I will pray the Father - This refers to his intercession after his death and ascension to heaven, for this prayer was to be connected with their keeping his commandments. In what way he makes intercession in heaven for his people we do not know. The fact, however, is clearly made known, Romans 8:34; Hebrews 4:14-15; Hebrews 7:25. It is as the result of his intercession in heaven that we obtain all our blessings, and it is through him that our prayers are to be presented and made efficacious before God.
Another Comforter - Jesus had been to them a counsellor, a guide, a friend, while he was with them. He had instructed them, had borne with their prejudices and ignorance, and had administered consolation to them in the times of despondency. But he was about to leave them now to go alone into an unfriendly world. The other Comforter was to be given as a compensation for his absence, or to perform the offices toward them which he would have done if he had remained personally with them. And from this we may learn, in part, what is the office of the Spirit. It is to furnish to all Christians the instruction and consolation which would be given by the personal presence of Jesus, John 16:14. To the apostles it was particularly to inspire them with the knowledge of all truth, John 14:26; John 15:26. Besides this, he came to convince men of sin. See the notes at John 16:8-11. It was proper that such an agent should be sent into the world:
1.Because it was a part of the plan that Jesus should ascend to heaven after his death.
2.Unless some heavenly agent should be sent to carry forward the work of salvation, man would reject it and perish.
3.Jesus could not be personally and bodily present in all places with the vast multitudes who should believe on him. The Holy Spirit is omnipresent, and can reach them all. See the notes at John 16:7.
4.It was manifestly a part of the plan of redemption that each of the persons of the Trinity should perform his appropriate work the Father in sending his Son, the Son in making atonement and interceding, and the Spirit in applying the work to the hearts of men.
The word translated “Comforter” is used in the New Testament five times. In four instances it is applied to the Holy Spirit - John 14:16, John 14:26; John 15:26; John 16:7. In the other instance it is applied to the Lord Jesus - 1 John 2:1; “We have an advocate (Paraclete - Comforter) with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” It is used, therefore, only by John. The verb from which it is taken has many significations. Its proper meaning is to call one to us Acts 27:20; then to call one to aid us, as an advocate in a court; then to exhort or entreat, to pray or implore, as an advocate does, and to comfort or console, by suggesting reasons or arguments for consolation. The word “comforter” is frequently used by Greek writers to denote an advocate in a court; one who intercedes; a monitor, a teacher, an assistant, a helper. It is somewhat difficult, therefore, to fix the precise meaning of the word. It may be translated either advocate, monitor, teacher, or helper. What the office of the Holy Spirit in this respect is, is to be learned from what we are elsewhere told he does. We learn particularly from the accounts that our Saviour gives of his work that that office was:
1.to comfort the disciples; to be with them in his absence and to supply his place; and this is properly expressed by the word Comforter.
3.to aid them in their work; to advocate their cause, or to assist them in advocating the cause of religion in the world, and in bringing sinners to repentance; and this may be expressed by the word advocate, John 16:7-13. It was also by the Spirit that they were enabled to stand before kings and magistrates, and boldly to speak in the name of Jesus, Matthew 10:20. These seem to comprise all the meanings of the word in the New Testament, but no single word in our language expresses fully the sense of the original.
That he may abide with you for ever - Not that he should remain with you for a few years, as I have done, and then leave you, but be with you in all places to the close of your life. He shall be your constant guide and attendant.
I will pray the Father - After having made an atonement for the sin of the world, I will become the Mediator between God and man; and through my mediation and intercession shall all the blessings of grace and glory be acquired.
Another Comforter - The word παρακλητος signifies not only a comforter, but also an advocate, a defender of a cause, a counsellor, patron, mediator. Christ is thus termed, 1 John 2:1, where the common translation renders the word advocate. Christ is thus called, because he is represented as transacting the concerns of our souls with God; and for this cause, he tells us, he goes unto the Father, John 14:12. The Holy Spirit is thus called, because he transacts the cause of God and Christ with us, explains to us the nature and importance of the great atonement, shows the necessity of it, counsels us to receive it, instructs us how to lay hold on it, vindicates our claim to it, and makes intercessions in us with unutterable groanings. As Christ acted with his disciples while he sojourned with them, so the Holy Ghost acts with those who believe in his name.
For ever - As the death and atonement of Christ will be necessary to man till the conclusion of the world, so the office of the Holy Spirit must be continued among men till the end of time: therefore says Christ, he shall continue with you for ever, teaching, comforting, advising, defending, and interceding for you and for all my followers to the end of time.
God does not ask us to do in our own strength the work before us. He has provided divine assistance for all the emergencies to which our human resources are unequal. He gives the Holy Spirit to help in every strait, to strengthen our hope and assurance, to illuminate our minds and purify our hearts. 8T 19.1
Just before His crucifixion the Saviour said to His disciples: “I will not leave you comfortless.” “I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever.” “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 show you things to come.” “He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” John 14:18, 16; 16:13; John 14:26. 8T 19.2Read in context »
God is waiting to bestow the blessing of forgiveness, of pardon for iniquity, of the gifts of righteousness, upon all who will believe in His love and accept the salvation He offers. Christ is ready to say to the repenting sinner, “Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment.” The blood of Jesus Christ is the eloquent plea that speaks in behalf of sinners. This blood “cleanseth us from all sin.” TM 517.1
It is your privilege to trust in the love of Jesus for salvation, in the fullest, surest, noblest manner; to say, He loves me, He receives me; I will trust Him, for He gave His life for me. Nothing so dispels doubt as coming in contact with the character of Christ. He declares, “Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out;” that is, there is no possibility of My casting him out, for I have pledged My word to receive him. Take Christ at His word, and let your lips declare that you have gained the victory. TM 517.2
Is Jesus true? Does He mean what He says? Answer decidedly, Yes, every word. Then if you have settled this, by faith claim every promise that He has made, and receive the blessing; for this acceptance by faith gives life to the soul. You may believe that Jesus is true to you, even though you feel yourself to be the weakest and most unworthy of His children. And as you believe, all your dark, brooding doubts are thrown back upon the archdeceiver who originated them. You can be a great blessing if you will take God at His word. By living faith you are to trust Him, even though the impulse is strong within you to speak words of distrust. TM 517.3Read in context »
The fields nigh and afar off belong to God; for the world is His. Usurpers have taken possession of God's earthly property, but He will make a way so that the truth may be presented in the dark corners of the earth. If men will only follow the leadings of the Holy Spirit they will find ways and means by which the message may go forth and gain a glorious victory. TM 218.1
The servants of God who live in obedience to His requirements, who speak the truth in humility, will carry an influence with them which will work for the salvation of many souls. But we must not allow the people to hang helplessly upon us. We are human and finite. We must direct them to Christ, saying, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” Jesus pleads the case of His colaborers, but every hour they need to feel humble dependence upon the Captain of their salvation, and through the intercession of Christ our Advocate many souls will be saved unto eternal life. The Lord has provided for the descent of the Holy Spirit upon His workers, and everyone who sincerely seeks God will find Him. We are to come boldly to the throne of grace, and seek the footstool of mercy. We are to believe that the Lord hears and answers our prayers. Our great High Priest who has passed into the heavens says, “I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever.” The Holy Spirit abides with consecrated laborers who in any locality are seeking to advance the cause. TM 218.2Read in context »
If in our ignorance we make missteps, the Saviour does not forsake us. We need never feel that we are alone. Angels are our companions. The Comforter that Christ promised to send in His name abides with us. In the way that leads to the City of God there are no difficulties which those who trust in Him may not overcome. There are no dangers which they may not escape. There is not a sorrow, not a grievance, not a human weakness, for which He has not provided a remedy. MH 249.1
None need abandon themselves to discouragement and despair. Satan may come to you with the cruel suggestion, “Yours is a hopeless case. You are irredeemable.” But there is hope for you in Christ. God does not bid us overcome in our own strength. He asks us to come close to His side. Whatever difficulties we labor under, which weigh down soul and body, He waits to make us free. MH 249.2
He who took humanity upon Himself knows how to sympathize with the sufferings of humanity. Not only does Christ know every soul, and the peculiar needs and trials of that soul, but He knows all the circumstances that chafe and perplex the spirit. His hand is outstretched in pitying tenderness to every suffering child. Those who suffer most have most of His sympathy and pity. He is touched with the feeling of our infirmities, and He desires us to lay our perplexities and troubles at His feet and leave them there. MH 249.3Read in context »
The Prince of heaven was among His people. The greatest gift of God had been given to the world. Joy to the poor; for Christ had come to make them heirs of His kingdom. Joy to the rich; for He would teach them how to secure eternal riches. Joy to the ignorant; He would make them wise unto salvation. Joy to the learned; He would open to them deeper mysteries than they had ever fathomed; truths that had been hidden from the foundation of the world would be opened to men by the Saviour's mission. DA 277.1
John the Baptist had rejoiced to behold the Saviour. What occasion for rejoicing had the disciples who were privileged to walk and talk with the Majesty of heaven! This was not a time for them to mourn and fast. They must open their hearts to receive the light of His glory, that they might shed light upon those who sat in darkness and in the shadow of death. DA 277.2
It was a bright picture which the words of Christ had called up, but across it lay a heavy shadow, which His eye alone discerned. “The days will come,” He said, “when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days.” When they should see their Lord betrayed and crucified, the disciples would mourn and fast. In His last words to them in the upper chamber, He said, “A little while, and ye shall not see Me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see Me. Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy.” John 16:19, 20. DA 277.3Read in context »