May 20, 2015
Wind and Fire - The Cleansing Power Of Pentecost
while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem,
but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, “you heard
from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with
the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” Acts 1:4, 5
You can listen to the radio version of this message here.
PENTECOST 1 THE FATHERS PROMISE.mp3
PENTECOST 2 THE CLEANSING FIRE.mp3
It's been a couple of months since I wrote, and since this is Pentecost
Sunday, I though I would write on the cleansing work of the Holy Spirit
Over the last 100 years a great emphasis has been placed on the
with The Holy Spirit in much of the church. This has
brought remarkable growth in the third world church, but today here in
the west, there is a feeling something is missing. Great emphasis
is placed on
"you shall receive power" and the resulting miracles and
the wonderful presence of the Holy Spirit yet it
seems everyone is hungry for more in the Holy Spirit. Something is
longed for, some change deep in the heart that puts to death the
resistance of the "old man". What is it?
For example, I mainly speak overseas, but occasionally I preach at
been amazed howmany of the same people come up for prayer about the same needs
they had ten years ago when I was their pastor! They love
to experience the Holy Spirit and His power, and are always
more, but their heart issues have never changed. What is
this? Something else has
to happen - a change of heart by the Holy Spirit .
What happened in the Azusa Street, Welsh, Korean and other
revivals that opened up "Pentecostalism"? What did they have even
100 years ago that we have missed?
The Cleansing Work of The Holy Spirit
Justification is not the same as cleansing. Justification means I
am pardoned -my sins no longer counted against me and I am counted
righteous before the Lord, the way is opened. But cleansing
brings purity to the heart - sometimes called sanctified,
purified or cleansed. We usually consider this cleansing a life
long struggle, yet both were purchased by Christ, and it's amazing how
many references to cleansing as a "here and now by faith" you can find
when you look for them. Heres one I never noticed
Twice in the book of Acts the Apostle Peter reports the conversion of the gentiles. The second one stands out.
Acts 15:8,9 "And
God, who knows the heart, testified to them giving them the Holy
Spirit, just as He also did to us in the beginning; and He made no distinction between
us and them, cleansing their hearts by faith."
The Promise Of The FatherWe often preach "you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you..." but just before this Jesus said "wait for the promise of the Father." The promise of the Father is a clear emphasis in the Old and New
Testament. It is the Holy
Spirit and power, of course, but when we look at the promises
themselves we see so much more! It is about the
transformation of the inner man - the heart!
will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your
uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. And I will
give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I
will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of
flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my
statutes and be careful to obey my rules. Ezekiel 36:25-27
Look What The Father Promised...
not mere forgiveness, but purified, especially from idols. There
are idols of the heart, and inward pictures that control Gods
people Ezekiel 14:3,7 Christians often serve these images in the
heart and we need cleansing. "Covetousness is idolatry"
A New Spirit - this a new
"life" within us where our spirit was dead in trespasses and sin.
We are born again.
A New Heart - the "leb" in
Hebrew is the seat of our emotions, affections, mind and will. We
have new desires. He describes this in more detail...
Remove The Heart of Stone -
the selfish, hard, alive to the world but dead to God heart is
Give You A Heart of Flesh -
A living, tender, responsive heart able to be filled with Gods perfect
I Will Put In My Spirit - The
very presence of the Holy Spirit inside us!
Cause You To Walk in My Ways - This
is a complete heart transformation.
The Cleansing Fire
John the Baptist spoke about Jesus and the baptism with the Holy
Spirit. He says it is a purifying fire!
axe is already laid at the root of the trees; therefore every tree that
does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 11"As
for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming
after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He
will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12"His winnowing fork
is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clear His threshing floor; and
He will gather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the chaff
with unquenchable fire." Matthew 3:11,12
What is this fire about? It is
not shouting "fire fire" at some meeting. It is judgment of every
ungodly thing in a man. It is the destruction of the root of sin,
the old man, being burned
up. It is interesting to consider that Jesus not only fulfilled the sin offering, but
also the Red Heifer sacrifice. (see Hebrews 9:13 and Numbers 19) The Red Heifer was
completely burned outside the camp, and the ashes used to purify
from defilement caused by contacting a dead body. The fire purifies.
When The Holy Spirit Comes we see several things happen:
- A Winnowing - the wheat
and husk are broken up - symbolic of the Holy Spirit coming searching our heart.
A Wind blows the chaff off -
the carnality and sin within is separated by the breath of the Spirit
A Fire burns off the chaff -
and the wheat is claimed by the Lord.
Wind and Fire are the Signs of Pentecostal cleansing in Acts 2
I must admit, when I began to understand cleansing as a present work of
God I wondered if I had really been baptised with the Holy
Spirit. I asked the Lord to search me and try me and show me my
heart, and cleanse me. It really happened!
Gods plan has
always been holiness. Many today welcome the Holy Spirit, but continue to live with
chaff and wheat mixed! The wind blows again and again but
they do not go on to the fire! Hebrews tells us that all the Old
Testament sacrifices could never purify the conscience of the
worshipers. Yes sins were forgiven, again, but
the heart was never clean. The fire is Gods plan for cleansing ,
we must go on to the fire. This is why wind and fire came to the Upper
Revival Fire - Azuza Street Preaching
What did the old time revival preachers preach? Before the
modern pentecostal outpouring, the "Baptism With The Holy Spirit" was
about inner cleansing and holiness - power included. But the emphasis shifted to
gifts of the Spirit, and the Promise of the Father is something
we no longer
What did William Seymour preach? This is from Dr Reve M. Pete thesis research.
"At Azusa Street Mission, William
J. Seymour taught four basic truths concerning the atonement through
Jesus Christ. These truths are benefits available to all who will
accept them. These benefits are 1) justification by faith 2)
sanctification 3) healing 4) Holy Ghost baptism. Other topics included
the “office work” of the Holy Ghost, Church unity and slavery.
Concerning justification by faith, Seymour taught persons who repent of
their sins and turn in faith to the Lord Jesus Christ, receive
forgiveness of sins. He taught regeneration and justification are
simultaneous. Through justification, pardoned sinners become children
Concerning sanctification, Seymour taught that through it Christians
thoroughly purged and cleansed “from all original and Adamic sin”. He
distinguished original or “Adamic” sin from actual sins committed by an
individual. He stated, actual sins are “cleansed away through the blood
of Jesus at the cross” [as a result of repenting and turning in faith
to the Lord Jesus Christ]. However, original or “Adamic” sin, also
cleansed at the cross, is “a real death to the old man”. Christ then
becomes sanctified in the Christian. Seymour further taught,
sanctification makes a Christian holy and “destroys the breed of sin,
the love of sin and carnality”. The results of sanctification are 1) a
pure heart 2) being made “every whit whole” 3) Christ is “crowned and
enthroned” in one’s heart 4) obtaining “power over the world, the flesh
and the devil" 5) sitting in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.
Seymour referred to sanctification as “the second work of grace” and
stated it is accomplished by “the power of the blood and the Holy
Ghost” working in a Christian’s heart. It is performed on the
total man – spirit, soul and body. Through sanctification, Christians
“live a holy life free from sin”. Scriptural bases for Seymour’s
teaching on sanctification include Matthew 5:8; John 17:15-17; Romans
6:6,7; 1 Thessalonians 3:13; 4:3; 5:23; 2 Timothy 2:21; Hebrews 2:11;
10:14,15; 12:14; 13:12. Also see Isaiah 26:3.12
Seymour admonished men and women to “remain before God until His all
cleansing blood [made them] holy” – spirit, soul and body. He stated
God calls men and women who will “live a holy life free from sin”. He
also warned, “it is holiness or hell”.
The results of such preaching was thoroughly transformed believers,
delivered from the inner battle with the old man. They
experienced the promise of the Father - inner cleansing, as well
being endued with power! There is much more at Dr. Petes
Preaching The Promise of The FatherToday we often see power
without holiness. As Jesus taght about the sower and the seed, here we
have two seeds growing in the soil of the heart - one producing
weeds and choking out the other.
Just like the prophets of old, Balaam for example, it seems we can have
spiritual power yet
fall short of entering His rest. Yet
the promise of the Father to cleanse and give a new heart
is offered to who soever will. The purifying wind and
fire of the Holy Spirit is still available. It's time to preach
consecrate all, and in faith receive it.
3:13: so that he may
establish your hearts blameless in holiness
before our God and Father,
at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.
Hebrews 10:22: let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of
our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our
bodies washed with pure water.
Hebrews 10:16: This is the covenant that I will
make with them after those days, declares the Lord:
I will put my laws on their hearts,
and write them on their minds.
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