When people typically talk about the harvest they are usually talking about people who are not saved who are, as they say, “ripe” for the picking. But that is not correct. Let’s not mix up two different kinds of harvests that the Bible speaks about, because that is what people normally do.
There is a harvest that the Bible speaks about which is God’s elect who need to be saved and will be reaped by Jesus at the end of the age.
Matthew 9:38 (NKJV)
Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest."
When we say, “Harvest in us” we are not talking about the kind of harvest in Matthew 9. This harvest in Matthew 9 is speaking about people who need to be saved and will be reaped by Jesus (not us) at the end of the age. When the Bible talks about reaping people or when the Bible calls people “a harvest”, that harvest is not being reaped by us. Jesus will reap that harvest at the end of the age.
Revelation 14:14-16 (NKJV)
Then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and on the cloud sat One like the Son of Man, having on His head a golden crown, and in His hand a sharp sickle… So He who sat on the cloud thrust in His sickle on the earth, and the earth was reaped.
After Jesus reaps His “end-time harvest” then the angels will reap their harvest of the unsaved, who they will set apart for judgment (Revelation 14:17-20).
Matthew 13:39 (NKJV)
…the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels…
Reading Matthew 13 in it’s entirety will give you a much better picture of what we are saying, but this is the truth of it. There is no end-time harvest of people that we need to reap. We are not the reapers of people. But there is a different kind of harvest that the Bible talks about that has been designated for us to reap!
The harvest that we have been chosen to reap is the harvest of the Holy Spirit! That may sound odd but it’s true. No, we are not reaping people. We are reaping from the Holy Spirit in us! And we will take the time to prove this to you from the Bible.
It all starts with Jesus at the well of Jacob in Samaria. Remember that account? When Jesus meets the Samaritan woman by the well. Well, (no pun intended) this is a very important account. Look at this closely as Jesus spoke to the woman.
John 4:14 (NKJV)
whoever DRINKS of the water that I shall give him [the holy spirit - John 7:38-39] will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him WILL BECOME in him a fountain of water SPRINGING UP into everlasting life."
Let’s make a few points with this. First, notice how Jesus said that you need to drink of this water (the Holy Spirit) first! And THEN -- after you drink of the Holy Spirit – THEN He would become a fountain of water in you, springing up unto (resulting in) everlasting life!
When we first receive the Holy Spirit, that’s what Jesus is calling “drinking the Holy Spirit.” That’s what happens first. First you drink IN the Holy Spirit, but THEN Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would SPRING UP from inside of you like a fountain, giving you everlasting life.
This is how it works. The Holy Spirit is put INSIDE of you first, but then, once He’s inside of you, He can now spring UP from within you and give to you of His everlasting life.
In fact (this will be important) the Bible calls this “sowing!” When Jesus puts His fullness inside of you the Bible calls that Jesus “sowing” His spirit inside of you (Hosea 2:23). And what Jesus sows in you SPRINGS UP (Isaiah 61:11). We are often called God’s garden for this reason (SS 4:12).
God has already caused us to drink IN the Spirit. Now the Holy Spirit, who is in you, is springing UP and feeding you with His everlasting life!
So let’s break this down: Jesus is the one that sows His spirit into us. Then the Holy Spirit springs up out of us. And He produces everlasting life. Okay, let’s read on:
Jesus was soon met by His disciples after He spoke to the woman, and Jesus said these words:
John 4:34-38 (ASV)
(34) Jesus saith unto them, MY MEAT is to do the will of him that sent me, and to accomplish HIS WORK.
Okay let’s stop. Who’s the worker here? Jesus says He is. So if we read about any working to follow, Jesus is the one that does it:
…He that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal; that he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together.
For herein is the saying true, One soweth, and another reapeth. I sent you to reap that whereon ye have not labored: others have labored, and ye are entered into their labor.
Jesus says that He sent us to reap from a harvest that we did not sow. So we get to reap something. But we did not sow it. Who sowed this harvest that we are reaping from? Well, Jesus opens up the discourse by saying “My meat is to accomplish [the] work.” Jesus is the sower!
So Jesus is the sower, He’s the worker. Jesus sowed something, and whatever Jesus sowed, we get to reap from it. First off, do you know what sowing is? It’s like planting. It means you’re getting something in the ground. Jesus put something in the ground that we get to reap from! And when we reap from it, Jesus says that the fruit results in “everlasting life!”
Wait, this sounds all too familiar. Jesus has just been teaching the Samaritan woman this very thing! He told her to receive His Spirit in her and that she could reap from it everlasting life! As Jesus is speaking to His disciples here, He’s not speaking about anything different.
To the Samaritan woman He said, “I put the water IN you and He’ll spring UP unto everlasting life”
To the disciples He said “I sow and you get to reap from it unto everlasting life.”
Jesus has put His spirit inside of us and we are reaping everlasting life from that which Jesus SOWED (put in us). Jesus sowed the harvest in us. And now we get to reap this harvest.
It’s not a harvest of people. It’s the harvest in us.
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