The Threshing Floor or the Winepress
By George Kirkpatrick
Vital Words to the Body of Christ
Proclaiming the Everlasting Gospel of the Kingdom
Vital Words to the Body of Christ
Freely We Have Received, Freely We Give
When God created man, He made him from the dust of the earth (soil). The proof of this is when forensic scientists break down a human body in a laboratory, they discover it contains the same elements found in healthy soil.
In the beginning, the soil was perfect, but naturally man could not eat soil, so God created plants, vegetables, fruits, and nuts for him to eat which contain all the vitamins, minerals, and trace elements he needs to stay healthy. But in our modern day, the soil no longer contains the needed nutrients. Everything good and necessary in the soil is now depleted, polluted, locked up, and unuseable because of bad agricultural practices. Because of this, man must get the nutrients he needs to stay healthy in artificial ways.
Agriculture has been, and still is, the main industry that supports mankind. God uses many concepts in agriculture to show to mankind what He expects of him, and what he wants him to be. As an example, in His Word He uses sowing and reaping to explain to us that what we sow, we shall also reap. If we sow good things, we will reap good things, but if we sow evil or wicked things, we can expect the same in return.
Other areas of agriculture God used to show us Spiritual things is in the mustard seed which explains how important our having faith is. He used the cursing of the fig tree to explain to us how important it is for us to have the fruit of the Spirit operating in our lives. He used the plow to show us what our walk should be in this life:
"And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the Kingdom of God." Luke 9:62
When a farmer (or husbandman as the Bible calls him) begins to plow, he fixes his eyes on a stationery target so his first furrow will be straight. If he does this, each of his furrows will be straight. But if he looks back, then his furrow will be crooked, and each furrow in his field will be more crooked, until it becomes hard for him to keep his plow in the ground. The same is true with our walk in God. If we get our eyes off our target, Christ Jesus, then our walk becomes a little crooked, and with every round, we get a little more off course until we lose our way completely. In his letter to the Philippians, Paul explains:
"Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:13-14
If we keep our eyes on the target, our walk will be straight and we will never fail, but if we forget we will be reminded of the words of Job:
"Even as I have seen they that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same." Job 4:8
God also uses the ox and the ox yoke to show us what He expects of us:
"Thou shalt not muzzle the ox when he treadeth out the corn." Deuteronomy 25:4
This was part of the Mosaic law handed down to Moses. Paul used this Scripture in his letters to the Corinthians, and also to Timothy:
"For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen?" I Corinthians 9:9
The answer is yes. God watches over all His creation. The point Paul was making was - - - if God cares for oxen, how much more He cares for each of us. To Timothy, Paul writes:
"For the Scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, the labourer is worthy of his reward." I Timothy 5:18
Paul explained the laborer is worthy of his reward. Paul used this same idea in his letter to the Corinthians:
"Who goeth a warfare any time at his own charges? Who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof? Or who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock?" I Corinthians 9:7
Paul is explaining that those who labor are worthy to be partakers of the fruit of that labor. He continued his explanation to the Corinthians:
"Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? And they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar?" I Corinthians 9:13
God expects His servants to be taken care of by those they minister to.
"Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel." I Corinthians 9:14
Those God has chosen to minister the gospel should live of the gospel. This is a two-edged sword. Those who preach the gospel should not only live of the gospel, but they should also live by the gospel. Their lives should reveal the gospel they preach to all around them.
God also uses the ox yoke to show us many things:
"Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness: And what communion hath light with darkness?" II Corinthians 6:14
The ox yoke binds us together - - - wherever one goes, the other must go. When we are warned not to be yoked together with unbelievers. This means we are not to go the way they are going. We are not to have fellowship with unrighteousness. Many are yoked together with family and friends, and feel such a bonding together with them that will surely be influenced by their ways of unrighteousness and darkness.
This is also true of those who seek to remain in the apostate church systems of our day. Many feel such a bonding with their church family, they cannot come out from among them. And because of this they, too, are influenced by their unbelief. It is not the unbeliever who will change if you remain in their deadness, it will be you! By the anointing, Paul tells us we should not allow this to happen. Paul explains this further in his letter to the Galatians:
"Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage." Galatians 5:1
Once God has set us free from the old law, He gives us liberty to walk in His ways. As we walk in His light, we are not to be entangled again with anyone or anything that yokes us together in their bondage. Christ has set us free. Jesus reveals through the pen of John:
"If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed." John 8:36
We have been set free in the Son, and if we are to be yoked together with anyone, we are to be yoked together with Christ. Jesus proclaims:
"For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light." Matthew 11:30
God's yoke is, indeed, easy and His burden is light, but if we add the burdens of the world, they will become extremely heavy, and many will fall under the weight of the burdens they are trying to carry. We need to cast our burdens upon our yokefellow, Christ Jesus.
Two of the most needed instruments in ancient agriculture were the threshing floor and the winepress. The threshing floor consisted of compacted soil on a large flat rock in an elevated open area. This was where all the grain, wheat, barley, rye, and cummin were threshed. The winepress was a giant, hallowed out rock where the grapes were brought and stamped with the feet to release the juice to make the wine.
The threshing floor and the winepress are both symbols of our walk before God. As we understand the grain harvest, we can understand how God shows us what we can expect if we are to be used in His Kingdom Age.
First, the grain was severed from the earth. This was accomplished with a sickle. The grain was gathered in the arms, bound in bundles, and heaped into piles, ready for the threshing floor. When the grains were placed on the threshing floor, yoked oxen were driven over the grain to thresh out the heads of grain. Sometimes a threshing tool made out of wood or stone was dragged over the grain pulled by the oxen to thresh out the grain.
Next, came the winnowing process. This was generally done in the evening. The threshed grain was lifted in the air with a shovel against the wind to remove all the chaff from the grain. What remained was the mature, ripe grain.
How like our walk with our God. We must first be separated from the earth. Then we are taken to the threshing floor where the straw, the chaff, and all the worthless things of our earthly existence are separated from our lives. Then we are winnowed, thrown against the wind. The wind is the Holy Spirit. We are tossed against the wind until only the full, ripe grain, fit for the King's granary is left.
God uses the threshing floor throughout His word to show us His will for each of our lives. This is shown in the example of David. David who was a man after God's own heart made a mistake:
"And satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel." I Chronicles 21:1
David was tempted of satan to number the people. His advisors told him not to perform this act, but King David's word prevailed, and he sent Joab, the head of his army, throughout Israel to number the people.
"And God was displeased with this thing; therefore He smote Israel. And David said unto God, I have sinned greatly, because I have done this thing: but now, I beseech thee, do away the iniquity of Thy servant; for I have done very foolishly." I Chronicles 21:7-8
David repented of his foolishness, and God sent Gad the prophet to inform David of his punishment for provoking God. David was given three choices for his punishment:
"Either three years' famine, or three months to be destroyed before thy foes, while that the sword of thine enemies overtaketh thee; or else three days the sword of the Lord, even the pestilence, in the land, and the angel of the Lord destroying throughout all the coasts of Israel. Now therefore advise thyself what word I shall bring again to him that sent me.
And David said unto Gad, I am in a great strait: let me fall now into the hand of the Lord; for very great are His mercies: but let me not fall into the hand of man. So the Lord sent pestilence upon Israel: and there fell of Israel seventy thousand men." I Chronicles 21:12-14
David could have chosen three years of famine, three months being defeated by his enemies, or three days of pestilence (diseases) upon the people. David chose the three days of pestilence. With this punishment, seventy thousand died. God repented of further devastation, and sent an angel to the threshing floor of Ornon where David and the elders were upon their faces before their God for mercy.
"And David lifted up his eyes, and saw the angel of the Lord stand between the earth and the heaven, having a drawn sword in his hand stretched out over Jerusalem. Then David and the elders of Israel, who were clothed in sackcloth, fell upon their faces." I Chronicles 21:16
What an embarrassment this must have been for David to face the elders after what he had done. God told David to build an altar on Ornan's threshing floor.
"Then David said to Ornan, Grant me the place of this threshingfloor, that I may build an altar therein unto the Lord: thou shalt grant it me for the full price: that the plague may be stayed from the people. And Ornan said unto David, Take it to thee, and let my lord the king do that which is good in his eyes: lo, I give thee the oxen also for burnt offerings, and the threshing instruments for wood, and the wheat for the meat offering; I give it all." I Chronicles 21:22-23
Ornan offered all to David to make this sacrifice unto the Lord, but David refused Ornan's offer.
"And King David said to Ornan, Nay; but I will verily buy it for the full price: for I will not take that which is thine for the Lord, nor offer burnt offerings without cost." I Chronicles 21:24
What a lesson we are to learn from Ornan's generosity, and David's refusal to accept it. Anytime we make an offering to the Lord, there must be a price to pay on our part, because an offering without price or sacrifice has no value.
"And David built there an altar unto the Lord, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings, and called upon the Lord; and He answered him from heaven by fire upon the altar of burnt offering." I Chronicles 21:26
Why is it important to understand the meaning of David's sacrifice upon Ornan's threshing floor? The name Ornan means "light was perpetuated." At the time David made his sacrifice, Moses' Tabernacle was still standing at Gibeah, but David could not go there to offer his sacrifice. David made the following observation:
"Then David said, This is the house of the Lord God, and this is the altar of the burnt offering for Israel." I Chronicles 22:1
David declared this was the house of the Lord. This statement became fact when Solomon, David's son became king, and was given the task to build the permanent dwelling place for God.
"Then Solomon began to build the house of the Lord at Jerusalem in Mount Moriah, where the Lord appeared unto David his father, in the place that David had prepared in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite." II Chronicles 3:1
Ornan's threshing floor is where Solomon built the house of the Lord. What lesson are we to learn from Ornan's threshing floor? The threshing floor is where God is going to build His temple. Praise the Lord, this is where God is going to perpetuate His light in His people. When God has thoroughly threshed His people, then as Matthew declared, God is going to gather His full, ripe grain into His garner:
"Whose fan is in His hand, and He will throughly purge His floor, and gather His wheat into the garner; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire." Matthew 3:12
Nothing but the full, mature, ripe grain will be used in the Kingdom of God. The chaff in our lives will be dealt with in two different ways. That which the fan does not blow away, will be completely burnt with unquenchable fire. The prophet Malachi explained this process to all who will hear and learn:
"But who may abide the day of His coming? And who shall stand when He appeareth? For He is like a refiner's fire, and like fullers' soap: And He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and He shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness." Malachi 3:2-3
If we do not respond to the gentle blowing of the Holy Spirit's correction in our lives, then our God will act as a refiner. God is going to refine His chosen and elect as silver and gold are refined. He will turn up the fire in our lives, so all the chaff and dross is burned away.
Most of the modern church system does not believe in the threshing floor experience. What they errantly believe in is a phony rapture where they will be whisked away before God pours out His judgment on a wicked, sinful world which includes the lukewarm church system of our day.
Jesus gives us His parables which should dispel the erroneous teaching of the rapture. First, let's look at the parable of the wheat and the tares:
"Another parable put He forth unto them, saying, The Kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in His field: But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way." Matthew 13:24-25
The wheat and tares grow together. The tares look a lot like the wheat until the harvest. Jesus goes on to explain the parable to His disciples:
"He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the Kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels." Matthew 13:37-39
Jesus explains the son of man sowed the good seed.
The field is the world.
The good seed are the children of the Kingdom.
The tares are the children of the wicked one.
And the harvest is the end of the world.
The word world should have been translated "age." So the harvest is at the end of the age. So what is going to happen to the tares at the time of harvest?
"As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world (age)." Matthew 13:40
The tares (the children of the world) are going to be gathered and burned at the end of this present age. So what is going to happen to the wheat (the children of the Kingdom)?
"Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the Kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear." Matthew 13:43
The children of the Kingdom are those who have been to the threshing floor where all unrighteousness has been threshed out of their lives. These have not been taken off the earth, but will inhabit His Kingdom right here on earth.
Another parable Jesus used was the parable of the net:
"Again, the Kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind:" Matthew 13:47
God cast His net into the sea of humanity and gathered every kind:
"When it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away." Matthew 13:48
The good he gathered into vessels or `God's protected place', and the bad were separated, and cast away.
"So shall it be at the end of the world (age): the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just," Matthew 13:49
Again, at the end of the age, God is going to sever the wicked from among the just (the righteous). It is the wicked who are going to be removed, not the other way around.
We witness this separation of the wicked from among the just again when Jesus revealed to John on the Isle of Patmos:
"And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to Him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe." Revelation 14:15
Again, this event takes place at the time of the harvest, and as we have learned - - - the harvest is at the end of this age. The sickle spoken of here is a pruning knife which is used to gather the full, ripe grapes that are ready for the Master's table:
"And He that sat on the cloud thrust in His sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped." Revelation 14:16
The first sickle reaped the whole earth. This is so like the parable of the wheat and the tares who were not harvested until the end of the age, and the parable of the net which drew all fish into the net.
"And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe." Revelation 14:17-18
The second angel thrust his sickle into the harvest, and gathered only the full, ripe clusters of the vine. These are the mature overcomers who have prepared themselves for the harvest.
What then happened to the rest of the harvest of the first sickle?
"And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God." Revelation 14:19
The winepress is the wrath of God. The vine of the earth was cast into the great winepress of God. The vine and the full, ripe grapes were left together until the harvest, just as the wheat and the tares, and the good and the bad fish. The separation did not take place until the time of the harvest, or at the end of the age. When God's hand takes hold of the sickle, then the wicked will be separated from the righteous.
Many wonder why God does not judge His lukewarm church now. Those who have Spiritual eyes to see, know God is waiting for the end of this present age to put forth His sickle to reap the earth - - - and this day is fast approaching. We need to ask ourselves, "Do we need to go to the threshing floor, or must we endure the winepress?" Jesus explained to John:
"And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs." Revelation 14:20
The church system speaks much about hell, but never mentions God's great winepress. The Bible speaks much about the wrath of God which He is going to pour out upon the earth. When He does, blood is going to flow as wine out of the winepress. This is God's judgment upon a sinful world. But before He pours out His wrath on the world, God is going to pour out His wrath on the house of God as Peter related:
"For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?" I Peter 4:17
God is going to judge His house (the church system) first. If He fails to judge His house, He cannot judge the world. The prophet Isaiah foretold the condition of the church system of today:
"Now will I sing to my beloved a song of my beloved touching His vineyard. My wellbeloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill: And He fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the midst of it, and also made a winepress therein: and He looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes." Isaiah 5:1-2
God planted His vineyard with the choicest vines in a very fruitful hill. He gathered out the stones (all things that offend). He built a tower, and in the midst of His vineyard He made a winepress. Then He waited for the harvest (the end of the age) to see what His vineyard would bring forth. At the harvest, he found wild grapes. The phrase wild grapes means "worthless, stinking fruit, unfit for the Master's table." Then the Lord asked:
"What could have been done more to My vineyard, that I have not done in it? Wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes? Isaiah 5:4
What more could God have done for His vineyard. He gave His life that He might have a people to share His glory with. Instead, all He got was wild grapes for His sacrifice. So how will God deal with His wild grapes that are not fit for His use?
"And now go to; I will tell you what I will do to My vineyard: I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be eaten up; and break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down:" Isaiah 5:5
God will remove His hedge, His protection; and it shall be eaten up. The phrase eaten up means "to be burned and consumed." God is going to remove His tower (His security and protection); and His consuming fire is going to destroy that which has become a stink in His nostrils, and has not brought glory to His name. As the Spirit revealed to Isaiah, " . . . it shall be trodden down"; or, it is going to be cast under His feet as worthless.
"And I will lay it waste: it shall not be pruned, nor digged; but there shall come up briers and thorns: I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it." Isaiah 5:6
Isaiah proclaimed the vineyard of wild grapes would not be pruned. We know by Jesus' words, what He desires for His vineyard:
"Every branch in Me that beareth not fruit, He taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, He purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit." John 15:2
The fruit Jesus was speaking of is the fruit of the Spirit; and those who bear the fruit of His Spirit will be pruned to bring forth more fruit of the Spirit. But the church system who bears no fruit will not be pruned. Instead it will be laid waste, and as Isaiah proclaimed:
". . . what will come up is briars and thorns . . ." Isaiah 5:6
Briars are the symbol of false teachings; and thorns are the symbol of curses. God is going to command the clouds that they do not rain on this cursed, church system with their false teachings and their precepts and doctrines of men. Isaiah records what God is going to do to His vineyard who only bring forth wild grapes:
"I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with Me: For I will tread them in Mine anger, and trample them in My fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon My garments, and I will stain all My raiment." Isaiah 63:3
God is going to tread His winepress alone. He is the only one who is worthy to judge His church, and He is going to do it with all His anger and fury. Jeremiah gives us the same picture of this lukewarm end time church that God is going to vomit out of His mouth.
"Many pastors have destroyed My vineyard, they have trodden My portion under foot, they have made My pleasant portion a desolate wilderness. They have made it desolate, and being desolate it mourneth unto Me; the whole land is made desolate, because no man layeth it to heart." Jeremiah 12:10-11
Many pastors have destroyed God's vineyard. The word destroyed means "to corrupt and spoil." These have corrupted God's Word, and robbed the people of their eternal inheritance. They have made God's portion a desolate wilderness, and this saddens His heart. Those who are in charge of these desolate waste lands could care less what happens to the church, as long as they can fleece the flock, and live in their grandiose life styles. But God has promised:
"The spoilers are come upon all high places through the wilderness: for the sword of the Lord shall devour from the one end of the land even to the other end of the land: no flesh shall have peace." Jeremiah 12:12
The spoilers are those who have robbed God of His inheritance. They have come from the high places or positions they have obtained through their wilderness of religious confusion. But God has promised that the sword of the Lord shall devour from one end of the land to the other end of the land, and no flesh will have peace. Only those who are in the Spirit will have the peace of God in their lives when God's devouring sword passes through the land.
Jesus revealed to John on the Isle of Patmos the time when God will tread His winepress alone:
"And He was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and His name is called the Word of God." Revelation 19:13
Isaiah declared when God treads the winepress, all His garments will be sprinkled with the blood that flows from the winepress.
"And the armies which were in heaven followed Him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean." Revelation 19:14
Those who have been separated from all earthly ties, and dwell in the Spiritual realm, will be with God - - - clothed in their robes of righteousness, white and clean.
"And out of His mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it He should smite the nations: and He shall rule them with a rod of iron: and He treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God." Revelation 19:15
God's two edged sword of judgment will smite the nations. Nations are peoples. God's judgment will begin at the house of God, but From His house it will go to all nations, and He will tread the winepress of His wrath alone.
We have looked at the words of Isaiah and Jeremiah, but Jesus gives us the same scenario:
"Hear another parable: There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country:" Matthew 21:33
Jesus was the householder who planted His vineyard. He hedged it about with His Holy Spirit, and He digged the winepress, and built His tower, and let it out to husbandmen (caretakers). These caretakers are the leaders of the church system. Then He went into a far country.
"And when the time of the fruit drew near, He sent His servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits of it. And the husbandmen took His servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another." Matthew 21:34-35
As stated before, Jesus was the householder who planted His vineyard, and His servants are His God ordained apostles and prophets. God has sent His anointed ones into the church system to the seminary trained pastors and self-appointed elders to say to the church system, "Repent!" But those who were set by their denominational orders have tried to destroy these ministries in their man-made church system, saying apostles and prophets were only for the early, first century church.
"Again, He sent other servants more than the first: and they did unto them likewise." Matthew 21:36
Again and again these Spirit-trained and Spirit-anointed men of God were sent into the church system. where they were mocked, maligned, and shown the door. God had one last tool to bring revival to the church system:
"But last of all He sent unto them His son, saying, They will reverence My son." Matthew 21:37
God will try one more time to turn the hearts of the church system back to Him by sending His `son company' to see if the organized church will listen to them. But what will be their attitude towards the `manifested sons of God'?
"But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill Him, and let us seize on His inheritance." Matthew 21:38
God's manifested sons are those who have been to the threshing floor. All things that are not pleasing to God have been threshed out of their lives. These are the overcomers, and only the overcomers have an inheritance in God.
The church system with their bigness, their opulence, and their man-ordained titles believe if they can destroy this `son company', then God will have to accept them to have a people.
It becomes very clear why God set a winepress in the midst of His vineyard. It is because He knew the end from the beginning. He knew His vineyard was going to bring forth worthless, stinking, wild grapes.
But God has end time people who are not a part of the organized church system who are working out their own salvation on the threshing floor with fear and trembling. The Psalmist Asaph wrote of this generation of saints:
"That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children. That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments." Psalm 78:6-7
These are the `threshing floor saints' who will be purged, made clean, and have on their spotless robes of righteousness. These make up the `firstfruit company', of which Jesus explained to John on the Isle of Patmos:
"These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb." Revelation 14:4
This `firstfruit company' are virgins who have not been defiled by the organized church system. These have been redeemed from among men, and are the first fruits unto God and the Lamb. These have set their hope in God, and have taught their children the wonderful works of God.
Asaph also speaks of those who will go through the winepress:
"And might not be as their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation; a generation that set not their heart aright, and whose spirit was not steadfast with God." Psalm 78:8
We live in the midst of that stubborn and rebellious generation Asaph described, whose hearts are not right, and whose spirits are not steadfast in God. These are those who call themselves Christians, yet are not separated from the world. These had a relationship with God, but have turned their backs on Him, because their spirit was not steadfast. Peter also spoke of these who are destined for the winepress.
"For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire." II Peter 2:20-22
Those who have escaped the pollutions of the world, yet go back - - - their end is worse than when they did not know God. Peter compares these to a dog who turns to his own vomit or a washed sow that goes back to her hog wallow. Peter reveals that it would have been better if they had never known the way of righteousness. In his letter to the Hebrews, Paul proclaimed:
"Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, My soul shall have no pleasure in him." Hebrews 10:38
The just are those who have been to the threshing floor, and have learned through trials and testings to live by faith.
Those who draw back will suffer in the great winepress of the wrath of God along with the world who do not know God, because they have desired the things of the world more than God.
An unknown Psalmist gives all who will hear, sound advice:
"Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But His delight is in the law of the Lord; and in His law doth He meditate day and night. And He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper." Psalm 1:1-3
Those who are on the threshing floor do not walk in the counsel of the ungodly. These do not stand, or agree, with sinners; nor do they sit in the seat of the scornful (those who mock, scoff, and speak arrogantly of the things of God).
The threshing floor saints delight in the law of the Lord, and they meditate on God's Word day and night. These are like a tree planted by the river of life, who bring forth the fruit of the Spirit in their lives. And whatever they do, God has promised to prosper.
We are the generation at the end of the age. We live in the time of the harvest Jesus spoke of. And every person must make the decision in their own life. Will they go to the threshing floor and allow God's winnowing fan to purge them of all unrighteousness - - - or will they go to the winepress to suffer in God's wrath?
The hour is late, and time is short, and God's hand of mercy is stretched out to all who are called by His name. May your decision bring glory to His name. Praise the Lord!