CHAPTER XVII – Revelation 启示录 6:1-8 – 末世的四大风潮 FOUR TRENDS OF THE END TIMES

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 XVII
末世的四大风潮 (启示录6:1-8)
FOUR TRENDS OF THE END TIMES — REVELATION 6:1-8

上一章所说的预言书卷,有七个印封著,没有人能打开,最後只有 被杀的羔羊纔能打开。现在开始揭开头四个印。
The previous chapter mentioned that the prophecy scroll had seven seals which no one could open; at the end, only the Lamb who was slain could open it. Now the first four seals are being opened.

「预言书卷」很容易使人觉得是一卷书,是叙术性的文字,谁知却像 是看电影。所以我们知道,书卷,也只是寓意的讲法。启示录很多地方 都是比喻性的言语,书不一定是书,马不一定是马,鹰也不一定是鹰, 要搞清楚它所代表的是甚麽。
People might think that the “prophecy scroll” was like a book that was being narrated, but it was actually like a movie. Therefore, we know that the scroll was just a figure of speech. Revelation uses a lot of metaphorical language, a scroll is not necessary a scroll, a horse might not be really a horse, and an eagle might not really be an eagle either, we have to find out what it truly represents.

由於很多书或传道的人都会解释这一段经文,而多数的解释都跟随 西方学者的字面解释。实在说,他们的解释使我们更胡塗,所以我们先 要把过去听回来的忘记,重新仔细看经文本身,也藉著跟这段经文相似 的地方,以经解经,免得再犯同样的错误。
Many Bible commentaries or preachers will explain this passage literally, as the majority of western scholars would. In fact, their ways of explaining it will make us more confused. Thus, first, we have to forget what we have heard in the past, and start anew by carefully studying the passage itself, finding similar passages in the Bible and using scripture to explain scripture in order to avoid making the same mistake.

在没有解释这几个异象之前,我们先要知道:
Before explaining these visions, we need to know the following:

(一)这是关於全地上的事,并非小地区的事件。「从全地上夺去太 平。」「杀害全地上四分之一的人。」
(1) These events affect the whole earth, no just part of it. “Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth.”“They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill…”

(二)骑在马上的,不是真有其人,「名字叫作死」,明显不是指一个 人。第八节的代名词,前面是「他」,後面变为「他们」,从单数变成複数, 既不是一个人,根本也不是描写人。
(2) The rider on the horse is not a real person, “Its rider was named Death”; obviously this does not refer to a person. In verse 8 the pronoun used is “him” and latter it becomes “they”, it changes from singular to plural, clearly is not a person or a description of a person.

(叁)当我们印證撒迦利亚书第六章先知所见的异象,就是以经解经的 方式来解释这一段话,是最稳妥的解经方式。那里的四色马清楚说明是 代表「天之四风」,乃是告诉我们,将有四股强风临到地上。风可以解释 为风气、趋势、潮流、风暴。两处的异象,虽然好像有些不同的地方, 第四匹马的颜色不明朗;先知所见的马有马车,乃是因为语言、文字与 时代不同,先知的眼光重点有异。
(3) When we compare these verses with the vision which the prophet saw in the book of Zechariah, chapter 6, we are using scripture to explain scripture and that is the safest way to interpret the Bible. There, it clearly says that these four colored horses are “the four winds of heaven”; they are four powerful winds that will be coming upon the earth. Winds can be interpreted as tendencies, trends, phenomena, or tempest. If the two visions are different in some places it is because of the language, the writing and the eras were different. For example, the color of the fourth horse is unclear and the prophet saw the horses with chariots. The prophet’s focus was different.

很多人对启示录中几组的异象分不清楚。七印、七号、七碗所描写 的事,是截然不同的。
Many people cannot distinguish clearly between the different kinds of visions in Revelation. The events described in the seven seals, the seven trumpets and the seven bowls are completely different.

我们先要牢牢记住,第一组「七印」,是揭开末後七年大灾难之前的 预兆,描写灾难的起头时期,从十八到廿一世纪几百年的时间里面发生 的事。印,是封印,所以揭印,就是打开封锁,让人知道末世前的预兆。
We have to keep in mind that the first group “the seven seals” uncovers the events that will occur before the seven years of the great tribulation, it describes the beginning of the disasters; the events that happened between the 18th century and the 21st century. The scroll was sealed; the seal had to be opened so the people would know about the things that will take place before the end.

第二组「七号」。号,在古代是召集民众,或召集士兵去打仗的号。 所以七号与末世的战争有关。七号所描写的时间,是廿世纪到廿一世纪 的打仗情况与打仗方式。
The second group “the seven trumpets”. Trumpets were used in ancient times to gather the people, or to assemble the soldiers to go to war. The seven trumpets describe the circumstances of wars and the styles of fighting used during the 20th and the 21st century.

第叁组「七碗」。「七杯」是比较好的翻译。七杯之灾是描写全世界受 到污染的可怕。不单环境受污染,种种辐射的污染,还有邪恶歪风的污 染,思想精神的污染,全都达到最可怕的地步。所预言的事,都发生在 最後七年大灾难之中。
The third group “the seven bowls”. “Seven cups” is a better translation. The disasters of the seven cups describe the horrific pollution in the whole earth. Not only pollution of the environment but also contamination through radiation; furthermore, there will be the propagation of evil tendencies and pollution of people’s minds. All these will reach alarming levels. Everything that was prophesied will take place during the last 7 years of the great tribulation.

「七印」所描写末世这几股强风,是非常明显,容易分辨,对照现在 的情况,就知道现在已经进入最後阶段。我们要记得主的心意不是要隐 藏不让人知道,事实上祂希望人人明白预言。所以虽然有许多不容易明 白之处,圣灵会引导我们明白,神让我们看见种种末世预兆,叫我们準 备好自己,迎见祂的面。
The strong trends described in the “seven seals” are very obvious and easy to distinguish; and as we compare them to the present circumstances, we know that we have already entered into the final stages of the end times. We need to remember that the Lord does not want to keep us from knowing what is about to happen; but actually, He hopes that we can understand the prophecy. Therefore, though there are many parts that are hard to understand, the Holy Spirit will guide us and help us to understand it. God is letting us see the different signs that are about to happen so we prepare ourselves to meet Him face to face.

民主政制之风
THE TRENDS OF DEMOCRACY

1我看见羔羊揭开七印中第一印的时候,就听见四活物中一 个声音如雷说:你来! 2我就观看,见有一匹白马,骑在马上 的拿著弓,并有冠冕赐给他。他便出来,胜了又要胜。
1 I watched as the Lamb opened the first of the seven seals. Then I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice like thunder, “Come!” 2 I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest.

这是一匹白马。白色是人所爱戴所推崇的颜色,很多时候都是用来 描写基督的颜色。但这骑白马上的不像基督,所以很多人的解释都说这 是敌基督、假基督。但我们要记得,这里不是预言某人的事,是指「天之 四风」。在十九章有一段描写基督骑白马的文字,但两段明显不同。
A white horse; white is a color that people love and respect. This is the color that is often used to describe Christ; but the one riding on the white horse is not Christ; so, many people say that it is the Antichrist, a false Christ. But, we have to remember that this prophecy is not about a certain person, but about “FOUR TRENDS”. In chapter 19 there is a description of Christ riding on a white horse, but these two passages are significantly different.

基督穿的是溅了血(原文是浴血,用了受浸的浸字)的衣服,不是溅了 敌人的血,是浴了自己大量的血。头上戴的冠冕是diadema皇冠。
What Christ was dressed in was a robe dipped in blood (like when you get dipped in water during baptism by immersion). Christ’s robe was not splashed with blood from the enemy; He was immersed in His own blood. And the crown that He was wearing was a “diadema” which is a royal crown.

在这一段骑白马的手上「有弓无箭」,指他得胜了,而且是要不断的 得胜。但不是经过流血的战争。因为他根本没有武器,弓,只是象徵性 的武器,并没有真正战争上的用途。
In this passage, the rider of the white horse held a bow without an arrow, indicating that he had won a victory and that he kept on winning. But, it was not a bloodshed battle because he basically did not have any weapons. The bow is just a symbolic weapon; it cannot be used as a weapon of war.

这匹马与骑马的所带来的,也不是甚麽灾害、患难,只是一种末世 的风气。是末後叁百年里面的一种潮流,就是民主政制的潮流。
The horse and the rider did not bring about any disasters or hardships, just a general mood of the last days. It is a trend of the last three hundred years, which is the democratic political system.

「有冠冕赐给他」。冠冕原文是stepfanos,是优胜者的冠冕,是得 胜比赛者的冠冕,不是具有王权的冠冕。他「胜了又要胜」,到底指的是 甚麽争战?看现在民主国竞选公职时就知道了,每一次的竞选活动就是 一场战争。
“He was given a crown.” The original text says “stephanos”, the crown of a winner. It is the crown given to someone who wins in a race; not the crown of a king. “He rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest.” What kind of battle is he fighting? When you look at democratic candidates running for public office you will know that every election campaign is a war.

十八世纪开始出现了民主政权。之前没有一个国家有民主政制的, 在二百多年前由美国首先推出,全世界多国跟进,成了新的潮流。民主 国家的统治者需要常常胜出纔能当选,每几年就要花大量金钱,作为竞 选经费,要不断的得胜、要不断的竞选,所以这里说:「胜了又要胜。」
The democratic regime began to appear during the 18th century. Before that time, not one country had a democratic political system. The United States introduced this political system 200 years ago, later on other nations followed, and so it became a new trend. The leaders of democratic countries often need to win to get elected. Every few years an enormous amount of money is put into campaign funds to keep on winning the elections, therefore it is a “conqueror bent on conquest.”

民主政权的鬥争不用流血,所以他手上没有箭,只有弓。第一印揭 开的,是十八世纪吹到末世的民主之风。
The fight for the democratic regime does not involve bloodshed, so he does not carry an arrow, only a bow. The first seal to be opened is the wind of democracy blowing from the 18th century all the way to the end times.

残暴屠杀之风
TREND OF BRUTAL MASSACRES

3揭开第二印的时候,我听见第二个活物说:你来! 4就 另有一匹马出来,是红的,有权柄给了那骑马的,可以从地上 夺去太平,使人彼此相杀,又有一把大刀赐给他。
3 When the Lamb opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!” 4 Then another horse came out, a fiery red one. Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth and to make people kill each other. To him was given a large sword.

十九世纪爆发出来的是共产政权。它蔑视人权,用残暴屠杀的方式 统治国家,用秘密警察维持政权。不单杀人,也鼓厉人彼此批鬥、打小 报告、互相残杀。这股大屠杀之风蔓延到世界各地,就算不是共产主义 的推行者,也奉为统治国家的良丹妙药,很多独裁者都使用,就如希特 拉、墨索里尼等人,一直到末世,仍然有这种彼此相杀之风。
The 19th century marks the start of the Communist regime. The Communist disregard human rights and use cruel bloody ways to rule the country, they also use secret police to maintain political power. They not only murder people, but they encourage people to denounce each other, betray each other, and kill each other. This wind of massacres has spread all over the world. Even those who are not promoters of the Communist regime use this as a magic potion to rule over a country. Many dictators use it, like Hitler, Mussolini, and others. This trend of killing each other will continue through the end of times.

撒迦利亚先知看见白马、黑马往北方去。就是说,民主政权之风、 金融贸易之风,多在北半球发生。至於第四匹马,死亡威胁之风,往南 方去。所以饑荒、瘟疫、野兽、武鬥的灾祸,多在南方,在非洲、南半 球落後地区比较严重。只有红马,没有说哪个方向,表示在全地到处都 发生这种残杀事件。
The prophet Zechariah saw a white horse and a black horse going towards the north. In other words, the trends of democracy and financial trading happened mostly in the Northern Hemisphere. As for the fourth horse, the trend of the threat of death goes towards the South. Therefore, famine, epidemics, wild beasts, and violent calamities, are numerous in the Southern part of the world, in Africa, in the Southern Hemisphere, in the backward regions of the world that is where it is more severe. Only the red horse did not mention a specific direction it was going, which indicates that this event would happen everywhere in the world.

全世界流行暴力主义,电视电影宣传暴力,世人变得脾气粗暴,解 决问题用打杀鬥争的方式。
Violence is prevalent in the whole world. Television programs, movies, advertisements, they are all full of violence. People’s temperaments have become more violent. They use killing and fights to settle disputes.

进入廿一世纪,更出现了人称为恐怖活动的残暴行为,从此以後, 全世界无人能置身事外。在没有战事的地区可能忽然出现大爆炸,或是 鎗手疯狂乱杀,每一个过去认为是安全的地方,现在都需要经过严密的 保安检查,人人受到残暴风气的影响。
Entering the 21st century, violent terrorist activities have appeared; from now on, everyone is a target. Wars are not in specific regions of the world anymore, a bomb could explode any time, anywhere; a crazy gunman could start shooting at random all of a sudden. Places that we thought were safe in the past require people to go through security checks. Everyone is affected by these violent trends.

金融贸易之风
FINANCIAL AND COMMERCIAL TRENDS

5揭开第叁印的时候,我听见第叁个活物说:你来!我就 观看,见有一匹黑马,骑在马上的手里拿著天平。6我听见在四 活物中,似乎有声音说:一钱银子买一升麦子,一钱银子买叁 升大麦,油和酒不可蹧蹋。
5 When the Lamb opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come!” I looked, and there before me was a black horse! Its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand. 6 Then I heard what sounded like a voice among the four living creatures, saying, “Two pounds of wheat for a day’s wages, and six pounds of barley for a day’s wages, and do not damage the oil and the wine!”

粗略地看,这里像论饑荒,以为缺少粮食。其实这里有粮食出卖, 而且油和酒很多,「不可蹧蹋」,是不可破坏、不可伤害之意。油和酒在 饑荒的时候,肯定不是最重要的东西。「手里拿著天平」,也不是说有缺 乏,天平是古代市场做生意用的「秤」,那种秤都是用天平的原理的。
At first glance, it seems that it is speaking about a famine, the lack of food. Actually, food is being sold, and there is a lot of oil and wine “do not damage the oil and the wine.” Oil and wine are definitely not the most important things during a famine. “Its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand.” It doesn’t say that there is a shortage. A scale was a “balance”used in the market places in ancient times. That kind of scale used the principle of the balance.

一升小麦,叁升大麦,也不是指重量或容量,因为「升」字,原文不 存在。其实说一元买一股小麦,叁股大麦就更像,像现代的期货股票, 糖多少钱一股,汽油多少钱一股等新的投资贸易方式。
Two pounds of wheat, six pounds of barley, does not refer to weight or volume because the word “pound” does not exist in the original text. Actually, it seems more likely to be saying a day’s wages buys two shares of wheat and a day’s wages buys six shares of barley. Like modern times stock market, how much money is a stock of sugar, how much for a stock of gasoline, these are all new forms of investments and trades.

廿世纪世界各国重视经济发展,本来是欧洲开始了股票市场,廿世 纪全世界国家争著仿效。华尔街金融模式世界风行。现在怎样看一个国 家,就看它的经济成长率。在这大前提之下,人心重视金钱多过人格或 生活素质,卖国、卖友、卖灵魂、卖肉体,只要有钱,不管人怎样看。 只顾自己发财,不管别人死活。
In the 20th century, the countries of the world value economic development. The stock market developed first in Europe, now all the countries of the world are striving to follow their example. Wall Street is the financial model of the world. The way to look at a country nowadays is to see the growth rate of its economy. With this in mind, people value money more than integrity or the quality of life. They betray their own country, their friends; they sell their soul, their own body, all for money. They do not care what people think of them, as long as they can earn money, they could care less if others live or die.

这种新的贸易方式与过去传统做生意的方式不同,常常只有数字的 进出,不一定有产品的交易,所以这里一升小麦,叁升大麦,翻作「升」 的字,不是真传统的容量,可说是泡沫经济,投机取巧的贸易方式。
This new method of trade is different from the traditional way of doing business, often people only deal with numbers, there is no transaction of merchandise; therefore, when it says here two pounds of wheat, 6 pounds of barley, the word “pounds” it is not the conventional measurement of volume or capacity. Very likely it is speaking of a bubble economy, an opportunistic way of trading.

挪亚的日子怎样,主回来的时候人也怎样,吃喝玩乐,只有今天, 没有明天。耶稣问,祂回来的时候,能找到有信心的人吗?能找到祷告 不灰心的人吗?功利主义的社会能分出甚麽是有价值的吗?经济掛帅的 时代,谁能为公司赚钱,谁能发财,就受人尊重。那些解决社会问题的 人,像社会工作者,慈善机构工作者,差不多要求人帮助纔能活下去, 这就是末世的风气。
As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Lord, people of the world are eating and drinking and enjoying themselves as if there was no tomorrow. When Jesus returns will He find people who are faithful to Him? Will He find people who will pray without being discouraged? Will a utilitarian society be able to distinguish what is of value? A society dominated by the economy; the one who can make money for his company or the one who is wealthy, that is the person who is esteemed. On the other hand, those who can help solve the problems of society, social workers, charity organizations; they have to beg people for money in order to survive. This is the general mood of the end times.

当人人追求金融发财的新方式时,却出现了多次金融危机的风暴。 其中油和酒不可蹧蹋伤害,尤其是石油酒精,是社会进步的必需材料, 是人人重视的能源。问题是这样的发展是要代价的,就是能源的消耗, 不单能源短缺,而且污染环境,破坏大自然。
Many financial crises arise when people start pursuing new ways to get wealthy. Do not damage the oil and the wine. Especially petroleum and alcohol, which are things that the society needs in order to make progress; those are resources that everyone values. The problem is that such progress must pay a price, which is energy consumption that not only leads to energy shortage but also environmental pollution, destruction of nature.

死亡威胁之风
DEADLY TRENDS

7揭开第四印的时候,我听见第四个活物说:你来! 8我 就观看,见有一匹灰色马,骑在马上的名字叫作死,阴府也随 著他。有权柄赐给他们,可以用刀剑、饑荒、瘟疫、野兽、杀 害地上四分之一的人。
7 When the Lamb opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, “Come!” 8 I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth.

十九世纪的人以为,凭著人的智慧,科技知识,可以建立一个大同 社会,进步到乌托邦理想的新世界。教育普及使人和平共处;科学发明 使人生活条件尽善尽美;医学进步可以医好任何疾病;新的种植技术可 以解决粮荒问题。谁知,与科技一同进步的,是人类毁灭自己的技术。 世界上仍有很多落後贫穷国家,但没有一个国家在犯罪上落後。人类的 所作所为,使这世界到处有死亡的威胁。人,是在自己毁灭自己。
The people in the 19th century thought that by relying on their own wisdom and knowledge of science and technology, they could build a great society that could progress into a utopian ideal new world. Education of the masses makes peaceful coexistence, scientific invention makes perfect living conditions, and medical advances can cure any diseases, new farming techniques could solve the food shortage problem. Who would have thought that all this progress of science and technology would bring the destruction of mankind? The conduct and deeds of human beings has brought the threat of death into this world. People are destroying themselves with the own means.

到廿世纪,死亡阴影已经天天笼罩著人类。先是打仗,廿世纪开始 发生了世界大战,所以赶快成立了联合国。但一点没有作用,几十年後 发生了第二次大战,於是再增加联合国的权力,结果同样到处打仗,到 处大批人民死亡。而且武器越来越厉害,大家都想拥有核子武器。只要 有几百个核弹,就可以毁灭世界。但越来越多国家拥有核武,数目超过 几万颗,所以最後世界被毁灭不是因为洪水,不是因为另一个冰河期, 乃是被烈火熔化(彼後3:12)。新约写成之时,没有人会明白,这麽大的世 界,怎麽可能会被烈火所熔化?
Since the 20th century, the shadow of death has been lurking among every human being. First there was war; starting in the 20th century there was a great world war, so the United Nations had to be promptly established. But that did not help much, a few decades later World War II broke out; as a result more authority was assigned to the United Nations. In the end, there were wars everywhere and large numbers of people died. Furthermore, the weapons were more and more powerful; everyone wanted to have nuclear weapons. It only takes a few hundred nuclear weapons to destroy the entire world. Yet there are more and more countries with nuclear weapons, there are tens of thousands nuclear bombs. Eventually, the destruction of the world will not be by floods or another ice age but by fire and the elements will melt in the heat (2 Peter 3:12). When the New Testament was written, no one could understand how this huge world could be destroyed entirely by blazing fire.

再是饑荒,科学新技术可大量生产,结果还是饿死很多人。有人天 天浪费,把神的天物倒掉。有些人却天天捱饿。新科学种植方法、化学 肥、基因改造法、改变分泌法,也带来另一类灾难,就是瘟疫、疾病。 人看见新法生产的东西更加漂亮,谁知都是毒药,使人生病、死亡。
Then there is famine. Scientific new technology and mass production still cannot help the great amount of people who are dying of starvation. Some people waste things every day, they are throwing away the good things that God gives us. On the other hand, many people go hungry every day. New scientific farming methods, chemical fertilizers and genetic modifications bring other types of disaster, which are epidemics and diseases. When the people see produce grown by new farming methods, they may look very pretty, but they are actually poison which can make you sick and die.

现在医不好的病到处都是,癌、爱滋、禽流感、疯牛症、沙士,没 有甚麽病能医得好。能控制病情已经谢天谢地。最後病人多数死掉,医 院床位常不够,盖新医院还不够。有空位定是病人死了。
Nowadays, incurable diseases are everywhere, cancer, AIDS, bird flu, mad cow disease, SARS. There is no cure for these diseases. We are very thankful if we can control the disease. At the end, the majority of the patients die; very often there is a shortage of hospital beds, even building new hospitals is not enough. If there is a vacancy in the hospital it is because a patient died.

廿世纪战争死了一亿多人,加上天灾、饑荒、疾病、瘟疫、谋杀、 恐怖活动等,全地死的人数,简直是天文数字。这里说死四分之一,要 明白启示录许多数字都是代表数、象徵数。留心比较死叁分之一与死四 分之一的分别,就知道,这是一个象徵的数目。
Wars in the 20th century killed more than one hundred million people, add to that natural disasters, famine, diseases, epidemics, murders, and terrorist attacks. In total, the number of people who actually died was an astronomical figure. Here it says “a fourth of the earth”. We have to understand that many of the numbers in Revelation are representative and symbolic. Comparing carefully, there is a difference between the death of “a third” of the population and “a fourth” of the population. We have to remember these numbers are symbolic.

死的数目是叁分之一,表示当时当地,就是局部地区的人,全部死 光。像世贸大厦受到恐怖袭击,差不多全部人死光,是谓之叁分之一; 自杀炸弹、计时炸弹的攻击是地区性的,死的人数也是叁分之一。
When the number of people who died is “one third”, it means that the entire population of a certain region died. Like the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, almost everyone died, that is “one third”; suicide bomb attacks are also in certain locations, the number of dead is “one third” as well.

四分之一的意思是,死的人数很多,但却是分散於全地的。像染爱 滋病而死的人是全地性的,所以是死了四分之一的人。
“One fourth” means that a large amount of people died all over the world, not just in one region. Like people who die from AIDS are all over the world, that is what “one fourth”means.

今天很多人在死亡阴影下生活,两夫妇旅行或同公司派去同一地方 开会,不坐同一班飞机,免得死在一块。到处都有死的阴影笼罩著。这 是第四股末世之风。
Today many people live under the shadow of death. When a husband and a wife travel to a certain destination or are sent on a business trip, they prefer to take different flights so as to avoid dying together in case there is an accident. The shadow of death is everywhere. This is the fourth trend of the last days.