Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
The North Korean Problem - By Ronda Lane -
We can't go a day without hearing about North Korea on the news, on social media, and its delusional dictator, Kim Jong Un. He has been launching ballistic missile tests and ignoring UN sanctions, as well as ignoring UN resolutions against N. Korea.
Kim Jong Un isn't just the typical dictator. Most past evil dictators (such as Hitler, Mussolini, and Stalin) had delusions of grandeur (as does he). But the big difference here is that Kim Jong Un was raised from the cradle being told he was a "god." He truly believes he is a deity, and so he also believes he is invincible. That is a dangerous combination of ideology to possess for one who has procured nuclear weapons.
He demands worship and obedience from N. Korean citizens. They starve while he is well fed to the point of obesity. His own military members were recently told to steal foods growing in the fields to sustain them. The atrocities he has committed against the citizens are numerous.
Lil' Kim regularly imprisons anyone who dares speak even a hint of dissension; and not just the accused person... but entire families are often sent to slave camps, where they are forced into grueling manual labor without enough food to sustain them. Christians in N. Korea (or even those merely accused of being Christian) are often slaughtered in the public arena for all to see, as a threat to other citizens. Sadly, they are usually first humiliated and physically tortured prior to being executed.
The good news (what little there is of it concerning N. Korea) is that South Korean Christians have been sending Bibles to N. Korean people by means of drones and helium balloons. Yet, for those receiving these Bibles, it's very dangerous for them to obtain and keep them. They must hide them well. Fortunately, the Bibles are sent in flash drives, SD cards, and micro-SD cards, so they are small and easier to hide than the printed word.
Nonetheless, our prayers are needed for their safety, and also that many N. Koreans would come to Christ in these last hours of the age of grace/church age.
The missile launches and tests are not a new thing, however. We've been hearing much more about them since President Trump took office. Why is that? The mainstream media is predominantly bought-and-paid-for propaganda by extreme leftists and globalist elites. There is very little journalism now; instead it's scripted propaganda, read by faux 'journalists' (nothing more than mouthpieces) coming down from the elites who've bought them out. That is only one of the reasons.
Another reason is that Russia and Iran are pushing Kim Jong Un into a paranoid frenzy. It's beneficial to both Russia and Iran to keep the US occupied and bogged down with the N. Korean problem. It's the old "watch the left hand, so you don't see what the right hand is doing" trick.
Let's look back on the history of N. Korean nuclear ambitions:
In 2005 (Bush Jr. years), N. Korea test-fired short-range missiles into the Sea of Japan. They also (unsuccessfully) test-fired the Taepodong-2 missile in 2006. In 2009 they failed to launch a satellite, and again in 2012 another failure until the successful launch in December 2012 of the Kwangmyongsong-3 Unit 2 satellite aboard a three-stage rocket. Another successful satellite was launched in Feb. 2016 (the Kwangmyongsong-4).
Also in 2009 (Obama years), they successfully test-fired missiles (the Scud type, with a range of around 400 kilometers). In both 2014 and 2015, N. Korea successfully test-fired missiles as well. In May 2015 N. Korea claimed to have had a successful missile launch from a submarine.
In April 2016, they tested an engine designed for an intercontinental ballistic missile. Even worse, in August 2016 North Korea claims to have launched a Pukkuksong-1 missile capable of striking the United States. The missile is a submarine-launched ballistic missile.
They've had other failed missile tests prior to President Trump taking office as well. And yet we've heard very little of this mentioned in the news. Why? Because MSM is loath to admit that President Obama (and his predecessors Bush Jr., Bill Clinton, and Bush Sr.) did nothing to curb or curtail N. Korea's nuclear ambitions. It is also widely rumored that Bill Clinton even helped N. Korea to procure nuclear means.
In 1994, (then president) Bill Clinton made a nuclear agreement with N. Korea. Much like the Iranian "deal" Obama made, Clinton paid huge sums of bribe money to Kim Jong II (Lil' Kim's father). In both instances, the agreements weren't worth the paper they were written on; and if anything, our US taxpayer dollars actually helped those nations to fund their nuclear ambitions.
Predictably, the agreement Clinton made with N. Korea collapsed in 2002, when the CIA discovered that N. Korea was secretly enriching uranium for further weapons production. And yet nothing was done to curb N. Korean ambitions back when it would have been far less of a threat to deal with them. Now it's no longer possible to just ignore the situation.
The past four presidents did nothing to diminish the N. Korean threat. We've heard them loudly proclaim, "North Korea must never be permitted to obtain nuclear weapons".... and yet they did nothing to stop it. So here we are today with N. Korea openly putting on a show for the world to see.... launching missiles which can now strike anywhere in America, according to the experts.
These past four presidents 'kicked the can down the road,' and now we've run out of pavement. Sadly, President Trump has inherited this mess (along with many other messes from the past administration).
There is truly no good solution to the problem, and yet inaction is not feasible any longer.
Diplomat talks and pressure from sanctions hasn't worked. China hasn't fully complied with using all the sanctions and boycotts against N. Korea that it could; but even if they did... Lil' Kim isn't likely to respond in a positive manner. His irrational actions are somewhat unpredictable. But since he has no problem harming and killing many citizens in his own nation, there is little doubt that he wouldn't think twice about using nuclear weapons on other nations, should he have the opportunity.
Since President Trump took office, we hear daily about the N. Korean threat. In February of this year, North Korea test-fired a Pukguksong-2 missile over the Sea of Japan. This was the first (known) launch of the new medium-range ballistic missile. Then in March of this year N. Korea launched four ballistic missiles from the Tongchang-ri launch site in the northwest. Some flew 620 miles before falling into the Sea of Japan.
In April of this year, numerous missile tests were performed by North Korea. They test-fired a medium-range ballistic missile from its eastern port of Sinpo into the Sea of Japan, then they test-fired an unidentified land-based missile from the naval base in Sinpo, but it exploded almost immediately after takeoff. Finally, they test-fired an unidentified missile from Pukchang airfield. The missile, believed to be a medium-range KN-17 ballistic missile, faltered and broke apart minutes after liftoff. All of those missile tests were just in the month of April alone.
In May, North Korea test-fired a Hwasong-12 missile from a test site in the area of Kusong. The missile was later revealed to be an intermediate-range ballistic missile, which traveled 30 minutes, reached an altitude of more than 2,111.5 km, and flew a horizontal distance of 789 km (489 miles) before falling into the Sea of Japan. Such a missile would have a range of at least 4,000 km, reaching Guam, to 6,000 km.
Also in May was the test-firing of another N. Korean Pukguksong-2 medium-range ballistic missile from Pukchang airfield, which traveled approximately 300 miles before falling into the Sea of Japan. And at the end of May, North Korea fired a short-range ballistic missile into the Sea of Japan.
In June of this year, North Korea fired several missiles into the Sea of Japan. They are believed to be anti-ship missiles. The South Korean military said the launches show the reclusive regime's precise targeting capability. Later that same month, North Korea tested a new rocket engine that could possibly be fitted to an intercontinental ballistic missile. Should we opt for a military strike, it could cause mass casualties if N. Korea is given even a few moments to strike S. Korea, Japan, or Guam (or anyone else). And then a mass refugee problem would ensue.
We are now at the point where the military option seems to be the only recourse we have. If Kim Jong Un is permitted to continue his nuclear ambitions unfettered, there is little doubt he will use those weapons and kill many more people than would be killed if a US military strike was to be the action taken.
The only way this could be pulled off successfully against N. Korea at all, is an extremely coordinated and pinpointed, accurate strike which first takes out Kim Jong Un, his administration/loyalists, every N. Korean military base, military equipment, and weapons cache-all in one coordinated strike. Sadly, I can't see that happening. As good as our brave US military is, nothing ever goes exactly as planned. It's also very likely that N. Korea would get some missile strikes against S. Korea (and likely Japan, Guam, and others) if they aren't decimated first.
Then there is the question, what happens afterwards? Even if (not likely) a military strike against N. Korea was completely successful, then what becomes of the nation? China would likely take it over effectively, and would be a threat to S. Korea as much as N. Korea already is - just as Russia, Iran, and Turkey have (effectively) taken over Syria, with ambitions to go much further.
Iran has filled the vacuum left behind in Iraq as well.
There is no good answer. The US can't afford to take in millions of N. Korean refugees, nor massive amounts of refugees from S. Korea, Japan, or Guam, should they be struck by nuclear weapons/contamination by N. Korea.
More worrisome than previous tests, North Korea tested its first intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) named Hwasong-14 on July 4. It launched from the Panghyon Aircraft Factory 8 km southeast of Panghyon Airport. It was aimed straight up at a lofted trajectory and reached more than 2,500 km into space. It landed 37 minutes later, more than 930 km from its launch site, into Japan's exclusive economic zone.
Aiming long, the missile would have traveled 7,000-8,000 km or more, reaching Alaska, Hawaii, and maybe Seattle. Its operational range would be farther, bringing a 500 kg payload to targets in most of the contiguous United States 9,700 km away. This is much more than a mere missile launch; it's a threat to the US and any other nation within range.
Later in July, N. Korea test-fired yet another ICBM. The CIA assessed that Los Angeles, Denver, Chicago, Boston, and New York appear to be within range. There were more missile tests (some medium-range and some short-range ballistic missiles) in the month of August and September.
This set off a flurry of additional UN sanctions and promises from China to rein in the delusional dictator, Kim Jong Un. But rather than rein him in, it merely infuriated him; and in response they launched yet another North Korean ICBM from the vicinity of Pyongsong on Nov.28th. The rocket traveled for 50 minutes and reached 2800 miles in height, both of which were new milestones. The missile flew 600 miles east into the Sea of Japan. Unlike summer launches, the Japanese government did not issue cellphone alerts to warn its citizens. North Korea called it a Hwasong-15 missile. Its potential range appears to be more than 8,000 miles, able to reach Washington and the rest of the continental United States.
As we can readily see, the time for diplomatic measures such as talk/discourse, sanctions, and boycotts is effectively over. There really is no other option but military now that Kim Jong Un possesses nuclear means to strike many nations, especially the US mainland. The question is: Will China step into the fray if the US does take action?
Russia and Iran have been provoking Kim Jong Un into a frenzy against the US. Kim Jong Un is already a mental case, and his paranoid delusions and delusions of grandeur are at a fever pitch. Russia and Iran want the US bogged down with this mess, because they (along with Turkey and N. Sudan and what's left of Libya) are building a coalition in the Middle East. They intend to take over much land mass where ISIS has been eradicated in the Middle East.
Russia, Turkey, Iran (and other more minor factions) have intentions to invade Israel soon. That won't go as planned (Ezek.38-39), but nonetheless it's soon coming. It's more complex than that, but that's it in a nutshell.
We also know that China and Russia have become quite chummy. It may be that China desires to show its military might by coming to N. Korea's defense. After all, China has erected numerous manmade "islands" in disputed waters of the S. China Sea. China is also none too happy that Pres. Trump wants to negotiate trade deals which are more fair to the US.
There is also the threat of an EMP attack. In February 2016, with the successful N. Korean launch of the Kwangmyongsong-4 satellite, the path of the satellite went above the Super Bowl and above many US states as well. There was talk in the media that if N. Korea would have had access to using EMP technology, they could have struck the US with electro-magnetic pulses and crippled our power grids.
While N. Korea truly is a threat to S. Korea, Japan, Guam, and many other Asian nations, they are now also a threat to the US and any other nation within range. But will N. Korea use an EMP strike against the US?
Who would benefit most if the US was struck with EMP's (or other similar weaponry such as graphite bombs, etc.)? Who would benefit most by our power grids taken down? Mass casualties would ensue within the first few months... the population would be reduced, the citizenry would become more readily acceptable of just about any law forced down their throats or government mandates (including gun confiscation) if they were starving, lacking medical care for themselves and loved ones, and were offered "help" after maybe 4-6 months of going without all the amenities, and even necessities of modern life in the US.
If our power grids were downed, there would be little to no communications. The phones, laptops, tablets, and TV's would be fried in an EMP strike. Any vehicle manufactured within the last 20 years has computerized parts that would also be fried and rendered useless. Even if they had an older vehicle in operable condition, there would be no way to procure gasoline or diesel fuel for it. People wouldn't know what was happening five miles away, much less what was occurring across the nation, or the world.
Who is it that would desire this outcome most? Who is it that desires to hand over the reins of the US to globalist powers (and doesn't even try to hide it now)? Who is it that wants a "New World Order," a globalist world, where there is no national sovereignty? Who is it that tries to equate national sovereignty erroneously with the evils of Nazism or fascism? Who is it that refuses to accept the results of a duly-elected president even an entire year after the election? Who is it that proclaimed that vaccines can effectively reduce the population? Who is it that is pro-abortion, which is yet another means to reduce the population?
Why not take some time to ponder these questions individually, and give this some serious thought? Who would benefit most?
Yes, N. Korea is an actual threat. Yes, the dictator there is mentally unbalanced and delusional. Yes, the US will likely have to act militarily to vanquish the threat Kim Jong Un poses to the entire world. These things are all true. But what else is true?
We are seeing the possibility of an EMP attack promoted on all media today: Conservative media (what few there are now), and liberal-leftist (which most mainstream media now is, as they've been bought off by globalists to promote leftist, globalist propaganda)... they are all pushing the EMP threat often. But apparently none of them has asked the question: Who would benefit most by an EMP attack on the US?
And another question might be: Why hasn't our US Congress done anything to update our power grids? Could it be that they have a good reason not to? Why is it that they despise President Trump so much? Could it be that he also is a threat to their plans?
Even the establishment Republicans despise him, and many refuse to work with him. Even the establishment Republicans (and of course, the Democrats) make regular insulting comments about him in the media. Why is that? Has there ever been a president shown such little respect?
And why does our Congress have so many members who now openly oppose national sovereignty? Do they not realize that our Constitution is based on that, as well as on freedoms given to us by our Creator? Who is it that now pretends not to know the difference between freedom OF religion (which our Constitution proclaims) compared to freedom FROM religion (which it clearly does not state, nor is it implied)?
Yes, N. Korea is a threat. But we may do well to consider who else is a threat, and who would benefit most from an EMP strike on the US.
We believers also keep in mind that the unsaved world is rapidly spiraling toward the tribulation. The antichrist-beast global system will one day be foisted upon the masses. We know that the Church is raptured prior to the 70th week of Daniel commencing, so we will not be here to witness these events, nor suffer through God's wrath on an unbelieving, Christ-rejecting, God-hating, sin-loving world.
Jesus has promised us grace/church-age believers deliverance from the wrath to come (1 Thes.1:10, Rom.5:9, 1 Thes.5:9). As we see Isaiah 17 and Ezekiel 38-39 align with scriptural precision, we also recognize that the events foretold to occur in the tribulation are also aligning as well. All nations will succumb to globalism by the mid-point of the tribulation when the false prophet rolls out the mark of the beast system (Rev.13:15-18).
We've witnessed much of Europe already giving up their national sovereignty. Even Australia has confiscated the citizens' guns. What will bring down the USA's national sovereignty? What would cause citizens to give up their guns here?
I would like to think that the rapture itself is what causes the loss of the constitutional rights here in the US, but an EMP strike would very likely do the same. But again, I would like to think that an EMP strike (or similar) could happen in conjunction with the rapture. Or it may happen just after the rapture. They will have to have some excuse to give as to where millions of believers went.
I've never thought that the unsaved people left behind would believe the alien theory that I've heard promoted by some. I just don't think that's plausible. But we do know these two things...
National sovereignty must be taken away from all nations, and there will be some excuse given as to where believers went when the rapture occurs. I can think of no better way for the globalist elite to 'kill two birds with one stone.' An EMP strike (or similar) on nations who still have national sovereignty would cripple those nations rapidly, and it could also serve as the cover story for where believers went when we are taken up in the rapture. Admittedly, this is merely a theory. But I can think of no better theory that would serve both purposes simultaneously.
We would also do well to study Ezekiel 38-39 thoroughly (as most of you likely have).
Sadly, I've noticed a trend within numerous Christian groups on Facebook, and the troublesome trend is that professing Christians are skipping Bible study themselves and are relying solely on videos for eschatological "study." Yet, I doubt that to be the case here on Rapture Ready, as the readership from the articles as well as the other in-print active pages content is huge. So I would expect that many more believers here on Rapture Ready are more apt to study scripture themselves.
Ezek. 39:29 foretells that, by the end of the Ezek. 38-39 war, God will be pouring out His Spirit upon Israel. When we study Romans 11:25, we recognize that Israel is currently "blind in part. Yet there is an end-date for that temporary blindness, and that is "until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in." Once that happens, the rapture of the church occurs. All believers will be taken up. Then God turns His attention to Israel again.
Both dispensations cannot be occurring simultaneously. So we grace/church-age believers may see Isaiah 17 come to pass (but that does not have to be the case, as the rapture is imminent); we may even see the beginning of Ezek. 38-39, but we cannot be here by the end of that war, since God will be pouring out His Spirit on Israel, and dealing directly with Israel... they will no longer be blind in part.
I often wonder if the account of Saul, who became Paul, was given to us as an example of how God is going to deal with Israel. He blinded Paul so that he had to have the scales removed from his eyes (Acts chapter 9). Is that not like Israel today? They also have been blinded in part, and need the scales removed from their eyes. When God defeats Israel's foes in the Ezek. 38-39 war, they will recognize He is "the Lord their God from that day and forward" (Ezek. 39:22).
As we witness these events align as foretold, we recognize the lateness of the hour. I've heard some profess that they believe the rapture could be another decade or more out... I cannot agree with that summation. While only the Lord knows the exact day He has appointed for the rapture, we believers can recognize the season in which we live. He gave us Bible prophecy to prepare us, and to comfort us. Christ is Our Blessed Hope. Rather than fear, we should rejoice, take comfort, and comfort one another.
"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind" (2 Tim. 1:7 KJV Bible)
"Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do" (1 Thes. 5:11).
"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. Wherefore comfort one another with these words" (1 Thes. 4:16-18).
"Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ" (Titus 2:13).
Russia Sharply Expanding Nuclear Arsenal, Upgrading Underground Facilities - Bill Gertz -
Pentagon to boost U.S. weapons under nuclear posture review
Russia is aggressively building up its nuclear forces and is expected to deploy a total force of 8,000 warheads by 2026 along with modernizing deep underground bunkers, according to Pentagon officials.
The 8,000 warheads will include both large strategic warheads and thousands of new low-yield and very low-yield warheads to circumvent arms treaty limits and support Moscow's new doctrine of using nuclear arms early in any conflict.
In addition to expanding its warheads, Russia also is fortifying underground facilities for command and control during a nuclear conflict.
One official said the alarming expansion indicates Russia is preparing to break out of current nuclear forces constraints under arms treaties, including the 2010 New START and 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaties. Russia violated the INF accord by testing an illegal ground-launched cruise missile.
The new assessment also suggests Russia is planning to blend its conventional forces with nuclear forces in future conflicts, further complicating the use of American nuclear arms as a deterrent to warfare.
The new disclosure on Russia's arms buildup is among some of the details being studied by the Pentagon as part of a major review of U.S. nuclear forces called the Nuclear Posture Review.
The conclusions of the review are expected to be disclosed around the time President Trump delivers his state of union address to a joint session of Congress next month.
Trump last summer called for sharply increasing the size of the U.S. nuclear arsenal during a meeting of national security officials July 20.
"I want modernization and rehabilitation... It's got to be in tip top shape," Trump said of the ageing U.S. arsenal and nuclear forces.
The current posture of U.S. nuclear forces was set by then-President Barack Obama in a 2010 review that called for reducing the role of nuclear weapons and the size of the arsenal.
The curtailment of nuclear forces by Obama was based on assessments-now considered false by many officials-that nuclear threats posed by Russia and other states had been lowered significantly, and that Moscow and Washington were no longer considered enemies.
Thus the Obama administration based its strategic nuclear deterrence and warfare policies on the outdated assumption that the prospect of a U.S.-Russia military confrontation had been reduced sharply.
Since 2010, however, Russia, China, and North Korea have been engaged in steadily building up their forces with new nuclear arms and delivery systems, while Iran remains an outlier that many experts believe will eventually decide to build a nuclear arsenal in the next decade or sooner when restrictions outlined in the international nuclear deal expire.
The Pentagon's new posture review is based in part on a reversal of the outdated Obama-era assessment.
Russia's nuclear forces-new warheads, missiles, bombers, and submarines-are increasing sharply.
The nuclear modernization is regarded as more ominous because it is coupled to Moscow's new strategic doctrine that calls for quickly resorting to nuclear weapons during any conventional conflict.
The 8,000 nuclear warheads will include both large warheads currently deployed on long-range mobile missiles and missile-firing submarines.
What is new are Russia's large and increasing force of smaller nuclear warheads that will be deployed on its new short- and medium-range missiles, including the ground based SSC-8 cruise missile and the SS-N-27 Kalibr anti-ship and land-attack missile.
Additionally, Russia is developing new and innovative nuclear arms that include very low yield nuclear weapons-less than 1 kiloton or the equivalent of 1,000 tons of TNT-that will be delivered atop precision guided missiles.
Russian weapons researchers have been studying these advanced nuclear arms since the late 1990s. They include precision strike nuclear weapons; clean weapons that produce little radiation fallout; pure fusion weapons that do not require a nuclear blast to trigger them; and tailored effects weapons. Special effects arms include neutron bombs that kill with radiation instead of a large blast, electronics-destroying electromagnetic pulse blasts, and X-ray and Gamma ray weapons.
The weapons will range in blast size from yields of 10 tons of TNT, to 1 kiloton.
The small nuclear arms also will be outfitted with satellite guidance so their accuracy is within a few feet and also will be capable of penetrating into the earth before detonating.
China and India also are said to be developing similar low-yield nuclear arms.
The New START treaty, signed by Russia and the United States limits both countries to 1,550 deployed weapons. However, the treaty has no limits on tactical nuclear weapons and thus has spurred Russian development of the smaller weapons.
Russia's tactical nuclear arms stockpile has been estimated to include between 3,300 and 5,700 weapons with estimates as high as 10,000.
The State Department reported in October that the United States has 1,393 deployed strategic warheads, and Russia has deployed 1,561 warheads. The Congressional Research Service reported that the U.S. non-strategic nuclear stockpile includes around 760 weapons, including around 200 deployed in Europe.
James R. Howe, a nuclear weapons expert, said he also estimates Russia will have at least 8,000 warheads in the next six years depending on how many are loaded on missiles.
For example, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in 2012 that Russia would build 400 new intercontinental range missiles by 2022 that would all be outfitted with between six and 10 warheads.
Howe believes Russia in the years ahead will likely deploy a mix of high-yield, medium-yield, and low-yield warheads integrated with cyber, space, defense, and non-nuclear forces capable of evading U.S. defenses and covering all strategic targeting options.
The warheads will be delivered on current missiles and bombers along with four new ICBMs, two new submarine-launched ballistic missiles, and two new bombers, he said.
The buildup of Russian active and passive defenses and space weapons "indicates the Russians have a very different view of the role of nuclear forces; [and] have applied nuclear warhead technology developments so they have weapons which have political and military utility which can be applied consistently with conflict objectives," Howe said.
The developments also signal that Russia is preparing to conduct nuclear war to achieve strategic war aims.
Rather than numbers of warheads, the threat posed by accurate, low-yield warheads indicates Moscow is contemplating a far different nuclear conflict than those Washington is considering and raises questions about U.S. deterrent capabilities, Howe said.
The Pentagon's Defense Science Board, in a report for the new Trump administration made public in January, said the United States should consider building its own force of low-yield nuclear arms. The development would require lifting a congressional ban on new nuclear arms.
The board questioned the Obama administration's assumption that downgrading the role of U.S. nuclear weapons would lead other nations to follow.
"[Defense Department] leadership is renewing its commitment to the nation's nuclear deterrent, given the relatively recent recognition of the pervasive threat of adversaries' nuclear capabilities and doctrines," the report said.
"In short, 'nuclear' still matters, nuclear is in a class of its own, and nuclear cannot be wished away," the report added.
The Russians plan to use low yield nuclear weapons against NATO's better armed conventional forces as part of a doctrine known as "escalate to de-escalate," the report said.
Joint Chiefs of Staff Vice Chairman Gen. Paul Selva, said in a speech last August that the military needs small nuclear arms that do not cause massive casualties.
"If all you have is high-yield weapons to answer a low-yield attack, it's still a nuclear attack," Selva said. "Answering that with a conventional weapon is likely not going to have the kind of deterrent value as saying, 'Even if you use a low-yield weapon, we have options to respond,'" he added.
If a president's only options are using high-yield weapons that cause unwanted indiscriminate killing "then we haven't presented him with an option to respond to a nuclear attack in kind," the Air Force four-star said.
Mark Schneider, a former Pentagon nuclear weapons policymaker, said Russia has had major programs for precision low yield nuclear weapons for years, with Russian press reports asserting that between 50 and 200 low-yield weapons already are deployed on strategic systems, in addition to traditional high-yield warheads.
"My estimate is that Russia will increase its strategic nuclear forces to over three thousand warheads by 2030. By my count they have announced 22 strategic nuclear modernization programs and they say that the new missiles are heavily MIRVed," Schneider said referring to multiple, independently targetable reentry vehicles.
Tactical nuclear warhead levels have been reduced from Cold War levels but still include around 5,000 to 6,000 arms, he said.
For example, Russia's new long-range precision strike cruise missiles all can be outfitted with nuclear warhead and have significant potential to substitute for strategic nuclear forces.
"If you add my two estimates, the total inventory is nearing 8,000 to 9,000 nuclear weapons and it could further increase," Schneider said.
Russia's military has boasted that its current nuclear forces significantly exceed U.S. forces and that could tempt the Russians to launch an aggressive operation against NATO and use their nuclear forces to dissuade the alliance from responding.
A declassified CIA Intelligence Memorandum from August 2000 said Moscow was planning for very-low yield weapons, including arms with tailored radiation outputs.
On the underground complexes, Pentagon officials said two major Russian command-and-control centers, along with several smaller facilities, also are being modernized, including the secret complex known as Kosvinsky Mountain, located in the Ural Mountains about 850 miles east of Moscow.
Kosvinsky is Russia's main, nuclear-survivable command post that includes underground rail system that will be used to transport Russian leaders from Moscow.
Another command post, also about 850 miles from Moscow, is located at Yamantau Mountain in the Urals near Belorets.
Other underground leadership bunkers have been identified by U.S. intelligence at Voronovo, about 46 miles south of Moscow, and at Sharapovo, some 34 miles from Moscow. Both are equipped with underground rail links.
The upgrading of nuclear command and control was announced by Russia's Defense Ministry last year as expected to be deployed by the end of 2016.
The system is known by its Russian acronym IASBU and uses digital signals to send combat orders and to control strategic forces.
Another major worry for Pentagon nuclear policymakers is Russia's development of a high-speed drone submarine to be armed with a large warhead capable of destroying American ports. The drone sub, known as Kanyon by the Pentagon, was first disclosed in a report by the Washington Free Beacon two years ago.
Howe, the nuclear expert, estimates Russia could deploy several 100-megaton armed Kanyons for nuclear "escalation dominance" during a future war.
A Pentagon spokeswoman had no immediate comment.
News from Hal Lindsey Media Ministries - Hal Lindsey -
Last week, President Donald Trump formally recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
He also announced that the United States would begin the process of moving its embassy there. That process will take at least three years, and probably more.
It's hard to see why this is such a big deal. Jerusalem has never not been the capital of Israel. Not only since the formal founding of modern day Israel in 1948, but thousands of years before that.
Nevertheless, the mainstream media went into a frenzy. Reuters said that it "reversed decades of U.S. policy" and imperiled "Middle East peace efforts and (upset) the Arab world and Western allies alike." And it got all those calamities into just the first sentence!
Saudi Arabia called the move "irresponsible and unwarranted."
Iran's Ayatollah Khamenei said Trump's action was the result of "incompetence and failure..." Huh?
The EU's top diplomat said it would "undermine" EU peace efforts. It's a little hard to undermine something that has already been dead and buried for years!
Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh routinely declared that the move was "an uncalculated gamble that will know no limit to the Palestinian, Arab, and Muslim reaction." So what isn't?
Truth be known, though there were a few violent protests in Gaza and the West Bank, the reaction has not been as bad as the response to last summer's decision by Israel to install metal (read that "weapons") dectectors at the entrances to Temple Mount. And that was intended to protect everyone's safety! Muslim and non-Muslim alike.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared it "a momentous day...." He said that in Jerusalem's "extraordinary history and over the millennia, you can cite a few significant milestones. Yesterday's statement by President Trump is such a milestone."
Ironically, just as America's support for Israel is reaching new heights, its support by young evangelical Christians is reaching new lows.
One key to U.S. support for Israel has been the evangelical Christian community. But among younger evangelicals, that support may be diminishing.
A recent survey reveals that, among evangelicals 18-34, 58% have a positive view of Israel. That compares with 70% of those over 50 and 77% of those over 65. Those aren't huge differences, but they do show a definite trend downward.
In view of the findings, Joel Rosenberg noted, "If you extrapolate that, in 10 years you have a crisis, but now we have a challenge."
In commenting on these findings, The Jerusalem Post noted, "Younger people are less familiar with the Bible and increasingly moved by social justice concepts. That means they are easy targets for pro-Palestinian narratives."
And do they have some narratives!
In fact, Muslims are masters of myth.
Sometimes Arab propaganda is subtle. At other times, it can be so outrageous, so preposterous, and so imaginative that you have to marvel at the sheer inventiveness.
Here's an example. One of the Mideast myths cut from whole cloth is the notion that Jerusalem is actually an Arab city.
The Arab propaganda machine has managed to convince world media, diplomatic establishments, and many in academia that Jerusalem is as important to Muslims as it is to Jews.
While it's true that Al-Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock shrine are important to Islam, and they're located in Jerusalem, they were actually built on top of the Jews' old Temple -- which existed thousands of years earlier.
Jerusalem was never an important city to Muslims. In fact, when Mohammed started Islam, in order to attract Jews and Christians, he suggested that daily prayers be directed to Jerusalem.
After 18 months, that proved a bust. So he changed direction. Since then, Muslims have prayed in the direction of Mecca -- the undisputed holiest city in Islam.
Long after Mohammed was dead, a legend arose that he ascended into the seventh heaven from the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. The Koran only says that the event took place at the "uttermost mosque." But there was no mosque in Jerusalem at that time.
At the time of Mohammed's death, Medina was the farthest mosque. In fact, there was a Christian church occupying Temple Mount when Mohammed died. Yet the Palestinians want to rename the Western Wall -- or Wailing Wall -- the "Buraq Wall" in honor of Mohammed's horse (on which he rode into heaven).
There is no historical evidence that Mohammed ever set foot in Jerusalem.
Al-Aqsa mosque may, indeed, be Islam's third holiest site, but there is nothing about the city of Jerusalem that would even compare it to Islam's holiest cities of Mecca and Medina.
British historian and Persian scholar, Christopher Sykes, wrote, "To the Muslims, it is not Jerusalem, but a certain site in Jerusalem which is venerated. To a Muslim, there is a profound difference between Jerusalem and Mecca and Medina. The latter are holy places containing holy sites. Apart from the hallowed rock, Jerusalem has no major Islamic significance."
Until 1948, that is.
When the Jews declared the modern state of Israel, with Jerusalem as their capital, "...suddenly, for the first time in history, the Arabs discovered and revealed to the world the vehement, passionate, almost desperate, accents of a deep-rooted, long-standing and undying attachment to Jerusalem." (Samuel Katz)
Muslim attachment to Jerusalem came about in the last 100 years. But for the Jews, it has been 3,000 years. No people are as connected to a city as Jews to Jerusalem. That connection is historical, religious, physical, emotional, and spiritual.
For hundreds of years, Jews around the world have ended the Passover Seder with the words, "Next year in Jerusalem."
Despite what the UN, the EU, or the Arab world might say, God Himself made Jerusalem the eternal capital of Israel.
Don't miss this week's Report on TBN, Daystar, CPM Network, various local stations, www.hallindsey.com or www.hischannel.com . Check your local listings.
Grace and the Rapture - By Don McGee -
Unfortunately, most in the world of Christendom cringe at the word rapture when it is used in context of the coming of Jesus for His church One reason for this could well be that those Christians cannot connect the grace of God with the assurance we have when Jesus returns for His church. It follows that a biblically sound understanding of the rapture naturally leads to a greater appreciation for God's grace and our liberty in Christ, and it removes any fear a Christian might have regarding the day it will happen.
Well over half of my life ago a young preacher said to me that he would not know for sure that he was saved until he stood before Jesus on judgment day at the great white throne judgment as seen in Revelation 20. The context of our conversation, and of his statement, was not judgment but the coming of Jesus for His church. He associated the taking of the church with a final judgment by which he would then know if he was saved or not. In reality he feared that at Jesus' coming he just might be found deficient in his keeping of all New Testament "rules".
In order to clear up any confusion about these matters it must be understood that Christians cannot purposefully be lax in their heeding of Jesus' commandments, nor do they have license to live a carnal life. Further, there is no such thing as cheap grace, a false theology popular among some "seeker" churches where Jesus is Savior, but is not Lord. Those things are part of a hellish counterfeit belief system.
At the same time we need to understand that God did not give us a New Testament system of law keeping where hell is the penalty for imperfection in place of the Old Testament system of law keeping where hell was the penalty for sin. The fact of the matter about the human race is that every last one of us is guilty of breaking God's law. But that which we know as the gospel is the good news that what God demanded in payment for our sin, death (Ezekiel 18:20), was freely paid by Jesus on our behalf. And if we believe and act upon what God said about Jesus' death on our behalf (faith) we have His forgiveness.
But if a person believes salvation is based upon being 100% accurate 100% of the time regarding everything found in scripture then it is not only easy to be a legalist, but being a legalist is the only thing that person can be. Further, since not even a legalist can be absolutely sure they are 100% correct in all things biblical, then that person never knows whether they are saved or not saved. That kind of thing is not a life of peace based upon God's grace, but is a life of hell on earth based upon law keeping.
Further, if a preacher believes that kind of thing then a very serious question must be asked: When he closes his sermon and offers the Lord's invitation, does he encourage the unsaved to respond to it only to tell them they might make it? Though this is not actually spoken by legalists it is often implied in their teaching. Such people are fearful because they have no assurance. There is no wonder that the rapture of the church is feared as a time of possible condemnation instead of being loved as the Blessed Hope.
Christians will indeed be judged, but there is a vast difference between the judgment of the unsaved and the judgment of Christians. The judgment of Christians is found in 1 Corinthians 3:10-15. The word for judgment there is "bema" and speaks of a judgment seat from which Jesus gives rewards. This is not a judgment of condemnation. Said another way some people, after becoming Christians, will have done works in this life that will withstand the test of fire like gold, while lazy and apathetic Christians will have done works in this life that will not withstand the test of fire like hay. No rewards there. This is not difficult to understand at all.
But the unsaved will be judged at the "thronon" which is a judgment of condemnation (Revelation 20:11). There are no saved people before that bar of justice for all present are judged according to their deeds which are listed in the books present, and no one can earn salvation through good deeds or rule keeping.
Because legalists have confused these two kinds of judgment they are fearful. It is illogical for a person to look forward to something, and especially to give thanks for it, if it is thought to be something ominous. But Paul tells us that those who love His appearing are to be given a crown of righteousness (2 Timothy 4-8). So, was he incorrect in his attitude about the rapture? Did he misunderstand the inspiration of the Holy Spirit in this matter? Not hardly.
For the Christian who is confident in his salvation (1 John 5:13) there is no fear about the rapture. Not because he has been absolutely correct in his understanding of all things scriptural, but because of God's grace that covers those things he did not understand correctly. If the grace of God is sufficient to cover our blatant sin, is it not also sufficient to cover our inability to flawlessly understand all scripture? Thankfully, yes!
Consider what Paul said in Philippians 4:6 where he told the church at Philippi, "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus". There are at least two things that these verses bring to mind.
First, if the rapture of the church is something that is either literally denied or is at best feared, where then is the reason for giving thanks for it? The removal of the church from this planet is described in 1 Corinthians 15:50ff and in 1 Thessalonians 4:13ff and in neither of those texts can a Christian find any reason to deny their plain sense meaning, nor to be fearfully anxious about it happening. In fact, just the opposite is true.
At the rapture we will forever be with the Lord, we will have new bodies that are incorruptible, we will see those we have loved in this life and who have been with the Lord for years, we will see those we love but have never met, we will never be separated from them again, we will no longer live in bodies afflicted with the ever present disease and trauma of this life, we will have no need whatsoever for anything...and the list of good things could go on without end. But to be a legalist who has never come to understand grace and who believes their righteousness is based upon their being right about everything, the joy of this Blessed Hope is dashed to pieces on the rocky shoreline of a salvation that is based upon a person perfectly understanding and doing all things scriptural. Who wants that kind of thing? And who would ever actually give thanks for it?
In the Philippians 4 text we are told in verse five, "The Lord is near." The word for "near" can be translated "in close proximity". A legalist might not be comfortable with such a thought because he, in a fashion, sees the Lord with clipboard in hand taking notes and listing all his failures in the books that will be at the Great White Throne judgment. Really? Unfortunately for some Christians, yes. As someone once said, you don't have to worry about Santa Claus making a list and checking it twice to see who has been naughty or nice, what you have to worry about is Jesus making a list and checking it twice to see who has understood and done all things in just the right way.
Second, legalists often do not really have the peace of God. In their striving for peace with God they seldom ever know the peace of God.
Romans 5:1 says, "Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." The context is salvation through the propitiatory death of Jesus on our behalf. The enmity between a sinner and God is removed when that sinner becomes a Christian thus resulting in the cessation of hostilities between the holy and righteous God and one who was a rebellious reprobate. That is peace with God, and every Christian should know what that feels like. The war is over, Jesus has redeemed, or bought back the sinner's soul with His own blood and there is peace between God and that sinner.
But the peace of God is different from peace with God. Go back to Philippians 4:7 and look again at those words, "And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." The peace of God goes to a deeper level in the human soul because it goes beyond anything the human mind can understand. Said another way, the peace of God is incomprehensible and especially so to the natural man. That is why unbelievers just can't get a handle on it and why they don't understand the reason Christians act and react they way they do.
Someone once explained the peace of God by saying it protects the mental, emotional and spiritual welfare of Christians, and that it is absolutely necessary for successfully dealing with life and everything it throws at us. Any number of Christians are spiritual wrecks in that their souls are never at peace because each dawn brings another list of rules, and they are not even sure they kept the previous day's rules. They want their last conscious thought to be, "Lord, forgive me..." before they go to sleep so that their perceived last-minute sins would be forgiven in case they die before sunup. Some of these people compensate for their lack of assurance by being divisive and condemnatory toward those Christians who don't see everything their way. They think that their self-righteous contentiousness is pleasing to God and earns them points on His check list
Consider marriage. It indeed has a legal aspect, but even a legalist understands a good marriage is not a relationship of formality and personal perfection based upon an official document on file at the court house. They know it is all about the love a husband and wife have for one another. But when it comes to their faith it is a different matter. The reason they have difficulty understanding that they can have the peace of God which comes with assurance of salvation, and that they can look with grand expectation to the rapture is that they do not believe anyone can have that kind of relationship with God. They spend their lives trying keep God happy with them by perfectly interpreting scripture and perfectly keeping all the rules. When a husband and wife have a relationship based upon perfection and rule keeping they are said to have a dysfunctional marriage.
Consider just two verses in their context: "He has made us competent to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter, but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit produces life." (2 Corinthians 3:6) "There is no fear in love; instead, perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves punishment. So the one who fears has not reached perfection in love." (1 John 4:18) These verses, and others, should at least motivate the legalist to study anew, without a preconceived bias, the whole idea of what makes the gospel good news. Such a study might go far in breaking the bonds of legalism and its obligatory fear of the rapture.
Christians often focus on God's love, and there is no way to overemphasize it. But we would do well to spend time thinking about God's grace, also. You see, God would have been perfectly righteous by loving us, but withholding His grace. He could have told us that He loved us and that He would give us one more chance to keep His commandments. Does anyone think they could have lived a sinless life with a second opportunity?
Biblical Christianity is the only religion that offers hope based upon grace and mercy. It removes anxiety of facing God at the rapture, and replaces it with confidence based upon the fact that Jesus has done for us that which we could never do for ourselves. And it was all His idea to begin with. DLM
Daily Jot: Moral revival or political civil war - Bill Wilson -
Add Dustin Hoffman to the list of the accused sexual harassers. President Donald Trump continues under fire from accusations. Russell Simmons has now been accused of two rapes. The list keeps growing. Most of the cases do not have criminal or legal complaints filed with them-they are women coming forward to tell their stories long after the fact. Hollywood is overrun with "Me Too's" as woman after woman, and some men, come forward. Politics is also inundated with such stories. A Kentucky state representative committed suicide over allegations by a 17 year old. Several Congressmen have resigned. Does this latest round of moral consciousness signal a moral revival or is it a civil war?
From a political perspective, there really has been a steady stream of violators (can anyone say Bill Clinton?). The past is filled with them. The recent ones, showcased by the perversity of Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner, seemed to be just the tip of the iceberg. In Weiner's case, however, there were charges filed and he went to jail. Since the inauguration of Trump, we have seen accusations of sexual misconduct skyrocket. It's beyond women wearing pink vagina hats in the National Mall and has reached the level that no man could have imagined. One thing for certain: Hollywood and politics have been getting away with the power sex game for decades and it's high time it is cleaned up.
Sadly, most of this is one person's word against another's because no legal complaints were filed and many accusations are several years old. It's one thing for the sex-charged movie and television industry to have these complaints-after all, how do any of them distinguish between what they are doing on screen and what happens in real life? One seems to be an extension of the other, and neither are following any moral code. But the politics is another story. Its sordid business has to do with power and money-usually taxpayer money-enabling what appears in many cases to be a tax-funded orgy atmosphere. And this gets in the way of running the government effectively, or at all.
Even worse, the campaign manager for newly-elected Democratic Senator Doug Jones from Alabama is getting accolades for winning an impossible campaign. Unfortunately, he has figured out a way to weaponize sexual misconduct accusations and totally ruin an opponent's life. This strategy will be employed repeatedly in the upcoming election cycles. When all else fails, sex will win the day. So are we seeing a moral revival or a political civil war? This is a war, no doubt. Satan is using the consequences of behavior in the hands of dubious minions to kill, steal and destroy. Jesus said in John 3:19, "And this is the condemnation, that light (Christ) is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil." Let us pray that evil is exposed and those of the Light will be protected.
Daily Devotion: Worthy of Our Worship - By Greg Laurie -
"When they saw the star, they were filled with joy! They entered the house and saw the child with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasure chests and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh." -Matthew 2:10-11
The wise men, these followers of the stars, met the Lord Jesus Christ who created the stars. They were occultists, yet God reached into their dark world with a star to bring them to their Creator.
Matthew's gospel tells us, "They entered the house and saw the child with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasure chests and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh" (2:11).
Everyone worships at Christmas. There are no exceptions to this. Christians worship. Atheists worship. Skeptics worship. Republicans worship. Democrats worship. Independents worship. Everyone worships at Christmas, but not everyone worships God at Christmas. Some worship material things, which they never seem to have enough of. Others worship their bodies. Others worship their families. But everyone worships something or someone.
The wise men worshiped Jesus. And what does it mean to worship? Our modern word worship comes from the old English word worthship. We worship the One who is worthy. A god of our own making isn't worthy of our worship, but the true God is worthy of our praise.
Two words often are used in the Scriptures to define worship. One word means to bow down and do homage, which speaks of reverence and respect. The other means to kiss toward, which speaks of intimacy and friendship. So when we put these two words together, we get an idea of what worship actually is. To worship is to bow down and have reverence, and it is also to have tender intimacy.
Jesus was born, He died, and He rose from the dead so that you and I could come into a relationship with Him and become God's adopted children. Simply put, we should worship the Lord because He deserves it-every day of the year.
FROM THE HEART
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