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11 - The 7 Spirits and the 7 Angels’ Message

Steve E. Behrmann | April 26, 2014

Below are some texts of interest when considering the “Seven Spirit” figures in Revelation:  

And from the seven Spirits which are before His throne” (1:4)  These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars.”  ”And there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven spirits of God.” (4:5)  (A Lamb) “having seven horns, and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.” (5:6)  “I saw the seven angels which stood before God.” (8:2)  

Above are several references to the seven Spirits.   

Who are these?  

The traditional explanation of the “seven-fold Holy Spirit” does not make enough sense to be very informative or understandable.  

Even though they are enumerated in a trinitarian formula in verse 1:4, they are elsewhere styled as “spirits” (plural) and “angels.”  

Therefore, they are related to the Holy Spirit but they are not the same as the Holy Spirit; but are referred to as representative angels and are seen in “actor” roles throughout the Apocalypse. 

Many do not realize how closely intertwined are the ministries of the Holy Spirit and the angels of God. In fact, if one will carefully study this subject he will find the work of each so similar that there is essentially no difference. There is no permission to make the angels into the Holy Spirit, for the Holy Spirit is divine and has a personality of His own. But the work of the angels can be better understood by studying the work of the Holy Spirit.

Though the precise work of these heavenly beings may not be in the realm of our understanding, it is fair enough to determine that these seven Spirits The Seven Spirits are heavenly representatives (seven being a representative number for prophetic purposes in the Apocalypse) of the work of Holy Spirit and by extension also the work of His emissaries, the holy angels. Like their earthly counterparts, they are the messengers of God’s mercy, his plans, purposes, and His truth.  Since the Holy Spirit by nature cannot be expressed by any earthly form or substance, or prophetic symbol, His work, particularly the work of angels is here expressed through the agency of these seven angels.

The Seven Angels’ Messages  

From prior consideration indication was given that the angels that are commissioned to each of the churches are really God’s ministers:  "God’s ministers are symbolized by the seven stars, which he who is the first and the last has under his special care and protection." AA581  

The word "angel" (αγγελος) means "messenger." 

Commission: Superscription or address  

Characterization: (of Christ) Symbol borrowed from vision of chapter 1. 

Commendation: Usually the good things that Jesus "knows" about the church 

Condemnation: What Christ has against the church 

Correction: What they should do about their problem 

Call: The appeal to listen to what the Spirit says 

Challenge: The promise to the overcomer.