Q. I read all sorts of conclusions from Christian writers but truth be told, I really do not understand what is happening in Russia at this juncture. Some say Putin seeks to bring down the American economy this way, others say America is working with him and some even suggest that it is Russia, not China, that is the emerging superpower. I am confused. Could you please shed light on this from God’s standpoint?
A. These days whenever there’s a threat of a new war people start looking for ways to insert the potential combatants into the end times scenario. But Jesus said these wars and rumors of war would be characteristic of the times and we shouldn’t be alarmed by them (Matt. 24:6). The obvious exceptions would be Isaiah 17, Psalm 83 and Ezekiel 38.
I think Russia’s big play in the end times is Ezekiel 38, which I don’t think can happen yet because Israel does not consider itself to be at peace, and therefore is unlikely to be caught by surprise as Ezekiel 38:8,11 require. I also believe the US has to be taken out of the way for Ezekiel 38 to happen. Lately it appears like Mr. Putin would like to be the one who handles that, but there’s still a lot to be done before he (or anyone else) can claim success.
I think China’s time in the Biblical spot light is even further away than Russia’s and may happen as late as Rev. 16:12. Personally, I believe there will be some jockeying for power in the Far East that could happen around the time of the 6th Trumpet judgment (Rev. 9:13-16). 40% of the world’s population lives east of the Euphrates and there’s a lot of political and religious contention between the various people groups. I think some “sorting out” will be necessary before they become the unified force called “the Kings of the East” in Rev. 16:12. It’s interesting to me that almost all of them are all currently flexing their muscles as if in preparation for some kind of a confrontation.
These truly are exciting (and scary) times, and there’s no shortage of opinions about what’s happening. It’s time to become a serious student of prophecy because that’s where the answers really are.