CHAPTER IX – Revelation 启示录 2:12-17 – 主的话是灵、是生命 THE WORDS OF THE LORD ARE SPIRIT AND LIFE

 

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 IX
主的话是灵、是生命 (启示录2:12-17)
THE WORDS OF THE LORD ARE SPIRIT AND LIFE (Revelation 2:12-17)

别迦摩教会代表基督教成为罗马国教的时代,从第四世纪到第七世 纪的教会,那时教会享受平安的日子。不过有一个大问题,
就是缺少真 道的传讲。新加入教会的人太多,有基础的基督徒与工人不足。所以基 督在这里自称说「有两刃的剑」。
The Church in Pergamum represents the era when Christianity became the national religion in Rome, from the 4th century to the 7th century. The Church enjoyed a time of peace then—but there was a big problem, it lacked preaching of the truth; too many new believers were added to the Church but there were not enough workers with firm foundations.

两刃的利剑
SHARP DOUBLE–EDGED SWORD

12你要写信给别迦摩教会的使者说,那有两刃利剑的说。
12 “To the angel of the church in Pergamum write: These are the words of him who has the sharp, double-edged sword.”

对这教会最清晰的信息,就是他们需要真道。希伯来书四章十二节 就曾经提过「两刃的剑」:「神的道是活泼的,是有功效的,比一切两刃 的剑更快。甚至魂与灵,骨节与骨髓,都能刺入剖开,连心中的思念和 主意都能辨明。」
The clear message to this Church is that they need the truth. Heb 4:12 mentions the “double-edged sword”: “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”

从主口中出来有两刃的利剑,告诉我们这教会最大的失败,就是缺 少主的道。以弗所教会失去初爱,但懂得分辨真理,不让异端得势。示 每拿教会受苦,但生命丰盛。但这教会的苦难时候已经过去,信徒却饿 得半死,因为没有真道供应。
A sharp, double-edged sword was coming out of the Lord’s mouth. This tells us that the biggest failure of this church was the absence of the word. The Church in Ephesus lacked first love, yet they could distinguish the truth and did not let heresy arise in the church. The Church in Smyrna suffered greatly, but their life was abundant. Now, the time of suffering of the church had already passed yet the believers were starving to death spiritually because there were not supplied with the truth.

主对别的教会说话,都提祂有两个特色:七灵、七星;首先与末後 的、死过又活的等。只有这一个教会单提两刃的剑。 中文的「剑」字已指明是两刃的,不过多数文字都没有分刀剑,所 以特别註明是两刃的。表明主的道,有正反两面作用。能剖开灵与魂, 并心中的意念,使人归服基督;又能审判作战。罗马官员如果能佩带此 种剑,等於上方宝剑,有生杀大权。原来主的道也能决定人之生死。
The double-edged sword represents the two functions of the Word of the God. It can penetrate even to dividing soul and spirit, to the inner parts of a person’s heart to bring him to Christ; and can judge the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. If Roman officials could gird themselves with these kinds of double-edged swords, they would be equipped with tremendous power to kill. God’s Word also has the power to determine a person’s life or death.

教会如果没有道传讲,问题很大。贵格会曾经是大宗派,现在有多 派已经式微,原因是他们废除了讲道这一个项目。从古到今,神都使用 传讲的方式。「神在古时藉著众先知,多次多方晓谕列祖。」(来1:1)
If a church does not preach the truth of the Word, then it will have very serious problems. Quakers were once a large denomination but now they are in decline because they abolished preaching in their congregations. God has used preaching since ancient times until now. “In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways.” (Heb 1:1)

基督教跟其他宗教不同。其他只要人诚心膜拜,有没真理讲解并不 重要。但基督徒要经常吃属灵的吗哪。有很长日子,教会充斥礼节祷 文,但很多人听不明白,可以说是隐藏的吗哪。主说:我要显示给恒心 追求者那隐藏的吗哪。那既是我们的粮食,也是与魔鬼争战的武器。灵 粮像肉身的粮食,是不能缺少的。基督徒要常吃真吗哪。
Christianity is different than other religions. Other religions emphasize sincere worship and think that preaching and explaining the truth is not that important. But Christians often need to eat the spiritual manna. For a very long time the church was filled with ceremonial prayers, many people heard it but did not understand it, like having hidden manna. The Lord said: “To the one who is victorious, I will give some of the hidden manna.”That is not only our food but our weapon of war against the devil. The spiritual food is like the food for our bodies which we can not do without. Christians must eat often of the true manna.

主的称讚-坚守主的名
THE LORD’S COMMENDATIONS – REMAINED TRUE TO THE NAME

13我知道你的居所就是有撒但座位之处,当我忠心的见 證人安提帕在你们中间,撒但所住的地方被杀之时,你还坚 守我的名,没有弃绝我的道。
13 I know where you live—where Satan has his throne. Yet you remain true to my name. You did not renounce your faith in me, not even in the days of Antipas, my faithful witness, who was put to death in your city—where Satan lives.

既然皇帝成为基督徒,怎麽仍然有逼迫呢?当我们留心这经文所说 的,这逼迫不像示每拿教会所遭受的,却有点像司提反所受的,是地区 性,是在撒但所住之处发生的。把各教会所说的作比较时,发现这教会 是用「有人」,是部份的不是所有人。别的地方用「你」字,是全面性的。
Even the emperor became a Christian, how come there was still persecution? If we take a closer look at this passage, we will notice that this persecution was different from the persecution of the Church in Smyrna. This was more a regional persecution like during the time of Stephen; it only happened where Satan lived. When we compare the other churches, we find that here it uses the phrase “there are some among you” which means that they were only persecuted by some people, not by every one. Other places used the word “you” which means in its entirety.

为甚麽成了国教之後仍然有迫害?君士坦丁是英明的皇帝,他重新 统一了罗马。但他的版图中有波斯帝国的地与人民。波斯人却会迫害基 督徒。罗马与波斯前後经过六次的战争,最後罗马输了,归还了大片地 土给波斯。由於当时的版图太大,里面就有一些地方撒但势力很强。一 些殉道者是在撒但所在地方被杀,并非全国性的,也不是政府迫害。
How come there was still persecution even after Christianity became the national religion? Constantine was a wise emperor, he reunified Rome. But his territory included the Persian Empire and its people. Persians persecuted Christians. Rome and Persia fought against each other six times; finally Rome lost the war and had to return a large piece of land to Persia. Because the territory of the Roman Empire was too vast at that time, there were some places where Satan’s forces were extremely strong. Some martyrs were put to death in places where Satan lived; it was not a persecution in the entire territory or by the government.

根据天主教传统,安提帕是一位牙医,约 92年在别迦摩受害。天 主教後来封他为圣人,是牙圣。约翰写书的时候,安提帕事件已经发生 了。主用他的事蹟预言後来的事。
Catholic traditions believe Antipas was a dentist and died a martyr’s death around the year 92. The Catholic Church canonized him as a saint and prays to him for relief from toothaches, and diseases of the teeth. When John wrote the book, Antipas had already been killed. The Lord used his accomplishment to tell of the things to come.

整体上,这教会还算是坚持真理的。最有名的事件,是 325年在 尼西亚Nicaea举行的普世教会会议,目的为解决两派之争。Arius阿 流派与Athanasius阿他拿修派关於叁位一体神的争论。结果阿流派被 判为异端,他们远走他乡,甚至到中国来传道。在唐朝时称为景教。後 来在中国也消失了。凡不接受基督为神的信仰,必定破产。
Overall, this church is considered to hold fast to the truth. The most famous event was the First Council of Nicaea in the year 325, which was aimed to resolve doctrinal disputes between two groups, Arius and Athanasius, regarding controversies about the Trinity. Arianism was condemned as heresy, yet their teachings traveled to distant parts of the world, even as far as China. During the Tang dynasty that doctrine was called Nestorianism but later on those teachings disintegrated. Any belief that does not recognize Jesus Christ as God will surely fall apart.

主的责备-服从巴兰教训
THE LORD’S REBUKE – HOLD THE TEACHING OF BALAAM

14有几件事[不只一件]我要责备你,因为在你那里,有人 服从了巴兰的教训。这巴兰曾教导巴勒将绊脚石放在以色列人 面前,叫他们吃祭偶像之物,行姦淫的事。
14 Nevertheless, I have a few things against you: There are some among you who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin so that they ate food, sacrificed to idols and committed sexual immorality.

他们的两个错误都与不认识真理有关。真道的根基不稳,不能分辨 真假,很容易就会跟随异端。当时有两个教训在滋长,成了罗马大公教 与希腊东正教世世代代的歪风。後来罗马再加上崇拜耶洗别,就是崇拜 教皇(下一时期的教会就看到这毒瘤出现),夺取了神的权柄。这种种败 坏人心的教导,影响教会超过一千年。
The two mistakes they made were related to not being able to recognize the truth. Their foundation on the true Word of God was unsound; they could not distinguish between true and false doctrines which made it easy to fall into the dangers of heresy. At that time there were two unhealthy heretic teachings that were passed from generation to generation by the Roman Catholic Church and the Greek Orthodox Church. Later on, Rome added another heresy which was the worshiping of Jezebel that is, worshiping the Pope (this malignant tumor would appear in the next church era), snatching away God’s authority. These different kinds of teachings that corrode the hearts of people influenced the church for more than a thousand years.

巴兰先知是旧约中有名的先知,他说的话都会应验,可说是金口先 知。以色列人出埃及经过旷野,有几个民族非常害怕他们。先是以东人 不让以色列经过,要绕道而行。经过南边迦南人的地,他们来攻击以色 列,结果反被以色列所灭。亚摩利人,照样不让他们过去,结果也是败 给以色列(民22-23)。摩押人、米甸人就联合请了巴兰来咒诅以色列。
Balaam was a well-known prophet from the Old Testament. Whatever he prophesied came true. When the Israelites came out of Egypt and passed through the wilderness, there were a few groups of people who were very afraid of them. First, the Edomites did not let the Israelites go through their territory so they had to make a detour. When the Israelites went through the land of Canaan, the Canaanites attacked the Israelites but the Israelites fought back and destroyed them. The Amorites also did not let the Israelites pass through their territory, and they were also defeated (Numbers Chapters 22-23). The Moabites and the Midianites joined together to asked Balaam to curse the Israelites.

结果巴兰看见以色列人安营的方式,知道无法加害他们,因为他们 包围著神的宝座安营。凡以神为中心的生活方式,「住在至高者隐密处 的,必住在全能者的荫下。」(诗91:1)巴兰因为贪财,所以想出一个毒 计,就是叫摩押人派美女进去以色列营,迷惑他们、引诱他们拜偶像, 把以色列人陷在拜摩押偶像的风气中,而受咒诅,破坏了蒙保守的篱笆 (民22-25章)。当他们失去忠於主的心,也失去了主的保守。敬畏主的 家庭,事奉主的教会,虽然有人想破坏、攻击,也不能得手,因为有主 恩典包围著。巴兰的教训,就是拜偶像的教训,把神的子民陷在罪里。
As a result, when Balaam saw the way the Israelites were encamping, he knew he could not curse them because they were camping around the throne of God. Whoever has God as the center of his life, “whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” (Psalm 91:1). Because Balaam was greedy for riches, he thought of an evil scheme, which was to send beautiful women into the camp of the Israelites to bewilder them and entice them to worship idols, deceiving the Israelites into adopting the culture of the Moabites which was to worship idols and thus becoming cursed, destroying God’s protective barrier (Numbers Chapters 22-25). When the Israelites lost their loyalty towards the Lord, they also lost God’s protection. The household that worships God, the church that serves the Lord, though some people might want to attack and destroy it, will not succeed because God’s grace surrounds it. The teachings of Balaam were the teachings to worship idols, luring God’s people to sin.

主的责备-接受尼哥拉教训
THE LORD’S REBUKE–HOLDING THE TEACHING OF THE NICOLAITANS

15你那里也有人照样服从了尼哥拉一党人的教训。
15 Likewise, you also have those who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans.

尼哥拉党的教训在以弗所教会时代,就是第一世纪已经出现,但不 被接受。到别迦摩时代,他们就接受了这种人本教训。他们认为神创造 人,给人有人的天性,人想做甚麽事,是身不由己的。从这个「想做就 去做」的想法中得到乐趣,也是神的旨意。神叫人享受生活情趣。如果 因此犯了罪,告解一下就全被赦免了,照样可以进天国、得奖赏。
The teachings of the Nicolaitans had already appeared during the first century, which was during the time of the Church in Ephesus, but their ideas were not accepted until the time of the Church in Pergamum. The Nicolaitans believed that when God created human beings they were given a human nature which made them do things beyond their control. Therefore, they led lives of unrestrained indulgence and assumed that it was God’s will. If while enjoying life, someone committed a sin, the only thing that person had to do was to confess his sin and he would be forgiven and still be able to go to heaven and enjoy his reward.

以色列人犯罪之後,得不到恩典保守。基督徒也是一样。保罗说: 「体贴肉体的是死,体贴圣灵的是生命平安。」我们没有必要跟随肉体。
After the Israelites sinned, they lost God’s grace and protection. The same goes for Christians. Paul said: “The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.”

这邪恶教训在他们中间滋长。「有人」的意思,只是部份人,不是全 部人。但教会已经给魔鬼邪恶教训留了活动範围。到今天天主教徒比较 注重享受生活。美酒、派对,看为是生活上必须有的东西。
This evil teaching developed in their midst. “Some among you” meant that not everyone followed those teachings. But Satan’s malevolent ideas had already infiltrated the church. Today Catholics are still very focused on enjoying a lifestyle of pleasures. They look at fine wine and parties as things that they must have in their lives.

主的警告-不悔改的将被主道所惩罚
THE LORD’S WARNING – REPENT, OTHERWISE THEY WILL BE PUNISHED BY GOD’S WORD

16所以你当悔改,若不悔改,我就快临到你那里,用我口 中的剑攻击他们。
16 Repent therefore! Otherwise, I will soon come to you and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.

主的话语是两刃的剑,主的道可以成我们生命的粮,使灵命成长。 但如果行事与神的道远离,自称拥有神的道,却像法利赛人行事违反神 的旨意,也就会遭主道的审判。主的道也有另一面的刃对付诡诈的人。 像摩西对以色列人所说的,遵行主道的有福气,违反主道的遭遇灾祸。
The Word of God is a double-edged sword. His Word is our daily bread which can help us grow spiritually mature. But, if we do things that are not in accordance with God’s Word, yet we claim to have His Word in us, like the Pharisees, then we will have to face God’s judgment. God’s Word also has another side to it which deals with deceitful people. Moses said to the Israelites, obey God’s Word and you will be blessed but if you do not obey the Lord, curses will come to you.

主的应许-寻主道的将得隐藏的吗哪
THE LORD’S PROMISE – THOSE WHO SEARCH GOD’S WORD WILL RECEIVE THE HIDDEN MANNA

17圣灵向众教会所说的话,凡有耳的,就应当听。得胜的 我必将那隐藏的吗哪赐给他。
17 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give some of the hidden manna.

以色列在旷野得到显明的吗哪,绕著旷野几十年,就靠神所赐的吗 哪为生。吗哪後来放在金罐里,藏在约柜中,在至圣所里成了隐藏的吗 哪。别迦摩教会最严重缺乏的,就是主的道,也影响了後面两个时代的 教会。他们的弥撒全用拉丁文,那真是百分之百的隐藏吗哪。把主的道 隐藏起来,饑饿的人无法得到。
When the Israelites were wandering in the dessert for forty years, God gave them manna to eat so they could stay alive; that manna was visible. Later on, manna was put in a golden can and placed inside the Ark of the Covenant which was in the Holy of Holies and so it became hidden manna. What the Church in Pergamum lack the most was God’s Word, which was detrimental to the churches of the next two eras. Their liturgies were all performed in Latin, which was one hundred percent hidden manna. Keeping God’s Word hidden will not satisfy the spiritual hunger of the people.

阿摩司书八章形容末世的饑荒,可用在他们身上,他们饑饿不是因 为缺粮,口渴不是因为缺水,乃是缺少神的话,他们东西南北、海洋陆 地,到处寻找主的话,却寻不到,那些少女、少男因饑渴而发神经,作 出伤残自己的事。因为他们缺乏主的道。
The description of the famine at the end of the world in the book of Amos chapter 8 depicts the situation these people were in. Their famine was not due to the lack of food nor their thirst to the lack of water but to the lack for God’s Word. People staggered from sea to sea and wandered from north to east, searching for the Word of the Lord, but they did not find it. Young men and women were so thirsty that they became mentally deranged and hurt their own bodies, because they lack the Word.

从历史看,多次的复兴都由读圣经而来。约西亚王偶然找到遗失多 年的律法书,念给百姓听,民众就悔改。
Throughout history, we can see that a number of spiritual revivals started with the reading of God’s Word. When King Josiah accidentally found the long lost Book of the Law, he read it to his people. After the people heard God’s Word, they repented.

美国早期的移民称为清教徒,英国清教徒怎样兴起?十六世纪初, 英国教会腐败,牧师不讲道,主日只重狂欢喝酒。他们穿舞衣做礼拜, 念完祷文就去跳舞、喝酒。一位青年 Tindale 在牛津Oxford 与剑桥 Cambridge唸大学,成了希腊文学者,後来进犹太学校学希伯来文, 之後跟几位信徒一同翻译圣经,出版了几本新约圣经,放在一些教堂门 口。教堂把圣经锁在门前,每天有好多人好奇地来翻读。到後来,想读 的人多,就找声音洪亮的,当众的朗读出来。不久之後,全国流行这方 式来读经。人听见主的话大受感动,一边听一边流泪,清教徒的复兴就 这样开始了。有真道纔有新生命。
The early American settlers were called Puritans. How did the Puritans from England come about? Early in the sixteenth century there was a lot of corruption in the church in England, the pastors did not preach the Word of God. On Sundays, the people had drinking parties, they would wear their party dresses to church and afterward they would go dancing and drinking. A young man named Tyndale, who graduated from Oxford and Cambridge University and was an expert in Greek and Hebrew literature, translated the Bible into English together with a few other Bible scholars. After the Bibles were published, he put them in at the front door of some churches. The Bibles were locked at the entrance of the churches and every day many people who were curious would pass by and read it. Later on, when more people wanted to read it, it was read out loud to the public by someone who had a strong and loud voice. Soon after, this became a popular way to read the Bible. While people were listening to the Word of the Lord, they were so deeply moved that tears would come out streaming from their eyes. This is how the Puritan revival started. Only the truth can bring out a new life.

寻主道的将得主救恩的邀请
THOSE WHO SEARCH GOD’S WORLD WILL OBTAIN AN INVITATION TO GOD’S SALVATION.

17并赐他一块白石,石上写著新名,除了那领受的以外, 没有人能认识。
17 I will also give that person a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to the one who receives it.

当时罗马的大人物邀请贵宾参加宴会,会用一块光滑的白石,写上 宾客的名字,作为邀请卡。现在我们的主、天国的王要邀请这些得到祂 真道、享有祂生命的人到祂的大筵席来。这些人的名字就是他们所得的 新生命,只有他自己知道是不是已经有了这新生命。世界的权贵请客, 以客人的名气声望做决定。主所邀请的人是以他领受的生命作决定。这 些人已经得到主救恩,也得到天上吗哪,将会成为主筵席上的贵宾。
It was customary during the times of the Roman Empire, when very important people were about to hold a banquet, to write the names of the guests on small smooth stones. These were their invitation cards. Now our Lord, the King of the Kingdom of Heaven, wants to invite those who have the true Word of God and enjoy His life to attend His great banquet. The names of these people are the new life that they have obtained; they are the only ones who know whether or not they have this new life. When the influential people of the world send out invitations to others, they do it according to the person’s reputation and popularity. When the Lord invites people to His banquet, He does it according to the life that the person has received. Only those who already have the Lord’s salvation and the manna from heaven will be the guests in the Lord’s banquet.