Tuesday, 13 April 2021
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.” Revelation 14:15
John just beheld One like the Son of Man on a white cloud, wearing a golden crown and having a sharp sickle in His hand. John next says, “And another angel came out of the temple.”
The previous person was Christ Jesus in His role as the Victor (symbolized by the crown of victory) of the human race and the One to execute judgment on all men who fail to measure up to God’s standard of perfection. He fulfills the role as the Son of Man who has authority to judge men impartially because He has shared in their manhood. This next “angel” is most probably another aspect of Christ. Coming out of the temple signifies Christ in His roles as High Priest and Mediator.
In coming out of the temple, John says He is, “crying with a loud voice to Him who sat on the cloud.” The imagery is for our benefit to see the various roles of Christ. In Matthew 24, Jesus said that no man knows the day and hour of the events to come, “not even the angels of heaven, but my Father only” (Matthew 24:36). Jesus, as fully God, shares in the knowledge of the Godhead. The divine Christ, the God/Man, is being revealed in these various roles and how His actions are conducted in the stream of time.
In other words, seeing one angel – who is Jesus, calling forth to the Son of Man on the cloud – is an unveiling of the various roles of Christ to us. These are not separate entities in reality. They are a vision given to John to show us all that Christ does. This has already been seen in the various roles of Christ being displayed in this manner, such as in Revelation 5. With this understood, the call is made to Him who sat on the cloud, saying, “Thrust in Your sickle and reap, for the time has come for You to reap, for the harvest of the earth is ripe.”
This is the harvest of the earth of those who are accepted by Christ the High Priest. First, the symbolism is found in Mark 4 –
“And He said, ‘The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground, 27 and should sleep by night and rise by day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he himself does not know how. 28 For the earth yields crops by itself: first the blade, then the head, after that the full grain in the head. 29 But when the grain ripens, immediately he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.’” Mark 4:26-29
This is the good grain of the tribulation period. The one hundred and forty-four thousand were firstfruits. This is now the harvest. It is those who did not take the mark of the beast and who put their trust in Christ. As it said in 14:13, “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on,” and “their works will follow them.”
In this harvest, there will be good and bad. There will certainly be some who do not take the mark of the beast for whatever reason, but they have not come to Christ. Those are referred to in another parable –
“Another parable He put forth to them, saying: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; 25 but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. 26 But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. 27 So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ 28 He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’ 29 But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.”’” Matthew 13:24-30
Jesus gave various other parables that follow this same general theme. In the time of the coming kingdom, the harvest will take place. There will be good grain and there will be tares and chaff. Christ will sort it all out. The next verse will finish the thought of this harvest, and then after this harvest will come another type of harvest in the verses ahead, the grape harvest.
Life application: At harvest time, there are piles and piles of sheaves. The amount of seed seems impossible to ever count, so who would even try? And if some of the seed gets lost, who would even care – there is so much! The answer is that God knows every good seed of all humanity since the first man. He knows every bit of chaff as well. Nothing escapes His attention.
But more, of the good seed, none shall be lost, not even one. The harvest of mankind is so carefully and meticulously attended to by God, that no error will ever be made. All that are saved by Christ Jesus will be a part of His eternal reign. We should have no fear or worry. What God does is perfect, and what God has done in Christ cannot fail. We are saved with a sure and everlasting salvation because of the work of another. It comes through faith in JESUS!
Heavenly Father, there is an end to all things, including Your patience at the world’s sin and rejection of You. Your word is written and therefore these things will come to pass. Give us willing hearts to stand up and proclaim the truth of Your message now. Help us to be responsible in getting this word out. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.