CHAPTER 41 – Revelation 19:17-21 兩種結局 TWO OUTCOMES

這經文不長,信息相當怪異,需要花點時間解釋這段奇怪的話,就是人肉大筵席。

This passage of Scripture is short, the message is somewhat weird, which is the great supper of human flesh; therefore, we need to take some time to explain it.

啟示錄裡面有很多字詞都是很怪異的,很多描寫令人摸不著頭腦,這一段更是有一點嘔心,可以說令人不大舒服。但是當我們明白這些是比喻性的話,我們當用另外的眼光來欣賞。耶穌曾向加利利的群眾說:「吃我肉、喝我血的人,就有永生。」( 約翰6:54) 當時聽眾也都受不了。因為他們不明白這些比喻在屬靈上的意義。

Revelation contains many phrases that are quite weird and puzzling, this section is a little nauseating making people feel rather uneasy. But when we understand that this is a figure of speech, we will be able to appreciate it as we look at it from a different perspective. Jesus often said to the crowd in Galilee: “He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life.” (John 6:54). At that time, the people couldn’t stand hearing Jesus speak that way because they did not understand these metaphors in the spiritual sense.

兩種筵席

TWO GREAT SUPPERS

17 一位天使站在日頭中,向天空飛的鳥大聲喊著說:你「們來赴神的大筵席,18 可以喫君王與將軍的肉,壯士與馬,和騎馬者的肉,並一切自主的、為奴的,以及大小人民的肉。」1

7 Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and he cried out with a loud voice, saying to all the birds which fly in midheaven, “Come, assemble for the great supper of God, 18 so that you may eat the flesh of kings and the flesh of commanders and the flesh of mighty men and the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them and the flesh of all men, both free men and slaves, and small and great.”

曾有中國電影名字「人肉叉燒包」,聽起來已經很不舒服,這裡還說是「人肉的筵席」,更加嘔心。為甚麽用這樣的詞句,令文明人很困惑。不過那位天使在告訴我們,七年大災難期間,有兩大筵席,一個在這章的前面,是基督的婚筵,是在天上的聖所舉行的。在地上另有一筵席,由於地上種種災難,引致大批人死亡,好像擺了大筵席給烏鴉與鷹等禽類有了豐富的食物一樣。

There was a Chinese movie called “ Rénròu Chāshāo Bāo ” (Roast Pork Bun of Human Flesh), just hearing the title makes people feel very uncomfortable; here it says “the great supper of human flesh” which is grosser. Why is this wording used ? It is bewildering for civilized people. However, this angel tells us that during the 7 years of great tribulation, there will be two great suppers, one is the marriage supper of Christ, which will happen in the heavenly sanctuary. On the earth there will be another great supper, as a result of the different kinds of disasters which will cause a great amount of people to die, similar to a great supper for scavenger birds of prey like crows and hawks.

天上與地上兩個筵席遙遙相對,用對比的方式來看,就會更清楚這兩個筵席的內容。

Two great suppers, one in heaven and one on the earth, using a contrastive approach we will be able to understand more clearly the contents of these two great suppers.

羔羊的婚筵,是基督迎娶教會,把新娘子接到祂家裡舉行婚筵。是基督與教會的真正相聚、永世相連。現在我們在地上,只是靈裡與主相聚,是屬靈的交往,當然比較抽象、比較糢糊。就像保羅所說的:「彷彿對著鏡子觀看,糢糊不清。」以前的人以銅作鏡子,所看見的影像都是糢糊的,但保羅說:「到那時,就要面對面了。」那時與主手拉手,住在一起。這筵席之後,就是永遠甜蜜生活的開始。

The marriage supper of the Lamb, is when Christ marries the church, He brings the bride home for the wedding banquet. It is when Christ and the church really get together, joined together for eternity. At present, we are on the earth, we only meet with our Lord in the spiritual sense, it is a spiritual relationship, and of course it is relatively abstract and undefinable. Like what Paul said: “For now we see in a mirror dimly.” In the old days, people used copper to make mirrors, therefore the image they saw in the mirror was blurry, but Paul also says: “But then face to face.” Then we will walk with the Lord, hand in hand and dwell together with Him. After this wedding banquet, it will be the start of a new sweet life forever.

基督的婚筵,被稱為喜事,要「歡喜快樂」( 第七節) ,「要將榮耀歸給神」,要唱哈利路亞頌。教會喜氣洋洋的穿上潔白的婚紗,慶祝最終與主永遠相聚。地上所有的苦難全部都已經過去,以後再沒有眼淚、疼痛。擺在前面的是永遠的幸福。

The marriage supper of the Lamb is referred to as an occasion to “rejoice and be glad” (Verse 7), to “give the glory to God”, and to sing Hallelujah. The church will joyfully wear the pure and white wedding dress, celebrating being united with the Lord eternally. All the earthly sufferings have passed away; there will not be any more tears, sorrow or pain…eternal happiness to come.

地上這「人肉大筵席」,是指世界最末後的時間,神的眾仇敵都將會死於非命,就像戰場上的屍體暴露在地上,沒有人有空去埋葬他們,成了空中那些不潔淨鳥類的食物。各種不同的鷹,禿鷹、貓頭鷹、麻鷹、烏鴉等鳥類,牠們都吃地上各種動物的屍體。這是神的設計,用牠們來清理地上骯髒的東西,清理那些會引起傳染病的東西。

The “great supper of human flesh” on earth, refers to the end times of this world, all God’s enemies will die a violent death, like the dead bodies on a battlefield exposed on the ground, no one had time to bury them, and they became the food for the unclean birds of the air. Different kinds of vultures, owls, hawks, they all eat the carcasses of dead animals. That is how God designed it, using those birds to clean the filthy things of this earth, cleaning up the things that may cause infectious diseases.

「天使站在日頭中」,不是像中文聖經所說「在太陽上面」。天使是站在太陽光之中,讓所有的鳥都看見他,而且大聲呼喚。公告全世界,這事件將會是世界性大新聞。他宣佈的是敵神的帝國全面滅亡,君王、將軍、壯士、軍人,與所有做領導的,與被領導的人,將會都死在地上,屍體暴露在街上。吃屍體的鳥,將會聚集赴宴。古時的人因為常見鷹聚集在很多屍體的地方,他們聽到鷹赴筵席,就知道地上死了很多人,有很多屍體在街上。

“An angel standing in the sun”, not like what it says in the Chinese Bible “on the sun”. The angel is standing in the sunlight, so all the birds could see him, and he cried out with a loud voice. Announcing to the whole world that this event will be worldwide headline news. He announced that the whole entire empire enemy of God will perish, including kings, military, the strong men, the troops, all their leaders and those they lead will all die and their bodies will be exposed on the streets. And the birds that eat dead things will all gather for the great feast. In the old times, people often saw vultures gathering around dead bodies, whenever they heard that many vultures were gathering they would know that many dead bodies on the streets.

神用兩個筵席提醒世人,所有人的結局都將有兩種不同的結果。有歡喜快樂的聚會,也有悲哀疼痛的災難。

God uses two great suppers to remind people of the two different outcomes. One is a joyful gathering and the other is a painful horrible disaster.

這都是神的預言,是必定會發生的事。人要早作選擇願意走哪一條路。一條是蒙福的路,可能現在看起來沒有多少人走,也看不到世上的福氣,但最後將會參加天上喜事的宴會。另一條災禍的路,可能很多人走,很受歡迎。但到最後,可能橫屍街頭,不單死於非命,成為麻鷹的食物,並且靈魂將會進入永遠的死亡。結局是可怕與悲慘的。

This is a prophecy from God and will definitely happen. People will have to make a choice of what road they want to take. One is a road of blessings, although it may seem that only a few have chosen this road, and you may not see the blessings on this earth, but in the future they will be participating in the joyous heavenly banquet. The other road leads to disaster, a great multitude may walk on it; this road may be welcomed by many. But at the end, it is a dead end street, not only dying a violent death but you may become the supper of a vulture, furthermore, your spirit will die eternally, a dreadful and tragic ending.

兩種戰爭

TWO KINDS OF WARS

19 我看見那獸,和地上的君王,並他們的眾軍都聚集,要與騎白馬,並祂的軍兵爭戰。

19 And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies assembled to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army.

這事發生在最後七年之末,獸國與十國總統,聯合對付基督教會,從十一章看見,他們成功消滅教會,教會受到猛烈攻擊,到最後像死了一樣,只剩下屍體。他們還不讓教會屍體被埋葬,卻要讓世人看見一家家空教堂,再沒有人做禮拜,等於在告訴人,這宗教已經徹底消滅了。

These events will happen at the end of the 7 years of great tribulation, the empire of the beast and the leaders of the ten countries will join forces against the church of Christ. From chapter 11 we can see that they succeeded in putting an end to the church, the church was fiercely attacked, at the end it looked like it died, only the corpse remained. They didn’t even let the corpse of the church be buried, letting the people of the world see the empty church buildings, people did not have anymore worship services, as if they were telling people that this religion was completely annihilated.

有些政權對付基督教時,是把教堂拿去做住家或別的用途,有些把宏偉的教堂留作旅遊重點,在裡面設立餐飲店,作任何用途,就是沒有主日崇拜聚會。這樣看來,教會像是徹底消滅了。但後來人卻會發現,教會在一個個家裡興起。教堂可能會被拆毀,教會是不會被消滅的。

Some regimes that oppose Christianity would make the church buildings into residences or other kind of businesses; others leave the magnificent church buildings to be used as a tourist site. They would set up a restaurant inside the place or use it for other purposes, as long as they do not have worship services there. It might seem that the church was destroyed completely. But later on, people discovered that the church was emerging in people’s homes. Church buildings may be demolished but the church will not perish.

基督的軍隊沒有武器,他們是怎樣戰勝仇敵的呢?既然說,從祂口中出來利劍,當然就是用祂的道、神的話語。

The army of Christ did not posses any weapons of war, how did they prevail against the enemy? Since it says that a sharp sword comes from His mouth, without doubt it is His Word, God’s Word.

那仇敵是怎麽死的呢?教會怎樣得勝?我們不能想像教會藉著講神的道,使仇敵倒下來。神不是藉著十字軍或基督徒國家的軍隊來打敗仇敵。末世的教會也不會是暴力的教會。教會反對暴力、反軍隊,他們默默無聲地忍受,以受苦的心志作為兵器。他們口唱「基督精兵前進」,但事實沒有刀槍,他們的軍裝是誠實、信心、公義、真道、禱告。這種種基督徒的軍裝,可以在屬靈上得勝惡魔,但在最後地上的大審判中,仇敵將要在肉身上被消滅,那基督徒的軍備是不可能把人的肉身消滅的。

How did that enemy die? How did the church became victorious? We cannot imagine how the church could bring down the enemy through the Word of God. God did not use the Crusaders or Christian countries to defeat the enemy. The church of the end times will not be a church that uses violence. The church is against any kind of violence or military force. They silently endure hardships, their weapons are a heart of suffering. They mouths sing: “Onward Christian soldiers”, but actually, they do not carry any knives or guns, their military armor is made of truthfulness, faith, righteousness, prayer. This kind of military uniform will defeat the evil one in a spiritual battle, but at the final judgement on earth, the enemy will be destroyed physically. There is no way that those spiritual weapons that Christians use will be able to destroy the flesh.

從世界人重視物質條件的眼光來看,教會是不值一提的。教會在金錢、物質、武器、霸權、名望、地位上都遜一籌的,完全不能跟其他團體比較。這是很多人不肯信耶穌的原因,信了耶穌,又不會得到名利權勢。大家所爭取的就是權勢、地位、利益。

From the materialistic view of the people of this world, the church is not worth mentioning. Regarding money, material possessions, weapons, supremacy, fame and status, the church is considered less important compared to other groups. That is the reason many people do not want to believe in Jesus. Believing in Jesus will not get you power or fame. Everyone struggles to obtain influence, status and personal benefits.

清朝末期,中國人盲目的仇外,憎恨所有外國人,西方的商人來中國搶利益,日本人來中國搶地方。認為所有外國人都是壞人。卻不懂得分辨宣教士來是把好處給中國。他們花錢花力到中國開學校、孤兒院、醫院、教會,卻被人看為跟商人、政客是一夥的。外國人走在街上隨時有生命危險。大商家、政客都有保安人員、有武器傍身,宣教士們卻沒有,自然成為中國人攻擊的目標。所以當時有些宣教士想過要有鎗在身防暴亂。但大多數教會都決定不要帶任何武器在身上。所以在動亂的時候,死得最多的就是手無寸鐵的宣教士。

At the end of the Qing Dynasty, the Chinese people blindly hated all foreigners. Western businessmen came to China to take away their profits. The Japanese came to China to take away their land. They thought all foreigners were evil. They did not know how to to differentiate those people from the missionaries who came to benefit China. These missionaries spent money and effort to come to China to start schools, orphanages, hospitals, churches, yet they were seen as if they were businessmen or politicians. It was very dangerous for a foreigner to walk on the streets of China in those days. Businessmen and politicians had weapons and security personnel with them at all times, but the missionaries did not have any of those things, yet they were also targeted and attacked. Therefore, at that time, some missionaries were thinking of carrying guns in case of riots. But many of the churches decided against it. As a result, during the riots, many of those who were killed were the unarmed missionaries.

兩種審判

TWO KINDS OF JUDGMENT

20 那獸被擒拿,在獸面前行奇事,迷惑受獸印記、拜獸像人的假先知,也與獸同被擒拿,他們兩個就活活被扔在燒著硫磺的火湖里。21 其馀的被騎白馬者口中出來的劍殺了,飛鳥都喫飽了他們的肉。

20 And the beast was seized, and with him the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image; these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone. 21 And the rest were killed with the sword which came from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse, and all the birds were filled with their flesh.

這裡兩種筵席與兩種戰爭,都是末日來時的兩種審判。審判這字有兩方面的意思。一是「審查」,審核、考查;二是「懲罰」,責打,審訊。

These two kinds of banquets and two kinds of wars are the two kinds of judgments at the end of times. The word “judgment” has two meanings. The first meaning, “to examine”, to consider, to investigate. The second meaning is “to punish”, to punish by flogging, a judicial trial in a courtroom.

第一個審判,「時候到了,審判要從神的家起首。」( 彼前4:17) 那是關於審核、查賬方面的審判。每個基督徒要向主交賬,所有我們在地上為主所做的事,都有評審。這考查的時間是在「基督的台前」或「基督的審判台前」,所以也可以稱為頒獎台。忠心為主的人都得到獎勵回報。運動會的評判員也叫做審判官Judge 。基督的審判台原文是bema ,就是世運會頒獎台原來的字。

The first judgment, “For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God.” (1 Peter 4:17) It is about examining a matter, like an audit. Every Christian will have to give account to God, therefore everything that we do for the Lord here on earth will be evaluated. This evaluation will happen before the “Judgment Seat of Christ”, that is why it can also be called an award platform. Those who labor faithfully for the Lord will get a reward in return. The person who decides who wins in a sport competition is also called a Judge. The Judgment Seat of Christ is called “bema” in the original language, which is the original word for the podium used at the Olympic games.

第二個審判, 是對惡人在地上今世的懲罰。七碗( 七杯) 之災基本上就是對世人的懲罰。在這日之前,神沒有特意懲罰世人,人做了壞事自然有因果報應。就像人得肺癌,是因為經常抽煙或吸進二手煙的緣故。耶穌說:「我不審判人。」因為祂仍然施恩等候人悔改。所以人說,我寫文章攻擊教會,嘴巴上毒罵神,或做了甚麽對付教會的行動,為甚麽神不顯靈懲罰我?因為現在仍然是施恩的時候,要等將來的那七年,纔是懲罰的日子。

The second judgment is the punishment for the wicked people of the world of this age. 7 bowls (7 cups) of disasters are basically the punishment for the people of this world. Before that day, God did not intentionally punish the people of this world . When people do evil deeds, they will certainly get what they deserve. Like when a person gets lung cancer, it might be either because he smoked or because of second-hand smoke. Jesus said: “I did not come to judge the world .” Because He is gracefully waiting for people to repent from their sins. Therefore, people say, I write articles attacking the church; I curse God with my mouth, or do something against the church, why doesn’t God show Himself and punish me? Because it is still the period of grace but during the last 7 years it will be the time for punishment.

施恩典與施懲罰是很難同時並存的。如果神現在懲罰人,人會說,神不是說愛我嗎?祂不是說向我施恩等我悔改嗎?所以懲罰要等七年大災難的後期,那是指肉身受到懲罰、災害與死亡。這還只是關於肉身的懲罰,還沒有到靈魂體的審判。

Grace and punishment are two things that are very hard to give at the same time. If God would punish people now, they would say: Didn’t God say that He loves me? Isn’t He gracefully giving me a chance to repent? That is why the punishment will be administered at the end of the 7 years of great tribulation; it will be physical punishment, disasters and death.

第叁個審判,是第二個審判的延續,針對不信的惡人,稱為「白色大寶座的審判」。所有不信者都要復活在神面前受審訊。他們將要看見自己過去所做的一切,證據確鑿,沒有辯論上訴的馀地。這審訊定了他們死罪。將跟隨獸與假先知,被丟進火湖里。

The third judgment is the continuation of the second judgment for the wicked people who do not believe. It is called, “the judgment of the Great White Throne.” All the unbelievers will resurrect and will come before God to be judged. They will see all their past deeds, conclusive evidence, no room for debate on appeal. They will be condemned to death and will be thrown into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone together with the beast and the false prophet.

這是最後的審判。火湖,是一個長期在灼熱,受痛苦回憶煎熬的靜止不動景況中。神的子民將會進入「新天新地」。「新天新地」是一個單數字,以前神所創造的是諸世界,有肉身的世界、靈界、第叁重天、無底坑、陰間等。到那時候,全部世界將要消失,只剩下了新天新地,神、天使與人住在同一世界中。所以「硫磺的火湖」,是在「新天新地」之外,沒有時間、空間,無始無終的黑暗寂寞裡。其實他們在那裡也不是由於神施的懲罰,而是不要神恩典的人自己選擇要去的毫無恩典的所在。

This is the last judgment. The lake of fire is a fire that never stops burning, painful memories tormenting unceasingly. The people of God will enter “the new heaven and the new earth”. “The new heaven and the new earth” are singular words. Before, God created worlds, there is the physical world, the spiritual world, there is the third heaven, the bottomless pit, Hades, etc. But in the future, all the worlds will disappear and there will be only one new heaven and one new earth. God, the angels and the people will live together in one world. Therefore, “the lake of fire” will be outside “the new heaven and the new earth”. There will be no time, no space, no beginning, no end, only total darkness and loneliness. Actually, these people will not be there because God wanted to punish them, but because they themselves chose not to receive the grace of God.

迷信的人以為親人死了,在地府陰間生活很苦,是因為貧窮孤單,所以燒些冥錢、房子、汽車,甚至女人小姐去服事他。完全不知道在陰間,與將來在地獄的生活是怎樣的。有些以為頂多像監獄,只是沒有自由。但在監獄中仍然有恩典,有美食、圖書館、電視節目,電腦可以上網、健身室、遊戲活動,還有朋友聊天。但在陰間甚麽都沒有,因為所有這些活動都是神所賜的。在沒有神的地方,只剩下無邊的孤寂黒暗。

Superstitious people believe that when their relatives die and go to the netherworld, they are suffering because they are poor and lonely; that is why they burn fake paper money, paper houses, paper cars, and even paper women to serve them. They don’ t know anything about how hell would be in the future. Some believe at most it would be like a prison, where there is no freedom. But in prison, there is still grace, there is food, a library, television programs, computers to search the web, a gym, games and sport activities, there they even have friends whom they can talk to. But in Hades, there is nothing, because all those activities are a gift from God. It is a place without God, the only thing left is desolation and darkness.

獸與假先知,就是那敵神的帝國與邪惡的宗教,將會在七年災難後徹底消失。牠們不是兩個人,是兩股敵對神的大勢力,不需要等白色大寶座的審判,就會馬上被徹底消滅。

The beast and the false prophet which are the empire that is enemy of God and the evil religion, they will disappear completely at the end of the 7 years of great tribulation. They are not two persons, they are two powers that are enemies of God , they will not need to wait for the judgment of the Great White Throne, and they will be completely eliminated at once.

表面看來,他們到最末後之時,好像還是勇猛無比,其實在第五章已經告訴我們,基督這位羔羊,已經藉十字架得勝。他們背後的主人早已經全盤失敗,後面的戰爭,只是一種垂死的掙扎,是不會改變他們命運的迴光反照。

It seems that they are fierce to the end but actually on chapter 5 it already tells us that Christ, the Lamb of God, had already overcome them on the Cross. Their evil lord backing them up had already been defeated long time ago; the last battle is just a dying struggle before their demise, it will not change their fate.

這裡說,「牠們兩個就活活被扔在燒著硫磺的火湖里」。獸與假先知既不是甚麽人物,只是兩個組織,怎麽會被扔在火湖里呢?怎麽不經最後的大審判,就要進地獄呢?原來這些組織的背後,乃是從無底坑上來的惡魔,所以不是組織被丟進地獄,乃是那些惡魔被丟進去,牠們是不需要經過審判的,牠們的結局、命運就是在火湖里。

Here it says: “These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone.” Since the beast and the false prophet are not two persons but two organizations, how could they be thrown into the lake of fire? How come they did not have to face the final judgment before being thrown into hell? Because, behind these organizations were the demons that came out of the bottomless pit. Therefore, it wasn’t the organizations that were thrown into hell but the wicked demons, they don ‘t need to be judged, their ending, their fate is in the lake of fire.

「其馀的被騎白馬者口中出來的劍殺了」。其馀跟隨獸國與假先知的人,將會在災難後期死於非命,且是死無葬身之地,無人掩埋,飛鳥來吃。這裡說,他們被基督口中的劍所殺,就是被主的話語所殺。到底主的話語怎樣殺他們?“

And the rest were killed with the sword which came from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse.” The rest of the people who followed the beast and the false prophet will die a violet death and there will be no one to bury them and the birds will eat their flesh. Here it says that they were killed with the sword which came from the mouth of Christ, which is the Word of God. How could God’s Word kill them?

主的話不單有屬靈生命的權能,祂的話也指揮全宇宙的運作。仇敵被消滅,不信的人最後死於非命,都是因為自然的災害。這些自然的災害都受主的掌控。在歷史中神幫助祂的子民脫離仇敵的手之時,常用大自然來做祂的武器。祂曾用打雷幫助撒母耳,用天火閃電消滅亞哈用來對付以利亞先知的軍隊,也曾用各種天災、大風、地震、冰雹幫助以色列人勝過仇敵。當然以前用的都是小小的災害。到了末日,真正的審判懲罰要降臨到地上。只要來一個大地震,他們就都要消失於人間。

The Word of God not only possesses the power of spiritual life, His Word also commands the whole universe. The enemy was destroyed; the unbelievers died a violent death, all from natural disasters. The natural disasters are all under God’s control. In history, God helped His people out of the hands of their enemies often using natural disasters as His weapons. God once used thunder to help Samuel; He used fire and lightning to destroy Ahab’s army that was after Elijah, He used various natural disasters, storms, earthquakes and hail to help the Israelites overcome their enemies. Of course, whatever disasters God used in the past will be nothing compared to what He will use during the final days. When the end of the world comes, the real judgment will come to the earth . If an earthquake of the greatest magnitude hits, they will all be destroyed from the face of this earth.