Pastor James J. Barker

Text: JOHN 14:16-20,26


  1. The Gospel of John can be divided three ways:
    1. The public ministry of Christ to the world (1:1 ---- 12:50).
    2. The private ministry of Christ to His disciples (13:1 --- 17:26).
    3. The events leading up to our Lord’s death and resurrection: His betrayal, arrest, phony trial, death, burial, resurrection, and His appearance to His disciples after His resurrection (18:1 – 21:25).
  1. I want to preach today from this second phase in the Gospel of John, that which concerns His private ministry and discourses to His disciples.
  2. And I would like to focus in on one aspect of His teaching – His promises concerning the Comforter, the Holy Spirit (John 14:16,26; 15:26; 16:7).
  3. The word "Comforter" means literally "one called along side to help," or "encourager" or "strengthener."
  4. The very same word, Paraclete, translated here in the Gospel of John as "Comforter," is found only one other place in the Bible and that is in I John 2:1 where it refers to our Lord and is translated "Advocate." This shows the unity of the Godhead. In fact, we see this unity right here in John 14:16 – God the Son will pray God the Father to send God the Holy Spirit, the Comforter.
  5. Notice in John 16:7 that is the Lord Jesus Christ who sends the Comforter. And in John 14:16 it is the Father who sends Him. Then in 14:26, it is the Father who sends the Comforter in Jesus’ name. Finally, in 15:26 it is Jesus Christ who sends the Comforter "from the Father."
  6. Last week while preaching about the message of John the Baptist, I pointed out that John baptized with water but it is Jesus who would baptize with the Holy Spirit. As I preached about the Holy Spirit, I realized more needed to be said about this important subject.
  7. Today I would like to try and do just that, using these Scriptures from the Gospel of John concerning the Comforter as my text. I have entitled this message, "The Comforter Has Come."



    1. In the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit came upon men, equipping them for service (cf. Ex.31:1-5; Judges 6:34; I Sam.16:13). But now, in this dispensation, He indwells within (John 14:16,17).
    2. The indwelling is "for ever" (14:16), it is permanent. In the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit came upon people and left them, but this is not possible today (Ps.51:11; cf. Eph.4:30).
    3. At this point I would like to remind you that despite what the tongues crowd teach, every born-again believer is indwelt with the Holy Spirit (Rom.8:9).
    4. Our Lord said, "I will not leave you comfortless (literally, "orphans" – John 14:18a). "I will come to you" (14b). In the context, this refers to the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit came and filled the disciples. Our Lord came to them in the person of the Holy Spirit, the Comforter.
    5. All of this is foreign to those who are unsaved. They can only believe what they can see. Their eyes have been blinded spiritually by the devil. They are materialists and therefore cannot receive the Holy Spirit (John 14:17a).
    6. People think materialism is just a matter of compulsive shopping, insatiable consumerism, "shop till you drop," and so on. However, that is only a symptom of the disease. The disease of materialism is unbelief (cf. John 16:7-9).
    7. The unregenerate cannot see Jesus; they cannot see the Holy Spirit; and so they turn their backs on God. We walk by faith, but they walk by sight. Jesus says that they cannot receive the Holy Spirit, "the Spirit of truth," because they cannot see Him (14:17).
    8. In like manner, they cannot see heaven or hell – and so they reject what the Bible says about it. Like the Jehovah’s Witness who told me, "Hell is just a symbol!" I replied, "Well then, unless you repent, you will spend eternity burning in a red-hot symbol!"
    9. The unsaved cannot see the Holy Spirit and so they cannot receive Him (14:17); and yet they believe in wind even though they cannot see the wind (cf. John 3:7,8).
    10. Already Jesus had said that He was in the Father, and the Father in Him (cf. John 10:38; 14:10). But in addition to that, He now adds, "and ye in me, and I in you" (14:20).
    11. "Ye in me" – that is salvation; "and I in you" – that is sanctification.
    12. People have wondered: How can we be in Christ, and Christ be in us at the same time? One popular illustration is that of the poker in the fire. Not only is the poker in the fire but the fire is in the poker.
    13. But even this illustration is somewhat inadequate because there is much more to it than that. If you are in Christ, i.e. if you are saved, Christ dwells within you in the person of the Holy Spirit. That is why drinking, smoking, immorality, and other sins of the flesh are so horrible – because Christ dwells within us (cf. I Cor.6:19,20).



    1. Think of all the world’s great teachers, prophets, and preachers – from Moses up to the great Bible teachers of our century – C.I. Scofield, R.A. Torrey, H.A. Ironside. And yet we have access to a teacher far greater than all of these great men of God – "the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost" – Jesus said: "He shall teach you all things" (14:26).
    2. The Holy Spirit opens up the Word of God to us. If you have a good working knowledge of the Bible it is because you have had a good teacher – the Holy Spirit. This is not to minimize the importance of good Bible teachers and preachers. It is just to emphasize that every born again child of God can sit down with his Bible and be taught directly from the Spirit of God (cf. I John 2:20,21,27).
    3. He will guide us "into all truth" (16:13). "He shall not speak of Himself" (16:13) and He shall glorify Christ (16:14). This was demonstrated on the day of Pentecost when Peter preached Christ with power from on high and 3,000 souls were saved and baptized. This kind of Spirit-filled Gospel preaching is in rare commodity today, especially from those who claim to be "Spirit-filled."
    4. C.I. Scofield preached D.L. Moody’s funeral. At that great meeting, Scofield said these words:
    5. "The secrets of D.L. Moody’s power were: First, in a definite experience of Christ’s saving grace. He had passed out of death into life, and he knew it. Secondly, he believed in the divine authority of the Scriptures. The Bible was to him the voice of God, and he made it resound as such in the consciences of men. Thirdly, he was baptized with the Holy Spirit, and he knew it. It was to him as definite an experience as his conversion" (The Life of D.L. Moody by his son). This is how Moody shook two continents for God.

    6. "And He will show you things to come" (16:13b). We do not need to fear nuclear annihilation or a WWIII because we know what the future holds (e.g. – the Book of Revelation). More importantly, we know who holds the future!
    7. Illustration: I was once working on a construction job with two fellows who were worrying about the world blowing up.
    8. "And bring all things to your remembrance" (14:26) – He reminds us of what He has previously taught us so that we can trust in the Word of God during the difficult times. He brings Scripture to our remembrance when we are witnessing and preaching.
    9. He brought "all things" to John’s memory when decades later (probably around 90 AD), he wrote the Gospel of John.
    10. The Holy Spirit teaches us "all things" (14:26), i.e. the deep things of God. People often think that I Cor.2:9 refers to heaven. It certainly applies to heaven, but in the context the right interpretation is that it applies primarily to right now (cf. I Cor.2:10-16).



    1. Why was it "expedient" (to our advantage) for Christ to go away? (16:7).
      1. Most importantly, Christ had to go to the cross to die for our sins. And He had to rise from – this is the Gospel.
      2. Another important reason why Christ had to go away is because while He was on earth as a man, He was "localized." By this I mean He could only be at one place at one time. But now, the Holy Spirit is working through all Christians everywhere, empowering us as we give out the Word of God.
      3. It was expedient for Christ to go away so that the Holy Spirit could empower them, give them courage, and make Christ more real to them.
      4. The Holy Spirit makes Christ real to you and me (cf. I Peter 1:8a).
    1. Our Lord said that when the Comforter would come "He will reprove the world of sin" (16:8). There are several doctrinal truths brought out here:
      1. The personality of the Holy Spirit – "He is come, He will reprove the world of sin" (16:8); "He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself…" (16:13), etc.
      2. The convicting work of the Holy Spirit (16:8-11). He convicts sinners through the preaching of the Word of God. That is why it is so important to get unsaved people under the sound of the Gospel. Those who respond to the Holy Spirit’s reproving will repent and be genuinely saved. Those who do not respond remain lost and in worse shape than they were before (cf. Acts 2:37,38; 17:2-5, 30-34; 24:24,25; 26:27,28, etc.).


  1. It is obvious that the Holy Spirit brought Felix under conviction. The Bible says "Felix trembled" (Acts 24:25). But rather than yield to God and repent of his sin, he put it off. If there is some one here today in a similar condition, do not put it off.
  2. I do not think Felix ever did get saved; I do not expect to see him in heaven.
  3. I read a true story in the Sword of the Lord that would be funny if it wasn’t so sad. An evangelist, Bill Rice, invited a lady to come out and hear him preach. Her excuse was that she could not stand the heat (it was summer time). Dr. Rice explained that the church had fans and was in fact the coolest place in town.
  4. She then said that she had a bad heart and could not stand too much excitement. Also, she said: it was over a half-mile from her house to the church – too far to walk and riding in the car made her a nervous wreck. The preacher had heard enough excuses and left.
  5. The next day there was a lot of commotion behind the church – fire engines with their loud sirens, people yelling, "Fire! Fire!" Men and women, boys and girls running frantically toward the church, dogs barking – it was a big event in this little town in Indiana.
  6. It turned out that a Chevrolet car was on fire and the firemen were unable to get their water pumping. People were scared that the gas tank was going to explode. The firemen pushed the crowd back into the street and to the preacher’s surprise, here comes the lady he invited to church running down the street towards the fire.
  7. She was unable to come to church because of the heat, a bad heart, and the distance. But once she heard about the fire, she ran full speed ahead down to the church on one of the hottest days of the year.
  8. Unsaved friend, what is your excuse? Is the Holy Spirit convicting you of your lost condition? If so, repent now and come to Jesus Christ.

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