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Be Thou Prepared
Putin Puts Russia on a war footing as Ezekiel, Joel and Daniel describe.
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February 24, 2023 - Audio, 19.00 MIN
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Putin has put Russia on a war footing, turning its defence industries into round-the-clock production facilities. He has suspended Russia's involvement in the START Nuclear Treaties, causing fear in the west of nuclear war. The scripture predicts the preparations for war and the re-armament of the world in anticipation of Armageddon. 

We live in the period of Ezekiel 38:7 when it is prophesied of Gog, of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh (Russia):

Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself, thou, and all thy company that are assembled unto thee, and be thou a guard unto them.” (Ezekiel 38:7)

God gives the command for the leader of the latter day invasion to make preparations for war. Joel speaks in similar terms:

Proclaim ye this among the Gentiles; Prepare war, wake up the mighty men, Let all the men of war draw near; let them come up: Beat your plowshares into swords, And your pruninghooks into spears: Let the weak say, I am strong.” (Joel 3:9–10)

This is the phase immediately before the battle of Armageddon, when Russia will lead a huge confederacy of nations, including Europe, down into the Middle East. It is there that they will be humbled by the hand of Almighty God as he shows himself to be the champion of his people Israel, redeeming them from certain destruction.

As Bible students, we observe the world through the telescope of Bible Prophecy. We see the corruption of the American led western world, and its rapid descent from greatness to immorality and degradation. Contrasted against this, we see the brutal power of Russia being exercised in Europe, a precurser of things to come. We see mankind, on both sides of the divide in desperate need of Divine intervention. This world will destroy itself if left to itself. The words of Isaiah come to mind:

Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth.” (Isaiah 45:9)

We stand apart from the fight for supremacy, the desire of mankind to dominate his fellow man, and the lust for profit on the back of tragedy.  We stand apart from the call to defend this “present world” as we are exhorted:

Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” (1 John 2:15–16)

But we do watch with interest the events that are going on in the world, as we see in them the hand of God bringing us to the finale - the climax of the kingdom of men, when it is about to be replaced by the kingdom of God.

Putin’s Address to the Russian Nation

On Tuesday, February 21, 2023, the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin gave an address to the Russian Nation. It was not the rambling, slurred, incoherent type of speech usually given by America’s President Biden. It was a clear statement of Russia’s intent.

A few highlights are worth mentioning in light of the scriptures.

First, is the determination to build up the armed forces of Russia:

Colleagues, as you are aware, a 2021–2025 plan for building and developing the Armed Forces was approved by a Presidential Executive Order and is being implemented and adjusted as necessary. Importantly, our next steps to reinforce the Army and the Navy and to secure the current and future development of the Armed Forces must be based on actual combat experience gained during the special military operation, which is extremely important, I would even say absolutely invaluable to us.

This is in keeping with the words of Ezekiel, “be thou prepared. The preparation is on full war-footing, as Putin highlighted:

My deepest gratitude to the parents, wives and families of our defenders, the doctors and paramedics, combat medics and medical nurses that are saving the wounded; to the railway workers and drivers that are supplying the front; to the builders that are erecting fortifications and restoring housing, roads and civilian facilities; to the workers and engineers at defence companies, who are now working almost around-the-clock, in several shifts; and to rural workers who reliably ensure food security for the country.

The fact their defence industries are working around-the-clock is telling of the gargantuan effort being expended by Russia to reclaim its place in the world as a superpower. He went on to speak of mass production of weapons:

We will widely introduce the latest technology to ensure high-quality standards in the Army and Navy. We have corresponding pilot projects and samples of weapons and equipment in each area. Many of them are significantly superior to their foreign counterparts. Our goal is to start mass production. This work is underway and is picking up pace.

This reminds us of Joel’s statement: “beat your ploughshares into swords.”

Later in the day, Putin spoke to veterans in a video address on the occasion of the “Defenders of the Fatherland Holiday” – which commemorates the victory of Russia over Nazi Germany. He stated:

Modern and efficient Army and Navy are a guarantee of the country's security and sovereignty, and a guarantee of its stable development and its future. That is why, as before, we will give priority attention to strengthening our defence capability.

Relying on actual combat experience, we will pursue balanced and high-quality development of all components of the Armed Forces, improve the system for training units. A solid foundation here is the soldiers, sergeants and officers who showed their worth in combat on the frontline.

We will continue to supply advanced equipment to our troops, including new strike systems, reconnaissance and communications equipment, drones and artillery systems. Our industry is quickly increasing the production of the entire range of conventional weapons and preparing for mass production of advanced models of equipment for the Army and Navy, as well as the Aerospace Forces.

As before, we will put our focus on strengthening the nuclear triad. This year, the first Sarmat missile system launchers with the new heavy missile will be put on combat duty. We will continue full production of the Kinzhal air-launched hypersonic systems and begin mass deployment of Tsirkon sea-launched hypersonic missiles.

With the Borei-A nuclear-powered submarine Emperor Alexander III becoming operational in the Navy, the share of modern weapons and equipment in the naval strategic nuclear forces will reach 100 percent. In the coming years, three more cruisers from this project will be delivered to the Navy.

This last phrase reminds us of Daniel’s parallel prophecy of  the latter day invasion in Daniel 11 where he writes:

And 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 horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over.” (Daniel 11:40)

Also of note, is a north-south focus that includes Iran (the Biblical Persia) and the Middle East. Returning to Putin’s speech to the Russian Federation he stated,

We will develop Black Sea and Sea of Azov ports. We will pay special attention to the North-South international corridor, as those who work on this every day know. Vessels with a draft of up to 4.5 meters will be able to pass through the Volga-Caspian Sea Canal this year. This will open up new routes for business cooperation with India, Iran, Pakistan, and the Middle Eastern countries. We will continue developing this corridor.

This reminds us of Ezekiel 38:7:

Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet:” (Ezekiel 38:5)

Prepare War

What is most alarming to the western media was Putin’s declaration that Russia is suspending its participation in the Nuclear START treaties:

I am compelled to announce today that Russia is suspending its membership in the New START Treaty. To reiterate, we are not withdrawing from the Treaty, but rather suspending our participation.

The reason Putin gives is America’s withdraw from the ABM Treaty in December of 2001. It was President George Bush who stated:

Today, I have given formal notice to Russia, in accordance with the treaty, that the United States of America is withdrawing from this almost 30-year-old treaty. I have concluded the ABM Treaty hinders our government’s ability to develop ways to protect our people from future terrorist or rogue-state missile attacks.

The 1972 ABM Treaty was signed by the United States and the Soviet Union at a much different time, in a vastly different world. One of the signatories, the Soviet Union, no longer exists. And neither does the hostility that once led both our countries to keep thousands of nuclear weapons on hair-trigger alert, pointed at each other. The grim theory was that neither side would launch a nuclear attack because it knew the other would respond, thereby destroying both.

Today, as the events of September the 11th made all too clear, the greatest threats to both our countries come not from each other, or other big powers in the world, but from terrorists who strike without warning, or rogue states who seek weapons of mass destruction.

This was following the September 11th attacks. Clearly, things are much different today than they were in 2001. Bush’s naive assessment of the world was based on sight and not on an understanding of Russia’s future role as described by Bible Prophecy.

Today, the hostility between Russia and America as at an all-time high, and had prompted scientists on January 24th to set the Doomsday clock at 90 seconds to midnight. An article reporting this event stated:

The clock was created in 1947 by a group of atomic scientists, including Albert Einstein, who had worked on the Manhattan Project to develop the world's first nuclear weapons during World War Two.

More than 75 years ago, it began ticking at seven minutes to midnight.

At 17 minutes to midnight, the clock was furthest from "doomsday" in 1991, as the Cold War ended and the United States and Soviet Union signed a treaty that substantially reduced both countries' nuclear weapons arsenals.

Today, the assessment is completely different and from the world’s perspective we are closer to Doomsday than we have ever been since 1945.

In his speech, Putin went on to state:

I would like to stress that the United States and NATO are openly saying that their goal is to inflict a strategic defeat on Russia….

We are aware of the fact that certain types of US nuclear weapons are reaching the end of their service life. In this regard, we know for certain that some politicians in Washington are already pondering live nuclear tests, especially since the United States is developing innovative nuclear weapons. There is information to that effect.

Given these circumstances, the Defence Ministry and Rosatom must make everything ready for Russia to conduct nuclear tests. We will not be the first to proceed with these tests, but if the United States goes ahead with them, we will as well. No one should harbour dangerous illusions that global strategic parity can be disrupted.

This strikes fear into the heart of the world. We rest in the comfort of the scripture, knowing that the earth is not going to be destroyed for it is promised to the meek:

Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.” (Matthew 5:5)

This is the promise of God to mankind, to Abraham – to give him the land of Israel as an everlasting inheritance. The Lord exhorted his disciples to pray for the kingdom of God to come on earth:

Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10)

Therefore, we do not fear nuclear annihilation no matter what the two “superpowers” build in their new arms race. However, we  do note that they are engaged in a new arms race, beating their ploughshares into swords once again.

The Fall of The Soviet Union

Biden’s response to Putin’s speech came in Warsaw on the anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. However, a year earlier he was in Warsaw giving a speech and started by quoting Pope John Paul II, "Be not afraid" and pointing out it was his work that helped bring down the Soviet Union.

When Pope John Paul brought that message in 1979, the Soviet Union ruled with an iron fist behind an Iron Curtain. Then a year later, the solidarity movement took hold in Poland….

Ten years later, the Soviet Union collapsed and Poland and Central and Eastern Europe would soon be free.

Biden related the struggle in Kiev with the struggle against the Soviet Union:

Today's fighting in Kyiv and Melitopol and Kharkiv are the latest battle in a long struggle. Hungary, 1956. Poland, 1956, and then again, 1981. Czechoslovakia,1968. Soviet tanks crushed democratic uprisings, but the resistance continued until finally in 1989, the Berlin Wall and all the walls of Soviet domination, they fell. They fell! And the people prevailed.

That was a different time. That was the time of the “turning back” of Ezekiel 38:4 – the temporary arrest of Gog’s power. We now live in the time of the “drawing forth”:

And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords:” (Ezekiel 38:4)

Western Freedom – to do what?

In Tuesday’s address to Poland, Biden stated:

Democracies of the world will stand guard over freedom today, tomorrow, and forever. For that’s what — that’s what’s at stake here: freedom….

He ended by stating:

Freedom.  There is no sweeter word than freedom.  There is no nobler goal than freedom.  There is no higher aspiration than freedom. 

The question is free to do what?

For all Russia is and isn’t, it is right on one thing, the corruption of the western world is brimming over. Putin stated the following:

Look what they are doing to their own people. It is all about the destruction of the family, of cultural and national identity, perversion and abuse of children, including pedophilia, all of which are declared normal in their life. They are forcing the priests to bless same-sex marriages. Bless their hearts, let them do as they please…

But here is what I would like to tell them: look at the holy scripture and the main books of other world religions. They say it all, including that family is the union of a man and a woman, but these sacred texts are now being questioned. Reportedly, the Anglican Church is planning, just planning, to explore the idea of a gender-neutral god. What is there to say? Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.

Biden points the finger at Russia, and Putin point the finger at the West. The world is faced with a choice. The tyranny of Russia, or the corruption of the west. Either one will destroy society. What is needed is the return of Christ to establish righteousness and holiness in the earth and dispel both evils simultaneously, as the Psalms recount:

Give the king thy judgments, O God, And thy righteousness unto the king’s son. He shall judge thy people with righteousness, And thy poor with judgment. The mountains shall bring peace to the people, And the little hills, by righteousness. He shall judge the poor of the people, He shall save the children of the needy, And shall break in pieces the oppressor. They shall fear thee as long as the sun And moon endure, throughout all generations. He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass: As showers that water the earth. In his days shall the righteous flourish; And abundance of peace so long as the moon endureth. He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, And from the river unto the ends of the earth.” (Psalm 72:1–8)

In the mean time we watch the Bible in the News – and see God’s and at work as events unfold.

We must not attach ourselves to this world, or to any nation for we read in John’s epistle:

And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.” (1 John 2:17)

May the return of Christ be soon to save us from this untoward generation.

For the Bible in the News, this has been Jonathan Bowen joining you.

Bible in the News provides a weekly analysis of world politics and events
in the light of Bible prophecy — the Bible in the News!