Contending for the faith | Making Disciples | Equipping the Saints for Ministry

by Jeannette Haley

What is invisible, yet has the ability to be soft and gentle, warm or cold, powerful, influential, refreshing, mighty, and even deadly? How can something that no one can see, or capture or tame have such a powerful influence? Of course, I am referring to the wind. Mankind may be able to use it, and study its effects, but God is the one who controls it.

In Genesis 8:1 we read the first mention in the Bible of the wind. It says, “And God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the cattle that was with him in the ark: and God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters asswaged.” (From assuage.) In His mercy, the Lord “made a wind” to ease, pacify, quench, and quiet the raging waters that covered the earth. We can’t even begin to imagine what a powerful, world-wide wind that was! However, it does serve to remind us of the terrifying storm the disciples faced in Matthew 8:24-27, “And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he[Jesus] was asleep. And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea: and there was a great calm. But the men marveled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!”

Psalm 89:8, 9 tells us, “O LORD God of hosts, who is a strong LORD like unto thee? Or to thy faithfulness round about thee? Thou rulest the raging of the sea: when the waves thereof arise, thou stillest them.” Psalm 107:29 also declares, “He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.” Only God has total control of the elements of nature. Even though Satan can and does cause great death and destruction through wind and fire (see Job 1:13-22) our Creator God has the final say (Job 38, 39).

In their panic, the disciples turned to the sleeping Jesus. In their fear, they were undoubtedly shouting above the roar of the storm that they were going to perish. After He rose and calmed the storm, He asked them, “Where is your faith?” Now, before we, who are reading this account two-thousand years later from the safety of our high and dry perch become too judgmental of His disciples, let me ask you this: Have you ever been at the mercy of the raging sea when it is tossed by contrary winds? Perhaps you have, and perhaps you were cool as a cucumber with nary a thought about death by drowning. If so, good for you. But, as for me, even 52 years later, I still have vivid memories in living color of the sheer terror of being aboard a single screw (single engine) small boat (about 25’ or so) in a gale at sea.

It would have been nice—well, more like smart—if my step-father had not chosen to ignore the red storm warning flag hoisted by the Coast Guard at Point No Point located at the northern tip of the Kitsap Peninsula, Washington. Instead, we cruised past it on a deceptively calm sea. In fact, the Straits of Juan de Fuca for as far as we could see didn’t appear to have breaking swells. Therefore, it was decided to make a run for it across the Straits to Cattle Point on San Juan Island. What we didn’t know, however, was that the invisible wind was producing a major gale storm which was rapidly moving in from the Pacific Ocean. By the time we realized that we were in major trouble, it was too late. The waves mounting up on the port side of the craft were averaging fourteen feet or higher. To try and turn around would be suicide. As my step-father fought to make some headway while at the same time battling to prevent the boat from capsizing, I did what I do best in such a situation; that is, freak out and get violently seasick.

You may wonder if, like Jesus’ terrified disciples, did I pray and cry out to the Lord? Well, as Balki (“Perfect Strangers” TV comedy series) used to say, “Don’t be ridiculous. Of course I did!” Believe me, I can identify with Jesus’ disciples one-hundred percent. Maybe Jesus’ disciples could visibly see Him in their sinking fishing boat, but I knew He was resurrected from the dead and seated on the right hand of God. Regardless of who you are, or where you are, there are times when invisible, powerful contrary winds will test your faith to the limit, and reveal to you just how fragile your faith can be. Consider this: If there were no storms to challenge us, and test our faith from time to time, would we seek His face in earnest, or remain in our lukewarm comfort zone. As for me, when we finally docked in a since forgotten safe harbor on San Juan Island, I was so utterly thankful to be on terra firma once again I felt like kissing the ground.

The Bible has much to teach us concerning the wind. Interestingly, consistently throughout Scripture whenever you read of an “east wind,” you will see that it is associated with the judgment of God, such as famine. (Genesis 41:6, 23, 27; Job 15:2). A “vehement east wind” that God prepared for Jonah caused him to faint and hope to die (see Jonah 4:8). In Exodus 10:13 we read, “And Moses stretched forth his rod over the land of Egypt, and the LORD brought an east wind upon the land all that day, and all that night; and when it was morning, the east wind brought the locusts.”

In Exodus 14:21, 22 we read of the east wind that brought judgment upon the Egyptians. “And 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. And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground: and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left.” The rest of the chapter records the overthrow and destruction of all of the host of Pharaoh that hotly pursued them.

Job, in describing the sudden judgment of destruction upon the wicked rich said, “The east wind carrieth him away, and he departeth: and as a storm hurleth him out of his place” Job 27:21. Psalm 48:7 states, “Thou breakest the ships of Tarshish with an east wind.” Concerning God’s judgment upon His people that forgot Him, the Prophet Jeremiah declared, “I will scatter them as with an east wind before the enemy; I will shew them the back, and not the face, in the day of their calamity.” The question is, what about America? We know that God sent an “east wind” in the form of the Babylonians and other enemies as a form of judgment upon Israel and Judah. Will America face an east wind in God’s dealings with her?

God is a God of order. His warnings and dealings with the Children of Israel should serve as an example to us of His ways so that we can know, understand, and repent before the east winds of His judgment totally destroy this nation. We would do well to keep in mind what God tells us in Isaiah 55:6-9, “Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Therefore, regardless of people’s opinions of why God would want to bless America, save America, overlook America’s sins, lightly chastise America, or destroy America altogether, the bottom line is our opinions, strong feelings, and conclusions about this matter are not the same as God’s ways and thoughts. God has not ceased to be who He is because we have tacked His name onto our money, our institutions, our cultural traditions, our various religions, and our so-called “Christian” organizations. He remains “the Lord, sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up” above all the earth and the vain thoughts, imaginations, inventions, institutions, and activities of man.

The truth is, the Word of the LORD that came to Ezekiel (and other prophets) concerning Israel can likewise be applied to America today. With this in mind, consider Ezekiel 17:7-10, “There was also another great eagle with great wings and many feathers: and, behold, this vine did bend her roots toward him, and shot forth her branches toward him, that he might water it by the furrows of her plantation. It was planted in a good soil by great waters, that it might bring forth branches, and that it might bear fruit, that it might be a goodly vine. Say thou, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Shall it prosper? Shall he not pull up the roots thereof, and cut off the fruit thereof, that it wither? It shall wither in all the leaves of her spring, even without great power or many people to pluck it up by the roots thereof. Yea, behold, being planted, shall it prosper? Shall it not utterly wither, when the east wind toucheth it? it shall wither in the furrows where it grew.” “But she was plucked up in fury, she was cast down to the ground, and the east wind dried up her fruit: her strong rods were broken and withered; the fire consumed them” Ezekiel 19:12.

Some may protest, “That was about Israel. God forsook them.” “There has never been a nation like America. God loves America, and will fight for it.” “America is Israel; therefore, God is for us, God bless America!” If you believe these, or any other like assumptions, then my questions for you are, when did God cease to be God? When did the immutable God change? When did God break His everlasting covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and their descendants? When did God become an unholy humanist like many professing “Christians” are today? When did God decide that sin is no big deal so that people can live any way they want after mouthing the words to a “sinner’s prayer”? When did God change His opinion about idolatry, fornication, the murder of innocent blood, iniquity (moral deviation), perversion, pornography, incest, bestiality, homosexuality, filthy communication, sorcery (drugs), witchcraft, greed, covetousness, envy, lust, dishonor to parents, pride, evil imaginations, lying, stealing, cruelty, slothfulness, ingratitude, pride, respect of persons, preaching a false gospel, resisting the Holy Spirit, and the list is seemingly endless. When did the Word of God cease to be the only truth that man must live by? If you can tell exactly when and how the immutable God changed, then you can answer the above questions and give a defense as to why God should not judge not only America, but the entire world.

An insidious, devastating east wind has been blowing in earnest against America for decades. It began as a seemingly harmless, whisper. A “puff of air” reminiscent of Satan’s enticing question to Eve. “Yea, hath God said”…”Thou shalt have no other gods before me?” How hard has it been for Americans to serve both God and mammon? People tend to trust in their riches if they have them, or lust for other’s riches if they don’t have them. Either way, perhaps “In God We Trust” is merely throwing a bone at Him in the hopes that He will bless us in our sin.

Then the east wind became a tantalizing breeze whose siren call of sorcery seduced millions into the hazy mist of an altered state of consciousness. Sorcery, which is strictly forbidden by God is, as you may recall, pharmakeia from which we derive our word pharmacy. It involves drugs, magic, and witchcraft, all of which bring about an altered state of consciousness. An altered state of consciousness not only distorts reality, but it opens a person up to demon possession. In Revelation 9:21 we read, “Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.” In this one verse we can see at a glance that America is just as guilty as any other nation of murder (for example, 60 million aborted babies); drugs (both legal and illegal); fornication (pornography and illicit sex); and thievery (I am thinking from the highest office in the land on down to the pickpocket in the street).

There are many other ways to seduce a person’s mind into an altered state, or trance-like state such as Transcendental Meditation (TM). Certain pagan forms of chanting, drum beats and “mystical” New Age music can produce such an altered state. TM, reincarnation, yoga, and mind-science religions such as Unity and the positive confession movement, which is the foundation of Robert Schuller, Norman Vincent Peale, E.W. Kenyon, Kenneth Hagin, the Copelands, Benny Hinn, and basically every “star” on TBN is the mesmerizing east wind of Hinduism that carries with it a haunting, celestial undertone of Satan’s ancient song, “Ye shall be as gods.” Mormonism and the Roman Catholic Church, find their roots in the east wind of Freemasonry and Baal worship. The Mormons also believe the New Age lie that men shall become gods.

There are many devastating whirlwinds of judgment from the east that are threatening to annihilate us as a nation. To me, the four most dangerous are China, Islam, the Kenyan-born dictator at the helm of this nation (both he and his wife have been caught on tape admitting this fact), and the infiltration of New Age winds blowing into the professing church. Ephesians 4:14 warns, “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive.”

When will these east winds stop blowing death and destruction? The answer can be found in Revelation 7:1,“And after these things I saw four angels standing on  the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree.” As you read this chapter you will see that this was just prior to God sealing the 144,000 from the tribes of Israel. Thus, we read of God controlling the wind in the first book of the Bible when He made a wind to blow over the entire earth to abate the waters of judgment, and then as we follow the winds of judgment through Scripture, we come to the last mention of the wind in the last book of the Bible.

The question we need to ask isn’t how can we save America from the east winds of judgment, but, instead, how shall we escape God’s wrath? Hebrews 2:3a “How shall we escape, of we neglect so great salvation?”(Emphasis added.) Let us draw near to God in true repentance, seeking His face, and crying out for mercy. “And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved” Acts 2:21. Ask the Lord to send His “rushing mighty wind” of the Holy Spirit to fill you so that “you shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you” to be a witness unto Jesus Christ in these end days.

Believe the Lord Jesus, who said “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him” Luke 11:13? Will you do it?