Acts 10:44-46 – While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who were listening to the message. All the Jewish believers who came with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had also been poured out on the Gentiles. For they were hearing them speaking with tongues and exalting God. Then Peter responded,
Have you ever spoken in other tongues? If you have can you remember the first time? I received my prayer language back in 1973 during the heat of the Charismatic Renewal and the Jesus Movement. It seemed like everywhere you went people were being filled with the Spirit and speaking in tongues. Every meeting I went to, from small house meetings to large gatherings, at concerts and conferences, speaking in tongues was common and accepted. Today the prayer language is not welcomed and is kind of looked down upon as unnecessary or something you do in private. In the early church it was the sign that people had really come to the Lord. Speaking in tongues was a major part of the common Christian experience. This was the defining factor in today’s passage which caused the Jewish believers to welcome gentiles into the church. Here is how Barclay followed by the Tyndale Commentary explain this important moment.
“Even as Peter was speaking, things began to happen against which even the Jewish Christians could not argue; the Spirit came upon Cornelius and his friends. They were lifted out of themselves in an ecstasy and began to speak with tongues. This, to the Jews, was the final proof of the astonishing fact that God had given his Spirit to the Gentiles too.”
“Whether or not Peter was surprised by what happened, they (Peter’s Jewish companions) certainly were. It was one thing to make an attempt to preach to Gentiles; it was quite another to see the sermon interrupted by the clear signs of their conversion and reception of God’s gift. There could be no mistake about what had happened. Just as the first Jewish believers had received the Spirit and praised God in other tongues on the day of Pentecost, so now these Gentiles received the identical gift of God.”
I fully expect this sign to be fully embraced by the church again. We really have no other recourse. Our beliefs and doctrines which formed the very basis of Western Civilization have been discarded and mocked by today’s secular society. It seems like the church is being backed into a corner. Actually that is perfect, in the fullness of time the Lord will display His greatness through the power of signs and wonders through believers baptized in the Holy Ghost.