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17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.

but you [emphatic] know Him,

The apostles already experientially knew the Holy Spirit, but they were to know Him better after Jesus departed. He temporarily indwelt and worked in the Old Testament among certain prophets and kings. David prayed that God would not take the Spirit from him (Ps 51:11). The Holy Spirit never permanently indwelt all believers in the Old Testament. He only did this for a select group in the older testament.

for He dwells with [alongside] you

The Holy Spirit used three different words to describe His connection to believers: “with” (Jn 14:16), “alongside” (here), and “in” (this verse). “With” indicates association or personal sharing among people.

During Jesus’ ministry the Holy Spirit was “with” the apostles; He was not in but associated Himself with them. The Spirit worked with some prophets or kings on occasions, but He never indwelt them permanently. At one point the Holy Spirit was “with” or alongside the apostles. He operated beside them as an ally in ministry with them. He was beside them but not in them. All of this was before Pentecost, when the Spirit would permanently indwell the church and believers.

and will be in you.

“Dwells” is present tense but this verb “will be” is future tense. The Holy Spirit dwelt with the apostles as a continuing reality, but He would permanently dwell “in” them beginning on the day of Pentecost. The word “in” shows that the Holy Spirit in the future would personally indwell the apostles and believers permanently when the church began.

Note a summary of prepositions used of the Holy Spirit in verses 16 and 17:

The Holy Spirit “will dwell in your midst” (meth humwn), Jn 14:16. He would be with the apostles and the church in the future.

He “dwells by your side” (par humin), Jn 14:17. Once the Spirit arrived, He would operate alongside those who needed an Advocate.

He “will be in you” (en humin), Jn 14:17. Not only would the Spirit come alongside to help believers but He would dwell within them.

The implication of these three prepositions is this: The Holy Spirit was all along amid the apostles and by their side during the public ministry of Christ, but He would be “in” them on the day of Pentecost. However, not only is He “in” believers but He is also by their side to render them aid (Jn 14:23). He accompanies believers through their issues.


The Holy Spirit would both be beside and indwell believers when God launched the church.


The Holy Spirit would come to dwell in the midst and beside believers on the day of Pentecost. He would personally enter the church, His temple (1 Co 3:16; 2 Co 6:16; Eph 2:21). The Spirit abiding in the believer is not transitory; it is permanent.

Since the Holy Spirit is truth in His person (Jn 16:13), He will guide His people into the realm of truth. Satan’s realm is one of lies (Jn 8:44, 45). In a day when there is so much fake news, distortions in the academic world, and lies by politicians, the Holy Spirit conveys truth to believers. The New Testament concept of truth is in opposition to falsehood. He represents what is actual, the facts. Truth has clear propositions about what is real.

Believers know and see what the world does not. First, the apostles saw Jesus after the resurrection, but the world did not. Second, they have the “Spirit of truth” to guide them in supernatural knowledge that they would not otherwise have. Finite knowledge will never perceive infinite knowledge. That only comes via revelation. It is the role of the Holy Spirit to do that.

We do not receive the Holy Spirit by a system of merit but from the prayer of Jesus on our behalf. We can never obtain the Spirit by ourselves; He must be given to us. We “receive” Him.

The church would become international on the day of Pentecost. The middle wall of partition (distinction between Jew and Gentile) no longer exists.