This is a transcribed message taught at The Custodians of Life Teleconference on June 6, 2016:
The Holy Spirit of God has a specific mandate on the earth. He is needed vitally on a collective level by the church and by believers individually because of his unique function. His main mandate in us is to give us access to divine truth because he alone can unlock the spiritual doors of truth. As Christians, one thing that sits at the core of our faith is our shared belief that truth is universal and is not relative, i.e. you cannot have your own truth. Truth is real and consequential. The Holy Spirit is the custodian of truth and only he can grant access to it. He is called the Spirit of truth.
We live presently in an age of deception. Deception is so great in the present time and is predominant in most spheres of humanity, even to a great degree within the church, the primary reason being that the Holy Spirit has been increasingly ignored to a dangerous degree. We really cannot diminish the role of the Holy Spirit and still maintain access to truth. This applies both individually and collectively. A church cannot dictate or control the presence and expressions of the Holy Spirit, put him under lock and key, or give him a diminished role in the midst of the people without a fatal loss. We can’t give Him a back seat and still have the truth – it’s impossible. When the Holy Spirit is not given due attention and is not allowed to function in his rightful place, what happens is that we become exposed to the function and ministry of other wicked spirits – spirits which propagate lies and deceit. We see many abnormalities creeping into the church today as a result of wrong exposure. We are beginning to see errors of various kinds and we wonder where they come from and moreso how they have come to gain so much ground in the church. It is not such a great mystery because the Holy Spirit is the teacher and keeper of truth. He is the one who guides the heart and souls of men in the way of truth, and when His place is diminished there no longer remains a defense against the lies of the devil. We know that the devil is the maker and merchant of lies who trades lies with souls who are defenseless against him. The only defence against the lies of satan is the truth of God.
Let’s take a good look into the concept and nature of truth. What is truth and why is it so important? If anyone should have an excellent understanding of truth, then a Christian should – shouldn’t this be our forte after all? A believer who does not have access to the knowledge of the truth is quite wretched. In the present church it seems that we have conflicting ideologies about so many things, more now than ever before. We have various convictions, different doctrines, and varying interpretations of doctrine. The sense of oneness in Spirit and unity in the understanding of core elements of our faith is under serious threat in the church today. Ever wonder why is this the case? But regardless of how things may appear presently, there is actually a universality to the acceptable knowledge of God within the body of Christ which the church is supposed to have and live by, and the teacher of that knowledge is the Holy Spirit – He is the one who guides the church on the path of that knowledge.
When the role of the Holy Spirit is diminished and He is no longer the teacher of the church, then all kinds of strange teachers will creep in and begin to teach God’s people strange things. This is why you may hear teachings which sound good and seemingly non-contradictory to the scriptures, but on close examination, under the scrutiny of truth, are found to be quite harmful. The propagators of such messages may teach out of the bible, but for believers who have the Spirit of truth active and alive on the inside of them, such teachings just won’t sit. Why? Because a sincere believer who has been cultured by truth can see no profit in such teachings from the viewpoint of the eternal program of God. Any teaching that neither brings you to God nor brings God to you is not right and is not good enough no matter how pleasant it may sound. One of the central functions of the church is to be keepers of the absolute truth. Truth should be the common culture of the church, and according to the scriptures, the church should be the “pillar and ground of truth”.. Remember how Paul told Timothy in the book of 1 Timothy 3:14 – 15:
“These things write I unto thee…that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth”.
The church is the pillar of truth. What did Paul mean by ‘pillar’? A pillar upholds other elements of a building or structure. The church is the pillar of truth and it is also called the ground of truth – “the ground” meaning ‘the foundation’ – but if the church which should be the foundation and upholder of truth does not have the truth in abundance, then things can get really shaky in the world. Humanity as a whole becomes endangered when the church loses its effectiveness because the church is an organism that is placed upon the earth for the purpose of salvation, with the sole ability to withstand and fight back the encroachment of darkness upon the earth. If the church is taken from the earth, the entire world would be at the mercy of satan, who is an absolutely evil creature with neither limit to his motivation nor capacity for wickedness – oh what he would do with the earth if he is left completely unopposed! But thank God for the church! Sometimes we do not know or appreciate what the church being present and active is doing for the earth. Often I hear people, even believers speak so badly of the church because of its imperfections and I am so disappointed. If they could be made to experience a day on the earth without the church, i’m convinced they would change their tone. We must keep in mind that the church of God is a work in progress which will be eventually brought to perfection. Knowing that the church is supposed to be a keeper of the truth, then we who make up the church ought to know the truth. What then is truth? Every believer should have an accurate revelation of the concept of truth within. The knowledge and understanding of the truth can only be received by revelation. I speak about the absolute TRUTH, not just a truth or a fact;
Truth constitutes the body of things that can never be altered and will never pass away, truth is that which is eternal – “this is the simplest definition of truth I have received”.
Anything that you can perceive or relate with in any form in the present but will not be the exact same at any time in the future does not constitute truth. Truth is beyond what is said, truth is not just words, it is not just an idea or a concept. Truth is an eternal entity, a spiritual reality, which is immutable and cannot change. Truth is really a being- truth is the essence of God. Anything that ‘is’ today and tomorrow will ‘be not’ is not truth. The scripture teaches that we as believers are keepers and custodians of eternal things that will not pass away, things that can never pass away, things that are true.
Let us look at the book of 1 John 5:19 – 20:
“And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness. 20 And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding…”
The word ‘understanding’ here means under-standing, i.e. what supports a standing – the basis of something. Understanding is the foundation of a thing. The verse says “the Son of God is come and hath given us an understanding…”, this means Jesus brought to us a revelation of the basis and essence of our life. The verse says “the son of God is come” – note that the concept of ‘the Son’ did not appear in the bible until Jesus came, who was begotten of the Father – he came out of the Father that He might be manifested to us. The reason for his manifestation is to bring to us the revelation of truth because he came from the realm of truth, that is the abode of His Father.
“…that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life”.
The Son became in fashion as a man – “the Son” implying that he embodied the full nature and attributes of His Father who is true, and he came to the world to give an understanding or a revelation of him that is true, “and we are in Him that is true and even in His son Jesus Christ, this is the true God and eternal life”.
Remember in the book of John 1:14, where it says “and the Word was made flesh…” – that was the process of Him being begotten of the Father. What became flesh was The Word, and what is the Word? The bible says in John 17:17 “sanctify them through thy truth; thy word is truth.” The Word of God is truth. Another way you can see it is ‘and the truth was made flesh’ – the truth “was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father…”. The Word becoming flesh or ‘the truth’ becoming flesh was the process of the Son being begotten. The verse says “…and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”. Jesus Christ is the revelation of the truth! Not only is he the revelation of the truth, he would not be an authentic revealer of truth if he himself were not the embodiment of truth. That is what Jesus meant when he said in John 8:14 “Though I bear record of myself, yet my record is true: for I know whence I came, and whither I go…”. No one else could make such a claim apart from Jesus. John the baptist for example could not bear witness of himself. Jesus Christ was the only one who could in the flesh bear witness of himself because he embodied the full essence and evidence of his own testimony. He himself is the truth. The same substance of the Father was in Jesus so he did not of speak anything contradictory to his father’s nature in him.
Let us return to 1 John Chapter 5 beginning now from verse 1;
“Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him”.
Why is this? It is because ‘him that begat’ and ‘him that is begotten of him’ are of the same substance and essence. You cannot love one and not the other because they are essentially the same – they are truth.
“…he that loveth him that begat, loveth him also that is begotten of him 2. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments 3. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith”.
So, it is important to overcome the world. It is essential that we overcome the world! Why do we need to overcome the world? Because the world is contrary to our life and until we have overcome the world, we cannot move into the place of our inheritance to fully inherit the life that is in God – the truth life.
“5. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? 6 This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth”.
Why is the Spirit able to bear witness? because the Spirit is truth. Verse 7 says “For there are three that bear record in heaven, The Father [the Father is truth], The Word [is also truth] and The HolyGhost [is truth] and these three are one 8. And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood [the water and the blood are also the Word, they are dimensions of the word] and these three agree in one”. Why do they agree in one? Because they are of the same substance. There is always unity and agreement in the realm of truth.
There is a kind of message being propagated around certain Christian circles today which portray Christian unity to be merely about bringing people to connect physically together, suggesting that if people can fellowship together perhaps under one roof, holding hands, cuddling and smiling at each other, then they are united. There are even church leaders who have gone a step further to organize interfaith gatherings, bringing people from different faiths to fellowship together as a show of unity. This is nothing more than a false and futile attempt at creating unity where it is impossible. True unity and oneness can only exist in truth. Fellowship without truth, without divine truth, is merely a social activity. Many so called Christian gatherings today are merely social clubs only serving as media of interaction and community building – not that these are bad things, but they are not the primary purpose of Christian fellowship. When Christians individually or collectively do not actively choose to pursue the knowledge of truth, they will eventually and inevitably find a common ground in somewhere else, in some other shared interest, but will not be able to unite in truth because they have as the scripture says “received not the love of the truth”. The church is such an important entity because we have received the Spirit of truth and the purpose of the Spirit of truth is to bear witness of the truth in our midst and in our hearts through the Word of God. The Word and the Spirit are one and it takes the Spirit to unveil the Word of God to us – both the ‘water’ of the word which purifies and sanctifies, and the ‘blood’ of the word which is the life content of the word, which is also truth:
Continuing from 1 John 5:8:
“… there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one. 9. If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son. 10. He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself …”
A lack of fellowship with the truth leads to a numbness of spirit and a loss of bearing in the heart. By loss of bearing I mean a loss of the ability to discern the truth from a lie. Once this discernment is lost, we become open to anything. If one learns to live without the leading, direction, and conviction of Holy Spirit, the heart becomes numb to truth and the faculty of spiritual judgement within gets diminished. The spiritual faculty which convicts one of right and wrong can become diminished. This faculty has actually never been fully developed in many believers in the first place. When you practice the life of the Spirit as a believer, over time you develop a strong perception of truth. There is a great danger when the Holy Spirit is neglected. This is true individually and more so in the collective. If a church for example neglects the ministry of the Holy Spirit to a point where services end with everyone happy, excited, entertained, fascinated, and even intellectually stimulated by men but the voice of Holy Spirit isn’t heard and his ministry not received, the people may feel impacted at first and there might even be an increase in numbers, but over time there will be a great decline both spiritually and physically. The Holy Spirit is the governor of the Church. The Church on the earth has been committed to him that he may guide her into all truth as Jesus revealed in John 16:13, “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth..”. It is impossible to reach the Father without the Son and the Holy Spirit because only in the Son has the truth which is in God been revealed to man, and this revelation of truth cannot be received without the Holy Spirit as a guide. The Word was made flesh, and the form of the Word in flesh was Jesus Christ – the son of God upon the earth – and that only happened once. There is no other place or time when God made his Word into something else so that man can gain access to Him. Jesus said in John 14:16, “no man cometh unto to the Father, but by me”. Why is Jesus able to take men to his Father? Because the substance of his Father’s nature is the same substance that is in Him, so when you learn him, you learn the Father; when you receive him, you receive the Father.
Now let’s go back to 1 John 5: 10:
“He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son”.
God gave a record of his son. God declared something concerning the Son, and those who believe in Jesus and Jesus as the only way to God don’t simply feel like it, they do so because God has given a record or a witness about the son. 1 John 5:11-13 speaks of this:
“And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. 13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.”
Going further to 1 John 5:20
“And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding…”
The understanding spoken of here is the understanding that Jesus brought from where he came from. The Word that became flesh is actually an understanding. It is called the Logos – the logic, the revelation of God, the understanding of God which is the truth. He became flesh – it was that understanding that became flesh. Proverbs 9:10 says “…the knowledge of the holy is understanding” this means the knowledge of that which is separated. Another way to put it is ‘the knowledge of the truth’ is understanding because holiness is a property of the Holy Spirit. Holy means that which is sanctified and sanctification is a product of the word.
“Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth” John 17:17.
In Verse 3 of John 17 Jesus said “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. So, eternal life is the knowledge of God and Christ, another way to put it is ‘eternal life is the knowledge of truth’. We defined truth initially as anything that does not pass away, so when you see the word eternal in the scripture, that is a reference to truth. Anything which has that eternal property is truth. Eternal life is the truth life – the life of truth – so if you don’t have eternal life, you do not have truth, and eternal life is “that they may know thee” – the knowledge of God and Jesus Christ. Going further in the same chapter, Jesus said to the Father in John 17:13:
“And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves”.
This means that Jesus had a joy and he was praying for his disciples that the same joy which he had come into through the truth life, the life which he was living, which God gave unto him, he prayed that they should also come into it. This prayer and indeed the entire chapter of John 17 was Jesus’ sort of report back to the Father before leaving the earth, so everything Jesus said in this chapter is of utmost importance. He said earlier from verse 6 of the same chapter:
“I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word… 8. For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me”.
The disciples came to know that Jesus came out from the Father because they received his words. ‘…and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me…’, this means that those words were manifest to them as truth. You cannot receive this kind of joy that Jesus was talking about in verse 13 until you have received the knowledge of the truth because that is the knowledge which the soul was meant to have. Verse 14 says “I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Now why did Jesus paint a contrast with the world here? Remember in 1 John 2:15 John said “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. What is that love of the Father? It is the love of the truth. Verse 16 goes on to say “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 17 … but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever”. The phrase ‘for ever’ describes the truth. The world and its wisdom is contrary to truth and anything that is of the world is not of the truth. Christians need to have a good understanding of this deep down.
The world is an expression of a wisdom, a dark wisdom – it is an expression of a big lie. The wisdom of satan is a wisdom of lies. He is a maker of lies and the bible calls him the god of this world, meaning that it is his wisdom which is expressed in the world – the world is a lie and the governing principles of this world are contrary to truth. Jesus said in John 17:14 “I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world” When you receive his Word, there is no way that Word can mix with the world. When you see believers who are still worldly, it is because they have not received the knowledge of the truth or as scripture says in 2 Thessalonians 2:10 “…because they received not the love of the truth…”. John 17:14 says that you are not of the world. This is something we should remind ourselves of daily. It is normal and alright for us to feel foreign and out of place in this world. It is normal for you to feel like you are different. In fact, as a Christian, you should examine yourself if you do not feel different or out of place in the world. Jesus said “I gave them thy word; and the world hated them”. The world must hate you and you must constantly feel an enmity with the world in your heart.
Jesus said in John 17:15:
“I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. 16. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 17. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.”
How do you deal with the hatred and enmity of the world? Jesus prayed ‘keep them from evil’. Verses 15, 16 and 17 are one continuous thought of Jesus. In verse 15 he says “pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. How would we be kept from evil? In verse 17 he says “sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth”. It is the truth content of the word of God that keeps or preserves. It is called the “knowledge of the Holy”, the sanctified eternal knowledge that can keep us. One of the fundamental characteristics of the truth is that truth is invisible and nothing physically visible constitutes truth – anything you can perceive or conceive naturally will pass away. Anything you can perceive with the five physical senses is temporary and corruptible. The fact that it is perceptible by the natural senses means it will pass away and is not from the realm of truth, and therefore cannot preserve. All the riches in the world cannot preserve us because they are corruptible. Only the incorruptible word of God can preserve. It is the truth content of the Word that makes it incorruptible and eternal.
There is a higher sense of value that we as believers need to begin to cultivate – a sense of value that is higher than this world. If Christians cultivate the sense and awareness of truth on the inside, then messages and sermons which focus only on attaining the natural and corruptible goods of this world will no longer be satisfactory because a new appetite for the eternal and invisible would have been birthed. Believers need to learn to find rest in the invisible because the visible is passing away. We need to develop appetite for the eternal and invisible. The bible calls God “the invisible God” – that is his nature. God is invisible and his invisibility is tied into his eternal nature. He is not in danger of anything because he is not seen by anything apart from himself. You can neither find nor locate him by your device, he is in the Spirit. To find him, you have to be absorbed into him, your soul has to move into the realm of the invisible where he dwells by becoming conformed to his image. I pray that the lord will generate in us an appetite for truth!
It is a sign of spiritual weakness when a Christian cannot receive a pure ministration of the Spirit. I find many times that when I begin to speak about invisible things and the invisible realm, things in the realm of God, when I try to open the epistles by the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, some people just zone out and become uninterested or less enthusiastic because their hearts have been cultured to only process natural things. They have been cultured to only process things that will pass away. They have not learnt to sit down for hours on end listening to sound teachings – teachings of truth. Teachings of truth are teachings of the unseen. The soul of a carnal Christian has no appetite for such things. A carnal Christian would rather listen to teachings on how to receive natural things, or how to make advancement in the natural world than listen to hours of teachings which explore the depths of God and give insights by revelation into his eternal nature. Such weakness is as a result of the soul being inordinately in fellowship with the world. Fellowship with world is enmity with God. Fellowship with the world kills the hunger and appetite for truth and the enticement of the natural realm fights the desire for the unseen realm – the realm of real glory. Many believers of today cannot endure sound teaching for more than a few minutes because the soul is weak. True teachings actually sound like nonsense to a carnal soul. To a carnal soul, a good teaching is one that describes things they can see, touch, feel, acquire, mentally conceptualize, and naturally understand. There is little or no appetite for truth. I pray that the Holy Spirit will open us up from within to the point where we are no longer satisfied with natural things. I pray that we will begin to hunger for more revelation of truth. The more invisible and intangible it is, the more excited we will be because we have faith to move into the realm of invisibility, into the realm of the Father and of the Son and to have fellowship in that realm.
The bible says in 1 John 1: 1:
“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; 2. For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us. 3. That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us…”
The Word of life is a living Word and we have been called to be keepers and custodians of that life. Do you know that your mind can become spiritual? That same mind you use to read books and process secular information. The same mind that understands science and mathematics, that same mind can learn to process spiritual thoughts. The reason why some Christians cannot endure and tarry under the ministration of the Spirit is because their minds have not been cultured to process spiritual thoughts; so if it is not a natural concept they cannot process it and they shut down. But the bible says that our minds ought to be renewed. We ought to be “transformed by the renewing of our minds”. Romans 8:6 says ”For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace”. This means that you can be spiritually minded, and this does not refer to your spirit man here, it refers to your mind. Your mind can become spiritual. You need doses of the Holy Ghost to bring about this transformation. When you read the scriptures, do not read it as a novel or as a story book. Don’t even read it as a scholarly material or a textbook. Chew it and swallow it, mutter it, meditate upon it. Let the Spirit of the Word enter your mind. Process the Spirit content of it until it comes alive in you, and it will give you access to divine truth.
Prayer: Father we thank you for your word. We ask that it will add spiritual value to our souls and move us further in the name of Jesus. Jesus, because you have said that the words you speak are Spirit and life, may these words be Spirit and life to us, and may the incorruptible nature of the word begin to manifest within us. We pray for baptisms of the word and increase in our life in the spirit. Let there be furtherance of our walk in the Spirit and equip us with your Holy Ghost to receive more and more depth in you. Thank you, we give you all the Glory, in Jesus name, Amen.