Man has been forever curious about angels. Are they real or just some made up hope of some much needed help and Godly intervention during fearful times. I think if I were to see one face to face, I would behave much the same way as the earlier peoples of the bible who saw them and fell flat on their face in fear. But I do very much believe in angels and while I have probably been assisted on more than one occasion by angels not realizing it, there is the one specific time where I have no doubt of them coming to my aid. But that is not what this post is about. I am in research mode. In doing the research for book 2 of my Home of Love series, I am delving into the angels described during the visions of John and Ezekiel, as in the living creatures. And of course as with any extensive research, you get taken on many rabbit hole chases of similar information but not necessarily what you are needing. I do love the story of Elisha in II Kings where God opens the eyes of the servants to ease their fear of the army on the hill that was coming after them. And as God open their eyes to see God’s army of angels surrounding them he also blinded the eyes of army on the hill so that they could not attack. It ties in with a picture on the bulletin board at church to encourage people that they are never left alone.
The is the usual mental picture of angels when we think of them as in human type form with wings assisting children or people to safety or the glorious views of angles we see depicted during the Christmas holidays.
The angels, ie living creatures, spoken about in Revelation and Ezekiel are more on the scary side because we do not understand the imagery depicted. So lets back up a bit and try to get some understand that may help us wrap our heads around these creatures. Sometimes when we think of angels, our mind also goes to the cute little cherub like being at Valentines day, naked baby floating around, all cute and cuddly. But cherubim are actual creatures in scripture. Cherub (single) or cherubim (plural) are mentioned in Genesis and Ezekiel. In Genesis they are somewhat fearful creatures with flaming swords banishing Adam and Eve out of the garden of Eden because of sin; far from the Valentine Day or greeting card image. Cherubim were also placed on top of the Ark guarding it and statues of cherubim were placed in the Holy of Holies. The Holy of Holies is the most sacred high holy place in the Jewish temple. In heaven, cherubim guard God’s Holy domain and presence from any sin or corruption. They are also known as throne angels. Another creature listed along these lines are the seraphim. Cherubim are different than Seraphim as seraphim seem to be the ones constantly flying above the throne calling “Holy, Holy Holy is the Lord Almighty, who was and is and is to come” while Cherubim are guards.
In Ezekiel there seems to be an additional type of angel or living creature, that is in the form of man with four face and four wings, and there are four of them. Through my study, it seems that the living creatures have some of the features in common with cherubim and seraphim. The four faces represents all of creation with one face being of a man, one face being of a lion, one face being an ox and one face being an eagle. The man face represents the intelligence of man and Christ as the perfect man. The lion represents the creation of all wild beasts and shows the strength of Christ as the Lion of Judah. The ox represents all domesticated animals and there service, also depicting Christ as the servant. The eagle represents all flying creatures of creation and represents divinity as Christ is the divine son of God.
These creatures are also depicted through the four gospels of the new testament. Matthew(Lion) presents Christ as the lion of Judah, Mark(Ox) presents Christ as the servant, Luke(Man)Presents Christ as the perfect human, and John(Eagle) represents Christ as the divine son of God.
But in Revelation the living creatures look a little different in that again there seems to be four of them but each being has only one face. They still represent that same meaning as those in Ezekiel, Man, Lion, Ox and Eagle. Another difference in John’s, if taken on the surface, can be like something Hollywood would create, as the creatures are covered in eyes. But if you dig into that meaning you understand is the eyes represent “seeing” as in understanding the past, present and future, not so much as visual. While this is not really a place for humor but this reminds me of the idea of mom’s having eyes in the back of their heads. We generally had a pretty good idea of what our knot-head kids were doing. Another difference between Ezekiel’s vision and John’s vision is the wings. Ezekiel saw 4 wings where John saw 6. John did describe what the wings did which I thought were interesting. Two covered the face as the beings are constantly in the presence of God and His brilliance and God is always refereed to as bright lights; even Moses came back from Sinai with a brilliance to his face from the reflection of God’s light. Another set of wings covered the feet as the feet were always considered unclean. Remember the importance of Jesus cleaning the disciples feet. And the 2 wings were used to fly.
As a whole, angels, cherubim, seraphim, living creatures are all created to serve in some fashion. They serve God and do His request for the good of creation, all of creation. Hebrews 1:14 tells us “Are they not all ministering sprints sent out to serve…”
While I have given you a lot of information that I have read, understand I am no pastor or biblical scholar. This is just what I have gleaned from my research. If you disagree with me, then I challenge you to research this as well and come to your own understandings and conclusions. I would love earnest discussion on this subject.
And remember my motto for everything you do. Even on you worse day you can still be kind. So I ask you to remember others are hurting just as much as you so spread kindness as you go and I promise it will make you both feel better.