14 Then I looked, and I saw a white cloud. A person who was like a son of man sat on the cloud. He wore a gold crown on his head. In his hand, he held a sharp tool that he would use to gather the harvest. v15 Then another *angel came out of the *temple in heaven. He called in a loud voice to him who sat on the cloud, ‘Start to cut with your sharp tool. The time to gather the harvest has come. The harvest of the earth is ripe.’ v16 So, he who sat upon the cloud swung his sharp tool over the earth. He gathered the harvest of the earth.
v17 Then another *angel came out of the *temple, which is in heaven. He also had a sharp tool for the harvest. v18 Then a different *angel, the one who has power over fire, came from the *altar. He called with a loud voice to the *angel with the sharp tool. ‘Use your sharp tool. Gather the *grapes from the bushes on the earth because the *grapes are ripe.’ v19 The *angel swung his sharp tool over the earth and gathered its *grapes. He threw them into the place where God squeezed them in his great anger. v20 This place was outside the city. Blood flowed from the *grapes. The blood was about 5 feet (1.5 metres) deep and it flowed for about 200 miles (320 kilometres).
Verse 14 After the three *angels had gone, John saw a white cloud. A person sat on the cloud. He was like a son of man. The phrase ‘like a son of man’ means that this was Christ (Revelation 1:13; Daniel 7:13).
Christ wore a gold crown on his head. This showed that he had overcome his enemies. He had the power to do what he came to do. Like someone who harvests crops, he had a sharp tool in his hand. This means that Christ will be the judge of all people.
Verses 15-16 An *angel came out from the *temple in heaven. God sent him with a message to the Son of Man. The *angel said with a loud voice, ‘The time has come. The harvest of the earth is ripe and ready. Go and gather it.’
This message meant that the time of the end had come. The *Lord would rescue his own people. But he would punish the rest of the people.
The evil deeds of the people on the earth could not grow worse. The *Lord had to deal with it. So, Christ gathered the wicked people as someone harvests a crop. The account of this event is in chapters 19 to 20.
Verses 17-18 God sent two more *angels. They came from the *temple and the *altar. The first one had a sharp tool for the harvest. The other one had command over the fire.
Fire destroys what remains after the harvest. God sent the *angels to punish the people on the earth.
The *angel of fire shouted to the other *angel. He told him to use his sharp tool. The *grapes were ripe. They were ready for harvest.
The *grapes meant the evil people whom the *Lord would punish. They had refused Christ and they followed *Antichrist.
Verses 19-20 When people make wine, they put the ripe *grapes in large buckets. Then they step on the *grapes until all the juice comes out. They use the juice to make the wine that they drink.
The *angel with his sharp tool harvested the *grapes of the whole earth. He threw them into a large bucket. Then God squeezed the *grapes as men step on natural *grapes. But these *grapes meant the people with whom God was angry. So, in fact, John was describing the deaths of these people. This is why John saw blood flow from the *grapes instead of juice.
This was an awful thing. John tried to show us how terrible it was. A deep river of blood flowed from the people. It was about five feet deep and flowed for 200 miles. God was very angry. He punished and he killed all those wicked people.
It was outside the city where Jesus died. God punished this vast crowd of people outside the city. That city was Jerusalem.