Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Acts 1:13

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

They went up into an upper room - This was either a room in the temple, or in the house of one of the disciples, where this holy company was accustomed to meet. In Luke 24:53, it is said that, after their return from Mount Olivet, they were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God: it is probable, therefore, that the upper room mentioned in this verse is that apartment of the temple mentioned above. But still it is not certain that this place should be so understood; as we have the fullest proofs that the upper rooms in private houses were used for the purpose of reading the law, and conferring together on religious matters. See several proofs in Lightfoot. Add to this, that the room here mentioned seems to have been the place where all the apostles lodged, οὑ ησαν καταμενοντες, and therefore most probably a private house.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Were come in - To Jerusalem.

They went up into an upper room - The word ὑπερῷον huperoōnhere translated “upper room,” occurs only four times in the New Testament: Acts 9:37, “She (Dorcas) was sick and died; whom when they had washed, they laid her in an upper chamber” (see also Acts 9:39); Acts 20:8, “And there were many lights in the upper chamber where they were gathered together.” The room so designated was an upper chamber used for devotion, or as a place where to lay the dead before burial, or occasionally for conversation, etc. Here it evidently means the place where they were assembled for devotion. Luke 24:53 says they were continually “in the temple” praising and blessing God; and some have supposed that the upper room here designated was one of the rooms in the temple. But there is no evidence of that, and it is not very probable. Such a room as that here referred to was a part of every house, especially in Jerusalem; and the disciples probably selected one where they might be together, and yet so retired that they might be safe from the Jews. The expression used in Luke 24:53, “They were continually - διαπαντός diapantos- in the temple,” signifies no more than that this was a frequent or customary resort; they were always in the temple at the usual seasons of devotion, or they were in the constant habit of resorting thither. “Even DeWette allows that there is no discrepancy.”

Where abode - Where were remaining. This does not mean that this was their permanent habitation; but they remained there waiting for the descent of the Holy Spirit.

Peter … - All the apostles were there which Jesus had at first chosen except Judas, Luke 6:13-16.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
God can find hiding-places for his people. They made supplication. All God's people are praying people. It was now a time of trouble and danger with the disciples of Christ; but if any is afflicted, let him pray; that will silence cares and fears. They had now a great work to do, and before they entered upon it, they were earnest in prayer to God for his presence. They were waiting for the descent of the Spirit, and abounded in prayer. Those are in the best frame to receive spiritual blessings, who are in a praying frame. Christ had promised shortly to send the Holy Ghost; that promise was not to do away prayer, but to quicken and encourage it. A little company united in love, exemplary in their conduct, fervent in prayer, and wisely zealous to promote the cause of Christ, are likely to increase rapidly.
Ellen G. White
The Acts of the Apostles, 35-6

This chapter is based on Acts 2:1-39.

As the disciples returned from Olivet to Jerusalem, the people looked on them, expecting to see on their faces expressions of sorrow, confusion, and defeat; but they saw there gladness and triumph. The disciples did not now mourn over disappointed hopes. They had seen the risen Saviour, and the words of His parting promise echoed constantly in their ears. AA 35.1

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, 158

We should pray as earnestly for the descent of the Holy Spirit as the disciples prayed on the day of Pentecost. If they needed it at that time, we need it more today. Moral darkness, like a funeral pall, covers the earth. All manner of false doctrines, heresies, and satanic deceptions are misleading the minds of men. Without the Spirit and power of God it will be in vain that we labor to present the truth. 5T 158.1

It is by contemplating Christ, by exercising faith in Him, by experiencing for ourselves His saving grace, that we are qualified to present Him to the world. If we have learned of Him, Jesus will be our theme; His love, burning upon the altar of our hearts, will reach the hearts of the people. The truth will be presented, not as a cold, lifeless theory, but in the demonstration of the Spirit. 5T 158.2

Many of our ministers in their discourses dwell too largely upon theory and not enough on practical godliness. They have an intellectual knowledge of the truth, but their hearts are untouched with the genuine fervor of the love of Christ. Many have gained by the study of our publications a knowledge of the arguments that sustain the truth, but they have not become Bible students for themselves. They are not constantly seeking for a deeper and more thorough knowledge of the plan of salvation as revealed in the Scriptures. While preaching to others, they are becoming dwarfs in religious growth. They do not often go before God to plead for His Spirit and grace that they may rightly present Christ to the world. 5T 158.3

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 65-6

Just before He left them, Christ gave His disciples the promise, “Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” While these words were upon His lips, He ascended, a cloud of angels received Him, and escorted Him to the City of God. The disciples returned to Jerusalem, knowing now for a certainty that Jesus was the Son of God. Their faith was unclouded, and they waited, preparing themselves by prayer and by humbling their hearts before God, until the baptism of the Holy Spirit came. TM 65.1

“And when the Day of Pentecost was 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 all the house where they were sitting. And their appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” In that assembly there were mockers, who did not recognize the work of the Holy Spirit, and they said, “These men are full of new wine. TM 66.1

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Ellen G. White
Fundamentals of Christian Education, 530

Study the first and second chapters of Acts. Light has been given me that our work must be carried forward in a higher and broader way than it has ever yet been carried. The light of heaven is to be appreciated and cherished. This light is for the laborers. It is for those who feel that God has given them a message, and that they have a sacred responsibility to bear in its proclamation. FE 530.1

The message of present truth is to prepare a people for the coming of the Lord. Let us understand this, and let those placed in responsible positions come into such unity that the work shall go forward solidly. Do not allow any man to come in as an arbitrary ruler, and say, You must go here, and you must not go there; and you must do this, and you must not do that. We have a great and important work to do, and God would have us take hold of that work intelligently. The placing of men in positions of responsibility in the various conferences, does not make them gods. No one has sufficient wisdom to act without counsel. Men need to consult with their brethren, to counsel together, to pray together, and to plan together for the advancement of the work. Let laborers kneel down together and pray to God, asking Him to direct their course. There has been a great lack with us on this point. We have trusted too much to men's devisings. We cannot afford to do this. Perilous times are upon us, and we must come to the place where we know that the Lord lives and rules, and that He dwells in the hearts of the children of men. We must have confidence in God. FE 530.2

Wherever you may be sent, cherish in your hearts and minds the fear and love of God. Go daily to the Lord for instruction and guidance; depend upon God for light and knowledge. Pray for this instruction and this light, until you get it. It will not avail for you to ask, and then forget the thing for which you prayed. Keep your mind upon your prayer. You can do this while working with your hands. You can say, Lord, I believe; with all my heart I believe. Let the Holy Spirit's power come upon me. FE 530.3

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Cross References
Lebbaeus whose surname was Thaddaeus