Q. What role will the Holy Spirit play in the coming prophetic scenario?
A. The Holy Spirit is, even now, playing a vital role in Bible Prophecy. It is His leading which draws people to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul said:
“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God,” (Romans 8:14).One day, at a time known only to God, the Church will be complete. The Holy Spirit will have led the last soul into the Body of Christ. At that time, the Rapture and Resurrection will take place (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). When the Church is taken home to Heaven, the role of the Holy Spirit - as He indwells the Church and restrains evil in the world - will be ended (2 Thessalonians 2:7-9). This will open the door to the rise of the Antichrist and his reign of evil during the Tribulation.
However, the role of the Holy Spirit in drawing people to the Savior will continue since the Spirit is God and God is omnipresent at all times. We know that 144,000 Jews will be sealed and saved (Revelation 7:4-8), as will an innumerable company of Gentiles (Revelation 7:9-17). The Spirit will continue to convict and convert the lost but His ministry of restraining evil will be removed at the Rapture.
Two witnesses will have a ministry lasting through half of the Tribulation Period (Revelation Chapter 11). Although the identity of these witnesses is not certain, they will come in the spirit of Moses and Elijah. Just as those men had the leading of the Holy Spirit, these two witnesses will, as well.
The Holy Spirit will have a special ministry to the people of Israel during the Tribulation, preparing them for the coming of their Messiah at the end of that time. The Prophet Joel made this promise (Joel 2:28-32). It began to be illustrated at Pentecost, as Peter stated at that time (Acts 2:15-21), but the physical signs in the heavens of Joel’s prophecy were not fulfilled on that day. This will occur later, during the Tribulation. The overwhelming majority of Israel will call on the Name of the Lord and be saved (Joel 2:32, Zechariah 12:10, 13:1, 13:9; Romans 11:26).
In the Millennium, Jesus Christ will come to rule personally. Of course, the Spirit of God will continue to dwell upon Him during that entire time (Isaiah 11:1-2). The Holy Spirit will also indwell Millennial believers, enabling them to function effectively in Christ’s earthly Kingdom.