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Who Are the Strange Creatures in Heaven?

The Book of Revelation opens a door onto heaven, and lets us peek into the throne room of God. Around the throne are four creatures—one is like a lion, one is like an ox, one is like a man, and one is like an eagle, and they all have multiple wings and eyes.

Now, if you’re reading the King James Version, the word used is "beasts." In newer versions, they are called "living creatures." In the original Greek text, however, the word used is zoon, which means "animal." These animals give glory, honor and thanks to God, by continually saying “ Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.” When they do this, the 24 elders, who also dwell with God, bow before Him and worship Him.

These intelligent animals, who were also described in Ezekiel 1, seem to be a kind of worship leader, conducting the other heavenly beings as they cry their own words of worship to God. What could it mean that God has these particular animal creatures—lion, ox, man, and eagle—next to him? Are these creatures representative of the created things—creatures of the air and land—who will worship Him with a common language? Did God reveal these creatures to us in His Word to show us that all created things—livestock, wild animals, birds and man—will each have an equal voice before the throne of the Lord? Would it be a mistake to dismiss one set of creatures as less worthy of being in heaven, if God Himself does not?


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.”

Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say:

“You are worthy, our Lord and God,

to receive glory and honor and power,

for you created all things,

and by your will they were created

and have their being.”(Revelation 4:6-11)

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