I looked, and saw the Lamb standing on Mount Zion. With him were 144,000 who had his name, and the name of his Father, written on their foreheads. I heard a voice from heaven that sounded like rushing water and loud thunder and many harps being played. They sang a new song in front of the throne and the four living creatures and the elders. Nobody could learn the song except the 144,000, those who had been redeemed from the earth. They have not become morally impure by sinning with women; spiritually they are virgins. They follow the Lamb wherever he goes. They were redeemed from humankind as the firstfruits to God and the Lamb. They speak no lies; they are without fault.
Then I saw another angel flying in mid-heaven. He had the eternal good news to announce to those who lived on the earth, to every nation, tribe, language, and people. He cried out in a loud voice, “Give God reverence and glory, for the time of his judgment has come. Worship the one who made heaven and earth and sea and springs of water.”
A second angel followed, calling out, “Babylon the great has collapsed into ruins!* She made all the nations drink the wine of her sexual immorality that brings God's furious opposition.”
A third angel followed the first two, and cried out in a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image and receives a mark on their forehead or on their hand, 10 they will also drink of the wine of God's furious opposition that is poured undiluted into the cup of his anger, and they will suffer anguish§ in fire and burning sulfur before the holy angels and the Lamb. 11 The smoke of their anguish ascends for ever and ever. They don't have any relief day or night, those who worship the beast and his image and who receive the mark of his name.” 12 This means the believers must patiently endure, keeping God's commandments and trusting in Jesus.
13 Then I heard a voice from heaven that told me, “Write this down! Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on. Yes, says the Spirit, because they can rest from their troubles. What they have accomplished will speak for them.”*
14 I looked and I saw a white cloud. Sitting on the cloud was someone that looked like the Son of man, wearing a golden crown on his head and holding a sharp sickle in his hand. 15 Another angel came out of the Temple and shouted in a loud voice to the one sitting on the cloud, “Take your sickle and start reaping, for it is harvest-time, and earth's harvest is ripe.” 16 The one sitting on the cloud swung his sickle towards the earth, and reaped earth's harvest.
17 Another angel came out of the Temple in heaven. He also had a sharp sickle. 18 He was followed by an angel coming from the altar that was in charge of the fire, who called in a loud voice to the angel with the sharp sickle, “Take your sharp sickle and harvest the bunches of grapes from the earth's vine, because its grapes are ripe.” 19 The angel swung his sickle on the earth and harvested the grapes from the vine, and threw them into the great winepress of God's judgment. 20 They were trampled in the winepress outside the city. Blood flowed out of the winepress to the height of a horse's bridle, and to a distance of 1,600 stadia.§
* 14:8 See Isaiah 21:9. 14:8 This alludes to Jeremiah 51:7. In view of verse 10 that follows and the Jeremiah allusion is seems appropriate to conclude that it is this “wine of God's furious opposition” that is in view here. Of course human language is being used to describe God so while his intense opposition to sin is clear, words like “fury” and “anger” should not be understood in terms of fallen human nature. 14:10 Or “indignation.” § 14:10 Or “tortured.” Note that the term here (also used in the following verse) is in the passive. * 14:13 Literally, “will follow after them.” 14:14 See Daniel 7:13. 14:19 Literally, “fury,” (also 15:7, 16:1, 19:15), but see note on “anger” in footnote to 6:16. § 14:20 184 miles (296 kilometers).