In Your Bible: Acts Chapters 2, 4, 10 and 11
The book of Acts records many times when the Holy Spirit touched mankind. This includes occasions much like it was at Pentecost, with a mighty wind, violent noise, and amazement filling an entire house—the Holy Spirit continues to fall.
Peters’ Second Sermon
After the Holy Spirit fell in Acts 2:1-4, Peter rebuked the Jews present who did not understand and made jest of what happened. He quoted Old Testament Scripture from the Psalms and the Prophet Joel, prompted by the Holy Spirit (and what Jesus had told him). This amazed Jewish leaders. About three thousand were added to the church that day. More added in days to follow!
Later Peter and John healed the lame man on the way to the Temple. The crowd saw what happened and heard the formerly lame man praising God! Then Peter preached again, this time in the Temple, again rebuking the leaders who did not accept this miracle. He pointed out that those who resisted did so in ignorance (see Acts 3:17).
The priests and Sadducees had Peter and John imprisoned for teaching that Jesus had been resurrected. And the next day the two were released from prison. Many of those who had listened to Peter and John believed in Jesus. The church now was over five thousand strong (see Acts 4:4)!
Speak the Word with Boldness
When Peter and John had been released, they went to their companions and reported all that the chief priests and the elders had said to them. The most disturbing part was they could no longer speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus.
And when they [the companions] heard this, they lifted their voices to God with one accord . . .And now, Lord, take note of their threats, and grant that Your bond-servants may speak Your word with all confidence, while You extend Your hand to heal, and signs and wonders take place through the name of Your holy servant Jesus.” And when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness (Acts 4:24,29-31 NASB).
Gentiles Receive Too
Cornelius, a devout man but not a Jew, had a vision of an angel who spoke to him. After this he sent for Peter to tell him what the vision meant. Peter told Cornelius, “I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality, but in every nation, the man who fears Him and does what is right is welcome to Him . . .
While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who were listening to the message. All the circumcised believers who came with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also (Acts 10:34-35). Today the Holy Spirit continues to fall.
Prayer: Father, these early disciples needed guidance, encouragement, and power. Thank you for giving it to them and for continuing to give it to believers today.
Questions: Imagine being in the upper room as the Spirit fell or at a time afterwards as Peter spoke so boldly and amazing events occurred. How would you react?