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 (Manna 43: Holy Spirit)
How The Spirit Guides Us Into All Truths
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FF ChongLondon, United Kingdom

One of the great divine initiatives of Jesus’ departure is to open a way for us to follow; that where He is, we may be also. Jesus, being the Holy Spirit Himself, is going to direct us from within to help us reach our ultimate destination—the heavenly kingdom.

The purpose of the Holy Spirit is to guide us into all truth concerning Jesus Christ, and this truth is given to us in the Bible. It is the blueprint that instructs us to live the way Jesus expects us to live.

In this light, understanding the truth in the Bible through the help of the Holy Spirit is one of the most important pursuits of our life.

Recognizing that the two completes and reveals the truth to us will keep us from misinterpreting the truth, generating different views of God’s teachings, and causing conflicts in our faith.

How, then, does the Spirit guide us into all truth?


Paul often urged Timothy to consider his teachings about the truth. In his second letter to Timothy, Paul encouraged Timothy that God will give him understanding in all things (2 Tim 2:7).

Similarly, the Spirit guides us when we are keen to submit to Him and to seek out “all truth.” What the Spirit reveals is what God wants us to know, but it must fall within the biblical perimeter.

Three components of the Bible form the perimeter in which the Holy Spirit works to reveal God’s truth. They are: Jesus’ words, the Old Testament Scriptures, and the apostolic teachings.

Together, they form the canonized Bible, and there is an apparent way to explain their connection—they revolve around Jesus Christ, the source of all truth (Eph 4:21; 1 Cor 3:11).

Jesus’ Word

            But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. (Jn 14:26)

Jesus mentioned “all things” twice and the second qualifies the first. Here, He defines the perimeter of what the disciples would know to be His teachings through the Holy Spirit.

            However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak…He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to  you. (Jn 16: 13-15)

But we must not over-read the intended meaning of Jesus in this passage. Otherwise, we might mistakenly think that God’s truth is incomplete in the Bible.

We might be led to believe that this is the proof that there is no limit to His revelation through the Spirit; as if the Spirit overrides biblical teachings, or that it reveals additional truths outside of the Scriptures.

Since Jesus is the complete embodiment of the truth, as the truth is in Jesus (Eph 4:21), and whatever the Spirit imparts would not exceed what He has said and what He wants the Spirit to say about things concerning Himself.

The Spirit, according to John, works at the instruction of Jesus (Jn 16:13), and the Spirit is there to testify of Jesus and His work (Jn 15:26).

The Apostolic Teachings

            He who hears you hears Me, he who rejects you rejects Me, and he who rejects Me rejects Him who sent Me. (Lk )

Jesus knew there were many things the disciples could neither yet know nor accept if He chose to tell them at the moment when He first found them. So He allowed the Spirit to reveal His truth to His followers later on (Jn , 13), when it is time.

Obviously, there are things that the disciples teach that are not found in the gospels. Examples include baptism in the name of Jesus, speaking in tongues as evidence of receiving the Holy Spirit, and the understanding that we receive salvation through grace.

Jesus, foreseeing the need to make His word complete, authenticated the word of His disciples (Lk 10:16, Jn 15:20; 1 Jn 4:1ff).

Take the case of circumcision. When it was time to reveal that circumcision should not be enforced on gentile believers, this truth had to come through revelation because the apostles had only the Old Testament Scriptures at the time (The OT does talk about salvation for the gentiles as well).

God had to unfold His truth through His Spirit to the apostles in order to resolve the growing tension and conflict in the church at the time. The Holy Spirit gave the apostles authority to shed light on this controversial issue.

This revelation was the key to help the community of faith understand that salvation was no longer under law but under grace (Acts 15:1ff).

But can this be considered an additional truth revealed by the Holy Spirit outside the biblical perimeter, since the salvation of Gentiles and their exemption from circumcision was never mentioned in the Mosaic Law?

We will return to this question a little later.

Old Testament Scriptures

            These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me. (Lk 24:44)

Many of Jesus’ teachings find their basis in the Old Testament Scriptures (Mt 22:27ff; Lk 4:18ff). Jesus preached and even defended His actions often by referring to Old Testament prophecies.

In fact, the entire Old Testament Scriptures point to Him (Jn 5:46). God’s awesome and transcendental revelations are found in Him (Jn 5:39), and they are part of the ‘all truth.”

Therefore, when Jesus came into this world, His plan and completion of salvation also fulfilled everything that God revealed to His prophets and the promises He made to His chosen people, the Israelites.

At times, an Old Testament quote may appear to have been taken to illustrate or develop into a totally new teaching in the New Testament. One example is the teaching of “an eye for an eye”, which seemed to be replaced by the instruction to “love [our] enemy” (Mt 5:38).

The “eye for an eye” rule was given on the ground of civility (Ex 21:24; Lev 24:20; Deut 19:21). Since it was a civil law, a violation of it on the part of a person would be recompensed with a punishment equal to the degree of damage inflicted upon the sufferer.

These laws focused on those who are in authority and have the obligation to look after the welfare of the people. At the same time, it serves as deterrence, for the people of God, from infringing on the rights of their fellow countrymen.

In the New Testament, Jesus shifts the focus to the sufferers themselves, who must show great strength in their faith to love their enemies. In fact, this has been the spirit of the Old Testament Scriptures (Lev 19:18), which is part of the moral law.


This cause us to return to the important question: Does the Holy Spirit reveal additional truths outside of Scriptures, and do these “truths” override the teachings of the Bible, as in the case of circumcision as well as the shifted focus from “an eye for an eye” to loving our enemies?

The Spirit does not and will not reveal any teaching that is not biblically founded. What the Spirit does today is to lead us into greater and fuller understanding and realization of the Scriptures.

It is not the disclosure of further or additional truth to what is God-inspired in the holy Bible. Otherwise, we can probably write other books, thinking that they are of equal authority to the Bible.

Rather, it is the Holy Spirit that further unfolds the meanings and mysteries of God’s teachings and the message of Jesus Christ, which leads us closer to the ‘all truth’.

            All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. (2 Tim 3:16)

This reminds us that the Scriptures, in this case the OT Scriptures, was given by God’s inspiration. It is the basis of our faith in Christ Jesus and is through the Bible that we have a future hope of eternal life through Jesus Christ Himself (Col).

The Old Testament is written for believers of the apostolic times and today (Rom 15:4), and it is consistent. Unless we can confirm that the Bible cannot give us the spiritual wisdom to receive salvation and have hope in Jesus, we are required to hold on to its absolute truth faithfully.


Identifying the sphere of the Spirit’s work further helps define the perimeter of the truth.

The work of the Spirit is well detailed in the many pages of the Bible; the most notable passage is John 16:8-11:

            And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.

These are the three areas of the work of the Spirit.

The first is the sin of unbelief. Gentiles do not believe in God despite the testimonies to His existence by the existence of the universe (Rom 1:20). Many, although having seen the works and power of, and heard about the gospel of Jesus, refuse to believe in Him.

This unbelief is a sin (2 Thess 1:7, 8). Peter, by the power of the Holy Spirit, awoke many to their senses to become aware of their sin of unbelief, which led them to crucify Jesus (Acts 2:22; 3:13ff). Today, the Spirit does just that.

The second is to disclose the righteousness of Jesus Christ. A righteous God is both just and merciful, and the outpour of the promised Holy Spirit after Jesus’ ascension firmly underlines the righteousness of Jesus (Acts 2:33).

Though we have not seen Jesus in person or heard His teachings from His lips, our conviction remains steadfast in His word. The work of the Spirit here is to help us believe in the word of Jesus, which is written in the Bible.

The third is His judgment. Here, Jesus specifically talks about the judgment that He has brought upon Satan; the ruler of the world. Jesus Christ is infinitely more powerful than Satan. Otherwise, Satan cannot be brought to justice for all his evil deeds against God and His people.

The Holy Spirit confirms that Jesus has overcome Satan by His redemption, which He has freely offered to us (Rev 12:11). By relying on the Holy Spirit, we can be victorious over the evil forces and see through all of Satan’s schemes.

These, then, have been the key focus of the entire Bible. And we can see that our understanding of the truth is within the scope of the Spirit’s work, and the two agrees and confirms all truth to the believers of Christ.

Anything outside the perimeter of the Scriptures and not revealed through the Spirit puts us at risk of corrupting the word of God.


It is when we start to interpret the Bible using our own understanding without relying on the Holy Spirit that we start to encounter differences in opinions about the word of God.

In searching the truth, we must unite our minds by losing our wills in the sovereign will of the Lord, and resolve our disagreements and conflicting words of His teachings.

This unity in the truth is made possible by the guidance of the Holy Spirit, which draws us closer to one another in doctrines, in works, and in understanding.

Humility must come into play as well so that we are able to think with spiritual astuteness. To admit that at times we can be wrong in our interpretations of the Bible, something that is human nature to resist, will enhance the Spirit’s guidance in our pursuit of His word.

The church must also establish a set of biblical principles on which ordained workers must agree in order to govern the interpretation of the Bible, and to prevent misinterpretation of the truth from confusing the believers.

The word of God follows a pattern within which our understandings must fall (Rom 6:17; 2 Tim 1:13). It is important for us to come to the truth in the Bible through the right patterns.

We must also be unafraid to improve upon our understanding of the Bible where previous misinterpretations may have prevented us from being taught further into God’s truth.

With the proper attitude and approach, we will make ourselves conducive for the Spirit to guide us into understanding all truth.

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Publisher: True Jesus Church