Apart from an earlier essay on this subject my present task is to explain the end times for which the vision holds relevance. What God revealed to Prophet Ezekiel by the river of Chebar had an immediate purpose. Ezekiel was to serve as a watchman(Ch.3) for the Jewish captives in Babylon. It also has its secondary purpose. It is for us ‘unto whom the ends of the world are come’ (1Co.10:11).
When God showed the pattern of the tabernacle( Ex.25:9,8) to Moses it served as a model for the children of Israel in the wilderness. Naturally the tabernacle would be in keeping with the nomads of his times. Solomon’s Temple was different. So shall be the tabernacle of God among men descending from God (Re.21:2).
At the Garden of Eden Adam is a representational man. He is the son of God (Lk.3:38) The unity of the Scripture is achieved by the simple reason it is Inspiration of God. What would that mean for us?
God as the author does not play with words but instructs, consoles, warns and even rebukes us so we may understand the divine Will. The Bible clearly instructs its aim: to train us into all righteousness.. Symbol used at one place in most cases is a tag, similar as the radio-collar the naturalists use on tracking their subjects. Consider this verse: God made ‘male and female created he them (Ge.1:27) It is a tag for Christ and the Church. No reader is left in doubt what is the significance of the verse, ‘…as a bride adorned for her husband (Re.21:2) Redemptive plan of God did not stop with the tabernacle in the wilderness. It is also signified in the New Jerusalem of the end times.
Unity is achieved because it is the divine Intent and the Spirit in instructing us also warns as to the manner it works. He reveals on a need to know basis and does not allow any interpretation to cater to popular culture or to fit what false prophets might make for attracting notice from congregation. Prophet Isaiah teaches us that such are the tail and in God’s estimation they are dismissed as insignificant. Their honor and reward shall perish with their death. But for a child of God blessedness comes with rewards that are secure. For God has called us to glory.What we therefore need is patience to look for clear evidence .
The Holy Spirit reveals the Plan of God and it is of slow degrees.
Of this we see how Abraham traveled from the land of Chaldeans all the way to Canaan. Also significant is the fact that God did not allow him to settle down but He promised it to his seed. The Spirit in so many clues indicates the manner reveals divine plan. From the book of Genesis we are told of two lights, Greater lights and Lesser lights and these He set as signs. It clues us into its symbolic purpose. Grace and Judgment. Both are drawn from the eternal verity of mercy. In the Book of Apocalypse (ch.12) we read of the woman clothed with the Sun and she is shown standing on the moon. The composite picture of the House of Israel and the church stand on the promise of God. (Lam.3:22-23)
The Spirit uses such symbols and their significance on a need-to-know basis shall vary For example when Ezekiel witnesses the living creatures and two wheels are not greater and lesser lights. His purpose is to convey the people of God through the prophet that JHWH is in control.
At the basic level the symbol establishes the God as the Maker of the earth and heaven.
Let us take the first part. The wheel below the living creatures signify the earth while infolding fire, cloud, air indicating the ease with which the four creatures attended the divine commands,denote the four elements.
At the other end the number 4 is a tag for heavenly agencies. The four elements and four angels (Zec.1 :19-21). As to the four faces are an amalgam he would easily have understood. In this connection we may assume Cyrus (Is.44:28) would be the anointed one. He represents the face of man while the ox, eagle, lion and the eagle are the assorted world empires and all reined in to show the sovereignty of God over them.
Symbolic significance continues well into the end times.
The wheel within a wheel is in its working (similar to a gyroscope) denotes the globe. The earth has to be redeemed first and this shall be the Millennial reign of Jesus Christ on the earth merging with his ushering the new earth and the heavens. Nations of them which are saved …bring their glory and honor to it (Re.21:24) nations of the earth.
Cyrus was anointed by God or to be precise, the Messiah. A gentile king nevertheless he was raised up to serve divine Will. This is similar to God raising up Ruth a Moabite woman and she became the vehicle for Jesus to be rightfully called as a king (‘Root of Jesse’). Christ who conquered death is the king of kings and Messiah. In his first advent he came as servant-king. He shall be mourned as one pierced (Re.1:8) and his second advent is a public event. The wheel full of eyes plainly clues us to the event of the Rapture.
Jesus Christ is the last Adam and he is indicated by the Man among the four creatures. ‘When he ascended up on high…and gave gifts unto men( Ep.4:8, Ps.68:18). The first Adam by disobedience brought curse and the last Adam brings a remnant of all nations to glory. (to be continued)