Open your Bible, if you will, to the 14th chapter of John, I want to draw you to three verses in John chapter 14. John chapter 14. I just want you to look at verses 24, 25, and 26. Now, you know where we are. We are in the upper room with our Lord and the 11 disciples. Judas has already left to launch the arrest of Jesus in the middle of the night, to lead to His crucifixion the next morning. The 11 disciples are with our Lord, and that incredible evening is when He gives them massive, far-reaching, sweeping promises. Those promises begin in chapter 14 and run through chapter 16. They are sealed in prayer in chapter 17 as – the Lord asks the Father to fulfill all His promises.
It’s an unparalleled portion of Scripture. We have already seen some of the promises. The promise of a room in the Father’s house; eternal heaven was given early in chapter 14, the promise that the Lord will come and take His own to be with Him in the place that He’s prepared for them. Then, in the meantime, the promise that all of heaven’s resources are available here and now; all we have to do, according to verses 12 through 14, is ask. And if we ask according to His will and in His name, He will provide.
So He promises to His disciples and all who will come after them: heaven, that He will come and take them there. But in the meantime, all of heaven’s resources are available through prayer. Then, as we saw last time, He promises that here and now, throughout our lives, and on into eternity, we will enjoy the presence of the Trinity. The Father will be with us, the Son will be with us, and the Spirit will be with us, our Lord says. And it is so.
We are living Christians who exist in the very presence of the Trinity. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Trinity, the Triune God is our eternal life. It isn’t as if He gives us life apart from Himself. The life He gives us, the eternal life He gives us is Himself. So, heaven to come, and He will come and take us there. In the meantime, all of heaven’s resources are available to us. And even more wonderfully than that, God Himself, in His Triune reality, lives in every believer.
In verses 24 through 26, there is yet another amazing promise. “He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s who sent Me. These things I have spoken to you while abiding with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.”
The greatest gift that God has ever given the world is the truth – divine revelation, divine truth. The truth about Himself, the truth about us, the truth about time and eternity, the truth about life and death, the truth about origins and consummation, the truth about judgment, the truth about salvation, the truth about heaven, the truth about hell. This is the greatest gift that God has ever given. In a world of liars, in a world of lies, in a world where deception abounds because the whole world lies in the lap of the evil one who is the arch deceiver, and who applies his deception through a mass of fallen angels identified as demons, and has held captive the entire human race. In the midst of all of the deception of Satan, demons, and duped human beings; in the midst of the darkness and blackness and bleakness of the ignorant heart of an unregenerate person, God deposits the truth.
It is God. It says in Exodus chapter 34 and verse 6: “It is God, the Lord God, who abounds in truth.” In fact, so much so that several times in the Old Testament, He is called the God of Truth. And it tells us in Psalm 119 verses 142 and 151 that His Word is truth. The prophet Zechariah wrote that one day, the Messiah will come. And when He comes, He will set up His kingdom in the world. And when His kingdom comes, and He establishes His throne in the world, which is yet to come, Jerusalem will be given a new name. Zechariah 8:3 says the new name of Jerusalem will be Truth City. Truth City. In the meantime, the church is the pillar and ground of the truth.
In that day when our Lord comes, and Jerusalem is known as Truth City, Zechariah also tells us that all the people will love truth. Won’t that be a different world? With a whole world loving truth. Because God is true, Christ is true. Because Christ is true, the Holy Spirit is true. Jesus said in John 16:7, “I tell you the truth.” He always did. He said, “I am the truth.” In John 17, He said to the Father, “Your word is truth.” And here, He promises the Holy Spirit who is the Spirit of Truth. I make no apology when I say that the whole world is caught up in lies and deception, and only the Bible as the truth. It is the truth.
Throughout His ministry, of course, Jesus had been the source of truth. Throughout His ministry, He did speak the truth. Every time He spoke, He spoke the truth. Even His enemies said to Him, I think with sarcasm, “We know that You always speak the truth.”
But it wasn’t as if He invented that truth. In fact, back in the seventh chapter of John, He makes a very interesting statement, I think, in verse 17. “If anyone is willing to do His will, he will know of the teaching, whether it is of God or whether I speak from Myself. He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who is seeking the glory of the One who sent Him, He is true, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.” He sought His Father’s glory.
Go back to verse 16. “My teaching is not Mine, but His who sent Me.” The God of Truth has spoken through His Son who is the truth, who is now leaving and will send the Spirit of truth who will inspire the biblical writers to write the truth, which will be contained in the Word of God and handed to the church, which becomes the pillar and ground of the truth.
Now, we all know that Jesus is leaving. This is Thursday night of Passion Week. He has been saying He’s leaving. In fact, He said it in the last chapter when the evening began that Passover evening on Thursday night. Little children, verse 33 of chapter 13. I’m with you a little while longer. You’ll seek Me. And as I said to the Jews earlier, now I also say to you: where I’m going, you can’t come. And then Peter says, “Lord, where are You going?” Jesus answered in verse 36: “Where I go, you can’t follow Me now; but you will follow later.” He is going, and He told them where. He said, “I’m going to the Father.” End of verse 12 in chapter 14. “I go to the Father. You will see Me no more,” He says in verse 19. “I go to the Father.”
This creates a dire horror in their minds. Jesus is leaving. He has been their heaven on earth. He has been their hope. He has been their resource. He has supplied all the divine resources to sustain them for these three years. He has been the presence of God, and He has been the truth. He has been the truth in so much that He has even made the Old Testament come alive. They didn’t understand the Old Testament. I’ve told you previously that they were unsure of what the Old Testament meant until after the resurrection of our Lord. On the road to Emmaus, He went to the Old Testament, the law, and the prophets, and the holy writings, the three sections of the Old Testament, and found all of the things concerning Himself and taught their meaning to them.
He did that on the very day He was raised from the dead. Once in the afternoon, and then again in the evening with all 11 in the room. He taught them the Old Testament. He was their truth teacher. And then, even before His ascension, for 40 days, He spoke to them of the things concerning the kingdom of heaven. He had always been the truth teacher.
And look, they had lived in a world of lies like everybody else in the world. Judaism was full of lies. The leaders of Judaism, the Pharisees, the Sadducees were liars. They were part of the kingdom of darkness. John 8 makes that clear. Go back to John 8 for just a moment. This is a watershed portion of Scripture. In verse 41, Jesus says to the leaders of Israel, “You are doing the deeds of your father.” You’re doing the deeds of your father. And then in verse 41, at the end, they say, “We have one Father: God.” And, “Jesus said to them, ‘If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and have come from God, for I have not even come on My own initiative, but He sent Me. Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear My word.’” And here is the universal human condition: you cannot hear My Word. Verse 44, “You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. But because I speak the truth, you do not believe me?” Then, verse 47, “He who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God.”
The whole world lies in the lap of the evil one. The whole world is deceived. They do not know the truth. They cannot hear the truth with comprehension and understanding. Jesus is there to teach the truth. And here in the verses that I read to you, He says, “I’ve been speaking the truth to you,” in verse 25. “These things.” What things? “The word which you heard from Me that is not Mine, but the Father’s who sent Me. These things,” these words, “I have spoken to you while abiding with you.” Now I’m leaving. “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.” We will not be void of the truth. We will not be without the truth. You will not be without comfort. You will not be without the hope of heaven. You will not be without the promise of My return to bring you there. You will not be without heavenly resources. You will not be without the Trinity’s presence. And you will not be without the truth. I will not leave you without hope. I will not leave you without comfort. I will not leave you without resources. I will not leave you without help, or power. I will not leave you without My presence. I will not leave you without truth.
The Father gave you the truth, and then the Father sent Me to be your teacher, and now I’m going back to the Father, and we will send the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth. Back in verse 17, the Holy Spirit is called the “Spirit of truth.” In chapter 15 verse 26, He’s called the “Spirit of truth.” In chapter 16 verse 13, He’s called the “Spirit of truth.” God is the truth. Christ is the truth. The Spirit is the truth. This is an incredibly marvelous gift. This is the gift of all gifts, is it not? I mean, where are we if we don’t know the truth? We’re trapped in Satan’s kingdom. Because the only out, the only exit, the only escape is to know the truth. You shall know the truth and the truth shall what? Set you free. Free from the search, and free from the kingdom of darkness. Free from deception.
Well, you say, can’t men find the truth on their own? No. No, the Bible says “the world by wisdom knew not God.” The world by wisdom knew not God. First Corinthians 1:21. Take the wisest and the best, the most elite, the finest minds, the most brilliant people. And singularly, individually, or collectively, or even in continuity through history, they cannot find the truth. Why? They’re dead in trespasses and sins, their minds are darkened, their souls are black with the darkness of the kingdom of darkness. They cannot find the truth.
Paul said to Timothy, 2 Timothy 3:7, they’re “ever learning but never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” Now, I’m not saying they can’t know the truth about mathematics, or the truth about science, or the truth about mechanics, or something like that; but they can’t know the truth about the spiritual realm.
First Timothy 2:4 says, “God our Savior will have all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” The only way you can come to the knowledge of the truth is to be saved. You have to be delivered out of the kingdom of ignorance and darkness and blackness and death. That comes through the cross of Christ, doesn’t it? Faith in His death and resurrection, His person.
Everything that Jesus said was from God. Everything that Jesus said would then be passed on to the Holy Spirit, and a whole lot more. Oh, a whole lot more. There were things that Jesus said that the disciples didn’t understand at all. For example, in John 2:22, when “He was raised from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this; and they believed the Scripture and the word Jesus had spoken.” They had trouble understanding Him until after the resurrection, until after the road to Emmaus, until after that first day of the week night when He opened the Bible, opened the Old Testament, the only Bible they had, and explained to them all the things concerning Himself that were contained there. And then, when the Holy Spirit came, there was obviously an explosion of understanding.
Chapter 12 of John verse 16. “These things His disciples did not understand at the first.” Even the things Jesus said, they didn’t understand. “But when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things were written of Him, and that they had done these things to Him.” What jogged their memories? What gave them understanding? The coming of the Holy Spirit. It was the Spirit’s coming that enlightened them. That’s why our Lord said in chapter 16 verse 7: it’s better that I go and the Helper come. And He says in verse 12 of 16, “I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.” You – there’s got to be more than I’ve been able to do for you; it’s going to be better for you when the Spirit comes, because He will teach you all things.
You see it in verse 26. “He will teach you all things.” There are things I’ve taught you you don’t understand. Some of them, you’ll begin to understand after the resurrection. Some of them, you’ll begin to understand after I rise and explain things to you. Some of them, you will begin to grasp as the days go on and we talk about the kingdom, and the 40 days before the ascension. But when it comes to knowing all things that I have desired to reveal to you, that necessitates the coming of the Holy Spirit.
Now, you may not be thinking about this the way you should be thinking about it. Because He’s not so much talking about what the Holy Spirit’s going to do in you, as what the Holy Spirit’s going to allow the disciples to do for you. What do you mean by that? I mean, this is primarily a promise that the Holy Spirit will enable the apostles and their associates to write the New Testament. Okay? To write the New Testament. And then, the Lord will give us all the things that He couldn’t say, because the disciples weren’t able to handle it. That’s what this promise is all about. That’s what it’s all about.
Now, look, I will admit: there is an illuminating ministry of the Holy Spirit for which I am profoundly grateful, and you are too. And it’s laid out for us in the Scripture. Let me show you something. First John 2. First John 2. And this is a promise, a statement of fact given to all believers. There are superficial false believers, verse 19. They’re not really of us, because “they went out from us, but you,” meaning you true believers, “you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you all know. I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it, and because no lie is of the truth.” How in the world we know the truth? We have an anointing from God. What do you mean an anointing from God? Something that comes down from God into our lives, verse 27. “As for the anointing, which you received from Him abides in you.” Who is this? This is the Holy Spirit. The One who has come down from the Holy One to abide in us is none other than the Holy Spirit, and it is His presence then that results in the fact that we don’t need human teachers. That’s what he means by that. But we have an anointing that “teaches you about all things.” That’s almost a direct quote from John 14. “He will come and teach you all things.” And then in 1 John, he says, and He has come and He will “teach you all things, and is true, and not a lie, and just as that anointing taught you, you abide in Him.” So, it’s a Him. It’s a person. It’s none other than the Holy Spirit.
So yes, listen, yes. It is true that as a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, you are the temple of the Holy Spirit. Right? We talked about that last time. He dwells in you. Your body is the temple of the Spirit of God. Your body, in reality, contains the Trinity in a spiritual reality, spiritual presence. But you have a resident truth teacher. This is a gift beyond all gifts.
You say, well, what is the Holy Spirit doing, teaching me? I’ll tell you what He does. He does exactly what Jesus did. He’s another helper. He’s – do you remember I told you there’s two words? Heteros, another of a different kind; allos, another of the same kind. Verse 16 here, “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another.” Allos, exactly the same kind. And what does that mean? That as I was your teacher, He will become your teacher. How was Jesus their teacher? Jesus explained to them the meaning of the Scriptures. How many times did He go back and pick up the Scriptures and explain their meaning? And particularly on the road to Emmaus and Luke 24.
It’s worth just reminding ourselves of Luke 24 for a moment. After His resurrection, He meets two disciples on the road to Emmaus. And, it says in verse 27, “Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.” He explained the meaning of Scripture. He explained how the Scripture points to Christ, points to Himself. He did the same thing that night, verse 44. When He met with all of them in that place where they were gathered the night of His resurrection, He says, “‘These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.’ Then He opened their minds to understand the Scripture.”
Let me tell you something: you must get this, that the Spirit’s ministry in you, the Spirit’s teaching ministry, the anointing in you, is to teach you the meaning of the Bible, the meaning of Scripture. It’s not about some kind of esoteric extrabiblical inspiration, or some revelation out of the air; the Spirit’s anointing ministry teaches you all things, and the all things that He teaches you are the all things that He has revealed in the Scripture. He is the interpreter of Scripture to the faithful student. This is His ministry.
And in particular, in particular, it focuses on Christ. Chapter 15 verse 26. “When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me,” about Me. And then down in 16, verse 14, “He will glorify Me. He will take of Mine and disclose it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said He takes of Mine and will disclose it to you.” Do you understand this sequence? The Father’s truth is passed on to the Son, and then to the Spirit, and then to the apostles to be recorded in Scripture, and then to us. Then, the Spirit of God, resident in us, becomes the interpreter, the illuminator.
This is why we study Scripture. What else? The Holy Spirit points to Christ. Christ is the object of the Spirit’s ministry because Christ is the theme of Scripture. When we preach Christ, as Christ preached Himself through the whole Old Testament; and as the apostles preached Christ through the whole New Testament, we are following the leading of the Holy Spirit. All the things that God wanted to reveal, He revealed in the Old Testament. Hebrews 1. “God spoke through the prophets.” Hebrews 1:1.
In 2 Peter 1:21, holy men were “moved by the Spirit of God,” and they wrote. That’s the Old Testament. And in the same way that God spoke to the prophets and the holy men who wrote the Old Testament, He promises His apostles that He will send the Holy Spirit to do the very same thing with these apostles and the others associated with them who write the New Testament.
So yes, it is true that there is a general promise here to all believers that the Spirit of God will come and be the resident truth teacher. Because, remember, He’s going to simply take up what Christ was doing, and Christ was the truth teacher. But, before He can illuminate the truth for us, He has to inspire the truth in the apostles and the other Bible writers, right?
Now, people say well, you mean every word in Scripture is inspired? That’s what it claims for itself. This is the promise of divine inspiration. Now, just look at verse 26 for a moment. “He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.” I don’t know about you, but I can barely remember what somebody said to me yesterday, right? And I don’t even want to ask the question: how many of you remember what I said to you last Sunday? Please don’t say anything. Don’t raise your hand. Don’t do anything. Just, rhetorical. That’s why, as a preacher, I don’t repeat conversations that happened 20 years ago. I don’t repeat conversations that happened 20 minutes ago because I can’t get them right.
How in the world can these apostles and those associated with them write the four gospels with every detail and every single word correct? So correctly that you can take the four gospels and blend them together. I tried to demonstrate that in the One Perfect Life book, how perfectly they blend. How could they ever do that? How could they ever recall all of that? How could that be? How could it even happen?
There’s an interesting incident that happens in the 11th chapter of Acts, and you may not have thought of it in this context. Peter began to speak, and the Holy Spirit fell on them just as He did on us at the beginning. Peter’s speaking; the Holy Spirit comes. The next verse says, “And I remembered the word of the Lord, how He used to say, ‘John baptized with water, but will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’” All of a sudden, out of nowhere, Peter remembers a statement that our Lord made when “the Holy Spirit fell on them.” This is like a little microcosm of how the Holy Spirit works. It is humanly impossible to reproduce Matthew, Mark, Luke, John; to even record the book of Acts, to pull quotes from Jesus out of the air, even the one that’s in the 20th chapter of the book of Acts. “It is more blessed to give than receive,” which isn’t in the gospels. They can’t make up the theology of the epistles. They can’t make up the visions of the book of Revelation, the apocalypse. It’s humanly impossible to reproduce correctly all the human words, all the divine words, all the incidents, all the conversations, all the encounters, all the accurate sequences. That’s impossible. It’s more impossible because they didn’t understand it all.
They were ignorant, virtually to the end. They would never be able to write the New Testament if they were left to their memories. For someone to assume that is absolute idiocy. They were just like the Old Testament writers. They were led along by the Holy Spirit. Every word was God-breathed. So what we have here primarily is a promise of inspiration, a promise of inspiration.
Why should we be struggling with that? Can God equally employ a man to do anything else He wants? Of course He can. He can make a donkey speak, and rebuke the madness of a prophet. If He can put words in the mouth of a donkey, can He put words in the mouth of an apostle? He used a hand without a body and a hand without a mind to write. MENĒ, MENĒ, TEKĒL, UPHARSIN. Could He not guide a mind and a serious hand of an apostle to write His words?
And what about Caiaphas? Wicked, full of bitterness and hate, who abandoned himself to the cruelty of his own heart, and never dreaming that he was speaking precise words from God, cried out to the Jewish council these words, quote, “You know nothing at all, nor consider that it is expedient for us that one man should die for the people.” End quote. Hmmm. That was Caiaphas. He said it in hate. Venomous words directed at Christ.
And yet, God chose every word. Because the next verse says, John 11, “He spoke this not of himself.” He prophesied that Jesus should die “in order that He might gather into one the children of God that were scattered abroad.” Wicked Caiaphas spoke words from God.
If God can choose the exact words of a wicked enemy and make them speak for Him, can’t He choose the words by His Holy Spirit of the saint?
God does this all the time. Think about it simply in creation. Just think of the complexity of creation. Just massive complexity, incomprehensible complexity in which He employs everything together to accomplish His creative ends.
And then go even further into complexity with providence, how God accomplishes the development of all of His plans and purposes by means of the unexpected concurrences of a thousand-million acts of human will. Alternately intelligent and ignorant. Yielding and rebellious.
Why can’t God send forth His Holy Spirit into one of His saints, cause him to write His very words? Of course He can. Everywhere you go in the Bible. Everywhere you go, there’s this uniformity. Whoever holds the pen. It might be a shepherd. It might be a king. It might be a farmer. It might be a prophet. It might be a scribe. It might be a fisherman. It might be a priest. It might be a tax collector. You keep getting the same message. Hundreds of years go by. These people are isolated from each other, these writers. But the same God is behind it all because men are described the same, nations are described the same, history is described the same. It’s the same angels, the same past, the same present, the same future, the same heaven, the same hell, the same judgment. Poet, historian, the plains, the desert, the mountains, the age of Pharaoh, or the age of Caesar. The same God speaks about the same ruin, the same sin, the same fall, the same human impotency, the same angels, the same innocence, the same guilt, the same praise, same purity, the same happiness, the same truth, the same mercy, the same righteousness, the same grace, the same salvation.
The abundance of humanity to be found in Scripture does not speak against inspiration; it speaks to it, that God is the author. And this is what Scripture claims. It was Exodus, familiar. Moses was daunted by what he had been called to do, so he said to the Lord in Exodus 4:10, “Please, Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither recently nor in time past.” In other words, I’ve never been eloquent, and I’m not improving. “Nor since You have spoken to Your servant; for I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.” I love this. The Lord said to him, “Who made man’s mouth? Now you go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you are to say.” It’s how it works. I’ll be with your mouth. Not just your mind, your mouth.
In Deuteronomy 18, “I will raise up a prophet from among their countrymen like you,” He says to Moses. “I will put My words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him.” That’s just how it works. I will put My words in his mouth. In the New Testament, Matthew 5:18, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but not one jot or tittle shall in any wise pass from this word, till it’s all fulfilled.” Down to the very letters. Down to the very letters. John 10:35. You remember “Scripture can’t be broken.” You can’t break a link. You can’t pull a link out of the chain. Second Peter 3:15 and 16. Peter calls the writings of Paul, Scripture.
The promise is this: you hold in your hand, dear one, the truth. Right? The truth. What are you doing with it? Are you studying to show yourself approved unto God, a workman needing not to be ashamed? Are you letting the Word of Christ dwell in you what? Richly, which informs your worship? That’s why you speak to yourselves in psalms, hymns, spiritual songs and make melody in your heart to the Lord? Because your praise is connected to your theology, which is the result of your knowledge of Scripture?
This is the promise. Let’s pray. Father, we thank You for this gift of Your Word. We’re all caught up in how grateful we are for Your truth, because it’s the truth that saved us, the truth that sanctifies us, the truth that comforts us, the truth that edifies us, sanctifies us. It’s not just the truth written that we love; it’s the truth incarnate. We love Christ. Oh, Christ, oh, Lord Jesus. Son of God. Thank You for what You’ve done for us. Father, thank You for sending the Son. Holy Spirit, thank You for regenerating our dead hearts to believe and be justified. And what an incomparable privilege to have a taste of heaven like this. Makes us long for Your presence. Bless every life here. Accomplish Your good will in every heart. Save those who have not yet come to a knowledge of the savior, and sanctify us all. For Your glory we ask in the Savior’s name, amen.