John 16:12-22

Henry Mahan

(Vs. 12) Our Lord is not speaking here of any "brand-new" doctrines or truths which He had not previously told them or made known to them concerning His person and work, redemption, and eternal life. In the years they had been with Him, He had made known to them ALL THINGS which He had received of the Father (John 15:15; John 17:6-8). Rather He speaks of the same truth gloriously clarified and amplified, and of other things concerning their ministry, the church, the Mosaic laws, and things which require more spiritual maturity to receive and experience. One truth is laid upon another, and we are taught as we are enabled of the Spirit of God to receive. This is spiritual growth!

(Vs. 13) When the Holy Spirit fills you and indwells you (John 14:17), He will guide you or lead you into ALL TRUTH. The Holy Spirit as a guide and teacher goes before, leads the way, opens the understanding, removes obstacles such as tradition, prejudices, and forms, and makes the truth of Christ clear to believers. He will make known all the counsel of God, which is necessary, profitable, and useful to the church. What the Spirit teaches will NOT BE OF HIMSELF, as the Son did not speak from Himself but of and from the Father (John 7:16; John 8:28; John 12:49). The Father, Son, and Spirit are ONE; and what the Father purposes, the Son purchases and the Spirit applies. The Holy Spirit does not stress one point at the expense of another but guides us into ALL TRUTH. He will also reveal to you "things to come," concerning the Lord's return, the end of the world, and things, which shall be. John wrote of these in the Revelation. The Holy Spirit uses the WORD OF GOD to teach believers, not' dreams, visions, and special revelations. He always uses the written Word and speaks according to the Word (Isa. 8:19-20; II Tim. 3:15-17; II Peter 1:19-21).

(Vs. 14) The Holy Spirit does not glorify Himself, nor magnify His gifts, nor inspire men to preach and talk of the Holy Ghost. The Holy Spirit does not lead men to believe that being baptized with the Spirit, endowed with gifts, and attaining the higher life experience is better than salvation and meeting Christ in faith. The Holy Spirit glorifies Christ, speaks of Christ, reveals Christ, and enables believers to grow in grace and in the knowledge of Christ (II Peter 3:18). We are complete in Christ (Col. 2:9-10). What Christ has done, is doing, and will do is the theme of the Holy Spirit's teaching. When the gospel is neglected, when Christ is not preached, when men seek gifts and healing rather than mercy, grace, and redemption in Christ, one can be certain that it is not the Holy Spirit of truth Who is speaking (I John 4:1-3).

(Vs. 15) The Father has given all things into the hands of Christ (John 3:35; John 17:2; Col. 1:16-19)–a11 things in heaven, earth, and under the earth; all things in redemption; all things pertaining to believers, both here and eternally; all things in the new heaven and earth. Therefore, if the Holy Spirit reveals and teaches anything of God and from God, it will pertain to Christ Jesus (Phil. 2:9-11). If a man bas the Spirit of God, he will be able to say with Paul, "We preach Christ" (I Cor. 2:1-2).

(Vs. 16-20) Our Lord said to them, "A little while and you shall not see Me." He must die on the cross as our sacrifice and sin-offering, He must be buried and lie in the tomb, and for those few days the disciples would not see Him. Then they would see Him again, for He appeared to them many times in His glorified body. But even when He ascended to the Father, He did not leave them alone; for He came to them in His Holy Spirit and dwelt with them (John 14:16-18). One must not separate the Father, Son, and Spirit, nor the resurrection, ascension, and coming of the Spirit. When the disciples began to inquire concerning these words, "A little while and you shall not see me, and a little while and ye shall see Me," the Saviour replied, "The world shall rejoice;" for the world looked on the death of Christ as a cause for rejoicing. They were rid of Him, His influence, and His teachings. During the crucifixion and burial "you shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned to joy;" for He arose victoriously over sin, death, and the grave. He lives to die no more.

(Vs. 21-22) When a woman gives birth to a child, she experiences great pain, suffering, and sorrow during her labor. But when the child is born, the sorrow and pain are forgotten and she rejoices in her child. The death of Christ and the brief separation from His disciples caused them great sorrow and confusion; but He arose, appeared to them, and came in His Spirit to dwell with them, causing their hearts to rejoice with a joy that can never be taken from them (Matt. 28:20; Heb. 13:5-6).

Henry Mahan
Ashland, Ky.