The 31st May was the anniversary in the Hebrew Calendar of the day when the Spirit came like a mighty rushing wind upon the disciples, the Lord has been speaking to me much about the wind of the Spirit and focusing on the scene in Ezekiel, where the bones have all come together, bone to its bone. Muscle and sinew is added, but the bones are still lying inert and lifeless. They are going to rise up as a mighty army when the whole process is complete but even when structure and connection and order is in place, life is still absent. In some ways, this is a picture of those who are waiting to be catapulted into the mighty move of Heaven spoken of for so many years. Connections have been made. Bone has come together to its bone. Relationships are in place. Structure and even muscle has been laid down upon the skeleton of what God is doing. But still there is more to come before activation and mobilization. Ezekiel was told to prophesy:
Eze 37:9 Then said He to me, Prophesy to the spirit, son of man, and say to spirit, Thus says the Lord God: Come from the four winds, O spirit, and breathe upon these slain that they may live. Eze 37:10 So I prophesied as He commanded me, and the spirit came into [the bones], and they lived and stood up upon their feet, an exceedingly great host.
The word translated ‘breathe’ here means ‘to kindle, to utter’. The Holy Spirit comes and kindles a fire within the bones of this great army and they rise up as one, consumed with zeal for the House of God. He utters His voice over this waiting army and resurrection life begins to pulsate within them so that nothing can hold them back from fulfilling His purposes!
As I read these words in Ezekiel 37 again, I noticed that the Spirit must come, not from one direction, but four. The winds of the Spirit have four different starting points and as a result, have different characteristics. It is not enough to have the warm gentle South wind of the Spirit blowing upon our lives. All four winds are necessary to raise up the mighty army. It is the same Spirit every time, but with four distinct characters; each of which does a different job in the completion of the raising of this Bridal army. In Song of Songs, the Bride calls for both the North and South wind to blow upon her garden in order to induce the spices to flow out:
Son 4:16 [You have called me a garden, she said] Oh, I pray that the [cold] north wind and the [soft] south wind may blow upon my garden, that its spices may flow out [in abundance for you in whom my soul delights]. Let my beloved come into his garden and eat its choicest fruits.
Just as the Spirit can be represented by the seven lamps before the throne, so too the Spirit can blow from four different directions and have different effects upon our lives as He aids in getting us ready for the Bridegroom. Let us look at the characteristics of the different winds, as they are described in Scripture, and the effects they have:
The Hebrew word for North also means ‘dark and wrapped up’. It also means ‘left hand’. Its root means ‘hidden, to protect, esteem, to lay up, keep secret, hoard or reserve’.
The ministrations of the Spirit from the north begin to reveal the hidden things to us, the secrets and deep of God. Because the North wind is cold, often it is in a negative environment that the Spirit begins to release these deep hidden truths to us, in order to equip us with understanding, so we can endure during the icy blast surrounding us.
The action of the North wind in our lives is also for the purpose of hiding and protecting us, to keep us reserved for a later moment of action. It is the wind that draws us into the secret place, cloaking us with anonymity because we are valuable to Kingdom purposes and the enemy must not catch a scent of our whereabouts. We can also operate in secret missions for the Kingdom from our place of hiddenness. Ehud was a left-handed warrior who had a specially crafted dagger strapped to his right thigh instead of the left thigh where most warriors had their weapon stored. Because of this, he was able to smuggle it undetected into the private chambers of king Eglon. Attacks are expected from the right hand, considered the hand of strength which wields the sword. So this king did not expect the dagger that came flashing from beneath the left side of Ehud’s cloak. Ehud was able to effectively take out the highest level of leadership in the enemy camp because of his left-handedness (Judges 3). The Scriptures say he killed Eglon in ‘the upper room’, which alludes to successful spiritual warfare in the second heaven.
When the Spirit comes from the North wind, He comes with the view to launch sudden unexpected attack upon established enemy positions, to bring a quick turning of the tables. Before king Eglon was killed, the enemy had the upper hand and God’s people were discouraged and walking in fear. After Eglon’s demise, Ehud rallied the people of God to effectively rout the enemy army. The Spirit coming from the North raises up the left-handed warriors to execute God’s hidden war plans; to take out kingpins right in their chambers, turn the tables and bring victory.
2) WEST WIND
The West wind is connected to the sea, because the Mediterranean sea is west of Israel. The Hebrew word for west also means ‘to roar’. The Spirit coming from the West carries the roar of the Lion of Judah in its folds. When the Lion of Judah roars, everything is shaken and His people who have been in bondage to the things of the world are delivered and respond eagerly to His voice. The Spirit blowing from the quarter of the west wind triggers the return of the prodigals.
Hos 11:10 They shall walk after the Lord, Who will roar like a lion; He Himself will roar and [His] sons shall come trembling and eagerly from the west. Hos 11:11 They shall come trembling but hurriedly like a bird out of Egypt and like a dove out of the land of Assyria, and I will cause them to dwell in their houses, says the Lord.
Moses was on the west side of the desert for 40 years, being prepared and shaped for his life assignment. Just when he felt he was least qualified to complete the assignment, God sent him. The west side of the desert is the place of the burning bush encounter, where God takes a man and turns him into a flame of fire; a messenger of the Most High; a deliverer carrying the rod of God!
Exo 3:1 NOW MOSES kept the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian; and he led the flock to the back or west side of the wilderness and came to Horeb or Sinai, the mountain of God. Exo 3:2 The Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush; and he looked, and behold, the bush burned with fire, yet was not consumed.
The word used in the Hebrew for ‘back side’ of the desert also means ‘remnant’. Those sons of God who are led by the Spirit from this quarter are the prepared remnant coming in the mighty power and authority of Heaven.
The west wind also violently removed the plague of locusts in Egypt.
Exo 10:19 And the Lord turned a violent west wind, which lifted the locusts and drove them into the Red Sea; not one locust remained in all the country of Egypt.
The locust represents all that has consumed our potential fruitfulness and those operating in this particular character of the Spirit are involved in decreeing the cessation of the work of the locust and triggering a time of restoration.
3) SOUTH WIND
The word for ‘south’ in Hebrew means ‘the right hand side’. The sons of God who are raised up from the valley of dry bones and led by the Spirit from the place of the South wind are the Sons of the Right Hand, who operate in the power and authority of Him who is seated at the right hand of the Father. Job also tells us that the South wind brings stillness or peace:
Job 37:16 Do you know the balancings of the clouds, the wondrous works of Him who is perfect in knowledge? Job 37:17 You whose garments are warm, when the earth is still by reason of the south wind;
It was the South wind blowing gently which caused Paul and the crew to set sail. Therefore the South wind is a launching wind; a wind which gently accompanies the beginning of a journey in God:
Act 27:13 So when the south wind blew softly, supposing they were gaining their object, they weighed anchor and sailed along Crete, hugging the coast.
Remember also that in Songs 4, the Bride knows she must call for both the cold North wind and the warm soft South Wind to blow upon her garden. Human nature would rather have only the warm, the gentle and kind applications of the wind of the Spirit but in order for fruitfulness to come, we must have both North and South wind’s ministrations.
4) EAST WIND
The East wind is a very strong wind, known in Greek as Euroclydon. It is a tempestuous wind, as Paul describes:
Act 27:14 But not long after there arose against it a tempestuous wind, called Euroclydon. Act 27:15 And when the ship was caught, and could not bear up into the wind, we let her drive. Act 27:16 And running under a certain island which is called Clauda, we had much work to come by the boat:
It is a wind which causes damage to ships, which are a type of Christian ministries. The name ‘Clauda’ means ‘lame’ and this is exactly what one feels like after the East wind has hit one’s life.
Act 27:17 Which when they had taken up, they used helps, undergirding the ship; and, fearing lest they should fall into the quicksands, strake sail, and so were driven. Act 27:18 And we being exceedingly tossed with a tempest, the next day they lightened the ship; Act 27:19 And the third day we cast out with our own hands the tackling of the ship.
It is a wind that blows for days and days, until one fears one will not survive its onslaught. It causes the sailors to toss out everything that is not necessary on the ship, in order to lighten the weight of the vessel. Therefore we can see that the East wind, as harsh as it may be, has a cleansing, streamlining, detoxing effect. When skies are sunny and all is going smoothly, we are inclined to carry excess weight spiritually. Yet Paul’s advice is that we set aside every weight and the sin that so easily besets us, so that we may run with perseverance the race set before us. The East wind causes us to refocus and reprioritise, to get our compass needles pointing to true North again..
It is a wind used specifically to bring men to the end of their own wisdom, their own strength. It is a wind that makes us realise again how desperately we need God and its effect is therefore desperately needed in these days when much of what passes for Christian ministry in the earth is more accurately the doctrines of men powered by the pride and ambition of the flesh. Note in the following verses how it is God that commands the stormy wind that ushers in seeming disaster:
Psa 107:23 Some go down to the sea and travel over it in ships to do business in great waters; Psa 107:24 These see the works of the Lord and His wonders in the deep. Psa 107:25 For He commands and raises up the stormy wind, which lifts up the waves of the sea. Psa 107:26 [Those aboard] mount up to the heavens, they go down again to the deeps; their courage melts away because of their plight. Psa 107:27 They reel to and fro and stagger like a drunken man and are at their wits' end [all their wisdom has come to nothing]. Psa 107:28 Then they cry to the Lord in their trouble, and He brings them out of their distresses. Psa 107:29 He hushes the storm to a calm and to a gentle whisper, so that the waves of the sea are still. [Ps. 89:9; Matt. 8:26.] Psa 107:30 Then the men are glad because of the calm, and He brings them to their desired haven.
The East wind is also a wind that affects the harvest. It was the cause of the seven lean years in Pharaoh’s dream of the ears of corn:
Gen 41:6 And behold, after them seven ears [of grain] sprouted, thin and blighted by the east wind.
Gen 41:27 And the seven thin and ill favored cows that came up after them are seven years, and also the seven empty ears [of grain], blighted and shrivelled by the east wind; they are seven years of hunger and famine.
It may seem like there is nothing good that comes from the blowing of the East wind but without its onslaught, Joseph would never have risen to his appointed place. The blowing of the East wind carves out a place for the Josephs who have been prepared in the prison and the pit to take up their appointed endtime role and operate in the wisdom of Heaven to feed the nations.
The east wind also deals with the wicked, snatching them up and removing them from their places of influence. The messenger of the East wind also shatters the ships of the enemy:
Job 27:21 The east wind lifts him up, and he is gone; it sweeps him out of his place. Job 27:22 For [God and the storm] hurl at him without pity and unsparingly [their thunderbolts of wrath]; he flees in haste before His power.
The East wind deals with the trafficking of God’s people in the church. He brings ministries who use and abuse God’s people for gain to a state of collapse because of their wickedness:
Eze 27:25 The ships of Tarshish were your caravans for your merchandise, and you were replenished [Tyre] and were heavily loaded and made an imposing fleet [in your location] in the heart of the seas. Eze 27:26 Your rowers have brought you out into great and deep waters; the east wind has broken and wrecked you in the heart of the seas. Eze 27:27 Your riches, your wares, your merchandise, your oarsmen and your pilots, your caulkers, your dealers in merchandise, and all your men of war who are in you, with all your company which is in your midst, sink in the heart of the seas on the day of your ruin!
Psa 48:7 With the east wind You shattered the ships of Tarshish.
So we can see that in spite of outwardly appearing destructive, the East wind is a necessary sifting and cleansing tool in God’s arsenal. He uses it to deal with unrighteousness within His Body and as an instrument of judgment. Because of its power, it was also used by God to cut a path of deliverance for His people when they fled Egypt:
Exo 14:21 Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the Lord caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night and made the sea dry land; and the waters were divided.
When God’s people are not living as they should, He contends with them by using the rough blast of the East wind:
Isa 27:8 By driving them out of Canaan, by exile, You contended with them in a measure [O Lord]--He removed them with His rough blast as in the day of the east wind.
His East wind deals with the unfaithful:
Hos 13:15 For though among his brethren [his fellow tribes] he may be fruitful, an east wind will come, the breath of the Lord rising from the desert; and Ephraim's spring shall become dry and his fountain be dried up.
The East wind is sent to deal with the hearts of His prophets, to make God’s people repent and return to Him:
Amo 4:9 I smote you with blight [from the poisonous east wind] and with mildew; I laid waste the multitude of your gardens and your vineyards; your fig trees and your olive trees the palmerworm [a form of locust] devoured; yet you did not return to Me, says the Lord.
We also learn from Daniel that he saw the four winds being used to stir up the nations, which resulted in the beasts arising out of the sea. It is quite clear that these four winds are blowing now in the earth and so we will be seeing the beasts rising out of the nations:
Dan 7:2 Daniel said, I saw in my vision by night, and behold, the four winds of the heavens [political and social agitations] were stirring up the great sea [the nations of the world].
In summary, the Spirit blowing from the four winds is the only way the great army lying assembled in the valley is ever going to raised up in power. It is not a clever sermon or an earthshaking revelation which raises up that army. It was not the power of man or the wisdom of man that has the ability to mobilize that company. Only the Spirit from the four winds has the desired effect. So, no matter what angle the wind is blowing from in your life at this time, embrace it as a messenger from God, sent to do a very necessary work within you, in order to bring you to the place of being filled with fiery resurrection power. On the day of Pentecost, the sound like a mighty rushing wind must have been very loud; not at all like the gentle stroking ministrations of the warm South wind, but the result was a company fully equipped and ready to be poured out on the waiting world outside. Let’s keep calling for the Spirit to come and do what only He can do!
(part two to follow)