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John 16 : 1 - 15 "MANY MORE LESSONS"
Day 237 – John 16
MANY MORE LESSONS
The work of a Teacher never ends! Jesus had taught His Disciples for three full years now. Each and every day, He had wondrous things to teach them concerning their faith in God, life, ministry, sin, Satan etc. Three whole years had come and gone, and much had been taught! Did the Disciples have more to learn?
“I still have many things to say to you,
but you cannot bear them now.
However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come,
He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak
on His own authority, but whatever He hears, He will speak;
and He will tell you things to come.”
Jesus understood the learning capacity of His Disciples. He knew just how much they could take. Some of the lessons were profound and difficult. Nevertheless He had to teach His Disciples these lessons, or they would not be fully equipped for ministry! There were still many lessons that He would have liked to teach them. However, since they were really struggling, Jesus contented Himself to leave what the Disciples could not fully comprehend at the moment to the teaching ministry of the Holy Spirit.
THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH
Once again, Jesus brought up the ministry of the Holy Spirit. The Disciples must make an extra effort to comprehend the vital ministry of the Spirit of God in their lives. He had a ministry to the world. He would convict the world of sin, of righteousness and judgment of the evil one.
He also had an important ministry to the Disciples! His ministry to them would be similar to that of Jesus. Let us take time to consider in greater depth what Jesus taught His Disciples concerning His teaching ministry.
1. “He will guide you into all truth…”
This was the ministry that Jesus had with His Disciples. He had functioned as their Teacher and Guide! The Spirit of God would do what Jesus had been doing all this while.
2. “He will not speak on His own authority…”
These words remind us of how Jesus functioned as Teacher. He said,
“Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do
nothing of Himself, but what He sees the
Father do; for whatever He does,
the Son also does in like manner.”
“My doctrine is not Mine, but His who sent Me.
If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know
concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God
or whether I speak on My own authority.”
Jesus had authority in Himself, but He submitted Himself to do His Father’s will. The Holy Spirit has authority within Himself too, but in ministry He would also submit Himself to that which He hears from the Father and the Son.
3. “He will tell you things to come…”
This text must be understood in its proper context! Yes, the Spirit of God would teach His Disciples many great truths! However, the following qualifications must always be borne in mind:-
a) The Attribute of Truth
What the Holy Spirit teaches will be characterized by Truth! Anyone who claims that the Spirit of God has spoken to him must be checked against the backdrop of the truth of the Scriptures. John in his first general epistle wrote of the danger that confronted the believers in the first century. There were many false prophets who claimed that they were proclaimers of truth. John wrote,
“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits,
whether they are of God; because many false prophets
have gone out into the world…”
1 John 4:1
b) The Authority of the Spirit of God will be in perfect harmony with God
The Spirit of God will speak with authority. But of course, we must expect this. He is after all, none other than the Third Person in the Triune Godhead! However, His authority will not be found to clash with that of the Father nor the Son. He would not do anything inconsistent with the body of truth that Jesus had taught His Disciples!
c) Reference to the “things to come”
Though this statement seems to be an “all inclusive” phrase, it is best understood that the “things to come” would not in any way pose the threat of contradiction to that which the Scriptures or Jesus taught!
John dealt with many who claimed that they had the Spirit of God. But when examined in greater depth, these teachers were found to be false. They did not have the Spirit of God. They had the spirit of the Antichrist. The watershed issue revolved around the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ.
“And every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ
has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit
of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming,
and is now already in the world.”
1 John 4:3