The Holy Spirit in Eschatology – II Thessalonians 2:1-12

 
Have you heard much or read much on the Eschatology of the Holy Spirit? There are several reasons for that: First, the Bible doesn’t say a great deal about the subject. That is one reason that this lesson might be a little short. And then Amillennialists and Postmillennialists don’t have anything to say about the subject. Why wouldn’t those two theories of Eschatology have anything to say about the Holy Spirt? Postmillennialists believe that the prophesies of the millennium are being fulfilled in this age. They essentially believe that we are in the Millennium. They allegorize a great deal of prophesy in order to make the scriptures fit their theology, rather than making their theology fit the scriptures. What the Holy Spirit is doing today is Millennial as far as they are concerned. Amillennialists believe there won’t be a Millennium and that this present age will just run into eternity. Again, for them there is no need for any teaching on the future work of the Spirit. For them there isn’t any future work of the Spirit.

As Premillennialists, what do we believe about the time and beginning of the Millennium? For example: Will the Millennium be much different from the time in which we live today? What will be the relationship of the Lord Jesus to the Millennium and to the world at that time? Should we expect that the ministry of the Spirit be different with the presence of Christ on earth? As Premillennialists, what do we believe will precede the Millennium? As Pretribulationists, what do we believe will be the relationship of “the church” to the world during the Tribulation? With the pouring out of God’s judgment on humanity and creation, might we expect the work of the Holy Spirit to be different during that time?

The Holy Spirit during the Tribulation.

The Tribulation will last approximately how long? Daniel 9:27 tells us that it will last 7 years, and Matthew 24:22 suggests that it might be shortened a bit. It will be divided into what two periods and how long will they last? What is another name for the Tribulation and particularly the last half? (“Jacob’s Trouble.”)

How many saints of God will there be upon the earth, 2 minutes after the Tribulation begins? At that time how many people will there be on the earth who are indwelt by the Holy Spirit? Does the Holy Spirit have to have human bodies to possess? Which of the following terms DO NOT apply to the Holy Spirit: omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent? Even though the Holy Spirit will not be dwelling in human temples, will He still be here in the world?

Will there be sinners saved during the Tribulation? Will people who had been convicted of their need of Christ, prior to the translation of the saints be saved after the beginning of the Tribulation? (It doesn’t appear so.) What does Romans 11:25 mean when it says that the blindness of Israel will be removed? When that blindness is removed what is the likelihood of some of those people being saved? What do we mean when we talk about the 144,000? Are those people truly saved? Is it possible to be regenerated apart from the ministry of the Holy Spirit? Must we assume that the Holy Spirit will be at work saving souls during the Tribulation? Will there be Gentiles saved during the Tribulation? Turn to Revelation 7:9-17. Were any of these people converted to Christ apart from the ministry of the Spirit? Even though the Tribulation will be a time of great wickedness, apostasy, and persecution, it could very well be the greatest period in history for the salvation of souls.

According to II Thessalonians 2, what is one ministry of the Spirit which will be withheld during that time?

On the Day of Pentecost, how did the Holy Spirit demonstrate His presence? When Peter began to preach, he referred to what prophet to authenticate what was happening? (Joel.) Was Pentecost the complete fulfilment of Joel 2? Verse 28 – “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit. And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.” The last verse of Joel 2 is one of the key references of the New Testament in regard to salvation, and yet it is primarily context is the Tribulation. Should we assume that people will be saved during the Tribulation in exactly the same way that they are saved today? Should we assume that the ministry of the Holy Spirit will be much the same in that way?

From Joel’s prophecy and from what we read in the Book of Revelation, can we conclude that there will be saints of God who are filled with the Spirit during the Tribulation? What evidence is there of that? (Miracles and victorious ministries.)

So even though the work of the Spirit will be somewhat curtailed, some of what He is doing today He will continue to do during the Tribulation.

The Holy Spirit in the Millennium.

Out of all the eras, periods, dispensations or centuries between the eternities, of which will it be said was the most glorious? In which dispensation will creation be the most productive and fruitful? In which dispensation will there be the most peace and prosperity? In which dispensation will there be the fullest display of righteousness and the least amount of sin? Will the only people entering the Millennium be saved, glorified saints of either the Old Testament, New Testament or of the Christian era? Will there be any children of the Devil who enter the Millennium? Will there be babies born during the thousand years of the Millennium? Will those children be born perfectly righteous and as saved individuals? Will there be sin in the world during the Millennium? Will there be the same spiritual conflicts between Satan and saints in the Millennium that there are today? Will there be people saved during the Millennium?

Obviously, the ministry of the Holy Spirit will be somewhat different during the Millennium. He will not be required to restrain wickedness in exactly the same way as He does today. What will happen if and when people sin? Will the Holy Spirit still be the teacher that the unglorified human beings will need? By the end of the second century of the Millennium will the bulk of the world’s population be pre-millennial saints or people of the Millennium? Will those people need salvation? Will those people who are regenerated during the Millennium be saved in a manner different from the pre-millennial saints?

Turn to Ezekiel 36:16-38. Notice that this passage begins by describing God’s judgment on Israel. But then it clearly begins to describe some of the Millennial blessings that God will give to them. It describes personal salvation and the blessing of the Spirit of God in their hearts. Even though the context of this chapter is Israel, is it safe to conclude that these same kinds of blessings will be given to all of the Lord’s elect during the Millennium. Will the Holy Spirit indwell the saints in the Millennium? From the glorious condition of that period, can we conclude that many will be filled with the Spirit?

So it’s safe to say that the Holy Spirit will be just as active and His work will be just as important in both the Tribulation and the Millennium as today, although it will not be exactly the same.