Aren't the gathering of "elect believers" in Matthew 24:31 and the harvesting of "ripe grapes" in Revelation 14:16 the same event?

Email Received:

I believe that Matthew 24:31 and Revelation 14:15 are parallel passages. In Matthew 24:30,31, Jesus said that the Son of Man will be coming on the CLOUDS of the sky, with power and great glory, and HE WILL SEND His angels to gather His elect believers. In Revelation 14:16, John showed that the Son of Man, Jesus, sitting on a CLOUD, will swing his sickle over the earth and the earth will be harvested. I believe the SICKLE that Jesus swings is symbolic of the fact that He will cause the harvest by ordering His angels to harvest the earth. Why do you not believe that they are the same event?

Ted's Response:

Matthew 24:31 says that Jesus will command His angels to gather the elect, whereas Revelation 14:15,16 says that an angel from heaven will tell the Son of Man to swing His sickle to gather a harvest. Furthermore, Revelation 14:17 says that an angel, other than the Son of Man, will have another sickle. According to 14:18,19, that angel will be commanded by yet a third angel to swing his sickle and gather the clusters of evil "grapes" to be thrown into the winepress of God's wrath.

In Revelation 14:15-19, two sickles are being swung. In both cases, angels (not the Son of Man, Jesus) will tell those with the two sickles (Jesus and another angel) to use them in two different harvests: the first for "stragglers" saved very late in the 70th Week, and the second for unsaved nonbelievers. These latter unbelieving rebels, even after countless obvious and unmistakable signs and warnings, will have refused God's last chance to acknowledge His Lordship and, thus, to be saved.

There is a clear distinction between the swinging of one sickle, specifically by Jesus (not by many angels), and the swinging of a second sickle, specifically by one single angel. Thus, it is a huge stretch to make the nebulous assumption (ascribing it to mere "symbolism") that, in Revelation 14:16, Jesus will be commanding His angels to gather the elect, which is the case in Matthew 24:31.

Also, Revelation 6:12,13 and Matthew 24:29 are parallel passages. In both places, signs are described showing major changes in the appearances of the sun, moon and stars. These signs will take place immediately after the opening of the Sixth Seal, at which time Jesus will appear in the sky. The nations of the world will see "the face of Him who sits on the throne" (Revelation 6:16), who is the Son of Man appearing and coming on the clouds of the sky (Matthew 24:30).

At that time, He will "send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other" (Matthew 24:31) at the main Rapture event. The "great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language" (Revelation 7:9), will be all of the individuals who have been caught up into heaven. They will have been removed from earth just prior to the beginning of God's wrath and vengeance upon the earth; the latter will commence with the opening of the Seventh Seal (Revelation 8:1).

Considering all of these things, I am convinced that Matthew 24:31 (the primary Pre-wrath Rapture of multitudes of people) and Revelation 14:16 (a secondary Post-tribulation Rapture of a smaller number of people) are two different events, separated probably by about a year in time: the day of vengeance. Most likely, this latter period of time will be the seventh year of the 70th Week. More information can be found here: What is the difference between the Pre-wrath Rapture view and the Post-tribulation Rapture view?

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