CHAPTER XIX – Revelation 启示录 8:1-6 – 众圣徒的祷告 THE PRAYERS OF ALL THE SAINTS

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 XIX

众圣徒的祷告 (启示录8:1-6)
THE PRAYERS OF ALL THE SAINTS (Revelation 8:1-6)

虽然是揭开第七印,但不是第六印的延续,乃是七个号的序幕,像 是在等另一幕打开。启示录的异象常以七个为一群,但七个异象之中, 常分为「四、二、一」叁组。最後一个是独立的,与上面各异象不同。这 一幕的背景是在天上的圣所。开始时有很长的安静时间。
Even though the 7th seal was opened, it is not the continuation of the 6th seal but the prologue of the 7th trumpet, like the opening of another scene. The visions in Revelation come in groups of 7 and each group of seven is usually separated in sets of 3(4, 2, 1). The last set is separate, and is different from the former visions. The background of this scene takes place in the heavenly sanctuary. At the beginning of it there is a very long silence.

两组预言的分隔
DIVISION OF THE TWO GROUPS OF PROPHECIES

1羔羊揭开第七印的时候,天上寂静约有二刻。
1 When the Lamb opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.

「二刻」,原文是半小时,是很长的静寂时刻。半小时本来不算是很 长的时间,但在静默中的半小时却会觉得很冗长。静默半个小时,恐怕 像半个世纪一样的长。
Half an hour is a very long time of silence. Half an hour is not very long but half an hour of silence could seem like an eternity.

我们期待祷告蒙应允,觉得祷告过多次了,怎麽还没有消息呢?觉 得很长的等候时间了,原来在天上只有半小时,神工作早已经开始了。
When we expect a prayer to be answered, we think that since we have already prayed so many times, our prayers should be answered. It might seem to us that we have been waiting for a very long time but in heaven it was only half an hour and God had already begun His work way before.

这半小时,把七印的预言与七号的预言分清楚。七印的重点在揭开 未来的面纱,把印打开,把锁打开,让人看见未来世界的社会风气是怎 样的?未来的世界流行些甚麽?未来的人的想法有甚麽不同?
This half an hour separates the prophecy of the 7 seals and the prophecy of the 7 trumpets distinctively.

到七号的预言却是截然不同的消息,因为号角都与战争有关,与召 集国家人民有关,所以七号的预言集中在世界大战上,最後一号也在强调主召集祂的子民,离开世界的苦难,被提到祂天上的圣所。
The message of the 7 trumpets is entirely different, because a trumpet is related to wars, and to gathering the people of a country; therefore, the prophecy of the 7 trumpets focuses on a world war. The last trumpet call emphasizes the gathering of God’s people to Himself, to leave the sufferings of this world and to be taken up to His heavenly sanctuary.

準备启示七号的预言
PREPARING TO REVEAL THE PROPHECY OF THE 7 TRUMPETS

2我看见那站在神面前的七位天使,有七枝号赐给他们。
2 Then I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them.

这里没有说是哪七位天使。有人引用以诺书那七位天使长。其实天 使有很多,不一定是那七位。从启示录看见,很多末世的审判、灾难或 异象,都由天使负责带动出来。约翰看见很多位天使,却没有办法叫出 名字。只说是站在神面前的七位天使。表示这七位天使位份也很高,仅次於四活物(基路伯)。以後倒七杯的也是他们,他们在末後工作很多。
Here it does not specifically say which 7 angels. Some people say they are the 7 angels from the book of Enoch. Actually, there are so many angels that these 7 could be different ones. In Revelation we see that many judgments, tribulations and visions of the end of days are brought up by angels. John saw many angels, he could not call each one by name. He only said that they were the 7 angels that stood before the Lord, which indicates that these 7 angels were of a higher rank, second only to the 4 living creatures (Cherubim). These are the same ones that would pour out the 7 cups; these angels did a lot a work during the end times.

七位天使,每一位得一支号。号角,是当时声音最大的器具,可以 传得远。旧约中吹号,乃是召集群众参加大会,或参加节期,或召集出 兵打仗,或宣告新年等。教会被提,也就是神召集所有的信徒到祂的宝座前,所以号筒末次吹响就是最後的召集令。保罗特别提到吹最後一支 号的时候教会被提,他就没有说其他的号了。
7 angels, each angel had a trumpet. Trumpets were the instruments that made the loudest sound in those days, it could be heard from very far away. ​ ​In the Old Testament, a trumpet sound was used to gather the multitudes for a great assembly, to participate in a festival, to gather the troops for war, or to announce the new year, etc. The rapture, is also the gathering of the believers by God to come before His throne; therefore, the last time the trumpet is blown is the command for the last gathering. Paul, especially mentions that when the last trumpet is blown, it is when the church will be raptured. He didn’t mention any other trumpet sounds.

祷告由天使带到神面前
THE PRAYERS ARE BROUGHT BEFORE GOD BY ANGELS

3另有一位天使拿著金香炉站在祭坛(应该是香坛,称为金 坛)旁边,有许多香赐给他,要和众圣徒的祈祷,一同献在宝座 前的金坛上。4那香的烟和众圣徒的祈祷,从天使的手中一同升 到神面前。
​3 Another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all God’s people, on the golden altar in front of the throne. ​​4 The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of God’s people, went up before God from the angel’s hand.​

我们的祷告由天使把它变为香火,插在香炉上,摆在香坛上。那烟 就是我们的祷告,飘送到神的施恩座前。
​Our prayers are transformed into burning incense​ by the angel, the incense is put into a censer and it is placed on the altar. The smoke of the incense are our prayers, going up before God’s mercy seat.

这是另外一位天使,不是那七位中的一位。那七位天使是听候神的 命令出去外面办事的,这一位是在圣所里面供职的。他们做不同的事。天主教拜天使,引起很多人反对。所以有人另走极端,怕提到天使。因 为无论讚美天使、高抬天使、或否定他们,都不适宜。
​This is another angel, ​is not one of the 7. Those 7 angels are the ones that wait for God’s command to go out and handle other matters. This angel performs his duties inside the sanctuary. They perform different tasks. The Catholic Church worships angels leading to the opposition of many believers. Others go to extremes, they are afraid to mention angels. Either worshiping and praising angels or denying their existence is wrong.

另有人认为,天使活动已经成为过去。圣灵来了,引导我们进入真 理,取代天使的工作。但圣灵降临後,天使仍然在作工。使徒行传中, 天使的工作与圣灵的工作
​​分得很清楚。圣灵做的工作,做在我们心灵的 深处,改变我们的心志能力。但天使所做,主要是身外的工作,外面的 环境对我们不利,外面的敌人来陷害,他们会来做些事。
​Others ​believe that the work of angels was only in the past. The Holy Spirit came, leading us to the truth, replacing the work of the angels. But after the Holy Spirit came, angels were still doing their job. In the Acts of the Apostles, the work of the Holy Spirit and the work of the angels is clearly seen. The Holy Spirit works deep in our hearts to change us and strengthen us. But the work of the angels is outside of us. When certain circumstances are against us or the enemy is trying to hurt us, then the angels would do their work.

神造天使作祂的使者,今世也做我们的朋友、做我们来世的同伴。 现在天使其中一个重要的工作,就是把我们的祷告,带到神面前。所以 不是马利亚,或其他圣人做这一类的工作,乃是天使。
​God created angels to be His messengers. They are our friends in this life and our companions in the next. At the present, a very important task of the angels is to bring our prayers before God. Therefore this task is not performed by Mary or other saints, but angels.

祷告藉香火升到神面前
​THE PRAYERS AND THE SMOKE OF THE INCENSE ASCENDED BEFORE GOD​

4那香的烟和众圣徒的祈祷,从天使手中一同升到神面前。​
4 The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of God’s people, went up before God from the angel’s hand.​

圣所中有叁件器具,都跟祷告有关。(一)靠近圣所进口的铜祭坛; (二)靠近神宝座的金香坛。(叁)香坛上的七个金香炉。
​There are three things in the sanctuary that are related to prayer. (1) ​The bronze altar near the entrance of the sanctuary; (2) The golden altar of incense near the throne of God. (3) The 7 golden censers on the altar of incense.

金坛就是香坛,前面只说是坛,翻译者以为是祭坛。但祭坛是铜 的,外面的祭坛、洗濯盆都是铜的,圣所里的灯臺、香坛、香炉、基路 伯都是精金的。这些金属都有不同的意义。圣所外面所有的东西都是铜 造的,都是为了审查、试验的作用。或自我审查,就是省察自己而设。每一个事奉主的人,在进入圣所之前,都必须省察自己,审判自己,要
​​ 手洁心清来见神的面。在希伯来文可用一个字代表,就是「​​审判」。铜, 是审判的金属。
​The golden altar is the altar of incense. In verse 3, it only says altar, the translator thought it was the altar for sacrifices. But the altar for sacrifices is made out of bronze. The altar for sacrifices that is outside the sanctuary and the wash basin are made out of bronze. The altar inside the sanctuary, the altar of incense, the censer and the cherubim are all made of pure gold. These metals have different meanings. All the things that are outside the sanctuary are made of bronze, their function is for examining and testing. They were made for the people to examine themselves. Every person that serves the Lord, before entering the sanctuary, must self-examine and self-judge himself so he can come before the Lord with a clean heart. In Hebrew there is a word that represents this, which is “judgment”. Bronze is a metal of judgment.
圣所中的器具,除约柜与它里面之物,全是精金打造。精金,是纯 真不带杂质,经过火的试验,只剩下纯净神的性情,纔有资格服事主。
​The utensils in the sanctuary, ​besides the Ark of the Covenant and the things inside it, are all made of pure gold. Pure gold is refined by fire and does not have any impurities. Those that are qualified to serve God have to be refined by fire and be pure.

天使的工作似乎就是上香,其实他们是把我们的祷告奉上。众圣徒 的祷告,都靠著供职中的天使,带到神宝座前的香坛上。香火不是异教徒发明的,原本是神启示给摩西知道,用来解释我们祷告的过程。
​It seemed that the job of the angels is to take care of the censers, but actually they are the ones who bring up our prayers to God. The prayers of all the saints, through the angel on duty, is brought to the altar of incense in front of the throne of God. Burning of incense was not invented by pagans. Originally, it was revealed to Moses by God to explain the process of prayer.

祷告的障碍
​​PRAYERS HINDERED

3另有一位天使拿著金香炉站在香坛(金坛)旁边,有许多香 赐给他,要和众圣徒的祈祷,一同献在宝座前的金坛上。
​3 Another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all God’s people, on the golden altar in front of the throne.​

人以为好的祷告是辞句漂亮、有说服力,要多用圣经的话来祷告。 其实我们的祷告是由天使把它变为香火,插在香炉、摆在香坛上。我们 的祷告飘送到神的施恩座前。不是我们的话语送到神面前,乃是我们心 中的声音飘到神面前。
People think that good prayers are supposed to be convincing beautiful ​phrases which include many Bible verses. Actually, our prayers are transformed into incense by the angel and put in the censer and placed on the altar of incense. Our prayers float to God’s mercy seat. It is not our words that come before God, but the voice of our hearts that reach God.

人会说,为甚麽祷告弄得这麽複杂?一个香坛能够插香不就够了? 为甚麽还要七个香炉,而且还要跟铜祭坛连上关係?
​People might say, ​how come prayer is so complicated? Isn’t an altar of incense enough? Why are 7 censers needed? And why does it have to be connected to the altar of sacrifice made of bronze?

香坛是一座坛,它固定在宝座之前。离神的施恩座最近,所以神必 定听我们在香坛上的祷告。香炉是用来运送香火。香炉从祭坛运送到香 坛,有一段距离。香炉上的香要在祭坛的炭火里点亮,否则就是
​​凡火。 例如划火柴点的火,就是凡火。亚伦的两个儿子拿答与亚比户,就是犯 了这种罪死了(利未10)。
​The altar of incense is an altar which is located in front of the throne. It is the closest to God’s mercy seat, therefore, God will definitely hear our prayers that are offered on the altar of incense. The censer is used to carry the burning incense. There is some distance between the altar of sacrifice and the altar of incense where the censer is carried to. The incense in the censer must be lit at the altar of sacrifice, otherwise it would be considered strange fire. For example, fire lit by a match would be considered strange fire. The two sons of Aaron, Nadab and Abihu died because they committed that sin (Leviticus 10).

香的火,必须从祭坛出来,表示我们的祷告,要藉基督的牺牲纔有 功效。所以我们是奉主的名祷告,必须在基督里面祷告,不能靠自己。
​The fire from the incense must come from the altar of sacrifice, ​symbolizing that our prayers will only work through Christ’s sacrifice. That is why we pray in Jesus’ name, we must pray in Christ, we cannot depend on ourselves.

天使为我们把祷告送到宝座前的香坛。我们开口的祷告,只是一段 短时间,但天使把我们的祷告,变为不住的祷告,让香不断的飘送到主 面前。在我们睡觉中或办其他事情的时候,祷告仍然在进行中,并没有 停止。保罗说:「
​​不住的祷告。」表示我们的心香要点得久长,虽然人没 有在说话,但我们的心与神相连,并没有掛断。
​The angel takes our prayers to the altar of incense by the throne. ​When we pray, we pray only for a short time but the angel changes our prayers into continuous prayer so that the smoke of the incense would float continuously before God. Our prayers continuously come before God even while we sleep or while we are doing other things. Paul said: “Pray continually.” Which indicates that the incense of our hearts should keep on burning, even though we are not uttering any words, there is a connection between our hearts and God, this connection is not broken.

我们的祷告分几类,有感恩祷告、认罪祷告、灵交祷告、求恩祷 告、紧急祷告等。在神面前只有一种祷告,就是人的心意向神陈明,全 都由天使带到神的施恩座前,是一定会到达神施恩座的。使我们的祷告 没有作用的,只有两个原因:
​We may have different kinds of prayers: Prayers of thanksgiving, prayers of confession, prayers of intercession, prayers of salvation, emergency prayers. But before God there is only one kind of prayer, it is the prayer as we open our hearts to God, the prayers which the angel brings before God’s throne of grace, those are the prayers that will get to God’s throne for sure. There are only two reasons why our prayers are not heard:

(一)不是在基督的名里祷告,不是从祭坛点亮的香,不是靠基督到 神面前的人,不会蒙主垂听。就像我们每天收到很多电邮,如果名字不 认识的,看都不看就洗掉了。所以奉主的名祷告,是很重要的事。在主 的名里祷告,神纔会听。
​​像总统的坐驾不用经过检查直接的开进去,在 主的名里,在主的车子里的祷告,也直接到达神面前。
​(1) ​When our prayers are not in the name of Christ, when the incense is not lit at the altar of sacrifice, when we try to get to God but not through Christ, God will not listen to that kind of prayer. It is like when we receive a lot of emails which we do not recognize who the sender is, then we would just delete them all. Therefore, praying in Jesus’ name is a must. God will only listen to prayers in Jesus’ name. Like the President’s motorcade does not need to go through security and can just pass through, our prayers in Christ, our prayers in Christ’s motorcade, can go directly through to God.

(二)不是用圣洁的香点亮的祷告,主也不听。旧约的圣所里不是任 何的香都可以用,是要根据主所定好的造香法,纔是圣洁的香,祂纔闻 得到。诗人说:「我若心里注重(或珍藏)罪孽,主必不听。」基督徒偶然 失败、犯罪、跌倒,仍然会蒙垂听。但如果心里珍藏著罪孽,不肯悔 改、不肯放弃,像收藏在保险箱里面一样,不肯拿出来对付,祷告就 达不到神的面前。人不断犯同样的罪,像天主教徒故意犯了,再到 教堂去告解,这种认罪不会有功效。所以不是看怎样祷告、用甚麽方式、姿势祷告,是看谁在祷告,怎样的人祷告纔重要。​​孔子说:「​​获罪 於天,无所祷也。」
​(2) ​God will not listen to prayers that are not lit with holy fire. In the Old Testament, only special incense made according to God’s directions could be used in the sanctuary. That is the only holy incense that God would smell. The Psalmist said: ‘If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened​.” ​Sometimes Christians will fail, sin or fall but God would still listen. But if sin is cherished in the heart and the person is not willing to repent and let go of the sin, that prayer will not reach God. When a person keeps on sinning, like Catholics who deliberately sin and then go to confession, that kind of confession is not effective. That is why, it is not how a person prays, or what kind of style he uses or what kind of posture he takes to pray but what is important is what kind of person is praying. Confucius said: “If you offend Heaven, there is no one you can pray to.”

祷告成熟与时候满足
​THE RIPENESS AND FULFILLMENT OF THE PRAYERS

5天使拿著香炉,盛满了坛上的火倒在地上,随有雷轰、 大声、闪电、地震。
​ 5 Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and hurled it on the earth; and there came peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning and an earthquake.​

人在祷告上常有一些困扰。祷告的事如果蒙应允,很高兴;看不见 神答应,就会心烦意乱,自己拼命去找出路,觉得祷告已经落空。其实 圣徒的祷告都会昼夜出现在神的面前,时候成熟,神就会吩咐天使把成 熟祷告的香倒在地上,表示圣徒所祷告的事件,正式由天使来执行。
​Sometimes people are perplexed by prayer. ​When their prayers are answered, they are very happy. When they cannot see God answering their prayers, they get upset. They work hard for a way out, because they think that their prayers have failed. Actually the prayer of the saints are before God day and night, when the time is ripe, God will command His angels to pour the incense of the ripen prayers onto the earth, indicating that the events of the prayers of the saints will be officially carried out by the angels.

第叁节说有很多香,表示有很多祷告。根据现代的统计80%祷告是 祈求,10%是代求,5%是感恩,4%是乱求,1%是认罪。其中认罪可 能是太少一点,为自己的祈求也占了绝大多数,所以难有复兴。
​Verse 3 says that the angel was given much incense​, representing a great amount of prayers. According to modern times statistics, 80% of the prayers are of petition, 10% are intercessory, 5% are thanksgiving, 4% are random, 1% are confession. Prayers of confession has the least percentage and prayers of petitions for oneself has the largest percentage, that is why it is so hard to have spiritual revival.

香炉上也「盛满了坛上的火」,也可以说是我们的祷告积聚够多了, 时机成熟,神就要行事了。
​The censer was also filled with fire from the altar​; in other words, our prayers had been accumulating into such a great amount; that the timing was ripe, it was time for God to act upon it.

祷告要像很多小水点升到天空,到水份饱和就会变雨降下。怎样可 以增加祷告的成熟度与饱和度?要有很多人同心合意祷告,像香炉上有 很多香,香坛上的火不是很猛烈的火,它的力量不在火够猛,乃在多, 与不住的点著,祷告的香味不断飘到神面前,最後香坛的火,都要倒在 地上,表示神必定应允祷告。
​Prayer is similar to many drops of water rising to the sky; ​when the atmosphere is fully saturated with water, it will come down as rain. How can the prayers reach the levels of saturation and ripeness? It needs the prayers of many people, in one accord, like having a lot of incense in the censer. The fire at the altar of incense is not very powerful. Its strength does not depend on the power of the fire but on the large amount of incense that is continually lighted, the aroma of the prayers rise before the Lord continually. At the end, the fire of the altar of incense will be poured onto the earth, which means that God definitely answers prayers.

雷轰、大声、闪电、地震,表示神蹟奇事都要出现。在这里香坛上 的祷告,似乎都是在受苦中圣徒的祷告,他们受逼迫、殉道,他们祷告 的香,神已经知道,香火就要倒在地上,神要审判惩罚那些作恶的人。
​Peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning and an earthquake​​ means unusual signs and wonders. The prayers at the altar of incense seem to be prayers of suffering saints, they were persecuted, martyred. God already knows their prayers, their incense, therefore the fire from the censer will be poured down onto the earth. God will judge and punish those who do wicked deeds.

人在难处中会用心祷告,住在美国的人祷告力量很小,因为不觉得 有很大需要,自己也很有办法。本来中国人经过多年的政治鬥争,自己 的事自己想办法,通常不想让别人知道。这是自我保护的方法。但在中 国教会中却看见相反的情形,他们尽情倾心吐意的祷告,没有秘密,不 怕人知道。因为他们都在苦难中、受逼迫时。他们没有别的倚靠,没有 人可以保护他们,没有医生医院可以靠赖,所以他们的祷告非常活泼。
​When people go through difficult times, they will pray with all their might. The power of prayer of those who live in America is not much​, because they feel they do not have many needs and think that they are self-sufficient. Originally, Chinese people who have gone through many years of political struggles ​usually don’t want others to know their troubles and try to solve them​ using​ their own ways. ​That is their way of self-protection. But in churches in China we see the opposite, they pour out their hearts as they pray, they have no secrets, they are not afraid that others might know of ​their​ troubles​ ​because they are in the midst of suffering, they are in times of persecution. There is no one else they can rely on, there are no doctors or hospitals they can depend on, that is why their prayers are very lively.

末世战争开始
​THE CONFLICT OF THE END OF THE WORLD​ STARTS

6拿著七枝号的七位天使、就豫备要吹。
​6 Then the seven angels who had the seven trumpets​ ​prepared to sound them.​

这一段是吹号之前的準备时刻。七号与七印另有一个分别之处,七 印的重点不在时间,虽然都是在预告未来,但所描述的是末後一个大时期的事,重点在末世的风气、潮流、思想模式。但七号却要点出不同时候,每一个号都划出一个新的时间,让人知道进度到哪里。第六号吹过 之後,时间紧迫,随时第七号要吹,我们再不能想,还有很多时候了。
​This ​is the time of preparation for sounding the trumpets. There is a difference between the 7 trumpets and the 7 seals. The main focus of the 7 seals is not in the timing, even though it is also foretelling the future. It describes great events that will happen at the end, the main point is the general mood, the trends, the ideology of the end of times. But the main point of the 7 trumpets is that it shows up at different times, each trumpet sound delineates a new period of time, so people will know the degree of progress. After the 6th trumpet is blown, the time is pressing, the 7th trumpet will sound at any time, we should not continue to think that there is still a lot of time left.

「七香炉」就是後面的「七杯」,在原文是同一字。中文翻作「碗」是不 对的,因为香炉是长长的像个杯,不是碗的形状。而且後来的「七杯」也 用来形容「盛著神大怒的酒」,那酒是纯一不杂的,烈怒的酒不会稀释, 神对恶人的惩罚没有减轻的可能。那里已经把这「香炉」当「酒杯」用了。
​The “7 censers” are the last “7 cups” , ​in the original language it uses the same word. In Chinese it is translated “bowls” , which is an incorrect translation , because the censer resembles something like a cup, not the shape of a bowl. Furthermore, the “7 cups” later on are also used to describe as “holding the wine of the wrath of God”, that wine is unmixed, it is pure, the wine of intense wrath will not be diluted, the punishment that God has for the wicked will not be diminished. There, the “censer” is already used as a “wine cup”.

「七号」与「七杯」又各有不同的著重点。七号强调战争,召集子民; 七杯,乃是因为神听了众圣徒的祷告,让地上发生有史以来最严重的灾 难,以惩罚恶人。那里说,当香炉的杯倒下,灾难就临到地上,临到那 些不信的人。所以七杯是在七年大灾难期中发生的事。

​The “7 trumpets” and the “7 cups” have different main points. The ​7 trumpets emphasize the gathering of the people for war; 7 cups, are poured out because God answered the prayers of the saints so that the earth will experience the worse disasters ever, since the beginning of history.​ God uses this to punish the wicked.​ There it mentions that when the censer was poured out , the disasters came to the earth, to those who did not believe in God. Therefore, the seven cups are the events that will happen during the 7 years of great tribulation.