A MOMENT AT THE THRONE
“There before me was a door standing open in heaven. A voice speaking to me like a trumpet said
‘Come up here, and I will show you what must take place’….in the center, around the throne, were
four living creatures, and they were covered with eyes, in front and in back”
(Revelation 4:1 & 4:6)
As John the Elder entered heaven and stood before God’s throne, he was suddenly privy to wonders that no
living being had experienced before (or since). Surrounding God on the enormous white throne were four
beings so extraordinary that surely John chocked up a little, scarcely believing his eyes. John related the
features of each of the four and called them creatures, for lack of a better description, and they had six wings
each. They were covered with eyes all around, even under their wings. One resembled a lion, one an ox,
one a man, and one an eagle. Day and night their sole activity was to praise God by saying:
“Holy holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty,
who was, and is, and is to come”
Nothing has changed since John’s recording of the holy events at the throne of God. Take a moment with
me and lets share a glimpse of the four living beings who sit at the foot of the throne of God. Above the
throne are the seraphim. Below, however, are the cherubim which we are going to observe. If there was
ever a time to let your God-given imagination have its way, this would be the moment.
John had used the expression “day and night”, being limited in vocabulary, but it is doubtful that there is such
a limitation in heaven. But John did his best. These four powerful beings have deep echoing voices like
thunder and are full of wisdom beyond our comprehension. They are God’s assistants: the eyes and ears
which scan the universe continually, governing all that is and has been created. They have been given the
capacity to fully understand God and act as God’s ambassadors. You might say that they’re God’s best
friends. The number four represents God’s perfect government, of which these superior beings are very
capable of facilitating to honor and glorify their Creator.
They have appeared on earth, possibly more often than we are aware. When they come, it is to deliver
prophetic messages. These cherubim are great majestic beings, not little cherubs. Most people envision
cute pudgy babies wrapped in diapers, with delicate little wings, shooting bows and arrows like romantic love
darts, particularly on Valentine’s day. Nothing could be further from the truth. Just as geckos come in curly
and straight tail varieties, covered in an assortment of colors and patterns from plain to striped to dots, so do
these mighty cherubim beings. Ezekiel described four cherubim in the first chapter of his book after he
encountered them, and like the geckos, they varied somewhat from their appearance which John described
at the throne of God. Whether they were the same four, we know not, but there’s no mistaking –
they are the very same beings known as cherubim.
“Their entire bodies, including their backs, their hands and their wings,
were completely full of eyes”
“Each of the cherubim had four faces”
“Under the wings of the cherubim could be seen what looked like the hands of a man”
But Ezekiel wasn’t the only one who recorded their existence. Isaiah saw them in a vision too, just as John
the Elder did. Isaiah called them seraphim (or seraphs). In the hymn ‘Holy, Holy, Holy’ they are referred to
as both cherubim and seraphim. As the expression goes: “that covers all the bases”.
“I saw the Lord seated on the throne, high and exalted, and the train of His robe
filled the temple. Above Him were seraphs, each with six wings.”
So, six wings or four wings, in various forms they are the mighty ones of God. Cheubim were described as
having four wings, so there is some difference between the two. With God elevating these beings to such a
high level, I can’t help but believe that the animals in the Garden of Eden were of superior intelligence.
I have no doubt that Adam talked with them. They were his friends. Once Adam and Eve were expelled
from the garden, the animals simultaneously lost their ability to communicate, as their reasoning
Governing the universe as God’s representatives, the cherubim have all the knowledge required to do so.
They are swift, discerning, and they inspire the 24 elders, who are also seated on their individual thrones, to
prostrate themselves in worship before their Creator as well. The elders have harps. They also have
incense which is the prayers of the saints – our fervent prayers of petition and our thankful prayers of joy.
But it’s the four beings, the cherubim, who lead all of creation in worship to the everlasting God – as the
cherubim say: “who was, and is, and is to come”.
Heaven is perfection. And this perfection is stabilized by these majestic ones at God’s throne in heaven. Not
stabilized in the sense that God has created anything other than precise and faultless excellence, but in the
sense that we, the redeemed ones, are going to need a lot of guidance when we reach that realm of eternal
bliss in our Creator’s flawless presence.
Let your imagination roll. Enjoy the moment.