Jerry C. Brewer
Gospel Minutes (GM) is a weekly mainstream periodical that has a reputation among churches of Christ as a source of sound teaching—a reputation that is not deserved. For years, the editors of Gospel Minutes have teetered between truth and error, and misusing and misapplying Scriptures to fit their theories, while mainstream churches pass out hundreds of copies each week to gullible members.
The current co-editor, David Thurman, is no exception. The following question was printed in Gospel Minutes Oct. 4, 2019: “Dear Mr. Thurman: Please explain John 14:16. Who is this other comforter? I thought Jesus was and is our comforter. J.T. AZ”
I will let Jesus answer this question directly. “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you” (John 14:16-17 NASB). Jesus has just told the apostles that He would soon leave them (John 13:33, 36) and they were upset by the news (John 14:1). To relieve their fears, He promised them the Holy Spirit to be the comfort and helper in His absence.
This same Spirit is promised to all who are saved. “Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit’” (Acts 2:38). Every person saved has this comforter (the Holy Spirit) within. The Spirit lives in us giving us comfort and encouragement while we await our eternal home in the presence of God and Jesus. Jesus did not want to leave His apostles (and all others who were saved) alone in this world. So, He promised a comforter (the Holy Spirit) to be within us to give us peace and confidence as we navigate the Christian life.
With apologies to John F. Rowe, “So much sophistry in so small a space we have not, in a long time, seen in a sectarian sheet of the deepest dye.” Whether brethren are absolutely ignorant, have no desire to learn the truth, are simply too lazy to study, or merely regurgitate Pentecostal doctrine is a question not easily answered. Whatever the cause, David Thurman teaches false doctrine in Gospel Minutes.
Thurman couples Peter’s promise in Acts 2:28—“the gift of the Holy Spirit”—with Jesus’ promise to His apostles in John 13 and 14. Neither promise was made to mankind in general. Both promises have been treated elsewhere in this work, so, suffice it to say that both refer to the miraculous. The Comforter was the Holy Spirit Who imparted power to the apostles on Pentecost (cf. Mark 9:1; Luke 24:49; Acts 1:8; 2:1-4) and “the gift of the Holy Spirit” is not “a comforter (the Holy Spirit) to be within us to give us peace and confidence…” The gift of the Holy Spirit was miraculous power imparted to Christians in the first century by the laying of an apostle’s hands. What Peter quoted from Joel (Acts 2:17-21, cf. Joel 2:28-32) was miraculous power and that was never given to “every person saved”—then or now.