The Holy Spirit During the Tribulation 2 Thes. 2: 7 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
There are a lot of people who have been taught that the Holy Spirit will be removed from the earth during the Tribulation. This teaching comes from a misunderstanding of 2 Thes 2:7, which says, “For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.” It is commonly believed that “he” in this verse is the Holy Spirit. It is also commonly believed that “letteth” in this verse refers to hindering the mystery of iniquity. The idea, then, is that the “work” of the mystery of iniquity is hindered by the Holy Spirit until the Holy Spirit is taken out of the way during the Tribulation. And then the mystery of iniquity will be free to work without restraint.
However, “he” in 2 Thes 2:7 is not the Holy Spirit and “letteth” in this verse is not a reference to hindering the “work” of the mystery of iniquity. “Letteth” is a reference to “preventing” the man of sin from being “revealed,” [2 Thes 2:3-8]. This is very important to see. The truth is that the Holy Spirit continues to work here, even during the Tribulation. Here’s how you can tell.
First, the mystery of iniquity in verse 7 is a person; he is a man. He, not the Spirit, is the one who is taken away. He has been preventing the identity of the “man of sin” from being “revealed” by “letting” [hindering] his revelation until he [the mystery of iniquity] is taken out of the way. A good candidate for the mystery of iniquity is the Pope, who for centuries has not been recognized by the world as the spirit of antichrist (1 Jn 4:3-6).
The mystery of iniquity will continue to “let” [hinder] until the “man of sin” (2 Thes 2:3) is revealed, who is the “son of perdition.” The son of perdition is Judas Iscariot [Jn 17:12; Rev 17:8-11], who ascends out of the bottomless pit as the devil incarnate when the mystery of iniquity is taken away. At that time, he won’t be a mystery anymore because that Wicked will be revealed (2 Thes 2:8).
So, the Holy Spirit is not the one “taken away” before the revelation of the Wicked. The Holy Spirit is not in the context of 2 Thes 2:1-10. The mystery of iniquity is the one who is taken away, as in (Rev 17:16-17).
Second, there are a few references in the Bible that deal with the Tribulation and which also mention the Holy Spirit. For instance, Mk 13:11 is in the middle of a context that is clearly a reference to the Tribulation. Look at Mk 13:14, and notice “the abomination of desolation.” In Mk 13:15-18, the Jews are running for their lives to get away from the antichrist. In Mk 13:19 the affliction of that time exceeds all other since creation. In Mk 13:21-22, false Christs rise to deceive the people. In Mk 13:13, a man must endure to “the end” to be saved (Matt 24:13, 21). These are Tribulation references!!
Mk 13:11 says that when a man must give a testimony before rulers and kings (Mk 13:9) during the Tribulation, he is not to premeditate on his answer. The reason is that he won’t be doing the talking; the Holy Ghost will. Obviously, then, the Holy Spirit is still working here in the earth during the Tribulation (Matt 10:20). He is the one speaking through those who are testifying in their defense.
Another text that shows the Holy Spirit is not taken away during the Tribulation is Heb 6:4-6. These verses show you what happens when men lose their salvation in the Tribulation. It is impossible “to renew them again unto repentance.” That is if they lose their salvation they can’t get it back. Now notice what they had before they “lost it.” They were “made partakers of the Holy Ghost,” (Heb 6:4). That couldn’t be possible unless the Holy Spirit is here during the Tribulation.
I know that there is plenty of debate about Heb 10:26-31. I believe that those verses doctrinally fit the Tribulation. Heb 10:26 matches Heb 6:4-6. Heb 10:27, 30 match 2 Thes 1:7-9. These verses establish the context for Heb 10:29 which speaks of someone who “was sanctified” doing “despite unto the Spirit of grace.” Again, we see a reference to the Holy Spirit in a Tribulation context.
Is 59:19 is also clear that the Holy Spirit is active here on earth during the Tribulation. The first part of the verse is a reference to the Second Advent [see Is 59:20]. The enemy coming in like a flood is a reference to Rev 12:15, the attack of the nations against Israel. And look who is lifting up the standard against the enemy. It is the Spirit of the Lord.
So, you see from the Bible that the Holy Spirit is active on the earth during the Tribulation contrary to what many have believed or been taught before. Hopefully, this study has cleared up any misunderstanding.