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The song of the 144,000

14  Then I looked and saw the Lamb standing on a hill called Zion. With him were one hundred and forty-four thousand people. They had his name and the name of his Father written on their foreheads.

I heard a sound from the sky like the sound of much water flowing, and like the sound of much thunder. The sound I heard was like people playing music on their harps.

They were singing a new song in front of God's chief chair, in front of the four living beings and the leaders. No one could learn that song but the one hundred and forty-four thousand people. They have been bought from the earth.

They are the people who have not had sex with women. They are clean. They are the people who follow the Lamb wherever he goes. They lived among people on earth. They have been bought from the earth. They are the first among men to have been bought for God and the Lamb.

They never told lies. They are found to be without any wrong ways as they stand before the throne of God.

Then I saw another angel flying across the sky. He had good news that will last for ever to tell the people who live on the earth. The good news is for every country, tribe, language, and nation.

He said in a loud voice, `Respect and honour God and give him glory! The time has come for him to judge people, to tell them how good or bad they are. Worship him. He made heaven and earth, the sea, and the rivers.'

A second angel followed him. He said, `The great city of Babylon has fallen down. It has fallen down because it filled all the countries with its wrong ways. It has made people to suffer God's anger.'

9-10 A third angel followed the other two. He said in a loud voice, `Any person who worships the beast or its idol, and takes its mark on his forehead or on his hand, will also feel God's anger. He is very angry. That person will be burned with fire and dust that chokes people when it burns. He will be burned in front of the holy angels and the Lamb.

11 The smoke of that fire goes up for ever and ever. Those who worship the animal and its idol, and anyone who takes the mark of its name, will get no rest day or night.'

12 This is why God's people must be patient. They are the ones who keep the laws of God and believe in Jesus.

13 I heard a voice from the sky. It said, `Write this: From now on, happy are those who die believing in the Lord.' `Yes,' says the Spirit. `They will have rest from their troubles. The good things they have done will go with them.'

14 I looked and saw a white cloud. I saw someone like the Son of Man sitting on the cloud. He had a big gold crown on his head and a sharp harvest knife in his hand.

15 Another angel came out of God's temple. He called in a loud voice to the one who was sitting on the cloud. He said, `Take your knife and cut the harvest. The time has come to take in the harvest because the earth is ready.'

16 So the one who sat on the cloud used his knife on earth. And the harvest on earth was cut.

17 Then another angel came out of the temple in heaven. He also had a sharp knife.

18 And another angel came from the altar. He had power over fire. He called in a loud voice to the angel who had the sharp knife. He said, `Take your sharp knife and gather the fruit that grows on the vine on the earth. Its fruit is ripe.'

19 So the angel used his knife on earth. He gathered the fruit of the vine on the earth. He put it in the big place where the water of the fruit is pressed out. This place is God's anger.

20 It was outside the city that they pressed the fruit. Blood ran out of the place. It came up as high as the horses' heads for about two hundred miles.