Treasures of the Truth—Part 9

I Have Many Things to Say Unto You

“I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.”
—John 16:12

AS JESUS’ EARTHLY MINISTRY was coming to a close, he was very much aware of the anguish and uncertainty that existed in the minds of his disciples. He promised them that they would soon receive the Holy Spirit, and he used the word “truth” to describe the special gift that would come from our loving Heavenly Father. Jesus further explained, “When he may come, the Spirit of Truth, he will lead you into all Truth; for he will not speak from himself; he will speak whatever he may hear; and declare to you the coming things.”—John 16:13, Wilson’s Emphatic Diaglott

Many seekers of truth have been confused by the word ‘he’ as it has been used in this scripture that suggests the possibility that the Holy Spirit is an individual. This is not the case, and if the word ‘it’ had been used Jesus’ words would have been more easily understood. Concerning the word ‘he’ we note the following explanation [HE: Vine’s Dictionary of New Testament Words]. We read, “This pronoun is generally part of the translation of a verb. Frequently it translates the article before nouns, adjectives, numerals, adverbs, prepositional phrases and the participial form of verbs.” Thus we see that it describes the Holy Spirit of Truth that emanates from God.


We know that our Lord Jesus was telling his followers that it was his Heavenly Father who would send his Holy Spirit of Truth to enlighten and guide his people. They continued to wait in an attitude of prayer and fasting that was necessary to prepare them for receiving the Spirit. The promise was made manifest fifty days later on the Day of Pentecost even as Jesus had foretold.

Luke has recorded the miraculous scene in fulfillment of the marvelous manifestation of God’s power. “When the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost [Holy Spirit, #4151, Strong’s Bible Concordance], and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”—Acts 2:1-4

The ‘rushing mighty wind’ shows the powerful and invisible Spirit of God. The ‘cloven tongues’ that appeared like fire illustrated the light of Truth. This light emanated from a central point and was dispersed to each of the disciples who were gathered together at that time and place. This illumination of the Holy Spirit shows that each one present was received into the body of Christ as sons of God. It also represented the Holy Spirit that would be given to each one of the body of Christ throughout this Gospel Age. The Spirit of Truth that was poured out on the Day of Pentecost began a whole new era of the church class that would be called out of the world during the present age. “He whom God has sent speaks the words of God; for he gives not the Spirit by measure.”—John 3:34, WED


The things that were spoken of by John (16:13) would be the truths that God would give to the disciples of Jesus. Our Heavenly Father spoke by way of opening the minds of Jesus’ followers to an enlightened depth of understanding and appreciation of the Hebrew Scriptures which were until that time largely unknown, and a mystery to them. Having now received the wonderful Spirit of Truth from God, Jesus’ disciples began to realize that the recorded prophecies and visions that God had caused to be written by his people in times of old had been shrouded in mystery for ages and generations but were now about to be understood.


The Apostle Peter began to look closer at the prophecies with a deeper appreciation of meaning, and when he rose to speak to the devout Jews who were gathered together he turned to one of the prophecies of Joel. The enlightenment of this prophecy was for the very purpose of giving vision, hope, and a message of prophetic truth for the Lord’s people who were responding to the High Calling in Christ Jesus during the new Gospel Age that was then just beginning. Peter proclaimed, “This is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days [afterward, Joel 2:28], saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy.”—Acts 2:16-18

After many centuries of obscurity, this particular portion of God’s Holy Word was being unveiled; the descendants of which the prophet had spoken, were the sons and daughters of ancient Israel who were represented in the apostles and other Jewish disciples. They were on hand that very day prophesying and giving public witness to the calling of a new dispensation, the High Calling into Christ. The ‘young men’ [select men, #970, Strong’s] were those who were present and had been especially selected by God to interpret the visions and prophecies of old and to reveal their hidden meanings. Joel’s prophecy also pointed to the ‘old men’ [elders, #2205, Strong’s] who were chosen to ‘dream dreams’ and to give understanding to the things that had been written in the past. They had once been received from God and written as if in dreams or visions, but now given for instruction to those who were being called as special servants and handmaids of God. This call would ultimately be extended to those who would be called “out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation.”—Rev. 5:9


Other precious truths from the written Word of God also began to take on new dimensions of meaning. Peter continued, “David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved: Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope: Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell [grave, #7585, Strong’s], neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance.” (Acts 2:25-28) In his discourse, the apostle was quoting the words of the psalmist David (Ps. 16:8-11), and explained that they did not pertain to David himself, but concerned the marvelous and prophetic statement pointing to the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus.

Peter, having considered more closely the written Word of God (Ps. 132:11), explained that David was dead and buried. (Acts 2:29) “Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne.” (vs. 30) Peter, then speaking under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit of Truth said, “David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself [Ps. 110:1], The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, Until I make thy foes thy footstool.” (Acts 2:34,35) The apostle thus applied this verse of scripture to show that Jesus’ kingdom would not be established at that particular time, but sometime in the future. It would be a heavenly or spiritual government which was a precious truth that had not previously been understood.


This realization further confirmed what the Master had said many times during his earthly ministry. On one occasion, Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.” (John 18:36) Based on this new and spiritual application, Peter, as spokesman for the apostles, appealed to those who heard him proclaim these newly unveiled truths. He encouraged them to join with him and the Lord’s people, and accept the call to be joint-heirs with Jesus in his heavenly kingdom. The preparation for this future time was to be accomplished through the power of the Holy Spirit of Truth and enlightenment that had been received from the Heavenly Father as a special gift for a special purpose.

The question was then asked, “What shall we do?” (Acts 2:37) “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost [Holy Spirit, #4151, Strong’s].”—vs. 38

This new understanding and appreciation of God’s ultimate purpose that was to be accomplished by the pouring out of his Holy Spirit of Truth, was concluded in Peter’s powerful words which were spoken that day, when he said, “The promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.”—vs. 39


The receiving of truth by way of God’s Holy Spirit was expressed by Paul in his letter to the Corinthian brethren. He wrote, “We speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.” (I Cor. 2:7,8) The Scriptures which hold the secret and hidden wisdom of God were written in ages past for the edification of the saints who would be called during the present Gospel Age.

No one, including the nation of Israel in whose care the oracles of God had been entrusted (Rom. 3:1,2), understood the ultimate purpose of God that had been written by their prophets many centuries earlier. Supporting this wonderful hope with scripture, Paul quoted from the Prophet Isaiah. “Since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him.” (Isa. 64:4) This brief observation, which was made approximately 700 years before Jesus’ earthly ministry, ends the prophet’s statement concerning the matter. Paul, who was writing to those for whose glorification the Scriptures were ordained, also added, “But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.”—I Cor. 2:10

The ‘deep things’ [mysteries] of God are in reality the basic truths of the Bible which reveal to us the various features of his plan that are necessary for our justification and sanctification. This was spoken of by James, who wrote, “Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.” (James 1:18) They are called deep or mysterious things because others who have not been enlightened by the Holy Spirit of God do not see them. Paul explains that this special understanding comes through the influence of the Holy Spirit. “What man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost [Holy Spirit, # 4151, Strong’s] teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.”—I Cor. 2:11-13

Through this enlightening process that our loving Heavenly Father brings about in various and individual ways to those whom he has called, the Scriptures are no longer shrouded in mystery and misunderstanding. They now reveal the ‘things that are freely given to us of God’ so that we might conform our lives to his eternal will and purpose.


In his letter to the brethren at Ephesus, the Apostle Paul has systematically outlined three basic truths that have been disclosed to us through God’s Word. These form a foundation of knowledge necessary to intelligently yield ourselves to the counsel of his will, and to be sealed thereto with the Holy Spirit of promise. Paul writes, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children [sonship] by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.”—Eph. 1:3-6

The apostle expresses the first of these important truths that are so inseparably linked, to the work of the Holy Spirit and the High Calling of God in Christ Jesus. He emphasizes that before this present world came into being God foresaw the evil environment of our day and determined to use it as a testing ground for the selection and preparation of his spiritual family. The accomplishment of this wonderful act of grace by the ‘good pleasure of his will’ required that the called ones would be thoroughly tested and perfected in faithfulness and holiness, being without blame before him in love.

This unique and important feature of God’s plan has been concealed from the worldly wise. It is not clearly discerned except by those who, by God’s grace are given understanding to “rightly divide the word of truth.”(II Tim. 2:15) It was God’s purpose that the High Calling be accomplished through the call and selection from among mankind those who would be willing to walk in the footsteps of Jesus. They would heed his invitation to take up their cross and follow him. In order to do this, they too must be made aware of their calling, and like Jesus they must find in the “volume of the book” (Ps. 40:7) all the scriptures that reveal the hope of their calling, and what is the “riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints” (Eph. 1:18), and what they must do to qualify for such a great reward.

As the great hope of which the Apostle Paul speaks unfolds in his letter to the Ephesians, he points out that a knowledge and appreciation of this truth of the High Calling is essential to the children of God in order to have the Holy Spirit effectively work in their lives toward the achievement of this great and precious promise of God.


Paul points out that a second essential truth necessary for our understanding is redemption through the ransom sacrifice of Jesus. He writes, “In whom we have redemption though his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence.” (Eph. 1:7,8) The ministry of sacrifice by Jesus as a perfect man provided the means that had been arranged by God through which the High Calling is made possible to us.

We have redemption from the fallen condition of inherited sin through faith in Jesus’ precious blood and having received forgiveness of sins we accept the invitation of our Lord—“If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.” (Luke 9:23,24) If we share with him in his suffering, we shall also be partakers of his glory.

No other basic doctrine of Truth has been so carefully and convincingly verified and established in the Word of God as that of our redemption through the ransom sacrifice of Jesus. The well-documented life of Jesus, his dedicated fulfillment of the sacrificial types and prophecies of the Old Testament, and the interpretations by the apostles in their writings, has laid for us a proven foundation of knowledge. This understanding reveals the path of attainment to the High Calling, a knowledge which, if added to with patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, and charity, will make us neither “barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” through which, in giving diligence, we can make our “calling and election sure.”—II Pet. 1:5-8,10

This truth becomes a powerful agency by which the Holy Spirit works out the will of God in the justification and sanctification of all who are called with a knowledge of the Truth. “Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself.”—Eph. 1:9


A third feature of truth that has been brought to our attention by the Apostle Paul applies to the object of our calling, and the future work of the church under the administration of Christ’s kingdom. “That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.”—Eph. 1:10,11

We observe how closely the Scriptures relate to the preparatory experiences of the church toward their ultimate purpose, and for the world’s salvation. This point was expressed by Paul, “Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart. And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward: Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God; Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament [covenant]; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.”—II Cor. 3:3-6

The New Covenant, to be mediated by the Head and body of Christ, will be the means through which all things in earth will be gathered together and ultimately brought back into harmony with God. Christ and his church, possessing a heart appreciation of God’s law will be able to convey its precepts to the resurrected people of earth in such a way that they too will be caught up in its spirit of righteousness. The world of mankind will learn to love its principles and desire to live by them.

The Law, which was written in the ages of the past and on tables of stone, was never able to bring life to the people. By coming to love God and his law of righteousness, all things which are in heaven and which are on earth will be gathered together in Christ Jesus. As the Apostle Paul proclaimed, ‘In whom also we have obtained an inheritance.’


The foundation truths of the Gospel are thus spoken by Paul. “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, Which is the earnest [pledge] of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.” (vss. 13,14) Paul says that this Gospel forms the basis upon which we are sealed with the Holy Spirit, not by hearing only, but by believing. Believing implies understanding and is the foundation for our faith.

In the apostles’ day, seals were used to validate contracts or covenants. Our covenant of sacrifice with God, based on our faith in the High Calling, our acceptance of redemption through Jesus, and our desire to suffer with him is validated by God with his seal. This official seal of God is his Holy Spirit of Truth, and as we see its influence working in our lives to help guide us toward the fulfillment of our covenant, it becomes to us an earnest, or pledge, from God. This assures us that if faithful unto death, we shall enter upon our heritage.

The spirit of this marvelous truth is expressed by Paul. “That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, 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: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.”—Eph. 1:17-23

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