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In today’s program, we will continue our study from John 16. The title is The Spirit of Truth, and we will be looking at verses 12 to 15. Today’s teaching ties in very nicely with last week’s teaching about the Comforter, and today, we want to continue growing in our understanding of the Holy Spirit.
Before we begin the teaching from Pastor J Mark, let’s take some time and think about truth. Since our title is, “The Spirit of Truth,” it is very likely someone is thinking: Truth, how do you know it’s true? or, Truth, what kind of truth? and who says it true? These questions point to a bigger question, Does truth even exist? These questions are common, and people have been asking them for a long time. The answers aren’t easy, but there are answers. Let’s think about a few aspects of truth.
You may have heard someone say, “There is no such thing as absolute truth.” What they are saying is nothing is true for everyone, everywhere, all the time. Now think about what they just said; did they think that statement was true? Yes, said seriously and with conviction, and they have just proved exactly what they were trying to deny. If you ever hear a statement like that, ask them if their statement is absolutely true. They will usually get the point.
This is how truth works; when you deny it and try to argue against it, it will hit you on the head with its obvious existence. And the louder you deny it, the more you proclaim it. This sounds a lot like the verse in II Corinthians 13:8, “For we can do nothing against the truth, but only for the truth.” Truth is inescapable; when you deny it, you prove its existence.
Taking the next step, we can be sure truth is not bound by time, place, or circumstance. The truth we are referring to is not limited; it is absolute. Some things may apply to certain people from a specific area; this is not the truth we are referring to. This truth does not change and is true for every person who was ever on the earth. Since truth is absolute, it leads right into the next point.
Truth is discovered. We don’t create truth; it is beyond us. We are not the ones who set the standard; history has shown us over and over what happens when humans define truth. I have not seen an example where this ended well. Typically, it shows how selfish and sinful we really are. But if the truth is beyond us and something we discover, where can we find it? Personally, I believe the best answer to this question is found in Christianity. Jesus says, “I am the truth.” He gives us timeless instruction, and his principles work regardless of our culture.
Here is absolute truth we can discover. And it is this truth we promote in this program. We promote Jesus and lift Him up as the answer to these difficult questions about truth. We also trust the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us. Now let’s give our attention to Bible Teacher J Mark as he teaches us more about The Spirit of Truth.
We all know there are two areas of thought: the area of the true and the area of the false. It is not always easy to decide between these two. Sometimes the false may sound, oh, so nearly true. Then sometimes, the true may be mixed with the false. But actually, when the true is mixed with the false, it is not true; it is false. So it is sometimes rather difficult to be able to see the line between the false and the true. For that reason, we all need help to draw the lines clearly.
God is always faithful to fulfill the needs of mankind. We need to know truth to order our lives for His glory. We do not need to grope around to find it. Jesus said He was the truth. He prayed the Father to sanctify the disciples by His Word, which is truth.
Let’s praise the Lord that in wisdom He sent THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH, as Jesus promised the disciples, in order that we might be able to see that line between the true and the false. John 16:12-15 brings us the words of Jesus talking to His disciples.
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.
15. All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.
Here Jesus tells us the RELATIONSHIPS the Spirit of Truth will have with His disciples. While Jesus spoke these words to the disciples, we follow them. He spoke of the relationships the Spirit of Truth would have with them.
The first relationship is He Will Guide Them.
There was more to tell, more than He could tell them then. He said, “You cannot bear them now.” They would need to wait until the final acts of redemption were completed to be able to understand the things that they were to know. He said, “You can’t stand it now, but when the Spirit of truth has come, He will guide you.” That will help very much! The relationship will be that the Spirit of Truth will guide the disciple.
Now notice He will do more than just guide. He will guide into all truth. We do need help to see the fine line between the true and the false. We will find that the Spirit of Truth will guide the disciples into all truth.
And He will not speak of Himself, but rather He will speak whatever He hears. That means to me that the Spirit will be a transmitter; He will only tell the disciples what He has heard. He will not be the source of information, but rather He will be a bearer of information. So He will not speak of Himself at all.
The Spirit of truth, Jesus promised to His disciples, will guide them by taking the words of Jesus and showing those words of the disciples. Then He also will show them things yet to come.
Disciples can be sure that the Spirit of truth will come because Jesus promised. He will come, He will guide them, and He will show them things to come.
The second relationship is, He Will Glorify Jesus.
How will He glorify Jesus? He will receive from Jesus and will give to the disciples. The disciples’ experience after Pentecost was exactly what Jesus said it would be. They received the things from the Spirit and were able to give them to others. Because the Spirit had received them and had given them to the disciples, you see. In that way, He was glorifying Jesus.
He would further show them that everything that Jesus had, came from the Father. Because Jesus told them that, “All things that the Father hath, are mine.” Therefore, the Spirit would take the things of Jesus and show them to the disciples. In doing so, He was taking the things of the Father, you see, and showing them to the disciples.
Here is a kind of central abiding truth. It is not easy sometimes to understand the relationships between the Father, the Son, and the Spirit. Jesus clarified this for us and pointed out that there is a very close relationship between them.
I know when I speak like this, some people think that I am talking about three Gods. But no, I am talking about the mystery of the person of God. Jesus said the Spirit of truth is going to take the things of the Father, which also belong to the Son, and show them to His disciples.
I must freely say to you that this is not easy to understand. It becomes easier as we believe and accept what Jesus said. We know that Jesus never lied to anyone; God has never lied to anyone. So, there is complete unity here in the Father, Son, and Spirit because the Spirit of Truth is going to glorify Jesus by showing the disciples what the Father has.
I am so glad the Bible is the Book for all people everywhere. God means that you and I shall receive help from the experience of the disciples. Jesus’ teachings are for us today. That is why God gave us the Bible, and that is the reason He kept it for us until this very day.
These words were spoken not only to the disciples right there with Jesus. But as disciples today, we are followers of Jesus, so this truth comes to us, too. The Spirit guides us into truth. The Spirit glorifies Jesus to us. Oh yes, that still works today. I’m glad to tell you; you too can experience it.
Thank you, J. Mark, for this teaching from God’s word. What do you think? Was today’s teaching helpful? Feel free to share with us your thoughts from today’s program. Or if you’d like to hear it again, just let us know. Here are several ways you can contact us.
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We thank you again for joining us for today’s program. I encourage you to join us again next week as Pastor J. Mark continues teaching from the Gospel of John. We look forward to being with you then and will leave you with these verses from Jude, “Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion, and power, both now and ever. Amen.”