So, let’s continue our series this week entitled— “The Types of the Holy Spirit.” Now what we are doing in this series is looking at the various descriptions used of the Holy Spirit throughout God’s Word, understanding that there are many of these physical examples and analogies used in the Bible to describe Him.
Thus far, we have looked at the most popular picture we have of the Holy Spirit—the Dove. And we learned from this a lot about the Holy Spirit’s gentle and peaceful nature. We then looked at what is likely the most common type of the Holy Spirit used in the Scriptures—Oil. And we saw that just as various people and things were “anointed” with oil in the Old Testament, likewise we have been anointed in this New & Better Covenant. Then, we looked at another type of the Holy Spirit—how He is described in the Scriptures like Water. And we saw that as one is baptized in water for repentance, we can also be baptized in the water of the Holy Spirit. Amen! And we learned that the Holy Spirit, like water, is our source of life—refreshing, cleansing, and satisfying us. Yes, just as water is a necessity for our physical life, the Holy Spirit is a necessity for our spiritual life. Yes, the difference between us merely being saved, and the Holy Spirit being upon us, is like the difference between a spring or well of water, versus rivers of living water. Then we turned from water to wine and began to look at another aspect of the Holy Spirit that we can drink of—New Wine. And what we learned is that living in the fullness of the Holy Spirit is what causes us to enjoy life and live free.
Then, we looked at how the Holy Spirit is also described as Wind. And we learned that, as Jesus said regarding the wind that, although we can’t see Him, the Holy Spirit blows where He wishes, and we can certainly see the effects of it. In other words, He does things according to how He wills to do them—dispersing His gifts and graces as He wills.
But we learned how we can “set our sails” and let him take us in whatever direction He wants to. We saw in Matthew 4:1 how, when Jesus was being led by the Spirit to go into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil, the word “led” there also is used to describe “setting sail.” This word “led” was used to describe how navigators would launch out to sea by setting sail. So, we learned that there is cooperation needed on our part! Our sails must be set to catch the wind and to be led into His plan and purpose for our lives.
This is when we looked at both Second Timothy 3:16-17 & Second Peter 1:20-21, where the apostle’s give us insight into how we set our sails—and we learned that it is through the Word of God. In fact, we learned that the Scriptures themselves were written as these holy men allowed the Holy Spirit to blow in their sails. So, we learned from examples like Luke chapter one how the Holy Spirit’s leading is like a soft, gentle breeze.
But we also saw how the Holy Spirit is described as a rushing “mighty” wind in Acts 2:2. Yes, wind can be powerful too! We saw that this word for “mighty” is only used this one time in the Scriptures, and it describes a violent and forceful wind. Therefore, if the Holy Spirit is described as “wind,” then we can see that when He comes, “power” comes to! And we saw that this is why Jesus said that we would be “endued” with power from on high, speaking of the Holy Spirit.
And last week, we looked in Acts chapter 2, where we see the Holy Spirit described as something other than the sound of a rushing mighty wind:
In Acts 2:3 we are told— “Then there appeared on them divided tongues, as of fire.” Therefore, like the Holy Spirit has appeared to be like a dove and also operates like oil, water, wine and wind, here we see Him described as FIRE—more specifically, divided tongues of fire that rested on each one. This means that the way the Holy Spirit manifested in that upper room was in the form that looked like fiery physical tongues. It is rather obvious to me that they were grasping to describe this supernatural experience and were using the best examples they could think of to describe what they saw on that day.
So, it was as if the disciples who were in that upper room on that day were the candles (i.e. candlesticks, lampstands, etc.) and the Holy Spirit was that flame on the wick. Which should teach us how important we are in this equation. You see, if there is nothing to burn, a fire does no good and will cease. So, just as we need the fire to burn bright, the fire (i.e. the Holy Spirit) needs the church to burn bright through. Amen? Saints, we need to understand just how valuable we are to the Lord: While we certainly need Him (There’s no questioning that!), He needs us too.
This is why He has done everything He has done for us by His grace. Sure, He did it because He loves us, but He has covenanted Himself with us because He desires to work together with us. This is how much He respects us as well as loves us. Therefore, He made His Church “golden candlesticks” (see Revelation 1:20). No, we are not dollar store candles here; we are the richest of the rich, the swankiest of the swanky; yes, we are the top shelf GOLDEN lampstands. So, you ought to remind yourself of this— You’re golden!
But my point is that the manifestation of the Holy Spirit looked like little flames of fire. And the Holy Spirit appearing to be like fire in Acts 2:2 should not be foreign to us—for can you recall what John the Baptist said in Luke 3:16-17, in speaking of Jesus? In this passage he said, “He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” So, what accompanies the Holy Spirit when we are baptized is also a baptism into fire. And in the next verse he explains what this fire’s purpose is— “His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather the wheat into His barn; but the chaff He will burn with unquenchable fire.” This describes to us what this baptism with the Holy Spirit and with fire does in our lives. This “fire” of the Holy Ghost will burn away the sin and everything else that doesn’t need to be there. We see that God is called an “all-consuming fire” in Hebrews 12:29 and this is one of the many benefits of fire—to burn things, particularly things that need to be burned up.
Do you remember when the Bible says that God sat on the mountain after the Exodus, and that “the mountain melted like wax at the presence of the Lord”? This is found in the 97th Psalm, which says, “The LORD reigns; let the earth rejoice; let the many coastlands be glad! Clouds and thick darkness are round about him; righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne. Fire goes before him, and burns up his adversaries round about. His lightnings lighten the world; the earth sees and trembles. The mountains melt like wax before the LORD, before the Lord of all the earth. The heavens proclaim his righteousness; and all the peoples behold his glory.” (Psalm 97:1-6).
In fact, we see this in Exodus chapter 19 when the Lord descended upon Mount Sinai—the Bible says that mountain began to smoke because of the fire of the Lord that sat upon it (see verse 18).
So, in this example, when God sits on the mountain, the natural could not stand the supernatural. Likewise, when God, in the person of the Holy Spirit, sits upon you, those carnal things that are contrary to Him will melt away at the presence of the Lord. All impurities are burned out of us through His fiery presence. Amen!
You see, fire changes everything it encounters. Nothing goes away from fire unchanged. Either is it consumed or purified. But nothing goes away from fire unchanged. Likewise, having the Holy Spirit will change us, and the more we allow Him to burn in our hearts, the less the things that are carnal and sinful will be allowed to remain in us. Church, the Holy Spirit is a purifier! It has the power to take the hidden impurities that are in precious gold and cause it to rise to the surface that it may be removed once and for all. But we must ask ourselves the question, “Am I letting the Lord reign in every area of my life?” We must invite Him in, deeper and deeper into our lives. We can do this directly, and we can also do this indirectly through praising and worshipping Him, as He inhabits the praises of His people (see Psalm 22:3). His reigning in my life pushes out all that doesn’t belong - sin, disease, sickness, lack, etc.
On that note, we hear many in the church today preaching that the fire that tries us are the trials and tribulations that come into our lives. And while there is some truth to that, I submit to you that the best way to be refined is through the indwelling presence of the FIRE Himself! Yes, the Holy Ghost—like fire—works in us like a consuming fire, burning up all the chaff in our life. Amen.
So, as we’ve seen, we have already been made golden, but the fire of the Holy Spirit can make that gold purer & more precious. And hopefully this is all of our desire—to have the Holy Spirit refine us and make us more into a living reflection of the Lord Jesus Christ in our choices, behavior and life in general. Amen? And one of the ways we can keep this fire burning brightly is by praying in the Spirit, which edifies or builds us up in the Spirit (see 1 Corinthians 14:4, Jude, verse 20).
Now this “fire” can also refer to as the zeal and charisma that the Holy Spirit gives us. Romans 12:11 says, “not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord.” The Amplified says, “never lag in zeal and in earnest endeavor; be aglow and burning with the Spirit…” So, notice that the Holy Spirit is who makes us glow. The world today will tell you that you need this or that to be more attractive. I’m of the persuasion that the most vital ingredient to looking good is the presence of the Holy Spirit. Yes, He will give you joy and a light in your eyes that money cannot buy. Amen?
So, as we learned earlier, the Holy Spirit is the fire that makes our light burn bright for the Lord. Therefore, as First Thessalonians 5:19-20 encourages us, we need to avoid “quenching the Spirit.” The word “quench” carries the idea of dampening the flame of the Holy Spirit fire. So, this shows us that we have a responsibility to keep that fire of the Holy Spirit burning bright in our lives and not putting the fire out. One quenches the Spirit by not esteeming the moving of the Spirit or rejecting the gifts or the fruit of the Spirit (verse 20). So, we need to make sure we esteem the things of the Spirit.
So, the fire that the Holy Spirit imparts into us gives us a burning passion and a zeal for God’s service as well as burns away the impurities that are unpleasing to God. In other words, He lives in us to cleanse and purify these golden lampstands that we might be that spotless bride on the Day of Jesus’ Second Coming. May the Fire of the Holy Spirit be with us all, amen!
So now, let’s move on to another couple of types of the Holy Spirit that we see in the New Testament that are connected in some ways—the Seal and the Earnest. We see both of these used in Second Corinthians 1:21-22 where the apostle Paul says, “Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.”
So, we see here in verse 21 that it is God who both “confirms” (def. establishes) and “consecrates” (i.e. anoints) us. Now we have learned that the Holy Spirit is the anointing that God has given us, but in verse 22, Paul goes on to say that God has also sealed us through His Spirit as well as given us Him as a guarantee (or, earnest). And this is what I want to spend some time talking to you about—how the Holy Spirit both seals us and serves as our guarantee.
So, first of all, notice how the Holy Spirit is called our “Guarantee.” If you are using the older King James version, you will see how the word “earnest” is used. Now when we talk about the Holy Spirit being our “Earnest,” we are not talking about Ernest from TV & the movies. Know what I mean, Vern? No, this word “earnest” is not a name but is where we get the term “earnest money” from. It describes a “deposit or down payment that is a pledge of giving more.” Thus the reason, we see it translated by the New King James translators as “guarantee.”
We see this same word used in both Second Corinthians 5:(1-)5 & Ephesians 1:(13-)14:
Now in Second Corinthians 5:1-4, the apostle Paul describes our present life in these physical bodies versus the eternal life that we will have in our resurrected bodies. He uses the examples of dwelling in a tent versus dwelling in a home, as well as being naked versus being clothed. So, understanding that, when Paul says what he does in verse 5— “Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.”—we can see that it is God who has made all things ready for us to be both fully clothed with our glorified bodies and to have our permanent residence of resurrected bodies on that Great and Glorious Day. And what He did in the meantime was give us the Holy Spirit as a guarantee of what lies ahead.
In Ephesians 1:14, Paul describes the Holy Spirit as “the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession…” Again, this is obviously talking about our inheritance of receiving the glorification of our physical bodies which were bought with a price.
Therefore, when the Holy Spirit is described as being our “guarantee,” Paul is saying in both of these passages that He is our “down payment or deposit.” Therefore, we can clearly see that He is God’s pledge that more of the same is on the way. This would be similar to how when a buyer of a house pays the deposit, it is understood that he intends to pay the balance. Therefore, the Holy Spirit gives us a little foretaste and a guarantee of the good things to come—that is, when we experience the fullness of our salvation and are glorified. In other words, the Holy Spirit gives us a little heaven on earth—a little taste of the glory; a sample of the resurrection power that is to come! Hallelujah!
Therefore, when we experience Him in fullness, we can get a little intoxicated, a little free, and a little happy. Those experiences are just God’s pledge of the ecstasy that awaits us in heaven. Amen? So, just imagine the most you have experienced God’s glorious presence in this life. Well, that was just a small “deposit” of what we are going to experience in the kingdom of God. This is why it is called (a future) redemption: the inheritance is already ours but still needs to be “redeemed,” like a check you have already received, but is only redeemed when it is presented to the bank.
But He not only is our guarantee of the bliss of heaven but He is also our promise of the marriage between Jesus and His Bride. In fact, the Greek word that is translated “earnest” can also be used to describe “an engagement ring.” Now what is an engagement ring? It is the pledge of the man to not only marry the woman, but to give her his life and share with her all that he possesses. Therefore, the Holy Spirit is the engagement ring that the Bride of Christ has now until the marriage takes place at Jesus’ second coming when we will become joint-heirs of everything our Husband owns! Glory and praise to God!
Now speaking of rings, another title that the Holy Spirit is given that is used alongside of the term “Earnest” is the word “Seal.” We have already seen this term used in both Ephesians 1:13 & Second Corinthians 1:22 and we can also see it used in Ephesians 4:30 that when we believed the gospel of our salvation, we were “sealed” with the Holy Spirit. And notice that in all three of these passages of Scripture, this “sealing” of the Holy Spirit is spoken of as having already taken place. This is important as it pertains to what this term means.
So, what does this mean to be “sealed”? In their days, a “seal” was made by the signet ring of a king or any kind of authority figure when they had important documents or contracts. After wax was poured on the crest of the rolled-up paper, the authority would stamp the spot of wax with his signet ring to “seal” it and to leave his symbol on it.
Therefore, this “sealing” describes four important things:
Therefore, the “seal” represents our identity and security, and it also teaches us of God’s ownership and promises. This is why our hope will not disappoint—because God has poured out the Holy Spirit in our lives, thereby confirming His love for us (Romans 5:5). His Spirit’s witness in us not only lets us know we are God’s children (see Romans 8:15-16), it also gives us little tastes of our eternal inheritance—that is, the redemption of our bodies (see Ephesians 1:13-14). Glory!
So, the Holy Spirit certainly is the mark of God’s grace in our lives—for He shows us that God has set His seal on us as He did with His Beloved Son, Jesus. He is our foretaste of God’s goodness that is to come as well. Praise God, that we have been baptized in the fire of the Holy Ghost and He is here to make these golden lampstands burn bright for God’s glory! Amen.
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