The 20 Biggest Stories of 2022

A look back at how the world has changed

The Trumpet evaluates world events by how they fulfill biblical prophecy, and in 2022, many events drove end-time prophecy forward. We have rifled back through the headlines and put our analysis caps on to determine the most important events of this past year from around the world. Here is a countdown of the 20 biggest stories from 2022.

20. The mainstreaming of terror-sponsoring Qatar: The fifa World Cup being hosted in Qatar this year put the world’s focus on the tiny Gulf state, with largely positive reviews. The tournament’s success capped off a year of great PR for a nation that sponsors the likes of Al Jazeera, Muslim Brotherhood and some of the worlds’ most radical Islamic terrorist groups. In February, the Biden administration of the United States upgraded Qatar to be a Major Non-nato ally, a designation that grants Qatar important political and military privileges. During the World Cup, we saw what that means: The United States announced a $1 billion sale of anti-drone defense equipment to Qatar. Outside of Iran, no other nation sponsors terrorism like Qatar—yet this U.S. administration is setting them up with arms. This was another sign of the shifting alliances in the Middle East, where America is helping terrorist states rather than traditional allies (learn more).

19. Dumb farm shutdowns in the Netherlands: This could win the award for 2022’s dumbest story: The Netherlands decided to save the planet by shutting down one third of its farming industry. After all, who needs farms? They pollute, they take up space, and what’s the point when you can just get all your food from the supermarket?

Dutch farmers and many others were angry and mounted significant protests. Of course, only a European Union directive could be behind something this dumb; in this case it was the European Habitats Directive from 1992. But what’s the real reason behind something so dumb? It makes little sense unless you see the spiritual reality of the attack on our nations. The environmental movement is turning into a major tool to bring down Britain, America, the Netherlands and the other nations referred to in biblical prophecy as modern-day Israel (learn more).

18. China’s “strategic partnership” with the Saudis: Chinese General Secretary Xi Jinping rarely leaves China these days, but in December, he spent three days in Saudi Arabia, where he inked a slate of trade deals worth more than $50 billion. One was a $10 billion agreement for Saudi leaders to create a Saudi Aramco oil refinery complex in China. The two sides are also working to switch China from dollar-denominated purchases of Saudi oil to yuan-denominated sales. Such a move by China—the world’s largest oil importer—and Saudi Arabia—the largest exporter—would strike a major blow against the U.S. dollar’s global power.

During the same visit, Xi met with leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council—Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. His message was that China aims to boost business and shore up its energy supplies, and in a way that breaks free of the dollar.

These mega deals highlight the fragility of America’s power in the Middle East, particularly with its longtime ally, Saudi Arabia. They also show that China’s influence over these energy-rich nations is quickly growing. This is setting the stage for China to lead a massive global trade alliance, which Bible prophecy says will block America and Britain out of international commerce (learn more).

17. Eastern Europe’s muscular response to Russia: Russia’s invasion of Ukraine had many ripple effects. Eastern Europe, next door to Russia, has responded dramatically. Poland is turning itself into a tank superpower, doubling its military budget and ordering well over 1,000 armored vehicles. The Baltic states joined Poland in closing their border to Russia. Sweden and Finland are reversing years of neutrality and are applying to join nato.

Others in Eastern Europe are using the war to build their power in a different way. Hungary’s Viktor Orbán has tried to play Europe and Russia against each other to increase his own freedom of action. He’s rapidly becoming more authoritarian, and he’s getting away with it because Europe is distracted by Putin.

One key prophecy for understanding world history is found in Daniel 2. It describes a series of world-ruling empires up until our day. The revived Holy Roman Empire is pictured by the two legs and feet of a great statue. It’s a prophecy that this empire would be made up of two halves, one in the east and one in the west. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is accelerating the formation of the eastern half of this empire (learn more).

16. Japan shattering postwar restraints: The Japanese government voted on December 2 to give the country’s military “counterstrike capabilities” that allow Japanese forces to strike enemy missile launch sites before missiles are fired at Japan. So Japan has actually authorized its military to strike first (learn more).

This clearly violates Japan’s pacifist Constitution, which the U.S. imposed after being forced into World War ii by one of the most infamous preemptive strikes in modern history: Japan’s bombing of U.S. forces in Pearl Harbor. That constitution forbids Japan from maintaining “land, sea and air forces, as well as other war potential.” But 75 years later, Japan has developed extremely capable land, sea and air forces, including fifth-generation F-35 stealth warplanes and small aircraft carriers capable of launching them (learn more).

Japan has also initiated a deal to buy hundreds of U.S.-built Tomahawk cruise missiles and to begin developing at least 10 new missile types at home, including hypersonic models. And it is launching 50 new satellites to support its new preemptive strike authorization.

All these plans follow an announcement by Prime Minister Kishida Fumio on November 28 for Japan to double defense spending to 2 percent of gross domestic product. This will make Japan the world’s third-highest military spender behind the U.S. and China, priming Asia and the world for conflict.

15. America’s unsustainable economic crisis: Could the United States survive another Great Depression? The Consumer Price Index rose 7.1 percent in fiscal year 2022, a level not seen in almost four decades. Forty percent of Americans lack enough money to cover an unexpected $1,000 expense, and runaway inflation is pushing people deeper into debt. The Federal Reserve responded by raising the Fed’s funds rate to between 4.25 and 4.5 percent. This will have big consequences for the U.S. government. Moody’s Analytics says the higher rates mean the government will soon be spending nearly $737 billion in gross interest payments on an annualized basis. Financial historian Niall Ferguson has warned that nations and empires usually fall apart when the cost of servicing their debts exceeds the cost of defending their borders. A prophecy in Deuteronomy 28 says debt will plague the nations of Israel in the end time (learn more).

14. Iranian regime vs. vast public protests: Since the Arab Spring of 2011, Middle Eastern autocrats have feared public protests leading to their demise. Yet one nation continues to buck the trend. No matter how huge the protests grow in Iran, the Islamic dictatorship will not be brought down, nor will it change.

Protests in Iran broke out after Mhsa Amini was allegedly beaten to death by Iran’s morality police on September 16. Since that time, around 15,000 people have been arrested and over 300 protesters have been killed. There will be more: On November 8, Iran’s lawmakers overwhelmingly voted to make it lawful to put protesters to death. This highlights how powerful clerical rule is in Iran, led still by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

For followers of the Trumpet, this is unsurprising. We have long warned that Iran is the biblical “king of the south,” an aggressive power that will soon push, or strike, at Europe. The fanatical religious regime led by the ayatollah fits the biblical description. Indeed, Iran is prepared to brutally put these kinds of protests down for as long as necessary. The Iranian people’s courage in the face of this iron first is astounding. But the fact that the Iranian regime remains, despite massive protests, should bolster your faith in biblical prophecy (learn more).

13. Victories for same-sex “marriage” and transgenderism: Marriage has been a pillar institution for all of human history. Yet governments and companies are redefining marriage by indoctrinating children and rewriting laws.

In a year with many steps advancing this immoral trend, one of the most widely reported came from a “pro-family” company. In April, Disney executives organized a meeting to mobilize the entire corporation in service of the “lgbtqia+ community.” The featured presenter said her team was implementing a “not-at-all-secret gay agenda” by regularly “adding queerness” to Disney programming. The corporate president pledged to make at least half of Disney on-screen characters sexual or racial minorities, and Disney eliminated all mentions of “ladies,” “gentlemen,” “boys” and “girls” at its theme parks. Many parents are now boycotting the company, but the radicalized company is not backing down (learn more).

December brought a colossal defeat for conservatives at the hands of Republicans, when Congress passed a bill to enshrine same-sex “marriage” into law. The act repeals the unenforced Defense of Marriage Act, which recognized marriage as a union of one man and one woman. It requires the federal government and all 50 states to recognize homosexual “marriages” lawfully performed in any state. So now the children whom Disney is trying to indoctrinate with queer values will grow up in a nation where homosexual “marriage” is protected by federal law (learn more).

Jude 7 is the strongest warning in the Bible against same-sex “marriage.” It warns that nations that live like Sodom and Gomorrah will suffer “the vengeance of eternal fire.”

12. Olaf Scholz’s underwhelming year: It has been the year of Olaf Scholz. Since the German chancellor took office on Dec. 8, 2021, Germany has had a good look at him. And it’s not been impressed.

Scholz had one big moment to shine, when he announced a German military transformation in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. But he followed that up with little action, and he has faced a flood of criticism that he’s not up to the job.

Meanwhile, Russia’s invasion has caused many economic woes. Germany now has more children and elderly living in poverty than ever in its history. You could level many criticisms at Angela Merkel, but at least she was there, making decisions and visibly leading Europe. In March, Der Spiegel published this headline: “Where’s Olaf? Germany’s Chancellor Opts for a Low Profile at a Moment of Crisis.” It wrote that “after four months in office, Scholz remains an invisible chancellor to many, a political hermit crab who only rarely emerges from his shell.”

The rise of a strong leader in Germany is a key prophecy to watch (learn more). The appetite for such a leader is already there—but if winter gets cold and economic conditions worsen, watch for Germans to grow truly desperate for leadership.

11. The Queen’s world-uniting funeral: Some 4 billion people tuned in to the biggest live-tv event in history on September 19: the funeral of Queen Elizabeth ii. Up to 2 million lined London’s streets to view the funeral procession. From Washington to Westphalia, flags flew at half-mast in her honor. Westminster Abbey hosted one of the largest gatherings of world leaders in history, with over 500 foreign heads of state, monarchs and dignitaries from 175 countries. The line to file past her coffin as she lay in state reached its maximum allotted length of 10 miles. Some people waited more than 24 hours in line just to have a minute to pay their last respects.

How could the Queen move people worldwide so deeply? Whether they realize it or not, the royal family traces back to King David. Elizabeth’s great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria knew the throne of Britain began with David, but few have any interest in this today. The admiration and respect for the British throne shown by many millions of people at the funeral give a glimpse at the power of a God-ordained throne. What power that throne has to change people’s lives when wielded by someone righteous. When you see 4 billion people all watching one throne, you see a prophecy of the way Jesus Christ will unite the world (learn more).

10. Fascist déjà-vu in Italy: Considering how incessantly the radical left talks about fascists, they were surprisingly mute about the return of actual, literal fascism in Italy. In October, Italy gained a new prime minister, Giorgia Meloni. She leads the Brothers of Italy, the direct successor party to Benito Mussolini’s fascists. Italy has been awash with pro-Mussolini celebrations and nostalgia for the old dictator.

Meloni copied Mussolini in bringing religion into her politics. With a different pope, maybe in the new year, she could lead Europe back to a religious revival, giving the church far more say in how the state is run. This is what Mussolini did, and it is what the Bible says is about to happen. Revelation 17 talks about an empire, led by a church, that rises and falls repeatedly. It talks about it going into the “abyss,” or underground. It disappears, and the world thinks it is gone—only for it to reemerge. The same spirit the world thought was dead after World War ii is returning (learn more).

9. Britain’s prime-minister-go-round: Has there been a more farcical period of British history? This summer, Prime Minister Boris Johnson was booted for holding boozy parties at Downing Street after he’d put the entire country under house arrest. The ruling Conservative Party spent 62 days choosing a new leader. But their choice, Liz Truss, lasted only 44 days, smashing the record for the UK’s shortest-running prime minister. On October 25, Rishi Sunak became Britain’s third prime minister in 2022.

There’s a real sense of chaos in the United Kingdom. Inflation is at a 40-year high, at over 10 percent. Rising interest rates risk making housing unaffordable for the 1 million on variable rate mortgages. Fuel prices are soaring: The average petrol price is $7.77 per gallon. And the government is borrowing untold billions to help families and businesses afford to keep the lights on and buildings warm this winter. Huge numbers of Albanian migrants are flooding in; the government is spending $2.9 billion a year to put them up in hotels, while police fear a crime wave fueled by Albanian drug gangs. To add insult to injury, a half dozen radical protesters are shutting down major highways, causing disruption to tens of thousands, and police are too timid to stop them.

Britain faces a future of rising taxes, escalating costs, rising crime and falling opportunities. This stunning leadership crisis fulfills Isaiah 3, where God says He will remove the capable leaders—military generals, skilled politicians, cunning artificers—and “give children to be their princes.” God is allowing this void to cause ever worsening problems. It is the only way He can get us to stop looking for some new human leader to solve our problems and instead to look to Him (learn more).

8. Russia’s war: A-OK with China and India: In early February, Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping met in Beijing and declared a “no limits” partnership. It was a major step in Russia-China ties. But just a few weeks later, Putin launched his war against Ukraine and failed to secure the speedy victory that everyone had expected. Xi started to act as if there were perhaps some limits to his support for Russia. Though Xi did help Putin’s war by spreading disinformation and refusing to condemn it in the United Nations, he refrained from giving Russia overt military support and even withheld sales of certain items Putin needed to keep his armed forces humming. Meanwhile, Xi and Putin held no known talks with each other for months.

Western analysts took note; some grew hopeful that Chinese and Russian interests were diverging. But then on June 15, Xi and Putin held a landmark call—their first in nearly four months. Xi told Putin that despite the “global turbulence,” China’s support for Russia on “sovereignty and security” remained steadfast.

By the end of July, as most nations were working to reduce their purchases of Russia’s energy, China had doubled its purchase share of Russian crude over the previous year. In August, China said forces from its military would travel to Russia for large-scale war games under Russian leadership. Clearly, if Xi had any misgivings earlier, he worked through them. He now affirms China’s commitment to that “no limits” partnership with Russia (learn more).

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi took a similar path. During one visit midyear, he told Putin that “today’s era isn’t the era for war.” But then he went right on trading with Russia, at growing levels, throwing Russia a major economic lifeline. India also refused to condemn the war in the UN, and it sent troops to that same set of Russian-led war games.

These allegiances stunned much of the world. But the Trumpet expects such solidarity. In our May-June issue, Gerald Flurry wrote: “The Trumpet has been expecting China and India to ally with Russia. We and the Plain Truth before us have been anticipating it for more than 60 years.” The reason is because specific Bible prophecies say Russia, China and India will ally in the end-time. Since it is now happening, Mr. Flurry called the support by China and India for Russia’s war a “stunning fulfillment of a biblical prophecy!” (learn more).

7. Germany’s military turnaround: On February 24, the very day Russia invaded Ukraine, Gerald Flurry wrote, “The most important nation to watch right now is Germany. How will it respond to Putin’s war on Ukraine? This Ukraine war is going to speed up the rise of the prophesied German-led Holy Roman Empire!” Just three days later, Olaf Scholz came out and announced the return of a strong, militaristic Germany and received a standing ovation. “February 27 was a momentous day in world history,” Mr. Flurry wrote. Scholz announced that Germany was “living through a watershed era.” He said Germany would create a new €100 billion fund for the German military and a near doubling of military spending.

He has not lived up to Germans’ expectations after that dramatic speech, but the money is coming in, and the German military is starting to turn around. One big-ticket item Germany’s bought is a fleet of F-35 stealth, fighter-bombers, capable of carrying the nuclear bombs Germany has on loan from America.

Herbert W. Armstrong long warned that fear of Russia would prompt Europe to unite as a new military power led by Germany. We saw a dramatic step toward the fulfillment of that biblical prophecy this year (learn more here, here and here).

6. Netanyahu’s miraculous return: It’s not every day that a politician in a Western democracy returns from major political defeat to regain power. When it happens twice, it could be called a political miracle. Yet that is what former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did in Israel’s November 2 election. Though he will likely resume the prime-ministership next month, he has already regained Knesset supremacy with his coalition of right-wing, traditional and religious parties; with an outright majority, he can enact major reforms. This will include curtailing the power of Israel’s rogue Supreme Court, which frequently overrides legislation based on its own radical whims. Famed U.S. Judge Robert Bork called it the most activist court on the planet.

The antidemocratic mainstream Israeli press would have you believe democracy is now dead in Israel. And as Netanyahu moves to reform the courts, Israel’s leftist political elites will likely urge people not to comply with governmental orders.

Netanyahu will also seek to restore a relationship with America based on Israel’s interests, rather than kowtowing to a hostile Biden administration. With Bibi back at the helm, this relationship will likely get rocky. This could intensify if or when Israel acts against Palestinian terrorism and Iran’s nuclear program without first clearing the action with the U.S.

Despite the noise from the radical left, most Israelis are happy to see Bibi back at Balfour Street in Jerusalem. They expect a period of stabilization in Israel. We, too, expect Israel to experience a resurgence of sorts. And soon, we expect the relationship between Israel and the U.S. to take a turn for the better once Donald Trump also returns to office (learn more).

5. America’s midterms—the “red ripple” and “dump Trump”: Before Election Day, the narrative for Democrats was dire. Historically, the opposition party wins big during midterms, especially when the economy is bad, as it is now. So analysts were all predicting a “red wave.” Yet after a gust of campaigning by Barack Obama before the election and several days of slow-count voter fraud afterward, the wave turned out to be a ripple. On November 8, Republicans didn’t make major gains in state governorships, failed to gain the Senate, and only won the House by a razor-thin margin.

Rather than focusing on election integrity problems, Republicans chose to “dump Trump.” The biggest takeaway from the midterms is probably that the real battle was not Democrats versus Republicans, but rather “Republicans in name only” versus Donald Trump. Media mogul Rupert Murdoch (who owns the New York Post, Wall Street Journal and Fox News) is doubling down on the narrative that Republican losses are Trump’s fault and that the party needs a new leader. The Post reported that “Trumpty Dumpty” couldn’t build a wall, so he had a great fall. The Journal headlined, “Trump Is the Republican Party’s Biggest Loser.” Fox still conspicuously refuses to cover stories about voter fraud. It seems the rino strategy was never to win the election but rather to deliberately lose in order to destroy Trump. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s high-spending super-pac spent big money supporting anti-Trump Republicans like liberal Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski, but next to nothing supporting pro-Trump Republicans like Arizona Senate candidate Blake Masters. It is as if establishment Republicans wanted their party to lose Arizona to spite pro-Trump Republicans.

It is crystal-clear where everyone stands. The battle lines are drawn. The stage is set for one of the most dramatic fulfillments of biblical prophecy we have yet seen in our lifetimes.

2 Kings 14:26-28 prophesy that end-time Israel (America and Britain primarily) will be bitterly afflicted with no helper. Therefore, God has to raise up an end-time corollary to King Jeroboam ii to save them. For more than six years, Gerald Flurry has taught that this end-time Jeroboam is Donald Trump. The midterms show how bitter America’s affliction is and how little help Trump has. Though Barack Obama’s administrative state has attacked him from the beginning, now even Trump’s own party is turning against him. Despite almost all evidence to the contrary, Donald Trump isn’t finished. The stage is set for stunning intervention by God (learn more).

4. Iran’s advancing nuclear program: This may be the most underreported story of this list. It has appeared on our top stories lists in previous years, yet it must feature again this year because of the dire consequences of ignoring the issue.

In 2022, Iran’s nuclear program surged forward. Formerly the goal of Western powers was to prevent Iran from gaining enough highly enriched uranium to produce a nuclear weapon. But in 2022, Iran did exactly that: It became a threshold nuclear state. Nuclear watchdogs say Iran has enriched uranium to 60 percent purity, just a short technical step from weapons-grade uranium. Its current stockpile could produce enough weapons-grade uranium for five nuclear weapons in mere months.

Critically, some of this enrichment is now being conducted at the massive underground fortress site of Fordow. In November, Iran announced it was indeed using its underground site—likely impossible to destroy by airstrikes—to spin its highly sophisticated centrifuges to produce more highly enriched uranium.

Many commentators have now moved the goalposts on Iran: Now the goal is to stop it from getting the delivery system. However, Iran claims it already has an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of delivering it. It wouldn’t be surprising if one day soon we wake up to the news that Iran has successfully tested a nuclear weapon. 2022 will likely prove to be the year that international inaction allowed it.

This world has never seen nuclear weapons in the hands of a fanatical religious zealot. But we are close to seeing it happen (learn more).

3: James Webb Space Telescope takes flight: One of the most inspiring events of 2022 actually started just a few days before the new calendar rang in—December 25 of last year—when the James Webb Space Telescope launched. This $10 billion device, the most elaborate scientific instrument in history, traveled for 30 days to a point in space a million miles from Earth, during which time it unfolded its solar panel, antenna, tennis-court-size sunshield, secondary mirror and enormous 21-foot beryllium primary mirror. Dozens of complex operations—any one of which, had it failed, would have doomed the project—executed flawlessly.

The first image from James Webb was released on July 11. It was composed of different infrared wavelengths captured over 12.5 hours and showed a spectacular deep field image of a galaxy cluster 4.6 billion light-years from Earth. This spectacular cluster acts as a gravitational lens, magnifying galaxies that are far more distant behind it. So after further analyzing it, nasa scientists released four more images of galaxies as they appeared up to 13 billion years in the past.

Almost immediately, these images shattered scientists’ predictions about what they would see based on their theories of the origin of the universe. They’re seeing fully formed galaxies far earlier than they expected—more uniform and composed of more complex elements. Just a couple weeks ago they collected light from four of the oldest-known galaxies to date—when the universe is thought to be only 330 million years old. What they are learning is challenging their notions of galaxies slowly evolving over a billion years or more.

There are plenty of scientists who are working diligently to explain every image and data set that Webb sends as proof that there is no Creator. But as this telescope provides an ever clearer picture, many scientists are facing reality and acknowledging what we are actually seeing: more and more evidence that the universe has design and intent.

This instrument is showing us ever more dazzling proof of the great God who made the universe and who made us. There is absolutely no other way that all of this could have come together. Scientific knowledge is increasingly aligning with the descriptions of creation contained in the Bible (learn more).

2. TwitterGate exposes the “deep state”: The radical left in America has amassed extraordinary power. They control elementary education, higher education, journalism, technology, sports, entertainment and the executive branch of the federal government. They have used their power to transform American society, largely by hiding the sources of their power and their intentions for using it. They have buried the truth deep under layers of bias, editing, censoring, secrecy, classification, denials, misrepresentation and lies. These lies are being exposed.

When Elon Musk bought Twitter this year, conservative commentator Jack Posobiec said, “Elon Musk didn’t just buy a company … he purchased a crime scene.” In December, Musk published the first pieces of criminal evidence. Twitter Files 1.0 exposed Twitter’s censorship of news on Hunter Biden’s laptop. Twitter Files 2.0 revealed Twitter’s blacklisting of conservatives. Twitter Files 3.0 showed Twitter’s collusion with the fbi. Twitter Files 4.0 exposed Twitter’s collusion with Michelle Obama. Twitter Files 5.0 revealed the decision-making behind banning the sitting president of the United States, Donald Trump, from the platform. Twitter Files 6.0 published more than 150 e-mails between the head of Twitter’s Trust and Safety department and the fbi. Twitter Files 7.0 revealed how the intelligence community “discredited factual information about Hunter Biden’s foreign business dealings.” Twitter Files 8.0 outlined how the Pentagon colluded with Twitter to run psychological operations in foreign nations. Twitter Files 9.0 proved that the fbi was just the “doorman to a vast program of social media surveillance and censorship, encompassing agencies across the federal government.” Twitter Files 10.0 showed that “deep state” agents suppressed “misinformation” about the covid-19 pandemic.

Astonishingly, none of the files reveal anything that happened before Jan. 20, 2017. Jack Dorsey, Noah Glass, Biz Stone and Evan Williams founded Twitter in 2006 as a private company. Eleven years later, it was being controlled by a web of government agencies. This transformation took place during Obama’s eight years in office, yet none of the “Twitter Files” address this time period. Why? Lee Fang said the files he released in Twitter Files 8.0 were obtained for him by a Twitter attorney, who could have filtered out information before he saw it. So it looks like someone at Twitter wants us to think collusion between Big Tech and the “deep state” started after Barack Obama left office.

Hopefully, Elon Musk will find and fire whoever is filtering out “Twitter Files” from the Obama years. Until then, Gerald Flurry’s book America Under Attack explains the unseen spiritual dimension the corruption being exposed by the “Twitter Files” (learn more).

1. Russia wages full-scale war on Ukraine: On February 24, the world changed. In the bitter winter chill of that morning 10 months ago, Russian artillery and air strikes began pummeling Ukrainian cities. And Russian soldiers—more than 100,000 of them—began pouring across the border into Ukraine.

This conflict had actually already been underway since 2014. That’s when Russia first invaded Ukraine and took Crimea and occupied much of the nation’s east. So for eight years there was simmering conflict that claimed about 12,000 lives. During those years, most Ukrainians were pulling away from Russia because they saw that Russia and its model of governance had mired their country in corruption and poverty. Most Ukrainians recognized that the Western model functioned better for more people. Greater numbers were seeking to join the European Union and nato, which would make Ukraine a treaty ally to America and dozens of other democracies. They thought that, as an independent nation, they had the sovereign right to try to join these or any other organizations they wished.

For Vladimir Putin, the thought of Ukraine in nato and the EU was anathema. Ukraine is the lynchpin in his plans for Russian resurgence, and the notion of nato forces being deployed there—close to key Russian cities—was unthinkable. By the end of 2021, he had reached a breaking point. He started amassing Russian forces near Ukraine’s borders, and he issued a list of demands for America and nato: that Ukraine must never join nato, that nato drills must never take place in certain areas without Russian approval, that no new nato forces can be deployed in Eastern Europe. It was a stunning list that would have neutered nato. The U.S. and other nato nations rejected these demands. A few weeks later, Putin attacked.

The war hasn’t gone as well for Russia as was expected. Ukraine is fighting with remarkable tenacity and is receiving huge amounts of aid and training from the U.S., the UK, and other Western nations. But Russia is far from defeated and still has other cards to play, including weapons of mass destruction—chemical and even nuclear, greater assistance from China, and, most likely, Putin declaring full-scale war. Until now, he has operated mainly within the legal framework of a “limited military operation.” A declaration of war would authorize a national draft and mass mobilization of potentially millions of additional soldiers. And it would place Russia’s economy on a wartime footing, channeling more Russian industry toward the effort.

We can’t say for sure how it will turn out. But Gerald Flurry wrote an article in February, when the war broke out, reminding readers, “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.”

That article explains that these warnings are underpinned by Bible prophecy. Ezekiel 38 is about an individual “called the prince of Rosh,” which Mr. Flurry says refers to Putin. Russia’s war on Ukraine is a profoundly dramatic event. It’s a history-altering conflict that is changing the world in multiple ways. And we should expect it to keep changing the world and for Putin to emerge victorious (learn more).