Summary: Revelation 14 shows Jesus as Lord of the Harvest of Grain (God’s Grace) and of Grapes (God’s Wrath.)
We’ve been studying the appearances of Jesus Christ in the book of Revelation. We’ve seen Him as the Son of Man and the Head of the Church. We’ve worshiped him as the Lamb who was slain. In Revelation 14, he appears as the LORD OF THE HARVEST.
I looked, and there before me was a white cloud, and seated on the cloud was one "like a son of man" with a crown of gold on his head and a sharp sickle in his hand. Revelation 14:14
· Notice that Jesus is seen seated on a cloud.
Now I’ve never given clouds a lot of thought, but my wife loves to look at clouds. She says it’s because she grew up in the Panhandle of Texas where there was not much else to look at. Everything’s flat and brown year round on the high plains. But the sky is wide and the clouds are impressive.
Well, clouds hold a significant place in scripture. After his resurrection, John and the other Apostles saw Jesus ascend into heaven right before their eyes. Acts 1:9 tells us He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight.
Jesus left the earth in a cloud, and when He returns it will be the same. Matthew 24:30 says, … they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
· While seated on a cloud, Jesus is wearing a crown of gold.
When the apostles saw Jesus leaving the earth, he was not wearing a crown. In fact, he had no sign of royalty. When we see Jesus returning in the clouds, he will be wearing his rightful crown! He will return as King of all His Creation. And, in this scene, he returns as Lord of the Harvest.
· Notice that He is holding a sharp sickle in his hand.
Most of us are not familiar with a sickle. But the farmers of Jesus’ day would immediately recognize the harvesting tool with a wooden handle and a razor sharp, curved steel blade. And Jesus is about to swing that sickle in the first great HARVEST described in Revelation: THE HARVEST OF GRAIN.
1. The Harvest of Grain Revelation 14:14-16
Then another angel came out of the temple and called in a loud voice to him who was sitting on the cloud, "Take your sickle and reap, because the time to reap has come, for the harvest of the earth is ripe."
So he who was seated on the cloud swung his sickle over the earth, and the earth was harvested. Revelation 14:15-16
Jesus taught about this harvest in the Parable of the Wheat and the Weeds. He told the story of a man who sowed Wheat in his field. In the night, an enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat. When his workers saw what had happened, they asked him: Do you want us go into your wheat field and pull up the weeds the enemy has planted?
But the owner answered: No. Because while you are pulling the weeds, you may root up the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. Matthew 13:29
The Church today is a mix of Wheat and Weeds. It’s likely that we have Wheat and Weeds sitting in this Worship Center today. But don’t start looking around you trying to figure out who’s who! Jesus warns us against trying to label people who claim to be Christians as truly SAVED or NOT really SAVED. The fact is, Jesus says if we do that, we’re bound to get it wrong. Only JESUS sees the heart.
Now, while you shouldn’t judge the salvation of others, it’s wise to look honestly into your own heart. Philippians 2:12 tells us: …continue to work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. This does NOT mean that we work to earn salvation, but it does mean that we need to be sure we genuinely love the Lord … heart, body, mind, and soul. Keep in mind that Jesus said, If you love me, you will obey what I command. John 14:15 We may be able to fool other people, but Jesus Christ sees only the Truth.
In Revelation __ , we read that Jesus will destroy an entire army of the wicked with ONE BREATH from his mouth. Here we see that Jesus will Harvest the entire earth with ONE SWEEP of his blade. When it’s time for the HARVEST, you can bet the LORD OF THE HARVEST will not leave a single stalk of Wheat behind.
Another Harvest is described right after the Harvest of Grain. It is THE HARVEST OF GRAPES.
2. The Harvest of Grapes Revelation 14:17-20
Another angel came out of the temple in heaven, and he too had a sharp sickle.