On Nov. 13, 2013, we filmed an episode of the Key of David television program that I developed around Ezekiel 38:1-2. Those scriptures say, “Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying, ‘Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal, and prophesy against him’” (New King James Version).
In that episode, which was broadcast on November 24, I showed that this is an end-time prophecy, and stressed my belief that this prophesied Eastern leader—which God inspired Ezekiel to write about 2,500 years ago—is in power today. I said that Russian President Vladimir Putin was almost certainly going to be the “prince of Rosh” that this and other biblical passages say will rise up in this end time, revive Russian power, and “trouble” Europe (Daniel 11:44). This information also formed the basis of my cover story in last month’s Trumpet edition.
Then, in the days after that episode was filmed, events took place in Russia and Europe that strengthened that explanation. The events showed that these prophecies are marching rapidly toward complete fulfillment!
A History-Altering U-Turn
Ever since Europe’s Eastern Partnership program began in 2009, Ukraine has been working to join it. The plan was for Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych to make everything official on Nov. 29, 2013, by signing the deal with the EU. But on November 21, just a week after that Key of David was filmed, Yanukovych abruptly announced that he would not sign the agreement.
Many pundits and analysts were shocked. They had thought Ukraine would make the deal and become part of the EU, or at least become allied with it in some fashion.
Why did the Ukrainian president make such a dramatic U-turn?
It emerged in late November that Mr. Yanukovych had secretly flown to Moscow early in the month to meet with President Putin. No journalists or analysts knew anything about this meeting until November 21 when Yanukovych announced the landmark withdrawal. At the time that I wrote and recorded that Key of David episode, the meeting was still a complete secret.
For years, Mr. Putin has threatened and bullied Ukraine. Ukraine is dependent on Russia for its natural gas needs, and three separate times during harsh winters, Moscow has shut off gas flows to Ukraine. In recent months, Putin has tightened the screws, stopping shipments of Ukrainian goods and pressuring the nation, which depends heavily on the Russian market.
This long-term strategy nudged Ukraine dangerously close to financial collapse.
At this secret meeting in early November, Putin apparently agreed to ease up on these crippling measures. He also offered Yanukovych some rich financial rewards that would help him hold on to his power—if the Ukrainian president would pull out of the EU deal.
Experts agree that it was these tactics that caused Ukraine to pull out! “[T]he unprecedented pressure from the Russians was the decisive factor,” said former Polish president and intermediary Aleksander Kwasniewski. “The Russians used everything in their arsenal.”
What Does It Mean?
After Yanukovych’s announcement, about half a million Ukrainians took to the streets of Kiev for mass demonstrations. These people did not want to go back to mother Russia, and did not want to be a part of Vladimir Putin’s strategy. For weeks, they protested and demanded Yanukovych’s resignation. These protests continue even as I write, and have become violent.
So what does it all mean?
Putin has long known that if Ukraine allies with Europe, it would significantly diminish his power. His ultimate goal is to resurrect the Soviet empire. The architecture of that empire was built around Ukraine being a part of it. Ukraine is the breadbasket of Russia. To this day, Russia’s largest military base outside its own borders is in Ukraine.
Putin applied all that pressure on Ukraine because that nation is the linchpin of his goal of a renewed imperial Russia! A linchpin is the pin in an axle that keeps the wheel from coming off. Mr. Putin was doing everything in his power to keep the wheels from falling off his dream of a new Soviet empire. And that meant applying intense pressure on Ukraine.
The fact that one man—one man—is responsible for this huge geopolitical shift is deeply significant. It wouldn’t have happened without him using his power and having the will to step out and shake the nations, as Haggai says. (Order a copy of our free booklet Haggai: God Has Begun to Shake the Nations to understand what this means.)
Some leading analysts and journalists have called Putin’s move on Ukraine a monumental crisis. The American media didn’t say much about it, but it is nevertheless something that will change the course of world history. It is taking us a giant step closer to World War iii! Bible prophecy explains what is happening in Ukraine, and gives vital insight into what is behind it all.
Vladimir Putin’s goal is to restore the Soviet Union. And pulling Ukraine back into Moscow’s orbit is the linchpin of that goal! In light of this understanding, Ezekiel 38:1-2 take on astounding meaning.
Mats Persson, director of the Open Europe think tank, said Ukraine’s decision was a colossal defeat for the European Union. “The lesson is that EU’s soft-power diplomacy has hit its limits,” Persson was quoted as saying by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard. “Playing carrot and stick doesn’t work when you come up against a real hard power like Russia. This is a highly significant moment” (Telegraph, Nov. 22, 2013; emphasis mine throughout).
It is “a highly significant moment” that could cause Germany and Europe to seek a strong leader to counter Putin. Franz Josef Strauss, a famous German politician in the recent past, said that Germany usually seeks a strongman for emergencies.
Evans-Pritchard made these comments just one day after Yanukovych’s announcement: “Twenty years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Ukraine is slipping back under Kremlin control. Ukraine’s shock decision to opt for Vladimir Putin’s Russia and pull out of EU talks on the eve of an historic deal is a dramatic upset to the European balance of power” (ibid).
What does that mean if the whole balance of power is upset? It means the course of world history has changed! That’s what Evans-Pritchard is saying, and it is true! The pullout is incredibly damaging to the EU’s prestige and power.
What is Europe going to do about it?
So far neither Europe nor America has done much about Russia’s bullying. For the United States, we shouldn’t expect that to change. But in that television program filmed back on November 13, I warned that Europe’s attention would soon be captured by Putin’s recent behavior—especially in Ukraine!
In my article last month, I elaborated on this warning: “[Putin] rattled some European leaders to their core. … Europe is deeply alarmed by what happened to this country that is right in its own neighborhood! The changes this crisis provokes in Germany and Europe will shake the nations! The Ukraine debacle has taken us a giant step closer to World War iii! … If you study Moscow’s foreign policy under Putin’s leadership, it is plain that the ultimate goal is to eventually conquer the whole world. Europe is certainly aware of this goal and is closely watching its neighbor to the east” (“Is Vladimir Putin the Prophesied ‘Prince of Rosh’?”).
Just a couple of weeks after that was written, a certain European leader—a man the Trumpet has been studying for some time—revealed that he is deeply aware of Russia’s imperialist motives.
“Putin Is Basking in an ‘Astonishing Leadership Vacuum’” was the title of an opinion article that Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg wrote (with Garry Kasparov) for Time on January 6. The article revealed that Mr. Guttenberg is very aware of Russia’s ambitious goals. He is “closely watching” Moscow, just as I had said that discerning European leaders would.
Here is some of what Guttenberg wrote: “Since Vladimir Putin’s official return to power in 2012, the Russian president seems to have set his mind on teaching the rest of the world … that he shall not be underestimated on the international stage [and] that Moscow will keep reasserting control over what it considers to be its legitimate sphere of influence for Russia. … From Syria and the Snowden saga to blatant human-rights violations and, most recently, pressuring Ukraine’s leadership into a sudden change of heart on its association with the EU, Putin has managed to bedevil the West all year long. … When it comes to the honorable title of Bully of the Year, the Russian president surely triumphed in 2013.”
Mr. Guttenberg explained the main cause: “The primary reason for Putin’s self-aggrandizing behavior is the astonishing leadership vacuum in the world.”
Guttenberg can see that America is in retreat. That is the main cause for the leadership vacuum he is talking about. It can no longer be looked to for displays of real force. So, he proposes another solution! Guttenberg says Putin’s bullying means it’s time for Europe to take action. Putin has “achieved what no pleas from the U.S. president or fellow European leaders could do: Germany finally assumed leadership on a difficult foreign-policy issue. … Russia’s behavior toward Ukraine might hand Europe an opportunity to become more united and effective in its foreign policy” (ibid).
Bible prophecy says this is precisely what will happen!
Scripture shows that Russia’s resurgence will cause Europe to unite in a way that this world can’t even imagine. It will help mold Europe into the seventh and final resurrection of the biblically prophesied Holy Roman Empire. This means that the darkest time mankind has ever seen is extremely close! But it’s going to lead to the best news this world has ever experienced: the return of the Messiah to end all of man’s suffering. The Bible contains more than a hundred prophecies that tell us that! And yet you hear almost nothing about them.
The European Union has 28 nations now, but such scriptures as Revelation 17:12 show that it is going to be reduced to 10 “kings.” The Bible says 10 kings are going to rule over that Holy Roman Empire led by Germany, and we’ve been proclaiming that for some 70 years. The Scriptures reveal that it is going to be a church-state combine, and it will be a real superpower.
Biblical passages such as Daniel 8:23 and Isaiah 10:7 prophesy of a strongman who will rise up to lead Europe through this final crusade in the years just ahead. At the Trumpet, we have long viewed Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, the former defense minister of Germany, as the likeliest candidate to become this prophesied strong leader (“The Brilliance of Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg”).
That is why this one act by Vladimir Putin is having such a momentous impact. It is building to history-altering events! We need to continue to watch Europe, and see how individuals like Mr. Guttenberg respond. World events are moving just like a flash of lightning these days. We need to be aware of what’s happening.
Did you notice that there is a second individual discussed in Ezekiel 38:1-2? This is an Ezekiel-type that God calls “son of man.” God tells this individual to proclaim the message of Ezekiel 38 in the end time.
So there are actually two individuals discussed here: the prince of Rosh, and the man commanded to proclaim the message about him. Two specific individuals! Can you believe that God would get that specific in the Bible? And He tells us we are to live by every word of God (Deuteronomy 8:3; Matthew 4:4).
Ezekiel 33:33 says that at a certain future time, people will finally “know that a prophet hath been among them.” They will know it after these events come to pass. At that point it will be too late for them to be protected physically, but not spiritually.
Verse 7 of that same chapter speaks of a “watchman.” This same individual who is called a prophet in verse 33 is called a watchman here. He is also the same individual God commands in Ezekiel 38:2 to watch what is happening in Russia, Ukraine, Europe and elsewhere, and to warn people about it! In Ezekiel 33:7, God says, “I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me.” This is not the word of man—it comes right from God’s mouth! That is really significant.
The Bible comes alive when we can understand specific prophecies like this!
Is it just coincidence that Putin yanked Ukraine away from the EU right after our program was filmed and just around the time that it aired? Is it a coincidence that Baron Guttenberg responded to Putin’s bullying with such eloquence and force so soon after that program was broadcast? Maybe it was. But if you are proclaiming God’s prophecies, then God is going to work with that message and bring events into sync to support His messenger. After all, it is God who tells this “son of man” to warn the world of what is happening in Russia and what is coming upon the world. If a man is speaking about God’s prophecies, you can be sure God is going to help him in many ways. I think a lot of what happened was orchestrated according to God’s perfect timing.
In light of the Key of David program I gave about Mr. Putin, and the way the Ukraine crisis suddenly exploded just after it, the identity of the second individual becomes hard to deny. God’s very elect surely will know who these two individuals in Ezekiel 38:1-2 are. And that will tell them where God’s work is, where God’s message is, where God’s fulfilled prophecy is, and where God’s revelation is!
We have to realize that this is all good news because Jesus Christ is going to return to this Earth at the very end of this clash between the Putin-led Eastern power and the German-led European power, which could very likely be led by Mr. Guttenberg. Those two powers are going to be destroyed by Jesus Christ Himself! The Messiah will intervene, or else there would be no flesh saved alive, according to Matthew 24:21-22.
Jesus Christ is about to return—biblical prophecy makes that clear. Surely we ought to be studying our Bibles and understanding those prophecies. They have such deep meaning and are so important to you!