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Where Does Russia Fit in End-Time Bible Prophecy?

image from www.ucg.orgMore than two decades after the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia is very much back in the news—and not in a good way. Recent aggressive moves are raising fears of a renewed Russian expansionism. How might this play out in Bible prophecy?

Russia has been in the news a lot lately—mostly for negative reasons. Ukraine, once a part of the Soviet Union, has been rocked by turmoil from Russian-backed factions. In 2014 the Crimean peninsula, also part of Ukraine, was taken over and annexed by Russia, violating a 1994 treaty in which Russia had committed to respecting Ukraine’s existing borders.

There is good news for Russia—and the rest of the world. Jesus Christ is returning to put an end to human politics, greed and war.

Now a part of Eastern Ukraine is in armed conflict, and Ukrainian troops are fighting pro-Russian forces aided and armed by Russia. Europeans and other neighbors are quite alarmed by this aggression, and they fear it can spill over to other European territories neighboring Russia, such as Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

Fearing more Russian aggression, the president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, recently called for the formation of a united European army, since “a common army among the Europeans would convey to Russia that we are serious about defending the values of the European Union” (Andrew Sparrow, “Jean-Claude Juncker Calls for EU Army,” The Guardian, March 8, 2015) .

God’s “time machine”


Naturally, many readers will want to know what the Bible has to say about Russia. It is one of the great world powers, with one of the world’s most formidable, modern and well-equipped militaries.

It also has by far the largest territory of any nation on earth—with almost twice the land mass of the world’s second-biggest country, Canada.

We don’t have a crystal ball, but we do have something far better—God’s Word. As God said in Isaiah 46:9-10, “Remember the former things of old, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure.’” Only He knows for sure what the future holds!

The apostle Peter wrote of “the prophetic word … which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation [or origin], for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:19-20).

So the Bible can be viewed as a sort of time machine in a sense, faithfully describing from God’s point of view events in the past, present and future. Although prophecy had much to say about events that followed in ancient times, there is one period still ahead that it refers to more than any other. That time is referred to in Scripture by several terms, such as “the end time,” “the time of the end,” “the latter days” and “the last days.”

God reveals what will happen during this period immediately before the second coming of Christ. Of course, He is able to know what will happen far in the future and knows what nations will be involved during this crucial time. And one of them, from the historical and geographical description given in the Bible, appears to be Russia.

In this regard, it’s important to note than when prophecies are mentioned in the Scriptures, they are usually given from the reference point of Israel and its capital, Jerusalem. God describes this as the place to which Jesus Christ will one day return to rule all the earth.

The prophet Zechariah even mentions where Christ will place His feet when He descends to this planet: “Then the Lord will go forth and fight against those nations, as He fights in the day of battle. And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which faces Jerusalem on the east … And the Lord shall be King over all the earth” (Zechariah 14:3-4, Zechariah 14:9).

So where does Russia fit in? From the geographical description given in a biblical prophecy, there is strong indication that Russia will play a significant role in end-time events.

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