Christian Churches of God

No. 108z




The Meaning of Ezekiel's Vision


(Edition 1.2 19950421-19990703)

Ezekiel’s Vision has been explained as being spacecraft with wheels and wings and other fanciful objects. The Bible clearly identifies them as Cherubim. What does the vision mean? What lessons are there to be drawn from the vision? Here we see the significance.




Christian Churches of God





(Copyright ã 1995, 1999 Wade Cox)

(Summary edited by Wade Cox)


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The Meaning of Ezekiel’s Vision

Ezekiel 1:1-28: The prophet Ezekiel was given an awesome vision when he was with the captives of Judah at Babylon in 594 BCE. Although some modern literalists explain this vision as spacecraft, it has a much deeper meaning. It is in fact the four cherubim that cover the throne of God and by the symbols show the entire plan of salvation and the role of the nation Israel, including the gentile elect as the priesthood of the world.

Another important fact of this vision is that it gives a verifiable historical date together with the statement of which year of the sacred calendar it was, by this the Jubilee and Sabbath years can be determined. The restoration of the entire system of God's Government is only possible from a restoration of the Jubilees. The seventh year land Sabbath is for the rejuvenation of the soils for the continued prosperity of the people. The punishment for not keeping the law, land Sabbaths and jubilee periods is national captivity (Lev. 26:33-35). Judah was taken from its lands (2Chron.36:20-21).

2005/6 is a Sabbath year and entails reading the entire law at the Feast of Tabernacles.

The next Jubilee is 2027/8 and by then the world's systems will be torn down, as they have not repented. They will be taken captive under the Messiah for His millennial reign.

Ezekiel's vision came out of the north (Ezek.48:4). This orientation is important to the relevance of the form. The Temple of God is on the sides of the north (Ps. 48:2 KJV); traditionally the throne of God (see Isa.14:13 KJV).

The cloud and fire is similar to that of Exodus, when the Angel of the Lord (Yahovah), led and established Israel to be a holy and separate people. The fire is symbolic of the spirit of God, which is regulated and bounded by the laws of God, which emanate from His very nature. We can partake of that nature when obedient to those laws (2Pet.1:4). The Spirit is given to the faithful followers of God at baptism (see the paper Repentance and Baptism (No. 52)). The Sabbath and keeping of the Passover and feast of Unleavened Bread are the seal of the One True God. This is the sign or mark of the Lord's people (Ex.13:9). The seal is in our mind and heart that motivates our actions.

The mark of the beast is derived also from this concept with its own laws and feast days i.e. Sunday worship and the satanic feasts of Christmas and Easter (see paper The Origins of Christmas and Easter (No. 235)).

The four living creatures of the vision represent the four stages of the history of the priesthood of Israel. First stage was the Tabernacle in the wilderness and the Judges. Second was the first Temple of Solomon to the captivity. Third was the re-establishment after the return to Israel, up to the destruction of the Temple in 70 CE. The fourth stage was as the eras of the seven churches until the return of Messiah. See papers The Ark of the Covenant (No. 196) and Pentecost at Sinai (No. 115). Each stage is a covering cherub, which protects the throne of God. The hands under the wings show that God accomplishes His purpose on earth by human hands.

The living creatures have been described elsewhere in the Bible. The symbolism of the four is much deeper than an oddity with four different faces. These same faces are seen in Revelation 4:6-8. The four faces can be deduced from the placement and battle standards of Israel in the original system of encampment. The advance guard of Judah, Issachar and Zebulun marched under the battle standard of Judah, a Lion. The Tabernacle, brought by the Levites, followed the advance guard. Reuben, Simeon and Gad marched under Reuben's banner of a Man. Ephraim, Manasseh and Benjamin marched under Ephraim's standard of the Bull. The rear guard of Dan, together with Asher and Napthali marched under Dan's standard of the Eagle. Dan is also pictured with a poisonous snake; they were the sting in the tail.

The party with the Ark of the Covenant preceded the tribes as a clearing party. When they made camp the Levites encamped around the Tabernacle, which contained the Ark, with the tribes encamped in their directions (see Numbers chapter 2). This encampment never varied and it was for that reason Ezekiel saw the vision from the north with the face of the man in the south.

Ezekiel 1:10: This orientation also reflects the celestial system around the throne of God (Rev.4:1-5:14). The twenty-four elders or priests are allocated to twelve systems represented by the tribes with four administrative systems. In the midst of the host was the Tabernacle and spirit of God represented by the burning coals of fire. This fire purifies - symbolic of the sacrifice of Christ and the giving of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Each of the creatures had four wings. Two were attached symbolising unity and physical protection of the nation and tabernacle. Two wings covered symbolising the spiritual protection of the individual perfected as a servant of God.

The four cherubim are depicted as having a wheel on earth, constructed as it were a wheel within a wheel. The rim, spokes and eyes are the functions of the holy people essential to the continuing plan of salvation progressing closer to the presence of The Lord. The spokes symbolise the unity of the spirit to the central tabernacle and throne of God, the rim being the unity of the heavenly host. The four cherubim of the seven churches are symbolic of the spiritual building blocks of the living temple of God. That's why Ezekiel states that the spirit is in the wheels.

The Holy Spirit is the means by which the host accomplish this. The spiritual redemption was symbolised by the two loaves at Pentecost. After Passover had paid the penalty for sin and the Feast of Unleavened Bread had served as a symbol of a sinless purification (as the body guarded by the wings of the cherub), then a new leaven was placed into the two loaves at Pentecost. This symbolised the new leaven of the Holy Spirit, the new leaven of sincerity and truth. The two loaves symbolised the duality of salvation to Israel and Judah, to Israelites and Gentiles under the Messiah of Aaron and of Israel. The salvation also of mankind and the fallen angels after the Millennium in the last great day of the Feast of Tabernacles.

Zechariah depicted this also as the two olive trees standing on the right and left of the lampstand (of the seven eras of the last cherub). The Messiah of Aaron at the beginning and the Messiah of Israel at the end pouring out the Holy Spirit of the Eternal One True God onto the earth through the two golden pipes. This also symbolises the two witnesses who appear three and a half years before the return of Jesus Christ.

The four stages of the holy people have twenty-four facets symbolised by the twenty-four elders of Revelation 4:9. These twenty-four symbolise the twenty-four divisions of the ministering priesthood detailed in 1Chronicles 24:1-18. The allocation of the priesthood is on a basis of two per tribe. The location of the tribes in Ezekiel 48:1-29 by gates varies the positioning. The allocation of the tribes in Revelation 7:4-8 is for the purpose of the new priesthood of Melchisedek. Zechariah 12:8 shows the elect will become elohim as Christ himself is. They will strengthen the weak in the restoration of the Messiah at the end of days.