Have you seen the presentation of God to Ezekiel?
By Don Ruhl
There is something wonderful that I want to show you. I want you to see what God showed Ezekiel the prophet, and then in turn what he showed us by writing it in the Bible.
Ezekiel 1.1–3 Visions of God
More than thirty years after the start of the Babylonian captivity, Ezekiel the prophet saw something magnificent, so magnificent that the prophet fell on his face, requiring a command from God to make the prophet stand again.
Ezekiel set the stage for us. He was with other captives by the River Chebar. The prophet saw the heavens open and he saw visions of God, covering a couple of days, going through chapter 7. Yahweh put His hand upon the prophet, showing him things you and I have yet to see. Look at the first thing he saw.
Ezekiel 1.4 Self-Engulfing Fire
Out of the north, Ezekiel saw a whirlwind or storm of some sort, as Job did. However, before Ezekiel would hear God speak, the prophet would see a marvelous display.
He saw brightness and something coming from the middle of the fiery cloud, appearing as glowing metal with the color of amber.
Ezekiel 1.5–14 Four Living Creatures
From the midst of the fiery cloud, he saw four living creatures. Each living creature had a face that resembled a man. Each creature had four faces and each one had four wings. Their legs were straight and their feet resembled calves’ feet. However, they did not have the color or texture of calves’ feet, but the feet sparkled like polished bronze. Under the wings the creatures had human hands and their wings touched one another. They did not turn like we would, because we need our faces to go in the direction of our movement. However, the living creatures had a face on each side, so that whatever direction they wanted to go, they were already looking in that direction. Yet, on each side was not the face of a man, but the other sides had faces of a lion, an ox, and an eagle. When they moved their wings, they lifted two wings going to the top and touching one another. They used the other wings to cover their bodies. The Spirit directed their movement. After these details, verse 13 shows the overall appearance of the creatures, like burning coals of fire, like torches or flashes of fire going between the creatures, and from the brightness of the fire Ezekiel saw lightning! The living creatures moved as quick as a flash of lightning!
Ezekiel 1.15–21 Wheels of the Living Creatures
The prophet saw on the Earth for each living creature, a wheel for each of the faces.
Look at the appearance of the identical wheels. They had the transparent colors of yellow, blue, and green or beryl. Each wheel had another wheel inside, perhaps at 90 degree angels.
The wheels stood tall, stunning the prophet with their awesomeness, because eyes filled each wheel rim.
The wheels worked in unison with the living creatures, since the Spirit inhabited both.
Ezekiel 1.22–25 An Expanse Above the Living Creatures
Something large, a firmament or expanse appeared above the living creatures. This firmament looked like crystal and it stretched out over the heads of the living creatures, impressing the prophet with the awesomeness of the sight.
Under the firmament the living creatures stretched out their wings straight and with this action they covered each other’s bodies.
The sound of the wings of these mighty creatures was like the sound of many waters, like the voice of the Almighty Himself, like the rumblings of an army.
Then when the living creatures stood still, they let down their wings, doing so because it was time to hear from Someone above the firmament, whom the living creatures had brought into the presence of Ezekiel.
At the beginning, the prophet said he saw visions of God, but so far Ezekiel has not shown us God. The wheels and the living creatures bring God to the prophet!
Ezekiel 1.26–28a Something Above the Expanse
Having heard the voice from above, the preacher looked up and saw a throne that resembled a sapphire, a gorgeous blue stone, and he saw what appeared to be a Man on the throne!
From His waist up, Ezekiel saw what looked like glowing metal mixed with fire all around and from His waist down, Ezekiel saw bright fire all around.
Then Ezekiel noticed a bright rainbow all around.
With the fire and brightness, the appearance of the Man mirrored the appearance of the living creatures or rather the living creatures mirrored the appearance of the Man.
The One on the throne had the appearance of a Man, but Ezekiel said this was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord, that is, of Yahweh God Himself.
The Identity of the Enthroned Man
First, I believe the living creatures represent the four Gospels. The man is Luke, the lion is Matthew, the ox is Mark, and the eagle is John.
What carries the four Gospels throughout the world? The church does, and the Spirit inhabits the church even as He does the Gospels. Thus, the wheels seem to be the church.
Who then could the enthroned Man be? He has the glory of the Lord, the glory of Jehovah or Yahweh, He has the appearance of a Man, He has four testimonies of Him that go through the Earth. There is only one answer: Jesus of Nazareth. As the Hebrew writer said of Jesus, “[He is] the brightness of [God’s] glory and the express image of His person…” (Heb 1.3).
Ezekiel 1.28b Ezekiel’s Reaction
As John did in the opening chapter of the Book of Revelation, and as Isaiah did in chapter 6 of his book, and as Daniel did in chapter 10 of his book, Ezekiel saw Jesus in His glory, and did not have the power to stand just as John, Isaiah, and Daniel did not. Ezekiel fell down. God commanded the prophet to stand in chapter 2, and then delivered the message of the Book of Ezekiel and the Holy Spirit has preserved it for the benefit of Christians.
Do you believe that Jesus is the Son of God? That is what Ezekiel showed us. Do you believe the church should announce this to the world? Why not be part of it? Become a Christian right now.
Image credits: The bottom two images come from Wikimedia Commons