Introduction: Guys, has anyone ever compared you to an elephant, a
bull, a rooster or a chicken? Ladies, has anyone ever compared you
to a flower, a tiger, a vision or a “tomboy?” We make such
comparisons to help others get a better picture of the person we are
discussing. God does this same kind of thing with the Holy Spirit.
To help us better understand His nature, the Bible compares the Holy
Spirit to several things which we will explore this week in our
study. Let’s plunge right into the Bible!

  1. Dove

    1. Read Luke 3:21-22. We read here that the Holy Spirit can
      take the form of an animal. Why would the Holy Spirit
      appear as an animal?

      1. Why take the form of this particular bird?

      2. Read Numbers 6:10-11. This chapter in Numbers
        describes what should be done if a person wants to
        especially dedicate himself to God for a period of
        time. This dedication is called a “Nazarite” vow.
        During the time of this vow you could not be in the
        presence of a dead body. If you were, the text we
        read described what should be done. Why do you think
        doves were sacrificed?

        1. What significance do you find in the fact that
          the Holy Spirit sometimes takes on the form of a
          sacrifice? (We think of Jesus as the Lamb of God
          – to remind us of His sacrifice for us. Another
          member of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, takes on
          the form of another acceptable sacrifice. I
          think it helps show the Spirit’s attitude
          towards us.)

    2. Read Matthew 10:16. Think back to the text we just read
      about Jesus’ baptism. What connection can you see between
      Jesus and the Holy Spirit coming in the form of a dove?
      (This symbolized the innocence of Jesus and the role of
      the Holy Spirit in helping to keep Him that way. Compare
      John 3:14-15.)

  2. Water

    1. Read John 7:37-39. What does water do and why is it a good
      illustration of the Holy Spirit? (My brother lives in a
      home he just had built in Rancho Mirage, California. When
      I was walking in this new development dirty sand would fly
      around in the undeveloped lots, but where homes were built
      (and the land watered) it looked like a garden. Water
      completely transforms this desert area.)

      1. Look at John 7:38 again. What would it mean to have
        streams of living water flow from you? (You would
        help change those around you from dry, dusty
        Christians to vibrant, alive Christians.)

      2. Think about your local church. What could the Holy
        Spirit do to transform the people in your church? To
        transform you?

      3. Look again at John 7:39. What does it mean that the
        Holy Spirit had not yet been given to the people
        because Jesus was not yet glorified? (Read John 16:7-11. The Holy Spirit did not come in power on the
        people until Jesus returned to heaven.)

      4. Has the Holy Spirit been given to the people in your

        1. Has your church felt the streams of living

  3. Oil, Fire and Light

    1. In Zechariah 4 we find God giving the prophet Zechariah a
      vision to encourage the people about rebuilding the temple
      destroyed by the Babylonians. Read Zechariah 4:1-3.
      Describe this oil lamp seen in vision? (It has a bowl, an
      oil tank, at the top. This feeds by gravity down seven
      channels to seven wicks to give seven lights.)

      1. What is the purpose of the two trees on each side of
        this lamp? (Read Zechariah 4:11-12. We learn that
        each of these olive trees has a golden pipe tapped
        into it. Each golden pipe feeds oil into the oil tank
        at the top of the lamp.)

      2. Do you have the picture of this lamp in your mind?
        What would you have to do to keep this lamp burning?
        (This is an “automatic” lamp. The tap in the trees
        supplies the oil and it could, theoretically, just
        keep burning. It seems like a wild and wonderful

    2. Zechariah wants to know the point of this description of
      the lamp. Let’s read Zechariah 4:4-6. What is the power of
      this lamp? (The olive oil represents the Holy Spirit.)

      1. What does this illustration teach us about the power
        of the Holy Spirit? Who made the trees? (This shows
        us that the power of the Holy Spirit is unlimited.
        Since God made the trees, we can see that we do not
        need to supply the power of the Holy Spirit.)

      2. What is the end result of the power of the Holy
        Spirit in this analogy? (Continuous fire and light!
        The fire creates light which pushes back the darkness
        and allows us to see.)

      3. What do you understand the phrase, “Not by might, nor
        by power, but by my Spirit,” to mean? (Consider the
        context. The neighboring nations did not want the
        temple to be rebuilt. God says to Zechariah that it
        will be rebuilt not by the might of armies or the
        power of an individual, but rather it will be done by
        the power of the Holy Spirit.)

        1. Friend, do you need to have your church
          spiritually built or rebuilt? Do you personally
          need more fire and light in your spiritual walk?
          If so, what is the first step? (Inviting the
          power of the Holy Spirit into your life and the
          life of the congregation.)

  4. Deposit

    1. Read 2 Corinthians 1:18-20. What do you think is meant by
      a “yes and no” person? (Someone who cannot be trusted.
      Someone who tells you what they will do and then does
      something different.)

      1. Why is God always a “Yes” God? (God keeps His
        promises and so do His followers.)

      2. What do you mean when you say, “amen?”

      3. What is the “amen” in verse 20? (Paul writes that the
        “amen” is spoken through Jesus. When we say, “amen,”
        we affirm what has just been done, right? Jesus
        affirmed the promises that God had given humans. Paul
        tells us that Jesus proves that God keeps His
        promises. That God is “yes and yes” when it comes to
        His dealings with humans.)

    2. Read 2 Corinthians 1:21-22. How does the Holy Spirit
      further confirm the honesty of God? (Do you see the
      argument that Paul is constructing? He points out that
      Jesus fulfilled the promise of a coming Messiah. Now that
      Jesus has come, the Holy Spirit begins to confirm the
      promise of a coming heaven, a Second Coming of Jesus.)

      1. Let’s bring this down to you. How does Paul say that
        you can know that you are going to heaven? (The Holy
        Spirit is God’s “seal of ownership” on you. If the
        power of the Holy Spirit is evident in you, this is a
        sign that God will take you to heaven with Him.)

    3. We have been learning that the analogies of the Holy
      Spirit to different things teaches us more about the
      nature of the Holy Spirit. What does the analogy of a
      “deposit” in 2 Corinthians 1:22 teach us about the nature
      of the Holy Spirit? (A deposit is a legal term. It
      guarantees performance. It demonstrates just a small
      percentage of what is to come. The Holy Spirit exemplifies
      a portion of God’s power to come.)

      1. Tell me some of the things that the Bible records the
        Holy Spirit did in the early church? Explain how
        these activities are a small example of what God has
        promised in the future?

    4. Friend, as we learn more about the nature, power and work
      of the Holy Spirit, it becomes clear that we cannot get
      anything done in the spiritual realm without Him. Will you
      invite the Holy Spirit to become your partner and your
      power in promoting God’s will?

  5. Next week: Jesus and the Holy Spirit.