The Revelation of John: Chapter 14 – Two Harvests

6 Oct

I am continuing on with Revelation. In this series I have been comparing John’s vision with books with similar prophecies, such as Daniel, as well as section 77 of the Doctrine and Covenants, which gives interpretations to a selected portion of the images of the Revelation. I also rely heavily on the Joseph Smith Translation (JST – given in red).

See also chapter one,  two, three, four, five, first five seals, Sixth Seal I, Sixth Seal II, Seventh Seal Opens, First Four Trumpets, Fifth Trumpet, Sixth Trumpet, Ten, Witnesses, Seventh Trumpet, Twelve I, Twelve II, The Beast, The Mark, Three Angels

Revelation 14: 14-20

In this last half of the fourteen chapter we read of a very interesting event. I say this because it parallels other passages in the scriptures that also speak of the last day. But, before we look at these other passages, let us look at Revelation.

Verse 14

At this time John saw upon a white cloud “one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.” This is Christ, sitting on his throne in heaven. The sickle was tool for harvesting grain, and thus we see Christ ready to harvest the world.

Verses 15-16

An “angel came out of the temple, crying…Thrust in thy sickle, and reap…for…earth is ripe. And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle…and the earth was reaped.”

This angel comes from out of the Temple; or, in other words, is sent by God the Father. Also, without hesitation, Christ reaps, or harvests the earth. At this time we are not told what, or who is being reaped, only that Christ is the one reaping.

Verse 17

An “angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle.”

Again, this angel is sent from God, but he comes with his own sickle prepared to reap.

Verse 18

An “angel came out from the altar…and cried…Thrust in thy sharp sickle…for her grapes are fully ripe.”

Note here that the angel comes from the altar. This is significant. He is still sent from God, but comes from an area that is open to the general members. In the modern day it would be like the first two coming from the temple while the third comes from the chapel (or church headquarters).

Verses 19-20

“And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth…and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. 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.”

This is the wicked, as they suffer the wrath of God. Notice that this happens outside the city of God, not just outside the temple. Also, the blood represents the suffering of these people. A horse’s bridle is usually about six feet up, and a furlong is 660 feet. So, the blood will be six feet deep for 200 miles. This is some suffering.

Now, if this second harvest is the wicked, than can we not conclude that the first harvest is the righteous?

 

These harvests occur at the end of the world, for that is the period of time that John is now seeing. So, let us look at a few other passages that seem to parallel John’s vision.

 

Matthew 13: 24-30, 36-43

In the parable of the Wheat and Tares we read how the world was sown with good seed by God, than the devil came and sowed tares. At the end of the world there would be a harvest. In explaining the meaning of this parable Jesus said

“For in that day, before the Son of man shall come, he shall send forth his angels…And they shall gather out of his kingdom all…them which do iniquity, and shall cast them out…For the world shall be burned with fire.” (verses 41-43)

Remember that the wheat is gathered first (verse 30, JST footnote a). Again we see two harvests; the first is the righteous which is done by Christ, and the second the wicked who are destroyed by angels.

 

D&C 86: 1-7

This also speaks to the parable of the Wheat and the Tares, but gives a more definite explanation. It also speaks of two harvests, but it states that the field, or the earth, will be burnt, not just the tares. Thus we see that this second harvest is a time of cleansing for the earth.

 

D&C 88: 95-102

This is the passage that I was reminded of first while reading in revelation. I have quoted portions of it in my analysis of the first half of chapter fourteen, and here again we see parallel passages. We see in this passage a literal rendering of the two harvests, heralded by four angels.

The first angel heralds Christ’s return, at which time all those who have inherited a Celestial glory are caught up to him (verses 95-98). The second angel heralds the rising of those who inherit Terrestrial glory (verse 99). And thus we see the end of the first harvest.

The third angel declares the judgments against the wicked, who inherit the telestial, who do not live again until the end of the world, but are cast out, as it says in Matthew 13: 42 (verses 100-101). The fourth declares that among the wicked are the Sons of Perdition (verse 102). And thus we have the end of the second harvest.

 

As all these passages testify, there shall be a time of gathering, when the righteous will be gathered out of the wicked and preserved by God. There will then be a time of cleansing, when the wicked are destroyed and the earth is cleansed with fire, which will burn away all the filth of the wicked.

The first gathering has already begun (see Doctrine and Covenants 33), but it will be completed in an awesome and dramatic way when Christ returns. The second awaits the completion of the first, but will be no less awesome of dramatic.

 

I love it when scriptures come together so beautifully in a unified message. To me this is confirmation that all these scriptures were inspired by God.

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