Terry R. Baughman
“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” (Acts 2:1–2).
Among the last instructions Jesus left His followers was to “tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high” (Luke 24:49). Just prior to His ascension into heaven from the Mount of Olives, “He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father” (Acts 1:4). The duration of time was not specified … just wait! The implication was that they would know when the event took place and when they should leave that upper room in Jerusalem.
There was no doubt about it when the Holy Spirit arrived to visit the men and women gathered in the upper room. There were both sounds and signs of the arrival. First, the Spirit came suddenly into the room with the sound of a strong wind. After several days of waiting, praying, and reflecting on the events that brought them to this moment it happened quickly, without warning, like a wind blowing open an unlatched door the Holy Spirit swept in with great demonstration.
The sound was like “a rushing mighty wind,” filling the room with His presence. We can never see the wind, just the effect it makes on the environment around us. The rustling of the the trees, or the whistling of the breezes through cracks in the doors are the most perceptible sounds as the winds appear. The sudden blast of air on your face can be refreshing, an evidence of its presence. So it is with the arrival of the Spirit.
John likened the birth of the Spirit to the presence of the wind. He said, “The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit” (John 3:8).
In addition to the sound of the heavenly wind, the sign of the Spirit was both visual and audible. Tongues of fire appeared upon them and the ecstatic sounds of various languages were heard as the Holy Spirit settled on this upper room assembly. Luke recorded, “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” (Acts 2:3-4).
Numerous languages were heard as they declared the wonderful works of God and people came from everywhere to see what was going on as this group of believers poured out of the upper room onto Solomon’s porch outside the Temple. Of the many Jews gathered from various places for the feast of Pentecost they begin to hear this evidence of the Spirit in their native tongues. While the believers did not know these languages, the empowerment of the Holy Spirit caused them to utter forth the glory of God in languages they had never learned.
When the Spirit arrives it does not require an announcement. There is something about the Spirit that is easily recognized when Jesus is present. May His presence come suddenly to us today!
“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13).