Acts2: 1-13

Written by kathleen on Nov 23, 2014 in - No Comments


Acts 2: 1-13

As we come into chapter 2, we will experience through the Holy Scripture the actual beginning of the church.

In chapter 1, the disciples were waiting for the coming of the Holy Spirit. Chapter 2, He arrives.   chapter 1, the disciples were equipped for their ministry. Chapter 2, they are empowered for their ministry.  In chapter 1, the believers are held back.  In chapter 2, they are sent out.

Their full resources to declare the gospel message to the ends of the earth are put in place by the arrival of the Holy Spirit, and it is the fulfillment of Acts 1:8. Jesus ascended 40 days after His resurrection.  We’re now ten days later when we read verse 1.

1 Now when the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.

The Day of Pentecost was a Jewish feast held fifty days after Passover It was a time to celebrate the first fruits of the winter harvest

Jewish tradition teaches that Pentecost commemorated the day when the Law was given to Israel.

So on the Old Testament Day of Pentecost, Israel received the Law, and on the New Testament Day of Pentecost, the Church received the Spirit of Grace in fullness.

Outlined in Leviticus 23, Pentecost was to be where the Jews were to bring two loaves of bread as an offering representing the two stone tablets on which the Law was written.

Exodus 32 Pentecost was an illustration where three thousand people died the day the law was given.

But on the day the Spirit was given, three thousand were convicted, saved and added to the church Acts 2:41.                                                           

At that time^ the two loaves commemorating the tablets of stone came to illustrate Jew and Gentile coming together in one new organization called the church.

Unlike most other sacrifices, these loaves had leaven in them, a picture of the sin that would exist in a church made up of sinners saved by grace.

It may have been the same upper room where they had had the Passover meal the night that Jesus was betrayed, we don’t know that for certain, but it might have been.  The end of Luke 24 left the disciples worshipping in the temple- another possible location

Notice that the followers of Jesus were all with one accord in one place. They were gathered together sharing the same heart, the same love for God, the same trust in His promise.

They recognized they did not have the resources in themselves to do what they could or should do; they had to rely on the work of God. The baptism with the Holy Spirit is a sovereign act of God based on God’s timing, not based on anything they did or we can do. 

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.

Suddenly, unexpectedly the Holy Spirit arrives.  Instantaneous, unexpected, miraculous divine, it was from heaven.” And the church is born!

The wind here is not to indicate actual wind, but to be a metaphor or an analogy to describe the kind of sound they heard. There’s nothing blowing around only a sound like a hurricane.

The disciples were seated it was calm & peaceful They weren’t rolling around or lying on the floor, falling down, shouting or barking or roaring they weren’t even kneeling in prayer. They were just there waiting.

If you are hungering and thirsting for the Lord wanting more of Him you don’t have to do something weird to get His attention, just be open to Him. (Knees on the ground, nose in the book, & eyes on Jesus)                                                                  

3 Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them

One idea behind the picture of fire can be one of purification as just as a refiner uses fire to burn away what is impure to make gold pure.

This is an excellent illustration of the principle that the filling of the Holy Spirit is not just for abstract power, but for purity.

We can’t purify ourselves especially by works; God has done it through Jesus sacrifice and resurrection.  And then through His Holy Spirit gives us the strength to change and face life’s challenges.

Make notice the audio came before the visual, the sound of the wind before the sight of the fire because the Word of the Lord always precedes the work of the Lord. Man says, “If I can see it, I’ll believe it.” God says, “Believe it, and then you’ll see it.” (That’s called faith)

Heb 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

While it would be hard to expect a rushing mighty wind or tongues as of fire to be present today when the Holy Spirit comes upon an individual or a certain event; but we too can experience the true gift. We, just as they, can be all filled afresh with the Holy Spirit as is expressed in chapter 1 verse 8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:8

For some Christians the word “tongues” brings to mind the sounds of an angelic language designed as a gift to help their personal devotional life by strengthening the inner man and building their faith; and is spoken of in 1st Corinthians, Romans and Jude.

As we find ourselves in this passage and if we rely on the fact that context sets the structure and interpretation of scripture; it is clear that the use of the word tongues is referring to “languages” or “dialects”. Therefore in this context they were speaking other known languages with great clarity.

While the wind and the fire are never seen again in the New Testament, speaking in tongues is seen repeatedly.

In Acts 10:44, when Peter was in the house of Cornelius preaching the Word, he didn’t even finish his message before the Holy Spirit came upon the believers and they started speaking in tongues

In Acts 19, Paul led the Ephesians into knowledge of Jesus Christ, laid hands on them for the power of the Spirit, and they spoke in tongues.

Here in verse 5 we see:

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?” 13 Others mocking said, “They are full of new wine.”

Dispersed Jews from all nations had gathered together in the Holy City for the Feast of Pentecost. When they heard about what was happening in the Upper Room, they gathered together to see for them selves what was going on.

As they heard praise and worship in their native tongues, they were all amazed and perplexed, saying to one another “Whatever could this mean?”  Others mocking said, “They are full of new wine.”

Then they began to realize these speaking were just ordinary, everyday people and that they were from Galilee and were mostly farmers and fishermen.

Galilee was a remote country type setting far removed from modern culture that would be in the Big City of Jerusalem.

Referring to this part of the scripture in chapter four it is said of the Galileans; Peter & John Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus. Acts 4:13

Here this morning there are many different states or areas represented and each has their own tongue!

(s. Georgia vs. New Jersey)

Yet as we come together praising and worshipping the Lord Jesus there is a mighty sound that takes place.

For some here this morning that have not had a born again experience and realized the salvation provided by Jesus; it is very possible that they are amazed and perplexed, saying to one another “Whatever could this mean?”

You and I have each been given a special language to speak (English as the primary language) but we also have very distinct and very different accents & dialects.

You see I can speak automotive, some can speak sports, others cooking or sewing or economics, or politics ect.

Within those different dialects there are thousands that need to hear the good news gospel of Jesus Christ and the love of God has for them personally.

That is where we as individuals are called to speak into their lives even when we are thinking I am so uneducated and untrained. Remember this; As you begin to speak the language they understand the Holy Spirit will come upon you (Acts 1:8) giving you the power and authority and even the right words to proclaim the gospel and minister the word of God to them just as what the need for that time and place.

The results of your obedience to the Lord by stepping out in faith and speaking the language into the opportunity provided by God will be revealed in at least two ways.

  1. They will marvel at what has been said;
  2. They will take note that you have been with Jesus!

Let’s take time & give thought to the language or tongue we have been given and how & when we are to use it.

No better way than start by taking time to thank our Lord Jesus for this and all that He has done and what we have been given as we enter a time of Holy Communion.