There can be no question as to who is the "Reaper" of the "HARVEST OF THE EARTH." It is the "SON OF MAN," Christ Himself. He was the "Sower" and He shall be the "Reaper." This is not the "Harvest of the Church." That was harvested in chapters four and five, and the "Reapers" were the angels. Matt. 13:39. This is the "Harvest" of the Gentile Nations'. In Joel 3:9-17 we have a description of this "Harvest and Vintage." The "Harvest and Vintage" are JUDICIAL. That is, they are for the purpose of Judgment. The account here is anticipative. It looks forward to chapter 16:13-16, which speaks of how the armies of the world are to be gathered together by "THREE UNCLEAN SPIRITS" to the Battle of the Great Day of God Almighty at Armageddon. This Battle takes place after the "Fall of Babylon," and is more fully described in chapter 19:17-19.
Here we are told that the Harvest is RIPE, and the "Son of Man" is commanded to thrust in His Sickle, which He does, and while the pouring out of the "Vials" is a part of the reaping, the Harvest is not finished until the end of the "Battle of Armageddon."
The difference between the "Harvest and the Vintage" is, that the "harvest" in the natural world precedes the "vintage," but often, as in this case, continues until they become one.
The "Vintage" is of the "VINE OF THE EARTH." Israel was a "VINE" brought out of Egypt (Psa. 80:8) and planted in Canaan, but when God looked for it to bring forth "good grapes" it brought forth "WILD GRAPES" (Isa. 5:1-7), and fruit unto itself. Hosea 10:1. When the Lord of the "Vineyard" sent His servants for the "Fruit of the Vineyard," the husbandmen beat one, killed another, and stoned another. At last He sent His Son, Him they took and cast out of the Vineyard and slew. Matt. 21:33-43. Then Jesus Himself became the "TRUE VINE," of which His disciples are the branches. John 15:5. The "VINE OF THE EARTH" is Antichrist and all who belong to his pernicious system.
The "WINEPRESS" is the winepress of the "FIERCENESS AND WRATH OF ALMIGHTY GOD." Rev. 19:15. The Prophet Isaiah (Isa. 63:1-6) describes Christ's share in it. It will cover the whole Land of Palestine, and extend as far south as Edom and Bozrah. So great shall be the slaughter that the blood shall be up to the horses' bridles in the valleys over the whole of Palestine for 1600 furlongs, or 200 miles. It will be the time of which the Prophet Isaiah speaks, when the land shall be DRUNK WITH BLOOD. Isa.. 34:7-8. We will consider it more in detail when we study the Battle of Armageddon in chapter nineteen.