The result of our experiencing God as the storm wind, the brooding cloud, and the consuming fire is that we are becoming His expression – the electrum; furthermore, we are becoming the four living creatures – we become full of life, living, active, coordinated, and much more!
This week we will spend some time to enjoy and prayerfully consider the four living creatures in Ezekiel 1 in the light of the whole Bible. Many believers have a general notion about these four living creatures, thinking they are living, active, and coordinated; however, there’s a much deeper significance which we want to see and enter into.
These four living creatures embody the entire economy of God; with them we see God’s dispensing (through the wind, the cloud, the fire, and the electrum), the glorious expression of God, God’s administration, God’s move, and the building up of the Body.
The Apostle Paul spoke in the New Testament concerning the building up of the Body in teaching and revelation, but with the four living creatures we see how the Body of Christ moves and coordinates together.
We should not be satisfied with superficially knowing that the four living creatures are moving, active, and living; we need to ask the Lord to visit us and open to us what is on His heart, so that He may gain among us the four living creatures, for they play a crucial role in God’s move, His economy, and His administration.
The other place showing us the four living creatures is Rev. 4, where they are present for the opening up of the mystery of God’s economy; they are around God’s throne for the execution of God’s judgment.
The Lord must gain the four living creatures – their reality must become our reality, so that we may be those who cooperate with the Lord for His final move on earth. We need to be LIVING – not just living humanly, but having the divine life, to be living and full of the life coming from the tree of life.
This word, living, is ascribed to the divine reality, such as the living God (Matt. 16:16 – the Son of the living God), the house of the living God (1 Tim. 3:16), the living Father (John 6:57), Christ as the living bread, the word of God is living (Heb. 4:12), Christ is a living stones and we are becoming living stones. Hallelujah, we as living creatures must be living as Christ and God are living!
Experiencing the Wind, Cloud, Fire, and Electrum to become the Four Living Creatures
The first issue or result of our having a normal Christian experience of God as the blowing wind, the overshadowing cloud, and the burning fire is that we become the glowing electrum, the corporate radiant expression of the redeeming God (Ezek. 1:1-4).
But there is yet another result: the wind, the cloud, the fire, and the electrum produce the four living creatures. We were dead in sins and offenses, but by experiencing God as the blowing wind, the overshadowing cloud, the burning fire, and the shining electrum, we become living – we become the four living creatures.
The Lord said that the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live (John 5:25). We were dead, but God made us alive with and in Christ (Eph. 2:5).
The more we experience God as the storm wind blowing upon us to unsettle us and make us dissatisfied with our situation, as the overshadowing cloud covering us and brooding over us for the bringing in of life, as the holy fire burning in us to purify us and remove anything that doesn’t match His holiness, and as the glowing electrum as His radiant expression, the more we become lively and vibrant, full of life as the four living creatures.
We must spend time to be blown by the wind, hovered by the cloud, burned by the fire, and experience the glowing electrum so that we may be the four living creatures.
In the Bible the number four is related to God’s creation (four corners of the earth, four winds, four directions, etc – see Isa. 11:12; Jer. 49:36; Rev. 7:1) and signifies man as God’s creature. This number four indicates that we are the people redeemed by God from every tribe, tongue, people, and nation (Rev. 5:9).
Together, we as a group of believers, the church, are the four living creatures; we are not produced as an individual living creature but as four living creatures, a corporate entity. The more we experience the cycle of the wind, the cloud, the fire, and the electrum, the more living we become (see John 6:51; Psa. 95:1-2).
May the Lord put in us this desire that we would be living. To be living doesn’t mean that we have a lot of activities, but that we experience the wind, the cloud, the fire, and the electrum, and the result is that we don’t merely have a name that we’re living and we’re dead (as the church in Sardis did) but that we are full of life, enjoying the Lord, bubbling over with Christ, and being in His word to be filled with Him.
When we come to the meetings as living creatures, we don’t “wait for someone to say something” but we are ready to overflow with the enjoyment of Christ – we come to the meeting in a living way.
God hates deadness more than He hates sin; He is a living God, and He wants to gain a living church composed of living creatures – living believers who serve a living God. May we not care for formality and routine but have a living spirit within us to sing, pray, and testify of the Lord Jesus.
The Lord must recover us to be properly living – not merely to having a lot of activities but being genuinely living, full of the divine life, and flowing this life to one another.
This should be our living and testimony in the local churches in the Lord’s recovery.
Lord Jesus, we want to be living. We must be living and active. Grant us to experience You as the blowing wind, the overshadowing cloud, the burning fire, and the glowing electrum, so that we may be produced as the four living creatures. Save us from merely having a name that we’re living and yet being dead. Save us from merely having a lot of activities without being full of life. Recover us, Lord, to be properly living – genuinely living, full of the divine life, and flowing this life out to one another in the church life!
A Twofold Proof by which we can Know that we are Living Creatures in Experience
Through the experience of the wind, the cloud, the fire, and the electrum, we who were dead, have been enlivened to become living creatures (see John 5:25; Eph. 2:1, 5; Col. 1:13).
However, sometimes we may wake up in the morning and we may not be that living….but praise the Lord, we can be enlivened: we don’t have to remain in the dead situation but turn to the Lord, exercise our spirit, and turn our heart to Him to love Him and enjoy Him as the living One.
It is very helpful to read and enjoy the Holy Word for Morning Revival, but this is not all we have to do: we need to daily touch the Lord and be revived! We need to be blown by the wind, have the cloud overshadow us, and allow the fire to burn us as we contact the Lord, so that we may be enlivened.
We need to be revived until we have a sense of the Lord’s presence, and this should be our normal daily experience. If we continue to experience the cycle of the wind, the cloud, the fire, and the electrum, we will become living and vibrant in our inner being (see 1 Pet. 1:23; 2:4-5).
Being living is not primarily related to what we do outside – how much we can shout and do things for the Lord, but to being living and vibrant in our inner being. We need to have a proper discernment from the Lord what it is to be genuinely living.
There’s a twofold proof by which we can know that we are living creatures:
1. The inward proof: the sense of life in our regenerated spirit (Rom. 8:6). The primary and basic proof of being living is that we have the sense of life in our regenerated being. Through regeneration our spirit is indwelt by the Lord and mingled with Him as one spirit, and now we have the eternal life, the divine life in our being; this life has a sense, which is the sense of life within.
All living persons have feelings; the Lord within as the divine life has feelings, and He lets us know when we live in a way that doesn’t glorify God, and when we do things that He’s not happy with. If our inner feeling, the inner sense of life, is sensitive, deep, and fresh, this is a proof that we are living inwardly and that we are a living creature.
The sense of life within is of life and peace whenever we set our mind on the spirit; when we touch the Lord and our mind is set on the mingled spirit, we have an inner feeling of satisfaction, strength, peace, rest, comfort, brightness, watering, liveliness, and release.
2. The outward proof: we have spiritual activities such as prayer, reading the Bible, functioning in the meetings, serving God, and preaching the gospel. The first outward proof that we are living creatures is that we pray; we pray everywhere, at any time, inwardly and outwardly, unceasingly pray (1 Thes. 5:17; Col. 4:2; Lam. 3:55-56).
Other activities that prove that we are living creatures include (but are not limited to) reading the Bible (Col. 3:16; Psa. 119:15, 140), functioning in the meetings (1 Cor. 14:26, 31), serving God (1 Thes. 1:9; Rom. 1:9), and preaching the gospel (1:1; 1 Cor. 9:23).
Amen, the Bible is the living word of God, and it makes us living. We preach the gospel because we love and enjoy the living Person we speak of.
Every time that we meet the Lord as the wind, the cloud, the fire, and the electrum, our inner being will be made alive, and we will become vital believers – we become those who are living and active (Dan. 11:32).
When we have the experience of God as the wind, the cloud, the fire, and the electrum, we become living and active people, those who know their God and show strength and take action!
Lord Jesus, we don’t stand with our dead and dry natural being but we turn to our spirit where the living Christ as the Spirit is! Hallelujah, the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the spirit is life and peace! Amen! We want to live according to the sense of life within, obeying the Lord’s inner anointing and listening to the Spirit’s leading through this sense. Lord, we love to breathe You in by prayer and pray-reading the word, so that we may be living and active, functioning in the meetings, serving God, and preaching the gospel!
References and Hymns on this Topic
- Inspiration: the Word of God, my enjoyment in the ministry, the message by brother James L. for this week, and portions from, Life-study of Ezekiel, msg. 5 (by Witness Lee), as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, Crystallization-Study of Ezekiel (1), msg. 3 (week 3), The Four Living Creatures.
- Hymns on this topic:
# Four living creatures are / God’s move on earth today; / Revived by wind, cloud, fire, / Electrum they display. / Throughout our Christian life / A storm wind starts to blow, / Makes us dissatisfied, / Disturbs our status quo. (Song on Ezekiel one)
# By our passing through this cycle, / Living creatures we become / To express the life of Jesus; / He with whom we’ve been made one. (Hymns #1201)
# Th’ anointing’s here! It teaches us in everything; / The sense of life we always have within. / Obey this sense, and you will know what you must do, / And live by Life—Yes, clear in everything. (Hymns #1118)