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The Holy Spirit’s Role in the End Times: A Pneumatological View of Eschatology, by Bernie Townsend

God’s plan for the renewal of creation in the end times is described in Scripture and by theologians. His plan involves the inclusion of humankind enjoying and resting with Himself eternally. The Holy Spirit, who is sent by the resurrected Jesus, prescribes and empowers His followers for the end times. Followers are invited to embrace the Holy Spirit as spiritual beings and reap the divine and eternal promises.


This research is to evaluate the following hypothesis:  “That the Holy Spirit has an active role in the end times.”

The argument commences that God is eternal. He is, He always was and He always will be. When commissioning Moses to bring the Israelites out of Egypt, He tells Moses, “I am who I am” (Ex 3:14). To God there are no ‘end times’.  In His goodness, He created the cosmos, and all living things, including humanity. Out of His being He has created, a time bound earth.  Earth has a beginning (the creation), a set time duration (known only to God) and an end[1].  For the purpose of this essay “end times”  means the period of time leading up to the second coming of Jesus, and the time when He instigates His eternal “new heavens and new earth” (Rev 21:1-5, 22).

God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. They are co-equal with one another and each has a part to play in time-bound history. From the very first chapter of Genesis the presence and unique role of the Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) has been made evident. In the beginning God made the heavens and the earth and the Holy Spirit hovered over the waters as the creative breath of wind. (Gen 1:1, 2). In the opening of his Gospel, John puts the Son (Jesus) firmly at this point in creation (John 1:1).

The Trinity has also actively guided creation through to humanity’s redemption by Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. At the launching of Jesus ministry, recorded by Luke at His baptism, the presence of the three persons of the Trinity are again described (Luke 3:21). Here the Spirit was portrayed as a dove. Subsequently Luke presents the active roles of the three persons in the Trinity in the development of the church. (Acts 1:7-11, 2:1-4). Here, the Spirit was both a violent wind and tongues of fire.

The Father and the Son have explicit roles in the end times. In his description of the beginning of eternity, John received a revelation from the Holy Spirit in which he saw the end of the old world and the dawn of a new order where God makes everything new (Rev 1:10). He describes,” Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.  And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.  He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!”… I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple” (Rev 21:1-5, 22).

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About the Author: Bernie Townsend, MTh (Laidlaw College, New Zealand), is a retired public servant with significant years of service in finance and financial systems. He is the author of The Life and Works of Octavius Hadfield, a Kapiti Missionary: From a Christian Perspective, a Basic Missiological Primer (2011).

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