Sermons

 When Voices Of Hope Evangelistic Team is ministering in Word and Song, their Fire Choir will sing several songs and then lead the Congregation in singing. Since that isn't possible on-line, please click here and may you be blessed by the song, "He Abides."

The Comforter Is Coming (1)
John 14:15–19

Good Morning, from the Voices of Hope Evangelistic Team, to all who are reading this message, I welcome each of you gathering today by way of the internet. Once again, it’s a blessing to be able to share from God’s Word as we can proclaim it all over the world. 

The title of my message is “The Comforter is Coming” and the scripture is found in John 14:15-19, if you wish to turn there you can follow along.

Verse 15 through verse 31 will be the passage for the next two messages, but today we are going to be looking at John 14: 15-19, this is Jesus speaking to His disciples. 

The promise of the coming of the Holy Spirit. Needless to say this is familiar to you who are Christians, who have been under the instruction of the Word of God for any time, you understand what it means that Christ went away and sent His Holy Spirit to dwell within us. These verses are crucial to an understanding to the uniqueness of the church. They are basic to understanding who we are and our identity in terms of relating us to the Spirit and to Christ Himself. 

We are continually reminded in the Word of God of our responsibilities as a Christian what one is to do, at what point one is to commit himself, for what tasks one is to separate himself. How one is to live, how one is to act, how one is to think and how one is to speak. All of this is a part of our Christian faith. 

But, on the other side of the coin the emphasis is not on what we are to do but it is on what Christ has done for us. And those two things are the basis of our faith. What Christ has done for us and what we are in response to do for Him. To understand that distinction is to really get a grip on the basics of our faith. 

In these verses (15-31) the emphasis is on what our blessed Lord has given us. And in these verses there are at least five supernatural blessings that the world doesn’t know about, but that Christ has given to us. This morning we’re only going to have time to get through two of them. 

These five supernatural blessings come as a comfort to the disciples in a strategic time. In past weeks, you know the setting, it is the night before Jesus’ death. The disciples are troubled. They’re confused about a lot of things. They don’t understand why it is that Jesus is going to die if He’s really the Messiah. They don’t understand how it is that Judas, one of their own, and they’re not too sure it’s Judas yet, but they know one of their own is going to betray Him, they don’t understand at all the problem of how Peter was told he would even deny Christ. They are confused about a lot of 
things which we’ve covered in past studies. So He has comforted them with a promise of His preparing a place, His return, He’s God and all of these things, have comforted the disciples. 

It would seem as though that would be enough comfort but not in the mind of Christ who is concerned about His disciples. He tenderly and lovingly continues that comfort beginning in verse 15 by giving them five supernatural promises. He promises a supernatural helper, a supernatural life, a supernatural union, a supernatural teacher or instructor, a supernatural peace. 

Before we look at those, let’s see to whom He promises them. Who is He giving these promises to? The key is verse 15. We know He’s talking to His eleven disciples, so we know He’s giving the promises to them. Can we be assured that the scope of it is any broader than that? Is there any way we can get in on these promises? I think verse 15 is the key. And that sort of starts it all off. 

It says: “If ye love Me, ye will keep My commandments.” If you have an older authorized version it says—Keep My commandments. It is a future verb and should be translated—If ye love Me, ye will keep My commandments. Now in that verse we have the key to qualifying for the five supernatural promises. These promises are for those who love Jesus Christ. And whose love becomes evident by obedience. Only believers, lovers of Jesus Christ, marked out by their obedience will receive the promised blessings. It’s kind of a simple thing but there’s only one test of love. The New Testament repeatedly gives the same test for love and its one word—obedience. It’s not lip service. It’s not what you say you are. It’s not singing songs. The one single New Testament test for love is obedience. If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. And as a result of that, verse 16, “And I will pray the Father.” 

The lover of Jesus Christ activates the blessing of Christ in his behalf. In fact, Jesus illustrates the principle of obedience as determining love in chapter 15 of John and verse 10. He said to the disciples—If you keep My commandments, ye shall abide in My love. That’s obviously the same principle. And here’s the illustration, “Even as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.” 

Jesus said—I am the living illustration of the principle of love. I have proven to you My love for the Father by obeying the Father’s commands. In like manner will you prove your love to Me by obeying My commands? And so, Jesus says it is to those who love Me and indicates such by obedience that I will in turn give these supernatural promises. 

I believe, Jesus is interjecting into the situation a redirecting of their affection. He is saying; From now on, men I’d like for you to show your love by your glad obedience to all that I have commanded you. And that is the real test of love.  Love is demonstrated by an active, eager, joyful, glad responsive obedience to the commands of Jesus Christ. That marks the real lover of Jesus. We are marked by our love, both in terms of obedience showing that we love Christ, and then in terms of loving each other, showing the world that we belong to Christ. 

And just to give you the fact that this is a little broader than the disciples let me show you how John reiterates the same truth to every believer all throughout I John. In verse 3 “And by this we do know that we know Him if we keep His commandments. He that saith I know Him and keepeth not His commandments is a liar and the truth is not in him. But whosoever keepeth His word, in him, verily, is the love of God perfected, by this know we that we are in Him.” 

Then over in 4:19, you have basically the same thing. “We love Him because He first loved us. If a man says, I love God and hates his brother, he is a liar. For he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from Him, that he who loveth God love his brother also.” And remember, if you love God you will obey His commands. If He commanded you to love your brother, you’ll love your brother. 

Chapter 5:2, “By this we know that we love the children of God when we love God and keep His commandments, for this is the love of God that we keep His commandments and His commandments are not burdensome.” Joyously, gladly, do we obey, and that is the picture of our love. That is the mark of it. That is the sign of it. And all the sentimental talk about love and loving Jesus is vain and all of the singing songs and reciting little words of love mean nothing unless by God’s grace we live a truthful, faithful obedience to the commands of Christ. Love is obedience, or love isn’t love at all. 

Well, what are Christ’s commandments? The whole revelation of His will in the New Testament … everything that He ever gave in His lifetime as a precept, a principle, a standard or a command. And most of all summed up in the words “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, soul, mind and strength and thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” Study the gospels, they reveal His commands. But mostly, He told men to believe on Him. And that’s where it all begins. The initiation of obedience begins when you believe on Jesus Christ and receive Him as Savior, then all the rest are not burdensome. We fulfill the commands in a non-legalistic way by love, but the starting point is believing in Jesus Christ. 

Having said that, He goes right into the five blessings. Number one is in verses 16 and 17, the promise of a supernatural helper. To us it isn’t nearly as shocking or as exciting, perhaps, at this point in our Christian life, as it was to these disciples who were on the brink of total disaster, and who didn’t have any idea where their help was going to come from in the next day when Jesus was gone. And at that point Jesus introduces to them a supernatural helper. And here is the greatest gift that Christ ever gave to the believer. 

Verse 16, “And I will pray (I will request) the Father, that He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever.” Now, those who so dearly love Christ, those eleven disciples who see Him departing are not to be left to shift for themselves, but they are to have a supernatural helper. Jesus is saying—I am going to send, from the Father, another helper. 

One word here really tells us an awful lot, it is the word another. I will send another helper. There are two words in the Greek for another. One word is heteros … that means another similar. But then they had another word. They had a word allŏs and it meant another of the exact, identical, specific kind without one single variation. And that’s exactly the word used here … allŏs. 

Jesus said to them, I’m going to send you allŏs helper, one exactly, essentially in every detail what I am. See the significance of that word? He is, in effect, saying—I am sending you One exactly the same essence as Myself. And you know that since the disciples understood Greek when He said allŏs that rang the bell and they immediately knew what He was saying. He is not sending just any old comforter but One exactly like Himself. 

If you think about that for a minute that means that you as a believer have two Helpers, two Comforters, two Paracletes, two Advocates … the Spirit of God within you on earth and Christ the Son Of God at the right hand of the Father in heaven. 

Jesus says this Helper will come who is the exact essence of Myself, He will be a perfect substitute for the familiar presence of Jesus because He is the same, a Helper exactly like Jesus Christ. Well, you can imagine what kind of comfort and what kind of encouragement this would bring to their troubled hearts that Jesus was going to go away but He was going to send another One just exactly like Him. 

Then He makes this promise which is a beautiful capping of this verse, “That He may abide with you, Forever.” There are a lot of people who think you can be saved and then be unsaved and be saved again and be unsaved, that’s not so. Once the Spirit of God truly resides, He resides forever. Once the Helper comes He abides forever, eternally. 

Jesus says—I’m going to go away but I’m going to send to you, verse 17, “Even the Spirit of truth.” That’s who it is. It’s the Spirit of truth. It’s the Holy Spirit, none other. The Holy Spirit is a person; the Holy Spirit is a person as much as Jesus was a person. The Holy Spirit is not a floating fog. The Holy Spirit is not a ghost. The Holy Spirit is a person. Not just a mystical power but a person. Jesus says—I’m going to send you One exactly like Myself. If Jesus is a person so must the Spirit be because that’s what allŏs means and so the Spirit comes. 

Notice the Spirit is called the Spirit of truth. Why is He called that? Look at 16:13, “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into All truth.” That’s why He’s called the Spirit of truth. He not only is the essence of truth because He’s God, but He guides us into truth and thus is He called the Spirit of truth. 

Apart from Him, men cannot know truth, they cannot understand truth. They cannot discover truth. How tremendous it is to realize that we have a resident teacher of truth in the indwelling Spirit. The world madly runs around trying to find truth and we know the truth. And so, until now Christ had been their Comforter but now He was going to send to them the Spirit of truth. 

In Luke 11:13, Jesus told His disciples the Father will give you the Holy Spirit if you ask. Yet here, He’s jumping in ahead of the disciples and before they can even ask, He asks in their behalf. And that’s a little picture of maybe how our prayers operate. You know the Lord knows what you have need of before you even ask. I believe this is an indication of how our prayers work. I believe Jesus Christ, before we ever even get our prayers organized, has already asked in our behalf for what we need. I think that’s part of His advocacy. He says—The Father will give to you the Holy Spirit if you ask. And then before they could even ask He asked for them. That’s what it means when it says He’s our advocate before the Father. Before we can get it out He’s already got it out and told the Father our needs. So, Jesus intercedes on their behalf and on ours. 

Then Jesus goes on to say that the unsaved man, the world, doesn’t recognize the Spirit when He comes. They won’t get it. They won’t know what’s going on. And it’s kind of interesting to know that, you see the world doesn’t see the Holy Spirit; if they didn’t recognize the first Comforter, Jesus, you wouldn’t expect them to recognize the second One because the second One is exactly like the first One. So in verse 17 He says: “Whom the world cannot receive because it seeth Him not or knoweth Him.” 

He says—the world isn’t going to know the Holy Spirit when He comes anymore than they knew Me while I was here. Because unsaved men have no spiritual organ of perception. They have no way to see the working of the power of the Holy Spirit anymore than they had a capability of discerning who Christ was. Why, when they came to the conclusion about Jesus Christ in Matthew 12, their very astute, academic, theological conclusion was—you are from hell. That was their conclusion. 

After years of studying the ministry of Jesus Christ … they concluded that what He did He did by power of Beelzebub. They were 180 degrees wrong … exactly to the opposite. That shows a little bit of the spiritual capacity of the unregenerate man. Give him all the facts and he will conclude absolutely the wrong thing. So, He is saying—If they didn’t do any better than that with Me don’t expect the world to get it all when the Spirit comes who will be exactly like Me. 

In I Corinthians, verse 12 of chapter 2, the Apostle Paul says “Now we have received not the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is of God that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.” The only way a man can understand the things of God is to have the Spirit of God. 

Verse 13: “Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Spirit teacheth comparing spiritual things with spiritual.” There’s the difference. 

Then verse 14: “But the natural man,” unsaved, worldly man, “receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God for they are foolishness unto him, neither can he know them because they are spiritually discerned.” The natural man cannot understand the Holy Spirit’s work. In fact, in John 8, Jesus made a statement to the Jewish leaders: Verse 44, “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lust of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning and abode not in the truth because there’s no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie he speaketh of his own for he is a liar and the father of it.” Verse 45: “And because I tell you the truth you believe Me not.” They had no capacity for truth. There was no way the unsaved man could even comprehend the truth of God. So, Jesus is saying the world’s not going to get this message of the Holy Spirit when He comes anymore than they got the message from Me when I came. 

Acts 2, the day of Pentecost, verse 4 says: “And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other languages as the Spirit gave them utterance.” That’s the coming of the Spirit. And the world is all there. They’re all there in Jerusalem looking around and all these disciples start speaking to them in their own languages. Here’s their conclusion: “They were all amazed and perplexed saying one to another, what meaneth this?” Here’s the answer. “These men are drunk; they’re full of new wine.” That’s the best they could do with it. Don’t expect a natural man to understand it. 

So, rather than causing them to go charging into the world without knowledge, unwittingly, expecting much more than was going to happen, Jesus backs up and says—Men, it’s going to be like I told you except don’t expect the world to accept it. You are going to do greater things but remember this—the old conflict will still be there. The natural man won’t see it. 

He just tempers their enthusiasm. He brings them down to the real issue. You’re going to do greater things, but Satan will be bucking it and the world will not understand. 

In fact, later on in chapter 16, just to make sure they got this message, He wrapped up His whole conversation to them in the end of chapter 16 by saying this, verse 33 “These things I’ve spoken unto you that in Me you might have peace, in the world ye shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I’ve overcome the world.” There’s the balance. Greater things and yet the world’s not going to buy it, no wholesale worldwide thing is going to happen. Be ready for it. 

Verse 17, at the end, “But ye know Him,” the world doesn’t but you do, you’re going to know the Comforter when He comes, “for He dwelleth with you.” Christ said He did what He did by the power of the Holy Spirit. In fact, when they attributed His works to Satan Jesus said they had blasphemed not Him but the Holy Spirit. He’s saying you know Him, He’s been with you. You know the Holy Spirit; He’s dwelling with you as He has in all the Old Testament. In the Old Testament economy the Spirit of God came upon somebody for a certain service and then departed. The Old Testament says the … the Spirit of God came on Saul … the Spirit of God came on the messengers … the Spirit of God came on Azariah … Isaiah said the Spirit of the Lord is upon me. The Spirit came and went for special tasks. And from the time of Jesus Christ ministry, remember at His baptism the Spirit descended on Him like a dove, and the Spirit of God was moving through Christ for all the years of His ministry. 

So, these disciples had been with the Spirit. He was there. But, watch it, the end of verse 17: “He dwelleth with you and shall be” … where?… “In you.” See the difference? That shows the difference between the Old Testament age and the New Testament age; the difference between the Spirit’s presence and the Spirit’s indwelling. That’s a key thing to understand. So the disciples are told of a marvelous promise, it’s the one you’ve seen working in Me and now He shall be in you. What a thing it is to realize that we have the indwelling Spirit all the time. We don’t lack anything except commitment. 

Secondly, Verse 18: “I will not leave you comfortless, I will come to you.” Now He says I’m personally going to come to you. Here’s another promise. He has just said I’m going to send another allŏs, another Helper. Then He says—“Even I will come to you. I will not leave you comfortless.” (as Orphans) This is the picture of a dying father, and like a dying father He says—I’m not going to leave you like orphans; I’m going to come back to you. What a promise! I’ll be back. I may die but it’s only for a while, when it’s over I’ll be resurrected and I’ll be back. 

What is He referring to? It seems to me that He is saying—I will be back in the indwelling Spirit. When the Spirit of God came to reside in your life, did Christ come as well? Of course He did. The Holy Spirit, in fact, in Romans 8 is called the Spirit of Christ. I believe right here Christ in the mystery of the Trinity is saying—I will come back in the presence of the Spirit within you. If the Spirit is identical to Christ, if allŏs means what it means, then Christ will be there. Did Jesus mean what He said in Matthew 28:20 when He said, “And lo, I am with you Always.” The New Testament speaks of Christ in us. Paul said Christ in you, the hope of glory. The New Testament speaks of God in us … First John 4:12. When Jesus said—I’ll be back—I believe He was talking about His presence as the indwelling Spirit. 

Then in verse 19, He says: “Yet in a little while and the world seeth Me no more. But ye see Me.” He says the world isn’t going to see Me anymore, I’m going to go and they’re not going to see, but you will see by the sight of faith the indwelling Spirit and My presence, you’ll know that I’m there. And they did. After Pentecost they didn’t have any doubts at all. You think the Apostle Paul doubted that the Spirit was in him? Do you think he doubted Christ was in him? Do you think Peter doubted that? I don’t think so. I don’t think they doubted that for a split second. They knew where they were. 

He says—you’re going to know. You’re going to sense My presence. How is it that a man can sense the presence of God within him? How is it that a man knows the Spirit’s there? How is it that he knows that Christ is there? That man must have spiritual perception. The physical eye doesn’t reveal it; he’s got to have spiritual sight. He then must be spiritually alive. Now the spiritually dead man sees nothing about God, understands nothing. But the person who is spiritually alive lives in another dimension. So, the one thing a man must have to see God move, to see Christ in him, to see the Spirit in him is spiritual life. He’s got to be alive to that world. 

That’s exactly what He says in verse 19, at the end, “But ye see Me, because I live, ye shall Live also.” He promises to them resurrection life. If they’re going to see what the Spirit’s doing, if they’re going to see what Christ is doing, they have to be alive to that world. They have to be alive to the spiritual realm. And so He says to them—I am going to give you life, spiritual life.’ 

I know that has a future aspect dealing with our great hope of resurrection ultimately, but the main meaning is immediate. The Helper is coming. Christ is coming back to dwell in them by His Spirit. The world isn’t going to see it, the world isn’t going to know it, but the believer will know it. Why? Because he will be alive to supernatural life, because he will be aware of what’s going on in the spiritual dimension. And that is what resurrection life really is. It is a quality of life that makes you sensitive to the spiritual life. And Christ says—I’m going to come back and I’m going to plant My life in you … because I live, ye shall live also. That not only has a future hope but that has an immediate truth. You’re going to be alive spiritually, walking with God, sensing the Holy Spirit, communing with Christ. And it’s true. From my own life’s standpoint, I see the Spirit of God moving. I have fellowship with Jesus Christ. I commune with God. And so do you if you know Christ. This world isn’t my home; my citizenship is in heaven. I am living in God’s dimension because I’m alive to the Spirit of God and the indwelling Christ … and I have that life because Jesus gave it to me, its resurrection life. 

You see, eternal life isn’t the quantity of life; it’s the kind of life that makes you eternally sensitive to God. 

What does Christ give His church? What does He give to all who love Him? First of all, a supernatural Helper. What a tremendous promise. And secondly, a supernatural life. We are alive to what God is doing. These are the things that Christ has given to us. What kind of service in return out of the gratitude of our hearts should we render to Him? 

Our Father, this morning we are thankful for just these two tremendous truths. Thank You for making us alive to what You’re doing in the world. Oh, what a marvelous thing it is to see Your presence and Your power moving within us. We thank You for the supernatural Helper, the blessed sweet Holy Spirit. We thank You for the supernatural life that even right now we’re exercising. God, help us to realize the privilege that is ours and may we never play around in this world when we can walk in the heavenlies. May we never lower ourselves to the things of Satan when we can move in the things of God. May we never give place to the things of the world when all of the blessings of eternity are ours. God, help us to be other worldly, help us to live and move and have our being in You and be sensitive to what You’re doing and responsive to what You want us to do. With hearts full of love and gratitude, we thank You in Jesus’ name. Amen.