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Bible Commentaries

Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures
John 16



Other Authors
Verses 5-33

The Work of the Spirit — - After Jesus has taught His disciples about servanthood ( John 13:1-38), and the need to receive the Holy Spirit when He comes ( John 14:1-31), and how to abide in the Spirit ( John 15:1 to John 16:4). If they will be obedient to His teachings thus far, they will be ready to do the works that Jesus did. This is the theme of John 16:5-33.

Outline - Here is a proposed outline:

1. Convicting the World of Sin — John 16:5-15

2. The Authority of the Believer — John 16:16-33

John 16:5-15 — Convicting the World of Sin - In order to do the works that Jesus did, the disciples must preach the Gospel. In preaching the Gospel, the Holy Spirit must come and empower them to do this great work. As they preach, the Spirit will convict the world of sin, and perform signs and wonders to testify of the truth of the Gospel.

John 16:6Comments- Jesus has just comforted them with an exhortation not to let their hearts be troubled ( John 14:1; John 14:27) because He knew that the news of Him departing would bring sorrow.

John 14:1, "Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me."

John 14:27, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."

John 16:7Comments- When the Holy Spirit comes to dwell inside of us, this fellowship and life with the Spirit will become more real than the temporal things that we see on the earth. It was necessary for Jesus to depart so that we, too, could taste of the life of God here on earth. It is the only way that we can have the power to overcome.

John 16:8Comments - The role of the Holy Spirit in God's plan of redemption for mankind is to convict the sinner of three aspects of his relationship to God. He will convict man that he is a sinner in rebellion against God, and that Jesus Christ demonstrated God's standard of righteousness, and that he is destined for hell. The Holy Spirit will not convict the sinner of his need to go to church, to tithe, to read his Bible, etc. These are aspects of sanctification that a new believer conforms to during his Christian growth.

John 16:9Comments - The Holy Spirit will convict men of their sin, which I singular. This sin is that of rejecting Jesus Christ as His Saviour. The atonement of Jesus Christ paid for all of man's sins. The offense that cannot be forgiven is the rejection of Jesus Christ as one's Savour. The Holy Spirit will testify to unbelievers that Jesus Christ is Lord ( Romans 10:9, 1 Corinthians 12:3), God revealed in the flesh, the only way to salvation ( John 15:26). The Holy Spirit will convict men to believe on Him. Our job is to tell others that only through Jesus can forgiveness of sins be found. The Holy Spirit will convict the man's heart of sin and of the truth of our Gospel witness. We cannot convict a man's heart. This is the work of the Holy Spirit. In light of this truth, Andrew Wommack says that sinners are not going to Hell because of their individual sins, thus the Holy Spirit does not convict the sinner of all of his individual sins. He convicts the unbeliever of one sin, singular, that of not believing on Jesus. The unbeliever is essentially going to Hell for rejecting Jesus Christ. 250] Jesus Christ has paid for their sins on Calvary, and they go to Hell for rejecting His payment.

250] Andrew Wommack, "Sermon," Andrew Wommack Leadership Conference, Kampala, Uganda, 18 July 2009.

Romans 10:9, "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved."

1 Corinthians 12:3, "Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost."

John 15:26, "But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:"

Illustration- Note how conviction came upon Peter in Luke 5:8 because of his unbelief in the words of Jesus to launch out into the deep and cast his nets to catch fish, "When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus" knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful Prayer of Manasseh , O Lord."

Illustration- In the early 1980"s, Jack Emerson was in a Sunday School class in which a visitor was attending. The visitor was not saved, but has been invited to church. Jack began to witness to this visitor, and became very aggressive in his words. Then, in the middle of this witnessing, the Holy Spirit spoke to Jack and said, "Now you have entered into My office." Jack, in his zeal, had tried to bring conviction upon this lost person. That is not the office of the believer. The Holy Spirit will do the convicting, if we will simply speak His Word.

Scripture References- Note:

John 15:22, "If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin."

John 16:10Comments - The Holy Spirit will reveal to the sinner God's standard of righteousness, which every man has failed to achieve. Through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, mankind is able to see God's standard of righteousness. Jesus lived a sinless life, and He was crucified by sinful men. His resurrection demonstrated to the world that true righteousness is seen in Him and Him alone.

How does the Holy Spirit convict the world of the righteousness that is found in Jesus Christ? John 15:26 says, "But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:"

Illustration- If Calvary convicted the centurion of Jesus' righteousness, how much more his resurrection and ascension will convict a man.

Luke 23:47, "Now when the centurion saw what was done, he glorified God, saying, Certainly this was a righteous man.

Note how Noah's righteous acts condemned the world:

Hebrews 11:7, "By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith."

Also, the repentance of Nineveh will condemn the world:

Matthew 12:41-42, "The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here. The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here."

John 16:11Comments - The Holy Spirit will convict men of eternal judgment because of their sinful behaviour. God will reveal to a person that he is going to hell.

Illustration - Jack Emerson was a man who was unchurched before he was saved. He lived a sinful life without the knowledge of the Holy Bible. One day he fell under a deep conviction and sought advice from several pastors as to what he needed to do to get right with God. During this time, he dreamed that he was going to hell. The Holy Spirit was revealing to Jack the reality of his depraved soul and his need to look to God for help. He soon found a pastor that took the time to explain to him God's plan of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. He later came to know the Scriptures and to learn about hell. However, the Holy Spirit revealed this reality to him before he was saved.

Scripture References- Note:

John 12:31, "Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out."

John 16:12Comments- John 16:12 tells us that the message of the Gospel that Jesus Christ taught His disciples was incomplete. Therefore, Jesus will speak to them later by His Spirit. We find the full message of the Gospel in the New Testament epistles, and it is the Pauline epistles that lay down the doctrines of the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Also, when we receive Revelation , it can overwhelm our flesh, so that we cannot bear it. I remember an experience as a Seminary student where the Scriptures seemed to overwhelm me. I was reading in the book of Isaiah. As I read, every word seemed to leap out at me with life and meaning. I found myself shutting the Scriptures and walking away with the feeling of being overwhelmed with revelation. Also, Jesus Christ taught His disciples divine insight and revelation a little at a time, so that they could digest and mediate upon these truths a little at a time and not be overwhelmed.

John 16:13 — "Howbeit when Hebrews , the Spirit of truth, is come" - Comments- The Greek word πνευ̂ μα normally takes a neuter subject because it is a neuter noun. However, in John 16:13 the Greek text uses the masculine word " ἐκει̂ νος" for "he" rather than the neuter " ἐκει̂ νον" (it). Thus, Jesus is revealing to His disciples that the Holy Spirit is person, and not a thing, or simply a power.

John 16:13 — "he will guide you into all truth" - Comments- Note that the office and ministry of the Holy Spirit is to be out teacher and guide:

John 17:17, "Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth."

1 Corinthians 2:12-13, "Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man"s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual."

John 16:13 — "and he will shew you things to come" - Comments- Kenneth Hagin makes a wise comment about this verse in John 16:13. The Lord has spoken to him many times and in many ways during the course of his long ministry. Hagin says that the Lord will show us things to come in our future. 251] Because we are to walk by faith and lean on Him daily, the Lord is not going to show us the beginning to the end. When the Lord knows we need supernatural guidance, He will certainly show us things that are coming to pass in the future.

251] Kenneth Hagin, How You Can Know the Will of God (Tulsa, Oklahoma: Faith Library Publications, c 1983, 1985), 6-7.

John 16:13 Comments- A child of God must learn to be led, or taught, by the Holy Spirit in all things, or else he will stumble and be deceived ( John 16:1).

John 10:27, "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:"

Romans 8:14, "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God."

The Holy Spirit works in our lives to enable us to do those things that are impossible in the natural. Even the natural man can encourage himself to some great feats, but the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives is to enable us to do that which the natural man cannot do. We, as believers, can walk in love when others cannot. We can be strong when others become weak from the trials of live. We can walk in health, when others are sick. We are to walk in victory every day, and not defeat with this world.

John 16:13-14Comments- Testing the Holy Spirit's Words:

1. He will speak what He hears. (from above, from Jesus and the Father)

2. He will proclaim (report) things coming (i.e, it will come to pass). The Greek word αναγγελεϊ means that the Holy Spirit is bearing a message. See Deuteronomy 18:21-22.

3. He will glorify Jesus. Why? Because the Holy Spirit receives from Jesus and speaks to us. The Father has given things to Jesus. Jesus is heir. See John 12:32. It is Jesus speaking to us through the Holy Spirit.

4. John 14:26 - The Holy Spirit will teach us all things and bring to remembrance Jesus' words.

5. John 15:26 - The Holy Spirit shall testify of Jesus.

Deuteronomy 18:21-22, "And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken? When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him."

John 12:32, "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me."

John 16:15 All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.

John 16:16-33 — The Authority of the Believer: Jesus Testifies of His Departure More Clearly- In John 16:16-33 Jesus tells His disciples more about His departure. This passage is important in that we have a record of the confession of disciples' faith and understanding in the teachings of Jesus during the Lord's Supper ( John 16:29-30). Jesus acknowledges their faith and ends His teachings ( John 16:31-33). As a result of their understanding, Jesus realizes that He has accomplished His purpose of having this last supper and He turns to the Father in prayer ( John 17:1-26). Note Jesus' acknowledge to the Father during His prayer of their faith and understanding in Him.

John 17:8, "For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me."

John 16:16 A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me, because I go to the Father.

John 16:16Comments- In John 16:16 Jesus makes a reference to His death and resurrection, at which time He would come back for forty days prior to His ascension and appear to His disciples on a number of occasions. It is unlikely that this verse refers to the coming of the Holy Spirit or the Second Coming of Jesus ( John 14:3) because the context of this passage clearly discusses Jesus' Passion and Resurrection. Jesus makes an earlier reference to His death and return visit to the disciples in John 14:28, "Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I."

John 14:3, "And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I Amos , there ye may be also."

John 16:20Comments - The weeping and lamenting mentioned in Johnb John 16:20 is a reference to the trial and crucifixion of Jesus Christ, while the sorrowing being turned to joy is a reference to His resurrection.

John 16:21Comments- The illustration that Jesus uses in John 16:21 follows the line of thought that Jesus Christ is the "first-begotten" from the Father.

John 16:22"And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice" - Comments - John 16:16; John 16:22 make a clear reference to the Passion and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, at which time the disciples will sorrow greatly at His suffering and death, but their sorrow will be turned to joy at His resurrection.

"and your joy no man taketh from you" - Scripture Reference- See John 10:29, "My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father"s hand."

John 16:24 — "that your joy may be full" - Comments- This phrase means that God has made a way for us to live in all of the fullness of heaven's joy while we are still hear on this earth. The very fullness of joy that we will have when we are living in heaven is ours today because Jesus has made the way for us into "full" fellowship with the Father and the Son.

John 16:23-24Comments The Prayer of Authority- We find in John 16:23-25 that Jesus teaches us to pray and petition ( ἐ ρωτά ω) (G 2065) the Heavenly Father. In contrast, Kenneth Hagin notes that the passage in John 14:12-14 is teaching us to use the name of Jesus Christ when taking authority over the works of darkness rather than praying to Jesus Christ to do something for us. 252] Jesus tells us when He departs we can ask anything in His name and it shall be done. He is talking about taking spiritual authority upon the earth within the context of this statement, so that the word "ask" ( αιτέ ω) (G 154) should carry the stronger translation of "demand." The Greek text uses an entirely different word for "ask" in both passages.

252] Kenneth Hagin, Bible Prayer Study Course (Tulsa, Oklahoma: Faith Library Publications, c 1991, 1999), 158-9.

Thus, Hagin translates this passage in John 14:13-14 as "whatever you demand as your rights and privileges…" For example, when Peter and John entered the Temple in Acts 3:1-11, the apostle did not pray for the lame man to be healed, but rather, he demanded that the lame man stand up and walk by the authority of the name of Jesus Christ. Jesus will later teach us to ask the Father in Jesus' name for our requests in John 16:23-24.

John 14:12-14, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it."

John 16:31Comments- In John 16:31 Jesus does not ask His disciples if they understood, but rather, if they believed His words. This final discourse ( John 13:1 to John 16:33) could not fully be understood until after His resurrection and the revelation of Church doctrine that was given to Paul the apostle. Thus, all that Jesus now required of them was that they believe His words.

John 16:32Comments - Jesus refers to His Passion in John 16:32.

John 16:29-33Comments- The Disciples Acknowledge Their Understand Jesus' Teachings- John's Gospel gives us a lengthy record of the Lord's Supper as Jesus prepares the disciples for His departure. He washes the disciples' feet, then testifying to them of His deity using figurative language ( John 16:25), such as the Way, the Truth, the Life and as the True Vine. Jesus also discusses His betrayal, His departure and glorification and gives testimony of the coming of the Holy Spirit. He tells them that He has spoken these things in order that they continue in His joy and not stumble ( John 13:17; John 14:25; John 15:11; John 15:17; John 15:21; John 16:1; John 16:4; John 16:6; John 16:25; John 16:33; John 17:13). John 16:29-33 is important in that we have a record of the confession of disciples' faith and understanding in the teachings of Jesus during the Lord's Supper ( John 16:29-30). Jesus acknowledges their faith and ends His teachings ( John 16:31-33). As a result of their understanding, Jesus realizes that He has accomplished His purpose of having this last supper and He turns to the Father in prayer ( John 17:1-26). Note Jesus' acknowledge to the Father during His prayer of their faith and understanding in Him ( John 17:8).

John 17:8, "For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me."


Copyright Statement
These files are copyrighted by the author, Gary Everett. Used by Permission.
No distribution beyond personal use without permission.

Bibliography Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on John 16:4". Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. 2013.

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Wednesday, May 27th, 2020
the Seventh Week after Easter
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