THe Harvest of the Earth, Rev. 14:14-20
We come not to this description of the last judgment, God's final wrath. The theme of final wrath has already been discussed in chapter 14, you'll remember it from back in verse 8 and following. In fact, even verse 7 talks about the hour of judgment has come. So back in verse 7, judgment was introduced into this chapter...ran all the way through verse 11 and then there was a brief respite in verses 12 and 13 as we heard an encouraging word of the perseverance of the saints. After that brief rest to encourage the faithful, the theme again is wrath.
Now you know where we are in the book of Revelation so you kind of get a feel for the flow of truth. The seven seals have been opened. The seven trumpets have blown. The abomination of desolations by the Antichrist in the temple of Jerusalem has taken place. The persecution of Israel has escalated to a fever pitch. The execution and martyrdom of Christians all over the earth is going on. The whole earth and sky is devastated by divine judgment, divine vengeance. Satan is ruling the earth with the iron fist of Antichrist, aided by the false prophet, the whole remaining world is deceived into worshiping the Antichrist as if he were God and blaspheming the true God and Jesus Christ. (GTY)
So now we come to this description of the final harvest. I want us to look at this with three points.
The coming Judge
The harvest of grain
The harvest of grapes.
I. The coming Judge,
This is the third And I Saw of this chapter. First he saw the Lamb standing on Mount Zion with the 144,000 redeemed. Second, he saw the three angels flying in the middle heaven declaring their message.
Now you know where we are in the book of Revelation so you kind of get a feel for the flow of truth. The seven seals have been opened. The seven trumpets have blown. The abomination of desolations by the Antichrist in the temple of Jerusalem has taken place. The persecution of Israel has escalated to a fever pitch. The execution and martyrdom of Christians all over the earth is going on. The whole earth and sky is devastated by divine judgment, divine vengeance. Satan is ruling the earth with the iron fist of Antichrist, aided by the false prophet, the whole remaining world is deceived into worshiping the Antichrist as if he were God and blaspheming the true God and Jesus Christ.
Now he sees the Son of Man sitting on a white cloud along with three more angels.
A. We see His throne,
Here is the Son of Man riding on a cloud. We have seen God with clouds before. The Shekinah Glory of God during the exodus,
he makes the clouds his chariot:
with the clouds of heaven there came one like the son of man.
Jesus taught that They will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. ().
Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of Heaven with power and great glory.
Hence we have Jesus talking about this event. He will come on a cloud. All will be able to see Him coming.
B. We see the Judge,
The Son of Man. A title that is used in the passages we have just read. Jesus taught this was Himself. He is the Son of Man.
Two passages will suffice here: , .
We know that Jesus is the Judge. He came first as the babe born to two people, who would be the Lamb who would die for people. Pay the penalty for our sin. Then He comes the second time to take away his church. Now He comes to Judge those who have rejected Him.
C. We see His adornments,
The golden crown, the stephanos. This is the crown of victory. It is the crown that is given the winner at the Greek games, the crown of military victory. . Normally, they were made of leaves, as in a wreath. But this is a golden crown, signifying the great value/worth of the crown, but more importantly the great value, worth of the One wearing the crown. This crown signifies His coming in victory. He will defeat the enemy and judge all those who have rebelled agasint Him.
He also had in his hand a sharp sickle/drepanon. A reaping hook that was used to cut off the crop from its stalk, or branches. A long curved knife for cutting grain. usually swung in sweeping motion.
2. He also had in his hand a sharp sickle/drepanon. A reaping hook that was used to cut off the crop from its stalk, or branches. A long curved knife for cutting grain. usually swung in sweeping motion.
He is coming to reap, to harvest the grain. THe grain stands for the people.
II. The harvest of grain, v.15, 16
II. The harvest of grain, v.15, 16
There are those who are believers at this time who have believed as a result of the preaching of the 144,000.
WE see this first angel come out of the temple. He comes from the presence of God with a message to the Son from the Father. Remember when the disciples asked Jesus when His coming would be He told them only the Father knows. Well, He is telling him now to reap, to put in the sickle and harvest the earth.
We have the call to reap. Next we have the ripening of the crops. This word refers to the crops being perfectly ripe. The stalk is dried and grain is ready for reaping. I think there are two harvests mentioned here. This first one I think is the gathering of the believers at the end of tribulation.
The word harvest there therismos speaks of harvesting the good crops.
Let both grow together until the harvest, and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, “Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.”
Notice also in Jesus explanation of the parable of the weeds
and the enemy who sowed them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are angels
Speaking of the general order of reaping.
But when the grain is ripe, at once he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come
Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, then comes the harvest’? Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest.
What is the point?
The word therismos refers to the good harvest. In the harvest, Jesus will come first and take those who are his. The harvest will be easily separated as in the parable of the weeds, in this case the grain from the grapes.
Then, thirdly we have the reaping. The Son of Man sweeps his sickle down and harvests the earth. He gathers up those who are his.
I think this gives great hope to the believers alive at the time. They are not forgotten. They will be gathered by the Lord at the time when all is ripe for that to happen.
III. The Harvest of grapes, v.17-20
III. The Harvest of grapes, v.17-20
Now we come to the second harvest. A second angel comes out of the temple, from the presence of God with a sharp sickle. he comes for judgment from the command of God.
We see the reaper
The third one comes out of the altar thusiasteriou (this is primarily used of the altar of burnt offering, but can be used of the altar of incense) he is described as having authority over the fire (of the altar). If it is of the altar of burnt offering we are reminded of the blood of martyrs who have been sacrificed. If of altar of incense we are reminded of the prayer of the Saints.
WE were introduced to this angel in where he cast fire from the altar unto the earth and there was earthquake and such.
Fire symbolizes judgment, occuring 23x out of 24 referring to judgment. The fact that he has authority over the fire indicates he is God's agent for judgment.
Secondly we have the ripening
He calls to the angel with the sharp sickle to send his sickle to harvest (trugaw) the bunches/clusters of grapes of the vineyard of the earth. because they are fully ripe, meaning they are full of juice and ready for harvest.
Third, we have the reaping
So the angel harvested the clumps of ripe grapes and cast them into the great winepress of the wrath of God. here the vine stands for the enemies of God. The winepress = the wrath of God. It In it symbolizes the Christ's judgment on evil nations. Those who have rebelled against God and joined with the dragon and beast. the winepress was trampled outside the city and the blood came out unto the horses bridle (about 3-4 feet) and poured out for 1600 stadia (about 200 yards. A Roman Mile contained 8 stadia. So we are talking about 200 miles). 200 miles of blood 3-4 feet deep.
The figure is probably hyperbole indicating the amount of destruction that will occur at the judgment of God.
The winepress is trampled outside the city
John surely uses the message of
Put in the sickle,
for the harvest is ripe.
Go in, tread,
for the winepress is full.
The vats overflow,
for their evil is great.
Which is a judgment passage. God is calling all the nations to the valley of Jehoshaphat in order to judge them. It is the day of the Lord when the sun and moon are darkened. This valley is traditionally associated with the Kidron valley lying between Jerusalem and the Mount of Olives.
The fact that it is outside the city may be an allusion to Jesus who suffered outside the city for the sins of man. .
and v.16 says, "The Lord roars from Zion, and utters his voice from Jerusalem, and the heavens and the earth quake. But the Lord is a refuge to his people a stronghold to the people of Israel."
I have trodden the winepress alone,
and from the peoples no one was with me;
I trod them in my anger
and trampled them in my wrath;
their lifeblood spattered on my garments,
and stained all my apparel.
4 For the day of vengeance was in my heart,
and my year of redemption had come.
We see that the second harvest is clearly one of judgment. The bloodshed of which boggles the mind. We cringe at a mass shooting in Vegas or in a school. Those are innocents. But this is beyond imagination and they are not innocents. This is where the world is going. This is the future.
Here we see this judgment with Jesus Christ coming on a white cloud to gather the harvest of believers before the final judgment where the gathering of the vintage takes place. It again reminds us of where this world is headed. It is all the more necessary for us to make sure we are warning others of what lies ahead. WE can take opportunities like what we witness in the news to remind folks that is where all this going, only it won’t be with guns, but the fire of God. It will be Him reaping.
Except your repent you shall all likewise perish. The harvest is coming. Make sure you are ready.