Saturday, October 21, 2017

Daily Bible Reading - October 21, 2017

Today's Reading:

1 Thessalonians 1

Isaiah 11-13

Psalm 112

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Thoughts and Commentary on Today's Reading   

Seven is a significant number in Scripture. It is the number of perfection. To be perfect, in this context, literally means "to be fully equipped" and "fully furnished". The process of sanctification, translated from the original Hebrew actually means "to seven oneself" (by the Grace and indwelling power of Yahweh, of course).

And by what Power does Yahweh "equip" and "fully furnish" us? He does this by the Power of His Spirit! For this reason, it makes sense that there are actually seven aspects of the Holy Spirit - seven levels of the Outpouring. Our Saviour, Himself being perfect, was thoroughly equipped with all seven aspects of the Spirit, listed in Isaiah 11:1-2:
"And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: And the 1) Spirit of Yahweh shall rest upon Him, 2) the Spirit of Wisdom and 3) Understanding, the 4) Spirit of Counsel and 5) Might, the 6) Spirit of Knowledge and of the 7) Fear of Yahweh. 
There are seven Lamps of fire burning before the Throne which are the seven Spirits of God (Revelation 4:5). The messages of Revelation are from the seven Spirits (better translated as the seven aspects of the Spirit of God) (Revelation 1:4).

The seven-fold anointing of the Spirit, which rested upon Christ, and which He desires to bestow upon us, is represented in the seven symbols of the Spirit, found throughout Scripture:

Seven Areas of Anointing - #1: The Spirit of Yahweh
The Spirit of Yahweh manifests as Wind/Breath, as we see in Acts 2.
Acts 2:1-2  "And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from Heaven as of a rushing mighty Wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting."  
When the Spirit manifests as Wind, it is spiritually enlivening, stirring, and removing whatever is not attached. The Judgments of Yahweh were brought on the wind (Hosea 13:15, Jonah 4:8). Remember Judgments are blessings or cursings received because of our obedience (and cleansing from past Lawlessness) or rebellion. In other words, Judgment is not always negative. For the saved, it is a great blessing.

"Wind" is translated from "ruwach" (Strong's Concordance #7307) and literally means "air in motion". "Breath" (Strong's Concordance #7306) is "air moving undetected or little noticed".

It was by the Breath of Yah that everything was created:
Psalm 33:6  "By the Word of Yahweh were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the Breath of His Mouth."
When man was first created, Yahweh breathed into His nostrils - and man became a living soul (Genesis 2:7). This Breath did not just bring Adam to life, physically, it filled Him with the Spirit of Yah, enlivening him, spiritually as well.

“A new heart will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you."  This is accomplished by the divine Breath of God in the soul of the true seeker.

Seven Areas of Anointing - #2: The Spirit of Wisdom
The Spirit of Wisdom is symbolized by Oil. What does Oil do?
Oil enlightens. Oil changes the substance with which it is mixed. Oil penetrates. Oil adheres. Oil burns. Oil heals. All of these properties of oil are spiritually applicable in the Work of the Spirit of Wisdom.

Remember the parable of the five wise and five foolish virgins? Matthew 25:4But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.” The possession of the Oil does not just represent the Holy Spirit in the life, generally, it specifically refers to the Spirit of Wisdom.

Yahweh desires to instill in us His Spirit of Wisdom for dealing with our human relationships. It is through this Spirit that we are enabled to love others, as Christ loves them:
Proverbs 11:12  "He that is void of wisdom despiseth his neighbour: but a man of understanding holdeth his peace."   
It is through the Spirit of Wisdom that we understand Truth, for spiritual things are only spiritually discerned:
Proverbs 14:8  "The wisdom of the prudent is to understand His Way: but the folly of fools is deceit."
The blessing of the Spirit of Wisdom is essential to us. We should seek to receive it from Yahweh (Proverbs 16:16, Ecclesiastes 9:18). 

Oil was used in the anointing process, to receive the Holy Spirit. Anointing oil is mentioned 202 times in Scripture. In the Bible, a person who is spiritually of the world is called a "stranger" to the Kingdom of Heaven. Conversely, a child of Yahweh was made (in Him) to be a "stranger" to this world (1 Peter 2:11-12). 

No one who was a "stranger" to Heaven could be anointed with the sacred anointing oil (Exodus 30:31-33). Oil was not to be poured upon unrepentant, carnal "flesh", for Yahweh does not anoint sin. The application of the oil symbolized that the anointed person - or object - was set apart for Holy use. Choosing to be anointed demonstrated a measure of the Spirit of Wisdom. And receiving the anointing only served to increase this Outpouring.

Thus, the Oil of His Spirit is present at every stage of spiritual life. But the Oil increases in the life, as we seek more and more of Yahweh's indwelling Grace. How do we do this, in a practical sense? Consider the diagram below:

We are to be like Christ.  “As Yahshua was , in the world, so are we.” (1 John 4:17)

First the Oil of burning Fire cleanses the heart (the person walks in the light with obedience). This process gives off Light (Truth and a Christ-like witness) to those around, while insuring that the Christian will continue to have Oil and more Light.  

To produce Light, the Oil must burn with Fire. The foolish virgins thought they had everything they needed – when they returned to the Source of all Light – probation had closed.

The Holy Spirit brings consecration and healing, and is revealed by the Fruits of the Spirit in the life.

How may we receive the Outpouring of the Spirit of Wisdom? Only by seeking it from Yahweh:
James 1:5-6  "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed."

Seven Areas of Anointing - #3: The Spirit of Understanding
The Spirit of Understanding is represented by Rain. What are the characteristics of rain? Rain softens the soil. Rain accesses nourishment for the plant. Rain prepares the ground for plowing. Rain clears the air of pollution. 

When we are filled with the Spirit of Understanding, we thrive. We become a spiritual oasis amidst a wasteland of spiritual death, which is our natural state, when we are without the Spirit.

Receiving the Spirit of Understanding is conditional. To increase our receptivity for more of the Spirit of Understanding, we need to seek revelations of Yahweh in His Torah. By Yahweh's Grace, we need to live by the Principles found in the Commandments and Torah Statutes.
Leviticus 26:3-4  "If ye walk in My Statutes, and keep My Commandments, and do them; Then I will give you Rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit."
Seven Areas of Anointing - #4: The Spirit of Council
The Spirit of Council is represented by a Dove.  What are the spiritual aspects of the Dove? It is gentle, meek, loving, innocent, and forgiving. When the Holy Spirit is manifested as the Dove, we receive the Spirit of Counsel, which guides us into all Truth (John 16:13).

In the early Advent Movement, one of the leaders was a man named William Miller. One night (in the 1800's) Miller had an interesting dream, which illustrates some key principles of the Spirit of Council - which not only involves loving and seeking the Truth, but also discerning when and how to share it with others.

I dreamed that God, by an unseen hand, sent me a curiously (beautifully carved) wrought casket about ten inches long by six square, made of ebony and pearls curiously inlaid. To the casket there was a key attached. I immediately took the key and opened the casket, when, to my wonder and surprise, I found it filled with all sorts and sizes of jewels, diamonds, precious stones, and gold and silver coin of every dimension and value, beautifully arranged in their several places in the casket; and thus arranged they reflected a light and glory equaled only to the sun.

I thought it was not my duty to enjoy this wonderful sight alone, although my heart was overjoyed at the brilliancy, beauty, and value of its contents. I therefore placed it on a center table in my room and gave out word that all who had a desire might come and see the most glorious and brilliant sight ever seen by man in this life.

The people began to come in, at first few in number, but increasing to a crowd. When they first looked into the casket, they would wonder and shout for joy. But when the spectators increased, everyone would begin to trouble the jewels, taking them out of the casket and scattering them on the table.

I began to think that the owner would require the casket and the jewels again at my hand; and if I suffered them to be scattered, I could never place them in their places in the casket again as before; and felt I should never be able to meet the accountability, for it would be immense. I then began to plead with the people not to handle them, nor to take them out of the casket; but the more I pleaded, the more they scattered; and now they seemed to scatter them all over the room, on the floor and on every piece of furniture in the room.

I then saw that among the genuine jewels and coin they had scattered an innumerable quantity of spurious jewels and counterfeit coin. I was highly incensed at their base conduct and ingratitude, and reproved and reproached them for it; but the more I reproved, the more they scattered the spurious jewels and false coin among the genuine.

I then became vexed in my physical soul and began to use physical force to push them out of the room; but while I was pushing out one, three more would enter and bring in dirt and shavings and sand and all manner of rubbish, until they covered every one of the true jewels, diamonds, and coins, which were all excluded from sight. They also tore in pieces my casket and scattered it among the rubbish. I thought no man regarded my sorrow or my anger. I became wholly discouraged and disheartened, and sat down and wept.

While I was thus weeping and mourning for my great loss and accountability, I remembered God, and earnestly prayed that He would send me help.

Immediately the door opened, and a man entered the room, when the people all left it; and he, having a dirt brush in his hand, opened the windows, and began to brush the dirt and rubbish from the room.

I cried to him to forbear, for there were some precious jewels scattered among the rubbish.

He told me to "fear not," for he would "take care of them."

Then, while he brushed the dirt and rubbish, false jewels and counterfeit coin, all rose and went out of the window like a cloud, and the wind carried them away. In the bustle I closed my eyes for a moment; when I opened them, the rubbish was all gone. The precious jewels, the diamonds, the gold and silver coins, lay scattered in profusion all over the room.

He then placed on the table a casket, much larger and more beautiful than the former, and gathered up the jewels, the diamonds, the coins, by the handful, and cast them into the casket, till not one was left, although some of the diamonds were not bigger than the point of a pin.

He then called upon me to "come and see."

I looked into the casket, but my eyes were dazzled with the sight. They shone with ten times their former glory. I thought they had been scoured in the sand by the feet of those wicked persons who had scattered and trod them in the dust. They were arranged in beautiful order in the casket, every one in its place, without any visible pains of the man who cast them in. I shouted with very joy, and that shout awoke me.  — (Dream of William Miller, recorded in Early Writings, pp. 81-83)
With the Presence of Yah's Spirit, as a Dove, we are empowered to be both "wise" and "harmless".
Matthew 10:16-17  "Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves."  
There are yet three more aspects of the Holy Spirit, which we are to prayerfully seek. But because these first four areas have already taken enough time and space to examine, I will split this study into two parts. Tomorrow, we will look at numbers 5-7 of the seven areas of anointing.

In the meantime, pray and specifically ask for each aspect of the Holy Spirit's Outpouring to be poured out upon your life. Ask for the Breath. pray for the Oil. Seek His Rain. And cry out to Yahweh for the Dove to descend upon your life. It is Yahweh's Will that the same Spirit-anointing which rested upon Christ, would also rest upon His people:
Isaiah 11:1-2 - "And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: And the 1) Spirit of Yahweh shall rest upon Him, 2) the Spirit of Wisdom and 3) Understanding, the 4) Spirit of Counsel and 5) Might, the 6) Spirit of Knowledge and of the 7) Fear of Yahweh.