The men and women who were headed for the Upper Room on the Day of Pentecost (see Acts 1 and 2) loved Jesus dearly. They had been taught in the school of Christ by the Lord himself. Some had performed miracles, healed the sick and cast out demons. They were compassionate and soul-loving, but they weren’t yet qualified to be his witnesses.
They had been nearby when he sweat drops of blood, seen him hanging on the cross, and stood at his empty tomb. They had even watched in awe as he ascended into heaven! Yet they still were not ready to represent him. Why? Because they needed the power of the Holy Spirit to face down the fearsome, corrupt religious leaders of the day.
The Upper Room experience – the day the Holy Spirit fell on the apostles and other followers of Jesus – made all the difference.
Hear Peter’s powerful statement to the chief priests: “And we are his witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him” (Acts 5:32 NKJV). Through the words of the Holy Ghost speaking through Peter, the priests “were furious and plotted to kill them” (Acts 5:33).
Stephen came next, filled with the Holy Ghost, confronting the Sanhedrin court just before his death. “’You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you’…When they heard these things they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed at him with their teeth” (Acts 7:51, 54).
When you emerge from seeking God full of his Spirit, you can stand boldly before anyone, and your witness will provoke one of two reactions. They will either cry out, “What must I do to be saved?” or they will resist and challenge you. You will speak words that cut to the heart.
Miracles don’t reside within the walls of a church building. The mighty wind of the Spirit blew all the people out into the streets, into the marketplace. Had we been in the Upper Room looking for revival, supernatural wind and tongues of fire, we would have been directed outside to 120 witnesses on the streets, preaching Jesus in the power of the Holy Ghost. That’s where the revival is. That’s the outpouring. The wind, the fire, the Spirit — it’s now in God’s witnesses!