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.
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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 is important.

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.

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.
  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 are.

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 Christ.

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.

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.
  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.

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.

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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.
  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.
  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 blood says.
  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?
  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.
  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.

From Genesis to Revelation.

I am going to close with this.  I am going to show you that there is a 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.
  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 quote.)

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 water."