As we shall see, there were a few main characteristics on the Day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit came to earth. Let’s read Acts 2:1-4, “When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a SOUND from heaven, as of a RUSHING MIGHTY WIND, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them DIVIDED TONGUES, as of FIRE, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all FILLED with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with OTHER TONGUES, as the Spirit gave them UTTERANCE.” As one has said, “the coming of the Spirit involved a SOUND to hear, a SIGHT to see, and a MIRACLE to experience” (William MacDonald). The “sound to hear” was WIND; the “sight to see and the miracle to experience” involved the Holy Spirit giving the disciples a BOLDNESS TO SPEAK IN TONGUES (languages they had never learned before). This is borne out in verses 5-8, “And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven. And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language. Then they were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another, ‘Look, are not all these who speak Galileans? And how is that we hear, each in our own language in which we were born?” This was truly a miracle, for the disciples were all Galileans who were uneducated in other languages, yet they spoke so that everyone who came from many nations (that had different languages) could understand them. They also spoke with a holy zeal and boldness which had not characterized the disciples up to this point.

The Holy Spirit had indeed FILLED THEM and they were under His complete control, resulting an amazing “sight to see” and a “miracle to experience.” He had come to INDWELL THEM in order to give them the power to witness for the Lord Jesus. Jesus had foretold this in John 14:17 and Acts 1:8: “the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells WITH YOU and WILL BE IN YOU….But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” We also learn that His indwelling resulted in the formation of the church, the body of Christ, for at that time the Holy Spirit would “baptize them into the body.” We see this truth in the words of Jesus and the Apostle Paul in Acts 1:5 and 1st Corinthians 12:12-13: “For John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now…For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body.” Prior to the Day of Pentecost believers were “INDIVIDUALS in the family God,” but with the indwelling and the baptism of the Holy Spirit, they were formed into a “COLLECTIVE COMPANY in the body of Christ.”

It should be noted that the amazing SIGHT, SOUND and MIRACLE that took place on the Day of Pentecost was a SIGN that served to prove to those in attendance that the disciples were speaking the Word of God. We know they were speaking God’s Word because we read in Acts 2:11, “we hear them speaking in our own tongues the WONDERFUL WORKS OF GOD.” Jesus had also foretold that this SIGN would accompany the disciples for that very purpose. “And these SIGNS will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will SPEAK IN NEW TONGUES…So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven…and they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and CONFIRMING THE WORD THROUGH THE ACCOMPANYING SIGNS” (Mark 16:17, 19-20). In time the Word was indeed confirmed (proven to be true) and the miraculous signs ceased. We should not expect to experience another “Day of Pentecost” where we can all “speak in new tongues,” but we can expect the Holy Spirit’s power to enable us to “speak for Christ in boldness” (see John 15:26-27; Acts 1:8; 4:31-33).  (DO)  (554.5)