The present topic is not directly connected with the analysis of the vision that we have been lately busy with. However for having a good grasp of the Book of Revelation as a whole the chapter 12 helps the reader understand rationale behind constant shift of scenes back and forth between heaven and the earth. Four living creatures like the 24 elders are memorial, whose functions are nevertheless different. The elders are representation of God’s authority on the earth whereas the living creatures stand memorial before God for the reason God’s glory is shed abroad on the earth. God makes his angels spirits (Ps.104:4). These creatures are positioned among the angelic host for the reason God breathed in the nostrils of man and made him a living soul. So creatures are representation of the glory of God who rendered man a living soul. In short they are connected with man and yet these stand in the presence of God constantly giving glory to Him.
The Spirit tags angels who are sent to the earth with a specific task to enforce the divine Will with the number four. ‘Four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth…’ (Re.7:1) sounds familiar is it not? In the Book of Zachariah also we are given the same number where God wants to execute judgment. Four carpenters are sent to fray the four horns that scattered Judah, Israel and Jerusalem (Zech,1:20-21). More closer to the significance we are seeking shall be found in the four living creatures in the Book of Ezekiel. They were tightly reigned in by God and we can associate the number as common where God has an issue with the events on the earth. These are not the same as four living creatures mentioned in the Book of Revelation having instead six wings full of eyes. “…And round about the throne, were four beast full of eyes before and behind (Re.4:6-8). As memorials their places are fixed, and are closer to the seraphims which had six wings (Is.6:2) and “with the twain did he fly.”
On account of common basis
These four beasts are associated with man on the basis they are living souls. Their association with Adam is similar as between him and God. One is on the basis of the Gospel and the other based on the earthly realities. These are represented by lion, eagle, calf and man. All land animals and considering that there shall no more be sea in eternity it is quite reasonable to assume these living creatures serve man on the earth and his spiritual body when the holy city of God shall be ushered in. (When God sent the Son to redeem the fallen man principle of Association created a chain (Matt.10:40, Lk.10:16).)
On account of the Salvation Plan
They are keen as to rounding off the Salvation plan of God on the earth.”For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God (Ro.8:19-22). In giving glory and honor to God they rest not(Re.4:9),- in a manner of speaking they groan, we can understand they are also ministering angels for those saved on the earth who fall short in giving glory. The indwelling Spirit works with a child of God who with careful study of the word, prayer and good works is a good witness for others. Is not their inner man also connected in heaven? The four living creatures having eyes front behind and within speaks their position in terms of a church in formation. As St Paul says in the verse cited above, it is their ‘earnest expectation’ Consider the verse, “Behold he cometh with the clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him..(Re.1:7) Here we can safely assume including the nation of Jews This is with reference to the second advent of the Lord. Compare the wheels full of eyes round about the rim in the vision of the Ezekiel (Ezek.1:18-19l. (The earth in a schematic diagram a circle where eyes looking unto the advent up down and from end to end) Eye of every man is a kangaroo word and what is the Church but all those souls called and made election sure?
(To be concluded)