Their faces looked like this:In front a human face, on the right side the face of a lion, on the left the face of an ox, and in back the face of an eagle.Ez 1:10
Years ago, I wrote about the oxen portrayed here as a picture for the teacher. And I still think that this is true. But I have grown to see yet another layer in the verse. You will find similar creatures in Revelation 4, standing around the throne, by the way.
Today, I see character traits in those faces. Character traits, basic attributes of our being, godly anointings, stages of development. But one after the other.
The forward facing face is the face of man. We are predominantly man. This is what we were created as. God created us after his image and in his likeness.
In his image speaks of our bodily appearance. Jesus was crucified before the foundation of the earth. It does not matter that our story seems to begin before the cross, both in the natural as well as spiritually. That is only a curve ball thrown through the dimension of time. Think of it this way: We blew it.
Thus we have to go back to the cross and start afresh. Just like a car that was set into the ditch on the wayside has to go into reverse before progressing again. But if Jesus was crucified before time as man, he is the pattern man was shaped after. In his image.
In his likeness speaks of our build, our character, our soul and spirit. Psalms tells us that we are made just a little lower than God.
Psalms also often speaks about the gods, sometimes speaking of—us. There are two words translated with beast in English bibles, one speaking of fallen man, the other meaning creature or created being. We start out as the first and progress into the second. And only as a born again, a new creation we are able to start showing and live out the other three faces, though they are built deeply into our nature.
Those three can be called anointing as they only appear through the grace of God in faith.
The eagle speaks of living in heavenly places. The oxen of our assignment here on earth. And the lion of our authority. All of them are progressive as we develop the corresponding parts of our calling as man. They can be seen in stages, but actually, that is just a human way of making progression and process touchable and understandable, catering to our need for compartmentalization. Or measuring progress.
We usually use those stages to find out and categorize the place others are at, so we know whether we are to invest into them, partner with them, or follow them. Too often, we fall short and despise or envy or admire them instead. Best practice for those stages is to use them for our personal growth, analyzing our own and growing from there.
Let me show you those three stages for the eagle. Actually there is a fourth stage, something like stage zero, before salvation. Before the cross, we are chicken. Earth bound, able to flutter, but not fly, pecking on everything. A wannabe eagle, a bad copy. But then we become eagles, a new creation.
At first, we do not know. Thus we stay in the coop with all the others. Religion keeps us earth bound. But we realize that we do not belong. Did you know that an eagle in captivity is one of the dirtiest birds there are? But in the wild, they are the cleanest of all.
Next, we learn to fly. We learn to sore effortlessly on the wind of the Spirit. We are seated in heavenly places with Christ. Our vision sharpens. We see the smallest enemy and with great skills kill it without a great fight.
And then, we reproduce and teach young eagles to fly. We push them out of the nest after feeding them as long as necessary, catch them when they fall, and repeat until they fly on their own.
Can you see now that a teacher needs an eagle element to his personality? A teacher needs great vision, great skill, needs to be airborne, seated in heavenly places. How else could he bring out of his treasure old and new truths?
The oxen is the animal for work. It tills the ground with great strength and faithfulness.
Again, we find three stages. First, we do what we decide God needs. We basically are calves without an assignment that are free to come and free to go within the range.
But then, we are put under a yoke. In some countries you can see a big oxen yoked with a small one for training. Imagine, you—yes, you are the young oxen in training—want to go left, while the big oxen goes straight. Who wins? Do you even stand a chance? If you said yes, think again. Jesus is the big oxen, as we took upon us his yoke. At least, his yoke is light. Can you drink and eat whenever you want? Only when the big oxen lower his head to do so himself. You just cannot reach the ground if he does not.
Now, you work with God. You do things together. He moves, and so do you. He rests, and so do you. If you rebel, he just proceeds. With time, you learn to only do what you see the big ox do.
And then, you outgrow the yoke. You are trained. You now serve a person, Jesus Christ, out of free will. And the only time you freely take up the yoke again is to train some youngster. Because the anointing breaks the yoke.
The lion executes authority. As with the others, there is not much authority starting of. You do whatever you want. You mostly play. You are a lion alright, but what you need is training.
At first, you learn to discipline yourself. Discipline is a big part of authority, as you can see it as practicing authority over yourself. Next, you take authority over things, especially the enemy. And lastly, you again invest yourself into others, teaching them authority, delegating authority, and setting them free and into their calling with authority.
We can grow as much as we want. We proceed in some parts of our lives, while we stagnate in others. Sometimes due to a heavenly plan, since he never gives us more than we can carry. Sometimes just because we are not willing to let go and let God.
My desire is to become all I can be as a human, fathering others. As an eagle, living in heavenly places with perfect 20/20 vision. As an oxen, serving God out of free will, doing only what I as an eagle see him doing. Taking authority.
Come on, let’s grow.