“Is the ‘Spirit of truth’ in the Bible the same as the Holy Spirit?” I asked the Seer during one of our daily morning meetings.
“Yes. Remember that ‘there is one Spirit.’ And there is one truth. Christ said ‘I am the truth.’ So, yes, they are one and the same.”
“It says that when the Spirit of truth is come, that he will reprove the world of sin. What does that mean?” I asked.
“To reprove is to expose or reveal. It shines a light on people’s innermost thoughts and sins.”
“How does the Spirit do it?”
“Because God is all-powerful, He can show things to us directly. But oftentimes He uses other people. Remember when the Savior sent out His disciples and told them to say to the people, Repent. The message first and foremost to all is ‘Repent.’ Why? Because ‘the Kingdom of God is at hand.’ It is right here, inside the very one that is telling you to repent,” the Seer said.
I paused a moment, trying to let his words soak in a bit. I finally asked, “I am having trouble understanding the kingdom of God being within someone.”
“God’s dominion is where His Spirit is. Wherever He resides is His domain or His kingdom. We receive His Spirit of truth when it comes down into us at our conversion to Christ. Those that are God’s children will definitely have His Spirit, according to the apostle John, who says that ‘he that does not have the Spirit of Christ is none of His.’ It is by faith that you receive a portion of His Spirit when you receive a new heart at your conversion.”
“How does that work?”
“It is all by faith, meaning that it happens by believing that it will happen–because God said so. It is not believing-something-into-existence that is against what God said. It is believing that we receive His Spirit because He said that it could and would happen. If you take step A, B, and C, according to His word, then D will happen–because He said it would–nothing more. He can’t go back on His own word.”
I asked, “So, after our conversion, He wants us to help others escape the darkness of their sins?”
“Think about it. How else is someone supposed to come out of the darkness of sin, except a person speak to them about their sinful lifestyle?” the Seer said.
“Yes, I guess we can’t expect God to verbally speak to us in a big booming voice from heaven telling us to quit sinning.”
“Exactly. He doesn’t do it that way, except in special instances where He speaks to one person, and then they go and tell others the message from God. Even God came down in human form and told us to repent. Do you remember what Christ said in John 15: 22? ‘If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin…’ See, the great Creator Spirit Yahweh came in a human being and spoke to them, and unless He had done that, ‘they had not had sin.’ In other words, their sinful nature would not have been exposed if He had not spoken to them about escaping the darkness of their sinful life and letting the light come into them. What words do you think He actually spoke to the people?” the Seer asked, his eyes piercing mine.
“Words about repentance?”
“Precisely. You see it all over the gospels. ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand,’ He said to all He crossed paths with. And to finish that passage above in John, ‘But now they have no cloak for their sin.’ He is saying that by Him (His Spirit) speaking to people about their sin, they would not have become guilty; they would still have a cloak to hide behind, to keep their actions in the dark. But now that I call them on it, they have no excuse for continuing their sinful ways.”
“Because God has provided the way to escape that old sinful life. Just like I am doing.”
“Yes. You, my son, are a living example of how great a deliverance God can do in a person’s life, for you have changed so much since you first drove up on the land.”
“Thank you for your help,” I said.
“If you will recall, one of the first messages I gave when we first met was on repentance from sin.”
“That’s right. It was.”
“That is the message for a newcomer into the Kingdom. Leave the life of sin behind and take on the light in your heart. But, you see, God speaks through those who already have His Spirit. He will reprove those without Him of their sin, and this takes away the excuses for continuing in that sin. They must be confronted with this kind of love in order to become guilty, and therefore, repent and turn from the old life.”
“But people won’t like the message. They will reject us if we try to help them,” I said, remembering how I was rejected on my first few feeble attempts to tell others about what God had done in my life.
“Of course. Not many people want their darkness revealed by the light. All the way through John 15 and 16 Christ talks about how the world will hate us and persecute us. Ever wonder why? Because He has commanded us to ‘let our light shine’ and to ‘reprove the world of sin.’
“He says to not hide our light under a bushel. But what is ‘the light’ exactly,” I asked.
“The light is His Spirit come down into us that dispels the darkness of sin in others. When His Spirit has come into us, He in us will shine into the darkness of sinful hearts to help them by turning them from their sinful lives unto righteousness.” The Seer looked at me approvingly. “But let it shine into all the world. Yes, this Kingdom of God is hidden ‘to them that are lost: in whom the god of this world has blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.’”
“I was blind to God’s goodness once,” I said.
“Yes, we all were. The apostle Paul tells us that we are now light and that we should walk as children of the light, and that ‘we should have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them’ or reprove them [Eph 5: 8-11]. If we ‘do not quench the Spirit of truth,’ we will do this, for we are the ‘children of light’ and no longer in darkness.” He could see that I had a question. “Yes?”
“Why don’t more Christians reprove the world of sin? Why don’t the preachers preach repentance?”
“They are too busy teaching the opposite. They teach their congregations that they cannot stop sinning. They will tell them that they are sinners and will always be sinners. They will recite it with pride: ‘I’m a sinner saved by grace.’ In essence they are telling the people in the pews that God is unable to change them from darkness to light. But the scriptures speak otherwise. The word says, ‘With God all things are possible, to him that believes.’ Even to give us a new heart that will not sin against Him. ‘And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins; and in Him is no sin (I John 3: 5).’”
“If you take something away, you don’t have it anymore,” I said.
“Yes, He is in the business of taking away our old sinful dark spiritual nature and giving us a new heart that does not sin against Him. Look. Christ’s Hebrew name Yahshua means ‘Yahweh saves.’ That is why He came in the flesh–to deliver us from sin and sinning. It says, ‘You shall call Him Jesus/Yahshua, for He shall save His people from their sins.’ What are Christians saved from if not from their sins? Paul asks this question: ‘Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? God forbid.’”
“It is hard to help others out of the darkness if we are still in darkness ourselves,” I said.
“That is it exactly,” the Seer said with a smile. The follower of Christ, who believes that he still sins, will be very reluctant to talk to someone else about repenting of his sins since he is a sinner himself and would be a first class hypocrite if he tried to dispel the darkness of sin in others. And so, sin abounds in others as Christians are too timid to stand in the gap and truly help those who are in darkness. And thereby they do not show to the world that they have the Spirit of truth in them. For ‘when the Spirit of truth is come, He will reprove the world of sin.’”
“People never even mention the word ‘sin’ anymore,” I said.
“I know. And yet, it is the very thing that God’s Spirit deals with; it is what His Spirit does. It deals with a person’s sin and exposes it and thereby helps that person come to repentance and change. To put it another way–if people in the world are not having their sin reproved, then the Spirit of truth is not residing in anyone, for He, the Light, will shine into the darkness and ‘bring the hidden things of darkness to light.’ And we as the children of light are to let our light shine. Which light? The light of His Spirit that resides within us by faith.”