Acts 2:1-4 - Filled with the Spirit!

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On the Day of Pentecost, the disciples had an unusual experience of being filled with the Spirit. As Pentecostals we believe that this experience is for believers today. So let's read all about it in Acts 2:1-4. We will then consider how this text applies to us.

  1. When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place.
  2. And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.
  3. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them.
  4. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance. NASU

1. The disciples were together. When we come together, we can accomplish much in the kingdom of God.

After Jesus ascended, the disciples returned from mount Olivet (Acts 1:12-15) to Jerusalem and went to the upper room where some of them were staying. These disciples, along with others, were continually devoting themselves to prayer. They were in an upper room praying with one accord.

In our text, Luke says that the disciples were all "together." In this verse, he does not stress that they were "in one accord" or "with one mind." He simply says that they were in one place, physically together. We can be sure, however, that a sense of unity prevailed among the disciples.

Today, we often use the word "together" in the metaphorical sense of being united in our views. When believers are united in their vision and goals, the kingdom of God is greatly enhanced. There is great power in unity and in commitment to a common purpose. Let us be "together" in the kingdom!

2. The disciples heard a noise like a mighty wind. We, too, can experience the power of the Spirit.

As the disciples were sitting in the house, a noise like a violent rushing wind suddenly filled the whole house. Luke does not say there was a wind, but that there was a noise that sounded like a violent or mighty rushing wind. A violent or mighty wind creates a huge noise.

Luke uses a simile to describe what happened. A "noise like a violent rushing wind" filled the house. The wind, as a figure of speech, can have several meanings. We could say that the wind represents the Spirit Himself. However, we might say also that the wind represents the presence of God. The sound of the wind rushing signaled that God was present. In addition the wind can be a symbol of the Spirit's power. There was a sound of a powerful wind. Putting all this together, the sound of the rushing violent wind reminds us of the Spirit manifesting Himself in power.

The noise was real. It was like a mighty wind. Sometimes God manifests Himself in unusual ways. He makes Himself known to us in unmistakable ways. Very often this will be in a time of worship. We as believers sense the presence of God among us and feel that we are standing on holy ground.

3. Tongues as of fire rested on them. The presence of God will rest on each of us.

Another simile appears in verse 3. Luke writes, "And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them." As in the case of the wind, it was not actual flames of fire that appeared, but rather "tongues as of fire." Apparently, a mass of fire appeared over the group then broke up into single fire-like flames and rested on each of the disciples.

The emblem of fire is rich in meaning. At a minimum the fire represents the presence of God (Exodus 3:2 and 19:18). The presence of God among us has many results. The fire as well as the wind can be an emblem of the Spirit's power. Although some would emphasis the power of the Spirit to transform us inwardly, the major point of the context is that the disciples are empowered to speak prophetically. The disciples will proclaim a Spirit-inspired message.

4. The disciples were filled with the Spirit. We can be filled with the Spirit.

According to Jesus in Acts 1:5-8, the disciples would be baptized in the Holy Spirit. This promise was fulfilled on the Day of Pentecost. Luke writes, "And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance."

When the Spirit came upon the disciples, they began to speak in tongues. When people speak in tongues, they speak in a language that they have not learned. On the day of Pentecost the disciple spoke in languages known to the hearers but not to the speakers. The disciples spoke as the Spirit was giving them utterance. This was a work of the Spirit of God.

We know from Acts 1:8 that the purpose of this experience was to enable the disciples to witness in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the remotest part of the world. As we see in Acts 2:11 the tongues spoken by the disciples became a powerful witness to the gathered crowd. Today, more than ever, we need the empowerment of the Spirit to witness to people everywhere.

Conclusion

According to Jesus, the experience the disciples had on the Day of Pentecost was the baptism in the Holy Spirit predicted by John the Baptist. We believe that experience is for all believers today. When you believe in Christ, you are eligible to be empowered as witnesses. Jesus will baptize you and the Spirit will equip you to tell of God's great love for the world. Come to Jesus today as a candidate for the empowerment of the Spirit.

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