'the Spirit will guide us all if we just pray enough'


#1

I was in a very long discussion last night with a former evangelical minister about church authority. Can someone please help me with his constant citing of the verse in Scripture that says ‘the Spirit will guide all to understanding’. He told me where this was found but after such a long discussion I forgot the book/verse. I think, though, he was quoting from **1 John Chapter 2, verse 27, **where it basically says the people have been annointed and therefore need no one to teach them (the ‘Church’ in his mind) - the Holy Spirit will guide everyone. **Can someone pleae help me put this verse in context and what it means? **

I took him through various points on Church authority - the Ethiopian, the ‘rock’ and the keys (citing the foreshadowing in the OT), Jesus telling his disicples to teach (not write a book), how many Godly men believe they know the truth but vary in their interpretation (Billy Graham, Kenneth Copeland - who is right??? how do you know???), etc. He constantly came back to the verse I have above, and that if everyone prayed enough, everyone would know the ONE Truth because God told us the Spirit would guide us to all. People believe different things because they don’t listen to the Spirit when they are praying.

I think if I can get the context of this one verse under my belt it would help move our discussion forward so he would look at the other topics I mentioned above…well, maybe…


#2

Here’s what the footnote says in my Bible:

27 “You have no need”… You want not to be taught by any of these men, who, under pretence of imparting more knowledge to you, seek to seduce you (ver. 26), since you are sufficiently taught already, and have all knowledge and grace in the church, with the unction of the Holy Ghost; which these new teachers have no share in.


#3

Jesus says that He will send an Advocate to them to speak for them, etc. Then the Pentascost happens. That is in Acts I think (I still haven’t memorized verses). But the context, and this I am sure of, is what your friend refuses to put together. The rock and the keys, etc…are all part of the whole and can’t be ingored for one verse talking about how people will evangelize.

The Holy Spirit (love) will lead the way, thus the importance of Charity, and this is emphasized in the faith hope and love, the greatest being love discussion. But this does not mean that there are no other stipulations.

I have read many protestant Bibles that highlight verses, and the way they are emphasized typically contradict the context they come in.

As far as that exact verse you’re looking for, sorry if I can’t be of much help.

God bless,
Aaron Magnan


#4

Also Acts 8:

27 And rising up, he went. And behold a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch, of great authority under Candace the queen of the Ethiopians, who had charge over all her treasures, had come to Jerusalem to adore. 28 And he was returning, sitting in this chariot, and reading Isaias the prophet. 29 And the Spirit said to Philip: Go near, and join thyself to this chariot. 30 And Philip running thither, heard him reading the prophet Isaias. And he said: Thinkest thou that thou understandest what thou readest? 31 Who said: And how can I, unless some man shew me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.


#5

[quote=Elzee]I. He constantly came back to the verse I have above, and that if everyone prayed enough, everyone would know the ONE Truth because God told us the Spirit would guide us to all. People believe different things because they don’t listen to the Spirit when they are praying.


[/quote]

So, does this mean that anyone that disagrees his interpretation is not being led by the Holy Spirit? That seems pretty arrogant.

It isn’t that I don’t believe that the Holy Spirit can and does guide people, I certainly believe that he does assist us. I worry about people that are depending on their emotions and own biases to translate scripture. It is so easy to misread or misunderstand what you have read in the bible. %between%%between%%between%


#6

Also Acts 10: "At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion of what was known as the Italian Cohort, a devout man who feared God with all his household, gave alms liberally to the people, and prayed constantly to God. About the ninth hour of the day he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God coming in and saying to him, “Cornelius.” And he stared at him in terror, and said, “What is it, Lord?” And he said to him, “Your prayers and alms have ascended as a memorial before God. And now send men to Joppa, and bring one Simon who is called Peter; he is lodging with Simon, a tanner, whose house is by the seaside.”

The point is, this devout centurion is not told to just continue doing what he’s been doing (praying and almsgiving), even though those things have been pleasing to God. No, he’s told to go and seek out Peter.


#7

The verse in question may be John 16:13 which says: “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.” This verse is often cited within Protestant circles to support their belief that individuals can read the bible prayerfully and that the Holy Spirit will guide them so that they will know the truth.

There are a number of problems with this kind of thinking and some of them have already been mentioned by others. It needs to be pointed out that when Jesus made the statement concerning the Holy Spirit he was speaking to the twelve apostles and is not making a statement that can be used to justify the contention about individual Christians. This is confirmed by Jesus prayers in John 17. Jesus says [see John 17:17-19] “Sanctify them[the apostles] in the truth; thy word is truth. As thou didst send me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be consecrated in truth.” Please notice that Jesus is consecrating the apostles in truth just as he promised he would send the Holy Spirit to them and that they would be led unto all truth in John 16:13.

Then Jesus goes on to say the following in verses 20-23, “I do not pray for these only, but also for those who believe in me through their word, that they may all be one; even as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. The glory which thou hast given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and thou in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that thou hast sent me and hast loved them even as thou hast loved me.” The truth and unity that Jesus promises comes by way of the teaching of the apostles. This teaching is preserved and promulgated through the church which “is the pillar and bulwark of the truth.”[1 Tim 3:15]

We all know that we must study and that we need teachers. We all know from scripture that teachers and elders are appointed in the church. “The personal guidance position” dismisses this set of biblical facts, and denies the necessity of the church and its authority. We are warned in scripture about these things. In 2 Peter 1:20 we are warned about personal interpretation of scripture. This is followed by an additional warning in 2 Peter 3:15-18 where the apostle describes how individuals twist Pauls words and the other scriptures to their own destruction.

The apostle John warns us about false teachers and those that operate in the spirit of the anti-Christ. John tells us “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out, that it might be plain that they all are not of us.”[1 John 2:19]

If someone willfully and with knowledge rejects the Church and its authority then they are not of the Church. The church is the body of Christ and the Church is the bride of Christ.


#8

Peter, Our first Pope, had this to say:

“First of all you must understand this, that no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, because no prophecy ever came by the impulse of man, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.” 2 Peter 1:20-21

“There are some things in them hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other scriptures. You, therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, beware lest you be carried away with the error of lawless men and lose your own stability.” 2 Peter 3:16-17

We need a teaching authority to rely upon; the Church of Jesus Christ, that He established, The One, Holy, Apostolic and Catholic Church.


#9

[quote=Pax]The verse in question may be John 16:13 which says: “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.” This verse is often cited within Protestant circles to support their belief that individuals can read the bible prayerfully and that the Holy Spirit will guide them so that they will know the truth.

There are a number of problems with this kind of thinking and some of them have already been mentioned by others. It needs to be pointed out that when Jesus made the statement concerning the Holy Spirit he was speaking to the twelve apostles and is not making a statement that can be used to justify the contention about individual Christians. This is confirmed by Jesus prayers in John 17. Jesus says [see John 17:17-19] “Sanctify them[the apostles] in the truth; thy word is truth. As thou didst send me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be consecrated in truth.” Please notice that Jesus is consecrating the apostles in truth just as he promised he would send the Holy Spirit to them and that they would be led unto all truth in John 16:13.

Then Jesus goes on to say the following in verses 20-23, “I do not pray for these only, but also for those who believe in me through their word, that they may all be one; even as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. The glory which thou hast given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and thou in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that thou hast sent me and hast loved them even as thou hast loved me.” The truth and unity that Jesus promises comes by way of the teaching of the apostles. This teaching is preserved and promulgated through the church which “is the pillar and bulwark of the truth.”[1 Tim 3:15]

We all know that we must study and that we need teachers. We all know from scripture that teachers and elders are appointed in the church. “The personal guidance position” dismisses this set of biblical facts, and denies the necessity of the church and its authority. We are warned in scripture about these things. In 2 Peter 1:20 we are warned about personal interpretation of scripture. This is followed by an additional warning in 2 Peter 3:15-18 where the apostle describes how individuals twist Pauls words and the other scriptures to their own destruction.

The apostle John warns us about false teachers and those that operate in the spirit of the anti-Christ. John tells us “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out, that it might be plain that they all are not of us.”[1 John 2:19]

If someone willfully and with knowledge rejects the Church and its authority then they are not of the Church. The church is the body of Christ and the Church is the bride of Christ.
[/quote]

Yes Pax! This is exactly the verse! Thank you so much. Your answer and the others above have been tremendously helpful, as always. I will read through the chapters you mention above again and I’ll be able to discuss them next time we talk.


#10

*I think, though, he was quoting from **1 John Chapter 2, verse 27, **where it basically says the people have been annointed and therefore need no one to teach them (the ‘Church’ in his mind) - the Holy Spirit will guide everyone. ****Can someone pleae help me put this verse in context and what it means? *

**Hmm - I guess I still have a question about the verse above the more I think about how all this fits together…how does this fit into your earlier discussion Pax? I think John’s letter was directed to all the people he was writing to, telling them they don’t need someone to ‘teach them’?


#11

[quote=Elzee]*I think, though, he was quoting from **1 John Chapter 2, verse 27, ***where it basically says the people have been annointed and therefore need no one to teach them (the ‘Church’ in his mind) - the Holy Spirit will guide everyone. ***Can someone pleae help me put this verse in context and what it means? ***

Hmm - I guess I still have a question about the verse above the more I think about how all this fits together…how does this fit into your earlier discussion Pax? I think John’s letter was directed to all the people he was writing to, telling them they don’t need someone to ‘teach them’?
[/quote]

Naturally, every verse of scripture needs to be understood in the context of the verses surrounding it as well as the rest of scripture in general. John 2:27 is the last part of Chapter 2. The verse is preceded by John teaching his listeners about sin, obedience, love of God, and love of neighbor/brother. John also warns them not to love the things of the world, and also warns them of the false teachers that are in the spirit of the antichrist.

Clearly, John is “teaching” and it is a nonsequiteur to argue that verse 27 means that his listeners do not need any teaching at all because they are annointed by God. Instead, we should be able to see that John doesn’t want his listeners to fall victim to false teachers in the spirit of the antichrist. The latter part of verse 27 as well as verse 28 are also helpful. They point out that John’s Christian listeners are told to “abide” in Christ. The word abide means to “remain,” and they are warned that they must do so in order that they “may have confidence and not shrink from him[Jesus] in shame at his coming.” John is teaching and instructing, and is not simply leaving the flock to fend for themselves with total dependence on the Holy Spirit.

Practical experience also shows us that when left to our own devices we will misinterpret the Holy Spirit with startling regularity. Good intentions and sincerity do not guarantee that one will know and grab hold of the truth. The competing doctrines that are argued by sincere and prayerful Christians of different denominations are a testimony to the failure of the belief that individually we will be led unto all truth. The Church is the body of Christ and as his body we will be brought into all truth. In John 17 Jesus prays for unity among the apostles and then for all those that follow them. This unity is also described by Paul in Eph 4:4-6 when he says, “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of us all, who is above all and through all and in all.” Paul gives additional testimony of this in Philippians 1:27-28 when he says, "Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you stand firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, and not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is a clear omen to them of their destruction, but of your salvation, and that from God."

The Holy Spirit does not divide us, but the idea of going it alone with the Holy Spirit will divide us. Scripture makes it clear that we are the body of Christ and that we don’t go it alone in any way shape or form. The idea of the “individual and the Holy Spirit” is a clear break from the New Covenant statements concerning “the body of Christ and the unity prayed for by Jesus.” If the proposition was true then there would be no disagreements between sincere and prayerful Christians concerning matters of doctrine, faith, or morals. The data indicates that this is not the case.


#12

There is one other very important thing that I failed to mention about the letters of John. At the time John wrote his epistles the Gnostics were spreading their heresy. Much of what John wrote was to caution the believers against the Gnostics. The Gnostics taught that there was a secret knowledge for salvation, and that they could teach it. John is warning the early Christians about the Gnostics and their ideas when he warns them about teachers vs. being annointed and led by the Holy Spirit within the body of Christ.

I hope this helps.


#13

[quote=Pax]There is one other very important thing that I failed to mention about the letters of John. At the time John wrote his epistles the Gnostics were spreading their heresy. Much of what John wrote was to caution the believers against the Gnostics. The Gnostics taught that there was a secret knowledge for salvation, and that they could teach it. John is warning the early Christians about the Gnostics and their ideas when he warns them about teachers vs. being annointed and led by the Holy Spirit within the body of Christ.

I hope this helps.
[/quote]

Do you know what the ‘secret knowledge’ was the Gnostics were talking about? I’ve heard about the Gnostics, but haven’t yet learned about them. Thank you.


#14

This is taken from Our sunday Visitor’s Encyclopedia of Catholic History :

"Central to Gnostic teachings was the idea of gnosis, secret revealed knowledge of salvation. They claimed that the source of the gnosis was the secret oral transmission of the knowledge by Christ, either to the Twelve Apostles or to the leader of the sect. In turn, the gnosis was transmitted to select members who were determined to be worthy.

To the Gnostics, the universe was sharply divided between spiritual and material worlds, the first representing perfection and goodness, the second imperfection and evil. The world, and hence everything created in it, including humanity, is imperfect. God, to the Gnostics, is a transcendent and spiritual being, meaning that he could not have created the material world. Instead, the material world was created by a lesser god, the Demiurge, derived from the Divine Being through a series of emanations, or aeons. This Demiurge, a creator god, brought the world into being in some manner, a material existence that is imperfect and opposed to the spiritual world. Certain humans, however, contain within them a gift of spirituality, described by some as a spark of the Divine Being. They will be able to achieve salvation and become reunited with the Divine Being through the gnosis, secret knowledge of attainment. Christ, to the Christian Gnostics, was a representative of the Divine Being, sent to deliver to the elect the gnosis, the path to salvation. Extremely exclusive in nature, Gnosticism thus divided all of humanity into two main groups, the select (saved) and those of the flesh (damned)."

You can probably find out more by doing a search online.


#15

Thank you!


#16

[quote=Pax]This is taken from Our sunday Visitor’s Encyclopedia of Catholic History :

Certain humans, however, contain within them a gift of spirituality, described by some as a spark of the Divine Being. They will be able to achieve salvation and become reunited with the Divine Being through the gnosis, secret knowledge of attainment. Christ, to the Christian Gnostics, was a representative of the Divine Being, sent to deliver to the elect the gnosis, the path to salvation. Extremely exclusive in nature, Gnosticism thus divided all of humanity into two main groups, the select (saved) and those of the flesh (damned)."

You can probably find out more by doing a search online.
[/quote]

Thank you, also. I keep coming across the term Gnosticism in my reading and have meant to research their beliefs.


#17

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