Identifying the Spirit of Truth
By Steve Santini
The dynamics in the growth and development of the Eastern family is an allegory instituted by Noah for the purpose directing man's attention towards the hope for and belief in the coming Savior and salvation. As a result, Eastern family customs follow the pattern of the spiritual family of God in heaven and on earth. The heavenly portion of the family consists of God the Father, the feminine Holy Spirit, their firstborn son, the Christ and preexistent angelic saints considered as figuratively masculine. The earthly portion of the family is comprised of the souls of men, which in Eastern thought were considered as feminine.[i] This theme of both the heavenly and the earthly portion of the spiritual family is consistent in all of Paul's writings as are the corresponding themes of spirit and soul, and the masculine and the feminine figurative portions of God the Father's family
For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and on earth is named, Ephesians 3:14,15
For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, Hebrews 4:12
Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. II Corinthians 6:17,18
In Jesus Christ himself, both heaven and earth were united. Jesus is the name of his perfect soul and Christ is the name of his heavenly anointing.[ii] Likewise, in him, as such, feminine and masculine spiritual realities were united. His name is above all names for none others have had, have or will ever have it.
From a retrospective understanding through Paul's writings, Jesus Christ came to unite the two elements of his one body - the figuratively masculine saints, anointed with a portion of the heavenly spirit of Christ, and the figuratively feminine faithful souls of men on earth.
This impending perfecting and union follows the pattern of Eastern marriage customs. Before the wedding ceremony the bride was bathed and baptized as a symbol of cleansing in preparation for the union with her husband to be. In the ceremony itself a prized animal was sacrificed as a symbolic substitute for sin.[iii] As the bride in the Eastern betrothal proceeded through several ceremonial washings and was baptized during the week before the ceremony, so too will the feminine faithful be prepared by the washing of the word and the cleansing regeneration into wholeness through the baptism of death unto resurrection.[iv]
When a young man had passed through his bar mitzvah and reached a marriageable age without a prearranged betrothal, he could go to his father and ask that a wife be found for him. After receiving permission from his father, he would go to his mother who had the authority for household and family affairs. She would then coordinate the search and formalize the betrothal for he son.[v] The betrothal agreement was a formal document that was sealed with a gift from the prospective groom's family. The betrothal gift was an assurance of future full sharing with her husband. Upon the marriage the betrothed woman became a member of her new family and a family heir with her new husband.
The betrothal gift was given by the mother of the young man in a customary ceremony in the home of the prospective bride's family. Once the arrangement was sealed with the gift, the oversight and preparation of the future bride to enter a new family was the responsibility of the young man's mother. In the spiritual family it is the Holy Spirit that gives the gift of the comforter and assumes the responsibility for the souls of those that have faith that they will be one day perfected in union with Christ who resides in the heavenly realm.[vi]
As the comforter, the token gift that seals the commitment to union, follows Eastern family customs, so too does the subsequent and additional comforter, the Spirit of Truth.[vii] When a young adult attained their thirtieth year of life from conception they were considered mature beyond spiritual deception and able to receive divine understanding. Luke wrote that Jesus began his thirtieth year at the time of his introduction to Israel by John's baptism in the Jordan River. Upon the thirtieth year males entered a new phase of life. Males could sit with the town council of elders. They could ask for their portion of their family inheritance and become independent. No one could be addressed as Rabbi until they had become of age. Levites were then able to provide full service in the Temple. Ezekiel was thirty years old when he received his first vision. Joseph was thirty years old when he interpreted Pharaoh's dream. Like wise, the man born blind of John chapter nine was of age and could answer the Pharisees for himself rather than having his parents speak for him.
But the Jews did not believe concerning him, that he had been blind, and received his sight, until they called the parents of him that had received his sight.
And they asked them, saying, Is this your son, who ye say was born blind? how then doth he now see?
His parents answered them and said, We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind:
But by what means he now seeth, we know not; or who hath opened his eyes, we know not: he is of age; ask him: he shall speak for himself.
These words spake his parents, because they feared the Jews: for the Jews had agreed already, that if any man did confess that he was Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue.
Therefore said his parents, He is of age; ask him. John 9:18-21
This belief was not limited to Israel in ancient times. The Persian Zoraster was said to have received his heavenly vision in his thirtieth year. No one in Athens could sit on a jury until they had reached their thirtieth year. Even today, one cannot become a Greek Orthodox Priest until one is thirty years of age.
Jesus' listeners, recorded in chapters fourteen, fifteen and sixteen, understood these parallels between their family customs and the spiritual realities Jesus was declaring that evening.[viii]
The apostle Paul used this spiritual theme, written of by John, of "coming of age" in a handful of places. In Ephesians, he writes:
Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: Ephesians 4:13-15
The word for children in this section is the Greek word nepios. It literally means not speaking maturely. Lindell, Scott, Jones Lexicon of Classical Greek lists over fifty Greek words that are translated into English as children. Each one has a unique meaning. Their lexicon defines nepios with the legal term minor. Thayer's Lexicon defines this word as not of age.
The Greek word for stature in the phrase unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ is helikia meaning maturity and adult age.
In the last line, the contrast to speaking immaturely as minors is speaking the truth in love. This truth comes from the Spirit of Truth of which John wrote. In I Corinthians, after clarifying the manifestations of the gift from the Holy Spirit, Paul also uses the word, nepios, in another section for child and childish to exhort the church to go further unto maturity. He writes:
For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.
When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. I Corinthians 13:9-11
Interestingly also here is that Paul not only used the same Greek word for children in the two sections but he also used the same Greek word that is translated perfect in both these sections of scripture.
But when that which is perfect is come Corinthians 13:10
Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man Ephesians 4:13
This word for perfect is telios meaning brought to a full end in completeness.
(The first Adam was originally made a living soul comprised of the masculine and feminine life giving energies. Then the feminine component of soul was taken from Adam to make woman. At that point man became incomplete without woman and woman was incomplete without man. The last Adam, The Lord Jesus Christ from heaven was a quickening spirit. In him collectively as the body of Christ the spiritual realities of masculine saints and feminine faithful souls are brought together in completion like a marriage. (I Corinthians 15:42-49, Ephesians 1:1, 5:20-32))
The gift from the Holy Spirit as the minister to betrothed soul came on the day of Pentecost while the Spirit of Truth came years later first and foremost to and through the apostle Paul. However, Jesus gave Peter the keys to the kingdom of heaven. In this capacity Peter was the leader of the early church being raised towards maturity by the Holy Spirit. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, the early church preached Jesus. Yet, years later, after being knocked down, spoken to by the ascended and seated Lord, and blinded for three days Luke records that Paul "straightway" preached "Christ" in the synagogues of Damascus after his sight was restored. (Acts 9:1-31) This preaching of Christ emanated from the Spirit of Truth bestowed upon Paul.[ix] (II Corinthians 11:10, Romans 9:1)
The word truth and the frequency of its usage in scripture also indicate that the Spirit of Truth came first by the apostle Paul. The Greek word translated truth is aletheia. The Greek characters in this word give a general tone for its meaning as it was with the Semitic origins of the language. The first letter is alpha derived from the sign of Taurus their first constellation in the zodiac and the first letter of their alphabet. The second letter is the lamda derived from the Semitic lam that was originally represented by a staff indicating authority and leadership. The Semitic phoneme al means most high. The second phoneme, theia, is based on the Greek consonant theta. Theta is based on the Semitic thet (X) that, in part, indicates mental focus on a centrally contained mark. In the Greek language one of the words for God is based on this th phoneme. It is theos. In English words like theology and think come from this phoneme and retain a partial essence of its earliest symbolized meaning.
The authors of Matthew, Mark, Luke, Acts, I Peter, II Peter, James, Jude and Revelation used the word truth sparingly, while John and Paul used the word truth abundantly. The former of these New Testament writers used the word truth 15 times and the later 86 times in their writings. This is not surprising since John, when he wrote his gospel, had become a firm follower of Paul's gospel at the end when most others had turned away from Paul's gospel.
The sixteenth chapter of John's gospel gives three defining characteristics of the Spirit of Truth. They are sin, righteousness, and judgment.
Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.
And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:
Of sin, because they believe not on me;
Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more;
Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.
I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. John 16:7-12
In similar manner these three words; sin, righteousness, and judgment, are used much more frequently in the apostle Paul's writings than all others. For example, Paul uses the word righteousness 65 times while the word is only used 20 times in all other writer's more voluminous New Testament writings.
The comparative frequency of usages of the word Christ in Paul's writings is also revealing. Christ is the name for the anointment upon the soul of Jesus. (John, in his gospel, identifies it as the spirit without measure.) (John 3:34) The word Christ is used 223 times by Paul while the other writers used it 81 times. Conversely, the other writers of the New Testament use the word Jesus singularly 555 times while the apostle Paul only uses the word Jesus singularly 52 times. Paul uses the words Jesus Christ and Christ Jesus 180 times while the other writers use the two words together 49 times.
Before the apostle Paul's revelation of the great mystery of Christ and the church, Jesus was known as the Messiah rather than the Christ. The meanings of the word Messiah and the meaning of the word Christ are not identical even though they are used interchangeably in cross translations. The word Messiah is an Eastern word that means the anointed one while the Greek word Christ means that with which one is anointed. The names Jesus and Messiah are not unique Eastern words. The Hebrew names Joshua and Jesus are spelled the same in that language. However, the usage of the Greek word christos for a person's name is unique. Christ is the name that Jesus inherited after he, by his free will, accomplished the redemption of all mankind through the cross.
Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;
Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. Hebrews 1:3,4
But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: Philippians 2:7-9
Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,
Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: Ephesians 1:20,21
It was this understanding of the name of Christ that was to come later to John through the Spirit of Truth. In closing his gospel John records a statement that Jesus made about him. The statement caused the apostles difficulty at the time because they did not understand the mission of the Spirit of Truth. It has caused bible readers the same for centuries because the gift from the Holy Spirit and the Spirit of Truth has not been differentiated. Jesus said of John: "Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he(John) tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me." In context it reads:
Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following; which also leaned on his breast at supper, and said, Lord, which is he that betrayeth thee?
Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do?
Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me.
Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?
This is the disciple which testifieth of these things, and wrote these things: and we know that his testimony is true.
And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen. John 21:20-25
Jesus did come again to John by way of understanding Christ through the Spirit of Truth's revealing message first bestowed upon Paul. The message was not, though, received collectively among those of initial faith as intended. The one body of Christ moving harmoniously and growing in understanding and love through faith did not come into manifestation. So, in Paul's day the church did not attain unto that perfect man comprised of the saints and the faithful in Christ Jesus; nor has the church of God attained it at any time since. Yet, John, Luke and Paul did leave a detailed record so that any, through free will faith, empowerment, prayer and self-sacrifice could attain an understanding the great mystery of Christ's one body.
As written of the Spirit of Truth; he will shew you things to come so did the apostle Paul reveal things to come. What he wrote was then presently applicable but more so it was futuristic. He wrote of an interval after his departure termed man's day when man through grace, by his freedom of will, could choose to believe, and how much to believe, or not to believe at all. He also wrote of a subsequent time of wrath in which a greater pressure to believe - all the way unto Christ - would be placed upon man. This is when the chaff will be winnowed from the wheat, as Jesus said. This is the time in which the perfect man will be established through the Spirit of Truth ministered by the manifested saints. That one new man from the two in Christ will be inheritors and fellow-inheritors. They will serve jointly as a priesthood after the order of Melchisedec and a people with age long perfected souls under the Lord Jesus Christ in the forthcoming Jerusalem from heaven on earth.
I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name. Psalm:138:2:
Jesus' Final Instructions to Peter
The Gift from the Holy Spirit and the Spirit of Truth
Speaking in Tongues
The Token for Joint Inheritance in Heaven and upon Earth
[i] In Hebrews Paul writes about the dividing between soul and spirit. He parallels it in a figure to dividing between the joints and marrow. Medically it is impossible to definitively divide between the joints and marrow because of the intertwining of the two as they come together. However he states that the word of God divides between soul and spirit. (For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Hebrews 4:12)
[ii] The combination of the two word Jesus and Christ follows this pattern: Jesus Christ indicates the man who ascended into divinity while Christ Jesus indicates the divine one that descended into humanity.
[iii] To the Easterner each marriage symbolized man's union with the divine which could only be accomplish through the shedding of blood unto death. (Hebrews 9:22-28)(Trumbull, H. C., Studies in Oriental Social Life, Philadelphia, John D. Wattles & Co., 1894, p. 47,48) (Edersheim, A., The Life and times of Jesus the Messiah, Grand Rapids, Erdmans Publishing Co., 1971, p. 353 I)
[iv] Hebrew 9:26-28, Philippians 3:7-15
[v] Trumbull, p. 14
[vi] As the mother in the Eastern family had primary responsibility for the development of the young children until marriage so to does the Holy Spirit similarly raise the young members in the Father's family. The Eastern mother is singularly responsible for raising both male and female children until they are about five years old. Then the raising of the male children becomes a joint responsibility with the father until the males are mature at thirteen. At that point the father alone has responsibility for the male children. After the age of five the mother continues to have the sole responsibility for her daughters. At thirteen or so, when the daughters are betrothed, their mother in law becomes responsible for the maturating transition into a new family. This period of transition in the betrothal arrangement unto the marriage was usually around one year in time.
[vii] Ephesians 1:13,14
[viii] For an understanding of this section, the exact number of years between entering into a sealed betrothal agreement and reaching the thirtieth year of life is not significant. The fact that the Holy Spirit's work progresses unto the Spirit of Truth after a time of mental maturation is significant.
[ix] Since Paul did not mature in the church under the tutelage of the Holy Spirit he considered himself "as of one born out of due time." (I Corinthians 15:8) However, after his brief time preaching Christ in Damascus he did presumably retrace and reassess the Old Testament, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit as he spent 3 years in the deserts of Arabia, fifteen days alone with Peter in Jerusalem, and a time in his hometown of Tarsus before preaching again according to the record. At some time he did receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit and utilized the gift from the Holy Spirit because he wrote to the Corinthians that he spoke in tongues more than them all.