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Copr. 1997, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.

LESSON 9 - THRUST IN THY SICKLE, AND REAP (REVELATION 14:13-20)

INTRODUCTION: JOHN HAS JUST SEEN THE 3 ANGELS GO BY WITH THEIR MESSAGES
FOR THE WORLD. NOW HE IS TREATED TO A NEW AND BREATH-TAKING SCENE.
LETS EXPLORE IT! BUT BEFORE WE DO, LETS LOOK AT A CURIOUS COMMENT THAT
JOHN STICKS IN BETWEEN HIS STORIES.

I. DEATH FOR RIGHTEOUS
      A. LETS PICK UP THE LAST VERSE OF LAST WEEK'S LESSON AND THE FIRST
VERSE OF THIS WEEK'S LESSON. READ REV.14:12-13.
      B. AFTER ALL THE EXCITEMENT OF THE 3 ANGELS MESSAGES, WHY DOES THE
VOICE TALK ABOUT "PATIENT ENDURANCE" AND DEATH FOR THE RIGHTEOUS?
      C. IMAGINE WITH ME THAT YOU ARE LOOKING FOR YOUR FOLKS OR YOUR
KIDS TO MAKE THEIR ANNUAL VISIT TO YOUR HOUSE.  YOU ARE STANDING BY THE
ROAD WATCHING.  JUST AS THEY ARE DRIVING UP, ANOTHER CAR DRIVES OFF THE
ROAD AND RUNS OVER YOU.
            1. THAT SEEMS TO BE THE SITUATION FOR THESE PEOPLE. JUST BEFORE
JESUS COMES THEY DIE.  WHAT IS SO GREAT ABOUT THAT?
(THIS PATIENT ENDURANCE AND DEATH ARE ALSO SPOKEN OF IN 13:10.  THE
PICTURE IS THAT THE TIMES MAY BE VERY ROUGH FOR THE RIGHTEOUS, AND A
DEATH BEFORE THE LAST STRUGGLE IS A BLESSING IN MANY WAYS.)


II. HARVEST OF RIGHTEOUS
      A. READ REV. 14: 14.
      B. WHO ARE WE LOOKING AT HERE? (JESUS)
      C. LETS LOOK AT THE SETTING FOR A MOMENT FOR I THINK IT HAS SOME
IMPORTANCE. 
            1.CAN YOU SIT ON A CLOUD? (NO)
            2. WHY DOES JOHN DRAW THE PICTURE THAT WAY? 
            3. IS THIS A PICTURE OF THE SECOND COMING WHEN JESUS COMES IN
THE CLOUDS? 
            4. IF SOME THINK THIS IS A PICTURE OF SECOND COMING, READ
V.15&16. IF JESUS IS COMING, WHY HAVE AN ANGEL SAY "ITS OK TO CONTINUE?"
(I DON'T KNOW, BUT IT SEEMS TO ME THAT THE CLOUD REFERENCE IS TO TELL US
THAT THIS IS VERY HIGH UP.  IT IS IN HEAVEN. AND ANGEL "OUT OF TEMPLE" TELLS
JESUS THAT IT IS TIME FOR THE END.  THINK THAT THIS IS REFERENCE TO JESUS
WORK IN TEMPLE IN HEAVEN JUST BEFORE HE LEAVES.)
      D. WHY IS JESUS CARRYING A SICKLE (AND A SHARP ONE AT THAT?)
(HARVEST.)
      E. LETS LOOK AT THIS IS SOME DETAIL. WHY DOES REV. COMPARE THE
SECOND COMING TO A HARVEST? LIST (THE PICTURE IS ONE OF GROWING.  WE
EITHER GROW POSITIVELY OR WE ARE NOT SELECTED. THE CHRISTIAN LIFE IS A
MATTER OF GROWTH.  JESUS IS NOT PREMATURE WITH US.  HE LETS US GROW TO
DETERMINE HOW WE WILL BE. HARVEST IS THE CONCLUSION OF THE WORK.)
            1. BY THE WAY, WHAT KIND OF HARVEST IS THIS? WHAT IS BEING
HARVESTED? ( USING THE SICKLE MAKES IT APPEAR THAT IT IS A WHEAT OR GRAIN
HARVEST)
            2. THAT BRINGS TO MIND THE PARABLE OF THE WHEAT AND THE
TARES IN MATT. 13:24. IT ALSO IS A REFERENCE TO THE HARVESTS IN PALESTINE. 
THEY HAD TWO HARVESTS, A GRAIN HARVEST IN THE SPRING AND EARLY SUMMER
AND A FRUIT HARVEST IN THE LATE SUMMER AND EARLY FALL.
                  a. HAVE YOU HEARD THE EXPRESSION, THE LATTER RAIN? DO
YOU THINK THAT THIS IS A FARMING TERM? (IT IS.  THE EARLY RAIN CAME JUST
AFTER THE FRUIT HARVEST AND SOFTENED THE GROUND SO THEY COULD PLANT
THE GRAIN IN THE FALL. THEN THE LATTER RAIN CAME IN THE EARLY SPRING TO
RIPEN THE GRAIN FOR HARVEST.)

      F. IS THERE ANYTHING THAT WE CAN DO TO HASTEN THE LATTER RAIN SO
THAT THE HARVEST OF THE GRAIN REFERRED TO IN 14:15&16 WILL TAKE PLACE?
            1. IF SO, WHAT?
            2. COULD THE FARMER IN PALESTINE DO ANYTHING TO HASTEN THE
LATTER RAIN?
            3. WOULD HE WANT TO? (THE IDEA HERE IS THAT WE CAN SIMPLY
PRAY ABOUT IT.  THIS IS YET ANOTHER CASE WHERE WE SHOULD QUITE TRYING
TO DO IT OURSELVES AND JUST TRUST THE LORD.) 

      G. NOW LETS READ V.17-20.
      H. WHO IS BEING REAPED HERE?
      I. NOTICE ANY DIFERENCE IN WHO DID THE REAPING?
      J. WHY DOESN'T JESUS REAP THE GRAPES TOO? (HE PERSONALLY "REAPS"
THE RIGHTEOUS, BUT HE STANDS APART FROM THE WICKED.)
      K. NOTICE THAT THE TEXT (V.20) THAT THEY WERE TRAMBLED OUTSIDE THE
CITY. WHAT CITY AND WHY IS THAT? (ALLUSION TO NEW JERUSALM? IS THIS THE
SAME AS WHEN RUSH THE CITY AND FIRE CONSUMES THEM?)(BLOOD IN THE CITY
WOULD DEFILE IT.)

III. NEXT WEEK: 7 LAST PLAGUES