The Lamb and the 144,000 on Mount Zion
1 Then I looked, and this is what I saw: the Lamb stood [firmly established] on Mount Zion, and with Him a hundred and forty-four thousand who had His name and His Father’s name inscribed on their foreheads [signifying God’s own possession]. 2 And I heard a voice from heaven, like the sound of great waters and like the rumbling of mighty thunder; and the voice that I heard [seemed like music and] was like the sound of harpists playing on their harps.3 And they sang a new song before the throne [of God] and before the four living creatures and the elders; and no one could learn the song except the hundred and forty-four thousand who had been purchased (ransomed, redeemed) from the earth. 4 These are the ones who have not been defiled [by relations] with women, for they are celibate. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These have been purchased and redeemed from among men [of Israel] as the first fruits [sanctified and set apart for special service] for God and the Lamb. 5 No lie was found in their mouth, for they are blameless (spotless, untainted, beyond reproach).
The Angel with the Gospel
6 Then I saw another angel flying in midheaven, with an #This term likely refers to the message of God’s impending righteous judgment and a final call to repentance and faith in the risen Lord.eternal gospel to preach to the inhabitants of the earth, to every nation and tribe and language and people; 7 and he said with a loud voice, “Fear God [with awe and reverence], and give Him glory [and honor and praise in worship], because the hour of His judgment has come; [with all your heart] worship Him who created the heaven and the earth, the sea and the springs of water.”
Doom for Proud Babylon
8 Then another angel, a second one, followed, saying, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, she who has made all nations drink the wine of the passion of her immorality [corrupting them with idolatry].”
Doom for Worshipers of the Beast
9 Then another angel, a third one, followed them, saying with a loud voice, “Whoever worships the beast and his image and receives the mark [of the beast] on his forehead or on his hand,10 he too will [have to] drink of the wine of the wrath of God, #In ancient times it was customary to mix wine with an equal or larger quantity of water to prevent intoxication at ordinary meals. Here, the mixing is ironic because the “wine of the wrath” is to be consumed at full strength.mixed undiluted into the cup of His anger; and he will be tormented with fire and brimstone (flaming sulfur) in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb (Christ). 11 And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day and night--those who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.” 12 Here is [encouragement for] the steadfast endurance of the saints (God’s people), those who habitually keep God’s commandments and their faith in Jesus.
13 Then I heard [the distinct words of] a voice from heaven, saying, “Write, ‘#This is the second of the seven promised blessings. See note 1:3.Blessed (happy, prosperous, to be admired) are the dead who die in the Lord from now on!’” “Yes, [blessed indeed],” says the Spirit, “so that they may rest and have relief from their labors, for their deeds do follow them.”
14 Again I looked, and this is what I saw: a white cloud, and sitting on the cloud was One like the Son of Man, with a crown of gold on His head and a sharp sickle [of swift judgment] in His hand. 15 And another angel came out of the temple, calling with a loud voice to Him who was sitting upon the cloud, “Put in Your sickle and reap [at once], for the hour to reap [in judgment] has arrived, because the earth’s harvest is fully ripened.” 16 So He who was sitting on the cloud cast His sickle over the earth, and the earth was reaped (judged).
17 Then another angel came out of the temple (sanctuary) in heaven, and he also had a sharp sickle.18 And another angel came from the altar, the one who has power over fire; and he called with a loud voice to him who had the sharp sickle, saying, “Put in your sharp sickle and reap the clusters of grapes from the vine of the earth, because her grapes are ripe [for judgment].” 19 So the angel swung his sickle to the earth and harvested the grapevine of the earth, and threw the grapes into the great wine press of the wrath and indignation of God [as judgment of the rebellious world]. 20 And the grapes in the wine press were trampled and crushed outside the city, and blood poured from the wine press, reaching up to the horses’ bridles, for a distance of #About two hundred miles.sixteen hundred stadia.