And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Ruach HaKodesh, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. Acts 2:1-4
Yahushua’s promise fulfilled
After the resurrection of Yahushua, he appeared to his disciples for 40 days at the time of the Counting of Omers before returning to the Father. As promised, the time for the arrival of the Comforter was approaching. As our ancestors waited for the return of Moses in the wilderness of Sinai and at the foot of the mountain sometime in the 3rd month after the Exodus from Egypt, with the Promises written on the stone tablets, in other words the Commandments, the revelation was in the midst of great winds and flames. Similarly, our first brethren were filled with the Holy Spirit with the rise of wind and tongues of flame.
The Feast of Shavuot, according to the command of Moses, is about setting aside the first fruit of the harvest and presenting it, as we read in Exodus 34. On this Jewish feast the first disciples gathered in the upper house in Jerusalem. Jews and proselytes from all over the world gathered for this pilgrim’s holiday.
One of the prophetic deeds of rabbinic Jewry was to transform it into the Feast of the giving of the Torah in addition to the original presentation of the first fruits, because in exile, in the absence of the right to own any land for Jews, the presentation of the first fruit of the harvest simply lost its meaning. Only the Torah, as the spiritual first fruit that had been given to our people, could be at the center of the celebration. Shavuot’s date indeed seems to coincide with the revelation at mount Sinai.
However, instead of two stone tablets, the cloven or divided tongues of fire appeared to the disciples. The double or distributed tongues of flame are also reminiscent of the two stone tables. Although here in Acts the author mentions the fulfillment of a certain prophecy in Joel 3, here another great and important prophecy has been fulfilled as well:
Behold, the days come, saith Jehovah, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was a husband unto them, saith Jehovah. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith Jehovah: I will put my law in their inward parts, and in their heart will I write it; and I will be their Elohim, and they shall be my people. Jeremiah 31:31-33
Above, I mentioned 10 Promises instead of 10 Commandments. Indeed, a very important element can be found in the way the 10 Commandments have been formulated. I am talking about the future tense in which the 10 verbs of the 10 sentences are conjugated. All the commandments begin as follows: You shall/will not… kill, steal, commit adultery, worship idols, etc.…
At first glance, it may seem like just a stylistic twist and nothing strange can be noticed in it. Like our predecessors at the time, we instinctively interpreted them as being rules to be observed and that’s it. And this is okay, because this dimension of interpretation was also in the will of Yahuwah. They were given to us to be kept and respected. But they were also given to us so that we realize that we are not able to keep them without the help of Elohim and His Spirit.
The use of the future tense has a very deep spiritual meaning and it is a sign that the Commandments, no matter how compulsory they were, would one day work in us by themselves. It was a sign of the time to come, which pointed to the promise of Jeremiah that we had read earlier. It will not be that you will hold back and do not commit sin because you know the Commandments, but you will not wish to bear false witness, kill, commit adultery and the rest, for you will no longer want or need to do so. You will no longer be under the rule of yourself or any other alien spirit. You will not live according to your human instincts anymore. Your old man will no longer be the boss in your life and you will not be dragged by demons from within, but by the Messiah living inside of you. You will be free from sin, so you will no longer break the law and will be free from the curse of judgment which stems for breaking it.
Violation of the law can no longer occur from this moment if one remains obedient to the Spirit of the Messiah living in him. This is what the fulfillment of the law in the Messiah is all about. His spirit moves into us, we are born again by the baptism of fire, and observing the Law becomes an instinct, an impulse, an irresistible inner compulsion to which is no longer hard to obey. Not because we expect any reward from this, since we have already received the ultimate and total Reward through the blood of the Messiah, but because it is good to do good to the other, to do with our neighbor what our Yahuwah would to do with them, in short, to love Him and our fellow humans.
Once the 2 Commandment of Love is engraved in our hearths, we can no longer contradict either the 10 commandments or the further practical 6-7 hundred decrees.
When the commandment of loving our Elohim and our neighbor come to life in us, backwards each commandment will automatically and instinctively work in and through us outwards. This is how love delivers us not from the Law but from the judgment that its violation implies.
It is no longer a question that I go to my neighbor when he is in trouble and lift his lying donkey (that is, his life, existence, broken property, car, etc.) together with him because I will not be able to bear the sight of others being hindered and in troubles. I will do my best to move them on with these. There is no question anymore if I harm someone, I will then repair my fault by restoring the thing to the latter while adding a fifth as a sign of compensation showing humility and remorses.
The previous prophecy, on the other hand, is continued and also fulfilled when we are filled with the Holy Spirit and become mature men in spirit:
No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know Yahuwah,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares Yahuwah. “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”
Signs and miracles then and now
The outpouring of the Holy Spirit was followed by signs. They prophesied and spoke in tongues. However, all this was due to the fact that the Holy Spirit moved into them and the process of sanctification began. The 2 Commandments of Love, which are the sum of the 10 commandments, which are themselves the summary of the so-called 613 mitzvot began to be engraved into their hearts.
As a result, their vision was purified, their thoughts were less and less under the influence of flesh and soul and the working law, the Living Word that resided in them, resulted in prophetic vision. Here, their tongues began to utter what their hearts were filled with, that is, a degree of holiness that human languages are not able to express.
It is not a question that these kinds of Spiritual manifestations are no longer needed today, because book printing…, the Bible into our pockets… and other arguments. It must be recognized that today’s over-educated humanity blinded by all kinds of sciences and philosophies and which considers itself highly informed and intelligent, is less and less likely to be convinced of the need for a Savior even with the best arguments in the world about the veracity of the Bible. Today more than ever, the world is in big need of signs and miracles. We must ask Yahuwah for them every day. May we speak tongues purely and may we even more prophesy and may we even more heal and deliver the sick and captives for these are what we disciples are seriously lacking today. We must ask for these to come and work and to ask it without doubting.
Let’s not stop at the level of the pentecostal manifestations of the Spirit but let’s go further without neglecting them by imploring Yahuwah so that the signs He has promised us will also accompany us wherever we go:
And these signs shall accompany them that believe: in my name shall they cast out demons; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall in no wise hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
Mark 16: 17-18
May all the four promises be fulfilled on this Pentecost in all members of the Body of the Messiah: the prophecy of Joel, Jeremiah, and the two promises of Yahushua. Following the gift of the Holy Spirit should all Its fruits also abound in our lives, as we have just read in Mark.
Now let us see how the Church should work accordint to Its original form: The Acts of the Disciples