TODAYS LATEST WORLD NEWS ARTICLES, DAILY SCRIPTURE, AND NEWS CLIPS WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 11th 2017

DAILY SCRIPTURE:

PSALM 109

gracethrufaith.com

God, whom I praise, do not remain silent, for wicked and deceitful men have opened their mouths against me; they have spoken against me with lying tongues. With words of hatred they surround me; they attack me without cause. In return for my friendship they accuse me, but I am a man of prayer. They repay me evil for good, and hatred for my friendship.

Appoint an evil man (the evil one) to oppose him; let an accuser (the Accuser, Satan) stand at his right hand. When he is tried, let him be found guilty, and may his prayers condemn him. May his days be few; may another take his place of leadership. May his children be fatherless and his wife a widow. May his children be wandering beggars; may they be driven from their ruined homes. May a creditor seize all he has; may strangers plunder the fruits of his labor. May no one extend kindness to him or take pity on his fatherless children. May his descendants be cut off, their names blotted out from the next generation.

May the iniquity of his fathers be remembered before the LORD; may the sin of his mother never be blotted out. May their sins always remain before the LORD, that he may cut off the memory of them from the earth.

For he never thought of doing a kindness, but hounded to death the poor and the needy and the brokenhearted. He loved to pronounce a curse— may it come on him; he found no pleasure in blessing— may it be far from him. He wore cursing as his garment; it entered into his body like water, into his bones like oil. May it be like a cloak wrapped about him, like a belt tied forever around him. May this be the LORD’s payment to my accusers, to those who speak evil of me.

But you, O Sovereign LORD, deal well with me for your name’s sake; out of the goodness of your love, deliver me. For I am poor and needy, and my heart is wounded within me. I fade away like an evening shadow; I am shaken off like a locust. My knees give way from fasting; my body is thin and gaunt. I am an object of scorn to my accusers; when they see me, they shake their heads. Help me, O LORD my God; save me in accordance with your love.

Let them know that it is your hand, that you, O LORD, have done it. They may curse, but you will bless; when they attack they will be put to shame, but your servant will rejoice. My accusers will be clothed with disgrace and wrapped in shame as in a cloak.

With my mouth I will greatly extol the LORD; in the great throng I will praise him. For he stands at the right hand of the needy one, to save his life from those who condemn him.

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Wow! I don’t know who David was upset with but somebody must have really done him wrong. This is one of the strongest prayers of imprecation anywhere in Scripture. (For that reason, some translators prefer the alternates I put in parenthesis.) For the other guy’s sake, I hope the Lord took this with a grain of salt.

I’ve been this angry a time or two and I’m sure you have too. For me it’s usually when I’m being treated unfairly, like the time about 15 years ago when I got into trouble with the bank that had financed an office building I owned. I had bitten off a lot more than I could chew on that deal and was in way over my head, but they loaned me the money anyway. The mortgage was huge and it was all I could do to stay current. I’m not exaggerating when I say that sometimes my own paycheck went toward that payment.

After three years of struggling but always being on time, things were so tight that I let the taxes go in arrears to avoid being late on the mortgage. When the bank found out they immediately put me in default and called the loan due and payable in full. Then they wrote to my tenants demanding that they pay their rent directly to the bank. I couldn’t believe it, nor could I change their minds. All that sacrificing to fulfill my obligation to them and this is the thanks I got?

Of course they had the legal right to do it, I had violated one of the loan covenants. Adding insult to injury, they scheduled a hearing to put their own trustee in charge of the building knowing I was about to leave for Israel with a tour group I was leading. I’d be out of the country. It was just plain mean, and left me feeling really betrayed.

Later I found out that they were in trouble and had to clean up their act fast. My loan was risky and made them look bad to the auditors, so it had to be resolved. They had been looking for a chance to foreclose and sell the building to get my loan off their books, and as soon as I gave them that chance they jumped.

“It’s just business,” their lawyer said. “Nothing personal.” Well it sure felt personal. I wound up losing the building and a whole lot of hard earned money. It took me years to recover. For a while I prayed prayers just like David’s, but then the Lord told me that I had to forgive them if I ever wanted to get over my anger. It was a while before I could do that, but eventually I actually wound up praying that the Lord would save those bankers and their lawyer, asking Him to forgive not only their sins against me, but all of their sins.

When the Lord saw that I was sincere, He began blessing me, delivering me from my anger. He restored me financially and taught me valuable lessons about grace and forgiveness. And while I wouldn’t want to repeat that experience, I can honestly say that I profited from it.

The bank sold the building for a big loss, and the guy who bought it later abandoned it, having lost even more than I did on it. The bank itself was subsequently sold and its local office demolished to make way for a movie theater. Proof positive that the Lord answers prayers, even those like David’s, once you get right with Him.

 

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 DEFENSE MINISTER: IN NEXT WAR, ISRAEL WILL FACE FIGHTING IN NORTH AND SOUTH

STUART WINER – https://www.timesofisrael.com/liberman-in-next-war-israel-will-face-fighting-in-north-and-south/

Avigdor Liberman says Syria and Lebanon now one unified front, and Lebanese army controlled by Hezbollah terror group

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman on Tuesday said the next war in Israel will see the Israel Defense Forces facing both a unified Syrian and Lebanese foe and another front in the Gaza Strip.  

He also declared Tuesday that the Lebanese army has been fully integrated with Hezbollah and now operates under the terror group’s command.

 “When the next campaign begins, and it doesn’t matter where it begins, in the north or the south, it will immediately become a two-front campaign. There is no longer a single front, and that is our basic assumption. We are preparing the army for that,” said Liberman, addressing the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv during an event for soldiers to mark the ongoing Sukkot festival.

“And also regarding the Lebanese front we are no longer talking about Hezbollah alone,” he added. “We are talking about Hezbollah and the Lebanese army; regrettably that is the reality. The Lebanese army has become an integral part of the Hezbollah apparatus under its command.”

The defense minister said that Israel’s northern front now included both Lebanon and Syria, where he predicted fighting against the Jewish state would be coordinated.

“The new reality also prepares new challenges for us. If once we spoke about the Lebanese front – there is no longer such a front. There is the northern front. In any development there may be, it will be one front, Syria and Lebanon together, Hezbollah, the Assad regime and all the Assad regime supporters.”

Although Israeli and Syrian forces clashed in Lebanon during the 1982 First Lebanon War, the two countries have not fought across their common border since the 1973 Yom Kippur War. 

Israel was working to prevent a war, but the situation was “fragile” and a confrontation could erupt at any moment, said Liberman.

“All of our effort is to prevent the next war, but in the ‘new’ Middle East the assessments that were familiar in the past, such as low likelihood [of war], are simply irrelevant assessments,” said Liberman. “The reality is fragile; it can happen from one moment to another, from today to tomorrow.”

“It’s all based on the fact that we have to prepare for a serious battle, and there is no battle without tremendous firepower,” the defense minister said. “My personal basic view is that ‘those who want peace should prepare for war.’ I hope that our enemies on the other side will think well about each step they take against Israel, in order that we not be required to demonstrate the full force and abilities of the IDF.”

Israel last fought a full-scale war with Hezbollah in 2006’s Second Lebanon War, and tensions have remained high even as the northern border has remained relatively quiet in the past decade.

Hezbollah is believed to have an arsenal of between 100,000 and 150,000 short-, medium- and long-range missiles and a fighting force of some 50,000 soldiers, including reservists.

A Hezbollah commander said last month that the group has more than 10,000 fighters in southern Syria ready to confront Israel. Hezbollah has been fighting on behalf of the Syrian regime as it tries to suppress a six-year long insurgency.

Israel worries Hezbollah and its backer Iran could launch a war against the Jewish state from southern Syria.

Recently, Israeli officials have warned that any attack by Hezbollah, which has seats in the Lebanese parliament, would be seen by Israel as an attack by Lebanon.

 

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 ISRAEL’S DEFENSE MINISTER: LEBANON’S ARMY ‘AN INTEGRAL PART’ OF HEZBOLLAH

By Anna Ahronheim – http://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Israels-Defense-Minister-Lebanons-army-an-integral-part-of-Hezbollah-507127

“Whoever wants peace must prepare for war, and I hope that our enemies on the other side will think carefully about every step taken against the State of Israel,” says Defense Minister Liberman.

Lebanon’s army has become an integral part of Hezbollah’s network, Israel’s Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman stated on Tuesday, warning that the next war on Israel’s northern border will not be confined to one front but will see conflict with both Syria and Lebanon.

Addressing IDF soldiers during a celebratory event marking the festival of Sukkot at his sukka in the military headquarters in Tel Aviv, Liberman warned that preparation for the next war was of great importance, as it will likely include the Lebanese military along with Hezbollah.

“We’re talking about Hezbollah and about the Lebanese military, and unfortunately this is the reality,” Liberman said, adding that the “Lebanese army has lost its independence and has become an integral part of Hezbollah’s network.”

“Even if the next campaign develops, and it does not matter where it develops, in the north or the south, it will immediately become a battle on two fronts,” the defense minister said.

“We are supposed to prepare for every possible scenario, and the new reality also prepares new challenges for us. If we once talked about the Lebanese sector, then there is no longer such a sector, there is a northern sector in every development,” he continued.

Senior officials from Israel’s defense establishment have repeatedly stated that while the chance of escalation on the border is low, the smallest incident or a miscalculation by either side would have the possibility to lead to conflict.

“Our entire effort is to prevent the next war, but in the new ‘Middle East,’ the assessments we previously made are simply irrelevant.  The reality now is fragile, it can change from moment to moment, from today to tomorrow,” he said.

“Whoever wants peace must prepare for war, and I hope that our enemies on the other side will think carefully about every step taken against the State of Israel, so that we will not have to demonstrate the full strength and capabilities of the IDF.”

Israeli officials, including Liberman, have repeatedly voiced concerns about the smuggling of sophisticated weaponry to Hezbollah and the growing Iranian presence on its borders, stressing that both are red-lines for the Jewish State.

Both France and the United States have provided Lebanon with advanced weaponry, and this past summer, the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) received 50 armored vehicles, 40 artillery pieces and 50 grenade launchers from the United States as part of an aid package to bolster the Middle Eastern country against the threats posed by militant groups.

Saudi Arabia in March halted its military aid program to Beirut after Lebanese President Michel Aoun defended Hezbollah’s arsenal in an interview with an Egyptian TV channel, calling it “an essential component” of the means to defend Lebanon.

“Hezbollah weapons are not contradictory to the state, but are an essential part in defending the country,” Aoun told the Egyptian TV network CBC satellite channel. “As long as a part of the territory is occupied by Israel, and as long as the army is not powerful enough to fight Israel, we feel the need to maintain the weapons of the resistance to complement the army.”

Israel and Hezbollah fought a deadly 33-day war in 2006, which came to an end under UN Security Council Resolution 1701, which called for the disarmament of Hezbollah, the withdrawal of the Israeli army from Lebanon, the deployment of the Lebanese army and an enlarged UN force in the south.

According to IDF assessments, Hezbollah has increased its military capabilities due to its fighting in Syria, and has spread its troops across the entire Middle East. In addition to a massive arsenal of rockets and missiles, Hezbollah is able to mobilize close to 30,000 fighters and has flouted its tunnel system, complete with ventilation, electricity and rocket launchers.

Some 200 villages in south Lebanon have also been turned into “military strongholds” from which Hezbollah militants are able to watch Israeli soldiers at any moment.

On Saturday, Lebanon’s Al-Akhbar news website reported that security services had arrested three men who were allegedly gathering intelligence on Hezbollah and transferring it to Israel’s spy agency, the Mossad.

 

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ISRAEL ASKS US TO PLUMB REAL MOTIVE BEHIND SISI-SPONSORED PALESTINIAN TALKS

https://www.debka.com/israel-asks-us-plumb-real-motive-behind-sisi-sponsored-palestinian-talks/

Israel was startled by the Egyptian president’s comment that the Palestinian reconciliation process he is brokering would lead to peace with Israel.

Abdel Fatteh El-Sisi put it this way in an interview on Sunday, Oct. 8: “The Egyptian moves aimed at helping the Palestinian brothers to start a new stage of unity of the Palestinian ranks would pave the way for a just peace between Palestine and Israel.” He defined his goal as being: “The establishment of an independent Palestinian state to meet the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people for a secure, stable and prosperous life.”

El-Sisi added no further details, but he said enough to finally rattle the Netanyahu government. The Palestinian reconciliation process was clearly intruding on terrain that properly belonged to negotiations with Israel. Jerusalem’s policy of standing aside from Cairo’s efforts to broker the internal Palestinian rift between |Hamas and Fatah had left Israel without a say in the process as it advanced. It was becoming clear that Cairo was no longer briefing Israel, despite its promises to do so, on the directions to which Egyptian intelligence officials were leading the Palestinian negotiations for burying the hatchet. (On Oct. 3, DEBKAfile warned that Israel would pay a price for standing aloof from the process.)

The Netanyahu government had finally begun appreciating that trusting the Egyptians with closed eyes might lead to untoward circumstances and loss of control. The Trump administration was therefore asked to find out what was going on. As a result Jason Greenblatt, the president’s special envoy for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, is due to arrive in Cairo Monday, Oct. 9, to ask the Egyptians what they are up to.

That is why the round of Cairo talks between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas was put back – albeit by just one day – from Monday to Tuesday.

The Trump administration was also taken by surprise by the direction indicated in the Sisi interview. His mediation effort was perceived in Washington as designed to remove the meddling hands of Iran, Turkey and Qatar from the Gaza Strip. The Egyptian effort was now revealing a quite different motivation.

Hamas negotiators, too,  are preparing to land a couple of surprises on the next round of talks in Cairo. DEBKAfile has received exclusive information on this nature of those surprises. They are clearly ploys to “pave the way for a just peace between Palestine and Israel,” in keeping with the Egyptian president’s words Sunday, while at the same time not giving an inch on their interests.

Hamas will give Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and the Egyptian mediators a pledge to rescind its claim to representation in the future Palestinian unity government. In the absence of Hamas ministers, Israel will have no grounds for refusing to deal with a Palestinian administration which has no terrorist component.

Hamas will also promise not to run as a movement against Abbas’ Fatah party in future elections to the presidency and parliament when it is called by the Palestinian Authority. Hamas is offering to establish a new party under a new name – such as the “Palestinian Justice Front” – for its adherents to elect, and assure Abbas and his party of victory in a general election.

By these stratagems, the extremist Hamas movement places itself on the road to achieving its two main objectives: One is to hand over full budgetary responsibility for administrating the Gaza Strip to the Palestinian Authority and Abbas; and other is to preserve the operational autonomy of its armed wing and arsenal.

 

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ANARCHY, DISASTER AND AMERICA

By Don McGee – http://www.raptureready.com/2017/10/08/anarchy-disaster-and-america/

It is obvious that anarchists and the havoc they are causing are having a negative impact upon our country. Their motive is typical of anarchists; they want what they call complete freedom in life. They want a society where there are no rules for living and no accountability for their actions. Many anarchists claim that no one should have an abundance of anything, and that all things should be equally divided among all people. That is why they are prize targets for those wanting to impose socialism or communism upon a free market society; they are already leaning in that direction.

All of that is obvious. But what is being missed is the real reason behind it all, and that is because the reason is spiritual in nature. And we can be assured that American society will never invite spiritual cause/effect into the arena of public debate on this issue. Time and again Christian apologists have attempted to explain spiritual cause/effect to secularists, but they are as clueless as a wild boar hearing Beethoven’s 5th. And 1 Corinthians 2:14 explains this disconnect, “But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.”

In context of this situation in our country, a distinction must be made between motive and reason. Motive is personal; it is the internally held worldview behind a person’s conduct. But, reason is different because it is rooted in an external influence that is often unknown to those involved.

Satan is orchestrating this present turmoil, but a growing percentage of Americans would never admit this because the existence of an evil spirit being who would enable and exploit destructive behavior is foreign to their thinking. And that is just fine with Satan as long as his goal of lawlessness is reached, for that is the ideal situation for the introduction of his man of lawlessness, a man whom the Bible calls Antichrist.

Human conduct is always the result of influence. In his base state the natural man is influenced by his Adamic nature to often act like a child; that is, he wants what he wants, whether he earns it or not, and he wants it now. He is always looking for something free no matter the cost to others. Though all things are created by influences that have costs associated with them, anarchists do not care about such costs.

That the result of anarchy and socialism is mass, across the board poverty means nothing to those making such demands. And though Satan exploits this to no end, it matters not a wit to him if anarchists are irrational. The only thing of importance to him is the inherent lawlessness in such movements, for this is the kind of social condition that brings panic usually followed by the rise of a charismatic liberator.

At this point it is important to make something very clear. As American Christians we are mostly tuned in to what is happening in our own country. But, we must not lose sight of the fact that Bible prophecy was not written in context of the North American Continent. What we are seeing in our country has already happened in other places with many successes for Satan. Presently it seems that our country is just one of the final dominoes that must either fall completely, or be sufficiently damaged to the point of being impotent in worldwide affairs. This will expedite Satan’s efforts at global instability.

Some people are beginning to wonder if America’s deep divide politically and socially will morph into unbridled anarchy and social turmoil which could be critical factors in America’s eventual crash as a constitutional republic. They are wondering if super-wealthy global financiers with no national allegiances (such as George Soros who admitted, “I carry some rather potent messianic fantasies…” LA Times, 4 October 2004), can possibly incite and exploit this atmosphere of unrest to a point where martial law will become the new norm. Is a crisis looming that will prompt drastic government action? It just might be so.

Relatively new to American anarchism is a hate group called ANTIFA, an acronym for “anti-fascists “. These are mostly middle class white college kids who have a burning, visceral hatred for those they label as nationalists and political conservatives. They are violently hostile toward people they think are anti-black racists, yet do not have the testosterone to stand against anti-white racism. They are all for free speech as long as it conforms to their view, and those who disagree become recipients of their cowardly violence. Essentially they are brain-washed socialists/anarchists who believe they have license to assault and destroy in the name of their two-faced political correctness.

But, like others of their caste these are mere pawns in the hands of a malicious, evil spirit being. Satan does not care about their agenda as he does not care about the homosexual agenda, the transgender agenda or any other depraved agenda that is destroying the stability of our country. His goal has nothing to do with the goals of these people; he simply wants to orchestrate a situation that will bring society to such a place of desperation that citizens will demand the government do something no matter the cost to liberty. Eventually, as the world moves deeper into the caldron of anarchy he will have a man ready to step in and say, “I have a plan…”

Some are plunging their heads deeply into the sand saying this will never happen in America. Think again. Just 50 years ago nobody in their right mind would have thought that TSA bureaucrats at commercial U.S. airports would have the authority to essentially grope passengers boarding airplanes. Immediately after the Muslim attacks on 9-11 much of the public protested this new policy, but such protests have mostly grown silent today. And it is all in the name of this foolish idea that a nation can successfully exchange liberty for security.

Natural disasters like Katrina and Harvey have proven time and again that looters, anarchists and other such plunderers will, like wild beasts, mercilessly prey on the weak and vulnerable. We might wonder what liberties Americans will be willing to relinquish in the false hope of quelling massive outbreaks of violence, especially if they come face to face with anarchists as unarmed, helpless citizens.

Many Americans already see large fractures in the Constitution because of the Muslim attacks in 2001. Ten years later, in 2011, the fidelity of the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution was further eroded. In a little publicized case the U.S. Supreme Court decided in an 8-1 decision in Kentucky v. King that police, in certain situations, can now kick down doors when they are not in hot-pursuit and without a warrant. Certain situations? That is a very slippery slope with no firm stops along the slide into the dark pit of totalitarianism.

Still, it can’t be certain that anarchism in and of itself, accompanied by martial law, will be the critical factor in America’s fall. Satan does not know this either, but he is exploiting the situation to the fullest because he knows, as some Christians know, that it will at least be favorable to his ultimate plans. He is the reason behind all this, but his eggs are not all in the proverbial one basket. Though he does not know exactly what will happen, he does know that anarchism will definitely lend itself to societal fear and desperation.

So, will God allow some other kind of dreadful event(s) to afflict our country? Barring full-blown national repentance and a national turning to God the answer is yes. Is it possible that this could happen before the church is removed? Yes. This kind of talk is anathema to most Americans, even to most Christians. But, our concern should have nothing to do with what most people think, Christian or not. Our concern should be with what God might allow to happen to any nation that flaunts its brazen debauchery in His face.

Any student of the Bible, and especially of Bible prophecy, knows there will be no national revival in America, or any other nation for that matter, in these last days. And any nationally elected leader who would attempt to lead such a national repentance would immediately be lampooned and caricatured as a fool worthy of impeachment and a straight jacket.

So, what might God allow? He will allow whatever He wants, but many Bible students believe that the most likely event will be one of three general scenarios, or a combination thereof: enemy attacks, economics, or natural catastrophes. And the interesting part about this is that any of those events can act as a catalyst for further anarchistic conduct and martial law. Though these are not sure things, they should be kept in mind.

Another Islamic attack. Only a fool would think that the Muslim world has decided to not press its attack on America. It makes no difference whether it is Sunni or Shite, American liberty is not compatible with Islam. One is equally foolish to believe Muslim immigrants want to assimilate into western culture. They want to control and change it. Media outlets parade their “experts” before the American public, and they speak of our Muslim “partners” in our efforts. What will it take for us realize that, in the end, we have no real Muslim partners in any of our efforts? Evidently 9-11 didn’t have sufficient shock value to do it.

Economics. No matter how any financial expert tries to spin it, when a country is $20 trillion in debt with this fiscal year’s interest on that debt at $276.6 billion, that country is on the precipice of bankruptcy. And the pathetic thing about this is that most people, especially those with the entitlement mentality, think we can just print more money to cover it. And some of those entitlement people are in the Congress and Senate.

Natural calamities. Catastrophic weather systems are mostly what we are seeing today, but that is not the worse thing that could happen. Nine of the 23 largest super volcanoes in the world are in the U.S., the most recognizable one being the Yellowstone Caldera. The results of such an eruption are inconceivable. In addition to the immediate death and suffering, there will be long term air pollution, the destruction of water aquifers, power grids, highways, airports, pipelines, buildings, crops, communications, etc. Americans will suddenly be thrown into individual survival mode, medieval style. And it will be hard-core, dog-eat-dog survival.

Our country needs to be led into national confession and repentance for our national rejection of God. But, that is not going to happen. Further, catastrophic events will not prompt it, either. Perhaps on a personal level, but not on a national level because we have no such leader that is of sufficient spiritual strength. Nor have we had one of late, or else we possibly would not be wallowing in the sewer of depravity today.

There is one more thing that will happen, and it can happen at any moment. Jesus is going to remove His church from this world. We know He will do so prior to the tribulation, but what is not known is if He will do so before He is forced to send some kind of horrific judgment on this country. It is the opinion of many Bible students that this event alone will be sufficiently dramatic as to cause such social unrest that the world, including our country, will be demanding that somebody do something at any cost. It is very probable that somewhere on this planet Antichrist is alive and well, just waiting for the right circumstances to usher him in. The question that each one should be asking is: Where will I be one minute post-rapture? DLM

 

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NORTH KOREA’S SURPRISING CHRISTIAN HERITAGE AND DESTINY

http://www.prophecynewswatch.com/article.cfm?recent_news_id=1190

Many Christians would be surprised to learn that North Korea – the world’s undisputed top persecutor of its own Christian population – was once the centre of sweeping revivals. 

Even more surprising to many would be the fact that the ruling Kim dynasty came from a devout Christian family. 

What went wrong and how can we pray for North Korea at this time of increasing tensions? Is there hope for the long oppressed people of North Korea?

Pyongyang – the Jerusalem of the East

The city of Pyongyang is today synonymous with the tyrannical nuclear-tipped regime of Kim Jong-Un. However if we were to wind back the clock 100 years, we would see a very different city. 

After the first Presbyterian mission opened in Pyongyang in 1895, revival movements rapidly brought in many converts. 

These waves of revival culminated in the ‘Great Pyongyang Revival’ of 1907 which spread out from the city and touched the whole nation of Korea. The fruit of the revival was that by 1910, Pyongyang was the most Christianised area of Korea – boasting over 60’000 Christians in the Presbyterian Church alone! 

Christian activity was such a prominent feature that postcards from those days featured pictures of Christian street evangelists in action rather than the more traditional postcard pictures of scenic sites. 

By the time of the Communist take-over in 1948, there were 2000 churches throughout Korea and they were predominantly located in the North. 

Pyongyang itself was known as a bustling head-quarter of missionary activity and was affectionately called the ‘Jerusalem of the East’.

The Christian Heritage of the Kim Dynasty    

According to the outstanding book ‘Back to the Jerusalem of the East’ by Eugene Bach and Luther Martin, many of the original ruling elite of communist North Korea were in fact from Christian families or received a Christian education. 

Even more startling is the fact that Kim Il-Sung – the founder and supreme leader of North Korea who ruled for 46 years – came from a devout Christian family. 

According to Kim’s official biography, his grandfather was a minister and his parents served as elders in a Presbyterian church. The young Kim grew up in church, and it is even reported that he was an accomplished organist!

What went wrong?

How did Kim Il-Sung turn so radically against the Christian faith of his parents?

According to Bach and Martin, the young Kim observed with resentment the high living standards of the western missionaries while the average Korean struggled to put food on the table. 

The apparent apathy of western missionaries to the Japanese invasion, and their possible ties with the wealthy and oppressive landlords were also issues triggering resentment. 

Another pivotal event in Kim’s life was his family’s forced exile in China due to his father being blacklisted by the Japanese authorities. Sadly they were not safe in China either, and one day Japanese soldiers snatched Kim’s father. 

Local Christians prayed fervently and passionately for his release, but he never returned. No doubt this event would have marked the young Kim and sown seeds in him leading to his complete rejection of Christianity. 

Kim later became a rebel leader fighting against the Japanese, and was installed by the Russians as the leader of Korea after the defeat of the Japanese armies. 

Pyongyang’s status as the Jerusalem of the East came to a close with the establishment of the ‘Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’ under Kim Il-Sung in 1948 and the subsequent rapid closure and confiscation of church properties.

Kim Il-Sung’s repudiation of his Christian heritage and ruthless persecution of Christianity forms a horrific part of Korea’s history. 

As his son and now grandson continue in his footsteps, millions of Koreans are suffering from Kim’s fateful decision to turn away from the God of his fathers. 

Did Kim Il-Sung entirely forget his Christian heritage? 

In Christian circles, bible study groups, worship songs and confession of sins are important in the development of strong committed disciples. 

Even though Kim turned his back on Christianity, it appears that his regime chose to use surprisingly similar methods to unite the people around their ‘dear leader’. 

These practices include regular breaks at work to study the writings of Kim Il-Sung in small groups, the singing of songs to the ‘dear leader’ and even the confession of ‘sins’ in weekly confessionals. 

Perhaps some of these corrupted practices are the secret to the enduring strength of the North Korean dictatorship?

Furthermore, Kim Il-Sung is revered as a god, and his son as ‘the son of god’ – obscenely mirroring Christian theology. Founding father Kim Il Sung is even believed by many to be god in the flesh and the creator of the earth! 

The words of North Korean blogger ‘Juche girl’ give insight into a Christ-like perception of their leader. She writes ‘Dear Leader can make the handicap walk and the blind to see’. 

Sounds like a twisted version of a Sunday School song!

While one report suggested that Kim Il-Sung later in life once agreed to pray with a doctor before a major operation, there is sadly no evidence to suggest that he had any real change of heart or returned to the God of his fathers.

Hope for the Future of North Korea

It would seem that there has been a systematic satanic attempt to destroy the Christian heritage of North Korea. Perhaps God has a special destiny for this nation that the enemy has tried to thwart? 

According to Open Doors there are today an estimated 300’000 believers in North Korea. 

This is an extraordinarily high number considering the high price these believers may end up paying for their faith. The calibre of these Christians who are willing to stand in the fire of persecution is to me a great sign of hope for the future of Korea. 

I believe there is great hope for a future revival in North Korea – and I base these hopes on the very similar history of the Chinese Church in the lead up to the great revivals in the late 70’s and 80’s. 

Prior to that time Chairman Mao was practically worshipped as the great saviour of China – and Christians went through vicious persecution to the point of the church being thought to have become extinct. 

However, as a result of the widespread tumult and havoc wreaked by Mao and also as a result of his death in 1976, millions of Chinese lost faith in their once great leader. 

This experience and the fall of their great leader produced fertile soil in millions of Chinese hearts for what would become possibly the greatest revival of the 20th Century. 

This revival was led by ordinary Chinese believers – many of whom had stood firm during the darkest night of persecution.

Could the same happen to North Korea? Could a tumultuous removal of the Kim dynasty lead millions of North Koreans to turn away from worshipping this false god? 

Like in China, could this revival be headed up by North Korean believers who have been through the purifying fire of persecution? 

Can Pyongyang once again be the epicentre of a tremendous revival to have an impact even the borders of North Korea? 

Perhaps this is the reason why the enemy has tried to hold North Korea in the iron-grip of the Kim dynasty for so long. 

A Call to Prayer

In these days of escalating tensions on the Korean peninsula, let us remember to pray for the North Korean people. 

Let us pray for a change in the North Korean leadership and an opening of the borders to the Gospel. 

May the Christian heritage of the nation be restored and may Pyongyang once again be known as the ‘Jerusalem of the East’! 

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