Calling A Bird Of Prey From The East

This is a very interesting letter from a brother who says regularly read my blog – thank you for that. I am now calling this brother “Cyrus Nogreto” for he is not “Cyrus The Great”. I hope you will enjoy reading for I enjoyed it myself.  It is a little bit long but I guarantee it is full of interesting details.


Dear Brother Cornelius,

Please hide my real name. I am a brother in the Church I will not mention my locale but I live in North America.  I am inspired to write this article about King Cyrus The Great after reading your blog “The Ends of The Earth”. Like you, I think other brethren too, started learning the bible. I also started reading history,  how they relate to bible stories. I believe we have all the right to cross-examine the Church doctrines from the perspective of other religions and history. You are right Bro. Cornelius, you cannot learn what is inside the box if you do not look at it from the outside. Critics of INC claims that the Isaiah verses we are using for Bro. FYM are stolen prophesies of Israel. I am reading history about King Cyrus how he became Cyrus The Great and considered  by United Nation as the first known man to implement human rights. This led me to clarify who exactly is the “bird of prey” mentioned in Isaiah 46:11.

Who is The Bird of Prey?

First, let me also quote the bible on Isaiah 46:11 (NKJV)

Standard of Cyrus

Standard of Cyrus

11 Calling a bird of prey from the east,
The man who executes My counsel, from a far country.
Indeed I have spoken it;
I will also bring it to pass.
I have purposed it;
I will also do it.

In this verse we refer to Bro. FYM as the “bird of prey” and the members of the Church of Christ
“from a far country”. We then connect this verse to other verses to prove we are indeed from afar or “Far East” from the time of the “ends of the earth”. You alluded in your article that the “ends of the earth” is a place not time as we claimed it. If it is a place, the INC doctrines will be debilitated and all the more what I will attempt to explore and share here.

When I continue reading Isaiah 46:11-13 (NKJV), it seems to change the context back to Israel. I know a Minister explained that the “Israel” mentioned in that verse is not the ancient Israel, it refers to the new nation of God in these last days. Hard to debate this kind of argument so let me just continue. Let me quote extended verses again

Isaiah 46:11-13 (NKJV)

11 Calling a bird of prey from the east,
The man who executes My counsel, from a far country.
Indeed I have spoken it;
I will also bring it to pass.
I have purposed it;
I will also do it.
12
“Listen to Me, you stubborn-hearted,
Who are far from righteousness:
13
I bring My righteousness near, it shall not be far off;
My salvation shall not linger.
And I will place salvation in Zion,
For Israel My glory

To my knowledge so far, the old testament is mainly speaking in the context of Israel as the nation of God, the ancient Israel during that time. Let me again quote another bible translation:

Isaiah 46:11-13Living Bible (TLB)
11 I will call that swift bird of prey from the eastthat man Cyrus from far away. And he will come and do my bidding. I have said I would do it and I will. 12 Listen to me, you stubborn, evil men! 13 For I am offering you my deliverance; not in the distant future, but right now! I am ready to save you, and I will restore Jerusalem and Israel, who is my glory.

I know if I ask a Minister regarding TLB translation the answer is: it is a wrong translation that is why we do not use it. You are right brother Cornelius, selective teaching technique made our doctrines sounds perfect. Like Isaiah 43:5-6, some words we picked from Moffat translation and some words we picked from NKJV translations. This method of selective teaching will always be correct if you do not explore it carefully.

Now if we learn about King Cyrus history (read: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyrus_the_Great), he used the flag of a bird known as “Standard of Cyrus”. Check the reconstructed image ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Standard_of_Cyrus_the_Great_(White).svg) of the actual artifact found from Persepolis. This is one strong proof that there was a man with a “bird” symbol that could be what is referred to as “bird of prey” in the bible.

The man “bird of prey” is also the man who will execute God’s counsel. Isaiah 46:11-13 also mentioned “The man who executes My counsel, from a far country”. So I continue my research if these words indeed can be applied to King Cyrus. What I have discovered is so unquestionably refers to King Cyrus.

Who is King Cyrus The Great?

In short, King Cyrus does not know God but God knows him. He does not belong to the nation of God, Israel, but God declared “He is My shepherd”.

Some facts I have collected from different articles:

Cyrus The Great

Cyrus The Great

  • Birth 600-599 BC, others says 576-575 BC
  • He ruled between 559-530 BC
  • First conquered Median, then Lydian then neo-babylonian empire
  • His legal titles:
    • The Great King,
    • King of Persia,
    • King of Anshan,
    • King of Media,
    • King of Babylon,
    • King of Sumer and Akkad, and
    • King of the Four Corners of the World
  • Founder of the Achaemenid Empire or First Persian Empire
  • Prophesied by Prophet Isaiah Isaiah 44:24-28 200 years before he was born
  • Prophesied by Jeremiah, Ezra, mentioned by Daniel.

Cyrus name was mentioned in the prophesy of Isaiah, the same prophet who wrote “the bird of prey”.

Isaiah 44:24-28 New King James Version (NKJV)
Judah Will Be Restored

24
Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer,
And He who formed you from the womb:
“I am the Lord, who makes all things,
Who stretches out the heavens all alone,
Who spreads abroad the earth by Myself;
25
Who frustrates the signs of the babblers,
And drives diviners mad;
Who turns wise men backward,
And makes their knowledge foolishness;
26
Who confirms the word of His servant,
And performs the counsel of His messengers;
Who says to Jerusalem, ‘You shall be inhabited,’
To the cities of Judah, ‘You shall be built,’
And I will raise up her waste places;
27
Who says to the deep, ‘Be dry!
And I will dry up your rivers’;
28
Who says of Cyrus, ‘He is My shepherd,
And he shall perform all My pleasure,
Saying to Jerusalem, “You shall be built,”
And to the temple, “Your foundation shall be laid.”’

Hence, Isaiah directs his prophecy toward Israel (Judah and Jerusalem)- Israel addressed to the ten tribes of Israel, who were deported to Assyria—an event Isaiah personally witnessed. The prophecy was fulfilled two centuries later under King Cyrus. He overthrew Babylon and set Judah free.

Noticed in verse 26 how it says “And performs the counsel of His messengers” which described in Isaiah 46:11, “The man who executes My counsel,”. I believe the messengers here refers to the prophets but the man who performs or execute “counsel” is King Cyrus. What is so amazing in Isaiah 44:28 is how powerful and true God is, even mentioned the name of Cyrus 200 years before he was even born. “Cyrus He is my shepherd, ” –  to build Jerusalem through Cyrus the foundation of the temple would be laid.

Another amazing prophesy of King Cyrus is

Isaiah 45:1-10 New King James Version (NKJV)
Cyrus, God’s Instrument

45 “Thus says the Lord to His anointed,
To Cyrus, whose right hand I have held—
To subdue nations before him
And loose the armor of kings,
To open before him the double doors,
So that the gates will not be shut:

2
‘I will go before you
And make the crooked places[a] straight;
I will break in pieces the gates of bronze
And cut the bars of iron.

3
I will give you the treasures of darkness
And hidden riches of secret places,
That you may know that I, the Lord,
Who call you by your name,
Am the God of Israel.

4
For Jacob My servant’s sake,
And Israel My elect,
I have even called you by your name;
I have named you, though you have not known Me.

There is no doubt in my mind the “bird of prey” is King Cyrus and the man who will execute His counsel from a far country is also King Cyrus. The far country is Persia not Philippines because again we are looking at the context of the old testament nations. Persia is in the east of Jerusalem.

The Restoration of Jerusalem

King Cyrus of Persia overthrew Babylon two centuries later, and he issued an edict (or decree) that allowed the people of Judah to return to their land. The edict is recorded in Ezra 1:1-4 not the restoration of the Locale of Jerusalem, Israel congregation which was inaugurated by INC Executive Minister in March 1996. First,  Prophet Jeremiah prophesied the fall of Babylon in

Jeremiah 51:60-63 New King James Version (NKJV)

60 So Jeremiah wrote in a book all the evil that would come upon Babylon, all these words that are written against Babylon. 61 And Jeremiah said to Seraiah, “When you arrive in Babylon and see it, and read all these words, 62 then you shall say, ‘O Lord, You have spoken against this place to cut it off, so that none shall remain in it, neither man nor beast, but it shall be desolate forever.’ 63 Now it shall be, when you have finished reading this book, that you shall tie a stone to it and throw it out into the Euphrates.

Ezra 1:1-4New King James Version (NKJV)
End of The Babylonian Captivity

1 Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and also put it in writing, saying,

2 Thus says Cyrus king of Persia:
All the kingdoms of the earth the Lord God of heaven has given me. And He has commanded me to build Him a house at Jerusalem which is in Judah. 3 Who is among you of all His people? May his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem which is in Judah, and build the house of the Lord God of Israel (He is God), which is in Jerusalem. 4 And whoever is left in any place where he dwells, let the men of his place help him with silver and gold, with goods and livestock, besides the freewill offerings for the house of God which is in Jerusalem.

King Cyrus The First Author of Human Rights

The charter of Cyrus the Great, a baked-clay Aryan language (Old Persian) cuneiform cylinder, was discovered in 1878 in excavation of the site of Babylon. In it, Cyrus the Great described his human treatment of the inhabitants of Babylonia after its conquest by the Iranians. The document has been hailed as the first charter of human rights, and in 1971 the United Nations was published translation of it in all the official U.N. languages.

The discovery of Cyrus Cylinder is a proof of the bible story that King Cyrus allowed people he conquered to practice their religions. This allowed the Israelite to return to Jerusalem and rebuilt God’s temple after centuries of captives by the Babylonian.

Summary

The Israelites had rebelled against God for centuries and he ultimately sent them into captivity for their disobedience. He initially allowed the Assyrians and then the Babylonians to punish his people. Eventually, he decided to allow the Persian people to conquer the Babylonians so that they could rule over his people. God allowed Cyrus the Great to govern his people so that he could send them back to their homelands in order to rebuild their temple and to worship him in truth once again.

Brother Cornelius, have we been fooled in our faith? God bless us all for nothing we desire but to be a good sons and daughters, to be considered God’s people.

Thank you.

-Bro. Cyrus Nogreto


Here is a very short but well narration of Cyrus The Great. Enjoy watching – Cornelius