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I have seen some similar questions, however, this is slightly different. The passages in John cannot be referring to the 'Holy Spirit' as it was here already, Jesus in John is talking about someone to come after him.

Luke 3:22 2 and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven:

Luke chapter 1 verses 39-41: And Mary rose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda; And entered into the house of Zacharias and saluted Elisabeth. And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost.

(Genesis 1:2) – from beginning of time - 1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

"But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Paraclete (advocate) shall not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you." John 16:7 also John 16: 12-14 and a number of other passages.

Jesus also mentioned as parakletos 1 John 2:1 Jesus is a parakletos (advocate), serving as a heavenly intercessor with the Father.

"And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Paraclete, ["Paraclete" (Parakletos, Advocate, Comforter, Helper)] that he may abide with you into the age (to come)."John 14:16

John 1:20-24 20He did not refuse to confess, but openly declared, “I am not the Christ.” 21“Then who are you?” they inquired. “Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” 22So they said to him, “Who are you? We need an answer for those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” 23John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet: “I am the voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord.’” 24Then the Pharisees who had been sent 25asked him, “Why then do you baptize, if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?”… "2 Peter 1:21" - For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit; “John 15:26" - When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father—the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father—he will testify about me”. “Ephesians 4:30" - And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. “Acts 4:31" - After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly. "John 16:13" Howbeit when he, the Spirit of Truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth; for he shall not speak of himself; but what so ever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come." John chapter 16: verses 7-8: “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. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.”

  • This question should be migrated to Biblical Hermeneutics SX – Dottard Feb 25 at 23:28
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The Holy Spirit. along with the Father and Son, possesses every attribute of God. He, like them, is omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent, immutable, and so much more.

As with the Son, however, the role of the Holy Spirit in salvation history has changed. He has not changed, but his role changed, ever since God chose to involve himself in the affairs of his creatures, particularly the human species, who bear his image. That is because prior to God's creative work, there was no such thing as history. God's plan of salvation existed from eternity in the eternal counsels of God.

Once the infinite and eternal God chose to enact salvation's plan (which was in God's mind a fait accompli!), he identified with his creatures in their finitude and their history over time, from the beginning to the very end, from

"In the beginning God" (Genesis 1:1)

to

"a new heaven and a new earth” (Revelation 21:1);

from an eternal kingdom which appeared in time to a kingdom which will extend into eternity; when

"the kingdoms of this world have become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever" (Revelation 11:15).

All this to say, Christians should not be surprised that the Holy Spirit's involvement in the outworking of God's plan of salvation is a bit mysterious.

Prior to his coming in power on the day of Pentecost, when

Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting [, and t]hey saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them [, and a]ll of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them (Acts 2:2-4),

the Holy Spirit's presence and power were manifest primarily through a chosen few who were temporally led and filled by the Spirit primarily in their roles as prophets, priests, and kings. Moreover, through a group even fewer in number, God's Spirit breathed out God's eternal written word (see 2 Peter 1:20-21, and 2 Timothy 3:16).

Only with the coming of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost did he thereafter come to indwell God's chosen ones forever. Heretofore, the Spirit came upon people intermittently to accomplish what they could not accomplish in their own strength.

Often, that manifestation of the Holy Spirit involved miracles: from making a donkey able to talk (Numbers 22:18), to raising people from the dead (e.g., 1 Kings 17:17 ff.); from forth-telling God's word with exactitude (e.g., 1 Kings 17:14--"thus saith the LORD"), to foretelling God's word in exquisite detail (e.g., Isaiah 7:14; 9:6; and 53:1 ff.)

With his coming on Pentecost, true believers in Jesus Christ were regenerated and then baptized into the body of Christ (see Titus 3:4b-7). Jesus foretold of this recurring phenomenon to his disciples during Passion Week as a way to prepare them for his imminent--yet temporary--departure from Earth (John 14 and 16, passim).

In conclusion, the personhood of the Holy Spirit has been and will be the same from eternity past to eternity future. In helping to bring to pass the will of God, he adapted his methodology to temporal situations, but always according to an unchanging theology. Christians for centuries have taken their cues from the Holy Spirit as they are led by him to change and adapt their methodology in performing God's kingdom work here on earth. They also need, however, regardless of methods, to be in agreement with the Holy Spirit's goal of magnifying the person and work of their God and Savior, Jesus Christ, to the glory of God (e.g., John 16:15).

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  • (+1). Very edifying. Your labour appreciated. – Nigel J Feb 25 at 22:18
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    @NigelJ: Thanks for the encouragement, Nigel! Don – rhetorician Feb 26 at 4:59
  • I agree with NigelJ - @rhetorician has done a great job here. – Dottard Feb 26 at 9:04
  • @rhetorician thank you for your detailed answer, the content has been noted. However, this does not really answer the question. The Holy Spirit has been here from the beginning, John 16:7 and others talk about someone to come. Also says Paraclete / advocate / comforter / helper a person not the Holy Spirit. The spirit will be given to the advocate. Luke and Genesis 1:2 – clearly the Holy Spirit / spirit of God is already here from the beginning and while Jesus is here, not someone to come. Your quotes re-affirm that the holy spirit was already here. cont... – another theory Feb 26 at 10:55
  • There is no issue with the Holy Spirit - Acts 2:2-4, 2 Peter 1:20-21 & 2 Timothy 3:16 & others only confirm that the Holy Spirit is already present and some are guided/given the holy spirit. This is precisely what Jesus appears to be saying in John, that the spirit will be given to an advocate to come. This also fits with John 1:20-24 'art thou that prophet' added to body. John 16:7 clearly says ‘the helper is yet to come’, talking about an advocate / person holy spirit already here and part and parcel of God / Jesus / son of man. – another theory Feb 26 at 11:02
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Thank you for your question. In researching for an answer I learned some quite interesting things. For example I learned that in your referenced Scriptures there were two separate comforters. The first being the reincarnate Christ and the other being The Holy Spirit. In the following paragraphs I reference Scriptures that lead me to that conclusion.

John 14:16 through 20 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. John 14:19 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.

Here we see that Jesus is referring to himself after he has conquered death by sacrificing himself as the son of man (or his human body) as sacrifice for the sins of the World. All sin for all time. We sere here that Jesus plans to pray to the father to send another comforter. He describes this other comforter as the Spirit of truth. He further identifies this other comforter as ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you (now that he has given them the truth it is a part of them forever). this is further elaborated in the following Scripture.

John 10:36 through 38 Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God? If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him.

He further explains in:

John 14:19 and 20 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.

Here he tells us that in Eternity our spirits will combine with his.

John 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

This comforter unlike the Spirit of truth serves a different mission. His function is to educate and cause them to remember the things that Jesus taught them while here on Earth.

These are my conclusions from carefully studying those scriptures and in reference to some of my reference materials, such as David Guzik, F.B.Meyer and others.

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  • Thank you for your detailed response and your effort and that of rhetorician, much appreciated. It appears there is an issue about interpretation of ‘Holy spirit’ ‘spirit of truth’ and ‘comforter’. From the way I read it ‘holy spirit’ & ‘spirit of truth’ is something given to someone to go towards God (truth, strength, belief) which has been there from the beginning & comforter a person / prophet sent who will be given the ‘spirit of truth’. ‘To come after’ and ‘will not come until I leave’ are clearly talking about someone other than Jesus. cont... – another theory Feb 27 at 11:43
  • A comforter as a person with the spirit of truth. There are many more verses, but a few; Acts 5:32 We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him. see also added to the body - 2 Peter 1:21; John 15:26; Ephesians 4:30; Acts 4:31; John 16:13. John 16:7-8 – another theory Feb 27 at 11:46
  • should have added @BYE - doesn't seem to be letting me added @ at the beginning – another theory Feb 27 at 12:03
  • @another theory - That's because any comment you post to a person who has answered your question automatically gets seen by same person. I've added @ here to ensure the comment gets flagged up in your C.Stack in-box. Good question, bye the way! – Lesley Feb 27 at 17:59
  • @lesley thank you much appreciated, i wasn't sure if I was adding to many verses as there are so many. – another theory Feb 28 at 9:53

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