Wednesday, 14 April 2021
So He who sat on the cloud thrust in His sickle on the earth, and the earth was reaped. Revelation 14:16
In the previous verse, the instruction was given – “Thrust in your sickle and reap.” The time for the harvest is at hand. With that, John records, “So He who sat on the cloud thrust in His sickle on the earth.”
The word translated as “thrust,” balló, is completely different than that of the previous verse, pempó. This word signifies to cast or throw. The previous word meant “to send.” This word, balló, can give the sense of lesser actions, such as placing something. It was called for him to “send” his sickle forth, and in response, He has “cast” it forth.
What may be the case is that the One who sat on the cloud cast forth His sickle as a means of conveying to His angels that the time of harvest had come. The reason for this is that angels are specifically noted as participants in this harvest –
“He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one. 39 The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels. 40 Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age. 41 The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, 42 and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” Matthew 13:37-43
The reaping of the harvest signifies preparation for the kingdom age. The good grain will be reaped and gathered in. At the same time, those who are as tares in the field will be separated and burned up. As John says, “and the earth was reaped.”
This is the harvest of grain – both wheat and tares. The next harvest will be a completely different harvest. Wheat (faithful believers) and tares (false believers) will be separated at this time. The next harvest will be of those in the earth who simply rejected God’s offer of Christ altogether. That will be seen next and will continue until the end of the chapter.
Life application: It should be remembered that what is being seen here is not dealing with the church. Those who are in the church are sealed with the Holy Spirit. That is a pledge for the day of redemption, and the full redemption payment for us will be at the rapture (See Ephesians 1:13, 14). What is being seen now is that which is in accord with the symbolism Jesus spoke of in the gospels. It is dealing with the tribulation period.
Whereas now the church is predominantly Gentile focused, during the tribulation, the situation will be predominantly Israel focused. Keeping these categories straight is necessary to see how events will properly unfold.
Until our departure, those in the church should continue to tell the message of Christ to those in the world. In their receiving Him, there is the great hope that someday the Lord will return for His church. We shall be gathered to Him before the terrifying events of Revelation will take place. Let us hold fast to this hope, knowing that God has not appointed us to wrath, but to salvation through our great and glorious Lord, JESUS!
O God, You alone know the hearts and thoughts of man. You know the thoughts of each of us and how far from perfection and holiness they often are. We can look to the judgments the Bible says are coming in the end times as are recorded in Your word, and we can see that only by Your mercy we are saved from them. We deserve the same, and yet You have granted us peace with You because of Jesus’ work. Thank You, O Lord. Amen.