of U.S. forces in Korea, Gen. Walter L. Sharp, estimated that the North has more than 80,000 such commandos.

He described it is the largest special operating force in the world, with “tough, well-trained and profoundly loyal troops” who are capable of clandestine missions such as sabotaging critical civilian infrastructure as well as attacking military targets.

Sharp said the rest of North Korea’s army ranks as the world’s fourth largest with 1.2 million troops on active duty. They are backed by as many as 7 million reserves, with an estimated 1,700 military aircraft, 800 naval vessels and more than 13,000 artillery pieces.

In addition, NOKO is believed to have a chemical weapons capability that it may unleash along the DMZ (where America has some 28,000 troops) in the early stages of a land war to demoralize defending forces and deny the use of mobilization centers, storage areas and military bases.

On the other hand, America has fighters, bombers and other offensive aircraft stationed on bases in Japan, Guam and elsewhere in the region that could reach North Korean in under thirty minutes.

The North Koreans have a handful of old Soviet MiGs. Their pilots are poorly trained, since North Korea can’t afford to waste fuel for training purposes.

That is not to say that taking out North Korea would be easy — it wouldn’t. At least, not in a conventional war. But it wouldn’t be quite as tough as it was in the early 1950’s. It is unlikely that the Chinese would actively interfere and risk a conflict with the US over the likes of Kim Jong il. And the collapse of the Soviet Union ended any Russian lingering obligations to the hermit kingdom.

The question is, will it come to war? Kim Jong il has to know that if he attacks the South, he will lose the war and he will probably lose North Korea. But does he care?

Kim Jong il is now 68 years old. He is a hypochondriac who suffers from diabetes and heart disease and is believed to have recently suffered a stroke.

The guy is nuts. He is said to inject himself with the blood of virgins to stay young and healthy.

He is said to buy more top-of-the-line Hennessy cognac than anyone else in the world and annually imports huge quantities of lobster, caviar and the finest sushi into a country regularly plagued by famine.

A Russian diplomat, Konstantin Pulikovsky, once spent 24 days traveling with Kim across Russia by train. Every day, he said, Kim would have live lobsters airlifted the train along with cases of champagne.

A huge film buff, he owns more than 20,000 movies and his favorites are said to be Friday the 13th, Rambo, the James Bond films and anything with Elizabeth Taylor. In 1978, he ordered the kidnapping of a South Korean filmmaker and his wife and forced them to make movies for him.

Kim Jong il was once told by a fortune-teller that a triplet would topple his government. He immediately issued a decree that all triplets born in North Korea be raised in state-run orphanages.

Official biographies claim he is a literary genius who composed six operas in just two years. They claim that he got 11 holes-in-one — the first time he ever played golf.

One of his official biography describes him as “a theoretician and great master in every field,” who is also “a genius of literature, art and military affairs,” “a master of leadership” and a man who has performed “immortal exploits for mankind.”

Now, Kim may well be on the brink of death and his choices for a successor are pretty limited. His eldest son, nicknamed “Fat Bear” was once caught trying to sneak into Japan under a fake passport so he could go to Disneyland. Kim thinks his next son is too ‘effeminate’ (it is claimed he has a hormone deficiency) to rule.

His youngest, Kim Jong Un, is described as being “exactly like his father” and is therefore his father’s chosen successor. But there are some hints that might not be good enough.

Kim Jong Un is TOO much like his father, including having inherited his diabetes. Kim the Elder just might decide that when he dies, he’ll take North Korea with him.

And it just keeps getting scarier every day.

“What time I am afraid, I will trust in Thee. In God I will praise His word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me. (Psalms 56:3-4)

On the Testimony of Three Witnesses. . .

On the Testimony of Three Witnesses. . .
Vol: 92 Issue: 29 Friday, May 29, 2009

On the Testimony of Three Witnesses. . .

There are at least five distinct views within the Church concerning when (or whether) the Lord will return for His Church in an event commonly called “The Rapture.”

The proponents for each view are all sincere, believing Christians who believe their interpretation is right to the exclusion of all others.

I understand and appreciate that more than a few of the members of our fellowship hold to different understandings of the Rapture and I respect their scholarship.

However, we know that things that are different cannot be the same. No matter how kindly or charitably one tries to frame it, while all are sincere, at least four of these views are sincerely wrong.

How can this be? Is not the same Holy Spirit guiding us all? How can there possibly be so many different understandings of the same doctrine?

If there are five different views of the Rapture, does that suggest the doctrine itself is weak?

In brief, the five views of the Rapture are as follows:

1. Pre-Tribulational: The Rapture of the Church takes place before the start of the Tribulation Period, defined as two consecutive periods of 1280 days each. (Daniel 7:25, 9:2712:7 Revelation 11:2, 11:3 12:6, 12:14, 13:5)

It begins with the revelation of the antichrist as the guarantor of Israel’s security with the confirmation of a seven year peace agreement.

The dividing point between the first and second parts of the Tribulation is the cessation of Temple sacrifices (Daniel 9:27)

2. Mid-Tribulational: This view sees the Church being Raptured at the half-way point when the Temple sacrifices are suspended by the antichrist, but before the Great Tribulation of the 2nd half.

3. Pre-Wrath: This also puts the Church through the first half of the Tribulation, but the dividing point is not the Temple sacrifices, but the judgments, specifically, the Sixth Seal judgment, the “Blood Moon.”

4. Post-Tribulational: This view sees the Church put through the entire Tribulation, with the survivors being Raptured at the Second Coming.

5: There is no Rapture. This is the default view of amillennialism and post-millennialism and probably the majority view of world-wide Christendom today.

Only one view can be correct. So why five? Different methods of interpretation of prophecy affect the conclusions that are drawn from prophetic passages. If one reads a passage of prophecy and interprets it literally, one comes away with a different conclusion than if one reads the same passage symbolically.

There are places in Scripture where something is intended to be understood symbolically and places where it is intended to be literal. Context and usage generally make the intent obvious, but the best rule of interpretation remains the old adage, ‘when the clear sense makes sense, seek no other sense.’

But it should be obvious that those who draw their conclusions based on a symbolic understanding of Scripture arrive at different conclusions than those who view Scripture from a literal point of view.

“That in the dispensation of the fulness of times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in Him:” (Ephesians 1:10)

What is the ‘dispensation of the fullness of times?’ Literally, the phrase means the final dispensation, or the Millennial Kingdom.

“If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:” (Ephesians 3:2)

What is the dispensation of the grace of God? Literally, that is the Church Age.

“Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God.” (Colossians 1:25)

It seems clear to me that when interpreted literally and with a clear understanding of the Dispensations of God, one arrives at the conclusion that the Rapture of the Church must take place before any part of the Tribulation begins.

There is a clear Dispensational division between the Church Age and the Time of Jacob’s Trouble, or the 70th Week of Daniel. The Church Age MUST end so that God can pour out His grace upon the whole House of Israel.

“For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.” (Romans 11:25)

When Scripture references “a mystery” it refers to something not previously revealed by God now being revealed to the Church. The first to use this word was Christ Himself in Mark 4:11:

“And He said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables.”

The Dispensation of the Age of Grace is acknowledged even by those who argue against Dispensationalism. It must be acknowledged, since it cannot be ignored.

Without Dispensationalism, there can be no reconciliation between the Old and New Testaments. The problem with that is that, without the harmony of the Scriptures, it would mean the same God didn’t inspire them both.

Is it, “an eye for an eye”? Or is it “turn the other cheek?” Does God demand blood sacrifices in payment for sin? Or has the blood sacrifice demand been satisfied?

It depends on whether one is under the Dispensation of the Law, or the Dispensation of the Age of Grace, does it not?

If one is under the Dispensation of Grace, it follows that, “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.” (Romans 3:28)

But the Prophet Daniel says that during the Tribulation Period, the Law will be in effect. The Temple will be restored — as will the Temple system of animal sacrifices. Is that literal? Or symbolic?

And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease . . .

An ‘oblation’ means ‘a thing presented or offered to God.” If the ‘covenant’ is literal, and the ‘week’ is a literal shabua (week of years) then it follows that both the sacrifice and the oblation are just as literal.

In 1st Corinthians 3:16,17, and 6:16, Paul points out that during the Church Age, believers are the Temple of God.

“Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?”

“If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.”

“And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.”

The Apostle Paul writes of the restored Temple (the only place where Daniel’s prophecy of sacrifice and oblation can be valid) and the antichrist’s desecration of it thusly:

“Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.” (2nd Thessalonians 2:4)

Notice that Paul refers to it as the “Temple of God.” Is Paul speaking of all Church Age believers in which the antichrist takes a seat? Or a literal Temple of God?

Let’s ask Jesus.

“But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not, (let him that readeth understand,) then let them that be in Judaea flee to the mountains:” (Mark 13:14)

The abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet is when the antichrist defiles the Temple, causing the sacrifice and oblation to cease. It is the same abomination of desolation that Paul is referring to in 2nd Thessalonians 2:4 — when the antichrist desecrates the Temple by sitting down in it proclaiming himself to be God.

Daniel says the Third Temple is legitimate in the eyes of God. And it is desecrated halfway through the Tribulation Period. It cannot be desecrated unless it is holy and it is God who calls it an abomination.

Jesus Christ says the abomination spoken of by Daniel takes place in “the holy place” and says when that happens, it is time to flee Judea for the mountains.

Paul says that this desecration is perpetrated by the antichrist and it takes place “in the Temple of God.”

So, on the testimony of three witnesses; Daniel, Jesus Christ of Nazareth and the Apostle Paul, during the Tribulation to come, the antichrist desecrates the Temple of God.

And, on the testimony of the Scripture, we are told three times that during the Church Age, WE are the Temple of God.

Things that are different are not the same. We find that the Temple of God, during the Church Age, is NOT a building, but the Temple of God, during the Tribulation, IS the literal Temple building.

Daniel said so. Paul said so. JESUS SAID SO.

If Daniel, Jesus and Paul say the Tribulation’s Temple of God is a building and a legitimate holy place that is capable of being desecrated, then what happened to the Church Age Temple[s] that the SAME Apostle Paul defines as Church Age believers?

The Scripture offers only one explanation that answers those questions without contradicting itself elsewhere.

“For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”

The Rapture of the Church is one of the most divisive doctrines within the Church today. And, as I’ve said many times, NOBODY is saved by their understanding of the timing of the Rapture.

So why do I keep hammering away at it? Because the Scriptures exhort me to.

We live in the most terrifying time of uncertainty in human history — the wrong move by the wrong guy could set off a chain of events that could potentially exterminate the human race. We have but a short time to spread the message of salvation, and it doesn’t help if we are paralyzed by fear.

The Lord knew the conditions that would exist just before His return. Which is why Paul ends his explanation of the Rapture with this exhortation:

“Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” (1st Thessalonians 4:16-18)

Maranatha!

Could Korean Conflict Go Nuclear?

Could Korean Conflict Go Nuclear?
Vol: 92 Issue: 28 Thursday, May 28, 2009

Among the items in this morning’s email was a forward from something called the Hal Turner Radio Network that claimed direct knowledge of an impending US nuclear strike against North Korea. The following is from that email.

North Korea yesterday withdrew from the Armistice that halted the Korean War. Today, official Washington is abuzz with not so secret “Top Secret” plans for the United States to make a limited nuclear first strike to wipe out the North Korean threat in one fell swoop.

Russia has been alerted to “make plans” for radiation fallout in its eastern border area.

In consultations with China, the U.S. Ambassador to Beijing was said to be stunned when he was told by the Chinese government “Kim Jung Il is out of control and dangerous. He has become a serious liability for China. Do what must be done, but please do it in a manner that minimizes risk to China.”

China was then briefed about US plans and asked to prepare its southern population areas for radiation fallout. It is expected that prevailing weather patterns will disperse fallout over the sea, causing it to thin out dramatically before moving over land.

Turner claims to have somehow obtained the entire operational war plans for the coming conflict, which will begin with a US nuclear first strike.

The first strike will be carried out through submarine-launched, BGM-109 Tomahawk cruise missiles, model TLAM/A whose explosive payload can be “dialed” to be anywhere from 100 kilotons to one point five megatons nuclear yield per missile.

There will be no warning. North Korea will not be able to track the incoming cruise missiles via radar. The only way they will know the attack is taking place is when they see a blinding white flash as the temperature rises to ten thousand degrees and the wind gusts to 650 miles per hour.

North Korean troops along the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) will be hit first to prevent them from invading south Korea. Multiple cruise missiles using Time of Arrival (TOA) control will detonate simultaneously along the DMZ, wiping out over one million North Korean troops in seconds.

Minutes later, after the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) confirms that the North Korean leadership has been told by their own command structure that their troops at the DMZ have all been killed, Kim Jung Il will be contacted and asked if he is willing to surrender. It is expected he will not.

At that point, a B-2 Stealth Bomber will be sent in to deliver the final blow. Pyongyang will be hit with a surface detonation of a massive nuclear bomb, wiping out the entire city and the entire government of North Korea.

As soon as that surface detonation takes place, several hundred additional cruise missiles carrying conventional payloads and launched from land, air and sea sites, will hit every North Korean military facility in the entire country, instantly crippling their entire command and control system. Carrier based Aircraft will then fly in to clean up whatever resistance remains.

It is expected the war will be over within one or two days. Korea will be reunited. It’s Capitol will be Seoul and its government will be democratically elected.

And everybody will be home in time for pizza and beers as we all watch the victory parade at Times Square on TV.

Or not.

I read the news release, which looked perfectly legitimate, but I didn’t get very far before I started checking for “The Onion” logo. I don’t know who Hal Turner is. But let me run down some of the reasons the report is probably a hoax.

First, I am relatively certain that the operational war plans for the destruction of North Korea were not entrusted to the Hal Turner Radio Network.

Secondarily, it would be political suicide for Barack Obama to order the destruction of Pyongyang and a million innocent civilians just to get Kim Jong il.

Thirdly, the DMZ that Turner envisions being erased by nuclear weapons is only some thirty-five miles from South Korean Capital at Seoul.

Metropolitan Seoul is home to more than 22 million people, many of whom would be within harm’s way in Turner’s scenario. So would the 28,500 US troops stationed along the DMZ dividing the two Koreas.

Finally, everybody thought we’d be home in time for pizza and beers the last time we entered North Korea, too. It was a famous German general from the last century who observed that “no battle plan survives first contact with the enemy.”

Assessment:

While I said it would be political suicide to use nukes without warning, the use of nukes would certainly not be without provocation.

Indeed, it would not be difficult to justify.

North Korea’s withdrawal from the 1953 Armistice really does mean a return to hot war status. And since Seoul is so close to the DMZ, a nuclear-armed North Korean enemy belligerent is unthinkable. Secretary of State Robert Gates was quoted by Voice of America saying their latest provocation constitutes a ‘potential game changer’.

In addition to the direct threat, there is the problem of nuclear proliferation. North Korea’s customers include Syria, Iran, Myanmar, Pakistan, Yemen and Libya.

Even if Pyongyang doesn’t seek to sell weapons-grade materials such as reprocessed plutonium, Pentagon officials say just the possibility it might sell nuclear-weapons designs poses a security challenge to the U.S.

“The concern is not just that they have a nuclear weapon; it’s what they’re going to do with the technology and where it’s going to go,” said a senior U.S. defense official told the WSJ. “It’s very difficult to have perfect knowledge about who they’re talking to or where they’re sending stuff,” the official said. According to Israeli intelligence, North Korea has been involved in the development of every missile system now in use in the region.

Since the nuclear test, President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and National Security Adviser James Jones have publicly voiced concerns about the threat posed by Pyongyang’s proliferation activities.

Then I stumbled across a Reuters report under the title, “Russia Fears Korea Conflict Could Go Nuclear.”

Interfax quoted an unnamed security source as saying a stand-off triggered by Pyongyang’s nuclear test on Monday could affect the security of Russia’s far eastern regions, which border North Korea.

“The need has emerged for an appropriate package of precautionary measures,” the source said.

“We are not talking about stepping up military efforts but rather about measures in case a military conflict, perhaps with the use of nuclear weapons, flares up on the Korean Peninsula,” he added. The official did not elaborate further.

North Korea has responded to international condemnation of its nuclear test and a threat of new U.N. sanctions by saying it is no longer bound by an armistice signed with South Korea at the end of the 1950-53 Korean War.

How does the possibility of a nuclear war fit in with Bible prophecy? We’ve already discussed the amazing series of ‘coincidences’ that led to Ezekiel’s prophecy of Israel’s restoration ‘in the latter times’ on previous occasions.

Israel was restored on May 14, 1948. That same year, the Roman Empire’s revival began with the 1948 Benelux Treaty, followed by the 1957 Treaty of Rome.

The Computer Age began with the invention of the transistor in 1948, providing the technical know-how to implement the 1948 GATT treaty, giving rise to the world’s first truly global economy.

The UN’s World Council on Religions was born in Amsterdam in 1948, providing the world’s first global quasi-official religious authority.

The Russian/Muslim alliances with Syria, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon and the rest of the Arab world, as well as the US support of Israel were the result of the 1948 Truman Doctrine that gave us the Cold War.

Virtually every significant player or event relative to the last days can trace its genesis in some way to 1948.

Including the establishment of the People’s Democratic Republic of [North] Korea by Kim il Sung in August, 1948.

Big Trouble in Little China

Big Trouble in Little China
Vol: 92 Issue: 27 Wednesday, May 27, 2009

In an astonishing turn of events, the North Korean government announced it is no longer bound by the terms of the 1953 Armistice which ended the armed conflict between North and South.

The Korean War never formally ended. Instead, both sides signed an armistice agreement. The Wikipedia entry for the Korean War reads as follows:

“The Korean War refers to a period of military conflict between North Korea (officially the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) and South Korea (officially the Republic of Korea) regimes, with major hostilities beginning on June 25, 1950, pausing with an armistice signed on July 27, 1953, and resuming when North Korea withdrew from the armistice on May 27, 2009 and declared that “the Korean peninsula will go back to a state of war.”

While I wouldn’t necessarily describe Wikipedia as an authoritative voice on anything, the editors got this one right. The Korean War resumed on May 27, 2009.

The Korean War is often called “The Forgotten War” because it was fought as a UN “police action” and because it was sandwiched between the much larger 2nd World War and the much more controversial Vietnam War.

World War II was a clear win; Vietnam a clear loss. The Korean War ended in a tie. And now the North Koreans want a rematch.

Assessment:

Choe Sung-Chol was vice-chairman of the Asia-Pacific Peace Committee, a quasi-government organization made up of key officials from both Koreas.

Choe Sung-Chol was instrumental in developing the “Sunshine Policy” of peaceful engagement with the North, providing massive aid to the impoverished North during the 1998-2007 famine.

The Sunshine Policy went dark in 2007 when Kim Jong Il ordered Choe executed for mishandling relations with the South by becoming too friendly.

Against this backdrop, the Washington Post’s assessment of North Korean belligerence as “An Early Test for Obama’s Engagement Policy” is a monumental case of understatement.

The North Koreans have conducted two successful nuclear tests. They’ve test fired a half-dozen short-range missiles. (Seoul is only thirty-five miles from the North Korean border.) And now they have withdrawn from the 1953 Armistice.

It may be an ‘early test for the Obama administration’, but it could be the final exam for Seoul’s metropolitan population of 22.25 million people.

So far, the Obama administration has met the test posed by Pyongyang’s nuclear test on Monday by speaking strong words from twin teleprompters.

“By acting in blatant defiance of the United Nations Security Council, North Korea is directly and recklessly challenging the international community,” Obama said in a brief statement outside the White House.

“North Korea’s behavior increases tensions and undermines stability in Northeast Asia. Such provocations will only serve to deepen North Korea’s isolation.”

The Japanese and South Koreans are less concerned with North Korea’s isolation than they are its containment. Japan has once again violated its post war pledge, dispatching military aircraft beyond its own airspace to monitor North Korea’s activities, despite the possibility of engagement by North Korean aircraft.

Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso said Monday night that his country “absolutely cannot tolerate” the nuclear test because North Korea is also beefing up its ballistic missile capability, which “could be a means of transportation for weapons of mass destruction.”

North Korea has more than 200 missiles capable of reaching Japan and enough plutonium to construct six atomic bombs.

Although not a nuclear power, Japan has enough plutonium to construct about one thousand nuclear bombs. And it has the know-how to build them, should it decide to.

It has, therefore, the fissile materials, highly-enriched uranium and plutonium, and the nuclear physicists and engineers needed to produce nuclear weapons in a short time months rather than years.

Japan could relatively quickly become an actual nuclear-weapon power. And that, according to a report by the US Congressional Research Service, could trigger catastrophic consequences. And not just for the North Koreans.

If it does acquire them, the report found, it could set off an arms race with China, South Korea, and Taiwan. India and/or Pakistan may then feel compelled to further expand or modernize their own nuclear weapons capabilities.” The consequences for global security would indeed be severe.

It is fascinating, in a somewhat horrific way, to watch as circumstances continue to align the nations and fine tune the roles each will play in unfolding Bible prophecy.

In Revelation Chapter Six, the Lord Jesus breaks the first of the Seal Judgments — the appearance of the antichrist.

“And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.” (Revelation 6:2)

The antichrist is depicted as riding on a white horse. The white horse is a symbol of conquering power. When Jesus returns at the Second Coming, He is similarly depicted as riding on a white horse. In his hand, he holds a bow, but no arrows.

Notice that a “crown” was “given” to him — indicating he had already come to power is by popular acclamation, like an elected official, before going forth “conquering, and to conquer”.

So what is depicted is the leader of a peaceful nation who later becomes a rapacious conqueror, (presumably once he is indwelt by Satan.)

Whoever the rider on the white horse might be, he is certainly alive now and probably already a popular world leader. That doesn’t mean he knows he is the antichrist.

The antichrist isn’t revealed (even unto himself) until the ministry of the Holy Spirit is withdrawn at the Rapture and he is indwelt by Satan. But he is out there right now, and we would probably recognize him on sight.

The second seal judgment immediately follows: “And when He had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see. And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.”

The third seal is that of famine and economic collapse, the fourth is death. Antichrist, War, Famine and Death.

And we can already hear all four horses from here.

The Zimmermann Telegram

The Zimmermann Telegram
Vol: 92 Issue: 26 Tuesday, May 26, 2009

On January 16th, 1917, British intelligence intercepted and decoded a telegram from German Foreign Secretary Arthur Zimmermann.

The telegram instructed German Ambassador to Mexico Heinrich von Eckardt that, in the event that the US seemed likely to enter the war against Germany, he was to seek a military alliance with Mexico.

If Mexico agreed to the alliance, then Germany promised to help the Mexicans recover Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. The relevant parts of the telegram are as follows:

On the first of February, we intend to begin unrestricted submarine warfare. In spite of this, it is our intention to endeavor to keep the United States of America neutral. In the event of this not succeeding, we propose an alliance on the following basis with Mexico: That we shall make war together and make peace together. We shall give generous financial support, and an understanding on our part that Mexico is to reconquer the lost territory in New Mexico, Texas, and Arizona. The details of settlement are left to you. . .

British Intelligence forwarded the decoded Zimmermann Telegram and forwarded it to Washington. The Telegram was made public on March 1st.

Public outrage was such that on April 6th, largely on the strength of the Zimmermann Telegram, the United States entered the war on the side of the Allies.

Mexican President Venustiano Carranza wisely declined the German offer, and even more wisely, waiting until a week after the US declared war on Germany before making a formal announcement.

When the Zimmermann Telegram was first made public, many in the States, including the Hearst newspaper chain, argued that it must be a forgery. After all, it was intercepted by British Intelligence and the British were already almost three years into its war with Germany.

Great Britain had every reason to invent it, and the Germans seemed too conveniently stupid for it to be genuine. Indeed, conspiracy theorists continued to argue that it was all a setup to bring the US into WWI right up to the 21st century.

Until October, 2005, when an historian doing research on the official history of the UK’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) discovered the actual telegram, complete with notations from Admiral Hall in his own handwriting.

Turns out the Zimmerman Telegram was real and the US entry into WWI historically justified.

Assessment:

The AP obtained a secret Israeli document that appears to prove that Venezuela and Bolivia are both supplying Iran with uranium.

“There are reports that Venezuela supplies Iran with uranium for its nuclear program,” the Foreign Ministry document states, referring to previous Israeli intelligence conclusions. It added, “Bolivia also supplies uranium to Iran.”

The report concludes that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is trying to undermine the United States by supporting Iran.

Venezuela and Bolivia are close allies, and both regimes have a history of opposing U.S. foreign policy and Israeli actions. Venezuela expelled the Israeli ambassador during Israel’s offensive in Gaza this year, and Israel retaliated by expelling the Venezuelan envoy. Bolivia cut ties with Israel over the offensive.

The three-page document about Iranian activities in Latin America was prepared in advance of a visit to South America by Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon, who will attend a conference of the Organization of American States in Honduras next week. Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman is also scheduled to visit the region.

Bolivia has uranium deposits. Venezuela is not currently mining its own estimated 50,000 tons of untapped uranium reserves, according to an analysis published in December by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. The Carnegie report said, however, that recent collaboration with Iran in strategic minerals has generated speculation that Venezuela could mine uranium for Iran.

The Israeli government report also charges that the Iran-backed Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon have set up cells in Latin America. It says Venezuela has issued permits that allow Iranian residents to travel freely in South America.

This makes perfect sense. Last year, Caracas Airlines began offering non-stop service to both Damascus and Tehran. The plane picks up passengers in Damascus and Tehran, relying on Damascus and Tehran to provide airport security.

The plane then returns to Caracas, bearing its passenger cargo of individuals from Damascus and Tehran, where those passengers and their luggage are ‘screened’ by the immigration and customs officials of Hugo Chavez.

The report concludes, “Since Ahmadinejad’s rise to power, Tehran has been promoting an aggressive policy aimed at bolstering its ties with Latin American countries with the declared goal of ‘bringing America to its knees.'”

Not surprisingly, Iran denies it, accusing Israel of trying to drag Bolivia and Venezuela into its nuclear standoff with Iran. So does Chavez of Venezuela and Morales of Bolivia.

That’s what they said about the British-supplied Zimmermann Telegram, too. Until it turned out to be real.

Note:

Please excuse the lateness of this morning’s OL. I had been waiting for a spot to open up to have a suspicious skin lesion removed. They called last night to tell me my appointment was at 8:00 this morning.

I just got home. It didn’t hurt, but it was sure a creepy feeling having somebody carving a part of you out while you watch. (I confess I didn’t watch — but I could have — that’s creepy enough for me.

It still doesn’t hurt, but the freezing is just now beginning to wear off, so it is about to.

As usual, whenever the storm clouds gather, that is the time to pray. Please pray that the biopsy finds the lesion is benign.

“Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. ” (James 5:16)

Maranatha!

“If You Are Reading This in English, Thank a Vet”

“If You Are Reading This in English, Thank a Vet”
Vol: 92 Issue: 25 Monday, May 25, 2009

Tiny Melton was a truck driver from Missouri. Tiny got his nickname in boot camp after his drill instructor took one look at his 6’4″ 220lb frame and said, “From now on, son, your name is Tiny.”

The name stuck. Tiny looked like a body-builder, but it was just the way he looked, he didn’t work at it. And as big as he was, he was as gentle as a lamb.

Tiny always put me in mind of Clint Walker’s character, “Posey” in the 60’s war movie, “The Dirty Dozen.”

Lynwood Richardson was from Alabama. Lynn was black, his skin a deep, rich ebony color. He was rechristened by his drill instructor as ‘Snowball’.

Richardson was a great runner, but a lousy athlete. It was a dirty little secret then, but I suppose it’s safe to admit it now.

In those days, it was fairly common for the drill instructor to cheat a little in order to squeeze somebody by some parts of the physical fitness test.

The tester was a drill instructor from another platoon. Snowball couldn’t do the requisite number of pull ups — my DI had me wear his sweatshirt and do them for him. (Snowball did the 3 mile run wearing my sweatshirt while I wore Pvt. Brunson’s and did his situps)

Sherman Latchaw was a little bitty guy from Pennsylvania — he didn’t weigh 95 pounds dripping wet. He wore great big, oversized glasses that made him look like the little kid ‘Sherman’ from the Mr. Peabody cartoons.

But, since his name was ALREADY Sherman, we called him ‘Poindexter.’ Poindexter looked like a stiff wind would knock him over. But he whipped every guy he was matched up with in hand-to-hand combat training. Poindexter, the little guy with the big glasses, graduated at the top of his boot camp class.

Terry Severance was from Pennsylvania, as well. For some reason, he and I didn’t hit it off that well at first. One of the duties shared by each recruit in boot camp was ‘firewatch’ duty. Each recruit in turn pulled a one-hour patrol of the barracks at night, before waking up the next man.

Terry fell asleep and when he woke me, it was halfway through my turn. Somehow, we ended up having a fight in the shower room — me barefoot in my skivvies, he in full dungaree uniform and combat boots.

I don’t remember who won, but I remember we were friends from them on.

My drill instructor was a guy named S/Sgt. J. R. James. When he found out I was Canadian, he nicknamed me ‘Wacky Jack’ — whenever another DI stopped by, Sgt. James would invite him to inspect ‘his pet Canadian’ whereupon I would race to the center of the squadbay to be ‘inspected.’

They’d look me over and say things like, “No wonder the Canadians sent him down here.” and, “they don’t grow ’em too sturdy up there, do they?” and other kind words of encouragement. (I kept part of the nickname — I dropped the ‘Wacky’ part and only had to put up with it when I ran into somebody from my old platoon)

Mike Tuscan was a decent guy, quiet, steady, and somebody you knew you could count on when the chips were down. He was a fairly nondescript looking guy, you’d pass him on the street without a second glance.

The last time I saw him, he had made it to S/Sgt in less than three years — quite an accomplishment for a Marine so bland that HIS nickname was ‘Mike’.

Assessment:

The Lord Jesus said, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13)

Memorial Day began as “Decoration Day” shortly after the end of the Civil War. Prior to that war, veterans and their war service were most frequently honored as part of the annual Independence Day celebrations.

In the aftermath of the Civil War many cities and communities began a tradition of marking the graves of their war dead. Eventually, the observance became a national phenomenon and began to be observed nationwide on May 30.

With time, the observances came to include the dead of other wars. In 1967 the observance was officially recognized as a federal holiday — Memorial Day.

This past Memorial Day was marked with controversy as some school districts have taken Memorial Day off their school holiday calendar. In North Carolina alone, there were twenty school district that held classes on this Memorial Day.

Explained Charlie Wyant, Catawba County Schools Board of Education chairman;

The legislators have put us in a bind, Wyant said. We have only so many days to get 180 instruction days in, plus teacher workdays, plus holidays. People want their Easter vacation and Christmas break, so when we did the calendar for this year, we chose to keep those and take away Memorial Day.

The two holidays being reconsidered as ordinary school days are Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day. Why not Martin Luther King Day? Why not President’s day, (since it no longer honors any particular president?)

Martin Luther King Day celebrates the murder of a great social leader. President’s Day honors the presidents who led the nation in times of war.

Memorial Day honors those ordinary men and women who volunteered to stand in harm’s way so that the rest of us wouldn’t have to. They paid the price for freedom with their blood, their sweat, their tears, and, too often, with their lives.

They did so while living on salaries below the federal poverty line, leaving their families to the tender mercies of their self-absorbed countrymen, many of whom were subjected to verbal abuse and insults as a reward for their sacrifices.

Memorial Day is arguably one of America’s most important holidays, since it celebrates the ongoing willingness of young Americans to sacrifice themselves in the name of freedom, on behalf of an increasingly ungrateful nation.

I took this Memorial Day off. I spent the day remembering.

I remembered Tiny Melton, Lynn Richardson, Terry Severence, Sherman Latchaw and all the rest. To the many veterans among our membership, I apologize on behalf of the ignorant among us. And to all the millions before and since, I add my heartfelt thanks.

I saw a bumper sticker in my travels that sums it all up nicely;

“If you can read this, thank a teacher. If you are reading it in English, thank a vet.”

From the Omega Letter Member’s Archives, Vol 56, Issue 30, first published May 30, 2006. Happy Memorial Day!

And After This, the Judgment . .

And After This, the Judgment . .
Vol: 92 Issue: 23 Saturday, May 23, 2009

And After This, the Judgment . .

I received a question by email from a reader concerning the Bema Seat Judgment yesterday. It was an excellent question concerning an article I wrote entitled; “The Blessed Hope — A Mixture of Excitement and Dread”.

“Dear Jack, I read your article about the blessed hope. You mentioned the dread. If the Lord forgives all our sins and doesn”t remember any of them, as is said,he throws them into the deep blue sea, why would he bring everything I’ve done at the Bema Seat to judge me? I know that my works will be judged. But we should not dread seeing our Savior at the judgment. It just does not make sense. Can you help me understand this?”

I’ll try. Judgment is a central theme of Scripture. The entire Old Testament is filled with accounts of Divine judgment.

The judgment on Adam and Eve, the Flood judgment, the judgment against the Unfaithful Generation during the Exodus, Sodom and Gomorrah, the various judgments against Israel, the Ultimate Judgment at Calvary, just to name a few.

Some in this generation will face the 21 judgments outlined in the Book of Revelation during the Tribulation Period.

The writer of Hebrews tells us, “. . .it is appointed unto man once to die, but after this the judgment.” (Hebrews 9:27)

There are five separate judgments identified in Scripture, that differ in five general aspects; the subjects, the time, the place, the basis and the result.

There are two judgments for believers. The subjects of the first judgment are sinners. The time of this judgment was roughly AD 33. The place was Calvary. The basis for the judgment was the finished Work of Christ. And the result was justification for the believer.

This first judgment is in three parts; as a sinner, as a son, and as a servant.

The ‘sin’ question is settled at the Cross. The ‘son’ question is an ongoing series of personal judgments that the Bible calls ‘chastisement’.

When a believer steps outside God’s permissive will, it brings about judgments designed to bring that believer back into line.

“If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.” (Hebrews 12:7-8)

Now we come to the question posed about the Bema Seat. The Bema Seat is where we are judged as servants. The only ones at this judgment are believers. This judgment takes place after the Rapture. The basis for this judgment is not grace, but works.

Now this is critical to understanding the whole scene: what is at stake is not salvation, but rewards.

“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” (2nd Corinthians 5:10)

The Scriptures say that every one of us will give an account of ourselves before the Lord, either as a sinner before the Great White Throne, or as a servant at the Bema Seat.

When the Scriptures promise that God will forget our sins it isn’t that God develops amnesia. What it really means is that God no longer counts it as sin — it has been covered by the Blood of Christ.

“But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.” (Matthew 12:36)

The Scripture is clear: one day I will stand before the Lord at the Bema Seat where I will also be called to give account for every idle word spoken. I will not be punished for it but I’ve no doubt I will suffer great shame.

There will be the Lord, with the nail holes in His Hands and Feet, with the spear wound in His side, all five wounds received by Him on my behalf.

And there I will stand, explaining why it was too hard for me. . . yes, there will be great shame. And judgment. But no punishment.

That is the part that the Lord ‘forgets’. The Bema Seat judgment is not for sin, but for service. How well did you serve?

There is no way to determine that outside of the context of one’s life, so by definition, those sins for which were are forgiven must still be presented before the Judgment Seat of Christ.

“So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.” (Romans 14:12)

We will be judged for EVERY idle word we speak. And for every idle deed. Again, it is not a judgment for sin. It is a judgment of your service.

“Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.”

Think about that for a moment! Everything you ever did will be analyzed and scrutinized openly by the Lord Jesus Christ. Every good thing. . . and every bad thing. We’ll be called on to give account of every word, every deed, every thought.

For most believers, the Judgment Seat of Christ will be an excruciating experience. “Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men . . .” Paul wrote.

But, the result isn’t heaven — that is already assured. The result is reward. That is where a believer’s works come into play. Rewards. Or loss of them.

If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.” (1st Corinthians 3:13-15)

Assessment:

There are five possible rewards a believer can receive at the Bema Seat. The Bible calls them ‘crowns’.

The first is the Crown of Life. This is the Martyr’s Crown. You get this one the hard way; “be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.” (Revelation 2:10)

Then is the Crown of Glory. This the the ‘Pastor’s Crown’ given by the Chief Shepherd when He shall appear to those who serve; “willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.”

It is important to understand both the distinction and the difference between judgment for salvation and judgment for rewards.

Salvation is a gift of grace through faith, and that not of yourselves. Crowns, on the other hand, well, them you have to work for.

“And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.” (1st Peter 2-4)

I’m working to earn this particular crown. It is a spiritual goal of mine.

The Crown of Rejoicing is the one I am working to help YOU earn.

This is the soul-winners crown. Those whom we’ve led to Christ WILL be our Crown of Rejoicing. The OL exists to provide you with answers to the hard questions from skeptics that their skepticism may turn to faith.

“For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming?” (1st Thessalonians 2:19)

The Crown of Righteousness is reserved for those of us of every generation who wait patiently for His return, the watchmen on the wall who give the warning of the soon appearance of the Lord.

“Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love His appearing.” (2nd Timothy 4:8)

The Incorruptible Crown is a tough one to earn. This is the “Victor’s” Crown, which is set aside for those who master temperance in this lifetime.

Those who don’t yield to the lusts of the flesh, saturate themselves with alcohol and drugs, and keep themselves separate from the world can expect to be rewarded with the Incorruptible Crown.

There are, altogether, five judgments outlined by Scripture. The first two are believer’s judgments; the judgment at the Cross and the Bema Seat Judgment.

The third judgment is reserved for the Jews. We call it the Tribulation Period. The Prophet Jeremiah calls it “the Time of Jacob’s Trouble.”

“Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.” (Jeremiah 30:7) The basis for this judgment is Israel’s continued rejection of the Messiah, and the end result is the national redemption of Israel.

The fourth Divine judgment also takes place during the Tribulation. The subjects are the Gentile nations. The place is the Valley of Jehoshaphat. The basis for this judgment will be their treatment of the Jews.

“And before Him shall be gathered all nations: and He shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth His sheep from the goats.” (Matthew 25:32)

The nations will be divided into the “Sheep nations” and the “Goat nations”. The result is the Sheep nations will be permitted to enter into the Millennial Kingdom. The “Goat nations” will be destroyed.

This judgment takes place at the conclusion of the Tribulation Period. The fifth and final judgment takes place at the Great White Throne. It will take place at the close of the Millennium a 1000 years after the judgment of the Nations, and before the “Great White Throne.”

This is the judgment for sin. All the righteous (saved) dead arose at the First Resurrection, or the Rapture. But what about the Tribulation saints?

The words; “Whosoever was not found written in the Book of Life” imply there will be some saved who will be present at the Great White Throne. There will be some whose names will be found in the Book of Life, but they are post-Church Age believers.

Those who are saved and die between the First Resurrection and the Second Resurrection, (like the Tribulation Saints), will rise with the wicked at the Second Resurrection.

The Bible identifies five judgments and five crowns. The judgments are as I’ve outlined them, by those who are subject to them, when, where, why, and how.

I’ve supplied chapter and verse. Go back and review it all. It’s the only outline there is. And for it to work, the Church must be Raptured before the Tribulation begins.

If not, we have the Church on the earth during the judgment of Israel. Some argue that the Rapture takes place at the end, during the judgment of the sheep and goat nations.

Jesus sets up His Millennial Kingdom at the close of the Tribulation Period. Before that comes four of the five judgments, all of which He presides over as the Righteous Judge.

When the judgments of the Tribulation are over, all that remain are the sheep nations and the Jews. Who is there left to Rapture?

The Rapture is the First Resurrection that predicates the Judgment Seat of Christ. As the Church is judged at the Bema Seat, the twenty-one Tribulation judgments are executed on the world.

They are different judgments, as to subject, basis, place and result, but within the same general frame of time called the Day of the Lord or the Day of Christ.

Bible prophecy is deep and complex. Everything about the outline of Bible prophecy is systematic; all things are done decently and in order.

Move something out of order and everything else has to shift to fill the gap, at which time the entire outline collapses.

Which is why the Rapture has to come first. And after this the judgment. Maranatha!