CHAPTER XI – Revelation 启示录 3:1-6 – 圣灵与生命 THE HOLY SPIRIT AND LIFE

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 XI

圣灵与生命 (启示录3:1-6)

 THE HOLY SPIRIT AND LIFE (REVELATIONS 3:1-6)

耶稣在世上的时候,新约教会还没有开始。祂升天之後,教会纔产 生。教会为甚麽不早点出现?因为要先等圣灵降临。教会必须有圣灵在 其中作工。主耶稣升天之後十日,五旬节那一天,圣灵像火一样,也像 洪流大潮水一般降临,使徒们都被圣灵充满。彼得当天讲道,有叁千人 悔改,於是教会就产生了。圣灵是教会存在的先决条件。
When Jesus was on earth, the New Testament Church had not yet begun. The Church came into being after Jesus ascended to heaven. The reason why the Church did not start earlier was because they had to wait until the Holy Spirit came. The Church must have the work of the Holy Spirit in its midst. Ten days after the Lord Jesus ascended to heaven, on the Day of Pentecost; the Holy Spirit descended like tongues of fire, and like torrential flood waters on all the apostles; and they were filled with the Holy Spirit. On that same day, Peter preached the Word of God and three thousand people repented and were baptized. That is how the Church started. The Holy Spirit is a prerequisite for the existence of the church.
各时代教会的需要,各有不同。撒狄时代严重缺乏的是圣灵工作。
Each Church era has different needs. The era during the Church in Sardis gravely lacked the work of the Holy Spirit主的自称
THE LORD’S SELF-DESCRIPTION
1那有神的七灵和七星的说。
1 These are the words of him who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars.教会有没有生气?有没有生命?看两件事:(一)有没有圣灵工作? (二)有没有神所拣选的工人在其中作工?我们从撒迪教会就可以看到, 他们在这两方面的严重缺乏。
Is the church energetic? Is it alive? Look at two things: (1) Does it have the work of the Holy Spirit? (2) Does it have people chosen by God to do the work of the church? We see that the Church in Sardis was seriously lacking in these two areas.基督开始介绍祂自己的时候,已经表明他们这两个需要。「七灵」指 全备工作的圣灵;「七星」指神所拣选的工人。他们最需要的是这两样。 这教会代表中古时代黑暗时期,十四到十六世纪,宗教改革前的教会。
When Christ started to introduce Himself, He was already making clear their two kinds of needs. “Seven spirits” refers to the perfect work of the Holy Spirit. “Seven stars” refers to God’s chosen workers. These two things were what they needed the most. This church represents the dark period during medieval times, from the 14th to the 16th century, the church before the Protestant Reformation.他们虽然自称教会,实际上是剥削平民的吸血机构。只利用宗教骗 钱。得救的人少,这里说「只有几个名字」是在羔羊生命册上,只有 几个人穿白衣,有圣洁的生活与主同行。教会是死的教会,因为没有圣 灵的工作,也没有神的工人。所以主对他们说:「我是那有神的七灵和 七星的主。」你们如果是属於我的,为甚麽却没有这些呢?
Although they claimed to be a church in reality they were a bloodsucking institution; using their religion to deceive people into giving them money. Only a few people were saved. Here it says: “a few people” were in the book of life of the Lamb. Only a few will walk with the Lord, dressed in white, for they are worthy. It was a dead church because it did not have the work of the Holy Spirit; it did not have God’s workers. Therefore the Lord said to them: “These are the words of him who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars.” If you belong to me, how come you don’t possess these two things?主的责备
THE LORD’S REBUKE
1我知道你的行为,按名你是活的,其实是死的。
1 “I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead.”对於这教会,对这时代中的教会,基督对他们没有甚麽称讚的话。
The Lord did not have any words of commendation for the churches of this era.只说:「其中有几个人穿白衣与主同行。」看来是比老底嘉教会好一 点,因为对老底嘉教会一丁点称讚的话都没有。但实际上这个教会比老 底嘉教会更糟,是一个名存实亡的教会。基督徒不是应该已经都得到生 命、得到圣灵了吗?但在这个教会中,却没有几个人得到生命,或得到 圣灵。老底嘉教会看来很可怜,教会应有的属灵产业,都只得一半。但 至少还有一半。这一个撒狄教会,连一半都没有,接近零。
He only said: “You have a few names who have not defiled their garments; they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy.” It seemed that they were better than the Church in Laodicea because the Lord did not have any words of commendation for that church at all. But in reality, the Church in Sardis was in a bigger mess than the Church in Laodicea. This was a church that was completely dead. Aren’t Christians supposed to already have life, have the Holy Spirit? But in this church only a few people had life and the Holy Spirit. Apparently, the Church in Laodicea looked very pitiful because they can only get half of the spiritual inheritance, but at least they get half of it. The Sardis Church did not even get half of it, they got almost zero.马丁路德在1517年贴了95条指出梵帝冈错误的条文,他既是当时 的神职人员,从他的论点,就可以知道当时教皇与所有神职人员,全犯 了严重的错误。他们为了梵帝冈与众神父能够过富裕的生活,出卖赎罪 券,告诉百姓只要买赎罪券,罪就得赦免,灵魂在炼狱中的亲友,也得 到赦免可以升上天堂。完全是商人赚钱手法,欺骗无知迷信的小民。
In 1517, Martin Luther wrote the 95 Theses protesting against the wrong doings of the Vatican. The disputation protested against clerical abuses, especially the sale of indulgences. From his theses we can see that during that time, the Pope and the clergy were making a very serious mistake. They told the people to buy indulgences so that their sins would be forgiven and the souls of their relatives in purgatory could ascend to heaven. It was completely the way businessmen make money; deceiving the ignorant superstitious people.主说:「我有七星在手,你们说是属於我的教会,却没有一个正 常的工人。连一星都没有,怎可能是属於我的?」他们也不教人悔改, 只用「告解」代替「悔改」,以为神父说一声「罪已得赦免」,就没有问题 了。悔改是灵魂里面的活动,不是外面的礼节。主的工人应该明白属灵 的事。他们却把神的事工,变成普通宗教的活动,变成人的活动。
The Lord said: “I hold the seven stars. You say you are a Church that belongs to me, yet none of you are conventional workers. You don’t even have one star. How can you belong to me?” They did not teach people to repent; they only used “confession” instead of “repentance”. They thought that the priest could just say: “Yours sins are forgiven,” and the problem would be solved. Repentance is an inward activity of the spirit; it is not an outward procedure. The Lord’s workers should understand spiritual things. They handled God’s matters as ordinary religious activities, they had become secular activities.主说:「我有全备的圣灵,你们却没有圣灵、没有生命,怎可以算 是属於我的教会呢?」他们以为只要有人的教导责备,罪人就会悔改, 谁知人的责备只把人赶跑。但圣灵责备,叫人自责,那纔是真的悔改。
The Lord said: “I hold the sevenfold Spirit, but you don’t have the Holy Spirit, you do not have life, how could you be regarded as my Church? They believed that as long as sinners were taught to feel guilty, they would repent. Who knows, putting the blame on someone would just drive them away. But when the Holy Spirit convicts people, they convict themselves and that is true repentance.古代教会对圣灵的知识没有多少,只要看使徒信经就可以知道了。 「我信上帝」方面有好几句话;「我信耶稣基督」有更多的话;「我信圣灵」 却只有一句话。可见他们不肯定怎样去描写圣灵。撒狄教会的人虽然在 教会中,但没有经历圣灵工作,没有从圣灵而生,那等於是死的,名字 是活的,说是信仰活的主,却没基督的生命。名字不在羔羊生命册上。
The Church in ancient times did not have much understanding about the Holy Spirit; you will notice this just by reading the Apostle’s Creed. Several words follow the statement “I believe in God;” a few sentences follow the statement “I believe in Jesus Christ;” but no description follows the statement “I believe in the Holy Spirit.” Clearly they were not sure how to describe the Holy Spirit. Even though their names said they belonged to the Church in Sardis, they did not experience the work of the Holy Spirit in their lives; they were not born from the Holy Spirit, they had a reputation of being alive, but they were dead. They did not have the life of Christ in them. Their names were not written in the book of life of the Lamb.

主的警告
THE LORD’S WARNINGS
2你要儆醒,坚固那剩下将要衰微[死]的,因我见你的行为 在我神面前没有一样是完全的。
2 Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have found your deeds unfinished in the sight of my God.短短一段经文,「死」字出现两次(衰微原文是死),死的教会就是沉 睡的教会,没有圣灵、没有生气,就是沉睡,所以主叫她儆醒wake up 过来。「醒过来」出现了两次。教会要醒过来。
In this short passage the word “die” appears twice. A dead church is a church that has fallen asleep. Without the Holy Spirit, without energy, the church falls asleep, that is why the Lord calls them to “wake up”. The words “wake up” appear twice. The Church has to wake up!帖撒罗尼迦前书第一章,保罗讚扬他们有圣灵的明證。甚麽是他们 得圣灵的明證?就是在患难中仍然充满喜乐。在普通人眼中,患难与喜 乐不可能同时出现。受苦时还笑嘻嘻的,必被看为神经病。但这是圣灵 工作的明證,因为灵里清醒,看见的不是肉身之苦,是属灵生命之福。
In I Thessalonians chapter 1, Paul praises the believers for having the evidence of the Holy Spirit, having joy in the midst of severe suffering. That is the evidence of the work of the Holy Spirit, because your spirit is awake, what you see is not the tribulations of the flesh but the blessings of the spiritual life.他们需要醒过来,因为在神面前没有一样是好的。教义上有错误, 强调炼狱的存在,给人虚假的希望;他们重外表礼仪,没有真理教导, 没有福音,没有悔改之道。只重视经济收入。他们误导人说,不需要賙 济贫穷人。所以连罗马教庭唯一的优点都失去了,一败塗地。没有彼此 相爱的生活,根本不像是主的教会。基督徒必有的特色,就是信、爱、 望,全部看不见,怎麽可以称为主的教会?
They needed to wake up because in God’s eyes none of their deeds were good. Their teachings were wrong; they emphasized the existence of purgatory which gave people false hopes; they put importance to external rituals but did not teach the truth of the Gospel and the need for repentance. They only attached importance to economic income. They misled people by saying that it was not required to help the poor. They even lost the only merit that the Catholic Church possessed…they were a dead failure. They did not have a lifestyle of loving one another; they were not like the Lord’s Church at all. The characteristics that Christians should have are faith, love, and hope. They did not display any of these characteristics. How could they be called the Church?主的鼓励
THE LORD’S ENCOURAGEMENT
3所以要回想你是怎样领受、怎样听见的,又要遵守并要悔 改。若不儆醒,我必临到你那里,如同贼一样,我几时临到, 你也决不能知道。
3 Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; hold it fast, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you.第一步要回想。主对以弗所教会有同样的劝勉,要回想曾经怎样领 受、怎样听见,当初怎样相信,从头再来。要她回到最原始的教导。很 多教会问题都是跟传统,道听途说。传统怎麽说我就怎麽做。不可以打 鼓,不可用结他,不可以用乐器,或有固定的礼拜仪式。传统都是人定 的,不是圣经的教训,不是原有的教义。
The first step is to remember. The Lord gave the same advice to the Church in Ephesus. Remember once again what you have received and how you believed at first. You have to return to the original teachings. The problem with many churches is that they follow traditions. Whatever the tradition says they will do. They follow fixed liturgies; they don’t allow the playing of drums, guitars or certain musical instruments. Tradition is set by people, it is not the teachings of the Bible.以弗所是最早期的教会,都要回想。到了中古世纪,完全远离了起 初的教训,更要回想。又要「看守」,teirew是看守,不是遵守。要守住 最原始基督所给的教导,不是要发明新的理论。现代的学者没有新的理 论,地位就会动摇。撒狄教会的问题,就是发明新的东西。发明神父的 赦罪證书,为死人祷告认罪,用钱买将来的赎罪票等。
The Church in Ephesus was the earliest church and even they had to remember. In the middle Ages, they had drifted far away from the original teachings; now more than ever they had to remember. They also had to “guard” (not to “hold fast”). Guard the original teachings that Christ gave them, not to invent new theories. They invented the priest’s absolution certificates, praying for the forgiveness of sins of the dead and using money to buy indulgences.教会不需要新的学说,或跟随人的传统。只要守住原始的真理,无 论世界怎样变,我们对主所颁佈的信仰不作改变,忠心持守。唯一要变 的,是心意常常更新变化,常常悔改,在主面前常省察自己的错误,常 认罪。这样,圣灵不停在我们灵里作工。这就是儆醒生活的特色。
The Church does not need new doctrines or to follow the traditions of people. They only had to guard the original truth, no matter how much the world changes, we should not change the belief that the Lord gave us, and we should guard it faithfully. The only thing that should change is us as we are transformed by the renewing of our minds, as we examine ourselves, repent of our sins and ask for forgiveness often. In this way, the Holy Spirit will continuously work in us.儆醒不儆醒,圣灵动工不动工,结果会非常不同。如果主忽然回 来,新郎忽然临到,没有油的童女,就要在外面哀哭切齿了。
The end result of being watchful or not and having the Holy Spirit working in us or not, will be very different. If the Lord returns suddenly, if the bridegroom comes unexpectedly, then the virgins without oil in their lamps will be left outside, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.主对他们说,我必临到你那里如同贼一样。这话其实在告诉我们, 你的结局将会非常悲哀。到主回来的时候,还有自称是基督徒的人,过 著昏昏沉沉的生活。没有生命的信徒必须经历大灾难,因为灾难是变相 的祝福,在灾难期中他们会回头。信仰胡塗的人,在灾难中也会回头。
The Lord said to them, I will come like a thief. In fact, these words are telling us that their outcome will be very sorrowful. When the Lord returns, there will be those who claim to be Christians who will still be living a very lethargic life. The believers who do not have life will have to go through the great tribulation, because tribulations are blessings in disguise. They will return to the Lord during the tribulation. Those who are confused in their beliefs will also come back to the Lord during the time of tribulation.神不愿意人落在永远的痛苦中,一点小痛苦能使人得益处。哀恸的 人有福了,饑饿的人有福了,,苦难就是变相的祝福。
God is not willing that people suffer eternally, yet a little suffering could be beneficial. Blessed are those who mourn, blessed are those who hunger, afflictions are blessings in disguise.主的称讚
THE LORD’S COMMENDATIONS
4然而在撒狄,你还有几名[几个名字]是未曾污秽自己衣服 的,他们要穿白衣与我同行。因为他们是配得过的。
4 You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy.祂说只有几个名字,这一段「名字」出现多次,按「名」是活的, 几个「名字」,我必不从生命册上塗抹他的「名」,且要在我父面前和我父 众使者面前认他的「名」。这里用「几个名字」,是很奇怪的用法。中 文巧妙地译作几名,但却也把强调的地方弄丢了。
The Lord said there are only a few names. In this passage the word “name” appears a few times. You have a “name” that you are alive, a few “names”, I will not blot out his “name” from the Book of Life, I will confess his “name” before My Father. Here it says: “a few names” which is a very strange wording.名字,不像今天只是称号,乃是本性的描写。「雅各」是喜欢「抓 住」的人,变成「以色列」,「神的勇士」,因为敢与神摔跤(创32)。名字 描写生命,或生命的特徵。
In ancient times, a name was given to describe the inherent qualities of a person. “Jacob” means “supplanter”, his name was later changed to “Israel” which means “he that striveth with God”, because he dared to wrestle with God (Genesis 32). A name represents life or a characteristic of the person’s life.这里另外有一个字,可以翻作「配得过」。是指天平两边对称。 施洗约翰说:「要结出果子来,与悔改的心相称。」你如果有基督徒 的名字,就要有基督徒的生命,这就是对称。
The word “worthy” refers to the evenness of both sides of a balance. John the Baptist said: “Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance.” If you call yourself a Christian, you must have the life of a Christian; that is balance.这里提到的几个人,不单有基督徒之名,也有基督徒之实。有基督 的生命,有圣灵的烙印。他们就是穿白衣与主同行,衣服洁净的人。
The few people mentioned here not only are called Christians but are truly Christians. They have the life of Christ and the seal of the Holy Spirit. They are the ones who shall walk with the Lord in white, who have not defiled their garments.主的应许
THE LORD’S PROMISES
5凡得胜的,必这样穿白衣,我也必不从生命册上塗抹他的 名,且要在我父面前和我父众使者面前认他的名。
5 He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.主应许也是针对她的缺欠。他们在教会里面有名字,但处在没有生 命的基督徒中间,自己也担心,我的名字在不在其中?主应许说,祂绝 对在生命册上抹去名字。在生命册上有名,是永远不会消失的。
The Lord’s promises are directed towards their shortcomings. Their names appear in the Church, but they live among the Christians who do not have life, so they worry and say: “Is my name among them or not?” The Lord promises that He will definitely not blot out their names from the Book of Life. The names that are written in the Book of Life will never disappear.主还要表扬这些名字,说:「在我父面前,和我父众使者面前,认 他的名。」这是一种表扬,是一种讚赏。
The Lord continues to praise these faithful believers even more saying: “I will confess his name before my Father and before His angels.” These are words of commendation and of approval.