Rev 14B: Reaping the Harvests

February 23, 2023 at 11:42 AM Leave a comment

Audio for this article is here:

Revelation 14:14-20: Reaping the Great Harvest & Reaping the Grapes of Wrath

Revelation 14 of the New King James Version of the Bible is packed with a profound message on God’s judgment, mercy, and grace. In this chapter, we see the saints rewarded for their faithfulness with a “great harvest of souls” being gathered, and the grapes of wrath being reaped from the wicked. From an evangelical perspective, let’s look at what we can learn from Revelation 14 about God’s plan for judgment and salvation.

Gathering The Harvest of Souls
In Revelation 14:14-16, we see a vision from John of an angel flying in mid-heaven with “the everlasting gospel.”

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 sickle. 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.” So He who sat on the cloud thrust in His sickle on the earth, and the earth was reaped. (Revelation 14:14-16 NKJV)

From this passage we learn that God is gathering a great harvest of souls. Commentators see these two harvests as either the first being for the righteous and the second for the wicked. For the righteous of course, eternal life is provided, and for the wicked, just and eternal punishment awaits. Some commentators believe the two are for the same harvest – the harvest for the wicked. The reason they believe it is repeated twice is for emphasis, showing that God will surely bring it about. It’s difficult to go into all the pros and cons of each view, but readers should avail themselves of study tools that may help them come down on one side or the other. Remember, we are trying to determine God’s meaning here, not what we think it means or what we want it to mean. What is God telling us here?

The use of the words “sharp sickle” is taken by many to mean the figure of death, carrying his sickle as he goes through the earth harvesting human beings. However, it appears that the individual holding this sickle may be the Jesus Himself. In that case, coupled with the fact that a sickle was used in ancient times to harvest the good and bad crops (wheat and tares, for instance), it could mean that He is getting ready to harvest those who have been martyred during the Tribulation for their faith in Him.

In fact, several commentators note that this particular vision that John sees is very similar to what Daniel saw in Daniel 7:13-14. which is Messiah coming in the clouds at the end of the Tribulation. Upon His arrival, one of the first things Jesus will do is judge the nations (Sheep and the Goats, cf Matthew 25:31-46).

31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.

In the context of that judgment, there are two groups; the sheep and the goats or the righteous and the wicked, which also means that there will be believers living at the end of the Tribulation when He returns. There is nothing in the text that indicates that these righteous people were with Jesus in heaven and came back with Him (though all believers who died before the end of the Tribulation do return with Jesus). These earthbound believers have clearly not died yet nor have the unrighteous. Jesus will judge all people of all nations and determine who is worthy to enter His Millennial Kingdom and who is not.

In these three verses, if the vision provides John with a view of the harvest of the righteous, we can still conclude that this harvest is not a task to be taken lightly or done out of anger, but rather out of great love and justice and by those who bear the likeness of Jesus himself.

The Wrath of The Grapes

We also learn about the wrath of the grapes through Revelation 14:18-19. Here, John has another vision of an angel coming up from the altar, who had power over fire and who cries out with a loud voice:

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.” 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.

This angel, who is often referred to as the “Angel of Divine Justice,” symbolizes the judgment of God on the wicked. The wrath of God’s judgment is represented by the grapes of the vine being cut down, symbolizing the destruction and failure of those who did not accept the message of salvation from the angel in the prior vision. This passage reminds us that God’s judgment is just and fair, and not without purpose.

  • What we are seeing here is a judgment of UNBELIEVERS
  • Earth is ripe for judgment and God is going to do that
  • The whole tone of these verses is Jesus the Judge preparing to judge the wicked
  • Two angels have the job of reaping the earth
  • Verse 19: The earth produced a crop of unbelievers, which now, at the end of the Tribulation, would come into judgment.
  • The angel gathered them from the earth to undergo judgment in God’s great wine press (cf. Isaiah 63:1-6; Lamentations 1:15; Joel 3:13).

The harvest is often used in the Hebrew Scriptures to represent divine judgment (Hosea 6:11; Joel 3:13), especially on Babylon (Jeremiah 51:33). This is also another indication that the two harvests mentioned here in Revelation 14 are both pointing to a harvest of the unrighteous. Jesus also likens the final judgment to the harvest of the earth (Matthew 13:30, 39). This judgment in particular is said to occur at the end of the Tribulation when Jesus returns to this earth physically.

  • “Following the pattern of Joel 3:13, the scene furnishes two pictures of the same judgment for the same reason that Joel does, i.e., to emphasize the terror of it.“ (Thomas)

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. – Revelation 14:20 (NKJV)

Fascinating indication of what the result of judgment be and also an indication that the Lord clearly uses the battle noted here (Armageddon?), as a form of judgment on His foes.

  • This is likely NOT Babylon but Jerusalem (“outside the city”)
  • The Old Testament predicted a final battle near Jerusalem in the Valley of Jehoshaphat (i.e., the Kidron Valley just to the east of Jerusalem; Joel 3:12-14; Zechariah 14:4; cf. Rev. 11:2)
  • It seems probable that blood will literally flow up to the height of the horses’ bridles (about four and a half feet) in some places in that valley due to the depth of the valley as well as the shortness of width in some areas.
  • Obviously many people will have to die for this amount of blood to flow.
  • one thousand six hundred furlongs = approximately 180 miles

It is interesting to note what history says about certain battles that have been fought in various places of the world and how much blood seemed to flow in the aftermath of those battles.

  • the blood is pictured draining out of the Jezreel Valley for 180 miles
  • probably flowing eastward down the Harod Valley to…
  • the Jordan Valley, and south all the way to the Dead Sea.
  • When the Romans destroyed Jerusalem, so great was the bloodshed that Josephus says the whole city ran down with the blood to such a degree that the fires of many of the houses were quenched by it. When Sylla took Athens, Plutarch says the blood that was shed in the market-place alone covered all the [ceramic objects] as far as Dipylus, and some testify that it ran through the gates and overflowed the suburbs. (Seiss)


In conclusion, we can see from Revelation 14 that God is gathering a great harvest of souls both from the righteous and the wicked. It is a reminder that we must be faithful to God and live in accordance with His will, as our faithfulness will determine our fate in eternity. We also learn that God’s judgment is just and His wrath will be felt by those who do not accept His message of salvation. As followers of Christ, it is important to remember the lesson of Revelation 14 and live according to God’s teachings so that we may be part of His great harvest.

We need to remember, God chose to tell us all of this way before it occurs so that when it does occur, it will prove His faithfulness as well as His sovereignty over all creation. He did not have to do this, but He chose to do so.

So in light of all this information, how does this information apply to us now, today?

  • –We must be faithful to God and live in accordance with His will
  • –God’s judgment is just and His wrath will be felt by those who do not accept His message of salvation
  • –It should move us to become better evangelists, spreading His Gospel to the lost


Bible Study Tools. (2021).

Entry filed under: christianity, Demonic, eternity, israel, Judaism, Life in America, Religious - Christian - End Times, Religious - Christian - Prophecy, Religious - Christian - Theology, salvation, Satanism, second coming. Tags: , , .

Revelation 15: Beginning of the End Forgetting to Remember

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Our Books on Amazon

Study-Grow-Know Archives

Blog Stats

  • 1,131,407 hits

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 9,035 other subscribers
Follow Study – Grow – Know on

%d bloggers like this: