Reference: Living Creatures
as represented by Ezekiel (1-10) and John (RE 4, etc.), are the cherubim. They are distinguished from angels (Re 15:7); they join the elders in the "new song" (Re 5:8-9); they warn of danger from divine justice (Isa 6:3-5), and deliver the commission to those who execute it (Eze 10:2,7); they associate with the elders in their sympathy with the hundred and forty-four thousand who sing the new song (Re 14:3), and with the Church in the overthrow of her enemies (Re 19:4).
They are supposed to represent mercy, as distinguished from justice, mercy in its various instrumentalities, and especially as connected with the throne of God, the "throne of grace."
These in Ezekiel point symbolically to the attributes of God in connection with His throne, and His acting upon earth in His judicial government and providence. There were wheels on earth, and there was a wheel within a wheel. These wheels acted in concert with the living creatures; for the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels. The faces of these living creatures correspond with the faces of the ' four beasts' (which should be translated 'living creatures,' the word being ????, and not ??????, which occurs for the 'beasts' of Ezek. 13 etc.) in Rev. 4, etc. Each living creature had four faces: the first was the face of a man, which speaks of 'intelligence;' the second the face of a lion, which symbolises 'strength.' the third the face of an ox, representing 'patient endurance;' and the fourth the face of an eagle, which implies 'swiftness of execution.' All show perfect organisation for carrying out the government of God according to His righteous judgement. Eze 1:5-25; 3:13; 10:15-22. See CHERUBIM.