Revelation 1:4-7: The Seven Spirits of God

Introduction

John introduces his book in Revelation 1:1-3. Then, he writes a covering letter to the seven churches in Asia (1:4-20). Although he will write to each church, he intends that they all read all of the letters. He begins his covering letter with a salutation (1:4-8). In the salutation, John mentions the "seven Spirits." This same expression is used in 3:1, 4:5, and 5:6. Because we are studying the Holy Spirit, we will focus our attention here on this expression.

One, our Triune God gives grace and peace. Receive His gifts with joy!

John bestows upon the seven churches "grace and peace" from the Triune source. The grace and peace is (1) from Him who is and who was and who is to come, (2) from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, and (3) from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. These expressions represent the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Our Triune God gives us grace and peace throughout our lives. The "grace and peace" are objectively ours. Grace and Peace are ours whether we subjectively enjoy them. However, when we think properly about them, we can experience the joy of subjective experience. We can feel his "grace and peace" within us, and we can encounter life with serenity and optimism.

Two, the Seven Spirits of God represent the Holy Spirit. Receive with faith the ministry of the Spirit!

The question is, "To whom does the expression "seven Spirits of God" refer? Many different explanations are given. Some scholars believe that this phrase refers to angels, but along with many others, my view is that John is referring to the Holy Spirit. John uses this expression to vividly portray the Spirit.

The Holy Spirit, along with the Father and Son, is a giver of "grace and peace." Elsewhere (John 14:16), John calls the Spirit "another Paraclete." He is another Helper like Christ. As Christ finished His ministry on earth, the role of the Spirit is to minister to us as Christ ministered. The Spirit, as Paraclete, is always with us. Let us receive His ministry with faith!

Three, the Seven Spirits of God represent the manifestations of the Spirit. Enjoy all aspects of his presence and work.

Because the Spirit is a person, some scholars become wooden in their views of the Spirit. They are fearful that others divide the Spirit into parts. However, all persons, including the Holy Spirit, can manifest their presence in a variety of ways. Here the Seven Spirits of God represent seven manifestations of the Spirit.

Every gift of the Spirit is valuable. When we receive His gifts, it is the entire Spirit bestowing the gifts. The Spirit grows His fruit within us and bestows the gifts of the Spirit upon us. Our own capacity to receive may vary considerably, but He is always faithful and gives all that we can assimilate and use! So, let us enjoy all aspects of His presence and work!

Four, the Seven Spirits of God represent the fullness of the Spirit. Let us receive the Spirit!

According to another view, the seven Spirits of God represent the fullness of the Spirit. According to John 3:34, God "gives the Spirit without measure" to the Son of God. Jesus Christ, in His human nature, was fully imbued and empowered by the Spirit. The Spirit was fully upon him in all aspects of His presence and power.

We, too, can experience the fullness of the Spirit. Although our experience is not as complete as Christ's, we can experience great measures of the Spirit's power and presence. Let us receive the fullness of the Spirit! The Spirit will empower us to present the claims of Christ to a lost world.

Conclusion

The expression "seven Spirits of God" refers to the Holy Spirit and, especially, to seven aspects of the Spirit's presence and work and to the fullness of the Spirit. In no way, as some think, does this divide the Spirit into parts. The Spirit is one person in various manifestations.

Isaiah 11:2 provides an excellent illustration of this truth. There, concerning the Spirit upon Christ, Isaiah declares: "The Spirit of the LORD will rest on Him, The spirit of wisdom and understanding, The spirit of counsel and strength, The spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD." NAU Let us keep on being filled with this Spirit!