And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
And there appeared unto 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.
- Suddenly. When God moves it is quick and powerful but according to His time.
- A Sound. Echo in Greek. A sound a rumor a noise. It was a sound that they heard with their ears.
- Wind is associated with spirit. IN Hebrew Ruach in Greek here Pnoe meaning Wind, air, breath, or spirit. Later the word for spirit n holy spirit is “pnuema” also meaning spirit or wind.
- It like a rushing mighty wind. Rushing is like “being conveyed or being brough from heaven to men.
- Mighty is translated from the Greek word for “violently or forcefully” Full of force, coming with great power
- Wind was a familiar emblem of the Spirit ( Eze 37:9 Jhn 3:8 20:22 ). But this was not a rush of actual wind. It was only a sound “as of” it.
- It was the breath or spirit of God that created the heavens and earth Gen 1:2 and brought light and revelation.
- It was His sprit give to men. Holy Spirit because God is Spirit and He is Holy. Jhn 3:6 “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”
- The voice of the Lord is in the breath or spirit Gen 3:8
- It filled the house where they were sitting. They were probably not in an upper attic but in the Temple where God would meet all the travelers through Peters Sermon that day. The Temple is called the House of God.
- First the wind or breath of God filled the “House” but the intention of God was never to live in a temple made by hands but by God Himself. So in Acts 2:4 the Spirit filled the Body of Christ as the home of the spirit. The new Body of Christ and the new Ekklesia.
- Mar 14:58 “We heard him say, I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and within three days I will build another made without hands.: This is the resurrected Body of Christ.
- The wind filled the house and the believer’s were filled by the Spirit of God. They were made complete and the promise was fulfilled!
- It is only this spirit that can give Joy and Hope and love Romans 15:24
- Eph 1:23 “Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.” It is Christ.
- Eph 3:16-17 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,” It is Christ Himself.
- Eph 3:19 “And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.” It is the fulness of God
- Col 2:10 “And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:
- IN this house made by God not made by men we are saturated with Christ and therefore filled. Since Christ was saturated with God we too can be saturated or filled to overflowing with God. If we are full or something as infinite as God how can we not overflow and pour out love to others?
There is a relation with Genesis 11 where the languages of men were the same but divided due to disobedience. Now because of the obedience of Christ all nations and tongues are united in the Body of Christ.
This is the first real record of man forming his own religion. A temple made by hands to reach the heavens to reach God. It reminds me of NASA and all the dreams of men to reach other worlds and become gods of every planet. It will fall and burn.
Even Solomons temple was never an intersection from God. It was the Tablernacle of Moses that was inspired in detail. And in the book to the Hebrews we are not told the Temple was a type of the Body of Christ but the Tabernacle of Moses.
There has always been Gods giving us His household and then there is religion building temple to get to God. They are as opposite as oil and water and so do not mix. Or even as a replacement for Christ with another Christ that is counterfeit. Opposite as Christ and the spirit of Anti-Christ.
And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech.
And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there.
And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them throughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter
And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.
And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded.
And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.
Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.
So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city.
“The creation accounts of Genesis 1 and 2 reveal a God who delights in, and values, both unity and diversity. God’s creational design is far from mass-produced uniformity. In the ‘melodious mélange’ of Genesis 1, the Creator seems to delight in making opposites (heaven and earth, day and night, male and female) – ‘but opposites that complement, not clash, opposites that harmonize not antagonize’”
In the intercultural church, this diversity is most evident in the differences between the sexes, ages and cultures to be found in the church. Yet we see that the unity or singularity that was there from creation,
Man cannot make unity by his own means. Only unity comes by the Spirit of God and is final in the Body of Christ not a tower of Babel.
We thus need to note that from the outset the human race is one. Each and every one of the diverse peoples of Earth belongs to one family. God’s singular act of creating male and female progenitors of all peoples is foundational to our theology (Gn 1-2) We are all of one blood. We are all His offspring and all men are created in His image. Acts 17:2ff
As his offspring by creation, every human being is our brother and sister. We are equally created by him and like him (the image of God). We are equal in his sight in worth and dignity and thus have an equal right to respect and justice.
God’s mission’ being his universal love of all humanity (Jn 3:16) and his particular love for individuals within all cultures. He observes (Van Engen 2004) that:
… three times in the first eleven chapters of Genesis we are told that God is the creator and judge of all peoples. All people are created in Adam and Eve; all people descend from Noah; all people have their languages confused and are then spread out over the entire earth after the Babel episode. In each case, there is a recognition of the particularity and difference of various peoples – as is signalled by the inclusion of the Table of Nations in Genesis 10 – yet in each case this multiplicity of peoples are collectively and unitedly said to be the object of God’s concern. (p. 2)
God commanded humankind to fill the Earth (Gn 1:28, 9:1, 7), yet here the record shows that humankind rebelled against this command, by only migrating east and rather congregating together in one city, Babel. So, at Babel, God divides language into all the resulting tongues of the world, in the last judgment of primeval times.
Then we read of the “table of nations” and the diversity
Mathews (1996:429) warns: ‘Genesis 10-11 shows that a disproportionate consideration on “races”, as in our modern world, forfeits our inherent unity and may lead to a primitive tribalism that fosters war. But by Grace God has made us One in Christ!
Babel and division
Babylonians believed that Babel/Babylon meant ‘gate of god’, but the words sound rather like ‘confusion’ and are similar to the words for ‘folly’ and ‘flood’ (Wenham 1987:245).
The nearest source is probably babel [gate of God] from the Akkadian language. Thus, it was the gate by means of which humans sought to assault God. Babel was meant to be the high point of culture but has rather became the symbol of human defiance and failure.
When we consider the ‘tower’, the word used in the Hebrew text (מִגְדָּל) is generic and can be used for any sort of tower, like defence towers or watchtowers. Yet this was an early Mesopotamian city. The most prominent building in the early temple complex was the ziggurat. ‘Most interpreters, therefore, have identified the Tower of Babel as a ziggurat’ (Walton 2001:373).
Some interpreters have suggested that the sin God judged was not pride but disobedience to his command in Gen 1:28 to ‘fill the earth’ But could it not be both?
Agricultural society function better that industrialization and urbanization.
Rather, it may be viewed as God’s benevolent act of correction, to keep humankind from remaining in the one location at Babel. This proposed reading might find confirmation in the fact that there is no mention of God’s wrath anywhere in Genesis 11.
After looking at Babel in Genesis we now need to review the material in Acts that pertains to the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit at Pentecost enabled various languages to be spoken by the disciples and understood by the hearers in their mother tongue. The pneumatological promise in Acts 1:8 by Christ was fulfilled. And we see it in all the Book of Acts! They were filled with the power, the ability to witness to all the uttermost parts of the earth. Missions in every language and to every culture!
The major point of contact is the diversity of language. In the Genesis 11 a common language was a symbol of unity around a false centre of idolatry, pride and self-sufficiency. The diversity of language was a symbol for the confusion that results when human beings attempt to go their own way without God.
But now we see the unity of the Creation again in the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of Gods love for all men
[[A Song of degrees of David.]] Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!
Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.
God is love