Revelation 4:7  And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle.

8  And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.

The Man

Genesis 2:7  And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

Hebrews 2:7  Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands:

8a  Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet.

I Corinthians 16:13  Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.

The Eagle

Exodus 19:4  Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself.

Isaiah 40:31  But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.


MEMORY VERSE: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ. —Ephesians 4:13


CENTRAL THOUGHT: The third living creature with the face as a man, symbolizes the unique qualities of a human: dominion over creation, immortality, spirituality, intelligence, the capacity for love and compassion and steadfast strength; and the fourth, a flying eagle, with its keenness of vision, speed and the capacity for soaring high above the earth, speaks to us that the redeemed also share these attributes. Both are seen in their fullness in the perfect man, who is Christ.




Our lesson today ends this particular study; the last lesson will be a quiz containing questions covering the entire series. I pray this will not be the end of our personal quest to understand more about this amazing vision of Christ and His church.

We have studied the vision of the glorified Christ and the seven churches of Asia: Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea. We learned about their strengths, failures and what it would take for them to overcome. We came to understand more about what was promised to the overcomers. In spirit, we stepped with John into the open door and beheld the great throne, its atmosphere and its worshippers. Finally, we have investigated the four living creatures and what they symbolize.

We look now at the third creature, which had the face of a man. The verses from Genesis and Hebrews give us clues as to man’s preeminence in God’s creation; he is given an eternal, living soul by God as well as dominion over the animal realm. He is crowned with glory and honor and made higher than the beasts, with superior intelligence, the capability of reason, moral volition, and a capacity for tender affection and compassion.

Our dear Lord was truly God, but He was also man. He experienced what we experience; felt what we feel. He suffered our temptations and sorrows and the penalty of our sin, yet He Himself had done no sin.

The qualities of the fourth creature, the flying eagle, include its ability to soar high above everything below; its speed, its long-range vision—four times that of a human, an eagle in flight can spot a rabbit on the ground from nearly two miles up—and its fidelity. An eagle stays with its mate for life. We can definitely see characteristics of our Lord here. He soars in complete victory over every power of the enemy. Even death could not hold Him. He sees and knows the minutest details of our lives. His eyes of flame illuminate our hearts, motives and secret thoughts. His judgments are swift and sure; His love and devotion is everlasting and faithful.

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck




1. Full of Eyes: Share your thoughts on the meaning of this.
2. The Man: What characteristics are essential for us to be overcomers?
3. The Flying Eagle: Did we miss anything? Share any attributes which should be added.




There is surely much food for thought in the symbolism of the living creatures! In applying this to our individual lives, there is great challenge as well. I think of the moral capacity that is only given to humans; animals do not share that ability to understand right and wrong. We can choose right or wrong. We don’t act merely from instinct or training; rather, we exercise free will. God wants us to use this power to overcome our adversary. He wants us to walk with Him and love Him by a free act of our will.

As the eagle symbolizes the overcoming, soaring victory of Christ, we also, as partakers with Him, may enjoy this same victory as we depend upon Him. The verse from Isaiah qualifies who experiences this renewal of strength and supernatural lift on eagles’ wings. It is for the one who “waits” on the Lord. What does this mean? To patiently endure or remain. You get the thought of not giving up. It also means to eagerly look; to expect. “My soul, wait thou only upon God.” We know there is no one else who has what we need. He is our only Source. So we look only to Him for comfort, strength, solace, peace, joy. Only in this position are we going to experience the lifting up, the soaring over our trials, the eagle’s wings.

The other important things to note about the living creatures—they are “full of eyes,” they “rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty,” they give “glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne”—give us challenge and instruction as well. Spiritual vision is such an important part of the Christian life. We must have the ability to see and understand the things of God; we need vision to discern the tactics of the enemy; we need to be able to understand and visualize the needs of people around us. We need a vision of holiness, of heaven, of eternity. God, make us full of eyes that see!

Unceasing praise, worship and seeking after God for His holiness are so vital to maintaining a living, overcoming faith in God. We need a settled reverence and awe of Him in our hearts that cannot be dulled by the enemy. We want to please Him, to serve Him, to praise Him in all things! Let an overwhelming sense of His worthiness and His greatness prevail in our minds at all times. May God help preserve this majestic vision in our hearts, is my prayer. Amen.

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck




The intimacy by which God created man gives us insight into the great love that He has for us. He did not merely speak man into existence but carefully formed him from the dust of the ground; then tenderly breathed the breath of life into his nostrils, thereby infusing immortality into the soul of man—uniting within him heaven and earth.

The soul of man is eternal and must therefore be viewed, not only from a temporal perspective but from an eternal one as well; so God gives us both points of view. He shows us natural things in the spirit world and spiritual things in the natural world. He reminds us that we are creatures of both worlds.

We must understand our responsibility, not only to care for that which is natural but even more so, to diligently maintain that which is immortal. We must understand the power that we wield, the benefits and consequences of our actions and how they relate to both realms. We have the power to resist temptation as well as the power to resist God. We may soar heavenward as on wings of eagles or plummet to unimaginable depths. We were created for His pleasure but we can also ignite His wrath.

When we consider the great lengths that God has gone to in order that He may redeem mankind, and sustain His holiness within us, honesty brings us to the realization that the stakes are extremely high.

Though we cannot fully comprehend it, God knows the solemnness of eternity and the gravity of mankind—the apex of His creation—being separated from Him forever. In His mercy, He draws back the curtain and gives us a glimpse of the eternal world. We see a scene of heaven from earth.

We are privileged to have an eyewitness account of His majesty, of His throne and of His holiness. May we, like the heavenly hosts, be inspired to shout the proclamation: holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty! And may we be challenged to live out that holiness in our daily lives.

—Bro. Darrell Johnson