The Lamb and the 144,000
(1) Then I looked and there before me was the Lamb, standing on Mount Zion (the heavenly Jerusalem), and with him were the 144,000 (see Revelation 7:4) who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads.
(2) And then I heard a sound from heaven like the roar of rushing rivers or the sound of a loud thunderclap. The sound I heard was like harpists playing their harps. (3) And they sang a new song before God’s throne and before the four living creatures and the 24 elders. No one could learn the new song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed (purchased) from the earth.
(4) The 144,000 did not defile themselves with women, because they remained virgins (probably symbolically referring to the fact that they did not engage in the sexual perversion of pagan worship). They follow the Lamb wherever he goes. They were redeemed (purchased) from humanity and presented as first-fruit offerings to God and the Lamb. (5) They were blameless and never told lies.
God’s Final Judgment
(6) Then I saw another angel flying directly overhead, and he had the eternal gospel (good news) to proclaim to those live on the earth—to every nation, tribe, language, and people. (7) He declared in a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his just judgment has come. Worship the One who created the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of fresh water.”
(8) A second angel flew behind the first angel, declaring, “Fallen! Babylon the Great has fallen! She made all the nations drink the maddening wine of her adulteries.” (9) A third angel flew behind them and proclaimed in a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast of the sea and its statue and receives a mark on their hand or forehead, (10) then they too will drink from the wine of God’s holy anger, that has been poured full strength in the cup of his wrath. They will be tormented with fire and burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb. (11) And the smoke of their torment will rise for ever and ever. There will be no rest day or night for those who worship the beast of the sea and its statue, or for anyone who receives the mark of its name.” (12) Be alert! For this requires (calls for) patient endurance on the part of God’s holy people—those who obey the commands of God and keep their faith in Jesus.
(13) Then I heard a voice from heaven say, “Write this: Blessed are the dead (martyrs) who die in the Lord from now on.” “Yes,” says the Holy Spirit, “they will rest from their labors, for their good works will follow them.”
The End-Time Harvest
(14) Then I looked and saw a white cloud before me, and the one sitting on the white cloud looked like a son of man (see Daniel 7:13-14) with a gold victor’s crown on his head and a sharp sickle (a short-handled farming tool with a semicircular blade used in harvesting) in his hand.
(15) Then another angel came out of the heavenly temple, shouting in a loud voice to the one sitting on the cloud, “Take your sickle and gather, because the time to harvest has come, for the earth is ready for harvest!” (16) So the one sitting on the cloud swung his sickle over the earth, and the earth was harvested.
(17) Then another angel came out of the heavenly temple, and he too had a sharp sickle. (18) Then another angel, who had authority over the fire, came out from the altar and called in a loud voice to the angel who had the sharp sickle, “Take your sharp sickle and harvest the clusters of grapes from the earth’s vineyard, because its grapes are ripe.” (19) So the angel swung his sharp sickle over the earth and harvested its grapes. Next he threw the grapes into the large winepress of God’s just wrath. (20) Then the grapes were stomped in the winepress outside the city, and blood flowed like a river out of the winepress as high as the heads of the horses and for a distance of 1,600 stadia (180 miles/290 km).