In our current three-part Teaching Letter series, “Decision Time,” based on the recently released book, The Beast or the Lamb, Derek Prince focuses on the following undeniable conclusions. The only way we can resist the effects of the wild Beast (the spirit of antichrist) is to take on the nature of the Lamb, our Lord Jesus Christ. The only way we can take on the nature of the Lamb is with the help of the Holy Spirit—the Dove.
We Must Decide
I hope you understand clearly that you and I are in the midst of a conflict between two spiritual forces: the Spirit of the Lamb and the spirit of the wild Beast. Today, we must make the decision concerning which one of these will govern us. It will be too late to change our minds later, when the Antichrist makes himself known.
How do we proceed into the future? What we need for the challenges ahead is to be “Empowered by the Dove”—the Holy Spirit—who chooses to rest and remain only on someone who exhibits the nature of the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ. What can we do to attract the Dove to come and remain upon us? Answering that all-important question is the focus of our concluding installment of this “Decision Time” series.
From The Beginning
Have you ever considered the fact that Jesus needed the Holy Spirit, just as we do? Jesus never took credit for Himself, but attributed His whole ministry to the presence of the Holy Spirit. Let’s begin by looking at the beautiful passage in Scripture that marks the start of Jesus’ public ministry. We will see how the Holy Spirit was with Jesus right from the beginning.
“The next day John [the Baptist] saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, ‘Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!’ And John bore witness, saying, ‘I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and He remained upon Him. I did not know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘Upon whom you see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ And I have seen and testified that this is the Son of God.’ Again, the next day, John stood with two of his disciples. And looking at Jesus as He walked, he said, ‘Behold the Lamb of God!’” (John 1:29, 32-36)
In this passage, there are two representations from the animal kingdom. Jesus is represented as the Lamb of God, and the Holy Spirit is represented as a descending Dove, a beautiful portrayal of the Spirit of Truth. Notice also: God gave John a two-fold revelation—the Dove would both descend, and remain, on Him.
What Is the Dove Looking For?
As the Dove descended over the crowd of people that day, what was He looking for? The Lamb. What is the Dove looking for today? He is looking for the nature of the Lamb—Jesus’ nature. If we cultivate the nature of the Lamb, the Holy Spirit will find us, descend on us, and remain on us.
There are three Scriptural characteristics of the nature of a lamb: purity, meekness (humility), and sacrifice—a life laid down. When the Holy Spirit finds that nature in a person, that is where He chooses to settle and remain. He does not approve of arrogance, self-seeking, boastfulness, or aggressiveness. Those are characteristics of the nature of the Beast.
The Dove Remains
It is extremely important for us to see that the dove descended on Jesus, but He also remained on Him. Jesus never said or did one thing that would frighten the Dove away. In the natural, the dove is a timid bird, easily scared. In the same way, the Holy Spirit (the Dove) is also very sensitive and timid. If we say and do the things He doesn’t say and do—things that grieve Him—He’ll leave. He’ll just take wings and fly off. Let’s look at what the Scriptures say will attract or repel the Dove:
“Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:29-32)
What are the behaviors that grieve the Holy Spirit?
Unwholesome words, bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and slander. All these are contrary to the nature of the Lamb.
What are the qualities that attract the Holy Spirit?
Kindness, tenderheartedness, mutual forgiveness. You see, when He doesn’t find the Lamb nature, He cannot abide. The key to having the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit with us is to cultivate the nature of the Lamb.
A Very Important Person
As the Dove descends on you and me and remains, enabling us to take on the nature of the Lamb, it is helpful for us to understand more about who this “promise of the Father,” the Holy Spirit, really is.
The first and most significant fact about the Holy Spirit is that He a Person—a very important Person! It is absolutely essential for believers to embrace this truth. He is not just an influence, a doctrine, or a theological abstraction. The Holy Spirit He is a Person—as real as your own father or mother or son or daughter. Do you think of Him in that way?
Not only is He a Person—but He is Lord. Just as much as God the Father is Lord and God the Son is Lord, God the Holy Spirit is Lord. Therefore, we need to completely submit to Him in a spirit of trust and obedience. Our submission to the Father and Son goes no further than our submission to the Holy Spirit.
When you and I begin to respond to the Lordship of the Holy Spirit, we will begin to see the same attitude of reverence in our hearts that we have toward the Father and the Son. I trust what I am saying will help to produce in your life the proper attitude toward the Holy Spirit.
The Need for Sensitivity
If Jesus needed the Holy Spirit, surely we do! Nothing can take His place—He is indispensable. Therefore, we need a close, personal relationship with Him. What does that require? It’s the same requirement as for all successful relationships—mutual sensitivity. Believe me, the Holy Spirit is very sensitive toward us. But we need to learn to be sensitive in return.
In an interview I once did for a Christian magazine, they asked me about my experience after all these years in Christian ministry. Did I have any regrets? I paused, and then I said, “Yes. As I look back over my Christian life, if there are things I would wish to change, it would be the times I failed to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit.”
The key to our success in learning how to be led by the Spirit is sensitivity to His true nature—the nature of the Dove.
If you and I want to have the Holy Spirit descend and remain with us, we must allow Him to have full access to everything in our lives. That way He can teach you and transform you into the image of Jesus Christ. He will help you continually lay down your life for Christ and for His body. He will convict you when you stray. He will give you joy in purehearted obedience. After a while, you will have matured to the point that you will no longer scare the Dove away.
If you long for a change—for a deeper relationship with the Lamb and the Dove—you can pray this prayer right now:
Dear Lord Jesus, I want to refresh my commitment to You. I want to humble myself before You, to receive Your forgiveness, and to walk from this day forward in the empowerment that comes from Your Holy Spirit. I want to lay down my life daily for You, walking in purity and meekness, manifesting the nature of the Lamb. May the Dove bring forth in me the nature of Jesus, the Lamb, so that I may be able to stand strong and victorious in the challenging days now and yet to come—fully obeying You and faithfully serving You. Amen.