"And they answered and said unto him, Where, Lord? And he said unto them, Where there is a dead body, there the vultures will gather.”" Luke 17:37
Still unable to comprehend the full meaning of their Master's words when he spoke of his second advent being visible in all parts of the world, the disciples asked,
"Where, Lord, will all this take place which thou hast been telling us about?" and he replied enigmatically, "where the body is, thither will the vultures be gathered together."
The imagery is taken from Job 39:30, "Where the slain are, there is she." The bird intended being most probably the great vulture, well known throughout Syria:
"Do you ask where all this will take place? As the curtain of the future rolls up be fore my inward eye, I see the vultures of Divine vengeance flying in flocks athwart the whole area of the earth; the sky is darkened with their numbers; far as my eye can reach, I still see them. Alas l for the habitable earth, my Father's goodly world... it is rank everywhere with corruption...wheresoever the carcass is, there the vultures will gather together" (Dr. Morrison, Pulpit Commentary, Bible Hub)
In "The Nile Tributaries of Abyssinia," Sir Samuel Baker describes these carrion birds as possessing an extraordinary range of vision,
'...and though they are invisible from the earth...they are perpetually hunting in circles within sight of each other." And when one discovers a body upon the surface of the earth, it falls from the heavens "in haste with closed wings to the bloody feast, followed quickly by many of his brethren (and suddenly) hundreds of hungry beaks are tearing at the offal." (The Antichrist Babylon and the Coming of the Kingdom. G.H. Pember, pp. 166-167)
Vultures are scavengers that purify the whole earth from the putrid carcasses with which it would otherwise be encumbered, thus the Lord's answer to the question," Where?" was that his words applied to the whole earth. The terrible and awful scenes he had pictured would take place everywhere on an earth devoid of the knowledge of the Holy Triune God.
At one time the citadels of Christianity, modern W. Europe and America are spreading stains of madness oozing with anarchy of selfishness, lust for power, revitalized Ba'al worship, obscene sexual immorality, human sacrifice and the love and practice of lying fueled by hatred of goodness. The only unpolluted areas are pinpoint Lights of the faithful, havens where the lost can still find the Lord.
The dark atmosphere of our evil age is the "death of God" made tangible and it is Nietzsche, the German philosopher who announced His death who describes our upside-down climate of nothingness:
"We have killed him (God), you and I! ...But how have we done it? How were we able to drink up the sea? Who gave us the sponge to wipe away the whole horizon? What did we do when we loosened this earth from its sun? Whither does it now move? Whither do we move? ...Do we not dash on unceasingly? Backwards, sideways, forwards, in all directions? Is there still an above and below? Do we not stray...through infinite nothingness? Does not empty space breathe upon us? ...Does not night come on continually, darker and darker?" (Nihilism: The Root of the Revolution of the Modern Age, Eugene Rose, p. 108)
Such is the theater of the grotesque in which there is neither up or down, male or female, right or wrong, true or false, normal or abnormal because the living God is dead in the hearts of Westerners and Americans. Thus as America and the West drift aimlessly in "infinite nothingness" spiritual poisons progressively dissolve the foundation of soul, mind, worth, morality, family and everything good, true, and beautiful.
“...he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.” Luke 1:51 KJB
When people willfully fall away from the knowledge of the only true God and relentlessly transgress against His commandments, these actions effectively turn them back to their natural state.
This means that in turning away from the living Triune God comes the reversal of conversion in which the soul ceases to live from the spirit and begins to live with the life of the body. The disordered passions thereby revived absorb the life of the person who spiritually dies resulting in the natural man of 2 Tim. 3:3. (St. Tikhon, Works II, Political Apocalypse: A Study of Dostoevsky's Grand Inquisitor, Ellis Sandoz, p. 120)
"Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand." Daniel 12:10, KJB
“Do not seal up the words of prophecy in this book, because the time is near. Let the unrighteous continue to be unrighteous, and the vile continue to be vile; let the righteous continue to practice righteousness, and the holy continue to be holy.” Revelation 22: 10-15
In this light we are able to understand that when our Lord said, "Wherever the body is, there will the vultures be gathered together" the body collectively represents all people who can no longer respond to the appeals of the Holy Spirit because by their own choice they are completely destitute of the knowledge of God. Thus their darkened souls are spiritually dead and incapable of any influence except that of polluting and corrupting the air around them and spreading spiritual disease and death.
The vultures therefore represent the Angels of God appointed for punishment alighting on such a society and removing the putrid carcasses of the spiritually dead:
"The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears, let them hear." Matthew 13: 41-43
.” Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to each person according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and may enter the city by its gates. But outside are the dogs, the sorcerers, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.” Revelation 22: 10-15
2017 @Linda Kimball