The Four Living Creatures - The Guardians of the Throne
WHO ARE THEY? They are the "Guardians" of the Throne of God, and accompany it wherever it goes (Ez. 1:24-28). The four living creatures are a special, exalted order of angelic being or cherubim. This is clear by their close proximity to the throne of God. Ezekiel 1:12–20. These four living creatures do not rest day or night as they protect the throne of GOD in its holiness.
They have the likeness of four faces: of a man, an ox, a lion, and an eagle. They seem to be representative of various parts of God's creation (humanity, domesticated animals, the wild beasts, and birds). These living creatures worship God continually.
The cherubim represent God's redeemed people. The qualities of the four faces are those which belong to God's people. His warriors, that walk in covenant with their Bridegroom. They are facing four ways, towards all quarters of the globe, representing their duty of extending the truth. The wings show swiftness of obedience;
In John’s describing of the four living creatures in Revelation, John says that the first "beast" was like a LION. A LION is the "King of the beasts" and represents majesty. Christ is portrayed in the Gospel of Mathew as "King of Kings”. It also symbolizes might and courage.
Tribe of Judah
Yeshua has won the Victory and can break the 7 seals. Yeshua is the Lion of Judah. He overcame death - no longer the lamb, today the victor. He is the King of Kings.
He demands us to overcome - to be victorious. “He who overcome, I will give of the food of the tree of life”. He has blazed the path for us to be victorious.
Lions live in tribes - CLOSE FAMILY TIES - we are part of the family of God.
Lion of Judah comes out of the east. - Represent Authority
Joel 3:16 The LORD also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the LORD will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel.
Psalm 33:16 No king is saved by his great army, no warrior is delivered by great strength.
Jer 20:11 But Adonai is with me like a dreadful warrior. Therefore my persecutors will stumble and will not prevail. Since they are not insightful and not wise, they will be utterly shamed—an everlasting disgrace, never to be forgotten.
The Second living creature is said to be "like a calf or ox". He is the ruler of the mightiest of all domestic animals. The word translated "calf" can also be translated as "bullock" or "heifer". This of course, was an animal frequently used for sacrifice. CHRIST here is portrayed as "Sacrifice" for our sins. It is also someone who gives his life for someone else. He who serves with his life. Mark in his Gospel presents "CHRIST as the SERVANT who was to be sacrificed.”
Tribe of Ephraim
We have been slaves to sin and Yeshua broke that joke. We now take up His joke which is light. Now we are free to serve Him - it is because of the anointing - Holy Spirit. An Ox carries big heavy loads - Jesus carried the sin of the world - because we could not. He carried our burdens.
The real prophets of God. - we are all called to be prophets
1 Cor 9:9 “For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen?”
The Third living creature "had a face as a man". The third creature would represent CHRIST as a MAN. The Gospel of Luke presents CHRIST as the Perfect Man. Also, as described in Philippians 2, Christ left His position of Glory with the Father and became a man so that He might die on the cross for our sin. Because He became a ‘man”, he can have grace and mercy on us because He knows exactly what we are experienced here on earth as humans. The Humanity of Messiah gives you boldness to go to the throne room of grace. He is our High Priest - he can relate to us because he has been tempted in every respect and without sin. He was 100 % man and 100 % God. He had to be 100% persent man in order to carry our sin on our behalf. The man also symbolizes intelligence and love. Joh 15:13 “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. “
Tribe of Ruben - In the South stands the man - the body of God, the prophets of God
The fourth living creature was "like a flying EAGLE". The eagle symbolizes Sovereignty and Supremacy. Thus the living creature represents CHRIST in all his DEITY. The Apostle John in his Gospel presents JESUS CHRIST as the SON OF GOD and shows His relationship with heaven. The eagle also symbolizes speed, wisdom and sight - being able to see in the spirit from a higher view - thus seeing more clearly the bigger picture, their great penetration, their sublime sight into heavenly things, and their readiness to rise up into all that is great and divine. The wings being stretched out, signifies their readiness and rapidity in obeying the commands of their Master; the wings bent down, denotes their profound respect before the King of Kings.
Tribe of Dan -
Is 40:28-31 We will ‘MOUNT-UP’ - we will use the storm's winds to lift us up above the storm.
The old Testament is a picture of the heavenly Spiritual World. The Tabernacle is a picture of God’s Temple in heaven. This “throne of God” is very similar to Rev 4 . When Israel was camping in the wilderness, there were special precautions taken with the tabernacle which was the habitation of God in their midst. The Tabernacle was always in the centre of the camp and was surrounded by 12 tribes.
EPHRAIM - WEST - OX FLAG
DAN - NORTH - EAGLE FLAG
REUBEN - SOUTH - MAN FLAG
JUDAH - EAST - LION FLAG.
On the east side was Judah which had a banner of a Lion. Ephraim was on the west with a standard of the ox. Reuben was on the South with the standard of a Man and Dan was on the north with an eagle.
Another function of these creatures that we know is that they lead worship in heaven (Rev 4:6-9; 5:8-9, 19:4). They exist to praise God forever before His throne, and they hold "golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints" (Revelation 5:6-14). In Rev 6:1-7 they will announce the coming of the four horsemen after each seal is opened, and in Rev 15:7 one of these creatures gives the seven bowls of God’s wrath to the angels who pour them out on the earth (16:1).
The number "4" in scripture has a pattern of identifying the covering of all sides, or going in all directions, such as:
- The "Four Winds" of Heaven, representing the Resurrection of the Saved from all directions of the earth, mentioned by Jesus in Matthew 24:31.
- The Four Angels holding the Four Winds of Destruction back in Revelation 7:1 until the 144,000 are sealed with God's Seal on their foreheads.
- Satan going out into the Four Corners of the world to gather the Resurrected Lost for one last attempt to attack God and His people after the 1000 year millennium of peace (Revelation 20).
- The sheet full of four-legged animals coming down from Heaven, bound at the Four Corners of the earth, representing the gospel going out to the Gentiles (Acts 10:11-16).