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Exploring Revelation
9103
“The Reapers - Revelation 14:17-20 Part 1”
by Art Sadlier   
January 10th, 2010

Vision Seven    The Reapers

"And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. - And another angel came out from the alter, which had power over the fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe. - And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. - And the winepress was trodden without the city, and the blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horses bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs."  Revelation 14: 17-20

We see the first angel in verse 17 and a second angel in verse 18. We see Christ sitting on the cloud in verse 14, but it is not Christ who actually does the reaping. In Matthew 13: 41-42 we read, "The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them that do iniquity......."

Verse 18 we read, ".........Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth,"  This is of course figurative language used to describe how God's wrath will be poured out upon the unsaved.

"her grapes are fully ripe." The iniquity of man has come to full bloom. Evil has reached its ultimate fullness. In Genesis 15:16,  we read that the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full. God would wait to bring judgment upon these sinful people, He would wait until their sin had reached its' fullness.

The world has yet to see sin reach its' full potential. God will yet allow a time when sin will be totally unrestrained. When that happens men and angels will know forever that sin is not the way to go!

11 Thess. 2:6 "And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time." Evil is now being restrained When the Holy Spirit, who is now dwelling in the believer, is withdrawn at the rapture, His ministry of restraining evil will be discontinued. The Antichrist will come and evil will be allowed to come to full bloom. When evil has played out itself to the full, then the judgment of God will fall. ( see 11 Thess. 2:7 )

In verse 19 we read about, "The great winepress of the wrath of God".  At the garden tomb of Calvary there is a winepress. It consists  of a large stone in the ground which has two great hollowed out spots leaving  large vats in the stones. One is higher than the other with a conduit running from the higher to the lower. The grapes are placed in the higher vat and crushed by the treaders who trample on the grapes until the juice is completly extracted, the juice then flows down into the lower vat.

What a picture of the wrath of God upon sinners, God hates sin and will punish sinners until they are completely crushed by His judgment. The fact that the winepress is only a few steps from Calvary is not lost on the thinking observer. It was at Calvary that Christ was crushed in the winepress of God's wrath as He bore the judgment for our sin. The lesson is, that if you do not trust the sacrifice of the Christ of Calvary, you must be trodden in the winepress of God's wrath, for all eternity.

Verse 20, "And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horses bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs." What a time that will be, men will be gathered from the four corners of the earth for this great battle! The peoples of the earth will be brought into the great winepress of the wrath of God. From Meggido to Bosra, a space of sixteen hundred furlongs, perhaps hundreds of millions of men will be drawn to the battle. We read that Satan and his man, Antichrist, will draw the men and nations of the earth to this great battle. We read that the Lord will also draw them to this battle. There is to be the great white throne judgment in the eternal age, this judgment is to be on the earth as God brings judgment on men and nations at the end of this age.

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