Jesus said in Matthew 13:39, that the harvest is the end of the age. He often spoke in agricultural terms
concerning the consumation of the age and about His Second Coming. There is a reason for that. The agricultural pattern of
the harvest in the Old Testament reveals the prophecies of the Second Coming, and our Lord's gathering together of the church
unto Himself. 'Gathering together' (Matt.24:31; II Thess. 2:1) is an agricultural term meaning 'to bring in the harvest.'
In Mark 4:26-29, we see a pattern of maturity concerning the crops. First, the blade, then the ear, after
that the full corn in the ear. This can be likened to 30-fold, 60-fold, and 100-fold. It may further be likened to carnal,
soulish and spiritual. The farmer doesn't harvest the blade or the green ear but rather waits for the precious fruit of the
earth (Jas. 5:7). Also in Jas. 5:7, we learn that the farmer has long patience for the early and the latter rain. The early,
or sping rains, signal the beginning of the growing season. They would soon dry up but throughout the growing season there
would be sporadic showers of blessing. Then at the end of the growing season would come the latter rains in greater abundance
than the first rains. This is to bring the fruit to maturity.
When the first fruits would ripen, a handful would be gathered out, taken to the priest, who would take it
into the temple and wave it in a wave offering before the Lord. It was holy to the Lord, and belonged wholly to the Lord.
Then after the ingathering of the first fruits, the main crop would remain in the field until the end of the
growing season. At the end of the growing season it would be gathered by the reapers, and taken to the threshing floor where
it was to be beaten upon the hard rocky floor. Often oxen, shod with brass on their hoofs were marched around the threshing
floor, and the wheat was trod underfoot. The purpose of the threshing floor is to separate the husk and the stalk from the
precious inner kernel.
After the main gathering was taken in, and winnowed in the wind, the kernels were gathered and stored in the
barn. Then came the gleanings. The gleanings are the fruit that was deliberately left in the four corners of the field for
the poor and the wayfaring strangers. The poor were those who had lost their birthright, or lost or sold their inheritance;
and the strangers were those who had come to live in the land, but had no legal rights to the inheritance.
After the gleanings the animals were allowed to go into the fields to graze on the stubble. The stubble is
that which had been cut off and left in the field. After the animals had grazed the farmer would come and burn the field with
When John the Baptist told the Pharisees, "You generation of vipers! Who warned you to flee the wrath to come,"
he was speaking of an agricultural term. That is, when the farmer burns the field, the snakes that have made their holes and
nests in the field are forced out by the intense heat.
We saw the early rain on the day of Pentecost, and in the mighty miracles of the Book of Acts. After the apostolic
age had come to an end the early rain dried up. There were still isolated instances of showers of blessing however, all down
through the church age, or the growing season.
Today, we are entering the period of the latter rain. The latter rain will be a 'double-portion'. Jesus spoke
of this when he said, "I do great works, but even greater works shall you do in my name.' There is coming a time when the
church will do even greater works than Jesus did! This will be the latter rain.
I Kings 18:43-45, Elijah told his servant to go look, and he went and looked, and he saw a cloud the size
of a man's hand. he went back and told the prophet, "I see a cloud the size of a man's hand." And Elijah said, " Go and tell
Ahab, so he doesn't get his chariots stuck in the mud! because there is an abundance of a great rain coming." The hand represented
the handful, the omer, the first fruits. When we see arise in the heavenlies a handful, get ready! _because the latter rain
is going to come!
"Sanctify yourselves, for tomorrow I will do great things in your midst." The Lord is calling us to holiness.
For the latter rain is soon to come upon us! We will see, in these end times, God raise up a group of people, a handful, out
of the church, a remnant that is called in scripture by many names. In the second and third chapters of Revelation, they are
called the overcomers. Many promises are given to them that overcome. The spirit of God is speaking to the entire church,
and to those who have ears to hear, let them hear what He is saying!
What are the first fruits? They are those that have come to maturity first. The farmer knows when he begins
to see his first fruits ripen on the vine, to get ready, because harvest time is soon to follow. First fruits are a sign that
main harvest is shortly at hand.
The main harvest must go to the threshing floor to be purified. "The sons that he loves, he chastens." I Thess.
1:10, tells us, God has not appointed us to the wrath to come. None of God's children will see the wrath of God. The main
harvest will be in the barn long before the farmer ever burns his field. None of God's children will be in the field when
He pours out His wrath. God's children are going to be in the barn when the burning of the field takes place! Hallelujah!!
But we must understand that the tribulation, and the wrath of God are two separate things.
For us to say that we are automatically exempt from the tribulation cannot be justified in scripture. But
rather, Jesus said, "Watch, and pray, that you _may be_ accounted _worthy _to escape_ all these things that shall come to
pass." (Lk. 21:36)
In Revelation, we can read about some people who were accounted worthy. Revelation 3:10, "Because you have
kept the word of my patience, I will keep you from the hour of temptation which shall come upon all the world, to try them
that dwell upon the earth." But to another group of people, in Rev. 3:18, He said, "Except they repent! of their deeds, I
will cast them into great tribulation!"
We must understand the price that is to be paid, on_
our_part_if we are to receive the gold that is refined
by fire. (Rev. 3:18)
"I wish that you wert cold, or hot...for if you are lukewarm,
I will vomit you out of my mouth." (Rev. 3: 15-16)
Love to You