I’ve been intrigued by rereading the great articles by David Underwood on Eagles these past 2 weeks. It caused me to go back to Matthew 24 where eagles are again mentioned.
The passage of scripture I am referring to is Matthew 24:27-28:
“For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For wheresoever the carcase is, there shall the eagles be gathered together.“
There has always been a lot of controversy over this passage of scripture with many differing opinions. So I decided to search out Bible commentaries and also see what a Google search would turn up. It is a tradition in orthdox Jewish circles for the men to “gather” and discuss the Torah. Some of these discussions can become quite lively. In Christianity men and women are encouraged to do the same.
“Then they that gladly received his (Peter’s) word were baptized and the same day there were added unto them about three thousands souls. (Now that’s revival)
“And they continued stedfastly in the apostle’s doctrine (instruction; following what the apostle’s were teaching) and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.” (Acts 2:41-42)
It is healthy and good to have discussion about the Word of God. Just because there are differing opinions about what certain scriptures mean, we are encouraged to search the scriptures daily just as the Bereans did in the Book of Acts “to see if these things be so”. Unfortunately, over the centuries men have taken one particular scripture, gained a following, and formed a group around their particular revelation and many cults and denominations are the result.
Jesus taught His disciples about the Kingdom of Heaven and warned His disciples about being deceived. The Apostle Paul also warned the Church in II Thessalonians 2:3 “Let no man deceive you by any means“. Recently we saw a man named Harold Camping set a date (big mistake) and through his “means” gained a worldwide following. He left a multitude of people scratching their head and some perhaps permanently disillusioned and skeptical of any end-time prophecy teacher. The sad thing is that Harold Camping drew attention to one fact that is unalterably true – Jesus Christ is coming again in Judgment and at that time will take His Bride away to be with Him forever and ever. “And so will we ever be with the Lord.” Unfortunately, Harold Camping did not equip his followers on how to be born again. If he had they would be following Christ and not a man and he would have lost his monetary gains.
Referring back to the Matthew 24 scripture concerning the gathering of eagles, I discovered some interesting things I didn’t know before. Most of the Bible commentaries I read were written over a hundred years ago. Matthew Henry, Darby, etc. seemed to be in agreement that eagle should have been translated “vulture” or “bird of prey” and that the “carcase” was Israel in its decayed state ready to be devoured by the Roman army whose symbol was the eagle. Now that all sounds pretty logical, as so many opinions do, but I still felt there was a revelation in what Jesus told His disciples that goes deeper.
The disciples were as curious about future events as we are. Jesus did not disappoint them and gave quite a bit of detail in Matthew 24. He was not just discussing the destruction of Jerusalem by the Roman army, which did indeed happen in 40 A.D., but he was viewing the very end of the end when a time of tribulation would come upon the world such as had never been experienced before.
Although the Luke passages regarding this same event are not referred to as frequently as the Matthew 24 scenario, in this particular instance I think Luke gives us quite an insight as to the meaning of the eagles.
“Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed . In that day, he which shall be upon the housetop, and his stuff in the house, let him not come down to take it away: and he that is in the field, let him likewise not return back. Remember Lot’s wife. Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it. “
“I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed (custom of the time, not homosexuality) the one shall be taken and the other left. Two women shall be grinding together, the one shall be taken, and the other left.”
“Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken and the other left.”
“And they answered unto him, Where Lord? (the disciples obviously wanted to know where these people were taken). And he said unto them, “Wheresover the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together.” (Luke 17:30-36)
Here Luke uses the word “body” and not “carcase“. Also, in the Hebrew and Greek the word “eagles” is exactly that and not “vultures”. Is it possible the Bible commentarians and Google experts did not get the clue given here? I am just offering this for discussion, but as a result of this study have come to the conclusion that the Lord was telling His “Body” that we will be gathered together as a flock of eagles to meet Him in the clouds of glory. This is the “rapture” of the church. We will soar heavenward as eagles, empowered by the Holy Ghost which is the quickening Spirit that gets this “body” off the ground. Oh what a day that will be! In a twinkling of an eye we shall be changed – mortality will put on immortaility.
I pray that we will all be counted worthy to escape the coming destruction. Have you been born again of water and Spirit? (obedience to Acts 2:38 is obedience to the gospel)
With hope in our heart and the helmet of salvation we can anticipate our future with joy and expectation.