Day 22
THE HOLY SPIRIT IS THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH
DO YOU EVER wonder if integrity as a virtue is perishing from the earth? Whatever happened to
sheer honesty? Just being truthful—publicly, privately. Saying what you mean and meaning what you
say. Keeping your word.
The God of the Bible is a God of integrity. It is impossible for God to lie (Heb. 6:18). Our Lord
Jesus Christ has transparent integrity. The Holy Spirit is totally, thoroughly, and completely honest.
Jesus called Him the Spirit of truth (John 14:17).
As for Jesus, He said of Himself that He is “the way and the truth and the life” (v. 6, emphasis
added), and so equally the Holy Spirit is truth. As it is impossible for God to lie, never forget that the
Holy Spirit is incapable of lying to you. He will never deceive you.
Jesus Himself was full of grace and “truth” (John 1:14). Truth means fact. It means what is
reliable. What Jesus does and says can be proved, and He will not let you be ashamed. When a
miracle was performed, the enemy of truth was forced to say, “We cannot deny it” (Acts 4:16). Jesus
is transparent integrity. Today we sometimes use the expression “the real deal.” It is what people
want to see in leaders, what people long for in relationships—no deceit, no infidelity, but honesty and
trustworthiness. That is what we want in a friend—pure gold, the real thing.
Jesus is that. The God of the Bible is that—His words are “trustworthy” (2 Sam. 7:28), “true, and
righteous altogether” (Ps. 19:9, ESV). And so virtually the first thing Jesus said about the Holy Spirit
was that He is “the Spirit of truth.” This means genuineness, trustworthiness, faithfulness, and
integrity. It also means theological truth. The Holy Spirit will never lead you to error. What He
reveals you can believe and stake your life on.
To put it another way, the Holy Spirit is the opposite of the devil. Jesus said of Satan: “There is no
truth in him . . . for he is a liar and the father of lies (John 8:44, ESV). He is incapable of integrity and
honesty. He exists to deceive. Do you know the feeling of being deceived? To know what it is to
embrace a person, recommend them, put your reputation on the line for them—then find out you were
deceived? It can be very painful.
Jesus said to Pilate, “Everyone on the side of truth listens to me” (John 18:37). Pilate responded by
asking, “What is truth?” (v. 38). Did Pilate ask that question because he wanted an answer? Was he
being cynical? Was he suggesting that he didn’t know what truth is and doubted whether anybody
knows the truth? Jesus meant that there is truth that is objectively true—that is, factual.
Dr. Francis Schaeffer used a phrase: “true truth.” He believed Scripture is true truth, that it is
trustworthy and faithful. Jesus believed in what can be called propositional revelation—that there is a
body of truth that does not change. So when Jesus said that everyone who is on the side of truth listens
to Him, it is because all who want what is really true and objectively true will embrace Jesus
Himself and His words. John said, “Whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God
does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood” (1 John
4:6). Those, then, who have the Holy Spirit in them will be drawn to truth wherever it is and will be
willing to test their findings and opinion by Scripture.
In a word: if you have the Holy Spirit, you will believe that Jesus Christ the Son of God is the true
God and that the Bible is infallibly true.
A good question to put to yourself is this: What would you go to the stake for? What would you die
for? In my old age I have concluded that the only thing I will preach is what I would die for. If it isn’t
worth dying for, it isn’t worth preaching—or believing. Granted, there are gray areas where we might
have to give an opinion on—e.g., eschatology (doctrine of last things) or ecclesiology (your view of
the church or sacraments). I wouldn’t die for these. But I would go to the stake for what I believe
about the person of Jesus Christ, salvation, the Bible, and the Holy Spirit. I would go to the stake for
what I am writing in this book.
“You have an anointing from the Holy One . . . and all of you know the truth” (1 John 2:20). The
Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth, and that means we will be kept from error as long as we have a
determination to do the will of God. For over fifty years I have kept John 7:17 in mind: “If anyone
chooses to do God’s will, he will find out whether my teaching comes from God.” This also shows
that your personal relationship with God—whether you want to do His will or not—will determine
what you believe.
The Holy Spirit will never mislead you. You don’t need to be afraid of Him. He may not be “safe,”
but He is “good.”
For further study: Malachi 2:5–8; John 14:6–17; 17:17–19; Philippians 4:6–8
Precious Holy Spirit, I am so thankful that You are the Spirit of truth. This way I know
that You will never lead me in the wrong direction, that I can follow You and know I am
not being deceived. Thank You for being just like You are. In Jesus’s name, amenDay 22
THE HOLY SPIRIT IS THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH
DO YOU EVER wonder if integrity as a virtue is perishing from the earth? Whatever happened to
sheer honesty? Just being truthful—publicly, privately. Saying what you mean and meaning what you
say. Keeping your word.
The God of the Bible is a God of integrity. It is impossible for God to lie (Heb. 6:18). Our Lord
Jesus Christ has transparent integrity. The Holy Spirit is totally, thoroughly, and completely honest.
Jesus called Him the Spirit of truth (John 14:17).
As for Jesus, He said of Himself that He is “the way and the truth and the life” (v. 6, emphasis
added), and so equally the Holy Spirit is truth. As it is impossible for God to lie, never forget that the
Holy Spirit is incapable of lying to you. He will never deceive you.
Jesus Himself was full of grace and “truth” (John 1:14). Truth means fact. It means what is
reliable. What Jesus does and says can be proved, and He will not let you be ashamed. When a
miracle was performed, the enemy of truth was forced to say, “We cannot deny it” (Acts 4:16). Jesus
is transparent integrity. Today we sometimes use the expression “the real deal.” It is what people
want to see in leaders, what people long for in relationships—no deceit, no infidelity, but honesty and
trustworthiness. That is what we want in a friend—pure gold, the real thing.
Jesus is that. The God of the Bible is that—His words are “trustworthy” (2 Sam. 7:28), “true, and
righteous altogether” (Ps. 19:9, ESV). And so virtually the first thing Jesus said about the Holy Spirit
was that He is “the Spirit of truth.” This means genuineness, trustworthiness, faithfulness, and
integrity. It also means theological truth. The Holy Spirit will never lead you to error. What He
reveals you can believe and stake your life on.
To put it another way, the Holy Spirit is the opposite of the devil. Jesus said of Satan: “There is no
truth in him . . . for he is a liar and the father of lies (John 8:44, ESV). He is incapable of integrity and
honesty. He exists to deceive. Do you know the feeling of being deceived? To know what it is to
embrace a person, recommend them, put your reputation on the line for them—then find out you were
deceived? It can be very painful.
Jesus said to Pilate, “Everyone on the side of truth listens to me” (John 18:37). Pilate responded by
asking, “What is truth?” (v. 38). Did Pilate ask that question because he wanted an answer? Was he
being cynical? Was he suggesting that he didn’t know what truth is and doubted whether anybody
knows the truth? Jesus meant that there is truth that is objectively true—that is, factual.
Dr. Francis Schaeffer used a phrase: “true truth.” He believed Scripture is true truth, that it is
trustworthy and faithful. Jesus believed in what can be called propositional revelation—that there is a
body of truth that does not change. So when Jesus said that everyone who is on the side of truth listens
to Him, it is because all who want what is really true and objectively true will embrace Jesus
Himself and His words. John said, “Whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God
does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood” (1 John
4:6). Those, then, who have the Holy Spirit in them will be drawn to truth wherever it is and will be
willing to test their findings and opinion by Scripture.
In a word: if you have the Holy Spirit, you will believe that Jesus Christ the Son of God is the true
God and that the Bible is infallibly true.
A good question to put to yourself is this: What would you go to the stake for? What would you die
for? In my old age I have concluded that the only thing I will preach is what I would die for. If it isn’t
worth dying for, it isn’t worth preaching—or believing. Granted, there are gray areas where we might
have to give an opinion on—e.g., eschatology (doctrine of last things) or ecclesiology (your view of
the church or sacraments). I wouldn’t die for these. But I would go to the stake for what I believe
about the person of Jesus Christ, salvation, the Bible, and the Holy Spirit. I would go to the stake for
what I am writing in this book.
“You have an anointing from the Holy One . . . and all of you know the truth” (1 John 2:20). The
Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth, and that means we will be kept from error as long as we have a
determination to do the will of God. For over fifty years I have kept John 7:17 in mind: “If anyone
chooses to do God’s will, he will find out whether my teaching comes from God.” This also shows
that your personal relationship with God—whether you want to do His will or not—will determine
what you believe.
The Holy Spirit will never mislead you. You don’t need to be afraid of Him. He may not be “safe,”
but He is “good.”
For further study: Malachi 2:5–8; John 14:6–17; 17:17–19; Philippians 4:6–8
Precious Holy Spirit, I am so thankful that You are the Spirit of truth. This way I know
that You will never lead me in the wrong direction, that I can follow You and know I am
not being deceived. Thank You for being just like You are. In Jesus name, amen.


Day 23
THE HOLY SPIRIT, USING PEOPLE, WROTE THE BIBLE
ALL SCRIPTURE IS God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in
righteousness” (2 Tim. 3:16). “For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke
from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (2 Pet. 1:21).
What you believe about the Bible is absolutely crucial to your spiritual life. As long as you believe
that Holy Scripture is the word of God, you can be protected from heresy (theological error). Heresy
is a word we don’t hear much about these days. Some think theological exactness is less and less
important. Wrong. It has never been more important in the history of the Christian church than it is
today. Back in the 1950s there emerged a point of view in seminaries and universities called
neoorthodoxy, “new” orthodoxy. The champions of this were men like Karl Barth, Emil Brunner, Paul
Tillich, and Rudolf Bultmann. They sounded good—at first. Many young students became enamored
with them. I myself flirted with this for a while. I was taught by professors who embraced
neoorthodoxy. God in His mercy kept me from succumbing. One of my professors lived in Brunner’s
home (who lived in Zurich, Switzerland) and carried notes daily from Brunner to Barth (who lived in
Basel). One premise of neoorthodoxy is that the Bible “contains” the Word of God rather than that the
Bible is the Word of God.
I have watched the pattern of those who imbibed this teaching. A typical scenario was this: they
first were attracted to Barth or Brunner. They went from Barth to Tillich—the existentialist who
called faith “ultimate concern.” He said you could be an atheist and still have faith because God was
the “ground of all being.” They then moved from Tillich to Bultmann, who said the miracles reported
in the Bible are “myths.” They then ended up in “process theology,” the notion that truth is not an
unchangeable body of propositions but always changing. God does not even know the future but is
“enriched” by creation and waits for our input in order to know what to do next. Yes, I watched
students come to seminary who had always assumed the Bible is true but ended up disillusioned with
a “faulty document.” They either became hopeless theological liberals or abandoned the ministry
entirely. It makes one weep. When you hear of people embracing open theism (process theology in
evangelical dress) and universalism (everybody will be saved and none go to hell), it shows how
widespread this has become. It goes back to your view of Holy Scripture.
John Calvin gave to the church the teaching of the “internal testimony of the Holy Spirit,” namely,
how you know the Bible is the Word of God. It is the Holy Spirit who witnesses in your heart that the
Bible is absolutely true. With this was the very important teaching of the “analogy of faith,” based
upon Romans 12:6 (analogia, usually translated “proportion”). We must prophesy or teach according
to the “proportion” of our faith. This meant comparing Scripture with Scripture and staying in
Scripture. This way one discovers how amazing and consistent the Bible is.
When I was ordained to the ministry, Dr. N. B. Magruder asked me, “Which is more important—
the external or internal witness—when it comes to knowing the Bible is true?” Answer: internal
witness. External witness refers to what people say about the Bible; for example, archeologists or
New Testament critics. The only safe route is the way of the Holy Spirit; His own witness enables
you to know you are never going to be deceived when you are convinced in your heart the Bible is
true and trustworthy. I can tell you, I would never have made it as an expositor of Scripture over the
last sixty years of preaching were I not totally convinced that every word of Scripture is true and must
be taken with the gravest seriousness. It is what has saved me from becoming a liberal.
Jesus had the same view of Scripture that Paul and Peter held to, namely, that the Holy Spirit wrote
the Old Testament. Jesus asked the Pharisees (a question they could not answer), “How is it then that
David, speaking by the Spirit, calls him [Christ] ‘Lord’? For he says, ‘The Lord said to my Lord:
“Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet.” If then David calls him “Lord,” how
can he be his son?’”(Matt. 22:43–45, emphasis added). My point is, Jesus said that David was able
to write as he did because the Holy Spirit—in 1000 BC—enabled him to do so. And, as we also saw
earlier, it was the testimony of the early church. When being persecuted, they prayed to the Lord and
said, “You spoke by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of your servant David: ‘Why do the nations
rage and the peoples plot in vain?’” (Acts 4:25, emphasis added).
One more thing in this connection: The canon of Holy Scripture is closed. It is final. Absolute.
Incontrovertible. It is God’s complete and final revelation. No word that will come in the future will
be equal to the Bible in level of inspiration. This means that any “leading,” prophetic word, word of
knowledge, or vision one may have today must cohere with Holy Scripture. If it doesn’t, it must be
rejected. The main reason that King Saul became yesterday’s man and was rejected by God was
because he thought he was above the Word of God. When he offered the burnt offerings, he knew he
was going against Moses’s mandate that only the priest called of God could offer burnt offerings. And
yet he claimed to have been “compelled” to do it (1 Sam. 13:12). Whenever a person claims to speak
for God, claiming “The Lord told me”—and it goes against Scripture, you may safely, comfortably,
and most assuredly reject that person’s word, no matter how credible that person may seem!
The Holy Spirit takes responsibility for the authorship of the Bible. He used people of course. But
the buck stops with the Holy Spirit. The same Holy Spirit may speak today at various levels. But no
level of inspiration will equal the inspiration of the Bible—ever.
For further study: John 5:39–47; Acts 4:24–31; 2 Timothy 3:15–16; 2 Peter 1:21
Blessed Holy Spirit, I thank You for the Bible—the infallible Word of God. I thank You
that You wrote it—using people. Please dwell in me in ever-increasing measure in order
that Your Word will be more and more real to me. In Jesus’s name, amenDay 23
THE HOLY SPIRIT, USING PEOPLE, WROTE THE BIBLE
ALL SCRIPTURE IS God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in
righteousness” (2 Tim. 3:16). “For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke
from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (2 Pet. 1:21).
What you believe about the Bible is absolutely crucial to your spiritual life. As long as you believe
that Holy Scripture is the word of God, you can be protected from heresy (theological error). Heresy
is a word we don’t hear much about these days. Some think theological exactness is less and less
important. Wrong. It has never been more important in the history of the Christian church than it is
today. Back in the 1950s there emerged a point of view in seminaries and universities called
neoorthodoxy, “new” orthodoxy. The champions of this were men like Karl Barth, Emil Brunner, Paul
Tillich, and Rudolf Bultmann. They sounded good—at first. Many young students became enamored
with them. I myself flirted with this for a while. I was taught by professors who embraced
neoorthodoxy. God in His mercy kept me from succumbing. One of my professors lived in Brunner’s
home (who lived in Zurich, Switzerland) and carried notes daily from Brunner to Barth (who lived in
Basel). One premise of neoorthodoxy is that the Bible “contains” the Word of God rather than that the
Bible is the Word of God.
I have watched the pattern of those who imbibed this teaching. A typical scenario was this: they
first were attracted to Barth or Brunner. They went from Barth to Tillich—the existentialist who
called faith “ultimate concern.” He said you could be an atheist and still have faith because God was
the “ground of all being.” They then moved from Tillich to Bultmann, who said the miracles reported
in the Bible are “myths.” They then ended up in “process theology,” the notion that truth is not an
unchangeable body of propositions but always changing. God does not even know the future but is
“enriched” by creation and waits for our input in order to know what to do next. Yes, I watched
students come to seminary who had always assumed the Bible is true but ended up disillusioned with
a “faulty document.” They either became hopeless theological liberals or abandoned the ministry
entirely. It makes one weep. When you hear of people embracing open theism (process theology in
evangelical dress) and universalism (everybody will be saved and none go to hell), it shows how
widespread this has become. It goes back to your view of Holy Scripture.
John Calvin gave to the church the teaching of the “internal testimony of the Holy Spirit,” namely,
how you know the Bible is the Word of God. It is the Holy Spirit who witnesses in your heart that the
Bible is absolutely true. With this was the very important teaching of the “analogy of faith,” based
upon Romans 12:6 (analogia, usually translated “proportion”). We must prophesy or teach according
to the “proportion” of our faith. This meant comparing Scripture with Scripture and staying in
Scripture. This way one discovers how amazing and consistent the Bible is.
When I was ordained to the ministry, Dr. N. B. Magruder asked me, “Which is more important—
the external or internal witness—when it comes to knowing the Bible is true?” Answer: internal
witness. External witness refers to what people say about the Bible; for example, archeologists or
New Testament critics. The only safe route is the way of the Holy Spirit; His own witness enables
you to know you are never going to be deceived when you are convinced in your heart the Bible is
true and trustworthy. I can tell you, I would never have made it as an expositor of Scripture over the
last sixty years of preaching were I not totally convinced that every word of Scripture is true and must
be taken with the gravest seriousness. It is what has saved me from becoming a liberal.
Jesus had the same view of Scripture that Paul and Peter held to, namely, that the Holy Spirit wrote
the Old Testament. Jesus asked the Pharisees (a question they could not answer), “How is it then that
David, speaking by the Spirit, calls him [Christ] ‘Lord’? For he says, ‘The Lord said to my Lord:
“Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet.” If then David calls him “Lord,” how
can he be his son?’”(Matt. 22:43–45, emphasis added). My point is, Jesus said that David was able
to write as he did because the Holy Spirit—in 1000 BC—enabled him to do so. And, as we also saw
earlier, it was the testimony of the early church. When being persecuted, they prayed to the Lord and
said, “You spoke by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of your servant David: ‘Why do the nations
rage and the peoples plot in vain?’” (Acts 4:25, emphasis added).
One more thing in this connection: The canon of Holy Scripture is closed. It is final. Absolute.
Incontrovertible. It is God’s complete and final revelation. No word that will come in the future will
be equal to the Bible in level of inspiration. This means that any “leading,” prophetic word, word of
knowledge, or vision one may have today must cohere with Holy Scripture. If it doesn’t, it must be
rejected. The main reason that King Saul became yesterday’s man and was rejected by God was
because he thought he was above the Word of God. When he offered the burnt offerings, he knew he
was going against Moses’s mandate that only the priest called of God could offer burnt offerings. And
yet he claimed to have been “compelled” to do it (1 Sam. 13:12). Whenever a person claims to speak
for God, claiming “The Lord told me”—and it goes against Scripture, you may safely, comfortably,
and most assuredly reject that person’s word, no matter how credible that person may seem!
The Holy Spirit takes responsibility for the authorship of the Bible. He used people of course. But
the buck stops with the Holy Spirit. The same Holy Spirit may speak today at various levels. But no
level of inspiration will equal the inspiration of the Bible—ever.
For further study: John 5:39–47; Acts 4:24–31; 2 Timothy 3:15–16; 2 Peter 1:21
Blessed Holy Spirit, I thank You for the Bible—the infallible Word of God. I thank You
that You wrote it—using people. Please dwell in me in ever-increasing measure in order
that Your Word will be more and more real to me. In Jesus’s name, amen.


Day 24
THE HOLY SPIRIT IS OUR TEACHER
I HAVE HAD SEVERAL mentors, probably about ten. I have often wished I could write a book about
them. The problem is, they are not well known, and writing such a book would mean more to me than
the reader. But the notable exception is Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones. He taught me through his books for
years and then spoon-fed me week after week during my first four years at Westminster Chapel. He
was my chief mentor. He taught me the difference between the direct and indirect witness of the
Spirit. More than anyone else, he taught me how to think. That said, anyone’s greatest teacher is the
Holy Spirit.
“He will teach you all things,” said Jesus (John 14:26, ESV). “You do not need anyone to teach you.
But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit . . .
remain in him” (1 John 2:27).
The Holy Spirit is our teacher in basically two ways: directly and indirectly—a most important
concept. If He teaches us directly, then, “you do not need anyone to teach you.” The Holy Spirit is
very capable of teaching us in that fashion, and it is a wonderful thing to have happen. This is what
happened to me when driving in my car on October 31, 1955 (as I discussed in Day 19). The things I
was taught directly had previously been alien to me—for example, that I was eternally saved and
chosen from the foundation of the world. I could not have thought that up in my own mind. I was taught
the opposite—that such teaching was actually “born in hell” (I am not joking). So how did I come to
it? By the direct teaching of the Holy Spirit.
Whether it be the indirect or direct teaching, the Holy Spirit only teaches us what we are able to
take in. Jesus had much more He could teach the Twelve but knew they were not able to absorb any
more (John 16:12). Not only that, but also Holy Spirit never makes us feel guilty when we are slow to
grasp things. My first-grade teacher (when I was six years old) would stand behind me and shake my
shoulders suddenly in front of the rest of the class when I read a word or sentence improperly. I have
had serious trouble reading and concentrating when I read ever since. I was sick at home and unable
to attend school the early days of my first algebra class. The teacher never offered to help me catch
up, and the result was that I never—ever—got it right when it came to algebra. My basketball coach
once threw a basketball at me that hit me hard in the pit of my stomach and left me breathless for a
while. I was expecting a gentle toss from him. I was afraid to let him teach me after that. But Jesus
never makes mistakes like that.
The indirect teaching refers to the way the Holy Spirit applies what we read or hear. It is when the
Spirit applies the Word of God as we read it. It is when the Spirit applies preaching, teaching, a blog,
a poem, a loving word of encouragement from a friend, what we read in a book, or when we sing a
hymn or chorus. As it happens, this very morning in my quiet time I sang the hymn “Be Still, My Soul”
to the tune “Finlandia.” Only God (and Louise, who was with me) knew what those words meant to
me on this particular day. It was as though they were penned for me! The Holy Spirit was at work
applying this great hymn.
Chastening, or disciplining, is the Holy Spirit’s indirect teaching. The word chastening comes
from a word that means enforced learning—whatever it takes to get our attention. It is God’s Plan B
in dealing with us. Plan A is that we should listen to God through His Word. That is the best way of
having our spiritual problem solved! Plan B is when He resorts to measures more painful than having
to obey His Word—as when we are required to go outside our comfort zone. The Holy Spirit may use
sickness, financial reverse, the withholding of vindication, or losing a friend. Or even being
swallowed up by a great fish, as Jonah learned. Whom the Lord loves He disciplines (Heb. 12:6).
But He knows how much we can bear.
The Holy Spirit is our best and only reliable teacher. In fact, He is the only teacher who ultimately
matters. Whatever teaching you hear or read (including this book), whoever the preacher or teacher, if
the Spirit does not apply it and witness it to your heart (which He is most capable of doing), you
should learn to hold that teaching in abeyance—if not dismiss it.
Caution: whether you are learning from Him directly or indirectly, the Holy Spirit only witnesses
to and leads to the truth. We have seen that the best of human teachers make mistakes. Our best
mentors are not infallible. We must all be like the people of Berea who “examined the Scriptures [the
Old Testament, in this case] every day to see if what Paul said was true” (Acts 17:11). In those days,
Paul was a nobody; he did not have the stature then that he has today. Anyone who says to you,
“Believe it because I say it,” is doing you no favor and is probably insecure in himself.
The Holy Spirit is not insecure. He has nothing to prove. He is only looking out for you.
For further study: Exodus 33:7–23; Psalm 119:65–72; 2 Timothy 4:1–5; Hebrews 5:11–6:2
O Holy Spirit, my greatest teacher, thank You for Your patience with me. I feel I have so
much to learn. Thank You for Your patience. Don’t give up on me. Teach me all I can
know that will bring great honor and glory to the most high and all wise God. In Jesus’s
name, amen.