CHAPTER 23 – Revelation 10:1-11 四種啟示 FOUR KINDS OF REVELATIONS

這裡出現多個書卷,聖經所講的書卷,就是當時的書本,不能因為看見是書卷,就認為是同一樣東西。

Many scrolls are mentioned here. The scrolls mentioned in the Bible are books used at that time, but not all scrolls were considered to be the same.

聖經提到的書卷有多種。有地上公民的「生死冊」。摩西為百姓求情說:「請在冊子上除掉我的名。」( 出32:32) 他的意思是讓他去代人死。也有「羔羊的生命冊」,上面有名字的人,就是有永生的人。另外有「記念冊」。記錄人為神所做過的事、所說過的話( 瑪3:16) 。到了20 章也看見,有所有人的「生平紀錄冊」。最後的審判就按這些紀錄作判決。

The books mentioned in the Bible are various. There is the “Book of Life and Death” of the citizens of this world. Moses pleaded to God for the people in Exodus 32:32 saying: “But now, please forgive their sin—but if not, then blot me out of the book You have written.” His intention was for him to die instead of his people. There is also the “Lamb’s Book of Life”; the names of the people recorded in that book are the ones who have eternal life. Another book is the “Scroll of Remembrance”, which records the words and the actions of God’s people. (Malachi 3:16). Then, in chapter 20 we see the “books which record people’s life”. The judgment at the end of the world will be done according to those records.

書卷除了是記錄檔案之外,也有預言。稱為「啟示的書卷」。神給眾先知啟示,給使徒約翰啟示,給他們知道未來發生的事。從這一章經文裡面,看見預言的啟示也有幾種。

Besides books of records, there are also books of prophecy. God revealed things that will happen in the future to the different prophets and to John the Apostle. In this chapter we can see that there are different kinds of revelations.

一. 封住的啟示

1. Sealed prophecies

5:1 坐寶座的右手中有書卷,里外都寫著字,用七印封嚴了。

5:1 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.

第五章的書卷是用七印封住的。這印不是印章的印,是封印的印。七個封印也不是全在外面,乃是分七層封住,要一層一層打開。像有七層的鎖,開第一層,只看到頭一部分,一層一層開下去,纔看見全部。

The scroll in chapter 5 was sealed with seven seals. The seals were not like a stamp, they were tightly sealed. The seals were not all on the outside, but they were sealed in layers, each layer was revealed individually. Like having seven layers of locks, the first lock would open the first layer; the second lock would open the second layer and so forth until all the layers are unlocked.

揭開七印的時候,末世的風氣潮流,就一步一步展現。之後,有七支號吹響,每支號都帶來一些戰爭的景象。從第一號到第六號,都很清晰,每支號分得很清楚。第九章的結束,也是第六號的結束。但第七號卻不容易找到開始或結束,原因是第七號是最長的,吹了七年纔吹完。

When the seventh seal was opened, the trends of the end of world would be revealed step by step. After that, there comes the seven trumpet sounds, each trumpet sound brings a war scene. The trumpet sounds from the first to the sixth are very distinct. Every trumpet sound is very clear. The end of chapter 9 is also the end of the sixth trumpet. But it is not easy to find the start of the end of the seventh trumpet because the seventh trumpet is the longest one; the seventh trumpet was blown for seven years.

當時約翰清楚知道啟示用印封住,沒有人能打開,所以大哭。

At that time John knew very distinctly that the prophecy was sealed and that no one could open it, therefore he wept.

用印封住是甚麽意思?我們讀過了,知道不是神故意封住,因為書卷是從神手裡接過來的,祂是想要讓人明白知道的。從天使口中知道原來全宇宙中,竟然沒有一位能把預言揭開。那本書完全是預言,宇宙間只有神纔知道未來的事,人不單不知道,就算告訴他,也不明白。

Why was it sealed? We have already read that God did not seal it on purpose because the scroll came from God’s hand; He wants people to know and understand. From the angel’s voice we know that no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth could open the scroll or even look inside it. The whole book was a prophecy. No one is in the whole entire universe can know the future except God. People not only did not know the prophecy but even they were told about it, they would not have been able to understand it.

不是神喜歡保守秘密,不是天機不可洩露。箴25:2 :「將事隱秘,乃神的榮耀;將事察清,乃君王的榮耀。」君王對事情全盤了解纔作判斷,就有榮耀。但「將事隱秘,乃神的榮耀」,表示神的智慧、計劃、做事方式、步驟,都是遠遠高過我們的,是我們想不透的。

It is not that God likes to keep secrets from us and does not want to disclose them to us. Proverbs 25:2, “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings.” It is glory for a king to understand the whole affair before making a judgment. But “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter”. This means that God’s wisdom, His plans and His ways are higher than ours and surpasses our understanding.

這書卷里外寫滿了豐富詳盡的內容,但沒有人能明白,除了耶穌基督。只有祂是人也是神,活在時間空間之外,也進入人類時空之中。神是超時空的,沒有人的經歷,只有基督是神、人兩邊都通的唯一一位。

The scroll had writings on both sides and its content was very detailed but no one could read it except Jesus Christ. Only He is fully man and fully God and lives outside time and space. He entered into the time and space of humanity. He is beyond time and space which no human being can accomplish that. Only Christ is God and man and He is the only one who can connect with both sides.

二. 藉天使傳播的啟示

2. REVELATION BY ANGELS

大能的天使

MIGHTY ANGEL

1 我又看見另有一位大能的天使從天降下,披著雲彩,頭上有虹,臉面像日頭,兩腳像火柱。

1 Then I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven. He was robed in a cloud, with a rainbow above his head; his face was like the sun, and his legs were like fiery pillars.

一位大能的天使,身分地位很高,可能是天使長,形容他有非常大的榮耀。他披著雲彩,頭上有虹,臉面像太陽之亮,有人會以為他就是基督,因為這些話是用來形容基督也是很適合的。不過他不是基督。

The mighty angel seemed to have a high rank and status, maybe an archangel, who was described to have great glory. He was robed in a cloud, with a rainbow above his head; his face was like the sun, and his legs were like fiery pillars. Some might have thought that he was Christ because that description would be fitting for Him but the mighty angel was not Christ.

( 一) 啟示錄裡每當基督出現的時候,都清楚說是基督,沒有必要在這裡故作神秘。

(1) Whenever Christ appears in the Book of Revelation, it will clearly say is Christ, there is no need for mystery here.

( 二) 約翰與主生活在一起幾年時間,無論是基督的肉身或榮耀的身體,他都認識。不像但以理、以西結等先知,從未見過基督。約翰不會認不出。但多數的天使他沒有見過。

(2) John lived with the Lord a few years so he would have known Christ in the physical body and in the glorified body. Not like the other prophets like Daniel or Ezekiel who have never seen Christ. He would have definitely known if that angel was Christ but did not know all of the angels.

( 叁) 天使位分能力分大小,位分越大,能力越大,也越有榮耀。這是一位大能天使。所以也大有榮耀。

(3) The ranks of the angels go in accordance with their power; the higher the power, the higher the ranking and their glory. This was a mighty angel and therefore he had great glory.

神、基督、天使出現的雲彩,是光亮的。鬼魔的煙雲是灰暗的。天使都有神的榮耀、榮光,所以稱為光明的天使。在人看都是威嚴可畏,不能因他有這種榮光,就認定他是基督。這只是一位大能的天使。

When God, Christ or angels appear they do it in a very bright cloud. When demons appear there is often a dark and gloomy smoke. Angels have the glory of God, which is why they are called angels of light. When people see angels, they might think they are seeing Christ because of their awesome majesty. But this one was just a mighty angel.

展開的書卷

THE OPEN SCROLL

2 祂手裡拿著小書卷,是展開的。他右腳踏海、左腳踏地。

2 He was holding a little scroll, which lay open in his hand. He planted his right foot on the sea and his left foot on the land.

這天使手拿著的是小書卷。猶太人認為,神的道是藉天使傳播的。他右腳踏海,左腳踏地。所傳播的乃是神對所有人的信息。海代表政治界,地代表宗教界,神的啟示給眾先知,也是給眾君王;給教會,也是給國家的;給信徒,也是給全人類的;所以最後一節說:「你必指著多民、多國、多方、多王,再說預言。」不是單指著教會說預言。

The angel was holding a little scroll. Jews believe that angels are the ones who bring God’s Word to them. His right foot was on the sea and his left foot on the land. What he is proclaiming is God’s message to all the people. The sea represents the political world; the land represents the religious world. God’s revelation is given to all the prophets and to all the rulers; it is given to the church and to the nations; to the believers and to all mankind; therefore the last verse says: “You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, languages and kings.” The prophecies are not solely given to the church.

現在的所謂政教分離,走的太過火了。美國立國時,以基督教為國教,鈔票上印著「我們信靠神」是對的。以基督教為國教,並不是強迫所有人都要信,只表明國家藉信仰建立。

The so-called separation of church and state has gone too far. When the United States was established as a country, Christianity was the national religion, and the official motto in the nation’s paper money was “In God we trust”, and this is right. With Christianity as the national religion it does not mean that it forces everyone to believe God, it just shows that America was established in the Christian faith.

佛教、回教國家都擺明他們的宗教是國教,基督教國家卻反過來打擊基督徒的活動?不能用學校聚會,不能有聖經課。要知道神的道也向國家人民而發,在摩西律法里政教沒有分開。國家元首也應該知道神啟示心意。

Buddhist and Muslim countries have made it clear that their religion is the national religion, yet how can a Christian nation be against Christian activities? The church cannot meet in schools and no Bible classes are allowed. People have to know that God’s Word was also given to the nations. During the times of Moses politics and the church was not separate. The heads of state should know what God wants to reveal to us.

大聲呼喊

A LOUD SHOUT

3 大聲呼喊,好像獅子吼叫。呼喊完了,就有七雷發聲。

3 and he gave a loud shout like the roar of a lion. When he shouted, the voices of the seven thunders spoke.

帖撒羅尼迦前書四章保羅說:「有天使長的聲音、呼叫的聲音,與末次號筒吹響的聲音。」這大能的天使所發出來的聲音,非常雄壯,像獅子的聲音。更有像打雷的「七雷發聲」,他就是保羅說的天使長,恐怕也只有天使長纔有這種威勢。

In 1 Thessalonians, chapter 4, Paul says: “With a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call.” The voice of this mighty angel was very awesome, like the roar of a lion. Also like the voices of the “seven thunders”, he was the archangel whom Paul spoke about, only this archangel would have such power and influence.

在保羅的信裡,當天使長大聲呼喊之時,也就是教會被提的時候,這位天使長像是在呼喚全世界的信徒,告訴他們說,是時候聚集到主那裡去了。

In Paul’s letters, when the angel called with a loud voice, that is also the time when the rapture of the church occurs. This archangel is calling out to the believers of the whole world, telling them that it is time to gather with the Lord .

叁. 不可傳講的啟示

3. AN UNUTTERABLE REVELATION

4 七雷發聲之後,我正要寫出來,就听見從天上有聲音說:七雷所說的,你要封上,不可寫出來。

4 And when the seven thunders spoke, I was about to write; but I heard a voice from heaven say, “Seal up what the seven thunders have said and do not write it down.”

七雷到底說了甚麽?只能猜。最有可能是關於末日被提的時間。總之我們知道,約翰聽到一些話,卻不能說出來。從第一節到第四節所描寫的事情來看,那時候將會有很大、很重要的事件發生,就是死去的信徒復活,與活著的信徒一同被提到天上。這是歷史上的大事,約翰一定很想把它寫出來,只是天上有聲音吩咐,要封上。

What did the seven thunders say? We can only guess. Most likely it had something to do with the rapture at the end of times. All we know is that John heard words which he could not divulge. What happened between verse 1 and verse 4 was tremendous, a very important event concerning the resurrection of the believers that were dead in Christ and the believers that were still alive, both groups were caught up to heaven. This would be the greatest event in history, John must have wanted to record such an extraordinary happening, but a voice from heaven told him to seal it up.

所以我們看見,有兩種預言啟示,是我們所不知道的。第一種,是由於我們的領悟力有限,我們無法透澈了解神的言語。祂雖然想我們知道,我們卻領悟不到。第二種,是神不叫我們知道的,好使我們常存儆醒的心,努力追求。

Therefore, we can see that there are two kinds of revelations which are not made known to us. The first kind is the kind that God wants us to know about but our limited understanding does not permit us to comprehend what God wants to tell us. The second kind is the kind that God does not want us to know about so that we keep a watchful heart as we continue to seek Him.

是鐵定要發生的事

IT WILL DEFINITELY HAPPEN

5 我所看見的,那踏海踏地的天使,向天舉起右手來,6 指著那創造天和天上之物,地和地上之物,海和海中之物,直活到永永遠遠的起誓說:不再有時日了。

5 Then the angel I had seen standing on the sea and on the land raised his right hand to heaven. 6 And he swore by him who lives for ever and ever, who created the heavens and all that is in them, the earth and all that is in it and the sea and all that is in it, and said, “There will be no more delay!

這天使做出一個宣誓的手勢說:「不再有時日了。」神的奧秘要成全了,不再拖延,要來的終於來了。為甚麽要宣誓?目的告訴我們,這些事必定會按程序發生。正像我們聚會,在宣召、唱詩、禱告之後,接著是你的見證,你心裡就會緊張了。因為你知道事情必定按程序發生。

The angel raised his right hand to heaven and swore saying: “There will be no more delay!” The mystery of God was fulfilled; there would be no more delay. The end had come. Why did the angel have to swear? The purpose was to tell us that those events will definitely happen. Like when you are about to give your testimony during the service, first comes the invocation, then the singing of hymns, and following the prayer that will be the time when you are supposed to give your testimony. When you see the list of events taking place one by one, you start to get nervous because you know that the event will definitely happen.

但世界的預兆一步一步應驗,人心卻越來越不儆醒。很多人會說:「這戰爭一定會完結。因為歷世歷代的戰爭都會完結。壞天氣總會變回原狀,不斷循環到永遠。甚麽溫室效應、環境污染,過一段時間就會好過來。」原來日子越近,人越醉生夢死,越不儆醒。像挪亞的時候,洪水來了,所有人措手不及。這位天使鄭重的宣告,叫人不要再沉睡了。

Even though these signs were fulfilled step by step, the hearts of the people were less and less watchful. Many people would say: “This war will end. All the wars in history ended sometime or another. Bad weather will come and go. What about Greenhouse effect, environmental pollution? It will get better after a while.” As the end times gets nearer, people will live a more befuddled life as if they were drunk or in a dream and they will become less and less watchful. As in the times of Noah, the floods came and all the people were unprepared. The solemn declaration of this angel is telling people not to continue to be fast asleep.

是我們早知道的事

WE KNEW THESE EVENTS WOULD HAPPEN BEFOREHAND

7 但在第七位天使吹號發聲的時候,神的奧秘就成全了,正如神所傳給他僕人眾先知的佳音。

7 But in the days when the seventh angel is about to sound his trumpet, the mystery of God will be accomplished, just as he announced to his servants the prophets.”

七雷說了甚麽話,雖然不能說出來,封住了。但內容應該是我們知道的。因為他說:「第七位天使吹號的時候,神的奧秘就成全了,正如神所傳給他僕人、眾先知的佳音。」

Even though the words of the seven thunders were sealed up, we should have already known the contents of it, because he said: “But in the days when the seventh angel is about to sound his trumpet, the mystery of God will be accomplished, just as he announced to his servants the prophets.”

( 1) 這是已經傳給眾先知的,就是在聖經裡面有記載的。(2) 這是佳音、好消息,不是壞消息。要我們儆醒等候這大日子來。為甚麽不能寫?是為我們益處,要我們儆醒。

(1) What was announced to his servants the prophets are the things written down in the Bible; (2) it is good news, not bad news. God wants us to be watchful and alert for the coming of that great and awesome day. Why not write it down? It was not written down for our own benefit, so that we might be always watchful.

四. 已經打開的啟示

4. OPENED REVELATION

要吃下去

MUST BE EATEN

8 我先前從天上所聽見的那聲音又吩咐我說:你去把那踏海踏地之天使手中展開的小書捲取過來。9 我就去到天使那裡,對他說:請你把小書卷給我。他對我說:你拿著喫盡了,便叫你肚子發苦,然而在你口中要甜如蜜。

8 Then the voice that I had heard from heaven spoke to me once more: “Go; take the scroll that lies open in the hand of the angel who is standing on the sea and on the land.” 9 So I went to the angel and asked him to give me the little scroll. He said to me, “Take it and eat it. It will turn your stomach sour, but ‘in your mouth it will be as sweet as honey.”

這個小書卷。重點不在它的體積小,重點應該在於它是「展開」的。是人人可以讀的,是為我們預備的,目的是讓我們明白祂的心意。

The main point of this little scroll is not its size but that it “lies open”. Everyone could read it and it was prepared for us so that we could understand its intention.

人要怎樣對它呢?要吃下去,要成為我們生命的一部份。要看它為我們經常的食物。現在聖經很多,也很方便買得到。古代的聖徒多數沒有聖經可讀,只偶然聽見先知講道或祭司教導,他們都要很留心記住,反覆默想,因為沒有聖經在手。我們現在實在是太方便了,一個人可以擁有多本聖經,但很多人輕視它的重要性,覺得不過是另外一本書。

What should people do about it? Eat it so it becomes part of our lives. Treat it as our everyday food. Nowadays there are many Bibles and it is very convenient for us to read it. In ancient times, most of the saints did not have a Bible; they could only hear a prophet reading it occasionally or hear the teachings by a priest. Back then they had to try very hard to remember what they have heard and meditate on it, because they did not have a Bible of their own . It is very convenient for us nowadays, one person could own many Bibles, but many people despise the importance of God’s Word, they think is just another kind of book.

這本打開的啟示,天使要約翰吃下去,就像當日以西結、耶利米先知一樣,把主的話吃進去。吃進去的意思是要我們接受到靈裡,不是只作傳聲筒,聽過之後轉播出去。乃是進到靈裡經過生命的消化。

The angel wanted John to eat the open scroll; like Ezekiel and the prophet Jeremiah, they had to eat God’s Word. To eat it means to receive it into our spirits, not just to let God’s Word to come in one ear and go out the other ear; but to receive God’s Word into our spirits and fully digest it into our lives.

這消化過程非常奇妙,開始的時候覺得非常甜美,甜如蜜,是很多基督徒的經驗。得到主的話語非常開心,充滿喜樂。但真正進入人生的經驗時,又會覺得苦了。因為要把主的道活出來,會有一些難處。親人之間有不同的價值觀,會有衝突。知道兒女或朋友所走道路不對,會引來可怕的後果,心中也難過。對親愛的人發警告,也是不容易的事。

The process of digestion is very amazing; in the beginning it tasted as sweet as honey which is what many Christians experience. When they first receive God’s Word they feel very happy and full of joy. But, later on, when they truly put it into practice, it becomes bitter; because when we actually put God’s Word into action, it is a very hard thing to do. Different members of our family might have different values which will bring out many conflicts. When we know that our children or friends are going the wrong way, we feel awful, yet it is not easy for us to warn them about the terrible consequences of their behavior.

遵行主話語的經歷

THE EXPERIENCE OF OBEYING GOD ‘ S WORD

10 我從天使手中把小書卷接過來喫盡了。在我口中果然甜如蜜,喫了以後,肚子覺得發苦了。11 天使對我說:你必指著多民多國多方多王再說豫言。

10 I took the little scroll from the angel’s hand and ate it. It tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it, my stomach turned sour. 11 Then I was told, “You must prophesy again about many peoples , nations, languages and kings.”

看見社會人心敗壞,心中激盪;看見人心距離神的期望太遠,心中痛苦。但要明白,心裡覺得苦不是最後的階段,那苦不是一直停留,這只是一個過程。總要記得這些話是對「多民、多國、多方、多王」說的。所以最後的階段,是有話要說,有事要做,有神的旨意要執行。這甜、這苦,都會過去,最後是,我們有信息要向全世界的人說,我們有神的話語要傳達清楚。這打開的啟示,是為全世界的人所預備的。

When we look at how corrupted our society has become, we feel disturbed. When we look at how distant people’s hearts have drifted away from God’s expectations, our hearts ache; but we need to understand that our heartaches are not the final stage. The pain will not last forever, it is only a process. We have to remember that these words were spoken to “many peoples, nations, languages and kings.” Therefore, during the final stage there are words that need to be spoken, work that needs to be done and God’s will has to be carried out. The sweetness and the bitterness will pass away; at the end, we have a message to proclaim to the whole world, we have to convey God’s Word clearly. This open revelation was prepared for the people of the entire world.