Understanding who the 7 spirits are before the throne of God (Rev 4:1)

Revelation 1:4


To the seven churches in the province of Asia:

Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne, and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.

In verse 4 above you have the Trinity being mentioned in symbolic language. The one who is, who was and who is to come is in reference to the Father. The seven spirits before the throne are representative of the Holy Spirit of God and as clearly stated you have Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, firstborn from among the dead, and ruler of the kings of earth.

7 represents perfectness and completeness, hence the 7 spirits are the 7 manifestation of the God’s Spirit which reflect God’s Spirit perfectly and completely. What then are these 7? Many believe Isaiah 11:2 defines what these 7 spirits are… however, I tend to look at it a different way. As a starting point, let’s look at:

Proverbs 6:16-19
These six things the Lord hates, yes, seven are an abomination to Him:
1 – A proud look,
2 – a lying tongue,
3 – hands that shed innocent blood,
4 – A heart that devises wicked plans,
5 – feet that are swift in running to evil,
6 – A false witness who speaks lies,
7 – and one who sows discord among brethren.

If we know these are the things which God hates, then by contrast, the exact opposite of these 7 things would be what the Lord loves. Since God is the great “I AM” and He is completely sovereign and omnipotent, that which He loves, He Himself would be. If the above 7 things could be clarified into 7 representative words, I believe it would give us great insight to who God is. Below, I have attempted to provide the 7 corresponding/contrasting counterpart of Proverbs 6:16-19…

1 – Spirit of Humility
2 – Spirit of Truth
3 – Spirit of Justice
4 – Spirit of Goodness
5 – Spirit of Holiness
6 – Spirit of Honesty
7 – Spirit of Unity

I believe these are the 7 spirits before the throne of God, translated as; “the seven-fold Spirit” and they are representative of God’s Spirit.

Why is this important for us to understand beyond just the head knowledge of knowing it? As disciples of Christ, one should be able to look at this list and see that each of these were made manifest in the life of Christ. As we follow after Him and seek to be more Christ-like, this is a good list for us to keep at the forefront of our thinking as we live as lights of God’s glory in a dark world.

God is manifesting Himself, His seven-fold Spirit, through the Church by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit:

Colossians 3:10 His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, 11 according to his eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Philippians 3:13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.

What does a godly church look like? What does a Christ-centered life look like? They should reflect visible characteristics of Humility, Truth, Justice, Goodness, Holiness, Honesty and Unity which testifies that God is indeed alive and living in us and through us. By contrast what is a godless culture and godless life look like? It would be ones which do not reflect these 7. I am sad and I weep at times for our culture and our society. It becomes increasingly godless. Truly, the only hope for it to get better is for the seven-fold Spirit of God to once again be made manifest among us.

By Him and for Him,
God Bless