THE APPEARANCE OF A MAN
Ezekiel 1:4 ¶ And I looked, and, behold, a whirlwind came out of the north, a great cloud, and a fire infolding itself, and a brightness was about it, and out of the midst thereof as the colour of amber, out of the midst of the fire. 5 Also out of the midst thereof came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance; they had the likeness of a man.
Ezekiel 1:24 And when they went, I heard the noise of their wings, like the noise of great waters, as the voice of the Almighty, the voice of speech, as the noise of an host: when they stood, they let down their wings. 25 And there was a voice from the firmament that was over their heads, when they stood, and had let down their wings.
Ezekiel 1:26 ¶ And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone: and upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the appearance of a man above upon it.
The Lord chose to reveal himself to Ezekiel the priest, (whose name means “God will strengthen”), with these visions after the Babylonian captivity. And this captivity, separated from everything required to function as a priest (the temple, the sacrifices, the High Priest, the utensils sanctified by blood, etc.,) and the voice of God specifically to him, transforms him from a religious priest to a prophet of God. Ezekiel 2:5 And they, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear, (for they are a rebellious house,) yet shall know that there hath been a prophet among them.
It likewise happened to the man Isaiah, who was changed from being called “the son of Amoz” into “the prophet” (39:3), only after his mentor was stricken by God and died. Isaiah 6:1 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. 2 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. 3 And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. 4 And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke. 8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me. 9 ¶ And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not.
This event was referred to by the Lord Jesus as Isaiah having seen the glory! John 12:40 He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them. 41 These things said Esaias, (Isaiah) when he saw his glory, and spake of him.
And so it was with Jeremiah who was “of the priests” until God’s word came to him in the days of Jerusalem’s captivity. Jeremiah 1:1 The words of Jeremiah the son of Hilkiah, of the priests that were in Anathoth in the land of Benjamin: 2 To whom the word of the LORD came in the days of Josiah the son of Amon king of Judah, in the thirteenth year of his reign. 3 It came also in the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, unto the end of the eleventh year of Zedekiah the son of Josiah king of Judah, unto the carrying away of Jerusalem captive in the fifth month.
Jeremiah 1:4 ¶ Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations. 6 Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child. 7 But the LORD said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak. 8 Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the LORD. 9 Then the LORD put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the LORD said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth. 10 See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant.
In verses four and five of our Ezekiel text we take notice of one amazing thing. The fire infolding itself in verse four is the revelation of the Being of Almighty God. Hebrews 12:29 For our God is a consuming fire. That in itself is a most amazing thing! But that first word of verse five reveals that there is “Also” another being that is said to come from that same fire! It is the four living creatures. And we know that they represent the life of God in the soul of man. Just listen to the last sentence in verse five. And this was their appearance; they had the likeness of a man. 2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
These believers are also related to the fire of the Holy Spirit. Matthew 3:11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: Acts 2:1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost,
Then be sure to notice the description of the one on the throne above the heads of all. Seated on that throne was the appearance of a man. And that image on that throne was none other then the Eternal Son of God, yet to become incarnate! He is the fulness of the Godhead bodily! Colossians 2:9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. He is The Man, Christ Jesus! 1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
The Apostle Paul stated that man is the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 11:7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. And here in these two verses (4 & 5), we see that God and the man, created in his image, are both said to come out of this same glorious fire.
This shall be completely manifest in the return of Christ and in the resurrection of the righteous dead. Colossians 3:4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. 1 John 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
For the oneness of Christ with the entire body of believers shall be one as he and the Father are one. Therefore the Trinity and the spiritual church shall eternally, make up God all in all! 1 Corinthians 15:28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.
John 17:21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. 22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: 23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.
And what kind of man was this early appearance of the enthroned God? The very first ‘appearance’ we have of him in the Scriptures, is as of a Lamb slain! Revelation 13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. And how did he appear when he received the kingdom, when the elder told John to behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda? (Revelation 5:5-6) When he looked he saw not the Lion, as heaven sees him. But he sees, not just a lamb; but a lamb as it had been slain! Revelation 5:5 And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof. 6 And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.
Therefore, since man is predestinated to be conformed to the image of his dear Son (Romans 8:29), and Christ is as a lamb slain, then man is to be a living sacrifice. Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
It is essential that Christ Jesus be seen, not only as just a man, but that he is revealed as a man upon a throne! For he alone is able to recover the glory which we lost in Adam’s fall. Adam was to be a ruling king over all creation. Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. 28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
However, in sinning he lost that glory of rulership. For sin is coming short of the glory! Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; And the only one who can recover and sustain that glory for mankind is the Eternal Son of God – the Lord Jesus Christ! John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father), full of grace and truth.
Zechariah 6:13 Even he shall build the temple of the LORD; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.
Therefore, the Father having seen the perfect travail of the soul of the suffering Lamb, has been satisfied on behalf of all those included in the redemption. Isaiah 53:11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. And their belief in Christ is their very hope of having that glory recovered to them. Colossians 1:27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:
For as from the first Adam (Head of the natural race), came sin and its condemnation, so from the last Adam (Head of the spiritual race), came the reign of righteousness. 1 Corinthians 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. Romans 5:18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. 19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. 21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.
And the Lord Christ is now the ruling Head over all creation! He is ruling and reigning on behalf of his spiritual race. Philippians 2:8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
Hebrews 1:3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;
He is now presently reigning on his throne of mediation. 1 Corinthians 15:25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. Upon his return, he shall reign in the union of the Trinity and the church, as has been stated, as God all in all!
For God was in Christ, and Christ is in all believers. And he has given unto them the word of reconciliation — the gospel. 2 Corinthians 5:19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
The Lord Jesus is one with the Father. John 10:30 I and my Father are one. And the believers are one with the Son. John 17:22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one;
For this is the eternal determination of the Eternal, Invisible God! He has always determined to be one with a people chosen in Christ from before the foundation of the world! 1 Timothy 1:17 Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen. Revelation 21:3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. Ephesians 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world,
Pastor Gene Breed
Match 23, 2019