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January 4, 2017, 10:39 AM

The Holy Ghost Dove - Why?

Excerpt from my soon to be released book - The Purpose and Work of the Holy Ghost:

John the Baptist, cousin of the Lord Jesus, did not know who the Messiah would be. However, God had told John, “…upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost” (John 1:33, KJV). From this we can conclude, that what John heard and saw was a private revelation to confirm to him the Word of God, and the identity of the Messiah. The revelation was never intended to establish a triune concept of the Godhead.

Notice the following comparisons of the same event:

  • “…and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove…” (Matthew 3:16, KJV)
  • “…the Spirit like a dove descending…” (Mark 1:10, KJV)
  • “…the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove…” (Luke 3:22, KJV)

It is from these passages of scripture that some consider the Holy Ghost to be a ‘third person’ of the Godhead. Of course, there is a tremendous difference between the shape of a bird and the shape of a person.  It is understood that there are not many Spirits of God but rather an unfolding revelation of how THE Spirit of God operates His sovereign will in various ways. None of the gospel writers were present when Jesus was baptized. However, all recorded the story as it was related to them and it is likely that Matthew, John, and Mark heard the story straight from the mouth of Jesus. [1]

However, the scriptures state that the Holy Ghost was “…like a dove...” It was not a dove: rather the Spirit of God took on a “…bodily shape like a dove...” so that John the Baptist would see the sign upon Jesus Christ, as He was being baptized.

For comparison, the scripture states that the day after John baptized Jesus, “…John seeth Jesus…and saith, Behold the Lamb of God…” (John 1:29, KJV). Few, if any, believe that John the Baptist saw a literal lamb walking down the road. It is understood, that John was speaking of Jesus and linking Jesus’ ultimate human destiny to be the sinless and spotless sacrificial Lamb [2] for all humanity, and to simultaneously fulfill the Old Covenant’s laws and judgments for sin.[3]

Why? Why did God choose the appearance of a dove to manifest His Spirit upon the man, Jesus Christ? [4] No one knows for sure but there is room for opinions so long as they do not pervert the truth of God’s sacred Word!

We do know the Lord God purposefully chose the animal type that would forever be linked with His Spirit. He did not choose the fox for its cunning, the cheetah for its swiftness, the lion for its power, or the peacock for its beauty. No, God Almighty chose the lowly dove with which to associate His Holy Ghost.

The first mention of a dove is recorded in Genesis chapter eight, after God had judged the wickedness of the ancient world with the Great Flood.[5] Noah released the dove three times. The dove found no place to rest during its first flight. When it returned from its second flight, it had an olive leaf in its beak.

The olive leaf merits some discussion. The olive leaf is symbolic of new life, hope, and peace, as is the Holy Ghost.[6] When the olive is crushed, olive oil is produced. The olive is a type of Christ, who was crushed at Gethsemane. And the oil is a type of the Holy Ghost, poured out on the Day of Pentecost. [7]

Throughout the Bible, the anointing oil was poured upon God’s chosen vessels. The anointing oil of the Spirit is also upon every believer. [8] In addition, the scripture instructs the New Testament believers to anoint the sick with oil during prayers for healing of the body and the mind.[9]

Pardon the road trip - let’s get back to the Dove. On its third and final flight, the dove did not return. This indicated that the dove had found a place of rest other than the ark, and that the earth was ready for humanity to live upon it once again.

Now, the characteristics of the dove merit consideration. Doves are not carnivorous and constantly move their wings except when they are gliding to rest upon a certain place. Doves are most generally pictured as white in color, and within the scriptures, the color white most frequently represents purity and or holiness.[10]  A dove cries easily when it is harassed or in great danger, and the Christian believer intercedes for both personal needs and those of others through the power of the Holy Ghost [11]in times of distress and indecision. The dove is known as a harmless creature. Likewise, the saints have been instructed by Jesus to be harmless as a dove.[12]

 So, it can be inferred in a very credible sense that the Holy Ghost was momentarily manifested in the form of a dove for three significant reasons:

  1. A visible sign to and for John the Baptist
  2. To reveal the character of the Spirit upon and within Jesus Christ
  3. To reveal how the Holy Ghost was to influence future New Covenant believers


End Notes:

[1] Early Christian authors such as Papias, Irenaeus (author of the Muratorian Canon), Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian, Origen, and Jerome, were unanimous in attributing this gospel to a "Mark" who was a close associate of the Apostle Peter (“Gospel of Mark.” 10 Nov. 2015. Web. Accessed 28 Sep. 2016.

[2]…You know that you were not redeemed with corruptible things…but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish or spot (1 Peter 1:18-19, KJV)

[3] Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil (Matthew 5:17, KJV)

[4] Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you… Acts 2:22 (KJV). The phrasing of this verse does not allow for a trinitarian or even “twinitarian” theology. Peter, in speaking to monotheistic Jews, was establishing the fact that the man, Christ Jesus, was the incarnation of the Mighty Spirit of God that they claimed to serve and love.

[5] The world was judged once by water, but the second judgment will be that of fire. (see 2 Peter 3:1-10).

[6] For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost (Romans 14:17, KJV).

[7] …the Holy Ghost…Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ, our Savior (Titus 3:5-6, KJV).

[8] …hath anointed us, is God. Who hath also sealed us, and given us the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts (2 Corinthians 1:21-22, KJV).

[9] Is any sick among you? 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 (James 5:14, KJV).

[10] …they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy (Revelation 3:4, KJV). Another meaning for the word ‘white’ in the text is to be bright or shining which denotes glory. An alternate consideration is the white of leprosy as evidence by Miriam (Numbers 12:10-12).

[11]…for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groaning which cannot be uttered (Romans 8:26, KJV)

[12]…be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves (Matthew 10:16, KJV). That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God… (Philippians 2:15, KJV)


01-06-2017 at 2:02 PM
Russell Frazier
Read the transcript, all I can say is wow! I will definitely everyone of my Bible school students purchase this book.
01-04-2017 at 12:27 PM
Rick McGuffey
I enjoyed reading this excerpt and wait with anticipation for the final book. Joseph Savala's works just keep getting better... and they started out really good!
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October 11, 2016, 12:00 AM


Do you have any work experience? That was the question asked most when I was a younger man looking for work. I always had a job but often grew bored with what I was doing and went on to better (I thought) opportunities. For your enjoyment, I am presenting two of my work experiences when I was somewhere between 17-19 years of age. If you like these ones, I have a few more to share. REMEMBER: Those who say something can't be done, should never interrupt those who are doing it!

      Del Taco is a restaurant chain in Southern California. Have you ever been to a drive thru? If so, you know how boring the order takers are. Well, I asked the management not to put me on the mic but they did anyway. Within a few days, people were lining up not just to order but to hear what I would say. My greeting would go something like this (thanks to Bob Newhart), “Hello and thank you for coming to Del Taco, please keep all hands and feet in the ride at all times. If you would be so kind to give me your order, it will be waiting for you at the completion of the ride.” This went on for about two weeks. The owner loved it and sales began to increase during the lunch period.

      On that fateful day, the manager (a lady), told me that I was being stupid and folks didn’t think that it was funny. So, in the interests of wanting to be the best employee I could be, I asked the next carload of laughing adults if they thought the greeting was stupid because my manager thought it was. They replied that the manager was stupid. Well, the manger was standing behind me and upon hearing the response was less than excited about the conversation. When the lunch rush was finished, she asked to talk with me in private – private conversations have never boded well for me and so, I had some trepidation.

     She informed me that she knew that I was trying to steal her job from her and that she would not allow it. I assured her that becoming manager of a Del Taco was not my highest aspiration in life and that she was slightly unhinged if she thought so…that’s not totally correct, I told her she was crazy. And it came to pass, that she remained secure in her management and I became unemployed. 

      Lesson: My work experience taught me to never be a threat to a female fast food manager. I learned from that experience and never worked fast food again.

     Then there was the time that I left a sand blasting  job before the Fed’s closed it down for tax evasion. No surprise there, they had evaded paying me too. So it was that I spied a ‘Help Wanted’ sign for a flower delivery driver. I walked in filled out the application and was given the job. As I was leaving the owner said, “By the way, the vehicle is a stick shift. Is that alright with you?” I answered in the affirmative!

       At the time, I rented a room from a elderly lady. One room was shared by me and a fellow room mate named Dan. We had worked together on the sandblasting job.  Dan, had a truck and it was a stick shift. I told Dan about my new employment opportunity. He asked if I knew how to drive a stick and I said, no BUT you do. So it was that Dan taught me how to drive a stick shift in about two hours. On the way to church, he had me drive up the side entrance onto a hill...I almost rolled into the car behind me several times BUT we made it and I had learned to drive a stick shift.

      Things went fine my first day on the job. I made several deliveries and was enjoying my new driving skills. Until I came to a four way stop. When I arrived at the stop, I was the only vehicle there. As I made the left hand turn, the truck  began to jerk and stop, jerk and stop. This was not good! Within the next five minutes, there were cars at all four stop signs. I was now in the middle of the intersection hopelessly jerking ahead a few inches at a time. 

       I am forever indebted to the kind hearted truck driver who leaned half way out of his truck yelling and encouraging me to ‘put it in first’, while questioning my intelligence and insisting that my mother was a canine. 

       Lesson: If not for this work experience, I might still be trapped in the middle of a four way stop and would never have the pleasure of hearing the truckers words of encouragement echoing in my ears EVERYTIME I drive a stick shift almost 30 years later.

Skill is the unified force of experience, intellect, and passion in operation - John Ruskin


01-05-2017 at 6:36 PM
David Boyd
There's just way too much talent wrapped in Bro. Savala! Great singer. Doctrinal preacher and COMEDIAN! Love the stories and keep up the good work.
12-19-2016 at 11:55 AM
Brent Crosswhite
What a dose of a good medicine called laughter I had reading this today!
10-12-2016 at 8:27 AM
Bobby Ikerd
Hahaha. You made my morning. This was great reading while sipping my coffee. Tell us more!!!
10-11-2016 at 11:21 PM
Peter Connell
Funny stuff. I have a few of those experiences myself, and a few interviews that we're learning experiences as well. Keep writing!
10-11-2016 at 3:47 PM
Mark C
I enjoyed reading these today! You really should publish a book about some of these things!
10-11-2016 at 3:43 PM
Rick McGuffey
Funny stories, Brother!
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May 17, 2016, 10:07 AM


It may not be for silver, it may not be for gold, But by the tens of thousands the Prince of Life is sold, Sold for a godless friendship, sold for a selfish aim, Sold for a fleeting trifle; sold for an empty name.

Sold in the mart of science, sold in the seat of power, Sold at the shrine of fortune, sold in pleasure’s bower, Sold for your awful bargain none but God’s eye can see,  Ponder my soul the question; shall He be sold by thee? 

Sold! Oh God, what a moment! Stilled is conscious voice; Sold! And a weeping angel records the fatal choice, Sold! But the price accepted to a living coal shall turn, With pangs of a late repentance deep in the soul to burn.

~ Source Unknown ~

 ~ The book of Jude is thought to have been written between 65-69 AD. Jude was most likely the Lord Jesus’ half-brother (Matthew 13:55). In his writing he said, “…there should be mockers in the last times, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit” (Jude 1:18-19).  Jude describes a group that practiced separation unto the sensual. Just as Judas sold Jesus out for 30 pieces of silver, there are those that continue to sell out Jesus for the sensual trinkets of this world – lust of the eye, lust of the flesh, and the pride of life(1 John 2:15). People sell what they do not love.

God help me to always “keep myself in the love of God”, so that I will never sell you out for the sensual! I choose to be souled out for Jesus. ~ JPS

Reprinted from the book: Read This...Seriously! 


February 2, 2016, 2:51 AM

One More Move

As a tour guide took a group through an art gallery;  he stopped before a painting entitled Checkmate.  The guide talked about the painting, and then moved on.  But one in the group stayed behind, staring at  the chess pieces on the chessboard in the painting.   
The chess game was between the devil and Faust,  who had sold his soul to the devil. It appears as if the devil has won. The devil has a smirk on his face, as if waiting for the final verdict, Checkmate!

The young man who stayed to study the painting was a world class player. When the tour group was two corridors away, they suddenly heard their stray member running down the marble hallway to catch up, shouting…“It's a lie! It's a lie!  The king has another move - another move!" When the devil is DONE, God is not FINISHED!  

~ The prophet, Micah, was feeling like he was in a check mated situation. The food was lousy. There were no good or upright men. The princes and the judges were taking bribes and the rich were having everything their way. The best of them were like thorns and briars. There was not a friend, guide, parent, sibling, in-law, or spouse that could be trusted. 

All in all, a really bad situation and then the writer said, “Therefore I will look unto the Lord…Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light unto me” (Micah 7:1-8). When the devil has done his worst and your back is against the wall, wait and remember that the Lord does hear you. Your salvation will come!!! ~ JPS


11-19-2017 at 10:59 PM
Steve Walker
That’ll preach right there! Thanks Bro. Savala
09-13-2017 at 12:40 AM
Tom Montoya
I enjoy your inspirational writings, your tremendously anointed preaching, and your talented singing voice. Thank you pastor for your leadership
02-02-2016 at 8:20 AM
Dave Sandelin
Way to go, Joe!
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November 7, 2015, 12:00 AM

The Man In The Arena

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.

The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

U.S. President (T.R.) Teddy Roosevelt


~ How easy it is to judge the motives and actions of others when we are not in the midst of the fight. Just as those who have never been involved in combat ‘know’ what they would have done under the circumstances. They are quick to judge the actions of men and women whose lives and the lives of others reside in a few split seconds of action. Or those who have never parented who ‘know’ what they would do with everybody’s children but their own.

So it is with those who do not serve the Lord Jesus, serve Him half-heartedly, or have not experienced life – these have emotional and text book answers but few have known the pressure that surviving life or holding the lives of others in your hands, and living for God often brings.

Give me someone who knows what it is like to be in the arena and not merely sitting ringside betting money on the outcome… (jps)

“Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit” (Ecclesiastes 7:8)



12-01-2015 at 6:27 PM
Pastor John Boone
Great website!
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