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Seven Ministries of the Holy Spirit

Bible Topics

Seven Ministries of the Holy Spirit

Bob Yandian

There are several scriptures in the book of Revelation which reveal the various ministries of the Holy Spirit. In Revelation 1:4, the author, John, says, “John, to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne.” Then in Revelation 4:5, he says, “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.” Finally, in Revelation 5:6, John tells us, “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.”

In each of these three verses we find a reference to the seven Spirits of God. Among other things, the fact that the word Spirit is capitalized all three times leads us to believe that this is a reference to the Holy Spirit. Although seven Spirits are mentioned, this does not mean that there are seven Holy Spirits. And it also does not mean that the Holy Spirit has six brothers. Rather, this is a reference to the seven ministries of the Holy Spirit. He is one Holy Spirit with seven different manifestations or ministries.

In these verses there are three aspects of the seven ministries of the Holy Spirit. These are referred to as seven lamps, seven horns, and seven eyes.

Seven Lamps

In Revelation 4:5, you will find the Holy Spirit compared to “lamps of fire.” This comparison to a lamp suggests the Holy Spirit’s ability to illuminate, to show, and to reveal. One of the first ministries of the Holy Spirit is to reveal to you areas of your life which need aligned with God’s Word. We find a similar analogy in Psalm 119:105, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” The Holy Spirit focuses His light on the things in your character you thought may have been removed years ago. These are things that have been pushed back and hidden until the light was turned on. For example, maybe someone rubs you the wrong way and some old feelings that have not risen up in along time begin to surface. The Holy Spirit is illuminating these feelings so you can can correct them and get them in line with God’s Word.

Seven Horns

The next comparison that we found was in Revelation 5:6 where the Holy Spirit is compared to seven horns. In the Bible horns are metaphorical for the ability to rule. For example, in both Daniel and Revelation, horns are symbolic of the ten nations that rise up and form a confederacy. Also, out of this confederacy comes the “little horn” which is symbolic of the antichrist.

While the horns still speak of ruling power in Revelation 5:6, they are a reference to the ruling power of the Holy Spirit. This is important to believers because when we were born again, this ruling power was transferred to us. The Holy Spirit living in us gives us the ability to rule and reign in life over circumstances, over the devil, and over all the trouble that comes our way. Therefore, you are a ruler; you are a king in this life because of the Holy Spirit, the horn, in you.

Seven Eyes

The final comparison is also found in Revelation 5:6. Here the Holy Spirit is compared to eyes. In the natural, eyes allow us to see, but with the Holy Spirit in us, we have vision beyond the natural. The Holy Spirit in us can see things coming which cannot be seen with the natural eye. Let me make a point here: The Holy Spirit can reveal the future to us all by Himself. He does not need to use a person to give us a personal prophecy. So, when you are seeking guidance, don’t go running around seeking “a word” from someone else. No one has a monopoly on the Holy Spirit. The same Holy Spirit that lives in me, or in your pastor, or any other man of God also lives in you. You are not natural; you are supernatural.

Often we think that we are rarely led by the Holy Spirit, but what we don’t realize is that even seemingly unimportant decisions are Spirit-led. For example, have you ever had a prompting to go somewhere by a different route? That could have been the eyes of the Holy Spirit seeing something up ahead and urging you to go a different way. When we get to heaven we will find out all the times the Holy Spirit turned us away from trouble.

The Root and the Branches

Isaiah 11:1 says, “Then shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots.” The word rod used in this verse is more exactly translated as “root.” Jesus is the root. “…and a Branch shall grow out of his roots.” This Branch that grows out of the root (Jesus) is the church. This information becomes powerful as we look at the next verse, Isaiah 11:2, “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 “Him” mentioned in this verse refers back to the subject of verse one, the rod or root. Therefore, “Him” is Jesus. The significance of this verse is found in the fact that anything that rests upon the root will also rest upon the branches!

Take a look at what we as believers have resting upon us:

  1. the spirit of the Lord

  2. the spirit of wisdom

  3. the spirit of understanding

  4. the spirit of counsel

  5. the spirit of might

  6. the spirit of knowledge

  7. the fear of the Lord

This verse encompasses the seven ministries of the Holy Spirit. This means that we are anointed with the same seven-fold ministry of the Holy Spirit with which Jesus was anointed. Furthermore, we (as the branches) are capable of bearing fruit and we can do this because of the Holy Spirit living in us. He can illuminate us on the inside and show us the areas with which we need to deal. He is also the eyes of our understanding reaching out into the future to lead us and to guide us in everyday life.

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