One Rank of Angels in the Celestial Hierarchy
Cherubim are one of the ranks of the different ranks of the company of angel spoken of in Hebrews 12:22 which have an indefinite number. It is important to know the classification of angels to better understand the organization of GOD.
There are thought to be nine celestial orders of Angels: Colossians 1:16
7. Virtues (Falsely Suggested)
9. Guardian Angels (Suggested by the Catholic Church)
There is however, no concrete Biblical proof of the exact ranking order or importance of the different angel groups. The same could be said of the members of the body...
“18 But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.19 And if they were all one member, where were the body? 20 But now are they many members, yet but one body.21 And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.” (1 Corinthians 12:18-21).Only the Lord GOD can say what the orders of importance the angels take.
Cherubim - Guardians attached to the throne of God as a protective barrier to guard His holiness, and to the Garden of Eden to guard the Tree of Life.
Cherubim are described as living creatures. Every one has four faces, and every one has four wings. Their feet are straight feet; and the sole of their feet are like the sole of a calf's foot: and they sparkled like the color of burnished brass. Cherubim’s have the hands of a man under their wings on their four sides. Their wings are joined one to another; they do not turn when they go, they all go straight forward, and do not turn when they go. They have the face of a man, and the face of a lion, on the right side, and the face of an ox and an eagle on the left side. (Ezekiel1:5-12).
The sound of the cherubim’s wings can be heard. Their whole body, and their backs, and their hands, and their wings, are full of eyes round about. (Ezekiel 10:1-22).
The four roles for the Cherubim:
1. The Guardians of Paradise:
The cherubim are stationed at the east of the garden of Eden, and the flaming sword which turned every direction, to guard the way to the Tree of Life. (Genesis 3:24).
2. Protective Bearer of the Throne of GOD:
The ark of the testimony has two cherubim of gold, of beaten work on them, on the two ends of the mercy seat. One cherub is on the one end, and the other cherub is on the other end. The cherubim shall stretch forth their wings on high, covering the mercy seat with their wings. Their faces shall look one to another, toward the mercy seat.
The LORD GOD met and communed with Moses from above the mercy seat, between the two cherubim which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which the LORD GOD gave to Moses to commandment to the children of Israel. (Exodus 25:18-22; Number 7:89; 1 Samuel 4:4; 2 Samuel 6:2; 1 Kings 8:4-8; 2 King 19:15; 1 Chronicles 13:6; Psalm 80:1; Psalm 99:1; Isaiah 37:16).
3. Decorative Elements:
Gifted artisans that did work on the tabernacle made ten curtains and a veil of fine twined linen, and blue, and purple, and scarlet; with cherubim of artistic designs. (Exodus 26:1, 31; 36:8, 35). The craft men working on the tabernacle made a mercy seat and placed two cherubim of gold, beaten out of one piece and placed them on the two ends of the mercy seat. The cherubim spread out their wings on high, and covered with their wings over the mercy seat, with their faces one to another. (Exodus 37:7-9).
Inside the Temple that King Solomon built for the LORD GOD, within the oracle (S#01687 the shrine or innermost part of the sanctuary), he made two cherubim of olive tree (Typology: A spiritual character that is anointed with spiritual enlightenment, prominence, beauty and richness to honor God and man), each ten cubits high. Five cubits was the one wing of the cherub, and five cubit’s the other wing of the cherub, from the uttermost part of the one wing to the uttermost part of the other were ten cubits. Solomon set the cherubim within the innerhouse, and they stretched forth the wings of the cherubim, so that the wings of one touched the one wall, and the wing of the other cherub touched the other wall, and their wings touched one another in the midst of the house. There was also carved cherubim and palm trees and open flowers, covered with gold fitted upon the carved work of the folding doors. (1 Kings 6:23-35).
In the most holy place were the two cherubim of image work (fashioned by carving), and overlaid with gold. The wings of the cherubim spread forth twenty cubits, and they stood on their feet, and their faces were inward. (2 Chronicles 3:10-13). The furnishings of the temple that king Solomon built were a molten sea of ten cubits on the border that were between the ledges were lions, oxen, and cherubim, and upon the ledges there was a base above, and beneath the lions and oxen were wreaths of plaited work made of thin work. On the plates of the ledges and on the borders were graved cherubim, lions and palm trees, where ever there was a clear space. (1 Kings 7:29, 36).
The ark was brought into the temple that king Solomon built for the LORD GOD. The priest brought in the ark of the covenant of the LORD into His place, into the oracle of the house, to the most holy place, under the wings of the cherubim. For the cherubim spread forth their two wings over the place of the ark, and the cherubim covered the ark and the staves. (1 Kings 8: 6-7; 2 Chronicles 5:7-8).
4. Means of YAHWEH'S Mobility:
David sang praised to the LORD GOD for delivering him out of the hands of all his enemies, and out of the hand of Saul. The day of David’s distress he called upon the LORD GOD, and He did hear. The earth shook and trembled, the foundations of heaven moved and shook, because of the wrath of the LORD. He bowed the heavens and came down; and darkness was under His feet. The LORD GOD rode upon a cherub, and did fly; and He was seen upon the wings of the wind. (2 Samuel 22:1-11; Psalm 18:10).
Ezekiel‘s vision of GOD’S glory describe cherubim’s appearance. The throne of the LORD GOD is also described as the appearance of a sapphire stone; and upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the appearance of a man high above it. This is the likeness of the glory of the LORD. The cherubim became the power by which the LORD GOD’S chariots or throne was able to fly. (Ezekiel 1:14-28).
The glory of the LORD GOD of Israel was gone up from the cherub. (Ezekiel 9:3). Ezekiel witnessed the departure of the LORD’S glory from the temple. The glory went up from the cherub, and stood over the threshold of the temple. The glory of the LORD departed from off the threshold of the temple, and stood over the cherubim . The cherubim lifted up their wings, and mounted up from the earth in the sight of Ezekiel. (Ezekiel 10:2-19).
We are warned NOT TO WORSHIP ANGELS! Let no man defraud your reward by delighting in false humility and worshiping of angels, intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind. (Colossians 2:18).
John saw the prophecy of the book of revelations and after which he saw and heard all that he was permitted he fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which had showed him all those things. The angel told him NOT to bow down he was a fellow servant, and a brother of the prophets, he should worship the LORD GOD. (Revelation 22:8-9).
We are warned not to get caught worshiping or serving the sun, moon, stars, or the host of heavens (angels), which the LORD GOD has not commanded. This is an abomination. (Deuteronomy 17:3-5; Deuteronomy 4:19).
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About the Authors
Joanne B. Holstein is a Becker Bible Studies teacher and author of Guided Bible Studies for Hungry Christians. She has received her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology/Christian Counseling with honors from Liberty University. She is well-known as a counsleor to Christian faithful who are struggling with tremendous burden in these difficult times. She is a leading authority on the history of development of the Christian churches and the practices and beliefs of world religions and cults.