14 And [kai] I looked, [eido] and [kai] behold [idou] a white [leukos] cloud, [nephele] and [kai] upon [epi] the cloud [nephele] one sat
[kathemai] like [homoios] unto the Son [huios] of
man, [anthropos] having [echo] on [epi] his [autos] head [kephale] a golden [chruseos] crown, [stephanos] and [kai] in [en] his [autos] hand [cheir] a sharp [oxus] sickle. [drepanon] KJV-Interlinear
14 And I
looked, and behold, a white cloud, and sitting on the cloud was one like a son
of man, having a golden crown on His head, and a sharp sickle in His hand. NASB
The remainder of this chapter, describes two distinct and different harvests. One for believers, and one for unbelievers.
In the first harvest, the Lord will do the harvesting. In the second harvest, in the verses to come, an angel will do the harvesting.
The final harvest will occur at the Second Advent, and it will be the Lord again who will do the final harvesting in the final judgment of the Tribulation.
But first the great harvest, the greatest harvest in all of human history, which essentially will accompany the greatest violence in all of human history.
The Tribulation is known for all of its surreal and extraordinary events. Events that would boggle the minds of anyone who had lived in history prior to the Tribulation.
With the worlds largest population, with the worlds most advanced technological state, with everything seemingly going for the world, the human race will, in just seven years, come very close to annihilating its self to extinction.
God will evangelize the entire world. Satan will rally most of the population of the world, aligning them first against the Jews, next against the Christians, and finally nation against nation, and humanity against itself in the final Armageddon battle.
The white cloud symbolizes glory and majesty, Rev. 1:7; Matt 17:5; 24:30; 26:64; Acts 1:9. The one who sits is Jesus Christ, the only person deserving of glory and majesty. The one who controls history. The one who gives life and takes it away.
The Son of Man, Dan 7:13, speaks of the Son of God in his incarnate state, as human and God in one person, the only unique person in the universe, Matt 8:20; 9:6; 24:27,30; Mark 2:10,28; 8:31; 9:9; Luke 6:22; 7:34; 9:22; 12:8; John 5:27; 6:27,62; 8:28, Phil 2:7-8.
On His head is a golden crown, but not the crown, 'diadema,' of royalty or a king, but the crown, 'stephanos,' of a victor in a competition, the victor in a battle. And in the battle against Satan and Satan's forces, Jesus Christ will prove to be the victor in all respects.
It is Satan's objective to destroy all that belongs to God. Satan will fail, although he will lead history's most ruthless genocide ever.
In his hand is a sickle, 'drepanon.'
A sickle is a long handled tool with an 'L' shape and a long blade on the far end, used to swing widely using two hands, to cut grain stalks when they are ready for harvest.
Now two harvests are being mentioned in these last several verses. The grain harvest is mentioned first and then the grape harvest is mentioned.
In the grain harvest, the sickle is used properly (believers) and is the right tool for the job. But later when we get to the grape harvest. The sickle is not the correct tool for harvesting grapes off a vine. In the latter case, the harvest is used for cleaning out of the grape vines (unbelievers) altogether, to make room for new and better vines.
With the first half of the tribulation essentially over, the power of Satan will turn to the destruction of all Jews and Christians. And thus with his government policies, with his mandate for all to worship the anti-christ, that will be a green light for anyone and everyone to take advantage of all believers to the point of extreme violence.
Evil will kill believers, but God will use His sickle, symbolically, to collect all the good grain, all believers as they die, and bring them into heaven.
The numbers will be staggering. That means that worldwide violence will be beyond imagination.
Despite the horrors and extreme temptation to turn to the anti-christ, huge numbers of people will actually believe in Christ, and then go to their death at the hands of evil people.
Oddly enough, at the beginning of the Tribulation everyone was an unbeliever and could care less about God, or Christ or anything religious. But in less than three to seven years, millions and perhaps billions of people will turn to Christ in the midst of the greatest period of violence in all of human history.