Light for the Last Days

Signs of the Times – World Events

Kim Jong-Un postpones, but does not rule out, nuclear war.  September 2017.

I am writing this column on August 15th, which is about the time Kim Jong Un threatened to launch four ballistic missiles at Guam.  He said he would create a ‘historic enveloping fire’ around the island, which is home to two major US naval and air force Pacific bases. In response to Kim’s threats President Trump promised to bring ‘fire and fury like the world has never seen’ if North Korea’s verbal threats continue or if he carries out any missile strike on US territory.

The U.S. and allied intelligence services now believe North Korea has miniaturised its nuclear warheads to fit onto its intercontinental ballistic missiles and has potentially up to 60 nuclear weapons.  This means that it has crossed the ‘red line’ which President Trump previously said was unacceptable and would use ‘all available options’ to prevent from happening.  

On 14th August Kim announced via KCNA, the state run North Korean news agency, that he has ‘examined the plan to launch missiles at Guam’ and ‘will watch the actions of the United States for a while before making a decision.’  This means that he has backed off from his immediate threat, postponing but not abandoning it.  He said ominously that ‘if a second Korean War breaks out, it would inevitably be a nuclear war.’  He said that the planned launch could still be carried out at any moment, and said that such a strike would be a ‘most delightful historic moment’ that would ‘wring the windpipes of the Yankees and point daggers at their necks.’

In response the US’s awesome arsenal is ‘locked loaded and ready’ to launch fire and fury on North Korea.  The 7000 US military personnel on Guam are prepared for battle.  ‘We are constantly in a high state of readiness’, said military spokesman Greg Kuntz.  ‘The systems are here, we are in place and we are ready to go.’  ‘Mail on Sunday’ reporter Caroline Graham was allowed into the US base on Guam and wrote on 13th August:  ‘We witnessed first hand the extraordinary multi-billion pound military might the world’s greatest super-power has amassed on Guam.  They include £1.7 billion nuclear power attack submarines, B-1B lancer bombers capable of obliterating North Korea’s underground bunkers, littoral combat ships designed for a sea-to-land invasion and the biggest weapons cache in the Pacific.  … Thirty miles away at the northern tip of Guam is the Andersen Air Force Base.  It is here that any attack on North Korea would begin … A sleek B-1B Lancer bomber, able to fly at Mach 1.25, is parked on the runway.  Carrying a huge payload of conventional or nuclear weapons there are thought to be at least six B-1Bs at Andersen.  They would be Trump’s first line of attack used to ‘obliterate the missile bunkers, the missiles and Long Dong Kim if it comes to it.’

While there is no doubt the USA has the capability to destroy the North Korean regime and military power if it chooses to do so, the consequences resulting from this could be appalling.  Michael Snyder writes:

‘North Korea is honeycombed with underground tunnels and bunkers.  There is no possible way that we could hit all of their nukes on a first strike, and if the North Koreans even get off a single nuke in response it is going to be an unprecedented disaster.  Could you imagine what would happen if a North Korean nuke hit Tokyo or Seoul?  Even one nuke could kill millions in those densely populated cities, and financial markets all over the world would almost instantly implode.

And North Korea also has some of the largest chemical and biological weapons stockpiles on the entire planet.  Within moments of an attack, thousands of North Korean artillery pieces and rockets would start raining fire on Seoul, and even just a few chemical or biological warheads would cause immense devastation in that city of about 10 million people.  In addition, North Korean forces are poised to invade South Korea at literally any moment, and the only way that South Korea could survive such an invasion would be direct intervention by U.S. forces.

On top of everything else, what if the North Koreans were able to successfully launch a nuke or two toward our major cities?  Or what if they already have the technology to set off an EMP blast high in the atmosphere above the continental United States (Note an EMP blast would wipe out the electricity grid across North America, causing all power systems to shut down)?  Or what if their agents that are already embedded here start releasing biological agents in our major cities?  These are nightmare scenarios that most Americans never even consider, but they would be very real possibilities in the event that we go to war with North Korea.’

This dangerous situation remains a severe threat to the whole world and is another pointer to the coming time of great tribulation when the world will experience ‘the distress of nations in perplexity’ and ‘men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth.’  This will happen in the days before they see ‘the Son of Man coming in as cloud with power and great glory.’ Jesus said, ‘When you see these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads because your redemption draws near.’ Luke 21.25-7.

Google: ‘World War 3’ Search Record  April 2017.

Google has announced that Internet searches for ‘World War 3’ in April are at their highest level ever.  This reflects the growing alarm around the world as the news brings almost daily reports of impending war.  The two main areas of confrontation are Syria and North Korea.

When chemical weapons were used in Syria, the US accused Assad and his Russian backers of war crimes and hit a Syrian air base with cruise missiles.  The chemical weapons attack may have been a ‘false flag’ attack staged by Assad’s opponents to bring America into taking military action against the regime.  The Trump administration, along with UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, have called for ‘regime change’ with the removal of Assad’s government as a top priority.  Russia and Iran vigorously oppose this and have responded to the US threat of more strikes against Assad with pledges that ‘we will respond with force’ if any more attacks are conducted.   In a joint statement, the command centre for the two countries and allied groups said ‘What America waged in an aggression on Syria is a crossing of red lines. From now on we will respond with force to any aggressor or any breach of red lines from whoever it is and America knows our ability to respond well.’  This means that if Trump fires off any more cruise missiles at Syria, the USA will essentially be in a state of war with both Russia and Iran.  

The Korean situation has escalated dramatically with claims that North Korea is about to detonate a nuclear test and reports that a US strike on North Korea is imminent.  President Trump says he is going to ‘solve’ the North Korean problem as a U.S. Navy strike group led by a nuclear-powered aircraft steamed towards the western Pacific.  North Korean state media has warned that it will make a nuclear attack on the United States at any sign of a U.S. pre-emptive strike. ‘We’ll be conducting more missile tests on a weekly, monthly and yearly basis,’ Vice-Foreign Minister Han Song-ryol told the BBC’s John Sudworth.  He said that an ‘all-out war’ would result if the US took military action.  He also warned of a ‘pre-emptive missile strike’ if the North Koreans thought America was about to take action.  

The North has the world’s largest artillery force with 10,000 pieces in their arsenal. The bulk of these forces are at the border, with much of the rest around Pyongyang and near Nampo, the site of their electricity-producing dam.   It is likely that the South Korean capital, with a population of around 20 million people in greater Seoul, just 35 miles from the border, would be the first target and would be devastated in the opening salvos.  The initial barrage would be followed by a massive invasion of South Korea, and vast numbers of U.S. ground troops would be needed to keep South Korea from being completely overrun.

China is completely horrified by the prospect of a new Korean War.  They are urging Trump ‘to find a peaceful solution to the crisis’, and it is being reported that the Chinese have put their forces on ‘nationwide alert’.  China has put its military on ‘nationwide alert’ while ordering 25,000 more troops to prepare to be sent to the North Korean border as tensions build. Beijing has ordered troops from all five of its military regions to be on high alert due to the escalating crisis in the region.  Just like during the original Korean War, the U.S. could ultimately end up in a direct military conflict with China if things spiral completely out of control.  Russia has reportedly begun a mass mobilisation of military forces to Vladivostok in the Russian Far East, just eight miles from the border with North Korea.

The world is entering a very ominous period of time, with the serious possibility of nuclear weapons being talked about.  No wonder then that Google searches for ‘World War 3’ are at their highest level ever.  The place we should search for answers is the pages of the Bible.  The Lord Jesus spoke of ‘wars and rumours of wars’ and ‘nation rising against nation’ in the days before His Second Coming.  In Jeremiah 25.15-36 we read: ‘Take this wine cup of fury from My hand and cause all the nations to drink it.  And they will drink and stagger and go mad because of the sword that I will send among them. … The Lord has a controversy with the nations; He will plead His case with all flesh.  He will give those who are wicked to the sword.  … Behold disaster shall go forth from nation to nation and a great whirlwind shall be raised up from the farthest parts of the earth.  And at that day the slain of the Lord shall be from one end of the earth even to the other end of the earth.’  We also note that the last days’ prophecies focus on the Middle East.  Isaiah 17.1 speaks of Damascus being a ‘ruinous heap’, Ezekiel 38-9 of armies led by Russia, Persia (Iran) come against Israel in the latter days and finally the armies of the world gather for Armageddon (Revelation 16.16).

We hope and pray that the Lord will hold back these calamities from coming on the earth. We also look up in anticipation of the coming of the Lord for His church (1 Thessalonians 4-5).  As people are fearful of the potential for massive destruction coming on the earth (‘men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth’ – Luke 21.26), may many turn in repentance and faith to the Lord Jesus who alone can save our souls and save the world from calamity. We know that when He comes again to the earth He will bring an end to war and destroy the fearful weapons that  humanity in its sin and folly has created (Isaiah 2.1-4, Revelation 19-20).

Russia in Syria.  March 2017.

The Russian intervention in Syria has been, by most accounts, a success. And Russian President Vladimir Putin is going to do everything he can to keep it that way.

Beginning with an air campaign on behalf of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in September 2015, Russian forces have not only stopped regime losses but also helped Damascus retake Aleppo city in December 2016. Now with the opposition stronghold under government control and Assad’s hold on power no longer in question, Moscow has said it plans to reduce its presence in the country. But while some Russian forces did initially depart in early January, Moscow is actually expanding its role in Syria. Russian officials announced major expansions to Russian military bases in the country while the number of private contractors fighting on the Kremlin’s behalf also swelled.

Most interestingly, however, Putin deployed an unprecedented Russian weapon to Syria: several units of Chechen and Ingush commandos hailing from Russia’s restive North Caucasus region.  Until recently, regular Russian forces in Syria were largely limited to being a support crew for aircraft conducting strikes across the country. Apart from a few notable exceptions — artillery and special forces deployments in Hama province and military advisors alongside Syrian troops in Latakia — Moscow’s ground game in Syria has been minimal. But the ongoing deployment of the Chechen and Ingush brigades marks a strategic shift for the Kremlin: Russia now has its own elite ground personnel, drawn from its Sunni Muslim population, placed across Syria. This growing presence allows the Kremlin to have a greater role in shaping events on the ground as it digs in for the long term.

As part of its strategy to further control events on the ground in Syria, the Kremlin has also elected far more secretive means to expand its footprint. To bolster its regular forces, Moscow has employed a sizable private military contractor (PMC) that now has nearly four years of experience in the country. First known as the Slavonic Corps, the group’s first mission in 2013 in Syria proved a major debacle, but after rebranding itself and gaining stronger Kremlin backing, the group redeployed to Syria as part of Moscow’s official intervention in 2015. Obtaining precise statistics on the group is difficult, but the most accurate estimate by the Russian daily RBC, whose experts have broken numerous stories on the group, puts their number at 2,500.  Russia’s regular forces in Syria total around 5,000, so when combined with its brigades from the North Caucasus and its PMCs, Moscow’s true ground strength in the country has swelled significantly.

Preparing the way for Gog and Magog?  ‘Thus says the Lord, ‘Behold I am against you Gog of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal’  Ezekiel 38.3

President Donald Trump.  January 2017.

Donald Trump’s victory in the US Presidential election was the major shock event of 2016, offering a radical change to the way Barack Obama had led America. A number of his policies have drawn support from those on the right politically who are opposed to the ‘New World Order’ globalisation process, and horror and rejection by those on the left politically and most of the media.   These include:

  • Opposition to global trade agreements, the TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership) and TIPP agreement between the USA and EU.  These would have created a series of interlocking treaties and international agreements, bringing together about 60% of the world’s economy and 22% of its population.  This is seen as another building block in the global governance process.
  • Questioning the Climate Change agenda and promising to boost the coal and oil industry in the US.  Opponents see this as meaning he will go back on US commitments to reduce CO2 emissions as agreed by the Obama Administration at the Paris Climate Change Conference in 2015.
  • Clamping down on immigration and promising to deport those who are in the country illegally.
  • Working to advance protections for unborn children and their mothers and oppose the huge growth in the abortion business which happened under President Obama.
  • Opposing the global Islamic threat and promising to wipe out Islamic terrorism.  

Opponents of Trump accused him of mounting a ‘hateful hate-filled campaign’ and using ‘anti-immigrant racism’ to win the election.  They fear this could lead to racial conflict and some kind of fascist state. Women’s rights groups are angry at his statements about women, especially his opposition to abortion.  The opposition staged protests across America the weekend of his inauguration, calling on people to mount a sustained radical campaign against the Trump Presidency.

On the other side are those who see his election, along with the UK’s Brexit vote, as a rejection of the liberal left elite who want to impose their will on the world through the globalisation process and the ‘New World Order.’ Nigel Farage wrote in the Daily Telegraph (11/11/16):  ‘This is the year of the political revolution.  First we had Brexit, which was the first brick that was knocked out of the establishment wall.  Then in the US we had in political terms a remarkably similar event.  … The age of supranational government, of nation states giving away their sovereignty and control of their borders is over.’

Many evangelical Christians in the US supported Trump seeing him as someone who would work for Christian values in society and against the global governance agenda, which his rival, Hilary Clinton, was seen as supporting.  Despite his own obvious moral failings in the past, Trump expressed a Christian faith and said he would support Christian family values.  He chose a born again Christian, Mike Pence, as his vice President and said he would appoint conservative judges to the Supreme Court.   This latter issue was seen as very important because if Hilary Clinton has won she would have appointed a liberal leftist judge to the Supreme Court, giving liberals a majority.  This could have led to further anti-Christian legislation and suppression of Christian rights to speak out against anti-Christian values being imposed on society.  Trump also appealed to pro Israel Christians in the USA by giving support to Israel and promising to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.  

His inauguration included Christian prayers and a reading by Franklin Graham, Billy Graham’s son, from 1 Timothy 2, about prayers for ‘all in authority’ and concluding with the words: ‘For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.’  Trump himself referred to seeking God to defend America.

One of the speakers at the inauguration was Paula White, a Florida based televangelist. Trump contacted her after watching her show fifteen years ago, which led to frequent visits in which she befriended him and prayed for him.  She now serves as the top spiritual adviser for America’s President and, essentially, his guide to the country’s religious conservatives. Her behind-the-scenes counsel became news as Trump prepared for the presidency, with an uncorroborated story going around that she had led him to Christ.  She arranged a meeting at the Trump Tower for fellow televangelists (including Kenneth and Gloria Copeland, David Jeremiah, and Jan Crouch) to anoint him in prayer back in 2015. She defended the sincerity of his faith to fellow Christians, and continues to network Trump with members of his evangelical advisory board to discuss appointments and policy going into office.  

We may note here a link with ‘health and wealth’ prosperity preachers, who many regard as heretical, and also with the kingdom and dominion teaching of a Christian revival bringing in the rule of God on earth through the church.  One Christian who is not impressed is Nathan Leal, who has produced a series of articles ‘The Trump Chronicles’ in which he says that Trump’s supposed Christianity is fraudulent, that he is immoral, full of pride and unfit to run the country.  He also claims that Trump is himself linked in with the globalist, financial elite and his policies will lead to a crackdown on freedom of speech, a financial crash and the establishment of a new ‘New World Order’ tyranny.  See http://watchmanscry.com

We wait and see what will be the outcome of this change in America, remembering the words of the Psalmist: ‘Do not put your trust in princes, nor in a son of man, in whom there is no help.  His spirit departs, he returns to his earth; in that very day his plans perish.  Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God, who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them; who keeps truth forever.’  Psalm 146.3-6.

China and the international economic order.  January 2017.

On January 17th Xi Jinping, president of China and leader of the Chinese Communist Party, addressed the World Economic Forum in Davos, a key event in the globalisation calendar. It was the first time a Chinese leader had ever done such a thing, but Xi made up for years of lost headlines by coming out as a champion — and perhaps even the champion — of global trade and the current international economic order.

Xi was heralded by ‘the global elite’ for presenting himself as ‘the anti-Trump.’ Eurasia Group’s Ian Bremmer called it a ‘success on all counts‘ on Twitter, later adding, ‘You know capitalism is in trouble when China’s the leading free-trade nation in the world.’  Dr. Nariman Behravesh, IHS Markit’s top economist, said, ‘President Xi gave a very rigorous and articulate defence of globalisation.’ And Carl Bildt, former Swedish prime minister and minister of foreign affairs, tweeted, ‘There is a vacuum when it comes to global economic leadership, and Xi Jinping is clearly aiming to fill it. With some success.’

Xi said in his speech, ‘China will foster an enabling and orderly environment for investment. We will expand market access for foreign investors, build high-standard pilot free trade zones, strengthen protection of property rights, and level the playing field to make China’s market more transparent and better regulated.’

China is trying to reshape global trading arrangements in its region, with new impetus being given to this by the near death of the US led Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). Beijing distrusted TPP, which it saw, perhaps fairly, as an American-led bid to encircle and contain China economically.   The country’s rulers are acutely aware that trade is the only way of sustaining the growth China needs. And with TPP potentially on its deathbed, China is pushing the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). The RCEP agreement was launched by the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and now also includes Australia, India, Japan, New Zealand, and South Korea — and notably excludes the United States, giving it a China versus America veneer.  While China was left out of the TPP implementation, Beijing has been touting the benefits of RCEP, which would include no less than one-half of the world’s population. Beijing said in late December that it would like to see a deal in place by the end of 2017.

The Kings of the East coming together?

Prisons in crisis.  February 2017.

A record 119 people killed themselves in prisons in England and Wales last year, an increase of nearly a third during the past 12 months, according to data that lays bare the epidemic of violence sweeping through jails.  Ministry of Justice figures showed that there were 18,510 prisoner-on-prisoner assaults in the year to September, an increase of 28 per cent from the previous year. In addition there were 6,430 assaults on staff, a jump of 40 per cent on the past 12 months. The rising rate of jail suicide — which has doubled since 2012 — has been accompanied by an increase in self-harm among prisoners, which reached a record high of 37,784 incidents, up by nearly a quarter. A report explaining the figures pointed out that the higher level of assaults had coincided with changes to the regime and culture in public sector prisons, including staff reductions and the greater availability of illicit psychoactive drugs. Since 2010, the number of frontline prison officers has fallen by a quarter to 18,000, while the prison population has more than doubled in the past two decades. The result has been a period of extreme turbulence, with thousands of staff protesting over health and safety concerns and a series of violent clashes in prisons across the country.  These culminated in a riot involving than 200 inmates at HMP Birmingham in December, the worst such incident since the siege at Strangeways in 1990. During the autumn there were other serious disturbances including an alleged murder and escape of two prisoners from London’s HMP Pentonville as well as riots at prisons in Lewes, Bedford and Lincoln.

A Panorama programme on 13th February showed an undercover reporter secretly filming the chaos in HMP Northumberland, one of the biggest prisons in England and Wales.  He discovered widespread drug use, a lack of control, door alarms that did not go off on one house block and a hole in an internal security fence.   Inmates were shown partying with freely available drugs and alcohol and prison officers completely unable to deal with violence, bullying and the effects of overdosing on cannabis.  It even showed a prison officer who was hallucinating as a result of breathing in the fumes from the drugs used by prisoners.

The spirit of lawlessness and chaos, a feature of the last days scenario, is apparently ruling in the places where people are sent supposedly to reform them from their criminality.

Tony Pearce

Tony Pearce

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