Have you ever had a true vision of God? Paul says in first Corinthians 13:12,
“For now we see through a glass, darkly, but then face to face, now I know in part: but then shall I know even as also I am known.”
The apostle John echoes Paul’s thoughts in 1John 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.”
I’m using a devotional book, “God’s Word for God’s Workers,” by Sam Doherty. Its contents surprised me. The author reveals some fresh insight into some familiar and not so familiar scriptures concerning the character, work, and person of God. One of those surprises came in week 5 as he delved into God’s call on Ezekiel’s life.
“Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I was among the captives by the river of Chebar, that the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God.” Ezek. 1:1.
Ezekiel received visions “of God”. These visions revealed the God who called and would be all Ezekiel needed as he obeyed God’s call to a prophetic ministry to the Hebrew captives of Babylon.
Vision 1: A great cloud and fire infolding itself (1:2)
My thoughts went straight to Moses as God went before him in a cloud by day and a fire by night. God’s presence faithfully guided their steps as Moses lead the children of Israel for forty years.
“And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light: to go by day and night.” Ex. 13:21.
As with Moses, so God would be with Ezekiel and He is with us, leading us the way by night and day.
“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you:
and lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” Matt. 28:19,20.
Vision 2: “likeness of four living creatures.”
“…And this was their appearance; they had the likeness of a man. And every one had four faces, and every one had four wings. “
I’m told the number 4 relates to things of the earth.
Could these be a picture of the Son of man, God the Son? His ministry here was to glorify the Father and bring salvation to men, reconciling him to God. The description of the feet being as a calf’s made me think of the Lord’s atoning sacrifice. And the burnished brass is mentioned in His description in Revelation 1:5, depicting holy judgment.
Then the creatures’ faces are described. The one problem I have with my own theory lies in the word creature. That speaks of a created being. Yet, Ezekiel did say likeness of four living creatures. Jesus did come in the likeness of man. Now, back to the faces.
“As for the likeness of their faces, they four had the face of a man, and the face of a lion, on the right side: and they four had the face of an ox on the left side; they four also had the face of an eagle.” .
The face of a man:
Jesus Christ, the truth of God’s glory and grace revealed in flesh; the High Priest who identifies with our weakness and gives access to the throne.
“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.” John 1:14
“Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.
For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” Heb. 4:14-16.
The face of a lion:
Jesus Christ , the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the King of kings; who has all power and authority.
“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….
And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.” Rev. 5:5; 19;16.
“Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and thing in earth, and things under the earth;
And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Phil.2: 9-11.
The face of an ox:
Jesus Christ, the burden bearer of our sin; who gives us rest from our work.
“Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows:
yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities:
the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes we are healed.” Isa. 53:4,5.
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me: for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matt. 11:28-30.
The face of an eagle:
Jesus Christ, the One who is above all ; who is our power, our all in all.
“And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places.
Far above all principality, and power and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:
And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fullness of that filleth all in all.” Eph. 1:19-23.
Or maybe it’s as simple as the revelation of God as the creator of all? What are your thoughts on these visions? One other thought-could these represent God’s ministering spirits? Feel free to leave your thoughts.
There are more visions to come in my next post. Join me tomorrow.