Acts 2: 2-4 - PENTECOST THEN AND NOW!
Acts 2: 2-4 (NKJV) Suddenly there came a
sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind,
and it filled the whole house where they were
sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues,
as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And
they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and
began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit
gave them utterance.
Discover Your Language
Oh to have heard this moment in
Jerusalem. Andrew describing God's grace in Egyptian.
Thomas explaining God's love to the Romans.
Bartholomew quoting the Twenty-third Psalm to Cretans.
John relating the resurrection story to the
Some in the crowd were cynical, accusing
the disciples of early morning inebriation. But
others were amazed and asked, "Whatever could this
mean?" (v. 12).
Good question. Crowded city. Prayerful
followers. Rushing wind and falling fire. Fifteen
nations represented in one assembly. Disciples
speaking like trained translators of the United
Nations. Whatever could this mean?
At least this much: God loves the
nations. He loves Iraqis. Somalians. Israelis. New
Zealanders. Hondurans. He has a white-hot passion to
harvest his children from every jungle,
neighborhood, village, and slum. "All the earth shall be
filled with the glory of the Lord" (Num. 14:21
ESV). During the days of Joshua, God brought his
people into Canaan "so that all the peoples of the
earth may know that the hand of the Lord is
mighty" (Josh. 4:24 ESV). David commanded us to
"sing to the Lord, all the earth! Declare his
glory among the nations, his marvelous works among
all the peoples!" (Ps. 96:1-3 ESV). God spoke to
us through Isaiah: "I will make you as a light
for the nations, that my salvation may reach to
the end of the earth" (Isa.49:6 ESV). His vision
for the end of history includes "people for God
from every tribe, language, people, and nation"
(Rev. 5:9 NCV).
God longs to proclaim his greatness in
all 6,909 languages that exist in the world
today. He loves subcultures: the gypsies of Turkey,
the hippies of California, the cowboys and
rednecks of West Texas. He has a heart for bikers and
hikers, tree huggers and academics. Single moms.
Gray-flannelled executives. He loves all people groups and
equips us to be his voice. He commissions common
Galileans, Nebraskans, Brazilians, and Koreans to speak
the languages of the peoples of the world. He
teaches us the vocabulary of distant lands, the
dialect of the discouraged neighbor, the vernacular
of the lonely heart, and the idiom of the young
student. God outfits his followers to cross cultures
and touch hearts.
Pentecost makes this promise: if you are
in Christ, God's Spirit will speak through you.
Don't miss the opportunity to discover your
With whom do you feel most fluent?
Teenagers? Drug addicts? The elderly? You may be
tongue-tied around children but eloquent with
executives. This is how God designed you. "God has given
us different gifts for doing certain things
well" (Rom. 12:6 NLT).
For whom do you feel most compassion? God
doesn't burden us equally. "The Lord looks from
heaven; He sees all the sons of men He fashions
their hearts individually" (Ps. 33:13, 15).
[God] comforts us in all our troubles so
that we can comfort others. When they are
troubled, we will be able to give them the same
comfort God has given us. (2 Corinthians 1:4 NLT)
Gracious Father, I am deeply grateful
that you took the initiative to reach out to me -
even in my sin and selfishness - in order to
bring me into your eternal kingdom, through the
work of Christ. I cannot fathom such love! And
yet, Father, I admit that too often I try to
hoard your grace, putting up walls of protection
that I might keep hurt out and blessing in. I
confess I am like the clam that shuts itself up in
its shell, afraid of threats from the outside.
Lord, I recognize that you call me to unshell
myself and to partner with you in your mission of
love. Unshell me, Lord, so I, too, may reach out
to a lonely, discouraged, and even hopeless
world. In Jesus' name I pray, amen. [Max Lucado
Daily Devotional at maxlucado.com]
THE IMPORTANCE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
What does the New Testament have to say
about the believer's relationship with the Holy
First, it is a curious fact that after
the book of Acts, the whole concept of being
"filled with the Spirit" drops out of sight, except
for one mention in Ephesians 5:18. In that
passage, the grammar and word order indicate that
Paul is talking about surrendering to the
influence of the Spirit, not to the indwelling
ministry of the Holy Spirit. While much confusion has
stemmed from the refusal to deal with the
implications of this simple biblical fact, there is no
real cause for confusion.
The Holy Spirit arrived on the day of
Pentecost, accompanied by extraordinary manifestations
of His presence. These manifestations were sign
oriented; not character oriented. In other words, the
Bible doesn't say that after being filled with the
Holy Spirit, those in the Upper Room went out
with great patience, kindness, gentleness, and so
on. Rather, it says they immediately began
speaking in other tongues. That is how the
unbelievers who heard them knew that something
supernatural had taken place.
Initially, it appeared that the Spirit
came to indwell only those gathered in the Upper
Room (see Acts 2:3, 4). Soon, however, other
believers also were filled with the Holy Spirit (see
Acts 4:31; 9:17). Not everyone was filled at the
same time; it took place in stages. But within a
few years following the day of Pentecost, the
Holy Spirit had swept through the world, filling
all those who had put their faith in Christ. In
fact, after Acts 13, we have no record of
individuals being filled with or receiving the Holy
Spirit, apart from salvation.
Today, the Holy Spirit indwells all
believers in Christ. Paul wrote, "For by one Spirit we
were all baptized into one body - whether Jews
or. Greeks, whether slaves or free - and have
all been made to drink into one Spirit" (1 Cor.
12:13). The apostle John wrote, "By this we know
that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has
given us of His Spirit" (1 John 4:13). Christian
believers everywhere are filled with the Spirit.
The presence of the Holy Spirit is a
source of great assurance. In fact, "if anyone does
not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His"
(Rom. 8:9). We know we belong to Christ because
His spirit dwells in us. [Life Principles SB By
Charles Stanley re Acts 2:4]
THE IMPORTANCE OF PRAYER
It had been seven long weeks of persevering
prayer since Jesus had told the apostles to remain
in Jerusalem until the Father sent the promised
Holy Spirit. The uproar in the city concerning
Jesus was increasing, and the pressures were
mounting for Christ's followers - even their lives
were in jeopardy. Yet they didn't frantically run
around Jerusalem seeking help. They didn't start a
new building program or hire a church growth
consultant in an attempt to increase their numbers.
Instead, they stayed continually in the upstairs room
in unified, wholehearted, fervent prayer. It
was the plan and purpose of God to pour out his
Spirit, but the believers' prayers were the
preparation for Pentecost. Through their prayers, God
laid the tracks for the demonstration of the
Spirit's power that was to come. Down through history
we can see the same pattern being repeated:
prayer is the preparation for every powerful
movement of God's Spirit. [Praying Through The Bible
By Fuller re Acts 2:1-2]
Prayer does not give you spiritual power.
Prayer aligns your life with God so that He chooses
to demonstrate His power through you. The
purpose of prayer is not to convince God to change
your circumstances but to prepare you to be
involved in Gods activity.
The fervent prayer of the people at
Pentecost did not induce the Holy Spirit to come upon
them. Prayer brought them to a place where they
were ready to participate in the mighty work God
had already planned.
Jesus told His followers to remain in
Jerusalem until the Spirit came upon them (Ac
1:4"5). The disciples obeyed His command, waiting
for Gods next directive. As they prayed, God
adjusted their lives to what He intended to do next.
As they prayed, a unity developed among them.
For the first time the disciples used Scripture
as their guide in decision making (Ac
1:15"26). The day of Pentecost arrived, and the city
of Jerusalem filled with pilgrims from around
the world. When God released His Holy Spirit
upon the disciples, He had already filled the
city with messengers who would carry the Gospel
to every nation. Prayer had prepared the
disciples for their obedient response.
Prayer is designed to adjust you to
Gods will, not to adjust God to your will. If God
has not responded to what you are praying, you
may need to adjust your praying to align with
Gods agenda. Rather than focusing on what you
would like to see happen, realize that God may be
more concerned with what He wants to see happen
in you. [Experiencing God Day by Day by Henry
and Richard Blackaby re Acts 2:1]
Luke 2 describes the birth of the Lord's
physical body and Acts 2 the birth of His spiritual
body. The Spirit also filled the believers and
empowered them for witness. He gave Peter insight into
the Word and the ability to show men Christ in
the Word. The Spirit used the witness of the
church to convict the lost, just as Jesus said He
would do (16:7-10).... They worshiped daily and
witnessed daily, and "the Lord added to the church
daily" (v. 47). Is your experience with the Lord a
daily one? [Chapter by Chapter Bible Commentary by
EXCELLENT VIDEO SERIES ON 28 REVELATIONS OF
1st of 28: Divine Dining:
2nd of 28: Pictures of the Divine:
3rd of 28: A Dirty Bible:
If anyone has a paraphrase, commentary or
testimony on this passage of Scripture, either
personal or otherwise, I would be interested in
hearing from you. Thanks in advance and let's keep
uplifting Jesus that all might be drawn to Him. Fred