Who is the Comforter According to the Bible?
Updated: Dec 28, 2020
Unraveling the Trinitarian Confusion that Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit are two distinct Persons in the Godhead.
The spirit of every living being has a personality because our spirit is our personality. So the Holy Spirit has a personality because God and His Son have a personality. In giving us His Spirit, God gives us Himself. It is not another being or some impersonal force. It is the presence and power of God Himself. It is God's own Spirit having God's own personality. If I could give you my spirit, whose personality would you have? Mine! So God's Spirit has God's personality. And since your spirit is your mind, will and emotions, we find that the Greek and Hebrew word for “Spirit” also means “mind” as you would expect. Strong's dictionary says, “breath, figuratively life, spirit, mind.” As Paul said, “no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.” 1 Corinthians 2:11. Why? Because it is His Spirit.
Thus Christ's very own Spirit personifies HIMSELF and yet has a distinct personality. What has a “person-ality?” A “person!” Is the Holy Spirit of Christ a literal person? Of course not.
Because the Holy Spirit is the mind, power and personal presence of the very life of God that the Father sends through His Son to us. This is not a separate person of the Godhead who is being sent, it is the very life of God coming to us through His beloved Son as the following Scriptures will verify with undeniable clarity.
John 14:16-28 tells us many times that the Comforter is Christ by His Spirit, but the moment Jesus says “another Comforter,” most become blind to the fact He is referring to Himself by His Spirit despite His clear words that follow.
The Greek word for another is “allos,” which means another of the exact same kind and hence means another as the same kind as Christ. Jesus was present with His disciples in physical form but after His ascension He comes back in another form, that is, by His Spirit. Hence the “another” is His Spirit. Because Christ's Spirit can function independently of Himself, it is like His Spirit is “another.” And because it is His Spirit, it is “another” of the same kind.
If the Comforter was someone different, then John would have used the word “heteros,” meaning another of a different kind. Easy to understand once you know. Most also fail to notice that Jesus often speaks of Himself in the third person as He has in this passage. See John 17:1-3 for one such example.
Compare “heteros” with “allos”
HELPS Word-studies © 1987, 2011 by Helps Ministries, Inc.
G2087 héteros – another (of a different kind). 2087 /héteros (“another but distinct in kind”) stands in contrast to 243 /állos (“another of the same kind”). 2087 /héteros (“another of a different quality”) emphasizes it is qualitatively different from its counterpart (comparison). [2087 (héteros) sometimes refers to “another” of a different class group or type (as in Plato; Oxy. papyri).]
G243 állos (a primitive word) – another of the same kind; another of a similar type.
In v. 16 Jesus says He will send “another” Comforter but leaves no doubt as to who He meant in v. 18. In unmistakable words Jesus says “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.”
This “other Comforter” is none other than Christ Himself in another form (Spirit form). He is not seen (physically) as He was when He was here on earth. He is removed from the eye of sense, but He is still with us in Spirit.
The Comforter is referred to as the Spirit of truth in v. 17, which is Christ. Ten verses earlier Jesus says, “I am the truth” (v. 6) and by His Spirit, He is the “Spirit of truth.” In v. 17 we also see that the Comforter is someone whom the world cannot receive because it does not know Him. But Christ tells His disciples that they know the Comforter for He is dwelling with them. The only one with them is Christ!
In verse 19 Christ says that in a while the world seeth me no more referring to His death and resurrection, so in v. 18 and 19 Christ is saying that though He is leaving, He will not leave them Comfortless and is going to come back to them. So the disciples knew it was Christ who was going to return to them as their Comforter, but did not understand how. So Judas, not Iscariot, asks Christ how is He going to manifest Himself to them as the Comforter and not unto the world? (v. 22)
How did the disciples understand “another Comforter?” Did they understand that Christ was talking about someone else? No! This Judas understood perfectly that it was Christ who was coming back to them and not someone else. Notice that his question is not “WHO” but “HOW?” So he was not wondering “who” but “how” Christ was going to manifest Himself to them as their Comforter. The answer is: by His Spirit, which is something they did not yet understand.
In John 16:7 Jesus says, “Nevertheless 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.” So how is it that the Comforter who was yet to be sent to them was dwelling with them in John 14? In John 7:39 we find “But this spoke 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.”
If the Holy Spirit was another being as per the trinity doctrine, it would not be dependent on Christ returning to the Father and being glorified before it could be given. The Holy Spirit could not be given until Christ was glorified as this is how Christ returns as another, that is, by His Holy Spirit.
John 14:23 above says “we will come unto him and make our abode with him.” That is, both the Father and the Son through the Holy Spirit. This is not a separate person of the Godhead who is being sent, it is the very life of God coming to us through His Son Jesus Christ. Who is more qualified to comfort us other than someone who has lived and suffered as one of us and knows what it is like to be tempted? How precious is it to have both the Father and Son?
How many times did Jesus say that He will be our Comforter in John 14? [Parentheses are added]
John 14:17 “Even the Spirit of truth [Jesus is the truth and by His Spirit He is the Spirit of truth]; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knows him: but you know him; for he dwelleth with you [Christ is the only one with them], and shall be in you [by His Spirit as the Comforter].”
John 14:18 “I [Jesus] will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.”
John 14:20 “At that day you shall know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you [by His Spirit as the Comforter].”
John 14:21 “He that has my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him [by His Spirit as the Comforter].”
John 14:22 “Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that you [Jesus] will manifest thyself unto us [as the Comforter], and not unto the world?”
John 14:23 “If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we [Jesus and His Father] will come unto him, and make our abode with him.”
John 14:28 “You heard me say, I [Jesus] am going away and I am coming back to you [by His Spirit as the Comforter].”
Note also that the Greek word “paraklētos” is used 5 times in Scripture and refers to Christ. It is used four times in John 14:16, 26; 15:26; 16:7 and is translated as “Comforter,” and it is used once in 1 John 2:1 where it is translated as “advocate.”
1 John 2:1 “if any man sin, we have an advocate [paraklētos] (Comforter) with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:” [Parentheses are added]
Paul explains in Romans 8:9 where he uses the terms Spirit of God and Spirit of Christ interchangeably. Being indoctrinated with a lie most people miss this and more. Paul, after saying that they that are in the flesh cannot please God, continues: “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” Rom. 8:9. Here we find that the Holy Spirit is both the Spirit of God and the Spirit of Christ.
More Scriptures: the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Christ
John 7:37-39 ...'In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (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 15:26--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:
John 17:22-26 ...'And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me. And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.'
John 20:21-22 ...'Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost.'
Acts 1:1-2 ...'The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, until the day in which he was taken up, after that HE through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen.'
Acts 2:32-33 ...'This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. 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.'
1 Corinthians 2:9-16 ...'But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? but we have the mind of Christ.'
2 Corinthians 3:17 ...'Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.'
Ephesians 3:14-17 ...'For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man. That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love ...'
Galatians 2:20 ...'I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.'
Galatians 4:6 ...'And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.'
Philippians 1:19 ...'For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ.'
Colossians 1:27 ...'To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.'
Hebrews 1:8-9 ...'But unto the Son he saith, thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.'
Titus 3:4-6 ...'But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour.'
1 Peter 1:10-11 ...'Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.'
1 John 2:27-28 ...'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. And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.'
Revelation 2:18,29 ...'And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass ... He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.'
Revelation 3:20 ...'Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.'
Revelation 5:6 ...'And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, HAVING seven horns and seven eyes, WHICH ARE the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.'
Thus Jesus Christ is both our “Comforter” and “advocate.” The Comforter is not another being but Christ Himself by His Spirit. Who but Christ who has been tempted and suffered as us, and lived as one of us is more qualified to Comfort us? How blessed we are to have our Saviour in us as our Comforter!