When the clock struck the hour, the third plague began in perfect time: the Ukraine crisis brought the world to the brink of war on November 26, 2018. In this article, we will take a close look at some of the brief words the Bible uses to describe this plague:
And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers and fountains of waters; and they became blood. (Revelation 16:4)
The warnings of the book of Revelation are increasing in intensity, and in that way the symbolism of the third plague builds on that of the third trumpet, which also dealt especially with the rivers and fountains of waters:
And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters; (Revelation 8:10)
What could the symbolism of “waters” represent? Waters in the Bible are explicitly defined as peoples:
And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues. (Revelation 17:15)
This is a well-known key to prophecy interpretation, but in this case we are dealing with a specific kind of waters—namely rivers and springs. Those who understand the historical fulfillment of Revelation 12 are partly on the way to understanding what the rivers and fountains of waters mean in this context. In particular, we refer to the following verse:
And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood. And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth. (Revelation 12:15-16)
The fulfillment of that prophecy has long since been recorded in the history books. The people of God who wanted to worship Him freely and faithfully according to the dictates of a conscience obedient to the Holy Bible fled from despotic conditions in the Old World (especially Europe) to forge a new and free life in the New World where neither popery nor monarchy would be able to oppress them. (That was in the 1500’s-1700’s when there was still a place to flee to!) The “earth” in the prophecy represents the sparsely populated (dry) New World that “swallowed up” the “peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues” that flooded onto its shores in the ensuing years, giving rise to the “salad bowl” or “melting pot” that is America.
There are people “flooding” into the borders of the United States again today, but it is no longer the case that the land is swallowing them up. To the contrary, they are being repelled instead of welcomed. Regardless, however, the imagery of people “flooding” into a nation is very graphic, as the people of Europe have also experienced in many locations in the last few years due to the Islamic migration.
If the symbolism of the “flood” of Revelation 12:15 isn’t clear enough already, the Bible makes it absolutely unmistakable by connecting the waters that are “peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues” with the “flood” that followed the woman. It says the waters went after her “as a flood,” which means the flood is also the waters—it is one and the same symbol, but expressed in a different form.
The King James Version, however, masks the true significance of the expression “as a flood.” The Greek word translated “flood” actually means a “river.”
Probably from a derivative of the alternate of G4095 (compare G4224); a current, brook or freshet (as drinkable), that is, running water: - flood, river, stream, water.
Do you see what the Bible is doing here? The flood describes the manner in which the waters behave. The prophecy speaks of the waters (peoples) as a moving (migrating) stream, which is a perfect characterization of human migration and the influx of people (into the New World, in that case).
Applying that knowledge to the third plague prophecy, it is easy to understand that the “rivers” speak of a human migration pattern. Just as rivers run into the sea, human migration results in a “sea” of people. That is exactly how Europe was populated throughout prehistoric times. Multiple migrations occurred over a long period of time, ultimately resulting in the many different people groups that characterize Europe.
Speaking of the world populations in the prophetic terms of migration flows is especially fitting because it was God’s purpose for mankind to multiply and fill the earth.
And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. (Genesis 1:28)
God does not draw the attention to racial lines, but to the great migration patterns that have facilitated the spread of mankind around the world in fulfillment of His command to mankind. Racial theories about who the 144,000 are or who the tribes of ancient Israel are today are a departure from the true gospel.
Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all. (Colossians 3:11)
Still, what does the Ukraine crisis have to do with the rest of Europe and the third plague? The third plague Bible text does not speak only of rivers, but also of “fountains of waters.”
Every symbol in the text is important, but now it should be very easy to understand what the fountains of waters (or springs) mean. If flowing water symbolizes the migration of peoples, then the fountains or sources of the waters must refer to the location where these migrating peoples all flowed from. This is where the Ukraine starts to become a very interesting location for the fulfillment of the third plague. Quoting from Wikipedia’s page about Indo-European migrations:
Indo-European migrations were the migrations of pastoral peoples speaking the Proto-Indo-European language (PIE), who departed from the Yamnaya and related cultures in the Pontic–Caspian steppe, starting at c. 4000 BCE. Their descendants spread throughout Europe and parts of Asia, forming new cultures with the people they met on their way, including the Corded Ware culture in Northern Europe and the Vedic culture in the Indian subcontinent. These migrations ultimately seeded the cultures and languages of most of Europe, Greater Iran, and much of the Indian subcontinent (and subsequently resulted in the largest and most broadly spoken language family in the world).
The steppes of the Ukraine around the Black Sea are the very origin of the streams of people that anciently flowed into Europe and populated it. The research is based on cultural factors especially including the languages, which is why the Bible refers to the “tongues” of the peoples, which indicates that the Pontic (Black Sea) area of the Ukraine is the spring (fountain) from which the rivers flowed to populate Europe. Thus, the symbolism of the third plague (being poured out on the fountains of waters) clearly points to the geographical location of the incident that fulfills it—where the Russia-Ukraine conflict was reignited!
This is similar in concept to how the Bible pinpointed Iran’s role in the third trumpet. In the third trumpet, the heavenly sign of the burning lamp fell onto one third of the rivers and fountains. This led to the confirmation of the Persian Gulf as the former location of the Garden of Eden. That study identified the four rivers of Eden, one of which is now only a dry river bed, for which reason the lamp-like “star” symbolically fell onto only one third of the (remaining) rivers.
That has deep significance with regard to the third plague as well, because the plague completes the warning of the trumpet; the plague affects the rest of the rivers and fountains that were not touched by the trumpet. Let us break it down very clearly:
4 rivers of Eden: Pison, Gihon, Hiddekel, and Euphrates.
1 river (Pison) dried out before modern times, leaving the Gihon, Hiddekel, and Euphrates.
1 of 3 remaining (Gihon) was struck in the third trumpet, leaving the Hiddekel and Euphrates.
2 remaining are struck in the third plague.
The symbolism of rivers for human migration is exceptionally appropriate because it is precisely the fresh water that rivers bring that enables humans to survive, and consequently the populations of antiquity naturally expanded along the lines of the rivers. That is also why the fountains of waters (springs) represent the cradles of society, from which people migrated and branched out, just like how rivers branch out into smaller branches and tributaries. The seas—the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea (as well as the Persian Gulf) represent the endless fountains of waters that facilitated thriving populations.
This is exactly why the Pontic–Caspian steppe served as a fountain of life. Watered by the Black Sea, which is fed largely by freshwater streams and therefore has comparatively fresher water in its upper layers, this region has always been well equipped to sustain an ongoing spring of human life, and that is why it became a secondary origin, after that of Eden.
It is easy to see from the sequence at right that the migration expansion was primarily in two directions: east and west. The article where the image comes from speaks of the east-west “counter-currents” and even uses terms very similar to the Bible to describe the migrations. Thus we’ve found the two remaining migration streams that were due to be affected by the third plague, and their origin is precisely the Pontic–Caspian “fountain” where the Sea of Azov—the northeastern extension of the Black Sea—is located.
That is precisely where the third plague broke out: Ukrainian ships were attempting to navigate into the Sea of Azov when Russia opened fire, seized the vessels, and took the crews hostage. It was instantly all over the news:
Russia has fired on and seized three Ukrainian naval vessels off the Crimean Peninsula in a major escalation of tensions between the two countries.
Two gunboats and a tug were captured by Russian forces. A number of Ukrainian crew members were injured.
Each country blames the other for the incident. On Monday Ukrainian MPs are due to vote on declaring martial law.
How quickly the news circled the globe is an indication of the world’s concern, being reminded that Russia and Ukraine are in fact nations at war with each other, and it is a volatile situation that could suddenly become the flashpoint for a world-wide conflict with a formidable nuclear power.
On the surface, the reference to blood might seem to indicate a conflict with fatalities, but no persons or “men” are actually specified in the Bible text—it only mentions blood, which could simply refer to the wounds of the captured sailors.
However, there’s much more “blood” involved in this conflict than what appears on the surface. It is not so much about the injuries of the few crew members, but about the loss of entire bloodlines in former atrocities committed by the Russians against the Ukrainians while under Soviet rule. There is a terrible history to this crisis, as excerpted from Wikipedia in the following quotes, and it does not bode well that many Russians (including Putin) have positive feelings toward the Soviet era...
The Holodomor ("to kill by starvation") was a man-made famine in Soviet Ukraine in 1932 and 1933 that killed millions of Ukrainians. It is also known as the Terror-Famine and Famine-Genocide in Ukraine, and sometimes referred to as the Great Famine or The Ukrainian Genocide of 1932–33. It was part of the wider Soviet famine of 1932–33, which affected the major grain-producing areas of the country. During the Holodomor, millions of inhabitants of Ukraine, the majority of whom were ethnic Ukrainians, died of starvation in a peacetime catastrophe unprecedented in the history of Ukraine. Since 2006, the Holodomor has been recognized by Ukraine and 15 other countries as a genocide of the Ukrainian people carried out by the Soviet government.
The Holodomor provides a chilling backdrop for the war we see today. Under Stalin’s communist rule, the Russians nearly succeeded in obliterating an entire people.
In his 1953 speech the "father of the [UN] Genocide Convention", Dr. Raphael Lemkin described "the destruction of the Ukrainian nation" as the "classic example of genocide", for "the Ukrainian is not and never has been a Russian. His culture, his temperament, his language, his religion, are all different ... to eliminate (Ukrainian) nationalism ... the Ukrainian peasantry was sacrificed ... a famine was necessary for the Soviet and so they got one to order ... if the Soviet program succeeds completely, if the intelligentsia, the priest, and the peasant can be eliminated [then] Ukraine will be as dead as if every Ukrainian were killed, for it will have lost that part of it which has kept and developed its culture, its beliefs, its common ideas, which have guided it and given it a soul, which, in short, made it a nation ... This is not simply a case of mass murder. It is a case of genocide, of the destruction, not of individuals only, but of a culture and a nation."
The man-made famine especially affected the vicinity which the Bible points to with the symbolism of the rivers and fountains of waters, and this area (covering most of Ukraine) suffered unimaginable horrors that resulted in the death of the best of the people.
Survival was a moral as well as a physical struggle. A woman doctor wrote to a friend in June 1933 that she had not yet become a cannibal, but was "not sure that I shall not be one by the time my letter reaches you." The good people died first. Those who refused to steal or to prostitute themselves died. Those who gave food to others died. Those who refused to eat corpses died. Those who refused to kill their fellow man died. Parents who resisted cannibalism died before their children did.
Russia has been known throughout history as one of the greatest persecutors of Christians, but the estimated death toll from the Holodomor in that short period is staggering. Former Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko used a figure of 20 million in his 2005 speech to the U.S. Congress, but even the most conservative estimates make the Nazi Holocaust seem less horrific.
The 85th anniversary of the Holodomor was observed on Saturday, November 24, 2018 in Ukraine—just two days before the incident in the Kerch Strait. The Bible is very concise in speaking of this location where the many peoples of Europe originated as being turned to blood. This is a stark reminder that the blood of past generations—all the way back to the blood of Abel—still cries out for justice and is soon to be recompensed.
And I heard the angel of the waters say, Thou art righteous, O Lord, which art, and wast, and shalt be, because thou hast judged thus. For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy. (Revelation 16:5-6)
We will unmask the surprising identity of the angel of the waters in a later article, but it is clear from the text that in the setting of November 26, 2018, he is speaking of the terrible Holodomor and how the Russians deserve to be put in their place in regards to Ukraine’s sovereignty, which has already been encroached upon by Russia’s annexation of Crimea and subsequent building of the bridge they now use to control access through the Kerch Strait.
In that sense, the Ukraine reflects the altar that speaks next in the third plague.
And I heard another out of the altar say, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgments. (Revelation 16:7)
It was the place of sacrifice where priests and good people were especially targeted by the Soviet-induced famine, like how the blood of saints and prophets has been spilled on the altar of sacrifice through the ages. Their innocent souls who died in the Holodomor demand recompense. This calls to mind the fifth seal, where a similar call is made—for vengeance of the blood of the martyrs.
And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? (Revelation 6:9-10)
Even though the Holodomor is only a reflection of the martyrdom of the saints and prophets, the incident in the Black Sea and the loss of life in the Holodomor echoes the question that begs how long such atrocities will go unpunished.
That question can be answered simply by looking at the clock of God, which is ticking with divine accuracy. According to the actual timeline of events, the escalation of hostilities in the Kerch Strait unfolded in perfect time with the throne lines of the plague clock. The Russians opened fire at 8:55 p.m. local time on Sunday, the eve of November 26 at the throne line of the third plague on God’s clock. By the end of the day, the Ukrainian Parliament voted to implement martial law for the first time in its history. This pivotal day in the life of the nation—with all its implications that ripple westward—is marked on the clock of God and recorded in His word as the third of the seven last plagues. Martial law was voted to go into effect on November 28, two days after the incident, exactly on the second throne line of the divine clock. Events could not have fulfilled the timing and description of the third plague more precisely.
The escalation of hostilities in the Sea of Azov amplifies the warnings of Revelation and points to the definite end of this world. Still, this is only one aspect of the third plague prophecy! It does not matter that the players are using or even planned the incident as a political tool. The fact is, world leaders are now speaking openly of pending world war, whether it be through Europe’s and NATO’s role in defending Ukraine (and thus the West) against Russian invasion, or whether its China in response to further tariffs. With China on the brink, having virtually no other option than war, Trump has finally relented on further tariffs on Chinese goods to make room for negotiations—which means the last batch of $200 billion tariffs still stands in fulfilment of the sixth trumpet. Furthermore (and even more pertinent to the subject of this article) the “seas” of Europe are turning violent as protests across France have already spread to Belgium, thus becoming an international problem for Europe. Is it any wonder that God points to the rivers and fountains of the European waters in the third plague? These protests trace back to the oil market as this plague builds on the one before it. It is remarkable that two out of every three people in France support the protests, which have resulted in the damage of the Marianne, a symbol of the French Republic (the goddess of “liberty” who leads the rebellion against God and His law), tempting President Macron to declare a state of emergency amid the calls for his resignation. The protesters have various reasons for protesting, once again reflecting the various interests of the “peoples, kindreds, nations, and tongues” that constitute Europe. What a “welcome home” from the G20 meeting!
The nations are in trouble. Plague after plague is falling, and soon we will see the result of the world’s madness. Even if mankind does not destroy himself in a nuclear holocaust, however, one thing is still certain: Jesus is coming, and this world will end, one way or another. In subsequent articles we will reveal many more startling ways in which the third plague is fulfilling and what it means for God’s people and for the world.
Know one thing: the clock is ticking!