Signs of the Times – On manoeuvres

Looking back:

In the February issue of The Christadelphian you may find out more about underneath signs of our times

The world is watching the activities of Vladimir Putin’s Russia with some nervousness. It seems that whatever is said or threatened by the West, he is intent on massing more troops and engaging in more sabre-rattling on the Ukrainian border. Putin argues it is the West which is being provocative with its westward expansion of NATO and its desire to take in nations traditionally under Moscow’s sphere of influence. Perhaps of note, China’s Xi Jinping has voiced his support for Putin (China would not wish to see war begin while eyes are on Beijing for the Winter Olympics but once they are over who knows what might happen).

Russia has historic connections with Ukraine. Last July a paper was published by Putin entitled On the Historical Unity of Russians and Ukrainians claiming that much of today’s Ukraine covers lands which historically belonged to Russia. Although the West is sending troops and armaments into Eastern Europe in a show of support, their most likely opposition to Russian engagement will be through sanctions, which may or may not be effective. The response of the EU has been enlightening. France’s President Macron talked face to face with Putin for several hours seeking a diplomatic outcome. Germany’s contribution to the forces opposing Russia was a shipment of 5,000 helmets, a token gesture at best.

Where this all leads remains to be seen but if Russia were to move on Ukraine, it is then just a small step through Romania and Bulgaria to Istanbul and control of the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles, strategically important entrances to the Black Sea. As these forces gather we can see the angels at work which we pray will soon see the Lord Jesus reigning from Jerusalem.


Now we are in day 154 of the war.

Since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, dozens of children all over the country have been raising money to support Ukraine’s Armed Forces. Some of them play music on the streets, or sell their paintings, crafts or flowers that they grow themselves. Other children donate their own savings to support soldiers. Read our story on how children raise money to support Ukraine’s fight here.

For four months, the Russian state has not provided to its citizens any information – even censored – about the losses of the occupation contingent. Total silence. Nothing was published or said in numerous interviews and speeches at the political and military levels. However, this number is already almost 40,000 (some even speak about 60 000)- that is how many killed people the Russian army has lost since February 24. And tens of thousands more were wounded and maimed.

And if the Russian state does not say this officially, even in general terms, everyone who still has any contacts in Russia or informational influence on their society should convey this simple fact to whomever possible. Among the occupiers only those killed are 40 thousand.

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles have been the stars of Ukrainian battlefields since the beginning of the war, detecting and destroying Russian forces. Read our story on how Ukraine builds up its UAV fleet here.

The U.S. think tank said in its latest assessment that Russian forces continue conducting limited attacks east and south of Bakhmut, northwest of Izium, southwest of Donetsk city, and in northwestern Kherson Oblast. The experts also noted that Ukrainian forces continue striking Russian positions in Kherson Oblast, “likely complicating Russian logistics in the region.”

EU extends sanctions against Russia until Jan. 31, 2023. The sanctions were imposed in 2014 and expanded after Russia launched its all-out invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022. The EU called on Russia to immediately stop attacks on the civilian population and unconditionally withdraw all its troops and military equipment from the entire territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders.

IMF: Russia doing better than expected despite sanctions. International Monetary Fund Chief Economist Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas told AFP in an interview that higher energy prices are keeping Russia afloat despite Western sanctions. And while the IMF has upgraded Russia’s GDP estimate by 2.5 percentage points, its economy is expected to shrink by 6 percent. “That’s still a fairly sizable recession in Russia in 2022,” Gourinchas said.

President Zelensky believes the democracies of the world are capable of stopping any tyranny. He says

We are capable of stopping any evil that threatens our freedom. Only the joint leadership of the entire free world can be enough for this.

And patience should be enough. Patience on the way to victory. No one knows today how much time and effort it will take to reach it.

We only can hope and pray there shall come an end soon to this horror.

From the Biblical point of view, we might see Vladimir Putin Vladimir Putin described in detail in the Bible

– incredible long range prophecies in the Bible accurately describe the man and his plan…

says Andy Walton, who presents some video’s about the matter.

The Bible says that the “king of the south” – UK / US will “push” or militarily provoke Gog the king of Daniel 11:36-39. Often the word ”pushed” is used in relation to Britain’s missiles being used by Ukraine. We are surely seeing the push happening right now. The word “push” is the Hebrew word for “gore” ie with a horn of an animal. Like horns, missiles are also sharp pointed weapons.

The Bible says that when Putin sends his army to invade Israel it will be to take a ”spoil”. Strong’s concordance says this word spoil means to “plunder or loot”. Putin’s Plunder is the headline in several papers.

Last month alone we have had a number of headlines about nations preparing for conflict. Headlines such as

“Nato vast war games to deter Putin”.

We have also had …

”China will ‘start a war’ if Taiwan declares independence.”


“Threat of escalation as US and South Korea test missiles to deter North”


“Lebanon warns against any Israeli ‘aggression’ in disputed waters.”

Surely all these headlines tell us that the time of trouble such as never was is at hand.

We have never had (in my experience) so much talk of World War 3 and of the possibility of nuclear weapons being used.

says brother Andy.

We know that ultimately all nations will be gathered to Jerusalem to battle. Before this we are told that the gentiles prepare for war. We read that they will beat their plowshares into swords, and pruninghooks into spears: let the weak say, I am strong. This is the exact opposite to what will happen in the kingdom when Jesus returns. Let’s keep our focus on the joy that is set before us – trouble will turn to triumph.




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