Acts 2:1–13 (NKJV)
Coming of the Holy Spirit
1 When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.Acts 2:1-4
Several things about this passage are interesting. This is the account of the fulfillment of Jesus’ prophecy about them being baptized in the Holy Spirit. He had told the disciples just before His ascension that this would come to pass, and now it has happened. The disciples had obeyed His instructions, had tarried in the upper room, they had been together in one place with one mind and heart, and now the time had fully come for the Holy Spirit to appear in power.
A sound filled the room, a heavenly sound. This was not a natural phenomenon or an impending storm. No, this was a sign of the divine presence of God. A sound like a hurricane or a tornado, but not a destructive maelstrom. Rather, this was a wind that would spread the gospel in power around the world. This wind would carry disciples all around the globe, teaching and preaching, winning converts and making disciples. This wind would carry the seed of the gospel to every corner of creation!
Tongues of fire appeared to every one of the disciples, and rested on each one of them. This fire spread all around the room, and this fire would spread all around the world. These tongues were divided, but the room was united. This tongue was a single unit, but was two parts. This tongue signified the power of the Holy Spirit, acting in many people, but with one purpose and message. The fire signified the power of God, setting the world ablaze with a message of hope and good news. This type of firepower would not be stopped, but flash through the whole earth, saving souls and building a kingdom.
Speaking in tongues was the sign of this infilling with power. Speaking in tongues as the Holy Spirit moved each individual was the sign of an inspiration much like that which moved holy men of old to write the word of God. This was communication from God, languages of people on earth at the time, and perhaps a heavenly language that only God knew and gave at His behest. The tongue, later described by James as the most unruly member of the body, was now tamed, and the Holy Spirit was the master. When the tongue, the last untamed territory of the human psyche, was under the control of the Holy Spirit, great things could be said and done. The fruit of the Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit could operate without impediment. The world could be spanned, the heathen could be saved, the kingdom of God could be established. All because the wind, the fire, and the tongues appeared to mankind in an upper room.
5 And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven. 6 And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language. 7 Then they were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another, “Look, are not all these who speak Galileans? 8 And how is it that we hear, each in our own language in which we were born? 9 Parthians and Medes and Elamites, those dwelling in Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya adjoining Cyrene, visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, 11 Cretans and Arabs—we hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God.” 12 So they were all amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “Whatever could this mean?”Acts 2:5-11
13 Others mocking said, “They are full of new wine.”
The amazing spread of the gospel began immediately following this divine outpouring in the upper room. God’s timing is impeccable. On the day of Pentecost, there were myriad nationalities and cultures in Jerusalem. As the disciples began to filter out of the upper room, the Spirit spoke through them in languages that they had not learned, and languages that many in the marketplace understood. It was a linguistic miracle that confused and confounded the people in the city that day. Some thought that they were drunk. Some speculated that they were Galileans and should not know these languages. All of them, though, heard about the wonderful works of God in their own tongue.
God used these men and women to begin an explosive revival of faith in Christ among those present. God anointed these holy men and women to do the work of ministry in a new and powerful way. God is still doing this today, if you will stop, tarry, and obey Him. Let the Holy Spirit anoint you to do the work of the ministry. Let God pour out His Spirit upon you today. Surrender your all to Him and be baptized in His Spirit. The the Wind and Fire of God will spread through your witness to the whole world!