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The Winds of God

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How did the 20th century Pentecostal movement come to be? “The Winds of God” answers that question in detail. For any minister or lay person wishing a historical understanding of The Holy Ghost outpourings and revival movements since 1900, you must read this book. This written work gives the detailed story of Pentecost from 1901-1914. This book is information-rich for the layman and preacher alike.

Though the author is listed as “Ethel Goss” – and is often related from her first-person perspective – the main narrative voice is that of her husband, Brother Howard Goss. Elder Goss was active from the early years of the Azusa street revival and post-merger was the first general superintendent of the United Pentecostal Church. Having received The Holy Ghost in 1902 and being discipled by Rev. Charles Parham, he was a direct witness to many of the key meetings and moments that shaped the path of American Pentecost.

There are aspects described of Holy Ghost-directed church services that we take as normal operation of The Spirit today, but for the early seekers this was all new territory .

Dr. Joel Revalee

There are aspects described of Holy Ghost-directed church services that we take as normal operation of The Spirit today, but for the early seekers this was all new territory. Their descriptions of souls “slain in the Spirit”, dancing in the Holy Ghost, of Holy laughter – all these were new activities at the time being brought in by the freedom of The Spirit. Just as The Apostle Peter brought tidings of the gentiles’ salvation to the church in Acts 11, so each new aspect was scripturally searched and eventually adopted by the nascent Apostolic church.

From city-to-city, in revivals and startup campmeetings that would last for months at a time, and through a variety of voices young and old, the church as we now know it in The United States came to be. Though full description of every story is beyond the scope of this review, I believe it is appropriate to understand the fundamental ingredient in all of these works and revivals: sacrifice. Often the young preachers and their bands of altar workers took no money, and when food ran scarce it was not uncommon to take up days of fasting. Launching out with no formal provision, they believed that God would provide – and He did!

They arrived in towns knowing no one, and without fail God moved on willing hearts in each city. They spent however much time it took to carve out a church. One story related describes 7 weeks of preaching before the first convert came. May we in ministry all strive for such patience and endurance toward salvation of lost souls!

Author: Ethel E. Goss. Publisher: Word Aflame Press. Pages: 164

In reading this book over the course of a few months, I am convicted by the sacrifices of early ministry as well as their willingness to venture out wherever The Holy Ghost led them. In fact, nearly everything in those times seemed to have been put in the hands of God. From what lessons were taught in Bible school classes, to personal life decisions of the men and women, to where to begin the next mission of salvation: all was as Romans 8:14 records – “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.”

A century later, this book now births a fresh hunger in me to continue to seek the direction and leading of God’s Spirit, and to be willing to venture out as they did with a willing heart of faith and a fervent desire to help reach with the message of salvation.

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