The Mission Of The Holy Spirit

Jerry C. Brewer

If one has a proper understanding of the mission of the Holy Spirit, he is less likely to embrace the errors about the third person of the Godhead that began in Pentecostalism and have become transdenominational today. The 14th through the 16th chapters of John contain Jesus’ last discourse to his apostles before he was crucified. In that discourse, he spoke of the mission of the Holy Spirit on earth after his own departure from them. Jesus promised them “another Comforter” (John 14:16, saying he would not leave them “comfortless” (John 14:18), and declaring the purpose or mission of the Holy Spirit when he came. That mission was singular—revelation of all truth.“Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he shall guide you into all truth” (John 16:13). The Holy Spirit’s mission was accomplished in a two-fold function—revealing and reminding. “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” (John 14:26).

The word that is translated “Comforter” (paracletos) has no English equivalent. It is defined as, “one called to assist another; one who pleads the cause of another; an instructor; a guide; a helper; a supporter.” Applied to the Holy Spirit, this word has exclusive reference to his relationship to the apostles and not to the world in general. It is used only four times in all of the New Testament (John 14-16) and all four times it refers to the Holy Spirit’s work through the apostles of Jesus Christ. The word indicated a personal guide for the apostles to do, in Christ’s absence, what Christ did for them in person.

While Jesus began to reveal the will of God to man (Acts 1:1), he did not reveal everything necessary for us to know. That work was left to the Holy Spirit (“Comforter”) to accomplish through the apostles. Jesus said he had many things to say, but before he ascended his apostles were not “able to bear them” (John 16:12). But he said the Holy Spirit would come to them and “guide you into all truth” (John 16:13).

 It was impossible for man to know the mind of God unless God revealed it (Jer. 10:23; 1 Cor. 2:14). The revelation of God’s will to man necessitated revelation, revelation required inspiration, and inspiration required a direct action of the Holy Spirit upon man, which included miraculous confirmation of their word. That was the mission of the Holy Spirit—to inspire the apostles to know the whole will of God. When that work was done revelation, inspiration and confirmation all ended. God has revealed his will for all time (Jude 3). Thus revelation, inspiration and confirmation have all ceased.

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