John, the writer of this letter, addresses the seven churches in Asia. But as there were many more churches in the region, by identifying only seven, which is the number that represents the completion of the work of God, then this letter is addressed to all believers everywhere, throughout history.
But this letter is also addressed to the seven trends of spiritual attitude, within the population of believers in the Church Age. These trends of attitude will be spelled out over the next couple of chapters. The number seven keeps popping up throughout the Bible and in life in general. We have seven days, seven continents, and now seven spirits ever present before the throne of God.
Spirit, ‘pheuma,’ here means breath, or the inhale, exhale function of ones breathing. It is your activity associated with your spiritual growth. And we have seven phases which make up your spiritual growth process. Often times we call this the circle or cycle of the attainment of wisdom and spiritual completion.
But are these seven spirits actual creatures or something else? And to answer that question we have to go to Isaiah for the answer. Actually the answer is disclosed in various ways throughout the scriptures, but only in Isaiah is it detailed in one location.
There is a chart on the web site, which presents a picture of the seven spirits of spiritual learning and growth, and that is what we have here. You should print off that chart and include it in your notebook.
In Isa. 11 the seven spirits refer to the pattern of spiritual growth. They begin with the Holy Spirit who is the conduit through which spiritual food moves. A believer must first be in fellowship with God in order to have any kind of interaction with God. The Bible often refers to this as washing of oneself, or the removal of the shoes, and so forth. We cannot come before God if we are dirty, and sin in our life is dirt. So we have to remove that dirt in a manner specified by God, before we can come before God in any part of our life.
The mechanism for doing this (cleansing) is confession of sin to God and to no one else, and I might add, in private. Your life in no ones business except that of God. So public confession is taboo, confession to friends, to priests, to grandma, to idols, to the moon and such are all taboo. They gain you nothing. They are not God and only God can grant you access to Himself.
I cannot get you in the back door to see God. No one can. Details of this confession process is spelled out in 1 John 1:9, and throughout the Mosaic Law.
By utilizing this confession process, we gain access to the first spirit of the seven. We gain admittance into the court of God and therefore can now be heard, and can now hear as well. This is where we need to be in order to learn Bible doctrine, in order to learn and grow up spiritually, in order to pray. In fellowship, or in Gods presence, is where we need to be living our life constantly, for that is the location where Gods protection and blessings emanate. In fellowship is the same as being in His castle, in His fortress, behind His shield, in His throne room, in His temple. All this is located within the confines of your soul.
The alternative to being in fellowship is being out of fellowship, and that is a place outside in the dust of the world, outside Gods protection, under the influence and control of your sin nature. When you are in fellowship you are placing yourself voluntarily under the control of the Holy Spirit. When out of fellowship you are placing yourself under the control of your sin nature and its deceptions and degenerate slavery. And that is not a place you should be in your life.
We are not independent of our sin nature nor of God. So the thought of being independent and free of all outside influences in life is a deception. Only fools pursue this kind of thinking. Your sin nature does not serve your best interests, only God does that.
Once you have attained your presence with God, fellowship, then your learning and growth process can move forward, through the rest of the seven spirits, which are, knowledge, understanding, counsel, might, wisdom, and fear or respect.
These are listed on the ‘seven spirits’ chart, and so I won’t go over them all here. But basically they represent your daily study and advancement through doctrine, until you reach a point of completeness, or spiritual maturity, having command of all that God has taught you.
Grace and peace come to us all from God through the seven spirits, your spiritual growth process.
God provides us with doctrine, we have to want to learn it and then learn it through the procedure God has given us. This has been the process since the beginning of time, and remains so. Adam learned doctrine this way, and so do we. This process stands before Gods Throne as the only authorized method of interacting with God and learning Bible doctrine.