The Coming of the Holy Spirit
By Aimee Semple McPherson
“And when the day of Pentecost was fully come they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven” (and bless God, there has been a sound ever since when the Spirit falls). “From heaven…”—yes, thank God, in spite of what man may say, undoubtedly this sound is from heaven. “As of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance” (Acts 2:1–4).
I have often tried to picture the sudden consternation and excitement which surged through the streets of Jerusalem when the hundred and twenty men and women were filled with the Holy Spirit, and burst out shouting and talking in other tongues, so filled that they acted like drunken people. I can see the crowds running up this street and that, windows flying open, heads thrust out, doors opening, everybody running, devout men gathering up their long ministerial robes and forgetting their dignity, running with the rest to swell the one great question: “What means this?” (verse 12).
“Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together [beloved, if the Holy Spirit is falling in your midst, you will not need free suppers or box socials or Christmas trees to bring the multitude, your only trouble will be to find seats for the people] and were confounded [just as you have been, perhaps], because that every man heard them speak in his own language” (verse 6). They were amazed, they marveled, they were in doubt. Sober-minded folk asked the question: “What means this?”
Mockers declared, “These men are full of new wine” (verse 13). O what an uproar! What an excitement! You dear people who dislike confusion and demand things to be done “decently and in order” would have been scandalized.
“But Peter [a new Peter, no longer afraid of the opinions of people], standing up [the Holy Spirit, when He endues you with power, puts a real ‘stand up for Jesus spirit’ within you, and removes your cowardice]… said to them,…These are not drunken, as you suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel. And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, that I will pour out of My Spirit upon all flesh” (Acts 2:14–17). Then, as Peter preached that mighty sermon under the power of the Holy Spirit, among other things, he told his vast audience to: “Repent and be baptized, every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins,” and that they, too, would “receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38).
Furthermore, just as though he looked ahead through the coming years and saw the doubts in some of your minds, Peter declared that “the promise is” not only “to you” but also “to your children, and to all that are afar off [that means you, brother and sister, for he goes on to say], even as many as the Lord our God shall call” (verse 39). Now, if God has called you, the promise is to you. How glad I am that the Spirit, through Peter, drove these nails and clinched them on the other side until there was not the shadow of a loophole into which you could thrust the least wedge of doubt.