We will begin with Acts 2:1-4, (1) “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.” (2) “And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.” (3) “And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and sat upon each of them.” (4) And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”
The word wind is translated from both Hebrew and Greek words meaning breath, to breathe, to blow. The Greek word pnyoo-mair is translated from a word here which means a current air, breath, breeze, and is a figure of breath. It’s, wind, it’s spirit, a vital principle, mental disposition, superhuman, ghost, life, spirit. The Hebrew word is ruwach (roo-akh), translated wind, which means breath, sensible or even violent spirit. Its expressions and functions are air, and anger, and blast, breath, cool, courage, mind. It is not always the wind of God, it can be demonic. Ephesians 4:14, the wind of heresy. Wind, water, and fire are symbols of the Spirit of God, And represent different functions of the Spirit. The blowing of the wind is always the preparation for the flowing of the river; that is, the living water. The Holy Spirit as the river is to come out of us, and the wind of God is always for this purpose.
“He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart;…shall receive the blessing from the Lord…” (Psalms 24:4,5) The blessing is the flowing of the river, for all God has is in this river of the Holy Ghost that Jesus said was to flow out of the believer. The Holy Spirit being The Life of God, is God in The Believer. The wind of the Spirit blows away the chaff – like the ancient winnowing of wheat. I was in Southern India back in 1968. In that part of the world they still winnow wheat just like they did in Bible times. There’s a stack of wheat on a large canvas. A man with a shovel would throw the wheat into the air, and two men with a big fan were constantly blowing with this fan. As the wheat went up, the lighter chaff was blown away, so that only the heavier wheat fell to the ground. The wind of the Holy Ghost is the fan God uses to blow away the chaff.
First of all, the wind exposes. What does it expose? Our attitude, sins of disposition, things that we are and have excused in our lives which are, by the wind of the Spirit, shown to be idols. As the Word of God is preached under the anointing things that men believe are not wrong will suddenly become wrong as the wind is allowed to blow. In our haste and desire for the blessings, we have ignored the Holy Spirit as the wind of God in His purging and purifying work. In other words, we have preached the wrong side of the message. The result is that we have the tragedy of attempting the work of God with hands that are unclean, and a heart that is impure. We have preached about the blessings that will come when revival comes and the river flows. You don’t have to beg for that, it will happen. Instead, we need to preach about repentance, restitution, and prayer, the things that will bring revival.
We have preached the wrong side of the message, and out of this tragedy has come two extremes. First, out of the frustration of not being able to work the work of God has come the imitation spirit that is so prevalent today. We could not make the gospel work, so what do we do? We imitate the things of God, teach people how to talk in tongues, put catchers behind them so that they can lay down when you lay hands on them, and call it falling out under the power of the Holy Spirit. This imitation is come because we’ve ignored the Holy Ghost in His purging, purifying work. The church is full of flesh, and cannot work the works of God, so she imitates them. The other extreme coming out of this tragedy is discouragement, backslidings. God said you shall have power. The power isn’t there, and so there comes discouragement, and backsliding.
The same Holy Ghost who brings God’s blessings, also exposes everything that is not God. When Ananias and Sapphira fell dead, the devil did not kill them. The same power that raised Dorcas from the dead killed them. We’ve got to know that. The Holy Spirit, when preached in His fullness, and the wind is allowed to blow, exposes and purges those things that God will not tolerate. He must be free to purge, for the power needed for service is short-circuited by impurity.
The life of the Spirit will not operate where sin is tolerated. Power is a position. When Samson lost his separation unto God, he lost his anointing. When King Saul rebelled, the Spirit of God departed. David understood this. When Nathan reproved him he cried out in repentance, “Cast me not away from your presence, take not your Holy Spirit from me.” (Psalms 51:11) The power of God cannot flow through the vessel that has an impure heart. Therefore, the wind of God has to expose the impurity of the heart. An impure heart contaminates every offering offered to God. Look at God’s verdict on the unclean. “If one bear holy flesh in the skirt of his garment, and with his skirt do touch bread, or pottage, or wine, or oil, or any meat, shall it be holy? And the priests answered, …No” (Haggai 2:12). “Then said Haggai, If one that is unclean by a dead body touching any of these (things named above), shall it be unclean? And the priests answered and said, it shall be unclean” (Haggai 2:13). Then the prophet, Haggai said, “So it is with this people, and…this nation, whatever they do, whatever they offer is defiled.” So, Israel, God’s people, were defiled, and God says everything they touch or offer to me is defiled.
Titus 1:15, “To the pure, all things are pure; but unto them that are defiled…is nothing pure…” To the Levites God said He would “refine them as silver, purge them as gold, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness.” (Malachi, Chapter 3) All of this says that the heart must be pure before it can offer to God in righteousness. God first looks at the offerer, before He looks at what is offered. He is more concerned about what is in your heart than what is in your hand. God said, “…be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the LORD” (Isaiah 52:11). For your labor, your service, your ministry, worship and prayer to be offered and accepted by God, they must proceed from a pure heart. Jeremiah said, “…cursed is he that doeth the work of God deceitfully…” (Jeremiah 48:10) “Without holiness no man shall see (see means to know) the Lord.” This says, to be of any service to the Lord, you must walk in holiness.
When the wind does not blow, sin is treated softly in the pulpit. When the Holy Spirit doesn’t have a free course to blow, to expose, sin is largely ignored. That is what you find across the church today. I have preached, and the whole while I could feel the pastor pulling on my coat tail. He was afraid that I was going to say something that would offend. All along the line you will to run into that, men do not want you to speak out against sin.
The pulpit is commanded by God to, “Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, show my people their sins” (Isaiah 58:1). The vessel that does the crying must be broken. We must be broken ourselves. No one has the right to bring a hard word until they themselves have wept over the sin, and interceded for the people. The other side of the extreme is softness. To the world, the ideal preacher today is a mild-mannered man exhorting a mild-mannered people. This is not a new thing. Jeremiah said, “…this is a rebellious people, (said Isaiah), …children that will not hear the law of God: Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits.” (Isaiah 30:9,10) In other words, soothe us, speak unto us pleasant words, tell us about our rights and our privileges, make us feel good, but don’t talk to us about the demands of righteousness from a Holy God. Sounds familiar doesn’t it? Some of you in this class are pastors, and you know that is a prevailing attitude, and it may be that you’ve been giving place to such attitude. The prevalent attitude of eighty-five percent of church members is that they want to feel good. God is not against your feeling good, but it is more important to Him that you live good.
Why the softness in the pulpit? I realize that in the area that I am about to touch, the wind of God becomes a tornado. Softness in the pulpit, in most cases, stems from the fact that the preacher has not dealt with sin in his own heart. You cannot effectively cry out against secret sin, idolatry, and worldliness in others, if you refuse to deal with it in your own life. You must know that if you allow the Holy Spirit to use you, and the wind is allowed to blow through you, it will purify and sanctify the church. That is the only climate He will work in. Men who have sin in their own lives, who haven’t dealt with the idolatry of their own heart, cannot bring a word of correction, or call the church to repentance and righteousness, because they are convicted in their own heart. They are like David, who having committed adultery and murder, could not correct his own sons when they sinned. Unconfessed sin and unrighteousness take away the ability to stand and bring the correction and reproof in calling the church to repentance. Except we allow the wind of the Spirit to blow freely upon our own life we are useless to God.
If we allow the wind to blow, it will expose what it will. Some may leave. It has always been that way. People left Jesus. In the 6th Chapter of John, many left Him and would not follow Him any more. He never reduced His message to fit that crowd. The rich young ruler is a classic example. Jesus, by the wind of the Spirit exposed the covetousness of his heart. He went away sorrowfully,