In the beginning, ‘the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters’ (Genesis 1:2). After the creation of man, it resided and moved in man. But after the Fall, God’s Spirit manifested through Prophets and His servants. Select people were given the Spirit, but only in a certain form to complete a particular task. For Bezalel, the Lord ‘filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom and in understanding and in knowledge, and in all kinds of workmanship’ (Exodus 31:3). For Othniel, ‘the Spirit of the Lord came upon him, so that he became Israel’s judge and went to war’ (Judges 3:10). For Samson, a Nazarite, ‘the Spirit of the Lord came upon him in might so that he tore him (a young lion) apart with his bare hands’ (14:v6). God’s Spirit gave Solomon ‘a wise and an understanding heart’ (1 Kings 3:12).
While the Spirit of God would come upon men and women God set apart and used for a certain task, for Jesus, ‘the Spirit came down from heaven as a dove and remain(ed) on him’ (John 1:32). Not only did the Spirit of God remain on Jesus, but it manifested itself in all completeness. All seven manifestations of the Spirit were exhibited in Jesus. Isaiah prophesies of the Christ, ‘The Spirit of the Lord will rest upon him- the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of might, the Spirit of knowledge and of fear of the Lord’ (Isaiah 11:2). Isaiah describes six manifestations of the Spirit that Jesus exuded. The seventh manifestation is the Spirit of prophecy, ‘for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy’ (Revelation 19:10).
People that God used in the past only exuded some manifestations of God’s Spirit. For Kings like Solomon and other leaders, it was that of wisdom and counsel, for workers of the temple, it was that of knowledge and understanding, for mighty men of valour like David, it was that of might. For prophets, it was that of prophecy, and for righteous men like Enoch, it was the fear of the Lord. However, for Jesus, the fullness of God was and is in Him, and so manifests the seven-fold spirit of God. Jesus fulfills the words of Prophet Isaiah and says, ‘The Spirit of the Lord is on me because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lords favour’ (Luke 4:18-19).
Jesus does not only have the Spirit, but is also the custodian. Jesus is described as ‘him who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars’ (Revelation 3:1). He also is said to be among the ‘seven golden lampstands’ (1:v12). Lampstands are symbolic of God’s Spirit. When Zechariah saw ‘a solid gold lampstand with a bowl at the top and seven lights on it, with seven channels to the light’ (Zachariah 4:2), he asks the angel what they symbolize. The angel answers, ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty’ (v6). Interestingly, Jesus describes all those who believe in Him as ‘light of the world’ (Matthew 5:14) that needs to be shine, and proceeds to say that ‘neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl’ (v15). Here, Jesus introduces that His very Spirit is transferrable to anyone who believes in Him.
Jesus again hints this while speaking to the Samaritan woman at the well telling her, ‘whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life’ (John 4:14). Again, while teaching at the Feast of Tabernacles He says, ‘Whoever believes in me as the Scripture has said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water’ (7:v38). Jesus shows the fluid nature of the Spirit in that it is transferrable. Before His death, Jesus speaks more plainly about the Spirit, and actually gives it names saying, ‘But the Counsellor, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you’ (14:v26). Jesus then gives a condition, ‘Unless I go away, the Counsellor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you’ (16:v7). Jesus also introduces the personality of the Spirit by referring to ‘He’, denoting His liveliness and headship. Jesus also refers to God’s Spirit as the ‘Spirit of truth’ (v12) which ‘will guide you into all truth’ (v13).
All those who believe in Jesus are baptised with the Holy Spirit because ‘the man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptise with the Holy Spirit’ (1:v33). Right before His ascension, Jesus tells His disciples, ‘Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you heard me speak about. For John baptised with water, but in a few days you will be baptised with the Holy Spirit’ (Acts 1:4-5). Jesus then proceeds to summarize the nature of the Spirit, ‘But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you’ (v8). Jesus did not only promise part of the manifestations of the Spirit, but His totality, His power. No wonder He says, ‘I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father (and will send the Holy Spirit to operate in you like it did in me)’ (John 14:12).
The first evidence that the Spirit of God has dawned on someone is the speaking in other tongues. When the first Christians were worshipping on the Day of Pentecost, ‘suddenly a sound like of a rushing mighty wind came from heaven and filled the whole house’ (Acts 2:2). That was God’s Spirit. Then ‘All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them’ (v4). This is because the Holy Spirit is a ‘seal’ and a ‘guarantee’ (Ephesians 1:13,14) to distinguish all those that belong to God. Jesus says, ‘the world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and is in you’ (John 14:17). Therefore, once a person believes in Jesus and eventually receives the Holy Spirit, the manifestations of God’s seven-fold Spirit eventually start to unravel, because they are all interrelated. The deeper we grow our roots into Jesus, the more the Spirit manifests.
Not only did the Holy Spirit rest on the apostles and leaders of the early church, it also rested on Believers- as it does today. So that ‘If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God’ (1 Peter 4:11). While Paul was in Caesarea ‘and stayed at the house of Philip the evangelist, one of the seven. He had four unmarried daughters who prophesied’ (Acts 21:8-9). In other words, one does not have to be a prophet or apostle to manifest the workings of God’s Spirit. A Believer who grows into the knowledge and fullness of God can operate in the seven-fold Spirit of God. In the same way Christ carried the ‘fullness of the Godhead bodily’ (Colossians 2:9), so can we carry the fullness of Christ. The Holy Spirit is also still transferable because ‘when Paul placed his hands on them (twelve disciples of John), the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied’ (19:v6). The same way Elisha asked Elijah ‘Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit’ (2 Kings 2:9) before he was taken up to heaven, so can we inherit the Holy Spirit from Christ. However, one should not allow anyone lay hands on them as the Spirit is not confined to physical contact. In fact, Paul urges, ‘Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands’ (1 Timothy 5:22).
The same way that the Spirit manifests itself, it can also be quenched. Jesus tells the Church in Ephesus, ‘You have forsaken your first love. Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove the lampstand from its place’ (Revelation 2:4-5). In other words, complacency, sin, and not continually being rooted in Christ by feeding the Spirit on His word and prayer may cause our lampstand, God’s Spirit, to be taken away. Paul admonishes, ‘Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption’ (Ephesians 4:30). Elsewhere, he again says, ‘Do not put out the Spirit’s fire’ (1 Thessalonians 5:19). Just as ‘The lamps on the pure gold lampstand before the Lord must be tended continually’ (Leviticus 24:4), so must we tend and rend our inner man continually to the Holy Spirit to effectively operate in His seven-fold manifestations.