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UCG IA Bible Insights Thursday, August 11 2022

Russia and Bible prophecy

In early 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine, upsetting the world order in place since the end of World War II, and awakening Europe to the reality of an aggressor nation on its borders willing to go to war for its own interests.

by Darris McNeely
UN Statue - Swords into Plowshares
Neptuul, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
The famous statue, outside the United Nations building in New York City, of a man with a hammer beating a sword into a plowshare, was gifted by the Soviet Union at a time when the United States and the Soviet Union were locked into the constant threat of nuclear conflict. The concept of the statue is taken from the book of Isaiah where it speaks of the time when Jesus Christ returns to the earth and nations will go to Jerusalem to learn the ways of God (Isaiah 2:4).

 

Russia's invasion of Ukraine is the reverse of this statue representing the beating swords into plowshares. The Soviet Union broke up in the early 1990s, ending the cold war, but since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, millions have fled their homes, crossing borders into the neighboring European countries. Russian President Vladimir Putin's goal seems to be to regain parts of the lost Soviet empire, and the Ukraine was one of those regions formerly part of greater Russia.

The current crisis represents events outlined in the Bible involving powers from the region of Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. A key prophecy in the Book of Daniel and a passage from the Book of Revelation give us vital keys about what will happen, whiile the four horsemen described in Revelation chapter 6 broadly describe what the world will be like before the return of Jesus Christ. The free brochure The Horsemen Of Revelation examines this prophecy in detail.

First of all a white horse appears representing false religious teachers who come in Christ’s name claiming to represent Him. A second, red horse is then described, representing war and conflict (Revelation 6:4). Russia's invasion of Ukraine has brought war to Europe’s borders, and Germany has decided it’s time to increase its defense budget and build an army to defend itself.

Then a black horse is mentioned in Revelation 6:5-6 representing famine and food shortages. Ukraine and Russia account for more than 20% of the wheat grown and distributed throughout the world. The final, fourth horse represents death (Revelation 6:8). These four horsemen have not yet begun to ride with the force shown in Scripture, but we should heed the signs and understand this will eventually come to pass.

Daniel chapter 11 contains the longest, most detailed prophecy in the Bible. Beginning in verse 40 endtime events are described: "At the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him, and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind with chariots and with many ships and horsemen… He shall also enter into the glorious land and many countries shall be overthrown…” (Daniel 11:40-41).

This key prophecy details the invasion of the Middle East by a power called the king of the north. History and prophecy identify that power as coming from the European heartland. The king of the south is a power based in the Middle East. It is most likely a confederation of Arab Muslim states that make a push at or an attack on this northern kingdom, provoking a retaliation. This European-based “king of the north” sweeps into the glorious land, which is identified with Israel and the city of Jerusalem, and there will also very likely be a religious connection, as indicated by other prophecies.

Verse 44 goes on to say: "News from the east and the north shall trouble him, therefore he shall go out with great fury to destroy and annihilate many." The king of the north's invasion has ripple effects in other parts of the world. Beyond these Muslim nations to the north and to the east there is only one major power and that is Russia. The prophecy does not indicate whether other Asian nations, like China, will also be involved.

Revelation 9:16 describes a movement of a 200 million-man army moving toward the Euphrates river in a frenzied international crisis at the end of this age. This final march to vie with European forces in the Holy Land will lead the armies to gather at Armageddon, or Megiddo in northern Israel, but they will not end up fighting each other there.

At this time Christ will return to Jerusalem with His feet touching the mount of Olives. These mighty armies will see Him as their common enemy, and in that great battle both the European and north eastern forces will be destroyed. (To learn more, read our free study guide The Middle East in Bible Prophecy.)

So we have a glimpse of end-time conflict between several alliances of nations, one led by a ruler called “the king of the South,” another known as “the king of the North,” then forces to “the east and the north” (or possibly “northeast,” for which there is no equivalent Hebrew term) of the Holy Land that will eventually enter the fray.

It thus appears the rise of Russian power and Russian entanglement with China and other Asian powers are destined to have a major impact on end-time events leading up to Christ’s return, and it behooves us to be alert to world news dealing with these leading nations.

UCGia