bible study devotion

Pentecost: devotion

Dr. Andrew C S Koh

 a painting on the last supper
The Last Supper by Bill Nicholls is licensed under CC-BY-SA 2.0


Heavenly Father, we come before You today as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to You, as these are our spiritual acts of worship. We give You our full attention, hearts, spirits, and minds, in Jesus’ name, Amen. 

The day of Pentecost is 50 days after Easter. On this day, the Holy Spirit descended upon the 120 disciples in the upper room in Jerusalem. The sound of a strong wind came from heaven and individual tongues of fire rested upon the heads of everyone one of them, and they spoke in foreign languages or tongues. 


Acts 2:5-13

Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under the sky. When this sound was heard, the multitude came together and were bewildered, because everyone heard them speaking in his own language. They were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another, “Behold, aren’t all these who speak Galileans? How do we hear, everyone in our own native language? Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and people from Mesopotamia, Judea, Cappadocia, Pontus, Asia, 10 Phrygia, Pamphylia, Egypt, the parts of Libya around Cyrene, visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, 11 Cretans and Arabians: we hear them speaking in our languages the mighty works of God!” 12 They were all amazed, and were perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” 13 Others, mocking, said, “They are filled with new wine.”

Acts 2:5-13


Following the command of the Lord, 120 Jewish disciples from Jerusalem and all regions of the first-century world assembled in the upper room to awaiting the coming of the Holy Spirit. When the Holy Spirit came, they were amazed, astonished, and shocked. The heard everyone speaking in other people’s languages. They could not understand what was happening. Onlookers and scoffers accused them to be drunk with wine. 

Peter silenced the crowd saying that nobody was drunk as it was only 9 am in the morning. Peter quoted Joel 2:28. Joel had prophesied this day when the Holy Spirit will be poured out on the people so that young men will prophesy and old man will dream dreams. 

Peter preached his first evangelistic sermon with and boldness and power, The Holy Spirit transformed Peter from a timid fisherman into a fearless evangelist and leader of the apostles. 

The Jews who listened were convicted by Peter’s sermon. They asked Peter what must they do to be saved. Peter told them to repent of their sins, be baptised in the name of Jesus. and called on the name of the Lord for salvation. 

As many as 3000 Jews believed in Jesus and were baptised on that day! They received the apostle’s teaching, fellowshipped, broke bread, and prayed.

This was how the first-century Christian church of Acts was born in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost. The believers sold all their possessions and gave the proceeds to the apostles. Empowered by the Holy Spirit, the church grew rapidly. 

It will happen afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters will prophesy. Your old men will dream dreams. Your young men will see visions

Joel 3:28


When the Holy Spirit descended on the believers, they spoke in tongues and prophesy. Speaking in tongue on Pentecost was speaking in known languages. Can you imagine a Chinese speaking in Arabic, a German speaking in French, or Japanese speaking in Dutch and so on? This was what happened. People were able to speak in foreign languages spontaneously and fluently.

Paul described speaking in tongues as one of the spiritual gifts in the book of 1 Corinthians 12 and 13. The tongues described by Paul in 1 Corinthians 12 and 13 may not be the same as in the tongues described in Acts 2.

At conversion, the Holy Spirit indwell a person and imparts spiritual gifts on him/her. Speaking in tongues and prophesy are two of the gifs of the Holy Spirit. There are seven spiritual gifts, wisdom, knowledge, healing, miracles, prophesy, speaking in tongues, and interpretation of tongues, 1 Corinthians 12:8-10.

To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues

1 Corinthians 12:8-10


Heavenly Father, thank You once again for speaking to us Thank You for the day of Pentecost when You gave the Holy Spirit to the Jewish disciples in the upper room in Jerusalem. Thank You for this historic moment when the first Christian church of Acts was born, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

bible study devotion

Pentecost: devotion

by Dr Andrew C S Koh

a photo showing an open book
open book

Acts 2: 1-4


Heavenly Father, we come before You today as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to You, as our spiritual act of worship. We give You our full attention, hearts, and minds. Help us be transformed to the image of Jesus Christ, our Lord, and Saviour, in Jesus’ name, Amen.


1 When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Acts 2:1-4


Easter corresponds to the Feast of First Fruits in the Old Testament. The day of Pentecost is celebrated fifty days after Easter (Feast of First Fruits), Leviticus 28:16. Pentecost is also known as the Feast of Weeks, the Feast of Harvest, and the Feast of Ingathering, Numbers 28:26 and Exodus 23:16. The Holy Spirit descended upon the 120 disciples in the upper room on day of Pentecost. The Holy Spirit came with the sound of a strong wind and rested on the head of each disciple as a tongue of fire and they spoke in tongues.

Jesus compared the activity of the Holy Spirit with the blowing of the wind in John 3:8. In Greek, the word for wind and Spirit is the same word, pneuma from which we get our English word pneumatic.

The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit

John 3:8

Count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath; then you shall offer a new grain offering to the Lord.

Leviticus 23:16

Also on the day of the first fruits, when you bring a new grain offering to the Lord at your Feast of Weeks, you shall have a holy convocation. You shall do no customary work.

Numbers 23:16

and the Feast of Harvest, the first fruits of your labors which you have sown in the field, and the Feast of Ingathering at the end of the year, when you have gathered in the fruit of your labors from the field.

Exodus 23:16


The New Testament church was born on the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit descended upon the 120 disciples in the upper room of Jerusalem. This was a fulfillment of Jesus’ promise to His disciples in the upper discourse in John 14:26.

 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.

John 14:26

Church Age

The time period from the day of Pentecost until now is the church age. The church age will end on the day of rapture when the church will be taken up to heaven to meet the Lord, 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17.

For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever

1 Thessalonians 4:16-17

Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit descended open the disciples as visible tongues of fire resting over their heads and they spoke in the languages of other people’s nations. Like a Chinese person speaking French, a German person speaking Arabic, a Korean person speaking Japanese, and so on.

The power of the Holy Spirit is as strong as the wind. Typhoons and cyclones can blow off rooftops! Once, I was in Hong Kong and I saw the effect of a typhoon damaging houses. Another time, I was in India, and I saw the power of a cyclone.

You cannot see the Holy Spirit but you can feel His presence and you can see the result of His work. You feel His presence as goosebumps all over you and in other ways. Once, when I was in a boat in the Sea of Galilee, I felt goosebumps all over me! You see the result of the Holy Spirit in the millions of lives that are transformed by Him all over the world.


Heavenly Father, thank You for speaking to us through Your word of truth. Thank You for sending us the Holy Spirit to be our helper, teacher, truth revealer, counselor, and advocate. Thank You for the amazing power of the Holy Spirit to transform lives. Thank You for Your love, mercy, and grace, in Jesus’ name, Amen.