“I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire. Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him.” – Matthew 3:11-13
In the Hebrew the word translated to “Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost” in scripture is “ruwach“, and in the Greek it is “pneûma“. Both words have the same meaning, they refer to “a current of air” and are interchangeable with the words “breath“, and “wind“. Armed with this understanding one can see more clearly the moving of the Holy Spirit throughout scripture.
“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. 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. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.” – Genesis 1:1-3
“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.” – Genesis 2:7
“Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. 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 3:7-8
“And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. 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
Which brings us back to our opening passage. John the Baptist states that he baptized with water unto repentance, but another was coming who would baptize with Holy Ghost fire. Taking the literal translation of the word we can read this as wind or breath of fire. It is no wonder then that the words of those who are truly baptized in the Holy Spirit seem to blow through our defenses and burn our hearts. Nothing comes close to the fire filled Holy Ghost preaching of a man or woman purified by the blood, sanctified in prayer, purged in persecution, proven in perseverance, and set ablaze by the power of the Holy Ghost!
John continues in his prophetic declaration to divulge the purpose of this Holy Ghost anointing. Not to put on a show, not to glorify men, not to fluff your flesh, not even to bless you, but to bring a winnowing fan to the Threshing Room floor of our lives. Remember that the same word for “Holy Spirit” in both the Greek and Hebrew refers also to “wind“. Now take into account what is being said here. Winnowing is the process by which wind was used to separate the wheat from the chaff, the chaff was the hollow paper like trash that contaminated the wheat and made it unusable to become bread. Bread in scripture always represented the body of Christ, and what are we commanded to become but the body of Christ. I say all this to point out the true purpose of the Holy Spirit, which is this: To present to Christ a pure and spotless bride. To preach the truth of God’s convicting, life giving, heart changing word in boldness, backed with power to the ends that the bride might be cleansed and kept unto the day of the Lord.
“For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.” – 2 Corinthians 11:2
There are many counterfeits in the world today claiming to be manifestations of the Holy Spirit that do nothing but indulge the flesh, excuse sin, glorify men, and mock the Holiness of God’s true Holy Spirit. In reality, the Holy Spirit comes for one reason… To make men Holy. It preaches repentance, the blood of Jesus, salvation, redemption, holiness, and purity, backing it’s message with miracles and the power of God unto the saving of the lost and the cleansing of the bride, which is the church. It doesn’t just talk the talk, it walks the walk, because the very nature of the Holy Spirit (wind/breath) of God is movement, action, power.
“But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord will, and will know, not the speech of them which are puffed up, but the power. For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.” – 1 Corinthians 4:19-20
One who truly has received of the Holy Spirit of God does not just talk the talk, they walk the walk, and they walk it with power. This winnowing wind that sets your heart ablaze, just like the Fire of God that fell on the sacrifices of old, is meant to burn away the flesh from the soul, the chaff from the wheat, the profane from the holy. Seek the purging purifying power of God’s Holy Spirit in prayer, just as the disciples did, and don’t move until it comes and blows the chaff away.
“I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” – Matthew 3:11-12
“That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” – Ephesians 5:27 “Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” – 1 Peter 1:16