1 And I looked, and there in front of me was the Lamb, standing on Mount Zion, and with him were one hundred and forty-four thousand persons, with the Lamb's name and His Father's name written on their foreheads. 2 And I heard a sound from heaven like the roar of much rushing water, and like the sound of loud thunder. And the sound I heard was like people playing their harps. 3 And they [i.e., the 144,000] were singing a new song in front of God's throne, and in front of the four living beings and the [twenty-four] elders. No one could learn [to sing] this song except the one hundred and forty-four thousand [See 7:4,9] who had been purchased from the earth. 4 These people are the ones who did not practice sexual immorality with women, for they were virgins [Note: This probably has reference to people who avoided idolatry]. These are people who followed the Lamb wherever He went. They were purchased from among mankind to be the firstfruits [devoted] to God and to the Lamb. 5 They were found not to be liars; [for] they were without just blame.
6 Then I saw another angel flying in mid heaven. He had eternal good news to proclaim to those who lived on the earth, and to every nation, tribe, language group and race. 7 And he said [to them] in a loud voice, "Fear God and honor Him, for the time has come for Him to judge people. Worship Him who made the heaven, the earth, the ocean and the springs of water."
8 Then [I saw] a second angel following [him]. He said, "Fallen! Great Babylon has fallen. She has forced all the nations to drink the wine of her passionate sexual immorality [Note: The word "passionate" here could also mean "angry"]."
9 Then a third angel followed them. He said in a loud voice, "If anyone worships the beast and his statue, and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, 10 he will also [have to] drink the wine of God's anger, as an undiluted mixture in the cup of His anger. And he will be tortured with burning sulphur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. 11 And the smoke of their suffering will ascend forever and ever and there will not be any rest day or night for those who worship the beast and his statue and who receive the mark of his name." 12 Here is [where] God's holy people, who obey His commandments and the faith of Jesus, [need] perseverance.
13 Then I heard a voice from heaven saying, "Write [this]: Those who are [now] dead, who died in [fellowship with] the Lord, are blessed from now on. Yes, says the Holy Spirit, they will rest from their work, for [the record of] their deeds will follow them [i.e., into the next life]."
14 And I looked, and there in front of me I saw a white cloud, and on the cloud was seated someone who looked like the Son of man [See Dan. 7:13]. He had a golden crown on His head and a sharp sickle in His hand. 15 Then another angel [i.e., the fourth] came out of the Temple, calling out with a loud voice to Him who was sitting on the cloud, "Use your sharp sickle to reap [a harvest] because it is harvest time, and the crop of the earth is ripe." 16 And He who sat on the cloud swung His sickle onto the earth, and its crop was harvested.
17 Then another angel [i.e., the fifth] came out of the Temple which is in heaven, and he also had a sharp sickle. 18 Then another angel [i.e., the sixth] came out of the Altar. He had authority over [its] fire and he called out in a loud voice to the one who had the sharp sickle [i.e., the fifth angel] saying, "Use your sharp sickle to gather the clusters from the vines of the earth, for its grapes are ripe." 19 So, the angel swung his sickle to earth and gathered the [grapes from the] vines of the earth and threw them into the huge winepress of God's anger. 20 Then the [grapes in the] winepress were trampled on outside of the city and blood flowed out of the winepress as deep as the horses' bridles for a distance of one hundred and eighty-four [square] miles.