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June, 2004

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the Seven Spirits (re: Rev03:greeting)

I just started reading your study on Revelation and thought I would share scripture in Exodus 37:23(building of the tabernacle) and Isaiah 11:2.

From Rev03 you state...
"..and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne" (vs4b) Of the various things we will see in this book, this is one that is yet a mystery....Since I don't know of any Scripture that explains the matter, other than mentioning their existence, I'm going to leave it right there. A question. A 'mystery' yet to be understood when we see the Lord and understand "face to face" (1Co13:12)

A few months back I was shown the scripture in Isaiah 11 about the seven spirits of God that rest upon the Branch, which are: the spirit of the Lord, the spirit of wisdom, the spirit of understanding, the spirit of counsel, the spirit of might, the spirit of knowledge, and the spirit of the fear of the Lord. In Exodus 37 are the seven lamps in the tabernacle referring to the seven lamps that are the seven spirits of God. I have still yet to study up on it more; so all I have to give are the references. Hope this helps!

Well, the 7 lamps of the tabernacle (Ex37:23) might seem to address this, and probably do. However, the first 3 chapters of Revelation also have 7 lamps, distinct from the "seven Spirits" (1:4,4:5), which the passage tells us plainly, "...are the seven churchs" (1:20) Thus, "lamps" in one place don't necessarly mean the same thing as "lamps" in another passage.

Regarding the churches, it is interesting that it says "lampstands"....but doesn't say whether the lamps are 'lit' or not. In the O.T. those seven lamps were to be burning continually while they were set up in the tabernacle. (Lev24:2) It was part of the daily ritual for the high priest to service the lamps to keep them burning. (vs3) The Holy Spirit is seen as something appearing like flames of fire. (Ac2:3, Mt3:11) Thus, the flame of the seven lamps, O.T. tabernacle or seven churchs of Revelation, might be seen as symbolizing the Holy Spirit's presence. This may be further supported by the lampstand with seven lamps and the two olive trees of Zec4:2-3, and its connection with the proclamation including the words, "...but by My Spirit, says Jehovah of Hosts" (vs6) However, the Holy Spirit also appeared as a dove when Jesus was immersed. (Mt3:16) And the "seven Spirits" are also spoken of as "seven eyes" (Rev5:6); and the "seven" (lamps?) are also spoken of as "the eyes of Jehovah" (Zec4:10) Thus, I wouldn't want to be dogmatic about this, when there is no specific Scriptural explanation. Scripture presents the facts, but doesn't necessarily always explain their meaning.

We know there are "seven". But what is their characteristic? We lack those specifics at this time.

As for Is11:2, those characteristics, if you notice carefully, the first one is called "Spirit of Jehovah" (name/title), with a comma, followed by 3 pairs of characteristics. This passage is talking about Jesus, at His immersion by John, when the Spirit descended on Him like a dove. I really believe this is more 'descriptive' of Jesus, than it is specifically about the Holy Spirit... more specifically, the "seven" Spirits.

That's sort of like the names of Jesus: "and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Strong and Mighty God, The Eternal Father, The Prince of Peace." (Is9:6) This does not indicate "five" Jesuses....but rather, indication of Jesus' character. In many cultures, and specifically in Scripture, names have great meaning. A person's name defined his character to everybody else. Thus, Jesus has all these names...which define Him. I believe Is11:2, in similar fashion, -defines- the Holy Spirit as He came upon the -human- Jesus. I could be wrong, but it doesn't really seem to me like this is the same thing as Revelation's "seven Spirits of God". (Rev3:1, 4:5, 5:6)

The fact that the tabernacle lamps were to be kept "burning", and the "seven Spirits of God" are also "lamps of fire" that were "burning", are likely a connection, since everything about the tabernacle was a "pattern" of the "heavenly" things. (Heb8:5, Ex25:40) But I somehow doubt that Is11:2 specifically tells us 'what' the "seven" actually represent: first of all, there are really only 'six' there (in three pairs); and secondly, it is a description of Jesus, not the Holy Spirit directly.

Since five of the churches are told to "repent", and if not their lampstand would be removed, does the lack of them (collectively) being 'lit' suggest that their need for repentance indicates that they are minus the Holy Spirit? Like we continually speak of the 'pretend' [c]hurch, that is not really the [C]hurch? Just like "...not all those of Israel are Israel" (Rom9:6b); not all the [c]hurch is the [C]hurch. Without the flame of the indwelling Holy Spirit "he is not His". (Rom8:9)

Being a -vision- a great deal of the book is allegory and symbolism. Not everything is meant to be fully understood, until the Lord reveals it to us.


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