An Interlude: The Song of the 144,000
1 Then1 I looked, and here was2 the Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with him were one hundred and forty-four thousand, who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads. 2 I also heard a sound3 coming out of heaven like the sound of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder. Now4 the sound I heard was like that made by harpists playing their harps, 3 and they were singing a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders. No5 one was able to learn the song except the one hundred and forty-four thousand who had been redeemed from the earth.
4 These are the ones who have not defiled themselves6 with women, for they are virgins. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever he goes. These were redeemed from humanity as firstfruits to God and to the Lamb, 5 and no lie was found on their lips;7 they8 are blameless.
Three Angels and Three Messages
6 Then9 I saw another10 angel flying directly overhead,11 and he had12 an eternal gospel to proclaim13 to those who live14 on the earth – to every nation, tribe,15 language, and people. 7 He declared16 in a loud voice: “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has arrived, and worship the one who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water!”
8 A17 second18 angel19 followed the first,20 declaring:21 “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great city!22 She made all the nations23 drink of the wine of her immoral passion.”24
9 A25 third angel26 followed the first two,27 declaring28 in a loud voice: “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and takes the mark on his forehead or his hand, 10 that person29 will also drink of the wine of God’s anger30 that has been mixed undiluted in the cup of his wrath, and he will be tortured with fire and sulfur31 in front of the holy angels and in front of the Lamb. 11 And the smoke from their32 torture will go up33 forever and ever, and those who worship the beast and his image will have34 no rest day or night, along with35 anyone who receives the mark of his name.” 12 This requires36 the steadfast endurance37 of the saints – those who obey38 God’s commandments and hold to39 their faith in Jesus.40
13 Then41 I heard a voice from heaven say, “Write this:
‘Blessed are the dead,
those who die in the Lord from this moment on!’”
“Yes,” says the Spirit, “so they can rest from their hard work,42 because their deeds will follow them.”43
14 Then44 I looked, and a white cloud appeared,45 and seated on the cloud was one like a son of man!46 He had47 a golden crown on his head and a sharp sickle in his hand. 15 Then48 another angel came out of the temple, shouting in a loud voice to the one seated on the cloud, “Use49 your sickle and start to reap,50 because the time to reap has come, since the earth’s harvest is ripe!” 16 So51 the one seated on the cloud swung his sickle over the earth, and the earth was reaped.
17 Then52 another angel came out of the temple in heaven, and he too had a sharp sickle. 18 Another53 angel, who was in charge of54 the fire, came from the altar and called in a loud voice to the angel55 who had the sharp sickle, “Use56 your sharp sickle and gather57 the clusters of grapes58 off the vine of the earth,59 because its grapes60 are now ripe.”61 19 So62 the angel swung his sickle over the earth and gathered the grapes from the vineyard63 of the earth and tossed them into the great64 winepress of the wrath of God. 20 Then65 the winepress was stomped66 outside the city, and blood poured out of the winepress up to the height of horses’ bridles67 for a distance of almost two hundred miles.68