Pentecost began on Saturday evening. It did not fully come until Sunday morning. The church was on one accord waiting for the promised Holy Spirit. For these Jerusalem believers to be on one accord is the miracle before the miracle. A Review of the Gospels reveals several conflicts between the Apostles. The repeated times of intense prayer between the Resurrection and Pentecost has influenced the believers creating a unity of heart. (Henry pg. 38)2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
The sound was immediate and loud and completely supernatural. There was no build-up to the wind nor where things stirred naturally. It is very likely that the noise was heard throughout the city. This set the stage for Peter’ s sermon. Crowds would have gathered around the house with hopes of seeing what was happening. 3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. Henry quotes Dr Hammond regarding this verse. “ There was an appearance of something like flaming fire lighting on every one of them, which divided asunder, and so formed the resemblance of tongues, with that part of them that was next to their heads divided or cloven. ” (Henry pg.
40)4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. Many churches continue to take “ speaking in tongues” as the only sure sign of having the Holy Ghost. This is not what this verse is saying. The early church was in a multi-lingual culture.
The Apostles have not learned men and none of them knew another language naturally. This gift not only testified to filling of the Holy Spirit but equipped them to minister to the gathering masses outside the house. This passage is part of Paul’ s testimony and a defence of his Apostleship. Whereas Romans was written from his head, Galatians bursts forth from the heart of Paul. (McGhee, Galatians, pg. 4) It was written in AD 57 in Ephesus. This was during Paul’ s third missionary journey and before his epistle to the Romans.
As with most other NT books, Galatian’ s date is disputed among theologians.
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