I have heard repeatedly, from multiple Bible teachers, the idea that the Holy Spirit is removed from the world prior to the coming of the Antichrist, and they site these verses to justify that view:
And now you know what is holding him [the Antichrist] back, so that he may be revealed at the proper time. For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back [the Holy Spirit] will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one [the Antichrist]will be revealed… ~ 2 Thessalonians 2:6-8
According to this teaching, the fact that the Holy Spirit dwells in Christians means that all Christians must be removed in order for the Holy Spirit to be removed. I’m sorry, but I don’t see how the Holy Spirit dwelling in Christians means that Christians are the only place he dwells. Is God’s presence dependent upon Christians? Does this make any sense? God’s spirit was around before there were any humans, let alone Christians:
Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. ~ Genesis 1:2
So what hermeneutic right is there to say that the Holy Spirit’s presence on earth depends upon the presence of Christians on earth? It makes no sense whatsoever.
And when speaking about David writing Psalm 110, Jesus himself made this comment:
“David himself, speaking by the Holy Spirit…” ~ Jesus Christ, Mark 12:36
David lived hundreds of years before the first Christian! So how can the Holy Spirit’s presence on earth depend upon the presence of Christians on earth??? Again, it makes no sense.
I suspect that if 2 Thessalonians 2:6-8 is indeed talking about the Holy Spirit, then his being “taken out of the way” means he will merely stop restraining Satan from possessing the body of the man who will become the Antichrist. It doesn’t mean that the Holy Spirit will be wiped clean from the face of the earth.
Picture holding someone back to prevent a fight. If you are “taken out of the way,” does it mean you are taken completely off the face of the earth without a trace, or does it mean you have simply been moved aside allowing events to proceed? The idea that believers must be present, for the Holy Spirit to be present, crumbles at the slightest scrutiny. The problem is that precious few actually scrutinize it.
If a teaching doesn’t match the Bible, then throw away the teaching, not the Bible.
Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. ~ Acts 17:11
Categories: Rapture: Pre-Trib Is Nowhere In The Bible