"Do you not say, 'Four months more and then the harvest'? ..." (John 4:35-38)

"Don't you have a saying, 'It's still four months until harvest'? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. Even now the one who reaps draws a wage and harvests a crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together. Thus the saying 'One sows and another reaps' is true. I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor." (John 4:35-38) 

What do the 'crop' and the 'harvest' symbolize?

Jesus is speaking to his followers and disciples about passing on his teachings to others. The people who learn about God and change their lives as a result of Jesus' teachings are essentially harvested. They essentially become the crop, because Jesus' teachings can grow within our hearts and eventually allow us to change.

Jesus knows that as his teachings are passed to others, others have a chance to change their hearts and give their lives to the Supreme Being. This is the ultimate harvest because it essentially helps the Supreme Being bring home those who are ready to return to Him.

The crop consists of the souls who are ready and prepared. They have become prepared by the teachers such as the Prophets that lived before Jesus. This is why Jesus says that others sowed. Those who sowed were those messengers of God before Jesus who taught their followers - and those who followed - about the Supreme Being.

So Jesus is stating that the hard work has already been done. All his disciples have to do now is pass on Jesus' teachings - which also echoed the teachings of the Prophets - in order to complete the process of inviting those souls back home as they are ready.

These are the souls who can be educated and given a chance to have a change of heart prior to their leaving the physical body at the time of death. Every day people's bodies die. Our bodies will also die. As the body ages, diseases develop that eventually ravage it and force us to leave the body. Each of us is a soul or spirit-person who operates the physical body for a few decades before leaving it at the time of death.

Who are the 'sower' and the 'reaper'?

The "sower" in this parable is someone who teaches people about love of God. The sowers in this case are the Prophets, John the Baptist and Jesus. Essentially, they had been teaching and slowly changing people's hearts over the centuries.

The "reaper" in Jesus' analogy represents those of his disciples who will be organizing and gathering together those who have been influenced by these teachings. If a person had a change of heart after hearing Jesus' and the Prophets' teachings, they would naturally become prepared to become a follower of Jesus. 

This process of bringing those people along, to further their commitments to loving and serving the Supreme Being, would essentially be "reaping" or harvesting those who have had a change of heart.

This is what Paul and his followers missed about Jesus' teachings. Paul had never heard Jesus' teachings directly, even though some sectarian institutions call him an apostle of Jesus. Since he didn't hear Jesus' teachings directly, he didn't understand the importance of following the teachings of the ancient lineage of Prophets and teachers discussed throughout the Bible.

What Paul didn't realize is that Jesus was passing on the teachings of the Prophets. It wasn't as though Jesus was making up his own teachings.

This is why Jesus quoted the Prophets in so many of his teachings. Even his "greatest commandment" was a quote from Moses (to love God with all our heart, from Deuteronomy 6:5).

While sectarian teachers of today like to say that Jesus was referring to the Prophets predicting his arrival, he was actually quoting their teachings to support his teachings. He was "fulfilling" their teachings by passing them on to others. 

This opens up an entirely new dimension in Jesus' teachings. If one understands that Jesus was passing on the teachings of the Prophets (including John the Baptist) - and clarifying them for a different society - it gives Jesus' teachings even more power.

It also provides a strong foundation - which Paul's philosophy (called the "Pauline doctrine") didn't have. Paul made up a new speculative theory that Jesus' crucifixion saves us - we just have to accept it.

Yet Jesus never taught this. Jesus taught that what saves us is accepting and following the teachings of the Prophets - the first and greatest of which is to love God with all our heart and soul.

Furthermore, by making up a new doctrine, Paul created a rift between Christianity and Judaism. Something that Jesus would have never approved of.

Yes, Jesus did find fault with the temple hierarchy. He did criticize it. But he wasn't inventing a new religion. He was trying to clarify the teachings of those who preceded him, such as John the Baptist, Isaiah, David, Samuel, Joshua, Moses, and Abraham.

These are the sowers Jesus is referring to in this statement. And Jesus' disciples are the reapers. 

Is this about Judgment day?

Many have interpreted that Jesus is teaching about Judgment day. They have assumed that Jesus is speaking about some theoretical point in time where the end of the world comes and everyone becomes judged and reaps what they sow.

Such an interpretation is full of holes. The least of which is that it has been 2,000 years and the end of the world has yet to come. Does this mean that Jesus was tricking his students into thinking that the end of the world would come during their lifetimes?

Or are these interpreters talking about the end of the world the ones who have been tricking us?

The latter is true, since the end of the world keeps being predicted by charlatans who have continued to be wrong over the centuries.

Will God murder all the unbelievers?

Some sectarian institutions preach that the world will end soon and when it does, they (members of their institution) will be saved while God will come to the earth and murder all the unbelievers. Then they will "inherit the earth" alone.

Could this be true? Such a scenario has been used for centuries by some sectarian groups in order to scare their congregations into staying with their cult (yes, these sects are effectively doomsday cults).

They preach this scare tactic in order to enlist followers and maintain followers. Meanwhile, the leaders of these organizations enjoy elaborate wealth and comfort on the backs of their followers' donations.

The question really comes down to what kind of god they are worshiping. If they are worshipping an angry, mean and hostile god who will wipe out anyone who doesn't worship him - well, they are not worshipping the real God.

They may be calling this god the same name as Jesus and the Prophets called on. Yes, Jesus and the Prophets did call upon Jehovah by name as they worshipped Him.

But that Jehovah is a kind God. He is a loving God. That Jehovah unconditionally loves each of us - regardless of whether we believe in Him or not.

In reality, the freedom to not love or worship God is ingrained in God's creation. Why? Because this freedom is required in order to love God. If we didn't have the freedom not to worship or not love God, we couldn't really love God.

Yes, love is a choice. If we have no choice, then it is submission. It is not love.

And worship is also a choice. If we have no choice to worship, then it is slavery.

God is not seeking to make us slaves or to threaten us into submission. For the entire history of the human race - over a million years according to scientific evidence - humans have always had the freedom of choice to worship God or not.

And those institutions and their preachers who try to threaten us by saying that God will murder all the unbelievers - they are not referring to God. They are referring to a fictional character created by other hard-liner institutionalists who wanted to threaten their followers.

What about "fearing God" then?

Doesn't it say this in the Bible? Actually, the word "fear" with respect to God is mostly mistranslated in the Old Testament. The Hebrew word יָרֵא (yare') can mean "fear" in some contexts, but can also "to revere," "to honor," and "to hold in awe" and also "wonderful" or "admirable" according to Strong's and Gesenius' lexicons.

We can see how institutional translators would rather threaten people and strike fear in their followers over the centuries, as they have chosen the darkest possible translation of this word - out of its context. (What is that context? Those Prophets who revered God were writing these words.)

Such a choice of translation actually reflects the very choice that God gives all of us. God even gives us the choice to mistranslate and misinterpret His own scriptures.

God even gives the choice even to harm His messengers. This is why so many Prophets were persecuted, and why Jesus was persecuted by those whose authority was threatened by these messengers of God.

These facts only teach us that God is a loving, caring God. He is not mean. He will not kill those who don't believe in Him. He gives us the ultimate choice to love Him or worship Him. He even gives us the choice to believe in Him. That is why He mostly hides from us.

In reality, every single body will die at the end of our lifetime. Believers and unbelievers. Every body will die.

What is Jesus saying above then?

Jesus is using an entendre here as he amalgamates the concept of harvesting souls by educating them about God. The harvest relates to success in the goal of life: Learning to know and love the Supreme Being.

As far as judgment day referred to by Jesus elsewhere: At the moment of death, each of us will leave the physical body. This is our individual judgment day because it is at this moment that those souls who have developed the consciousness to return to God are taken up to the spiritual world. Meanwhile, those souls whose journey has not been perfected will return to the physical dimension to continue our education.

Essentially, Judgment Day occurs when our bodies die, and the activities of our lives are judged.

What about reaping what we sow?

While not here, Jesus has used reaping what we sow in other contexts as well. In the physical world, our choices and activities have consequences. If we make others suffer, we will suffer similarly in a future incarnation.

In other words, self-centered individuals return back into bodies that reflect their past activities and consciousness.

This means that whatever pain and suffering we inflict upon others is perfectly returned to us in the form of a new body - born into a particular family and society. If we commit others to pain, we will receive the same pain back either in this lifetime or the next. 

As such, after the death of this body, we will take on another body that suffers those same pains we have inflicted upon others. If a person rapes and starves people as some in Africa have been doing, they will be raped and starved in their next body. This is part of God's perfect design: "As you sow, so shall you reap."

This also explains the question that some ask:

Why is there suffering in the world?

God does not cause the suffering of this world: we do.

Each of us causes our own suffering, by inflicting suffering upon others. If we become a party to suffering, we will experience the same suffering we were a party to causing upon others.

It is not as if we are guaranteed a human body: We may also be put into an animal body, fish body or even an insect body. These types of bodies are designed for more suffering. In such bodies, we are chased by giant predators. We are in fear for most of that physical lifetime. These bodies represent the worst of hell.

Oh, but you thought hell was some kind of hot dungeon somewhere under the earth with fiery horned devils chaining people to the walls? Where is that dungeon? Have any excavators or drilling rigs found any hot dungeons with horned people under the earth's surface lately? Today, drillers can drill down for miles under the ground. No one has ever drilled down into a dungeon with horned devils and chained up people.

Let's get something clear: The physical dimension is hell. This is the place where those individuals who want to escape God go.

The visions of hell drawn up in scripture are analogous. Yes, hell is a place of suffering. And yes, people are chained up - as the spirit-person is trapped (chained) inside a physical body racked with pain and suffering. The general description of hell is accurate. It is simply not understood in a practical manner.

The reality is that we are in hell right now, but some of us in human bodies are relatively more pain-free than others. Yes, there are people in worse hells than ours: Consider parts of the world where people are starving, ravished with diseases, or are being raped or tortured. These are suffering worse hells than we are at the moment. (This doesn't mean we shouldn't try to help them, however.)

Or think of those trapped in small animal or insect bodies perpetually chased by large predators. This is a much worse hell than ours. Yet this hell exists all around us.

Each person in a physical body is living within some extent of hell. Every body will be racked with pain and disease. Every body will feel agonizing pain. Every body will suffer a gruesome death. This is the reality of wearing a physical body: Just as it is a reality that the car you drive will break down at some point, and you'll have to leave it behind and get a new car.

Yet each of us can determine the extent of our future hell by our activities and consciousness today. We can determine whether we are harvested by the Glad Reaper - God and His representatives - to return home to the spiritual dimension, or be harvested by the grim reaper to continue our hellish existence in the physical dimension. It is our choice.
"I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor"
Again, Jesus is referring to the work that he, John the Baptist, Moses, David, Solomon, Abraham and the rest of the prophets have done. They had given people information about God and the spiritual world. They had taught people the commandments of God, and instructed them to love God with all their hearts. These were the "sowers" that came before Jesus' students.

Remember that Jesus is speaking to his students here. He says, "I sent you to reap what you did not work for." Jesus is essentially asking them to go out and continue the teachings and gather those who want to return to God by confirming and practicing the teachings of Jesus and the lineage of teachers (the prophets) that he came in. He wanted his students to continue those teachings, and bring those who want to go home, back to the spiritual world - where there is no pain, no death, and no suffering.

This is the world of love that each of us seeks from within. This is the world where the Supreme Being is the center. The physical world is the world where each of us wants to be the center.

In order to return to our home in the spiritual realm, loving and serving the Supreme Being must become the center of our lives. This is our natural position, and what will fulfill us and complete us.