Heavenly Fires: Pentecost

Heavenly Fires: Pentecost

Heavenly Fires: Pentecost.

“And when the day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all assembled together in one place, when suddenly there came a sound from heaven like the rushing of a violent tempest blast, and it filled the whole house in which they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues¬†resembling fire, which were separated and distributed, and that settled on each one of them.”¬†(Acts 2:1-3, AMP).

 

We see heavenly fire in spectacular fashion ten days after the ascension of Jesus, fifty days after His death on the Cross. The disciples were all together to pray during Pentecost, also known as Feast of Weeks or Feast of First Harvest. This is one of the three major Jewish feast days as instructed by Yahweh in Deuteronomy 16:16, and this particular Feast was always to be held fifty days after Passover. Pentecost was a time set apart to celebrate the first crops, the first harvests. In later Jewish tradition, Pentecost was also a time to celebrate the giving of Torah to Moses. While praying together, there came into their room an unexpected whirlwind, filling the whole house they were praying in. Along with the strong wind, tongues of fire settled on each of the disciples. Luke mentions that these little fires were separated, which seems to imply there could have been one pillar of fire that broke off into separate pieces. These individual flames of fire revealed that the mighty God was present upon them in the form of the Holy Spirit. This was a display of God’s real presence, a tangible manifestation, not a mere symbol. This was a fulfillment of John the Baptist’s prophecy in Luke 3:16 when he told the people, “He who is mightier than I will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.” This Pentecost fire is a redeeming fire, not a destructive one. It signaled God’s purifying presence on the disciples’ lives. The Pentecost fire does not burn or consume, instead it illuminates and enlightens, it fills, it kindles the heart and sets it aflame. These Pentecost fires are divine and reveal the holiness of God. Could it be these tongues of fire are flames that split off from the very same, in substance, pillar of fire that guided the Israelites throughout the wilderness?

Dare we suggest that these heavenly fires in the Old Testament are one and same as the fire of the Holy Spirit in Pentecost? Was the weapon wielded by the cherubim in the Garden actually a sword of the Holy Spirit? Was that the Holy Spirit burning Moses’ thorn bush? Was that the Holy Spirit’s presence in the form of the guiding pillar all those forty years of wandering? Who’s to say it wasn’t the Holy Spirit that ignited the altars of Moses and Aaron, of David and Solomon, of Gideon and Elijah? Perhaps the overwhelming fire of Mount Sinai was actually a revelation of the Holy Spirit? Heavenly fire, divine fire, holy fire, all coming from the One Source, the almighty God.