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31 May 2015

John 16 - Part I
The Time Will Come


John 16:1-4: 1. These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should [might] not be offended (g656). 2. They shall put you out of the synagogues (g656): yea, the time comes, that whosoever kills you will think that he does God service. 3. And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me. 4. But 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. [from apo (g575) and synagoge (g4864) = from an assemble, or excommunicate]

The first verse is stated more clearly in the Revised Version: These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should [might] not be made to stumble. John included things said by Jesus that last night which are extremely important to believers today, that they might not fall into deceptive practices, especially pertaining to the Holy Spirit. The only way to know if a person has the Holy Spirit is by the words coming out of their mouth. A spirit is an understanding; if it is holy, then it is from God; if it is not holy, then it is unclean. Do not be deceived into thinking that the Holy Spirit (Comforter) is a third God, or some ghost of a thing that somehow possesses your body. People who teach this are attempting to lead you into the worship of a false God. A holy spirit is just the opposite to a demon (g1140) (Greek), which is nothing more than an unclean spirit (Luke 9:42), or an understanding that comes from man and not God.

I have never been officially put out of a church, but I have been treated in a way that I did not want to stay. Jesus warned that the time will come when rejecters of truth will want to kill you. What did Jesus mean in the last part of verse 4: these things I said not unto you at the beginning, because I was with you? As long as Jesus was physically present, the focus would be on him, not the disciples. That would change after Jesus returned to heaven, as the focus would be on the disciples, and the persecution of them because of their teachings (cf Acts 4:2-3).

John 16:5-7: 5. But now I go my way to him that sent me; and none of you ask me, Whither go you? 6. But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart. 7. Nevertheless 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.

I can see how the disciples would have sorrow. Jesus would leave and they would at first, feel deserted, alone with a message that is especially unpopular with church leadership. But why, if Jesus did not go away, the Comforter could not come? The Comforter would be that completed spirit (John 7:37-79) Jesus would have after he had totally yielded to the death of the cross. How could the followers of Jesus face death if he had not already?

John 16:8-11: 8. And when he (the Comforter) is come, he will reprove (g1651) the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9. Of sin, because they believe not on me; 10. Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; 11. Of judgment, because the prince (g758) of this world is judged. The Greek word elencho (g1651) brings with it the idea of rebuke with conviction. Notice: Ephesians 5:13: But all things that are reproved (g1651) are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. It is light that will “convince or convict” a person. The light is a rebuke to the world’s darkness, and three things covers it all: sin, righteousness and judgment. The darkness is not external, but internal, in the heart of man.
Sin: Jesus defined sin as that which comes out of a person’s mouth (Matthew 15:11). Sin, then, is the words spoken from a person’s understanding that does not come from God. The truth will manifest the error.

Righteousness: The fact that Jesus did return to his Father meant that he finished the work that he came to do: John 19:30: When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.

Judgment: Prince is really not a good translation of archon (g758) here, as it implies the son of a king, which Jesus is Son of the King of kings (1Timothy 6:15). The word means, ruler, chief, commander, and can apply to a person’s position or the inward self rule. The question here - does “ruler” refer to something outward, or inward? John 12:31-33: 31. Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the [ruler (g758)] of this world be cast out. 32. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. 33. This he said, signifying what death he should die. Jesus is speaking of himself - self is cast out. It is critical to understand the Christ of the Old Testament as compared to the Christ of the New, in order to more fully understand the significance of the cross. Here is an example that applies outward: John 14:30: Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the [ruler] of this world comes, and has nothing in me. Judas refused to let go of self rule, and he was about to bring other self-ruled people to take Jesus captive. They had nothing in Jesus because they did not believe, and Jesus had no part with them.

John 16:12: I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. It would not be until after the cross that the disciples and others would begin to bear the whole truth. The whole experience is an allegory of our experience. Before we understand the cross, we believed in Jesus, but still were in gross darkness. Then we saw that Jesus was a real Son of God, an individual in addition to the Father. Now the cross begins to be more significant as we see that God actually gave a real Son in our behalf. In order for the Son to go to the cross, he had to first, die to self, and second, he had to fully trust his Father, that what he promised He was able to do.

What is your decision? Are you going to diligently seek to know the truth? Or, are you going to continue to cling to elements of darkness because the majority believe it? I like Joshua’s attitude: Choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River (in Babylon), or the gods of the Amorites (denominations) in whose land you dwell; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." (Joshua 24:15 RV). Amen.

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