Signs of the Times – September 2023


Will Russia collapse?  Or blow us all up?  Or win in the end?

Senior Russian official Dmitry Medvedev said Russia may be forced to use a nuclear weapon if Ukraine’s counteroffensive succeeds. 

“There simply wouldn’t be any other solution,” the former Russian president added. “Our enemies should pray for our fighters that they do not allow the world to go up in nuclear flames.”

Dmitry Medvedev – Former Russian President

In this case Medvedev is probably being used as a mouthpiece for a warning Putin wants the west to hear, but does not wish to articulate himself.

Kremlin’s Dmitry Medvedev threatens ‘global nuclear fire’ (

Medvedev’s remarks raise the possibility that Russia could potentially lose the war following nearly 18 months of attrition – a rare admission from a senior Russian official.  The war is continuing to go badly for Russia.  At the same time Ukrainian forces are making slow progress and having large numbers of casualties in their counter offensive in eastern Ukraine.  There are varied claims of the war, with some saying that Russia is making advances in the north, while others say that Ukraine is about to break through Russian lines on the way to the Azov Sea and Crimea.

In the midst of the fog of war it is not always possible to know the exact truth of the situation, but it is clear that both sides are losing thousands of men in the conflict.  Ukraine claims that 250,000 Russian soldiers have been killed since the beginning of the war, although Western analysts believe that number is lower. A former Russian Lieutenant Colonel Valerie Zaluzhnyi has revealed the shocking extent of decay and corruption inside Putin’s army, predicting it is heading towards defeat.  There is low morale in Russia’s army with some soldiers on the verge of mutiny.

Developments within Russia are unnerving the population.   The extraordinary coup attempt by the Wagner group showed the growing loss of control by the Kremlin over events.  A number of drone attacks have hit prestige targets in Moscow, some located only a few kilometres from the Kremlin.   Mysterious sabotage attacks are taking place, some attributed to the Free Russia Legion, made up of dissident Russian soldiers and volunteers who want to end the Putin regime.

Russia is in a worse economic position than it was before the war, as it has been hit by a barrage of sanctions severely targeting, among others, its oligarchs and energy exports.  The value of the ruble is falling with warnings of an economic collapse on the horizon.  As well as becoming a pariah in the west and dubbed a war criminal, Putin is losing support of his allies, particularly China and Turkey.  At home he is reportedly terrified of assassination attempts or removal by mafia and oligarch elements who have lost their money due to his bungled invasion of Ukraine.

Russia: national debt 2023 | Statista

The possibility of all this leading to a collapse of the Russian Federation similar to the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 is exercising the minds of the western alliance.  The Moscow Times confirmed that secret diplomatic talks are ongoing between senior US national security officials and high-ranking members of the Kremlin, including Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, in an effort to lay the groundwork for negotiations to end the war. US planners fear that if Russia suffers a humiliating defeat and internal collapse it could make a bad situation worse, leading to a very dangerous situation as factions fight for control of a country with thousands of nuclear weapons in its territory. 

One projection from Russian nationalists sees Muslim influence taking control of a number of key state powers by 2030.  This is a quotation from a man calling himself  Bulbe de Thrones, who moves in nationalist circles. :

‘White Russians are simply not reproducing fast enough. (Chechen leader) Ramzan Kadyrov is on the ascendancy in the food fight that is the Russian Federation. It’s part of the internal conflict. Assuming the Federation remains intact, if you have more young Muslims than White Russians, of course they are going to dominate the security services within one to two generations.  The Russian Federation is seriously planning to dissolve in the East, and it is in the Muslim East.  The elites of the national republics stepped up pressure on the Wahhabization (Islamisation) of the regions, and on the final displacement of Russians and Russian culture. Also, Russians lose influence in Russian cities.’  

Bulbe de Thrones

The translation is a bit difficult in places, but the drift of his argument is clear.  He is fearing an Islamic replacement of the Russian people, culture and religion in Russian cities. 

The west too is worried about the prospect of a Russian collapse.  One US official commented:

‘We were taken by surprise in 1989 because we could not see inside the Soviet Union. The process of dissolution is continuing. For the moment we have statistics that are, more or less, accurate. We also can see the horrors inside the Russian Federation. Our elites fear armed gangs, they fear loose nukes, they don’t like the coming instability.   Unlike 1989 this is not going to be a surprise. Trying to slow it down, will only delay it.  But what about a successor? What if they are worse than Vladimir Putin This is not a process we can even start to shape. Could we have a hot civil war?’

US Official

All of this raises questions about Russia and Bible prophecy.  Russia is currently linked up with China in opposing the western led globalist agenda / New World Order.  Its motivation for invading Ukraine was to prevent the NATO / EU / western world order project from taking over Ukraine which Putin regards as a part of the Russian area of control.  Putin has spoken of his own ‘world order’ project, which wants to restore Russian power as in the Soviet Union and set up an alternative globalist structure with China and the BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa). 

Key timeline of China-Russia relationship – Global Times

If Russia is successful in reaching its aim in Ukraine, we would be left with a dangerous threat to the stability of Europe.  However that does not look likely on current form. A loss for Russia in Ukraine could also be dangerous leading to either a collapse of Russia or a hot war with nuclear weapons between the rival powers.  A full scale nuclear war would lead to an apocalyptic scenario bringing civilisation to an end and make it impossible for the Antichrist to come in with his peace plan and world government agenda, although a limited nuclear exchange might actually be the catalyst for that happening. 

Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (

It is known that the western powers have had a plan to undermine Russia, using Ukraine to bring it into line with the western based world order programme.  This was set out in 1997 in a book called the Grand Chessboard by Zbigniew Brzezinski, former US national security adviser, founder of the globalist Trilateral Commission and Council on Foreign Relations.  The plan specifically involved bringing Ukraine into the western / NATO / EU orbit first, then using Ukraine as a base from which to destabilise and take down Russia.  Russia would then be split into 6 separate regions, none of which would be able to resist American / NATO / EU domination. 

One question which occurs to me is the possibility that the coming Antichrist could bring about an east-west union out of this chaos in order to create his one world government.  If this did include Russia, as one of the ten kings, it would be likely that Russia would break up the union and be one of the three kings who get out of line in the coming tribulation time.  Daniel 9.17-22

17 Now therefore, our God, hear the prayer of Your servant, and his supplications, and for the Lord’s sake cause Your face to shine on Your sanctuary, which is desolate. 18 O my God, incline Your ear and hear; open Your eyes and see our desolations, and the city which is called by Your name; for we do not present our supplications before You because of our righteous deeds, but because of Your great mercies. 19 O Lord, hear! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, listen and act! Do not delay for Your own sake, my God, for Your city and Your people are called by Your name.”

20 Now while I was speaking, praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the Lord my God for the holy mountain of my God, 21 yes, while I was speaking in prayer, the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, reached me about the time of the evening offering. 22 And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, “O Daniel, I have now come forth to give you skill to understand.

Daniel 9.17-22

We still have the Gog and Magog war (Ezekiel 38-39) to consider in which Russia (or a power to the north) leads an invasion of Israel in the last days. For more on this see my article “Russia, Iran, Israel and God” .  I have generally thought that this war happens before or at the beginning of the tribulation.  In other words it could happen soon.  If Russia turns the tables and comes out on top in the Ukraine war, that could be the next move. 

If not, it is improbable that Russia would want to get into another major war in the Middle East. Maybe an Islamic takeover of parts of existing Russia could be the catalyst for the Gog and Magog war.  If so this would push the Gog Magog war to an event some years down the line, possibly as an Islamic invasion of Israel at the end of the tribulation, thus setting off the first stage of Armageddon. 

This is the view held by Joel Richardson in his book, The Islamic Antichrist.  Note Joel Richardson sees an Islamic leader coming out of Turkey leading this invasion rather than Russia leading it. 

We certainly live in interesting (and perilous) times. 

World Youth Day – Is the Pope a Catholic?

World Youth Day in Lisbon, a gathering of young Roman Catholics in the presence of Pope Francis was hailed as a great success and a landmark in preparing young people for a world without war.  The Pope told the gathering of 1.5 million for the Mass at the gathering

“Dear young people, I would like to look into the eyes of each one of you and tell you: Be not afraid, be not afraid.  I tell you something very beautiful: It is no longer me, it is Jesus himself who is looking at you in this moment, he is looking at you.”

Pope Francis
WYD Lisbon 2023 (

The Pope then went to the Fatima shrine where he said he prayed in silence before ‘Our Lady in the Chapel of Fatima’.   He said,

‘I prayed to Our Lady and I prayed for peace.  And we continually have to repeat this prayer for peace. In the First World War, she asked for this. And this time I asked that of Our Lady.’

Pope Francis – Wikipedia

The message of Fatima was supposedly given by an apparition claiming to be Mary, mother of Jesus, to three young shepherdesses in 1917 in Portugal.  It contained three messages, one affirming Roman Catholic doctrine, the second containing a warning that World War I would be followed by a far worse conflict unless people stopped “offending God” with a reference to an error coming out of Russia, a reference to Communism. 

Shrine of Fatima | The Fatima Experience: a “Glimpse” of What the Experience of Fatima Is

There is controversy about the Third Secret of Fatima which has not been publicly revealed by the Vatican.  It was to be revealed on the death of one of the visionaries, Lucy, who died in 1960.  After reading the Secret, Pope John XXIII decided not to reveal the contents publicly, and there has been growing speculation concerning what it contains.  The Third Secret was identified with all sorts of cataclysms and disasters, connected to the Apocalypse and the rise of the Antichrist.  Some have claimed it points to an apostasy within the Roman Catholic Church bringing in the Antichrist and prophesies the widespread chaos, confusion and loss of faith that has gripped the Roman Catholic Church in recent times.

Traditional Catholics say Pope Francis’ liberal teaching is paving the way for this, promoting heresy and apostasy in the church.  Archbishop Vigano claimed that the Lisbon event was part of Francis’ plan to ‘provoke a schism’ in the church by foisting this kind of teaching on the young people gathered there.

America Magazine

He deplored the presence of James Martin, a Catholic priest who affirms homosexuality, at the Lisbon rally.  He says Martin came ‘to propagandize the acceptance of LGBTQ ideology by young people, affirming the Pope’s recent statement to a transgender person: 

“God loves us as we are; go ahead.” 

News about Pope Francis – All the latest news – Vatican News
‘The Independent

Vigano also claimed Francis is stacking the church with progressive Cardinals who will ensure that the next Pope will also be a liberal.  He does not accept Francis as a legitimate Pope and always refers to him as Bergoglio, his real name, before he became Pope.

In May 2019 a group of 19 Catholic priests and academics accused the Pope of heresy over a range of topics and giving rise ‘to one of the worst crises in the history of the Catholic Church.’ The letter attacks Francis for allegedly softening the Church’s stance on a range of subjects, including abortion, homosexuality and family issues, and relations with Protestants and Muslims.

Letter from 19 theologians accuses Pope Francis of heresy | Catholic News Agency

A significant part of the letter concentrates on “Amoris Laetitia” (The Joy of Love), a 2016 papal document that is a cornerstone of Francis’ attempt to make the 1.3 billion-member Church more inclusive and less condemning.  Critics say he has not condemned abortion strongly enough and is too lenient with homosexual Catholics and that the document undermines traditional teaching on the sanctity of marriage.

The letter criticised Francis for signing a joint statement with Lutherans in 2016 in which the pope said Catholics were grateful for the “theological gifts” of the Reformation (some traditional Catholics refer to Luther as Lucifer!).  It also attacked the pope for a statement with a prominent Muslim leader in Abu Dhabi, which said that the pluralism and diversity of religions was “willed by God”. Conservatives say the Roman Catholic Church is the only true one and that members are called to convert others to it.

America Magazine

There has also been criticism of the Pope for making climate change a priority issue over teaching Church doctrine.  On this issue it is interesting that the pope has called for a global government to be set up to deal with this issue and other related ones.  In his 2015 encyclical Pope Francis wrote

‘International negotiations cannot make significant progress due to positions taken by countries which place their national interests above the common good.’
He called for the nations of the world to set up ‘global regulatory norms to impose obligations and prevent unacceptable actions. … There is urgent need of a true world political authorityone authoritative source of oversight and co-ordination … which lays down rules for admissible conduct in the light of the common good.

Laudato si’ (24 May 2015) | Francis (

In other words we need a one world political system with rules that nations must submit to in order to save the world.

From a biblical point of view the Roman Catholic church has been in error for centuries and the Fatima prophecies and worship of Mary are the product of this error and confusion. 

However it is interesting that Roman Catholics themselves are now seeing a departure from Roman Catholic doctrine and practice in their church and fearing that their Pope is not leading them to Jesus Christ, but to Antichrist.  Some relate this to the Third Secret of Fatima, but the biblical place to look for an explanation is Revelation 17 – the Woman rides the Beast.

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.”

So he carried me away in the Spirit into the wilderness. And I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast which was full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication. And on her forehead a name was written:


I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And when I saw her, I marvelled with great amazement.

But the angel said to me, “Why did you marvel? I will tell you the [mystery of the woman and of the beast that carries her, which has the seven heads and the ten horns. The beast that you saw was, and is not, and will ascend out of the bottomless pit and go to perdition. 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.

“Here is the mind which has wisdom: The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits. 10 There are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, and the other has not yet come. And when he comes, he must continue a short time. 11 The beast that was, and is not, is himself also the eighth, and is of the seven, and is going to perdition.

12 “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. 13 These are of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast. 14 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.”

15 Then he said to me, “The waters which you saw, where the harlot sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues. 16 And the ten horns which you saw on the beast, these will hate the harlot, make her desolate and naked, eat her flesh and burn her with fire. 17 For God has put it into their hearts to fulfil His purpose, to be of one mind, and to give their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God are fulfilled. 18 And the woman whom you saw is that great city which reigns over the kings of the earth.”

Revelation 17

Persecution in India

A recent atrocity, caught on video, highlights the horrific situation of Christian minorities in Hindu India.  “The viral video captures the harrowing ordeal endured by two Christian women from Manipur. On May 4, 2023, the women were paraded naked while a mob of men molested and beat them mercilessly.

Tragically, the younger woman, aged only 19, was brutally gang-raped by the enraged mob, which included members of the Meitei [Hindu] tribe. To add to the horror, four police officers reportedly stood by and watched as the frenzied attack unfolded, making no attempt to intervene.  The survivors have alleged that the police officers may have actively participated in or facilitated the heinous attack.

Manipur violence: What is happening and why – BBC News

There are claims that the officers led the women directly to the mob of 800 to 1000 men or were present during the assault.  Initially the government did nothing about it but when the video went viral PM Modi expressed ‘outrage.’

After blaming the Manipur government and police of “complicity” in the “heinous violence,” Archbishop Joseph D’Souza of the Anglican Good Shepherd Church of India and President of the All India Christian Council, wrote:

This is indeed the state of affairs wherever minority Christians have been attacked in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and other states. Local police throughout India allow Hindu extremist mobs to attack hapless Christians without consequences.

Christian Women Abused in India – The Stream

Uganda rejects loans tied to acceptance of homosexuality

The World Bank has cut funding for Uganda in response to the African country’s strict anti-sodomy laws.  In a statement released on August 8, the World Bank Group wrote,

“Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Act fundamentally contradicts the World Bank Group’s values.”

World Bank Group Statement on Uganda

In response the President of Uganda, General Yoweri Museveni, has assured his citizens that the country’s economy does not need assistance from the West if that aid is tied to acceptance of homosexuality.  

BBC News

The President said he wanted

“to inform everybody, starting with Ugandans, that Uganda will develop with or without loans.” 
“With discipline, patriotism and combating corruption, we shall thrive because our agriculture is there, our industries are growing and our services sector is expanding. It is, therefore, unfortunate that the World Bank and other actors dare to want to coerce us into abandoning our faith, culture, principles and sovereignty, using money. They really under-estimate all Africans,”

President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni (

Planning for the next pandemic

UK scientists have begun developing vaccines as an “insurance against a new pandemic caused by an unknown “Disease X”. In the same way as COVID-19 was rehearsed at Event 201, it would seem that Disease X” could be preparing the way for a new ‘pandemic’?

Science & Tech News | Sky News

Sky News reported that “Disease X” is an “unidentified and potential future pandemic and that there is a team of more than 200 scientists from the UK carrying out work to prepare for it.  The scientists are at the government’s high-security, state-of-the-art vaccine research facility, Porton Down laboratory complex near Salisbury which is run by the UK Health Security Agency who “have drawn up” what they say are “a threat list of animal viruses that are capable of infecting humans.”

The Independent also reported that

“scientists will work to ensure future pandemics are stopped in their tracks and do not cause the same disruption to everyday life as “Covid-19”. It is also hoped the facility will help the UK tackle “disease X” by enhancing preparedness for yet-to-be-identified pathogens with pandemic potential.”

Disease X – latest news, breaking stories and comment – The Independent

Iran turns to desert

The desertification of Iran is occurring at a staggering pace, with officials last month warning that more than 1 million hectares of the country’s territory — roughly equivalent to the size of Lebanon — is essentially becoming uninhabitable every year.  The situation has Tehran scrambling to gain control of the situation in a country where up to 90 percent of the land is arid or semi-arid. But the clock is ticking to stave off what officials have acknowledged could lead to an existential crisis and the mass exodus of civilians.

The warning signs were on full display this month. Temperatures in southwestern Iran hit a staggering 66.7 degrees Celsius (152 degrees Fahrenheit), higher than what is considered tolerable for human life.  Iranian scientists warned that the water levels of Lake Urmia, which is in severe danger of drying up, are the lowest recorded in 60 years. And in what has become routine, warnings were issued about the threat of suffocating dust storms.

Iran’s population has more than doubled since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, rising from about 35 million to almost 88 million, with about 70 percent of the population residing in cities. Tehran alone, Hakim said, “has seen an average influx of a quarter of a million people per year for the previous two decades.”

Demographics of Iran – Wikipedia

But as water scarcity and desertification make more and more territory unliveable, there are fears that a huge segment of the population might eventually have no option but to flee the country entirely in the face of what is arguably Iran’s most pressing policy challenge.


  • See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 1 John 3 1. Look up at the face of Messiah, not down on the waves