… and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind.And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle.And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, LORD God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.(Rev 4:6-8)
In the Revelation given to John, we are taken into the very center of all reality, the throne room of God himself. We have been describing the wonderful things that John saw, the throne in heaven, the awesome figure upon the throne, the rainbow, the crystal sea, and the blazing sevenfold lamps, and the twenty-four elders upon the throne.
John also saw Holy and awesome Living Creatures, which the King James calls ‘Beasts’ , others call ‘living creatures’, or ‘living beings’. They are described as having “eyes around about” telling us that they are sentient beings, fully aware and of intelligence. And they speak, for they worship and give glory to God in speech.
Each of these holy beings reflect the highest of the different orders of created life. The Lion is known by all as “the King of the wild animals”. The calf is the highest expression domesticated animal life, highly valued for food and utility. The Eagle flies highest of all birds, and has the greatest vision. Finally, the face of a man expresses the highest of all living creatures, man himself, God’s image bearer, regent and steward of the earth.
These four images, the lion, Ox, eagle and man, were woven onto the curtain of the Sanctuary of God on earth. They were also woven into the curtain before the Holy of Holies.
These curtains were to contain four corresponding colors, the Purple, corresponds to the royalty of the Lion. Scarlet , the color of suffering, (shed blood) corresponds to the Ox, which is the sacrificial animal. Blue corresponds to the sky, the abode of the eagle. And white to man, in an ideal sinless state.
Ezekiel saw visions of God, featuring slightly different creatures as these, for they had four wings, and each creature featured all four of these faces!
These awesome creatures have six wings. They are Heavenly beings, indeed, but there is a connection with man,(six is the number of man, having been created on the sixth day). Both man and angels were created to worship God, and would be incomplete (one short of seven, the number of completeness), without worshipping Him.
Isaiah saw another order of angels in his vision, and they too had six wings and worshipped. Though they are holy and sinless, the Seraphim, literally “burning Ones”, cover their faces in God’s presence.How much more should we who have sinned?
In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the LORD sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.(Isaiah 6:1-3)
These truly awful creatures attend God’s throne, making one constant and everlasting declaration, that of the thrice Holiness, Power and Self Existence of God.
“Holy, Holy, Holy, LORD God almighty, which was and is and is to come”
*’Holy‘, a word which includes sinless, pure, and faultless, but goes far beyond that. ‘Holy’ means other, above, and separate in every respect. “There is none like you O Lord”. Our God is thrice Holy, Holy is the Father, and Holy is the Son and Holy is the Spirit that proceeds from the Father and the Son!
*’Lord God Almighty’, God is the Lord, He is sovereign, he does what pleases Himself, for His will is the highest good! God rules over all of the affairs of men, no one can ask him what He’s doing or stop his hand!
God is almighty. All power is His, and whoever has any power at all, it is given him by God and he will one day give account for his use of God’s power. “Great and marvelous are thy works Lord God almighty…”,”Who is like unto thee O Lord among gods, fearful in praises, glorious in Holiness, doing wonders…” , “Ah Lord God, thou hast made the heavens and the earth by thy great power, great and mighty God, great in counsel and mighty in deed, nothing is too difficult for thee…” We Praise You O Lord!
* Which was and is and is to come…God is eternal and self-existent, that is He needs nothing to exist, he has existence in Himself! All of creation is dependent, we need water, food, air, each other, shelter, encouragement, and most of all, we need God to live. We owe our next breath to Him who created us, daily, the worst God hating atheist is sustained by God in love.
But God just is…He is not becoming, nor could you say he was, God is eternal, He changes not, He needs nothing. He does nothing out of need…all is done because of His holy and good pleasure. The Living creatures adore Him continually, for this deep mysterious attribute, as soon will all creation.
Next we will show how the Living Creatures themselves in their form, are a Revelation of Jesus Christ himself.