The sound, the wind, the fire – Part 2
Every revival or visitation of God in history has always had its own distinctive identify, though it may bear some marks of what happened on Pentecost day.
Pentecost was and remains the mother and prototype of every revival. Pentecost has come and gone, but God continues to repeat down the ages what He did at Pentecost.
The presence of fire settling upon each of the disciples was another remarkable feature of Pentecost day. Fire is a symbol of the work of the Holy Spirit. God is always associated with fire and He wants His children to be emblems or carriers of His spiritual fire. God is described as a consuming fire. He guided Israel in a pillar of fire. God’s throne is ablaze with flames of fire (Dan.7: 9). He makes His ministers a flame of fire. He revealed Himself in a fire to Moses in the burning bush. He answered Elijah with fire (1 Kings 18:). The appearance of His glory is like a consuming fire (Ex.24:17).
Five things we must remember when we think of fire in the Bible: first, God’s presence is depicted by fire; second, God’s passion in us burns like a fire; thirdly, God’s purity is like the purging of fire (Isaiah 6:6-7); four, God’s power came like fire on Pentecost day; and five, God baptises us with the Holy Spirit and fire (Mt.3:11).
As the presence of God, the Holy Spirit indwells the heart of the believer (Romans 8:9). He also manifested His presence to the Israelites by overspreading the tabernacle with fire. This provided light and guidance to Israel in the wilderness (Numbers 9:15-16, 17-23). In the New Testament, God guides and comforts His children with the Holy Spirit dwelling in us who are His “tabernacle” and the “temple of the living God” (2 Corinthians 5:1; 6:16).
God is “a consuming fire” (Hebrews 12:29). He appeared to Moses in the burning bush (Exodus 3:2), He appeared as the Shekinah glory (Exodus 14:19; Numbers 9:15-16), and in Ezekiel’s vision (Ezekiel 1:4). Fire has many times been an instrument of God’s judgment (Numbers 11:1, 3; 2 Kings 1:10, 12; Lev.10: 1-3).
The Holy Spirit creates the passion of God in our hearts (Luke 24:32). After the apostles received the Spirit at Pentecost, they had a passion that lasted a lifetime and impelled them to speak the word of God boldly (Acts 4:31).
The Holy Spirit produces the purity of God in our lives. God’s purpose is to purify us (Titus 2:14), and the Holy Spirit is the agent of our sanctification (1 Corinthians 6:11; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Peter 1:2).
The Holy Spirit empowers us. Acts 1:8 says, “But you shall receive power, when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Every believer must seek to be empowered by the Holy Spirit.
On Pentecost day, when the Holy Spirit baptised the disciples, something remarkable happened, they spoke in tongues. Subsequently, in Acts 10 and 11:15, the Gentiles had the privilege of the same baptism and spoke in tongues. Speaking in tongues is a genuine experience of many Christians. There are many fine Christians who choose not to seek the experience of speaking in tongues. We must not begrudge them.
Our hearts yearn for the infilling of the Holy Spirit and fire of God. Come, Holy Spirit and satisfy the cravings of our heart we pray.