Last of the great empires: Daniel 7: the bear with three ribs in its mouth

In my previous post, I explained why I believe the lion in Daniel 7 was symbolic of Britain. Now I’ll explain why I believe the bear in that chapter is Russia.

The Bear as Russia

Coat of Arms of Veliky Novgorod, Russia.
Coat of Arms of Veliky Novgorod, Russia.

To recap what I said previously, it’s my opinion Daniel 7 spoke of prominent kingdoms that would be around right before the Lord’s return because Daniel 7:9-14 says the Lord will be the one to take away the dominion of the four beasts once he returns to set up his own dominion on Earth. Given that scenario, the most prominent nation associated with a bear would have to be determined. Since at least the 16th century up to our time, the bear has been used to symbolize Russia regardless of the type of government it had.

In Daniel’s prophecy the bear rises up on one side. A look at history shows that Russia’s dominant side is it’s western side, where Eastern Europe is. That’s also where most of its aggression has taken place. It’s also interesting to note that the Ezekiel 38 prophecy is in agreement with this since it points out that Meshech and Tubal are both dominant in pushing for the aggression against Israel in the future. Both of them are in Western Russia.

Russia’s ancient history

Russia was first called Kievan Rus’ and was established by several tribes of Eastern Slavic people. An examination of Magog, Meshech, and Tubal mentioned in Ezekiel 38 gives some good background on them. Quoting from another post of mine about that prophecy, “Meshech and Tubal were two tribes closely associated with each other who were the original inhabitants of what is now the nation of Georgia [they were also known as Caucasian Iberians].  The Tubal tribe of these early Georgians migrated to the northeast across the Caucasus Mountains to become the settlers of the modern city of Tobolsk and named the river Tobol after their tribe.

“Meshech, also known as the Moschoi, the Mushki, and the Muscovites, inhabited the mountainous region of Georgia (Caucasian Iberia) and migrated across the Caucasus to settle what is known today as Moscow. The Meshech people are also associated with early tribes that inhabited Anatolia, a region that became Asia Minor which we know today as Turkey.”

The three ribs

The three ribs are obviously the leftovers of what the Russian bear consumes that gives it the energy and nourishment to thrive. There are several patterns of threes that are part of Russia’s history. Any of the following “threes” may apply to the three ribs in the bear’s teeth:

1) Three Eastern Slavic groups have a hand in Russia’s foundation–Russians, Ukrainians, and Belorussians.

2) Ezekiel 38 tells us Russia is made up of Magog, Meshech, and Tubal. It’s possible that these may be the equivalent of the Eastern Slavs mentioned in number 1.

3) Russia has embraced and mixed three philosophies that has helped it expand and exert power over the past several centuries–Russian Orthodoxy (an offshoot of Eastern Orthodoxy of the Byzantine (Eastern Roman) Empire), autocracy, and Marxism.

4) Russia’s influence spans the globe, but most of their influence is on three continents–Asia, Europe, and Africa. According to Ezekiel 38, the main nations who back Russia’s upcoming aggression against Israel will come from these continents.

Yalta Conference with Churchill, Roosevelt, and the murderous Stalin.
Yalta Conference with Churchill, Roosevelt, and the murderous Stalin.

5) Three conferences during WWII with the help of Britain and the U.S. encouraged Russia’s aggressions which continue today:
the Tehran Conference (1943), the Yalta Conference (1945), and the Potsdam Conference (1945).

Whatever these three ribs may be, even though they were consumed or conquered by Russia, according to Daniel 7:5 they cheer Russia on by encouraging the bear to devour much flesh. In other words, they cheer Russia on to go out and conquer more people and territory.

Next up: Last of the great empires: Daniel 7: the leopard with four heads

Harry A. Gaylord

Last of the great empires: Daniel 7: the lion with eagle’s wings

Daniel 7 gives a very important prophecy denoting what the last of the end times will look like Winged lion Holborn Viaduct Londonregarding the power of the nations right before the return of the Lord Jesus Christ. In Daniel 7’s rich symbolism, we see four kingdoms represented by four creatures: a lion, a bear, a leopard, and a monstrous beast. Do an Internet search or research in a library on this prophecy and you will find that most scholars will say that the lion is the Babylonian Empire, the bear is the Medo-Persian Empire, the leopard is the Greek Empire, and the fourth beast is the Roman Empire.

In some ways, that scenario makes sense, but I’ve acquired a different perspective on Daniel 7 given world history up to our time since those ancient empires. It could be that Daniel 7 is a parallel prophecy that can be applied truthfully to more than one scenario that makes both scenarios correct. The different scenario it may apply to today is that the lion is Britain, the bear is Russia, the leopard is Germany in alliance with France, and the fourth beast is still the Roman Empire.

I don’t presume to know every single symbolic detail in Daniel 7 so I will stick with what I do know. I believe it applies to the modern empires because Daniel 7:9-14 says that the four kingdoms would be around and would have their dominion taken away only by the Ancient of Days himself–aka the Son of man, aka the Lord Jesus. Daniel 7 also speaks as if all four kingdoms would exist simultaneously or would overlap. The other prophecies in Daniel about the ancient empires talks about them succeeding each other, being overtaken by a successor kingdom.

The Lion as Britain

Britain has undoubtedly been represented as a lion on the many coat of arms it has had over the centuries. If you do an Internet image search for “winged lion” or “lion with eagle’s wings”, many of those images will be of places throughout the UK or tied to the UK that have sculptures depicting the UK as a lion with wings, just as Daniel 7 does.

Prague Winged Lion Memorial in honor of British Royal Air Force & Czech soldiers who helped them in WWII.
Prague Winged Lion Memorial in honor of British Royal Air Force & Czech soldiers who helped them in WWII.

Daniel’s prophecy tells us the lion had it’s eagle’s wings plucked, then it was lifted up from earth to stand up like a man afterwards. The eagle’s wings give us the only clear-cut prophecy that can be tied to the United States, since the U.S. is the most prominent nation associated with the eagle. When the U.S. was plucked from Britain upon the Declaration of Independence in 1776 with the Revolutionary War to back it up, Britain continued to be a powerhouse of a kingdom, reaching its peak of power in the 1920s. It was lifted up from the earth because it holds the record for being the largest empire in human history.

It’s influence still spans the globe today because of all the territory it once held in its power, which it gave up in mostly diplomatic ways. In Revelation 13, the beast will have the mouth of a lion, a symbol that may reference how Britain will be a spokesperson for the Antichrist in the future as they are in subtle ways for one world governance today.

Next up: Last of the great empires: Daniel 7: the bear with three ribs in its mouth

Harry A. Gaylord

Chinese kangaroo court gives pastor 1-year sentence for opposing church demolitions

China church demolitionThis is what holy boldness and righteous indignation look like. Forty-year-old Huang Yizi of China’s Zhejiang province knew he could face retaliation from the Chinese government for taking a stand last year for opposing the government’s demolition and damaging of church buildings that affected 400 buildings, but he took a stand anyway. It landed him in a jail in China in August of last year.

His case came before a kangaroo court this week that found him guilty of “gathering crowds to disturb social order.” Or should that be “socialist order”? They sentenced him to serve 1 year in jail in spite of the fact that the government, after international pressure, had ordered an end to the program that targeted churches. Huang and his lawyer, Zhang Kai, have seen strong indications that the whole trial was fixed. Nevertheless, Huang has expressed praises to God for being chosen to suffer for a worthy cause even though it keeps him away from his wife and son.

About 1,000 people who supported him for his stand showed up to the court building. Huang plans to appeal the decision. He is only one of many believers in China who are persecuted for worshiping the true and living God through the Lord Jesus. And as China continues its persecution, the life of Huang and others like him only serve to shine a greater light on the gospel, drawing more and more lost souls to Christ as his church grows by leaps and bounds in China.

Huang’s case is really not about defending church buildings, per se, but it’s greater, deeper importance is the freedom of religion and the God-given right to assemble with other believers wherever they agree to meet. I pray that God will bless Mr. Huang, his family, his lawyer, and all other believers in China for their strength to present their bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto God, that the mighty name of Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit will continue to spread like wildfire.

Source: Tom Phillips, China jails Christian pastor who fought church demolitions, Telegraph.co.uk, March 25, 2015.

Harry A. Gaylord

Apple co-founder Wozniak predicts technology doom for humans; Pakistan requires biometric database for cellphone users

Steve_WozniakSteve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple and an atheist Freemason, has added his voice to several other scientists and technologists like Elon Musk to express the concern that computers will take over the human race. In a recent interview, Wozniak stated that he has “no question” that computers will rule the human race. He even went so far as to say we will become their pets since they will think faster and act faster than us.

It’s a little amusing to see atheists predict such negativity about the human race since they often claim that Christians are the ones who are so focused on the future doom and gloom of humanity. Not to mention their claims that the more society embraces atheism, the better off humanity will be.

However, given Mr. Wozniak’s affiliations and beliefs, there could be some ulterior motives behind his statements. The Bible, which has proven its worth in the predictions it makes that have been fulfilled, gives a different, more reliable view of mankind’s future. It tells us in books like Ezekiel, Daniel, Matthew, and Revelation that humanity’s greatest threat will be humanity’s rejection of the Lord to embrace man as god through war in conjunction with the worship of the devil in its various forms.

Maybe Wozniak should take another look at God’s word and embrace the Lord since the outcome the Lord provides for his people is a blessed hope where our tears will be wiped away and we will dwell in a peaceful society, a utopia that only a sinless Lord can provide by lovingly persuading people to beat their swords into plowshares by changing their hearts.

Fingerprint_scanner_identificationAnd in other technology news, Pakistan is requiring that all of its citizens who have a cellphone to submit their fingerprints to a national database in an effort to combat terrorism. Those who don’t will have their cell service disconnected. But they seem to forget the fact that criminals will always find a way to hack anything electronic or get around the law and the problems they have with terrorists forging accounts for mobile communications or acquiring them from Afghanistan will more than likely continue while law-abiding citizens will be the ones who get tracked.

Sources: Chris Matyszczyk, Woz says the future is ‘very bad for people’, Cnet.com, March 23, 2015.

Alap Naik Desai, Biometrics To Counter Terrorism? Pakistani Mobile Users Have 10 Days To Register Their Fingerprints Or Lose Their Connection, Inquisitr.com, March 23, 2015.

Harry A. Gaylord

Right works, wrong motivations: how Ephesus left its first love & first works

When the Lord Jesus had John send a letter to Ephesus in Revelation 2, he began by commending the church for the things they did correctly. At first glance it would seem that Ephesus had it all together with Jesus because of their opposition to false doctrines and false apostles in addition to all their consistent labors, patience, and support for his name’s sake. Then Jesus dropped some serious words of rebuke on them–“thou hast left thy first love.  Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works…”

Spiritually morphing into believers like the ones at Ephesus is so easy to do and it can happen in such subtle, seemingly unnoticeable ways. This is why it pays for us to do a Holy Spirit checkup regularly as we study the word to make sure we are fulfilling the things he teaches us with the right motives.

washfeetEphesus was doing such a great job outwardly, but they got to the point where genuine love for Jesus was pushed aside for fleshly pride. They accomplished so many works, they started to believe their accomplishments were due to their own capabilities. How do I know this? Well, we know they lost their love because Jesus says it plainly. And we can use deduction from what Jesus said to conclude that pride was their other weakness. The Lord was resisting them by telling them to repent, which brings to mind both the words in James 4:6 and 1 Peter 5:5, “God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.” We can also look at Proverbs 16:18 as proof, since they had fallen.

What were the “first works” of Ephesus? We find them in Acts 18:19-20, 19:1-23, and Acts 20:17-38. Because of their humility and love for the Lord, they loved Paul and his missionary companions and couldn’t get enough of God’s word. As a result, they received spiritual gifts like tongues and prophecy, they saw God work special miracles for their benefit through Paul, they saw evil spirits cast out, they realized how precious the name of Jesus is when they witnessed what happened to the 7 sons of Sceva when they misused it, they saw how mightily the word of God grew and prevailed around them as Paul “kept back nothing that was profitable” to them as he taught them “publicly and from house to house.”

As if all of that wasn’t enough, they had the added bonus of being the first to receive the teachings and exhortations from Paul in his letter to them known as “Ephesians.” Their genuine love and humility wrought so many “first works” that the few things Jesus mentions about them in Revelation paled in comparison. No wonder he had to light a fire under them!

There are times I have lost sight of love and humility in my walk with Christ. But thanks be to God for his longsuffering, mercy, love, and grace through the Holy Spirit that gets me back on track when I need it.

Harry A. Gaylord

Offenders are offended by Oklahoma church’s sign

Amazing Grace Pentecostal signA church in Seminole, Oklahoma, has caused quite a stir among the city’s residents. The large sign on one of its exterior walls along a well-traveled highway reads, “Government making sin legal does not make it right!”

A person who may have been upset over the sign and assumed they were talking about gays and gay marriage called up a local TV station about it. When the TV station covered the story, the opinions on what the sign meant varied from people being puzzled about it to a woman who agreed with its basic message to a man who thought they were talking about legalizing drugs to a young lady who said the Pentecostal church was being judgmental before she became judgmental herself toward the church by saying they should take it down.

Still another person got upset enough to place their own message on the church’s wall that said, “Jesus Loves All. You may not be welcome in this hateful church, but you are welcome in this community. You are important. You are loved.” Oddly enough, their duct-taped sign started to fall down on its own within a few hours.

The reporter tried to contact someone at Amazing Grace Pentecostal Church about their sign, but didn’t get a response. I think it’s refreshing to hear a story about a church like this that takes a stand for the Lord when much of the news is focused on the Presbyterian Church denomination and the San Francisco “evangelical” megachurch that compromised by saying sin is good and is acceptable to them.

It doesn’t really matter which sin Amazing Grace Pentecostal was talking about since their statement can be applied equally to any sin you can think of. Yes, Jesus loves all, but included in that love is the idea that he wants all to be saved from sin because of sin’s ultimate end–death. It’s a truthful, controversial message that will always offend those who are offenders against God’s laws no matter how the message is worded, but it’s still a message worth sharing nonetheless, regardless of the reaction to it. And I thank God he loved me enough to give me the same type of message this church displayed when I needed it.

Harry A. Gaylord

Some brief comments on the real St. Patrick

Saint_Patrick_(window)The man referred to as St. Patrick has a lot of stories and myths surrounding his life. The way St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated these days with all its pagan superstition and debauchery is not in keeping with how he lived his Christian life, and that includes how the Roman Catholic Church uses him to promote themselves.

According to Patrick’s Confessio, he was born in Britain in the late 300s or early 400s AD to a “churched” family since his father was a deacon. It seems that his family didn’t take the Christian faith seriously and eventually Patrick was taken captive by raiders from Ireland at 16 years old and made a slave. He believed his captivity–along with thousands of others in his region–was due to the fact their society was Christian in name only and raiders were sent as God’s punishment. While a slave, he became aware of his need for Christ as his Lord to save him from his sins. He was reminded of all the scriptures he was taught in his younger years and confessed Jesus as his Lord.

After six years as a slave, he escaped. Several years after his escape and personal study of the scriptures (he admits he never went to seminary, nor was he an eloquent theologian), he returned to Ireland to reignite the gospel there. Thousands of souls got saved by his preaching. I say he “reignited” the gospel because ancient documents as mentioned by John Foxe (of Foxe’s Book of Martyrs) in his Acts and Monuments and by historian William of Malmesbury in the 1100s indicates that Joseph of Arimathea and others with him spread the gospel (starting in 63 AD) to the Celtic tribes by the end of the 1st century AD.

However, by the time Patrick was born, the Celts of Ireland had reverted back to their paganism, embracing Druidism. Another thing of note about Patrick is that he never embraced Catholicism, if we look at his words both in Confessio mentioned above and in his Letter to Coroticus. He never declares allegiance to the Pope or promotes the 7 sacraments or confesses any mariolatry (worship of the “Virgin Mary”). What he did do in Coroticus is give these scathing remarks on how badly the “Roman Christians” were persecuting believers in Christ–

‘They have filled their houses with the spoils of dead Christians, they live on plunder. They do not know, the wretches, that what they offer their friends and sons as food is deadly poison, just as Eve did not understand that it was death she gave to her husband. So are all that do evil: they work death as their eternal punishment.

“This is the custom of the Roman Christians of Gaul: they send holy and able men to the Franks and other heathen with so many thousand solidi to ransom baptized captives. You prefer to kill and sell them to a foreign nation that has no knowledge of God. You betray the members of Christ as it were into a brothel. What hope have you in God, or anyone who thinks as you do, or converses with you in words of flattery? God will judge. For Scripture says: “Not only them that do evil are worthy to be condemned, but they also that consent to them.”‘

Apparently he didn’t think very highly of the religious system that uses his name today.

Harry A. Gaylord