CHAPTER 26 – Revelation 11:3-7 末世見證人的能力 THE POWER OF THE WITNESSES OF THE END TIMES

每一個時代作主的見證人都需要能力,在末世傳道,更需要特別能力。因為末世人心冷漠,追求滿足自己,追求財富、享樂。世上每一天有八億人餓這肚子睡覺,十幾億人沒有乾淨的食水,糧食短缺,汽油高漲,百物騰貴,垃圾多到無法處理,病人多到無法照顧,打官司要排期幾年,到處有戰爭,在這可怕的時代,人排隊去買的竟是電腦遊戲,而且是暴力遊戲,教人偷搶,卻不告訴人被警察抓到的後果,失敗了可以再來一個新遊戲。人普遍對福音、對教會存著痴笑的態度。

The Lord’s witnesses have needed power through every era, but during the end times they will need special power because the hearts of the people of this world will grow cold and indifferent; they will seek self-satisfaction, riches and pleasures. Every day eight hundred million people go to bed hungry, more than one billion people do not have clean drinking water, there are food shortages, gasoline prices have skyrocketed, everything has become so expensive, the amount of garbage is so great that we are having trouble dealing with it , there are so many sick people that it is impossible to care of every one of them. If you are suing someone, you might have to wait on line for a long period of time. There are wars everywhere. During these terrible times, people line up to buy computer games that are full of violence, they are taught to steal and rob but are not warned about the consequences of being caught by the police, and if you lose, you can start a new game. The general attitude of the people toward the Gospel and the Church is to make fun of it.

這兩位見證者,需要特別的工作能力。他們在大災難期間,在最艱難的時候,作主的見證人。我們可能沒有機會見到他們,但他們工作的能力,卻是各時代通用的。在任何情況底下,傳福音都需要特別能力。在這世俗化的世界中作屬靈的事,是反抗潮流的。事奉主需要屬靈的能力,求主興起我們,能夠像他們一樣得到見證的能力。

These two witnesses need special power to do their work. They are being witnesses for the Lord during the most difficult times in the midst of the great tribulation. We might not have the opportunity to meet them, but the way they work can be applied to every era. Power is needed to spread the Gospel under all circumstances. In this secularized world, doing God’s work means to go against the tide. Spiritual power is needed to serve the Lord. May the Lord help us to have the power to stand up and witness for Him as they did.

悔改的能力

POWER TO BRING REPENTANCE

3 我要使我那兩個見證者穿著「麻衣」傳道一千二百六十天。

3 And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for twelve hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.”

聖經裡面記載的先知,都穿毛衣,施洗約翰穿駱駝毛的衣服,那是先知的製服。所以譯者以為麻衣是毛衣之誤。其實原文是麻衣。猶太人披麻蒙灰表示悔改,撒迦利亞十二、十叁章,預言末後時代,有一個大悔改復興,大家哀號、痛哭、流淚、認罪、悔改。很多教會都希望看見復興,到底大復興出現的時候,我們看見的是甚麽呢?是否成千上萬的人在大球場裡一起聚會就是大復興呢?是否有很多人舉手決志,就是大復興呢?大復興的特色,就是一大群人跪下來,痛哭、流淚、認罪、悔改,這纔是真正的聖靈工作。

Jews wear sackcloth and ashes as a sign of repentance. Zechariah chapters 12 and 13 prophesy of a great revival during the end times, everyone will weep bitterly and mourn greatly as they come to repentance. Many churches want to see revival but when a great revival happens what will we really see? Will we see tens of thousands of people gathered in a stadium? Will we see many people coming forward as they make a decision? What characterizes a great revival? A great revival is when multitudes of people fall on their knees, weep bitterly, mourn deeply, confess their sins and repent; that is truly the work of the Holy Spirit.

每一次有這樣的複興出現,場面可能非常混亂,全體流淚,大聲認罪,講員的聲音完全被遮蓋,會眾像被聖靈打倒一樣。

Every time that there is a great revival, the scene is very overwhelming, everyone will be weeping and confessing their sins in a loud voice, the voice of the preacher would be completely covered, the whole congregation will seem as if they were stricken by the Holy Spirit.

復興從悔改開始,真悔改有聖靈工作出現。末後見證人最需要的就是悔改的生命。

Revival starts with repentance, true repentance shows the work of the Holy Spirit. What the witnesses of the last days need the most is a life that shows repentance.

聖靈的能力

THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

4 他們就是那兩棵橄欖樹,兩個燈臺,立在世界之主面前的。

4 These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth.

這裡看見燈臺與橄欖樹在一起。燈臺是怎樣發光的?是藉著油的供應。橄欖樹就是油的來源。在撒迦利亞四章,也提到燈臺與橄欖樹,跟著說:「不是倚靠勢力,不是倚靠才能,乃是倚靠我的靈,方能成事。」有勢力、才能,可以辦很多事,可以叫人響應所推動的計劃,把事辦妥當。老闆請員工,也看有沒學問、才能,是無可厚非的事。但有辦事的才能,不等於能成就神國的大事;有高科技的知識,不等於能叫人扎心悔改。上面描述聖靈的工作,自己認罪悔改,這裡是聖靈大能附在所講的話上,隨著人所唱的詩歌像一把利劍刺透人的心,叫有罪的人願意把心交出來。

Here we see lampstands and olive trees together. How does a lampstand give out light? It is through the supply of oil. Olive trees are the source of the oil. Zechariah chapter 4 also mentions a lampstand and olive trees. There it says: “ Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord of hosts.” With power and abilities a lot can be accomplished. It can bring people to respond in such a way that a project can come to completion as planned. When the boss wants to hire workers, he will look for people with education and talent, which is understandable. People might have the ability to get things done but that doesn’t mean that they could accomplish great things in the Kingdom of Heaven; they might have high-tech knowledge but that doesn’t mean that they could bring a person’s heart to repentance. The verse mentioned above describes the work of the Holy Spirit; confession of sin and repentance is solely His work. Here the great power of the Holy Spirit is attached to the words that are spoken and the hymns that are sung which penetrates to the hearts of people like a sharp sword so that sinners will be willing to turn over their hearts.

末後見證人有聖靈的能力,在美國的基督徒最缺乏就是這個。因為自己太有辦法,有很多專業知識。有辦法、有知識,不是壞事。但有辦法的人常倚靠自己的辦法,像生病的人首先倚靠藥物,到醫生沒辦法纔倚靠主。工作上豈不是也一樣,先用自己的辦法、技術、口才、知識。為甚麽會這樣呢?因為我們自以為認識人心,以為認識人的需要。

The witnesses of the last days will have the power of the Holy Spirit. This is something that Christians in America lack because they are very resourceful and have a lot of specialized knowledge. Being resourceful and having knowledge is not a bad thing. But people who are resourceful tend to rely on their own methods, like when a person gets sick, the first thing they do is to rely on medication and when the doctors cannot do anything for them, then they go to the Lord. At work is the same, first they rely on their own methods, skills, eloquence, knowledge. Why is it like this? Because we think that we know our own hearts, our own needs.

做生意的想認識市場走勢,傳道人想認識群眾心理。錯了,見證人不是站在世人面前,是站在世人的主面前,站在世界的主面前。侍候在宇宙的主面前,方能作主的工作。

Businessmen want to know about market trends, preachers want to know about the mentality of the masses. Wrong. The witnesses are not standing before the people of the earth; they are standing before the Lord of the people of the earth, before the Lord of the earth. They were serving the Lord of the universe; that is the only way they could do God’s work.

烈火信息的能力

POWERFUL MESSAGE OF FIRE

5 若有人想要害他們,就有火從他們口中出來,燒滅仇敵。凡要想害他們的,都要這樣被殺。

5 And if anyone wants to harm them, fire flows out of their mouth and devours their enemies; so if anyone wants to harm them, he must be killed in this way.

神使他口說的話像火一樣。( 耶利米書5:14)

God made the words that came out of their mouth to be like fire (Jeremiah 5:14).

他們口中的信息,像火一樣的凌厲。平常我們多講神的愛,少提神的忿怒。看十九世紀偉大的傳道人慕迪專講神的愛,很多人聽他所講就悔改,所以認為講神的愛纔是純正。以為講神的忿怒,是不道德的事。但聖經論神的忿怒多於神的恩典與憐憫。不但舊約是如此,新約也是一樣。「神的震怒顯明在一切不虔不義的人身上。」「神的忿怒從天上顯出來。」「神顯祂忿怒之日來到。」

The message that came out of their mouths was as swift and forceful as fire. Normally, we speak a lot about God’s love but we seldom talk about God’s wrath. Moody, a great preacher from the 19th century preached mostly about God’s love, many people repented after listening to his preaching, so they believed that speaking about God’s love was the right thing to do. They thought that preaching about God’s wrath was unacceptable. But the Bible speaks more about God’s wrath than about His grace and mercy. It is the same in the Old Testament and in the New Testament . “God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. ””… a God who displays His wrath every day.” “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven.”

在啟示錄中,見到更多神的忿怒與審判,因為末世見證人需要烈火的信息,要使敵對神的人害怕,使沉睡的醒過來。

In Revelation we can see more of God’s wrath and God’s judgment because the witnesses will need a message of fire during the end times so that those who are against God will fear them and those who are asleep may be awaken.

Jonathan Edward 1741 年七月在康州講的信息是Sinners in the hands of an angry God 。當時這烈火一樣的信息,使教會大大復興,大家搶著到台前悔改、認罪、流淚、禱告。這時代有很多人的信仰是有偏差的。認為神就是愛,不會忍心把人放入地獄裡,地獄只不過是傳道人用來嚇唬人的。我們不要忘記,講地獄講得最多的,是基督自己。

The message that Jonathan Edward preached in Connecticut in July 1741 was “Sinners in the hands of an angry God.” That message brought a great revival to the Church like a fire. Everyone scrambled to come forward to confess their sins, repent, weep and pray. The beliefs of the people of this age are distorted. They think that God is love and will not have the heart to put people in hell and that hell is just something preachers use to scare the listeners. Don’t forget that the One who spoke the most about hell was Jesus Christ Himself.

地獄不是虛構的地方。世人認為神不會這麽花工夫、精神、力量,把人送入地獄。頂多只是撤手不管。這句話有一點對:撤手不管。不要以為神需要花大氣力纔能把人送到地獄裡。今天世人活著因為神仍然施恩給世人。祂叫日頭照好人,也照歹人,降雨給義人,也給不義的人。祂讓許多有營養的食物大量生長,很便宜可以得到,讓窮人也能得豐富營養。祂並沒有歧視敵對罪人,仍然寬容忍耐,等候他們悔改。神的手一直在做事,保護世人免致滅亡。當神決定撤手不管,罪人就會忽然滅亡,就像紙掉到火中一樣,人所走的地像薄冰一樣,忽然裂開,神要做的事只是放手不管。

Hell is not an imaginary place. The people of this world think that God does not have the time, the motivation or the power to send people to hell. The most He could do is to just let go of His hand and not care about us . In a way, that thought is correct; yet don’t think that God needs to use a lot of effort to throw people into hell. The people of the world are still alive today because of God’s grace. He makes the sun shine on the good and on the bad; He gives rain to the righteous and the unrighteous. He makes many nutritious foods grow in abundance so that it can be bought at a very low price, and the poor may also be able to eat nutritious meals. He does not discriminate against sinners or is hostile toward them. He is forbearing and patient, waiting for the people to repent. God’s hand has always been at work protecting the people of this world so that they will not perish. When God decides to let go of His hand, sinners will instantly be destroyed, like a piece of paper that is thrown into the fire, the ground that people step on will be as a sheet of thin ice, it may break suddenly, this will happen if God would just let go of His hand and not care about us.

和平合一的能力

THE POWER OF PEACEFUL UNITY

這兩個見證人一致行動,一起傳道,一起行神蹟,也一同被殺。他們有合一精神,有和睦和平的氣氛。大家同心合力,艱難變了容易,不可能的事成為可能。他們的信息雖然像烈火一般,但具有和平、溫柔、謙卑的能力。他們不需要軍隊作戰、保護。門徒像基督一樣,不殺人,只會被殺,不需要武器勢力。歷代的英雄,有最厲害武器的人,也無法改變世界。反而從來不動刀兵的主,卻做到了。祂只需要用和平、和睦的精神,因為和平合一就是強大的能力。

The two witnesses worked together, preached together, they performed miracles together, and were killed together. They had the spirit of unity; they worked in an environment of harmony and peace. They united their efforts for a common purpose; difficult things became easy, impossible things became possible. Their message, though as fierce as fire, was full of the power of peace, gentleness and humility. They did not need an army to fight or protect. The disciples were like Christ, they did not kill, they were the ones who were killed, and they did not need the power of weapons. The heroes of old, though they had the most powerful weapons, were not able to change the world; but the Lord was able to accomplish that without using any weapons or an army.

基督徒被稱為「和平之子」、「和睦之子」,在最艱難的時候,在人人吵架,起磨擦的時候,這種美德就顯露出來。很多華人教會問題是領袖們不合作,不願謙卑、捨己,引起很多鬥爭。人間的鬥爭看的是誰有道理。有理者勝。屬靈的鬥爭,看谁愿意捨己。只有願意捨己的人纔能得勝。末世的見證人就是懂得捨己的人。外人怎樣對付我們都不怕,只要內部團結合一。保羅對以弗所教會說:「要竭力保守聖靈所賜合而為一的心。」因為這就是有能力教會的特徵,有能力教會的見證。

Christians are called “sons of peace”, “peacemakers”. During difficult times, when everyone is quarreling, when conflict arises, that virtue will show up. The problem in many Chinese churches is that their leaders do not want to cooperate with each other , they are not willing to humble themselves or be self-sacrificing, this attitude causes a lot of strive. People fight to prove that they are right. Whoever is right wins. The Holy Spirit fights to prove who is willing to be self-sacrificing . Only those who are willing to be self-sacrificing will be victorious. The witnesses during the end times are people who know how to be self-sacrificing. It doesn’t matter how outsiders will treat them, as long as there is unity inside . Paul told the Church at Ephesus: “to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace;” because that is the characteristic of a powerful Church; that is the testimony of a powerful Church.

屬靈的權柄

SPIRITUAL AUTHORITY

6 二人有權柄在傳道日子叫天閉塞不下雨,叫水變為血,並且能隨時隨意用各樣災殃攻擊世界。

6 These have the power to shut up the sky, so that rain will not fall during the days of their prophesying; and they have power over the waters to turn them into blood, and to strike the earth with every plague, as often as they desire.

比較舊版的英文聖經,在翻譯上完全沒有分開「能力」與「權柄」。能力與權柄是兩件不同的事。撒但有很大的能力,但牠失去了權柄,所以人雖然沒有甚麽神奇的能力,仍然可以勝過牠。勝過牠的辦法就是靠著屬靈的權柄。

In the older English version translations of the Bible, there is no distinction between the word  “power” and “authority”. Power and authority are two different things. Satan has great power, but he lost authority. That is why even though people do not have any magical powers, they can still be victorious over him. They way to overcome him is through spiritual authority.

主差門徒出去傳道的時候,主先給他們權柄,可以治病趕鬼。耶穌也說,看見撒但從天墬落,表明門徒傳道的時候,真的用上權柄,使撒但受嚴重打擊。 

When the Lord sent His disciples out to preach the Word of God, He sent them out with the authority to heal the sick and to cast out demons. Jesus also said that He watched Satan fall from heaven, indicating that when the disciples preached they really were using their authority causing Satan to suffer a heavy blow.

汽車有很大的能力可以撞死人,一個警察卻沒有能力,汽車可很容易把他撞死。但他的手一指,汽車就要停下來,因為他有權柄。主的工人沒有甚麽能力,但有屬靈的權柄,可以打敗魔鬼的作為。他們能行神蹟,因為有權柄,這種權柄不是自動給所有信徒的,乃是特別給那些受差派的工人。主的工人纔會有這種屬靈的權柄。

A car has so much power that can run over a person and kill him; a policeman does not have much power, a car could easily kill him. But when he signals a car to stop, the car has to stop because he has the authority to do so. Those who work for the Lord do not have much power, but they have the spiritual authority to defeat Satan doings. They could perform miracles because they have authority. That authority is not given to all believers automatically; they are only given to those workers who have been specially sent by the Lord. Only God’s workers will possess this kind of spiritual authority.

至死忠心的能力

POWER TO BE FAITHFUL UNTO DEATH

7 他們作完見證的時候,從無底坑上來的獸,必與他們交戰,並且得勝把他們殺了。

7 When they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up out of the abyss will make war with them, and overcome them and kill them.

這兩個見證人並沒有得到很優厚的對待,他們要忍受迫害,甚至作殉道者。他們至死忠心,一直到被打下來,中間並沒有想要逃走的。

These two witnesses did not receive the best of the treatments; they had to endure persecution, they even had to become martyrs. They were faithful unto death, until they were defeated, they did not want to flee in the middle of the persecution.

有些人事奉主根據感覺,感覺不錯,就樂意作,明天覺得被忽略,就辭職不幹。這種陰晴不定的熱心,不會有能力。

Some people serve the Lord based on feelings, when they feel good they are willing to work, the next day they feel neglected and they just resign. This kind of attitude will not make a powerful impact.

我們需要堅定不移的決心,至死不渝的心志。中國人尊重梅花,因為氣候好、百花開,不奇怪。寒冬的時候,梅花卻盛開,這纔是難得。象徵人在極苦的時候,仍然堅貞。美國人用cedar 杉樹象徵忠心到底的門徒,不因氣候好壞影響表現,是神所重視的。

We need to have an unswerving determination that will never change even when having to face death. Chinese people like to admire plum blossoms because when the weather is nice all the flowers are in full bloom which is not surprising. But when the weather is bitterly cold the plum blossoms continue to bloom, that is hard to come by. They are like the witnesses who were faithful even during extreme difficult times. Americans use cedar trees to symbolize disciples who are faithful to the end, those who are not be affected by the weather be it good or bad, those are the disciples that God values.

很多人唸神學,到畢業時減半,工作一年後辭職,20 年後只有30% 事奉主。這問題在美國土生土長的傳道人中最嚴重。他們受不起打擊批評,缺乏堅定受苦的心志。因為在美國以學歷定資格。受神學教育實在太容易了。有學位不等於有資歷。看中國大陸的牧者就知道,他們不是看讀了多少年的神學,乃是看坐了多少年的牢。只要坐過牢,就成有資歷的傳道。坐得越久資歷越高。

Many people who study theology have reduced their credit hours to half by the time they graduate and quit after working for only a year. Only 30% continue to serve the Lord after 20 years. That is a very serious problem among American born Chinese ministers. They cannot take the criticism or the attacks against them. They lack a steadfast heart when facing hardships. This is because in America your qualifications are determined by your educational background. It is so easy to get a theological education. Having a degree does not mean you are qualified to do the work. Just take a look at the pastors in mainland China and you will know that they do not look at how many years you have studied theology, but how many years you had been in prison for the cause of the Gospel. If you have been in prison, you are qualified to be a pastor. The more years you had been in prison, the higher your qualifications.

我們事奉要像跑馬拉松,到終點的時候可能許多人不見了,所以只要跑完全程的,也有證書。冠冕不是給跑得快的人,是給跑到底的人。保羅說:當跑的路我已經跑盡了。作主的工不是靠一時的衝勁。你務要至死忠心,我就賜給你那生命的冠冕。耶利米、以西結受盡百姓聽眾的漫罵、羞辱、傷害,但他們不改變傳道、事奉作風,不迎合世人心理,不討人喜歡。我們準備好了沒有。

Serving the Lord is like running a marathon, by the time you get to the finish line maybe a lot of people have already disappeared, so as long as you finish the race you will get a certificate. The crown is not given to the one who runs the fastest but the one who finishes the race. Paul said: “I have finished the race.” Being a worker for the Lord does not depend on just a short blast of strength. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of Life. Jeremiah and Ezekiel endured abuse, humiliation and injury from the people but they did not change the way they preached and served God, they did not cater to the people’s mentality, they were not seeking to please the crowd. Are we prepared to face whatever comes our way?