By Heather Riggleman, Crosswalk.com
“The Holy Spirit illuminates the minds of people, makes us yearn for God, and takes spiritual truth and makes it understandable to us.” – Billy Graham
What are the seven spirits of God? This question arises when we stumble into the book of Isaiah and Revelations. The only way to truly know the seven spirits of God is to get to know God Himself through the studying Bible because the seven spirits of God are an intrinsic part of Him.
The Bible declares that the Holy Spirit is God and it also tells us that the Holy Spirit is a divine person, a being with a mind, emotions, and a will. In the Old Testament, we find the Holy Spirit was active and present at Creation. We also note how He was active in the lives of individuals but not in the same personal way and to the same degree after Jesus’ resurrection and ascension to heaven. We first meet the Holy Spirit during the last Passover meal with the disciples when Jesus revealed the work of the Holy Spirit. We meet Him again when He visits the disciples in the book of Acts to bring all truth, comfort, guidance, wisdom, knowledge, and fear of the Lord.
Where Do We Read about the Seven Spirits of God in the Bible?
Just as God is one is three in one: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, so the Holy Spirit is One but with seven distinct expressions known as the seven spirits of God. The seven spirits of God and the Holy Spirit are actually one and the same but the question remains, why are there seven of Him? The Bible especially uses the number seven as this is God’s perfect number because it refers to perfection and completion. We can find a few scriptures that reference the seven spirits in the book of Isaiah and Revelation. The references include:
“Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse, and a branch from his roots will bear fruit. The Spirit of the LORD will rest on Him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and strength, the spirit of knowledge, and the fear of the LORD. And He will delight in the fear of the LORD, and He will not judge by what His eyes see, nor make a decision by what His ears hear…” Isaiah 11:1-3.
“To the angel of the church in Sardis write: These are the words of Him who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars.” Revelation 3:1
“From the throne came flashes of lightning rumblings and peals of thunder, Before the throne, seven lamps were blazing. These are the seven Spirits of God.” Revelation 4:5
“Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it has been slain, standing in the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. He has seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent out into all the earth.” Revelation 5:6
What Are the Seven Spirits of God?
Now that we’ve established the seven spirits and the Holy Spirit are one in the same, we can take a look at the seven spirits as follows from Isaiah 11:2:
1. The Spirit of the wisdom
2. The Spirit of Lord
3. The Spirit of understanding
4. The Spirit of counsel
5. The Spirit of power
6. The Spirit of knowledge
7. The Spirit of the fear of the Lord
Isaiah said: "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 the fear of the Lord." Some scholars take this to possibly mean that the seven spirits of God are the Spirit of the Lord, the Spirit of Wisdom, the Spirit of Understanding, the Spirit of Counsel, the Spirit Might, the Spirit of Knowledge, and the Spirit of the Fear of the Lord.
How Do We Interpret Each of These Seven Spirits?
Through the power of the Holy Spirit, believers are saved, sealed, filled, and sanctified. In John 14:26 Jesus told his disciples, “the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you” (John 14:26). We also know the Holy Spirit is our source of wisdom, power, and guidance. “These are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except for their own spirit within them? In the same way, no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God” (1 Corinthians 2:10-11).
We can therefore interpret the seven spirits as unique values of God and in the way He wants to guide us. We can ask God for help as follows:
The Spirit of the LORD gives us freedom.
“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” 2 Corinthians 3:17
The Spirit of the Lord gives us wisdom.
“For the Lord gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding.” Proverbs 2:6
The Spirit of the Lord gives us understanding.
“For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding.” Colossians 1:9
The Spirit of the Lord provides us counsel.
“I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.” John 14:16-17
The Spirit of the Lord gives us power.
“‘But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.’” Acts 1:8.
The Spirit of the Lord gives us knowledge.
“‘These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.’” John 14:25-26.
The Spirit of the fear of the Lord.
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Proverbs 1:7
Not only did God provide a way for salvation, He provided a Helper to navigate our spiritual walk. When I think of the Holy Spirit, I think God is with us. He is moving in and out of our lives, weaving together our trust, obedience, and love while infusing us with wisdom, guidance, and whatever else we may need in that particular moment. When you are feeling powerless or tired or like you're failing at life, you can have confidence as a Christ follower that you're not alone. You can rise each day knowing the Holy Spirit is there to help you because His ultimate goal is to help you glorify and reflect Christ as we work to do the Father’s will.
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Heather Riggleman is a believer, wife, mom, author, social media consultant, and full-time writer. She lives in Minden, Nebraska with her kids, high school sweetheart, and three cats who are her entourage around the homestead. She is a former award-winning journalist with over 2,000 articles published. She is full of grace and grit, raw honesty, and truly believes tacos can solve just about any situation. You can find her on GodUpdates, iBelieve, Crosswalk, Hello Darling, Focus On The Family, and in Brio Magazine. Connect with her at www.HeatherRiggleman.com or on Facebook.