So far, we have studied the following

1. The Holy Spirit Is Here To Lead Us Into All Truth  (Part 1, Part 2)
     a. Aspect 1: To lead individuals to develop a relationship with the Truth 
     b. Aspect 2: To lead the church into all Truth 
2. The Holy Spirit is here to lead the church into all truth (Part 3, Part 4)

Let’s continue to explore the other misconceptions about the Holy Spirit 

Misconception 6: Only Holy Spirit Calls Jesus Lord

Paul once said

“Therefore I make known to you    
  that no one speaking by the Spirit
  of God calls Jesus accursed, and no
  one can say that Jesus is Lord except
  by the Holy Spirit.” – Paul (1 Cor 12:3)

That is why many in Christendom today believe that only people who are moved by the Holy Spirit will address Jesus as Lord. Therefore, whoever who calls Jesus Lord is moved by the Holy Spirit.  They have the Holy Spirit living within them and therefore they belong to Christ. 

Some may even go on and  supplement their case quoting

“that if you confess with your mouth
  the Lord Jesus and believe in your
   heart that God has raised Him from
  the dead, you will be saved.
  … …
  For “whoever calls on the name of the
  Lord shall be saved.””- Paul (Rom 10:9,13)

But is this what the bible teaches? Is that what Jesus says?
“Not everyone who says to Me,
  ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the
  kingdom of heaven, but he who
  does the will of My Father in
  heaven.”- Jesus (Matt 7:21)

The right question to consider is to ask ourselves if we indeed obeyed and did the will of God. While it is true that the Holy Spirit can move someone to call Jesus Lord, but the Holy Spirit is supposed to lead a person to call upon the name of God and seek God.  The Holy Spirit will never go beyond the words of Christ.

It is good to call Jesus Lord, and it is good to call upon his name. These are all truths in the bible. But they are only part of the Truth that the Holy Spirit is here to teach. He is also here to teach us to love one and another and to lead a life without sin.

Important Concept: Complete Truth Includes The Truth Of Salvation

The truth mentioned previously are all truths found in the bible. But there are more to it within the words of Jesus. The Holy Spirit is here to lead us into all truth, not just a partial truth. Today we see many Christians moved by the Holy Spirit, believing in Jesus and practicing the love of Christ in their lives. These are all good and are truth taught by Jesus but the Holy Spirit is meant to lead us into all truth. 

What am I referring to? Jesus once instructed his apostles

“teaching them to observe all
  things that I have commanded
  you; and lo, I am with you always,
  even to the end of the age.” – Jesus (Matt 28:20)

Those were the command of Jesus, we are to teach one another to understand the teaching of Christ till the end of the age. We are here to teach the whole truth, not part of the truth. We are here to teach all that Jesus commanded, and the Holy Spirit is here to lead people into all truth. Especially regarding the forgiveness of sin and salvation.

Many Christians today are moved by the Holy Spirit, they believed in Jesus, they are full of the love of Christ. But those are part of the truth. The Pneumatology of Christ tell us that the Holy Spirit is here to lead us into all truth, Jesus tells us to keep his words and command. We must do it ourselves as well as to teach others to follow.

Jesus is not talking about only part of his teaching, but his complete words. We know that by the first century CE, the Holy Spirit stop descending, the teaching of the church had deviated and they no longer keep the complete truth. The truth taught were correct, but they have stopped talking about the other aspects of the truth.   They no longer keep the teaching of the bible, even though they claim to be believing in Jesus

An Example Of A Incomplete Truth

But a partial truth is not the same as the complete truth.Even though the words are still correct, but the missing pieces negate the effect of that truth brought.  The Didache was compiled by the early Christians.  but even from within it we know that the church no longer keep the complete truth taught by Jesus.But by reading it we know that the church no longer held to the complete truth taught by Jesus.

For example, chapter 7 to 10 of the Didache talks about Baptism.  Within the gospel, we know that Jesus and John the Baptist, as well as the Apostles baptized by full immersion using living water (Living water is flowing water, from the stream.)

As quoted in Wikipedia
Baptism is to be conferred "in the Name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit"[ with triple immersion in “living water” (that is, flowing water, probably in a stream). If that is not practical, in cold or even warm water is acceptable. If the water is insufficient for immersion, it may be poured three times on the head (affusion). The baptized and the baptizer, and, if possible, anyone else attending the ritual should fast for one or two days beforehand.

Comparing this to what Jesus had done, it proves that even in the first century, the Christians no longer keep the teaching of Jesus fully. Even though they believe in Jesus, they have downplayed the need for baptism, and they no longer esteemed baptism.

They had forgotten the fact that Baptism taught by the Apostles is for the Remission Of Sin, they have forgotten how the disciples conduct baptism. They allowed their view to supersede the words of Jesus.  They added their own recommendation, which is that those attending baptism should fast one to two days beforehand. Which is not commanded by Jesus.

Misconception 7: One should listen to the Spirit and not the words of man.

There is another misconception from Christian that arises from the words of Paul in  Gal 1:11-12

“But I make known to you, brethren,
  that the gospel which was preached
  by me is not according to man. 
   For I neither received it from man,
  nor was I taught it, but it came through
  the revelation of Jesus Christ.”- Paul  (Gal 1:11-12)

Over here Paul is talking about the moving of the Holy Spirit, how he was led to the truth. For Paul did not receive the teaching from man. He was not taught by men and his teaching came as a revelation from Jesus Christ

Since the Holy Spirit had led him to understand the truth of Jesus, therefore we must allow the Holy Spirit to guide us freely. We need to ignore the perspective of a man completely.

Those who took this view seriously may even advocate that we should destroy all books and teaching written by man, and that only the bible, dictionary and concordance are allowed. For Paul received instruction from the Holy Spirit and no one else.   

But this is a dangerous view to hold, for that will mean that one should only pray and not listen to a sermon. For only the Holy spirit is allowed to teach and no one should teach one another. On the long run, this may lead to a more serious issue.

Just imagine if the Holy Spirit had taught an individual, they compiled and wrote them down in a book, for they believe that it is important, when they pass away, the next generation of Christians burnt their book, and begin that cycle again. Then the libraries will be filled, burnt up and filled again, 

But is this thinking in accordance with the words of Jesus? This is in fact a dangerous path to take.. I can think of a few immediate dangers.

But is this according to the teaching of Jesus?

It is actually dangerous to ask the Holy Spirit to reveal truth. While we understood that the Holy Spirit is here to guide us and lead us into all truth.  But that does not mean that we should just listen to Spirits and ignore the teaching of others.

It is actually correct to pray and ask the Holy Spirit to guide us and help us understand the truth. But it is not right to ask the Holy Spirit to reveal truth. For it is against the teaching of Jesus. There are many dangers that will arise and let us examine these dangers together. 

Pt 7. : A Potential Foothold For The Devil

By asking the Holy Spirit to reveal the truth we would leave a foothold for the devil to work. We are giving him a chance to lead us away from the truth. This danger can cause great damage to the church. For many Christians are misled by the devil. We need to use the bible to help us understand and explain the truth.

Let us imagine a scenario. Today, if through prayer and the revelation of a Spirit. We perceive certain truths. What happens if these revelations had no basis in the scripture? Will we choose to believe it? There is a risk that some in the church will think that the revelations are not inspired by God.  This will lead to a split in the church, for there will be 2 groups of people in the church. Some will choose to believe while others will not.

We need to understand that the Holy Spirit is given to help us understand the word of God. He is not here to go beyond what Jesus had taught. Jesus told us that the Holy Spirit will not speak on his own authority, he will take those that belong to Jesus and give it to others. He will never speak contrary against the teaching of Jesus.

The Warning Of Paul

“Now, brethren, concerning the
  coming of our Lord Jesus Christ
  and our gathering together to Him,
  we ask you, not to be soon shaken in
   mind or troubled, either by spirit or
  by word or by letter, as if from us, as
   though the day of Christ had come. 
   Let no one deceive you by any means;
  for that Day will not come unless the
  falling away comes first, and the man of
  sin is revealed, the son of perdition,”- Paul (2 Thess 2:1-3)

In those days, the church in Thessalonica was curious, they ask the Holy Spirit to reveal truth to them. They did not pay attention to the teaching of Jesus nor do they bother about the teaching of the Apostles. Since they know that the Holy Spirit is here to lead them to understand the truth.

They did receive truth that no one knows,  and they feel that it is God who revealed it to them, Those truths are different from what the Apostles commonly taught. So the Christians there were wondering whether to believe in these revelations or not. For they have heard from people filled with the Holy Spirit, full of love and of good teaching.

But the teaching of these men was confusing and it is full of destruction. For they are sharing a gospel that altered. These teachers preach it since they believe that they are guided and moved by the Holy Spirit.  So they wrote letters to the Thessalonians talking about their belief, which are different from what Jesus and the Apostles taught.

That is why Paul tells them to careful, be it in Spirit, Word or letter, they need to discern what is being shared.

The Advice Of John : Test the Spirits

Elder John teaches us the same thing 1 Jn 4:1-3

“Beloved, do not believe every spirit,
  but test the spirits, whether they are
  of God; because many false prophets
  have gone out into the world.
 
By this you know the Spirit of God: Every
  spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has
  come in the flesh is of God,  and every spirit
  that does not confess that Jesus Christ has
  come in the flesh is not of God. And this is
  the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have
  heard was coming, and is now already in the
  world.”- John (1 Jn 4:1-3 )

There is a need for Christians to judge and discern if a Spirit is indeed from Christ. But how do we discern? What is the basis for our judgement? Should we believe them just because they come in the name if Jesus? What was John talking about?

What John was talking about in 1 Jn 4:2. In his time there were people who claim that Jesus Christ is not from God. They do not believe it because in their opinion, the Holy God will never take the form of an unholy body. They believed that the body is sinful and unclean, capable of sinning and vulnerable. They questioned whether God will stay in a body that is prone to sin. 

While today this problem no longer exists as most Christians believe that Jesus is indeed God in the flesh. But during the time of John there were some who regarded Jesus as a mere illusion, even though he appeared as human but he is not a man. They went one step further to say that he came in the form of man but without a physical body.

Sometimes this debate carried on into modern day Christianity.

So how should we discern the Spirit? Is it as simple as asking, “Do you confess that Jesus had come in the flesh?”. If we do so, is that not childish? If a man wants to deceive you, will he answer truthfully? Perhaps he may confess, but he may be an anti Christ in disguise. 

We tend to picture the devil as ugly and scary. But Paul tells us

“For such are false apostles, deceitful
  workers, transforming themselves into
  apostles of Christ.  And no wonder! For
  Satan himself transforms himself into an
  angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing
  if his ministers also transform themselves
  into ministers of righteousness, whose end
  will be according to their works.”- Paul( 2 Cor 11:13-15)

Let us not be surprised that the devil can disguise himself as an apostle. They can even manifest the power of the apostles, to heal the sick and cast our demons. These are things that many cannot do.  

The Corinthians saw their miracles and believed that these people are the apostles. But Paul warned them that Satan can come as an angel of light. In the same way, his servants can pretend to be ministers of righteousness. They will be able to heal the sick, cast out demons  making others believe in them. If these ministers can perform miracles, but not teach the truth. Then it is a huge problem. That is why I would like to side-track a bit and discuss the following question.

Is the Holy Spirit Here To Perform Miracles Only?

The Holy Spirit has the power to heal the sick and cast out demons. But that is not his main purpose. In the same manner, Jesus can perform these miracles, but his sole purpose on earth is not to heal the sick and to cast out demons.

That is why when many came to Jesus with their sick and demon possessed, Jesus left them and went somewhere else to preach the gospel.  For that is his true purpose why he was on earth. The Holy Spirit had the power to heal the sick and cast out demons. But according to the Pneumatology of Christ, his greatest duty is to lead Christians into all truth. That is why we need to discern what is truth and what is not

If we examine the words of John carefully in 1 Jn 4:2-3. He tells us to examine the Spirit and not the man. John is indeed wise and watchful for he knows that man can choose to be deceptive.  They can disguise themselves as a minister of righteousness and deceive you. They can even profess with their mouth that Jesus is Lord, but yet the spirit of the antichrist is within him.

That is why he tells us not to examine what is external but look into his spirit. Let us examine a man base on his way of life and what he does. Let us judge if he had indeed led his life according to the teaching of Christ. Let us ask questions such as “Did he submit to the truth? Has he truly repented?” that is how we can discern between what’s real and what’s false.

That is why John taught this

“We are of God. He who knows
  God hears us; he who is not of
  God does not hear us. By this we
  know the spirit of truth and the
  spirit of error.” – John (1 Jn 4:6)

Only those who are of God will listen to the words of God. Those who are not of God will not listen. That is how we differentiate between the Spirit of  truth and Spirit of error. Ultimately, it is the truth that will help us discern the Spirit, if one indeed receive the Holy Spirit, he will be moved by the Spirit and submit to the words of God. For the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth

The Spirit of Truth will never go against the truth, but the Spirit of error will. The Spirit of Error will only pay lip service, but his actions will truly reveal who he is.

Conclusion

Truth will always be true forever. Falsehood can pretend for the moment by that façade will disappear eventually. The Chinese had a saying 驴要知马力,日久见人心. If you ride a horse for a while, you will discover its strength, if you observe a man for a while, you will understand his heart.

Let us not believe in every spirit, but let us test the Spirit. For many false prophets had gone out into the world. We need to observe their Spirit, we need to discern them, then we can differentiate between the Spirit of Truth and the Spirit of Error.

If we are not familiar with the words of God, we would end up not following man blindly without discernment. We will be deceived by his outward appearance,  and we would not be able to tell if his actions are against the truth.

Let us start by having a basic understanding of the scriptures. Let the word of God dwell richly within us. Let us be doers not hearers. Let us not just learn bits and pieces from various sermon speaker, but aspire to go forward and read the word of God ourselves. Let us allow it to dwell richly within us, then we could use the word of God to help us discern the Spirit.

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