In light of this excerpt from impossible to receive Holy Spirit while Jesus was physically on earth by fellow member Dottard

“Now, there is one more subtlety. Jesus declared in John 16:7 that unless Jesus went away the Holy Spirit would not come to the disciples. Since we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit by faith, while Jesus was personally and physically present with the disciple, it would have been humanly almost impossible for them to exercise that faith to receive "another" comforter. Hence Jesus remark.”

The question that follows in my mind is, “when did Jesus go to the Father?”

  1. at the ascension as per

“While he blessed them, he parted from them and was carried up into heaven.” ‭‭Luke‬ ‭24:51‬

  1. prior to the ascension as per

““A little while, and you will see me no longer; and again a little while, and you will see me.”” ‭‭John‬ ‭16:16‬


“Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me, for I have not YET ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”” ‭‭John‬ ‭20:17‬

Depending on when Jesus ascended, as to when the Comforter could come and be received by the disciples as per

“Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.” ‭‭John‬ ‭16:7‬

My position is that the disciples received the Holy Spirit while Jesus was on earth (went and returned from the Father after incident with Mary) and not in Acts 2

“And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” ‭‭John‬ ‭20:22‬

This is after the incident with Mary in the garden. But I’m open to being corrected that it’s actually in Acts 2 or elsewhere using the Scriptures.

  • How does this not meet guidelines? It’s asking for the interpretation of timing for John 16:7. When did Jesus go to the Father Luke 24:51 or after John 20:17 and prior to John 20:19. Commented Oct 27, 2020 at 13:11
  • John the Baptist & Elijah already appear to have the Holy spirit - Luke 1:15-17 15 for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born. 16 He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. 17 And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”Luke 1:41 ". Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost". Commented Oct 27, 2020 at 14:01
  • John 17:7 ‘helper will not come’ the Helper is not the HS, HS has been here from the beginning, its someone else. re-affirmed by (as well as many other versus). John 1:25-27 - 25 They asked him, “Then why are you baptizing, if you are neither the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?” 26 John answered them, “I baptize with water, but among you stands one you do not know, 27 even he who comes after me, the strap of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie.” Talking about someone to come after Christ who was already present. Commented Oct 27, 2020 at 14:03
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    @anothertheory the comforter/helper is the Holy Spirit. Case and point keep reading. John 16:13 the Spirit of Truth. Or go back two chapters “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” ‭‭John‬ ‭14:26‬ as such your interpretation is not whole. Jesus didn’t say the Helper was not on earth but He qualified “...for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to YOU. But if I go, I will send him to YOU.” ‭‭John‬ ‭16:7‬ Commented Oct 27, 2020 at 14:14
  • I don’t interpret John 14:26 the way you do. John 1:25-27 Who is ‘nor that prophet’ to come? Clearly not Christ. As stated, HS has been here from the beginning, does not need to come and is guidance given to the righteous to do good work. John 14:16 "..He will give you another Paraclete ..." Is this another HS? 2 Peter 1:21" - For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit; ; Jesus also mentioned as parakletos (advocate, prophet) 1 John 2:1. I presume you follow the Trinitarian view see ... Commented Oct 27, 2020 at 15:13

3 Answers 3


Here's an answer I posted elsewhere a couple of years ago:

On the first Sunday after Passover, Jesus wouldn’t let anyone touch him. John 20:17 says “Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father …”.

Yet later that day he did allow people to touch him. This implies that he had ascended to heaven sometime during that day.

Following the Passover, priests made a wave-sheaf offering to heaven of the first fruits of the spring harvest, leading to Pentecost 50 days later. According to a footnote in Wave offering - Wikipedia: "Karaite Jews begin the count on the Sunday within the holiday week".

Symbolically, this offering to heaven of the first-fruits of the Spring harvest represents Jesus’s ascension to heaven as the first-fruit of God’s spiritual harvest of mankind.

1Corinthians 15:20 says: “But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.”

Not many churches still teach this, but the Biblical holidays and ceremonies are full of symbolism of Jesus and God’s plan for salvation.

Here’s an example of one specific ceremony: The Wave Sheaf Offering: A Ceremony Foreshadowing Salvation

  • "Touch me not"-haptou not just a question of "Do not handle me to see if I am real" but possibly, do not hold/restrain/cling [ESV] to me. Clinging possibly because she does not want to lose him again. Later touching would be okay when it was just to confirm that he was real.
    – C. Stroud
    Commented Oct 28, 2020 at 12:01

This whole question relates to the Person of Christ.

The Son of God is ever with the Father. And he told us that the Son of man (The Son, of man) is in heaven. 'Is' in heaven. He spoke those words when his physical feet were on this earth, John 3:13.

He was separated from his God (as man to God) in his sufferings. My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me, Matthew 27:46 ? What that may mean in terms of His Deity is not something I would care to comment on, specifically, at this present time.

But after he said 'It is finished', John 19:30, he commended his spirit to the Father, Luke 23:46. His human soul descended into hades, Ephesians 4:9, 1 Peter 3:19-20. But 'thou shalt not leave my soul in hades, nor suffer thy holy one to see corruption', Acts 2:27, Psalm 16:10. He was resurrected by 'the glory of the Father', Romans 6:4, and his human soul reunited with his human body.

His spirit was with the Father. The spirit, of the Son, was with the Father, as always. (Except if one take it to be the case that, during suffering, the Son of God was forsaken by the Father, in terms of Deity as well as humanity.)

But he had not, yet - in humanity - ascended to the Father, in the body.

And it was not appropriate for a woman to touch him or hug him, physically, whilst yet he - a celibate man - was physically on earth, John 20:17.

Nor, see below, 2 Corinthians 5:16, is that how he is - now, risen - to be known.

When ascended, in humanity, to the throne of God in heavens, then he may be 'touched' and 'embraced' in spirit.

Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more. [2 Corinthians 5:16 KJV]

  • There appears to be a lot of assumptions. Parakletos, comforter, advocate, prophet etc… is the HS. John 14:16 - another Paraclete (not HS of Jesus). bide with you into the age (to come) - temporary period not until end. John 14:30 - I will not say much more to you, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold over me, - who is the Prince. Thessalonians 5:19 18) Give thanks in every circumstance, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 19Do not extinguish the Spirit. – Can the HS be extinguished. Commented Oct 28, 2020 at 15:22
  • 1 Samuel 18:10 "The next day an evil spirit from God came forcefully upon Saul. - Is this evil spirit the same HS. 1 John 4:6 – “This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood” – are there 2 spirits. Numbers 11:29 But Moses replied, “Are you jealous for my sake? I wish that all the LORD’s people were prophets and that the LORD would put his Spirit on them!” – are all prophets spirits. Commented Oct 28, 2020 at 15:23
  • This sums up nicely my prospective of the HS; Psalm 51:10-12 10 Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. 11 Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. 12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. ***Luke 24:39***– touch me – he is clearly trying to show that he is still flesh and bone and not a Spirit, don’t be frightened. If Jesus was a spirit why would he need to eat (probably hungry after his ordeal) as a Spirit cannot die again. John 20:17 was probably because Jesus still had wounds. Commented Oct 28, 2020 at 15:24
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    @anothertheory My answer makes no mention of the Divine Person of the Holy Spirit. I do not agree with your nomenclature of that Person nor with your conclusions. My answer refers to the spiritual being of the Son of God. I would prefer to see your own answer (which I could vote on) than to have numerous, and lengthy, comments to mine.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Oct 28, 2020 at 15:45
  • my comments were a general response to all, point being interpretation of the HS. I believe that needs to be resolved before you can answer the question. I have no problem in being down voted, no big deal to me. I'm would also be happy to be provide wrong / incorrect backed with text evidence, always happy to learn. Commented Oct 28, 2020 at 16:03

There actually four matters here that I will take one at a time:


The Greek word, despite occurring only five times in the NT (John 14:16, 26, 15:26, 16:7, 1 John 2:1) is very well known and is variously translated as "comforter", "helper", "advocate", etc. I note the following three points:

  • Once parakletos refers to Jesus in 1 John 2:1
  • The remaining times, as per John 14:26, it refers to the Holy Spirit
  • The Holy Spirit, as the parakletos is called, in John 14:16, "another" = ἄλλος (allos) = another of the same type (ie as Jesus the parakletos) as distinct from ἕτερος (heteros) = another of different kind.

When was the Holy Spirit "come"?

It is clear from numerous references (eg, Gen 1:1, Deut 32:10, 11, Judges 15:14, Isa 6310, 11, Ps 51:11, 104:30, Saul's experience of being possessed by the Spirit, etc) that the Holy Spirit was active all the way through the OT. Thus, the HS did not suddenly arrive in Acts but had always been at work among and through God's people.

Why was the Holy Spirit "given" in the NT

I suggest that Jesus gave the disciples a number of things that they already had but did not realize it such as Jesus' "new commandment" of love, John 13:34, 35 - this was explicit in OT places like, Deut 6:4, 5, Lev 19:18, etc.

Following Jesus' ministry, the work of the Holy Spirit, while always present, would become far more important and prominent after Jesus' departure. This is seen clearly in the book of Acts as is well known. In preparation for this, Jesus bequeathed the gift of the Spirit in John 20:22 whose visible manifestation came in Acts 2 and many other times since.

While Jesus was visibly and physically present, it would have been humanly impossible to "see" the invisible Holy Spirit by faith. Thus, the Holy Spirit was to act, as Jesus did, as teacher, comforter and guide after Jesus was physically removed but still present by His Spirit.

When Did Jesus Go to the Father?

I agree with our colleague, Ray Butterworth, who suggests that Jesus apparently ascended between his request not to be touched in John 20:17 (Sunday morning) and his explicit instruction to touch Him in Luke 24:39 on Sunday evening.

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