"Then I looked, and, behold, in the firmament that was above the head of the cherubims there appeared over them as it were a (1)sapphire stone, as the appearance of the likeness of a throne. And he spake unto the man clothed with linen, and said, Go in between the wheels, even under the cherub, and fill thine hand with coals of fire from between the cherubims, and scatter them over the city. And he went in in my sight. Now the cherubims stood on the right side of the house, when the man went in; and the cloud filled the inner court. Then the glory of the LORD went up from the cherub, and stood over the threshold of the house; and the house was filled with the cloud, and the court was full of the brightness of the LORD'S glory. And the sound of the cherubims' wings was heard even to the outer court, as the voice of the Almighty God when he speaketh" (Ezek 10:1-5).
A careful study of the Bible concerning the Cherubim clearly demonstrates one clear fact -- the ministry of the Cherubim was never a positive ministry. Without exception, it was always a negative ministry. In the beginning, their purpose was not to reveal God's glory, but rather, to conceal it. Throughout the Old Testament the Cherubim are seen in relation to judgment on sin. Although everything we see of the Cherubim in the book of Ezekiel is a manifestation of the awesomeness of God and His glory, it is still a negative thing on the flesh.
It is no great secret that the book of Ezekiel speaks of judgment; but we must also keep in mind that it leads to reconciliation, restoration and Israel's inheritance as well. The strangers who enter their borders also inherit their portion. Without restoration, judgment alone would leave a void, an imbalance, and the work of the Cherubim would be greatly lacking. Therefore, the prophet's visions are associated with judgment, reconciliation, restoration, and inheritance. And lest we forget, God's judgment always begins in His own house. It must begin in His own before it is extended to the rest of the world, and so, the restoration, reconciliation, and inheritance is known first in His house before the rest of the world is blessed by either.
Although some today do not like the idea of God bringing judgment upon His chosen or even the world, it is a part of the process. It is very essential for making people whole and establishing the Kingdom in their lives. The word of awesome, fierce judgment is, no doubt, one of the words the wings of the Cherubim declare from the Holy of holies.
We may have never considered it before; but the wings of the Cherubim have a voice, and it is one that cannot be ignored. After the house that we are is filled with the glory of the Lord, the voice of the Cherubim's wings are heard as the voice of the Lord God Almighty, and it is heard even to the Outer Court! Not only are the posts of the door of the inner sanctuary shaken, the sound reaches to the farthest extremities of the house, all the way to the outer court. We also note that the whole city is sprinkled with the fire of judgment, as Jesus said that every soul shall be salted with fire. This is ultimate reconciliation, and it begins with judgment.
Many are pleased to merely preach reconciliation; but there is more to it than preaching comfortably from behind a pulpit or sitting at a keyboard and pecking out the truth. Any method of conveying this earth shaking revelation is great, of course; but we must be more than conveyers of the word alone. We must also "be" reconciliation. The being begins first by hearing the sound, and afterwards the reality sets in. If all we ever do is to preach the word, we may never preach it beyond the vantage point of the untransformed outer court or holy place Cherubim. When this is the case, the word can prevent those from hearing the clear sound and hinder their entrance to the living reality of reconciliation.
"And there appeared in the cherubims the form of a man's hand under their wings" (Ezek 10:8). The hands of a man signify that these creatures are men, and the saints of the Most High. Their hands being positioned under the wings speaks of a spiritual work. Although men, they have been lifted from the sweat of carnal works to that of the heavens.
"And when I looked, behold the four wheels by the cherubims, one wheel by one cherub, and another wheel by another cherub; and the appearance of the wheels was as the color of a beryl stone. And as for their appearances, they four had one likeness, as if a wheel had been in the midst of a wheel. When they went, they went upon their four sides; they turned not as they went, but to the place whither the head looked they followed it, they turned not as they went" (Ezek 10:9-11)
God our Father, our eternal God, is a wheel. Moreover, the expanse of eternity is symbolized by the wheel. There is no beginning, and there is no ending in a wheel. It simply IS! Earthy things have a beginning and an ending. Unlike God's eternal wheel which always was, always is, and shall always be, they are all temporal.
We note that in the midst of that Wheel there is a Wheel, another eternal Wheel. It is in this Wheel we can see the Lord Jesus Christ. But have we noticed that each of the Cherubim have wheels? And they were all identical, they are the same, a Wheel within a Wheel, and we are in the Wheel which is in the Wheel. Wherever the Wheels go, we go. Wherever we go, the Wheels go. We cannot be separated; for we are joined to the Lord our Wheel. We are One Spirit. And the Spirit of the Wheels is in the Cherubim (Ezek 1:20).
We are one with the eternal Wheels! We see the eternal Father, the eternal Son, and the eternal Sons, and these Sons are fused eternally with that Wheel within a Wheel.
"And their whole body, and their backs, and their hands, and their wings, and the wheels, were full of eyes round about, even the wheels that they four had" (Ezek 10:12). Let us not fail to see the full scope of this. "Their whole body, and their backs, and their hands, and their wings, and the wheels, were full of eyes (2)round about." Their vision compasses eternity, round about, a full circle. The entirety of the living creatures is overlaid with seeing eyes. Nothing is lacking in their vision. Their understanding overflows with revelation. Their enlightenment is an eternal circle around them. They are full of the knowledge and glory of God their Wheel. They no longer know in part, or see in part. They have a clear vision. They are face to face, eyeball to eyeball, if you please, to the One who is Perfect. In Him and in them there is no lack!
"As for the wheels, it was cried unto them in my hearing, (3)O wheel. And every one had four faces: the first face was the face of a (4)cherub, and the second face was the face of a man, and the third the face of a lion, and the fourth the face of an eagle. And the Cherubims were lifted up.(5)This is the living creature that I saw by the river of Chebar" (Ezek 10:13-15).
Can we not see the oneness of God and the Cherubim? Although they are plural, the living creature is singular. If the point was missed, note: The Cherubims (plural) were lifted up. This is the living creature (singular) that I saw...." The one is comprised of many. There is no fragment or division among them, and so we see the many membered body of Christ in glorious manifestation as one living creature. This living creature comes as a whirlwind, as a great cloud, and as a fire enfolding itself. Ah! The manifestation of the Sons of God, a whirling wheel of great proportions!
"This is the living creature that I saw under the God of Israel by the river of Chebar; and I knew the Cherubims" (Ezek 10:20). This verse says, "And I knew that they were Cherubims"; but the word "were" has been supplied by the translators. And when I read that my spirit leaped! Ezekiel says, "I knew those Cherubim. I knew them! I have seen these guys before, and it was by the river of Chebar."
It is one thing to know about living Cherubim, but quite another to KNOW THEM. And they had been with the prophet long enough that he could say -- I know them.
"And I looked, and, behold, a (6)whirlwind came out of the north, a great cloud, and a fire (7)infolding itself, and a brightness was about it, and out of the midst thereof as the (8)colour of amber, out of the midst of the fire" (Ezek 1:4). In the confines of a few words we see three things which symbolize the manifestation of God's glory: whirlwind (or storm), a cloud, and fire. We see also that each are magnified: the storm is whirling, the cloud is great, and the fire is enfolding itself. There is nothing static or of little consequence about them.
As with the remainder of the vision, this verse bulges with revelation, yearning for release. Even so, how can such awesome, heavenly dimensions as this be expressed by human words of earth, by audible and visual aids alone? It is impossible; yet by the inspiration of the Spirit, the unfolding of this mystery can be easily grasped, and the time of grasping portions of it is at hand.
The whirlwind: The manifestation of the Sons of God will come as a mighty storm of the Spirit. No one can tell from whence this fiery wind comes or where it blows. With some, their breath is calm and practical, bringing love, joy, and peace to many, and a sweeping wave of salvation will engulf those who have longed for this day. For others, the wind is violent. The breath of God's fierce justice blows away the refuse of lies, hypocrisies, and the self-exaltations of mortal man. This whirlwind ministers life to some but death to others, depending on their heart's condition.
A great cloud: The great cloud, of course, is synonymous to the great cloud of witnesses, and it is this cloud of great people in which the Lord is seen coming (1 Thes 4:16). They are those the Lord comes in, called holy myriads of Himself, as we read in Jude 1:14 of the Diaglott. This great cloud of holy ones are not clouds without rain, or who are tossed by every tempest, and neither are they the empty clouds in Jude who are carried about by winds. But rather, they are clouds full of rain, hail and fire, washing away, smashing and consuming every particle of rebellious matter.
Neither are they trees whose fruit withers, leaving them without fruit, twice dead, and plucked up by the roots. No, not by any means! This great fire cloud is laden with the fruit of God's jealous wrath. They are alive! Their roots are planted deeply into the sapphire heavens of God their Father. These are the people whose presence, their cloud, their fire and smoke, fills the house (Isa 6:4), and anyone with a fragment of religious prestige or self-centeredness will cry out, "Woe is me! for I am undone."
Infolding itself: This is a fairly effective way of describing a fire that takes hold of its self, as it is more accurately rendered from the Hebrew. The flaming saints of Himself take hold of themselves, enfolding that flame back into their fiery body of the cloud. Such an enfolding takes hold of all that came out of God; namely, all creation, and it will be pulled into the flame of everlasting life. We can see that Jesus referred to something of this sort when he said, "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me" (John 12:32). Or in the Spirit of the word: "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, I will take hold of, draw, enfold, compel, drag all men into judgment with me, and this enfolding will salt every soul with My Fire."
The color of amber: We have heard the term, the eye of the storm, especially in reference to hurricanes. We have an eye in this whirling hurricane as well. It is the all-seeing, flaming, amber-eye of God. Its color is gold, symbolizing the manifestation of God, the nature of the One who is a consuming fire. It is this fire which purifies everyone the Storm's eye sets His sight upon. This eternal, all-seeing eye can see everything as finished, refined, purified, and whole. He can, therefore, call those things that be not as though they were (Rom 4:17). Can we do the same? If we are a flame, we can.
"And out of the midst thereof was the color of amber, out of the midst of the fire. And out of the midst thereof came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance: they had the likeness of a man." Please note, the four living creatures had the likeness of a man. Not an intangible angel, but a man, and this man came out of the fire -- as a (9)Seraph, a Living Flame.
Let me share an encounter our longtime friend, Danny Crotts, pastor of New Life Church in Duncan, AZ, had last year with a flaming Seraph. This was after his vision was opened to a celestial realm we seldom see:
On October 6, 2001, I was awakened. I got up to get a drink of water and went back to bed. It was 2:30 a.m. Saturday morning. I fell back asleep and a little while later there was a bright light in my room. I had my eyes closed and could see this bright light through my eyelids. The shining light got brighter so I opened my eyes and I was looking into the eyes of this creature. His eyes were like enfolding Fire that consumed everything that I was. I could feel something happening to my body. A change was going on; but I didn't know how or what the change was.
"Suddenly, I could see myself through the eyes of the creature. The Fire in his Eyes was a (10)green color of Flames. It was as a Pure Flame without smoke.
"As I looked through his eyes, I saw myself. I stood naked and unveiled. I was not afraid, but I could not move. I looked and saw my feet as fine gold. My legs, up to my hips, were marble and covered with fine blue linen. My belly and chest were like ivory overlaid with sapphires. My arms were fine gold and my hands like transparent gold, I could see through them. Then I saw my eyes through his eyes and they were the same. I was the same as him. A verse came to me. 'Of His own will begat He us with the Word of truth that we should be a kind of First fruits of His creatures' (His Creature). We are a product of Himself. Word of Truth, Living Oracle of the Expression of God.
"I looked and saw a Two-Edged Sword in His mouth and I never heard a word spoken; but I felt my heart being cut asunder. My soul also was cut asunder, my flesh consumed, and my joints and marrow cut asunder. It was like my flesh was all consumed away. I could not speak what was happening. I didn't have the words to express. But the words were coming.
"Seems like so quickly the Creature turned, and still, I was looking into His Eyes. Then from a side view, seeing One EYE, the Creature began to change. There stood a beautiful woman. Her hair was silk of fine gold, long, and down to Her thighs. Her hair covered Her whole body. The more I looked at her the brighter the Shining got. There was a Wall of Fire around Her and Her hair was Her Glory. But the brightness of the Wall of Fire was the Glory of God. She shined brightly in my room until the Burning in my eyes got so great. I knew that her breasts were for the provisions of the nations and the receiving of Israel. Full reinstatement. She is the Lamb's Wife, the City of the Living God of Consuming Fire. This is the completion. I saw more but will wait." - End quote.
Danny continued with: "What is God to you? You shall see Him as He is. Because as He is so are you. Every knee shall bow. Every tongue shall confess. Bow down and cry holy. Let the bride rejoice. Bow down and cry holy. He has made you His choice. Bow down and cry holy. For the day has arrived. Bow down and cry holy. You have been made alive. For our God is a consuming fire. The Lord whom you see shall suddenly come to His temple. But who may abide the day of His coming? And who shall stand when He appeareth? For He is a refiner's fire and fullers soap. The sinners in Zion are afraid. Fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites. Who among us shall dwell in the devouring fire? Who among us shall dwell in everlasting burnings? Looking for and hastening into the coming of the Day of God, yet I am not looking, it is here. The heavens being on Fire shall be and are dissolved, and elements are melting in fervent heat. Danny O. Crotts." - End quote.
Who do we suppose the fiery creature was that stood before Danny? We do not say that it was God Himself, and it is doubtful if it was our Lord Jesus Christ in person; but I believe we can safely say that it was a flaming cherub, a seraph. And Danny will be the first to tell you that during that awesome time -- he melted, his natural frame became nothing, he was exposed, he was consumed, he was judged by fire, yet he was transformed as his spirit was strengthened and he stood up alive. We know, of course, that although this encounter was a very real experience, the creature of fire symbolized something yet to appear in all the earth. It was a figure of the real when the Sons of God are manifested and their flaming presence exposes sin. We are sure the Sons of God will not be seen as natural fire by the natural eye; but fire, spiritual fire, they shall be; for they will come in the image of their God who is a consuming fire (Heb 12:29).
Very little is known about those who have passed to the other side of the river, a river, I suppose, we could call "Chebar." However, from the testimonies we have heard over the years, they appear on occasion, as this one did to Danny, and these appearances certainly leave their life-changing marks. Moreover, if a single Seraphim can render the natural man so utterly helpless, what do we think ten thousand times ten thousand of these living creatures of fire, the Sons of God, will do when manifested? Although it is humanly impossible to imagine, we know it will revolutionize creation as their enfolding wall of holy fire rolls over the expanse of the earth. On one hand their presence will judge and consume all flesh and keep the way to the Tree of Life, while on the other hand, the residue of man, the transformed man of the Spirit will freely feast from that bountiful Tree.
To be continued...
Elwin R. Roach
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2. round about: abiyb, a circle (Strong's Exh. Conc.).
3. "As regarding the wheels [attached to them], they were called in my hearing the whirling wheels" (Amplified).
4. cherub: This is the only verse in the entirety of the Bible where "cherub" is used in conjunction with the four faces. The other verses list the "ox" or "calf". Moreover, this verse (Ezek 10:14) was omitted by the Septuagint translators.
5. "And the cherubs were the same living creature which I saw by the river Chobar " (Ezek 10:15, Septuagint).
6. whirlwind: ruwach, wind; by resemblance breath, i.e. a sensible (or even violent) exhalation; figuratively life. (The Spirit)
7. infolding: laqach, a prime root; to take (Strong's)
8. Colour:'ayin, an eye... (Strong's)
9. seraph: saw-raf'; a prime root; to be on fire (Strong's).
10. Danny told me that just before copper is poured into the molds, which is the final firing, the fire is green, indicating intense heat, with no impurities.