It is Harvest Time…
Time To Bring The Fruit Into The Garner
And Have It Ready For The Husband
Of The House
In the beginning of this article I would like to use an old familiar Scripture that has been used over and over again. It has been used for the stimulation of Christian work down through the centuries, but of rightly dividing this Scripture I cannot recall of ever hearing anyone placing it where it belongs. First, I will quote it, 'Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. St. John 4:35'
Since Jesus has used the seasons to describe the harvest and that he taught in parables, let us use these seasons to see what they had to do with the harvest. When Jesus came--He set up a new field, an advanced light of which made the Scribes and Pharisees' harvest to cease. They were not permitted to reap the harvest and neither was John, the Baptist, able to reap this harvest; however, he, John, the Baptist, reaped his own harvest and at the close of his harvest, the fields became ripe for the advanced light to the Authority. This is the way the harvest becomes ripe! It is only ripe for those who have the message of the House and Day in which a harvest is given.
In reading the Apostle Paul's statement in Ephesians 3:8-9, we again, find the advanced light of The Church in the Early Church. The reason the Early Church harvest did not cease at that time was because they accepted that advanced light, but in 325 A.D., the Early Church ceased to have a harvest. Since that day, various groups have arisen with an advanced light and they have had somewhat of a harvest, but when they ceased to walk in the light--their harvest ended. It is true they grew and got big, but not from the standpoint that they are reaping the harvest. This has happened with many organizations including The Church of God of the last days. In 1922, the harvest given to the Church was over as far as that particular organization was concerned, then the harvest became white for harvest to the group who had reformed themselves. Then in 1957, the harvest of The Church of God of Prophecy ended as far as a church harvest. Yet, they may grow and get big, but the harvest fields have become white for those who conformed themselves in a greater and advanced light. If it were not that way, why did the Lord say these words and I quote, 'Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest. Matthew 9:37-38."
In considering our harvest of The Church of God and using this particular Scripture and the words of Jesus, we can truly say that the harvest is ripe and our laborers are few. When there are hundreds of doors open in fields that are waiting for this great advanced light of ours, then we can truthfully say our laborers are few. We, at this present time, could use several hundreds of ministers, that is, the right kind of minister for this harvest and by the time we had this grain cut there would be many more fields ready--pleading and begging for us to come.
When Jesus said, in regard to the reapers, He had sent them forth to reap upon that which they bestowed no labor, this would indicate that there had been much sowing done but no reaping. And so it is today, the world has been sowed down, but there needs to be a harvest to bring the grain into the garner.
I think most religious people would not dispute the fact that Jesus is coming back after a Church, but most people cannot see a Church in a visible governing body; when, if they would analyze the framework of the Church, they could very well see that all denominations do not make up this Church. When a person can understand that the Early Church had government, overseers, leaders of apostleship and a Chief man, it seems to me that he would have to confess that this Church would be one out of a great number of organizations existing in the world. To know this Church one would have to consider its framework, its type of government which is Theocratic and the organization in exact manner of the one Jesus set-up while on earth. I would like to use a Scripture in climaxing this that would point out this fact that there is a Church which is different from all other denominations, and I quote, "And the Spirit and the Bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. Revelation 22:17"
Now this Scripture points out this two fold mission of the Spirit and of the Bride. The Church has a voice and the Spirit 'spiritually' has a voice. The Church is a visible body and the Spirit is a spiritual being, and all denominations could not be this body for there are too many contrary beliefs. It could never be made perfect without a central government to govern the organized body in the world. So, the great harvest of our day is given to the latter day church working in conjunction with the Spirit. There is a difference in the harvest of the Church and the harvest of the world. According to the Scriptures in Revelation 14:15, when Jesus comes, He will harvest the grain of The Church and The Kingdom of which the Kingdom brings in all the saints of the earth, but does not make up the Church--without spot, wrinkle or blemish. The Church will be a special group without spot, wrinkle or blemish who have made themselves ready.
Now if men are going to use these Scriptures for general Christian use, then why is there such an abundance of ministers and leaders in various organizations who cannot find places for half or 70 percent of their ministers. This is an evident fact that their harvest is over. The purpose in Jesus asking prayer for the Lord to send ministers into the harvest was that He was speaking in regard to that particular harvest of which the fields had just become white to harvest. These Scriptures are to be used in the season and time of the ripe harvest of the day.
So the harvest is ripe! Let us pray that God will give us laborers who will work in the fields of this great move of the Last Days.
Article Written By: The Late Grady R. Kent, St. John II, Chief Bishop of The Church of God, 1957-1964. This sermon was taken from The Vision Speaks, Volume 3 : Number 10 : March 1961.
[All grammatical and typographical errors have been corrected except for direct quotations from the Author. Thought content of said article has not been changed.