7 Spirits, churches, stars, candlesticks, lamps, & eyes
Revelation 1:4 John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne; 5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,...-John
The 7 Spirits are before Jehovah's throne.
The greeting is from: John, Jehovah, the 7 Spirits, and Jesus => To: 7 churches
PROBLEM 1: If the 7 Spirits are the saved from each of the 7 churches, we have a greeting that includes the saved church members greeting the church(themselves included), which doesn't make much sense. But we will clear this up later...
Revelation 1:20 The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.-Jesus
7 stars == angels/messengers of/to the 7 churches
7 candlesticks == 7 churches
“The work of the minister represented by the seven stars is a high and sacred work.” -The Review and Herald, May 31, 1887 & PaM 40.2
7 stars (in the right hand of Jesus) == The work of the ministers (to the 7 churches)
“Christ is represented as holding the seven stars in His right hand. This assures us that no church faithful to its trust need fear coming to nought, for not a star that has the protection of Omnipotence can be plucked out of the hand of Christ. 'These things saith He that holdeth the seven stars in His right hand.' Revelation 2:1. These words are spoken to the teachers in the church—those entrusted by God with weighty responsibilities.” -AA 586.2-3
Revelation 2:1 Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;
Jesus walks in the midst of the 7 churches
Revelation 3:1 And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.
The 7 Spirits are of Jehovah and are before His throne(4:4)
Revelation 4:2 And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne(Jehovah)... 5 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.
7 lamps == 7 Spirits of God
Problem 2: If we assume the “lamps” == “candlesticks”, then we have:
The 7 churches are “of God” and “before His throne”. This doesn't make sense. So, are the “lamps” something different from the “candlesticks”?
Let's consider the Sanctuary in Heaven, as symbolized by the Sanctuary designed by Jehovah and constructed under the supervision of Moses.
Numbers 8:1 And [Jehovah] spake unto Moses, saying, 2 Speak unto Aaron and say unto him, When thou lightest the lamps, the seven lamps shall give light over against the candlestick. 3 And Aaron did so; he lighted the lamps thereof over against the candlestick, as [Jehovah] commanded Moses.
Zechariah 4:1 And the angel that talked with me came again, and waked me, as a man that is wakened out of his sleep. 2 And said unto me, What seest thou? And I said, I have looked, and behold a candlestick[Hebrew: menoraw - chandelier] all of gold, with a bowl upon the top of it, and his seven lamps[Hebrew: nayraw - candle, lamp, light] thereon, and seven pipes to the seven lamps, which are upon the top thereof:
So the 7 lamps(where the oil is burned) are connected to the base(chandelier) by pipes. Now, back to Revelation with the Greek definitions added to see if it agrees with the Hebrew.
7 candlesticks[Greek: luchnia - lampstand] == 7 churches
7 lamps[Greek: lampas - light/torch] before the throne == 7 Spirits of God before the throne sent forth into all the earth
We may still lack clarity on the 7 Spirits(lamps), so let's continue...
Revelation 5:6 And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.
The "seven eyes" of Jesus == the 7 Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.
So, these "Spirits" are from Jehovah, possessed by Jesus(His "eyes"), and sent into all the earth.(Rev 5:6)
The 7 Spirits are possessed by Jesus because "For... God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him(Son of God-vs.35)." (John 3:34)
The 7 Spirits are "sent into all the earth" because, "God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father."(Gal4:6).
So, what is symbolized by the “seven Spirits of God”? “This is unquestionably simply a designation of the Holy Spirit” -Uriah Smith (full quote below)
“The terms “Holy Ghost”, are a harsh and repulsive translation. It should be “Holy Spirit” (hagion pneuma) in every instance. This Spirit is the Spirit of God, and the Spirit of Christ; the Spirit being the same whether it is spoken of as pertaining to God or Christ. But respecting this Spirit, the Bible uses expressions which cannot be harmonized with the idea that it is a person like the Father and the Son. Rather it is shown to be a divine influence from them both, the medium which represents their presence and by which they have knowledge and power through all the universe, when not personally present. Christ is a person, now officiating as priest in the sanctuary in heaven; and yet he says that wherever two or three are gathered in his name, he is there in the midst. Mt. 18:20. How? Not personally, but by his Spirit. In one of Christ’s discoursed (John 14-16) this Spirit is personified as “the Comforter,” and as such has the personal and relative pronouns, “he,” “him,” and “whom,” applied to it. But usually it is spoken of in a way to show that it cannot be a person, like the Father and the Son. For instance, it is often said to be “poured out” and “shed abroad.” But we never read about God or Christ being poured out or shed abroad. If it was a person, it would be nothing strange for it to appear in bodily shape; and yet when it has so appeared, that fact has been noted as peculiar. Thus Luke 3:22 says: “And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him.” But the shape is not always the same; for on the day of Pentecost it assumed the form of “cloven tongues like as of fire.” Acts 2:3, 4. Again we read of “the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.” Rev. 1:4; 3:1; 4:5; 5:6. This is unquestionably simply a designation of the Holy Spirit, put in this form to signify its perfection and completeness. But it could hardly be so described if it was a person. We never read of the seven Gods or the seven Christs.” — (Uriah Smith, Review and Herald, October 28, 1890)
Now, back to Revelation 1:4 “John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne; 5 And from Jesus Christ...”
We now see that the greeting to the 7 churches/candlesticks(lampstands) was from: John, Jehovah, the Holy Spirit(Spirit of God/Christ), and Jesus Christ. And, that makes sense :-)
GOOD NEWS CONCLUSION
Jesus walks in the midst of His Church(Rev2:1)
While before Jehovah's throne(Rev1:4), the Spirit of Christ(lamp) “shines”(Num8:2;Zech4:2) on His Church(lampstand)
Due to the protection of Omnipotence, we cannot “be plucked out of the hand of Christ.” (AA 586.2-3)
FOR FURTHER STUDY-- an Ellen White quote
As Christ sat looking upon the party that waited for the bridegroom, He told His disciples the story of the ten virgins, by their experience illustrating the experience of the church that shall live just before His second coming.
The two classes of watchers represent the two classes who profess to be waiting for their Lord. They are called virgins because they profess a pure faith. By the lamps is represented the word of God. The psalmist says, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Psalm 119:105. The oil is a symbol of the Holy Spirit. Thus the Spirit is represented in the prophecy of Zechariah. “The angel that talked with me came again,” he says, “and waked me, as a man that is wakened out of his sleep, and said unto me, What seest thou? And I said, I have looked, and behold a candlestick all of gold, with a bowl upon the top of it, and his seven lamps thereon, and seven pipes to the seven lamps, which are upon the top thereof; and two olive trees by it, one upon the right side of the bowl, and the other upon the left side thereof. So I answered and spake to the angel that talked with me, saying, What are these, my lord? ... Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the Lord unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.... And I answered again, and said unto him, What be these two olive branches which through the two golden pipes empty the golden oil out of themselves? ... Then said he, These are the two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth.” Zechariah 4:1-14.
From the two olive trees the golden oil was emptied through the golden pipes into the bowl of the candlestick, and thence into the golden lamps that gave light to the sanctuary. So from the holy ones that stand in God's presence His Spirit is imparted to the human instrumentalities who are consecrated to His service. The mission of the two anointed ones is to communicate to God's people that heavenly grace which alone can make His word a lamp to the feet and a light to the path. “Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.” Zechariah 4:6.
In the parable, all the ten virgins went out to meet the bridegroom. All had lamps and vessels for oil. For a time there was seen no difference between them. So with the church that lives just before Christ's second coming. All have a knowledge of the Scriptures. All have heard the message of Christ's near approach, and confidently expect His appearing. But as in the parable, so it is now. A time of waiting intervenes, faith is tried; and when the cry is heard, “Behold, the Bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet Him,” many are unready. They have no oil in their vessels with their lamps. They are destitute of the Holy Spirit.
Without the Spirit of God a knowledge of His word is of no avail. The theory of truth, unaccompanied by the Holy Spirit, cannot quicken the soul or sanctify the heart. One may be familiar with the commands and promises of the Bible; but unless the Spirit of God sets the truth home, the character will not be transformed. Without the enlightenment of the Spirit, men will not be able to distinguish truth from error, and they will fall under the masterful temptations of Satan.
The class represented by the foolish virgins are not hypocrites. They have a regard for the truth, they have advocated the truth, they are attracted to those who believe the truth; but they have not yielded themselves to the Holy Spirit's working. They have not fallen upon the Rock, Christ Jesus, and permitted their old nature to be broken up... (COL 406.2 - 411.1)
Compiled by Sid Nash 11/3/2019