The Three Doves
Nov 10, 2006
Noah's flood was a disaster for the unbelievers, who did not understand the truth of the situation until the flood came and took them all away (Matt. 24:39). So also will it be in the coming of the Son of Man, Jesus said. It is the unbelievers who will be taken away, not the believers. I showed this in my series on "The Rapture" back in early August of this year.
However, one principle that seems to be little known is this: Death in the Old Testament is Life in the New.
In other words, when studying types and shadows, and comparing their fulfillment in the New Testament context, just because the type portrays death and destruction does not mean that it must necessarily be fulfilled in this way in the New Testament. This is because the type in the Old Testament is always under the jurisdiction of the Old Covenant, while its fulfillment comes under the jurisdiction of the New Covenant.
This necessitates some change, and that change is positive. It does not always remove the negative effects--that is, the judgment aspect of the type--but it does add the factors of mercy and grace, which make its fulfillment positive overall.
For example, under Moses at Mount Sinai, the people worshipped the golden calf, and as a result, the Levites were told to take their swords and start killing people. We are told in Exodus 32:28 that 3,000 men died that day.
Mount Sinai was where God spoke the Ten Commandments, the day which came to be celebrated asShavuot, or Pentecost. But because the people ran from God and refused to hear His voice (Ex. 20:18-21), they rejected the Sword of the Spirit by which they might have then conquered the Canaanites. Being left with only a physical sword, this was their weapon of choice. It came back to haunt them when the Levites used their physical swords to kill the 3,000 men at the golden calf incident.
Moving ahead, we see how these types and shadows were fulfilled under the New Covenant. In Acts 2, on the day of Pentecost, the 120 disciples went into an upper room, fulfilling what the people of Israel refused to do under Moses, when they refused to draw near to God in the Mount. The upper room served as the fulfillment of the type (Mount Sinai).
The disciples, then, accepted the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God (Eph. 6:17). This was their weapon of choice, by which they were to go and conquer the "Canaanites." That is, they were to go into all the world and preach the Gospel (Mark 16:15), converting people by the power of the Word, rather than by force of arms as in Joshua's day.
Furthermore, on the day of Pentecost, the 120 disciples took those swords, went out into the streets, and used it on 3,000 people--who were then converted and added to the Church (Acts 2:41).
This example shows us the positive side of the fulfillment in contrast to the type itself. The only death involved here was by means of baptism. It was the death of the flesh, not the death of the body. The flesh was still judged, but in a way that was constructive and full of mercy and grace.
The 3,000 who were converted that day represented the 3,000 in Moses' day, who, while in Judaism, were inadvertent worshipers of the golden calf.
The Pentecostal Church from that day forward was called to conquer not only a tiny land of Canaan, but the whole world--not by force of arms, but by the power of the Word, which is the Sword of the Spirit. The Church lost its Sword in later centuries, of course, and that is why it reverted back to the Old Covenant sword of the flesh as the accepted means of converting infidels and heretics. And even today, the Zionists use the Old Covenant model to conquer the Palestinians, and Christian Zionists are in full agreement with this. While they give lip service to the New Covenant, their heart is still rooted in the Old Covenant.
With this principle in mind that "what is death in the Old is life in the New," let us look at Noah's flood. It is universally regarded as a negative example, and rightly so, for many people died at that time. Jesus told us that His second coming would be "as in the days of Noah" (Matt. 24:37). He specifically mentioned the flood as well. This indicates that Noah's flood was an Old Testament type that yet has a New Testament fulfillment.
We are told five times in Scripture that the glory of the Lord will cover the earth as the waters cover the sea. In fact, the first time we read this statement, it came in the form of a VOW in Num. 14:21,
"But indeed, AS I LIVE, all the earth will be filled with the glory of the Lord."
The prophets then repeat this in various forms in Isaiah 6:3; 11:9; Psalm 72:19; and Hab. 2:14. The prophet Habakkuk tells us in 2:14,
"For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea."
Even as the waters cover about 100 percent of the sea, so also will the knowledge of the glory of the Lord cover the whole earth. This is the promise of God to us, and this is the basis of our hope of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit which appears to be imminent. In the days of Noah, the flood removed the "breath" (ruach, "spirit") from all flesh (Gen. 6:17). That is the negative side of the type. After that, God began to reinsert His Spirit into all flesh by means of the New Covenant. Hence, Gen. 8:1 says, "God caused a wind [ruach, "Spirit"] to pass over the earth, and the water subsided." In other words, God's Spirit is the solution to the removal of the Spirit from man during the flood.
Then Noah did something prophetic that tells us more about the manner in which God has been doing this. He sent out a dove on three occasions, prophesying that the Holy Spirit would be sent into the earth three times, with differing results. The three historic fulfillments are: Mount Sinai in Exodus 20, the upper room in Acts 2, and the final outpouring today. Gen. 8:8, 9 says,
" (8) Then he sent out a dove from him, to see if the water was abated from the face of the land; (9) but the dove found no resting place for the sole of her foot, so she returned to himinto the ark . . . ."
This speaks of the Holy Spirit coming down at Mount Sinai on that first Pentecost. However, because the people ran in fear (Ex. 20:18-21), the dove found no resting place upon the people, and so the presence of God went "into the ark" (this time, the Ark of the Covenant).
The second dove is mentioned in Gen. 8:10, 11,
" (10) So he waited yet another seven days; and again he sent out the dove from the ark.(11) And the dove came to him toward evening; and behold, in her beak was a freshly picked olive leaf. So Noah knew that the water was abated from the earth."
This time the dove DID find a resting place, and in its fulfillment in Acts 2, the 120 disciples in the upper room did not run away in fear. The dove brought back a leaf, which was evidence that new life had begun in the earth.
"Then he waited yet another seven days, and sent out the dove; but she did not return to him again."
Finally, it was time to emerge into the cleansed earth. This is the third dove that we are now awaiting. The first dove came in the Passover Age and was rejected; the second began new life in the Pentecostal Age; and the third will fully inaugurate the Tabernacles Age.