Summary of passage: John sees Jesus on a white cloud with a golden crown and a sharp sickle. An angel tells Jesus to reap the harvest of the earth with his sickle and he does. An angel emerges from the altar in heaven and tells another angel who emerges from the temple to gather grapes with his sickle. The angel did and threw the grapes into the winepress of God’s wrath where they were trampled and blood flowed.
11) Jesus and he was called to reap the harvest of the earth.
b) The sickles: To reap and to separate out the harvest (believers) from the grapes (unbelievers)
The winepress: Judgment. (Isaiah 63:1-6)
13) Personal Question. My answer: God is serious. He will punish those who sin and refuse to accept His grace. He will reap those who follow Him in the harvest.
Conclusions: Good dissection of passage.
End Notes: Revelation 15 & 16 has the 7 bowls judgment and some scholars see this scene as the preparation of the faithful before the judgments to come. Here, Jesus is going to separate good and evil and gather in the faithful like in a harvest and then assemble all for judgment (Joel 3:12-14; Matthew 3:12; 13:30). This is seen as well in the parable of the wheat and the tares (Matthew 13:24-30; 13:36-43).
Christ in clouds: Revelation 1:7,13 and in Daniel 7:13 and Matthew 24:30.
Here, Jesus has on his head the crown of victory. Quite the contrast with the crown of thorns.
The Greek word for “ripe” has the sense of withered. Thus, the indication is God is waiting for sin to be overripe. He is in no hurry.
Some translations have verse 18 as “fully ripe”, meaning when the grapes are bursting and ready for harvest. A winepress was a rock-hewn trough about 8 feet square with a channel leading to ta lower and smaller trough. Grapes were thrown into the upper vat and trampled with bare feet. The juice collected in the lower vat. This is a common Old Testament analogy for the execution of divine wrath (Isaiah 63:3; Lamentations 1:15; Joel 3:13). When trampled, the grapes burst and their juice squirts out–like the blood described in verse 20.
A horse’s bridle is a few feet high and 1,600 stadia is about 184 miles. Can you imagine how much blood would have to be shed and how many people would have to die to create a flow of blood that would pour out for 184 miles a few feet high? This is the carnage in the battle of Armageddon described in Revelation 16:16 and 19:11-19 and a graphic symbol to the world. Turn to Christ now or face judgment.
However, some scholars say this is just a splattering of blood and not an actual blood flow. You make the call.
184 miles is a huge distance for a battle–almost unseen in Ancient Times. But not in modern times.
Revelation Chapters 15-19 will reveal the fulfillment of these prophetic declarations of the angels.
Conclusions to Lesson 19: In Revelation 13 we see the power of the beast. In Revelation 14 we see who’s really in charge and who will win in the end.
Make sure you are part of the 144,000. Be holy and pure and do not worship false idols.