By Roman Medvid
Published May 1, 2008
Christian Reconstruction in the former USSR
The following article was first published in Russian in the Christian newspaper, Predvestnik (“The Forerunner”) in Kiev, Ukraine. Roman Medvid as serves the managing editor of Predvestnik which is distributed in ten of the twelve republics of the former USSR. He also translated this article into English for publication in the Chalcedon Report.
The kingdom belongs to the Lord, and He rules over the nations. ( Ps. 22:28 )
The revealed will of God is not obviously seen in every event in history. Temporal setbacks of Christianity and the growth of Islam are vivid examples of this. However, the growth of the kingdom of God predicted in the Holy Scriptures surely contains a message for us.
At the very dawn of the Soviet state, the Russian Communist leaders were too well aware of the fact that this country could not permanently exist unless it received some foreign support. The only socialist island washed by the hostile waters of capitalist countries had little chance to survive. And the 1917 socialist revolution in Russia was carried out with expectations of outside support.
Those revolutionaries who gained power in Russia believed they were at the threshold of a revolutionary movement sweeping all countries worldwide; they were possessed with the idea of “the world revolution.” They flattered themselves with the thought that they were pioneers in the universal breakthrough into happiness. There could be hardly another reason to explain the rush and eagerness of rulers to throw the country into the pit of a bloody Civil War in Russia in the years after the Great War.
“During the Civil War, the Bolshevik party believed that the revolution in Russia was just a beginning of transformation of the entire world, and that socialist revolutions would happen in many developed capitalist countries.”1
As the economy of the newly emerged Soviet Russia needed close collaboration with its neighbors, hopes of economic advancement were also linked with the goal of world revolution. For example, Zinoviev, one of the chief leaders and a co-worker with Lenin, set the date for it: as early as 1927. No wonder the Communist leadership was surprised and upset with the reluctance of the foreign proletariat to use the experience of Russia and carry on the struggle for the Communist cause.
Expressing his confidence in the forthcoming revolution in Europe, Lenin made remarks that “all our hopes of the ultimate socialist victory are founded on this confidence and on this scientific foresight.”2 He also wrote, “There cannot be a shadow of doubt about the ultimate outcome in the world struggle. In this aspect the ultimate victory of socialism is wholly and certainly secured.”3
It is noteworthy that the Soviet government was constantly trying to present evidence for the vitality of its cause. It did its best to promote Communist ideas in other countries: in Asia (China, Afghanistan, North Korea, Vietnam), in Africa (Angola), in Europe (the eastern Communist bloc), in the other hemisphere (Cuba). Thus the world revolution had a strong military provision.
Once a superpower, the Soviet Union has disintegrated, and nowadays the victory of socialism in it is even more obscure. The question we should ask ourselves is: Could it possibly have gotten the strength and power to enlarge itself and absorb the whole world with its contrary social order?
This topic is relevant today since many godless ideologies are headed toward the goal of world dominion. Fascist leaders, for example, proclaim at their gatherings in Russia, “The Aryan organization will be back, the Aryan order will return and reside worldwide — it will surely return to stay forever . . . Our national revolution that is being started in Russia is a beginning of the general national revolution, which will bring order into every conglomerate of the universe.”4
In order to evaluate such claims, the general question we must consider is: What laws are the foundation of this world? Who rules in it? How should an individual live to prosper in it? What ideas and acts are doomed to failure and which ones receive sanction and support?
The Master Over Historical Development
All orthodox Christians have always believed that God is The Lord over history. It is he who creates history — everything that happens on the earth is in accord with his Providence. The Bible constantly tells us that it is from God that the initial decision emerges to found and lift up a nation or to bring it down and break it as the potter smashes his creation.
The Bible also abounds in cases of God’s judgment on rebellious and wicked nations. If the state keeps transgressing God’s commandments and turns into a tyrant which deludes itself into believing it is the only sovereign in the land, God will come down on this country in judgment fire. He can hear the outcry of the afflicted. He does answer people’s tears and sufferings. On the other hand, individuals in any nation that keep his commandments are pleasing in his sight. Their nation can be blessed by him.
Did the Soviet Union break God’s regulations? It certainly did.
First of all, the ideology of the country was from the outset against God. The philosophy of scientific materialism (that is, belief in non-existence of God allegedly founded on scientific evidence) was to replace any idea of God. But the first commandment asserts the existence of God ( Ex. 20:2-3 ), and atheists are called “fools” in the Bible ( Ps. 14:1 ). At the very beginning, God denied any soundness of mind in Soviet Russia.
Then, the methods of the Communist revolutionaries always involved terror and murder, and this light and thoughtless way of treating human lives breaks the commandment: “Thou shall not kill.” Substantial redistribution of wealth, from the rich to the poor, was a violation of the commandments: “Thou shall not steal” and “Thou shall not covet.”
The Bible contains many references to a cup filling up with the measure of the people’s lawlessness. When this measure reaches its peak, God unleashes his judgment. While many countries and their official states may be listed as transgressors of God’s law, it is obvious that the cup of the USSR brimmed with resistance to God — murder, theft, etc. After 70 years of its existence, God erased the USSR from the face of the earth. This name can only be seen in history reviews, in the transcription “Made in USSR” on old things, and in posters on rallies of the Communist Party which still cherishes the thought of a triumphal comeback.
The Whole World Is Under Control of the Evil One?
As we are sure of God directing the world’s events, we also are familiar with the Biblical expression: “The whole world is under control of the evil one” ( 1 Jn. 5:19 ). This Scripture, however, is very often misunderstood. According to this wrong interpretation, whatever we do in this world, whatever we handle — all such activity is sinful. The whole world is nearing its total collapse. The main task of Christians is to wait till it is all over, to be involved in the matters of this world as little as possible. Though such an opinion might seem very “spiritual,” it is not Biblical whatsoever. It much more fits hermit monks.
The Bible many times declares God to be the King of kings and the Lord over all lords. He always wins, not loses in history. There have been many tyrants, powerful God-haters, blood- shedding empires, and they are no more — God has destroyed them, and has even erased memory of some! His truth, on the other hand, stands up to this day shining brightly.
The Scriptures very often describe the wicked and God-resistors as dust, chaff that is blown away in a flash by the wind ( Ps. 1:4: , 35:5, 37:10, 83:13 ). And it’s the righteous who will inherit the earth. Even though the godless are prospering, they put their wealth in store for the righteous ( Pr. 13:22 ).
It would be also profitable to consider two Scriptures that are most often used to defend Christian escapism.
(1) Matthew 4:8-9: “Again, the devil took Him [Christ] to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. `All this I will give you,’ he said. . . .”
It has been stated that the devil had real power over all the world’s kingdoms and was at liberty to pass them on to Jesus. Therefore, if the devil is the ruler of all kingdoms, then there is one thing left for Christians to do — to withdraw from involvement in these kingdoms.
In this statement it is overlooked that Satan is a liar and the father of lies ( Jn. 8:44 ), and his words can hardly be trusted. In the above mentioned Scripture from Matthew, he was actually claiming God’s prerogative.
Many centuries before this happened, God — and certainly not his enemy — had been called “God over all the kingdoms of the earth” ( 2 Kin. 19:15 ) and “the Ruler over the nations” ( Ps. 22:28 ). It’s God who has real power to treat the world’s kingdoms freely according to his good pleasure.
The devil has power over nations only in that these nations are ignorant of God’s truth. The responsibility to bring God’s truth — the gospel — lies on Christ’s messengers (see Ac. 26:18 ). The Scriptures prophesy that finally all nations will turn to God ( Is. 11:10, 60: 3; Ps. 22:27; 47; 89:9), and thus the kingdom of darkness will be pressed out of the earth. “The earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea” ( Is. 11:9 ).
(2) John 18:36: “Jesus said, `My kingdom is not of this world.’”
It is true that the Kingdom of God is not conceived in minds of earthly humans, smart as they might be; it comes down from heaven. But there’s something that has changed since Pilate’s interrogation of Jesus.
When speaking of his kingdom being not of this world, Jesus made his point by saying that he has no servant around to defend him. He was not speaking of angels, for the Father could answer his prayer and send thousands of angels. Christ was talking about men — everybody had deserted him, even his apostles. It was quite logical, though — they couldn’t stand for Jesus because they hadn’t yet experienced the power of the Holy Spirit filling them, and they hadn’t because Jesus hadn’t yet died for them on the cross.
Since the church has now received the Holy Spirit, this has changed. Now Jesus did have his real servants on the earth — he even calls them his Body to explain their close relationship. Thus, the Kingdom of God has reached the earth. Although not of this world, it is in the world. The people of God are called to overcome in and not escape this world.
“It’s Hard for You to Kick Against the Goads”
Many Christians today espouse a pessimistic outcome of the struggle between good and evil. Now, they do believe in the ultimate victory of God over Satan, after Christ’s return, but they have a dim view of their earthly future. Sometimes they even speak more about Antichrist which is coming and his wicked acts than the Lord Jesus. This is indicative of the spiritual bondage that must be cast away from the midst of God’s people. God gives us victory on the earth as well as in eternity.
If God is described as the sovereign over the world’s destiny as far back as in the Old Testament times, it is even more true now, in the New Testament era. For Christ came in order to “destroy the devil’s work” ( 1 Jn. 3:8 ). Just prior to his being crucified, Christ said, “Now the prince of this world will be driven out” ( Jn. 12:31 ), “the prince of this world now stands condemned” ( Jn. 16:11 ). If the devil had in a sense been the prince of the world before Jesus came, he has undoubtedly been deprived of any power through the crucifixion, resurrection and ascension of Christ (see Mt. 28:18; Eph. 1:20-23; Col. 2:15 ).
Christ is the King of kings, and therefore wicked and godless empires will crumble and cease existence, and not build up and prosper. Those individuals, as well as entire states, that resist God’s revealed truth, will always experience the resistance of the earth’s Master. Like Saul the persecutor of the Church, they will find it “hard to kick against the goads,” since everyone persisting against truth is trying to combat the everlasting and invincible power, God himself.
This Scriptural truth can be the mandate for believers to do good and hope that God will bless their efforts while destroying works of God-haters, exercising their influence in godly transformation of their community, and expecting the gospel to transform entire nations.
1 Political History (textbook for high schools), Zaporozhye, 1990, vol. 1, 193.
2 ibid, vol. 2, 8.
3 V. I. Lenin, “It’s better to do less, but better,” Complete Selection of Works, vol. 45, 404.
4 “Reproof for preaching racism,” Moscow News, No. 21, 1995.
_Roman Medvid is the editor of the Russian language newspaper, Predvestnik, The Forerunner. This newspaper is a publication for and by local (i.e., Ukrainian and Russian) Christian activists, pastors, and scholars. Predvestnik is read by young Christians who are struggling to become leaders in the church and society. Our goal is to influence these young leaders, so they, in turn, will influence thousands.
Forerunner - Home » Articles from The Chalcedon Report
Your comments are welcome!
Visit The Forerunner's Discussion Forum!
Exposes the Dangers of Abortion to Women!
These shocking eyewitness accounts expose the dangers of abortion not only to unborn children, but to the health and lives women as well. An antidote to the smokescreens of the liberal media, these short clips show what really happens in and around abortion clinics.
Although the content is emotionally gut-wrenching, these videos have been used in church seminars and small groups to educate Christians on the abortion issue and to lead people toward a pro-life position. Contains 2 hours and 40 minutes of materials that can be shown separately.
Watch these pro-life videos on-line.
“These videos helped change my mind from pro-choice to pro-life. Your videos are what did it for me. I will be walking in next year’s March For Life in San Francisco.” — A. Jackson, California
“I was going to have an abortion until I saw your video. Praise Jesus!”
— M. Drew, YouTube Commenter
$4.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Who is the dreaded beast of Revelation?
Now at last, a plausible candidate for this personification of evil incarnate has been identified (or re-identified). Ken Gentry’s insightful analysis of scripture and history is likely to revolutionize your understanding of the book of Revelation — and even more importantly — amplify and energize your entire Christian worldview!
Historical footage and other graphics are used to illustrate the lecture Dr. Gentry presented at the 1999 Ligonier Conference in Orlando, Florida. It is followed by a one-hour question and answer session addressing the key concerns and objections typically raised in response to his position. This presentation also features an introduction that touches on not only the confusion and controversy surrounding this issue — but just why it may well be one of the most significant issues facing the Church today.
Ideal for group meetings, personal Bible study — for anyone who wants to understand the historical context of John’s famous letter “… to the seven churches which are in Asia.” (Revelation 1:4)
Running Time: 145 minutes
$17.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Download the Free Study Guide!
God’s Law and Society powerfully presents a comprehensive worldview based upon the ethical system found in the Law of God.
Speakers include: R.J. Rushdoony, George Grant, Howard Phillips, R.C. Sproul Jr., Ken Gentry, Gary DeMar, Jay Grimstead, Steven Schlissel, Andrew Sandlin, Eric Holmberg, and more!
Sixteen Christian leaders and scholars answer some of the most common questions and misconceptions related to this volatile issue:
1. Are we under Law or under Grace?
2. Does the Old Testament Law apply today?
3. Can we legislate morality?
4. What are the biblical foundations of government?
5. Was America founded as a Christian nation?
6. What about the separation of Church and State?
7. Is neutrality a myth?
8. What about non-Christians and the Law of God?
9. Would there be “freedom” in a Christian republic?
10. What would a “Christian America” look like?
Perfect for group instruction as well as personal Bible study.
Ten parts, over four hours of instruction!
Running Time: 240 minutes
Watch over 60 on-line video interviews from God’s Law and Society.
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
“When the lives of the unborn are snuffed out, they often feel pain, pain that is long and agonizing.” – President Ronald Reagan to National Religious Broadcasters Convention, January 1981
Ronald Reagan became convinced of this as a result of watching The Silent Scream – a movie he considered so powerful and convicting that he screened it at the White House.
The modern technology of real-time ultrasound now reveals the actual responses of a 12-week old fetus to being aborted. As the unborn child attempts to escape the abortionist’s suction curette, her motions can be seen to become desperately agitated and her heart rate doubles. Her mouth opens – as if to scream – but no sound can come out. Her scream doesn’t have to remain silent, however … not if you will become her voice. This newly re-mastered version features eight language tracks and two bonus videos.
“… a high technology “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” arousing public opinion just as Harriet Beecher Stowe’s 1852 antislavery novel ignited the abolitionist movement.” – Sen. Gordon Humphrey, Time Magazine
Languages: English, Spanish, French, South Korean, Chinese, Russian, Portuguese, Japanese
Running Time: 28 minutes
$17.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Who is the Real Jesus?
Ever since the dawn of modern rationalism, skeptics have sought to use textual criticism, archeology and historical reconstructions to uncover the “historical Jesus” — a wise teacher who said many wonderful things, but fulfilled no prophecies, performed no miracles and certainly did not rise from the dead in triumph over sin.
Over the past 100 years, however, startling discoveries in biblical archeology and scholarship have all but vanquished the faulty assumptions of these doubting modernists. Regrettably, these discoveries have often been ignored by the skeptics as well as by the popular media. As a result, the liberal view still holds sway in universities and impacts the culture and even much of the church.
The Real Jesus explodes the myths of these critics and the movies, books and television programs that have popularized their views. Presented in ten parts — perfect for individual, family and classroom study — viewers will be challenged to go deeper in their knowledge of Christ in order to be able to defend their faith and present the truth to a skeptical modern world – that the Jesus of the Gospels is the Jesus of history — “the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). He is the real Jesus.
Speakers include: George Grant, Ted Baehr, Stephen Mansfield, Raymond Ortlund, Phil Kayser, David Lutzweiler, Jay Grimstead, J.P. Holding, and Eric Holmberg.
Ten parts, over two hours of instruction!
Running Time: 130 minutes
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)