REVIEW & INTRODUCTION
So, we have spent the first half of this calendar year talking about the Holy Spirit, haven’t we? We spent time camping on the Communion of the Holy Spirit—which was that fellowship, intimacy, and partnership that we are called to walk in with Him. We then studied what I called the Advantage of the Holy Spirit—which was our look at the various advantages that the Holy Spirit provides for us in our lives which were similar to the advantages Jesus gave to His disciples. And most recently, we studied the Commission of the Holy Spirit—which is all of the specific things that Jesus said that the Holy Spirit was assigned to do for us.
So now, beginning this week, I want us to look at what we will call “The Types of the Holy Spirit.” Yes, I want us to begin looking at the various descriptions used of the Holy Spirit throughout God’s Word. And if you are well-versed in the Holy Scriptures, you will understand that there are many of these physical examples and analogies used in the Bible used to describe Him—such as oil, water, wind, fire, wine, etc. But the Holy Spirit is also described in some of the things and people that we see in the Scriptures as well. So, my point is that there is no shortage of things that the Lord has used in the Bible to describe the Third Person of the Godhead. Therefore, we will begin looking at all of these types and shadows of the Holy Spirit this week.
But let me say this: We are not studying these things just to cram more head-knowledge in us. No, this is not just academic. While we certainly need to grow in knowledge in order to grow, our goal is not just to learn more; our goal is to do and experience more! Amen? And so, as we go through these various examples of the Holy Spirit, we will learn how all of these things apply to our lives and how the Holy Spirit is meant to benefit us. Amen? Therefore, I am believing God that this will be a fruitful series!
GENTLE LIKE A DOVE
So, the first type of the Holy Spirit I would like us to look at is—the dove.
You know, by far the most popular symbol of the Holy Spirit that we see used in the world today is of a dove. Yes, we have even used it on our HPC logo. But does this mean that the Holy Spirit is a dove? It might seem comical to you, but some do think that the Holy Spirit is some sort of spiritual bird. But I am going to show you today that He is not a dove, but rather this describes the personality and traits that He possesses.
You see, although the Holy Spirit is referred to as a “Dove” in all four Gospels (Matthew 3:16, Mark 1:10, Luke 3:22, & John 1:32), He was said to either descend “like a dove” or “in bodily form like a dove.” So, this describes the Holy Spirit both descending “in the manner” that a dove does and also His form “appearing to be” like a dove.
So, since the Holy Spirit is literally described here as being like a dove, we can look back at the account in Genesis chapter 8 where Noah sent out the raven and the dove to see if the waters had subsided on the earth. And we know that the raven wound up just flying back and forth until the waters subsided. But the dove went out and returned—telling Noah that the waters had not subsided. Then he waited seven days and sent the dove out again, and it returned with an olive leaf in her mouth. So then, Noah waited another seven days and sent her out again, and this time, she didn’t return. All of this paints a picture of Holy Spirit’s ministry here on the earth—to find life and rest there.
Now let me ask you: What is a dove like? A dove is gentle, tender, and peaceful. Perhaps the gospel writers described the Holy Spirit resting upon Jesus like a dove because He glided down so smoothly and so softly and landed on Him as a dove would. So, what we can we take away from this? We can see that this means that He’s not going to force Himself on you. He will come when you want Him. He’s gentle and tender like a perfect gentleman.
Along these lines, in the King James version, He is referred to as the “Holy Ghost.” In the other, more recent translations, the word translated “Ghost” here is translated “Spirit.” However, in the time the King James Version was translated the word “Ghost” actually had a pleasant meaning. When we think of a “ghost” nowadays, we think of something scary but back then the word “ghost” referred to “a welcomed visitor” or “the guest of a household”. This implies how we should treat Him; as our honored guest with the most comfortable atmosphere we can give Him in our tents. He is the “Holy Guest.”
So, my point is that the Holy Spirit is honorable and a gentleman. Therefore, He is not going to force Himself on us and make us do something we don’t want to do. Evil spirits possess people. They are the ones who make people do things they don’t want to do. Yes, they drive, force, and manipulate the people and things they live in.
Therefore, if one cannot control themselves, then it ain’t the Holy Ghost; it’s another spirit. The apostle Paul said in First Corinthians 14:32– “…the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.” Now we know that the context of First Corinthians 14 is Paul teaching this church that, in regards to spiritual gifts, all things must be done decently and in order in our assemblies. And in this verse, he is saying that those who have been given the gift to prophesy and even stand in the office of a prophet are in control of how they operate in their gift.
So again, the Holy Spirit is not bypassing the person who has the gift and doing & saying whatever He wants. No, the person must yield to Him—cooperating with the Holy Spirit and letting that gift operate. Therefore, the Holy Spirit and His gifts are subject to us as to how much we desire to let Him flow. And if you don’t believe that—then just look around you. If we believe that the Holy Spirit is just going to do whatever He wants to do in us and we are not seeing a plethora of gifts flowing in our lives, then that means He doesn’t want to move that often. But no, I can assure you, the problem is not with Him desiring to work; it is with us learning to yield to His work. Amen?
This is why some people have a difficult time praying in tongues when they receive the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. It is because they have to yield to this gift of the Holy Spirit. Tongues are not like when we throw up—to where we cannot hold it back and it’s coming up no matter what we want. No, Acts 2:4 says that they “…were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”
Now notice how this is worded— Dr. Luke said first that they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and then he said “…and began to speak with other tongues…” What this teaches me is that one can be filled with the Holy Spirit and not speak with other tongues—which contradicts some Pentecostal teachings out there that say if one does not speak in tongues, then they have not been filled with the Holy Spirit. No, I don’t believe that’s true. However, I do believe that if one is filled with the Holy Spirit, they have this gift available to them.
You see, the Holy Spirit gave them the utterance, but that does not mean that He made them utter those tongues. No, people must yield to their prayer language by taking the words (i.e. utterance) that He gives them and then using their “tongues” to speak out what they are being given. In other words, the Holy Spirit’s utterance is not to be mistaken as the Holy Spirit forcing us to speak.
So, the Holy Spirit operates like a dove—gently and graciously. He leads and guides us in an unassuming way—inspiring us, yet not driving us. Another way of saying this is that is He is “harmless.”
HARMLESS AS DOVES
Do you remember when Jesus commanded His disciples to “be wise as serpents and harmless as doves” in Matthew 10:16? Here, we see the Lord encouraging us to carry on the traits of two of creatures—one being the dove.
But, first of all, what did Jesus mean by encouraging us to be “wise as serpents”—because in the Bible, snakes are usually associated with bad things, right? But here, we are actually encouraged to be like a serpent in one respect—and that’s being wise. So, let’s consider how a serpent is indeed wise: Have you ever noticed how snakes spend a lot more time being still than they do moving? In their natural wisdom, they only make small, calculated movements.
Well, I believe that this is a very important element of wisdom that we would do good to embrace in life: Take small, calculated steps. Don’t be quick to move and just blare on without giving a lot of thought to where you are going and how you are getting there. For example, many people don’t consider the outcome of their fleshly impulses. They just do what feels right at the moment, giving no consideration to what it will cost them tomorrow.
Jesus was saying to not be that way. We need to operate in this kind of wisdom. But if the Lord told us to live this way, we can be sure that He Himself lived that way, and if Jesus walked in this wisdom, then we also know that the Holy Spirit does the same. Amen? Therefore, the Holy Spirit makes calculated decisions that are not haphazard and reckless.
Now this doesn’t mean that the Holy Spirit will not lead and inspire people to dance, run, laugh, and all of the other blessings many of us have experienced in certain meetings and at certain times. It just means that these things will not be chaotic and reckless. I have personally experienced meetings where the Holy Spirit moves upon several people to take off and start running around the church and no one fell, got hurt, etc. I have also seen people get “slain in the Spirit” (as many like to call it) with no “catchers” and no one hurt themselves. You see, when the Holy Spirit is moving people to do any of these demonstrative things, it is not disruptive and is in no way dangerous. It is only when man decides to start doing these things in themselves and gets outside of what the Holy Ghost is doing that people can get hurt and things get out of order.
But notice that Jesus went on to say, “and (be) harmless as doves.” So, Jesus was encouraging His disciples to be wise. Yes. But to also to be harmless at the same time. You know, some people operate according to the wisdom of this world, but do it at the expense of others. In other words, they take care of themselves, but harm others in the process. We ought not to be that way, saints. Yes, we are careful and take calculated steps like the serpent, but we are careful not to harm others through our actions and even our example. We should act for the benefit of others rather than ourselves. We need to ask ourselves, "What would love do?" Do all things for the glory of God. "If you can't do it for the glory of God, you can be sure it's not the will of God."
Now the word “harmless” here means to be “innocent & morally pure.” And a dove is certainly one of the top creatures we would think of to describe this definition, right? Therefore, since the Holy Spirit was described as a dove in the Scriptures we’ve looked at, this describes the Holy Spirit as being “innocent and pure.” That is one of the reasons why He is called “the Holy Spirit.” It is because He is pure and innocent just as a dove is pure and innocent. Yes, the Holy Spirit is referred to as a dove because He is gentle, tender, meek, innocent, and pure.
But looking back at how the Holy Spirit is described as a dove in the Gospels, did you notice how He descended upon Jesus. In other words, He came from above and rested on Him—which leads me to the next description I want us to look at regarding the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is often described in the Scriptures symbolically as “OIL.” In fact, “oil” is the most common type used of the Holy Spirit in the Bible. But why? Why is “oil” one of the most common examples used to describe the Holy Spirit?
Well, in the Old Testament, we see various people and things being “anointed” with oil: Originally, it was used exclusively for the anointing of the priesthood as well as the articles of the Tabernacle (Exodus 30:26) and subsequent temples in Jerusalem. However, it was used later to include the anointing of kings for their role (First Samuel 10:1). So, the oil was used to anoint the kings, priests, and the articles of the Tabernacle.
But why was this done? Well, let’s begin answering this question by looking at what the Bible says was the purpose of the oil. In Leviticus 8:30, It is referred to as having sanctifying power. In this verse, it is described how Moses was instructed to “anoint” the priesthood: “Then Moses took some of the anointing oil and some of the blood which was on the altar, and sprinkled it on Aaron, on his garments, on his sons, and on the garments of his sons with him; and he consecrated Aaron, his garments, his sons, and the garments of his sons with him.” The word “consecrated” here literally means to dedicate, to set apart, and make holy. In other words, it essentially means to sanctify something or someone for some special purpose. And in Exodus 29:7, we are told specifically how the oil was applied to Aaron and his sons. It says, “And you shall take the anointing oil, pour it on his head, and anoint him.”
So now we get some answers as to both how and why people were anointed with oil. It was to set them apart and consecrate them for their calling & purpose. And when it came to the Kings and High Priest, this occurred by pouring the oil on their heads—all of this being significant to us today.
Did you know that we too have been made Kings and Priests unto our God? Revelations 1:6 says that Jesus has made us Kings and Priests to His God and Father! So, guess what that means? If we have been made kings and priests, then God must have anointed us too, right? Amen! Therefore, we are “anointed” to be His children (those born [again] to be His kings) and to serve Him (i.e. priests). Therefore, we are the ones anointed to be kings and priests in this new and better covenant (see First Peter 2:9)! Praise God, He has anointed us to be His heirs and His ministers!
Also, did you know that we are now the Temple and Tabernacle of God? For He does not dwell in temples made with hands, but now dwells in the temple of our bodies (see Acts 7:48 & 17:24). So again, if we are the Temple of God today, then we must be anointed by God! Therefore, we are anointed to be indwelt by Him. Glory!
Now let’s look at the word that is used to describe this act of pouring oil upon these people & things in order to consecrate them—the word “anoint.”
There are some squirrely ideas in the Body of Christ regarding the anointing. A common misconception is that some are anointed and some are not. And while that is true in regards to whether one has been baptized in the Holy Spirit or not, it is not true that some Spirit-filled people are anointed and some are not.
We just saw that He has made us all kings and priests before our God. Therefore, in order for us all to be kings and priests, we had to all be anointed to be in those positions. Amen? Also, in First John 2:20, we are told we have an anointing from the Holy One. It doesn’t say that we hope to be anointed or we will be anointed by Him someday. No, it says that we all—every born again, Spirit baptized believer—has an anointing from the Holy One Himself!
Now do you remember when Jesus said in Luke 4:18, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to…” This means that Jesus was anointed for service unto His Father. Therefore, since we have been anointed with the same anointing that He was anointed with, then the same Spirit that He had, we have! Amen!
But notice here that we see the equivalent to being anointed is having the Spirit of the Lord upon us. Again, this quote from Isaiah 61:1 is saying that because He has anointed His Messiah, the Holy Spirit is upon Him. In other words, being anointed is having the Holy Spirit poured on us like the anointing oil was poured on the kings & priests. Thus, the reason we can see the Holy Spirit being what the anointing oil represents.
And so, if we all have the Holy Spirit, then we are all anointed. More literally, we have the Spirit of the Lord poured upon us like the kings, priests, and articles of tabernacle did! Amen!
Do you remember when we studied the 23rd Psalm and saw how David said that “He anoints my head with oil” (see Psalm 23:5)? Well, when we looked at that, we saw that the good life is the anointed life—because this was an obvious reference to someone being honored by the hospitality of their host when invited into their home. Do you remember when David told Mephibosheth "You will always have a seat at my table?" When he sat at that table, no one could see his disability. When we sit at the table with Jesus, our lack is seen no more.
Church, all throughout the Scriptures when we see someone being anointed with oil, that is symbolic of the Holy Spirit being poured out on them—either to equip and empower one for a particular office or to set free and deliver one from a particular bondage.
We see it used in the latter way in James 5:14-15 where the anointing with oil is seen as a method to bringing healing and deliverance to the afflicted. This, of course, is not saying that there is inherent power in the oil itself to heal someone; rather, it is using oil as a contact point between the minister and the one receiving ministry. And since “oil” is symbolic of the anointing of the Holy Spirit, the anointing of the sick with oil is a symbol showing how it is the power of the Holy Spirit to set the captive free.
THE HAND OF THE LORD
Now regarding the New Testament usage of the word “anointed,” it comes from the Greek word chrio. This word was a medical term describing a physician pouring oil on his hands and then rubbing it into the body of the patient until the oil was transferred from the doctor’s hands deep into the skin of the patient. So, the word chrio has to do with “the hands” of the doctor as well as the oil itself. It describes God as being the Great Physician Who has the Holy Spirit as a type of oil on His hands, and once He has the Holy Spirit on His hands, He can’t wait to get His hands on the believer. Once He does, He begins to rub and rub until the believer is totally saturated (i.e. baptized) with the Holy Spirit.
Therefore, to be anointed with the Holy Ghost means to be totally saturated with the Holy Ghost. So, saying someone is “anointed” is another way of saying “God’s got His hand on them.” Amen! In fact, we see this phrase “the hand of the Lord” being upon someone used several times in the Old Testament, and it was accompanied with that person doing something supernatural.
Church, the hand of God is upon us! We are anointed—because of the baptism of the Holy Spirit! So, guess what our responsibility is…??? It is to put our anointed hands on people: Notice that the very last sign that Jesus said would follow those who believe in Mark 16:18: “and they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
Church, ministering God’s healing power to the sick is part of what we have been delegated the authority to do in Jesus’ name. It is a sign that is supposed to follow those who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ! And the truth is—if we have been called to do it, then we have been anointed to do it!
Now we know that the laying on of hands is considered one of the elementary, foundational principles of Christianity (see Hebrews 6:1-2)—which obviously includes more than just administering healing to the sick but also setting someone apart for ministry work among other things. But what is it about the laying on of hands that passes healing on to others? It is simple: it is the transference of the Holy Spirit who is upon us onto them. Amen!
But, saints, this is the lesson I want you to walk away with today: If we have been anointed to minister God’s healing through the laying on of hands, then healing is in our hands to give! Now I am making both a literal statement and a metaphorical statement—for while there is a literal transference of the healing power of God through our physical hands, we can see that healing is in our possession (i.e. hands) to give to the sick and infirmed. Amen!
Church, we are anointed! The oil has been poured out on us if we have received the baptism of the Holy Spirit! Yes, the dove has rested upon us if we have been filled with the Holy Ghost! Now it is up to us to walk in what we’ve been clothed with.
So, let’s be as “harmless” as the Holy Ghost, but not “harmless” to the kingdom of darkness. It’s the anointing that breaks the yoke (see Isaiah 10:27). And those yokes and burdens are what the evil spirits put on people; not the Holy Spirit. He is in the yoke destroying business, not the yoke building business. Therefore, let’s get on His team and start putting our hands on people—letting the anointing destroy the sickness, oppression, poverty, etc. that the enemy has bound people with. Amen.