Act 2:1-13 NASB "1 When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. 2 And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance. 5 Now there were Jews living in Jerusalem, devout men from every nation under heaven. 6 And when this sound occurred, the crowd came together, and were bewildered because each one of them was hearing them speak in his own language. 7 They were amazed and astonished, saying, "Why, are not all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 "And how is it that we each hear them in our own language to which we were born? 9 "Parthians and Medes and Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the districts of Libya around Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, 11 Cretans and Arabs--we hear them in our own tongues speaking of the mighty deeds of God." 12 And they all continued in amazement and great perplexity, saying to one another, "What does this mean?" 13 But others were mocking and saying, "They are full of sweet wine.""
Gen 19:24 NASB - "24 Then the LORD rained on Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven,"
2Ki 1:10 NASB - "10 Elijah replied to the captain of fifty, "If I am a man of God, let fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty." Then fire came down from heaven and consumed him and his fifty."
1Ch 21:26 NASB - "26 Then David built an altar to the LORD there and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. And he called to the LORD and He answered him with fire from heaven on the altar of burnt offering."
2Ch 7:1 NASB - "1 Now when Solomon had finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the LORD filled the house."
When fire comes from heaven it either comes to bring God’s judgment to earth or as at a time of worship in which HIS glory and power are displayed. The fire from heaven came when the glory of the LORD filled HIS temple. So when this fire was seen it seemed as if Israel was about to see a significant encounter and spiritual revival was about to come. But instead of falling upon the physical temple of Israel the fire came upon a spiritual temple found in the disciples of Messiah Jesus.
Now a sign of the Messiah coming would be the reverse of the curse. One of the curses placed upon humanity is the cultural divides reflected in the diverse languages of the world (Genesis 11:1-6). All nations would be taught and impacted by the Messiah (Isaiah 2:1-5). The prophecy was that God would speak to Israel through the languages of the pagan nations.
Isaiah 28:11 NASB - "11 Indeed, He will speak to this people Through stammering lips and a foreign tongue,"
So here the gift of speaking in foreign languages which were not naturally learned was a sign that the time of the Messiah had occurred and that the curse was now in the process of being transformed.
There were two groups who observed this event. Some were filled with wonder and even fear knowing they were facing a direct encounter with the presence of the Living God. The other attempted to find a natural explanation of this just a group of people drunk with wine. Interesting that our presuppositions, either supernatural or naturalistic, determine how I see even the day of Pentecost.
When in your life have you see God encounter you? Have you ever had experience that made you think that the Holy Spirit was present? Have you every had others think that something was from God but your were skeptical? What is the most powerful demonstration of God’s existence that you have ever had in your life?
Lord, help me be open to your presence that is over me, under me, around me, and in me. Help me see that in Jesus you have sent your promised Messiah and with that you are now invading all nations with your truth, love, power, and the Living Holy Spirit. Come now and fill me with the Holy Spirit so that I might see, believe, and follow the Lord Jesus. Amen