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 Revelation Chapter 14 (Part 61) (Verses 14 - 15)

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PostSubject: Revelation Chapter 14 (Part 61) (Verses 14 - 15)   Thu Dec 28, 2017 8:56 pm

Revelation Chapter 14 (Part 61) (Verses 14 - 15)

We covered verses 14 through 20 of chapter 14, in depth in the Kingdom of Heaven series, but just for the sake of completeness, we’ll revisit it here again anew—perhaps we’ll discover more. This passage describes the second Rapture—yes, there are two Raptures that the bible mentions. This is not the Rapture of the Church. The Church is raptured during what we technically call “The Rapture,” which occurs just prior to the 7 year Tribulation period, sometime in the near future. The Tribulation coincides with the Rapture at the inception. The instant the Rapture is over, the Tribulation begins. But the second Rapture is not termed “The Rapture.” I am not sure if it has an official name, but we can call it, for the sake of naming it, “The Harvest of the Sheep,” or, “The Harvest” for short. The term “Harvest” is borrowed from the passage itself; the term “Sheep” is borrowed from its sister passage in Matthew 25:31-45, which is the same event. So who is being harvested? Why a harvest? Why now? Recall from our last study that although the Church is raptured at the Rapture, leaving on Earth only unsaved people, during the Tribulation period, there will be many new converts to Christianity. Many will be converted thanks to the efforts of the 144,000 Jewish Christians, who themselves discover Christ during the Tribulation, and also thanks to God’s 2 witnesses, Moses and Elijah reincarnated, and finally, thanks to Christian relics left behind by Christians before the Rapture.

These new Christians during the Tribulation are distinct from the Church. The Church, during the Rapture, receives a new glorified spiritual body that resembles Jesus’ resurrected body. The Christian converts during the Tribulation will live out their full lives in the bodies that they have at the time of the Harvest, that is today’s Earthly bodies. They will have these Earthly bodies throughout the Millennium, and into Eternity until they naturally die (that is, their body dies, not them). Their Earthly bodies then will retain all of the functionality as they have now, which includes procreation. But they get an added benefit throughout the Millennium, and if they survive long enough, into Eternity (same for newborns during and after the Millennium): that is, being in the presence of God and the Holy Spirit will lengthen the lifespans of their Earthly bodies. People were living for centuries up to Genesis 6:3, which says, “Then the LORD said, ‘My Spirit will not contend with man forever, for he is mortal; his days will be a hundred and twenty years.’” The closeness of the Holy Spirit gave humans longevity. Sin made the Spirit move further away, and thus shortened our lifespans. But in Isaiah 65, we see that from the Millennium onward, humans’ lifespans are increased like the days of old. Isaiah 65:20 says, “Never again will there be in it (Jerusalem and the New Earth) an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not live out his years; he who dies at a hundred will be thought a mere youth; he who fails to reach a hundred will be considered accursed.” This says that people will still be dying (even on the New Earth), but it will be a rare thing for someone to live a lifespan that we are used to today. The people saved during the Tribulation and those born unto them who are saved (not everyone born during the Millennium will be saved as we will later see) will enjoy centuries of life in their Earthly bodies, and their actual length of years seems to depend on how they will live during the Millennium. If they die young, then they weren’t faring well spiritually.

We see here that there will be procreation throughout eternity. This passage is dealing with eternity. Verse 17 says, “Behold, I will create new heavens and a new Earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind.” Our memory will not be wiped away. We will never forget this life; moreover, we will never forget the Cross that saved us. But I know for a fact that what I am doing today, I will not be thinking about a trillion years from now. I can barely remember what I did when I was eight years old even though my memory was never wiped away. I have a new agenda on my mind now that did not exist when I was eight. And the people born during eternity of course will not know of the life on the original Earth. Regarding people being born during eternity, verse 23 says, “They will not toil in vain or bear children doomed to misfortune; for they will be a people blessed by the LORD, they and their descendants with them.” This says that the children that they do bear on the New Earth will be blessed; not only them, but also their descendants as well. There will be a perpetual progeny. Referring to Jesus’ future Kingdom, Isaiah 9:7 says, “Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end.” This verse tells us that Jesus’ Kingdom government will always be increasing forever. It will never stop increasing, even throughout eternity. Ezekiel 37:26 says the same: “I will make a covenant of peace with them; it will be an everlasting covenant. I will establish them and increase their numbers, and I will put my sanctuary among them forever.” Part of this covenant includes a continual increase of their numbers throughout eternity. Also, please see Isaiah 60:21-22 regarding the smallest of Israel’s tribes; and also Jeremiah 30:19-20.

Only the Earthly body is (and will be) able to procreate. The new spiritual body will not be able to procreate. Jesus said, regarding our new spiritual bodies in Matthew 22:30, “At the resurrection, people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in Heaven.” The key phrase here is “at the resurrection”. The Church gets their resurrected bodies at the Rapture. The Tribulation saints and those born during the Millennium and throughout Eternity will not yet experience their resurrection until they drop their Earthly bodies when they “die.” Then at their resurrection, they will not be given in marriage if they have not already gotten married in their previous bodies. The bible is very technical with its statements, and only by matching up all passages do we get the fuller picture.

That brings us to the first verse we will look at today in Revelation 14. Verse 14 says, “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.” We saw the same clause “someone ‘like a son of man’” in Revelation 1:13. There, He wore a golden sash around His chest. Here, He wears a golden crown. This phrase “Son of Man” is really a reference to Daniel 7:13. Daniel 7:13-14 reads, “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into His presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and His Kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.” All of this, of course, speaks of Jesus. It speaks of His Deity and His everlasting Kingdom.

We are at a judgment scene in Revelation 14. A cloud symbolizes judgment. God often judged from a cloud throughout the bible. A “white cloud,” therefore, stands for righteous judgment. Even though these symbols have specific meanings, it does not mean that this is a bunch of metaphors or spiritual analogies. Jesus will literally come on a white cloud, which indicates His righteous judgement. Jesus is seated on His cloud. To be seated means that He is in a place of authority. He is both God and the Son of Man, so He is able to both represent us and judge us as a perfect Judge and Mediator. He has a golden crown on His head. This Righteous Judge is also King. He is a royal King, as His crown is made of pure gold. Gold could imply ownership or creator. He has a sharp sickle in His hand, which indicates that He is not only going to judge, but also will sift out the legitimate believers from the illegitimate.

Verse 15 says, “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.” Verse 16: “So He who was seated on the cloud swung His sickle over the Earth, and the Earth was harvested.” Just like that, there are now no more Christians on the Earth. People born during the Day of Grace, now have no more chances to get saved. The only new converts from this point onward will be those born to the Tribulation-Period Christians when they return to Earth during the Millennium. There are now no more Christians on Earth from verse 16 up to Revelation 19:14. Verse 15 says that this angel comes out of the temple. There will actually be a temple built on Earth during the Tribulation and a separate one during the Millennium. I’m not sure if this verse refers to the one on Earth or the one in Heaven. The one on Earth during the Tribulation will be taken over by the Anti-Christ.

Matthew 24:30-31 speaks of this Harvest of the Elect. This passage in Matthew immediately follows some of the events of the Tribulation period that Revelation describes. For example, Matthew 24:29 says, “Immediately after the distress of those days ‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’” We studied these things in Revelation already when covering the earlier times of the Tribulation. Then verse 30 says, “At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the Earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds, with power and great glory.” This is similar to the Rapture, but not the Rapture. All of the nations won’t witness the Rapture for whatever reason: for the bible says that Jesus will come with the Rapture like a thief in the night. But all will witness the Harvest of the Sheep. The wicked will not mourn when the Rapture occurs; but the wicked will mourn when the Harvest occurs. Jesus comes in the sky with the Elect during the Rapture; Jesus comes in the sky with His angels during the Harvest. Matthew 24:31 says, “And He will send His angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather His elect from the four winds from the end of the heavens to the other.” Angels, as we see, are very much involved in the Harvest, but they are not mentioned in connection with the Rapture.

Let’s look at 2 more passages that speak of this harvest. Both are in Matthew 13. There is the “Parable of the Weeds” in verses 24 through 30 (and we have its explanation from Jesus in verses 37 to 43); and then there is the Parable of the Net in verses 47 through 50. Let’s start with the Parable of the Weeds. Matthew 13:24, it says, “The kingdom of Heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field.” Let’s cheat and jump to Jesus’ explanation. Jesus says in verse 37 that the “one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man.” So what we have so far is that the Kingdom of Heaven is like Jesus who sowed good seed in His field. Verse 38, Jesus continues explaining and says, “The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the sons of the Kingdom…” So let’s recap. The Kingdom of Heaven is like Jesus who sowed Christians in His field, or “the world.” The people who make up the Kingdom of Heaven are currently sprinkled throughout this wicked world.

Let’s go back to the parable. Verse 25 says, “But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away.” Let’s go to Jesus’ explanation. He says in verse 38, “The weeds are the sons of the evil one, and the enemy who sows them is the Devil.” The weeds represent Satan’s children, and the wheat is the sons of the Kingdom, or Jesus’ children. So we see that Satan sowed his children among the wheat and went away. He did this while no one was paying attention, for the parable tells us that everyone was sleeping. The weeds and the wheat are together: they are mixed. Satan sowed his sinners on the same grounds (the Church) that the Christians are on. We’re not talking about Satan merely sowing his seed into the world. I am quite sure that Satan sowing his seed here refers to him placing his seed onto “religious grounds” as opposed to sowing his seed into the world in general because this world has always had Satan’s children. All mankind was born into sin. Everyone at some point was a child of Satan so there would be no need for Satan to sow his own into the world. Ah, but he does seek to sow them into the Church. Jesus sows His own into the world; Satan tries to sow his into the Church.

Verse 26 continues: “When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.” When I think of “heads” in biblical terms, elders, or church pastors and leaders come to mind. Note that the weeds even appeared as the wheat was maturing. Now we already pointed out that the weeds and the wheat are growing together and on the same ground, which, I believe refers to religious grounds, as Satan sowed his seed onto the same ground that Jesus sowed His. In other words, Satan manages to insert his false believers into the Church. Still, no one noticed because verse 25 said that it was while everyone was sleeping. “Everyone” includes both the wheat and the weeds. No one was paying attention. No one, or very few realized that the weeds were growing with the wheat. It was too subtle to notice. Either the wheat looked so much like the weeds for anyone to notice, or the weeds looked so much like the wheat for anyone to notice the infiltration—scary either way. For if the weeds looked so much like the wheat to notice then that means that false believers, which would include their false doctrine, have mimicked Christianity that they can mingle with them and go unnoticed. Conversely, if the wheat is so worldly, that would allow for false believers to get injected with believers without notice because the righteous would look so much like the wicked that a red flag is never raised. It is possible that it is a combination of both scenarios; however I have to favor one possibility over the other. This parable is speaking of a specific era: that is the Tribulation period. During the Tribulation, we will soon see that the new Christian converts will be authentic and diligent servants for the Lord. We will also soon see that the Catholic Church will surreptitiously intermingle its false doctrine into the Church. In the next lesson we will see that the Catholic Church represents the weeds here because they are the religious order with their false doctrine that intermingles with true Christians without getting noticed until Jesus weeds out the sheep from the goats.

Verse 27 says, “The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’” Verse 28: “‘An enemy did this,’ Jesus replied. The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’” Verses 29-30: “‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may root up the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’” Let’s look at the rest of Jesus’ explanation. From the middle of verse 39 it reads, “The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will weed out of His kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has an ear, let him hear.” Those who will harvest are the angels.

The Parable of the Net starts in verse 47. It is the same event expressed in a different parable. It says, “Once again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was let down into the lake and caught all kinds of fish. When it was full, the fishermen pulled it up on the shore. Then they sat down and collected the good fish in baskets, but threw the bad away. This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’” Revelation 14:14-20 is this separation of the righteous from the wicked by the angels. This is a specific group of wicked people. These wicked people will be destroyed at the end of Revelation 14; yet, there will still be wicked people on Earth up to the end of chapter 19 of Revelation. The specific group of wicked people that gets destroyed at the end of Revelation 14 are only those who mixed with the righteous people (Christians). The false religious order that pretenses the name of Jesus is the group of non-Christians who get destroyed at the end of chapter 14. Muslims do not pretend to be Christians (actually, they sort of do sometimes, but their pretense is obvious); Jehovah Witnesses do not have a pretense of a claim to be Christian (actually, again, they do sometimes lie and say they’re Christian, but again their false pretense is obvious as well); Jews, atheists, agnostics, Buddhists, and the like, do not pretend to be Christian. But the Roman Catholic Church has a pretense of Christianity and has mixed in with the true church. This is what gets destroyed at the end of Revelation 14. We will see why this is the Roman Catholic Church and will bring this out in more detail when we continue our study next time.

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Revelation Chapter 14 (Part 61) (Verses 14 - 15)
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