"40 At the time of the end the king of the South will engage him in battle, and the king of the North will storm out against him with chariots and calvary and a great fleet of ships. He will invade many countries and sweep through them like a flood. 41 He will also invade the Beautiful Land [Israel]. 44 But reports from the east and the north will alarm him, and he will set out in a great rage to destroy and annahilate many. 45 He will pitch his royal tents between the seas at the beautiful holy mountain, yet he will come to his end, and no one will help him." Daniel11,40-41 and 45
"And there before me was a second beast ["beast' is human beings-nations acting like animals], which looked like a bear. It was raised up on one of its sides, and it had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth. It was told 'Get up and eat you fill of flesh!" Daniel7,5
"like a bear. A symbol of the Medo-Persian Empire, known for its strength and fierceness in battle (cf Isa.13,17-18) raised up on one of its side indicates the superiority of the Persians in the Empire. three ribs may represent three major conquests: Lydia (546), Babylon (539), and Egypt (525)." Charles Ryrie, The Ryrie Study Bible, 1315.
"The word of the Lord came to me: 2 'Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshach and Tubal; prophesy against him 3 and say: 'This is what the Sovereign Lord says: 'I am against you, O Gog, chielf prince of Meshach and Tubal. 4. I will turn you around, put hooks in your jaws and bring you out with your whole army- your horses, your horsemen fully armed, and a great horde with large and small shields, all of them brandishing their swords. 5 Persia [Iran], Cush [Sudan, northern Africa], and Put [Lybya] will be with them, all with shields and helmits, 6 also Gomer with all its troops, and beth Togarmah from the far North with all its troops- the many nations with you." Ezekiel38,1-6.
"You will come from your place in the far north, you and many nations with you, all of them riding on horses, a great horde a mighty army. You will advance against my people Israel like a cloud that covers the land. In days to come, O Gog, I will bring you against my land, so that the nations may know me when I show myself holy through you before their eyes." Ezekiel38,15-16
"They [antichrist beast and all the nations aligned with beast] will make war against the Lamb [Jesus, Messiah of Israel, and Jesus Lord of Lords and King of kings, and his faithful followers incoporated in the Lamb and the nation of Israel who will have the choice for the lamb when they look upon Him, Zechariah12,1-14] but the lamb will overcome them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings- and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers." Revelation17,14
" 'Come' they say 'let us destroy them as a nation, that the name of Israel be remembered no more.' 5 With one mind they plot together; they form an alliance against you- 6 the tents of Edom and the Ismaelites, of Moab and the Hagerites, 7 Gebal, Ammon and Amalek, Philistia, with the people of Tyre. Even Assyria has joined them to lend strength to the descendants of Lot." Psalm83,4-8.
(above scriptures are from NIV, boldness added for clarity)
Back in October of 2013 I received a word regarding an existential threat to Israel: "Beware of Bear and any false peace with Russia and Syria."
At the time it didn't seem likely that the economically struggling Russian Federation would present any threat to Israel. A history of Russian anti Semitism does not make for an invasion. But when Russia annexed Crimea in March of 2014, it was clear that Russia still has designs for a greater Russia well after the break up of the former Soviet Union into individual nation states.
So I simply published the word on March 27, 2014 and raised the question whether Russia did in fact have such Mideast designs (as did Antiochus Epiphanes IV Seleucid King of Syria, 175-164 BC, who also wanted one law, one culture, one religion).
I also asked if this apparently Russian "bear" was connected to the conglomerated secular and religious beast of Revelation13,2, and left it at that. http://www.zionpentecostmission.com/beware-of-the-bear.html
But the strange thing I learned is, Russia in the Putin era, has enjoyed good relations with Israel, despite Iran's nuclear ambitions and Russia's support of Syria, and despite Russian arms dealing.
The fact is Israel has remained steadfastly neutral regarding Crimea and the resulting civil war in the Ukraine. This surprisingly good relationship between Israel and Russia and the surprisingly less warm relationship between Israel and the United States led The New York Observor, in an article by Lincoln Mitchell, to ask on January 22 of this year: "Will Israel Spurn America For Russia?" (observor.com/2015/01/borscht-belt-will-israel-spurn-america-for-russia/)
But then there's Ezekiel38-39.
These chapters depict a world leader and his or her country, Russia being the most often cited, that comes from the far north and galvanizes Israel's immediate neighbors and invades the 'beautiful land.'
This word seems even more relevant now after the Vatican recently recognized the claim of Palestinian statehood in mid May of 2015, and after the open frostiness of U.S. regime in response to Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu's March 3, 2015 address to the U.S. Congress wherein he demanded that we scuttle any nuclear pact with Iran. (Interestingly, Iran is identified as a "Bear" at Daniel 7,5.)
It seems clear by now that the relationship of Europe, the Vatican State, the United States and the United Nations has decidedly cooled toward Israel, as if the West is understandably weary of terror and is now injecting this weariness into an international political climate that presently expects signifignant concessions from Israel.
In this Western wearinesss (or is it impatience?), we who are "living safely in the coastlands" (Ezekiel39,6), have perhaps underestimated Israel need for allies in the Mideast.
The negative connotation of "bear" as a description and symbol of Russia dates back to the early 16th century and apparently originates with the Polish myth that the Asian brown bear would consume the European dragon (Democracy And Myth in Russian And Eastern Europe, Ed. Alexander Woll, Routledge NY, 2008, p.129).
Russia is also presently known to be providing upgraded arms to Syria and Iran (timesofisrael.com/after-arms-deals-with-iran-israel-assesses-ties-with-russia, 4.21.15).
Chapters 38-39 of Ezekiel tell of a foreign invasion of Israel in the last days by a chief named "Gog" from the nation of "Magog" who will organize the Islamic nations that surround Israel, nations and groups that presently appear somewhat hostile to the safety and self determination of Israel, if not her very existence.
It's as if the reality of Zechariah12,1-8 whereby the Lord alone will be Israel's last shield. This fits with Ezekiel's repeated insistence in chapters 38-39 that the Lord Himself is bringing Gog against "my land, so that the nations may know me when I show myself holy through you [Gog] before their eyes." (Ezekiel38,16, same for Ez.38,23 and 39,6-7 and 27-28)
In this end times war the "god of fortresses" (Daniel11,38) will not get the glory: "And so I will show my greatness and my holiness, and I will make myself known in the sight of many nations. They they will know that I am the Lord." Ezekiel38,23
A Wake Up Word
The present frostiness of the West towards Israel puts in view Israel's warming to the Russian bear, who at present is quite friendly to Israel.
Would that their present peace be a true and lasting.
But Ezekiel 38-39 starkly speaks of the endtime battle of Gog.
By this battle God wakes everybody up, world rulers, Jews and gentiles. He orchestrates this crisis and by it will demonstrate his saving love for Israel in such a way that all the world will have one final chance to choose Jesus as savior and Lord.
In the New Testament Jesus sends his mainstream apostles to the lost sheep of physical Israel (Matthew10,5). Note the similarity to His end time desire of Ezekiel38-39:
For a detailed study of Ezekiel 38-39:
PREACHING HOUR TV
TUESDAY EVENINGS - 8PM EST
Preaching Hour TV weekly on Cox PATV Channel 15 in Cheshire, Southington and Meriden CT and on VCAM Channel 15 10pm Fridays in Burlington VT.read more...
Tobin Hitt is the founder of the Zion Pentecost Mission. He is open to gospel partnership with all, and identifies with Paul's description of our mission as ambassadors for our king, Jesus, urging all to reconcile with God (2Cor.20-21). He resides in Cheshire, Connecticut.read more...