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Two Sealing Reports
"And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads.
"These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb." Rev. 14:1,4.
"After this"(after John was shown the sealing of the 144,000) "I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands." Rev. 7:9.
"The message of the renewing power of God's grace will be carried to every country and clime, until the truth shall belt the world. Of the number of them that shall be sealed will be those who have come from every nation and kindred and tongue and people. From every country will be gathered men and women who will stand before the throne of God and before the Lamb, crying, 'Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.'. . . .But before this work can be accomplished, we must experience here in our own country the work of the Holy Spirit upon our hearts." Counsels To Parents, Teachers, and Students p. 532.
"In a little while everyone who is a child of God will have His seal placed upon him. O that it may be placed upon our foreheads. " 7 Bible Commentary p. 969, E. G . White .
Two Sealing Reports
"I then saw the third angel. Said my accompanying angel, 'Fearful is his work. Awful is his mission. He is the angel that is to select the wheat from the tares, and seal, or bind, the wheat for the heavenly garner. These things should engross the whole mind, the whole attention.'" Early Writings p. 118.
Why is the third angel's mission so awful and his work so fearful? Inspiration gives us the answer: "This mightiest of angels has in his hand the seal of the living God, or of Him who alone can give life, who can inscribe upon the foreheads the mark or inscription, to whom shall be granted immortality, eternal life. It is the voice of this highest angel that had authority to command the four angels to keep in check the four winds until this work was performed, and until he should give the summons to let them loose." Testimonies to Ministers pp. 444,445.
Thus we see that the work of the third angel is to select or separate the wheat from the tares. He is the one who places the mark or seal upon the foreheads of God's people. We are told: "These things should engross the whole mind, the whole attention." We might ask the question, why should the truths concerning the separation of the wheat from the tares and the sealing of God's people engross the whole mind, the whole attention? Why is this so important to Seventh-day Adventists? Inspiration again gives us the answer. "For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God:" 1 Peter 4:17. This is none other than the beginning of the Judgment for the Living which commences at the house of God.
"The time of judgment is a most solemn period, when the Lord gathers His own from among the tares. Those who have been members of the same family are separated. A mark is placed upon the righteous." Testimonies to Ministers p. 234.
"He who presides over His church and the destinies of nations is carrying forward the last work to be accomplished for this world. To His angels He gives the commission to execute His judgments. Let the ministers awake, let them take in the situation. The work of judgment begins at the sanctuary. 'And, behold, six men came from the way of the higher gate, which lieth toward the north, and every man a slaughter weapon in his hand; and one man among them was clothed with linen, with a writer's inkhorn by his side: and they went in, and stood beside the brazen altar.' Read Ezekiel 9:2-7." Testimonies to Ministers p. 431.
"...The church may appear as about to fall, but it does not fall. It remains, while the sinners in Zion will be sifted out--the chaff separated from the precious wheat. This is a terrible ordeal, but nevertheless it must take place. None but those who have been overcoming by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony will be found with the loyal and true, without spot or stain of sin, without guile in their mouths. We must be divested of our self-righteousness and arrayed in the righteousness of Christ." 2 Selected Messages p. 380.
This is why the selecting of the wheat from the tares is a terrible ordeal because there is to be a literal, visible separation among the living on earth, and it begins with God's remnant church. Many thought this separation would not take place until the second coming of Christ in the clouds of Heaven, at His second advent, but let us see what the Scriptures say: "Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn." Matt. 13:30.
"The time of the harvest will fully determine the character of the two classes specified under the figure of the tares and the wheat. The work of separation is given to the angels of God, and not committed into the hands of any man." Testimonies to Ministers p. 47.
Notice the words: "Time of Harvest." The harvest covers a period of time. A harvest means the result of effort, of toil, the gathering of a crop-reaping the results of labor and filling up the barns with grain. So rather than the year's toil being finished at the beginning of the harvest, the heaviest labor of the year just then begins. And though harvest time is the shortest of all the periods of the harvest year, the work of reaping is not done in a moment; it takes time. The yield is not garnered by turning the field right into the barn; no, that would be a conglomerate mass instead of a harvest. First the sickle is put to the grain, and next the grain is bound into sheaves, then threshed, after which it is put into the barn; and thereafter the chaff and the tares are destroyed. This work being completed during the autumn, it shows that the harvest is a season of time after "the summer is past, " and that it is followed by the fruitless winter period.
So it must be with the spiritual harvest, which otherwise could not be illustrated by the literal. Do not regard lightly the wisdom of God: His illustrations are perfect. Thus we see that the final harvest must commence with the Loud Cry.
Jeremiah also tells us that the harvest covers a period of time: "He reserveth unto us the appointed weeks of the harvest." Jeremiah 5:24.
"Every worker who follows the example of Christ will be prepared to receive and use the power that God has promised to His church for the ripening of earth's harvest." Acts of the Apostles p. 56.
"And when the last great harvest is gathered in, the sheaves that they are enabled to bring to the Master will be the recompense of their unselfish use of the talents lent them." Acts of the Apostles p. 340.
"And whether we sow or reap, we are working for God. One scatters the seed; another gathers in the harvest; and both the sower and the reaper receive wages. They rejoice together in the reward of their labor." Desire of Ages p. 192.
"At the day of judgment there comes to the lost a full realization of the meaning of the sacrifice made on Calvary. They see what they have lost by refusing to be loyal. They think of the high, pure association it was their privilege to gain. But it is too late. The last call has been made. The wail is heard: "The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved." Jeremiah 8:20." Testimonies Vol .7 p.16. The Loud Cry is over, probation has closed and they are not saved.
This shows that the harvest itself is not the second coming of Christ, as the wicked are still here after the harvest has been reaped. They say: "The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved." Jeremiah 8:20
This same truth is borne out in the parable of the ten virgins. "The five with lighted lamps joined the throng and entered the house with the bridal train, and the door was shut. When the foolish virgins reached the banqueting hall, they received an unexpected denial. The master of the feast declared, "I know you not." They were left standing without, in the empty street, in the blackness of the night.
"...The two classes of watchers represent the two classes who profess to be waiting for their Lord. They are called virgins because they profess a pure faith." Christ's Object Lessons p. 406.
"It is in a crisis that character is revealed. When the earnest voice proclaimed at midnight, "Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him," and the sleeping virgins were roused from their slumbers, it was seen who had made preparation for the event. Both parties were taken unawares; but one was prepared for the emergency, and the other was found without preparation. So now, a sudden and unlooked-for calamity, something that brings the soul face to face with death, will show whether there is any real faith in the promises of God. It will show whether the soul is sustained by grace. The great final test comes at the close of human probation, when it will be too late for the soul's need to be supplied." Christ's Object Lessons p. 412.
Thus the five foolish virgins will realize too late, "the harvest is past, the summer is ended", and they are not saved.
We found in our studies from Booklets #1-4, that the final harvest is in two sections. The first section of the harvest are the first fruits, 144,000 (Rev. 7:1-8; 14:1-5) which are harvested from God's remnant church. The last section is harvested from every nation, kindred, tongue and people (Rev. 7:9), the second fruits.
ARE THERE TWO SEALING REPORTS?
Since the final harvest is in two sections, there must also be two groups of saints sealed, the 144,000 first fruits, and the great multitude of second fruits.
The Lord has no instrument by which to reap His first fruit harvest, as the church is lukewarm, in a Laodicean condition (Rev. 3:14-17). the Lord Himself comes down to earth and directs the sealing, and the separating of the wheat from the tares in the remnant church which produces the first fruit harvest, the 144,000. The church then being purified can go forth to give the Loud Cry with great power and gather in the great multitude, the last section of the final harvest.
"For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come. And I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold: therefore mine own arm brought salvation unto me; and my fury, it upheld me. And I will tread down the people in mine anger, and make them drunk in my fury, and I will bring down their strength to the earth." Isa. 63:4-6.
Ezekiel tells us how the Lord Himself will come down from heaven and direct the marking (sealing) and the slaying that commences at the house of God.
"And I looked, and, behold, a whirlwind came out of the north, a great cloud, and a fire infolding itself, and a brightness was about it, and out of the midst thereof as the colour of amber, out of the midst of the fire. Also out of the midst thereof came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance; they had the likeness of a man. And every one had four faces, and every one had four wings. And their feet were straight feet; and the sole of their feet was like the sole of a calf's foot: and they sparkled like the colour of burnished brass. And they had the hands of a man under their wings on their four sides; and they four had their faces and their wings. Their wings were joined one to another; they turned not when they went; they went every one straight forward. As for the likeness of their faces, they four had the face of a man, and the face of a lion, on the right side: and they four had the face of an ox on the left side; they four also had the face of an eagle. . . .And there was a voice from the firmament that was over their heads, when they stood, and had let down their wings. And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone: and upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the appearance of a man above upon it. And I saw as the colour of amber, as the appearance of fire round about within it, from the appearance of his loins even upward, and from the appearance of his loins even downward, I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and it had brightness round about. As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. And when I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of one that spake." Ezekiel 1:4-10, 25-28. (See attached chart.)
To this marvelous scene which Ezekiel saw on the river bank in the land of the Chaldeans, our undivided attention is now called. Being "the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord, " obviously, then, it was
THE LORD ON ONE OF HIS THRONES.
The wheels were so complicated in arrangement that at first sight they appeared to be in confusion; but they moved in perfect harmony. Heavenly beings, sustained and guided by the hand beneath the wings of the cherubim, were impelling these wheels; above them, upon the sapphire throne, was the Eternal One; and round about the throne a rainbow, the emblem of divine mercy." Education p. 178.
"The bright light going among the living creatures with the swiftness of lightning represents the speed with which this work will finally go forward to completion." Testimonies, Vol. 5 p. 754.
At the end of the 2300 days (1844), the antitypical day of atonement, this same chariot transported Jesus from the throne of the Father and the Son (Rev. 22:1) into the Most Holy apartment of the Sanctuary, where God the Father was sitting.
"I saw a throne, and on it sat the Father and the Son.... I saw the Father rise from the throne, and in a flaming chariot go into the holy of holies within the veil, and sit down.... Then a cloudy chariot, with wheels like flaming fire, surrounded by angels, came to where Jesus was. He stepped into the chariot and was borne to the holiest, where the Father sat. There I beheld Jesus, a great High Priest, standing before the Father." Early Writings pp. 54,55.
It is interesting to note that this chariot also transports the saints to heaven at the second advent. "The living saints are changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, and caught up with the risen ones, and together they meet their Lord in the air. Oh, what a glorious meeting! Friends whom death had separated were united, never more to part.
"On each side of the cloudy chariot were wings, and beneath it were living wheels; and as the chariot rolled upward, the wheels cried, 'Holy,' and the wings, as they moved, cried, 'Holy,' and the retinue of holy angels around the cloud cried, 'Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty!' And the saints in the cloud cried, 'Glory! Alleluia!' And the chariot rolled upward to the Holy City." Early Writings pp. 287,288.
Besides this divine appearance which Ezekiel saw (Ezek. 1:28), the Bible describes God enthroned on three other occasions-once as seen by Isaiah, and twice as seen by John the Revelator; to wit:
(1). . .I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke." Isa. 6:1-4.
(2)"And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne....And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold....and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God. And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind." Rev. 4:2,4-6
REV. 4: A STATIONARY THRONE
(3) "And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb." Rev. 22:1.
Since the throne seen by Isaiah was a "train" (retinue), and since as it entered into the temple, "the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke" (Isa. 6:1,4), it therefore is a traveling throne, whereas both the one of Revelation 4, having the "sea of glass" before it, and the one of Revelation 22, having the "river...of life" before it, are stationary thrones.
Though the one which Ezekiel saw, is similar to the one which Isaiah was shown, yet they are distinct and separate thrones, for each of the "seraphims" of Isaiah's vision has six wings, while each of the "cherubims" of Ezekiel's vision has but four. In the latter, moreover, the cherubims stood under the throne, whereas in the former, they stood above it. On record, therefore, are the four thrones--two stationary, and two traveling.
Our greatest interest, however, at this point, is to know the location and the mission of the throne which Ezekiel saw, and concerning which he says: " . . . I looked, and, behold, a whirlwind came out of the north." Ezek. 1:4. The fact that the "whirlwind," enveloping the throne, "came," says Ezekiel, shows that this throne, just as with the one of Isaiah 6, is a moving one, and that it came to the banks of the river Chebar.
"This is the living creature," continues Ezekiel, "that I saw under the God of Israel (Who is "above the cherubims"), by the river of Chebar; and I knew that they were the Cherubims." "And the cherubims lifted up their wings, and mounted up from the earth in my sight." Ezek. 10:20,19.
As the chariot's mounting "up from the earth' shows that in this particular throne, God visits the earth and then, when His mission is accomplished, returns to heaven, naturally our uppermost desire is to know the answer to the question, when will this prophetic vision be fulfilled?
"And, behold, six men came from the way of the higher gate, which lieth toward the north, and every man a slaughter weapon in his hand; and one man among them was clothed with linen, with a writer's inkhorn by his side: and they went in, and stood beside the brasen altar. And the glory of the God of Israel was gone up from the cherub, whereupon he was, to the threshold of the house. And he called to the man clothed with linen, which had the writer's inkhorn by his side; And the Lord said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof. And to the others he said in mine hearing, Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity: Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house. . . .And, behold, the man clothed with linen, which had the inkhorn by his side, reported the matter, saying, I have done as thou hast commanded me." Ezekiel. 9:2-6,11.
Here we see the man clothed in linen, (the third angel, Early Writings p. 118) giving the first sealing report at the close of the sealing of the first fruit harvest.
In the clear light of these facts, chapter nine is seen to hold-the climactic scene of Ezekiel's vision. Describing the awful work which the Lord is to do when, on this traveling throne He visits the earth. It shows the fearsome consequences to those who do not receive the seal.
"Our own course of action will determine whether we shall receive the seal of the living God or be cut down by the destroying weapons." Testimonies, Vol. 5 p. 212.
"This sealing of the servants of God is the same that was shown to Ezekiel in vision. John also had been a witness of this most startling revelation." Testimonies to Ministers p. 445.
"What is the seal of the living God, which is placed in the foreheads of His people? It is a mark which angels, but not human eyes, can read; for the destroying angel must see this mark of redemption (Letter 126, 1898).
"The angel with the writer's ink horn is to place a mark upon the foreheads of all who are separated from sin and sinners, and the destroying angel follows this angel (Letter 12, 1886)." 4 Bible Commentary p. 1161, E.G. White.
The prophet Ezekiel saw the Lord Himself, come to the threshold of the house (church) and direct the marking and the slaying of those who have not the seal of God from this traveling throne (Ezek. 9:3-6).
The man in linen reported to the Lord. While the chariot was still here on earth (Ezek. 9:3-6,11), that he had marked or sealed the 144,000 as the Lord had commanded him to do.
After the purification of the church, the separation of the wheat from the tares had been accomplished, another command was given to the man clothed in linen.
"Then I looked, and, behold, in the firmament that was above the head of the cherubims there appeared over them as it were a sapphire stone, as the appearance of the likeness of a throne. And he spake unto the man clothed with linen, and said, Go in between the wheels, even under the cherub, and fill thine hand with coals of fire from between the cherubims, and scatter them over the city. And he went in in my sight. Now the cherubims stood on the right side of the house, when the man went in; and the cloud filled the inner court. Then the glory of the Lord went up from the cherub, and stood over the threshold of the house; and the house was filled with the cloud, and the court was full of the brightness of the Lord's glory." Ezekiel 10:1-4
Here we see the Lord's chariot is at the threshold of the house (church) after the 144,000 have been sealed and the church has been purified. This is the same chariot mentioned in Ezek. 1: portraying the Lord on one of His traveling thrones (Ezek. 1:26-28).
The man in linen is told to scatter coals of fire over the city (church) after the first fruits (144,000) have been sealed. what do the coals of fire represent? Isaiah gives us the answer.
"Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts. Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged." Isaiah 6:5-7.
The Spirit of Prophecy in commenting on this Scripture says: "The live coal is symbolical of purification, and it also represents the potency of the efforts of God's true servants. To those who make so full a consecration that the Lord can place His touch upon their lips, the word is spoken, Go forth into the harvest-field. I will co-operate with you." Gospel Workers p. 23.
After the 144,000 are sealed and the church is purified, the Lord has an instrument upon whom He can pour out His Holy Spirit enabling them to bring in the last section of the final harvest from every nation, kindred, tongue and people (Rev. 7:9).
"Not one of us will ever receive the seal of God while our characters have one spot or stain upon them. It is left with us to remedy the defects in our characters, to cleanse the soul temple of every defilement. Then the latter rain will fall upon us as the early rain fell upon the disciples on the Day of Pentecost." Testimonies, Vol. 5 p. 214.
"And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, even every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem: When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning." Isa. 4: 3,4.
SECOND SEALING REPORT.
After John saw the sealing of the 144,000 (Rev. 7:1-8), He saw another group harvested.
"After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; . . .And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb." Rev. 7:9,13,14.
The Spirit of Prophecy tells us this second group of saints are also sealed.
"The message of the renewing power of God's grace will be carried to every country and clime, until the truth shall belt the world. Of the number of them that shall be sealed will be those who have come from every nation and kindred and tongue and people. From every country will be gathered men and women who will stand before the throne of God and before the Lamb, crying, "Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb." Revelation 7:10. But before this work can be accomplished, we must experience here in our own country the work of the Holy Spirit upon our hearts." Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students p. 532.
Notice this group of sealed saints come from all over the world, not from the twelve tribes of Israel. Thus we see that not only 144,000 are sealed but also a great multitude. The 144,000 first fruits (Rev. 14:4) are sealed prior to the blowing of the four winds (the time of trouble, Testimonies, Vol. 5 p. 152; 7 Bible Commentary p. 968, E.G. White), while the great multitude are sealed during the time of trouble as they "came out of great tribulation." (Rev. 7:14)
Since both groups are sealed, there must be two sealing reports.
"And behold," says Ezekiel, "the man clothed with linen, which had the inkhorn by his side, reported the matter"(while on earth), saying, I have done as Thou hast commanded Ezek. 9:11. Here is First Report made at the completion of the sealing in the church---the sealing of the first fruits, the 144,000.
"I saw," says the servant of the Lord, "...an angel with a writer's inkhorn by his side returned from the earth and reported to Jesus that his work was done, and the saints were numbered arid sealed. " Early Writings p. 279. Here is his second report, made at the completion of the sealing in the world-the sealing of the second fruits, the great multitude.
Comparing both reports, each is seen to be a different event: At the first report, the Lord was at "the threshold of the house" on earth (Ezek. 9:3); at the second, He was in the heavenly sanctuary. After the angel had made his first report, the Lord commanded him: "Go in between the wheels, even under the cherub, and fill thine hand with coals of fire from between the cherubims, and scatter them over the city. And he went in in my sight." Ezek. 10:2.
But following his second report, "...all the angelic host laid off their crowns as Jesus made the solemn declaration, 'He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.'" Early Writings pp. 279,280.
Were probation to close at the time of the first report (Ezek. 9:11), the Lord must, according to the forgoing statement, (Early Writings pp. 279,280) be in heaven, then descend to earth to receive His saints, instead of being already on earth, then mounting up in His throne, as He actually does without His saints (Ezek. 10:19).
Also: the prophet's being left behind when the Lord went up, figuratively shows that at this particular descent and ascent, the saints are not to be taken to heaven, but only to be set free from sin and sinners-fitted for the final work.
At the angel's second report, however, Jesus, being in heaven, "moved out of the most holy place" (Early Writings p. 280) to descend to earth.
This brief comparison brings into primary focus the twofold fact that at the time of the first report, Jesus went into the temple on earth, whereas at the time of the second report, He went out of the Sanctuary in heaven.
Revelation 14: shows us that two harvests are reaped after the three angel's messages had first been given.
"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." Rev. 14:14-16.
Is this coming of Christ, His second advent? Let us compare this text with other Scriptures pertaining to His second advent.
Description Of Christ's Second Advent.
"His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS." Rev. 19:12-16.
The Spirit of Prophecy comments on the second coming of Christ as referred to in Rev. 19:12-16.
"Then I saw Jesus lay off His priestly attire and clothe Himself with His most kingly robes. Upon His head were many crowns, a crown within a crown. Surrounded by the angelic host, He left heaven.." Early Writings p. 281.
"Soon appeared the great white cloud, upon which sat the Son of man. When it first appeared in the distance, this cloud looked very small. The angel said that it was the sign of the Son of man. As it drew nearer the earth, we could behold the excellent glory and majesty of Jesus as He rode forth to conquer. A retinue of holy angels, with bright, glittering crowns upon their heads, escorted Him on His way. No language can describe the glory of the scene. The living cloud of majesty and unsurpassed glory came still nearer, and we could clearly behold the lovely person of Jesus. He did not wear a crown of thorns, but a crown of glory rested upon His holy brow. Upon His vesture and thigh was a name written, King of kings, and Lord of lords. His countenance was as bright as the noonday sun, His eyes were as a flame of fire, and His feet had the appearance of fine brass. His voice sounded like many musical instruments. The earth trembled before Him, the heavens departed as a scroll when it is rolled together, and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.. . .The living saints are changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, and caught up with the risen ones, and together they meet their Lord in the air. Oh, what a glorious meeting! Friends whom death had separated were united, never more to part." Early Writings. pp . 286,287.
Coming Of Christ In Rev. 14: Not His Second Advent.
The coming of Christ in Rev. 14:14-16 is not the same as the one in Rev. 19:12-16. In Rev. 14:, Christ has only one crown on his head, and one angel tells the Son of man to thrust in His sharp sickle and reap, for the harvest is ripe. In Rev. 19: and Early Writings pages 281, 286, 287, it tells us Christ has many crowns, a retinue of angels accompanies Him, and a sharp sword goeth out of His mouth to smite the nations and on His vesture and thigh is a name written "King of Kings and Lord of Lords." These two comings are not the same. Christ's coming in Rev. 19 is His second coming, but His coming in Rev. 14 to reap this first harvest must be when He comes to His church in judgment, when He directs the sealing and slaying from His traveling throne that Ezekiel saw in vision, recorded in Ezekiel chapter 1, when He comes to the threshold of the house (church). At this invisible coming, Christ Himself directs the reaping of the first fruits harvest (144,000).
The Spirit of Prophecy in speaking of the condition of the church just before the purification and the reaping of the first fruits by Christ says: "They will question and criticize everything that arises in the unfolding of truth, criticize the work and position of others, criticize every branch of the work in which they have not themselves a part. They will feed upon the errors and mistakes and faults of others, 'until,' said the angel, the Lord Jesus shall rise up from His mediatorial work in the heavenly sanctuary and shall clothe Himself with the garments of vengeance and surprise them at their unholy feast, and they will find themselves unprepared for the marriage supper of the Lamb.' Their taste has been so perverted that they would be inclined to criticize even the table of the Lord in His kingdom." Testimonies, Vol. 5 p. 690.
These solemn words, may each lay will to his heart, and may none let the enemy beguile them" with good words and fair speeches" on this life-and-death matter. Fix in your mind the fact that Christ's rising "up from His mediatorial work" cannot be after probation has closed for the world, note carefully, He is to "rise up" during the unfolding of truth.
Let each take heed that he fall not to criticizing the message or the messengers, but rather that he "sigh and cry," as the Lord bids, " for all the abominations that be done in the mist (the church)," Lest he be found on the wrong side, ranged with the evildoers, and thus doomed to fall under the angels' slaughter weapons.
Now let us continue our study of Rev. 14 and see if another harvest or reaping is brought to view.
"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." Rev. 14:17, 18.
After John saw the Lord Himself reap the first fruit harvest, he is shown
another harvest, only this second harvest is not reaped by the Lord but by
someone else prefigured by an angel. This angel has a sharp sickle in his
hand prepared to reap a second harvest which is prefigured by clusters
of grapes, (the great multitude of Rev. 7:9).
"The Master of the vineyard is even now gathering from among men of all nations and peoples the precious fruits for which He has long been waiting." Prophets and Kings p. 22. Also, in the parable of Matt. 20:, laborers are sent into the vineyard to reap a harvest.
Who is this angel that reaps the second fruit harvest? Sometimes the Lord symbolizes His ministry by an angel as He does in Revelation 3:14-16, the Laodicean angel. We know the Laodicean angel is not a heavenly angel as he is lukewarm. In Rev. 1:20, it says: "the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches." The seven stars and the seven angels are one and the same. The Spirit of Prophecy tells us these stars are ministers. "God's ministers are symbolized by the seven stars,..." Gospel Workers p. 13.
This angel in Rev. 14:17,18, that reaps this second fruit harvest must represent the 144,000 who will be God's ministry during the Loud Cry. They will bring in the last section of the final harvest from Babylon.
The Spirit of Prophecy in speaking of the Lord's Loud Cry ministry says, "The great issue so near at hand will weed out those whom God has not appointed, and He will have a pure, true, sanctified ministry prepared for the latter rain." Letter 55, 1886. Selected Messages Book 3 p. 385.
Isaiah calls this ministry, the Lord's new, sharp threshing instrument. "Behold, I will make thee a new sharp threshing instrument having teeth: thou shalt thresh the mountains, and beat them small, and shalt make the hills as chaff." Isa. 41:15.
Isaiah 4:2 also tells us that in the day the Lord purifies His church (Isa. 4:3,4), "the fruit of the earth" (harvest) "shall be excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel." The escaped of Israel are those that are left after the purification of God's church has taken place. See: Isa. 4:3,4.
Notice in Rev. 14:18, that the angel who has power over fire commissions the other angel (God's purified ministry) to reap the final harvest. This angel who comes out from the altar and has power over fire represents the Holy Spirit that will be poured out upon the Lord's Loud Cry Ministry for the purpose of bringing in the last section of this final harvest. This same truth was borne out concerning the man in linen (Ezek. 10:1-4) Who scatters the coals of fire over the city (church) after the purification of the church takes place.
What is done with the vine after the clusters of grapes have been harvested?
"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." Rev. 14:19.
The wrath of God is also depicted in Rev. 15:7,8. "And one of the four
beasts gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God,
who liveth for ever and ever. And the temple was filled with smoke from the
glory of God, and from his power; and no man was able to enter into the temple,
till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled." Thus we
see that the empty vine, (the wicked), is destroyed after the fruit has been
We found in the beginning of our study why the third angel's work is so fearful and his mission so awful. He is the one who is to select the wheat from the tares. This commences the judgment for the living which begins at the house of God (our Church).
The Spirit of Prophecy and the Bible shows us clearly that the harvest itself is not the second coming of Christ. The harvest covers a period of time, the time that it takes to gather in the final harvest.
We found four different thrones of God. Two traveling (Isa. 6:1-4, Ezek. 1:) and two stationary thrones (Rev. 4:2,4-6, 22:1). The Lord comes down to earth on one of His traveling thrones (Ezek. 1:9) to the threshold of the house (church) and directs the marking and the slaying as recorded in Ezek. 9: this is an invisible coming.
Just as there are two harvests, there are two sealing reports. The first sealing report is given in Ezekiel 9:11, after the 144,000 are sealed. The second sealing report is at the final close of probation (Early Writings p. 279), after the great multitude (Rev. 7:9) are harvested.
In Rev. 14:14-18, two harvests are brought to view. Christ Himself reaps the first fruit harvest and His Loud Cry ministry (144, 000) reaps the final harvest.
How marvelous it is that centuries ago the Lord had us in mind when His Holy Spirit moved upon the hearts of the prophets to write these wonderful promises for those who were to have a part in the final work of harvesting in earth's final harvest. What a terrible tragedy it would be for any to lose out at this late hour.
"We are standing on the threshold of great and solemn events. Prophecy is fast fulfilling. The Lord is at the door. There is soon to open before us a period of overwhelming interest to all living. The controversies of the past are to be revived; new controversies will arise. The scenes to be enacted in our world are not yet even dreamed of. Satan is at work through human agencies. Those who are making an effort to change the Constitution and secure a law enforcing Sunday observance little realize what will be the result. A crisis is just upon us." Testimonies, Vol. 5 p. 753.
"Thus saith the Lord of hosts; if it be marvelous in the eyes of the remnant of this people in these days, should it also be marvelous in mine eyes? saith the Lord of hosts." Zech. 8:6.
Our prayer is that the reader of this booklet, "sink the shaft of truth down deep into the mine of God's word (1 Selected Messages p. 413)", enabling him to be prepared for the tremendous events just ahead.