By Norene Nicholls
Isaiahís Description of the seraphims has always aroused awe, questions and inspiration. As yet, none of us knows very much about this order of beings, for there is but one account given in the scriptures, but by comparing scripture with scripture there are few things that come to light. Therefore, first, let us read what Isaiah has to say:
"In the year that king Uzziah died I say 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 gloryÖThen flew one of the seraphims unto me having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the alter: 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." Isaiah 6:1-7
The big question is, "Who are these seraphims?" We have been satisfied in years past to simply say they are an angelic order of beings, but the time of knowledge is here, and our hearts long to understand more fully the mysteries of the scriptures. There is no other account of seraphims given elsewhere, but it is still true that "in the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established." Then where else in scripture is there an allusion to them? In Ezekiel 28:14, 16 we are told that Lucifer, the covering cherub, "walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire". This is strange phraseology, but so pregnant with meaning. The Hebrew word for STONE is EBEN which literally means A BUILDER, and the word for SON is BEN, springing from the same root, a SON being a BUILDER of the family name. Thus, STONES OF FIRE could just as easily, and without doing despite, be rendered SONS OF FIRE. It is easier then to understand the meaning of Lucifer walking up and down amid the SONS OF FIRE!
Quite a number of years ago the Lord spoke a very strange word to me---BENESHAH. At the time I had no idea what it meant, but upon searching to see if I could find the Hebrew meaning, I discovered it came from BEN, meaning SON, and ESH, meaning FIRE. I then knew its meaning---SON OF FIRE, but it was not until within recent days and months that a fuller meaning of it was realized. In studying into the meaning of the seraphims the Spirit of the Lord directed my attention to these STONES or SONS OF FIRE, and the connection is understandable when we comprehend that the word SERAPHIMS means BURNERS, those SET ON FIRE. Who is it that is burning except the sons of fire? And, these sons of fire are sons of God, for "our God is a consuming fire". Thus the seraphims are the sons of fire, the sons of God---GENERATED sons of God--- not CREATED sons. Lucifer was a son, too, "the son of the morning", but he was created according to Ezekiel 28:13, 15. CREATED sons can do what Lucifer did, but GENERATED sons, or BORN sons, will have the nature of the Father and desire only to do His will. Therefore, these sons of fire are generated sons of God, brought forth before the foundation of the world as the sons of fire among whom Lucifer, a created son, walked up and down.
Having established the fact of who the seraphims are, we need to next understand what their position is. Note, they are located above the throne. In Revelation 4 John gives a picture of the throne and describes two companies in relation to the throne. One company, the ELDERS (mature ones), is located ROUND ABOUT the throne, vs. 4. AS for the other company, the BEASTS, or more accurately, the LIVING CREATURES, is located IN THE MIDST OF and ROUND ABOUT (inner circle) the throne. This is in contradiction to the seraphims who are ABOVE the throne. All of these are pictures of the sons of God, but each group has a position and calling.
In studying the work of the ELDERS (mature) in Revelation they are shown as giving light of understanding, but the LIVING CREATURES are the instigators of the movings of God. For instance, the living creatures give the seven vials to the seven angels that the vials might fully be poured out. The fact that the elders are rulers in knowledge and the living creatureís rulers in power shows that the elders and living creatures are granted power and authority. Their relation to the throne indicates this also. In contrast, the seraphims, or sons of fire, are lifted above the throne and itís attending power and privileges. They care not for any such power. They desire not to accomplish great things and do great wonders. Rulership to them is not something to be striven for. Do you wonder why you cannot be satisfied with power, or with the knowledge, or with rulership? It is because you have been GENERATED out of God as a son of fire, and such does not appeal to your inner being.
To further explain this, consider the wings of the seraphims. Each one has six wings, and six is the number of man, so these seraphims surely depict men, not angels. With tow wings they cover the face. The face is the identifying part of a person, and the seraphims cover their faces---cover their identify. Identity (knowing who we are) is wonderful, and how our hearts thrill to know we are of Israel, that we are the sons of God, that we are generated out of God. But, above and beyond that, there is that company which is willing to hide their identity that God might be fully glorified. They care not to be known as "so-and-so", they care not to be seen or recognized or praised. They only care for one thing Godís character and purpose.
Then, with two more wings they cover their feet. The feet speak of moving about and going various places, but these seraphims cover up their tracks not wanting anyone to know where they have been nor where they are going. Does not this fit beautifully with the scripture about those who are born of God being like the wind, "The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh nor whither it goeth?" These seraphims depict this in truth and reality.
Lastly, with two of their wings they fly. All six wings have the ability of moving them about in spiritual realms, but they are more interested in covering face and feet than in great spiritual experiences of mounting upwards into celestial realms. Rather they reserve but two wings with which to fly, and this flight is always spirit directed and with a specific purpose.
The message of the seraphims is "Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of hosts." Their whole theme is the character of God which is holiness. And, they can only be so interested because they have been born out of the consuming fire where no impurity can abide. Plus this, they cry out that "the whole earth is full of His glory," which indeed speaks of the purpose of God wherein "the knowledge of the glory of the Lord shall cover the earth as the waters cover the sea." They are not disturbed by momentary misunderstandings of Godís plan, but having risen above power and authority, they see the over all purpose of God in bringing all things back into Himself. They see the whole earth full of His glory wherein all of creation is loosed from the thralldom of sin and unrighteousness.
Let us again contrast the ones in the midst of the throne, those around the throne, and those above the throne. The MATURE ones are around the throne, mature in knowledge and understanding, and thus mature in God. Those in the midst of the throne speak of LIFE, for they are LIVING CREATURES who are the instigators of Godís movings in the earth. How wonderful to be mature in knowledge! How wonderful to be filled with life! But there is something better. Above the throne are the BURNERS which sing of his holiness, and they represent PURITY. Let us never be satisfied with maturity or life, but may we see above all the blessings of the Throne the place of PURITY in God!
When Isaiah saw the throne and HIM who sat thereon with the seraphims above it, he cried out because of his uncleanness. Isaiah is the most major of the Major Prophets, but he realized something more was necessary in his life. So it was that seraphim with a living coal came and touched his lips and cleansed him. The only ministry the seraphimís have is that of cleansing, not condemnation, but cleansing. They did not condemn the prophet, rather there was applied the fire for cleansing followed by the declaration that his iniquity was taken away. This ministry of cleansing and remitting sins is for the sons of fire who have been born in the fire, born through it, and born out of it. Only such purified ones can purify others.
Such are the seraphims, the sons of fire, for they have risen above power and authority and dwell in light even the light of Godís character and purpose! N.C.N.