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“I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in Me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.”[1]

Taken in isolation, this verse will mean that all who believe in Jesus Christ, the Person, can do what He has been doing, including preaching the good news to the poor, doing miracles, healing the sick, raising the dead and driving out demons. As you come to know the written words of the Lord more and more, you will realise He did more than just prophesy, do miracles and drive out demons. Above all else, He obeyed the Father, He listened to Him, He said just what the Father wanted Him to say, all of which was perfect obedience to the Father. As such, we can also obey the Father perfectly as Jesus did, because He said so. As always, God keeps it simple, for when we listen to Jesus, we have obeyed the Father completely and perfectly. For the Father did not give to disciples of Jesus Christ hundreds of decrees, laws, rules and regulations, but just one decree and one command concerning His One and Only begotten Son.

So, if you have the faith for it, listening to Jesus, your listening to Jesus, is the same as Jesus listening to the Father and obeying His commands perfectly. The amazing thing is that God did not command us to say anything, just listen to Jesus. God did not command us to prophesy like He told the prophets to, or told Moses to declare His will to Pharaoh or to instruct the Israelites. Whereas, Jesus had to say just what the Father had commanded Him to say. The Father’s will for Jesus was to listen, to speak what He heard and to do what He saw the Father doing. “So whatever I say is just what the Father has told Me to say.”[2] “For I have come down from Heaven not to do My will but to do the will of Him who sent Me,”[3] which is to save the world.[4] That is the Father’s will for Jesus, to save the world, and the Father’s will for those who believe in Jesus’ work and Name is that they would be raised to eternal life. “For My Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in Him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.”[5]

Doing what Jesus has done begins not with miracles, signs and wonders; it does not begin with preaching the Gospel or building a church or sacrificing your life and possessions. No, doing what Jesus has done begins with listening to the Father who said to us, not to Jesus, not to Moses or the Jews, but to disciples of Christ, “This is My beloved Son, whom I love. With Him I am well pleased. Listen to Him!”[6]

Anyone who does miracles, healings and drives out demons without listening to Jesus has not obeyed the Father, and as such, those who see themselves as shepherds of the flock, yet are ignorant of the Command, “Listen to Him,” have in truth not gone into the sheep pen through the Gate. “I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the Gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber… I tell you the truth; I am the Gate for the sheep.”[7]

Now, here is the confidence by which you may know why and how you are eligible to do the things that Jesus has done, that you have done them in the correct order and avoid the fate of those of Matthew 7:22. You must realise that when you listen to Jesus, you have obeyed every command the Father has given you, just as Jesus has obeyed every command the Father has given Him. Naturally, the Father has given Jesus much more to obey and do than us, which is why it is Jesus who is to be glorified always, not us, but we share in the experience of His glorification for that is what Jesus asked the Father to do. “Father, I want those you have given Me to be with Me where I am, and to see My glory, the glory You have given Me because You loved Me before the creation of the world.”[8]

The Father did not begin to love Jesus because Jesus began to obey Him. No, the Father loved Jesus before the creation of the world. The love of the Father for Jesus was pre-existent before the obedience of Jesus to the Father. As such, when Jesus prayed, “Let the world know that You… have loved them even as You have loved Me,”[9] He is saying that the Father has, yes, has, a pre-existent love for those who would seek to be one as They are One. A pre-existent love that preceded the need to obey because it existed before the commandment was given.

Because of the opposition you will encounter, it is essential that you know and understand, not just believe, that you can do what Jesus has been doing, because by listening to Jesus, you have already begun to do what Jesus has been doing. You have entered by the Gate who is Jesus Christ, not because you believe Jesus or even know who Jesus Christ is, but you have listened to Him. There are those who know who Jesus Christ is, but will not listen to Him. Demons are a good example of these types of persons, as one of them said, “What do You want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are—the Holy One of God!”[10]

So, what do we call persons who know who Jesus Christ is, yet do not listen to Him? They are those who believe and follow Jesus Christ, but do not listen to Him, and even apostles have fallen into such categories; or those who follow Jesus but do not listen to Him like the Pharisees, Sadducees and Herodians; or those who follow Jesus and will listen if there are no hard teachings, who are disciples who turn back and no longer follow Him.[11]

You are those, and we seek to have others join us, who not just believe Him that they may be saved but have come to know He is the Holy One of God, but as well as that, you are one and ones who listen to Him. As such, you are those who have proved John 14:12 already before a single loaf of bread has been multiplied. Does this seem too easy or too simple to be true?

The one who has been given much, much is demanded, and the one who has been given little, little is demanded. Is God not just in demanding so much of Jesus and kind to us in giving us only one command so that so little is demanded of us? Listening to Jesus allows us to fulfil all of God’s commands to us who are disciples of Jesus Christ, whereas the people of God in Israel have to fulfil all the Law before they can come to the same position.

Now, here is your confidence, your ‘proof of faith’, that you have the authority to enter into the sheep pen and call out those who are given to you to shepherd for the Father. “The man who enters by the Gate is the shepherd of his sheep. The Watchman opens the Gate for him and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.”[12] There is thus a number assigned to be with us, firstly to follow us and we “will come in and go out, and find pasture.”[13]

Listening to Jesus is entering through the Gate, which the Watchman (God who watches) will open to allow us in. The sheep assigned to us by the Lord will know our voice and follow us, and if they have been stolen by men who are thieves and robbers who entered without listening to Jesus, they will break out of their bondage at the sound of our voices, our voices, not God’s, not Jesus’, but our voices. For we have a part to play and as Jesus has said, the sheep will respond to the voice of he who entered through the Gate, Jesus Christ, a Gate opened by the Watchman. Do you think God will admit those who do not listen to Jesus as disciples of Jesus Christ? No! They may use His Name to drive out demons, which is nothing new, just look at the seven sons of Sceva,[14] but they are not disciples of Christ. By the way, those who practise exorcism like the sons of Sceva display a fear of the demons they are driving out, whereas, demons display a fear of the Son of God and His true brothers.

Thus, when you are challenged by those who claim to be shepherds, but have not entered by the Gate but have climbed in by some other way or came before Jesus,[15] your ‘proof of faith’ is John 14:12 for you have already done what Jesus has been doing because you have listened to Jesus. The power to do anything else will come from the Holy Spirit.

For before Jesus Himself received the Holy Spirit, He already began to do what the Father had told Him to do by being in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions.[16] And when His parents who had been searching for Him anxiously for three days questioned Him, Jesus’ reply was, “Why were you searching for Me? Didn’t you know I had to be in My Father’s house?”[17] Notice He did not seem to show any concern that they had to search for Him for three days and certainly, He did not use words that even apologised for any inconvenience caused to the ‘parents’. “Why were you searching for Me?” Not even a sorry as some would say. Now Mary had said, “Son, why have You treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for You.”[18] A statement that no doubt ‘Romish’ worshippers use to justify that Joseph was His father, to which Jesus replied, “Didn’t you know I had to be in My Father’s house?” At the age of twelve years old, He disowned Joseph as His father, and made it clear to Mary and Joseph that God is His Father. No apologies, just truth. Listening to the teachers and asking them questions, He had begun to do what His Father commanded Him: “Save the world.” And He spent the next twenty-one or so years fulfilling every command the Father gave Israel through Moses.

Having fulfilled the Law, He went on to fulfil the command of the Father to which He had testified, “For God so loved the world, He gave His One and Only Son… For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.”[19]

See the attitude of Jesus, even to those who would appear to have some sway over Him. He was obeying His Father. Why were they searching for Him? Some may call it rudeness or arrogance or uncaring; God would call it doing what is right in His eyes.

As such, your obedience to the Father’s command to listen to Jesus is the ‘proof of faith’ that you are a shepherd authorised to call out the sheep assigned to you and that you are authorised to go in and out of the sheep pen and lead those who respond to your voice to pasture…. pasture that you find, for as Jesus said, “He (she) will come in and out, and find pasture.”

And as such, be very clear on this, we can never steal someone else’s sheep, for the sheep assigned to us responds to our voices, and if, in the days to come, entire denominations are emptied because they hear our voice, it is because they were taken out of the sheep pen by men who had jumped over the fence in the first place.

‘Proof of faith’ – hard for some, even impossible for others, because they do not want to listen to Jesus. AMEN


 

[1] John 14:12

[2] John 12:50

[3] John 6:38

[4] John 3:16-17

[5] John 6:40

[6] Matthew 17:5

[7] John 10:1,7

[8] John 17:24

[9] John 17:23

[10] Mark 1:24

[11] John 6:66

[12] John 10:2-5

[13] John 10:9

[14] Acts 19:13-16

[15] John 10:1,8

[16] Luke 2:46

[17] Luke 2:49

[18] Luke 2:48

[19] John 3:16,17

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