We've quoted some verses that speak of the Comforter which we believe refers to the Holy Spirit. But some have said that rather then the Comforter, or Holy Spirit, being a third being in the heavenly Godhead, is actually Jesus Christ himself. Those who believe this should consider the following two points:
If Jesus is that Comforter (the Holy Spirit) which was promised to come:
Point 1: Then Jesus is not mediating in the Most Holy Place of the heavenly Sanctuary.
This effects both Adventists and non Adventists alike, whether you believe Jesus entered into the heavenly sanctuary in 1844 or before. (We don't believe it was before. See our bible proof for this in our article The phrase within the vail in Hebrews 6:19).
Now why do we make this claim? Because Jesus said the comforter would come when he leaves (John 14:26). We know the comforter was to stay with us, bearing witness with our spirits that we are the children of God (Romans 8:16) and helping us to manifest the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). If Jesus were here on earth, then he could not be a High Priest:
(4) For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law.
And if Jesus were not a Priest because he is here on the earth, then we have no advocate, mediator, which means there if no forgiveness of sins (1 John 2:1). And if there is no forgiveness of sins, we will all die in our sins. See how dangerous this belief really is?
Point 2: Then Jesus is divided into two, body and Spirit.
In order to refute the first point, my opponents claim that Jesus is both in heaven and on earth. In heaven in body, and on earth as a spirit. This is also very dangerous. The bible teaches we are not divided into two or three conscience parts, body, soul and spirit. The bible clearly states that the body is the soul:
(7) And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
See, we were not given a soul, we became one. The spirit that was given to us was simply the "breath" of God. Note this text:
(4) His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.
When one dies, the spirit goes to God who gave it. Rather then the conscience of this individual continuing on into eternity, his thoughts "perish" and will return only when Jesus resurrects the dead. This is similar to when Jesus resurrected the young girl:
(55) And her spirit came again, and she arose straightway: and he commanded to give her meat.
As with Lazarus, there is no indication of these recounting what they experienced in heaven, nor did they show any emotions as to why they were brought back down from above.
Now Jesus, when he became a man, he was also made the same way, for he was in every way like unto us:
(14) Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil.
His spirit, as with the young girl, also returned unto God when he died:
(30) When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.
This is the biblical doctrine called "soul sleep" or "the state of the dead" which is vigorously defended and taught in both Seventh Day Adventist and other denominational circles (see our study: The Achilles Heel of the Eternal Torment Doctrine).
If Jesus was not really "made like unto his brethren," meaning that he is a living Soul like we are, and not a body and soul or spirit, then this too will remove him from being our High Priest:
(17) Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that (Greek: for this purpose) he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.
If our opponents respond in this manner, they will remove him from being our High Priest, and from making "reconciliation" for their sins. They will die lost! Not only that, but they would invite Spiritualism into our midst by claiming that there is a conscience spirit apart from the body.
Since Jesus was made like unto us, then he is not divided into two parts, he is, as we are, a living Soul. He is either in heaven mediating on our behalf, or here on earth. And if here on earth, then we might as well eat, drink and be merry... for tomorrow we die.
Furthermore, if Jesus is the Holy Spirit, then the following verse would contradict itself:
(32) And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.
Let's for a moment say that Jesus is the promised Holy Spirit. Let's rewrite this verse again, but this time with "Son of man" replaced with Holy Ghost:
(32) And whosoever speaketh a word against the Holy Ghost, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.
Does this make any sense to our critics???
Our opposing friends and brethren should seriously consider this idea of theirs, for if they are right, we are all, Adventist or not, in big trouble, for not only is Jesus not mediating on our behalf, he also has a problem with contradicting himself.
Let's find out who the Comforter really is:
(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 is so plain a 12 year old could see this. Who is the Comforter? Jesus said it's the Holy Ghost. Some tell us that because of verse 18, it would be Jesus who would come unto them; therefore, he is the Holy Ghost. Well, the Father was to come to them also (see John 14:23), is he the Holy Ghost also?
Why did Jesus say that he and the Father would be with them after he left? Because the Holy Spirit would represent them!
"But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name..." -verse 26
And heres a quote for my Adventist friends:
"The Lord Jesus acts through the Holy Spirit; for it is His representative." -Messages to Young People, 55.
If I can't make it to my appointment with bank company so and so, I will send my associate in my name. He is perfectly eligible to go in my place and conduct the meeting for me. He is not me... rather he represents me. Simple. Also, my associate will not speak his own words. I will direct him in what to say. Everything I have taught him, he will speak:
"... he shall teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you... he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you" -verse 26 continued, and John 16:14.
Once again, my associate is not me... he is another banker:
(16) And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever.
The word "another" is the Greek word "allos" which means "else, different." Just as my associate is someone else and a different person, yet he also is a banker, so the Holy Spirit is someone else, different, and separate from Christ, yet he is also, as is Christ, a Comforter. Even the Father is a Comforter (see Psalm 23:4, Isaiah 40:1)
One gentleman tried to twist this word "another" this way. He showed me a text in 1 Samuel which says that Saul would be turned into another man, then said "see, Soul is not another man, he was always the same." This is the verse:
1 Samuel 10:6
(6) And the Spirit of the LORD will come upon thee, and thou shalt prophesy with them, and shalt be turned into another man.
But when we read this in its proper context, we get "another" picture. The previous chapter tells us that Saul was simply a rich man's son (verse 1). But in verse 1 of the 10th chapter, God through Samuel promises to make Saul a different man, one who is "captain over his inheritance." If we then read down the context, verse 9 says that the Spirit of God would make him another man, and verse 9 says that to Saul was given "another heart." The words "another man" and "another heart" parallel. When it reads that he would become another man, it meant his heart which be changed to minding the things of this world to minding and working for the things of God. He would go from being a rich mans son, to becoming the spiritual leader of the kingdom of almighty God. He indeed became a different person that day!
Now back to the gospel of John, notice this about the coming Comforter (Holy Ghost):
(14) He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.
Here the Comforter would glorify Christ. This means that if Jesus is the Comforter, that he would glorify himself. But this is a problem:
(50) And I seek not mine own glory: there is one that seeketh and judgeth.
Jesus does not glorify himself! If he were the Comforter, then we have another contradiction. That would mean he contradicted himself at least twice.
Let's gather the problems caused by our opponents:
(1) Jesus is no longer mediator
(2) Jesus did not really come in the same flesh as us. Thus plan of redemption destroyed.
(3) Jesus double talks. Causes confusion saying someone "else" would come, then saying he's coming. God is not the author of confusion.
(4) Jesus contradicts himself at least twice.
Yet, if we would just take the time to try to understand the "unity" in the mighty Godhead, we would see that this very unity is the reason why Jesus spoke the way he did. God "sent" Jesus. Jesus would "send" the Holy Spirit in his name. Jesus brings forth "fruit" from within his people (John 15:5), the Holy Spirit brings forth fruit (Galatians 5:22). Both Jesus and the Father would come to their people (John 14:23) and so will the Holy Spirit (verse 26). God is a God of judgement, the bible speaks of the Spirit of judgment (Isaiah 4:4). See, they are all three united for the salvation of mankind, and thus they can be interchangeable in their work for us.
Why then does Jesus speak of the coming Comforter, yet we know he is also our Comforter? This is very simple. Notice the following:
(26) Likewise the spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession (pleading) for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
Here the "spirit" pleads for the people of God. He makes "intercession" for us, and helps us in our infirmities, which provides comfort. But notice this next verse in this came chapter:
(34) Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
Verse 34 tells us that Christ "also" makes intercession for us. See, both intercede, and both provide comfort. This is why they both can hold the same title, because although they are separate, they both work in unity. Both intercede, thereby providing for us comfort. But the Holy Spirit is still a distinct person:
“The Holy Spirit is the Comforter, in Christ’s name. He [the Holy Spirit] personifies Christ, yet is a distinct personality.” -Manuscript Releases, vol. 20, 324
We've learned much about the Holy Spirit, and have thus far determined that he is indeed a separate being, equal with the Father and his Son, and united with them in every sense of the word, especially for the salvation of man. But the question about our Lord Jesus remains. Who was he really? Let's find out.
Did Jesus have a beginning? Is he divine?