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The Seven Spirits of God

The "seven spirits of God" are referred to in scripture using that phrase three times, all in the book of Revelation. Here are the verses:

"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." (Rev 3:1)
"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." (Rev 4:5)
"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." (Rev 5:6)

We have all heard of the Holy Spirit but what are the seven Spirits? Let's see what that Bible says about this:

What is a Spirit?
We each have a spirit. Our spirit is our thoughts, emotions, feelings, character, will; basically, our individuality. Your spirit is, essentially, you.

What is God's Spirit?
It is similar with God's Spirit as expressed in Corinthians:

"For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God." (1 Cor 2:11)
"For, among human beings, who knows a man's inner thoughts except the man's own spirit within him? In the same way, also, only God's Spirit is acquainted with God's inner thoughts." (1 Cor 2:11,Weymouth New Testament)

God's Spirit is His presence (but without physical manifestation). An important difference between our spirit and God's Spirit is that His Spirit is everywhere at once; what we term omnipresence. While we have our own spirit, we can also receive the spirit or presence of God:

"But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his." (Rom. 8:9.)
"Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you." (Pro 1:23)

When He puts His Spirit upon or within someone it is His presence.

"Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles." (Matt 12:18)

How Many Spirits Does God Have?
Note, in the verse above, that it is not "my spirits." There is one Spirit:

"There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;" (Eph 4:4)

In another verse in Revelation, seven Spirits are referred to:

"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;" (Rev 1:4)

The Seven Spirits of God are Descriptive
How do we resolve this? Seven spirits are symbolic - they are referred to as seven lamps of fire, fire being often symbolic of God's presence. Could this be referring to seven manifestations of the Spirit of God?

"And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him [the Branch(v1), the Messiah], the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;" (Isa 11:2)

Various of these "manifestations are seen in different cases:

"That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:" (Eph 1:17)
"And I have filled him (Bezaleel) with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship," (Exo 31:3)

When we receive the Spirit, it is the presence of the Father and the Son:

"But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you." (Rom 8:11)
"In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit." (Eph 2:22)
"And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father." (Gal 4:6)
"Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we [Jesus and Nis Father] will come unto him, and make our abode with him." (John 14:23)
"Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father." (1 John 2:24)
  Download a PDF chart of the messages to the seven churches of Revelation.

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