I have long maintained a direct connection between Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43 which contains the parable of the wheat and the tares with the harvest and the vintage of Revelation 14:14-20. I consulted with a few of the prophecy greats of days gone by and found out I’m in pretty good company. Here are some excerpts. Note that at the beginning I cite Nathaniel West and take selected clips out of a book that you will not find anywhere. At the end I have typed up the entire section so you can read his comments in context. For the serious prophecy students, a great exercise would be to look up every single Bible reference that he cites as you read through his insights into scripture.
Nathaniel West from Daniel’s Great Prophecy published in 1898
from the subsection titled The Resurrection of the Holy Dead:
as the Lord’s Coming with His Saints, the Holy Angels, for
His Saints the Holy Living and the Holy Dead – a "Gathering of the
His Elect," universally,, involving first of all, the resurrection of
the holy who sleep in the dust of the earth, then the rapture of
these and the Holy Living ones, and their meeting of the Lord in the
as His coming to reap the holy living, Rev. xiv:14-16…
and the holy dead are waked from their graves…
Our Lord and Paul allude to these expressions in their brilliant
language when speaking of the resurrection and its different degrees
of glory, Matth. xiii:43; I Cor. xv:41.
George Eldon Ladd from A Commentary on the Revelation of John:
The harvest of the earth is a frequent biblical symbol for the final
judgment of men (Jer. 51:33; Hos. 6:11; Mark 4:29; Matt. 13:39).
Usually the idea of harvesting includes both the righteous and the
wicked. In the present context, since the following vision is
concerned with the harvest (vintage) of the wicked, it is difficult
avoid the conclusion that the harvest of the grain has special
reference to the righteous, even though this fact is not stressed.
This is reinforced by the fact that the metaphor of harvesting is
used of the ingathering of men into the Kingdom of God (Matt. 9:37f.;
Luke 10:2; John 4:35-38).
Alexander Reese from The Approaching Advent of Christ:
We are therefore warranted in asserting that the "wheat" in the
parable represents the whole company of Christians won by the Gospel,
and that the "tares" represent the mass of mere professors in
So far, therefore, from the saints’ being raptured to heaven some
years before the judgement of professors, it is here indicated in the
clearest manner that the rooting out of professors and the gathering
of Christians take place at the same crisis. But even this is not
all; not only do we read that tares and wheat are to "grow together
until the harvest," but our Lord in His interpretation states
definitely that "the harvest is the consummation of the age" v. 39,
The age He had in mind was the present evil one, during which Israel
is in unbelief, Jerusalem trodden under foot, Gentile dominion holds
sway, and the saints of God suffer for His name. But this evil age
will have a consummation: Messiah appears in His glory; Israel
repents; the sleeping saints rise; Antichrist is given to the burning
flame, and the Kingdom is established. This is everywhere
the "consummation of the age." Proof of this is found in Matthew
xxiv.3, where we read that the disciples came to our Lord and
asked, "when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign
of /i/thy coming, and of the consummation of the age?"/ (R.V. mg.).
Here the Lord’s Coming in glory is linked with the End of the Age.
Returning now to Matthew xiii.39, it is certain that, when our Lord
says "the harvest is the consummation of the age," He means that the
wheat will be gathered and the tares burned at the time of His Coming
in glory. This obvious truth, however, overthrows the theory that
the saints will be gathered seven or more years before the End of the
WJ Erdman from Notes on the Revelation:
The Harvest and the Vintage cannot be viewed as two aspects of the
judgment on the enemies of God. When the treading of the winepress
is described, there is nothing corresponding to the Harvest. On the
other hand, the very imagery of "the Son of Man on a white cloud,"
sending forth his sickle of angel-reapers, agrees with various
Scriptures concerning the Parousia of Christ for the saints. The
parable of the wheat and tares in the gospel of Matthew and this
Vision mutually interpret each other.
What additional events besides those of the gathering of the tares
and garnering of the wheat belong to this "time of the harvest" must
be learned from other Scriptures. The parable confines itself to the
two. Of these the gathering of the tares comes first. It
accordingly precedes the garnering of the wheat which in other
prophetic language is called the Rapture of the saints to meet the
Lord at his coming. The tares, however, are not burned until after
the garnering of the wheat; the saints are delivered from the wrath
to come; but the deliverance and the wrath are not far apart.
The gathering of the tares and the garnering of the wheat predicted
in the Parable have a remarkable confirmation, both as to the agency
of angels and the order of events in the Visions of the Epitome of
the "end." It is also suggestive that the preaching foretold in this
Epitome is of a character indicating that men have become deniers of
God not only as the God of Redemption, but even of God as the
Creator. A final appeal is made to the primitive and universal and
everlasting revelation of God in "the things that are made."
This may be my favorite from Revelation of John by CR Erdman. The
language he uses pretty much expresses my views.
Here the central section of the Apocalypse, chs.12 to 14, reaches its
climax. It has pictured the powers of evil, embodied in the dragon
and the two beasts, persecuting the Church. Here is the description
of the deliverance of the Church and the destruction of her enemies.
The deliverance is presented under the symbol of a "harvest"; the
destruction is pictured as a "vintage" and a treading of
the "winepress…of the wrath of God."
The harvest is gathered by the returning Christ. Again and again
during the course of the prophecy he has been about to appear. From
the very first his promise has been heard: "I come quickly." Now at
length, when the darkest hour of need has overshadowed the Church, he
is seen, in prophetic vision, "like unto a son of man." He is
sitting on "a white cloud." He has on his head a victor’s crown of
gold. He holds "in his hand a sharp sickle." A voice from the
heavenly sanctuary sounds out the cry, "Send forth thy sickle, and
reap: for the hour to reap is come." This hour, which has been
hidden from all save the Father himself, has now arrived, the hour
for which the Church has been watching and praying, the hour for
which the Church has been made ready even by suffering; for now "the
harvest of the earth is ripe." The figures of speech have been made
familiar to readers of the New Testament by the parables of the
Sower, and of the Wheat and the Tares; and even more definitely by
the preaching of John the Baptist, who predicted a time when
One "mightier" than himself would "gather his wheat into the garner"
but would "burn up" the chaff "with unquenchable fire."
The gathering of the wheat finds its counterpart in this apocalyptic
vision of the harvest. For the burning of the chaff, however,
another striking picture is substituted. This is the vision of the
vintage. There is a delicate distinction in the figures employed.
Christ himself comes to gather his loved ones to himself; but in the
execution of wrath an agent is employed, and angel which comes "out
from the temple which is in heaven," also "having a sharp sickle."
c = 100
l = 50
x = 10
v = 5
i = 1
Here is the entire section from Nathaniel West’s book fully titled, Daniel’s Great Prophecy. The Eastern Question. The Kingdom. I have attempted to keep this in its original format as much as possible. The Bible references are cited with Roman numerals for the chapters in lower case letters. Remember that writing styles were different in the nineteenth century. When citing Psalm 50:1-6, it is displayed as Ps. l:1-6, which can be confusing. The first passage mentioned is the final chapter of Daniel. So the first references in this section are to Daniel 12, then dropping back to Daniel 7 and 9. In those days, italics were available for emphasis, so paying attention to that can clue you in on the author’s intent. So here you go prophecy geeks. Feast your eyes on a portion of this almost extinct prophecy book by a prophecy giant.
(4) The Deliverance. “Thy people shall be delivered,” xii:1, i.e., at the close of the Great Tribulation, xii:7; vii:25-27; ix:27. Here is proof conclusive that the final gathering of living Israel, and the resurrection of Israel’s holy dead, are contemporaneous events at the close of the Great Tribulation, Dan. xii:1-3, and that “our gathering together unto Christ” is at the same time-point of Israel’s Deliverance, viz., at the close of the 70th week. II Thess. ii:1-3. This promise of Deliverance of the “Remnant” is ancient as Moses and runs through both Testaments. Not exempted from trial, or even martyrdom, yet the “Remnant” shall not be destroyed. Sealed of God, kept safe from the power of temptation, delivered out of all their troubles, as were their fathers before them, they shall be overcomers through the blood of the Lamb. “Alas, for the day is great, so great that none is like it; it is the time of Jacob’s trouble but he shall be saved out of it.” Jer. xxx:7. Accounted worthy to escape the licentiousness, drunkenness, surfeiting, cares of this life and snares of the antichristian time, and the judgments to fall on the ungodly, they shall stand, a faultless company, with their Redeemer, on the earthly “Mount Zion,” where He promises to come to them. Isa. lix:20; Rom. xi:25, 26; Rev. xiv:1-5.
The deliverance will be miraculous, (1) by the personal appearing of the Son of Man, first of all in the clouds of heaven Dan. vii:13; (2) in the next place, “His feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives,” and a way of escape for the Jews be provided by earthquake shocks, sundering the mountain, Zech. xiv, 10; (3) by the tripartition of the city previously, its fall of “one-tenth” of it, and the engulfment of “7000 men of name,: the supporters of the Antichrist; Rev. ii:13; (4) by the destruction of the Antichrist and his hosts “outside the city,” Rev. xiv:20; Dan.ix:27; vii:26; xii:7; 2 Thess. ii:8; Rev. xix:11; (5) and, as stated, by the coming of the Lord to “Zion,” the last military station where the Antichrist encamped, Dan. xi:45. It will be an elect deliverance even of “as many as are written in the book,” Dan. xii:1; “the holy, every one written among the living in Jerusalem,” Isa. iv:3; the surviving “We who are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord,” even as in the case of Gentile believers, who have just been caught away, I Thess. iv:17. It will be a spiritual deliverance of Israel new-born and penitent, accepting Christ and trusting for pardon through His blood, Zech. xiii:1; xii:9-14; Ezek. xxxvi:24-29; Acts iii:19-21 (R.V.); Rom. xi:26; Isa. lix:20-21. It will be a political deliverance from subjection to the Gentile Powers, to restoration of long lost sovereignty, and of an absolutely independent kingdom which no sword or diplomacy shall ever wrest from their possession, — a kingdom in which Judah and Israel shall be one and undivided forever, Zech. xii:3; Ezek. xxxvii:22 – an Israelitish kingdom, the centre of Messiah’s kingdom, wide as the world, Luke i:32, 33; i:70-74. It will be a jubilant deliverance, the ransomed of the Lord returning to Zion “with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads,” Isa. xxxv:10. It will be a deliverance, God-glorifying and irreversible. “They shall dwell in the land, even they and their children, forever,” Ezek. xxxvii:27, 28; xxxix:27-29; Dan. ix:24. If the Tribulation is great, the Deliverance is greater still. It gives birth to the first time in history when God’s name is universally “hallowed” by the nations, and profanity expires, – and when the will of God is “done on earth as it is in heaven,” Rev xv:4. Of such importance is Israel for the kingdom of God.
(5) The Resurrection of the Holy Dead. Not only shall living Israel’s election be delivered, but the holy dead be waked to share the joy. Decisive and clear are the words of the angel, “at that Time,” when Israel is delivered, – “many shall awake (literally, be separated) out from among the sleepers in the earth-dust; these (who awake at that time) shall be unto everlasting life, but those (who do not awake at that time) shall be unto shame and everlasting contempt,” xii:2. The “those” include two classes (1) the wicked, long-buried in the earth, (2) the slaughtered wicked, still unburied on the field, “an abhorrence to all flesh,” Isa. lxvi:24; Rev. xix:17-21; Ezek. xxxix:11,17-20. A simultaneous resurrection of all mankind, good and bad, is nowhere taught in the Scriptures. It is the resurrection of the holy, and of Israel’s holy dead that is here predicted, as in Isa. xxvi: 19, and the non-resurrection of the wicked, “at that time,” Isa. xxvi:14. The resurrection here taught is the “First Resurrection,” Rev. xx:3-6; that of the already spiritually raised, John v:24, 25; that of “the just,” Luke xiv:14; the “out-resurrection,” Phil. iii:11; the hour when Old and New Testament saints are together “made perfect” in their communion and in the consummation of their blessedness, both waked from their graves by the voice of the Son of God. Heb. xi:35, 40. No greater epoch has earth ever known, Its time-point is given with the utmost precision in the Scripture. It is the time-point of the Second Advent for the salvation of the righteous and destruction of the wicked, even as at the one time-point Noah and his family entered the Ark, and the ungodly perished in the Flood; and Israel was redeemed when Egypt was whelmed in the sea; and the Church fled to Pella when Jerusalem was destroyed. It is a time-point for both Judgment and Salvation. Asaph call it the “shining” of the Lord, Ps. l:1-6. Isaiah calls it His “Appearing,” lxvi:5, in order to raise the holy dead, deliver Israel, destroy the Antichrist, and bring to victory the kingdom. Five times in the Old Testament this illustrious Parousia of Christ is described as (1) the Coming of the Son of Man in the Clouds of Heaven, Dan. vii:13; (2) of the Conqueror from Bozrah, descending over Edom, Isa. lxiii:1-6; (3) of the Coming of the Lord to Olivet, Zech. xiv:5; (4) and to Zion, Isa. lix:20, and (5) in Clouds for both Judgment and Salvation, Ps. l:1-6; xcvi:13; xcvii:2-8; xcviii:1-9; cx:1-7; lxxii:2, 4, 9-14, 18, 19; cii:13-17. Not less great does it appear in the New Testament, and precisely for the same events, with others added. Ten times again this time-point is fixed at the close of the Great Tribulation, and is described (1) as the Lord’s Coming with His Saints, the Holy Angels, for His Saints the Holy Living and the Holy Dead – a “Gathering of His Elect,” universally, involving first of all, the resurrection of the holy who sleep in the dust of the earth, then the rapture of these and the Holy Living ones, and their meeting of the Lord in the air, Math. xxv:40, the Judgment of the Nations, xxv:31-46, and the welcome to the kingdom; (2) as the time-point for “Our gathering together at Christ,” 2 Thess. ii:1, “in the air,” I Thess. iv:17; (3) as the “thief-time,” Matth. xxiv:43; (4) as the Coming to judge the World-Power, Rev. vi:12-17; (5) as His Coming under the Seventh Trumpet, to vindicate the holy dead by their resurrection, Rev. xi:15-17, 18; (6) as His Coming to reap the holy living, Rev. xiv:14-16; (7) and at the “thief-time” Rev. xvi:15; (8) and after the Sixth Vial, Rev. xvi:12; (9) and to destroy Babylon, Rev. xvi:19; (10) and the Antichrist, Rev. xix:11-21; (11) and to enthrone and reward His Saints, Rev. xx:1-6. So great is this greatest of all time-points in the history of the world, when the Jews are restored, and Gentile politics and power are destroyed, and the holy dead are waked from their graves. From Moses to Malachi, and from Matthew to the Apocalypse by John, the Resurrection of the Sleeping Saints is placed at no other epoch than the close of the “Tribulation Great,” and of the “Warfare Great.”
The idea, therefore, of the Secret Parousia for the resurrection of the holy dead, prior to the appearing of the Son of Man in the clouds of heaven at the close of the tribulation, is contrary to the Word of God. To this time-point of the revelation of Christ in His glory, to raise the dead, deliver Israel, and destroy the Antichrist, the hope of both Old and New Testament saints, was directed. Matth. xxiv:29-31, 40-44; 2 Thess. i:6-10; ii:1-8; 1 Thess. iv:14-17; Rev. xi:17; xiv:13-20; xix:11-21; xx:1-6; xvi:15; Dan. xii:1-3; Matth. xiii:40. In view of that hope, Old Testament martyrs, accounting themselves dead even before the tyrant had struck them, refused to “accept deliverance” at the cost of foreswearing their faith. The New Testament martyrs did the same. The “better thing” they grasped by faith was the “better resurrection,” when both, washed in the blood of Christ, Heb. ix: 15, should together be perfected, body and soul, in the likeness of Christ, at His second coming, and satisfied, Ps. xvii:15; l:3-6; Dan. xii:1-3; Matth. xxiii:40; xxiv:29-31. One in Christ, and one with each other, both saved in the same way. God foresaw and provided the plan concerning us, “that they apart from us, should not be made perfect.” Heb. xi:35, 40. Moses and Paul, Isaiah and John, are one in Christ.
(6) The Splendor of the Risen Saints. They that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament, and they that have turned the many to righteousness, as the stars forever and ever.” Xii:3. The angel employs two words nowhere else found in the Old Testament, (1) Hayi Olam, life everlasting, i.e.: to die no more, and (2) Hizhir, shall shine, from Zohar, splendor. This last one is beautifully rendered by the German word Himmelglanz, the gleam of Heaven. Moses describes the firmament as a “sapphire pavement” beneath the feet of the God of Israel, “the body of heaven in its clearness,” Exodus xxxiv:10, and Elihu compares it to a “molten Mirror,” shining with undimmed resplendency. Job xxxvii:18. Ezekiel describes it as “an appearance of brightness as the look of the brightness of burnished gold,” Ezek. viii:2. To the golden sheen the angel adds the incandescent glory of the “stars,” literally of the “glitterers.” Our Lord and Paul allude to these expressions in their brilliant language when speaking of the resurrection and its different degrees of glory, Matth. xiii:43: 1 Cor. xv:41. An instance of the reality, we have in the Transfiguration of the Lord in the “holy mount,” when His face did shine as the Sun, and His raiment was white as the light,” Matth. xvii:21, “white as snow and glistering,” Mark ix:3; Luke ix:30. What the angel teaches is that the wise shall shine like the crystal sheen of a sunlit firmament, and the converters of the many to righteousness shall glow with the glitter of the stars in a cloudless canopy. Still more, their effulgence shall be eternal – a glory unobscured forever, xii:3. This their Zohar. Degrees of glory there will be, even as the three in Orion’s belt excel in magnitude and glory the lesser stars of the constellation. The transfiguration of the living will equal that of the dead. The Lord extends the splendor to all the “righteous.” Matth. xiii:40. Allusion is here doubtless to the Maccabean teachers of the law, in xi:33-35, but the prophecy includes the whole sacramental host of God’s elect, who share the glory ready to be revealed. All who are instrumental in the salvation of the many will be clothed with a surpassing brightness. Eminent, the martyrs of Jesus will shine, saints who have not deemed as dear to them their lives, for Jesus’ sake. Rev. xx:4; xiv:13; 2 Thess. i:5; Heb. xi:35-39; Rev. xii:11; 2 Tim. iv:6-8. Such the “out-resurrection.” Phil. iii:11. If a splendor so great and enduring, for the body alone – even to be glorified like Christ, whose brightness Paul tells us eclipsed the noonday sun – is the reward of a Tribulation so brief, then indeed the sorest afflictions are but as the puncture of a pin, and the longest but as a moment – not worthy to be compared with the “far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” Rom. viii:18. Earth never wore a diadem so royal as that composed of risen saints. The eloquence of all antiquity, or modern times, has furnished no description equal to this conclusion of the prophecy; a scene so imposing, majestic and impressive; so sanctifying and sublime; so solemn and subduing! We have seen the rainbow braided on the brow of the dying storm, but here a glory-crown of saints, the jeweled diadem of God, is placed upon the head of the dark Tribulation itself – a vision that can never vanish from the soul of the believer. How quick the transit from the cross to the crown, from shame to honor, from suffering to glory! The end of the “Warfare Great” is the outburst of an illumination which celebrates a victory for the Kingdom of God that is everlasting. Time cannot dim its brightness. Eternity will only enhance its greatness.
Hopefully you can see why Nathaniel West is my hero. While he holds to the classic Post-Trib view, much of what he has to say agrees with PreWrath. His Historical PreMillennial view is the foundation for my eschatology. Maybe if you all are lucky, I’ll type up something else from this all but forgotten work of yesteryear some other time.
Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13
-The Orange Mailman