Click here to join the effort!
Shall we turn to John's gospel, chapter 16.
Now, these words in the sixteenth chapter have to be understood with the background as Jesus has been in the upper room with His disciples. He has told them as He had the Lord's supper with them that He would not drink of the fruit of the vine until He drank it anew in the kingdom. After supper, He has washed their feet, giving to them an example of what the ministry is all about; it's that of a servant. And then there in the upper room He speaks to them of that beautiful relationship that they would have with the Father and with the Son, through the Holy Spirit; that He is going away, but He's going to come again. And He's going to the Father. And then they leave the upper room. Now, the cross is in front of Him. At this point He knows it. They're not sure. But He realizes that this will be His last chance to just really talk with them of the things that are in His heart. And so, in the fifteenth chapter, somewhere between the upper room and the Garden of Gethsemane, maybe while they're walking, Jesus is talking to His disciples, declaring that He is the vine, the true vine, the Father, the husbandman, and that God's purpose for their lives was that they might bring forth fruit. And that fruit that God is looking for is love. He wants us to love one another even as He loves us. And this emphasis upon bearing fruit, bringing forth that love one for another. Now in chapter 16 Jesus said,
I'm telling you these things, so that you'll not be offended ( John 16:1 ).
Telling them, actually, of the things that are going to happen to them. "When you go out into the world, they're going to persecute you. They're not going to receive you. If you are of the world, then they would receive you and accept you, but you're not of the world. Now, I'm telling you this," Jesus said, "so that you won't get wiped out when you are not received by the world." It is interesting how that somehow in our minds we are idealists and we're prone to think if a person lives an honest, righteous kind of a life, everybody will respect them and appreciate them. But if you ever read of the hassles that these people have to go through who find money and turn it in, and are honest enough to turn it in, how that they get all kinds of hate mails, threatening...a lot of them have just had to move from their neighborhoods. Their neighbors were so totally upset with them for being honest. Harassed them, called them fools and harassed them, because of their honesty. And so, Jesus said, "Look, I'm going to tell you this before it happens, telling you these things now, so that you won't be offended."
For they're going to put you out of their synagogues: yes, the time is coming, when whoever kills you will think that he is doing God's service ( John 16:2 ).
This was surely true with Paul the apostle when he was a zealous Pharisee. And as they were stoning Stephen, Paul said, "I consented unto his death." Paul was holding the coats of those that were throwing the stones, urging them on, no doubt, in the stoning to death of Stephen. Declaring in Philippians chapter 3 that it was a part of his zeal towards God was persecuting the church. He thought he was doing God's service.
And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me ( John 16:3 ).
Interesting that these people who were so steeped in traditions of the Hebrew religion. Jesus said of them, "They really don't know the Father." I believe that it is possible to become steeped in the traditions of Christianity so much so that you don't really know the Son. You know all of the traditions. You know all of the church traditions and you're bound up and caught up in the traditions. But it is possible to be very religious in a Christian sense as far as attendance in church and all, and be very religious, but not really know Jesus in a true and intimate way. And we've got to guard against that. That we don't get caught up in religion, but we get caught up in Jesus Christ, in the relationship, the personal relationship with Him. And many times, becoming religious is a real barrier to that relationship. God, keep us open! God, keep us flexible! Not rigid in a religious system and, God, prevent that we should ever devolve into a religious system and lose the real relationship with Jesus.
Jesus said, "They're going to do this thinking they're doing God a service when they kill you, but it's because they really don't know the Father, nor His Son."
But these things I have told you, that when the time shall come, you will remember that I told you them. And these things I did not tell you in the beginning, because I was with you ( John 16:4 ).
"I was there to shield, I was there to take their buffeting and to answer their charges, and I didn't tell you this at the first because you had me with you. But I'm going away now. You're going to be on your own. And now they're going to be persecuting you for My sake, because of what you're going to be doing in My name." And truly, as we read the book of Acts, we find out that this did indeed happen. They were persecuted for the name of Jesus Christ, and for their ministry in His name.
But now I am going my way to him that sent me ( John 16:5 );
Going back to the Father.
and none of you have asked me, Where are you going? ( John 16:5 )
Now, Jesus said to the disciples in the fourteenth chapter, "I'm going away, and if I go I will come again and receive you unto Myself, that where I am there you may be also. And where I go you know and the way, you know." And Thomas said unto Him, "Lord, we don't know where You are going and how can we know the way?" He didn't say, "Where are You going?" He just said, "Lord, we don't know where You are going." None of them asked, "Well, Lord, where are You going?" He kept saying, "I am going away." But they didn't say, "Where are You going?" And He said,
But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow has filled your heart ( John 16:6 ).
"Now, I said, 'I'm going,' and you're all sorry, but you haven't asked, 'Where are you going?'" If they'd asked, "Where are you going?" and they knew that He was going to the Father and, of course, it's revealed here in the seventeenth chapter, then they would not be so sorry for Him. In fact, they would rejoice for Him, though they would still probably be sorry for themselves.
Nevertheless I tell you the truth; [It is necessary,] it's expedient for you that I go away ( John 16:7 ):
This is necessary.
for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you ( John 16:7 ).
Now, when Jesus took on a human body, of necessity He took on certain limitations of a human body. And one of the limitations of a human body is that of locality. Your body can only be in one place at one time. Now, that is frustrating at times. There are times when I wish my body could be two or three places at the same time, but as long as I am in this body I can't be. Now, there are sometimes my body is one place and my mind is another. And that happens to you sometimes when you're sitting here. I see your bodies, but sometimes I wonder, "Where are you?" But the body is limited to locality. Now, they are soon to be dispersed. They're to take the gospel into all the world. And it would be impossible for Jesus to be with them all if He were still in the body.
When Paul was heading out for Cypress and for Ephesus and all, if the Lord went with Paul, He couldn't be with Peter and John back in Jerusalem. So, the fact that they were now to take the gospel and go out with it, it was necessary that Jesus leave them and go back to the Father, back to the spiritual state no longer limited by the body, in order that He might send the Holy Spirit who can be with them wherever they go, because He is not bound to locality. And Jesus now in the Spirit is not bound to locality. So He said to His disciples, "Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the world . . . the end of this age. But it's necessary in order to be with you in this manner that I go away to be relieved from the limitations of this body." In order that again, as God, He might be omnipresent. And so, in order that the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, might come. "When I depart," He said, "I will send Him unto you." He said, "I'm going to pray the Father and He will give you another Comforter, even the Spirit of truth, that He may abide with you forever." And so here again, the promise of the Spirit.
And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment ( John 16:8 ):
Now Jesus at that point, amplifies what He said the reproof of the Holy Spirit would be and, to me, the amplification is very interesting because it's not at all what I would think in just reading of the Spirit reproving the world of sin. When He reproves the world of sin, I think of all the horrible things that men are doing. I think of the murders, the cheating, the lying and all of these things. But Jesus said,
Of sin, because they believed not on me ( John 16:9 );
Interesting statement. Because you see, there is only one deadly sin, and that is the sin of not believing in Jesus Christ. I care not what you have done; it isn't necessary that I know what you have done, what your past may hide. I know this, that the blood of Jesus Christ, God's Son, cleanses a man from all sin, no matter what's there. There is only one sin that really condemns a man when they stand before God, and that is the sin of not believing in Jesus Christ. "He will reprove the world of sin because they believed not in Me."
Jesus said to Nicodemus, "For I did not come into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through might be saved. And he who believeth is not condemned, but he who believes not is condemned already" ( John 3:17-43.3.18 ). Not because he's a cheater, a thief, an adulterer, a murderer; he's condemned already seeing he hath not believed on the only begotten Son of God. This is the condemnation. Light came into the world, but men would not come to the light. So that thing for which God will bring you into judgment is your not believing in His provision for your salvation through Jesus Christ. He will testify of righteousness.
Now, it would seem to me that the testimony of righteousness to us would be saying, "Now, this is the way a person should walk. You should walk in love, you should walk in truth, you should walk in mercy, you should walk in honesty..." and all of these things, showing us the right path and the right relationship that we should have to each other, testifying or reproving the world of righteousness. But, Jesus said,
Of righteousness, because I go unto the Father, and you see me no more ( John 16:10 );
Interesting statement. What Jesus means by that is that we have many varying standards of righteousness that men have established today. And even within the church body, there are different standards of righteousness. In some church bodies, it is very unrighteous for a woman to wear any kind of makeup or try to make herself look halfway decent at all. I'm glad I don't belong to those churches. But, to them that constitutes unrighteousness. Oh, the guys dress flashy, to be sure. But they try to put the women in very dull and unattractive garb and hair pulled back in a bun and so forth. And that to them is righteousness.
It is interesting to me that overall the church here in the United States is opposed to drinking any alcoholic beverage. I personally am. But in Sweden, the Christians there see nothing wrong with drinking beer, and when we were in Sweden and we were out to dinner with the ministers and all, they always said, "Do you want a beer?" And I always was shocked by that. But some of them were very shocked that my wife drank coffee. "Oh, my! Brother, we'll pray for you. What a poor witness, your wife drinking coffee!" While they were drinking their beer!
So, there are different standards of righteousness that quite often are cultural. The morals of a particular society and the standards of righteousness by which men set are usually standards of comparison. When I think of a righteous standard, I look around and I say, "Well, I'm better than he is. I wouldn't do that." And by looking at the faults of others, I can sometimes feel very smug and self-righteous. "Father, I thank you that I am not like other men, because I don't do the things they're doing and I do this, Lord." But Jesus said, "You do err when you compare yourself with men." Because I don't care how righteous you are, or how righteous I am, unless our righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, we're not going to enter the kingdom of heaven. And as far as outward righteousness and as far as a righteousness according to the law, they were so far beyond anything we ever dreamed of being, they practiced their whole lives trying to obey the finest points of the law, interpreting them and obeying the finest points of the law. And Paul the apostle was able to testify of his own experience as a Pharisee concerning the righteousness which is in the law. He said, "I was blameless." Jesus, though, said, "Unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and the Pharisees, you're not going to enter into the kingdom of heaven" ( Matthew 5:20 ). Don't you know that that blew the mind of the disciples? And caused them to say, "Well, pooph, what's the use? Let's go back fishing again. No way we're going to make that. I give up!" If you think that's tough, Jesus ended that message by saying, "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect" ( Matthew 5:48 ). That does it, I'm through! Washed up! Hate to admit it, but I'm not perfect. And you don't have to take my word for it. My wife will be glad to confirm that.
Now, if my righteousness must exceed the scribes and the Pharisees, if I can't create a standard looking around at men, where is the standard of righteousness that God will accept? If He won't accept that rigid standard of the scribes and Pharisees, what standard will He accept? And Jesus said, "The Holy Spirit will reprove the world of righteousness because I go to the Father." Now, Jesus, ascending into heaven unto the Father, the Holy Spirit bears witness by that that this is the righteousness that God can accept. So, the righteousness that exceeds that of the scribes and the Pharisees is the righteousness of Jesus Christ, which is imparted to us by our faith in Him. And so, when Paul talked of the righteousness of the law being blameless, he then said, "Yet those things which were gain to me, this righteous standing I had as a Pharisee, blameless, those things which were gain to me I counted loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Jesus Christ; for whom I suffered the loss of all things and do count them but dung that I may know Him and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness which is of the law, but the righteousness which is of Christ through faith" ( Philippians 3:7-50.3.9 ). The righteousness that exceeds that of the scribes and the Pharisees, and the righteousness that the Father will accept. If I want the Father to accept me, if I want to enter the kingdom of heaven, I must enter in the righteousness of Jesus Christ. Nothing less will do.
Now that, for the moralist, once and for all declares that no matter how moral, honest, good a person, benevolent, charitable you may be, you cannot make it on your own. We all need Jesus Christ. We all need to believe in Him. For believing in Him, my sins are forgiven. I'm no longer condemned. Believing in Him, I now have the righteousness of Christ imputed unto me. And,
Of judgment ( John 16:11 ),
Jesus said. Now, I read in Revelation that there is a great white throne judgment where God sits upon the throne to judge the world. "And the nations, small and great, will stand before Him. And death and hell will give up the dead which are in them; the sea will give up the dead which are in them, and all the small and great will stand there before God to be judged out of the things that are written in the books. Whosoever's name is not found written in the book of life will be cast into the lake burning with fire, and this is the second death" ( Revelation 20:11-66.20.14 ). That's not the judgment that the Spirit is testifying about. Well, there's another judgment.
There's the judgment seat of Christ, before which all of the Christians have to appear to receive the things done in their bodies, whether good or evil. Where our works are to be judged by fire and whatever remains will be rewarded for, what sort of works we have done. There will the motives of the hearts be tested. Jesus said, "Take heed to yourself, that you do not your righteousness before men to be seen of men. For I say unto you, you have your reward."
If you're only doing it for a show so people can look at you and say, "Oh, my, isn't he sweet, isn't he wonderful? Isn't he good?" And if that's your motive in doing it, those plaudits and applause and all that you receive from men is all the reward you'll ever get. We are to do our righteousness before God in such a way as to not try to draw attention to ourselves. "Let your light so shine before men, that when they see your good works, they will glorify your Father which dwells in heaven" ( Matthew 5:16 ).
And so, we will all stand before the judgement seat of Christ. And there we will be rewarded for the way that we have run the race. But that isn't the judgment that the Holy Spirit is speaking about.
"Of judgment," Jesus said,
because the prince of this world is judged ( John 16:11 ).
Interesting. He doesn't talk about our judgment, but He talks about the prince of the world being judged. And where was the prince of the world judged? He was judged upon the cross. Paul tells us in Colossians, chapter 2, that Jesus spoiled those principalities and powers, which are rankings of evil spirits. He spoiled them there on the cross, making an open display of His victory, triumphing over them through the cross. Therefore, let no man judge you. The prince of this world has been judged. There on the cross Christ defeated Satan.
Satan has tremendous power. When God created the world and placed man upon it, God gave to man the dominion over the world. God said unto Adam, "You're to have dominion over the fish of the sea, the fowl of the air, over every living and moving and creeping thing; for I have given it unto you." But man, in the Garden of Eden, gave it unto Satan. So that man was no longer the ruler of the world, but Satan became the ruler over the world. And we see today the disastrous consequences of Satan's rule, in the wars, the suffering. All of these things, disastrous consequences of Satan's rule. We pray, "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, in earth as it is in heaven." But you do not see that yet. As in Hebrews, we read God has put all things into subjection unto Jesus, but we do not yet see all things in subjection unto Him. We still see a world in rebellion against God, and we still see the fruit of that rebellion in this world in which we live.
One day, by the grace of God, we will live in a world that God intended. And there are marvelous descriptions of that world in the Old Testament, where the lion will lie down with the lamb, and a little child will lead them, and the deserts will blossom like a rose, and there will be streams in the deserts and rivers in dry places, and the lame will leap for joy and the dumb will be singing praises unto God, and the blind shall behold the glory of our Lord. No physical maladies, for the former things will be passed away and all things become new. And there'll be no sorrow or suffering, for you'll see the world in harmony with God, and you'll see the world as God intended it and wants it to be. But right now, we see a world in rebellion. And we see men under Satan's control. The Bible tells us that Satan has taken them captive even against their wills. Paul said "that we might take them from the captivity of the enemy, who has taken them captive against their wills" ( 2 Timothy 2:26 ). Paul tells us that the God of this world has blinded their eyes that they cannot see the truth. There are men today who cannot see the truth; they are bound by Satan's power. They are blinded by him.
We see men in bondage of corruption, bondage of sin. We see it holding men in its power and we've seen the vain futile struggle of man to try and free himself from that power of darkness.
Now, the Holy Spirit is reproving the world of sin, of righteousness and of judgment because the prince of this world was judged. What that means is that you don't have to be under Satan's power. You don't have to be under the bondage of corruption. But because of the cross of Jesus Christ, His victory over Satan there at the cross can become your victory. And through the power of Jesus Christ, you can have complete victory and power over the world, the flesh and the devil. You don't have to be under his power. Actually, what Satan holds today, he holds by what is called "usurped power and authority." It's not really his. He still usurps it.
You remember that when God rejected Saul from being the king of Israel, because of his disobedience, God said to Samuel, "How long are you going to grieve for Saul? Let's move on. Go down to the house of Jesse and anoint one of his sons to be the king over Israel." So Samuel snuck down to the house of Jesse for fear of Saul. And he said to Jesse, "Would you bring your sons before me?" And the first son Eliab came in, a big guy and handsome, and Samuel thought, "Alright, this surely is the one that God has chosen for the king." And God said unto Samuel, "Samuel, don't look on the outward appearance. For I don't look on the outward appearance, I look on the heart." Eliab's not the one. So, one by one the sons of Jesse marched in and marched past Samuel, and each one the Lord said, "No." Finally, Samuel turned to Jesse and he said, "Don't you have any other sons?" "Oh, yeah, I have one more, but he's just a kid, he's out watching the sheep." "Well, call him in." And when David came in, this ruddy little kid, the Lord said to Samuel, "That's the one." And he took his oil and he poured it over David's head, and anointed him as king of Israel.
Now, as far God was concerned, David was the king. God anointed him as king. However, Saul didn't believe that. And we read in the next few chapters how that Saul did his best to destroy David and to hang on to the kingdom which God had taken away. "Because you have rejected God from ruling over you, God has rejected you from the kingdom," the prophet had told him. But he did his best by force to hold on to that which God had taken away.
Now, the same is true today in the lives of people. Jesus, you see, has died for the world. But Satan still holds people under his power, but it is like Saul; it's usurped power, it's no longer legally, rightfully his. Jesus has purchased them by His blood. And therefore, we can enter into that victory of Jesus over Satan, and we can also lay claim to lives that Satan is holding, that we might take them from the captivity of the enemy who has taken them captive. And I can bring these people before the Lord, case by case, and I can say, "Now, Lord, I claim the power of Jesus Christ and His victory over the power of Satan that is holding them and blinding them. Lord, deliver them from the power of the enemy and from the blindness."
Now, I can't save them through my prayers, but I can at least bring them to the freedom of choice. We talk about free moral agency, and it's almost a misnomer. There is no way you can say of a sinner that he is a free moral agent. He's the most bound person in the universe. His eyes are blind and he's being held by the power of Satan. How can you say he's a free moral agent? He's a slave unto the tyranny of the enemy! But through prayer, I can make him a free moral agent. Through prayer, I can break the bondage in which he is held by Satan's power, and through prayer, I can open his eyes to the truth. At that point, being a free moral agent, he can then choose, without this oppressive work of Satan blinding his eyes and twisting and perverting his logic. And so, that really is the thrust of prayer towards the sinner, is that of setting them free from this bondage of Satan, because Satan was judged at the cross and he has no legal rights over them any more. And we can claim the victory of Christ life after life, setting them free from the bondage of darkness.
I have many things to say, but you can't bear them now ( John 16:12 ).
They're not ready for them.
So, when he, the Spirit of truth, has come, he will guide you into all truth: for he will not speak of himself ( John 16:13 );
Talking of the Holy Spirit, He declares that He will be a guide for us into all truth, and He will not testify of Himself,
for whatsoever shall he hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come. He will glorify me ( John 16:13-43.16.14 ):
So, the ministry of the Holy Spirit is not to exalt Himself. And I do think that when as a church we start making a big emphasis upon the Holy Spirit, we are placing an emphasis where God hasn't placed an emphasis. For the emphasis of the Holy Spirit is upon Jesus Christ. He doesn't testify of Himself, but He glorifies and seeks to glorify Jesus Christ. "And He will tell us things to come." Paul the apostle was directed by the Holy Spirit in his ministry. And he was shown by the Spirit the things that were going to happen in his life. I have had a very marvelous experience of having the Holy Spirit lay out for me the things that God had in store and was planning to do in my life. And the Holy Spirit will testify of things to come and will glorify Jesus Christ.
for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you ( John 16:14 ).
In other words, "He will receive from Me and reveal to you."
All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore I said, that he shall take of mine, and will show it to you. A little while, and you will not see me: and again, a little while, and you shall see me, because I go to the Father ( John 16:15-43.16.16 ).
Now He's talking about the cross and about His death. "A little while and you're not going to see Me, but yet, a little while and you will see Me, because I go to the Father."
Then said some of his disciples among themselves, What in the world is he trying to say to us, A little while, and you will not see me: and again, a little while, and you will see me: Because I go to the Father? And they said therefore, What is this that he is saying, A little while? ( John 16:17-43.16.18 )
I don't know what he's saying.
Now Jesus knew that they were desirous to ask him, and he said unto them, Do you inquire among yourselves of what I said, A little while, and you will not see me: and yet a little while, and you shall see me? Verily, verily, I say unto you, That you are going to weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice ( John 16:19-43.16.20 );
Talking again of His crucifixion. "You're going to weep, you're going to lament, and the world around you is going to be rejoicing."
and you shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy ( John 16:20 ).
Can you imagine the joy of Easter morning? The resurrection, when they saw the risen Lord? Their sorrow turned into joy.
A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour has come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembers no more the anguish, for the joy that a man is born into the world ( John 16:21 ).
And so, Jesus uses this as a graphic illustration of what He was about to go through; the travail of His soul, the anguish of the cross. But in order that men might be born into the kingdom, all of the pain and the suffering and all is so quickly forgotten when you're swallowed up in the joy of the birth of a new child. You forget. They say that it is one of the hardest pains to bear, and one of the easiest to forget. A child has been born into the kingdom. "And for the joy that was set before Him, Jesus endured the cross though He despised the shame" ( Hebrews 12:2 ). And so, He's talking really of Himself, the anguish that He was to go through. But for the joy of those being born into the kingdom He was willing to do it.
Ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man can take from you ( John 16:22 ).
You're going to go through this time of sorrow, but, oh, you're going to rejoice because I'm going to see you again.
And in that day you will ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it to you ( John 16:23 ).
"You're not to ask Me, your prayers are to be unto the Father. They are to be in the name of Jesus Christ." And our prayers today should actually be addressed to the Father in the name of Jesus.
Hitherto you have asked nothing in my name: ask ( John 16:24 ),
In the Greek it's imperative, "Please ask..." intensive.
and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full ( John 16:24 ).
So, the Lord is saying, "If you'll ask in My name, you will receive." And through this prayer life, receiving, brings such fullness of joy to the life of the believer.
These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs: but the time is coming, when I will no longer when I will no longer speak unto you in proverbs, but I will show you plainly of the Father. And that day you will ask in my name: and I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you: for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God ( John 16:25-43.16.27 ).
And so our prayer is to the Father. We have direct access to the Father. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we might make our needs known before God. In the name of Jesus, I can approach the Father, and yet, I really fear and tremble for those who think that they have direct access to the Father apart from Jesus Christ. They have lost the consciousness of the holiness of God. The Jewish people today say, "We do not need Jesus. We can go directly to the Father." They forget that their fathers did not go directly to the Father, but they came through much sacrifices through the priests. And the priests went to the Father for them. Jesus said, "I'm not going to say that I'm going to ask the Father for you. You can go directly to the Father." If I can go directly to the Father, then surely I don't need to go to Mary to ask Jesus to go to the Father for me. Or any of the other saints. And prayers to Mary and the saints are church dogma and tradition without scriptural foundation. There's no value in praying to Mary. In fact, I would be a little hesitant to do so, lest Jesus said, "Who is my mother?" For when Mary was outside and could not make her way to Jesus because of the crowd, she sent a message in and said, "Tell my son I'm out here...his mother is out here with his brothers." And Jesus, when they brought the message, "Your mother's outside, she wants you," He said, "Who is my mother? Who is my brother?" Now, if I was going to Mary in heaven and said, "Dear Mary, intercede for me," and Jesus would say, "Who is my mother?" I would be in trouble. I don't have to go through Mary. I can come directly to the Father through and in the name of Jesus.
I came forth from the Father, and I am coming to the world: again, I am leaving the world, and going to the Father ( John 16:28 ).
"I came from the Father, I came into the world." "He who was in the beginning with God thought it not robbery to be equal with God" ( Philippians 2:6 ). "In the beginning was the Word," ( John 1:1 ). "The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us" ( John 1:14 ). "I came into the world . . . " "The world was made by Him, but the world knew Him not. He came to His own, His own received Him not." " . . . but I am going back now to the Father." You see, He said, "You haven't asked Me where I'm going." Now, He's telling them, "I'm going back to the Father."
His disciples said unto him, Lo, now you are speaking to us plainly, and not in a proverb. Now we are sure that you know all things, and you need not that any man should ask you: by this we believe that you came forth from God ( John 16:29-43.16.30 ).
You see, they were asking among themselves, "What is He talking about, 'You're going to see Me in a little while'?" And then He says, "Why is it that you're inquiring among yourselves what am I talking about when I say this?" And they said, "Hey, we don't know what's going on, and you don't need that any man should ask thee."
Jesus answered them, Do you now believe? Behold, the hour is coming, yes, is now come, when you're going to be scattered, every man to his own, and you're going to leave me alone ( John 16:31-43.16.32 ):
Here they are affirming, "Lord, we believe." And Jesus said, "Well, yes, but in just a little while you're going to be scattered. Your faith is going to be tested like you can't believe. And you're going to leave Me alone." And Jesus said,
yet I'm not alone, because the Father is with me. These things I have spoken unto you, that ye might have peace. In the world you will have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world ( John 16:32-43.16.33 ).
And so, Jesus said, "I'm telling you these things because I want you to have peace. In the world, you're going to have tribulation." Now, He is not saying here that the church is going through the Great Tribulation. And there's a vast difference between the tribulation that I experience as a child of God and the Tribulation that the world is going to experience as a rebel against God. "In the world you will have tribulation." Why? Because you're not of the world. Where does the tribulation originate against the child of God? From Satan. From the world itself. Where does the Great Tribulation originate? Its origin is God, as God comes to judge the world for the rejecting of His Son. So there's a vast difference between the tribulation that the church faces in the world and the Great Tribulation that the world will face when God has removed His righteous remnant out of the world, and then begins to judge it for its rejection of His Son.
Copyright © 2014, Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, Ca.
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on John 16". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Second Week after Epiphany