"While the Spirit-Paraclete is the true broker, the brokers they rely on are imposters."
"As the spirit is in the Gospel proper, so the Spirit-Paraclete is a benefit that Jesus will broker to believers. But as with the other benefits that Jesus provides, the source of the Paraclete is with God. The Father sends the Paraclete via Jesus. Ultimately, the Paraclete is sent to perpetuate the availability of access to God's patronage...
As the true Spirit, the Paraclete stands apart from the false spirits of the world. Consequently, to call the Spirit-Paraclete the truth is to make a competitive claim against those opponents. While the Spirit-Paraclete is the true broker, the brokers they rely on are impostors." Tricia Gates Brown
"The final Spirit-Paraclete saying of John's Gospel appears at 16.12-15. Jesus has still many things to say to the disciples that they can presently not bear. But when the Spirit of Truth comes ... Everything that the Spirit-Paraclete will proffer to believers will have its source in Jesus. And as v. 15 suggests, all that Jesus has comes from the father: 'All that the Father has is mine. For this reason I said that ...[the Spirit of Truth] will take what is mine and declare it to you.' ... The Spirit-Paraclete brokers truth by providing access to Jesus, the truth. That the Paraclete provides access to Jesus has been a theme all through the Farewell Discourses. Yet the contrast emphasized in 16.12-15 is that between the truth that Jesus' faithful clients will receive and the falsehoods of the world. In 16.8-11 it was implied that those who remain loyal to the world will not receive the truth. They are led in the way of falsehood. Those who remain loyal to Jesus, on the other hand, will be guided in the way of truth by the Spirit of Truth.
The verb employed in 16.13a, (to guide), bears an affinity to the word used by Jesus in his 'I am' statements at 14.6, 'I am [the way].' As 'the way' Jesus provides believers with access to the Father; and as one who 'guides' believers into all truth, the Paraclete provides access to Jesus, who is 'the truth', as well as to the words ... from the glorified Jesus. The future tense verbs in these verses reveal that the Paraclete will disclose to the disciples 'new' revelations from the glorified Jesus and will not merely recapitulate and explain to them the teachings from Jesus' earthly ministry. These new revelations will include information about 'things that are to come.'...
The deep concern of the community centered on whether Jesus could continue to broker access to God when he was no longer on the Earth. This concern seems to be behind the emphatic reassurance of Jesus' role as the exclusive 'way' to the Father (14.6). It is dealt with through the introduction of the Paraclete, who continues Jesus' work and presence among the disciples. The Spirit-Paraclete and Jesus share a functional unity in that many of the tasks that the Paraclete is said to fulfill are earlier ascribed to Jesus. It becomes clear in the Discourses that the Paraclete does not act independently of Jesus, nor is identical with Jesus in some way. Essentially, the Paraclete perpetuates the presence of Jesus by brokering access to Jesus after he has departed. The Paraclete teaches the disciples by speaking to them what [the Paraclete] hears from Jesus (14.26; 16.12-15), ... reminds the disciples of what Jesus said to them (14.26), ... witnesses on behalf of Jesus in Jesus' trial before the world (15.26), ... continues Jesus' work of proving to the disciples the wrongheadedness of the world (16.8-11), ... guides the disciples into all truth by taking 'what belongs to Jesus' and declaring it to the disciples (16.12-15), and ... glorifies Jesus by providing the means for Jesus to continue his role as their patron/ broker to the disciples. The Paraclete provides the disciples with access to the glorified Jesus, allowing Jesus to continue his work of revealing God to the disciples, of witnessing alongside them, of exposing the darkness of this world. In other words, the Paraclete makes it possible for Jesus to continue to be 'the way' to the father, even when he is out of sight of the believers. [The Paraclete] provides a way for Jesus to continue to be a paraclete...
The 'oneness' of Jesus and the Paraclete is not to be understood as identity. The Paraclete is not the spirit of Jesus or the presence of Jesus, for the Paraclete is clearly subordinated to and dependent on him (16.13-15). Burge's interpretation, which melts pneumatology into Christology, is not necessary. Just as the oneness of Jesus and the Father in John can be explained by the fact that Jesus provides access to God, so that from the perspective of believers it is as if they are hearing God's words and seeing the Father himself when they see Jesus (10.37-38; 14.8-11), so when they experience the Paraclete it is as if they are experiencing Jesus. For it is only through Jesus that believers can know/see/hear God, and it is only through the Paraclete that they can continue to know/see/hear the glorified Jesus. The Paraclete continues Jesus presence and the work not as Jesus' alter ego, but as a broker.
As the spirit is in the Gospel proper, so the Spirit-Paraclete is a benefit that Jesus will broker to believers. But as with the other benefits that Jesus provides, the source of the Paraclete is with God. The Father sends the Paraclete via Jesus. Ultimately, the Paraclete is sent to perpetuate the availability of access to God's patronage...
As the true Spirit, the Paraclete stands apart from the false spirits of the world. Consequently, to call the Spirit-Paraclete the truth is to make a competitive claim against those opponents. While the Spirit-Paraclete is the true broker, the brokers they rely on are impostors."
Tricia Gates Brown, Spirit in the writings of John
Continuum International, 2004, pages 231-3
"One night I found myself in a very difficult situation, and in
desperation and as a last resort I appealed to God, in whom I didn't
believe, saying, "If there is such a thing as God, you've got to help
I had been brought up in a Christian family and had to go to church most Sundays but I'd never felt it helped me or gave me any peace. I felt worse for going, actually, as the idea of original sin and all the rules meant I could never feel good about myself. Because of my negative experiences with the church, which was Protestant, I found it difficult to believe in Jesus Christ and God. So I considered myself an atheist, I suppose, although I was idealistic and had high moral values.
I still had an interest in spirituality, however, and thought that there must be some metaphysical answer to the ills of the world and I was searching for the key that would unlock the door to the mysteries of life. I felt that there was some force (which I thought of as the life force) which looked after all the animals and plants on the earth without them doing anything. I thought that as I was, surely, just as important as the plants and animals then that force was, hopefully, looking after me too. I felt that if I could be more in tune with that force, without thinking, just like the plants and animals, then I could be healed as well.
So I started looking for a Buddhist meditation group. Buddhists don't talk about God, I thought, but they seem to be people of integrity and very much at peace in meditation. But it wasn't to be. All the groups I rang didn't answer their phones. Eventually I decided to go to Sahaja Yoga, which I had heard about from a friend.
As it happened, Shri Mataji, the founder of Sahaja Yoga, was coming to my city the following week. Her lecture was extremely interesting and covered a wide range of topics including God and Jesus Christ. I thought, "Oh, no!" I was surprised, however, to find that rather than urging us to go to church and become Christians, Shri Mataji openly stated that many Christians were not as loving and forgiving as they should be and that their intolerance and hypocrisy had turned many people away from Christianity because they were not following the teachings of Christ as they should. That had been my experience! When Shri Mataji spoke about God I thought, "I'm not interested in having anything to do with God or religion." But I was so impressed with Shri Mataji and she spoke about all sorts of other interesting aspects of spirituality as well. I decided I would put aside her references to God and try Sahaja Yoga.
I have never regretted my decision. Sahaja Yoga has been the most wonderful experience of my life. Over time I have learnt that the original teachings of Jesus Christ are quite different from the teachings of the Church which has twisted and distorted many things over time. I have also discovered the mystical aspects of Christianity, some of which were recorded in the Dead Sea Scrolls and kept secret by the Vatican for many years. I do not have to follow the dictates of priests or ministers who interpret spirituality for me, tell me what to do and have power over me. I find real comfort and peace from meditating and from a personal connectedness that I never felt in the church. And, yes, I have learnt from my experiences that God does exist, and has taken many forms over the millennia, not just the form of Jesus Christ.
So if you, like me, have had bad experiences or have become disenchanted with the Church and feel nervous about the mention of God, don't worry about it. Just put it aside and try Sahaja Yoga. True spirituality involves much more than the narrow view of God and religion that has been promulgated by Christian churches.
And if you like, you too can ask the question, "Does God exist?" or "Is there such a thing as God?" and see how the answer unfolds in your life."
The Paraclete Shri Mataji "You do not judge God from the people who talk about God. Anybody can talk about God because they think there is no law that can catch them. They can talk for Him, against Him, or they can do what they like. They can even make money by talking against God and against all the Prophets. So, first of all, we have to be a little independent to be free."
First, Know Thyself, London, U.K. — August 1, 1989
"Pope is another horrible fake guru sitting here. Then we have another one which is of Canterbury sitting there. All of them are false gurus — know nothing about Kundalini, don't know anything of Brahma, ... So they want to propound that they are the solution, achieving nothing, spoiling the name of Christ, and doing all kinds of things against Him stupidly, without knowing the Divine."
You are Gurus, Guru Puja, Gmunden, Austria — July 6, 1986
"But in the West we still are very much attached to the nonsense of Christianity. It has nothing to do with Christ, believe Me, and this fanaticism which is lingering still in your mind must be given up, otherwise you do not do any justice to Christ. That by no chance means you take to another religion like Hinduism or any other nonsensical Jainism, or anything. The essence, the Tattwa, of Christianity is Christ. And it is so thickly clouded by all these nonsensical things that you really have to drop this word"Christianity"from your vocabulary completely, and from your mind. Otherwise you can never go to the essence. It is a fact; take it from Me.
And even now the attention of all the people is on what Christ said, or Mother Mary has said it, and which has come through these horrible people to us. So to learn about other Deities and other great Incarnations, we neutralize. We must try to neutralize too much attention by learning about other Deities, say, Shri Ganesha. If you talk about Shri Ganesha, He is the essence of Christ, and Christ is the manifestation of Shri Ganesha's Powers. So, if you go to the essence of most things, you see, that is better. Then, of course, Christ is there but we must see in Him, as He is, which very few people has seen before. But now in Sahaja Yoga you should see Him as He was. He was the Holiest of the Holy. You accept that position."
Christmas Eve Talk, Pune, India — December 24, 1982
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