What Does The Holy Spirit Do? And How?

Yeshua spoke to His disciples about His impending departure and the coming of the Holy Spirit. Clearly His disciples were going to miss Him, “sorrow has filled [their] heart”. Yeshua, however, encouraged them that He had to go for the Spirit to come and that would be an advantage to them as His disciples.

But what does the Holy Spirit do and how?

John 16:5-15

The Holy Spirit Promised

     5“But now I am going to Him who sent Me; and none of you asks Me, ‘Where are You going?’ 6“But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. 7“But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. 8“And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment; 9concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and you no longer see Me; 11and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.

      12“I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13“But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. 14“He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you. 15“All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said that He takes of Mine and will disclose it to you.

The Holy Spirit convicts the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment. He guides into truth. He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears from Yeshua, that He will speak.

Some take this to mean we don’t need to study or obey the Bible or the  instructions of the Father anymore because once we accept Yeshua as Messiah the Spirit will guide us in all things. It should be fairly obvious that this is not happening by simply looking around us at the division within the church that all claim to follow Christ. Even if you separate out the false teachers who deliberately teach false or incomplete doctrine… there is still much division and lack of unity on many things amongst genuine believers. This would not be so if the Spirit was fully guiding all those who genuinely follow Christ. There is still a role for us to play!

Keep in mind He is a helper. He does not force you to do everything right. There is still a battle with our flesh or sin nature. Further, Yeshua taught from scripture and referred to it often, as one pointing to the instructions of the Father. So, too, then the Spirit is not here to help us make up new instructions or stop studying the old ones, but to help us follow Yeshua, who followed the Father. There is not a change in the instructions, but rather the Spirit helps us better understand and live according to the instructions.

Nowhere do we find example that Yeshua or His disciples taught that the Spirit means we no longer need to study and understand the scriptures. In fact, the disciples continued going to temple and synagogue on sabbath (where Moses is taught) even after the Holy Spirit came upon them at Pentecost. They were still devout Jews after Yeshua’s death, perhaps most notably observed by their gathering together at Pentecost according to the Jewish custom based on God’s instruction.

There is even a specific example where Paul and James discussed the importance of the teachings of Moses to the gentiles that are coming to Yeshua and did so after the resurrection of Christ. In this example, they felt it was ok to begin the Gentiles with some simple starting points to help them begin to come to faith in Yeshua rather than drop on them all at once all of the instructions and the law of Moses. They did so observing that the teaching of Moses is available every week and thus the Gentiles will learn more over time. There was no assumption that the Spirit would come and they would never need to study and learn the ways of YHWH as revealed to Moses. There was no assumption that the teaching of Moses was no longer relevant.

Acts 15:19-21

19“Therefore it is my judgment that we do not trouble those who are turning to God from among the Gentiles, 20but that we write to them that they abstain from things contaminated by idols and from fornication and from what is strangled and from blood. 21“For Moses from ancient generations has in every city those who preach him, since he is read in the synagogues every Sabbath.”

The Spirit helps us to understand as we study scripture and He helps us to remember what we learned as we live our daily life. He does not replace prayer, worship, study of scripture, or any of the instructions of YHWH given to us.

John 14:26

26“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.

Pray the Lord send His Spirit to help you and other followers of Yeshua everywhere to see and understand His word and how it should guide our steps daily. Study the scriptures to better understand what they say. Seek the help of the Holy Spirit. Do not rely simply on the written accounts of men, but test everything (yes, my teaching also) against what scripture actually says.


Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

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