THE HOLY SPIRIT REVEALED
Except for the few times Jesus mentioned the source of His power, His disciples did not know this Spirit whom He said was coming. He spent the final precious hours before He would be torn from them to fill them in on the Person who would take His place, both with them and in them. He told the disciples, in what we call the “Upper Room Discourse”, everything they needed to know about the Holy Spirit so that they would learn to walk with Him as they had walked with Jesus for three years.
- Jesus’s “other” self
So close and one were Jesus and the Holy Spirit that He could call Him His “other self”. He could say with confidence:
I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. (John 14: 18)
But how could He come to them since He had told them that He was going away? After His resurrection, He was only around for forty days before He left them for good. Ah, but He had another “self”, the Holy Spirit who would take up residence within them forever. He would not come and go as Jesus had done. He would not be confined to a geographical location as Jesus was. He was spirit, not flesh and blood, and would soon come upon them to be fused with their spirits in an unbreakable union. They would be His temple, individually and together. He would make real the name that was given to Jesus prophetically in the Tanakh – Emmanuel – God with us.
The Holy Spirit withdrew from fallen man in the beginning because He could not dwell with sin. Jesus atoned for and removed sin forever, and promised that He would send the Holy Spirit from the Father to be in them permanently once again. Everything that Jesus was to them, He would be.
- The “Paracletos”
Jesus promised that “another Parakletos” was coming – one who would do the same things He had done while He was with them. The word parakletos comes from two Greek words – para, meaning “alongside” as in the word “parallel” – and kaleo, meaning “to call”. “Parakletos” is in the passive voice – “one who is called alongside”.
Who was this Parakletos and what would He do? Firstly, He was “another Parakletos”, implying that Jesus was the first Parakletos. Therefore He would take Jesus’s place and do everything Jesus did. To His disciples Jesus was their rabbi and their model. He was their protector and provider. He was their teacher and mentor.
This “another Parakletos” was called alongside them to support them in their human weakness. He would help them when they tottered under the weight of their burdens by carrying the burdens with them. He would be there to enable them to walk “upright” on their journey to the Father.
- The Spirit of Truth
Jesus described the Parakletos as the Spirit of truth. He was not just any spirit. He was the Spirit of truth. Jesus identified Himself as the “truth”. Pilate asked rather cynically. “What is truth?” and did not even stay long enough to hear His answer. What would Jesus have said to Pilate? Would He have defined truth in abstract terms? No. As a true Hebrew, Jesus would have simply said, “Look at me. I am the truth.” In other words, everything He was, everything He said and everything He did was the truth.
Now He said to His disciples, “Just as you watched me and saw truth in action, the Holy Spirit will be in you to teach you how to be truth in action.” If they listened to Him as they had listened to Jesus, they would be in no doubt at all about who and what the truth was.
- The Spirit of Jesus
But how would they be able to differentiate between the voice of the Holy Spirit in them and every other voice that clamoured to be heard? Jesus gave them a simple test.
All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Counsellor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. (John 14: 25-26)
I have much more to say to you, more than you can bear now. 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. He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you. (John 16: 12-14)
What the Holy Spirit says and does is always in perfect harmony with what Jesus said and did. The test is simple and backed up by a powerful witness:
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (John 14: 27)
How would they know they were on the right track? Jesus promised that He would replace their insecurity with the same confirmation that powered Him – peace. Peace in the heart always follows truth in the mind. Emotional disturbance is God’s warning sign that there are lies in the mind that contradict what God has said. Jesus assured His disciples that, as long as they followed the Holy Spirit who would lead them into the truth embodied in Him and His word, His supernatural peace would confirm that they were in the truth.
Scripture is taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
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