Why We Must Warn About Vladimir Putin
The world has been shocked by the actions of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Authorities are still uncovering bodies, many of them tortured, in the area around Kyiv.
But if people really understood the background of this man, they would not be surprised.
Russia is a rival power to the United States. It fought America in the Cold War, and its socialist ideology has infiltrated American universities, news corporations, government and culture since the 1960s. It is also a major antagonist toward Eastern Europe and Europe as a whole, which America has treated as its allies. And it is not afraid to assault nations like Georgia, Ukraine or Syria. Its nuclear arsenal and delivery systems rival those of the United States.
Here at the Trumpet we have said a lot about this man—and the evil he has done—for an important reason. His history alone tells us we should be aware of him. But there’s an even more powerful reason why the world needs to beware of Vladimir Putin—and why we must warn about him.
What Kind of Man Is Putin?
Even before his most recent push into Ukraine, Putin’s past reveals a lot about him. Putin’s Russia, along with China, has vetoed multiple United Nations sanctions that would have restricted some of the most terrible regimes on Earth. And yet for years, our leaders continued to “push the reset button” every time a new administration came into office. They thought they could work with him. Ukraine today is the result.
President Putin has continued Russia’s support of Iran, giving this suicidal religious extremist terrorist nation hefty support, including in the development of nuclear weapons. This is a regime that has disgusting, devastating policies and openly calls America the “Great Satan” and the Jewish nation the “Little Satan,” and it calls for the latter to be wiped off the map.
In Chechnya, an Islamic separatist region of Russia, Putin has lashed out in warfare that has killed more than 160,000 of his own people. Imagine the leader of your country killing 160,000 of your fellow citizens. Russians do not have to imagine it!
Putin has crushed Russia’s independent media and taken control of it. That is a classic hallmark of a dangerous, oppressive, tyrannical despot. And notice this: Putin has allegedly ordered the murder of 134 journalists! Imagine your president not just arguing against or insulting or silencing journalists who disagreed with him, but going so far as to murder them!
Vladimir Putin is a former kgb operative. He says that even in high school he dreamed of becoming a spy. Putin told his biographers that the allure of the kgb wasn’t its professed high-minded ideals but the actual dirty work of espionage. You can read about all this in the Jan. 23, 2016, Washington Post (“The Death of a Former KGB Operative Is a Reminder of Vladimir Putin’s Past Life as a Spy”).
“I was most amazed by how a small force, a single person, really, can accomplish something an entire army cannot,” Putin told his biographers. “A single intelligence officer could rule over the fates of thousands of people. At least that’s how I saw it” (Telegraph, Feb. 25, 2012). Putin achieved his dream and became a Russian agent during the Cold War in one of the most brutal intelligence agencies that has ever existed—a genuine deception and murder machine.
What did Vladimir Putin actually accomplish as a spy? How did his career in espionage shape who he is now? And how was he affected when he saw firsthand the Soviet Union disintegrate around him? When he ascended to power and ultimately took the presidency, did he leave that deceitful, dangerous and deadly way of life behind? These are vital questions that need to be asked and answered before anyone should trust this man.
‘Supersize Model of the KGB’
Alexander Litvinenko was a former kgb operative. He criticized the actions of his superiors and accused them of assassination. He fled to Britain, where he was granted asylum and apparently worked with the British MI6 spy agency. Then, in 2006, he was murdered. Inquiries into his death found he was poisoned with polonium, a rare and lethal radioactive isotope, and that the murder was likely approved personally by Vladimir Putin.
Putin is also widely considered responsible for the 2004 poisoning of Ukraine’s opposition leader, Viktor Yushchenko.
This man is not just an authoritarian leader! He is an evil, ruthless, vindictive agent with Soviet-style methods of psychological warfare, assassination and war! As one Russian journalist put it, Putin “is a supersize model of the kgb.”
This is a man with beastly power and with a beastly desire to rule the world! He is a vengeful, monstrous friend of the devil with all sorts of anti-God policies. He is steeped in secrecy, deception, manipulation, aggression, intimidation, coercion and force, and there is far more about him that we do not know.
Over the years, several U.S. leaders have talked about dealing with Putin by drawing close to him. But the closer America gets to Putin, the further it gets from what is good and what is right—the further it gets from God! That is deadly dangerous!
Putin will stay true to his character and prey on America as he has preyed on others.
Two Individuals Prophesied
Putin’s Russia is in the news almost daily right now because of how active it is in the world. But did you know that what this nation is currently doing was forecast many centuries ago?
A perfect description of 21st-century Russia and its leader is recorded in the sixth-century b.c. book of Ezekiel. This is a stunning and wide-ranging prophecy, one of the longest in the entire Bible.
Ezekiel 38:8 says, “After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years ….” Notice that Ezekiel was writing not for people who lived at that time but for people who would read his book “in the latter years.” That is our time today.
“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). God wants a man in the latter years to prophesy against “the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal.” This prince is a powerful leader who is visible in world news.
The Bible prophesies of a “prince” in our lifetime and says he will be revealed during a period called the end time. It also prophesies that there will be a messenger who will prophesy against this leader. You can’t deliver this message and you can’t understand this prophecy unless you know who this prince is.
Ezekiel gets specific here. There are two individuals, a “son of man” and this “prince.” If you can identify the message of Ezekiel to this prince, then you can also identify God’s messenger in the 21st century. God reveals this message to His messenger. No human being can just figure out these prophecies and discern anything from them. Only God can unlock what these prophecies mean.
This passage mentions “Gog” and “Magog.” Ezekiel is using the ancient names of these nations. What modern nation or nations do these peoples represent? The Bible says Gog and Magog must be warned. So God’s messenger has to know who these two great nations are and who this prince is.
This is an electrifying prophecy in your Bible that discusses super-powerful nations that are active in the latter years. If you know this is a prophecy for our time period, then it is not that difficult to discern who these nations are, who this world leader is, and who this messenger is.
Scholars generally agree that “Gog” is Russia, and that “the land of Magog” includes China. The descendants of Meshech and Tubal have been found together throughout history. In Assyrian and Greek histories, Meshech appears as Musku, Muski or Mushki—all names related to the Russian spelling of Moscow, as you can read in the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. 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.
There is also a name for all of the Russian people in Ezekiel 38:2. There is controversy over how the Hebrew word rosh should be translated in this verse. The King James Version uses the adjective “chief.” But the correct rendering (used by the Moffatt, New King James and others) uses the word not as an adjective, but as a proper noun: Rosh. Thus, that verse should read, “the prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal.”
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? 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 is the leader of Gog, the leader of Meshech, the leader of Tubal, the leader of Rosh! This is the prince of Russia.
This individual controls an enormous, monstrous swath of land in Asia, from east to west. The territory described in your Bible sounds very much like that of the former Soviet Union, the territory Russia dominates or wants to dominate right now.
Russia has already conquered or threatened states that were formerly part of the Soviet Union. In 2007, Putin ordered a devastating cyberattack against Estonia. In 2008, he sent the Red Army into Georgia and conquered it. In 2014, he sent masked gunmen with no insignia to seize the peninsula of Crimea and ordered it to be annexed to Russia. The same year, he deployed the same type of masked troops to mainland Ukraine to assist pro-Russian rebels in Donbass who want to separate from Ukraine. In spite of evidence that these Russian operatives may have been responsible for shooting down a commercial airplane in eastern Ukraine in 2014, Russia continues to field troops in the region.
Toward the end of last year he sent soldiers into Kazakhstan. And now he’s trying to conquer all of Ukraine.
The “latter years” prophecy about Gog, Magog and the prince of Rosh, including Meshech and Tubal, indicates that Russia may conquer more former Soviet satellites.
Under Putin, Russia is mobilized and aggressive. He is a powerful prince. In 2005, he called the demise of the Soviet empire “the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century.” To put it mildly, most people don’t agree with his statement. After all, the oppressive Soviet regime persecuted all kinds of people, imprisoned them, and murdered countless millions just because of their ideas and thoughts. Most people were glad to see the Soviet Union break up in 1991. But Vladimir Putin thinks very differently. He sees the Soviet Union as Russia’s greatest glory in this modern age.
Putin rules an immense territory, but he wants to extend it even further. If you think the world is too sophisticated or too nice for Russia to reconquer former Soviet states and try to create a new Russian empire, then you need to open your eyes—it has already happened!
The prophecy in Ezekiel 38 is being fulfilled today.
When you look at what Russia is doing, the burning question is, where is this leading? Well, the same Bible that forecast Vladimir Putin’s dominance also forecast the answer and revealed how it would affect the whole world!
The Largest Army in History
If the prophecy of Ezekiel seems amazingly up to date, look at Revelation 9:16: “And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them.” This verse uses an ancient description of soldiers, “horsemen,” and an entirely modern phenomenon: the fact that there are 200 million of them. In fact, the entire book of Revelation is specifically for the end time.
This prophecy is definitely for our modern era! This is an enormous army even by current standards. The U.S. military has only about 1.5 million personnel. Even in the 21st century, where could you find a 200 million-man army? You will find it in the near future in Russia, as well as in China. (Bible prophecy also includes Japan and perhaps India in a power bloc it calls “the kings of the east” in Revelation 16:12.)
This may sound astounding, but the book of Joel describes this same army and actually calls it God’s army! God is using this unrighteous power for His own purposes. And why? Because He says He is going to cause the heathen to come to know Him. God is orchestrating His plan on this planet, and not even the mighty, massive kings of the east can do anything but play right into His hand. All of this great turmoil and war around the world will lead to the heathen coming to know God.
The rise of Vladimir Putin, Russia’s invasions, a budding alliance between Russia, China and other Asian nations—these are all signs that Bible prophecies are true! Bible prophecy and an honest look at the world reveal that this is all building toward a nuclear World War iii!
When nuclear bombs begin detonating, when a 200 million-man army mobilizes, when World War iii explodes, it will seem like this will literally be the end of the world, the end of life on Earth. And it would be, except for something else the Bible prophesies. The Bible forecasts not only the geopolitical situation we are facing right now and the resulting violent eruption, but also what comes next: the precise events leading to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ!
The Bible has been 100 percent correct about its prophecies so far, and it prophesies that the rise of Asia, the rise of Europe and the clash of these two superpowers are leading to the Second Coming! In fact, these superpowers will be fighting each other in the Holy Land and then moving against Jesus Christ Himself right in Jerusalem! It will be the bloodiest battle ever on Earth—yet it will mark the end of man ruling over man and the injustice, tyranny, violence and death it produces.
If the Bible is exactly right about the prince of Rosh, you can be certain it is right about the return of Jesus Christ!
Notice Ezekiel 39: “[A]nd they shall know that I am the Lord. … Then shall they know that I am the Lord their God …. Neither will I hide my face any more from them …” (verses 6, 28-29). This is where these events are leading: All mankind will come to know the Eternal! Isn’t that wonderful?
God prophesies massive destruction in connection with the prince of Rosh and the 200 million-man army. But He also prophesies in the same books of Ezekiel and Revelation that He will resurrect the dead who have never had the chance to know Him. Then they will have the chance to know God!
That is the greatest news we could hear!