"He will glorify me because it is from me that He will receive what He will make known to you." (John 16:14)

This verse is substantially mistranslated and subsequently misinterpreted.

Let's review the key part of the Greek translation closely:

"He" is appropriately translated from from ἐκεῖνος (ekeinos), but can also mean "that one" or here, "that One." The reference is to Jesus' previous statements, as he has been discussing the Holy Spirit guiding his students after he has physically left them when his physical body dies.

"Glorify" here is translated from δοξάζω (doxazō). The word can certainly mean "glorify" but its primary meaning according to Thayer's lexicon, "is to think, suppose, be of opinion." It can also mean "to honour, do honour to, hold in honour;" "to make renowned, render illustrious;" and "to cause the dignity and worth of some person or thing to become manifest and acknowledged." It can also mean "to give splendor" according to common usage.

For example, Jesus used this word in the same sense when he said:
"If I glorify myself, my glory means nothing. My Father, whom you claim as your God, is the One who glorifies me." (John 8:54)
"Will receive" is translated from λαμβάνω (lambanō), but this word means "to take" as in " to take with the hand, lay hold of, any person or thing in order to use it;" "to take in order to carry away;" and more importantly, "to take what is one's own, to take to one's self, to make one's own." This meaning is also captured by the word "derived."

"Will make known" is translated from ἀναγγέλλω (anaggellō), which means "to announce, make known," and "to report, bring back tidings, rehearse" according to the lexicon. Thus, "revealed" is appropriate.

Thus we can see that the concepts are a little more complex than indicated by the translation above. The translation makes it seem that the Holy Spirit or Spirit of Truth - πνεῦμα τῆς ἀληθείας - must rely upon Jesus, and needs Jesus in order for the Holy Spirit to teach them. The translation is making it sound like God in the form of the Holy Spirit does not know the Truth on His own. That He needs to learn it from Jesus first.

This notion and translation is completely offensive to the Supreme Being. God does not rely upon anyone. God is completely self-sufficient. Every thing and every living being - including Jesus - was created by God.

This same offensive notion of ecclesiastical sectarian institutions and their teachers has also given rise to the teaching that Jesus - being identified as God - had to sacrifice - "die" they say - on the cross in order to relieve the sins of humanity.

This philosophy is also offensive, because it proposes first that the Supreme Being dies. God never dies, and has never died - even for three days.

Secondly, it proposes that the Supreme Being must make a sacrifice in order to relieve our sins. The concept of sacrifice requires an observance of a higher power - someone who receives the sacrifice. Who is a higher power for God? The concept of sacrifice also requires some rules of sacrifice. Why would God need to follow anyone's rules? God makes all the rules, and never has to follow them.

The fact is, the Supreme Being does not need to make a sacrifice to cleanse anyone's sins - even if we accept that Jesus is not God but God's "son" or loving servant. God is self-sufficient and has the power and authority to immediately forgive anyone's or everyone's sins as He wishes, with a simple thought. He does not need to make any sacrifices.

And the concern about relieving sins in itself is not a solution to the problem of sinning. Sins are derived from self-centeredness - focus upon one's self for the purpose of gaining pleasure, attention, followers or some other achievement. What use is it to be forgiven for one's sins if a person will continue to sin?

Without a change of heart, cleansing of sins offers no solution.

Furthermore, the desire to cleanse one's sins is also self-centered. It is not a solution.

The cleansing of sins is so important to ecclesiastical church doctrine because these institutions are trying to appeal to the self-centeredness of the masses in order to attract and keep followers to finance the extravagant lifestyles of those who collect salaries in exchange for performing services they claim as preaching.

Early ecclesiastical church organizations put forth the importance of being cleansed of sins because they wanted to create an urgency for the masses becoming members in their churches. This notion was furthered by the Roman Emperor Constantine and his political assembly of Nicea - where the Nicene Creed was established in 325 AD. This was followed by the arrangement of the books of the Bible with the Book of Revelation at the end in order to threaten people that if they don't come to church to cleanse their sins, they will go to hell.

What they didn't realize is that they and their followers are already in hell. This physical world is hell.

Hell is the place where self-centeredness reigns. It is the place where everyone strives - often at the expense of others - to achieve their own desires. Whether it is sensual pleasure, fame, wealth, followers or physical comfort - self-centeredness creates the struggles among the citizens of the physical world.

This contrasts with those living within the spiritual realm. Citizens of the spiritual realm are focused upon loving the Supreme Being, and this creates an environment of peace and love amongst everyone. Everyone in the spiritual realm wants to please God. God is their Best Friend, and most do not even see Him as God - only as their Beloved.

This relationship is what we were created for. We are not these physical bodies we temporarily wear. We each have spiritual forms and each of us within the physical world are driving these temporary bodies much as a person drives a car.

The reason we are in the physical world is because we rejected our original relationship with the Supreme Being. Because God gave us the choice to love Him or not - after all, love requires choice - we are those who chose not to love God.

Those of us who chose to not love God became self-focused. Without our relationship with God, we desperately strive to achieve fulfillment for ourselves here in this hellish physical world, but to no avail. None of us are happy with anything we gain in the physical world. No matter how wealthy, famous, smart, beautiful and healthy we appear to be (temporarily), we remain empty and lonely without our relationship with God.

Yes, this is hell. Being separated from God - striving towards self-centered goals that bring nothing but continued emptiness and loneliness even when surrounded by the family and so-called friends of this world - is hellish. Just look around, and read the news. What do we see: starvation, wars, mass shootings, robberies, rape, torture, terrorism, economic inequality, racism, pandemics, old age, disease, death. These are all the symptoms of hell.

The reason most of us don't see this world as hell is because we are so immersed in our own self-centeredness we do not see the suffering of those around us, and we even deny our own sufferings as we are so focused upon that next "thing" we want to achieve. Satisfaction and relief from suffering is always just around the corner. It is always just on the other side of the fence.

And while getting cleansed of our sins might help us temporarily, this is not the way out. The only way out of this hellish world is a change of heart.

This change of heart comes in the form of a relationship with the Supreme Being.

We might compare this - sort of - to the kind of change that we will often see in a young man who "falls in love" with a girl. Previously, the young man might have been an irresponsible troublemaker - a real ruffian. But once he "falls in love" with the girl, his whole life changes. Because he now wants to please the girl, he starts to straighten up. Because of his new-found relationship he might get a job or go to college, for example. What we find is what is called a "change of heart" because the young man's change came about through this new-found relationship.

This is what spiritual life is all about. It is not about big institutions, rituals and following what other people are doing. It is about re-establishing our own personal loving relationship with the Supreme Being.

Such a relationship with God - if it is sincere and real, and not grounded upon what God will give us - will change a person's heart. It will change a person from someone who is primarily self-centered to a person who is primarily focused upon pleasing the Supreme Being.

But how does one establish a loving relationship with God? In order to love someone, we have to know them, right? And if we don't know them, how do we come to know them?

This is the role of God's representative. God's representative is a loving servant of the Supreme Being, who is sent by God to introduce his followers to Him. Those who follow the instructions of God's representative, then, are introduced to God. Jesus clearly stated this when he said to his students:
"I will show you what He is like who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice." (Luke 6:47)
In this statement, "words" is translated from the Greek word λόγος (logos), which is better translated to "teachings." But whether translated to "words" or "teachings," Jesus is clearly stating here that those who hear Jesus' teachings, and then follow them, will be introduced to God. Isn't this what "show you what He is like" means? Certainly the Greek also indicates this.

This is the role of God's representative. He introduces us personally to God.

This relates directly to the meaning of Jesus' statement above. Jesus is talking about the fact that their coming to know the Supreme Being has been the result of Jesus having introduced them to God. The current state of their heart with respect to God has come about as a result of Jesus' teachings - and the extent by which they have followed those teachings.

Therefore, their own relationship with God - through the Holy Spirit - draws from their relationship with Jesus and the extent by which they follow Jesus' teachings. There is a three-way bind, so to speak, between the student, God's representative and God.

Let's use an example. Let's say that we want to come to know the President of the United States on an personal basis. How would we do that, when he is surrounded by secret service people, a big White House, and the army itself? But even with that buffer, we can still be introduced to the President by a personal friend of the President's. If we know this friend of the President's, and they come to trust us, then they may introduce us to the President because they have personal access to the President.

This element of trust is a big one, however. How is trust established? This friend of the President's would need to feel comfortable with us. They would need to feel that we were sincere and not just being their friend because we have want to get something from them - maybe use them to gain attention or something. This kind of trust is established typically by doing things to please them. This is what friendship is about.

Then, if they decide we are ready to meet the President, this personal friend of the President's will then tell us what we have to do to meet him. They might say that we need to put on a suit (or not) and get cleaned up before we walk into the White House. They might also tell us to bring a certain form of ID and so on.

We have to follow these instructions by this friend of the President's. It is mandatory, or we won't get to meet the President. It is a simple equation.

And once the introduction is made, all three of us - the President, ourselves and our friend who introduced us - will be bound together. Our relationship with the President will be irrevocably bound to the friend who introduced us. It is not as if we will now abandon that friend. And later on, assuming we have established an ongoing close personal relationship with the President, the President will always be inquiring from us how our mutual friend is. Or the three of us will hang out together. It won't be like either of us - the President or we - will forget who put us together.

This is the same with God's representative. First they must trust that we are sincere and ready to be introduced to God. This will be automatically vetted out by us following the teachings of God's representative. Then once they introduce us to God, we will be irrevocably bound with them in our relationship with God. That relationship does not cease.

This is the complexity of Jesus' statement above. With this in mind, and with the Greek, we can now offer a better translation of Jesus' statement:
"He will honor me because He derives from me what He will reveal to you." (John 16:14)
The Supreme Being "derives" (or "takes") from Jesus what Jesus has given his students - their commitment to God. Their devotion. This is part of the relationship.

In the analogy of the President and his friend, the President also derives from his friend the relationship established with us. It is not like something is physically taken. But there is an interdependence established because of the introduction made. Certainly the President could not trust us unless he knew that his friend - whom he trusts - also trusted us. Thus we might say that the President's trust was derived from the trust established by his friend with us.

At the same time, certainly the President could do his own background checks and verify us in order to come to trust us. But in the case of a personal relationship, the President prefers friends who refer friends.

This is also true with God. God is a Person. He enjoys personal relationships. He enjoys seeing His personal friends introduce others to Him. This is part of His enjoyment, because He is the Supreme Personal Being and He enjoys friendships and relationships.

We must remember that Jesus is having an intimate discussion with his closest followers, and this intimacy is being wrapped with his intimate relationship with God. It is a very confidential matter, that not many are let in to. Why not? Because most of us simply want to use whatever we derive for our own advantage. This self-focus makes us blind to the real confidential nature of Jesus' relationship with God, and his students.

Just consider, for example, what a self-centered person might do - and have done - when given a small piece of confidential information about the Supreme Being. They might try to use it to their advantage. They might try to, for example, start up their own church and try to gain many followers based on the fact that they had a vision of some sort - ultimately twisting their vision into some big doctrine. This is the kind of thing that goes on within hell in the name of religion. Instead of being humbled by scripture, some have tried to use scripture and the teachings of Jesus to gain fame, followers and false authority. This is why Jesus instructed his disciples:
"Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces." (Matt. 7:6)


(The NIV is utilized for Biblical quotes here. For a translation of Jesus' statements from the Gospel of John without sectarian influence, see the Gospels of Jesus  - translated from the original Greek texts.)