And The Eagles
What was Jesus talking about in that prophecy?
by Ken Raggio
"For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together," Matthew 24:28.
"And they answered and said unto him, Where, Lord? And he said unto them, Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together," Luke 17:37.
In two of the Gospels (Matthew and Luke), Jesus said that the CARCASE (or the DEAD BODY) attracts EAGLES.
If you want to really understand what He is talking about, you must take a look at the entire discourse.
"Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. ...Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. ...For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together," Matthew 24:23-28.
Jesus was warning His followers NOT to follow false Christs, or false prophets, even if they show great signs and wonders.
He was comparing people who seek after false prophets to buzzards who seek after dead carcases.
The New International Version of the Bible (and others) translate the same word VULTURES.
Thayer's definition of the Greek "aetos" includes this note:
"Since eagles do not usually go in quest of carrion, this probably refers to a vulture which resembled an eagle."
A vulture (or a buzzard) is a fowl that preys on the carcases of other dead animals.
To what was Jesus alluding when he warned that the vultures would gather wherever the carcase is?
In the verses immediately before these comments, Jesus warned of FALSE CHRISTS who would come on the scene in the last days.
He warned His followers NOT to go after them. Only vultures would go after them because they were already dead.
In Luke 17:33-37, Jesus warned that a night would come when two would be in a bed. One would be taken, and the other left behind.
Two will be grinding. One taken. One left behind.
Two in the field. One taken. One left behind.
As He spoke, the disciples interrupted with this question: "Where, LORD?"
In the Greek text of the New Testament, the word is "pou" which means "at what location."
Their question asked, "At what location will this prophecy be fulfilled? Where will this happen?"
Jesus answered with the same phrase that was quoted in Matthew.
It will happen where the carcase is. Where the dead body is. Where the religious emptiness is. Where the false prophets and false Christs are.
So, to re-state the above lesson, here is the explanation.
Where will one be left behind while grinding? Where there is a carcase (false, empty prophets).
Where will one be left in the field? Where there is a dead body (a false Christ).
If you don't want to be left behind with a dead carcase and a bunch of vultures, you should quickly find a man of God who has the life of God in him, by the power of the Holy Ghost.
There will be no vultures hovering around the TRUE SPIRIT-FILLED CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST.
This allegory is similar to another allegory pertaining to "whited sepulchres" that Jesus referred to in 23:27.
"Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness."
False religionists are then likened both to whited sepulchres, carcases, and dead men's bones.
Regardless of how real they look, there is NO TRUE LIFE IN THEM!
Jesus' remarks were scathing judgments on those false prophets, false Christs AND all those who would go after them.
The CARCASE is the empty shell of a false prophet, or a false Christ.
The VULTURES are the pathetic people who chase after the false prophets, false Christs and false religionists.
One of the definitions of CARCASS is "remains from which the substance or character is gone."
This is a similar indictment to Peter's references to evil men who were "wells without water" (2 Peter 2:17), and Jude's reference to "clouds …without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots; Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever." (Jude 1:12-13)
All these are warnings to you and me against following phony spiritual leaders who do not have the real goods of Biblical truth.
Can anyone argue that we are completely surrounded nowadays by shallow, empty, and misguided ministers and ministries of every conceivable kind who are only carcases by comparison to the great men of God in ages past, who were full of the life of God?
"If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds," (II John 1:10,11).
Dear friends, there is only one way to legitimize a man's ministry. Does it manifest the Truth, the whole Truth, and nothing but the Truth? Anything less is suspect. The Word of God is the only standard by which any minister or ministry may be accurately judged.
Granted, we all make mistakes, but at the core of our lives there should be a solid foundation of doctrinal soundness. Any time you or I discover fundamental flaws in a man or church's doctrine, we should earnestly seek the Lord for leadership to a ministry that will not mislead us and threaten our eternal salvation, where we can live for God in a doctrinally legitimate and spiritually stable environment.
Let us not be among the vultures who feed on empty carcases.
We have no need of watered-down, ecumenical religion. We have a True and Living Christ and a True and Living Gospel to believe. And only that Truth of Jesus Christ can ever make us free.
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