Settled In Heaven Blog

Home » SIH Lesson Themes » Doctrinal » Revelation 14:14-20 “The Reaping Of The Earth”

Revelation 14:14-20 “The Reaping Of The Earth”

Follow Us And Keep Updated On All SIH Postings ...


As The Lord Wills...Upcoming Series On SIH Blog. Don't Miss Out!

No upcoming events

Blog Subscription Tools:


Blog Stats

  • 218,175 hits

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 4,586 other followers

Follow SIH Ministries On:


SettledInHeaven.org

SIH STSTA ICON

 

THE TEXT:

 

 

Rev 14:14-20 KJV

(14)  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.
(15)  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.
(16)  And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.
(17)  And 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, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe.
(19)  And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.
(20)  And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.

 

THE INTRODUCTION:

After looking at Satan and his earthly kingdoms and their opposition to Christ and His spiritual kingdom (Rev 12: & 13:), we now begin a new vision.  Our review of Satan’s kingdoms on earth has been brought to completion now we look at the very next event that will take place in time… the second coming of Christ.

In this look at His second coming, we will see Christ being praised for the redemption of His people; the protection of His people; and His wrath that will destroy the kingdoms of Satan…

  1. The Redeemed of God singing a song of praise to their Redeemer, the Lamb (14:1-5)
  2. The Warnings Of The Three Angels (14:6-13)
  3. The Two Reapings Of The Earth (14:14-20)

 

 

THE EXPOSITORY STUDY:

Please note that in our text, two  will be taking place:

  1. Revelation 14:14-16 – The “harvest of the earth” which symbolized the Lord taking His people, from the fallen world, to be with Him just prior to the sending of His wrath upon the lost.
  1. Revelation 14:17-20 – The “gathering of the vine of the earth” which symbolizes the Lord sending His wrath upon lost mankind which remains on the earth.

Please pay special attention to the terminology used in these two events.  To “harvest” means to gather and bring to oneself… to “gather” simply means to bring together it does not imply bringing to oneself.

 

Rev 14:14-20 KJV

 

  1. The harvest of the earth…

 

(14)  And I looked,

John now begins to see another related, but separate vision.  This is a vision of two great reapings of the earth.

 

and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man,

A white cloud appears.   The color white throughout the Bible represents purity (Isa 1:18) and wisdom of elders (Provs 16:31).  Many times a cloud is seen in relation to the Lord, His presence and His glory (Deut 31:15).   This symbolism makes perfect sense when we understand that Christ is the One that is seen on this cloud…  Christ is sinless and wise, God Himself and the perfect revelation of God’s glory.

This vision is taken from Daniel 7:13-14, where Daniel sees Christ as the coming King of Kings.

Why is Christ described as One “like unto” the Son of man?  He is similar to all humans, but not in every way a human … He is God Himself come in the flesh.  He was sinless. He was virgin born.  In these ways, although He was truly human, He was “like unto” the descendent of man.

 

having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.

Christ continues to be described as:

  1. wearing a crown of gold, picturing His great authority as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. When Christ came to the earth the first time, He came as a humble servant.   When His second coming takes place He will be coming as the Sovereign over all that perfectly protects His people from harm and perfectly judges lost mankind for this sinfulness.
  1. possessing a sharp sickle, describing the work He is about to undertake. Christ is pictured as a farmer who is prepared to reap the crop He has sown and gather it to Himself. 

 

(15)  And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud,.

John now sees “another angel”.  Just as in other portions of Revelation, this angel is carrying a message from the Father to Christ.

 

Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe

His message is the “go ahead” from God the Father that Christ should begin to reap “the harvest of the earth”.

His instructions include:

  1. thrust in thy sickle – Christ was to actively intervene in the earth, personally performing this reaping.
  2. reap – Christ was to take His people to Himself, much like a farmer reaps the crops and gathers them to himself.

These principles are clearly seen in Paul’s account of Christ’s second coming…

1Th 4:13-17 KJV  – “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.  For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.   For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.  For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:  Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”

 

Two reasons why He was to do this:

  1. the time is come – The time for Christ to return, which was appointed by God the Father in eternity past, has finally come (Matthew 24:36-37).
  1. the harvest of the earth is ripe – In other words, the elect of God have now come to Christ by faith. All whom are chosen to salvation have now been saved… the crop is now ready to be reaped… it is time for Christ to take them home.

Keep in mind, once Christ comes there is no other chance for individuals to be saved.   That is why in the counsels of God, the time of Christ coming takes place after all His people have been saved.

The harvest that takes place at Christ’s second coming is the second of two harvest of believers…  the first harvest affecting believers is described in John 4:35-36…

“Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.  And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together.”

 

In this harvest, we have:

  1. whitened fields – lost mankind ready to receive the gospel message and come to faith in Christ.
  2. he that reapeth – Christians taking the gospel to the whitened fields (lost mankind prepared to receive the gospel)
  3. the harvest – Men accepting Christ by faith.  This then separates them from the lost world and to Christ as they are made a new member of His family and His kingdom.

This first harvest of men, the lost being saved and spiritually united with Christ, will result in the second harvest (at His second coming) when they will be physically brought into the presence of Christ for an eternity.

 

(16)  And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.

We now see Christ, at His second coming, reaping the earth by bringing those who are saved into His presence.  In doing so, He is separating the saved from the lost, by taking the saved and leaving the lost behind on the fallen earth.  In a sense, this is the firstfruits of the harvest, in other words, the portion of the harvest that is reserved for Him and His glory.

This takes place immediately prior to the remaining portion of the harvest, His wrath being sent to the earth, falling upon lost mankind.  This is the second harvest we will be looking at in detail in the following verses…

 

  1. The gathering of the vine of the earth… 

 

(17)  And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle.

John now sees another of the same type of angel (a representative of Almighty God) holding a sharp sickle.

This part of the vision is taken from Joel 3:12-14 and Isa 63:3.

Perhaps, this angel could symbolize Christ Himself, the One who ultimately sends wrath upon lost mankind.  However, because “another” is the Greek word meaning “another of the same type”, it seems to be saying this angel is the same type of angel as previously seen by John in Rev 14:15.   That would tell us that it is a representative of God being used to send the wrath of the Lord upon lost mankind on earth.

This fits perfectly with other accounts of Christ’s wrath being accompanied by angels…

2 Th 1:7-8 KJV –  “And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,  In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:”

 

(18)  And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire;

John sees another of the same type of angel (a representative of God) coming out from the altar.

The word translated altar is the Greek word “sacrifice” which helps us to understand it is the brazen altar being talked about.  This is the altar where animals were slain and their blood was shed.  Their blood pictures the shed blood of Christ, the ultimate sacrifice, that was shed on the cross.

This angel is said to control the fire from this altar.    Keep in mind, one element of the wrath of God that falls upon the lost will be “fire” (2 Thess 1:7-8, 2 Pet 3:10-12 etc)  We will see in the following verses, this angel will be initiating God’s wrath upon lost mankind.

 

and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe.

The angel at the altar now cries out to the angel with the sickle.  He commands him to begin the initial phases of God’s wrath to fall upon the lost:

  1. Thrust in thy sharp sickle – This is a picture of cutting the clusters of ripened grapes (lost mankind) from their vine.
  2. gather the clusters of the vine of the earth – This is a picture of, once they are removed from the vine, the grapes are taken and gathered together.

 

Why now?

  1. her grapes are fully ripe –

All the necessary prerequisites to God’s wrath falling have taken place.  All the elect of God have been saved.  And the saved have been taken safely home to be with the Lord.   Nothing else stands in the way of God’s wrath falling upon man.

Why are grapes used to describe lost mankind?  Grapes emphasize the sinful condition of lost mankind.  In Deut 32:32 grapes represent sinful acts while in Isa 5:2 they represent a rebellious, wicked attitude. 

 

(19)  And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.

The angel with the sickle fulfills the will of God which was delivered by the angel of the altar. He brings the initial stages of God’s wrath coming upon lost mankind.  Following the cutting off of the grapes from the vine and gathering the grapes together, casting them into a “great winepress” is the final stage before the wrath is meted out upon them.

Please note, these “initial stages of God’s wrath” do not picture all of His wrath but simply the first, less intense parts to it.  Many believe it is possible that these initial stages may represent the wrath revealed in trumpets 1-4, with the treading of the winepress (see vs 20 below) picturing trumpets 5-7 (the three woes) which includes all 7 vials of Rev 16:. I believe this is possible but not probable.

I believe that the initial stages more likely refer to everything leading up to the Battle Of Armageddon.  The Battle of Armageddon is the final phase of His wrath and brings the period of God’s wrath upon the lost to a close.  If this is the case, then the initial stages His wrath would include trumpets 1-7 and vials 1-6.  These we have seen symbolized in the previous few verses (vs 17-19)  The final stage of His wrath, the Battle of Armageddon (vial 7) is symbolized by the actual treading of the winepress in the following verse (vs 20).    

 

(20)  And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs. 

The city where this takes place is New Jerusalem, where God dwells and is worshipped by His people eternally. To have His wrath fall outside the city is teaching us that His wrath is falling against those who are restricted from entering His presence, His place of worship, and His holy eternal dwelling place.  It is saying these have been cast out of my presence and are now facing my wrath, in comparison to His people who have been taken home to be with Him for an eternity and are protected from His wrath.

This is the final stage of God’s wrath falling upon mankind.   It is described as the Battle of Armageddon and is revealed to us in vial 7 and later in chapter 19 of Revelation (Rev 16:17-21, 19:11-21).  Please note in Rev 19:15 the Battle of Armageddon is linked to Him treading a winepress of wrath.  This fits perfectly with our vision here.  Also, throughout the Bible God’s wrath at Armageddon is described as treading of His winepress (Isa 63:2-3, Joel 3:13, Lam 1:15, Rev 19:15)

We can see from the symbolism that a trodden winepress seems to be describing a much more intense type of judgment than the cutting and gathering of the clusters of grapes into the winepress.  This would make perfect sense, because Armageddon involves Christ PERSONALLY warring against Satan, the beasts, and the lost defeating them and consigning them to the Lake of Fire.  Prior to this the Lord’s wrath (fire etc) is sent from heaven, however Christ will not be personally present as the lost are judged.

The enormity of the destruction and harm to the lost is symbolized by the blood of the grapes flowing out of the winepress as high as the horses’ bridals (approx. 4’ deep) covering a space of 1600 furlongs (140-200 miles).   Please keep in mind that the number 1600 is 4x4x1000.  Four is the number of the earth and 1000 is the number of completeness or totality.  This last harvest is the completion, totality, ending of God’s wrath falling upon the earth.    

 

CHRIST REVEALED:

In these two harvests, we saw Christ portrayed as both the Savior and Judge of mankind.  He can only do both of these because He is perfectly sinless.

As Savior, it took the sinless One to pay the price for the sins of His people. He was the sinless substitute for those He has chosen to save.

2Co 5:21 KJV – “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”

 

As Judge, He must be sinless to be a perfectly just and fair judge.  Being sinless, He is the only One who can render a perfectly unbiased and selfless judgment.

Rom 2:5-11 KJV – “But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;  Who will render to every man according to his deeds:  To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:  But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,  Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;  But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:  For there is no respect of persons with God.”

 

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION (SUMMARY) 

May we all find great comfort in the fact that our Lord is a perfectly sinless Lord.  As such, He is absolutely trustworthy, keeping every promise He makes to us.  Both the promises concerning our salvation and His upcoming judgment of the world will take place.  May we all praise Him and serve Him out of appreciation, knowing that He is the perfectly sinless One.

 

Homepage:             http://www.settledinheaven.org

Text Blog:               http://www.settledinheaven.wordpress.com

Video Blog:              http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

Email Contact:          settledinheaven@gmail.com 

 

 


1 Comment

  1. SLIMJIM says:

    Thank you for this devotional!

Comments are closed.

Translate This Blog Into Other Languages...


Search Our Site For All Your Favorite Postings...


Guide To Our Current Postings…

Currently Being Updated For 2012-2013

%d bloggers like this: