CHAPTER XII – Revelation 启示录 3:7-13 – 真实教会之出现 THE TRUE CHURCH APPEARS

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 XII

真实教会之出现 (启示录3:7-13 )
THE TRUE CHURCH APPEARS (REVELATION 3:7-13)

非拉铁非教会是一个蒙主称讚,完全没有受到责备的教会。代表十 七世纪到十九世纪的教会,是教会最辉煌的时代。可以称她为「真实的 教会」,是天国真正在地上扩张的时代。
The Church in Philadelphia did not receive any words of rebuke from the Lord; it only received words of commendation and represents the churches from the 17th century to the 19th century. This was the most outstanding era of the Church. We can call this Church “The True Church.” It was the time when the Kingdom of Heaven was really expanding.

这并不是说当时有许多巨型的教会。巨型教会在现在老底嘉时代可 能有更多。非拉铁非所重视的是差传工作、海外传福音工作。那时候有 很多无名的传道者,愿意到落後蛮荒之处,忍耐几十年,学语言、传福 音。不是开硕大的教会,乃是到没有人去的角落,使福音传遍世界。
This is not to say that there were many mega-churches at that time. Maybe there were more mega-churches during the time of the Church in Laodicea. The Church in Philadelphia was serious about doing mission’s work and spreading the Gospel overseas. At that time there were many unknown preachers who were willing to go to undeveloped places of the world, enduring patiently for decades and learning the language of the native people in order to preach the Gospel to them. They did not go to to big churches but to remote places where others were not willing to go so the Gospel would spread all over the world.

主的自称
THE LORD’S SELF-DESCRIPTION

7那圣洁、真实,拿著大卫的钥匙,开了就没有人能 关,关了就没有人能开的…
7 “These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open.”

主的自称有叁点,跟这个教会有关:圣洁、真实、拿著大卫钥匙。
The Lord’s self-description mentions three things that are related to this church: Holy, true, holds the key of David.

七个教会之中,这一个成为真正教会的代表。真教会出现在这个时 期。第叁章所提到的叁个教会,都与真实有点关係。撒迪教会「名真实 假」,名义上属有生命的主,实际上是死的;老底嘉教会「半真半假」, 有点生命,但不冷不热;这个却是「真实」的教会,「实至名归」的教会。
Among the seven churches, this one proves to be the true representation of the Church. The true Church appears during this era. The three churches mentioned in Chapter 3 are somehow related to the truth. The Church in Sardis, “the name was real but actually they were not,”they had the reputation of having the Lord of Life, but in reality, they were dead. The Church in Laodicea was “half true and half false,” they had a little bit of life, but they were neither hot nor cold. But this Church was the “true” Church; it had the reputation of being an excellent Church.

真教会是「圣洁」的,是「分别为圣」的。在这教会时代之前,有一千 年之久,教会在罗马帝国的影响之下,把世界的系统、世人的价值观, 全数搬进教会。他们讲究权力、军力、财力,外表上很荣耀辉煌,完全 跟世人一样。教会的圣洁慢慢失去了,变得肮髒、腐败,充满鬥争、醜 闻。像社团一样,争夺权力、地位、经济、享受。
A true Church is a “holy” Church; it is “dedicated to the service of God”. Before the time of the Church in Philadelphia, the Church had a thousand years of being entirely influenced by the Roman Empire with its worldly values and systems. They only cared about authority, military power and financial resources. Their outward appearance was very glamorous, exactly like the people of the world. The holiness of the church disappeared little by little and it became unclean, corrupted, permeated with fights and scandals, similar to a social organization, fighting over power, status, wealth and pleasures.

真教会是「真实」的,有真实的生命,真挚地爱主,真诚的敬拜。把 生命见證展示在世人面前,让别人从信徒身上看见基督。
A real Church is a “true” Church; it really has life, truly loves the Lord and worships Him with since hearts. It witnesses to the world in such a way that people can see Christ in the life of the believers.

真正教会「要扩展」,要传到地极。「大卫的钥匙」,就是「天国的钥 匙」,指各种机会。新约中五次提到「打开的门」,都与传福音有关。
The true Church “needs to expand” to the ends of the earth. “The key of David” is the “The key of the Kingdom of Heaven” and it refers to all kinds of opportunities. The phrase “open doors” appears in the New Testament five times and every time is related to spreading the Gospel.

怎样的教会是真正的教会?七个教会之中,只有两个教会是全受称 讚,没有一句责备的话,就是「示每拿」与「非拉铁非」。
What kind of church is a true Church? From all seven churches, only two received words of commendation without any words of rebuke. They were the Church in Smyrna and the Church in Philadelphia.

示每拿教会因为受苦,生命丰盛,他们虽然没有敞开的门,但他们 是开山劈石的建造者,是开国功臣。他们虽然距离天国之实现还远,但 却是把天国的根基扎稳了。她後面几个时期的教会,虽然有很多机会, 却没有大力把教会推展到全世界。
The Church in Smyrna had an abundant life because of their sufferings. Although they did not open doors, they were the breakthrough pioneer builders, the founding fathers. Even though they were far from the realization of the Kingdom of Heaven, they made firm its foundation. The other church eras that followed, though they had a lot of opportunities, were not able to vigorously further the expansion of the Church to the whole world.

到了非拉铁非教会时代,她抓著每个打开的门,把福音传遍世界, 把天国的版图推到地球上每一个角落。天国真的出现了。基督既然是圣 洁、真实、掌机会之门的主,教会也应该是这样的。
During the time of the Church in Philadelphia they took hold of every open door to spread the Gospel all over the world, extending the territory of the Kingdom of Heaven to every corner of this earth. The Kingdom of Heaven had truly appeared. Christ is indeed holy, true and the Lord who holds the door to opportunities. The Church should also do likewise.

主的称讚
THE LORD’S COMMENDATIONS

8我知道你的行动,你只有一点力量,却守护我的道,没 有弃绝我名。看哪,我给你一个敞开的门,是无人能关的。
8 I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.

所有机会都是主给的,祂控制一切机会的出现或消失。祂开了无人 能关,关了无人能开。在这教会时期,神只开门,没有关门,也不让门 关上。为甚麽前面几个教会没有敞开的门?为甚麽主不打开福音大门? 但我们要问,不传福音的教会要机会何用?机会是神所给的,但人的反 应,也有重要影响因素。人不动,机会也必定会消失。
All opportunities are given by the Lord. He controls when the opportunity arises and when it fades away. When He opens doors, no one can close them and when He closes a door, no one can open it. During this Church era, God opened many doors; He did not close any doors. Why were the doors not opened for the previous churches? Why did the Lord no open wide the doors of the Gospel? We should ask, how would a Church that does not preach the Gospel make use of an opportunity? The opportunity is given by the Lord, but the reaction of the people is also an important factor. If people do not want to take action, the opportunity will disappear.

主耶稣所说「按才授银」的比喻,各人所得的银子,不是代表才幹, 不是主给不同的人有不同才幹。银子是指「机会」。主耶稣不是说,按他 的才幹给他才幹,乃是按他的才幹给他机会。有属灵才能的人,机会就 多,就应该好好利用这些机会。
In the “Parable of the Talents” that Jesus spoke about, the talents that each person received did not represent the abilities that the Lord gave to each person. The talents represented“opportunities”. Jesus did not say that each person was given talents according to his own ability; instead, opportunities were given to each according to their talents. Those with spiritual gifts will be given more opportunities. You should make good use of those opportunities.

前面几个教会,有权力、组织、经济力量、人手,但没有向外传, 白白蹧蹋主给他们的机会。这个教会,只有很小的力量,「你只有一点 力量」,因为他们再没有大公会的支持,没有政治势力,也没有经济力 量。没有人看得起这种无人力、无财力、无势力、无声望的小教会。谁 知就是这些默默无闻的人,把福音传遍天下。人间最弱小一群,随便哪 一个有财有势的人,都可把他捏死,但他们却成了天国的栋樑。
The earlier churches had authority, economic strength, and manpower and were well organized, but failed to spread the Gospel to the outside world, they wasted precious opportunities that the Lord had given them. This Church was not very strong, “you have little strength” it says, because they did not have the support of a big organization, political influence or economic strength. People tend to look down on these kinds of small churches that have no manpower, no financial resources and no popularity. Who would have thought that this unrecognized group of people would spread the Gospel throughout the world? The weakest group of people in the world; any wealthy or powerful person could crush them with one finger, yet they became a pillar in the Kingdom of Heaven.

主给今世的应许
THE LORD’S PROMISE FOR THIS LIFE

9那撒但一会的,自称是犹太人,其实不是犹太人,是假的 (说谎话的)。10你既忍耐守护著我的道,我必在普天下人受试 炼的时候, 守护你,免去你的试炼。
9 I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars—10 Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth.

主特别给这非拉铁非教会有两方面的应许。第一方面是今生的,第 二方面是来世的。可以看见这教会是特别蒙主喜爱的。来世的应许到後 面纔看见,先看今生的应许。
The promise that the Lord gives to the Church in Philadelphia has two aspects. The first aspect is for this life and the second aspect is for the afterlife. We can see that this Church is particularly loved by the Lord. We will take a look at the promise for the afterlife a little later; first, let us a look at the promise for this life.

(一)那些假弟兄要倒在你脚前:他们自命是正宗教会,天国代表, 但最後必看见都落後失败了。自从教会从罗马教分出来後,遵守主道的 都越来越兴旺。死守传统的,好像倒在这些守道的教会面前一样。
(1) The false brothers will fall down at your feet: They call themselves the true church, the representatives of the Kingdom of Heaven, but in the end they will fall behind as failures. Ever since the Church separated from the Roman Catholic Church, those who follow God’s Word have become more and more prosperous. It is as if those who obstinately cling to traditions had fallen down before the believers who follow the Word of God.

(二)你既守护我的道,我必守护你免去末日大灾难。他们将在大灾 难前被提,这大灾难的目的,是为把真假信徒分别,既然是真的,就不 需要考验。那灾难是全世界要受的,天灾、地震、强风、海啸、大雪、 洪水、战争、恐怖暴力、大屠杀、核子战争、空难、疾病瘟疫,及不知 名的病,全部湧出来。加上鸡瘟、牛瘟等各种动物都传播瘟疫。还有车 祸、桥祸、楼祸、机器祸,各种灾祸。这类灾祸现在都见过了,所以末 期不远了。主说,这些积极传福音的教会,都要免去末日的大灾难。
(2) Since you have kept my command, I will also keep you from the great tribulation that will come at the end of times. They will be raptured before the great tribulation. The purpose of the rapture is to differentiate true believers from false believers and because they were true believers they would not need to go through the test. The calamities will come to the whole world, natural disasters, earthquakes, strong storms, tsunamis, snow storms, floods, wars, terrorist attacks, massacres, nuclear wars, plane crashes, diseases, epidemics, unknown incurable diseases, all these will appear at the same time. There will also be epidemics and plagues spread by chickens, cattle and other animals. In addition, there will be car accidents, bridge accidents, building accidents, machinery accidents, and all kinds of disasters. Many of these disasters are already appearing at the present time which is a sign that the end is near. The Lord said that the churches that actively spread the Gospel will be spared from the great tribulation of the end times.

主的鼓励
THE LORD’S ENCOURAGEMENT

11我必快来,你要持守你所有的,免别人拿到你的冠冕。
11 I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown.

主说:「我必快来」。因为天国版图已达到全世界,是成熟的时候。 主耶稣曾说:「这天国的福音要传遍天下,对万民作见證,然後末期纔 来到。」(太24:14)现在是时候了,坚持一会,就可以得可誇的冠冕。
The Lord said: “I am coming soon.” The time is at hand, the territory of the Kingdom of Heaven has reached the whole world. The Lord Jesus once said: “And this Gospel of the Kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” (Matthew 24:14) Now is the time, endure patiently and you will receive the glorious crown

冠冕是荣耀。人人在追求荣耀。不过世界的荣耀,都是虚荣。拿破 崙打过很多胜仗,之後发给士兵一个徽章,上面只有一句话:「某某战 役,我在其中。」这位士兵就会觉得很光荣。但这些只是虚荣,是短暂 的。今是国君,明是囚犯;今受尊敬,明被判刑。这些事都常见。
A royal crown is glory. Everyone is in the pursuit of glory but the glory of the world is vanity. After each war that Napoleon won, he would issue his soldiers a badge that said: “I was in such and such war.”His soldiers felt very proud about it. That kind of glory is vanity, it is only temporary. Today he is a ruler, tomorrow he is a prisoner; today he is honored, tomorrow he is condemned. These things are seen every day.

主给的冠冕却是永远的。「免得人夺去你的冠冕」,听起来好像冠冕 可以被人抢去。其实这是翻译上的误导。正确的翻译是:「免得别人拿 到冠冕,你却没有得到。」保罗说过,奥运场上赛跑得奖的人,只有一 个,但信徒不像奥运的参赛者,不是跟别人竞争,是自己忠心跑完当跑 的路。凡是忠心到底的人,就会得到奖赏。
The crown that the Lord gives is eternal. “So that no one will take your crown” sounds like the crown could be snatched away. Actually this translation is misleading. The correct translation should be: “Lest others get the crown and you do not get it.”Paul once said: “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize?”The believers are not like contestants in the Olympic Games, they are not competing against someone else; they are running faithfully the road set before them. Those who persevere to the end will receive their reward

基督徒有多种荣耀。七个教会中有两个集体得到冠冕。示每拿为义 受逼迫,生命丰盛荣耀,得著「生命的冠冕」,或称「丰盛生命的冠冕」。 非拉铁非得到人灵魂归主,这种荣耀,称为「可誇的冠冕」(帖前2:19)。 保罗说:「我们的盼望和喜乐,并所誇冠冕是甚麽呢?岂不是主来的时 候,你们站立得住麽?因为你们就是我们的荣耀、我们的喜乐。」
Christians have different kinds of glory. From the seven churches, only two groups received crowns. The Church in Smyrna received the “crown of life” or “the crown of abundant life” because they suffered persecution; their life was abundant and glorious. The Church in Philadelphia led people’s souls back to God; this kind of glory is called “a crown in which to glory.” 1 Thessalonians 2:19 says, “For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you?”

使徒保罗告诉我们,服事主的工人最快乐的事,就是所带领信主的 人,受得起考验,是真实的果子。所带领的每一个灵魂,都像是冠冕上 的一颗钻石。你有几颗果子可以数呢?有几颗可以誇耀呢?周围很多人 没有听过福音,你愿否作福音的战士呢?
The apostle Paul tells us that the joyous time for a servant of the Lord is when the people they had led to Christ stand firm when put to the test; that is the real fruit. Every soul that has been led to Christ is like a diamond that adorns the crown. How many fruits can you count? How many of those fruits can you glory in? There are many people around you that have not heard of the good news of Jesus Christ, are you willing to be a warrior for the Gospel?

主给来世国度的应许
THE LORD’S PROMISE FOR THE KINGDOM IN THE COMING AGE

12得胜的,我要叫他在神殿中作柱子,他也必不再从那里 出去。我要将我神的名和我神城的名-这城就是从天上,从我 神那里降下来的新耶路撒冷,并我的新名,都写在他的上面。

在前面,主应许要守护他们,使他们免去普世的大灾难。在这里, 主应许给那些得胜的人,这些本来是无名的传道者,将会成为神家里的 重要人物。
In the previous verse, the Lord promises to keep them from the great tribulation that is going to come on the whole world. Here the Lord promises to those who are victorious, to those unknown preachers of the Gospel, that in the future they will become very important figures in the House of God.

圣经用圣殿预表天国。我们每个信徒都像是一块石头、砖头,一起 把殿建造起来。
The Bible uses the Sanctuary to represent the Kingdom of God. Each one of us, believers in the Lord, are like a piece of stone, a brick, when put together will help build the Sanctuary.

这殿有两大重要部份我们没有希望在其中有份。第一是「房角石」, 是基督自己,祂是最大的磐石。安妥之後,圣殿定好,无法更改。第二 是「根基」,是使徒、先知的根基(弗2:20-21)。「并且被建造在使徒和先 知的根基上,有基督耶稣自己为房角石……联络得合式,渐渐成为主的 圣殿。」
This Sanctuary has two important sections which we can no longer be part of. The first section is “the cornerstone”, who is Christ Himself. He is the greatest Rock. Once the corner stone is in place, the Sanctuary will be firmly established, it can never be moved. The second section is “the foundation”, which are the apostles and the prophets. Ephesians 2:20-21 says, “Built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord.”

但第叁重要的,是成为圣殿的「柱子」,这是谨次於根基的人物,这 是後世基督徒可以追求得到的荣耀。他们也将是天国里的重要人物,是 永远不会被裁员的。这永远的位份与荣耀,是特别给在行动上传扬主名 的人。传福音、建造天国的人,纔是神家里最重要的人物。不是甚麽会 长、专家。魔鬼不怕人成为教会中的名人,也不怕人流泪立志,只怕人 有所行动。因人的行动能够叫牠从天上墬落。
The third important section is being a “pillar” in the Sanctuary of God, this position is second to being part of the foundation, and this is the glory that Christians from later generations can pursue. They will become very important figures in the Kingdom of Heaven. They will never be laid off. This unique glorious position is reserved for the believers who actively proclaim the name of the Lord. Leaders of organizations or experts are not the important people in the Kingdom of Heaven. Those who spread the Gospel, who take part in the construction of the Kingdom of Heaven, those are the ones that are very important part of the God’s house. Satan is not afraid of famous people in the church, neither is he afraid of people who shed tears and make a decision; but he is afraid of any kind of action because when people start being active in spreading the Gospel, it will hurl down Satan from heaven.

所罗门王建造圣殿时,装了两条巨大的柱子,一条叫作「雅斤」,意 为「稳固」;一条叫「波阿斯」,意「有力」。这一群稳固有力的基督徒, 在永世里,将会成为天国的大人物,神家里的台柱,永远不会被挪走, 有永远的荣耀。
When King Solomon built the temple, he installed two huge pillars; one was called “Jachin”, which means “stable”; the other one was called “Boaz”, which means “strong”. This group of stable and strong Christians will become great individuals in the Kingdom of Heaven, pillars in the House of God, will never be moved and will have eternal glory.

柱子上写上叁个名字:「神的名」、「神城的名」、「基督的新名」。 他们百分之百是神家的要人,是新耶路撒冷,是在基督国度里与基督一 同作王的人。
Three names will be written on the pillars: “The name of God”, “the name of the city of God”, and “Christ’s new name”. They are 100% important people who are part of God’s house, the New Jerusalem. They will reign together with Christ in the Kingdom of Heaven.