THE UPPER ROOM EXPERIENCE
1. Is it in the Bible?
2. What do we believe it means?
The church service on sunday is the time of empowerment for the believer, in the same way that the first believers began in the upper room.
3. What does it really mean?
1 ¶ And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they
were all with one accord in one place.
2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. (Acts 2:1-4)
Here again we have another reasoning to defend the format of "church". People look at the Bible and see that the first believers waited for the Holy Ghost to be sent, as Jesus had promised. As they read this area of scripture, they "see" the chruch service--but it most certainly is not. Where is the pastor?--Where is the structure of praise and worship? Where is the tithe/offering?
But the big disagreement that I have with this reasoning is that it stops at the door of the upper room--and it seems to me that this is the entire problem with the church of today. After the empowerment, there came the witnessing of the Gospel....
5 ¶ And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout
men, out of every nation under heaven.
6 Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.
7 And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?
8 And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?
9 Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia,
10 Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes,
11 Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God. (Acts 1:5-11)
A group witnessing--ministry that all participate in.
Yes, part of the meeting of Christians should be to worship
and receive the empowerment of the Spirit--the "upper room"--but
Biblcally this always had the purpose of carrying the Gospel outward
to the world.