- Parent Category: FAQs
- Category: Bible Questions and Answers about the Holy Spirit
- Published on Monday, 07 February 2011 00:32
THE HOLY SPIRIT AND THE CHURCH
Does the Holy Spirit go back to Heaven with the Church at the close of the present Dispensation, or, does He still remain here, to convict of sin, righteousness, and judgment?
In other words, is He here in Person only from Pentecost until the “Rapture”?
We learn from 2 Thessalonians 2:5 that the common view that the apostle in this passage was correcting the teaching of the first epistle is quite mistaken. Exactly the reverse is the case; he was confirming it; “Remember ye not, that when I was yet with you, I told you these things?” Add to this the fact that in verse 10 he actually appeals to “the coming of the Lord and our gathering together unto Him,” as revealed in 1 Thessalonians 4:11-20 to counter the false teaching abroad “that the day of the Lord” was then present (see R.V.), for the other must take place first. Verse 6 teaches, I believe, the same truth. Some suggest that “that which letteth” is law, and “he who letteth” the executive of law, government But this seems forced and unnatural. Is it not more in harmony with the context to interpret “that which letteth” to be the Church indwelt by the Spirit, and He who letteth, the Spirit indwelling the Church? When the Church goes at the coming of the Lord, the Holy Spirit will, as an indwelling Person, go too. He will therefore be no longer in this scene as the One in Whom the Church is baptised and united to a Risen Christ. That wonderful and unique work of God belongs only to the present dispensation.
But the departure of the Spirit in this sense does not mean that He will cease to work in the world. He will resume His activities of pre-Pentecostal times toward God’s people and the world. What we read in Revelation 7 and 14, shows clearly that He will carry on a mighty work of conversion, through the sealed of Israel, far beyond, it would seem, anything known in the present dispensation. This began with 120 sealed ones, that will begin with 144,000 and the zenith will be, “a multitide that no man can number.” We must, however, avoid the thought that the wicked one will be revealed at the moment of the rapture of the Church. This chapter warns us against such an idea, for the apostacy will first fully develop and then the way will be open for the manifestation of the Man of Sin.