Are there two Advocates or One? Paraclete – John 14:26

 

John 14:26 calls the Holy Spirit the “Paraclete” (advocate / intercessor) in the singular while 1 John 2:1 and John 14:16-18 calls Jesus the “Paraclete” (advocate / intercessor) in the singular. While it is easy to see how Christ Jesus as a man can be called our “advocate” who “intercedes for us” (Romans 8:34), it is hard to see how an alleged non-incarnate God the Holy Spirit Person would be able to be a second “advocate” and “intercessor” for us after Jesus. For how could a coequal true God Person called God the Holy Spirit “intercede” to God while remaining the highest authority Himself? Hence, the only way for the Holy Spirit to be a “paraclete” as an “advocate” and “intercessor” is if the Holy Spirit is “the Spirit of Christ” (Rom. 8:9) Jesus as God’s own Spirit who became a man via the virgin conception and birth.

 

“But the Advocate (Paraclete), the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” John 14:26

 

“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate (Paraclete) to help you and 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. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” John 14:16-18

 

Who else but Jesus lived with the disciples, but would later be in the disciples as “the Spirit of truth” who “advocates” and “intercedes for us?” 

 

Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.”

 

“… we have an Advocate (Paraclete) with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” 1 John 2:1

 

Here we find that Jesus and the Holy Spirit are called One Advocate in the singular because the indwelling Holy Spirit is “the Spirit of Christ” who is our “advocate” and “intercessor” to God the Father. For “Paraclete” in Greek always appears in the singular form (meaning one individual) when referencing the indwelling Spirit. If inspired scripture meant more than one “paraclete” as two persons, then the Greek word “Parakletoi” (meaning “advocates”) in the plural form should have been utilized in scripture rather than “paraclete” in the singular.

 

Thayer's Greek Lexicon Defines the Greek Noun “Paraclete.”

 

1. One who pleads another's cause before a judge, a pleader, counsel for defence, legal assistant; an advocate.

2. Universally, one who pleads another's cause with one, an intercessor.

3. In the widest sense, a helper, succorer, aider, assistant;

 

William Barclay cited a second usage of ‘Paraclete’ transliterated from the Greek in the Targum version of Job 33:23. Elihu, in his attempt to comfort Job, describes a man desperately ill and approaching death, “the pit”. “Yet”, he goes on, “if there is an angel as mediator (parakletos) for him.” The Targum used the Greek word “Paraclete” for a “mediator.”

 

Under Paraclete, Thayer’s Lexicon says, “The Targums and Talmud borrow the Greek words פְּרַקְלִיט and פְּרַקְלִיטָא and use them of any intercessor, defender, or advocate; cf. Baxtorf, Lex. Talm., p. 1843 ((edited by Fischer, p. 916)); so (the) Targum on Job 33:23 for מֵלִיץ מַלְאָך, says an angel that pleads man's cause with God; (cf. πλουσίων παρακλητοι [Paraclete] …)”

 

The Targum used Paraclete in Job 33:23 for an angel that pleads man’s cause with God.

 

“If there is an angel as mediator for him …” Job 33:23 NASB

 

The ESV, ISV, and HCSB all say “mediate” or “mediator” in Job 33:23. Here we can see that “Paraclete” which most literally means an “advocate” and “intercessor” also conveys the idea of one serving as a mediator on the behalf of humanity. Since scripture teaches that there is only “one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,” the Holy Spirit must be the same “Spirit of Christ” (Romans 8:9) who is the Divine Spirit who became incarnate as “the man Christ Jesus.”  Therefore, Jesus must be “the Spirit” (2 Cor. 3:17, “the Lord is the Spirit”) called the indwelling Holy Spirit who “makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God” (Rom. 8:26-27).

 

1 Timothy 2:5 says, “For there is one God, and ONE MEDIATOR also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.”

 

Just like “Paraclete” is in the singular form for the one who serves as our “Advocate” and “Intercessor,” so “Mediator” appears in the singular form to show that there is only One who serves as Mediator between God and men, “the man Christ Jesus.” Since John 14:26 identifies the Holy Spirit as our Paraclete (Advocate, Intercessor, Mediator) in the singular, and since 1 John 2:1 and John 14:16-18 identify Jesus as our Paraclete (Advocate, Intercessor, Mediator) in the singular, we know that Jesus must be the Holy Spirit as “the Spirit of truth” who lived with the disciples in the flesh but would later come into the disciples as the indwelling Holy Spirit of truth.

 

Luke 1:35 and Matthew 1:20 inform us that it was the Holy Spirit of God Himself who became incarnate in the virgin to become a man. Thus, Jesus is the “substance of Being” of the Holy Spirit of the Father who became the man Christ Jesus as our “advocate,” “intercessor,” and “mediator” in order to save lost humanity. For God as God cannot advocate, intercede, or mediate for anyone as He is the Highest Authority. Hence, only God with us as a man in the incarnation through the virgin can advocate, intercede, and mediate on the behalf of humanity because the true humanity of Jesus is subordinate to God as God outside of the incarnation as the Father.  

 

How Can The Holy Spirit Be The Spirit of Jesus?

 

“The angel answered and said to her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God.’” Luke 1:35

 

Inspired scripture informs us that the Holy Spirit of the only true God came upon the virgin Mary to supernaturally conceive the Christ child. It was “for that reason” that the holy Christ child would “be called the Son of God.” Therefore the Son is not called “the Son of God” because of an alleged timeless existence as a Heavenly Son. The Son is called “the Son of God” because the Holy Spirit became incarnate in the virgin as a true child born and son given on earth as a true man. 

 

Not a single verse in the Bible ever says that an alleged pre-incarnate Son came upon the virgin to supernaturally conceive the Christ child. Luke 1:35 proves that the Holy Spirit was the Spirit of the only true God (John 17:3) who “was manifested in the flesh, justified in THE SPIRIT” according to 1 Timothy 3:16. 

 

“… an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of (prep. “eis” = “out of”) the Holy Spirit.” Matthew 1:20

 

The Christ child was not conceived “out of” (prep. “eis” = “out of”) Joseph or “out of” some other man, as baby Jesus was supernaturally “conceived” in Mary “out of the Holy Spirit.” Here we find that the Holy Spirit of God is the Messiah’s Father which helps us understand why Jesus always prayed to the Divine Spirit as his Father rather than to two alleged divine God Persons (the Holy Spirit and the Father). Therefore the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God the Father who came down from heaven (John 6:38, Jesus said, “I came down from heaven”) to reproduce an image of His own Divine Person as a true human person (Heb. 1:3, “the brightness of His glory and the express image of His Person”; Col. 1:15, “the image of the invisible God”).

 

“There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.” Ephesians 4:4-6

 

The “One Spirit” of “One Lord” is that Spirit of the “One God and Father of all who is above all, and through all, and in all.” Therefore the Holy Spirit must be the same Spirit of the only true God the Father (John 17:3) who later became a true child born and son given (Isaiah 9:6) via virgin conception and birth.

 

When God the Father’s Holy Spirit became a man through the virgin in the incarnation, His “substance of Being” (hypostasis – Heb. 1:3) was “reproduced” (charakter – Heb. 1:3) in order to be united with a fully complete human nature as one person called the Messiah with only one personality, not two. This explains why the Holy Spirit and Jesus are both called “the Paraclete” in the singular rather than the “Paracletes” in the plural.

 

It is impossible for two alleged divine Persons to be two Persons while being only One Advocate and Intercessor (Paraclete). John 14:26 proves that the Holy Spirit is the Paraclete (Advocate / Intercessor), while 1 John 2:1 and John 14:16-18 proves that Jesus is the Paraclete (Advocate / Intercessor). Since “Paraclete” (meaning Advocate) always appears in the singular for Christ and the Holy Spirit, we know that the Holy Spirit has to be the same “Paraclete” (Advocate) as the singular Person called Christ; for Christ and the Holy Spirit are spoken of as One Paraclete (One Advocate / Intercessor).

 

John 14:16-18 NIV, “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate (Paraclete) to help you and 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. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.”

 

The context of John 14:16-18 proves that “another” (allos) “Advocate” is the same “Spirit of truth” who lived with his disciples as Jesus in the flesh, but that Jesus would return in a “different” or “other” manifestation as the new indwelling Advocate when he said, “I will not leave you as orphans, I will come to you.”

 

The Greek adjective “allos” simply means “other, another, or different.” John 14:16 does not say that the Holy Spirit is "another" person. In Matthew 13:24 Jesus presented another (allos) parable. Matthew 2:12 says “the magi left for their own country by another (allos) way.” Matthew 13:5 says “Others (allos) fell on the rocky” soil. Hence, the Greek adjective “allos” can mean a “different” or “another” anything, such as a different “manifestation.” Therefore “allos” does not necessitate another person in John 14:26.

 

Jesus existed with the disciples as the Paraclete (advocate and intercessor) in the flesh, but he promised to be the indwelling Paraclete (Advocate) in “another” (or “different”) manifestation as the indwelling Holy Spirit.

 

1 John 2:1 NIV, “… we have an Advocate (Paraclete) with the Father--Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.”


John 14:26 NIV, “But the Advocate (Paraclete), the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”

 

Do we have two Advocates as Intercessors who mediate between God and men, or one? Inspired scripture informs us that there is only “one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus (1 Tim. 2:5).”

 

Romans 8:26 says that the Holy Spirit intercedes to God, but Romans 8:9 and Romans 8:34 prove that that Holy Spirit is “the Spirit of Christ” who “intercedes for us.”

 

“But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is not his.” Romans 8:9

 

The Spirit is described as our ‘advocate’ and ‘intercessor’ in John 14:26 just as Romans 8:26-27 says that “the Spirit Himself intercedes for us.”

 

“In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself INTERCEDES for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He INTERCEDES for the saints according to the will of God (Rom. 8:26-27).”

 

The first ‘intercede’ in Romans 8:26 in Greek, is a double compound form of the verb, ‘huperentugchano’ (hoop-er-en-toong-khan'-o). ‘huper’ meaning ‘on behalf of’ – ‘entugchano’ meaning to ‘intercede’, ‘make petition’, or ‘supplication’, so that this idea of the Spirit as our advocate pleading for us is doubly emphasized.”

 

The second “intercede” as it appears in Romans 8:27 is entugchanó (en-toong-khan'-o) which most literally means to “intercede, make petition,” or “supplication.” The same exact Greek verb entugchano (en-toong-khan’-o) is used for Jesus making “intercession” for us in Romans 8:34 and in Hebrews 7:24-25.

 

“… who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes (entugchano) for us.” Romans 8:34

 

“… but JESUS, on the other hand, because He continues forever, holds His priesthood permanently. Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives TO MAKE INTERCESSION (entugchano) FOR THEM.” Heb. 7:24-25

 

How can Trinitarians believe in two “INTERCESSORS” who advocate and intercede to the Father as our One Paraclete while still being coequal with the Father? For how could an alleged non-incarnate God Holy Spirit Person advocate and intercede to God while still being coequal? Wherefore, the scriptures reveal that Jesus is the Spirit who intercedes to the Father (“the Lord is the Spirit” – 2 Cor. 3:17) rather than being two coequally distinct God Persons of a trinity.

 

John 14:26 says that the Holy Spirit is our Paraclete who “advocates” and “intercedes” to God for us while 1 John 2:1 and John 14:16-18 call Jesus our Paraclete who advocates and intercedes to God for us. Likewise, Romans 8:26-27 proves that the Holy Spirit is making intercession for the saints according to the will of God, but Romans 8:34 and Hebrews 7:24-25 prove that Jesus Christ is our only mediator between God and men who is making intercession to God on the behalf of humanity. 

 

Luke 1:35 and Matthew 1:20 proves that the Holy Spirit of the Father became a man through the Hebrew virgin. This explains why the Holy Spirit who became a man in the incarnation can now make “intercession for the saints according to the will of God” in Romans 8:27. Since the same Greek verb “entugchano” is used for both the Holy Spirit and Jesus making “intercession”, we know that the indwelling Spirit is the Spirit of the risen Christ who “intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.”

 

If the Holy Spirit is a coequally distinct God Person with the Father, then how can Trinitarians explain how both Jesus and the Holy Spirit as two coequally distinct God Persons can intercede for humanity to the Father? Can a non-incarnate coequally distinct God Person pray or intercede to God while being truly coequal? Wherefore, the only viable explanation which upholds the deity of Christ is that God’s Holy Spirit as the Father’s Spirit also became a man in the incarnation to save us.

 

Since Trinitarians, Arians, and Socinians believe that the Holy Spirit is not the same Person as the Son, only Oneness Theology brings harmony to all of the scriptural data. For the Holy Spirit of the only true God the Father also became a man in the incarnation. This explains how the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of the Son (via incarnation) who now advocates, intercedes, and mediates humanities case before the Father as the only mediator between God and men (1 Tim. 2:5)

 

Moreover, Revelation 1:17-19 proves that Jesus is the speaker to the seven churches in Asia Minor from Revelation 1:19 through Revelation 3:22.

 

Revelation 1:17-19 says, “When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man. And He placed His right hand on me, saying, Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades. Therefore write the things which you have seen …”

 

If you have a red letter edition Bible, you will notice that the words of Jesus Christ begin in Revelation chapter one and end in Revelation 3:22, where Jesus completes his words to the seven churches in Asia Minor by saying, “He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” Here Jesus identified Himself as “the Spirit” who spoke to the seven churches in Asia Minor. Therefore Jesus is the Holy Spirit of the Father Himself who also became a man in the incarnation through the virgin.

 

Trinitarians cannot allege that the Holy Spirit is a coequal non-incarnate God Person who somehow intercedes to God while still being coequal with Him. God as God is the Highest Authority. If a God Person as a true God Person intercedes to a higher authority then that so called God Person could not be coequal.

 

Wherefore, the only theological view that harmonizes with all of the scriptural data is Oneness Theology. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit who became the Christ child in the incarnation. That is why the Holy Spirit and Christ are called the “Paraclete” in the singular rather than the Paracletes in the plural. For two Persons as two Persons cannot be only One “Paraclete” as One “Advocate” and “Intercessor” to God the Father. Therefore, if God was really two other coequal God Persons as second and third Divine Persons of a Trinity, then God’s word should say “Paracletes” in the plural for the Son and the Holy Spirit rather than “Paraclete” in the singular.

 

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