The machinery of heaven

When we think of heaven, we often think of the emotions we will feel in heaven. Foremost in many Christians' hearts is our reunion with the risen Jesus in the flesh. We know Him now by faith, but up there we will know Him by sight. We think of the love that will abound, and the crushing dazzle that will envelop us. We also think of the people we will reunite with, people we were heart-breakingly separated in time and space from husbands, wives, children, parents, friends.

Some Christians go further in their thoughts, when they dwell on heavenly things, envisioning the city of New Jerusalem (which descends from heaven). Puzzling over the transparent street of gold (street is singular in the Rev 21:21 verse), thinking of the animals that will be peaceful, pondering the upcoming beauty and majesty of the surroundings described in the few verses that present a physical picture of New Jerusalem to us.

But did you ever think of the machinery of heaven? Machinery is a strange word to think of being in heaven, because the word machines bring to mind oil and drip pans and messiness and noise, none of which meshes with a peaceful and perfect heaven. But if you never think of machinery in heaven, you haven't read Ezekiel 1.

Ezekiel’s Inaugural Vision
In my thirtieth year, in the fourth month on the fifth day, while I was among the exiles by the Kebar River, the heavens were opened and I saw visions of God. On the fifth of the month—it was the fifth year of the exile of King Jehoiachin— the word of the LORD came to Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, by the Kebar River in the land of the Babylonians. There the hand of the LORD was on him.
I looked, and I saw a windstorm coming out of the north—an immense cloud with flashing lightning and surrounded by brilliant light. The center of the fire looked like glowing metal, and in the fire was what looked like four living creatures. In appearance their form was human, but each of them had four faces and four wings. Their legs were straight; their feet were like those of a calf and gleamed like burnished bronze. Under their wings on their four sides they had human hands. All four of them had faces and wings, and the wings of one touched the wings of another. Each one went straight ahead; they did not turn as they moved.

Their faces looked like this: Each of the four had the face of a human being, and on the right side each had the face of a lion, and on the left the face of an ox; each also had the face of an eagle. Such were their faces. They each had two wings spreading out upward, each wing touching that of the creature on either side; and each had two other wings covering its body. Each one went straight ahead. Wherever the spirit would go, they would go, without turning as they went. The appearance of the living creatures was like burning coals of fire or like torches. Fire moved back and forth among the creatures; it was bright, and lightning flashed out of it. The creatures sped back and forth like flashes of lightning.

As I looked at the living creatures, I saw a wheel on the ground beside each creature with its four faces. This was the appearance and structure of the wheels: They sparkled like topaz, and all four looked alike. Each appeared to be made like a wheel intersecting a wheel. As they moved, they would go in any one of the four directions the creatures faced; the wheels did not change direction as the creatures went. Their rims were high and awesome, and all four rims were full of eyes all around.

When the living creatures moved, the wheels beside them moved; and when the living creatures rose from the ground, the wheels also rose. Wherever the spirit would go, they would go, and the wheels would rise along with them, because the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels. When the creatures moved, they also moved; when the creatures stood still, they also stood still; and when the creatures rose from the ground, the wheels rose along with them, because the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels.

Spread out above the heads of the living creatures was what looked something like a vault, sparkling like crystal, and awesome. Under the vault their wings were stretched out one toward the other, and each had two wings covering its body. When the creatures moved, I heard the sound of their wings, like the roar of rushing waters, like the voice of the Almighty, like the tumult of an army. When they stood still, they lowered their wings.
lapis lazuli
Then there came a voice from above the vault over their heads as they stood with lowered wings. Above the vault over their heads was what looked like a throne of lapis lazuli, and high above on the throne was a figure like that of a man. I saw that from what appeared to be his waist up he looked like glowing metal, as if full of fire, and that from there down he looked like fire; and brilliant light surrounded him. Like the appearance of a rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the radiance around him.

This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. When I saw it, I fell facedown, and I heard the voice of one speaking.
Well! That was some inaugural vision! Did you notice the moment when Ezekiel saw the wheel beside the creature, and that the creature was in the heaven (sky) and the wheel was on the ground? I envision the the heavenly realms and the earth as connected, the wheels of heaven rotating and the creature moving as the Spirit led and the wheels beside him moving too. Machinery. Incredible, unexplainable machinery.

The other unexplainable thing to this is that we GET TO GO THERE! We will see this creature. We will see the throne and the rainbow of lapis above. We will be with Jesus, yes. We will reunite with loved ones, yes. We will meet martyrs and missionaries and Apostles and just plain folks there, yes. But we will see God in all His glory and His works, too! His wonders to behold. He will give us glorified eyes so that we CAN behold them. He is marvelous and merciful indeed. Are you getting impatient to see all this? I am! I can't wait!


  1. I am fascinated by Ezekiel's vision. I can't wait, either.

  2. Elizabeth - I am amazed by the things you post - it's like your reading my mind - for the last months heaven has been on my mind - same stuff as in your latest blog - coincidence? A pastor and I were once discussing the mind sets of true believers just before the rapture - He said that there most likely would be a common thread - an agreement of sorts in what we will be thinking - that the "midnight cry - the groom is coming- the groom is coming!" will "heard" by the real church - and then in an instant we will all be changed – Maranatha!

  3. Hi Craig,

    Your comment brought tears to my eyes! It's amazing, I feel the same things. I get a burden to write something, write it, and then I read another blogger or commenter's piece and it's the same theme, and then another that's the same, and another, that same week. It repeats the next week with another theme... I have been searching for the words to put it together and you provided that in your comment "a common thread - an agreement of sorts". That says it nicely! I believe we are all feeling the tug of spiritual agreement and ultimate unification as a body which will be fulfilled when heaven and nature sings after the rapture!

  4. This commentary by the late Ray Stedman may give some good insight.


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