CHAPTER 39 – Revelation 19:1-9 四大喜事 FOUR GREAT JOYOUS EVENTS

十八章叁首哀歌:「禍哉、禍哉、禍哉」,用來哀悼大淫婦的衰敗。十九章卻有四大喜事,告訴我們時間到了,大家一起快樂慶祝,用讚美神的聲音來表達我們的歡喜快樂。整本聖經,只有這裡出現了幾次希臘文的「哈利路亞」。因為這原是希伯來文,約翰用希臘文的字母把它音譯過來,所以哈利路亞現在成了世界語言。第五節的「讚美我們神」,意義相同,把它也算在裡面的話,這段經文就出現了五次哈利路亞。

Chapter 18 contains three dirges: “Woe, Woe, Woe,” to lament the fall of the great prostitute. Chapter 19, however, contains four great joyous events, announcing to us that the time has come for everyone to rejoice and celebrate with sounds of acclamation and praise to express our happiness and joy. This is the only place in the Bible where the Greek word “Hallelujah” appears several times. This word is originally a Hebrew word but John transliterated into Greek and so “Hallelujah” is now known all over the world. The phrase, “Give praise to our God” from verse 5 has the same meaning, so in this passage there are five “Hallelujah” words all together.

為甚麽在這裡唱了多次哈利路亞呢?因為有幾件大喜事發生了,所以天上的大群眾同唱哈利路亞來慶祝。

Why so many “Hallelujah” choruses? Because there were great joyous events happening, and so, the great multitude in heaven were singing “Hallelujah” to celebrate the great events.

1 此後,我聽見好像群眾在天上大聲說:哈利路亞「( 要讚美耶和華) ,救恩、榮耀、權能,都屬乎我們的神。

1 After these things I heard something like a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying,

“Hallelujah (Give praise to our God)! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God.

這是我們的主,我們君王大喜的日子。在這裡讚美主的幾件大事,證實我們的主所做過的事,有美好的功效。許多政治家的政策是否好,是否有功效,到底不能證實。可說見人見智。總有不同的意見或評價。

It is the day of great joy for our Lord, our King. Here, the great events to praise God confirm that our Lord has accomplished his work. There is no way to know if the policies of the politicians will ever work out or not. You could say that it is a matter of opinion. There is always different opinions.

今日很多基督徒對主的感謝讚美都很模糊,因為敬拜主時,仍然面帶愁容,但到那時,一切清楚證明。讚美聲音,是心悅誠服的。

Today, many Christians have a sad look when they worship God, they are unclear on how to give praises and give thanks to our Lord but on that day, everything will be clear. The sounds of praises will be of delight and will come from the heart.

第一喜事:君王資歷的肯定

THE FIRST JOYOUS EVENT: THE SOVEREIGN KING’S QUALIFICATIONS ARE AFFIRMED

2 祂判斷了那用淫行敗壞世界的大淫婦,並且向淫婦討流僕人血的罪,給他們伸冤。」3 又說:哈利路亞,燒淫婦的煙「往上冒,直到永永遠遠。」4 那二十四位長老與四活物,就俯伏敬拜坐寶座的神,說:「阿們,哈利路亞。」

2 because His judgments are true and righteous; for He has judged the great harlot who was corrupting the earth with her immorality, and He has avenged the blood of His bond-servants on her.” 3 And a second time they said, “Hallelujah ! Her smoke rises up forever and ever.” 4 And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who sits on the throne saying, “Amen. Hallelujah!”

約翰時代的人,會明白這些經文是甚麽意思。雖然當日君王不是由人民選出,但君王需要向人民演示實力。第一件事,就是審判難斷的案件。像所羅門王登基,馬上就要審斷兩個婦人爭一個孩子的案件,證實他的智慧與判斷能力,足可勝任為一國之元首。

The people who lived during John’s times would have understood the meaning of these verses. Although the king was not elected by the people, he had to demonstrate his power to them. The first thing to do was to judge a very hard trial case. Like when Solomon became king, he had to judge a case pertaining to the dispute of a child between two women to proof his ability to judge wisely in order to be head of state.

基督也要審判國內的敗類,就是那淫婦。她是那打著基督旗號,卻違背主的命令,跟隨敵人拜偶像的大淫婦巴比倫城。淫婦曾與獸親近,騎在獸上面,藉羅馬帝國抬高自己身份。她也曾假借羅馬權力,殺害神忠心的子民,殺恨害異議份子。所以說,要向她「討流主僕人血的罪」。

Christ will judge the scum of the earth, which is the prostitute. The one who trampled the banner of Christ, who went against the commands of the Lord and followed the enemy to worship idols, the great harlot, the great city of Babylon. The prostitute was intimate with the beast once, sitting on the it, using the Roman Empire to raise her status. She once used the authority of Rome to murder faithful servants of God, hating and killing the dissidents. That is why it says that, “ He has avenged the blood of His bond-servants on her.”

作淫婦的悲哀,是不單受到主的審判、懲罰,也會受曾經支持她的大帝國所揚棄,可以說,兩面不討好,這就是作淫婦的代價。

The great prostitute will not only receive the Lord’s judgment and punishment but she will also be despised by the great empire that once supported her. She would be utterly rejected and that was the pay-back for her corruption as a prostitute.

這淫婦受審判的結果,不是短暫的懲罰,乃是永久性的消滅。煙往上冒,直到永遠。如果火滅了,煙不會繼續冒,這是永遠的消滅,是組織上的消滅,不是神的子民遭滅。

The prostitute’s punishment will not be temporary, she will be annihilated perpetually. The smoke of her burning will rise forever. If the fire was extinguished, the smoke would cease. She was destroyed forever, the organization would be put to an end, but not the people of God.

審判內政之後,還要消滅外敵,就是那七頭十角的獸,是那死而復活的波斯十國聯邦。頭上有十角,表示有十個政權的聯邦政府。另外還有被稱為「假先知」的回教領袖。前面給我們看見已經打敗了牠們,在這一章牠將要被消滅,證明這位萬王之王的能力。

After taking care of internal affairs, the outside enemy had to be destroyed which is the beast with seven heads and ten horns, the Persian federation union of ten countries which was dead but came to life. Its head had ten horns which represents a federation of ten political powers. Furthermore, there is the so called “false prophet” Islam leader. Further ahead, we will see that these enemies were defeated. In this chapter, they will be destroyed, proving the power of the King of kings.

2 祂的判斷是真實公義的。

2 His judgments are true and righteous.

現代的人常看不見真正公義的判斷,常抱怨世間無公理。人無論作怎樣的判斷,總有人反對,也總有支持者。像時代週刊曾放上布殊總統的照片,一邊有唇印,另一邊被打黑了眼睛,支持與反對的數目,旗鼓相當。或台灣的陳水扁貪污案,固然有很多人鄙視他,但他仍然有大批的支持者,支持他的所作所為。到主作審判官時,再沒有不同意見,因為主的判斷是真實公義的,是人人想看見的事。所以那時大家歡呼、讚美,唱哈利路亞頌。

Nowadays, people seldom see righteous judgment, they often complain that there is no justice. No matter what kind of judgment, there are always people who oppose it and there are others who support it. Like the cover photo of President Bush in Time Magazine, a lipstick kiss on one side of his cheek, and a black eye on the other side of his face, the number of people who support him and oppose him, is well matched. Or the Taiwan corruption case of Chen Shui-Bian, although many people despise him, he still has a large number of supporters who approve of his actions. When the Lord judges, there will not be any disagreement, because the judgement of the Lord is true and righteous and that is what everyone wants to see. Therefore , at that time, everyone will rejoice, praise the Lord and sing hallelujah to Him.

第二喜事:君王登基

THE SECOND JOYOUS EVENT: THE KING ASCENDS TO THE THRONE

5 有聲音從寶座出來說:神的眾僕人哪,凡敬畏祂的,無論大小,都要讚美我們的神( 哈利路亞) 。6 我聽見好像群眾的聲音,眾水的聲音,大雷的聲音,說:哈利路亞,因為主我們的神,全能者,作王了。

5 And a voice came from the throne, saying, “Give praise to our God, all you His bond-servants, you who fear Him, the small and the great.” 6 Then I heard something like the voice of a great multitude and like the sound of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, saying,

“Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns.

寶座前最高位份的天使,呼籲所有屬神的人,並一切屬神的天使,一起參與這登基大典,唱哈利路亞頌。天國的公民有福了,這是天國公民的大喜日子,也是所有神國里天使的大喜日子。是全部屬神的,是包括整個宇宙的慶祝行動,天上地下所有屬神的個體,一同歡慶的大日。

The angel before the throne, who holds the highest position, calls all those who belong to the Lord and all the angels that belong to God to participate in this great ceremony. Blessed are the citizens of the kingdom of heaven, it is a great joyous occasion for them and for all the angels of the Lord. A great and joyous occasion for all those who belong to God in heaven and on the earth.

韓德爾所寫的哈利路亞頌,是氣勢磅礴的作品。紐約的音樂家們每年都要唱一遍,許多人每年都去聽,還可以跟台上的音樂家們一起唱。百唱不厭、百聽不厭,非常雄壯的聲音。但在這裡的描寫更厲害:

The “Hallelujah” chorus is one of the greatest masterpieces composed by Handel. Many musicians in New York perform this piece every year and many people go to listen to it, you could even sing along with them. No matter how many hundreds of times you sing or listen to it, you will never be tired of this majestic composition. But the description of the scene here is more magnificent:

6 我聽見好像群眾的聲音、眾水的聲音、大雷的聲音,說:「哈利路亞!」

6 Then I heard something like the voice of a great multitude and like the sound of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, saying, “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns.

這幾次的哈利路亞,都是齊聲發出的。由歷世歷代所有信徒,千千萬萬的嘴巴一起大聲的讚美神。這許多人的「聲音」,是一個單數字。這聲音的氣勢驚人,沒有任何一個字眼可以形容。「眾水的聲音、大雷聲音」,都不夠形容這聲音的雄偉。

The “Hallelujah’s” here are pronounced in unison. There are millions and millions of believers from all eras together praising God. The “voice” of this great multitude is in singular form. There is not a word in this world that can describe this awe -inspiring sound. The “sound of many waters” and the “sound of mighty peals of thunder” cannot fully describe this glorious sound.

祂正式成為宇宙的王。過去世界上的帝王與曾在地上掌權的魔鬼,他們的影響、教導,都使世界充滿問題。世界教導我們的,是要投機取巧,要做得少賺得多,多花錢多藉貸,多花掉資源,以促進經濟繁榮。現在所有的問題都暴露了。從前勤勞、忠誠、節儉的美德,一去不回,社會上充斥的是詭詐、虛偽、貪婪,因為世界的王在掌權。

The Lord officially became the King of the whole universe. In the past, the influence and teachings of the emperors of the world and the devil had only brought problems to this world. The world teaches us is to be opportunistic, to do less work to earn more money, to spend more resources to promote economic prosperity. Now all the problems are exposed. In the past, there was still some virtues of hard work and loyalty. Now all these are gone and the community is full of deceit, hypocrisy and greed, because the king of the world is in power.

我們不是常在唱「擁戴主為王」嗎?不錯,現在祂的寶座就在天上的聖所裡,我們每個禮拜在地上的聖所讚美祂,慶賀祂為王,因為祂的寶座從太初立定。不是要等到將來纔作王。祂早就是我們的王。不過祂只在人心中掌權,在聖所裡掌權。甚至不是所有信徒都聽從祂的旨意。祂的旨意,像廣播台,向空氣廣播,只有部份人聽見、聽從。問題不是神有沒有說話,乃是百姓有沒有聽從?主說:「有耳可聽的,就應當聽。」

Don’t we often sing “Crown Him with Many Crowns”? That is correct, today His throne is in the sanctuary in heaven. Every week we worship Him from the sanctuary here on earth, celebrating Him as King because His throne was established from the beginning. He doesn’t have to wait until the future to become king. He became our King from the beginning. But He reigns in our hearts and in the sanctuary. Some believers don’t even follow His will. His will to them is like the broadcast of a radio station, some listen to it and others don’t. The issue is not whether God has spoken or not, but whether the people have listened and followed His commands. The Lord said: “He who has an ear, let him hear.”

神為人預備的,是平安喜樂的生活。但因為人「心裡迷糊」( 詩95) ,所以不能享受真平安。到那時,和平之君、平安之王,要登基作永遠天國的王,祂要正式統治萬民。那些習慣聽從主命令的人,到時候將會快樂地慶祝這大喜的日子。

God has prepared for mankind a life of peace and joy. But because “they are a people who err in their hearts” (Psalm 95), they cannot enjoy real peace. In the future, the Prince of Peace will be the King of the everlasting Kingdom and will officially rule over everyone. Those who are accustomed to listen to God’s commands will on that special day celebrate with great joy.

第叁喜事:羔羊的婚筵

THE THIRD JOYOUS EVENT: THE MARRIAGE FEAST OF THE LAMB

7 我們要歡喜快樂,將榮耀歸給祂。因為羔羊婚娶的時候到了,新婦也自己預備好了,8 就蒙恩得穿光明潔白的細麻衣,這細麻衣,就是聖徒所行的義。

7 Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.” 8 It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.

第叁大喜事是天國君王的婚宴。我們要歡喜快樂,因為這是喜事。上面是天國公民的喜事,這裡是教會喜事,新郎是基督,新娘是教會。

The third joyous event is the marriage feast of the King. We are happy because it is a joyous event. Before it was a joyous occasion for the citizens of heaven, here it is a joyous occasion for the church, the bridegroom is Christ, the bride is the church.

以色列人的婚禮跟西方人相反。西方人以新娘為主角,婚禮中新郎與賓客一起等待新娘來,新娘進來,大家站起歡迎。以色列人以新郎為主角,是新娘等候新郎的。

The wedding ceremony of the Israelites is different from the westerners. In the western weddings, the bride is the protagonist, the bridegroom and the guests await the arrival of the bride and when the bride arrives, everyone stands to greet her. In a Jewish wedding ceremony, the groom is the protagonist, the bride waits for the groom.

他們的婚姻也分叁個時段。第一,由家長安排、選定未婚妻。預表聖靈揀選了基督的未婚妻一樣。第二,新郎定好婚禮的日子,未婚妻只知道大概的時間,常常要準備好,等新郎來迎接。新郎會來接未婚妻到男家舉行婚禮。預表基督來把新娘接上天上,現在我們稱為教會被提。到天上與主相遇。第叁,他們在男家舉行七天的筵席,預表在地上有七年的大災難,同時天上有七年的婚筵。

Their weddings also have three parts. First, the parent do the arrangements and select the fiancee . Symbolizing the Holy Spirit choosing a fiancee for Christ. Second, the groom sets the wedding day, the fiancee only knows the approximate time, she has to be ready at all times, waiting for the groom to come. The groom will take the bride to his home for the wedding ceremony. Symbolizing Christ coming to take her bride to heaven, which we call the rapture of the church, to meet with the Lord in heaven. Third, a banquet is held at the groom’s home for 7 days, symbolizing the 7 years of great tribulation on the earth and at the same time the seven years of wedding banquet in heaven.

「羔羊婚娶的時候到了」,是基督回來迎接教會的時候到了。祂來的時候,也在教會準備好的時候。所以「新婦也自己預備好了」。新娘未婚妻雖然不知道新郎來的準確時間,但她要常常要準備好,要穿上潔白明亮的婚紗。這婚紗就是聖徒所行的義。她穿的衣服:第一,是白色的、發亮的。第二,是潔淨的。

“The marriage of the Lamb has come,” it is the time when Christ will welcome the church. He will come when the church is ready. Thus, “the bride has made herself ready.” Although, the bride does not know the exact time when the groom will come, she has to make herself ready at all times and clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.

有人覺得這裡太強調行為,像貶低了基督的恩典。但我們從這裡的經文看清楚,她是「蒙恩得穿」was given 是特別給她的,不是由她自己的本領賺到的。基督徒所有的義行,都是聖靈的工作。必須倚靠聖靈的引導,纔得到這潔白光明的衣服。一方面是她白白的領受,另一方面也是她自己準備好、有忠心。所以不單稱義、成聖,也實在有好生活。

Some people feel that the emphasis here is more on people’s actions than on the grace of Christ. But we see from the text here that it was “given” to her, not that she acquired it with her own abilities. All the actions of the Christians are the work of the Holy Spirit. We must rely on the guidance of the Holy Spirit to get this fine linen, bright and clean. On one hand, she received it freely, on the other hand she had to make herself ready and be faithful. So, not only it is necessary to be justified and sanctified, but also to live a good life.

有人常為這些事爭執,說那豈不是「行為主義」嗎?我們不是應該都因信稱義嗎?不要被弄胡塗了。基督徒沒有行為是錯的、死的。遵守主命令的人,纔是真愛主的人。基督的恩典是能帶來新生活的恩典,如果信徒沒有新的生活,表示沒有得到新的生命。這是大喜的事。

Some people argue saying, Isn’t that “behaviorism”? Aren’t we justified by faith? Do not be confused. Christians must have actions otherwise they would be dead. Those who obey the commands of the Lord are those who truly love God . The grace of Christ can bring new life to a believer; if the believer does not live accordingly, it means that he did not get a new life. To have a new life in Christ is something of great joy.

第四喜事:有份出席的人有福了

THE FOURTH JOYOUS EVENT: BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO ARE INVITED

9 天使吩咐我說:「你要寫上,凡被請赴羔羊之婚筵的有福了。又對我說:「這是神真實的話. 」

9 Then he said to me, “Write, ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.’” And he said to me, “These are true words of God.”

最後,還有一件喜事,用「有福了」告訴我們。「凡被請赴羔羊之婚筵的,有福了。」天使還怕約翰或我們不明白其重要性,再肯定說:「這是神真實的話。」是可靠的話,是必定會發生的事。所以要寫下來。凡能夠被請參加婚筵的人,有福了。

At the end, there is one last joyous event, using “Blessed” to tell us about it. “Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” The angel, afraid that John or us would not understand the importance of these events, says: “These are true words of God”. God’s words can be trusted. These are things that will happen for sure, that is why those events have to be written down. Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper.

有人會說:「我們不就是新娘嗎?為甚麽還要被請?」如果新郎是基督,新娘是教會,那被邀請赴席的,又是誰呢?是舊約的聖徒嗎?是以色列人嗎?是得救但不屬於教會的人嗎?是知道要敬拜神,但不認識基督的人嗎?到底這些賓客是誰呢?

Some people may ask: “Aren’t we the bride? Why do we have to be invited?” If the bridegroom is Christ and the bride is the church then who are the ones invited to the banquet? Are they the Israelites? Are they the people who are saved but do not belong to the church? Are they the ones that know that they have to worship God but do not know Christ? Ultimately, who are these guests?

在耶穌所講的比喻裡面,也有同樣疑問。新郎來迎娶新娘的時候,有十個童女帶著燈來等候。結果五個童女預備有油,所以能進去筵席,是有福的人。五個沒有油,就要在外面哀哭切齒了。耶穌用這比喻吩附人儆醒。但我們要問:「怎麽新娘變了童女呢?」

The same question arises in one of the parables that Jesus told about. When the groom came for the bride, there were ten virgins waiting with their lamps but only five of them were prepared with oil and were able to go into the wedding banquet, they are those who are blessed. The other five who did not have oil were left outside where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Jesus used this parable to tell people to be watchful. But we have to ask this question: “How come the bride became virgins?”

既然同是羔羊的婚筵,怎麽又有第四件喜事呢?如果教會是新娘,誰被請去赴席呢?

Since it is still the wedding banquet of the Lamb, how come there is also a fourth joyous event? If the church is the bride, who are the guests who are invited?

我們要明白,說「教會」的時候,就沒有個人的存在。基督迎娶的是教會,不是迎娶個別的人。有一些修女說:「我已經嫁給基督,不能再結婚了。」根本沒有這回事。我們沒有一個人單獨嫁給主的事。

We must understand that whenever it talks about the “church”, it is not talking about certain individuals. Christ is married to the church, not to an individual person. Some nuns say: “I am already married to Christ, I cannot get married again.”

教會被提,並不是所有教會的會員都被提。有被提的、有撇下的。五個童女進去了,五個進不去,因為沒有儆醒,沒有預備油。新娘是指教會整體而言,童女或其他賓客,是指個別的基督徒。每一個基督徒都是特別的人,每一個人的信心追求,都不一樣,生命不一樣,不能一律看待。啟示錄裡面共有七個「有福了」,每一個,都與儆醒等候有關。所以儆醒的人有福了。

When the church is raptured, not every member of the church will be taken up. Some will be raptured, others will be left behind. Five virgins were able to go in but the other five were left out because they were not watchful, they were not prepared with oil. The bride is the church as a whole, virgins or other guests, refers to individual Christians. Each Christian is a special person, each person’s faith is different, their lives are different, none of them are the same. The word “blessed” appears 7 times in Revelation, and every time it is related to watchfulness. Therefore, blessed are those who are watchful.

沒有被提的其中五個童女,將要留在地上哀哭切齒了。她們不是滅亡,乃是在地上最黑暗的時候,經過那七年大災難。那七年大災難,不是為信徒預備的。凡燈裡有油的人,即生命裡有聖靈的人,他們跟隨聖靈行事,就是儆醒的信徒。記得,有基督的靈纔是屬基督的。他們是真信徒,所以必定會在婚筵裡,就有福了。將要在主面前領受獎賞。

The five virgins who were not raptured will be left on the earth where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. They will not perish but they will have to go through the darkest times in the earth, they will have to go through the 7 years of great tribulation. Those 7 years of great tribulation were not prepared for believers. Those who have oil in their lamps are the ones who have the Holy Spirit in their lives and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit, those are the believers who are watchful . Remember, only those who have the Spirit of Christ in them are the ones who belong to Christ. They are true believers, they will for sure be in the wedding banquet, they are blessed. They will receive a reward from the Lord.