CHAPTER XVI – Revelation 启示录 5:1-14 – 预言揭示之前BEFORE THE PROPHECY IS REVEALED

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 XVI
预言揭示之前 ( 启示录5:1-14)
BEFORE THE PROPHECY IS REVEALED — REVELATION 5:1-14

启示录四章、五章都是描写天上的圣所,第四章只是描写圣所内有 甚麽,但到了第五章,主角纔出场,高潮纔出现。第五章有神手里的书 卷出现,羔羊,就是基督也出现了。
Revelation chapters 4 and 5 describe the Sanctuary in heaven. Chapter 4 only describes what is in side the Sanctuary, but the main character does not appear until chapter 5, which is the climax. In Chapter 5, the scroll that was in God’s hand and also the Lamb, who is Christ, come into sight.

主角登场:神右手中的书卷
THE MAIN CHARACTER STEPS ON THE STAGE: THE SCROLL IN THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD

1我看见坐宝座的右手中有书卷,里外都写著字,用七印 封严了。
1Then I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides and sealed with seven seals.

「书卷」是指有纪录的资料,「里外都写著字」,表资料很多,塞 满资料库。後来我们知道,这书卷是关於将来的事,是预言的来源。这 书卷是从神的右手中出来,有七个印封上。一层一层的封上,所以看不 到里面的内容。到底是谁封上?为甚麽不给人看?
The “scroll” refers to recorded information, “with writing on both sides”; it contained a lot of information, a full database. Later on we will find out that the scroll was related to things that were about to happen, it was a source of prophecy. This scroll came from God’s right hand, and was sealed with seven seals. It was sealed layer after layer, thus it was difficult to see its contents. Who sealed it? Why couldn’t people read it?

最重要的问题:谁能打开这预言书卷?
THE MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION: WHO CAN OPEN THE PROPHECY SCROLL?

2我又看见一位大能天使,大声传说:有谁配展开那书卷, 揭开那七印?
2 And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, “Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?”

他问这问题的目的,不是想知道有多少位能打开这书卷。原文表达 出这问题期待一个反面的答案,就是没有谁可以打开它。
The purpose for asking this question was not to find out how many were able to open the scroll. The original text conveys this question expecting a negative answer, which is that nobody was worthy of opening it.

我们要知道,只有神纔能预见未来。由於圣经里面有很多预言,我 们见惯了,自然觉得揭开预言似乎是很平常的事。不过,我们要重新用 不同的眼光来看预言。彼得後书1:21说:「豫言从来没有出於人意的, 乃是人被圣灵感动,说出神的话来。」
We must realize that only God can foresee the future. Because the Bible contains many prophecies, we naturally think that revealing a prophecy is a very common thing. Nonetheless, we should start looking at prophecies from a completely different perspective. 2 Peter 1:21 says, “ For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”

就是说,人不可能说出预言,所有预言都是出於神,未来的事人无 法得知。人都活在时间里面,不能知道下一分钟发生甚麽事。所有受造 之物都受时间限制。天使虽然比人行动快得多,但仍受时空的限制。天 使、魔鬼,都不是无所不能、无所不知、无所不在的。
That is to say, people can not utter prophecies, all prophecies come from God, and no human being can know the future. People live inside time; they can not know what will happen the next minute. All creation is subject to time. Angels, though they can move at a very fast speed, are still subject to the restrictions of time and space. Angels and devils are not omnipotent, omniscient or omnipresent.

那些最灵验,养小鬼替人批命看相的人,说能知过去未来,他们真 正知道的是人的过去,他们倚靠小鬼找资料,可以说出人的过去,到人 对他们深信不疑,就可以对人的未来作一些猜想,说得模稜两可。其实 没有任何生物,包括魔鬼在内,能知道将来要发生的事。
Fortune-tellers use little devils to help them do divination for people about their past and their future; sometimes they could be accurate. They might know a person’s past, as they rely on demons to find information, but when the person starts to doubt what the fortune-teller is saying, they can only make an ambiguous guess on the person’s future. The fact is, there is no living thing that can know what will happen in the future, and that includes the devil.

全宇宙中没有人或受造物能打开预言书卷
NO ONE IN THE WHOLE UNIVERSE COULD OPEN THE PROPHECY SCROLL

3在天上、地上、地底下,没有能展开、能观看那书卷的。 4因为没有配展开、配观看那书卷的,我就大哭。
3 But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth could open the scroll or even look inside it. 4 I wept and wept because no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside.

这大能的天使大声宣告,非常有权威地说了之後,是绝对真确的。 不然的话,约翰就不会大哭起来。约翰大哭,给我们看见,事情像成了 定案,已经是不变的事实。
What the mighty angel proclaimed in a very authoritative voice was absolutely true. Otherwise, John would not have wept and wept. The fact that John wept so hard shows that the matter had already been decided, it could not be changed.

我们会有这个疑问,到底神愿意启示这预言给人知道吗?如果祂愿 意,怎可能这资料封起来无法打开?而且清楚是从神手里拿过来的,是 祂愿意公开的。就算全宇宙没有任何一位有资格打开它,只要神说: 「打开它!」是否就应该打开了呢?除非神自己不愿意。所以这是关键 性的问题。神如果要打开、要启示给约翰看,怎会说没有谁能打开它? 还由一位大能天使正式慎重地宣告出来?到底神愿意还是不愿意打开?
We might have this question, in the end, is God willing to reveal this prophecy to the people? If He is willing, why is this information sealed in such a way that could not be opened? Furthermore, it states clearly that it came from the hand of God; He was willing to reveal it. Even if no one was qualified to open it in the entire universe, as long as God would have said “Open it!” Unless God himself was not willing to do that, would not it just open up? Therefore, this is a question that is crucial in nature. If God wanted it to be opened so that John could see what was written inside, why did He say that no one could open it? Even having a mighty angel proclaim it with a loud voice? After all, did God want to open it or not?

这里不是论才智、身分、地位够不够高的问题。是因为关於未来的 事,没有别的受造物能知道,或展示出来。就像人有怕死观念,但动物 没有。到时候牠们自己会躲起来死,牠们不会明白人为甚麽怕死。牠们 不单不明白,怎样教也不会。这是沟通问题。神是超越时间空间的,人 活在时间空间里面,没有想像的能力。那些在空中报导交通情况的人, 因为在地面之上,看见前面公路堵塞的情形,也像神在时间之外看见前 面我们还没有发生的事一样。
It is not a matter of having or not having sufficient ability and wisdom, position or status. It is because it pertains to future events; and no one in the whole creation can know this or reveal it. Just as people have the concept of fear of death, but animals do not have it. When the time comes for animals to die, they would just hide somewhere and die quietly, they would not understand why people are afraid of dying. They not only do not understand the concept of dying, even if they were taught about it, they would not be able to learn it. It is a communication problem. God is beyond time and space; human beings live inside time and space; therefore, they do not have the ability to imagine what is like to live beyond time and space. The traffic reporters who do it from the air, they can see when there is a traffic jam on the road ahead; it is kind of like when God sees ahead before things happen to us, because He lives outside time and space.

能打开预言者的条件
THE QUALIFICATIONS OF THE ONE WHO CAN OPEN THE PROPHECY

5长老中有一位对我说:不要哭,看哪,犹大支派中的狮 子,大卫的根,祂已得胜,能以展开那书卷、揭开那七印。6我 又看见宝座与四活物并长老之中,有羔羊站立,像是被杀过的, 有七角七眼,就是神的七灵,奉差遣往普天下去的。
5 Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.” 6 Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing at the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. The Lamb had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth.

约翰在大哭时,一位祭司天使对他说:不用哭,我们找到了,就是 犹大的狮子、大卫的根。约翰一看,不是狮子,是羊羔。这羊羔像是被 杀过,但头上却有七角,有全部的权柄,是无所不能的,有七眼就是无 所不知的,有七灵走遍全世界,是无所不在的。全宇宙就只有这一位曾 被杀的羔羊,是全知、全在、全能的神与人,所以祂能够成为翻译员。
When John was weeping, one of the elders said to him: “Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.”When John looked, he saw a Lamb, not a lion. The Lamb looked as if He had been slain. He had seven horns on his head; He possessed all authority, He is omnipotent. He also had seven eyes, seven eyes means He is omniscient. He had seven spirits that go all over the earth, He is omnipresent. In the whole universe there is only one Lamb that was slain, the omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent God and Man, so He can become the interpreter.

祂是神成为人,经历人的生活过程,成为人之後,过著与人完全一 样的生活。祂要倚靠圣灵的引导指示,掌握了得胜死权的路,最後藉著 死而复活把阴间死亡的权柄夺回来。祂得回神的身份地位。祂曾经活在 时空里面,後来也再活在时空之外。所以祂能成为解释预言的翻译员。
He is God incarnate; He lived as a human being and experienced the real lifestyle of a regular person. He had to depend on the guidance and instruction of the Holy Spirit. Through His death and resurrection, He took back His authority, triumphing over Death and Hades. He reclaimed His identity and status as God. He previously lived inside time and space, now He lives outside of time and space. Therefore, He can become the one who can interpret the prophecies.

祂已得胜魔鬼,不只制服牠,使牠不能有所行动。也不是管理牠, 作牠的掌权者。撒但已经失败,牠知道时候无多,仍然作垂死的挣扎。 最後会把牠消灭。不过现在牠仍然有牠的动作。主说:「在世上你们有苦 难,但你们可以放心,因为我已经胜了世界。」祂是得胜者,虽然还没 有在世界作王,我们仍要面对苦难,但放心,主已经留下得胜的秘诀, 我们跟随祂的脚踪,也可以得胜。到了後面,祂正式掌管天国,作天国 的王,那时再没有苦难、眼泪、疼痛,撒但将被丢进火湖里。
He did not just subdue Satan so he could not take any action, He triumphed over him. Satan is not just under His control but he has already been defeated, he knows his time is running out, yet he is still struggling. At the end, Satan will be destroyed; but at the present he is still on the move. The Lord said: “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” He is the One who is victorious, even though He is not reigning in this world yet, we still have to face adversities, but do not worry, the Lord has already left us the secret for victory, as long as we follow in His footsteps, we can also overcome. At the end, He will officially reign in the Kingdom of Heaven, He will be the King of the Kingdom; and then, there will be no more suffering or crying or pain and Satan will be thrown into the lake of fire.

祂愿作打开者
HE WAS WILLING TO BE THE ONE WHO WOULD OPEN IT

7这羔羊前来,从坐宝座的右手里拿了书卷。
7 He went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who sat on the throne.

羔羊走上前面,从神手里把书卷拿过来。这个行动,好比政府张贴 一个告示,徵求人的行动。有人去把告示撕下来,表示他回应这行动。 这行动可能是捉拿通辑犯,可能是徵求能医好某种怪病的能人异士,无 论是甚麽,只要有人把告示揭下来,就表示他要做这一件事。
The Lamb went and took the scroll from the hand of God. This action is similar to when the government posts a notice looking for a certain criminal, seeking for people to take action. If someone removed that notice, it meant that the person wanted to take action. In the old times, people would put up notices requesting help in curing the sickness of a family member and if someone would take that notice down, it meant that the person was going to take action; no matter what, when a certain person takes down a notice, it would mean that he was going to take action.

基督从神手里接过这预言书卷,表示祂愿意接受这任务,让世间上 神的子民能预知未来的事。
When Christ took the prophecy scroll from the hand of God, it meant that He was willing to accept the task, so that the people of God on the world can know what will happen in the future.

有人说,在基督降世之前,不是也有人得到预言吗?是的,不过人 能够得到预言预告,也是因为基督的关係。无论是活在基督之前,或基 督之後,能预知未来的,就是因为基督的指示。因为当基督升到高天, 祂能回到时间之外,再进入任何时间之中。
Someone might say, before Christ came to this world; didn’t some people already receive prophecies? Yes, however, the reason why they were able to receive prophecies was because of Christ. Regardless of whether they lived before Christ or after Christ, if people could foresee the future, it is because Christ revealed it to them. When Christ ascended to heaven, he went outside of time and he can re-enter time at any particular point.

1 记得耶稣对犹太人说(约8:56):「亚伯拉罕看见我就欢喜。」人当时想 用石头打祂。其实旧约中向人显现的神,就是道成肉身的基督,祂回转 成为超越时空的神之时,可以再进入任何时空中。祂向亚伯拉罕预告所 多玛、俄摩拉的灭亡,亚伯拉罕不断求情说:若有 50个义人在城里,还 会灭这个城吗?一直求,一直减到若有 10 个义人。却原来在那城里,连 10 个义人都没有,全都是罪大恶极的人。基督不单知道,而且也有权柄 决定,灭城的事做还是不做。
Remember when Jesus told the Jews in John 8:56: “Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad.”At that time, people wanted to stone Him. Actually, the God who appeared to the people in the Old Testament was in fact, Christ, the Word incarnate; after He transcended time and space as God, he could re-enter into any time in history. He announced in advance to Abraham the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Abraham kept pleading saying: “What if there are 50 righteous people in the city? Will you really sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of the 50 righteous people in it?”He kept pleading and pleading, even for 10 people. But actually, there were not even 10 righteous persons in that city, they were all extremely wicked. Christ not only knew, but He also had the authority to decide whether or not to destroy the city.

祂是神
HE IS GOD

8祂既拿了书卷,四活物和二十四位长老,就俯伏在羔羊面 前,各拿著琴,和盛满了香的金炉,这香就是众圣徒的祈祷。9 他们唱新歌。
8 And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of God’s people. 9 And they sang a new song.

四活物与廿四位长老都是在圣所里面服事的灵界僕役。他们都俯伏 在羔羊基督面前向祂敬拜。他们拿著琴,因为他们用诗歌敬拜。他们拿 著盛满香的金炉,这香就是众圣徒的祈祷。廿四长老都是天上圣所里的 祭司。他们供职的方式,就是把众圣徒的祷告带到神面前。这种祷告, 也是在礼拜当中。所以他们都以诗歌与祷告敬拜神。
The four living creatures and the twenty-four elders are the servants who minister in the Sanctuary in the spiritual realm. They all fell down before Christ, the Lamb, and worshiped Him. Each one had a harp because they worshiped with a hymn. They were also holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of God’s people. The twenty-four elders were priests who ministered inside the heavenly Sanctuary. Their duty was to bring the prayers of God’s people to the presence of God. This kind of prayer is also what we offer during Sunday worship. They used hymns and prayers to worship God.

这一次他们敬拜的不只是父神,也是羔羊基督。所以基督也是与神 同等,与父神同尊、同荣的主。
This time they not only worshiped God the Father, they also worshiped Christ, the Lamb. Therefore Christ is equal to God in status, honor and glory.

他们崇拜中所唱的还是「新歌」,以前他们唱的旧歌,是神创造的 伟大,「诸天要述说神的荣耀,穹苍要传扬祂的手段。」但现在有新歌要 唱,因为基督降生成为人,用祂的血打开一条敬拜主的新路,从各族、 各方、各民、各国中买了人来。祂不单打通神与人之间隔断的墙,也打 通各族、各方、各民、各国之间的墙。祂是唯一一位把神与人,把各种 不同的人,全部拉在一起的主。所以他们用新歌颂扬基督的伟大工程。
The song that they sang as they worshiped was a “new song”. The song they sang in the past was an old song; it was about God’s wonderful creation, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands.”Now there is a new song to sing, because Christ came to earth and became a human being, and with His blood He opened a new way to worship the Lord, He purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation. He not only broke down the wall that separated people from God, He also broke the barrier between people of every tribe and language and people and nation. He is the only Lord who reconciled human beings with God and brought different people together in Him. Thus, they sang a new song to praise Christ for His mighty works.

祂是叁位一体中的一位
HE IS ONE OF THE PERSONS OF THE TRINITY

11我又看见且听见,宝座与活物并长老的周围,有许多天使的 声音。他们的数目有千千万万。12大声说:曾被杀的羔羊是配得权 柄、丰富、智慧、能力、尊贵、荣耀、颂讚的。13我又听见,在天 上、地上、地底下、沧海里,和天地间一切所有被造之物,都说: 但愿颂讚、尊贵、荣耀、权势,都归给坐宝座的和羔羊,直到永永 远远。14四活物就说:阿们。众长老也俯伏敬拜。
11 Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. 12 In a loud voice they were saying: “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!”13 Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying: “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!”14 The four living creatures said, “Amen,” and the elders fell down and worshiped.

不单是圣所中四活物与廿四长老敬拜祂,而且周围有千千万万的天 使,并且说,天上、地上、地底下、沧海里、天地间一切受造之物都敬 拜祂。祂是叁位一体神之中的第二位,与神是同等,接受同样的敬拜。
Not only the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders worshiped Him, but also many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and then thousands times ten thousand were worshiping Him. Also every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea and all that is in them worshiped Him. He is the second person of the Trinity, equal to God, and He received the same worship.

宇宙中所有受造物都这样敬拜祂,都承认祂是全能的神。就是说, 如果有人不认耶稣基督是完全的神,是与父神同等的主,这些人就是不 信者,与众天使,与所有受造之物唱反调,證明他们与天国无份无关。
All creation worshiped Him in the same way; they all acknowledge Him as the Almighty God. In other words, if there is someone who does not acknowledge Christ to be the Almighty God, and who is equal to God the Father, that person is an unbeliever, and is singing a different tune; proving that he has no part and no relationship whatsoever with the Kingdom of Heaven.

祂的经历使祂能作打开预言书卷者
HIS EXPERIENCE ENABLES HIM TO BE THE ONE WHO CAN OPEN THE PROPHECY SCROLL

9他们唱新歌说:祢配拿书卷,配揭开七印,因为祢曾被杀, 用自己的血从各族各方、各民各国中买了人来,叫他们归於神。 10又叫他们成为国民,作祭司,归於神,在地上执掌王权。
9 And they sang a new song, saying: “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation. 10 You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign] on the earth.”

神本来是活在时空以外的神,能看透时间里面的事,也能知道过去 未来,不像天使魔鬼及所有生物,只能知道过去。圣经说:「神看千年如 一日,一日如千年。」摩西说:「在祢看来,千年如已过的昨日,又如夜 间的一更。」因为祂在时间之外,所以人难明白祂为甚麽有这种能力。
Originally, God lived outside time and space and could see all the things that happened inside time and know the past and the future; not like the angels and Satan and all living creatures who can only know the past. The Bible says: “With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.”Moses said: “A thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night.”This is because He lives outside time; therefore, it is very difficult for people to understand why God has this ability.

爱因斯坦指出时间是相对的,也是令人非常难理解的。当人以高速 进行之时,时间会减慢,体积会缩小。当人以接近光速在外太空绕一个 圈,不单体积缩得很小,自己像过了几个星期,但回来之时发现自己的 配偶已经老了几十年。这是人觉得不可思议的事。人如果以光速进行, 时间会停止,体积小到看不见。
Einstein pointed out that time is relative, and this is very hard for people to understand. The faster someone or something moves or the more mass they have, the slower time passes for them. When a person travels almost at the speed of light in outer space, not only his body mass will become very small, but it will feel as if he had gone away for weeks, and when he returns to earth he will find out that his spouse has aged several decades. People think this is an incredible thing. If people travel at the speed of light, time will stop, and their bodies will shrink so much that it will be hard to see them.

这理论听起来像不可能,但科学慢慢證实是真的。如果神以超光速 进行,人就不能看见祂,在祂周围都是强光。
This theory sounds impossible, but science has slowly proven it to be true. If God travels at the speed of light, people will not be able to see Him, He is surrounded by a bright light.

祂是创造时间、空间的神,祂超越时间、空间的限制。我们人活在 与神完全不同的世界里,神与人之间有一个鸿沟。人与人之间有代沟、 语言沟、文化沟,与神之间,有生命沟。祂比曾祖父更不易明白,比非 洲人距离更远。这是非常严重的沟通问题。其实是人的接收力问题,祂 有很多启示,曾给很多先知使徒知道。但很多地方都像说得不清不楚。
He is the God who created time and space, He transcends the limitations of time and space. We live in a completely different world than God; there is a wide gap between God and human beings. Among people there are generation gaps, language gaps and cultural gaps; between God and human beings there is a life gap. It is more difficult for us to understand God than to understand our great-grandfathers, and the distance between us and God is farther than the distance between us and the African people. This is a very serious communication problem. Actually, the problem is with human beings, who are unable to be receptive, God had many revelations which He gave to numerous prophets and apostles, but they seem unclear in many places.

神与人之间常有的沟通方法,是藉著是与非来沟通。旧约时代,以 色列人要藉乌陵、土明来求问神的旨意,那就是「是与非」的答案。在 新约时代,要让基督的平安在我们心中作裁判,心中有平安就是神的旨 意,不平安就不要做,也是「是与非」的答案。
God has a way of communicating with human beings, He uses “Yes or No” to communicate. In the Old Testament times, the Israelites used the Urim and Thummim to inquire for God’s will, which is a “Yes or No” answer. In the New Testament times, the peace of Christ in our hearts will lead us to a decision, if there is peace in our hearts, it is God’s will, if we do not feel at peace with the matter, we should not do it, it is also a “Yes or No” answer.

但先知们需要讲解神的要求,传达神的旨意,不能光靠是与非,所 以要藉异象、异梦或强烈的圣灵感动,把神重要的心意表达出来。但预 言还是非常不同,不是神不愿意告诉人知道,乃是人与神之间分别实在 太大,有很大的障碍。神给约翰用电影的方式,看见将来的事,他还是 不明白。所以在上天下地,没有谁能把将来的奥秘揭开的,因为没有谁 能够把两个世界拉在一起。我们需要找到一位两边都通的翻译员。基督 就是这位翻译员。
Prophets need to explain the requirements of God and convey His will; they cannot depend only on a“Yes or No” answer. Therefore, God uses visions, dreams or strong inspiration from the Holy Spirit to let people know His intentions. Prophecies are very different. It is not that God does not want people to know the future, but rather the difference between human beings and God is too great, so there are a lot of hindrances. God let John see the future in the way of a movie, but he still did not understand it. No one in heaven or on earth can reveal the mysteries of the future, because no one can bring together the two different worlds. We need to find an interpreter who is thoroughly acquainted with both places. Christ is that interpreter.