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THE REMNANT

Romans 11:5 Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.

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The Illuminating Role of the Holy Spirit

In John 14:24-26 we are in the upper room with Christ and the 11 apostles. Judas has already left to launch the arrest of Jesus in the middle of the night, to lead to His crucifixion the next morning. On that evening our Lord gives them far-reaching promises, which begin in chapter 14 and run through chapter 16. They are sealed in prayer in chapter 17 as the Lord asks the Father to fulfill all His promises.

There are the promise of a room in the Father’s house and eternal heaven early in chapter 14, the promise that the Lord will come and take His own to be with Him in the place that He has prepared for them. But in the meantime, there is also the promise that heaven’s resources are already available here and now; all we have to do, according to verses 12 through 14, is ask through prayer. And if we ask according to His will and in His name, He will provide.

Throughout our lives, and on into eternity, we will enjoy the presence of the Trinity. The Father, the Son will and the Spirit will be with us. The eternal life the Triune God gives us is Himself. In His Triune reality, God lives in every believer.

But, there is yet another amazing promise. “He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s who sent Me. These things I have spoken to you while abiding with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.”

The greatest gift that God has ever given the world is the truth – divine revelation, divine truth. The truth about Himself and us, about time and eternity, about life and death, about judgment, about salvation, and about heaven and hell. This is the greatest gift that God has ever given. We are living in a world of liars, where deception abounds because the whole world lies in the lap of the evil one who is the arch deceiver. He applies his deception through a mass of fallen angels identified as demons, and has held captive the entire human race. In the midst of all of the deception of Satan, demons, and duped human beings; in the midst of the darkness and the ignorant heart of an unregenerate person, God deposits the truth.

Exodus 34:6 says: “It is God, the Lord God, who abounds in truth.” Several times in the Old Testament, He is called the God of Truth. And Psalm 119:142 and 151 tells us that His Word is truth. The prophet Zechariah wrote that one day, the Messiah will come and He will set up His kingdom in the world. Jerusalem will be given a new name. Zechariah 8:3 says the new name of Jerusalem will be Truth City. In that day, Zechariah also tells us that all the people will love truth.In the meantime, the church should be the pillar and ground of the truth.

Throughout His ministry, of course, Jesus had been the source of truth. In John 7:16 Jesus said: “My teaching is not Mine, but His who sent Me.” The God of Truth has spoken through His Son who is the truth, who is now leaving and will send the Spirit of truth who will inspire the biblical writers to write the truth, which will be handed to the church, to become the pillar and ground of the truth.

Then in John 13:36 Jesus says “Where I go, you can’t follow Me now; but you will follow later.” At the end of verse 12 in John 14 He says “I go to the Father. You will see Me no more.”

This creates a dire horror in the minds of the apostles as He has been their hope and their resource. He has supplied all the divine resources to sustain them for these three years. He has been the presence of God. He has been the truth in so much that He has even made the Old Testament, which they didn’t understand, come alive after His resurrection. He did that on the very day He was raised from the dead. Once in the afternoon, and then again in the evening with all 11 in the room. He taught them the Old Testament. And then, before His ascension, for 40 days, He spoke to them of the things concerning the kingdom of heaven.

They had lived in a world of lies like everybody else. The Pharisees and the Sadducees were liars and part of the kingdom of darkness. In John 8:44, Jesus says to the leaders of Israel: “You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. But because I speak the truth, you do not believe me?” Then, verse 47, “He who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God.” The whole world lies in the lap of the evil one and is deceived. They do not know the truth because they cannot hear the truth with comprehension and understanding.

Jesus is leaving, but not without another promise. In John 14:16-17 he says: “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.” In verse 26 he continues: “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” We will not be without the truth, the comfort, the hope of heaven or without the promise of His return to bring us there. We will not be without heavenly resources or the Trinity’s presence.

The Holy Spirit is called the Spirit of truth in John 14:17, 15:26 and 16:13. This is a marvellous gift. We are trapped in Satan’s kingdom but in the Holy Spirit we find the only escape is to know the truth. The truth sets us free from deception. 1 Corinthians 1:21 says “the world by wisdom knew not God.” Men are dead in trespasses and sins, their minds are darkened, their souls are black with the darkness and on their own, they cannot find the truth. Paul said in 2 Timothy 3:7, that men are “ever learning but never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” They cannot know the truth about the spiritual realm.

Everything that Jesus said was from God. Everything that Jesus said would then be passed on to the Holy Spirit. There were things that Jesus said that the apostles didn’t understand at all. And then, when the Holy Spirit came, there was obviously an explosion of understanding.

In John 12:16 we read “These things His apostles did not understand at the first.” Even the things Jesus said, they didn’t understand. “But when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things were written of Him, and that they had done these things to Him.” The coming of the Holy Spirit enlightened them and gave them that understanding. That’s why Jesus said in John 16:7 that it is better that He goes and that the Helper comes. And He says in John 16:12, “I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.” Verse 26, “He will teach you all things.” To know all things that He desires to reveal, itnecessitates the coming of the Holy Spirit.

This was primarily a promise that the Holy Spirit would enable the apostles and their associates to write the New Testament. And then, the Lord will give us all the things that He couldn’t say, because the apostles weren’t able to handle it.
And then, there also is an illuminating ministry of the Holy Spirit for which we should be profoundly grateful. 1 John 2 gives a promise, a statement of fact to all believers. We have an anointing from God. It is something that comes down from God into our lives, verse 27. “As for the anointing, which you received from Him abides in you.” The One who has come down from the Holy One to abide in us is none other than the Holy Spirit. In 1 John, he says He has come and He will “teach you all things, and is true, and not a lie, and just as that anointing taught you, you abide in Him.” So, it’s a Him. It is a person. It is the Holy Spirit.

As a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, you are the temple of the Holy Spirit because He dwells in you. Your body, in reality, contains the Trinity in a spiritual presence. But you have a resident truth teacher. This is a gift beyond all gifts.

That is the Spirit’s teaching ministry in you, the anointing in you, that teaches you the meaning of the Bible. The Spirit’s anointing ministry teaches you all things that He has revealed in the Scripture. He is the interpreter of Scripture to the faithful student. In particular, it focuses on Christ. John 15:26, “When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me.” John 16:14, “He will glorify Me. He will take of Mine and disclose it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said He takes of Mine and will disclose it to you.” This is the sequence: the Father’s truth is passed on to the Son, and then to the Spirit, and then to the apostles to be recorded in Scripture, and then to us. The Spirit of God, who resides in us, becomes the interpreter, the illuminator. This is why we study Scripture. Christ is the object of the Spirit’s ministry because Christ is the theme of Scripture.

In 2 Peter 1:21, holy men were “moved by the Spirit of God,” and they wrote. That’s the Old Testament. And in the same way that God spoke to the prophets and the holy men who wrote the Old Testament, He promises His apostles that He will send the Holy Spirit to do the very same thing with these apostles and the others associated with them who write the New Testament. Therefore, before He could illuminate the truth for us, He had to inspire the truth in the apostles and the other Bible writers.

An interesting incident happens in the Acts 11. Peter began to speak, and the Holy Spirit fell on them just as He did on us at the beginning. While Peter was speaking, the Holy Spirit came. The next verse says, “And I remembered the word of the Lord, how He used to say, ‘John baptized with water, but will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’” All of a sudden, out of nowhere, Peter remembers a statement that the Lord made when “the Holy Spirit fell on them.”

The apostles were ignorant, virtually to the end. They would never be able to write the New Testament if they were left to their memories. They were just like the Old Testament writers led along by the Holy Spirit. Every word was God-breathed. So what we have here primarily is a promise of inspiration.

The promise is this: you hold in your hand, dear one, the truth. What are you doing with it? Are you studying to show yourself approved unto God, a workman needing not to be ashamed? Are you letting the Word of Christ dwell in you? And your praise is connected to your theology, which is the result of your knowledge of Scripture.

(Source: The teachings of John MacArthur)

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