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


3 Then there appeared to them divided tongues [languages], as of fire,

“Divided tongues” or languages were flame-like. “Fire” often carries the idea of God’s presence in Scripture (Ge 15:17; Ex 3:2-6; 13:21-22; 19:18; 40:38). This fire is not literal but something that appeared like fire. The “divided tongues” indicates that the experience of receiving the Spirit fell on each person present.

and one sat upon each [every one] of them.

 The Holy Spirit came upon each person present; none were exempt from this experience.


Because the Spirit came on every believer at Pentecost, the Holy Spirit has sealed Himself to every believer at the point of salvation.


Ephesians 1:13 says that God sealed every Christian with the Holy Spirit at the point of salvation. This sealing is preserved until eternity. The indwelling, baptism, and sealing of the Holy Spirit marked God’s new relationship and beginning with the church and each believer. God’s relation to Israel was not one of within but without. He now indwells believers within. In the Old Testament, God’s relationship with transient and with only a few special people. He did not permanently indwell believers then, but only did it under exceptional circumstances.