CHAPTER XXX – Revelation 启示录 13:11-18 – 第六奇象-地中出来的兽 THE SIXTH SIGN: THE BEAST FROM THE EARTH

 

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 XXX

第六奇象-地中出来的兽 ( 启示录13:11-18)
THE SIXTH SIGN: THE BEAST FROM THE EARTH (REVELATION 13:11-18)

十叁章有两头兽,第一兽从海上来,代表政治的兽,因为罗马海军 都从地中海登陆,恶势力政权都从海里上来。第二兽从地中出来,代表 宗教势力。通常宗教势力比较低调,在人心也重视政治势力多过宗教势 力。但其实宗教势力影响巨大。留心看世上的国家,无论是在中东、欧 美、亚洲或非洲、南美洲,只要知道他们的宗教,就大概知道他们的政 治是怎样的政治。
There are two beasts in chapter 13; the first beast that came up out of the sea represents the political regime. The soldiers from the Roman army often came ashore from the Mediterranean Sea, evil regimes all came from the sea. The second beast came up out of the earth which represents the religious regime. Usually the religious regime is low-key. In the hearts of the people, even though the political power is stronger than religious power, in actuality, the religious power is of greater influence.

这章的两头兽加上十二章大红龙灵界的兽,一共叁兽一体,叁兽合 一,叁大力量的联合。不过由於这些经文太多人断章取义,所以变得很 混乱,很多解释非常荒谬。我们要跟从圣经的解释原则,纔能看到清楚 的图画。我们来看这兽的特点。
The two beasts from this chapter plus the great red dragon from the spiritual realm in chapter 12 united as one form an extremely powerful evil trinity. Regarding these passages, many people interpret them out of content and therefore, a lot of confusion arises. We should follow the principles of Biblical interpretation in order to see the whole picture clearly. Let us take a look at the characteristics of this beast.

宗教的兽
THE BEAST OF THE RELIGIOUS REGIME

11我又看见另有一个兽从地中上来,有两角如同羊羔,说 话好像龙。
11 Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb and he spoke as a dragon.

第二个兽好像「羊」,有宗教外貌。所以十六章、十九章、廿章,都 称牠为「假先知」,异教先知我们不叫假先知,他们只是代表低等鬼神偶 像的工人,可以称为巫师、法师、通灵人士。「先知」乃是「神的代言人」 之意。「假先知」就是假借神的名说魔鬼的话。所以「牠说话好像龙」。名 义上代表神,其实代表魔鬼。所以这宗教团体应该是自认敬拜独一神的 宗教。这兽有两个角,表示有两位宗教界的大人物。他们是披著宗教的 羊皮,说的话却是龙的话。
The second beast was like a lamb, it had a religious appearance. That is why, chapter 16, chapter 19 and chapter 20, all those chapters call it “false prophet”. We do call the pagan prophets “prophets” because they are just workers who represent inferior demonic idols. They can be called shamans, witch doctors or spiritists. “Prophet” means “God’s spokesman”. A “false prophet” uses God’s name to speak words from devil. That is why “he spoke as a dragon”. Nominally representing God, but actually he represents the devil. Therefore, this religious group identifies itself as worshipers of one God. This beast has two horns which represent two great religious leaders. Even thou they had a religious cover-up of sheep’s clothing, they spoke as a dragon.

宗教团体却有帝国权力
A RELIGIOUS GROUP WITH IMPERIAL AUTHORITY

12牠在头一个兽面前,施行头一个兽所有权柄,并叫地和 住在地上的,拜那死伤医好头一个兽。
12 He exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence. And he makes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose fatal wound was healed.

第二兽虽然是宗教的团体,但牠却有帝王的权力,有政治领袖同样 大的权柄。像回到古代政教没有分离时代一样。他们的权力也是皇帝所 认可,是在头一兽面前施行的。
Although the second beast is a religious group, it possesses imperial powers and great authority like that of a political leader; as in ancient times when there was no separation between Church and State. Their authority was recognized by the Emperor, and its authority was exercised in the presence of the first beast.

头一个兽,那十国联盟的帝国,为甚麽容许宗教人物有这麽大的权 力?因为这些宗教领袖是推动人去听从这帝国的,他们是帝国背後的力 量。他们非常积极宣扬听从这帝国的重要,假借神的名吹捧这个帝国, 是背後的脑袋。
Why did the first beast, the empire formed of ten nations, allow the religious leaders to have such great authority? Because those religious leaders made the people to follow the empire, they were the power behind the empire. They actively promoted the importance of obeying that empire, falsely borrowing God’s name to praise that empire. They were the mastermind behind it.

这第二兽两个角上都没有皇冠,不像第一兽十个角、十个王冠。所 以这两个角不是王,是两个宗教界精神领袖,但却有王一样的权力。
The two horns on this second beast had no crowns, not like the ten horns of the first beast that had ten crowns. Therefore, these two horns are not kings; they are two religious spiritual leaders but they had the authority of a king.

有撒但的权能
THEY HAD SATAN’S POWER

13又行大奇事,甚至在人面前,叫火从天降在地上。14牠 因赐给牠权柄在兽面前能行奇事,就迷惑住在地上的人。
13 He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down out of heaven to the earth in the presence of men. 14 And he deceives those who dwell on the earth because of the signs which it was given him to perform in the presence of the beast.

他们能行奇事,是真正神蹟奇事。所用的字,即耶稣时候所行「神 蹟」同一个字,不是幻术,不是技巧。所以会得到很多人追随、信任。 他们能迷惑人心,全世界的人都相信他们有超过常人的能力。
They performed great signs, real miraculous signs. The word
“signs” that was used is the same word that described Jesus’ miracles. It was not a magic illusion or a trick. That is why many people followed them and trusted them. They could deceive the people’s hearts. The whole world believed that they had special powers that ordinary people did not possess.

他们使「火从天而降」,这是旧约时代證明神悦纳人祭物的行动。意 思是,他们能做出一些事向人證明他们有神的同在、有神的印證。我们 注意到,撒但所强调的是「能力」。政治兽使世人希奇他们的权力,他们 能做出别的政治家做不出的事,没有人能敌挡他们。「谁能比这兽,谁 能与牠交战呢?」他们的策略、计谋、才能,都使人佩服。
They made “fire come down out of heaven”. That was an act of God in the Old Testament to show that the sacrifice offered by the people was acceptable to God. This means that they were able to do things to prove that God was with them and they had the seal of God. Take note what Satan emphasizes is “power”. The first beast, the political beast made people marvel at his power, he could do things that other politicians were not able to do, no one could resist the political beast. “Who is like the beast, and who is able to wage war with him?” People admired their tactics, schemes, abilities.

至於他们的生命是否丰盛?是否有深度?是否有道德能力?是否能 把人败坏的生命改变,使能活出光彩?却从来不提。我们也想到,有些 教会所强调的,也是能力、奇事。强调「灵击打」、瘸腿能行走的奇事, 一点不重视是否生命改变,是否能脱离罪恶的权势。我们要留心,这是 末世撒但迷惑人的策略。
As to whether they lived an abundant life with profound meaning, or whether they had the ability to live a morally sound life, or whether they were able to change people’s lives that had been ruined, and live respectably, there was never any mention of those things at all. It also comes to mind that there are certain churches that also emphasize power and great signs, they emphasize being “stricken by the spirit” and miracles of healing people who are crippled, but they are indifferent to whether or not lives are transformed or breaking away from the influence of sin. Beware; these could be tactics that Satan is using to deceive people in the last days.

牠所做的一切,只为了迷惑世界的人去跟从、拥护这十国联盟的新 帝国,因为「在他面前」这字的意思,就是「为他而做」之意。牠一切所行 的事,都是为头一个兽。牠的能力是从撒但而来,「因赐给牠的权能」, 那是撒但给的权能。
Everything he does is for the sole purpose of deceiving the people to follow and endorse the new empire which is made out of an alliance of ten nations, because the phrase, “in the presence of” means “acting on behalf of”. Everything he does is on behalf of the first beast. His power comes from Satan, “because of the signs it was given power to perform”, the power to perform the signs was given to him by Satan.

有先进传播技巧
HAS ADVANCED TECHNOLOGICAL ADVERTISING SKILLS

14牠因赐给他权柄在兽面前能行奇事,就迷惑住在地上的 人说: 要给那受刀伤还活著的兽作个像。 「 」 15又有权柄赐给他 叫兽像有生气,并且能说话。
14 Because of the signs it was given power to perform on behalf of the first beast, it deceived the inhabitants of the earth. It ordered them to set up an image in honor of the beast that was wounded by the sword and yet lived. 15 The second beast was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that the image could speak.

「作个像」的「作」字,英译作setup,不是在製造一个大的铜像、雕 塑像或立体像,是弄一个image出来。「像」字英文翻作image,是「画 像」。耶稣在世上的时候,曾有人试探祂,问祂纳税给该撒,可以不可 以?耶稣说:「拿一个钱币来,上面的像是谁的?」「是该撒的。」「那麽 该撒的物当归给该撒,神的物当归给神。」所以这「像」指的是画像。
To “set up” an image is not to build a big bronze statue, to carve a sculpture or to make a tri-dimensional figure; is to set up an image like a “picture”. When Jesus was on the earth, some people wanted to put Him to a test by asking Him if it they should pay taxes to Caesar. Jesus said: “Let me see one of the coins used for paying taxes.” And he asked: “Whose picture and name are on it?” “Caesar’s,” they answered. Then Jesus told them: “Give to Caesar what belongs to him and give God what belongs to God.” Therefore, this “image” is a picture.

但这里又说,它看起来有生气,能说话。明显是指现代的动画,像 电视、电影,或称为video的影像。以前的世代会觉得这种东西太神奇 了。魔鬼不可能使死的画像变得有生气。现在我们知道,这些宗教家, 将利用活动影像为帝国作宣传,能迷惑人,使人听从跟随,这是现代人 打广告的方式,用先进的技术宣传帝国的神奇。
But here is said that the image was given breath and could speak. It is obvious that it refers to modern animation, like television, a motion picture, or a video. In the old times people might have thought of these things as surreal. There is no way that Satan could make an inanimate image become alive. Now we know those religious leaders will use motion pictures to make advertisements for the empire to deceive people, so people will obey and follow; this is the way people advertise nowadays, using modern technology to promote the mystical empire.

末世的人以影音作宣传,基督教团体也是一样。旧约的时代,神吩 咐用礼拜的方式、用礼拜的程序,用集体敬拜的见證,传播神的荣耀。 主耶稣教导门徒用生活的见證,藉著彼此相爱、互相关怀,以见證人的 身份传播天国的特色。到了末世,人都用有声音、有动画的电影做传播 工具。这不是不好,很多人也会因这个受感动。但这看起来很有生气的 东西,却是没有生命在其中的。没有生命的宗教也可以利用它的。
During the end times, people will use recorded media to make publicity; Christian organizations will do the same. In the Old Testament times, God told the people to use certain ways and procedures to worship; to use collective worship to witness for Him and to show His glory. The Lord Jesus Christ taught his disciples to use their lives to witness to others by loving one another and caring for each other and in this way people would know about the Kingdom of Heaven. At the end times, people will also use motion pictures and sounds as an advertising instrument. There is nothing bad with that, many people could feel moved by it. But even though these things may seem to have life, there is no real life in them. A religion that is dead may even use those tactics.

有霸权的战略
A DOMINATING STRATEGY

15又叫所有不拜兽像的都被杀害,16又叫众人,无论大小、 贫富、主奴,都在右手上或在额上受一个印记。17除了那受印 记,有了兽名,或有兽名数目的,都不得作买卖。
15 And cause as many as do not worship the image of the beast to be killed. 16 And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the freemen and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, 17 and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name.

「不拜兽像的都被杀害」,表明这是一场鬥争。在十五章二节称得胜 的基督徒是「胜过兽、胜过兽像与牠数目的人。」如果不是跟兽像、兽的 数目打仗,怎会有「胜过」这回事?所以知道,这邪恶的宗教领袖,利用 这兽像、兽数目作武器,打击属神的人。
“And cause as many as do not worship the image of the beast to be killed.” This clearly indicates that it is a war. Revelation 15:2 said that the Christians who were triumphant were “those who had been victorious over the beast and its image and over the number of its name.” If they had not fought against the beast and its image and over the number of its name, how could they have been “victorious”? Therefore we know that the evil religious leader used the image of the beast and the number of the beast as a weapon to attack those who belong to God.

(一)不听从这帝国命令,乃是死路一条。不拜兽像的被杀害。
(1) Those that did not follow the orders of that empire and did not worship the image of the beast would be killed.

(二)没有印记,没有兽的身份證明,不知道兽的行事方式,连生活 下去都会有困难。不能跟他们作生意。
(2) Those that did not have the mark, an identification card of the beast and did not know the ways of the beast would have trouble surviving. They wouldn’t be able to do any business at all.

到那时,只有跟随他们的政策、系统的,纔有生存的空间。那些能 得到他们的好处利益的人,就是十六节所说的「众人」,那些不信的人, 各种阶层不属於神的人。
At that time, only those who follow their policies and their system will be able to survive. The ones who will benefit from it are “all people” in verse 16, the unbelievers, those who do not belong to God.

这些属於他们的人,也有叁个不同的层次、等级:
These people who belong to them have different ranks and levels:

(一)额上、右手上有印记的人:表示受过他们训练,有證件、有文 书认可的人。像古代的君王盖上了玉玺,或有官方的印,證明他们有特 别身份。「这印是在额上与右手上」,他们的「智慧」(额上)与「才能」(右手 上),显明他们是这帝国中的精英份子。
(1) They have a mark on their foreheads and on their right hands: which represents those who had been trained by them; they have credentials and a document of approval. Like the ancient kings that used a jade seal or an official seal to prove that they had special status. They had “a mark on their right hands or on their foreheads.” Their “wisdom” (foreheads) and their “abilities” (right hands); this shows that they are the elite of the empire.

(二)有兽名,表示是该帝国的公民,是宣誓效忠於这个帝国的人。 他们的生活方式与生活习惯与这国的公民是一致的。
(2) They have the name of the beast, which means that they are citizens of the empire; they have sworn allegiance to the empire. Their lifestyle and habits are consistent with the citizens of that country.

(叁)有兽名的号码,表示是帝国的会员,从这帝国得到一个号码。 虽然不是该国的公民,但也可以参与他们的生意与投资作业系统。正如 美国医生都有一个号码,没有这号码,就不能开药方。这撒但的爪牙, 也用这办法作为他们的武器,使神的子民没有生计。
(3) They have the number of the beast, which means that they are members of the empire. They have obtained a number from the empire. Although they are not citizens of the empire, they can have a part in their business and investment system. Just like the doctors in the U.S., they all have a number and without that number they cannot write up a prescription. These agents of Satan also use these means as their weapon so that the people of God will not be able to make a living.

有人批评基督教排斥他教,说应该学佛教,十几种以上的教派,不 同的教义。有重视戒律;有重视功德;有重视顿悟、明白人生空无;有 重视咒语、诵经方式,以进入灵的世界;有宣称只要倚靠西天阿弥陀佛 打救。观点各有不同,但互相接纳。所以认为我们不要攻击别人。
Some people criticize Christianity for rejecting their religion. They say that Christians should learn from the Buddhists and the different teachings from many of their religious sects. They should emphasize monastic discipline, cause-and-effect ethics, moments of enlightenment, and the illusory nature of the world; they should emphasize incantations and chanting as a way to enter the spirit world; to keep calling on the Buddha of the Western Paradise to be saved. Even though the points of view are different, they should accept each other’s opinions. They feel that we, Christians, should not attack other people’s beliefs.

是的,各种宗教教义都有好的地方,我们不需要攻击别人。但要知 道,得救的路,只有一条,不是很多条。好的教义不能指引人得永生。 我们也要看见,基督教不会杀害异议分子,你不相信,没有人会强迫你 信。但这里告诉我们,你如果不听这兽的话,可能是死路一条。比较之 下,基督教是不是更为宽大?
Yes, the various religions contain some good teachings, we should not attack them. But you must know that there is only one way to be saved, not many ways. Good teachings cannot give people eternal life. Furthermore, Christians will not murder groups of people because they disagree with them. If you don’t want to believe in Jesus, nobody is going to force you to do it. But here it tells us that if you do not obey the commands of the beast, you will have to face death. Compared to them, Christians are much more lenient.

人中极品
THE ELITE

18在这里有智慧,凡有聪明的,可以算计兽的数目。因为 这是人的数目,他的数目是六百六十六。
18 This calls for wisdom. Let the person who has insight calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man. That number is 666.

这里所说的兽,不是地中出来的第二兽,是指第一个兽。这第二个 兽,除了开始的时候,说牠是从地里出来之後,跟著说的,多是前面的 兽。这宗教的兽,躲在第一个兽的背後,有非常强大的影响力,却不要 引人注目。牠鼓动人去跟随第一个兽。
The beast mentioned here is not the second beast that came out of the earth but the first beast. The only time that the second beast was referred to was in the beginning when it said that it came out of the earth, all the other comments are about the first beast. This religious beast that hides behind the first beast; though inconspicuous, has very strong influential powers. It encouraged the people to follow the first beast.

很多人浪费时间在找谁是六六六。根据这里的话,在最後的时间, 会有人知道这兽是哪个帝国。我们不用伤脑筋去计算。因为:
Many people waste time trying to figure out who is the number 666. According to what it says here, during the end times, there will be some people who will know which empire is the beast. We shouldn’t bother to calculate who it is, because:

(一)计算它没有意义。它只是告诉我们人间最大的力量。6是人之 数。666是人中的极品数。正如7是神的计划与行动的完全数。 70 x 7 是神最完全的计划行动。又如12,是全民的数目, 12 x 12 x 1000是全 民的完整数、精英数。666也只表示是人间最大力量、最精明的组合。
(1) Calculating who it is is meaningless. It is just telling us about a great power among the people. 6 is the number of man. 666 is the number that represents the elite among the people. Like 7 is the number that represents God’s plan of action; 70 x 7 is the complete plan of action of God. The number 12 represents the entire population, 12 x 12 x 1000 is the number that signifies the completeness of the whole entire population, the number of the elite. Thus, the number 666 only represents the strongest power among men, an elite assembly.

(二)计算名字数目要用古代的文字纔正确。在希伯来文、希腊文、 拉丁文时代,还没有阿拉伯数字出现,所以数字都用字母代替。现在却 没有人用字母来算数。用英、法、德文来计算它,都不会得到正确的数 目,因为这些文字的字母,并没有数目的含意。
(2) Calculating names with numbers requires it to be done with ancient characters in order for it to be accurate. During the times when the Hebrew, Greek and Latin languages were used, there were no Arabic numbers yet; therefore the numbers used were all letters from the alphabet. Nowadays, no one uses letters of the alphabet to compute. Using English, French or German alphabet to calculate the number would not be accurate at all, because the letters of the alphabet of those languages do not contain any numerical meanings.

(叁)这是一个「帝国」,不是一个人物。所以说它代表希特拉、尼录 等,都不正确。因为这兽不是指某人,不应该花时间去计算是谁。经文 也没有告诉我们要用字母来算他们的数目。在希伯来文中,「弥赛亚」是 358,「蛇」也是358。这样的数字有意义吗?
(3) This is an “empire”, it is not a person. Therefore, saying that it represents Hitler or Nero is incorrect; because the beast does not refer to a specific person. People should not waste their time trying to compute who that person is. Besides, the scriptures do not tell us to use letters of the alphabet to calculate their numbers. In Hebrew, “Messiah” is number 358; “snake” is also number 358. Do those numbers make any sense?

是哪一个宗教?
WHICH RELIGION IS IT?

马丁路德、加尔文等都认为,兽是指天主教,现在还有人这样想。 这种解释不準确,因为十七章「大淫妇」就是天主教,因为他们拜偶像。 大淫妇骑在兽之上(得罗马帝国的支持),所以她就不是兽。启示录中每 一个角色都清楚分别,不应该混为一谈。
Martin Luther and Calvin believed the beast was the Catholic Church. There are still people who think that way. That explanation is inaccurate because “the great prostitute” in chapter 17 is the Catholic Church due to the fact that they worship idols. The great prostitute was sitting on the beast (It had the support of the Roman Empire); therefore, the Catholic Church is not the beast. The different characters in the book of Revelation are clearly stated; they should not be mixed up.

这头宗教的兽是回教。因为可兰经里面的神「阿拉」,与希伯来文的 神相彷。可兰经的内容,好些与圣经相似。所以向回教徒传福音,最好 不是反对可兰经,而是引用可兰经。正如向犹太人传福音,要懂得引用 旧约圣经一样。可兰经的福音内容,比旧约希伯来文圣经更清楚。因为 它除了旧约的材料,还有新约的资料。里面讲到马利亚童女生子,耶稣 是弥赛亚,是道成肉身的,没有犯过罪,是由圣灵感孕,也没有肉身的 父等。所以向回教徒传福音,引用可兰经最有效。
The religious beast is Islam, because the god “Allah” from the Koran is similar to the word God in the Hebrew language. The content of the Koran are in some instances similar to the Bible. Therefore, in sharing the Gospel with Muslims, the best way is not to be against the Koran but to quote from the Koran. Just as knowing how to quote from the Old Testament when sharing the Gospel with the Jews. The Gospel content in the Koran is clearer than the Old Testament Hebrew Bible, because it not only contains data from the Old Testament but also from the New Testament. In the Koran there is mention of the Virgin Mary who gave birth to a child, of Jesus as the Messiah, the Word became flesh, who never sinned, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, and did not have a worldly father, etc. Therefore, the best way to evangelize to the Muslims is using the Koran.

回教徒大部分重视传统,只关心每天、每礼拜、每年要做甚麽事, 只重视规条,像当日法利赛人一样。他们的问题不是教义的问题,是人 问题,不是他们教义邪恶,乃是他们的假先知邪恶。他们像说神的话, 但说的却是大红龙撒但的话。
Most Muslims value their traditions; they are very concerned about the rituals that they have to perform every day, every week and every year, like the Pharisees in the old days. Their problem is not their doctrine but their people; is not that their teachings were evil, but that their false prophets were wicked. They seemed to be preaching God’s Word but actually they were speaking the words of the dragon, Satan.

在塔利班崩溃的时候,可以看见他们的领袖奥马尔Omar所过的 生活。他的住宅可说穷奢极侈,水晶的天花板,大理石的墙壁。他家外 面周围,是贫苦的阿富汗人。他要求群众过简单的生活,他自己却利用 人的宗教热情去鱼肉他们。这就是假先知的所为。
When the Taliban collapsed, people were able to see what kind of life their leader Omar had led. His residence was extremely extravagant, it had crystal ceilings and walls made out of marble. The people who lived outside his mansion were poverty stricken Afghans. He demanded the people to live simple lives, and used their religious fervor to cruelly oppress them. That is what false prophets do.

有智慧聪明。似乎是鼓励人去计算,像要人认出他们。其实这里表 示,辨认敌神的王国,还是有困难的,会受蒙骗。是要有聪明智慧纔能 认出他们。我们要记得,不是以能力或言语来分辨,是以生命来分辨。
“This calls for wisdom.” Apparently, it seems to be encouraging the people to calculate the number in order to recognize who they are. Actually, here it indicates that it is going to be difficult to recognize the empire that is against God, it could be deceiving. Wisdom and intelligence are needed to recognize them. We have to remember that in order to distinguish them we will need to look at their lives, not at their abilities or at their speech.