CHAPTER 15 – Revelation 4:6-8 四活物 THE FOUR LIVING CREATURES

四活物與末世大有關係,因為舊約先知凡看見四活物的,都看見末世異象。啟示錄第四、五章有多個角色,我們先專注於四活物上。

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 寶座中和寶座周圍有四個活物,前後遍體都滿了眼睛。

6 In the center, around the throne, were four living creatures, and they were covered with eyes, in front and in back.

人對於靈界的生物,常不知道應該怎樣稱呼他們。現在普遍用「天使」,去代表天上所有的靈體活物,其實是不正確的。因為天使只是「使者」的意思,受差遣的纔稱為使者。如果不是受差遣去辦事,他們只是靈界的僕役。就算是受差遣的天使,約翰也多數不知道他們的名字,所以都統稱他們為天使。四活物是神寶座旁邊的四位靈僕。

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.

會幕中至聖所裡面有約櫃,約櫃上面有神的施恩座,在啟示錄稱為寶座。施恩座的旁邊有兩個基路伯。地上的至聖所只放了兩個,因為如果放四個,就會擋住了神的施恩座,所以只是像徵式的放了兩個。

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.

從會幕的設計,我們就知道四活物就是四個基路伯。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.

舊約中的四活物

FOUR LIVING CREATURES IN THE OLD TESTAMENT

8 四活物各有六個翅膀,遍體內外都滿了眼睛,他們晝夜不住的說:聖哉、聖哉、聖哉,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.”

以西結書與啟示錄都稱所見的四大靈僕為「四活物」。也是四位,也都各有獅、牛、人、鷹的特徵。有六個翅膀遮蓋著神的施恩座。

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.

舊約眾先知所見的四活物,都有「火」的特徵。以西結先知描寫說,四活物有像火的輪子,輪中套輪,可以向任何方向轉動,不需要拐彎。而且明說這四活物是在神寶座的下面,有點像四個抬轎的轎夫一樣。原來神的施恩座是活動的。有時是進入人間的,並非高高在上,高攀不到的。有人說他們像神身旁的大內侍衛,當然,神不需要護衛員,他們只是最貼身的僕役。

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.

每一個人描寫的基路伯有些不同。但以理先知沒有說見到四活物,但卻說在寶座下有輪子,像火。以西結看見四個翅膀,上面兩個翅膀跟別的活物相連,兩個遮體。約翰所見,有六個翅膀,沒有看見輪子。

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.

以賽亞先知所說的「撒拉弗」,沒有說幾位,也沒有稱他們為基路伯或四活物,卻稱他們為撒拉弗。撒拉弗的意思是「那燃燒者」,所以也是描寫他們為「火的使者」。以賽亞見六個翅膀,兩個遮臉( 遮著上面) ,兩個遮腳,兩個飛翔。不斷發出讚美的聲音:「聖哉、聖哉、聖哉,神的榮光充滿全地。」

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.”

他們應該是最高級的僕役,因為他們常在神寶座的旁邊。

They must be servants of the highest rank because they were near God’s throne all the time.

四活物- 基路伯各異象之比較

FOUR LIVING CREATURES – CHERUBIM COMPARISON OF EACH VISION

 (See picture below)

基路伯常出現的時期

THE TIME WHEN THE CHERUBIM OFTEN APPEARED

以西結的描寫最詳盡,大概是他的性格。他寫每一段所見的異象,都清楚註明日期,也等於寫上他自己的歲數。他是一位祭司,上任的時候是30 歲,上任那一年就看見異象。如果再與皇帝的年分作比較,就可以知道他某一年幾歲。他的年齡只比但以理大叁歲,但壽命比較短,事奉的時間不長。不像但以理事奉主70 年,活到85 歲。

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.

但以理服事過兩個王朝:巴比倫與波斯。服事過五個王帝:叁個巴比倫王,兩個波斯王。但以理80 多歲,仍然在王宮服事,禁食禱告。見許多異象,寫下許多預言。

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 .

以西結事奉主只有22 年,52 歲就死了。沒有說他進行過禁食,不過他也見了很多異象。從神的寶座一直到新耶路撒冷聖城、聖殿,寫得非常詳細。按照年份日子排好,就像寫日記一樣。

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.

先知傳道時間

PREACHING TIME OF THE PROPHETS 

(Please see picture below)…

苦難中的異象

VISIONS IN THE MIDST OF SUFFERING

見異象的人,通常在苦難期間。舊約幾位末世先知,都在以色列人被擄期間,遭遇亡國之痛,成了外邦人俘虜,在痛苦難過中見異象。以賽亞是例外的一個,他在王宮裡服事,對王帝與大臣講道的先知。當虔誠愛主的君王烏西雅逝世之時,也就是他在地上比較親近的靠山忽然離開,失了保障之時。也可以說是一個苦難的時間。

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.

幾位先知所看見的異象,都得到一個信息,就是:神仍然坐在寶座上。他們雖然在敵人的控制下面,但神要他們知道,神仍然在掌管,一切事仍然在神權柄之下。人所遇見的事,像雜亂無章,像惡人當道,像義人受欺負,事實上最終權柄還是在神手裡,神仍然掌管這一切事務。

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.

舊約的先知所看見的寶座,都是行動的寶座。表示神仍然在做事,在祂旁邊,祂寶座下面的基路伯,就像轎夫一樣,這寶座成了活動的寶座,且動得很快,像閃電一樣。是有輪子的,且是輪中套輪,即是無論朝哪一個方向,都可以馬上閃過去,不用拐彎。古代木頭車也好,鐵甲車也好,不單走得慢,且拐彎花很多時間。他們卻不一樣,是行動迅速的。而且他們各有四個臉面,連頭都不用轉,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.

神並沒有忘記他們,沒有離棄他們。雖然他們早已經離開以神為中心、以聖所為家的生活方式。他們早已離開神,失去保障,被敵人擄到外邦,但原來神的寶座卻是動的,仍然與他們相近,並沒有放棄他們。只要他們回頭悔改,神仍然與他們同在,眷顧他們。

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.

基路伯與四福音的關係

THE CONNECTION BETWEEN THE CHERUBIM AND THE FOUR GOSPELS

7 第一個活物像獅子,第二個像牛犢,第叁個臉面像人,第四個像飛鷹。

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.

基路伯的樣貌有幾個特色,有獅、牛、人、鷹四種臉,而最特別的地方,就跟四福音對耶穌的描寫相似。

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.

馬太描寫耶穌是天國的王,第一章就描寫祂的王族家譜,證明祂是大衛王的後裔。出生的時候,有東方幾個智慧人來朝見新生王,不是牧羊人來朝見。馬太也有很多天國比喻,天國律法,引用很多舊約預言。馬太可以用「獅子」作徽號,因為獅子就是百獸之王。

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.

馬可所描寫的基督,是謙卑服務的僕人,沒有家譜,只是一位貧寒的傳道人。還記錄主的話說:「人子來,不是要受人的服事,乃是要服事人,並且要捨命,作多人贖價。」所以馬可福音可以用「牛」作徽號。

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.

路加所描寫的卻是百分之百的人。家譜追溯到亞當,因為是人的後代。路加描寫祂人性的一面,最後上耶路撒冷時就哭了,憂傷他們不聽話,將在70 年遇浩劫。路加描寫祂關心外邦人、不歧視婦女孩子,收女徒。指出祂的人性非常重。可以用「人」的臉來做徽號。

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.

約翰所描寫的非常不同,一開始的家譜指出祂是從太初就有,「太初有道,道與神同在,道就是神。」書中到處證明祂是神的兒子,「我們見過祂的榮光,正是父獨生子的榮光。」約翰福音可以用「鷹」做徽號。

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.

獅、牛、人、鷹,正是基路伯的四張臉。

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

但為甚麽基路伯與神的兒子相像?基路伯又不是神,怎麽他們的特性與神的兒子一樣呢?因為耶穌在地上是做「神的僕人」,以賽亞書的預言裡面,常常指著祂說「我的僕人」。耶穌在地上以神僕人的身分出現,直到祂死而復活之後,神將祂升為至高,以大能顯明祂是神的兒子。

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.

耶穌復活後,約了十一門徒到加利利山上會面,見面的時候,對他們說:「現在天上地下所有的權柄,都賜給我了。」祂從死裡復活之前,完全跟普通人一樣,並非超人,沒有特別構造,神並沒有給祂來世以前的記憶。並非一出生可以走路,不是小孩時候就行神蹟。祂被人追殺時還要逃難,也要從小學講話,祂除了亞蘭話、希臘話,不會其他語言。也要從小學習聖經,百分之百是人,並非怪人、超人,沒有特異功能。

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.

就是要這樣,祂纔有資格代替人的罪死,所以祂的生活方式,可以成為我們學習榜樣,祂能夠度過難關,因為祂信靠神;祂能行神蹟,因為祂倚靠聖靈;祂知道每天對百姓講甚麽道,需要選哪些人做門徒,需要教門徒甚麽功課,因為祂每天早上親近天父,與天父交談。

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.

祂要讓人人知道,我們也可以做祂所做的事,甚至可以做比祂所做更大的事,我們如果像祂一樣有信心,可以見到祂所經歷的神蹟奇事。

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。祂跟門徒談末世預兆的時候,說:「哪日子、哪時辰,沒有人知道,子也不知道,唯獨父知道。」當時整個宇宙,只有神自己知道甚麽時候主再來,下篇會解釋這個原因。今天我們看清楚,祂在地上傳道的時候,是人,是神的僕人,所有神的僕人都應該像基路伯,有這四種的特性,就是獅、牛、人、鷹的特性。

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:獅

KING: LION

獅子,作王的特性,帶權柄能力。真基督徒都應該是神的僕人,與基督一同做王,有王的權能。祂被稱為和平之君,祂的王權不像世界的王權。世界的王權是霸權,所以世界充滿鬥爭。國家與國家互鬥,民族與民族互鬥,連家裡的人都互鬥。跟隨祂的門徒變和平之子,與祂一同作王,把人間的種種界限消除,把隔在中間的牆拆掉,成了和平使者,有王的權能,有天上的權能,有和平之君的權能。

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。不單作神的僕人,也願做眾人的僕人。基路伯是行動者,是服事者。有些翅膀是用作遮蔽自己,是謙卑的行動。神的僕人都願意順服、勞苦、服務、忍耐、謙卑。廣義上說,我們所有基督徒都是神的僕人,都要謙卑服事。不謙卑的人,就不是神的僕人。不信主的人,沒有別的原因,都是驕傲,要靠自己,要人定勝天。

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,是最有智慧的一種,所以用人的臉來表明他們的智慧。這基路伯的輪子滿了眼睛,顯示他們擁有特別智慧。能看透很多事情,能看見別人所不見,能看見事奉主的恩典,能看見走在主道路中所得的福氣。常服事主的基督徒,擁有最理想的生活環境、家庭、孩子、人緣,不是因為智商高,乃是因為常有神的帶領。

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:鷹

GOD: EAGLE

第四特性像鷹。鷹行動很快,基路伯也是行動像電光一閃,不用轉身,不用拐彎,要到哪裡,馬上就到。不猶疑,不拖延,不膽怯,不懶惰,充滿信心。只有充滿信心的人,纔會行動迅速。神的僕人應該像鷹一樣,高瞻遠矚,行動迅速。

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.