Tensions Rise after Russia makes a Move into Ukraine
Ukraine PM Warns of War as Russian Military Seizes Control on Crimea
March 02, 2014 - Audio, 7.25 minutes
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The Headline on CNN reads: "U.S. condemns Russia's 'invasion and occupation". Headline news on The Guardian newspaper website today "Ukraine PM Warns of War as Russian Military Seizes Control on Crimea". Another article on The Guardian website by Orlando Figes notes: "The signs are ominous: Crimea's parliament has been stormed by pro-Russian gunmen; its airports seized by soldiers in Russian uniforms; and Russian military trucks and helicopters are on the move. It looks like we are heading for a new Crimean war." The area of the Crimean peninsular is strategically, culturally and historically tied to Russia. The Guardian article continues: "Crimea is vitally important to the Russians. According to medieval chronicles, it was in Khersonesos – the ancient Greek colonial city on the south-western coast of Crimea, just outside Sevastopol – that Vladimir, the Grand Prince of Kiev, was baptised in 988, thereby bringing Christianity to Kievan Rus', the kingdom from which Russia derives its religious and national identity."
The prophecy of Ezekiel 38 speaks of an invasion of the land of Israel from the "uttermost parts of the north". The invader is Gog who is the prince of Rosh. Ezekiel 38:2 (ASV) "Son of man, set thy face toward Gog, of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal, and prophesy against him" The name in the Hebrew text "Rosh" has been identified by different Bible dictionaries and lexicons as Russia. Langenscheidt's Hebrew-English dictionary says under Rosh: "Proper name of a Scythian people, Russians." The lexicographer Gesenius says under Rosh: "Proper name of a northern nation, mentioned with Tubal and Meshech; undoubtedly the Russians, who are mentioned by Byzantine writers of the tenth century by the name Rus." This is Kievan Rus.
The prophet says to Gog in Ezekiel 38:7 - "Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself, thou, and all thy company that are assembled unto thee, and be thou a guard unto them." Gog is to prepare for himself and his company and to be a guard to them. In order to fulfil these words, Gog must assemble his company, the group of nations of which he is to be a guard to. This suggests Empire building. This is exactly what we find in Daniel chapter 2, a prophecy that goes hand in hand with Ezekiel 38. Daniel 2 portrays a metallic image which represents a succession of Empires who would rule or suppress the Jewish people. The head was gold, this was Babylon. The chest and arms of silver, which portrayed the Medo-Persian Empire. Next are the brazen belly and thighs, representing the Greeks. Then we find two iron legs which portray the Roman Empire and finally the feet and toes which represent the nations of Europe in a state where they cannot properly hold together. The legs of Iron, which depict the Roman empire, show the division of the empire into two parts; a Latin west and a Greek East. When the Greek Roman Empire in the east collapsed and Constantinople was overrun by the Turks, the capital moved north to Moscow, which became the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire. While the vision represents a succession of empires, it is really one empire in different forms. In the end the whole image empire is erected and destroyed together. Daniel 2:35 "Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together". In order to be broken to pieces together, the image must stand together and so we watch for the image empire to stand.
While in the west the idea of "empire building" is very much out of fashion; in Russia it is a different story, particularly when it come to areas that are core parts of the Russian Empire. In an interview with TIME, Arizona Senator John McCain said Obama is “naïve” about Putin’s ambitions “to restore the Russian empire”. It has been said that without Ukraine, Russia is no longer an empire. It is quite clear that Russia has no plans on giving up control of parts of Ukraine and letting them drift over to the west. Will there be war as Ukraine is saying? To this we don't know. But from Bible Prophecy we do know that ultimately Russia will be dominant in Europe and build its empire.
As a result of his study of Bible prophecy, on January 1, 1950, John Thomas wrote some very interesting words, which we see coming to pass today. In the introduction to the book "Elpis Israel", he wrote: "The future movements of Russia are notable signs of the times, because they are predicted in the Scriptures of truth. The Russian Autocracy, in its plenitude, and on the verge of its dissolution, is the Image of Nebuchadnezzar standing upon the Mountains of Israel, ready to be smitten by the Stone. When Russia makes its grand move for the building-up of its Image-empire, then let the reader know that the end of all things, as at present constituted, is at hand. The long-expected, but stealthy advent of the King of Israel, will be on the eve of becoming a fact; and salvation will be to those who not only looked for it, but have trimmed their lamps by believing the gospel of the kingdom unto the obedience of faith, and the perfection thereof in "fruits meet for repentance"."
Today Russia is making moves to maintain and expand it's empire. There is currently a power struggle over who will dominate Europe. Will it be the Greek Orthodox East or Russia? Or will it be the Latin West centred around Germany and the Vatican. This power struggle between these great powers is today centred in Ukraine. However, the West is financially weak and has a smaller military. Putin knows this very well and that there is no appetite for war in the west. There is little of a deterrent for Putin, so he is making moves to build up his image empire. These are events which students of Bible Prophecy have been waiting for over a 160 years. Today there are incredible events beginning to unfold in the world. Come back next week, God willing as we continue to look for Bible prophecy in the news. This has been David Billington with you.
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