Revelation 1:4-6 – Seven Churches and Seven Spirits of God

Revelation 1:4-6



Revelation 1:4 – John, to the seven churches which are in Asia…

The angel directs John to share the Revelation with seven churches in Asia. Today we think of Asia as the “Far East,” but during John’s day it was a province in western Turkey.

In the next two chapters of Revelation, the Lord gives unique counsel to seven churches in Asia. Recall, that Revelation was for the “servants of Jesus” (Revelation 1:1) and all the churches when it was first written. Revelation was later canonized as Scripture, which shows that is also benefits all who are in the body of Christ:

2 Timothy 3:16-17 – All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.


Revelation 1:4 – Grace to you and peace…

“Grace to you and peace” is a typical New Testament greeting that encompasses both the Greek and Hebrew forms of salutation. The Greek form “charis” translated as “grace” can also mean benefit, bounty, good will, loving-kindness, favor, and that which affords joy. The Greek word translated as “peace” is “eirene,” which in Hebrew is the customary greeting “shalom,” meaning “Jehovah is peace.”

As shown in the next few sections, the greeting to John and the churches are from the Godhead; the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. “Godhead” is the scriptural term for the widely used phrase: “the Trinity”:

Romans 1:20 – For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead….

Colossians 2:9 – For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily….


Revelation 1:4 – …from Him who is and who was and who is to come…

The descriptive title: “Who is and who was and who is to come,” indicates the eternal nature of God. Jesus gives Himself this same title in Revelation 1:8. However, the context indicates that the Father is in view here because the Holy Spirit and Jesus are separately listed in the same passage.

The Father and Son are “One” (John 10:30) and they are both eternal. Therefore, the title: “Who is and who was and who is to come,” applies to both the Father and the Son. The Old Testament version of this eternal title for God is “from everlasting to everlasting” (1 Chronicles 16:36Psalms 41:1390:2103:17106:48).


Revelation 1:4 – …and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne…

Jesus fulfilled Isaiah 61:1, when He declared that the “Spirit of the Lord” would be upon Him:

Luke 4:18 – “The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed.”

It is generally thought that “Holy Spirit” and “Spirit of the Lord” are interchangeable names for the third member of the Godhead. However, the following passage shows that the “Spirit of the Lord” is just one attribute of the Holy Spirit:

Isaiah 11:1-2 – There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots. 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 of the fear of the LORD.

The Holy Spirit is one member of the Godhead with seven attributes, as described by Isaiah above:

    • 1. Spirit of the Lord

    • 2. Spirit of Wisdom

    • 3. Spirit of Understanding

    • 4. Spirit of Counsel

    • 5. Spirit of Might

    • 6. Spirit of Knowledge

    7. Spirit of the Fear of the Lord

The following passages show how the Holy Spirit administers His attributes. Take note, in several cases, more than one attribute of the Holy Spirit is at work:

Exodus 28:3 – So you shall speak to all who are gifted artisans, whom I have filled with thespirit of wisdom, that they may make Aaron’s garments, to consecrate him, that he may minister to Me as priest.

Deuteronomy 34:9 – Now Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom, for Moses had laid his hands on him; so the children of Israel heeded him, and did as the LORD had commanded Moses.

Isaiah 30:1 – “Woe to the rebellious children,” says the LORD, “Who take counsel, but not of Me, and who devise plans, but not of My Spirit, that they may add sin to sin.”

Isaiah 59:19 – So shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and His glory from the rising of the sun; when the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD will lift up a standard against him.

Daniel 5:13-14 – Then Daniel was brought in before the king. The king spoke, and said to Daniel, “Are you that Daniel who is one of the captives from Judah, whom my father the king brought from Judah? I have heard of you, that the Spirit of God is in you, and that light andunderstanding and excellent wisdom are found in you.”

Micah 3:8 – But truly I am full of power by the Spirit of the LORD, and of justice and might, to declare to Jacob his transgression and to Israel his sin.

Acts 9:31 – Then the churches throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and were edified. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, they were multiplied.

Ephesians 1:15-18 – Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints.

Ephesians 3:14-16 – For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man.

Later in Revelation, John describes the seven Spirits of God as follows:

Revelation 4:5 – And from the throne proceeded lightnings, thunderings, and voices. Seven lamps of fire were burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.

In Revelation 1:20, seven lamp stands represent the churches. It is clear from Revelation 4:5 the Holy Spirit is the source of the fire for the lamp stands. Interestingly, at Pentecost when the Church was born, the Holy Spirit manifested as cloven tongues of fire:

Acts 2:1-4 – When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

John tells us that the seven Spirits are before the throne of God. The reason the Holy Spirit is before, but not on the throne like the Son, is because He does not have the executive authority that the Father owns and has given to the Son:

John 5:26-27 – For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself, and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man.

Instead, the Holy Spirit’s commission is that of “the Helper,” who gives instruction through the “seven spirits,” or attributes, according to the Will of the Father and Son:

John 14:26 – 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.

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Please do not waist another a minute.

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Read this prayer of Salvation and ask God to forgive you now and accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour and you will be assured of eternal life.

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