Acts 2:1 “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.”

     Not only would the early church – about 150 people be gathered as per Jesus’ instructions ( Acts 1:15) but a great many devout Jews would have come in from all parts of the world to take part in this Jewish feast. In the opening verse of Acts Chapter 2 we read of the early church gathered together for Pentecost – which for the Jewish people was a feast that came 50 days after the Passover. A commentary tells us that; “Among the Jews it was a applied to one of their three great feasts which began on the 50th day after the Passover.” (Barnes’ Notes)

     The Holy Spirit works where His people are assembled and waiting on the Lord in one accord; “And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.” (Acts 2:2) When the Holy Spirit comes to an assembly or to an individual to prepare and equip we can’t make total sense of it because we are limited humans. At Pentecost the church experienced a sound like a rushing mighty wind. A mighty rushing wind overpowers any self-justification or excuses – leaving room only for the Holy Spirit to speak into a person’s spirit. Immediately attention is removed from the self and directed towards the Almighty. This is a telling mark of a visitation of the Holy Spirit upon a person or a church body – you’re not thinking of your own prideful self anymore!

     In my own life when the Holy Spirit came upon me for the first time it was awesome in the truest sense of the word – (not a warm and fuzzy experience) – “In one terrible instant God granted me a vision of the enormity of my depravity and where it would lead. He brought me to my knees. It all happened in a moment yet it seemed like an eternity – my prayer changed completely. From then on, my prayer was a plea for His mercy for my son and for me! I asked God to bring my son back – to heal the rift between us. I asked God to help me love my son His way.” My ministry started with equipping for prayer – pure and powerful! Equipping isn’t about a particular gift – it’s about a relationship with Jesus Christ and trusting in His promise that His Holy Spirit will comfort, guide and lead you in your witness and daily life.

     The early church was equipped for communicate on in a world without the internet or common place reading or writing. A message was passed from person to person by mouth with the tongue. The book of Acts describes the equipping; “And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” (Acts 2:3,4) Of all the gifts of the Holy Spirit what was most needed at that gathering of people from all the corners of the world? Remember Jesus’ mission to the church; “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)

     This equipping was evident to the world as well as the eyewitnesses who recorded this event in Scripture: ”And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? . . . we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God” (Acts 2:5,6,7,8-11) Galilaeans were not known for their education or abilities to communicate a message. Barnes’ Notes tells us: “They were regarded as an outlandish people, unacquainted with other nations and languages, and hence, the amazement that they could address them in the refined language of other people. Their native ignorance was the occasion of making the miracle more striking.”

     And so like the world and everything carnal in us after the evidence of the Holy Spirit’s work and equipping we try to explain it away; “ And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this? Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.” (Acts 2: 12,13) The Apostle Peter spoke up with reason in the face of the disbelief; “But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.” (Acts 2:14,15)

     And as much as the world would like to deny the truth – change can’t be explained away! Peter was a changed man. The disciples went from being rough, crude and poorly spoken men to ardent preachers of His Gospel. Peter went from the timid fearful man who denied Jesus to a bold preacher of the Risen Christ. That day Peter spoke to the crowd and his witness brought about 3000 people into fellowship with Jesus and His church (Acts 2:41).

     Later in the book of acts we see even the Pharisees would recognize Peter’s new boldness for Jesus when he confronted them; “Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:10-12)

     The Pharisees were flabbergasted; “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.” (Acts 4:13) Some say that the time of this kind of powerful gifting from the Holy Spirit has passed – it isn’t needed anymore. I don’t agree with that. Like Peter said to the Pharisees who were trying to ‘shut them up’; “Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.” (Acts 4:19,20) I’ve experienced and seen too much of the Holy Spirit’s empowerment and healing gifts to shut up about them.

     Jesus promised us that the Holy Spirit would always be there for us; “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” ( John 14:26) Jesus said He had to return to Heaven so that the Holy Spirit could come to us; “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.” (John 16:7) The Acts of the Holy Spirit in His church have not ceased! How do I know this? Because the Bible tells me so! Because I have experienced the Holy Spirit’s comfort and help over and over again. I take Jesus at His Word – God’s Word is far far better than money in the bank!

     Remember the mission and promise given to us by Jesus; “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.”( Matthew 28:19,20)

     The presence of His Holy Spirit in us cannot be more evident as when we point to Him and lift Him high in our lives as He commanded us to do!

     Praise the Lord!

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