II Thessalonians 4:16-18 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
The Greek word for comfort is parakaleo. Parakaleo comes from para meaning "near" and kaleo meaning "to call." 41 times in the new testatment it is translated "beseech" which is to lovingly beg. Over 20 times it is translated "comfort." It is also translated exhort, desire, entreat, and pray. Parakaleo means "to call to one's side in order to exhort or comfort."
The Greek word parakletos translated in the new testament as "comforter" or "advocate" comes from the same Greek words as parakaleo. The English word paraclete is transliterated from this Greek word which is used 5 times in the Bible. Four of these uses are found in the context of Jesus Christ's teaching the night of the Last Supper.
On the night that Jesus Christ was taken captive before his crucifixion he told his disciples that he would be leaving them and that God would be sending them "The Comforter" to take his place. This comforter (the holy spirit) would exhort and comfort them in his absence. But it would also do much more. Jesus Christ defined the role of the comforter in this teaching to his disciples.
John 14:16-17 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
Jesus Christ was leaving. The true spirit which the disciples had seen Jesus Christ operate in his ministry had been "with them" and would soon be "in them." This true spirit is described as "another comforter." Jesus Christ had been their counselor and teacher. He was leaving, but he was sending them another comforter which would not leave. The Greek word translated "another" is allos which means "another of the same quality." The true spirit that would be coming would comfort them the way Jesus Christ had comforted them and it would abide with them for ever.
John 14:26 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.
The paraclete is the holy spirit. As that which would take the place of the absent Christ, Jesus Christ promised that it would remind the disciples of the things that he had taught them while he was with them. That is "comfort!" That is "exhortation!" That is counseling!
John 15:26-27 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.
The paraclete would "bear witness" or "testify" of Christ. In Bible times Judeans would hire Roman advocates to speak for them in the Roman courts. This is another function of a paraclete. The holy spirit would act as an advocate and "bear witness" of the absent Christ. While they were alive the disciples that had spent time with Jesus could also witness of his walk and resurrection. However, God did not leave the witness to these men who would die. He gave the holy spirit which is a witness of the life of Jesus Christ even today.
John 16:7-14 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:...I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.
Not only would the holy spirit remind them of the things that Jesus Christ had taught during his ministry on earth, it would also teach them the things that he could not share with them prior to their new birth. It would reveal the great mystery. It would tell of the gathering together of the believers and the return of Christ. It would show them things to come.
The Paraclete (The Comforter) was sent on the day of Pentecost to take the place of the absent Christ.
The holy spirit does this in several ways:We are to "lovingly beg" one another to continue to renew our minds and walk on God's Word. We are to "exhort" one another by presenting doctrine, reproof, and correction from God's Word. We are to "comfort" one another when the world attacks with the knowledge of the return of Christ. We call one another to our side in order to counsel with God's Word. The Paraclete that the Father sent in the name of Jesus Christ works in us as a "Comforter." Specifically we are to "COMFORT ONE ANOTHER" with these words:
- It is IN YOU. It is not going to leave. It "abideth with you for ever."
- It is the same quality of counselor as the Lord Jesus Christ was to his disciples.
- It brings the Word we have been taught to our rememberance.
- It taught the all truth of the mystery which is now available to us.
- It bears witness of the life, death, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.
- It reproves the world of sin, righteousness, and judgement.
- It reminds us that Jesus Christ is coming back.
For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.