Seven Spirits of God

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The Book of Revelation 1:1-4 (with the first reference to the Seven Spirits) from the Bamberg Apocalypse, 11th century

In the Christian Bible, the term seven Spirits of God appears four times in the Book of Revelation.[1][2] The meaning of this term has been interpreted in multiple ways.[3]

Biblical references[edit]

The seven Spirits of God are mentioned four times in the Book of Revelation, and in the book of Isaiah it names each Spirit. [1][2]

Revelation 1:4 - 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;
Revelation 3:1 - And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.
Revelation 4:5 - And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.
Revelation 5:6 - And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.

Isaiah 11:2 ( New International Version)

The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of might, the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord—

Interpretations[edit]

The "Sevenfold Ministry of the Spirit" interpretation holds that the seven Spirits refer to Book of Isaiah 11:2. In this interpretation, "The "seven Spirits" represent the sevenfold ministry of the Spirit as depicted in Isaiah 11:2." [2] As it is written in the Holy Bible in the Book of Isaiah, 2 And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD; Isaiah 11:2 (KJV). Including the Spirit of the Lord, and the spirits of wisdom, of understanding, of counsel, of might, of knowledge and of fear of the LORD, here are represented the seven spirits, which are before the throne of God.[4] The reference to the lamb in Revelation 5:6 relates it to the Seven Spirits which first appear in Revelation 1:4 and are associated with Jesus who holds them along with seven stars.[5]

In the New Testament, the term "Dynamis" (translated as Virtues) suggests a class of exalted spiritual beings; the same perhaps parallel to the "chief Princes" (Sar rishown) in the Old Testament, of which Michael is stated to be one (Daniel 10:13).[6]

Note: the word "Dynamis" means something closer to 'strength', 'power' or 'ability' not 'virtues', as examinations of a Greek lexicon or concordance would reveal. "Dynamis" is used by Paul to refer to spiritual beings in Romans 8:38, Eph 1:21, 3:10, 6:12, Col 1:16, 2:10 & 15. "Powers and principalities" can apply to both angelic and demonic beings, more often in the New Testament to demonic beings.

Seven fold may also be connected with the Biblical understanding of the number 7 representing perfection. The "Seven Fold Spirit of God" could be the "perfect" Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit.[7]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b The Book of Revelation by Robert H. Mounce 1997 Eerdmans Pub. ISBN 0-8028-2537-0 pages 46-47 [1]
  2. ^ a b c Revelation 1-11 by John F. MacArthur (Apr 15, 1999) ISBN 0-8024-0773-0 pages 108, 151, 168 [2]
  3. ^ Revelation by Craig S. Keener 2000 Zondervan ISBN 0-310-23192-2 Section 1:4 [3]
  4. ^ Revelation (New Cambridge Bible Commentary) by Ben Witherington (Sep 15, 2003) ISBN 0-521-00068-8 page 75 [4]
  5. ^ New Testament Theology by Thomas R. Schreiner 2008 Baker Academic ISBN 0-8010-2680-6 page 502
  6. ^ Thomas B. White, The Believer's Guide to Spiritual Warfare, page 54 (Regal, 2011). ISBN 978-0-8307-5725-1
  7. ^ Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary Revelations 1:4