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May 15 – LD 20, Day 2: The Spirit Poured Out on Pentecost

Read: Acts 2

When we say with the Apostles Creed, “I believe in the Holy Spirit,” we also say, I believe that the Holy Spirit was given to the church on Pentecost.

When our Lord ascended into heaven and was given the place of highest exaltation at God’s right hand, he was also given the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:33). Christ poured out the Spirit given him upon the church.

It was on the first day of the week, fifty days after Christ rose from the dead, and ten days from the ascension of Christ into heaven.

The 120 disciples were gathered in an upper room for worship. While they were together, the Holy Spirit was given them. Because the Holy Spirit is invisible and because his coming could not be seen, he came with three different signs: the sound of a rushing mighty wind, tongues of fire on the heads of each disciple, and the gift of tongues.

These signs were important, not only because they were visible signs that the Holy Spirit had come to the church, but also because the signs showed how the Holy Spirit was to work in the church.

It was a wonderful day for the church, a day to be remembered throughout the whole history of the New Testament church.

The sound of a rushing mighty wind was the means God used to bring a huge crowd together in the street in front of the place where the 120 disciples were gathered. It was the sound of wind only; the day was quiet in Jerusalem. It was a strange sound, for it seemed to be coming from the house where the 120 were worshipping, so that the people who heard it knew where to go.

It was a sign of the work of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of God’s people. The Spirit is invisible, but unstoppable. He is irresistible in his work and accomplishes Christ’s purpose. Jesus had spoken of this already to Nicodemus (John 3:8).

The tongues as of fire are often pictured as like a flame of a candle burning on the top of the wick. But the text in Acts 2 leaves quite a different picture in our minds. It is the picture of a column of fire that comes down from heaven, shoots out tongues of fire that swirl around the head of each one of the 120 disciples, only to return again to the column of fire. It was a dramatic scene.

The fire signified the work of the Holy Spirit, for fire destroys and purifies (I Pet 1:7). Fire burns away the dross from ore, the impurities from gold, and the wickedness in us. But in destroying the useless and wicked, it purifies and sanctifies, so that the Spirit, in destroying our old man of sin, creates a new man that is holy and pure.

It was a marvelous sign. It pictures the Holy Spirit in our hearts.

Hanko, Herman

Prof. Herman Hanko (Wife: Wilma)

Ordained: October 1955

Pastorates: Hope, Walker, MI - 1955; Doon, IA - 1963; Professor to the Protestant Reformed Seminary - 1965

Emeritus: 2001


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