A Closer Look at Pentecost

May 28, 2023

A Closer Look at Pentecost


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How amazing to have been in Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost—to see the Holy Spirit poured out and experience the fulfillment of God’s promise. Let’s take a closer look at Scripture and consider the details of that historic day nearly two thousand years ago.


Many Christians believe that the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost occurred in the “upper room, where the disciples returned after Jesus ascended to heaven from the Mount of Olives. This is based on the way they read the first two chapters of Acts, assuming that the events of Acts 1 and Acts 2 occurred on the same day, in the same place.


Yet we can see a distinct transition in chapter 2, which begins, “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place” (Acts 2:1, KJV). In Hebrew and Greek, this wording indicates that a new story has begun. Acts 1 and 2 shouldn’t be read as one event taking place at the same time, or even on the same day.


Verse 2 continues, ”And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting” (Acts 2:2, KJV). Notice the sound of wind filled the “house” where they were sitting. This “house” was most likely not same place as the “upper room” mentioned in Acts 1:13—before the time lapse between chapters 1 and 2. Instead, this “house” was probably another place Scripture often referred to as “house”—the temple. Jesus himself used this terminology when He said of the temple, “My house is the house of prayer” (Luke 19:46, KJV).


Other facts back up this interpretation. Only the temple was large enough to fit the three thousand people who were added to the Church that day. Also, Pentecost was a pilgrimage festival when travelers flooded the city and all attention was centered on the temple. From what has been discovered of Jerusalem’s layout at that time, only the area of the Temple Mount’s southern steps could have handled a crowd of that size.


The Holy Spirit outpouring at Pentecost confirmed the messiahship of Jesus and was a turning point in Christian history. What better place for such an event to happen but in the “house” where God’s presence once dwelled?


Even though we weren’t in Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost, we can still experience this miraculous outpouring of the Holy Spirit. “This promise is to you, to your children, and to those far away—all who have been called by the Lord our God” (Acts 2:39, NLT).


Examine the Evidence:

What was the temple called by the Hebrew speakers in Jerusalem?

House (Isaiah 56:7; Acts 2:1)

Where did people go when traveling to Jerusalem for pilgrimage?

            The temple (2:9-11)

What single site in Jerusalem would attract people from all over the Mediterranean?

            The temple

Where could one person preach to three thousand people?

    The southern steps of the temple (2:41)

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