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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Outward Signs Of Inward Change: Wind And Fire

Outward Signs Of Inward Change: Wind And Fire

"And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting." Acts 2:2

SOUND:
"Echos", a loud or confused noise ("echo"), i.e. roar; figuratively, a rumor

The same Greek word, "echos" (translated as "reports"), was used to describe the rumors flying around the country regarding Jesus.

"And reports about him went out into every place in the surrounding region." Luke 4:37

"Echos" (translated as "sound") was also used to describe the voice of God experienced by the Jews led by Moses.

"For you have not come to what may be touched, a blazing fire and darkness and gloom and a tempest and the sound of a trumpet and a voice whose words made the hearers beg that no further messages be spoken to them." Hebrews 12:18

The word implies frightening, loud sounds from all directions.

MIGHTY:
"Bíaios", violent; from "bía" (force)

RUSHING:
"Phéro", to "bear" or carry

WIND:
"Pnoe", respiration, a breeze; from "pnéo" (to breathe hard, i.e. breeze)

FILLED:
"Pleróo", to make replete, i.e. (literally) to cram (a net); from "pleres" (replete, or covered over; by analogy, complete) and "pletho" to "fill" (literally or figuratively)

"Pleróo" is used primarily in the sense of fulfillment, completion of a period of time or purpose. There are a few instances in which the word (translated as "full") refers to the physical filling up to capacity:

"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and gathered fish of every kind. When it was full, men drew it ashore and sat down and sorted the good into containers but threw away the bad." Matthew 13:47-48

Infrequently, this word describes the filling of the Holy Spirit.

"And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit." Acts 13:52

Every descriptive word contributes to a sense of unseen, overwhelming power. Notice that the Holy Spirit descended from heaven with the sound of a powerful wind, but there is no evidence that it was an actual wind.

WHAT DO YOU THINK? Why would the sound of a powerful wind be an fitting indicator of Gods Holy Spirit? Why would it be only the sound, and not an actual wind? Why would it be a one-time-only manifestation?

Image courtesy of Thomas Boulvin