NATURE OF THE SEVEN SPIRITS OF GOD
March 19, 2021
Have you ever noticed how many times we see the number Seven in the Word? Seven is a number in Scripture which metaphorically represents completeness — a finishing of something.
You have seven nations that came forth from Ham, the son of Noah, all of whom represented a curse upon the land. These were the nations that occupied Canaan, the land of promise to God’s people.
Seven is the number that represented the Golden Candlestick in Moses’ Tabernacle. There were seven lanterns on the Golden Candlestick, all filled with an oil that burned night and day representing the passion and worship of God’s people for the Bridegroom and the Marriage Covenant represented by the Ark of the Covenant.
As you will see in today’s discussion, the number seven is absolutely prolific in God’s economy and critical to understanding the character and nature of Holy Spirit.
Let’s begin with the picture than unfolds from the book of Revelation.
Revelation 1:4: "John to the seven Ekklesias which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace from Him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are (enopion) in the place of and occupy (before, KJV) His throne."
Revelation 2:1: Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;
Revelation 3:1: And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.
Revelation 4:5: And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.
Revelation 5:6: And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.
John sums up the essence of these Seven Spirits when he writes in his first general epistle the following:
I John 4:8: He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
I John 4:16: And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
The totality, therefore, of these Seven Spirits of God is summed up in agape. It takes a revelation of the Lord for us to see agape in these Seven Spirits.
The Spirit of Judgment & Burning (Isaiah 4:4)
The Spirit of Wisdom &Understanding (Isaiah 11:1-5)
The Spirit of Counsel and Might (Isaiah 11:1-5)
The Spirit of Knowledge and the Fear of the Lord (Isaiah 11:1-5)
The Spirit of Grace &Supplications (Zechariah 12:10)
The Spirit of Truth (John 15:26)
The Spirit of Glory (I Peter 4:14)
Perhaps the most difficult revelation of these Seven Spirits is seeing the Spirit of Judgment and Burning as a function of agape. Let’s begin our look at this spirit where Isaiah first references it:
Isaiah 4:2-6: In that day shall the branch of the LORD be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel.
And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and he thatremaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, even every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem:
When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning.
And the LORD will create upon every dwelling place of mount Zion, and upon her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night: for upon all the glory shall be a defence. And there shall be a tabernacle for a shadow in the daytime from the heat, and for a place of refuge, and for a covert from storm and from rain.
The revelation of the Love of God comes when one begins to see just how this Spirit works, and what its objective is.
What does Isaiah indicate that this Spirit accomplishes?
Its first and primary purpose is to wash away the filth in God’s people.
This word “filth” however, in the Hebrew text, is the word tsoah; and it literally translates out as “excrement.” In a more general sense it represents contamination or pollution. We’ll come back to this momentarily.
Its secondary objective is to purge God’s people of blood-guiltiness.
In the Hebrew text, the word translated “blood” of Jerusalem comes from the word dawm, and literally means: innocent blood, the guilt contracted by killing. Gesenius tells in this instance that the phraseology Isaiah uses literally translates to “a city guilty of slaughter.”
But the picture goes far beyond our normal concept of slaughter or innocent blood. Isaiah is speaking of Jerusalem, and in particular one of David’s prophecies (see I Chronicles 16:22 and Psalm 105:15) where David says, “Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.”
Both Matthew and Luke record Jesus’ lament when He cries out,
Matthew 23:37-39: O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!
Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessedis he that cometh in the name of the Lord. (See also Luke 13:34)
So what do we have as a picture in Isaiah’s prophecy?
What is the picture Isaiah is drawing when he prophesies of the Spirit of Judgment and Burning?
Jerusalem (as well as Judah and Israel) had systematically killed and put to death – often by unbelievably horrible methods – the prophets God sent to rebuke them for their sin of idolatry and adultery towards Him.
In fact, history tells us that Isaiah himself became one of those prophets whose life was taken from him because of his prophecies.
When Hezekiah died, his son Manasseh took the throne. Manasseh’s wickedness was so unbelievable that Isaiah was sent by the Lord to warn him of judgment. He was seized at Manasseh’s order, stuffed into a hollowed-out log and sawed in half.
Thus the picture of this one of the Seven Spirits of God – the Spirit of Judgment and Burning – is that of a cleansing of all the contamination that comes by spiritual adultery, fornication and the worship of false gods (i.e., idolatry).
Remember how, under the Law of Moses, the Levites were commanded to offer up certain sacrifices on an altar and burn them with fire? Every sacrifice for sin required a burnt offering. Consider how God commanded the Levites:
Leviticus 6:9-13: Command Aaron and his sons, saying, Thisis the law of the burnt offering: It is the burnt offering, because of the burning upon the altar all night unto the morning, and the fire of the altar shall be burning in it. And the priest shall put on his linen garment, and his linen breeches shall he put upon his flesh, and take up the ashes which the fire hath consumed with the burnt offering on the altar, and he shall put them beside the altar. And he shall put off his garments, and put on other garments, and carry forth the ashes without the camp unto a clean place. And the fire upon the altar shall be burning in it; it shall not be put out: and the priest shall burn wood on it every morning, and lay the burnt offering in order upon it; and he shall burn thereon the fat of the peace offerings. The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar; it shall never go out.
NEVER GO OUT??? Ever notice that before? Why?
It was representative of the continual presence of the Spirit of Judgment and Burning in Israel’s midst. It meant that there was continually the cleansing presence of the Lord.
But we’ve mostly talked about the “burning” part of this Spirit and His objective to keep Israel cleansed and holy before God. Let’s go back to the way Isaiah began this Word to God’s people:
Isaiah 4:2-3: In that day shall the branch of the LORD be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel. And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and he thatremaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, even every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem:
“Them that are escaped of Israel?” Escaped from what?
The Spirit of Judgment was being executed upon all unrighteousness. “Those that are escaped of Israel” were those whom the Lord saw as walking in righteousness. He did not find it necessary to bring “the burning” upon them.
They were those whom the Spirit of Judgment and Burning called “holy.” They had kept themselves from spiritual adultery, from spiritual fornication, from idolatry, from the worship of false gods. They had not permitted themselves to be contaminated by the practices of those descendants of the seven condemned nations who were permitted to remain alive and dwell in Israel.
And what was – and is – the purpose and objective of the Spirit of Judgment and Burning?
In that day shall the branch of the LORD be beautiful and glorious!
And the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely for them [that have escaped the edict of unrighteousness issued by the Spirit of Judgment and Burning].
The Lord is determined to have for Himself a holy and righteous people – a people who reflect His Glory, a people who think like Him, speak like Him, create like Him and love like He does. Thus we have Solomon’s instruction:
Proverbs 3:11-12:11My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction: 12For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth. Throughout Israel’s history we have a continual picture of the Spirit of Judgment and Burning at work. I cannot tell you how many preachers and teachers have argued with me that the Spirit of Judgment and Burning is not and cannot be one of the Seven Spirits of God. For that reason, I commend the following Scriptures to you for study and consideration. This is a bunch, so bear with me.
Job 26:13-14: By his spirit he hath garnished the heavens; his hand hath formed the crooked serpent. Lo, these are parts of his ways: but how little a portion is heard of him? but the thunder of his power who can understand?
Proverbs 1:20-24: Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets: She crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city she uttereth her words, saying, How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge?
Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you. Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof: I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh;
The following Scriptures talk about the purpose of the Spirit of Judgment and Burning, and focus on the need for correction.
Proverbs 15:9-10: The way of the wicked is an abomination unto the LORD: but he loveth him that followeth after righteousness.
Correction is grievous unto him that forsaketh the way: and he that hateth reproof shall die.
Proverbs 15:31-33: The ear that heareth the reproof of life abideth among the wise.
He that refuseth instruction despiseth his own soul: but he that heareth reproof getteth understanding.
The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom; and before honouris humility.
Proverbs 22:15: Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.
Jeremiah 5:3-6: O LORD, are not thine eyes upon the truth? thou hast stricken them, but they have not grieved; thou hast consumed them, but they have refused to receive correction: they have made their faces harder than a rock; they have refused to return.
Therefore I said, Surely these are poor; they are foolish: for they know not the way of the LORD, nor the judgment of their God. I will get me unto the great men, and will speak unto them; for they have known the way of the LORD, and the judgment of their God: but these have altogether broken the yoke, and burst the bonds.
Wherefore a lion out of the forest shall slay them, and a wolf of the evenings shall spoil them, a leopard shall watch over their cities: every one that goeth out thence shall be torn in pieces: because their transgressions are many, and their backslidings are increased.
Jeremiah 7:27-28: Therefore thou shalt speak all these words unto them; but they will not hearken to thee: thou shalt also call unto them; but they will not answer thee.
But thou shalt say unto them, Thisis a nation that obeyeth not the voice of the LORD their God, nor receiveth correction: truth is perished, and is cut off from their mouth.
Habakkuk 1:12: Art thou not from everlasting, O LORD my God, mine Holy One? we shall not die. O LORD, thou hast ordained them for judgment; and, O mighty God, thou hast established them for correction.
Zephaniah 3:1-2, 14-17: Woe to her that is filthy and polluted, to the oppressing city! She obeyed not the voice; she received not correction; she trusted not in the LORD; she drew not near to her God.
Sing, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel; be glad and rejoice with all the heart, O daughter of Jerusalem. The LORD hath taken away thy judgments, he hath cast out thine enemy: the king of Israel, even the LORD, is in the midst of thee: thou shalt not see evil any more.
In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem, Fear thou not: and to Zion, Let not thine hands be slack. The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing
John 16:7-11: Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.
And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me; Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.
II Timothy 3:14-16: These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly: But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.
That’s an awful lot of Scripture to absorb, but I wanted to draw you a picture of just what this Spirit of Judgment and Burning is, and how important a role it plays in God’s economy. We CANNOT ever expect to grow into or become the counterparts and other selves of the Lord Jesus Christ if we do not allow this spirit to work its work thoroughly in our lives.
The judgment is not designed to destroy us, nor is the burning designed to snuff our spiritual lives out. We are being judged righteously. The fire of the burning is designed to accomplish precisely what Paul describes in his letter to Timothy when he writes:
II Timothy 2:15-17 (RAC Translation): Be instantly responsive to the Lord, making yourself available to Him in the midst of the crucible, a tried and tested laborer who has no fear of being examined – one who, by virtue of God’s testing and the time spent in the crucible with Him, knows the proven Word of Truth.
Stand aloof from, and avoid the untested, untried “word” which comes forth from those who would propagate speculation and create their own doctrines. These profane speculations and so-called “words” are empty babblings which will only serve to advance ungodliness;
And those who spread these doctrines will only yield a gangrene pasture – a source of poison to those who ingest their “word”….. and we point out Hymenaeus and Philetus as examples.
You see it, right? The Spirit of Judgment and Burning is likened here to the crucible — a vessel designed to contain gold or silver or any precious metal while it is being heated to the boiling point. The dross or impurities rise to the surface where they get scooped off. The crucible is heated again and again and again until there are no more impurities visible that float to the surface.
At that point, The gold is declared to be 99.999% pure. We are that precious metal! We are being heated and heated and heated again and again by the Spirit of Burning until such time as we are declared by the Holy Spirit to be absolutely pure before the Lord. It is not hatred or vengeance on the part of this Spirit that does this. It is God’s purpose and objective to bring us to that place where we are absolutely One with Him. This is that stage where we can be declared and judged to be righteous and holy.
I’ve said it before — almost in passing — but the driving purpose behind the Spirit of Judgment and Burning is Love. It is the love of God that moves us and drives us to this place. Each of the Seven Spirits of God have this motivation. Each of them is integral to the character, the likeness, the makeup and personality of Holy Spirit who embodies the Love of the Father and the Love of the Lord Jesus Christ. Let me wrap up today’s discussion with a Word that Peter gave to the body of Christ in one of his epistles;
I Peter 4:12-14: Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.
In case you are missing out on real fellowship in an environment of Ekklesia, ourSunday worship gatherings are available by conference call – usually at about 10:30AM Pacific. That conference number is (712) 770-4160, and the access code is 308640#. We are now making these gatherings available on video usingZOOM. If you wish to participate by video on ZOOM, our login ID is 835-926-513. If you miss the live voice-onlycall, you can dial (712) 770-4169, enter the same access code and listen in later. The video call, of course, is not recorded – not yet, anyway.
Blessings on you!
Regner A. Capener
RIVER WORSHIP CENTER
Temple, Texas 76502
Email Contact: CapenerMinistries@protonmail.com
All Coffee Break articles are copyright by Regner A. Capener, but authorization for reprinting, reposting, copying or re-use, in whole or in part, is granted –provided proper attribution and this notice are included intact. Older Coffee Break archives are available . Coffee Break articles are normally published weekly.
If you would like to have these articles arrive each morning in your email, please send a blank email to: AnotherCoffeeBreak@protonmail.com with the word, “Subscribe” in the subject line. To remove yourself from the mailing list, please send a blank email to AnotherCoffeeBreak@protonmail.com with the word “Unsubscribe” in the subject line.
CAPENER MINISTRIES is a tax-exempt church ministry. Should you desire to participate and covenant with us as partners in this ministry, please contact us at either of the above email or physical addresses, or visit: http://www.RiverWorshipCenter.org.