“And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever – the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.”John 14:16-17
In John 14, Jesus made a promise to his disciples. There are numerous aspects to that promise, but our focus today is on: “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.” (v16, 17)
We need to first realize that the Holy Spirit is not an It, but a person. He is part of the triune godhead: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, each possessing particular ministries to us. Christ made the promise to his disciples that He would ask the Father and He, the Father, would send another Helper (of the same kind) who would be with them forever.
As a result of that promise, the disciples gathered and waited in anticipation of what would take place, when and how. When the day of Pentecost had come they experienced the fulfillment of that promise – the Holy Spirit descended on each one personally as a tongue of fire and they began to speak in tongues “as the spirit gave them utterance”. In the context we know this to be languages of the people.
Jesus had made a promise that was now being fulfilled and that would guarantee a continuation. All too sad is that we see the modern church depending on all types of gimetry to take over the ministry of the Holy Spirit, to convict and convince people of their need of the Savior. We have all types of programs to raise funds, to attract people to enter our services, to convince them to discover that we have the best to offer… and we discontinue our prayer meetings. I read somewhere in years gone by: “Fill the cup with incense, and load the altar with odorous wood, but fire is still needed to send out the fragrance… So the prayers, talents, genius, and other gifts need fire from above, before they can achieve results.”