CHAPTER XXXVII – Revelation 启示录 17:8-17 – 注定要灭亡的国 THE EMPIRE DOOMED TO PERISH

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 XXXVII

注定要灭亡的国 (启示录17:8-17)

THE EMPIRE DOOMED TO PERISH (REVELATION 17:8-17)

美国对两个国家发展核武很紧张,一是伊朗,一是北韩。近廿年徵 召军队分配他们学的语言,最重要是两个:韩国话与阿拉伯话。但留心 看以色列所关心的,只是伊朗。北韩在圣经末日的舞台上没有地位,伊 朗却占了很多篇幅。

America is very worried about the development of nuclear weapons of two countries, one is Iran and the other one is North Korea. In the last twenty years the army has been training its troops to learn two main languages, Korean and Arabic. But take careful notice that the only country which Israel is concerned about is Iran. North Korea has no place in the Bible, Iran takes up the whole stage during the end times.

在十叁章我们已经看过这兽国的厉害,但这里十七章与後面十九章, 这敌神的帝国仍然占有很重要位置,再过不久,我们就会看见牠在这世 界上的影响力不断扩张。因为神把牠的未来与结局预先告诉我们了。我 们预先知道,就不会受迷惑。

In chapter 13 we have already seen how brutal the empire of the beast is; but here in chapter 17 and the later part of chapter 19, this empire enemy of God will continue to hold a very important position; in the near future, we will see that its influence in this world will continue to expand. Because God has told us beforehand its future and its outcome, we will not be deceived.

受地上人景仰的国

THE EMPIRE THAT THE PEOPLE OF THE WORLD WILL ADMIRE

8你所看见的兽,先前有,如今没有,将要从无底坑里上 来,又要归於沉沦。凡住在地上,名字从创世以来,没有记在 生命册上的,见先前有、如今没有,以後再有的兽,就必希奇。

8 The beast, which you saw, once was, now is not, and yet will come up out of the Abyss and go to its destruction. The inhabitants of the earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the creation of the world will be astonished when they see the beast, because it once was, now is not, and yet will come.

牠叫住在地上的人希奇。在十叁章的时候,牠能够叫全世界的人希 奇、崇拜、跟从。牠能叫那些以这世界为家,名字不在天国公民册上的 人,都崇拜这帝国的成功,跟随这帝国的投资方式。

The inhabitants of the earth will be astonished when they see the beast. In chapter 13, it could make the whole world to be filled with wonder, follow and worship the beast. It could make those inhabitants of the earth, whose names have not been written in the book of life, to worship the success of this empire and to follow its manner of investment.

在这里描写牠的时候,特别说牠是「先前有,如今没有,将要从无 底坑上来」。天使所指的是後面复活的头。末世的时候,撒但与最恶的 天使被释放,从无底坑里释放出来。

Here its description is very particular, it says that it “once was, now is not, and yet will come up out of the Abyss.” The angel is describing the head that became alive later on. At the end of the world, Satan and the most evil of the spirits will be set free and will be coming out from bottomless pit.

短暂的帝国

AN EMPIRE OF SHORT DURATION

9智慧的心在此可以思想,那七头… 10 是七个王朝,五 个已经倾倒,一个还在,一个还没有来到,牠来的时候,必须 暂时存留。11那先前有,如今没有的兽,就是第八个,牠也和 那七个同列,并且归於沉沦。

9 “This calls for a mind with wisdom. The seven heads… 10 they are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; but when he does come, he must remain for only a little while. 11 The beast who once was, and now is not, is an eighth king. He belongs to the seven and is going to his destruction.

圣经没有说哪一个国家的名字,所以我们只能根据各处经文的描写 来推论。要记得这兽不是一个人,不是敌基督那大罪人。因为无论是谁 都不可能复活,撒但没有生命的权柄,牠只能杀死人,不能使人复活。 这兽是敌神的帝国,所以可以复活。

The Bible does not mention the specific name of a nation; therefore, we can only come to a reasonable conclusion by examining different passages in the Bible. Remember that the beast is not a specific person; it is not the antichrist, the man of lawlessness, because no one can come back to life. Satan does not have authority over life; he can only kill, he cannot give life to anyone. The beast is the nation that is against God; therefore, it can come back to life.

过去已经灭国的帝国中,埃及已经失去它的文化、语言;亚述与巴 比伦人已经灭种;希腊、罗马也失去文化、地位,语言也只剩下字母, 也是弱小的国,不可能复活;只有波斯在第四世纪曾经复活,现在波斯 人,就是伊朗人仍然存在,文化语言仍然强盛,是亚拉伯国家中异数。

From the empires that have fallen, Egypt has lost its culture and language, Assyria and Babylon are extinct, Greece and Rome have also lost their culture and their status, only their alphabet is left and they have become a weak nation, they could never flourish again. Only Persia came back to life in the fourth century, Persians are the Iranians of today; their language and their culture is still rich and powerful that distinguishes it from the other Arab countries.

那七个头我们已经听多了。七个头是七个王朝,代表七个时代的敌 神帝国。我们应该也知道是哪几个了。前面六个已经过去了。

We have heard a lot about the seven heads which are seven empires; they represent seven eras of empires that are enemies of God. We already know which seven they are, the first six have already passed.

前面的帝国都有相当长时间逼迫神的子民,看这些国的长度,不是 看王朝有多长,乃是看压迫神的子民的时间有多久。像埃及上千年,但 欺压神子民时间只有四百多年;罗马帝国也上千年,但逼迫神子民时间 也只叁几百年。但後面这王朝更是非常的短。而且在这非常短的时间里 面,居然还有两个朝代的变动。因为还出了第八个,与前面七个同列。

These previous empires oppressed God’s people for a very long time. When we look at how long these empires have lasted we do not take into consideration how long they ruled but how long they persecuted God’s people. Egypt, for example, has a history of thousands of years but they oppressed God’s people only for about 400 years. The Roman Empire also had a history of more than a thousand years but they only persecuted God’s people for about 300 years. But this empire that appears later on is very short. Furthermore, during this very short time, there are unexpected changes among these two reigns, because an eighth one appears which belongs to the seven.

所以第十节说牠「必须暂时存留」,意思是只存在很短的时间,只出 现几年的光芒。

That is why verse 10 says, “He must remain only for a little while”. That means he will only exist for a very short time, only for a few years.

十个领袖人物

TEN LEADERS

12你所看见的那十角,就是十王。他们还没有得国,但他 们一时之间,要和兽同得权柄与王一样。13他们同心合意,将 自己的能力权柄给那兽。

12 “The ten horns you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but who for one hour will receive authority as kings along with the beast. 13 They have one purpose and will give their power and authority to the beast.

这里有十个领袖人物,都是国家领导人。他们必定同时在十个小国 掌权,这就是「一时之间」之意。但到了时候,将会达成协议,把十个国 联合起来,成一个联邦国。看欧洲卅多个国家联合,国民互相来往,不 需签證,用统一货币。虽然好像不是很成功,但至少比苏联的共产模式 好多了,给了他们一个可作参考的榜样。他们的联合可能更加的紧密。

Here there are ten leaders; they are a country’s head-of-state. They will rule ten small nations at the same time. This is the meaning of “one hour”. But when the time comes, they will reach an agreement and the ten nations will get together and form an alliance. Take a look at the European Alliance of more than thirty countries, the citizens of those countries come and go without the need of a visa and they use the same currency. Although this ruling system doesn’t seem very successful, it is much better than the communist regime used by the Soviet Union. It is a model which they could use as a reference. Their union will have stronger ties.

再看古代波斯国的版图,现在包含有十个国家,正符合「十角」,就 是十王的描写。十个角,就是在最後那个帝国出现的时候,同时执政的 十个王。在今天,可能称为总统,或别的头衔。根据但以理书的解释方 法,十个角就是十个人物。

Taking another look at the territory of the Persian Empire in ancient times, at present, it contains ten countries, which corresponds exactly to the “ten horns”, which are the ten kings. The ten horns are the ten kings that appear at the time that the last empire emerges. In modern terms, they could be called the president of a country, or they might have another title. According to the explanation in the Book of Daniel, the ten horns are ten individuals.

根据十六章十二节,在哈米吉多顿大战时,十王都是从幼发拉底河 的东边来的,正合旧波斯版图所在十国的领导人。

According to chapter 16, verses 12, during the battle of Armageddon, the kings come from the east of the River Euphrates. This corresponds exactly to the location of the ten countries of the ancient Persian territory.

十权合一的国

ONE EMPIRE – THE UNION OF TEN POWERS

17因为神使诸王同心合意遵行祂的旨意,把自己的国给那 兽,直等到神的话都应验了。

17 For God has put it into their hearts to accomplish his purpose by agreeing to hand over to the beast their royal authority, until God’s words are fulfilled.

他们都同心合意交出自己的个人权柄,以大局为重,以这联合的帝 国为重。这样他们给了机会那「大罪人」出头。

They willingly and by mutual agreement gave up their authority to the Empire Union, giving opportunity for the “man of lawlessness” to rise.

这里有两个「给」,或「交出」。第一次在十叁节说,他们同心合意, 将自己的能力、权柄给那兽。第二次到了十七节,他们把「自己的国」给 那兽。整个国家都捨弃,全交给那位大人物,於是就成了第八个帝国。 第七、第八两个帝国都是很短的,可以当作一个来看。反正结局都是一 样,都必定应验神的话,全都归於沉沦。

There are two words here that have the same meaning, “to give” and “to hand over”. The word “give” appears in verse 13, it says that they will give their power and authority to the beast. The word “hand over” appears in verse 17, they “agree to hand over to the beast their royal authority”. The seventh and eighth empires are so short that they could be considered as one. At any rate, their ending will be the same, God’s word will be fulfilled, and they will all be destroyed.

国家合併,可能是艰难的事。看很多小教会,人力、财力都不足, 要生存下去都有困难。尤其是在一些大城市,常有好几个教会都在附近 作垂死的挣扎,如果两叁个小教会联合起来成为一个教会,资源就丰富 多了。但这种联合,却没有机会看得见,大家仍然各自苦苦支撑,誓死 不作联合之举。主耶稣曾对撒但国作出评语:「凡一国自相纷争,必变 为荒场。」言下之意,撒但国里面没有内鬥,牠们一同为著邪恶的目标 同心合作。不知道我们甚麽时候能学到这功课呢?

It is very difficult for countries to unite. There are some small churches that are having trouble surviving due to the lack of manpower and financial resources. In large cities there might be some small churches that are near to each other and are struggling to survive. If two or three of these small churches would join forces into one church, their resources would be more abundant. But this scenario is unlikely to happen as they prefer to retain their individuality no matter what they are going through. Jesus once commented about Satan’s kingdom saying: “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand.” Implying that in Satan’s kingdom there are no internal struggles, everyone works together in one accord towards a wicked and evil target. I wonder when we will learn the lesson.

注定失败的国

THE EMPIRE DOOMED FOR DESTRUCTION

14他们与羔羊争战,羔羊必胜过他们,因为羔羊是万主之 主、万王之王。同著羔羊的就是蒙召被选有忠心的,也必得胜。

14 They will wage war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will triumph over them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings—and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers.”

这个新兴起的霸权大国,得全世界住在地上的人,就是那些不信的 人的拥戴,但不要以为牠全世界都是朋友。因为牠仇视羔羊,与基督为 敌,牠不遗馀力去亵渎神,到处破坏基督的教会,迫害神的儿女。牠也 不会放过那位「大淫妇」,就是拜偶像的大公教会与东正教会。反正在这 帝国眼中,不管是否忠心於基督的人,一律都不会放过。

This new powerful empire had the allegiance of the people of the whole world, the unbelievers; but this empire is not friends with everyone because it waged war against the Lamb, it is Christ’s enemy, it spares no pain or effort to blaspheme God, persecuting the church of Christ, the children of God. It will not show mercy to the “great prostitute”, which is the Catholic Church that worships idols. It will not let go of anyone who stands on its way, no matter if they are loyal to God or not.

16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。

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.

如果人不知道这兽有多重的身份,真的不会明白,为甚麽有一段时 间,这兽让大淫妇骑在其上,转眼间又恨她,积极对付她,孤立她,攻 打她,烧毁她。原来当这兽代表大罗马的时候,是支持她、高捧她的。 到了末後,牠又代表另一个帝国大波斯联盟,态度完全不同了,牠绝对 不容许有传播基督教教义的国家存在。

If the people did not know about the many identities of the beast, they wouldn’t truly understand why, for a time being, the beast permitted the great prostitute to sit on her, and suddenly turn around to hate her, actively oppose her, isolate her, attack her, burn and destroy her. So, actually, as it turns out, during the time that the beast represented Rome, it supported her and put her on high. During the end times, it will represent another empire, the Persian Alliance; its attitude will change completely, it will absolutely be against any nation that teaches Christian doctrines.

不过在神的计划之中,牠只有很短时间的威权。牠虽然看起来很成 功。对内,几乎统一所有回教国家;对外,全世界不信主的人,都佩服 这短时间崛起的枭雄。牠也在对付大淫妇的事上有非凡的成就,梵帝冈 将会被牠瓦解,彻底消灭。但事实上,牠的结局是失败的,牠将会失败 在神的手里,也被基督忠心的门徒所打败。

But in God’s plan, it will only have authority for a very short period of time. Though this ambitious and ruthless character may seem very successful; inwardly, unifying all the Islamic nations; outwardly, getting the admiration of all the unbelievers of this world, handling the great prostitute in an unusually successful way, bringing the Vatican to its total collapse and ultimate destruction. In reality, it will ultimately be defeated in the hands of God, overpowered by Christ’s faithful followers.

谋事在人成事在天

MAN PROPOSES BUT GOD DISPOSES

17因为神使诸王同心合意,遵行祂的旨意,把自己的国给 那兽,直等到神的话都应验了。

7 For God has put it into their hearts to accomplish his purpose by agreeing to hand over to the beast their royal authority, until God’s words are fulfilled.

我们看见「神使诸王遵行祂的旨意」,也看见「神的话都应验了」。原 来这十个大人物所做出来的决定,都跟神的旨意有关,都应验了神话语 中预告的事。世上许多不信的人不知不觉之中,帮助完成了神计划中的 事,还天真地认为他们有极大的能力,能掌握未来的前途,他们相信人 定胜天,可以凭自己的才幹智慧,改变国家人民,操控自己的命运。

We can see that “God has put into their hearts to accomplish his purpose…until God’s words are fulfilled”. Actually, the decisions made by these ten leaders had to do with God’s will, fulfilling God’s words. Many people in this world who are unbelievers have helped accomplish God’s plan without knowing it; naively thinking that they were the ones who had the power to control their own future, they believe they could conquer nature and change the people of a nation using their own abilities and intelligence and change their destiny.

这个兽的号码是六六六,就是人中的精英。这个国家的领袖人物, 都是满有聪明智慧的人,他们的才幹胆色高过一般的人。他们也心高气 傲,以为全世界的人都敌不过他们。

The number of the beast is 666, which is the number of the elite. The leader of this nation is very clever, more able than any other person; he is proud and arrogant and thinks that no one in the world could resist him.

谁知「王的心在耶和华手中如陇沟的水,随意流转。」(箴21:1)沟里 面的水,以为自己怎样转就怎样Who would have thought that, “In the Lord’s hand the king’s heart is a stream of water that he channels toward all who please him.” (Proverbs 21:1) The water in a ravine thinks that it can flow whichever way it wants to but it is actually just following the way the ravine is formed.

就像坐邮轮的人,在船上可以随自己心意做事。可以去健身室,也 可以躺在水池旁边曬太阳;可以吃冰淇淋,也可以只喝热茶。真是随心 所欲。不过无论做甚麽,无论是努力还是懒惰,总是要到计划中所定好 的地方。到了目的地,还是要下船的。

It is like going on a cruise, you can do whatever you like on the ship. You can go to the gym, or you can lie by the pool to get some sun, you can eat ice cream or you can just drink hot tea. You can truly follow your heart’s desires. But no matter what you do, you will be arriving to your destination and will have to get off the ship.

看起来好像是我们所说的「命运」。有不相信命运,那要看说的命运 跟圣经说的命运是不是一样。中东这个国肯定要灭亡,那个宗教肯定要 丢进火湖里。这就是牠的命运。不单这样,全世界的人都命定要死,因 为「按著定命,人人都有一死,死後且有审判。」(来9:27) 这是每个人的 命运。因为世人都犯了罪。「信祂的人不被定罪,不信的罪已经定了。」 不是将要被定罪,乃是罪已经定了。不信者的命运就是等死。

It is like the “fate” we talk about. Some don’t believe in fate, in that case we have to look to see if it is the same thing as what the Bible says. This Middle Eastern nation will definitely be destroyed, that religion will for certain be thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, which is its fate. Not only that, the whole world is destined to die, because “people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment.” (Hebrew 9:27). That is the fate of every human being, because all have sinned. “Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already.” It does not say that whoever believes will be condemned in the future but that whoever does not believe stands condemned already. The destiny of the unbeliever is death.

这末世兽国的精英人物,至死不悟,以为凭自己的聪明才智,可以 改变命运。人以为可以努力靠自己,成为成功人士,就死而无憾了。却 不知道唯一能改变人命运的行动,就是悔改信耶稣。

This elite character that belongs to the beast empire, who will never repent even at death’s door, will believe that he can change his destiny by relying on his own intelligence and wittiness. People believe that as long as they work hard on something and become successful they will die without any thing to regret. They don’t know that the only action that can change their destiny is to repent and to believe in Jesus Christ.

悔改,表示真的谦卑,知道自己有所不能,回头倚靠神。人的自以 为是,带来很可怕的後果。始祖犯罪,因为他们以为可以像神一样有智 慧,可以应付受咒诅的情况。

Repentance indicates true humility, acknowledging that you are helpless, turning to God and trusting in Him alone. Believing that you are self-righteous will bring dreadful consequences. Our first ancestors sinned because they believed they could become as wise as God and that they could cope with being cursed.

近代很多白领阶级的罪犯,他们都要坐牢,不过他们知道监狱中的 黑暗,所以都先花钱找律师帮忙,藉著多花钱,可以住上等的监狱。医 院、监狱都像旅馆,只要多花钱就可以有五星级的服务。世界之子都懂 得为未来做安排。人如果聪明,就会谦卑自己,早作安排,接受耶稣基 督的救恩,改变人生的命运。不要等到死後纔发现,原来圣经所说的是 真的,那时纔发现就太晚了。

Nowadays, there are many white collar criminals who have to do time in prison. They know the dark side of what goes on in the jails so they hire a lawyer to arrange for them to live in a higher class prison. Hospitals and prisons can be like hotels as long as you are willing to pay large amounts of money you will have five-star accommodations. The sons of the world know how to plan ahead for the future. If people were wise, they would humble themselves, and make preparations for the future, receive Jesus’ salvation, and change their destiny. Do not wait until after death to find out that whatever was written in the Bible is true, because by then it will be too late.

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