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).
THE GREAT PROSTITUTE (REVELATION 17:1-6)
启示录有很多个角色，每一个角色都很鲜明。只要不混淆，就很容 易明白。要分清楚海兽、羊头兽、大淫妇、大红龙、假先知、大巴比伦 等角色。有人全当作是敌基督，或看为是当时以色列人的死对头罗马。 就越读越糊塗了。
Revelation has many characters and each character is very distinct. As long as we do not get the characters confused, it is very easy to understand. Each character has its own uniqueness: The beast from the sea, the beast that had horns like a lamb, the great prostitute, the red dragon, the false prophet, the great Babylon, etc. Some believe all those characters to be the Antichrist or Israel’s greatest enemy at that time, which was Rome; so as they study these passages, they get more confused.
十二章曾出现一位高贵妇人，以太阳、月亮、星辰为装饰，她是代 表旧约的教会。基督以致新约的教会，都从她出来。在这一章里面的大 淫妇，与高贵的妇人，那旧约教会，是一个强烈的对比。这淫妇也是一 个妇人，所以也是教会。但她到底是怎麽样的教会？
Previously in chapter 12, a great sign appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. She represented the Old Testament church. Christ and the New Testament church came out from her. There is a very strong contrast between the great prostitute from this chapter and the woman from chapter 12 who represents the Old Testament church. The prostitute is also a woman; therefore, it also represents a church. But what kind of church is she?
首先要知道，大淫妇并不代表某一个人。启示录的特色是，整本书 从来没有预言个别的人。没有说海兽或地兽是一个人，也没有说两个见 證者是两个人。所以大淫妇不是某一个人，而是某一个团体。
First we have to make clear that the great prostitute does not represent a certain person. A distinguished feature in the book of Revelation is that none of the characters in this book represent a certain person. It does not say that the beast from the sea or the beast from the earth represents a certain person and nowhere in this book does it say that the two witnesses are two people. Therefore, the great prostitute is not a person but an organization.
如果这位淫妇是神的敌人，也不会称为淫妇。因为淫妇的意思是： 名义上属於主，但跟从别的主、跟随别的宗教行动。所以｢淫妇｣所代表 的团体，是名义上属於基督的教会，但所作所为却羞辱主的名。所以她 绝不是敌基督，也不是属於十国联盟敌神帝国的成员。
If this prostitute was an enemy of God, she wouldn’t be called a prostitute. The meaning of prostitute is that she originally belonged to the Lord, but followed other lords, followed the movements of other religions. Therefore, the “prostitute” represents an organization that by name belongs to Christ’s church but her conduct and her actions dishonor the Lord’s name. That is why she is definitely not the Antichrist, or a member of the 10-nation alliance of the empire enemy of God.
HAS A HUGE ARRAY OF RESOURCES
1 Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and spoke with me, saying, “Come here, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters.
15 And he said to me, “The waters which you saw where the harlot sits, are peoples and multitudes and nations and tongues.
People from many nations of the world will obey her. Her members are scattered all over the world, talented scholars, artists, experts in different fields, politicians. She will have many resources around the globe.
HAS MANY PARTNERS
2 with whom the kings of the earth committed acts of immorality and those who dwell on the earth were made drunk with the wine of her immorality.
地上的统治阶层与她配合，建设拜偶像的地方。地上其他的人，因 为他们对偶像崇拜的策划，都沉迷在异教方式的敬拜里。问题是，那些 全都是｢住在地上｣的人。
The rulers of the world cooperated with her to establish a place for idol worship. The rest of the world was also engrossed in their heresy. The problem was that all those people were the ones who “dwelled on the earth”.
｢住在地上｣与｢住在天上｣相对。住在地上的人，是不认识神的人， 他们的名字不在羔羊的生命册上。属於神的人，被称为｢住在天上｣ (13:6)的人。他们虽然在地上，但不以世界为他们的家，不以拥有世界 的东西为荣。他们行事不跟随世界人的风俗。
“Dwelling on the earth” and “living in heaven” are opposites. Those who dwell on the earth are those who do not know God; their names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb. Those who belong to God are called “those who live in heaven” (13:6). Though they live on the earth, this world is not their home, they do not deem having material things of the world to be their glory. They do not follow the practices of this world.
OPERATES AT A LARGE SCALE
3 And he carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness.
18 The woman whom you saw is the great city, which reigns over the kings of the earth.
In Revelation the wilderness symbolizes the world. We are living temporarily in this wilderness, waiting to enter the land of Canaan, the Promised Land, our eternal home.
她的活动範围全部在这世界，整个世界是她的地盘。不过要被圣灵 感动，纔看见她的活动範围，因为可能在表面上，她是为天国办事。不 过事实上，她是做地上的事。她是在管理世界各地的领导人。
All her operations are performed in this world; the whole earth is part of her territory. But this can only be seen with the help of the Holy Spirit. On the surface it might appear that she is working for the kingdom of heaven, but in reality, she is conducting worldly matters, she is controlling the rulers of the whole earth.
HAS INFLUENCE AND THE SUPPORT OF MANY
3 I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast, full of blasphemous names, having seven heads and ten horns.
9 Here is the mind which has wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits,
10 and they are seven kings (seven empires); five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; and when he comes, he must remain a little while.
她骑在那七头十角的兽上面，那头兽就是十叁章从海里出来的兽， 我们已经看过，那七个头代表历史上七个敌对神子民的帝国王朝。第十 节告诉我们，｢五个王朝已经倒了｣，就是埃及、亚述、巴比伦、波斯、 希腊，｢一个还在｣，那就是在约翰的时候，还存在的罗马。
The beast with seven heads and ten horns which the woman sits on is the beast that came out of the sea that we have already seen in chapter 13. The seven heads represent the seven empires that have ruled over the world throughout history. Verse 10 says that “five have fallen”, which are Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia and Greece, “one is”, which was the Roman empire during the times of John.
这女人骑在兽上，是罗马，第六个头当权的时候。罗马帝国是唯一 一个压迫神子民，後来却大力支持教会的帝国。它所支持的教会，就是 罗马大公教，我们称之为天主教。
The beast that the woman is sitting on is Rome, it is the sixth head when it was holding power. The Roman Empire was the only one that at first oppressed God’s people fiercely and later only supported the church energetically. The church that it supported was the Roman Catholic Church, which we call Catholic Church.
这里还有一句隐藏的玄机，所以说：｢智慧的心可以思想。｣她是座 落在｢七山｣之上。梵帝冈所在的城，名字就是｢七山之城｣。这绝对不是 碰巧，乃是神预先知道将会用甚麽地方建立他们的总部。
There is a special sentence here which says: “Here is the mind which has wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits.” The Vatican is also called “the city of seven hills”. This is not a coincidence; God knew beforehand where they would set up their headquarters.
The beast was full of blasphemous names. People blasphemed God during every era but only during this very short period of time did they give full support to the church, they put the church in a pedestal.
HAS A LUXURIOUS AND LICENTIOUS LIFE
4 The woman was clothed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a gold cup full of abominations and of the unclean things of her immorality.
The woman was clothed in purple and scarlet. Purple clothing was worn by royalty. Scarlet clothing was worn by rich people. She was adorned with gold, precious stones and pearls, very expensive stuff. She lived in luxury.
这一位失贞的妇人，是跟随世界的淫妇。她想给人看，她也是高贵 的妇人，因为她穿著｢紫色和朱红色的衣服，用金子、宝石、珍珠为妆 饰｣。就像很多人用开豪华房车，穿名牌衣服，来宣示他们的身份。
This adulterous woman followed the ways of the world; she also wanted to show the world that she was a noble woman because she was clothed “in purple and scarlet, gold, precious stones and pearls”. Like people who want to show off their status by driving a luxurious car and wearing brand name clothing.
但是人高贵与否，不在外面的装饰。她的｢杯中盛满了可憎之物， 就是她淫乱的污秽｣。那纔是她的真面目。在神眼中，最高贵的乃是生 命上、生活上的高贵。她手拿的是金杯，外表华丽，但是里面，却装了 可憎之物。她整个历史纪录，就是淫乱、拜偶像、直到末世，都不愿意 悔改。
But whether or not a person is noble does not depend on their outward appearance. She had “in her hand a gold cup full of abominations and of the unclean things of her immorality,” that was her true identity. In God’s eyes what counts is a noble life. She was holding a gold cup, which from the outside looked striking but the inside of her cup was filled with abominations and unclean things of her immorality. She lived a life of promiscuity and idol worshiping until the end, yet she never repented of her sin.
｢杯｣是指一种经验、经历。耶稣曾问门徒：｢我所喝的杯，你们能 喝吗？｣就是说，我的经历，你们能够经历吗？喝主的杯，就是受主所 受的苦。因为主的杯满了受苦的经历。主说：｢凡跟从我的，都要背上 十架。｣与主一同受苦，纔能与主同得荣耀。
A “cup” represents an experience. Jesus once asked his disciples: “Are you able to drink the cup that I am drinking?” In other words, “Can you go through or experience what I am going through?” To drink the Lord’s cup is to experience His suffering. The Lord’s cup is full of suffering experiences. The Lord said: “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” If we share in the Lord’s suffering, we share in His glory.
旧约圣经多处指明，拜偶像的以色列就是淫妇。拜偶像与行淫，常 是连在一起说的。所以犹太人被掳之後，再也不敢拜偶像，因为亡国之 痛，对他们是很大的警告。所以这二千年来，他们一个偶像都没有。以 色列人已经学到教训，知道原来神最不喜悦人拜偶像。十诫清楚说，不 可雕刻偶像，也不可拜偶像，包括耶稣、马利亚的偶像在内。
In the Bible, whenever Israel worships idols, she is called a prostitute. Committing adultery and worshiping idols are interconnected. That is why, after the Israelites were taken into captivity, they dare not worship idols ever again for their suffering was a warning to them. As a result, they have not had any idols in the past two thousand years. The Israelites have learned their lesson; they know that the one thing that God detests the most is idol worshiping. The Ten Commandments clearly say, “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them.” And that includes images of Jesus and Mary.
TEACHINGS THAT POLLUTE THE WORLD
5 The name written on her forehead was a mystery: babylon the great the mother of prostitutes and of the abominations of the earth.
The prostitutes during the times of the Roman Empire had to tie a piece of cloth on their foreheads with their names written on it so people would know their status at first sight by the way they were dressed.
她的身份一方面很明显，因为在她额上有一个详细的名称。但另一 方面也是不容易看出来，因为是一个奥秘。这个奥秘早在耶利米先知的 时候出现，但那时候不知道是指甚麽人。到约翰的时候，也不知道是指 哪些人。因为那时候，还没有出现，是个奥秘。
On one hand, her status was clear to everyone because her name was written in detail on her forehead. But, on the other hand, it was not easily distinguished due to the fact that it was a mystery. This mystery had appeared early during the times of the prophet Jeremiah, but at that time it was unclear about who it was referring to. During the times of John they still did not know who it was. It was still a mystery.
The great prostitute had another name; she was also called “Babylon the great”. We know that the Babylonian empire had long been gone and it will never reappear and all the Chaldeans are extinct.
古代巴比伦是个国家，这里所说的巴比伦，却是一个大城。所以也 是一个奥秘。从这点上也知道，这不是在说古代的巴比伦，一定是另有 所指。所以这｢大巴比伦｣，其实就是这位｢大淫妇｣。她是污染世界的源 头，让世人沉迷於拜偶像的信仰。
Ancient Babylon was a nation, but the Babylon mentioned here is a city; therefore, it is also a mystery. From this point we can see that here it is not talking about ancient Babylon; it definitely points to something else. Thus, “Babylon the great” is actually the “great prostitute”. She is the source of the contamination of this world, leading the people to be engrossed in idol worship.
REGARDING THE PROPHESY OF BABYLON THE GREAT
耶利米书51:7：｢巴比伦是耶和华手里的金杯，使全地人喝醉。｣ 这大淫妇使人犯罪，失去理性，使人癫狂。她错误地带领人到灭亡的路 上。到了下一章第十八章，有声音吩咐神的众子民要离开巴比伦大城。 又说：｢巴比伦大城倾倒了、倾倒了。｣这些关於巴比伦衰落的话，全部 都是从耶利米先知的预言来的。
Jeremiah 51:7: “Babylon was a gold cup in the Lord’s hand; she made the whole earth drunk.” This great prostitute made the people commit adultery, made them loose their reasoning, made them deranged. Her mistake was to lead people to perdition. In the next chapter, chapter 18, there is a voice commanding all the people of God to leave the great city of Babylon. It also says: “The great city of Babylon will be thrown down, never to be found again.” All these words about the fall of Babylon come from the prophecies of Jeremiah.
启示录里面所记载关於巴比伦的异象，原来都是古代众先知们所见 过或听过的。耶利米、撒迦利亚、但以理的时候，已经见过这些异象。 耶利米先知被掳到巴比伦之後，就发预言说：巴比伦必受审判。
The visions recorded in Revelation regarding Babylon were originally seen or heard by many prophets from ancient times. Jeremiah, Zechariah and Daniel had already seen these visions. After the prophet Jeremiah was taken captive to Babylon, he already prophesied that Babylon was going to be judged.
其实他所接收到的信息，是关於末後的巴比伦，不是当时的巴比伦 帝国。他宣告末世的大淫妇的倾倒。当时巴比伦必像所有国家一样的衰 落，并不希奇。只有末世的大淫妇的倾倒，纔是一个大奥秘。
Actually, the message that he got was regarding the Babylon of the last days; it was not about the Babylonian empire at that time. He proclaimed the fall of the great prostitute during the end of the world. At that time, it wouldn’t have been unusual for Babylon to fade like every other country. But for the great prostitute of the end of times to fall, that was indeed a great mystery.
THE EVIL THINGS SHE HAS DONE
6 I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of God’s holy people, the blood of those who bore testimony to Jesus.
The prostitute is not an outsider but an evil one from inside the family. She is a betrayer that loves worldly power; it is the counterfeit church that is looking to establish a heavenly kingdom using worldly ways.
From the words “the woman was drunk with the blood of God’s holy people, the blood of those who bore testimony to Jesus,” we know that she is the Roman Catholic Church from the middle ages that killed many dissidents (the Catholic Church).
There is more than one place where we can see that Babylon the great or the great prostitute is the Roman Catholic Church.
(1) 她曾得七头十角的兽的支持。从第叁节看见，她曾骑在朱红色 的兽上。表示她曾得到罗马帝国的支持。也得到帝国所给的权力，掌生 杀大权，把不同意见的人处死。
(1) She originally had the support of the beast with seven heads and ten horns. From verse 3 we can see she sat on a scarlet beast; which means that she had the support of the Roman Empire at some point. She had great authority given by the empire to kill those who disagreed with her.
(2) 她後来又受到兽的冷落与对付。十六节：｢你所看见的那十角与 兽，必恨这淫妇，使她冷落赤身，又要喫她的肉，用火将她烧尽。｣她 早先得罗马帝国的支持，但後来时移势易，末後的兽国，已经不是罗马 帝国，是另一个十国联盟的政权，兴起来对付她，与她为敌。这种先前 为友，後来为敌，只有曾受罗马帝国支持的教会，纔遇到这样的情形。
(2) Later on, she was hated and brought to ruin by the beast. Verse 16: “The beast and the ten horns you saw will hate the prostitute. They will bring her to ruin and leave her naked; they will eat her flesh and burn her with fire.” In the beginning she had the support of the Roman Empire, but later on there was a change of power. The empire during the end times is not going to be the Roman Empire but a political power made of the alliance of ten nations. This alliance of ten nations will go against her, they will be her enemy. The circumstances of first being friends and later on becoming enemies happened only to the church that originally had the support of the Roman Empire.
(3) 她是｢坐在七山之上｣的。梵帝冈的所在，就是在称为｢七山｣的 地方。她在义大利国境里面，自称是一个国家，自称是天国，却只有一 个城市那麽大。
(3) She “sits on seven hills”. The location of the Vatican is called the “City of Seven Hills”. It is located in Italy and it calls itself an independent state, there is only one such big city.
(4) 她虽然是一个城市，却是早期干涉各国王权的组织。後来罗马 帝国倾倒之後，仍在管理全世界教会事务的地方。十八节：｢你所看见 的那女人，就是管辖地上众王的大城。｣ 她穿著紫色衣服，表示她有帝王的权力；穿朱红色衣服，表示她有 豪华的享受，她所有的宝石装饰，證明她有皇后的身份。在第十八章七 节，她也对自己说：｢我坐了皇后的位，并不是寡妇。｣
(4) Although she is a city, she has used royal authority to intervene in the affairs of many countries early in history. Even after the fall of the Roman Empire, she still manages the affairs of the churches throughout the world. Verse 18: “The woman you saw is the great city that rules over the kings of the earth.” She was dressed in purple and scarlet, and was glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls, which means that she had the authority of a king, enjoyed a luxurious lifestyle and had the status of a queen. In chapter 18, verse 7 she boasted in her heart saying: “I sit enthroned as queen. I am not a widow; I will never mourn.”
(5) 她也拥有世界性的资源，她坐在众水之上。十五节：天使又对 我说：｢你所看见那淫妇坐的众水，就是多民、多人、多国、多方。｣她 自己的领土虽然小，她却有世界性的供应，无论学术人才、艺术人才， 她都是丰富的，很多国的人为她卖命。
(5) She also possessed worldwide resources, she sat on many waters. Verse 15: Then the angel said to me, “The waters you saw, where the prostitute sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations and languages.” Though her territory was small, she enjoyed the provision from the whole world. Talented scientists and artistic people from many nations haplessly gave their lives to provide for her in abundance.
(6) 第二节：｢地上的君王与她行淫，住在地上的人，喝醉了她淫乱 的酒。｣这不可能是对罗马帝国的描写。因为她不单自己是淫妇，也是 所有拜偶像风气的源头，影响全世界的国家，能使世界各地的人拜偶像 的，就只有这一个统管全世界教会的大组织。 (6) Verse 2: “With her the kings of the earth committed adultery, and the inhabitants of the earth were intoxicated with the wine of her adulteries.” That could not have been a description of the Roman Empire. Because not only is she a prostitute, but she is also the source of all kinds of idol worship, influencing all the nations of the world. The only unified administration that can make the people of the whole world to worship idols is this huge church organization.