Now that Jesus has finished His earthly ministry we must appropriate the promises given to His disciples working for the Kingdom Revolution:
Most assuredly, 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. And whatever you ask in My name, I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it. If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever – the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you will know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. (John 14:12-18, emphasis added)
Greater works are promised to the Church. No works can ever be greater than the works that Jesus did, but the works that His Church will accomplish will be greater in effect. There will be more people who hear about the gospel. More people who will be brought into the Kingdom. More lives will be touched. The ministry of Jesus was small in scope compared to the ministry of the Church. As part of the Revolution we will stand upon this promise that Jesus made to disciple and teach the multitudes, and with much power and effect.
In Andrew Murray’s book With Christ in the School of Prayer he said the following concerning Jesus’ promise of greater works:
And how true it was! Jesus during three years of personal labor on earth, gathered little more than five hundred disciples, most of whom were so powerless that they weren’t much help to His cause. Men like Peter and Paul did much greater things than He had done. From the throne He could do through them what He Himself in His humiliation could not yet do. He could ask the Father, receiving and bestowing new power for greater works. And what was true for the disciples is true for us: as we believe and ask in His name, power comes and takes possession of us also to do the greater work…It is this power alone that the believer can do greater works. To every complaint about difficulties or lack of success, Jesus gives this one answer, “He that believeth on me…greater works than these shall he do; because I go to the Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do.” (emphasis in the original)
Because I go to the Father. A new dispensation on earth occurred when Christ ascended unto heaven. The Church age had begun and a new work of the Holy Spirit has begun. The Holy Spirit in the Old Testament would come upon God’s agents as the situation called for and a work of God was accomplished upon mankind. Now the Holy Spirit is indwelling His people and man can be empowered continually, being equipped for the Revolution. Why can the Church be the disciple makers and teaching instruments of Christ? Because Jesus ascended on high and the Spirit dwells within!
Whatever you ask in My name I will do. This phrase has to do with authority. We can ask for anything that we need in order to fulfill the Great Commission if we ask in the authority of The Name. The Name has all authority in heaven and on earth. When we ask in The Name we are asking as representatives of the King of kings and the Lord of lords. When we ask for reinforcements for battle they will come. When we ask for power to disciple and teach it will come. Headquarters will send all we need to get the job done. We just need to requisition supplies from the top.
In With Christ in the School of Prayer Andrew Murray spoke of the power of the Name:
The name of Christ is the expression of everything He has done and everything He is and lives to do as our Mediator. What does it mean to do a thing in the name of another? It is to come with his power and authority, as his representative and substitute. Using another’s name always presupposes a common interest. No one would give another the free use of his name without first being assured that his honor and interests were as safe with that other person as with himself. What does it mean when Jesus gives us power over His name – the free use of it – with the assurance that whatever we ask in it will be given to us?…
Jesus solemnly gives to all His disciples a general and unlimited power to use His name at all times for everything they desire. He could not do this if He did not know that He could trust us with His interests and that His honor would be safe in our hands.
The free use of someone else’s name is always a token of great confidence and close union. Someone who gives his name to another stands aside to let that person act for him. Someone who takes the name of another gives up his own as of no value. When I go in the name of another, I deny myself. I take not only his name, but himself and what he is, instead of myself and what I am.
When the Lord Jesus went to heaven, He left His work – the management of His kingdom on earth – in the hands of His servants. He also gave them His name to draw all the supplies they needed for the due conduct of His business. Christ’s servants have the spiritual power to use the name of Jesus only insofar as they yield themselves to live only for the interests and the work of the Master. The use of the name always supposes the surrender of our interests to Him whom we represent.
If you love Me keep My commandments. This means exactly what it says. The proof is in the pudding. Obedience is our loving response to the commands of Jesus. Fruit is shown in our obedience that is visible to all (this will be covered in detail later in the book). When applying this to the Great Commission we as the Church need to be disciple makers and teaching vehicles for the Kingdom. Revolutionaries follow commands, and following commands wins battles, and winning battles wins wars.
He will give you another Helper. The apostles were surely stunned at the events surrounding the death and resurrection of their Savior. They still expected Christ to ascend to the throne of David at this point. But the Revolution was only beginning. Jesus’ earthly ministry was concluded and the war was yet to be completed. A new Field General was being sent to the frontlines of battle. The Holy Spirit would now lead the Church into war. Just as Jesus taught and led by example, the Church would now have this same ministry on earth. But now empowered from within the Church could grow. With growth the field of operations could expand the entire world. This was the most efficient way to win and God always uses the best plan for His will is perfect and His ways miraculous and fruitful.
Forever. This reminds us of the promise from the Great Commission in Matthew 28:20, “I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Forever is the end of the age; the end of the dispensation of the Holy Spirit as the Field General and the Church as His troops in the Kingdom Revolution. Jesus will be in control of all spheres of war operations until victory is won. The Revolution will come to an end. This period of time is an open window of opportunity for the Revolution. The Kingdom will be built person upon person, disciple upon disciple. The Church has a door of opportunity to make disciples and to teach. You are called into battle. Fight on!
I will not leave you orphans. Jesus reassured His apostles of His presence. They were used to the companionship and leadership the Messiah gave them and the love and fellowship they shared. This would not end for them and it is our promise as well. He will never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). We can rest in His promises.