The day of Pentecost is typically associated with stupendous signs and miracles. Acts 2 records that when the Holy Spirit was given, the display of ability and power astounded everyone present. There was a sound like a mighty rushing wind (verse 2). It appeared that fire rested on the apostles (verse 3), and when they spoke, every person present could hear what was being said in his own language, even his own dialect (verses 4-11).
Because of the brief description given in Acts 2, various religious denominations have sprung up which practice speaking in gibberish—which the disciples definitely were not doing—and being "slain in the Spirit," which is clearly not a biblical concept. These sincere but misled people focus on miracles and manifestations as "proof" that they have received the Holy Spirit. Every week they gather to "pray down" the Spirit—or at least a spirit—for their own use and gratification. The focus of their meetings is on the experience rather than on instruction, admonition, rebuke, or encouragement (see II Timothy 3:16).
Before this event in Acts, Jesus Himself explained to His disciples the importance of their receiving the Holy Spirit, as well as what signs would be shown as a result (Acts 1:4-9). The very last thing the resurrected Christ said before He ascended to the Father was, to paraphrase, "You will receive power when you receive the Holy Spirit, and this will enable you to be witnesses of Me." Through the giving of the Holy Spirit, Christ's disciples would have the necessary means to be lights to the world and to demonstrate a way to live that glorified God.
David C. Grabbe
The Pentecost Witness
When the Holy Spirit was given, it came as a mighty rushing wind. It had no shape at all and no life, but it appeared as the power the Father and the Son used to carry out Their purposes in this creation. It is interesting to notice that this power not only filled the people but it also filled the house. In this way, it was directed indiscriminately.
There is no personality in the so-called "third part of the Godhead." This man-made doctrine has no home in the Scriptures. It was devised in the third and fourth centuries and imposed on the church by the force of the Roman government. It is anti-biblical and totally and completely erroneous. No scripture supports it—not even one.
John W. Ritenbaugh
The Holy Spirit
It is interesting that Luke does not say that a wind actually blew. He writes that the sound of a mighty, rushing wind came. Whatever the case, it had a hurricane-like sound understood or perceived to be coming from heaven. It filled the whole house where they were sitting. Why does he mention them sitting? Why were they not standing around and fellowshipping with one another? In all probability the "house" mentioned here is actually the Temple. They were sitting because it was a holy day, and they were having a service.
It is also interesting to note that the sound filled only the house, not the whole city. Even if we allow that some of the sound was heard in the area around the house, Luke specifically contains the sound to the general area where the house was. We know that some outside (at least outside of the room the disciples were in) heard it, because they were attracted by the fact that the sound was emanating from the place where the disciples were sitting and having a meeting. So, these other people, a few thousand of them (Acts 2:41), began gathering in the general area, lending more credence to the probability that the "house" was the Temple.
John W. Ritenbaugh
Pentecost and the Holy Spirit
God's Holy Spirit imparts to us His love, giving us the power to obey His laws in their full spiritual intent. The repentant sinner is then a changed person - his whole outlook and purpose is changed as he is led by the Spirit.
Earl L. Henn (1934-1997)
Basic Doctrines: Salvation
Other Forerunner Commentary entries containing Acts 2:2: