Four-fold Reference to Four (4) Harvesting Angels:
… “And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto 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 that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe. And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped. 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 altar, which had power over 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 on 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 blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.” (Rev. 14:14-20). (Emphasis added).
Commentary: This verse can be a little confusing when trying to keep track of the number of angels involved and which angel is saying what to which angel. These verses start off by identifying a special, glorious looking angel with a crown on his head, sitting on a cloud having a nasty looking harvesting sickle. He looks powerful and strong and sat like unto the Son of man (similar in fashion to Jesus Christ, but this is an angel and not Christ). He is waiting for instructions from central command (heavenly temple). Suddenly, a messenger angel leaves the heavenly temple and tells the big angel guy, with the nasty sickle, to go down to earth and start doing his thing…using his sickle to harvest evil men. As if this wasn’t enough, God decides to double-up on harvesting angels with nasty, sharp sickles. Therefore, he sends out of his heavenly temple yet another (second) angel with a sharp sickle. There are now two angels with sharp sickles on the chess board. One has already been put into play and is doing what he was instructed to be doing by the messenger angel. The second angel with another sharp sickle, is now on the chessboard also, but he has not been put into play yet. He is also awaiting instructions and permission to begin his task. Just as a messenger angel was sent out of the heavenly temple to instruct the angel with a crown to start harvesting, a second messenger angel is sent to instruct the second angel with a sharp harvesting sickle to commence his harvesting of evil men on earth.
These verses have an exact doubling or duplication of effort. A double (2) equals God’s solid confirmation of a matter, the addition of an equal measure of weight or importance. There is one instance of an angel executing God’s will at the command of a messenger angel. This then again happens a second time, the same way. Another executing angel receives authority and permission to begin his job, just as the first executing angel did. The only difference between the two executing, sickle harvesting angels is that the first angel is described as glorious, with a crown, and perhaps having some kind of lofty heavenly status. The second executing, sickle harvesting angel is being authorized to harvest “clusters of vines, vine of the earth” and to throw them into the “winepress of God’s wrath”. I believe this last reference regarding the second harvesting angle is that he is being sent to harvest large groups of evil men. An evil man is represented as a grape. An evil group of men could be thought of as a cluster of grapes on a vine.
These verses have a couple of doubles (2). Two (2) harvesting angels with nasty, sharp sickles. Two (2) messenger angels with authority to instruct and authorize the harvesting angels to begin their work. All of this is orchestrated from central command headquarters (heavenly temple of God.) All the angels described are unique in their descriptions, appearances, actions, abilities and roles. Angels are not mindless, holy clones of one another, but have a uniqueness about them … just as man does. God applies his infinite diversity into his creation of both angels and men. No two men or two angels are exactly alike. That is a comforting thought, knowing that I am truly unique and special before God, in the manner he made me (and you!). We are not clones, genetic duplications or mass produced organisms. Neither are angels.
Categories: Revelation of Jesus Christ