The Cherubims of Glory
Part 2 of 8
Pastor Gary Garner
These series contain review of the previous thoughts spoken, as
this was transcribed from a tape recording of the series taught in a church
atmosphere. To skip the review, click the "END OF REVIEW" notation.
End of review
Some people may wonder why we are studying cherubims here in the church,
because it is not done very much. But cherubims are a tremendously
important subject in the Bible, because we find them in Genesis chapter
3 guarding the way of the tree of life that is in the paradise of God.
We have traditionally thought that those cherubims there with that flaming
sword were there to keep people out. But if you study the Word there,
you will see that those cherubims were not keeping people out, but they
were guarding the way in. It is vitally important then to understand
what those cherubims speak to us of.. We will be going through the
Word of God because Ezekiel saw those cherubims. We find them not
only in the first book of the Bible, but we find them also in the last
book of the Bible. We find them in the Book of Revelation around
the throne of God. We find them all the way through the scriptures.
So it is a viable, important study.
Last time we discovered some very basic things about cherubims.
We discovered them from Exodus 25. This is God's giving Moses the
instructions to His dwelling place among the people. The Tabernacle of
Moses was a sanctuary for God for the purpose of having Him dwell among
the people. God said, "I want to dwell among My people, so I want
you to build Me a house." This house is called the Tabernacle in
the wilderness. It was a three room house that, when completed, God's
glory came and dwelt between the cherubims on the mercy seat in the Most
Holy Place. Just the fact that God chose to rest in the midst of
those cherubims is interesting. That is where He comes to dwell.
That is where He comes to rest, in the midst of His people. That
When God began to give these directions and the pattern for the building
of this tabernacle, He began with the ark of the covenant. It was
the only piece of furniture in the Most Holy Place, the place where God's
presence actually dwelt. There was an outer court that had no roof
on it. Then there was a place called the sanctuary that had a roof
on it; it was divided into two compartments. The first compartment
was called the Holy Place; the furthermost or the last compartment was
called the Most Holy Place. God gave the pattern or the measurements
for the furniture and the description for the furniture, beginning with
the place where He dwelt, between the cherubims.
There were seven pieces of furniture in the tabernacle. Seven
is the Bible number for perfection and completion. There was the
brazen altar, the brazen laver, the golden candlestick, the golden table
of shewbread, the golden altar, the ark of the covenant, and the mercy
seat; seven pieces of furniture. God gave the description for the
ark of the covenant first. Why? Because God's Word is given
to us from His vantage point. We interpret it from our vantage point,
and that is why we get it backwards. Let me give you an illustration.
How many of you thought redemption was for you? It is, in a sense,
because we are the ones that get redeemed. But redemption was really
for God, because God wanted to create a man that He could fellowship with.
After the transgression, redemption was for the purpose ultimately of being
able to fellowship again with man. We need to start reading the Word
of God, not just in light of what it does for us, but in light of what
redemption means to God. He is the One that created man; He is the
one that wants a relationship with us for the purpose of being able to
express Himself. So here even in the sanctuary, we see this principle:
He makes His throne first.
Exodus 25:17 And thou shalt make a mercy
seat of pure gold; two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and
a cubit and a half the breadth thereof.
It tells how long the mercy seat was and how wide it was, but isn't it
interesting that it doesn't tell how deep it is! The mercy seat has
no dimension to it as to how thick or how high it was, because there is
no limit to how high the mercy of God will go. Even in the things
that God doesn't say, there is great revelation. But the mercy seat
is two and a half cubits by a cubit and a half. If you took the dimensions
around the mercy seat, two and a half plus a cubit and a half plus two
and a half plus a cubit and a half, you would have the dimensions of eight,
and eight is the Bible number for new beginnings. That is why we
find this ark behind the veil, which speaks to us of a new beginning.
There are cherubims in this mercy seat.
Exodus 25:18-22 And thou shalt make
two cherubims of gold, of beaten work shalt thou make them, in the two
ends of the mercy seat. And make one cherub on the one end, and the
other cherub on the other end: even of the mercy seat shall ye make the
cherubims on the two ends thereof. And the cherubims shall stretch
forth their wings on high, covering the mercy seat with their wings, and
their faces shall look one to another; toward the mercy seat shall the
faces of the cherubims be. And thou shalt put the mercy seat above
upon the ark; and in the ark thou shalt put the testimony that I shall
give thee. And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with
thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are
upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in
commandment unto the children of Israel.
Notice one of the most important and significant statements about the cherubims:
He said that it is between those cherubims that He would commune with us.
He will speak to us. Numbers 7 says that God spoke to Moses from
between the cherubims. There is something that God is saying between
the cherubims. We want to understand what the cherubims are and what
they typify. These are symbolic creatures; what Moses made was a
physical picture of something spiritual.
In Ezekiel chapters one and ten, Ezekiel did not see the natural; he
saw the spiritual. He described it in terms that he was able to define
them as. Same way with John; John saw into the heavenlies;
he didn't see some manmade object that represented something; he saw what
the manmade object represented. As we proceed through the Word, we
are going to get clear details from the heavenly perspective. But
there are some tremendous truths here in identifying what these cherubims
First of all, in order to understand what the cherubims represent, we've
got to identify what the mercy seat represents; because the cherubims are
in the mercy seat, cherubims are of the mercy
seat, and the cherubims look toward the mercy seat.
The mercy seat is the lid to the ark of the covenant. We are going
to look at two New Testament passages to identify what the mercy seat is.
We are going to get very Christ-centered in all of this, because these
cherubims are identified in every single way with the person and work of
Hebrews 9:4,5 Which had the golden censer,
and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was
the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron's rod that budded, and the tables
of the covenant; and over it the cherubims of glory shadowing the
mercy seat; of which we cannot now speak particularly.
Romans 3:23-25a For all have sinned,
and come short of the glory of God; being justified freely by his grace
through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: whom God hath set forth
to be a propitiation through faith in his blood…
This word translated propitiation and the word translated
mercy seat in Hebrews 9:5 are exactly the same Greek word.
What does that tell us? If the Greek word in Hebrews 9:5 is translated
mercy seat, then we can see Who the mercy seat is. Jesus is pictured
by this mercy seat. Jesus brought mercy to us through His work and
through His redemptive activity. With that in mind, let's identify
who the cherubims point to. If you look in the Strong's Concordance
for cherubim, it will tell you that it is traditionally thought to be some
kind of angelic creature. If you look it up in your commentaries,
you will see that most of the time, they will identify these cherubims
with angels. But if we are going to try to find out who they are,
we are going to have to do it by scripture. Angels are not in Christ.
I believe in angels, but angels are not in Christ.
They are created beings other than Christ.
Let's look at the description of these particular creatures (Exodus
25). The measurements in verse 17 add up to eight; Jesus was a new
kind of man when He walked the shores of Galilee. Better yet, when
He came up out of the grave, He was a new creation man. There is
the number eight, new beginnings. When Jesus came out of the tomb,
He was the new beginning; He was the federal head of a new race of people.
New creation race.
Verse 18. The cherubims were, first of all, in the
mercy seat. The cherubims speak of in-Christed ones.
They have to be, because the mercy seat speaks of Christ, and these were
in the mercy seat. Angels are not in Christ.
Who is in Christ? Redeemed people are in union with
Christ. II Corinthians 5:17 says "If any man be
in Christ, he is a new creature."
Verse 19. ..even of the mercy seat.. They
were made of the mercy seat. Not only are they "in Christ," but they
are "of Christ." How does that make any difference to us? In
Genesis you find that God made a woman out of the man.
He took a rib out of Adam and formed the woman, who is a type of the bride
of Christ. The bride of Christ is the church (Ephesians 5).
These cherubims in this heavenly place, this spiritual place in Genesis
3 were guarding the way to the tree of life. The Bible says that
the righteous are a tree of life, and they that win souls are wise.
These cherubims are guarding the way into a condition. Adam fell
from a heavenly place to an earthly place. Adam was created in a
spiritual heavenly condition. He transgressed, and death was lodged
in his spirit. Death is a spiritual condition. He was created
with life in his spirit. He fell. When he died, he left that
spiritual condition. The garden of Eden didn't go anywhere; man went
somewhere. The garden of Eden didn't fall; man fell from it.
Man was created in a spiritual condition; he was not even aware of his
natural circumstances until after he fell. He was a natural man;
he was spiritual and natural, just like you are. But in the beginning
when God created man, man walked and talked with God in the spirit of the
day. Man was more spirit conscious than he was physical conscious.
When he fell, that was reversed, and he became conscious of the flesh.
He saw that he was naked, and he left through that fall that spiritual
place that is likened to the garden of Eden. The garden of Eden is still
where it was before. The way back into that is through a flaming
sword, which speaks of the Word of God, which is a two edged sword.
Through a flaming sword, and by these cherubims. Cherubims are guarding
the way of life. They are guarding the tree of life. They're guarding
the way. We have lived in less than our privileges in Christ, because
we haven't been spiritually minded enough to walk in everything that is
ours in Him. God is raising up a ministry, a kind of in-Christed
ministry (Hebrews 8:5 calls it "a more excellent ministry) that can show
the way back into a relationship with God that God intended at the beginning.
It is time for that. It makes no difference what church background
you've got or what line of truth that you adhere to; people are coming
to the end of all of them. They're saying, "Isn't there anything
more than this?" Why? Because we've come to the time in God's
dealings with man when the greatest day of His appearing in a people is
about to unfold in this planet. What is going to produce it?
Just an understanding of the redemptive work of Christ like never before.
The greatest need of the church world today is to understand who we are
in Christ and how we got to be that way. Here we stand 2000 years
from the very event, and we don't know yet. But God's got a priesthood
on the way, and I believe that these cherubim, these entities called cherubim,
speak of that kind of a ministry. They are of the mercy seat.
Let's look at Ephesians chapter five; then we'll put together the story
in Genesis and the story here about Jesus and His Body.
Ephesians 5:24-27 Therefore as the
church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands
in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved
the church, and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse
it with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself
a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but
that it should be holy and without blemish.
Can you see that the apostle Paul is likening Christ to a husband and the
church to His bride. He said that the process in all of this is that
Christ is washing us with the water of His word so that we would be without
spot or blemish or any such thing.
Ephesians 5:30-32 For we are members
of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall
a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and
they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak
concerning Christ and the church.
Verse 5:30 is the key here: we are members of his body, of
his flesh, and of his bones. We are of
Him. Where did Paul get that? Back in Genesis 2, when
God took one of the ribs of the man and made a woman, this man Adam said,
"This is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh." We are not only
in Him; we are of Him. God is making
the body of Christ right out of the person of Christ; He's forming us with
the word of God so that we would be a helpmate to Him as the church, so
that we would be an expression of Him here in the earth as He is in heaven.
He is the head, we are the body. Ought not the body manifest the
head? Not just talk about Him, but be an expression of Him?
Here's another way to look at that. Here we find the guy that
made the cherubims, that formed the cherubims. He produced that beaten
work. His name was Bezaleel.
Exodus 37:1,6-9 And Bezaleel made the
ark of shittim wood: two cubits and a half was the length of it, and a
cubit and a half the breadth of it, and a cubit and a half the height of
it; …And he made the mercy seat of pure gold: two cubits and a half was
the length thereof, and one cubit and a half the breadth thereof.
And he made two cherubims of gold, beaten out of one piece made he them,
on the two ends of the mercy seat; one cherub on the end on this side,
and another cherub on the other end on that side: out of the mercy seat
made he the cherubims on the two ends thereof. And the cherubims spread
their wings on high, and covered with their wings over the mercy seat,
with their faces one to another; even to the mercy seatward were the faces
of the cherubims.
The name Bezaleel means "in the shadow of or in the likeness
of God" in the Hebrew. Who in the New Testament say is
in the likeness or the image of God? Jesus. So Bezaleel speaks
of Jesus. His father's name means "light", and the Bible says, "God
is light, and in Him is no darkness at all." So here is a guy whose
father is named "light", just like Jesus was of the Father, and his name
is Bezaleel, which means "in the image of." He was of the tribe of
Judah, just like Jesus. Just like Bezaleel made the cherubims, the
Lord Jesus created us with His own work.
(End of Review)
Exodus 25:20 And the cherubims shall
stretch forth their wings on high, covering the mercy seat with their wings,
and their faces shall look one to another; toward the mercy seat shall
the faces of the cherubims be.
Number one, they were in the mercy seat; they speak of people
"in Christ." Number two, they were of the mercy seat;
they speak of people who were created right out of Him. Thirdly,
they looked toward the mercy seat. This is so important. Let's
look at what they were viewing on the mercy seat. Leviticus chapter
16 is a description of what happened on the Day of Atonement. On
that day the high priest went behind the veil and communed with God, and
made atonement for the sins of the nation of Israel. We're not going
to study this whole day of atonement, but I just want you to see what the
cherubims were looking at when they looked toward the mercy seat.
Leviticus 16:15 Then shall he (the
high priest) kill the goat of the sin offering, that is for the people,
and bring his blood within the veil, and do with that blood as he did with
the blood of the bullock, and sprinkle it upon the mercy seat, and before
the mercy seat.
What was on the mercy seat? The blood of the atoning sacrifice.
So these cherubs every day, constantly, twenty-four hours a day, because
the blood was sprinkled between the cherubims on that mercy seat, looked
at that blood. They looked at what represented the atoning sacrifice.
They constantly viewed what spoke of the death of Christ. One was
on one side, and one was on the other; it speaks of those in union with
Christ and of Christ, before the cross and those after the cross.
It is just like the Old Testament saints looking forward to the redemptive
work and the New Testament saints looking back. But all were in-Christed,
and they were looking toward the sacrifice. Why? Because it
said something to them. If you don't hear what the blood says, you
live in condemnation; or if you don't live in condemnation, it's because
you think you're something, that you've lived a good life.
Hebrews 12:21-24 And so terrible
was the sight that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake: but ye are
come unto mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly
Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly
and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the
Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus
the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that
speaketh better things than that of Abel.
Notice that it says, "to the blood of sprinkling." Remember what
the priest did on the mercy seat? He sprinkled the blood on the mercy
seat. This is what he is talking about here. The blood of sprinkling
speaks better things than that of Abel. That blood that those cherubims
are looking at is saying something; it is declaring something. It
is proclaiming a truth. First of all, we have to see what Abel's
Genesis 4:1:1-3 And Adam knew Eve
his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man
from the Lord. And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was
a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. And in process
of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an
offering unto the Lord.
Look at the phrase "in process of time." My marginal reference says,
"at the end of the days." A lot of people say (and there is some
truth to it) that the reason that Cain's offering was rejected was because
it was the work of his own hands. I do believe that's important,
but I also see a principle here. What Cain offered, he offered at
the end of the harvest. He gave God what was left at the end.
Some people think they are tithing if they've got enough at the end of
the bills. If they've got any left over, they'll bring it.
Notice here that Cain's offering was rejected. He brought what was
left at the end. Notice the difference in Abel. This is not
a message on tithing, but we got it in there, didn't we?
Genesis 4:4a And Abel, he also brought
of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof.
He brought of the first, and Cain brought of the last. It gives you
the mindset of the two men. If there's anything left over, we'll
give it to God.
Genesis 4:4b,5-10 And the Lord had respect
unto Abel and to his offering. But unto Cain and to his offering
he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance
fell. And the Lord said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? And why is
thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted?
And if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee
shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him. And Cain talked
with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field,
that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him. And the Lord
said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am
I my brother's keeper? And he said, What hast thou done? The voice of thy
brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground.
Here is the righteous one suffering at the hands of the unrighteous.
In Luke chapter 11, Jesus said that that generation that He was talking
to, that the righteous blood of Abel and of all the saints cry out for
vengeance against what those guys were doing.
From the very beginning of time, there have been two men in the earth.
There have been righteous and unrighteous. For six thousand years,
the blood of righteous men have cried out, "How long, Lord?" How
long is this planet going to be ruled, in a symbolic way. Let's go
to the end of the matter in Revelation chapter 6. Here is the reason
that the cherubim look toward the blood of Jesus instead of the blood of
all of the righteous that have been shed. Because the blood of Jesus
points to a time when all will be changed.
Revelation 6: 9,10 And when he had
opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were
slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: and they
cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost
thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?
From Genesis to Revelation.
I am going to close with this. I am going to show you that there
is a time.
Ecclesiastes 3:10,11a I have seen
the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in
it. He hath made everything beautiful in his time;
God has seen the travail of men, but God has made everything beautiful
in his time. There is a time. I believe that you and I are
sitting at the time of the change, at the time of the reversal, at the
time when Jesus begins to rule and reign.
Ecclesiastes 3:11b …also he hath set the
world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh
from the beginning to the end.
God has hidden in the hearts of men His plan to make all things beautiful
in His time. He has hidden a work, the work that is hidden in the
hearts of men. The treasure of the King has been deposited in our
hearts. The work He is talking about there is the work of the cross:
the death, the burial, the resurrection. He has hidden in the hearts
of men His work for a specific time, for a specific place.
The bottom line is that the cherubims look toward the blood. Not the
blood of righteous Abel, not the blood of the saints and the prophets,
not the blood of all those souls slain. They look toward the redemptive
work of Christ; they look toward the blood that was shed to bring our justification,
our redemption, to someday be poured out upon this earth. The scripture
says, "into the sea, that every living soul might die." (May not be exact
John on the isle of Patmos saw a vial of the blood of a dead man poured
into the sea. What does the sea speak of? Isaiah 57:20 says
the wicked are as a troubled sea. Every living soul died.
Somebody says, "Oh, that's horrible!" No; that's beautiful!
Because the Bible says of Adam that he was made a living
soul. He was made a living soul; and the blood of the dead man …Jesus
said, "Unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood, you have no life in
you." Here is an angel that pours out the blood of Jesus. That
is what these cherubim look at, and every living soul dies. Every
man in Adam needs to taste of the death of Christ. Lord, give us
a revelation of your blood, of the power of the blood, and let it be poured
out upon every living soul among the wicked. It said they all died.
That is good, because "blessed are those who die in the Lord." You
need a death to your old man; you need a death to who you used to be.
But it isn't a death that you die; it isn't a death that
you can die. You can't die to self. His death was the death
of your old self. I want the old Adam, mine, that living soul that
Adam became to experience a death. These cherubims are not looking
at what is going on around them; they are in Christ, they are of Christ,
and they focus their attention on the shed blood of Christ. They
look at it constantly.
The scripture says, "Consider Jesus who endured such great contradiction
of sinners, lest ye be weary and faint in your minds." If you look
at the world, you have reason to be discouraged. The world is in
deep trouble. That (crime victims) is righteous Abel's blood crying
out, "How long?" How long are we going to have to involve ourselves
in the negative things that are going on around us in the world?
God said, "I have a time when I will make all things beautiful."
He has a time, and it is hidden in the hearts of men. It is hidden
in the hearts of men in the form of a work. It is not your work;
it is His work. Revelation chapter 2 says that there is a shepherd feeding
company, an overcoming company who keep His work unto the end. We
are coming to the end. They keep on looking at the blood of Jesus,
which represents all that redemptive work, and they keep looking.
How long do they look? They look to the end.
What is the end? It could be the end of all of the negative things
in your life. Jesus said, "I am the alpha and omega, the beginning
and the end." They keep looking at the blood of Jesus, at the redemptive
work of Christ, until the end comes. That is the end of everything
you are and the beginning of everything He is. That is what these
speak of. I find it's the easiest thing to do; it's not sticking
your head in the sand like an ostrich; it is sticking your head into the
redemptive work of Christ and saying, "I will view what He did in the face
of all." God's got a plan; there is a time to be born and there's
a time to die. There's a time to cry and there's a time to cease
from crying. There is a time to look around and see what kind of
stinking condition the world gets in, but there is a time when "I make
all things beautiful." There is a thousand year day when God has
a ministry that reverses the curse. There is a thousand year day
when God's got some in-Christed, of-Christed, and looking toward Christed
people, out of which a river flows that feeds a hungry world. He said,
"There is a time I make all things beautiful." It starts inside of
you. You say, "Lord, when is Your kingdom coming?" Well, it
starts inside you. There have been some things inside of us that
aren't beautiful. "When are you going to make everything beautiful
out there?" He starts inside us making things beautiful, cleaning up the
old, as Isaiah saw it, "where dens of dragons were." Say it another
way. He gets rid of the devils in you. What is a dragon?
It is a devil that used to live inside your Adamic heart. He takes
that desert and makes a river out of it. He said, "I'll make streams
in the wilderness. Where dragons were, I will make rivers of living