The Person of the Holy Spirit Part 11 The Eschatology of the Holy Spirit -- By: John F. Walvoord

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 099:396 (Oct 1942)
Article: The Person of the Holy Spirit Part 11 The Eschatology of the Holy Spirit
Author: John F. Walvoord

The Person of the Holy Spirit
Part 11
The Eschatology of the Holy Spirit

John F. Walvoord

(Concluding Article in the Series on the Holy Spirit)

[Author’s Note: This article brings to conclusion the series of studies in the doctrine of the Holy Spirit begun in the April-June, 1940, Number of Bibliotheca Sacra. The present article includes the discussion of the work of the Holy Spirit in the tribulation and in the millennium. The entire series on the doctrine of the Holy Spirit is scheduled for republication in book form with added material and indexes in the near future.]


The doctrine of the future work of the Holy Spirit has attracted practically no attention in existing works on theology and in books on the Holy Spirit. We search in vain for an exposition of this doctrine in standard theologies such as Hodge, Strong, Shedd, Alexander, Watson, Wardlaw, Dorner, Dick, Miley, Gerhart, Valentine, Buel, and the recent work of Berkhof. In works on the Holy Spirit such as Kuyper, Smeaton, Moule, Cummings, and Simpson there is practically no mention of the doctrine. The chief factor causing this defect is the three-way division in the treatment of eschatology itself. The postmillennial theory holds that the prophesied millennium will be fulfilled in the present age through preaching the Gospel or a “spiritual” return of Christ. If this theory be held, of course, the present ministries of the Spirit will continue through the age and culminate in the conclusion of all things in the final judgment. There is, in this theory, no need of treating the eschatology of the Holy Spirit. A similar situation is found among the writings of the so-called amillennialist view, i.e., that the present age will continue and issue into the eternal state without any millennium. Only the premillennialist, who anticipates a millennium on earth after Christ returns to set up His kingdom, can be expected to consider the doctrine and furnish an exposition of it.

In the writing of premillennial teachers and theologians there is also, however, a surprising neglect of this doctrine.

Among the older premillennialists, such as Van Oosterzee, there is little exposition and defense of the premillennial position, and practically no attention is given the prophesied ministries of the Spirit in the millennial period. More attention has been given to the other great themes of prophecy. The result has been that there has been little understanding of the nature of the ministries of the Spirit in the prophesied period of tribulation and in the millennium which follows. It is to this task that we now turn.

The usual premillennial position is ass...

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