“And you shall make two cherubim of gold… And the cherubim shall stretch out their wings above, covering the mercy seat with their wings… And there I will meet with you, and I will speak with you from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim.” (Exo. 25:18, 20, 22)
Who are cherubim on the ark and what do they represent? In Ezekiel 28, God speaks of Adam as the anointed cherub: “You were the anointed cherub who covers; I established you; You were on the holy mountain of God… And you sinned; Therefore I cast you as a profane thing Out of the mountain of God; And I destroyed you, O covering cherub,” (Eze. 28:14,16).
Before the fall, the cherub was anointed and dwelt in the midst of the throne. This cherub is the man of Genesis 1:26 who was made in the image and likeness of God. The one first on the scene was a spirit man who was commissioned to be fruitful and multiply but who needed a physical body to carry out this commission on the earth. So the Lord lowered him to a lower realm into a physical body to be a living soul.
In his initial state of perfection and union with God, Adam was the anointed cherub who covered and who dwelt in holy mountain of God. The word of the Lord through Ezekiel declares:
“You had the full measure of perfection and the finishing touch [of completeness], Full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God…You were the anointed cherub…you walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones” (Eze. 28:12,13,14).
Ezekiel here speaks of one who had the full measure of perfection. This is the state and condition of the last Adam who is a quickening spirit. Notice the Lord refers to the cherub as the: “anointed cherub” (Eze. 28:14). Christ or (Greek – ‘christos’) means ‘anointed’. The anointed cherub is then an enchristed cherub – one who is in the image and likeness of Christ. Thus he was called one who was full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.
The Lord also refers to him as a cherub “who covered” much like the cherubim on the ark, for we read that “the cherubim shall stretch out their wings above, covering the mercy seat with their wings” (Exo. 25:20).
The realm where the cherubim are situated is of significance. The cherubim were on the ark which was located in the most holy place. The ark of the Testament signifies the throne of Yahweh. The arrangement of the ark conveys the scene around the throne in the heavenly realm. There is a similar depiction in John’s vision of the throne. In Revelation 4:2, John is lifted in the Spirit to behold a throne set in heaven: “and in the midst of the throne, and around the throne, were four living creatures… each one of them having six wings” (Rev. 4:6).
These creatures, likened to a lion, an ox, a man and an eagle, are not literal animals but signs of a deep truth about the nature of kingship in those who dwell in the midst of the throne. The Greek word used for “creatures” or “beasts” (King James) is ‘zoon’ which means ‘a living thing’. The root word is ‘zao’ or ‘to live’. From the same root word comes the word ‘zoe’ which means divine life or the God kind of life. In contrast, another word for ‘beast’ used in the book of revelation is ‘therion’ which means ‘a dangerous animal’ figuratively representative of the world system of man and the carnal system of religion.
In a similarly vision, Ezekiel sees these four living creatures, which he identifies as being cherubim (Eze. 10:14-15). “Then the [Shekinah] glory of the Lord departed from the threshold of the temple and rested over the cherubim… and the glory and brilliance of the God of Israel hovered over them. These are the living beings that I saw beneath the God of Israel by the River Chebar; and I KNEW THAT THEY WERE CHERUBIM. Each one had four faces and each one had four wings, and beneath their wings was the form of human hands” (Eze 10:18, 20-21).
You will notice many resemblances between the four living creatures of Ezekiels’s vision and John’s. One key similarity is their wings. The wings of the cherubim are a noticeable feature of the ark because with their outstretched wings they covered the mercy seat. Similarly, both the four living creatures in Ezekiel’s and John’s vision had wings. What do these wings represent?
We get light on what these wings signify in Ezekiel’s vision:
“And the sound of the wings of the cherubim was heard even in the outer court, LIKE THE VOICE of ALMIGHTY GOD WHEN HE SPEAKS…And the cherubim lifted up their wings, and mounted up from the earth in my sight” (Eze. 10:5,19).
The wings of the cherubim outstretched over the mercy seat are likened to the voice of God. For Ezekiel describes the sound of the wings of the cherubim as being like “the voice of Almighty God”. The wings signify the living word of God; the voice of God quickened by the Spirit.
Notice, it was from the ark, above the mercy seat and between the two cherubim’s outstretched wings that the Lord told Moses that He would meet and speak with him. Accordingly, throughout the Old Testament, the dwelling place of God is identified as being between the cherubim (Isa. 37:16; Psal. 99:1). Just as the voice of God proceeded from above the mercy seat between the cherubim, similarly John tells us that “from the throne proceeded lightings, thunderings and voices” (Rev. 4:5).
The voice of God is today emanating from His throne where His dominion is being established within us. Those apprehended to sonship are positioned in higher realm to hear this voice, for our heavenly Father is no longer speaking to us through prophets or mediators but the very voice of Christ within is being sounded in the midst of His throne. This is the word that proceeds from the mouth of God. It is a quickening word that springs from the inner life of the Christ within. It is this living word that transforms us and elevates us to higher reality and dimension of the kingdom.
Notice what happens in Ezekiel’s vision as the wings of the cherubim (voice of God) is set in motion: “As I looked at them, the cherubim lifted up their wings and rose up from the earth” (Eze. 10:19). The voice of God quickened within us is what causes us to rise above the earth realm, from earthly thinking, carnal understanding and worldly existence.
It is when God speaks from His throne that we are caught up to the same realm from which the voice comes. In Revelation 4:1-2, John beholds a door opened in the heaven and hears a voice that summons him to “come up here”. Immediately John was in the Spirit and saw a throne set in heaven.
This throne is not of some future age nor is it a physical throne located in a heaven somewhere. It is a throne in the spirit. The kingdom of God is not governed from a physical throne like the monarchs of the earth. The throne is here and now and it is being established in those experiencing the Lordship of Jesus Christ. For God to establish His kingdom and rule, His throne (authority, dominion) has to be established in man. This throne is the power and dominion of spirit of Christ within.
His throne is now being established on the earth in a corporate company of sons. And from this very throne His voice is sounding among the cherubim to every corner of the earth to usher in the dominion of the King. Many who read these lines have heard this sound and it has caused an awakening from the deep sleep of their Adam consciousness to lay hold of the hope of sonship.
Like John, those elevated in the spirit to dwell in the midst of throne are represented by the cherubim positioned above the ark. Man perfected and expressing the kingship of Christ is the image conveyed by the living creatures in the midst of the throne. No wonder then that the cherubim of pure gold, above the ark, and where God dwells and speaks from is a glorious picture of perfected sons who have come to the image and likeness of Christ and who dwell in the midst of the throne. It is indeed glorious!
May the voice of God quicken us to press into a higher realm of His kingdom and to a greater reality of His nature in our life. May the Lord continue to establish His elect in the midst of the throne so that we may minister to creation as kingly priests of our beloved Father.