CHAPTER 16 – Revelation 5:1-14 預言揭示之前 BEFORE THE PROPHECY IS REVEALED


啟示錄四章、五章都是描寫天上的聖所,第四章只是描寫聖所內有甚麽,但到了第五章,主角纔出場,高潮纔出現。第五章有神手裡的書卷出現,羔羊,就是基督也出現了。

Revelation chapters 4 and 5 describe the Sanctuary in heaven. Chapter 4 only describes what is in side the Sanctuary, but the main character does not appear until chapter 5, which is the climax. In Chapter 5, the scroll that was in God’s hand and also the Lamb, who is Christ, come into sight.

主角登場:神右手中的書卷

THE MAIN CHARACTER STEPS ON THE STAGE: THE SCROLL IN THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD

1 我看見坐寶座的右手中有書卷,里外都寫著字,用七印封嚴了。

1  Then I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides and sealed with seven seals.

「書卷」是指有紀錄的資料,「里外都寫著字」,表資料很多,塞滿資料庫。後來我們知道,這書卷是關於將來的事,是預言的來源。這書卷是從神的右手中出來,有七個印封上。一層一層的封上,所以看不到裡面的內容。到底是誰封上?為甚麽不給人看?

The “scroll” refers to recorded information, “with writing on both sides”; it contained a lot of information, a full database. Later on we will find out that the scroll was related to things that were about to happen, it was a source of prophecy. This scroll came from God’s right hand, and was sealed with seven seals. It was sealed layer after layer, thus it was difficult to see its contents. Who sealed it? Why couldn’t people read it?

最重要的問題:誰能打開這預言書卷?

THE MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION: WHO CAN OPEN THE PROPHECY SCROLL?

2 我又看見一位大能天使,大聲傳說:有誰配展開那書卷,揭開那七印?

2 And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, “Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?”

他問這問題的目的,不是想知道有多少位能打開這書卷。原文表達出這問題期待一個反面的答案,就是沒有誰可以打開它。

The purpose for asking this question was not to find out how many were able to open the scroll. The original text conveys this question expecting a negative answer, which is that nobody was worthy of opening it.

我們要知道,只有神纔能預見未來。由於聖經裡面有很多預言,我們見慣了,自然覺得揭開預言似乎是很平常的事。不過,我們要重新用不同的眼光來看預言。彼得後書1:21 說:「豫言從來沒有出於人意的,乃是人被聖靈感動,說出神的話來。」

We must realize that only God can foresee the future. Because the Bible contains many prophecies, we naturally think that revealing a prophecy is a very common thing. Nonetheless, we should start looking at prophecies from a completely different perspective. 2 Peter 1:21 says, “ For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human , spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”

就是說,人不可能說出預言,所有預言都是出於神,未來的事人無法得知。人都活在時間裡面,不能知道下一分鐘發生甚麽事。所有受造之物都受時間限制。天使雖然比人行動快得多,但仍受時空的限制。天使、魔鬼,都不是無所不能、無所不知、無所不在的。

That is to say, people can not utter prophecies, all prophecies come from God, and no human being can know the future. People live inside time; they can not know what will happen the next minute. All creation is subject to time. Angels , though they can move at a very fast speed, are still subject to the restrictions of time and space. Angels and devils are not omnipotent, omniscient or omnipresent.

那些最靈驗,養小鬼替人批命看相的人,說能知過去未來,他們真正知道的是人的過去,他們倚靠小鬼找資料,可以說出人的過去,到人對他們深信不疑,就可以對人的未來作一些猜想,說得模稜兩可。其實沒有任何生物,包括魔鬼在內,能知道將來要發生的事。

Fortune-tellers use little devils to help them do divination for people about their past and their future; sometimes they could be accurate. They might know a person’s past, as they rely on demons to find information, but when the person starts to doubt what the fortune-teller is saying, they can only make an ambiguous guess on the person’s future. The fact is, there is no living thing that can know what will happen in the future, and that includes the devil.

全宇宙中沒有人或受造物能打開預言書卷

NO ONE IN THE WHOLE UNIVERSE COULD OPEN THE PROPHECY SCROLL

3 在天上、地上、地底下,沒有能展開、能觀看那書卷的。4 因為沒有配展開、配觀看那書卷的,我就大哭。

3 But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth could open the scroll or even look inside it. 4 I wept and wept because no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside.

這大能的天使大聲宣告,非常有權威地說了之後,是絕對真確的。不然的話,約翰就不會大哭起來。約翰大哭,給我們看見,事情像成了定案,已經是不變的事實。

What the mighty angel proclaimed in a very authoritative voice was absolutely true. Otherwise, John would not have wept and wept. The fact that John wept so hard shows that the matter had already been decided, it could not be changed.

我們會有這個疑問,到底神願意啟示這預言給人知道嗎?如果祂願意,怎可能這資料封起來無法打開?而且清楚是從神手裡拿過來的,是祂願意公開的。就算全宇宙沒有任何一位有資格打開它,只要神說:「打開它!」是否就應該打開了呢?除非神自己不願意。所以這是關鍵性的問題。神如果要打開、要啟示給約翰看,怎會說沒有誰能打開它?還由一位大能天使正式慎重地宣告出來?到底神願意還是不願意打開?

We might have this question, in the end, is God willing to reveal this prophecy to the people? If He is willing, why is this information sealed in such a way that could not be opened? Furthermore, it states clearly that it came from the hand of God; He was willing to reveal it. Even if no one was qualified to open it in the entire universe, as long as God would have said “Open it!” Unless God himself was not willing to do that, would not it just open up? Therefore, this is a question that is crucial in nature. If God wanted it to be opened so that John could see what was written inside, why did He say that no one could open it? Even having a mighty angel proclaim it with a loud voice? After all, did God want to open it or not?

這裡不是論才智、身分、地位夠不夠高的問題。是因為關於未來的事,沒有別的受造物能知道,或展示出來。就像人有怕死觀念,但動物沒有。到時候牠們自己會躲起來死,牠們不會明白人為甚麽怕死。牠們不單不明白,怎樣教也不會。這是溝通問題。神是超越時間空間的,人活在時間空間裡面,沒有想像的能力。那些在空中報導交通情況的人,因為在地面之上,看見前面公路堵塞的情形,也像神在時間之外看見前面我們還沒有發生的事一樣。

It is not a matter of having or not having sufficient ability and wisdom, position or status. It is because it pertains to future events; and no one in the whole creation can know this or reveal it. Just as people have the concept of fear of death, but animals do not have it. When the time comes for animals to die, they would just hide somewhere and die quietly, they would not understand why people are afraid of dying. They not only do not understand the concept of dying, even if they were taught about it, they would not be able to learn it. It is a communication problem. God is beyond time and space; human beings live inside time and space; therefore, they do not have the ability to imagine what is like to live beyond time and space. The traffic reporters who do it from the air, they can see when there is a traffic jam on the road ahead; it is kind of like when God sees ahead before things happen to us, because He lives outside time and space.

能打開預言者的條件THE QUALIFICATIONS OF THE ONE WHO CAN OPEN THE PROPHECY

5 長老中有一位對我說:不要哭,看哪,猶大支派中的獅子,大衛的根,祂已得勝,能以展開那書卷、揭開那七印。6 我又看見寶座與四活物並長老之中,有羔羊站立,像是被殺過的,有七角七眼,就是神的七靈,奉差遣往普天下去的。

5 Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.” 6 Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing at the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. The Lamb had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth.

約翰在大哭時,一位祭司天使對他說:不用哭,我們找到了,就是猶大的獅子、大衛的根。約翰一看,不是獅子,是羊羔。這羊羔像是被殺過,但頭上卻有七角,有全部的權柄,是無所不能的,有七眼就是無所不知的,有七靈走遍全世界,是無所不在的。全宇宙就只有這一位曾被殺的羔羊,是全知、全在、全能的神與人,所以祂能夠成為翻譯員。

When John was weeping, one of the elders said to him: “Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals .”When John looked, he saw a Lamb, not a lion. The Lamb looked as if He had been slain. He had seven horns on his head; He possessed all authority, He is omnipotent. He also had seven eyes, seven eyes means He is omniscient. He had seven spirits that go all over the earth, He is omnipresent. In the whole universe there is only one Lamb that was slain, the omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent God and Man, so He can become the interpreter.

祂是神成為人,經歷人的生活過程,成為人之後,過著與人完全一樣的生活。祂要倚靠聖靈的引導指示,掌握了得勝死權的路,最後藉著死而復活把陰間死亡的權柄奪回來。祂得回神的身份地位。祂曾經活在時空裡面,後來也再活在時空之外。所以祂能成為解釋預言的翻譯員。

He is God incarnate; He lived as a human being and experienced the real lifestyle of a regular person. He had to depend on the guidance and instruction of the Holy Spirit. Through His death and resurrection, He took back His authority, triumphing over Death and Hades. He reclaimed His identity and status as God. He previously lived inside time and space, now He lives outside of time and space. Therefore, He can become the one who can interpret the prophecies.

祂已得勝魔鬼,不只制服牠,使牠不能有所行動。也不是管理牠,作牠的掌權者。撒但已經失敗,牠知道時候無多,仍然作垂死的掙扎。最後會把牠消滅。不過現在牠仍然有牠的動作。主說:「在世上你們有苦難,但你們可以放心,因為我已經勝了世界。」祂是得勝者,雖然還沒有在世界作王,我們仍要面對苦難,但放心,主已經留下得勝的秘訣,我們跟隨祂的腳踪,也可以得勝。到了後面,祂正式掌管天國,作天國的王,那時再沒有苦難、眼淚、疼痛,撒但將被丟進火湖里。

He did not just subdue Satan so he could not take any action, He triumphed over him. Satan is not just under His control but he has already been defeated, he knows his time is running out, yet he is still struggling. At the end , Satan will be destroyed; but at the present he is still on the move. The Lord said: “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” He is the One who is victorious, even though He is not reigning in this world yet, we still have to face adversities, but do not worry, the Lord has already left us the secret for victory, as long as we follow in His footsteps, we can also overcome. At the end , He will officially reign in the Kingdom of Heaven, He will be the King of the Kingdom; and then, there will be no more suffering or crying or pain and Satan will be thrown into the lake of fire.

祂願作打開者

HE WAS WILLING TO BE THE ONE WHO WOULD OPEN IT

7 這羔羊前來,從坐寶座的右手裡拿了書卷。

7 He went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who sat on the throne.

羔羊走上前面,從神手裡把書卷拿過來。這個行動,好比政府張貼一個告示,徵求人的行動。有人去把告示撕下來,表示他回應這行動。這行動可能是捉拿通輯犯,可能是徵求能醫好某種怪病的能人異士,無論是甚麽,只要有人把告示揭下來,就表示他要做這一件事。

The Lamb went and took the scroll from the hand of God. This action is similar to when the government posts a notice looking for a certain criminal, seeking for people to take action. If someone removed that notice, it meant that the person wanted to take action. In the old times, people would put up notices requesting help in curing the sickness of a family member and if someone would take that notice down, it meant that the person was going to take action; no matter what, when a certain person takes down a notice, it would mean that he was going to take action.

基督從神手裡接過這預言書卷,表示祂願意接受這任務,讓世間上神的子民能預知未來的事。

When Christ took the prophecy scroll from the hand of God, it meant that He was willing to accept the task, so that the people of God on the world can know what will happen in the future.

有人說,在基督降世之前,不是也有人得到預言嗎?是的,不過人能夠得到預言預告,也是因為基督的關係。無論是活在基督之前,或基督之後,能預知未來的,就是因為基督的指示。因為當基督升到高天,祂能回到時間之外,再進入任何時間之中。

Someone might say, before Christ came to this world; didn’t some people already receive prophecies? Yes, however, the reason why they were able to receive prophecies was because of Christ. Regardless of whether they lived before Christ or after Christ, if people could foresee the future, it is because Christ revealed it to them. When Christ ascended to heaven, he went outside of time and he can re-enter time at any particular point.

1 記得耶穌對猶太人說( 約8:56) :「亞伯拉罕看見我就歡喜。」人當時想用石頭打祂。其實舊約中向人顯現的神,就是道成肉身的基督,祂迴轉成為超越時空的神之時,可以再進入任何時空中。祂向亞伯拉罕預告所多瑪、俄摩拉的滅亡,亞伯拉罕不斷求情說:若有50 個義人在城裡,還會滅這個城嗎?一直求,一直減到若有10 個義人。卻原來在那城裡,連10 個義人都沒有,全都是罪大惡極的人。基督不單知道,而且也有權柄決定,滅城的事做還是不做。

Remember when Jesus told the Jews in John 8:56: “Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad.”At that time, people wanted to stone Him. Actually, the God who appeared to the people in the Old Testament was in fact, Christ, the Word incarnate; after He transcended time and space as God, he could re-enter into any time in history. He announced in advance to Abraham the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Abraham kept pleading saying: “What if there are 50 righteous people in the city? Will you really sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of the 50 righteous people in it ?”He kept pleading and pleading, even for 10 people. But actually, there were not even 10 righteous persons in that city, they were all extremely wicked. Christ not only knew, but He also had the authority to decide whether or not to destroy the city.

祂是神

HE IS GOD

8 祂既拿了書卷,四活物和二十四位長老,就俯伏在羔羊面前,各拿著琴,和盛滿了香的金爐,這香就是眾聖徒的祈禱。9 他們唱新歌。

8 And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of God’s people. 9 And they sang a new song.

四活物與廿四位長老都是在聖所裡面服事的靈界僕役。他們都俯伏在羔羊基督面前向祂敬拜。他們拿著琴,因為他們用詩歌敬拜。他們拿著盛滿香的金爐,這香就是眾聖徒的祈禱。廿四長老都是天上聖所裡的祭司。他們供職的方式,就是把眾聖徒的禱告帶到神面前。這種禱告,也是在禮拜當中。所以他們都以詩歌與禱告敬拜神。

The four living creatures and the twenty-four elders are the servants who minister in the Sanctuary in the spiritual realm. They all fell down before Christ, the Lamb, and worshiped Him. Each one had a harp because they worshiped with a hymn. They were also holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of God’s people. The twenty-four elders were priests who ministered inside the heavenly Sanctuary. Their duty was to bring the prayers of God’s people to the presence of God. This kind of prayer is also what we offer during Sunday worship. They used hymns and prayers to worship God.

這一次他們敬拜的不只是父神,也是羔羊基督。所以基督也是與神同等,與父神同尊、同榮的主。

This time they not only worshiped God the Father, they also worshiped Christ, the Lamb. Therefore Christ is equal to God in status, honor and glory.

他們崇拜中所唱的還是「新歌」,以前他們唱的舊歌,是神創造的偉大,「諸天要述說神的榮耀,穹蒼要傳揚祂的手段。」但現在有新歌要唱,因為基督降生成為人,用祂的血打開一條敬拜主的新路,從各族、各方、各民、各國中買了人來。祂不單打通神與人之間隔斷的牆,也打通各族、各方、各民、各國之間的牆。祂是唯一一位把神與人,把各種不同的人,全部拉在一起的主。所以他們用新歌頌揚基督的偉大工程。

The song that they sang as they worshiped was a “new song”. The song they sang in the past was an old song; it was about God’s wonderful creation, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands.”Now there is a new song to sing, because Christ came to earth and became a human being, and with His blood He opened a new way to worship the Lord, He purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation. He not only broke down the wall that separated people from God, He also broke the barrier between people of every tribe and language and people and nation. He is the only Lord who reconciled human beings with God and brought different people together in Him . Thus, they sang a new song to praise Christ for His mighty works.

祂是叁位一體中的一位

HE IS ONE OF THE PERSONS OF THE TRINITY

11 我又看見且聽見,寶座與活物並長老的周圍,有許多天使的聲音。他們的數目有千千萬萬。12 大聲說:曾被殺的羔羊是配得權柄、豐富、智慧、能力、尊貴、榮耀、頌讚的。13 我又聽見,在天上、地上、地底下、滄海裡,和天地間一切所有被造之物,都說:但願頌讚、尊貴、榮耀、權勢,都歸給坐寶座的和羔羊,直到永永遠遠。14 四活物就說:阿們。眾長老也俯伏敬拜。

11 Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. 12 In a loud voice they were saying: “Worthy is the Lamb , who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!”13 Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying : “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!”14 The four living creatures said, “Amen,” and the elders fell down and worshiped.

不單是聖所中四活物與廿四長老敬拜祂,而且周圍有千千萬萬的天使,並且說,天上、地上、地底下、滄海裡、天地間一切受造之物都敬拜祂。祂是叁位一體神之中的第二位,與神是同等,接受同樣的敬拜。

Not only the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders worshiped Him, but also many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and then thousands times ten thousand were worshiping Him. Also every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea and all that is in them worshiped Him. He is the second person of the Trinity, equal to God, and He received the same worship.

宇宙中所有受造物都這樣敬拜祂,都承認祂是全能的神。就是說,如果有人不認耶穌基督是完全的神,是與父神同等的主,這些人就是不信者,與眾天使,與所有受造之物唱反調,證明他們與天國無份無關。

All creation worshiped Him in the same way; they all acknowledge Him as the Almighty God. In other words, if there is someone who does not acknowledge Christ to be the Almighty God, and who is equal to God the Father, that person is an unbeliever, and is singing a different tune; proving that he has no part and no relationship whatsoever with the Kingdom of Heaven.

祂的經歷使祂能作打開預言書卷者

HIS EXPERIENCE ENABLES HIM TO BE THE ONE WHO CAN OPEN THE PROPHECY SCROLL

9 他們唱新歌說:祢配拿書卷,配揭開七印,因為祢曾被殺,用自己的血從各族各方、各民各國中買了人來,叫他們歸於神。10 又叫他們成為國民,作祭司,歸於神,在地上執掌王權。

9 And they sang a new song, saying: “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation. 10 You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign] on the earth.”

神本來是活在時空以外的神,能看透時間裡面的事,也能知道過去未來,不像天使魔鬼及所有生物,只能知道過去。聖經說:「神看千年如一日,一日如千年。」摩西說:「在祢看來,千年如已過的昨日,又如夜間的一更。」因為祂在時間之外,所以人難明白祂為甚麽有這種能力。

Originally, God lived outside time and space and could see all the things that happened inside time and know the past and the future; not like the angels and Satan and all living creatures who can only know the past. The Bible says: “With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.”Moses said: “A thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night.”This is because He lives outside time; therefore, it is very difficult for people to understand why God has this ability.

愛因斯坦指出時間是相對的,也是令人非常難理解的。當人以高速進行之時,時間會減慢,體積會縮小。當人以接近光速在外太空繞一個圈,不單體積縮得很小,自己像過了幾個星期,但回來之時發現自己的配偶已經老了幾十年。這是人覺得不可思議的事。人如果以光速進行,時間會停止,體積小到看不見。

Einstein pointed out that time is relative, and this is very hard for people to understand. The faster someone or something moves or the more mass they have, the slower time passes for them. When a person travels almost at the speed of light in outer space, not only his body mass will become very small, but it will feel as if he had gone away for weeks, and when he returns to earth he will find out that his spouse has aged several decades. People think this is an incredible thing . If people travel at the speed of light, time will stop, and their bodies will shrink so much that it will be hard to see them.

這理論聽起來像不可能,但科學慢慢證實是真的。如果神以超光速進行,人就不能看見祂,在祂周圍都是強光。

This theory sounds impossible, but science has slowly proven it to be true. If God travels at the speed of light, people will not be able to see Him, He is surrounded by a bright light.

祂是創造時間、空間的神,祂超越時間、空間的限制。我們人活在與神完全不同的世界裡,神與人之間有一個鴻溝。人與人之間有代溝、語言溝、文化溝,與神之間,有生命溝。祂比曾祖父更不易明白,比非洲人距離更遠。這是非常嚴重的溝通問題。其實是人的接收力問題,祂有很多啟示,曾給很多先知使徒知道。但很多地方都像說得不清不楚。

He is the God who created time and space, He transcends the limitations of time and space. We live in a completely different world than God; there is a wide gap between God and human beings. Among people there are generation gaps, language gaps and cultural gaps; between God and human beings there is a life gap. It is more difficult for us to understand God than to understand our great-grandfathers, and the distance between us and God is farther than the distance between us and the African people. This is a very serious communication problem. Actually, the problem is with human beings, who are unable to be receptive, God had many revelations which He gave to numerous prophets and apostles, but they seem unclear in many places.

神與人之間常有的溝通方法,是藉著是與非來溝通。舊約時代,以色列人要藉烏陵、土明來求問神的旨意,那就是「是與非」的答案。在新約時代,要讓基督的平安在我們心中作裁判,心中有平安就是神的旨意,不平安就不要做,也是「是與非」的答案。

God has a way of communicating with human beings, He uses “Yes or No” to communicate. In the Old Testament times, the Israelites used the Urim and Thummim to inquire for God’s will, which is a “Yes or No” answer. In the New Testament times, the peace of Christ in our hearts will lead us to a decision, if there is peace in our hearts, it is God’s will, if we do not feel at peace with the matter, we should not do it, it is also a “Yes or No” answer.

但先知們需要講解神的要求,傳達神的旨意,不能光靠是與非,所以要藉異象、異夢或強烈的聖靈感動,把神重要的心意表達出來。但預言還是非常不同,不是神不願意告訴人知道,乃是人與神之間分別實在太大,有很大的障礙。神給約翰用電影的方式,看見將來的事,他還是不明白。所以在上天下地,沒有誰能把將來的奧秘揭開的,因為沒有誰能夠把兩個世界拉在一起。我們需要找到一位兩邊都通的翻譯員。基督就是這位翻譯員。

Prophets need to explain the requirements of God and convey His will; they cannot depend only on a“ Yes or No” answer. Therefore, God uses visions, dreams or strong inspiration from the Holy Spirit to let people know His intentions. Prophecies are very different. It is not that God does not want people to know the future, but rather the difference between human beings and God is too great, so there are a lot of hindrances. God let John see the future in the way of a movie, but he still did not understand it. No one in heaven or on earth can reveal the mysteries of the future, because no one can bring together the two different worlds. We need to find an interpreter who is thoroughly acquainted with both places. Christ is that interpreter.