CHAPTER 20 – Revelation 8:7-13 末世戰爭的武器 THE WEAPONS OF WAR OF THE END TIMES

第八、第九章是爭議相當多的經文,原因是描寫地上所發生的事,佈景不在天上的聖所,也不是靈界中天使與魔鬼的爭戰。

Chapters 8 and 9 contain a lot of verses that have caused a lot of controversies and the reason is that they describe events that are happening on the earth, the scene that it portrays is not the sanctuary in heaven or a battle in the spiritual realm between angels and Satan.

地面上的事當然應該是按字面來解釋。不過按字面解釋還是有一定的困難,因為約翰所見的景象,是他二千年後的事。他沒有經歷過末世的生活,也沒有末世的詞可以運用,他用古代的文字描寫現代的景象。現代的人一定看得莫明其妙,大家的解釋不會一樣,也一定有差異。

The things that happened on earth should be explained literally, but there are certain difficulties in a literal interpretation because the vision that John saw pertains to things that take place 2000 years later. He had never experienced life during the end times, and he does not have the right words to use to explain what he is looking at, he used ancient language to describe scenes of modern times. People in modern times will find John’s descriptions puzzling, they will have different interpretations, and there will definitely be a lot of discrepancies .

吹號,有向大眾宣告或召集群眾的意思。一共有七位天使吹號,七支號。前面四號是一組,五、六兩號又是另一組,第七號會比較長。

Sounding the trumpet means making a proclamation to the people or gathering the masses. There are 7 angels sounding the trumpets, and there are 7 trumpets. The first four trumpet sounds belong to one group; the fifth and the sixth trumpet sound belong to another group and the seventh trumpet sound is rather a long one.

第一號到第四號描寫得很簡單、很短,完了之後,中間加插了一頭鷹,大聲宣告叁個禍災。五到六號記載很詳細篇幅長很多,一看就知道是另外一種題目的描寫。

The first through the fourth trumpet sound have very short and simple descriptions, after the fourth trumpet sound an eagle is mentioned calling out in a loud voice three woes bring down disasters. The description of the fifth and the sixth trumpet sounds are longer and very detailed . By looking at it we can notice that it changed to a completely different topic.

先來看第一到第四號,這是描寫末世戰爭的武器,都是大殺傷力的武器。在約翰的時代,二千年前,是絕對看不到這種大殺傷力的武器,所以他也沒有詞彙可以描寫,當然也就寫得不清楚了。

We will first take a look at the first four trumpet sounds, they describe the weapons of wars in the last days; those weapons are very lethal. During the times of John, 2,000 years ago, these kinds of lethal weapons did not exist, therefore he did not have the exact terminology to describe them, needless to say, he could not give a clear description of what he saw.

炸彈的戰爭

WARS WITH MISSILES

7 第一位天使吹號,就有雹子與火攙著血丟在地上。地的叁分之一和樹的叁分之一被燒了,一切的青草也被燒了。

7 The first angel sounded his trumpet, and there came hail and fire mixed with blood, and it was hurled down on the earth. A third of the earth was burned up, a third of the trees were burned up, and all the green grass was burned up.

雹子,不是冰雹,是有火的,攙著血紅色的火,把地上植物燒了。古代戰爭都是用刀劍、矛槍、弓箭,但近代有了火藥,造出鎗砲炸彈,這些有爆炸力的武器厲害多了,第一次世界大戰就是鎗砲炸彈的戰爭。

Hail, not balls of ice, it had fire, fire mixed with blood. It burned up the trees and the green grass. The wars in ancient times used knives and swords, lance and spears, bow and arrows, but now that we have gunpowder, there are guns, cannons and bombs; these explosive weapons are much more powerful. During World War I, people used guns, cannons and bombs.

原子彈戰爭

WARS WITH ATOMIC BOMBS

8 第二位天使吹號,就有彷彿火燒著的大山扔在海中,海的叁分之一變成血,9 海中的活物死了叁分之一,船隻也壞了叁分之一。

8 The second angel sounded his trumpet, and something like a huge mountain, all ablaze, was thrown into the sea. A third of the sea turned into blood, 9 a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.

這炸彈更厲害了,像大山一樣,是非常強力的。也不是真的一座大山,乃是彷彿( 好像) 大山。這兩章「彷彿」或「好像」用的次數,比全新約其他地方用這字總和更多,可見約翰有相當的難度描寫這情況,他也不夠詞用,因為從未見過這情形,這裡描寫的是更大的殺傷力武器,進入了重型炸彈、氫彈與原子彈的時代。像燒著火的大山之威力。

These bombs are more powerful, like a huge mountain, very massive. It is not really a huge mountain, but something like a huge mountain. The words “something like” or “similar to” are used here more than in other parts of the New Testament which shows that John is having a lot of difficulty describing the circumstances, he also does not have enough words to describe what he sees, because he has never seen those situations. The weapons of war described herein are much more powerful, they have entered the era of heavy duty artillery, hydrogen and atomic bombs; resembling the force of a huge mountain, all ablaze.

化學武器戰爭

WARS WITH CHEMICAL WEAPONS

10 第叁位天使吹號,就有燒著的大星,好像火把從天上落下來,落在江河的叁分之一,和眾水的泉源上。11 這星名叫茵蔯,眾水的叁分之一變為茵蔯,因水變苦,就死了許多人。

10 The third angel sounded his trumpet, and a great star, blazing like a torch, fell from the sky on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water— 11 the name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters turned bitter, and many people died from the waters that had become bitter.

廿世紀後期多國發展了化學生物武器,美國在打越戰的時候已用上了化武。有七十多種化學武器,輕便而具有很大的殺傷力,不過也有很大的後遺症。通常化武都是用炸彈攜帶的,好像放煙火。所以這裡描寫像火把從天上落下,或像燒著的大星等,都是描寫炸彈在發射化武。不過約翰卻不知道那些化學品是甚麽,所以全部都叫做「茵蔯」。

In the later period of the twentieth century many countries have developed chemical and biological weapons. The United States already used chemical weapons during the Vietnam War. There are more than seventy kinds of chemical weapons. They are lightweight, portable and very lethal but they also bring a lot of aftereffects. Usually, chemical weapons are carried through bombs, like releasing fireworks. Therefore, when it says “a great star, blazing like a torch, fell from the sky”, it is describing a bomb launching a chemical weapon, but John does not know what a chemical weapon is, so he calls it “wormwood”.

太空爭霸戰

WARS IN SPACE

12 第四位天使吹號,日頭的叁分之一,月亮的叁分之一,星辰的叁分之一都被擊打,以致日月星的叁分之一黑暗了,白晝的叁分之一沒有光,黑夜也是這樣。

12 The fourth angel sounded his trumpet, and a third of the sun was struck, a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of them turned dark. A third of the day was without light, and also a third of the night.

到了最末後時期,打仗武器進入太空時代,不單用核武,且用長程飛彈,智慧型飛彈等,就是能追著目標的飛彈。飛彈帶著核子彈頭衝向太空追著目標,敵人反導彈系統,要在太空中攔截,不讓它到達自己地土,所以必然在空中爆炸,天空一片黑暗,不見天日。各國武器發展都朝這方向,所以太空戰爭日子不遠。

During the end times, the weapons of war will enter the space age, not only will nuclear weapons be used but also long-range missiles, smart missiles that can chase the target. Missiles carrying nuclear warhead will be charged up to the sky while the enemy will use an anti-missile system to intercept the weapon and this will cause explosions in midair, the skies will turn dark, and sunlight will not shine through the darkness. The development of all these kinds of weapons by many countries are going in this direction, therefore Space Age wars are at hand.

特別詞句

SPECIAL WORDS

我們現在回來再解釋某一些詞。其實第七章十四萬四千人要先印上印記時,也吩咐天使先不要傷害地、海、樹,都有特別的含意。「地」,是宗教界的基地;「海」,是政治界的基地;「樹」,是生產或經濟界的基地。讀12 、13 章就會看見,地出來的獸,海出來的獸,是指邪惡的宗教領袖、政治領袖出現。

We will now explain the meaning of some words. Actually, the event of the 144,000, who were sealed in Chapter 7, and the angel giving the command not to harm the land or the sea or the trees until a seal was put on the foreheads of the servants of God; all these words have an implied meaning. “The land” relates to the religious sector; “the sea” relates to the political sector; “the trees” relate to the manufacturing or economic sector. When we read Chapters 12 and 13 we see the beast that comes out from the land, the beast that comes out from the sea, points to an evil religious leader and the rise of a political leader.

「地與樹」:第一號所傷害的,主要是地與樹,表示是對宗教與經濟的傷害很大。因為第一次世界大戰是歐洲引發的,與宗教、民族主義及經濟有關。

“The land and the trees”: The first trumpet only harmed the land and the trees, which means that great harm was done to the religious and economic sectors. The First World War initiated in Europe and it was related to the areas of religion, nationalism and economy.

「海」:第二號,就是第二次大戰所傷害的是海,因為主要是政權利益的戰爭。看日本人所爭奪的就是政權、地土,為了擴大自己政權,侵略別的國家。

“The sea”: The second trumpet. The Second World War harmed the sea, because it was a war for political power and personal interests. We see that what the Japanese were fighting for was political power and land; they invaded other countries in order to expand their own regime.

「江河泉源」:第叁號化學武器戰爭,傷害的是江河泉源,是資源、天然環境方面受傷害。這種戰爭的結果,使所呼吸的空氣,所喝的水,所吃的食物,都成毒害人的毒藥。

“Rivers and springs of water”: The third trumpet. Wars with chemical weapons, it harmed the rivers and springs of water, which are resources, nature and the environment was harmed. The result of these kinds of wars was making poisonous the air we breathe, the water we drink and the food we eat.

「天空」:到第四號太空爭霸戰下所傷害的,主要是天空。指人精神方面受傷,心理上受傷,在這種戰爭陰影下,人人覺得沒有前途、沒有希望,人生一片灰暗。憂鬱症曼延。

“The sky”: The fourth trumpet. Space power struggles harmed mainly the sky. Indicates that people’s spirits are harmed, there is psychological trauma, under the shadow of these kinds of wars, everyone feels that there is no future, no hope, life feels gloomy. Depression sets in for a prolonged period of time.

全人類最主要引起戰爭的導火線,就是這幾樣。其中以宗教與精神方面,就是地上與天空這方面是比較抽象。

These are mainly the things that will trigger wars among all human beings. Besides the aspects of religion and spiritual matters; the matters on the land and in the sky are relatively elusive.

中國以無神論唯物論立國,忽略這兩方面的重要性,所教出來的人民,在精神上丟棄過去崇高理想,一切以錢財、經濟為前提。要出人頭地,目的也只是為賺錢,追求名譽、地位、學識。其實不用打仗,在精神生活方面已經輸了。以為宗教不重要,可以滅掉宗教,結果宗教引起動亂。中國境內的佛教徒、回教徒,都會帶來傷害。西藏、新疆問題,甚至法輪功的問題,都是宗教問題。這種種宗教動亂不會平息。

China was established under the ideas of atheism and materialism and neglected the importance of these two aspects. Therefore, their people were taught to leave their spiritual ideals and depend only on money and the economy. To stand out among one’s peers, they focused on gaining wealth, pursuing fame, status and knowledge; actually, they did not even have to fight; in the aspect of spiritual life they had already lost. They thought religion was not important and that they could destroy it; the result was religious turmoil. The Buddhists and Muslims in China only brought harm. The troubles in Tibet, Xinjiang and even Falun Gong are all religious problems. All these kinds of religious uproars will never come to a peaceful ending.

特別數字

SPECIAL NUMBERS

再要解釋的是「叁分之一」,這兩章出現多次死了叁分一,受打擊叁分一等,因為全是叁分一,所以肯定不是一個實數,是個像徵數。從古到今,分成叁分的,就是輪班制。一天廿四小時分叁班每班八小時。耶穌的墳墓當日派了叁班羅馬兵看守,共廿四個兵,八個一班,每班八小時。所以耶穌復活之時,其中八個兵看見,他們全部躺在地上都好像死了一樣,當時是全部嚇壞了,但實際上只有叁分之一的兵遇見。

The phrase “a third” needs further explanation. In these two chapters the phrases “a third died”, “a third was struck” appear several times. Due to the fact that all of them are “a third”, we can conclude that it is not a real number but a symbolic number. From ancient times until now, whenever things are divided into thirds, it means shift rotations. One day has 24 hours, divided into 3 shifts, 8 hours per shift. Guarding Jesus’ tomb were 3 shifts of Roman soldiers, a total of 24 soldiers, 8 soldiers each shift, each shift guarded the tomb for 8 hours. Therefore, when Jesus resurrected from the dead, 8 soldiers were guarding the tomb and they were so afraid that they shook and became like dead men. At that time, all the guards were scared to death, but actually only a third of the guards saw the event.

叁分一的意思就是,在當時、當地的情況,是局部性的,但卻是全面受破壞。當時、當地所有水受污染,像日本的海嘯後的核污染,只算叁分一。因為其他地方不在內。

The meaning of “a third” is that there was total destruction at a certain time and in a certain place. The complete destruction was only locally. At a certain time, in a certain place, all the waters were polluted. Like the nuclear contamination after the tsunami in Japan, this is considered “a third” because the disaster did not happen in any other place, just locally.

海裡生物死叁分一,船毀滅叁分一,譯者覺得船隻怎毀滅叁分一?所以譯為壞了。第七節也漏了一句叁分一,寫成是一切青草。

A third of the living creatures in the sea died, a third of the ships were destroyed. Verse 7 says “all the green grass was burned up”; the phrase “a third” was omitted.

末世戰爭的武器,有非常大毀滅性。一受炸,在場的必死無疑。所以叁分之一,乃是局部地區的全部。

The weapons of war during the last days will be extremely devastating. A single explosion will undoubtedly kill everyone present. Therefore “a third” refers to everyone or everything in a local area.

13 我又看見一個鷹飛在空中,並聽見牠大聲說:叁位天使要吹那其馀的號,你們住在地上的民,禍哉、禍哉、禍哉!

13 As I watched, I heard an eagle that was flying in midair call out in a loud voice: “Woe! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth, because of the trumpet blasts about to be sounded by the other three angels!”

我又看見,表示是另一個異象。鷹是鳥中飛得最快的,也是災禍來臨前的預告。在這裡是一個異象,有鷹在說話,還大聲宣告這災禍的可怕。是因為不只是傷害陸地、海洋、水源、天空,而且是將會死去很多人,是對人的大災禍。

“As I watched” means it is another vision. Eagles are the fastest flying birds and also an omen of a coming disaster. Here it is a vision where the eagle speaks and calls out in a loud voice announcing the terrifying disasters about to come, because these great disasters will not only affect the land, the sea, the water sources or the sky but many people will die. These great disasters will affect the human race.

叁次「禍哉」,是非常肯定一定會發生的。天使常稱頌神「聖哉、聖哉、聖哉」叁次,也是肯定之意。猶太人現在仍用重複字加強意思。

Three “woes” means it will definitely happen. When the angels praised God saying three times: “Holy, Holy, Holy,” it was a definite attitude. Jewish people nowadays still use repetitive words to reinforce an idea.

神對人說話也常不止一次,最常見的是叁次。有人問怎知神呼召我們作傳道?我說等一等。如果神呼召你,一定不止一次的呼召。神呼召撒母耳叁次;對彼得,藉叁次異象勸他向外邦人傳道。因為這是他很難做的決定,他們一直跟外邦人分清界線,所以主對他說叁次,要他清楚知道是神的旨意。

When God speaks to people He usually doesn’t just say it once, very often we see that He speaks three times. Someone asked, how can we know for certain that God is calling us to be a preacher? I say, wait a while . If God is really calling you, He will definitely not just call you just once. When God called Samuel, He did it three times; when He called Peter to preach to the gentiles, God showed him the same vision three times because that decision was very hard to make. The Jewish people did not associate with gentiles, therefore God spoke to Peter three times so that he would definitely know for sure that it was the will of God.

宋尚節唸完化學博士,獻身去唸神學,在紐約協和神學院時,一天出門,見小孩在地上寫上「安息」的字,再往前走又見相同的事,一共叁次,他想大概神叫我休息。結果那天回學院就被抓去精神病院住了幾個月,學校看見他太熱心,說他精神有問題。朋友也不知道他到了哪裡,所以沒有人救他。他也安心在精神病院把聖經讀了四十遍,後來大使館纔把他救出來。神預先對他說了叁次,叫他好好休息。神如果要感動人做事,祂不會只感動一次。神不要我們胡塗,乃是要我們清楚。

After Dr. John Sung finished his Ph.D. in Chemistry, he went on to study theology at the Union Theological Seminary in New York. One day when he was out on the streets, he saw a little child writing the word “rest” on the ground, he saw the same thing happen three times, he then thought that maybe God wanted him to rest. That day, after he returned to the seminary he was taken into a mental hospital against his will and was confined for a few months . The school saw that he was overly enthusiastic and assumed that he was mentally disturbed. His friends did not know of his whereabouts and so he had no one to rescue him from the mental institution. God told him beforehand three times that he should rest. When God moves people to do something, He will not just let him or her know one time. God does not want us to be confused; He wants us to know clearly what He wants us to do.

聖經裡的預言也常說多過一次,藉著多個傳道人重覆的顯示,好讓我們確定這是神的心意。其實能說出預言,已經是神的作為。

The prophecies in the Bible are often spoken more than once by means of many preachers so we are certain of God’s intentions. Actually all prophecies come from God.

彼得後書1:21 說:因為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。

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.

另外有一些預言還不在聖經裡,像古代的以諾書。以諾與神同行叁百年後被主接去。他的書卻不在聖經裡,只有猶大書引用過他的話。

In addition, there are some prophecies that are not recorded in the Bible, like the Book of Enoch from ancient times. Enoch walked faithfully with God for 300 years; then he was no more, because God took him away. His book was not recorded in the Bible but the Book of Jude quotes words from Enoch’s book.

另外比較有名的是16 世紀法國的猶太人Nostradamus 寫了很多預言詩,其中還有911 事件的預言,並且說這事件之後,就開始第叁次世界大戰。我們不見有世界大戰,但全世界很多國家都有戰爭。

Another famous person who wrote many prophetic poems during the 16th century was a French Jewish man called Nostradamus. The events on 911 were one of his prophecies; he also prophesied that after these events, World War III would begin. So far we have not seen World War III but many countries around the world are at war.

另一位12 世紀的英國主教Malachi Morgan 。1139 年他在火車上見異象,寫下一些預言在他拉丁文聖經中。他預言自己死期與地點,並列出從那時起到世界末日所有教皇名字或簡單描寫,非常準確。

There was another English Bishop from the 12th century called Malachi Morgan. He saw visions while traveling on a train in the year 1139. He wrote some of his visions on his Latin Bible. He prophesied about the date and the place of his own death. He also wrote down the names and a simple description of all the popes that would reign from that time until the end of the world. His writings were very accurate.

倒數最後第四位教宗約翰保羅第一,是1978 年選出來的,他只在位33 天,在月缺的時候上任,也在月缺、月蝕之時過世。稱為「月之缺」。有人說他是被謀殺死的,因為他一上任,想大力整頓天主教,潔淨教會醜聞。結果死了,沒有驗屍報告,草草火葬。

The fourth to the last pope, John Paul I, was elected in 1978, he only reigned for 33 days, and he took office when the moon appeared exactly half full. He died the following month, soon after an eclipse of the moon. He was called “Of the half moon”. Some say that he was murdered because after he took office, he strongly wanted to reorganize the Catholic Church and get rid of its shameful actions. As a result, he died and was hastily cremated without performing a proper autopsy on his body.

跟著的教宗約翰保羅第二同一年選出,預言說他像「日頭之劬勞」,他的一生像日頭一樣,繞著地球轉了多個圈,成為近代最受歡迎教宗。他的作風是不管內政,到處旅行,到處去封聖人。

The next pope, John Paul II was elected the same year; the prophecy said he was “The labour of the sun”, his whole life resembled the sun, he traveled around the world many times, and he was the most popular pope of modern times. He did not care much about internal affairs but traveled a lot, canonizing saints.

根據Malachi Morgan 的預言,約翰保羅第二之後,只有兩任教宗就到末日。繼任的本督十六,稱為「橄欖的榮耀」,或「橄欖山的榮耀」,指耶穌在馬太廿四章橄欖山上講論末世事件時,提到信徒被提,那是榮耀的被提。當他退任或離世之時就是信徒被提、七年大災難開始之時。

According to Malachi Morgan’s prophecies, after John Paul II, there will only be two more popes and then the end of the world will come. John Paul II’s successor, Benedict XVI, is called “Glory of the olive” or “Glory of the Mt . of Olives”, pointing to Matthew chapter 24 where Jesus speaks about the events of the end of the world on Mt. of Olives, mentioning the rapture of the believers, that will be a glorious rapture. When he retires or dies, that will be the time when the rapture will take place and the time when the seven years of great tribulation will begin.

描寫最後一位教宗比較詳細,連名字都有。他名叫羅馬的彼得,他將會在大災難期間出任教皇,並說,最後梵帝岡將會被毀滅。

The description of the last pope is rather detailed; even a name is given to him. His name of Peter the Roman, he is the pope who will reign during the great tribulation; it also says that in the end, the Vatican will be destroyed .

所以天主教會不肯接受這預言,因為在他們的神學裡所有受了洗的信徒,都必定被提,不需要經過大災難,何況教宗本人?而且提到梵帝岡被毀滅,也是他們所不能接受的事。

Therefore, the Catholic Church refuses to accept this prophecy, because, in their theology, all baptized believers will for sure be raptured and will not have to go through the great tribulation, let alone the pope himself. Furthermore, they will never accept the fact that the Vatican being destroyed.

其實不是所有稱為基督徒的人都會被提,如果全部被提,聖經就不需要提醒大家儆醒等候了。只有那些有主生命的人,有聖靈的人,纔會被提。無論天主教、基督教、猶太教裡面,都有很多所謂信主的人,沒有得到聖靈,只在頭腦上認為自己是信徒,那些就是沒有儆醒的人。

Actually, not all people who are called Christians will be raptured. If that was the case, the Bible would not need to remind everyone to be alert and watchful. Only those who have the life of the Lord and the Holy Spirit in them will be raptured. There are many so-called believers in the Catholic Church, in Christian Churches and in Jewish Temples who do not have the Holy Spirit in their hearts and in their lives. Their belief is only intellectual; those are the people who have not been alert.