When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.
Acts 2;1-4 NASB
Fire has always been connected to the presence of God. We remember Moses’ burning bush, the pillar of fire in the wilderness, the fire that fell when Elijah prayed, the fiery chariot of Elijah, and the fiery creatures in Ezekiel’s vision. Our God is a consuming fire. Fire fell in Solomon’s temple when it was dedicated and tongues of fire came upon the heads of the believers gathered in the upper room. John the baptist prophesied that Jesus would baptize us with the Holy Spirit and fire. Have you felt the fire lately?
Bishop Ellicott spoke about these fiery tongues in his commentary on Acts, here is what he said.
“What the disciples saw would, perhaps, be best described in modern phrases a shower of fiery tongues, coming they knew not whence, lighting for a moment on each head, and then vanishing”.
John Owen also spoke of the fire as a picture of the Holy Spirit, referring to the baptism of Jesus at the Jordan River “The shape thereof that appeared was that of a dove, the substance itself, I judge, was of a fiery substance, shaped into the form or resemblance of a dove, but not the appearance of feathers, colors, or the like. This also rendered the appearance the more visible, conspicuous, heavenly, and glorious.”
What is the fire of God all about? How does it effect our lives? Fire speaks of purification. The fire of God comes upon us and begins to burn away the past. All that remains of our past wickedness begins to be purged from us. Fire also speaks of assimilation. That means everything fire touches becomes like it, everything fire touches becomes fire. The fire of God is God’s transforming agent, making us like Him. Fire also speaks to us about power, the baptism of the Spirit fills us with power to live a supernatural life, a life marked by signs and wonders. Fire also teaches us about revelation. The Holy Spirit brings light or revelation into our lives. We begin to have eyes wide open, the darkness of this world no longer blinding our eyes. Finally, the fire of God fills us with a passion. Our hearts literally get set on fire with a passion for God Himself.
Have you stepped into the fire lately? Maybe today is the day you hear God say, “Take the shoes off of your feet, you are standing on holy ground.”