CHAPTER 46 – Revelation 21:9-14 新耶路撒冷 THE NEW JERUSALEM

全新的天地對我們活在舊天地的人來說,是相當難明白的。所以約翰也只能說,再沒有海、沒有眼淚、死亡、悲哀、哭號、疼痛。這都是我們今世不想有的東西,那時候再沒有了。新天新地是怎樣的,沒有人講得清楚。但我們說,再沒有壞人、壞事,再不用流眼淚,再沒有痛苦死亡,那已經是很好的了。其實可能有更多非常好的事物,是我們想像不出來的。所以聖經講到將來的事,都只能用預表、象徵,沒有辦法具體地描寫出真實的情況。

It is very difficult for us who live in the old heaven and the old earth to understand the new heaven and the new earth. Therefore, John could only describe it by saying that there will be no more sea, no more tears, death, sorrow , crying or pain. Those are the things that we do not want to have in this life, and we won’t have those things then. What will the new heaven and the new earth be like? No one can describe it to us clearly . But we can say that there will not be any evil-doers, bad things, crying, pain or death. Without any of those things, it is already a good thing. There might actually be many more things which we can hardly imagine. That is why when the Bible talks about things in the future, it can only use symbolisms. There is no way to describe those things concretely.

新耶路撒冷並不是我們所認識的城市,也不能用今日城市的眼光來看它,因為它代表一種全新,人未曾見過的東西。神要用舊的名字、人所熟悉的名字來告訴我們,新耶路撒冷是一個新的平安城,比舊的城好得太多的新境界、新生活、新結構。現今我們生活在其中的這世界,要徹底把它從我們的腦海裡面拿走,然後運用我們的想像空間,根據這裡幾個描寫她的代名詞,去了解這個未來天國的特點。

The new Jerusalem is not the city that we already know. We cannot visualize the new Jerusalem by comparing it to today’s city because it represents an entirely new thing that people have never seen before. God uses the old name, a place that we are familiar with, to tell us that the new Jerusalem is a new city of peace. This new city is much better than the old one, it is a new realm, a new life, a new structure. For those of us who live in this world , we have to erase the old world completely from our minds and use our imagination together with all the descriptive words to understand the characteristics of the future kingdom of heaven.

羔羊的妻

THE WIFE OF THE LAMB

9 拿著七個金碗盛滿末後七災七天使中,有一位來對我說:「你到這裡來,我要將新婦,就是羔羊的妻,指給你看。」

9 One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.”

這里特別提那位有重要身份的天使,是那負責後面七災,拿著七個金杯,就是那七個金香爐的天使之一。他是在聖所供職的天使,從至聖所直接聽神命令出來辦事的。天使帶著約翰看這位新娘,就是新耶路撒冷。在婚筵之後正式稱為羔羊的妻、基督的配偶。

An angel with a very important position is mentioned here. He is the one who had the seven golden bowls full of the seven last plagues. He is the angel who holds an office in the sanctuary, he is the one who receives orders from God from the Holy of Holies. The angel showed John the bride, which is the new Jerusalem. The one who would become the wife of the Lamb after the wedding banquet, Christ’s spouse.

新約聖經把教會看為是貞潔的童女,是基督的未婚妻,等候祂來迎娶。猶太人的結婚習俗是先定婚,等候結婚日。今天教會是基督的未婚妻,這完全是寓意的講法,指基督將與教會完全成為一體。猶太人結婚的日期完全由新郎決定,他只給一個大概的時間,未婚妻也不知道確實的日期,時候近就要天天都作好準備。就像主耶穌要回來迎接教會,這被提的日子,我們也只是知道大概的日期,有地震、有天災、也有打仗饑荒,各種大風暴出現,就知道日期近了。

The New Testament regards the church as a virgin who is pure, as Christ’s fiancee who waits to welcome Him. The marriage customs of the Jewish people is to first get engaged and then wait for the day of the wedding. Today, the church is Christ’s fiancee , it is totally metaphorical, until in the future Christ becomes one body with the church. The marriage date in Jewish tradition is set by the groom, he would just give an approximate date, the fiancee does not know the exact date, when the time of the wedding date approaches, she has to be prepared. It is similar to when the Lord Jesus comes to take the church with Him, the date of the rapture. We only know an approximate date; when we see earthquakes, natural disasters, wars and famines, storms of great magnitude, then we know that the time is near.

聖經裡有應驗了的預言作我們評估的參考,像但九章的七十個七,前面六十九個七,都準確應驗,後面那七年也一定就是七年。

The Bible also tells us about the fulfillment of the prophecy to have as reference, like the seventy sevens of Daniel chapter 9. The first sixty nine sevens have been fulfilled accurately, so the last seven years will definitely be seven years.

天上七年的婚筵,地上七年的大災難都已過去,未婚妻變了妻子,在天上有了圓滿的結婚程序。羔羊的妻從神那裡由天而降,這是用基督新婦做教會的象徵與預表。教會有很多個像徵或預表,正如基督有很多個名字、象徵與預表一樣。

A 7-year wedding banquet in heaven, 7 years of great tribulation on the earth had already happened; the fiancee has become the wife after a wedding ceremony in heaven. The wife of the Lamb descends from heaven from God, this is symbolized with Christ as the groom of the church. The church has many symbolisms, just as Christ has many names. They all represent something.

聖城耶路撒冷

JERUSALEM, THE HOLY CITY

10 我被聖靈感動,天使帶我到一座高大的山,將那由神那裡從天而降的聖城耶路撒冷指示我。

10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God.

啟示錄裡面有兩個城,有兩個婦人。巴比倫城名意是混亂的城,與耶路撒冷平安的城作一個對比。兩個城的結局不同。巴比倫稱為淫婦,是坐在眾水之上,擁有許多地上資源的,是富有的,受世人所尊重的,有世界上榮耀的淫蕩教會。巴比倫處在世界各國中間,與他們打交道。新耶路撒冷從天上從神那裡降下來,是純潔、光明、美麗的,是全心全意忠於基督的,沒有說她有人的榮耀,但她肯定有神的榮耀。

In Revelation there are two cities and two married women. The city of Babylon, a city of chaos, and in contrast , Jerusalem, the city of peace. The ending of both cities is different. Babylon is called a prostitute, she sits on many waters, it possesses many resources all over the world, she is wealthy and esteemed by the people of the world, it has a church that is lustful and has the world’s glory. Babylon sits in the midst of many nations and has dealings with them. The new Jerusalem comes from heaven, from God, she is pure, bright, beautiful, she is wholeheartedly loyal to Christ, it doesn’t say that she has the glory of the people but she definitely has the glory of God.

約翰被聖靈感動時,纔看見這一個異象,表明這不是現在人人可以看見的城。現在人人都可以看見地上的耶路撒冷。但新耶路撒冷是要有屬靈的眼光纔看得見。

John was able to see this vision only through the Holy Spirit, which means that it is not a city that everyone can see. At present, many people can see the Jerusalem that is in this world but the new Jerusalem can only be seen with spiritual insight.

這個稱為「天國」的新聖城,卻不是在天上,乃是從天上降下來的。聖經裡面常提到的「天國」,使人誤會我們將來都活在「天堂」裡,所以很多人都這樣說:「信耶穌,上天堂。」其實在將來的新天新地中,我們都活在地上,因為這個新城將會從天而降,神要與人同住,神的帳幕也設在人間。

This new city that is called “the kingdom of heaven”, is not in heaven but it descends from heaven. The “kingdom of heaven” that is often mentioned in the Bible makes people have the wrong impression that we will be living in “heaven ” in the future, that is why many people say: “If you believe in Jesus, you will go to heaven.” Actually, in the new heaven and the new earth, we will all be living on the earth, because this new city will come down from heaven, God wants to live together with His people, and God’s tent will be among His people.

光輝榮耀的城

A RADIANT AND GLORIOUS CITY

11 城中有神的榮耀,城的光輝如同極貴的寶石,好像碧玉,明如水晶。

11 It shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal.

這城第一個特色,是非常光亮、非常榮耀,因為神在其中,根本就不再需要燈光、日光。下一段我們纔再專門看這城的榮耀。

The first characteristic of this city is that is very radiant, very glorious, because God is among it, it does not need any lights or sunshine. In the next section we will see the glory of this city.

完美的教會

THE PERFECT CHURCH

12 有高大的牆,有十二個門。門上有十二位天使,門上又寫著以色列十二支派的名字。

12 It had a great, high wall with twelve gates, and with twelve angels at the gates. On the gates were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel.

十二是教會會眾的完全數。這兩章描寫新聖城的經文中,出現多次十二之數,十二個門、十二天使、十二支派、十二根基、十二使徒,還有十二寶石、十二珍珠。下一章的生命樹結十二樣果子。所以十二這數字,成了新聖城最重要的數字。

The number twelve represents the whole church, all the members of the church. The number 12 appears many times in the scriptures describing the new Holy city in these two chapters: 12 gates, 12 angels, 12 tribes, 12 foundations, 12 apostles, 12 precious stones and 12 pearls. The tree of life in the next chapters gives 12 kinds of fruits. Therefore, the number 12 is the most important number of the new Holy City.

她就是神的計劃中最完全的教會。十二使徒、十二支派都有不完全的地方。但十二支派仍然存在。教會不完全的地方,由神自己補滿、聖靈補足,人失敗的地方,靠著神支持而得勝。大衛犯人人鄙視他的罪,姦淫、借刀殺人,但他是追求滿足神心意的聖徒,神喜悅他,藉著他做了天國里很多大事,甚至這天國也算是大衛王國的延續。人做不到的事情,原來神都做到了。現在不完美、有瑕疵,以為是不夠漂亮的教會,原來用超越時間的眼光來看,神早以使她成為純潔完美的羔羊之妻了。

She is the perfect church in God’s plan. The 12 apostles and the 12 tribes were not perfect. But the 12 tribes were still present. God Himself and the Holy Spirit make perfect the imperfections of the church. The failures of a person can be overcome with the help of God. David committed sins that people despised: adultery, murder, but he was a saint who was after God’s heart and God was pleased with that and through him God did greats things for the kingdom of heaven, it was so that this kingdom of heaven was the continuation of David’s kingdom. The things that people cannot accomplish, God can. Now she might not be perfect, she might have flaws, thinking that the church is not beautiful enough, but when we look beyond time, God has actually made her perfect and pure, the wife of the Lamb.

永恆的天國

THE ETERNAL KINGDOM OF HEAVEN

13 東邊有叁門,北邊有叁門,南邊有叁門,西邊有叁門。

13 There were three gates on the east, three on the north, three on the south and three on the west.

十二城門,東南西北各叁個城門,很方便也很自由的進出。而且下文看見,城門不關閉。無論是古代、現代,都沒有見過這種事的,門就是要關起來的,網站要密碼,公司要證件,海關要護照,沒有一處是自由進出的。表示那時候與現在完全不同。那時那地再沒有存心想犯罪的人,因為那裡所有人都在今世經歷過罪惡的可怕,也沒有新出生的人,他們都會珍惜這種美好、自由、安全的生活。

Twelve city gates, three on the east, three on the north, three on the south and three on the west, very easy and convenient to go in and out of the city. Later on we will see that the gates will not need to be shut. Never in the history of the world has this been seen; doors need to be locked, websites need passwords, companies need credentials, customs needs passports, there is no place in this world where people can go in and out freely. This means that the future will be completely different from the present. There the people will not want to commit crimes, because they had already experienced the horrible consequences of sin in this world, there will not be any newborns either. They will all treasure their new life of safety, goodness and freedom.

東南西北四個方向都有,那時仍然有時間、空間的存在。人復活之後,得到新的身體,就像耶穌復活一樣。祂本來會壞的身體變了發亮的身體,仍然活在時間、空間裡面的永遠,不是靜止,像佛教徒所想的涅槃。只有丟到火湖里的撒但與所有跟從者,纔進入靜止、沒有活動,沒有時間、空間的存在。

The four directions will still exist: North, south, east and west. Time and space will still exist. After the people resurrect from the dead and get their new bodies, they will be like Jesus when He resurrected from the dead. His corruptible body changed into a body that shone brightly, He still lived in time and space yet eternally, not like what Buddhists believe that people would exist in nirvana. Only Satan and his followers, those who will be thrown into the lake of fire will be in stillness , inactivity, outside of time and space.

這時空的活動,也不像天使的方式。有些人根據耶穌回答撒都該人的問題,將來人復活之後,像天使一樣,沒有婚嫁。以為人都變成天使了。其實祂只是說,再沒有婚姻的需要。在神的設計,婚姻與性關係,主要是為了繁衍後代。到那時,人數已經有數不盡的多,而且再沒有人死亡,就沒有繁衍後代的需要了,婚姻的關係就變了沒有意義。但也不是說沒有了愛慕、喜悅之情,只是沒有了婚姻關係。那時真是盡情享受愛,而沒有情慾的煩惱。那是一個完美的天地、甜蜜的世界。

We will not be like angels either. Some people think that we will all become like angels because when the Sadducees were questioning Jesus about the resurrection of the dead, He said to them: “When the dead rise, they will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven.” Actually, Jesus just wanted to explain to them that people will not be getting married anymore. In God’s plan, marriage and sexual relations is only for the purpose of procreation. In the future , the population would have been numerous enough; besides, there will not be any death, so there would not be any need to procreate or for marriage. But that doesn’t mean there will not be any love, or things to admire, it is just that there will be no marriages. You will enjoy love but there will not be any lust. It will be a perfect heaven and earth.

十二使徒為根基

THE TWELVE APOSTLES AS FOUNDATIONS

這新的聖城有城門,有高大的牆,城牆有根基,有不同的寶石。所有這些東西,都有代表性,代表天國不同的人物。

The new Holy City had city gates, city walls with foundations, and different kinds of precious stones. All these things represent something, they represent different people.

14 城牆有十二根基,根基上有羔羊十二使徒的名字。

14 The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

根基是12 使徒。聖經說,耶穌基督是房角石,我們的信仰,建立在使徒和先知的根基上( 弗2:20) 。神的啟示透過使徒傳給我們,成為堅固的根基。我們大家的信仰都一致,只接受從使徒傳來的信仰。各時代都有人自稱是神的代言人,全部都信,信仰的根基就亂。

The 12 apostles are the foundations. The Bible says that our belief is built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus Himself as the chief cornerstone. (Ephesians 2:20). God’s revelation is given to us through the apostles thus being a firm foundation. We all have the same belief, which we received from the apostles. During the different eras, there have always been someone who says that he is God’s spokesman, if everyone believed what those people said, the foundation of our faith would be a mess.

這不是城的根基,是城牆的根基,是維繫保護這城平安的根基。這叫和平之都,裡面的人都有同一信仰而得到和平。

They are not the foundations of the city but of the city walls and their purpose is to maintain and protect the peace of the city. The capital of peace, inside the people have one faith; therefore, there is peace.

使徒時代過後,第一世紀之後,再沒有新的啟示放在聖經裡。其他的人無論多偉大,言論多精彩,都不能放在聖經裡面。只有親自從基督傳出來的,纔算是神的啟示。

After the time of the apostles, after the first century had passed, no new revelation has been added to the Bible. The words of other people, no matter how great they are cannot be included in the Bible. Only that which came from Christ personally is to be considered revelation from God.

高大的牆

THE TALL CITY WALLS

第二世紀開始有很多護教、護道的偉大聖徒出現,組成了這堅固的牆保護信仰,一直到末世基督再來為止。他們雖然不是根基,但也是高大城牆的一部份。後面說,他們都會有碧玉一樣的榮耀。

During the beginning of the second century, there arose many great saints who continued to build this strong wall to protect the faith until the end of the world when Christ will come again. Even though they are not the foundation, they are part of the tall city wall. Further on, it said that they will also have glory like jasper.

十二支派

TWELVE TRIBES

門上寫著十二支派名字,表示這救恩的大門,本來從以色列開始,今天仍有些神學家堅持以色列與教會分開,是兩個不同的團體,不同的結局。從這段經文看,好像得救要信猶太教。其實在新耶路撒冷,不單有十二支派的名字,也有十二使徒的名字。明顯是新約舊約兩個教會合一。當然十二支派也不一定是指肉身以色列,保羅已經說過,那些有亞伯拉罕信心的人,纔是真以色列人。以色列人的後裔,有很多人反而沒有得救,不算得是以色列人。

The names of the twelve tribes of Israel were written on the gates, which indicates that this great gate of salvation originally started from Israel. Today, there are still some theologians who insist that Israel and the church are separate, that they are two separate entities , and that they will have a different ending. From this passage, it seems to be saying that in order to be saved, one has to believe in the Jewish religion. Actually, in the New Jerusalem the names of the twelve tribes are written as well as the names of the twelve apostles. Clearly, the New Testament and the Old Testament church is one. Of course the twelve tribes does not necessarily refer to the corporeal body of Israel, Paul already said, those who have Abraham’s faith are the real Israelites. On the other hand, many descendants of Israelites are not saved, they are not considered to be Israelites.

再後面說,城是精金的,街道也是精金的,整個城,基本上是精金組成的。這代表其馀我們這些屬於主的信徒們,每一個都像一塊金磚。彼得說,像一塊活石,活的金石,大家緊密聯繫在一起,組成這個新聖城耶路撒冷,就是我們的家。

Later on it says, the city is of pure gold, the streets are also of pure gold, the entire city is made of pure gold. This means that all of us who belong to the Lord, each one of us are like a piece of gold. Peter said, like a living stone, a living gold stone, everyone united closely to each other, being a part of this Holy City, the New Jerusalem, which is our home.