The Day a Wind Blew Through the House and Fire Stood on Their Heads

This is the longest title I’ve ever written. And all about a day that never existed.

Except, lots of people in Sunday School think it did.

Yes, Sunday School.

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As a child, Sunday School was one of my favorite places. To this day, I recall classrooms and teachers and experiences from as early as Kindergarten. And of course, the stories, and the pictures, and the coloring pages which attempted to portray the reality of the Bible.

And rightly so. And many times, genuinely so.

And many times, genuinely wrongly so.

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So I lived much of my life thinking there was a day when wind blew through someone’s house. Like an actual wind. Blowing inside a house.

And then actual fire appeared in little flames sitting on people’s heads.

And this was Pentecost for my five-year-old . . . ten-year-old . . . thirty-year-old brain.

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Until I actually read about Pentecost. Acts 2.

Where “there came from heaven a SOUND LIKE a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting.”

A sound. An insane sound, yes. But just a sound.

“And divided tongues AS OF fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them.”

As of fire. Like fire. Resembling fire. Not necessarily fire.

As far as we know, nobody left that place with wind-blown, scorched hair. They left that place with the Holy Spirit. And the Holy Spirit does some crazy things, but let’s not credit him with wind-blown, scorched hair until we have proof.

If we’re gonna wonder, let’s wonder why they “began to speak in other tongues” immediately after these “tongues as of fire” appeared. Let’s wonder what James’ “the tongue is a fire” (3:6) and Isaiah’s “his tongue is like a devouring fire” (30:27) has to do with it. Or does it?

And let’s actually try to figure it out. Let’s dig down deep. Let’s ponder what we know. And let’s throw out the make-believe’s of our Sunday School days.

That the Word may dwell in us richly and accurately. And that this may be the story we tell our little ones.

Not about “the day a wind blew through the house and fire stood on their heads.” But about the day the Holy Spirit came, and strange and amazing things happened, and people left changed.

Β [image credit: missionbibleclass.org, banteerns.ie, flickr.com, unsplash.com]


4 thoughts on “The Day a Wind Blew Through the House and Fire Stood on Their Heads

  1. i don’t want to take away from the story. And like you said we don’t know for sure what it happened. But sometimes the bible is not translated accurately pertaining earlier texts. And same as revelation we just assume what John saw in visions. But we know for sure that there is nothing impossible with God for He is a consuming fire. In Noah water took all population expect the family of Noah that trusted in God and in the last day the world will be consumed with fire. Do i believe the ground shook? 100%. But I’ve been in prayer meetings where there was visions people had and just like the tongues of fire it can be a vision when people are giving when they’re in the presence of God and filled with the Holy Spirit.So saying that there was no physical so called fire we can’t dismiss that. But I believe that somethings we may not see or believe that things like these exist. So it might be a presence and manifestation of God so magnificent that there was something like flames of fire. And just getting it from the prayer meetings I’ve been just because we can’t see certain things we shouldn’t shut them down. Spiritual realms… Because this prayer meeting that the believers had in acts was not just words and talking to God but it was a Spiritual. more than physical. the presence of God. Because we always as humans were are like Thomas. if we don’t see it its hard for us to believe. We try to suppress God just the physical realm. 2 Corinthians 5:7 For we walk by faith, not by sight.

    The reason I say this is because it reminds me of this verse
    2 Kings 6:17
    And Elisha prayed, and said, “LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” Then the LORD opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And Behold, the mountains was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.

    Just praying that the God will open our eyes to see things that are hidden and more of His presence and Spiritual eyes to see beyond flesh and blood.

    Deuteronomy 29:29

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    1. Thanks for your thoughts, Rehum. I’m glad you brought up this point, as it probably demands some clarification. I am certainly not implying that these things didn’t happen. I’m just saying we don’t know that they did. I just want to be careful not to say something the Bible doesn’t actually say. Could a mighty wind blow in someone’s house? Absolutely. Could actual tongues of fire stand on someone’s head? Absolutely. But based on the text, we don’t know that these things happened, so we shouldn’t assume that they did. Again, thanks for helping me clarify this point!

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  2. Right..like I said. I believe in visions, dreams, prophecies speaking in tongues, spoken word….etc..I am not a theologian, there was two things that happen in acts. There was God’s spirit ,spiritual visions and the physical speaking in tongues. Something that was among the believers for the believers and something for others, talking in tongues, for others to believe. Examples: Moses and burning bush, Jacob, Jesus being baptized, Greeks talking to Jesus.John’s visions, Ezekiel etc……. The bible is full of examples. Some saw and heard things differently even though they were in the same place. For some God chose to open their eyes to see His Glory for some not.Spiritual things happen today also, visions, prophecies, physical etc, God chooses who to reveal things to. Even though if i was in the same room praying with the believers, it doesn’t mean things didn’t happen. it just wasn’t revealed to me.

    On the other side. We know these things happened,the description of it does not go well with our understanding.”Like” and “as”. Its like saying they were not filled with the Holy Spirit even though we can’t see the Spirit inside of them. Like I said i am not a theologian and i am not sure what the actual translation from Greek to English. If it didn’t happened they shouldn’t be recorded in acts.That would be just fluff trying to make the writing more interesting.As fleshly, visual people, sometimes seeing is believing. So in order to show a visual to a person, child or adult that would be the closest to describe it. Because anybody could describe it as different. And we can say for every little word in the bible. Because Jonah was not swallowed by a “whale” but that’s how we portray it, because that’s the biggest fish we know of on this planet. Jesus is not the Jesus as portrayed in every kids bible, church portrait.. etc. because if we really try to describe Jesus of today it doesn’t match what prophet Isaiah described who was the Messiah to come before His persecution.( Isaiah 53)

    πŸ™‚ The Substance is Christ. Seeking His Kingdom first is the 1st priority. The other trivial things will be revealed to us if God chooses to. πŸ˜€

    Thank You for the article.

    Rehum

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  3. I laughed out loud as I read your intro. What our imaginations come up with! I throughly enjoyed the deeper thought. That we need to read carefully. That we DON”T need to stop understanding with a 7 year old mind (or a 30 year old one!). Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

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