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Studying Spirits

And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God, Revelation 4:5.

For over a century bible teachers have followed C.I. Scofield's lead on the seven Spirits of God. In a marginal reference to Revelation 1:4 where the seven Spirits of God are first mentioned, Scofield directs his readers to Isaiah 11:2; 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 of the fear of the LORD. Many a good bible teacher has followed Scofield's lead on this one even though a plain reading of the English text finds only four spirits. Three of them are spirits with compound names just like we find in I Peter 4:4 with the spirit of glory and of God, or Zechariah 12:10 with the spirit of grace and supplications, or Ephesians 1:17 with the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him.

This confounding of the English text goes back to the general thinking of Fundamentalists in the last 100 years, they see the English text as being a shadowy haze which allows a partial light from the originals to shine through. The idea that the actual English text is indeed the revelation of God just didn't seem to click with them. As a result, they left a lot of mindless pablum masquerading as doctrine. There are few more glaring examples of this than the understanding of the third person of the Godhead.

For starters, look at Isaiah 11:2. Is the spirit of wisdom and understanding one spirit or two? Well, first grade English would tell us that the spirit is singular. If God wanted us to see that there were two spirits, he would have said the spirits of wisdom and understanding. He didn't. It's only one spirit. It has a compound name. That's not really hard to see in English if indeed you believe the English. If you tremble at the thought that your peers might see you as unorthodox or a trouble maker, you might have trouble seeing that.

I am suggesting that you try an experiment. Scrap all of your preconceptions of the Godhead, pick up your Pure Cambridge Text, King James Bible and treat it like a novelty that you just found on the sidewalk. Open its pages and examine the word "spirit". If you believe what you see, the triune God will become more glorious and holy in your eyes than ever before.

You can use a concordance or a software program that lists all of the places that the word "spirit" is used. Go through them one by one. Keep a separate column for each title of the word "spirit" that you see. Does the word of God say Spirit of God? Put that in its own column. Does the word of God say spirit of God? Put that in its own column. Distinguish between upper case and lower case spirits. You will have some columns with only one entry, and you will have some columns that overflow with entries. Every single time that a spirit or Spirit is written differently, there is a reason. Mark them as different spirits.

When you are done, you will have found 14 different titles of the word "Spirit" with an upper case "S". You will have found 7 different titles of the word spirit that are deity but have a lower case "s". With some bible discernment and some understanding of the role each member of the trinity takes in your bible, you will see that 7 of the upper case Spirits relate to the work of the Father and 7 of them relate to the work of the Holy Ghost. The seven lower case spirits that are deity relate to Jesus Christ who is the Lord.

I once had an evangelist stay with me for a couple of days. I showed him Matthew 10:20; For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you. I asked him, "which member of the trinity is that Spirit?" He replied, "the Holy Spirit." I pointed to it again and emphasized the words, "of your Father". He looked at me quizzically and said, "the Holy Spirit". I pointed out that the English words said that it was the Spirit of the Father. He looked troubled. Yes, the English text plainly said that it was speaking of the Father's Spirit, but he had been taught all of his life that it was the Holy Spirit. Guess which one was the trump card in his hand, the English words of scripture, or a life of fundamentalist doctrine?

The simple truth is that for someone to be a person they need to have a spirit. The Jesus only movement which denies the trinity takes for its premise that each person that we think of as God in the scripture shares the Holy Spirit as their personal spirit, and therefore they are all the same person with many different titles. In bible reality, each person of the Godhead shares seven Spirits, each of which takes on three different names to manifest three distinctly different persons who have had perfect fellowship one with another throughout eternity.

I remember a movie I once saw about Galileo. The inquisitors came to see him because he challenged Catholic dogma. He begged each one of them to look through his telescope. They each refused. My telescope is a King James Bible washed of the oily hazy film called fundamentalist dogma. Dare to look through it. Dare to believe what you see. You will find seven spirits with which every lost man is endowed at birth, and you will see that the natural man is spiritual. He just has the wrong spirits which he mistakes for God. You will find seven replacement spirits that enter him at salvation like an Israeli commando team rescuing a hostage.

You will find that the third person of the trinity is the Holy Ghost, not the Holy Spirit. You will find Holy Spirit written three ways, Holy Spirit, holy Spirit and holy spirit. That is an example of one of the seven Spirits of God taking three different names to manifest three different persons of the Godhead. Your soul will burst with understanding and your friends will think that you are strange. Take the plunge. Perhaps it will help you to go back and read the three part blog post What Shall We Say of Genesis 6:3? published on March 8th.

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