The Harvest On The Earth

The harvest of the earth speaks of the great judgment of God upon all unbelievers, which occurs at the very end of the Tribulation. We will look at the entire passage and then break it down into three points.

Revelation 14:14-20. Then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and sitting on the cloud was one like a son of man, having a golden crown on His head and a sharp sickle in His hand. 15 And another angel came out of the temple, crying out with a loud voice to Him who sat on the cloud, “Put in your sickle and reap, for the hour to reap has come, because the harvest of the earth is ripe.” 16 Then He who sat on the cloud swung His sickle over the earth, and the earth was reaped.

17 And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, and he also had a sharp sickle. 18 Then another angel, the one who has power over fire, came out from the altar; and he called with a loud voice to him who had the sharp sickle, saying, “Put in your sharp sickle and gather the clusters from the vine of the earth, because her grapes are ripe.” 19 So the angel swung his sickle to the earth and gathered the clusters from the vine of the earth, and threw them into the great wine press of the wrath of God. 20 And the wine press was trodden outside the city, and blood came out from the wine press, up to the horses’ bridles, for a distance of two hundred miles.

The Executioners

There will be two executioners: Jesus Christ and special designated angels. Jesus Christ is seen by John as “a son of man having a golden crown on His head and a sharp sickle in His hand.” This imagery, especially the golden crown on His head, shows us vividly that Christ is victorious in battle; and even before the battle is over, we know that He will conquer His enemies.

His special angels helping Him also have sharp sickles (deadly weapons), and they will be working to gather all the sinners into the great wine press of God (the wrath of God).

The Harvest Will Be Ripe

The harvest in this passage is first of grain (vs 14-16), and then of grapes (17-20). In the first group of verses I think the harvest of grain is dealing with the separation of the tares from the good grain, or the unbelievers from the believers (This is explained for us in Matthew 13:39-43). We can’t be sure exactly when or how this will occur, but I think it will occur sometime before Armageddon—which is what is described in verses 17 through 20.

So, as for this second passage, where the imagery is clearly of the harvest of grapes, the separation has already occurred, and all of the unbelieving people left (represented as grapes) are harvested (judged); they are all ripe and are cast into the great wine press.

Notice that in both cases—the harvest of grain (the separation) and the harvest of grapes—the timing is exactly right. Hence, as the writer of Ecclesiastes puts it, “There is an appointed time for everything” (Ecc. 3:1). And in this case, the time for God’s judgment on unbelievers has come. He has waited patiently for people to repent and come to Him. But there will be an appointed time when His patience runs out and His judgment begins. At that time nothing can be done to delay His time of judgment.

The Great Wine Press

The great wine press is the slaughter of all unbelievers like the pressing of grapes. The writing here portrays all those who will come to the great battle ground in Israel. As is described in the sixth bowl (Rev. 16:13-16), they (hundreds of millions) will be drawn to this place of battle: mainly in Armageddon, but I think in most of the land of Israel, by demons which will come out of the mouths of the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet; these three will demonically convince the world to come and fight. And so, they will be led by demons to this great battle. But they will come to be slaughtered by the angels of God and Christ Himself. They will be slaughtered by the sword, and their blood will be as deep as the horses’ bridles—as it flows for 200 miles from Armageddon in the North to Edom in the south.

Now these who gather, at least most of them, I think, are military men (armies). But what of the civilian unbelievers. I assume that they will be judged too—wherever they may be located. None will escape the sword of God’s wrath. All will die because of their rebellious unbelief. As the seventh bowl judgment describes, some will die by a great earthquake, and some will die by huge hail stones, and I imagine that some will die merely out of fear—the fear of His judgment. In the end there will be no unbelievers left. All will die.

8 Teachings of Jesus on Prayer — Teaching #6

Prayer A to Z

 Jesus taught that prayer should be in unity with others (Matthew 18:19-20) 

Sometimes when we pray we are not in unity and in agreement with others.  But we should always strive for unity—that is, unity in the body of Christ.  We can never have unity and agreement with those outside of the body of Christ, but we should always strive for unity within the body.  For the body of Christ is one, of which we are all part.  Therefore, since each of us (in the Christian church) is a part for the body of Christ it is natural that our prayers should be united and flow together in agreement by the power of the Holy Spirit.

At first it was hard for me to find in the gospels where Jesus taught this idea of unity in prayer (other then in Matthew 18:19-20); but then, as I studied it, it…

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Three Tribulation Angels (Revelation 14:6-11)

In addition to the constant preaching all over the world by the 144,000 Jewish evangelists during the Tribulation, God will send His angels to warn the world of what is coming in the last three and one-half years of the Tribulation. We don’t know to what extent the angels will be active in this warning ministry, but here in these verses is what John saw and heard.

Revelation 14:6-7. And I saw another angel flying in midheaven, having an eternal gospel to preach to those who live on the earth, and to every nation and tribe and tongue and people; 7 and he said with a loud voice, “Fear God, and give Him glory, because the hour of His judgment has come; worship Him who made the heaven and the earth and sea and springs of waters.”

Here John saw something incredible: an angel flying across the sky preaching the eternal gospel to all the world. We don’t know how he will do it, but he will. Perhaps it will be broadcast over the internet or TV so that all will see and hear it. That is my guess. Or perhaps this one angel will have others helping him. At any rate, we know that all the world will hear this eternal gospel.

Now this gospel will not merely be presented; it will be preached with a stern warning that they must repent and believe now because God’s judgment is coming. I think it will be much like the preaching of John the Baptist.

Verse 8. And another angel, a second one, followed, saying, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, she who has made all the nations drink of the wine of the passion of her immorality.”

 This is not only a warning but a declaration that the evil, idolatrous and immoral system of Babylon will certainly be destroyed. Its destruction will begin at about the midpoint of the Tribulation, when the Antichrist himself along with his ten kings will make desolate the harlot (the false religious system) because of his hatred for her. He will be envious of her power and will want all power for himself (read Rev. 17:16-17).

The climax of Babylon’s fall will be toward the end of the Tribulation, when Rome, the future capital city of the world and of the Antichrist falls and is burned up, along with all of its riches and power (Rev. 17 and 18). Some may disagree with Rome being that city and say that it is the actual rebuilt city of Babylon. However, as I have stated in my book, After the Rapture, after the ancient city of Babylon was destroyed in 539 B. C., the high priest, along with the entire Babylonian system moved to safety and settled in Rome. There they merged their evil beliefs and idols with the Roman Emperors as well as with the Catholic Church. Hence, the city of Rome essentially has become Babylon.

Verses 9-11.  Then another angel, a third one, followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, 10 he also will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mixed in full strength in the cup of His anger; and he will be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. 11 “And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever; they have no rest day and night, those who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.”

Here, with this angel’s message is the final and ultimate warning. The first massage was to fear God and give Him glory, and thus to repent and be saved. The second message is that there is no hope for the Antichrist’s kingdom—that it is fallen and will be no more. This third message and stern warning is that if anyone decides to follow the Antichrist—to worship Him and receive him mark—they will suffer the wrath of God forever.

Now let me mention just a couple of things from this passage. The first is that because of the strength and clarity of the message, no one will be able to plead ignorance at and during their judgment. They will not have any way out. Secondly, it is clear here that all those who receive the mark will also worship the beast. The two go together. That is, no one can say I received the mark but I do not worship him. Thirdly, it is very clear here what hell will be like; hence, no one can say that they weren’t aware of the reality and severity of the judgment. Here are three distinctives of hell:

1. Hell will be to experience the wrath of God forever, which is the full strength of His anger.

2. Hell is being tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and the Lamb of God.

3. Hell is to have no rest day and night. To me, this means to have no peace, no contentment, and no satisfaction of life. It will be a continual experience of pain and anxiety without a rest break.

8 Teachings of Jesus on Prayer — Teaching #5

Prayer A to Z

Jesus taught that prayer must be in His name (John 14:12-14; 15:7, 16; 16:23, 24). 

In these verses Jesus teaches clearly that if we expect to receive what we ask for we must ask for those things in His name.  What does that mean?  Well, in the first passage (Jn. 14:10-14), Jesus shows us that praying in His name is praying in oneness or in unity with Him—that just as Jesus is one with the Father, we demonstrate that we are one with Jesus (and the Father) when we pray in His name.  For when Jesus ascended to the Father, the Holy Spirit came to us and united us with the Father and Son.  And so when we pray in His name we demonstrate our oneness with Him, because we pray in unity with the Son who is one with the Father.  And we do it by the Spirit.  Then…

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The Lamb and the 144,000 Witnesses (Revelation 14:1-5)

In this blog we will concentrate on the relationship between the witnesses and Jesus the Lamb during the seven-year Tribulation.

Revelation 14:1-5. Then I looked, and behold, the Lamb was standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His name and the name of His Father written on their foreheads. 2 And I heard a voice from heaven, like the sound of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder, and the voice which I heard was like the sound of harpists playing on their harps. 3 And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders; and no one could learn the song except the one hundred and forty-four thousand who had been purchased from the earth. 4 These are the ones who have not been defiled with women, for they have kept themselves chaste. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These have been purchased from among men as first fruits to God and to the Lamb. 5 And no lie was found in their mouth; they are blameless.

Indeed, right from the start John noticed the meeting they were having on Mount Zion, which, as Ray Steadman points out was within the limits of Jerusalem.2  Ray Steadman also points out that…

Jesus Christ will be on earth during this time and will reveal Himself from time to time to these Jewish disciples, just as He appeared to His followers during those remarkable forty days after his resurrection.3  

Now the question is, what is the meeting about? Well, I think that since the earth was about to experience the great Tribulation, and be warned of it by angels (Rev. 14:6 ff), that this meeting is somewhat of a commissioning and for encouragement. I think it will be very much like when Jesus met with His twelve disciples on a mountain just before His ascension.

But it will also be like a great rally and a time of worship. And they will experience music and worship like nothing they have ever experienced.  Heaven itself will come down to them. They will hear a voice from heaven like the sound of many waters and like thunder, and the sound of harps, and singing by the redeemed in heaven. They will sing a new song. And only the 144,000 will understand what they are singing.

I have a feeling that these kinds of meetings will take place more than just this once. I think Jesus will meet with them quite regularly—as often as is needed during this incredibly evil and hard time. They will need constant encouragement if they are going to daily preach His gospel to the world. And they in fact will remain chaste and blameless. 


2 Ray Stedman, What On Earth Is Happening? (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Discovery House Publishers, 2003), p. 93.

3 Ibid., p. 93.

8 Teachings of Jesus on Prayer — Teaching #3

Prayer A to Z

Jesus taught that prayer must be with expectation—expecting the best from God (from Matthew 7:7-11; Luke 11:8-13; Luke 18:6-8). 

When you read these passages you will see that the emphasis of Jesus’ teaching on prayer is not entirely on the persistence of prayer, but I think it is more on the sure answers that God will give when we are persistent in prayer.  Hence, when we pray, God does not want us to be so focused on our own persistence in prayer, but rather on how loving He is and how He wants to answer our prayers quickly.  In both the Matthew passage and the Luke passage the emphasis is not so much on the asking but on the receiving, not on the seeking but on the finding; again, it is not on the knocking but on the door being opened.

The teaching Jesus uses in these three passages to…

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Be Not Overcome of Evil, But Overcome Evil with Good

That verse, from Romans 12:21, was put in front of me last night after I prayed, “Lord, give me a Scripture verse to guide me.”

Sometimes, occasionally, I feel overcome by evil. But here, I reasoned, is a way to counter it. I can overcome evil when it comes against me by doing good. It does not have to overcome me—and get me down.

Another verse, earlier, verse nine, says “Let love be without dissimulation (hypocrisy). Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.”

I am wondering how exactly to read these verses; in what context? Well, certainly, as it is here, it is regarding evil men of the world. But in a broader sense we can take it as all the evils of the devil and the world and the flesh. It all will overcome us if we let it. How many ways can evil overcome us? Many ways! But we can overcome it all by doing good—in the will of God and empowered by the Holy Spirit. I think there are as many good things we can do as there is evil. And in every good deed there is prayer behind it, and hospitality. And in all the good we do we are loving God and are looking up to Him. If we are weary and feel beaten down, we can have hope in Him and rely on Him in all we do and in all we think about.

8 Teachings of Jesus on Prayer – Teaching #2

Prayer A to Z

 

  Jesus taught that prayer must be with persistence—not losing heart (from Matthew 7:7-8, Luke 11:5-10, and Luke 18:1-8)

 

Jesus taught this lesson of persistence in prayer from two different stories, on two different occasions.  One of His stories, recorded in Luke 11:5-10, is about a man who needed bread and who goes to his friend at midnight and begs for it until his friend gives him the bread.  The other story, in Luke 18:1-18, similarly, is about a widow who goes before an unjust judge and pleads for justice from her adversary; and she continues to come to him, begging for justice, until he finally gives it to her.   

We will not go into all the details of the stories (you can read the stories yourself).  However, I want to emphasize the central teaching: that when we pray we must pray with persistence and not lose heart

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8 Teachings of Jesus on Prayer – Teaching # 1

Prayer A to Z

 In this post and in the following eight posts our discussion will be drawn strictly from what Jesus taught us about prayer in the gospels. 

In my study, I found fourteen different passages in the gospels where Jesus taught on prayer.  I have organized them into eight different categories.  This is an excerpt from my book Principles of Prayer.

  

#1.  Jesus taught that prayer is not to be directed to others or self but to God alone; therefore, it must not in any way be a show or an effort of good works, but rather to be as a humble cry to God for help (from Matthew 6:5-8 and Luke 18:9-14).

 

 We will outline this section in three parts.  First, from Mathew 6:5…

 1. Prayer must not be a show of good works.  Jesus said, “And when you pray, you shall not be like the…

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