John 16:12-15 “I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit 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. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.”
We have been studying the person of the Holy Spirit; thus far, we have covered the Spirit's role in creation. We discussed how the Holy Spirit performed the miracle of creation based upon the Father's eternal plan, which was spoken by the eternal Word (Jesus) long before His incarnation.
Similarly, the Holy Spirit also performs a creative miracle in the heart of man (Ezekiel 36:25-27; Titus 3:5) when the word (the Gospel) about the eternal Word (Jesus) is spoken and the hearer receives it by faith, the hovering Spirit of God creates a new human heart.
Last week we covered the concept that the Holy Spirit comforts, convinces, and convicts. We took upon ourselves the arduous task of following the process where God has relentlessly pursued humanity with His presence.
Immediately following the garden incident, through the skins of the innocent animal, God has been bringing His presence closer into communion with believers; ultimately, at least on this side of the eternal veil, the climax of restoring His presence occurred at the cross, where the sin debt was paid, allowing humanity, with a simple act of faith, to become the tabernacle for the presence of the living God:
John 14:17-18 “Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.”
Tonight we will cover the statement that Jesus made about the Holy Spirit's guidance, but before we dive into this topic, we should first consider the beginning verse of our passage:
John 16:12 “I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.”
To this point, we haven't really discussed a big part of the surrounding context, which gives deeper meaning to the passage we are studying tonight.
John 16:12 “I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.”
There are some great theological truths that will have to be given to the disciples in order for the Gospel of Jesus Christ to move forward and spread the globe. However, Jesus makes it clear that, at the present time, the disciples are in a place where they are unable to spiritually bear or endure.
Bear- bastazo-- to take hold of with the hands or carry away.
Now, it seems crucial to me to take notice of this thought that the very men who are called to carry this Ggospel message so that it will eventually encircle the globe are presently incapable of accomplishing the mission.
Now, there is no question that they have not received the Holy Spirit yet, and no man will ever accomplish the true work of God without the anointing of the Holy Spirit.
However, I will tell you that there are also some personal issues that prevent them from being able to properly carry on the work God will require of them. We would do well to try and determine the underlying context, because we might find that some of those same problems stand in our way, preventing us from accomplishing the will of God in our lives.
If you review, in all the gospels, the undertakings that occurred between Jesus and His disciples the night they ate the Passover, you will be overwhelmed by the amount of teaching that took place that night before He was betrayed and arrested. But if we start six days before and include the anointing for His burial, along with some of the occurrences from the Passover night, we will begin to see these people's struggles more clearly:
(1). People are having a hard time determining the value of the Lord (Mark 14:1-9; John 12:1-8). Jesus is about to go to the cross, and it appears that only Mary has a revelation of what's important. As we will see moving forward, everyone else has their own agenda.
(2). The Bible teaches that the heart of man is deceitfully wicked (Jeremiah 17:9), and we find this truth also taking place even in the lives of Jesus' disciples. From the extreme of Judas deciding in his heart to betray Jesus (Luke 22:21-23) and becoming possessed by Satan, to some of the disciples concerning themselves about who will be labeled the greatest or most important (Luke 22:24-27).
(3). Because they are consumed with their own agendas, there is no sense of urgency or vigilance regarding kingdom business; instead, when Jesus needs them the most, they fall asleep on the job (Luke 22:44-46; Mark 14:37-42; Matthew 26:40-45).
John 16:13 “Howbeit 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.”
We should probably dissect this verse and handle it in two different parts:
(1) Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth...
First, let's look at the word guide. This word in the Greek is hodogeo, which comes from the root of hodos.
Why is this important? The word hodos is translated into English as "way."
Luke 1:79-80 “To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the way of peace. And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his shewing unto Israel.”
Luke 3:4-7 “As it is written in the book of the words of Esaias the prophet, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth; and all flesh shall see the salvation of God. Then said he to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?”
The meaning of the word hodos or way describes a path or journey, or a well worn path. Or in other words an easily discernible path.
Have you ever seen a path in the midst of a wooded area? When you see a trodden path in a wooded area it's easily discerned which way to go.
Sadly, at the time of Jesus, humanity had been lost in sin for so long that the way to God was obscured. One would think that the religion of the Jews would have cleared things up a bit simply because they were God's chosen people. While it's true God chose Israel to birth Messiah and there is much that could be said here, but let it suffice to say that by the time Jesus showed up on the scene, the religion of the Pharisees had muddied the water and obscured the path.
Therefore, God sent John the Baptist to prepare a way for The Way. Furthermore, in the passage we are discussing the immediate context, once again, speaks to God's movement through the ages to bring revelation about His truth to a lost and dying world.
The Holy Spirit's guidance is specifically related to "The Truth." In the Greek text, there is a definite article preceding the word "truth;" therefore, a more accurate translation would be "The Truth."
We have discussed the concept of the definite article before but mostly in reference to the concept of sin, pointing out that in Romans 5, 6, and 7 on most occasions there is a definite article preceding the word sin.
What is a definite article? For us it is the word "The." An indefinite article would be "a" or "an." The idea is that when the word "the" is used in the Greek it always has some specific information connected to it; for instance: (1) it is always used with a noun; (2) the definite article always refers to specifics.
Let's take the concept of the noun first. When we speak of "The Sin," as a noun we are not concerning ourselves with the various verbs of sin, which are merely the fruit of the underlying problem; rather, we are concerning ourselves with the root of sin. In other words, we are speaking of the principle of sin, or the power of sin that has wound itself around the helix of humanities' DNA if you would permit such language.
We are talking about the sinful nature that we received from our father Adam in our first birth into the sin of this fallen world. It is this sin principle or root, which dominates our lives, producing in our members (Romans 7:5, 23) the lusts of the flesh (Galatians 5:19-21), which we see manifest in our walk upon this earth. But thanks be to God, because the finished work of Jesus on the cross accomplished a spiritual victory for helpless humanity.
When we are born again, we become partakers of the divine nature of God (2 Peter 1:4) through our connection (abiding in the vine) with Christ (John 15).
Now, I only used this sin concept as an illustration to discuss the concept of the definite article. Our topic is "The Truth."
It should not be hard for us to realize that this fallen world is full of lies. Even within our own lives, we can see how easy it is to fall prey to convenient half truths, which we pretend are producing something better for ourselves, when in reality, all untruth cannot move us closer to God; instead, it repels us from His presence.
God is truth! Humanity, born of Adam, has been born into a fallen state of disrepair and absolutely incapable of getting to the source of life. However, God in His love and mercy has been progressively, for thousands of years of human history, working His salvation history through the ages, revealing greater levels of His truth to a lost and dying world.
If we consider the course God has chosen to travel in bringing truth to us, which ultimately finds its fulfillment in the person and work of Jesus, we are faced with the haunting fact that sin was so devastating and moved man so far from the understanding of God that His plan of salvation had to be given a “jot and tittle” at a time...line upon line...precept upon precept...here a little...there a little (Matthew 5:18; Isaiah 28:10).
Simply stated, man can't handle all the truth of God thrown at him at once. Nevertheless, let it be understood that this great undertaking God has been working through the ages has been for that very purpose: to reveal Himself to us, to reveal His truth to us, to restore us back into His presence-- Jesus is the fulfillment of all those things. Furthermore, Jesus was the types and shadows concealed in all the moving of God through all those years.
Whether it be the blood painted on the door posts or the articles of the tabernacle in Exodus, the sacrifices in Leviticus, or the rest of the Sabbath, all these elements of truth were pointing towards the day when "The Truth" would be manifest in the person of Jesus.
So when we speak of the Holy Spirit's role regarding "The Truth." His function, as Jesus says will be to reveal all these truths that have been given over the millennia, building steam through the years, and ultimately finding their fulfillment in Jesus.
What does this mean to us, today? It means that if we are going to understand the real truth about Jesus, we are going to need the parakletos (someone summoned, called to one's side, esp. called to one's aid) ruling and reigning in our heart; we are going to have to learn the process of walking in the Spirit; we are going to have to learn the pivot point of the Christian journey-- self must die, so that He might live.
Christianity is not about selfishness-- what I get out of the deal from God. Instead, Christianity is about me coming to the end of my life born of Adam and allowing the new man, born in Jesus, to come alive. As that process progresses, I will find that each day, week, and even year that passes by, I will be gaining revelation knowledge about "The Truth" that was manifest to reveal the love of God to a lost and dying world.
So the Holy Spirit wants to reveal "The Truth" to the disciples first but also to every disciple (me and you) that will ever walk the face of the earth. As we grow in "The Truth," we are better equipped to discern the difference between truth and lies throughout our daily travels on earth.
1 John 2:20-21 “Ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things. I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth.
(1 John 1:1-10). The first couple of chapters of first John essentially reiterate everything that I was previously attempting to explain. Humanity was in the midst of darkness, but the love of God was manifest in Jesus. He is the love of God; He is the light of God; He was manifest to bring deliverance from the power of sin and darkness
(1 John 2) He is the sacrifice for sin; He is the power over sin, and the visible fruit that a man, woman, or child has been born again and loves God is that he will keep God's commandments. In other words, he will be obedient to God's word. I have been teaching this next thought for over 14 years, but here it goes again, "A man cannot just set out in his own strength and successfully walk in obedience to the word of God, and neither can he accomplish the will of God through his will power.
The Christian attempting to live for God in this manner will find himself in the back side of a wandering wilderness, experiencing an epic Romans 7, Pauline struggle (Pauline is used by scholars as an adjective to describe the writings and work of Paul. In a similar fashion, they describe the work of John as Johannine. I'm taking a little liberty to use the word this way, but I simply mean a Romans 7 struggle like Paul had).
Back to the commentary on the second chapter of first John - when a man is born again and absorbs himself in "The Truth" of Christ, he will learn to walk in obedience to God's word, which will ultimately result in love towards the brethren because Jesus is the manifestation of the love of God, and when the fruit of the Spirit is manifest in our lives it will look like Jesus, which is epitomized by sacrificial, selfless, LOVE!
Also, in chapter two of first John, the idea that the spirit of anti-christ is alive and well on the earth is introduced. Obviously, this spirit is the opposite of the Holy Spirit. It is a lying spirit of deception drawing humanity away from the truth of God.
I said all this to prepare for the concept of this verse:
1 John 2:20-21 “Ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things. I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth.”
The word unction in the Greek is Chrisma. The root meaning of this word comes from the same place as other words such as charisma, charismatic, or Christ, which the latter literally means "The anointed."
Chrisma, in a similar fashion to the word Christ, has the idea of "smearing with oil, just as David was anointed with oil as king (1 Samuel 16:12, 13), and the Psalm speaks of the anointing oil that rolled down Aaron's beard (Psalm 133:22).
What should be understood about these earthly scenarios is that the anointing oil was representative of God's hand and acceptance being placed upon the person that was anointed with the oil.
Therefore, when we speak of the Christ, we are referring to the anointed One. The Ancient of Days had been promising for thousands of years, who was manifest in the flesh and revealed to us as the man Jesus.
With regards to the word "unction," it could have also been translated as anointing; for that is the literal meaning of the word. Nevertheless, the idea is that when a man or woman is born again from the dead and translated from darkness into light (Col.1:13), the residing presence of the Holy Spirit, serves as an unction or anointing of truth, almost like a signal caller, or an umpire, if you would permit such language to be used in reference to such an important concept.
Let me give you a personal illustration. I have already shared with many of you my 12 year struggle as a Christian who walked in the flesh rather than the Spirit.
During this time frame, I went through a period where I was unhappy with everything: my job, my marriage...
One day I was voicing my frustrations to a female co-worker. Let me take just a moment and interject that I realize now, many years later, that this was an IDIOTIC thing to do. By the way, any man reading this teaching; if you love God, whatever you do, don't EVER voice your frustrations about your marriage to a person of the opposite sex. To do such a thing is Christian immaturity at best, but more properly would be termed carnality.
Anyway, as I voiced my frustrations, the nurse I was talking to said, "Awww, it's ok Matty (why she called me this I don't know-- maybe she thought I was a cuddly teddy bear), any way, she said sometimes things don't work out, and you have to move on with your life..."
Wait what? Stop the presses! Rewind! Did you hear what she said, “Sometimes things just don't work out, and you have to move on..."
What thing would you be talking about young lady-- the holy covenant of marriage that I took vows before God with when I married my wife?
Listen, I understand things happen and circumstances differ, but the spirit of anti-christ is circulating a lie around town saying even to the Church, "Oh well, it didn't work out like you expected, pack your bags and start from scratch."
I can tell you one thing with all certainty: "That's a lie from the pit of Hell!" And you don't have to believe me if you don't want to, but look back in 10-15 years at the fruit of your decisions and see how it affects your offspring. Anyway, that's another sermon for another time.
As I was talking to this girl, I heard a still, small voice whisper through all the sin that was hidden in my life as a struggling Christian, too much to try to exhaust at this point, but I heard the whisper say, "Are you going to believe this? This isn't truth! Will you choose to believe this even though it's against my Word?"
And that was it. As fast as it came, that quickly, it went away. What I want you to know is that was an unction or anointing that was resident in me through the presence of the Holy Spirit, speaking to my heart, desiring to help me to know and walk in truth.
Ephesians 1:15-23 “Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints, Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The ((EYES OF YOUR UNDERSTANDING BEING ENLIGHTENDED; ))
(This has to happen)
(Before you can see all this)
that ye may ((KNOW WHAT IS THE HOPE OF HIS CALLING, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us- ward who believe,)) according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: and hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fullness of him that filleth all in all.”
I love the Greek word for "knowledge" here. I've said it before, but in the Greek language, richer meaning is built into the words as prefixes and suffixes are added.
This word is epignosis. The word root is gnosis, where the word Gnosticism comes from, but literally means "knowledge." The word Epi in the Greek is a preposition, meaning upon, so the idea is "upon knowledge," or added to just regular knowledge. I remember studying this word a long time ago, and the Greek scholar Kenneth Wuest described that the word has an experiential aspect to it.
The definition out of Strong's Greek dictionary: is a "correct knowledge, more full discernment."
Truthfully, the preacher can try to convince us that sin will destroy us and our relationship with God, but let a man crack the door and let it in for a visit. I can assure you that once that man is finally driven to his knees, if his soul doesn't perish, he will come out of the trial with experiential knowledge about sin yes, but I can assure you that he will have also gained a new found appreciation surrounding the grace of God.
Please don't be foolish and think this preacher is suggesting a trip around the Wilderness of Sin in order for the believer to gain a more clear revelation about sin and grace-- that would be preposterous.
The point is that in this pilgrimage with God, there will be failings and frustrations, bumps and potholes, but as we travel this journey, with a desire towards obedience to God's Word, we will gain greater revelation on properly walking according to His will, which brings me to our next word in our passage-- enlightened.
The word ‘enlightened’ is photizo, obviously where we get the word photo. The idea is to shed light or rays of light- to see or be illuminated.
Now, our understanding doesn't have a set of eyes. Obviously, Paul is speaking from a spiritual perspective. He's saying it's my prayer for you that you will be able to see spiritually.
In order to be able to see this way, we will need the “God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him…” (Ephesians 1:17)
Ultimately, what we will be enlightened too is: Ephesians 1:18-23... that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.