Who is the 'Counselor' Jesus is referring to?
Here "Counselor" is being translated* from the Greek word παράκλητος (paraklētos). According to the lexicon, the Greek word refers to someone who is "summoned;" "called to one's side;" "an advocate;" "one who pleads another's cause with one;" "an intercessor;" and "in the widest sense, a helper, aider, assistant."
Jesus is referring to the Supreme Being's expansive role of influence, often referred to as the "Holy Spirit."
This is confirmed by the use of the combination of πνεῦμα (pneuma) meaning "spirit" and ἀλήθεια (alētheia) meaning "truth."
But we must notice how personal Jesus makes this reference. He says "whom I will send to you from the Father."
So just who and what is this Holy Spirit that Jesus is referring to who will be counseling and assisting the disciples of Jesus after he has left them?
Why would this Holy Spirit assist them?
Is it assisting in the way of how famous football players and Olympic athletes pray to win the game or the race? Is that the kind of assisting Jesus is talking about?
Jesus is stating not only that he will "send" the Holy Spirit "to you from the Father" but he clearly identifies the "Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father." What does this mean?
The English phrase "goes out" is being taken from the Greek word ἐκπορεύομαι (ekporeuomai), which can be translated in one of two ways: Literally, as "to go forth" "go out" and "depart;" or metaphorically as "to come forth, to issue, to proceed as in feelings, affections, deeds and sayings," or "to flow forth," "to project," or "to spread abroad."
We must take into context the fact that Jesus is utilizing physical speech to describe a topic within the spiritual dimension. The Supreme Being is not limited as a human being is. He is not limited by time and space. A human being - a spiritual person occupying a gross physical body - is limited to the time and space of our physical body. We can typically be in only one place at a time.
The Supreme Being does not have this limitation. He is not limited by space and time. He is the Creator of space and time. Therefore, He is in control of space and time, and thus not limited by space and time.
Let's use an analogy. Let's say that we were to erect a miniature train set, with a circular track, and three little train stations built in, and we program the train to run at a certain speed with stops at each station. We erect trees and nature along the tracks between the train stations, and we put in all sorts of miniature figures that represented people, their dogs, telephone booths and other things to make the train set place seem like a real place.
During this creative process, we realize that we can pretty much add whatever features we want to the train set land. We can put the buildings and trees where we want. We would have lots of creative leeway with the train set land.
However we set things up, because we had created this train set land, we could always change things around when we wanted to. We could always insert ourselves or our needs to have the train run at different speeds, run a different course, make the towns different and so on. We are in control of this little space because we made it.
And it is not as if we have to assume any of the characters we installed into the train set landscape to affect our control over it. We don't have to, for example, become one of the trees so that we can sneakily manipulate the trains or the stations. We are not limited by the train set landscape we made. We are outside of the dimension of this landscape.
The Supreme Being is in the same position. Because He created the physical world, He is not limited by it. He can manipulate it when He wants to. He can change things around when He wants. He can also support any particular activity when He wants. He does not have to become some sort of physical "ghost" or "spirit" or other concoction of our minds in order to influence things. He is not limited by His creation at all.
Just because the Supreme Being lies outside the confines of time and space doesn't mean that He isn't a person. The Supreme Being is a person, with spiritual form.
And because the Supreme Being's abilities lie outside the limitations of our physical world, His ability to influence, assist, counsel and so on cannot easily be described with words typically used to describe the things of this physical world. This is why Jesus often spoke metaphorically and used various parables as he described the spiritual realm.
But the Supreme Being set up and programmed this physical world for a purpose: To grant those of us who wanted to be away from Him the ability to exercise our freedom, and our desire to enjoy in a self-centered fashion.
This is because love requires freedom. Love cannot be forced.
Because the spiritual realm is a place where its citizens are loving and not self-centered, once we decided to exercise our freedom by becoming self-centered, we could not remain in the spiritual realm. God had to create another place for those of us who wanted to exercise our freedom not to love Him or care for Him.
This is why our physical eyes cannot see God, or His expansive influence over the physical world. The Supreme Being designed the physical world in such a way that we could ignore His existence for a while.
God created a place where each of us could take on a virtual identity, and each play roles where we could pretend God does not exist and pretend we are the center of the universe. This is, in fact, the role that most of us in the physical world is playing at this very moment.
Just consider: Even though there are billions of people in the world, each of us thinks we are the central character: I am the most important person - or those physical extensions of "I," my family, are the most important persons - in my life.
This myopia - of feeling that we are the center of the universe - is our disease. We say 'disease' because this is not our natural condition. Our natural condition is seeing the Supreme Being as the center of our lives, and the universe. Our natural position is being one of God's humble loving caregivers, and loving all of our spiritual family members - God's children.
Since our current condition - thinking we are the center of the universe - is not our natural condition and thus is a diseased condition, the Supreme Being also programmed within the physical universe a rehabilitation system. This includes the law of consequence - that we must experience whatever - through our self-centeredness - we put others through.
This law of consequences - played out over multiple lifetimes - is why some of us are born into suffering conditions and some of us are born into more comfortable conditions. It is the result of our past behavior - and designed to gradually teach us that hurting others only hurts ourselves, and we aren't the center of the universe.
It comes down to identity
We are not these physical bodies. They are temporary vehicles that each of us - spiritual beings - wears, and this spiritual being migrates from one body to the next after the death of each one - until and unless we become sufficiently rehabilitated and become ready to return home to the spiritual world and our relationship with the Supreme Being.
You see, the spiritual realm is a personal place. It is a place of relationships. This is why when Jesus refers to the Holy Spirit he says "whom I will send to you from the Father." It is not as if Jesus is the Father or the Holy Spirit - Jesus is obviously distinguishing between himself and God here.
But one who loves the Supreme Being can effectively "send" God to us due to their devotional relationship with Him.
It is a matter of unity of will. Jesus loves the Supreme Being with all his heart and soul, and everything he does is to please God. This is confirmed:
"... for I seek not to please myself but Him who sent me." (John 5:30)Therefore, Jesus can in effect bring the Supreme Being to others because Jesus is doing God's will. He is acting on behalf of the Supreme Being through his loving devotion to Him. They have a unity of purpose - which is why Jesus could also say "I and the Father are one." It is not as if they are the same person and don't have individuality: They simply have a oneness of purpose.
Because of this unity of purpose, Jesus knows that after Jesus leaves the physical world, the Supreme Being will watch over Jesus' disciples, and guide them as they attempt to carry on Jesus' mission, and "testify" by passing on Jesus' teachings.
And what is Jesus' mission? To speed up our rehabilitation process by introducing us to the Supreme Being and explaining the pathway for us to return home to the spiritual world:
“ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment.” (Matt. 22:37-38)
*Here is the translation of Jesus' statement from the Gospels of Jesus:
"When the Counselor comes – whom I will summon to you from the Creator – this is the Spirit of Truth who expands from the Creator – He will testify for me. And you will testify also, because you have been with me from the beginning.” (John 15:26-27)