Another Comforter: Who is He? God the Holy Spirit? (John 14:16 explained)

Nader Mansour
John 14:16 "And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever

Does John 14:16 prove the doctrine of the Trinity? Is the other Comforter God the Holy Spirit?

If Jesus promised another Comforter, who is that Comforter? Is it God the Holy Spirit? Have you ever questioned the Trinity doctrine? Does it make sense that there are three distinct persons in one God? So many people quietly ask themselves these questions, but they never dare to verbalize these musings for many reasons. Well, for those who dare, here’s a little something to ponder and share with others. Join me in exploring this fascinating topic and deciding if the Bible supports the Trinity and specifically, God the Holy Spirit.

Christ The Only Way or Another Comforter?

Christ is the only solution to sin and death. To take Christ out of that solution and say the Comforter is someone else is an insult to the fact that Christ is the only way to the Father. It is basically saying, "Thank you, Christ, you're the way, but there's another way called another comforter that you told us about, and we conclude that that's someone other than you, God the Holy Spirit."

The famous words of Jesus in John 14:16, "And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever," are used over and over again to try and prove that the Holy Spirit is a different person to Christ. People zero in on the words "another comforter," and they say another one is a different one. Jesus said that so it must be someone else, that's how the argument goes.

You might have heard it to yourself recently. Even though it's often repeated, what DID Jesus mean? How can we understand it? Now, we've covered this time and again in a number of videos, from a number of different aspects and contexts. Today, I will cover it again, but from a different perspective. This perspective stood out to me recently, and I wanted to share it with you. Often, the context is ignored, as people focus solely on certain words. However, the explanation given by Jesus Christ himself, following this verse in the next few verses where he says, "I will not leave you comfortless, I will come to you," (John 14:18) seems to be ignored.

People just latch onto the words "another Comforter," and that's all they see. As I said, we've covered that in a number of videos. But today, we want to look at it from another perspective. Before we go on, I just want to mention something. You know, you can share with people the context and what Jesus says, and it's like they don't see past that. It's like John 14 stops at verse 16. Look, there are many verses after verse 16 in this chapter! They explain the meaning very well. So, you explain it that way and people, that's all they see - another comforter. And they just latch onto that.

The First and Last Mention of Comforter

Another thing to note and mention here as well is the word "Comforter" itself. This is the first mention of the word "Comforter" in the entire New Testament (John 14:16). Think about that. No other gospel writer, Matthew, Mark, Luke, none of them mention the word "Comforter" whatsoever. It's only mentioned by John in his gospel here and in his letter (1 John). It's only mentioned five times in the New Testament. Four of these times are in John's gospel, which is in this one discourse here where Jesus was speaking with his disciples, just at the Last Supper period. Four times, it's mentioned there. And then one other time, the fifth and last time is mentioned in John's letter.

In John's letter, the Elder John, of course, writing in First John, and I'm going to go to this verse in a minute, but I want us to keep something in mind. The first mention here, John 14:16, and the last mention that we're about to read actually help, in that they don't contradict each other; they explain each other. Here it is, I'll show you what I mean. A familiar verse to many, but I want to use it in this context, and then we can dive into our subject matter that we'll address today.

1 John 2:1. Here's how John puts it, "My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate [Comforter] with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous." And I put it there; that word "Advocate" is the Greek word for "Comforter" - the "Parakletos" (Παράκλητος), the comforter. It's the same word in John 14:16 that we just read - exact same word.

So, note this, John was there with Jesus, listening to his discourse in the Last Supper, hearing him speaking about the Comforter. He records the times that Jesus said the Comforter four times in his gospel. He heard Jesus, he understood Jesus, and here is his conclusion; here is his understanding in 1 John, writing and explaining to the reader that this Advocate with the Father is none other than Jesus Christ the righteous. He is that Comforter; he's the Advocate; he is the Comforter. That's conclusive.

Christ IS the Comforter: The Prayer of Jesus is Proof

Now, I'm not repeating this in detail here again. We've covered this in a number of places. It seems like people still go back to John 14:16 and ignore this very important point: John, the one who heard Jesus speaking in that discourse, the one who records that discourse (the only one who records this), is the same one who draws this conclusion, showing his understanding in 1 John. Still, people go back to “other Comforter." Well, here's Christ speaking about the other Comforter. It sounds like someone else, but who is he really talking about?

In his prayer, he makes it very clear who it is. John already gave us a conclusion. This other Comforter is none other than The Advocate we have with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He already gave us that conclusion; that's John's understanding. So, it’s already an established a conclusion before we start. Here it is from the prayer of Jesus in John 17:25, 26: Jesus here, speaking plainly to the Father, asking for the other Comforter, actually says it's "I in them." Who is the "I in them"? It's Christ, but which Christ? It is the glorified Christ. That's the difference.

Because some people say, "What's the difference? There has to be a difference because it's different, it's another Comforter; it's something different." Yes, there is definitely something different. This is the glorified Christ. Christ was not yet glorified when he was here on Earth because he asked his Father, "Father, glorify me with the glory which I had with thee." (John 17:5) So, what you had here on Earth is Jesus with his disciples, not yet glorified. Now, in his prayer, he asks for glory so that he can impart it and share it with others so that he is glorified in the believer.

He says, "Listen, this is the other Comforter." So, this other Comforter is Jesus glorified in the believer, as opposed to Jesus not glorified with the disciples. That's the difference. That's the other Comforter. It's not a different identity. It's Christ in a different way, in a superior, better way than just being in the flesh with the people. This is the difference. People get so hung up, and they want to make the difference so vast that they actually create a totally different person that replaces Christ and totally destroys this whole passage, and thereby render the prayer of Jesus is meaningless.

The Enigma Solved – Is It for You?

And honestly, I truly fail to comprehend how, for so long, so many have read the prayer of Jesus - which is so eloquent, plain, simple, and straightforward - and come to that conclusion: that the Comforter is not Christ, but someone else called God the Holy Spirit. The third member of the Trinity.

It’s like the prayer of Jesus is seen as separate from his discourse, like it’s not related, and they persist in holding their position that the identity of the Comforter is a different individual from Christ. The prayer of Jesus is in the context of John 14. He doesn't stop speaking, it doesn't pick up on another day or the next event. This is one discourse (John 14-17), one sermon, closing with a prayer. Jesus told them what the subject of the prayer is: it's the other Comforter. He says "I in them." It's a case closer, and how many times do you have to say it? And yet people are dull of hearing. They stop at John 14:16 and cannot see past it, hindering not just their understanding but the understanding of all those who believe them and therefore their faith and experience.

The words of Jesus, so plain, are rendered mysterious, and people end up seeking, looking for, and crediting someone else other than Christ called God the Holy Spirit. It's a tragedy, an absolute travesty honestly, when the passage is so very, very clear.

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