CHAPTER XLV – Revelation 启示录 21:1-8 – 万象更新 ALL THINGS MADE NEW

 

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 XLV
万象更新 (启示录 Revelation 21:1-8)
ALL THINGS MADE NEW

世上各民族都对新年有些期望,一元复始,万象更新,希望真能够 有新的开始。过去倒楣的事、不如意的事,都希望不再发生。但日光之 下无新事,老问题带著新名字重新出现,每一年都希望,但每一年都失 望。这里告诉我们有一个新的将来,有真正新的生活,所有旧问题不再 存在,那纔是真正的过新年。
People in this world have different expectations for the new year, they hope for a new beginning, a new start. They hope that all the bad stuff from the past and all the unhappy things will not happen again. But there is nothing new under the sun, old problems return with a new name. People hope for something better every year but every year there is disappointment. The passage here tells us that there will be a new future, it will  truly be a new life, all the old problems will disappear; that will really be a new year.

 

是全新的天地
IT IS AN ALL-NEW HEAVEN AND EARTH

1 我看见一个新天新地,因为先前的天地已经过去了,海 也不再有了。
1 Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.

新东西很难描写,有时是找不到适合的名词或形容词。所以约翰最 好的办法,是用消极的比较方式,与现在作比较,不是甚麽,不再有甚 麽。所以这里多个这样的辞,不再有海了,不再有悲哀、哭号、疼痛, 再没有死亡,再没有黑夜。不需日月的光,也再没有咒诅等。他只能这 样说,告诉旧世界里的人,新世界是不同的。
Sometimes is it difficult to find the right words to describe something new. So, the best way for John to describe the new heaven and the new earth was for him to use negative statements to compare future things to the present, no more of this and no more of that. He said, there was no longer any sea, no more pain, no more sorrow, no more death. No need for the sun or the moon to shine on the earth, no more curse. He could only use these words to tell the people of the old world that the new world would be different.

他说,先前的天地已经过去。廿章说旧的天地找不到了,彼得说, 被烈火熔化了。 以後再没有机会回到旧世界,这个宇宙完全不同了。
He said, the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Chapter 20 says, “Earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them.” Peter said that the elements will be consumed by fire. There will not be a way to go back to the old world; this universe will be completely different.

5我将一切都更新了。
5 “Behold, I am making all things new.”

希腊文有两个「新」字,nea指时间上的新,像新年,发现新大陆, 都用这字。kaina是指素质上的新,所以翻作更新。就是说,这东西以 前有过,但素质上全部更新了,不一样了。像保罗说的:「若有人在基 督里,他就是新造的人。」他是更新过的,像被重新创造过一样,在素质上完全不一样了。
The Greek uses two words that means “new”, “nea” which refers to a new time, like a new year or discovering of a new land. And, “kaina” which refers to newness of quality or basic essence; that is why it is translated into renew. In other words, those are things that existed in the past, but the inner quality, the basic essence of them is completely new, completely different. It is similar to Paul saying: “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.” That person is renewed, as in being created anew, the quality is completely different.

 

是神的傑作
IT IS GOD’S MASTERPIECE

 

5坐宝座的说: 看哪,我将一切都更新了。 又说: 你 「 要写上,因这些话是可信的,是真实的。」
5 And He who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also He said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

在旧的天地里,海占很大部份,地面四分之叁是海。所以人造卫星 掉下来,多数都会掉到海里。海是动盪不安、充满苦难的地方,可以称 为「苦海」。海对於当时的人来说,是充满邪恶力量的。十叁章的兽从海 中出来,罗马的军队从海上来,海,是灾难的来源。
In the old heaven and the old earth, the sea accounts for a large part of it; it takes over three fourths of the world. That is why when satellites fall from the sky, they fall mostly in the sea. The sea is a place full of turmoil, unrest and suffering. It is a “sea of suffering”. People in ancient times considered the sea as an evil force. The beast in chapter 13 came out of the sea, the Roman army troupes came from the sea. The sea was the source of disaster.
廿章说,「海要交出死人」,表示海里死了很多人。约翰被关在海岛 上,海使他与所爱的人分开,海就是黑暗势力的所在。到了新天新地, 没有海了。以赛亚描写的平安国,仍然有海,所以他所说的平安国,仍然在现今这个世界上,不在新天新地里。
Chapter 20 says, “The sea will give up the dead that were in it,” this means that many people died at sea. John was imprisoned on an island, the sea separated him from his loved ones; the sea was a place where dark forces dwelt. In the new heaven and the new earth, the sea will be no more. The kingdom of peace described in Isaiah had a sea, it was still in this world; therefore, he is not referring to the new heaven and the new earth.

希腊思想中认为这世界是暂时的,将来人的灵魂全部进入灵界,再 没有物质世界。印度思想说,人像一滴水溶归大海,消失於大海中,再 没有自我。但从启示录所见的新天新地,是一个更新、更好的世界,虽然会有很多不一样的地方,但它仍然是一个物质世界,不是灵界,不是 只有灵的存在,将来仍然有灵魂体的活动,我们的思想、艺术、才能继续有发展,我们敬拜、讚美的模式继续有进步。
The Greek believed that this world was temporary and that in the future, the souls of the people would all go to a spirit world. The Hindus believe that people are like a drop of water that eventually will fade away in the sea, there will be no more of oneself. But the new heaven and the new earth that we see in Revelation is indeed a new place, a better world; and even though there will be many things that are different, it will still be a material world, not a spiritual world. We will not exist only in spirit, we will have a body, a soul and a spirit. Our thoughts, our artistic talents, our abilities will continue to develop. Our worship and the way we praise God will continue to improve.

 

是基督的新妇
IT IS CHRIST’S BRIDE

 

2我又看见圣城,新耶路撒冷,由神那里从天而降。预备 好了,就如新妇妆饰整齐,等候丈夫。
2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.

这是一个从天上,从神那里降下来的新耶路撒冷,不是现在的耶路 撒冷城。现在的耶路撒冷是他们的敬拜中心,预表基督的身体,预表全 地的教会。但这个新的圣城代表所有将来住在里面的人,包括新旧约, 古今所有属神的子民。是从神那里降下来。这也包括那被提的基督徒与殉道者,或在主里安息已经复活的人,都在基督天上七年的婚筵中,算是正式的新娘子。
Here it refers to the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, it is not the present Jerusalem city. The present Jerusalem city is a place of worship, it represents the body of Christ, it represents the churches of the whole world. But the new Holy City represents all those who will live in that city, all those from the Old and New Testament, all those people from the past and the present who belong to God. It comes down from God. It also includes Christians who were raptured, those who were martyred and those who were asleep in Christ and were resurrected. Those who were part of Christ’s wedding feast for seven years, officially considered Christ’s bride.

 

这位新娘妆饰整齐、漂亮,拥有一切属灵的美德,是教会最漂亮、 最荣耀的时候。而且等候与基督联合,永远不再分开。保罗说:「我们 如今彷彿对著镜子观看,糢糊不清,到那时要面对面了。」现在与主亲近的人,每天花几个小时亲近神,仍然是糢糊不清的。 内心有感动, 似乎是这样,神好像呼召我做这事,是否百分之百肯定?很难说。
This bride that is beautifully dressed with all spiritual virtues is the most wonderful and glorious time of the church. Joined together with Christ, never again to be separated from Him. Paul said: “For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. ” At present, those who spend hours every day to be closer to God, what they see is still blurry, not clear. The heart is moved, there might be something, it feels that God wants me to do something, but am I 100% sure about it? It is difficult to say.

启示录的末後两章,像跟创世记前面叁章作对应。旧世界与新世界 的对应。旧的造了太阳光体,新的不再需要光体;旧的有黑夜,新的没 有黑夜;旧的有海,新的没有海;旧的受咒诅,新的再没有咒诅;旧的 有死亡,新的再没有死亡;旧的被赶离生命树,新的可再回生命树。
The final two chapters of Revelation seem to correspond to the first three chapters of Genesis. A comparison of the old world and the new world. The sun was created for the purpose of giving light in the old world but there is no need for that kind of light in the new world. In the old world there is darkness, the new world has no darkness. The old world had a sea, the new world does not have a sea. The old world was cursed, the new world is not. There is death in the old world, there is no more death in the new world. In the old world the tree of life was banished, in the new world the tree of life is back.
还有一样特别之处,旧的是「园子」,新的是「城市」,园子与城市分 别非常大。很多人对城市有反感,美国人多搬到郊区,新移民喜欢住在 城内。城市里又髒又乱,交通一蹋糊塗,很多人对城市没有好的印象。
There is one other particular thing, the old world was “a garden”, the new world is “a city”, there is a big difference between a garden and a city. Many people dislike the city. Many people in America move away from the city to the suburbs but the new immigrants prefer to live in the city. The city is filthy and chaotic, and traffic is a mess. Many people don’t have a good impression of a city.

但圣经对城市有相当正面的评价。不单我们将要住在新的耶路撒冷 城,雅歌6:4也用大城市形容所爱的美人:「亲爱的,妳像得撒那麽美 丽,像耶路撒冷那麽动人。」我们听惯了对耶路撒冷的称讚,但再加上 得撒是北部的大城,城市会比花园更美丽吗?我们今天对城市的负面印象,是因为太多罪案、环境肮髒。其实如果没有这些,城市里有多姿多彩的生活,有很多趣味的活动,有许多人聚在一起,有欢笑、有艺术、 有技能,再加上没有眼泪、死亡、悲哀、哭号、疼痛,城市是一个热闹 又美好的地方。
But the Bible has a fairly positive assessment of the city. We will be living in the New Jerusalem which is a city. Song of Solomon 6:4 mentions the names of big cities to describe his beloved beautiful woman: “You are as beautiful as Tirzah, my darling, as lovely as Jerusalem.” When we hear the praises about the cities of Jerusalem and Tirzah, a great northern city, wouldn’t that make us think that a city would be more beautiful than a garden? We have a negative impression of cities because there are too many crimes and the environment is very filthy. But, if there were no crimes or filth in a city and if there were a lot of fun things to do and people would gather together and laugh, enjoy art and skills, and if there were no tears, no death, no sorrow, no crying and no pain, then that city would be a lively and happy place to live in.

 

是住棚节的应验
IT IS THE FULFILLMENT OF THE FEAST OF THE TABERNACLES

3我听见有大声音从宝座出来说: 看哪神的帐幕在人间 「 , 祂要与人同住,他们要作祂的子民,神要亲自与他们同在,作 他们的神。」
3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and He will dwell with them.They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God.

旧约圣经里面的节期,是整个天国历史的过程。第一个逾越节,杀羊、吃年夜饭,成就第一步救恩,有了天国的子民;五旬节圣灵降临, 教会开始,天国正式开始建造;吹角节主耶稣再降临,用吹号呼召祂的 子民,教会被提;赎罪日预告犹太人全家悔改得赎;最後住棚节,神要 在新天新地里与人同住,祂的施恩座在人中间。
The festivals in the Old Testament represent the course of events of the entire history of the kingdom of heaven. The first Passover, the sacrifice of the lamb and the eating of the New Year’s eve dinner accomplished the first step of salvation, there are the people of the kingdom of heaven; during Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came down, the church started, the kingdom of heaven officially started its construction; the festival of trumpets, Jesus’ return to earth again, using a trumpet call to gather His people, the church is raptured. Day of Atonement which announces in advance the repentance and salvation of all the Jews. And finally, the feast of the tabernacles, God wants to be with His people in the new heaven and the new earth, His mercy seat will be among the people.

 

住棚节的「棚」,是帐幕,也叫帐棚。住棚节是住在帐幕的节期。到 现在,每一年十月住棚节的时候,犹太人仍然大事庆祝,虽然他们不知 道有甚麽意义,很多人到耶路撒冷买个小帐棚,住在街上一星期。连那 些家庭在耶路撒冷的,都盖个帐棚在门前。因为这是神吩咐的。他们不 读启示录,也不知道这最後大节有甚麽作用,以为只是记念古代先人, 像亚伯拉罕等,或出埃及的人众都曾住在帐棚里。
The “tabernacle” in the feast of tabernacles is a tent which is also called a tabernacle. During the feast of tabernacles, people would live in tents. Nowadays, every year during the month of October, the Jews have a big celebration during the feast of the tabernacles. Although they don’t really know the meaning of it, many people would go to Jerusalem and buy and pitch a tent on the streets and stay in it for one week. Even those who live in Jerusalem would pitch a tent outside their homes. They do it because God commanded them to do it. They do not study the book of Revelation, and they do not know what is the purpose of this great festival. They think that it is just for remembering their ancestors, like Abraham or to remember their people who left Egypt and stayed in tents.

是喜乐平安之地
IT IS A PLACE OF JOY AND PEACE

 

4要擦去一切眼泪,不再有死亡,不再有悲哀、哭号、疼 痛,因为以前的事都过去了。
4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.
其实神的帐幕在人间,乃是预表在新天新地里,神与人永远同住。 不单与以色列人同住,是与全部众圣徒、教会全体同住。他们要作祂的 子民。laoi是一个複数字,在别处称神的子民,都用单数字,但这里却 用複数字,天下万国、万民,所有属神的人都在里面。
God’s tabernacle among the people represents God dwelling eternally with us in the new heaven and the new earth. He will not only live among the Israelites but also among all the saints, the whole church. They will be His people. The world “laoi” is in the plural form. In other passages, whenever it speaks of God’s people, a singular form is used, but here a plural form is used, this includes all peoples of all nations that belong to God.

神应许亚伯拉罕,万国要因他的後裔得福,众民族会得福,所有灾祸、咒诅不再存在,再没有眼泪、死亡、悲哀、哭号、疼痛。以後只有 福气没有灾难。启示录把这完美结局预示。
God promised Abraham that through his offspring all nations of the earth would be blessed. Therefore, there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain. In the future there will only be blessings, there will be no more disasters. Revelation tells us about this perfect ending.

 

创始成终神的供应
GOD’S PROVISION FROM BEGINNING TO END

 

6祂对我说: 都成了,我是阿拉法、是俄梅戛,是初、 「 是终,我要将生命泉的水,白白赐给那口渴的人喝。」
6 He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life.

我们知道这些事,必定发生,因为这是神的工作。祂是创始成终的 主。「都成了」表示都由神作成了。耶稣在十架上也说过「成了」,但两个 「成了」是不同的字。在十架上祂的救恩工作已经做完,地上使命做完。 但以後地上教会还有很多事要做。只不过祂的重要部份已经做完。在这 里的「成了」是整个大计划完全出现了,因为祂是创始成终的,在十字架 上创始了,这里成终了。
We know these things will definitely take place because it is the work of God. He is the Lord from beginning to end. “It is done” means that God is the one who did it all. Jesus also said “It is done” when He was on the cross but both words are different. On the cross, His work of salvation was finished, He had finished His mission on earth. But after that, the church on earth had to many things. It was only the important part that was done. Here, the word “done” talks about His great plan, He was the one who did it from beginning to end, it all started on the cross and ended here.

这里也出现一句奇怪的话:「我要将生命泉的水,白白赐给那口渴 的人喝。」这话常指救恩可以白白得到。在以色列地这话很容易明白。 因为「井」通常是私人自己挖的,当然不会白白供应别人水喝。但泉水不 同,是从石山湧出来的,见者有份,人人白白取用,不必得别人同意, 不需要政府批准,不需要交水费。耶稣也曾用过这比喻,说人人可以得 到祂的救恩。但这里是告诉我们,到新天新地的时候,祂是创始成终的 主,由始至终,祂让渴慕的人得到满足,每个渴慕灵福的人都得满足。 只有那些不觉渴的人享受不到救恩。
An odd phrase appears here: “To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. ” This phrase often refers to the free gift of salvation. This phrase is easy to understand when you are in Israel. “Wells” are dug up on private properties, and so water would not be given to others for free; but a spring of water is different, it flows out from the rocks, everyone can have it for free, they don’t have to ask for anyone’s permission or get approval from the government, you don’t have to pay for it. Jesus once used this metaphor to tell people that everyone could have His salvation. But here it tells us that when we get to the new heaven and the new earth, He is the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End and He satisfies all those who are thirsty. Every soul that thirsts for blessings will be satisfied but those who do not feel thirsty will not enjoy His salvation.

 

是神子民的产业
IT IS THE INHERITANCE OF GOD’S PEOPLE

 

7得胜的必承受这些为业,我要作他的神,他要作我的儿 子。8惟胆怯的、不信的、可憎的、杀人的、淫乱的、行邪术 的、拜偶像的,和一切说谎话的,他们的分就在烧著的硫磺火 湖里,这是第二次的死。
7 Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children. 8 But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”
为甚麽要得胜的人纔能承受呢?「得胜」在中、英文都是很重的字, 像要成为胜利英雄,纔能承受新天新地,像要打很多胜仗,死很多细胞 纔成。但拉丁语系并没有这麽严重。「征服」不一定用在打仗事上,赢得 朋友的心,赢得美人归,也可以用这字。它的意思靠近「成功」多过「战胜」,在生活上胜过了自己原有的软弱,与主的关係成了圆满的关係。
How come only the victorious will inherit all this? The word “victory” is a very weighty word in Chinese and in English. As if you had to be hero in order to inherit the new heaven and the new earth, as if you had to win many battles. But in the Latin language the word isn’t as weighty. The word “to conquer” not always needs to be used in a battle, it can be used as to win a friends heart or to win a beautiful woman, this word can be used in these cases also. Its meaning is more like “being successful” than to “win a battle”. In our daily lives we must overcome our weaknesses so that we can have a satisfactory relationship with our Lord.

 

「胆怯」这字似乎也过份的严重,人人都有害怕的事。如果胆子小一 点就要下地狱,是不是太过份了?旧的英文译本作 fearful,新的翻作 cowardly,似乎比较清楚。不是说胆子小、有害怕情绪的人,都要下 地狱。乃是针对当时为信仰受迫害的,如果因为有难处就不敢跟随主, 不敢认主,那就会失去了在天国里的福气。有很多人虽然害怕,仍然跟 随,那就不算胆怯。像有人站在台上发抖,都要做诗班员或领会,就不 是胆怯。人都有发抖的毛病,这不是问题。有没有坚持原则纔是问题。
“The cowardly”, this word seems excessively harsh because everyone is afraid of something. Wouldn’t it be somewhat unduly that if we are a little afraid, we would have to go to hell? In the old English translation, the word “fearful” is used, in the new translation, the world “cowardly” is used, this seems to clarify it more. It doesn’t say that those who are afraid or those who feel afraid will have to go to hell. Rather, it refers to those who are persecuted for their faith. If they are afraid to follow Jesus when trouble comes, if they are afraid to acknowledge Jesus as their Lord, then they will loose the blessings in the kingdom of heaven. Many people, even though they are afraid, they would still follow Jesus, those people are not considered cowards. I like when people who have stage fright, yet they are part of the choir or are chairman during worship service, they are not considered to be cowards. Everyone is afraid of something but that is not a problem. The problem is when they do not remain committed to their principles.

 

「可憎的」指公开闹事,不知廉耻,公开犯罪,骄傲自大的人。所以 这里的形容词,不是说人要做多少纔能进天国,这全是神的作为。成功 的人都有神的作为在他们身上。
“The vile”, refers to those who openly cause trouble, those who are shameless, those who sin openly, those who are arrogant. These adjectives are not saying that people have to do a lot of things in order to enter the kingdom of heaven because it all depends on God.