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Read Introduction to Acts


1 When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.


Acts 2 marks the launch of the church. Up to this point, God’s program had been the nation Israel. Now He turned to a new economy, an organism rather than an organization.

Acts 1:8 gave the Lord’s commission in sequence: first Jerusalem, then Samaria, and then to the uttermost part of the earth. The first seven chapters set forth the commission to Jerusalem, chapters 8-12 refer to the ministry to the Samaritans, and chapters 13-28 refer to the ministry to the Gentiles, which is still in progress today.

Chapters 1 through 7 are to the “Jew first.” Some spoke in other languages without learning them to prove to the Jew that a major construct in God’s plan for His people made a change (1 Co 14:21-22). The difference was from the nation Israel to the concept of the church, with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, or the baptism of the Spirit (which is not the same as the filling of the Spirit).


When the Day of Pentecost had fully come,

The 10 days of waiting were now over. Pentecost was one of three of Israel’s annual festivals. Under the nation Israel, Pentecost occurred 50 days after the Firstfruits feast, or Passover (Lev 23:16). “Pentecost” means 50. This event celebrated the gathering of the first fruits of the harvest (Ex 23:16). Pentecost was a time when Jews from all over the world came to celebrate; they came “from every nation under heaven” (Acts 2:5). In this case, Pentecost came 50 days after they crucified the Lord. The economy of Israel ended.

they were all with one accord [likeminded] in one place.

There were 120 Jewish people in the upper room (Acts 1:13-14). They were in “one accord” together in “one place.” “One accord” shows their united spirit expecting the promise of Jesus to be fulfilled (Acts 1:5, 8). “One place” is the upper room in chapter 1.


And suddenly there came a sound from heaven,

“Sound” and “wind” were indications of the objectivity of the event of the coming of the Holy Spirit: audible, visible, and speaking in extant languages. The descent of the Spirit was the fulfillment of Jesus’ promise (Jn 14:16,17); He came to “abide” (remain) with the church.

as of a rushing mighty wind,

The coming of the Holy Spirit on the church sounded like a “rushing mighty wind.” “Wind” was often an emblem of the Holy Spirit in Scripture. It was not “wind” but “as of” a wind. There was no actual wind but something like wind.

and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.

 The Holy Spirit intruded amid the 120 Jewish believers in the room.


The coming of the Spirit was a sudden, unique, supernatural event that signaled the launch of the economy of the church.


The event of Acts 2 does not occur anywhere else in the New Testament, including Acts 8 and 19. The phenomenon of speaking in foreign languages without study occurs in subsequent passages, but it is not possible to replicate the event of Pentecost, which is the coming of the Spirit to indwell the church for the first time. It was a non-repeatable event in history. The coming of the Holy Spirit can no more be repeated than the Passover of Christ’s shed blood. Since the Holy Spirit came initially on the Day of Pentecost, God has no further need to repeat it. The Holy Spirit now indwells every believer via the baptism of the Spirit. There is no more need for rushing wind and tongues of fire.

The outpouring of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost was something God—not the apostles—did. The Spirit came in God’s providence and timing.

The purpose of tongues was not the edification of the believer but the authentication of the launch of the church set in contrast to the nation Israel. The Spirit’s coming on that day launched the inauguration of the church. It was to give credible evidence to the Jews or Jewish proselytes that an entirely new economy of the church had begun and that God had set aside the nation Israel as the way He would deal with His people in the future (Acts 2:22; Mark 16:20; Acts 7:36-39, 51; Heb. 2:2-4; 1 Cor. 14:20-22).

Jews and their proselytes were present in each case where tongues took place in Acts (Acts 2, 10, and 19). The Jews required a sign. They would have demanded strong proof that God was now giving new revelation that would appear to contradict their Scriptures that they were His chosen people set aside as a nation. Jewish proselytes went back to their countries to tell of God’s new economy, the church. The “Jews first” principle became the seed for church planting throughout the Roman world.

God told the Jews that He would speak to them in a foreign language because they refused to accept the words of Isaiah (Isa 28:11). First Corinthians 14:21 refers to the Isaiah passage to prove that God used tongues to reach unbelieving Jews. The purpose was to bring Israel to repent (1 Co 14:22-25). See Thomas Constable’s chart:



Instances of Speaking in Tongues in Acts










Relation to conversion









Jewish believers


Unsaved Jews and Christians


Sometime after conversion


To validate (for Jews) God’s working as Joel prophesied









Gentile believers


Jewish believers who doubted God’s plan



Immediately after conversion


To validate (for Jews) God’s working among Gentiles as He had among Jews












Jews who needed confirmation of Paul’s message




Immediately after conversion



To validate (for Jews) Paul’s gospel message