I ended my last post by explaining that the four dominant leader tribes, which represented all 12 tribes each had a symbol associated with them as follows:
These creatures protected the tabernacles from outside invaders, and in turn the Lord protected them from their enemies.
Remember that Moses was told to make the Tabernacle “after the pattern he had been shown” on the mountain by God.
In other words, the Tabernacle was an earthly or physical prototype of God’s dwelling place in the heavens.
And incidentally, the Garden of Eden was also an earthly or physical prototype of God’s heavenly dwelling place.
What I would like to do is demonstrate how these four symbols of the four dominant tribes show how interconnected everything in Scripture really is.
700 years after Moses, there was a prophet named Ezekiel.
One day God gave Ezekiel an amazing vision of four strange identical creatures that Ezekiel described as follows:
“I looked, and I saw a windstorm coming out of the north—an immense cloud with flashing lightning and surrounded by brilliant light. The center of the fire looked like glowing metal, and in the fire was what looked like four living creatures. In appearance their form was human, but each of them had four faces and four wings.”-Ezekiel 1:4-6
Then Ezekiel goes on to describe the four faces as follows:
“Each of the four had the face of a human being, and on the right side each had the face of a lion, and on the left the face of an ox; each also had the face of an eagle.”-Ezekiel 1:10
These are the exact same symbols we just looked at that represent the four dominant tribes of Israel!
In addition, there is a direct parallel between how the four dominant tribes were situated around the Tabernacle and where (which direction and side) the various faces on each Living Creature were placed.
It is exactly the same as how the tribes of Israel were placed around the Tabernacle.
We’re also told that wherever the Spirit of God went, these strange creatures followed.
In the same way, wherever the Tabernacle with the Spirit of God went, Israel followed.
Now notice that the LION was on the right side.
In the Bible, the right side symbolizes the best, the dominant, or the holiest position.
However, more importantly, “right” is equivalent to “East”.
And indeed the Tribe of Judah was encamped on the right or East side of the Tabernacle.
Next, we’re told that a Bull was on the LEFT side of the creatures’ faces.
Directionally speaking, this would have been west, and true to the pattern, Ephraim represented by the bull was located on the west side of the Tabernacle.
And of course, the pattern remains consistent for theTribe of Reuben represented by a human being who was situated in the front or south side of the Tabernacle and the Tribe of Dan represented by an eagle who was placed in the back or north side of the tabernacle.
So these living creatures in Ezekiel are directly associated with the four dominate tribes of Israel.
This is a perfect example of the AS-IN-HEAVEN-SO-ON-EARTH principle I constantly talk about.
The Tabernacle is nothing more or less than a physical, earthly model of God’s heavenly throne which is guarded by these mysterious creatures that Ezekiel saw.
And the four dominant tribes of Israel were the earthly model of the spiritual creatures right down to the way they were placed around the Tabernacle and in the way they moved with the Tabernacle whenever it moved.
No doubt this is why the symbols of the tribes of Judah, Ephraim, Dan, and Rueben were identical to the four faces on the Living Creatures that Ezekiel saw.
This signifies that each of these tribes were to have a specific purpose in terms of how they were to serve the Lord.
CONNECTING THIS TEACHING TO THE NEW TESTAMENT
From the throne came flashes of lightning,
rumblings and peals of thunder.
In front of the throne,
seven lamps were blazing.
These are the seven spirits of God.
Also in front of the throne
there was what looked like a sea of glass,
clear as crystal.
In the center, around the throne,
were four living creatures,
and they were covered with eyes,
in front and in back.
The first living creature was like a lion,
the second was like an ox,
the third had a face like a man,
the fourth was like a flying eagle.
Each of the four living creatures had six wings
and was covered with eyes all around,
even under its wings.
Day and night they never stop saying:
“‘Holy, holy, holy
is the Lord God Almighty,’
who was, and is, and is to come.”