"The Miracle Bear"

PROPHECY TITLE:  “The Miracle Bear”


RECEPIENT:  Max Greiner, Jr. (Age 24)

DATE GIVEN: September 1976

LOCATION:  McCall , Idaho - Bear Hunting Camp


1.)“You will kill a bear in the morning.” 
2.) “It will be the bear you have been hunting all week. 
3.)  “It will be at your bait.” 
4.)  “You will kill the bear with one arrow.”
5.) “The bear will die instantly.”


The very first time I perceived the supernatural, miracle-working power of God in my life was in September of 1976.  I was 24 at the time, a newlywed, fresh out of Texas A&M University. Even though I had always felt the presence and leading of God since the age of 7 after I received Christ as my Savior, this was different.  I actually heard God’s “still, small voice” (1 Kings 19:12, John 8: 47, John 10: 4) in my spirit.  I then boldly witnessed the detailed prophetic, “Word of Knowledge” (1 Corinthians 12: 8) to others, before the predicted events occurred.  We all witnessed the amazing miracle take place in front of our eyes!  We were amazed, to say the least!

I had joined friends, Jim Beard, Mike Palmer, Robert Todd, Jim Ross and Dr. Bob White and his father, “Spike” White on a bowhunt for black bear and elk, in the beautiful Rocky Mountains near McCall , Idaho .  Our guides for the archery hunt were Ray Rawls and Dean McGuire. 

I chose to hunt black bear on this trip, since I had already taken a bull elk with my bow.  The guides gave me the choice to follow the hunting dogs after a bear, or hunt from a tree stand

over a trail near a “bait”, created to attract the bruins.  Both hunting methods turned out to be more difficult than we expected. I sat patiently in a tree for six days, thirteen hours per day!  I got in my stand well before daylight and sat there quietly until dark.  I never saw a single bear during this time, since black bears are primarily nocturnal.  By the end of the boring week, I was very disappointed; especially since bear tracks and droppings revealed a bear was actually coming to my stand, every other night.

Since the hunt was scheduled to be over the next day, Saturday, the seventh day of the week, I decided to join the other hunters and chase a bear with the hunting dogs.  However, the guides told me I would not be able to actually shoot the bear, since the other hunters were still trying to get a bear, and had been unsuccessfully following the dogs all week.   Therefore, my hunt was over, since I was told they would not be taking anyone to their stands that last morning.  However, God had another plan!

On Friday night all the other hunters and guides decided to go into town to celebrate at the local saloon.  I decided to stay in camp by myself, since I didn’t drink alcohol.  I thought I was alone in camp until my Methodist college friend, Jim Beard walked up.

Jim was not interested in joining the other hunters and guides either.  Normally, our conversations always pertained to archery and adventures in the outdoors.  However this time, Jim began to express his concern over our mutual friend, Mike Palmer, who did not believe in God and was headed to Hell.

Jim then told me how the year before, on previous bowhunt, Mike had challenged Jim to have “his” God “show him a bear”, if He was real.  Mike had not seen a single bear after a week of stand hunting.  So, Jim accepted the challenge, and asked God to show our friend Mike a bear, on the next day’s hunt, so he would know God was real. God did exactly what Jim asked, to their amazement!

This story totally fascinated me.  As a forth generation Southern Baptist, I had never heard anyone ever share a modern day story of how God actually intervened in their life, in a supernatural way.  I thought the days of miracles had ending with the Apostles.

After sharing his story, Jim left me.   I leaned back against my sleeping bag in the dark pondering Jim’s amazing testimony.  Then I spontaneously said to God in my mind: “Lord, I didn’t know you were still working miracles and talking to people!  If you would ever like to talk to me, I’d like to listen!”

Immediately, a strong thought came into my mind that startled me, because somehow I knew it wasn’t my own!  All the information of what I now know now was a Prophetic Word from the Holy Spirit was instantly “downloaded” into my mind!

This prophecy from God said:  1.)  “You will kill a bear in the morning.”  2.) “It will be the same bear you have been hunting all week.”  3.) “It will be at your stand.”  4.) “You will kill the bear with one arrow.”  5.) “The bear will die instantly.” 

I was shocked, because I knew at that moment without a doubt, that the Holy Spirit of God had spoken directly to me!

Shocked, I immediately got up and told Jim Beard.  He said, “We’ll see”.  (We laugh now because at the time, Jim didn’t know God was speaking to anyone but him!)  The next morning at breakfast I witnessed my prophecy to eight people, hunters and guides.  After an uncomfortable moment of silence, everyone began to laugh assuming I was kidding around as usual.  So, I told them again that I was serious and that God actually spoke to me and these events would happen that morning.

Some were really uncomfortable now, since several in the group did not believe God existed.  Finally, the head guide, Ray Rawls spoke up and said that I could not hunt, because we were not going to the stands, and two other hunters had the first option to hunt with the dogs that last morning.

Puzzled, I asked Ray in front of everyone, “There must be some way I can hunt this morning?”  Ray responded there is no way.  Then, he continued, saying the only conceivable way I could hunt, which won’t happen, would be if the bear came off the bait where I had been hunting all week.  However, Ray said they would not go to my bait unless there was no bear scent at the other 20 baits.  On average, in those mountains, black bears visited the baits at least every two to three days, he said.  There was no chance all the other baits would go untouched by bears. That was impossible.

I said, “That’s fine, I’m bringing my Bow anyway! because I knew I had heard God’s voice.   I was totally confident and filled with faith.  I didn’t understand why God wanted me to shoot this bear, but I knew it was going to happen that morning!  Everyone, with the possible exception of Jim Beard, thought I was nuts!  Because this was the last hunt, everyone decided to follow along in pickup trucks and get in on one last bear chase, including “Spike” White, who was filming the entire week’s hunt to make a promotional movie for the guide.

We started out at daylight.  For some reason the head guide told me to ride in the front seat with him.  By mid morning, we had checked all of the baits but two.  Unbelievably, none of them had been visited be a bear!  Statistically this was impossible!  Ray was stunned by the circumstances.  At a fork in the road, Ray shook his head, looked at me and said, “Max, there are two baits left, yours is one of them.  Which way do you want to go?” 

I responded with a big smile, with faith that God had given me and said, “Ray, it doesn’t make any difference, but if you want to go where the bear is, he’s at my bait!”  I was strangely calm, positive that the revelation God had given me was now coming to pass in front of eight witnesses, who just a few hours before had laughed at me.  They weren’t laughing now.

Ray took the road that lead to my stand.  As we approached my area, the dogs still in the truck picked up the scent of a bear and began to howl.  Ray jumped out of the truck, looked at the ground for tracks and then said, “Max, this is your bear!”  The dogs were released, as men and animals ran down the mountain after the bear!

I was still strangely composed.   I grabbed my archery gear and walked slowly down the mountain alone, following the sound of the baying hounds.  This unusual composure was a characteristic, which had never described me in the past, when I prepared to harvest a big game animal with the bow and arrow.  Normally, my heart would be racing with anticipation, as the adrenalin pumped through my veins.  Not this time.  Instead the peace of God was on me.  I knew this bear belonged to the Lord!

The 350-pound black bear treed a short distance down the mountain, in the top of a giant Idaho spruce tree.  I am a decent shot with a bow, but this shot was very difficult.  It was almost straight up about 35 yards.  Only the small “kill area” of the bear was visible, due to the foliage.

I remember saying to God, “Lord, couldn’t you have put him in a shorter tree?”  However, I was totally confident I would kill this bear with one arrow since four of my predictions had already been fulfilled.  All that remained from my prophecy was to kill the bear with one arrow, and for it to die instantly.  Killing a bear instantly with an arrow almost never happens.

Everyone gathered around the tree as still cameras and a movie camera recorded the remarkable events.  I slowly removed an arrow from my quiver, calmly aimed at the small vital lung area I could see, in the top of the tree.  On a 10” portion of the bear’s chest was visible due to two tree limbs the bear was standing on.

I prayed and released the arrow; positive it would find its mark at predicted.  The arrow sliced through the thin crisp air and slammed solidly into one of the tree limbs, an inch below the vital area!  I couldn’t believe my eyes!  I was shattered!

Pulling my second arrow out of my eight-arrow bow quiver, I drew my 65-pound Jennings Compound bow back to full draw, and released.  This time the arrow centered the other limb, above the kill area, less than 12” from the first arrow! 

This was great shooting for me, but the bear was still untouched!  My next four arrows missed the bear and tree entirely!  I was rattled now, and fear set in as I realized I had only two arrows left!

It was at that exact moment of discouragement, that God sent Jim Beard over to me.  He calmly looked me in the eye and said,  “Max, tell me again exactly what God said to you.”  I told Jim God had said:  1.) “You will kill a bear in the morning.”  2.)  “It will be the bear you have been hunting all week.”  3.)  “It will be at your stand.”  4.)  “You will kill the bear with one arrow.”  5.)  “The bear will die instantly.”

Jim then said to me by the revelation of God, “Max, God didn’t say it would be the “first” arrow.”  I had assumed in my humanness, that God meant the first arrow.  I had misinterpreted a legitimate Word from God!  (I have learned since, it happens to Christians all the time.  God communicates truth to us and we immediately add our own interpretation, which sometimes is wrong.)

With renewed faith and confidence I drew back my “seventh” arrow.  I calmly released the string.  The arrow, true to its destiny, found its mark, penetrating the heart, lungs and spine!  The bear died instantly, and fell to the ground!  We all stood in amazement of the events we all witnessed.  This miracle changed me, and my relationship with God forever.  It also had a profound effective on everyone there that day.

Years later, in 1990, I asked my brilliant scientist friend, Roy Marlow, to calculate on his computer the probability of these events occurring, exactly as I predicted.  Roy, an avid bowhunter and employee of the famous Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio , did not believe in God at the time.

Roy structured the mathematical probability problem two different ways, based on the facts.  If it was assumed that the bears were coming to the 20 baits every third night, the odds of the events occurring were one in two billion!  If the bears were coming in every other night, the odds were 330 billion to one!  My scientist friend, said his calculations did not include the fact that I was able to predict all five events, before they happened!  He had no idea how to calculate the probability of my predictions coming true!

In the years since this amazing personal prophecy and miracle, I often wondered why God gave me this experience.  I think I am finally beginning to understand.  First, God wanted a deeper, more personal relationship with me.  He intervened in my life, using circumstances I could understand to get my attention.  Second, He wanted me to know He was still talking to people and working miracles in our modern world.  Third, God gave me a “testimony” of His supernatural power and existence that I could share with my peers, most of whom were hunters, wildlife scientists and archers.

Along time ago, Jesus caused a bunch of fish to jump into the nets of the disciples (Luke 5: 1 - 11).  Jesus was not interested in catching fish, He was proving in a way that they could understand, that He was God.  Jim Beard said it this way: “Max’s bear story is not about Max getting a bear, it is about God getting Max!”

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