Why the Restrainer Is Not the Church — 2 Thessalonians 2:1-8

021

 

Many are confused about who or what the restrainer is. I hope this article, which is a commentary on 2 Thessalonians 2:1-8, will help to clear up some of the confusion.

 

2 Thessalonians 2:1-8

Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our gathering together to Him, 2 that you may not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. 3 Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God. 5 Do you not remember that while I was still with you, I was telling you these things? 6 And you know what restrains him now, so that in his time he may be revealed. 7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way. 8 And then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming; NASB

 

As we see from the text, the Thessalonian believers were very upset (“quickly shaken”), because they thought they had missed the rapture, due to the fact that they received a message, supposedly from Paul, saying that the day of the Lord had come—for, as Paul had taught them, they were well aware that the day of the Lord comes after the rapture.

Paul, in this letter, seeks to calm their fears by explaining to them that the day of the Lord (which is the day of God’s wrath on unbelievers) will not come until “the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God” (vv. 3-4).

This “apostasy” will be a worldwide rebellion against God, led by the antichrist, and it will come exactly at the midpoint of the tribulation. This is the point at which the antichrist breaks the peace covenant with Israel (Dan. 9:27), and also is when he is revealed to be what he is—the evil antichrist.

This revelation of who he is, is God ordained and God directed, for it is at this point in time that the restraints on him by the Holy Spirit are removed. Yes, it is the Holy Spirit who has been restraining him and his evil works until this time; and here, at this point in time, he (the Holy Spirit) is “taken out of the way.”

Now it doesn’t say (in verse 7) that he (the Holy Spirit) is taken out of the world, but only “out of the way.” I believe this means that he will just take His restraints off of this antichrist, in order for God to use him for His will on the earth—for the Holy Spirit will indeed be working on the earth at this evil time to save many souls, primarily through the 144,000 Jewish witnesses.

Now this period of time, when the restraints are off of the antichrist (from the midpoint of the tribulation until the end of the tribulation, 3 1/2 years), will be the most terrible and fearful times that have ever been on the earth. Jesus instructed the Jews, concerning this time, to “flee to the mountains,” and “let him who is in the field not turn back to get his cloak.” Jesus said of this time, “then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever shall” (Matt. 24:15-22).

The end of the story for the antichrist is in verse eight: “The Lord will slay [him] with the breath of His mouth, and bring [him] to an end by the appearance of His coming”—or in the Greek it is by the outshining (epiphaneia) of His presence (parousia).

His sad demise is prophesied for us in Revelation 19:20:

And the beast was seized, and with him the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image; these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone.

 

Now I want to say one more thing about this restrainer. First of all, we are not told anywhere in scripture that he is the Holy Spirit. But I think this is a very good guess.  Secondly, if He is the Holy Spirit—and I think He is—He will not be removed until the midpoint of the tribulation.  This point is very clear in this 2 Thessalonians passage; the antichrist is revealed at the midpoint of the tribulation because of the fact that what has been restraining him has been taken out of the way.

Therefore, thirdly, we must conclude from this that the removing of the restrainer has nothing to do with the church or the rapture. Many believe that the Holy Spirit leaves this earth along with the church when they are raptured, and so they believe (as I have for a long time) that the restrainer is tied into the church and the timing of the rapture.  However, this is wrong.  The rapture comes before the seven year tribulation and the taking out of the way of the restrainer comes at the midpoint of the tribulation.

 

 

Advertisements

About Stephen Nielsen

I'm an author, a self publisher, and a painting contractor. I live in beautiful Minnesota, USA . Welcome to my blog site.
This entry was posted in 2 Thessalonians 2:1-8, Antichrist, Bible Passages on Prophecy, Prophecy Topics, Rapture, Second Coming, The Tribulation and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Why the Restrainer Is Not the Church — 2 Thessalonians 2:1-8

  1. Levi says:

    Interesting! However there is one thing that I have noticed in my study by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ that once the tribulation begins at Rev 6:1, there is no fruit (Gal 5:22-23) of the Holy Spirit in the people on earth mentioned in the book of Revelation. We do have faith and patience mentioned in Rev 13:10 and Rev 14:12 but it is exclusively for the 144000 saints who are exclusively sealed in the foreheads. On the contrary at the opening of the second seal it was given power to the red horse rider to “take peace from the earth”. There is not one word of grace, mercy, lovingkindess, forgiveness, goodness of God that leadeth us to repentance or anything as such, mentioned in the book of Revelation during this horrible period. We are all today saved by grace; it is by grace a person repents. But it is mentioned that “they repented not” four times in the book of Revelation. No grace = no repentance = no forgiveness = no salvation.
    Also, the seven year treaty would be made by the Antichrist himself and that itself will reveal his identity. In the middle of the tribulation he will break the same treaty and will go for an onslaught against the saints.
    But what is holding him now from signing the seven year treaty is the prayers of the Church. Though I believe that the Church is not praying against this Wicked One but it is praying for the Ark to be completed. Once this is done, the Church is caught up and the Devil, that old serpent is cast down and the man of sin will be revealed. So it is the birth of the manchild of Rev 12, the Devil is waiting for.
    The manchild (Church) was not BORN at the Pentecost but was CONCEIVED in the womb (Jerusalem) of the woman (Israel). The manchild is not complete until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in; that is every believer comes to his fullness. During this waiting period, Satan will draw the stars of heaven (falling away) down to the ground.
    Rev 12 is the story that begins from the beginning of the Tribulation and ends at the middle of the tribulation, that is killing of “the remnant of her seed”, that is 144000 of the children (seed) of Israel (woman).
    God bless you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s