Yesterday, I said the speaking in tongues on the Day of Pentecost, as described in Acts 2:4-11, was given for a sign to the Jews in Jerusalem. It was a sign to Peter, and to the rest of the Jewish disciples, that confirmed what Jesus had said would happen "not many days hence" (Mk. 16:17; Jn. 14:17; Acts 1:4-5). It was also an authenticating sign to the visiting Jews, who were witnesses to the miracle of hearing those same disciples speak to them in their own native languages (Acts 2:4-11).
I am sure you who are reading this are curious as to why I highlighted Peter's name above. It is because of two passages of Scripture that are directly connected to the manifestations of tongues in the Book of Acts. In Matthew 16:18-19, Jesus said, "And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."
Now before you jump to the conclusion that I am saying Peter was the "rock," or that he was the first Pope, let me explain. [I will not take the time to explain the similarity between Peter's name and the "rock," but I will state emphatically that the "rock" is the foundation of the Church: faith in Christ.] Peter was clearly the leader of the twelve who accompanied Jesus during His ministry; he is listed first in every list of their names (Matt. 10:1-4; Mk. 3:13-19; Lk. 6:12-16). Note: For an interesting look at the three divisions of four disciples each, go to www.michaeljon.hubpages.com/hub/TwelveDisciplesofCrist.
The "keys of the kingdom" was a metaphor for saying Peter would be the one to determine who would be allowed to enter and who would not. When coupled with Acts 1:8, we have a prophetic look at what was about to happen. It says, "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth." In other words, it would be Peter who would witness the salvation of Jews, of Samaritans, and of Gentiles. All three occurred within the first ten chapters of Acts.
As we have already seen, Jews manifested evidence that they were saved on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:4-11). And who dominated the stage? Peter (2:14-41). In Acts 8, Philip preached the Gospel and baptized the first Samaritans who believed. However, it was not until Peter came that the Samaritans gave evidence that they were saved (8:14-17). And although this passage does not specifically say the Samaritan Christians spoke in tongues, Simon saw the evidence that the Holy Ghost had been given, and he wanted to be like Peter and John (8:18-19).
To be continued, Lord willing.