“If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.” – John 14:15-17
1 John 4:6 tells us that there is a Spirit of Truth that has been loosed in this world but also there is a spirit of error. There is a Spirit that is of God, who can not lie (Numbers 23:19), yet there are also deceiving spirits (1 Timothy 4:1) at work that or of their father, the devil.
“Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” – John 8:44
The bible also says that in the last days, deception would grow so rampant that it would deceive many to the point that they will serve the antichrist, persecuting and even killing true believers, and think they are doing it in the service of God. (John 16:2) Those days are coming and in many parts of the world, it is already here. However even in nations and communities that claim to be Christian we already see a push toward embracing the counterfeit while rejecting and even attacking the real thing. There are so many teachings, movements, and doctrines out today that stand in direct opposition to the Word of God and the teachings of Christ. Whether it be in word or in action, the Spirit of God will never contradict the Word of God.
So how do we keep from falling prey to deceiving spirits? Especially with many of them teaching, preaching, and importing themselves from pulpits claiming to be the Holy Spirit? Seek God, that which is unseen. Not the magic show, the slight of hand, the hype, that which is seen. Chase the miracle maker, not the miracle. Know that there is no “easy road” with God, only the “broken one“. Short cuts, quick answers, and easy importations are usually always false, but God will give you the real if you take the time and make the effort to seek Him for it in the quiet. Spend time alone being taught by the Spirit of Truth that you might not be overtaken by the spirit of error.
So what exactly is the Spirit of Truth and how do we get it? Jesus tells us in the book of John, that it’s a Spirit we did not have access to as an indwelling force prior to His coming. He also tells us that He will send us this Spirit, not only as a teacher but also as a comforter, and a revelatory Spirit.
“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.” – John 16:13
It’s becoming pretty easy to see that the Spirit of Truth is The Holy Spirit of God. We tend to label the Holy Spirit today as a performer, a caged beast only to be loosed when we need self validating manifestations. That is not at all the character or function of The Holy Spirit. Yes, one who is truly filled with the Holy Spirit of God will do great works for the Kingdom of God even to the point of miracle manifestations when God so deems. However these events will always be for God’s Glory and the building of His Kingdom, not the glory of the individual being used. Remember that a true servant of God will decrees as God increases (John 3:30), growing in knowledge and truth. A servant of self will increase as God decreases, growing in foolishness and error.
“In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,” – Ephesians 1:13
Let’s brake this down a little more to further identify the character and purpose of the Holy Spirit. We all know that the Holy Spirit was identified as a Flame or Fire throughout scripture. John the Baptist said that he baptized with water, but another was coming that would baptize with fire (Matthew 3:11). In Acts when the Holy Spirit fell, it appeared as cloven tongues of fire upon them. (Acts 2:3) Even back to the Old Testament, the Jewish menorah (a candle stick) represented the Holy Spirit of God. The menorah was a candle stick with one base that split into seven different candleholders, each holding a candle with a separate flame. These seven flames represented the seven Spirits of God encompassed into one Holy Spirit.
“John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne;” – Revelation 1:4
If the Holy Spirit encompasses the seven Spirits of God, then what are they? What are their characteristics and their function? The answer to that can be found in Isaiah’s description of the coming Christ. When the disciples saw the baptism of Jesus in the flesh, they saw the Holy Spirit of God come and rest upon him. However when the prophet Isaiah saw this same event in the spirit, he saw a little more.
“And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and rested upon him:” – Matthew 3:16
“And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord;” – Isaiah 11:2
- The Spirit of the Lord
- The Spirit of Wisdom
- The Spirit of Understanding
- The Spirit of Council
- The Spirit of Might
- The Spirit of Knowledge
- And the Spirit of the Fear of the Lord
Remembering that Psalms 111:10 tells us that “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom”, we realize that all of these Spirits can be summed up in one, that is “The Spirit of Truth”. The function of each is ultimately to reveal truth. Weather through revelation, word, or action, it’s always about bringing the truth to light, hense the candlestick parallel. It’s not deceit, not lies or hypocrisy, not distractions or entertainment, not compromise or confusion, but truth. If something claims to be a work of the Holy Spirit but does not reveal Truth through revelation, Word, and action then you are being deceived. A true manifestation of the Holy Spirit will always have a purpose tied to one of the seven spirits or functions. In other words the manifestation will be to bring the recipient to The Lord, to Godly wisdom, knowledge, understanding, counsel, to show forth the might of God, or bring one to the fear of The Lord, all of which are meant to bring you to greater truth. Every true operation of the gifts of the Spirit will bring you to one of these means. If you go to a service and see a lot of empty pointless showy manifestations but receive no truth, no Word, and no revelation through the word, then there is a spirit in operation, it’s just not the Holy one. Know the Word of God that you might know the character of God and be not deceived. The Spirit of God will not contradict the character of God, and the character of God will not contradict the word of God, because the character of His Spirit is Truth.
First and far-most, the Holy Spirit is a teacher. Therefore those claiming to carry it will function thusly, primarily teaching, preaching, and spreading truth and secondarily performing manifestations. Remember that scripture tells us in Mark 16:17, that signs and wanders are to follow those that believe, not the other way around.