What significance does the Russia-Ukraine war have in end-time Bible prophecy? Find out in this episode of Tomorrow's World, as we go through scriptures showing how superpowers and alliances will shift at the end times, and what events to expect as prophecy is fulfilled.
[The text below represents an edited transcript of this Tomorrow’s World program.]
What will be the fallout from the war in Ukraine? Some wonder: Will it lead to World War III and Armageddon? The good news is that the short-term answer is, no.
Do you realize there is a source you can rely upon to give the answer? People throw about the term Armageddon but forget the word’s source—the biblical book of Revelation. It’s the Bible, and Jesus specifically, that long ago informed us that humanity would come to the place where all life could be wiped off this planet. But the good news is that Christ will intervene, stop our madness, and usher in a time of universal peace.
But for now, what, if anything, does the war in Ukraine mean? Does the Bible mention it?
I’ll be right back.
A warm welcome to all of you from all of us here at Tomorrow’s World, where we bring to life Bible prophecy. On today’s program, I’m going to explain, from the pages of the Bible, the significance of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Many of us grew up during the “Cold War” and lived long enough to see the [fall of the Berlin Wall]. We remember these famous words of President Ronald Reagan, standing before the Brandenburg Gate on June 12, 1987, where he challenged the Soviet leader to tear down the wall that divided Berlin and Eastern Europe from the West:
“Behind me stands a wall that encircles the free sectors of this city, part of a vast system of barriers that divides the entire continent of Europe…. Standing before the Brandenburg Gate, every man is a German, separated from his fellow men…. Today I say as long as this gate is closed, as long as this scar of a wall is permitted to stand, it is not the German question alone that remains open, but the question of freedom for all mankind….
General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization, come here to this gate.
Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” (“Tear Down This Wall,” National Archives, Archives.gov, 2007).
And he did!
That ugly twelve-foot-high wall that circled West Berlin for 28 years began to be dismantled and the Brandenburg Gate opened five months later.
While many thought this impossible, many of us here at Tomorrow’s World were not caught by surprise. Why?
Here is what a Hendersonville Tennessee reporter for the Free Press wrote on December 7, 1989:
“Like a great many Americans I have been watching the current political situation in East Germany with interest. While many have expressed surprise at the recent events and at East German cries for reunification of East and West Germany, I have to admit I haven’t been too surprised by these events. The reason I haven’t been particularly surprised is that for years I have occasionally read the publications of… the late Herbert W. Armstrong… Armstrong predicted that the Berlin Wall would some day come down and the two German states would once again reunite into a powerful nation” (The Beast of Revelation: Myth, Metaphor or Soon-Coming Reality? pp. 1–2).
How did Mr. Armstrong and those of us here at Tomorrow’s World know this would happen? The short answer is that we understand Bible prophecy. Now there is much detail that we don’t know, but we—and you—can know the outline of what to expect in the days ahead. The God who inspired the Bible has given us a remarkable outline of history, told in advance. And He presents this challenge to mankind:
“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’” (Isaiah 46:9–10).
Bible prophecy predicted in advance the fall of Babylon, the empire of the Medes and Persians, the rapid conquests of Alexander the Great, the rise of the mighty Roman Empire, and so much more.
Together, Daniel and Revelation give you an accurate outline that you undoubtedly did not receive in school.
In Daniel 2, we read of an unusual dream that King Nebuchadnezzar had. It greatly troubled him until Daniel was given understanding from God to interpret it. This famous dream is more than a Sunday School story for children. It’s an outline of history, given in advance, beginning around 600 B.C. and continuing to this day. Nebuchadnezzar saw a giant image of a man with a head of gold, arms and chest of silver, belly and thighs of bronze, legs of iron, and feet of iron and clay.
Two important points are given in verse 28:
#1: There is a God in heaven who reveals secrets, and
#2: He has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will be in the latter days (Daniel 2:28).
Now let’s see how Daniel explained the dream to Nebuchadnezzar. We read the explanation in Daniel 2, beginning in verse 37:
“You, O king, are a king of kings. For the God of heaven has given you a kingdom, power, strength, and glory… you are this head of gold. But after you shall arise another kingdom inferior to yours; then another, a third kingdom of bronze, which shall rule over all the earth. And the fourth kingdom shall be as strong as iron, inasmuch as iron breaks in pieces and shatters everything; and like iron that crushes, that kingdom will break in pieces and crush all the others.”
We see here four great empires, beginning with Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylonian, or Chaldean, Empire. One might think this is relatively simple to predict, as empires come and go, but the Bible has specific details revealing the nature of these empires, especially the fourth one.
That kingdom of iron was shown by two legs, but why are the feet and toes made of a mixture of iron and clay? We’ll see the answer in verses 41–43:
“Whereas you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter’s clay and partly of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; yet the strength of the iron shall be in it, just as you saw the iron mixed with ceramic clay.
And as the toes of the feet were partly of iron and partly of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly fragile. As you saw iron mixed with ceramic clay, they will mingle with the seed of men; but they will not adhere to one another, just as iron does not mix with clay.”
So what does this have to do with your life today?
The feet and ten toes reveal the time just ahead of us, as we shall see, beginning in verse 44:
“And in the days of these  kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever. Inasmuch as you saw that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold—the great God has made known to the king what will come to pass after this. The dream is certain, and its interpretation is sure.”
This is the future Kingdom of God on earth, which will replace mankind’s corrupt kingdoms. That is the good news, the gospel, that Jesus proclaimed for three-and-a-half years prior to His death and resurrection.
Daniel 7 describes these same four empires—again ending with the coming of the Messiah—but this time he describes them as beasts. What they symbolize is partly explained beginning in chapter 7 and verses 17–18:
“Those great beasts, which are four, are four kings which arise out of the earth. But the saints of the Most High shall receive the kingdom, and possess the kingdom forever, even forever and ever.”
The fourth Beast lasts until the coming of Christ. Continuing:
“Thus he said: ‘The fourth beast shall be a fourth kingdom on earth, which shall be different from all other kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, trample it and break it in pieces…. Then the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people, the saints of the Most High. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey Him’” (Daniel 7:23, 27).
So far, we’ve seen from the prophecies in Daniel that there would be four great empires, starting with the Chaldean Empire and ending with the Roman Empire. And, it is at the time of this last empire that God will smash mankind’s misguided rule and set up His Kingdom.
Revelation fills in details that began in Daniel, chapters 2 and 7. Daniel saw these kingdoms near the beginning of the first kingdom, but John wrote during the time of the fourth, the Roman Empire. That is why we see in Revelation 13 a composite beast, as Rome had absorbed all the others:
“Then I stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name. Now the beast which I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like the feet of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority.”
This seven-headed beast represents the seven heads of all four described in Daniel 7:
The Lion = Babylon One head
The Bear = Medo-Persia One head
The Leopard = Greco-Macedonian Four heads
The Fourth Beast = Roman One head
So, Revelation 13 describes a seven-headed beast, but one head had a deadly wound that was healed. Notice it in verses 3–5:
“I saw one of his heads as if it had been mortally wounded, and his deadly wound was healed. And all the world marveled and followed the beast. So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, ‘Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?’ And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months.”
Since the deadly wound is healed, it is evident the head that is wounded is the Roman Empire, as it is the one that continues all the way to the end. A deadly wound would come to the Roman Empire, but it would be healed and continue another 42 months.
The Bible sometimes uses what is called a day for a year principle. In this case, 42 months could either refer to literal months, or prophetic months using the day for a year principle. See Ezekiel 4:6:
“And when you have completed them, lie again on your right side; then you shall bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days. I have laid on you a day for each year.”
This principle is also found in Numbers 14:34. Prophetic months are 30 days as seen by comparisons in Scripture. Therefore, 42 prophetic months equal 1,260 days, or years, depending on the context and by what we see happening. Historians generally agree that 476 AD marks the fall of the western Roman Empire.
We do not see the deadly wound healed 42 months later, but we do see the empire restored under Justinian in 554 AD. Four more kingdoms rule under the banner of Rome with the last being Napoléon’s, which ending in 1814—and that’s exactly 1,260 years from Justinian’s Imperial Restoration.
As we’ve seen today, the biblical prophecy of the Beast begins in the Book of Daniel. Chapter 2 gives the overview of four empires stretching from the time of Nebuchadnezzar all the way to the end of the age when Christ returns and sets up a world-ruling government on earth. Chapter 7 describes these four great empires as beasts, giving added detail. Then we come to Revelation 13, where it speaks of the fourth empire—Rome—and how it would receive a deadly wound, but would come back to life for a period of 1,260 years.
The Apostle John was given more information about this beast in Revelation 17, but this time the prophecy refers to this Roman beast only during the time when it is ridden by a woman. It shows there would be seven restored Roman systems, beginning with the five who ruled during 1,260 years. These were:
Imperial Restoration Justinian 554 AD
Carolingian Empire Charlemagne 800 AD
Holy Roman Empire Charles the Great 962 AD
Hapsburg Dynasty Charles V 1530 AD
Napoleon’s Empire Napoleon 1804–1814AD
After Napoleon, people thought the Roman Empire was to be no more, but the Bible describes two more resurrections, with the seventh being destroyed at the coming of Christ.
Revelation 17 begins by describing a church in the form of an immoral woman.
“Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and talked with me, saying to me, ‘Come, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters, with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication.’”
There is much more from this chapter and elsewhere giving specific details regarding this woman, which verse 5 shows is a mother church with harlot daughters, but our focus today is on the Beast and how Russia’s invasion of Ukraine plays into these prophecies. The world will be shocked to see this final system suddenly appear. Continuing in verse 8:
“And those who dwell on the earth will marvel, whose names are not written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world, when they see the beast that was, and is not, and yet is [it is not recognized for what it is]. Here is the mind which has wisdom: The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits. There are also seven kings. Five have fallen [during 1,260 years], one is [Mussolini/Hitler], and the other has not yet come. And when he comes, he must continue a short time.”
Many do not realize that Mussolini’s dream was to restore the Roman Empire once again and there was an agreement with the pope—thus the woman once again rode the Beast.
Then we come to the seventh and last resurrection of the beast that refuses to go away. Remember that in Nebuchadnezzar’s vision, he saw a man with two iron legs whose feet and ten toes were a mixture of iron and clay.
They exist at Christ’s return. Now we see in Revelation 17 that there are ten kings who will make up this seventh Roman empire and will fight against Christ at His return.
“The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast. These are of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast. These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful” (Revelation 17:12–14).
You may very well live to see this prophecy come to pass!
So how do Russia and Ukraine fit into all of this? We see that there will be one more resurrection of this empire. Ten nations or groups of nations, described as kings, will form a powerful economic and military force that will rival and surpass the United States. But Europeans have had no interest in building a militarily powerful empire.
Several United States Presidents have pressured Europeans, most especially Germany, to “do their fair share to defend Europe,” but to no avail. However, two recent events have transformed their thinking almost overnight. The first was Afghanistan, as shown by this March 21 statement from DW online:
“The plan for an overhaul of the European Union’s security strategy came in the wake of the chaotic withdrawal of US and NATO forces from Afghanistan following the fall of Kabul to the Taliban on August 14 of last year” (“EU approves security policy for rapid reaction force,” DW.com, March 21, 2022 ).
Then came the Russian invasion of Ukraine. That event has shaken Europeans to the core. From the Times of Israel comes this March 29, 2022 headline:
“How Germany, shaken by Russia’s Ukraine invasion, plans to rebuild its military”
It goes on to say:
“Europe’s largest economy goes on spending spree to modernize its sagging army; considers buying armed drones and Arrow 3 missile defense system from Israel.
Three days after the attack began, Chancellor Olaf Scholz in a landmark speech pledged a special budget of 100 billion euros [$110 billion, that is] for the military, as well as annual spending of more than two percent of output on defense.
The armaments industry has since been buzzing about the looming spending spree” (TimesOfIsrael.com, March 29, 2022).
The media is also abuzz over the building of the German military. Here’s a quote from Defense News:
“Berlin currently spends upwards of $50 billion, or around 1.5% of GDP, on defense annually. Future German defense spending, Scholz said, would be “more” than 2%.
The chancellor also mentioned a number of big-ticket acquisition programs…. For example, a new atomic weapons-capable aircraft under NATO nuclear-sharing doctrine is on the table—Scholz named the F-35 as a candidate—as a replacement for the Air Force’s aging Tornado jets” (“Scholz proposes 100 billion euro defense fund, vows to exceed NATO spending goal,” DefenseNews.com, February 27, 2022).
From the Times of Israel comes this report:
“Planned purchases part of German shift in defense strategy following Russian invasion of Ukraine, which has shaken Berlin’s sense of security….
The spending boost marks a major reversal for Europe’s top economy, upending its policy of keeping a low military profile in part out of guilt over World War II” (“Germany looks to buy F-35s, Eurofighters as part of army modernization push,” TimesOfIsrael.com, March 14, 2022).
And it’s not Germany alone. Other European countries are boosting military spending. Europe is composed of different peoples who do not naturally cling to one another, just as iron and clay do not mix, but when ten kings, or leaders, give their power over to the Beast, they will have the strength of iron. This prophecy WILL come to pass!
So while Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is not directly mentioned in scripture, the effects of the invasion are setting the stage for this European beast rising a seventh and final time.
Thank you for watching!
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See you next time.
How will global religio-political developments affect you and your family? Will a world dictator soon appear? Just who or what is the Beast, and will you receive its infamous mark? Read on for the startling answers!