Whispers of War

By Curtis Rittenour
Posted April 02, 2014

The troubling Crimean crisis continues to loom in the headlines. Will this international predicament between Russia and the Ukraine escalate into a battle of biblical proportions? Is there a prophetic precedent for this potential conflict?

After Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich was impeached by the Ukrainian parliament in February 2014, the Russian government argued the move was illegal and is ignoring the new Yatsenyuk government, which is recognized by western countries. Later in February, Russian forces gradually took over the Crimean peninsula, seizing government buildings and now controlling all Ukrainian military bases. Even though there has been strong international opposition, the Crimean parliament voted its independence from the Ukraine and has asked to join the Russian Federation. [1]

What will happen next? Russian troops are now building up at the Ukrainian border. Analysts believe the economic challenges to sustain Crimea, which is significantly dependent on the Ukraine, show that Russia’s movements are less about money and more about control. Will soldiers roll across the border and invade the Ukraine or are they simply conducting “military exercises”? It’s been called a “hollow statement” by many Ukrainian leaders. Will western powers roll up their sleeves and help push them back?

Some Bible students believe Russia will be one of the aggressors to attack the literal land of Israel according to an interpretation of Ezekiel 38. They see Iran, Ethiopia, Libya, Turkey, and other Islamic nations formerly tied to the Soviet Union as joining in this war of “Gog and Magog.” Others connect this conflict with Revelation 6 and the tribulation, and still others apply it to the battle of Armageddon.

Many have their eyes fixed on Jerusalem, but should we look there to understand Bible prophecy? Are the end-time prophecies in Scripture regarding Israel speaking of the literal nation of Jews or is there a deeper spiritual application. People misunderstood Christ’s words 2,000 years ago (see Luke 17:20, 21). It will happen again.

A focus on literal Israel is a counterfeit scheme of Satan to turn our eyes away from the deeper truths of prophecy. This popular literal focus fails to grasp the true battles that are lining up between religious organizations and the governments of this world. It will not be a conflict between nations, but an alliance of powers led by the enemy to crush the remnant of God’s people. It is not physical Israel we should look to, but spiritual Israel, those who are children of Abraham by faith (Galatians 3:28, 29).

Jesus said, “You will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet” (Matthew 24:6). Obviously to live in a country with war at your doorstep is troubling, and we should pray for our friends in the Ukraine. But we should not be troubled that this incident will usher in the final events of earth’s history. Satan is deceptively working to lead the whole world astray regarding the true last events. Don’t be deceived by whispers of war.

For a closer look at what the Bible says about Gog and Magog, click here. If you’d like to read more about spiritual Israel, click here. For a look at the Final Events documentary, click here.

Curtis Rittenour
Curtis J. Rittenour is the senior writer at Amazing Facts International. He pastored for 25 years and has authored books, magazine articles, blogs, and seminars.
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