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Sabbath School Lessons on Holy Spirit
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About the Author
Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.
is the author of these Sabbath School lesson study outlines. He is the Reed Larson Professor of Labor Law at Regent University School of Law. Professor Cameron has devoted his life to promoting the Gospel and defending believers. In addition to teaching at an overtly Christian law school, he continues his 41 year practice of law which is limited to the litigation of constitutional rights and religious freedom cases for employees. He holds an undergraduate degree from Andrews University and a Doctor of Law from Emory University School of Law.
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Lesson 2: The Holy Spirit Symbolized in Scripture *
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!
- 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?
- Why take the form of this particular bird?
- 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?
- 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
- 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
- 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.)
- 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.)
- Think about your local church. What could the Holy
Spirit do to transform the people in your church? To
- 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.)
- Has the Holy Spirit been given to the people in your
- Has your church felt the streams of living
- Oil, Fire and Light
- 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.)
- 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.)
- 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
- 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.)
- 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.)
- 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.)
- 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.)
- 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.)
- 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
- Why is God always a "Yes" God? (God keeps His
promises and so do His followers.)
- What do you mean when you say, "amen?"
- 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.)
- 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.)
- 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.)
- 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.)
- 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?
- 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?
- Next week: Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
* Copr. 2006, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. All scripture references are to the New International Version (NIV), copr. 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society, unless otherwise noted. Quotations from the NIV are used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers. Suggested answers are found within parentheses. The lesson assumes the teacher uses a blackboard or some other visual aid.