CHAPTER 14 – Revelation 4:1-11 天上的聖所 THE SANCTUARY IN HEAVEN

1 此後,我觀看,見天上有門開了。我初次聽見好像吹號的聲音對我說:你上到這裡來,我要將以後必成的事指示你。

1 After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this. ”

傳統的解釋,這一段是教會被提到天上的景象,廿四長老是教會的代表。以為啟示錄的異象,是末世連續發生的事。如果下面第六章就是七年大災難的開始,這裡就應該是被提的時候。而且第一節說,有「好像吹號的聲音」。主耶穌與使徒保羅都告訴過我們,號筒末次吹響的時候,就是被提的時候。

The traditional interpretation of this passage is that this scene takes place after the Church is raptured; the 24 elders represent the Church. They think that the visions in Revelation are continuous events. If the great tribulation starts in chapter 6, then this part should be the time of the rapture. Furthermore, verse 1 says that there is “a voice like a trumpet”. The Lord Jesus and the Apostle Paul have told us that when the last trumpet sounds, that will the time of the rapture.

但這裡說「好像」吹號的聲音,並不是真的吹號。其實在第一章已經出現過(1:10) ,「當主日,我被聖靈感動,聽見在我後面有大聲音如吹號說…… 。」好像吹號,其實是描寫聲音響亮,也表示聲音很有權柄。

However, here it says a voice “like” a trumpet; it is not really a trumpet. In fact, in chapter 1, verse 10, it says, “On the Lord’s Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet.” Like a trumpet, is actually describing a voice that is very loud and clear, a voice with authority.

到底第四、五章要表達甚麽呢?我們要記得啟示錄的中心,不是講述末世的災難或世界的結局,是講述神國度的完成。其實新舊約聖經的重點,都在神的國度與教會,從摩西時候就非常清楚的顯示出來。

After all, what are chapters 4 and 5 talking about? We have to remember that the main theme of Revelation is not about the disasters during the last days or how the world will end, but about the completion of the Kingdom of Heaven. In fact , the emphasis of the New Testament is on the God’s Kingdom and His Church; this has been clearly displayed since the time of Moses.

天上的聖所

THE SANCTUARY IN HEAVEN

在這段經文中,「聖所」這個字沒有出現,但所描寫的景象,全都在聖所裡面。天上聖所的景像不斷在啟示錄出現。第一章看見聖所中的燈臺,另外的地方或看見金香壇,或銅祭壇,或約櫃。後面的異象,幾乎每一章都有聖所的景像出現。

The word “sanctuary” does not appear in this passage, but all the scenes described in here are related to the inside of the sanctuary. The scene of the Sanctuary in heaven occurs over and over again in Revelation. In chapter 1, we see the lampstand in the middle of Sanctuary, in another place we see the entire altar of incense, or the bronze altar, or the Ark of the Covenant. In the subsequent visions, the scene of the Sanctuary appears almost in every chapter.

新舊約聖經中有多位神的僕人,都描寫他們所看見的天上聖所,只不過有一點像瞎子摸象,各人所見只是其中一部份。以賽亞先知看見神的寶座,看見撒拉弗就是神寶座旁邊事奉的活物;以西結先知也看見神的寶座,他也看見寶座周圍的四活物;但以理所看見神的寶座,沒有四活物;撒迦利亞看見燈臺部份,所以各人只描寫聖所中某一部份。

In the Old Testament and in the New Testament, many servants of God have also described the visions of the heavenly Sanctuary, but they can only describe it as a blind man would describe an elephant, each person is able to see only a small portion of the whole Sanctuary. The prophet Isaiah saw God’s throne; he saw seraphim which are the living creatures that minister to God around His throne. The prophet Ezekiel also saw the throne of God; he also saw the four living creatures that surrounded God’s throne. When Daniel saw God’s throne, he did not see the four living creatures. Zechariah only saw the part of the lampstand. Therefore, each person described only part of the Sanctuary.

所以我們需要先搞清楚,甚麽叫做「聖所」。聖所這個字,在新約聖經中,大部分都翻作「聖殿」。其實,翻作聖殿的字共有叁個:

So, first we need to find out what is the “Sanctuary”. The word “Sanctuary”, in the New Testament, most of the time is translated into “Temple”. Actually , there are three words that mean “Temple”:

第一個是hieron ,是真正應該翻作「聖殿」的字。它包括整個大聖殿範圍,包括做禮拜的聖所、女院、外邦人院、所羅門的廊子等。

The first word is “ hieron ”, which is the word that should be translated into “Temple”. It encompasses the whole area of the Temple; it included the Sanctuary where people worshiped God, the women’s court, the court of the gentiles, Solomon’s porch, etc.

第二個是naos ,這字應該翻作「聖所」,包括聖所、至聖所、祭司院、以色列院,就是聖殿的核心部份。

The second word is “naos”; this word should be translated into “Sanctuary”, it includes the Sanctuary, the Holy of Holies, the court of the priests, the court of the Israelites, which is the main part of the Sanctuary.

第叁個是oikos ,這字的原意是「家」,在舊約的時候,會用「神的家」代表聖殿,聖殿還沒有建造之前,他們在會幕中敬拜神,會幕就稱為「神的家」。詩篇23 篇大衛說:「我且要住在神的家中直到永遠。」

The third word is “oikos”; the original meaning of this word is “house”. In the New Testament, “The House of the Lord ” was used to represent the Temple, before the Temple was build, the people worshiped God in the Tabernacle, and the Tabernacle was called “The House of the Lord”. In Psalm 23, David says: “I will dwell in the House of the Lord forever.”

大衛王的時代,只有會幕或聖所,還沒有聖殿。但到了新約,當他們說「神的家」之時,其實是指整個聖殿。很可惜,新約裡很多處地方用「聖所」這個字的時候,中文都翻作「聖殿」,使這真理變得模糊不清了。

During the time of King David, there was only the Tabernacle or the Sanctuary, there was no Temple. But in the New Testament, when they speak about “The House of the Lord”, it actually means the whole Temple.

聖所是在摩西從神得啟示之後,得到了「山上的樣式」,就是得到了聖所的藍圖。在摩西之前,約伯、挪亞、亞伯拉罕等人敬拜神,是要築「壇」敬拜。那敬拜神的「壇」是最簡單的設備。最原始,是用石頭堆成,沒有偶像,也不是拜石頭。只是堆成一個神的寶座出來。就像中國古代的「天壇」,很雄偉,但裡面是空的,中間只有一個地方,放著一個牌子寫著「皇天上帝」。整個大空間,是讓當時的皇帝進裡面向這位「皇天上帝」禱告,禱告的方式,是把他寫好的禱文放在「上帝」寶座上面。

Moses received the blueprint of the Sanctuary through revelation from God; it was according to the pattern shown to him on the mountain. Before Moses, Job, Noah, Abraham and others had to build an “altar” to worship God. That was the simplest setup to worship God. The most original altar was made out of stones, there were no images of any kind, and they were not worshiping a rock. They would just gather some stones together to symbolize God’s throne. Like the Temple of Heaven from ancient China, it was very grand, but inside it was empty, the only thing that was in the middle of the temple was a sign that said: “Sovereign Heavenly God”. The whole place was designed for the Emperor to go in and pray to the “Sovereign Heavenly God”. The way he prayed was to write down his prayer and place it on the throne of “The Sovereign God”.

到摩西的時候,他按照「天上的樣式」建造會幕,整個會幕,就是天上聖所的翻版。而天上聖所的藍圖,也就是新耶路撒冷,在新天新地裡所見到的整個天國的設計。

Moses built the Tabernacle according to the pattern in heaven. The entire Tabernacle was a replica of the Sanctuary in heaven. And the blueprint of the Sanctuary in Heaven is also the New Jerusalem. It is the design of the entire Kingdom of Heaven as seen in the New Heaven and the New Earth.

神的寶座

THE THRONE OF GOD

2 我立刻被聖靈感動,見有一個寶座安置在天上,又有一位坐在寶座上。

2 At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it.

天上聖所最重要的部份,就是神的寶座。將來在永世裡面,我們所有天國子民的生活,就是以神寶座為中心的生活。這是最美好的生活方式,如果今天基督徒讓神寶座在人生中心,就擁有最美滿、幸福生活。

The most important part of the Sanctuary in heaven is the throne of God. In eternity, we, the citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven will have the throne of God at the center of our lives. That is the best lifestyle. If Christians today would let God’s throne reign in their lives, they will have a most perfect wonderful happy life.

在地上我們有一個屬靈的家,就是教會,我們到教會裡敬拜神,教會裡也必須有神的寶座,祂每個主日向祂的子民發出指示,我們用謙卑的心,聽從祂的命令與旨意。

On earth we have a spiritual home which is the Church. We come to Church to worship God. God’s throne must be in the Church. He instructs His people every Sunday. We should listen to His command and His will with a humble heart.

在我們心靈裡,也有一個寶座,可以讓神坐在其上。讓祂每時每刻向我們發號施令,我們也可以隨時隨地向祂禱告,把我們的心意向祂陳明。這就是最甜美的生活。

There is also a throne inside our hearts and we can let God sit on that throne so He can issue orders to us day and night. We can also pray to Him at all times to let Him know how we feel. That kind of life is the sweetest and most beautiful.

施恩座

THE MERCY SEAT

3 看那坐著的,好像碧玉和紅寶石,又有虹圍著寶座,好像綠寶石。

3 And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and ruby. A rainbow that shone like an emerald encircled the throne.

摩西按山上的樣式建造會幕,把聖所間開一個部份叫做至聖所。裡面有神的寶座,在約櫃上面。他稱這寶座叫作「施恩座」,是神施恩給我們的地方,不是審判我們的地方。這裡說坐在那寶座上的好像寶石,是高貴、燦爛、榮耀的主,又有「虹」圍著寶座。這「虹」就表示這位坐寶座的主,是施恩的主。正像祂應許挪亞時一樣,把彩虹擺放在天空上。

When Moses followed the pattern that God gave him in the mountain to build the Tabernacle, he set apart a place called Holy of Holies. Inside, on top of the Ark of the Covenant, was God’s throne. He called it “The Mercy Seat” ; it is a place where God bestows His grace upon us, not a place where He judges us. Here it says that the one who sat on the throne had the appearance of jasper and ruby. He is a majestic, magnificent, glorious Lord. There is also a “rainbow” encircling the throne. The “rainbow” indicates that the one who sits on the throne is a merciful Lord. Just as when God put a rainbow in the sky to promise Noah that He would never send another flood on the earth to destroy all life again.

神的審判行動,都是差派天使出去執行的。我們來到神寶座面前的人,不會受到審判,因為這個是一個施恩座。我們可以放心來到祂的施恩座前,得憐恤、蒙恩惠,得隨時的幫助。

God sends his angels to execute His judgments. When we come before the throne of God, we will not be brought to trial, because it is a Mercy Seat. We can rest assure that whenever we come before His Mercy Seat, we will receive mercy , grace and help in times of trouble.

廿四位長老

TWENTY-FOUR ELDERS

4 寶座的周圍,又有二十四個座位[ 寶座] ,其上坐著二十四位長老,身穿白衣,頭上戴著金冠冕。

4 Surrounding the throne were twenty-four other thrones, and seated on them were twenty-four elders. They were dressed in white and had crowns of gold on their heads.

圍著神的寶座,另外有廿四個寶座。上面坐著廿四位長老。表示這廿四位長老都是帶有權柄的。從廿四的數目很容易想到地上的聖所有廿四位祭司長輪班事奉。天上的聖所也有廿四位靈界的祭司長老。他們各有一個寶座不表示他們是王,「寶座」可以翻譯為「權柄的座位」。像當日猶太會堂中講道者的座位,也是「權柄的座位」。

There were twenty-four other thrones surrounding God’s throne. Seated on them were twenty-four elders. This indicates that those twenty-four elders also had great authority. The number twenty-four very easily reminds us of the twenty-four priests who served different shifts in the Holy of Holies. In the spiritual realm, there are also twenty-four elder priests who served in the Holy of Holies in heaven. They are all seated on thrones but that doesn’t mean that they are kings. “Thrones ” can also be translated into “a seat with authority”. Like the seat where the preacher sat in the Jewish Temple; that also was “a seat with authority”.

他們身穿白衣,是天使的衣飾,頭上戴的金冠冕,不是具王權的冠冕,而是勝利者的冠冕。他們是天上真聖所中服事的祭司,代表地上影子聖所中的服事者。

The elders were dressed in white, the clothing of angels; and had crowns of gold on their heads, not royal crowns but crowns of victory. They were the priests who served in the real Sanctuary in heaven, a reflection of those who serve in the earthly Sanctuary.

10 那二十四位長老就俯伏在坐寶座的面前,敬拜那活到永永遠遠的。又把他們的冠冕放在寶座前,說:11 我們的主,我們的神,祢是配得榮耀尊貴權柄的,因為祢創造了萬物,並且萬物因祢的旨意被創造而有的。

10 the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say: 11 “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.”

從這廿四位長老在敬拜中說的話,我們就知道他們是天上的靈體,也是神所創造,但不是從人間上去的。因為他們的話裡面,只提到「創造」,沒有提到「救贖」。

From the words of worship that these twenty-four elders are saying, we know that they are heavenly beings, there were also created by God, but they were not from the earth; because in their words they only mention “creation”, not “ salvation”.

 威嚴的聲音與影像

AWE-INSPIRING VOICE AND IMAGE

5 有閃電、聲音、雷轟,從寶座中發出。又有七盞火燈在寶座前點著,這七燈就是神的七靈。

5 From the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder. In front of the throne, seven lamps were blazing. These are the seven spirits of God.

雖然上面說那坐寶座的像紅寶石、像碧玉,其實仍然是看不見神坐在上面的。不過卻能感受祂的存在,因為有聲音發出來,有閃電、大聲、雷轟等具有威勢的聲音與影像。

Although the above verse said that the one who sat on the throne had the appearance of jasper and ruby, actually God was still not visible. However, His presence could be felt because of the imposing voice that came from the throne; the flashes of lightning , rumblings and peals of thunder.

在第一章已經看見過的七盞燈,那是代表全地上的教會,根據撒迦利亞先知的解釋,七盞燈也就是神的七眼,是走遍全地的。在這里特別解釋為神的七靈。當然人會告訴我們,七靈,表示是全備的聖靈。但當我們問,燈臺預表聖靈嗎?我們的答案當然是否定的。如果我們不參考撒迦利亞先知的解釋,就不會明白為甚麽這七燈就是神的七靈。

In chapter 1, we have already seen the seven lamps which represent the churches throughout the world. According to the explanation of the prophet Zechariah, the seven lamps are also the seven eyes of God, which go back and forth throughout the earth. Here it specifically says that these are the seven spirits of God. Of course, people would say that the seven spirits represent the completeness of the Holy Spirit. But when we ask, does the lampstand represent the Holy Spirit? Our answer, of course, would be negative. Without looking at the explanation of the prophet Zechariah, we would not have been able to understand why the seven lamps are God’s seven spirits.

在第一章的時候已經解釋過,燈臺預表神的教會,也不是固定不動的教會,乃是要走遍全地的教會,她是帶著神的七靈走遍全地,為主作見證。這是見證的燈臺,是見證的七靈。教會倚靠聖靈的作為把福音傳遍天下。教會最重要的使命,就是走遍全地,讓福音帶到每一個角落。就像人的使命是要生養眾多,遍滿全地一樣。

In chapter 1, we already explained that the lampstand represents the Church of God, which is not stationary but goes back and forth throughout the whole earth. It goes all over the world with God’s seven spirits, testifying for the Lord. It is the witnessing lampstand, the witnessing seven spirits. The Church depends on the work of the Holy Spirit to spread the Gospel all over the world. The most important mission of the Church is to go all over the world spreading the Gospel to every corner of the earth. Just like the mission of mankind was to multiply on the earth and be fruitful and increase in number.

玻璃海

THE SEA OF GLASS

6 寶座前好像一個玻璃海,如同水晶。寶座中,和寶座周圍有四個活物,前後遍體都滿了眼睛。7 第一個活物像獅子,第二個像牛犢,第叁個臉面像人,第四個像飛鷹。8 四活物各有六個翅膀,遍體內外都滿了眼睛,他們晝夜不住的說:聖哉、聖哉、聖哉,主神是昔在、今在、以後永在的全能者。

6 Also in front of the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal. In the center, around the throne, were four living creatures, and they were covered with eyes, in front and in back. 7 The first living creature was like a lion, the second was like an ox, the third had a face like a man, the fourth was like a flying eagle. 8 Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under its wings. Day and night they never stop saying: “’Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty,’ who was, and is, and is to come.”

寶座前有玻璃海,到了十五章,我們將會更清楚玻璃海的意思。地上的會幕在聖所前面有一個洗濯盆,是用銅打造的。磨亮的銅有鏡子的作用,事奉的人進聖所之前先照一照鏡子,洗乾淨纔進聖所供職。盆內的水是神的道之預表,主用水藉著道把教會洗淨。所羅門建聖殿的時候把洗濯盆加大很多倍,所以不能再稱為盆,改稱銅海。所以銅海就是洗濯盆。到約翰看見天上聖所的洗濯盆之時,它不但大,而且是透明如水晶,所以只能稱做玻璃海。

In front of the throne was a sea of glass. When we study chapter 15, we will be able to get a better understanding of the meaning of the sea of glass. In the earthly Tabernacle, there was a wash basin made out of bronze, it was located in front of the Sanctuary. When bronze is polished it becomes like a mirror. The people who ministered in the Sanctuary had to look at themselves in the wash basin like a mirror. After they washed themselves, they would then enter the Sanctuary to perform their duties. The water in the wash basin represents the Word of God. The Lord cleanses the Church using water through His Word. When Solomon built the Temple, he made the wash basin many times bigger; therefore, it was no longer called basin, but sea of bronze. Hence, the sea of bronze is the wash basin. When John saw the wash basin in the heavenly Sanctuary, it was not only very large, but it was also clear as a crystal, so he called it sea of glass.

從天上聖所的異像中,我們看見地上會幕的分界面消失了,沒有分開聖所與至聖所,銅祭壇與洗濯盆也不是在聖所的外面,這碩大無朋的天上聖所就包括了地上會幕的全部範圍。人本來很難得見神的寶座,但將來就要面對面了。

From the vision of the heavenly Sanctuary, we can see that the divisions in the earthly Tabernacle have disappeared; the Sanctuary and the Holy of Holies are not separate any more. The bronze altar and the wash basin are not located outside of the Sanctuary. This enormous heavenly Sanctuary includes every part of the earthy Tabernacle. People can very seldom get a glimpse of God’s throne, but in the future we will be able to see Him face to face.

寶座的四角,還有四位基路伯,也就是四個活物。他們有獅身、牛蹄、人臉、鷹翅膀等特徵,那是最完美僕人的特徵。他們是最靠近神、執行神旨意的四位最重要、最高位份的靈僕。下一篇纔詳細看四活物。

Around the throne were four Cherubim, which were the four living creatures. They had the body of a lion, feet like those of a calf, the face of a human being and wings of an eagle. Those are the features of the perfect servant. These spiritual beings are the ones that are closest to God, they are the most important ones and they hold the highest rank, their job is to carry out God’s orders. We will study the four living creatures in detail in the next chapter.