Q&A: Identity of Seven Spirits

Identity of Seven Spirits

Question

Who or what are the seven Spirits of God that are talked about in Revelation 3:1?

Answer

Revelation does not make entirely clear who/what these spirits are. They are mentioned in 1:4; 3:1; 4:5 and 5:6, but even this frequency does not make it easy to discern. I really haven't come to any firm conclusion on them myself.

Revelation 4:5 says that the seven spirits are seven "lamps of fire," which is different from the word for "lampstands," but similar in concept. Revelation 1:20 identifies the lampstands as the churches that receive the letters in chapters 2-3. On the other hand, if the spirits are the churches, then Revelation and the letters in chapters 2-3 are addressed to the seven spirits in addition to being from these same spirits (Rev. 1:4). Because Revelation is sent with grace and peace from the Father (he who was and is and is to come), from Jesus, and from the seven spirits (Rev. 1:4-5), it most tempting to me to see them as a metaphoric representation of the Holy Spirit. This keeps any created beings or institution from being respected on the level of God, and presents the salutation in Trinitarian form. It's my best guess so far.


Answer by Ra McLaughlin

Ra McLaughlin is Vice President of Finance and Administration at Third Millennium Ministries.