by David Parker
Either side of Pentecost similar Spirit activity occurs, for example, Zechariah the priest prophecies (Lk 1:67) as does Agabus (Acts 11:27), and the 12 (new leaders in Israel: Lk 22:30)  heal and exorcise (Lk 9:1) as does Philip (Acts 8:7). Such duplication raises the question as to what distinction Pentecost introduces. My contention is that prior to Pentecost, periodic and ethnocentric salvation-historically significant individuals (eg. Zechariah the priest) are Spirit inspired for specific tasks, whereas post-Pentecost the Spirit is universalized (eg. Cornelius and Philip’s daughters). This is best expressed in Peter’s polemic citing Joel’s prophecy, “I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh…and they will prophesy” (Acts 2:17-18). “All flesh” is unpacked as, all genders (“sons and daughters” 2:17), all ages (“young men… old men” 2:17), and all status (“my slaves” 2:18). If we add the promise of 2:39 and understand “those who are far away” as a reference to Gentiles (cf. Acts 22:21; Eph 2:13, 17),  then a further democratization includes all nations or ethnicities.
While pre-Pentecost the Spirit inspires almost exclusively Jewish individuals, post-Pentecost the Gentile Cornelius utters inspired speech (Acts 10:46), and Philip’s daughters prophecy (Acts 21:9). What is neveau at Pentecost is the phenomenon of tongues associated with the democratization of the Spirit. The inspiration of 120, inclusive of “certain women” and Mary (Acts 1:14), is tongues in the nations of the world (Acts 2:9-11) understood by each in the crowd of 3000 plus in their own language (Acts 2:8, 11) and thus embraced under the apologetic of Joel’s “they will prophecy” (Acts 2:17-18). Specifically, amidst the cacophony of at least 15 different languages/tongues (Acts 2:9-11) every person hears their own language/tongue and thus Spirit inspired individuals are the instruments of God’s blessing to all nations inclusive of Gentiles (“visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes” 2:10).
Luke is careful to note the parallels between the coming of the Spirit upon the Gentile house of Cornelius with the original Pentecost experience; “they have received the Holy Spirit just as we have” (10:37), articulated more precisely in Peter’s report to the Jerusalem authorities as, “the Holy Spirit fell upon them just as it had upon us at the beginning…God gave them the same gift that he gave us” (11:15, 17). Peter and the Jews with him conclude this, “for (gavr) they heard them speaking in tongues and extolling God” (10:46). Significantly the same combination of unintelligible (tongues) and intelligible (“extolling God”) speech occurs as on the day of Pentecost.
On the day of Pentecost, Acts 1:8 is fulfilled in miniature, with the exception of Samaria; Spirit empowered people witness in Jerusalem to those from Judea (Acts 2:9) and the ends of the earth (“visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes;” 2:10). A good case can be mounted for the same speech outcomes in Samaria as in Jerusalem and Cornelius’ house (cf. “when Simon saw that the Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles’ hands” 8:18)  and thus I conclude that at each of the frontiers of the programmatic statement of Acts 1:8 the combination of unintelligible tongues and intelligible speech occurs. I argue that tongues serve as a reminder of the universalizing of the Spirit and intelligible speech serves to deliver God’s blessing to all the nations the tongues serve to remind us of. I argue further that Luke’s inclusion of the incident in Acts 19, narratively removed from the completion of the programmatic of 1:8 (“ends of the earth” being either Ethiopia  or Cornelius), serves to illustrate the continuing Spirit empowerment for witness to “everyone whom the Lord our God calls to him” (2:39)
Of particular focus in this article is the evidential nature of tongues and to illustrate my thesis, that the combination of unintelligible tongues and intelligible speech are a pigeon pair, I turn to Paul assuming a shared tradition. In 1 Cor 14 Paul instructs:
20 Brothers and sisters, do not be children in your thinking; rather, be infants in evil, but in thinking be adults. 21 In the law it is written,
“By people of strange tongues
and by the lips of foreigners
I will speak to this people;
yet even then they will not listen to me,”
says the Lord.22 Tongues, then, are a sign not for believers but for unbelievers, while prophecy is not for unbelievers but for believers.23 If, therefore, the whole church comes together and all speak in tongues, and outsiders or unbelievers enter, will they not say that you are out of your mind?24 But if all prophesy, an unbeliever or outsider who enters is reproved by all and called to account by all.25 After the secrets of the unbeliever’s heart are disclosed, that person will bow down before God and worship him, declaring, “God is really among you.”
While tongues are encouraged they must occur in singular sequence accompanied by interpretation in the vernacular so that all may be blessed (1 Cor 27-31). What Paul will not allow is a cacophonous unintelligibility such that an unbeliever entering concludes you are all mad (1 Cor 14:23). Such activity Paul associates with Isa 28:11-12 and, since the quotation ends with “they will not listen to me,” unintelligible mass tongues is a negative sign to unbelievers while intelligible speech (prophecy) is a positive sign to believers. In the original Isaianic context, Gentiles are instruments of God’s judgment but since the universalizing event of Pentecost, Gentiles can be instruments of God’s blessing. Tongues, I have proposed, serve to remind us of the democratization of the Spirit but in each occurrence in Acts, and the insistence here by Paul, vernacular must occur for those Spirit empowered (Gentiles) to indeed be instruments of God’s blessing.
In terms of the Pentecostal distinctive, the continuing narrative of Lk-Acts evident in the developing narrative itself and programmatic Acts 1:8 culminating in dramatic inconclusion inviting “to be continued mandates continuance of Spirit empowered proclamation of the Gospel to the poor (Lk 4:18) as disciples of the Master’s model. Peter’s extremity, “everyone whom the Lord our God calls to him” (2:39) is indeterminate and achievable, in Lukan understanding, only by a multiplicity of Spirit empowered duplicates of the models provided by Luke, inclusive of Gentiles. Tongues is thus, in my argument, an abiding necessity to remind the tongues of the nations (Gentiles) that they are to be God’s blessing to the nations (Gentiles) in the indeterminate continuance of 1:8 by the power of the Spirit. But inspired vernacular must necessarily attend for those Spirit empowered (Gentiles) to be the instruments of God’s blessing; a reversal in the case of Gentiles of their previous vocation prior to Pentecost. Paul insists prophecy, inspired speech in the vernacular, is a sign to believers, a sign that inspired vernacular is the instrument of blessing, by Gentiles in the case of the Corinthians, to the nations as on the day of Pentecost (cf. Joel’s “they will prophecy”).
One final nuance is required for the Pentecostal distinctive to align it faithfully to Luke’s agenda, namely the effect from the Spirit empowering cause, is inspired speech and miraculous deeds. I propose then that the initial evidence of Spirit baptism is tongues as a reminder of the universalizing of the Spirit whose equipping is to proclaim the Gospel in word and deed to “everyone whom the Lord our God calls to him” (2:39). A myopic focus on initial tongues to the detriment of the empowerment for witness is injurious to Luke’s program, but equally, neglect of initial evidential tongues in favor of myopia for witness is to lose the anchor of the democratization of the Spirit marking the salvation historical importance Pentecost initiates.
 Cf. Tannehill 1997, 319.
 Cf. Dunn 1996, 33; Gaventa 2003, 80.
 Cf. Bruce ?????
 Cf. Dunn 1996, 114: “Ethiopians were regarded by Homer as the ‘last of men’. The limit of common geographical knowledge.
 Cf. By narrative space and particularly its repetition in the Jerusalem council (Acts 15:8), the Cornelius episode inaugurates the programmatic 1:8d since James concludes it fulfills the prophecy of Amos 9:11-12.
 Significantly, the same combination of unintelligible (“tongues”) and intelligible (“and prophesied”) speech occurs as in every other instance where glwvssai" is mentioned specifically.
 Cf. Rosner 1998, 231-2.