CHAPTER XXXVIII – Revelation 启示录 18 – 跟随世界的教会 A CHURCH THAT FOLLOWS THE WORLD

 

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 XXXVIII

跟随世界的教会 (启示录18)

A CHURCH THAT FOLLOWS THE WORLD (REVELATION CHAPTER 18)

「世界」原文kosmos看起来像说现代的化装品。对当时人来说,世 界是有系统、有条理、非常漂亮、有荣耀的花花世界。到现在天国与世 界作比较时,人也觉得世界非常值得我们去追求学习。那些大机构、大 企业、大商家的生意手法、运作方式,人人都想学习。那些成功人士大 有荣耀、大有权柄,人人都羡慕。

The world”, from the original word “kosmos”, has a similarity to the word “cosmetics”. In the past, people saw the world as systematic, orderly, very beautiful and dazzling with myriad temptations. At present, when comparing the kingdom of heaven and the world, people still think that this world is worth pursuing and learning from. Everyone wants to learn the way big organizations and large commercial businesses operate. The people who are successful receive great power and glory.

比较之下,教会太落伍、太无知,教会领袖应该读商科,用管理企 业的方式来管理教会。领导人要拥有人人听从的权柄荣耀。但罗马大公 教所追求的成功、荣耀、权柄,都是虚假的,都是暂时的。

In comparison with the world, the church falls behind the ranks, is not knowledgeable enough, the leaders of the church should take a course in business management and they should run the church as a business. The leaders of the church should have authority and power over the people. However, all these things are deceptive and temporary, which are the things that the Roman Catholic Church seeks, success, glory and authority.

真假荣耀

TRUE AND FALSE GLORY

1此後,我看见另有一位大权柄的天使从天降下。地就因 他的荣耀发光。

1 After this I saw another angel coming down from heaven. He had great authority, and the earth was illuminated by his splendor.

这位有大权柄的天使,有别於世人的权柄。他不需要某些条件、因 素使人听话。他很有权威地宣告这大巴比伦城的结局。他的荣耀,也不 倚靠别人的吹捧,他出现所在的地方,就因他的荣耀发光。大巴比伦城 的荣耀是在自己脸上贴金,真正的荣耀,是他在那里,那里就有荣光。

This angel with great authority had a different kind of authority than the people of this world. He did not need certain conditions to make the people of the world to listen to him. He proclaimed authoritatively how the great Babylon would come to an end. His glory did not rely on someone else’s flattery, his splendor illuminated the earth. The glory of the great Babylon was obtained by covering herself in gold. True glory just shines by itself.

约翰教我们不要爱世界和世界上的事。世界虽然看起来有条理,很 漂亮,有世界的荣耀。但是跟随世界的人,就会失去对神的爱。在撒母 耳先知的时候,以色列人看见世界每一个国家、民族,都有王在管理, 他们也要有一个王。神说:「他们厌弃我作他们的王。」他们不喜欢只听 神话语生活的方式,他们要世界的条理、系统管束他们。这就像是说: 「我不喜欢我家丈夫的当家方式,我比较喜欢邻居丈夫的条理。我要把 他接过来,管理我的家,这样她就被称作淫妇。」

John teaches us not to love the world or the things of this world. Although the world may appear to be orderly, very beautiful and glorious, those who follow the world will lose their love for God. During the times of the prophet Samuel, the Israelites saw that the other nations had a king to rule over them, so they also wanted to have a king. God said: “They have rejected me as their King.” They disliked having God’s Words to rule over them, they wanted to be ruled in a worldly way. It is like a woman saying: “I don’t like the way my husband takes charge of the things of our house, I want the neighbor’s husband to do it. I want to bring him over to be in charge. ”That is called an adulterous woman.

十八章论到这淫妇的下场。这对我们来看,已经是历史。但对於第 一世纪的约翰与当时的教会来说,这是一个遥远的预言。预言未来二千 年教会的问题。

Chapter 18 talks about the end of this adulterous woman. For us, it is history. But to John and to the church of the first century, this was a distant prophesy. A prophesy about the problems in the church during these 2000 years.

教会发展到第四世纪的时候,因为罗马皇帝信了耶稣,引致整个帝 国归主。教会权力不单增大,而且他们相信,教会就是天国。天国的王 是基督,但由於基督看不见,他们想要一个皇后。终在第八世纪时,搞 出一个教皇出来,统治地上的天国。天国要像当时的帝国,有组织、有 权力、有军队、有各阶层领导人物。当时的教皇,是普天下最大权力的 人。欧洲的皇帝全都要听他的话。

During the fourth century, the Roman Emperor believed in Jesus and this movement caused the whole Roman Empire to become believers. The Church not only became powerful but they thought that the church was the kingdom of heaven. The king of the Kingdom of Heaven is Christ, but because Christ is invisible, they opted to have a queen. By the end of the eighth century, they set up a Roman Catholic pope to rule over the kingdom of heaven on the earth. The kingdom of heaven was similar to the empire at that time, it had an organized system, it had power and authority, it had an army, and it had a chain of command. At that time, the pope had the utmost authority throughout the world. All the kings in Europe had to listen to the pope.

成了鬼魔住处

THE DWELLING FOR DEMONS IS FALLEN

2他大声喊著说:巴比伦大城倾倒了、倾倒了,成了鬼魔 的住处,和各样污秽之灵的巢穴[或作牢狱下同],并各样污秽 可憎之雀鸟的巢穴。

2 With a mighty voice he shouted: “Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great! She has become a dwelling for demons and a haunt for every impure spirit, a haunt for every unclean bird, a haunt for every unclean and detestable animal.”

天使宣告那自命天国的城要「倾倒了」。「倾倒」的意思,是「从高处 掉下」,是一种严重的衰退(赛29:1)。就像现在金融体系大衰退一样, 也可以喊说:「华尔街倾倒了,银行业倾倒了,最赚钱的行业倾倒了。」 不是消失,是大衰退了。

The angel proclaimed that the self-called kingdom of heaven is “fallen”. “Fallen” means, “to drop down from a high place, “it is a very serious decline (Isaiah 29:1). Similar to a financial depression; is like saying” “Wall Street has fallen, the banking institutions have fallen, the business institutions that earn the most money have fallen. “They have not disappeared, they have just fallen.

天国的城,应该是最神圣清洁的地方,但里面充满了污秽、罪恶, 有世界各种团体的肮髒、奸诈手段。繁华的地方变了荒凉之地。就算到 现在,仍然会听到有黑社会头子到教堂去告解,也有很多教会领袖的醜 闻被挖出来。这教会在信仰上黑暗了。

This city of the kingdom of heaven should be the holiest and cleanest of places but inside it, it was filled with uncleanness and sin, it had worldly organizations whose ways were treacherous and filthy. The place that was flourishing became desolate. Even today we hear of mafia leaders who go to church for confession; there are also many scandals about church leaders. The beliefs of this church are murky.

使列国喝邪淫大怒的酒

MADE THE NATIONS DRINK THE MADDENING WINE

3因为列国都被她邪淫大怒的酒倾倒了,地上的君王与她 行淫,地上的客商,因她奢华太过就发了财。

3 For all the nations have drunk the maddening wine of her adulteries. The kings of the earth committed adultery with her, and the merchants of the earth grew rich from her excessive luxuries.

她衰退的原因,是因为她使世界各国衰退。本来她是神圣的团体, 有神的荫庇,每个跟随的国家都会兴旺蒙福。但由於她教导神子民拜偶 像。使他们喝了她邪淫大怒的酒,中了邪淫的毒,全走向衰退的路上。

The reason why she had fallen was because she made the nations of the world fall. Originally, it was a holy organization under the protection of God; every nation that followed her was prosperous and blessed. But, she taught God’s people to worship idols, she made them drink the maddening wine of her adulteries; they were all poisoned by her and all went into decline.

有偶像到底有甚麽不对?既能看见具体的像,向看得见的像祷告, 比较容易。尤其弄个女的神像,更容易说话。有甚麽不好?

Why is it wrong to have an idol? Praying to an idol which you can see is easier. Especially if the idol is the figure of a woman, it is easier to talk to. What is wrong with that?

第一,敬拜主必须按真理、按启示敬拜。神说,不可造出任何的像 来敬拜,人就要根据神的吩咐。人如果不听祂话,他们的敬拜也就是虚 伪的敬拜。

l. We must worship God in truth and through revelation. God commanded us not to make any images in the form of anything and we should not bow down to them or worship them. If people do not obey God, their worship is false.

第二,拜偶像的人会以偶像代替了神。当某地的偶像或某殿堂的神 像有神蹟出现,向它祷告必有果效,非常灵验。人就会一窝蜂的拥到那 里,表示人心所信的,不是无所不在的神,只是那神像而已。

2. Those who worship idols have the idols in place of God. Whenever people hear of an idol that does miraculous signs, they would swarm to it; this shows that they put their faith in the idol and not in the omnipresent God.

第叁,拜偶像的人,都是为一己自私生活,为自己的需要而虔诚。 当然很多信徒也为自己的需要祷告,但跟随神吩咐而生活的人,到底是 不一样的。很多中国人的团体、侨社,就是为非信徒,不想参加教会的 人而设,使他们在没有教会下,仍然有热闹的聚会。但在那些团体中, 明显看见,他们整天谈论的,是想炫耀自己的房子、车子、孩子或自己 的成就。如果别人不如他,他会藐视。如果人比他成功,他会妒忌。这 是一个自我中心的世界,向偶像的祷告,常是自我中心的祷告。

3. People who worship idols are selfish and are looking only to fulfill their own needs. Of course, many Christians pray for their own needs, but those who live according to God’s command are different. Many Chinese Social gatherings are specially catered to unbelievers, for those who do not want to attend church. It provides them with a place bustling with noise and excitement. During those social gatherings people only talk about their own achievements, their houses, their cars, their kids and if people don’t have what they have, the will look down on them. If people are more successful than them, they will feel jealous of them. They live in a self-centered world, like praying to an idol, it is always a self-centered prayer.

第四,在偶像背後接受敬拜的,不是神,是魔鬼,有偶像的地方, 就成了鬼魔的住处、污灵的巢穴。就是说,就算面前放的是耶稣像,当 人敬拜的时候,那受者却是魔鬼。所以有偶像之处,就是魔鬼的所在。

4. Satan is behind all idol worship, not God. The place where the idols are worshipped is the place where demons live; it is a lair of unclean spirits. In other words, even when people worship the image of Jesus, the one who is behind it receiving the worship is the devil. Therefore, wherever there are idols that is the place where the devil lives.

神呼唤祂的子民离开那团体

GOD CALLS HIS CHILDREN TO LEAVE THAT ORGANIZATION

4我又听见从天上有声音说:我的民哪,你们要从那城出 来,免得与她一同有罪,受她所受的灾殃。

4 Then I heard another voice from heaven say: “come out of her, my people, so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues.”

这话很奇怪。神呼籲子民离开那城。以赛亚书 52:11出现过这话: 「你们离开吧,离开吧,从巴比伦出来,不要沾不洁净的物,要从其中 出来。」以赛亚早已看到。神吩咐祂子民赶快离开这一个大城的管辖。

These words seem somewhat odd. God is calling his people to come out of that city. These words also appeared in Isaiah 52:11: “Depart, depart, go out from there! Touch no unclean thing! Come out from it and be pure.” Isaiah saw what was coming. God commanded his people to get away from that big city and its administration.

想想看,这里的呼籲是很奇怪的话。神呼籲祂子民离开那城,不是 呼籲世界的人,不是呼籲跟随撒但的人,是呼籲跟随神的人。如果是向 撒但的城呼籲,那当然是呼籲拜鬼魔的人离开。所以这个城不是撒但的 城,是名字属基督,却犯了属灵姦淫之地。这城里有很多神的子民,因 为犯罪的,只是高层管理的官员,有很多神子民是无辜的,所以要离开 那城,免得一同受刑罚。

Think about it, this calling is very odd. God is calling his people to leave that city; He is not calling the people of this world or those who follow Satan. God is calling His followers. If this was Satan’s city, of course the calling would be for those who worship Satan to come out of that city. But, this city is not Satan’s city, it is a city that by name belonged to Christ, but it committed spiritual adultery. In this city many people belong to God; because those who sinned were from the upper management class, the rest of the people are innocent. Therefore, they are told to get away from that city to avoid being punished with the wicked.

十六世纪在马丁路德的带领下,多个国家:德国、荷兰、挪威、瑞 典、芬兰、丹麦,以及後来英国等,脱离了罗马教的管辖,也同时放弃 了偶像敬拜与向马利亚的敬拜。圣经翻译成人人懂得的文字,让各国人 人明白圣经真理。这些事,都早已在预言里面。这样,在信仰上纔回归 真理。

During the 16th century, under the leading of Martin Luther many countries did not want to remain under the Roman Catholic administration. Those countries were: Germany, Holland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark and later on England. They also abandoned the worshipping of idols and of Mary. The translation of the Bible into different languages permitted people to understand the truth of the word of God. Those events were prophesied long before it happened. In this way, people could return to the truth.

在哥林多後书6:17,保罗也说过:「神的殿和偶像有甚麽相同呢? 你们务要从他们中间出来。」保罗好像也得了同样的启示,只是他没有 说是离开巴比伦,只说要离开偶像的敬拜。

In 2 Corinthians 6:16-17, Paul said: “What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols?” Therefore, “Come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.” Paul seemed to have the same revelation; though he did not say anything about coming out of Babylon, he said to get away from worshipping idols.

王国的衰退

THE FALL OF THE EMPIRE

6她怎样待人、也要怎样待她、按她所行的加倍的报应她。 用她调酒的杯,加倍的调给她喝。7她怎样荣耀自己,怎样奢 华,也当叫她照样痛苦悲哀。因她心里说: 我坐了皇后的位 「 , 并不是寡妇,决不至於悲哀。 」 8所以在一天之内,她的灾殃 要一齐来到,就是死亡、悲哀、饑荒、她又要被火烧尽了。因 为审判她的主神大有能力。

6 Give back to her as she has given; pay her back double for what she has done. Pour her a double portion from her own cup.7 Give her as much torment and grief as the glory and luxury she gave herself. In her heart she boasts, ‘I sit enthroned as queen. I am not a widow; I will never mourn.’
8 Therefore in one day her plagues will overtake her: death, mourning and famine. She will be consumed by fire, for mighty is the Lord God who judges her.

罗马教会在罗马帝国衰弱之後,在政治上、权力上、组织上都遭遇 非常大的打击。本来她是世界最大的权力中心,一下子全失去。以前她 对待异议份子的方式,也遭到报复。以前审判别人违反她的教义,现在 别人来审判她的不义。戴著天国名字的城黑暗了,失去了神的荣光。

After the Roman Empire became weaker, the Roman Church’s politics, organization and authority suffered deeply. Originally, she was the greatest power in the world but she fell in an instant. She was treated the same way she treated the dissidents. In the past she judged those who were against her teachings, now others are judging her iniquities. The city that called herself the kingdom of heaven is in darkness, the glory of God has departed from her.

大淫妇的腐化生活

THE CORRUPTED LIFE OF THE GREAT PROSTITUTE

这自称上帝的城过著奢华的生活,在她的全盛时期,并不是灵性的 高峰期,并没有使神的众子民过圣洁、爱主爱人、广传福音的生活。只 使人崇尚享受人生,追求享乐,增加财富。纵眼世界各个尊崇罗马教的 国家,都是製造美酒的国家,都有最懂得享受的人群。

This city, called herself “the city of God” and lived a luxurious life, though there was a time when she flourished, her spiritual life never reached a peak period. She did not lead God’s people to live a holy life, to love God and to love people, or to spread the Gospel. She only made the people to revere and enjoy the pleasures of life and to seek worldly riches. As a matter of fact, many of the countries of the world that make fine wine are Roman Catholic, and they really know how to enjoy good liquor.

有很长的时间,教会只成了有钱人、有身分的人、有地位的人的俱 乐部。教堂里有名人的名字,有名人的座位,能够进去,就是身份的象 徵。这完全违反了主耶稣使命。主的使命是传福音给贫穷人。也违反了 保罗、彼得等人的志愿。他们热心爱主,为穷人作牺牲。

For a long period of time the church was a place where people with money and social status would get together. The church was made out of illustrious people whose names were inscribed on the pews; it was a symbol of high class society. It completely violated the mission of the Lord Jesus. The mission of our Lord is to preach the Gospel to the poor.

但那时在上面掌权的人,却只重视个人的享受,重视自己的收入有 多高。他们的总部富丽堂皇,像皇宫一样。但下面很多教堂,人却坐木 板凳,有蚊子来咬,信徒没有饭吃,没有床睡,营养不良。神必定要惩 罚这样的教会领导人。

During those times, the people in positions of power only cared about their personal enjoyment and about their high income. Their general headquarters were sumptuous mansions. Yet many churches only had wooden benches, they were infested with mosquitos and many believers didn’t even have food to eat or a bed to sleep in and were suffering from malnutrition. Those leaders will not go unpunished by God

她一直以为在基督的国度里拥有皇后的位份。她代表神做决策,以 为可以为所欲为,她绝不是寡妇,绝不会失去大靠山。

She always thought she was the queen in Christ’s Kingdom. She represented God to make all the decisions, she thought she could do whatever she wanted, she never thought she would become a widow and completely lost all kinds of support.

她既有人才,又有严密组织,有强大的经济能力,以为永远不会衰 退,甚麽事都可以解决。谁知灾殃会一齐来到。

She thought that as long as she had a talented group of people that was highly organized, had strong economic capabilities, she would never fall, and have a solution to any problem. Who would have imagined that disaster would suddenly come to her?

教会的领导人如果有太大的权力,不单会变了属世的团体,而且不 知不觉之中,也夺取了神的权柄。其实这种问题,存在在很多教会中。 只是罗马教成了更大的问题,因为她有一个教义,任何一个教皇所讲的 话,历世历代的信徒都要遵守,就像圣经的话一样。这个皇后凌驾在皇 帝之上,成了皇上皇。

If church leaders have too much power, they will not only become like a worldly organization but they will unwittingly snatch away God’s authority. This problem exists in many churches. But there is a bigger problem in the Roman Catholic Church because they have their own teachings; since the beginning of history, whatever the Pope says it had to be strictly obeyed as if his words were the Word of God. This queen is above the emperor.

支持者与她拆夥

HER SUPPORTERS WILL PART COMPANY

9地上的君王,素来与她行淫一同奢华的,看见烧她的烟, 就必为她哭泣哀号。10因怕她的痛苦就远远的站著说:哀哉, 哀哉,巴比伦大城,坚固的城阿,一时之间你的刑罚就来到了。

9 “When the kings of the earth who committed adultery with her and shared her luxury see the smoke of her burning, they will weep and mourn over her. 10 Terrified at her torment, they will stand far off and cry:
“Woe! Woe to you, great city,
you mighty city of Babylon!
In one hour your doom has come!”

後来的政教分离,所有国君脱离了教庭的掌控,教庭衰落,他们也 只在旁边观望。以前教会是推动世界性行业的媒介,到各地设立教会的 同时,使很多人都要出差旅行。在当时是了不起的大事。这种世界性的 行动,不单开了人的眼光,也带来做生意的机会。

Later, with the separation of church and State, all the monarchs break away from the control of the Vatican and while it goes into decline, they just observed from afar. In the past, the church wanted to promote global trading so they set up churches everywhere. This led to many people travelling all over the world for business and for pleasure. This major event opened people’s eyes and brought about business opportunities.

这里有叁大类人受影响,第一,是所有政客、国家领导。第二,是 商人,第叁,是旅客。11节就描写当时做生意的人,也因著教会得到 很多利益。那时不单教会权力极大,她活动的範围也非常广,因为要到 世界各处建立教会。宣教士成了推动世界性行业的媒介。客商因著教会 的政策,也得到很多利益。12-13节所记载的货品,都是当时最豪华的 东西。藉著设立教会的方便,这些商品就推到世界各地去了。

There are three kinds of people that are affected here: The first kind was the politicians and leaders of the world; the second kind was the businessmen; and the third kind was the tourists. Verse 11 describes the people who were doing business at that time and who obtained many benefits from the church. During those times, not only did the church have great authority but its area of operation was very vast as it needed to establish churches all over the world. Missionaries were a way to promote worldwide business. Many merchants were also benefited from the way the church worked. The goods mentioned in verses 12-13 were very luxurious. These products made their way all over the world in order to make it convenient for churches to be established.

到教庭出问题时,这些客商也向政治人物一样,只能猫哭老鼠了。

When things go awfully wrong with the Holy See the merchants, like politicians, can only shed crocodile tears.

才艺才能上的衰退

TALENTS AND ABILITIES IN DECLINE

22弹琴、作乐、吹笛、吹号的声音,在你中间决不能再听 见,各行手艺人在你中间决不能再遇见了。

22 And the sound of harpists and musicians and flute-players and trumpeters will not be heard in you any longer; and no craftsman of any craft will be found in you any longer; and the sound of a mill will not be heard in you any longer.

教会曾经有很辉煌的艺术光荣史。那时人才鼎盛,最有名的画家、 雕刻家,都为教堂作装饰。大音乐家都为教会写音乐、唱圣歌、弹琴。 全世界最好的人才都在教会里。他们当时也是以这些有名的人为荣。

The Church used to have a brilliant history of artistic glory. In those days there were many talented people, renowned painters and sculptors decorated the Church with their masterpieces. Great musicians wrote music, sang and played the piano for the Church. The most talented people of the world were in the Church. They were proud of these famous people.

人的才艺、天分都是神所设计,是神所赐,是中性的,能够被神使用,也是好事。 比人用才能犯罪好多了。葛理翰佈道大会也请名人上台。名人作见證,能吸引很多人听。诗班有水準,也使聚会生色不少。

People’s talents and gifts are designed and given by God and are neutral, and it is a good thing when we use them for God. It is much better than to use them to commit crimes. The Billy Graham Evangelistic Crusade also invites celebrities to give their testimonies which can attract a lot of people to listen to them. Their choir has very high standards and makes their meetings very lively.

但这里告诉我们,教会失去了这一些高才艺的人参与。这曾经是充 满世界一流人才的教会,变了在才艺上荒凉了,闹人才荒了。过去他们 以这些名艺术家为荣,以为扩展天国是要藉著这些才智之士。撒迦利亚 先知看见的灯臺异象,知道是天国的蓝图,灯臺要走遍全地,天国纔能 扩展到全世界。怎麽达到这目标呢?他说:「不是倚靠势力,不是倚靠 才能,乃是倚靠我的灵,方能成事。」这些才艺、才能要加上圣灵的膏 油,纔能做大事,纔能建立起天国。不是才能加上世界的系统,乃是才 能加上圣灵的膏油。

But, here it tell us that the Church will loose the participation of very gifted and talented people. This was a church that was full of world-class talents but it became desolate, no more talented people. In the past, they gloried from these gifted artists, they thought that to needed these talents to expand the kingdom of heaven. The prophet Zechariah knew that the lampstand that he saw on his vision was a blueprint of the kingdom of heaven. The lampstand had to go all over the world in order for the kingdom of heaven to expand. How to reach this objective? He said: “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit said the Lord of Hosts”. These abilities and talents need the anointing oil of the Holy Spirit in order to accomplish great things for the expansion of the kingdom of heaven. Not by talents plus the system of the world but by talents plus the anointing oil of the Holy Spirit.

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