The number seven appears frequently throughout the Bible and is full of spiritual significance. The seven days of creation, the seven spirits of God, and the seven candlesticks in Revelation are just a few examples of the importance of the number seven in Scripture. In this post, we’ll explore the meaning behind the seven candles referenced in the Bible and what they symbolize for believers today.
In both the Old and New Testaments, God uses the number seven to point to perfection, completion, and new beginnings. We see this in the seven days of creation, as well as the command to work six days and rest on the seventh. The number seven is connected to God’s divine order and completion of His purposes.
So when we come across seven candles in the Bible, as described in Zechariah 4 and Revelation 1, we can know for certain that God is trying to reveal something significant to us. Let’s look at what the scene with the seven lamps represents both prophetically in the past and for our lives today.
- The seven candles likely refer to the seven spirits of God – His complete Spirit
- The candles represent the eyes, presence, and knowledge of the Lord
- In Zechariah, the lamps symbolize God empowering His people to succeed
- In Revelation, the lampstands represent churches shining God’s light on earth
- For us, the seven candles show God’s complete presence in our lives
- We must walk in the fullness of the Spirit to shine God’s light to the world
Now, let’s dig deeper into the Biblical background behind the seven candles.
The Seven Spirits of God
In the book of Revelation, the apostle John has an encounter with seven golden candlesticks. During this vision, we read:
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. (Revelation 4:5 NKJV)
Here, the seven lamps of fire burning before God’s throne represent the seven Spirits of God. The number seven symbolizes perfection and completion, meaning the lamps represent the fullness of God’s Spirit.
Some scholars believe the seven Spirits refer to seven specific attributes or manifestations of the Holy Spirit: wisdom, understanding, counsel, knowledge, reverence, power, and righteousness. We also see a reference to the seven Spirits of God in 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. (Isaiah 11:2 NKJV)
No matter the exact representation, the seven lamps portray the perfect work of the Holy Spirit and His limitless power. The complete Spirit of God shines continually before His throne in Heaven.
The Seven Candle Menorah
Now, let’s look at the history of the seven-branched golden candlestick referenced in the Old Testament. God gave specific instructions to Moses to craft a menorah with seven lamps to illuminate the Tabernacle.
You shall also make a lampstand of pure gold; the lampstand shall be of hammered work. Its shaft, its branches, its bowls, its ornamental knobs, and flowers shall be of one piece. And six branches shall come out of its sides: three branches of the lampstand out of one side, and three branches of the lampstand out of the other side. Three bowls shall be made like almond blossoms on one branch, with an ornamental knob and a flower, and three bowls made like almond blossoms on the other branch, with an ornamental knob and a flower—and so for the six branches that come out of the lampstand. And on the lampstand itself four bowls shall be made like almond blossoms, each with its ornamental knob and flower. There shall be a knob under the first two branches of the same, a knob under the second two branches of the same, and a knob under the third two branches of the same, according to the six branches that extend from the lampstand. Their knobs and their branches shall be of one piece; all of it shall be one hammered piece of pure gold. (Exodus 25:31-36 NKJV)
The menorah was to stand in the Holy Place inside the Tabernacle to give light to the priests. God commanded that the menorah be made of pure gold, signifying the radiance, brilliance, and value of the light it would hold.
The menorah had seven oil lamps – three on each side with one raised in the center. The priests were instructed to keep the lamps perpetually burning from evening to morning before the Lord (Exodus 27:20-21). The light from the Menorah represented the illumination of God’s Spirit to His people.
Zechariah’s Vision of the Lampstand
The prophet Zechariah was also given a vision involving a golden lampstand with seven lamps.
Now the angel who talked with me came back and wakened me, as a man who is wakened out of his sleep. And he said to me, “What do you see?” So I said, “I am looking, and there is 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. Two olive trees are by it, one at the right of the bowl and the other at its left.” (Zechariah 4:1-3 NKJV)
In Zechariah’s vision, the two olive trees stand on either side of the lampstand, pouring out golden oil that keeps the light burning. The olive trees represent the kingly and priestly offices in Israel, anointed by the Spirit of God. The lampstand symbolizes the temple which should shine God’s light to the world by walking in His Spirit.
When Zechariah asked an angel what the vision meant, this was the reply:
This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ Says the LORD of hosts. ‘Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain! And he shall bring forth the capstone With shouts of “Grace, grace to it!”’ (Zechariah 4:6-7 NKJV)
Here, the lampstand represents the light of God’s Spirit enabling His people to succeed according to His power. The vision gave encouragement that Zerubbabel would complete rebuilding the temple through God’s strength.
For believers today, this vision shows how God wants us to rely fully on His Spirit to walk in His calling. It’s not our own effort and might, but the working of the Holy Spirit that allows us to shine God’s light and carry out His will.
The Lampstands in Revelation
Finally, let’s discuss the seven lampstands described in the opening chapter of Revelation:
Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. (Revelation 1:12-13 NKJV)
Here, the exalted Christ stands in the midst of seven golden lampstands representing the seven churches in Asia Minor. Jesus walks among them, inspecting and ministering to each church. Later in Revelation, the lampstands symbolize the churches shining as lights for Christ in a dark world:
The mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lampstands: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands which you saw are the seven churches. (Revelation 1:20 NKJV)
The number seven represents completion, signifying how Jesus is present through His Spirit in every church. He knows their works, strengths, and weaknesses. Christ trims the wicks and supplies oil so His church will radiate the light of the gospel in fullness and truth.
What powerful imagery that Christ is present tending to His lampstand churches! For believers today, it’s a reminder for churches to stay aligned with Scripture and walk in the Spirit. Our purpose is to shine the light and hope of Christ in a dark world.
Application for Believers Today
For Christians today, the seven candles burning in Scripture have profound significance:
The Complete Spirit of God
The seven lamps represent the fullness of the Holy Spirit shining perfect light. We must depend fully on the Spirit’s work rather than our own strength. Believers have access to the complete resources of the Spirit!
Shining God’s Light
The lampstand reveals God’s light and hope to the world. Like the menorah in the Tabernacle, we must carry His light through walking in the Spirit and obedience to His Word.
Christ’s Presence in the Church
Jesus is actively ministering to His church, keeping the flame of the Spirit burning bright. We need His presence! Stay aligned to Scripture and rely on the Spirit’s power and gifts.
Overcoming Through God’s Strength
The vision given to Zechariah reminds us to depend on divine strength to fulfill our calling. We overcome by God’s mighty Spirit, not our might and effort. Surrender fully to His will!
The seven candles so prominently displayed in Scripture remind us that God’s perfect light illuminates His people. May we walk in the fullness of the Holy Spirit so that His brilliant light shines through us to reach the world! What an honor to carry His flame.
In summary, the significance of seven candles throughout Scripture reveals the limitless power and resources of the Holy Spirit available to believers. God is perfect in all His ways. The number seven expresses the flawless completion of His work and purposes.
The golden lampstand in the Tabernacle, Zechariah’s vision, and the seven lampstands in Revelation all portray the radiance of God’s Spirit shining to illuminate His people. As Christians today, we must rely fully on the Spirit’s wisdom, power, and guidance to carry out God’s will. Our duty is to shine the light of Christ through living by the Word, walking in the fullness of the Spirit, and relying on God’s strength.
It’s my hope this post provided insight into the spiritual meaning behind the seven lamps described in Scripture. May we remain aligned to God’s Word and dependent on the Holy Spirit so that the light of Christ shines brightly through our lives. All for God’s glory!