“The Spirit of Yahweh will rest on Him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and heroic might, The spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.” Isaiah 11:2
Isaiah 48:16 tells us that Christ came at the behest of Yahweh and His Spirit. Luke 1:35 tells us Jesus was conceived of the Spirit of God. We know that the Gospel’s tell us that the Spirit descended and remained upon the Son of God. Here we have Isaiah’s statement that the Spirit of God would rest on Him. Isaiah 61:1-4 tells us that the Spirit was resting upon Him in order to set people free and bring a manifestation of the good news that Christ was proclaiming.
This verse is Isaiah’s comprehensive statement as to the definition of the source of the characteristics of the life of Christ from the moment He arose out of the Jordan after John’s baptism and after the Baptist saw in dove-like form the Holy Spirit descend upon Jesus and remain on Him. Ministry wise it all started here! The entire ministry of the savior who was fully human and fully God, was energized, empowered and led by the anointing of the Spirit of Yahweh that rested upon Him.
To our knowledge and firm conviction Jesus did not preach one sermon prior to his baptism in the Jordan. Neither did He perform any miracle. We have the sure statement concerning His personal knowledge and wisdom at the age of 12, and we also have the detail of Him being subject to His parents saying, “Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and with man” (Luke 2:52). I have to add a personal conviction; my understanding is that being conceived by the Holy Spirit I take it for granted that He was filled with the same Spirit throughout His life. But the activity and presence of the Spirit was “within” Him during those first 30 years. At the Jordan, at the age of 30, the Spirit descended and came “upon” Him. The “coming upon” is as oil is poured out in the anointing of priests, kings or prophets.
The oil that Samuel poured upon Saul, and later upon David the lad, was symbolic – yes! It was also the same moment as the substance that the symbol signified was given. It was as if Samuel was saying, “Here Saul,” or “Here David; I am pouring this oil on your head as a symbol of the Spirit of God being poured out upon your life,” and the reality of that symbol manifested immediately on both Israeli monarchs as the oil was still running down them and dripping on their clothes. The scripture states that Saul turned to leave Samuel with the oil still running through his beard and garments and was immediately changed and “had another heart.” The substance and the evidence of that substance came upon the son of Kish simultaneous to the symbolic anointing with oil. It was exactly the same immediately after David’s anointing when the scripture informs us that, “from that day on the Spirit of the LORD came powerfully upon David” (1 Samuel 16:13). Symbol and substance was poured out in unison on the first two kings of Israel. It probably happened that way because of the intensity of the anointing on Samuel.
It was a similar transaction at the baptism of Jesus. John’s hands literally took hold of the Saviour in order to immerse Him in water, but no human hand or prayer could have imparted the Spirit of God upon Him who was to baptize Christians in the Holy Spirit. It was a similar situation to that in which Albert Einstein was asked why he had no doctorate amongst all of his academic achievements. The answer he gave was curt and simple. “There is nobody qualified to give me one!” is what he said. Einstein’s statement at that moment was a tiny and infinitesimal parallel to the thought of anybody ministering the Holy Spirit to the Lord Jesus. There was nobody qualified to make such ministry, not even the mighty John the Baptist.
The very moment the Holy Spirit had descended on Jesus and remained with Him there was a complete difference in Jesus’ life-style and demeanour. The Spirit of Yahweh had rested upon Him.
A tree may have several bows and branches, yet it will only have one single trunk. Or, to change the analogy, a Jewish Minora has a main trunk candle stick in the middle of the utility, and three branch candle-sticks on either side. This is how I would like to envisage the seven fold spirit of God that Isaiah predicted would descend, remain and rest upon Messiah. The minora was constituted of one single piece of Gold, yet comprised of seven branches. To elucidate and interpret my symbology the main trunk of Isaiah’s revelation in Isaiah 11:2-3 is that the Spirit of Yahweh would rest upon Messiah, the branches I am likening to the six explained manifestations of the Spirit in the life of Christ that Isaiah describes in Isaiah 11:2-3..
There is only one Holy Spirit. But here in the plainest of terms, Isaiah refers to the seven aspects of the Holy Spirit at work in Messiah’s life and ministry, as He would be similarly active when He comes upon, rests on and manifests Himself through Christians in general. The Holy Spirit when resting on a person’s life would bring forth several manifestations in that life that would be so varied that Isaiah refers to it as seven different spirits.
SPIRIT OF YAHWEH
So the main vertebrae of all the statements is that the Holy Spirit will be at peace while resting on Messiah. The Spirit of Yahweh would upon Him. “Christ” is Greek, and “Messiah” is Hebrew for the word “Anointed One.” The anointing that the title refers to is this resting of the Holy Spirit upon the body and person of Jesus of Nazareth. The Spirit descended in the visible form of a dove and settled and remained upon him. This is the first glorious example of the absolute will of God taking place in the life of a human being; a total oneness to God, and a total submission to His Spirit. This anointing was the air through which Christ breathed. It was a kind of second nature response of Christ to suddenly go where the Holy Spirit led Him. To our knowledge there was no redirecting, or “strange” leading throughout his life for His first thirty years, yet as soon as the Spirit had descended upon Him, He was led out into the wilderness. I do not use the word “strange” as a euphemism for eccentric or deranged, quite the opposite. Christ’s reception of the Holy Spirit was simply an entrance into a new kind of living, a new lifestyle that even Jesus had not known before. It was exactly the same syndrome when the apostles received the Holy Spirit in Acts chapter 2. They suddenly exploded into deeply powerful activity and purpose in a manner they had not even experienced in the days of Christ’s flesh.
Having been led out into the wilderness by the presence and anointing of the Holy Spirit, and having conquered the tempter through almost 6 weeks of fasting and temptation, the victory strengthened the assimilation and marination of that anointing into His personality and life of Jesus and he thus returned to civilisation and people 40 days later “in the power of the Spirit.” The ministry of Messiah as seen and perceived by Isaiah had begun.
We see the main thrust of the Spirit resting on Jesus, but in what manner did the Holy Spirit show Himself in the life of Christ while He actually rested on Him? Isaiah gives us six manifestations that are so crystal clear in their parameters that he calls each one “a spirit.” All these following six “spirits” are commentaries on everything we know of Messiah.
SPIRIT OF WISDOM
The first expression of the Holy Spirit whilst resting on Christ was “the Spirit of Wisdom.” “Ruach Chokmah” as the Hebrew has it! Supernatural wisdom oozed from the lips of Jesus continually, especially when the scribes and Pharisees were struggling to catch Him out. Chokmah is the faculty, the power and the capacity to make correct judgements together with deep insights into the repercussions and the serendipities of those decisions made. The Spirit of wisdom also implicitly suggests the executive freedom and power to act on those wise decisions made in the mind of the Saviour. In all the books, lexicons and Hebrew talking people I have consulted in order to understand this word, I read in two separate volumes and was told once that, “Sceptics are by nature incapable of operating within the freedom of this wisdom.” This is divine wisdom. Because wisdom is an internal attribute when it is activated, scepticism is also an inner attribute made such by habitual choices of a certain calibre which block out the entrance of divine wisdom. It is the Spirit of wisdom that sharpened Christ’s decisiveness and prophetic insight. All the life choices of Jesus were wise in the most extreme parameters of wisdom’s definition. Yes, having read the gospel’s and seen for ourselves the white’s of Jesus’ eyes as He was harangued by the Jewish antagonists and as He met their hellish logic with wisdom that silenced them and caused them to retire bloody and bruised, we can confidently say “Amen!” Jesus truly had the “Ruach Chokmah,” resting upon Him constantly.
SPIRIT OF UNDERSTANDING
If the Spirit of Yahweh fully revealed Himself upon Christ as the Spirit of Wisdom, Isaiah notes that He also manifested Himself as the Spirit of Understanding. In the Hebrew text, these first two aspects of Wisdom and Understanding are twinned, as the other four are also in couplets. The Spirit of Understanding is the manifestation of the Holy Spirit upon Jesus that gave Him insight to decide properly on the imponderables of life and the universe. The word is bynah (Some transliterate the word as Binah.). The books give lengthy lists of words to describe the meaning of this word: Insight, prudence, intelligence, skill, and discern, amongst many others. In all the questions of wisdom (Chokmah) and understanding (bynah) that Nebuchadnezzar asked of Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, the four young men had a grasp of it all, in fact they were ten times better in wisdom (Chokmah) and understanding (Bynah) than any of the others trained by the Babylonian king (Daniel 1:19-20). Solomon instructs us definitely NOT to lean upon our own understanding (bynah) (Proverbs 3:5). Understanding is yet another aspect of those spiritual faculties that facilitated Jesus’ right choices at all times. Not only did He speak words of great wisdom, but He fully understood the great depths of what He was saying.
SPIRIT OF COUNSEL
The next couple of aspects of the anointing that rested on Christ begins with the Spirit of Counsel; that is the seemingly ease and simplicity of ability to devise the best plans for a person’s future, and with similar ease and simplicity to share the plan with a view to its implementation. We are referring to the absolute peak and perfection of advice and/or consultation. Jesus was filled with a purpose, a project and a plan. One of the wisest men David had at his side was a man who went by the name of Ahitophel. However having turned against David and plighted his “craft” of counsel against David and God, he lost all he had. In the end he committed suicide because he failed to hear from God concerning counsel and advice. The counsel of the Holy Spirit cannot ever be anything but wise, generous and a root cause for all round prosperity. Jesus carried this anointing with infinite authority and power. Wilson’s Old Testament Word Studies informs me that the word translated Counsel includes both deliberation and purpose of doing a certain thing (as already stated above) and implies wisdom, reflection and an overall skill on the issues that required counsel. In the case of Christ Himself, the Spirit of counsel was on the complete issues of conception, gestation, birth, life, death and resurrection under the Lordship of Heavenly Father and His Son, submitted to in the power of the Holy Spirit.
SPIRIT OF MIGHT
Counsel and Might are conjoined here. The word is not so much “sheer might and power,” as “heroic action and deeds.” I have not read in any lexicon or word study, but I believe the word is referring to authority and mastery over thins. In Jesus’ case we are talking of mastery and authority over all things that are not commonly mastered in the natural. The mastery, might and heroism in the life of Christ was a supernatural gift of the anointing of the Spirit of God. We are here referring to heroic, masterful and victorious action extrapolated from one’s own counsel and understanding. This heroism was clearly manifested in the face of antagonism from people whom Jesus knew by the Spirit were contemplating murdering Him. It is difficult, if not impossible, to conceive of more masterful answers to the issues of life than the one’s He gave that are quoted in scripture. The ultimate in heroism was what Jesus Christ was all about. The ultimate hero! It is the practical side of giving counsel, namely having the courage, bravery and heroism to get one’s hands dirty and implement the results of the counsel one has given. The word that is commonly translated as “might” strongly implies a particular form of might that is appropriate to the counsel given. It is used of a person who is strenuous in all his undertakings, strong in his own conscious integrity, utterly without pretence and hypocrisy. That self knowledge and awareness of integrity makes the person bold and mighty. A more comprehensive description of the spiritual and moral perfections of Jesus Christ would be difficult to define.
SPIRIT OF KNOWLEDGE
The last twosome of related spirits that were to rest on Messiah were the Spirit of knowledge (ruach da’ath),and the Spirit of the fear of Yahweh. Some believe it should be translated as, “the Spirit of the knowledge of Yahweh and the Spirit of the fear of Yahweh. As far as “knowing Yahweh,” is concerned we need to compare both Matthew 11:27 (Neither knows any man the Father save the Son.) and John 1:18 (No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he has declared him). This kind of knowing Yahweh refers to that total embracing love directed towards the Father and not ever letting Him go in the knowledge of Him whom a person loves. The word is Da’ath and it means; knowledge, insight, intelligence wisdom and cunning as well as understanding. It is the tap-root of knowing God – a deep and intimate relationship between the human being and His Heavenly Father. It is a knowing that God teaches to man as in Psalm 94:10. Psalm 119:66. Proverbs 2:6. This is the contemplatively earned perception of a wise and intelligent man. This knowledge of God is the same as the word in Isaiah 11:9. By the anointing of the Spirit of God Jesus had access to the very fount of all knowledge in Yahweh and the knowledge and deep understanding of all people. Yet again it is a definitive statement of yet another characteristic of the person of Christ.
SPIRIT OF THE FEAR OF YAHWEH
We now engage with the deepest and most nutritious water from the bottom of the divine well with the Spirit of the fear of Yahweh. This is indeed the most informative and enabling taproot when it comes to the matter of understanding how Christ related both to God and to man. It is truly the ultimate answer to the engine room of all Christ said and did. By the anointing of the Spirit and the maintenance of the relationship with the “Dove” that rested upon Him, Christ saw everything His Father did, and heard everything the Father said. By this means He manifested the love and power of His heavenly Father to mankind. This was a consistent and continuous attitude that Christ lived with. His delight was in the fear of the Lord. The Hebrew word carries the sense that the fear of Yahweh was indeed the very air that Messiah breathed. He delighted in doing the will of God, and by the strength of that delight feared to do anything that was His own will wherever it was different to the Father’s.
The word “yirat” is translated variously as: fear; terror; awe; reverence; pleasurable aroma. It tells us plainly that it was the very delight of the Lord Jesus to have no will of His own, but was constrained within His will to know and understand the will of the Father as well as to absorb and do that will. This was the air He breathed. And His delight, his breathing air, was in the ambience and atmosphere of the fear of Yahweh. What was Christ’s first concern is supposedly the first concern of every true Christian soul. The plumb line of the call to be a Christian is to love a life wherein is the passion and delight to do nought but the will of God. The nearer the plumb line our lives get, the more like Jesus we become. Christ’s complete delight and His every thought and action came from His fear of Yahweh. The very Holy Spirit that brought every Christian to their second birth is the Spirit of the fear of Yahweh. The same Spirit with which millions across the world are baptised with is the Spirit of the fear of Yahweh. As it was with Christ, so it is with every believer. It is a yielding of one’s own will in subjection to Heavenly Father’s commands. This was the very air that Christ breathed. May, “Ruach yirat Yahweh” also rest on all who read these lines.
In the resting of the Spirit of the fear of Yahweh on a person’s life, one cannot be passive. It is truly the Spirit Himself who achieves the manifestation of power, the healing and the deliverance, but there needs to be the active participation of the believer in order for the Spirit of God to be released to do “His thing.” The human walks where the Spirit of Yahweh leads him, speaks what the Spirit of Yahweh says to Him, interacts with any instruction that the Spirit delivers to the one anointed. It is the same Spirit of the fear of the Lord that prods and suggests the delight and desire to fear and obey God. It is God’s desire that all believers own and interact with the Spirit of the Fear of the Lord.
It is the complete and total obedience to this anointing of the seven-fold spirit of God that revealed the Father to the world. May God give us the grace to walk as Jesus walked in submission to the word of the Holy Spirit.