Studies in Revelation
Part 5 - The Seven Spirits of God - Part 2
To begin this study, let’s revisit our illustration of the golden lampstand from Part Four.
In our last study on the lampstand, we considered the spiritual meaning of the numbers six, seven, eight, 18, 22, 24, and 28, which are a result of our numbers on the top row. Today, we will consider the seven “stars” or “Spirits of God” and their respective numbers. Remember, in Isaiah, Chapter 11, they are given as follows:
The Spirit of Wisdom and Understanding
The Spirit of Counsel and Might
The Spirit of Knowledge and the Fear of the Lord
Before we begin, let me remind you about our pattern found in our number seven. In his book, Biblical Mathematics, Ed Vallowe states, “When man began to analyze and combine numbers, he developed other interesting symbols. He took the perfect world number four and added to it the perfect divine number, three, and got seven, the most sacred number to the Hebrews. It was earth crowned with heaven—the four-square earth plus the divine completeness of God. So we have seven expressing completeness through union of earth with heaven.”
What does Vallowe say? Man “took the perfect world number four and added to it the perfect divine number, three, and got seven.” So it is that we find the first four “Spirits” of the seven Spirits of God are unique from the last three, and, this pattern holds true in the prophecies, seals, trumpets, and bowls in John’s visions in Revelation. This being the case, we can render our seven Spirits of God as follows:
The Seven Spirits of God
Fear of the Lord
When separated in this way, what do we have? Four and three, with four representing a spiritual “foundation” in Christ and three representing “a complete witness” of that which proceeds from this foundation to man. The first four attributes point to our Creator’s wisdom, understanding, counsel, and might, out of which flows His knowledge, fear, and righteous judgment in the earth. Now, let’s consider the branches and their respective numbers.
First we have “the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,” numbered “1” and “2.” Stephen Jones tells us that “the number one signifies unity or that which is first.” And two? It’s our number of “division” or “witness,” depending on the context, but keep in mind that within the parameters of God’s living and active Word, division often leads to a witness. With our first “Spirit” in mind, consider the following.
Proverbs 3:13-15, 18-19 (ESV)
13 Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, 14 for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold. 15 She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with her… 18 She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her; those who hold her fast are called blessed. 19 The Lord by wisdom founded the earth; by understanding he established the heavens…
As we see, my friends, both wisdom and understanding are to be valued more than “gain from silver” and “gold.” Is it any wonder then that when we add our “1” and “2” together, we have “a complete witness” of that which God provides to those who will humbly seek both?
“Wisdom” is the first of the seven Spirits of God. In his book, Number in Scripture, Bullinger wrote the following about the spiritual meaning of one:
“It marks the beginning. We must begin with God. All our words and works must be characterized by the first words of the Bible: "In the beginning GOD." Nothing is right that does not begin with Him. "God first" is the voice of Scripture. "Seek ye FIRST the kingdom of God and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you" (Matt 6:33) is the testimony of Christ. "God first" is the great proclamation."
Now, consider Proverbs 4:7.
Proverbs 4:7 (NKJV)
7 Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding.
Our word “principal” is defined by Strong’s as, “The first, in place, time, order or rank (specifically a firstfruit).” As we see, this agrees perfectly with our number one, and, in keeping with Proverbs 3, we also see “understanding.” Let me share one more set of passages in regard to wisdom.
Proverbs 8:22-27, 32-36 (ESV)
22 "The Lord possessed me at the beginning of his work, the first of his acts of old. 23 Ages ago I was set up, at the first, before the beginning of the earth. 24 When there were no depths I was brought forth, when there were no springs abounding with water. 25 Before the mountains had been shaped, before the hills, I was brought forth, 26 before he had made the earth with its fields, or the first of the dust of the world. 27 When he established the heavens, I was there… 32 And now, O sons, listen to me: blessed are those who keep my ways. 33 Hear instruction and be wise, and do not neglect it. 34 Blessed is the one who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting beside my doors. 35 For whoever finds me finds life and obtains favor from the Lord, 36 but he who fails to find me injures himself; all who hate me love death."
In agreement with our number one and Proverbs 3 and 7, we find that wisdom was “at the beginning of his work, the first of his acts of old.” Wisdom was “at the first, before the beginning of the earth.” “Whoever finds me finds life and obtains favor from the Lord.” No wonder James wrote, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him” (James 1:5-8; ESV).
First wisdom, followed by understanding, for true understanding can only be obtained from a reliable and just source of wisdom. Understanding is number “2” on our lampstand, indicating that it will often divide in order to produce a witness. The Lord confirms this in the following.
Matthew 10:34-39 (ESV)
34 "Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. 36 And a person's enemies will be those of his own household. 37 Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
The “sword” which Jesus spoke of is the “living” and “active” Word of God which is “sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Heb. 4:12; ESV). As we see, the “sword” of His Word is “two-edged,” illustrating the “wisdom and understanding” which we are considering, and from out of His wisdom and understanding flows the “Spirit of counsel and might.”
Returning to our illustration, we see that “counsel” and “might” are numbered “3” and “4.” When added together, we have our sacred number seven, which reflects the “fullness” of God’s wisdom and understanding in our hearts and minds.
Now, when we add our four branches and their numbers together (1 + 2 + 3 + 4), we arrive at 10. Remember, Jones tells us, “Ten is the number of divine order being reestablished one way or another through the judgment of the law (as pictured by the Ten Commandments).” When viewed in this way, we find in our first four “Spirits of God” a spiritual foundation relevant to all humankind, consisting of God’s wisdom, understanding, counsel, and might, from which flows the “knowledge” and “fear of the Lord” summed up in His “righteous judgment” in humankind.
Proverbs 1:7 (KJV)
7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Psalms 19:7-9 (KJV)
7 The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. 8 The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. 9 The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever: the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.
As Psalms 19 shows, the “fear of the Lord” connects with the “judgments of the Lord,” just as we see it joined at the central branch of the lampstand.
As our illustration shows, “knowledge and the fear of the Lord” are numbered “5” and “6.” Five is “grace,” while six reflects our “enmity” with God. Together, we have 11. Jones wrote, “To write eleven in Hebrew, they wrote two Hebrew letters: yod (hand) and aleph (strength). These signify the hand (outworking) of one’s strength. Man’s works apart from God are imperfect and out of order, and so they come ultimately to disintegration. Eleven is the number of imperfection, disorder, or being out of order.” Might this suggest that when we have no true “fear of the Lord” that our “knowledge” of God will fail? Again, consider what we read about the Lord Jesus Christ in Isaiah, Chapter 11.
Isaiah 11:3-4 (ESV)
3 And his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord. He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide disputes by what his ears hear, 4 but with righteousness he shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth…
“His delight shall be in the fear of the Lord.” “His delight”? Yes, that’s what it says, and again, we find the “fear of the Lord” connected with judgment.
When we add our two numbers “5” and “6” with our number 10, we arrive at 21. Again, from Stephen Jones.
“To write twenty-one in Hebrew, they wrote two Hebrew letters: kaph-aleph. These signify giving strength as well as the strength of God’s grace to cover sin during our time of spiritual growth. When twenty-one is used in terms of time (as in a 21-year period) it is the number of trouble or distress (tsarah), during which time we are in need of God’s strength, offered by an open hand. When it is used as a number in itself, it speaks of the end of the distress. Thus, it speaks of the blessing at the end,” end quote.
Twenty-one is also three sevens, typifying “a complete witness” of “spiritual perfection.” When we add our number “7” on the central branch with our 21, we arrive at 28, which we learned signifies the “leading of the Spirit” (Jones). Let me close today’s study with the following from Dr. Jones and what he says about the number 28. As we will find, this brings us back to our passages from Matthew 1:17.
“In the first chapter of Matthew, the genealogy of Christ is divided into three sections of 14 each. Matt. 1:17 says,
“Therefore all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David to the deportation to Babylon fourteen generations; and from the deportations to Babylon to the time of Christ fourteen generations.
“The number 28, then, should be viewed as having a connection with the number 14, which is the number of release, as well as the number 42. These three numbers, in a sense, represent Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles. Israel was released from Egypt at Passover because of events occurring on the night of Abib 14/15. The number 28 indicates the leading of the Holy Spirit, which points to Pentecost. And finally, the number 42 has to do with the full anointing of Christ, which points to Tabernacles.
“The number 28 is the climax of the second period of 14 generations. After 28 generations from Abraham, the people of Judah were taken into captivity to Babylon. Because of a general lack of understanding of the nature of Pentecost, most people find this to be puzzling, because one would think that Pentecost would be a time of freedom, rather than bondage. However, when we understand that Pentecost is a leavened feast and that King Saul was a Pentecostal type, the connection becomes clearer.
“Israel left Egypt at Passover and spent its Pentecostal days in the wilderness under Moses. They were supposed to enter the Promised Land at the time of the feast of Tabernacles. And so we find that after 28 generations, Judah was led into another ‘wilderness’ type experience outside of the land, where they had to rely upon the leading of the Holy Spirit… Finally, in Exodus 26:1, 2 we read that the tabernacle of Moses was to have ten curtains of 28 cubits’ length each. These curtains covered the tabernacle, to signify the covering of the Holy Spirit. Paul says in 1 Cor. 3:16, ‘Do you not know that you are a temple of God?’ The curtains in that tabernacle represented a type of the Holy Spirit that would cover us—our temples. This curtain is, in fact, a word picture of the two Hebrew letters that form the number 28, kaph (covering) and chet (the heart). The fact that there were ten curtains signifies the fulfillment of the law, for Pentecost was a commemoration of the giving of the law at Sinai. So we see here the message that the Holy Spirit writes the divine law upon our hearts as we hear His voice and are led by the Spirit.”
Before I finish, let’s also consider the last three branches of knowledge, fear, and righteous judgment in regard to our pattern 4 and 3. These are the numbers “5,” “6,” and “7.” Added together, they total 18, which in agreement with Jones, is our number of “oppression” or “bondage.” Should you wonder why this is true, consider what Paul wrote concerning the Law of God.
2 Corinthians 3:5-11 (NKJV)
5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God, 6 who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. 7 But if the ministry of death, written and engraved on stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of the glory of his countenance, which glory was passing away, 8 how will the ministry of the Spirit not be more glorious? 9 For if the ministry of condemnation had glory, the ministry of righteousness exceeds much more in glory. 10 For even what was made glorious had no glory in this respect, because of the glory that excels. 11 For if what is passing away was glorious, what remains is much more glorious.
Do you see it, my friends? Here Paul describes the Law of God as “the ministry of death” and “the ministry of condemnation.” Does this not align with the idea of “oppression” and “bondage”? But, as Paul shows, they were “ministers of the NEW COVENANT, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.” No doubt, “the ministry of the Spirit” and “righteousness exceeds much more in glory” than “the ministry of death” and “condemnation.” Once we truly perceive the spiritual essence of the Law of God which is His divine love, we discover the truth that sets us free, for “love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore LOVE is the FULFILLMENT of the LAW” (Rom. 13:10; NKJV).
Beloved, I hope in all of this information that you can perceive God’s wisdom and understanding in it and that it becomes a solid foundation of knowledge within your heart and mind. It is truly remarkable that within the simple parameters of a lampstand with seven branches, we find a wealth of spiritual revelation in regard to the seven Spirits of God and the seven churches. Be sure to join me in my next study where we will consider “the voice of a trumpet.”