Preparing for the Future
Tim Temple


In this lesson we move into chapter 16, where Jesus continues preparing the disciples for His departure. We divided the chapter into three parts. First, in verses 1-4, there is a reminder of persecution. In verses 5-15, there is a reminder of provision for that persecution. In verses 16-23, we have a readjustment of perspective. The disciples are going to be able to readjust their whole perspective on suffering and on doing without the Lord Jesus Christ because of these great provisions that He has made for them in that regard.

Chapter 16 is difficult to outline and difficult to talk about in a organized way because what we have, beginning in chapter 14, and going on through most of chapter 18, is just a personal conversation Jesus was having with His disciples. As you look at the phrasing and the wording and the organization of these chapters, you see what a personal conversation it was.

This is not a sermon such as some of the sermons that Jesus gave and some of the teaching that He did. Those formal teaching situations such as He gave to the crowds and such as He gave to the Pharisees were tightly organized, showing a genius of understanding and communication. On the other hand, and just as impressive and precious in a way, is that when Jesus was talking to those intimate disciples, He talked much like we would around the dinner table or much like we would in a personal conversation with one of our friends—no real outline, but taking a subject and talking about that, then moving on to something else. Then that reminds Him of something that He said earlier, and so He goes back and reminds them of those things that He said earlier. He pulls that back into the conversation, and that is why two-thirds of the outline has to do with the reminders of things that He had said before.

A Reminder of Persecution

We want to begin by looking at this reminder of persecution that Jesus gives the disciples in verses 1-4. Really, it is just that. It is just a reminder of things that He has said earlier and that we have talked about in more detail as we looked at chapter 14 a few weeks ago. He says:

John 16

1These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended.

Then skip down to verse 4:

John 16

4But these things have I told you, that when the time shall come, ye may remember that I told you of them. And these things I said not unto you at the beginning, because I was with you.

This is a reminder of the warnings and of the preparation that He had given them back in chapter 15, verses 18-27. The last few verses of chapter 15 dealt with the fact that the disciples needed to be prepared for hatred on the part of unbelievers. They were going to face persecution and rejection. What it all boiled down to was hatred.

If you will turn back to chapter 15 for just a moment, let me remind you of some verses that we touched on a while back. Look at John, chapter 15, verse 18:

John 15

18If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.
19If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.
20Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.

Of course, the implication of that last statement is, “They haven't kept My Word, so why should you think that they will keep your word?”. The principle that He talked about is in verse 20: “A servant is not greater than His Master.” Jesus was their Master even though He had also called them His friends, but in terms of leadership, etc., He was their Master. If they rejected Him, why should the disciples think they would not reject them? If they rejected the Master, why would they not reject the friends?

All of that is wrapped up in chapter 16, verse 1, when He said:

John 16

1These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended.

“I am warning you in advance that you are going to face difficult times.” Of course, for those disciples, some of those difficult times were immediate and, in the general sense, lasted for the rest of their lives on this earth. They certainly had times of great joy and great accomplishment, and all of that was in a context and a surrounding of great difficulty, rejection, and hatred. So Jesus also reminded them in chapter 15, verses 21-27, that that hatred of Him came because of a hatred of his Father. Jesus' teachings and Jesus' actions reminded those unbelievers of His day of the principles of God's Word that they knew from the Old Testament, so they hated Jesus, not only because of what Jesus said, but because of what Jesus reminded them of. That was their variance, their being out of sync with God Himself; and so He says, “Your life and your testimony is going to remind them of that same thing.” He says, in verses 26-27 of chapter 15, “The Holy Spirit is going to continue to work through you and bear witness through you, because you have been with Me from the beginning, so make no mistake about it, as My disciples, you are going to face persecution.”

The immediate application of that was to those eleven men who were sitting there and facing that immediate situation, but by extension, it applies to us, too. If the majority of the world rejects Jesus Christ, if the majority of society rejects Jesus Christ, and even many who are truly believers in Jesus Christ reject the principles that He makes available to them and only live a surface kind of Christian life, why should we think that we won't face rejection on the part of unbelievers and even on the part of coldhearted believers? It is a solemn warning even for us, and I am afraid that many of us as Christians spend a great deal of time and effort trying to make sure that we will be acceptable, trying to make sure that we won't offend anybody and that we won't therefore suffer some sort of rejection ourselves.

On the one hand, it is true that Jesus said in many places and many ways that we are to be loving and gentle and kind. Paul wrote that to Timothy and told him to teach the church that we are to be loving and good and to do good to others. Jesus doesn't want us to be objectionable. He wants us to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world, and He says that we will be that and we are that as we walk in fellowship with Him, but we will be objected to. Let's be sure that we are not objected to because we are objectionable. Let's be sure that if we are rejected, it is in spite of what we are doing, not in any way because of what we are doing.

We know Christians who think they are suffering for Jesus, and they are really suffering because they are obnoxious. They are really suffering because they don't take a bath often enough or they don't keep their mouths shut enough, and they chalk it up to suffering for Jesus. Jesus said, “Listen, even when you are emulating Me, even when you are walking at the direction of the Holy Spirit, somewhere along the line, probably more often than not, you are going to face rejection.” For the disciples it was physical persecution. Our society is more refined than that. At least we don't yet physically persecute people with whom we disagree, but we are living in an age when the climate is moving more and more toward that. I wouldn't be surprised in the lifetime of some of us that we may again face physical persecution for being believers in Jesus Christ or for being a testimony for Jesus Christ. Jesus was reminding them that these things were going to happen to them, and Scripture records that those things certainly did happen to them.

Verses 2-3 pinpoint the practices that He is talking about:

John 16

2They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.
3And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me.

What is the first name that comes to mind as you read about people thinking that they are doing God a service by killing them? Does a man named Saul of Tarsus come to mind? Saul got permission from the Jewish leaders to kill Christians on sight. That is literally what his charter was for. He was not the only one, but he was the leading proponent of that. Many, many Christians literally lost their lives for the testimony of Jesus Christ, and not just those eleven disciples, but on into the next two hundred years and really, all the way through history. That is a reminder of persecution that opens the chapter.

A Reminder of Provision

That solemn reminder is followed by a reminder of provision. In verses 5-15, we have another example of Jesus' moving back and forth in His conversation. The conversational nature of this chapter is shown in the antecedent of the reminder. Look at verses 6-7:

John 16

6But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart.
7Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.

Think about what Jesus is saying. He has just been talking about persecution. He has been talking about these difficulties that they are going to face, and in saying that, He is only reminding them of things that He had talked about in great detail earlier. He sees, as He says that, that sorrow had filled their hearts. As they faced the prospect of persecution and rejection and the fact that Jesus would not be with them to help them get through that, they were full of sorrow. Jesus reminds them, as He sets the stage for this reminder of His provision for them, in verse 7: “It is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you.”

When He talks about the Helper, He is talking about the Holy Spirit Who is going to come. Back in chapter 14, He talked in great detail about these advantages of His going away. They were very surprised when He first brought up the fact that it would be to their advantage for Him to go away.

Think what a shocking thing that must have been to the disciples. Here was the Man Who had revolutionized their lives. They had never imagined three years like they had spent with Him, and then one day He suddenly says, “I am going away. I am going to leave you.” Their hearts were filled with sorrow, but then He went on to say, “Nevertheless I am going to send you another Comforter—another Person, just like Me, to take My place.”

We talked about the fact that He listed several advantages that would come to them, as hard as that might have been for them to believe, advantages such as this new Comforter, who would come from God to them. In the Greek, He used the term allos parakletos . We said that the word allos means “another of the same kind,” and parakletos means “one called alongside to help.” He calls Him the Helper in the New King James Version , but Comforter in the old King James . All of those words convey the idea that the Holy Spirit would be a Helper to them just as Jesus had been. He would be a Comforter to them just as Jesus had been.

Because Jesus was going away and sending this Comforter, He would be an internal presence in each of them, a personal internal presence. There was a great advantage in that. The fact that when Jesus was physically present with them, a person could only be as close to Christ as he could squeeze in among the other people who were with Him, but Jesus said of the Comforter, Who is the Holy Spirit, “He will be with you, because He will be in you.” There is no longer that physical limitation of closeness to Christ. Now we can have the Person of God no matter how close or how distant we may be from a physical relationship. He is with us always. When Jesus was here, it was limited to how close you could get physically to the man Jesus.

He went on to say also that because He was going back to Heaven, they would still be able to talk to Him, to be able to talk to the Father in His name. Because He is no longer physically present, all of us at any time simultaneously can talk to Him. When He was physically present on earth, only the person who could get His attention could talk to Him, and even then all He could ask Jesus to do was to ask Him to ask the Father something. Now He says, “You will be able to talk to the Father, and all you have to do is come in My name. He knows that you are His child because you are My child. Now, all of you at the same time can talk to Me if you want to.”

There were tremendous advantages, and of course, the summary of all of that, as we saw when we looked at chapter 14, is that Jesus said that almost unbelievable statement: “Greater things than I have done, you will do, because I am going away.” That is what He is reminding them of here in chapter 16, verses 6-7. He says, “It is important that I go away so that these advantages can begin to take place.”

Accomplishments of the Holy Spirit

In verses 8-15, He begins to go into more detail about the Holy Spirit than He had before. He told them a little about Him. He told them that He will be another of the same kind. He has told them He will be a Helper, and He will enable them to have that personal relationship. But now, in verses 8-15, He talks about the accomplishments of the Holy Spirit. Lets read through these verses:

John 16

8And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:
9Of sin, because they believe not on me;
10Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more;
11Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.

These verses give us a summary of the accomplishments the Holy Spirit is going to bring. First, in general in these verses, He is going to bring conviction. Notice the threefold area of conviction. He says, “He will convict of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment,” in verse 8.

Think about this for a minute. What a tremendous provision it is that the Holy Spirit will convict the hearts of men and women of their sinfulness as compared to the standard of righteousness and the coming of judgment. We can talk about those things as human beings. Most of us don't, but we could. We might convince somebody that we really believe this whole thing about sin and righteousness and judgment. We might even convince them that they ought to give it some thought, but you and I, as human beings, will never be able to convince a person that they are a sinner and that they face the righteous standard of God and that they are going to face the judgment of God. Only the Holy Spirit can do that because those are matters of the heart. Those are matters of the spirit, and only the Spirit of God can communicate that kind of truth to a human heart.

Proverbs, chapter 21, verse 1, says:

Proverbs 21

1The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.

You and I cannot convince the king of anything. We might petition the king, and as I have pointed out before, the king, for our purposes, would be whatever that is in your life that is the primary influence, that thing that is the basis for the decisions that you make. Hopefully, that person is the Lord Jesus Christ and the standards of His Word. For many people, the basis on which they make their decisions is what other people will think or what has traditionally been done in their organization or what will make the most money or bring the most fun. Whatever it is that is the key factor in the making of your decisions, and only you and God know what that is, that thing is the king in your life.

I might carry that one step farther and say that that thing is your God. You may claim allegiance to Jesus Christ, but if the primary basis on which you make your decisions is one of these things that I have mentioned or a dozen other things that influence people and that people build their lives around, that thing is your king. Proverbs says, “God deals with the heart of the king.” You can't change the mind of the person who is so important to you. You can't change the thinking of that group which is so important to you. You and I cannot deal with the heart, but God does. So God the Holy Spirit comes into our lives and through us, using us as His mouthpiece, He can take the Word of God and change a person's heart.

You and I can't convict them of sin, but as we take the Word of God, either specific verses or principles of the Word of God and witness that to another individual, God the Holy Spirit can bring conviction of sin in their hearts, and it is just our privilege to get to be involved in that. It is the Holy Spirit who does the work.

The Holy Spirit Convicts of Sin

In verse 9, He amplifies that:

John 16

9Of sin, because they believe not on me;

Notice that He doesn't give a list of sins, plural. He just says, “The Holy Spirit will convict men of sin and the sin is that they do not believe in Jesus Christ.” Jesus wasn't downplaying individual sins. He wasn't doing away with individual sins or saying that there is no such thing as individual sins, but what He is saying is, “I have come to give life and to give life more abundantly. I am the Bread of Life. He that believes in Me, out of his innermost being will flow rivers of living water. I come to bring deliverance from sin.” The angel who announced Jesus' birth, said, “Thou shalt call His name Jesus, for He shall save His people from their sins.”

If a person does not accept that offer of salvation from sin through Jesus Christ that God offers, it doesn't matter what their individual sins are. They are still in sin, and they face God with their burden of sin, and they will stand at the Judgment Bar of God at the end of their life with their sin. The key element in that is that they would not have to have done that if they had accepted Jesus Christ as Savior. That sin question would have been settled. The payment that Jesus Christ made for their sins would be applied to them, and the sin issue would be settled. So the real issue is not what individual sins a person is guilty of; the real issue is not how sinful one person is as compared to how sinful another is. Less or more, the question is, “Have they believed in Jesus Christ?” The work of God the Holy Spirit is to convict them of that whole sin issue, of the fact that they are sinners and the fact that Jesus Christ has come to pay for that sin. He convicts them of sin in that they have not believed in Jesus Christ.

Sometimes God does that by bringing to mind individual's specific sins, but when He brings those specific sins to mind, it is to paint a picture for that person under conviction of what a sinner they are. But the real issue is the sin of not believing in Jesus Christ, and if they continue to not believe in Jesus Christ, their sin problem will be their own as they stand before God, because they did not accept the provision that God made through Jesus Christ.

Holy Spirit Convicts of Righteousness

The second thing that the Holy Spirit convicts of is in verse 10:

John 16

10Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more;

The normal human standard of righteousness is to compare ourselves to other people or to compare ourselves to the society in which we live or to compare ourselves to public opinion. When human beings think about righteousness, they think of it in terms of relative righteousness. Jesus said, “No. The Holy Spirit will convict men of the ultimate standard of righteousness, which is Me. I am the ultimate standard of righteousness.”

How do we know that He was the ultimate standard of righteousness? Because Satan managed to get Him on the Cross and kill Him, and God had a purpose in all of that, but when He died, God raised Him from the dead, and He ascended back to the Father. That is the standard of righteousness. The only human being in all of human history who died, rose again, and did not go through death a second time and ascended back into Heaven. That validates the righteousness of Jesus Christ.

He says, “The Holy Spirit will convict righteousness based on the standard of My life, My teachings, My fulfillment of prophecy. That is the standard of righteousness.”

We make a terrible mistake if we ourselves determine righteousness by looking at ourselves in relation to other people or if we allow other people to use that as their basis of righteousness. Righteousness is not a matter of whether I am better than you or you are better than me or someone else is better than both of us. Righteousness is based on how we line up in the standard of Jesus Christ. The teaching that He gave, the fact that His standard was in complete accordance with the standards of God's Word in the Old Testament, the fact that it was elaborated on in the epistles in the New Testament, is the standard of righteousness. All of that is validated by the fact that He went to His Father, as He says there in verse 10.

Holy Spirit Convicts of Judgment

The third thing that the Holy Spirit convicts of is judgment. Notice verse 11:

John 16

11Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.

As we have seen before, the ruler of the world is Satan. First John, chapter 5, verse 19, makes a very similar statement. John, probably reflecting on this conversation with Jesus years later, wrote this, and it could be a headline or feature story in a newspaper today. Notice:

I John 5

19And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lies in the arms of the wicked one.

We have talked about the serious problems that we face as a nation and about the fact that our hope is not in better legislation or better legislators. We pray God will give us better legislators and we want to support better legislation, but if that is where our hope lies, we are in trouble. “The whole world lies in the arms of the wicked one.” It is a spiritual battle that we face in this nation as well as in our own individual lives, and a spiritual battle can only be fought on spiritual terms. God the Holy Spirit convicts of judgment in the fact that even though God is still allowing Satan to run things in this world and have influence in this world, Satan has already been condemned and sentenced. He is just out on bail awaiting incarceration—all a part of God's program.

The interesting thing is that apparently a lot of Christians don't realize that and when Satan gives an order, they think they still have to obey it. Frank Fujita wrote a book a couple of years ago about his experiences as a prisoner of war. In that book, he told about how two or three years after basic training, he ran into his drill sergeant from basic training days. He said, “I really believe if that man had ordered me to brace up against the wall, I would have done it without even thinking. He was no longer my drill sergeant and I no longer had to obey him, but I had that so ingrained in me that I would have automatically done it if he had given me an order.”

There are a lot of Christians like that, you know. They are so used to obeying Satan that even though they have been freed from that bondage, even though Satan has been judged at the Cross, they still think they have to take orders from him, and they do it without thinking. Sometimes, I would have to say, “We do that without thinking.”

A Clarification About the Prince of This World

Turn with me to Ephesians, chapter 2. This chapter gives a clarification of what Jesus is saying, recorded by John, about the prince of this world. Notice verses 1-5:

Ephesians 2

1And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;
2Wherein 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:
3Among 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.
4But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
5Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

He goes on to talk about how we were even raised from death with Jesus Christ. Think about this verse 3:

Ephesians 2

3Among 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.

There is a description of the unsaved. What do they do? They try to do what they want to do, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and any of us who were saved late enough in life to be able to remember that, even any of us who perhaps had been saved earlier in life but have spent any time out of fellowship, know what a frustrating life that is—just seeking to fulfill the desires of the flesh and the mind. That is because of the last line where he says, “…we were by nature the children of wrath…” We were under God's condemnation. We had not yet been rescued from that sinful condition.

Some of the most beautiful words in the Bible are in verse 4: “But God, who is rich in mercy…” stepped into that situation. At the Cross, Satan did the best he could do. He took his best shot at the Cross, and from a human standpoint, it looked as if he had won, but actually, it was his worst defeat. At the Cross, Jesus Christ paid for sins, and we know that because God raised Him from the dead. So what appeared to be Satan's greatest victory actually turned out to be his condemnation, his conviction, and he received the sentence of eternal damnation. It was at the Cross that he was defeated. Christ triumphed over him at the Cross.

Coming back to John, chapter 16, this is what Jesus is talking about: The Holy Spirit is going to convict men and women of judgment, of the fact that Satan was judged at the Cross, and only the Holy Spirit can convict people of that. We can give them the theory. We can give them the facts. We can show it to them in the Scripture, but it is only the Holy Spirit who can change hearts. God's promise is that He will bring men to Himself through the work of the Holy Spirit, through our ministry. He uses our human words and our human testimony to accomplish that.

It is a little beyond the scope of what Jesus is talking about specifically in this passage, but I want to point out that the Holy Spirit continues that convicting ministry after we become believers. The focus of verses 8-11 is the Holy Spirit's conviction of unbelievers, bringing them to the point that they believe in Jesus, but that same kind of convicting ministry takes place after we become believers. The Holy Spirit still continues to convict of sin that is personal, individual sin in our lives after salvation.

Because of this convicting ministry of the Holy Spirit, it is not as important that we sin as how we feel about the sin. But when we sin, as we confess that sin, as we agree with God that we have done that which He has already paid for and that we have dishonored Him in our relationship to Him by committing that sin, God restores us to fellowship. The sin has already been forgiven, and we are restored to that fellowship with Him. The person who concerns me is the person who can sin and not be bothered by it. If a person can continue to do that on a big scale over a long period of time, I think there is reason, on the basis of Scripture such as this, to question that that person really knows Christ because the Holy Spirit convicts of sin. He convicts of sin, and He convicts of righteousness.

After we are believers in Jesus Christ, as we sin, God the Holy Spirit convicts us of that standard of righteousness, that imputed righteousness, that condition of righteousness which God has given to us as a gift. When we sin and depart from that in a practical basis in our living, the Holy Spirit convicts us of that righteousness that we have not lived up to. Our state does not live up to our standing, so He convicts us of sin, of righteousness and judgment.

Christ has already been judged for that sin. What a dishonor to Him for us to get into something that He has already paid for and that we have already been forgiven for, to get back into something that God went to extreme lengths to solve. It also reminds us of the fact that if we continue in that sin, the Holy Spirit will bring judgment in the sense of discipline upon us to bring us to the point that we are willing to come to grips with that sin and bring it to the point of confession.

Guidance Into the Truth

That is the first accomplishment of the Holy Spirit. The other accomplishment of the Holy Spirit is completion in verses 12-15. The Holy Spirit brings completion. The first way that He brings completion is by guidance into the truth. Look at verse 12:

John 16

12I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.
13Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

Notice the before and after picture of verse 12. He says, “I have many things to tell you, but you cannot bear them now.” Think for just a minute about that statement. Jesus Christ, the Creator of the universe, condescended to human flesh, but still the God of the universe says, “I have things to tell you that even I cannot communicate. You cannot bear them yet.” They were in the presence of Jesus. You would think that He would be able to make them understand anything, but in God's design of things, that giving of understanding on a complete basis is delegated to the Holy Spirit. Even God the Son could not communicate with them in the way that the Holy Spirit would communicate.

I am not sure that we can fully understand all of that, and it probably has implications that are beyond our understanding, but I think it is a very significant statement that Jesus made: “Because you do not have the Holy Spirit yet, you cannot understand the things that I want to communicate to you.”

Do you understand what a privilege we have, having the Holy Spirit? Because we have the Holy Spirit, if we are willing to listen, if we are willing to allow Him to, we can understand things that God in the person of Jesus Christ Himself would not have been able to communicate to us on earth. He will guide you into the truth of God's Word, the truth of the statements of Jesus, the truth of the Old Testament that led up to those statements, the truth of the epistles that amplified those statements. The Holy Spirit leads us into the truth. That is why anytime we read the Bible, we ought to take even a moment and say, “God, open my eyes to the truth that is here,” because we have the Person Who can do that living within us.

Notice also, in verse 13: “He does not speak of Himself. He always speaks the things that the Father says to Him.” Peter said, in II Peter, chapter 1, verses 20-21:

II Peter 1

20Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
21For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

Something that we need to understand very carefully is that anything that the Holy Spirit shows us always needs to be from the Word of God, or if it is something that comes to our mind when we are not specifically studying the Word of God, the first thing that we need to do is to compare it to the Word of God, because the Holy Spirit does not speak of Himself. That is, the Holy Spirit doesn't give us some idea that He has never given anybody else. He doesn't give us some revelation that He never put anywhere else. He may give us a new application of something. He may give us a new perspective on something, but He always takes the mind of the Father and reveals that to us. He doesn't come up with new truth on His own. He speaks the things which God the Father speaks.

Then notice in the last line of verse 13: “He will tell you of things to come.” This is the understanding of prophetic truths. He revealed to prophets, far before our time, even to prophets before Jesus' time, the things that would come. The coming of Jesus was thoroughly prophesied, but things beyond the coming of Jesus were prophesied; things beyond even our day were prophesied, and the Holy Spirit gives us the ability to read those prophetic Scriptures and understand them and apply them. Some of the figurative language we may have to get help on here and there from books that God the Holy Spirit has allowed men to write, from teachers who maybe have had more exposure to it than we have, but the Holy Spirit gives us understanding of things to come also.

Glorification of Jesus

The Holy Spirit gives completion by guidance into the truth, by understanding of the future, and then in verses 14-15, by glorification of Jesus. Look at verse 14:

John 16

14He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.
15All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.

What is mine ? Well, those are the things that are recorded in the Old Testament about Jesus. Those are the things that are recorded in the latter part of the New Testament after the recordings of the things that Jesus said and did. The writings of the Apostles, the epistles, the book of Acts, those are “the things of Him.” Those are His things. Those are the things about Him, and the Holy Spirit takes of His and shows it to us. The Holy Spirit glorifies Jesus Christ no matter what part of the Scripture He is teaching us, no matter what part of the Scripture He is revealing to us.

Have you ever stopped to think why the people living in the twentieth century are willing to make drastic changes in their lives? They are willing to base all kinds of decisions on a first century teacher. Why is that? It is because God the Holy Spirit can show us the validity of that first century teacher. He can show us the things about Him from the beginning of time, and He can show us things about Him that stretch into eternity future; but God the Holy Spirit can take the things of Christ and glorify Him in our hearts and minds through that and give us the confidence that, yes, we can order our lives on the basis of someone who lived two thousand years ago. Only God can do that. He glorifies Jesus Christ.

Incidentally, this is a good test of whether something is the work of the Holy Spirit or not. Who did Jesus say would be glorified in the work of the Holy Spirit? Look at verse 14 again:

John 16

14He shall glorify me…

That is a four word test of the work of the Holy Spirit. We sometimes see and hear about movements in this electronic age, works that seem to be great works of the Holy Spirit, great movings of the Holy Spirit. Some of them seem kind of strange, and some of them don't seem to be like anything that we have ever seen before. Some of them seem to be a guru who there has never been anyone like him before. Here is the test: Anything like that that you hear or anything that you have a question about, whether it is the work of the Holy Spirit or not, even on a smaller level than that, who is getting the glory? If there is some great healing ministry, if there is some great teaching ministry, if there is some great prophetic ministry—whatever it might be—who is getting the glory?

To a certain extent, out of ignorance, humans speak of a person, and they talk about so-and-so's ministry, but I am not talking about that. I am not talking about whose name is being called, but I am talking about whose person are men's eyes placed upon? To some extent, there has to be a human identified, but beyond that, who is it that is glorified?

If it is even the Holy Spirit Who is glorified, that is not the work of the Holy Spirit. There is some of that. The Holy Spirit does not glorify Himself. God makes plain that the Holy Spirit does the work, and we worship Him and we honor Him, but we do not glorify the Holy Spirit because the Holy Spirit does not glorify Himself. The Holy Spirit glorifies Jesus Christ. Any movement of any kind, big or small, in which Jesus Christ is not getting the glory, on the basis of John, chapter 16, verse 14, is not the work of the Holy Spirit.


Let me get up close and personal. Anything in your life that does not glorify Jesus Christ is not the work of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit glorifies Jesus Christ. Where is your attention focused? We Bible Church people could easily make the mistake of glorifying the Bible, and as someone would say, “Well, my goodness, why not glorify the Bible?” Well, we are thankful for the Bible. In fact, God says, “He has exalted His Word above His very name, because if we didn't have His Word, we wouldn't know His name;” but the ultimate purpose of the Bible is to glorify Jesus Christ. That is what the Holy Spirit does with the Bible, so let's be careful, we who like to study the Bible, (Bible Church people are not the only people who love to study the Bible) that we don't glorify the Bible. The Holy Spirit glorifies Jesus Christ.

Dark days lay ahead for the disciples as Jesus spoke these things to them, and dark days may very well lie ahead for us, but God has amply provided for those dark days and the ample promise of much, much, brighter days beyond those dark days. One of the primary provisions to that end is the Holy Spirit. Thank God for the gift of the Comforter, the Helper, the Holy Spirit.

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