“And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water and, lo, the heavens opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” – (Mt.3:16,17).
The Holy Spirit lighted upon Jesus as a dove and I pray I can give you Holy Spirit light on the dove in this sermon. I pray also that the Lord Jesus will use this sermon to raise up the humble dove to his rightful exalted place in God’s Word. (And remember, pigeons and doves are the same bird).
The dove is the symbol of the third person of the trinity, the Holy Spirit – He’s a Godly Dove. Do you see the clean spirit, the Holy Spirit in a bodily shape as a dove? The abominable eagle typifies the evil, unclean, worldly spirit. The dove is the cleanest of the clean birds and God exalts it here at the baptism of his dear Son. The dove on the ground is a humble bird, and the eagle, a high-minded, highflying, proud, exalted bird. Jesus said in (Mt.23:12) “And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.” Proud eagle people don’t get saved – it’s the humble dove people that get saved and born again by the Holy Spirit. It is written in (I Pet.5:5) “And be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.”
says – “Not by might, nor by power, but
by spirit, saith the Lord of Hosts.” It’s not by military might and power,
like the Roman eagle and the
the eagle that symbolizes the Holy Spirit but the humble dove that has been
exalted by God to represent the third person of God. The
Check and see in a Christian bookstore which bird has been exalted to preeminence over all other birds. It’s the dove. Dove decals, dove pins, dove crosses, dove stickers, doves on Bibles, etc. The humble dove, the only bird used for sacrifice for sin in the Old Testament and that shed his blood for atonement for sin, has been exalted by God and given a name above every bird. And he is a type of Christ who humbled himself and shed his blood as the one-time sacrifice for sin – “And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name” – (Philip.2:8,9).
And it was not just any dove that the poor used for sacrifice for sin in the Old Testament – but only the turtle dove – “And if the burnt sacrifice for His offering to the Lord be of fowls, then he shall bring his offering of turtledoves or of young pigeons” – (Lev.1:14). Millions of turtledoves gave their lives as a blood sacrifice for sin for hundreds of years before the great day when the Holy Spirit descended like a dove and set upon Jesus at his baptism. He that humbles himself shall be exalted. The offering was two doves – “Two turtledoves, or two young pigeons, unto the Lord: one for a sin offering, and the other for a burnt offering” – (Lev.5:7).
God created the dove with a low cooing voice and an amiable and loving nature to make it a symbol of peace and love – the exact opposite of a bird of prey.
On the wings of a snow-white dove
He sends his pure sweet love,
A sign from above (sign from above)
On the wings of a dove (wings of a dove)
And this love of God was shown when the dove set upon Jesus and God spoke from Heaven saying, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” – (Mt.3:17). God’s pure sweet love is his beloved Son. Amen and Amen.
And the only specific people mentioned that sacrificed doves for sin were the mother and foster-father of the Lord Jesus. The poorest people sacrificed doves and God chose poor, Godly people to be the parents of his beloved Son. They brought their first born son Jesus to the temple to present him to the Lord when he was forty days old – “And to offer a sacrifice… A pair of turtle doves, or two young pigeons” – (Luke ). Why two doves – why a pair? The definition of pair is (two corresponding things designed for use together – a married couple in love – they were a devoted pair). God was pointing to the family here and that the husband and wife should be born again of the Holy Spirit and love one another and be a devoted couple in love and raise their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. To train them up God’s way, and have a Godly home., a Holy Spirit home.
God created the doves as a special and rare bird. They have a great attachment to the family and the home (Homing pigeons). They are lovey-dovey birds. I’ve watched two doves in my tree hug and nuzzle each other constantly. They mate for life and will not mate with another even though one dies. That’s why we see doves on wedding cakes and Christians in their marriage vows say – “Forsaking all others – till death do us part.” The pair of doves for sacrifice could not be divided asunder – (Lev.1:17). And true Christians don’t get a divorce as Jesus said in (Mt.19:6). “Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.”
Baby doves get their milk from both its’ mother and father. Both sexes create milk to nurture babies. It’s the only male bird that creates milk – “And, ye fathers… bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” – (Eph.6:7). Parenting is a joint venture and born again fathers are good Godly fathers – a rare bird. They nurture their children spiritually, not just physically. Not just bread for the body but bread for the soul. They teach their children God’s word – “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the Word, that ye may grow thereby” – (I Pet.2:2). Born again parents have Godly homes, they are homing pigeons. The father works and mom is a ‘keeper at home’ not following this covetous world. They ‘coo’ over their children. And, except for work, daddy dove spends his remaining time at home. He would never be a long distance truck driver and leave his family all week.
In the Song of Solomon it mentions doves seven times. It’s a love song for two turtledoves who love each other. It speaks of Christ and His bride-the Church. Yes, our sweethearts are our turtledoves – “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.” (Eph.5:25). Christ and His Church have ‘dove’s eyes.’ Eyes are the soul’s window pane – shaded not they will explain. You can tell a lot about a person through his eyes. They show you their soul, especially love and hate. A born again Christian looks at the world through Holy Ghost eyes. He loves God and he loves his wife and children and has no “eyes full of adultery.” His eyes have been enlightened by the Holy Ghost. He has light in his soul. Jesus said – “The light of the body is the eye.” We can tell when someone loves us – by his eyes. His eyes say I love you. She loves Jesus. I love you Jesus. I’m your bride – I’m your turtledove with the Holy Spirit that teaches me to love you – (John ).
us to be –“wise as serpents, and harmless as doves” – (Mt.10:16). We
need both. It’s dangerous to have one without the other. We are not to be
unwise, gullible and harmless. We need God’s wisdom in dealing with Satan. We
need to use strategy, common sense, tact, diplomacy, shrewdness, in dealing
with the world. Beware of the proud eagles that kill doves. Picture the eagle
swooping down as an abominable bird of prey upon the humble, harmless dove. The
dove needs all the wisdom he can get in order to avoid being injured. We have
hunting season and kill the doves, and the eagles are protected. We kill the
innocent and protect the killers, as there is less and less justice in the
world. The number one bird killed in the
God’s people are persecuted and sometimes martyred. But praise the Lord Jesus we have conquered death and have eternal life. Harmless doves – amen. We fight with spiritual weapons, not carnal. “That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world” (Philip.2:15). We follow the example of our Lord – “For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens” – (Heb.7:26).
(Is.59:11) says we “Mourn sore like doves.” Jesus said in (Mt.5:4) “Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.” Mourning and death go hand in hand. We mourn over death but we’re comforted with the Holy Ghost comforter. (The mourning dove pictures both death and the Holy Ghost comforter). Jesus said – “But the comforter, which is the Holy Ghost”– (Jn.14:26). But we are not to mourn as the lost over the dead. We have the Holy Ghost comforter and eternal life. We resurrect from death by the power of the Holy Spirit – “But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you” – (Rom.8:11).
In every city worldwide there are pigeons and doves as God is plainly showing us the true answer to crime and sin and corruption. The answer is what the dove is a symbol of – God the Holy Spirit in us. Are you a Godly dove? Have you been born again by the Holy Ghost? If you’re not – repent of your sins and turn from your wicked ways and turn to Christ by faith for remission of sins. Call upon the Lord with a humble and contrite heart and thou shalt be saved. Jesus said – “Ye must be born again” – (Jn.3:7). Humble yourself at the cross of Christ and become a Godly dove full of the Holy Spirit. And one day you’ll fly away on the wings of the Holy Ghost dove. Be born again and a witness for Christ. Become a carrier pigeon and carry the message of the gospel to others.
Be a Godly Dove.
Pastor Mike Storti
5000 N. LaCholla-
Would like to hear from you!