Reflections: “Teach You All Things”

25These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you.

26But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. (John 14:25-26, King James Version)

Some have taken the above to mean that a particular individual has been given “the whole truth” imparted by the Holy Spirit. Is that what it really means? Does it really matter?

First of all, there are a number of assumptions that should be challenged. First and foremost, what is meant by “all things”? According to the Blue Letter Bible Outline of Biblical Usage:

“… ‘The whole world is gone after him.’ Did all the world go after Christ? ‘Then went all Judea, and were baptized of him in Jordan.’ Was all Judea, or all Jerusalem baptized in Jordan? ‘Ye are of God, little children’, and ‘the whole world lieth in the wicked one.’ Does ‘the whole world’ there mean everybody? If so, how was it, then, that there were some who were ‘of God?’ The words ‘world’ and ‘all’ are used in some seven or eight senses in Scripture; and it is very rarely that ‘all’ means all persons, taken individually. The words are generally used to signify that Christ has redeemed some of all sorts—some Jews, some Gentiles, some rich, some poor, and has not restricted his redemption to either Jew or Gentile.” (Charles H. Spurgeon, Particular Redemption, A Sermon, 28 Feb 1858).

~ As quoted on The Blue Letter Bible, retrieved from

Second, there is the assumption that, even if we are to learn “all things” literally, that we are to learn them now. Will we really have all knowledge in this life? What then will be left to learn as a spirit being? How then will we grow? How then could we become infinite?

Third, what of faith? I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. We are not God. God is omniscient. We are not. Otherwise, what use would faith be? It’s not faith if the thing is a known certainty. We need to hang our faith on something other than our own knowledge.

Fourth, what of the ravenous wolves? Isn’t this really a ploy to draw in followers after themselves? Isn’t this just another way of saying, “Look at me! Look at me! I’m someone special” in order to be looked up to?

Fifth, what is the main subject here anyhow? Over and over again, in John 14, Jesus tells us, “Keep My commandments.” The Holy Spirit is called a “Comforter” which comes from “parakletos”. It is a legal term, which more or less means a helper, assistant, but more to the point an intercessor. It is one who acts as a defense attorney. “Commandment” of course is the same as a law. The Holy Spirit is there to teach us God’s Law! However, unlike the old Law, this Law is to be kept “in spirit and in truth”. It is to be written on hearts and minds, because it is the spirit of the Law that counts, not the letter.

Why pound on this drum? So you can examine yourself and where you are at. Do your ministers presume too much knowledge? At the same time, how do you use the knowledge you have? Too many times in the past, those in a COG have beaten people over the head with God’s Law as a club – even in dealing with schools and employers who discovered they actually could care even less after such an encounter.

Perhaps a true servant of God should be humbled by what they don’t know. Perhaps a true servant of God should not be arrogant in the knowledge they do have. Perhaps a true servant of God should not be beating others over the head over details of an alleged “truth” that cannot be found in the Bible at all. Perhaps they should be twice as afraid to do so when their “new truth” is some piece of prophecy.

Ministers are particularly culpable, and even more so if they rule in fear of disobeying “the rules”. The more they crave the power, the worse will be their fate.

King Saul liked to pretend he was a servant of God, but he would not obey. He casually used “the LORD” in his dealings, but his heart was far removed from God.

12 Early in the morning Samuel got up and went to meet Saul, but he was told, “Saul has gone to Carmel. There he has set up a monument in his own honor and has turned and gone on down to Gilgal.”…

30 Saul replied, “I have sinned. But please honor me before the elders of my people and before Israel; come back with me, so that I may worship the LORD your God.”

~ 1Sa 15:12, 30 (NIV)

You can pretend to be a servant of God, even to worship God, but actually be doing so in order to gain yourself honor.

There once was another being who thought he had all the answers. In fact, he thought he knew more than God. He was so convinced of this in his pride that he tried to take over God’s position. He was convinced he should be the master and not the servant.

So, next time someone claims to have the “whole truth”, ask yourself if they are acting as a servant or a master. Are they exalting God or themselves?

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