John, chapter 14, and I'd like to read verses 15 through verse 31. This will be the passage for the next two messages, but since it is a total passage we want to read all of these verses. Beginning in John 14, verse 15, Jesus is speaking to His disciples:
"If ye love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever. 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. Yet a little while and the world seeth Me no more; but ye see Me: because I live, ye shall live also. At that day ye shall know that I am in the Father, and ye in Me, and I in you. He that hath My commandments and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me. And he that loveth Me shall be loved of My Father and I will love him and will manifest Myself to him. Judas saith unto Him," not Iscariot, "Lord, how is it that Thou will manifest Thyself unto us and not unto the world? Jesus answered and said unto him, "If a man love Me he will keep My words and My Father will love him and we will come
unto Him and make our abode with him. He that loveth Me not, keepeth not My sayings and the word which he hear is not Mine but the Father's who sent Me. These things have I spoken unto you being present with you but the Comforter, who is the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things and bring all things to your remembrance whatever I have said unto you. Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. Ye have heard how I said unto you; I go away and come again unto you. If ye loved Me ye would rejoice because I said, I go unto the Father: for My Father is greater than I. And now I have told you before it come to pass that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe. Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh and hath nothing in Me. But that the world may know that I love the Father and as the Father gave Me commandment, even so I do. Arise, let us go from here."
May God bless to our hearts this most important passage.
Turn in your Bibles to the 14th chapter of John's gospel. This morning we come to what is one of the most crucial chapters in the Bible and one of the most crucial portions of a chapter ‑ the promise of the coming of the Holy Spirit. Now, needless to say this is, perhaps, familiar to you who are Christians, who have been under the instruction of the Word of God for any time, you understand what it means that Christ went away and sent His Holy Spirit to dwell within us, and I trust this morning that your familiarity with these truths may not eliminate you from really understanding the particulars of what we're going to study. These verses are crucial to an understanding to the uniqueness of the church. They are basic to understanding who we are and our identity in terms of relating us to the Spirit and to Christ Himself.
Now, we are reminded in the Word of God continually of our responsibilities as believers, over and over again, throughout the New Testament, we are enjoined to do this or to do that or to be this or to commit ourselves to this. There's a constant trend in Scripture, obviously, to communicate to the Christian what he is to do, at what point he is to commit himself, for what tasks he is to separate himself. How he is to live, how he is to act, how he is to think and how he is to speak. All of this is a part of our Christian faith.
But, on the other side of the coin in this section, as in many, many other places in the New Testament, the emphasis is not on what we are to do but it is on what Christ has done for US. And those, as we have told you many times, particularly in our series on Ephesians and on the body, those two things are the basis of our faith. First of all, what Christ has done for us. Secondly, what we are in response to do for Him. And to understand that distinction is to really get a grip on the basics of our faith. If you do not understand the difference there then you do not understand what you're really believing.
Now, in these verses the emphasis then is on what our blessed Lord has given us. And in the verses which we have read there are at least five supernatural blessings that the world doesn't know about, the world doesn't possess but that Christ has given to us ... five supernatural blessings. Now this morning we're only going to have time to get through three of them and we'll pick 'em up, part 2, next week.
Now these five supernatural blessings come as a comfort to the disciples in a strategic time. As I have told you in past weeks, you know the setting very well by now, it is the night before Jesus' death. The disciples are troubled. They're confused about a lot of things. They don't understand why it is that Jesus is going to die if He's really the Messiah. They don't understand how it is that Judas, one of their own, and they're not too sure it's Judas yet, but they know one of their own is going to betray Him, they don't understand at all the problem of how Peter was told he would even deny Christ. They are confused about a lot of things. And in the midst of their confusion and most of all their sorrow because Jesus has told them He is going to leave them, and they can't come with Him, in the midst of that Jesus sets about to comfort them. And you saw, beginning in chapter 14, how He comforted them, first of all, by saying ‑ Well, look, men, I'm only going to go away for a little while to get a place ready for you in the Father's house and then I'm going to come back and get you. And that's a tremendous comforting promise. Jesus says ‑ I'm only going to go away to prepare a place for you and I'll come again and receive you unto Myself.
Then He continued to comfort them beginning in verse 7, by giving them three comforting revelations. First of all, He revealed to them that He was God. And what a comfort it was to know that even though He was going to die, even though they couldn't understand all of this, yet He was God and they‑could trust Him.
Then, secondly, He revealed to them, not only that He was God, but that even though He went away they would not have a loss of power. But rather, because He went away they would do greater things than even He had done. And that He told them clearly in verse 12. And so, they have been assured, not only that He'll be back, but that He is God and even when He leaves there will be no loss of power. They won't become inept, afraid, hovelling in some corner,but rather they would have a new kind of energy, a new kind of power to accomplish greater things than were even accomplished when Jesus was alive on earth. And that's comforting.
And then He added one other great revelation of comfort and that was in verses 13 and 14, He told them ‑ Even though I'm gone that's not going to change the supply of your needs. I'll still take care of that. And it would have been very easy for them to become very distraught and wonder how are we going to get anything, the world hates us, we're ostracized from society by our allegiance to Jesus Christ. We're in real trouble and Jesus says ‑ I'm going away but I'm as close as prayer, all you've got to do is ask Me and the moment you ask I'll supply what you need if you ask it in My name. And we talked about what it meant to ask in His name. And so He has comforted them with a promise of His preparing a place, His return, He's God and all of these things that we've mentioned to you, have comforted the disciples. They'll do greater works and He'll answer their prayers.
It would seem as though that would be enough comfort but not in the mind of Christ who is concerned about His disciples. And tenderly and lovingly continues that comfort beginning in verse 15 by giving them five supernatural promises. And these are tremendous things, and I'm not sure we can even fathom all that's in these anymore than we can all that's in the past things that He's said in this chapter, but there are five great promises, five supernatural blessings. They are these: He promises to them a supernatural helper, a supernatural life, a supernatural union, a supernatural teacher or instructor, a supernatural peace. Those five supernatural promises.
Now, before we look at the five, let's see to whom He promises them. Who is He giving these promises to, really? The key is verse 15. Now we know He's talking to His eleven disciples, so we know He's giving the promises to them. Can we be assured that the scope of it is any broader than that? Is there any way we can get in on these promises? I think verse 15 is the key. And that sort of starts it all off.
It says this: "If ye love Me," now watch this, 'ye will keep My commandments." If ye love Me, ye will keep My commandments. If you have an older authorized version it says ‑ Keep My commandments. It is a future verb and should be translated ‑ If ye love Me, ye will keep My commandments. Now in that verse we have the key to qualifying for the five supernatural promises. These promises are for those who love Jesus Christ, that's the point. And whose love becomes evident by obedience. Only believers ... excuse me (clears throat) ... only believers, lovers of Jesus Christ, marked out by their obedience will receive the promised blessings. And it's kind of a simple thing but there's only really one test of love. The New Testament repeatedly gives the same test for love and it's one word ‑ it's obedience. It's not lip service. It's not what you say you are. It's not singing songs. The one single New Testament test for love is obedience. If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.
And as a result of that, verse 16, "And I will pray the Father."
The lover of Jesus Christ activates the blessing of Christ in his behalf. In fact, Jesus illustrates the principle of obedience as determining love in chapter 15 of John and verse 10. He said to the disciples ‑ If you keep My commandments, ye shall abide in My love. That's obviously the same principle. "Even," and here's the illustration, "Even as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love."
You see, Jesus said ‑ I am the living illustration of the principle of love. I have proven to you My love for the Father by obeying the Father's commands. In like manner, will you, also, prove your love to Me by obeying My commands? I say it again; the only New Testament test that is ever given for love is the test of obedience. And so, Jesus says it is to those who love Me and indicates such by obedience that I will in turn give these supernatural blessings.
Now, this brings up kind of an interesting thought as to how you tie this all together. Some commentators feel that verse 15 is a brand new thought; just kind of starts all over again, has no connection with the past. I don't think that. I think it has a very definite connection. Let me show you why. The Apostles loved Jesus. There was no question about that. They loved Him. And at this point they were showing their love by their grief. Now it is true that love can be demonstrated on a superficial level by grief. For example, you have in John chapter 11, if I remember correctly it's about verse 34, where Jesus is standing right ... verse 34, Jesus is standing by the tomb of Lazarus and Jesus comes over there and He sees the tomb. And then in verse 35 it says Jesus wept. Now why was it that Jesus wept? Well, the Jews picked it up in verse36, "Then said the Jews, Behold, how He loved him." Love can be demonstrated in grief, at least on a superficial basis.
Now, there was much more to the grief of Jesus there than just the love of Lazarus. Remember when we talked about that passage? Jesus was grieving over the power of sin and death as well. But on the basis of just kind of a superficial view, love can be seen in grief. And the disciples had demonstrated at this point their love for Jesus by their grief. They certainly didn't demonstrate it by much else. They had the opportunity to wash His feet and they blew that. About the best they could do to show their love was cry a lot. And so at this point, I believe, Jesus is interjecting into the situation a redirecting of their affection. He is saying ‑ From now on, men, I don't care for you to show your love by your grief, I'd like for you to show your love by your ... what? ... obedience. He is redirecting their affection ... as if to say ‑Your love for Me from now on will not be manifest by grief but it will be manifest by your glad obedience to all that I have commanded you. And that is the real test of love ... not a ... love is not demonstrated by a squashy sentimentalism. It's not demonstrated by some kind of a sickly pseudo‑spiritual depression. Love is demonstrated by an active, eager, joyful, glad responsive obedience to the commands of Jesus Christ. That marks the real lover of Jesus. Now we are marked by our love, both in terms of obedience showing that we love Christ, and then in terms of loving each other, showing the world that we belong to Christ. And just to give you the fact that this is a little broader than the disciples, He is talking to the disciples in verse 15, "If you love Me you will keep My commandments," but let me show you how John reiterates the same truth to every believer in I John, first of all, chapter 2, verse 3, and here really are the ... the ingredients or the characteristics of a Christian, all throughout I John, the first part of it. And in verse 3 we have this one, this is the way to designate a Christian, this is one of the marks, "And by this we do know that we know Him if we keep His commandments. He that saith, I know Him," that is Christ, I know Christ, "and keepeth not His commandments is a liar and the truth is not in him. But whosoever keepeth His word, in him, verily, is the love of God perfected by this know we that we are in Him."
Then over in chapter 4, verse 19, you have basically the same thing. "We love Him because He first loved us. If a man says, I love God and hates his brother, he is a liar. For he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from Him, that he who loveth God love his brother also." And remember, if you love God you will obey His commands. And if He commanded you to love your brother, you'll love your brother.
Chapter 5, verse 2, "By this we know that we love the children of God when we love God." See? "And keep His commandments, for this is the love of God that we keep His commandments and His commandments are not burdensome." Joyously, gladly, do we obey, and that is the picture of our love. That is the mark of it. That is the sign of it. And all the sentimental talk about love and loving Jesus is vain and all of the singing songs and reciting little words of love mean nothing unless by God's grace we live a truthful, faithful obedience to the commands of Christ. Love is obedience, or love isn't love at all.
You say ‑ Well, what are Christ's commandments? Well, the whole revelation of His will in the New Testament...everything that He ever gave in His lifetime as a precept, a principle, a standard or a command. And most of all summed up in the words "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, soul, mind and strength and thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." Study the gospels, they reveal His commands. But mostly, He told men to believe on Him, didn't He? And that's where it all begins. The initiation of obedience begins when you believe on Jesus Christ and receive Him as Savior, then all the rest are not burdensome, they are not evenlegalistic. We fulfill the commands in a non‑legalistic way by love, read it in Romans 13. But the starting point is believing in Jesus Christ.
So, we meet, then, the one who qualifies for the five supernatural blessings. And he is the one who legitimately, honestly, truly is the lover of Jesus as so marked out by his love...by his obedience, rather. Now, having said that He goes, right into the five blessings. Number one is in verses 16 and ~ 17. And this is the promise of supernatural helper, and this is a tremendous thing. Now, to us it isn't nearly as shocking or as exciting, perhaps, at this point in our Christian life, as i was to these disciples who were on the brink of total disaster, they felt, and who didn't have any idea where their help was going to come from in the next day when Jesus was gone. And at that point Jesus introduces to them a supernatural helper. And here, my friends, is the greatest gift that Christ ever gave to the believer apart from salvation.
Notice verse 16, "And I will pray," and rather, "I will request the Father, that He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever." Now, those who so dearly love Christ, those eleven disciples who see Him departing are not to be left: to shift for themselves the best way they can, but they are to have a supernatural helper. They are to have a power person who is going to aid them. Now this person is called in this verse the Comforter, another Comforter. The Greek word for Comforter is the word paraklētŏs and the word paraklētŏs, sometimes in the English we just call it paraclete, but the word paraclete or paraklētŏs literally means a helper. It means one who is called ... kalĕō ... along side ... para ... parakalĕō, one called along side to help, a helper. Now it can be translated Comforter, but its primary meaning is the idea of one called along side to help. Jesus is saying ‑I am going to send, from the Father, a helper.
Now, really there's kind of a pun here, and there are a lot of puns in the New Testament, if you know the Greek language, this is one of them. Jesus here makes a beautiful play on words because He chooses the word paraklētŏs. The word can mean helper and it can mean Comforter. They need a comforter...right? Because they're all torn ... in turmoil. They need to be comforted. That's the point of the whole chapter. So, Jesus says ‑ I'm going to send a Comforter. They need a helper, a power source. He says ‑ I'm going to send a helper. And the pun is He uses the same word for both, paraklētŏs.
In the previous verse Jesus spoke of the true disciples' love for Him and now He reveals His love for them by unveiling the supernatural promise of a divine helper. Now one word here really tells us an awful lot, it's what we call a crucial word in theology. And you might not even know what word it is if I didn't point it out, it is the word another. I will send another helper. Now in the complexities of the Greek language, they pinpointed almost everything. There are two words in the Greek for another. One word is heteros ... that means another similar. It doesn't really matter. If I said to you ‑ Give me another pair of glasses, and I use the word heteros, you could give me anything. You could give me sunglasses, motorcycle glasses; you could give me women's glasses, any kind of glasses. It wouldn't make a bit of difference cause heteros means another of any kind. From which we get our word heterodox which means mixed.
But then they had another word. They had a word allŏs which also meant another and it meant another of the exact, identical, specific kind without one single variation. And that's exactly the word used here ... allŏs. Now if I said to you ‑ Give me allŏs glasses, you would have to give me this exact pair of glasses with exactly the little markings in here from Austria with exactly the same lenses that don't help me at all, you would have to give every little single detail exactly the same as these are, without one variation. That's the meaning of the word allŏs. And Jesus said to them ‑ When I go away I'm not going to grab‑bag it and just send you any old helper, I'm going to send you allŏs helper, one exactly, essentially in every detail what I am. Now do you see the theological significance of that word? He is, in effect, saying ‑ I am sending you One exactly the same essence as Myself. And you know that since the disciples understood Greek when He said allŏs that rang the bell and they immediately knew what He was saying. He is not sending back just any old comforter but One exactly like Himself. And did you know that Jesus was, in fact, the first paraclete, He was the original called along side to help? He was the original Comforter. In fact, what do you read here in chapter 14? What's He doing? Comforting. What's He been doing for three years with these men? Helping them. Walking with them... their constant companion. He is the original paraclete.
In fact, in I John 2:1 it even tells us that. It says: "My little children, these things write I unto you that you sin not. If any man sin we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous." And the word advocot ... advocate is the same word ... paraklētŏs ... Jesus is the original Comforter, the original Paraclete, the original Helper. And when He went away He sent another One back. Now if you just think about that for a minute that means that you as a believer have two Helpers, two Comforters, two Paracletes, two Advocates ... the Spirit of God within you on earth and Christ the Son Of God at the right hand of the Father in heaven.
And so, Jesus says this Helper will come who is the exact essence of Myself, He will be a perfect substitute for the familiar presence of Jesus because He is the same, a Helper exactly like Jesus Christ. Well, you can imagine what kind of comfort and what kind of encouragement this would bring to their troubled hearts that Jesus was going to go away but He was going to send another One just exactly like Him.
Then He makes this promise which is a beautiful capping of this verse, "That He may abide with you," how long? ... "Forever." Forever. There are alot of people who are mixed up about that. They think you can get theHoly Spirit and lose the Holy Spirit and get the Holy Spirit and lose the Holy Spirit and that is not so. They think you can be saved and then be unsaved and be saved again and be unsaved, that's not so. Once the Spirit of God resides, He resides...how long? ... forever ... forever. Once the Helper comes He abides forever, eternally. A tremendous principle.
All right, Jesus says ‑ I'm going to go away but I'm going to send to you an eternally present Helper. Who is it? The exact essence of Christ? Well, the answer is simply in verse 17 ‑ says this: "Even the Spirit of truth." That's who it is. It's the Spirit of truth. It's the Holy Spirit, none other. The Holy Spirit is a person, the Holy Spirit is the ... is a person as much as Jesus was a person. The Holy Spirit is not a floating fog. The Holy Spirit is not a ghost. I don't know why the King James translators ever put Holy Ghost in there. For generations people havehad the idea that the Holy Spirit is something like Casper the Friendly ... that is not true. The Holy Spirit is a person. Not just a mystical power but a person. Jesus says ‑ I'm going to send you One exactly like Myself. If Jesus is a person so must the Spirit be because that's what allŏs means and so the Spirit comes.
Notice the Spirit is called the Spirit of truth. You say ‑
Why is He called that? Look at chapter 16, verse 13, I'll show you. Very simple, "Nevertheless, when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into" ... what? ... "All truth." That's why He's called the Spirit of truth. He not only is the essence of truth because He's God, but He guides you into truth and thus is He called the Spirit of truth.
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth. Apart from Him, men cannot know truth, they cannot understand truth. They cannot discover truth. And how tremendous it is, my friends, to realize that we have a resident teacher of truth. A step beyond that, we have resident truth in the indwelling Spirit. The world madly runs around trying to find truth and we know the truth. And so, until now Christ had been their Comforter but now He was going to send to them the Spirit of truth.
It's kind of a beautiful thought here. I remember a passage in Luke 11:13, and in that passage Jesus told His disciples this ‑ He said, The Father will give you the Holy Spirit if you ask. Remember that passage? The Father will give you the Holy Spirit if you ask. And yet here, did you see what Jesus is doing? He's jumping in ahead of the disciples and before they can even ask, He asks in their behalf. And that's a little picture of maybe how your prayers operate. Now you know the Lord knows what you have need of before you even ask. Right? I personally believe that this is an indication of how our prayers work. I believe Jesus Christ, before we ever even get our prayersorganized, has already asked in our behalf for what we need.I think that's part of His advocacy. He says ‑ The Father will give to you the Holy Spirit if you ask. And then before they could even ask He asked for them. That's a beautiful thing, isn't it? That's what it means when it says He's our advocate before the Father. Before we can get it out He's already got it out and told the Father our needs. And so, Jesus intercedes on their behalf and on ours.
Then Jesus goes on to say that the unsaved man, the world doesn't recognize the Spirit when He comes. They won't get it. They won't know what's going on. And it's kind of interesting to know that, you see the world doesn't see the Holy Spirit and the point is this, if they didn't recognize the first Comforter, Jesus, and they didn't, did they? He was in the world. The world was made by Him and ... what? ... the world knew Him not. If they didn't recognize the first Comforter, you wouldn't expect them to recognize the second One because the second One is exactly like the first One. And so in verse 17 He says this: "Whom the world cannot receive because it seeth Him not or knoweth Him." Stop there.
He says ‑ the world isn't going to know the Holy Spirit when He comes anymore than they knew Me while I was here. You say, "Why is that?" Because unsaved men have no spiritual organ of perception. They have no way to see the working of the power of the Holy Spirit anymore than they had a capability of discerning who Christ was. Why, when they came to the conclusion about Jesus Christ in Matthew 12, their very astute, academic, theological conclusion was ‑ you arefrom hell. That was their conclusion.
Now, my friends, that was after the years of studying the ministry of Jesus Christ ... they concluded that what He did He did by power of Beelzebub. They were 180 degrees wrong ... exactly to the opposite. Now that shows you a little bit of the spiritual capacity of the unregenerate man. Give him all the facts and he will conclude absolutely the wrong thing. And so, He is saying ‑ If they didn't do any better than that with Me don't expect the world to get it all when the Spirit comes who will be exactly like Me.
In II Corinthians, the Apostle Paul says this and it's really the characterization of man, and I should say in I Corinthians, verse 12 of chapter 2: "Now we have received not the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is of God that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God." The only way a man can understand the things of God is to have the Spirit of God.
Verse 13: "Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Spirit teacheth comparing spiritual things with spiritual." Now there's the difference.
Then verse 14: "But the natural man," unsaved, worldly man, "receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God for they are foolishness unto him, neither can he know them because they are spiritually discerned." The natural man cannot understand the Holy Spirit's work. And that's what Jesus says ... you can't understand it.
In fact, in John chapter 8, Jesus made a most, most indicting statement to the Jewish leaders when He said this: Verse 44, "Ye are of your father the devil, and the lust of your father yewill do. He was a murderer from the beginning and abode not in the truth because there's no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie he speaketh of his own for he is a liar and the father of it." And watch this, verse 45: "And because I tell you the truth you believe Me not." They had no capacity for truth. There was no way the unsaved man could even comprehend the truth of God. And so, Jesus is saying here the world's not going to get this message of the Holy Spirit when He comes anymore than they got the message from Me when I came. And, boy, was He right.
Acts, chapter 2, the day of Pentecost, verse 4 says this: "And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other languages as the Spirit gave them utterance." That's the coming of the Spirit. And the world is all there. They're all there in Jerusalem looking around and all these disciples start speaking to them in their own languages. Here's their conclusion: "They were all amazed and perplexed saying one to another, what meaneth this?" Here's the answer. "These menare drunk; they're full of new wine." Very astute answer, see. That's the best they could do with it. Oh, those guys are stoned, something strange going on here, see. This is God's working of the Spirit of God but you don't expect a natural man to understand it, do you? Of course not.
And this new companion, this new comforter, this new helper to the disciples will be just as foreign to the stubborn rejecting world as Jesus was when He was here. They won't get it anymore then than they did ... they won't get it anymore with the Spirit now than they did then with Christ.
You know, when I studied this I wondered for a while and I wondered ‑ Why did the Lord throw this in here? I mean, He didn't have to say about the world rejecting it and the world not getting it, why did He throw it in? And I can of stumbled around with that problem until I think an answer dawned on me, I trust it was of the Lord, and it was this ‑ with all the promises that Jesus is making them they could really get a tremendous confidence. I mean, you're going to do greater things ‑‑ anything you ask is going to happen ‑‑ you're going to have the indwelling Helper ‑‑ and all t e things He's going to promise them and they could be feeling Wa‑hooo ‑‑ Wooo, you know. By the time you get to the end of 14 they could say ‑Jesus, go! Go! You know, so it will all start. And wait till this world gets a load of this stuff. I mean, wow, when we hit this baby with all this power, ‑ greater things ‑ supernatural resources ‑ hmmmm, you know, we'll blow this baby wide open. See. And they could just be really screaming in terms of getting the energy going and really fired up and they could go ripping into that world and when that world didn't buy it, I mean, you're going to see total collapse. You get them so super‑activated, send them all out there and have the world hate them and not respond to them and you've got problems. So, rather than cause them to go charging into the world without knowledge, unwittingly, expecting much more than was going to happen, Jesus backs up and says ‑ Men, it's going to be like I told you except don't expect the world to accept it all. You are going to do greater things but remember this ‑ the old conflict will still be there, won't it? The unnatural ... the natural man won't see it, it will still be there.
And so, what He does is, He just tempers their enthusiasm. He brings them down to the real issue. You're going to do greater things, but Satan will be bucking it and the world will not understand.
In fact, later on in chapter 16, just to make sure they got this message, He wrapped up His whole conversation to them in the end of chapter 16 by saying this, verse 33. This is the last thing really He said to them. "These things I've spoken unto you that in Me you might have peace, in the world ye shall have ... what? ... tribulation, but be of good cheer, I've overcome the world." So you see, there's the balance. Greater things and yet the world's not going to buy it, no wholesale worldwide thing is going to happen. Be ready for it.
All right, then in verse 17, at the end, comes what we call a classic dispensational statement, get this one. "But ye know Him," the world doesn't but you do, you're going to know the Comforter when He comes, "for He dwelleth with you." Oh, what a statement. He dwelleth with you. They know who the Holy Spirit is. Why, who is it that's been operating through Christ all these three years? Who is it? It's the Holy Spirit. Christ said He did what He did by the power of the Holy Spirit. In fact, when they attributed His works to Satan Jesus said they had blasphemed not Him but whom? They had blasphemed the Holy Spirit. For it was the Spirit working through Christ and so what is He saying to them? He's saying you know Him, He's been with you. You know the Holy Spirit; He's dwelling with you as He has in all the Old Testament. In the Old Testament economy the Spirit of God came upon somebody for a certain service and then departed. The Old Testament says the...the Spirit of God came on Saul ... the Spirit of God came on the messengers...the Spirit of God came on Azariah ... Isaiah said the Spirit of theLord is upon me. The Spirit came and went for special tasks. And from the time of Jesus Christ ministry, remember at His baptism the Spirit descended on Him like a dove, and the Spirit of God was moving through Christ for all the years of His ministry, all the years of His life, really.
And so, these disciples had been with the Spirit. He was there. But in the new dispensation, watch it, the end of verse 17: "He dwelleth with you and shall be" ... where? ... "In you." See the difference? That is a classic dispensational statement. That shows the difference between the Old Testament age and the New Testament age is the difference between the Spirit's presence and the Spirit's indwelling. And that's a key thing to understand. And so the disciples are told of a marvelous promise, it's the one you've seen working in Me and now He shall be in you.
That's different than the Old Testament but, you know, the Old Testament prophets saw that. Ezekiel in chapter 36, verse 27, and in chapter 37, verse 14, both those verses, Ezekiel gives the, wonderful prophecy ‑ I will put My Spirit within you. And there it has great reference, of course, to the kingdom, and to Israel, but certainly was initially fulfilled in the church age. And so those prophecies, though it not yet totally fulfilled, given by Ezekiel, are first of all prefilled in the church, the Spirit is in us and in a greater sense will also be in us in the Kingdom when the promise is fulfilled to Israel. The New Testament then teaches the Holy Spirit is in is. What did Paul say? "What, know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit." The Spirit is in you.
In I John, I think, John pointing out the same truth, says this, 3:24: "And he that keepeth His commandments dwelleth in Him and He in him," watch this, "and by this we know that He abideth in us by the Spirit whom He hath given us." And Ephesians 2:21 says, "The church, the body of Christ, is the habitation of the Spirit." He lives within us. What a privilege, marvelous grace of God that He would plant His very essence in us. We have a supernatural helper, not around, but in every one of us. What a tremendous thought. Every moment of your life, every second of your existence on this earth as a believer and throughout all eternity, you have the presence of the Holy Spirit within you. Tremendous truth. You are so adequate it's ridiculous that you're not effective much more than you've ever dreamed.That's what Paul means in Ephesians 3:20 when he says you can do more than you canthink or dream, according to the power that works in you. We have so much resident power it's a crime. I look at my own life and I see all the resident power I have and the problem of my own yieldedness and the result is not what it ought to be. And our prayer should be ‑ May that Helper indwelling us find us to be soft and pliable and willing to be used for the glory of the Christ, that that Helper is there to exalt.
And so, the bequest of Christ, the legacy of Christ begins with a supernatural helper, and what a thing it is to realize that we have the indwelling Spirit all the time. Marvelous thought. You don't lack anything, my friend, except commitment, and neither do I.
Quickly, secondly, we have a supernatural life, and I can see we'll only get through two of them, instead of three of them, that's all right. A supernatural life ... oh, this is beautiful. Verse 18: "1 will not leave you comfortless, I will come to you." Now He says I'm personally going to come to you. Now here's another promise. He has just said I'm going to send another allŏs paraklētŏs, another Helper. Then He says ‑ "Even I will come to you. I will not leave you comfortless." You know what the word comfortless is in the Greek? Ŏrphanŏs ... in English that's orphans. He says ‑ I won't leave you orphans, I'll come to you. You know why He uses that word? This is the picture of a dying father, isn't it? He's really dying ... tomorrow He's going to die. And like a dying father He says ‑ I'm not going to leave you like orphans; I'm going to come back to you. What a promise! I'll be back. Now He is saying ‑‑ I may die but it's only for a while, when it's over I'll be resurrected and I'll be back.
Now what is He referring to? Well, some say He's talking about the rapture ... that I'm going to come back to you. Notice it says ‑ I will come to you. That can't be the rapture, my friends. If it was the rapture it would say this ‑ I will come not to you but ... what? ... for you. That's the difference.
Now some others say ‑ Well, He's talking about His physical presence after the resurrection. He is saying ‑ I'm going to die but I'll be back physically. I don't think that's the best answer either because, you see, that would only be for forty days at best. Right? And that's kind of a small commodity of comfort.
It seems to me, friends, that He is speaking h ere of the mystery of the trinity. That He is saying ‑ I will be back in the indwelling Spirit. When the Spirit of God came to reside in your life, did Christ come as well? Of course He did ... of course He did. The Holy Spirit, in fact, in Romans 8 is called the Spirit of Christ. I believe right here Christ in the mystery of the trinity is saying ‑ I will come back in the presence of the Spirit within you. Why, if the Spirit is identical to Christ, if allŏs means what it means, then Christ will be there. Did Jesus mean what He said in Matthew 28:20 when He said, "And lo, I am with you" ... what? ... "Always." The New Testament speaks of Christ in us. Paul said Christ in you, the hope of glory. The New Testament speaks of God in us ... First John 4:12. The New Testament speaks of the Holy Spirit in us, I Corinthians 6:19. Friends, they are all there. That's the mystery of the trinity. And when Jesus said ‑ I'll be back ‑ I believe He was talking about His presence as the indwelling Spirit. A marvelous thing to realize.
Then in verse 19, He says: "Yet in a little while and the world seeth Me no more. But ye see Me." Now you see, He says the world isn't going to see Me anymore, I'm going to go and they're not going to see, but you will see by the sight of faith the indwelling Spirit and My presence, you'll know that I'm there. And, boy, they did. Boy, after Pentecost they didn't have any doubts at all, did they? You think the Apostle Paul doubted that the Spirit was in him? Do you think he doubted Christ was in him? Do you think Peter doubted that? I don't think so. I don't think they doubted that for a split second. They knew where they were.
Now, He says ‑ you're going to know. You're going to sense My presence. Now, how is it that a man can sense the presence of God within him? How is it that a man knows the Spirit's there? How is it that he knows that Christ is there? One way, that man must have spiritual perception. Right? The physical eye doesn't reveal it, does it? It's got to have spiritual sight. He then must be spiritually alive. Now the spiritually dead man sees nothing about God, understands nothing. To be spiritually dead means you can't respond to God. You don't get any impulses, you just don't react. And the world is spiritually dead and when God moves in the world they just stand there and they don't even know what's going on. But the person who is spiritually alive lives in another dimension. So, the one thing a man must have to see God move, to see Christ in him, to see the Spirit in him is spiritual life. Right? He's got to be alive to that world.
That's exactly what He says in verse 19, at the end, watch it. "But ye see Me," how is that? ... "Because I live, ye shall" ... what? ... "Live also." You see, He promises to them resurrection life. If they're going to see what the Spirit's doing, if they're going to see what Christ is doing, they have to be alive to that world. They have to be alive to the spiritual realm. And so He says to them ‑ I am going to give you life, spiritual life.' Now I know that has a future aspect dealing with our great hope of resurrection ultimately, but the main meaning is immediate. The Helper is coming. Christ is coming back to dwell in them by His Spirit. The world isn't going to see it, the world isn't going to know it, but the believer will know it. Why? Because he will be alive to supernatural life, because he will be aware of what's going on in the spiritual dimension. And that, my friend, is what resurrection life really is. Did you know that? It is a quality of life that makes you sensitive to the spiritual life. And Christ says ‑ I'm going to come back and I'm going to plant My life in you ... because I live, ye shall live also. That not only has a future hope, that has an immediate truth. You're going to be alive spiritually, walking with God, sensing the Holy Spirit, communing with Christ. And it's true. I mean, let's ... from my own life's standpoint, I am a physical human being, I live here, I live at 9218 Whittaker Avenue, I live here. But the world doesn't know it but I also walk in the heavenlies. I see the Spirit of God moving. I have fellowship with Jesus Christ. I commune with God. I exist in another dimension ... fifth or fiftieth dimension, or I don't know what dimension, but I exist there. And so do you if you know Christ. This world isn't my home; I just dangle a toe here andthere in the world. My citizenship is in heaven. I am living in God's dimension because I'm alive to the Spirit of God and the indwelling Christ...and I have that life because Jesus gave it to me, it's resurrection life.
You see, eternal life isn't the quantity of life, it's the kind of life that makes you eternally sensitive to what God is doing.
What does Christ give His church? What does He give to all who love Him? First of all, a supernatural Helper. Oh, what a tremendous promise. And secondly, a supernatural life. We are alive to what God is doing. These are the things that Christ has given to us. What kind of service in return out of the gratitude of our hearts should we render to Him?
Our Father, this morning we are thankful for just these two tremendous truths. Thank You for making us alive to what You're doing in the world. Oh, what a marvelous thing it is to see Your presence andYour power moving within us. We thank You for the supernatural Helper, the blessed sweet Holy Spirit. We thank You for the supernatural life that even right now we're exercising by just talking to You. God, help us to realize the privilege that is ours and may we never play around in this world when we can walk in the heavenlies. May we never lower ourselves to the things of Satan when we can move in the things of God. May we never give place to the things of the world when all of the blessings of eternity are ours. God, help us to be other worldly, help us to live and move and have our being in Thee and be sensitive to what You're doing and responsive to what You want us to do. With hearts full of love and gratitude, we thank You in Jesus' name. Amen.
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