And again in the same paper:
“World War 3: Russian jets’ ‘DARK MISSIONS’ over Baltic spark fears of covert invasion.”
The paper went on to say:
“The alarming news comes off the back of reports, Russia has been extending its military reach into northern Europe.”
An earlier article in The Times newspaper (now reproduced in the Bible Magazine) had the headline “Vladimir Putin is preparing for Armageddon.” Yet another news headline read: “Tensions between the UK and Russia are at breaking point. If things were to escalate to war, Vladimir Putin owns a terrifying war chest at his disposal.”
Current Issue of The Bible Magazine
As tension has escalated during the past month, Russia has issued warnings to Britain. For example:
“Maria Zakharova, a Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman, said the prime minister’s plans to sanction Russia, including its decision to expel 23 Russian diplomats from the UK, was extraordinarily dangerous. She warned Moscow was still working on retaliatory measures against Britain for the biggest such expulsion since the Cold War following the poisoning, which left Mr Skripal and his daughter critically ill.
“At a routine briefing, Ms Zakharova told reporters she wanted to comment on ‘the statements made by the prime minister of Britain in parliament with completely insane accusations towards the Russian Federation, our entire country, our entire people.’
“She said: ‘In connection with the introduction by Britain of unfriendly steps towards Russia, we plan to introduce reciprocal steps, without doubt... They are currently being worked on and will be adopted in the near future.’ “
Such warnings to the West by Russia go largely unheeded. This may not be wise because the Sure Word of Prophecy DOES tell us about the overwhelming power of Russia (the latter-day King of the North) and of his whirlwind invasion, when many countries will be overthrown—Daniel 11:40, 41.
Europe’s “Lukewarm” Support
The German Foreign Minister was less than enthusiastic in his support for Britain in its row with Russia. He said that it was a “bilateral issue” and that the U. K. “should clarify details of the evidence” that Russia had been behind the poisoning attack.
Another crack in the European response came when Bulgaria said that it will not expel Russian diplomats. There are now 9 EU states that will not support Britain.
A Development Foretold
Now the coming together of Europe and Russia was foretold in the Bible, and was commented upon by several of those who were able to explain its prophecies to their contemporaries. 150 years ago one of the most remarkable explanations of this development was given by John Thomas in his book Elpis Israel (published 1849). In his comment upon the Image prophecy of Daniel chapter 2 he noted the fact that this Image—representing the empires of men—is to be smitten and broken in pieces together (see verses 35 and 45). He wrote:
“The idea I would convey is well expressed by the prophet, saying, ‘The God in heaven, who revealeth secrets, maketh known to the king what shall be in the latter days’ (Daniel 2:28). That is, there will be in the latter days a dominion, ruling over all the countries mainly comprehended in the limits of the successive empires of Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome; and represented by the Image as a whole; and which will be broken by a power from heaven, which will utterly destroy it, and set up an empire which will cover all the territory it possessed.
Title page of 'Anatolia,' written by John Thomas in 1854
He continued: “Now, there has never yet existed a single dominion, contemporary with the toe-kingdoms, and of course comprehending them in its jurisdiction, which could claim to be represented by Nebuchadnezzar’s Image. In order, then, to prepare for the catastrophe, the Image which is now in antagonistic parts, must be confederate, in other words, a dominion must arise before the setting up of the kingdom of God, which shall rule over these territories.”
In other words, he was saying that Europe must be incorporated into this future Image-empire.
In 1854 the author of Elpis Israel published another work entitled “Russia Triumphant and Europe Chained!” This was a detailed exposition of Daniel’s prophecy.
This was followed by many other Christadelphian works, all covering the same ground. For example in 1885 a Christadelphian newspaper carried the headline:
AN ANGLO-RUSSIAN WAR FORETOLD IN THE BIBLE.
THE COMING BATTLE OF ARMAGEDDON.
So Vladimir Putin’s War on the West is no surprise to Christadelphian Bible students who follow the same path trodden by John Thomas well over a century ago.. The Bible Magazine has published several articles on the topic over the years—for example:
Vol. 17 Issue # 1 2003/4 “Russia’s Triumph over Europe.”
Vol. 21 Issue # 4 in 2008 “Russia Triumphant and Europe Chained.”
Today, as we see “Putin’s War on the West” taking shape again, we must realize that the prophetic word is sure and certain. There is no change. Russia will build up its image-empire as a preliminary to the fulfillment of Ezekiel chapter 38. The April issue of the Bible Magazine gives the background to this prophecy and explains where events are heading and how they involve Israel. You can obtain a free copy by contacting:
The Bible Magazine, PO Box 514, Burford, Ontario, N0E 1A0 Canada
This has been Paul Billington bringing you this edition of the Bible in the News.