“If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be 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 article, “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 Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father—the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father— he will testify about me. And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning.”
– 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:
“When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.....In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out 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 ‘orphans’ by 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:
“I have told you this, so that when their time comes you will remember that I warned you about them. I did not tell you this from the beginning because I was with you, but now I am going to him who sent me. None of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ Rather, you are filled with grief because I have said these things. But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, 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 those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs— heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.”
– 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 two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”
– Matthew 18:20
The spirit of truth serves an additional function:
“I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known 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:
“Whoever has ears, let them hear.”
– Matthew 11:15
“Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.”
– Mark 4:9
“Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”
– 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 active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes 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.
“As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in him.”
– 1 John 2:27
It was prophesied that the Father’s anointed will know truth without a written law:
“‘This is the covenant I will establish with the people of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.’”
– 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. We examine this in the article, The Ministry of the Holy Spirit.