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Sunday, February 25th, 2018 - AM - The Great Harvest of the Earth (Rev. 14:14-20)

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Rejoicing Through Revelation  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  1:03:53
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Jesus and the angels thrust in their sickles and reap, ushering in His final judgment upon the earth.

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Jesus Christ is going to be victorious over all the ungodly and evil of this world. This is the great announcement of the two angels in this passage. Jesus Christ is going to triumph. In the last days of human history, He is coming back, and He is going to harvest the earth. He is going to reap those who believe in Him and take them on to heaven with Him. But He is going to judge the ungodly and evil of this earth. Christ and His followers will be vindicated: the world will see and know that Christ is truly the Son of God who came to earth to save man. The world is going to know …
• that He was well worth forsaking the world and its pleasures and possessions for
• that He was well worth following and standing up for
• that He was well worth even dying for
• that He was well worth denying oneself for
• that He was well worth sacrificing everything for
• that He was well worth suffering persecution for
When Jesus Christ returns in judgment, the world will know that He is exactly who He claimed to be: the Son of God, the Lord and Majesty of the universe. But it will be too late. He is returning in judgment. He came the first time in mercy and grace to save people. But now, the next time, He returns in glory and majesty to judge the earth. This is the scene of this passage. This is the sixth great assurance to believers: the day of harvest is coming. The Lord God is going to reap the earth. The believers are going to be taken home to heaven to live with God and Christ forever. And all the ungodly and evil are to be judged and shut out from God’s presence. There is to be a perfect world in which nothing reigns but godliness and righteousness. God is going to create a new heavens and earth, and believers are to have the glorious privilege of living there with God forever and ever. [Leadership Ministries Worldwide, Revelation, The Preacher’s Outline & Sermon Bible (Chattanooga, TN: Leadership Ministries Worldwide, 1996), 204.]
Main Thought:
Unregenerate humanity faces a terrifying future. The unrepentant, even after repeated warnings, will learn firsthand the sobering truth that “it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Heb. 10:31).
Connecting Context:
The final vision of the chapter clearly points to the finale of the Tribulation, the battle of Armageddon, and Christ’s return in power and wrath. See II Thessalonians 1:7-10. [David H. Sorenson, Understanding the Bible, An Independent Baptist Commentary - Hebrews through Revelation, vol. 11, Understanding the Bible, An Independent Baptist Commentary (Northstar Ministries, 2007), 483.]
The battle described here, and the battle of Gog and Magog, described in Revelation 20:8-9, are two separate battles. This battle will be fought at the close of the Tribulation period. The battle of Gog and Magog will be fought at the close of the one thousand years’ reign of Jesus. We will discuss that further when we reach chapter 20. The battle here is a battle of blood. The battle in chapter 20 is a battle of fire. Fire will come down from God out of Heaven and consume the armies of Gog. [Oliver B. Greene, Revelation, A Verse by Verse Study, Commentaries and Writings of Oliver B. Greene (The Gospel Hour, Inc., 1963), 283.]
Background/Intro Material:
In this chapter, then, we have the fall outline of the dealings of God in the latter-day crisis. There are seven divisions of it. First, there is the full remnant of godly Jews associated with the Lamb on mount Sion, in sympathy with His sufferings and waiting for the kingdom. Secondly, a testimony to the Gentile nations scattered all over the world as well as to those seated on the prophetic earth. Thirdly, the fall of Babylon. Fourthly, the fearful doom, both in this world and in the next, of such as should worship the beast and his image, or receive the mark of his name. Fifthly, the blessedness from that time of those that die in the Lord. Sixthly, the discriminating process of the harvest. And seventhly, the awful infliction of vengeance on religious apostacy; the first, at least, of these two last acts of judgment being executed by the Son of man, which necessarily supposes the very close of the age: the wrath, not of God only, but of the Lamb. ...Although it is not about us, yet what a mercy it is to feel that we do not always require to think about ourselves when reading the Bible! [William Kelly, Lectures on the Book of Revelation (London: T. Weston, 1903), 330.]

I. The Harvest of Grain By the Reaping of the Son of Man (Rev. 14:14-16).

A. The Son's Description (Rev. 14:14):

Revelation 14:14 KJV 1900
And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.

1. He Is Sitting upon a White Cloud.

State Point -
Later, in chapter nineteen, our Lord will be seen sitting upon a white horse. Horses are seen here also in verse 20.
Anchor Point -
Daniel 7:13 KJV 1900
I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.
Validate Point -
Luke 21:27 KJV 1900
And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
[Apply Point] -
He is like unto the Son of man. This is a title that Christ used often of Himself. (Matthew 8:20; 9:6; 24:27,30; Mark 2:10, 28; 8:31; 9:9; Luke 6:22; 7:34; 9:22; 12:8; John 5:27; 6:27,62; 8:28). [Dr. Glen Jr. Spencer, The Expository Pulpit Series: Revelation (WORDsearch, 2013), Re 14:14–20.]

2. He Is Wearing a Golden Crown.

State Point -
This is the stephanos crown.
Validate Point -
Isaiah 28:5 KJV 1900
In that day shall the Lord of hosts be for a crown of glory, And for a diadem of beauty, unto the residue of his people,
Explain Point -
stephanos (στέφανος, 4735), primarily, “that which surrounds, as a wall or crowd” (from stepho, “to encircle”), denotes (a) “the victor’s crown,” the symbol of triumph in the games or some such contest; hence, by metonymy, a reward or prize; (b) “a token of public honor” for distinguished service, military prowess, etc., or of nuptial joy, or festal gladness, especially at the parousia of kings. It was woven as a garland of oak, ivy, parsley, myrtle, or olive, or in imitation of these in gold. In some passages the reference to the games is clear, 1 Cor. 9:25; 2 Tim. 4:8 (“crown of righteousness”); it may be so in 1 Pet. 5:4, where the fadeless character of “the crown of glory” is set in contrast to the garlands of earth. In other passages it stands as an emblem of life, joy, reward and glory, Phil. 4:1; 1 Thess. 2:19; Jas. 1:12 (“crown of life”); Rev. 2:10 (ditto); 3:11; 4:4, 10: of triumph, 6:2; 9:7; 12:1; 14:14. It is used of “the crown of thorns” which the soldiers plaited and put on Christ’s head, Matt. 27:29; Mark 15:17; John 19:2, 5. At first sight this might be taken as an alternative for diadema, “a kingly crown” (see below), but considering the blasphemous character of that masquerade, and the materials used, obviously diadema would be quite unfitting and the only alternative was stephanos.... [W. E. Vine, Merrill F. Unger, and William White Jr., Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (Nashville, TN: T. Nelson, 1996), 139.]
[Apply Point] -
Note two statements concerning the Head of the Son of Man. First time His Head referred to in New Testament, Luk 9:58. Last time His Head referred to in New Testament, Rev 14:14. [Dr. James Smith and Robert Lee, Handfuls on Purpose: For Christian Workers and Bible Students, n.d., Re 16:1–21.]
Isaiah 63:1–3 KJV 1900
Who is this that cometh from Edom, With dyed garments from Bozrah? This that is glorious in his apparel, Travelling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save. Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, And thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat? I have trodden the winepress alone; And of the people there was none with me: For I will tread them in mine anger, And trample them in my fury; And their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, And I will stain all my raiment.
Revelation 19:13 KJV 1900
And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.

3. His Great Cause - He Is Holding a Sharp Sickle.

State Point -
Joel 3:14 KJV 1900
Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: For the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision.
Anchor Point -
The Revelator used sickle seven times in these seven verses; the harvest will be a complete harvest, and will complete the fullness of wrath of God.
Validate Point -
Spiritual harvest time during the Tribulation will involve both the gathering the tares and then of the wheat, according to the Saviour, Who prophesied, “Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn” (Mt. 13:30). [Thomas M. Strouse, To the Seven Churches: A Commentary on the Apocalypse of Jesus Christ, Selected Works of Dr. Thomas M. Strouse (Bible Baptist Theological Press, 40 Country Squire Rd., Cromwell, CT 06461, 2013), 593.]
Explain Point -
SICKLE - drepanon (δρέπανον, 1407), “a pruning hook, a sickle” (akin to drepo, “to pluck”), occurs in Mark 4:29; Rev. 14:14, 15, 16, 17, 18 (twice), 19.¶ [Vine, Unger, and White Jr., 574.]
* Of particular note is that the only other usage of this word outside of the Apocalypse is found in Mk. 4:29, which references the coming of the harvest.

B. The Son's Directive (Rev. 14:15-16):

1. The Angel Cries to the Son of Man (Rev. 14:15).

Revelation 14:15 KJV 1900
And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.
State Point -
His cry gives both the call to reap as well as the caus