Ezekiel Chapter 10 The Throne and Cherubim

Jun 25th, 2009 | By | Category: Ezekiel, Verse by Verse --Studies led by Br. Frank Shallieu (Click on Book name)

Ezekiel Chapter 10 The Throne and Cherubim

Ezek. 10:1 Then I looked, and, behold, in the firmament that was above the head of the cherubims there appeared over them as it were a sapphire stone, as the appearance of the likeness of a throne.

The prophet’s vision continues; it began in Ezekiel 8:3 when he was transported by a lock of his hair to the Temple in Jerusalem. Hence the vision was long. Chapter 10 is similar to Chapter 1.

Ezekiel had this vision experience while at his house in captivity in Babylon. The ancients of Israel sat before him. In other words, he was carried away in vision only, for he remained where he was physically.

Later, after Ezekiel came out of the trance, he recorded the details of the vision. God similarly favored Moses with a vision and gave him tremendous information—all the parts of the Law, including the Tabernacle construction. In both cases, God helped their memories so that they would have perfect recall.

On the firmament above the cherubim heads was God’s sapphire stone throne (blue being a symbol of faithfulness and an indication that behind God’s judgments are a blessing). The firmament was like a platform, and on the platform was the throne. Stated another way, the “firmament” was like frozen sky or atmosphere, and on top of the firmament was the sapphire throne. In Exodus 24:10, pertaining to the vision God gave to Moses, the “firmament” is called “a paved work.” Moses and a select few went up into Mount Sinai and there saw a symbolic representation of God.

Ezek. 10:2 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.

God spoke to the man clothed in linen: “Go in between the wheels, even under the cherub [Justice], and fill thine hand with coals of fire from between the cherubims, and scatter them over the city.” Ezekiel, in vision, was on the ground, looking up at the huge wheels that touched the earth. The “coals of fire” (plural) were related to judgment. The man with the inkhorn, described now as being clothed in linen, had stood beside the Brazen Altar earlier (Ezek. 9:2). He had put a mark on all those in the city who did not cry and sigh regarding the abominations. Now he was instructed to go under the throne between the wheels. There was fire both under the throne and above it—even a bright glow in the appearance of God on the throne. As narrated in Ezekiel 1:4,5, the prophet had seen a whirlwind come out of the north. In the midst of the whirlwind was a self-feeding fire. Hence the fire was extensive.

Why was the man clothed in linen told to go in between the wheels? What is the significance? Wheels are a symbol of progress, ages, and time sequence, and the huge wheels represent large epochs and dispensations. Therefore, God was instructing Ezekiel to go in between the ages. The Harvest, which is a little loop of time between the ages or, stated another way, in the overlapping of the Millennial and Gospel ages. (Ages can overlap but not the Creative Days or the worlds.) As the Gospel Age is phasing out, the Millennial Age is slowly being ushered in.

The coals of fire that were to be scattered over the city (Babylon, Christendom) picture a worldwide message. The Ezekiel class, the feet members, are to give a strong, burning, purgative message with a judgment feature. Knowing that the coals of fire placed on Isaiah’s lips signify a message helps to unlock the meaning of the coals here in Ezekiel (Isa. 6:6–9).

Ezek. 10:3 Now the cherubims stood on the right side of the house, when the man went in; and the cloud filled the inner court.

Ezek. 10:4 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.

God’s glory departed from the cherubim and went over the threshold of the Temple of Solomon. In other words, the throne of God moved over the threshold, and the Temple was filled with smoke. (Of course Ezekiel saw only the legs in the representation of God, but the narration gives some idea of the size of the vision from the prophet’s standpoint.) Ezekiel Chapters 43 and 44 provide background information; in fact, Ezekiel 43:1–5 furnishes the key to understanding Chapter 10. Chapters 1, 10, and 43 are connected. The Lord came in by way of the east gate. “The glory of the LORD came into the house [Temple] by the way of the gate whose prospect is toward the east…. and, behold, the glory of the LORD filled the house” (Ezek. 43:4,5). Ezekiel went in vision into the Inner Court to see the resplendent glory where God had entered. Ezekiel 44:1,2 states that God Himself shut the Temple east gate, which represents the closing of the door forever to the high calling. God will enter into and accept His Church and formalize the acceptance. The world will be unaware of this momentous event until later.

The happenings in Ezekiel pertaining to the shutting of the east gate are related to the shutting of the door in the Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins. In the parable the foolish virgins knock to get in, but the door has already been shut. After the door is shut and the high calling ceases, the cherubim depart from the Temple (Ezek. 10:18,19). The east gate portrays the way of sacrifice, the way of entering in. In the final picture it is the way of the kings of the east (Rev. 16:12).

This change of position by the Lord represents that the Church is complete and glorified, and God’s acceptance is shown when the cloud fills the Temple. Likewise, upon completion of the Tabernacle and Solomon’s Temple, a cloud filled the structure to show God’s acceptance.

Ezek. 10:5 And the sound of the cherubims’ wings was heard even to the outer court, as the voice of the Almighty God when he speaketh.

Like a loudspeaker, the wings magnified God’s voice to the Outer Court (the world), saying “Peace, be still.” The Lord’s voice came through the wings, through the loudspeaker. In other words, God spoke with authority.

As soon as the Lord stood over the Temple, it was filled with smoke, and a tremendous luminescence shone out and filled the Inner Court. Next God spoke powerfully so that His voice was heard in the Outer Court.

Ezek. 10:6 And it came to pass, that when he had commanded the man clothed with linen, saying, Take fire from between the wheels, from between the cherubims; then he went in, and stood beside the wheels.

Ezek. 10:7 And one cherub stretched forth his hand from between the cherubims unto the fire that was between the cherubims, and took thereof, and put it into the hands of him that was clothed with linen: who took it, and went out.

Although the man clothed in linen went in between the wheels to get the coals of fire, the coals were actually handed to him by the Justice cherub.

The account goes back and forth, reviewing how the man clothed in linen got the coals of fire. Other books of the Bible (Daniel, Revelation, etc.) use this same technique of review. Usually the retracing picks up the thread at another point. In other words, the man clothed in linen went in between the wheels prior to the appearance of the glory of the Lord. This is a flashback to what happened to the man with the inkhorn. The coals of fire are a review of the work already accomplished by the six men with slaughter weapons (that is, with the Volumes). The review confirms the interpretation of a condemning message on Babylon. Individual nominal Christians, as well as the nominal systems, are to be tried and judged.

Q: Chapter 9 keeps referring to the man clothed in linen with the writer’s inkhorn, whereas Chapter 10 just says the “man clothed with linen.” Was the inkhorn detail omitted because the writing was complete, but the written work continues to perform its function?

A: Yes. Even though the vision seems to indicate the author is doing the action, it is the writing that is accomplishing the function. The coals of fire picture the work of the writing. To state the matter another way, that which at one time did not make much impression on the world will do so at a future date. The writing will be much more meaningful when the people are forced to face serious issues in the near future. For example, Jeremiah predicted what would happen in great detail. Although the people did not believe him, they remembered some of his sayings because of the peculiar way he delivered them. However, when things began to happen subsequently, the people knew Jeremiah was a true prophet. It was the same situation with Noah’s predictions of the Flood. The people laughed and jeered—until the rain started. Then they knew they were the fools and Noah had spoken truth. Some of the people even tried to get in the Ark, but the pitch and/or slime on the outside prevented their climbing and entering. Noah was sealed as a prophet when the Flood came. Daniel was sealed as a prophet when Jesus came in fulfillment of the 70-week prophecy. Jeremiah and Ezekiel were sealed when Jerusalem was destroyed.

Q: Do the coals of fire tie in with the seven thunders of Revelation 10? Are the seven thunders a condensed portion of the writings that were spread out over a period of time in the Volumes?

A: Yes. In other words, when Jeremiah mentioned in advance what would happen, the people did not remember all the details, but they did remember the essence of what had been said, namely, that the city was to be destroyed and the land was to be left entirely desolate.

Ezek. 10:8 And there appeared in the cherubims the form of a man’s hand under their wings.

The “hand” is indicative of a human servant.

Ezek. 10:9 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 colour of a beryl stone.

As already explained, “beryl” is “chrysolite,” the stone of wisdom, which was gold in color.

Ezek. 10:10 And as for their appearances, they four had one likeness, as if a wheel had been in the midst of a wheel.

Ezek. 10:11 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.

Chapter 1 explained that whenever the wheels were lifted up or went down, the cherubim went up or down too and vice versa. The spirit in the wheel was like the spirit in the cherub; that is, the same motivation, energy, or will was in both. Now verse 11 adds an interesting detail: When the chariot moved and the wheels went, they went “whither the head looked.” The particular cherub face of intent assumed the forefront position on the head stock of each cherub. Then the cherub went straight forward—with no deviation—in the direction the head looked.

Ezek. 10:12 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.

Each entire cherub, plus its wheel and wings, was covered with “eyes,” a symbol of wisdom and intelligence.

Ezek. 10:13 As for the wheels, it was cried unto them in my hearing, O wheel.

The wheels are called “whirring wheels,” a term that gives the thought of movement—that the ages are progressing. Especially the smaller inner wheel (verse 10) was “whirring.” Since Ezekiel was getting an accelerated view of events, the little inner wheel seemed to be turning rapidly. However, both the larger and the smaller wheels were coming to the same terminus. The inner wheel was more active, but the outer wheel was moving too. God had given prophecies of the coming destruction through Ezekiel, Jeremiah, and other prophets, but nothing seemed to be happening. In regard to the end of this age, when the trouble starts to occur, events will happen quickly; an aspect of the trouble will be sudden. When the Flood came, the first long dispensation or “world” ended, but also the smaller “120-year” age ended; that is, both terminated together. At the end of the week when Noah went into the Ark, everything ended: the first 1,656-year world, the 120 years, and the 7-day week. All things came to a focal point and significant time of judgment.

In antitype who will see the whirring wheels? The Ezekiel class, the feet members, will discern them. The smaller wheel moves fast enough to be seen plainly—action is indicated—whereas the larger wheel is seen by faith.

Q: Since Ezekiel was watching the man clothed in linen, wouldn’t this indicate that the feet members will have to recognize present truth in order to take the proper stand?

A: The feet members will have to recognize present truth but not necessarily in the same manner. Although they will have to come to the same conclusion, they will come from different backgrounds. Therefore, some will get an acceleration of information that will seem amazing.

Comment: The understanding would have its seeds with the Pastor’s writings, but the details of dispensational truth clarify as the light shines brighter (Prov. 4:18).

Back there Ezekiel’s message was helpful and faith-strengthening to those who heard it.

Ezekiel would have been aware of Jeremiah’s message and vice versa. The influence of these two prophets in different areas had a very encouraging and enlightening effect. But the different spheres of influence in their ministries are only a picture of something much more significant at the end of this dispensation.

Ezek. 10:14 And every one had four faces: the first face was the face of a 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.

Each cherub had four faces. The “face of a cherub” should be the “face of an ox,” as in the vision by the river Chebar in Chapter 1. The four faces were of an ox, a man, a lion, and an eagle. Thus the Bible corrects itself. This error was permitted to creep into the text to stumble those who do not look for internal evidence. Revelation 4:7 also shows the face to be that of a calf or an ox.

Ezek. 10:15 And the cherubims were lifted up. This is the living creature that I saw by the river of Chebar.

Ezek. 10:16 And when the cherubims went, the wheels went by them: and when the cherubims lifted up their wings to mount up from the earth, the same wheels also turned not from beside them.

Ezek. 10:17 When they stood, these stood; and when they were lifted up, these lifted up themselves also: for the spirit of the living creature was in them.

Verses 16 and 17 emphasize the oneness of the wheels and the cherubim. They acted alike; the same spirit was in both. The character of the wheels is being emphasized in relation to the cherubim. Since the wheels represent ages, the wheels-cherubim relationship shows that God moves according to a plan. Stated another way, God’s attributes operate in harmony with a predetermined plan.

The action of the wheels so impressed Ezekiel that he realized the same spirit was in both the cherubim and the wheels. Each wheel and each cherub had a spirit, and their spirits acted in unison. They moved together because the same spirit motivated both.

Ezek. 10:18 Then the glory of the LORD departed from off the threshold of the house, and stood over the cherubims.

Ezek. 10:19 And the cherubims lifted up their wings, and mounted up from the earth in my sight: when they went out, the wheels also were beside them, and every one stood at the door of the east gate of the LORD’S house; and the glory of the God of Israel was over them above.

Now the posture of Jehovah changed. The glory of the Lord, which was seated on or over the Temple, returned to its normal position on the platform above the cherubim. In other words, the glory of God first departed off the cherubim platform, then went to sit on the Temple, and now returned to the platform.

This scene took place in the rather spacious Inner Court. The east gate was the way into the Inner Court (as were the gates on the north and south sides). Here, in regard to Solomon’s Temple, God temporarily got out of the chariot, sat on the Temple, and then went back to the chariot; next the chariot moved to the east gate and paused there. In regard to Ezekiel’s Temple of the future, the glory of the Lord will enter by way of the east gate, and the east gate will be shut (Ezek. 43:1–4; 44:1). The Temple will then symbolically be God’s residence.

Ezek. 10:20 This is the living creature that I saw under the God of Israel by the river of Chebar; and I knew that they were the cherubims.

Ezek. 10:21 Every one had four faces apiece, and every one four wings; and the likeness of the hands of a man was under their wings.

Ezek. 10:22 And the likeness of their faces was the same faces which I saw by the river of Chebar, their appearances and themselves: they went every one straight forward.

The Living Creature

The Living Creature

Every cherub (with its wheel) went “straight forward” when in motion. First, the heads  swiveled to the appropriate attribute for the action about to take place, and then the cherubim moved in that direction.

“The likeness of their faces was the same faces which I saw by the river of Chebar.” The discrepancy in the faces in verse 14 is corrected here by the referral back to the vision in Chapter 1. Obviously, all four cherubim had cherub faces, so the “face of a cherub” should be the “face of an ox.”

Verses 15, 20, and 22 all state that these are the same cherubim that were by the river Chebar in Chapter 1. Because the vision is important in all of its detail, many of the facets are repeated (wings, wheels, faces, etc.). This is a vision of Almighty God’s character, movement, and operation. The Scriptures contain four or five descriptions of God from different standpoints. Isaiah 6:1–4 is one description, as follows.

“In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted  up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.” Here, too, God was seated on the Temple. His “train,” or robes, filled the Temple. The “seraphims” (cherubims) each had six wings versus the four wings of the Ezekiel living beings.

What is the significance of the statement “And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke”? When Isaiah saw the vibration and shaking of the posts, he was frightened, saying in verse 5, “Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips.” The destruction of the spiritual professed Church or Temple of the Lord and the indwelling of the Spirit of the true Temple of the Lord are somewhat coincidental. The professed nominal Church of this age will be replaced by the true Temple. The smoke that fills the Temple is usually associated with the completion of the Church and the dedication of the Temple or Tabernacle. Thus it is a holy smoke. The moving posts suggest removal and yet institution. Babylon’s fall will be an evidence that the Church is complete. As Babylon, the professed Temple of this age, is removed, the true Church will be instituted. The fact that no man could enter Solomon’s Temple until the smoke of God’s acceptance subsided means that the service of the priesthood on behalf of the world will not start until the true Church is complete and glorified (1 Kings 8:10,11).

The true Church will be gone by the middle of Babylon’s rise to power or hour of power. The half hour of silence that follows will be terminated by Babylon’s fall. During that half hour—or at least by the end of the half hour of silence when Babylon falls—the Great Company will realize the Church is gone.

In Chapter 1, Ezekiel saw judgment coming upon fleshly Israel. Now, in Chapter 10, the prophet saw judgment coming on spiritual Israel.

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  1. Religious aspect is wrong. Throw away these backward concepts. Ezekiel was obviously visited by Extra Terrestrial beings. For if this so-called, God isn’t human, therefore he is and alien. The biblical words totally describe advanced machines. (well – advanced for Ezekiel’s time) I suspect a form of time travel device is also explained with the ‘wheels’

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  2. To say this was a good read would be a huge understatement. Thank you for sharing!

    To ray above. You would do well to understand that Satan and his fallen angels are your so-called “ancient aliens” who have been not only dabbling in the affairs of man since the very beginning but also encouraging man to worship them. They seek to fool and lure as many from God to than as possible and if you want to call them “aliens” I’m sure that is fine by them as the word angel is from the greek and means messengers of God, literally…and being fallen they no longer are. This alien thing most certainly looks to be that lie folks prefer to God’s truth, and so He gives them over to believe the lie that is spoken of in refernce to the time of the end. God’s messengers, Angels who are not fallen, act differently toward man and not only tell us of God but are quick to call man to see that they do not attempt to worship them, being fellow servants of God.

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