Updated: Jul 9, 2022
While answering His disciples questions about His return and the coming of His Kingdom on earth, Yeshua (Jesus) made the following statement:
Luke 17:33 -37 "Whosoever shall seek to gain his life shall lose it: but whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it. 34 I say unto you, In that night there shall be two men on one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left. 35 There shall be two women grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left. 36 There shall be two men in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left. 37 And they answering say unto him, Where, Lord? And he said unto them, Where the body is, thither will the eagles also be gathered together." (ASV bold emphasis added by me)
Matthew 24:27-28 "For as the lightning cometh forth from the east, and is seen even unto the west; so shall be the coming of the Son of man. 28 Wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together."
Many of us have watched movies about the Rapture and the "Left Behind" series and we have all believed that we want to be among the "taken" ones and not the ones who did not know Christ and have been "left behind" on earth to face the great tribulation. However, is this really what the scriptures teach?
In the scriptures above, the disciples want to know "where" are the ones "taken" going to "be taken"? Where are they going?
Yeshua answers their question simply: their bodies will be strewn upon the earth for the birds of prey to eat their flesh.
Job 39:27-30 tells us about the eagle:
"Is it at thy command that the eagle mounteth up, And maketh her nest on high? 28 On the cliff she dwelleth, and maketh her home, Upon the point of the cliff, and the stronghold. 29 From thence she spieth out the prey; Her eyes behold it afar off. 30 Her young ones also suck up blood: And where the slain are, there is she." (ASV bold emphasis added by me)
Hence we see that eagles are a bird of prey.
It is recorded in the epistle of Matthew13:24-30 in the words of Yeshua:
"Another parable set he before them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man that sowed good seed in his field: 25 but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares also among the wheat, and went away. 26 But when the blade sprang up and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. 27 And the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst thou not sow good seed in thy field? whence then hath it tares? 28 And he said unto them, An enemy hath done this. And the servants say unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? 29 But he saith, Nay; lest haply while ye gather up the tares, ye root up the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather up first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them; but gather the wheat into my barn." (ASV bold emphasis added by me)
Also, in describing the same event we read in the book of Revelation 19:18-21:
"And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in mid heaven, Come and be gathered together unto the great supper of God; 18 that ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses and of them that sit thereon, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, and small and great. 19 And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat upon the horse, and against his army. 20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought the signs in his sight, wherewith he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast and them that worshipped his image: they two were cast alive into the lake of fire that burneth with brimstone: 21 and the rest were killed with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, even the sword which came forth out of his mouth: and all the birds were filled with their flesh." (ASV bold emphasis added by me)
I could go on and on with scripture after scripture but the point of all of them is this: Yeshua is returning to destroy His enemies and to rescue His people and to set up His Kingdom on earth. At His return, the ones "taken" will be the unrighteous ones and they will be as the tares who are burned up, and the ones "left" will be like the wheat gathered and placed in His barn.
Consider this scripture:
Revelation 14: 14-20 "And I saw, and behold, a white cloud; and on the cloud I saw one sitting like unto a son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle. 15 And another angel came out from the temple, crying with a great voice to him that sat on the cloud, Send forth thy sickle, and reap: for the hour to reap is come; for the harvest of the earth is ripe. 16 And he that sat on the cloud cast his sickle upon the earth; and the earth was reaped. 17 And another angel came out from the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle.
18 And another angel came out from the altar, he that hath power over fire; and he called with a great voice to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Send forth thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe. 19 And the angel cast his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vintage of the earth, and cast it into the winepress, the great winepress, of the wrath of God. 20 And the winepress was trodden without the city, and there came out blood from the winepress, even unto the bridles of the horses, as far as a thousand and six hundred furlongs." (ASV bold emphasis added by me)
This scripture is denoting the harvest of the earth. The grapes of wrath (equivalent to tares) are being destroyed and the wheat (the righteous) are being gathered to Him; in Jerusalem.
My friends, we do not want to be the ones "taken" we want to be the ones who are "left".
I will leave you with this last set of Scriptures:
Matthew 24:38-39 “For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah entered into the ark. And they did not know until the flood came and took them all away. So also will be the coming of the Son of Man.”
Where were they “taken” when the flood “took them all away”? They were destroyed in the flood by the wrath of God. Noah and his family did not leave the earth but they were “left behind” and protected by God while His wrath was poured out. Notice that these scriptures are immediately followed by “two shall be...one shall be taken and the other left.”
I pray that this has shed light on the Jewishness of Yeshua and His early disciples, and the writings of the Brit Hadasha (New Testament)!