The Cherubim ARE angels; in fact of the three types of angels mentioned in Scripture, they are referred to the most often. Let’s take a look at some references that speak of Cherubim and then we’ll look briefly at the “Seraphim” and the “Archangel.”

In Genesis 3:24 we read, “So He drove out the man; and placed CHERUBIM at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to GUARD THE WAY to the tree of life” (NKJV). From this passage we learn that Cherubim are involved in keeping men from approaching what is sacred to God. In Ezekiel 28:14 we learn that Satan was a cherub: “You were the ANOINTED CHERUB WHO COVERS; I established you; you were on the holy mountain of God.” Before Satan’s fall, he was responsible to “cover (to “guard” or “protect”) God’s throne from evil (yet instead of protecting it he rebelled against it and desired to sit as God on that throne—see Isaiah 14:12-14). In nearly every instance, the Cherubim are seen “guarding God’s throne and holiness.” One of the most striking examples of this is seen in connection with the Ark that sat in the “Holy Place” in the temple, for above the Ark (which symbolized God’s throne) were “two cherubim” (see Exodus 25:17-22). They are also seen in Ezekiel chapter 10 with a detailed description of them guarding God’s “chariot throne.”

There is one reference in regard to Seraphim and it is found in Isaiah chapter 6. Let’s read verses 1-3, “In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple. Above it stood SERAPHIM; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and two he flew. And one cried to another and said: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory’.” From this we learn that their main purpose is to WORSHIP God. I believe in this scene they are worshipping the Holy Trinity and thus they cry out “holy” three times. No doubt the precious hymn “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty” is based on this passage.

The “archangel” is found twice in the Bible. 1st Thessalonians 4:16 states, “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of THE ARCHANGEL” (NASB). Jude 9 tells us exactly who this archangel is: “Yet Michael the archangel, in contending with the devil…” Michael is also spoken of in Daniel 10:13, “Behold, Michael, one of the chief princes”; Daniel 10:21, “Michael your prince”; and Daniel 12:1, “At that time Michael shall stand up, the great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people.” In seems obvious from these verses in Daniel that Michael the archangel is a “great prince” who “protects the nation of Israel.”

There are other angels mentioned in Scripture, the most famous being Gabriel (see Daniel 8:16; 9:21; Luke 1:19, 26) and in each case he is a MESSENGER for God. Yet he does not have a designated title, so it SEEMS he is not a cherub (who “guards God’s throne”), a seraph (who “worships at God’s throne”) or an archangel (who “protects God’s earthly people, Israel”). Rather, he is an angel that sends messages to God’s earthly people. No doubt there is much more involved with all of these classes of angels and it will be wonderful, once we get to glory, to meet them and learn more about them. Did you know that we will be living with these angels in God’s heavenly city? This is revealed to us in Hebrews 12:22-23, “But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an INNUMERABLE COMPANY OF ANGELS, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven.” (273.9) (DO)