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Putin: Person of the Year
A Tzar is Born in the East while Europe's Borders are Erased in the West.
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December 20, 2007 - Audio, 10.00 MIN
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Time Magazine's "Person of the Year" is Putin. Russian's are hailing it as a victory and no doubt--whether intended to or not--it will boost Putin's popularity.
Quoting from The St. Petersburg Times:

"Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Putin was “really satisfied” with the title.

“It is very good news for us,” Peskov told reporters in a conference call on Wednesday evening. “We treat it as an acknowledgement of the role that was played by President Putin in helping to pull Russia out of the economic and social troubles of the 1990s, and restoring national pride in this country."

"Putin allies praised the choice.

""This is pleasing and absolutely deserved," Andrei Vorobyov, head of United Russia's executive committee, said by telephone. "And I believe that most Russian citizens would have also put their names to it."

"Kremlin-connected analyst Sergei Markov said the choice amounted to a tacit endorsement of Putin’s policies."

Even though TIME states that their "Person of the Year" is not and never has been an honor, one gets the feeling from reading the material in TIME Putin's rulership has been for the common good of the nation. Yes there is a payof as TIME says:
"But all this has a dark side. To achieve stability, Putin and his administration have dramatically curtailed freedoms. His government has shut down TV stations and newspapers, jailed businessmen whose wealth and influence challenged the Kremlin's hold on power, defanged opposition political parties and arrested those who confront his rule. Yet this grand bargain—of freedom for security—appeals to his Russian subjects, who had grown cynical over earlier regimes' promises of the magical fruits of Western-style democracy. Putin's popularity ratings are routinely around 70%. "He is emerging as an elected emperor, whom many people compare to Peter the Great," says Dimitri Simes, president of the Nixon Center and a well-connected expert on contemporary Russia."

However, TIME finishes by effectively saying that this is what the Russian people want, security in exchange for their freedom and the reasoning follows that if that is what the people want it must be democratically good--even without real democracy. In a sense Time Magazine has chosen to endorse what they term order and stability over freedom. I'm no champion for democracy--the kingdom of God certainly won't be democratic in any sense whatsoever--however the rising of a power that would not like or allow the proclamation of the truth and would persecute the believers is nothing to be heralded. In describing why they chose Putin in an artice entitled "Choosing Order Before Freedom" TIME states: "...whether he proves to be a reformer or an autocrat who takes Russia back to an era of repression—this we will know only over the next decade. At significant cost to the principles and ideas that free nations prize, he has performed an extraordinary feat of leadership in imposing stability on a nation that has rarely known it and brought Russia back to the table of world power. For that reason, Vladimir Putin is TIME's 2007 Person of the Year."

In an article in Time Magazine entitled "A Tsar Is Born" by Adi Ignatius, under the heading "Elected Emperor" Adi writes:

"Russia's revival is changing the course of the modern world. After decades of slumbering underachievement, the Bear is back. Its billionaires now play on the global stage, buying up property, sports franchises, places at élite schools. Moscow exerts international influence not just with arms but also with a new arsenal of weapons: oil, gas, timber. On global issues, it offers alternatives to America's waning influence, helping broker deals in North Korea, the Middle East, Iran... Putin is far from done. The premiership is a perch that will allow him to become the longest-serving statesman among the great powers, long after such leaders as Bush and Tony Blair have faded from the scene."

The bear is back. A Tsar is born and an elected emperor has arisen. When the God in heaven revealed the secret to  Nebuchadnezzar, of "what shall be in the latter days", the Babylonian king saw a vivid vision of a great metallic image whose form was terrible. This image had two iron legs these legs represented the fourth empire on the earth, the Roman Empire and its division between east and west. The eastern leg was the Greek Byzantine Empire whose power base moved north from Constantinople to Moscow. Russia's repressive character today is reminiscent of the iron rule of the Roman Empire. The form is terrible, cold and calculated like Putin, the Tsar of Russia. The bear is back.

In Daniel chapter 2 verse 35 we are instructed that the image is to be "broken to pieces together". In order to be broken in pieces together it must stand together. The east and western Roman Empires must yet stand together.

During the cold war Russia and Western Europe were at odds with one another. The Pope was working to bring down communism which was seen as a great enemy to the Catholic Church--to this end the Pope succeeded. Today things are very different. In March of this year when Putin met with the Pope it was stated that Russia and the Holy See have identical positions on many contemporary political problems, this would include the Middle East and Israel. Today Russia and Europe have a very similar world view.

Just this week the Catholic, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem sated that "Israel's identity as a Jewish state discriminates against non-Jews...if there's a state of one religion, other religions are naturally discriminated against... this land cannot be exclusive for anyone." This sums up the Vatican's view of Israel largely shared by much of Europe and Russia. The billions of dollars being set aside for the new proposed Palestinian state prove this. These powers are united against Israel.

Meanwhile CNN's headline reads: Vanishing borders in Europe and the AFP press reports that "Europe celebrates tearing down of borders" The article says: "Nine mainly ex-East bloc countries on Friday tore down their borders to join a European zone allowing 400 million people to travel from Estonia in the east to Portugal in the west without showing a passport." A world power is developing in the west with Catholic Christian roots. In the east the bear is back and according to Putin 80% of Russians consider themselves Orthodox Christians.

Russia is re-emerging as a great world power and still retains some of its former military might, a military that Russia is rebuilding. Much of Europe relies on them as an energy source. In this way Europe is dependent on Russia. The Vatican wants nothing more than to reunite with the Eastern Orthodox Church, as they've said, the Church must breathe with its two lungs! It is in Russia's and the Vatican's interests to work together and when they do and the image empire stands complete it will be fearful.

As 2007 draws to a close the Vatican rejects a 'Jewish State'; the bear is back and Europe's borders are being erased. We are seeing the standing up of the image of the kingdom of men. But where is the little stone power that will smash it? The stone power is defined in Daniel 2:44 as the kingdom that will break in pieces and consume the kingdom of men. The Vatican, Russia and Europe are united against Israel, the nucleus of the kingdom of God. This little-stone nucleus needs the chief corner stone. When the chief corner stone shall appear the kingdom will become invincible, grind the image to powder and become a mountain filling the whole earth. "He shall cause them that come of Jacob to take root: Israel shall blossom and bud, and fill the face of the world with fruit." Isaiah 27:6

Will we be with him in that day? We make the answer now.

This has been David Billington with you at Come back next week God Willing.

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