Thursday, May 25, 2006

Ascension: The Promise of Greater Works

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 My Father. And whatever you ask in My name, that 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 know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave your orphans; I will come to you. (John 14: 12-18)
The ascension of Jesus Christ to the right hand of the Father is the promise that those who believe in Him will do even greater works than He did. For His absence in one form means His greater presence in another form — that is, by the Holy Spirit. He did not leave us orphans, without His divine presence. No, He asked the Father to give us another Helper, the Spirit of truth, to dwell in us forever. Notice that He dwells, not just with us, but in us.

The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth, to teach us all we need to know:
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. (John 14:26)

However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you. (John 16:13-15)
This will always be about the Lord Jesus Christ, for He is the truth (John 14:6). “The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy” (Revelation 19:10). The Holy Spirit takes what belongs to the Lord Jesus (and all that Father has belongs to Him) and declares it to us.

The Holy Spirit also brings an endowment of power (Luke 24:29; Acts 1:8). The exercise of this power must always be about truth — about Jesus the Anointed One and the ministry for which He was anointed (see Luke 4:17-21). It must also be about love and obedience to Jesus. For in the same place He gave the promise of greater works, He also said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments.”

Jesus ascended to heaven so He could give the Holy Spirit to all those who believe in Him. The Promise of the Spirit is also the promise of greater works in Jesus’ name. It is conditioned upon faith, but it works according to love (faith works through love; Galatians 5:6) and obedience, so that when we move mountains it will always display the purpose of God and change the world for the better.