[Here is the full text of the QUESTION from the reader:]
I am having trouble understanding the “seven spirits” or the “sevenfold spirit” of Revelation. I was wondering if you could enlighten me?
Here is Arnold’s ANSWER:
The references to the “seven spirits” of God in the book of Revelation have an Old Testament background, namely, Isaiah 11:1-2. The emphasis in verse 1 is on Messiah’s lowly origin. In verse 2, we are told that this Messiah will have the sevenfold fullness of the Holy Spirit. The description used here is representative of a Jewish menorah or seven-branched lampstand. The “Spirit of the Lord” is mentioned once, followed by three more references to “the Spirit of,” each one followed by two attributes. When looking for the fulfillment of this prophecy in the life of Yeshua, we find that in John 3:34, John the Baptist describes Yeshua as having the fullness of the Spirit: For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God; for He gives the Spirit without measure. The New Testament teaches that all who believe in Yeshua as Messiah are given a measure of the Holy Spirit. Because each believer only has a measure of the Spirit, each one has different gifts and ministries (I Cor. 12:13-14). No one ever has all of the gifts because God has ordained that the members of the Church be mutually dependent. Yeshua, however, was given the Spirit “without measure.” In Scripture, the number seven signifies perfection, completeness, or fullness. The sevenfold nature of the Spirit in Isaiah 11:2 is therefore synonymous with the measureless fullness in John 3:34. It also corresponds to the “seven spirits” of Revelation 1:4, 3:1, 4:5, and 5:6.