[Yechezkel 1 Orthodox Jewish Bible (OJB)]

The glorious and elevating vision of the cherubim opens this remarkable prophecy. We need to catch that vision in days like these. Science has put staggering new powers and weapons into man's hands. Wickedness finds much bigger and far more terrifying forms of expression than ever before. World affairs move on such a vast scale, and with frightening contingencies, and at the beck of such anti-God forces, that the international situation easily becomes profoundly disturbing.

The reins of Providence seem to hang loosely. Evil forces in large areas of the earth seem to have it pretty much their own way. It is easy for our eyes to become so held by the startling development of human history today, that we lose our vision of that glory-flashing throne high over all, and our sense of divine sovereignty. GEM

1 Now it came to pass in the 30th year, in the 4th month, in the 5th day of the month, as I was among the captives by the river of Chebar [Golus by the Nahar Kevar], that the heavens [Shomayim] were opened, and I saw visions of God [mar'ot Elohim].

He is a young member of a priestly family, and presumably one of those who were an exception to the prevalent temper of the land, in pleasing God by his faith and obedience. At this time and place, he is appointed a prophet to the house of Israel. The process of his appointment begins with his seeing something, as was frequently the case in the calling of the prophets. What he saw he describes elaborately.

Seasons 2.54

The thirtieth year of what? It would seem most probable that it was the thirtieth year of his life. Christ and John began their ministries at thirty, and Ezekiel, the "Son of Man" of the Old Testament, was typical of both. His last vision, that of the Millennial Temple, would then be in his fiftieth year. This was the period of priestly service, thirty to fifty, and Ezekiel was of the Priesthood. It would be very fitting, too, that he had the vision of the new Millennial Temple at the end of his period of Mosaic service.

Isaiah 6 is similar. This depicts the beginning of Isaiah's ministry. He sees the Seraphim, or "Burning Ones," (a variant symbol of the Cherubim multitude), who sing "Holy, Holy, Holy," as do the Cherubim or four Living Creatures in Revelation 4. John applies this vision to Christ when he says (12:41) that Isaiah -"Saw his glory, and spake of him."

Bro Growcott - The Living Creatures and the Bow

2 In the 5th day of the month, which was the 5th year of king Jehoiachin's captivity [Golus of HaMelech Yoyakhin {593 B.C.E.}],

This was, of course, the fifth year of Zedekiah's reign, the year after Jeremiah wrote to the captives in Babylon to build houses, for the captivity would be long. Ezekiel prophesied at a time when the Temple, the City, and the Nation were to be destroyed. He was the one to make the announcement to the wicked house of David-

"Remove the diadem, and take off the crown: ....I will overturn, overturn, overturn it, and it shall be no more, till he come whose right it is" (21:26-27).

Ezekiel prophesied in a time of trouble and captivity and darkness and fear. God's Kingdom was being eclipsed and scattered and possessed by the heathen. The long 2,520 year Gentile night of "seven times" was beginning.

Bro Growcott - The Living Creatures and the Bow

Ezekiel's mission opens in the fifth year of his captivity with the vision of the Cherubim and glory of God: the most spectacular and detailed revelation of divine manifestation in all Scripture. Nothing approaches it for splendour except the closing chapters of Revelation: the New Jerusalem, the Lamb's Bride, and the dwelling of God with man - to all of which it is closely related. It is a picture of the New Creation of Deity, and thus counterbalances Genesis 1, and parallels the first chapters of John's Gospel and First Epistle.

It was fitting and merciful that such a picture should be revealed at such a time. Though perhaps little understood, to the faithful it would be an assurance that the glory, though departing, was not forgetful of the true seed of Abraham. The four-fold Cherubim of Glory-the Living Creature - is a pictorial representation of the Redeemed of God in their glorified state: resplendent in divine power and wisdom, and vibrant with ceaseless activity and joy. This is the Yahweh-Elohim manifestation: He Who Shall Be Mighty Ones.

This vision also closely parallels Revelation 1-John's Son of Man, Multitudinous Christ, symbol.


3 The Word [Devar] of Yahweh came expressly unto Ezekiel the priest [Yechezkel the kohen], the son [ben] of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans [Eretz Kasdim] by the river Chebar [Nahar Kevar]; and the hand [Yad] of Yahweh was there upon him.

4 And I looked, and, behold [hinei], a whirlwind [ruach se'arah] [a stormy wind (RV)] came out of the north [tzafon], a great cloud [anan gadol], and a fire infolding itself, and a brightness [flashing fire, with brilliant light] was about it, and out of the midst thereof as the colour of amber, out of the midst of the fire [something gleaming, shining out of the midst of the eish].

The fire described by Ezekiel represented the spirit of God in its cherubic relations, for as the fire flashed its lightning so they moved to and fro. It also represented the glory, or brightness, of the Messiah as He will appear upon His throne.

Elpis Israel 1.3.

Out of the North (Gog the Latter Day Assyrian) the truth seeker... see how prophecy is consistent

In chapter 38, Ezekiel speaks of Gog as "coming like a cloud" to cover the land, and Daniel speaks of the King of the North as "coming like a whirlwind."

This is the dark and troublous background of the vision. The cloud and whirlwind from the north were the judgments of God embodied in the Northern invader both of that day and of the latter-days, but they were judgments heralding and leading up to a manifestation of deliverance and glory.

The Northern invader, for all his power and pride, is but an incidental aspect of the glorious and unfailing divine purpose of self-manifestation. The major, permanent aspect is the coming of Christ in the glory of his Father, with his saints and this we MUST see in every step of the development of Russia's position and power.

Russia is nothing in the picture: a mere blind instrument; a mere brief and passing phase. The more bitter and evil and threatening Russia gets against Israel, the closer the end is.

It is out of this whirlwind of judgment that the glory of the Cherubim, and the Everlasting Rainbow, and the Eternal Throne, appear. And so it will be when the latter-day Assyrian comes in fury against God's land.


This is not amber as we know it: all authorities agree upon that. What it is, is not positively known, but most agree that it is electrum- a mixture of gold and silver, which was much used and highly prized in ancient times, and which has greater brilliance and beauty than either gold or silver alone. The Hebrew word is "chashmal," of which a Bible dictionary says-

"Supposed by Gesenius and most to be a brilliant amalgam of gold and silver."

And International Standard Bible Encyclopedia says-

"Thothmes III is represented as standing in his chariot of electrum."

This is very fitting. Gold and silver combined are more glorious than either alone. A refined golden Faith, tried and perfected in the fire, is very glorious. But it is not glorious enough for salvation. It must be combined with silver, for silver is Ransom and Redemption.

Silver is the original word wherever we read "money" in the Old Testament. Literally translated, therefore, we have-

"The atonement silver" (Ex. 30:16).

"The redemption silver" (Num. 3:49).

"The trespass silver, the sin silver" (2 Kgs. 12:16).

Every male Israelite gave Moses a shekel of silver as a ransom for his life, and this silver was made into the foundation sockets of the Tabernacle. The brilliant electrum glory of the Cherubim was a combination of Christ's atonement and men's faith.

5 Also out of the midst thereof came the likeness [demut] of four living creatures [Chayos]. And this was their appearance; they had the likeness of a man [demut adam].

Four Living Ones

Why four Cherubim? It would seem primarily because the Cherubim are a dwelling place and a vehicle, both of which typically have four sides. The plan of the Camp of Israel, God's abiding place on earth, naturally formed a square; the Cherubim are an encampment, an Israelitish encampment. Four-square is a feature of many aspects of both the Tabernacle and Temple. Four denotes universal dominion: the four winds, the four corners of the earth.

Four-square is perfection and completion of the plan. The Holy City goes a step farther: the length and the breadth and the height were equal-a perfect cube. This was the shape of the Most Holy Place: perfection and completion of building.

Bro Growcott - The living Creatures and the bow

In the Common Version these four are styled "beasts." The word in the original is zoa, and signifies simply living ones. In Ezek. i. 5, they are styled chaiyoth, rendered in the E.V. "living creatures." They are symbols representative of what is to be, not of what is yet manifested. That which is to be manifested exists, but the form of manifestation does not. That which exists is the all-pervading spirit radiant from the Divine Substance; but the spirit-forms, which do not exist, are the dead saints. These must be raised, and then transformed into spirit-bodies, instinct with life and power omnipotent; a transformation which in all its elements is aggregately represented by these "four living ones full of eyes before and behind."

The Spirit of the Deity, then, is the great reservoir of power out of which they are born or developed. "That which hath been born out of spirit is spirit." These are the words of Jesus to Nicodemus. The glorified saints, glorified after resurrection, are therefore spirit multitudinously manifested, and isaggeloi, equal to angels. In his "Visions of Elohim," Ezekiel beheld this manifestation of the saints out of spirit in symbolic representation.

He tells us that he was looking in a northerly direction, and in the distance behold "a whirlwind, A GREAT CLOUD, and a fire came out of the North." This was the Spirit in tempestuous and destructive operation. But to show that it was not free spirit, but embodied spirit, he goes on to say, that out of the midst of the fire issued forth "the likeness of four living creatures." He then describes their appearance, and afterwards remarks concerning their movements, that they were identical with those of the spirit; for "they went," saith he, "every one straight forward: whither the spirit was to go, they went"; and of this going, John says, it was "into all the earth."

They went with the Seven Spirits of the Deity, for they will be the seven spirits embodied. Hence the terms applied to the seven spirits by John, are applied to the four by Ezekiel, who says they were like burning coals of fire and like lamps; and that out of the fire, that is, from them went forth lightning; and that they ran and returned as a flash of lightning.

But though Ezekiel introduces them as four living ones and four wheels in ch. i. 5,16, in referring to them in ch. x. 15, he speaks of them as one, saying, "this is hachaiyah, THE LIVING ONE." In other words, the individuals of whom this Spirit manifestation is composed are, in the aggregate, what the voice issuing from their midst proclaims without intermission day and night, namely, the thrice or superlatively holy YAHWEH, the Omnipotent Deity, who was, and who is, and who is coming (Apoc. iv. 8).

These are the ONE BODY, nearly all the atoms of which are now in death, "sleeping in the dust." But, speaking of them as they are now in reference to its future, the Spirit styles them "My DEAD BODY, and says "they shall arise," and, in view of the resurrection, exclaims, "Awake and sing, ye that dwell in the dust." When they come forth from the dust they are no longer the Spirit's Dead Body, but they become the Spirit's Living One, and can then say, "I am the First and the Last, and the Living One: and I was dead, and behold I am living for the Aions of the Aions, the Amen." Jesus is the visible Head of these. Without Him the Living One would be incomplete (Isa. xxvi. 19; Apoc. i. 18).

Eureka 4.4.0.

They are the chariot wheels of the Spirit, full of eyes, and a burning fire -- (Dan. 7:9,l0; Apoc. 14:10,11,3,4; 2 Thess. 1:7,8; Ezek. 1:18).

The Four Chariots in motion are the called, and faithful, and chosen," in company with the Kings of kings, in actual conflict with the nations of the earth - Apoc. 17:14; and are seen in chap. 19:14, as "the armies in the heaven" following the Word of God upon white horses, who smites the nations with the sword of his mouth, and rules them with a rod of iron. They are the war-chariots of the Spirit in the conflict of "the great day of God the universal Ruler." They invade the north and the south, and then make their expeditions into all other parts of the earth.

Eureka 1.1.5.e

6 And every one had four faces [arba'ah panim], and every one had four wings [arba kenafayim].

7 And their feet were straight feet [regalim were regel yesharah]; and the sole of their feet was like the sole of a calf's foot [regel egel]: and they sparkled like the colour of burnished brass [gleamed like the shining of burnished nechoshet.].

"Straight" is "jasher" [yesharah -OJB]

This Hebrew word is never applied to shape but always moral condition. It is almost always translated "right" or "upright."

Brass represents the flesh, and burnished (or refined) brass is purified flesh. These calves' feet are hooves of judgment, a symbol of the Jews, God's appointed weapon of war in the last days (Mic. 4:13)-

"Arise and thresh, daughter of Zion: I will make thy hoofs brass, and thou shalt beat in pieces many people."

Malachi uses the same symbol (4:2-3) and John's multitudinous "Man of One" has burnished brass feet (Rev. 1:15).

Bro Growcott - The living Creatures and the bow

8 And they had the hands of a man [an adam] under their wings [kenafayim] on their 4 sides; and they 4 had their faces and their wings [panim and their kenafayim].

Here is the human agency: man's place in the divine purpose - the human hands UNDER the Spirit wings.

9 Their wings [kenafayim] were joined one to another; they turned not when they went; they went every one straight forward [face forward].

The Interrelation of Four Epochs

The probable signification of this is that the work of each period is joined unto, or connected with, the others.

This is illustrated by the deliverance of Noah and his family, thereby connecting the work of righteousness in one epoch with the next, God never leaving himself without witnesses (Acts xiv. 17). The wings, therefore, of each symbol are joined.

Under the firmament their wings were straight, the one toward the other; every one had two, which covered on this side, and everyone had two, which covered on that side, their bodies. (Verse 23.) The word yeshar translated " straight" occurs some one hundred and fifty-four times in the Old Testament, howsoever pointed in the text, and nearly always in the sense of right, Tightness, upright, righteous.

The signification of the word in this case may be taken to mean that the wings are straight in this sense. Those represented by the " eyes " of the wings are in a straight, or righteous, position, i.e., in the way of righteousness.

Similarly the living creature is said to have " a straight foot." Since a calf's foot is round and cannot be straight in the ordinary sense of the word, this straightness must be understood in the sense in which the wings are straight. Under the symbol of a calf's foot the " saints " have an important function to perform, but the saints will never fulfil that function unless they walk in a straight way.

The Temple of Ezekiel's prophecy 5.6.9.

"The Kings," then, are the sanctified ones, "the called and chosen and faithful," of whom Christ Jesus is the Imperial Chief, and therefore styled, "KING of kings" (Apoc. 17:14; 19:16; 1 Tim. 6:15). They are the same, who, at the outset of their arduous, glorious, and ultimately victorious, career, sing the new song in which, addressing the Great Captain of their redemption who leads them to glory (Heb. 2:10), they say, "thou hast made us for our Deity kings and priests; and we shall reign as kings (basileusomen) upon the earth" (Ch. 5:10).

They begin their career under this sixth vial, and "turn not" from "the way," he hothos, (Ezek. 1:9,12,17) opened to them by the drying up of the Buphratean Power, until they have taken the Great City Babylon; and possessed themselves of all its thrones (Apoc. 20:4; 11:15; Dan. 7:9,18,27). The consummation of their "way" will be, that "the kingdoms of the world become our Lord's and his Christ's; and he shall reign king (basileusei) for the Aions of the Aions".

Whither the Spirit is to go they go, and they turn not when they go. These kings go their way, every one straight forward; for "their feet are straight feet," and consequently there is no deviousness in their way. "They accompany the Lamb whithersoever he goeth;" and his purpose is not crooked. His way is into the midst of the Great City, where, after the example of Cyrus, his prototype in the capture of Babylon, and the deliverance of the Jews, he hurls the Papal Belshatzar from his throne, and seizes upon his dominion for himself.

Eureka 16.1.1.

10 As for the likeness of their faces [ demut of their panim], they four had the face of a man [an adam], and the face of a lion [aryeh], on the right side: and they four had the face of an ox [shor] on the left side; they four also had the face of an eagle [nesher].

These are the heads of the four divisions of animate creation: man over all; lion, wild beasts; ox, domestic animals; eagle, birds. These, too, were the four standards of Israel's camp. Israel was God's son-

"Israel is My son" . . . "Out of Egypt I called My son."

...LION: On the right side; majesty and dominion; the Lion of the tribe of Judah; the side of honour.

OX: On the left side; labour, service, sacrifice. The left side is rejection: as a servant and a sacrifice, Jesus was rejected (Isa. 53). But (Psa. 110:2) his people shall be willing in the day of his power: the day of lion-majesty.

EAGLE: The back: not seen from the front; the last face, contrasted with the first (man), as the lion on the right side is contrasted with the ox on the left: first the natural, then the spiritual. The eagle is the symbol of the endless youth and strength and freedom of the Spirit-body-

"They shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary" (Isa. 40:31).

"Thy youth is renewed like the eagle's" (Psa. 103:5).

The eagle, too, is a symbol of God's Spirit-care for his children-

"I bare you on eagles' wings" (Ex. 19:4).

"As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young . . . so the LORD alone did lead him"

(Deut. 32:11-12).

Bro Growcott - The living Creatures and the bow

12 And they went every one straight forward: whither the spirit [Ruach] was to go, they went; and they turned not when they went.

We are told several things about their wings :- Each had four; two covered their bodies; two were spread upward and joined the wings of other Cherubim; the noise of their wings was like the noise of great waters, like the voice of the Almighty, the noise of a host; when they stood, they let down their wings.

Wings represent the spiritual aspect (as the eagle does), and they symbolize four things; overshadowing, dominion, exaltation, and swift, free movement.


"Under whose wings thou art come to trust" (Ruth 2:12).


-The word for "wing" is also translated "uttermost part," "end (of earth)." The Cherubim have four wings-universal dominion.


"They shall mount up with wings as eagles" (Isa. 40:31).

The Cherubim were joined together into one by the union of their wings above them; that is, they were spiritually united, and this was the basis of their unity.

Two wings covered their bodies, and two were spread abroad: the necessary inner and outer aspects-inward covering, spirituality, holiness, perfection; outward glory, overshadowing and dominion.

"Whither the spirit was to go, they went" (v. 12).

They were wholly and exclusively the Spirit's instruments, vehicles of divine power. They were in complete unity and harmony with God. There was nothing about them contrary to or disharmonious with God.

"They went every one straight forward: they turned not when they went" 

There was no deviation nor wavering. And they were irresistible: they could not be stopped, diverted, or delayed.

Bro Growcott - The living Creatures and the bow

The Jewish and Gentile Loaves are almost complete; and little remains, but for the High Priest after the order of Melchizedec to come, and make a Pentecostian wave-offering of them before the Father on the mountain of his holiness. When this is accomplished, a company of undefiled ones will have been developed, all of them like himself - Firstfruits, in whose mouth exists no guile, being faultless before the throne of God.

Thus qualified and thus prepared, the honour and glory are conferred upon them of being "the attendants upon the Lamb whithersoever he goes". And here it must be remembered, that the Lamb is a symbol 'having Seven Horns and Seven Eyes, which are the Seven Spirits of the Deity sent forth into all the earth" - the symbol of almighty and omniscient power, which goes in aid of the operations of the 144,000.

In judgment being given to Jesus and his Brethren, "the Saints of the Most High" (Dan. 12:22) almighty power is given to them to execute it. In ch 14:13, this power is styled "the Spirit". Whithersoever the Spirit goes in all the earth to "execute the judgments written," they are ho ako/outhountes, the attendants upon him, as soldiers attend upon the Commander-in-Chief.

The Spirit energizing the 144,000 makes them almighty. Whither the Spirit is to go in taking the kingdom and dominion and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, they go; and turn not when they go: and when they go the noise of their wings is like the noise of great waters, as the Voice of the Almighty, the voice of speech, as the noise of a host (Ezek. 1:12,20-24; Dan. 7:27).

The mission of the Spirit is not confined to Europe; but extends "to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people;" to all of whom judgment is to go forth, that they may be taught to "Fear the Deity, and to give glory to Him". No power but that of the Spirit in terrible judicial manifestation can do this.

"When the judgments of Yahweh are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness".

This is the only argument man can comprehend. The world attributes mild measures to weakness and fear; and so long as it thinks principles and precepts cannot be enforced it treats them only with contempt: for

"let favour be showed to the wicked yet will he not learn righteousness".

Hence, the necessity of the Divine arrangement which gives omnipotence to the righteous, and sends them forth to subdue all things to the will of Him who makes them invincible (Isa. 26:9,10).

Eureka 14.5.

13 As for the likeness of the living creatures [demut of the Chayos], their appearance was like burning coals of fire [eish], and like the appearance of lamps [lapidim (torches)]: it went up and down among the living creatures [Chayos]; and the fire was bright [eish was brilliant], and out of the fire [eish] went forth lightning [barak].

"Coals of fire" are to purge and cleanse and purify (Isa. 6:6,7). Fire is judgment and destruction, but "coals of fire" carry the idea of controlled, purposeful, constructive and ultimately beneficial burning. "Coals of fire," as in the natural, represent fire under control and put to a good use.

While coals of fire indicate judgment, lamps indicate guidance and illumination and instruction. These are the twin and inseparable duties of the Living Creatures in the Age to Come: they must discipline men and guide them in the Way of God.

Bro Growcott - The living Creatures and the bow

The wings of the Ezekiel Cherubim, and the Man-like Similitudes of Daniel and John, in speaking, sounded forth as the roar of mighty waters. This was when they were in progress, advancing in body and wings their brazen-footed battalions against the Fourth Beast, or the apocalyptic Beast and False Prophet, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, -- the former utterly consumed in the furnace, or "lake of fire burning with brimstone," and the kings of the earth, and their armies slain with the sword of the resurrected and Glorified Mystic Man.

Eureka 1.5.11.

Lamps of Fire 

In the midst of the living creatures was as the appearance of lamps, it went up and down among the living creatures ; and the fire was bright, and out of the fire went forth lightning. (See verse 13.)

The same feature appears in the Apocalypse in a somewhat different phase. John speaks of

"seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven spirits of God."

In John's days the testimony of the Spirit took the form of a sevenfold Apocalyptic scroll, written within and without, thus covering the period from receiving the Apocalypse up to the second appearing of Christ.

[ A scroll written within and without may be taken to mean writing in relation to those within the antitypical altar court and those outside]

Ezekiel's lamps of fire had a wider range portraying the light of the Spirit of God from the beginning, yet the two symbols are one in their interlocking scope. The Spirit of God is one, not seven. But the operations thereof may be figuratively divided into seven phases or pillars upon which wisdom builds her house (Prov. ix. 1).

" Out of the fire went forth lightning."

In the corresponding figure in the Apocalypse " lightnings accompanied with thunderings and voices " are said to proceed out of the throne (Chap. iv. 5). Thus, figuratively,the fire comes out of the throne because of that which is determined to be done in connection with the throne. Just as Jesus was the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world in the purpose of the Father long before His offering on the cross, so all things done in relation to the throne are said to come out of it, because they are the result of the Father's determination to establish it.

All the same, there is a sense in which lightning comes out of the midst of that which is represented by the symbols. Speaking of the two witnesses which stand before the Lord of the earth, we read :

If any man desireth to hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies : and if any man shall desire to hurt them, he must in this manner be killed. These have the power to shut the heaven, that it rain not during the days of their prophecy : and they have power over the waters to turn them into blood, and to smite the earth with every plague, as often as they shall desire. (Apoc. xi 5, 6, R.V.)

Now, the Father is very jealous of injury done to His children, saying :

" Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm " (i Chron. xvi. 22) and " He

that toucheth you toucheth the apple of His eye " (Zech. 11. 8).

So even now during the absence of Jesus Christ, and during the time when the saints are exhorted to address their prayers to the Father to whom belongeth vengeance, He will not leave His children unavenged, their prayers may cause lightning to proceed as it were

from " the midst of the living creatures" as it will certainly proceed from the throne (Jerusalem) when the Lord is established there.

The Temple of Ezekiel's prophecy 5.6.9.

14 And the living creatures [Chayos] ran and returned as the appearance of a flash of lightning [bazak].

The Cherubim have a warlike aspect: they are a "host" or an army. They manifest thunder and lightning. From them the avenging angel gets coals to scatter on Jerusalem for its destruction. In the Revelation they direct angelic judgments on Babylon and the nations.

The Cherubim are the conflict between good and evil: they are the victory and glorification of good. This is a ceaseless, deadly conflict, from the Garden of Eden to the Paradise of God, and in our every act, word and thought, we are on one side or the other.

The world's man-oriented religions fail to realize that God MUST be justified and vindicated, and evil MUST be punished and destroyed, before good can be enthroned and the nations blessed. Many prophets and apostles speak of the coming of Christ and the setting up of the Kingdom as a time of worldwide judgment and display of divine power and wrath-

"Behold what desolations He hath made in the earth!" (Psa. 46:8)....

...."In righteousness he doth make war, and smite the nations: he treadeth the winepress of the wrath of God" (Rev. 19:11, 15).

But the fiery, flashing, irresistible Cherubim symbol is not just war and destruction. That is but a minor, necessary, preliminary aspect of their glory. They are God manifest in the flesh: God's eternal, joyful family.

The broad picture is clear and beautiful, though many details are very difficult to fathom. This is as we would expect and desire: the basis clear, but always more depths to plumb and explore. The Cherubim represent the glorified saints, doing God's will and worshipping Him. They are Yahweh Elohim - God manifest in the flesh - partakers of the divine nature.

How do we know they represent the redeemed? It is clear in many ways: they are connected with man, their general form is human, they share Christ's throne, they are holy, they are glorious, they worship and serve God, God inhabits - or dwells in-them, their faces connect them with the camp of Israel, their principal characteristic is life, their voice is both the voice of God and the voice of a multitude.

But perhaps the clearest indication of their identity is when they sing to Christ (Rev. 5:9)-

"Thou hast redeemed us out of every nation, and hast made us kings and priests, and we shall reign upon the earth."

The Cherubim symbolize mankind in perfection: fullness of life, holiness, glory, unity, worship, service, knowledge, un-changeableness and power.

Whenever the Cherubim occur - usually in times of great change and tribulation for the people of God - they are symbols of hope and promise and future glory for faithful men. They proclaim the Everlasting Covenant (Rev. 21:3)-

"Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God."

The Cherubim occur in the Garden of Eden, the Mosaic Tabernacle, the Psalms, Solomon's Temple, Isaiah, Ezekiel's visions and Temple, and in Revelation.

They always appear in the nearest relationship to God: in the Garden of Eden, excluding natural man; in the Most Holy, where men could not enter; in Isaiah and Ezekiel they execute the judgments of God. God rides on them and dwells in them. In Revelation 4, they are about the throne and also in the MIDST of the throne.

Christ is the Mercy Seat: the solid gold cover-lid of the Ark of the Covenant. The Cherubim, standing upon the foundations of the Mercy Seat, are solid gold also, and of one piece with him.

They are IN the Most Holy; they have access thereto by sacrifice and prayer and unity with Christ, and in their future solid gold state they will be there with him forever.

Bro Growcott - The living Creatures and the bow

15 Now as I beheld the living creatures [Chayos], behold [hinei] one wheel upon the earth by the living creatures [Ofan ba'aretz etzel the Chayos], with his four faces [panim].

In this context, what is the wheel symbol? - the "rolling, whirling thing"- as the word means, "so great they were dreadful" (v. 18)? This is perhaps the strangest and most difficult part of the picture. The wheel, the circle, is a symbol of perfection, endlessness, eternity, and it is also the CHARIOT aspect - the "Chariot of the Cherubim" (1 Chr. 28:18), God's chariot of royalty, God's chariot of war - that in which and with which He crushes and threshes His enemies.

Daniel 7:9 records of the Ancient of Days (and here again we are in the same time and events as the Cherubim portray)-

"His throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire."

A forward movement in the accomplishment of purpose: especially judicial and administrative purpose. In the same context in Daniel we have the thrones cast down and the four Beasts-the nations of the earth-judged.

There are two words in Hebrew for wheel: "ophan," meaning "circle"; and "galgal," meaning "roll." (The word for "roll of a book" is from the same root as this latter). Both words are used by Ezekiel for "wheel," and apparently interchangeably, though there must be a significance in the difference of use. Both are used in Eze. 10:13-

"As for the wheels (ophan-circles), it was cried unto them in my hearing, O wheel! (galgal- Roll on!)."

Wheels indicate going forward, progression, unfolding, movement, mobility. The laver of the Tabernacle was singular and stationary; but the lavers of the Temple were ten-fold, and had wheels. The former was for the cleansing of Israel alone, the latter symbolized the going forth of the Gospel of purification to all the world in the Age to Come.

To "bring the wheel over" someone is to crush and subdue them, as the millennial promise in Proverbs 20:26-

"A wise king scattereth the wicked, and bringeth the wheel over them."

This is the wheel of threshing, as in Isaiah 28:27-28 (where again we find both words for wheel used.)

But "wheel" in this vision symbolize much more than rolling and motion. The Cherubim fly, the wheels are lifted up with them, and they whirl even when the Cherubim are standing still. The Spirit of life is in the wheels, and the wheels are full of eyes.

There is something that adds great power and fittingness to the wheel symbol of the Spirit, that has only become known in our own day. Man, in his little scratchings on the surface of the limitless depths of the glories of creation, has discovered that all creation is made up of wheels; that all the infinite varieties of Creation-from the rose to the hippopotamus, from the ant to the glorious sun-are simply varieties of the arrangement of wheels within wheels: atoms, neutrons, protons, electrons, etc.-an inconceivable variety of arrangement of a few simple basic things.

And these in turn break down to one basic thing-electricity. And the life and power of all these "wheels within wheels" is the Spirit of God. Each infinitesimal atom is a tremendous concentration of pure divine power, so that a handful of dust could easily send a rocket to the moon. Every atom is a miniature universe, whirling at astronomical speeds.

Bro Growcott - The living Creatures and the bow

16 The appearance of the wheels [Ofanim] and their work [making] was like unto the colour of a beryl [tarshish]: and they four had one likeness [demut]: and their appearance and their work [making] was as it were a wheel [Ofan] in the middle of [within] a wheel [Ofan].


In one important particular' the visions of Ezekiel differ from those of John, viz., the appearance of wheels. The wheel symbol, like that of the wing symbol, does not indicate that the living creatures move by the rotation of wheels. Thus we read :

When they went, they went upon their four sides: they turned not when they went. (Ezekiel 1: 11)

Also from the tenth chapter it will be seen that the cherubim is represented as standing over the threshold of the house when the command was given to the man clothed in linen to "go in between the whirling wheels " (vv. 2-6, R.V.).

Ezekiel states, " the Spirit of Life was in the wheels" Chap. I. 20. (See margin, A.V.)

Now, the gift of eternal life is to be bestowed upon the children of God after the resurrection, thus we read :

And this is the will of Him that sent me, that everyone which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life ; and I will raise him up at the last day. (John vi. 40.)

For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them ; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will. (ibid. v. 21.)

Because wings do not convey the idea of eternal life, some other figure was selected to depict this all important feature. A wheel which is circular in form is pre-eminently suitable, because a circle is an unending line, thus fittingly representing eternity. Further, we read :

They four had one likeness : and their appearance and their work was as it were a wheel in the midst of a wheel. (Chap. 1. verse 16.)

" A wheel in the midst of a wheel " seems an appropriate figure not only of eternal life, but of the source thereof, even of Him who only hath immortality underived (1 Tim. vi. 16) and of those who have received immortality from Him. The wheel within the wheel thus symbolises immortality—eternal life derived from " the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God" to whom be

"honour and glory for ever and ever " (1 Tim. 1. 17 ; John v. 26).

The Temple of Ezekiel's prophecy 5.6.10.

18 As for their rings [ rims], they were so high that they were dreadful; and their rings were full of eyes round about [rims were mele'ot einayim saviv ] them four [the four of them].

They are "full of eyes before and behind;" or, as Ezekiel says, "their whole basar, flesh, even their backs, and their hand, and their wings, and the wheels, were full of eyes round about." An eye is the symbol of intelligence; and when a multitude of eyes are aggregated together, each eye indicates a particular or individual intelligence.

Ezekiel informs us that the eyes were in flesh which was full of them. Each eye, then, was a flesh-intelligence; and, as the four had each a human face and hand, and were endowed with the faculty of speech, the intelligence was that of a man. Hence, each eye is representative of a man; and as the four sing, "Thou hast redeemed us," each eye is symbolical of a saint. The eyes are "a great multitude which no man can number;" yet they are symbolized by four, by 144,000, by a city lying four-square, and 144 cubits -- that is, these numbers are symbolical of the saints; first, in relation to their encampment; second to their nationality; third, to their municipality; and fourth to their corporation limit.

Eureka 4.4.0

19 And when the living creatures [ Chayos] went, the wheels went by them [Ofanim went beside them]: and when the living creatures [Chayos] were lifted up from the earth [ha'aretz], the wheels [Ofanim] were lifted up.

These four living ones and the four wheels are "THE CHARIOT OF THE CHERUBIM." They are the chariot in which the Deity rides forth to battle against the enemies of the house of David, and upon which he sits enthroned over Israel. This appears from 2 Sam. xxii. 11, and Psa. lxxx. 1. In the former place, Yahweh is said to ride upon a cherub; and in the latter, to inhabit the cherubim.

The etymology of the word is regarded as obscure. In view of this, I would suggest that we may take the root charav, as having been the same with kharav, to waste, to destroy, from which comes, kherev, a sword.

This derivation is suggested by the text where kheruvim, or cherubim, first occurs in the scriptures; as, "Yahweh Elohim placed at the east of the garden of Eden the cherubim and the flaming sword which turned itself to guard the way of the tree of the lives." By rendering wav, by even, instead of "and," it would make the flaming sword expletive of the cherubim; as, "the cherubim, even the flaming sword" -- the flame containing the cherubic power, as Ezekiel's "whirlwind, great clouds, and fire," did the four living ones he saw.

Eureka 4.4.0.

20 Whithersoever the spirit [Ruach] was to go, they went, thither was their spirit [Ruach] to go; and the wheels [Ofanim] were lifted up over against them: for the spirit [Ruach] of the living creature [HaChayah] was in the wheels [Ofanim].

Unity of the Spirit

Jesus now walks with the Spirit; for "whithersoever the Spirit goeth" he, as the pre-eminent of the Cherubim, also goes (Ezek. i. 12,20). Hence, as this obtains with respect to him, it will also with them; for it is written, that the redeemed from among men "follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth," which is equivalent to walking with the Spirit -- in material and personal union with him.

But they shall walk with him "in white robes." Those who walk with the Spirit must be "worthy." The "few" in Sardis are declared to be such -- "they are worthy," saith the Spirit. Their robes must be of moral and material whiteness. Their character being pure and unstained, their nature must be made to correspond. In the present state, the saints are invested with holy garments, termed "their garments" in the writings before us.

Having "put on Christ" by faith in the kingdom and name, and by immersion, he is for them a robe of righteousness; and by walking in him according to the truth received and obeyed, and so yielding the fruit of the Spirit, they "keep themselves unspotted from the world," which is as a garment of "fine linen, clean and white," which symbolizes the righteous actions of the saints (Apoc. xix. 8).

These premises constitute the basis of their exaltation to holy spirit nature. This is "white," or pure. It is the incorruptible and deathless body, undefiled by the affections and lusts of our present nature, "in which dwells no good thing." Hence, then, he that walks with the Spirit in white robes is a righteous, incorruptible, and deathless man.

Eureka 3.1.1.

Whithersoever the [Ruach] was to go, they went

The labours of the Saints are world-wide. Mankind has no conception of them. They are labours whereby "every island shall flee away, and the mountains shall not be found" (Apoc. 16:20). These are the islands and mountains of the political earth - the kingdoms and empires of the world. All these are to become the kingdoms of the Eternal Spirit, and of his Anointed Body consisting of Jesus and his Brethren (ch. 11:15).

Let the reader figure out for himself the work to be performed in rendering them powerless, and bringing them into absolute Subjection to "the King of the Jews," and he will be enabled to form a faint idea of "the works and labours of the Saints," to be performed before they take rest in the kingdom of the Deity.

These islands and mountains, of which Great Britain, Russia, France, and such like, are examples, are maintained in political existence by vast naval and military power and resources; and the Continental Powers are so constituted, that they can conscript "the last man" for conflict in "the last ditch," before they will yield to temporal and spiritual annihilation.

But the decree has gone forth...They must succumb, and "wait for his law". Their fleets must be surrendered, and their armies routed, slaughtered, and dispersed. Their hearts will be hardened like the heart of Pharaoh.

"Yahweh hath made all things for Himself; yea, even the wicked for the Day of Evil" (Prov. 16:4).

Hence, He hath made the Powers that be for the day of evil, as "vessels of wrath fitted to destruction", in which He will make His power known (Rom. 9:22). Their hardened hearts will cause them to stand and resist, till they are broken to shivers as the vessels of a potter (Apoc. 2:27).

It is Jesus and his brethren who have the glory of giving them this terrific overthrow, in the execution of their judicial labours upon Babylon, and the world-wide worshippers of the Beast and his Image. To reduce these islands and mountains to a submarine level - to overflow them with an unruffled and glassy sea; to make them as "a plain before Zerubbabel, " and to develop "a great mountain thereon that shall fill the whole earth" (Dan. 2:35), these .are the labours of the Saints, which will leave their mark upon the world for a thousand years; nor will they ever be forgotten, as long as the sun and moon shall shine upon the earth.

But their prowess is not exclusively of themselves. "The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do; for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise;" "The Father that dwelleth in me, He doeth the works" (John 5:19; 14:10). Upon this principle "their works" are performed likewise. The Saints can do nothing of themselves; for it is "not by might nor by power," originating from men; "but by My Spirit, saith Yahweh Tz'vaoth". The prowess of the saints is all attributable to the Spirit, which they will have become in being "justified by Spirit" after their appearance at "the tribunal of Christ" - "that which hath been born of spirit is Spirit" (John 3:6).

The antithesis in Zech. 6:6, is between flesh and spirit. The "great mountain," which before Zerubbabel is to "become a plain," is the power of the old Adam, organized and concentrated in the powers represented in Nebuchadnezzar's Image. This is to be broken to pieces, and scattered as chaff, "not by the might and power" of mortal men, however effectively armed and disciplined; but by the Spirit incorporate in the Saints; and energizing the armies of Israel under their command; so that five Israelites, as so many Samsons, may chase a hundred, and a hundred put ten thousand to flight (Lev. 26:8).

...The Spirit goeth with them in aid of their works. Without the Spirit they could do nothing; but aided by the Spirit, there is nothing too difficult for them to accomplish. The Spirit is their akolouthos or "attendant", in whatever capacity the circumstances of the situation may require them to act. "He goeth with them," akolouthei met' auton, so that, as Ezekiel saw in his visions of the Elohim, "whither-soever the Spirit was to go, they went" without being turned aside from the execution of their purpose (ch. 1:12,20).

Eureka 14.10.

22 And the likeness of the firmament upon the heads of the living creature was as the colour of the terrible crystal [Ice - RV], stretched forth over their heads above.

Undoubtedly the likeness of a throne v26 with the appearance of a man upon it above refers to the throne which is to be established in Jerusalem, but the occupants of that throne do not sit upon it until the glorified constituents thereof enter into the Temple as related in chapter forty-three.

For the time being they are under the firmament, so to speak, in relation to the heavenly or eternal state into which they enter when elevated to rulership on the throne.

The firmament is said to be like the " terrible crystal," or ice (verse 22, R.V. margin), a clear white substance indicative of righteousness, white being especially the characteristic symbol of the righteousness of the saints (Apoc. VII. 14 ; xix. 8] the head and fountain of which is

Christ Jesus, who

" of God is made unto us wisdom and righteousnesss " (1 Cor. 1. 30 ; Phil. ill. 8, 9]

and through whom the saints are able to work out their own righteousness.

To use a figure, the saints will be " clothed with their own righteousness " when they are accepted at the judgment seat of Christ, just before their marriage with the Lamb (Apoc. xix. 7-9).

The wings full of eyes, viz., the saints in preparation or the throne, are prospectively related to " the firmament " under the throne, stretching up to it as depicted by the wings " stretching up to " the firmament and throne to which the wings will extend when the work

The of sealing the saints of God is finished.

Meanwhile their eyes are lifted up to this firmament.

The Temple of Ezekiel's prophecy 5.6.9.

24 And when they went, I heard the noise of their wings [ kol of their kenafayim], like the noise of great waters [ kol of mayim rabbim], as the voice of the Almighty [Kol Shaddai], the voice of speech [tumult], as the noise of an host [machaneh]: when they stood [still], they let down their wings [kenafayim].

This was equivalent to saying that their wings represented "great waters," which represented "Mighty Ones," who gave utterance to their will and purpose, and that there was a multitude of them. These were the waters John heard responsive to the voice issuing from the throne, saying, "Praise our Deity, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, small and great." "I heard," says he, "the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, hallelu Yah, praise ye YAH; for YAHWEH Elohim the Omnipotent reigns.

Let us be glad and rejoice, and give the glory to him; for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready" (xix. 6). This glorious multitude will be the embodiment of the power that is "to execute vengeance upon the nations and punishments upon the peoples; to bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron; to execute upon them the judgment written:" that is to perform all those things I have sketched under the caption of "The Apocalypse Rooted in the Prophets" (Vol. I, Chap. I, sec. i, 4); to set up the kingdom and to establish glory to the Deity in the highest heaven, over the earth peace and goodwill among men.

...they are symbols of a wasting and destroying power. When their wings are expanded they are in lightning operation; when let down, they are standing, and either preparing for action or "resting from their labours."

Eureka 4.4.0.

let down their wings.

No sound of war

26 And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone: and upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the appearance of a man above upon it.

"Incorruptible and living substance, then, is the Body of the Deity; and as the glorified Jesus is the 'Image of the Invisible Theos,' He must have 'parts' ...

He has form and parts, as well as body, and is the great Archetype, or divine Original, after which all the Elohim, or immortal intelligences, of His universe are modelled and made ...

"Now these suggestions are sustained by 'the likeness of the glory of Yahweh' which appeared to Ezekiel. 'Above the firmament,' says this prophet, 'that was over the heads of the four living ones, was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone; and upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the appearance of a man above upon it ...

This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of Yahweh'-ch. 1:26-8."

Eureka, vol. I, p. 95-6:

28 As the appearance of the bow [keshet (rainbow)] that is in the cloud in the day of rain [anan in yom hageshem], so was the appearance of the brightness [ radiance] round about. This was the appearance of the likeness [demut] of the glory [Kavod] of Yahweh. And when I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of one that spake.

The Rainbow is the Everlasting Covenant of God to man. There are two essentials for a rainbow: water and the sun. Water is life. The cycle of water is the cycle of life for the earth: drawn up by the sun, formed into clouds, poured down on the earth in rain, running into rivers, then down to the sea, and then up again into the clouds to begin its joyful and beneficent cycle over and over again.

Water-joyful, flowing, cascading, glistening, living water - is the dominant aspect of Ezekiel's Millennial Temple. Water is everywhere around. Water flows in abundant profusion from its central and holiest point, the up-raised Altar on the top of the mount. It cascades down the slopes and pours forth out of every entrance. Without water, the beauty of the Temple would be but the beauty of a tomb: bare dead stone, and bare dead sand.

The Rainbow reveals the whole range of colours that make up light. The Covenant Rainbow is spoken of as emerald green in the Revelation (4:3). Green is the central colour of the natural rainbow. The word for "green" in Hebrew means moist, fruitful, flourishing, LIFE.

With it, the whole Temple swarms with life and greenness. The vast and beautiful masonry of the Temple structure is but the underlying form and foundation of a great flourishing canopy of lush and verdant flowering greenery that transforms it into one huge and glorious arbor of most delightful shade and atmosphere and perfume.

Here, indeed is the HOLY CITY- not a "city" as the horrible, crime-laden, corruption-filled, rat-infested ant hills of man's creation have given us a picture, but a true, beautiful divine polity -

"The wood of life in the midst of the paradise of the Deity" (Rev. 2:7).

Bro Growcott - The Living Creatures and the Bow

The cherubim "Rest not day and night" (Rev 4:8).

They are described in this their first mention by Ezekiel as "LIVING Creatures." Their fundamental characteristic is LIFE (just as natural man's fundamental characteristic is death).

And life not just as passive existence, but intense, endless, tireless activity and motion-never stopping, never resting. To our weak, mortal constitutions, even contemplation of this is tiring. This helps us to realize in a faint way the glories and joys of immortality. We are so used to mortality that we tend to project its frailties and limitations into the eternal future.

Bro Growcott - The Living Creatures and the Bow