As Derek Prince taught about the reality of the Holy Spirit, he said, “I’m always staggered by that thought that God Himself, the infinite God, the Creator of the entire universe, wants to dwell in the physical body of each believer.” Find out today how to become extremely bold and experience miracles as that truth becomes a reality.
It’s good to be with you again as we continue with our theme for this week, “The Holy Spirit in You.”
In my talk yesterday I described the outworking of Christ’s promise to His disciples that after He returned to heaven He would send the Holy Spirit to them to be their indwelling personal paraclete, and you remember we looked at various possible translations of that word paraclete: comforter, helper, counselor, and so on. And in my talk yesterday we looked at the two main phases in the outworking of this promise that the Holy Spirit was going to come to be with the disciples forever. We compared and we also contrasted the two great Sundays: the Resurrection Sunday, Easter Sunday, with the resurrected Christ and the inbreathed Spirit that made them a new creation, that carried them over out of the old order into the new creation, that gave them New Testament salvation in its fullness. Then the second Sunday: the Pentecost Sunday, and there we have the glorified Christ, ascended and glorified at the right hand of the Father and the outpoured Spirit, the Spirit poured out without measure, totally released upon earth.
Let me just put those two side by side again for you: Easter Sunday, the resurrected Christ and the inbreathed Spirit; Pentecost Sunday, the glorified Christ and the outpoured Spirit. And let me remind you that each of those is a pattern for all believers to follow. God wants us to enter through similar experiences: the inbreathed Spirit and also the outpoured Spirit.
As a result of what took place on the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit is now the resident personal representative of the Godhead here on earth. The Father is in heaven, the Son is in heaven at the Father’s right hand. But the Holy Spirit is personally resident on earth. And His dwelling place, the Scripture presents a twofold picture of the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit. First of all, He indwells the church, the corporate body of Christ; but second, it’s also God’s purpose that He indwell the body of each individual believer. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 6:19:
“Don’t you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit?”
I’m always staggered by that thought, that God Himself, the infinite God, the Creator of the entire universe, wants to dwell in the physical body of each believer.
Now today I’m going to explain what it means for us, practically, that the Holy Spirit has come to be our paraclete. We’ll begin by looking again at the passage where Jesus gave this specific promise. The passage is John 14:16-18. Jesus says:
“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor [paraclete] to be with you forever, the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. [You see that this a promise only for believers, it’s not for the world. And then Jesus concludes:] I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.”
Let me say a little bit more in explanation of that word paraclete, which is such a significant and important word. It’s a word from a Greek source—in fact, the word paraclete is just writing it over in English letters, and it means literally, “someone who’s called in alongside [that’s paraclete] to help you.” To do something for you that you can’t do for yourself. Interestingly, the same word is used in the first epistle of John, chapter 2 and verse 1, where John says this:
“My little children, I am writing these things to you that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.”
That word “advocate” is the same word paraclete. If, by any chance you’re familiar with the Latin language, the word “advocate” is derived from Latin and it means, “somebody called in.” Ad = to, vocata = called, ad vocatus, somebody called in. Interestingly, in almost all the languages in the world today derived from Latin, that word “advocate” in its particular form is the word for a lawyer. Well, we have it in Arabic, an abocad; avoca in French and many of the Romance languages. So it’s a very interesting word. It means someone who speaks in our defense. I think we all know what an advocate or an attorney or a lawyer is in contemporary culture.
So, look at the beautiful picture that the Scripture unfolds, we have two advocates. On earth, the Holy Spirit pleads our cause, the things that we can’t say right He says for us, the things that we don’t understand He interprets for us. And then in heaven, Jesus is our Advocate with the Father, He pleads our cause. So just think, we have the two greatest Advocates in the universe. We have Jesus Christ the Son at the Father’s right hand and we have the Holy Spirit on earth. My comment on that is with two such advocates or attorneys, how could we ever lose the case?
Now, let me go on a little further and just amplify a little what Jesus said about this advocate, this paraclete, this attorney, this comforter, this counselor, this helper. We almost run out of words trying to explain what He really is. Let me go back to John 14:16-18 and comment on some of the things that Jesus said. He said the Father will give you another Counselor. You have to understand the importance of that word “another.” As I’ve already said earlier, it indicates a person. Jesus said, “I’m a person. I’m going away. When I go, another person will come. Another helper. I’ve been your helper while I was here but now I’m leaving, but you’re not going to be left without a helper, there’ll be another helper that will come.”
And then He says, “He will stay with you forever.” Again, there’s a contrast. He said, “I’ve been with you three and a half years, I’m leaving you. But don’t be heartbroken because there’s someone else coming in my place and He’ll never leave you. He’ll be with you forever.”
And then He says, “He lives with you and will be in you.” There’s importance in that phrase “in you.” This advocate, this paraclete, this comforter, He’s going to live in us. As I’ve said already, we’re going to be His resident address.
And then Jesus said, “I will not leave you orphans.” By implication, if He’d gone away and made no provision for them, they would have been left like orphans, without anybody to care for them or to help them or to explain things to them.
And finally He said, “I will not leave you orphans. I will come to you.” That’s very important. Christ comes back to His disciples in the Holy Spirit. You see, while He was on earth in His body, He could only be in one place at one time, He could only be talking to Peter or to John or to Mary Magdalene but He couldn’t be talking to all three of them a different conversation at the same time. He was limited by time and space. But now when He comes back to His people in the Holy Spirit, He’s free from the limitations of time and space. He can be in Australia, talking to a child of God in need there; He can be in the United States anointing a preacher; He can be somewhere in the deserts or the jungles of Africa, strengthening or healing some missionary. He’s not limited. So, He’s come back, but He’s come back unlimited, no longer subject to the limitations of time or space.
I want to dwell just a little further on this theme of the exchange of persons—one person going, another person coming. It’s so important that we see it. In John 16:5-7, this is what Jesus says:
“Now I am going to him who sent me [that’s the Father], yet none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ Because I have said these things, you are filled with grief. But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you [the comforter]; but if I go, I will send him to you.”
That’s very clear language. “As long as I’m with you, in person, on earth,” Jesus says, “the Holy Spirit has to stay in heaven, as a person. But if I go away as a person, then in My place I’ll send another person, the Holy Spirit.” So you see, it’s an exchange of divine persons. For awhile the Son as a person was on earth; then He went back to heaven with His ministry complete and in His place, the Holy Spirit came, another divine person, to complete the ministry that Jesus had begun.
And Jesus said, “It’s for your good that I’m going away.” Another version says, “It is expedient for you.” This is an amazing statement. I want you to listen carefully. We are better off with Jesus in heaven and the Holy Spirit on earth than we would be with Jesus on earth and the Holy Spirit in heaven. Few people realize that. Christians are always saying, “If only I could have lived in the days when Jesus was on earth.” But Jesus says, “You’re better off now. When I’m in heaven and the Holy Spirit is on earth, you have more now than you would have had then.”
Let me interpret this in the light of the experience of the first disciples themselves. Let’s notice what happened immediately after the Holy Spirit came. I would say there were three immediate results. First of all, they understood the plan of God and the ministry of Jesus far better than they’d ever understood it while Jesus was on earth. It’s a remarkable fact they were very slow and very limited in their understanding, but the moment the Holy Spirit came, they had a totally different understanding of the ministry and the message of Jesus.
Secondly, they became extremely bold. Even after the resurrection they still hid away behind locked doors for fear of the Jews. They weren’t willing to stand up and preach and proclaim the truth. They weren’t equipped. The moment the Holy Spirit came, that changed. Peter stood up and boldly and straightforwardly told the Jewish people in Jerusalem the whole story of Jesus and laid at their door the guilt of His crucifixion.
And then thirdly, they have supernatural attestations. The moment the Holy Spirit came, miracles began to take place. It was just like Jesus being back with them in person. And that’s what it really was, for Jesus said, “When the Holy Spirit comes, I’ll come back in Him. I will be with you. I will not leave you as orphans.”
Well, our time is up for today. I’ll be back with you again tomorrow at this time. Tomorrow I’ll be speaking about specific ways in which the Holy Spirit helps us.