What are the seven Spirits of God in Revelation 1:4?

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The apostle John wrote from the island of Patmos to the seven churches in the province of Asia. He said, “Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne” (Revelation 1:4).

The seven spirits

The association here of the “seven Spirits” with the Father and with Christ, as the spring of the Christian’s grace and peace, means that they represent the Holy Spirit. The fact that these seven Spirits are before God’s throne of “him which is, and which was, and which is to come,” implies also readiness for His prompt service (Revelation 4:2–5).

The gifts of the Holy Spirit

The designation “seven” implies the variety of the gifts by which the Holy Spirit works through man. Paul wrote:

“There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. 6 And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. 7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: 8 for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills” (1 Cor. 12:4–11).

The number seven in Revelation

The number “seven” in the Revelation is seen frequently. There are seven candlesticks (v. 12), seven stars (v. 16), and seven lamps of fire (Revelation 4:5). Also, there is a book with seven seals (Revelation 5:1), the seven horns and seven eyes of the Lamb (Revelation 5:6). In addition, there are the seven angels with seven trumpets (Revelation 8:2), and the seven thunders (Revelation 10:4). Also there is a dragon with seven heads and seven crowns (Revelation 12:3). And a beast with seven heads (Revelation 13:1), and seven angels having seven vials containing the seven last plagues (Revelation 15:1, 7). Finally, there are seven mountains and seven kings (Revelation 17:3, 9, 10). John uses the number seven with so many different symbols which should be understood in a symbolic way. Throughout the Bible the number seven, when used symbolically, means completeness or perfection.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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