A gathering of Eagles: (Luke 17:30 & 37) Jesus taught his first century followers he would come again at a future date, to provide salvation to the righteous; and to execute judgment against the wicked. (Matthew 24:3 ; Micah 4:1-5 ; Isaiah 2:3-4 ; Isaiah 1:16-20) That is the day we all await, and it is the natural thing for us to anticipate. Gaining a better understanding of the Bible strengthens faith, and may help us put ourselves in line for salvation by avoiding those who would deceive us. (Matthew 7:21-23 ; 2 Timothy 3:13) When asked by his disciples about when he would return, or more accurately where he would come back, Jesus mentioned among other things: A "gathering of eagles." (Luke 17:30 & 37) We want to examine what Jesus meant by those words, so as to illustrate the purpose of this website study effort: To provide you opportunity to choose to "gather with eagles." Please consider:

Jesus said world conditions would get worse and worse nearing the time for his return: So bad persons would look back to bygone [better] days; would look back to the days of Jesus first coming. He also said at that time some individuals would be saying here is the Christ, or there is the Christ. (Matthew 24:23) He told his followers not to believe such claims; and said his second coming would not be that way. Jesus there said his second coming would be like lightening that lights up the sky in the east and shines clear to the west: The lightening strike not really visible, yet clearly evident none the less. (Matthew 24:27) No rolling thunder, just the flickers of illumination. Before his second coming though, Jesus would be rejected and killed; and be resurrected. (Mark 8:31) Jesus went on to compare his second coming to the days of Noah and Lot, when the righteous were preserved alive while the wicked were destroyed. (Luke 17:26-37) When Jesus used the illustration of Noah and Lot, and told his listeners their salvation out of this system would be similar; and that illustration prompted their question about where it would happen. Where would they need to go to gain this salvation? Note Jesus answered in Luke 17, verses 30 and 37, there would be a "gathering of eagles" as part of the evidence of his presence at his second coming. What did Jesus mean, by saying eagles would be gathered around the body?

The Bible sometimes uses eating in a symbolic way. Jesus told his first century followers to eat his body and drink his blood. (Matthew 26:26-28) Clearly, he didn't intend them literally to eat him, but to strive to become like him, to strive to know what he knew. To further help us arrive at that meaning, Jesus said "his food" was for him to do the will of his father. (John 4:34) In similar fashion, "our food" is to learn from and follow Christ. In the Bible, Christ is referred to as the manna, or bread of life (John 6:48-51) that came down from heaven. (John 6:31-35) The Bible thus compares our feeding on Christ, to the Jews eating the literal manna that came down from heaven and fed them in the wilderness. (Exodus 16:14-18 & 31 ; John 6:28-33) The teachings of Jesus are life sustaining for us, just as the literal manna was for the Jews. Jesus is also referred to as the word of God. (Revelation 19:11-14) The Bible, as God's word then, is the spiritual food coming down from heaven that we today must feed on. Since the central theme of the Bible centers on salvation through faith in Christ, our studying the Bible is comparable to eating the body of Christ: He gave his life to bring us what is recorded in the Bible. When Jesus was doing the preaching work, people sat at his feet to learn what he had to say. Since Jesus died and was resurrected to heaven, studying the record of what he taught is the closest we can come to gathering at his body. In other words: Our studying the Bible is as close as we can get to sitting at Jesus feet and being taught by him personally. When Jesus taught people, he also healed their infirmities (Luke 6:17-31) and fed them physically, (John 6:5-11) so they could be free of pain and hunger to think about what he taught them [what he fed them spiritually]. The Bible identified a time when a physical healing would again accompany the "feeding on his body." (John 11:25-26) That is the hope of the eagles Jesus spoke of. (Isaiah 40:29-31 ; Job 33:24-25) Our very lives depend on our feeding on Christ in that way.

In another Bible illustration using "feeding," John was told in Revelation to take a little scroll and eat it up, so he might know and be able to share what was in that scroll. (Revelation 10:8-11 & Ezekiel 2:9-3:6) The scriptures herein considered then, help us understand why Jesus Christ would say of these last days: "Where the body is, the eagles will be gathered together." The eagles are those individuals feeding on Christ through the word of God; Those who are expending their energies to learn what the Bible teaches. In answer to his disciples question of where their deliverance would occur then, Jesus told them they would simply need to be feeding on the words he was speaking. The words Jesus spoke are alive, in that they have the ability to judge us by means of our own conscience. (Hebrews 4:12 ; Romans 2:15-16 ; John 12:48 ; Luke 7:48-50) The eagles learn what Jesus taught, build faith they will have salvation through obedience to those teachings, and it will become so. (Matthew 24:36-39 ; Matthew 8:13) The men and women to whom Jesus spoke about the gathering of eagles are all long dead of course, but the salvation of the righteous will be a reward to them by means of the resurrection; Just as it will be a reward for those feeding on Christ at his return. Many of those fortunate to be alive at Christ's return, and wise enough to be feeding on his word, will never die at all. (John 11:26) The Bible seems to indicate that is our day!

Because Jesus tied a "gathering of eagles" to his second coming, and to deliverance for the righteous; we examine the Bible to see anywhere else it mentions "eagle" in the context of deliverance. There are two occurrences well in advance of the birth of Jesus:

(Psalm 103:2-6) ...Bless Jehovah, O my soul, And do not forget all his doings, 3 Him who is forgiving all your error, Who is healing all your maladies, 4 Who is reclaiming your life from the very pit, Who is crowning you with loving-kindness and mercies, 5 Who is satisfying your lifetime with what is good; Your youth keeps renewing itself just like that of an eagle. 6 Jehovah is executing acts of righteousness And judicial decisions for all those being defrauded.

(Isaiah 40:29-31) "He is giving to the tired one power; and to the one without dynamic energy he makes full might abound. 30 Boys will both tire out and grow weary, and young men themselves will without fail stumble, 31 but those who are hoping in Jehovah will regain power. They will mount up with wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not tire out."

Please note both these scriptures tie eagles to a renewing of energy and of life; To a returning to ones youth and strength beyond what we have ever known. That is the hope the Bible holds out to persons faithful to our Creator. (Job 33:24-25) We may well be living in the days when it is happening, or will happen. It is very important to understand this "gathering of eagles"; to be able to realize there is a group of sincere Bible students; comprised of all those trying to learn what Jesus taught so as to be obedient. It is nearly too wonderful to know! The important question is though: Is it the truth? That is the purpose of this website then: To understand truth as the Bible defines it, and to help others to do so. It is also designed to help YOU share with others what YOU here learn from the Bible. The truth Jesus taught is more important than anything in life. (Matthew 13:44) Gather with eagles by becoming familiar with Matthew, Mark, Luke. and John. Then, print out pages of this website to help others feed on what you have learned.

Jesus himself said: (Joh 6:49-51 Bible in Basic English) Your fathers took the manna in the waste land--and they are dead. 50 The bread which comes from heaven is such bread that a man may take it for food and never see death. 51 I am the living bread which has come from heaven: if any man takes this bread for food he will have life for ever: and more than this, the bread which I will give is my flesh which I will give for the life of the world. (Joh 6:63)...the words which I have said to you are spirit and they are life.

Whether or not we have a perfect understanding of the phrase "a gathering of eagles," one thing is very clear from the Bible: The "true Christian organization" is made up of those individuals who strive to learn what Christ Jesus taught, and then to pattern their lives after what they learn. What Jesus taught is so important, it should be considered our food: A necessity for life. It seems we might reasonably substitute "a gathering of Bible students" for "a gathering of eagles." Eagles have excellent vision off into the distance. (Job 39:27-30) Spiritually speaking, so do those who have trained themselves with the Bible. Early students of Christ Jesus were by divine providence called Christians at Acts 11:26. Following that pattern, we might refer to ourselves individually as "Christian Bible Students." Of those who join together in support of the teachings of Jesus, we refer to them simply as "Bible Students"; This in recognition we are not the judges of who are Christians and who are not. We recognize Jehovah alone has that right to judgment; And that He has assigned that judgment to Christ Jesus. (Acts 17:31) As we personally choose to call ourselves Christians, we show an understanding that we put ourselves in line for untold blessings; or for judgment. There seems no scriptural evidence that any man or group of men are holding the membership list of who are righteous in our day. It would seem the height of judgment and arrogance (Romans 2:1-2 ~ *1) for any man or group to assert or imagine they maintain a membership comprising all the righteous persons in the earth; Or that they are judge of who are unfaithful. All persons who sincerely strive to learn what Jesus taught, and then to follow him, by that act of obedience place themselves as part of God's organization. That is the definition of being Christian. By looking into the mirror of the Bible, (James 1:23-24) we will either [gradually] comply with the Bible's teachings, or we will judge ourselves unworthy of life by refusing to do so. (John 12:48) To try and manipulate the scriptures to say what we want them to say, or what we think they ought to say, is of course judging ourselves unworthy of life. To elevate other written materials or individuals as equal with Bible teachings is likely to judge ourselves unworthy. We must simply learn what the Bible teaches, and then, in our own thoughts we are being accused or even excused: We are being judged by our own conscience. (Romans 2:15) We must be careful we do not let other men try and usurp that judgment from us. They have no right, and it will not likely be acceptable to God for us to seek to have the affirmative judgment of imperfect men. (Matthew 6:1-5) Having our own personal knowledge of truth, is both our right and our responsibility to be obedient to our Bible trained conscience; It is what defines us as "noble minded." Manifesting love for God and for others, based on that Bible knowledge, is what defines us as Chrisitan. Bible knowledge is truth, and it is food for life.

(Matthew 7:24-27) "Therefore everyone that hears these sayings of mine and does them will be likened to a discreet man, who built his house upon the rock-mass. 25 And the rain poured down and the floods came and the winds blew and lashed against that house, but it did not cave in, for it had been founded upon the rock-mass. 26 Furthermore, everyone hearing these sayings of mine and not doing them will be likened to a foolish man, who built his house upon the sand. 27 And the rain poured down and the floods came and the winds blew and struck against that house and it caved in, and its collapse was great."

(Acts 26:25-29) ...'I am uttering sayings of truth and of soundness of mind. 26 In reality, the king to whom I am speaking with freeness of speech well knows about these things; for I am persuaded that not one of these things escapes his notice, for this thing has not been done in a corner. 27 "Do you, King Agrippa believe the Prophets? I know you believe." 28 But Agrippa said to Paul: "In a short time you would persuade me to become a Christian." 29 At this Paul said: "I could wish to God that whether in a short time or in a long time not only you but also all those who hear me today would become men such as I also am, with the exception of these bonds."'

How then, should knowledge of this gathering of eagles impact you? The eagles of Jesus's illustration recognized feeding on the body of Christ meant their very lives. They did not gather to be accepted or approved by other eagles. They gathered to feed. If you recognize the truth, you should strive to be immersed in studying and understanding, and then in applying, God's word. Give no consideration to those who gather to judge and be judged by other men; Nor to any judgment they render against you because you don't bow before and follow after them. (1 Peter 4:2&4) As Jesus said: "They are having their reward in full." (Matthew 6:2 ; John 12:43) If it is glory among men they desire, that is what they shall have.

We recognize most groups of men will have those in their midst who are not righteous: Just and Jesus's hand picked group came to have Judas. What we desire though, is to give recognition to the one group which does not have one unrighteous person in their midst: The individuals being judged righteous by God through their faith in Christ Jesus, all together form an organization that is pure and unblemished (made so through the covering sacrifice of Jesus). (Jude 24-25) We can not however, judge or know who are members. God does! The best we can do is to have hope in those who demonstrate they are putting faith in the word of God by the love they show for others. (John 13:34-35 ; 1 John 5:3) We must also recognize that individuals who are in that group today, may not be tomorrow; And those who are not in that group today, may be in it tomorrow. (It would appear that, to some degree, everyone vacillates in and out: As they sin by falling short, and then regain their footing by repenting and returning to being obedient to Christ. [Matthew 16:23 & 16:21-23; Luke 17:4]) If this seems at all hard, remember: The solution is simply in knowing the [Bible] truth. (Mark 12:24) What we can and must do is strive to learn what Christ taught, apply what we learn in our lives, and freely share that gift with others. (Romans 6:23) It really is just that simple! You must strive every day of your life to be a follower of Christ Jesus. Some will assert if you once express faith in Christ Jesus you will always be saved, no matter what you do. (Matthew 24:13) As they assert that as truth, they are presenting their view before the judgment seat, and are being judged by their own words. If it is acceptable to God, it is certainly acceptable with those who love God. The Bible does not teach the ransom covering of the Christ to be like that however: Like a tarp thrown over us, hiding from Christ's Father who we are and what ever bad we choose to do. The Bible teaches Jesus's protection to be more like his placing a loving hand over the stain of sin on our suit; as we stand before our Creator with Jesus to mediate for us. It does matter what we choose to do! We must make effort to follow the teachings of Jesus, and thus to be upright; in order to gain and maintain Jesus's covering sacrifice. Hence Jesus himself said: "He that has endured to the end will be saved." (Mark 13:13 & Matthew 24:13-14) Jesus healed people, and even told them their sins were forgiven them. He would often say: "go your way and sin no more." (Matthew 9:2 & John 5:14) Of course, they were all imperfect and would sin again; But they should have been making every effort not to do so. Doing our best to be upright by showing love of God, and love for others, is our sacrifice acceptable to God. (Romans 12:1) It is a battle! (Romans 7:21-25) It is a battle we can win however: Through our personal faith in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:38-39) Faith can not exist apart from knowledge. (Romans 10:16-17) Know what your Bible teaches! Read Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, many times over.

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[*1 As to joining any group of men in their judgment over the faith of others: You should refrain. . . (Romans 2:1-2) Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are, if you judge; for in the thing in which you judge another, you condemn yourself, inasmuch as you that judge practice the same things. 2 Now we know that the judgment of God is, in accord with truth, against those who practice such things.]