The Prophesied ‘Prince of Russia’

 

Russia is the most dangerous and aggressive nuclear superpower in the world today. Surely that means Russia must be discussed in Bible prophecy. If you know its ancient biblical name, you can find prophecies about this nation in the Old and New Testaments.

In Ezekiel chapter 38, verse 8 refers to “the latter years”the time we are living in now. This chapter contains some world-staggering news 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” (Ezekiel 38:1-2).

The “son of man,” God’s human messenger, is to identify this prince. Unless he knows who the prince is, God’s messenger cannot deliver the message against him.

There are two specific individuals here. God gives the title of the prince so we can identify him. Even so, God still has to reveal who he is in the latter days. You can also identify this “son of man” who delivers God’s message about the prince. God has to reveal his identity and a lot more. The son of man also knows the modern names of Gog and Magog in these latter days—or he could not identify them.

God’s watchman warns the nations of Israel in particular about the danger of Russia and China, and how events in these nations are all going to end. God specifically warns three nations of Israel—America, the British peoples and the Jewish state in the Middle East. (Our free book The United States and Britain in Prophecy explains in detail from the Bible and from history who the modern-day nations of Israel are. All of our literature is free.)

Verses 1-2 begin to be fulfilled before the Great Tribulation, the Day of the Lord and Jesus Christ’s Second Coming.

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 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. We strongly believe he is.

Ezekiel’s command from God is to “prophesy against him”—a single individual. These verses are being fulfilled this very moment! There has to be a type of Ezekiel here today to deliver that message.

‘God’s Army’

Around a.d. 90, the Apostle John recorded an amazing prophecy: “And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them” (Revelation 9:16). That means an army of 200 million men! That is more people than were alive in the world when that prophecy was recorded. This is an end-time prophecy that we are certain to see fulfilled very soon.

The Bible gives some important details about this largest army ever assembled on Earth. It tells us which nations will contribute soldiers to it. It shows it will include the combined forces from several Asian nations. It refers to this Asian confederacy as “the kings of the east” (Revelation 16:12).

I believe Ezekiel 38:2 actually revolves around the prince leading the 200 million-man army, which includes China and other nations. But the two key nations are Russia and China.

God shows us in the Bible that this prince holds a very significant worldwide role. He is a famous and greatly feared world leader.

Only Russia has the oil to supply such a massive army.

Details about this army are revealed in passages such as Revelation 9:13-21, Revelation 16, Daniel 11, Jeremiah 50 and Joel 2. In Joel 2:11, this 200 million-man Asian force is actually called God’s army. That means God is orchestrating His plan in the midst of all this warfare.

God is going to use this colossal Asian force to confront the military of a united German-led Europe, which will also be on the scene at this time. It will obliterate Europe, but not the main European armies. Both these armies will meet to fight at Armageddon, but Christ will draw them to Jerusalem. They will be defeated when they fight against Jesus Christ. This is God’s punishment on the Europeans for their sins—especially for their brutal treatment of His people Israel (e.g. Revelation 18:5-6; Jeremiah 50:29-31).

Current events show this Asian army is taking shape already. You can see it in Putin’s growing authoritarianism, and also in his outreach to other Asian powers. Russia has supplied China with many military armaments over the last decade or so; it also helped the Chinese go nuclear. For many years the Russians have been allied with China, at least to some degree.

But there will also be other powers involved. Ezekiel’s prophecy says the Russian-led army will include “Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya … Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people …” (Ezekiel 38:5-6). Gomer refers to Japan, which wields some of the world’s most advanced weaponry and technology. Ethiopia and Libya should be translated “Cush” and “Phut.” Some of Cush and Phut migrated to African nations, but the rest settled in parts of India. The context of this passage shows that it refers to modern-day Indians (and perhaps Pakistanis) rather than Africans.

This is significant because India has a population of 1.2 billion people—plus an advanced nuclear arsenal! When you put India and Japan together with Russia and China, it is easy to see how an army of 200 million soldiers could be formed. With other Asian nations joining in, you quickly reach combined populations of 3.5 to 4 billion people! Under extreme circumstances like those described in these end-time prophecies, it is not hard to imagine 1 in 10 or 20 people going to war.

The Armageddon Armies

This immense war between European and Asian forces will end in the return of Jesus Christ! But here is something shocking: Even after most of Earth’s population has been personally afflicted by nuclear war and complete destruction, the survivors will still be unwilling to turn to God! Revelation 11:15-18 show that, as Christ descends to Earth, the nations will be wrathful toward Him. What is left of the European and Asian armies will insanely join forces to fight against Christ after He returns.

Revelation 17:12-14 and Daniel 8:25 prophesy that Christ will demolish these powers. The conclusion of that battle will mark the beginning of a peaceful and prosperous new age for the entire Earth!

God’s people must warn the world because of this terrifying future. God commands, “Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the Lord cometh, for it is nigh at hand” (Joel 2:1). This is a message for “every inhabitant on Earth,” the Anchor Bible says. The alarm and the warning must go out! There is no time to lose.

Verse 2 shows that this prophecy is about Gog and his allies, and the worst catastrophe in mankind’s history: “A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains: a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations.”

Verse 3 says a “fire devoureth before them.” What kind of fire? Look at the context: “[A]nd behind them a flame burneth: the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape them.” Not even a blade of grass is going to escape them. This is clearly talking about a nuclear attack!

A Garden of Eden lies before them, but after they have passed over it, only a barren wasteland remains. Can you imagine such a thing happening on this Earth? Well, if you look around and see the choices our nations are making, you would expect that to happen. Just look at how rapidly we are proliferating nuclear weapons! The Gentile nations of Russia, China, North Korea, India and Pakistan all have nuclear bombs. Iran will have those bombs, probably in months. (Request our companion booklet, Russia and China in Prophecy.)

Do we really grasp what a nuclear nightmare we face? Only God can save us from man erasing all human life from this planet!

Verse 6 says that “all faces shall gather blackness.” This is a bleak and sorrowful time. “The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble: the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining” (verse 10). This describes a nuclear winter. People won’t even see the stars because of the nuclear fallout.

Do you realize how astounding it is that modern conditions make the fulfillment of these key prophecies possible? God prophesied these events through His prophet Ezekiel about 2,500 years ago. At that time, no one could even conceive of such widespread and rapid destruction. But now nuclear bombs and chemical weapons are easily capable of destroying all life on this planet. God knew these technological advancements would come about, and He told Ezekiel about it and gave him that understanding.

Envy Spawns an Uprising

If you study Ezekiel 38 and 39, you will see that much of this prophecy takes place after Christ’s Second Coming. These chapters make plain that the end-time “kings of the east” will also play a key role in a second end-time war! The first occurs right at the return of Jesus Christ. The second is waged a few years after it.

Ezekiel 38 makes plain that after Jesus Christ defeats the European and Asian armies in the battle at Jerusalem, He will allow the surviving Asian forces to return to their homelands. Ezekiel 38:4 states, “I [God] will turn thee back” in the first Jerusalem battle. (But in the second battle of Jerusalem, He destroys all of their armies, as we will see.) Then Christ, King of kings and Lord of lords, will gather His scattered people, the end-time descendants of Israel, around Jerusalem. He will start His global restoration by cleansing and cultivating the surrounding area.

As the years go by, the Asian powers begin to covet the wealth they see in Jerusalem. They see a prosperous but unarmed area—and, in another burst of rebellion, decide they want to take it. So they muster their forces for one final attempt to overthrow Christ’s rule in the Holy City. God allows them to come into the Holy Land. But their plan is doomed!

After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them” (verse 8). “After many days” (a very few years), Gog and his allies launch another attack on Jerusalem. This occurs after Israel has been “brought back from the sword” and is ruled by Christ from Jerusalem.

This second attack by a Gog-led army might involve a somewhat smaller number of soldiers than the earlier 200 million-man army. However, the populations of these Asian nations are so large that, even after their defeat in the first battle at Jerusalem, it may not take very long for them to replenish their numbers and to be back around 200 million.

Why will God allow this rebellion to happen? It is for a very clear reason!

The prophecy continues with God telling Ezekiel to “prophesy and say unto Gog … thou shalt come from thy place out of the north parts, thou, and many people with thee, all of them riding upon horses, a great company, and a mighty army” (verses 14-15). Then verse 16 gets to the purpose why God allows this attack: “[A]nd I will bring thee against my land, that the heathen may know me ….

How is God going to use this situation to ensure that the rebellious peoples of the world finally know Him? By speaking the only language they understand: the language of force. The nations are going to know because of the total victory God will have over Asia’s burst of rebellion.

The nations of Israel also had to learn the hard way: “And the heathen shall know that the house of Israel went into captivity for their iniquity …” (Ezekiel 39:23; see also verses 27-28). Israel also had to get to know God by being conquered in a nuclear war!

Why is God so full of wrath against Israel—America and the British peoples?

“And he said to me, ‘Son of man, eat what is offered to you; eat this scroll, and go, speak to the house of Israel.’ So I opened my mouth, and he gave me the scroll to eat. And he said to me, ‘Son of man, eat this scroll that I give you and fill your stomach with it.’ Then I ate it; and it was in my mouth as sweet as honey. And he said to me, ‘Son of man, go, get you to the house of Israel, and speak with my words to them. For you are not sent to a people of foreign speech and a hard language, but to the house of Israel—not to many peoples of foreign speech and a hard language, whose words you cannot understand. Surely, if I sent you to such, they would listen to you’” (Ezekiel 3:1-6; Revised Standard Version).

What is God saying to Israel—America and the British peoples specifically? God has sent a powerful message to Israel for over 80 years in the latter days. Then God states that “if I sent you to such”—speaking of mostly the Gentile nations, who speak different languages—they would surely have listened to the message!

How God condemns America and the British peoples for this in-depth, far-reaching rebellion!

This is in the context of a “scroll,” which is the same “little book” of Revelation 10. (My booklet The Little Book gives proof that this is Malachi’s Message, another book you can request free.) That means these verses are specifically for the last era of God’s Church—the Laodicean era.

God calls this messenger a “prophet” (Ezekiel 2:5) and a “watchman” (Ezekiel 3:17). So God is talking to His watchman and prophet—one man—in the last era of His Church. Let me repeat what God says: “Surely, if I sent you to such, they would listen to you.”

God is discussing a specific messenger from a specific Church era—the Laodicean era. This prophet’s message alone would surely have been listened to by the Gentiles!

“But the house of Israel will not listen to you; for they are not willing to listen to me; because all the house of Israel are of a hard forehead and of a stubborn heart. Behold, I have made your face hard against their faces, and your forehead hard against their foreheads. Like adamant harder than flint have I made your forehead; fear them not, nor be dismayed at their looks, for they are a rebellious house” (Ezekiel 3:7-9; rsv).

Why does God allow the nations of Israel to be bullied by Vladimir Putin today? Because of our sins (Leviticus 26:18-19). We have a hateful and hostile attitude toward God that keeps our people from heeding His message.

The people of Israel—unlike the Gentiles—have a history with God. And still they have such “a hard forehead” and “a stubborn heart” worse than the Gentile populations. That means God cannot reach them with words. It will take nuclear bombs to get them to listen!

No wonder God is so wrathful toward His chosen people! Israel was chosen to be a righteous example to this world. Instead, it is an unparalleled “rebellious house”—especially in this end time. It has been more rebellious than the world around it!

Of course, this prophet includes in his message what was proclaimed in the previous Church era—the Philadelphia era, led by Herbert W. Armstrong.

God says, “If I had sent youa man. Who is this man? We must know if we are to understand this prophecy.

Are you reading the message of this man now? You can easily find ample proof in the new revelation God has given to me, from your own Bible.

Who Will Be Buried?

During the Cold War era, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev famously said to America, “We will bury you!” But Bible prophecy shows that it will actually be the great army of Russia, China and other nations that will be buried! And that army will be buried in a special place and at a time they would never have imagined.

In Ezekiel 39:11, God says, “And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will give unto Gog a place there of graves in Israel ….”

This is the second attack on Jerusalem, a few years after Christ has established His rule. (It is conceivable that Vladimir Putin could still be leading this army at that time.)

Here is where God buries this massive army! Only one sixth of the huge force will survive to return home this time (verse 2). The rest will be buried just east of the Dead Sea (verse 11). It will give new meaning to the name Dead Sea! And the number of fallen is so huge that it will take seven months to bury all the bodies and to clean up the area! (verse 12). What an incredible spectacle!

It will be a monumental warning to the entire world, at the beginning of the 1,000-year rule of Jesus Christ! It is a lesson that God will never let the people forget. The world will be humbled mightily by this event. It will help them to be born into God’s eternal Family.

God lets this bloody attack happen because it is the only way He can get the heathen to know Him! You can see in these verses that is what He says: They get to know me.

Zechariah 14:16-17 show that during the Millennium, God is going to teach the whole world. He will cause all nations to come up to Jerusalem and keep the Feast of Tabernacles each year. This festival will be observed all over the world by these Gentile nations as well as Israel, and what an amazing time that will be! You need to understand that Feast of Tabernacles through our booklet Pagan Holidays—or God’s Holy Days—Which? (also free upon request). It will show you God’s master plan for man and will inspire and move you as perhaps nothing else could.

God’s Message

Joel 2:12 further explains the purpose of these epic events: “Therefore also now, saith the Lord, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning.” That is God’s message to the people of the world. He wants us to turn to Him. All of this is about getting the men and women of the Earth to turn to God. God is a God of love. If you turn to Him, He will pour out all kinds of blessings on you!

“[H]e is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil” (verse 13). This merciful, kind, gracious God wants us to turn to Him and away from the emptiness and suffering we are bringing on ourselves! Right now, He lets us go our own way because that is what we have chosen. All right, God says, Go ahead, and I’ll let you see that you cannot rule yourself.

“Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly” (verse 15). This says to sound the alarm and tell the people what God prophesies! How often do you hear a message such as this from any other religious body? I don’t hear it any place on Earth!

God says in Ezekiel 38 to prophesy against Russia and its prince in the latter days because this is going to be cataclysmic! The Asian power that is already rapidly solidifying will be unlike anything this Earth has ever experienced.

We need to watch Vladimir Putin closely. We also need to know a great deal more about him and what this mighty prince is doing today.

Restoring the Russian Empire

Back in 2005, the Russian president called the demise of the Soviet empirethe greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century.” Given the dozens of millions of Soviet citizens who were imprisoned, persecuted and murdered under that authoritarian system, most of us would say the opposite! Putin not only mourns the ussr’s collapse—he is bent on rebuilding it and restoring the glory of imperial Russia!

Putin made these goals clear in August 2008 when Russia used military force to invade the former Soviet nation of Georgia. I wrote the following in our October 2008 Trumpet issue: “Russia’s attack on Georgia in August marks the beginning of a dangerous new era in history. This was the first military strike of a rising Asian superpower—and there will be more! … Will the Georgia strike actually spark European unification? 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.”

I was certainly right in my predication that Russia would also get control of Ukraine! I knew because Putin has a long pattern of diabolical evil on the level of Joseph Stalin. An abundance of fruits prove that. The Bible states: “by their fruits ye shall know them” (Matthew 7:20).

That is a lesson most of our politicians never learn. They continue to believe Mr. Putin’s lying way of life!

Putin has pushed America out of the Middle East. Russia is now the only global power really impacting that region. And now China is pushing America out of Asia. These developments ought to intensely alarm the American superpower.

If you look at Russia’s recent history, you can predict much of its near future. But most people are guided by wishful thinking—not reality.

If you add Bible prophecy to a good understanding of history, you can foresee the future with striking clarity.

For several years, Ukraine had been working to join the European Union. In 2009, it joined Europe’s Eastern Partnership program and sought to use it as a stepping-stone into the EU. Ukrainian President Victor Yanukovych planned to sign the Eastern Partnership association agreements on November 29, 2013, marking deeper integration with the EU. But on November 21, Yanukovych abruptly announced that he would not sign the agreements.

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 President 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.

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. 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 the secret meeting in early November 2013, 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.”

This is no trivial matter,” columnist Charles Krauthammer wrote. “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” (Dec. 5, 2013; emphasis mine throughout).

After Yanukovych’s announcement, about half a million Ukrainians took to the streets of Kiev for mass demonstrations. These people felt betrayed and oppressed. They feared Russia’s lengthening authoritarian shadow. They did not want to go back to mother Russia, nor did they want to be part of Vladimir Putin’s empire. For weeks, they protested and demanded Yanukovych’s resignation; they even became violent. The protests succeeded—Yanukovych was ousted in February 2014.

Putin has long known that if Ukraine allied 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 manone manis 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 more deeply what this means.)

This is the prince of Russia in action.

Some leading analysts and journalists called Putin’s move on Ukraine a monumental crisis. The American media didn’t say much about it, but it is nevertheless something that changed the course of world history. It took this world a giant step closer to World War iii!

If we had understood his ambition and the resulting fruits, we should have known that he was going to rule over Ukraine—this “linchpin … of a renewed imperial Russia.” This was crucial to Putin’s plan for Russia. This had to happen for him to correct what he viewed as “the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century.”

In the 1990s, Germany led Europe, the U.S. and the UN to rip the Balkans away from the former Soviet Union. It is highly probable that, at some point, Germany made a deal with Russia not to intervene in Putin’s conquest of Ukraine.

The Germans made a pact with Russia before it started World War ii. This treacherous history is going to repeat itself in the near future.

It is the way they do business!

Germany virtually stood up to the whole world to get control of the Balkans. (Request our booklet Germany’s Conquest of the Balkans.) Yet Germany did nothing to help Ukraine, which was about to become a member of the European Union! Does that make any sense?

There are many indications that this is all leading to another pact between Germany and Russia. What are Germany and Russia doing secretly behind the scenes?

Humiliating America

Some U.S. leaders have called Germany our best friend in Europe. Bible prophecy reveals that Germany is going to double-cross America, Britain and the Jewish nation, as it has never double-crossed any nation before! (That is all explained in our Ezekiel book.)

The Bible prophesies that our “lovers” are going to commit the ultimate betrayal. This is how naive and self-deceived the American superpower and its allies are in their foreign policy.

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!

But some Europeans recognize that Putin’s power maneuver on Ukraine was no isolated incident. Putin is doing everything he can to prevent Georgia, Ukraine and all other former Soviet countries from developing closer ties with Europe.

In 2014, Mr. Putin pushed the U.S. out of his backyard by pressuring Kyrgyzstan to kick America out of Manas Air Base. This was America’s only military base left in Central Asia. It was the main supply base for U.S. operations in Afghanistan. Putin offered Kyrgyzstan a big arms deal if it would not renew America’s lease in Manas, which ended in July 2014, and he got his wish. He also convinced the Obama administration to back down over a missile defense shield America had planned to build in Europe.

Russia’s deep involvement in the Middle East has allowed the brutal Syrian regime to retain power. It has also been instrumental in helping Iran to continue pursuing nuclear weapons.

Domestically, Putin has transformed the Russian media into his propaganda machine. He has severely curbed democracy and emasculated Russia’s parliament.

Putin and his Kremlin cronies have used their political might to seize some of Russia’s most lucrative companies, like oil firm Yukos. Back in 2003, Jane’s Information Group wrote about these government seizures: “[I]t is becoming clear that Russia is undergoing a profound political convulsion. This amounts to nothing less than the birth of the Second Russian Republic. … The new republic will continue to be a mixture of market and state-controlled economic forces. But it will be a country in which President Vladimir Putin controls both the political and economic levers of power. The Russian president has staged his own coup.” This trend only intensified in the years after this report was written.

Here is what we wrote February 20, 2014, on theTrumpet.com: “Vladimir Putin [was] the mastermind behind Russia’s war … on Chechnya, which [had] a death toll [in excess of 160,000]. Vladimir Putin is widely known to be responsible for the 2004 poisoning of Ukraine’s opposition leader Viktor Yushchenko …. Vladimir Putin, together with China, is responsible for vetoing multiple UN sanctions designed to impair some of the world’s most horrible regimes. …

“Putin’s conduct inside Russia is … alarming and repulsive. Since he became president, [it is suspected that more than 130] journalists have been murdered. He’s destroyed private business and enterprise, crushed independent media outlets, brought Russia’s energy infrastructure under almost total government control, and walked all over Russia’s constitution. [In December 2013], Putin dissolved Russia’s primary news agency, replacing it with Rossiya Segodnya, which is basically a PR tool to promote Russia’s image abroad. In January [2014], the last largely independent television news organization, tv Rain, was threatened after it published an online survey which asked a question that displeased the Kremlin.”

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 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!

Under Putin’s reign, nuclear-armed Russia is also transforming its military machine into a modern, technologically advanced, 21st-century force. (America’s military has become dangerously depleted and much of it is obsolete.)

By all of these heavy-handed tactics, President Putin has not only brought Russia back into play as a world power, he has also secured his position at the nation’s helm.

This world has a lot of authoritarian rulers. But Vladimir Putin is one we need to keep a particularly close eye on. His track record, his nationality and his ideology show that he is fulfilling a linchpin Bible prophecy. The time frame of his rule also shows that nobody else could be fulfilling the Ezekiel 38 and 39 prophecy.

KGB Mindset

On January 23, 2016, the Washington Post published an article by Peter Holley titled “The Death of a Former KGB Operative Is a Reminder of Vladimir Putin’s Past Life as a Spy.” It read: “As a street-fighting kid growing up in a crowded apartment complex in the Soviet Union, Vladimir Putin dreamed of something bigger.

“By the time he was a teenager, that something, he’d concluded, was becoming a spy.

“‘Even before I finished high school, I wanted to work in intelligence,’ Putin said, according to a biography posted on the Kremlin website. ‘Granted, soon after, I decided I wanted to be a sailor, but then I wanted to do intelligence again.’

“The biography notes that an ambitious young Putin even attended a public reception at the office of the kgb Directorate to ask how he could become an intelligence officer. He was informed that he would have to start by serving in the army or completing college, ideally with a law degree.

“‘From that moment,’ Putin was quoted as saying, ‘I began preparing myself to enter the law department at Leningrad State University.’

“Putin would eventually join the kgb in 1975, at age 23, and spend the next 16 years working for the intelligence agency. …

Putin told his biographers that the allure of espionage transcended high-minded ideals.

“‘I was most amazed by how a small force, a single person, really, can accomplish something an entire army cannot,’ he said, according to the Telegraph. ‘A single intelligence officer could rule over the fates of thousands of people. At least, that’s how I saw it.’

“Putin and the kgb’s foreign intelligence wing are in the news again following reports that he likely approved the murder of another former kgb operative, Alexander Litvinenko, according to a British inquiry released Thursday [January 21, 2016]. Litvinenko, a Russian kgb officer-turned-British intelligence agent, was killed nearly a decade ago after unwittingly ingesting radioactive polonium that had been slipped into a cup of green tea he was drinking.

“The kgb-style assassination—which has been described by a British parliamentary committee as ‘a miniature nuclear attack on the streets of London’—will ‘sharpen the focus on other suspicious deaths among Putin’s foes,’ according to the Post’s Griff Witte and Michael Birnbaum.

“On his deathbed, Litvinenko himself accused Putin of organizing his murder, as well as other crimes as wide-ranging as terrorism and pedophilia. …

“Years after his sudden and stunning rise to power, a question remains: How did Putin’s time working for the kgb shape his worldview and how does it continue to influence his leadership?”

This is a great question most leaders have not adequately answered—including United States President Donald Trump.

“To his fiercest critics, the strongman’s authoritarian impulses are contemporary reflections of the ruthless Cold War security apparatus that molded him into a master spy. Putin—as the Russian journalist Masha Gessen told the Telegraph in 2012—is a supersize model of the kgb.’

“‘Communist ideology has gone, but the methods and psychology of its secret police have remained,’ Alexei Kondaurov, a kgb general-turned-politician, told the Economist in 2007.”

Has the Communist ideology really gone? Request a free copy of my booklet Great Again, and read Chapter 3, “The Origins of America’s Dangerous Turn Left.” You will see otherwise!

“[Gessen said Putin is] ‘an average Soviet functionary with stronger than average emotions, and higher than average vindictiveness.’

“[The Post’s Jim] Hoagland concluded that … ‘Putin today displays an open contempt for Russian public opinions and an uncaring disregard for the economy-damaging sanctions and international disapproval that his Ukraine adventure has provoked, traits that befit a drunken gambler.’ …

“Gessen told the Telegraph that the final stages of Putin’s kgb career were actually a period of disillusionment and tumult as the fiercely patriotic operative watched from the geopolitical front row as the Soviet Union disintegrated and thousands of humiliated kgb officers were cast aside by the state.

“‘I think a lot of his resentment goes back directly to that period,’ Gessen said. ‘Having been in the kgb at a bad time, having been outside the country when everything was changing. … He’s a very vengeful man—that’s one of his particular traits of character. And that vengefulness has carried through. He’s pursuing a vendetta against everybody who was ever opposed to the Soviet Union.’ According to Litvinenko’s widow, Marina, that vendetta extended to her husband.

“Outside Britain’s High Court on Thursday, she said she was ‘very pleased that the words my husband spoke on his deathbed when he accused Mr. Putin have been proved by the English court.’”

Embrace Putin—Forsake God

On July 31, 2015, presidential candidate Trump said publicly: “I think I would just get along very well with Vladimir Putin.”

Again, on October 11, 2015, Mr. Trump told cnn this about Putin: “I think that I would probably get along with him very well. And I don’t think you’d be having the kind of problems that you’re having right now.”

Jesus Christ said, “By their fruits you shall know them.” President Trump doesn’t appear to agree with the Bible here. And he will live to regret it! He is dangerously naive about Putin.

Never has a U.S. president tried harder to get along with Russia than Barack Obama did. Never has a U.S. government groveled before Russia so shamefully!

What was the result? The prophesied prince of Russia trampled all over the Obama administration.

It appears that Mr. Trump is at least going in that direction. If he does, I guarantee you this country will suffer seriously as a result.

Putin looks so innocent. It’s even hard for him to look mean. But your Bible prophesies that he will possibly be responsible for more deaths than any leader in man’s history!

Mr. Putin’s warfare is going to lead directly into the Second Coming of Christ. Jesus Christ knows precisely how to deal with all of the leaders like the prophesied prince of Russia!

Now let me show you what is going to happen to people who get close to a person like Vladimir Putin, and get along with him “very well.” God has a strong view against Israel committing this vile sin. We all need to understand God’s view. Nothing else really matters.

Hosea is an end-time book about Ephraim and Israel—those two names are used interchangeably. Ephraim is the ancient name of the British peoples; these nations are the United Kingdom, including Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Israel here is the United States. Biblical Israel is far more than just the little nation in the Middle East; that is the biblical nation of Judah. (Again, to prove who Israel is in prophecy, request our free book The United States and Britain in Prophecy.)

Notice what it says here about Ephraim: “They are all hot as an oven [this means they are steeped in corruption], and have devoured their judges; all their kings are fallen: there is none among them that calleth unto me. Ephraim, he hath mixed himself among the people; Ephraim is a cake not turned” (Hosea 7:7-8). A “cake not turned” means it is burned-out inside. It is ready to collapse—but on the surface, it still looks like an attractive cake. God says if Britain and America don’t learn some lessons, our nations are going to crumble like a burned-out cake!

We must not overlook the most condemning statement of all: “there is none among them that calleth unto me”! None! Except God’s very elect who deliver this message.

In the most horrifying times ever on this Earth, the people of Israel rely on themselves and their allies rather than looking to God. None calls upon God. They have all forsaken God. These leaders don’t call upon God—as many of our past leaders have. This is the epiceven cosmicsin! Satan’s greatest wrath is being inflicted on America and Britain (Revelation 12:12). God Himself is against them.

What happens when we get closer and closer to Putin—and our lovers like Germany? We get further and further away from God! That is essentially what these verses are saying! That is fatally dangerous!

Notice Hosea 7:9 in the Moffatt translation: “Foreigners eat away his [Israel’s] strength …”—foreigners like Russia, China, Iran and Germany—and “grey hairs are on him here and there, unknown to him.” Our nations’ foreign policy is a total disaster and they are unaware of it!

“Israel’s pride shall confront and convict them; yet they will not come back to the Eternal their God, nor seek him, in spite of it all” (verse 10; Moffatt). Israel is like a senseless, silly dove. It goes to Russia; it goes to Egypt; it goes to Assyria—which is modern-day Germany. When we go to these nations and ally ourselves with them or seek help from them, we are forsaking God! Yet only God can save us in these horrifying times!

Verse 10 says in the Revised Standard Version, “The pride of Israel witnesses against him; yet they do not return to the Lord their God, nor seek him, for all this.” For all these problems and all these crises we see in the world, we don’t seek the God of the Bible! We seek protection and help from foreign nations instead of God!

God responds: “… I will chastise them According to what their congregation has heard. Woe betide them for forsaking me! Death to them for deserting me!” (verses 12-13; New King James Version and Moffatt). Facing the worst crisis ever on planet Earth, the nations of Israel still refuse to call upon God! America and Britain must heed God’s warning message; we are in mortal danger!

God says Hosea’s message is being proclaimed to the nations of Israel. But do you see any place where this message is thundered to the nations of Israel—specifically America and the British peoples? The Philadelphia Church of God has air time on television stations all over America, and in Canada, Britain, Australia and New Zealand. God says your congregations have heard this message. It is right out of the book of Hosea.

Where is God? Our nations are getting further and further away from God. Getting closer and closer to Vladimir Putin enables him to prey on us, and that is what he will do!

“Set the trumpet to thy mouth,” God tells His people in Hosea 8:1. Blow the trumpet! Deliver this message to the people!

Where is this trumpet? God’s true Church has set the trumpet to its mouth and keeps proclaiming this message about what we are doing in these nations of Israel—America, Britain and the Jewish nation.

“For Israel hath forgotten his Maker, and buildeth temples; and Judah hath multiplied fenced cities …” (verse 14). In other words, they rely on their own strength for protection. They have little or no faith in God. The verse concludes, “but I will send a [nuclear] fire upon his cities, and it shall devour the palaces thereof.”

The movement from Gog and Magog is building—and where it is leading will be at the heart of World War iii!

The End of War

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 (Hosea 5:5). War is coming between Russia and China and a German-led Europe—war on a scale that is hard to imagine! Millions and even billions of people will be killed. Nuclear bombs and other weapons of mass destruction are going to impact every nation on Earth!

But the Bible also prophesies that at the end of all of these wars, the world is going to see the greatest event ever in the universe: the Second Coming of the Messiah, Jesus Christ! As Christ Himself said, if He didn’t return, there would literally be no flesh saved alive (Matthew 24:22; Moffatt). But before humanity annihilates itself, He will return and stop all this madness!

Vladimir Putin is a sign, 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 in Russia ultimately leads to the transition from man ruling man to God ruling man! And it is almost here! It is just a few short years away.

We need to watch Vladimir Putin closely. I believe he is almost certain to be 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 to it. 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. Russia’s resurgence—which we see reported in headlines often—shows that end-time Bible prophecies are rapidly being fulfilled!

Ezekiel 38:23 says, “Thus will I magnify myself, and sanctify myself; and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the Lord.” This is clearly a prophecy yet to be fulfilled. People in general don’t know that God is the Lord today. A great transition is about to occur.

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 the coming world war. The powers fighting the war are going to be destroyed by Jesus Christ Himself!

Jesus Christ is about to return—biblical prophecy makes that clear. Surely we ought to be studying our Bibles and understanding these prophecies. They have such deep meaning and are so important to you!