GREATER WORKS

[SW418] 02/08/2020 message notes by

Pastor Susan J. Wynn

“Greater Works”

Text: John 14:7-14

Jesus Christ says that you will do the works He did, when He walked the earth, but you will do greater works than He did when He walked the earth, because He has gone to the Father. But how can that be? I will show you this essential, absolutely necessary truth, so that you may understand.

Again, I pray that you will catch a glimpse of Him through today’s message, and will come to perfectly see and understand and personally experience the next essential, absolutely necessary truth that Jesus Christ wants me to show you. 

Verse 7 —

“If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him.”

Just as in my last message, the Lord prophesies about what His disciples will be but are not yet. The Eleven did not know the Father and the Son intimately, by experiencing them personally (Greek ginosko). So they do not perfectly see and understand the truth He speaks. But because He prophesies, “From now on you know Him and have seen Him,” a time will come when they know both His Father and Him by experiencing them personally.

When will they absolutely know the Father and the Son by personally experiencing them? When they are filled with the Holy Spirit! God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit will be in them, fully and permanently. There is no greater intimacy than that! 

And when they are filled with the Holy Spirit, they will also perfectly see and understand the essential, absolutely necessary truth He is about to tell them, in Verse 14.  And they and all believers will live that truth, when they are filled!

Verse 8-9 —

Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” 9 Jesus  said to him, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?”

Over and over again, Jesus has shown them His Father. Over and over again, the Eleven have watched Him do works that only God can do (John 5:36). They have heard Him say that He only does what He sees the Father doing (John 5:19). And they have heard Him say that He only speaks what He hears the Father saying (John 12:49). 

So, in every way, He has already shown them the Father. He who sees Jesus Christ sees the Father who is in Him and from whom He was sent. He was and still is the exact representation of the Father (Hebrews 1:3). 

But they do not understand, as I have said, because they have come to their own conclusions about who He is — an earthly savior who would rescue them from Roman rule, reestablish the kingdom of Israel, and reign as Israel’s king, in Jerusalem. Jesus’ words did not match their view of who He was, so His words made no sense to them.

That is true of every believer who is one of His little children (infants in Christ). I was once an infant in Christ. When I was an infant, I had my own view of who He was, and did not understand any of Jesus Christ’s words that were contrary to my view of Him. 

But now that I am filled with His Holy Spirit, I can say in truth that it is not until you are filled with His Spirit that you will know Him absolutely by experiencing Him personally. Then all of His words will suddenly make sense to you, and your preconceived notions about Him will blow away like a wisp of smoke. It was the same for me!

Verses 10-11 —

“Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works. 11 Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves.”

Jesus says to the Eleven, “Do you not believe? Believe Me!” He tells the Eleven, once again, that He is in the Father (i.e., He is united with God the Father), and the Father is in Him (indwelling Him). 

Again, Jesus says that He does not speak on His own initiative (literally, of Himself). He does not speak His own words, but the Father who abides (remains, dwells) in Him does His works. In this case, the works to which Jesus refers are the Father’s words. 

Just as in John 14:1, He commands Philip and the rest of the Eleven to believe Him, to believe that He is in the Father and the Father is in Him. Again, their understanding is clouded because of their view of who He is, so they have not believed. 

Jesus knows they do not believe, even though He has spoken the truth to them. So,  He commands them to believe because of the works He does! These are the works He sees the Father doing — works that only God can do!

His words to them were the same as what He said to the Jewish priests, Pharisees, and scribes who were experts in the Law. but were seeking to kill Him —

John 5:36 “But the testimony which I have is greater than the testimony of John; for the works which the Father has given Me to accomplish — the very works that I dotestify about Me, that the Father has sent Me.”

Verses 12-14 —

“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.

You will ask, “How can this be? How can I do greater works than what Jesus Christ did when He walked the earth? And why must I ask in His name, in order for Him to do what I ask? What does it mean to ask in His name?”

 By asking and answering a series of questions, I will show you what He means in Verses 12-14 —

— What works did Jesus not do, while He was on the earth?

— What happened when He went to the Father?

— What happens to believers who obey Jesus’ command to wait for the promise of the Father, the baptism of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:4-5)?

— What greater works that Jesus did not do while He walked the earth are they then able to do?

What works did Jesus not do, while He was on the earth?

Jesus Christ did not fill believers with His Holy Spirit, imparting to them His divine nature (2Peter 1:4), and crucifying believers’ sin nature (Galatians 5:24). Why? The Spirit was not yet given while He was on the earth, because He had not yet died, risen, ascended and been glorified. 

What happened when He went to the Father?

After He died, rose, ascended and was glorified at the right hand of the Father, from whence He had been sent, He poured out His Spirit. Believers who obeyed His command to wait were then filled with His Spirit. 

It is the same today! He commands all to be filled, but many believers do not think “it” is essential and absolutely necessary. If you are such a one, repent and obey Him!

What happens to believers who obey Jesus Christ’s command to be filled with the Holy Spirit?  

Before they do His greater works, He does a sudden, inward work in them, when they are filled.  Suddenly, they are able to fully obey God because their sin nature is crucified (Galatians 5:24). Suddenly, their hearts are purified (Acts 15:9). Suddenly, they are permanently and completely filled with the Father, the Son and the Spirit (John 14:23). Suddenly, they become partakers of God’s divine nature (2Peter 1:4)! 

They have obeyed His command to wait, and the “suddenlies” are now done in them. Therefore, they are now inwardly prepared to do greater works than He did while He walked the earth.

What greater works are they then able to do?

#1 — Spirit-filled believers are able to lay hands on other believers to baptize them in the Holy Spirit (Acts 8:14-17, 19:4-5, etc.). Then, Jesus Christ does the same  suddenlies” in them! It is a greater work that Jesus Christ did not do while He walked the earth, for He had not yet been glorified, so the Spirit had not yet been given.

#2 — Because they have become partakers of God’s divine nature, they are able to ask in Jesus Christ’s name. I tell you the truth, beloved — to ask in His name is not just to say the words, “In Jesus’ name,” at the end of a prayer.

To ask in His name is to ask according to His divine nature. Because Spirit-filled believers are partakers of His divine nature, whatever they ask for, anything they ask for is always according to His will, and in keeping with His character.

Before He was glorified, Jesus told the Eleven that they had not yet asked in His name —

John 16:24 (Jesus said) “Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be made full.”

When the Twelve (Matthias had joined them) were filled along with the rest of the 120, their requests to Him were vastly different from their former self-serving requests to Jesus Christ. Now their self-serving sin nature was crucified, and they were partakers of the divine nature.  So, they no longer asked anything for themselves. Instead, they asked only that He be praised, honored and glorified through them, by the words He had empowered them to speak and the works He had empowered them to do. 

And it will be the same for you, beloved, when you are filled with the Spirit. Now, you ask for yourself. Then, you will have no other prayer than this — “Lord, be glorified!”

This is an essential, absolutely necessary truth for you to understand, beloved, because you cannot do greater works than He did when He walked the earth until you are filled with the Spirit. 

Then He will do the “suddenlies” in you. Then whatever you ask, anything you ask, He will do, because you will ask according to God’s will and in keeping with His character.

Then your joy will made full! You will be filled with His joy, and no one will be able to take your joy from you (John 16:22), regardless of the persecution you will undergo! This was a greater work that the Eleven were unable to do until Jesus was glorified and the Holy Spirit was given. 

And just as with the Eleven and the rest who were filled in that upper room in Acts 2, you will be able to lay hands on Jesus Christ’s little children, pray a prayer as simple as, “Be filled,” and they will be filled! It is God’s will (Ephesians 3:19, 5:18) and Jesus Christ’s command, and it will be done! This was a greater work that no believer could do until Jesus was glorified and the Holy Spirit was given.

# 3 — But there is yet another greater work that Spirit-filled believers do because Jesus has been glorified and the Holy Spirit has been given!

When you are filled, the Lord will speak through you. He did not make the disciples able to speak His words while He was on the earth, and He did not speak through the Eleven while He was on the earth. Only after He was glorified and the Spirit and were they able. It was then that they opened their mouths, and His words and wisdom came out, just as He prophesied over His disciples —

Luke 21:14 “Therefore settle it in your hearts not to meditate beforehand on what you will answer; 15 for I will give you a mouth and wisdom which all your adversaries will not be able to contradict or resist.” (NKJV)

And it will be just as it was with the Spirit-filled Philip when he explained Isaiah 53 to the Ethiopian eunuch —

Acts 8:35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning from this Scripture he preached Jesus to him.

# 4 — But there is yet another greater work that Spirit-filled believers do because Jesus has been glorified and the Holy Spirit has been given!

Because Spirit-filled believers are partakers of the divine nature, they are His witnesses here (Acts 1:8) — they are as He is in this world (1John 4:17), and walk as He walked (1John 2:6). The Eleven could not do this greater work until He was glorified and the Spirit was given! And it is the same for you, beloved — until you are filled, you cannot be His witness here!

The Eleven became His witnesses here after they were filled. And you will, too, just as He promises —

Acts 1:8 “but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”

Beloved, Jesus Christ is now glorified, and the Holy Spirit has been given! If you have not yet obeyed His command to be filled with His Spirit, repent! Ask your Father in heaven to fill you (Luke 11:13). 

Ask and you will receive! Then, Jesus Christ will do all the “suddenlies” in you, so you are able to do His works that He did while He was on the earth, and the greater works I have shown you! 

Lord Jesus, may your little children hear and do the words you have given me to speak. Let it be so, I pray. Amen.