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The Comforter in John 14-17

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(KJV is used unless otherwise noted)

Pre-Explanation

Christ was soon leaving, yet about to explain how He was going to continue with His disciples. Notice the way He prefaced the explanation of the forthcoming Spirit. John 14:1 shows His request to the disciples; “Ye believe in God, believe ALSO in Me.” He tells of His Father’s house (14:2). Explaining the way to the Father, Christ says “No man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.” (14:6) (Not by some other person, not the Angels, nobody.) He asked the disciples if they did not believe that He was “in the Father, and the Father in” Him. Christ didn’t speak His own words, but “the Father that dewelleth in” Him spoke the words. (14:10) He then requests the disciples to believe Him, “Blieve me that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me.” (14:11) Verse 12 explains that the disciples will do “greater works” because He was going to His Father. Verse 15 verifies that obedience to Christ is key to a greater influence. How? Why? Because Christ, as the only mediator between God and men, would “pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter.” (The word another is NOT another of something different, but another of the same thing. Asking for “another” cup of water should bring you another cup of “water,” not a car. There would be use of a different Greek word if something entirely different was the intent.) Why ANOTHER Comforter?

Divested of the Personality of Humanity

“Cumbered with humanity, Christ could not be in every place personally; therefore it was altogether for their advantage that He should leave them, go to His father, and send the Holy Spirit to be His successor on earth. The Holy Spirit is Himself divested of the personality of humanity and independent thereof. He would represent Himself as present in all places by His Holy Spirit, as the Omnipresent. “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My name, He shall (although unseen by you), [This phrase was added by Ellen White.] teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you” [John 14:26]. “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will come not unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you” [John 16:7].” 14MR 23.3

(Brackets and parentheses are original, underline added. Notice the future tenses.)

5 uses of the Greek word for “Comforter”

  • John 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
  • John 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
  • John 15:26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:
  • John 16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.
  • 1 John 2:1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:

John 14:17

  • Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

John 14:18

I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.

John 14:20

At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.

John 14:22-26

Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? (23) Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. (24) He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me. (25) These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. (26) But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

John 14:27-29

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (28) Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I. (29) And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe.

  • If Christ were speaking of the second coming, as He was in 14:1-3, would this make sense? It cannot, for when the second coming occurs we must be believing before that event, else we will be lost. It cannot be possible that Christ is teaching that He will give another chance to believe when He comes at the second coming, so He must be speaking about His coming as the Comforter.

John 15:4-5

Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. (5) I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

  • John 6:56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.
  • John 15:7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

John 15:26

But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:

John 16:7-8

Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.

(8) And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:

[ALL judgment is committed unto the Son, 5:22]

John 16:13-15

Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. (14) He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. (15) All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.

John 17:26

And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.

Love, Joy, Peace – the fruits of the Spirit in John 14-17

Love: 27 times

Joy: 7 times

Peace: 3 times

Acts of the Apostles

“The promise of the Holy Spirit is not limited to any age or to any race. Christ declared that the divine influence of His Spirit was to be with His followers unto the end. From the Day of Pentecost to the present time, the Comforter has been sent to all who have yielded themselves fully to the Lord and to His service. To all who have accepted Christ as a personal Saviour, the Holy Spirit has come as a counselor, sanctifier, guide, and witness.” AA 49.2

[Christ is the counselor (Revelation 3:18), the sanctifier (John 17:17, 1:1, 14), and witness (Revelation 3:14).]

Christ’s Object Lessons

After Christ’s ascension His enthronement in His mediatorial kingdom was signalized by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. On the day of Pentecost the Spirit was given.” COL 118.3

[In this context, notice the next Bible verse]

John 7:39 – The Spirit not Yet

(But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)

The Desire of Ages

“By the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, thousands were to be converted in a day. This was the result of Christ’s sowing, the harvest of His work.” DA 192.1

Early Writings

“The great Sacrifice had been offered and had been accepted, and the Holy Spirit which descended on the day of Pentecost carried the minds of the disciples from the earthly sanctuary to the heavenly, where Jesus had entered by His own blood, to shed upon His disciples the benefits of His atonement.” EW 259.1

The Review and Herald

The dispensation in which we are now living is to be, to those that ask, the dispensation of the Holy Spirit.” RH March 2, 1897, par. 13

The Review and Herald

“We need to have an understanding that we are living under the dispensation of the Spirit.” RH June 28, 1898, par. 13

The Present Truth

Cumbered with humanity, Christ could not be in every place personally; therefore it was altogether for their advantage that He should leave them, go to His Father, and send the Holy Spirit to be His successor on earth. The Holy Spirit is Himself, divested of the personality of humanity, and independent thereof. Christ would represent Himself as present in all places by His Holy Spirit,—as the Omnipresent.” {PrT May 30, 1895, par. 7}

Christ’s Spirit

“We want the Holy Spirit, which is Jesus Christ.” {Lt66-1894 1.6600}

“The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Christ, which is sent to all men to give them sufficiency, that through His grace we might be complete in Him.” {14MR 84.3}

“It is not your spirit that is going into heaven; it is Christ’s spirit.” {1888 905.2}

“The Holy Spirit, which proceeds from the only – begotten Son of God, binds the human agent, body, soul, and spirit, to the perfect, divine – human nature of Christ.” {1SM 251.1}

Christ is to be known by the blessed name of Comforter. “The Comforter,” said Christ to His disciples, “which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you, Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.””        {Ms7-1902.10}