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Sixth Edition, 1915
By Dr. John Thomas (first edition written 1861)



Chapter 19

Section 10. The Birds of Prey



"The One Angel shouted with a loud voice saying to all the fowls flying in midheaven, Come hither, and assemble together for the banquet of the powerful Deity, that ye may eat the flesh of kings".


 The proclamation of good in midheaven by the Saints (and there is none else to do it) is not only to warn the nations of what is about to break forth upon them, but so to operate upon the scattered Israelites, as to make them willing to acknowledge Jesus as David's Son and Lord, and to place themselves at his disposal; so that whatever he, as the Prophet like unto Moses, may command to be done, they will readily and zealously obey under the direction, orders, and superintendence  of those of his Brethren he may appoint. The saints will have, not only to make proclamation, but to consummate such a military organization as will make Israelites and the "mixed multitude" who accept their proclamation, bodies of efficient soldiers in all the countries where such may be found. The means developing this result will be "a noise," and "a shaking," whereby the very dried bones of Israel shall come together, bone to bone, and flesh and si shall come upon them, and they shall live politically, and stand upon their feet an exceeding great army (Ezek. 37).

   This standing up of Israel upon their feet is the political resurrection predicted by Balaam, and recorded by Moses in Numbers 23:24,saying, "Behold, the people shall rise up as a great lion, and lift up himself as a young lion; he shall not lie down until he eat the prey, and drink the blood of the slain. His King shall be higher than Agag (or Gog), and his kingdom shall be exalted. AlL brought him forth out of Egypt; he hath, as it were, the strength of an unicorn; He shall eat up the nations his enemies, and shall break their bones, and pierce them through with his arrows" (ch. 24:7,8).

    When all the necessary preparations shall have been completed, the time will have arrived for the Star of Jacob to set these forces into motion, for the purpose of "destroying him that remaineth of the city"; and in the work of destruction, of hewing their way out from the wilderness of the peoples into the land of Israel. In the development of this work, "it shall come to pass" that they will be an united people: "the envy of Ephraim shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off; Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim. But they shall fly upon (as birds of prey) the shoulders of the Philistines westward; they shall wholly spoil the children of the east" (Isa. 11:13,14). Thus, it will be seen by these expressions, "eating the prey and drinking the blood of the slain," "eating up the nations his enemies," and "flying upon their shoulders," applied to Israel in the time of their political resurrection, and under the leadership of the Four Living Ones full of eyes, one of whom hath the face of an Eagle, and another of a Lion, that they are aptly represented Apocalyptically as "the fowls flying in midheaven". Israel will do valiantly under the Saints, and are the instruments in their hands by whom the kings and their armies will be devoured. As then Cyrus was styled "a ravenous bird from the east" in coming against Babylon to destroy it; and the powers hostile to Israel were termed birds (Isa. 46:11; Jer. 12:9); so Israelites are symbolized by flesh-devouring fowls, when they shall be summoned into activity against the "unclean and hateful birds" of Babylon the Great.

The Apocalyptic banquet for the fowls of the midheaven, is the last period of judgment upon the worshippers of the Beast and his Image. The loud voice of the one angel calls them to the work of slaughter. Babylon having fallen, the work of the third angel has now to be executed upon her sympathizing survivors, the kings of the earth and their armies. John saw them already gathered in battle array; and he saw the fowls gathered who were to devour them - the ravenous birds of him who rides the goodly horse, and his hosts of the heaven. In the two concluding verses of this chapter, he informs us of the result of the conflict. The secular and ecclesiastical Organizations styled the Beast and the False Prophet, the European Constitution of the nations in church and state, is abrogated, and finally destroyed, in the burning fire, issuing as a fiery stream from before the Ancient of Days (Dan. 7:9,10): while the armies in the field are cut up and dispersed by the Israelitish Sword of the Mighty One, who continues the kingdoms of the world, but appropriates their diadems as the spoil of the victor (ch. 11:15).





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