CHAPTER 33 – REVELATION 15:1-4 玻璃海前面的群眾 A MULTITUDE STANDING BY THE SEA OF GLASS

天上聖所的景象又再出現。這一次在天上聖所之前,又有一大群人在那裡進行敬拜活動,我們共看見有叁大群。

The scene in heaven appears once again; this time before the sanctuary in heaven, another great multitude worshiping God. So far, we have seen three great multitudes.

第一群在第七章,人數多到數不過來,是災難前「被提」的群眾,就是從災難中抽離出來的群眾(7:14) ,他們來自各國、各族、各民、各方,包括全世界各種民族。他們站在神的寶座前面,手拿棕樹枝,慶祝來臨的住棚節,就是神將與人永遠同住。

The first multitude appears in chapter 7, a multitude which no one could count, this multitude was “raptured” before the great tribulation, these are the ones who came out from the great tribulation (7:14), from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues. They stood before the throne of God, holding palm branches celebrating the coming feast of the tabernacles, which is when God will live among His people for ever and ever.

第二群在第十四章,他們聚集在天上的錫安山,也是天上的聖所,特別提到「錫安山」的原因,是讓我們知道,這一群是特別在災難期間傳福音的見證人,因為他們為主的道而被敵擋神的帝國與他們的爪牙所殺害,他們在災難期間復活被提(11:12) ,基督在天上的錫安山上呼喚他們、迎接他們。他們的人數是十四萬四千人,就是教會精英之數。

The second multitude appears in chapter 14; they are standing on Mount Zion in heaven, which is the heavenly sanctuary. “Mount Zion” is especially mentioned so that we know that this multitude were the witnesses who spread the Gospel during the great tribulation. Because they were killed by the empire enemy of God and its collaborators, they resurrected in the midst of the great tribulation and were taken up to heaven (11:12); Christ welcomed this multitude on the heavenly Mount Zion. Their number was 144,000, which were the elite of the church.

最後還有一群是站在「玻璃海」前面或旁邊(NIV) 的群眾,這群人是在大災難的最後期纔出現在天上的聖所。因為第一節開始就說:「神的大怒,在這七災中發盡了。」「發盡了」就是「完成了」的意思。他們的人數遠及不上第一群多,也及不上第二群的「精」。他們世界上其中一種民族而已。

Lastly, there is a multitude standing on the “sea of glass” or beside it (NIV). This multitude from the latest stage of the great tribulation appears in the heavenly sanctuary. Because at the beginning of verse 1 it says, “seven plagues , which are the last, because in them the wrath of God is finished.” This means the end. This multitude was not greater than the first multitude, or the second multitude of elite people. They are just one ethnic group among the nations of the world.

我們來看最後這群人是甚麽人,跟前面十四章的錫安山群眾作個比較,就會更了解這些人的底細。

Who are the people in this multitude? We can find out who these people are by comparing them to the multitude on Mount Zion.

玻璃海

THE SEA OF GLASS

2 我看見彷彿有玻璃海。

2 And I saw something like a sea of glass…

如果不弄清楚玻璃海是甚麽,就不會完全了解這段經文說些甚麽。

If we do not fully understand what the sea of glass is, we will not be able to know what this verse is talking about.

有些人解釋這玻璃海是另外一個苦海,因為有火攙雜。他們說,凡「海」都是苦海。到了廿一章新天新地裡面「再沒有海了」,所以海肯定不是好東西,是混亂、動盪、痛苦的源頭。不過這裡所說的這個海,不是一個普通的海。

Some people believe this sea of glass is another bitter sea because it is mixed with fire. They say that all seas are bitter seas. In chapter 21, in the new heaven and the new earth “there was no longer any sea.” Therefore the sea does not represent anything good; it is the origin of all chaos and sufferings. But the sea in this verse is not an ordinary sea.

神在西乃山上啟示給摩西會幕的樣式是這樣的:在聖所的外面,除了有一個銅祭壇,還有一個銅的洗濯盆。

The tabernacle which God revealed to Moses on Mount Sinai had a sanctuary, and outside the sanctuary was an altar and a wash basin, both made out of bronze.

洗濯盆是一個小的銅盆,因為古人以銅為鏡,打磨光亮的銅可以照到自己哪一部位不夠乾淨。洗濯盆是給祭司進聖所供職之前,先「審察」洗淨自己。所以銅,也稱為「審判的金屬」。保羅說:「吃主餐之前,要先審判自己」。中文翻作「自己省察」( 林前11:28) 。

The wash basin was a small made out of bronze. In ancient times polished bronze was used as a mirror to examine oneself for any dirtiness; the priest would wash “examine” himself in the wash basin. That is why bronze is also called “a metal of judgment”. Paul said: “But a man must examine himself, and in so doing he is to eat of the bread and drink of the cup.” (1 Corinthians 11:28)

所羅門王建造聖殿的時候,把聖所的物件全部加大,除了約櫃是原來樣子沒有動過之外,其他的東西都加多了或加大了。他把洗濯盆加大很多倍,鑄造了十二隻銅牛,每隻牛像實際的牛一樣大,十二頭牛托住一個巨大的洗濯盆,直徑十五呎,圓周四十五呎,高七呎半,大到不能再叫盆子了,所以改名叫「銅海」( 王上7:23) 。

When King Solomon built the temple, he made all the objects of the sanctuary many times bigger, except the Ark of the Covenant. The wash basin was so big that it stood on 12 cast metal oxen, each oxen was the size of a real ox . The 12 oxen supported the enormously big wash basin; its diameter was fifteen feet, its circumference forty five feet, and its height was seven feet. The wash basin was so gigantic that it could not be called a basin anymore; therefore it was called the “sea of bronze”. (1 Kings 7:23).

到約翰的時代,已經有清澈透明的玻璃出現,所以他說:「好像是玻璃海。」雖然不是銅海,但一樣有鏡子的作用。所以玻璃海,其實就是最原始的洗濯盆。這洗濯盆只有猶太人纔對它深深的認識,知道是用來潔淨自己,然後朝見神的。

In John’s times, glass already existed; that is why he said: “I saw something like a sea of glass.” Even though it wasn’t a sea of bronze, it had the purpose of a mirror. Therefore, the sea of glass was the original wash basin. Only Jewish people have a deep understanding of a wash basin, they know it is used for cleansing themselves before meeting with God.

為甚麽在這裡提到洗濯盆呢?因為撒迦利亞先知早就預言( 撒迦利亞13:1) ,「要為大衛家,和耶路撒冷的居民,開一個洗罪的泉源。」這是一次猶太人最末後的大復興,引致他們「全家得救」( 羅馬書11:25-26) 。約翰所看見的玻璃海,也就像徵他們最後的洗罪泉源。

Why is the wash basin mentioned here? Because the prophet Zechariah already prophesied about it in Zechariah 13:1, “On that day a fountain will be opened to the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and impurity. ” This is the last revival of the Jewish people and “all Israel will be saved.” (Romans 11:25-26). The sea of glass that John saw also symbolizes the last fountain which will clean them from sin and impurity.

有火攙雜的玻璃海

A SEA OF GLASS MIXED WITH FIRE

2 我看見彷彿有玻璃海,其中有火攙雜。

2 And I saw something like a sea of glass mixed with fire.

這玻璃海與舊約的洗濯盆不同的地方,是有火攙雜的。就是說,這清潔的媒介,不單有水也有火。不單要用水藉著道把教會洗淨,也有火的試煉把教會煉淨。

The difference between this sea of glass and the wash basin mentioned in the Old Testament is that this sea of glass is mixed with fire. In other words, the cleansing is done not only with water but also with fire. Cleansing the Church not only with water, the Word of God, but also refined with fire to purify the Church.

舊約潔淨器具的方式有叁種:

In the Old Testament, there were three ways of cleansing the utensils in the sanctuary:

第一,是用「血灑」,「凡物差不多都是用血來潔淨的。」( 來9:22) 「若不流血,罪就不得赦免。」預表主用祂的寶血潔淨我們的天良。

(1) Using “sprinkling of blood”: “One may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood.” (Hebrews 9:22) “And without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.” This symbolizes the Lord cleansing our souls with His precious blood.

第二,是用「火」,凡金屬之物,可以用火消毒。人經過火的試煉,就是「肉身受過苦的,就與罪斷絕了。」( 彼前4:1)

(2) Using “fire”. Any metal can be purified with fire. When a person is refined with fire, he suffers in the body and “whoever suffers in the body is done with sin.” (1 Peter 4:1)

第叁,凡不能過火的,就過「水」。象徵「主用水藉著主的道,把教會洗淨。」( 民31:23) 這以色列的群眾,都要經過這叁種的洗。

(3) Whatever cannot withstand fire must be put through water (Numbers 31:23). This symbolizes how “the Lord cleanses the church using water which is the Word of God.” The Israelite multitude will have to go through these three kinds of cleansing.

以色列人一直以來,拒絕承認耶穌就是彌賽亞,他們不接受耶穌是神所差來的,不相信祂是神的兒子。他們對聖經真理的了解是糢糊不清的,只是一知半解。他們只懂得跟從字面,不明白精意。聖經的真道長期以來無法成為他們潔淨心靈的聖水。神讓他們經歷許多苦難,好磨煉他們,二千年來,漂流到世界各地,吃盡苦頭。使徒保羅說:「他們有幾分硬心。」( 羅馬書11:25-26) 到最後,他們還要經曆七年大災難,迎接最猛烈的火之試驗。

The Israelites have never accepted the fact that Jesus Christ is the Messiah or that He was sent by God. They do not believe Jesus is the Son of God. They are unclear about the truth of the Bible; they do not fully understand it. They only know the Bible literally, but not the real meaning of it. The truth of the Bible has never been the holy water that cleanses their souls. God let them experience hardships for about 2,000 years, drifting from place to place all over the world so they suffer to the utmost. The apostle Paul said: “Israel has experienced a hardening in part.” (Romans 11:25-26). At the end, they will go through seven years of great tribulation, and undergo extreme testing through fire .

末後他們明白了聖經的話,他們在烈火中清醒過來,悔改了。他們的複興跟這玻璃海,有非常密切的關係。所以這個站在玻璃海前面的群眾,是以色列最後全家悔改的群眾。

At the end, they will understand the words of the Bible, they will be awakened by the blazing fire and they will repent. Their revival and this sea of glass are closely related. Therefore, this multitude that is standing before the sea of glass is the whole nation of Israel that has repented.

玻璃海群眾與錫安山群眾不同的地方是:玻璃海群眾是較為低等次的,是在信與不信之間的掙扎,是為信仰而受苦的。錫安山群眾是高等次的,他們是拯救靈魂的同工,是為服事神、服事天國而受苦的,他們的數目是十四萬四千,因為他們是教會中的精英。

The difference between the multitude by the sea of glass and the multitude on Mount Zion is the following: The multitude by the sea of glass is somewhat at a lower level in that they were struggling between believing and not believing, they were suffering for the faith . On the other hand, the multitude on Mount Zion was at a higher level, they were those co-workers who were out to save souls; they suffered to serve God and His kingdom, their number was 144,000, the elite of the church.

勝過獸和獸像的人

PEOPLE WHO OVER CAME THE BEAST AND THE IMAGE OF THE BEAST

2 又看見那些勝了獸、和獸的像,並牠名字數目的人,都站在玻璃海前面。

2 and those who had been victorious over the beast and his image and the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass…

獸,就是末後逼迫神子民的大帝國。牠的影響力雖然遍佈全世界,但受影響最大的,仍然是以色列。他們承受的壓力最大。他們信仰上最重要的掙扎,就是對獸、獸像、與牠名字數目的抗爭。他們要用得勝獸、獸像、與獸的名字數目,來證明他們在信仰上堅定。

The beast is the great empire that will persecute God’s people during the end times. Though it influenced the whole world, it will have the most impact on Israel. They are the ones that will be pressured the most. Their greatest struggle will be against the beast, its image and the number of his name. By been victorious over the beast and his image and the number of his name, the Israelites will proof that they stand firm in their faith.

無論獸國有多好、有多吸引人的福利,也不要做他們的公民,不跟隨他們的信仰,不加入他們的系統,不接受他們的訓練,不成為他們的會員。就算因此生活無著,也不改變對主的忠誠。纔能稱為得勝者。

Even if the empire of the beast looks very enticing and offers lots of benefits, do not become citizens of that empire, do not follow their beliefs, do not be part of their system, do not accept their training and do not become one of their members. Even at the expense of your life, do not change your loyalty towards the Lord; that is the only way to be victorious.

在得勝的事上,玻璃海群眾與錫安山群眾也是不同。這裡只說他們沒有獸的像與獸的數目,表示從來沒有在信仰上妥協;但錫安山群眾卻有神的名、羔羊的名寫在額上。他們經歷神的生命,用自己生命見證神的生命,跟從羔羊腳踪,學習犧牲自己,以完成天國大業的一群人。

Regarding the matter of being victorious, there is also a difference between the multitude by the sea of glass and the multitude on Mount Zion. Here it only says that they did not have the image of the beast or the number of the beast, which shows that they had never compromised their faith; but the multitude on Mount Zion had the name of God and the name of the Lamb written on their foreheads. They had experienced God’s life, they used their own lives to witness the life of God, they followed the footsteps of the Lamb, and they learned to sacrifice themselves, bringing into completion the great cause of the Kingdom of Heaven.

他們所唱的歌

THE SONG THEY SANG

2 拿著神的琴。3 唱神僕人摩西的歌,和羔羊的歌。

2 Holding harps of God. 3 And they sang the song of Moses, the bond-servant of God, and the song of the Lamb.

他們所唱的歌表達出他們曾有的經歷。他們唱的歌有兩種:神僕人「摩西的歌」,和「羔羊的歌」。表示他們信仰中的歷程,經過兩個階段,走過兩條路。第一段路,是跟隨摩西頒佈的律法,是神跟他們所立的舊約,他們要受割禮,尊安息日為聖日,遵守律法規條所教導的,就必生活得好,神要作他們的神,他們要作神的子民。

The song they sang conveys their experience. They sang two kinds of songs: The song of Moses, the bond-servant of God and the song of the Lamb. This shows the two phases their faith had gone through. They had to be circumcised; they had to remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy and follow all the teachings of their laws and regulations, then they would have a good life, God would be their God and they would be God’s people.

第二段路,就是羔羊的路,就是基督代死贖罪的路,這是一條漫長的路,他們走了很遠的路,纔知道還是要藉著耶穌基督纔能得救。最後纔知道,他們在祭壇上所獻的羊羔,原來就是耶穌基督的預表。沒有這神的羔羊,他們還是不會得救的。

The second part of their journey was to follow the way of the Lamb, which was when Christ died for them in atonement for their sins. This was a very long and endless road for them because it took them so much time to realize that Jesus Christ was the only way to be saved. Only at the end were they able to figure out that the Lamb that they offered on the altar was indeed a representation of Jesus Christ’s sacrifice. Without the Lamb of God they wouldn’t be able to be saved .

他們曾經很天真的以為,走摩西的路,遵守律法,遵守安息日就夠了。結果發現從亞當傳下來的罪性是這樣頑強,人行事的方式還不是根據理性,也不是感性。是跟隨慾望,跟隨邪情,一切所做的事,都受慾望所左右。人不靠著耶穌,沒有能得救的。

They were very naive to think that it was enough to follow the way of Moses, to follow the laws and to remember the Sabbath day. In the end they found out that the sinful nature passed on from Adam continued to persist. People act not according to their rationality or their emotions but rather according to their desires and evil passions. Everything that people do is controlled by their desires. The only way for people to be saved is by trusting in Jesus alone.

他們唱的歌就是「得救的歌」。「摩西的歌、羔羊的歌」,都是告訴人他們怎樣得救。他們能夠得永生,完全是神的恩典,不是靠自己努力。就算是摩西的歌,也是因為神給他們的約,給他們的應許。一切都是神給的,連他們用來伴唱的琴,都是「神的琴」。

The song they sang was a “song of salvation”. The “song of Moses”, the “song of the Lamb”, tells people how they were saved. They got eternal life only because of God’s grace, not through their own effort. Even if it was the song of Moses, it was also because God gave them a covenant and a promise. Everything was given by God; even the harps they were holding were the “harps of God”.

但上一章錫安的群眾就不一樣了,他們唱的是新歌,是沒有別人能夠學到的歌,是沒有多少人能夠走得上去的路。他們唱的,是奉獻自己生命服事君王的新歌,他們走的路是犧牲自己生命、背十字架的路。他們是最受主喜悅的一群,在主眼中是沒有瑕疵的。

But the multitude on Mount Zion from the chapter before was different, they sang a new song that no one could learn, it is a road that not too many people could follow. The song they sang was about self-sacrifice serving the sovereign King, they road they traveled was of laying down their own life and taking up the cross. It was a multitude whom God was most pleased with; they were perfect in God’s eyes.

他們眼界大開

THEIR RANGE OF VIEW OPENED UP

3 唱神僕人摩西的歌,和羔羊的歌,說:主神,全能者阿,祢的作為大哉、奇哉,萬國之王啊,祢的道途義哉、誠哉。

3 And they sang the song of Moses, the bond-servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, “Great and marvelous are Your works, O Lord God, the Almighty; Righteous and true are Your ways, King of the nations!

他他們讚歎神的作為偉大、奇妙。幾千年來,他們因為自己是神的選民而自傲,全世界只有他們是神所愛的民族。他們排斥別的種族,以為神不會拯救外邦人。

They praised God’s works saying, “Great and marvelous are your works, O Lord God, the Almighty.” For several thousands of years they had been arrogant believing that they were God’s chosen ones and the only people whom God loved. They rejected all other ethnic groups thinking that God would not save the gentiles.

甚至到了現今的末世時代,全世界的基督徒都偏向他們一邊,尊重他們是神的選民,但他們卻不會因此喜歡接受基督徒,他們會攔阻基督徒在他們國家進行的種種福音活動。

Even during these end times, the Christians of the world are partial towards them and respect them as God’s chosen ones, but they still do not accept Christians. They would not let Christians conduct any kind of evangelistic meetings in their country.

在最後大災難期間,他們的眼終於開啟了,纔知道他們的神原來是「萬國萬族之王」。祂的恩典灑遍全世界。祂是全人類的神,祂的天國是為全世界的人預備,祂的大計劃由全世界人參與。所以在第四節他們唱說:「萬民都要在祢面前敬拜。」

During the great tribulation, their eyes will be opened, and then they will realize that their God is the “King of the nations”. His grace is upon the whole earth. He is the God of all mankind; His kingdom is prepared for the people of the whole earth, His great plan includes every person in this world. That is why they say on verse 4: “All nations will come and worship before you.”

他們是最後一批站在天上聖所前面的人,應驗了主耶穌多次的話:「在前的將要在後,在後的將要在前。」他們本來是在前面,他們有眾先知的教導,他們比外邦人早有神的約與應許。他們被稱為神的選民,但他們卻是最後一批得救的群眾。

This is the last group of people that will stand before the sanctuary in heaven, fulfilling the words of the Lord Jesus when he said: “the last will be first and the first will be last.” They were originally the first ones, they had the teachings of all the prophets, they had God’s covenant and His promises before the gentiles had it. They were called the God’s people, but they were the last multitude to get saved.

主耶穌說的多個比喻都在暗示他們落在外邦人之後。葡萄園工人的比喻,那些一早進園去工作整天的,與下午纔進去做一個小時的,得到的回報是一樣。他們憤憤不平,眼紅外邦人得到豐富的恩典。

Many of the parables that the Lord Jesus told hinted that that they were going to fall behind and the gentiles would get ahead of them. In the parable workers in the vineyard, the pay was the same for those who started working early in the morning and those who were hired to work in the afternoon for only one hour. They were indignant and envious that the gentiles also obtained abundant grace.

浪子的哥哥一直在父家裡,不滿意浪子流浪多年之後,回家時居然得到父親額外的恩待。主耶穌還說,將來有很多外邦人從世界各地來與亞伯拉罕一同坐席,而本國子民卻被趕到外面,在黑暗里哀哭切齒了。

The older brother of the prodigal son who was always in the home of his father was dissatisfied when the prodigal son returned home and the father showed him special favor. The Lord Jesus said that in the future many will come from east and west and recline at the table with Abraham in the kingdom of heaven, while the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness, in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

他們本來是在前的,卻成了在後的。我們本來在後的,有機會排在前面。如果他們眼睛能夠早一點看見,原來神的心關注全世界,就有不同的結果。神不希望我們只顧自己,只顧賺錢養家,只想賺盡全世界的錢,像猶太人,雖然掌握全世界的經濟,但在靈裡卻是最貧窮的一群。他們擁有認為最安全可靠的東西,但他們的生活卻漂離浪蕩,毫無保障可言。以神為生活中心的人,一早就抽離世界的苦難,到了神的寶座面前,享受永遠的福樂了。

They were originally first, but they became the last. We were originally last, but we were given the opportunity to be first. If their eyes would have been opened earlier, their outcome would have been different. God’s heart is concerned about the whole world . God does not want us to be selfish and just to focus on ourselves, to just be preoccupied in earning a living to provide for our family or to try to earn all the money in the whole world, like the Jews. Even though they control the economy of the whole world, spiritually they are the poorest of all. They think that what they have is secure and safe but their lives are drifting aimlessly without any guarantee. Before the great tribulation falls upon the earth, those who have God as the center of their lives will be taken up before God’s throne to enjoy His eternal blessings.