Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has been one of the most earthshaking news events in recent years. Footage of missiles slamming into modern apartment buildings, tanks driving down streets, and office blocks turned to rubble have become a normal part of the nightly news.
“Peace in our continent has been shattered,” said nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. “We now have war in Europe, on a scale and of a type we thought belonged to history.” The Drudge Report headline the day of the invasion encapsulated what many are thinking: “Countdown to WW III.”
And that is exactly what it means!
How did this happen? Like nato’s secretary general, many people believed war in 21st-century Europe was impossible, that conflict of this magnitude and consequence “belonged to history.” But here we are, experiencing what could be the most significant war since World War ii!
Those who study and believe Bible prophecy are not surprised. If you know the Bible, you know that war of this nature does not belong to history. In fact, prophecy tells us that conflict and suffering much worse than this are coming.
Those prophecies have informed the Trumpet’s analysis and forecasts for decades. Most people would ridicule the idea of biblical prophecy being a useful tool for geopolitical forecasting. But events like the Ukraine war prove that it works! Because of prophecy, I have been warning for years that Vladimir Putin would be responsible for violent conquests and would set in motion some astonishing and historic events. In 2008, I asked: “Will a crisis occur over Ukraine? That area is the breadbasket of Russia, and surely it is willing to wage war over that as well” (Philadelphia Trumpet, October 2008).
The Bible told us to expect this! Let me explain why.
A Fearsome Prince
Ezekiel 38 is an especially important passage about Russia. Verse 8 uses the phrase “the latter years”—this refers to the time just before the return of Jesus Christ. This whole chapter contains staggering understanding about the powerful Russian empire and its widely feared “prince.”
“And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him” (verses 1-2). The “son of man,” God’s human messenger, is responsible for identifying this “prince.”
The correct translation of verse 2 is “the prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal.” In Assyrian and Greek histories, Meshech appears as Musku, Muski or Mushki—all names related to the Russian spelling of Moscow. What about Tubal? On the eastern side of the Ural Mountains lies the city of Tobolsk, named after the Tobol River, a name derived from Tubal. Tobolsk was once the seat of Russian government over Siberia and was basically considered Russia’s Asian capital.
Rosh was the ancient name of Russia, once called Rus. Many encyclopedias and commentaries (such as the Jamieson, Fausset and Brown Commentary) recognize this. So who is this “prince” of Russia, Moscow and Tobolsk?
This “prince” is Vladimir Putin and I have explained why for years. The alarming scenes coming out of Ukraine emphasize this view. Bible prophecy is being fulfilled this very moment in Ukraine!
This is what I wrote five years ago in my booklet The Prophesied ‘Prince of Russia’:
The use of all three names shows that this is an individual ruler of all the peoples of Russia, from the west to the east. The reference to the cities of Moscow and Tobolsk helps us see how vast Russian territory is in these latter days.
This giant swath of land indicates the prince will probably conquer more nations of the former Soviet Union. When you study these scriptures alongside current events revealing modern Moscow’s imperialist direction, you see that Russian President Vladimir Putin could well be the prince of Rosh.
Vladimir Putin has done more than anyone else to rebuild the colossal Russian empire. The Bible told us to expect the “prince of Rosh” to conquer more territory!
People would be surprised by how much the Bible tells us about geopolitics. As I wrote in that 2017 booklet, “If you add Bible prophecy to a good understanding of history, you can foresee the future with striking clarity.”
In 2008, after Putin invaded Georgia, I wrote: “This was the first military strike of a rising Asian superpower—and there will be more!”
In 2014, around the time of Putin’s annexation of Crimea, the late Charles Krauthammer made some insightful comments: “Ukraine is not just the largest European country, it’s the linchpin for Vladimir Putin’s dream of a renewed imperial Russia, hegemonic in its neighborhood and rolling back the quarter-century advancement of the ‘Europe whole and free’ bequeathed by America’s victory in the Cold War.”
Considering that remark in the context of Ezekiel 38 and other prophecies, I took this analysis even further. Here is what I wrote eight years ago, in March 2014:
Putin has long known that if Ukraine allies with Europe, it would significantly diminish his power. His 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.
A Weak Superpower
As Russia has flattened Ukraine, the United States has done little in response.
America encouraged European nations to pass on their old MiG fighter jets to Ukraine. Ukraine’s pilots are familiar with the MiG planes and could fly them without retraining. But then Putin said he would consider any transfer of aircraft an act of war. Poland was still willing to send them, but it wanted the U.S. to risk Putin’s wrath alongside it. Poland announced plans to transfer the planes via a U.S. airbase. But America backed down. U.S. leaders said they didn’t think MiGs would help Ukraine very much after all.
The world saw America capitulate to Russia. And this is just one example—there have been many in the course of the conflict.
In Leviticus 26:19, God warns, “I will break the pride of your power; and I will make your heaven as iron, and your earth as brass.” America’s broken will is just one of many curses now coming upon this nation, and this curse comes with some terrifying geopolitical consequences.
America sat idly by as Russia invaded Crimea and carved great chunks out of Ukraine. I wrote in 2017:
The Ukraine attack was an audacious move by Russia! America did nothing. Washington has become so weak that it wouldn’t even support the Ukrainian protesters with strong words!
In 1994, America persuaded the Ukrainians to get rid of the Soviet nuclear weapons stored in their country. We promised to protect them. But we wouldn’t even send them conventional arms to fight against the Russian invasion! This is the treacherous way we treat our allies!
Few Americans realize what a massive disaster this is for America and its future. As Russia, China, Iran and a German-led Europe expand their spheres of influence and grow in strength, American foreign policy has become an international joke!
Barack Obama was president in 2014. His weakness and refusal to stand by Poland and other East European countries led directly to Russia’s invasion.
For years now, “Russia” has been a buzzword in America’s media. There were endless reports of Donald Trump colluding with Russia, of Russia meddling in our politics and stealing our elections. We now know that the whole Russia collusion narrative was one gigantic hoax. Regarding Russia, our focus has been all wrong. We have been blind to what Russia is really doing in the world!
For years we have allowed Putin to get away with aggressive behavior. Our leaders, especially Barack Obama and Joe Biden, would not challenge him in a meaningful way. The fruits of our weakness are now on display in Ukraine!
This too is something prophecy warned would happen. Here’s what I wrote in 2017:
The West has mostly been silent about the depth of this man’s evil. Under his rule, Russia has become the world’s most dangerous superpower at this time. America’s military might is shrinking fast and its will is completely broken.
The Ukraine [Crimea] crisis exposed U.S. weakness most of all. It demonstrated how the American superpower has almost disappeared from the world scene! Where is America providing any real leadership in the world? All we see is shameful retreat.
This means that one of those fierce, tiger-like empires will soon pounce on the U.S. and devour it. This is the lesson of history. But far more importantly, your Bible prophesies that it will happen.
President Putin has military might and the will to use it. America has the power but lacks the will to use it. That is why we grovel before this “evil empire”—as President Ronald Reagan once called it. No leader in Russia has equaled Putin’s diabolical evil since Joseph Stalin.
The Ukraine crisis continues, and America is sleeping through it. But Europe is deeply alarmed! The changes this crisis provokes in Germany and Europe will shake the nations!
These statements have proved stunningly accurate. That is not because of any great analytical acumen or strategic insight on my part—it is purely because of Bible prophecy! Prophecy is proving to be right again and again! When will we stop and listen to what God prophesies? Until we do, the wars will continue and intensify!
America’s weak will led to this crisis. Its weakness is leading Germany to take matters into its own hands. Europe sees it cannot look to America for protection, so instead it is looking to Germany! (article, page 10).
The Bible tells us that this European power will be the one to confront Russia. The same Bible that accurately prophesies a powerful prince of Russia also prophesies that an Asian superpower will do battle in a final world war, primarily against a German-led Europe. (America, Britain and the Jewish nation will have already fallen at the same time; see Hosea 5:5.)
Bible prophecy tells us that war is coming between a Russia-China-led Asian alliance and a German-led Europe—war on a scale that is hard to imagine! Hundreds of millions of people will be killed. Nuclear bombs and other weapons of mass destruction will impact every nation on Earth! Many think this is impossible. But people thought the kind of invasion and war we are currently watching was also impossible!
Finally, the Bible also prophesies that at the end of all of these wars, the world will witness the greatest event in history: the Second Coming of the Messiah, Jesus Christ! As Christ Himself said, if He didn’t return, not one person would survive the warfare that would engulf the planet (Matthew 24:22; Moffatt). But before humanity annihilates itself, Christ will return and stop all this madness!
Vladimir Putin is literally a sign that Jesus Christ is about to return! This is one of the most inspiring messages in the Bible. What we are seeing from Russia ultimately leads to the transition from man ruling man to God ruling man! And it is just a few short years away.
We need to watch Vladimir Putin closely. He is the “prince of Rosh” whom God inspired Ezekiel to write about 2,500 years ago! We need to watch what is happening in Russia and how Europe responds. Daniel 11:44 talks about “tidings out of the east” troubling Europe. Putin’s tactics in Georgia, Ukraine, the Middle East and elsewhere are already deeply troubling to Europe and the world.
The most important nation to watch right now is Germany. How will it respond to Putin’s war on Ukraine? This Ukraine war will speed up the rise of the prophesied German-led Holy Roman Empire! It is happening already!
We have to realize that this is all good news because Jesus Christ is going to return to Earth at the end of the coming world war. The powers fighting the war are going to be destroyed by Jesus Christ Himself!