Summary: In Acts 2:1-13, the harvesting of souls can be seen in 1) The evidence of the Spirit’s Coming (Acts 2:1–4), 2) The Effect of the Spirit’s Coming (Acts 2:5–11), and 3) The Explanation of the Spirit’s Coming (Acts 2:12–13).
The revamped Canadian Wheat Board is starting the first day of the new crop year with a grain-handling deal with one of the country’s largest agribusinesses. Winnipeg-based International Richardson says it will accept grain deliveries from farmers with wheat board contracts at all its locations in Western Canada. Federal legislation is now in effect that takes away the wheat board’s monopoly on western wheat and barley sales. That means western farmers can sell their grain to whomever they choose, whenever they choose. (http://business.financialpost.com/2012/08/01/canadian-wheat-board-signs-major-grain-handling-deal-as-monopoly-ends/)
In Ancient Israel, following Passover by fifty days, was a harvest festival, a joyous time at which the early harvest that followed the Mediterranean winter rains was celebrated with much singing and ceremony led by the Levites. Devout Jews, recognizing the requirement of Exodus 23, gathered at the temple in obedience to this commandment, as they did at the Feast of Unleavened Bread (which commenced with Passover) and at the Feast of Tabernacles (or booths). So God, in His perfect timing, chose an occasion when there was an audience ready and waiting, an audience of devout Jewish (by persuasion, for their number included Gentiles—v.10) men from the four corners of the Roman Empire. The apostles, too, were ready; they had prayed and they had tarried, waiting on the Spirit. Significantly, too, it was a harvest festival; and the apostles were about to start harvesting where they had not sown, just as Jesus had predicted (John 4:38)! God started to gather His eternal harvest of Christian souls on His harvest festival, and He had a rich harvest of souls waiting to be harvested!( Mills, M. S. (1998). The Acts of the Apostles. Dallas: 3E Ministries.)
The harvest begins when one is surrendered to the harvester, the Holy Spirit. Once someone is surrendered to the Holy Spirit, He comes alongside. Paráklēsis is a combination of pará, “beside,” and kaléō, “to call to one’s side.” But it also means to exhort. When the Spirit comes into us, He is Companion and Friend in life’s challenges, but loves us so much that He burns away what will debilitate us or prevent us from fully becoming the persons we were meant to be (Ogilvie, L. J., & Ogilvie, L. J. (1983). Vol. 28: Acts. The Preacher’s Commentary Series (58). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Inc.).
In Acts 2:1-13, the harvesting of souls can be seen in 1) The evidence of the Spirit’s Coming (Acts 2:1–4), 2) The Effect of the Spirit’s Coming (Acts 2:5–11), and 3) The Explanation of the Spirit’s Coming (Acts 2:12–13).
1) The Evidence of the Spirit’s Coming (Acts 2:1–4)
Acts 2:1–4 1 When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. 2 And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. 3 And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. (ESV)
The coming of the day of Pentecost found the believers all together. This togetherness was more than just colocation. It is also know of being of one accord. The word translated with one accord (Gr homothymadon), meaning likemindedness, occurs twelve times in the New Testament, eleven of which are found in the book of Acts. This shows the unity of purpose among these early disciples (KJV Bible Commentary. 1994 (E. E. Hindson & W. M. Kroll, Ed.) (2130). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.).
They were in one place, undoubtedly the same upper room described in Acts 1:13. That room was located just inside the Eastern Gate, probably in the vicinity of the temple. There is no reason to restrict all to the twelve apostles. It encompasses the entire gathering of 120 believers (1:15).
Poem: God through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and the mission of the church reaps the first fruits of his spiritual harvest. Henry Alford, the nineteenth-century British poet, and commentator, put this truth in song:
All the world is God’s own field,
Fruit unto his praise to yield;
Wheat and tares together sown,
Unto joy or sorrow grown:
First the blade, and then the ear,
Then the full corn shall appear:
Lord of harvest, grant that we
Wholesome grain and pure may be.
(As recorded in Kistemaker, S. J., & Hendriksen, W. (1953-2001). Vol. 17: Exposition of the Acts of the Apostles. New Testament Commentary (84). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.)
The Spirit’s coming on that day was linked to the pattern of feasts in the Old Testament. It was on the day of Pentecost that God’s sovereign timetable called for the Spirit to descend. It should be noted that the Spirit was not induced into coming because the believers prayed, remained, or met certain spiritual requirements. Luke’s account points only to the sovereign timing of God as the cause of the Spirit’s descent. Even though Acts is a historical book, Luke omits references to exact dates. Scholars generally agree that in the chronology of Acts the feast of Pentecost was celebrated in A.D. 30 in the last week of May (Kistemaker, S. J., & Hendriksen, W. (1953-2001). Vol. 17: Exposition of the Acts of the Apostles. New Testament Commentary (74–75). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.).