A sermon on Midnight Mass (2021), and ravenous birds

“Midnight Mass”, a miniseries released on Netflix 24 September 2021, is an exceptionally well-written horror story about a church in America that is led astray by a demon (ref. 1).

Trailer of Midnight Mass (2021)

The demon is expressed in the story through the metaphor of a vampire – a fictional creature that survives by consuming human blood, that is able to extend the life of a human, and that burns in sun light (ref. 2).

A Taste for Blood. The Angel of Midnight Mass.

Of course, in reality, there is no such thing as a vampire.

But the point is that there is such a thing as a demon, a fallen angel. What is more, in these last days, these creatures, essentially evil spirits, have in fact corrupted (ref. 2) many a congregation of Christians. And one of the ways they have done this is by taking over the priest or the pastor. This is why the metaphor of Midnight Mass is telling.

Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

Matthew 7:15-16

Whenever a priest or a pastor falls, a great portion of the congregation under him, if not his entire congregation, eventually also falls. Indeed, the Bible does warn that in these last days, there will be those that shall depart from the faith, giving heed to “seducing spirits”, and “doctrines of devils”.

Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils

1 Timothy 4:1

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

2 Timothy 4:3-4

In the story of Midnight Mass, Father Paul Hill, who is Monsignor Pruitt, is attacked by a vampire, and at this moment of tribulation when he has to choose between remaining faithful to Jesus Christ and becoming a servant of evil, he mistakenly chooses the latter, telling himself and later others as well that evil is good (ref. 3).

Scene from Midnight Mass re the “angel”

The story reveals to the audience that Monsignor Pruitt regards the vampire as an “angel” rather than as a fallen angel or a demon. He even likens the blood of the vampire that is offered to him to the stigmata and to the blood of Christ as in the Eucharist. He does all this by handling the word of God deceitfully (ref. 2 Corinthians 4:2) and by wresting scripture in a blasphemous way (ref. 2 Peter 3:16), confusing good and evil.

Leviticus and Deuteronomy are clear that the righteous are not to eat the blood of any manner of flesh.

For it is the life of all flesh; the blood of it is for the life thereof: therefore I said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall eat the blood of no manner of flesh: for the life of all flesh is the blood thereof: whosoever eateth it shall be cut off.

Leviticus 17:14

More to it, it should be obvious that a blood-thirsty vampire that needs to kill humans in order to live is something evil rather than good.

It is one thing to misunderstand something in the Bible. It is quite another to use the words of the Bible to confuse good and evil, to purposefully deceive others and cause their souls to be lost.

This story is striking because there is truth to it. There are many men of the cloth around today who actually think evil is good, and good is evil.

The writer and director Mike Flanagan describes Midnight Mass as a “parable” (ref. 4), a story that illustrates a religious truth.

Making of Midnight Mass

In due time, the false prophet, the one with two horns like a lamb prophesied in Revelation, might even proclaim that the beast is on the side of God, and that the mark of the beast is not in fact the mark of the beast. He will do all this to cause souls to be lost. He will deceive many about good and evil, for he is a servant of Satan.

In time to come, when captured by the enemy and faced with a choice like Monsignor Pruitt’s, a Christian must remain steadfast in the faith and believe in the resurrection – the most important point of Christianity in these last days.

For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it. For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?

Mark 8:35-36

Midnight Mass is a thought-provoking story. It is a must-see. To be sure, there is some subtle propaganda from the other side, as is the case for almost all movies and Netflix series nowadays. In this story, there is an elaborate, scientific monologue at the end from an atheist, a scene that proselytises to the audience that God is not real. Also, in the end, the one that saves the day, as it were, happens to be a Muslim rather than a Christian let alone Christ.

Nevertheless, Midnight Mass is still worth watching if only to see how a demon and also misguided Christians might spin the words of scripture to deceive and lead astray many.

From the uttermost part of the earth have we heard songs, even glory to the righteous. But I said, My leanness, my leanness, woe unto me! the treacherous dealers have dealt treacherously; yea, the treacherous dealers have dealt very treacherously.

Isaiah 24:16

Singing hymns, appearing pious, professing holiness – all of that is worth nothing if at the hour of tribulation one picks the wrong side.

Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

Matthew 7:13-15

For many are called, but few are chosen.

Matthew 22:14

Ultimately, if a person serves the devil, then no matter what he or she thinks is going on, that person is a servant of the devil.

To tell this story of a demon twisting the words of the Bible, one must know a lot of the Bible. Here, the writers of Midnight Mass do not disappoint.

The story has seven episodes, or chapters, namely Genesis, Psalms, Proverbs, Lamentations, Gospel, Acts of the Apostles, Revelation.

In this story about vampires that can be destroyed by sun light, there is an allusion to Psalms 27:1-3. In his day, David was pursued by evil, and he was at that time saved by the LORD of hosts, who is the light.

A Psalm of David. The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell. Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.

Psalms 27:1-3

In Midnight Mass, there is even a sermon about a Christian being a “soldier of Christ” (ref. 2 Timothy 2:3), fighting a war within God’s army for the kingdom of God.

Only someone who has read the word of God, or a demon on the opposing side, can know these sorts of things. For these two are two sides of the same coin, or two opponents on the same battlefield.

Concerning the metaphor of a vampire, the Bible does describe a fallen angel, or devil, as an “unclean and hateful bird”.

And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.

Revelation 18:2

Of course, if a demon can be likened to a bird, then an angel also can be likened to a bird.

This brings me to a very fascinating verse of the Bible. Isaiah 46:11 is a prophecy about “a ravenous bird from the east”, “the man” that executes God’s counsel “from a far country”.

Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it. Hearken unto me, ye stouthearted, that are far from righteousness: I will bring my righteousness; it shall not be far off, and my salvation shall not tarry: and I will place salvation in Zion for Israel my glory.

Isaiah 46:9-13

First of all, the expressions “my righteousness” and “my salvation” in Isaiah 46:13 surely refer to Jesus Christ, the Son of man. Jesus Christ will come to Zion and rule as king of the kingdom of God.

However, the “ravenous bird from the east” must be someone else. This is because Jesus was born in Bethlehem, Israel. The ravenous bird is a man from a far country, meaning far from Israel. The verse further reveals that this man and bird is from a land somewhere in the far east, at the rising of the sun, “mizrach”.

It might be that this man from the east is the leader of a nation that is represented elsewhere in the Bible by the symbol of a bird, specifically the hawk and the eagle, or the two-headed bird, of Job 39:26-30, which means Russia, which is simultaneously of the north and of the far east.

Doth the hawk fly by thy wisdom, and stretch her wings toward the south? Doth the eagle mount up at thy command, and make her nest on high? She dwelleth and abideth on the rock, upon the crag of the rock, and the strong place. From thence she seeketh her prey, and her eyes behold afar off. Her young ones also suck up blood: and where the slain are, there is she.

Job 39:26-30

When reading Isaiah 46:11 this way, notice there is Isaiah 13:5, “from a far country”.

… the LORD of hosts mustereth the host of the battle. They come from a far country, from the end of heaven, even the LORD, and the weapons of his indignation, to destroy the whole land. Howl ye; for the day of the LORD is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty.

Isaiah 13:4-6

One problem with this though is that the bird in Job 39:26-30 is described with the feminine pronouns “she” and “her”, because the bird represents an entire nation, whereas the bird in Isaiah 46:11 is a man.

Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.

Isaiah 46:11

So maybe Isaiah 46:11 means something else. Maybe, this is a prophecy about a man from the east who becomes a bird, and a ravenous one at that. In other words, a man that will be born again and made equal unto the angels.

And Jesus answering said unto them, The children of this world marry, and are given in marriage: But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage: Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.

Luke 20:34-36

The Hebrew of bird in Isaiah 46:11 is “ayit”, in the sense of a bird of prey. This means, this man, who has been called by God and who executes the counsel of God, will seek out and hunt down his opponents, the opponents of God.

Here, notice once more that Jesus Christ is God and also the Son of God who became a man: the Word made flesh, or God who was born as a man. By contrast, the ravenous bird from the east is a man who is made equal unto the angels: in effect a man who becomes a god.

I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.

Psalms 82:6

When read this way, this man is a ravenous bird, singular, at a time when there will be many other birds.

If this is the meaning of Isaiah 46:11, this man can be regarded as the opposite of the demon of Midnight Mass. By that I mean this: whereas the vampire of the night sought to destroy the followers of Christ, by deceiving them and corrupting them, this man as a bird from the rising of the sun will seek to destroy one way or another the followers of Satan.

The words of Isaiah 46 suggests, anyone that remains “stouthearted” about the kingdom of God in Zion after the day of Christ is fair game.

Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it. Hearken unto me, ye stouthearted, that are far from righteousness: I will bring my righteousness; it shall not be far off, and my salvation shall not tarry: and I will place salvation in Zion for Israel my glory.

Isaiah 46:11-13

Certainly, by the sounding of the seventh trumpet, most of the enemy will be no more.

And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.

Revelation 11:15

In the area of the holy land, Jesus Christ himself and the holy angels that are with him will have removed all that are evil.

And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.

Revelation 19:21

The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Matthew 13:41-42

But elsewhere in parts of the world far away from Zion, what is left of the enemy will try to rebel once more. This is the prophecy of Psalms 2, the time when the kings of the earth will imagine a vain thing, and once again set themselves against God.

Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure. Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.

Psalms 2:1-6

Presumably, it will be at this time when the ravenous bird from the east will do his thing.

To some extent, every Christian who has been called to serve during the Millennial Reign, will become like an angel, and as angels with wings as eagles, every Christian will go after demons and devil worshippers in this world, to destroy all the evil that remains.

But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

Isaiah 40:31

At this time, every Christian who has been born again will have the morning star – that is to say, the power from God to destroy at will any of Satan’s servants, agents, and even demons.

And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father. And I will give him the morning star.

Revelation 2:26-28

Still, it intrigues me that the Bible draws attention to one particular man that executes God’s counsel from a far country, from the rising of the sun, a man that will become a bird of prey, and a ravenous one at that.


1. “Midnight Mass Teaser”, youtube.com/watch?v=89UV8vmWXlY

2. “A Taste for Blood. The Angel of Midnight Mass”, youtube.com/watch?v=GexsWAcrmSg

3. “Midnight Mass Angel”, youtube.com/watch?v=_CBOJvDNjTs

4. “Making Midnight Mass”, youtube.com/watch?v=gknt09SYXm0