IS THE HOLY SPIRIT REMOVED FROM EARTH AFTER THE RAPTURE?
by Alan Yusko
I get the odd person who has the mistaken idea that somehow after the rapture the Holy Spirit will be removed from the earth. Some people who delight in attacking the pre-trib rapture love to show how foolish it is to believe the Holy Spirit will no longer be on earth after the rapture. This tract will examine this idea and show that the Holy Spirit can never be removed from anywhere. He is God, the Third Person of the Trinity and He is omnipresent at all times throughout the entire creation.
Personally I don't know why I even have to write this tract. I can't understand why anyone would believe that the Holy Spirit could be removed from the earth. Do they really believe that after the rapture, the Holy Spirit will be all over the creation except on planet earth? Do they think the Holy Spirit will limit Himself to only heaven? It is quite an illogical belief if you really think about it. Never-the-less I still run into the odd person who talks in such a way. They argue that after the rapture, the Holy Spirit will be removed from planet earth. Again it really does not make sense to me, but in this tract we will look at what the Bible says and learn a bit about omnipresence.
So, does the Holy Spirit leave planet earth at the rapture of the Church? Does the Bible teach this? Well here is the piece of Scripture that confuses some people:
6: And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.
7: For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
8: And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
Notice that the antichrist (that Wicked) is currently being restrained by someone. Until He is removed (taken out of the way), the antichrist cannot come to power (be revealed). The big question is who is that restrainer and how is He removed. I might also add that the restrainer is a person. He is referred to as 'He'. Well, it is not too hard to see that the only person who could restrain the evil one is the Holy Spirit. But lets go a bit deeper. How is the Holy Spirit restraining the antichrist. Well, remember when the Church was born? Several days after the Lord Jesus ascended to heaven the Holy Spirit came down from heaven and indwelt believers. At this point the Church was born. The Church is the body of Spirit reborn believers that are saved and filled with the Holy Spirit.
Does this mean that before the day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit was not on planet earth? Of course not. One of the characteristics of the Holy Spirit is that He is omnipresent. Now what does that term mean? Omnipresent means, everywhere present. God the Holy Spirit (Third Person of the Trinity) is everywhere in God's Creation. There is no where a person may go where the Holy Spirit cannot be found. He is everywhere. He is omnipresent! Does the Bible support what I just said? Yes, of course it does. Here is the Scripture:
7: Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?
8: If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.
9: If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;
10: Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.
Notice above that there is no where a person could go where the Holy Spirit cannot be found. If a person goes to hell, the Holy Spirit is there. If a person goes to heaven, the Holy Spirit is also there. He is everywhere! I repeat, He is omnipresent!
So we have just established the fact that that Holy Spirit is omnipresent. He is everywhere in the creation. This means before and after Pentecost the Holy Spirit will be on planet earth. Also, before and after the rapture, the Holy Spirit will be on planet earth.
Now on to the next part of the puzzle. What happened on Pentecost that was so different? The Holy Spirit was already on earth so why did the Lord Jesus say the Holy Spirit would come? Well, the Holy Spirit did not indwell believers until Pentecost. Yes the Holy Spirit was on earth as He is omnipresent. However until Pentecost, the Holy Spirit did not indwell believers. In Old Testament days, the Holy Spirit would come upon certain people at certain times. However there was no guarantee He would stay. That is different with the Church, the body of true believers. Once a person is saved, he is given the Holy Spirit who will never leave! It is one of the great blessings God's people have in this Church age. Here are some verses that explain about the 'sealing' of the Holy Spirit for each believer:
21: Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God;
22: Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.
13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
The above is very clear. Each believer in the Lord Jesus is sealed by the Holy Spirit who indwells in their heart. It is a permanent sealing from earth to heaven!
Now what does the indwelling of the Holy Spirit accomplish?
Since God's people are Spirit filled then they can easily influence the world in a positive way. The Holy Spirit works through each believer on planet earth and the net effect is the restraining of evil and the evil one. Now each believer has a ministry. They serve God as Kings and priests while they are here on earth.
5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,
6: And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
Each believer has been made 'kings and priests' unto God. This means Christians can pray and God hears and answers. Overall the effect of God's Spirit filled people is a restraining one. As Christians live and interact in this godless world they serve God and they pray. When a Christian sees evil, he is moved to pray as God leads. The end result is a restraining influence in the world. It is not the Christian who does the restraining but it is the work of the Holy Spirit as He works in and through Christians.
At the rapture the restraining work of the Holy Spirit through the Church will end. At that time the Church will be taken up to heaven. The Holy Spirit will still be in the world as He is omnipresent. However the Spirit filled body of believers (the Church) will be gone. The restrainer, the Holy Spirit filled Church, will be removed and there will be nothing restraining evil. At that point the antichrist will be free to rise to power and do his evil works. While the Church is in the world, the antichrist is 'restrained' by the power of the Holy Spirit in each believer. The rapture will remove that restrainer of evil.
I hope I've made things as clear as can be. The Holy Spirit is the one who does the restraining. He is restraining evil as He indwells all saved Christians throughout the world. At the rapture the Church is taken to heaven. The Holy Spirit will still be present after the rapture. However, the Church will be in heaven and the Holy Spirit will no longer restrain evil and the antichrist will then be able to rise to power.
Lets sum it all up. First the Holy Spirit is omnipresent. This means He is present everywhere in the creation of God. God's Spirit will never cease to be omnipresent. To do that He would cease to be God, which is impossible. For someone to say the Holy Spirit will be removed from earth at the rapture shows a great lack of understanding on the nature of God. God will not be removed from any of His creation....ever.
We also pointed out the fact that before Pentecost, the Holy Spirit was in the world and He will be in the world after the rapture. The only difference is the Church. The Church is a body of believers that came into existence at Pentecost. At that time, the Holy Spirit infilled all believers and sealed them until the day of redemption. Believers are now kings and priests unto God. As the Church works, serves God, and prays, the Holy Spirit works in and through them to restrain evil and the evil one. At the rapture the Church will be removed. At this time the Holy Spirit will no longer be restraining evil as the body of Spirit filled believers will be in heaven. Yes the Holy Spirit will still be present on earth, but the Church will not. This explains the removal of the restrainer which will allow the antichrist to rise to power.
So let me say this as a pre-tribulation rapture person. At the rapture the
Church is taken to heaven. The Holy Spirit is now restraining evil and the
evil one through the Church. Who is the Church? It is the saved people who
have trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour. These Christians are
blood bought and filled with the Holy Spirit. As they serve God and pray, God
the Holy Spirit works in and through them to restrain evil. At the rapture
this restrain is removed. The Church will no longer be present on earth and
the work of the Holy Spirit in restraining evil through the Church will be
finished. At this time the Holy Spirit is still on earth as He is omnipresent.
However, He no longer restrains evil since the Church has been raptured up
to heaven. NOW the devil can work out his plan and bring to power his