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Sixth Edition, 1915
By Dr. John Thomas (first edition written 1861)



Chapter 14

Section 11.

The Reaping of the Earth's Harvest



14. "And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sitting like to a Son ofMan, having upon his head a golden stephan, and in his hand a sharp sickle.

15. "And another angel came out of the nave, vociferating with a loud voice to him sitting upon the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap, because for thee hath arrived the hour of the reaping; for the harvest of the earth hath been ripened. 16. And he that is sitting upon the cloud, cast his sickle upon the earth, and the earth was reaped".

"And I looked," saith John. Previous to this his ears, not his eyes, had been addressed. He had just been listening to the "voice from the heaven," and the comment of the Spirit upon it. Having finished the writing of it in the book before him, he very naturally looked up, and thereupon perceived, that the scene had been changed. When he last wrote the words "I looked, and, behold," he introduced us to a scene upon Mount Zion, where the Lamb with the 144,000 are seen standing. This is a Pentecostian scene, an exhibition of First fruit. But, before Pentecost, comes the Passover in its fulfillment in the kingdom of the Deity (Luke 22:15-18). We had not been informed whether the Lamb and the 144,000 had entered Zion without a conflict, or as the result of a great disaster inflicted upon the enemy. The reader will perceive a remarkable transition from the subject treated of in the latter half of the thirteenth chapter to that of the beginning of the fourteenth. They are altogether different and unconnected. The former treats of the Name of the Beast, and the manner of its establishment in the earth; the latter, of the Name of the Father, and what it effects after its Apocalypse; but as to how it established itself in Zion, this fourteenth chapter has hitherto afforded us no information.

Before the Lamb can enter Zion with the 144,000, it will be necessary for him to expel the enemy. He comes to redeem Zion from the power of the foreigners, who have "come in like a flood", and afflicted her with "desolation and destruction, and the famine, and the sword". At this crisis of Zion's history, coeval with "darkness covering the earth, and gross darkness the people," Yahweh inquires through the prophet, "What have I here that My people is taken away for naught? They who rule over them make them to howl, saith Yahweh; and My Name continually every day is blasphemed". "They have scattered Israel among the nations, and they have parted My land;" and "the king of the north hath planted the tents of his entrenched camp between the seas to the mountain of the glory of the Holy One" (Isa. 59:19; 52:5; Joel 3:2; Dan. 11:45).

Such are Zion's relations, domestic and foreign, social, civil, and spiritual, at the crisis immediately preceding the appearance of the Lamb and his company within her walls. Being assembled in the Valley of Jehoshaphat, and having laid successful siege to Jerusalem, they rifle its houses, ravish its women, and send half of its population into captivity, many of whom they sell to the Greeks for slaves at the vilest prices (Zech. 14:2; Joel 3:3). This prostrates Jerusalem in the dust, and fastens bands around the neck of the captive daughter of Zion. The uncircumcised and the unclean, then in possession of Tyre and Zidon, and the coasts of Palestine, are in high feather over their success. This will be truly the day of Jacob's trouble, in which there will be none to help, norany to uphold (Isa. 63:5; Jer. 30:7). But, Zion's extremity is her Redeemer's opportunity. "When," saith Moses, "he seeth that their power is gone, he will repent himself for his servants;" and saith Joel, "He will then be jealous for his land, and pity his people, who shall no more be made a reproach among the nations" (ch. 2:18,19; Deut. 32:36).

"The Harvest of the Earth," according to Joel, and John's angel that comes out of the nave, hath been ripened; "for their wickedness is great". The harvest is composed of vast multitudes of ripened wickedness in the plain, or valley of judgment, unconsciously awaiting a terrible overthrow. Joel in vision saw them all assembled there, as expressed in the words, "Multitudes, multitudes (hamonim, hamonim) in the valley of the judgment; for the Day of Yahweh is near in the valley of the judgment" (ch. 3:14). These hamonim are the hamon-gog of Ezekiel 39:11 - the multitude of Gog, which is buried in the valley of the judgment executed; and gives name to an adjacent city, called Hamonah, that is, Multitude. This and the preceding chapter of Ezekiel are parallel with Joel 3, and John's vision of the reaping. The prophet is indignant at their wickedness. He does not pray for their conversion, nor for their salvation; but for their sudden and complete overthrow, in the words, "Thither cause to come down with violence thy mighty ones, 0 Yahweh!" Nor will Joel's prayer be in vain; for, referring to the same crisis, Zechariah says, "Yahweh Elohim shall come in, and all the Saints with thee" (ch. 14:5). This coming in to Jerusalem will be with violence, and a terrific outpouring of wrath upon the multitudes in arms. In the words of Ezek. 38:18, "Adonai Yahweh saith, my fury shall come up in My face: for in my jealousy and in the fire of My wrath have I spoken, surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel.... and all the men that are upon the face of the land shall shake AT MY PRESENCE, and the mountains shall be thrown down, and the towers shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground. And I will call for a sword against Gog throughout all my mountains saith Adonai Yahweh: every man's sword shall be against his brother. And I will plead against him with pestilence and with blood; and I will rain upon him and upon his bands and upon the many peoples that are with him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire and brimstone". Thus, Yahweh goes forth and fights against these multitudes, as in the days of old (Zech.14:3).

Such is the Harvest of the Earth, and its reaping. John looked, and beheld it in symbol. He saw "a white cloud"-a cloud of mighty ones habited in fine linen, white and clean, which represents the righteousness of them who are clothed with it (ch. 19:8,14). A cloud indicates a multitude; and such a cloud, when looked upon in reference to its intrinsic excellence, would look white to the eye of faith. "All the Saints with Yahweh Elohim" are "Yahweh's mighty ones," numerically represented by 144,000; these are the white cloud, or Cherub, upon which the Spirit rides (Psa. 18:10); or, in the language of the Apocalypse, "upon which one like to a Son of Man is sitting". Here the Spirit sits upon the white cloud; while, inch. 10, he is "clothed with a cloud". This tenth chapter is introductory to the fourteenth. The Ancient of Days must descend from heaven before he can be "clothed with a cloud," or ride upon a cloud, of Saints, now sleeping in the dust. Hence, the scene beheld represents events subsequent to the descent of Christ Jesus, and the resurrection and immortalization of the 144,000; and before they obtain possession of the Holy City. This is the epoch of the vision; and synchronizes with the concluding period of the Sixth Vial, and coeval with the gathering of the kings of the earth and their armies "into the place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon" (ch. 16:16).

The "one like the Son of Man" sits upon the cloud, "having upon his head a golden stephanos," rendered crown, but not a diadem. This indicates that he is the Generalissimo of the cloud of mighty ones; but not yet in possession of David's diadem, removed from David's house, when Zedekiah , the profane, wicked prince of Israel, was abased by Nebuchadnezzar (Ezek 21:26). The stephan indicates that he is going to compete for a prize, which he has not as yet acquired. If he had been seen with a diadem upon his head, it would have implied that he was the ruling monarch of one kingdom at least; or that such was his destiny. On the contrary, the scene before us exhibits him in the outset of his military career, whose course will be that of a strong man to run and win a race (Psa. 19:5). The prize set before him is, not one, but diademata polla, many diadems (ch. 19:12): and these he acquires by "the energy whereby he is able to subdue all things to himself". He transfers the diadem from the ten horns to his own head, when their kingdoms have become his by right of conquest. He is then seen sitting no longer on a cloud, but "upon a throne set in the heaven," the throne of his father David, which Yahweh Elohim hath given him (Ch. 4:2; Luke 1:31-33).

The sharp sickle in his hand is symbolical of his power to reap down the multitudes which have assembled on the valley or plain of their destruction. The sword called for throughout the mountains of Israel, their mutual slaughter, the pestilence, overflowing rain of hailstones, fire, and brimstone, the panic and blindness of the horses, and the madness of their riders (Zech. 12:4; 14:12-15) - all illustrate the sharp sickle cast upon the earth for its reaping at the appointed hour.

"And the earth was reaped" - the "Little Horn of the Goat; the King of Fierce Countenance is broken without hand; the Image of Nebuchadnezzar is smitten by the stone; the Gog Multitude is prostrate upon the mountains of Israel; the King of the North hath come to his end without anyone to help him; and Judah is delivered from the Assyrian by the Bethlehem-born Ruler of Israel, whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting (Micah 5:2-7; Dan. 11:45; 8:9,23,25; 2:34). This confederacy against the East is shivered to pieces as a potter's vessel, and Jerusalem is delivered. From henceforth she will be no more trod-den under-foot of the Gentiles; nor will the uncircumcised and unclean be permitted to enter. Zion hath now put on her strength; and Jerusalem her beautiful garments. She is no longer rebellious against her King, but blesses him as her Redeemer who hath come in the name of Yahweh. She had thrown open wide her gates, that the King of Glory, Yahweh Tz'vaoth, strong and mighty in battle, might enter in. Standing with his feet upon the Mount of Olives, he beholds the Pass over fill fllled in the kingdom - the Assyrian is slain, Zion is redeemed, and the Lamb with the 144,000 stand upon her holy mount: "Henceforth Jerusalem shall be holy, and no strangers shall pass through her any more" (Joel 3:17).




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