What will the future world look like? It’s very hard to imagine. It was really hard for John to describe it to us. He could only say: There will be no more crying or pain. It is true that new things are hard to describe , we can only say there will be no more of the old stuff.
Many people are not interested to hear that kind of description. However, if we say that within 20 years we will have this completely new life, then we would really want to know what kind of life that would be.
Forget about the streets of gold and the walls of jasper in heaven. We are not going to heaven, the kingdom of God will come to earth.
In chapter 21, the holy city has gold and precious stones, like a jewelry factory. Actually, it is a description of the glory of those who will live inside the city; but Chapter 22 actually describes our future home.
Chapter 21 describes the kingdom of heaven, chapter 22 describes our future home. We will all love our future home, it will not be a spiritual world. In the future we will still have a physical body.
Some believe that in the future everyone will be like angels, flying around with their two wings. That is entirely nonsense and unfounded. Angels are spirits, we also have spirits but we are different from them. When God created angels He created each of them individually. When God created man, He first created the physical body and afterward He added a spirit in him. Like, first, creating the hardware and then adding the software to a computer to make it work. If the hardware is broken, the software is useless. At the final judgment, when the wicked are judged, they will need their resurrected bodies; after the judgment, they will suffer the second death. Why not just judge the spirit directly? Because we need a body to live. In the future we will have a glorious resurrected body, we will not suffer the second death. The body that we will have in the future will not be like the body that we have now. This body dies but the spirit lives forever, it doesn’t just disappear. Spirits cannot die the first death nor the second death, what dies is the body.
Our ancestors lost the first paradise because they sinned (The Garden of Eden means paradise). The things that were in the first paradise, what our ancestors lost, will be given to us again in our future home.
WE WILL AGAIN HAVE THE RIVER OF LIFE FROM PARADISE
1 天使又指示我在城內街道當中一道生命水的河，明亮如水晶，從神和羔羊的寶座流出來。1 Then he showed me the river of the water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb.
The Garden of Eden had 4 rivers supplying the different needs of the people. By looking at the meaning of the names of these rivers, we know that they will be of great influence in our lives.
People need these provisions in order for their physical body to live well.
Pishon means “flowing freely”. In our daily life, we need the grace of God that is given to us freely, like the sunshine, the air, the water; Gihon means “abundant surge “, God provides abundantly for our lives, He gives us a diversity of foods so people can grow strong and happy; Hiddekel (Tigris) means “great strength”, God gives us strength to live; He gives us energy and stamina for all kinds of circumstances, He gives the strength to strive; Perath (Euphrates) means “sweetness”, God also wants us to enjoy love and a sweet life.
到了將來的家園，人仍然有一個身體，那是一個新的、有榮光的，遠勝現在所擁有的身體。既然有身體，也就有身體方面的需要。在將來的家園裡，仍然有河水，就是生命河的水，在滿足我們肉身上的需要。When we get to our future home, people will still have a body, but it will be a new body, a glorious body, far better than the body that we have now. Since we have a body, we will also have physical needs. In our future home, there will also a river, the river of the water of life, to meet the needs of our physical body.
在新的家園，四條河融為一條。詩篇已經有預告。詩篇46:4 ：｢有一道河，這河的分汊，使神的城歡喜，這城就是至高者居住的聖所。｣神的城，明顯是指新耶路撒冷。詩篇36:8 ：｢祢也必叫他們喝祢樂河的水。｣樂河的｢樂｣字，就是伊甸園的｢伊甸｣那字。這詩篇也在預告，將來我們都要喝這樂河的水。過充滿活力與喜樂的生活。In the future home, four rivers flow into one. Psalm tells us about it. Psalm 46:4: “There is a river— its streams delight the city of God, the holy dwelling place of the Most High .” The city of God , obviously this is talking about the new Jerusalem. Psalm 36:8: “You give them drink from your river of delights. The word “delights”, is probably a reference to the garden of Eden, and the river that ran through and watered it. This Psalm also tells us in advance that in the future we will drink of the river of delight. We will all live a life full of energy and joy.
WE WILL AGAIN HAVE THE TREE OF LIFE FROM PARADISE
2 在河的這邊與那邊，有生命樹，結十二樣果子。每個月都結果子，樹上的葉子乃為醫治萬民。2 down the middle of the city’s main street. The tree of life was on each side of the river, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, producing its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree are for healing the nations.
以西結書四七章所見，與約翰所見相同。那裡說，河兩邊長了很多種樹，樹的果可作食物，葉子可以醫病。這裡說河的兩邊都是生命樹，樹上的葉子也是用來治病。What Ezekiel saw in chapter 47 and what John saw are similar. There it says that on both sides of the river there are all kinds of trees, and their fruit will be used for food and their leaves for medicine.
這裡說的生命樹能結出十二種果。以西結以為既有多種果，應該有多種樹。以西結說的河從聖所流出。這裡的河水，是從神寶座流出來，都是一樣的意思。所以以西結所見，其實就是新耶路撒冷。Here it says that the tree of life can bear twelve kinds of fruits. Ezekiel thought that since there were different kinds of fruits, there must be different kinds of trees. Ezekiel said that the river flowed from the temple. Here, the river flowed from the throne of God. They both mean the same. So what Ezekiel saw it was actually the new Jerusalem.
在新耶路撒冷只說有生命樹。可能因為亞當夏娃所失去是生命樹，所以特別強調我們將重享生命樹。人吃過其他樹的果，只有生命樹的果沒有吃過。我們所失去的將來可以再得。我們的將來，不是只有一種食物，必定有多種不同好處的食物。表示我們還在享受多姿多彩的生活。In the new Jerusalem, it only talks about the tree of life. Maybe the tree of life was the one thing that Adam and Eve lost, that is why it specially emphasizes that we will again have the tree of life. People have eaten all kinds of fruits, the only fruit they have not eaten is the fruit from the tree of life. What we loose , in the future we will have again. In the future, we will not only have one kind of food, we will have all kinds of delicious food. We will be able to enjoy a colorful life.
原文是結出十二種果子，不是十二回果子。翻譯的以為每個月都結果子就是十二回。其實是說有多種類的果子，是屬靈上全備的果子。這裡的生命樹包括多種果樹，只是全部給它們同一個名字，就是生命樹。The original text says bearing twelve kinds of fruits, not twelve times. The translator must have assumed that if it gives fruit every month, it must be twelve times. Actually, it says twelve kinds of fruits, they are all the spiritual fruits. This tree of life includes a diversity of fruit trees but they are all under one name which is the tree of life.
每個月都結果。好些果樹一年或兩年纔結一次果，但在新樂園裡，每個月都有新果。也不會有蟲蛀，現代人種果樹的所有煩惱全部都不見了，這纔是真正的樂園。只是不知道那時候的月，是怎麽算？因為沒有月亮、沒有黑夜，不知道怎樣纔算是一天？只能想，到時候一定有新方法來計算日子。It produces fruit every month. Some fruit trees produce fruit once a year or once every two years but in the new paradise, the trees bear fruit every month. There will not be anymore garden pests, all the annoying bugs that eat our fruit trees will be gone. It will really be a paradise. The only thing is that we do not know how to count the months then because there will not be any moon or night, how will the days be counted then? Not to worry, when the time comes there will be a new way to count the days.
吃生命樹果是甚麽意思？是否指得生命？如果信徒已經有了生命，為甚麽還要再得生命？是否用它來維持生命？像創世記說，他們如果吃了生命果，就永遠活著。在本書第二章，主應許以弗所教會，凡得勝的能吃生命果。｢得勝的我必將神樂園中生命樹的果子賜給他吃。｣為甚麽給已經有生命的人生命？那要看猶太人對生命樹的解釋。What does it mean to eat the fruit of the tree of life? Is it to obtain life? If a believer already has life, why would they need life again? Is it to maintain life? Like what Genesis says: If they eat of the fruit of the tree of life, they will live forever. In chapter 2 of the book, the Lord promises the church in Ephesus that the one who conquers will eat from the tree of life. “To the one who conquers, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.” Why give life to those who already have life? To answer that we need to look at the Jewish interpretation of the tree of life.
生命樹在所羅門王的寫作裡面，看為是智慧的源頭。箴言3:13-20 論智慧之時，特別提到生命樹。11:30 ：｢義人所結的果子就是生命樹，有智慧的必能得人。｣義人的果子與智慧有關。15:4 的｢醫治的舌頭｣，指智慧的言語能幫助人。舊伊甸園中有兩棵樹，代表真假智慧。亞當得到假智慧，以為與神相似，能分別善惡。結果失去真智慧。The tree of life is seen in King Solomon’s writing as the source of wisdom. Proverbs 3: 13-20 mentions the tree of life especially when it talks about wisdom. 11:30: The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who is wise wins souls. The fruit of the righteous is related to wisdom. 15:4 “The tongue that heals is a tree of life.”, meaning that wise words can help people. The were two trees in the middle of the old Garden of Eden, they represented the true and the false wisdom. Adam obtained false wisdom to think that knowing good and evil will make him like God. The result was that he lost the true wisdom.
以弗所教會守著主的道，自認有智慧。但真正智慧是行動的智慧，不是理論上的智慧。他們必須行｢起初所行｣、｢起初的愛｣、｢起初的勞苦事奉｣，神就要賜下天上的真智慧。The Ephesian church guarded the Word of the Lord thinking they were wise. But true wisdom is the wisdom of action, not theoretical wisdom. They must do “what they did at first,” “first love,” and “first labor and service. ” Then God will give them the true wisdom from heaven.
樹上的葉子能醫治萬民。其實沒有說有病，但說｢醫治｣，自然想到病。｢醫治｣ therapian 可說｢維持健康｣。以西結47:12 英for healing ，原意是為瘀傷、疼痛，是意外帶來的傷害。那時候無論是遇到怎樣的意外損傷，都能夠馬上藉著葉子得到醫治。The leaves of the tree are for healing the nations. Actually, there is no mention of sickness, but it says: “heal”, so naturally we think of sickness. “To heal” [ therapian ], can mean to maintain health. Ezekiel 47:12 “for healing”, the original meaning is for bruises, pain, unexpected injuries. At that time, no matter what kind of accidental injury we might have, we will be healed immediately by eating the leaves.
所以生命河是肉身上生活的供應。生命樹是肉身上智慧與健康的供應。Therefore, the river of life provides the daily needs for our physical body. The tree of life provides wisdom and health to our physical bodies.
A BLESSED LIFE
3 以後再沒有咒詛。在城裡有神和羔羊的寶座，祂的僕人都要事奉祂。3 and there will no longer be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and His servants will worship Him.
神造人，本來給我們是有福的人生，亞當夏娃犯罪之後，人受到從罪來的咒詛。福氣不見了，一生之中只看見很多的咒詛。人人都想追求幸福。中國人把福字倒掛，就是盼望福氣能夠臨到。When God created man, He originally gave us a blessed life. After Adam and Even sinned, men were cursed because of sin. The blessing disappeared and curses were. Everyone wants to pursue happiness. The Chinese people often post the Chinese character “ 福[ fú ]” (Happiness) upside-down. It is said that this is because the Chinese character for “upside-down”, “ 倒” [ dào ], is a homonym of the character for “to arrive”, “ 到” [ dào ]. So this means that “ 福” (happiness) is “arriving”. Hoping the blessings and happiness will arrive.
甚麽是咒詛？始祖被趕出樂園；要辛苦做工纔賺到一點點；女人要經歷生產之疼痛；地長出很多人不想要的東西；水果有很多蟲搶著吃；辛苦賺得來被人騙走、偷走，或遇意外災禍，失去一切東西。在近代中國移民中，有很多艱苦奮鬥，結果一無所有，被搶、被燒掉，買一部車原來是檸檬，投資又破了產，還有犯了法被關起來的，有被人殺死的，也有自殺死的。一句話可以形容，就是滿了咒詛。What is a curse? Our ancestors were driven out of paradise; to work hard to earn just a little bit; women were to experience the pain child bearing; the ground produced many weeds that people dislike, the fruits were full of bugs and pests; whatever hard work earned was robbed or completely destroyed by fire. Nowadays, many Chinese immigrants work very hard to earn a living but end up with nothing. What they earn is either stolen or burned, they buy a car and they get a lemon car, the investments end up in bankruptcy, some get killed and others commit suicide. One word to describe this: cursed.
有福的人生乃是福氣追著來。做甚麽事都有神的引導，學業有成，生意發展。人說這是好運氣，其實是好福氣，人到處尋找希望得福。A happy life is one that is followed with blessings. God’s guidance is in everything they do, they have academic success, their business grows. People say this is good luck, in fact, is a blessing. People are looking everywhere for happiness.
原來福氣不是求回來的。有福之人，無論做甚麽都蒙福；受咒詛的人，到處求，仍是咒詛。求快樂的人得不到快樂，花錢找娛樂，結果錢花了，樂卻得不到；求平安的人得不到平安。辛辛苦苦找平安的地方移民，或求神拜佛買平安符戴在身上，結果不單沒有平安的環境，也沒有平安的心情；求健康得不到健康，吃健康食物，結果還是疾病纏身。Actually, you cannot get happiness by asking for it. Those who are blessed are blessed no matter what they do. Those who are cursed, no matter where they look, they only find curse. Those who look for happiness do not get it, they spend a lot of money to find joy yet after spending all their money, they fail to get it. Those looking for peace do not get peace. They work hard to find a place to immigrate, or they would pray to their idols and buy peace amulets but at the end they can’t find a peaceful place to live and they don’t have peace in their hearts. They seek health but they don’t get it, they eat health foods but at the end they still get sick.
原來這些東西都是屬於神的，是神的財富。我們沒有能力生產這些東西，或擁有這些東西。所有福氣都是副產品。想要它，它不能產生，沒有想它，它就來了。就好像有好多人想發達，結果都不能發達。另外一些知道秘訣說：｢我要嫁個有錢人。｣嫁到有錢人，她就有錢了。Actually, all those things come from God, those are God’s riches. There is no way we could produce or possess those things. All blessings are a by-product. When you want it, you don’t get it and when you don’ t want it, they will come. Is like when many people want to get wealthy but it doesn’t happen. Others have a plan and say: “I will marry a rich person”. So she marries a rich person and gets rich.
原來有福的人生，乃是事奉神的人生。人通常不知道。所以先用一句反面話來告訴我們，再沒有咒詛，世上最不好的東西，最壞的事物，都不見了。因為神寶座在人的生活中心。當你得到神自己，神在家裡作主，你就得到祂的福氣。當拒絕神，就是拒絕了所有神的福氣。當神的寶座在這城裡，這城就沒有咒詛。當神的寶座在你家裡，你就蒙福。Actually, a blessed life is a life that serves the Lord. People normally don’t know that. That is why a negative wording is used, there will no longer be any curse, all the bad things in the world will no longer be. Because the throne of God will be in the center of people’s lives. When you have God Himself, when God is the Lord of your home, you will have His blessings. When you reject God, you reject all the blessings from God. When God’s throne is in the city, that city will no longer be cursed. When the throne of God is in your home, you will be blessed.
在第一個樂園裡，亞當夏娃受了咒詛。在第二個樂園，一切咒詛不見了，再沒有白蟻咬你的房子，沒有鬆鼠吃掉你的果子。神的寶座在中間，神所創造的好東西全部都在，只是再沒有咒詛了。所有事奉神的人都歡喜快樂地過有福的生活。In the first paradise, Adam and Eve were cursed. In the second paradise, all the curse will have vanished. There will be no more termites to devour your house, there will be no more squirrels to eat up your fruits. When God’s throne is in the center, all the things that God created will still be there, the only thing that there will be no more is curse. All those who serve God will live a joyful happy life.
在新耶路撒冷，將會常常有盛大的敬拜聚會。大家包圍著主的寶座來敬拜祂，將會有很多有恩賜、有才能的同工在帶領崇拜，享受詩歌讚美的歡樂。在一種充滿心靈震撼力的崇拜聚會中，感受那種面對面看見神的大奮興事奉，也直接聽到神在寶座上對我們發出的安慰、鼓勵、命令，那種聚會是高度享受的敬拜，是個充滿神大能的約會。In the new Jerusalem, there will always be a majestic worship service. We will all surround the throne of God and worship Him. There will be many gifted co-workers to lead the worship service and we will enjoy the awesome praises and the hymns. In this mind blowing amazing worship service, we will see God face to face, and will be able to hear His voice of comfort, encouragement and command. That kind of worship will be of pure enjoyment, a gathering permeated with the Lord God Almighty.
A LIFE OF ETERNAL SECURITY
4 They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.
人類的始祖早期可以與神見面，後來因罪的影響深遠，就算敬畏神的人，也不能看得見神的面了。耶穌說，只有清心的人纔能見神。摩西雖然面對面聽神說話，但當時是在雲彩遮蓋下見面。那最原始親密的關係，要等到將來纔能夠恢復。那時，我們面對面看見神。The first human ancestors could meet with God face to face in the beginning, but after man sinned even God-fearing people could not see God’s face. Jesus said that only those who are pure in heart will see God. Although Moses heard God speak to him directly, it was covered under the cloud. That original intimate relationship with God will not be restored until the future. Then, we will be able to see God face to face.
常見主面，也是在神照顧保護之下，在最安穩的狀況中。當始祖失去親近神機會的時候，同時也失去了安全感。像該隱殺了弟弟之後被趕離開神的面，他就害怕在外面流浪的時候，會有一天被人殺了。那時當然沒有甚麽人想要殺他，只是他心裡害怕，已經失去了安全感，要求神給他一個保護的記號，免得遇危險。所以有神的名寫在額上，就是永遠屬於神的，有神永遠的生命性情，也有神永遠的保護。Seeing God often, is to be under the care and protection of God, under the most secure condition. When our ancestors lost their opportunity to be close to God, they also lost their sense of security. Like when Cain murdered his brother, he was driven away from the face of God, he was afraid of wandering in the outside world, afraid that someone might kill him. No one at that time wanted to kill him, of course, but he was afraid. He had lost his sense of security and demanded that God give him a sign of protection from danger. Therefore, having the name of God written on their foreheads means that they will always belong to God, they will have God’s eternal life and God’s eternal protection.
這裡說：｢也要見祂的面｣，是指那些事奉神的僕人常見神的面，是事奉神的僕人有神的名字寫在額上。是特別蒙神鍾愛的，是事奉同工的榮耀。所以，不要只滿足於僅僅得救，不要想只要得永生就好了。事奉主，要不甘後人的，積極參與服事工作。事奉永生的神是大有榮耀的，是平安喜樂的路，是心靈得滿足的秘訣。Here it says: “They will see His face”, it refers to servants of God who will often see His face, the ones who serve God are the ones with God’s name on their foreheads. They are specially loved by God, it is the glory of those who serve God. Therefore, don’t be satisfy to be hardly saved, don’t think that it is enough to have eternal life. Serve the Lord, participate actively in it. It is glorious to serve the God of eternal life, it is a road of peace and joy, it is the secret to be fully satisfied in your heart.
THE LIFE OF A KING
5 不再有黑夜，他們也不用燈光、日光，因為主神要光照他們。他們要作王，直到永永遠遠。5 Night will be no more; people will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, because the Lord God will give them light,and they will reign forever and ever.
亞當在伊甸園中本來是作王的，他要管理全地上一切的事，管理各種生物。但犯罪之後，他失去了管理的權，他作了罪的奴僕，也做了所有物質的奴僕。Adam was originally the king of the Garden of Eden, he had to rule over everything on the earth, he had to rule over all the living things. But, after he sinned, he lost all authority to rule, and he became a slave to all the material things.
就像今天的人做了金錢奴、娛樂奴、肚腹奴、毒品奴、賭博奴、酒精奴、性慾奴，王子變了僕役，失去權柄。將來在新天新地，將有很多事奉主的人重新得到神給他們治理的權，他們要與主同作王到永遠。It is like people nowadays, they are salves to money, slaves to entertainment, slaves to their bellies, slaves to gambling, slaves to lust, the prince became the servant, he lost his authority. In the future, in the new heaven and the new earth, many servants of God will again have the authority to govern, they will rule with God for eternity.
The life of a king and the life of a slave of sin could be described as day and night.
The world that God created has day and night, the light of the day relies entirely on the sun. The light at night relies on the moon, the stars and lighting.
Often Spiritual darkness indicates that sin is in control, for evil deeds are done in darkness. Darkness further paints a picture of a heart without light, people in darkness are at a loss of what to do, they don’t know which way to go . In any event, spiritual darkness represents a negative scary situation.
在未來的世界中，再沒有太陽、月亮，也不用燈光，因為神就是他們的光。神就是宇宙中最大的強光。神就是光。祂無論在哪裡，哪裡就有光明。神既然住在人中間，祂就成了全城的照明設備。所以新聖城將永遠是白晝，沒有黑夜。跟現在的宇宙設計截然不同。In the future world, there will not be any sun or moon, there will be no need for light from a lamp, because God is their light. God is the strongest light in the whole universe. God is light. Wherever God is, there is light. Since God will dwell among the people, He becomes the source of light for the whole city. Therefore, it will always be day in the new Holy City. There will not be any night. It will be completely different from the current design of the universe.
將來的新天新地到底是怎樣的？我們還是很難想像，到那時，沒有大小星球的運轉，也不需要日月光體的存在，那地方卻充滿光明，不需要太陽或電燈，於是日子怎麽算？時間怎麽算？我們仍然是一無所知。What is it going to be like in the new heaven and the new earth? It is very hard for us to imagine; there won’t be any small or large planets, there will be no need for the sun or the moon to exist, but that place will be filled with light, there will be no need for sun or lighting, how will we count the days? How will we calculate the time? We still don’t know.
It will be a place full of light. Living in the light has two meanings.
第一是神將與我們在光明中相交，祂的心意我們不用再猜。我們也在光明中與眾人相交。到那時，是真的明人不做暗事，再沒有黑暗，再沒有偷偷摸摸做的事。大家在透明中相交往。First, God will communicate with us in the light, we will not need to guess His intentions. We will also communicate with people under the light. At that time, all our actions will be in the open, there will not be any darkness, no body will do anything secretly. Everyone’s actions will be transparent.
第二方面是生活上，我們都知道應該怎樣行事。當日眾門徒聽到拉撒路病了，卻不知道應該不應該去看他。耶穌說：｢人在白日行走就不會失腳。｣有光的帶領就不必害怕。知道甚麽當作，甚麽不作，那就是作王的生命。Secondly, we will know what to do in our lives. When all the disciples heard that Lazarus was sick, they didn’t know if they should or should not go to see him. Jesus said: “Anyone who walks in the daytime will not stumble.” When the light leads us, we don’t need to be afraid. We will know what to do, and what not to do, that is the life of a king.