THE FOUR BEASTS
Revelation 4:6 And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind. 7 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. 8 ¶ 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. 9 And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever, 10 The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, 11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.
That word “beasts” comes from the Greek word translated “liveth” in Revelation 4:9,10. So it really reads “four living creatures.” For that is how they are listed in the Hebrew text in the Book of Ezekiel. Ezekiel 1:5 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.
The latter part of that verse reveals that they had the likeness of a man. And as we read verse six of our text we find that they are “in the midst of the throne,” as well as “round about the throne.” Then we read that Christ is in the midst of the throne! And he is also said to be in the midst “of the four beasts.” Revelation 5:6 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.
Also in Revelation 7:17 we read, For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters:
Therefore since both they and Christ are in the midst of the throne, and he is within their midst, they two must be one in spirit! 1 Corinthians 6:17 But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. So we come to realize that these living creatures are but the “new creatures” born of the Holy Spirit by their redemption in Christ Jesus! 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. They represent the life of God in the soul of man!
And they are ruling and reigning on their appointed thrones in their gospel power throughout the church age; throughout the kingdom of Christ! Luke 22:29 And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me; 30 That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel. For they al, without exception are spiritually born into His kingdom! John 3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, (where it wills) and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
For Christ, who is now reigning, must continue to reign until all enemies are put under his feet! 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; 8:1 Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; 1 Corinthians 15:25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.
And the church is said to “reign in life” by grace. Romans 5:17 For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ. 21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.
This oneness is also the result of Christ’s prayer for the elect of God. John 17:23 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. 26 And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.
Christ being “in” them is the only hope of any becoming glorified! 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:
The Eternal Son became flesh in the Incarnation. And he enters into the believers flesh in regeneration! Ephesians 5:30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. Colossians 3:3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. 2 Peter 1:4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
And regeneration shall finally be raised to eternal glorification. 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. (“God all in all” includes both the Trinity and all redeemed believers). 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.
And we notice at the outset of their introduction to us that they are said to be full of eyes before and behind. Also in verse eight we also read that they have eyes within. For they, being invested with the Holy Spirit, have perceptive and discerning spirits. They are indwelt by God so that they “know all things.” 1 John 2:20 But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things. 27 But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.
They are not led by religion’s outwardly spoken opinions, but by the inner revelation of the Holy Spirit. John 6:45 It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me. Isaiah 30:21 And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.
They are led by the perceptions of these inner, spiritual eyes of faith! Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 2 Corinthians 4:18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. Deuteronomy 29:29 The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.
The true believer, by the inner voice of truth, even tries the preacher’s voice to learn if he speaks from himself, or from the revelation of the Holy Spirit. 1 John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits (spiritual gifts) whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
At the time before the writing of the New Testament, when, as yet, there was no more physical replacements for the animal sacrifices, the old priesthood, and the physical temple, there was the Holy Spirit, revealing the Lamb for the believer’s instruction and leadership! For the old covenant was completely “taken away!” Hebrews 10:8 Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law; 9 Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. 10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
The Apostle John was devastated as he realized that the veil of the temple was torn so that the old holy of holies was polluted. “Now what do we do?” The book outlining the new administration’s leadership and instruction could not be opened, for there was not a worthy man in heaven or on earth! But when he was directed to look upon heaven’s Lion, he saw our Lamb! And the Lamb being the only man worthy by his own righteousness, was able to open the book of God’s providences for the directing of the New Testament church!
Revelation 5:4 And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon. 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. 7 And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne. 8 And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints. 9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; 10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.
One cannot study these living creatures without being referred to the writing of the Prophet Ezekiel, as has already been mentioned in this article. In chapter one of his writings we find that each of the living creatures are effectual connected to “one wheel.” And the same Holy Spirit in the living creatures is in the wheels. For the same Holy Spirit who both births and fills the believers, also rules over the providences of God. Ezekiel 1:15 Now as I beheld the living creatures, behold one wheel upon the earth by the living creatures, with his four faces. 20 Whithersoever the spirit was to go, they went, thither was their spirit to go; and the wheels were lifted up over against them: for the spirit of the living creature was in the wheels. 21 When those went, these went; and when those stood, these stood; and when those were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up over against them: for the spirit of the living creature was in the wheels.
In the last phrase of those last two verses it actually states that it is the spirit of the living creature, (that is, the spirit within the born again believer), which was in the wheels. For the Holy Spirit rules the world through the spiritual prayers and needs of his church! Their spiritual prayers – not just some ‘wish list’ – are co-mingled with the work of Christ’s accomplishments at the cross and poured out upon the earth to shake loose all that is not built on the solid foundation of faith in Christ! Revelation 8:3 And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. 5 And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake.
And that “earthquake” is the shaking up of the world’s order by the gospel to advance the spiritual kingdom of Christ! Hebrews 12:26 Whose voice then shook the earth: (i.e. the physical shaking of Mount Sinai) but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. (That is, the ‘shaking’ of the spiritual realm by the gospel.) 27 And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. 28 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: 29 For our God is a consuming fire.
This is the meaning of John’s instructions to us concerning the effectual granting of our prayers. For we are not given a ‘blank check’ to just petition for carnal, fleshly things! But we, as those who are dead to the world, are to pray for the spiritual advancement of our Lord’s kingdom! Luke 11:2 And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.
1 John 5:14 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: 15 And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him. For this is how the true church is said to rule and reign with Christ! They do so by the setting forth of the gospel in their lives, (being both the salt and light of the world), and by their prayers and petitions in the Spirit. For when these spirit borned believers are “lifted up from the earth, that is, from just a carnal mindedness, the wheels were lifted up. That is, the directing of the providences of God are granted to them.
Pastor Gene Breed
March 08, 2019