Four Creatures

Apostle John gets a rare privilege to have a glimpse of Heaven while alive. He was able to see the spectacular and Majestic Throne of God, and twenty-four elders with crowns around Him bowing down and worshipping Him. There are also four creatures – cherubim with four different faces. (Revelation 4) Compared with Ezekiel’s vision, each cherub had four faces. (Ezekiel 1:6-10) Though each cherub had four faces and from one angle only one face could be seen. The faces were like a lion, like a calf or like an ox, a face like a man and like a flying eagle. The faces should have some significance.

First, it is interpreted as virtues, faculties and power of the human soul, or the great apostles or the principal angels.

Second opinion is the head of the tribes of Israel in four camps around the tabernacle. (Numbers 2:3; 2:10; 2:18; and 2:25) Judah’s banner (Issachar, Zebulun) was a lion; Ephraim (Manasseh and Benjamin) was an ox; Reuben (Simeon and Gad) was a man and Dan (Asher and Naphtali) was an Eagle.

Third, it is considered as symbols of Lord Jesus represented in each gospel. Matthew is the ‘Lion’ gospel, where Lord is portrayed as King; Mark is considered as ‘ox’ gospel where Lord is shown as a ‘servant’; Luke is considered as ‘Man’ gospel as Lord is shown as Second Adam, the perfect man and John as ‘Eagle’ gospel that affirms the Deity of Lord Jesus Christ.

Four, these four faces represent all animate creation, in its utmost excellence. The lion is the king of wild animals, the ox is the best of domesticated animals, the eagle is the king of all birds and man is the crown of all creation.

Five, In other perspective, intellectual creatures: man; among birds: eagle; among cattle: ox and among wild beasts, the lion. All these creatures are under the authority and the throne of glory. (Ezekiel 1:10) These creatures represent the whole creation, also reveal qualities: bold as lion, painful as oxen, prudent as men and visionary as eagles.

Do I love and worship the Creator, redeemer and saviour God?