The first reference to the “seven Spirits of God” is found in Revelation 1:4 which reads, “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.” I have no doubt that this phrase refers to the Holy Spirit, but why is He referred to as “seven Spirits?” The number “seven,” which is found 54 times in the book of Revelation, speaks of “perfection or completeness.” The Holy Spirit is the One who empowers believers to live a holy life and to testify of Christ, as we see in Acts 1:8, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth” (NASB). So, the “seven Spirits” would speak of the perfect fullness of power we have in the Person of the Holy Spirit.

We have a beautiful picture of this in Zechariah 4:1-6 where the prophet saw, in verse 2, a “lampstand all of gold with its bowl on the top of it, and its seven lamps on it with seven sprouts belonging to each of the lamps which are on the top of it; also two olive trees by it, one on the right side of the bowl and the other on its left side.” Zechariah asked an angel what this was and he was told, in verse 6, “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel saying, ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD of hosts.” The seven-stemmed candlestick and the olive oil that was used to give the light, illustrates the perfect and complete power of the Holy Spirit.

Some also see a reference to the “seven Spirits” in Isaiah 11:2, a passage that predicted the Holy Spirit coming upon Christ when He was baptized. It says, “The Spirit of the LORD will rest upon Him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, The spirit of counsel and strength, The spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.” Though Jesus Christ was God, He humbled Himself and as a perfect, dependent Man He was empowered by the Holy Spirit as He ministered to the needs of men. The seven things mentioned here were displayed perfectly in the life of our blessed Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

There are three more references to the “seven Spirits of God” in the book of Revelation, but for our purpose let’s close this short meditation by looking at Revelation 3:1. That reads, “To the angel of the church in Sardis write: He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars, says this: ‘I know your deeds, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead” (NASB). The church of Sardis had fallen into a terrible spiritual state where they were simply “going through the motions” of serving the Lord and worshipping Him. Many in that church weren’t even saved and those who were saved were spiritually asleep. The Lord presents Himself to them as the One who has the “seven Spirits of God” to remind them that He has all the power of the Holy Spirit available for them to awaken them out of their spiritual slumber and to cause them to be an effective witness for Christ. We need to examine our own lives and if the Lord exposes to us a similar state, may we take heart and realize afresh that the Holy Spirit, Who indwells every believer, has all the power we need to live for Christ. (168.8) (DO)