John 5:19-20 Jesus gave them this answer: “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing”
Have you ever stopped and pondered the significance of this verse? The divine and holy savior of the universe is explaining to His disciples He cannot carry out His mission on earth unless the Father in heaven shows it to Him first! The eternal Son, who was with the Father from the beginning (John 1:1, John 8:58), created all the universe (Col. 1:16, John 1:1-3) and has all divine attributes (Col. 2:9, Heb. 1:3) says He can do ‘NOTHING’ unless the Father in heaven shows Him.
Before we view Jn. 5:19 in context or look at other verses that explain what the Lord is ‘not’ teaching, I simply want to honor the importance of the Lords instruction. Jesus is saying He cannot accomplish anything (of heavenly value John 6:26-27, 63) unless He receives revelation from heaven. He continues to explain these revelations are actually works that originate with the Father in heaven and will be duplicated by the Son on earth…. He can do only what He sees the Father doing.
Some of you who have been reading the scriptures about the kingdom of God have realized pursuing His Kingdom from heaven to earth is first priority in the Fathers heart.
Matt. 6:9-10“This, then, is how you should pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. A few verses later….
Matt. 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Those whose hearts that have been humbled like children will begin to see the ‘secrets’ to His message-given by the Holy Spirit and revealed in His Word.
Matt. 18:3, And he (Jesus) said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
Matt. 13:11 He (Jesus) replied, “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them (those with proud hearts vs 15).
Simply, there is a ‘string line’ of scripture throughout His Word that explain the importance of what Jesus is teaching.We need to see the Fathers will in heaven and bring it down! The Lords instruction from the opening verse ‘fits like a glove’ with other scriptures that pursue the kingdom of heaven. (see references Kingdom of God, Site Map)
John 5:19-20 Jesus gave them this answer: “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing,
Ephesians 1:10 to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment —to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.
Matt. 6: 10 your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Math. 24:14
Matt. 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
To be honest with you, this next sentence is difficult to write because of the shortcomings within the church starting with me! Jesus is teaching …. we are not accomplishing anything (of heavenly value John 6:26-27, 63) unless we actually ‘see first’ the works that the Father is doing in heaven.While the above verses are not implying our life will be around the clock revelations (explained below), it is confirming other Biblical teachings that the church needs to be ‘seeing from heaven’ and bringing His will and glory to earth.
Matt. 11:12 From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it. The emphasis in Greek is describing men that will forcefully seize the Kingdom of heaven and advance it on earth.
Let’s look at another verse in Ephesians that describes this further.
Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
The word ‘ordained’ is proetoimazō ; make ready, prior to-our carrying out the good works. In other words, there are works that God ordained before the creation of the world that we need to accomplish while we live on earth. Christian’s lives are full of ‘activity’; activity however does not help us “SEE” the heavenly works that have been ordained in heaven. Jesus said He had to ‘see heavenly works’ so He could distinguish between activity and divine works that would change the world. For example-
Without ‘seeing first’ a compassionate follower of Christ would probably have offered the Samaritan women a cup of water (John 4). Jesus, however, saw the works of the Father in heaven prior to this event and was able to give a word of knowledge about her relationships (John 4:18). He was also able to proclaim many divine truths in her town (John 4:42). Because of these revelations the Lord also understood drinking from her cup (the Samaritans were scorned by the Jews) would have the greater (heavenly) outcome than giving her a cup of water…it was indeed His pre-ordained divine work from heaven! Handing someone a cup of water is nice, divine revelation however brought salvation to the entire town (John 4:39-42).
Throughout the New Testament, Jesus and His disciples were operating in revelation and power from heaven that literally ‘shook’ the world (John 5:1-9, Mk. 5:1-18, Luke 17:12-16, Mk 2:2-12, John 11:1-46, Act. 3, 9:33-35, 36-41, Acts 8:5-8). Jesus mentioned if you could not believe Him personally, at least believe in His miracles (thus His mission) so you would be saved (John 10:38). For those who are thinking that ‘seeing’ ordained works from heaven was only for Jesus-He stops this incorrect teaching in its tracks…
John 14:12 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.
There is a new church arising that will touch Jesus.His body will flow from the person of Christ in heaven to the whole world
Matt. 5:14 “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.
Ephesians 5:27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.
The problem is not that the church is unable to accomplish these heavenly works; the problem is they are not currently seeing with the eyes of Jesus (explained below).
Verse in Context
I. Seeing revelation from heaven is not magic, Jesus had a plan of action…After He mentions He needs to ‘see first’ the Fathers works so He can accomplish them on earth, He explains how.
John 5:19 “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, (next verse) 20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does.
This truth is critical.
Jesus explains the process. The Father loves the Son because the Son was obedient to the Fathers will, even unto death for the sins of the world (1 Pet. 2:24, 2 Cor. 5:21).
John 10:17 The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life —only to take it up again.
Thus, vs. 20 For the Father loves the Son and shows Him all He does.
When Christ became our sacrifice on the cross, the horror of having the world’s sin and wrath was poured upon Jesus (I John 4:9-10,Gal. 3:13). This was greatest example of love that the world will ever experience…we could never attempt to duplicate His atoning sacrifice for sin on the cross. We can however duplicate the obedience He has for the Fathers heavenly will in heaven. I John 3:16 says it all
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers
When we fear the Lord and continually work at surrendering every part of our heart, mind and body to the Lord (Psalms 51:6, 1 Thess. 5:23) He will start to give us the spiritual heart to see spiritual ordained works (Gal 5:16-26). When the church does this in one accord (John. 17, 10:16) as an army of God (Ephesians 5:27 ), the whole true believing body of Christ will start to do likewise-with great power and holy results-praise God (Acts 2:17-19)
II. What Jesus is not teaching
We know from other scripture that revelation is not ‘turned on’ 24 hours a day. Paul, John the Baptist and His disciples had storms and struggles in their lives. They were troubled many times, not always being able to break through in prayer and revelation (Luke 7:19, 1 Thess. 2:18, 2 Tim. 4:11,2 Cor. 6:5). Jesus even asked questions, for the Father showed Him what He ‘needed’ to know in His earthly form, which was not everything (Mk. 13:32, Mk. 5:9)
We also know from the Word that the ‘WORD’ has authority over personal revelation. (Gal. 1:8-9, 1 Cor. 4:6). Any vision, even from highest of heaven can never override the written teaching given in His word (2 Cor. 11:4).
Why then did Jesus teach that revelations from heaven are essential to our walk on earth (title verse). Let’s start with an example. If you have ever worked on commercial trucks you know many times they have two connecting fuel filters, one primary and one secondary. While one is larger and more significant than the other, they both are interconnected…when one goes down they both do-the whole truck shuts down.
Likewise, we know from His holy scriptures that we need to be obedient to His Word. This will please the Father and set a righteous coarse for our lives (James 1:22-25) (like the primary filter). The Lords Word also instructs us to be led by the Holy Spirit and He will instruct us not only to understand the Bible but also show us the ‘works from heaven’ that were pre-ordained from heaven (the secondary filter) (Ephesians 2:10) . This is exciting! Divine works in our lives that we can ‘see’ from heaven-that will match what will happen with our lives on earth .(Matt. 6: 10 your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven). The reason the Lord was so firm about seeing and being obedient to revelations from heaven is that the whole process can shut down if we don’t obey His Word AND seek His Works from heaven
‘the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing’
Jesus refers to these personalize works from heaven as a light to the lost
John. 9:2-5 “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life. (the Lords pre-ordained works or healing of the blind man vs. 6). As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”
Another illustration would be like driving a car at night without ‘the lights’. God can give ‘The Written’ instruction manual on driving a car, but without being able to ‘see’ which way to turn on ‘your current road’-both the car and you will come to a crashing halt.…the ‘Written Word’ will not help those who refuse to bring the light down from heaven (John 5:39). We need both. The Written Word and the Holy Spirits light from heaven to run our lives. Jesus tells His disciples those who know the Word but do not receive the light from heaven live in darkness
Math. 15:14 (speaking to the Pharisees and teachers of the law) Leave them; they are blind guides. If a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit.”
For the most part, the church is operating without applying our ordained works from heaven. This is why Jesus commanded not to go out and minister without the Baptism of the Holy Spirit in Acts 1:4-5. If the church fears His name (Isaiah 33:6, Pro. 1:7) and applies the Gifts of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:4-5) He will gladly start to break the glories of heaven when we advance the Kingdom of God (Luke 11:13 Matt. 19: 18-19). Sadly, Satan has robbed the sleeping church of it’s original power for almost 2 millennium. Since the organized church has not been awake and watching (Matt. 25: 7), we have been unable to advance the kingdom of God. Promoting ‘earthly’ denominations and ministries can never replace the heavenly things of God.
John 8:23-24 But he (Jesus) continued, “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world.
Let’s start now and see how we can become the radiant church that Jesus will come back for
Seeing Our Divine Works in Heaven
1) As stated above, Jesus mentions why the Father loves the Son because of His obedience in all things.
The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life …..John 10:17
Thus…..the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does John 5:20.
The first step for a Christian is always fear His name and obey His Word and leading, it is key.
Isaiah 33:6 a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge; the fear of the LORD is the key to this treasure.
2) When the Body of Christ begins to leave their traditions and surrender their denominations and ministries to advance Gods kingdom, the bride of Christ will rise up to the Lords throne in heaven Matt. 5:14. When this happens, His Spirit will use ‘the gifts of the Spirit’ to produce powerful revelations and miracles I Cor. 12-14. We cannot put God in a box, the heavenly gifts given through the Baptism of the Holy Spirit will be awesome and reveal truths in unique and dynamic ways Acts 2:1-21.
3) Praying with our prayer language.
I Cor. 14:15 So what shall I do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my mind;
Paul instructs us we have the Holy Spirit within us that can take our request to the throne room of God. The Spirit will also ‘adjust’ our prayers to make them perfect before the Father!
Romans 8:26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.
This verse also teaches us the ‘barrier’ that Satan currently has over this world is not able to stop these prayers, for they are taken by the divine Holy Spirit. While our prayers can be hindered at times (Dan. 10:12-13, Ephesians 2:2), no power is greater than God’s power (Rev. 20).
We need to note that our prayer language in tongues has a somewhat different manifestation than the tongues used to give a message (with interpretation) to the congregation. One is for the group assembly, the another is to be used quietly in prayer- (I Cor. 14:26-28) (I Cor. 14: 2, 4, 28).
Both however should be interpreted.
(see Baptism of the Holy Spirit, Tongues in Scripture–Site Map)
I Cor. 14:13-14 For this reason anyone who speaks in a tongue should pray that he may interpret what he says. For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful.
As the gift of tongues to the congregation should come with interpretation, the above verses teaches that we can receive an interpretation of our personal tongues when we pray (1 Cor. 14:26-17,I Cor. 13:13-16, Mk. 11:24, Luke 11:13). This is vital! This is our ticket to start seeing our heavenly works!
Personal Tip from an Evangelist
One preacher stated that when you begin to use your prayer language, Satan will try and have you believe it is not from God (working in your own power). If you pursue this gift however you will start to realize after two or three days it is indeed from the Lord. Many times the same is true for the interpretation of your prayer language. Use your prayer language and ask for an interpretation.
Mark 11:24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
Wait and seek-and the Lord will start to show you heavenly works by the Holy Spirits heavenly language.
I Cor. 14:2 For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God.
These illuminations will not always be ‘great visions’ because the Lord wants to teach us to hear quietly from Him (Psalms 37:7, 32.9). They will however be important directives from His heavenly throne!As with all revelation, subject what you see in your spirit with the holy Word….(1 John 4:1).
Faith Will Increase
Imagine if you were blind and wanted to walk across a street that you knew was busy…let’s just say it would be difficult. The Lord gave us naturally eyes to see and our confidence and faith increases. Similarly, seeing heavenly pre-ordained works increases our faith, they go hand and hand (Ephesians 2:10). Remember what Jesus said I can do nothing unless the Father shows me…
If Jesus said …I need to ‘see’ from heaven to have the sufficient direction and faith to accomplish anything, how much more do we need to ‘see’ to have our heavenly works manifested!! When Jesus ‘saw’ the pre-ordained works that the Father was showing Him in heaven His faith was ‘naturally sufficient’ because he already had seen the miracle…i.e-Jesus had faith to raise Lazarus from the dead because He experienced the miracle by the revelation from heaven…knew it was coming (John 11: 11-44). Seeing divine revelation beforehand will increases our faith when the miracle is manifested. That is why praying ‘in our spirit’ with tongues and receiving an interpretation is so critical at this stage in the church. It will start to break open the works of heaven and bring them to earth for each Christian. Later, when the glory of God radiates one earth because the body of Christ as a whole is pursuing the kingdom of God His revelations and power will ‘overflow’ as we battle Satan (Ephesians 5: 27, Acts 2:17-18, Rev. 12: 10,7-12). This battle will come to a full conflict because the body of Christ and the Lords angles have worked together to dethrone Satan the illegitimate ruler of this age (Rev. 12: 7-12, Matt. 16:18-19, Matt. 18:18).
An army marches one step at a time, but with purpose. In Joel, the Lords army is not sidetracked but plunges’ through its enemies.
Joel 2: 7-8 They all march in line, not swerving from their course.
They plunge through defenses without breaking ranks.
Like these host from the Lord, let’s start fighting from heaven, an assured victory!