CHAPTER XV – Revelation 启示录 4:6-8 – 四活物 THE FOUR LIVING CREATURES

 

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 XV

四活物 (启示录4:6-8)
THE FOUR LIVING CREATURES — REVELATION 4:6-8

四活物与末世大有关係,因为旧约先知凡看见四活物的,都看见末 世异象。启示录第四、五章有多个角色,我们先专注於四活物上。
The four living creatures are greatly related to the end of times because whenever the Old Testament prophets would see the four living creatures, they would also see visions of the end of times. Revelation chapters 4 and 5 contain many different characters. We will first concentrate on the four living creatures.

6宝座中和宝座周围有四个活物,前後遍体都满了眼睛。
6 In the center, around the throne, were four living creatures, and they were covered with eyes, in front and in back.

人对於灵界的生物,常不知道应该怎样称呼他们。现在普遍用「天 使」,去代表天上所有的灵体活物,其实是不正确的。因为天使只是「使 者」的意思,受差遣的纔称为使者。如果不是受差遣去办事,他们只是 灵界的僕役。就算是受差遣的天使,约翰也多数不知道他们的名字,所 以都统称他们为天使。四活物是神宝座旁边的四位灵僕。
Often, people do not know what to call spiritual beings. Today, people usually call them “angels”; but actually, this is not the correct term, because the word “angel” just means “messenger”. A spiritual being that is sent on a special mission is called an“angel”. If these spiritual beings are not sent out to perform a special task, they are simply called servants. Most of the time, John does not know the names of the spiritual beings that are sent to do a special job, so he just calls them angels. The four living creatures are four spiritual servants that perform their duties around God’s throne.

会幕中至圣所里面有约柜,约柜上面有神的施恩座,在启示录称为 宝座。施恩座的旁边有两个基路伯。地上的至圣所只放了两个,因为如 果放四个,就会挡住了神的施恩座,所以只是象徵式的放了两个。
The Ark of the Covenant is located in the Tabernacle, inside the Holy of Holies. God’s Mercy Seat is situated above the Ark of the Covenant, which in Revelation is called the Throne of God. On the side of the Mercy Seat there are two cherubim. In the earthly Holy of Holies there are only two cherubim, because if four were in place, then it would be blocking God’s Mercy Seat, hence only two were placed in a symbolic manner.

从会幕的设计,我们就知道四活物就是四个基路伯。基路伯大概是 大能者的意思。
From the design of the Tabernacle, we know that the four living creatures are the four cherubim. Cherubim probably mean mighty ones.

旧约中的四活物
FOUR LIVING CREATURES IN THE OLD TESTAMENT

8四活物各有六个翅膀,遍体内外都满了眼睛,他们昼夜 不住的说:圣哉、圣哉、圣哉,主神是昔在、今在、以後永在 的全能者。
8 Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under its wings. Day and night they never stop saying: “‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty,’ who was, and is, and is to come.”

以西结书与启示录都称所见的四大灵僕为「四活物」。也是四位,也 都各有狮、牛、人、鹰的特徵。有六个翅膀遮盖著神的施恩座。
The book of Ezekiel and Revelation call these four mighty spiritual servants, the“ Four Living Creatures”. They are also four in number and they also have the characteristics of a lion, an ox, a man and an eagle. They have six wings which cover God’s Mercy Seat.

旧约众先知所见的四活物,都有「火」的特徵。以西结先知描写说, 四活物有像火的轮子,轮中套轮,可以向任何方向转动,不需要拐弯。 而且明说这四活物是在神宝座的下面,有点像四个抬轿的轿夫一样。原 来神的施恩座是活动的。有时是进入人间的,并非高高在上,高攀不到 的。有人说他们像神身旁的大内侍卫,当然,神不需要护卫员,他们只 是最贴身的僕役。
All the prophets in the Old Testament describe the four living creatures as having the characteristic of “fire”. The prophet Ezekiel described the appearance of the living creatures as having wheels on fire and each appeared to be made like a wheel intersecting a wheel and they would go in any one of the four directions, and the wheels did not change direction as the creatures went. It also said clearly that the four living creatures were under God’s throne, something like the 4 sedan chair bearers. So God’s Mercy Seat is mobile; sometimes coming down among the people of the earth. It really isn’t just so high above that we cannot reach it. Some people say that they are like God’s imperial body guards, but of course, God doesn’t need anyone to protect Him, they are just servants that are very close to God.

每一个人描写的基路伯有些不同。但以理先知没有说见到四活物, 但却说在宝座下有轮子,像火。以西结看见四个翅膀,上面两个翅膀跟 别的活物相连,两个遮体。约翰所见,有六个翅膀,没有看见轮子。
Each person gives a somewhat different description of the cherubim. The prophet Daniel did not say anything about seeing the four living creatures, but mentions seeing wheels like fire under the throne. Ezekiel saw four wings, the upper two wings were touching the other living creature and the other two wings covered their bodies. John saw six wings but did not see wheels.

以赛亚先知所说的「撒拉弗」,没有说几位,也没有称他们为基路伯 或四活物,却称他们为撒拉弗。撒拉弗的意思是「那燃烧者」,所以也是 描写他们为「火的使者」。以赛亚见六个翅膀,两个遮脸(遮著上面), 两个遮脚,两个飞翔。不断发出讚美的声音:「圣哉、圣哉、圣哉,神 的荣光充满全地。」
The prophet Isaiah mentioned seeing “seraphim” but did not say how many. He did not called them cherubim or four living creatures, he just called them seraphim. The word seraphim means “fiery one”, that is why he calls them “angels of fire”. Isaiah saw that each had six wings, two wings covered their faces, two covered their feet and two were used for flying. And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of His glory.”

他们应该是最高级的僕役,因为他们常在神宝座的旁边。
They must be servants of the highest rank because they were near God’s throne all the time.

四活物-基路伯 各异象之比较  FOUR LIVING CREATURES – CHERUBIM COMPARISON OF EACH VISION

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chapter15comparisonoffourlivingcreaturesenglish

 

基路伯常出现的时期
THE TIME WHEN THE CHERUBIM OFTEN APPEARED

以西结的描写最详尽,大概是他的性格。他写每一段所见的异象, 都清楚註明日期,也等於写上他自己的岁数。他是一位祭司,上任的时 候是30岁,上任那一年就看见异象。如果再与皇帝的年分作比较,就 可以知道他某一年几岁。他的年龄只比但以理大叁岁,但寿命比较短, 事奉的时间不长。不像但以理事奉主70年,活到85岁。
Ezekiel’s description is the most detailed, it must have been his personality. Every part of his vision is recorded in detail to the very date, as writing his own age. He was a priest; when he took office he was 30 years old. He saw a vision the year he assumed office. If compared to the years of the king, you could figure out how old he was on a certain year. He was three years older than Daniel, but his life was relatively shorter, he did not serve for too long; unlike Daniel who serve the Lord for 70 years, and lived to be 85 years old.

但以理服事过两个王朝:巴比伦与波斯。服事过五个王帝:叁个巴 比伦王,两个波斯王。但以理80多岁,仍然在王宫服事,禁食祷告。 见许多异象,写下许多预言。
Daniel served two dynasties: Babylon and Persia. He served five kings: three Babylonian kings and two Persian kings. When Daniel was 80 years old, he was still serving in the palace, praying and fasting. He saw many visions and wrote down many prophecies.

以西结事奉主只有22年,52岁就死了。没有说他进行过禁食,不 过他也见了很多异象。从神的宝座一直到新耶路撒冷圣城、圣殿,写得 非常详细。按照年份日子排好,就像写日记一样。
Ezekiel served the Lord for only 22 years; he died at the age of 52. It does not say that he fasted; but he also saw many visions. He wrote very detail accounts of God’s throne, the New Jerusalem, the Holy City and the Temple. The visions were arranged by dates and years, like a diary.

先知传道时间 
PREACHING TIME OF THE PROPHETS

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chapter15preachingtimeoftheprophetsenglish

 

苦难中的异象
VISIONS IN THE MIDST OF SUFFERING

见异象的人,通常在苦难期间。旧约几位末世先知,都在以色列人 被掳期间,遭遇亡国之痛,成了外邦人俘虏,在痛苦难过中见异象。以 赛亚是例外的一个,他在王宫里服事,对王帝与大臣讲道的先知。当虔 诚爱主的君王乌西雅逝世之时,也就是他在地上比较亲近的靠山忽然离 开,失了保障之时。也可以说是一个苦难的时间。
People usually see visions during times of great suffering. Many Old Testament prophets saw visions of the last days during the time when they were facing the extreme sorrow and pain of being taken captives as slaves into a foreign country. Isaiah was the exception; he served in the palace and preached to the King and to his royal ministers. In the year that King Uzziah died, Isaiah saw a vision. Isaiah was close to King Uzziah and enjoyed his protection. Suddenly the one whom he depended on and who was close to him left him, this could be considered as a time of suffering.

几位先知所看见的异象,都得到一个信息,就是:神仍然坐在宝座 上。他们虽然在敌人的控制下面,但神要他们知道,神仍然在掌管,一 切事仍然在神权柄之下。人所遇见的事,像杂乱无章,像恶人当道,像 义人受欺负,事实上最终权柄还是在神手里,神仍然掌管这一切事务。
The visions that these prophets saw had the same message, which was: God is still sitting on the throne. Even though they were controlled by the enemy, God wanted them to know that He is still in charge; everything is under God’s authority. The things that people have to face may seem disorderly and chaotic, as if the evil ones are in power and the righteous ones are being bullied, but actually the ultimate authority is still in God’s hands, God is still in control of all affairs.

旧约的先知所看见的宝座,都是行动的宝座。表示神仍然在做事, 在祂旁边,祂宝座下面的基路伯,就像轿夫一样,这宝座成了活动的宝 座,且动得很快,像闪电一样。是有轮子的,且是轮中套轮,即是无论 朝哪一个方向,都可以马上闪过去,不用拐弯。古代木头车也好,铁甲 车也好,不单走得慢,且拐弯花很多时间。他们却不一样,是行动迅速 的。而且他们各有四个脸面,连头都不用转,就可以朝新的方向而去。
The throne that the Old Testament prophets saw was a moving throne meaning that God is still working. The cherubim are always at His side, under His throne. They are like sedan chair bearers that make throne mobile. They move extremely fast, like lightning. They have wheels which intersect each other, so no matter which direction they wanted to go, they would move quickly and they had no need to turn. The ancient carriages which were either made of wood or metal moved very slowly and they also took a long time to make turns. The cherubim were different, they moved at a very fast speed. Furthermore, they each had four faces; they did not need to turn their faces to go to another direction.

神并没有忘记他们,没有离弃他们。虽然他们早已经离开以神为中 心、以圣所为家的生活方式。他们早已离开神,失去保障,被敌人掳到 外邦,但原来神的宝座却是动的,仍然与他们相近,并没有放弃他们。 只要他们回头悔改,神仍然与他们同在,眷顾他们。
Even though they had left the God-centered lifestyle they once had surrounding the Sanctuary, God had not forgotten them or forsaken them. They had left God a long time ago; they had lost their safety when they were taken captive to a foreign country. Yet the throne of God was on the move. God was still close to them, He had not given up of them, as long as they would repent and turn back to God, He would still be with them and protect them.

基路伯与四福音的关係
THE CONNECTION BETWEEN THE CHERUBIM AND THE FOUR GOSPELS

7第一个活物像狮子,第二个像牛犊,第叁个脸面像人, 第四个像飞鹰。
7 The first living creature was like a lion, the second was like an ox, the third had a face like a man, the fourth was like a flying eagle.

基路伯的样貌有几个特色,有狮、牛、人、鹰四种脸,而最特别的 地方,就跟四福音对耶稣的描写相似。
The faces of the cherubim had the features of a lion, an ox, a man, and an eagle and the most amazing thing is that they resembled the description that the four gospels gave about Jesus.

马太描写耶稣是天国的王,第一章就描写祂的王族家谱,證明祂是 大卫王的後裔。出生的时候,有东方几个智慧人来朝见新生王,不是牧 羊人来朝见。马太也有很多天国比喻,天国律法,引用很多旧约预言。 马太可以用「狮子」作徽号,因为狮子就是百兽之王。
Matthew describes Jesus as the King of the Kingdom; the first chapter lists His royal genealogy, which proves that He is a descendant of King David. When Jesus was born, wise men from the orient came to see the newborn King, not shepherds. Matthew also contains many parables of the Kingdom of Heaven, laws of the Kingdom of Heaven, and many Old Testament prophecies. Matthew can use a “lion” as an emblem, because the lion is the king of the beasts.

马可所描写的基督,是谦卑服务的僕人,没有家谱,只是一位贫寒 的传道人。还记录主的话说:「人子来,不是要受人的服事,乃是要服 事人,并且要捨命,作多人赎价。」 所以马可福音可以用「牛」作徽号。
Mark describes Christ as a humble servant, without a genealogy, just a poor preacher. It even records the words of the Lord: “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”So Mark can use an “ox” as an emblem.

路加所描写的却是百分之百的人。家谱追溯到亚当,因为是人的後 代。路加描写祂人性的一面,最後上耶路撒冷时就哭了,忧伤他们不听 话,将在70年遇浩劫。路加描写祂关心外邦人、不歧视妇女孩子,收 女徒。指出祂的人性非常重。可以用「人」的脸来做徽号。
Luke describes Him as being 100% man. His genealogy goes back all the way to Adam, because He was a descendant of a human being. Luke describes His humanity. When He went to Jerusalem the last time, he wept because he was sad for their disobedience and for the calamity that would come upon them in the year 70. Luke describes His concern for the gentiles; He did not discriminate against women or children, and accepted women disciples, pointing out that His humanity was very strong. The face of a “man” could be used as His emblem.

约翰所描写的非常不同,一开始的家谱指出祂是从太初就有,「太 初有道,道与神同在,道就是神。」书中到处證明祂是神的儿子,「我们 见过祂的荣光,正是父独生子的荣光。」 约翰福音可以用「鹰」做徽号。
John’s description is completely different. His genealogy starts by saying the He was already there from the beginning, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Everywhere in the book proves that He is God’s Son, “We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” The Gospel of John can use an “eagle” as an emblem.

狮、牛、人、鹰,正是基路伯的四张脸。
A lion, an ox, a man and an eagle are exactly the four faces of the cherubim.

完美僕役的形象
THE IMAGE OF THE PERFECT SERVANT

但为甚麽基路伯与神的儿子相像?基路伯又不是神,怎麽他们的特 性与神的儿子一样呢?因为耶稣在地上是做「神的僕人」,以赛亚书的预 言里面,常常指著祂说「我的僕人」。耶稣在地上以神僕人的身分出现, 直到祂死而复活之後,神将祂升为至高,以大能显明祂是神的儿子。
The cherubim are not God, why are their characteristics similar to those of the Son of God? Because when Jesus was on earth He was “a Servant of God”. In the Book of Isaiah, in many of the prophecies, Christ is referred to as “My Servant”. When Jesus was on earth, he assumed the position of the Servant of God, until after his death and resurrection, which was when God exalted Him to the utmost, revealing His might as the Son of the God.

耶稣复活後,约了十一门徒到加利利山上会面,见面的时候,对他 们说:「现在天上地下所有的权柄,都赐给我了。」祂从死里复活之前, 完全跟普通人一样,并非超人,没有特别构造,神并没有给祂来世以前 的记忆。并非一出生可以走路,不是小孩时候就行神蹟。祂被人追杀时 还要逃难,也要从小学讲话,祂除了亚兰话、希腊话,不会其他语言。 也要从小学习圣经,百分之百是人,并非怪人、超人,没有特异功能。
After Jesus resurrected from the dead, He told His eleven disciples to meet Him on a hill in Galilee where He said to them: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” Before His resurrection he was like a simple human being, He was no superman; He was not built differently, God did not give Him a memory of what He was before He was born. He did not know how to walk when He was a baby and He could not perform any miracles when he was an infant. He had to get away from people who were trying to kill Him; He also had to learn how to talk when He was little. He only knew how to speak Aramean and Hebrew; He did not know any other languages. He had to learn the Bible from a very young age; He was human 100%, He was not a superman, He didn’t have any special powers.

就是要这样,祂纔有资格代替人的罪死,所以祂的生活方式,可以 成为我们学习榜样,祂能够度过难关,因为祂信靠神;祂能行神蹟,因 为祂倚靠圣灵;祂知道每天对百姓讲甚麽道,需要选哪些人做门徒,需 要教门徒甚麽功课,因为祂每天早上亲近天父,与天父交谈。
It had to be this way so that He could be could die for the sins of every human being, in this manner His lifestyle would be our example. He was able to overcome difficult situations because He trusted in God, because He depended on the Holy Spirit. He knew what message to preach to the people each day, which disciples to choose, what lessons to teach to His disciples, because He spent intimate moments with His Heavenly Father and talked to Him every morning.

祂要让人人知道,我们也可以做祂所做的事,甚至可以做比祂所做 更大的事,我们如果像祂一样有信心,可以见到祂所经历的神蹟奇事。
He wanted to let everyone know that we could also do the things that He did; we could even do greater things. If we have faith like Him, we will be able to see the miraculous signs and wonders that He experienced.

人所不能知道的事,祂也未必知道。祂跟门徒谈末世预兆的时候, 说:「哪日子、哪时辰,没有人知道,子也不知道,唯独父知道。」当时 整个宇宙,只有神自己知道甚麽时候主再来,下篇会解释这个原因。今 天我们看清楚,祂在地上传道的时候,是人,是神的僕人,所有神的僕 人都应该像基路伯,有这四种的特性,就是狮、牛、人、鹰的特性。
The things that people can not know, He did not know either. When He spoke to His disciples about the signs of the end of the world, He said: “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” At that time, no one in the whole universe knew when the Lord would return the second time, only God knew. We will explain the reason why in the next chapter, but at this point we want to make clear that when He was in this world preaching the Word of God, He was a human being, He was God’s servant. All servants of God should be like the cherubim, they should possess these four characteristics, which are those of a lion, an ox, a man and an eagle.

王:狮
KING: LION

狮子,作王的特性,带权柄能力。真基督徒都应该是神的僕人,与 基督一同做王,有王的权能。祂被称为和平之君,祂的王权不像世界的 王权。世界的王权是霸权,所以世界充满鬥争。国家与国家互鬥,民族 与民族互鬥,连家里的人都互鬥。跟随祂的门徒变和平之子,与祂一同 作王,把人间的种种界限消除,把隔在中间的墙拆掉,成了和平使者, 有王的权能,有天上的权能,有和平之君的权能。
A lion—the characteristic of a king—holds authority and power. True Christians should be servants of God, reigning together with Christ. He was called the Prince of Peace; His royal authority is not like the authority of the kings of this world. Royal worldly power is aggressive and dominating, that is why this world is full of conflicts. There are conflicts between countries and between ethnic groups; there are even conflicts among own family members. His followers will become children of peace and reign together with Him, breaking down all barriers between people, tearing down walls of discord, becoming messengers of peace, with the authority of a king, the authority of heaven, and the authority of the Prince of Peace.

僕:牛
SERVANT: OX

第二特性像牛。不单作神的僕人,也愿做众人的僕人。基路伯是行 动者,是服事者。有些翅膀是用作遮蔽自己,是谦卑的行动。神的僕人 都愿意顺服、劳苦、服务、忍耐、谦卑。广义上说,我们所有基督徒都 是神的僕人,都要谦卑服事。不谦卑的人,就不是神的僕人。不信主的 人,没有别的原因,都是骄傲,要靠自己,要人定胜天。
The second characteristic is like an ox. Not only willing to be a servant of God but also a servant of the people. Cherubim are not only moving around constantly but also serving. Some of their wings are used for covering themselves, which is a humble action. God’s servants are submissive, hardworking, patient and humble. Broadly speaking, all Christians are servants of God, therefore we must serve humbly. A person who is not humble is not a servant of God. People who do not believe in the Lord are arrogant, rely only on themselves, they just want to do their own will and could care less about God’s will.

人:人
HUMAN BEING: MAN

第叁特性像人。人在所有生物中,是最有智慧的一种,所以用人的 脸来表明他们的智慧。这基路伯的轮子满了眼睛,显示他们拥有特别智 慧。能看透很多事情,能看见别人所不见,能看见事奉主的恩典,能看 见走在主道路中所得的福气。常服事主的基督徒,拥有最理想的生活环 境、家庭、孩子、人缘,不是因为智商高,乃是因为常有神的带领。
The third characteristic is like a man. Among all the living things, human beings are the wisest. Therefore, the face of a man is used to indicate their wisdom. The wheels of the cherubim were full of eyes, to demonstrate their extraordinary wisdom. They can understand thoroughly all matters, they can see things others cannot see, and they can see the grace in serving the Lord and the blessings that come from walking with the Lord. Christians who regularly serve the Lord have the most ideal living environment, family, children, relationships, not because they have a high IQ but because they let God guide them at all the times.

神:鹰
GOD: EAGLE

第四特性像鹰。鹰行动很快,基路伯也是行动像电光一闪,不用转 身,不用拐弯,要到哪里,马上就到。不犹疑,不拖延,不胆怯,不懒 惰,充满信心。只有充满信心的人,纔会行动迅速。神的僕人应该像鹰 一样,高瞻远瞩,行动迅速。
The fourth characteristic is like an eagle. Eagles move swiftly, the cherubim’s movements were also fast as a flash of lightning, they did not have to make turns; they just went wherever they wanted to go right away. They did not hesitate, they did not procrastinate, they were not hesitant, they were not lazy; they were full of faith. Only people who are full of faith act quickly. A servant of God should also be like an eagle, have great foresight and vision and move swiftly.