Tongues of fire

I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances – Ezekiel 36:27

Today (May 24) is Shavuot or Pentecost, the last of the spring Biblical feasts. Jews believe this is the day God wrote His commandments on stone tablets atop Mount Sinai, which was consumed by fire and smoke. It’s also the day, in New Testament times, that God wrote His commandments on men’s hearts by filling believers in Yeshua (Jesus) with the Holy Spirit.

These Shavuot dates had different outcomes. Three thousand Israelites lost their lives at Sinai for worshipping a golden calf. Three thousand were saved at Jerusalem by receiving Yeshua as Messiah. The book of Acts records the drama of the latter Shavuot, which also had a fiery visitation: Yeshua’s disciples huddle with the masses on the Temple Mount – probably trying to keep a low profile – when a wind roars from heaven and tongues of fire appear above their heads.

Instantly filled with God’s Spirit, these Galileans start speaking in languages unknown to them, but recognized by the multitude around them. The people marvel because they hear the salvation message in their native tongues. Biblical tongues is the ability to speak a foreign language previously unknown to the speaker for the purpose of communicating the gospel. It is a sign for unbelievers (1 Corinthians 14:22). After Peter delivers an impromptu sermon, Jews are “cut to the heart” and ask what they must do (Acts 2:37). Peter instructs them to repent and be baptized, which they do.

Fire and smoke have a way of getting a person’s attention. God made sure these gifts weren’t missed at Sinai and Jerusalem on Shavuot.

Written by Jeff King

Jeff is a retired newspaper journalist in the United States and follower of Yeshua (Jesus) of Nazareth

Twitter feed responded with an HTTP status code of 410.