Harvest of the Earth is the Rapture
Many scholars believe that the Harvest of the Earth in Revelation 14 is the Rapture of the Church.
Revelation 14:14-16, NIV
I looked, and there before me was a white cloud, and seated on the
cloud was one like a son of man with a crown of gold on his head and a
sharp sickle in his hand. Then another angel came out of the temple
and called in a loud voice to him who was sitting on the cloud, “Take
your sickle and reap, because the time to reap has come, for the
harvest of the earth is ripe.” So he who was seated on the cloud swung
his sickle over the earth, and the earth was harvested.
From The People's New Testament (1891) by B. W. Johnson
14:14 Upon the cloud one sat like the Son of Man. Jesus has himself
said that the Son of man shall be seen coming upon the clouds of
heaven (Mt 24:30). John here sees the Son of Man sitting upon a white
cloud. The Savior said that his coming shall be with great power and
glory (Mt 24:30). John now sees upon the head of the Son of man a
golden crown. The Savior said that he will send his angels to gather
the elect (Mt 24:31). John hears an angel bid him who sat upon the
cloud, to reap the earth, for its harvest was ripe.
14:15 Thrust in thy sickle, and reap. There is gathered first the
ripened harvest of the elect of God. It is an angel that came out of
the temple of God as a messenger of God, carrying to the Son the
Father's command to gather the elect from the four corners of the
earth. Then a longing, waiting Church, loving the appearing of the Son
of man (2Ti 4:8), shall first be gathered into the heavenly garner.
The ripe sheaves are gathered.
14:16 And the earth was reaped. The harvest of souls is ended forever.
But those who are upon the earth shall not be taken before them that
are asleep (1Th 4:15). At the voice of the archangel the dead shall
wake from their long sleep in the embrace of earth. Death shall be
swallowed up in victory (1Co 15:54). See also Re 14:13.
The sample pictures will give a better idea of how it would look like.
Important points from Apostle John's vision:
The Son of man represents Jesus Christ
“You have said so,” Jesus replied. “But I say to all of you: From now
on you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty
One and coming on the clouds of heaven.” (Matthew 26:64, NIV)
Jesus was sitting on the cloud: Jesus did not set his foot on the earth but was sitting on the cloud and swung his sickle over the earth. This would indicate that Jesus did not come to judge the earth(Second Coming) but only to take away the believers (Rapture) to meet with Jesus on the clouds. Only those who are harvested will witness this.
Jesus wore only one crown: This would mean that Jesus was not in all his glory. Compare this with
Revelation 19:12 where the rider on the white horse (Jesus) wore many crowns, which would mean "with all his glory". Hence, the harvest and the rider on the white horse are two different events. This would mean that the Rapture(Harvest) comes first and then the Second Coming.
The sequence of events would be
- The Anti-Christ (Revelation 13)
- The 144,000 Israelites (Revelation 14:1-5)
- The Harvest or Rapture (Revelation 14:14-16)
- The wrath of God (Revelation 15,16)
- The fall of Babylon (Revelation 17,18)
- The Second Coming (Revelation 19)
- The Millennium (Revelation 20:1-6)
- The Judgement Day (Revelation 20:7-15)
- The New Earth (Revelation 21)