The Two Beasts
13 1 And the Dragon stood on the shore of the sea. I saw a Beast rising from the sea. It had ten horns and seven heads - on each horn a crown, and each head inscribed with a blasphemous name. 2 The Beast I saw looked like a leopard with bear paws and a lion's mouth. The Dragon turned over its power to it, its throne and great authority. 3 One of the Beast's heads looked as if it had been struck a deathblow, and then healed. The whole earth was agog, gaping at the Beast. 4 They worshiped the Dragon who gave the Beast authority, and they worshiped the Beast, exclaiming, "There's never been anything like the Beast! No one would dare go to war with the Beast!" 5 The Beast had a loud mouth, boastful and blasphemous. It could do anything it wanted for forty-two months. 6 It yelled blasphemies against God, blasphemed his Name, blasphemed his Church, especially those already dwelling with God in Heaven. 7 It was permitted to make war on God's holy people and conquer them. It held absolute sway over all tribes and peoples, tongues and races. 8 Everyone on earth whose name was not written from the world's foundation in the slaughtered Lamb's Book of Life will worship the Beast. 9 Are you listening to this? 10 They've made their bed; now they must lie in it. Anyone marked for prison goes straight to prison; anyone pulling a sword goes down by the sword. Meanwhile, God's holy people passionately and faithfully stand their ground.
11 I saw another Beast rising out of the ground. It had two horns like a lamb but sounded like a dragon when it spoke. 12 It was a puppet of the first Beast, made earth and everyone in it worship the first Beast, which had been healed of its deathblow. 13 This second Beast worked magical signs, dazzling people by making fire come down from Heaven. 14 It used the magic it got from the Beast to dupe earth dwellers, getting them to make an image of the Beast that received the deathblow and lived. 15 It was able to animate the image of the Beast so that it talked, and then arrange that anyone not worshiping the Beast would be killed. 16 It forced all people, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to have a mark on the right hand or forehead. 17 Without the mark of the name of the Beast or the number of its name, it was impossible to buy or sell anything. 18 Solve a riddle: Put your heads together and figure out the meaning of the number of the Beast. It's a human number: six hundred sixty-six.
The Song of the 144,000
14 1 I saw - it took my breath away! - the Lamb standing on Mount Zion, One Hundred and Forty-four Thousand standing there with him, his Name and the Name of his Father inscribed on their foreheads. 2 And I heard a voice out of Heaven, the sound like a cataract, like the crash of thunder. 3 and the harpists singing a new song before the Throne and the Four Animals and the Elders. Only the Hundred and Forty-four Thousand could learn to sing the song. They were bought from earth, 4 lived without compromise, virgin-fresh before God. Wherever the Lamb went, they followed. They were bought from humankind, firstfruits of the harvest for God and the Lamb. 5 Not a false word in their mouths. A perfect offering.
The Messages of the Three Angels
6 I saw another Angel soaring in Middle-Heaven. He had an Eternal Message to preach to all who were still on earth, every nation and tribe, every tongue and people. 7 He preached in a loud voice, "Fear God and give him glory! His hour of judgment has come! Worship the Maker of Heaven and earth, salt sea and fresh water!" 8 A second Angel followed, calling out, "Ruined, ruined, Great Babylon ruined! She made all the nations drunk on the wine of her whoring!" 9 A third Angel followed, shouting, warning, "If anyone worships the Beast and its image and takes the mark on forehead or hand, 10 that person will drink the wine of God's wrath, prepared unmixed in his chalice of anger, and suffer torment from fire and brimstone in the presence of Holy Angels, in the presence of the Lamb. 11 Smoke from their torment will rise age after age. No respite for those who worship the Beast and its image, who take the mark of its name." 12 Meanwhile, the saints stand passionately patient, keeping God's commands, staying faithful to Jesus.
13 I heard a voice out of Heaven, "Write this: Blessed are those who die in the Master from now on; how blessed to die that way!" "Yes," says the Spirit, "and blessed rest from their hard, hard work. None of what they've done is wasted; God blesses them for it all in the end."
The Harvest of the Earth
14 I looked up, I caught my breath! - a white cloud and one like the Son of Man sitting on it. He wore a gold crown and held a sharp sickle. 15 Another Angel came out of the Temple, shouting to the Cloud-Enthroned, "Swing your sickle and reap. It's harvest time. Earth's harvest is ripe for reaping." 16 The Cloud-Enthroned gave a mighty sweep of his sickle, began harvesting earth in a stroke. 17 Then another Angel came out of the Temple in Heaven. He also had a sharp sickle. 18 Yet another Angel, the one in charge of tending the fire, came from the Altar. He thundered to the Angel who held the sharp sickle, "Swing your sharp sickle. Harvest earth's vineyard. The grapes are bursting with ripeness." 19 The Angel swung his sickle, harvested earth's vintage, and heaved it into the winepress, the giant winepress of God's wrath. 20 The winepress was outside the City. As the vintage was trodden, blood poured from the winepress as high as a horse's bridle, a river of blood for two hundred miles.
The Angels with the Last Plagues
15 1 I saw another Sign in Heaven, huge and breathtaking: seven Angels with seven disasters. These are the final disasters, the wrap-up of God's wrath. 2 I saw something like a sea made of glass, the glass all shot through with fire. Carrying harps of God, triumphant over the Beast, its image, and the number of its name, the saved ones stood on the sea of glass. 3 They sang the Song of Moses, servant of God; they sang the Song of the Lamb: Mighty your acts and marvelous, O God, the Sovereign-Strong! Righteous your ways and true, King of the nations! 4 Who can fail to fear you, God, give glory to your Name? Because you and you only are holy, all nations will come and worship you, because they see your judgments are right.
5 Then I saw the doors of the Temple, the Tent of Witness in Heaven, open wide. 6 The Seven Angels carrying the seven disasters came out of the Temple. They were dressed in clean, bright linen and wore gold vests. 7 One of the Four Animals handed the Seven Angels seven gold bowls, brimming with the wrath of God, who lives forever and ever. 8 Smoke from God's glory and power poured out of the Temple. No one was permitted to enter the Temple until the seven disasters of the Seven Angels were finished.
The Vials of Wrath
16 1 I heard a shout of command from the Temple to the Seven Angels: "Begin! Pour out the seven bowls of God's wrath on earth!" 2 The first Angel stepped up and poured his bowl out on earth: Loathsome, stinking sores erupted on all who had taken the mark of the Beast and worshiped its image. 3 The second Angel poured his bowl on the sea: The sea coagulated into blood, and everything in it died. 4 The third Angel poured his bowl on rivers and springs: The waters turned to blood. 5 I heard the Angel of Waters say, Righteous you are, and your judgments are righteous, The Is, The Was, The Holy. 6 They poured out the blood of saints and prophets so you've given them blood to drink - they've gotten what they deserve! 7 Just then I heard the Altar chime in, Yes, O God, the Sovereign-Strong! Your judgments are true and just!
8 The fourth Angel poured his bowl on the sun: Fire blazed from the sun and scorched men and women. 9 Burned and blistered, they cursed God's Name, the God behind these disasters. They refused to repent, refused to honor God. 10 The fifth Angel poured his bowl on the throne of the Beast: Its kingdom fell into sudden eclipse. Mad with pain, men and women bit and chewed their tongues, 11 cursed the God of Heaven for their torment and sores, and refused to repent and change their ways.
12 The sixth Angel poured his bowl on the great Euphrates River: It dried up to nothing. The dry riverbed became a fine roadbed for the kings from the East. 13 From the mouths of the Dragon, the Beast, and the False Prophet I saw three foul demons crawl out - they looked like frogs. 14 These are demon spirits performing signs. They're after the kings of the whole world to get them gathered for battle on the Great Day of God, the Sovereign-Strong. 15 "Keep watch! I come unannounced, like a thief. You're blessed if, awake and dressed, you're ready for me. Too bad if you're found running through the streets, naked and ashamed." 16 The frog-demons gathered the kings together at the place called in Hebrew Armageddon.
17 The seventh Angel poured his bowl into the air: From the Throne in the Temple came a shout, "Done!" 18 followed by lightning flashes and shouts, thunder crashes and a colossal earthquake - a huge and devastating earthquake, never an earthquake like it since time began. 19 The Great City split three ways, the cities of the nations toppled to ruin. Great Babylon had to drink the wine of God's raging anger - God remembered to give her the cup! 20 Every island fled and not a mountain was to be found. 21 Hailstones weighing a ton plummeted, crushing and smashing men and women as they cursed God for the hail, the epic disaster of hail.