The Cost of the Upper Room Experience
By Richard J Grund
The cost of the Upper Room Experience is….$77.77 but if you act now we will throw in monogrammed handkerchiefs from the Apostle Paul and the Lord’s recipe for Sea of Galilee grilled fish at no cost. 🙂
Sorry, couldn’t resist a “commentary” on the shameless shilling and selling that goes on in the Christian church today. It doesn’t matter that the Lord overturned the tables of the money changers and sellers in the Temple TWICE, we continue the practice of turning the House of the Lord into a marketplace.
The Upper Room Experience; what is it?
We’ve been studying the Book of Acts and the Upper Room Experience now at The Porch since March 2010. The story starts out with the Lord’s Ascension into Heaven, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost and the explosive signs and wonders that led to equally explosive evangelism. And, if you listened to many of the teachers of today, that is where the story seems to end. They hesitate to tell you about AFTER the Upper Room. However, as you get into Acts Chapter 5 the Upper Room Experience takes a more serious turn.
In Acts Chapter 5 we are told about Ananias and Sapphira, his wife, lying to Peter about the amount of money they received for selling their land. Apparently, Ananias and Sapphira made a commitment to put the entire proceeds from the sale of their land in the communal treasury just as the Levite Barnabas from Cyrus did at the end of Acts 4. However, somewhere along the way they decided to secretly hold back part of the profits for themselves but lied about how much the land sold for. Whether it was greed or a desire to appear more philanthropic than it really was, it was a direct affront to the Holy Spirit. When Peter, who was given revelation knowledge of this by the Holy Spirit, confronts Ananias and Sapphira about their deceit they both dropped dead at the Apostle’s feet. It’s not without reason that the scripture says, Acts 5:11 ( NKJV ) So great fear came upon all the church and upon all who heard these things.
So, the first cost of the Upper Room Experience is personal integrity, humility and honesty.
The second cost of the Upper Room Experience is as dangerous and prevalent. The second cost of wielding the world-changing dunamis power of the Holy Spirit is that it may cost you your life.
“What?!” you say. “Cost me my life?”
Yes, that’s exactly what I said. I may cost you your life. I didn’t say will cost you because only God can determine that but the Biblical example we have in the Book of Acts shows that the same world we are shaking and changing is under the control of the devil and his angels. For some odd reason they don’t take kindly to our shaking and changing their world and feel even less friendly when we plunder their “goods” (Matthew 12:29) by using the Promise of the Father to destroy their works. In fact, it infuriates them to the point of taking retaliatory action against the church. They will try to persuade us to stop what we are doing and to go back to the dead religious activities we practiced before. If that doesn’t work they will use the world system to threaten us with incarceration or bodily harm. If we are too sold out to the Lord to be persuaded or threatened they will up the stakes by inspiring the world to kill us – something the world is all too willing to oblige.
How do I know that? This I know for The Bible tells me so…
In Acts Chapter 5 Peter and John are thrown into jail for healing the man lame from birth at the Gate Beautiful entrance to the Temple. Then in Chapter 6 all of the disciples are arrested for their public evangelism and teachings, thrown into common prison and scourged with whips. Chapter 7 offers us the account of the first martyr for the Lord, Stephen, who takes advantage of the Lord’s promise from
Mark 13:11 ( NKJV ) 11But when they arrest you and deliver you up, do not worry beforehand, or premeditate what you will speak. But whatever is given you in that hour, speak that; for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit.
Stephen takes the Lord at His Word and allows the Holy Spirit to speak through him. His inspired reasoning so enrages the Jewish council that they stone him to death for his crime. What was crime?
Acts 6:8-10 ( NKJV ) 8And Stephen, full of £faith and power, did great wonders and signs among the people. 9Then there arose some from what is called the Synagogue of the Freedmen (Cyrenians, Alexandrians, and those from Cilicia and Asia), disputing with Stephen. 10And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the Spirit by which he spoke.
Acts 7:51-58 ( NKJV ) 51“You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you. 52Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who foretold the coming of the Just One, of whom you now have become the betrayers and murderers, 53who have received the law by the direction of angels and have not kept it.”
54When they heard these things they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed at him with their teeth.
55But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, 56and said, “Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!” 57Then they cried out with a loud voice, stopped their ears, and ran at him with one accord; 58and they cast him out of the city and stoned him.
Signs and wonders, Spirit lead reasoning and telling the truth about the Lord (the Spirit’s and the church’s primary responsibility) cost Stephen his life. It’s right there in the black and white of The Word and the red of Stephen’s blood. (for those who attend the Online Bible Studies you just got a peek at part of tomorrow’s lesson)
After this the persecution of the church INCREASES, as do the signs, wonders and evangelism of the church, and we pretty much know the rest of the story. If you don’t, you need to join us on Wednesday Night’s at 7:30 pm on The Porch at www.blogtalkradio.com/the-porch as we continue studying the Book of Acts to see where it goes.
Suffice it to say that the Upper Room Experience is so dramatic and explosive that the enemy of our souls, Satan and his angels, make it their priority to stop us AT ANY COST.
So, why am I telling you this? Am I trying to discourage you from seeking the Upper Room Experience? Absolutely not! If you know anything about me or what I teach I believe it’s the only thing that will help us to fulfill the Great Commission in the End Times. It’s also the only thing that will allow us to persevere and be productive for the Lord. But, I want you to understand that there is a price for it. A well-worn line from the movie Spiderman is spoken by the character of Peter Parker’s Uncle Ben, played by Cliff Robertson – “with great power comes great responsibility”. This line could have easily come from the Book of Acts and the lips of one of the Apostles.
With the world shaking, life changing dunamis power of the Holy Spirit, the Promise of the Father that comes from the Throne Room itself, we must understand the responsibility of personal integrity and holiness it demands. We must also recognize and accept the Biblical documented fact that when we push the enemy they WILL push back. I’ve read commentary by well-meaning teachers that “the devil fears a praying believer on their knees” and wondered what Book they read. The devil, his fallen angels and their demonic offspring are too deranged and enraged to fear anything. Their “minds” are warped beyond reason and they fear nothing. If they had any sense of fear would they, in the midst of a world war against one another, turn their weapons on the Lord, His angels and the saints of God when they split the sky as related in Revelation 19? If they will make war with the King of kings, His armies and the hosts of Heaven at that point what do you think they will do to a flesh and blood Believer now?
When they see you clad in the Armor of God, as listed in Ephesians 6, do they see it as a fashion statement or declaration from you that you are prepared for a fight they are all too willing to give you? It’s not your intention that motivates them but their intention – to destroy you and anything that reminds them of the One who cast them out of Heaven and defeated them. Our intention must always be to destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8).
I sincerely hope that this will not dissuade you from seeking the Upper Room Experience but if you do I want you to make a quality decision. The life of a world-changing, signs & wonders Believer in Yeshua/Jesus is not always easy but it is always rewarding. For most, that reward is not of this world but of the next. As long as you understand and accept that…
John 20:21-22 ( NKJV ) 21So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” 22And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit”.