The Four Beasts of Revelation

What are the four beasts or living creatures of Revelation? They are mentioned in Revelation 4:6-9, 5:6-14, 6:1-8, 7:11, 14:3, 15:7, and 19:14? Are they the same as the cherubims or seraphims in Isaiah 6 and Ezekiel chapters 1 and 10? Or are they an entirely different species?

Differentiating Between Cherubim and Seraphim

The main difference between the types of heavenly beings known as cherubim and seraphim is there appearance: cherubim have four faces and four wings, while seraphim have six wings. Both the cherubim’s and seraphim’s main role seems to be to sit before the throne and worship God.

Cherubim appear in several books of the Bible, including Genesis, Ezekiel, and Kings. Their four faces are ox, lion, man and eagle, although Ezekiel exchanges the ox for the face of a cherub. They move fast, using a wheel within a wheel, and their wings cover their body.

Seraphim only appear in the book of Isaiah. Their name means “burning ones, flying serpents.” Seraphim use two of their wings for flight. As the cherubim, they are among the highest order of angelic beings.

What They Are and What They Represent

What are the four Beast or Living Creatures? What is their significance and what do they represent?

  1. Cherubims

    They are cherubims, a type of angelic beings of the highest order, like what is seen in Ezekiel chapters 1 and 10. Though both cherubims and seraphims are very similar in function and purpose, the four beasts or living creatures best fit the description of cherubims.

  2. The Attributes of God

    They Symbolize and Represent the Attributes of God. They are full of eyes within and without representing the omniscience and omnipresence of God. They are likened to a lion, ox, man and eagle. Each representing different aspects of God’s attributes.

    • Lion: King of Beasts, majesty and omnipotence.
    • Ox: Patience and continuous labor.
    • Man: Intelligence and rational power.
    • Eagle: Sovereignty and supremacy, the greatest of birds.
  3. Four Aspects of Jesus in the Gospels
    • Lion: Lion of the tribe of Judah. The gospel of Matthew was written to the Jews concerning Jesus, the king of the Jews.
    • Ox (calf): The servant of Mark. The gospel of Mark was written or directed to the Romans concerning Jesus as the conquering servant.
    • Man: The humanity of Jesus. The gospel of Luke was written concerning and emphasizing Jesus’ humanity.
    • Eagle: The Son of God in John. The gospel of John was written near the end of the first century when heresies were beginning to arise denying the deity of Christ. He wrote about the Son of God, emphasizing Jesus” divinity.
  4. Israel

    In the wilderness the tribes of Israel pitched their tents in the same order, on four sides.

    • Lion: Represents the tribe of Judah.
    • Ox (calf): Represents the tribe of Ephraim.
    • Man: Represents the tribe of Reuben.
    • Eagle: Represents the tribe of Dan.

Non-Believers

All of the creatures were worshiping Christ as the lamb of God who died, rose from the dead, and is now seated at the right hand of the Majesty on high (Ephesians 1:19-23; Hebrews 1:3; Romans 8:34). One day everyone will worship the Lamb of God (Jesus) as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

We will either worship Him now of free will or by force when “Every knee will bow and every tongue confess that He (Jesus) is Lord to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:5-11).

All believers worship Jesus as Lord of their lives of their own volition. One day all unbelievers, demons, and the devil himself will bow their knees and confess Jesus as Lord before being cast into the lake of fire (Philippians 2:5-11, Revelation 20:10-15, Revelation 21:8).

All who reject Christ and His gospel of grace will be punished with everlasting destruction (fire) from the presence of Lord, and from the glory of His power (2 Thessalonians 1:8-9, Romans 1:18, Matthew 25:41). “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:31).

If you have not turned your life over to Jesus, I invite you to do so now. He will prepare a place for you in heaven (John 14:1-6) and your sins will be forgiven, cleansed, and washed away (Psalms 103:12, Romans 10:8-13, 1 John 1: 7 and 9).

Prayer: Jesus, I accept you as my Lord and Savior. I ask you to come into my heart and forgive me of my sins. I choose to make you Lord of my life from now on and forever.

Believers

  1. Worship the Lord! The one thing God needs from us is worship. We were created to worship and to bring Him pleasure (Revelation 4:10-11). The Father seeks such to worship Him (John 4:23). He inhabits the praises of His people (Psalms 22:3). Spend time worshiping Him daily. You will be blessed and so will He (Psalms 103:1-2).
  2. Witness for Him! When we become a child of God we are called to be witnesses for Christ (Acts 1:8). All who follow Jesus must inevitably begin to fish for the souls of mankind (Matthew 4:19). We must not only witness, but “to make all men see” (Ephesians 3:9), to persuade them to make Jesus their Lord (Revelation 3:20, Romans 1:14-16 and 10:9-10).

    1 Peter 3:15 – “Be ready always to give an answer to every man who asks you the reason of the hope that is in you.”

    The eternal destiny that awaits those who reject Christ should motivate us to share Jesus with the lost. Their eternal destiny hangs in the balance. Which direction will the scales tip? You may very well be the deciding factor. Paul said, “knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men” (2 Corinthians 5:11).

    With over 40 years of church planting and ministry experience, Dr. Linton’s passion is to equip, encourage and strengthen pastors and their churches. Watch his latest messages on YouTube.