Tim Moore: For several weeks, American and European leaders warned that Russia was about to attack Ukraine. Now we know that the Russian Bear is indeed trying to expand his empire.
We’ve all watched the terrible devastation now being inflicted upon Ukraine since Russia aggressively rolled its military across the border in an attempt to overthrow Ukraine’s government and install a puppet government of its own. We’ve recoiled in horror as Russian President Vladimir Putin has devastated that nation and attacked and killed innocent people in his crusade.
We will now explore the reasons behind Putin’s attack and see if there are any implications for the Gog-Magog War of Ezekiel 38-39.
Weakness of the West
Nathan Jones: The timing of Russia’s invasion is interesting because it seems like Putin and the rest of the hostile world powers were just waiting for the United States to pull out of Afghanistan, which we did very poorly, unfortunately. The botched Afghan pullout demonstrated the stunning weakness of our nation’s current inept leadership. We no longer possess a regional base in Afghanistan from which to launch a strike.
And, so far, it appears that both NATO and the United States are not going to do anything to stop Putin other than to throw economic sanctions at Russia. No wonder the aggressor nations feel so emboldened! North Korea is testing long-range missiles again. Iran may even now already possess a nuclear weapon. All of the Axis of Evil, as President George W. Bush called it during his time in office, appears to be on the move.
Tim Moore: They certainly are. Putin looked at what was happening during America’s pullout from Afghanistan regardless of the negative political implications for that nation. The world concluded that America must be on the decline and that the leadership in America would not be responsive to outside aggressions, along with the rest of the West.
Tim Moore: Regarding the rationale behind Mr. Putin’s aggression in Ukraine, there are internal rationales that he’s using to try and convince his people this invasion will be good for Russia. For one, Russia would possess more land. Ukraine is very rich in terms of natural resources, agriculture, and even with some of its technology. Two, historic reasons also exist for Russia wanting to pull Ukraine back within its sphere of influence. And, three, Mr. Putin and some of his allies would like to destabilize the West. They feel that the West has become as weak as it’s ever been in terms of keeping our alliances. So, Putin believes now is the best time to pounce.
Nathan Jones: Absolutely, right. But, let’s also look at the reasons to invade from Russia’s perspective. Our ministry contacts in Russia say Putin has a viable reason for being concerned that NATO has been moving one country at a time closer and closer to Russia’s border.
Certainly, launching an incursion and killing innocent Ukrainian people does not justify Russia’s aggressive stance towards that nation, especially since Russia shares a lot of history with Ukraine. Most don’t remember that when Stalin was in power he starved out three and a half million Ukrainians and then repopulated the emptied areas in the eastern portion with Russians. Putin has been saying that he’s invading to liberate these Russians being in effect held hostage by the Ukrainian government, but the fact is that these Russians had been moved onto Ukrainian soil in a Russian attempt to take over more and more of that land.
Economically speaking, why does Russia seem so bent on taking Ukraine? Because that nation is extremely rich in resources. Ukraine is the breadbasket of Eastern Europe. The nation possesses great mineral wealth. It also holds the natural gas pipeline going into Europe from Russia. I read that 40% of Putin’s economy is based on the sale of oil and gas to Europe. So, it’s essential that Russia controls that pipeline.
Tim Moore: Besides Putin’s economic reasons, there are historical and religious implications as well. The Russians consider Ukraine to be the forerunner region for the Rus or Russian people. Most of the Rus people originated long ago from the Kyiv area.
Concerning the religious implications, the Russian Orthodox Church, which is now a major part of Eastern Orthodoxy, considers itself to be the mother church of that region. Fairly recently, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church asserted itself as separate from the Russian Orthodox Church. And so, there are theological tensions between these two nations.
We are not excusing Russia’s aggression on Ukraine, of course. We condemn it, but we are trying to understand the mindset of the Russian leader and people.
Mr. Putin has been using the excuse of de-Nazi-fying the Ukrainians. That’s such a farce because Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is a Jewish man. He is not given over to being a Nazi in any way, shape, or form. But, in the Russian mind, just the specter of the Nazi regime, which 80 years ago had rolled into Russia and created such havoc in their nation, is not something the average Russian desires to ever see again.
Back to what you said about NATO steadily expanding eastward towards the western borders of Russia, even in the midst of American and allied weakness, that would certainly make Russia feel as if they were being encroached upon. All of these reasons explain why we are now seeing Russia become such an aggressor just in the last few weeks.
Nathan Jones: You bring up a good point, because people wonder why is Putin doing this? We’ve listed quite a number of reasons. Primarily, when it comes to NATO encroachment, we point to the horror the Russian people feel remembering when the Germans marched into Russia and killed millions of its citizens. Sure, we know that NATO today is nothing more than a paper tiger. It’s not going to invade Russia. Regardless, Putin honestly fears NATO encroaching up to a point where it can eventually launch a takeover of Russia.
Foretold in Prophecy?
Nathan Jones: Let’s look at the Russian invasion of the Ukraine from a biblical perspective. Christians want to know if Russia’s attack on Ukraine was foretold in Bible prophecy.
Tim Moore: Russia’s attack on Ukraine demonstrates that the Russia Bear has not been defanged, as most believed it had become. Famously, when Mitt Romney was running against Barack Obama for president, Romney made a statement claiming that Russia was America’s greatest geopolitical threat. Obama dismissed him, scoffing that the Cold War was no more.
Nathan Jones: Yes, Obama replied that the “80’s were calling”!
Tim Moore: Yes, but Obama’s dismissal was premature. Sure, the Cold War was over, but it morphed into a different kind of conflict. It continued as an ideological conflict that Putin and the oligarchs who control Russia never stopped waging. The European nations had set the Cold War aside because many of them had become dependent upon Russian energy. That places the European nations in quite a precarious position, one they are now suffering the consequences for making such an alliance.
But, is this invasion right now directly tied to Bible prophecy? I think what we are witnessing is Russia becoming the major threat Russia was prophesied to become leading into the end times.
It’s important to realize that when a war like the one we’re witnessing begins, no matter how much planning the Russians made, nor even the Americans or NATO’s allies have made, things go sideways. The situation very quickly begins to be squeezed like a balloon. You think you can control the pressure, but then all of a sudden there’s a popout from another area. Russia could become so desperate that it raises the stakes dramatically. Mr. Putin could raise the alarm level to nuclear, which he has already threatened to do, which would be catastrophic for the world.
We could also see Mr. Putin become so desperate that he decides to form alliances with some of the Islamic nations listed in Ezekiel 38. He may even turn his sights southward because Russia is already fully engaged in Syria.
So, are there implications from the Ukrainian invasion that move the world towards the fulfillment of Bible prophecy? Most certainly! But, I don’t think that this war is directly tied to the Gog-Magog War. Though, we are seeing all of the nations and peoples mentioned in Ezekiel 38-39 — Iran, Turkey, Sudan, Libya, and so forth — beginning to be stirred up. And again, events could go southward towards the land of Israel very quickly.
Nathan Jones: I believe this invasion falls into one of the ten end times signs that Jesus gave in Matthew 24 and Luke 21. Jesus foretold that as we got closer to His return, there would be an increase in wars and rumors of war. As Matthew 24:6-7 reads: “And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.”
So, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine certainly falls under the increase in wars and rumors of wars sign. But, it is not an actual prophetic war. After all, Ezekiel 38 and 39 — the Gog and Magog War — goes into great detail about how a leader from Russia — a man designated as Gog — leads Iran and the Sudan and Libya and all those ‘Stan nations and Turkey together in an attempt to plunder and destroy Israel. That hasn’t happened, certainly not yet. But, we are seeing Russia getting its power back so that it can one day lead a multi-national coalition.
In reading Ezekiel’s prophecy, the prophet tells us that “Sheba, Dedan, the merchants of Tarshish, and all their young lions” just sit back and watch the Russian coalition invade Israel (Ezek. 38:13). Sheba and Dedan are the ancient names of the Saudi countries, the Merchants of Tarshish would be the nations at the ends of Europe along the Atlantic Ocean, and all their young lions would be the descendants or colony countries of the New World.
That means that when the world gets to the point in history when Russia has gathered a large Islamic coalition and is ready to attack Israel, it believes that there is no nation standing in its way. Why isn’t Europe standing in Russia’s way? Well, it could be because the European Union remains rather weak at that point. But, I think it’s because the Rapture will even more severely weaken the West, along with China.
After all, when this coalition attacks Israel, God Himself personally steps in to defeat these armies using supernatural disasters and earthquakes and by turning the invading armies against each other. Ezekiel even reveals that God will send fire raining down on their countries. That’s God stepping directly back into the affairs of the world once again. Therefore, the Gog-Magog War is not a Church Age event.
Does the Russian invasion of Ukraine mean that we’re getting closer to the Rapture? Well, every day we’re getting closer to the Rapture! But, no, the invasion of Ukraine is certainly not the Gog-Magog War. It is merely the beginning tremors, or birth pangs, you might say.
Tim Moore: As Christians, we condemn the aggression that’s taking place in the Ukraine. We condemn all of the weakness that’s being manifested by the Western nations. We do not wish for any kind of armed conflict, obviously, for that could become very catastrophic very quickly due to a nuclear-armed Russia. History shows that when the Russian Bear is backed into a corner, in desperation it will lash out in a way that would be unthinkable with today’s weaponry.
Therefore, Christians need to be watching end time events unfold very carefully. We need to understand the background causes behind these conflicts. And, we need to pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ in the Ukraine, because they will be continuing to endure much suffering in the weeks and months to come.
Nathan Jones: I’m sure the Russian people don’t want this conflict just as much as the rest of us. After all, this is Putin’s last hail. He’s 70 years old and he wants to cement his legacy. So, we should also pray for the Russian people. And, know that the Lord has got this all in His hands for His inevitably good purposes.
[Note: For more details about the Gog-Magog War, check out our articles and podcasts.]
23 CommentsLeave a Comment
Thank you for this perspective. Please take a closer look at the President of the Ukraine.
For instance, he thinks Jerusalem would be a good place to work out a peace treaty with Russia. There is already a song of praise written about him – as the person who brings peace to the world. Thank you.
First of all, the Russian people and the people of Ukraine do not want war – so you need to focus on nation leadership (including USA and NATO). And there is plenty of blame to go around and plenty of lies from leadership and therefore from the canary media. I am also not defending the ‘intrusion’ by Putin – but consider this:
First of all the fact that Zalensky is Jewish does not mean he will not support the influence of many neo-nazis in his administration. I am a supporter of the Jews in Israel and elsewhere; however, all you have to do is deep dive into the WEF/UN/Globalist trillionaires behind the current parasitic ‘Covid Cult’ campaign if you want to see the mind and heart of certain Jewish leadership and ‘world’ influence.
Zalinsky’s neo-nazis have been bombing the province in Ukraine that wants to join Russia for the past six years – killing some 6000 people. The US has been installing bio-weapon labs in Ukraine for longer than that and is intent on installing nuclear facilities in Ukraine.
It’s “We The People” who want freedom, peace, and normalcy. And, in all of this, we are faced with a globalist cabal that has stolen our money for decades and now they want to control us – it’s a Satanic Plan: “The Narrative is The Virus – Truth is The Cure.”
So true! https://www.reuters.com/article/us-cohen-ukraine-commentary-idUSKBN1GV2TY
We are arming neo-nazis with our most advanced lethal drones.
We have not seen times like this before, if president trump was still in this would never have happened he has backbone
And he loves america,we need HIM NOW to fix the issue. THANKFUL THAT GOD AS IT IN CONTROL
UKRAINE MAKES UP THE ANCIENT SCYTHIAN EMPIRE THAT WAS MADE UP OF THE 10 TRIBES OF ISRAEL THAT WERE CAPTURED BY THE ANCIENT ASSYRIANS AND LATER SETTLED ON THE NORTH SHORE OF THE BLACK SEA.
PUTIN TALKS ABOUT USING SYRIAN MERCENARIES TO FIGHT IN UKRAINE AND OTHERS SHOULD WE NOT TAKE THIS ALSO INTO PROPHETICAL CONSIDERATION?JUDAH WAS NOT CAPTURED UNTIL MANY YEARS LATER.
IF ANYTHING IT IS HASTENING THE LATER DAY MIGRATION OF JEWISH? PEOPLES BACK TO THE ANCESTRAL HOMELAND SETTING UP THIS FUTURE GOG MAGOG INVASION RIGHT?
Scythia is an area in modern day Iran and other areas close by. The Scythian culture existed between the ninth and fourth centuries B.C.
When you rightly divide Revelation, World War 3 destroys 1/3 the World, which is worldwide in scope. THEN, later on, is the Battle of Armageddon which surrounds Israel. Many anxious Christians want to believe that the next prophetic event on the calendar is the RAPTURE. It sells books and raises money out of anxiety!
Saying that students of Bible prophecy expect the Rapture to be the next prophetic event in order to “sell books” is a nonsensical statement. We teach it because it is biblical.
The Bible makes it clear that the Tribulation is God’s wrath poured out upon the unbelieving world, and not for those who are saved from Christ’s resurrection to the Rapture – called the Church. True believers in Christ during the Church Age, represented by the Church of Philadelphia, are promised in Revelation 3:10, “Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth.” Paul states in 1 Thessalonians 1:10, “and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.” He also states in 1 Thessalonians 5:9, “For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 5:9 states, “Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!” Ephesians 5:6 states, “Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient.” Colossians 3:4 states, “When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.”
Again and again, Scripture states the Church is not meant to endure God’s special time of wrath.
I know all that! What you miss is my point about the sequence and timing of events. World War 3 is a big chunk of time and activity which is only in the early stages right now. We don’t know how much time there will be between that, picking up the pieces, and the development leading up to Armageddon. A lot needs to happen before then. World War 3 has to be cleared away before the Rapture.
WW3 has to happen before the Rapture? Where in the Bible does that say that? Here’s a list of the end time wars in chronological order – https://christinprophecy.org/articles/the-wars-of-the-end-times/.
Dear Alan, you need to read the Bible some more. The Rapture is very Scriptural.
and it PRE TRIB
Alan, Alan, Alan,.. Just because you deny the Rapture doesn’t make it not true.
We are paying the price for weakening NATO by adding members taht don’t benefit us but only threaten Russia. We have not gained anything strategically from the members we have added since 2017, and have now reduced NATO into a paper tiger https://www.statista.com/chart/26674/european-countries-by-year-of-joining-nato/
Putin knows we will not risk Article 5 nuclear armageddon over a border incursion by little green men into Latvia or Estonia, so we were very foolish to court their admittance to NATO.
Biden attempted to get WWIII started in Kosovo when he was a Senator https://theintercept.com/empire-politician/biden-nato-bombing-serbia-montenegro/
This time around he may get his wish because he is now commander in chief instead of a senator.
I need to add that it is possible, possible, not probable, for Biblical Armageddon to be at the very end of worldly World War 3. (The worldly is reflective of man’s spiritual condition: There is nothing in God’s Creation outside of the realm of God. You cannot separate the secular from the sacred.) So… the church has suffered great tribulations throughout History, both specifically and along with the World’s inhabitants: How much more suffering can we take before the Rapture? World War 3 is just a bigger World War 2, enough to destroy 1/3 of the World – likely a nuclear war. We’ll still have 2/3 of the World left to preach the gospel. Do we need a Rapture to save us from World War 3?
A nuclear scenario would perfectly fit with the kind of swift, mass destruction spoken of in the book of Revelation. Indeed, considering the widespread death predicted by John, it would be hard for us to imagine anything other than a nuclear holocaust which could come close to producing such carnage.
The poisoning of the waters (Revelation 8:11), the severe reduction in visibility (Revelation 8:12), the death of much of the earth’s vegetation (Revelation 8:7), malignant sores (Revelation 16:2), the end of ocean life (Revelation 16:3), and the inability of the atmosphere to block out harmful ultraviolet rays, resulting in severe burns (Revelation 16:8) are all expected results of nuclear war. The implications of these prophecies is not pretty — this earth has an appointment with a devastation which shall be horrible beyond imagination.
The two “Christ in Prophecy” episodes on the wars of the end times are available at http://www.lamblion.com/television/programs_sermon17.php. For the article version on the wars of the end times, check out http://www.lamblion.com/articles/articles_tribulation1.php.
Something for you to think about. Just because you seem to deny the Pre Trib Rapture doesn’t mean its not true.
to Alan Hemenway. Pretrib Rapture is TRUE, Scriptural and non negotiable with GOD
Is the signing of the pact with Iran not as dangerous as this war? It seems that Israel believes that the US is abandoning in spite of our rhetoric. They feel as though they will have to attack Iran before the nuclear progress is even more threatening. Very few are taking Iran’s threats seriously, especially the US. I call it a pact as it is not a treaty that would have to go through congress where it would not pass.
This country will only see more degradation with a Progressive President in the White House, especially this one. The fact is, that if We want to save our nation then WE MUST RETURN TO GOD!!
Because we have turned our backs to Him, this country, and all the Blessings God has provided since the very beginning of America, WE must turn back to HIM Our God, or be destroyed. TRUTH!
Personally I believe we are WAY beyond the ability to turn back.
No more revivals, God has had enough of our “as in the days of Noah behavior” and like Sodom and Gomorrah we will pay a heavy price. UN saved Sinners in the hands of an angry God! Not a good place to be.
Russia wants Ukraine mainly for all their natural resourses, the same reason he will attack Israel at some point, maybe soon, because Israel has major oil on their land and Russia loves that.