Morning Bible Study
John found himself caught up into heaven before the throne of God.
He saw Jesus
take a scroll from the hand of God that had been sealed with seven seals.
As Jesus broke each seal and unrolled the scroll a little further, events begin to take place
on the earth and the time that we call the Tribulation begins to unfold.
The Tribulation is a time when God’s wrath is poured out on an unbelieving
world and God begins to make right all the things that have been so wrong.
We are somewhere
in the middle of the Tribulation period, when the antichrist is unmasked as pure evil and turns to
kill the Jews, specifically those who have come to believe in Jesus as their
Today we look
at two different harvests.
harvest uses terms that describe a wheat harvest.
harvest is describing a grape harvest.
I see these two “harvests” as pictures that cover the events of the next couple
chapters. We’ll see these harvests fleshed
out in the coming judgments.
14:14-16 The Wheat
:14 Then 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
– drepanon – a sickle, a hooked vine
The word could be used to describe a couple different types of sharp tools.
Here it is used
to describe a sickle used to harvest wheat.
In verse 17, it
is used to describe a curved knife used to harvest grapes.
:14 One like
the Son of Man
“I was watching in
the night visions, And behold, One like the Son of Man, Coming with the
clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, And they brought Him near
This how John
has already described Jesus:
NKJV) and in the
midst of the seven lampstands One
like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded
about the chest with a golden band.
He, being God, took on human flesh to be “like” us, “like the Son of Man”.
:14 on the cloud
Jesus has this
thing with clouds. When He ascended into
1:9–11 NKJV) —9 Now when
He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud
received Him out of their sight. 10 And while they looked steadfastly toward
heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, 11 who also said,
“Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same
Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as
you saw Him go into heaven.”
He ascended in a cloud to heaven. He
will come back on the clouds.
David said that God rides on the clouds.
(Ps 68:4 NKJV) Sing to God, sing praises to His name; Extol Him who rides on the clouds,
By His name Yah, And rejoice
He can do anything
My kids used to
watch a cartoon where the hero rode on a cloud.
isn’t a Japanese anime character. He is
I don’t know about you, but I don’t know of any real person who can “ride
on the clouds”. Fall through the clouds,
yes. Ride on the clouds, no.
Riding on the
clouds sounds as impossible as walking on water.
14:22–33 NKJV) —22
Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go
before Him to the other side, while He sent the multitudes away. 23 And when He had
sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now
when evening came, He was alone there. 24 But the boat was now in the middle of the
sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary. 25 Now in the fourth watch of the night
Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. 26 And when the disciples saw Him walking on
the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out for
fear. 27 But immediately Jesus
spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.” 28 And Peter answered
Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” 29 So He said,
“Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to
go to Jesus. 30 But when he saw
that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he
cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!” 31 And immediately Jesus stretched out His
hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you
doubt?” 32 And when they got
into the boat, the wind ceased. 33 Then those who were in the boat came and
worshiped Him, saying, “Truly You are the Son of God.”
Jesus can do anything, including walking on the water in the middle of a
Our part is to have “faith”.
Our part is to have confidence in Jesus’ ability to work.
We don’t have to have confidence in our own ability to
handle the storm, we just have to have confidence in Jesus’ ability to walk on
Are you going through a storm right now?
Have confidence in the One who rides on the clouds, the One who walks on
:15 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.”
:15 the harvest of
the earth is ripe
ripe – xeraino – to become dry, be withered;
of plants; of the ripening of crops
This is describing
a wheat harvest. You don’t harvest wheat when it’s green, but when it’s dried
out and brown.
:16 So He who
sat on the cloud thrust in His sickle on the earth, and the earth was reaped.
:16 the earth was
Some have taken
these verses to say that this is the rapture of the church, and it shows that
the church won’t be raptured until the middle of the Tribulation period.
I’m not so sure that it is talking about the rapture. I think when we look at some other passages, this is actually a
picture of judgment
A “harvest” can be a type of judgment.
It’s the end of the growing season.
The reaping is when you find out just what has been growing, whether good
Jesus taught a parable about this.
Jesus’ story is
about a farmer, wheat,
and something called
Tares are weeds that look just like wheat, at least until the time of
harvest. During the harvest time, the
ears of real wheat turn brown, while tares turn black.
13:24–30 NKJV) —24
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.” ’ ”
Jesus later went on to explain the parable.
(Mt 13:36–43 NKJV) —36 Then Jesus
sent the multitude away and went into the house. And His disciples came to Him,
saying, “Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field.” 37 He answered and said
to them: “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!
I think Jesus is describing the event that we’re seeing in Revelation.
Our harvest in Revelation is the harvest at “the end of the age” (Mat. 13:39)
The judgment will be against the false believers that have entered the
The church has
always had a mixture of true believers and false believers.
Jesus sows good
seeds, true believers.
plants tares in the church, false believers.
How do we separate the true believers and the false believers in the
You can’t always do that.
Sometimes it’s pretty clear. Sometimes it is pretty obvious that someone
is not really a believer.
Jesus warned the church about false prophets and said that
we’d know them by their fruits.
When people are teaching false doctrines, we ought to
point them out.
But sometimes you can’t really tell.
person’s carnal life due to them being a backslidden believer, or could it be that
they’ve never really been born again?
If we try to separate the wheat from the tares, we can end up destroying
the wheat in the process.
Let Him judge
There will be a day when the harvest comes.
You don’t have to be the one to make sure every person at church is a true
Jesus will take care of it.
Are you for real?
On the other hand, there is a warning for any of us here who are just
“playing” at church.
You may see church as a place where people learn how to better their lives.
That does happen at church, but that’s not what it’s all
Church is first of all a place where people actually come into contact with
Knowing God starts with a realization that I need
Him. I am a sinner.
Knowing God involves realizing that Jesus didn’t just come
to leave us with nice sayings, He came to die on a cross and pay for our sins, and rose again
to prove that your sins have been paid for.
Knowing God involves opening your heart to God and
allowing Him into your life.
People have strange ideas about what will send you to hell.
“Cell Phones in Church”
truth is, not knowing God is what will send you to hell.
Opening your heart to God and asking Jesus to forgive you
will get you into heaven.
1John 5:13 These
things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have
14:17-20 The Grape
:17 Then another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also
having a sharp sickle.
Jesus is not the only one with a sharp sickle. This angel is equipped with a knife used to
:18 And another angel came out from the altar, 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.”
:18 fully ripe
– akmazo – to flourish, come to
This is a different word than the word used in the previous harvest.
harvested when they’re dried (like wheat), but when they’re at their juiciest, when
they’re bursting full of juice.
:19 So 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.
– lenos – a receptacle or area dug
into the ground where grapes are trodden.
There is an
ancient winepress near the Garden Tomb just outside Jerusalem.
:19 winepress of
the wrath of God
This is where we get the phrase “the grapes of wrath”.
In 1861, Julia Ward
Howe wrote a poem after having visited Abraham Lincoln at the White
House and having visited a Union Army camp on the Potomac River near Washington
Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the
He is trampling out the vintage where
the grapes of wrath
Her words spoke about God’s judgment during the Civil War.
:20 And the winepress
was trampled outside the city, and blood came out of the winepress, up to the
horses’ bridles, for one thousand six hundred furlongs.
outside the city
This winepress is outside
of the city of Jerusalem.
Play Grape Treading
clip. Treading grapes in Portugal.
:20 up to the
Instead of treading grapes that are only ankle deep or knee deep, this winepress is up to
the horses’ bridles, perhaps four feet deep.
These are not grapes being tread, but men.
:20 one thousand
six hundred furlongs
A furlong is the
length of an ancient race course, about 600 feet.
1600 furlongs = 182
Israel is 260
miles long from Dan to Eilat.
The length of
the Jordan Valley, from the northern part of the Sea of Galilee to the spot
south of the Dead Sea that comes back up to Sea Level is about 165 miles. Play Jordan Valley Map
The Dead Sea is the lowest place on the planet, about 1500 feet below sea
The Sea of Galilee is 600 feet below sea level.
The Jordan River valley is an example of a 160 mile long “wine press”.
outside the city
I can count on Him
We will see this winepress imagery again when we get to Revelation 19, and we see Jesus
returning with a robe dipped in blood.
(Re 19:15 NKJV) …He
Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
this event, and says that the Messiah will come to Jerusalem from Edom, across
the Jordan River.
when the antichrist reveals his true evil self, the Jewish believers will flee
from Jerusalem and head across the Jordan River to places like Petra and
Bozrah. The antichrist will try to
pursue the Jews, but will be unable to reach them.
It’s to these Jewish believers that Jesus comes to rescue when He comes
(Is 63:1–6 NKJV) —1 Who is this who comes from
Edom, With dyed garments from Bozrah, This One who is glorious in His
apparel, Traveling in the greatness of His strength?— “I who speak in righteousness,
mighty to save.” 2 Why is Your apparel
red, And Your garments like one who treads in the winepress?
3 “I have trodden
the winepress alone, And from the peoples no one was with Me. For I have
trodden them in My anger, And trampled them in My fury; Their blood is sprinkled upon My garments,
And I have stained all My robes. 4 For the day of vengeance is in My
heart, And the year of My redeemed has come. 5 I looked, but there was no one to help, And I wondered That there was no one
to uphold; Therefore My own arm brought salvation for Me; And My own fury, it
sustained Me. 6 I have trodden down the
peoples in My anger, Made them drunk in My fury, And brought down their
strength to the earth.”
His people will be persecuted and forsaken with no one to help them.
So He will return and save them.
It’s the same for us.
There is none to help us. There is
no one else who is going to save us from hell.
He will come through.
(Ac 4:12 NKJV) Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name
under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
He will save us.