A Scriptural Study Newsletter edited by Elder Vernon Johnson

How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!




Four Faces of the Four Wheels

In our previous essay we explored the correlation between the four wheels in Ezekiel and the Lord’s church.  In keeping with our contention that the bible number four is correlated to the subject of the work of the Holy Spirit, we will now look at the four faces of the four wheels.  Ezek. 10:14 reads, “And every one had four faces: the first face was a face of a cherub, and the second face was the face of a man, and the third the face of a lion, and the fourth the face of an eagle.  Similarities with the four faces of the four beasts in Revelation and the four faces of the four living creatures are readily obvious.  However, one difference is also readily obvious, that is, the first face of the four wheels is the face of a cherub.  The cherub is used in the scriptures as a symbol of witness.  In the tabernacle and in Solomon’s temple , in the most holy place, there were two cherubim overshadowing the mercy seat with their wings stretched forth and their faces inward.  These cherubim were witnesses of the ark of the covenant and the mercy seat.

The Lord’s people in the church are witnesses.  First they are witnesses of the Lord’s glory by the holy lives that they live.  The Lord said in Matt. 5:16, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”  Letting our light shine is the way we live our lives.  If we live our lives bearing the fruit of the Spirit then we show forth the work of God within us to his name’s praise, honor, and glory.  Thus our lives are a witness to others.  In Acts chapter nine we read of a disciple names Tabitha who was full of good works and alms deeds that she did in making coats and garments for the poor widows.  This she did to the honor and glory of God.

Second, we are to do as the Gadarean out of whom the Lord cast a legion of unclean spirits.  The Gadarean was instructed of the Lord to “go home to thy friends and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee.”  Often we want to tell others about various doctrinal subjects before they are ready to receive them and this can serve to drive them away from listening to us at all.  However, we can tell our friends how great things the Lord has done for us and had compassion on us.  This encourages our friends along the path of life and opens up a common ground of discussion.

Third, we read in 1 Pet. 3:15, “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.”  Too often, I fear, that we want to tell people before they ask us!  When they come asking us what we believe and why we believe it, it is generally because the Lord has touched their heart and they are inquiring in the way of truth.  A person in this state is open to hearing and receiving the truth.  However, we must wait till they ask.

Next, we read of a couple of disciples named Aquila and Priscilla who having heard a man named Apollos, who knew only the baptism of John, took him aside and taught him the way of God more perfectly.  This also is a witness of the Lord’s people in the church to be able to teach others the way of the Lord more perfectly.

In addition, we read in the letters where the older sisters were to teach the younger sisters, and the older brothers the younger brothers.  Also we are to admonish one another; to reprove and rebuke one another; to encourage one another; to teach one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs; the mothers are to guide the household; and the fathers are to bring their children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

The second face of the four wheels is the face of a man.  In the church we know that we have similar trials, conflicts, afflictions, persecutions, joys, sorrows, etc. as is common to man and we walk the pathway of discipleship in the condition of knowing we are sinful man faced with all the frailties, temptations, and conflicts of man.  The scriptures carry us further with the church having the face of man in that the church is compared to the body of man in the following verses: Matt. 5:29, 30; 1 Cor 10:16, 17; 1 Cor. Chapter 12; Rom. 12:4, 5; Eph. 1:23; 3:6; 4:4, 12, 16; t:23, 30: Col. 1:18; 2:19; 3:15.  Many thoughts can be derived from the above scriptures comparing the church to the body of Christ.  A few we summarize below:

1.  The body derives its government from its head, so does the church receive her government from the Lord.

2.  The body derives its nourishment from its head, so does the church receive her nourishment from the Lord’s provision.

3.  The body has many members and each member has an important function, although often different from the other members, so each member of the church has an important function which may be different from the other members of the church.

4.  The Lord places us in the body of the church as it pleases him and gives each of us our spiritual gifts as he will.

5.  The body is designed to grow so the church is to grow spiritually.

6.  The body has work to perform, so the church has spiritual work to perform.

7.  The body grows at the joints by that which each joint supplies.  Thus each member is important in the overall spiritual growth of the church.

8.  When a member of the body has gangrene, it must be cut off in order to save the body.  A member of the church can behave in such a way that he must be removed in order that the church as a whole be saved.

The third face of the four wheels was the face of a lion.  The lion is frequently used as the symbol for a king or kingdom.  According to scriptures God has made us “kings and priests unto God.”  As kings we are to reign over our mortal body, our carnal desires, our heart, and our spirit.  In doing this we live and reign with Christ, the “King of kings.”  The lion is also characterized by his boldness.  Since the church collectively and her individual members are faced with many opposing enemies here in the world, a spiritual boldness is required in order to fight the good fight of faith, and withstand the onslaught of the devil, flesh, and the world. 

Natural boldness consisting of such things as our natural resources, physical prowess, mental capacities, political pull, or superior personalities is of no value in this warfare.  The devil and his legions would simply overpower us if we employ such means.  The boldness we need must be from the empowering of the Holy Spirit who abides in each of us.  This enabling of the Holy Spirit caused David to triumph over Goliath and caused Gideon with 300 to destroy a vast multitude of several hundred thousand filing the hills and valleys.  This same Spirit enabled seven thousand of Israel to defeat the Syrian army and the armies of 32 kings who were following the King of Syria.  Whether the foes are of our own household, our own carnal flesh, or false religions, or ungodly actions of secular governments, we can rest in the assurance that greater is he that is in us than all of our enemies combined.

The fourth face of the four wheels was the face of an eagle.  The eagle flies high, makes his nest on high, and sees far.  The church certainly compares to the eagle.  The kingdom of heaven is not of this world.  It is high above this world as it is a spiritual kingdom.  When God’s children press into the kingdom they are making their “nest on high.”  Their home is in the heavenly places.  Furthermore, when the gospel is preached in power and demonstration of Spirit, the members of the church are frequently lifted up to exercise their minds and hearts upon spiritual things and to give praise, honor, and glory to God for his unspeakable gifts.  They are permitted thru the Spirit to fly high above the vain and transitory things of this life and to feast upon heavenly manna.

Next in the Lord’s church, the members are blessed to understand God’s eternal covenant of redemption which he made before the world began and to understand the final result of that covenant which will have them glorified in heaven’s glory world.  Thus they are permitted to see by an eye of faith that which took place in an eternity past and to see the results in an eternity future.  They can see afar off as the eagle.

In our next essay we will look at the four horses in Revelation chapter six.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Primitive Baptist