Mark(ers) of the Spirit
Markers, signs or symbols in Scripture like a dove, like fire, like wind, like rain were never intended to be little artistic ideas about God. Symbols are ways where the reality of the invisible enters into the visible so that we can capture understanding of what Holy Spirit is like, both analytically and for life transformation. This is why Holy Spirit is seen as rain, rivers, wind, oil, wine, fire and as a dove. This is important, as these markers help us to differentiate between seasons, and I believe that we are entering into a season of extreme refreshing.
Today we are going to start down a path that I love. We are going to talk about revival and why revival is important. As we begin this journey, we are going to look at Holy Spirit, who is the person of the Godhead who is always at the center of revival, in order to show us how our concept of His presence helps to influence our ideas about revival.
When we talk about Holy Spirit as rain, our purpose isn’t to leaving thinking theologically that, “The Holy Spirit is like rain. That is a simile.” The purpose of making the connection to rain is to get wet… by experiencing Him. Each symbol Scripture presents should help us to realize that Jesus wants to invade our realm. Just as Holy Spirit manifested for a moment like a dove and settled on Jesus, He wants to do the same as He breaks into you, filling you with the glory of the invisible God that only becomes visible through you and me, as He floods His life into us.
This is important, because Holy Spirit’s purpose is to glorify Jesus, to help us to see Jesus more, to help us help others see Jesus more, to appreciate Jesus better, to respond more obediently to Jesus, and to love Jesus with a deeper heart of commitment. As that takes place, the Bible says that Father God is pleased because it’s His good pleasure that in His Son, all His fullness dwells, so the way to fuller fullness is J-E-S-U-S!
1) Holy Spirit come like Rain
Rain has a dual implication: Rain brings refreshing where dryness and barrenness have prevailed, and restoration for things that have been lost Be glad then, you children of Zion, and rejoice in the Lord your God; for He has given you the former rain faithfully, and He will cause the rain to come down for you—The former rain, and the latter rain in the first month. 24 The threshing floors shall be full of wheat, and the vats shall overflow with new wine and oil. 25 “So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the crawling locust, the consuming locust, and the chewing locust, My great army which I sent among you.26 You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, who has dealt wondrously with you; and My people shall never be put to shame… 28 “And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions. 29 And also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days (Joel 2:23-29).
The outpouring Peter speaks about at Pentecost in Acts 2:17 was not an abstract use of the word in Joel; he was addressing the “latter rain” that brings about the quick maturing of the harvest and the creation of fruitful crops. YHWH is saying that He will send rain to the fields (us) even when we are totally barren, which is a promise of hope.
Our need or acknowledgement for refreshing doesn’t mean we are backslidden or that we are living in sin. In California where I grew up, when your lawn goes through a long hot day, it dries up and needs to be watered. When Holy Spirit coming as rain, He comes to bring refreshing and restoration.
2) Holy Spirit also comes as Rivers
Rivers are channels or conduits that travel to places where refreshing, nourishing waters are needed. John pinpoints that the work of Holy Spirit as “rivers of living water” was to become available after Jesus’ went back to Heaven, On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. 38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” 39 But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified (John 7:37-39). Our understanding of Holy Spirit manifesting in rivers shows us that the rain is not just refreshing for us alone, as it shows us that the Lord wants to make you an overflowing tributary of His Holy Spirit fullness to others. This is your purpose in revival, as you reveal Him.
3) Holy Spirit comes as Wind
When Holy Spirit is shown as coming as wind, it depicts both His power and His guidance. When Jesus was telling Nicodemus about the new birth experience in John 3:8, The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit, Jesus told him that it is not like a physical, tangible birth where you can see the baby is born and check the clock for its time of arrival chronologically. The work of Holy Spirit as breath is seen as He breathes into a life and divine life enters you. We call it a Kairos moment, as God breaks into our realm.
At Pentecost, the sound of a wind—like a hurricane, drew the crowd in, And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance (Acts 2:3). Friends, Holy Spirit as sovereign God is dynamic, irresistible, overwhelming and unstoppable. When He wants to come as wind, it is our duty to get ready for the tempest!
4) Holy Spirit appears as Oil
The anointing or the oil of blessing in Scripture, is directly related to the Holy Spirit’s work in our life, Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, 22 who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee (2 Corinthians 1:21-22). Holy Spirit’s anointing makes us sensitive to the things of the Kingdom of God, But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things (1 John 2:20).
How many countless times have you sensed you knew something was wrong, or something was right, but you didn’t know why or how you knew? The Holy Spirit is, by His anointing and presence, confirming what He is — the Spirit of Truth, of Holiness, of Wisdom. He turned your Knower on, and He communicates with you. Obeying Holy Spirit means that He will give you wisdom when you need it in the practical aspects of your everyday life.
Also, all the primary offices of Scripture—that we are called to walk in—involve anointing:
- Prophets: We have been anointed for speaking the life of the Lord to others, as prophets. The prophets were anointed as spokesmen for the Lord, But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: 17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, that I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams. 18 And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; and they shall prophesy (Acts 2:16-21).
We are to perceive the things of the spiritual realm and speak them not just as words, but with clarity and revelation as God gives us, as it says in Scripture that: Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit (Proverbs 18:21).
We are called to speak the Word of the LORD. There are times when Holy Spirit will give you words of comfort, exhortation or sensitive counsel to speak to people.
- Priests: We have also been given the anointing for worship, as priests: We are to be empowered by the Holy Spirit to lead in worship, and to worship before the Lord. This is the anointing to worship. The most trusted leaders follow. Those who set direction best receive direction. The best teachers are teachable. The best worship leaders are first worshipers when no one is watching. This isn’t being harsh or inconsiderate. It is the way of the kingdom (Bill Johnson).
There is a difference between when you just sing out of obedience and when you enter into the sense of His presence and the anointing. The Lord wants to anoint us for worship to renew us so that your worship doesn’t become stale, habitual or formal. That’s why worship is our calling card.
- Kings: You don’t just get anointed once for all. It takes fresh anointing and outpouring from Holy Spirit for the dominion of His kingdom and the authority of His life to happen through us so that we can move in confidence and knowledge about how to rule our homes, our business, how to deal with our kids and how to deal correctly in our relationships. God’s not going to anoint you with the ability to rule when you try to manage your own way.
We have been given the anointing for authority, as kings: When you learn to abide in the anointing, there will be an increase of the dimension of His kingdom authority. Our personal application of kings being anointed has to do with the development of the authority of Christ in our lives (Revelation 1:5-6). 5 and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, 6 and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
The Lord also wants to anoint us with the oil of rejoicing for a new season of refreshing for all those who have been overcome by the spirit of mourning. This form of anointing brings about the lifting of our heads to look beyond today, not with superficial optimism, but with a deep abiding presence and promise created in you by God.
5) Holy Spirit comes as Wine
God has given Holy Spirit as wine, And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine bursts the wineskins, the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined. But new wine must be put into new wineskins… Others mocking said, They are full of new wine (Mark 2:22; Acts 2:13). In the Gospels, Jesus describes the new work of God, which is conveyed by the ministry of the Spirit, as new wine poured into old vessels. If the old wineskin isn’t prepared, it is ruined. This is why you see a lot of people say they want more of Holy Spirit, but when He shows up and does things differently than they were used to, they freak out and say it can’t be God.
6) Holy Spirit comes as Fire
Holy Spirit comes as fire to work deep into the substance of who you are in order to shape things around us, rather than us taking the shape of what is around us. As fire, He works in a dual way:
To probe the inner recesses of our life, refining us as gold or silver is refined in the fire, 4 When the Lord has washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and purged the blood of Jerusalem from her midst, by the spirit of judgment and by the spirit of burning, 5 then the Lord will create above every dwelling place of Mount Zion, and above her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day and the shining of a flaming fire by night. For over all the glory there will be a covering. 6 And there will be a tabernacle for shade in the daytime from the heat, for a place of refuge, and for a shelter from storm and rain (Isaiah 4:4-6), which then tempers our personalities by allowing penetration of fire into our heart system. Why is this important?
The purifying fire burns out the adversary. When the three Hebrew children were thrown into the furnace, not only were their lives spared, but their clothes didn’t burn. But the ropes holding them in bondage burned. By the “spirit of judgment”—or deliverance—“and burning” the Holy Spirit burns away the binding things that the enemy has placed on us.
7) Holy Spirit comes as a Dove
Holy Spirit as a dove is gentle and a symbol of peace. What the dove did is important as well—the dove came and rested on Jesus, When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him (Matthew 3:16).
Holy Spirit wants to rest on you. He wants to descend on you. Not sweeping throughout the world as a tidal wave of revival, but He wants to come to you personally. Invite Him by saying, “Holy Spirit, come and rest on me.” You see, revival isn’t just about the masses being affected. It’s about you being affected and then becoming infectious.
- Discernment: You will recognize the truth As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as His anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in Him (1 John 2:27). Something to remember: this passage was written to believers who John had instructed and who were in danger of being deceived by false teachers! Their ability to discern came from their previous teachings which existed in their hearts.
- Deliverance: What seeks to dominate and mock you will be broken. It shall come to pass in that day. That his burden will be taken away from your shoulder, and his yoke from your neck, and the yoke will be destroyed because of the anointing oil (Isaiah 10:27).
- Refreshing: (Psalm 23:5) You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.
The shepherds of the Middle East would stand in the door of the fold, and as the sheep came back from grazing to their place of shelter for the night, the shepherd examined each one. If there were any wound or bruise upon a sheep, the shepherd would pour oil on it as a healing ointment. But if there wasn’t anything the sheep needed, the shepherd would pour a little oil on the sheep’s head anyway just because sheep like it. David, who was a shepherd, is saying with this imagery: There are times when I don’t need anything but the Lord pours His oil out on me just because He knows I like it.
- Healing: Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. The oil is a symbol of the Holy Spirit’s presence to heal (James 5:14). The healing isn’t in the authority of the elders’ office, or the power of their hands or even the power of the oil. The healing is in the anointing that the oil represents that’s ministered by the hands of those that carry the office of elders. The presence and power is the Holy Spirit’s, and He heals.
- Victory: Where the anointing is, there is life and victory. The Lord touches all the bases when people seek to walk in His Spirit and in His way. He providentially leads and guides and protects. 2 Samuel 1:21 is an example of this: “Omountains of Gilboa, Let there be no dew nor rain upon you, nor fields of offerings. For the shield of the mighty is cast away there! The shield of Saul, not anointed with oil.”