|Posted by Donna Dawson on May 13, 2009 at 8:34 PM|
"So if anyone tells you, 'There he is, out in the desert,' do not go out; or, 'Here he is, in the inner rooms,' do not believe it. For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will the coming of the Son of Man. Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather. "
This little portion is full of amazing stuff. Again, we don't have to go far to find the deceivers. I recently had someone say that God is in everything and we are gods ourselves. Isn't that exactly what this verse is telling us to beware of? Jesus was born 2000 years ago and lived until adulthood so he could experience all that is common to mankind and yet he didn't fall into the sin that comes from the temptations we face. In coming to earth then he completed the task of redemption so he has no need to 'appear' as a teacher again. Christ's next appearance will be as a conqueror--the conqueror that the Jewish nation wanted 2000 years ago. This is what it means when the verse talks about the lightning being visible. Christ won't waste time. He won't dawdle when the time comes. And he will be seen by all when he appears--just as lightning is seen by all.
It has taken me years to understand what the last portion of this scripture reading meant. It actually came to me when watching vultures at a carcass on our back country road. Vultures are deceiving birds. At first glance as they soar through the sky, they kind of look like a golden eagle. But where an eagle hunts living food, vultures live off of dead meat. They are cunning birds according to birds of prey specialists. They can smell the rot of a carcass and can outsmart other scavengers to get to it. How true this is of the deceiver and his minions. Believers and angels have one thing in common; our sustenance comes from feeding off of the living power of God. But the anti-christ and his deceivers will feed off of death. And what is death? According to scripture the law leads to death now because Christ fulfilled it and made it no longer necessary as a means to attain heaven and forgiveness. These deceivers are crafty. They come cloaked as righteous people. They try to outsmart us when we rely on our own strength. Just as we are to avoid false Christs, we are also to avoid the legalism that cripples Christianity. We are saved through grace and that by faith (Ephesians 2:8,9). While the law is not obsolete, we are not to place our trust in it. Those vultures who feed on the dead carcass of the old law would love for us to believe that they are of God. They would love for us to believe they are eagles. Jesus declared through this scripture passage that just as there would be an increase in false Christs, there would also be an increase of the 'work your way to heaven' mentality. We see it repeatedly in religions that enforce the idea that our works can make us righteous. And the leaders of those religions decide what those works must be--just as a false prophet would.
As we move through this portion of scripture let us remember to keep our eyes open for the return of our Lord. Let us feed on the living word--the word of grace, mercy, forgiveness and love.