As I was thinking about how to approach this chapter, I had to snicker just a little bit.
At first I considered just a verse by verse study rather than using a homiletical approach.
And I even thought about skipping right over the first thirteen verses, because there isn’t much theology here which we haven’t already looked at.
What made me giggle was the fact that so many Protestants, including the Baptist variety, make the Day of Pentecost the biggest little day in ecclesiastical history.
But there was I – tempted to skip over it, because in some ways it is so small.
Finally I did decided on an outline, homiletical approach.
Let’s think about Pentecost fully coming; Pentecost’s Christian filling and Pentecost’s chaotic fervor.
And perhaps some of you might say the same thing.
But I have to admit that it’s been a long time since I seriously thought about what it says?
For example, can you tell me what exactly the Day of Pentecost is?
How many of us know how many times the word “Pentecost” is found in the Bible?
Pentecost was an Old Testament festival – a Biblically ordained day for the worship of the Lord.
And we remember that the New Testament teaches that the Old Testament rites and ceremonies illustrated different things about our Saviour.
So how many times is the word “Pentecost” found in the Old Testament? Never.
In fact, this word is found only three times in the New Testament:
He planned to be in Jerusalem by Pentecost – Acts 20:18.
And he told the Corinthians that he would “tarry at Ephesus until Pentecost” – I Corinthians 16:8.
Here’s another question: What is the true name for Pentecost? The Feast of Weeks.
So what is Pentecost?
As many of you know, “Pentecost” means “the fiftieth day.”
Turn to Deuteronomy 16:
Now skip down to verse 9: “Seven weeks shalt thou number unto thee: begin to number the seven weeks from such time as thou beginnest to put the sickle to the corn.
And thou shalt rejoice before the LORD thy God, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy manservant, and thy maidservant, and the Levite that is within thy gates, and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, that are among you, in the place which the LORD thy God hath chosen to place his name there.
And thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in Egypt: and thou shalt observe and do these statutes.
Even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall offer a new meat offering unto the LORD.
Ye shall bring out of your habitations two wave loaves of two tenth deals: they shall be of fine flour; they shall be baken with leaven; they are the firstfruits unto the LORD.
And ye shall offer with the bread seven lambs without blemish of the first year, and one young bullock, and two rams: they shall be for a burnt offering unto the LORD, with their meat offering, and their drink offerings, even an offering made by fire, of sweet savour unto the LORD.
Then ye shall sacrifice one kid of the goats for a sin offering, and two lambs of the first year for a sacrifice of peace offerings.
And the priest shall wave them with the bread of the firstfruits for a wave offering before the LORD, with the two lambs: they shall be holy to the LORD for the priest.
And ye shall proclaim on the selfsame day, that it may be an holy convocation unto you: ye shall do no servile work therein: it shall be a statute for ever in all your dwellings throughout your generations.”
It was called “Pentecost” because it took place seven weeks and one day after the Passover.
And do you remember that I said that the feasts of the Israel were typical of the Saviour?
Deuteronomy 16 reminded Israel that on the Feast of Weeks they were to note two things:
And then they were offer a variety of sacrifices all the way from burnt offerings to peace offerings.
And then we move into the New Testament and past the cross.
For the Christian the Passover meant the sacrifice of the Lamb and the institution of our salvation.
The Feast of Pentecost was meant to be, among other things, a day of thanksgiving.
Indeed the fields were white unto harvest and 3,000 souls were gleaned on that single day.
The Jewish commentaries suggest that the giving of the law on Mount Sinai, took place on the fiftieth day after Israel’s departure from Egypt.
In other words, the law of was given on the fiftieth day after the first Passover.
But, there is no Biblical authority to make this claim.
Okay then, what does the Bible mean when it says that “the day of Pentecost was fully come?”
One of the things that sets the Feast of Weeks apart from the Feast of the Passover or the Feast of Tabernacles,
Pentecost was supposed to be a single day.
If the Bible ever said, “when the Passover was fully come,” we might think that it spoke of the specific day rather than the entire week.
But that doesn’t help to explain this verse.
If the Holy Spirit came on the 47th day or the 49th day then it wouldn’t have been Pentecost.
But actually, somebody decided that our day starts at mid-night.
It appears to me that verse 1 is saying that the clock said that they were well into the Day of Pentecost.
The events of Acts 2 took place when the day was fully come.
That would certainly explain the crowd and the site where Peter preached his Pentecostal sermon.
I personally think that this may have taken place at John Mark’s mother’s house, where we find the church meeting in chapter 12.
I think that the context requires us to believe that it was essentially the entire congregation.
But that then leaves us with the question: were all the members involved in the evangelism here?
Don’t picture a big blast of wind, with toupees and veils flying off toward a corner of the room.
The Bible says that it was only the SOUND of a mighty rushing wind.
Everyone knew that something was happening, but it wasn’t anything that they had experienced before.
It was the presence of the power of the Holy Spirit and it filled the entire house.
Did this windy sound sweep over the Mount of Olives and in through the Eastern Gate?
First, the Bible says that it came from Heaven, not from Bethany, or Caesarea.
It may have come straight down from the sky above the house.
And then the Bible says that it only filled that house, not the city nor the streets outside.
Then that assembled church was IMMERSED in the Spirit.
This was the Holy Spirit BAPTISM which had been prophesied and anticipated.
It was almost exactly like the Lord’s filling of Solomon’s Temple and the Tabernacle of the Congregation.
The church has been approved and sanctified by God.
In addition to that, its members were also filled with the Spirit,
Were those tongues of pseudo-flames large or small? It doesn’t say.
Or did everyone have their own personal flame? It doesn’t clearly tell us.
Were any of them burned? It doesn’t say, but it doesn’t appear that they were.
With that touch he was sanctified and enabled him to be the witness that Jehovah needed.
Were these tongues of fire something similar?
They had already willingly made themselves available to the Lord to be used however He wanted.
And now, He was accepting their offering.
Speaking in tongues and the filling of the Spirit are not synonymous.
In this case they were all parallel events.
And obviously, true “glossolalia” has nothing to do with unintelligible gibberish.
The gift of tongues is the divine ability to speak in a foreign language which the speaker had not had the opportunity to learn naturally.
It is the opposite to the miracle at the Tower of Babel.
As they went, they enthusiastically witnessed of what they knew of the Saviour.
They spoke in Median, Cyrenian, Phrygian, Egyptian, Coptic and other tongues.
We have here a list of countries from Iran to Rome.
And those who had the privilege to hear, heard the gospel in their native “glossas.”
Some of those people were thrilled, not only to hear their own dialects, but also thrilled to hear the gospel.
But man has from the beginning of time tried to explain away the miraculous.
Sometimes those miracles are so serious that the denials are very serious.
But sometimes, as in this case, the unbeliever simply chooses to make fun of what he doesn’t understand.
The stage was set for Peter’s momentous and powerful, Day of Pentecost sermon.