#25──大地的盡頭──The Ends of the Earth

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第三部分:創造的體系

第二十五章 大地的盡頭

大地的盡頭可能會使人立即想起那個害怕與克里斯托弗.哥倫布 (Christopher Columbus) 一起向西冒險的水手,在他的觀念裡,他害怕自己會駛往世界的邊端去。說實話,這些中世紀後期的想法與事實相反。聖經宇宙學所描繪的,不是一個可以掉下去的邊緣,相反的,有一個圓頂 (dome) 放置在邊緣之上,這樣人就可以(如果可以的話)只能往上走。試著想像一下,一個蓋著碗的大盤子──沒有碗,人就會掉下去… 但有了碗,人就能留在裡面。在創造的第二天,耶和華 (YHVH) 只創造了一樣東西:穹蒼 (Firmament)──這個保護力場將第三層天的水擋在外面,也留在我們的大氣層裡──穹蒼就像一個碗,它邊緣上翹,把水留住

「我心裡發昏的時候、我要從地極求告你.求你領我到那比我更高的磐石。」 352 什麼是地極?地有盡頭嗎?聖經說:是的,它有盡頭,它是被上帝所創造的──「神坐在地球大圈之上、地上的居民好像蝗蟲.他鋪張穹蒼如幔子、展開諸天如可住的帳棚。」353 地極在創造的那週已被立定了。智慧在箴言8:28-29對我們說:「使穹蒼堅硬、下使淵源穩固、為滄海定出界限、使水不越過他的命令、立定大地的根基.」354

約伯記和詩篇都經常提到水的界限。這裡有四節簡短的經文可以比較:

約伯記26:10 「在水面的周圍劃出界限、直到光明黑暗的交界。」

約伯記38章11節「說、你只可到這裡、不可越過、你狂傲的浪要到此止住。」

詩篇74:17 「地的一切疆界、是你所立的.夏天和冬天、是你所定的。」

詩篇104:9 「你定了界限、使水不能過去、不再轉回遮蓋地面。」

那麼,地有疆界,這疆界由水作成,除了基督以外,沒什麼能越過它們的。約翰福音3:13對此說得很清楚:「除了從天降下仍舊在天的人子、沒有人升過天。」355 只有作為人的上帝才能穿過穹蒼來到大地上,並沒什麼可越過這蒼穹的了──大地的盡頭不在疆界之上,也不在天上,它乃在一個遙遠之地,由於政府的干預,我們真不知道它在何方。法律不允許人對離北方的至遙遠處進行一般性的探索。但從聖經中可以清楚地看出,上帝知道那邊界在哪裡:「因他鑒察直到地極、遍觀普天之下.」356 因此,祂確實可以從天上天那有利的位置俯瞰一切──這是一個什麼樣的啟示──是擁有一些屬靈的望遠鏡!

在馬太福音4:8和路加福音4:5中,我們看到了非常有趣的事。如果你還記得,撒但在約伯記第一、第二章中,從地上走來走去、往返而來,並與上帝交談,看約伯是否會屈服於牠的做法。在這裡,撒但再次覲見上帝──以聖子耶穌基督的形像。我們引用馬太福音:「魔鬼又帶他上了一座最高的山、將世上的萬國、與萬國的榮華、都指給他看。」357 那麼,你認為是哪座山能看到地上的萬國?或許更重要的問題是:耶穌的視力有多好?這是屬靈的異象嗎?還是魂遊象外?或馬太和路加是記錄了一個真實的事件?這裡的話非常具體:「魔鬼帶祂」──這不是夢,也不是什麼抽象的的事,耶穌乃被撒但用意念傳送到另一個地方去。你認為那是珠穆朗瑪峰嗎?那耶穌怎麼能看到復活節島上拉諾拉庫火山的外坡和建造那些大型雕像的人呢?從全球投影上來看,它幾乎在另一個方向,祂的視線是否彎曲了?或是撒但將基督帶到其他地方是否更為合理?那撒但會把祂帶到什麼地方去呢?

352 詩篇61:2

353 以賽亞書 40:22

354 和合本翻譯

355 和合本翻譯

356 約伯記28:24

357 和合本翻譯

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Part Three : The System of Creation

Chapter 25: The Ends of the Earth

The ends of the earth might immediately bring into mind the notion of the sailor who was afraid to venture westward with Christopher Columbus because he was afraid that he would sail off the edge of the world. Truth be told, these post Medieval ideas were opposite of the truth. Biblical Cosmology portrays not an edge that one can fall off of, but the opposite, a dome placed over the edge so one could (if able) only go upwards. Imagine a large plate covered with a bowl. Without the bowl, one would go off… But with the bowl, one stays in. On the second day of creation, YHVH created only one thing: The Firmament. This protective force field keeps out the waters from the third heaven and keeps in our atmosphere. It also keeps the water in, like a bowl, with its upturned edges.

“From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.1 What are the ends of the earth? Does the earth have an end? The Bible says: Yes, it has an end. It was made by God. “God is enthroned above the circle of the earth; its inhabitants are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like thin cloth and spreads them out like a tent to live in.”2 The ends of the earth were established when the earth was made during the creation week. Wisdom speaks to us in Proverbs 8:28,29 “when he placed the skies above, when the fountains of the ocean gushed out, when he set a limit for the sea so that the waters would not violate his command when he laid out the foundations of the earth.”3

Job and Psalms both speak of the water boundaries quite often. Here are four short verses to compare. These are verses from the King James Version:

Job 26:10 “He hath compassed the waters with bounds, until the day and night come to an end.”

Job 38:11 “And said, Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further: and here shall thy proud waves be stayed?”

Psalms 74:17 “Thou hast set all the borders of the earth: thou hast made summer and winter.”

Psalms 104:9 “Thou hast set a bound that they may not pass over; that they turn not again to cover the earth.”

The earth then, has a boundary, and that boundary is made up of water. Nothing may pass through them. Not anything except Christ. John 3:13 makes this very clear. “No one has ascended into heaven except the One who descended from heaven–the Son of Man.”4 Only God as man can come down through the Firmament to the earth. Nothing can go past the firmament. Not at the border, and not in the heaven. The ends of the earth sit very far away, and we have no idea where they are due to governmental interference. The laws will not allow for common exploration towards the far reaches of the most distant places away from the North. But it is clear from scripture that God knows where the border is. “For he beholdeth the ends of the world: and looketh on all things that are under heaven.”5 So, indeed He can see all from His vantage point in the sky-above skies. What a revelation. Talk about having some spiritual binoculars!

In Matthew 4:8 and Luke 4:5 we see something very interesting. If you recall Satan in the first and second chapter of Job had been walking around on the earth and took up audience with God to see if Job would succumb to his ways. Here again, Satan takes up audience with God, this time in the form of the begotten Son, Jesus Christ. We will quote from Matthew: “Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory.”6 Now, what mountain do you suppose was the one that could see all of the earth’s kingdoms? Maybe an even more important question is: How good was Jesus’s eyesight? Was this a spiritual vision? Was it just a trance? Or do Matthew and Luke record an actual event? Very specific are the words here. “the devil took him.” It was not a dream nor some sort of metaphysical event. Jesus was teleported by Satan to another place. Do you suppose it was Mount Everest? How would Jesus have been able to see the outer slope of the Rano Raraku volcano on Easter Island and the men who built those large statues? It is almost the exact opposite on a globe projection of the earth. Did His vision bend? Or is it more plausible that Satan took Christ to some other place? What would be the place that Satan would have taken Him?

Footnotes

1 Psalms 61:2, KJV

2 Isaiah 40:22, CEV

3 CSB

4 HCSB

5 Job 28:24, D-RB

6 ESV

──Biblical Cosmology by Pauly Hart
Permission for VineMedia to use

SUPPORT – Pauly Hart

Buy the book online: Biblical Cosmology Paperback


見證

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