And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. John 14:16
Normally, when someone asks for another helper it means you want an additional person to work with you. However in the church community “another Counselor” has become the third person of God without considering why Jesus used the phrase “another counselor.” This concerns me, as the phrase “third person” is never used in the Bible to describe anyone. Follow along as I am using the content of John 14:15-26 as the foundation for this article.
Listening to God is more important than the opinions of men. Its easy to determine that “Another Counselor” (in ver16) is the Holy Spirit specially when we do not listen to what Jesus said between the words “another Counselor” and “the counselor, the Holy Spirit” (in ver 26). In between these words are nine power packed verses that relate to the relationship of God the Son and God the father that we must connect to the idea Jesus is expressing.
Therefore if we are listening to Jesus, we must ask what is the idea Jesus is expressing. To understand John 14:15-26 we must look at the words of Isaiah 9:6 that tells us why Jesus was asking for another Counselor.
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6
In the passage above, Isaiah foretold of the birth of Jesus Christ who would be called Wonderful Counselor. When we place the Wonderful Counselor into the idea Jesus is expressing in John 14:16, we find that Jesus, the counselor of Isaiah was asking the father for another Counselor. Who is this other counselor? By listening to the words Jesus is using we should be able to determine that if Jesus was a counselor, and if the counselor Jesus asked for were sent, we would have a total of two counselors.
For I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it. John 12:49
When we listen to God and take his words to heart we learn that Jesus spoke the words the Father commanded him to speak. Therefore the words Jesus spoke were specific and exactly what God wanted conveyed. These words expressed the intent of God’s overall plan for the benefit of mankind.
Godly men have developed dictionaries and lexicons to help laymen like myself determine what the original language was expressing. For example the word another comes from the Greek word alos. Alos is defined as meaning of the same sort and denotes a numerical change. Most teachers bring up this point but don’t elaborate further. However, if we were to elaborate we would consider these passages.
If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. John 14:7 Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. John 14:9 The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, Hebrews 1:3
These passages express the idea that the Father and Son are like and the exact representation of his being. The bible shows several comparisons reflecting that the father and Son are of same sort and kind?
The other word “Counselor” comes from the Greek word parakletos and it expresses the idea of being called to one’s side. After his death on the cross and following his ascension to the father, Jesus was exalted to the right hand of the father. Acts 2:33
The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. Hebrews 1:3
Take to heart and consider that there are more than twenty references of Jesus being seen at the right hand of the father throughout the New Testament, (key phrase/right hand.) Again John wrote of the glory Jesus had in the beginning with God.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1
Many have read the phrase “and the Word was with God” John 1:1, but have you associated the word “with” with the meaning – “at the side of” or “in the company of.” Does this mean that the Word was at the side of God” or that the Word was in the company of God? With the word with in mind lets look at
My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense — Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. 1 John 2:1 note: the king James says we have an advocate with the father.
So what was Jesus’ mission?
And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began. "I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. John 17:5-6
His mission of revealing the father to the world was finished and he was returning back to the father and the former glory (greatness) before the beginning when the Word was with God and was God. Consider that in John 14:15-26 Jesus is revealing the father to his disciples as the second counselor, but the overall picture is speaking of the Holy Spirit.
What makes the content of John 14:15-26 difficult to understand is that it bounces back and forth between two questions. The question of why the world can not have the Holy Spirit and why the believer is gifted with the Spirit. Those receiving the Holy Spirit are those who love and obey God’s commands, whereas the world is in a state of rebellion towards God. They refuse to believe the truth, listen to God, obey his word or want his help. With this in mind, God is gracious and will grant them their wishes.
Let’s consider that Jesus was revealing his unity with the father through this teaching as he speaks these words.
I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. John 14:18
Within this example Jesus forms a connection between the orphan and counselors from everyday life. Jesus used the term of orphan as an example to explain the need for a counselor. The example of everyday life is seen in the orphan that grows up without supervision or advice of adults. In other words, orphans mature to adulthood without the benefit of parental wisdom to guide the decisions they make. They have no one to restrain their behavior or guide them through life.
This example taken from the family unit shows that children normally have two parents to advise them as they grow into maturity. At the same time Jesus is revealing the spiritual side of God’s plan to guide us into all truth while raising his children into spiritual adulthood. The relevance of this example is the assurance of Jesus saying “I will come to you.” (Jesus is the first of two counselors.) At this time Jesus is reminding us of what he has said all along about his role within the divine nature. He connects this thought with these words.
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
Jesus further explains,
"If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. John 14:23
Jesus is connecting several points together ("If you love me, you will obey what I command. John 14:15) with ("If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching John 14:23.) This is a condition for Jesus to ask for another counselor and then says who is coming with him to make their abode with you.
Again it connects to the verse 23 to vs 11 & 20 with I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. It relates the only unity between the father and son that Jesus ever taught.
I and the Father are one. John 10:30
Everything Jesus taught between verse 18-25 amplifies the following point. In verse 16 Jesus used the term ‘another counselor”, but in verse 26, Jesus used the term “the counselor”. Verse 16 reveals two counselors but verse 26 speaks of only one counselor. We can only conclude that these two counselors have united and have become one counselor that we know as the Holy Spirit? In another place Jesus said.
I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: John 17:22
In the creation account, animals are seen in pairs each with its own mate. However, when the Bible addresses the subject of the divine unit or the unit of man the word one is used. For example, I and the father are one, the Lord God is one, and they shall become one flesh. God is describing the basic foundation of the family unit and we can see it expressed with in the pages of the bible by comparing the nature of God to the structure of the family unit.
Throughout his ministry, Jesus was explaining the nature of the divine unit as a person with first hand knowledge of the divine. His mission was to reveal the father to the world. He was also speaking figuratively revealing the relationship of the divine within the family unit.
We have experiential knowledge of the family unit being members of our earthly family. Men and women have united and propagated families since Adam and Eve even where the design of God’s creation is unknown to man. God made man in his own image and likeness and that image is being reproduced at this very moment through uniting in marriage worldwide.
God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, Genesis 1:26 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. Genesis 1:27
God created man as a unit of two persons of different gender (the foundation of the family unit) and then commanded that their offspring perpetuate the unit in the following words.
For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. Genesis 2:24
The imagery of the family unit is seen in the role names of God the father and the Son reflecting a family organizational structure. Yet there are other attributes common to the human family unit. No matter where you go in this world the husband and wife are the common unit of man. When married, the wife normally adopts the husband’s name to be identified with the husband as his wife. Have we considered that each member of the divine has adopted the name of the Holy Spirit to be identified as one God? Lets look at other attributes found in the married unit of man.
To begin with, family possessions are shared so lets consider this passage.
Possessions are shared in common.
All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them. John 17:10
Families normally live under the same roof.
Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. John 14:23 - Do you not know that your body is the temple of God. 1 Corinthians 6:19
The head of the Family discipline their children,
But the Counselor, 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 14:26
Families are bound together as one.
I and the Father are one." John 10:30 I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name — the name you gave me — so that they may be one as we are one. John 17:11 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. John 17:22-23
Men and women are mated (till death do us part) with a lifetime commitment. The same commitment within God’s time frame is forever.
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. John 14:16
Children are given a name that associates them with the family. Is it a coincidence that God’s children are called Saints? The word saints is derived from the Greek word hagios and is translated into Holy.
Lets consider that we are able to forgive our children indiscretions much on the same order as our father in heaven forgives us. In the same way God helps his children work their way back into good standing with his fellow man. That is what Jesus did on the cross to reconcile every man woman and child into proper relationship with their father.
Through Jesus we have access to our father and our God. We have become God’s children and citizens of his kingdom. Jesus has become the cornerstone of our life through faith and is currently in us rebuilding our minds and bodies as a holy temple where God can reside by his spirit (Ephesians 2:18-22.)