In the book of Acts we see the propagation of the resurrected Christ in His ascension, by the Spirit, through the disciples, for the producing of the churches, the kingdom of God. Today we are in the continuation of the book of Acts – this book is still being written, and all the believers in Christ are the continuation of Christ, the increase of Christ.
We are part of God’s corporate, shining vessel, a vessel of testimony, as we have an awareness of the Body of Christ and learn to live the Body life.
Today among us the word of God is still growing and is being multiplied for the increase of Christ; as we let the word of Christ dwell in us richly and let Him saturate us with His word, His element increases in us and many are being added to the church by the Lord through our living and preaching of the gospel.
Today as we live in the continuation of the book of Acts we need to realize that there should be a corporate living of the perfected God-men as the reality of the Body of Christ, and such a living can be clearly seen in the life of Paul the apostle as recorded in Acts and throughout the New Testament.
Furthermore, we need to see the work which we must do today for the increase and building up of the Body of Christ: we need to know, enjoy, experience, live out, and carry out the divine commission God gave us in Acts 26:18.
We need to pray that the Lord would open our eyes, turn us from darkness to light and from the authority of Satan to God, that we may receive and enjoy forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Christ.
As we enjoy and experience such a salvation, we will also bring others to have their eyes opened, be turned from darkness to light and from the authority of Satan to God, so that they may also receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Christ.
The Continuation of Christ in Acts Started with the Upper Room Consecration
How did the book of Acts start, and how did the Lord’s move on earth start after the Lord’s resurrection and ascension? In Acts 1 we see that a group of 120 saints came together in the upper room in Jerusalem and prayed in one accord for ten days.
Many of them have been called by the Lord Jesus three and a half years ago and they left their jobs and family to follow Him (Matt. 4:18-20), but now they have become a group who left everything and risked everything by coming together in the upper room.
They all had an “upper room consecration”, a particular kind of consecration to the Lord in prayer in one accord that made them a corporate burnt offering; the result of their prayer and consecration was that they were burnt and were burning, and whomever they touched were burnt by God’s fire.
What is this upper room consecration? On the seashore Peter gave up his job (he left his fishing nets), but in the upper room he gave up much more: he and the others gave up Judaism (the religion of their forefathers), their country (they were from Galilee), their neighbors and friends, and their relatives, and they were willing to risk their lives.
They were sought after by the Roman guards as the disciples of Jesus who claimed that He rose from the dead, and yet they came together to pray and be consecrated to God for His move on earth.
Because they had such a consecration and prayer, the Lord sent the divine fire upon them, and they became a corporate burnt offering burning with the divine fire; when Peter spoke on the day of Pentecost, fire was burning in the hearts of those listening, and God had a tremendous move.
Furthermore, all those who believed into the Lord continued to preach the gospel and help others be saved, and they “turned the world upside down”, going from city to city to preach the gospel and proclaim the kingdom of God.
All these were the issue of the “upper room consecration”; such a consecration is what we need to have today in order to be in the continuation of the book of Acts, that is, to be the continuation of Jesus on earth today.
It is quite interesting, however, to realize that the Lord in His ministry on earth has healed and touched thousands of people, and yet only one hundred and twenty were willing to pay the price to pray together in one accord and be consecrated to God.
Many believers today are saved, touched by the Lord, and have genuine experiences of God, but not many are willing to have such an upper room consecration so that they would be used by God and be the genuine increase of Christ on earth today. It is good to open to the Lord and pray,
Lord, save me from being just one of the many who were touched by You but are not consecrated to You. Burn in me, burn me, and keep me in the prayer in one accord with the saints so that we may become a corporate burnt offering with the divine fire. Lord, we consecrate ourselves to You; we give You the full ground in our being to do whatever You want to do in order to make us the continuation of Jesus, the increase of Christ on earth today! We are willing and open to be part of Your move on earth today!
Having the Upper Room Consecration today to be the Continuation of the Book of Acts
If we would be in the continuation of the book of Acts, we need to continue to live in the divine history in the unique stream of the work of the Lord by having an upper-room consecration (Acts 1:13-14).
For us today to be the genuine increase of Christ, we need to have an upper room consecration. This means we need to stand with the heavenly vision to give up any religion, give up our country, our relationship with our neighbors and friends, our relatives, and even risk our own life.
We need to take the Lord’s counsel in Rev. 2:18 and buy from Him eye salve to anoint our eyes so that we may see; we need to pay the price to buy the eye salve and we will see the vision.
We need to tell the Lord, Lord Jesus, by Your mercy we will buy the eye salve; by Your mercy we are willing to pay the price to be in the upper room for Your testimony! If we say this to the Lord, the heavens will be open, the scales will fall from our eyes, and we will see the heavenly vision.
To be in the continuation of the book of Acts we need to be in the one accord in prayer; we need to do everything through the cross and by the Spirit to dispense Christ into one another for the building up of the Body of Christ.
We are not here for a movement or for something outward; the Lord’s recovery can be carried out and realized only by the experience of the consecration in the upper room. This is not an ordinary consecration: it is a special, specific, and extraordinary consecration, which is a turning point in our life.
We should not expect a “big revival” or a “large movement”; we should not focus on a “new kind of Christian activity” or merely come together to hear something new and different from anywhere else. Rather we need to be here for the Lord’s recovery, which is an issue of the upper-room consecration.
May we no longer just be part of the crowd that follows the Lord and the multitude that presses upon Him; may we be those who, by the Lord’s mercy, come to the upper room with the other saints and pray in one accord for the Lord’s testimony.
We are NOT here for a movement but for the Lord’s recovery, and the recovery can be carried out ONLY by the specific and extraordinary consecration in the upper room.
A movement is something that we do without any contact with the Lord, only by going along with what others do and say. The Lord’s move, however, comes out of our personal, affectionate, intimate, and spiritual contact with the Lord!
The Lord’s move is with those in the upper room, with those whose eyes have been opened (because they paid the price to buy the eye salve from Him) and whose heart have been touched (see Luke 12:49-50; Acts 2:3-4; 17:6b; Rom. 12:11).
It is only a small number who pay the price to be those who turn the world upside down and change the age! There is a stream of the work of the Holy Spirit today, and He is moving to bring many into the upper room to offer the Lord the corporate upper room consecration He needs for Him to return and bring in the kingdom age. He is waiting for us to pray,
Lord, we are willing to be in the upper room for the recovery of Your testimony. By Your mercy we want to pay the price to buy the eye salve so that we may see and have our hearts touched. Lord, make us those who are in the upper room, those who pray in one accord and do everything through the cross and by the Spirit for the building up of the church. Lord, we give ourselves to You to turn the world upside down and change the age. We are here for You: we are not here for a movement or activity but for the Lord’s move on earth, the continuation of the book of Acts today!
References and Hymns on this Topic
- Inspiration: the Word of God, my enjoyment in the ministry, the message by brother Ed Marks for this week, and portions from The Heavenly Vision, ch. 6 (by Witness Lee), as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, The Increase of Christ for the Building up of the Church (2016 Memorial day Weekend Conference), week 1 / msg. 1, The Increase of Christ in the Continuation of the Book of Acts.
- All Bible verses are taken from, Holy Bible Recovery Version.
- Hymns on this topic:
# Not where we elect to go, / But where Jesus leads the way, / There the living waters flow, / There our darkness turns to day…. / Thus we die, and dying live / In the heavenlies with the Lord; / Thus we serve, and pray, and give, / Christ Himself our great Reward. (Hymns #907)
# “With one accord” within an upper room / The faithful followers of Jesus met: / One was the hope of every waiting soul, / And on one object great each heart was set. (Hymns #258)
# See the vision of Christ and the church; / Count the cost; reckon all things as loss; / Pay the price. The prize to gain Christ, / Burn the bridges; leave the world behind; / On God’s economy your heart be set / To live a life. (Song on seeing the vision)
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