The Comforter: Part 3

John Plunkett

September 26, 2017

Last time in Part 2:

Today, in Part 3, I would like to home in on:

What Pleases God?

Let’s begin with God’s pleasure. 

When thinking about God’s will with regards to healing and other trials, I have found that it is an excellent and astonishing course of Bible study to find out what is God’s pleasure – what pleases and what does not please God the Father and Jesus.

We don’t have time to go into it all in detail today; but here are just two well-known scriptures which we often read on Passover night:

Isaiah 52:14:
As many were astonished at you; His visage was so marred more than any man, and His form more than the sons of men:

And in the following chapter, please notice the ultimate benefits for Jesus' brothers and sisters from what He did, what He gave and what comes to us as a result of what He voluntarily went through:

Isaiah 53:
3:  He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from Him; He was despised, and we esteemed Him not.

Now the benefits to us:

4:  Surely He has borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
5:  But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed.
6:  All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
7:  He was oppressed, and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth: He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He opens not His mouth.
8:  He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare His generation?  For He was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was He stricken.
9:  And He made His grave with the wicked, and with the rich in His death; because He had done no violence, neither was any deceit in His mouth.
10:  Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief: when you shall make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand.

This is astonishing that this would please the LORD, but when we know the rest of the story, perhaps it is not so much of a surprise.

Obviously, God the Father had input to all this; but the human Jesus went through trials that would surpass anything that we will ever have to go through.  Even to the extent of YHVH, who we believe became Jesus (John 1:1-14; 8:58, etc.) pre-arranging all of this – the very bruising of His own future human body.  Putting His own future human self through extreme grief and causing His own future human self to become marred more than any man was ever marred.

The two scriptures that we just read illustrate the fact we closed with in Part 2 – that Jesus and His Father are firmly in charge.  If Jesus/YHVH is in full control of His own trials and sufferings, then it is no problem to Him to be in full control of our trials and sufferings.  Because He and His Father love us.

Nevertheless, this "Passover aspect" of these Isaiah verses does give us a kind of scriptural "link" to the “comfort” words of the human Jesus, as recorded by the apostle John.  

Jesus' Comfort Statements

For those young people who have never been to a Passover service, these are some of the scriptures that we often read.  Jesus speaking here::

John 14:
15:  "If you love me, keep my commandments…

This, as we shall repeatedly see, is an extremely important preamble to Jesus’ “comfort” statements.

16:  And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He {the Father} may abide with you forever...

Please note the adjective “another” which is correctly translated from the Greek verb ‘allos.’

Jesus says, "another Comforter."  

Other than what Comforter is He talking about?  Other than what other Comforter?  Other than who?  Or what?  

Logically, other than the Person that Jesus mentions right here – God the Father.  But also other than Jesus Himself.

Just what is this Comforter that the Father will give?

The Greek noun is "Parakletos" (Strong’s 3875) which only appears five times in the scriptures – all by John.  Four times translated into the English word “Comforter” here in John 14 and 15; and once in I John 2 – which we’ll come to later.

The Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (TDNT) says this about the Parakletos:

• Summoned or called to one’s side; especially called to one’s aid.
• One who pleads another’s cause before a judge.
• A counsel for the defense.
• A legal assistant or advocate.
• An intercessor. 
• In the widest sense, a helper, succourer, aider, assistant.

Again, just what is this "other Comforter" that the Father will give?  Continuing, still in John 14:

17:  Even the Spirit of truth; which {Greek “hos” – in this case better translated than the KJV's "whom"} the world cannot receive, because it sees Him {the Father} not, neither knows Him {the Father}: but you know Him {the Father}; for He {the Father} dwells with you, and shall be in you. 

It is important for us to note that the “Him” and “He” that Jesus is referring to here is not the Parakletos.  It refers to God the Father, who dwells in us through the indwelling of the Parakletos – “the Spirit of truth.” 

It is God the Father who no one – except Jesus Himself – had formerly known.  Jesus repeatedly and clearly stated this fact and had it recorded in Matthew 11:27; Luke 10:22, John 8:19; 14:7;16:3; 17:25.  

Continuing in John 14:

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

Some have tried to use this verse to claim that Jesus is the Holy Spirit per se.  At a stretch, this may be partially true; but it certainly is not totally, technically true.  

Perhaps surprisingly, the Greek word translated here as “comfortless” is grammatically unrelated to the previously, newly-coined word for “Comforter”– “Parakletos.”  The Greek word translated here as “comfortless” is “orphanos” (Strong’s 3737) – a term which James later used and was correctly translated as “fatherless” (James 1:27).

“Orphanos” means orphaned; bereft of a father, or of both parents, or of a teacher, or of a guide, or of a guardian.

We have to think about what was going on here.  The time was rapidly approaching when Jesus was going to be separated from His disciples.  For three and a half years, Jesus had been the disciples’ teacher and guide.  He had also introduced them to their spiritual parent and guardian – God the Father.  

Jesus promised them that, after His ascension, He and the Father would fill the gap in the disciples’ lives (which would be caused by Jesus’ departure) by miraculously being with them – and also even in them – through the indwelling of the Comforter, the Holy Spirit of truth. 

And, as mentioned as we move forward in this chapter (as well as in other scriptures), because God the Father was in Jesus, He too (the Father) would also be in them!

19:  Yet a little while, and the world sees me no more; but you see me: because I live, you shall live also.
20a… At that day

What "day" was He talking about?  

On (and after) the day of His resurrection (late on the weekly Sabbath afternoon of Abib 17), when His conscious life would resume after seventy-two hours in the grave. 

But, even more so, on (and after) the Day of Pentecost, when they would first receive the Holy Spirit.  That was the day that "the light would really come on" for them.

20b: … you shall know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.
21:  He that has my commandments, and keeps them, he it is that loves me: and he that loves me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him."

Remember Jesus’ preamble to His comfort statements back in verse 15?  Here it is again.  The same requirement is repeated once again.

22:  Judas ( not Iscariot) said unto Him, "Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself unto us, and not unto the world?"

We might know this Judas as "Jude" of the Book of Jude.

23: Jesus answered and said unto him, "If a man love me, he will keep my words {Greek: logos}: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him."

Again, how will they do this? 

Through the coming and through the indwelling of the Comforter – the Holy Spirit of truth.

And who will it come to? 

It will come to those who love Jesus and are striving to keep His words

Are Jesus’ words any different from His commandments?  And are Jesus’ commandments, for the most part, any different from the LORD’s – YHVH’s – commandments of Exodus 20?

The answer, is, No!  It is interesting when we go through the Old Testament that the Hebrew word for “commandment” is ‘dabar.’   But dabar is translated only 20 times as commandment; but a whopping 807 times as “word.”

24:  He that loves me not keeps not my sayings {logos}: and the word {logos} which you hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.

All of our brothers and sisters who are going through great trials right now should be greatly comforted by these words of Jesus, recorded by John.  Why?  Because this aspect of the requirement for us to keep the commandments, the word and the sayings of Jesus and His Father are directly interwoven with their love and comfort for those of us who are striving to keep their commandments.

25:  These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you.

Again, on that Passover night, when Jesus spoke these words, He was still "present with" the disciples as a human being; but He knew that it would not be that way for much longer and, according to His own voluntary will and His marvellous joint plan with His Father, He would soon, later that same evening, be torn away from His disciples.

26:  But the Comforter, which is the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, it shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
27:  Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world gives, give I unto you.  Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

As we continue, especially in our trials and our infirmities, perhaps there is a lot for us to be troubled or afraid about, especially considering our advancing ages; so let’s soak up these wonderful words from our beloved Saviour – these words of comfort, peace and encouragement.

28:  You have heard how I said unto you, 'I go away, and come again unto you.'  If you loved me, you would rejoice, because I said, 'I go unto the Father': for my Father is greater than I.

It seemed like a very negative thing to them – being separated from their Teacher and Brother who they had been with for three and a half years.  But He shows them that there are very good and positive reasons why God allows – and sometimes causes – outwardly negative things to happen.

29:  And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, you might believe.

When what comes to pass?  All of these things that He had foreseen and told them about; His death on the following afternoon; His resurrection seventy-two hours after His death; His ascension about six weeks later;  the coming of the Holy Spirit another week after that on the Feast of Pentecost.  These were the things that were about to come to pass.

When they saw see these things happening, they would say over and over, "Oh yes, Jesus said that.  Oh yes, He told us about that."  And finally, on the Day of Pentecost, when they were imbued with the Holy Spirit – Bang!  The light comes on!

30:  Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world comes, and has nothing in me.

We have something very special in common with God the Father.  He and and us, we have everything in Jesus.  But since Satan’s rebellion, that temporary prince of this world, who is our ultimate enemy and adversary, he has had absolutely nothing in Jesus.

31:  But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do.  Arise, let us go hence.

Please notice, once again, how Jesus, as He wrapped up this “upper room” part of His final discourse to His disciples, tied the aspect of the love of His Father for Himself to His own acceptance of – and “doing” of – His Father’s commandments.

As we go through our own trials, great though some of them may be, please let us remember how much of a trial Jesus was going through at that very time.  Not only due to the foreknowledge of the physical torture and pain He was about to suffer, although that was very great; but also – and even more painful to the perfect, sinless Son of God – was the terrible agony of Himself – the only totally pure and innocent commandment-keeper in all the history of mankind – as every single sin – every single breaking of His and His Father’s commandments – was laid (even though temporarily) on His innocent head and infused into His pure and innocent blood. 

Paul wrote that “the sting of death is sin” (I Corinthians 15:56) and no human being has ever endured such a sting as the one Jesus suffered.  A few hundred years prior to that day, Jesus (still the LORD/YHVH) had Jeremiah pen these words of agony on His behalf:

Lamentations 1:12:
Is it nothing to you, all you that pass by?  Behold, and see if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow, which is done unto me, wherewith the LORD has afflicted me in the day of His fierce anger.

All of this, He did for you, and for me.

Let’s go back once again now to Jesus’ “Comfort” statements… moving on from John 14 into chapter 15:

John 15:
10:  If you keep my commandments, you shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in His love…

Once again, Jesus repeats His former preamble of the first of His “Comfort” statements with a repetition of the requirement for us to keep His commandments; and His promise that, if we do keep His commandments – we are striving to keep His commandments – He will arrange for us to abide in His love.  What could be more comforting to those of us who are enduring severe trials right now than to know that we abide in His love?

And yes, it is true that some of the trials that some of our brethren are going through, right now, are severe.  But our present trials are different to those that our Saviour voluntarily suffered.  Or rather, put differently, His trials came at the hands of a different physical enemy than the ones that commonly afflict us.  His trials came at the hand of a physical, human enemy who hated Him even more than our enemies that are afflicting us.

Verse 18:  If the world hate you, you know that it hated me before it hated you.
19:  If you were of the world, the world would love his own: but because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.

I believe that we may correctly and primarily personify “the world” that Jesus spoke of here – the world that hated Him so very much – and still does – and hates us so much – that we may personify it as as its current, temporary prince – the ultimate adversary – Satan the Devil, who is the ultimate perpetrator of so many of our sufferings.

But please remember that, just as such human beings as Pharaoh, Nebuchadnezzar and Judas were pawns in God’s hands in order to bring about His perfect will (Exodus 9:13-16; Romans 9:17), so was – and so is – Satan the devil.  

But one of Isobel’s favourite sayings was “We know the end of the story, and we win!”  There is no constant battle going on between Satan and God the Father.  Satan has already lost the battle.  We need to know that. 

Yes. What he does is serious, and we need to resist it; but we need to know that God will use Satan and his demons as pawns in order to have His will fulfilled.

20:  Remember the word {logos} that I said unto you, “The servant is not greater than his lord.”  If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying {logos}, they will keep yours also. 
21:  But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not Him that sent me.

The Israelites, to some extent, knew YHVH; but they did not know God the Father at all.

We’ll skip over the following verses; but they prove to us that, although Jesus’ persecutors did not know His Father, those men who persecuted Him were certainly not religiously ignorant.  
I am referring to the Jews here, not the Romans, most of whom were religiously ignorant.  But again, the Jews, who actually perpetrated Jesus’ death, were not religiously ignorant.  In the same way, most of the enemies of God's people today are not religiously ignorant.

But please don’t get mixed up between trials and persecution.  We know that Jesus and His original disciples were truly persecuted.  And some eras of His true church were truly persecuted.  But how many of us in this modern era of God’s true church can honestly say that we have been truly persecuted to any great extent?  Okay, some of us may have had job problems, and experienced difficulties getting time off work or school to keep the Sabbath or the Holy Days. But most of that happens as a result of company policies or, in some cases, due to religiously-ignorant, awkward or unfriendly bosses rather than as a result of any true, premeditated hatred of God, His ways, or of His people.

I would go as far as to say that most of the dead-in-Christ in the 20th and 21st Centuries have gone to their graves without ever suffering anything like true persecution – anywhere near the extent of that suffered by many of our Church of God forebears.

Perhaps, as with God’s servant Job, God allows Satan to afflict us in other ways, such as financial problems, severe illness, pain and/or premature death.

I’ll leave a detailed study of the subject of persecution for another day; but the Greek verb translated here in verse 20 into the English words persecute and persecuted is ‘dioko’ (Strong’s 1377) which (my sources tell me) is a prolonged and causative form of the primary verb dio, which means to flee.  Extended usages of the verb ‘dioko’ as listed in the Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (TDNT), include these:

These are the classic ideas of what persecution is.  But there are even usages of this word ‘dioko’ which seem to imply that we can actually turn the negative, sour lemons of persecution into the positive, sweet lemonade of a more intense pursuit of our ultimate goal – the Kingdom of God.  Here they are – also from the Theological Dictionary of the New Testament:

What a wonderful thing it would be if and when we – God’s 21st Century people – could, in – and as a result of – our trials, emulate those first disciples and early church brethren who did suffer persecution; and if we could, with the help, strength and comfort of God’s Holy Spirit, focus more intensely on the truly important things in life – specifically, our seeking after eternal life in the Kingdom of God.

Still in John 15, skipping down to verse 26:

26:  But when the Comforter is come, which I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceeds from the Father, it shall testify of me:

This verse briefly describes an amazing “joint-effort” between God the Father and Jesus.  Jesus says here that the Comforter – the Holy Spirit of Truth – would proceed from originate from – God the Father; but that He would send it to their people via Jesus. 

I'm sure that you have seen movie depictions of Jesus' disciples on Pentecost Day, with little flames appearing on their heads.  Perhaps, like me, you might have previously thought that the sending of the Comforter – the Holy Spirit of Truth – to and upon God’s called and chosen people, comes upon us via a kind of gentle “wafting” – similar to that of a light, calm breeze.

But the Greek word for “send” here is "pempo" (Strong’s 3992) which can mean “to thrust into.”  This word ‘pempo’ was used by the apostle John in Revelation 14, when he wrote about the angel thrusting his sickle into the ripe grapevine of the earth’s rebellious end-time inhabitants.  This indicates a much stronger, more powerful, more forceful action – even a violent one to some extent, which brings to mind this statement from Jesus:

Matthew 11:12:
And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force. 

The Kingdom of God should be important enough to us that we should get forceful in its pursuit.  It certainly is important to Jesus – important enough for Him to be forceful about it too.  This is borne out by the original sending of the Holy Spirit upon the first apostles:

Acts 2:
1:  And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
2:  And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.

That was not a light breeze; but a rushing mighty wind.

3:  And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
4:  And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

So, it would seem then that God the Father sends the Holy Spirit to Jesus for Him to distribute to their called and chosen people.  Jesus then takes the Holy Spirit that God the Father has passed to Him, to give to us.  But, because we are so physical – so potentially, inherently unreceptive and “thick-skinned,” and because some of us are even a bit “thick-headed,” we are often initially unreceptive to their calling.  

Think about when you were first called by the Father.  Did you really want that calling? 

With at least some of us, and at least initially, Jesus needs to get forceful – even to the point of having to thrust the Holy Spirit into us.

Moving on; but still in search of more "Comforter" scriptures:

John 16:
1:  These things have I spoken unto you, that you should not be offended.

That word “offended” can mean that we should not be made to stumble.  Even better, that we should not desert our posts.  Let’s not do that!

2:  They shall put you out of the synagogues: yes, the time comes, that whosoever kills you will think that he does God service.

I looked up the word "synagogues" and found it interesting that its simple meaning is a sacred gathering, or a sacred assembly.  Again, this comes back to the persecution of God’s people.  

If we think logically about this verse, I don't believe that Jesus was talking to each of us personally here. 

You may live your whole life and never be truly persecuted.  And that's good.  Many brethren have lived their whole lives and have never really been persecuted.  You don’t want to be on your death-bed saying, “O, I wish I would have been persecuted like Jesus said I was going to be. 

I don't believe that He was even talking to His people as a whole.  He was talking at that time, specifically and personally, to His remaining eleven faithful disciples.

We don’t know all of the fine – and in some cases, gory – details about the deaths of those eleven disciples.  But, we can be quite sure that this prophecy did come to pass in most – if not all – of their cases.

It is true that maybe, like with some other prophecies, this one might be dual, and might repeat itself on God’s people in the last days, as other prophecies indicate.

But, even in modern times prior to the very last days, some brethren, because of their sincere desire to adhere to what they believe to be the truths of "the faith which was once delivered to the saints" have already been put out of their synagogue – put out of their modern, nominally-sacred branch of the Church of God.

But how many brethren do you know, personally, in our present Church of God era, who have actually been physically mistreated, abused, or murdered, because of their true beliefs?

Okay, yes, there might be a handful in some areas.  But even back in the comparatively dangerous First Century, the author of the book of Hebrews wrote to the brethren:

Hebrews 12:4:
You have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.

I would say that certainly no brethren that I know have yet resisted unto blood in their striving against sin.

Back to John 16:

3:  And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me.

There is yet another repetition of the fact that the vast majority of Jews (and the Gentiles, as well) had no knowledge whatsoever of God the Father. 

But, there is something else in there as well.  It is true that some of our trials, sometimes can, and do come upon us due to others' lack of any true knowledge of Jesus and the Father. 

We talked last time in Part 2 about how "second-hand sin" can affect us –  how sins that other people commit can cause problems for us.

Could it be, though, that some of our trials can – and do – sometimes come upon us due to our own lack of true knowledge.  Or, even more so, our own lack of acting upon the true knowledge that we do have. 

Jesus, earlier on, said that His Father gave Him the commandments and that He did them.  He acted upon them.  Likewise, we must act upon what we know!

But I want to bring this back to the concept of severe illness and premature death.  Let’s go to another very well known Passover-related scripture:

I Corinthians 11:
26:  For as often as you eat this bread, and drink this cup, you do show the Lord’s death till He come.
27:  Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.
28:  But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.
29:  For he that eats and drinks unworthily, eats and drinks damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.
30:  For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.

When He says "sleep," we know that he means "are dead"!

This is not to say that this unworthy kind of eating and drinking of the Passover bread and wine is the only cause of sickness and premature death among God’s people. 

But, according to Paul’s words here, in some cases, this is, or at least may be the reason.  In Paul’s day, it appears that it was the reason in perhaps many cases.  He uses that word “many” twice.

This is not the right time for us to get into the usual pre-Passover topic of unworthiness; but still, we would all be wise to heed this warning from God, through Paul, in this regard.

Let’s go back to Jesus' comforting words to His disciples in John 16, and move on:

John 16:
4a:  But these things have I told you, that when the time shall come, you may remember that I told you of them.  ...

Notice that He had told them already – previously – that when the time shall come...  But what was "the time"

These  major events would take place later on that same day – in the daytime portion of Passover day, also at the end of the weekly Sabbath, which was His Resurrection day, also on the Wave Sheaf Offering day, then about six weeks later on His Ascension day, and then on the Day of Pentecost.

4b: ... And these things I said not unto you at the beginning, because I was with you.
5: But now I go my way to Him that sent me; and none of you asks me, “Where are you going?”

For the three and a half years that He was with His disciples as a human being, it was evidently unnecessary for Him to go into all the fine detail of "these things" with them.

But shortly, He would be leaving them – initially and temporarily after His arrest – when His time would be taken up dealing with His great trial and sacrifice.

And then, again temporarily, He would be separated from them for the seventy-two hours of  His death. 

And then, permanently (at least by the disciples human, limited time standards) when He would ascend to His Father in heaven, when He would be away from them physically and would remain there until the time of His second coming.

But the disciples didn’t want Jesus to even mention His departure from them:

6:  But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow has filled your heart.

On an earlier occasion, Peter, inspired by Satan, had even imprudently tried to “rebuke” Jesus for telling them what was planned for Himself (Matthew 16:21-23). 

As with every instance of our parting from our loved ones – no, even much more so, of course – the very mention of this separation brought sorrow to the disciples.

On a lesser, human basis, this would be like one of us leaving one set of our loved ones in a country that we had been visiting temporarily and returning to an even-more beloved person in our permanent home country. 

In our own case, I know that every time we visit our loved ones in England, there is sorrow at our parting when our time is up and we have to return to our loved ones in Canada.

For Jesus, it is obvious that, despite the agony of the coming hours, He knew that He would soon have the supreme joy at being reunited with His beloved Father in heaven.

But His parting from His disciples – though initially sad and seemingly negative for them – would, over the next couple of weeks, bring an astonishingly wonderful, positive benefit upon them.  And their sour lemons would be turned into sweet lemonade:

7:  Nevertheless I tell you the truth; it is expedient {Greek: sumphero: good, better, profitable, even unifying!} 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 it unto you. 

Unity from separation!  Jesus going away, physically, from His disciples would result in good, profitable unity!  Impossible for human beings; but possible for God!

The Comforter – the Holy Spirit of Truth – would, of course, give them comfort as well as much-needed encouragement, confidence and courage to see them through their own upcoming trials and persecutions.

It can do the same for all of us!  If we allow it to!  God commands us, through the apostle Paul, ‘Quench not the Spirit’ (I Thessalonians 5:19).

Also, still here in John 16, Jesus said that the Comforter would do something else:

8: And when it is come, it will reprove {Greek: elegcho: convince} the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment…

Through the power of the Comforter – the Holy Spirit of Truth – God would convince the world of what true righteousness and true, righteous judgment really are; also, what sin really is – yes, the transgression of His law and yes, that same law which many erroneously believe has been nailed to Jesus’ cross. 

But has the world been convinced of these things yet to any great extent?  Has the world been convinced of what true righteousness is?  Of what true righteous judgment is?  And of what sin really is? 

No!  It has not!  This shows us that the job has not yet been completed.  The job is not finished!

It is true that, empowered by the Comforter – the Holy Spirit of Truth – those disciples, those first apostles and the Church of God brethren throughout the centuries who are now "the dead in Christ" (I Thessalonians 4:16) have done their part. 

But the job is not finished.  It has not yet been completed.  We know this to be true because Jesus said that 'this gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in all of the world, for a witness to all nations, and then shall the end come’ (Matthew 24:14).

The end has not come yet, so, the current "joint-effort" between the Comforter and us is not yet complete.

Okay.  What else will the Comforter do?

Verse 13:  Howbeit when it, the Spirit of truth {the Comforter}, is come, it will guide you into all truth: for it shall not speak of itself; but whatsoever it shall hear, that shall it speak: and it will show you things to come.
14:  It shall glorify me: for it shall receive of mine, and shall show it
{i.e. what is “mine” – what is His – what belongs to Jesus} unto you.

And what is this "mine" that Jesus is referring to here?

15:  All things that the Father has are mine: therefore said I, that it shall take of mine, and shall show it unto you.

Some have tried to use these verses to personify the Holy Spirit of truth – by saying that a “non-person” cannot guide, cannot speak, cannot hear, cannot show, cannot glorify and cannot receive or take.

It is true that we see through a glass darkly (I Corinthians 13:12) and that we may not yet totally understand the whole nature of the Holy Spirit.  We probably never will in this life do to our limited human brains.  But these verses certainly do prove that the Holy Spirit certainly is not “co-equal” with Jesus and/or His Father, as the Trinitarians claim.

That is it for our study of the “comfort” scriptures in the New Testament.  There is actually one more ‘parakletos’ scripture which is translated into another English word in the King James Version.  We will come to that next time and we will finish the series by concentrating on God’s wonderful repeated promise: 

“I will never leave you, nor forsake you.”