YOU WILL SEE GREATER THINGS THAN THESE
Jesus said, “You will see greater things than these.” Most assuredly, I say to you, hereafter you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending…” (John 1:50, 51)
As City Revival AG Church is entering into third year of ministry, God has given three promises found in John 1:50, 51. Greater Things-Open Heaven-Ministry of Angels. This is the Jesus’ first personal word of promise. It is no insignificant promise, but full of the largest conceivable meaning. There is room for boundless expectation in the words.
1. GREATER THINGS THAN THESE
Nathaniel found out that Jesus was omniscient when Jesus said, “I saw you when you were under the fig tree even before Philip had called you.” Jesus also read his mind and heart and said, “You are a true Israelite in whom is no guile”. Jesus knows everything. He is omniscient. Now Jesus seems to be saying to him, “You have seen my omniscience and from now on you will see my omnipotence.” You will see my power over nature, diseases, demons, death etc. You will see me turning water into wine, feeding the 5000, walking on the water, healing the lame and raising the dead.
Dearly beloved, you would have seen and experienced God in certain dimensions in the past years. From now on, you would see “greater things,” because you would see more of the Godhead. Did you see his omniscience? You shall see his omnipotence. Did you discover that he could read your heart? You shall learn that he can change your heart. Did you find that his eye could glance into the secrets of your soul? You shall find his word casting out demons, and healing the sick, and hushing the tempests.
2. OPEN HEAVEN
An “Open Heaven” is where there’s a nearness of Heaven to earth. There’s a sense of God’s manifest presence (Isaiah 64:1-3). When the heavens are open, we will receive heavenly power. Jesus saw heavens open and the Spirit descending upon him like a dove (Mark 1:10). With the power of the Holy Spirit, he overcame the temptations, cast out demons, healed the sick and preached the gospel (Acts 10:38: Luke 4:18). The Lord will full us also with that power and use us for His glory!
When the heavens are open, we will see heavenly visions and revelations. Ezekiel, Stephen, Peter and John all saw an open heaven (Ezekiel 1:1; Acts 7:56; 10: 11; Rev. 4: 1,2; 19:11). They had visions about the knowledge of God, about God’s plan for their lives and ministry and about the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord will give visions to us also.
When the heavens are open, we will receive heavenly provisions. The Bible tells us that God opened heaven to provide miraculous provision to the nation of Israel during its wilderness wanderings. ‘He gave a command to the skies above and opened the doors of the heavens; he rained down manna for the people to eat, he gave them the grain of heaven’ (Ps 78:23-24). Israel’s destiny was to live in Canaan under open heaven and continue a lifestyle of faith. ‘The LORD will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands.’ (Deut. 28:12).
3. MINISTRY OF ANGELS
Angels are actively involved in the lives of God’s people. The ranks of the holy angels include martial angels, ministering angels,and messenger angels.
There are messenger angels who came to priests like Zacharias, and to people like Elizabeth and Mary (Luke 1:13, 18, 19, 28, 30, 35). They bring good news and message of hope and encouragement. There are ministering angels such as those who came to apostles like Peter and Paul to deliver them (Acts 5, 12:7-10, 27:23), who care for little children (Matt. 18:10), who came to Christ in the wilderness and the Garden (Mark 1:13; Luke 22:43), and who are concerned for Children of God (Psalm 91:11). There are martial angels who do battle against God’s human foes. Angels are magnificent creatures, not at all like the tiny, childlike cherubs that we see in some art. Their power is so great that just one angel was able to destroy 185,000 Assyrian soldiers in one night (2 Kings 19:35). One angel struck Herod and he was eaten by worms (Acts 12: 21-23). These angels fight against Satan as described in Daniel and Revelation (Rev. 12:7).
There is no doubt that the angels help protect (Daniel 6:20-23; 2 Kings 6:13-17), reveal information (Acts 7:52-53; Luke 1:11-20), guide (Matthew 1:20-21; Acts 8:26), provide for (Genesis 21:17-20; 1 Kings 19:5-7), and minister to believers in general (Hebrews 1:14). We will experience the ministry of these angels in the coming days!
The promises in John 1:50 and 51 were primarily given to Nathanael. We see some characteristics in this man which moved Jesus to give him the above word of promise.
1. BE A PERSON WITHOUT GUILE
The moment Jesus set eyes on Nathanael, He said, “Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!”The word translated “guile” here is the same word used in Genesis 27:35 to convey the idea of guile or subtlety. Genesis 27 tells us of Jacob’s guile. Jesus used the same word Isaac did when He described Nathanael as an Israelite in whom was no subtlety or guile. John 1:47 has frequently been paraphrased, “Behold an Israelite indeed in whom is no Jacob!” Nathanael was an Israelite singularly free from the guile, crookedness, and subtlety of Jacob.
We must get rid of all malice and guile (1 Pet. 2:1). Blessed is the man in whose spirit there is no guile (Ps. 32:2). There should be no craftiness, no deception, no double-dealing, no falsehood, no fraudulence, no hypocrisy found in our lives (1 Thess. 2:3; 1 Pet. 2:22; Rev. 14:5).
2. BE A PERSON OF GOD’S WORD
Nathanael was a great searcher of the Scripture and a scholar in the law and the prophets. It could be inferred that Nathanael had been reading his Bible when Jesus saw him under the fig tree. The Lord now referred to Genesis 28:12, apparently the chapter and the verse upon which Nathanael had been meditating. Philip told Nathanael, “We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth.” Probably the two friends had often pored over the Old Testament Scriptures together, searching out the many prophecies concerning the coming of Christ. Since Nathanael knew from the Scriptures that Messiah would come from Judea, he raised a legitimate question- Can anything good come out of Nazareth? We must be like Bereans in searching the Scriptures (Acts 17:11). We must also ask ‘What does the Bible say?” concerning every issue of our life (Rom. 4:3; 10:8; 11:2).
3. BE A PERSON OF FAITH
Nathanael recognized Jesus as Son of God and King of Israel and put his faith in Him. He became a sincere follower and disciple of Jesus till the end. Faith is the key to receive the promises of God. Jesus said, “Everything is possible for one who believes” (Mark 9:23). We can inherit the promises of God through faith (Heb. 6:11, 12). May the Lord bless everyone with the blessings given above!!