Video of this message is available on YouTube: The Fullness of Pentecost – Acts 2:1-4
“Pentecost” (2:1) was one of Israel’s 7 annual feast days. Passover (Lev. 23:4,5) typified the cross (I Cor. 5:7). Unleavened bread (Lev. 23:6) typified how He died without the leaven of sin, so we should purge sin from our churches and our personal lives in response to Christ being sacrificed for us (I Cor. 5:7). Firstfruits (Lev. 23:10) typified Christ’s resurrection, and how He was the firstfruits of the resurrection of believers in Israel and in the Body of Christ (I Cor. 15: 20,23).
Then came Pentecost, which means “fiftieth.” It came 50 days after firstfruits (Lev. 23:15) and spoke of the coming of the Holy Ghost (John 14:16-18). The Lord taught the apostles for forty days (Acts 1:3), leaving them 10 days to pick a replacement for Judas (Acts 1:15-26). Now here in Acts 2, the fiftieth day feast was “fully come” (2:1).
It was fully come symbolically too. Just as all those passover lambs in the past were types of the fullness of Christ’s sacrifice, so all the Pentecosts in the past were types of the fulness of the coming of the Spirit at this Pentecost.
“Rushing” (2:2) was associated with the Spirit (Ezk. 3:12) as was the wind (John 3:8). The windy Spirit power of God could be used constructively (Ezek. 37:9,10) or destructively (Isa. 40:6-10). The filling of the disciples with the Spirit here in Act 2 was constructive, but Jews who rejected their message will face His destructive power.
The sound filling the house (2:2) was typified in II Chron. 5:13, where Solomon’s temple was filled because of the oneness of the 120 priests (v. 12). Since the temple will be a restoration of the kingdom as it was in Solomon’s day (Acts 1:6), the oneness of the 120 disciples here (Acts 1:15) was a taste of the kingdom.
These cloven tongues were not the fulfillment of Mt.3:11. John was talking about the fire that will come at the Second Coming of Christ (v. 12 cf. II Thes. 1:7,8).
They were given visible tongues of fire on their heads (Acts 2:3) to notify them they were being filled with the Spirit, sort of like Luke 3:21,22. They were given tongues of fire to signify how they’d now speak in tongues (Acts 2:4). “Cloven” means divided (Lev. 11:7), further signifying how they’d speak in different tongues. It also symbolized how they were to walk separate from the Gentiles (Lev. 20:25,26) and from unsaved Jews (Ps. 1:1; Pr. 9:6), and how the Spirit that filled them was about to enable them to walk separate from sinners (I Jo. 3:9; 5:18). They couldn’t sin at Pentecost!
What’s that tell you about our Pentecostal friends? They insist they are filled with the Spirit, and can imitate the ability to speak in tongues. But if you’re going to say you are filled with the Spirit as they were at Pentecost, you should also be able to not sin as well. That’s a little harder to imitate.
I don’t mean to be unkind in saying this. I only mean to assure God’s people that they are not missing out on a blessing that our Pentecostal friends tell them they are missing out on, the ability to speak in tongues.
When we tell our Pentecostal friends that God is not filling men with the Spirit today the way He did at Pentecost because God started a new program with Paul, they will sometimes ask, “Then why Paul did Paul say to be filled with the Spirit?” (Eph. 5:18). But the filling of the Spirit didn’t always cause men to speak in tongues in the Bible. Sometimes it caused them to know how to build a tabernacle (Ex. 31:3-5), or prepare men for the Messiah (Lu. 1:15-17) or assure Mary that the Lord would “perform” what the angel said (Lu. 1:41-45), or prophesy (Lu. 1:67).
What does the filling of the Spirit do today? Well, at Pentecost, it caused men to speak in tongues. Today it causes men to speak in psalms and hymns and thanksgiving (Eph. 5:18-20).
How can we be filled with the Spirit? Colossians 3:16,17 says that being filled with the Word of God causes men to speak in psalms and hymns and thanksgiving. That means to be filled with the Spirit today, in the dispensation of grace, you must be filled with the Word of God.