Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Understanding the References of Peace and the Seven Spirits

You would hardly believe that peace could be found in the final book of the Bible as it deals with the culmination of Jesus and the wrath of God poured out on the earth as sin comes to an end, but that is just what you will find. Because peace can be offered and found by those who trust and believe in Jesus Christ before we get to this point.

Picking back up on our study in Revelation 1:4 with "John, To the seven churches in the province of Asia: Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne.

Peace here is referred to as Shalom. We have the peace of God to those who have accepted Jesus as their Savior. God never gives us grief, but we can cause Him grief or that we get from others. Let us be cautious not to blame God for that grief either. He will return one day to right all the wrongs and woe to them who continue to shake their fist at God. He will not be mocked. The things that happen in this life are natural to a fallen world, but one day God, our Redeemer will return to fix all that is broken. God is eternal as is referred to in verse 4, "from him who is, and who was, and who is to come." This verse speaks of an eternal God.

Isaiah 57:15, ~"For this is what the high and lofty One says - he who lives forever, whose name is holy; "I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite." (NIV). He inhabits eternity!

He is the Alpha and Omega, who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty, from verse 8, it tells us about his eternity. He will never have a birthday or a death because He doesn't live in a time line. He is beyond all that. He isn't subject to time. So when you find yourself dealing with a fiery trial you would love nothing more to have removed, remember these things, God dwells in eternity and we live in a time line. Time passes for us, as days progress, but not for God, time doesn't relate to God. It's a 7 day week, 24 hours in a day. God doesn't see things this way but we do. What is happening to us, is new to us, but it isn't new to God. He dwells in eternity. God has always known about this problem that is impacting us, He has always presided over it. It didn't catch Him unaware. He knew it was coming. As the trial arrives to us, He has already known about it. He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. He never changes.

The situation you are dealing with today, as well as the answer has always been in front of God, you just stumbled on this problem today, so give me the problem. Sometimes it's too simple for us to wrap our heads around that because we want to spend too much time arguing with God about it. So what is your problem today? Remember, we just happened upon it today, because we travel along a timeline, but God has known about it since the beginning of the creation of the world, and trust me, He isn't panicking. He's not wringing His hands in heaven, crying out, "Oh no! what are we going to do?"

It's always been before Him, the situation you are going through, but then again so has the remedy.

1 Peter 5:7 ~ "Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you." Cast means to push, heave, He has big shoulders. People will fear that God isn't there for them during their situations, that he must not care, and they'll tell you that God is no where. Yet often times within 24 hours, God will rearrange that word "no where" and move the space to between the "w" and "h" to now read "now here" instead and He will reveal Himself to them. The truth was that God never left that person in their fiery trial. He was simply waiting for them to call out to Him and turn that problem over to Him. The problem was that the person was swallowed up in self defeat and doubt instead of realizing that God has always been here with them.

But when God intervenes, it make that person shut their mouth when God intervenes because they can't argue and they realize what they were saying about God. Thankfully He is so gracious and doesn't hold that against us.

Matthew 6:8 ~ "Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him." (NIV). This is referencing those who worry and panic about things that are going on in our lives. God doesn't want us to worry because He already knows about it. It's not new knowledge to Him. He knows about this situation in advance so ask God in boldness. We approach Him like we don't believe like He will answer you. Ask boldly. Tell God what you need.

Revelation 4:8 " Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come." (NIV). 

Unlike Revelation 1:8, where it reads "who is, and who was, and who is to come." the terms are interchangeable. Just like in Revelation 11:17, ~"We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was, and who is to come, because you have taken your great power and have begun to reign." (NIV).

It is based on the application how the order of God's eternal persona is described. Revelation 16:5, ~ "Then I heard the angel in charge of the waters say; You are just in these judgments, you who are and who were, the one who is to be, the Holy One, because you have so judged: (NIV). 

God's position, is addressed in verse, 4 continuing from Revelation 1, "from the seven spirits before his throne." (NIV). 

So what are the seven spirits referred to here? We have some options, it could be, in reference to Isaiah 11:1-2 ~ "A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear the fruit. The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him ` the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD." (NIV). 

We remember from earlier in our studies that the number 7, is a reference to completion. Some will say this is a reference to the Holy Spirit from Isaiah 11:1-2, and counting all the references to the Spirit, from the Spirit of the Lord (1), the Spirit of wisdom (2), of understanding (3), the Spirit of counsel, (4), of power (5), the Spirit of knowledge (6) and of the fear of the LORD (7). Could this reference from Revelation 1:4 referencing Isaiah 11:1-2 is the seven Spirits in the totality of the ministry of the Holy Spirit? It could mean that but, the problem is in the original Hebrew, what is put forward is only six of them. in the way it is put together is the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him. And it then reads, "the Spirit of the wisdom, (1), of understanding (2), the Spirit of counsel (3), of power (4), the Spirit of knowledge, (5) and of the fear of the LORD (6).

So which one is it? Is it a reference to the Holy Spirit? It could be the Holy Spirit.

In Zechariah 4:1-7 ~ Then the angel who talked with me returned and wakened me, as a man is wakened from his sleep. He asked me, "What do you see?" I answered, "I see a solid gold lampstand with a bowl at the top and seven lights on it, with seven channels to the lights. Also there are two olive trees by it, one on the right of the bowl and the other on its left." I asked the angel who talked with me, "What are these, my lord?" He answered, "Do you not know what these are?" "No, my lord," I replied. So he said to me, "This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: "Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit," says the LORD Almighty. "What are you, O mighty mountain? Before Zerubbabel you will become level ground. Then he will bring out the capstone to shouts of "God bless it! God bless it!" (NIV). 

It could be a reference to the Holy Spirit.

The other view is this, because according to scripture that the Holy Spirit is singular, that would go against what we see in verse 4, the Holy Spirit, by the way does not dwell in front of the throne room of God. He's not localized. What we know from the Bible is that the Holy Spirit dwells everywhere, all at once. So one of the arguments is that this is not the Holy Spirit because the Holy Spirit can not be localized.

So then what is or what can be the seven spirits?

Revelation 5:6 ~ " Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing in the center of the throne encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. He had seven horns (speaks of His absolute kingship)  and seven eyes (speaks of His complete knowledge), which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth." (NIV). 

Revelation 3:1 ~ "To the angel of the church in Sardis write: These are the words of him who holds the seven spirits of God"

Revelation 4:5 ~ "From the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder. Before the throne, seven lamps were blazing. These are the seven spirits of God." (NIV). 

Let's look again at Revelation 5:6 ~ " Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing in the center of the throne encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. He had seven horns (speaks of His absolute kingship)  and seven eyes (speaks of His complete knowledge), which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth." (NIV). 

Notice that the spirits are sent out into all the earth. These could be special assigned or ordained angels found in Revelation 8:6 ~"Then the seven angels who have seven trumpets prepared to sound them." (NIV). 

Remember that the seven spirits are sent out into all the earth, so the seven angels, with the first being found Revelation 8:7 "The first angel sounded his trumpet, and there came hail and fire mixed with blood and it was hurled down upon the earth..." and it goes on and on until Revelation 10:7 ~ "But in the days when the seventh angel is to sound his trumpet, the mystery of God will be accomplished, just as he announced to his servants the prophets."(NIV). 

Revelation 8:2 ~ "And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and to them were given seven trumpets." (NIV). 

The seven spirits before the throne of God. We find the references to the seven angels because they are before the throne of God. Where are they sent, to the ends of the earth. The Holy Spirit presides over all. Everywhere. Isn't that consistent with scripture?

Hebrews 1:14 ~ "Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who inherit salvation?" (NIV).

This is the same scripture reference to those looking for biblical scripture for guardian angels. Remember that God has foreknowledge of those He knows will come to salvation at some point in their lives and when we do, he has angels dispensed to help us get there and to guide and protect us as He calls them to do in our lives as heirs of salvation found in Jesus.

The Bible reminds us that we will be greater than angels in eternity, so while it's nice to dream that when we die, we become angels, that is not biblical. Angels are God's creation designed to serve His purpose only. In the Book of Corinthians we will be judging angels for all eternity. We will be given so much knowledge when we get to heaven, that God is going to give us that job.

I know that today's study didn't accomplish much in the way of getting through the first chapter of Revelation, and God willing He will give me more time to go through this study with you before He returns for His church or this will remain for someone else to pick up after we are gone. I only hope it has blessed you in some way to grow in your spiritual walk that much more.

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