CHAPTER XXXII – Revelation 启示录14:6-20 – 大考验期 A PERIOD OF GREAT TRIALS

 

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 XXXII

大考验期 (启示录14:6-20)
A PERIOD OF GREAT TRIALS (Revelation 14:6-20)

本章有七个天使作出宣告, 宣告的都是极其严重的灾难。所以本章 可以称为考验章,描写地上历世历代所经历最严峻的考验。
In this chapter, seven angels proclaim extremely serious disasters. Therefore, this chapter could be called a chapter of great trials, describing the most severe ordeals ever experienced in the history of the whole earth.

头叁个是天国发展时所遇到的考验,是天国同工们所受的迫害。後 面是末世全地所面对的大灾难,所有这些灾难,天使都预先宣告了。约 翰看见、听见、及记录下来的时候,都是预言。但今天我们看的时候, 大部份已经成了历史。过去与将来的灾难,似乎都有了定数,当最後一 个灾难出现的时候,世界就要完结。
The first three are trials that the co-workers of the kingdom of heaven will experience during the expansion of the Kingdom of Heaven. Then the disasters that the whole earth will face at the end of times will come. That is the message the angels were proclaiming. At that time, what John saw, heard and wrote down was a prophecy; but today, most of those events have already happened, they have become history. The disasters past and future have already been determined and when the last catastrophe happens, it will be the end of this world.

这一章的信息都是由天使宣告出来。这里有多位天使,一个轮著一 个出来,不是由一个天使包揽。这表示不同的天使,负责不同时期,或 负责不同的主题。一个天使与另一个天使之间,也不是连续性的,可能 隔了一段时间。只有先後的关联,没有连续的关係。
The message in this chapter is proclaimed by angels. Many angels appear here one after another, not just one angel. This means that each angel is in charge of a different phase or a different event. The events proclaimed by the angels do not come one right after the other; there is an order of events but they are separated by a time lapse.

头叁位天使是一组,分别宣告教会叁个大的考验期。就是在约翰写 启示录之後,教会共有叁段时期受到严峻的考验。
The first three angels are one group, proclaiming the three different trial periods of the church. After John wrote the book of Revelation, the church suffered three periods of rigorous trials.

福音初传考验期
THE PERIOD OF TRIAL OF THE GOSPEL AS IT SPREAD

6我又看见另有一位天使飞在空中,有永远的福音要传给住 在地上的人,就是各国各族各方各民。7他大声说,应当敬畏神, 将荣耀归给祂,因祂施行审判的时候己经到了,应当敬拜那创 造天、地、海和众水泉源的。
6 Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth—to every nation, tribe, language and people. 7 He said in a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water.”

「永远的福音」。福音开始传扬,是在耶稣基督来到世界之後,施洗 约翰传道说:「天国近了,你们要悔改。」他没有提福音。到耶稣开始传 道的时候纔说:「天国近了,你们要悔改信福音。」 从祂开始传扬的, 叫做福音。所以这里说的是头几个世纪的事。
The “eternal gospel”; the gospel started to spread after Jesus Christ came to earth; John the Baptist said: “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” He did not mention the gospel. Only after Jesus started preaching did He say: “The kingdom of God is at hand, repent and believe in the gospel.” Jesus was the one who started to call it “gospel”. Therefore, the events mentioned here pertain to the first few centuries.

有人说,这不公平,耶稣来了之後,纔有福音。耶稣以前的世代, 没有机会听信福音。不过我们要搞清楚,还没有福音的时代,不表示他 们没有机会认识神。
Some might say that it is not fair that the gospel started after Jesus came to earth. What about those who lived before Jesus’ time, who did not have the opportunity to hear the gospel? Let me clarify something, the fact that there was no gospel before Jesus’ time does not mean that the people did not have the opportunity to know God.

古时的以色列人没有听过福音,亚伯拉罕、雅各、大卫都不知道这 福音,但他们都是属於神的人,敬畏神的人。神无论用甚麽标準接受祂 的子民,我们都不能评论祂的行事方式。
The Israelites in ancient times never heard of the gospel, Abraham, Jacob or David did not know about the gospel, but they all belonged to God, they honored God. We cannot criticize the way God does things, regardless of what standards He uses to accept His people.

世上每一个民族,都要为他们自己的信仰与生活负责任。在洪水之 前,有以诺、挪亚传讲神的道。但世人一意孤行。最後全部受审判。洪 水之後挪亚叁个儿子,各自发展成为大的族裔,今天每种民族,都根源 於这叁个儿子中的一个。
Every ethnic group in this world will have to take responsibility for their own beliefs and their own lives. Before the flood, there was Enoch and Noah proclaiming God’s Word; but the people stubbornly followed their own way of life. At the end, God’s judgment was poured on them. After the flood, Noah’s three sons respectively developed into different races. All the nations of the world originated from Noah’s three sons.

从创世纪十章我们看见,闪族在西亚洲发展,含族迁移到南方的非 洲,雅弗族向世界各地移民,从研究DNA的科学家们推论出来的人种 移民图(STANFORD大学发表),这族人北至欧洲,南至澳洲,东至东 亚洲,甚麽地方都去。各种族裔原来全部都认识神,他们藉著口传,可 以一代一代传下去,人人都应该敬畏神。
From Genesis chapter 10 we can see that Shem expanded towards west Asia, Ham’s descendants migrated south towards Africa and Japheth spread all over the world. According to migration charts made by scientists who study the DNA of different races (published by Stanford University), the clan members of this group went to Europe towards the north, to Australia towards the south and to East Asia towards the east, these clans spread all over the world. Originally, all these races knew God; they used word of mouth to pass on the message that everyone should worship God.

但从後来的历史看,闪族仍是最虔诚的大族,除以色列人、阿拉伯 人仍然敬畏独一神。雅弗的後代中,在巴别塔事件之後,仍然敬畏一神 的,中国人是其中的佼佼者。从甲骨文到秦始皇统一中国的时代,中国 的文字中有很多提到敬拜昊天上帝。
Later on in history, we see that the descendants of Shem revered God the most; besides the Israelites, the Arabs still worship one God. After the event of the Tower of Babel, the descendants of Japheth continued to worship one God, the Chinese are well-known for this. From early Chinese manuscripts until the times of Emperor Qin Shihuang, there is mention of the Chinese people worshipping the Almighty God.

中国称为礼仪之邦,这些礼节是有必要的。就像以色列的律法,是 一种生活指导,教人怎按照规矩行事。孔子解释中国两大礼节,第一是 「郊社之礼,所以事上帝也。」郊社之礼,乃是敬拜神的礼节。另一个是 「宗庙之礼」,是记念先人(不是祭祖)。他说:「践其位、行其礼、奏其 乐、敬其所尊、爱其所亲。」就是要学先人的生活,继承他们的心愿, 遵守他们所守的礼节,喜欢他们所喜欢的音乐,尊敬他们所尊敬的人, 爱他们所亲的人。今天中国人的祭祖,完全走歪了路,变了拜鬼,求这 些鬼魂保佑的迷信行动。
China is called a nation of ceremonial rituals, these rituals are essential. Like the laws that the Israelites have, they serve as a guide for them to live the proper way. Confucius explains the two greatest Chinese ceremonial rituals. The first one, “ceremonies of sacrifices to heaven and earth” is the ceremony for worshiping God. The other one is “the ceremony of the ancestral temple” which is done to remember their ancestors, not to offer sacrifices to them. He said: “Honor your forefathers, practice their ceremonies, and perform their music. Reverence those whom you honor, and love those whom you regard with affection.” That is, to learn from the lives of our ancestors, to carry on their aspirations, to observe their ceremonies, to enjoy the music that they liked, respect the people our ancestors respected and love the people that they loved. Nowadays, Chinese people are remembering their ancestors the wrong way, they offer sacrifices to their ancestors, they have become demon worshipers; they are superstitious and ask the ghosts of their dead relatives to protect them.

中国人本来也是特别蒙神喜爱的。在佛教传入中国之前,中国人的 信仰是全世界最好的,那时候犹太人因拜偶像与别神,而遭受严重的惩 罚,国家破灭、被掳外邦。那时中国人仍牢牢守住先人的教训。
Chinese people were originally a group whom God was pleased with. Before Buddhism came to China, the faith of the Chinese people were the best in the world; at that time the Jewish people left God to worship idols, therefore suffering severe punishment, their nation was shattered, and taken into captivity by other gentile nations. Back then, the Chinese people were still faithfully following the teachings of their ancestors.

中国人走迷信的路,是後期的事,是佛教从印度传进来之後,本土 再出了一个张道陵,假借老子的言论,搞出满天神佛的道教。中国人的 信仰从此衰落,都是近千年的事。
Chinese people followed the superstitious way at a later time; it was after Buddhism entered China from India and Zhang Daoling, a native from China started spreading false teachings of Laozi that the entire Chinese nation began to believe in false gods and Buddhas. From then on, the faith in God of the Chinese people went on decline, this happened in the last thousand years.

全世界本来都有一个公平的机会认识神,因为都是同一个祖先。他 们如果尊敬祖先的话,必定坚持敬拜独一的神。
Originally, the whole world had a fair opportunity to know God because everyone came from the same ancestor. If they respected the words of their ancestors, they would have persevered in worshiping the one true God.

但除了闪族人与部份雅弗族人之外,世界各地的人都离弃了祖先的 神,於是神给人第二次的机会:有永远的福音传给他们。耶稣亲自来到 世界,介绍这福音。之後,欧洲人,就是雅弗的後代得益最多,最可怜 的是印度人。因为马可曾亲自传福音到印度,但印度人後来却离弃神, 转去拜偶像,拜多神、拜泛神。信的是锡克教、印度教与佛教,就是不 肯信基督。这永远福音传出来的时候,已经是第二次机会。
Besides the descendants of Shem and some of the descendants of Japheth, most of the people of the world abandoned the God of their ancestors so God gave them a second chance. He gave them: “The eternal gospel.” Jesus came to this world personally to introduce this gospel. Afterwards, the Europeans (the descendants of Japheth) were greatly benefited from it, but the most pitiful ones were the people from India. Mark had personally brought the gospel to India but the people from India abandoned the true God and turned to the worship of idols and many different kinds of false gods. They believe in Sikhism, Hinduism and Buddhism but do not want to believe in Christianity. When the eternal gospel spread out, it was already their second chance.

最早期的基督徒都受到很厉害的逼迫。这是天国同工第一次的大考 验,流了很多血纔把福音传开。这福音传出来,没有歧视任何人或任何 民族。基督徒已经冒了生命危险传播这福音在各民族中,却有不同的结 果。 那都是人自己做的决定。
Those who suffered severe persecutions were the earlier Christians. It was the first severe trial that the co-workers of the Kingdom of Heaven had to bear; there was a lot of blood shed before the gospel spread to other places. When this gospel spread, it did not discriminate against any person or ethnic group. Christians had already put their lives in danger as they spread the gospel to many nations which produced different outcomes. That is also a decision that people made for themselves.

邪淫教训的考验期
THE TESTING PERIOD OF IMMORAL TEACHINGS

8第二位天使接著说:叫万民喝邪淫大怒(失理性)之酒的 巴比伦大城,倾倒了。
8 And another angel, a second one, followed, saying, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, she who has made all the nations drink of the wine of the passion of her immorality.”

这巴比伦大城,在本书第一次出现。很多人以为,巴比伦就是末後 的大帝国,是十叁章的那头兽。其实启示录所说巴比伦,不是帝国,是 称为「大城」的。以後在十七到十八章还有机会精细地看巴比伦。
This the first time that Babylon the great appears in this book; many people think that Babylon is the great empire that is about to come, which is the beast in chapter 13. Actually, the Babylon mentioned in Revelation is not an empire; it is called “the great city”. Later on in chapters 17 and 18, we will see Babylon in greater detail.

基督徒第二次的大考验是在巴比伦之下。巴比伦到底是谁?在甚麽 地方?从十七章我们可以看见,她就是那大淫妇。是充满拜偶像、属灵 上充满邪淫的组织(17:5)。回教徒不拜偶像,他们虽然霸道,但不能用 邪淫描写。前面海中的兽是逼迫神子民的政权,地中的兽是假先知,是 似是而非的宗教组织,也不能称为淫妇。只有天主教实行教皇制度时, 圣经已经用「耶洗别」来描写他。
The second greatest test for Christians will be under Babylon. So, what is Babylon? Where is this place? From chapter 17 we can see that she is the great prostitute. She is an organization that is filled with spiritual immorality and worships idols (17:5). Muslims don’t worship idols; even though they are violent they cannot be described as immoral. The beast from the sea mentioned in the chapter before is the political regime that persecuted Christians, the beast from the earth is the false prophet, the religious organization that apparently seems to teach the right things but their teachings are false. The Catholic Church is the only organization that has implemented the papal system; the Bible has already used the name “Jezebel” to describe it.

耶洗别是皇后越了皇帝的权,带领神的子民拜偶像,走迷信的路, 她就是淫妇。启示录所论关於巴别伦的预言,大部分都在耶利米书五十 一章出现。耶利米先知看见异象,他说许多预言攻击当时的巴比伦, 谁知很多的预言都是指著末後的巴比伦说的。
Jezebel, a queen assumed the authority of a king and led the people of God to worship idols, to believe in superstitions, she is the adulterous woman. The prophecy about Babylon in Revelation is mostly mentioned in Jeremiah 51. The prophet Jeremiah saw a vision; he spoke many prophecies concerning the Babylon of ancient times. Who would have known that many of those prophecies were about the future Babylon?

启示录所说的,不是巴比伦帝国,是巴比伦「大城」。她像淫妇,用 她手中的酒,去引诱各国喝她邪淫的酒。耶利米书五十一章第七节说: 「巴比伦是耶和华手里的金杯,使全地的人喝醉使人淫荡放纵、失去理 性的酒,她使人癫狂,使人错误地热心,带领人到灭亡的路上,进入大 祸患之中。
The Babylon mentioned in Revelation is not the Babylonian Empire but Babylon, “the great city”. She is like an adulterous woman, a prostitute, which seduces the nations to drink the wine of her immorality. Jeremiah 51:7 says, “Babylon has been a golden cup in the hand of the Lord, intoxicating all the earth. The nations have drunk of her wine; therefore the nations are going mad.”

在第十八章有声音呼叫神的子民说:快离开巴比伦大城。这话也是 从耶利米书的预言来。以後到第十七章的时候再细看。现在只要知道那 大淫妇,就是邪淫的皇后耶洗别,她带领神的百姓拜偶像假神,那就是 犯了姦淫。而且他们也有好几百年的时间杀害好些基督徒。他们掌握大 权,任何人与他们有不同的意见,都会被杀害,冠上异端的罪名。
In chapter 18 there is a voice that called out to the people of God saying: “Come out of there, my people.” Those words also came from Jeremiah’s prophecy. We will examine this later on in chapter 17. For now, we only need to know that the great prostitute is the immoral queen Jezebel, she seduced God’s people to worship idols and false gods, and she committed adultery. They also murdered many Christians for many hundreds of years. They had great authority and power, anyone who is against them will be charged with heresy and be killed.

十一世纪开始,共有八次十字军东征事件,不单杀害回教徒、犹太 人,也杀害不同意见的基督徒。十字军东征是基督教会最大的耻辱。近 代的天主教正式承认他们犯了这错误,就是因为当时教会权力太大,超 过欧洲各国皇帝。他们所杀害的,都是信奉同一位神的人。只要有人不 服他们的权柄,就会受到杀害。这段以霸权帝国形式存在的教会时间相 当长,完全偏离了基督的教训。教会不应该宣传暴力或军事力量,不应 该争取政治权力。「圣战」这口号是他们开始的,是今天的回教徒、犹太 教徒憎恨基督徒的远因。
At the beginning of the 11th century, there were a total of 8 expeditions made by the Crusades to kill not only Muslims and Jews but also Christians who did not agree with their beliefs. The Crusades are a major disgrace to the Christian Church. Nowadays, the Catholic Church admits that it had committed a great mistake, and it happened because the church at that time had too much authority; they had more power than the kings that ruled over the European nations. They killed those who believed in their same God. Anyone who was against their authority would be killed; that kind of imperial supremacy that lasted for a long went against all the teachings of Christ. The Church should not use violence or military force; it should not fight for political power. The phrase “Holy War” was started by them; it is the reason why Muslims and Jews detest Christians for.

兽像兽印的考验期
THE PERIOD OF TRIAL OF THE BEAST’S IMAGE AND THE BEAST’S MARK

9第叁位天使大声说: 若有人拜兽、兽像,在额上、在 「 手上受了印记,10这人也必喝神大怒的酒,此酒斟在神忿怒的 杯中,纯一不杂。他要在圣天使和羔羊面前,在火与硫磺之中 受痛苦。」
9 Then another angel, a third one, followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, 10 he also will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mixed in full strength in the cup of His anger; and he will be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.

这是第叁次基督信仰的严重的考验期。我们已经读过十叁章的兽, 就是末後敌神的大帝国联盟,我们称它作「新波斯帝国联邦」,当然到现 在还没有出现,不过这日子不远了。
This is the third time the Christian faith is severely tested. We have already studied the beast in chapter 13, which is a great empire made of an alliance of many nations that are enemies of God during the end times, we shall call it “New Persian Empire Alliance”; of course, as of today, this alliance does not exist yet but it will happen in the near future.

在七年大灾难时,那敌对神子民的十国联邦是非常风光的。全世界 人都惧怕牠的话,牠发佈的政策,人人都要听从。不站在牠一边的,将 会蒙受很大的损失,受很多的苦,甚至要殉道。
During the seven years of the great tribulation, the alliance of the 10 nations that are enemies of God will greatly impress many people. The whole world will be afraid of them; people will have to follow and obey whatever they say. Those who are not on their side will suffer great loss, will go through severe hardships and might have to give up their own life.

受印记的「受」,是自动主动的受,不是被强迫的。是人自己乐意受 这印记。这印记是可见的mark,不是属灵的seal。但七年风光的日子 过後,这兽的跟从者就会受到有史以来最严厉的审判,他们都要面对神 的忿怒。这里用了两个字来形容神的忿怒。
Those who receive the “mark” will be doing it willingly; they will not be forced to receive it. People themselves will be willing to accept the mark. It is a mark that will be visible; it is not a spiritual seal. But after those well-off seven years had passed, the followers of the beast will receive the most severe judgment ever, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now–and never to be equaled again. They will have to face God’s wrath. Here, two words are used to describe God’s wrath.

(1) ὀργῆς (orgēs) 「怒气」。此酒斟在神忿怒杯中纯一不杂。这是比较常用的 忿怒,描写怒气一直堆积,而且是久久不散。人犯罪惹动神的忿怒,就 会承受相应的惩罚。不过圣经特别说明神的忿怒是很短的。虽然这字是 描写长时间的怒气,但神的怒气只是转眼之间,恩典乃是一生之久。 所以神对祂子女的管教惩罚一直降低程度,一直用父母的心来管教。
(1)ὀργῆς (orgēs) (wrath). The wrath of the wine of God mixed in full strength. Used often to describe anger that is accumulated for a long time that does not dissipate. People’s sin provokes the wrath of God which in turn will bring the corresponding punishment. But the Bible specifically states that God’s anger is just for a moment. Although this word describes an anger that lasts for a long time, God’s wrath lasts for a moment but His favor lasts a lifetime. That is why God disciplines and punishes His children at a lesser and lesser degree. He disciplines His children with the heart of a parent.

「纯一不杂」甚麽意思?当时很多人会掺水到酒里,使酒的量多,但 也使酒精纯度降低。但在这里告诉我们,神不会降低祂审判的标準,最 後对这些恶人的惩罚,绝对不会减轻,再没有怜悯,是纯一不杂的,有 最高的浓度。这十国联邦,这头兽,对基督徒添加很大的伤害。但信徒 更要知道,跟随这兽,不跟随神的人所受的会更可怕。因为那是神毫无 怜悯的惩罚要来到。
“Full strength”, what does that mean? In those times people used to dilute the wine with water so it would look like there was more wine, but that reduces the purity of the alcohol. Here it tells us that God will not decrease the standard of his judgment; at the end, He will absolutely not lighten the punishment of the wicked; there will be no more mercy, the cup of wrath will be full strength, highly concentrated. This alliance of the 10 nations, this beast, will cause major injuries on Christians. But Christians must know that those who follow the beast instead of following God will have a very dreadful ending because they will receive God’s merciless punishment.

(2)θυμοῦ (thymou) 是「忽然的狂怒」。是不能控制,像醉酒、失去理性的暴 怒,这是很可怕的。很多人错手杀人都是由於这种狂怒。这神的狂怒只 在启示录出现,只在末世显出来。现在神仍然是施恩的神,当人悔改回 头,祂马上消去祂的忿怒,在最後的日子、施恩日子过去之後,那就是 神报仇的日子,这种怒火永远不会过去。
(2) θυμοῦ (thymou) (sudden fury). Uncontrollable fury as if intoxicate; that is very dreadful. Many people kill because of this kind of anger. This fury from God only appears in Revelation and only during the end times. Today, God is still the God who sheds mercy, when people repent and turn back to Him; right away God’s anger disappears. At the end of times, when the time of God’s favor has passed, God will avenge Himself; that fury will never pass away.

10他要在圣天使和羔羊面前,在火与硫磺之中受痛苦。
11他受痛苦的烟往上冒,直到永永远远。那些拜兽、兽像、 受牠名印记的,昼夜不得安宁。
10 and he will be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. 11 And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever; they have no rest day and night, those who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.”

他们将会在永远的後悔中受痛苦,他们受苦的时候,是在羔羊与众 天使的面前。表示他们曾经有机会接受不同的结局,有天使传的福音, 有代死的羔羊,但他们都拒绝了。神的恩典永远离开他们,灵魂永远灭 亡在火湖里,受煎熬。他受痛苦的烟往上冒,是借用所多玛、俄摩拉焚 城时的景象,来形容它的可怕。
They will be tormented in eternal regret in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. This means that they had the opportunity to receive a different ending, there is the gospel proclaimed by the angels, there is the Lamb who died in our place, but they rejected it all. The grace of God departed from them forever, their souls in eternal agony in the lake of fire. “The smoke of their torment goes up”, this phrase was also used to describe the dreadful ending of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.

「昼夜不得安宁」,没有小息,是很痛苦的事。美国学了韩战时,中 国人逼供的手法来对付恐怖份子。就是不给他们休息,审问的人轮班来 问,囚犯却没有休息的机会,一直盘问,到他们受不了,甚麽都愿意说 出来。囚犯、奴隶都需要有休息的时候。
“They have no rest day and night”, having no rest at all is a very painful thing. The United States learned from the Korean War how Chinese people used special skills to deal with terrorists. The way to do it was by not letting the prisoners rest at all. The officers would take turns to interrogate the prisoners nonstop until they could not take it anymore and at that point they would be willing to give away any answers. Even prisoners and slaves need time to rest.

约翰写叁次的大考验期,全部都在他的将来,到今天,我们读的时 候,只有最後一次纔是我们的将来,头两次都过去,第叁次也快到了。
When John wrote about the three trial periods, all of them were future happenings for him. Today, when we read about it, only one trial period is in the future, the other two trial periods have already passed and the third trial period is about to come very soon.

当这十国联盟的影响力遍佈世界的时候,那些仍然留在地上又已经 信主的人,就会受到严重的考验。但是这几段经文说出的特色,不是描 写受迫害的同工多痛苦,却是宣告那逼迫人的要受到严重的审判。
When the alliance of the ten nations impacts the whole world, the believers who are still on the earth will experience severe trials. These verses are remarkable, not because they describe the pains of the persecuted Christians but because it shows the severe judgment of those who persecute God’s people.

第一次、第二次、第叁次的逼迫者,都将要受惩罚。这是神鼓励、 安慰属祂的人要坚持所得的盼望,面对末日的苦难。基督徒要受苦,但 迫害者将受更大的祸害,鼓励人不要为了短暂的利益失去永远的福乐。
All those who persecuted the believers the first time, the second time and the third time will be severely punished. That is God’s encouragement to comfort those who belong to Him so they persevere in hope as they face the hardships of the end times. Christians will suffer, but those who persecute them will suffer greater harm. This is to encourage mankind not to lose their eternal joy for temporary gain.

通过考验的忠信者
THE FAITHFUL ONES WHO PASS THE TEST

12圣徒的忍耐就是在此,他们是守神诫命和耶稣真道的。
13我听见从天上有声音说:你要写下,从今以後,在主里面死 的有福了。圣灵说是的,他们息了自己的劳苦,作工的果效也 随著他们。
12 Here is the perseverance of the saints who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus. 13 And I heard a voice from heaven, saying, “Write, ‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on!’” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “so that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow with them.”

忠心於主的人最末後的大考验是完全有不同的结局。他们经过地上 的种种考验,在极艰难中仍然坚守神的道,他们有美好的结局。
The end of those who are faithful to the Lord will be different. They will have a very good ending because even though they had to go through severe hardships on the earth, they still held fast to God’s Word.

别人可能不知道这些人到底有多忠心,但神知道。祂吩咐约翰写下 来。约翰一直在写,但他所写的都是记录所看见的异象。现在那声音吩 咐他说,要把他所听见的写下来。因为这话是很重要的,比看得见的异 象更加重要。
Maybe other people might not know how faithful these believers are, but God knows. God told John to write these things down. John kept writing down everything, but what he recorded was details of the vision. Now the voice told John to write down what he heard because this message was very important, more important than the vision he was seeing.

没有人会觉得死是一种福气,但这里告诉我们死是福气。但不是所 有人的死都是福气,只有在主里面死的人纔是有福的。在异象里看不见 他们的素质,他们是属主,是主的朋友,为主而活,为主而死,常有主 的同在,在今世有福,来生更有福。
Nobody feels that dying is a blessing, but here it tells us that dying is a blessing. Not all the dead are blessed, only those who die in the lord. In the vision we cannot see the inner quality of the believers; they belong to the Lord, they are His friends, they live for the Lord and die for the Lord, the Lord is always with them, they are blessed in this world, and more blessed in the next.

「从今以後」这辞,跟福气联在一起,就是说,这福气从今到永远, 与他们紧紧相连。救主接收他们,他们将享受生命树的果子,得胜者将 要在天使和天父面得奖赏。
The phrase “from now on” comes together with the blessing. That is to say, that blessing will be linked tightly with them from now on to eternity. The Savior will receive them, they will enjoy the fruit of the tree of life, and those who overcome will receive a reward in the presence of the angels and of God the Father.

为甚麽死是他们的福?因为他们再不用受苦了,以後只有福气,没 有苦难、眼泪、疼痛、疾病,永永远远享受主丰富的恩典。而且作工的 果效永远存在,无论所做的,是大是小,有人注意,没有人注意,全部 不会消失。以後所拥有的,是甜蜜的回忆。肉身死亡这界线,对於忠於 主的人,与不信者之间,分别非常大。肉身的苦可能分别不大,不跟随 兽的人,不一定现在享福。苦,是必定有的。
Why is dying a blessing for them? Because they will not have to suffer any more, they will only have blessings, no more hardships, tears, pain, and sickness. They will be enjoying God’s abundant grace for ever and ever. Furthermore, the work of their labor will remain forever, no matter what their accomplishments are, great or small, no matter if someone pays attention to their work or not, their work will never fade away. What they have will only be sweet memories. There is indeed a very big difference between the physical death of a believer and that of an unbeliever. Maybe there is not much difference in the physical pain because everyone has to endure physical pain even those who do not follow the beast.

麦子的收割
THE FIRST HARVEST – THE HARVEST OF THE WHEAT

14我又观看,见有一片白云,云上坐著一位好像人子,头 上戴金冠冕,手里拿著快镰刀。15又有一位天使从殿中出来, 向坐在云上的大声喊:伸出你的镰刀来收割,因为收割的时候 已经到了,地上的莊稼已经熟透了。16坐在云上的,就把镰刀 扔在地上,地上的莊稼就被收割了。
14 Then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and sitting on the cloud was one like a son of man, having a golden crown on His head and a sharp sickle in His hand. 15 And another angel came out of the temple, crying out with a loud voice to Him who sat on the cloud, “Put in your sickle and reap, for the hour to reap has come, because the harvest of the earth is ripe.” 16 Then He who sat on the cloud swung His sickle over the earth, and the earth was reaped.

因为这一段与下面一段,都说到有「快镰刀」,都讲「收割」,以为是 同一件事。其实两个收割是不同的。这是麦子的收割,因为莊稼就是指 麦子,是由坐在白云上面的那位好像人子的负责收割。
Because this paragraph and the next one mentions “a sharp sickle” and “the harvest”, people might think that it refers to the same matter. Actually, there are two different kinds of harvest. This section talks about the harvest of the wheat which is done by the one sitting on the cloud who was one like a son of man.

那位从圣所,从神宝座前出来的天使,大声宣告是时候收割了,是 属主的人被接到主那里去,是一个美好的收成。下一段是管祭坛、管祭 坛火的天使大声呼喊。管祭坛火的是执行审判的天使。祭坛是铜造的, 也就是审判的地方,祭牲也是在祭坛中受审判的。
The angel that came out of the sanctuary, from the throne of God cried with a loud voice that it was time for the harvest, which is the time of the rapture of those who belong to the Lord, it is a good harvest. The next section talks about the angel in charge of the altar and the fire from the altar. The altar is made out of bronze, it is also a place of judgment where the sacrificial animal is offered.

最後两位天使掌管最後七年的大审判。这镰刀是快镰刀,是很锋利 的,收割时间很快、很短,不会拖延。
The last two angels are in charge of the great judgment during the last 7 years. The sickle is very sharp; the hour to reap will come swiftly and without delay.

「云上坐著一位好像人子」。有人说,「好像」就不是祂。本来人子, 不一定是指耶稣,旧约以西结、但以理都自称人子。但如果明白人子的 意思,就知道这里说的是主耶稣。好像人子的意思,是像人的形状。这 章全都是天使在说话,天使都不是人,没有人的形状。能够坐在白云上 有人形状的,就只有耶稣了。因为只有祂道成肉身,有人身体样式。
The one sitting on a cloud was “one like a son of man”. Some say that the words “one like” means it is not Him. Originally, “son of man” did not necessarily refer to Jesus; Ezekiel and Daniel from the Old Testament called themselves “son of man”. But if we really understood the meaning of “son of man”, we would know that it is speaking about the Lord Jesus. “One like a son of man” means that it resembled the form of a man. The angels are the ones who do all the talking in this entire chapter, angels are not human beings; they do not have the form of a man. The only one who can sit on a cloud and has the form of a man is Jesus Christ because He was the only one who became flesh and took the form of a human being.

头戴金冠冕,是得胜者的冠冕。真正的胜利,将属於我们的主。而 且这胜利有永远的功效。优胜者的冠冕,常是树枝、树叶造的,是短暂 的,会朽坏的。但最後大胜利的冠冕乃是金冠,是到永远的。
He had a golden crown on His head, a royal crown. Our Lord is truly forever victorious. The crown of a winner is made out of leaves and branches, is temporary, it can decay. But the crown of great victory is a golden crown which lasts forever.

粺子(葡萄)的收割
THE SECOND HARVEST – THE HARVEST OF THE GRAPES

17又有一位天使从天上的殿中出来,他也拿著快镰刀。18 又有一位天使从祭坛中出来,是有权柄管火的,向拿著快镰刀 的大声喊: 伸出快镰刀来,收取地上葡萄树的果子,因为葡 「 萄熟透了。」19那天使就把镰刀扔在地上,收取了地上的葡萄, 丢在神忿怒大酒醡中。20那酒醡踹在城外,有血从酒醡流出来, 高到马的嚼环,远有六百里。
17 And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, and he also had a sharp sickle.18 Then another angel, the one who has power over fire, came out from the altar; and he called with a loud voice to him who had the sharp sickle, saying, “Put in your sharp sickle and gather the clusters from the vine of the earth, because her grapes are ripe.” 19 So the angel swung his sickle to the earth and gathered the clusters from the vine of the earth, and threw them into the great wine press of the wrath of God. 20 And the wine press was trodden outside the city, and blood came out from the wine press, up to the horses’ bridles, for a distance of two hundred miles.

当然这里不是用「粺子」而是用「葡萄」,都是指恶人在末日前将要受 的大审判。葡萄逃不过酒醡之审判。葡萄的收割与莊稼的收割有不一样 的意思。莊稼收在仓里,葡萄却是放在酒醡里用脚去踹,葡萄汁踹出来 好像血一样,所以用来描写对恶人的审判。
The harvest of the grapes represents the judgment for the wicked at the end of times. The grapes will not be able to escape the great wine press of the wrath of God. The gathering of the grapes and the harvest of the crops have a different meaning. The harvested crop is stored in a barn but the grapes are placed in a wine press and are trodden outside the city, the juices of the grapes resemble blood, which is used to describe the judgment of the wicked.

在20节有一个数字,中文译作六百里,译者想说出实际的範围有 多大。不单那时血流成河,血还会高到马的嚼环,就是至少五、六英呎 深,加上六百里大的範围。其实启示录的数字大多数是有特别含意的, 不能乱加修改。原文是1600 stadia。1600是40×40的结果。四十是 考验数,像主耶稣在旷野受试探40昼夜。40×40就是最终极最大的考 验,是全地要面临的大考验。是历史里面从来没有见过的大考验。
Verse 20 mentions a number which is two hundred miles. The numbers that appear in the book of Revelation have a special meaning; therefore, they should not be changed. The original text says 1600 stadia. 40 x 40 equals 1600. 40 is a number that represents when someone is put to the test, like when Jesus was in the wilderness and was put to the test for 40 days and nights. 40 x 40 is the ultimate test, is the greatest test that the whole earth will have to face. It will be the greatest test ever seen in the history of the whole earth.

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