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A Synopsis of Paper 194: Bestowal of the Spirit of Truth

On Pentecost, one hundred and twenty believers gathered in prayer in Jerusalem after listening to Peter describe the farewell message of their Master. As they prayed, the became filled with a new consciousness of spiritual joy and power, followed by an urge to publicly proclaim the gospel. The Spirit of Truth, the promised new teacher, had arrived.

The apostles emerged from forty days in hiding and began to preach their new message in the temple. Peter delivered an appeal which won more than two thousand souls. The Jewish leaders were astounded at the apostles' boldness.

Jesus' followers quickly discovered that the story of his resurrection held great allure. The gospel of the Fatherhood of God quickly changed into the gospel of the risen Lord Jesus Christ. The apostles proclaimed the facts of Jesus' life, death, and resurrection, and the fervent hope of his imminent return.

The Jesus brotherhood grew. Converts to the gospel prayed together, broke bread together, referred to each other as brothers and sisters. They ministered to the poor and shared their material possessions. The new fellowship spread rapidly for many years. Jewish leaders, seeing that they didn't pose any threat and that they continued to follow Jewish law, took little notice.

All went well in Jerusalem until pupils of Rodan began to make converts among the Hellenists. Greeks did not conform to Jewish practices and ceremonies and this eventually caused relations between the Jesus brotherhood and the Jewish leaders to deteriorate. One Greek convert, Stephen, was stoned to death as he preached, thus becoming the first martyr of the new religion.

Stephen's death brought about the formal organization of the early Christian church. Believers agreed to separate themselves from unbelievers. Within a month of Stephen's death, Peter and James were leading the new church in Jerusalem. Missionaries went forth throughout the Roman empire carrying the message of the new gospel, and relentless persecution by the Jews began.

Pentecost was a call to spiritual unity among believers. The Spirit of Truth descended in Jerusalem, Alexandria, Philadelphia, and all other places where true believers lived. The Spirit equipped teachers of the new faith with spiritual weapons: unfailing forgiveness, matchless good will, and boundless love. Among themselves, followers of Jesus were set free from discrimination based on sex, race, culture, and social status.

The life and death of Jesus eternally prove that goodness and faith will always be vindicated. Michael, as Jesus, revealed God to mankind as the Spirit of Truth reveals Michael to mankind. The mission of the Spirit is to foster and personalize truth and to destroy mortal feelings of orphanhood. The Spirit of Truth purifies the human heart and leads us to commit to the will of God and the welfare of humankind. The joy of this Spirit is a tonic for health, a stimulus for mind, and an unfailing energy for the soul. The Spirit of Truth brings a restatement of the message of Jesus to every new generation of believers, providing personal enlightenment and guidance for the spiritual difficulties of mortal life.

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