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HEAVENLY DOVE

The Bible talks about, quails, ravens, vultures, sparrows and roosters. God created many kinds of birds. There are birds like peacock that could dance and parrots that could talk. The Holy Spirit is not compared to any of the birds that are listed above. The Holy Spirit is compared to a dove. Why? When Jesus was baptized, He came up and the Spirit of God descended like a dove and resting on Him. We read about this incident in Matthew 3: 16 and Mark 1: 10. The Holy Spirit is not that dove itself but the Holy Spirit came down ‘like a dove.’ Note the difference. The Holy Spirit descended on Jesus and then His ministry started.

There are at least fifteen types of doves in North America. In the world, there are 309 kinds of doves. There is a kind of dove in the Middle East that has 9 feathers on one side, 9 feathers on the other and 5 at the back. This could be compared to 9 fruit of the Holy Spirit, 9 gifts of the Holy Spirit and 5 kinds of ministry (apostolic, prophetic, evangelistic, pastoral and teaching) for the equipping of the saints. Without the fruit of the Holy Spirit, we cannot live a Christ-like life. Without the gifts of the Holy Spirit, we cannot do a powerful ministry. Without the five- fold ministry the believers cannot be equipped for the work of the ministry. A dove is a perfect bird that describes all the attributes of the Holy Spirit.

The heavenly Dove, the Holy Spirit is a good and a perfect gift that our heavenly Father has given every believer. Therefore, we must be careful not to quench or grieve the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 4: 30 says, “… do not grieve the Holy Spirit.” 1 Thessalonians 5: 19 says, “… do not quench the Spirit.”

1. The Heavenly Dove has become an Earthly Resident:

In the days of Noah, when the dove was sent out for the first time, it found no resting place for the sole of her foot (Gen 8: 8, 9). This represents the dispensation when the Holy Spirit was sent upon a very few chosen ones like David, Samson, Bezalel and the like. The Holy Spirit was sent for a specific purpose and then He was withdrawn. Noah sent the dove a second time. The dove came back with a freshly plucked olive leaf in its beak (Gen 8: 11). The olive leaf represents the gospel that came to the world through our Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord was then taken up to heaven. The dove was sent a third time in Gen 8: 12. This time, the dove did not return, but stayed in the world. This represents the dispensation when the Holy Spirit was sent down on the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2: 1-4. From that point on, the Holy Spirit has been here on earth. Our body has become the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 6: 19, 1 Cor 3: 16)

2. Dove is a messenger bird:

In the olden days, kings sent messages to people in faraway lands. that were tied to the necks of doves. The doves were the courier services of the olden days. Even today, it is the heavenly dove, Who takes the messages from the throne room of God into the very hearts of His people. In Greek, the Holy Spirit, the heavenly Dove is called “Parakletos,” which means, the One who is called alongside to help. In a family, a wife is called a help meet and the one that helps alongside. Holy Spirit works in partnership with us in the ministry. He is our comforter and a helper. Jesus said in John 14: 16, “I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper that He may abide with you forever. In John 14: 26, “ the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” In 1 John 2: 27, “But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you, but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things …” The heavenly Dove, the Holy Spirit is sent to us not only to comfort us, help us but also to teach us.

3. Dove is Holy:

Noah sent two birds, a raven and a dove. The raven in Genesis 8: 7 says it went to and fro until the waters had dried up. The raven would have had a big feast of its life with all the dead meat floating around. Genesis 8: 9 says that the dove found no resting place and returned to the ark. The doves are pure vegetarians. Doves are not meat –eaters but, seed-eaters. Song 6: 9 says that the dove is a perfect one. In the Holy Spirit, there is perfect holiness. The word ‘Holy’ is attached to His name. Doves has no bitter gall in its system. There is no gall bladder like other birds. We, as children of God are called to holiness. God does not want us to have any bitterness towards anyone. The helper, the Holy Spirit will help you get out of bitterness, stubbornness and unforgiveness. One of the fruit of the Spirit is meekness(Gal 5: 23). With the help of the Holy Spirit we can become a bride that is spotless and without blemish. Rev 22: 11 says, “…he who is holy, let Him be holy still.” There is no upper limit for holiness. It is an ongoing and a growing holiness.

4. Doves are harmless:

Matt 10: 16 says, “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves.” Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. God wants us to be shrewd as snakes and be innocent like doves. Dove is a meek bird. Jesus did not open his mouth when He was wrongly accused. They struck Jesus on His face, whipped Him, crowned Him with the crown of thorns and fastened Him with nails. He did not open His mouth like a lamb that is led to slaughter. Jesus pleaded for those who had crucified Him. That is how harmless our Master was! Let us evaluate how we are when people harm us with their words and deeds? Only when others torment us, the true content of our character comes out. Only when the people wrongly accuse us and say inappropriate words, our true nature will be manifested. When everything goes well, it is easy to be nice. When people torment us, do we still do good to them is the test. When you squeeze a bunch of grapes, the sweet grape juice comes out. When you are pressed on every side, do you still display the Christ-like character? Let the indwelling qualities of the Holy Spirit like forgiveness, mercy, prayer, intercession, divine love and meekness be seen in you. The Bible says in Philippians 2: 15, “Become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation.” This generation may be crooked and perverse but we are going to be upright in the sight of God. Note the word ‘become.’ It is a process and the heavenly, Dove the Holy Spirit helps in our weakness.

5. Doves have tearful eyes:

The eyes of a dove is always watery and appears to be crying. The voice of a dove is a mourning voice. Eze 7: 16 says that the doves are mourners. In Song of Solomon 5: 12, “His eyes are like doves by the rivers of waters.” Isaiah said in Isaiah 38: 14, “ I mourned like a dove.” Isaiah 59: 11 says that we mourn sadly like doves. With that tears, there is a mourning voice and in that voice there is a sadness. Think about that!

There are many people that pray. The needy ones ask but the desperate ones cry. A woman in labor cries. God wants us to have a spiritual agony for the lost and the perishing. That is the only sorrow we need to have. Men cry too. The psalmist, David said in Psalm 77: 1, “I cried out to God with my voice.” Peter who denied Jesus wept bitterly. Jeremiah said in Jeremiah 9: 1, “O that my head were waters, And my eyes a fountain of tears, That I might weep day and night For the slain of the daughter of my people.” Matthew 14: 14 says that Jesus was full of compassion. In Hebrews 5: 7 we read that Jesus prayed with vehement cries and tears. Jesus wept for Jerusalem. The spiritual need of the hour is prayer warriors that would choose to invest their time in prayer. Our nation needs people that will travail in prayer to see a true transformation. The Bible says in Psalm 126: 6 says, “Those who sow in tears, shall reap in joy.” Let us agonize for souls that are perishing.

6. Dove abides in the cleft of the rock:

Song of Solomon 2: 14 says, “Oh my dove in the cleft of the rock. In the secret places of the cliff.” The cleft of a rock is a safe and a secret place. The enemy cannot see who is in that place. God put Moses in the cleft of the rock (Exo 33: 21, 22). A hymn writer writes like this: Rock of ages cleft for me, let me hide myself in thee. For us, who is that rock? Psalmist went through many trials and threats. In Psalm 62: 1 he says, “Truly, He is my rock.’ In Psalms 18: 2, he says, “…the Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer.” Jesus is the rock of our salvation. Psalm 91: 1 says, “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High, shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” 1 Cor 10: 14 says, “…that Rock was Christ.” Is there a fear of future or any kind of burden in your life? JESUS is your rock. There is no other anchor. Let Him hide you. Like a dove, we need to abide in the cleft of the rock, Jesus.

7. Doves hasten to their nests!

Doves always live in great unity. You will not see doves fighting like the other birds. We don’t see a lone dove either. Dove is a symbol of peace. Isaiah 60: 8, “who are these who fly like a cloud, And like doves to their roosts?” The doves fly for a long distance and will come back to its roost. That shows its faithfulness and loyalty to the family. It shows loyalty toward one another. The male and female doves live together for life. Isn’t that amazing! As a family, God wants us to live in harmony. Among the believers, God wants us to live in unity. No matter, how others behave. God wants us to live in harmony and peace.

One day when the trumpet blows, at the twinkling of our eye, we will all be taken up to glory. The coming of our Lord at hand and He is coming back for the faithful. As God’s people, we cannot afford to live any other way that is not pleasing to God. May the heavenly Dove, The Holy Spirit help us in every step to be without blemish, blameless, harmless but faithful in all our ways. Praise the Lord!

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