Christian Churches of God
The Seven Spirits of God
(Edition 2.0 20070324-20070324-20070417)
The Seven Spirits of God are the key to understanding the salvation of the Body of Christ, which comprises the Church.
The Seven Spirits of God
The number seven was held sacred among the Semitic peoples and appears to have been extended from Noah to all the nations. The Egyptians numbered four as sacred but even among their system seven gradually supplanted the sacred four. In magic and medicine seven is a magic number. The number seven was gradually corrupted under the pagan system and in shamanism became the seven gods of the ascents of the world pole or axis mundi (see the chapter Mysticism Chapter 1 Spreading the Babylonian Mysteries (B7_1)).
The significance of the Heptad as a seven-day religious festival dates from the twenty-third century BCE in cuneiform records (see Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible, Vol. 3, art. ‘Seven’, etc., p. 294, Abingdon, 1980). In other words it dates from the time of Noah.
Thus the seven-day feasts of the Bible are noted as being in operation in Mesopotamia from the time of Noah. Hence the Laws of Moses were in operation from Noah and under Shem. Christ thus reinforced the Laws he had given to Adam and the Patriarchs and which were carried down by Noah to the post-Flood world.
The festivals of Trumpets, Atonement and Tabernacles also occur in the Seventh Month and denote completion in the phases of the Plan of God as revealed in the Sacred Calendar.
The Feast of Weeks or Pentecost (Deut. 16:9) and the Jubilee (Lev. 25:8-10) are all based on the square of seven, as is the Temple itself, with the fiftieth sequence representing the Holy of Holies both as the physical Temple and the spiritual Temple, which is the Church of God.
The seven-day week had its origin in the descendants of Noah in Mesopotamia and appeared in Sumerian and Akkadian theology and cosmology (ibid.). It was assumed that the seven planets, as they were called also, played a part in the sanctity of the number. However, it can just as easily be assumed that the number
was seen as conferring importance on the planetary system as evidence of God’s part in the creation. The corruption of the religious structure occurred from Babylon and we know that it occurred in the post-Flood period of Noah and his son Shem.
The lunar month and the seven-day week are acknowledged to be independent systems and the week did not originate from the lunar month at all (ibid.).
From the evidence we do have it seems that the week was established from the earliest phase of the post-Flood system at the time of Noah.
The number seven and the structure of seven and seventy had great spiritual importance.
The number seven plays such an important role in OT theology that its explanation is extensive and involved.
It is in fact considered difficult to separate the use of seven from its spiritual implications to determine when it is used merely to denote a specific number (ibid.).
Seven and the systems derived from it are used in the process of the sanctification of the priesthood and the consecration of altars (Ex. 29:35-37). The sacrifices are often in groups of seven; indeed they were set apart as being seven clean pairs of animals from the beginning under Noah, and the sacrificial processes involve seven in its rituals (Gen. 7:2-3; 8:20; 21:28-30; Num. 28:11; 1Chr. 15:26; Job 42:8). There were seven altars (Num. 23:1-2, 4, 14, 29; 2Chr. 29:21). The blood was sprinkled seven times (Lev. 4:6,17; 14:7; 16:14; Num. 19:4), and the anointing oil was sprinkled seven times (Lev. 8:11).
The furnishings and decorations of the Temple were often in sevens (1Kgs. 7:17 (from the Masoretic text); Ezek. 40:22,26; cf. Prov. 9:1).
The seven-branched candlestick, with the Ark of the Covenant, was the holy object of focus in the Temple (Ex. 25:31-37; 1Kgs. 7:49; Zech. 4:2,11) (See also the paper The Ark of the Covenant (No. 196)).
The concept of oaths is tied to seven and seven human victims were used to atone for a broken covenant (2Sam. 21:6,9).
An examination of the story of Samson shows that he was a Nazirite. We see that his hair was arranged in seven locks (Jdg. 16:13-19). This division symbolised the seven elements of the Spirit of God in man.
These seven elements were also atoned for in vengeance and punishment (Gen. 4:24; Ex. 7:25; Lev. 26:18; Prov. 6:31; Dan. 4:16,23,25).
The Angelic Host were also structured in sevens and we will see this carried through the entire Plan of God (cf. Ezek. 9:2; Zech 4:10; Rev. 15:1,6-8). We will deal with this aspect later.
The spiritual use of seven in overcoming the fruits of sin and the world are seen by the baths of Naaman the Syrian’s cure, which pointed to the salvation of the Gentiles (cf. 2Kgs. 5:10).
The concept is directed to baptism as the release of sin and acceptance into the Body of Christ, which is the Temple of God.
Christ as the Captain of the Host pointed to the overcoming of the world by the use of the seven circumambulations of Jericho (Jos. 6:4,8,13) (see also the paper The Fall of Jericho (No. 142)).
Elisha performed a series of miracles, which were tied in to the symbolism of the Church. His seventh miracle was the resuscitated child.
The resuscitated child sneezed seven times and in doing so symbolised the Seven Spirits in raising the dead to life in the power of the Holy Spirit of God (2Kgs. 4:35-37).
Elisha’s eighth miracle was directed at the prophets themselves. There was a famine in the land, which is one of thirteen famines mentioned in the Bible (Gen. 12:10; 26:1; 41:54; Ruth 1:1; 2Sam. 21:1; 1Kgs. 18:2; 2Kgs. 4:38; 7:4; 25:3; Neh. 5:3; Jer. 14:1; Lk. 15:14; Acts 11:28). Thirteen is the number associated with rebellion and famine was the consequence of sin and rebellion. It was the cumulative total of Satan’s attempts at disrupting the Plan of God and was allowed in that sequence.
One of the prophets almost poisoned the body of prophets that were making the mess of pottage or stew that Elisha had commanded Gehazi to make for them. One prophet picked some strange gourds and put them in the stew and another recognised that there was a poisonous substance in the pot. Elisha cured it by placing meal in the pot and thus removing the danger. They should have known all about this problem and never let it occur. The problem is that one of the prophets was the source of poison in the Faith.
The concept of seven sons in Scripture pointed to the seven angels of the Seven Churches and the operations of the Seven Spirits of God. The use in Ruth points to Christ and the Church (Ruth 4:15). The use in Job points to the physical he had that was taken away because of their sin and the replacement he was given as a result of faith (Job 1:2; 42:13; see also Acts 19:14).
The seven are in association with the eighth who acts as the instrument of God as the eighth. We will see this aspect occur in relation to Christ and why eight is the number of Christ and his ministry based on seven. When Elisha asked for twice the spirit of Elijah he performed twice the number of miracles that Elijah performed in two structures of eight.
Twelve is the next phase of completion in the ministry.
Job had seven sons and seven thousand sheep. God blessed him and doubled his flocks and restored his sons and three daughters.
Job, chapter 42:
1 Then Job answered the LORD: 2 "I know that thou canst do all things, and that no purpose of thine can be thwarted. 3 `Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?' Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. 4 `Hear, and I will speak; I will question you, and you declare to me.' 5 I had heard of thee by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees thee; 6 therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes."
The beginning of knowledge is repentance and fear of God.
7 After the LORD had spoken these words to Job, the LORD said to Eli'phaz the Te'manite: "My wrath is kindled against you and against your two friends; for you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has. 8 Now therefore take seven bulls and seven rams, and go to my servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering; and my servant Job shall pray for you, for I will accept his prayer not to deal with you according to your folly; for you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has." 9 So Eli'phaz the Te'manite and Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Na'amathite went and did what the LORD had told them; and the LORD accepted Job's prayer. 10 And the LORD restored the fortunes of Job, when he had prayed for his friends; and the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before. 11 Then came to him all his brothers and sisters and all who had known him before, and ate bread with him in his house; and they showed him sympathy and comforted him for all the evil that the LORD had brought upon him; and each of them gave him a piece of money and a ring of gold. 12 And the LORD blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning; and he had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand she-asses. 13 He had also seven sons and three daughters. 14 And he called the name of the first Jemi'mah; and the name of the second Kezi'ah; and the name of the third Ker'en-hap'puch. 15 And in all the land there were no women so fair as Job's daughters; and their father gave them inheritance among their brothers. 16 And after this Job lived a hundred and forty years, and saw his sons, and his sons' sons, four generations. 17 And Job died, an old man, and full of days.
Here we see fourteen thousand as the double structure of seven in the total flock. The heavenly Host will be doubled through the actions of the Spirit of God in obedience (see the paper The City of God (No. 180)).
The next sequence is the six thousand camels representing the six thousand years of the unclean creation under Satan and through which Job lost his rebellious children. The one thousand oxen and the one thousand she-asses represent the last and clean phase of the millennial system of God. There are one thousand oxen representing the clean Host and one thousand representing the human host yet to be educated, and together they represent the system of eight for the last phase.
Job also lists the structure of a thousand as the Government of God (Job 3:23).
Defilement and Purification to Reconciliation
The rituals of defilement and purification also involved seven-day periods, as did the wedding festivals (Jdg. 14:12,17; Tob. 11:19).
The Bible uses waiting periods of seven days as a test of obedience, among other things (Gen. 7:3-4,10; 8:10,12; 1Sam. 10:8; 11:3; Ezek. 3:16-17).
Purification for serious ritual defilement lasted seven days also (Lev. 15:19,28; Num. 19:11,14,16).
Jacob exhibited genuine repentance and a desire for reconciliation symbolised by his seven progressive prostrations before Esau and weeping on his neck (Gen. 33:1-7).
Deuteronomy 28:7,25 states that Israel’s enemies will flee seven ways. The phrase is a reference to the Sumerian seven-direction system that was replaced by the four-direction system we now use. These four “quadrants” were symbolised by the Cherubim as the four Living Creatures. This was the basis of the dragons of the four winds of Heaven referred to by the Chinese.
The conflicting systems seem to have been used because of the concept of the seven angels or the Seven Spirits of God as opposed to the four Living Creatures around the Throne of God.
The use of the Seventy is directed at the structure of the heavenly Host and the basis of seven is tied to that.
God used seven as the number of years of plenty and of famine to direct Egypt’s attention to their situation (Gen. 41:1-57; see also 2Kgs. 8:1). Joseph was the instrument of prophecy that was to deal with them. God placed Joseph in Egypt so that they could be witnessed to by the birthright tribe of the nation of Israel. The nation of Israel was to become the Body of Christ over time and onto which the Gentiles would be grafted.
Jacob went into Egypt with the seventy of the family. He was the key of the body of the Faith and became the founder of the nation that was the inheritance of Christ. Thus the seventy, plus Christ and God, was the model for Israel and the Church; both under Moses and since the ministry of John.
When Jacob died he was embalmed for forty days and then Egypt is recorded as mourning for Israel seventy days (Gen. 50:3).
The numbers relate to the heavenly Host. The number of funerary offerings for Baal in the Ugaritic myths were a series of seventy animals. The gods of Ugarit are collectively designated as the seventy children of Asherah (Interp. Dict., op. cit., p. 295). Thus the Baal-Ashteroth system was also based on the seventy of the heavenly Host and the conflict was seen as the struggle between the Mother Goddess and Baal system and the Bible system of the seventy, as reflected in the Sanhedrin as the seventy [two] and in the Church as the seventy [two] or the Hebdomekonta[duo] of the Greek text of Luke 10:1,17.
Moses dealt with the gods of Egypt at the end of the stay in Egypt (see the paper Moses and the Gods of Egypt (No. 105)).
In each of the seven-year tribulations they can be interrupted in the middle, by divine intervention consequent to repentance and God’s mercy, or in execution of His Plan (Dan. 7:25; 9:27; 12:7; Lk. 4:25; Jas. 5:17; Rev. 11:2).
The wisdom of God rests on seven pillars. That wisdom then calls the simple to confound the mighty and confer the attributes of Wisdom and Knowledge, which stem from the Reverence or Fear of God.
Proverbs 9:1-6 Wisdom has built her house, she has set up her seven pillars. 2 She has slaughtered her beasts, she has mixed her wine, she has also set her table. 3 She has sent out her maids to call from the highest places in the town, 4 "Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!" To him who is without sense she says, 5 "Come, eat of my bread and drink of the wine I have mixed. 6 Leave simpleness, and live, and walk in the way of insight."
God allows failure and recovery on repentance but the wilfully wicked are destroyed.
Proverbs 24:16 for a righteous man falls seven times, and rises again; but the wicked are overthrown by calamity.
Christ told us to forgive seventy times seven in Matthew 18:22. This figure represented also the period of the seventy weeks of years that God sent Christ to plead with Judah during the complete phase of the construction and the operation of the Temple system in Daniel 9:25-28 (see the paper The Sign of Jonah and the History of the Reconstruction of the Temple (No. 13)).
There were always a significant number in Israel that had never bowed the knee to Baal and that was listed as seven thousand or one hundred times seventy (1Kgs. 19:18; Rom. 11:4).
The Spirit of God in Man
We know that the Spirit of God in man displays seven characteristics and is in seven divisions, as we saw from Samson above. It reaches its highest levels in human form in the Messiah. However, those characteristics explain its operations.
The Spirit, as a watcher over the Earth, was foretold by God through Zechariah.
Zechariah 3:9 For behold, upon the stone which I have set before Joshua, upon a single stone with seven facets, I will engrave its inscription, says the LORD of hosts, and I will remove the guilt of this land in a single day.
The reference is to Messiah, who is Joshua, called the Christ.
The seven facets and the seven lamps are explained in Zechariah.
Zechariah, chapter 4:
1 And the angel who talked with me came again, and waked me, like a man that is wakened out of his sleep. 2 And he said to me, "What do you see?" I said, "I see, and behold, a lampstand all of gold, with a bowl on the top of it, and seven lamps on it, with seven lips on each of the lamps which are on the top of it. 3 And there are two olive trees by it, one on the right of the bowl and the other on its left." 4 And I said to the angel who talked with me, "What are these, my lord?" 5 Then the angel who talked with me answered me, "Do you not know what these are?" I said, "No, my lord." 6 Then he said to me, "This is the word of the LORD to Zerub'babel: Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the LORD of hosts. 7 What are you, O great mountain? Before Zerub'babel you shall become a plain; and he shall bring forward the top stone amid shouts of `Grace, grace to it!'" 8 Moreover the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 9 "The hands of Zerub'babel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also complete it. Then you will know that the LORD of hosts has sent me to you. 10 For whoever has despised the day of small things shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerub'babel. "These seven are the eyes of the LORD, which range through the whole earth." 11 Then I said to him, "What are these two olive trees on the right and the left of the lampstand?" 12 And a second time I said to him, "What are these two branches of the olive trees, which are beside the two golden pipes from which the oil is poured out?" 13 He said to me, "Do you not know what these are?" I said, "No, my lord." 14 Then he said, "These are the two anointed who stand by the Lord of the whole earth."
The significance of the prophecy is explained in the work Commentary on Zechariah (No. 297). Here we are dealing with the fact of the Seven Spirits of God made manifest in seven pairs of eyes. These can be equated to the angels of the Seven Churches.
The seven characteristics of the Spirit are seen from Isaiah.
Isaiah, chapter 11:
1 There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots. 2 And the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD. 3 And his delight shall be in the fear of the LORD. He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide by what his ears hear; 4 but with righteousness he shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall slay the wicked. 5 Righteousness shall be the girdle of his waist, and faithfulness the girdle of his loins.
The first six verses of the text of Isaiah 11 show the characteristics and that they apply directly to Messiah.
1.Wisdom and Understanding
2. Counsel and Might
4. Reverence from fearing (Yahovah [of Hosts]shall be fragrance to him)
5. Righteousness [Judgment]
The result of these attributes is peace.
6 The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid, and the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them. 7 The cow and the bear shall feed; their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. 8 The sucking child shall play over the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder's den. 9 They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.
This is the scenario for Zion, the Mountain of the Lord God, in Jerusalem. This prophecy covers the Last Days in which the root of Jesse is to lead his people in the second great exodus from all nations.
10 In that day the root of Jesse shall stand as an ensign to the peoples; him shall the nations seek, and his dwellings shall be glorious. 11 In that day the Lord will extend his hand yet a second time to recover the remnant which is left of his people, from Assyria, from Egypt, from Pathos, from Ethiopia, from Elam, from Shinar, from Hamath, and from the coastlands of the sea. 12 He will raise an ensign for the nations, and will assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.
At that time the Spirit of God will rest on Israel and Judah and they will be in harmony.
13 The jealousy of E'phraim shall depart, and those who harass Judah shall be cut off; E'phraim shall not be jealous of Judah, and Judah shall not harass E'phraim.
Israel will be at peace and will encompass the land of the Philistines incorporating Gaza. They will occupy Jordan, which will become part of greater Israel at peace. The geography of the Red Sea will be altered, seemingly by the earthquake activity referred to elsewhere and in the Olivet prophecy. The Messiah will deal with Aram to the Euphrates and shatter it into seven channels and men will walk over it dryshod.
14 But they shall swoop down upon the shoulder of the Philistines in the west, and together they shall plunder the people of the east. They shall put forth their hand against Edom and Moab, and the Ammonites shall obey them. 15 And the LORD will utterly destroy the tongue of the sea of Egypt; and will wave his hand over the River with his scorching wind, and smite it into seven channels that men may cross dryshod. 16 And there will be a highway from Assyria for the remnant which is left of his people, as there was for Israel when they came up from the land of Egypt.
The entire land from what is now Iraq to Egypt will be in harmony and at peace.
The seven channels refer to the restricting of the Euphrates, where Satan’s throne was at Babylon, into seven streams, which enabled its people to live in peace and obtain access to the Holy Land and the Temple of God.
The Seven Facets of Prayer as the Spirit of God
The seven characteristics of the Spirit of God are also represented by the prayer of Solomon as the type of Temple Builder as son of David (1Kgs. 8:29-53) and that of Christ as the fulfilment as the builder of the true Temple of God (Mat. 6:9-13) (see also Rule of the Kings Part III: Solomon and the Key of David (No. 282C)).
IKings 8:29-53 that thy eyes may be open night and day toward this house, the place of which thou hast said, `My name shall be there,' that thou mayest hearken to the prayer which thy servant offers toward this place. 30 And hearken thou to the supplication of thy servant and of thy people Israel, when they pray toward this place; yea, hear thou in heaven thy dwelling place; and when thou hearest, forgive. 31 "If a man sins against his neighbor and is made to take an oath, and comes and swears his oath before thine altar in this house, 32 then hear thou in heaven, and act, and judge thy servants, condemning the guilty by bringing his conduct upon his own head, and vindicating the righteous by rewarding him according to his righteousness. 33 "When thy people Israel are defeated before the enemy because they have sinned against thee, if they turn again to thee, and acknowledge thy name, and pray and make supplication to thee in this house; 34 then hear thou in heaven, and forgive the sin of thy people Israel, and bring them again to the land which thou gavest to their fathers. 35 "When heaven is shut up and there is no rain because they have sinned against thee, if they pray toward this place, and acknowledge thy name, and turn from their sin, when thou dost afflict them, 36 then hear thou in heaven, and forgive the sin of thy servants, thy people Israel, when thou dost teach them the good way in which they should walk; and grant rain upon thy land, which thou hast given to thy people as an inheritance. 37 "If there is famine in the land, if there is pestilence or blight or mildew or locust or caterpillar; if their enemy besieges them in any of their cities; whatever plague, whatever sickness there is; 38 whatever prayer, whatever supplication is made by any man or by all thy people Israel, each knowing the affliction of his own heart and stretching out his hands toward this house; 39 then hear thou in heaven thy dwelling place, and forgive, and act, and render to each whose heart thou knowest, according to all his ways (for thou, thou only, knowest the hearts of all the children of men); 40 that they may fear thee all the days that they live in the land which thou gavest to our fathers. 41 "Likewise when a foreigner, who is not of thy people Israel, comes from a far country for thy name's sake 42 (for they shall hear of thy great name, and thy mighty hand, and of thy outstretched arm), when he comes and prays toward this house, 43 hear thou in heaven thy dwelling place, and do according to all for which the foreigner calls to thee; in order that all the peoples of the earth may know thy name and fear thee, as do thy people Israel, and that they may know that this house which I have built is called by thy name. 44 "If thy people go out to battle against their enemy, by whatever way thou shalt send them, and they pray to the LORD toward the city which thou hast chosen and the house which I have built for thy name, 45 then hear thou in heaven their prayer and their supplication, and maintain their cause. 46 "If they sin against thee -- for there is no man who does not sin -- and thou art angry with them, and dost give them to an enemy, so that they are carried away captive to the land of the enemy, far off or near; 47 yet if they lay it to heart in the land to which they have been carried captive, and repent, and make supplication to thee in the land of their captors, saying, `We have sinned, and have acted perversely and wickedly'; 48 if they repent with all their mind and with all their heart in the land of their enemies, who carried them captive, and pray to thee toward their land, which thou gavest to their fathers, the city which thou hast chosen, and the house which I have built for thy name; 49 then hear thou in heaven thy dwelling place their prayer and their supplication, and maintain their cause 50 and forgive thy people who have sinned against thee, and all their transgressions which they have committed against thee; and grant them compassion in the sight of those who carried them captive, that they may have compassion on them 51 (for they are thy people, and thy heritage, which thou didst bring out of Egypt, from the midst of the iron furnace). 52 Let thy eyes be open to the supplication of thy servant, and to the supplication of thy people Israel, giving ear to them whenever they call to thee. 53 For thou didst separate them from among all the peoples of the earth, to be thy heritage, as thou didst declare through Moses, thy servant, when thou didst bring our fathers out of Egypt, O Lord GOD."
The prayer is set up in four sections with seven subdivisions and seven pleas as follows.
31: Subject Trespass from the Pentateuch against your neighbour.
32: “Hear Thou” Plea for Righteous Judgment punishing the wicked and justifying the innocent.
The words “made to take an oath” are omitted from the Aramaic, Syrian, Septuagint and the Vulgate versions.
33: Subject Petitions (based on Lev. 26:17; Deut. 28:25). When the people are struck down through sin and turn to God.
34: “Hear Thou” Bring them again (Deut. 30:1-8; Neh. 1:8,9). Save them.
35: Subject: When heaven is shut up and there is no rain (re Lev. 26:19; Deut. 11:17, cf, 17:1)
36: “Hear Thou” That thou teach = because thou will teach (cf. Bullinger). Instruct them in their sins and in righteousness.
37-38: If there is pestilence, blasting mildew and locusts or caterpillars (death and blight) or if they are under siege (Lev. 26:26).
39-40: “Hear Thou” Dealing with men (adam) and foreigners and aliens (cf. Num. 15:14; Deut. 10:19). Hear the prayer of any man or group of people and know the plague of the man’s own heart and render to him according to his ways so that they may fear (reverence) God.
41-42: Subject: The strangers shall hear of thy great name and come and pray at the Temple of God (cf. 10:1,6,7).
43: “Hear Thou” Hear in your dwelling place in heaven and do all that the stranger calls you for that your name may be revered or feared by all nations as it is in Israel.
44: Subject: Protection from enemy/enemies in battle as a result of prayer and looking towards the Temple of God.
45: “Hear Thou” Execute judgment for them by hearing and maintaining their cause.
46-48: Subject: If they sin against you for there is no man that sins not and they are carried away captive and they repent in that land and acknowledge their sin and return with all their heart and pray towards the temple (cf. Prov. 20:9; Eccl. 7:20; Jas. 3:2; 1Jn. 1:8,10).
49-53: “Hear Thou” Forgive their sins and transgressions. Give them compassion in the eyes of the captors. Open your eyes to the supplications of your people Israel as you have called them out from the world as a separate people.
Bullinger also makes note on this structure.
Christ’s instructions re prayer
What is termed the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6:9-13 is in effect a list of instructions as to how to formulate a prayer. It is a checklist of structure and is not intended to be used solely as a rote prayer as many faiths use it.
It occurs in a sequence from 6:1 to 7:11 that in effect attacks the traditions of the elders.
6:2-4 Concerns Almsgiving;
6:5-15 Concerns Prayer;
6:16-18 Concerns Fasting;
6:19-24 Concerns Riches;
6:25-7:11 Concerns the Cares of the World.
Matthew 6:9-13 But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. 7 "And in praying do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard for their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. 9 Pray then like this: Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. 10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread; 12 And forgive us our debts, As we also have forgiven our debtors; 13 And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil: for thine is the kingdom the power and the glory, forever Amen.
The premises of these instructions are:
1. Pray directly to God in secret.
2. Ask simple requests directly and not by rote or fixed prayers in verbosity.
3. God knows what you need before you ask it.
Elements of the prayer:
1. Reverence the Father in Heaven and thus Fear God and sanctify His Name. (Ex. 4:22; Deut. 32:6-8). The idolaters said to their idols: “thou art my father” and Israel was also bound to do so (Isa. 63:16; 64:8).
2. Establish your Kingdom. The Lord proclaimed it in his Incarnation and it was the intent of his ministry; but Judah rejected it. It waits now for the word of God.
3. Enforce your will on Earth as it is carried out in Heaven. The word heaven here is singular because it makes distinction between Heaven and Earth, whereas in verse 9 it has to be plural so as not to imply that the Father was in Heaven but not on Earth. The Greek clauses are reversed meaning as in heaven so on earth also.
4. Provide for us all our physical and spiritual needs. This word daily is the Greek epiousios. It is in fact a combination of words that appear only twice in the NT (also Lk. 11:3) and were coined by Christ as a composite from epi upon and ousios meaning coming. Bullinger holds in the footnote to the verse that it means coming or descending upon as did the manna in the wilderness with which it is contrasted in John 6:32,33. It is thus the true bread from Heaven, which is thus meant to include the word of God. Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.
5. Forgive us the sins and trespasses we have committed for there is no man that does not sin. We in like manner have forgiven those who sinned and trespassed against us so that we in turn might be forgiven. Sin is called debts in that it requires expiation. Christ paid for the debts of all sinners and we are enabled to go before God as a result of that expiation that nailed the bill of indebtedness (chierographon) to the stake or stauros. The structure of mercy must be present as it is part of the attributes of the Messiah exercising the seven elements of the Spirit acting in man.
6. Lead [Bring] us not into temptation [trial cf. Jas. 1:12-13] but deliver [rescue] us from evil.
7. The Doxology that praises God and establishes his power and glory forever.
This seventh element is necessary for the full structure of the prayer. Of the 500 codices that contain the prayer only eight codices omit the doxology (cf. fn. to Bullinger, Companion Bible). It is thus quite wrong to omit it and it reduces the effect of the prayer to the greater glory of God. It is importantly also found in the Syriac, Ethiopic, Armenian, Gothic, Slavonic and Georgian versions.
The elements have both the stress on the Will of God and the pleas for the proper exercise of the Spirit of God.
Esther also shows the story of the Church in its relation to God. Queen Vashti (the best) has the seven eunuchs sent to her and she is arrogant and defies the summons of the king (Est. 1:10-12). She represents the physical nation of Israel.
The seven eunuchs represent the seven angels of the Seven Churches.
Esther represents the Church that is reserved for Jesus Christ who is represented by Mordecai the Jew. Esther has seven chosen maids (Est. 2:9). They represent the subdivisions of the Seven Churches of God seen in Revelation.
Esther has neither father nor mother because she is the Church of the order of Melchisedek that is without father and without mother, and of whom Christ is High Priest as Mordecai is the head of the house (see Ps. 11:4; Heb. 5:6,10; 6:20; 7:1-21; and the paper Melchisedek (No. 128)).
Haman the Agagite and his sons represent Satan and the Fallen Host with the servants they have among men.
The significance is explained in the paper Commentary on Esther (No. 63).
In 1Samuel 1:9 we see the first reference to the Temple or Palace (heykal) of the Lord, where Eli had his seat at the doorpost.
This was the first of seven references to the Tabernacle as a Temple of the Lord in the Bible. There are also seven references in the New Testament to the believers, as the Tabernacles of the Lord.
1. The Tabernacle is referred to in 1Samuel 1:9.
2. The Temple built by Solomon is referred to in 1Kings 6:5,17.
3. The Temple constructed under Zerubbabel is referred to in Ezra 4:1,2.
4. Herod’s Temple is referred to in John 2:20. The sequence of the three physical Temples is outlined in the paper The Sign of Jonah and the History of the Reconstruction of the Temple (No. 13).
5. The future Temple of the Church is referred to in 2Thessalonians 2:4, where the Man of Sin is revealed as sitting in the Temple that is the Church of God, declaring himself to be God.
6. The Millennial Temple is refereed to in Ezekiel 41:1; and,
7. The final Heavenly Temple is in Revelation 21:3,22.
The seven references to the believers as the Temple of God in the NT are:
1Corinthians 3:9-17 and 6:19; 2Corinthians 6:16; Ephesians 2:20,21; Hebrews 3:6; 1Peter 2:5 and 4:17.
This sequence again draws on the principle that the Seven Spirits of God are manifested in the elect as the Temple, and the sequence of seven reinforces the prophecy and fact, spiritually and conceptually.
The Seven Spirits and the Angels of the Seven Churches
We will see that the structure of Revelation chapter one is broken up into distinct phases based on the seven and eight structure representing the Seven Spirits of God under Christ and the Four of the Throne of God.
Revelation, chapter 1:
1 The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants what must soon take place; and he made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, 2 who bore witness to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw. 3 Blessed is he who reads aloud the words of the prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written therein; for the time is near. 4 John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, 5 and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the first-born of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood 6 and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
The first part is in the structure to verse 6, which deals with the election of the saints as a kingdom of priests to the God and Father of Christ. Thus six is the number of man and the Amen. John is speaking to the Seven Churches from Christ and the Seven Spirits before the Throne of God. The first section ends in the sequence as six because it is at the end of the six thousand years of Satan’s rule and the end had come signified by Amen. Then we are told, “Behold he is coming”, at the seventh verse. The divisions are no simple later additions by accident – they follow the structure of the text.
7 Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, every one who pierced him; and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen. 8 "I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.
The seventh verse is ended with Amen.
The eighth verse is then a pronouncement of the supremacy of God as the Alpha and Omega. This title is then conferred later on the Messiah in his function through Revelation (see the paper Arche of the Creation of God as Alpha and Omega (No. 229)).
We then commence the next eight-verse structure, which explains the symbolism.
9 I John, your brother, who share with you in Jesus the tribulation and the kingdom and the patient endurance, was on the island called Patmos on account of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus.
John says where he was, and then commences to speak of the Day of the Lord. This is not a day of the week but the end of the sequence under Satan (see the paper The Day of the Lord and the Last Days (No. 192)).
10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet 11 saying, "Write what you see in a book and send it to the seven churches, to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Per'gamum and to Thyati'ra and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to La-odice'a." 12 Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands, 13 and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden girdle round his breast; 14 his head and his hair were white as white wool, white as snow; his eyes were like a flame of fire, 15 his feet were like burnished bronze, refined as in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of many waters; 16 in his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth issued a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength.
John names the Seven Churches and then identifies the structure of eight, which are the seven golden lampstands and the eighth is the Son of Man who stands among them and commands them. He has seven stars in his hand.
17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand upon me, saying, "Fear not, I am the first and the last, 18 and the living one; I died, and behold I am alive for evermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades. 19 Now write what you see, what is and what is to take place hereafter. 20 As for the mystery of the seven stars which you saw in my right hand, and the seven golden lampstands, the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.
Here in a structure of four verses Christ explains the Seven Stars as the angels of the Seven Churches and that the seven Golden Lampstands are the Seven Churches.
Each Church is thus a lampstand that has an angel responsible for it. The word is aster (SGD 792) and is the same as used for the stars of the Host elsewhere in the text. The word comes from the base of stronummi (hence astronomy), which literally means to spread or to strew. The term is used for the Host because it is their task to spread the knowledge of God and they use the lampstands, which are the Church, to do that.
The Holy Spirit is the comforter of the Church and controls the Seven Spirits of God within it. It comes from God through Christ to the elect.
It is in effect the River that is divided into seven channels so that humans are able to access it and use it for the glory of God and to become sons of God.
The next two chapters deal with the Seven Churches and are examined in detail in the text the Pillars of Philadelphia (No. 283).
It is important to note in this text that the Seven Churches are spoken to with the angels in charge of them so that the angels are responsible for making sure that the message is understood.
These are not just seven distinct Churches. They also represent the fact that the Seven Spirits of God are present in each Church and that each Church has elements of the whole seven among them.
The structure is again in a sequence of seven in the address to the church at Ephesus
Revelation, chapter 2:
1 "To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: `The words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks among the seven golden lampstands. 2 "`I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear evil men but have tested those who call themselves apostles but are not, and found them to be false; 3 I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name's sake, and you have not grown weary. 4 But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. 5 Remember then from what you have fallen, repent and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent. 6 Yet this you have, you hate the works of the Nicola'itans, which I also hate. 7 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.'
We then go to the next sequence of seven in the message to the Church in Smyrna.
8 "And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: `The words of the first and the last, who died and came to life. 9 "`I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich) and the slander of those who say that they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. 10 Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life. 11 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who conquers shall not be hurt by the second death.' 12 "And to the angel of the church in Per'gamum write: `The words of him who has the sharp two-edged sword. 13 "`I know where you dwell, where Satan's throne is; you hold fast my name and you did not deny my faith even in the days of An'tipas my witness, my faithful one, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells. 14 But I have a few things against you: you have some there who hold the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, that they might eat food sacrificed to idols and practice immorality. 15 So you also have some who hold the teaching of the Nicola'itans. 16 Repent then. If not, I will come to you soon and war against them with the sword of my mouth.
The end verse is the call to repent. The next verse does not begin the next sequence but reinforces the fact that God is speaking to the whole sequence of Churches and not just to one Church.
17 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone which no one knows except him who receives it.'
The next sequence starts at verse 18:
18 "And to the angel of the church in Thyati'ra write: `The words of the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and whose feet are like burnished bronze. 19 "`I know your works, your love and faith and service and patient endurance, and that your latter works exceed the first. 20 But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jez'ebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and beguiling my servants to practice immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols. 21 I gave her time to repent, but she refuses to repent of her immorality. 22 Behold, I will throw her on a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her I will throw into great tribulation, unless they repent of her doings; 23 and I will strike her children dead. And all the churches shall know that I am he who searches mind and heart, and I will give to each of you as your works deserve. 24 But to the rest of you in Thyati'ra, who do not hold this teaching, who have not learned what some call the deep things of Satan, to you I say, I do not lay upon you any other burden; 25 only hold fast what you have, until I come. 26 He who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, I will give him power over the nations, 27 and he shall rule them with a rod of iron, as when earthen pots are broken in pieces, even as I myself have received power from my Father; 28 and I will give him the morning star. 29 He who has an ear let him hear what the Spirit says unto the churches.
The sequence to Thyatira is in the complete sequence of twelve. The first eleven verses are directed at Thyatira but the twelfth verse goes on to emphasise that the Spirit is speaking to all the Churches of God.
Revelation, chapter 3:
1 "And to the angel of the church in Sardis write: `The words of him who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. "`I know your works; you have the name of being alive, and you are dead. 2 Awake, and strengthen what remains and is on the point of death, for I have not found your works perfect in the sight of my God. 3 Remember then what you received and heard; keep that, and repent. If you will not awake, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come upon you. 4 Yet you have still a few names in Sardis, people who have not soiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white, for they are worthy. 5 He who conquers shall be clad thus in white garments, and I will not blot his name out of the book of life; I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels. 6 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.'
Note that Sardis is in a sequence of six, which is the number of man, and is dead, and thus the Spirit of God does not complete its work in this edifice.
7 "And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: `The words of the holy one, the true one, who has the key of David, who opens and no one shall shut, who shuts and no one opens. 8 "`I know your works. Behold, I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut; I know that you have but little power, and yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. 9 Behold, I will make those of the synagogue of Satan who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie -- behold, I will make them come and bow down before your feet, and learn that I have loved you. 10 Because you have kept my word of patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial which is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell upon the earth. 11 I am coming soon; hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown. 12 He who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God; never shall he go out of it, and I will write on him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem which comes down from my God out of heaven, and my own new name.
Philadelphia also is in a sequence of six, which springs from Sardis and completes a sequence of twelve. It then has the seventh element added onto its message, which again emphasises that the Spirit is speaking to all the Churches that are also symbolised by the twelve Tribes and the twelve Apostles who head those tribes as the foundation of the Temple of God.
13 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.'
The seventh sequence is commenced with the message to Laodicea.
14 "And to the angel of the church in La-odice'a write: `The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God's creation. 15 "`I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were cold or hot! 16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of my mouth. 17 For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing; not knowing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. 18 Therefore I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, that you may be rich, and white garments to clothe you and to keep the shame of your nakedness from being seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, that you may see. 19 Those whom I love, I reprove and chasten; so be zealous and repent.
Once again this sequence is six, ending in the call to repentance. The seventh is the call to respond, and the promise of Christ to eat with him. In other words, to redeem him annually on repentance, through the Lord’s Supper.
20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any one hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.
The eighth verse of the sequence then conveys the promise on overcoming in conquest.
21 He who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I myself conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne.
The final verse in the chapter is the 22nd verse which is the number of completeness, there being 22 letters to the Hebrew alphabet, and the structure of prophecy is also based on that number, as well as twelve.
22 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.'"
The next chapter in the text deals with the aspects of prophecy and the Government of God. In verse one the text shows the command, and in verse two the response on obedience in the Spirit. The third in the sequence is to see God, and then the Government is explained in the fourth verse as the Government is in four elements with two lots of twelve making up the twenty-four Elders around the Throne of God. The crowns indicate rule and authority.
The fifth verse shows power and indicates grace. It is in this section that the Seven Spirits of God are before the Throne as seven torches of fire. These are the spirits of understanding of the use of the Power of God.
Revelation, chapter 4:
1 After this I looked, and lo, in heaven an open door! And the first voice, which I had heard speaking to me like a trumpet, said, "Come up hither, and I will show you what must take place after this." 2 At once I was in the Spirit, and lo, a throne stood in heaven, with one seated on the throne! 3 And he who sat there appeared like jasper and carnelian, and round the throne was a rainbow that looked like an emerald. 4 Round the throne were twenty-four thrones, and seated on the thrones were twenty-four elders, clad in white garments, with golden crowns upon their heads. 5 From the throne issue flashes of lightning, and voices and peals of thunder, and before the throne burn seven torches of fire, which are the seven spirits of God;
It is through the Seven Spirits of God that mankind can be educated and redeemed. They are thus sixth in the sequence, and the four Living Creatures are also comprised of those redeemed from the Earth. The seventh element goes on to explain them. The eighth element shows their rank and their purpose.
6 and before the throne there is as it were a sea of glass, like crystal. And round the throne, on each side of the throne, are four living creatures, full of eyes in front and behind: 7 the first living creature like a lion, the second living creature like an ox, the third living creature with the face of a man, and the fourth living creature like a flying eagle. 8 And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all round and within, and day and night they never cease to sing, "Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!"
The next three verses or elements show the leadership in honour and worship given to God as Creator and God of the creation.
9 And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to him who is seated on the throne, who lives for ever and ever, 10 the twenty-four elders fall down before him who is seated on the throne and worship him who lives for ever and ever; they cast their crowns before the throne, singing, 11 "Worthy art thou, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for thou didst create all things, and by thy will they existed and were created."
The section is in eleven elements in that eleven is the halfway point to completeness and it is at this point we have two elohim qualified to rule, but none to redeem them from death; and the Host needed one of them to redeem them all from the rebellion. The Plan of God had to be implemented but there was no one worthy.
Revelation, chapter 5:
1 And I saw in the right hand of him who was seated on the throne a scroll written within and on the back, sealed with seven seals; 2 and I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, "Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?" 3 And no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it, 4 and I wept much that no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it.
On the first four sections the call to worthiness is exclaimed and there was none worthy. The fifth section is one of Grace again where the Lion of Judah and root and offspring of David was found worthy.
5 Then one of the elders said to me, "Weep not; lo, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals."
In the sixth element we see the Lamb slain who was standing between God and the four Living Creatures showing his authority over all the creation acting for God. He had seven horns, which is the number of the Churches symbolising the rule of the saints as kings and priests. The seven eyes are the Seven Spirits of God by which he controls and monitors the creation and the elect of God.
6 And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders, I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth;
The seventh sequence shows the fulfilment of his important task and the receipt of authority and power over the Plan of God. The eighth in the sequence shows his commencement to rule with the power received from the right hand of God.
7 and he went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who was seated on the throne. 8 And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and with golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints;
From the ninth sequence after Christ had completed his task and qualified to rule, a new song is given the elect of the Host. They are acknowledged as being redeemed and they shall reign on Earth as kings and priests. This sequence is three times three and of itself has a spiritual significance of completeness in the Holy Spirit.
9 and they sang a new song, saying, "Worthy art thou to take the scroll and to open its seals, for thou wast slain and by thy blood didst ransom men for God from every tribe and tongue and people and nation, 10 and hast made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on earth."11 Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, 12 saying with a loud voice, "Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!"
The twelfth verse completes the section on the qualification and the power of the Lamb.
13 And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all therein, saying, "To him who sits upon the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might for ever and ever!" 14 And the four living creatures said, "Amen!" and the elders fell down and worshiped.
The thirteenth and fourteenth verses show the completion of the glory of God and the Lamb who redeemed us and received power and authority to rule from his God and Father and our God and Father.
These seven divisions of the text detail the Plan of God under the Seven Spirits of God.
Revelation chapter 8 is the eighth division in the culmination of the Plan of God under the authority of Christ. It concerns the Seventh Seal and when that is opened the prayers of the saints are poured out on the altar of God. The twenty-four Elders had responsibility for those prayers. The seven angels of the Seven Churches are then given authority and the trumpets of the power of God to summon and to destroy.
Revelation, chapter 8:
1 When the Lamb opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. 2 Then I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them. 3 And another angel came and stood at the altar with a golden censer; and he was given much incense to mingle with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar before the throne; 4 and the smoke of the incense rose with the prayers of the saints from the hand of the angel before God.
The first four verses in this chapter deal with the transmission of power to the elect and the angels of the Seven Churches of God.
The prayers of the saints are given effect and the Seven Spirits of God and the elect of the saints begin to judge the Earth and rule it.
5 Then the angel took the censer and filled it with fire from the altar and threw it on the earth; and there were peals of thunder, voices, flashes of lightning, and an earthquake.
The sixth verse is one of activity but this time the human activity is under the power of the Host, rather than that of mankind acting alone and influenced by Satan cut off from God.
6 Now the seven angels who had the seven trumpets made ready to blow them.
The seventh verse begins the process of the Seventh Seal and the First Trumpet began the intervention of God based on the prayers of the saints.
7 The first angel blew his trumpet, and there followed hail and fire, mixed with blood, which fell on the earth; and a third of the earth was burnt up, and a third of the trees were burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up. 8 The second angel blew his trumpet, and something like a great mountain, burning with fire, was thrown into the sea; 9 and a third of the sea became blood, a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed. 10 The third angel blew his trumpet, and a great star fell from heaven, blazing like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the fountains of water. 11 The name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters became wormwood, and many men died of the water, because it was made bitter. 12 The fourth angel blew his trumpet, and a third of the sun was struck, and a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of their light was darkened; a third of the day was kept from shining, and likewise a third of the night. 13 Then I looked, and I heard an eagle crying with a loud voice, as it flew in midheaven, "Woe, woe, woe to those who dwell on the earth, at the blasts of the other trumpets which the three angels are about to blow!"
The seven verses follow the structure of the first four of the Seven Trumpets. Thus we are seeing the breakdown of the government of the Earth, but in a sequence of planned action.
Even after the Seven Angels sound and the woes are past and a third of mankind is killed (as we see in Revelation chapter 9), the people of the Earth did not repent.
1 Then I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven, wrapped in a cloud, with a rainbow over his head, and his face was like the sun, and his legs like pillars of fire. 2 He had a little scroll open in his hand. And he set his right foot on the sea, and his left foot on the land, 3 and called out with a loud voice, like a lion roaring; when he called out, the seven thunders sounded. 4 And when the seven thunders had sounded, I was about to write, but I heard a voice from heaven saying, "Seal up what the seven thunders have said, and do not write it down."
Then Angel of the Lord, standing on the sea, raised his hand and swore by Him that stands forever and ever, who created the heavens and the Earth and the sea and the things therein, said it shall be time no longer (10:6).
It is given that in the time of the sounding of the Seventh Angel, the Mystery of God as it was revealed through His servants the prophets, would be finished.
These Seven Spirits of God spoke and the mystery had already been revealed to David a thousand years earlier, but its application was not as yet to be revealed. We find the application in Psalms 28 and 29.
A Psalm of David.
1 To thee, O LORD, I call; my rock, be not deaf to me, lest, if thou be silent to me, I become like those who go down to the Pit. 2 Hear the voice of my supplication, as I cry to thee for help, as I lift up my hands toward thy most holy sanctuary. 3 Take me not off with the wicked, with those who are workers of evil, who speak peace with their neighbors, while mischief is in their hearts. 4 Requite them according to their work, and according to the evil of their deeds; requite them according to the work of their hands; render them their due reward. 5 Because they do not regard the works of the LORD, or the work of his hands, he will break them down and build them up no more. 6 Blessed be the LORD! for he has heard the voice of my supplications. 7 The LORD is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts; so I am helped, and my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him. 8 The LORD is the strength of his people, he is the saving refuge of his anointed. 9 O save thy people, and bless thy heritage; be thou their shepherd, and carry them for ever.
The Psalm is the plea for the Lord to save his people as the refuge of his anointed. Verse 5 is a plea for the intervention by the Grace of God. Verse 6 does not relate to the actions of men but rather a praise blessing for the Lord because he has heard the pleas of men. Thus it is in this instance that the actions of men herald the saving actions of God.
Verse 7 culminates in the Praise of the Lord as the strength and shield of the anointed who are the elect saints as the household of David under the Angel of the Lord at their head (cf. Zech. 12:8). Verse 8 places Yahovah as the saving strength of his anointed. This is the direct reference to Christ as the Messiah returning to save the anointed. The position in the Psalm identifies it by the number in the sequence as eight.
Verse 9 then is a direct plea to the Messiah to: “save thy People and bless thine inheritance. Feed them also and lift them up forever.”
The inheritance of Yahovah is the whole House of Israel, which is centrally the spiritual Body of the Church.
This then has relationship to the following Psalm 29, which refers to the Seven Thunders.
A Psalm of David.
1 Ascribe to the LORD, O heavenly beings, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength. 2 Ascribe to the LORD the glory of his name; worship the LORD in holy array. 3 The voice of the LORD is upon the waters; the God of glory thunders, the LORD, upon many waters. 4 The voice of the LORD is powerful, the voice of the LORD is full of majesty. 5 The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars, the LORD breaks the cedars of Lebanon. 6 He makes Lebanon to skip like a calf, and Si'rion like a young wild ox. 7 The voice of the LORD flashes forth flames of fire. 8 The voice of the LORD shakes the wilderness, the LORD shakes the wilderness of Kadesh. 9 The voice of the LORD makes the oaks to whirl, and strips the forests bare; and in his temple all cry, "Glory!" 10 The LORD sits enthroned over the flood; the LORD sits enthroned as king for ever. 11 May the LORD give strength to his people! May the LORD bless his people with peace!
The text states in verse 1:
“Give unto the Lord O ye Mighty”; however, the Targum renders it Angels and it is clear we are dealing here with the Elohim.
The Mighty are required to give unto Yahovah their glory and strength. The glory due to Yahovah is in worship in the beauty of holiness.
The Psalm is an answer to the plea of Psalm 28 and especially the section of Psalm 28:7-8.
Verse 3 then says: “The voice of Yahovah is upon the waters; the Glory of God thunders”.
Thus we are dealing with the Voice of the Lord who is the Glory of God who thunders. This Being is the Yahovah of Psalm 45:6-7 who was with Israel in the Wilderness and who is identified as Messiah in Hebrews 1:8-9.
In this text we see that the term voice of the Lord is used seven times. This tells us the framework in which the seven thunders were sounded. It was in direct response to the pleas for help in the previous Psalm 28.
It applies to the return of the Messiah to save those that eagerly wait for him in the Last Days.
The Voice of the Lord will affect many waters; in other words, many peoples and nations.
In the second thunder, the Lord will deal in power and strength with those nations as they have dealt with the elect, as stated in the parable of the sheep and the goats.
The third thunder will establish the majesty of Yahovah over the world in subjugation. The word is hadar (SHD 1926, pronounced hawdawr), which is magnificence.
Psalm 29:5 says the Voice of the Lord, which is the fourth thunder, breaks the cedars of Lebanon. Lebanon and Sirion, or Hermon, skip like the calves of wild oxen.
In other words, God strikes the Middle East with a mighty earthquake.
The Voice as the fifth thunder divides the flames of fire. This section, as verse seven, is actually cleaving with flames of fire. This is using natural force against earthly power.
The Voice as the sixth thunder shakes the wilderness and the wilderness of Kadesh is specifically mentioned. It is not, however, confined to Kadesh.
The Voice of the Lord as the seventh thunder causes the animals to slip in fright and destroys or strips all forests as a result of the vials.
At the end of this catastrophe the elect are saved and in His Temple, as we see from verse 9, which matches the sentiment of the previous verse 9 in Psalm 28.
Psalm 29:10 says that the Lord sits upon the flood and is king forever.
This text corresponds with the actions in Genesis and refers to verse 3 of this Psalm and Genesis 6:17; 7:6,7,10,17; 9:11,15,28; 10:1,32; 11:10.
The section in verse 11 says the Lord will give strength to his people and the Lord will bless his people with peace.
This text is 11 verses because the action is incomplete and goes on into the Millennium.
Psalm 30 then goes on to extol the Lord because of his intervention and is complete at 12 verses.
In all, there are seven Amens in the Psalms, which has relevance also to the Spirits of God. That is a study in its own right (cf. Pss. 41:13; 72:19; 89:52). There are also twelve Amens in Deuteronomy chapter 27 in assent to the covenant.
The important thing here is to note that the structure of the text in Revelation (as well as elsewhere in the Bible) has its own spiritual reality and covers twenty-two chapters dealing with the power and effect of the Seven Spirits of God acting in concert with Christ to redeem the Church as the elect of God, and to take command of the planet in the Last Days. Revelation is Scripture and Scripture cannot be broken.
The Seven Spirits of God empower us all as the Churches of God to deal with the planet in the Last Days. Together they are the power of the Holy Spirit and are the means by which we become elohim.
Christian Churches of God
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