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Bible evangewomanblogspotcomThe three-year Lectionary that many Catholics and Protestants hear in public worship gives us a great variety of Holy Scripture.

Yet, it doesn’t tell the whole story.

My series Forbidden Bible Verses — ones the Lectionary editors and their clergy have omitted — examines the passages we do not hear in church. These missing verses are also Essential Bible Verses, ones we should study with care and attention. Often, we find that they carry difficult messages and warnings.

Today’s reading is from the English Standard Version with commentary by Matthew Henry and John MacArthur.

Acts 12:24-25

24 But the word of God increased and multiplied.

25 And Barnabas and Saul returned from[a] Jerusalem when they had completed their service, bringing with them John, whose other name was Mark.

——————————————————————————————–

Last week’s post was about the dramatic death of Herod Antipas. It was a just judgement on an evil ruler who beheaded St James the Great and wanted to murder Peter publicly.

As a result of Herod’s death, the early Church continued to grow and grow (verse 24). Matthew Henry explains:

When such a persecutor was taken off by a dreadful judgment, many were thereby convinced that the cause of Christianity was doubtless the cause of Christ, and therefore embraced it.

God’s purposes will not be foiled. John MacArthur says (emphases mine):

You know men have tried to destroy God, they have tried to burn Bibles, they’ve tried to wreck the church, they’ve tried everything and you know what, God’s work just keeps going on. Look at verse 24, just love it. After all of this the word of God did what? Grew and did what? Multiplied. Isn’t that terrific? For a man to think he’s going to stop the purpose of God is like taking a whiskbroom down to the beach and telling somebody you’re going to sweep back the tide. Doesn’t work. Can’t be done.

St Luke, the author of Acts, gives us verse 25 as the transition into Acts 13, which is about the ministries in Antioch and Cyprus.

Barnabas and Saul of Tarsus spent time in Antioch, preaching and teaching the people there.

Barnabas was the Levite in Acts 4:36-37 who gave all of his assets to the church in Jerusalem. In Acts 9, he convinced the disciples in Jerusalem that they should accept the converted Saul of Tarsus, their greatest persecutor — later Paul — into their church.

John Mark wrote the Gospel of Mark. We will read more about him and Barnabas in Acts. They were cousins who spread the Gospel message together. Barnabas also worked with Paul. These are the references to John Mark and Barnabas.

Barnabas and Saul were in Jerusalem for a brief spell. Henry tells us that they no doubt brought donations from the converts in Antioch to the church in Jerusalem. During their stay, it is possible that they lodged at Mary’s house, which Peter visited briefly after the angel released him from prison.

Then, they returned to Antioch, taking with them John Mark, Mary’s son. Henry explains:

It is probable that Barnabas lodged there [at Mary’s house], and perhaps Paul with him, while they were at Jerusalem, and it was that that occasioned the meeting there at that time (for wherever Paul was he would have some good work doing), and their intimacy in that family while they were at Jerusalem occasioned their taking a son of that family with them when they returned, to be trained up under them, and employed by them, in the service of the gospel. Educating young men for the ministry, and entering them into it, is a very good work for elder ministers to take care of, and of good service to the rising generation.

Those were three powerful ministers of the word of God, going out and increasing the numbers in the Church.

MacArthur reminds us:

Listen to what Jesus said: Jesus said, “I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.” When God sets His purpose in motion you can’t frustrate His purpose. It can’t be done. Oh in Psalms listen to these verses: Here’s a classic definition of all these kings we’ve talked about. “The kings of the earth set themselves and the rulers take counsel together against the Lord.” And you know what the Lord’s response is? Verse 4, “He who sits in the heavens shall laugh.” It’s stupid to fight God. Doesn’t make sense. Isaiah said this: “Woe unto him that strives with his Maker,” Isaiah 49:5. Man’s a fool to fight God.

MacArthur then has a word for unbelievers, who always say that they are not subject to God’s will:

And I say to you this morning if you’ve never come to Jesus Christ and accepted Him as Savior you’re fighting God’s only provision for your salvation and forgiveness of sin. If you’ve never come to Jesus Christ you’re not giving God the glory, and if you’re not giving God the glory then you’re fighting against His glory. And if you’ve not become a part of His church, a part of His body, you’re fighting against His purpose and all three are losers. You say, well I’m not fighting God. Jesus said, “He that is not with me is what? Against me.” You say, “Well I’d like to get on God’s side. How do I do it?” Jesus said, “No man come unto the Father but by Me.” You come to Christ, receive Him by faith and you’re on God’s side. You cease being an enemy. Are you ready for this? And you become a son, a son of God on whom He pours out all His love.

We are quickly approaching Advent and preparing for Christmas. In the coming weeks, let us pray that more people accept Christ as Saviour, so that Christmas becomes for them a time of holy awe and an increase in faith.

Next time — Acts 13:4-7

On his way back to the US from the Philippines, President Trump tweeted:

This is what he told the media on the flight from the Philippines to the US (emphases mine):

Q Can you say what you might announce on Thursday, or Wednesday, at the White House?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I think we’re going to go into details of what I said. Were you there before, when I — I think we’ll be going into some more details as to what we’re doing, as to what we accomplished. But, specifically, deals, concepts. And we’ll be pinpointing things.

But, you know, it’s minimum $300 billion, and that’s going to be very quickly over a trillion dollars, that in itself. And I would say that’s the least significant thing that we accomplished. I think one of the things we really accomplished big is relationship, and also letting people know that from now on, things are going to be reciprocal. We can’t have trade deficits of $30, $40, $50 billion; $300 billion in the case of China. We can’t do that. We have to have reciprocal trade. What’s good for them is good for us.

Q Why are those relationships so important? And is there a risk of getting too close to President Xi?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, relationship is always important. It doesn’t mean it’s necessarily close. It’s really a relationship based on respect. To me, a relationship based on respect is much more important than anything else, including friendship. Because this is really something — they have to respect our country. And they have not respected our country for a long period of time.

Thank you all very much. Have a good time. Thank you.

Two things had already happened.

The first involved China and North Korea:

The second was that China released three UCLA basketball players arrested on suspicion of theft:

The players finally thanked him but it took longer than it should have.

Trump spoke at 3:30 p.m. ET on Thursday, November 16 (short video here).

The White House posted the transcript. If you have been reading my posts over the past week, you won’t find anything new, except for this bold pronouncement:

My fellow citizens: America is back. And the future has never looked brighter.

Perhaps overseas. The domestic fractures badly need mending. Cartoonist Ben Garrison depicts the national scene perfectly.

This is how the media reacted:

Even worse, they had a go at him for reaching for a bottle of water. White House staffers who set this up should be given a checklist of what to have behind the podium, including a glass of water:

This is what many Trump supporters were waiting for in terms of a ‘major announcement’:

Stuart Varney explains everything in just under 90 seconds long.

Sean Hannity put up this helpful graphic during his eponymous show:

Hillary disagrees:

Former Trump adviser Dr Sebastian Gorka pointed out:

That said, is the Storm happening or not?

Something is going on, a nationwide bust of some sort, possibly involving children or human trafficking:

In other areas, approval ratings show that Americans are slowly coming around to President Trump:

Even informal polls — such as this one — show a shift, which Trump acknowledged. This was BLM’s attempt, which well and truly backfired:

Oh, the irony!

On Sunday, November 12, 2017, President Donald Trump left Vietnam for the Philippines.

The ASEAN summit in Manila, including a meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte, was Trump’s final event prior to his return to Washington DC.

Mrs Duterte gave President Trump a warm welcome. Duterte is characteristically less expressive:

This video shows the reception going on while every attendee was personally welcomed and had a photo op with the Dutertes.

Later, a group photo was taken:

The men are wearing barongs, the traditional Philippine shirts for men. Many of the women — see the lady on the right — are wearing a terno dress or jacket. The pointy shoulders are traditional for Philippine women.

Toasts were made. Trump was seated next to Duterte:

A lavish dinner followed. Trump, apparently, asked Duterte to sing:

The Conservative Treehouse has a good post on the importance of ASEAN and Trump’s objectives:

Those who have walked in the deep weeds of geopolitical strategy know the emphasis the Trump administration has placed on ASEAN (Association of South-East Asian Nations) as a counter-balance (control leverage) to the Chinese trade and military expansion.

The ongoing trade and security relationship between the U.S. and India, as well as other regional partners, is a large part of the overarching dynamic. The ASEAN Summit in Manila[,] Philippines is an opportunity for President Trump to expand the conversations; enter into deeper discussions surrounding the terms of partnership; and deepen commitments toward larger U.S. international objectives.

The ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) region including India, comprises a combined population of 1.85 billion people, one-fourth of the global population.

Here is a graphic of all the attendees:

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi was delighted to renew his friendship with President Trump:

NDTV reported:

Prime Minister Modi is likely to reassert India’s push to create a global approach to deal with terrorism. He will also pitch steps to boost regional trade. One of the more significant meetings will be Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting with US President Donald Trump.

India Today has more on the geopolitical situation in Asia and with the Trump administration.

Here is a photo from the gala dinner that night. Stephen Miller, adviser and speechwriter, is on the left (Trump’s personal assistant John McEntee is next to him, followed by Press Secretary Sarah Sanders). On the right are General HR McMaster and Communications Director Hope Hicks:

Meanwhile, elsewhere in Manila, violent anti-Trump protests broke out. Sky News Australia reported:

Hundreds of leftist activists, farmers and students have burned an effigy of US President Donald Trump in the shape of a swastika after clashes with anti-riot police in Manila left at least 16 people injured.

Police used water cannons on the demonstrators as they marched along Taft Avenue, about 6 kilometres away from the venue of the leaders summit of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Six of the 16 injured were police officers.

The ASEAN summit opened on Monday, November 13 with a welcome ceremony, group photo and customary group handshake:

Here is a video of the photo op:

Modi was delighted with the opening ceremony’s entertainment:

This was Trump’s schedule for the rest of the day (emphases in the original):

10:15am / 9:15pm THE PRESIDENT participates in a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull of Australia – Sofitel Philippine Plaza, Manila, Philippines. [Duration 1 hr]

11:50am / 10:50pm THE PRESIDENT participates in a bilateral meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines – Philippine International Convention Center, Manila, Philippines (Host of ASEAN) [Duration 1 hr]

12:55pm / 11:55pm THE PRESIDENT attends the 5th U.S.-ASEAN Summit – Philippine International Convention Center, Manila, Philippines.

3:30pm / 2:30pm THE PRESIDENT participates in a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India – Sofitel Philippine Plaza, Manila, Philippines.

5:00pm / 4:00am THE PRESIDENT participates in an embassy meet and greet, Manila, Philippines.

In a historic move, representatives from the US State Department met with officials from India’s Ministry of External Affairs, Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This was the first time these countries had met since 2007. The time gap was because of objections from the Chinese and Obama.

Part of the State Department’s announcement reads as follows:

The officials examined ways to achieve common goals and address common challenges in the region, such as: upholding the rules-based order in the Indo-Pacific, including freedom of navigation and overflight, respect for international law, and the peaceful resolution of disputes; increasing connectivity consistent with international law and standards, based on prudent financing; coordinating on counterterrorism and maritime security efforts in the Indo-Pacific; and further cooperating to curtail the DPRK’s nuclear and missile programs and unlawful acts. The quadrilateral partners committed to deepening cooperation, which rests on a foundation of shared democratic values and principles, and to continue discussions to further strengthen the rules-based order in the Indo-Pacific region.

Trump included Japan’s Shinzo Abe in his meeting with Australia’s Malcolm Turnbull:

The three leaders met with the press. An excerpt from the transcript follows (emphases mine):

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Thank you very much. It’s great to be with Prime Minister Turnbull and Prime Minister Abe of Australia and of Japan. You know them well; I know them well.

We’ve had many meetings. We’re having another one right now, primarily focused on trade, North Korea, other subjects. But we’re very far along. The dialogue has been very good, I think, for all countries. And we look forward to the continuation of that dialogue.

Mr. Prime Minister, would you like to say something?

PRIME MINISTER TURNBULL: Thank you, Mr. President. It is great to be with you and Prime Minister Abe. We’re working very closely together. We’ve got the same values and the same focus on ensuring that the North Korean regime comes to its senses and stops its reckless provocation and threats of conflict in our region.

Peace and stability have underpinned the prosperity of billions of people over many decades, and we’re going to work together to ensure we maintain it.

PRIME MINISTER ABE: (As interpreted.) So for three of us, the immediate challenge is the issue of North Korea. And also, three very close partners with each other — Japan, the United States, and Australia — share fundamental values, as well as strategic interest.

So I do hope that we are going to have a meaningful discussion, particularly on the issue of North Korea so as to ensure regional peace and stability.

And also, I think the key for us is to ensure very close trilateral cooperation so as to bring peace and stability on the ground. So I do look forward to having a very productive discussion with the two leaders.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: In addition, a lot of things are happening on trade. And I’ll be announcing pretty much what happened here, and also with other meetings, including China and South Korea and lots of other places. We’ll be announcing that, for the most part, in a statement. I’ll make it from the White House, as opposed to from here. We’ll probably do that on Wednesday …

Sky News Australia reported that Turnbull is beset by domestic problems but is intent on working to resolve the dangerous situation with North Korea and also terrorism:

‘These are dangerous times that we live in our region,’ Mr Turnbull told reporters in Manila, adding it was his job to keep Australians safe.

‘The threats to our peace and stability are greater than they have been for many many years.’

Turnbull understands the strategy for North Korea:

Trump met with Duterte. Beforehand, Duterte made a brief announcement to the media, absent at that point:

Duterte: “We will be discussing matters that are of interest to both the Philippines and…with you around, guys, you are the spies.”
“Hah, hah, hah,” Trump said laughing.
“You are,” Duterte repeated.
[Duterte’s reference was to “spies” (i.e. the media), not “spice.”]

Once the media showed up, Duterte wanted them gone:

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: (In progress.) But on the whole, I think I have so many things to say about (inaudible). I will just summarize (inaudible).

We are your ally. We are an important ally. (Inaudible.)

And I will request everybody to — after you’ve taken the shots, with the best angles that you would like — kindly go out.

I cannot discuss the things that they want to say. You may want to make an — just a statement so that the media is going to have something to go back home.

Trump picked up on the ‘spies’ joke:

I will say this: The media was a little bit late, and you actually missed the best part of the President’s statement. (Laughter.) I think he should make it again, but it was good.

But we’ve had a great relationship. This has been very successful. We have many meetings today with many other leaders. And the ASEAN conference has been handled beautifully by the President in the Philippines and your representatives. And I’ve really enjoyed being here …

But we very much appreciate the great treatment you’ve given us

Then:

Later, Trump addressed ASEAN (General HR McMaster is on the left and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on the right):

The full transcript is here. Excerpts follow. Notice how Trump refers to the region not as Asia-Pacific but as Indo-Pacific:

PRESIDENT TRUMP: President Duterte, distinguished leaders, friends and partners: I’m honored to represent the United States of America at this U.S.-ASEAN Commemorative Summit. We gather today at a time of great promise and great challenge.

I speak to you on behalf of 350 million Americans with a message of friendship and partnership. I’m here to advance peace, to promote security, and to work with you to achieve a truly free and open Indo-Pacific, where we are proud and we have sovereign nations, and we thrive, and everybody wants to prosper.

This year we mark 40 years of friendship and cooperation between the United States and this organization. It’s a long time. I also want to congratulate ASEAN on 50 years of promoting peace and prosperity and stability in Southeast Asia and in the broader Indo-Pacific region.

Rodrigo, I would like to commend you on your success as ASEAN chair at this very critical moment in time and in the association’s history — such an important event. And I want to thank you for your incredible hospitality …

I also want to thank Prime Minister Najib of Malaysia for the excellent job you’ve done as coordinator, and I appreciate it very much. I really appreciate it. You have coordinated so well with us …

The United States remains committed to ASEAN’s central role as a regional forum for total cooperation. This diplomatic partnership advances the security and prosperity of the American people and the people of all Indo-Pacific nations

So we want our partners in the region to be strong, independent, and prosperous, in control of their own destinies, and satellites to no one. These are the principles behind our vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific.

So again, I wish you all the best of luck. It’s an honor to be here. And, Rodrigo, thank you very much for the way you treated all of us. Thank you. (Applause.)

Afterwards, Trump met with Narendra Modi:

Then it was time to visit the US Embassy:

That evening, Trump had dinner with Malcolm Turnbull.

Afterwards:

On Tuesday, Trump was scheduled to attend more ASEAN sessions, however, as they were running late, he asked Rex Tillerson to attend the plenary session in the afternoon on his behalf. During his brief conversation with the media on the way home, Trump told the press that he was able to make his closing remarks at lunch.

It was time to return to Washington. Air Force One made a refueling stop at Hickam in Hawaii:

Thanks to a favourable jet stream, he arrived at the White House two hours earlier than expected Tuesday night. The tarmac at Joint Base Andrews, oddly, was unlit.

A short time later:

Before leaving the Philippines, Trump expressed his delight with the hospitality he received:

Later on, social media director Dan Scavino received this anime of Ivanka:

Once back at the White House, Trump tweeted:

It is a pity that Western media did not cover those 12 days better. They are historic. Trump has built solid relationships among the principal players: Abe, Xi and Modi. He also emphasised national sovereignty, which one hopes will be a game-changer for the region.

Yesterday’s post reviewed President Donald Trump’s first day in Vietnam.

On Saturday, November 11, 2017, he tweeted a message for Veterans Day:

I read an online comment saying that he should have been in the United States that day.

Yet, we will see that his lengthy tour of Asia did much more for the United States and the world.

At the APEC summit, he was able to meet world leaders face to face, e.g. Australia’s Malcolm Turnbull and his host for the last leg of his tour, the president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte. Turnbull is in this photo:

He shook hands with Putin again:

Trump attended this meeting in the morning:

A working lunch followed the APEC morning session, then it was back for a second economic leaders meeting in the afternoon.

Afterwards, Trump left for Hanoi:

He spoke with the press on the flight:

He had this to say about the constant accusations of Russian collusion. The second sentence is puzzling:

This artificial Democratic hit job gets in the way and that’s a shame. Because people will die because of it. And it’s a pure hit job.

Did he mean more mysterious murders (Dems on Dems)?

Here is the full transcript. Reporters persisted in asking Trump if Putin interfered in last year’s election. The US president said that he asked Putin, who said he did not. Trump gave the media the negative answer in several different ways, including this one (emphases mine):

And I think it’s a shame that something like that can destroy a very important potential relationship between two countries that are very important countries. Russia could really help us. And the Democrats wanted to have a good relationship with Russia, but they couldn’t do it because they didn’t have the talent to do it. They didn’t have the chemistry to do it. They didn’t have what it takes to do it. You know, there is a talent to that.

But I think Putin and I — President Putin and I would have a great relationship, and that would be great for both countries. And it would take a lot of the danger out because we’re really — you know, this is a dangerous time. This isn’t small stuff. This is a very dangerous time. And having a great relationship, or even a good relationship, with the President of Russia — Hillary tried it, and she failed. Nobody mentions that. They act like, you know — it’s so terrible. She did that reset button; it was a joke. But she tried and she failed …

But Obama did not have the right chemistry with Putin. And Hillary was way over her head.

Of course, the bigger issues of diplomacy, especially surrounding the North Korea situation, are far more significant.

Of Japan and South Korea, Trump said:

It’s been a — I think it’s been a great trip. In certain ways, it’s been very epic. I think things have happened that have been really amazing. Prime Minister Abe came up to me just at the end [of APEC], and he said that since you left South Korea and Japan, that those two countries are now getting along much, much better. That’s from Prime Minister Abe — that there’s been a real bonding between South Korea and Japan. So that was great.

Of China, Trump said:

President Xi made a statement. If you read his statement yesterday — were you all there when he was speaking and made the statement in the big room — the Great Room?

He made a statement that he’s committed to stopping the nuclearization of North Korea. That’s a big statement. He made that statement, and a lot of people didn’t — they didn’t pick that up. I don’t think it was — because it was part of the speech. And somehow a lot people — to me, that was a very big statement. I even looked up — because I’m sitting waiting to speak — and I said, wow, that’s a big statement. He made that statement in his speech yesterday or the day before, when he made — you know, when we were speaking together. He put a statement out, Sarah [Sanders, press secretary], that said he’s committed to making that happen. That’s a big statement.

You know, he was, through this process — he’s the most powerful Chinese leader since Mao Zedong. Some people say more powerful than Mao. With that being said, I really believe he’s a good person, he’s a good man, he wants to do right, he’s representing his people. He’s strong, he’s very strong. But you know, you look at some of what you saw was very impressive. It was very impressive.

He arrived at Hanoi’s Noi Bai International Airport to be greeted by a delegation, an honour guard and a group of Vietnamese schoolchildren waving Vietnamese and American flags:

In Hanoi, Trump met with President Tran Dai Quang.

That evening, the Vietnamese president and his wife hosted a lavish state dinner in Trump’s honour at the International Convention Center:

I enjoyed this reaction:

Not just there, either — sadly, all over the Western world.

You can read the full remarks from Quang and Trump here. Excerpts follow:

PRESIDENT QUANG: (As interpreted.) Mr. Donald Trump, President of the United States of America, distinguished American guests, ladies and gentlemen: On behalf of the leaders and people of Vietnam, I warmly welcome Mr. President and the high-level American delegation to Hanoi, Vietnam on a state visit at the most vibrant time of bilateral relations.

Leaders of the two countries attach great importance to the bilateral comprehensive cooperation. The presence of Mr. President and the distinguished American guests in Hanoi at the invitation of Vietnamese leaders is a testimony to that, as well as to the strong vitality of our relationship.

My congratulations to Mr. President on your productive, successful days within the APEC Economics Leaders Week in Da Nang City, with significant contributions to the overall success of the summit. I particularly appreciate Mr. President’s impressive speech at the APEC CEO Summit with a message reaffirming the strong and long-term commitment of the United States to the Asia Pacific, Indian Ocean, and the nearby region.

As an Asia Pacific power, the United States has been and will be playing a very important role to the regional countries, and we want the United States to promote that role in a more active manner

President Donald Trump’s visit to Vietnam represents an important milestone and the best moment in the history of bilateral relations, opening up a vast future for new pages in the bonds between our nations. I wish to share Mr. President’s words: No dream is too big, no challenge is too great. Nothing we want for our future is beyond our reach

In this warm and friendly atmosphere, may I invite, Mr. President, American and Vietnamese friends to raise our glasses: To the ever-expanding relations between Vietnam and the United States, to the health of Mr. President, the two countries’ leaders, and to you all present here tonight.

Thank you.

(A toast is offered.)

PRESIDENT TRUMP: President Quang, I would like to thank you very much. This is a very, very special time to be with you and the great people of Vietnam. We have come a long way, the United States and Vietnam. We’ve seen it from both sides of the picture, and this is the pleasant side.

You are doing a spectacular job, your people are doing a spectacular job, and in the United States likewise we are doing very, very well …

I toured Vietnam today. I was through the streets of Hanoi, and it’s incredible to see, incredible to watch, and it’s truly one of the great marvels. It really is something to behold. I would like to congratulate the people of Vietnam; I would like to congratulate you, Mr. President, on an outstanding job.

I would also like to send my condolences on Typhoon Damrey, which was devastating and a great loss of life in Vietnam. And please give my regards and our sympathies to everyone. I know you will rebuild, and the families will slowly rebuild. Very tough to recover from that kind of a loss. But please, on behalf of the United States, our condolences.

And at the same time, our congratulations on a job well done. Vietnam has truly become one of the great miracles of the world, and it’s very impressive. No matter where you come from, no matter who you are, when you look at what’s happened in Vietnam, there is nothing more impressive.

Thank you very much for this honor, and I look forward to seeing you, Mr. President, many, many times over the future. Thank you. (Applause.)

Trump’s schedule for the following day was packed:

9:05am (local) / 9:05pm (U.S. EST) THE PRESIDENT participates in a welcome ceremony and official photo – Presidential Palace, Hanoi, Vietnam

9:20am / 9:20pm THE PRESIDENT participates in a bilateral meeting with President Tran Dai Quang of Vietnam – Presidential Palace, Hanoi, Vietnam

9:50am / 9:50pm THE PRESIDENT participates in a business event. Presidential Palace, Hanoi, Vietnam

10:20am / 10:20pm THE PRESIDENT participates a joint press conference with President Quang of Vietnam – Presidential Palace, Hanoi, Vietnam

11:00am / 11:00pm THE PRESIDENT participates in an expanded bilateral meeting with the Secretary General of the Communist Party Nguyen Phu Trong of Vietnam – Communist Party of Vietnam Headquarters, Hanoi, Vietnam.

11:55am / 11:55pm THE PRESIDENT participates in a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc of Vietnam – Office of Government, Hanoi, Vietnam.

12:40pm / 12:40am THE PRESIDENT participates in an embassy meet and greet – Hilton Hanoi Opera Hotel, Hanoi, Vietnam.

1:50pm / 1:50am THE PRESIDENT departs Hanoi, Vietnam en route to Manila, Philippines – Noi Bai International Airport.

6:00pm / 5:00am THE PRESIDENT arrives in Manila, Philippines. – Ninoy-Aquino International Airport.

7:30pm / 6:30am THE PRESIDENT attends a special gala celebration dinner for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) – SMX Convention Center.

Trump’s motorcade went down the streets of Hanoi:

It arrived at the presidential palace:

Something historic — and incredible — happened during the welcome ceremony (photo here):

Afterwards, he was welcomed inside the presidential palace:

A significant bilateral meeting took place:

Afterwards, the two presidents signed a Memorandum of Understanding:

Quang and Trump then gave a joint press conference (short video here):

Trump went for a meeting at the Communist Party HQ:

He had a third meeting, this time with Prime Minister Phuc:

Then it was time to leave for the Philippines, Trump’s last stop:

He arrived that evening:

Reuters reported that US veterans living in the Philippines love Trump. One said:

If he asked me to come and meet him in Manila, I’d be there in a shot.

The ASEAN summit gave Trump the opportunity to meet and get to know other leaders better, including:

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, Russian Premier Dmitry Medvedev and leaders from Japan, South Korea, India, Australia, New Zealand and member-states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

Trump attended the ASEAN gala event that night:

More on his meetings at ASEAN and with President Duterte tomorrow.

On Friday, November 10, 2017, President Trump left China for Vietnam. First Lady Melania Trump remained in China for another day:

Mrs Trump visited Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage for the Month of the Military Family Celebration. She then returned to Washington DC.

The US president spent two days in Vietnam before flying to the Philippines:

At the zoo, a group of schoolchildren greeted Mrs Trump. She had a gift for every child:

For anyone wondering:

Lucky children. They were able to tour the zoo with her:

Mrs Trump expressed her thanks for being able to see GuGu the panda:

Then it was time for her final destination:

The Conservative Treehouse gives us background on the tour:

First Lady Melania Trump visited the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall in China as the sun was starting to settle low on the horizon. It was windy and slightly cold as our First Lady signed a guest registry and was presented with a scroll from atop one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.

A state official said that Yukun Zhang, chairman, Mutianyu Great Wall Travel Service Co., Ltd, received the first lady after the ride up on the cable car. After signing the guest registry Mrs. Trump made her way up a short flight of stairs to the Great Wall.

Mrs Trump wore flats:

Meanwhile, the US president landed at Da Nang International Airport:

Trump met US veterans who chose to live in Vietnam after the war. They met at the Hyatt Regency Da Nang Resort and Spa. This transcript has his address and exchange with the retired soldiers. An excerpt follows:

Our accountability efforts in Vietnam are very, very important to all of us. We will not rest until all of the 1,253 missing veterans are returned home. I want to thank the government of Vietnam for their assistance in our efforts.

Today, I’m signing a proclamation to honor the veterans of the Vietnam War. This is part of the ongoing 13-year commemoration of their sacrifice for freedom. And I just want to thank these seven very brave people for being here. I got to know them for a few minutes upfront, and they are definitely tough, smart cookies. We like them. I think they like me too. I’m not sure, but I think — (applause) — no, I think they do. I think they do. I think they see what we’re doing for our military.

Would you like to say a few words, any of you guys? Would you like to say something? Huh?

MR. HOPPER: Sure.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Come on. Come on up here. Here’s your chance. You can be a big star now.

MR. HOPPER: Well, I’m not sure about that. But just on behalf of many of us standing up in the front of the room today, I just want to say what an honor and privilege it is to be with our President. I so admire what you’re doing for our country.

Thank you for your dedication to our military, our country. And we’re all behind you in making America great again.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Thank you very much. That’s so nice. Thank you very much.

MR. HOPPER: Thank you. Thank you. (Applause.)

MR. REYNOLDS: It’s an honor to be here. My family is so proud. My wife loves you. (Laughter.) She does. We all love you.

All of the veterans that I represent in my community asked me to say to you: Keep doing what you’re doing. We need to win. We need to make America great again. And we definitely think you are on the right track. So, thank you. It’s honor to meet you, sir.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: We will keep it going, and we will get it done.

MR. REYNOLDS: Absolutely.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: No doubt.

MR. REYNOLDS: I believe it. Thank you very much.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Anybody?

MR. MORGAN: Mr. President, from my heart, thank you for your support of the military, and it’s an honor to be here as one of seven Vietnam veterans representing the 58,000 heroes who never made it home.

Thank you so much.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Thank you so much. (Applause.)

MR. MORGAN: Thank you, sir. Thank you.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: You nervous?

MR. GOODE: I am nervous.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: I don’t think so. I don’t think so.

MR. GOODE: I am nervous.

You know, it’s an honor for me to be here today to meet the President of the United States that’s doing such a fine job for America. I’m so proud of him and what he’s doing, and I’m also really proud to represent all those veterans that are back home to be one of seven of these veterans that are here today. It’s such an honor to represent the rest of those veterans in the United States of America.

Thank you.

This is the text of the aforementioned proclamation. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War. Nearly every president since then has made a statement about finding the 1,253 missing veterans. Perhaps Trump will be the one to make that happen.

He also tweeted a 242nd happy birthday greeting to the United States Marine Corps.

Trump then went to the APEC CEO Summit 2017 at the Ariyana Da Nang Exhibition Center.

Trump addressed the summit. Note ‘H.E.’ before his name — His Excellency — in the video below:

The full transcript is here. This is is some of what he said:

This next one is really important:

This is also very important (emphases mine):

Earlier this week, I addressed the National Assembly in Seoul, South Korea and urged every responsible nation to stand united in declaring that every single step the North Korean regime takes toward more weapons is a step it takes into greater and greater danger. The future of this region and its beautiful people must not be held hostage to a dictator’s twisted fantasies of violent conquest and nuclear blackmail

We must also deal decisively with other threats to our security and the future of our children, such as criminal cartels, human smuggling, drugs, corruption, cybercrime, and territorial expansion. As I have said many times before: All civilized people must come together to drive out terrorists and extremists from our societies, stripping them of funding, territory, and ideological support. We must stop radical Islamic terrorism.

So let us work together for a peaceful, prosperous, and free Indo-Pacific. I am confident that, together, every problem we have spoken about today can be solved and every challenge we face can be overcome.

If we succeed in this effort, if we seize the opportunities before us and ground our partnerships firmly in the interests of our own people, then together we will achieve everything we dream for our nations and for our children.

We will be blessed with a world of strong, sovereign, and independent nations, thriving in peace and commerce with others. They will be places where we can build our homes and where families, businesses, and people can flourish and grow.

If we do this, will we look at the globe half a century from now, and we will marvel at the beautiful constellation of nations — each different, each unique, and each shining brightly and proudly throughout this region of the world. And just as when we look at the stars in the night sky, the distance of time will make most of the challenges we have and that we spoke of today seem very, very small.

What will not seem small — what is not small — will be the big choices that all of our nations will have to make to keep their stars glowing very, very brightly.

Another fabulous speech by Stephen Miller. What a man he is, blessed by God with a talent for prose.

He also met Vladimir Putin ahead of their meeting on November 11. Men were given silk Vietnamese shirts to wear for the evening’s events (the more formal photo is here):

The two did not meet formally at APEC, although they found time to converse. Reuters reported that they discussed defeating ISIS and confirmed their commitment to Syria’s sovereignty. The Daily Mail has more. Both media outlets say that the Kremlin issued a joint statement, however, the White House offered no confirmation.

The APEC gala dinner followed. Before dinner:

A cultural performance concluded a busy day.

Meanwhile, Mrs Trump was in Alaska and spent time talking with the children attending school at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage. The children were decorating paper fish and sculpting Play Doh:

She also spoke with military personnel:

Mrs Trump arrived at the White House late that night.

More on Trump’s second day in Vietnam tomorrow.

As part of their tour of Asia …

… President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump landed in China on Wednesday, November 8, 2017, as guests of President Xi Jinping and Madame Peng Liyuan.

The caption refers to the contrast with Obama’s arrival on September 4, 2016 in Beijing for the G20 summit, as the Telegraph reported:

All the other world leaders appeared to have been welcomed to the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou in traditional diplomatic style, treading onto a red carpet laid on a rolling airport staircase positioned outside the main exit of the aircraft.

Mr Obama, however, instead used Air Force One’s smaller exit as he arrived on his final tour of Asia, sparking suggestions that he had been snubbed by his Chinese hosts.

The Chinese gave the Trumps a warm welcome, complete with a military honour guard, a marching band and cheering children (start at 12:00):

AP reported that this is highly unusual:

The ceremony accompanying Trump’s arrival Wednesday afternoon was elaborate even by China’s lavish standards. Heads of state are usually given a low-key reception at the airport, with the real pomp and circumstance reserved for his or her arrival at the Great Hall of the People in the center of Beijing.

This was the schedule for the day:

3:30pm / 2:30am THE PRESIDENT and THE FIRST LADY will have tea with President Xi Jinping of the Peoples Republic of China and Madame Peng Liyuan, Forbidden City, Beijing, Peoples Republic of China

3:55pm / 2:55am THE PRESIDENT and THE FIRST LADY tour the Forbidden City and view an opera performance with President Xi and Madame Peng Liyan, Forbidden City, Beijing, Peoples Republic of China.

6:00pm / 5:00am THE PRESIDENT and THE FIRST LADY have dinner with President Xi and Madame Peng, Beijing, Peoples Republic of China

7:05pm / 6:05am THE PRESIDENT and THE FIRST LADY depart the Forbidden City en route their overnight accommodations, Beijing, Peoples Republic of China.

The Forbidden City provided beautiful photo ops. The Hall of Supreme Harmony is in the background:

Someone tweeted:

Nothing says MAGA like tea and opera!

Indeed.

On the MAGA front, AFP reported:

US and Chinese companies signed nearly 20 deals worth a total $9 billion on Wednesday at the start of President Donald Trump’s state visit to Beijing.

US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang oversaw a signing ceremony at the Great Hall of the People but they did not immediately give details about the 19 deals.

Wang said the agreements were merely a “warmup” before Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping oversee their own ceremony on Thursday involving bigger deals, including in exports of natural gas and soybeans.

Trump plans to use the three-day trip to press Xi on China’s massive trade surplus with the United States, which slightly fell in October to $26.6 billion, according to official Chinese data released on Wednesday.

The Daily Mail has photos of the Trumps touring other parts of the Forbidden City, including the Conservation Scientific Laboratory, where the elaborate automata clocks intrigued the president.

Then it was time for pleasant entertainment, albeit outdoors. There is no glass on the window where the Xis and the Trumps sat:

Afterwards, the Xis and the Trumps had dinner in the Forbidden City. Several media outlets have reported that no foreign leader has been given this honour since the People’s Republic of China was founded 68 years ago. This is YUGE!

That evening, Trump tweeted:

That tweet is a big deal, because China blocks access to Twitter, Facebook and other Western social media. Reuters reported that not only did Trump manage to evade what is known as the Great Firewall, he also changed his Twitter banner to a photo taken at the opera that evening:

The Twitter banner upload did not go unnoticed by Chinese state media, with state broadcaster CCTV flashing screenshots of the photograph on Thursday.

Trump’s visit was also the third-most talked-about topic on Chinese social media platform Weibo over the last 24 hours, trailing only the birthday of a singer in a Chinese boy band and a weekly Asian pop song chart.

Many people wondered how Trump managed to evade China’s tough internet controls …

Many foreigners log on to virtual private networks (VPNs) to access content hosted outside of China. Another option is to sign up for a data-roaming service before leaving one’s home country.

On the morning of Thursday, November 9, an impressive welcome ceremony took place, which shows what honoured guests the American president and first lady were.

The main American news channels did not broadcast this.

Yet, in China, this was the first time such an event was broadcast on live television.

Everything was more than perfect, from the soldiers’ standing to attention, their formations, to the military band music — which included The Star-Spangled Banner and Hail to the Chief — to the cheering Chinese and American schoolchildren. I’ve never seen such precision:

 

Afterwards, Xi, Trump and their respective delegations met in Peking’s Great Hall for a series of meetings. The two men met first in a closed door session, then invited their delegations to join them for discussions on trade, finance and security.

Reuters reported that a soybean deal was made. The US has a record crop:

The United States soybean industry has signed two letters of intent with Chinese importers covering a $5 billion purchase of an additional 12 million tonnes of soybeans in the 2017/18 marketing year.

The non-binding agreements, disclosed by the U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC) in a statement, are among a series of trade deals announced during the visit of U.S. President Donald Trump to Beijing. China is the world’s top soybean buyer, and the United States is its second supplier after Brazil.

In the first agreement, signed on Nov. 8, the China Chamber of Commerce of Foodstuffs and Native Produce said it intended to purchase 8 million tonnes of U.S. soybeans worth $3.4 billion.

A second agreement will be signed on Thursday between grains trader ADM and China’s COFCO for intent to purchase 4 million tonnes of soybeans worth $1.6 billion, said the USSEC.

LNG — liquid natural gas — was also on the agenda, as CNBC reported:

Despite the recent gains and the agreement with Trump, Chinese buyers are still only purchasing U.S. LNG from third parties in short-term spot trades. And there is currently only one company, Cheniere Energy, capable of exporting large shipments of LNG from the United States.

Cheniere CEO Jack Fusco and Texas LNG Chief Operating Officer Langtry Meyer are joining the Trump delegation. The companies did not respond to questions about their agenda in China, but energy research firm Wood Mackenzie said securing commitments is likely at the top of Trump’s list.

“The fact that Trump will arrive in Beijing with a large business delegation in tow, including a sizeable contingent from the energy sector, indicates that the White House is looking to secure concrete commercial agreements from the upcoming trip,” Kerry-Anne Shanks, head of Asia gas and LNG at Wood Mackenzie, said in an email briefing on Tuesday.

While meetings took place, Madame Pen Liyaun took Mrs Trump on a tour of China’s Art and Design School in Beijing:

That afternoon, the two leaders held a joint press conference in the Great Hall.

The Conservative Treehouse summarised Trump’s remarks (emphasis in the original):

President Trump followed President Xi’s remarks with a speech as deliberate and unambiguous as the internal audience would ever fathom hearing.  President Trump respectfully pulled no punches in his direct and emphatic style; stating that China needed to engage in, well, to use China’s familiar wording, “correct thinking” on a variety of issues – including trade and their necessary responsibility toward North Korea.

No-one else could pull this off, except Trump. Not that way. The best part is always the emphatic part at the end.  President Trump gives the look saying: well, that’s that then; that’s all I’ve got to say about that... smiles bigly, and the diplomatic opponent tries not to look smaller than they were ten minutes earlier. [key word, ‘tries‘] …

Also note Trump’s alpha male handshake:

That evening, President Xi and Madame Peng Liyuan hosted a state dinner in the Trumps’ honour. Like the welcome ceremony, films of the two men from prior meetings were shown beforehand. The optics were clear — Xi clearly respects Trump. As the original video posted was withdrawn, I had to swap to a less detailed one:

After the film clips, Xi gave a speech, followed by Trump.

Xi recalled President Richard Nixon’s trip to China 45 years ago during the Cold War. He spoke of the two countries’ continuing partnership and co-operation to better mankind. He then offered a toast. Trump smiled broadly, raising his glass (soft drink).

Then, it was Trump’s turn to speak. A flourish of trumpets preceded his speech. He thanked Xi for his ‘generous words’ and warm hospitality ‘from the moment we arrived’. He spoke of their tour of the Forbidden City. He said their meetings presented an ‘incredible opportunity’ to spread ‘peace and prosperity’ around the world. He spoke of the historic characteristics that the US and China share, including venturing into the unknown. He spoke of achieving a ‘more just, fair and peaceful world for our children’. He looked forward to ‘a friendship that will grow stronger and stronger’. He then offered a toast.

President Xi — and the rest of the room — gave Trump a standing ovation.

After a film of Trump’s granddaughter Arabella Kushner (Ivanka’s daughter) sang all the verses of a folk song — My Good Mother — in Mandarin, which the Xis clearly loved. Peng Liyuan, a former folk singer, sang along softly. Arabella began by addressing Xi and Peng as ‘grandpa’ and ‘grandma’ — a child diplomat!

Then, dinner was served. Afterwards, entertainment was provided in the form of a cultural performance.

On the subject of fair trade and how China has taken advantage of the United States for so many years, Trump said:

Trump had a tremendous visit:

CNBC reported that 37 major trade deals have been signed:

The dollar value of those deals is in excess of $250 billion. Caterpillar, Boeing, and Goldman Sachs are just some of the notable names on the list of companies that made deals with China, the full list of which is below.

See the article for more details.

More to follow tomorrow. Mrs Trump stayed in China for another day while President Trump flew to Vietnam.

Bible and crossThe three-year Lectionary that many Catholics and Protestants hear in public worship gives us a great variety of Holy Scripture.

Yet, it doesn’t tell the whole story.

My series Forbidden Bible Verses — ones the Lectionary editors and their clergy have omitted — examines the passages we do not hear in church. These missing verses are also Essential Bible Verses, ones we should study with care and attention. Often, we find that they carry difficult messages and warnings.

Today’s reading is from the English Standard Version with commentary by Matthew Henry and John MacArthur.

Acts 12:20-23

The Death of Herod

20 Now Herod was angry with the people of Tyre and Sidon, and they came to him with one accord, and having persuaded Blastus, the king’s chamberlain,[a] they asked for peace, because their country depended on the king’s country for food. 21 On an appointed day Herod put on his royal robes, took his seat upon the throne, and delivered an oration to them. 22 And the people were shouting, “The voice of a god, and not of a man!” 23 Immediately an angel of the Lord struck him down, because he did not give God the glory, and he was eaten by worms and breathed his last.

——————————————————————————————-

Last week’s post described Herod Antipas’s ire and humiliation over the disappearance of Peter, who makes no more significant appearances in Acts, other than in Chapter 15.

As my post explains, Herod Antipas — i.e. his men — searched for Peter but could not find him. Herod then sentenced his 16 guards assigned to Peter to death.

Matthew Henry thought that their sentence was commuted — because of the events in today’s post. John MacArthur says that they did die.

Regardless, my post said that the death penalty was Roman law for a guard who, even inadvertently, allowed a prisoner to escape.

In any event, Herod Antipas was completely humiliated. He wanted to put Peter on stage for a kangaroo trial and bloody death after Passover that year. He had already had the apostle James — St James the Great — beheaded in a more low-key way. Peter was to be the great public spectacle, akin to Jesus before the Crucifixion.

However, God foiled Herod’s evil plan for Peter at every stage.

And God wasn’t finished yet.

As I wrote last week, after Herod was humiliated, he left Judea for Caesarea, where he staged lavish performances praising Caesar, who had just returned from a triumphant trip to Britain. He was surrounded by the great and the good of the day. They went to sponge off Herod, enjoying his hospitality. They went to honour Caesar, not Herod.

Herod Antipas was saturated with sin. Not only was he angry with the most devout followers of Christ, he was also infuriated by others, as Matthew Henry’s commentary tells us, possibly for trivial reasons.

In verse 20, we discover that he was angry with the people of two ancient cities, Tyre and Sidon. Those cities appear occasionally in both the Old and New Testaments. In 2015, I wrote about Matthew 11:20-24, saying that Sidon was a Phoenecian port city, first mentioned in Genesis 10. The Egyptians sent their wheat to Sidon. From there, ships sent the wheat to Mediterranean ports. Tyre was a nearby fortified city, mentioned in Judges 19. It provided the cedars of Lebanon for Solomon’s temple. The two cities were — not surprisingly — steeped in idolatry, corruption and vice. This is why Jesus’s comment about the two cities — a judgment against the Jews of his time — was such a stinging curse (i.e. ‘Woe to you’):

21 “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. 22 But I tell you, it will be more bearable on the day of judgment for Tyre and Sidon than for you.

Also see the parallel in Luke 10:13-15, with more about the two cities.

MacArthur explains that, at the time of Herod Antipas, who was their king for all intents and purposes:

Tyre and Sidon are two free cities north of Caesarea. Caesarea is right on the Mediterranean Sea west of Jerusalem. And up north in Syria, north of Galilee is Tyre and Sidon, coastal cities, free cities, technically belonging to Syria. They were the neighbors of Galilee and of Herod’s territory, so there was a necessary interdependence.

That interdependence had to do with foodstuffs passing through those cities. Both depended on food from Galilee. Tyre and Sidon did not produce their own, as they traded.

MacArthur tells us:

Herod was mad. Maybe he didn’t like the duties or the tariffs that Tyre and Sidon were charging him for his movement of materials. So he got mad at them and he cut off all supplies and they were hurting badly. Herod was very angry and when Tyre and Sidon couldn’t get the food they needed and the supply they needed from Galilee and Israel they were in trouble. And so they knew they needed to make a treaty with Herod.

The people of Tyre and Sidon made an ally out of a man named Blastus, the king’s chamberlain — his trusted attendant or treasurer — who acted as their intermediary. Henry wrote that they likely used bribes.

In any event, they asked for peace, because they were in danger of going hungry.

Herod agreed a date to speak to them. This was a situation he must have relished: having two powerful ports — comparable to city states — being forced to grovel at his feet.

Herod made sure he donned his most royal robes, looked majestic on his throne and delivered an oration to them (verse 21). He milked this for all it was worth. MacArthur says:

He decided that the whole world would know how super he was, how great he was, and watch these two nations bow at his feet, these two cities.

MacArthur adds that all the great and the good who saw the performances lauding Caesar were likely to have been in attendance. The performances had taken place the day before.

Henry agrees with MacArthur that the Jewish historian Josephus also wrote about this event (emphases mine):

he had all the mucky mucks and the leaders all arriving in Caesarea and they met in the amphitheatre that had been built by his grandfather, Herod the Great. I was in that place where that is, big massive amphitheatre and there he had his big throne and all the people were sitting around cheer upon cheer cheering people and he comes out splendid in his royal apparel and Josephus said he had a silver robe on, made of silver. And the sun just came and splattered off of that thing and he just looked resplend[ent] in all of his glory, which is just what he wanted. He was going to get out there and sit in his throne and the cheering people, and he was going to watch all the Tyre and Sidon people bowing down to him and … eat up every second of it. This was day one, the tip of the hat to Caesar, day two my day, see. So he got day one out of the way and the second day comes in his silver robe and he’s the glory of man at its pinnacle. All the Rome pomp and circumstances there, the soldiers, the whole shot, everything is set up and all the little mealy mouth favor seekers are sitting in the chairs cheering, crowds lining everywhere.

This was a big deal. If this were to happen today, it would have been discussed for days on all the cable news channels, on Internet sites, tweeted about and hyped beyond reason. It would have been in all the newspapers and analysed endlessly. It would have been filmed live as a great televisual showdown.

So, duly puffed up with himself, Herod Antipas gave an oration. Henry paints the picture for us:

He made a speech to the men of Tyre and Sidon, a fine oration, in which, probably, after he had aggravated their fault, and commended their submission, he concluded with an assurance that he would pass by their offence and receive them into his favour again–proud enough that he had it in his power whom he would to keep alive, as well as whom he would to slay; and probably he kept them in suspense as to what their doom should be, till he made this oration to them, that the act of grace might come to them with the more pleasing surprise.

If that had occurred today, there would have been a lengthy commercial break between oration and conclusion of perceived mercy.

Amazingly, those who heard the oration — and, frankly, this isn’t too different to our times — pronounced the ‘voice of a god, and not of man’ (verse 22).

Immediately, an angel of the Lord struck him down. He breathed his last, but not before being eaten by worms (verse 23).

N.B.: Herod Antipas was sentenced to death by worms. Those worms did not eat him in his grave. They ate him alive. We all know how hideous maggots and grubs are. Imagine being eaten by them. Talk about a spectacle. That was God’s — and Jesus Christ’s — message to him, those watching and us.

Henry analyses this for us, including Herod’s quasi-Judaism:

his fault was that he said nothing, did not rebuke their flattery, nor disown the title they had given him, nor give God the glory (Acts 12:23); but he took it to himself, was very willing it should terminate in himself, and that he should be thought a god and have divine honours paid him. Si populus vult decipi, decipiatur–if the people will be deceived, let them. And it was worse in him who was a Jew, and professed to believe in one God only, than it was in the heathen emperors, who had gods many and lords many.

This brings us back to Jesus’s curse on Chorazin and Bethsaida cited above. If we know and ignore God’s will and Christ Jesus, we will surely perish.

We cannot know God unless we truly believe that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Saviour.

As Henry explains:

Now he was reckoned with for vexing the church of Christ, killing James, imprisoning Peter, and all the other mischiefs he had done.

Also:

The angel smote him with a sore disease just at that instant when he was strutting at the applauses of the people, and adoring his own shadow. Thus the king of Tyre said in his pride, I am a god, I sit in the seat of God; and set his heart as the heart of God; but he shall be a man, and no God, a weak mortal man, in the hand of him that slayeth him (Ezekiel 28:2-9), so Herod here. Potent princes must know, not only that God is omnipotent, but that angels also are greater in power and might than they. The angel smote him, because he gave not the glory to God; angels are jealous for God’s honour, and as soon as ever they have commission are ready to smite those that usurp his prerogatives, and rob God of his honour.

Henry adds the following for his audience, as the microscope was in its infancy then. His words are also pertinent for us today, four centuries later:

Surprising discoveries have of late been made by microscopes of the multitude of worms that there are in human bodies, and how much they contribute to the diseases of them, which is a good reason why we should not be proud of our bodies, or of any of their accomplishments, and why we should not pamper our bodies, for this is but feeding the worms, and feeding them for the worms.

Yes! A thousand times yes!

Of the worms, MacArthur tells us:

Josephus says they ate him for five days before he died. That’s a sickening debasing terrible way to die. Just when a man thinks he has exalted himself to the place of glory God crushes him to a place of humility. And I say to you, you can’t fight God because his power can’t be contested and His punishment can’t be avoided. Don’t fight God. He was painfully smitten. The pompous fool done in by worms.

God will never be defeated by unbelievers or mockers.

Next time — Acts 12:24-25

Although November 11 is Remembrance Day, November 12, 2017 is Remembrance Sunday in the UK, making this a poignant weekend of remembrance.

The following are tweets on #Remembrance.

Before I get to them, November 10, 2017 marked the centenary of Passchendaele. Historian Dan Snow explains the final days. This is worth listening to:

The Royal British Legion website summarises this horrific months-long battle:

Fought between July and November 1917, Passchendaele, also known as the Third Battle of Ypres, remains one of the most notorious battles of the First World War. In three-and-a-half months of fighting, an advance of less than five miles saw an estimated 550,000 Allied and German troops killed, wounded or lost.

Around 90,000 British and Commonwealth soldiers were missing; 50,000 buried without being identified, and 42,000 never recovered from the Belgian fields of Flanders that turned into an ocean of mud.

The 100th anniversary of Passchendaele provides an opportunity to view WW1 in a new way and commemorate the Service and sacrifice of those who lost their lives.

The Irish Times has more, beginning with this:

In October 1917 the Canadian commander-in-chief Sir Arthur Currie arrived in Flanders to be told that his men would have to take the village of Passchendaele.

Currie was aghast at what his orders meant. After four months of fighting in terrible conditions, Flanders was a stinking sty of a place, a hellhole of water-filled craters, withered tree stumps and an ocean of mud.

Unburied bodies were everywhere. When the ground did not yield, soldiers knew they were walking on the corpse of a man.

Friend and foe alike were repulsed by the ghastly conditions in which the British and their Commonwealth allies were locked into a death grip with the German defenders. One Canadian infantryman said none acquainted with their ultimate goal expected to come back alive. “Each and every man felt it was a sure death trap”.

Ireland was still British then:

The last day of Passchendaele took a terrible toll on the Irish too. The 1st battalion of the Royal Munster Fusiliers was part of the 1st Division and it was pressed into the attack in support of the Canadians.

The Munsters’ official history recorded the men walking in the pitch dark and the pouring rain to their starting positions. The soil had the consistency of glue and yet the men were forced to carry with them a full marching pack, rations for three days, 150 rounds of ammunitions, two Mills bombs and two water bottles.

“Never have troops gone into action carrying a heavier load under worse conditions,” the history concludes. “They pressed forward in mud-bespattered, bloodstained, sodden groups.”

The attack began at 6am on November 10th, 1917, in the most horrendous conditions imaginable. The men were quickly up to their waists in mud.

We connect the Great War with poppies, thanks to In Flanders Fields, about which I wrote last year. John McCrea fought in the Second Battle of Ypres.

Hence their significance then — and now:

People from one town in the North East of England got together to knit poppies this year. This is a great video:

One lady in Doncaster crocheted poppies:

Here is a moving photo from the Second World War. In the midst of battle, these brave men took time to worship:

Men of faith fought and died for freedom:

They came from all over the Commonwealth:

Some people just don’t understand — including the Labour Party leader:

Yet, those who forget — or never learn their — history are doomed to repeat it.

The sacrifices were imponderable:

Those brave men and women gave their tomorrow for our today:

Which is why so many remembrance ceremonies take place around the world this time every year:

In closing:

(Forbidden Bible Verses will appear tomorrow.)

If you missed these two posts of mine earlier this week — here and here — please read them before starting on this one.

Last week, a person with the moniker of Q Clearance posted threads at 4chan.org/pol/ about what has been happening and what could happen soon in the United States.

You might recall my posts a year ago about FBI Anon (see here, here and here). He also posted his information at /pol/.

Q Clearance is a high security clearance in the US Department of Energy. It is comparable to Top Secret clearance in the US Department of Defense.

Q Clearance’s postings from October 31 through to November 2 are at this link (click to enlarge). Posts from October 31 through November 4 are here. I’m posting both links in case something happens to one of them. The latter, being more recent, is more relevant, but the questions in the early posts of October 31 and November 1 are particularly useful in trying to tie people and events together.

Q has posted many questions and made some statements.

One lady studying this made a video and read everything out from the first set of comments through November 2:

She posted this comment:

Given the specific and serious nature of what is being dropped on /pol/, I decided it was important.

You bet.

Later, she made a second video with the comments through November 5:

Excerpts follow, but there is so much information, that I recommend people read the thread for themselves.

Q’s thread on October 31 begins with this:

SCI[F]
Military Intelligence
What is ‘State Secrets’ and how upheld in the SC [Supreme Court]?
What must be completed to engage MI over other (3) letter agencies?

On November 2, Q wrote that they expected the rogue removal of President Donald Trump’s Twitter feed last week and saw that it was restored quickly (11 minutes):

:::::Flash Traffic:::::
Three letter agency embedded tracking/up-channel into POTUS’ Twitter to specifically target through specialized geo and send his location.
We anticipated this (see post a few hours ago).
It has begun.
Perhaps more posts to follow as expected imminent departure.
Q

And:

As discussed, we’ve anticipated the Twitter and other social media blackouts.
Rogue agents/programmers.
Per sealed Federal orders, we quickly tracked and reinstated.

Q says that he and fellow operators will thwart any attempt to interfere with the Internet:

To those watching (you know who you are):
You have a choice to make.
You can stand up and do what you know to be right.
Or you can suffer the consequences of your previous actions.
Make no mistake, you are on the losing side.
The choice is yours.
If you decide to take down /pol/ and the net we will be ready.

>4920-a 293883 zAj-1 0020192

>Alice & Wonderland.

And:

Why has POTUS dedicated so much time into labeling the MSM as fake news?
Why is this relevant?
We are fully prepared that all social media will be shut down to prevent the spread of this information (i.e. POTUS’ Twitter etc. and/or mass censoring).
Sealed Federal orders pre-submitted as prevention and masked as ‘in general’ (though that does not account for rogue agents/programmers within).
Dates (impending actions) are deliberately provided for authenticity.
Alice & Wonderland.

There might also be power outages:

Expect outages periodically (infiltrated).
If this doesn’t signal what I’ve been saying I don’t know what will.
Q

And:

Should the lights go out please know we are in control.
Do not panic.
We are prepared and assets are in place.
God bless – I must go for good at this point.
Q

Q also predicted Tony Podesta’s indictment would take place at the weekend. We do not know if that happened, but if it did, it might have been done on condition of media blackout.

On November 1, Q wrote that there is likely to be military action, but not against law-abiding citizens (emphases mine below):

My fellow Americans, over the course of the next several days you will undoubtedly realise that we are taking back our great country (the land of the free) from the evil tyrants that wish to do us harm and destroy the last remaining refuge of shining light. On POTUS’ order, we have initiated certain fail-safes that shall safeguard the public from the primary fallout which is slated to occur 11.3 upon the arrest announcement of Mr. Podesta (actionable 11.4). Confirmation (to the public) of what is occurring will then be revealed and will not be openly accepted. Public riots are being organized in serious numbers to prevent the arrest and capture of more senior public officials. On POTUS’ order, a state of temporary military control will be actioned and special ops carried out. False leaks have been made to retain several within the confines of the United States to prevent extradition and special operator necessity. Rest assured, the safety and well-being of every man, woman, and child of this country is being exhausted in full. However, the atmosphere within the country will unfortunately be divided as so many have fallen for the corrupt and evil narrative that has long been broadcast. We will be initiating the Emergency Broadcast System (EMS) during this time in an effort to provide a direct message (avoiding the fake news) to all citizens. Organizations and/or people that wish to do us harm during this time will be met with swift fury — certain laws have been pre-lifted to provide our great military the necessary authority to handle and conduct these operations (at home and abroad).

Hmm. The Emergency Alert System replaced the EMS in 1997.

That day, Q posted:

POTUS will be well insulated/protected on AF1 and abroad (specific locations classified) while these operations are conducted due to the nature of the entrenchment. It is time to take back our country and make America great again. Let us salute and pray for the brave men and women in uniform who will undertake this assignment to bring forth peace, unity, and return power to the people.

It is our hope that this message reaches enough people to make a meaningful impact. We cannot yet telegraph this message through normal methods for reasons I’m sure everyone here can understand. Follow the questions from the previous thread(s) and remain calm, the primary targets are within DC and remain at the top (on both sides). The spill over in the streets will be quickly shut down. Look for more false flags — stay alert, be vigilant, and above all, please pray.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. Love is patient, love is kind.”

God bless my fellow Americans.

4,10,20

Looking at the numerical order of letters in the alphabet ‘4,10,20’ is ‘DJT’.

A poster at The_Donald has been analysing the questions Q has been raising and has come up with a detailed set of answers here. Two excerpts follow.

If we look at the two questions Q posted above, we find one about State Secrets. The_Donald’s poster came up with this answer (emphasis in the original):

What is State Secrets? The state secrets privilege is an evidentiary rule created by United States legal precedent. Application of the privilege results in exclusion of evidence from a legal case based solely on affidavits submitted by the government stating that court proceedings might disclose sensitive information which might endanger national security …

As for the role of Military Intelligence (emphases mine):

According to wiki, the Army has arrest powers in national security crimes such as treason, spying, espionage, sedition, subversion, sabotage with intent to damage national defense, and support to international terrorism. source h/t u/rolltide26 Also – United States Army Counterintelligence is the component of United States Army Military Intelligence which conducts counterintelligence activities to detect, identify, assess, counter, exploit and/or neutralize adversarial, foreign intelligence services, international terrorist organizations, and insider threats to the United States Army and U.S. Department of Defense.[1] Military and civilian personnel trained and appointed to conduct counterintelligence investigations and operations are credentialed and titled as Counterintelligence Special Agents (occasionally referred to simply as “CI” or “Army Intelligence Agents”), and carry badge and credentials identifying their status as federal law enforcement officers. Within the Army, these agents have arrest powers (aka apprehension authority) and jurisdiction in the investigation of national security crimes such as treason, spying, espionage, sedition, subversion, sabotage with intent to damage national defense, and support to international terrorism, while other criminal matters are investigated by the United States Army Criminal Investigation Command aka Army CID.

There is so much more to read, and it involves all the people we’ve been reading about over the past year.

Excerpts from Q’s thread of November 1  follow.

What we should expect to see from the indictments. ‘D’ below is ‘Democrats’:

The corruption that will come out is so serious that deals must be cut for people to walk away otherwise 70% of elected politicians would be in jail (you are seeing it already begin). A deep cleaning is occurring and the prevention and defense of pure evil is occurring on a daily basis. They never thought they were going to lose control of the Presidency (not just D’s) and thought they had control since making past mistakes (JFK, Reagan).

Trump’s perspective:

POTUS knows he must clean house (gov’t) in order to ‘free up’ and demonstrate who has authority in order to pass important legislation. This was always the priority. Remember, AG Sessions cannot look like an impartial player that is out to get all former Obama team members as we need him for other important work. All will come into focus and for anyone to think POTUS is not in control is kidding themselves. Also, he’s 100% insulated with zero risk of impeachment (fact).

Re the recent White House renovation:

Would you believe a device was placed somewhere in the WH that could actually cause harm to anyone in the room and would in essence be undetected?
Fantasy right?
When Trump was elected you can’t possibly imagine the steps taken prior to losing power to ensure future safety & control.

Here are pertinent questions about the role of military intelligence:

Why does Obama travel in advance of POTUS to foreign locations?
Why is this relevant?
Focus on the power of POTUS as it relates to the Marines.
How can MI be applied to prosecute bad actors and avoid corrupt agencies and judges?

This bit about online fora is interesting:

Biggest drop on Pol.
Above is reason why the shills are sliding. In case you didn’t know, shills log and send new info back to ASF for instruction. They use a 5 prong pre packaged injection (one post auto generates four more at random designated times). Common drive of posts they all tap into. Since they misjudged the influence of the MSM they are aggressively looking to censor throughout major platforms in exchange for CIA slush funds and WW access for expansion of said networks. Everything they do has been forecasted and prepared for.

Speaking of media:

The initial wave will be fast and meaningful. It will send a signal to others immediately and you’ll see the tide turn (not even the MSM can hide and rest assured some will be jailed as deep cover agents).

Whatever happens will be big — and international:

Not everything can be publicly disclosed because so much ties back to foreign heads of state. Much will be revealed, we want transparency but not at a cost we can’t recover from.

This is likely to be of biblical proportions:

Some things must remain classified to the very end. NK is not being run by Kim, he’s an actor in the play. Who is the director? The truth would sound so outrageous most Americans would riot, revolt, reject, etc.
The pedo networks are being dismantled.
The child abductions for satanic rituals (ie Haiti and other 3rd world countries) are paused (not terminated until players in custody).
We pray every single day for God’s guidance and direction as we are truly up against pure evil.

FBI Anon said the same thing about evil.

Ultimately, this is draining the Swamp:

We are in one of the most critical times of our country. Trump and others are working to balance the we’re doing well for America (for the common person to endorse) while at the same time purify our govt and remove the bad actors who are entrenched. There is so much string pulling and blackmail that we need to cut these off to truly gain the power granted to us by the Patriots and hard working people of this great country.

On November 4, Q posted:

By the time POTUS returns from his trip the world will be a different place …

Q explained some of the code words used, the first being from Hillary who loves Alice in Wonderland:

Alice & Wonderland
Hillary & Saudi Arabia
References:
Hillary Clinton in Wonderland …
Saudi Arabia – the Bloody Wonderland.
Q

Godfather III is George Soros. Snow White still unknown is Edward Snowden (thanks to a reader who commented below).

Also from November 4 is the possible chain of events. ‘R’ refers to Republicans. ‘SA’ is Saudi Arabia:

Ten days.
Darkness.
Scare tactics (MSM).
D’s falling.
R’s walk-away/removed
SA –> US –> Asia –> EU
Disinformation is real.
Distractions are necessary.
Focus was US today while real happening in SA under same context
(military control, martial law, missile strike (rogue) etc).
Necessary.
POTUS’ Twitter attack (see above).
Important.
Why is this relevant?
What was the last Tweet by POTUS prior to SA?
Why is this relevant?
Military operations.
Operators in US.
Snow White
The Great Awakening
Godfather III
Q

This was Trump’s tweet early in the morning of Saturday, November 4:

That could be on condition they clean up their corruption first.

On November 5, one of the /pol/ readers asked Q if Hillary ‘is just a puppet’ and if the objective is to go after her and her associates. Q replied:

Correction:
HRC was a puppet but her strings were recently cut
She’s now on her own and fighting for her life.
Q

Someone else asked if Hillary was able to pay the money for influence that flowed into the Clinton Foundation. Q replied:

BO paid the debt prior to leaving office.
HRC is not currently in SA.
Bill wants a deal.
Playing the former President card.
Watch the cookie quickly crumble.
Where does Soros fit in?
Godfather III

And:

Obama sent 221 million to Palestinians right before leaving office. The payout..
http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/01/23/report-obama-gave-221-million-palestinians-last-hours/

Of his many ‘breadcrumbs’, Q stated in his last post early on November 5:

Amazing how things make sense once you are asked a question.
That’s the entire point of this operation.
It’s up to you all to collect, archive (safely), and distribute in a graphic that is in order with the crumb dumbs.
It will all make sense.
Once it does, we look to you to spread and get the word out.
Time stamps will help you validate authenticity.
Your President needs your help.
He wants full transparency for the great people of this country.
Everything stated is for a reason.
God bless, Patriots.
Q

The way these Q posts are written leads me to think they are genuine. I am not sure everything will happen, but it would seem that many things could take place. Be prepared.

UPDATE: Two more videos in this series have appeared. There are likely to be more, based on analyses of what Q wrote between November 5 and 7.

This is Part III. This mentions a tweet from Trump dated November 6 that ends with +++, possibly code that The Storm was about to start or had started:

The only section of Part IV to look at is at the 16:33 mark, where one should pause the video and read the top two comments:

I will transcribe the first of the two:

M-Intel Officer here.
You are not wasting time following Q.
There was one embedded string he stated that told us (i.e. those in particular places) he was 100% highly placed.
I, like most within intel, am confined to the data house that is assigned. We cannot peek outside nor have access. The mainframe is literally inaccessible unless there in person w/ special access. This person is Q-class and must be close to the CC. The house I’m building falls in line with a key portion of the questions being asked here. This along with his one sentence that verifies his IDEN (something that nobody on the outside will ever know – highly classified) proves the information that he’s providing. There are good level people in high level places watching this. Godspeed to you all and thank you for helping to serve your country.

So, let us see what transpires in the coming days and weeks.

FURTHER UPDATE: What follows are links to all of Q’s missives through November 9 — possibly beyond. Check a new thread on Reddit for updates. Now I can add November 5 (parts 1, 2, 3, 4), November 6 (parts 1, 2, 3), November 7, November 8 (parts 1, 2, 3, 4) and November 9 (parts 1, 2, 3).

Thanks to these later additions, we now know The Storm started earlier this week.

President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump are on a tour of Asia. Mrs Trump will be returning to the United States from China, but the US president has more stops to make in what promises to be a historic trip in terms of diplomacy, a strategy for North Korea and trade:

The Trumps left Japan for South Korea, arriving on Tuesday, November 7, 2017 — one year after his election win.

President Moon Jae-in visited the White House at the end of June. Fox News reported that trade was at the top of the agenda:

Trump, who discussed a variety of trade issues with President Moon Jae-in during his visit to the White House, praised South Korean companies for investing in the U.S. Multiple companies, including Samsung, announced combined investments of $12.8 billion to coincide with President Moon’s meeting with Trump.

Cheniere, the only company that exports liquefied natural gas (LNG) from U.S. shale, said earlier this week that its export terminal in Louisiana began shipments to South Korea this month, officially kicking off a deal that was signed in 2012. Under terms of the 20-year agreement, Cheniere will make 3.5 million tons of LNG available to Korea Gas Corp. on an annual basis.

Security in South Korea was at ‘highest-level’, as the Korea Herald reported. A number of rallies and demonstrations were planned. The pro-Trump rallies included groups grateful for American protection against North Korea:

Pro-US rallies were also held across the nation on a smaller scale. The protesters, mostly elderly, hailed the US as the savior of South Korea for protecting it from its communist neighbor. They called for a stronger response to the North’s military provocations.

The Korea Herald also provided interesting details about the trip. Excerpts follow:

Trump’s stay here will last approximately 24 hours, the shortest in his five-nation tour. Due to time constraints, the US leader has decided to skip a trip to the Demilitarized Zone, the tense border with North Korea, which has virtually become a staple in any official itinerary to South Korea …

Actually, he did attempt to visit the DMZ on Wednesday, but heavy fog grounded Marine One at Yongsan.

Also:

Seoul officials are said to be mulling how best to congratulate Trump on the anniversary during a state dinner scheduled for Tuesday without wine or Champagne, as the US leader does not drink.

First lady Melania Trump will accompany her husband to S. Korea, although little is known about her planned schedule here. First daughter Ivanka Trump, however, will not be coming. She had planned to join her father in Japan, Korea and China, but decided to visit only Japan, leaving before he arrived. Jared Kushner, her husband and a White House senior aide, is coming with Trump and many other top aides.

With regard to Camp Humphreys, Trump’s first stop:

Already the US’ largest overseas military base by area, commanding a space of 14.67 million square meters, it is set to be the largest by population in 2020, with some 46,000 people, when more US soldiers from several other bases in Korea move in.

This was Trump’s fourth visit to South Korea:

The two previous visits in June 1998 and May 1999 were arranged by the now-defunct Daewoo Group here, which General Motors acquired in 2002. Daewoo’s engineering and construction arm collaborated with Trump on building the 262-meter high Trump World Tower near the United Nation’s headquarters in Manhattan, New York, which was completed in 2001.

During his visit in the summer of 1998, Trump toured a shipyard and car factory under Daewoo Group. He reportedly asked then-ranking officials at the South Korean company to build him a destroyer, so he could customize it into a private yacht. It is not clear whether he said this in a joking manner. Donald Trump Jr., Trump’s eldest son, accompanied him on the trip.

A year later, Trump embarked on a brief one-day trip to South Korea to attend an opening event for a model house and to discuss the management of the residential buildings here called “Trump World.” As a businessman, he had lent his name as a brand to the high-rise residential buildings.

There are now seven Trump World buildings in South Korea.

I liked the way the Herald discussed the anti-Trump protests (emphases mine):

Thousands of Americans critical of Trump are planning a collective screaming session on Wednesday, marking the first anniversary of his election victory over Hillary Clinton. But Trump will be nowhere close enough to hear, as he will be … rounding up his visit to South Korea and heading for the next stop, China.

The Yonhap News Agency had a one-line news story:

(URGENT) Trump says does not wish to use force against N. Korea

At his joint press conference with Japanese president Abe, Trump said:

Some people said that my rhetoric is very strong. But look what’s happened with very weak rhetoric over the last 25 years.

He also said the North Koreans are:

“a great people under a very oppressive regime.” Hopes showdown “all works out…will be better for everybody.”

The flight from Tokyo to Osan Air Base outside of Seoul took two hours.

The Trumps received a highly respectful welcome:

This was the schedule for Tuesday:

12:55pm / 10:55pm THE PRESIDENT has lunch with troops from the United States and the Republic of Korea – Camp Humphreys, Republic of Korea

1:20pm / 11:20pm THE PRESIDENT receives an operational briefing, Camp Humphreys, Republic of Korea

2:30pm / 12:30am THE PRESIDENT and THE FIRST LADY participate in an arrival ceremony, Blue House, Seoul, Republic of Korea.

2:35pm / 12:35am THE PRESIDENT and THE FIRST LADY participate in a guestbook signing, Blue House, Seoul, Republic of Korea.

2:45pm / 12:45am THE PRESIDENT participates in a bilateral meeting with President Moon Jae-In of the Republic of Korea, Blue House, Seoul, Republic of Korea

2:55pm / 12:55am THE PRESIDENT participates in an expanded bilateral meeting with President Moon, Blue House, Seoul, Republic of Korea.

♦4:10pm / 2:10am THE PRESIDENT participates in a friendship walk with President Moon, Blue House, Seoul, Republic of Korea

4:20pm / 2:20am THE PRESIDENT and THE FIRST LADY will have tea and take photographs with President Moon, Blue House, Seoul, Republic of Korea.

4:45pm / 2:45am THE PRESIDENT participates in a joint press conference with President Moon, Blue House, Seoul, Republic of Korea.

7:35pm / 5:35am THE PRESIDENT and THE FIRST LADY attend a state dinner, Blue House, Seoul, Republic of Korea.

The Trump motorcade passed through central Seoul. Contrary to what the caption below says, President and Mrs Trump parted company at Osan Air Base, as she had a different lunch engagement. They kissed each other goodbye.

Enthusiastic South Koreans lined the street:

There’s another photo of Trump supporters here.

There is something very wrong with the West in their hate of Trump when other countries love the man.

At Camp Humphreys, General Vincent Brooks U.S. Forces Commander Korea and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson greeted the president.

Trump sat with the troops for lunch, with the Korean president to his left:

Trump said, ‘Good food!’

After lunch, he addressed the troops, followed by the Korean president.

Press Secretary Sarah Sanders enjoyed the visit:

The following day, an Army Ranger lent Sanders his jacket on the abortive trip to the DMZ.

While the US president was at Camp Humphreys, the first lady met young fans of hers:

The Trumps met up in the afternoon for a traditional and elaborate welcome ceremony in Seoul:

At the Korean president’s residence, the Blue House, enthusiastic schoolchildren welcomed the Trumps:

Once inside, the Trumps signed the guest book.

That evening, President Moon Jae-in and First Lady Kim hosted a lavish four-course state dinner for the Trumps. The Daily Mail reported:

President Moon Jae-in observed the date – Election Day in the United States – and marked one full year since Trump won the White House.

‘In Korea, we have a custom of holding a special celebration on one’s first birthday,’ he said at the Blue House, South Korea’s presidential mansion.

‘So after pondering about how to best celebrate the first anniversary of President Trump’s victory, I decided to invite the President to Korea as a state guest and hold a banquet.’

Moon said Trump’s presidency ‘is already making America great again.’

Trump returned the compliment.

‘The relationship that we have is a fantastic one,’ he said. ‘The partnership between our two nations and our two people is deep and enduring.’

‘Together our nations remind the world of the boundless potential of societies that choose freedom over tyranny,’ he added, a not-so-subtle reference to the communist North.

Trump toasted with a glass of cola.

Foodies will love the Mail‘s exquisite photos of each course: corn porridge, grilled sole, grilled Hanwoo (Korean beef) with 360-year-old soy sauce and, for dessert, triple chocolate cake with raspberry sauce and cinnamon-punch granita.

Anti-Trump protests took place in Seoul that night.

On Wednesday, Presidents Moon and Trump gave a joint press conference:

Afterwards, Trump was:

The US president signed the guest book:

Assembly Speaker Chung gave Trump the highest accolade possible (also reported elsewhere):

South Korea just introduced President Trump as the LEADER OF THE WORLD!!!!!!!!!

He added:

Trump exhibits “excellent leadership” and “great negotiating ability”.

I love it!

From the prose style, I can tell that Trump adviser Stephen Miller wrote the speech. He is the best speechwriter — ever. Excerpts follow.

Trump began with a review of modern history, which started with this:

This alliance between our nations was forged in the crucible of war, and strengthened by the trials of history. From the Inchon landings to Pork Chop Hill, American and South Korean soldiers have fought together, sacrificed together, and triumphed together.

After the Korean War:

over the next two generations something miraculous happened on the southern half of this peninsula. Family by family, city by city, the people of South Korea built this country into what is today one of the great nations of the world. And I congratulate you. (Applause.) In less than one lifetime, South Korea climbed from total devastation to among the wealthiest nations on Earth.

With regard to North Korea:

in the end, we will work things out far better than anybody understands or can even appreciate. I know that the Republic of Korea, which has become a tremendously successful nation, will be a faithful ally of the United States very long into the future. (Applause.)

He enumerated and praised South Korea’s great accomplishments in recent times before discussing the poverty and atrocities in North Korea. Please read the transcript starting halfway down. What is going on there is worse than many of us — myself included — imagine.

After that, he said:

North Korea is a country ruled as a cult. At the center of this military cult is a deranged belief in the leader’s destiny to rule as parent protector over a conquered Korean Peninsula and an enslaved Korean people.

The more successful South Korea becomes, the more decisively you discredit the dark fantasy at the heart of the Kim regime.

In this way, the very existence of a thriving South Korean republic threatens the very survival of the North Korean dictatorship.

This city and this assembly are living proof that a free and independent Korea not only can, but does stand strong, sovereign, and proud among the nations of the world. (Applause.) …

This reality — this wonderful place — your success is the greatest cause of anxiety, alarm, and even panic to the North Korean regime. That is why the Kim regime seeks conflict abroad — to distract from total failure that they suffer at home.

Trump discussed the violations of the armistice by the North Koreans as well as their build-up of nuclear and ballistic weaponry. Then he said:

Today, I hope I speak not only for our countries, but for all civilized nations, when I say to the North: Do not underestimate us, and do not try us. We will defend our common security, our shared prosperity, and our sacred liberty.

We did not choose to draw here, on this peninsula — (applause) — this magnificent peninsula — the thin line of civilization that runs around the world and down through time. But here it was drawn, and here it remains to this day. It is the line between peace and war, between decency and depravity, between law and tyranny, between hope and total despair. It is a line that has been drawn many times, in many places, throughout history. To hold that line is a choice free nations have always had to make. We have learned together the high cost of weakness and the high stakes of its defense.

Also:

That is why I have come here, to the heart of a free and flourishing Korea, with a message for the peace-loving nations of the world: The time for excuses is over. Now is the time for strength. If you want peace, you must stand strong at all times. (Applause.) The world cannot tolerate the menace of a rogue regime that threatens with nuclear devastation.

All responsible nations must join forces to isolate the brutal regime of North Korea — to deny it and any form — any form of it. You cannot support, you cannot supply, you cannot accept. We call on every nation, including China and Russia, to fully implement U.N. Security Council resolutions, downgrade diplomatic relations with the regime, and sever all ties of trade and technology.

It is our responsibility and our duty to confront this danger together — because the longer we wait, the greater the danger grows, and the fewer the options become. (Applause.) And to those nations that choose to ignore this threat, or, worse still, to enable it, the weight of this crisis is on your conscience.

He concluded:

Together, we dream of a Korea that is free, a peninsula that is safe, and families that are reunited once again. We dream of highways connecting North and South, of cousins embracing cousins, and this nuclear nightmare replaced with the beautiful promise of peace.

Until that day comes, we stand strong and alert. Our eyes are fixed to the North, and our hearts praying for the day when all Koreans can live in freedom. (Applause.)

Thank you. (Applause.) God Bless You. God Bless the Korean people. Thank you very much. Thank you. (Applause.)

The National Assembly gave him a standing ovation:

Also note in the caption the historic significance of the speech:

The last US president to address the National Assembly was Bush I.

Yonhap News Agency reported on the joint press conference, excerpted below:

U.S. President Donald Trump said Tuesday that he is making “a lot of progress” in efforts aimed at forcing North Korea to give up its nuclear and missile ambitions.

In a joint press conference after a summit in Seoul with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, Trump also urged the international community to closely cooperate in putting pressure on the recalcitrant state.

“I think we are making a lot of progress,” Trump said. “We are showing great strength and I think they understand we have unparalleled strength. There has never been strength like it.”

The Trumps’ final stop was to Seoul National Cemetery for a wreath-laying ceremony.

Then it was time to leave South Korea:

Mrs Trump expressed her gratitude to the South Koreans:

The Trumps will have fond memories of their trip. Here is another photo from the welcoming ceremony:

I will cover the China trip early next week.

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