Genesis 3:24, “So the Lord God drove out the man; and He 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”.
On the fourth day God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs [of a prophetic nature, and for agriculture, navigation, travel], and for seasons [or appointed times of meeting with the Lord on sabbaths, new moons and annual festivals], and for days, and years, [for warmth, regulation, determination and preservation of all life for the earth-world]. And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: He made the stars also [in which the Lord God wrote His first Bible]” (Genesis 1:14-16).
“Whatever can be known of God is evident to men, because God has shown it to them in the stars. For since the creation of the world His invisible qualities, namely His eternal power and divine nature, plans and purposes have been clearly seen, being understood by His handiwork, [the mind brightly beholding what the eye cannot discern] so that men will have no excuse [all their degeneracy being a voluntary departure from truth thus brightly revealed to the unrefined spirit]” (Romans 1:19-20).
“Faith comes by hearing, and understanding the Word of God . . . have the Israelites [and all men] not heard? Indeed they have, the witness in the stars has gone out to all the earth, and their Words to the ends of the world” (Romans 10:17-18). “The [incessant testimony of the] heavens is telling the glory of God; and the firmament [or vault of heaven supporting the waters above] is [conspicuously] showing His handiwork. Day after day pours forth speech [super adding to the revelation ‘precept upon precept, line upon line’], and night unto night declares knowledge. There is no [articulate] speech, nor are there words; their voice is not audible. Yet their Message [in God’s first Bible still] goes out through all the earth and their Words to the ends of the inhabited world” (Psalm 19:1-4).
Likewise in God’s third Bible written in paper and ink rather than in the heavens we read: “No man has ever seen God; the only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, has made Him known” (John 1:18; 3:13; 14:9; 17:6, 26).
This planisphere of the heavens taken from E.W. Bullinger’s “Witness of the Stars” signifies how “God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, has shone in our hearts the Light of the knowledge of His glory in the person of Jesus Christ” (II Corinthians 4:6; John 1:18; Acts 26:18; Philippians 1:11). There is however nothing in the constellations that might indicate the form of these overlaying pictures. Therefore the pictures that have been drawn around certain stars in God’s first Bible illustrate His foreknowledge of sin and His plan and purpose of redemption in Jesus Christ, and must have preceded the foundation of the material world as indicated in Genesis 2:3, “God rested from all His work which He created [Heb. ‘bara’ out of nothing] to make [Heb. ‘asah’ from existing material].” His “Gospel in the Stars” announce and irrevocably establish His decreed season and time for the fulfillment of those prophecies (Isaiah 42:9; John 13:19). Ecclesiastes 3:1, “To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose [of God] under the heaven”.
These pictures were designed to preserve, expound, and perpetuate the one first great promise and prophecy of Genesis 3:15, that all hope for Man, all hope for Creation, was bound up in a coming Redeemer; One who should be born of a woman; who should first suffer, and afterwards gloriously triumph; One who should first be wounded by that great enemy who was the cause of all sin and sorrow and death, but who should finally crush the head of “that Old Serpent the Devil.”
These ancient ideograms foretell the Coming One and reveal “the sufferings of Christ and the glory that should follow.” All told there are forty-eight, twelve signs each conjoined with three constellations, but their circle is endless and eternal. Sin caused the breach and time began when Cain was conceived of a woman’s unbelief, not through the faith of her husband. Thus “Man born of a woman is of few days and full of trouble” (Job 14:1). The story of redemption and man’s journey through time begins and ends with the Alpha and the Omega, Jesus Messiah, who was born of the virgin and will reign as King of kings throughout eternity. The revelation signified in the Sphinx standing before God’s second Bible, the Great Pyramid of Giza begins with the constellation of Virgo where Adam as a perfect type of Christ stepped over the time line and the Life line to redeem his fallen wife, Eve. Romans 5:17, “If by Adam’s trespass death became king by one man, far more surely will those who receive the abundant grace and the free gift of righteousness reign as kings in Life through the one Man Jesus Christ.”
The Sphinx—a word which means “to bind closely together”—was designed to show that the two ends of the Zodiac are to join together through the Cross in the constellation of Leo where time will end with the renewed heavens and renewed earth and the great circle of the heavens will continue through eternity. This was established by Psalm 40:6-10, “Sacrifice and offering [expressed in the disparate offerings of Cain and Abel] You did not desire; but a body have You prepared Me [as per the Septuagint and Hebrews 10:5]: whole burnt offering and sin offering You did not require [but revelation and My obedience unto death as Adam’s kinsman Redeemer]. Then I said, Lo, I am come [as an obedient servant, ready for the service of His lord, standing in this willingness before the Lord to ransom life for life]: in the volume of the Book it is written of Me (Genesis 3:15; 49:10; Deuteronomy 18:15), I delight to do Your will, O My God: yes, Your Law is within My heart. I have preached righteousness in the great congregation: as You know, O Lord, I have not restrained My lips. I have not hid Your righteousness within my heart; I have declared Your faithfulness and Your salvation: I have not concealed Your lovingkindness and Your truth from the great congregation.” This Paul confirms in Hebrews 10, reading from the Septuagint.
The twelve great signs were identified with the twelve sons of Israel, and the order in which the tribes pitched around the Tabernacle to guard the way to the Presence corresponds with that of the Zodiac, with Judah, Reuben, Ephraim, and Dan representing the middle signs of Leo, Aquarius, Taurus, and Scorpio, respectively (Numbers 2). In deference to God’s first Bible, Aaron’s breastplate was set with the birth stones of the twelve tribes which in the New Testament Jesus represents as the wall of New Jerusalem overshadowed with the Shekinah which would flash on that Urim Thummim to vindicate the interpretation of a dream or prophecy. From God’s first Bible He identified “the third part of the stars of heaven . . . cast down to earth” as apostate Israelites, and the “seven stars in His right hand” as the angels to the Seven Church Ages.
When Israel blessed his sons in Genesis 49 he prophesied the situation of each tribe in the closing years of the Messianic Age of completion, that is, in Daniel’s Seventieth Week. His blessings are complimented in Moses’ blessing in Deuteronomy 33; he too prophesied the discovery of oil in Asher in these last days as Brother Branham also understood (C.O.D. p. 137:Q23). These prophecies are portrayed on the tribal ensigns used to this day and displayed on the outside back cover of Brother Branham’s exposition of Daniel chapter 9. The four leading tribes guarding the way to the Presence of God and their ensigns correspond to the four living creatures before the throne of God in Ezekiel and Revelation.
Following the Fall four living creatures with the face of a Lion, an Ox, a Man, and an Eagle guarded the way to Christ, the theophany of God represented as “the Tree of Life” in the Garden of Eden as portrayed in God’s first Bible. In the Old Testament they are signified by natural Israel’s four leading tribes guarding the way to the Presence of God over the Ark in the Holy of Holies. In the New Testament they are represented by the four Gospels: Apostle Matthew guarding the way from the east, Pastor Mark guarding the way from the west, Luke the Teacher of Gentiles guarding the way from the south, and John the Evangelist and Prophet guarding the way to the Presence by the baptism with the Holy Spirit from the north. Thus the four living creatures also represented Spiritual Israel, the elect Church covered by the Shekinah from the loins upward and downward as in Ezekiel 1:27, and living by the power of the resurrected Christ. They announced the first Four Seals of our Spiritual redemption at the close of Laodicea on March 8, 1963 when redemption was over, the Church finished and already caught up into heavenly places (Revelation 5:8-14). As Christ’s end-time Bride is predestinated to be reborn by the fullness of the Word, unlike the PART-Word saints during the Church Ages we do not require mediation for ignorance and were fully redeemed in Christ on Calvary.
Since the opening of the Seals redemption has been revealed by the “shout” of Brother Branham’s Message calling the wise and foolish virgin OUT from the false Church (Matthew 25:6; I Thessalonians 4:16; Revelation 18:4) and identifying them in each Age, while “the Voice of the Archangel” in the heart of the Bride is placing the Message from Genesis to Revelation to bring us to maturity in the unity of the faith for the manifestation of the Sons of God and the translation. Throughout the Book Christ’s end-time Bride is represented by John caught up into heaven into the three-fold revelation of the rapture, and Christ is whispering His secrets to us, so you may replace his name with your own as the revelations he sees and hears become your own personal experience.
I Corinthians 1:26-30, “Notice among you who have been called, dear brethren, how that not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many mighty, not many of noble birth; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise. Instead, God has intentionally chosen what the world considers foolish and of little worth to confound those things which are mighty. God has chosen what is insignificant and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no flesh might boast in His Presence. He is the source of your Life in Christ Jesus, whom God made our wisdom, our righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption; so according as it is written, “Let he who boasts, boast only of what the Lord has done”.
The born-again man is influenced by Divine revelation, and nothing else. Jesus said, “If any man come to Me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yes, even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. And whoever does not bear his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple . . . so first count the cost of the Christian life before beginning your walk, otherwise you will be mocked by the unbeliever. Whoever of you does not renounce all that he has cannot be My disciple. Salt is good: but if the salt has lost its saltiness it cannot be restored. It is fit for nothing, not even for fertilizer but must be thrown away. He who has ears to hear, let him hear” (Luke 14:26-34; 9:57-62; Hebrews 6:4-8).
The Prophet said, “The importance of revelation by the Spirit to a true believer can never be over-emphasized. Revelation means more to you than perhaps you realize. Now I am not talking about this Book of Revelation and you. I am talking about ALL revelation. It is tremendously important to the Church . . . The Church is built on Revelation, on the “Thus Saith the Lord” (An Exposition of the Seven Church Ages, p. 13:4).
The responsibility of the ministry is to point the brethren to Divine Revelation. Nothing less. Nothing else. Holding not only to the authority but also to the sufficiency of Holy Scripture which is ‘third pull’ faith! If a minister does not properly fulfill his given, accepted and needed responsibilities in the church, his problem is unfaithfulness, irresponsibility, and disobedience and his elders must deal with real causes and real issues, not the symptoms.
God commanded Moses: “You shall put the mercy seat above upon the ark; and in the ark you shall put the testimony that I shall give you [like David acting as Christ (in Psalm 40:8 above) for the Ark was a type of Christ]. And there I will meet with you, and I will commune with you from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all that I will give you to command the children of Israel” (Exodus 25:21-22).
Under the Law God’s throne was represented by the Ark of the Covenant which was a throne of mercy so long as the golden Mercy Seat was covered with the blood of the lamb. In the absence of blood it was His judgment seat. This types Christ as Mediator in the office Son of God from Pentecost to the end of the Laodicean Church Age (John 5:25-26) when He became King of kings and Judge in the office Son of man from the opening of the Seven Seals on March 8, 1963 to the millennium (Revelation 5:1-8; John 5:27). The cherubim were fourfold representatives of redeemed creaturely life in which man is preeminent and whose characteristics are the basis and body of the whole (Ezekiel 1:5-8; Revelation 4:7). At the east of Eden after the Fall “God set the cherubim to guard the dwelling place of His Shekinah, and a flaming sword [of His revealed Word] which turned every way to guard the way to the Tree of Life.” Even as the “flaming sword” proclaimed God’s just wrath against sin, the cherubim were a pledge of the restoration of man and the creaturely world subject to him. Not only were the cherubim to guard the Presence from anything unclean or profane, they were to guide the righteous back into the Presence (Psalm 8; Isaiah 11:6-9; Romans 8:17-24; Ezekiel 34:25; Hosea 2:18).
By forbidding entry to the eastern gate the cherubim were preserving the first man and his wife from becoming Cherem or accursed and dedicated for destruction as an affront to the glory of God. The way had to be guarded until the remission of sins was made possible, but “No man is able to enter into the temple until [after the Gentile dispensation when the Sixth Seal manifest at the sounding of the Seventh Trumpet and Brother Branham has poured his Seventh Vial into the air to cast down Satan and cleanse the heavenly sanctuary and] the last of the seven plagues is fulfilled, and great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, will say, ‘It is done’ (Revelation 15:8 and 16:17)!” Only then will fit men be able to enter into the joy of the Lord and never depart (Isaiah 35:10).
The Cherubim and the flaming sword were the forerunners of the sanctuary where Christ’s Bride of all Ages and the 144,000 elect Israelites are represented in the golden lampstand and the table of showbread, thence after repeated washings and approbations the high priest alone could enter once a year into the Holy of Holies which was a type of the Garden of Eden where man walked with the Lord God “in the cool of the evening.” Therein the cherubim had their representation on the fabric around and above the Most Holy Place.
Exodus 26:31-32, “You shall make a vail of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined [white] linen with cherubims skillfully embroidered: and you shall hang the vail from golden hooks resting in four silver sockets upon four acacia pillars overlaid with gold.” Revelation 4:8-9, “And the four cherubim each had six wings; and they were full of eyes [ubiquitous wisdom] within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come. And they give glory and honour and thanks to Him that sat on the throne, who lives forever and ever”.
Four is the number of earth and deliverance as in the first Four Seals of our Spiritual redemption. From the above Scripture you will understand how the four leading tribes whose ensigns represent the Lion, the Ox, the Man and the Eagle, assisted by the eight lesser tribes, and sanctified by Levi’s instruction—“for the Law was their schoolmaster to bring Israel to Christ that they might be justified by faith”—performed the duties of the cherubim in guarding the way to the Presence of the Lord over and above the Ark by separating clean from unclean and sacred from profane.
Exodus 37:6-9, “Moses made a mercy seat of pure gold: two and a half cubits long, and one and a half cubit broad. And he made two cherubim of gold, beaten out of one piece, on the two ends of the mercy seat; one cherub on this end one on the other. He made the cherubims of one piece with the mercy seat on the two ends. And the cherubims spread out their wings above, overshadowing the mercy seat with their wings, their faces toward each other and their eyes on the mercy seat”.
The Mercy Seat with its cherubim was made of pure gold beaten with hammers into due form from the same mass as the mercy seat, typing Christ our propitiation or Mercy Seat (Romans 3:25; Hebrews 2:17; I John 2:2; 4:10) and illustrating that the saints must be at one with God by faith whereby we are able to endure the fiery trial as partakers of Christ’s sufferings, put on His Character and be His glory.
The mercy-seat being of the same measure as the ark covered it exactly. No was part uncovered, and so long as the blood was on the mercy seat the transgressions of the penitent were completely hidden from the Law.
The cherubim on either side of the Shekinah glory of God’s Presence (from which, as on Mount Sinai, the flame might at any moment dart) looked down on the blood-sprinkled mercy seat of the Ark, God’s meeting place in reconciliation with sinners by the atoning blood; mercy and justice uniting in man’s redemption. Hence it must have been at the east of the Garden of Eden that God sacrificed two innocent lambs and placed the first couple under their blood. Here also at the east gate Cain and Abel offered the first sacrifices back to God: the carnal son of the Serpent sought to earn His favour by appeasement, his half-brother Abel offered in thankful recognition of the propitiation already made in His gracious purpose foreshadowing Calvary (Genesis 3:21-24; 4:3-4; Revelation 13:8).
Under the New Testament our hearts must be cleansed by the Holy Spirit and Fire of His revealed Word (Matthew 3:11-12). Jesus declared, “I am come to send fire on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled? But I have a baptism to be baptized with [on Calvary]; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished! Do you suppose that I have come to give peace on earth? I tell you, No; but rather division: for from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law” (Luke 12:49-53).
Matthew 27:51, “And the veil of the temple was torn in two from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent.” So under the New Testament “With the mind I [my soul] serve the Law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin. There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus has set me free from the law of sin and death”.
Brother Branham said, “No man has a right to enter the sacred desk to preach the Word until he has did as Moses did: meet God himself upon grounds where that there’s no theologian can explain it away. Moses was there. No matter how Israel’s messengers said, “Oh, it was a nonsense, you just imagined you saw this; it’s nonsense,” you couldn’t take it away from him; he knowed. He was there. He was the one it happened to. And no man by a theological degree or some doctor’s degree has a right behind the pulpit to claim the Message of Jesus Christ until he’s first met God face to face in the Pillar of Fire” (Why it had to be Shepherds, p. 36:184).
The cherubim are the executers of God’s righteous judgment (Genesis 3:22-24; Psalm 149:9; Isaiah 9:6; Daniel 7:22; Matthew 19:28; I Corinthians 6:1-3; Revelation 1:5-6; 19:11-16). Their representation on the fabric around and above the Holy Place stresses the righteousness of God and those who serve him in his perfect holiness. Under the New Testament the cherubim are represented by the righteous government of God entrusted to the five-fold ministry and all true saints as indicated on the preceding diagram.
The climax of the Ark’s symbolism was revealed where the glory of the Lord appeared. The Shekinah manifested above the mercy seat and between two cherubim. Ultimately, because of apostasy, God’s throne guards have their representation in four men. Two of these will be anointed with the Spirit that endued Moses in Israel’s apostasy from Kadesh Barnea through forty years in the wilderness, and Elijah in the dark age of King Ahab. A double portion of the same Spirit endued Elisha, whose mission was to make apostate Israel confess “The Lord our God is one Lord,” NOT a trinity(Deuteronomy 6:4). Zechariah 4:14 spoke concerning two men with the anointings that endued Moses and Elijah, “These are the two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth” as once the cherubim stood by the Logos over the Ark of the Covenant. These are the two witnesses of Matthew 24:31 and Revelation 11 whose ministry will cause the nation of Israel to be born in one day (Isaiah 66:8).
Matthew 17:3: “After six days Jesus took [three witnesses representing the 144,000], Peter, James and John, into a high mountain apart.” There He showed them a vision of the glorified appearance of His second or ‘parousia’ Coming prior to His millennial reign in the office Son of David when “the kingdom will be restored to Israel,” preceded by the Hebrew prophets of Zechariah 4 and Revelation 11 ministering to genuine Israelites in the land of the Covenant in Daniel’s Seventieth Week. The hour for this ministry is at hand, but let us look back two thousand years in time to a seminal event just ten days before the inauguration of the Church and commencement of the Gentile dispensation. Acts 1:10-11, “While the Apostles looked intently toward heaven as He went up, two men stood by them in white apparel; and said, Men of Galilee, [note not one of the apostles was a Jew] why do you stand gazing into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come again in the same manner as you have seen Him go into heaven.” And He has!
Our precious Brother Morris Ungren who sang “Down from His Glory” before Brother Branham delivered the revelation of the First Seal, had this to share concerning our Lord’s parting promise as He was taken up from the Mount of Olives in the Pillar of Cloud. “These two men in white were NOT angels. They were both men. They were the messengers who introduced Jesus. One as the Lamb of God. The other as the descended Logos. They told these Galileans that “thissame Jesus”—the One they introduced to the world—will come again as you have seen Him go. He vanished from them in the cover of a Cloud, and He will come again in the same way. This was the Pillar of Cloud that manifest over Mount Sunset” on March 8, 1963, seen only by the Prophet as was explained in Newsletter 752.
The public manifestation of the same Cloud on February 28, 1963 and the existence of many photographs taken from 150 locations were unknown to the Prophet till after three months on July 1 when Brother Norman showed him this Life Magazine borrowed while visiting. God always signifies major events in the heavens before they occur on earth (Genesis 1:14; Psalm 19:1-5). This Cloud was the sign promised to us Gentiles in Daniel 7:9, Matthew 24:3; 26:64, Acts 1:11,Revelation 1:7, etc., foretelling Christ’s imminent second or ‘parousia’ Coming. God told Brother Branham, “Turn the photo to the right.” As you can see it represents Jesus Christ wigged as the Judge precisely as described in Daniel 7:9and in Revelation 1:12-16. We have superimposed the Cloud over Hoffman’s painting to simulate how He appeared to Daniel and John when they saw Him in visions set after the Church Ages and His Mediatorial Office were fulfilled. As Judge He looks down on the Western world that has rejected and put Him out of the churches or “walled cities” that bear His Name as the Eastern world rejected and crucified Him without Jerusalem’s walls (Romans 11:32; Revelation 3:20).
Our Brother continued, “The same two appeared standing at the feet and head of the place where Jesus had lain following His resurrection (Mark 16:1-5; Luke 24:3, 23). Both were anointed with the Spirit of Elijah . . . John, and Branham. Jesus vanished from them but His Spirit did not depart. The last act of Jesus was one of vanishing. He went out of sight as a Bodily Presence. His promise is, “I am with you always” (Matthew 28:20).
Whereas Moses and Elijah introduced the Logos of the invisible God, seen as the Shekinah once a year by the high priest on the Day of Atonement, John and Brother Branham introduced the Logos of the same God made flesh. Jehovah of the Old Testament is Jesus of the New.
As the Shekinah glory was last seen in Israel on the east (Ezekiel 11:23) so it shall return by way of the east (Ezekiel 43:2; Revelation 7:2). It has appeared and been photographed many times in these last days; Brother Branham had to travel west to meet the sevenfold Spirit coming back east to reveal the mystery of the Seven Thunders before returning to the Mount of Olives, Jerusalem and Mount Zion (Zechariah 14:3-4; Matthew 24:30-31; Joel 2:32).
The Shekinah was manifest as a pillar of Cloud in the form of the head of Christ—the fullness of the Word in the office Son of man wigged as Judge, signifying HisMediation and all Seven Church Ages are fulfilled and redemption is over. It was seen only by the seventh angel who was caught up into the constellation of the theophanies of the previous six angels when Jesus Christ opened the Seven Seals on March 8, 1963 (Revelation 6:1). Unbeknownst to him until three months later, this sign had appeared publicly on February 28, 1963. Photographs featured in the May 17 issue of Life Magazine shown above. Since that time newspapers, magazines and scientific journals around the world have written about this mysterious cloud formed above the atmosphere where there is no moisture to make a cloud.