What does the “Wonder of Pentecost” actually mean?
And it happened on the day of Pentecost, when the companions of Jesus, some of the disciples, and others were gathered in a house in the city, that a storm came over the region; heavy clouds darkened the sky, while gusts shook the house.
But the twelve12 took no heed of the elements, and they continued to speak to the gathering about Jesus of Nazareth, the crucified, the one who had risen from the dead, he who was the Messiah, the Son of God.
Then it came to pass while Simon Peter spoke, that a blinding bolt of lightning crossed the sky and for an instant the twelve were illuminated in its glare—for they stood before a high window—and a great rumbling was heard.
Deep fear fell upon those present, for they remembered all that they had recently heard and seen.
And they feared that the Lord God summoned them to Judgment.
But unseen, the Elder, the Servant of the Darkness, stood among them.
He it was who roused the fear in their hearts, he it was who confused their thoughts so that they shouted and cried and prayed to the Lord God to forgive them their sins that they should not be cast out into darkness. And many unintelligible words were uttered, and there was chaos.
And one of the disciples cried to the twelve: "See, surely the Lord has brought his holy, flaming Breath upon you as promised by the Nazarene!"
Many believed the words and they cried: “His words are true, for we saw a flaming fire upon you!”
Then there arose yet greater confusion among them.
But the companions of Jesus attempted to calm the people, and they exhorted them to order; and after much effort they all became quieted.
Then the twelve raised their hands to the skies and gave thanks to the Almighty for His gift to them.
And the simple faith of their hearts gave them greater strength of spirit.
But none present understood that they had seen the lightning from a passing storm, for it was the dry season and not the time when the heavens send lightning and thunder.
Some days thereafter there came to Simon Peter emissaries from the scribes and the highest ones. These reproached him with harsh words for the improper conduct displayed by all at the gathering on the day of Pentecost, reproached him that they had tasted overmuch of the sweet wine.
Then was Simon Peter angered and he rejected their evil accusations, saying that the meeting was early in the day and that none had tasted of the wine.
And he continued, saying: "Know you that what came to pass was promised us of the Nazarene and foretold by the prophets, and on the day of Pentecost the Lord God fulfilled that which was promised and foretold!"
And he spoke to them further, and he said: "Know you that Jesus of Nazareth is he of whom the Most high spoke to David in his day; know you that Jesus was the promised Messiah—but you have in your blindness scorned and crucified him."
And all parted in anger.
But Simon Peter never doubted that his words were true; for some of the disciples had told him that foreigners were present at the gathering on the day of Pentecost, and these had said that the cries and the words had sounded to them as if in their own native tongue. But this the disciples said to Simon Peter in shame over their fearfulness, for by this they meant to prove that they themselves had received some of the heavenly power.
And Simon Peter believed that which they told him.
But after that time it often happened that one or more of the disciples would stand forth at the gatherings, beating their breasts, stretching their hands heavenward and crying out and saying many things that were not understood, whose meaning they all had afterward to interpret.
However, the companions of Jesus tried always to discourage such utterances; but they were not able to do so, and the practice spread to more and more people.
Thus, born of the fear and confusion of the day of Pentecost, came about the practice of “speaking in tongues".
12) A twelfth apostle had succeeded Judas Iscariot.