Does John 14:12 teach that I am more powerful than Jesus?

creflo-dollar-600x338

 

Above is an image of Creflo Dollar, who I am singling out for this post on frequently twisted passages.  He like others I have also featured twists the Bible on the regular, and below I am going to analyze one of the verses that he does this to.

While Leaving Adventism one of the things that I studied was Pentecostal Theology.  Their teaching on this verse in John though is pervasive these days so I am going to address it plainly.  The way this is presented by the Pentacostals and Charismatics is that evidence of the Christian life is greater works.

By that they mean, if you are truly faithful and penitent, then you should be performing miracles.  Not just your garden variety miracles mind you, you must be outdoing Christ himself.  Not just you either, but the Church at large.  And if you don’t see that happening then you should be concerned that you and your fellow believers may not have any faith.

Below is the passage in question:

 

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.” John 14:12 KJV

 

Does that mean we as Christians should be expected to run on water instead of walk?  Should we rise from the dead twice?  Should we heal more people miraculously?

Well if that’s what Jesus is teaching then the only proper response is that the Church has failed both now and in the past.  Nobody has come close to  the miracles that Christ performed.  The apostles certainly did perform great signs and wonders through the power of the Holy Spirit, but even then these gifts started to fade out in their own lifetimes.  A point that I made in an older post you can find HERE.

Have not miracles occurred in the Church since the apostles?  Well of course they have, not through a specific person but people have prayed to God asking for a miracle, and sometimes they have certainly happened.  Everyone has their stories and plenty have been written down by the saints who came before us.

Would you call any of these miracles greater works though?  I certainly wouldn’t.  Even if you count the hoax ridden circus shows claiming to be handing out miracles today by the Charismatics and Pentacostals I wouldn’t call those greater works.  Even at best they would be lesser works.  What are the greater works then?  To really flesh this out I’m going to have to go down a Gospel bunny trail.

Long ago during the exile we see that Ezekiel prophesied of a day when preaching the Word would raise the dead.

 

4 Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the Lord.; 5 Thus saith the Lord God unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live:; 6 And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the Lord. Ezk 37:4-6 KJV

 

We also know that we were dead in trespasses and sins before encountering the Gospel.

 

1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; 2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:; 3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.” Eph 2:1-3 KJV

 

It is in this dead state that we are found when we first encounter Grace, in which God gives us Faith miraculously.

 

“8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God” Eph 2:8 KJV

 

The Bible even straight up states that Faith is received through the preaching of the Word.  In this act the Christological Prophecy in Ezekiel 37 is fulfilled.  When the pastor preaches over the dead bones in his congregation they come to life in receiving faith.

 

“13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.; 14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?; 15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!; 16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?; 17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Rom 10:13-17 KJV

 

So, by the simple act of preaching the Word the Holy Spirit gives the gift of faith to the one hearing it.  This is Grace in action.  It’s rather objective really, which is why Lutherans and others call it “Means of Grace”.  This act alone is certainly a greater Work.  It is nothing at all of course without Christ as it is his act on the Cross which ultimately brings believers the Gospel to begin with.

That said, it is the preacher preaching the cross that applies it to you here and now.  In the very first day this was done more souls were brought to faith in Christ than in the whole 3 1/2 years of Christ’s ministry on earth combined.

 

38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.; 39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.; 40 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.; 41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.” Acts 2:38-41 KJV

 

That is a great work indeed, and by the power of Christ it is a greater work than any the apostles had witnessed up to John 14:12.  This continues to be a greater work unto this very day.  If you want to see it yourself then I recommend regularly attending a Church where the Gospel is preached.

 

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About ACTheologian

I am a layman who blogs my Biblical studies. Enjoy, please read with an open Bible and do double check with your pastor.
This entry was posted in Armchair Lounge, Frequently Twisted Passages, Heresy & Heterodoxy and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Does John 14:12 teach that I am more powerful than Jesus?

  1. Reblogged this on Faithful Stewardship and commented:
    Wonderful article addressing Creflo’s bible twists and solid exegesis of John 14:12. Be sure to check out more of the Armchair Theologian’s blogs.

    Liked by 1 person

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