CHAPTER IV – REVELATION 启示录 1:12-13, 20 – 圣所灯台的奥秘 MYSTERY OF THE LAMPSTAND INSIDE THE SANCTUARY

 

启示录的信息 The Message of the Book of Revelation by Rev. Carpus Yip 葉華牧師 / Bilingual Edition  ( 简体中文 Simplified Chinese  and English).

CHAPTER IV

圣所灯台的奥秘
MYSTERY OF THE LAMPSTAND INSIDE THE SANCTUARY

启示录REVELATION 1:12-13, 20;
撒迦利亚 ZECHARIAH 4:1-14

灯台与末世到底有什么关系?为什么在末世的预言或异象里,会出
现灯台?启示录与旧约的撒迦利亚书都记载有多个末世的异象,而且很明显有一些异象是相似的。两本书都出现了灯台的记载。两处经文对照来读,会更容易掌握这奥秘。
What is the connection between the lampstand and the end of times? Why does a lampstand appear in visions and prophecies of the end times? Many visions of the end times are recorded in the book of Revelation and in the book of Zechariah in the Old Testament ; furthermore, it is very obvious that some of these visions are similar. The lampstand is mentioned in both books. Comparing both passages will help us to better understand this mystery.

启示录的目的,不是强调世界末日,乃是要描绘神的国怎样建成。
撒迦利亚先知也看见天国的建立,所以他用这异象来鼓励当时的人重建圣殿。其实神的整个救赎大计,都与天国有关。
The purpose of Revelation is not to document the events of the end of the world but to document how the Kingdom of God is being built. The prophet Zechariah also saw the establishment of the Kingdom of Heaven, so at that time he used this vision to encourage the people to rebuild the temple. Actually, God’s entire plan of salvation is related to the Kingdom.

因有一婴孩为我们而生……政权必担在祂肩头上……祂必
坐大卫的宝座。 (以赛亚书九章)
For to us a child is born…the government will be on His shoulders…He will reign on David’s throne. (Isaiah, Chapter 9).

圣诞节不是讲婴孩,不是讲礼物,乃是预告天国的来临。但人一直
以为,有王国就有军队、国王、领土。像天主教、犹太教人士所追求的一样。耶稣教人祷告说:「愿祢的国降临,愿祢的旨意行在地上,如同行在天上。」地上天国之发展,就是要看有多少人行神的旨意?有多少人听祂的命令?天国的建立才是重要的事。
Christmas is not about a baby or about presents, but about announcing the arrival of the Kingdom of Heaven. People always think that a kingdom must have an army, a king and a territory. That is what Catholics and Jews are looking for. Jesus taught the people how to pray saying: “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” In order for the Kingdom of Heaven to expand, we need to see how many people do God’s will and obey God’s command . The establishment of the Kingdom of Heaven is a very important matter.

国度的蓝图
THE BLUEPRINT OF THE KINGDOM

12我转过身来,要看是谁发声与我说话。既转过来,就看
见七个金灯台。
12 I turned around to see the voice that was speaking to me. And when I turned I saw seven golden lampstands.

2他问我说:「你看见了什么?」我说:「我看见了一个纯
金的灯台,顶上有灯盏,灯台上有七盏灯。 (撒迦利亚四章)
2 He asked me, “What do you see?” I answered, “I see a solid gold lampstand with a bowl at the top and seven lamps on it.” (Zechariah Chapter 4)

对两个异象的描写似乎有些不同。启示录有七个灯台,撒迦利亚看
见的像圣所,只有一个灯台,七盏灯。其实启示录说的,并不是七个灯台,是七盏灯。与耶稣所说「人点灯不放斗底下」之「灯」字相同。所以约翰其实只看见七盏灯,并没有看见灯座。
It might seem that these two visions are different. Revelation mentions seven lampstands; Zechariah saw a lampstand with its bowl on top like the one in the sanctuary. Actually, what is mentioned in Revelation is not a lampstand but seven lamps. Like what Jesus said : “No one, after lighting a [lamp], puts it away in a cellar or under a basket.” In fact, what John saw was seven lamps, not the lampstand.

出埃及记37章写出会幕里的灯台应该怎样做,说「顶上有灯盏」。
其实每盏灯,都是一个小碗,因为油灯不是直接烧油,是用灯芯把油引出来,是烧灯芯。但如果没有油,灯芯很快烧完,所以上面需要一个小碗,叫做灯盏。
Exodus 37 describes what the lampstand in the Tabernacle looked like. It said that on the top of the lampstand were seven lamps. Each lamp was made of a little bowl; the lamp did not burn the oil directly, it used a wick to draw the oil. The wick burned and gave light. Without the oil the wick will burn out very soon, so the little bowl on top of the lampstand was call a lamp.

灯台是预表
THE SYMBOL OF THE LAMPSTAND

灯台是一个预表。预表是用一些可见的物件,表达出属灵的真理。
这些物件是象征性的,通常比较粗略简单。撒迦利亚所见的异象比较精细。这种异象就像一个「图表」。如果我们要描写世界上有穷人,可以拍一些穷人的家庭照片,显示他们的房子、食物与睡觉的地方。但如果想要说明世上有多少穷人,就要用图表。看图表,就知道世上有70%的人穿不暖、吃不饱。所以有些人虽然自称是穷人,但在全世界人口中,却是属于富裕的一群。
The lampstand is a symbol. A symbol uses something visible to convey a spiritual truth; usually the symbol is a simple object. The vision that Zechariah saw was more detailed. This kind of vision was like a chart. If I wanted to describe the poor people of the world, I would take some photographs of their food, the places where they sleep and what they do in order to show how they live. But if I wanted to show how many poor people are in the world, I would draw a chart showing that 70% of the world population does not have warm clothes to wear and go hungry all the time; although some claim to be poor, according to the world population statistics they are still considered rich.

戈尔拍的电影「绝望真相」,不能只拍冰雪溶化与北极熊的可怜,他
必须用图表证明温度不断升高。但以理第二章所见到的大像,也是在表达「更朝换代」,也是象征性的。
Al Gore’s documentary “An Inconvenient Truth” could not fully show the extent of the global warming by just showing how pitiful the polar bears looked floating on pieces of melting ice; he needed a chart to prove his theory. The great statue that the prophet Daniel saw was also a symbol to convey the great changes that would occur during the different eras.

灯台的异象,其实也是同一理。如果使徒约翰看见宣教士们在蛮荒
传道,他仍然不清楚天国发展到哪一个地步。当然在今天,可以给他看世界地图,但在当时的他,没有见过世界地图,看见也不一定明白。所以神让他看灯盏的异象。
In fact, the vision of the lampstand is similar. If the apostle John would have seen missionaries preaching among the salvages, he would still not have been able to tell how much the Kingdom of Heaven was growing. Of course, if it were today, we could show him a map of the world, but in his days, he did not know what a map of the world looked like and even if he saw it, he would not understand it. That is why God showed him the vision of the lampstand.

两个异象预表的重点与精细点不一样,可以互相补充。
The two visions emphasized different details which complement each other.

国度与奥秘
THE KINGDOM AND THE MYSTERY

20论到你所看见,在我右手中的七星和七个金灯台的奥秘。
20 The mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand and of the seven golden lampstands is this.

「奥秘」,有英译本翻作「秘密」,像是说,神不想人知道这些事。其实奥秘不是秘密。保罗的话(以弗所书3:5-6)可说明奥秘不是秘密:
Some English versions of the Bible translate the word “mystery” into “secret”, as if God wanted to keep some things from the people. Actually, mysteries and secrets are not the same. Paul’s words (Ephesians 3:5-6) say clearly that a mystery is not a secret:

「这奥秘在以前的世代,没有叫人知道,像如今借着圣灵启
示祂的圣使徒和先知一样。 」
“ the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to people in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God’s holy apostles and prophets.”

他所说的奥秘是什么? 「这奥秘,就是外邦人在基督耶稣里,借着
福音,得以同为后嗣、同为一体、同蒙应许。 」是外邦人与犹太人同样得到救恩。他也不是说奥秘的定义,只是说出前人所不知道的事。
What is this mystery he is speaking about? “This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.” Both Gentiles and Jews will obtain salvation. He is not giving a definition of the mystery. He is just speaking about things that the generations before did not know about.

奥秘,是指不容易明白,不能用头脑去理解,是要用心灵去领会的
事。每次撒迦利亚先知不明白异象的时候,就发问。天使才给他解释,约翰也是一样。耶稣的众门徒,也是一样。主不是一下子把所有的细节讲解清楚。祂期待人自己心灵领会,自己去发现,才是重要的。
Mysteries are things that are not easy to understand, things that you cannot use your mind to comprehend; you need to use your heart to discern them. Every time that the prophet Zechariah did not understand a vision, he would ask about it. Then the angel will explain the meaning of the vision to him; John did the same thing. Jesus’ disciples did the same thing. The Lord does not explain every single detail. He wants people to use their own heart to comprehend and to discover what is important .

如果人没有用心想明白,或未到程度了解,主也不会告诉他。神的
启示都需要敏锐的心去寻求,他们都要发问才能得到答案。
If you do not try your best to understand it or have not reached that degree of understanding, the Lord will not reveal it to you either. The revelation of God requires a keen spirit to seek it; you need to ask questions to understand it.

撒迦利亚先知说:「那与我说话的天使又来叫醒我,好像人睡觉被
唤醒一样。 」心灵要先被唤醒,需要有清醒的心,才能领会神的话语。 撒迦利亚关心圣殿重建,约翰关心教会发展。所以有不同的领受。
The prophet Zechariah said: “Then the angel who talked with me returned and woke me up, like someone awakened from sleep.” In other words, we have to have an alert mind, to understand God’s Word. Zechariah was concerned about the rebuilding of the temple, John was concerned the expansion of the Church. Their concerns were different; therefore what they received from the Lord was different.

国度与教会
THE KINGDOM AND THE CHURCH

10谁藐视这日的事为小呢?这七眼乃是耶和华的眼睛,遍
察全地,见所罗巴伯手拿线铊就欢喜。 (撒迦利亚四章)
10 “Who dares despise the day of small things, since the seven eyes of the LORD that range throughout the earth will rejoice when they see the chosen capstone in the hand of Zerubbabel?”(Zechariah Chapter 4)

建造工程的开始,测量员手拿线铊,没有很大的工具,没有壮观的
场面,也没有很多工人。手拿线铊,在人看来是小事一宗,但在神看,并不是小事。教会国度开始发展之时,在神的心中都是大事。
At the beginning of every construction project, a surveyor will use his leveling instrument (plumb line) to gather information for the future construction site; at that time the large machines are not needed yet, the scene does not look spectacular and there are only a few workers. When people see a plumb line in the hand of a person, they might think that it is just a small thing; but not in God’s eyes. In God’s heart the expansion of the Church, the Kingdom of Heaven, is a major event.

这七灯就是神的七眼。在全地上走来走去。
These seven lamps are the seven eyes of the Lord, walking back and forth throughout the earth.

多数人对这话的解释是:神的眼目遍察全地。神的眼目当然能遍察
全地,但这里说的是七盏灯,是指全地教会。教会要在全地走来走去,或走遍全地(「遍察全地」应该翻作「走遍全地」)。教会当往普天下去扩展天国,到地极去传扬福音。这些灯不是摆着不动,是要走遍全地的。
Most people explain this verse as: God’s eyes observing the whole world. Of course, the eyes of God are able observe the whole world; but here, the seven lamps are the Church of the whole world. It is saying that the Church is moving back and forth all over the world, (not just observing it but moving to and from). The Church is moving all over the world to expand the Kingdom of Heaven. Those who are going all over the world to spread the Gospel are the people . These lamps are not stationary; they are moving all over the world.

18世纪英国浸信会差会创办人克理威廉,是非常热心的青年。他
在聚会中站起来说:「亚洲有很多人不认识主,我们要去传福音。」长老对他说:「青年人,坐下来,神要作工,不用你操心。」那位长老错了。天国扩展,需要教会,就是灯台,去走遍全地。
In the 18th century, a very enthusiastic young man named William Carey, who later became the founder of the British Baptist Missionary Society, stood up before a congregation and said: “Many people in Asia do not know the Lord. We must go and preach the Gospel.” An elder said to him: “Young man, sit down, when God pleases to convert the heathen, he will do it without your aid or mine.” That elder was wrong; the Kingdom of Heaven needs the Church to expand . The church is the lampstand moving all over the world.

开始时的工作可能很小,但都是国度里的喜事。神欢喜、神的灵欢
喜、教会欢喜,不能藐视。小小的风云会引致大的改变。三年半没有下过雨,以利亚先知求雨,当他看见云像手掌那么大,就嘱咐人赶快逃。一位小会友一点小改变,变了常常聚会、积极祷告、大发热心,就可以变成大事,在神眼中很多小事,可以变成大事。所罗巴伯手中小小的线铊,大卫手中的几块小石,小孩手中的五饼二鱼,都可以变为大事。
The work in the beginning might seem very insignificant, but it is a happy occasion for the Kingdom of Heaven. God rejoices, the Spirit of God rejoices, the Church rejoices; do not despise the small things. A small amount of wind and clouds can bring tremendous changes. There was a drought for three years and six months, the prophet Elijah prayed for rain, when he saw a cloud as small as a man’s hand, he told the people to quickly run away before the storm started. A small member of the church, a small change, he goes to church every Sunday, prays continually, becomes very fervent, transforms into a major event. In God’s eyes something small can become a major event. The small plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand, the small stones in David’s hands, the five breads and two fish from the boy’s hand, can all become great things.

7大山哪,你算什么呢?在所罗巴伯面前你必成为平地。他
必搬出一块石头安在殿顶上。人且大声欢呼,说:「愿恩惠、
恩惠归与这殿。 」(撒迦利亚四章)
7 What are you, mighty mountain? Before Zerubbabel you will become level ground. Then he will bring out the capstone to shouts of ‘God bless it! God bless it!’” (Zechariah Chapter 4)

撒迦利亚第四章有两块石。 「线铊」plummet stone可以称为「墬子
石」,指开始动工之时所用的石。「顶上的石」乃是最后放上去的石头,那是最后的工作,所以大家欢呼说:「愿恩典、恩典归它。 」再没更大的喜乐,比神的子民亲眼看见天国建造完成所得的喜乐。开始动工之日早已过去,现今我们在等候大工告成之日。
There are two stones in Zechariah chapter 4. The plummet stone can be called a building stone, used at the beginning of the construction project. The capstone is the stone that will be laid on top on the day that the construction work is completed. Everyone shouted: “Grace, grace to it!” There is no greater joy than that of God’s people seeing with their own eyes the construction of the Kingdom of Heaven. The day when the construction started has already passed, now we are waiting for that wonderful day when the work will finally be completed.

天国与圣灵
THE KINGDOM AND THE HOLY SPIRIT

6他对我说:「这是耶和华指示所罗巴伯的。万军之耶和华
说:不是倚靠势力,不是倚靠才能,乃是倚靠我的灵方能成事。
」(撒迦利亚四章)
6 So he said to me, “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty. (Zechariah Chapter 4)

建立天国不像做生意,不是倚靠人力、财力。最重要是倚靠圣灵。
这油灯的异象已经显示,没有油,灯不亮。没有油,灯芯很快烧掉。灯芯大半泡在油中,只露出一点就发亮。人看见烧灯芯,其实油才是最重要的部分。万军之耶和华说:「不是倚靠势力,不是倚靠才能,乃是倚靠我的灵,方能成事。」
Building the Kingdom of Heaven is not like doing business; it does not depend on manpower or financial resources. The most important thing is to rely on the Holy Spirit. The vision of the lamps demonstrates that without oil the lamps will not give light. Without oil the fire from the wick will quickly be extinguished. Half of the wick is immersed in the oil, as long as a part of the wick is exposed, it will be bright. People see the wick burning but actually the oil is the most important element. “Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,” says the Lord of hosts.

做生意的人需要眼光、人才、资金、发展计划。但天国发展必须倚
靠圣灵的工作。有圣灵感动、引导、激发行动的信心。油什么时候发挥作用?是在灯芯燃烧之时。什么时候停止?是不燃烧之时。人不愿意放自己在祭坛上燃烧,圣灵的油就流不出来,教会变得不冷不热,圣灵就没有作为。
Business people need vision, talented personnel, financial resources, and plans for development. But, for the Kingdom of Heaven to expand, it requires the work of the Holy Spirit. It needs the inspiration, guidance and enthusiasm from the Holy Spirit. When does the oil give light? The minute the wick is burning. When does oil stop flowing? The moment the wick stops burning. When a person stops having an ardent heart for the Lord, the oil from the Holy Spirit will not continue to flow; when the Church is lukewarm, the Holy Spirit will not be active.

人需要有信心、有热心,神使用热心行动的人。 「他必搬出石头」、
卷起衣袖、动手去做,像所罗巴伯一样,不只是动嘴巴。神要使用有信心不怕艰难的人。 「大山哪,你算什么?我要把这大山凿平,我要把山移走,来建造主的圣殿。」当以色列人看见巨人歌利亚,觉得很难打。小大卫也看见那巨人,但觉得这么一个大块头,很难打不中。有信心、有热心的人,圣灵的油会不断供应给他,他就是神所使用的人。
People need to have faith and zeal; God will use those who are fervent and ready for action. They must be willing and prepared to remove any obstacles, to roll up their sleeves and get to work like Zerubbabel; not just talking about it. God wants to use faithful people who are not afraid of hardships. “What are you, mighty mountain? I will level the mighty mountain to the ground; I will remove that mountain to build the holy temple of God.” When the Israelites saw Goliath, the giant, they thought that it was going to be very difficult to deal with him. Little David also saw the giant but he thought that it was going to be very difficult to miss such a huge target as the giant’s head. A person with faith and zeal is someone whom the Holy Spirit will provide oil continuously; such person will be greatly used by the Lord.

各时代神都在拣选人、使用人。到底神要拣选怎样的人?有人说,
像人在鱼塘捞鱼,要挑生猛活泼的,所以拿着网在水平面上移动,当有鱼一跳出来,就把它网住。主的手也在水面上移动,谁跳上水平面上,就会拣选他、使用他,让他成为天国的支柱。但很多人满足于水平线下的生活,以致不能被主使用。
God will use and choose people from all eras. What kind of a person does God choose to use? Some people say it is like fishing with a net in a pond, going for the fish that is most alive and kicking. When the fish jumps out of the water, the fisherman will use the net to scoop it up. God’s hand is also moving on top of the water, whoever jumps out of the water will be chosen, and used by Him to become a pillar in the Kingdom of Heaven . Many, though, are content with living under the surface of the water and as a result of that, God will not use them.

一百多年前神在纽约使用宣信博士,他教导会众作这样的祷告说:
「求主拣选我的孩子,使他们愿意作传教士;求主帮助我愿意为宣教的事工奉献。」结果主大大的使用他与他的会众。
More than a hundred years ago in New York, God used Dr. AB Simpson to teach his congregation to pray saying: “Lord, use my children, so they will be willing to become missionaries, help me to offer myself to the missionary work without any reservations.” The results were that God used him and his congregation greatly.

撒迦利亚问说:「这两根橄榄枝在两个流出金色油的金嘴旁边,是
什么意思? 」他说:「这是两个受膏者(油之子)。 」
Zechariah asked the angel: “What are these two olive trees on the right and the left of the lampstand?” He replied: “These are the two who are anointed.”

这里的翻译不大对。平常「受膏者」是Meshiah弥赛亚,这里说的
是sons of oil「油之子」。而且希伯来文的油字分得很精细,就像中文有「米」与「饭」之分,是很多其他文字所没有的。这里用的油字,不是膏抹时用的膏油,乃是指新鲜流出来的油。这代表神要使用的人,是充满新鲜活泼的圣灵,是不断有圣灵供应的人。
The translation here is not very accurate. Usually the anointed one refers to the Messiah; here is “sons of oil”. The meaning of the word “oil” in Hebrew is very clear. Like the words used for uncooked rice 「米」 ( Mǐ) and cooked rice 「饭」 (Fàn) in the Chinese language. Many other languages don’t have these differences. The word “oil” used here is not the oil used for anointing, but the fresh oil that is pouring out. It represents the people that God uses, filled with the Holy Spirit , fresh and full of live, continuously flowing through them.

所以灯台的异象,是一个天国的蓝图,它指出天国的建立,是靠着
动的教会,是到普天下去发光,为主作见证的教会。圣灵从头到尾都在辅助这天国的大计,我们要信靠圣灵的带领。末后的时代,是最艰难的时代,因为缺少圣灵。我们为拥有太多的东西自豪,我们有很多人才、钱财,教会中有很多博士、硕士,有很多音乐艺术的人才,有很多精良设备。但我们真正需要的却是圣灵。 「不是倚靠势力,不是倚靠才能。」
Thus, the vision of the lampstand is a blueprint of the Kingdom of Heaven. Clearly, the Kingdom of Heaven is established by the Church moving back and forth, shining all over the world, testifying for the Lord. The Holy Spirit has been assisting the Kingdom of Heaven in completing this great task. We must rely on the leading of the Holy Spirit. The end times are the most difficult times because of the absence of the Holy Spirit. We are proud of our material possessions, we have an abundance of human resources and wealth, we have many people in the church with doctors and master’s degrees, we have many talented musicians, and we have a lot of sophisticated equipment. Actually, what we really need is the Holy Spirit. “Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty.”