From the Archives: Synonyms of the Spirit

 In All Church of God

By Milburn Miller

In John 14:16 of the Amplified New Testament are several synonyms that help us understand the nature and work of the Holy Spirit: “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener and Standby) and He may remain with you forever.”

The Holy Spirit is our Comforter. He can and will console in times of sorrow, distress, and failure. He brings a sense of peace in the midst of frustrating circumstances. What a comfort to know that the Holy Spirit dwells within us and is available for our every need!

The Holy Spirit is our Counselor. Jesus promised his disciples that when the Holy Spirit came he would reveal to them the meaning of his teachings (John 14:26) and he would guide them into all the truth (16:13). In many areas of our life we need counsel, so let us ask of God who through the Holy Spirit gives liberally to all (James 1:5).

The Holy Spirit is our Helper. This is reassuring because every person needs help at some time. As our Helper, the Holy Spirit works with us and we work with him. “The Spirit helps us in our weakness” (Romans 8:26).

Milburn Miller

The Holy Spirit is our Advocate. He will take our case as an attorney before the heavenly Father. “The Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God” (Romans 8:27). There are times when we are unable or do not feel like pleading our cause before the heavenly throne; be assured that the Holy Spirit will do so if we are in contact with him.

The Holy Spirit is our Strengthener. “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you” (Acts 1:8). This is our salvation because we are too frail to cope with our responsibilities and temptations. Paul’s prayer for the Ephesian Christians was “that he may grant you to be strengthened with might through his Spirit in the inner man” (3:16).

The Holy Spirit is our Standby. When others fail or forget us, we can count on the Holy Spirit to stand by us. He will not forsake us during trials, disappointments, sickness, or death. The Holy Spirit is of divine and eternal essence. He is reliable at all times and under all circumstances. Jesus assured his disciples of the coming of the Holy Spirit and said to them that the Holy Spirit will “abide with you forever” (John 14:16). He is the Standby of all sincere Christians.

These synonyms only partially describe the Holy Spirit and his functions. He is all of these and more. And best of all, we can have the Holy Spirit abiding and active in us.

Milburn H. Miller was born near Madisonville, Kentucky, in February 14, 1922. He felt the call to ministry when he was fifteen, shortly after his mother passed away. When he was sixteen, he witnessed the shooting of a neighbor across the street from the little, country Church of God. Since the circuit rider was not due back for a week or so, Miller was the closest to a pastor the locals had, so he performed his first funeral at the age of sixteen for a murder that he witnessed! How’s that for a launch into ministry? The Anderson University (then College) graduate went on to pastor several Church of God congregations across the Midwest. Milburn also served the national offices of the Church of God, wrote three books and numerous pamphlets, including “Have You Received the Holy Spirit?” published by Warner Press. Miller wrote more than 200 articles for The Gospel Trumpet and Vital Christianity. He was married to Vivian Miller for fifty-six years before his death in 1998. He is survived by his two children, Marcene Miller Wallace of Findlay, Ohio, and Milo Miller of Fort Collins, CO. Milo Miller will be celebrating fifty years in ministry June 1, 2019, with the Church of God. He first served as the youth pastor at Park Place Church of God (Anderson, Indiana) under the ministry of Hillary Rice.

This article was originally published in the January 10, 1971, issue of Vital Christianity. Republished by permission. Across the United States and around the world, God is on the move in the Church of God. Join the movement. Give life! Donate today at

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