THE TRINITARIAN WORSHIP OF THE FOUR BEINGS
John saw four “living beings” continually praising the One seated on a heavenly throne. These four beings have been variously interpreted to represent the four evangelists: Matthew (Lion), Mark (Ox), Luke (Man), and John (Eagle). These four images also align with the emphases of each gospel. For Matthew emphasized Christ as King (Lion), Mark emphasized Christ as Servant (Ox), Luke as Son of Man (Man) and John emphasized Christ as God (Eagle).
It is also interesting to note that these four images were on the banners of the tribes of Israel’s wilderness encampment that camped according to the four points of the compass. The tribe of Judah camped to the East with the banner of a lion, Ephraim to the West with an ox, Reuben to the South with a man, and Dan to the North with the image of an eagle on their banner.
John does not comment on their identity. He only records what they continually repeated–– that God is three times holy, omnipotent and eternal. One Day, we shall join in their worship, casting our crowns before Christ’s royal throne.