The Spirit

 

Home
Preface
Abbreviations Used

Introduction
General Subjects
Exposition
  Matthew
  Mark
  Luke
  John
  John 14-16
  Acts
  Romans
  1 Corinthians
  2 Corinthians
  Galatians
  Ephesians
  Philippians
  Colossians
  1 & 2 Thess.
  1 & 2 Timothy
  Titus
  Hebrews
  James
  1 & 2 Peter
  1 John
  Jude
  Revelation
Gifts of the Spirit
Inter-Ecclesial Offices
Word Studies
Bibliography
Index
Epilogue Acknowledgements
Exposition of The Spirit in John
     

The Promise of the Parakletos (John 14-16)

Jesus spent the last few minutes between the departure of Judas from the last supper and the arrival of himself and his disciples at the brook Cedron, discussing how they would manage in his physical absence. They were to expect two things:

  1. Fellowship with the Father and the Son who would abide with them through the Divine attributes of omniscience and omnipresence.
  2. Another parakletos (one called alongside) termed the "Spirit of truth" (v.17) and "the Holy Spirit" (14:26). Christ says "another" in that he himself was an "advocate" (1 John 2:1). The idea seems to be that he was replacing one advocate (himself) with another (an angel1?).

It is important that we see that the disciples were promised two things and not one as some allege2. Two facts demonstrate that the disciples were promised two things:

  1. The consistent usage of two different verbs "come" and "send".
    • The Abiding - I (we) will come.
    • The Advocate - I (we) will send.

  2. Unlike the abiding, the mission of the Parakletos was wholly miraculous and temporary in character. For ease of reference this evidence is briefly listed here but is expanded upon in the verse by verse notes.

    1. 14:16-17 The Parakletos "in" them was evidence that the Father had answered Jesus’ request. Acts 2:33 shows us that this request enabled them to do miraculous works.

    2. 14:26 "He shall teach you all things and bring all things to your remembrance". This was obviously a miraculous capability. It was temporary in that it applied only to the Apostles.

    3. 15:26, 27 "He shall witness3 of me". The idea was that the Parakletos would confirm Christ’s teaching with signs. Is this done today?

    4. 16:8 To convince "the world of sin, and of righteousness and of judgement". For the disciples to possess such a capability was obviously miraculous. Who could do so today?

    5. 16:12-15 "He will guide you into all truth". Previously they had not been able to grasp the meaning of the things they would now learn. The modus operandi and the result were both miraculous. Once "all truth" was recorded this aspect of the Parakletos was not needed any longer.

    6. "He will show you things to come".
      Here was a revelation totally miraculous. After the revelation was recorded what need was there for repetition? We can clearly see that the Parakletos was temporary and miraculous in character. This can not be said about the abiding.

1 We suggest without dogmatism that it was the Angel because of the very nature of the transaction and because of the obvious use of the personal pronouns. However it does not matter whether the Holy Spirit gifts came directly or indirectly through an angel. The important thing to note is that every feature of the advocate was miraculous, and temporary.
2 "the doctrine of the Holy Spirit cannot be grasped if "the abiding" and "the Comforter" are seen as synonymous terms for only one phenomenon, namely, the spiritual presence or "grace" of the Father and the Son "for ever" in the lives of all believers". Whittaker and Carr, TEST, Vol. 43, P. 129.
3 RV.

John 14 - 16 - DETAILED ANALYSIS

John 14:10
"the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works"

These words are not to be taken too literally. The Father was dwelling in Jesus through the power that had been given to him. "And Jesus saw the Spirit of God (Holy Spirit, Luke) descending like a dove, and lighting upon him" (Matt. 3:16). This Holy Spirit power which Jesus was given, enabled him to do "the works" (miracles and words). Conversely the works which Jesus did were evidence of the dwelling. We cannot claim that the Father is in us in the sense of this verse because we lack the ability to do the "works" which Jesus did. It is well to remember that Jesus was talking here to only 11 disciples.

John 14:12
"He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also".

Again we must see these words in their historical context. Within that context, we recall that the Apostles did His works when they were given the Power of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost and after. It was the plan and purpose of God that His word should be preached unto all the world. To do this, the early Christians were given extra-ordinary powers. These powers could not be transferred from one person to another except by the Apostles (Acts 8:18). When the last of the Apostles died, then the Holy Spirit was no longer transferred to others and eventually the gifts ceased (cf. 1 Cor. 13:8-12).

"greater works than these shall he do"

i.e. not qualitatively but rather in scope. Jesus limited his preaching to Palestine. The Apostles preached the word with signs following throughout the whole oikoumene (world) (cf. Rev. 7:9). We must not confuse the work of Christadelphian "missionaries" with what Christ meant here. What Christ referred to was the ability to perform miracles, as is evident from the phrase that follows

"because I go unto my Father".

Today only the very foolish would claim to be able to perform the miracles Christ did. The ability to do these works was tied to two things - Jesus going to the Father (v.12) and another advocate being sent (v. 16).


John 14:14
"If ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it"

This is a specific statement made within the confines of the context. It cannot apply outside this context. For example it applied only to the Apostles. This is evident from the word "ye"1. Christ was specifically talking to them. He states that "I chose you and appointed you, that you should go and bear fruit" (ch. 15:16, NASB). This personal appointment applied only to the twelve and later to Paul. This statement cannot be generalized to refer to us. Even then, Paul asked that his thorn in the flesh be removed but Christ said, "My grace is sufficient for thee" (2 Cor. 12:7-9).


John 14:16
"I will pray" - should read "I will make request . . ."
"he shall give you another Comforter"

This was an hour of need for his disciples for soon Christ would be crucified, resurrected and ascend into heaven thereby leaving them on their own, (or so they thought). Whenever they had become entrapped2 Jesus had been there to rescue them. Partly to dispel their fear and sorrow (cf. v. 27; John 16:1, 6) but primarily to instruct them, and witness for them, Jesus told them that they would have another advocate (NEB) to take his3 place. The meaning of "Comforter" (Grk. Para-kletos) is "one called alongside" (Y) and may refer to the Angel of the Presence4 who probably was Michael. This Parakletos variously termed "the Spirit of truth’ or "the Holy Spirit" enabled the disciples to do "greater5" than what Christ had done. Christ meant that the disciples would receive gifts by this term Parakletos6. This is evident from Acts 2:33:

"Having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he (Christ) hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear".

and Psa. 68:18:

"Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive: thou hast received gifts for men".

Paul applies these last words in Ephesians 4:8-11 to the various spirit gifted offices of the first century ecclesia. When we combine these four scriptures we see that one aspect of the Parakletos (apart from an Advocate) is that it was an outward sign that Christ had finished his initial earthly ministry - "thou hast led captivity captive" and that this atoning work had been accepted by the Holy One of Israel.

"that he may abide with you"

Note v. 17 which says that as well as dwelling with them, he would be in them. This language is understandable if the Parakletos was indeed a ministering Spirit. He was dwelling with them and was in them in that he ministered to the disciples the various gifts. He put a part of his power within them. While we don’t understand the actual mechanics7 of this we can see this threefold cooperation in Rev. 1:1.

"for ever"

Grk. = "eis ton aiona". Aion is a Greek term for an undefined period of time8. The context normally provides the boundaries and indeed does in this case. Aion "Ever" would not start until after Christ’s ascension and could last in its primary sense no longer than the lifetime of the disciple who lived the longest (Most probably John). Thus aion here had a span of about seventy years. As well as being directly definitive the context indirectly defines the period. This first mentioned aspect of the Parakletos was a "personal antidote for their impending bereavement9". Christ had acted as a father10 to these men after they had left their families to catch men. Indeed for Christ to leave them now would be to make them orphans (v.18) or fatherless11. This intimate relationship with Jesus was something unique to the eleven disciples12 to whom he now talked.


John 14:17
"The Spirit of truth" (cf. 16:13).

The exact phrase is used by John in 1 John 4:6 and 1 John 5:6. In the former it refers by metonymy to a person possessing the Spirit gifts. In the latter it may refer to the same thing as here in this passage. The idea here is that the Parakletos would be a truth imparting Spirit, (cf. 1 John 2: 27) that would enlarge upon what Jesus had taught them. This certainly is implied here and is stated in the next mention of the Parakletos. (v. 26).

"whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him."

The world had rejected the truth even as they rejected him who was the Truth. They rejected those who were the "sons of God13." Also they rejected the operation of the Spirit through the disciples and Christ, claiming that Christ healed through Beelzebub.

"for he dwelleth with you"

dwelleth = Grk. meno = abide or remain (Y). Although the verb is in the present tense14, the meaning is future as is evident from v. 26, "will send".

"and shall be in you".This was not realized until Pentecost when the disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:4). (cf. v. 10).


John 14:18
"I will not leave you comfortless"

In addition to the Parakletos, Jesus and the Father would abide by omnipresence15, with those who "keep my words". Notice in verses 21 and 23-24 that Jesus is not referring specifically to the disciples but employs such general words as "he", "a man", "him". "Comfortless" is a very poor choice to translate the Greek word orphanos. The margin gives the sense as does the NASB (cf. 13:33).

"I will come to you"

The Father would come also (v. 23) to those who keep his words.


John 14:19
"Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more".

"The world saw him for the last time when he hung upon the cross: but the chosen witnesses saw him again; and we may perhaps give an added meaning to the second occurrence of the word see - they saw when he was raised from the dead, and by the eye of faith saw him exalted to the Father’s right hand.


John 14:20
"At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father".

They should have known that already as Christ states in verse 11.

"Ye in me and I in you".

If there was any doubt about their fellowship this was dispelled at Pentecost. John restates this more clearly in 1 John 3:24. Watch the pronouns!

"He (that is anyone) that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us."

This abiding was not the possession of the Spirit, but on the other hand the Spirit they possessed was evidence to them that the abiding was real. Our evidence is the fact that it is recorded. It should be emphasized that we do not need or receive the evidence in the same way as in the first century (cf. 1 John 1:3; and 17:21).


John 14:21
"He that hath my commandments".

The extension of the fellowship beyond the Apostles is indicated by the pronoun "he". A person must have the gospel before he can keep it.

"and keepeth them".

Intellectual knowledge will not cause fellowship. We must obey the commands. Those who argue for a mystical indwelling of grace say ‘Christ did not give us any commands, only the Spirit.’ Here we see otherwise! Our obedience is evidence to Christ that our claims are founded on love.

"I . . . will manifest myself to him".

Christ’s answer to Judas, the brother of James, shows that only those who love him and keep his words will experience this manifestation. Only those who are his have experienced fellowship with him, have felt the cleansing of forgiven sin and have received answers to their prayers. This manifestation is not physical nor does it refer to having the Spirit in any form.

Such manifestation does not require the actual presence of Jesus to the believer any more than God manifestation requires the appearance of God to the believer. Those who are hazy on this subject of manifestation should read Phanerosis and Theophany instead of dreaming dreams about a mystical indwelling.

v.23 "We will come unto him and make our abode with him". This refers to fellowship which we have through the omnipresence of God and Christ. This statement completes the thought (v.2) of the "many abiding places in the Father’s house." If the believer finds a place in God’s house, he is also himself the sanctuary of God. Isaiah had indicated this when he said that the high and lofty one that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is holy, dwells not only in the high and holy place, but also with him that is of a humble and a contrite spirit (57:15). As these notes so far demonstrate the abiding does not refer to the Comforter (Parakletos).


John 14:23
"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 abode16 with him."

PROBLEM:

It is argued on the basis of this verse that ‘every believer was to receive the Holy Spirit’.

SOLUTION:

  1. If the person claims this as evidence, let him demonstrate17 it by "bringing all things to remembrance" (v.26) because the Comforter was given for that purpose.

  2. This abiding surely cannot be compared to the "dwelling" in Rev. 7:15; 21:3.

  3. Jesus was then "abiding with18" them, which of course was a personal fellowship. The "abiding with" that is promised of the Father and the Son is the same companionship and fellowship, even though space separates the Lord from his disciples. This is proved by the fact that the abiding is mutual; not only is God in the believer, but also the believer is in God. Our explanation of God in us, must also fit the idea of our being in God.

  4. The language is figurative not literal, obviously God does not literally dwell in us. This is evident from the figure of the vine used in chapter 15.

  5. This mutual abiding is much more fundamental than receiving the Spirit. It is a matter of life or death. In Christ we have life, out of Him we are dead and fit only to be burned (15:6). The mind of Christ, like the sap of the vine, is the bond of the branches (believers) to the vine (Christ).

  6. It is clear from the Lord’s words that the disciples were already abiding in him, and the emphasis of the parable is that he exhorts them to continue in him. So it was not a question of waiting for the coming of the Holy Spirit Gift at Pentecost for this mutual abiding to exist. The abiding existed before the giving and was apart from this. And the abiding depended on the word abiding in them, as Jesus says a few verses on: "if ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done for you." Christ would abide in them by his words abiding in them.

  7. The abiding depended on the steadfastness of the disciples. "Abide in me," "If a man abide not in me", "If ye abide in me". So it is not receiving the Holy Spirit that makes the abiding, as something God does. The abiding depends on our faithfulness: "If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love" (verse 10). So we see that all the detail of these verses is against the Holy Spirit Gift as the basis of the abiding.

  8. The Lord’s words in the previous chapter of John support what we have seen in the parable of the vine. In verse 23 he turns from the apostles to the believers in general: "If a man love me he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come and make our abode with him."

It is the action of the believer in "keeping my words" that brings about the abiding. In verse 25, addressing the apostles, he says: "These things have I spoken unto you while yet abiding with you" (RV). "While yet abiding with you" conveys more than just his physical presence: it speaks of companionship, of a close relationship and friendship. Jesus was abiding with them, and this relationship would continue when he physically left. Similarly the souls of David and Jonathon were "knit together" (1 Sam. 18:1) - they dwelt in each other’s heart - though David had to flee into the wilderness.

So Jesus’ words further illustrate the nature of the abiding and that it existed before the Holy Spirit was given at Pentecost.19


John 14:24
"the word which ye hear is not mine"

‘I am presently the Advocate who teaches you what I learn from my Father. However I am going away and you will have another Advocate. He shall teach you all things’. The above attempted paraphrase seems to be why Jesus says these words.


John 14:25
"These things have 1 spoken unto you, being present with you".

The contrasting connective ("But" v.25) is used to contrast the then present method of revelation with the method to be ‘operative after his ascension.’
Father
  |
Christ
  |
Disciples
  |
(John 14:24)
  Christ (glorified)
    |
Parakletos (another)
    |
Apostles
    |
(John 16:15)

This verse along with v. 26 implies that there was much that Christ could not tell them about the truth because they could not "bear them" (16:12) Possibly this is why he had sometimes called them children (Mark 10:24; John 13:33).


John 14:26
"But the Comforter20 which is the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever 1 have said unto you."

PROBLEM:

This verse is sometimes used by those who claim present possession of the Holy Spirit, to demonstrate that we cannot be taught Spiritual language, unless we possess this Holy Spirit.

SOLUTION:

  1. This verse cannot possibly be applied to today because Christ has not personally said one word directly to any of us. It is obviously applies only to those to whom Christ was addressing his words over 1950 years ago.

  2. An analysis of all the textual references to the Comforter will confirm the fact that, unlike the "abiding21" (which refers to fellowship and not a literal thing), every feature of the Parakletos was of a miraculous character.

  3. What was promised here was not a "spirit of grace in the hearts of all believers down the ages" but miraculous, phenomenal and supernatural help and guidance.22

    "The Comforter" this is the second "saying" of Christ about the Parakletos.

    "the Holy Spirit"

    cf. Isa. 63:10. This occurrence is the only one where it is in the masculine gender.

    "whom the Father will send"

    "I will send unto you"

There is no contradiction here with 15:26 when we compare these two statements to Rev. 1:1; 22:6. The Father gave the Advocate to Jesus (cf. 16:15) who in turn sent him "unto you".

"in my name" It is interesting to note that the only time that Christ is given the title Parakletos (1 John 2:1) is after his ascension and in his role as a mediator.

"he shall teach you all things". It was not only necessary that they remember what Jesus had said but also it was necessary to be taught the meaning of all these things. He would teach them the meaning of doctrines that they thus far had not been able to grasp. (cf. 2:22; 12:16; 13:7; Acts 11:16; 20:27).

John records this in his epistle.

"Ye have an anointing from the Holy One, and ye know all things" and "ye need not that any teach you, but as the same anointing teacheth you all things ... abide in him" 1 John 2:20,27.

In this connection those who were called children23 were now called fathers. (1 John 2:13, 14). In addition to what Christ had taught them, there were many events they had not witnessed: "The birth of Jesus; his temptation; the plottings in the Sanhedrin; the private conversation of Pilate with his wife; and the Lord’s passionate prayers in Gethsemane24." The Advocate provided these details to the gospel writers probably by the ‘word of knowledge’.

"and bring all things to your remembrance"

He would recall infallibly to the disciples’ minds all the instruction Christ had personally given them. We see again the miraculous and temporary character of the Parakletos. The Apostles in turn would impart this knowledge by word, spoken or written, to others.


John 14:27
"Peace I leave with you."

The words that Jesus spoke were to give them this peace (cf. 16:33). Initially this was not so but after they grasped the meaning and felt the reality of the Parakletos they indeed had peace that overcame all obstacles. cf. Rom. 8:18.


John 15:4
"Abide in me and I in you."

This was a word of exhortation to be obedient. There is nothought of some mystical indwelling by the Spirit causing us to be obedient. The meaning of this phrase is clearly defined by John in his Epistle.

"Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son and in the Father." (1 John 2:24).

"And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth25 in Him, and he in Him." (1 John 3:24).

This abiding is a fellowship we have with the Father and the Son if we continue to obey his commandments26. John 15:7 shows us that it is obedience rather than just a mere knowledge.

"Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son" (2 John 9).

Our abiding in Christ has nothing to do with receiving the Spirit. Rather it has to do with how much we give heed to the doctrine of Christ. (cf. v. 7).


John 15:7
"If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask27 whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you." NASB.

"Words" are the "word" of v. 3, which cleansed. As in 14:13 where a similar statement had its qualification and its limitation in the phrase "in my name", so the "asking" which brings such a complete response is one that is based on knowledge of God’s will, and asked subject to His will.28 We clearly see that a necessary condition to this fellowship with Christ is if his "words abide in" us.

The following is an attempted paraphrase:

"Abide in me so that MY WORDS which you will be obeying will guide you. If you ask anything - provided it is in the Divine Plan, it will come to pass.29"


John 15:16
"Whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you".

This promise is connected to several things:

  1. "that the Father may be glorified in the Son" (14:13).
  2. abiding in the fellowship of Christ (15:7).
  3. bring forth fruit (15:16).
  4. keeping his commandments (1 John 3:22).
  5. "if we ask anything according to his will he heareth us" (1 John 5:14) cf. James 4:3.

There are many things which we want but do not need. There are many things we ask for but which would not be good for us. This can be seen in what Jesus prayed for just a few minutes later:

"take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt" (Mark 14:36).

To ask for the Spirit would be to ask for something not according to his will. It is worth noting that in all the contexts quoted above, except the first, which is merely an introduction, Jesus associates this asking with love for the brethren. In the last one, a practical example of this type of prayer is given. The asking is for the forgiveness of a brother who has sinned.


John 15:12
John 15:17

1 John 3:23
  "That ye love one another"
"I command that you love one another"
"that your fruit should remain"
"That we should... love one another, as he gave us commandment."

In the last two examples above notice how close this thought is to the "asking". In the next quotation the "asking" is elucidated by a practical example.

"If any man see his brother sin a sin... he shall ask, and he (Christ) shall give him (the sinning brother) life".

This "asking" then is clearly associated with bearing fruit and the forgiveness of the sins of others. In no case above is the asking for personal30 benefit. We need to be more concerned about bearing fruit to the glory of God.


John 15:26
"he shall testify of me"

The word "testify" is the Greek martureo meaning to "bear witness" (Y) and is the same word as witness in v.27. The Holy Spirit was given in the days of the Apostles as a divine witness to their testimony of the resurrection of Christ31. In this and the next saying (which speaks of the effectiveness of this witness) the appropriateness of the title of Advocate is seen by the legal connotations associated with it. (cf. Matt. 10:20).

This witness would be exercised through the various gifts. The ability to work signs and wonders would be an indisputable confirmation of their own witness. "he" is not in the original Greek.


John 15:27
"ye have been with me from the beginning"

The fact that the Advocate was promised in its primary sense only to the Apostles is very evident here and in 16:1. "These things have I spoken unto you."

In the face of this evidence how can anyone today apply the purpose of the Comforter to himself or herself in any way, never mind in continuous non-miraculous sense? To do so surely is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.


John 16:7
"for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come"

See notes on 14:16.


John 16:8
"he will reprove (convince, mg) the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgement"

The "world" (cosmos) was the order or system that existed at that time. This in itself indicates the temporary nature of the Parakletos for once that order had passed away this job was completed. reprove = Grk. "elegcho" and is variously translated convict (1), convince (4), rebuke (5), reprove (5), (Y). The idea is twofold. It convinced those who recognized their sin (Acts 2:37; Acts 4:4) and condemned those who didn’t. (John 15:24; Acts 4:2).


John 16:9
"of sin, because they believe not on me".

The exact meaning of this statement is unclear. It could mean that whereas Jesus had been unsuccessful, the Parakletos would be; or it could also mean that the Parakletos would further condemn those who had not believed Jesus. Probably both ideas are correct. The witnessing of the Advocate in tongues together with the witness of Peter were tremendously successful only 7 weeks after the total rejection of Jesus by these same people. Of those who had crucified Christ (Acts 2:36), 3,000 were convinced on one day of their sin! But there were some who were grieved at the witness and Peter reminds them that they "shall be destroyed from among the people" (Acts 3:23).


John 16:10
"Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more;"

The righteousness of Christ is linked directly to the outpoural of the Spirit gifts by Peter in the following:

"Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he hath shed forth this which ye now see and hear" (Acts 2:33).

"Him hath God exalted with His right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour…We are his witnesses of these things (Grk. rema = words) and also the Holy Spirit, whom ("which" NEST) God hath given to them that obey him" (Acts 5:31, 32).

Therefore anyone who accepted the miracles would also have to admit the righteousness of the one who sent the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles. The ascent to the Father was a final vindication of Jesus and of the righteousness of God, as against the world’s attitude of him.


John 16:11
"Of judgement because the prince of this world is judged."

Paul says in 1 Cor. 2:8 that "the princes of this world" "crucified the Lord." In John 12:31 and 32 Christ prophesies that "the prince of this world (would) be cast out" by his crucifixion. By these verses we understand that Christ meant those in authority which arrested him and caused him to be killed. The High Priest was rendered ineffectual by the resurrection of him who was the High Priest indeed.

Also Christ was no longer subject to the authorities but triumphed over them by his resurrection (cf. Col. 2:15).

The primary object of this particular phase of the Advocate was to act as a legal counsel for the disciples when they were "brought before kings and rulers for my name’s sake". He would give them "a mouth and wisdom which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist" (Luke 21:12 -15). ‘The book of Acts is full of actual court cases in which the Lord’s inspired controversialists were strengthened to such a degree by the Spirit - Advocate that they often assumed the role of accusers, convicting their opponents by the justice of their Spirit-guided declarations32’. This aspect of the Parakletos was definitely temporary and miraculous.


John 16:13
"the Spirit of truth"

In this last saying, the Parakletos is not referred to as such because this part of the promise concerned the disciples’ relationship to their Lord and not their dealings with courts of law. He is, therefore, termed the Spirit of truth.

"he will guide you into all truth"

This "truth" would include the "many things" they could not bear before Christ’s death (v. 12). He would "teach" (14:26) by "speak"ing. It is important to note the words employed to describe the mechanics of revelation for we often hear of "divine illumination" but in the scriptures we read of revelation that involved hearing words and speech. There is a fundamental difference. One is the gospel but the other is a perverted gospel.33 The guiding was possibly through the gift of prophecy.

"for he shall not speak of34 himself"

Just as Jesus spoke "those things which I have heard of" the Father, the Spirit of truth would do likewise. The only difference was that he would receive his knowledge from the glorified Christ rather than from the Father. (v. 15).

"he will shew you things to come"

No doubt this would involve the gift of prophecy. He would give them knowledge of the future developments of God’s purpose with the earth. They recorded the parts of these revelations that were necessary for us.


John 16:14
"He shall glorify me"

By showing that the revelation was from Christ, the Spirit would thus give Christ the glory that was due to him because of His exalted position. Also revelations, possibly through the gift of knowledge, would enable the Apostles to know the true significance of the things that Christ had done, was doing, and will do. Also these revelations were recorded for us. We do not require these revelations to be repeated for us.

By examining these verses in detail we have seen that all aspects of the Parakletos35 were miraculous and temporary. Lest we forget, let it be emphasized that the disciples were declared to be "clean through the word which I have spoken" (15:3).


1 Much help to a right understanding of the discourse of Jesus in ch. 14 is obtained by noticing to whom and of whom Jesus is speaking (CGOJ, P. 160).
2 e.g. Mark 9:18, 28.
3 cf. 1 John 2:1
4 see John 14-16 - Additional notes.
5 (v.12) For example there is no record of Jesus speaking in tongues or striking a person dead. However the real meaning is probably as defined in the notes at v. 12.
6 For related words see Word Studies - Section F.
7 See table at John 16:13-15.
8 see footnote 3 Matt. 28:20.
9 TEST, Vol. 43, P. 131.
10 cf. Isa. 9:6. He corrected and instructed them.
11 The only other occurrence of the Greek word "orphanos" in the N.T. (James 1:27) is thus translated.
12 That the benefits of the Parakletos applied in a secondary sense to all who had the Spirit Gifts is not disputed in any way.
13 1 John 3:1.
14 CBSC P. 281.
15 See Rev. 3:20; "I will sup with him, and he with me" refers to fellowship and not to an actual physical presence or meal.
16 cf. AV margin at verse 2 where we are promised the closest of fellowship with the Father. This use of abode is not "us receiving the Spirit".
17 cf. 1 John 4:1-4 may be used if he excuses himself on the basis of 1 Cor. 2:15.
18 NASB. v. 25.
19 PGHS, P. 34
20 ‘The AV use of ‘Comforter’ has done much to give unwarranted support for unscriptural interpretations of the meaning and function of the Paraclete. The Greek word translated ‘Comforter’ is Parakletos derived from para, ‘alongside’ and kletos, ‘called to’, hence ‘one who pleads another’s cause before a judge: a pleader, counsel for the defence, legal assistant; an advocate.’ (Grimm-Thayer, Greek English Lexicon)’ (TEST, Vol, 43, P. 130). The NASB has "helper" and in the margin "Gk Paracletos = one called alongside to help or Intercessor."
21 A careful distinction is drawn between "the abiding" (which refers to fellowship and unfailing providential oversight) and the Parakletos (which included the miraculous gift of prophecy) in TEST, Vol. 43, P. 129.
22 See John 14 - 16 - Additional Notes.
23 see notes on v. 25.
24 TEST, Vol. 43, P. 132.
25 Greek = meno. The same word is also translated "abideth" in this verse.
26 see also 1 John 2:3-6; John 15:7-14.
27 see Section B - "PRAYER AND GUIDANCE".
28 largely from CGOJ, P. 172.
29 LJOH, P. 116.
30 The following from Leask (IBID. P.117) corroborates this statement. Ordained is from the "Gk. ‘tithemi’ meaning to appoint for one’s own purpose. The Middle Voice is used to indicate that the appointment was made for the Lord’s benefit." Even in Luke 11:9-13 the larger context (v.6) shows that the asking was not for himself but for a friend in his journey.
31 Acts 5:32, Heb. 2:4 cf. Acts 2:32; 3:15.
Notice the Trinitarian bias. The Greek text is neuter gender NEST, Berry Diaglott etc.
32 TEST, Vol. 43, P. 133.
33 cf. Gal. 1:7-9
34 RV has "from". NASB has "on His own initiative".
35 see Word Studies, Section F.

John 16:13-15
"But when he, the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth . . ." (NASB)

PROBLEM:

The verse is taken to mean that unless we have the Spirit we cannot be guided in an understanding of the Truth.

SOLUTION:

  1. This is another reference to the Parakletos of 14:26; 16:7 - 11 etc. As has been demonstrated this Spirit would progressively guide the disciples by the gift of prophecy "into all the truth".

  2. The language employed is that of speaking and revelation.

    i.e. "that shall he speak."

    "he will show you things to come."

    The "many things" which Jesus wanted to "say unto" them (but which they could not "bear" at that time v. 12) was what Jesus through the Spirit would speak unto the apostles. It was additional revelation.

    No one today can claim that Jesus is showing them things to come, in addition to what has already been revealed in the Bible.

  3. The above point and the principles of the actual mechanics of revelation can be illustrated from the Apocalypse1.
IN THE GOSPEL OF JOHN IN THE APOCALYPSE
"by the Spirit of Truth . . ."
"show you things to come . . ."

"he shall glorify me . . ."


"he shall take mine and shall show it unto you".
"I was in the Spirit".
"I will show you things which must be hereafter"
Symbolic vision of "one like unto the Son of Man" (ch. 1) and of the "throne of God and of God and the Lamb".
"which god gave unto him… and he (Jesus) sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John".

1 This point and the table are from TEST, Vol. 43, P. 134.

John 14-16 - Additional Notes

There seems to be sufficient evidence in scripture to equate the Angel of the Presence (which was with Israel during Old Testament times) with the Parakletos of John and the angel of Jesus in Revelation.1

A. ANGEL OF THE PRESENCE

There are several important things to notice about this special "Angel of the Presence".

  1. He bore the name Yahweh:

    "My name is in him" (Exod. 23:21).
    "And the LORD2 said unto Moses" (Exod. 33:1).

  2. He is called the "holy Spirit" in Isa. 63:10. Stephen mentions this in Acts and connects him with events happening at that time.

    "You men who are stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears are always resisting the Holy Spirit; you are doing just as your fathers did." (Acts 7:51 NASB).

    The allusions here go right back to the Angel of the Presence (Isa. 63:9, 10) whom they vexed3.

    "And the LORD (angel) said unto Moses, I have seen this people and behold it is a stiffnecked people." (Exod. 32:9).

    They also refer specifically to Acts 7:35, 38 and 39. Notice it was "by the hand of the angel" that Moses did the things he did. Therefore, to resist or not obey Moses was to do the same to the Angel or holy Spirit that gave Moses this special power. This seems to be sufficient evidence to regard this "holy Spirit" in a similar way to the "ministering spirits" of Heb. 1:14 and 2:2.

  3. He was to bring Israel "into the place which I have prepared". (Exod. 23: 20). Christ said very similar words "I go to prepare a place for you." (John 14:2).
  4. He was probably Michael the Archangel mentioned in Jude. John Thomas says ‘They (Israel) have been abandoned by the Eternal’s Archangel Michael, "the Angel of His presence", who saved them (Isa. 63:9) in the days of antiquity.’4 This Angel-Prince is styled Michael in Daniel because the Name, or power of the Eternal was in him5.

B. COMFORTER

The following comparison shows the close similarities between the two.
ANGEL of the PRESENCE PARAKLETOS
"For my (Yahweh’s) name is in him" (Exod 23:21)

"the word spoken by angels" (Heb. 2:2) (the law)

Judged Egypt, Israel and other nations (Psa. 78; Isa. 63:10)

prophecies (Deut. 23)

"I will be with thee" (Ex. 3:12)

"his holy Spirit" (Isa. 63:10) cf. Heb. 1:14

"are they not all ministering spirits"

"The Father will send in my (Jesus) name" (14:26)

"he shall teach you all things" (14:26)

he acts as judge (16:8)

He shows things to come (16:13)

"For he dwelleth with you and in you". (14:17)

he "the Holy Spirit. . ." (14:26) cf. Acts 7:51

C. JESUS’ ANGEL

In Rev. 1:1 we see that the Revelation of Jesus Christ was signified by "His angel to His bond-servant John". We see from this that Jesus has His own special angel doing His bidding. We read, however, that this angel says "I am a fellowservant of yours and of your brethren the prophets and of those who heed the words of this book" (22:6). It would seem from this that this angel performed similar functions for the Almighty in the Past. This idea is strengthened by Rev. 22:6

"The Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done."

These verses suggest that Jesus’ Angel was in earlier times the Angel of the Presence. Notice that what is said about this angel is also said of the Parakletos.

"He shall testify of me". (John 15:26).
"I Jesus have sent my angel to testify. . ." (Rev. 22:16).

‘Thus the Holy Spirit, the Angel once representing God, had been given by God to Jesus and so was now sent to the apostles and disciples by the Father in the name of the Son (John 14:26)6’.


1 This is stated in TBSM, Vol. 4, P. 85-89, 117-120 and in "The Revelation of Jesus Christ", TBSM, P. 25-27, 323-325. It is also suggested in TCM, Oct., 1973.
2 This was an angel bearing the divine title. It is not a matter of opinion but of divine testimony that this was an angel (cf. Acts 7:38, 53; Heb. 2:2).
3 See Lev. 26:41 "their uncircumcised hearts".
4 Phanerosis, P. 122, LOGOS.
5 IBID., P. 121.
6 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, available from TBSM, P. 325.

VISUAL COMPARISON

"The LORD came from SINAI ... from his right hand went a fiery law for them". (Deut. 33:2)

(The RSV has "flaming fire" for "fiery law")

We know that the LORD who spoke from Sinai, and gave the law to Israel, was the Angel of the Presence (Acts 7:38). We also learn from Stephen's speech that the angels as a body had to do with the disposition of the law to Israel (Acts 7:53; see also Gal. 3:19).

We can now link 'fiery law' or flaming fire to Psa. 104:4.

"Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire".

ANGEL of the PRESENCE


12 TRIBES OF ISRAEL

The angel of Jesus - the one like unto the Son of man - had seven stars in his right hand.

"The seven stars are the angels of the seven ecclesias." (Rev. 1:20)

Once we understand this, the parallel with the law at Sinai is obvious. Just as the one like the Son of man sends messages to the seven ecclesias, so the Angel at Sinai gave a law for the twelve tribes of Israel.

 

 


Adapted from ‘The Revelation of Jesus Christ’ by R. Walker (available from TBSM, p. 27).

D. CONCLUSION.

If these ideas are true, then the Comforter (one called alongside to help) was Jesus’ angel; a mighty Spirit termed the Spirit of truth. It explains the words "he", "him", "whom", etc. No longer must we wriggle when the trinitarian presents us with these verses. They become straight forward. The Holy Spirit, however, does not always refer to this. It mostly refers to the power of Yahweh revealed to bring salvation to man.


It also explains verses such as Acts 13:2; Matt. 28:19. cf. TBSM, Vol. 4, P. 119.