May 02

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Pronouns are most important in any study of the New Testament, as they have a story to tell. As a matter of fact, you cannot understand the teaching of Christ without paying attention to the speaker’s, or the writer’s use of pronouns. Any number of false teachings have been arrived at simply because someone did not study more carefully the pronouns in the context.
This may cause some of you to mark me as a “heretic”, but the New Testament was not written to you! Oh, of course, you have known that letters were written to Timothy, Titus, and Philemon; you also have known that letters were written to churches, such as the church at Rome, at Corinth, at Ephesus and others; then you have known that letters were written to groups of people, such as the Hebrews Christians, and to those James called, “the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad” and Peter called “to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia.” Yet, somehow, we have continued to maintain in our minds, that everything we read is directly written to us. Well, it just wasn’t! Those pronouns “us” and “you” in the text is not “you” and “us!” These pronouns must not be taken at first reading as personal; speaking directly to us today.
Here is what I mean! Jesus said: “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever” (John 14:16). Just who is this “you” that Jesus is referring to? One thing for sure, it is not YOU and me! First, it is unfortunate that the King James translators used the word “Comforter;” for this same Greek word, “paraklētos,” is translated into our English word, “advocate” in 1 John 2:1, as John writes: “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate (parakletos) with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” Here Jesus is the “paraklētos,” the “advocate” and not the Holy Spirit. Therefore, Jesus and the Holy Spirit which he was to send in John 14:26, in one respect did and Jesus still does, the same thing. This is understood if we notice Jesus’ use of the word “another,” which is the Greek “allos” and means: another of the same kind; thus, another of the Godhead. In this case, in John 14:26 the Holy Spirit! So, the Holy Spirit was to be “another” of the Godhead who would serve as a “paraklētos!” Some have concluded that the Holy Spirit has the job of “comforting” us today because of these words! But, they have [over- looked] the antecedent to the pronoun Jesus used in the text.
However, “comforting” was not the work of the Holy Spirit, as that is not a good meaning to the Greek word. The word means: “one who pleads another’s cause before a judge, a pleader, counsel for defense, legal assistant, an advocate.” Yet, Jesus did not leave us without understanding as to what the “parakletos” would do; for he said: 1) he will teach you all things, 2) bring all things to your remembrance, 3) guide you into all truth, and 4) show you things to come. (John 14:26 and 16:13). There is the work of the “paraklētos!” Now, do you still believe the “Comforter” is for you? It should be very clear Jesus was not talking to you and me when making this promise! No, he was talking to the disciples, those men who would become his apostles as he would send them out; once the Holy Spirit, the “paraklētos,” came upon them to preach the gospel and to confirm the gospel with signs, to “the uttermost most part of the earth” and this they did (Acts 1:8 and Mark 16:20 and Col 1:23).
Yes, there it is, the personal pronoun “you,” but it does not refer to you and me! It referred to those to whom Jesus was speaking, and this is easy determined by reading and studying the context! The context starts in John chapter thirteen, verse one: “Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end.” And it ends in chapter eighteen, verse one: “When Jesus had spoken these words, he went forth with his disciples over the brook Cedron, where was a garden, into the which he entered, and his disciples.”
The only names which appear in this context are those of the twelve disciples, Jesus, and the devil. Clearly, Jesus was not talking to the devil, but he was talking to the disciples; and the pronoun “you” and the promise of the “Comforter,” was not promised to us! A study of those pronouns proves the case!
Yes, the pronouns of the New Testament have a story to tell, if only we will listen and learn what they are telling us. Are you willing to learn?

— Frank R. Williams

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