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For the past few years I have talked about the “kings of the east” being raised up by God to overthrow Mystery Babylon, as seen in Revelation 16:12. The kings of the east rise as the result of the sixth angel who pours his bowl of wine upon the Euphrates River. The main lessons from this passage are:
1 The angel is the cause of this conflict.
2 The kings of the east are divinely appointed.
3 Babylon will lose this battle and fall.
4 As Christians, we do not need to fear the kings of the east
The way history has progressed in recent years, it is plain that Russia and China are the kings of the east and that God has raised them up to overthrow Mystery Babylon, which has long oppressed the world from its three main heads: Rome, London, and Washington D.C.
The collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990’s redrew the map of Eastern Europe and Asia and gave rise to the new Russia. In 1998 Zbigniew Brzezinski wrote a book, The Grand Chessboard, in which he outlined America’s foreign policy strategy for the future.
He saw America emerging as the sole superpower. He said,
"The last decade of the twentieth century has witnessed a tectonic shift in world affairs. For the first time ever, a non-Eurasian power has emerged not only as a key arbiter of Eurasian power relations but also as the world's paramount power. The defeat and collapse of the Soviet Union was the final step in the rapid ascendance of a Western Hemisphere power, the United States, as the sole and, indeed, the first truly global power." (p. xiii)
He was saying that for the first time in history, “a non-Eurasian power”—meaning the US government—is in control of Eurasia (i.e., Russia). This, of course, was the goal. He also warned against a loss of control, which he said “would produce massive international instability” and probably “global anarchy.”
"America's withdrawal from the world or because of the sudden emergence of a successful rival - would produce massive international instability. It would prompt global anarchy." (p. 30)
He goes on to speak of the enormous oil and natural gas in Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, which were former southern Soviet Republics. It is obvious that Brzezinski sought for US control of those resources in order to “ensure that no single power [Russia or China] comes to control this geopolitical space.”
"It follows that America's primary interest is to help ensure that no single power comes to control this geopolitical space and that the global community has unhindered financial and economic access to it." (p. 148)
"America is now the only global superpower, and Eurasia is the globe's central arena. Hence, what happens to the distribution of power on the Eurasian continent will be of decisive importance to America's global primacy and to America's historical legacy." (p. 194)
In other words, America has to restrain rivals like Russia and China from emerging as powers in Eurasia. We wonder how America could ever hope to win such a conflict, when Russia and China are so close to that area of the world, while America is half a world away! Seen in reverse, that would be the equivalent of Russia trying to have Mexico under its hegemonic sphere of influence.
"That puts a premium on maneuver and manipulation in order to prevent the emergence of a hostile coalition that could eventually seek to challenge America's primacy." (p. 198)
"The most immediate task is to make certain that no state or combination of states gains the capacity to expel the United States from Eurasia or even to diminish significantly its decisive arbitration role." (p. 198)
In other words, the US has to “make certain” that a coalition between Russia and China is unable to diminish US oil and gas interests in Eurasia.
Ukraine’s Strategic Importance
On page 46 of his book, Brzezinksi shows the importance of Ukraine in the US strategy to retain control of Eurasia:
Ukraine, a new and important space on the Eurasian chessboard, is a geopolitical pivot because its very existence as an independent country helps to transform Russia. Without Ukraine, Russia ceases to be a Eurasian empire. Russia without Ukraine can still strive for imperial status, but it would then become a predominantly Asian imperial state, more likely to be drawn into debilitating conflicts with aroused Central Asians, who would then be resentful of the loss of their recent independence and would be supported by their fellow Islamic states to the south. China would also be likely to oppose any restoration of Russian domination over Central Asia, given its increasing interest in the newly independent states there. However, if Moscow regains control over Ukraine, with its 52 million people and major resources as well as its access to the Black Sea, Russia automatically again regains the wherewithal to become a powerful imperial state, spanning Europe and Asia. Ukraine's loss of independence would have immediate consequences for Central Europe, transforming Poland into the geopolitical pivot on the eastern frontier of a united Europe.
In other words, Ukraine has the potential of making Russia a Eurasian power, but if Ukraine keeps its “independence,” i.e., if the US can wrench Ukraine out from under Russia into the hegemony of the US government, then Russia will remain an Asian power, not a Eurasian power.
This was why the US plotted the coup in Kiev, and this is partly why Russia objects. Russia had invested a lot in Ukraine, putting in pipelines to supply Europe with natural gas and oil. The US became alarmed that Russia was becoming a Eurasian power, linking Europe to Asia, and thereby diminishing US hegemony in the region.
Brzezinski’s book shows that he considered Russia to be the main US competitor for natural resources and had to be contained in order to maintain the US status as the “sole superpower.” On page 47 he says,
Can Russia be both powerful and a democracy at the same time? If it becomes powerful again, will it not seek to regain its lost imperial domain, and can it then be both an empire and a democracy? U.S. policy toward the vital geopolitical pivots of Ukraine and Azerbaijan cannot skirt that issue, and America thus faces a difficult dilemma regarding tactical balance and strategic purpose. Internal Russian recovery is essential to Russia's democratization and eventual Europeanization. But any recovery of its imperial potential would be inimical to both of these objectives.
In other words, he claims to want Russia to become democratic and Europeanized, but does not want Russia to regain any power as a superpower that might rival that of the US. The rise of Putin, Russia’s strong leader, was thus seen as a threat to the power of the US in Eurasia.
The problem is that US opposition came to be a self-fulfilling prophecy. Putin tried at first to become a European state, but the US balked at that and began to treat him as an enemy. So Putin turned East and strengthened ties with China. At the same time, though, Putin does see itself as the bridge between Europe and Asia, and, in fact, can hardly avoid it, given its geographical position. The US is the isolated power, being geographically positioned between two oceans. The two oceans have served as a good defense in the past, but insofar as trade is concerned, its position has some disadvantages.
The point is that Ukraine has been a key pawn in “The Grand Chessboard.” Ukrainians are dying because of it. Their lives are being disrupted. Whether the US is justified or not in its political coup last year depends on the moral basis of one’s strategy. As the beast world thinks, where “might makes right” and nations function according to their own selfish interests, there is no moral code at all. Only hegemony is important, so that nations can benefit from the labor and resources of other nations.
The Biblical Pattern for Babylon’s Collapse
The Kingdom of God is not a beast system. It has a moral code, because the law is based on love of God and neighbor, not upon selfish interest. The contrast is stark.
Our overall interest in this conflict is to see how God has raised up Russia and China to overthrow Babylon. It is patterned after the original overthrow of Babylon by the Medes and Persians. Russia is Medea; China is Persia. Though Cyrus the Persian was the dominant power, Darius the Mede was the one who actually took Babylon (Daniel 5:31).
In today’s world, China is the dominant power in the background, but Russia is the one on the front lines of the battle between East and West. The biblical pattern shows that Russia will win this conflict. The good news is that Darius took Babylon intact. There was no physical destruction, only a sudden change of government. Even though the book of Revelation uses violent terminology to describe the overthrow of Babylon, I believe that this violence will be limited largely to the political arena.
Those who read Revelation 17-19 without understanding how the pattern was set in the book of Daniel will probably not see it the same way. Their views are influenced by their belief that the world is about to be destroyed by the Tribulation and God’s wrath against the Antichrist. They do not mind such a scenario, because they expect to escape all of this through a rapture. But will the saints rule a destroyed earth in the Age to come? I do not think so.
I do not deny that there will be a certain amount of destruction in the transition from beast nations to Kingdom nations. But it will be nothing like many have prophesied. Neither will we be gone from the earth. We are here to pray to overthrow Babylon and to rebuild the earth in peace, subjecting it to Jesus Christ and His law of love.
It seems that God is using the Ukrainian crisis to bring things to a head. The resolution of this conflict will determine if Babylon retains control of Europe, or if the kings of the east rise up and wrench Europe from the hegemony of the US government.
Yesterday one of the most important summits took place between Russia, Ukraine, France, Germany, and the US. It was called a last-ditch effort to prevent war.
But it is too late for peace, now that so much blood has been spilled in Ukraine. Both the US and Russia see Ukraine as the pivot point of much larger issues, which Brzezinski wrote about in 1998, and so neither side can back down. They are on the brink of war, just as we see the conclusion of Operation Jericho from February 17-23.
The important thing is for us to understand the word and to see what God is doing behind the scenes. Only then can we foresee the outcome of this situation and to know that we have no reason to fear. In fact, this is God’s answer to prayer. We are seeing the outcome of years of spiritual warfare.
More than that, we ought to prepare ourselves for what we see coming. Get into the word, pray, and walk in the Spirit.