THE HARVEST OF THE ENDTIMES
Revelation 14:14-20 (NKJV)
Reaping the Earth’s Harvest
14 Then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and on the cloud sat One like the Son of Man, having on His head a golden crown, and in His hand a sharp sickle. 15 And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to Him who sat on the cloud, “Thrust in Your sickle and reap, for the time has come for You to reap, for the harvest of the earth is ripe.” 16 So He who sat on the cloud thrust in His sickle on the earth, and the earth was reaped.
Reaping the Grapes of Wrath
17 Then another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle.
18 And another angel came out from the altar, who had power over fire, and he cried with a loud cry to him who had the sharp sickle, saying, “Thrust in your sharp sickle and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth, for her grapes are fully ripe.” 19 So the angel thrust his sickle into the earth and gathered the vine of the earth, and threw it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. 20 And the winepress was trampled outside the city, and blood came out of the winepress, up to the horses’ bridles, for one thousand six hundred furlongs.
In this vision, John uses two agricultural metaphors. One of grain and one of grapes. These events picture the Feast of tabernacles. A time when the Jewish people came together to celebrate the Lord’s goodness and blessing.
Before that Feast, there came the harvest of the grain and the grape. Remember, that we are seeing a preview of things that will be considered more deeply later.
We are preparing for the millennial reign of the Lord Jesus. But, before He can come, there must be a harvest. Before the celebration, there must be judgment and the cutting off of the wicked. The harvest of wheat and tares.
Let’s look at these two scenes of judgment.
I. v.14-16 THE GOLDEN HARVEST
A. v.14 The Reaper Of The Harvest – This is Jesus Christ!
(Ill. The cloud – Rev. 1:7)
The Son of Man (Ill. He was presented as the Son of Man in Matt. 8:20, and this is the last time He is identified as the Son of Man. The first had to do with His event, the second with His return in victory.) (Ill. A reference to the Lord’s parable in Matt. 13. In Mt. 13, He is the Sower, here He is the Reaper!)
B. v.15 The Ripeness Of The Harvest – The time is now for the harvest to take place. (Ill. The parable of the Tares – Matt. 13:24-30) This is the time for the ultimate harvest and for the final separation. (Ill. This is a picture of Christianity. There are 2 kinds in the church! We cannot tell the difference. God can! He knows the difference in the wheat and the tares. (Ill. Differences in the tares and the wheat!)
1. Wheat and tares are identical at the beginning.
2. At the end, tares stand tall, turn black and get ugly!
3. Wheat turns it’s heads downward. (A picture of humility)
4. As wheat grows upwards, it dies downwards.
5. Wheat grows through the seasons and is harvested annually. (Ill. We have our harvest, John 4:35)
6. The tares are poisonous, a natural emetic. When harvested along with the wheat,. they must be harvested grain by grain or they will cause sickness.
C. v.16 The Reaping Of The Harvest
– For 2,000 years, the saints have watched Satanically inspired cults and numerous religions spring up and flourish. They will do
even better after the rapture! However, the Lord knows them that are His and He will reap His people and gather them into His barn, the others He will bind them together and prepare for the fire! (Ill. Matt. 13:41-42) (Ill. The tares are burned to keep them from reproducing! Ill. Why there is a Hell!)
Ill. This harvest has to do with those saved during the Tribulation. The harvest has primarily to do with the saints of God. The vintage of grapes, on the other hand, have to do mainly with the world.
II. v.17-20 THE GORY VINTAGE
(Here, we are presented with a picture of the Lord finally and ultimately dealing with those who have opposed Him and His truth. He steps into the arena of the battle of Armageddon to judge His foes. The time of the Lord’s vengeance and judgment has finally come upon the earth!) Notice:
A. v.17-19 It Is Timely – Men have rejected the true vine of John 15. They would not have Jesus, instead they reached out to the world and satan, and now it is time to face the Lord. (Ill. Grapes gathered and placed in the winepress. A place of pain and destruction) (Ill. Isa. 63:1-3 is fulfilled here!) This will be a terrible time to face an angry God.
B. v.20 It Is Terrible – This is a picture of Armageddon (Rev. 16:16; 19:17-19), not a single battle, but a great military campaign, Ill. Eze. 39:8-16. All the nations of the earth come against the nation of Israel to do battle! It will happen! All prophecies in the Bible will come true!
Ill. The blood will run to the horses bridles, 4ft. deep. It is 1,600 furlongs (200 miles) from Dan in the north to Beersheba in the south. (Ill. A river of blood 4 ft. deep and 200 miles long!) Men have rejected the saving blood of the Lord Jesus, now they will wallow in their own blood! It’s Jesus Christ or destruction!
Evil and perilous days are coming! We must be sure that we are ready to meet the coming of the Lord.
We must do all we can to help others prepare for that day as well!
Are you ready for the harvest?