Two harvests are described in the Bible; a good harvest and a harvest of wrath. Revelation 14 and Matthew 13 describe these harvests in the end time. Learn the meaning of the two simultaneous harvests.
A Harvest Caught Up and Harvest of Wrath
By Irvin Baxter
As we move into verse 14 we are going to look at the two harvests. We will spend some time here because the Bible teaches very extensively about the two harvests that are found in Revelation 14.
The Harvest of the Earth
Revelation 14:14-16 says,
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. 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. And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.
The reaping of the harvest of the earth, is the rapture of the church.
The Reaping of the Vine of the Earth
In Revelation 14:17-18 there is another harvest that is different from the first. It says,
And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. 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.
This is called the “reaping of the vine of the earth”. The first was the harvest. Revelation 14:19 talks about the winepress where the grapes will be trodden, “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 first harvest is caught up to be with Jesus Christ. The second harvest is to be thrown into the winepress of the wrath of God. Revelation 14:20 continues, “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.” Notice several things. The winepress is to be trodden without the city. This is undoubtedly speaking of Jerusalem. Immediately outside the walls of the Temple Mount, there is a valley called the Valley of Jehoshaphat, also known as the Kidron Valley. It lies just outside the Eastern Gate where it is prophesied in scripture that Jesus Christ will enter at the time of His Second Coming. The Mount of Olives is here, also. This is where the winepress of God will be. This is describing the Battle of Armageddon. The blood will flow unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs, the equivalent of 160 miles. If you measure from the Plain of Megiddo in northern Israel, through the Jordan Valley, and then into the Gates of Jerusalem, it equals approximately 160 miles. The Battle of Armageddon will begin in Megiddo, then down through the Jordan Valley as the armies of Israel retreat. It will finally culminate in the Kidron Valley outside the gates of Jerusalem. Only Jesus Christ will save the Jewish people at that time.
The Parable of the Wheat and the Tares
The winepress is the second harvest. The rapture occurs, and the vine is cast into the winepress. These are two simultaneous harvests. Jesus Christ taught the same thing in Matthew 13 when He told the parable of the wheat and the tares. Matthew 13:24-26 says,
Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.
A parable is a story that reveals truth to some while veiling truth from others. It was the method by which Jesus always taught. Matthew 13:27-30 continues,
So the servants of the householder came and said unto him Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.
In their earliest stages of growth, you cannot distinguish a tare from wheat. Jesus was saying not to root them up, because when you pull up a tare, you are going to pull up the wheat as well. However, during the harvest when you are gathering, you will cut wheat and tares. It is then that the wheat will go one way and the tares will go the other. Jesus took time to explain the parable in Matthew 13:36-39. He says,
He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.
It is often taught that the field is the church, and that it is supposed to have tares and wheat within it; however, that is not what this scripture says. The scripture teaches that we are responsible for those in the church. We read in I Corinthians 1:10: “Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.” Ephesians 5:3 says, “But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;” Ephesians 5:11 tells us, “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” When a person is saved, he must leave his sins behind in order to live for the Lord and be right before God. A saved individual is not supposed to stay in his sin. The harvest signals the end of the world, and the term used, in the original Greek, is “aion”. In many places in scripture, this is translated as “Age” because it does not refer to the end of all humanity and the existence of the earth. Instead, this refers to the end of this age, at which time Jesus Christ will come back for the rapture of His church and the Battle of Armageddon. This specifically states that the harvest will happen at the end of this age, and that the reapers are the angels. Notice how accurately this parallels with Revelation 14. The angels are doing the reaping, there is a good harvest, and there is a harvest of wrath. The story of the two harvests is the same teaching. Let’s finish the story in Matthew 13: 40-43:
As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.
Jesus prophesied of the harvest. We call it the “rapture”. The word “rapture” is not found in the Bible. It is merely a word meaning, “the catching away”. I Thessalonians 4:17 speaks of this “catching away”: “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.” For more information on this topic and the rest of the seals, get our Revelation Commentary Manual. Related Topics