By Craig Bluemel



SECTION ONE: Summary Review Of Parts 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5


SECTION TWO: Part 6: Guarding the Way to the Tree of Life




SECTION ONE of this Part 6 is to review the information contained in Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, & 5 because the detail and complexity of the study demands some semblance of order.  SECTION TWO of Part 6 will be a discussion concerning cherubim as they relate to our lives as new covenant believers by scrutinizing in detail the intrinsic nature of these guardians of God’s glory.  If you have already read the first five Parts of the series, skip SECTION ONE and begin reading at SECTION TWO.  Initially, I began Part 6 in preparation data to help transition the reader in a different direction.  I hoped that Part 7 would deal mainly with the temptation of Jesus; now I am not so certain.


If you are not one of my regular readers, you may not realize the length of most studies exceeds stereotypical online Bible studies.  I always format my studies and article using Microsoft Word, Arial size 10-11 font, using .05 left, right, top and bottom margins, spaced 1.5 lines.  I try my best to limit the pages to twenty pages or less, but in order to do so, I exclude roughly 80% of the overall research information used.  Most people won’t read something too lengthy online, as the trend in society is shorter and faster, otherwise, generally speaking, it is not considered as ‘user-friendly.’


The overall goal of this series was twofold.  First, to identify our foe and archenemy Satan, or the devil to be better prepared to resist him and overcome the tendency to yield to the temptations he uses to exploit our weaknesses.  Second, to understand how the man Christ Jesus overcame temptation, sin and the devil, so that with God’s help we can walk in his footsteps by following his example.  I write with an overall maxim concerning the content of information generated for my readers.  My goal is to produce something with a pragmatic application and motivated by love for God, for His son Jesus, for one another and love for the truth.


This is NOT an esoteric treatise about cherubim, angels, the ethereal, and the mystical.  That kind of stuff makes me sick and sadly it has taken hold in many charismatic and Pentecostal churches in the form of what is called, “prophetic anointing,” and/or, “prophetic gifts.”  I’m not denying the use of gifts either, but knowledge puffs one up and love edifies.  In Hebrews 13:9, we are warned, “Do not be carried away by varied and strange teachings,” (NASU).  I suggest to anyone reading this series to begin at Part One and read each study sequentially, otherwise what may seem to be presumptuous at first glance has in prior studies been affirmed in scripture.


I am in the process of learning as I go and my studies are a product of what I learned thru much prayer, sound hermeneutics, seeking the input of other mature believers with a willingness to receive and implement correction where needed.  I always try to set aside my preconceived ideas, doctrines etc, so that my heart and mind are open to the leading of God.  If He does not inspire and teach me thru Jesus, my works are wood, hay, and stubble, fit only for the Refiner’s fire.  In each section I have embedded a hyperlink indicating a Part in the series, (e.g. – SECTION ONE = Part One of the series, and so on).  By clicking onto the hyperlink you can go directly to that Part in the series.





In Part One we learned that Lucifer was anointed and ordained by God to be a covering or guardian cherub (Ezekiel 28:16); his job or assignment was to watch over the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and deter man from eating its fruit.  Lucifer and was so named because of his role as God’s light (truth) bearer.  Lucifer is NOT a translation from the Hebrew but an English transliteration from the Latin Vulgate version of the Hebrew word heylel, which means, “to flash forth light; figuratively, it means to praise or boast.”  When he sinned, Lucifer’s name was changed to, “Satan,” which means, “adversary,” and Satan is also the devil.


Ezekiel 28:12-19 and Isaiah 14:12-13 are descriptive of Lucifer before he sinned, at the time he sinned, how God judged him for his sin, and WHY he sinned.  Lucifer betrayed God’s trust in him and instead of deterring man from partaking of the tree of knowledge, he used fraudulence to deceive the woman to eat of it.  Indirectly thru the woman, the man knowingly violated God’s command.  Cherubim are supposed to act as God’s mercy seat messengers, but Lucifer did not turn the man back to God’s mercy to find forgiveness thru repentance.  Instead, the authority and power given him was used selfishly, deterring the man from renewed fellowship with God at the tree of life by falsely promising he would be made “wise like God” thru knowledge of good and evil.


Lucifer is described as covered with and covering with gleaming precious metals like gold, and luminous gems that sparkle like diamonds, rubies, onyx, etc.  These ornamentations are symbolic of course, but they represent the God-given authority in its original characteristic form of light (truth).  Lucifer was to utilize this beauty and great intellect in his position as a guardian cherub.  First, he was to deter the man from partaking of forbidden fruit without violating or in any way interfering with his free moral agency.  When efforts to deter the man from disobeying God’s command proved unsuccessful, as Yahweh’s ‘Light Bearer’ Lucifer’s was supposed to use his authority to light the path for the repentant sinner and lead him back to God via the mercy seat; there forgiveness is found, restoring the man’s fellowship with the Presence of Yahweh.






There is no solid evidence in Old Testament or New Testament scripture that angels are God’s “stars” that fell from heaven before the Creation, thereafter existing a demons or evil spirits.  This does not mean evil spirits are non-existent; it simply means the orthodox Christian view of their origin and so-called “fall” is not supported by scripture.


Lucifer used his great beauty and wisdom to steal worship and adoration from his Creator, using the tree of the knowledge of good and evil as bait to lure the man and his wife into following after him instead of Elohim.  Lucifer’s judgment for this was being “destroyed” (removed) from the, “midst of the stones of fire.”  That is, he was no longer allowed to enter and participate in the glorious presence (i.e. – “fire”) of God and share in His service, or partake of fellowship among His other messengers.


Lucifer’s form as a “serpent” whether literal or symbolic is derived from a Hebrew word that means, “to hiss, i.e. whisper a (magic) spell; generally, to prognosticate.”  It is translated elsewhere as, “omen, divination, a spell (magic), witchcraft, horoscope, etc.”  This shows the beginning of spiritual deception using one’s outward appearance to deceive, as in wolves that wear sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are full of deceit and wickedness.


The tree of the knowledge of good & evil shows the principle of moral agency has always existed.  Good and evil MUST coexist just as light and darkness coexist by virtue of their inherent properties; you cannot have one without the other.  This implies in principle that the tree of the knowledge of good & evil is exactly the same as the works of the Law in unwritten form.  When Adam partook and ate of the tree it is the same type of sin as trying to live by the letter of the law.  Just as the letter of the Law kills, so does living by the precepts of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.


The tree of life represents the Father’s word.  Stated another way, the tree of life is that place in the mind, heart and spirit of man, where God meets and talks with him; it is the same as living by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.  It is the same as living by the spirit by conforming to God’s will.  Later we will see that Jesus faced the same temptation that Adam faced but Jesus decided NOT to live by the “knowledge” offered to him by the devil; instead, he chose to live by, “every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”


When God says, “Behold, the man has become like one of us,” it is likely, even probable that He is speaking at that moment to and about Lucifer.   The reasoning behind this hypothesis is based on cause-and-effect; when Adam and Eve sinned there was an immediate awareness that they were naked and a feeling of overwhelming shame because of their nakedness that did not exist prior to partaking of the forbidden fruit.  They had chosen to follow the serpent’s offer to become “wise like God” instead of remaining humbly content by obeying God’s simple commandment.  Adam’s guilt came from an attempt to operate independently and to be ‘self-sufficient’ instead of remaining “dependent” upon God relying solely upon HIS sufficiency for wisdom and knowledge.  Therefore, Adam and Eve “became” unrighteous like the serpent instead of blameless like God. 


Genesis 3:14 affirms this interpretation, because the text begins by saying, “And the LORD God said to the serpent, "Because you have done this, “Cursed are you…” and then later, “Behold, the man has become like one of us…”  The scriptures present a powerful argument for the tree of life being the same as the dwelling place of God.  Righteousness, peace, wisdom, and forgiveness are all extended to the hand of the one who eats of the tree of life. 






After Adam was sent out of the garden, other cherubim present were placed by God as guardians to protect the way to the tree of life.  In the original creation of earth’s inhabitants, these cherubim are the ones to whom God said in Genesis 1:26, “Let US make man in OUR image.”  Cherubim are ‘angels,’ but the English word, “angels,” is a mischaracterization of what the Hebrew Old Testament and Greek New Testament teach about them.  A more appropriate definition for angels is literally ‘messengers.’ 


Not all of God’s heavenly messengers share the same rank in status as the cherubim.  As a cherubim, Lucifer was ‘blameless’ in all his ways before he sinned.  The word for “blameless” used in the Hebrew text is identical as is used for men of God in the Old Testament, such as, “ Noah was blameless,” in his generation.  The term always implies a process of being MADE blameless and it is not the same as terms that mean, “sinless.”


In Luke 10:17-20 Jesus says, “I beheld Lucifer fall,” and this does not mean he preexisted in the Old Testament, nor does it mean he beheld Satan’s fall before the world was created.  Luke 10:17-20 shows the hierarchy of Satan as chief, and demons as subordinate in the context of what the Seventy disciples experienced when Jesus sent them out with authority over evil spirits. 


The “flaming sword,” which guarded the way to the tree of life in Genesis is a terrible mistranslation.  The Hebrew word translated as, “flaming sword,” refers to the viewable distortion of a barren wasteland.  As Adam gazed intently at the distant surrounding landscape, in vain he looked in all four directions, north, south, east, and west, trying to find “the way” back to the tree of life.   A rippling effect generated by heat waves rising upward from the parched and blazing hot desert floor must have been a confusing contrast to the garden Adam and his wife enjoyed at one time.  


The topographical consequence of Adam’s transgression in the garden was that it was transformed from lush greenery into a barren wilderness desert.  God did this to hide from Adam the way to the tree of life and prohibited him from finding his way back to it until Christ.  Lucifer and Adam traded God’s forgiveness for the doctrine of the “knowledge of good and evil,” and set in motion a trend of religious pride.  This is the beginning of an established pattern of religious works fueled by pride. 


Adam’s experience was not unlike someone crossing the Sahara Desert on foot; the upward rippling motion created by the heat waves often projects an imaginary reflection, sometimes even a picture of a non-existent oasis.  In similar fashion, the heat waves blinded Adam’s way back to the Garden of Eden, so that he could no longer find it.  This destruction is what happened when cherubim, commanded by God to guard the way to the tree of life, did so by parching the ground leading to the entrance of the garden.  They made it a barren desert and so hot and miserable the man Adam would never find it on his own again. 


The consequence for Adam’s transgression included experiencing shame for nakedness and degenerative effects upon his mitochondria and allelemorphic DNA .  The, “seed of the woman,” refers genetically to mitochondria DNA, since the man’s mitochondria dies during the insemination and fertilization process.  Adam’s punishment by God is that he was NOT able to pass on his genetic, “seed,” (i.e. - mitochondria DNA), and thereby genetically contribute to the redemption of humankind, through his descendents until the time of Jesus the Messiah. 


However, the woman Eve’s mitochondria DNA WAS preserved and continued as an integral part of the human sexual reproduction process.  The message for the believer today is simple: God forgives our sins thru faith in Jesus Christ when we repent; however, the consequences of sin are often irreversible.  Christians want God to be their magic genie and make all the bad and negative consequences go away simply because they are redeemed by the blood of Christ.  God’s love shows no partiality; whatever a man sows, that too shall he reap.






The expression of Satan’s resentment toward God, using deceit and fraud to draw others away from the Father, is a prototype for blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.  One who blasphemes the Holy Spirit is always found actively using deceptive techniques to manipulate others through oppressive religious servitude, intentionally directing them away from Jesus Christ as the only way, truth and light, which leads leading to a relationship with the Father.


Adam sinned knowing it was wrong, but the woman was deceived, according to 1 Timothy 2:14.  The Greek word for, “deceived,” is, “exapateetheísa,” which is literally defined as, “to seduce wholly.”  This compound word uses the preposition, “ek” (from out of) because ek denotes the origin from whence the action takes place.  Thus, the seduction of Eve came from within her, not from without.  This does not negate there was some outward form of traduction by the serpent; rather, it demonstrates the devil’s trickery.  His seduction took place within the woman’s heart and mind, and it may have included her feelings and emotions as well. 


The “tree of the knowledge of good and evil” is likely an anthropomorphism of Lucifer turned devil, who uses the bait of our own religious, “knowledge,” to determine what is good fruit or evil instead of living by every word proceeding from the mouth of God.  The devil tempts us from within; understanding his tactics helps us know how to fight against him and disarm his strategies.  We cannot blame the devil for all of our evil thoughts just because he is given permission to implant these thoughts in our mind and heart.  God expects us, as His beloved children, not to lean on our own understanding to outwit this powerful angel of darkness, but to lean upon HIS word for triumph over the devil’s traducing (seduction).


Because fruit is used in scripture analogous to what is in our hearts, then the “tree” symbolizes the human being.  In other words, man is likened to a fruit-bearing tree and this is taught throughout the Old and New Testaments.  Jesus is called the, “stem of Jesse,” and, “a righteous Branch,” to David.  God the Father firmly planted Jesus in the soil of His word (OT scriptures).  The, “fruit of the spirit,” found in Galatians 5:22-23 and Ephesians 5:9 is produced from only ONE tree, the tree of LIFE.  It’s most important Branch is Jesus and the roots that draw precious nutrients to bear good fruit are buried beneath the “soil” of humanity, hidden from sight to give glory to the Father.  Jesus said, “By this is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit.”


Adam’s transgression cursed the ground.  When Cain sinned and murdered his brother, the ground cursed HIM!  Cain invoked evil upon his brother by spilling his blood upon the ground, and now the soil cried out against Cain as a witness (Genesis 4:11).  It is easy to see the progression of sin and how rapidly it grows through a simple choice to invite evil into a person’s life.





God initiated His plan to redeem mankind from the curse of sin and death when He created Jesus in the womb of the young virgin, a maiden espoused to Joseph named Mary.  He needed a man that would live his entire human life blamelessly without the blemish of sin, and then willingly give his life as a sacrifice to atone for the sins of all that call on God thru him.


To bypass the Adamic consequences that harmfully altered the genetic components in male reproductive cells, God simply created the male gamete (spermatozoa) and supernaturally positioned it within Mary’s fertile ovum during her ovulation cycle, as one of her ovaries released an egg and it moved thru her Fallopian tube.  This male gamete contained the alleles and mitochondria DNA that would enhance Jesus’ relationship with God and make a difference in his choice to resist and overcome sin.


Once the male sperm cell created by God penetrated Mary’s fertile female egg cell, at this instant, the normal human reproductive cycle began and the human cells began dividing, multiplying, and the male zygote formed.  A zygote is a medical term that describes human life at its earliest embryonic stage of development.  Hypothetically, God included the male mitochondria DNA in gamete He created to unite with Mary’s female gamete; this meant Jesus was the product of male and female reproductive cells that were complete in every way.  He would be the only male human being ever BORN the result of uniting both female AND male mitochondria DNA.  As Mary’s unborn child grew and formed in her womb as God’s son, it could only be described as truly, “unique.”


The reason for this, if the hypothesis proves to be true, may include the effects of death on the cells in his human body during the 3 days and nights after Jesus was crucified.  The mitochondria DNA are the powerhouse cells that keep the body regulated and are essential “life” cells, so perhaps this helped energize his body and prevent any adverse effects post-resurrection.  This is not given as explanation for the resurrection because God the Father raised Jesus from the dead, but in the process, He insured Jesus resurrected body would be in excellent condition as a witness to all that saw him.


So Mary’s nine-month pregnancy began and she gave birth to Jesus who was made like his brethren in all ways.  This process of procreation by God was not accomplished thru sexual intercourse between God and Mary, as Mormons teach.  These two human cells, one with X-chromosomes and one with Y-chromosomes, merged to form one unique human cell that contained both male and female mitochondria DNA.  This never happens with any pregnancy because the male mitochondria, found only in the ‘tail’ of the sperm cell, upon penetration of the outer layer of the female egg breaks away from the head and dies.


This unique conception by God the Father furnished His only begotten son with a hypersensitivity to the things of the spirit.  With the proper guidance from his earthly parents, particularly Joseph, who would teach him about the Scriptures and spiritual things, Jesus could and would develop and maintain an intimate connection between his human spirit and his Father God’s spirit. 


Just as Adam talked with God in the Garden of Eden, Jesus did likewise with God.  His genetic make up enabled him to have vibrant interaction between God, his human soul and spirit, and this affected his human body, including his feelings and emotions.  Being genetically whole and complete gave Jesus the innate ability to perpetually sense (i.e. – feel) the presence of his Father God.  God gave His only begotten son Jesus an “edge” in the very literal sense because he was not subject to the damaging effects of Adamic allelomorphic (hereditary) behavioral characteristics (i.e. – the bent toward & preference for sin).


Allelomorphic heredity involves both physical and behavioral characteristics and could be described as the key factor, which gave Jesus the innate desire to listen for and immerse himself in the things of the spirit.  The LORD God fulfilled His promise to Eve, that from her genetic “seed” (maternal inheritance) would come the Messiah, who would bruise the serpent’s head.  God used the woman’s mitochondrial DNA down thru the ages in successive generations, thereby keeping her “seed” available for His redemptive plan.


Uniting male and female mitochondria was only the first step in the process; God also included a set of chromosomes (alleles) to unite with Mary’s alleles.  Mary’s alleles would be perhaps the dominant factor in determining Jesus’ hair, eye, and skin color, and other physical traits.  However, since God is not flesh and blood, the alleles He generated when overshadowing Mary were mainly for Jesus to possess the innate behavioral characteristics (i.e. – personality & temperament) necessary to develop his morally blameless life.


The third vital factor in the process God set in motion to prepare Jesus to be the propitiation for sin involved selection of the appropriate and qualified parents to raise him and guide him in the ways of the Lord.  Genetics alone are insufficient and God waited until all the right players (so to speak) were in place.  This included choosing Mary, a righteous young virgin, and Joseph, a man of high moral standard, and one who knew more than just the Law.  God needed to select a man to be the earthly father of Jesus who would teach him the heart of the Father, prayer and intercession and the correct application of the Law, with an emphasis on mercy, love and compassion.  Joseph was just such a man, as demonstrated in the way he treated Mary from the beginning of her encounter with God, and his obedience to the words of the angel, God’s messenger, sent to direct him with heavenly commands.





Part Six – Guarding the Way to the Tree of Life

“He stationed the cherubim… to guard the way

Genesis 3:24 

By Craig Bluemel


At this point in the study, researching scripture to determine the specific identity of the various cherubim will take back seat to the single most important issue in all of scripture, which is a believer’s individual relationship with God the Father.  The purpose of this study is to provide an essential truth that when diligently applied, will sustain your relationship with God thru Jesus Christ.  The primary reason God stationed cherubim to guard the way to the tree of life was to prevent Adam, whose inherent nature had been changed for the worse, from eating its fruit and living forever in a condition of shame and guilt.  Had he been allowed to eat of the tree of life, which represents fellowship in Yahweh’s presence, it would have resulted in a mischaracterization the “way of life” associated with the Creator.  READ Genesis 2:4-25 & Genesis 3:1-24. 


If you have a Bible handy, keep it open to these two chapters during this study as a reference tool.  Throughout this study the terms ‘LORD God’ (Yahweh Elohym) are used interchangeably with the Hebrew transliteration of the same; the word, ‘LORD’ (all CAPS) in Old Testament scripture is Yahweh, God’s covenant name; Yahweh is constructed in third person singular, meaning, “He is.”  It is derived from a root word ‘hayah’ meaning, “to exist, to be or to become.”  The word ‘God’ in Old Testament scriptures is typically the Hebrew, ‘Elohym.’  Some Christians are hung up using the Hebrew transliteration instead of the words, “LORD,” or, “God,” because they think it is more holy, but I do it just to familiarize the reader with Old Testament Hebrew. 


Some important facts need to be established from the overall context so that mistakes are not made interpreting the scriptures.  This brief overview of the events taking place in Genesis chapters Two and Three may already be familiar to the reader, however what is central to this study is the inner change that took place within Adam when he disobeyed Yahweh’s command not to eat.  Sadly, most if not all Bible translations do a poor job translating key words and the purpose of this research is to determine what happened when Adam’s “eyes were opened” and he suddenly became aware of his nakedness, how the shame he felt generated fear and why that led him to hide from Yahweh when He called for him in the cool of the day.


If we understand the fundamentals of the change in Adam, we’ll also be able to understand why Yahweh stationed cherubim to guard the “way” leading to the tree of life so that Adam in his tainted condition would not be able to eat its fruit and live forever in that condition.  With that in mind, let’s review events:


1.      In Genesis 2:7 God first made the man by forming (Hebrew = “squeezed or molded into shape”) him from the ground, then He breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being, from the Hebrew noun nepesh (OT: 5315); it refers to the essence of life, the act of breathing, and taking breath and connotes the meaning of soul; self; life; person; heart.[1]  Nepesh also includes animals and other living creatures, however, in human beings, it refers to the inner being of man’s thoughts and emotions.[2]  


2.      Next in Genesis 2:8 Yahweh Elohym planted a garden toward the east, in Eden; and there He placed the man.  The words, “toward the east,” are a mistranslation of the Hebrew word miqedem (OT: 6924) mean ancient time, aforetime, ancient, from of old, and the earliest time.”  While miqedem can be translated, ‘east’ here, it should be rendered in the same sense as it is used of creation in Proverbs 8:23 and elsewhere; therefore it ought to read, “…and from the earliest times the LORD God planted a garden in Eden and there He placed the man whom He had formed there.”


3.      Next in Genesis 2:8 God caused every tree in the Garden of Eden to grow; EVERY tree was pleasing to the sight and good for food, including the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; these two trees grew in the midst or middle of the garden.


4.      Next in Genesis 2:15-17 Yahweh commanded the man to tend and guard the garden and told him to, “freely eat of every tree,” including the tree of life, EXCEPT not to eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; for in the day that he eats of it he, “shall surely die.”  It is important to note this commandment was not given by God to the woman, for as yet she had not been created by Him; therefore, Adam bore SOLE responsibility for not only himself, but for his wife.


5.      Next in Genesis 2:19-23 Yahweh brought all living creatures to Adam, and he named them all; then God formed woman out of the man’s rib, and she became part of his flesh and bone.  At this time, before they sinned, neither of them was ashamed to be naked.


6.      Next, in Genesis 3:1-7 we find Lucifer disguising himself as a serpent to deceive the woman.  Lucifer was supposed to be Yahweh’s anointed cherub in Eden (Ezekiel 28:12-14), placed there by God Himself to be a bearer of light and truth, assigned to the tree of the knowledge of good and evil to deter man from eating of it, and if man failed, to point him to God’s mercy.  Instead of doing Yahweh’s will, Lucifer betrayed God and became His adversary by using his beauty as a cloak for evil.  He exploited the woman, while the man who was with her stood by and did not intervene or prevent her from the serpent’s mischaracterization of Yahweh’s commandment not to eat of its fruit.  Promising her “eyes would be opened” and she would be “wise like God, knowing (experientially) good and evil.”  She took and ate, then gave also to her husband, and he ate; immediately both of their “eyes were opened” and instead of being wise like God, they became ashamed of their nakedness, and tried themselves to cover their loins by weaving fig leaves together.


7.      Next, in Genesis 3:8-20 Yahweh Elohym was walking in the cool of the day and called to the man, (not the woman), and they both hid themselves from His presence; Adam told Him, “I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself."  Yahweh replied asking the man, “Who told you that you were naked?  Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?"  The man then blamed the woman, who blamed the serpent for deceiving her, and finally God’s judgment was pronounced upon all of them.


8.       Next, in Genesis 3: 21, after Adam sinned, Yahweh clothed both of them in animal skins, likely the skin of a sacrificial lamb.  How this was accomplished is unclear because the text gives us no details, but I surmise that just as Yahweh was heard, “walking,” in the Garden, so too he sacrificed an animal and made garments of skin to cover the shame of their nakedness.  This was probably done thru one of His messengers, perhaps one of the cherubim, since all thru the Old Testament there are events where Yahweh reveals himself thru heavenly messengers, and even sacrifices using the same, such as the three men that visited Abraham. 


9.      Next, in Genesis 3: 22-23 Yahweh Elohym said to the cherubim, “Behold, the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”;  therefore the LORD God sent him out from the garden of Eden, to cultivate the soil outside its boundaries, the same ground from which God originally molded him.


10.  Finally, in Genesis 3:24 Yahweh “drove the man out” and at the east of the Garden of Eden He stationed the cherubim and the flaming sword which turned every direction to guard the way to the tree of life. 


Our study will focus on the events in Genesis 3:22-24.  When the LORD (Yahweh) says, “the man has become like one of us,” He is speaking to the cherubim in general and/or He is speaking only of and to Lucifer, an anointed cherub He placed in Eden as described in Ezekiel 28:12-13 (see below).  I believe He is speaking to all the cherubim present.  Nevertheless, the subject matter of His words are ABOUT one lone cherub named Lucifer, who was “blameless” like other cherubim UNTIL unrighteousness was found in him when he sinned in the Garden.


Ezekiel 28:12-15 'Thus says the Lord GOD, "You had the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.  You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering… You were the anointed cherub who covers, and I placed you there.  You were on the holy mountain of God; you walked in the midst of the stones of fire.  You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created until unrighteousness was found in you.”  NASU


Two facts have been established concerning cherubim in Eden; there was at least three, probably more.  Lucifer is one cherub (singular) and the “cherubim” stationed to guard the way to the tree of life is at least two, or more.  In Genesis 3:22 when the LORD (Yahweh) says, “the man has become like one of us,” the only beings or persons that are mentioned within the context of surrounding events are: Adam, his wife Eve, and cherubim; thus, God cannot be talking TO Adam if He is talking ABOUT Adam to someone(s) else.  Further, the field is narrowed to whom He is talking ABOUT in these words, “Behold, the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil…”  I used bold highlights to emphasize Adam became like ONE KNOWING EVIL.


It’s a no-brainer to figure out who the “evil one” is identified here; it is Lucifer, whose name ‘light bearer’ is changed altogether by virtue of his blatant act of betrayal and deception, with his motive being to mischaracterize Yahweh’s commandment not to eat or partake of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. This interpretation is strengthened by the definition of the Hebrew word in Genesis 3:22 translated as, “has become like,” which is the word hayah (OT: 1961); hayah is the same root word from which Yahweh is derived. 


Often this verb indicates more than simple existence or identity; rather, the verb hayah makes a strong statement about the being or presence of a person.  Unfortunately, the simple meaning of hayah, "to become" or "to come to pass" appears often in the English versions of the Bible.[3]  Because of this application, when the man sinned, he became like the being or presence of a person mentioned in the text, (i.e. – “one of us”), which is the, “one knowing evil,” i.e. – Lucifer).   This conclusion is strengthened by the description of Lucifer as anointed cherub in Eden found in the text of Ezekiel 28:15, “You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created until unrighteousness was found in you.”  


Yahweh did NOT say, ““the man has become like one of us knowing good FROM evil,” which could infer a positive discernment whereby the person is able to differentiate between what is good or what is evil.  In the context of Genesis 3:22 the Hebrew word for “knowing” is da`ath (OT: 1847); the word da`ath is used in the sense of knowing by experience, or by relationship, or encounter.[4]


In the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:9,17), God forbid Adam from partaking of moral, experiential knowledge of good and evil, because Adam was created as the first representative of the human race, who was made in the image and likeness of God.  Adam’s disobedience meant he acquired experiential firsthand knowledge of evil.  Stated another way Adam became morally evil in his disobedient quest to become, “wise” like God.

The difference between Adam and his wife is that she was deceived, whereas Adam, the one to whom Yahweh gave the direct commandment, just stood by idly watching as the traducer (the serpent) misquoted Yahweh’s words and misrepresented the potential consequence of disobedience.  Furthermore, instead of cherishing and protecting the woman whom he had declared was, “bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh,” Adam violated the original mandate given to him by God who placed him in the garden “tend and guard it!”  by choosing to experience an encounter with evil one, i.e. - the serpent, Adam knowingly brought sin and death as the consequence for sin into the inhabitants of the world.  The apostle Paul describes this kind of experiential encounter with evil in the following scripture:


1 Corinthians 15:33-34 Do not be deceived: "Bad company corrupts good morals."  Become sober-minded as you ought, and stop sinning, for some have no knowledge of God.  I speak this to your shame.  New American Standard Bible - Updated Edition


Adam spent too much time in the “bad company” of Lucifer and as a result, his morals became corrupt.  Interestingly, Paul’s mention of “shame” reminds us of how Adam and his wife became ashamed when their “eyes were opened.”  Adam learned a hard lesson by thinking he could be self-sufficient and obtain wisdom apart from the LORD.  David uses the same Hebrew word for shame as found here to convey what Adam should have done:


Psalms 25:2-3, 6, 20-21 O my God, I trust, lean on, rely on, and am confident in You.  Let me not be put to shame.  Yes, let none who trust and wait hopefully and look for You be put to shame or be disappointed; let them be ashamed who forsake the right or deal treacherously without cause…  Remember, O LORD, your great mercy and love, for they are from of old… Guard my life and rescue me; let me not be put to shame, for I take refuge in you. May integrity and uprightness protect me, because my hope is in you. AMP NIV


In Genesis 3:24 Yahweh stationed guardian cherubim to preserve His good name and the quality of the moral integrity associated with Him.  The translation of the Hebrew word derek as, “the way,” are technically accurate, however, these two words, “the way,” are woefully inadequate to convey what is really intended.  Had Bible translators indicated a “way of living” or a “way of life” it would come slightly closer to the intent, but would still miss the mark because a person’s “way of life” includes attitude, behavior, and Hebrew word “derek” used here connotes the condition of heart, manner of living, attitudes and motive. 


It is noteworthy that Yahweh doesn’t station cherubim to guard the tree of life itself, but instead to guard the “way” to the tree of life.  The Hebrew word for “way” will be defined next, and it will embody the rest of this study.  Keep in mind as you read the tree of life is the place where Yahweh the Father God abides and shares sweet fellowship with His children.  In the new covenant, the only “way” to get to this place is thru Jesus Christ, and guarding the “way” to the tree of life, (i.e. – the Father’s throne of grace) symbolizes divine protection from those that would use Jesus’ name for selfish ambition, as has been done since the day of his crucifixion and resurrection.


In Genesis 3:24Yahweh stationed cherubim at “the east” of the Garden of Eden to guard the way to the tree of life.  The Hebrew word for “east” comes from the same Hebrew miqedem as used in Genesis 2:8 and here it means, “ancient time, aforetime, ancient, from of old, the earliest time.”  While miqedem can be translated, ‘east’ here, it should be rendered, “So He {God} drove the man out; and from the earliest time He stationed the cherubim…”


The Hebrew words in Genesis 3:24 translated as, “guarding the way,” are transliterated to English as, “lishmor 'et- derek.”  The word lishmor simply means to guard, protect, or watch over something.  The Hebrew word “derek” is translated as, “the way.” central to this study, and is defined as follows:


the way” = 'et- derek (OT: 1870)  — a way, a road, a distance, a journey, a manner, the course of life and/or moral character.


1.      A road, a way, a path

2.      A journey

3.      A direction

4.      A manner, a habit, a way

5.      Used of the course of life (figurative)

6.      Used of moral character (figurative)[5]


Although the Hebrew word “derek” is typically used to represent a road, path, or direction, when applied to the tree of life (God’s Presence), the figurative terms above best describe its intended meaning in Genesis 3:24.  The “way” to the “tree of life” is a description of the course of a person’s life and/or their moral character when they have a personal relationship with God.  In other words, God is concerned that His character is not misrepresented, since Lucifer betrayed His trust, and used deceit to lure the woman, and then the man into his destruction.


In Genesis 3:24, Yahweh stationed cherubim to preserve, guard, and protect the honorable, moral quality associated with the intrinsic character of the tree of life (i.e. – God Himself!).  Yahweh did not want the human race to begin with a mischaracterization of His nature, as would have been the case had Adam been allowed continued access to the tree of life.  I believe these cherubim also serve to guard Yahweh’s moral integrity by warring against Satan, who is himself a cherub, albeit a traitor and a liar.  To bring this into real-world concepts, all false religions and many pseudo-Christian sects have one common denominator, which is misrepresenting God’s true nature.


I do not know or understand all of the reasons why Yahweh Elohym in His greatness and power chose to use cherubim to guard His Presence and His character.  Throughout the Old Testament scripture cherubim are used as heavenly agents or messengers to preserve the upright moral integrity associated with the covenant name of “Yahweh.”  This role as guardians of God’s presence became necessary for the first 4000 years of the earth’s history, until God enacted His final plan for the redemption and atonement of mankind thru Jesus Christ.  Once the church was born, preservation of Yahweh’s moral character became the role, function, and duty of Jesus Christ and his body of messengers, (i.e. those servants who diligently and faithfully follow after him, bringing glory to the Father in and thru his name).


One thing is certain and applies to guarding a godly way of life so that God’s holiness and His nature are not misused or misrepresented is how the Ark of the Covenant, which held the two golden cherubim, was only effectual in the defeat of Israel’s enemies when they were in good spiritual condition and walking in the “way of life” prescribed by God.  (READ 1 Samuel 4:4ff & 6:2ff).


In the Old Testament Hebrew text, the word derek has various different applications that communicate relate to the manner, custom, behavior, or mode of life.  For example, in Genesis 19:31

The Amplified Bible translates derek as, the customary way,” to illustrate a traditional mode or custom of life.  In 1 Kings 2:4 the Hebrew word derek is applied to an activity that controls one's life-style; the NIV reads,  “ 'If your descendants watch how they live, and if they walk faithfully before me with all their heart and soul…” In 1 Kings 16:26 derek is used of Jeroboam's attitude, "For he walked in all the ways of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and in his sin…” 


In the Hebrew Old Testament scriptures, the use of the word derek conveys a person’s spiritual, “condition" in the sense of what has happened to them.  This is clear by the parallelism of Isaiah 40:27, “Why, O Jacob, do you say, and declare, ‘O Israel, my way and my lot are hidden from the Lord?’”  Amplified Bible 


In Jeremiah 10:23 derek signifies the overall course and fixed path of one's life, or his destiny; the Amplified Bible best conveys what Jeremiah pleads in the name of the people, “O Lord, I know that the determination of the way of a man is not in himself; it is not in man even in a strong man or in a man at his best to direct his own steps.”[6]


Guarding the “way” to the tree of life as a new covenant believer and servant of the Lord Jesus Christ means, we are to be, “doers of the word, and not hearers only.”  Our primary function is bringing glory to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus thru what we say and what we do.  We are to love one another in deed and in truth, letting our light shine is such a way that mankind will see our good works and glorify God the Father thru them. 


The Hebrew word derek is used hundreds of times in the Old Testament scriptures, so the scriptures shared here are limited to a minuscule fraction of them, but I have selected passages that parallel what occurred in Genesis 3:24.


Proverbs 3:5-7 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.  6 In all your ways (derek) acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.  7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and turn away from evil. NASU


Adam serves as an important lesson for us today; all too often we trust our own wisdom instead of acknowledging God in ALL of our course and manner of living.  The serpent convinced the woman that she had to experience good and evil to truly understand what it means, and to gain wisdom.  I have sometimes heard believers that have been raised from childhood in a Christian home say, “I wish I had gotten the opportunity to drink or smoke, or do what other kids did growing up so that my testimony would have as much excitement as others.”  If you are such a person reading this, take Adam’s lesson as a cue, and from one sinner that experienced too much sin, along with the dramatic testimony comes a lifetime of regret and consequences.


Proverbs 3:13, 17-19 How blessed is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains understanding…17 Her ways (derek) are pleasant ways (derek), and all her paths are peace. 18 She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her, and happy are all who hold her fast.  19 The LORD by wisdom founded the earth; by understanding, He established the heavens.  NASB


I have often wondered and even been asked by others why God personified “wisdom” in Proverbs chapter eight as representing the feminine gender.  I still do not have a satisfactory answer to this, but as I near completion of this study, I realize that maybe, just maybe God may have us to reflect on what the first woman did in her quest to become “wise” like God.  Of the relatively small amount of times the term, “tree of life,” is found in the Bible, I find it more than coincidental that God inspires these words, “How blessed is the MAN who finds wisdom, and the MAN who gains understanding,” in the same context of those who, “take hold of her,” as they would the, “tree of life.”


Perhaps this proverb is meant to draw our attention back to the Garden of Eden, and back to the time when Adam, had he not disobeyed Yahweh’s command, would probably have taken hold of the woman, and pulled her away from the wiles and deception of the serpent.  How many Christian husbands lack in wisdom from on High to lead and guide their wives and families in the manner of life they lives together?  It’s a lot easier to pose the question rhetorically than to turn and aim the same question at myself, but we are told in scripture to “examine ourselves” and determine of in fact we are walking in the way of faith.  We are exhorted to “test the spirits” to see whether or not they are from God.


In closing this study, it is my prayer that each of us will do his or her best to honor God’s way by living according to His word.  May we not be like Adam, who sought wisdom and knowledge apart from the Almighty.  Thanks be to God we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous, to whom we can turn and find our way back to Him.  I leave you with a few scriptures to meditate on that relate to this study, and encourage you to dig deeper and allow the Lord to guide your steps.


Proverbs 2:6-13 For the LORD gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.  He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk in integrity, guarding the paths of justice, and He preserves the way (derek) of His godly ones. NASU


Proverbs 12:28 Life is in the way (derek) of righteousness; i.e. moral and spiritual rectitude in every area and relation; and in its pathway, there is no death but immortality i.e. perpetual, eternal life. [John 3:36; 4:36; 8:51; 11:26; 1 Corinthians 15:54; Galatians 6:8.]  AMP


Proverbs 14:12 There is a way (derek) which seems right to a man and appears straight before him, but at the end of it is the way (derek) of death.  AMP 


Proverbs 16:7 When a man's ways (derek) please the Lord; He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.   AMP


Proverbs 16:9 A man's mind plans his way (derek), but the Lord directs his steps and makes them sure. [Psalms 37:23; Proverbs 20:24; Jeremiah 10:23.]  AMP


Proverbs 16:25 There is a way (derek) that seems right to a man and appears straight before him, but at the end of it is the way (derek) of death. AMP


Proverbs 19:16 He who keeps the commandment of the Lord keeps his own life, but he who despises His ways (derek) shall die. [Luke 10:28; 11:28.]  AMP


John 4:34-36 Jesus said to them, "My food is to do the will of Him who sent me and to accomplish His work.  Do you not say, 'There are yet four months, and then comes the harvest'?  Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes, and look on the fields, that they are white for harvest.  Already he who reaps is receiving wages and is gathering fruit for life eternal; so that he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together.”  NASU


John 8:51 Jesus said, “I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, if anyone observes My teaching lives in accordance with My message, keeps My word, he will by no means ever see and experience death.”  AMP



With love to the body of Jesus Christ & especially my wife


Monday, June 6, 2005




To be Continued in Part 7


Links to the Entire " Rethinking The Fall Of Lucifer & The Temptation Of Jesus” Series:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

                                                                                                                                                       Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

To be continued in Part 7



Return to BAS Homepage   ·   Craig's Bible Studies   ·   E-mail Craig   ·   Write Us   ·   Writings & Links to BAS Friends   ·   Q & A   ·   Return to Top of This Page






[1] Vine's Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, Copyright © 1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers

[2] The Complete Word Study Dictionary: Old Testament Copyright © 2003 by AMG Publishers. All rights reserved

[3] Vine's Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, Copyright © 1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers

[4] The Complete Word Study Dictionary: Old Testament Copyright © 2003 by AMG Publishers.

[5] The Online Bible Thayer's Greek Lexicon and Brown Driver & Briggs Hebrew Lexicon, Copyright © 1993, Woodside Bible Fellowship, Ontario, Canada. Licensed from the Institute for Creation Research

[6] Vine's Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, Copyright © 1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers