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THE COMFORTER

By Tim Sullivan

 

Most of us have envied the men who walked with Jesus on the road to Emmaus.

Luke 24:27, 32
27: And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.
32: And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?

But on the night he was betrayed, Jesus foretold the advent of someone he called “the Comforter” who would be a believer’s constant companion; an indwelling teacher and guide.

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

John 16:13
13: Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

Jesus referred to the Holy Ghost as another Comforter.

John 14:16-17
16: And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you ANOTHER Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever [emphasis added];
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.

This word "comforter" is elsewhere translated "advocate."

1 John 2:1b
1: ... And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:

Christ and the Holy Spirit both make intercession for God’s people, Christ from heaven and the Holy Spirit from within.

Romans 8:26, 34
26: Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
34: Who is he that condemneth? 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 [emphasis added].

Jesus did not speak of the Holy Ghost as a conduit for learning. He spoke of the Holy Ghost as a person, a teacher and guide. And because of his abiding presence, the Holy Ghost teaches as no other can, imparting understanding through inspiration and revelation, visions and dreams.

1 John 2:27
27: But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.

This is not to say that the teaching ministry is redundant. As Matthew Henry wrote, “The divine unction does not supersede ministerial teaching, but surmount it.”

The Holy Spirit does not bring a man into the presence of God. He brings the presence of God into a man. (This verse is an example of a "synonymous parallel" in which the same truth is stated two different ways.)

Psalm 51:11
11: Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.

This is not some lesser version, "a" holy spirit. THE Holy Spirit abides within. Now instead of going to temple, man becomes a temple of the Spirit of God.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20
19: What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
20: For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

The ministry of the Holy Ghost is first to those he inhabits, and through them, to the church and the world.

John 16:8-11
8: And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:
9: Of sin, because they believe not on me;
10: Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more;
11: Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.

“Holy Ghost” or “Holy Spirit”

The King James Version of the Bible is one of the few to use both the phrase "Holy Ghost" and "Holy Spirit." The Hebrew and Greek texts do not make this distinction, but that does not make the English translation incorrect. The King James translators used the phrase “the Holy Ghost” when this Spirit indwells a person. Likewise, the KJV also uses the rather poetic phrase "he gave up the ghost" to describe when a man's natural life spirit departs. In the KJV, the phrase “holy Spirit” is used seven times – three times in the Old Testament, and four times in the New. The phrase "Holy Ghost" is found only in the New Testament where is it found 89 times. However (and this may take a few readings to understand) when the KJV refers BACK to the Old Testament IN the New Testament, the phrase "Holy Ghost" is used.

Mark 12:36
36: For David himself said by the Holy Ghost, The LORD said to my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool.

2 Peter 1:21
21: For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

The Holy Ghost is an essential part of the Godhead.

Matthew 28:19
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:

2 Corinthians 13:14
14: The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen

1 John 5:7
7: For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.

The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost were uniquely involved in the baptism of Jesus.

Luke 3:22
22: And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.

John 1:32-33
32: And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him.
33: And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.

The fact that the Spirit remained on Jesus was unique, and foreshadowed what was to come.

The Promise of the Father

Jesus called the advent of the Holy Spirit “the promise of the Father.”

Luke 24:49
49: 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.

Acts 1:4
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.

It is "the promise of the Holy Ghost," and "that holy Spirit of promise."

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

Ephesians 1:13
13: In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

It is the gift of the Holy Ghost

Acts 2:38-39:
38: Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
39: For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

Acts 10:45:
45: And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.

The Holy Ghost is enjoined to a believer by a baptism, a spiritual immersion. It is like being dipped and sealed in the most precious gold.

Acts 1:5
5: For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.

Ephesians 4:30
30: And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

The gifts and fruit of the Spirit are the workings of the Holy Spirit, the Holy Ghost.

Hebrews 2:4
God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?

Galatians 5:22-23
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

It is the indwelling Holy Ghost that directs and equips Christians to bear witness of the Lord Jesus (first to themselves and then to others) in a way that separates his gospel from mundane religions and philosophies.

Acts 1:8
8: 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 Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

Nothing we do in Christian ministry was intended to be done without the sanction and guidance of the Holy Spirit, the Comforter.

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

If not for the grace of the Lord Jesus, we could not be saved. If not for the love of God, there would be no Savior. Without the Holy Ghost, there would be no spiritual communion. Let us not merely acknowledge this truth, let us live in it.

2 Corinthians 13:14
14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.

 


Presented 3 September 2017 in Baton Rouge