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Sunday, October 18, 2015

Behold I make all things new --New Sign of the Dove -- Coming of the Holy Spirit -- John Part 5

f the Dove -- Coming of the Holy Spirit
 Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on Him. I would not have known Him, except that the One who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The Man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is He who will baptize with the Holy Spirit. I have seen and I testify that this is the Son of God.’” John 1:32-34

             John the Baptist knew Jesus in the natural because he was Jesus’ cousin in the flesh, but He didn’t know Jesus in His spiritual role yet. God is going to give the Jews and the Gentiles with them a “new” sign. This was to assure John and the people that Jesus is indeed the Son of God. The sign of the dove is how the Son of God will be identified. God told John the Baptist in advance that He would give John the sign of the dove coming down out of heaven and resting upon the Man who will baptize with the Holy Spirit. John the Baptist heard this with his own ears. Now he will see it with his own eyes. After seeing this sign, there is no doubt in John the Baptist’s mind about Jesus’ identity. John the Baptist will prepare the way for the full revelation of God in His Incarnate Son Jesus. The Law was the partial revelation of God’s plan of redemption. Jesus is the full and complete revelation. The Law and the Prophets were also meant to prepare the way for the revelation of the Son of God -- Jesus. 
            The dove symbolizes the Spirit of love, gentleness, purity and power.
            John the Baptist has revealed Jesus as the Lamb of God. Then the dove came down from heaven and rested upon Jesus. The Jews present should have understood these signs because a lamb and a turtledove were the sacrifices for atonement according to the Law. Jesus is the Lamb of God and the dove is the Holy Spirit.
            The background in scripture of the Holy Spirit finding a place to permanently rest its feet is foreshadowed in the account of Noah in the Ark of salvation. God’s ways don’t change. Noah's name means "rest" and was described as "the one who will comfort us." Genesis 5:29  In Noah’s time, God had sent the waters of destruction to earth to cleanse it of its wickedness, but He also made sure “righteous” Noah and his family were safe in the Ark. These waters sent by God both destroyed but also saved and cleansed, just as the waters of the Red Sea saved God’s people but destroyed their enemies. Then God sent the water of the Word and Holy Spirit in Christ Jesus. The water of the Holy Spirit and Word will teach and comfort us. The Holy Spirit will be the power who puts sin to death in our lives, but He will not destroy us. The Holy Spirit found a place to permanently rest its feet upon Jesus.The water of the Word and the Holy Spirit are double-edged, just as Jesus is double-edged. He is both Savior and Judge. The waters of the Anointed Word save people spiritually, but also destroy our spiritual enemy and his demonic host.
            At God’s appointed time, God sent the wind to stop the waters of judgment and destruction at the time of Noah. The Hebrew word for wind is ruach meaning Spirit or breath. Jesus who is the true Ark of salvation calmed the stormy waters by His powerful Word in Luke 8:24 saving His disciples from certain death. God sent the Holy Spirit through Jesus to stop the waters of our judgment and destruction. Jesus gives His own the power of His Word and Holy Spirit so we can resist wickedness and restrain evil. As we glean in His Anointed Word, we will be comforted and at peace during the storms of life.
            Noah’s Ark rested on the highest place in the land. Mount Ararat was 17,000 feet high. The waters of judgment receded gradually just as the water of the Word and Holy Spirit remove sin in us gradually. Jesus reversed the waters of judgment into waters of grace, mercy and truth. Our rest is now in Jesus who is in the highest place with the Father. Noah sent a dove out of the Ark three times to see if the waters had fully stopped. Genesis 8:8-9: Then he sent out a dove from him to see if the water abated from the face of the land; but the dove found no resting place for the sole of her foot, so she returned to him into the Ark, for the water was on the surface of all the earth. In other words, there was no place for the dove sent by Noah to rest its feet. There was no new life. Then Noah put out his hand and took her (dove) and brought her into the Ark to himself. The waters were not fully abated. There was no new life, so, Noah took the dove back into the Ark of salvation. Jesus, the true Ark of salvation, has the fullness of the Holy Spirit within. Once again, God fulfilled these scriptures in Jesus. Jesus abated the waters of God’s judgment and destruction on the cross. The waters of judgment became waters of grace and truth in Christ bringing us blessing, not cursing. Those who abide in Christ are eternally saved because He is Eternal and the Savior. 
            At the time of Noah, the heavens were opened and God’s judgment was poured out upon all flesh, but in Jesus the water of the Holy Spirit and Word was poured out on God’s people in power, life and blessing. Jesus reversed all of the curses for those who love and follow Him. As Noah received the dove to “himself,” Jesus received the dove of the Holy Spirit to Himself. As Noah sent the dove out a second time and it returned with an olive branch signifying new life, Jesus in the second testament sent the Holy Spirit to bring new spiritual life to all who believe in Him. Jesus was born with the Holy Spirit within. The Holy Spirit was not only within Jesus in fullness, He also rested upon Him forever. The Holy Spirit is also within and without followers of Christ. He is loving, protecting, leading, guiding, cleansing, teaching, transforming and disciplining every believer. By abiding in Jesus, His glory, His truth and His Holy Spirit abide in us eternally.
            John the Baptist had previously announced that Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away sin. Now the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove has rested upon Jesus. Jesus is the Holy Spirit’s permanent dwelling place. Jesus will immerse His own in the Holy Spirit. The Jews present should have understood this sign of the dove because a lamb or a dove was the sacrifice for atonement of sin according to the Law. The turtledove was the sacrifice of the poor. "In Him all things consist." Colossians 1:17 The Lamb and the Dove are One in Christ, just as the Lion and the Lamb lay down together in peace in Christ. 
            When the dove was sent by Noah the second time, it had an olive branch in its beak showing that new life had come. The dove of Noah found a "new" cleansed world (new life). The waters of destruction have abated, the land is cleansed and new life has come. Righteous Noah and his family are saved. Jesus came to earth in the second Testament. The dove returned to Noah in the evening (darkness). Jesus and the Holy Spirit came to us when we were still in darkness to bring us to new, eternal life. Jesus abated the waters of God’s judgment by His blood and sent the power of the Holy Spirit to bring us to new spiritual, eternal life through cleansing and empowerment.
            Noah waited seven days and sent the dove out a third time. This time, the dove never returned. In Noah’s releasing of the dove, there were three periods of 7 days -- 777 -- the number of the spiritual perfection of all things. In the New Jerusalem when all things have been made perfect again, there is only one river that flows from the Father and the Son. This river is the Holy Spirit who will water our spiritual lives. There are no seas or rivers in the Heavenly Promised Land except the river of life. There are also two trees of life on each side of the river of life in the New Jerusalem that feed our spiritual life. These two trees are the two testaments of the Word that is written and anointed by the River of Life and flow from the Father and the Lamb. It was the Godhead who created all things. It is the Godhead -- Father, Lamb and Holy Spirit who sustain our eternal spiritual life and body for all eternity.
            As the Ark of Noah carried him and his family to resurrection ground, Jesus carries us to resurrection ground through our new spiritual birth and transformation, and He sustains us by the power of His Holy Spirit and Word.

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