If the Church of God fellowships today are the best for which we can hope, then we must arrive at grave conclusions. This means that we can only hope for results that are subpar and far below the Bible line. If we are honest, then we must realize that the current production among those who claim to be God’s exclusive people is minimal. Furthermore, with all that the False Church of God claims to possess, it is embarrassing that she is so blind. It is claimed that faith produces healing, yet when healings do not come, and people die, we claim it must have been the will of God. It is claimed that the end of time is quite near, and souls must get saved because time is about to expire. However, there is little outreach, few volunteers for the prison and shelter ministries, and most people exhibit nothing that resembles a soul-burden. It is claimed that the Church of God will take the gospel all over the world, yet there is a significant shortage in advancing ministers, missionaries, evangelists, and teachers who may carry on the work. The fellowships today are dead, apostate, and irrecoverable and must be labeled accordingly. We are in the age of Church of God Sectarianism posing under the name fellowships or groups. Each of these groups claims to have so much, yet they have so precious little.
In order to see the glory of the latter house, it is necessary to turn our eyes to the blessed old Bible. The call to the heights of Mount Zion is coming in brilliant rays of light. The fourteenth chapter of Revelation clearly shows two harvests in the closing periods of time. In verse fourteen, the cry from the angel was for the sharp sickle to be thrust because the harvest of the earth is ripe. Down in the hills of Babylon, many precious souls were trapped under the bondage of man-made creeds and doctrines unable to enjoy the freedom of worshipping in the Spirit. But glory to God, the time came for the reaping of the earth. The earth is a reference to Protestantism, and God was sending forth his laborers into the harvest to gather his people into the one fold. During this time, Brother D.S. Warner and his contemporaries sounded the message, “Come out of her,” and countless children of God took their stand for the one church. Sadly, the time came when another angel came who had the sharp sickle but refused to reap the earth and call people out of Babylon (Rev 14:17). As a result, while they still had their tool, the message lost its success and effectiveness. The movement that started out crying against Babylon became Babylon and fell into the boundless depths of apostasy.
As the leading proponents of the come-out message began to opt for a more fashionable message, there were many who attempted to assuage the tides of apostasy. Brethren through the 1930s and on took stands against the apostate Church of God and were undoubtedly blessed of God. The progression of time also brought with it the resurfacing of heretical doctrines like one-cleansing and the church in the wilderness. Yet through all of these shifts and turns, many godly men resisted the forces of compromise and apostasy and stood on the truths of God’s eternal word. While there is much credit to give to these holy men of God, the effectiveness and success of the sixth seal message were never recaptured in their fullness. The rise of various movements has resulted in many Church of God camps splitting in a recurring cycle as the clouds of confusion grow thicker and the divisions along party lines more pronounced. Sadly, the Church of God in each of these groups resembles a Protestant sect (we call them fellowships now) rather than what the Word of God details as the Church of God. The time for diplomacy and politics is over, and the era of labeling these man-made, man-organized, and man-maintained fellowships has begun.
Thankfully, the fourteenth chapter of Revelation sheds light on where we stand. In the fifteenth verse, we see an angel crying out for the thrusting of the sharp sickle and a harvest. In the seventeenth verse, we see an angel with a sharp sickle but no harvest. Consequently, the angel with the sharp sickle but no results describes the impoverished fellowships of today. They have the tools right in their hand, they glory in having possession of doctrinal truth, and many will wave their sharp sickle around like they are really engaged in work for God; however, there is no harvest - no production. While this is a grievous situation, the fourteenth chapter of Revelation does not end with one harvest.
There are a few things to note from these verses in chapter fourteen. One: in verse fourteen, the sickle is in Christ’s hands, and the cry is for the sickle to be thrust into the earth. When people are crying for a message with thrust, they are crying for a message with power. Two: the powerful message had an effect when the sickle was put into the earth - there was a harvest. Three: reaping a harvest from the earth is a picture of reaping souls out of the ranks of Babylon. God’s people were called out of Babylonian confusion. The earth is a picture of Protestantism, and many of God’s people were trapped in Protestant denominations where an experience of holiness could be found but not the full light of the gospel. This harvest gathered God’s people into one fold. The first harvest came to an end when the sharp sickle lost its effectiveness and an apostasy ensued. The fourth point is that the angel in verse seventeen had a sharp sickle but no harvest. The apostasy at the end of the sixth seal has left the church in another Protestant era - Church of God Sectarianism.
As we progress through this portion of Revelation fourteen, we see a picture that is most comforting and encouraging. Verse eighteen shows that “another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe.” What a similar picture to what is pictured in verse fifteen when the angel cried loudly, “Thrust in thy sickle, and reap.” Here is the evidence of a second harvest, and so clearly do the times demand another. Also, the purpose of the sharp sickle in verse eighteen was to gather the clusters of the vine of the earth because the grapes are fully ripe. Dear reader, there is almost no possibility of anyone obtaining the experience of Bible holiness in rank Babylon today. However, there is a place where people have found enough truth to obtain an experience of justification and sanctification - the Church of God fellowships/sects of the present time have some fully ripe grapes that must sever their ties. Unfortunately, these fellowships are merely sects full of the taints of Protestantism. These fellowships do not have enough power to bring precious souls to the fulness that God has for his people. The grapes must be brought to the winepress and squeezed into juice so that they can flow into Mt. Zion. Praise God, the grapes are fully ripe and must be harvested in this evening time dispensation!
The glorious harvest transpires in verse nineteen when the angel thrusts in his sickle into the earth to gather the vine of the earth. A sickle is a tool that is used for severing and separating. We are praying earnestly for God to give his ministry the sickle that will sever and separate from the earthen systems of men. Surely, the age of Church of God Protestantism must be decried as Babylon and may we pray for God to send laborers into the harvest. Precious souls must not be harvested to build up another fellowship or sect, but they must be cast “into the great winepress of the wrath of God.” The wrath of God is representative of the judgments of God. The message must do more than put judgment on these false systems of men and sever and separate souls. But the message must put the grapes to use. It would be pointless to harvest grapes and do nothing with them. They need to be taken to the winepress and put to use.
The trodding of the grapes in verse twenty is a picture of the trampling of grapes in the Old Testament. According to Dr. William Barclay, a Scottish scholar, in ancient Palestine, the winepress had an upper and lower trough that was connected by a channel. The grapes would be placed in the upper portion, which was only on a slightly higher level. The grapes were then trampled with the feet, and so the juice was pressed out. God is looking for a ministry that is able to do lay down the judgments of God and do some treading. The bible speaks of the ministry as doing such a task. I Timothy 5:18 says, “Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn.” Romans 10 says “How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel.” Finally, Matthew 13:49 shows another picture of the assignment for the end-time ministry, “So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just.” Pray for the ministry of this time who must do the severing by receiving a powerful message from God that has some thrust. As precious souls are severed and separated from the ranks of the False Church of God and are able to sit under a ministry who will preach the judgments of God, the Church of God will begin to flow together as she is intended to do. Isaiah 2:2 gives a beautiful picture of such an occurrence, “And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.” Glory be to God!
The glory of the latter house is being revealed but yet to be experienced. The reader is renouncing all the mingled hills of Babylon - including the False Church of God. At whatever the cost to reputation and popularity, the truth must be loosed on these devilish systems of religion who are Church of God imposters. Enough with the political propositions and the tactics of fear that cause people to not question their ministers and give them unbridled control. Our allegiance must be only to God’s word and his Spirit, and wherever those two are not being followed in precise detail, there is a dry and apostate Church of God. Dear reader, flee the ruins of Babylon while God is revealing the truths of his Word. The voice of the final trumpet is beginning to sound, and it is time to hearken to the final message before those who cling to the rubble are finally lost. The second harvest will be wrought under great opposition but shall be filled with great glory. The glory of God will fill the latter house.