PCG’s Gerald Flurry points to Russia’s Putin as the ‘Prince of Rosh’ of Ezekiel 38:2

Vladimir Putin (www.kremlin.ru)


Gerald Flurry of the improperly named Philadelphia Church of God (PCG) has another speculative prophetic error–PCG has published:


Is Vladimir Putin the Prophesied ‘Prince of Rosh’?

From the February 2014 Trumpet Print Edition »

Russia’s president is taking on authoritarian power and restoring the Soviet empire. Biblical prophecy speaks of a tyrant from that area committing some shocking acts. Is President Putin going to fulfill that prophecy?…

Now, a recent move by President Putin has rattled some European leaders to their core.

For several years, Ukraine has been working toward joining Europe’s Eastern Partnership program. But in late November, it abruptly decided to pull out of the EU deal. Why? Because of Mr. Putin’s threats and offer of some rich financial rewards…

But Vladimir Putin is one we need to keep a particularly close eye on. His track record, his nationality and his ideology indicate that he could—and I strongly believe he will—fulfill a linchpin Bible prophecy that was recorded millennia ago. The time frame of his rule makes it almost certain.

A Prophesied ‘Prince’…

A prophecy in Ezekiel 38 gives us some of these important details. “And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him” (Ezekiel 38:1-2). These verses begin in the latter days (verses 8, 16) before the Great Tribulation, the Day of the Lord and Christ’s Second Coming…

One other Russian people is mentioned in Ezekiel 38:2. There is controversy over how the Hebrew word rosh should be translated in this verse. The King James Version uses the adjective “chief.” But the correct rendering (used by the Moffatt, New King James and others) uses the word not as an adjective, but AS A PROPER NOUN: Rosh. Thus, that verse should read, “the PRINCE OF ROSH, Meshech and Tubal.”

Rosh was the ancient name of Russia, once called Rus. Many encyclopedias and commentaries (such as the Jamieson, Fausset and Brown Commentary) recognize this. So who is this “prince” of Russia, Moscow and Tobolsk? The use of all three names states that this is an individual ruler of all the peoples of Russia, from the west to the east. EZEKIEL’S COMMAND TO “PROPHESY AGAINST HIM” FURTHER INDICATES A SPECIFIC INDIVIDUAL.

When you study these scriptures alongside current events revealing modern Moscow’s imperialist direction, you see that Vladimir Putin could well become the leader of that gigantic army of the East. I strongly believe Vladimir Putin is going to lead the 200 million-man army. Just look at the power he already has.

Can you think of any other Russian politician who could become so powerful and have the will to lead Russia into the crisis of crises? I see nobody else on the horizon who could do that. And only a tiny few years remain for the prince of Rosh to appear!

Such a man doesn’t appear overnight. It takes years for even a strong-willed leader to gain such control.

Vladimir Putin already has the power—and the will to use it. I believe there is not enough time for a competitor to arise and challenge him.

But there will also be other powers involved. Ezekiel’s prophecy says the Russia-led army will include “Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya … Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people” (Ezekiel 38:5-6)…

If you study Ezekiel 38 and 39, you see that much of this prophecy takes place after Christ’s Second Coming. These chapters make plain that the end-time “kings of the east” will also play a key role in a second end-time war! The first is just before the return of Jesus Christ. The second is a short number of years after it…

God says in Ezekiel 38 to prophesy against HIM in the latter days because this is going to be cataclysmic! The Asian power that is already rapidly solidifying will be like nothing this Earth has ever experienced. We need to watch Vladimir Putin closely. I believe he is almost certain to be the “prince of Rosh” that God inspired Ezekiel to write about 2,500 years ago!

The above change related to the first few verses of Ezekiel 38 is not consistent with the historical COG position.  Here are some positions from the old Radio Church of God (bold italics mine):

Perhaps no prophecy has received more widespread interest and attention than that of Ezekiel 38 and 39. As usual there are various interpretations. Those most popularly believed and expressed are: I) That the prophecy pictures “Armageddon”-with Russia the aggressor in this final “Armageddon” battle…The word “Armageddon,” believe it or not occurs only once in all he Bible. It is in Rev. 16:13-16: “ARMAGGEDON is the place of the “BATTLE” of that Great Day of God Almighty, which is “the Day of the Lord.” This is the coming time of God’s WRATH, climaxing in the seven last plagues and the Second Coming of Christ. The Battle at Armageddon is pictured in Rev. 20:19-20 and Rev.17:14. It is a battle in which European AXIS powers, symbolically represented as “The BEAST” and ten federated European dictatorships wive the Roman Empire, which fight against Christ and His Angels, contesting IS right to rule the world. But Ezekiel 38 speaks of a different power altogether-“GOG’ in the land of ‘MAGOG’, numerous Allies – all descendants of JAPETH, father of the yellow races…

And now we come to chapter 38!…The TIME of this prophecy is AFTER–not before, but AFTER–the second coming of Christ…The 39th chapter shows in more detail the RESULT of this great battle, in which Christ, with supernatural power, causes five-sixth of these heathen armies to be slain in this battle. (What’s Prophesied About RUSSIA! The Plain Truth. November-December 1943, pp. 5, 7, 12)

(Ez. 38: 12). It is now, after the second coming of Christ, with Israel obeying God in the land of Palestine, that Russia and her oriental hordes come to take a prey from defenseless cities. (Does Ezekiel 38 and 39 Mean An Invasion of Canada and the United States by Russia? Good News, June 1951, p. 11)

Does Ezekiel 38 and 39 Refer to Russia?
Nearly all Bible students believe that Ezekiel’s amazing prophecy refers to Russia. Yet they totally misapply the time of its fulfillment. It is referring to an invasion of Palestine after Christ has restored His people Israel to Palestine. This has been amply proved in articles in The PLAIN TRUTH…Notice that it is Gog and Magog (Ezek. 38:2) which will come against the nation in which Christ’s capital will be located (verse 16). Notice again that Gog and Magog come “out of the north parts” (verse 15 ) where Russia is today. (Does Ezekiel 38 and 39 Refer to Russia? Good News, August 1954, p. 5)

Despite claims from Gerald Flurry, it is not clear that Ezekiel 38:1-7 is fulfilled prior to the return of Jesus.  Certainly, there will be a 200 million many army, but that is not what Ezekiel 38:1-7 appears to be talking about.  Notice what it and the verses immediately after them state:

1 Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 2 “Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal, and prophesy against him, 3 and say, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Behold, I am against you, O Gog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal. 4 I will turn you around, put hooks into your jaws, and lead you out, with all your army, horses, and horsemen, all splendidly clothed, a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords. 5 Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya are with them, all of them with shield and helmet; 6 Gomer and all its troops; the house of Togarmah from the far north and all its troops — many people are with you.

7 “Prepare yourself and be ready, you and all your companies that are gathered about you; and be a guard for them. 8 After many days you will be visited. In the latter years you will come into the land of those brought back from the sword and gathered from many people on the mountains of Israel, which had long been desolate; they were brought out of the nations, and now all of them dwell safely. 9 You will ascend, coming like a storm, covering the land like a cloud, you and all your troops and many peoples with you.”

10 ‘Thus says the Lord God: “On that day it shall come to pass that thoughts will arise in your mind, and you will make an evil plan: 11 You will say, ‘I will go up against a land of unwalled villages; I will go to a peaceful people, who dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates’ —  12 to take plunder and to take booty, to stretch out your hand against the waste places that are again inhabited, and against a people gathered from the nations, who have acquired livestock and goods, who dwell in the midst of the land. 13 Sheba, Dedan, the merchants of Tarshish, and all their young lions will say to you, ‘Have you come to take plunder? Have you gathered your army to take booty, to carry away silver and gold, to take away livestock and goods, to take great plunder?'”‘ (Ezekiel 38:1-13)

Pay close attention to verses 7-13.  It is against a ‘peaceful people’ in unarmed villages that the prince of Rosh is going against.  This cannot happen until AFTER the return of Jesus.  Hence this is not a prophecy about Vladimir Putin.  But that does not mean that Vladimir Putin does not have an important role–his repeatedly calls for a Eurasian Union will help lead to the time of the armies of the kings of the east of Revelation 16:12.

Vladimir Putin has also been a champion for the Russian Orthodox.  On January 27, 2009, I posted that I believed that the Russian Orthodox would be a bit distant, but ultimately to a degree at least, cooperate with the Church of Rome (see New Russian Orthodox Patriarch). Interestingly, the Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill has sometimes sounded “ecumenical” and cooperative since the Fall of 2009.  As Metropolitan Kirill (the rank he held prior to becoming Patriarch), he was once so opposed to unity with the Vatican, that a few days prior to his election to his current position in January 2009, he publicly stated “there is no room for compromise” with the Vatican (see Russian Orthodox Leader Urges No Compromise With Catholics). However, by mid-November 2009, he apparently changed his mind (Cooper R. Russian Orthodox and Catholic church may end 950-year rift. Telegraph, November 13, 2009).

Sadly, since taking current office, Patriarch Kirill and his followers have sometimes taken steps to get into closer unity with Rome and others. Plus he has been fairly involved in Russian politics and was a factor in Vladimir Putin’s “re-election” to the Russian presidency in 2012:

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has taken a day off from “commitments of government,” according to his spokesman. And religious leaders have formally endorsed the candidacy.

Hosted by the Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill – who described the Putin era a “miracle” – the event has brought to the monastery of St. Daniel in Moscow, representatives of both the so-called ‘traditional religions’ (Orthodox, Buddhist, Muslim and Jews) and non (Catholics, Armenians and other Christian denominations). Kirill “blessed” the political ambitions of the Prime Minister, calling him the “candidate who certainly has the best chance to turn his candidacy into a real office.”

The patriarch, who supported the demands for change expressed by the protesters who took to the streets against electoral fraud in December, urging the authorities to listen to the people – then thanked Putin for the “crucial role” played in moving the country out of crisis of the 1990s. Kirill then defined the last 12 years a “miracle” for the Church in Russia. Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin was president from 2000 to 2008, when he was appointed prime minister by the current head of the Kremlin, Dmitri Medvedev. (Achmatova A. Kirill and religious leaders “bless” Putin’s candidacy. February 13, 2012. http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Kirill-and-religious-leaders-bless-Putin%25E2%2580%2599s-candidacy-23956.html viewed 05/06/12)

Some are displeased with the support of Putin by the leadership of the Russian Orthodox Church:

Critics of Russian Orthodox Church say it’s sold its soul to Putin

May 13, 2012…Kirill himself is a focus of the growing opposition to the church.

The patriarch’s reputation has been tarnished by a pair of scandals involving a $38,832 Breguet watch he was seen wearing and a court case in which he sought $630,000 from a cancer-stricken neighbor — despite his monastic vows not to have any worldly possessions while serving the church.

And just as Putin is supported by gangs of youth thugs who intimidate his opponents, the church enjoys the backing of its own roaming enforcers of orthodoxy — tacitly approved of by church leaders…

Political analyst Stanislav Belkovsky said the church has turned into the Kremlin’s “Salvation Ministry,” obediently approving Kremlin policies and slamming Western democracy as concepts alien to Russian traditions — all the while enjoying hefty government donations and tax immunity.

“The church inherited its full loyalty to the existing government from Soviet times,” Belkovsky said. http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2018204136_russiachurch14.html

Despite the political nature of the Russian Orthodox Patriarch, whatever arrangements he and/or President Putin may temporarily make with the Vatican in the future will not last per Daniel 11:44 and other scriptures–for more details, please see Russia: Its Origins and Prophesied Future. But temporary cooperation with Rome seems prophesied (cf. Revelation 13 and 17).

Steps towards such a temporary union are taking place.

As far as PCG goes, according to a press release, its Gerald Flurry had a fainting spell that interrupted his sermon about a “new revelation from Ezekiel” (see also Cartwright’s Journal out: COGaIC crisis, Aaron Dean and CGI, and the Canon).   I wonder if his “new revelation from Ezekiel” was related to his view of Vladimir Putin and certain events in Ezekiel 38.  Presuming that it is, this is additional proof that his “revelations” do not come from God–as he is wrong about the fulfillment of Ezekiel 38:1-7 coming before the return of Jesus Christ.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Some Similarities and Differences Between the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Continuing Church of God Both groups claim to be the original church, but both groups have differing ways to claim it. Both groups have some amazing similarities and some major differences. Do you know what they are?
Orthodox Must Reject Unity with the Roman Catholics Unity between these groups will put them in position to be part of the final end time Babylon that the Bible warns against as well as require improper compromise.
Which Is Faithful: The Roman Catholic Church or the Continuing Church of God? Do you know that both groups shared a lot of the earliest teachings? Do you know which church changed? Do you know which group is most faithful to the teachings of the apostolic church? Which group best represents true Christianity? This documented article answers those questions. [Português: Qual é fiel: A igreja católica romana ou a igreja do deus?]
Why Should American Catholics Should Fear Unity with the Orthodox? Are the current ecumenical meetings a good thing or will they result in disaster? Is doctrinal compromise good?
The Eurasian Union, the Kings of the East, and Bible Prophecy Is there a Eurasian union that will be formed? Is one being formed right now? Are any leaders working on that in the 21st century? Does the Bible teach that there will be a Eurasian union? If some type of Eurasian union is formed, who might it benefit and who will it destroy? A related video would be Is The Eurasian Union Rising?
Is Russia the King of the North? Some claim it is. But what does the Bible teach? Here is a link to a video, also titled Is Russia the King of the North?
Russia: Its Origins and Prophesied Future Where do the Russians come from? What about those in the Ukraine? What is prophesied for Russia and its allies? What will they do to the Europeans that supported the Beast in the end?
Teachings Unique to the Philadelphia Church of God Simply calling oneself ‘Philadelphia’ does not make one so (see Revelation 3:7-9), nor does Gerald Flurry calling himself “that prophet” make it so. This article provides many quotes from this group which tries to look faithful.

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