Chapter 3 – The Harvest 

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“The harvest is a conclusion of a system of things, and the reapers are angels.”

– Jesus Christ –

fields ripe fpr harvest2With or without the seven-times chronology, Jehovah’s Witnesses are absolutely convinced that the time of the end and the foretold concluding harvest commenced in 1914. However, this chapter more closely examines some dearly held erroneous assumptions and the implications of a future harvest period. What is the harvest? 

Jesus likened the Christian ministry to a harvest. At Matthew 9:36-38, Jesus spoke of the potential for ingathering great numbers of persons and the need for field workers, saying: “Yes, the harvest is great, but the workers are few. Therefore, beg the Master of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest.” According to Jesus’ illustration, the harvest was commencing back then. 

However, in the 13th chapter of Matthew Jesus spoke of another harvest, one that would take place during the conclusion of the system. Specifically, Jesus stated: “The harvest is a conclusion of a system of things, and the reapers are angels.” So, it evident that Jesus employed the illustration of the harvest in a general way, to illustrate the work Christian ministers would do, but he also used the analogy in a very specific way to illustrate what would occur during the concluding judgment. The two illustrations differ in a very significant way: in the final harvest the reapers are angels, not Christian ministers. 

Jehovah’s Witnesses, nonetheless, persist in believing that the angelic harvesters have already been dispatched into the field. That is in keeping with the Watchtower’s teaching that the scripturally delineated period of the conclusion of the system began in 1914. That is not to say that there is not abundant evidence that angels do oversee and direct Christian ministers; however, the question is whether or not the actual concluding harvest is already underway. Put another way, might the evangelizing work of Jehovah’s Witnesses more readily compare to the harvesting work the first century Christian disciples engaged in—as opposed to the concluding harvest? There are compelling reasons for believing that to be the case since many aspects of Jesus’ parable are sim