Turn in your Bibles, if you would please, to John 16 verses 12 through 15. Let me read this passage to you first of all, beginning in verse 12. Jesus still speaking to His disciples, of course it's still the night before His death, says, "I have yet many things to say unto you but you cannot bear them now.
Nevertheless, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth for He shall not speak of Himself but whatever He shall hear that shall He speak. And He will show you things to come. He shall glorify Me for He shall receive of Mine and shall show it unto you. All things that the Father hath are Mine, therefore said I that He shall take of Mine and shall show it unto you."
A little introduction before we look specifically at our text. The text deals with the promise that Jesus Christ gave that the Holy Spirit would come and lead them into all truth.
The all truth that He is talking about is now recorded for us in the pages of the New Testament. In fact, the Bible repeatedly makes the claim that it is no ordinary book but that it is in fact the very Word of God. The Bible claims repeatedly to have the authority and power of the Spirit of God Himself, in fact it claims that it was written by the Holy Spirit. Even though there were human authors, the words from their own vocabularies were selected divinely by the sovereign Spirit, organized in the manner that God wanted them organized and placed back through the mind of the writer to record exactly what God wanted said to the very word.
And thus did we read earlier that the Bible says for itself that the Word of God is quick or living and powerful, sharper than any two‑edged sword and that it can drive into a man's very being piercing the depths of his soul. Now if all of this is true that the Bible is in fact the very Word of God as it claims for itself, if it is as it claims divinely inspired, even to the words, not just the thoughts but the very words themselves, if that is true then we better listen to it. Then every word of it becomes critically important to us because it is all spoken by God. We better believe it and we better obey it. If in fact the Bible is not true and the claim that it makes is a lie and there are some words that are to be rejected, then we must reject the entire book because we're in no position to determine what's in and what's out. And so rather than preach the Bible, we better get up and announce to the world that it is a fraud and we better expose it lest more people be led astray.
The Bible claims for itself that it is the Word of God. If that is true then it is to be believed, it is to be separated from every other writing in the world, it is to be isolated in its total purity and truth. It is a self commentary, it needs nothing else, it is God's Word, final and complete. You can't tamper with it. And yet how interesting it is that although we only have the choice of totally accepting it or totally rejecting it, many try to do a little of both. The liberal says, "Well, somewhere in there is the Word of God. You've got to look around to find it." Then another breed of liberal says, "Whatever speaks to you is the Word of God. If it happens to talk to you, it's God's Word. If it doesn't say anything to you, it doesn't mean anything to you, then it isn't God's Word." In other words, you determine whether it's inspired or not, not God.
Then there are false sects and there are various cults and religious groups that think that they have to put additions on to the Word of God, they've got to add more revelation. For example, those who follow the teachings of Mormonism must add to the Bible a new revelation, supposedly revealed to Joseph Smith by an angel named Maroni. It's always the Bible plus new revelation. Those who follow Christian Science accept the Bible but they add to it what proports to be revelation from God received by Mary Baker Eddy Patterson Glover Frye. The Bible in the hands of Seven Day Adventism must also have the revelations received by Ellen G. White. The Bible in the hands of Theosophy must be incomplete until the revelations added to it which were given to Helen Patrova(?). The Jehovah Witnesses supplement the Scriptures with the writings of Charles Taze Russell and Judge J.
Rutherford, etc., etc.
The Word of God claims that it is final and complete. Now there are commentaries on the Bible and there are study books on the Bible but there is no new revelation. And all of these supposed revelations are not revelation at all because when God finally closed out the book of Revelation, He said if you add anything to it or take anything away from it, shall be added unto you the plagues that are written in it. Many, many systems of religion, many many groups begin with the Bible and then they gradually relegate the Bible to a place of secondary authority while the writings of men and in most cases women are made the basis of understanding and interpretation of that which is contained in the Word of God.
Now how do we really know that they are inaccurate? How do we really know that in fact the Bible is God's revelation full, final, total, complete, all we need without anything added to it?
And the only really legitimate books are those which comment on the Scripture, not from a revelation standpoint, but from the standpoint of teaching what it has to say. How do we know that God is the author? How do we know that the Bible is word for word inspired?
Well, there are many ways to know. There are many ways. We could, for example, talk about the Bible's unity. The Scripture is written over 1500 years, 66 different books, 40 different authors yet not one single point of disagreement...complete unity...complete agreement, no contradictions. And lest you think there are some contradictions in the Bible, look back several years ago in the courts of New York, Dr. Henry Rimmer(?)
offered a thousand dollars to anybody who could find one contradiction in the Bible and that thing stood for years and years and years. One man tried to claim it and his case was thrown out of court. There are no contradictions in the Bible.
There is a unity that's unbelievable when you think of the span of 1500 years and 40 different authors.
Not only its unity but its historical accuracy indicates that it is in fact the Word of God. It makes no errors historically. People often used to laugh at the Bible when it said the walls of Jericho fell down. And then somebody found the walls of Jericho and there they were, all fallen down. And last summer I stood on that sight and I listened to the explanation of the guide who was being quizzed by my wife rather pointedly, and he was explaining how that when the children of Israel went around the walls of Jericho, they were blowing their horns and distracting the attention of the people in the city while they had secret people up under the wall digging it out. And so that eventually they dug it out and it fell out. My wife said, "Oh come on, you don't really believe that?" And he didn't have any other explanation. Everything they discover archaeologically vindicates the Bible.
The extent of Scripture is a proof that God wrote it. It reveals facts about God which no man could ever know. It reveals facts about man that which no man would ever admit. It reveals facts about heaven and hell. It reveals facts about the past, the present and the future and they keep coming true. Some mathematician alone figured out that if you took the prophecies concerning just the first coming of Christ, just His Bethlehem coming, the first time He came, there is one chance in 87 with 93 zeroes after it that those prophecies could ever come true by chance. The extent of the Bible authenticates it is God's revelation. Its subject matter deals with that which is not obvious to men, which is hidden from men.
Even when the Bible talks about science, it's way ahead of its time. William Harvey finally discovered that the life...that blood is what kept you alive. And the oldest book in the Bible said the life of the flesh is in the blood. Men thought that the earth was on the back of elephants in some parts of the world.
Others thought it was on a great big mass of whatever...a particular Eastern religion thought that it was on layers of honey and butter. And Job, the oldest book in the Bible, says, "He hangeth the world on nothing." Men thought the world was flat. They thought it was square. They thought it was a triangle. They thought all kinds of strange things. The Bible says that the world is a sphere...chuwg, the Hebrew word for sphere, it talks about the circle of the earth.
The Bible said that the stars sang and people laughed. And now science has discovered that stars send off an emanation that can be picked up as a sound wave. The Bible says things scientifically that no man could ever know apart from divine revelation from God, astounding scientific facts. It leads men out of ignorance into truth. It leads men to God and no man could discover God unless God gave him the pathway. There are many reasons to believe that the Bible is the Word of God. And I'll tell you something, if men wrote the Bible it would be a lot different than it is. There would be a lot less condemnation of sin. There would be the elimination of the paradoxes. And there would be perhaps the elimination of judgment.
With all of that evidence though that isn't really why I believe the Bible. That's good but that's not why I believe the Bible. I believe the Bible because of this...number one, because the Bible claims that it is written by God. That's why I believe the Bible. And secondly, because Jesus believed it. The Bible says for itself that it is God's Word. But beyond that, Jesus Christ claimed that it was. And I appeal to the teachings of Jesus as the highest court of appeal. If Jesus believed that the Bible was the word for word inspired message from God, then that's evidence enough for me. And if you accept the teaching of Jesus Christ and you accept the person of Christ, then you accept what He said about Scripture. All of this baloney about people who say they believe in Jesus Christ and don't believe the Bible is inspired is ridiculous. Jesus Christ believed the Bible was inspired to the very words. Jesus Christ taught lessons in His day using the tense of the verb out of the Old Testament. He even believed in verbal inspiration obviously. He picked out words. The use, for example, of the word "Lord" repeated twice in one verse was evidence for His own deity and He used it right out of the Psalms. He appealed the very tense of the verb and the very word itself to teach great doctrine. He believed in verbal inspiration. You can't accept Jesus Christ and His authority and not accept verbal inspiration. Every word was written by God. When you accept Christ you accept the whole Bible for Jesus set His stamp of authority on the whole thing.
In Matthew Jesus calls the law of Moses which is the Pentateuch, He calls that the Word of God specifically. In Matthew, for example, that most most important statement, Matthew chapter 5 verse 17, "Think not that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets, I am come not to destroy but to fulfill, for verily I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot, one yod or one tittle shall in no way pass from the law till all be fulfilled." Jesus said you can't even mess with the dots on the "i"s. This is God's Word.
In John 10:35 Jesus said the Scripture cannot be broken. In Matthew 22:31 and 32 we have that classic illustration that I mentioned to you, of where He used the tense of the verb. And also in Matthew 22 where He appeals to Psalm 10...Psalm 110 and the use of the word "Lord" is repeated twice to indicate the importance of His own deity.
Now you can look at this problem of Jesus' attitude toward Scripture as only three ways. Some people say there are errors in the Scripture, that it all isn't written by God. I was taught that the thoughts in my college education, that the thoughts were inspired and not the words. Now you tell me how you convey a thought apart from words? But nevertheless that the thoughts were inspired and the guys put it in their own words. That would be there were errors in the Bible. And this professor agreed that there were errors.
He...he said, "Well, of course, God's basic truth gets across but there are errors." That leaves three options...number one, Jesus was aware of errors but didn't want to tell us. You know what that means? That means He hid the truth from us.
Secondly, He was unaware of errors. If He was unaware of errors then He's not God. Thirdly, there are no errors. Psalm 118:89 says, "Forever, O Lord, Thy word is settled in heaven." There aren't any errors in the Bible. If there are any errors in the Bible, either Jesus didn't know and if He didn't know He's not God or He didn't tell us and if He didn't tell us then He didn't give us the truth...He lied to us. The authority of Jesus Christ settles the issue of whether the Bible is true with me.
Now Christ's authentication of the Bible, and particularly the Old Testament, brings us to our text. We come right up to verse 12 and this is exactly what this text is all about.
Because...here is the key, now watch this...how is it that God got this revelation, this Bible right here, how is it that He communicated it to us? Through what vehicle did He bring us this inspired word? And the answer is through the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the author of Scripture. He moved upon the minds of men to write the very words that He Himself gave them to write, words taken out of their own vocabulary. And that distinguishes the difference between the various writers. Each writer's idiosyncrasies appear in his own volumes because God chose to use his own attitudes, his own illustrations, his own words, rearrange them in a divine order and put them back through and say exactly what God wanted him to say. But the author of all of it is the Holy Spirit. That brings us right up to verse 12 where Jesus begins to explain to the disciples the tremendous ministry of the Holy Spirit in revelation...in revelation.
Now let me give you the background. In this section, Jesus is promised that the Holy Spirit will come. And that when He comes He will dwell within all believers. He has told His disciples that they will have all these promises and they will have all this power that He's been promising them activated by the Holy Spirit when He comes on the day of Pentecost. He also told them that the Holy Spirit would witness to Christ through them. He told them, and we saw this the last week, that the Holy Spirit would convince and convict of sin to bring men to Christ.
So He's been detailing what the Holy Spirit will do when He gets here. And now He climaxes all of it by giving the work of the Holy Spirit in revelation, revealing divine truth first of all to the disciples. And that's the primary meaning of this passage.
The primary application of verse 13 is not to you and me as Christians, it's to the disciples as Scripture authors. But in a broader sense it can apply to us, and we'll see that as we go.
But the promise here is that the Spirit will lead them into truth, accurate truth. That's the ministry of the Spirit to reveal God's truth. And really what it is, friends, what you have in this passage is the promise of the New Testament...the promise that the New Testament will be written, inspired by God through the Holy Spirit.
Scoffield calls this "Christ's preauthentication of the New Testament Scriptures," this is Christ authenticating the New Testament before it was ever written.
Now let's look at it and see the Spirit's ministry here.
And I want to show you four things...the reason for revelation, the person for revelation, the purpose for revelation and the pattern for revelation. This is the Holy Spirit's work in revelation. Now keep in mind that the primary reference of the passage is to the disciples who will be the authors basically of the new Testament. And only in a secondary sense does it apply to us. We don't receive revelation anymore, we receive illumination, instruction and teaching...and there's a great difference.
All right, first of all, let's notice the reason for revelation. Why does Jesus say I'm going to send the Holy Spirit to do this? Why do you need anymore revelation? Why haven't you had enough? Why in fact doesn't Jesus just give it all to them?
Why didn't Jesus write it all out and say, "Here, guys, there it is?"
Look at verse 12, here's the reason for revelation. "I have yet many things to say unto you...here comes the point...but ye cannot...what?...bear them now." Jesus says I am not going to tell you anymore because you couldn't handle it, it would be wasted effort at this point. You're too involved in sorrow and in ignorance to get anymore than you've gotten.
Now remember that the disciples were just babes. They were just babes in understanding. They knew what a spiritual babe knows and barely that much without the ministry of the Spirit within them for these years and the teaching and the problem of trying to figure out what Jesus was saying all the time in their Jewish context, you see, because their Messiah was always sort of a political person and their Messiah was always going to stay on earth and set up a Kingdom, and trying to reverse all of that attitude and figure out what Jesus kept talking about in His death and so forth, they were extremely ignorant. They were doing the best they could with what they had but they didn't have very much and they were confused about many, many things. The only thing they weren't too confused about was that they loved Jesus with all their hearts and they wanted to be with Him, and that's why they were so messed up when He told them He was going to go.
And so, they had this problem of ignorance. They were babes in understanding. They couldn't handle any strong doctrine.
There wasn't any way they could handle that. Repeatedly as you study the gospel of John, beginning in chapter 2 and running all the way through the thing, you have the statement repeated, "the disciples understood not what He said." And the disciples didn't understand this until later on and they remembered what He had said and they knew what He meant. They just didn't get it. They were weak. They were proud. They were quibbling over who was going to be in the chief seats in the Kingdom. They were selfish. And very soon they'd be offended. And when Jesus went to the cross, they scattered and fled, you know, the shepherd was smitten and the flock was scattered. And so they had given plenty of evidence that they couldn't handle even what they'd gotten already. They were having a terrible time with what they had already learned, or not learned. And they were lost in their own sorrow. They were lost in their own loneliness. They were fearful of the hostile world about which Jesus had spoken. And so Jesus looks at them and He says, "Guys, I'd really like to tell you a lot of other things, but you could not handle it...you couldn't handle it."
And so, the great physician of souls knows how frail and how carnal they really are. And He knew and understood their immaturity. But there's a beautiful thing here that I think I need to point out to you. Jesus here is very understanding of their immaturity, very understanding, because He knows what they have to deal with. And He knows the problem and He understands the limited ability to respond. And He understands the frame of reference. And so rather than rebuke them, He just tenderly loves them. And He doesn't ball them out and say, "You dodos,"
you know, "I mean, three years I've been telling you guys this stuff and you still..." and He doesn't say that, He doesn't even treat them with that kind of an attitude. He treats them in tender love. And He says, "Guys, I have so much to say but you're not ready for it."
Unfortunately this pattern which was excusable in the disciples becomes inexcusable today among Christians. It is inexcusable for a Christian today to be trapped in this kind of ignorance if He has been with Jesus to the extent that these men had been. Because, you see, we have the ingredient they didn't have, the indwelling Holy Spirit. And that's why when the New Testament talks about a spiritual babe, it is very concerned. In 1 Corinthians chapter 3, Paul says, "Brethren, I couldn't speak unto you as unto spiritual but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ." There was no excuse for this. They had been saved far too long to be babes. "I have to feed you with milk, not with solid food, you're not able to bear it." And he goes on to say that you're carnal because you're always fighting and hassling each other, you're divided, you're struggling against each other, division, strife, that's a good sign of a baby. You put eight babies in a room and one bowl of ice cream, and babies aren't really concerned about each other. It's characteristic of a spiritual babe that he has no care for somebody else, he only wants to fulfill his own desire. That was a Corinthian problem.
And then, of course, you have the other problem, of course, in Hebrews chapter 5 where the writer of Hebrews tremendously reprimands the Christians there because he says, "You should be teachers but instead of being teachers you have need that somebody teach you all over again the principles...the basics."
Peter said, "As babes desire the sincere milk of the Word that you may grow." In other words, what is excusable in the disciples because of their era is inexcusable among the believers today...spiritual infancy.
Now there's a sense in which spiritual infancy is natural for a new Christian, but not for one whose been with Christ for any length of time at all. And the New Testament is not nearly so tolerant as was Jesus Christ in pre‑New Testament days with those disciples whom He loved. If you're not growing spiritually it's inexcusable...it's inexcusable.
So, Christ then is really comforting them by letting them know He understands their weakness and their ignorance. There's so much more to give them but He's not going to give them much, you know, this is it..from verses 12 now through verse 33 and then He's done. That's all He gives them. That's the rest of His revelation. That's all they can handle. And you see, the problem was trying to interpret the cross and the resurrection and the ascension before it happened. That's a tough job.
That's a tough thing. They were trying to get all of this stuff in perspective and they couldn't really understand it because it hadn't happened yet. And it really wouldn't really be understood until the Holy Spirit had been poured out.
In Luke chapter 18 verse 31, gives us a little insight into this. Jesus here is foretelling His death. It says, "And then He took them unto Him, the Twelve, and said to them, Behold we go to Jerusalem and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of Man shall be accomplished." They didn't read the prophets very well. Remember the road to Emmaus, He told them if they had studied the Scripture they'd know all about it. "For He shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, shall be mocked and spitefully treated and spit on and they shall scourge Him and put Him to death. And the third day He shall rise again."
Now that's the whole thing. Then in verse 34 it says, "And they understood none of these things and the saying was hidden from them, neither knew they the things which were spoken." They didn't have any idea about all of this. They never did get it.
And so, Jesus realizes that all of these truths aren't going to come into focus until they get to the other side of the cross.
The Holy Spirit will take up residency within them and the Holy Spirit will teach them.
I don't think we really understand how confused these guys were. I don't know that I really do. But I can just about imagine that they were as confused as it is possible to get.
They were really messed up in their minds about what was happening. And so, like a tender parent who knows that his child has eaten enough, Jesus takes away the food and says, "That's all, you can't take anymore."
Now He says, and I want you to notice it, verse 12, "I have yet many things...polus," very interesting about that word, it does not refer to new revelation, it refers to the clarification and amplification of revelation already taught them. I have many things to say unto you. They already had the basics, they just needed to be amplified. And that's what the New Testament does, you know that? It takes the basic identity of Christ and His works and amplifies them and applies them to your life, that's what it does. It is not a system of religion...the New Testament, it is the amplification of a person and how he applies to your life. Do you see that?
You say, "What about all of the area of the Christian life and all the little details?" That is just to reproduce Christ in you, that's all. Those are just things that will make you like Christ. The whole New Testament is the clarification and the presentation of a person and how being like Him effects your life. And so here's the problem...the problem of revelation deals with the fact that they didn't really understand what they had and Christ couldn't tell them anymore.
That leads to the next thought, the person for revelation.
Now in order to come to them and to reveal these things to them at the right time, there's got to be an agency, there's got to be a person who can do it. And Christ says I can't do it now because you're not ready for it. But He says I'm going to send somebody who will, verse 13, just the first part..."Nevertheless, when He the Spirit of truth is come...and He's been talking about the Spirit of truth repeatedly...He will guide you into all truth." Stop right there.
Now He says there is a person who is going to come and pick up where I left off. And He is going to guide you into all truth, the super helper, the promised Holy Spirit, the parakletos, the paraclete, He will be their true teacher, He will be the divine revealer. And in addition to just activating Christ's promises in them, in addition to witnessing to Christ through them, in addition to convicting the world, in addition to comforting them, He will also reveal God's truth. He will guide you into all truth.
What do you mean by all? Does that mean all the truth in the world, in the universe? No, the Bible doesn't give all the truth in the universe, it doesn't tell a lot about science. It doesn't tell a lot about mechanics. It doesn't tell a lot of things. Guide you into all truth...whenever you see that it keys on what God is trying to reveal. What is in God's revelation?
All truth...watch it...necessary to salvation and Christ likeness, that's what God is trying to get across. Put it this way, all truth necessary for the perfecting of the saints, all truth necessary that the man of God may be complete, perfect, thoroughly furnished. All truth necessary to salvation and Christian living, Christ's likeness...that's all truth.
Now this is going to be the Spirit's ministry. He will move on your minds, Jesus says, to direct you to record truth. This is especially directed to the disciples, the authors of the New Testament in general.
Now this isn't anything new for the Holy Spirit. He's been inspiring God's Word for a long time. In fact, He did the whole Old Testament. That was His first volume. So it's not a new ministry for the Holy Spirit to inspire the New Testament, He did it with the Old Testament. Let me show you some illustrations of that.
Acts 1:16, there are many in the Old Testament incidentally...many, many of them. All throughout the Old Testament you'll hear, "And the Spirit of God spake unto David..." and this and that and the other, that's...that's...the Old Testament claims repeatedly to have been written by the Spirit. In Acts 1:16 you read this, this is Peter, "Men and brethren, this Scripture must needs have been fulfilled which the Holy Spirit by the mouth of David spoke." Now isn't that interesting? Isn't that interesting that the Holy Spirit spoke it by the mouth of David? And here, of course, he's referring to the problem of Psalm 41 of the betrayal of Judas when Judas betrayed Christ, which was prophesied from the mouth of David, but by the Holy Spirit. That gives you an insight into how the Holy Spirit wrote the Old Testament. He wrote it by speaking through the mouth of somebody else.
Now the reverse illustration would be Peter who said, "Get...," who said, "Let it not be so, Lord," you know, about Jesus going to the cross and Christ said to him, "Get thee behind Me, Satan," see. The Spirit of God spoke literally through the mouth of David.
Now let me show you how this worked. There's a careful delineation of this by Peter himself in 2 Peter 1:20, listen to it, "Knowing this first that no prophecy of the Scripture is of any private interpretation, any private authorship, any personal desire to write it, no man did it...here it comes, here's a description of how the Old Testament was written...for the prophecy or the preaching of the Old Testament came not...and this of course can refer to the New Testament as well, but primarily to the Old...for the prophecy came not at any time by the will of man." Now listen to this, "But holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit." That's how the Old Testament was written. Holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. The Spirit then is the author of the Old Testament. He merely moved the mouths and the pens of Old Testament holy men, or saints.
In Hebrews 10 verse 15 we read this, "And the Holy Spirit also is a witness to us for after He had said before...and then it quotes...this is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put My law in their hearts and in their minds while I write them." And that's a quote out of Jeremiah 31. But you notice that that quote, it says the Holy Spirit said that. It claims then that that passage in Jeremiah was a statement by the Holy Spirit. So, you see, those are just several, and there are many many more, illustrations of the fact that the Old Testament is the very word of the Holy Spirit through the mind of the writer.
And incidentally, He's going to do the same thing in the New Testament. This is what Jesus is saying. "The Holy Spirit's coming back and He's going to do volume two...He's going to write the New Testament using human instruments." Now the New Testament couldn't have been written apart from the Holy Spirit.
First Corinthians 2 clearly tells us that. First Corinthians 2:9, "But as it is written, Eye hath not seen nor ear heard neither have entered into the heart of man the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him." All right...listen to this, "But God has revealed them unto us by His Spirit for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God."
Now this is another claim that the Word of God is written by the Spirit. Down in verse 13 it says, "Which things we speak not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but that which the Holy Spirit teacheth." In other words, Paul says I'm declaring to you the teaching of the Holy Spirit. And he even says in that same passage that a man could never know these things, that the only way the things of God can ever be known is by the Spirit of God.
And so the Holy Spirit will be the author of New Testament revelation. He is the author of all revelation. No man ever knows the man of God unless the Spirit of God reveals it. The Bible wasn't written by a lot of men who ran off on their own and wrote what they wanted. The Bible was inspired by the Holy Spirit and it is the total and complete and final revelation of God. There is nothing missing. There is nothing in it that isn't of God. If God could write it, He could also superintend it.
And every word in it was written by God through the Holy Spirit using the mind of the writer.
Now you'll notice that in verse 13 He is called not the Holy Spirit but what? The Spirit of truth. Why do you think He calls Him the Spirit of truth? I'll tell you simply why, because He wants to emphasize that everything He says is...what?...is true.
There are no errors. It is true. He has perfect knowledge. He has an infinite love for truth. He has the absolute incapacity for falsehood. He cannot lie. The Bible says God who cannot lie. There cannot be error in the Word of God. If there is error in the Word of God then some men did not speak moved by the Holy Spirit and 2 Peter 1:20 is a lie and if it's a lie then God is a liar or God didn't write the Bible. You cannot tamper with the inspiration of the Bible without tampering with the nature of God. And so the Holy Spirit searches the deep things of God. He knows God's mind and out of that search He reveals God's absolute truth word for word as God wanted it written. That's why when I stand in the pulpit I believe God would have me preach it word for word. Some people say to me, "Why do you make such a big issue out of a word? Why do you pick out one little word and make an issue out of it?" Because that's a word that God wrote.
If I didn't believe in verbal inspiration I'd be a topical preacher just picking out topics and talking about politics and book reviews and applying little spiritual things of inconsequent nature. But because I believe every word is written by God I believe that every word needs to be declared. The Holy Spirit wrote this book.
And, you know, how in the world would you ever expect John to write his gospel 55 or 60 years later and repeat the words of Jesus verbatim unless the Holy Spirit was giving him those words?
How would...he wouldn't even remember. He didn't even know what was going on at the time they were being said. He didn't even understand them. The New Testament is without error. And the direct author is God and He said the things that Paul said just as much as He said the things that Jesus said. That New Testament that you hold in your hand is a blessed book, my friend, look at it again and be reminded of what it is...it's the very Word of God placed in your hands at great cost.
So, Jesus says...Gentlemen, you are going to record for Me...and the main, of course, the New Testament writers were His Apostles. There were others as well. But the Spirit of God is going to come upon all of you who record Scripture, even, I believe, that they spoke inspired sermons, some of them. I believe Peter's sermon, of course, on Pentecost was inspired by God. I don't think Peter said those things out of his own brain at all. I think he was speaking purely as the Spirit of God moved on him. And these Apostles had to have that direct kind of revelation, didn't they? Sometimes it came through the gift of prophecy...sometimes it came through the gift of tongues, interpretation of tongues, so it's broader than just Scripture but certainly it includes their writing of the Word of God.
So, when the authors then of the New Testament committed to the writing of the gospels and the epistles, the history and the prophecy, when they did it they were moved by the Holy Spirit who chose the very words from their minds thus they were errorless and they said everything God wanted to say. That's what we call verbal plenary inspiration...verbal means every word's inspired...plenary means everything that's in the Bible is inspired and there's nothing outside that is. People have talked, you know, about the lost books of the Bible or whether the apocrypha, that middle section in the Confraternity Douay is inspired by God. The answer is no. And you can study that...the apocrypha and find out why it isn't inspired, its historically inaccurate, its spiritually inaccurate, there are many problems.
And you can read it yourself as a Christian and know that it just doesn't have the feeling and the fervor of the Spirit that the rest of the Bible has.
There are many extraneous books. There is the gospel of Peter, there are all kinds of books written under false names to try to get into the Bible but God kept this thing pure so that everything that is in it is the Word of God and there's nothing left out and there's nothing to be added to it. So when somebody comes along and says, "Well, I have a new book it's been revealed to me by God," I say baloney. There's no such thing. When somebody comes along and says, "Well, the Bible is one thing but you've got to add to it the writings of So‑and‑so," that isn't true at all. You don't have to add to the Bible anything, it's plenary, it's full, it's complete. All truth is there necessary for salvation and for Christ's likeness that the man of God may be thoroughly furnished, perfect...all Scripture is given by inspiration of God to make that man perfect and there's not one thing God left out. You don't need to add anything to it.
John Calvin said this, and I quote from his commentary, "Whoever imagines that anything must be added to their doctrine as if it were...to the Apostles doctrine he's talking about...as if it were imperfect or half finished not only accuses the Apostles of dishonesty but blasphemes the Holy Spirit, nothing can be added to them without doing grievous injury to the Spirit." He's right. It is complete. As we've been reading and quoting to you 2 Timothy 3:16 and 17 which you need to keep in mind tells us that, that the Word of God given by inspiration is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for instruction, correction and righteousness, all these things, that the man of God may be perfect. So it's complete.
All right, then this verse has primary reference to the disciples and the New Testament writers. But let me add this footnote. It also does have a message for us. There is a sense, too, in which the Spirit of God guides us into all truth. He is our guide, isn't He? It's a different sense then they, we are not inspired anymore but we are illuminated. We pick up what He already wrote and He leads us through this. It's not that direct revelation anymore, it's that through the Word of God He instructs us and teaches us. That, of course, must be what John was talking about in 1 John 2:20 when he says, "We have an unction from the Holy One and you know all things." And verse 27, "The anointing...this is talking about the Holy Spirit...which ye have received of Him abideth in you and you need not that any man teach you but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things and is truth and is no lie, even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in Him." So John says that there's a sense in which the Holy Spirit continues to instruct us out of the Word.
So, we could claim the promise that the Holy Spirit will come and guide you into all truth. I believe this, friends. I believe that no Christian can ever say that he is not mature because he doesn't have anyone to show him how to be mature. I believe the Spirit of God directs every believer in the direction of all those things necessary for His perfection. No Christian can claim the lack of a teacher. Unfortunately sometimes there are Christians in churches where they have to deal with people who are inaccurate teachers or who don't teach the Word at all and they are strictly on their own, and that's difficult. And that's to the shame of the minister...but no one can claim he doesn't have an adequate truth teacher to lead him to perfection spiritually. The Holy Spirit is our illuminator. He is the truth teacher. He was the truth revealer for the disciples and He takes that revelation and teaches it to us.
The importance of this is indicated to us, I think, in what we can call the purpose of this revelation. And the purpose of it, obviously, is to bring us to maturity, to guide us into all truth. The person is the Holy Spirit and the purpose is the all truth.
It's a wonderful thing to realize that when you really know the Word of God, and just get this thought, I'm just kind of mulling it in my mind, when you really know the Word of God you have in a sense accomplished the very purpose of the coming of the Holy Spirit. I mean, you're in on it...it's a fantastic thing...just fantastic to really be...to really have in your own life fulfilled the design of God for the coming of the Spirit.
That's what happens in you when you grow to really know the Word.
All right, so the Spirit of God will guide you into all truth. He is the teacher of every believer. And as I say, it refers primarily to the disciples and Bible writers but then to us. And it's a beautiful thing to realize that when the Lord spoke these words not one thing was written, there wasn't one book in the New Testament done, not for years and year were they done. Human memory could never have remembered, God had to teach them and He continues through the Spirit to teach us and to apply these things to our hearts.
Well, we're hurrying. Fourth point, the reason we've seen is their ignorance and sorrow...the reason for revelation. The person of revelation, the Holy Spirit...the purpose, to guide us into all truth. So we have everything needed. That's why, you see, that's why Peter says you have all things...now watch this one...you have all things that pertain to life and godliness, 2 Peter chapter 1. You have all things. God never left anything out. You don't need some additional revelations. You don't need any additional things, you have it all in the Word of God. So, the reason, the person and the purpose.
Now the pattern of revelation, how did it work? And we'll just see this although it will take up most of the verses, it doesn't take up most of the time. Verse 13 says, here's how it's going to work, first of all, "He shall not speak of Himself but whatever He shall hear, that shall He speak." Well, hold it right there for a second. The Holy Spirit is not going to give some revelation independent of God. Whatever the Holy Spirit says, now watch this one, will always be consistent with God and with Christ. And, boy, Jesus wants them to know this cause this is important. They've got confidence in God, right? They do, and they really gained confidence in Jesus. But they really don't know anything about the Holy Spirit. So He wants to tell them, "Men, you can have confidence in the Spirit because He is not going to speak independently, He is going to speak what He hears from Me, implied, and from My Father." And that's the point. The Spirit of God is not going to go off on His own, there's perfect harmony in the trinity. The Holy Spirit never acts independently of the trinity. So He's saying to them, building their confidence, "Gentlemen, be assured that what He shall teach you will be from Me and from My Father," straight stuff, accurate.
You know, a lot of...the Holy Spirit gets blamed for a lot of weird things. When the Holy Spirit leads you in your life, taking it a second degree, when the Holy Spirit in applying it to us leads you in your life, He always will lead you consistently with the Word of God. You know that? He wrote it and He sticks by it. But you'd be amazed how many people have supposedly, quote/unquote, been led by the Spirit to do something which violates the Scriptures. Just in my brief ministry here here are a few illustrations that I've heard.
A boy and a girl involved in a sexual relationship outside of marriage and they felt they were led of the Holy Spirit.
Disobeying my parents because the Holy Spirit directed me.
Same Holy Spirit that wrote, "Children, obey your parents."
I was directed by God to get a divorce. Directed by the Holy Spirit, the same one that wrote that God hates divorce.
I was told by God, this is one...I'll never forget this one...I was told by God not to read my Bible for a while...I was told by God not to go to church, not to be with other Christians, I need to be alone. "Forsake not the assembling of yourselves together as a manner of some is much the more you see the day approaching." Same Holy Spirit that wrote that told them not to do it.
The Holy Spirit told me not to give my life to service.
That's another good one.
Here's one I heard, the Holy Spirit told me not to give any money to the Lord for awhile.
Or this one, well, the Holy Spirit's led me to give ten dollars a month when I make a thousand. The Holy Spirit said as ye have received, so give. According to the measure of receiving you give...according as the Lord has prospered you.
Well, that's ridiculous. Those are just a few that I've heard and they sound so ridiculous. The Holy Spirit didn't write the Bible to contradict it. Whatever the Holy Spirit says, He says right out of the mind of God in the Scripture and He will always substantiate it with His leading. This is foolishness.
The eternal principles of the Word of God are never to be violated, never.
All right, so first of all the Holy Spirit will speak not independently of the trinity, He can't, the trinity is so one they couldn't speak independently. And He's telling the disciples be encouraged, men, what you get is going to be right from God. And He's encouraging us by saying the Spirit will speak God's truth and He will always lead you consistent with God's truth. If you want to know whether the Spirit of God is leading you in your life, you read the Scripture and if it's consistent with Scripture then that's the leading of the Spirit.
Scripture will never...the Spirit will never lead you contrary to principles of the Word of God.
Second in the pattern of the Spirit's ministry through revelation is at the end of...at the end of the verse, verse 13, He will show you...watch this little phrase...things to come. He will show you things to come. Now this encompasses many many things, includes the church age with all of its unveiled mysteries. It includes the future. It includes the Rapture. It includes the Tribulation. It includes the Kingdom, the eternal state, heaven, the whole bit.
What He's saying is the Holy Spirit will show you history, He will pre‑write history before it ever happens. And indeed He did...indeed He did. He showed them things to come. Why do you realize that on the very first day that the Spirit ever came, the day of Pentecost, in Acts chapter 2 that Peter stood up and started spouting off end time prophecy? Did you know that? He did. Peter got up there on that first day and he says, "It will come to pass in the last days I will pour out My Spirit," and he goes on to say, "Wonders in the sky, signs in the earth, blood, fire vapor of smoke, the sun turn to darkness, the moon to blood," and etc., etc. And I imagine Peter was going..."Whoo, whoo," you know...whoa...where did I get all this information, see. The very first day the Spirit of God came He began to show things to come. And you could just go right through the Bible and you'll find out He continued to show things to come.
In Acts chapter 11 He showed some more things to come. In Acts chapter 20 He showed some more things to come. In Acts chapter 21 He showed some more things to come. In the early days of the Spirit's coming He began to show prophecy that would come to pass, things to come, directed by the Holy Spirit. Listen to Revelation 1:1, "The revelation of Jesus Christ which God gave unto Him to show unto His servants things which must shortly come to pass." Things to come, I believe there, refers to everything from the church age on but has great reference to the prophetic truth. What do you read in the New Testament about prophecy?
Oh, man, it's loaded, isn't it? You read about the revival of Israel. You read about the destruction of Jerusalem. You read about the Rapture of the church. You read about the resurrection. You read about signs of the last days. It's replete with truth. The whole book of Revelation is loaded with things to come. So there's the pattern of the Spirit. He not only speaks from God but He speaks of things to come through the church age and out through eternity.
Now let me pull some things together and we'll wrap up our thoughts. The Spirit then will reveal, first of all, the past...John 14:26, but listen to this, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send when He comes, He shall teach you all things and bring all things to your...what?...your remembrance. The first thing the Holy Spirit does is teach the past. The second thing He does is teach the present, chapter 15 verse 26. "But when the Comforter is come whom I will send to you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, He shall testify of Me." He not only reveals the past, but He testifies to the present glory of Jesus. And then here in chapter 16 verse 13 He shows the future things to come. The Holy Spirit is the truth revealer, past, present and future.
Then closing, the great climax, verse 14 and 15, He will glorify Christ. That's the third aspect of the pattern. "He shall glorify Me for He shall receive of Mine and shall show it unto you all things that the Father hath are Mine...and here's the tangle of the trinity, the mystery of the trinity...all things that the Father hath are Mine...He's reminding them that He comes from God...therefore said I, He shall take of Mine and show it unto you." Jesus always wanted the disciples to remember that He was linked to God...that He was linked to God. And so He says the Holy Spirit will show you My things, and remember, I'm close to God, it's just the trinity.
But notice the key thing in the ministry of the Spirit...He shall glorify Christ. This is the great feature of all the Holy Spirit's revelation. He said He's going to reveal the past. He will bring to your remembrance all things whatsoever I have...what?...said unto you. When He reveals the past it will be the things of Jesus. In the present He testifies to whom? To Jesus. In the future He shows you things to come that involve whom? Jesus. He constantly constantly constantly reveals Christ. His ministry is ever and always the same, it is to reveal Jesus Christ, always, always, always, always. And if you do not know the revelation of the Spirit concerning Christ, you can't know Christ.
First Corinthians 12:3, "Wherefore I give you to understand that no man speaketh...or speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed..." couldn't. If you spoke by the Spirit of God, could you call Jesus accursed? Of course not. What does the Spirit do? Glorifies Christ. Listen to this thing. "And that no man can say that Jesus is Lord but by the Holy Spirit." You can't know "A" about Jesus Christ apart from the Spirit. His ministry is to glorify Christ. And if you ever speak concerning Christ and you speak from the Spirit, it will be glorifying, not accursing Christ.
So the Spirit then will take the things of Christ and declare them. He wants to reveal a person. You see, the revelation the Spirit gives is a person, not a system. The New Testament is not a system of religion, it's the pattern of a person. And every virtue that is enjoined upon every man is because it's Christlike. And every glory is that of Christ's.
And all of the future is involved with Christ. And all of the past of the teachings of Christ, all of the Old Testament even speaks of the coming of Christ. It is always the Spirit's ministry to point to Jesus Christ. Why? Because He wants you to be like Him. Second Corinthians 3:18 says, "But we all with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord are changed into the same image by the Spirit." You see, He wants to make us like Christ so He constantly reveals Christ to us on every page of the Old Testament and New Testament either in the foreground or the background is Jesus Christ...always, always, always, always.
This precious book is the Holy Spirit's tool to reveal Jesus Christ. And so here's a magnificent promise that we've studied this morning. I trust that you'll hold on to the Bible with a kind of a fresh love, that you'll study it with a new fervor because Jesus told His disciples a few hours before His death that He was going to die to make it possible. It's as if He died to shed His blood so that the pages of the book could be written by the Holy Spirit with His own blood. This book is Jesus Christ, my friends.
Father, we thank You for time together. We just really rejoice in the principles that we've learned. We thank You that the Holy Spirit not only gave us the revelation but continues to teach us. As we close our service we ask that You'll direct us, speak to our hearts, give us a love for Your book. We pray in Christ's name. Amen.
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