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Tongues of Fire

Neil Dawson
Neil DawsonLead Pastor

The experience of God’s presence as described at Pentecost is personal and universal.

The Jewish festivals of the Feast of Tabernacles and Pentecost serve as poignant reminders of the covenant renewed at Mount Sinai. In the New Testament, Luke, who also authored Acts, illustrates the continuity and fulfilment of these ancient traditions through the life and teachings of Jesus and the early Church.

Luke’s writing is characterised by its international perspective, weaving patterns and themes that highlight God’s universal presence and activity. For instance, mysterious wind storms, often linked with God’s presence as seen in Exodus chapters 18, 19, and 20, serve as metaphors for divine encounters. These phenomena underscore the belief that God’s presence is not confined to a physical tabernacle but dwells within each believer.

In Acts, Luke describes the dramatic outpouring of the Holy Spirit with vivid imagery: a mighty wind, thunder, and fire descending on each person, signifying that the divine presence now resides within individuals rather than a singular holy place. This event is a fulfilment of the prophecy that God’s Spirit would be poured out on all flesh, as echoed in Peter’s sermon in Acts 2:29 – 36, where he assures all Israel of Jesus’ messianic role.

The appropriate response to this outpouring of the Spirit is continual repentance. The Holy Spirit calls believers to a profound and ongoing transformation, embodying God’s presence in their daily lives.

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