|SERAPHIMS, CHERUBIMS AND BEASTS
In 1995, I wrote, typed and published my first tract, "The Mystery Of The Seraphims." (Before that, from
1990 to 1994, I had hand written a few letters to selected members of the church.) In this first tract, I
attempted to show the reasons for believing that the six-winged seraphims were the four six-winged
beasts seen in God's throne room in Revelation 4. The underlying agenda of the tract was to show
Christians that the Bible was not two books, Old and New Testaments, but one unified book.
I will not try to reproduce that tract, indeed I no longer have a copy. Suffice to say that I deduced that the
seraphims were similar to the cherubims (lesser angels associated with God's traveling throne, see
below) and these similarities supported the idea that they were the beasts seen in God's throne room in
My goal with the recent articles on this website is more ambitious. I would like to show the Jews that the
New Testament is legitimately a part of the word of God. That the seraphims are the beasts is part of the
proof. Here are the relevant scriptures. First the seraphim, pictured above, as described by Isaiah.
"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. Then said I, Woe is me! for I am
undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine
eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts. Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal
in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: and he laid it upon my mouth, and said,
Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged." (Is. 6:1-7).
From this scripture, the only mention of seraphims in the KJV Bible, it is obvious that the seraphims had
six wings, a face, feet, at least one hand, and could speak. Much more is known about their fellow angels,
the cherubims, Ezekiel describes them in two chapters. Here are the scriptures.
"Also out of the midst thereof came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance;
they had the likeness of a man. And every one had four faces, and every one had four wings. And their
feet were straight feet; and the sole of their feet was like the sole of a calf’s foot: and they sparkled like
the colour of burnished brass. And they had the hands of a man under their wings on their four sides;
and they four had their faces and their wings. As for the likeness of their faces, they four had the face of
a man, and the face of a lion, on the right side: and they four had the face of an ox on the left side; they
four also had the face of an eagle. Thus were their faces: and their wings were stretched upward; two
wings of every one were joined one to another, and two covered their bodies." (Ez. 1:5-8,10,11).
While Ezekiel does not name the cherubims he saw in his first vision, he does name them when he
describes them again. "And there appeared in the cherubims the form of a man’s hand under their
wings. 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.
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. 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. And the cherubims were lifted up. This is the living creature that I saw by the
river of Chebar (site of Ezekiel's first vision)." (Ez. 10:8,9,12,14,15).
In summary, the cherubims looked somewhat like people, "they had the likeness of a man." They had feet
with soles that looked like calf's hooves. Their bodies, backs, hands, and wings were covered with eyes.
They each had four wings and four faces. On the left side they had the face of an ox (cherub), next the
face of a man, then the face of a lion, and finally, the face of an eagle.
Ezekiel was not wrong, cherub and ox faces looked alike. Cherub is the singular form of cherubims,
"behold the four wheels by the cherubims, one wheel by one cherub, and another wheel by another
cherub..." The likeness of a cherub sat on top of each end of the ark in the tabernacle. "And thou shalt
make a mercy seat of pure gold... And thou shalt make two cherubims of gold, of beaten work shalt thou
make them, in the two ends of the mercy seat. And make one cherub on the one end, and the other
cherub on the other end... And thou shalt put the mercy seat above upon the ark..." (Exodus 25:17-19,21).
The golden calves that King Jeroboam of Samaria made were in imitation of the cherubims on the mercy
seat. "And Jeroboam said in his heart, Now shall the kingdom return to the house of David: if this people
go up to do sacrifice in the house of the Lord at Jerusalem, then shall the heart of this people turn again
unto their lord, even unto Rehoboam king of Judah... Whereupon the king took counsel, and made two
calves of gold, and said unto them, It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: behold thy gods, O
Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. And he set the one in Bethel, and the other put he
in Dan." (1 Kings 26-29).
The faces of the cherubims are mirrored in the faces of the beasts of Revelation 4, however each of the
beasts has only one face. "And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the
midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind. And
the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man,
and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle. And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him;
and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God
Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come." (Rev. 4:6-8).
V. T. Houteff has explained the symbol of the beasts from these and other verses of Revelation 4 and 5.
""And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the
Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.
And they sung a new song, saying Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for
thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people,
and nation." (Revelation 5:8, 9.) Note the beasts and elders all sang, saying: "For thou hast redeemed us
out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation." Thus, the beasts, as well as the elders, are
redeemed from the earth."
""Again, note that the beasts and elders made a total of twenty-eight. It would be impossible for only
twenty-eight persons to be redeemed out of every kindred, tongue, and people, and nation: for if there
were only one redeemed out of every nation, the number would run into thousands, instead of twenty-
eight. Therefore, it is evident that the "four beasts" are symbols which represent four groups of saints
gathered from all ages, and out of every kindred, tongue, people, and nation. In a similar way the world
empires after the flood are symbolically represented by beasts. Thus by the beasts are represented
those that shall be judged."
""And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they
rest not day and night, saying, Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come."
(Revelation 4:8.) "Full of eyes." Eyes are to give light to the body. Therefore, they stand as a symbol,
signifying that God's people have had sufficient light in every age. "Before and behind" denotes
prophetic light, revealing to them the past, present and future; this being made possible by the Spirit of
God and by holy angels. The number "four" shows that there are four classes of saints to be considered
in the judgment. Two of these classes are to be resurrected; namely, those who died naturally, and those
who were martyred. The other two are they who shall be translated at the coming of Christ; namely, the
144,000 of Revelation 7:1-8, and the great multitude with palms in their hands, as shown in Rev. 7:9. (See
"The Shepherd's Rod," Vol. 1, pp. 41-51.) As the wings of the lion, and also of the four-headed leopard
beast (Babylon and Grecia) represent numbers of periods as previously explained (on page 33-42), then
they must stand for the same on these beasts. They are to point out the seal under which the judgment
began -- the sixth seal -- therefore six wings. "Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come." That
is, God before the judgment, in the time of the judgment, and after the judgment."
""Rev. 4:7: "And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a
face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle." The beasts by nature also represent the four
periods of the church. The first beast is like a lion. "Lion" is the king of beasts, and is intended to point
out the first period of the church before the ceremonial section, with which the judgment began. (See
chart in "The Shepherd's Rod," Vol. 1, p. 224.) The second beast being "like a calf," it is evident that he
represents the sacrificial, or typical section. Thus the beast with the "face of a man" must represent the
anti-typical period after the crucifixion. And the fourth beast was like a "flying eagle." He represents the
period in the time of the harvest. The last period is symbolized by the flying eagle to denote the church
that shall be translated. A "flying eagle" is king of birds, as the lion is king of beasts, which is a sign of
victory, thus making a perfect symbol. As the judgment of the dead began with the beast like a lion, --
king of beasts, -- just so the judgment of the living begins with the beast like an eagle, -- king of birds.
The entire truth of these "four beasts" is not yet revealed."" (V. T. Houteff, "The Shepherd's Rod," Vol. 2,
1932, p. 195,196).
To summarize Houteff: the beasts symbolize four groups of saints gathered from the earth and also four
types of saints (those who died naturally, those martyred, the 144,000 and the great multitude), the eyes
denote prophetic light which reveals past, present and future, the six wings point to the judgment in the
sixth seal, the lion points to the first period of the church before the ceremonial section, the calf
represents the next period, the sacrificial (tabernacle and temple) system, the man represents the
period after the crucifixion, and the eagle represents the church which will be translated. Houteff ended
with a key statement, ""the entire truth of these "four beasts" is not yet revealed.""
What Houteff did not tell you (because the four members of the Holy Family were not revealed until after
his death), was that each of the four beasts represents the member of the Holy Family who delivered one
of the successive groups of saints. For example: the Lion. Houteff said: "The first beast is like a lion.
"Lion" is the king of beasts, and is intended to point out the first period of the church before the
ceremonial section..." (Ibid). God Himself redeemed this first group of saints.
Reading Genesis, it is obvious that the first group of saints, the Patriarchs and their families interacted
directly with God. Can God be characterized as a lion? Actually, there are several scriptures in which God
likens Himself to a lion, a beast of prey, whether fighting for or against Israel. "For thus hath the Lord
spoken unto me, Like as the lion and the young lion roaring on his prey, when a multitude of shepherds
is called forth against him, he will not be afraid of their voice, nor abase himself for the noise of them: so
shall the Lord of hosts come down to fight for mount Zion, and for the hill thereof." (Is. 31:4). "For I will be
unto Ephraim as a lion, and as a young lion to the house of Judah: I, even I, will tear and go away; I will
take away, and none shall rescue him." (Hos. 5:14).
The second group of saints are those redeemed during the tabernacle and temple system. As Houteff
said: "The second beast being "like a calf," it is evident that he represents the sacrificial... section."
(Ibid). The second group of saints is redeemed by the Holy Spirit.
The calf (or ox or bullock) was specifically a sin offering for the high priest. "Aaron therefore went unto
the altar, and slew the calf of the sin offering, which was for himself." (Lev. 9:8). "And Aaron shall offer
his bullock (also translated as ox, calf or cow) of the sin offering, which is for himself, and make an
atonement for himself, and for his house." (Lev. 16:6). The high priest was an intercessor for Israel, a role
performed by the Holy Spirit. "Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we
should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot
be uttered." (Romans 8:26).
Further, the Holy Woman is a presence in the temple. Here is a description of Mercy departing the temple
before the slaughter of Ezekiel 9 begins and departing Jerusalem after the slaughter is done. "And the
glory of the God of Israel was gone up from the cherub, whereupon he was, to the threshold of the
house. Then the glory of the Lord departed from off the threshold of the house, and stood over the
cherubims. And the glory of the Lord went up from the midst of the city, and stood upon the mountain
which is on the east side of the city." (Ez. 9:3; 10:18; 11:23).
When Ezekiel envisions the temple rebuilt, he sees the return of Glory. "And, behold, the glory of the
God of Israel came from the way of the east: and his voice was like a noise of many waters: and the earth
shined with his glory. And the glory of the Lord came into the house by the way of the gate whose
prospect is toward the east. So the spirit took me up, and brought me into the inner court; and, behold,
the glory of the Lord filled the house." (Ez. 43: 2,4,5).
While Glory resided in the tabernacle, her presence was particularly associated with the ark, with its
mercy seat. "And there (in the tabernacle) I (God) will meet with the children of Israel, and the tabernacle
shall be sanctified by My glory." (Ex. 29:43). God specifically says that he will commune with Israel from
above the ark. "And thou shalt put the mercy seat above upon the ark; and in the ark thou shalt put the
testimony that I shall give thee. And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above
the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things
which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel." (Ex, 25:21,22).
The cherubims atop the ark represent the two Holy Women, Mother and Daughter, Holy Spirit and Holy
Ghost. But the tabernacle was about the putting away of sins with animal sacrifice. Like Christ, who was
Our Perfect Sacrifice, the tabernacle was about forgiveness of sins, about mercy. Mercy is the name of
the Holy Spirit, the Mother, who like an earthly mother will forgive her children endlessly. By contrast the
Holy Ghost is both a Comforter to the righteous and a Judge of the wicked. "In those days, and at that
time, will I cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David; and (s)he shall execute judgment
and righteousness in the land. In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely: and
this is the name wherewith she shall be called, The Lord our righteousness." (Jer, 33:15,16). To repeat
what I said at the beginning, the second group of saints is redeemed by the Holy Spirit.
The third group of saints are those redeemed by Christ. As Houteff says, '"the beast with the "face of a
man" must represent the... period after the crucifixion."" (Ibid). The face of a man is appropriate because
Christ, a part of the Godhead, appeared to mankind in human flesh. "In the beginning was the Word, and
the Word was with God, and the Word was God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and
we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth." (John 1:1,14).
The fourth group of saints are those redeemed by the Comforter, the Holy Ghost. As Houteff says: ""And
the fourth beast was like a "flying eagle." He represents the period in the time of the harvest. The last
period is symbolized by the flying eagle to denote the church that shall be translated."" (Ibid).
The woman who symbolizes the church has the wings of an eagle. "And to the woman were given two
wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a
time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent (Satan)." (Rev. 12:14). (See Houteff's chart
The people to be translated are symbolized as eagles. "But they that wait upon the Lord (to deliver His
Kingdom) shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be
weary; and they shall walk, and not faint." (Is. 40:31).
Finally, the Holy Ghost, in Her tender care for God's people, can be characterized as an eagle. "As an
eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth
them on her wings..." (Deut. 32:11). As I said, the fourth group of saints are delivered by the Comforter,
the Holy Ghost.
Now, I have a few deductions about the seraphims. They are seen above God's traveling throne, while
the cherubims are below. Therefore, the seraphims must be a higher order of angels then the
cherubims. The cherubims are covered with eyes. These eyes are a symbol of "prophetic light, revealing
to them the past, present and future." (Ibid). Because the seraphims are a higher order of angels than
the cherubims, they also must have full prophetic vision and be full of eyes. I am going to go further than
Houteff had this to say about the seven eyes of the lamb describes in Rev. 5:6. "The seven eyes of the
Lamb denote completeness of vision, evidence that there is nothing hid from our Advocate, and that all
things are open and naked unto Him..." (Ibid, p. 197). The seven horns and eyes of the Lamb are "the
seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth." (Rev. 5:6). Because the seven Spirits of God are, like
Christ, sent forth into the earth, their perfect spiritual vision deals with earthly events and prophecy for
In contrast to the Lamb, who has seven eyes, perfect spiritual vision of the earth, the cherubims have a
multitude of eyes, "their whole body, and their backs, and their hands, and their wings, and the wheels,
were full of eyes..." (Ez. 10:12). This must mean that, like God, the cherubims have perfect spiritual vision
of the entire universe. It follows that as higher angels, the seraphims must also have perfect spiritual
vision of the entire universe and must also be full of eyes. They also are like God.
The cherubim have "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." (Ez. 10:14). In studying the
beasts of Rev. 4, we have identified the face of the cherub (ox or calf) with the Holy Spirit, the face of the
man with Christ, the face of the Lion with God, and the face of the eagle with the Holy Ghost. The
cherubims, like the beasts, also represent the Holy Family. Because the seraphims are a higher order of
angels than the cherubims, the honor of representing the Holy Family must also be given to them.
Since the Holy Family are higher than the angels and all the rest of creation, there can be no higher
symbol for an angel than to represent the Holy Family as a group, UNLESS it is to be the sole angelic
representative of one member of the Holy Family. From this we can deduce two things. First, the beasts
are in the throne room of God because each is the sole angelic representative of a member of the Holy
Family. Second, the seraphims and the beasts must be one and the same.
One further comment, in representing the beast of Rev. 4 in his charts, V. T. Houteff (under inspiration)
represented the beast with the face of a man with the body of a lion (see below). This, of course, is
correct, since this beast (seraphim) represents Christ, who was the Lion of Judah. Further, it
differentiates the seraphim (beast) that represents Christ from the lesser angels that appear on earth
with the faces and bodies of men.
A close look at Houteff's chart shows that he pictured all of the beasts with the bodies of lions. This
would suggest that the representatives of the Holy Family who appear in the end time will be of the
lineage of Christ, the Lion of Judah. (See No. 77, "The Root Of David.")
Amo Paul Bishop Roden