Acts 2:1-13 :
Now when the day of Pentecost had come, they were all with one accord in one place. Suddenly there came from the sky a sound like the rushing of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. Tongues like fire appeared and were distributed to them, and one sat on each of them. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak with other languages, as the Spirit gave them the ability to speak. Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under the sky. When this sound was heard, the multitude came together, and were bewildered, because everyone heard them speaking in his own language. They were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another, “Behold, aren’t all these who speak Galileans? How do we hear, everyone in our own native language? Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and people from Mesopotamia, Judea, Cappadocia, Pontus, Asia, Phrygia, Pamphylia, Egypt, the parts of Libya around Cyrene, visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians: we hear them speaking in our languages the mighty works of God!” They were all amazed, and were perplexed, saying one to another, “What does this mean?” Others, mocking, said, “They are filled with new wine.”
The day of Pentecost was a feast that Israel had been celebrating for a long time up to this point, but now the day had completely new meaning. In a way, this day is like the “Christmas” of the Holy Spirit. It is an un-paralleled day in the history of mankind. God poured out His very own Spirit on mankind and made His home in the believers in Jesus. When this happened, it came with the physical signs that we read about here.
Ordinary men started speaking in all different languages without having learned them first. About 14 different groups are mentioned here and they all heard their own languages. This must have been a shocking miracle to see. Not only that but flames of fire could be seen over the believers. It is interesting that some thought that the believers were drunk. Although they may have seemed pretty happy, the idea that they were drunk and somehow became experts in foreign languages simply doesn’t make any sense.
The modern concept of “tongues” in church is usually referring to the speaking of unknown languages or “the language of angels”. These “different languages” were not like that. They were human languages and God was using them to communicate to their native speakers. And of course, today, there are no flames of fire is resting on the speaker in church. It is very clear to me that this was a unique event in history. To learn more about the proper order and use of “different languages” or “tongues” in church, see 1 Corinthians 12-14.
The Holy Spirit brought major change to the world we live in today. He brought a new world order. This order continues today and although men try to stop or change it, it continues to thrive. The Holy Spirit is greater than he that is in the world. Since all believers in Jesus have the Holy Spirit inside of them, if we obey His leading, we can play our part in the Holy Spirit’s activities. Don’t get me wrong, this is not about world dominion. God is always in charge and someday will be politically in charge through Jesus Christ Himself. I’m simply talking about the influence of simple believers everyday and the effect it has on the world. I’m just talking about a continuation of what we read here in this book of Acts. Our goal is not a worldly one but a heavenly one and our duty, as we have read, is to influence the world through the Gospel of Jesus.