Understanding Acts | Pentecost | Acts 2.1-4| Movementministriesblog.com

by | Jul 22, 2022

“When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.“ Acts 2.1-4

Now some people get all up in arms on both sides of the issues about speaking in tongues. Some think you are not baptized with the Holy Spirit if you do not speak in tongues. Others feel like it was something of the past and should be rejected today. I fall somewhere in the middle. I believe it’s a gift God chooses to give some, just as he chooses to give the gift of encouragement, teaching and preaching to others. And all are gifts still functioning in the Church today.

I also think the gift of tongues is not the exclusive sign to being filled with the Spirit. It can be one of many. The purpose of tongues in Acts was actually to spread the gospel. By people speaking in different languages, Jews who had gathered from all over the world could hear the gospel in their own language. Also, it was a sign of the indwelling of the Spirit but not exclusively. 

Luke writes, “When the day of Pentecost came…” I like to focus on emphasizing the word “when.” It was not “if” it came, it was “when.” God knew all along this was going to happen as did Jesus. So it was not “if” it came, it was “when” it came. And when it came, the whole room was filled the the sound of a violent rushing wind and the Spirit of God entered in.

But Pentecost wasn’t just a gathering for new Christians. It was deeply rooted in the Old Testament and called the Feast of Weeks. One source describes it this way:

“On the day that the Holy Spirit was poured into the hearts of those people in Jerusalem, the Feast of Weeks was being celebrated in the city. Thousands of people from different countries had come to Jerusalem for the feast. Not for Pentecost, as we know it, for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit was yet to come. They celebrated the ‘Feast of Weeks’. ‘Shavu’ot’ means ‘Weeks’. As described in Exodus 34 and Deuteronomy 16. After celebrating Passover in the night before the exodus, the people of Israel started on their journey through the Sinai desert. After seven weeks of seven days, they arrived at Mount Horeb. The next day Moses went up the mountain to receive the Ten Commandments, the visible sign of God’s Covenant with His people. Fifty days after liberation from deathly slavery they received the sign of the Covenant from God Himself.” (https://www.c4israel.org/_teachings/the-feast-of-shavuot/?gclid=Cj0KCQjwlemWBhDUARIsAFp1rLUGjVArSaepfFySOZaDT6Pc-ZXJF1G4X_Ned7UbJ5I3SwFonTHpdNYaAvpTEALw_wcB)

God has a way of tying together the past with the present. His gift of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost was also a connection with the peoples release of slavery of old. No longer would people be kept in bondage, now they would be free and able to experience God up close and personal. The gift of the Holy Spirit given at this time indicates his love for humanity and his faithfulness to all people.

So whether you speak in tongues or not, the Holy Spirit was given so we might all walk with Jesus personally and relationally. It’s not religion but a relationship. Tongues was primarily an instrument of evangelism back then and a gift used to glorify God and praise his name today.

If you have trusted Jesus by faith as your Savior you have received the Holy Spirit. As for the Lord’s presence to be evident in your life. God has given you all of himself and now it’s up to us to return the favor by giving all of who we are to him.

“O Lord God, Pentecost was a day of reckoning! It was when your Spirit was poured out on all flesh, men and women alike. It has allowed each of us to know you, to have your Spirit dwell within us, and to become the people who walk as you walked. Come now, Holy Spirit, fill me up. Use me, contain me, unleash me for your purpose’s. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen