CHAPTER X – Revelation 启示录 2:18-29 – 权柄掛帅的教会 THE CHURCH WITH AUTHORITY

 

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 X

权柄掛帅的教会 (启示录2:18-29)
THE CHURCH WITH AUTHORITY (Revelation 2:18-29)

世人所追求的,表面上是名与利,但骨子里却是崇尚权力。不单历 代的帝王有权力的野心,就算今日以民主掛帅的国家,为了竞选成为一 国之元首,不惜花费天文数字的竞选经费,以求达到目的。当一个人大 权在手,就可以为所欲为,成为世界人目光的焦点,非常有吸引力。
Not only ancient emperors had the ambition for power, even today in the democratic countries, candidates who run for the office of the presidency do not hesitate to spend astronomical amounts of money to achieve their goal. When a person has power he can have his way and do whatever he likes; he becomes the focus point of the entire world, and this is very appealing.

推雅推喇教会代表第七到十叁世纪,是推崇权柄的教会时代。
The Church in Thyatira represents the church from the 8th to the 13th century, the time when authority was of great importance in the church.

26-27我要赐给他权柄……像我从我父领受的权柄一样。
26-27 I will give authority…just as I have received authority from my Father.

下面的「晨星」也跟权柄有关。其实 18节一开始,这封信就与给其 他教会的信不一样。你要写信给推雅推喇教会的使者。那眼目如火焰、脚像光 明铜的神之子。
These are the words of the Son of God, whose eyes are like blazing fire and whose feet are like burnished bronze.

这里七封信之中,给这个教会的信最长,而且是唯一一封表明是由 「神之子」所说的。其他信描写祂都用形容词,这里却指明祂是神子。一 定是教会所犯的罪,非常严重。如果祂自称人子,所强调是祂的人性, 与我们相同,是要表达亲切同情的关係。但神之子强调的,是祂的权能 与审判资格。加上祂的眼目如同火燄,能洞察内心的审判官;脚像光明 的铜,铜也是审判的金属,告诉我们这审判的主,要带著祂的权柄与威 严来审判这个教会。整个信息所强调的,是审判与权柄。这时期的教会 也是争取权柄,以致受主的重责。暗示第八世纪时教皇制度正式登台。
Among the seven letters, this one is the only one that clearly says: “These are the words of the Son of God.” Undoubtedly, the sin committed by this church was extremely serious. When the Lord calls Himself the “Son of Man,” He emphasizes His human nature and identifies with us. But when He calls Himself the “Son of God”, He emphasizes His power and His qualification to judge. In addition, His eyes are like blazing fire — He can see clearly through the inner parts of our souls. His feet are like burnished bronze — metal representing judgment. The emphasis of the entire message is judgment and authority. The Church during this era was struggling for authority and so the Lord strongly rebuked it. Hint, the Papal System started during the 8th century.

主的称讚
THE LORD’S COMMENDATIONS

19我知道你的行为,爱心、信心、勤劳、忍耐,又知道你 末後所行的善事,比起初所行的更多。
19 I know your deeds, your love and faith, your service and perseverance, and that you are now doing more than you did at first.

罗马教会传下来最美好的事,就是行善。今日很多教会只关心人 灵魂,不关心肉身需要。这不是主的教训。他们的优点是多做善事。
The best thing passed down by the Roman Catholic Church was doing acts of charity. Today, many churches care only for the human soul, but do not care for the physical needs of a person. This is not what the Lord taught. Their strong point was to do a lot of good deeds.

「我知道你的行为」,跟著下面四个词,有叁个与善事有关。爱心= 关心人的行动;信心=忠心持久;勤劳diakonian服务(跟执事同一字 根),表示他们是忠心努力行善的人,而且後来比以前做得更多。事实 上天主教会能不断扩展,就是因为他们针对穷人行善。他们没有甚麽佈 道大会或佈道团,但人数却会不断增加。很多所谓纯正信仰的教会,不 做善事,只管灵魂的需要,福音反而传不开。
Four words follow the phrase“I know your deeds”. Three of them are related to charity. Love = the action of being concerned about others. Faith = lasting loyalty. Service indicating that they were a group of people who served faithfully doing charity. And they were doing more than what they were doing at first. In fact, the Catholic Church continues to expand because they do charity work towards the poor. They do not hold evangelistic meetings, yet they keep growing in numbers. Many churches that hold fundamental beliefs care only for the needs of the soul and do not do any charity work. You would think that the Gospel would spread faster that way, but it doesn’t.

环视世界各差会,发现很多宣教士变了多馀的人手,他们顶多能做 做策划或推动植堂的工作,但传福音,主要还是靠本地的传道人去做。
Take a look at the different missionary organizations around the world and you will notice that many missionaries have become unessential, the most they can do is some planning work or promoting church-planting. Spreading the Gospel is mainly done by local preachers.

到底哪些宣教事工是有价值的呢?宣教士应该到贫穷落後,本土没 有几个传道人的地方,尽力关心穷人需要,关心穷传道的需要。不用理 会人家讽刺奶粉信徒、麵包信徒,照顾穷人的教会,必有穷人寻求主。
In the end, what kind of missionary work is important? Missionaries should go to places that are poor and undeveloped; they should go to the countries where there are not too many pastors and do their best to care for the needs of the poor and the needs of the local pastor. It doesn’t matter if the people who come are only looking for milk and bread, eventually these poor people will come to seek for the Lord.

北美教会只见中产人士到教会,富人不愿来,穷人被轻视。曾有一 华人教会在70年代担保越南难民到美国,当许多越南难民来到教会之 後,其他会众差不多全跑光,歧视难民,实在是与主的教训相违背。信 徒行善,最好不是捐钱给机构,如果能够亲自帮助有需要的人,或帮助 个别的家庭,关心自己的亲人或自己周围的病人,是很好的服事工作。
In North America, most of the people who come to church are middle class, the rich are not willing to come and the poor are neglected. In the 70’s there was a Chinese Church that sponsored some Vietnamese refugees to come to America. After the Vietnamese refugees started coming to church, most of the members of the congregation decided to leave the church; they were bias against the refugees. This is actually contrary to the teachings of our Lord. The best way to help people who are in need is not giving money through a non-profit organization but looking for ways to personally help those who are in need, helping a particular family, caring for a family member who is sick or helping someone who is in need. This is a very good way to serve the Lord.

主的责备
THE LORD’S REBUKE

20然而有一件事我要责备你,就是你容让那自称先知的妇 人耶洗别来教导我的僕人,引诱他们行姦淫、喫祭偶像之物。
20 Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophet. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols.

很多解经的人对「耶洗别」这角色伤透脑筋。在以前的时代,怎可能 有女先知、女传道,怎可能有这麽大的权力与影响力?到今天很多教会 还不容姊妹上讲台,不准许她们做领袖或教导弟兄,古代的教会,当然 更不可能。到底这里说的耶洗别是谁?
Many Bible commentators have been scratching their heads over this vexing character named “Jezebel”. How could a prophetess, woman preacher, have such great power and influence in the old times? Many churches today still do not allow women to preach at the pulpit, they are not even allowed to be leaders or to teach men; of course, this would have been impossible in the church in ancient times. So, who on earth is this Jezebel?

耶洗别本来是一位皇后,但她的权柄,超越了皇帝亚哈,她领导整 个民族变质,带领子民拜偶像。後来以利亚先知独自在迦密山上證明她 所拜的是假神,立刻杀掉所有巴力先知。那时她还不认输,还要追杀以 利亚。这里强调她权力超越丈夫,事实是指教皇超越基督的权柄。
Jezebel was a queen, but her authority surpassed King Ahab’s. She led astray an entire nation by having them worship idols. Later on, the prophet Elijah alone proved to her on Mt. Carmel that the idols she worshiped were false gods, and killed all the prophets of Baal at once. At that time, she did not admit defeat and wanted to kill Elijah. Here it emphasizes that her authority was above her husband’s; actually, this suggests that the Pope’s authority is over Christ’s authority.

天国的王应该是基督,但教皇越权做了教会的王,不管是男是女, 皇后不该有帝王权柄。他们还发明教皇无误论,实在是最大的错误,使 人崇拜教皇多过主。又使人拜偶像、圣人、马利亚,是属灵的姦淫。
Christ should be the King of the Kingdom of Heaven, but the Pope has stolen that authority and has become the king of the church. Regardless if it’s a man or a woman, the queen should not have imperial authority. They also invented the theory that the Pope is errorless, which is a big mistake, deceiving the people to worship the Pope more than worshiping the Lord. They also lured people to commit spiritual adultery by worshiping idols, the saints and Mary.

为甚麽有教皇?因为他们追求政治权力,欧洲各国皇帝都要听话, 皇帝的废立由教皇决定,可说是皇上皇,比现在美国总统风光得多。主 的教会追求属世权力,容让教皇制度产生,所以受到主严厉的责备。
Why is there a Pope? There is a Pope because the people crave political power. The Pope can decide on the depositions of emperors and all the kings of the European countries had to listen to him. He is more flamboyant than the president of the U.S. The Lord’s Church was pursuing worldly power and so they developed the Papal system, thus they were severely rebuked by the Lord.

主的警告
THE LORD’S WARNINGS

21我曾给他悔改的机会,她却不肯悔改她的淫行。
21 I have given her time to repent of her immorality, but she is unwilling.

第八世纪教会通过成立教皇制度,但不承认是那时候纔开始,所以 把第一任教皇推给使徒彼得。当时很多反对声音,积极反对的与罗马教 会分家,成为希腊东正教。消极反对的自己成立家庭教会,就是後来的 弟兄会。这种争辩,其实是神给他们悔改的机会,但他们不肯悔改。
The Church established the Papal system during the 8th century but they did not recognized this time as the start of it. They said that the first Pope was the apostle Peter. At that time, there were many actively opposing voices against the Roman Catholic Church resulting in the split and establishment of the Greek Orthodox Church. Those who passively opposed them formed house churches which later became the Church of the Brethren. These disputes were actually a chance that God gave them to repent, but they refused to repent.

22看哪,我要叫她病卧在床,那些与她行淫的人,若不 悔改所行的,我也要叫他们同受大患难。
22 So I will cast her on a bed of suffering, and I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways.

人病卧在床或病得要死,常因为有罪(林前11:29-30)。病与死有可 能从罪来的。但这里说,教会要病卧在床,似乎指教会在属灵上,将会 像沉重的病人一样无能,教会中信徒将有很多灾难性的痛苦无法处理。
Often people are ill in bed or sick unto death because of sin (1 Corinthians 11:29-30). Sickness and death could be due to sin. But here it says that the Church will be cast on a bed of suffering which seems to point out that the Church will become extremely weak spiritually like a person who is seriously ill. The Church will have to face and deal with many sufferings that are disastrous in nature.

有人想过预防胜於治疗,平日多花时间辅导信徒家庭,是否比等出 了状况,纔去排解好得多?听起来很理想,事实上达不到。如果教会走 歪,信仰有了偏差,她像生病一样,没有能力做好属灵供应,下面的信 徒一定问题丛生,无论教会或信徒各家庭,都必定受尽疾病的折磨。
Some people think that prevention is better than treatment. Spending time counseling a believer’s family every day, wouldn’t this be much better than to wait until a problem occurs and then intervene? This sounds ideal but in fact it cannot be achieved. If the church goes astray and they deviate from the truth, it will be as if they were sick, they would not have the strength to provide for the spiritual needs of others. The church and the believers will be affected by the agony of the disease.

23我又要杀死她的党类(原文是儿女),叫众教会知道,我 是那察看肺腑心肠的,并要照你们的行为报应你们各人。
23 I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am He who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds.

耶洗别教导神子民拜偶像,自己也要受沉重的审判。但主的审判是 公平公义的,祂按各人不同的情况审断。祂对不同的人有不同的审断。 祂呼唤在他们之下的群众悔改所行的,免得受同样的惩罚。
Jezebel taught God’s people to worship idols; therefore, she herself will suffer severe judgment. But God’s judgment is just and right. He will judge each person according to their doings. He will judge each person differently. He is calling to the multitudes that are under them to repent from their deeds otherwise they will be punished in the same way.

我们看不见人的内心,只能凭表面判断说:「所有天主教徒都不能 得救。」或用简单的方程式说:「信耶稣、悔改、认罪,就得救。」所以 当某人作了认罪的祷告,我们就会说他得救了,他到底有没有得救?只 有神纔知道,因为神察看人的心肠肺腑,没有隐藏的意念祂不知道。
We cannot see through a person’s heart, we can only see outwardly and so might say: “All Catholics are not saved.” Or use a simple formula and say: “Believe in Jesus, repent, confess your sins, then you will be saved.” So, when a person prays and confesses his sins, we say that the person is saved. But is he really saved? Only God can know that. There is no other person who can actually look into a person’s heart but Him. No thoughts can be hidden from Him.

追求政权的人,总有诡诈狡滑的手段,人说「所有政客要下地狱」的 话,因为做政治家,就要玩政治手段,用任何肮髒办法,达到目的。
Those who seek absolute authority will use means that are deceitful and cunning. People say: “All politicians will go to hell,” because politicians use sneaky and dishonest ways to obtain what they want.

细读这几封信,发现坏的影响会延续到末世。主说拜偶像的会「同 受大患难」。又说:「25你们已经有的,总要持守,直等我来。」虽然每 个教会只代表一个时期,但对几个教会的讲话内容可以看见,坏影响会 存在到末日,错误的教义,会污染教会到末世。不只是两叁百年的事。
By reading carefully these letters we realize that bad influence can continue until the end times. The Lord said that those who worship idols will “suffer intensely.” He also said: “Hold on to what you have until I come.” Even though each church only represents one era, we can see from the words that the Lord spoke to the churches that a bad influence will continue to exist until the end last days. False teachings can pollute the church until the end of the world. It is not a matter of just a few hundred years.

主对下个教会说「祂来像贼一样」,对再下一个说,「他们会免去普 天下人受的大试炼」,告诉我们,爱主、传福音的非拉铁非教会是个儆 醒教会,他们会免受七年大灾难。得胜的将在灾难之前被提。同样,崇 拜教皇、跪拜偶像的教义,影响千多年後到末世,得不到主的生命。
The Lord tells the Church in Sardis: “I will come like a thief”, and to the Church in Philadelphia He says: “I will keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world.” This tells us that the Church in Philadelphia, which was a church that loved the Lord and preached the Gospel, was a vigilant church. They will be spared from the seven years of great tribulation. Those who are victorious will be raptured before the great tribulation. In the same manner, those who have been influenced for more than a thousand years with false teachings to bow down to idols and worship the Pope will not receive the eternal abundant life that the Lord gives.

主的鼓励
THE LORD’S ENCOURAGEMENT

24至於你们推雅推喇其馀的人,就是一切不从那教训,不 晓得他们素常所说撒但深奥之理的人,我告诉你们:我不将别 的担子放在你们身上,25但你们已经有的总要持守直等到我来。
24 Now I say to the rest of you in Thyatira, to you who do not hold to her teaching and have not learned Satan’s so-called deep secrets, ‘I will not impose any other burden on you, 25 except to hold on to what you have until I come.’

不将别的担子放在他们身上,表示他们已经有担子在身。因为有些 真诚追求主的人,在他们权力之下必受到压制,他们是受苦的一群。这 些在苦难压力下忠心生活的人,就必有丰盛的生命。主吩咐他们总要持 守,直等到祂来。所以第十九节的第四个词「忍耐」必然是指这些人,因 为默默受苦与忍耐,显出是真基督徒。
When the Lord said He will not impose any other burden on them, it showed that they already had burdens. The people who were suffering were those who sincerely sought the Lord, they were oppressed by the ones in authority. Those who are faithful in spite of suffering hardships will surely have an abundant life. The Lord told them to hold on to what they have until He comes. Therefore, the word “perseverance” on verse 19 definitely refers to this group of people, because suffering silently and persevering showed they were true Christians.

一个回教徒受迫害,全球回教徒会起来攻击那逼迫者;法轮功的人 受苦,大家一起示威,摆地摊骂政府。只有基督徒默默受苦,被抓去坐 牢、被抄家,他们在狱中充满喜乐,唱诗讚美讲见證。放出来,照样开 聚会。二千年来没有改变过。主里的喜乐不根据外面的条件。外邦人因 婆婆不好,或老闆不欣赏,就不快乐,他们的快乐掌握在别人手上。
When a Muslim suffers persecution, the whole Muslim world rises up against the attacker; when a member of the Falun Gong suffers, his supporters will gather to hold a protest rally against the government. Only Christians suffer silently while they are taken to jail and let people search their houses and confiscate their possessions but they are filled with joy while in prison, singing hymns, praising God and testifying for the Lord. After they are released from prison, they will continue to meet together to worship God. This has not changed in 2000 years. The joy in the Lord does not change even under adverse conditions. Unbelievers become unhappy when their mother-in-law does not treat them well, or their boss does not appreciate them; their happiness lies on the hands of others.

对外面的困难情况,基督徒的特色是忍耐。没有甚麽能夺去我们的 喜乐,主不会把过重的担子放在我们身上,祂知道我们能承当多少。
The characteristic of a Christian is to persevere regardless of how difficult the circumstances are outside. Nothing can take away our joy. The Lord will not put on us a burden we cannot bear; He knows how much we can take.

主的应许
THE LORD’S PROMISE

26那得胜又遵守我命令到底的,我要赐给他权柄制伏列国。
26 To the one who is victorious and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations

追求政治权柄的教会,是失败的教会,遵守主命令的教会,基督要 给他真正的权柄,就是属灵权柄。不单罗马教会求政治权力,今天很多 教会也因为争权出问题。长老像董事般拥有权力,以为这是属灵权柄。
The church that seeks political power is a church that is a failure. To the church that follows the commands of the Lord, Christ will give true authority, which is spiritual authority. The Roman Catholic Church sought political power; today, many churches have problems because of political power struggles. Some elders of the church have authority like the director of a company, mistakenly thinking that is spiritual authority.

圣经不是提到属灵权柄吗?主耶稣曾两次差派门徒出去传道,先给 他们权柄,就是治病、赶鬼之权,让他们传福音时带著能力。但当教会 追求政权,渴求指挥别人的权,出兵打仗之权,使用金钱叫人听话,赶 逐人离开教会之权,那时,真正属灵的权却不见了。
Doesn’t the Bible mention spiritual authority? Twice, before the Lord Jesus sent His disciples out to preach the Gospel, He gave them authority to heal the sick and to cast out demons so that they would have power when preaching the Gospel. But, when the church craves absolute authority over others, sends out troops to fight, uses money to make people obey them, and have the power to excommunicate people from the church, then, their real spiritual authority is gone.

主说要给遵守主命令的人制伏列国的权柄?谁有权柄能制伏列国? 美国是世界第一强国都不能,谁能呢?主说的,是天国要征服世界,福 音要征服世界,福音的使者要征服世界,从魔鬼的手下抢出人的灵魂。
The Lord said He will give authority over the nations to those who do His will. Who has authority over the nations? Even the United States that is the most powerful country in the world does not have that authority, who then has it? What the Lord is saying is that the Kingdom of Heaven will conquer the world; the Gospel will conquer the world, it will snatch human souls out of Satan’s hands.

27他必用铁杖辖管(牧养)他们,将他们如同窑户的瓦器打 得粉碎,像我从我父领受的权柄一样。28我又要把晨星赐给他。
27– That one ‘will rule them with an iron scepter and will dash them to pieces like pottery’ —just as I have received authority from my Father. 28 I will also give that one the morning star.
得胜的将会得到属灵的权能,像主耶稣从父神领受的权柄一样。他 们领受到怎样的权柄呢?这里有几种权能:
The one who is victorious will receive spiritual authority, just like the authority that the Lord Jesus received from God the Father. What kind of authority will they receive? Here, there are several kinds of authorities:

1. exousia epi-authority over 有权柄在世界各国之上。这是主真 道的权柄。耶稣在世上传道的时候,人们觉得祂所传的有权柄,不像法 利赛、文士们只有空洞的话。
1. exousia epi-authority AUTHORITY OVER THE NATIONS. It is the authority of the true Word of God. When Jesus was preaching the Word of God in the world, people felt that He preached with authority, not like the Pharisees or the Scribes who spoke empty words.

2. 铁杖出鞘。脱颖而出之能,这瓦器不是别人是我们,「我们有这 宝贝放在瓦器里。」古人用瓦器来盛装不常用,却是重要的物品。像皇 帝的杖,不是常用。不用之时,就用瓦器把它装起来,要用之时,就打 碎瓦器,让宝贝放出来使用。现代的人可能用盒子盛装。
2. IRON SCEPTER UNSHEATHED. The power to rise above the rest; the pottery does not refer to others but to ourselves, “we have this treasure in jars of clay.” In the old times, people would keep important things inside jars of clay, like the scepter of an emperor which was rarely used. When the scepter was not needed, it was put inside the pottery and when it needed to be used, the jar of clay would be broken into pieces to retrieve the treasure. Nowadays, people might use a special box to keep their treasures.

当人愿意破碎自己,放下自己,让里面的圣灵出来,就会看见圣灵 的大能作为,治病、赶鬼、捆绑魔鬼、得胜黑暗的权能,就发挥出来。
When people are willing to be broken and lay down their own self before the Lord, the Holy Spirit that is inside them will emerge and manifest its power, the sick will be healed, demons will be cast out, the devil will be bound and the evil powers of darkness will be overcome.

3. 属灵恩赐。「晨星」是指那些有特别属灵才能的领袖,古人用这 天亮前最亮之晨星,表示是众望所归,人所拥戴的君王。神要赐给得胜 的教会,有属灵才能的领袖,远远超越那掌握大权的教皇。
3. SPIRITUAL GIFTS. “Morning Star” indicates those leaders with special spiritual gifts. The people from ancient times used this very bright star that appears at dawn to express the hope that they have for the emperor that people support. The Lord wants to give the victorious church a leader with spiritual gifts far greater than the authority of the Pope.

这叁种权能,都是教皇及教会的领袖们所渴望得到的,但最後他们 所得的,只是地上之权,并非属灵的权柄,或天上的权柄。教会应该重 视的是属灵的权柄。
These three kinds of authority are the ones that the Pope and the leaders of the church long for; but at the end, what they obtained was only earthly authority, not spiritual authority or authority from heaven. The Church ought to attach great importance to spiritual authority.