The Bestowal of the Spirit of Truth
“If you love me, you will observe my commandments; and I will request the Father and he will give you another helper to be with you forever, the spirit of the truth, which the world cannot receive, because it neither beholds it nor knows it. You know it, because it remains with you and is in you.”
– John 14:15-17
This is Jesus’ promise that after he leaves, he will request the Father send us another helper, the spirit of truth. It is referred to as “another” helper, because we have already identified one helper, the divine fragment of the Father, that pulls us ever toward the Father and instills a yearning for his presence. As discussed in the prior article in this series, “The Divine Spirit Fragment of the Father,” we learn that the Father indwells us by means of this fragment as his avenue of personal and direct contact with his created human children. On the other hand, the spirit of truth that Jesus spoke about lives with us as the Christ’s avenue of personal and direct contact with his spirit brothers and human sons of the Father.
“When the helper arrives that I will send you from the Father, the spirit of the truth, which proceeds from the Father, that one will bear witness about me; and you, in turn, are to bear witness, because you have been with me from when I began.”
– John 15:26-27
While the spirit fragment dwells within us, the spirit of truth hovers over and around us. It is poured out on all flesh – all who wish to know and fellowship with the Christ – as confirmed by what occurred at Pentecost:
“Now while the day of the [festival of] Pentecost was in progress they were all together at the same place, and suddenly there occurred from heaven a noise just like that of a rushing stiff breeze, and it filled the whole house in which they were sitting. And tongues as if of fire became visible to them and were distributed about, and one sat upon each one of them, and they all became filled with holy spirit and started to speak with different tongues, just as the spirit was granting them to make utterance. . . . this is what was said through the prophet Joel, ‘And in the last days,’ God says, ‘I shall pour out some of my spirit upon every sort of flesh, and your sons and your daughters will prophesy and your young men will see visions and your old men will dream dreams; and even upon my men slaves and upon my women slaves I will pour out some of my spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. ”
– Acts 2:1-4, 16-18
Jesus also provided the spirit of truth as a helper and comforter to his apostles and disciples after he left so they would not be ‘bereaved’ at his absence. (John 14:18) He knew they, and all who would come to know of him, would desire his presence, but he could not fellowship with all of them unless he first went away:
“These things, however, I did not tell you at first, because I was with you. But now I am going to him that sent me, and yet not one of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ But because I have spoken these things to you grief has filled your hearts. Nevertheless, I am telling you the truth, It is for your benefit I am going away. For if I do not go away, the helper will by no means come to you; but if I do go my way, I will send him to you.”
– John 16:4-7
Truly, the divine fragment draws us closer to the Father; whereas the spirit of truth draws us closer to the Christ. With the indwelling father fragment, we have an inkling that we are children of God; but with the pouring out of the spirit of truth, we come to know it because the spirit of truth will unfailingly bear witness with the Father's indwelling presence.
And, in addition to confirming that we are children of God through the divine fragment, the spirit of truth confirms that we are also heirs with Christ:
“For all who are led by God’s spirit, these are God’s sons. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery causing fear again, but you received a spirit of adoption as sons, by which spirit we cry out: “Abba, Father!” The spirit itself bears witness with our spirit that we are God’s children. If, then, we are children, we are also heirs: heirs indeed of God, but joint heirs with Christ, provided we suffer together that we may also be glorified together.”
– Romans 8:14-17
So we see two distinct operations of spirit. A further distinction between the two is that the divine fragment is our one-on-one commune with the Father and the channel through which we worship Him; whereas the spirit of truth is associative and operates most effectively when we are in joint associations, when we “bear witness” about Jesus to others. As Jesus said:
“For where there are two or three gathered together in my name, there I am in their midst.”
– Matthew 18:20
The spirit of truth serves an additional function:
“I have many things yet to say to you, but you are not able to bear them at present. However, when that one arrives, the spirit of the truth, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak of his own impulse, but what things he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things coming. That one will glorify me, because he will receive from what is mine and will declare it to you.”
– John 16:12-14
This new helper, the spirit of truth, is not the letter or law of truth, neither does it function as the form or expression of truth. The spirit of truth is the conviction of truth, the consciousness and assurance of true meanings. It causes us to look for the living truth in every wise saying and to listen for the “ring of truth” in all knowledge. This is what the scriptures mean when they repeatedly say:
“Let him that has ears listen.”
– Matthew 11:15
“Let him that has ears to listen listen.”
– Mark 4:9
“Let the one who has an ear hear what the spirit says to the congregations.”
– Revelation 2:29; 3:22
We are frequently presented with new and unusual ideas about God, the Christ, the spirit, the heavens, etc. Some of the information on this website may be new and revolutionary to some. How will we know what is true? For one, we have the fundamental teachings of the Bible, which we might call the seed; and then we have the spirit of truth that helps us cultivate the seed and grow in our understanding. We build on our knowledge and gain understanding. Then we build on our understanding and we gain wisdom. Then we build on our wisdom and gain the living truth.
“For the word of God is alive and exerts power and is sharper than any two-edged sword and pierces even to the dividing of soul and spirit, and of joints and [their] marrow, and [is] able to discern thoughts and intentions of [the] heart.”
– Hebrews 4:12
Yes, the word of God is alive! It grows! What a mistake to take the teachings of the Bible and fossilize them so that no new understanding can be gained! It would be like the sluggish slave of Matthew 25:24-27 who was too afraid to do business with what he was given.
The Father and the Christ expect us to increase our knowledge, our understanding, and our wisdom as we attain to the living truth. The spirit of truth is our guide in that endeavor. When we listen to the spirit of truth, and have our perceptive powers trained (Hebrews 5:14), we will not have to ask our fellow “what is truth.” We will, each one of us know it.
“And as for you, the anointing that you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to be teaching you; but, as the anointing from him is teaching you about all things, and is true and is no lie, and just as it has taught you, remain in union with him.”
– 1 John 2:27
It was prophesied that the Father’s anointed will know truth without a written law:
“‘For this is the covenant that I shall covenant with the house of Israel after those days,’ says Jehovah. ‘I will put my laws in their mind, and in their hearts I shall write them. And I will become their God, and they themselves will become my people. And they will by no means teach each one his fellow citizen and each one his brother, saying: “Know Jehovah!” For they will all know me, from [the] least one to [the] greatest one of them. For I shall be merciful to their unrighteous deeds, and I shall by no means call their sins to mind anymore.’”
– Hebrews 8:10-12
So, we see that the chief mission of the spirit of truth is to reveal the Father's spirit nature and the Son's moral character. But it also serves several other functions:
- To affirm that we are children of the Father;
- To affirm that we are joint heirs with Christ;
- To help us recall and understand the words of the Master;
- To destroy our feelings of orphanhood as a result of Jesus’ not being with us;
- To foster and personalize truth; and
- To help us bear witness to the realities of Jesus' teachings and his life as he lived it in the flesh.
Thus we see that in every aspect of its operation, the spirit of truth comes to lead all believers into the truth of the Kingdom message – the growing spiritual consciousness of the reality of eternal sonship with God. But there are other spirit influences. In our next article we will examine The Ministry of the Holy Spirit.