Someone remarked to me once that at the Rapture, the Holy Spirit would be taken out of the world along with the Church. How could there be any new believers or anyone ministering, edifying and equipping without the presence of the Holy Spirit in their lives during the Tribulation Period? I assumed that God was everywhere all the time--unchangeable.


You are right and this does not make sense.  The Holy Spirit has been convicting mankind of their sin since the beginning of time, and will continue to do so until the end.  It is the Holy Spirit that opens blind eyes and deaf ears to see and hear the gospel.  Without the intervening and enlightening work of the Spirit then no man or woman could ever be saved, for they are lost in their blindness.
People in the Old Testament got saved just like we do today (repentance, belief in God's coming Messiah, and submission to God's will).  The Holy Spirit not only brings the repentance, but also the enlightenment of the truth.  That is why in Revelation there is the reference to the "Eternal Gospel" (14:6), for the way of salvation has always been the same, and the Holy Spirit's work in it also remains the same, and He is also the One that seals the salvation, for the OT saints, the Church, and the Tribulation Saints, and the Millennial Saints.  In fact, many who want to argue that baptism is a requirement for salvation, can't explain the "thief on the cross salvation" since he was never baptized, but he was simply saved by the eternal gospel of repentance, belief in Christ, and submission to Him.  Whatever gospel we preach, it must apply for the OT, Church Age, and Tribulation Saints, and those saved in the Millennium.
Actually that verse 2 Thess 2:7, does not really refer to the "church" being taken out of the way, but rather the actual Greek reveals a "stepping aside" and not a "take away completely".  So whatever is "holding back the Antichrist" simply "steps aside" and allows him to be revealed.  This cannot be the church because she is completely taken away, therefore I would say that the Holy Spirit simply allows the Antichrist to be revealed.  Bottom line, Jesus, the Father, and the Holy Spirit, are the same yesterday, today, and forever.

Added to Bible Bulletin Board's "Tony Capoccia's Questions and Answers" by:

Tony Capoccia
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