Tribulation.Com / GreatTribulation.Com Bible Prophecy




PARAKLETOS: A Greek Word for Holy Spirit

(Condensed)

January 24, 2009

Click Here for a Printable Version of this Page

Copyright  1988-1998 RLP. All Rights Reserved. You may freely distribute this writing in its complete form so long as there is no charge (except reasonable duplication fees) and this cover page must accompany the document at all times. Quotations of this text are permitted and encouraged.

PARAKLETOS: A Greek Word for Holy Spirit

16 And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you
another Comforter, that He may abide with you for ever;
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 (Bible, Gospel of John 14:16-17 KJV).

When Jesus spoke this to His disciples, He was referring to the third
Person of the Godhead that completes the Holy Trinity: God the Holy Spirit.
The Greek word in verse 16 that is translated as "Comforter" in the King
James Bible is "Parakletos." Jesus was saying that He would send another
Person Who was exactly like Himself, the "allos Parakletos," God the Holy
Spirit:

... in 1 Jn. 2:1, Christ is termed our substitutionary, intercessory
Advocate. Christ designates the Holy Spirit as Paraclete (Jn. 14:16),
and He calls Him allos ... another, which means another of equal
quality and not heteros ... another of a different quality. Therefore,
the Holy Spirit is designated by Jesus Christ as equal with Himself,
God ... The Holy Spirit is called a Paraclete because He undertakes
Christ's office in the world while Christ is away from the world as
the God-Man. He is also called the Paraclete because He acts as
Christ's substitute on Earth ... (Zodhiates, 1718; italics mine).

In the Book of Galatians, the Apostle Paul differentiates between the
counterfeit "gospel" ("heteros") and the true Gospel ("allos"). This
counterfeit "gospel" was a heresy delivered to the Galatians who had already
received the truth. Paul entreats the Galatians to reject heretical
teachings:

6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from Him that called you into
the Grace of Christ unto another [heteros] gospel: 7 Which is not
another [allos]; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert
the Gospel of Christ. 8 But though we, or an angel from Heaven,
preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto
you, let him be accursed. 9 As we said before, so say I now again, If
any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received,
let him be accursed (Galatians 1:6-9 KJV; Italicized Greek words in brackets
mine).

Thus, "Comforter" provides an incomplete portrayal of the "allos
Parakletos" (God the Holy Spirit). Since the Holy Spirit is a living,
functioning being of the Godhead, it is impossible to describe Him in one
word; as it is impossible to describe God the Father or God the Son in one
word.

Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary defines "Comforter" as the
Holy Spirit when capitalized, or "one that gives comfort" (263). Implying
that this circular definition properly introduces one to the Holy Spirit is
tantamount to claiming an intimate knowledge of someone who is merely a
casual acquaintance.

The majority of the problem is the cultural and chronological barrier of
the translation, which can obscure the original dynamism. We are not
concerned with inaccuracy but rather inadequacy. The Greek texts of the
books comprising the New Testament were employed in several English
translations. The most popular English rendering is the King James Version
of the Bible, first published in 1611. However, 17th-century English may
not be sufficiently articulate for all contemporary readers. The NIV Bible,
a late 20th-century product, attempts to translate the Hebrew, Aramaic and
Greek texts into the context of modern-day English. Indeed, The NIV Study
Bible translates John 14:16: "And I will ask the Father, and He will give
you another Counselor to be with you forever." The footnote states,

Counselor. Or "Helper." It is a legal term, but with a broader
meaning than "counsel for the defense" (see 1Jn 2:1). It referred to
any person who helped someone in trouble with the law. The Spirit
will always stand by Christ's people (1625).

The New American Standard Bible translates John 14:16: "And I will ask
the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you
forever." Comforter, Counselor and Helper are all accurate, if not complete,
portrayals of the Holy Spirit and His ministry.

The King James scholars were faced with the task of translating one of
the Greek words for the Spirit, "Parakletos." Finding no single word with a
parallel meaning in the English language, the scholars did the best they
could by using "Comforter." This presented quite a problem because
"Parakletos" is a word of broad meaning, rich in context. A closer look at
the Spirit and the Holy Trinity will demonstrate the inadequacy of
"Comforter" and then we will see how "Parakletos" reveals the interminable
spiritual truth in Jesus' statement.

The first thing to understand is that all three Persons of the Godhead
have existed since the dawn of time. God the Father speaks in the Book of
Revelation: "'I am the Alpha and the Omega,' says the Lord God, 'Who is,
and Who was, and Who is to come, the Almighty'" (1:8 NIV). This
extraordinary declaration of eternal existence and supreme sovereignty is
reiterated in Revelation 21:6 and 22:13.

It is erroneous to conceive that the Son, Jesus Christ, was not in
existence prior to His human birth. Jesus addresses this fact as He is
answering a group of unbelieving Jews, descendants of Abraham, on His
eternal existence: "Jesus said unto them, 'Verily, verily I say unto you,
Before Abraham was, I am'" (John 8:58 KJV). However, there is a far deeper
revelation associated with Jesus' statement of "I am." Around 1445 B.C.,
God commissioned Moses to lead the nation of Israel out of Egyptian slavery.
Moses asked God Whose Name he should declare to the Israelites. God replied
succinctly:

And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and He said, Thus shalt thou
say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you (Exodus
3:14 KJV).

When Jesus said "I am," He manifested His Deity as God the Son. Jesus
made this declaration to the mob that Judas Iscariot had led to capture Him.
They were frightened out of their wits by Jesus' declaration of "I AM" ("He"
was added by the King James scholars and is not part of Jesus'
proclamation):

3 Judas then, having received a band of men and officers from the
chief priests and Pharisees, cometh thither with lanterns and torches
and weapons. 4 Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come
upon Him, went forth, and said unto them, Whom seek ye? 5 They
answered Him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith unto them, I AM He. And
Judas also, which betrayed Him, stood with them. 6 As soon then as He
had said unto them, I AM He, they went backward, and fell to the
ground. 7 Then asked He them again, Whom seek ye? And they said,
Jesus of Nazareth. 8 Jesus answered, I have told you that I AM He ...
(John 18:3-8 KJV; "AM" capitalization mine).

Prior to His capture, Jesus announced His Deity ("I AM") to the Jews.
Jesus taught in one of the Jewish temples that He is God the Son, the
Incarnate Deity Immanuel ("God with us" - Matthew 1:23) and that when He was
sacrificed they would know that He was doing His Father's work:

23 And He said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye
are of this world; I am not of this world. 24 I said therefore unto
you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I AM
He, ye shall die in your sins ... 28 Then said Jesus unto them, When
ye have lifted up the Son of Man, then shall ye know that I AM He, and
that I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father hath taught Me, I speak
these things. 29 And He that sent Me is with Me: the Father hath not
left Me alone; for I do always those things that please Him. 30 As He
spake these words, many believed on Him (John 8:23-24, 28-30 KJV; "AM"
capitalization mine).

Jesus informed a Pharisee named Nicodemus of His divine purpose. Though
He would be sacrificed for all of humanity, people still have individual
freedom to choose whether or not to believe in Him. God has done all He
intends to do to reconcile humanity to Himself and He will do no more.
Opportunity is knocking:

17 For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but
that the world through Him might be Saved. 18 He that believeth on
Him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already,
because he hath not believed in the Name of the Only Begotten Son of
God (John 3:17-18 KJV).

In the prophesy of Micah, we find a revelation of the coming human birth
of Christ as well as confirmation of His eternal existence:

But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of
Judah, out of you will come for Me One Who will be Ruler over Israel,
Whose origins are from of old, from ancient times (Micah 5:2 NIV).

The Apostle Peter reaffirms Christ's perpetual presence, predestined
purpose and relevant revelation: "For He was foreknown before the
foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake
of you" (1st Peter 1:20 NASB).

It is also incorrect to imagine that the Holy Spirit did not exist until
after Christ's Ascension into the Kingdom of God. The eternal existence of
the Holy Spirit is confirmed in the first chapter of the first book of the
Bible: 1 In the beginning God created the Heaven and the Earth. 2 And the
Earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the
deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters (Genesis
1:1-2 KJV).

To neglect the existence of or minimize the power of the Holy Spirit is
to do an injustice to the Christian Faith. Many churches lack the power and
authority to complete their Christian work because they neither thoroughly
comprehend nor properly emphasize the structure and power of the Holy
Trinity.

God the Father is the Creator and is glorified through Jesus the Son:

15 ... He [Jesus] is the image of the invisible God [the Father], the
first-born of all creation. 16 For by Him [Jesus] all things were
created, both in the heavens and on Earth, visible and invisible,
whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities--all things have
been created by Him [Jesus] and for Him [Jesus] (Colossians 1:15-16
NASB; pronouns in brackets mine).

The Book of Hebrews expounds further on the revelation of God the Father
through the ministry, death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ the Son:

1 God, Who at various times and in different ways spoke in time past
to the fathers by the prophets, 2 has in these last days spoken to us
by His Son, Whom He has appointed Heir of all things, through Whom
also He made the worlds; 3 Who being the brightness of His glory and
the express image of His Person, and upholding all things by the Word
of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the
right hand of the Majesty on High (Hebrews 1:1-3 NKJV).

The laws given by God the Father were not designed to place impossible
burdens upon people for the purpose of making them righteous. It is Satan
who portrays God in this fashion. The Book of Romans demonstrates that
God's intention was to turn people to His chosen Messiah, Christ:

19 ... what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are
under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may
become guilty before God. 20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there
shall no flesh be justified in His sight: for by the law is the
knowledge of sin. 21 But now the righteousness of God without the law
is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; 22 Even
the righteousness of God which is by Faith of Jesus Christ unto all
and upon all them that believe ... (Romans 3:19-22 KJV).

Jesus Christ the Son is the only absolute sinless, spotless, sufficient
sacrifice for the sins of the entire world, past, present and future:

23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are
justified freely by His Grace through the redemption that came by
Christ Jesus (Romans 3:23-24 NIV).

Lest anyone misunderstand His Messianic role and pass Him off as just
another common "religious" teacher, Jesus Christ made a bold statement of
His uniqueness: "... I am the Way and the Truth and the Life. No one comes
to the Father except through Me" (John 14:6 NIV). Reiteration of Christ's
singleness of purpose and authority is found in the Book of Acts: "And
there is Salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under Heaven
that has been given among men, by which we must be Saved" (4:12 NASB).

The Gospel of Matthew records Christ's quiet invitation to belief in
Him:

28 Come unto Me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will
give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am
meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30
For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light (Matthew 11:28-30 KJV).

The Bible guarantees the free gift of Salvation to whosoever asks: "And
everyone who calls on the Name of the LORD will be Saved" (Joel 2:32; Acts
2:21; cf. Romans 10:13 NIV). Peter explains accepting Christ as Saviour:

38 Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the
Name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will
receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and
your children and for all who are far off--for all whom the Lord our
God will call" (Acts 2:38-39 NIV).

The Apostle Paul explains Salvation through Faith:

9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt
believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou
shalt be Saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto
righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto Salvation.
11 For the Scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on Him shall not be
ashamed (Romans 10:9-11 KJV).

An excellent definition of Faith is found in the Book of Hebrews:

1 Now Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of
things not seen. 2 For by it the men of old gained approval. 3 By
Faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the Word of God,
so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible
(Hebrews 11:1-3 NASB).

The Book of Ephesians demonstrates that God's Grace is totally
impartial:

8 For by Grace are ye Saved through Faith; and that not of yourselves:
it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast
(Ephesians 2:8-9 KJV).

There is no boasting or self-righteous attitude acceptable before God.
Jesus asserted that God's Saving Grace cannot be purchased, earned or
hoarded:

9 ... He also told this parable to certain ones who trusted in
themselves that they were righteous, and viewed others with contempt:
10 "Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee, and the
other a tax-gatherer. 11 The Pharisee stood and was praying thus to
himself, 'God, I thank Thee that I am not like other people:
swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax-gatherer. 12 I
fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.' "But the
tax-gatherer, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift
up his eyes to Heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, 'God, be
merciful to me, the sinner!' "I tell you, this man went down to his
house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself
shall be humbled, but he who humbles himself shall be exalted" (Luke
18:9-14 NASB).

A weeping woman fell at the feet of Jesus. A Pharisee named Simon
viewed her with contempt. Jesus explained that the "worst" sinners usually
become, in fact, the best servants of God:

39 Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he said to
himself, "If this man were a prophet He would know who and what sort
of person this woman is who is touching Him, that she is a sinner." 40
And Jesus answered and said to him, "Simon, I have something to say to
you." And he replied, "Say it, Teacher." 41 "A certain moneylender
had two debtors: one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty.
42 When they were unable to repay, he graciously forgave them both.
Which of them therefore will love him more?" 43 Simon answered and
said, "I suppose the one whom he forgave more." And He said to him,
"You have judged correctly." ... 47 "... I say to you, her sins, which
are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is
forgiven little, loves little" (Luke 7:36-43, 47 NASB).

When Christ spoke of His forthcoming death and Resurrection, He
described the interrelationship between the Trinity and the believers via
the Holy Spirit: "On that day you will realize that I am in My Father, and
you are in Me, and I am in you" (John 14:20 NIV). One receives the Holy
Spirit by spiritually receiving Christ, not just intellectually. Jesus told
Nicodemus:

7... 'You must be born again.' 8 "The wind blows where it wishes and
you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and
where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit." (John
3:7-8 NASB).

Jesus advised His disciples that He must be sacrificed so that He could
send the Parakletos (the Comforter), Who would continue His ministry:

... 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 (John 16:7 KJV).

So, the Spirit's role was to shift from directing people from the
outside to living within believers and guiding them from the inside. This
is Biblical, as Christ had to be sacrificed first for the Spirit to continue
His ministry. The Bible verifies the approaching personal indwelling of God
the Holy Spirit:

37 ... Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come
unto Me, and drink. 38 He that believeth on Me, as the Scripture hath
said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of Living Water. 39 (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 (John 7:37-39 KJV, cf. John 4:10, 13-14).

Accordingly, Jesus encouraged His disciples to persist in their
petitions to God the Father and believe Him for the promised Holy Spirit:

9 And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek and ye
shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. 10 For every one
that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that
knocketh it shall be opened. 11 If a son shall ask bread of any of
you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish,
will he for a fish give him a serpent? 12 Or if he shall ask an egg,
will he offer him a scorpion? 13 If ye then, being evil, know how to
give good gifts unto your children; how much more shall your Heavenly
Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him? (Luke 11:9-13 KJV).

God the Father turned away from Christ while He hung on the Cross so
that His Atoning Sacrifice would be complete and the bill wholly and
eternally paid:

34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi,
Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, My God,
why hast Thou forsaken Me? (Mark 15:34 KJV).

Christians recognize the importance of public confession of Christ as
Saviour and Lord. Christ hung naked on the Cross to His death, so He knows
public humiliation. Because Christ made a public sacrifice, all who would
receive Him must make public confession of Him. There is no middle ground:

32 Everyone therefore who shall confess Me before men, I will also
confess him before My Father Who is in Heaven. 33 But whoever shall
deny Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father Who is in
Heaven (Matthew 10:32-33 NASB).

Jesus Christ is now Lord of all, even obdurate non-believers:

9 Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the Name
that is above every name, 10 that at the Name of Jesus every knee
should bow, in Heaven and on Earth and under the Earth, 11 and every
tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the
Father (Philippians 2:9-11 NIV).

Jesus left His disciples shortly after His Resurrection to sit at the
right hand of God. His disciples witnessed His Ascension (Mark 16:19-20;
Luke 24:50-53). Just prior to His Ascension, the Resurrected Christ
instructed them to await the expected Holy Spirit, Whom He would send on the
Day of Pentecost:

And, behold, I send the promise of My Father upon you: but tarry ye
in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high
(Luke 24:49 KJV).

Jesus bestowed the Spirit to His disciples at this point, but this was
not the fiery baptism of the Holy Ghost (Spirit) to occur on the Day of
Pentecost:

21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as My Father
hath sent Me, even so send I you. 22 And when He had said this, He
breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost (John
20:21-22 KJV).

God directed John the Baptist to preach repentance and baptize with
water. Christ drew a parallel between water baptism and baptism of the Holy
Spirit. Baptism of the Spirit at Pentecost was a separate act from Christ
bestowing the Spirit via His breath. Acts reiterates Christ's commandment
to the disciples:

4 And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they
should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the
Father, which, saith He, ye have heard of Me. 5 For John truly
baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not
many days hence (Acts 1:4-5 KJV).

The purpose of the baptism of the Spirit was to empower the disciples to
carry out Jesus' Great Commission (cf. Matthew 28:19) of spreading the
Gospel:

But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon
you: and ye shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem, and in all
Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the Earth (Acts
1:8 KJV).

The Heaven-sent Holy Ghost marvelously manifested on the Day of
Pentecost:

1 When the Day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place.
2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from Heaven
and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what
seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each
of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to
speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them (Acts 2:1-4 NIV).

When God the Son was sacrificed, God the Father moved out of inanimate
temples and moved into Christians in the vibrant Person of God the Holy
Spirit:

... for ye are the Temple of the Living God; as God hath said, I will
dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they
shall be My people (2nd Corinthians 6:16 KJV).

The New Bible Dictionary says,

Admittedly, it is easier in the Old Testament to interpret the
activity of the Spirit in an impersonal way than it is in the New
Testament; but in both God is personally and powerfully present in His
Spirit. In each Testament there is a movement from the more external
to the more internal work of the Spirit and from what might be called
"outward application" to inward appropriation (531).

Evidence of the Spirit's eternal existence and "outward application" can
be found in the Old Testament. Prophets received their revelations many
times while in the Spirit. For example, the Holy Spirit played a major role
in bringing a prophetic and futuristic vision of the nation of Israel to
Ezekiel:

The hand of the Lord was upon me, and carried me out in the Spirit of
the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of
bones (Ezekiel 37:1 KJV).

The "inward appropriation" of the Spirit bears a nine-faceted "fruit" as
detailed in one of the Epistles of Paul: "22 ... the fruit of the Spirit is
Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, 23 Gentleness
and Self-Control" (Galatians 5:22-23 NIV). The Apostle Paul wrote that the
gifts of the Spirit are also evidenced in nine distinct manifestations:

4 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 There
are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are
different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all
men. 7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for
the common good. 8 To one there is given through the Spirit the
Message of Wisdom, to another the Message of Knowledge by means of the
same Spirit, 9 to another Faith by the same Spirit, to another Gifts
of Healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another Miraculous Powers, to
another Prophecy, to another Distinguishing Between Spirits, to
another Speaking in Different Kinds of Tongues, and to still another
the Interpretation of Tongues. 11 All these are the work of one and
the same Spirit, and He gives them to each one, just as He determines
(1st Corinthians 12:4-11 NIV).

In the Book of Acts, we are introduced to believers who had been Saved
by believing in Jesus, but had not yet received God the Holy Spirit:

14 Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria
had received the Word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: 15
Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might
receive the Holy Ghost: 16 (For as yet He was fallen upon none of
them: only they were baptized in the Name of the Lord Jesus.) 17
Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost
(Acts 8:14-17 KJV).

The Apostles witnessed the coming of God the Holy Spirit upon the
Gentile believers. The Apostle Peter addressed a large group of people who
had gathered at the house of Cornelius, a Roman centurion. Peter told them
of the ministry, death, and Resurrection of Christ. Peter also revealed
that Christ had anointed them to preach Salvation in His Name. The Jewish
Christians accompanying Peter were astounded at what happened next:

38 "... God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power
... He went around doing good and healing all who were under the power
of the devil, because God was with Him ... 42 He commanded us to
preach to the people and to testify that He is the One Whom God
appointed as Judge of the living and the dead. 43 All the prophets
testify about Him that everyone who believes in Him receives
forgiveness of sins through His Name." 44 While Peter was still
speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the
message. 45 The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were
astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even
on the Gentiles. 46 For they heard them speaking in tongues and
praising God. Then Peter said, 47 "Can anyone keep these people from
being baptized with water? They have received the Holy Spirit just as
we have." 48 So he ordered that they be baptized in the Name of Jesus
Christ ... (Acts 10:38, 42-48 NIV).

Upon his entrance to the city of Ephesus, the Apostle Paul encountered
believers who had responded to the "baptism of repentance" preached by John
the Baptist, but had not yet received the "baptism" of God the Holy Spirit:

1 ... Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus.
There he found some disciples 2 and asked them, "Did you receive the
Holy Spirit when you believed?" They answered, "No we have not even
heard that there is a Holy Spirit." 3 So Paul asked, "Then what
baptism did you receive?" "John's baptism," They replied. 4 Paul
said, "John's baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people
to believe in the One coming after him, that is, in Jesus." 5 On
hearing this, they were baptized into the Name of the Lord Jesus. 6
When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and
they spoke in tongues and prophesied. 7 There were about twelve men
in all (Acts 19:1-7 NIV).

The Spirit, working inside and consequently through believers, continues
the work of Christ, spreading the Gospel, praising the Son and glorifying
God. The New Bible Dictionary says,

Since God is said to be Spirit (Jn. iv.24), the whole Trinity has been
thought of by some in terms of Spirit. This has tended to cloud the
distinction between the Spirit, the Father, and the Son. Moreover, to
speak, as some do, of the Spirit as the relation of love between the
Father and the Son, or further, to define the Spirit as the "living
action of God in the world," while emphasizing a valuable, yet
partial, truth, nevertheless tends to depersonalize the Spirit and to
reduce Him to an influence or force, albeit a benign one (531).

Christians must realize that the personal indwelling of the Holy Spirit
enables them to carry on the work of Christ. Jesus promised His disciple
Philip that the Spirit would enable believers to produce many fruitful
works:

12 I tell you the truth, anyone who has Faith in Me will do what I
have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I
am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in My Name,
so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. 14 You may ask Me for
anything in My Name, and I will do it (John 14:12-14 NIV).

Exodus chapter 26 describes a tabernacle erected to atone for the sins
of the people of Israel. Hebrews 9:1-5 depicts the configuration of the
tabernacle. The innermost chamber was called the Holy of Holies. Only the
high priest could enter this chamber once a year on the Day of Atonement
(Leviticus 23:26-32) to intercede to God on behalf of the people. A veil
sealed the entrance to the Holy of Holies (Exodus 26:31-37). Hebrews 9:6-7
describes the ritual performed by the high priest of Israel.

Just before Jesus dies on the Cross at Calvary, the Gospel of Luke tells
us: "... and the veil of the temple was torn in two" (23:45 NASB). The
significance of this mysterious event is revealed by the Book of Hebrews:
"... through His own Blood, He entered the Holy Place once for all, having
obtained eternal redemption" (9:12 NASB). Therefore, the Book of Hebrews
calls Jesus the "High Priest" in verse 3:1 and the "Great High Priest" in
verse 4:14. Hebrews demonstrates that believers now possess a right once
held only by the high priests of Israel, thanks to the High Priest of God,
Jesus Christ:

19 ... therefore, brethren, we have confidence to enter the Holy Place
by the Blood of Jesus, 20 by a New and Living Way which He inaugurated
for us through the veil, that is, His flesh (Hebrews 10:19-20 NASB).

For 2,000 years every believer in Jesus Christ has had direct access to
God the Father through God the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:26-27) and Jesus Christ
(Romans 8:34, 1st John 2:1). The Book of Hebrews portrays Christ as
exceptionally and experientially qualified to comfort His people:

14 Therefore, since we have a Great High Priest Who has gone through
the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the Faith we
profess. 15 For we do not have a High Priest Who is unable to
sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have One Who has been tempted
in every way, just as we are--yet was without sin. 16 Let us then
approach the Throne of Grace with confidence, so that we may receive
mercy and find Grace to help us in our time of need (Hebrews 4:14-16
NIV).

Obviously, the Holy Spirit is done an injustice to be referred to merely
as a "Comforter," "Counselor," or "Helper." Let us examine the word
"Parakletos," now that we understand Who it is we are trying to describe.

In the story of Job, we find the word "parakletos" translated as
"comforters." "Parakletos" is the word found in Job 16:2 in the Septuagint
or Greek translations of the Old Testament. Job was a righteous man (Job
1:5, 8, 20-22; 2:3, 9-10) suffering at Satan's request, which God in His
omniscience allowed. Now the context of the word as used here is not
referring to the Holy Spirit, but the implied application is similar.

Job, having been delivered into the hands of the enemy by God, was being
consoled by three friends who had an intellectual but not spiritual belief
in God. Job's friends mistakenly believed that all suffering was a result
of sin and that Job should confess his sin instead of denying his guilt.
This shortcoming rendered these three useless in comforting Job. Job's
disdain for his companions and their counsel is recorded as such: "I have
heard many such things: miserable comforters are ye all" (16:2 KJV). Job's
friends, although their intentions were good, were no substitute for the
presence of God or His Spirit. Job learned to accept God's sovereignty and
was exonerated (Job 42).

Jesus said: "I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you" (John
14:18 NIV). Buddha, Mohammed and all other religious teachers have left
their followers as orphans, because they have not risen from the dead as
Jesus Christ has. Acknowledgement of Jesus' Deity authenticates His
authority, separating Him from false religious leaders who obfuscate the
Gospel and deceive the world:

22 Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ?
This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son. 23
Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father; the one who confesses
the Son has the Father also (1st John 2:22-23 NASB).

The dictionary states that the prefix "para-" means "alongside of." Not
only did God the Father pay our sin bill by sacrificing God the Son, but He
also helps us to maintain our Christian posture by the indwelling of God the
Holy Spirit. We cannot do it in our own power. Barclay says,

Parakletos itself is a word which is passive in form. It means
literally one who is called in. But although it is passive in form it
is almost always active in meaning ... If that be so we shall come
best at its meaning by examining first of all the verb parakalein from
which parakletos is derived (1974, 217).

Barclay finds parakalein a magnificent verb:

At its most general parakalein means to call in, to summon. So a man
is said to call in an ally ... to call in a counsellor to give advice
... to call in an advocate to plead a case in the law courts ... It is
also used of calling upon a man to undertake a public duty such as the
duty of a gymnasiarch, whose duty it was to maintain and train a team
at his own expense to run in the torch race ... Therefore at its
widest a parakletos is a person who is called in to help in a
situation with which a man by himself cannot cope (1974, 217-218).

The Christian life is metaphorically referred to as a race several times
in the Epistles. Paul exhorts the effort that a Christian should make: "Do
you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the
prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize" (1st Corinthians 9:24 NIV).
The Book of Hebrews reveals that Christians are truly in the arena:

1 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of
witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily
ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before
us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our Faith, Who
for the joy that was set before Him endured the Cross, despising the
shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God
(Hebrews 12:1-2 NKJV).

Since God is just and the Day of Judgement has been set, people need
defense counsel to stand before Almighty God. Christians have confidence
because Jesus is the Defender based on the Cross. In 1st John we find the
word "Paraclete," derived from "Parakletos," translated as "Advocate:"

1 My little children, I am writing these things to you that you may
not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father,
Jesus Christ the Righteous; 2 and He Himself is the propitiation for
our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world
(2:1-2 NASB).

However, Christ's sanctifying advocacy is active in application:

8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is
not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is Faithful and Just and will
forgive our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness (1st John
1:8-9 NIV).

The Apostle Paul reaffirms what Christ accomplished for Christians, who
cannot be separated from the love of God in Christ: "... If God be for us,
who can be against us?" (Romans 8:31 KJV). Paul corroborates the Apostle
John's portrayal of Christ as the unparalleled Paraclete: "... It is Christ
that died, yea rather, that is risen again, Who is even at the right hand of
God, Who also maketh intercession for us (Romans 8:34 KJV).

The eternal security of the believer who has genuinely received Christ
is emphasized in the New Testament. God gave His Holy Spirit for this
reason:

21 Now it is God Who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He
anointed us, 22 set His seal of ownership on us, and put His Spirit in
our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come (2nd Corinthians
1:21-22 NIV).

This recurrent theme of security was likewise expounded at Ephesus and
substantiates the manifestation of Christ's promise in John 14:16:

13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the Word of
Truth, the Gospel of your Salvation. Having believed, you were marked
in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 Who is a deposit
guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are
God's possession--to the praise of His glory (Ephesians 1:13-14 NIV).

Paul's letter to the Church at Colossae demonstrated that the
Christian's security is based on God's workings through the sacrifice of
Christ the Son:

13 ... He [God] made you alive together with Him [Christ], having
forgiven us all our transgressions, 14 having canceled out the
certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us and which was
hostile to us; and He [God] has taken it out of the way, having nailed
it to the Cross. 15 When He [Christ] had disarmed the rulers and
authorities, He [God] made a public display of them, having triumphed
over them through Him [Christ] (Colossians 2:13-15 NASB; pronouns in
brackets mine).

One winter day in Israel, Jesus spoke of the assurance believers
possess:

27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me: 28
And I give unto them Eternal Life; and they shall never perish,
neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand. 29 My Father, which
gave them Me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them
out of My Father's hand. 30 I and My Father are One (John 10:27-30
KJV).

Jesus promised the Holy Spirit to all that believe in Him. The Spirit
testifies of Christ, Who bridged the gap of broken fellowship between God
and humanity. Paul gives a synopsis of the Bible's principal Message in 1st
Timothy: 5 "For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the
man Christ Jesus, 6 Who gave Himself as a ransom for all men ..." (2:5-6
NIV).

Sometimes, people unfairly portray God as a hater of humanity. God
loves all people and wants them to live in peace. 1st Timothy tells of
God's love: "3 This is good, and pleases God our Saviour, 4 Who wants all
men to be Saved and to come to a knowledge of the Truth" (2:3-4 NIV). God's
compassionate love is accurately portrayed in the Book of Jonah as God
informs Jonah of His concern for over 120,000 inhabitants of Nineveh and
even their cattle:

And should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than
sixscore thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand
and their left hand; and also much cattle? (4:11 KJV).

Peter portrays God as a sympathetic Comforter: "6 Humble yourselves,
therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper
time, 7 casting all your anxiety upon Him, because He cares for you" (1st
Peter 5:6-7 NASB). God's ultimate act of love was nailing His Son to the
Cross. John the Baptist, Jesus' second cousin, seeing Him said: "...
Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world" (John 1:29
KJV).

During a legal trial, a defense attorney can hardly be called a
"comforter" although his presence would be comforting if he is competent.
This is especially true if the attorney can always guarantee a "not guilty"
verdict, as Jesus can by the testimony of the Spirit. God knew that no one
could be competent enough to stand before Him, let alone defend another, so
He took it upon Himself to create a one-time, all-encompassing Atoning
Sacrifice to satisfy His demand that sin be punished. The sin bill for
every single person was paid 2,000 years ago by Christ. The Holy Spirit
propagates this Message throughout the world, via Christians. Therefore, no
one need fear approaching God the Father to seek His Grace in Christ, for He
will eagerly greet them with outstretched arms:

16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view.
Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has
gone, the new has come! 18 All this is from God, Who reconciled us to
Himself through Christ and gave us the Ministry of Reconciliation: 19
that God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting
men's sins against them. And He has committed to us the Message of
Reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though
God were making His appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's
behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made Him Who had no sin to be
sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God
(2nd Corinthians 5:16-21 NIV).

Barclay tells of the Spirit's diverse role:

The meaning of advocate for the defence is both fitting and adequate
for parakletos ... but it is not so fitting in the Gospel. There the
Parakletos is the Spirit of Truth ... the Spirit is the Interpreter
and the Teacher and the Remembrancer ... the Spirit is the One Who
will testify of Christ ... but above all parakalein is used of
exhorting troops who are about to go into battle (1974, 220).

God gives utterance to the Spirit of Truth. Jesus said:

13 But when He, the Spirit of Truth, comes, He will guide you into all
truth. He will not speak on His Own; He will speak only what He
hears, and He will tell you what is yet to come. 14 He will bring
glory to Me by taking from what is Mine and making it known to you
(John 16:13-14 NIV).

The Apostle Paul reveals the Spirit as the Interpreter / Intercessor:

26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not
know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for
us with groans that words cannot express. 27 And He Who searches our
hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for
the saints in accordance with God's will (Romans 8:26-27 NIV).

Jesus says the Parakletos (Spirit) is the Teacher and Remembrancer:

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 14:25 KJV).

Jesus tells of the Parakletos' (Spirit's) testimony in John's Gospel:

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: 27 And ye also shall bear witness, because ye
have been with Me from the beginning (John 15:26-27 KJV).

The paraklesis (comfort) of the Parakletos (Spirit) includes
exhortation:

Then had the churches rest throughout all Judea and Galilee and
Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in
the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied (Acts 9:31 KJV).

Christians are to study the Word of God assiduously. This is the Sword
of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17) that gives spiritual discernment and
confidence in living and witnessing for Christ. 2nd Timothy encourages
study of God's Word:

Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to
be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth (2:15 KJV).

The proclaimed Word of God is guaranteed to bear fruit by God Himself:

10 For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from Heaven, and
returneth not thither, but watereth the Earth, and maketh it bring
forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the
eater: 11 So shall My Word be that goeth forth out of My mouth: it
shall not return unto Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I
please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it (Isaiah
55:10-11 KJV).

The young preacher Timothy was instructed by the Apostle Paul: "... be
sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill
your ministry" (2nd Timothy 4:5 NASB). Jesus said to serve Him diligently:

45 Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his Lord hath made
ruler over His household, to give them meat in due season? 46 Blessed
is that servant, whom his Lord when He cometh shall find so doing. 47
Verily I say unto you, That He shall make him ruler over all His goods
(Matthew 24:45-47 KJV).

Therefore, sagacious Christians are good stewards of time, talents and
resources, looking forward unto the day when the Master will say,

... Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been
faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things:
enter thou into the joy of thy Lord (Matthew 25:21 KJV).

Christians, who must spread the Gospel, should know the nature of the
enemy. Prospective converts to Christianity may not comprehend the Gospel
due to Satan's interference. Satan, the enemy of God and man, is called
"the god of this world" in this excerpt from 2nd Corinthians and is not to
be confused with the Omniscient, Omnificent, Omnipotent, Omnipresent
Almighty God:

3 But if our Gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: 4 In
whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which
believe not, lest the Light of the glorious Gospel of Christ, Who is
the image of God, should shine unto them (4:3-4 KJV).

But the veil which has blinded the minds of unbelievers need not be
permanent. Spiritual emancipation is proclaimed and available to all:

16 Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17
Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there
is liberty. 18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a
mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same
image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord (2nd
Corinthians 3:16-18 NKJV).

Thus comes the realization that Christians are involved in a
supernatural battle; a battle on a spiritual plane that non-believers cannot
possibly comprehend. Paul writes of the believer's spiritual warfare:

3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: 4
(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God
to the pulling down of strongholds;) 5 Casting down imaginations, and
every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God,
and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ
(2nd Corinthians 10:3-5 KJV).

People cannot successfully conduct spiritual warfare under their own
power, they must have the Spirit of God. Only a person who is Saved can
receive the sealing of the Spirit of God. Participating in a spiritual
battle while still in the natural is ill-advised. Seven unsaved Jewish
brothers tried to enter a supernatural battle without actually having been
born-again (Saved). All seven sons of Sceva lived to regret it:

13 Some Jews who went around driving out evil spirits tried to invoke
the Name of the Lord Jesus over those who were demon-possessed. They
would say, "In the Name of Jesus, Whom Paul preaches, I command you to
come out." ... 15 One day, the evil spirit answered them, "Jesus I
know, and I know about Paul, but who are you?" 16 Then the man who
had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave
them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding
(Acts 19:13, 15-16 NIV).

Christians must use prayer, for this is what Satan fears most: "... the
prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective" (James 5:16 NIV).

False teachers and false prophets draw people unto themselves, but true
followers of Jesus Christ point others to Him, and to Him only; not to
themselves: "For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and
ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake (2nd Corinthians 4:5 KJV).

The Apostle Paul stated that the power in his ministry came from the
Holy Spirit and that His power enabled Paul to preach the simple message of
God's Grace. Paul's confidence was in God; not in his skill as a polished
orator:

1 And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of
speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. 2 For I
determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him
crucified. 3 And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much
trembling. 4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing
words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of
power: 5 That your Faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in
the power of God (1st Corinthians 2:1-5 KJV).

The Apostle Paul instructed Timothy to patiently admonish unbelievers
whose minds were blinded from the Truth of the Gospel by Satan and are
consequently taken prisoner by his deceptive tactics:

24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all
men, apt to teach, patient; 25 In meekness instructing those that
oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to
the acknowledging of the Truth; 26 And that they may recover
themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him
at his will (2nd Timothy 2:24-26 KJV).

Recognition of the majesty and sovereignty of God may appear nonsensical
to the unenlightened, obstinate or haughty. Paul wrote that unrelenting
autonomy or self-rule before God demonstrated untenable ignorance, not wisdom:

20 For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are
clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His
eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: 21
Because that, when they knew God, they glorified Him not as God,
neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and
their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing themselves to be
wise, they became fools (Romans 1:20-22 KJV).

In one of his letters to the Church at Corinth, Paul concedes that
"highly educated" unbelievers may consider Christianity a frivolous pursuit:

18 For the message of the Cross is foolishness to those who are
perishing, but to us who are being Saved it is the power of God. 19
For it is written: I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the
intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate." 20 Where is the
wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this
age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since
in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know Him,
God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to Save
those who believe (1st Corinthians 1:18-21 NIV).

Paul reveals that the Christian life is a true supernatural battle
against the evil, albeit fleeting, empire of Satan the adversary:

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. 11 Put on
the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the
devil's schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood,
but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of
this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the
heavenly realms (Ephesians 6:10-12 NIV).

Paul describes the spiritual warfare "armor," using the armor of a Roman
soldier as a model:

13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of
evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have
done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the Belt of Truth
buckled around your waist, with the Breastplate of Righteousness in
place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from
the Gospel of Peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the Shield
of Faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the
evil one. 17 Take the Helmet of Salvation and the Sword of the
Spirit, which is the Word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all
occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind,
be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints (Ephesians
6:13-18 NIV).

Perplexing tribulations may manifest in a Christian's life:

12 Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are
suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But
rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you
may be overjoyed when His glory is revealed. 14 If you are insulted
because of the Name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of
glory and of God rests on you (1st Peter 4:12-14 NIV).

Peter explains the occasional necessity of these trials:

6 In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if
necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, 7 that the
proof of your Faith, being more precious than gold which is
perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in
praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 8 and
though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see
Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy
inexpressible and full of glory, 9 obtaining as the outcome of your
Faith the Salvation of your souls (1st Peter 1:6-9 NASB).

The Spirit is a Christian's perpetual Helper during these periods:

1 Therefore having been justified by Faith, we have peace with God
through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through Whom also we have obtained
our introduction by Faith into this Grace in which we stand; and we
exult in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only this, but we also
exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about
perseverance; 4 and perseverance, proven character; and proven
character, hope; 5 and hope does not disappoint, because the love of
God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit Who
was given to us (Romans 5:1-5 NASB).

Paul encourages Christians to look beyond transient difficulties:

16 Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is
decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. 17 For
momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of
glory far beyond all comparison, 18 while we look not at the things
which are seen, but at the things which are not seen, for the things
which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are
eternal (2nd Corinthians 4:16-18 NASB).

The Apostle Peter warns the Christian that Satan would do anything to
discredit the Faith: "8 Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil
prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist
him standing firm in the Faith ..." (1st Peter 5:8-9 NIV). The Apostle John
encourages Christians, who have come to know the Truth, by assuring that the
Spirit of Christ is far more powerful than Satan: "... because the One Who
is in you is greater than the one who is in the world" (1st John 4:4 NIV).

The Resurrected Jesus instructs His followers to make disciples of
others:

18 ... Jesus came and spake unto them, saying All power is given unto
Me in Heaven and in Earth. 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations,
baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the
Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have
commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of
the world. Amen. (Matthew 28:18-20 KJV).

God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit and the bride (the
Christian Church) urge all who would exercise their free will to come to
Christ in the last chapter of the last book of the Bible:

16 I Jesus have sent Mine angel to testify unto you these things in
the Churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the
Bright and Morning Star. 17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come.
And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come.
And whosoever will, let him take the Water of Life freely (Revelation
22:16-17 KJV).

Jesus invites "whosoever will" to become partakers of the "Water of
Life:"

... I am come that they might have Life, and that they might have it
more abundantly (John 10:10 KJV).

"Comforter" is an insubstantial rendering of the Spirit and His
ministry. The Holy Spirit is solely responsible for spreading the Good News
of the Grace of God in Christ. Since it is God the Holy Spirit Who manages
Christians and the Christian Church according to His divine power, wisdom
and purpose, the Apostle Paul posed a rhetorical question to the Church at
Corinth: "... will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious?"
(2nd Corinthians 3:8 NIV). Barclay sums up the insufficiency of
"Comforter:"

To limit, even by suggestion, the work of the Holy Spirit to
consolation and to comfort is sadly to belittle the work of the
Spirit. By the study of the word parakletos we have come to see the
wide scope in time and eternity of the Parakletos (1974, 221).

The Christian who is genuinely interested in growing spiritually would
do well to study the deeper truths associated with some of the more
significant words of the modern translations of the Bible. The "Parakletos"
literally cries out to be taken to heart. Zechariah 4:6 says: ". . . not
by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the LORD of hosts" (KJV).
Barclay notes: "The early Church was a Spirit-guided community" (1976, 19).

Works Cited

Barclay, William. The Acts of the Apostles. Philadelphia: Westminster
Press, 1976.

Barclay, William. New Testament Words. Philadelphia: Westminster
Press, 1974.

Bible (King James Version). London: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Douglas, J. D. The New Bible Dictionary. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm.
B Eerdman's Publishing Co., 1973.

Harper Study Bible (New American Standard Bible). Grand Rapids,
Michigan: Zondervan Bible Publishers, 1985.

Strong, James. Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible. Peabody,
Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers.

The New Testament (New King James Version). Nashville, Tennessee:
Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1987.

The NIV Study Bible (New International Version). Grand Rapids,
Michigan: Zondervan Bible Publishers, 1985.

Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary. Springfield, Massachusetts:
Merriam-Webster Inc., 1987.

Zodhiates, Spiros. The Hebrew-Greek Key Study Bible (King James
Version).

Click Here for a Printable Version of this Page

MIDI Music: "God is in Control"