Vision of the Four Living Beings (1)
Christian Military Academy Lecture 4
The Four Visions
Before commissioning Ezekiel as a prophet, God showed him four visions. The first vision shown to Ezekiel was the vision of the four living beings (Ezek 1:4-14). The second vision God showed to Ezekiel was the vision of the four wheels (Ezek 1:15-21). Thirdly, it was the vision of “something like an expanse” (Ezek 1:22-25). The final vision that was shown to Ezekiel was the vision of the “throne above the expanse” (Ezek 1:26-28). The four living beings had the face of a man, the face of a lion, the face of a bull, and the face of an eagle (Ezekiel 1:10). These four images indicate the duties of the four living beings. God showed the image of the four living beings before commissioning Ezekiel to explain the duties that he must fulfill as a commissioner like these four living beings.
The Faces of the four living beings
First, the face of a man represents wisdom. Wisdom is directly related to life (Prov 3:18; 13:14). The Bible also declares that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Prov 9:10). Finally, a man can obtain wisdom when he follows the “Word” of God (Prov 22:17; 1 Cor 12:8; Col 3:16).
Secondly, the face of the lion is mighty among beasts and represents courage (Prov 30:30). Additionally, the righteous with courage are bold as a lion (Prov 28:1).
Thirdly, the face of a bull represents faithfulness and dedication. An ox labors faithfully for its owner (Num 7:3; 1 Tim 5:18). An ox also sacrifices everything for its owner even after it dies (Lev 3:1; 1 Cor 5:7). Furthermore, an ox knows its owner (Isa 1:3).
Fourthly, the face of an eagle represents swiftness and faith (Job 9:26). An eagle can fly high (Isa 40:31). And a soaring eagle symbolizes a saint waiting for the Lord in absolute faith.
While commissioning Ezekiel as a prophet, God showed that his duties were like that of the four living beings. Notably, the face of an ox represents the entire living beings. Their feet were like a calf’s hoof, also (Ezek 1:7). This underscores how faithfulness we must be to our duties. A blessed servant who meets the Lord in the second coming is a faithful and sensible slave who gives people their food at the proper time (Matt 24:44-46). Of the four living beings, each had the face of a man, the face of a lion on the right and the face of a bull on the left, and all four had the face of an eagle (Ezek 1:10; 10:14; Rev 4:7).
The Four Living Beings are in the Center and Around the Throne
First, according to Revelation 4:6, in the center and around the throne were the four living creatures. Jesus was in the center of the throne, but He forsook His throne and humbled Himself (Phil 2:6-8). After Jesus died on the cross and resurrected, He sat down at the right hand of the throne. Hebrews 12:2 says, “Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb 10:12; 1 Pet 3:22). At the consummation of redemptive history, Jesus will return to the center of the throne. Revelation 7:17 says, “For the Lamb in the center of the throne will be their shepherd, and will guide them to springs of the water of life; and God will wipe every bear from their eyes” (Rev 22:3).
Secondly, the four living beings are not the ones to sit in the center of the throne. They are messengers who run errands for God who is in the center of the throne (2 Sam 22:11; Psa 18:10).
Thirdly, the four living beings duties imitate the work of Jesus Christ.
Conclusion: The commission of the end time must always be humble just as Jesus humbled Himself.
(Philippians 2:3) Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves.
(James 4:10) Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.