As we begin our exploration into the nature and practice of speaking in tongues, it only seems fitting that we should begin with Acts 2 and the events that transpired on the day of Pentecost.
What exactly happened? Let me respond to this question with two answers.
First, the events of Pentecost were a singular phenomenon in history. It is not correct to speak of people elsewhere throughout the world, down through the centuries, each experiencing their own Pentecost. However, although the day of Pentecost and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit could only happen once, as a singular event in redemptive history, the effects or fruit of the Spirit’s coming are experienced at all times throughout the course of church history.
Secondly, what the disciples of Jesus experienced as a result of the Spirit’s descent is something we most assuredly should expect and pray for. The Spirit Himself comes only once. He doesn’t need to repeat His arrival. But what He did among the disciples at Pentecost He most certainly has continued to do among all God’s people in every subsequent century.
What the Spirit did is designed by God to characterize the experience of God’s people throughout the course of this age until Jesus comes back.