"A Great Storm Approaches", Part 34

The Harvest of the Vine of the Earth (Rev 14:18-20)

“Proclaim this among the nations: Prepare for war! Wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near, Let them
come up. Beat your plowshares into swords and your pruning hooks into spears; Let the weak say, ‘I am strong.’
Assemble and come, all you nations, and gather together all around. Cause your mighty ones to go down there, O
Lord. Let the nations be wakened, and come up to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; for there I will sit to judge all the
surrounding nations.
Put in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Come, go down; for the winepress is full, the
vats overflow
— for their wickedness is great. Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the Lord
is near in the valley of decision.” (
Joel 3:9-14)

A careful reading of
Revelation Chapter 14 will reveal that the Earth yields two specific harvests here at the end
of the age
, the first is the “harvest of [the wheat of] the Earth”, recorded in Verses 14-16 this to be
accomplished by the “
One like the Son of Man” i.e. The Lord and those associated with him in this work (Matt 13:30,
39
). The tool used in this harvesting work is the “sickle of truth”, specifically those truths due here at the end of the
age, the “
Harvest Message”. The second harvest recorded in Verses 17-20 is in respects to the harvesting of the
vine of the earth” whose grapes (human ambition, greed, selfishness, and vanity) have fully ripened (matured) and
are ready for the winepress.

As it is written,

VERSE 14Then 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.”

A cloud is trouble, but this cloud is white -- righteous trouble because it is the Lord’s wrath undoing the
unrighteousness of the age. Jesus has returned; and as is the tendency of Revelation, He is not called Jesus, but
the
Son of Man
. It is interesting to note that He SITS on the cloud. To “Sit” on or over something is a symbol for
control. This is not random trouble; this is
CONTROLLED TROUBLE. No matter how severe the time of trouble may
become, we may rest assured by this verse that it never will be out of control. On his head is
a golden crown --
Divine authority. In His hand
a sharp sickle -- the device for harvesting. This verse shows so clearly that when the
king returns it is not for the peaceable kingdom immediately; it is to control the trouble which will destroy Babylon, and
to harvest the wheat.”

The sickle of truth, is “sharp” because it separates, cuts, divides, just as the Word of God has a separating influence,
severing the Lord’s people from their earthly ties, so
present truth [theHarvest Message”] is shown to have a
separating influence, separating wheat from tares, ripe wheat from un-ripe wheat
.

“It will be noted that in
Chapter 6 of Revelation 6 angels are mentioned the first three in Verses 6, 8, and 9, but
the three we are specifically interested in are the last three, the ones mentioned in our text under discussion.

Here is a brief summary of the last three angels before examining the context in detail:

ANGEL # 4 Verse 15 comes out of the temple, this angel has a message for the Lord.

ANGEL # 5 Verses 17 & 19 comes out of the temple in heaven, this angel has no message, but does have a sickle.

ANGEL # 6 Verse 18 comes out from the altar, and has a message for angel # 5.

The word angel is the translation of words meaning, “messenger” or “agent” (Young’s); “messenger” (Strong’s).
An angel is any agency used of the LORD to convey a message whether it be animate (living) or inanimate (non-
living). In other words the LORD might employ a spirit being, a human being or even an animal to convey a message
or he might choose on the other hand another type of agency to covey his message, such as a war, a calamity or
natural disaster, then again perhaps something as simple as the written word. Even a stone could be used to convey a
message, as for example the Lord’s “
stone witness”, i.e. “the Great PyramidIsa 19:19, 20. Nevertheless the
importance here is not to limit ourselves into thinking that whenever the scriptures mention angels that they are
automatically implying that a living being; specifically a spirit being is being implied.

Let us return to our text.

VERSES 15 and 16And another angel came out of the temple (Angel # 4, in inanimate messenger specifically
the Plan of God,
a time messenger, i.e. Chronology as pointed out both in scripture and in stone), crying with a
loud voice to Him who sat on the cloud, “Thrust in Your sickle and reap,
for the time [appointed] has come
for you to reap, for the harvest of the earth is ripe.”  So He who sat on the cloud thrust in His sickle on the
earth, and the earth was reaped
(Some of the wheat has already been gathered into the barn, the Lord’s holy
granary beyond the Vail, however the harvest will not be over until the last of the grains of wheat have been gathered
into the barn
).

“The “
Temple” can represent several things, but all of those things are parts of one thing: The Divine Plan. Note that
this angel tells the Lord what to do! Who can have such authority? Obviously, God Himself can. But
this angel IS NOT
GOD
. It is part of God’s PLAN. Which part? The chronology, notice his message: “it is time to reap”. Jesus
WILL listen to this angel because, as part of His Father’s plan, the chronology dictates when the Son acts.”

Not my will, but thy will be done” according to the “times and the seasons” in which you have degreed.

The chronology is a LOUD VOICE. It woke up most of the Christian world about the time of the Miller movement
(
Matt 25:1-13). The message also includes the purpose of the TIME: TO REAP. The harvest is ripe (margin:
DRIED). This is the harvest of the earth. What earth? It is the earth of Acts 1:8 and the “all nations” of Matt 28:19.
It is the search everywhere for wheat (
the DRIED harvest, the “ripe wheat) Verse 16 has the Lord following the
direction given. He reaps the earth.
The earth WAS REAPED – (pass tense) that is, the Church is completed. The end
of
Verse 16 takes us to the glorification of the 144,000.”

VERSE 17Then another angel (Angel # 5, an animate messenger, however not a singular being, but rather a
group or class of beings
) came out of the temple which is in heaven (i.e. The ecclesiastical heavens or religious
world here on earth
), he also having a sharp sickle.”

“This is the angel without a message. Note where he comes from: “
the temple which is in heaven”. The significance
of the word “
temple” has not changed here; we are yet still dealing with a part of God’s plan. But which part? A part
which is not yet glorified a part which is still associated with “
heaven” -- the religious world here on earth. He also has
what the Lord had -- a sickle, a device to harvest, but why? If the Church is complete according to (
Verse 16), what is
left to harvest? This verse proves Brother Russell’s point that
the harvest is NOT merely the collecting of the
saints, but also the burning of the tares
. But if the 144,000 is gone, who participates in this harvest work? The
Great Multitude
This angel IS the great multitude. We will leave him now and rejoin him later.”

The Great Company has been in possession of the “sickle of truth” all along, but through fear of death (the sacrificial
death), their lives have been one of subject to bondage and the fear of man, and thus they have been reframed from
properly welding it, but something is about to change
.

VERSE 18And another angel came out from the altar (Angel # 6, likewise an animate messenger and likewise
composed of many beings
), 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
.”

“Our final angel has power over fire and comes out from the altar. This identifies him completely. The true Church spent
its life on the altar in sacrifice and fell below it as ashes as their individual sacrifices were completed. (
See Rev 6:9, 10).
For their faithfulness they were granted the power to destroy the nations which had been their persecutors (
See Rev
2:26, 27
). They, therefore, have power, once glorified, to destroy (power over fire). This angel IS clearly THE
CHURCH GLORIFIED
.

This angel (# 6) calls down to the Great Multitude, (angel # 5) yet on earth, with a loud voice (as yet
unidentified.
) He tells them to gather the fruitage (unholy) of the vine of the earth. When Jesus said He was the TRUE
vine, He thus prophesied that there would likewise be a false vine -- an apostate Christ. Here it is at its maturity.

Relatively little is told us about the closing hours of the Great Multitude here on earth
(nor of the specifics regarding
the “
loud voice” which prompts them to action, it might possibly be something similar to the “loud voice” which
prompted our Lord to action viz., chronology, but this is yet to have been determined)
. It is clear from this passage,
however, that they will help in bringing down Babylon in the final hours of the harvest period.
This angel does not
TREAD the winepress, but
he DOES throw the grapes in to be trodden -- the final act of the harvest.”

2 Kings 2:9 informs us that the Elisha class (those of the great company) who witness the final departure of the
Elijah class (the “Little Flock”) i.e. who recognize that the Church is completed (Jer 8:20) will recieve a “double
portion
” of Elijah’s spirit, the Church’s (i.e. the faithful overcomers) spirit, that this will no doubt free them from any
past tendencies in which they withheld their full consecration and reframed from speaking out boldly against the
errors of Babylon, against the False Prophet, who at the time will now have come to power, which in turn will no
doubt result in their speedy demise as they like their predecessors before (the Church) will be deemed disruptors of
the peace and of the stability of the present order which at that particular moment will be teetering upon collapse.
Thus the false church (typified by Jezebel) realizing that she has not yet ridden herself completely of all open
opposition in destroying the last of the feet members this side of the Vail and embolden from this previous action will
seek the Government’s (Ahab’s) aide once again to immediately silence i.e. do away with this last disruptive element,
most likely branding them domestic terrorist, threats against the present order of things
.

Unfortunately it will be in this final action of the false church in which the Adversary’s hand is made manifest that the
eyes of the world will be awakened to the true nature, the Satanic nature of this false church, and the people having
had their fill of all religious systems and especially of the Great Harlot’s puppet, the False Prophet they will turn on
her and destroy every visage of her.
Every man-made, man-conceived religious institution and/or organization
will be utterly destroyed in the ensuing violence
. Thus in essence the great company is responsible howbeit
somewhat indirectly in the casting the grapes into the winepress
.      

VERSES 19 and 20So 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.  And the winepress was trampled outside
the city
(
outside of Babylon, outside of Christendom), and blood came out of the winepress, up to the horses’ bridles,
for one thousand six hundred furlongs
.”

“The “
winepress” is for the purpose of crushing out the juice. Clearly here the juice is not juice, but blood. This
winepress is for the purpose of crushing out the life (
blood) of Babylon. Isaiah 63 informs us that it is our Lord who
will trample out the vintage where these grapes of wrath are stored. The process is said to happen
OUTSIDE THE
CITY
. The only cities mentioned by Revelation are the New Jerusalem and Babylon. Outside the New Jerusalem seems
to make little sense, and Babylon is the only city in Chapter 14. The logical conclusion is that
the city of Babylon will
be
pressed out in a locality which is not affiliated with Babylon. Since God intends to make His holy name known
in the midst of His people, Israel (
Ezek 39:7), it seems logical that the trouble from which Israel shall be miraculously
delivered (
Ezek 38 and 39) will also be the trouble in which Babylon will lose its life.

The blood (life) comes out even to the horses’ bridles. Since a “horse” represents doctrine, and the “bridle
represents
the control of those doctrines, the symbolism is strong: Babylon will no longer have the life to direct
teaching. It is interesting to compare
Rev 14:20 with Zech 14:20. Both refer to horses’ bridles -- although in Zech
the marginal translation must be used. In Zechariah, the bridles are re-dedicated:
HOLINESS TO THE LORD -- the
same dedication worn on the high priest’s crown. It is also helpful to note that the Zechariah context is following the
trouble on Israel which is the same as that mentioned in Ezek 38 and 39. How wonderful that Babylon’s days of
twisting doctrine are very numbered.” (
Excerpts taken from N.A.N.O.R. Page 115)

Next we’ll take a look at the releasing of the “
Four Winds

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