Daily reading for Sunday, December 23, 2012
Revelation 14 (New Living Translation)
The Lamb and the 144,000
14 Then I saw the Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with him were 144,000 who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads. 2 And I heard a sound from heaven like the roar of mighty ocean waves or the rolling of loud thunder. It was like the sound of many harpists playing together.
3 This great choir sang a wonderful new song in front of the throne of God and before the four living beings and the twenty-four elders. No one could learn this song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth. 4 They have kept themselves as pure as virgins,[a] following the Lamb wherever he goes. They have been purchased from among the people on the earth as a special offering[b] to God and to the Lamb. 5 They have told no lies; they are without blame.
The Three Angels
6 And I saw another angel flying through the sky, carrying the eternal Good News to proclaim to the people who belong to this world—to every nation, tribe, language, and people. 7 “Fear God,” he shouted. “Give glory to him. For the time has come when he will sit as judge. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and all the springs of water.”
8 Then another angel followed him through the sky, shouting, “Babylon is fallen—that great city is fallen—because she made all the nations of the world drink the wine of her passionate immorality.”
9 Then a third angel followed them, shouting, “Anyone who worships the beast and his statue or who accepts his mark on the forehead or on the hand 10 must drink the wine of God’s anger. It has been poured full strength into God’s cup of wrath. And they will be tormented with fire and burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and the Lamb. 11 The smoke of their torment will rise forever and ever, and they will have no relief day or night, for they have worshiped the beast and his statue and have accepted the mark of his name.”
12 This means that God’s holy people must endure persecution patiently, obeying his commands and maintaining their faith in Jesus.
13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this down: Blessed are those who die in the Lord from now on. Yes, says the Spirit, they are blessed indeed, for they will rest from their hard work; for their good deeds follow them!”
The Harvest of the Earth
14 Then I saw a white cloud, and seated on the cloud was someone like the Son of Man.[c] He had a gold crown on his head and a sharp sickle in his hand.
15 Then another angel came from the Temple and shouted to the one sitting on the cloud, “Swing the sickle, for the time of harvest has come; the crop on earth is ripe.” 16 So the one sitting on the cloud swung his sickle over the earth, and the whole earth was harvested.
17 After that, another angel came from the Temple in heaven, and he also had a sharp sickle. 18 Then another angel, who had power to destroy with fire, came from the altar. He shouted to the angel with the sharp sickle, “Swing your sickle now to gather the clusters of grapes from the vines of the earth, for they are ripe for judgment.” 19 So the angel swung his sickle over the earth and loaded the grapes into the great winepress of God’s wrath. 20 The grapes were trampled in the winepress outside the city, and blood flowed from the winepress in a stream about 180 miles[d] long and as high as a horse’s bridle.