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John 16:13

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

He will guide you - He will consider your feeble infant state; and, as a father leads his child by the hand, so will the Holy Spirit lead and guide you.

The Vulgate, and some copies of the Itala, read, He will Teach you all truth; but this and more is implied in the word ὁδηγησει, he will lead; besides, this reading is not acknowledged by any Greek MS.

He shall not speak of himself - He shall teach nothing contrary to what I have taught you:

But whatsoever he shall hear - Of the Father and me, that he shall speak, and thus show the intimate consent between himself, the Father, and Christ. It is one conjoint testimony, in which the honor and glory of the holy Trinity, and man's salvation are equally concerned.

And he will show you things to came - He will fully explain every thing that may now appear dark or difficult to you; will give you such a knowledge of futurity as shall, in all necessary cases, enable you to foretell future events; and shall supply every requisite truth, in order to make the new covenant revelation complete and perfect.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

The Spirit of truth - So called because he would teach them all necessary truth.

Will guide you into all truth - That is, truth which pertained to the establishment of the Christian system, which they were not then prepared to hear. We may here remark that this is a full promise that they would be inspired and guided in founding the new church; and we may observe that the plan of the Saviour was replete with wisdom. Though they had been long with him, yet they were not prepared then to hear of the changes that were to occur; but his death would open their eyes, and the Holy Spirit, making use of the striking and impressive scenes of his death and ascension, would carry forward with vast rapidity their views of the nature of the Christian scheme. Perhaps in the few days that elapsed, of which we have a record in the first and second chapters of the Acts of the Apostles, they learned more of the true nature of the Christian plan than they would have done in months or years even under the teaching of Jesus himself. The more we study the plan of Christ, the more shall we admire the profound wisdom of the Christian scheme, and see that it was eminently fitted to the great design of its Founder - to introduce it in such a manner as to make on man the deepest impression of its wisdom and its truth.

Not speak of himself - Not as prompted by himself. He shall declare what is communicated to him. See the notes at John 7:18.

Whatsoever he shall hear - What he shall receive of the Father and the Son; represented by hearing, because in this way instruction is commonly received. See the notes at John 5:30.

Things to come - Probably this means the meaning of things which were to take place after the time when he was speaking to them - to wit, the design of his death, and the nature of the changes which were to take place in the Jewish nation. It is also true that the apostles were inspired by the Holy Spirit to predict future events which would take place in the church and the world. See Acts 11:28; Acts 20:29; Acts 21:11; 1 Timothy 4:1-3; 2 Peter 1:14; and the whole book of Revelation.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Christ's departure was necessary to the Comforter's coming. Sending the Spirit was to be the fruit of Christ's death, which was his going away. His bodily presence could be only in one place at one time, but his Spirit is every where, in all places, at all times, wherever two or three are gathered together in his name. See here the office of the Spirit, first to reprove, or to convince. Convincing work is the Spirit's work; he can do it effectually, and none but he. It is the method the Holy Spirit takes, first to convince, and then to comfort. The Spirit shall convince the world, of sin; not merely tell them of it. The Spirit convinces of the fact of sin; of the fault of sin; of the folly of sin; of the filth of sin, that by it we are become hateful to God; of the fountain of sin, the corrupt nature; and lastly, of the fruit of sin, that the end thereof is death. The Holy Spirit proves that all the world is guilty before God. He convinces the world of righteousness; that Jesus of Nazareth was Christ the righteous. Also, of Christ's righteousness, imparted to us for justification and salvation. He will show them where it is to be had, and how they may be accepted as righteous in God's sight. Christ's ascension proves the ransom was accepted, and the righteousness finished, through which believers were to be justified. Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. All will be well, when his power is broken, who made all the mischief. As Satan is subdued by Christ, this gives us confidence, for no other power can stand before him. And of the day of judgment. The coming of the Spirit would be of unspeakable advantage to the disciples. The Holy Spirit is our Guide, not only to show us the way, but to go with us by continued aids and influences. To be led into a truth is more than barely to know it; it is not only to have the notion of it in our heads, but the relish, and savour, and power of it in our hearts. He shall teach all truth, and keep back nothing profitable, for he will show things to come. All the gifts and graces of the Spirit, all the preaching, and all the writing of the apostles, under the influence of the Spirit, all the tongues, and miracles, were to glorify Christ. It behoves every one to ask, whether the Holy Spirit has begun a good work in his heart? Without clear discovery of our guilt and danger, we never shall understand the value of Christ's salvation; but when brought to know ourselves aright, we begin to see the value of the Redeemer. We should have fuller views of the Redeemer, and more lively affections to him, if we more prayed for, and depended on the Holy Spirit.
Ellen G. White
The Acts of the Apostles, 51

With the consecrated worker for God, in whatever place he may be, the Holy Spirit abides. The words spoken to the disciples are spoken also to us. The Comforter is ours as well as theirs. The Spirit furnishes the strength that sustains striving, wrestling souls in every emergency, amidst the hatred of the world, and the realization of their own failures and mistakes. In sorrow and affliction, when the outlook seems dark and the future perplexing, and we feel helpless and alone,—these are the times when, in answer to the prayer of faith, the Holy Spirit brings comfort to the heart. AA 51.1

It is not a conclusive evidence that a man is a Christian because he manifests spiritual ecstasy under extraordinary circumstances. Holiness is not rapture: it is an entire surrender of the will to God; it is living by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God; it is doing the will of our heavenly Father; it is trusting God in trial, in darkness as well as in the light; it is walking by faith and not by sight; it is relying on God with unquestioning confidence, and resting in His love. AA 51.2

It is not essential for us to be able to define just what the Holy Spirit is. Christ tells us that the Spirit is the Comforter, “the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father.” It is plainly declared regarding the Holy Spirit that, in His work of guiding men into all truth, “He shall not speak of Himself.” John 15:26; 16:13. AA 51.3

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Ellen G. White
The Acts of the Apostles, 38

The Spirit came upon the waiting, praying disciples with a fullness that reached every heart. The Infinite One revealed Himself in power to His church. It was as if for ages this influence had been held in restraint, and now Heaven rejoiced in being able to pour out upon the church the riches of the Spirit's grace. And under the influence of the Spirit, words of penitence and confession mingled with songs of praise for sins forgiven. Words of thanksgiving and of prophecy were heard. All heaven bent low to behold and to adore the wisdom of matchless, incomprehensible love. Lost in wonder, the apostles exclaimed, “Herein is love.” They grasped the imparted gift. And what followed? The sword of the Spirit, newly edged with power and bathed in the lightnings of heaven, cut its way through unbelief. Thousands were converted in a day. AA 38.1

“It is expedient for you that I go away,” Christ had said to His disciples; “for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you.” “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 show you things to come.” John 16:7, 13. AA 38.2

Christ's ascension to heaven was the signal that His followers were to receive the promised blessing. For this they were to wait before they entered upon their work. When Christ passed within the heavenly gates, He was enthroned amidst the adoration of the angels. As soon as this ceremony was completed, the Holy Spirit descended upon the disciples in rich currents, and Christ was indeed glorified, even with the glory which He had with the Father from all eternity. The Pentecostal outpouring was Heaven's communication that the Redeemer's inauguration was accomplished. According to His promise He had sent the Holy Spirit from heaven to His followers as a token that He had, as priest and king, received all authority in heaven and on earth, and was the Anointed One over His people. AA 38.3

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 8, 19

God does not ask us to do in our own strength the work before us. He has provided divine assistance for all the emergencies to which our human resources are unequal. He gives the Holy Spirit to help in every strait, to strengthen our hope and assurance, to illuminate our minds and purify our hearts. 8T 19.1

Just before His crucifixion the Saviour said to His disciples: “I will not leave you comfortless.” “I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever.” “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 show you things to come.” “He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” John 14:18, 16; 16:13; John 14:26. 8T 19.2

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 111-2

It is impossible for any mind to comprehend all the richness and greatness of even one promise of God. One catches the glory of one point of view, another the beauty and grace from another point, and the soul is filled with the heavenly light. If we saw all the glory, the spirit would faint. But we can bear far greater revelations from God's abundant promises than we now enjoy. It makes my heart sad to think how we lose sight of the fullness of blessing designed for us. We content ourselves with momentary flashes of spiritual illumination, when we might walk day after day in the light of His presence. TM 111.1

Dear brethren, pray as you never before prayed for beams from the Sun of Righteousness to shine upon the word, that you may be able to understand its true meaning. Jesus pleaded that His disciples might be sanctified through the truth—the word of God. Then how earnestly should we pray that He who “searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God,” He whose office it is to bring all things to the remembrance of God's people, and to guide them into all truth, may be with us in the investigation of His Holy Word. TM 111.2

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