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Rays of Light Bible Lessons by Keith Holder

LORD GOD ALMIGHTY, THOU ART WORTHY

Rev 4:6-11 And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind. 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. 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. And when those beasts give glory and honor and thanks to Him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever, the four and twenty elders fall down before Him that sat on the throne, and worship Him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for Thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are and were created.

As the apostle John viewed heaven, he saw a vision of God as He was seated on His majestic throne. He was surrounded by twenty four elders, representing His righteous children of all ages who were worshipping Him. And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal, symbolizing, no doubt, the pure and calm tranquility of God's divine rule over His universal creation. The truth that God is our Creator was then, and is now, made crystal clear through His Holy Spirit, through whom the truths of God's word was delivered to mankind. Around the throne of God, John saw four beasts full of eyes before and behind. Instead of "four beasts" the revision translates them more correctly as "four living creatures," which other translators were also correct to term them "four living beings." The omniscience of these creatures, or beings, is evident by being full of eyes before and behind, meaning that they had clear, and full, vision of every thing about them, the past, present, and the future.

Their closeness to the throne of God indicates that they are there to serve God. Verse 8 tells us that these beings continually praised God and rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come. Continuing on in verses 9-11, we find that, as these living creatures continue to give glory and honor and thanks to Him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever. Also, at the same time,the twenty four elders joined in and praised God. They falldown before the throne of God, worship Him, ...cast their crowns before the throne, and praise Him with these words of honor: Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for Thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are and were created. Indeed, as our Creator, God is worthy to receive the universal praise from all of His creation.

Since the twenty four elders seem to represent God's children from all dispensations of mankind, then the four living creatures must represent something other than God's church. Who are they, and what do they symbolize? Verses 7 and 8 give us a further description. The first beast was like a lion. To say that the beast was "like a lion" means that it was not a lion, but had features that resembled a lion. (The meaning of "resemblance" holds true with all four beasts mentioned here.) One could say that this creature represents the wild, untamed animal world, with the lion being known as the "king of the jungle," an emblem of dominion, power, and authority. The second beast like a calf, had features similar to that of cattle or oxen. This beast could very well represent the domesticated animal world, symbolizing the utility of endurance and strength to aid mankind. The third beast had a face as a man, but probably a body similar to that of a creature. If we continue to liken these beasts to God's creation, then these creatures would possibly represent mankind, and as such would represent the intelligence of human beings over all other animals created by God. The fourth beast was like a flying eagle. This would represent the final division of God's created beings that inhabit the face of the earth - the fouls of the air, symbolizing the rapidity and sureness of their flight. All aspects of these beasts represent characteristics of their Creator, "dominion, power, and authority," "endurance and strength," "intelligence," and "rapidity and sureness."

These are the beasts representing a portion of God's creation, each acknowledging the omnipotent powers of God, and each, along with the twenty four elders, proclaiming Lord God Almighty, Thou Art Worthy.