If there is one animal that universally represents freedom, it would have to be the eagle. Ever since the founding of America, nothing has stood out as such a strong symbol of hope and freedom. With this is mind, it is fitting that both John, and the tribe of John, are represented as one.
John, from the very beginning of his narrative, lays down the foundation that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that He came to save the world. This theme is prominent throughout the Gospel with the most famous verse being John 3:16. No, nothing quite matches John’s emphasis on Christ’s saving grace for mankind.
Now, although both Dan and John are represented as the eagle, and both are seen as one of the creatures in heaven, their meanings are entirely different. When God seals the 144,000 witnesses in the end times, He seals all the twelve tribes except Dan. It appears Dan is substituted with a different tribe . . . why?
Well, the tribe of Dan had a nasty problem with falling into idolatry. So Dan was judged, this is actually what his name means, and removed from the 144,000. A underlying note about this removal is found in Genesis 49:18:
I have waited for thy salvation, O LORD.
This statement was said by Jacob right after he blessed Dan. It is interesting how this is used because the word for “salvation” here is “Yeshua” or better-known as Jesus! Very interesting how Dan’s freedom to act in sin is revealed right before Jacob calls out to God to bring Salvation: Christ. Very interesting.
See, ever since the beginning, God has given us freewill, or freedom, to chose our own way. Since birth, man chooses sin instead of God. However, later, we might find ourselves choosing God instead and receiving everlasting life. But, that same freedom that can save us can also sentence us to hell.
With this in mind, John, represented as the eagle of freedom, proclaims the Gospel of Christ and how His saving grace frees us from the bondage of sin: death. On the other hand, we have God giving us important information through the tribe of Dan, also represented as the eagle of freedom. However, their freedom sent them to chains . . .