An upper room experience is described in Acts 1. Jesus commanded the disciples to wait in Jerusalem for the Promise (Acts 1:4).
When Jesus said, “to wait,” He meant…
- There was something coming worth waiting for
- There was a promise of something to come
- There would be something for them to receive
- There would be testing in the waiting
“…He said, ‘you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.’”—Acts 1:4b-5
The disciples obeyed. They waited. In fact, there were many who waited; about 120 people met in an upper room and “with one accord” prayed, positioning themselves to receive the power of the Holy Spirit. God’s Spirit would equip them to fulfill their Kingdom purposes.
“Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey. And when they had entered, they went up into the upper room where they were staying: Peter, James, John, and Andrew; Philip and Thomas; Bartholomew and Matthew; James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot; and Judas the son of James. These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.”—Acts 1:12-14 (emphasis added)
An upper room experience was the giving of divine instruction through the Holy Spirit. The glorious events recorded in Acts 2 mirrors the earth-shaking events of Shavuot spoken about in Exodus 19 (see below).
An Upper Room Experience and Shavuot
What is Shavuot?
Shavuot literally means weeks. Therefore, it is also referred to as the Festival of Weeks. It is named for the 50th day after the ending of the 7-week period of the Counting Down of the Omer that occurs between Passover and Shavuot.
Shavuot is recognized as the day the Lord released divine knowledge to Israel through the Law or Torah. The word Torah means instruction and direction. The giving of the Torah is spoken about in Exodus 19.
“Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their clothes. And let them be ready for the third day. For on the third day the Lord will come down upon Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people.’”—Exodus 19:10-11
Though this event in Exodus wasn’t exactly the upper room experience described in Acts, it could be described as “an upper-mountain experience.”
The story in Exodus shares the events that happened at Mount Sinai. Here’s what “an upper room experience” was like for Israel…
“Then it came to pass on the third day, in the morning, that there were thunderings and lightnings, and a thick cloud on the mountain; and the sound of the trumpet was very loud, so that all the people who were in the camp trembled. And Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. Now Mount Sinai was completely in smoke, because the Lord descended upon it in fire…”—Exodus 19:16-18 (emphasis added)
Shavuot is the day the Lord made Israel a nation, giving them divine instruction through the Law or Torah. Shavuot was an upper-mountain experience, similar to an upper room experience described in Acts.
An Upper Room Experience and Pentecost
Wait, wasn’t an upper room experience described as taking place during Pentecost?
Yes! An upper room experience did occur at Pentecost. Pentecost is named after the Greek word pentekoste, meaning fiftieth. It was the ancient Greek term for Shavuot—fifty days from Passover.
While Passover is celebrated in remembrance of the day the Israelites escaped from Egyptian slavery, Shavuot is considered the day that God made them into their nation at Mount Sinai, giving them His divine instruction—the Ten Commandments.
Pentecost is an event known by Christians as the coming of the Holy Spirit. It is celebrated on the seventh Sunday, or 50 days after Resurrection Sunday. The Holy Spirit filled those in the upper room with divine instruction.
“When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”—Acts 2:1-4 (emphasis added)
An upper room experience did happen during Pentecost. The purpose of the event was to pour out divine instruction. This day mirrors the day of Shavuot when the Lord provided divine instruction through the Law to Israel.
What is an Upper Room Experience?
An upper room experience can be referred to as a powerful encounter with the Holy Spirit. Because Shavuot is one of the three pilgrimage feasts on God’s divine calendar, we know it is a supernaturally appointed time. He does not want us to miss out on the outpouring of His love, truth, revelation, and power.
In a Believer’s life, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit can happen anytime. However, there are moments when the Holy Spirit’s power is greatly manifested to empower the Church. These moments are likened to an upper room experience.
God wants to empower individuals and the Body of Christ. Then His glory is revealed to every nation and on every mountain.
An upper room experience is a powerful encounter with the Holy Spirit, pouring out love, truth, revelation, and power. The purpose of this outpouring is to empower individuals and the Church to move into their Kingdom calling in the next season.
Should Believers Seek an Upper Room Experience?
Yes! An upper room experience is intended to fill and empower you with the Holy Spirit for your purpose and destiny!
Let’s look at Peter’s experience…
For several years Peter walked with Jesus, learning, watching, and observing. He witnessed great miracles which directly blessed him. He was encouraged and declared Jesus was the Messiah, the Son of the living God. Yet Peter did not fully understand the power that was to come.
Like Peter, We Were Without the Holy Spirit
When push came to shove, Peter was weak. The Lord said to Peter, “Assuredly, I say to you that this night, before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times” (emphasis added).
Peter couldn’t believe his ears! Peter said, “Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!” (see Matthew 26:34-35).
Then we see Jesus’ words come to pass…
“Now Peter sat outside in the courtyard. And a servant girl came to him, saying, ‘You also were with Jesus of Galilee.’”—Matthew 26:69
Peter’s first denial.
“And when he had gone out to the gateway, another girl saw him and said to those who were there, ‘This fellow also was with Jesus of Nazareth.’”—Matthew 26:71
Peter’s second denial.
“And a little later those who stood by came up and said to Peter, ‘Surely you also are one of them, for your speech betrays you.’”—Matthew 26:73
Peter’s third denial.
The rooster crowed… He left and wept. He then knew he did not have the power and authority it would take to do what he was called to do.
Peter’s experience could be our experience. We can follow Christ. However, when the pressure comes, we won’t be able to push through unless we are walking in the Spirit. Seeking an upper room experience, ultimately the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit, is the only way we will be empowered to step into our divine purpose.
Meditate on These 3 Truths as You Prepare for Shavuot
- God is able to exceed your expectations.
“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”—Ephesians 3:20-21
- The Holy Spirit is a generous Spirit.
“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”—Luke 11:13
- Be immersed by the Spirit.
“I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”—Matthew 3:11
The Spirit’s gift of multiplication is intended to bless and empower you to fulfill your destiny.
If you are ready to receive more than what you can think or ask, then invite the Holy Spirit into your daily life—expect an upper room experience.
Get ready for the new thing God is doing in this hour! It’s time for us to receive His power, leading others to Christ and the nations back to God!
Click HERE to read “Shavuot | An Upper Room Experience Part 2.”