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Pentecost Sunday: The Wings of the Wind

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. 2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. Genesis 1:1-2 

He fought through the tears as he stumbled down the hill, hardly aware of rocks gouging into his thinly-soled sandaled feet.  Others kept up an incessant stream of conversation, but little of it registered on his mind; it was overloaded with clouds, angels, voices, heartbreak and promises.  Forty-two months of companionship, broken for only a few days by his own stupidity, had ended too abruptly.  

Now he was headed toward town, to a familiar meeting place that he knew would be strangely empty without that commanding presence.  Over and over he played back the words that rang in his ears:  “But wait in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.”  He ran his sleeves across his moist eyes, tasting the saltiness and feeling the sting.  

“Power from on high” he thought.  “Don’t tell me about power from on high.  I don’t want power from on high… I want Him down here.  We need Him here!  What are we going to do without Him?”  

As they neared the city, the footpath widened and merged into a well-traveled, and now crowded thoroughfare.  Dust from the road hung in the air with the celebrants flocking to the city for the feast days.  After another grueling mile, he placed his foot on the first step that led to a second-story room.  Memories of that last supper in the same room finally broke the floodgate of tears that had been building since the ascension at Bethany.  

Clinging to the rail, convulsions of sorrow seized his body.  He could not get past the images of the bread and wine, the sop, and the revelation of a traitor in their midst.  

“This is where He washed my feet!  I wasn’t worthy for Him to wash my feet.  How could He be my servant?”  A spasm of grief squeezed an involuntary groan from his body.  The others paused knowingly, waiting for him to work through his pain.  

Then, in spite of the tears, he smiled as he thought about what he had said that night.  

“’Not my feet only, but my hands and face too!’  How could I have ever said that to Him?  He should have knocked my head with His staff!”  

Now, tempered by his recollections, he straightened up and climbed the steps.  In fact, it seemed as though someone was helping him up.  It was almost as if He was… 

“No, it must be my overactive imagination.”  

Still, something that he didn’t feel before began to motivate him to that upper chamber.  He hoped it continued.  He knew that if he was going to make it from this point on, he was going to need an experience more powerful than he had ever felt before.  Every riser seemed to move him closer to the cloud that enveloped the Master and spirited him away. 

Now, on the top step, Simon Peter pushed the door open and the floodgates of tears turned into fountains of praise.  For days, ten of them to be exact, worship and intercession washed back and forth across 120 believers like ocean waves.  The anticipation and expectation never let up.  Instead, it kept mounting until the promise of Bethany’s ascension became the reality of Zion’s hill. 

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 it 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.” Acts 2:1-4 

The Bible pronounces seven periods of time—we call them dispensations—in which God deals with mankind in a very specific way.

1.   Innocence

2.   Conscience

3.   Human government

4.   Promise

5.   Law

6.   Grace

7.   Kingdom 

We are now living in the dispensation of grace.  The law ended with John the Baptist, according to Jesus, and the age of grace will last until the rapture of the church.  The age of grace is also called the age of the Spirit. 

The rushing, mighty wind that blew at Pentecost started to build long before the age of the Spirit ever began.  If you want to know when God started moving through His Spirit, you have to go all the way back to the beginning.  The text I read says, And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” Genesis 1:1-2.

The Hebrew word for Spirit is “roo-ach,” and in many places, it is translated “wind.”  God had been riding the wings of the wind for centuries before Pentecost, waiting for the time, the place and the people, so he could make His landing and take up His residence.  The Psalmist saw it in the 104th Psalm. 

1 Bless the LORD, O my soul. O LORD my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honour and majesty. 2 Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment: who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain:3 Who layeth the beams of his chambers in the waters: who maketh the clouds his chariot: who walketh upon the wings of the wind: 4 Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire: Psalms 104:1-4

I like that description, “walketh upon the wings of the wind.” 

In fact, all of the elements of the upper room experience found their way into this psalm.  In fact, the Pentecostal churches of today, these spirit-filled believers are not strange aberrations from orthodox Christianity as some would have you believe.  The more that a hungry Bible scholar consumes the Word of God, the more he finds evidence that the indwelling presence of God in the heart of every believer has always been the central theme and desire of God himself!  

Here is what Jesus said: 

8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. John 3:8 

In order to understand the significance of this, you have to know what the word “wind” means.  In the Greek language, “wind” is “pneuma” or spirit.  The word for “blow” is “pneo” or “breathe hard.”  

21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.  22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: John 20:21-22

Jesus was saying something of such magnitude that it cannot be dismissed as incidental.  There is nothing so personal or intimate as breath.  By breathing on his disciples, He was saying: 

“I am the source of the wind that blows on you.”

“My breath is imparting life to you.”

“When you receive My Spirit, you are receiving Me!” 

This is why Apostolic churches put such great emphasis on receiving the Holy Ghost.  We are not just talking about an experience.  We are not just talking about a thrill.  We are not just talking about speaking in tongues.  All three of these—experience, thrill and tongues—are a part of the process, but there is something much greater that happens to you when you are born of the Spirit.  It is the moment in which God Himself makes His entrance into your life. 

The Holy Spirit changes you from just a follower of Christ to new creature in Christ!

You say this is a mysterious thing?  Yes, it is.  This is why the Bible says:  “To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Colossians 1:27 

The Gift of the Holy Ghost is a primary Biblical truth. 

The most important spiritual truths of the Bible can be traced from Genesis to Revelation.  The crimson trail of blood runs from that first animal slain to make coats of skin for Adam and Eve, past the multiplied millions of lambs sacrificed on the brazen altar, through the blood-stained cross of Calvary all the way to the Messiah riding the white horse having his vesture dipped in blood.  

The river of water flows from the face of the waters in Genesis 1:2, past the waters to swim in in Ezekiel’s vision, through the waters of baptism where sins were remitted, all the way to the “pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.” Revelation 22:1  

And, the wind (or breath) of God starts its magnificent journey in Genesis 2:7; And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” 

On the wind blew, pushing back the waters of the Red Sea so three million Hebrews could escape the bondage of Egypt, past the winds of Ezekiel’s prophecy that blew on the dead corpses and raised it into a mighty army, through the rushing mighty wind of Pentecost, all the way to the stars of heaven [that] fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.”  Revelation 6:13. 

Wind.  Spirit.  Blow. Breathe. This is how God has always infused His energy into the world, and into man in particular.  There is life in God’s breath.  

If the Holy Ghost is compared to wind, we need to find out as much as we can about wind.   

1.  The wind brings life. There is life in the wind.

This physical world could not exist without the winds.  The middle of June in northwest Ohio brings the snows of cottonwood seeds.  The tall cottonwood trees, some of them over 100 ft. tall, disperse their seeds by wind power.  Most of the trees and plants that grow in the country side depend on the winds to carry their seeds to even the most remote areas. 

There is a powerful scripture that I have read hundreds of times, but only in preparation for this message has the true meaning of the words sunk in.  

And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.” 1 Corinthians 15:45.

Notice, Adam was made a living soul.  He was made to live.

The last Adam (that is, Christ) was made a quickening spirit.  He made others live!

That’s the difference!

Through the first Adam, we have life.  We call it natural life; we are living souls.

Through Christ, we have eternal life, abundant life, the life of the life! 

But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. Romans 8:9 

2.  The wind brings power.   

But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” Acts 1:8 

Power, in this scripture, comes from the word dunamis, or dynamite.  One day, after we moved into our present house near the Sylvania quarries, I was sitting in my upstairs office when I felt the whole house shaking.  I thought for sure we were having an earthquake.  I have a radio near my desk and so I grabbed it a turned it to a news station to see if it would be reported.  Nothing was mentioned.  Later, I found out that it was a blasting day at the quarry.  The dynamite charges are so powerful that they shake the ground for miles in every direction. 

Time and time again, people in this church have shared with me how their fellow workers respond to them.  “What is it about you?” they ask.  “You’re different.”  Many times, they react negatively, but whenever a crisis comes up, guess who they want to know about it and pray for them?  Yes, the Spirit-filled person!  They sense a power in them that they don’t feel anywhere else. 

3.  The wind brings cleansing.  The wind has a cleansing effect on the landscape. 

If there were no wind, the trees would be filled with dead branches that could fall at any moment and injure someone.  The wind culls the dead and dangerous elements in the earth.  

Here’s what the Bible says: 

9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 

4.  The wind brings change.   

Ask the people in Joplin, MO, or Tuscaloosa, AL if the wind has the power to change the landscape.  Whole neighborhoods, entire sections of the downtown areas were wiped out when the tornadoes of 2011 came ripping through.  It is said that the winds at the core of a tornado funnel can reach speeds of 300 miles an hour.  

Let me tell you what the wind of the Holy Ghost can do to your life.  

Remember the story of Simon Peter?  When he climbed the steps to the upper room, he was a shamed, guilt-ridden, intemperate man.  He was cowardly, fearful and faithless. 

But something happened to him in the upper room!  When that rushing, mighty wind moved into the house, it radically change him into a bold, confident person that could be used of God.  The Holy Ghost baptism attracted a crowd to see what was going on.  They were the same people who were responsible for the crucifixion of Christ. 

Acts 2:12-16
12 And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?
13 Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine. 14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: 15 For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.
16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;

We don’t find Peter running away; we find him standing with the eleven disciples.  We don’t find him cursing and denying Jesus; we find him glorifying and preaching Jesus!  

My father, a seventeen year old young man, stood across the street from the church in 1928, felt the Spirit of God moving on his heart.  He flipped that last cigarette into a mud puddle, and walked through the doors to the altar.  When he received the Holy Ghost, they carried him out of the church building, drunk on the Spirit.  He spoke in tongues for three days. 

My mother, today a 93 year old patient at the Goerlich center, received the Holy Ghost in 1926 at the age of eight.  She never looked back; she never departed from the faith. 

Her father, my grandfather, was a Greek immigrant, raised in the orthodox tradition.  After nine years of hearing about this Holy Ghost baptism, he finally began to check it out for himself.  He knew the Greek language, so he studied the bible in its original language.  The more he studied about this experience, the more he discovered that the Biblical evidence could not be denied.  One night at a revival service in Oakhill Tabernacle, Indianapolis, IN, he got out out his seat and went to the altar.  He found out that the wind of Pentecost had never stopped blowing.  God filled him with the gift of the Holy Ghost and his life was forever changed! 

But, does it still happen today?  Absolutely! 

Some came into this church alcoholics; today, they are sober, and they have been for years.

Some came with drug addictions they couldn’t kick; today, they’re clean and free.

Some came with immoral lifestyles; today, they have strong, loving families.

Some came with depression and personal problems; today, they lead happy, productive lives.


5.  The wind is always there.   

There has never been a time when the winds of God did not blow.

There is not one single day, not one single moment when a wind is not blowing across the face of the earth.  The jet stream is a narrow band of air that moves around the earth at high speeds that  reach close to 200 miles per hour with wind directions flowing from west to east. 

God’s jet stream is called the Holy Spirit, and He is moving across the earth today. 

If you want the gift of the Holy Ghost, you can have it today.  

The Wind is Blowin’ Again  (Lanny Wolfe)

There was a crowd gathered ‘round from all over town

They came to see what it was all about

There was a sound that came down from the upper room

Where the Holy Ghost was being poured out

It sounded just like the roar of a mighty wind

As it fell on every one of them

And the wind that blew at Pentecost keeps blowin’ and blowin’ again


The wind of God is blowin’ through the world today

Like the prophet Joel said it would do

For Peter said on the day of Pentecost

It’s for you and your children too

You better open up your heart and let the wind blow in

You’ll never, never, never be the same again

For the wind that blew at Pentecost keeps blowin’ and blowin’ again


The wind is blowin’ again, the wind is blowin’ again

Just like the day of Pentecost, the wind is blowin’ again!


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