Today: [John 16:] The Convicting Role of the Holy Spirit. In John 16 Jesus tells the disciples He is going away. Have you ever felt like God has withdrawn Himself from your life? There are reasons for this, and it isn’t to hurt you. He is sending you a new dimension of experience in Him by the Holy Ghost. Out of that process, will comes manifest righteousness if you can cooperate with what He is doing.
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[Jhn 16:1-33 KJV] 1 These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended. 2 They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service. 3 And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me. 4 But these things have I told you, that when the time shall come, ye may remember that I told you of them. And these things I said not unto you at the beginning, because I was with you. 5 But now I go my way to him that sent me; and none of you asketh me, Whither goest thou? 6 But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart. 7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. 8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 Of sin, because they believe not on me; 10 Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; 11 Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. 12 I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. 13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, [that] shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. 14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew [it] unto you.
In verse 1 Jesus states that the things He is sharing are for the purpose that His disciples would not get offended. He has stated explicitly in the latter part of chapter 15 that He will be arrested, tried, and crucified by His enemies. This is not the first time He has made these statements but the disciples each time were reluctant to take Him at His word. What this tells us about the character of Christ is that He will not hold information from us if we will listen. The prophet Amos addressed this:
[Amo 3:7 KJV] 7 Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants.
Are you a servant of God? God is always speaking. He will never leave you in the dark about things that are ahead. There are times we don’t want to accept what He is telling us but the result is to set ourselves up to get offended. Are you hurt? When I get offended, I am reminded that Hebrews 4:12 says the word of God is the great discerner of My life. David wrote in the Psalms about offense when it comes:
Psalms 119:165 Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.
When I am offended, it is because I don’t love what God is saying to me. I am not a victim of wounding that needs to be healed; I am a perpetrator of offense that needs to be repented of. Because the disciples were offended, they all fled when the things Jesus spoke of came to pass. When you are offended by what God is showing you, it is setting yourself up for failure and falling away from God. Jesus goes on to say that they will be put out of the synagogues and the time will come that those who harm their lives will think they are doing God a service. Have you ever experienced this? People come into your life to hurt and destroy but at the same time declare they are only doing so because they love you and are following God’s instructions to do damage to your life. Have you ever been thrown out of a church? Then it wasn’t a church – it was a synagogue. When you obey God and are excluded from a church for doing so, then you come to know that they are not a part of what God is doing in your life and you probably shouldn’t have been there in the first place. Offenses come. The question is, are you going to let offenses, hurts, and rejection dominate you? When people deal with you in a manner not consistent with the character of Christ verse 3 tells us it is because they don’t know the Father and they don’t know Jesus. They might claim to be spiritual and claim to know God better than you but that is not the testimony of God’s word so why would you want to hang out with them. Forgive, bless, release and move on.
In verse 7 Jesus tells that disciples that He is going away. Have you ever experienced this? You have an experience in Christ, but suddenly that experience, that aspect of relationship with Him that has fed you and nourished you is vacated by God’s Spirit and you are left alone. Many times I have heard people cry in pain “It isn’t the same anymore….” But that is for your benefit! Jesus says to you as He says to the disciples “If I go not away the Comforter will not come unto you…” Jesus will never leave you where you are in your walk with God. Things that don’t change will die. If you don’t dare to move on then you will be left standing with no cloud by day, no fire by night and God’s Spirit disappearing over the horizon of your life. Jesus left because He wanted to bring them into a deeper dimension of relationship and experience with Him. Keep your investments THERE and not in the status quo. Be willing to let go. Hold everything loosely. Stay flexible. Be bendable, sendable and spendable, and you will enjoy the privilege of keeping an on time, current walk with God, unhindered by the nostalgia of what was because you are embracing what is unfolding.
When God shows up in your life by His Spirit verse 8 tells us what to expect: He comes to reprove the world of sin, of righteousness and of judgment. Now that isn’t something that applies to someone other than yourself. Jesus said in v. 7 He was sending the Comforter to YOU, not to the world. So what is He doing? He is reproving the influence of the world IN YOU of sin, and righteousness and judgment. We think that others need to stop ignoring their sin when it is our sin that the Holy Spirit wants to convict us of. It is WHY Jesus sent Him to us. If you cannot be convicted of sin, then you will never be convicted of the righteousness that comes when sin has been dealt with.
What happens when the conviction of sin comes into our heart by the Holy Spirit? He exposes unbelief. Verse 9 says He convicts of sin because the world in us believes not. That word “believes” means we are not persuaded. Are you persuaded? Paul spoke of this in his writings:
[Rom 4:21 KJV] 21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.
You may be persuaded but are you fully persuaded? When you are fully persuaded, there will be some things that constitute sin in your life that will have to go. Sin exists v. 8 tells us because we believe not. We don’t have a sin problem we have a belief problem. Sin is the symptom of unbelief. How do you deal with unbelief? It isn’t by struggling with sin. Unbelief is dealt with by God’s word. Faith comes by hearing, hearing by the word, faith then comes, and sin is expunged. This is God’s process.
[Rom 14:5 KJV] 5 One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day [alike]. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.
Notice that persuasion that delivers us from sin is something that takes place in the mind. You might say you are persuaded in your heart and thank God that He deals with you after the condition of your heart but that isn’t where the problem lies that is producing sin in your life. Your heart is persuaded, but you need to be persuaded, FULLY persuaded in your mind. Then sin dies. Then the skeletons in your closet get cleaned out. Not by dealing with sin but by dealing with unbelief by the inculcation of God’s word in your life.
After sin is dealt with, then the Holy Spirit convicts you of righteousness. With the same persuasive authority, He exposes sin in your life He will now establish righteousness and will not relent until everything you say and do become as if God said it or did it because you know who you are in Christ. Then conviction of judgment comes. Then the prince of this world is cast out. Out of what? The world, no, cast out of your life!
15 All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew [it] unto you. 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. 17 Then said [some] of his disciples among themselves, What is this that he saith unto us, A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me: and, Because I go to the Father? 18 They said therefore, What is this that he saith, A little while? we cannot tell what he saith. 19 Now Jesus knew that they were desirous to ask him, and said unto them, Do ye enquire among yourselves of that I said, A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me? 20 Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy. 21 A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world. 22 And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you. 23 And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give [it] you. 24 Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full. 25 These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs: but the time cometh, when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs, but I shall shew you plainly of the Father. 26 At that day ye shall ask in my name: and I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you: 27 For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God. 28 I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father. 29 His disciples said unto him, Lo, now speakest thou plainly, and speakest no proverb. 30 Now are we sure that thou knowest all things, and needest not that any man should ask thee: by this we believe that thou camest forth from God. 31 Jesus answered them, Do ye now believe? 32 Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me. 33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
In verse 15 Jesus states that He is never holding out on you. He says that everything that the Father has given Him, He, in turn, makes available to you. He isn’t holding out on you. He isn’t keeping back the good stuff. That is why it is pointless to run after someone who claims to be giving out hidden truth because Jesus is not hiding truth. He is taking everything the Father has given to Him, and He is giving it to you, installing it in your life to bring you forth unto victory. There may be (v. 16) times that you go “a little while” and don’t see Jesus at work in your life. Be patient. Keep trusting. Know that He is saving the best for last! You won’t be left out any more than these men were left out. When it seems, things are going wrong Jesus states in v. 21 that you are merely going through a birthing process. God isn’t killing you; He is birthing something in you. Jesus wanted His disciples to understand this, and He wants you to understand this.
At the end of times of hiddenness and unknowing you will come out to a place called in verse 23 “in that day.” There is a place in God where you wake up in the morning and everything you ask Him He will give it to you holding nothing back. Preachers love to tear this statement of Jesus apart. They say “He didn’t mean He would give you anything that I don’t think in my doctrine that God doesn’t want you to have …” That is a lie. Yes – preachers can lie when they don’t like the liberty and liberality of God in your life. Jesus states plainly that WHATSOEVER you ask the Father in His name the Father will give it to you! That is a yes and amen you and I can cling to and trust in!
He goes on to say – ASK THAT YOUR JOY BE FULL. He doesn’t say “so be careful what you ask for…” No, He says ASK. He says “go ahead and ask – I DARE YOU …” See if you by your faith to ask can bankrupt heaven! God is a God of liberality. You don’t have to overcome His unwillingness to move in your life because He doesn’t have any. His default answer toward you is yes, and all you have to do is ASK IN FAITH. Anyone that tries to qualify this unqualified faith statement of Jesus Himself is perverting the truth of God and the very words of Jesus.
The disciples are hanging on for dear life and trying to keep up with all that Jesus is saying. “Now we get it…” they declare in v. 30. Jesus response in v. 31 “do you now believe?” God told Wm. Branham if he could get the people to believe, nothing would stand before him, not even cancer. That is the mandate of every man and woman of God called to 5-fold ministry. To get you to believe. That is the first priority of conviction by the Holy Spirit. If the Holy Spirit can convict you of unbelief, then sin will be dealt with, and righteousness can then come so the prince of this world can be cast out. It is vain to try to cast out the prince of this world from your life when sin goes undealt with. It is futile to deal with the sin when the real problem is unbelief. Unbelief will go when the word of God is accepted. Then you will find yourself in a whole new dimension of manifest righteousness and total entitlement in God.