1. THE TEACHER OF TRUTH
a. How was the Holy Spirit a teacher of truth in Old Testament times? Proverbs 1:23.
b. Who did Nehemiah say was the instructor of God’s people after they left Egypt? Nehemiah 9:20. How did the Spirit work throughout history?
“From the beginning, God has been working by His Holy Spirit through human instrumentalities for the accomplishment of His purpose in behalf of the fallen race. This was manifest in the lives of the patriarchs. . . . And in the days of the apostles He wrought mightily for His church through the agency of the Holy Spirit. The same power that sustained the patriarchs, that gave Caleb and Joshua faith and courage, and that made the work of the apostolic church effective, has upheld God’s faithful children in every succeeding age. It was through the power of the Holy Spirit that during the Dark Ages the Waldensian Christians helped to prepare the way for the Reformation. It was the same power that made successful the efforts of the noble men and women who pioneered the way for the establishment of modern missions and for the translation of the Bible into the languages and dialects of all nations and peoples.”—The Acts of the Apostles, p. 53.
2. ABOVE WORLDLY WISDOM
a. What contrast did the apostle Paul show between the wisdom of the world and the wisdom of the Holy Spirit? 1 Corinthians 2:12–14.
“Divine inspiration asks many questions which the most profound scholar cannot answer. These questions were not asked that we might answer them, but to call our attention to the deep mysteries of God and to teach us that our wisdom is limited; that in the surroundings of our daily life there are many things beyond the comprehension of finite minds; that the judgment and purposes of God are past finding out. His wisdom is unsearchable.
“Skeptics refuse to believe in God because with their finite minds they cannot comprehend the infinite power by which He reveals Himself to men. But God is to be acknowledged more from what He does not reveal of Himself than from that which is open to our limited comprehension. Both in divine revelation and in nature, God has given to men mysteries to command their faith.”—Testimonies, vol. 8, p. 261.
b. How does God use the Holy Spirit in revealing truth to us? 1 Corinthians 2:6, 7, 9, 10. How do we show that we are listening to our Teacher?
“Through the Scriptures the Holy Spirit speaks to the mind, and impresses truth upon the heart. Thus He exposes error, and expels it from the soul. It is by the Spirit of truth, working through the word of God, that Christ subdues His chosen people to Himself.”—The Desire of Ages, p. 671.
“Ask God to reveal light and truth to you by His Holy Spirit, that you may understand what you read in His Word. When, after the resurrection, Christ walked with the disciples to Emmaus, He opened their understanding that they might understand the Scriptures. The same divine Teacher will enlighten our understanding if we keep the windows of the heart opened heavenward and closed earthward. The office of the Holy Spirit is to bring all things to our remembrance and to guide us into all truth.”—That I May Know Him, p. 202.
“Do not crowd into your minds so many things that are cheap and unsatisfying. In the Word of God is spread before you the richest banquet. It is the Lord’s table, abundantly provided, whereof you may eat and be satisfied.”—Ibid., p. 201.
3. KNOWING THE THINGS OF GOD
a. How deep is the knowledge and wisdom of God and the Holy Spirit? Matthew 10:29–31; Romans 11:33–36.
“When on the Day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit was poured out upon the disciples, they understood the truths that Christ had spoken in parables. The teachings that had been mysteries to them were made clear. The understanding that came to them with the outpouring of the Spirit made them ashamed of their fanciful theories. Their suppositions and interpretations were foolishness when compared with the knowledge of heavenly things which they now received. They were led by the Spirit, and light shone into their once darkened understanding.”—Testimonies, vol. 8, p. 267.
b. What things does the Spirit know which man cannot know on his own? 1 Corinthians 2:11, 16.
“God intends that even in this life the truths of His word shall be ever unfolding to His people. There is only one way in which this knowledge can be obtained. We can attain to an understanding of God’s word only through the illumination of that Spirit by which the word was given.”—Steps to Christ, p. 109.
c. What should we always do before we study the Bible? Psalm 119:18.
“The Bible should never be studied without prayer. The Holy Spirit alone can cause us to feel the importance of those things easy to be understood, or prevent us from wresting truths difficult of comprehension. It is the office of heavenly angels to prepare the heart so to comprehend God’s word that we shall be charmed with its beauty, admonished by its warnings, or animated and strengthened by its promises. We should make the psalmist’s petition our own: ‘Open Thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of Thy law.’ Psalm 119:18. Temptations often appear irresistible because, through neglect of prayer and the study of the Bible, the tempted one cannot readily remember God’s promises and meet Satan with the Scripture weapons.”—The Great Controversy, p. 599, 600.
4. A TRUE TEACHER
a. What are the qualifications of a true teacher? John 7:18; Matthew 7:15–20.
“[Jesus] now gave a test by which the true teacher might be distinguished from the deceiver: ‘He that speaketh from himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh the glory of Him that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him.’ John 7:18, R. V. He that seeketh his own glory is speaking only from himself. The spirit of self-seeking betrays its origin.”—The Desire of Ages, p. 456.
b. How did Jesus fulfil these requirements? John 7:16; 8:50; 14:10; Hebrews 5:5 (first part).
“Christ was seeking the glory of God. He spoke the words of God. This was the evidence of His authority as a teacher of the truth.”—Ibid.
“God does not intend that your light shall so shine that your good words or works shall bring the praise of men to yourself; but that the Author of all good shall be glorified and exalted. Jesus, in His life, gave to men a model of character. . . . He declared, ‘My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work!’ If we had this devotion to the work of God, doing it with an eye single to His glory, we should be able to say with Christ, ‘I seek not mine own glory.’ His life was full of good works, and it is our duty to live as our great Example lived.”—Reflecting Christ, p. 41.
c. Who does the Holy Spirit glorify? How does this prove that the Holy Spirit is distinct in person from Christ? John 16:13, 14.
“The Holy Spirit exalts and glorifies the Saviour. It is his office to present Christ, the purity of His righteousness, and the great salvation that we have through Him.”—Christian Education, p. 59.
“The Spirit is constantly seeking to draw the attention of men to the great offering that was made on the cross of Calvary, to unfold to the world the love of God, and to open to the convicted soul the precious things of the Scriptures.”—The Acts of the Apostles, p. 52.
5. A COMFORTING GUIDE
a. Though the Comforter is distinct in person from Christ, whom does He represent on earth? John 14:18, 21; 15:26. When in particular?
“When God’s people search the Scriptures with a desire to know what is truth, Jesus is present in the person of His representative, the Holy Spirit, reviving the hearts of the humble and contrite ones.”—Manuscript Releases, vol. 12, p. 145.
“When you search the Scriptures, the Holy Spirit is by your side, personating Jesus Christ.”—Ye Shall Receive Power, p. 328.
b. How much will our heavenly guide teach us and what will be the result of such teaching? John 14:26.
“The Holy Spirit has been given us as an aid in the study of the Bible. Jesus promised, [John 14:26 quoted]. When the Bible is made the study book, with earnest supplication for the Spirit’s guidance, and with a full surrender of the heart to be sanctified through the truth, all that Christ has promised will be accomplished. The result of such Bible study will be well-balanced minds. The understanding will be quickened, the sensibilities aroused. The conscience will become sensitive; the sympathies and sentiments will be purified; a better moral atmosphere will be created; and new power to resist temptation will be imparted.”—Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, p. 357.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1. Give examples of how the Holy Spirit aided God’s people in the past.
2. How does the Holy Spirit help us to learn what is truth?
3. How did the disciples’ understanding of truth change after the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost?
4. How does the Holy Spirit fulfil the requirements of being a true Teacher?
5. What attitude is essential on your part if you are to be led into all truth by the Holy Spirit?