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The Sickle Has Been Thrown

Updated: Feb 3

November 6, 2022—At first there was the Word, and then the Word arrived in flesh. Is it me, or does this sound like the making of a science fiction novel or movie? Unbelievably, it is in an existing book, and not just any book, but the most sold book in the world, The Holy Bible. Composed of sixty-six books and multiple authors “the Word” can be found in John 1:1-5:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

Here is the passage about “the Word” becoming flesh, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14). What exactly is “the Word”? Notice how John 1:1 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Then in verse two it says, “He was in the beginning with God.” Therefore “the Word,” is the promise of salvation, the King of Kings, and the Lord of Lords; “the Word”, is Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Who, being a sacrifice for us, He paid our debts with His blood.

What debt did He pay? You have likely heard that “Jesus Christ died for your sins.” But did you ever ask why Jesus Christ needed to die for your sins? If you have not, do not worry because I am going to explain this.

Why Jesus Paid for Our Sins

To be forgiven of your sins during the time of ancient Judah and Jerusalem, you had to bring a sacrifice (a young bull without blemish) to the priests (Leviticus 1:2, 4:3). According to the Holy Bible, there were specific instructions on how the animal was to be sacrificed (Leviticus 4, and 6:25). There were also instructions for the priests on what they needed to do when the bull was sacrificed (Leviticus 6:26-30).

Why was this necessary? It was a foreshadowing of Jesus Christ. In addition, “almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission” (Hebrews 9:22). Unfortunately for us, we are evil at our hearts. We continually commit sin (unrighteousness), breaking moral laws that were established to keep us from being evil. If you do not believe that at our hearts, we are evil, then look at the original ten commandments that God gave to Moses. When reading these, be honest with yourself and answer how many of these you have broken:

  1. You shall have no other gods before Me.

  2. “You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

  3. “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.

  4. “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore, the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.

  5. “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.

  6. “You shall not murder.

  7. “You shall not commit adultery.

  8. “You shall not steal.

  9. “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

  10. “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.”

(Deuteronomy 5:6-21 and Exodus 20: 3-17).

Beloved with the exception of babies and incredibly young children, each and every one of us has broken committed sin, by breaking one of these commandments. As you know, committing sin was not just once. Sin goes against God like a crime goes against society. When you commit a crime here on earth, you are punished with fines, imprisonment, or other means. When sin was first committed, God gave us the death sentence, “In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for dust you are, and to dust you shall return” (Genesis 3:19).

The Death Sentence

Romans 6:23 says that “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Instead of living forever, our days are numbered. According to the Holy Bible, the average lifespan is 70 years, or “if by reason of strength they are eighty years” (Psalm 90:10). Regardless of how long you may live, you are still going to die one day because of the sins that you have committed.

Now understand this, God is faithful to His words for He is righteous. Everything that God has said and done is therefore truth. He keeps His promises. Numbers 23:19 is a testament of how faithful He is and how He is true to His Word “God is not a man that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?” God promised us death as you saw in Genesis 3:19. Therefore, if in Genesis He said that we will return to dust, then to dust we shall return. God will not turn back on His word. Despite the promise of death, God has also given us the gift of Jesus Christ and Jesus gives us peace.

God’s Covenant and Jesus’s Promise

God gave a covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah (Jeremiah 31:31 and Hebrews 8:7-24). The house of Judah was one of the twelve original tribes of Israel. The covenant promised God’s law to be written in their minds and their hearts:

”But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”

The covenant transcended the Judeans and their descendants to which we get Jesus Christ (Matthew 1:2-3). Here is something interesting, you may not be Israelite through genetics, but you are through the blood of Jesus Christ by faith (Romans 4, and 11).

One question you may have is “How is this covenant being fulfilled even today?” Before Jesus Christ was crucified, He promised the Holy Spirit to all of His disciples which utters to us the things we must do :

If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.

John 14:15-18

Who is the helper? Jesus describes the Holy Spirit as the Helper in verse 26, “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth. Ever felt guilty after committing sin? The guilt you feel is the Holy Spirit in you. In addition to giving us the Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ made a promise of peace to us, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27).

By accepting Jesus Christ as our savior, we receive the Holy Spirit and His peace. This was done when He was crucified. When He was crucified He died because of your sins.

An Important Distinction

Something important to understand is that Jesus Christ died for you on the cross, “our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age” (Galatians 1:3-4). I want to stress that there is a distinction which you may not fully understand yet: Jesus Christ did not just die for your sins, He died for you because of your sins (Isaiah 53:12 and John 3:16).

I can imagine you asking, “If He died for our sins, why do we still commit sins?” As I stated earlier in this article, we commit sins because we are evil. In fact, Jesus Christ said this:

For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”

John 3:17-21

However, through His crucifixion and resurrection, those that believe and repent from their sins are saved, and Jesus will prepare a place for us, “In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” (John 14:2).

The Crucifixion and Resurrection

When Jesus was crucified, His final words were “It is finished” (John 19:30). This meant that our wages (our sin) have been paid. After He died on the cross, a disciple of Jesus known as Joseph of Arimathea went before Pilate (Roman appointed governor of Judea) to ask permission to take Jesus’s body off of the cross. Pilate allowed Joseph to do so. With Nicodemus (a Pharisee and a teacher of Jewish laws) they took down Jesus’s body, and they prepared His body as was custom and placed Him in a tomb (John 19:38-42).

Shortly after Jesus Christ’s body was placed in the tomb, chief priests and Pharisees gathered together, remembering the words of Jesus, “After three days I will rise” (Matthew 12:40 and Matthew 27:63). They went before Pilate and told him about Jesus’s words. They convinced him that Jesus’s disciples would take Jesus’s body away to make Jesus’s statement true.

Here is what they told Pilate, “Therefore command that the tomb be made secure until the third day, lest His disciples come by night and steal Him away, and say to the people, ‘He has risen from the dead.’ So the last deception will be worse than the first.” (Matthew 27:64). Pilate allowed them to have a guard and told them to make the tomb as secure as they knew how to (Matthew 27:65). The tomb’s entrance was sealed shut with a stone (Matthew 27:66).

Three days later after Jesus’s body was placed in the tomb, Mary Magdalene and Mary (the latter being Jesus’s mother) went to the tomb and an earthquake occurred, “for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it.” (Matthew 28:2). The angel of the Lord told Mary Magdalene and Mary that Jesus had risen. The angel also told them to see where He was laid to confirm that His body was no longer there. Instructing Mary Magdalene and Mary to go and tell His disciples that He is risen (Matthew 28:6) the two women ran to tell Jesus Christ’s disciples.

When Jesus rose from His tomb, He visited His disciples. Through prayer, Jesus had chosen twelve original disciples. This number (twelve) represents the twelve tribes of Israel. However, He did not stop there. Jesus Christ is still choosing disciples. That’s right even today, because the sickle has been thrown.

An older metal sickle resting on a chair
A sickle is an agricultural tool typically used for harvesting grains. The sickle is an older tool dating back to the Neolithic Era. Photo credit to Aleksey Oryshchen on Unsplash.

The Sickle Has Been Thrown

Firstly, let us go over what a sickle is. It is a sharp, curved agricultural tool used to harvest grains, and fruits. That is its literal definition, but what about the biblical definition, which tends to be figurative. Revelation 14:14 has a passage of harvesting using a sickle, “And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to Him who sat on the cloud, ‘Thrust in Your sickle and reap, for the time has come for You to reap, for the harvest of the earth is ripe.’” (Revelation 14:15). This occurs again in Revelation 14:18:

And another angel came out from the altar, who had power over fire, and he cried with a loud cry to him who had the sharp sickle, saying, “Thrust in your sharp sickle and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth, for her grapes are fully ripe.”

(Revelation 14:18)

In Joel 3:13, we see another passage containing a sickle for harvesting, and it is similar to the passages in Revelation 14, “Put in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Come, go down; For the winepress is full, the vats overflow— For their wickedness is great.”

In addition, Jesus Christ gave a parable containing a sickle, in the book of Mark where “He” means Jesus Christ:

And He said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground, and should sleep by night and rise by day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he himself does not know how. For the earth yields crops by itself: first the blade, then the head, after that the full grain in the head. But when the grain ripens, immediately he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.”

(Mark 4:26-29)

From these passages, we can determine that the biblical meaning of a sickle and its harvest is the harvesting of people. However, there are two distinct groups that are “harvested.” The group in Revelation 14:15 are worthy of salvation and judgement. In Revelation 14:18 it is an angel that throws his sickle, but these people will face God’s wrath.

Matthew 13:24-30 has a parable that Jesus Christ gave to His disciples which speaks to this:

Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’ But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.”’”

When some of Jesus’s disciples asked Him to explain this parable, Jesus described it to them:

He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one. The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels. Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age. The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!

Matthew 13:37-43

This event is similar to the Israelites that left Egypt thousands of years ago which is believed to have occurred in the 13th Century B.C. At that time, the Egyptian Pharaoh let the Israelites go, but his heart was changed, and he began to pursue them. By using Moses, God parted the sea; the water separated allowing passage to the other side. The Israelites made it, but when Pharaoh and his army went in, the waters closed in around them, destroying them.

The story of the Israelites in Egypt can be found in Genesis chapters 39-50. Their departure from Egypt is recorded in Exodus. In addition, Jude tells us of this and compares it to Jesus’s return, “But I want to remind you, though you once knew this, that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe.” (Jude 1:5) Jude had written this to believers about their common salvation.

With these in mind, I am compelled to tell you that Jesus is calling you and the Holy Spirit is within you, or will be within you soon. How can you get the Holy spirit and the peace of Jesus? By accepting Him as your savior.

Accepting Jesus

Beloved, when Jesus Christ sends the Holy Spirit, will you be included and saved, or will you be condemned and destroyed with non-believers? How do you know if you are saved? Here is how you know; If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Messiah, and you have repented from your sins, then yes you are saved (John 3:16, Acts 2:38). If you have not, you can accept Jesus Christ of Nazareth as your Messiah right now by saying this prayer:

God, I confess that Jesus came in the flesh and blood, paid the price for my sins, died on the cross, rose on the third day, ascended to the heavens, and sent the Holy Spirit to help me understand Your ways. For that, I accept Jesus Christ as my savior and Lord, and I welcome the Holy Spirit in my life. In Jesus’s name I pray, amen!

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