The Seven Spirits of God
Dale M. Sides
As a student of end-time prophecy, I am intrigued by the seven spirits of God mentioned in the book of Revelation 1:4, 3:1, 4:5, and 5:6. These verses present an overall picture of celestial beings who are dispatched from God’s presence to carry out His behest, deliver His word to people, and perform His works of power. While searching out their identity, I discovered a key that could potentially unlock increased prayer power, particularly needful in this day and hour.
Conventional teaching on the seven spirits of God is based upon Isaiah 11, which provides a description of Yeshua the Messiah in His glory during His millennial reign upon earth. However, as I carefully read through these verses, I began to realize verse 2 was not referring to seven separate spirits, but to one—the Holy Spirit (“the Spirit of the Lord”).
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. Isaiah 11:2
Although theologians have taught that these are the same seven spirits written of in Revelation, the fact that there are only six descriptions causes me to doubt this doctrine. Instead, I believe this is a listing of the attributes of the one and self-same Spirit of the Lord—the Holy Spirit who will empower the Lord Jesus Christ, the king of glory, to reign over the earth.
A Fresh Look
We need to take a fresh look at these seven spirits in Revelation, free of the traditional doctrine that has permeated the church through the years.
When I decided to study the seven spirits of God without the preconceived ideas of theology, I was excited to discover that the seven spirits are the seven archangels of God who are dispatched from His presence and sent to the earth. Furthermore, the revelation of their names and functions has greatly built my faith in the Lord’s ability to deliver His power and word to help His people, and I believer it will do the same for yours.
The verses we need to look at are the following:
John, to the seven
churches which are in
And to the angel of
the church in
And from the throne proceeded lightnings, thunderings, and voices. And there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God. Revelation 4:5
And I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent out into all the earth. Revelation 5:6
And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and to them were given seven trumpets. Revelation 8:2
The first of these verses (Revelation 1:4) speaks of “the seven spirits before the throne,” revealing that they are in the presence of God. In Luke 1:19, we read of a spiritual being (an angel) who appears to Zacharias and identifies himself as “Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God.”
And the angel answered and said to him, “I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and was sent to speak to you and bring you these glad tidings.” Luke 1:19
While Gabriel is clearly standing in the presence of Zacharias upon the earth, he still makes it clear that he is standing in God’s presence as well. Could Gabriel be one of the seven spirits mentioned in the book of Revelation?
Revelation 5:6 tells us that these seven spirits are sent out into all the earth. Gabriel was obviously sent out into the earth to speak to Zacharias. This description also corresponds with records found in Zechariah 1:8–11 and 4:1–10, which validate that there are spirits that the Lord sends to and fro upon the earth. When studying these records, it becomes clear that these spirits are angels, much like Gabriel.
Revelation 5:6 also reveals to us that they are the horns and eyes of the Lamb of God. The horns represent the power of the Lamb (ram) and the eyes represent the knowledge of Him—what He sees and knows.
For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him. 2 Chronicles 16:9a
In Zechariah 4:1–2 and 5, Zechariah sees “a lampstand of solid gold with a bowl on top of it, and on the stand seven lamps with seven pipes to the seven lamps.” When the angel asks him if he knows what these are, Zechariah answers, “No, my lord.” In verse 10, we find the angel’s explanation of these seven lamps:
These seven rejoice to see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel. They are the eyes of the LORD, which scan to and fro throughout the whole earth. Zechariah 4:10b
These seven lamps are “the eyes of the Lord [that] run to and fro” found in 2 Chronicles 16:9a, and they are the eyes of the Lamb “which are the seven Spirits of God sent out into all the earth” mentioned in Revelation 5:6.
Zechariah 1:8–11 gives a description of these beings that indicates that they appear as men.
I saw by night, and behold, a man riding on a red horse, and it stood among the myrtle trees in the hollow; and behind him were horses: red, sorrel, and white. Then I said, “My lord, what are these?” So the angel who talked with me said to me, “I will show you what they are.” And the man who stood among the myrtle trees answered and said, “These are the ones whom the LORD has sent to walk to and fro throughout the earth.” So they answered the Angel of the LORD, who stood among the myrtle trees, and said, “We have walked to and fro throughout the earth, and behold, all the earth is resting quietly.” Zechariah 1:8–11
Although these verses do not specifically say that there are riders on the other horses, the implication is there. The fact that they speak to the angel of the Lord also shows their ability to communicate in words, an ability typically limited to spirit beings—men and angels.
I believe what we have seen thus far clarifies that these seven spirits are, in truth, seven angels who traverse between the throne of God and the earth to either carry out the Father’s will or to deliver His word. I further believe that they are archangels—angels who rank highest in power in God’s kingdom. Michael is mentioned in Jude 1:9 as being an archangel.
Yet Michael the archangel, in contending with the devil, when he disputed about the body of Moses, dared not bring against him a reviling accusation, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!” Jude 1:9
Daniel 12:1 reveals that Michael is the prince (archangel)
of the nation of
Gabriel is also believed to be an archangel. The Scriptures show that he brings knowledge and power to the earth. As we see who the other five spirits ([arch]angels of the presence) are, we will gain an understanding of the power they bring to the earth.
Two more archangels are revealed in 1 Enoch 9 and 101 where we are introduced to Uriel and Raphael. They, along with Michael and Gabriel, observed the horrendous effect that the angels (the “watchers”) had upon the earth. When they report it to God, He sends Uriel to bring a word to Noah and also to bind and imprison the disobedient angels.
By adding Uriel and Raphael to the list that was previously made up of only Michael and Gabriel, we now know the names of four of the seven spirits. We will soon see who the remaining three are.
Angels of the Presence
The book of Job records that there are certain angels that come in and go out of the presence of God.
Now there was a day when the sons of God [angels] came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them. And the LORD said to Satan, “From where do you come?” So Satan answered the LORD and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.” Job 1:6–7
It is commonly believed that Satan (Lucifer) was at one time an archangel. Whether that is true or not, the point is that there are certain angels who come into the presence of God and go to and fro upon the earth. It seems clear that the seven spirits referred to in Revelation are such angels, and it seems equally clear that Michael and Gabriel are two of them.
The apocryphal book of Jubilees2 holds another clue concerning the identity and function of these seven spirits. They are referred to as “the angels of the presence” in Jubilees 2:1 and 18, 15:27, and 31:14. Jubilees 2:1–2a reveals that it was one of these angels of the presence who gave Moses the word to write about the history of creation.
And the angel of the presence spake to Moses according to the word of the Lord, saying: Write the complete history of the creation, how in six days the Lord God finished all His works and all that He created, and kept Sabbath on the seventh day and hallowed it for all ages, and appointed it as a sign for all His works. Jubilees 2:1–2a
Although this angel is not named, he may very well have been Gabriel since he has the scriptural reputation of being a messenger angel.
Also, Revelations 8:2 reveals that these seven angels who stand before God are the same seven angels who will blow the seven trumpets during the Great Tribulation. This fits within the context of them bringing God’s word and will to the earth.
Names of the Seven Spirits
Enoch goes a step further by actually naming the angles and even revealing their functions:
And these are the names
of the holy angels who watch. Uriel, one of the holy angels, who is over the world and
over Tartarus. Raphael,
one of the holy angels, who is over the spirits of men.
one of the holy angels who takes vengeance on the
world of the luminaries. Michael,
one of the holy angels, to wit, he that is set over the best part of mankind
and over chaos. Saraqael,
one of the holy angels, who is set over the spirits, who sin in the spirit. Gabriel,
one of the holy angels, who is over
From these verses, here are the names of the seven spirits of God and their jurisdictions.
1) Uriel—over the world and Tartarus
2) Raphael—over the spirits of men
3) Raguel—takes vengeance on the world of the luminaries
4) Michael—set over the best part of mankind and over chaos
5) Saraqael—set over the spirits who sin in the spirit
7) Remiel—set over those who rise
Each of their names ends with “el” meaning “of” or “from God.” In 1 Enoch 20, verse 1 calls them “the holy angels who watch.” The authorized canon of the Scriptures reveals Michael and Gabriel already as two major angels (archangels), so their inclusion in this list helps to validate that the other five angels are of equal stature. Jubilees and 1 Enoch may not have been authorized by the “powers that be;” however, they are viewed by many theologians as reliable sources of study. Some (if not most) of these archangels have been referred to throughout the centuries—in fact, many of them appear in paintings and other forms of artwork.
Notice also that these archangels are the ones who watch. They are the eyes of the Lamb of God mentioned in Revelation 5:6. Yahweh has assigned to each of them specific job descriptions, with their own powers and functions. This reveals that the order in God’s kingdom is far greater than most of us have recognized.
To receive a revelation of this amazing order, I suggest that you read 1 Enoch 20:1–8 (as set forth above) and the subsequent listing a number of times. Also, if you record the names and functions of these seven spirits in your memory, it may serve you well when you are led by the Holy Spirit into strategic-level spiritual warfare, as it has me.
A number of years ago while ministering in
Colossians 2:18 warns us against worshipping angels; however, to know the names and functions of the seven spirits before the throne of God is not worshipping them. We can receive a greater revelation of the glory and magnitude of God’s power by increasing our perception of His reign. The book of 1 Enoch provides examples of these functions being perfectly carried out as these angels instruct Enoch about the affairs of God’s kingdom and universe.
The seven spirits of God are dispatched from His throne. They are the angels of the presence of God who go to and fro throughout the earth as the horns and eyes of the Lamb of God. They bring God’s power and word to the scene whenever and wherever they are ordered. They have names and functions and they are at work even today to perform the will of Yahweh. We can rejoice in this!
The LORD has established His throne in heaven, And His kingdom rules over all. Bless the LORD, you His angels, Who excel in strength, who do His word, Heeding the voice of His word. Psalm 103:19–20
1. Access the Book of Enoch online at: http://www.lmci.org/BookofEnoch-PDF.pdf.
2. Access the Book of Jubilees online at: http://www.lmci.org/TheBookofJubilees-PDF.pdf.
3. Closing Gates of Hell may be ordered online at: http://lmci.org/showitems.cfm?CategoryID=15.
© 2009 by Liberating Ministries for Christ International, Inc.