The restrainer of 2Th 2:7 is not the Spirit filled Church

On August 8, 2011 · 196 Comments

One of the great controversial mysteries of Bible prophecy is the identity of the restrainer of 2Th 2:7. This issue came up in a recent post and I took the standard view given by most dispensational Bible prophecy teachers that the restrainer mentioned in 2Th 2:7 is the Holy Spirit within the Church. Since then I decided to do a more in-depth study on this passage and to try to think things through logically.

First let me give the passage in question in it’s context. I am using the American Standard version because I think verse 7 there is a bit more true to the Greek than the King James and it certainly is clearer. The key points for this post I have in bold.

2 Th 2:3  let no man beguile you in any wise: for it will not be,except the falling away come first, and the man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition, 4  he that opposeth and exalteth himself against all that is called God or that is worshipped; so that he sitteth in the temple of God, setting himself forth as God. 5  Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?
6  And now ye know that which restraineth, to the end that he may be revealed in his own season.7  For the mystery of lawlessness doth already work: only there is one that restraineth now, until he be taken out of the way. 8 And then shall be revealed the lawless one, whom the Lord Jesus shall slay with the breath of his mouth, and bring to nought by the manifestation of his coming; 9  even he, whose coming is according to the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, 0  and with all deceit of unrighteousness for them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11  And for this cause God sendeth them a working of error, that they should believe a lie: 12  that they all might be judged who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

One thing that was confirmed from doing this study is how people throughout church history love to interpret Bible prophecy through their own contemporary times.

All the very early Church writers that I read thought that that the restrainer was the Roman Government. They thought that when the restraining Roman government was under the complete control of Nero that Nero would fulfill the role as the Son of Perdition. Even after Nero was dead and gone some expected him to rise from the dead and fulfill the Antichrist role. Some still do.

Later on many in the Church believed that the Roman Papacy system was the Antichrist and the restrainer was civil government. When the Catholic Church gained increasing control and headed the Holy Roman Empire they saw this as some progressive fulfillment of this passage. For them there was no longer any restrainer. The Antichrist (papacy) was ruling. Some in the Church still see it that way.

The idea that the restrainer was the Church or the Holy Spirit within the Church is relevantly recent in Church history. Darby, the father of dispensationalism takes this position. Darby’s view on this passage was that when the Holy Spirit indwelt Church left in the Rapture that the restraining influence would have been removed from the earth and the Lawless One would come. That is still the prevalent position among most dispensationalists and that was my view until I did this study.

Obviously in hindsight, the one that hindered was not government. That really makes little sense now. It did not even make sense back then because Satan has control over world kingdoms so why would Satan hinder what he controlled? That view failed to be realized anyway, in both the days of the early Church, or in the era of the Holy Roman Empire and Protestant reformation.

In the days when the Roman Catholic Church led most of the world, any literal interpretation of chapter two could not be fulfilled literally, so most thought the Roman church was progressively fulling this passage. Some still feel that way but allegorical interpretations are pretty dishonest to the detail in the text. There is reason to believe that the Roman Church becomes the Harlot of Revelation chapter 17 and not an Antichrist system. If the text is taken honestly in any literal sense, the Man of Sin is not some long drawn out system of religion. So we will put that idea to bed.

The position of some others in the Church was that the Holy Spirit was the restrainer. That does not make sense either. The Holy Spirit cannot be removed from the earth; for if the Holy Spirit was removed no one could be saved and scripture clearly says that huge numbers of people will be saved in the Great Tribulation.

So we are pretty much left with the position that the Spirit indwelt Church will be removed before the Antichrist can be revealed and another position that I will get into later.

The restrainer being the Spirit indwelt Church sounds good but it seems to fail the logic test among other things to me. If Paul was talking about the Church, why would Paul call the Church a “he” when the Church is always feminine, being the bride of Christ?

The people Paul was talking to were worried that they were already in the Day of the Lord. This teaching from Paul was clearly telling them that they were not, and that they should know better, because he had already taught them the sequence. Paul wondered how they could be so gullible to think that they were already in the Day of the Lord when the Rapture had not even happened and the man of sin had not entered the Temple claiming to be God.

Paul told them that the apostasy had to happen first and then the restrainer had to be taken out of the way before the Day of the Lord could come. Only then could the Son of Perdition be revealed with all lying signs and wonders from Satan. And that is why Paul was admonishing them saying, “I told you these things and you know what restraineth.

Obviously then, it was not the Church that restrained the Antichrist because the Church was still around. If they believed the Church was the restrainer they had nothing to worry about because they could just continue with their restraining. So the restrainer was not them. It was someone that Paul had already told them about.

There simply is no reason why Paul would not have told them that they were the restrainers if that was actually true. After all, these people were thinking that they were already in the Day of the Lord. Therefore, they could not have thought or been taught by Paul that the Spirit indwelt Church was the restrainer.

Paul also makes it clear that the spirit of Antichrist was already on the earth. The early Church certainly did not have the power on earth to hinder Satan much, it was the other way around. Throughout history we see the spirit of Antichrist has been persecuting those in Christ. Therefore, The Church certainly is not the force preventing the lawless One or Son of Perdition from coming to power in Israel.

As a side point, if the Church were the only thing preventing the Son of Perdition, and the Rapture is seven years prior to the second coming, like many dispensationalists like to believe, then why does it take 42 months or more after the Rapture for the Son of Perdition to even enter the Temple? Contrary to what some people teach, the Son of Perdition will only be ruling on earth for the last 42 months. Sure, he also is the Prince mentioned in Daniel, that confirms but breaks the seven-year covenant with the many in the midst of those seven years. However, he does not become the Antichrist or have all the powers of Satan until after Satan is cast out of Heaven. That is when Satan incarnates this man and it is only for those last 42 months.

So if the Holy Spirit in the Church is not the restrainer than who is? There really is only one other possibility. The passage says the restrainer is a “he” and the restrainer has to be a powerful enough being on earth to hinder Satan and prevent the Lawless One from rising to power in the region. Who do we see in other Bible passages as restrainers? The answer is simple, only angels are mentioned, and angels are always mentioned as masculine – “He”.

The only restrainer of Satan mentioned in the scriptures is Michael the Archangel and he does not do it in his own power he restrains in the name of the Lord. It was Michael that opposed Satan over the body of Moses and it was Michael that was sent by God to aid the angel being hindered that God sent to answer Daniel’s prayer. That angel was being restrained by the angel over Persia for three weeks. So from these passage and others it becomes clear that there are angelic powers over world empires and leaders and nobody is going to come to power in the land of Israel if the angel of Israel (Michael) prevents them.

Then the logical question is, why is Michael removed so the Lawless One can be revealed? Michael just does what God tells him, but in this case we can ascertain the answer from the Bible. Revelation tells us that there was (will be) war in heaven and Michael and his angels fought against the Dragon and his angels and Satan and his angels were cast out of heaven unto the earth (Rev 12:7). Michael is not omnipresence he must have been told by God to go into the heavens to cast Satan out of the heavens unto the earth.

After Satan is cast unto the earth he immediately seeks to destroy God’s people on earth through this Son of Perdition (Antichrist). It is God’s will that Satan will be allowed to have free reign on the earth for 42 months to deceive all those that did not love the truth. The Lord Himself will destroy the Antichrist with the brightness of His coming and Satan will be bound for a thousand years.

I know many of you that hold the traditional dispensational view will read this view that Michael is the restrainer and you might disagree. Fine, but don’t just tell me you think the restrainer is the Holy Spirit indwelt church. I already know what many of you think. I am trying to teach what I think is most logical from the scriptures. I am not polling you. If you have reasonable arguments why you believe a different view is more scriptural or more logical than mine, then let’s have it. If you can add additional arguments for the restrainer being Michael I certainly would like to hear these arguments as well.

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 Don Koenig founded www.thepropheticyears.com website in 1999 after almost thirty years of independent study on the Bible and learning from many astute teachers within Christendom. Don created his website to write about Bible prophecy, biblical discernment and his Christian worldviews. Don wrote a free Revelation commentary ebook in 2004 named "The Revelation of Jesus Christ Through The Ages". The World and Church and Bible Prophecy section of this website was started in 2007.


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196 Responses to “The restrainer of 2Th 2:7 is not the Spirit filled Church”

  1. AmmiNo Gravatar says:

    Awesome post. The pronoun “he” was one of the reasons I couldn’t agree that the indwelt church was the restrainer. Since scripture interprets scripture, there is nothing that says the church restrains, or the Spirit either. The church is to be salty and shine its light in the darkness, the H.S. convicts of sin and draws people to Christ. Human government, under the Noahic covenant, was a very weak possibility but didn’t seem like a very good fit since there is government throughout the tribulation. BUT, there is plenty of scriptural support for angels. I think you have the best interpretation I’ve heard to date. I’m going with it. Thanks for doing the leg work. Maranatha

  2. LisaNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Don:

    This is the first time I am commenting here but I follow your site pretty regularly. I believed what so many have been taught and believe regarding the Holy Spirit being the restrainer…yet, your comments about why certain ideas of who the restrainer is cannot be made a lot of sense to me and in your further explaining why you think it may be Michael the archangel, it seems pretty plausible to me as well. I had heard this idea before, but never explained like you did, so it seemed to gel with me and looking at the scriptures more closely. I have a question though, as I am not sure I completely get it (although, do any of us completely get it…we see through a glass darkly no?). If Michael is in fact the restrainer because he is the Archangel over the territory of Israel, can we assume that the antichrist has not risen yet as Michael is preventing it until a certain time according to the Lord’s will and perhaps that will be in conjunction with one of the wars that Israel will go through in the future, i.e. Psalm 83, Ezekiel, etc.? and if so, will we as the church discern this event and understand what is happening and then the rapture? It gets confusing sometimes when trying to think it all through, especially when you thought you had it all figured out already :). Thanks for any reply and further teaching or understanding that you can share regarding this. I think it will help many immensely. And thanks so much for your site…it is a well balanced view from a Godly perspective. Amen!

  3. ShawnNo Gravatar says:

    Don,
    addressing your comment “…for if the Holy Spirit was removed no one could be saved and scripture clearly says that huge numbers of people will be saved in the Great Tribulation.”

    When the verses mentions ‘he’ I believe it refers to the Holy Spirit…which is in every believer & is also known as the church. What about the 144K Jews? I also believe they will be indwelt by the Holy Spirit but with the way Revelation says they are ‘marked’ it seems to be something different than the way we receive Jesus as Lord & savior. Please don’t interpret that as ‘another way’ to God. They still must acknowledge Jesus as Lord savior. So we have the rapture that removes every true believer from the planet. The Anti-christ will be rising to power after this event but it’s not an over-night event. I think he will probably be the greatest leader the world has ever known. Understand that he’s not controlled by the devil until the midpoint of the 7 years. Anyway, that’s one theory. Problem with it is that your take on it with Michael is just as believable to me.

  4. DonNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Lisa,
    It is my view that there is no Antichrist Son of Perdition until Satan is cast unto the earth. So no, I do not believe the Antichrist is risen yet although the spirit of antichrist has always been with us.
    I do not believe the Church will be here when the Antichrist is revealed. I think he will be revealed some unknown years after the Rapture.

    I had Bible prophecy all figured out once. That was after I read a few books on it. Now I have read much and know very little.

    Thanks for your comment, keep in touch.

  5. Don FrittsNo Gravatar says:

    Don ,
    Your viewpoint is as logicial as any I’ve heard and I think I’ve read enough to hear just
    about everything imagineable. This passage has always been a question mark to me . Thanks for
    adding some fresh insight. For his own reasons God has left some gray areas, we simply don’t
    know the entire plan.

  6. DonNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Shawn,

    I was actually pointing out a different position. Some have said that the Holy Spirit will be removed from the earth and not just the Holy Spirit in the indwelt Church.

    There is no doubt the 144,000 will have the Holy Spirit. They are called first-fruits and brethren of Jesus. They will have as much or more of the Holy Spirit than anyone who walked the earth other than Jesus and the foundational prophets and Apostles.

  7. ShawnNo Gravatar says:

    Okay, another thought…most of us have assumed the restraint means keeping all the evil in the world from taking over, so to speak. If that were the case I would argue the omnipresent Holy Spirit would make more sense than a single angel. But it doesn’t…reading the verses you listed doesn’t say anything about the world, it only states the restrainer being removed so that the lawless one can be revealed. This is starting to make more sense to me.

  8. ~DavidNo Gravatar says:

    This is sort of off topic of the article but relevant to the passage…

    8 And then shall be revealed the lawless one, whom the Lord Jesus shall slay with the breath of his mouth, and bring to nought by the manifestation of his coming;

    Is that awesome or what ?

    Jesus basically tells Satan to ‘Drop Dead’ and that’s it for him : )

  9. Hi Don,
    I follow your site,but this is my first time to comment.Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum said in “The Footsteps of the Messiah” that “the Holy Spirit is never described as restraining.The task of restraining evil was given to human government under the Noahic covenant in Genesis 9:1-17,and this basic doctrinal truth was reiterated by Paul in Romans 13:1-7.On one hand,human government is even now restraining lawlessness.On the other hand,the government of the last of the three kings will restain the Antichrist,until the middle of the Tribulation.”(page 567)
    Your comment ,please?I love your site.You always make us stretch our minds and send us deeper
    into the scriptures.

  10. DonNo Gravatar says:

    Actually the passage is talking about the Antichrist not Satan. Satan is bound for a thousand years and then he is released again.

  11. DonNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Cheryl,

    I guess Dr. Fruchtenbaum also sees the problem with the restrainer being the indwelt church. However, I disagree that human government could or would restrain the Antichrist from coming to power to lead human government. If the restrainer was human government I hardly think that human government would be called “he”. It seems pretty clear to me that The Man of San cannot come to power because Satan is not yet allowed to indwell a man to make it happen. Human government cannot stop Satan. Only when the supernatural restrainer of Satan is taken out of the way can Satan have his way and produce his counterfeit.

    Thanks for your input.

  12. DonNo Gravatar says:

    I just want to add that those that think the restrainer is human government are not entirely wrong, they just are not seeing the supernatural picture. There are angelic beings that control kingdoms and kings. Michael is the angel that rules over Israel and he is the restrainer in Israel.

  13. DougNo Gravatar says:

    Interesting hypothesis, Don. It makes a lot of sense, although I’m not convinced that removing the restrainer — eg. The Holy Spirit — can be strictly interpreted as taking Him out of this world. It could simply mean changing some of his duties??? I suppose now I need to do a study on “Michael”. ;-) One of the implications I like about your suggestion is it de-links the rapture from the “revealing”. Although the two events are mentioned together, if the restrainer isn’t the HS, then the rapture can occur, say, tomorrow, and the restrainer can be removed, say 2030.

    Quite thought provoking, Don. Articles like this is why I like your site.

  14. Very interesting Don…

    What strikes me most here is not the actual ‘change in interpretation,’ rather it is the fact that honest, godly, faithful, Spirit-gifted believers can come to different interpretations of scripture (on non-essencial doctrine, that are often contentious). It tells me several important things:

    No one believer has everything right with respect to their understandof scripture, dispite being Spirit indwelt and Spirit filled.

    Even things from the the great teachers and Church Fathers amd long Church traditions have been found to be in error.

    Perhaps more humility and less dogmatiscism would be in order where these debateable, non-essencial things are concerned?

    What we think/assume to be ‘cast in stone’ and not subject to debate, may actually be revealed to be debatable.

    I think we can all think of issues in the Church where there are differences of godly oppinion, and yet one side (or both) demonizes the other, practically (if not actually) calling the other appostates or heritics. (again, I’m not talking about the foundations of our faith: Nicene Creed things, ‘just’ importa.t, but not essential things.)

    Abba, we need Your balance, Your humility and love as much, maybe even more than we need perfect knowlege of every issue (important or not). Knowledge is good, but it tends to puff us up in pride and lead us to judge others where only You can, as in the motives of our hearts and our standing and fellowship with You. None of us will fully understand all that You mean in the scriptures – it’s why we need Your teaching Spirit, and we need our fellow believers. Please help us to be faithful to the crucial things and loving with great humility in all other things. May it be that when we have asked You and still do not see a clear way, that is, we are in doubt, then let us do the kind thing to our neighbors and brethren. Dearest God: Father, Jesus and Spirit, we need You! Please glorify Yourself in us today!

  15. DonNo Gravatar says:

    Brett,

    I agree, We should not divide on non essentials. Obviously nobody has everything correct about certain passages.

    This morning I had my wife look up this passage in her John MacAuthur Commentary. It was interesting that he said that the restrainer will not be removed by the Rapture of the Church but he offered no other opinion in the commentary about the identity of the restrainer.

    I see that MacArthur has done a sermon video on this passage but with my slow speed download connection I cannot download it. I would be interested in his view on the identity of the restrainer if anyone knows it or cares to view it.

  16. Don FrittsNo Gravatar says:

    Don ,
    I have the John Macarthur Study Bible in the New King James and New American Standard translations. In both his note is exactly the same. MacArthur says :” taken out the way refers
    not to spiritualremoval( therefore it could not be the rapture of the church)but rather stepping aside. The idea is stepping aside , but not gone.” MacArthur further says : ” This
    restraint will be in place until the Antichrist is revealed at the midpoint of the Tribulation
    leaving him 42 months to reign.” Dr. Henry Morris in his Defenders Study Bible, King James
    Version says the restainer is the Holy Spirit as an indwelling presence in the church , but
    that The Holy Spirit is always present and will be present on earth during the tribulation.
    When I have more time I will check some other sources like Missler and Jon Courson

  17. DonNo Gravatar says:

    Don,

    That is also what my wife read from MacArthur’s commentary. I was wondering if he got into more detail in one of his sermons?

    I already know Missler’s position, it is that the restrainer is the Spirit indwelt Church. Like I said in this post, I know most dispensational teachers take that view but I see the problems that I mentioned with that view.

  18. CraigNo Gravatar says:

    Much appreciated and thanks for having the courage and humility to do the homework and prayer and focus and put it out there. Our end times knowledge advances hence forth. By the time I get home from work (software), I’m mentally spent. I and many others like me really do rely on people like Don and other posters here et al to do all the hard work (sorry, but I’m just exhausted each eve).

    For me, it’s not as much knowing Michael is the restrainer as knowing the spirit / church is NOT the restrainer. Error is dangerous and truth is proper leadership. I think, to me, the “pressure is off”, as if I could have mustered the spirit to restrain Satan (not that I have any disillusionment that I could, frankly).

  19. Don FrittsNo Gravatar says:

    Don ,
    I have quite a few John MacArthur cassette tapes and CD’s , I will go through them and see if
    I have one where he addresses this issue. I will also take a look at his website to see what I
    can find there. BLESSINGS!!!!!

  20. Don FrittsNo Gravatar says:

    Don ,
    On MacArthur’s website ( http://www.gty.org) I found no video , you can read his sermon or listen
    online to it. Sermon Date is April 12 , 1992 , Code # 53 – 10. I found it by usung :restrainer
    as the search word.

  21. I too, appreciate Don’s hard work and faithful conclusions. PLUS – he never asks anyone to “sow a seed” or buy seeds!

  22. DonNo Gravatar says:

    Don,

    I see from reading MacArthur article that he believes the restrainer is the Holy Spirit but he does not rule out that the Holy Spirit is using Michael to assist Him in doing the restraining.

    Obviously God’s will – will be carried out, so I cannot argue against the view that God is the ultimate being restraining the coming of the Lawless One until the time God sets for him to be revealed to deceive those that rejected the truth.

    Nevertheless, like I said I think God uses angels to carry out His will on earth. We see that fact in the life of Jesus. Jesus was ministered to and protected by angels. They insured that the scriptures would be fulfilled just as God said through His Messiah.

    Jesus said he could ask the Father and He would send his angels to deliver Him. Yet Jesus had the Holy Spirit without measure so why would he need to ask the Father for angels when he could just have destroyed his enemies Himself with a thought?

    It seems to me that the Holy Spirit in God’s creation works through His created agents – angels and the saints. In other words, for those in His creation to just call on some Holy Spirit “force” is not how God has decided to operate in His creation.

    Therefore, I still think the actual physical restrainer is an angel – Michael.

  23. ~DavidNo Gravatar says:

    Since I taught Don everything he knows…I feel especially glad…kidding.

    Yep, we all appreciate Don’s awesome wisdom, insight, and work. People like Don make a difference in the most important thing in this life…our seeking and learning of Jesus Christ.

  24. AmmiNo Gravatar says:

    I’m with you David, I appreciate all the open hearts and minds that visit here to more fully understand the scriptures and our great God. Most readers here do not have itching ears. We gain encouragement from one another as we stir up each others’ faith in the goodness of God and the soon return of the Lord Jesus. Maranatha

  25. Don FrittsNo Gravatar says:

    Don ,
    I find your position to reasonable and logical. You article got me reflecting on this as I
    have always been uncertain whom HE ( the restrainer is) . Jon Courson, a Calvary Chapel pastor
    and very good teacher, says He is the Holy Spirit. I checked J Vernon McGee’s commentary and
    he says Holy Spirit is the restainer and has a different mission after He is removed as the
    restraining force. I am going to continue research to see how many different views I can find.

  26. PeteNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Don,

    I enjoy reading your articles, and you do make a compelling case in this instance with the Restrainer being Michael rather than the Holy Spirit. Although I respectfully disagree, but like the others on here already stated, it is as logical as any others I have seen or read.

    The Holy Spirit existed on earth before Christ came, yet He told the disciples that if He went, He would send the Comforter (Counselor) to be with them and in them forever (JN 14).

    The Church is unique in that we are sealed by the Holy Spirit (Eph 1, 2 Cor 1) as a guarantee, yet, people before the Church were saved, but could also have the Holy Spirit depart (Ps 51:11).

    Michael is the guardian of Israel no doubt, and wouldn’t change the fact that he will be called up to heaven to cast out Satan.

    Anyway, my .02 cents

  27. DonNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Pete,

    I apparently am not getting my two cents worth. What does the ever presence of the Holy Spirit in all of His creation have to do with the restrainer being taken out of the way? Yes infilling came and went and people were saved in all eras but that is not the point.

    My point was that in God’s timing Michael will be taken out of the midst of Israel to cast Satan and his angels out of Heaven. Nevertheless, Michael will return to protect the remnant. The remnant of Israel will still be guarded by Michael in the mountains after she flees (that can be inferred from Daniel 12:1 and elsewhere) so it’s not like Michael abandons Israel, he is just taken out of the midst of Israel to fight a war in Heaven and that sets the whole sequence in motion where Satan finds himself limited to the earth and decides to play God on earth through the Son of Perdition (by the way, an alternative interpretation of that “out of the way” passage is “out of the midst”)

    If the restrainer is the Holy Spirit it will be the first time that the Holy Spirit was said to directly restrain something in the Bible. As I implied in my previous comment the Holy Spirit/Holy Ghost always seems to do his work through the imagers of God/ the sons of God/those created in His image. How do you build a case from scripture that the hinder of the coming of the Lawless One is the Holy Spirit? How is He hindering? Is it through the Church; through human government; through Michael and his angels or what? Like I said, I am sure God is hindering the coming of this Son of Destruction until His two prophets complete their mission in God’s own timing but the question is through whom is He now doing the hindering that he has to taken out of the way or midst?

  28. PeteNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Don,

    Well, we’ve narrowed it down to either one of two entities: God the Holy Spirit (acting thru the indwelling of the Church) or God using Michael as the Restrainer. Daniel 9:26-27 states that the prince who is to come confirms the treaty, which is what starts the 70th week. So one not need wait until he (Antichrist) set foot in the temple to recognize who he is. My case is built around the unique nature of the Holy Spirit’s relationship with this new body of believers. Never before were believers sealed by the Holy Spirit, regardless of their moral standing. OT believers werent included into the Body of Christ or became new creations, they were ‘friends’ of the bridegroom, not the bride itself. Rom 11:25 makes it clear that there is a certain number known to God that must come in, before Israel (thru the 70th week) returns as the focus.

    The Holy Spirit acts thru believers whom Jesus told should be the salt and light of this world. Greater is He who is in us then is in the world. Paul says that we don’t wrestle against flesh and blood, so my question if the Church is not then why is there so much evil where the Church is not?

  29. DonNo Gravatar says:

    Pete,

    There is nothing to suggest that anyone will know who that Prince really is until he is revealed at the mid point. There could be dozens of world leaders or revived Roman Empire leaders confirming the Covenant with the many. The passage just indicates that the future Son of Perdition will be one of them. He cannot even be the Antichrist until Satan gives him the power and that Prince could be any one of those leaders. who it will be might not even be determined at the confirming of the Covenant. Satan’s choice for the Son of Perdition is determined by him. In any case, the Son of Perdition does not arrive empowered by Satan until after Satan is cast unto the earth.

    I understand your view that believing Jews are not in the body of Christ because that is the standard dispensational position but I disagree with it. Here is my explanation from my Revelation Commentary on your suggestion that OT believers are not included in the Body of Christ and are just friends of the Groom.

    Rev 7:15 Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.
    16 They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat.
    17 For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.

    Since many in dispensation theology say the 144,000 and this multitude that come out of the tribulation are not included in the Church. Let us learn the truth about the people in this passage by examining the theology that tells us who the body and bride of Christ are. This understanding is necessary to give proper hope to the Jews and martyrs who find Jesus in the great tribulation and to correct some bad theology in the dispensational camp.

      Why true Christians from Pentecost and true Jews are both in the body of Christ:

    The passage in Revelation that is listed above says that this multitude is a distinct people who will always be before the throne of God. The text is very clear that they will serve in God’s temple. Later in this book, we will learn that in eternity God will have no temple in the Holy City. He and the Lamb will be the temple. If there is no temple in eternity other than God in His people and this multitude serves Him in the temple then they must be indwelt with His Holy Spirit and must worship and serve Him in spirit and in truth just like the faithful Church that was taken in the rapture.
    We also will be told in Revelation chapters 21 and 22 that the eternal Holy City is the place where there will be no need for the sun and it is where the Lamb’s throne is located. The Lamb in the midst of the throne and no sun or heat is promised to this multitude. Thus, it is certain that this multitude will dwell and serve in the Holy City. That alone should make it obvious that these 144,000 Jews and all they convert are included in the body of Christ. They live in the home of the bride that is described in chapters 21 and 22.

    This understanding makes me depart from classical dispensationalists on their point that believing Jews are not part of the body of Christ. I believe the scripture teaches that the body of Christ is the whole commonwealth of Israel and not just the believers that entered the new covenant bride by God’s grace to believers since Pentecost.
    I do understand their arguments, because not long ago I held their view. These dispensationalists claim that saved Israel is not part of the bride of Christ but that these are merely friends or brethren of the groom.

    Some claim the body of Christ and the bride are different entities. They generally use Jewish marriage illustrations to support their views. However, whatever the truth is about these illustrations, I see no distinction in heaven between true Israel of the Old Testament and true believers since Pentecost. Scriptures say that both assemblies are included in the commonwealth of Israel and that both assemblies are branches on the same Olive Tree; they also have identical destinies in the city of the bride. Most of the arguments these dispensationalists use are from subjective reasoning and they cannot be supported by any direct scripture passage, yet there is scripture to refute their reasoning.

    Those that hold this theology claim the body of Christ started at Pentecost and those saved since Pentecost are the only people in Christ. They claim that the Church since Pentecost until the rapture (or some say the marriage) will be the only believers in Christ. This mostly Gentile bride will be one with Christ but Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses and all the people of faith prior to Pentecost and after the rapture are not part of the body or bride.  Therefore, they say the 144,000 sealed Jews and the billions they help bring to Christ have missed the opportunity to become part of this body of Christ but will now be friends or brethren of Jesus.

    Dispensational teachers have been dead set against the replacement theology that prevails in many mainline covenant theology denominations. Nevertheless, they themselves may be guilty of a more subtle form of replacement theology that takes place in the kingdom of heaven. They make believers since Pentecost the queen of the kingdom and co-regent with Christ over all creation but they make the founding fathers and the 144,000 first fruits merely friends, subjects or servants in the kingdom. Why would God discriminate between pre and post Pentecost people all saved by trusting in God’s promise? The Apostle Paul said we are all branches on the same Olive Tree.

    These theologians seem to claim we should exclude true Israel from the bride because God had the grace to graft in Gentiles! Why does true Israel get this graft shaft and how did the Gentiles now become the only true love of God s life? God is no respecter of persons whether Jew or Gentile. Salvation by faith is a free gift to all until the body is completed.
    Not including true Israel as members of the body not only would not be fair to true Israel but the book of Romans demolishes that thought by making it clear that there is only one Olive Tree of which Old and New Testament believers are all branches and there is one Commonwealth of Israel of which we are all members. The Gentiles were by God s grace grafted into the Commonwealth of Israel. They did not replace the commonwealth and all the promises made to all children of Abraham (the children of faith and the promise). We all get nourishment from the same root that is watered by the Spirit of God.

    The argument they use that true Israel did not have the Holy Spirit because the Holy Spirit was not given until Pentecost does not hold water either. The promised New Covenant baptism of the Holy Spirit was given at Pentecost but the Holy Spirit was alive and well on planet earth from the beginning and filled and saved people prior to Pentecost. The scripture is filled with many such examples. In John 20:22 Jesus told His disciples to receive the Holy Spirit when he appeared to them and breathed on them and this was before Pentecost.
    Pentecost was the baptism that John the Baptist promised would come through Jesus (Mat 3:11). This baptism identified all believers into the death and resurrection of God’s chosen High Priest so all who believe by faith could have eternal atonement for their sins and be born into His spiritual new creation called the Body of Christ.
    That does not mean there were not those of faith before Pentecost. Pentecost was the giving of the promised new covenant and body of Christ but people also got saved by faith during the time of the old covenant. No one can be saved without the Holy Spirit in any dispensation. It is impossible to please God without faith and you cannot have true faith without the Holy Spirit. The Old Testament is filled with accounts proving that the Holy Spirit worked through Old Testament people of faith. Accordingly, how could those dead in their sins without His Spirit have the faith to please Him as many obviously did? The Bible also says that all Israel was baptized into Moses and the sea and all drank of Christ.

    1 Co 10:1  Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea;
    2  And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;
    3  And did all eat the same spiritual meat;
    4  And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.
     
    Psa 51:11  Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy Spirit from me.
     
    Isa 63:10  But they rebelled, and vexed his holy Spirit: therefore he was turned to be their enemy, and he fought against them.
     
    Isa 63:11  Then he remembered the days of old, Moses, and his people, saying, Where is he that brought them up out of the sea with the shepherd of his flock? where is he that put his holy Spirit within him?

    At Pentecost, when Jesus poured out his blood in the Holy Place in heaven the new covenant promise was put into effect, because all sin was paid for. Because of natural Israel’s unbelief, many branches were broken off the Olive tree. This allowed the grafting in of believing Gentiles into the new covenant promise given to the house of Israel and Judah. At Pentecost, Jesus as High Priest in the heavenly holy place poured out His blood and paid for the sins of mankind once and for all. By doing so, the Holy Spirit was now poured out on all flesh who would hear this new covenant message of God’s grace by faith regardless if they were Jew or Gentiles. No longer was it necessary for a high priest in Israel to atone for their sins for anyone on earth to be filled with the Holy Spirit.
    Nevertheless, before Pentecost there were high priests in Israel who once a year brought in blood, to the Holy of Holies to atone for the sins of Israel. The blood did not pay for the sins as did the blood of Jesus but it reminded everyone that they were sinners and that they must by faith trust God to save them. These blood sacrifices required faith in God and that is what justified the people who carried them out.
    This practice did not even start with Israel. It started shortly after the fall of man when Abel offered a blood sacrifice of an animal by faith. The blood of this animal was a testament that sin in the world brought suffering and death and that God would have to provide a redeemer to the earth because of the fall of Adam. The offering of Abel showed the he had knowledge and faith in the redemption plan of God. He knew that a blood sacrifice was required to atoned for his sins, while Cain’s sacrifice of grain raised by his own work did not show understanding of God’s redemption plan and his offering was rejected.
    The Old Testament people by faith believed these sacrifices would atone for their sins. These people did not only offer sacrifices because they were looking forward to the sacrifice that God would provide for sin. Many did not have that much insight into God’s divine plan. However, by faith (in God) they believed their sins would be covered and were thus justified by the law of faith (Rom 3:27) so the Holy Spirit could indwell them. We see proof of this when at Passover; the angel of death could not touch the descendants of Israel because he could see no sin within their house. The obedient covered the entrance to their house with the blood of the lamb by faith.  Sacrifice by blood to atone for sin was paramount in Israel. Why would Israel even need to be continually reminded of their sins if they could not be justified by faith and have a relationship with the Spirit of the living God?

    Let us not be conceited; the grafted in branches are in the same Olive Tree as the natural branches. A study of Romans chapter 9-11 makes it clear that all people who believe God’s promise by faith whether Jew or Gentile now make up the body of the new covenant Christ (Heb 12: 22-24). After all, the promise of a new covenant was really made to the house of Israel and Judah and not to the Gentiles.

    Jer 31:31  Lo, days are coming, an affirmation of Jehovah, And I have made with the house of Israel And with the house of Judah a new covenant,
    32  Not like the covenant that I made with their fathers, In the day of My laying hold on their hand, To bring them out of the land of Egypt, In that they made void My covenant, And I ruled over them an affirmation of Jehovah.
    33  For this is the covenant that I make, With the house of Israel, after those days, An affirmation of Jehovah, I have given My law in their inward part, And on their heart I do write it, And I have been to them for God, And they are to me for a people.

     
    Just look at the hall of fame of the people of faith in Hebrews and then say these people did not have the Holy Spirit in them.

    Heb 11:4  By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh
    5  By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.
    6  But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
    7  By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.
    8  By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.
    9  By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:
    10  For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
    11  Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised.
    12  Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable.
    13  These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
    14  For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country.
    15  And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned.
    16  But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.
    17  By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son,
    18  Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called:
    19  Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.
    20  By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come.
    21  By faith Jacob, when he was a dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph; and worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff.
    22  By faith Joseph, when he died, made mention of the departing of the children of Israel; and gave commandment concerning his bones.
    23  By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king’s commandment.
    24  By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter;
    25  Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;
    26  Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.
    27  By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.
    28  Through faith he kept the passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the firstborn should touch them.
    29  By faith they passed through the Red sea as by dry land: which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned.
    30  By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days.
    31  By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace.
    32 ¶  And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets:
    33  Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions,
    34  Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.
    35  Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection:
    36  And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment:
    37  They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented;
    38  (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.
    39  And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:
    40  God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.
    Heb 12:1  Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
    2  Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

    I see no hint of any distinction in Christ between Old Testament and New Testament saints!

  30. DonNo Gravatar says:

    Pete,

    I overlooked your last point. You say there is more evil where the Church is not. Really? There are hardly any Christians in Japan and the U.S. is full of Christians and if anything their general population is more moral than our general population. It seems to me that the vast presence of Christians in the United States is not preventing evil in the United States.

  31. RubyNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Don,

    I agree with you it makes sense to me that the restrainer could possibly be the angel Michael just because Satan himself is sinful fallen angel. In Gen 3 Eve was beguiled by Satan Job 2:2 Lord said to Satan where have you come from Satan said from roaming through the earth back and forth it it. Then in Job 1:8 the Lord said have you considered my servant Job? Matt 4:1 Jesus was tempted by Satan. And in 1Pt 5:8 it reads Be sober and vigilant because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. I use to wonder how could Eve, Job, Jesus and now us Christians be tempted by Satan i understand Satan is an evil spirit and that God tempts no one. Satan can tempt us only if given permission from God him self and sometimes we are deceived by our own sinful fleshly desires. I also know that Satan is the god of this world and is waiting for his chance to deceive the nations but most importantly i know now that Satan is a sinful, fallen angel a bad Spirit he is Satan. Just like the Holy Spirit is a good Spirit, he is God. Bible teaches we wrestle not against flesh and blood. My question to you is in Rev 12:7-9 There was war in heaven MICHAEL and his angles fought against the dragon and the dragon fought and his angels and prevailed not neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out the old serpent called the Devil and Satan which DECEIVETH THE WHOLE WORLD he was cast out into the earth and his angels were cast out with him. So is this a future event to take place? or has it already taken place can you explain to me these verses. I wounder because Satan when cast down will incarnate the antichrist the man of perdition right? and Satan has NOT DECEIVED THE WHOLE WORLD yet. Satan is going to do that in the flesh when he is here in earth during the tribulation. Just like Jesus when he returns is coming back in the flesh in his bodily form right? That is why it make sense to me that Michael is the restrainer he has always had to restrain and or hinder Satan many times and because he is an angel and Michael also is God’s angel. I use to think that it was the Holy Spirit indwelt church but then how would all those other souls left behind have a chance to be saved during the tribulation period without the Holy Spirit.

  32. DonNo Gravatar says:

    Ruby,

    I see some good points made in what you said but I am not sure what you are asking me if your asking me? If you’re asking me if this war is in the future, it has to be, because it certainly has not been fulfilled yet.

  33. RubyNo Gravatar says:

    Don, that was my question i wasn’t sure if it was a future war or if it was still to be fulfilled. It makes more sense to me know everything is coming together in my mind about how certain events are going to come to pass.
    thank you.

  34. CraigNo Gravatar says:

    As a temple of the Holy Spirit, I am not preventing evil in the United States – at least none that I’m aware of. My voting doesn’t seem to be preventing evil. About the only evil I’m preventing is within my own domain. True genuine Christians are a small minority. I don’t even see the rapture as having that much of an impact on the United States, frankly. I haven’t thoroughly read through all of Don’s big post (reply to Pete), but I thought I’d add to the discussion about how effective (or ineffective) the restraining or preventative capability of the Holy Spirit is (or is not) – at least in my experience (and I’m no spring chicken). I believe there will be a small crowd in Heaven that will be shaking my hand, let’s put it that way.

  35. jimNo Gravatar says:

    Don,
    i agree and disagree with you at the same time. i agree in the fact that the restrainer is not the church. i disagree that michael is the only thing standing in the way of the antichrist/satan. first i would say that the antichrist will control the whole world, not just israel. michael is the protecter of israel but the bible doesnt mention him restraining satan over the whole earth. second, without the power of God with michael i bet that satan would probably win in a “fight” do to lucifer being the chief angel in all of heaven. so michael might not be able to restrain satan all by himself without help from the holy spirit or the authority from God. so basically that would mean God is restaining satan through michael with the real restrainer still being God. i also beleive like others said that the holy spirit will still be on earth but just stepping out of the way so to speak because isnt God omnipresent? of course this is just my opinion.

  36. CraigNo Gravatar says:

    Don, are you going to put out a new release of your commentary? I think a revision with some of the above would be helpful. I’m still studying. I printed it out for later. Thanks!

  37. PeteNo Gravatar says:

    Don, you certainly beat me in length, but we’ll just have to agree to disagree.

    1. Christians founded this nation did they not? Have we not been a beacon of hope for the last two hundred years? Despite what we have become, Christianity in and thru born again believers has restrained evil by combatting evil ideologies and false religions since it’s conception by Christ Himself. Religious Christendom on the other hand, has not. The Holy Spirit has been in the life changing business since Pentecost.

    2. What happens after the Millennium into eternity, I’m sure believers from all ages will find some role to play in Gods overarching plan, but I’m showing the distinction from the rapture to the end of the 1,000 yr reign. Israel was promised an earthly kingdom, the Church was not.

    3. If the restainer is not the Holy Spirit, then your promoting some new variance of mid trib or pre wrath view that is not biblical. The Holy Spirit was audibly and visibly given to the believers at Pentecost, and in like manner will return at the rapture with those He indwelled and sealed.

    If the Holy Spirit is Not the Restrainer, then the Rapture can happen up to the moment just prior to the “son of perdition” entering the temple at the mid point. That does not line up with Revelation chapter 2-5.

    But I digress, that is the way I understand it. This is your website and I agree with about 99% of what you talk about on here

  38. CraigNo Gravatar says:

    From the history that I have read and been exposed to (and who is to say we have any historical trustworthy truths we can really rely on), but this country was not founded by Christians. I consider that a perpetrated myth. The Declaration of Independence had to compromise on slavery (particularly by the state of South Carolina). It took another hundred years and very bloody civil war to finally deal with that (and the South was going to free the slaves anyway, and the South now carries the bible torch vastly more so than the Yankees, that is beyond plain as day).

  39. CraigNo Gravatar says:

    If you read Don’s commentary, he does not contend any kind of mid-trib view. Don can step in, but I was just rereading the portion in the commentary where the rapture is postulated as being no later than the sixth (?) seal, and possibly around the second seal. Again, Don can address.

  40. AmmiNo Gravatar says:

    OOO I would love to jump into this debate but I don’t have the time, (off to small group after being gone all day). A good study to look into would be references regarding “the wife of Jehovah and the bride of Christ.” It seems they are two differnet women.

  41. DonNo Gravatar says:

    A small Bible study group is where I have been and obviously I am not omnipresent. So I will start this the last comment and then go to the start.

    Ammi,
    there is only one God. God the Father is a Spirit and He is not going to have a physical wife. Jehovah in the OT is Jesus before He because Flesh. I don’t think He will have two wives but I suppose that is possible. It seems to me that these women are two illustrations of relationships to God. Jehovah divorced Israel but we know from Hosea that she returns to her husband (Jesus/Jehovah in the end). So Israel finally comes back to the Lord through the New Covenant promise just as all the rest of the Covenant Church comes to Christ.

    Craig,
    or anyone else, My position is that the Rapture is 7 to 10.5 years from the second coming but more likely 10.5 years for reasons I get into elsewhere. My first revision to my Revelation commentary will be up next month.

    Jim,
    I really think we are saying pretty much the same thing. I agree that the Antichrist will control the whole world, and I never said that Michael is restraining Satan over the whole earth. I just said that Michael is hindering the Lawless One from Appearing in Israel and he will until he is taken out of the way by God. I do not deny that the Holy Spirit is directing Michael. Nevertheless, like I said, the Holy Spirit chooses to use those made in God’s image to do God’s work on earth. I do not see the Holy Spirit being used as a restraining force in the Bible outside of through His image bearers. There is always a partnership.

    Pete,

    1. I do not know why you are bringing up the founding of this nation? Christians have always been salt and light to the world but that does not equate to preventing the Son of Perdition as far as I can determine.

    2. I agree that after the marriage that nobody can be part of the Bride or body of Christ anymore. Therefore you are correct that those born during the millennium will never dwell in the Holy City. The saved after the first resurrection will eventually dwell on the New Earth for eternity.

    I was saying that the saved of Israel prior to the New Covenant Marriage is part of the Body or Bride. They are in the same tree. I find it ironic that we think we can sit at the same table with Abraham, Issac and Jacob and hope that Jesus tells us to to move up a few seats toward them but then think that these three will become our temple servants.

    Israel was promised a earthly kingdom but the resurrected leaders of Israel rule and reign with Christ, they are not earthly. We have a share in their ministry in the millennium we do not replace their ministry.

    3. The Holy Spirit was around prior to Pentecost. Pentecost was the kick off of the New Covenant. Pentecost was the Baptism of fire when the the indwelling comforter and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit was given to all that would receive Jesus. Remember Jesus blew on His disciples before Pentecost and told them to receive the Holy Spirit before Pentecost. If they did not have the Holy Spirit they could do nothing. Besides, we see the Holy Spirit working through people throughout the old Testament and the list I presented reflects that.

    Revelation 2 through 5 say nothing directly about the Rapture. One could suggest that the “come up here” said to John in Chapter four is a picture of the Rapture and I would tend to agree but I do not think the last seven years actually starts until the sixth seal when the 144,000 Jews are sealed. There is no indication at all that anything prior to the sixth seal is written to or fulfilled by Israel. So there really is no reason to think it is included in Daniel’s 70th week. I think the four horsemen are nothing but a false tribulation of man’s own doing through world war. The judgments of God through angels have not even started at that point.

    I guess you are just going to have to read my whole Revelation Commentary to get the full flavor of what I am suggesting

  42. Anonymous says:

    hey don i kinda find it odd when you say 10.5 years, why the .5? also, if the 2nd coming should occur by 2030, then the rapture should occur around 2020.

  43. DonNo Gravatar says:

    I am not rehashing all that here read my Revelation Commentary or use the search box on my website home page. In one sentence when people are expecting a type of Christ seven years after the Rapture they will receive the type of Christ that they are really looking for.

  44. AmmiNo Gravatar says:

    Haha, I suppose that’s what I deserve for leaving an unexplained response. My apologies, so let me explain. First off, Jehovah is the English transliteration for the divine name, YHWH; it does not mean the pre-incarnate Jesus only.

    According to Dr. Fruchtenbaum, the book of Deuteronomy is in the form of an ancient suzerain-vassal treaty and ancient marriage contract and the prophets of Israel also saw the covenant relationship with Israel as a marriage contract. (Ezek.16:8; Jere.3:1-5) Israel was married to the Father through his calling and election of her as a nation. Yes, Israel played the harlot and was estranged from her husband through her harlotries, later even divorced from Him and punished. (Jere.31:32; Hosea 2:2-5, Isaiah 50:1)

    Israel and the church are two separate entities through-out the scriptures. One is described as an adulterous divorced woman, the other a chaste, betrothed bride. (2Cor.11:2) Quite a contrast, they are not the same. A vast amount of individual Jews (probably many more than we think) are part of the church, i.e., the one new man, as described in Eph.2 thanks to the grace and mercy of God. And more are coming to faith in Christ in these days than probably in the first century. But, the election of national Israel for the purposes of God has yet to see its fulfillment. That is one of the main purposes of the millennium, that the promises to the patriarchs will be fulfilled.

    God will remarry his ex-wife, Israel when he renews the marriage contract here on earth (Jere. 31:31-34; Eze.16:60-63; Isaiah 54:1-8; 62:4,5; Hosea 2:14-23) The marriage of the bride to the Lamb takes place after the rapture, in heaven, before the OT saints are even resurrected. John the Baptist referred to himself as a friend of the bride-groom. Jesus called him great among those born of women, yet the least in the Kingdom will be greater than John. Matt.11:11 He was a righteous Jew who believed Jesus was the Messiah but he died before Pentecost, when the church was born.

    After the millennium, during the eternal order in the New Jerusalem, all the righteous will dwell together with the Triune God for eternity. Yet, even there God makes a distinction between the two entities, the 12 tribes of Israel are memorialized in the naming of the gates, the apostles (represent the church) in the naming of the foundation stones and the tree of life brings healing to the nations (gentiles).
    You get into dangerous territory when you think that God is unfair to the Jews. That is like the pot telling the potter he did wrong. That kind of thinking leads people to eventually not believe in a literal hell. It looks to me like we all end up in a pretty awesome place. We will understand it all soon enough. The scriptures are plain. Maranatha

  45. Ken CNo Gravatar says:

    Actually, there is some scriptural validity to what Ammi is saying. According to Jeremiah 3 God divorced Israel, but not Judah (Jews). In fact Isaiah 50:1 seems to be a rhetorical question addressed to Zion (Jerusalem) and her sons, from the context established in chapter 49, “Where is the bill of YOUR mothers divorcement?” As if to imply that there was none.

    However Ammi, I would also add that according to Deut 24, it was forbidden for a man to re-marry his divorced wife (else she would have to forfeit her inheritance). Now, obviously God can do whatever he wants, but it seems to me that for him to be consistent he will not re-marry Israel. But if his son does…then Israel will be restored to her rightful place and her rightful inheritance, that is, known as “God’s People” which was precisely Hosea’s point.

    That’s why Boaz had to get the nearer kinsman to Ruth to sign off on her before he could marry her. (Ruth 3:12 and 4:4)

  46. ~DavidNo Gravatar says:

    To Ammi and Ken C,

    You two just blew me away…awesome stuff.

    I am sitting here with a smile on my face as I read what you two astute people just wrote…wow.

    To me, Don has the best site on the whole internet…but there are also awesome commenter’s here.

  47. CraigNo Gravatar says:

    Ammi,

    I got a question about something: “The marriage of the bride to the Lamb takes place after the rapture, in heaven, before the OT saints are even resurrected.”

    So I vaguely recall that the dead in Christ rise before those (us?) alive in Christ (in a split second or there abouts) – or something to that effect. And, I would be include the “OT saints” in the “dead in Christ”, but I could be amiss.

    ???

    Don – I am at the part where I’m reading about the seals, so I was trying to equate (very roughly, of course) the rapture somewhere in there — for which I (we?) take interest in that I sort of want to know what kinds of things I (we) have to endure prior to the rapture. 7 to 10.5 (hopefully 10.5) years prior is what I’m holding to (versus lining up seal judgments).

    Chuckle – now if only my prayers would summon the angels / powers to bring all the big trophy fish on my line! Chuckle, I’m probably not throwing my line out on the incorrect side! :)

    Cheers everybody!

  48. AmmiNo Gravatar says:

    Craig, my understanding is that the OT saints will be raised just before the 1000 year reign of Christ, what we also call the millenium, following the tribulation. There is a general scripture that talks about the resurrection of the OT saints in Isaiah 26:19, but it doesn’t say when. Then in Daniel 12:2 speaks about their resurrection, which in context is talking about events after the Tribulation. The whole chapter of Eze. 37 has many interpretations; the one I find the most plausible to date is that after WWII the nation was like the dry bones. The Spirit moved what was left of them to head on over to Zion. This is the first and present situation of the regathering to the land in unbelief. Then when Christ returns to go to battle for them at the end of the Trib, they will be regenerated (Jere.31,32,all Israel will be saved) with the righteous saints raised, and all the rest who are alive after the tribulation will be gathered from all the world to live in the land for 1000 years. (Zech.12-14) Thus fulfilling their intended purpose as the elect nation to the rest of the world and receiving all the blessings God had promised them in the covenants to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and David. That is my two cents worth, because there always seems to be a lot of discussion about the timing of all these events we can’t be dogmatic. When we study these things though, I think we can all agree that our God is faithful to his word and his people so we should have no fear for the future. Maranatha

  49. DonNo Gravatar says:

    There were too many errors in the last comment so here it is again for those that signed up.

    Ammi,

    I know Jehovah is YHWH so none of this is anything new. I also fully understand the Dispensational Theology views. I just disagree with a few of them.

    Show me in scripture where YHWH is also not also the Son of God? I do not know where we get the idea they we can separate God. Jesus/Jehovah is the express Image of the invisible Father God. He existed as God before He was incarnated and He is God after His resurrection.
    Read these links
    http://www.letusreason.org/JW14.htm
    http://reluctant-messenger.com/God-in-flesh.htm

    In context of the passage John was explaining that he was not the Messiah. He was just a friend of the Messiah. He was not saying that he would not become a member of the Body of Christ. He knew of no such concept. So How could he express it? Putting true Jews throughout history out of the body that are saved by faith is problematic. There is only one people of the promise the spiritual sons of Abraham. You just ignore the passages that say we are all grafted in the same Olive Tree and we are in the same commonwealth and Abraham is the Father of all of faith.

    I think some teachers might be building salvation and eternal theologies on their interpretation of illustrations rather than on sound doctrine. The Church was not born at Pentecost The New Covenant was poured out at Pentecost for anyone that will hear and receive it. The word church just means the assembly there was an assembly of believers long before Pentecost.

    You are implying that John will not be in the Kingdom because the Kingdom is the Church since Pentecost. That is not true. All in Jesus are in the Kingdom of God. Jesus was saying that all will be greater than John was “in the flesh” in the spiritual Kingdom. I may be wrong but I see the possibility that circular arguments are in existence here.

    I am not saying that God is being unfair to the Jews, on the contrary you are replacing the natural branches with grafted in branches. You are doing the same as those in Replace Theology except you do it more subtly. However, I should not say “you” because you’re just repeating what you read from Dispensational Theology teachers. Some of these issues is why 90 percent of Christianity has difficulties with Dispensational Theology.

    I am not saying that Covenant theology has it correct but believe me Dispensational Theology is full of holes as well. Anyway, believe what you want. I only brought it up to answer questions. The real problem is that I do not see things happening exactly like many Dispensational Theology teachers teach and that is why using their theology as an argument is not going to fly. They do not agree with each other on many things either.

    To answer your question, I do not know what will be our fate before the Rapture. I would expect that Christians will have to endure whatever God decides they will endure.

  50. Ken CNo Gravatar says:

    Don, I must admit that over the last couple of years I too have come to realize that there are some holes in traditional dispensational thinking. Don’t get me wrong, by and large it’s sound theological thinking, and more right than it is wrong, in my humble opinion.

    One of the traps I found myself in a few years ago was that I was spending way more time studying commentaries than I was studying the word of God.

    That’s why I find your thesis on Michael as the restrainer, intriguing to say the least. Admittedly, it’s not something I had considered. Here again, I’ve just trusted the commentaries and haven’t yet done the hard work in the word itself…yet!

  51. DonNo Gravatar says:

    Thanks Ken,

    As you are doing I am trying to ascertain what the Bible actually says instead of getting “truth” through all the mostly Dispensational Theology books and commentaries that I have read.

    One of the things that I have noticed is that when it comes to dispensational Eschatology there is very little agreement among even the top teachers on interpretations of many prophetic passages.

    I hope we will all keep an open mind on the non essentials and search the scriptures ourselves rather than just rely on subjective opinions and that also includes my own subjective opinions.

  52. DonNo Gravatar says:

    Another thing that I have noticed under the sun is that I have been wrong about many things over the years but that those with Doctor in their name never admit to being wrong about anything. They write their theology in stone and interpret the Bible accordingly. Solomon should have included that truth as a proverb.

  53. Ken CNo Gravatar says:

    AMEN Don,

    “And when an honest questioner would arise, as of necessity there must, he at once be­comes an irresponsible, irregular, unarmored stripling, upon whom these regulars in the army of Israel (or Christendom) insist on putting the armor of Saul. But the “heavy” armor of the should-be leader will not fit the bright young head and freer limbs of the little irregular; so he must go forth alone to slay the giant of infidelity, whose champions have been defying the armies of the living God. Meanwhile, these “regulars” stand on the hill of their self-importance and ask, “Who is this youth­ful stripling whom we see down in the valley picking up pebbles with which to meet the foe whose challenge has sent dismay among us for lo these many days?”

  54. Don FrittsNo Gravatar says:

    Don ,
    Your honesty is much appreciated. Don’t know if you are familiar with the late J.Vernon McGee ,
    I checked his commentary and he believed The Holy Spirit to be The Restainer. I have a book
    written in 1923 , republished in 1953 called The Antichrist by Arthur W. Pink. Mr. Pink also
    held the view that The Holy Spirit was The Restrainer. I have been looking to see if I can find
    any author who believes the restainer is not The Holy Spirit. So far every source I have checked leans toward The Holy Spirit. If I find any source that gives a reasonable argument
    why The Holy Spirit is NOT the restrainer I will let you know. There are many things none of us
    will know or fully understand until it is God’s time for us to know them. BLESSINGS!!!

  55. DonNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Don,

    I have listened to J. Vernom McGee, a lot. In fact I gave his through the Bible in five years series to my wife for her birthday last year. I think he was a very good teacher but of course there are some areas were I disagree with him.

    You are probably looking at Dispensational Theology sources and that is why your getting all one view.

    If you do a Google search on “he that hinders is taken out of the way” you will find several in the first rankings that think that it was Michael. Of course if you study just dispensational teachers most think it is the Holy Spirit or more likely the taking out of the indwelt Church and if you study amillennial teachers or the old classic teachers the restrainer is most likely government.

  56. AmmiNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Don,
    I love Rom. 9-11 but you always admonish posters to keep it short. Please don’t assume thnigs about what I believe. It is very easy to have misunderstandings when writing rather than being face to face. I was taught Covenant Theology under Lutheran doctine in my early years and I couldn’t swallow all the spiritualizing of the scriptures. The bible interprets itself, and the more literally we take it, I believe the closer we are to understanding the meaning. There is just more than a lifetime of information between Genesis and Revelation to learn. God is gracious to teach us as we keep abiding in Him. No one has all the answers because we see in a glass darkly. I’m glad to see that you admit that, too. Maranatha

  57. Don FrittsNo Gravatar says:

    Don ,
    I try to examine every point of view I can find on those Bible passages that we all have
    questions about. I listen to Missler , MacArthur, and Jon Courson the most. Thanks for the
    google reference , I will check it out.

  58. DonNo Gravatar says:

    Ammi,

    If you understand Romans chapter 9 through 11 you will also know that they are also used as an argument against Dispensational theology. I agree that the more literal we take the scriptures that are meant to be taken literally that we will be on solid ground. Nevertheless, there are differences in interpretations of passages even among those who take prophecy quite literally.

    Don,

    Missler, MacArthur and Courson are dispenstational teachers so you are getting your views mainly from one theological school even if it is mostly the correct theological school in my opinion.

    Because most see the Spirit indwelt Church hindering except for MacAruthur, that does not mean that any of them really know who the restrainer is. I still am convinced that the actual restrainer is Michael and I will concede that it has to be God directing Michael to do that job.

    Dispensationals like to preach that the Rapture is always imminent, and I agree, but how could it be imminent and have a Antichrist come immediately after the Church leaves if that might of happened many hundreds of years before the appointed time for the Son of Perdition appointed for the last 42 months at the very end of the age?

    Let me explain, Some in Dispensational Theology say God is just looking for a number to complete the Church and there is no set day. What if that number was reached hundreds of years ago? What then happens to the seven thousand year model with the Sabbath day being the millennial reign of a thousand years? The problem with taking positions on certain subjective passages in eschatology is that it often raises more questions then what the teacher things it answers. That is why few agree on many things.

  59. Don FrittsNo Gravatar says:

    Don ,
    Your point is well taken and I respect your view. The best I can say for myself is that I am
    uncertain whom the restainer is. There is nothing in scripture that I can find which rules out
    Michael as the restainer. It is my view that The Rapture might be the event that sets in place
    a chain of other events leading up to the restainer being removed. It seems to me The Rapture
    has to cause some chaos for those left behind. Jesus Himself is very much present in The Church
    and He is the ultimate restainer as He is Michael’s boss. There has been a lot of good discussion on this topic , but does it really matter whom God has appointed to restain ? Are
    we concerning ourselves with something it is not meant for us to know ? BLESSINGS

  60. DonNo Gravatar says:

    Don,

    We do not need to know who the restrainer is.

    I wrote this article to simulate thinking about a mystery in the Bible that will not be discussed in most Sunday schools.

    I want this blog to be about more than just current events. For example, my post on Enoch is number one by far on this Blog but it certainly is not essential for anyone to agree that angels took human women as wives and thus corrupted flesh. Nevertheless, there is great interest out their on this topic and that is why it is the top viewed post.

    Posts and articles that talk about stuff that nobody cares about just do not get read. There are Blogs with excellent Christian content but there is nothing on them that interests most people so there are few readers.

    In other words, I try to mix up the topics for a wider appeal and then hope that new people will become curious enough to go on to read what are maybe more essential articles.

  61. Don FrittsNo Gravatar says:

    Don ,
    You blog is fantastic in my opinion , it encourages discussion about the scriptures and they
    are more valuable than anything else we can read. I have a copy of Enoch, some of it makes sense to me , some of it is really strange. I would say the same about The Apocrypha Books.
    I like certain teachers( Missler , MacArthur , etc) because I learn from them , I do not agree
    with everything they say , but it can easily be me that’s incorrect. There is no doubt that most Sunday Schools and Churches are more social than spiritual, that’s the problem. One thing that really irritates me is those who teach the Old Testament promises to Israel are fulfilled
    in the church and God is done with Israel as a nation. The difference between you and a lot of
    teachers is you admit you don’t know everything , you’re always searching for the truth. Some
    believe they have all the truth , they deceive themselves. In conclusion , your suggestion is
    that Michael is the restainer is as credible as any other view I can find. BLESSINGS!!!!!

  62. DonNo Gravatar says:

    Don,

    One think that irritates me is those that make everything said in the Old Testament an application for Christian living. Its like nothing is about Israel it is all some example for the New Covenant Church. In many ways although they will say they do not say they believe in Supercession Theology what they teach says otherwise. It happens in my own church and I see it in general use in LifeWay materials used for Baptist “Bible” (magazines) studies.

  63. Don, I have seen the same thing. They cleverly say: “The context here is Israel, but it applies to today, also.” Then, they turn a “short subject” into a “full length motion picture.”

    It took awhile to catch on to this tactic.

  64. Another tactic is to tell half the story as if it is the whole story.

    I have a friend that has been “Osteenized.” She told how JO inspired her with the story of Hezekiah and how God added 15 years to his life. I asked her if she know the rest of the story. Of course, the reply was “No.”

  65. DonNo Gravatar says:

    Yeah, someone in my Church leadership last week said they could find no good reason for the last three chapters of Judges being in the Bible. He said that because he could not build a sermon on it for the church.

    Obviously when a whole tribe of Israel is almost wiped out because they protected and thus enabled evil it was a very significant event in Israel and it should be recorded in the history of Israel even if for no other reason.

    I am so tired of setting through sermons based on a passage in the Bible that has nothing to do with what was actually said in context in the passage. I do not know how much longer I will put up with it even though I sincerely like many of the people.

  66. CraigNo Gravatar says:

    I’ll chime in on a couple things because they relate to me (us?).

    As Don said above: “We do not need to know who the restrainer is.” I’m just glad it isn’t me! :) If it’s Michael – great! I have enough battles with my own shortcomings and flesh et al to worry about restraining all evil and wickedness in the world (or even the world around me).

    Moving on, the significance of various verses / passages that are for meant for Israel and not the church is sort of the same theme — I don’t want to try to change my life mindset to incorrectly satisfy scripture that wasn’t meant for me in the first place.

    I’ve lost count long ago how many times I’ve read the bible (various versions) and commentaries and the like. I keep at it, but I just don’t have the gifts (or the time) to get to the level of some of the others here. Then again, I’m pretty mission focused. Speaking of which, slightly off topic – I must have casted my line on the “correct side” the last two evenings, because I completely lost count how many white perch I caught in a period of barely 3 hours total (and one “spot”). I’m doing this for a reason – it may be a skill set I may depend on, if the world (or my immediate world physicality) were to warrant it. Anyway, God is beyond my ability to fathom and I can’t possibly understand all the passages. I’m just glad that Don and various posters possess those gifts, as God allows, and can help guide or warn us as they learn more about how the scriptures apply to us in these times.

  67. ASV: 2Thessalonians 2:7 “For the mystery of lawlessness doth already work: only there is one that restraineth now, until he be taken out of the way.”

    OR: “For the cloak-and-dagger work of lawlessness is active even now but there is one who is keeping back the evil till he is caused to be taken out of the way.”

    Whichever way this verse is translated, “the mystery of lawlessness” suggests universal evil (the old sin natures of men, and the influence of demonic forces), which to my mind would necessitate an omnipresent restrainer; the Holy Spirit within the body of the Church rather than an individual angelic being.

  68. DonNo Gravatar says:

    Brian,

    I think the mystery of lawlessness is the promoting of sin by authorities (Satan). It is the spirit of antichrist in the world and the passage says that it is already at work in the world. In other words, we are living in a age of lawlessness. There is no hindering of the spirit of antichrist or lawlessness implied in this passage. The passage says the hindering is so that the Son of Perdition cannot come to power. (before his allotted time)

  69. PeteNo Gravatar says:

    Don,

    I like that you talk about different topics that aren’t taught in Sunday schools. I attend my wife’s church (church of Christ) who won’t go 10 feet near an eschatalogical topic. Most of them are either amillennial or pan millennial, so I cringe when hearing them go thru Isaiah.

    Needless to say, I respect and have learned from alot of teachers, dispensational or otherwise. I disagreed with Misslers “Thy Kingdom Come” book on many points, and I’ve met and had lunch with him before.

    We see thru a glass darkly now, so I don’t think any one teacher or doctrine has it all 100% right on every subject, but for me, dispensationalism makes the most sense. Anyway, good discussions all.

  70. DonNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Pete,

    I never read Missler’s “Thy Kingdom Come” so I can’t really reply on it. I do have some of his MP 3 studies and generally they are pretty good but he shoots at the hip a lot and jumps on the latest bandwagons so people need to check him out with the scriptures.

    I agree that dispensationalism makes the most sense on eschatology of course there are different versions of dispensationalism. I also agree that nobody is 100 percent correct unless they have Doctor in there title then they become infallible :roll:

  71. Yes Don it is a good point you make.

    I must admit to having a certain repugnance in the thought of him being an angel, even an archangel, but that may be from the flesh. That may even be the reason I remain very comfortable in the belief that the restrainer is the Holy Spirit (in His ministry to the body of Christ).

    I will keep an open mind and see what the Spirit reveals over time.

  72. DonNo Gravatar says:

    Brian,

    Keep in mind that the Spirit of God directs Michael, so God is doing the hindering in any case. The point of my post is that I do not think it is the indwelt Church that is doing the hindering.

  73. Don

    I am no great scholar and generally learn from gifted men of God, so I remain open to what gels with Scripture.

    To sum up what you have said: (1) The ‘mystery of lawlessness’ is a system at large in the world (an obvious Biblical truth when we read Ephesians 6:12); and (2) The context of 2Thessalonians 2 is the securing of God’s timetable in restraining a premature entrance of Satan’s man into world events.

    I still have a problem with accepting an angel as being the restrainer, not in the restraining of an individual but with the restraining of apostasy, for it seems to me that 2Thessalonians 2:2-3 says that THE apostasy will lead to the revelation of the son of perdition?
    The ‘day of the Lord’ will not be at hand “except the apostasy come first, and the man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition”

    The apostasy in this context is universal, within the professing Church; I find it difficult that this is being restrained by an individual angelic being (against all the principalities and powers??).

    ?????????????

  74. DonNo Gravatar says:

    Brian,

    Its really quite simple. Paul was talking about two different events that have to happen before they could be in the Day of the Lord. The Apostasy and the restrainer being taken out of the way so the Son of Perdition could come.

    Paul was not saying that apostasy leads to the Son of Perdition or that anyone is hindering apostasy.

    You seem to be implying the Holy Spirit is stopping people from going into Apostasy. Apostasy is denying the revealed truth. They do not believe God.

  75. ~DavidNo Gravatar says:

    To Brian From Oz,

    I am just a student of the Bible, many of you here know much more than I, but one thing does occur to me on what your saying.

    It seems to me that we have no idea of the potential power & responsibilities of even one of God’s Angels. One Angel slew 185,000 of Sennacherib’s army for example…not to mention the impact on the world that Satan (one of the fallen one’s) & the demons has had.

    I haven’t got too deep into this conversation because I don’t know enough about this, I’m trying to learn from all of you here but I don’t discount the possibilities of an Archangel.

  76. Yes Don, I see what you mean, I saw the second event emanating from the first but as I read the different versions I find they all agree with your explanation.

    Thanks David, your quote referring to the army of Sennacherib had come to mind.

  77. RubyNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Don, i found an article at Jack Kelley’s website gracethrufaith and he also believes that the restrainer in the Holy Spirit. You can read the article if you do a search and type in (is Michael the restrainer) the question was asked quoting Daniel 12:1 At that time, Michael, prince and guardian of your people, shall arise. (remove his protection)it shall be a time unsurpassed in distress. At that time your people shall escape. Jack Kelley’s answer was (Daniel 12 has nothing to do with the Holy Spirit’s role in the Church but rather Michael’s role as Israel’s Defender. Anyway that is the point you were trying to get through, that Michael’s role has always been Israel’s defender. I would like your input on Daniel 12:1 please. I personally think that after reading Daniel 12:1 that Michael is the restrainer but not without the aid of the Holy Spirit he is God and He uses His creation how he sees fit. And on my comment above i know Rev. is a book of prophecy that hasn’t come to pass I read your rev. commentary a few years ago and i know that the book of rev has not been fulfilled. It was a dumb question i asked you, i was nervous first time i participated on your blog. oh well not going to learn if i don’t ask questions. What i Meant to ask was, is Luke 10:18 Isaiah 14:12-17 and Rev. 12:9-12 refer to the same thing. I know i will have to read Rev Commentary again. And i am not saying Jack is wrong in his opinion, i am sure he knows a lot more than me. I just pray God gives me understanding to learn. thanks Don.

  78. DonNo Gravatar says:

    Ruby,

    I would think that Jack Kelly believes that the restrainer is the Holy Spirit within the indwelt church which is really not the same as saying the Holy Spirit is the restrainer. Anyway, That is the usually position of dispensationalists.

    Daniel 12:1 In context it when Michael stands up to protect the remnant of Israel that fled to the mountains of Jordan. This occurs after Michael cast Satan out of Heaven and the Antichrist is revealed. So nothing here reflects on the hinderer that does not even allow the Son of Perdition to come into power in the first place. So Kelly is correct on that point.

    Obviously God is the one that directs the retaining, the only real question is does God do it through His Holy Spirit, the Spirit in the indwelt Church or God directing His Angels?

    Is Luke 10:18 Isa 14: 12-17 and Rev 12 9-12 referring to the same thing? Sure, they are are progressive revelations

    Luke 10:18 is saying that all powers are subject to the Spirit of God that were given to Jesus without measure, Nevertheless Jesus it was not talking here about Satan being cast of of Heaven at the end of the age. Isa. is prophetic about the fall of Lucifer and Revelation 12 9-12 gives the details about how it will be carried out at the end of the age.

  79. RubyNo Gravatar says:

    Don, thank you for explaining to me, Daniel 12:1 I understand now this is after Michael cast Satan out of Heaven and the Antichrist is revealed. I don’t think it is the Holy Spirit that is the restrainer just because others will be saved during the tribulation period so i believe the Holy Spirit will still be here, It does not make any sense to me that it would be the indwelt Church because the Church is made up of many members, not just one member, although all the members make up one body in Christ we are many. And in 2 Th 7 the key word is (He) until (He) be taken out of the way. The Church has never been considered to be a (He). I am leaning toward the Angel Michael as he who restrains just because he is Israels defender. thank you so much for your input in helping me to understand God word.

  80. mikeNo Gravatar says:

    The identity of the restrainer is a great topic of discussion, though it has no impact our our daily Christian lives. Adding to what Cheryl mentioned according to Fruchtenbaum, the restrainer is government, but the passage to look at is in Daniel 7:8,20,23-24 talking about the 4th beast, it shall devour the whole earth (one world government)break it to pieces, emerge from the 3 horns(who where restraining its growth). From this one world government, 10 kings shall arise, then after this government, another shall arise (the antichrist)after he puts down 3 of these 10 kings(Dan 7:8,20). So according to Fruchtenbaum, it is these 3 kings (government) who have been restraining the antichrist from coming onto the scene. The battle from which the antichrist arises, is described in Daniel 11:40-45, where he battles the king of the south(Egypt), king of the north(Syria) and the king of the east(Mesopotamia). These kings have been restraining him, but when he kills them, he is now free to take over the world, as the other 7 kings fall in line, and he takes up residence in Jerusalem-the glorious holy mountain.

    Since Paul was so well versed in scripture (he was going to be a rabbi) he totally understood the prophets, especially Daniel, so it was obvious to him who the restrainer was and I’m sure he had shared this with the church in Thessalonica, and wrote them to remember what he had said. It seems many Christians don’t spend much time in the OT and therefore miss much richness and flavor as applied to the fulfillment of the OT prophecy’s in Christ.

  81. DonNo Gravatar says:

    Mike,

    So Fuchtenbaum thinks Paul was teaching these people what was pretty much sealed future prophecy that they really had no reason to know and that people even today can hardly understand? I just don’t buy it.

    Besides, even if Fuchtenbaum is correct, there are angelic forces behind these world kingdoms and Michael still would have to be taken out of the way before the Son of Perdition could come and defile the Temple in Israel.

    If these people were worried about already being in the Day of the Lord but they were not because government was the restrainer why did Paul not just not say that the Temple must first be destroyed by Rome and rebuilt before the Son of Perdition could come? That would have been much more understandable to them if it was government. It seems to me that Paul was teaching about a supernatural restrainer, whether it was the Holy Spirit or the angelic agent of the Holy Spirit.

  82. mikeNo Gravatar says:

    I totally agree there are supernatural forces going on behind the scene- look at Gabriel in Daniel 10, it took him 21 days to overcome the prince of the kingdom of Persia, and only with the help of Michael.

    Fruchtenbaum was just following the scriptures, describing those last days, which makes it clear it is not the Holy Spirit, as has been previously commented. What lies behind the scenes is the “spiritual warfare” which Paul mentions (Ephesians 6:12)and the angel Gabriel in Daniel 10:12-14.

  83. DonNo Gravatar says:

    I can agree with that, thanks for your input.

  84. AnnNo Gravatar says:

    Thank you so much for the article and all the excellent posters here:

    Certainy clears a big question for me as I have been taught the restrainer was the Holy Spirit but I always questioned how the Trib believers could be saved without Him.

    Another question: I do beleive in the Rapture before the 7-year Trib but do you think that the Church necessarily has to be taken out before the rise of the Antichrist?

    Also in Daniel 8:23- (the little horn) he describes the coming future one-world leader (Antichrist) by using the same characteristics and events as Antiohus IV who was part of the Greek Empire of Alexander. So do you think that the Antichrist could be a decendant of the country of Greece today? And would the festival the Jews celebrate for the redication of the victory of the Maccabees Hanukkah — Festival of Lights be significant

    Sean Osborne and I discussed this on Rapture Forum awhile back and he has an article on this on his website.

    Thanks again, sorry if I’m getting OT.

  85. DonNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Ann,

    I think Satan is cast out of Heaven largely due to the Saints being taken to the throne of God. Nobody gets into why there is war in Heaven but there may be some connection there to the Rapture.

    If the Spirit indwelt Church was still here when the Antichrist was reigning then this Church would also be going through at least part of the wrath of the Lamb on earth. I do not see why Jesus would have wrath on His own Bride.

    I also think the Antichrist will come out of the same Grecian empire area as Antiohus IV. He is the prototype of the one that will defile the Temple in the end times. In 168 BC Antiohus IV defiled the Temple, cut off the sacrifice and he erected a image of Zeus/Jupiter in the Temple. Revelation tells us that the Son of Perdition will do the same thing. Sean believes the same demon king (Apollyon) that possessed Antiochus IV will come out of the pit and possess the Son of Perdition. I think that is likely.

    I think all Jewish Holidays are very significant. There are many types and foreshadows in Jewish history of future events. Sean Osborne knows much more about the details of history than I do. I think Sean is a more reliable source for this kind of information.

  86. FrankieNo Gravatar says:

    Why doesn’t the Lord throw satan into the lake of fire at the second coming? Why lock him up for 1,000 years and then let him out at the end of that period, and THEN throw him in? I guess life is a crucible thru which we pass through and I suppose the Lord will allow satan to test people at the end of the 1,000 years. Man, when does this all end? I just want to go home and play baseball in heaven.

  87. ShawnNo Gravatar says:

    Frankie, you answered your own question…”and I suppose the Lord will allow satan to test people at the end of the 1,000 years.” Those people will have only known life with Jesus reigning.

  88. EduardoNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Don,

    I’ve been thinking about all you said about the restainer’s identity and it is very interesting. I would also like to share with you some things I’ve been considering about this topic. As you know, I am just a normal Christian, not a theologian, but with the freedom you give us to challenge your view about the restrainer, I also would like to give my opinion.

    But first let me tell you that its/his identity is not so important and that we cannot be adamant about it. It is just an exercise of good exegesis and hermeneutics. The rapture, the beginning of pains, the persecution during the tribulation period, the antichrist covenant with Israel, the abomination of desolation, the Revelation’s seals-trumpets-cups will happen and we may not know who the restrainer was.

    I am proposing a new strong candidate; actually, I’ve never heard or read this possibility before.

    So who are the candidates? Can the restrainer be Michael?

    The requisite is that he may have the power to contain Satan’s plan from getting moving. In this sense, it could be God or an angel. It cannot be a human being for obvious reasons. The same method of discarding the possibilities and adopting the Holy Spirit as the best candidate for the restrainer is used in choosing Michael the Archangel. The logic is this: since it cannot be the Divine person, nor a man, nor a government, then, who is left? The angels. And the best candidate is Michael, because he fights Satan and prevails. The possibility of an angel is quite interesting. An angel chains Satan in the abyss, although this is not Michael, nor is he described as being specially strong or mighty.

    As for Michael, the scriptural material to get a comprehensive doctrine about him is scarce: we only have 5 verses that speak about him (Dn 10:13, 10:21,12:1; Jud 1:9, and, Rev12:7). In these verses we see that he protects Israel and that at the end of times he will rise up and take stand between Israel and evil forces and save them. This is a lot different than the alleged restraining task, that is, him being between the devil and the world, including Israel as a nation, during the church era. I say the world because this strong delusion is sent to all those unbelievers so that they perish and it cannot be sent to them until the restrainer gets out of the way.

    I’ll say it again. Michael is going to fight Satan and prevail. Then Satan and his angles are going to be cast down to earth. Immediately, at this point in time, several things happen, one of them is that the devil persecutes faithful Israel to destroy it. At this moment, Michael rises and protects Israelites who run away to the desert. He protects them from the devil for 1260 days or 3 ½ years. Before this fight between Michael and Satan there are other 3 ½ years, when the 2 witnesses clothed in sackcloth will oppose Satan’s delusion.
    This delusion started at the beginning of the 70th week. This strong delusion and the rest of devils plan in this week is what we call “the mystery of iniquity”. This includes the whole 7 years: the first 3 ½ yr peace plan and the next 3 ½ abomination of desolation plan. The first half is as malicious as the second. The restrainer is keeping plan from being executed.

    See, it has to be executed when God says to, and not when Satan wants. It has to be executed at the beginning of the 70th week, according to God’s plan. Now, who starts this week? (And I am not talking about the rapture) Isn’t it the antichrist proposing the plan to Israel? And when do we see the antichrist at first? Who unleashes him?

    When the Lamb brakes open the first seal, the white horse appears and the one who sits on it goes to conquer and is victorious. Now, this takes place after “the things which are” finishes and “the things which shall be hereafter” start happening. During the churches era, we see Christ in the midst of the churches, judging them. After this era, we see him appear in the throne of God, as the Lamb of God who is worthy of opening the seals. Nobody else is worthy. He, in person opens up the first seal, which unleashes the antichrist. Can we say that Jesus gets out of the way and goes and opens the first seal so that Devils plans can start occurring?

    Interestingly, part of Jesus’ job during his earthly ministry was to restrain the devil. A simple example is when he told Peter that the devil had asked for all of them, the apostles, and Jesus was avoiding that to happen, until the perfect timing from God came. Afterwards, Peter had to strengthen his brothers. Jesus restrained the devil from taking them. It also shows that the devil has to ask Jesus permission to undertake the life of a son of God. (Luke 22:31, 32) You can also see this in Job chapters 1 and 2.

    God is a restrainer of temptations, including, of course, those coming from the Devil. God is so efficient in this that He does not allow us to be tempted beyond our power to resist. He restrains the temptations coming from the world around us and even those originated in ourselves, so we can walk victorious, after finding the way out. (1 Co 10:13)

    Jesus also asks His Father in John 17:11-15 to protect the disciples, specifically from the devil. The devil now operates on the unbelievers, but not in us (Eph 2:2), unless God authorizes to. He restrains the works of the devil in our lives as to make them work in favor of our sanctification and edification.

    Moreover, Jesus Christ is our advocate in front of the Father when we sin. No doubt that the devil, the accuser, uses this opportunities to make us look bad in front of God, being this useless because of the blood of the Lamb. (1 John 2:1,2) In this sense, Jesus restrains the devils accusations or makes them worthless. (Rev 12:10)

    Finally, the restrainer also is in neutral geder and it would be awkward to speak about Michael as an “it”, rather than a “he”. In this sense, Michael is not a good candidate as the restrainer in this verse: “You know what it is that is now holding him back, so that he will be revealed when his time comes.” (2 Th 2:6 ISV) So, I am also proposing that this verse in particular is referring to the plan of God. The eternal plan of God is restraining the devil from acting. (Jesus also followed it: John 2:4 and 13:1) For example, the number of words I can comment in this post is restraining me from explaining further. It is restraining me.

    In conclusion, the identity of the restrainer is quite enigmatic, as is the scarcely explained role of Michael during this church era. Jesus and God (not Michael) restrain the devil from sifting us and tempting us more that we can bear. Jesus (not Michael) also advocates for us in front of our God, dismissing Satan’s accusations. Michael’s purpose is to protect Israel, not the world, from Satan. His activity is to protect Israel from Satan during the last 3 ½ yrs at the desert. The one who gives the OK for the antichrist to appear is Jesus. Because of all this, I think we should consider Jesus as being the restrainer.

  89. DonNo Gravatar says:

    Eduardo,

    Thanks for the small book :wink:

    As I was reading I thought you were going to say the two witnesses were the restrainer and then I though you were going to say Jesus was the restrainer and then I thought you were saying that God’s plan was the restrainer and then you end up saying that Jesus is the restrainer in the end. Your thesis almost reached the level of a suspense mystery :shock:.

    I have to tell you though that I do have some problems with your analysis.

    First, Jesus is not here on earth and if you are implying that He is restraining by the Holy Spirit then it really is the very same position as saying that the Holy Spirit is the restrainer.

    I disagree on some of the points that you made about tribulation events but I really do not want to go down rabbit trails so let me just point out what is most related to this issue.

    When Jesus was on earth He did not restrain the Devil in His own power He prayed to the Father and the Father restrained the Devil and as our advocate before the Father as high priest in Heaven it is God that takes the action not the advocate.

    The Son of Perdition comes after Satan is cast out of Heaven at the mid point of that seven year period. The idea that the Beast/Antichrist exists on earth for 7 years is really not taught in scripture. I already talked here about the Prince in Daniel in a prior comment so no need to repeat that. Yeah, the man that becomes the Beast/Antichrist exists before that last 42 months but only after Satan finds Himself confined to the earth does He actually empower this man.

    I also do not understand how you can think that the restrain is neutral gender and for that reason it can’t be Michael but it can be Jesus when both angels and Jesus are equally in the male gender?

    So I guess I am not buying into your hypotheses that Jesus is the restrainer of the Son of Perdition. If that were true, why would anyone in the Church even be worried? They knew they were in Christ, so why fear being in the Day of the Lord if they were taught that Jesus would restrain the evils on themselves?

  90. EduardoNo Gravatar says:

    Sorry for the mystery novel. :)

    The idea of identifying the restrainer as Jesus is as new to you as it is to me. You know, it just occurred to me he could be a good candidate. I still have time to value more this option.

    There are a lot of details we could get into, as you say, but I would like to concentrate in one: when is the restrainer going to get out of the way?

    By what I read, I understand you say it is in half week. I my understandindg it is at the beginning of the week. The reason I believe so is that Daniel’s 70th week starts with the covenant of the antichrist with Israel. Isn’t this part of the “mystery of iniquity”? If it isn’t so, what is Satan doing during those 3 1/2 years before the abomination of desolation?

  91. DonNo Gravatar says:

    Eduardo,

    I already replied to Brian in a prior comment what I thought the Mystery of Iniquity is. No I do not believe the “mystery of Iniquity” starts with Daniel’s 70’th week. It was make clear in the passage that it was already at work at the time of Paul’s writing.

    I think the “mystery of lawlessness” is the promoting of sin by spiritual authorities (Satanic forces). It is the spirit of antichrist in the world and the passage says that it is already at work in the world. In other words, there is lawlessness in God’s creation because of spiritual wickedness in high places.

    When is the restrainer going to be taken out of the way? The answer would depend on who one believes the restrainer is. If your one of those that think it is Spirit indwelt Church it would happen at the Rapture. If like me you believe it is Michael it would be when Michael is taken out of the way so the Son of Perdition can come to power and defile the Temple. If you believe the restrainer is Jesus like you imply your guess is as good as mine.

    Actually Daniel’s 70th week does not start with a confirming of the covenant with the Antichrist because the leader that confirm this covenant with many is not the Beast/Antichrist until Satan incarnates him for the last 42 months.

    My point is that there could be dozens of leaders signing that same covenant and nobody will have a clue or even care who the Beast/Antichrist is until he is empowered. For Example, it could be a revived Roman Empire treaty with many national or zonal leaders involved. Then one goes supernatural and kills three of ten existing worldleaders that also signed the covenant because they resisted his Beast empire program.

    He then breaks the covenant with Israel that he originally signed with all the rest of them and defiles the Temple and sets up an altar to Himself.

    What is Satan doing before he is cast out of Heaven for those last 42 months? He will be vacationing at Martha’s vineyard :mrgreen:

    I suppose Satan will be administrating the earth and persecuting the saints that did not go in the Rapture through the one world Harlot religious system and trying to oppose the message of the two prophets in Jerusalem without success, until their testimony is completed.

  92. Don, put on your flak jacket. I’m sure Site Intelligence has reported your post above. Of course, it won’t be the first time.

  93. DonNo Gravatar says:

    Huh? You lost me there Bob.

  94. Site Intelligence gathers “stuff” from various internet sites and reports it to their subscribers. Supposedly, it gathers only terrorist activity/information. But, we know “Big Sis” is watching all the Christian, NASCAR loving, ex-military types. My guess would be that your file is titled “Don In Missou – Leader of The Banned.”

  95. DonNo Gravatar says:

    Okay, I will buy that some government analyst actually reads my blog but why would they be especially interested in this post topic?

  96. This was an unkind comment to the “messiah.”

    What is Satan doing before he is cast out of Heaven for those last 42 months? He will be vacationing at Martha’s vineyard :mrgreen:

  97. ~DavidNo Gravatar says:

    You do have a point Bob…but I’d bet the gov’t analysts would probably never “catch” that one…and if they did, I’d bet they’d probably just assign it to Christian loons.

  98. DonNo Gravatar says:

    Ahhh now I get it Bob.

    Most of site intelligence would probably think I was just one of them. That is probably their secret code word but now I am getting off topic.

  99. You said: “The position of some others in the Church was that the Holy Spirit was the restrainer. That does not make sense either. The Holy Spirit cannot be removed from the earth; for if the Holy Spirit was removed no one could be saved and scripture clearly says that huge numbers of people will be saved in the Great Tribulation.”

    The Holy Spirit who indwells the believers here on earth will be taken away in the Rapture. When we go, so does the Holy Spirit.

    The Holy Spirit is the “He who now restrains” then the gospel will be preached by the 2 Witnesses and the 144,000 sealed of God during the Tribulation.

  100. DonNo Gravatar says:

    “When we go so does the Holy Spirit”……… ???

    If the Holy Spirit leaves what Spirit is in the 2 Witnesses and 144,000 and the number that no one can number that come out of the great tribulation? Obviously one of the popular opinions is the hinder is the Spirit indwelt Church but so if that is what you really meant what is new about your position that has not already been discussed? And why is that the Holy Spirit does not hinder through the 144,000 sealed fruitfruits and all their new disciples?

  101. George says:

    I have been reading your material for a few months now and am very intrigued by this discussion on who the “restrainer” is. You do make a lot of sense. There are some people howerer who believe that Michael and Jesus are one and the same. On the website amazingdiscoveries.org they seem to think Michael and Jesus are the same based on 1 Thes. 4:16. Gen. 48:16, Exodus 3:2, Isaiah 63:9, Daniel 10:21, Daniel 12:1, Jude 1:9 and others. Can these references as angels all also be referred to as Jesus? What are your views in these verses?

  102. DonNo Gravatar says:

    George,

    The same people you are talking about are mostly Jehovah Witnesses and Seven Day Adventists which is what Amazingdiscoveries.org is.

    Michael is not Jesus and if you want to know why just read these articles.

    http://www.exadventist.com/Home/Articles/JesusisNotMichael/tabid/482/Default.aspx
    http://carm.org/questions/about-jesus/are-jesus-and-michael-archangel-same
    http://www.neirr.org/Is%20Jesus%20Really%20Michael.htm
    http://www.letusreason.org/jw22.htm

  103. George says:

    Thanks Don.
    I had read 3 of these references earlier today, and I totally agree with them and with you. The concept of Michael being the “restrainer” I admit was new to me but your argument makes so much sense. I grew up in churches that rarely ever preached about revelation and just a few months ago a friend of mine asked if i believed in the rapture happening before or after the tribulation. My pat answer was before, but I had not received much teaching as to why I believed that. So I decided to google a commentary on revelation and came accross your commentary. I haven’t been able to put down the bible since. I’ve now read a lot of what you’ve written and I constantly check 3 or 4 different bible translations to see what they say. I have been blessed by your website and blogs. Thanks to you Don and to all the others who comment on here. I believe God is using you in a wonderful way. Thanks for all the work you do.

  104. PhilNo Gravatar says:

    Thank you for your work. I really appreciated the Revelation commentary and noted that you may update it. I learned much from it and plan to read any update. I read your website during my lunch sometimes, and will read several of your blogs and the response comments at one sitting. On Aug 2, you included this statement “The Rapture will not come until the Holy Spirit is taken out of the way.” what am I missing? From the above commentary, and my personal Bible reading, I do not think that the Holy Spirit is ever taken out of the way.

  105. DonNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Phil,

    Happy to hear that you find my rantings useful. The first revision to the Revelation Commentary should be up in two or three weeks.

    I think what you might be missing is that I did a study on the restrainer between Aug 2 and Aug 8th and after doing so I changed my view. I no longer think the restrainer is the Spirit indwelt Church. If I said the Rapture would not come until the Holy Spirit is taken out of the way I was probably referring to the Holy Spirit in the Church even if it did not come out that way. By the way, I looked at all my comments on Aug 2, and I could not find anything like that statement.

  106. George says:

    Hi Don.
    I know you changed your view on who the restrainer is, and with a very good argument for it, but yes in the 9th paragraph you did say “the rapture will not come until the Holy spirit is taken out of the way”. Great article. Thanks.

  107. DonNo Gravatar says:

    Phil or George or whoever I thought we were talking about in my follow-up comments on Aug 2nd so that is what I was looking at. I now see that I said that in my post on Aug 2nd. Saying that was a brain fart so I changed it to “the rapture will not come until the restrainer is taken out of the way”
    Thanks.

  108. DavidNo Gravatar says:

    “Paul told them that the apostasy had to happen first and then the restrainer had to be taken out of the way before the Day of the Lord could come. Only then could the Son of Perdition be revealed with all lying signs and wonders from Satan. And that is why Paul was admonishing them saying, “I told you these things and you know what restraineth“.”

    It seems far more plausible that it is Michael restraining, but in your argument you fail to clearly show where Paul had told them previously – “I told you these things”.

    Also, the human government argument still has merit as the “he” can easily refer to the leader of a major democratic government, especially if it refers to the American president. As the system of law and freedom found in western government is actually holding back complete anarchy, dictatorship and atheism – the breakdown of this system, by financial crash and complete loss of leadership, would easily allow another force to rise to power through war and force. There are actually opposing groups in this world who would welcome this and jump into the vacuum.

    And again, “the Apostacy” itself is a restraint removed – the apostasy happens first, and the “he” is the individuals of the apostate church – when he that letteth. This would mean that as we allow our Christianity to apostate we are removing our restraining influence in society – which is happening. This is like the dispensational view but with a post trib twist, instead of the Church and Holy Spirit being removed, its the church as a group of individuals moving into apostacy that are removing their restraining influence from the world. Paul had just told them about Apostacy in the preceding verses – thats why he says – “I told you these things”

    That’s three points of view that seem better than the typical dispensational view. Personally, I think it is likely to be Michael as the restrainer, as this creates the least problems. Generally, we know that there will be an apostacy (which seems to indicate a major event), removal of restraint and then the revealing of the Antichrist and then the coming of Jesus after 31/2 years. (The tribulation logically only being really 31/2 years not 7)

  109. DonNo Gravatar says:

    Another David has arrived.

    I think you are arguing against your own logic. If Paul told them who the restrainer was, and he did. He certainly would not be talking about a nation that did not yet exist that would mean nothing to them. Then you seem to suggest that “The Apostasy” restrains and “Democratic Government” and the “America President” “Law of Freedom in Western government” “The financial Crash” etc., and Paul had reason to tell them about these things???

    They would have very good reason to lock Paul up in the loony bin and they certainly would not have been worried about already being in the Day of the Lord. You also suggest the Apostasy that Paul told them that would come first in this passage was the Apostasy that Paul taught to them previously that is not in the passage. Think about that statement what you said is impossible.

    Then with all the rest you said you say your explanation seems better than the typical dispensational view??………. I D O N ‘T T H I N K S O…………..

    Then after all that you go back to Michael being the most logical restrainer? I simply am not following your own logic at all.

  110. DavidNo Gravatar says:

    I am mostly agreeing with the Michael speculation, but also suggesting two other options that have not been covered on this page.

    Obviously, if the restrainer refers to government, the comments by Paul, although understood by them as government and leader, relate really to those who are living at the end time. As does most prophecy of the end times. This is pretty basic stuff and not illogical. Paul was indicating to them that these things had to happen first before Jesus returned. Because Jesus did not return back then, it obviously relates to others – most likely us.

    My request at the beginning of my comment was about when or where did Paul tell them who the restrainer was – that did not seem to be answered.

    As for the apostacy text – “For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed” – Paul clearly told them about the apostacy coming before the Antichrist is revealed – and so – “And you know what is restraining him now so that he may be revealed in his time.” he seems to be saying and “now you know”.

    The problem with the pre trib view is that you have the rapture occurring before all this when the whole passage clearly indicates that the gathering occurs after.

    I did not say my explanation was better than the typical dispensational view – I said the three points of view were better (they are not my teaching – but other viewpoints developed by others) – I said basically that my preference was Michael as the restrainer.

    Don, I think you better follow things a bit more carefully and with less speed, because you might miss something. I was advocating three points of view over the pre trib view point, one of which seems the most likely.

    Obviously, the typical dispensation view has come under much attack – including this website and article – people are obviously not happy with that point of view ….. SO I DO THINK SO is worth discussing not blithely dismissing.

    You do realise (I hope) that much prophecy TEACHING on the web is highly speculative, tenuous, and based on many shaky foundations that have been extrapolated to bizarre conclusions – be careful.

  111. DonNo Gravatar says:

    David,

    Nobody is going to seriously think that Paul was talking about America or your other suggestions. Paul was telling people in his time why the letter they received was a counterfeit and why they should know they were not yet in the Day of the Lord. It has a prophetic application to the future only because what Paul said apparently has not taken place yet so the restrainer is still with us. Nevertheless Paul was not teaching them about some end-time America and Western system of government or they would have put Paul in a rubber room.

    The actual Greek text does not say that that the day will not come until “the rebellion comes first”. The text actually says the day will not come until the “falling away” occurs first. The same word is used for departure from whatever. That could mean Paul was talking about a departure from the fellowship of Christians or departure of Christians as in the Rapture. In either case, true Christians do not depart from the faith.

    There is no problem with the Pre-trib Rapture view in this passage. The passage does not say that the gathering happens after the Rapture as you said. Nevertheless, there is a gathering of believers in the final 3 1/2 years but it has nothing to do with the Rapture

    Paul did not tell us who the restrainer was anywhere in scripture and that is why we are having this discussion.

    It is up to you to write more carefully to make yourself understood. I can only comment on the content of your comment. The point in any case is that there is no reason at all to believe these alternate silly viewpoints. The three points of view really have no foundation in scripture or common sense logic and say nothing about the timing of the Rapture.

    All theology is under attack by those that hold different theology but only one theology is correct. I am not going to loss sleep because some cannot understand or accept premillennial dispensational views. I also am not here to make people happy. If they want to be made happy Joel Olsteen is a better choice. If you want to make this into a discussion about why you do not want to believe dispensationalism you came to the wrong place.

    Yeah, much Bible prophecy is built on conjecture rather than sound doctrine and reasoning much like the unfounded views that you suggested in your last comment.

  112. Sis. Van says:

    I have been trying to get complete commentary on 2 Thes. 2:3. From what I see, Verse 1 is clearly speaking of the Rapture. His coming and our being gathered together unto Him. Verse 3 states that the

    day will NOT come until (some things happen first) a falling away, and that man of sin BE REVEALED, the son of perdition. Verse 4 gives us some of his characteristics.

    I have been soooo greived to here different ones disregard what the BIBLE makes undoubtably clear. Is anyone seeing that the church will NOT be raptured before the antichrist is revealed?

  113. DonNo Gravatar says:

    Sis. Van,

    If what Paul was talking about is so clear good people would not have so many different views on what he is saying. Your statement about the Rapture and the Antichrist is not the subject being discussed. Obviously post toasties believe that the Church will be here when the Antichrist is revealed so the answer is yes. Also we cannot assume that people saved before the marriage are not part of the Church.

  114. Hi Don,

    Just read this article after finding your web site. I think your thoughts about the Arch angel Michael being the restrainer is interesting and plausable. It’s a view I’ve never heard. The timing of Satan’s defeat in the heavens and cast into the earth for the last 42 months does fit chronologically. I’m not convinced, (yet) but I am reflective and open to reconsider my own view. One thing for sure, it’s good to stay diligent in searching out the truths of God’s Word and staying open is necessary.

  115. Bye the way Don, am I correct in assuming you are aware of the Greek Scholar “Wuest”, his translation and opinion of 2 Thess 2? What I have dificulity with from your view is that the restrainer is “taken out of the way” (some scholars translate this as “come into existance”) where Michael is victorious in the heavens. Can you elaborate on that when time allows? Thanks

  116. DonNo Gravatar says:

    Pastor Bill,

    I am not aware of any “Wuest”. People who translated the Greek in the best translations believe it means taken out of the way. I am not sure what you want me to elaborate on?

    I am suggesting that there will be war in Heaven and Michael and his angels will cast out Satan and his angels unto the earth. Therefore since Michael is in heaven he will no longer be restraining the Antichrist from coming to power on earth. We know from scripture that when Satan and his angels are cast unto the earth that they control the earth through the Beast and the False prophet for 3.5 years. It is not until the end of the great tribulation that Satan is bound again by an angel (probably Michael).

  117. Wuest was a Greek scholar who translated the NT. Below is his translation of the text 2 Thess 2:1-12. What I was wondering is if you had heard his point about the word “apostacy”. He translated it to mean in it exclusive form a “departure” and equated it as a rapture and not a religious departure from the faith. While Paul used the word when saying “The Spirit speaketh expressly that in the latter days some shall depart “FROM THE FAITH”. The Thess text does not state it’s a departure from the faith or any religious falling away. It is only after that apostacy – “departure” that the anti-christ is revealed that the full departure from Christian/ Judeo faith is underway.

    Here is Wuest’s translation to consider;

    2Th 2:1 1-4 Now, I am requesting you, brethren, with regard to the coming and personal presence of our Lord Jesus Christ, even our being assemb
    led together to Him, not soon to become unsettled, the source of this unsettled state being your minds, neither be thrown into confusion, either by a spirit, or through a word as from us or through a letter falsely alleged to be written by us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come and is now present. Do not begin to allow anyone to lead you astray in any way, because that day shall not come except the aforementioned departure comes first and the man of the lawlessness is disclosed, the son of perdition, he who sets himself in opposition to and exalts himself above everyone and everything that is called a god or that is an object of worship, so that he seats himself in the inner sanctuary of God, proclaiming himself to be deity.
    2Th 2:5 5-7 Do you not remember that while I was still with you I kept on telling you these things? And now you know with a positive assurance that which is preventing his being disclosed in his strategic, appointed time, for the mystery of the aforementioned lawlessness is now operating. Only He who is holding down, until He goes out from the midst.
    2Th 2:8 8-12 And then shall the Lawless One be disclosed, whom the Lord Jesus shall slay with the breath of His mouth and render inoperative by the sudden appearance of His personal presence, the coming and presence of whom is according to the operation of Satan in the sphere of miracles demonstrating power and attesting miracles and miracles of a startling, imposing, amazement-wakening character which deceive, and whose coming and presence is in the sphere of every kind of wicked deception geared to those who are perishing, caused by the fact that they did not accept the love for the truth to the end that they might be saved. And because of this God sends them a deluding influence result-ing in their believing the lie, in order that they all might be judged who did not believe the truth but took delight in wickedness.

    As to your point about Michael, I find it a fair and logical point to consider.

  118. DonNo Gravatar says:

    Pastor Bill,

    I am aware of that interpretation. Actually the word means “falling away” as in a departure but a departure from what is not said. It really can only be implied from the context that perhaps Paul was talking about the Rapture and not a departure from the faith. I think he might be talking about the Rapture myself but cannot dismiss that there also will be a departure from the faith in the last days because it explicitly say so in 1Ti 4:1 and it is implied elsewhere.

    Wurest’s translation is obviously a paraphrase since he is inserting things like “aforementioned departure” when there is no “aforementioned” in the Greek. Frankly, the general consensus has been that it is a falling away from the faith but of course a pre-trib Rapture was not taught for most of the Church era so what else could they think it meant?

    So let’s speculate that it does mean a departure in the Rapture, what does that do to my Michael restrainer theory? Not much, because Michael could very well be the archangel heard at the Rapture, and He and his angels go with those in the Rapture to Heaven and that causes the war in Heaven because Satan calls their arrival to the throne praising Jesus, treason treason. (I think 2 Ch 22-23 is a type or foreshadow of these events and Athaliah is a type of Satan.)

    1Th 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

  119. Ed ThomasNo Gravatar says:

    I would like to comment on 2 thess 2 and from a Jewish point of view. It seems the King James translators as well as their modern counterparts either didn’t appreciate or where wholly unaware that Paul was a Rabbi, and wrote as other Rabbis did, by the Method Midrash. It may be one of the reasons these passages have been so mangled cause they didn’t know what to do with them. But what we have in these passages are two main thoughts as Midrashic couplets concerning the beast and the Lawless one.
    There we learn that the Beast could not be manifested on earth as long as he (masculine) now “holdeth fast” [to his place in the heavenies, Rev.7:7.] He will hold it fast until he is cast out.
    But here in Rev.7 we see it come to a head, and Satan is about to openly manifest it.
    Meanwhile, “Ye know what(nueter) holdeth him (the Lawless one) fast, that he may be revealed in his time.”
    This great apostle could write thus to the church of Thessilonians, for he previously told them and they knew, but we do not know.
    All we know is that it cannot be a person who holds the Lawless one fast, for the word is in the nueter gender. It can only be a place. If I may I suggest that it is (to phrear) the pit of the abyss. out of which he will come “stepping up” out of.
    In any case, the popular view cannot be correct, which takes it as the Holy Spirit. What does the Holy Spirit “hold fast” (Thess 5:21) in order that the Lawless one may be revealed in his appointed time?
    This idea arose from a wrong translation of the verb (Katecho), which means to hold something fast.
    But here the verb is transitive, and therefore must have an object.
    And most translations arise from ignoring the fact that the verb is transitive. Something must be held fast. And further confusion is also introduced by not preserving the important difference between the genders. And the undoubted Hebrew idiom in verse 7–cast out. And so the whole passage needs to be entirely recast.
    Satan therefore cannot make his move because he is desparately holding onto his place of power in the Heavenlies, and the Beast, the lawless one cannot make his move because he is, as we write this, held under lock and key in the abyss.

  120. I cannot see the Jewish understanding of Greek to be any better than a gentiles, and some great gentiles have seriously studied this passage and continue to believe the restrainer to be the Holy Spirit.

    Where was the Holy Spirit when he was “not yet given” – before he was given at Pentecost, he is God and therefore omnipresent?
    If he can be given without interfering with his deity, why can’t he be taken away?

  121. Ed ThomasNo Gravatar says:

    Well, brother Brian, I must humbly agree with you there. It really doesn’t matter one bit whether its a Jew or Gentile interpreting God’s word. So long as we understand what the apostle was actually saying in these passages and what they actually tell us about Satan’s near-future schemes and plans.

    But I believe we will all profit if we draw back a bit from the controversy they still cause us all, and try to see this from a different perspective, and ask ourselves the two most important questions of all: Where is Satan right this minute? And also, where is the Lawless one himself, right now?

    Isn’t this what Paul was talking to the Thessalonians about in those passages, as to the reason why they have been unable,or was being prevented from manifesting themselves before their time?
    Because it appears we have been putting our focus on the wrong thing here. So we have built this huge problem out of a single Greek word simply because we insist upon using an English word Restrainer, and have arranged whole books and countless public sermons on that word alone, so we never quite get around to the real question, if Satan is being retrained somewhere, is it voluntary and so he is doing so himself because of other influences that make his restraint imperative, or is it penal and someone else doing this to him?
    If we merely ask the question, where is Satan now, right this minute, then the whole idea of using this world simply vanishes away. Because his present location is well-known to all of us who study the Scriptures. At this moment he is clinging to his place in the Heavenlies. And we know, in order to expel him it will take no less the Angels of heaven Led my the Archangel Michael himself.
    So therefore neither has Michael or the Holy Spirit put any retraint on Satan to this very day today.
    And as for the Lawless one, he is being retrained by his jail and is yet incarcerated in the Abyss.
    And I know it will arouse violent disputing because it sounds too ridiculous to argue this, but with the text of the Scripture before us, there can only be one human we know of in history that has been sent to the prisonhouse of fallen angels: Judas Iscariot. He it was to whom our Lord Himself gave the title “the Son of perdition”. And the Lord’s own disciples when they were assaying to replace him said in Acts1 and verse 25 that Judas “fell by transgression that he may go to his own place.” I believe the Greek word there is idios: pertaining to self, i.e, one’s own; by implication private or separate… meaning peculiar
    So if we all humbly accept where the Bible says these two are, then the whole idea of the restrainer become moot.

  122. Ed ThomasNo Gravatar says:

    Oh, and can I offer this too.
    In Acts 1 verse 20 the Lord’s disciple must have been very much aware of just where Judas was going because they qouted from David prophesying this very thing in Psalms 69:25:
    “For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation[grave] be desolate[empty], and let no man dwell therein…”

  123. DonNo Gravatar says:

    ED

    I really appreciate your input on this. What you suggest is out of the box and a different twist but it is really great food for thought. Perhaps someone will give a good counter argument against your theory but that is how we learn and why I bring up these issues and allow comments.

  124. DonNo Gravatar says:

    Ed,

    Then I think the logical question is:
    Who is restraining the demon that was in Judas in the prison house of fallen angels and who will be taken out of the way to allow this demon to come out and possess the Beast?

  125. Ed ThomasNo Gravatar says:

    Brian
    I, for one, really appreciate this discussion too!

    But, as to your last post here re: who’s restraining?
    That’s the whole point: nobody is! Judas is locked in prison, as is the other fallen angel inmates who are themselves awaiting a penal visit from the throne. And one could hardly argue for demons acting as warders in punishing other demons.
    And we already know from Scripture that our Lord Himself said that it was Satan who entered into Judas.
    After he lured Judas to commit his treacherous betrayal of the Lord of Glory, doubtless Satan returned to his place in the heavenlies where, as we know from Revelations, he still remains today; as we are told there, how he is to be at length cast out.
    The disciple greatly beloved of our Lord repeats the title given to Judas by Him once in Revelations 17: 8 and again in 11: the[man with the Beastly character] that thou sawest was [because he was alive and living in Judea], and is not[because he is incarcerated] and shall[ at the time appointed] ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition.”
    In us following this line of thought, so much speculation and debate concerning who the Antichrist is, will be completely eliminated, if we simply accept the witness of David and our Lord’s disciple, as they both emphasized that the body of Judas was never laid in any grave. As we later are told that he himself bodily comes stepping up out of the Abyss.
    The Greek text says he comes stepping up, but we know A spirit doesn’t make steps.
    And there we have the antichrist who comes stepping up onto terrafirma of the world scene after being restrained in the prisonhouse of fallen angels for near unto 2000 years. And where Satan himself comes to meet him, after he has been cast out of heaven from which he was restraining himself from departing from his place and clinging to, in the heavenlies.

  126. DonNo Gravatar says:

    Ed,

    It was me Don, that made that comment and asked the question about who then is restraining Judas.

    What you said is a new spin on Revelation 17. I have heard the view that the same demon (Apollonian) was possessing one King and will will come out of the pit to possess the eighth king but the physical body of Judas hardly fits the passage since the passages clearly says that they were kings.

    Also, it is quite a stretch to think that the dead body of Judas will appear again. I don’t see support for that.

    You obviously believe the Antichrist can only be Judas since Judas was also called the Son of Perdition but what the two sons of perdition might only have in common is that they are both sons of Satan once possessed by Satan.

    I also think you are reading what you want to believe into the Greek text and saying spirits don’t step up.

    Even so, You say Judas in in a prisonhouse? Who is keeping him there? Who is the jailer?

  127. Ed ThomasNo Gravatar says:

    Well, actually I began studying Greek grammar at 19 so I can say I do have a bit of competence on that subject. Its a pity but not many want to discuss it much.
    The basic rule though is that if something is in the nueter gender, it cannot be a person.
    According to the structure of the verse in which Paul writes that the lawless one is being held fast, it must be a place.

    If there had been a human, or demon, or even angel acting as warder, and he was performing some important service as the restrainer, then in that case Paul would have used the masculine gender.
    As to my guessing about the stepping up. The Greek compound word used in the Text in Revelations 17:8,is Anabainein and is taken from the base anabathmos: a stairway, or a set of ascending platforms. i.e.,steps.
    Most do not think that the Abyss is an actual physical place somewhere geographically located on the earth. I believe that’s why we have oceans covering most of the world, because on the new earth they won’t be needed to contain places like the abbyss and the lake of fire, so there aren’t any according to John in Revelations. So if Judas is still inhabiting his body he’s going to have to come up using his feet.

    If Judas’ body had remained buried in the potter’s field then his soul would be been consigned to hades, and his corpse would have long since rotted and decayed to dust. So what part of Judas is incarcerated in the Abyss?
    If as David insisted and our Lord’s apostles testified his body was not in his grave, then where can his body be, if not in the Abyss?
    Well, I believe we can see that our lord himself tells us where, simply by the identifying title He used, the “Son of perdition”. And “Son of perdition” is never used for any other person but of Judas Iscariot in Scripture, nor doe it mean “son of Satan”.
    The sense of the word perdition should be taken in the Judicial manner of a sentence already adjudicated and handed down. Pre-doomed would be the unsatisfactory way of it putting in English. or “the Son of doom” which is much more like the force of the word…”and goeth into perdition” gives a better sense of Judas going to his prejudged doom.

  128. DonNo Gravatar says:

    Ed,

    All that but what you said really adds little to what you already said and you did not answer my main argument or my main question.

    I was not referring to the 2th 2:7 passage when I said you were reading what you want in the Greek. I was talking about Rev 17:8 anabainw which simply means from the Strong’s:

    305 anabainw anabaino an-ab-ah’-ee-no

    from 303 and the base of 939; TDNT-1:519,90; v

    AV-go up 37, come up 10, ascend 10, ascend up 8, climb up 2, spring up 2, grow up 2, come 2, enter 2, arise 2, rise up 2, misc 2, vr ascend 1; 82

    1) ascend
    1a) to go up
    1b) to rise, mount, be borne up, spring up

    So saying it means “step up” could be correct but it does not have to be correct. You cannot assume from this word that a physical body is stepping up out of something. You have to read in your own theory to come to that conclusion.

    I guess you think Judas is in prison in his old body with a broken neck and his guts hanging out? It must be quite a site. If he is whole, who healed him? No physical human body has ever gone to the Abyss. Even Jesus did not take his body with Him.

    You have not made your case from scripture as far as I can tell that Judas body did not rot. I already explained that the son of perdition title does not mean they have to be the same person. Just because son of perdition is only used twice in the NT does not mean they are the same person. That they are sons of Satan is assumed, but both of these persons will also be possessed by Satan so that is what is unique to both that justifies the use of that name. It does not mean they are the same person. They both go to their doom.

    I will ask again? In Revelation 17, If the 8th is of the 7 and they are all kings like Revelation says, than how does Judas qualify to be one of the kings?

    If Judas is alive in a prisonhouse for angels as you claim who is keeping him there? Who is the jailer?

  129. Ed:
    But, as to your (Don’s actually) last post here re. who’s restraining? That’s the whole point, nobody is!

    2Th 2:7 For the mystery of lawlessness doth already work: only there is one that restraineth now, until he be taken out of the way.

    Your statement above doesn’t seem to gel with this translation of 2Thessalonians 2:7.

    Now I admit I am no student of the koine Greek, I can read Strongs, Vines etc. but must rely on the available translations to get contextual meaning to the basic words. I have access to about five on my desktop and around another dozen or so on the web. All of them read more or less the same so I am in a position that I must accept what they say, and what they all say is that there IS one who now restrains the revealing of THE lawless one.

    For general interest:
    I have just been reading a work of a David M Rogers, who writes that he received his Insight (to what it is that restraineth) in the Spring 1980. His basic premise is that “certain prophesied (but unfulfilled) events (are) holding back the coming of the Lord”; it is the Lord’s return that is being restrained by some neutral “that which restraineth”. It turned out that D M Rogers holds a post trib view and from what I can tell it colours his interpretation. In such a view Paul’s comments in 2Thess 2 must refer to Christ’s coming to the Mount of Olives and not for a pre trib ‘rapture’ of his church.

  130. Ed ThomasNo Gravatar says:

    Brian
    I must apologize here for this mix up,only one of my posts were addressed to you, the others were to Don. But thanks for jumping in here and opening up the debate with some well-needed fresh air. I’m afraid Don and I were very nearly at a complete Mexican stand-off.

    you wrote:
    “2Th 2:7 For the mystery of lawlessness doth already work: only there is one that restraineth now, until he be taken out of the way.

    Your statement above doesn’t seem to gel with this translation of 2Thessalonians 2:7″
    As we all know, Paul’s Epistles were horrendously difficult to decipher even for his own Greek-speaking contemporaries, as Peter himself mentions. And I attempted to point out that his use the Midrashic format attributed to Rabbi Hillel, the founder of the Pharisaic school where Paul was educated as a rabbi by Rabbi Gamaliel, makes them even more complicated to get for Gentile translators.
    Roughly speaking,as with the yelammedenu rabbenu format used by Yeshua in the Gospels, Paul was using in addition an exegitical midrash arranged in a topically argued pisaqot.

    So, the thrust of the argument was, that his listeners should not be fooled by false letters or fleshly agendas of imposters, that the Day of Christ has already begun.

    [But]…That Day.. will not come until there is a great rebellion against God.
    And the Lawless one is revealed.

    Don’t you remember that I told you this…[about Him[…when I was there with you.

    And you know… [what] is holding him fast..for he can be revealed Only when his time comes.

    For this lawlessness is already at work..and will remain secret…until the one who is holding [himself] fast..arrives on the scene.
    then the man of lawlessness will be revealed….

    So apart from the ascriptions and several of Paul’s momentary digression to fully back up his argument, this is what I believe the basic thrust of these passages mean.

  131. Wow, I’ve been following along for the past few days and marvel and all the interesting suggestions; such as Judas being the anti-christ and who the restrainer is. Here are my thoughts briefly.

    First, I don’t know why Paul and the believers in Thess would know (even perfectly on these things (1 Thess 5:1-4) and we today, as it is suggested, don’t know.

    According to the history Paul was in Thess for only three weeks (three whole Sabbaths) before he was chased out by the envious Jews of the city. (Act 17:1-10) “Some” Jews believed but the majority of those who believed (a great multitude) were Greeks (gentiles) and the chief women. If he was able in such a short time to cause so many, who didn’t have much knowledge of the scriptures, what the restrainer was, it should be obvious to us that Paul and Silas labored earnestly night and day, in the synagogue on the Sabbaths, in the market places, daily (Acts 17:17, 19:9) and house to house (Acts 20:20) so they would know. That tells me, hopefully you too, that it is God’s will for us to know.

    (1Th 2:9) For ye remember, brethren, our labour and travail: for labouring NIGHT AND DAY, because we would not be chargeable unto any of you, we PREACHED unto you the gospel of God.

    (1 Th 3:10) Night and day PRAYING EXCEEDINGLY that we might see your face, and might perfect that which is lacking in your faith?

    Paul’s earnest labors among the church in Thess and everywhere he went included him walking holily, justly and unblameably while TEACHING, PREACHING, PRAYING, WARNING, EXHORTING, COMFORTING, CHARGING etc… that they “we walk worthy of God”. (1Th 2:10-12)

    Re: (2Th 2:6-7) And now ye know WHAT withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth (withholds) will let,(withhold) until he be TAKEN out of the way.

    I suggest our focus should be more on WHAT restrains lawlessness and iniquity rather than on who restrains. Isn’t it fair to say that the most mature among the early church considered “prayer and the ministry of the Word” as paramount over all other good Christian activities? (Acts 6:4) Doesn’t the charge that “we walk worthy” (something relative only AFTER we are saved for we can’t earn our salvation) mean that we pray and minister the Word? Have you considered that Paul preceded his announcement “now you know what withholdeth” (2 Thess 2:6) by praying the following?

    “Wherefore also WE PRAY ALWAYS for you, that our God would COUNT YOU WORTHY OF THIS CALLING, and fulfill all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power” (2Th 1:11)

    I believer this: That which restrains the spirit of lawlessness and iniquity (including before the uncovering of the anti-christ) more than anything is faithful servants who DO the work of the ministry in preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and who will watch and pray. (Exe 22:31-32 & 2 Chron 7:14) Prayer is critical in restraining evil. Such servants are the ones who Jesus indicated as being worthy to escape. (Luke 21:34-36)

    Not all Christians have or are doing these things. Thus I believe in a pretrib rapture (removal, departure, escape or taking out of the way) is a reward for those who are faithfully restraining the “mystery of iniquity” in that time and season. (571 words)

  132. DonNo Gravatar says:

    Ed,

    What Mexican stand off?
    If you cannot answer my simple questions your Judas theory fails. Your premise is that you think 2 Th 2:7 is a prisonhouse and not a being. And from that you conjecture that the physical body of Judas is imprisoned there and he will appear alive again as the Beast when Judas physically steps up out of the abyss fulfilling Revelation 17:10 (that verse is clearly talking about actual kings not Judas).

    I suggest you read my last two comments and give reasonable answers to what I asked or you will not be making comments here much longer at all. One thing I will not tolerate on my blog is people who post conjectures but just blow off my questions about those conjectures.

  133. DonNo Gravatar says:

    Pastor Bill, thinks that the restrainer is just those that are being faithful within the Church when the Lord comes.

    That makes me wonder how the early Church was doing all that much restraining of evil when there were so few of them with so little knowledge of spiritual warfare.

    If the faithful doing spiritual works were the restrainer I think Paul would have had a different message.

  134. Don and all,

    The point I make is that in all generations prayer and the ministry of God’s Word was a restrainer of evil. Evil and darkness (i.e. Dark Ages) prevails when prayer and the ministry of the Word is disregarded.

    Now as to 2 Thess 2 and the specific Restrainer, withholder at that particulat time? It has been pointed out here that it is some THING as opposed to some ONE. Is that accurate? It is some THING which is taken out of the way before that lawless one is revealed (uncovered), who is clearly the anti-christ? (I believe the reference to lawless also includes the sphere of influence of the anti-christ and Satan’s mysterious iniquity)

    What is it? I don’t think it is the Holy Spirit. He will never leave us and He is always everywhere. David once wrote that if he made his bed in hell God’s Holy Spirit is there too. (Ps 139:7-8) Also, if the Holy Spirit were taken out how can people be saved during that Tribulation period.

    Neither do I think it is the Church or the whole Body of Christ at that specific time who is the restrainer and thus taken out. The argument that “if all the church is taken at the same time that would mean an amputation”? That doesn’t hold up. If that were the case we’re already amputated because Jesus is the head of the Body and He is in heaven at the Fathers right hand, ever living to make intercession for us. Then too, if Jesus was also taken out of the way as part of the Body, how can people left behind have a personal relationship with Him if they got saved.

    Now, I think your points about Michael the arch angel is interesting and thought provoking. But as I considered it I don’t think it is Michael.

    First, the point has already been made here that the tense is in the nutuer nuetral gender so it’s argued it is not an entity such as a person and then neither an angel.

    Second, Michael is not alone in his war against Satan. The text says Michael and HIS ANGELS fought against the Dragon (Satan) and HIS ANGELS.

    Third, angels are not the dominate ones on earth. Angels are ministering spirits sent forth to minister for them (us) who are heirs of salvation. (Heb 1:14)

    Fourth; we’re told that God’s intent was for man to have dominion over the earth, not angels. (Gen 1:26) Thus, the example of Jesus (the second Adam) was required for Him to be made a man. Not exclusively so that He could die one day for us. That being the greatest reason I agree. But He was also sent here serve as an example of how we can be like Him, conduct His business here on earth like Him. God’s predestined plan for man is that we be conformed to His image. He showed His disciple what He could do and told them to go do it too. (Matt 10, Luke chapter 9 the 12 disciples, chapter 10 the 70 disciples, and John chapter 17:18-20 “all those who shall believe Him.

    Fifth: WE’RE TOLD TO “FIGHT the good fight” not that God or the angels are going to do it for us. Were told to “RESIST the devil; were told “the weapons of OUR WARFARE are not carnal, but mighty THROUGH God…, We’re told to put on the whole armor of God, with the last peice being the sword of the Spirit, PRAYING ALWAYS and with ALL kind of prayers, supplications, intercessions and giving of thanks. W’re told to pray for our authorities (what for specifically? that we might lead a quiet and peacable life in ALL godliness and honesty.

    Faith without works is dead, thus the unbeliever does not receive God’s salvation. It is when faith goes into motion, takes action, corresponding actions that we cease from being vain men (non productive). In such works of faith (not works of the Law, prayer, truth, God’s righteousness ect.. )we become among other things, called the Friends of God. (James 2:14-26)

    Prayer restrains! At least I am convinced of that. No it doesn’t solve or answer every crisis. But it makes some valuable difference against evil. Jesus did teach us to pray and in Luke 21:36 His (not mine)exhortation to watch and pray has a specific promise of reward. A promise to escape (literally flee out) Note that Jesus was speaking specifically of the end time events of His Second Coiming. He said it to His closest disciples so that they would hand it down to those who would be living at the time of those Coming events.

    So, even if I am wrong on the true identity of that referenced restrainer in 2 Thess 2, I do think Paul would encourage me to encourage all of us that prayer and the genuine ministry of the Word (Don I know you recognize there is much being taught and going on in Christendom that is not qenuine ministry) is a restrainer – if not THE restrainer.

  135. DonNo Gravatar says:

    Pastor Bill,

    I will answer your five points.

    1. I did not argue the point about the neuter general tense because the passage just implies that someone or something that is hindering will be taken out of the way. All translations that I have looked at say “he”. I do not know why some people think they known more than the top Bible translation experts? They resort to a Greek translation that is not the most commonly used translation to support their own conjecture. I will stay with the top translation experts on this that believe the hinderer is a He or some force. That would not eliminate Michael. Even John MacArthur includes Michael as one of top seven conjectures.

    2. I never said Michael is alone. If I told you that General MacArthur was the restrainer of China I would not be implying that He was doing it all by Himself, he had an army. Michael always leads the angels of God, not just at the time when war breaks out in the Heavens and Satan is cast unto the earth. Even so, the only person other than the Holy Spirit that I know of that can hinder the evil one from coming out of the abyss is Satan himself or Michael with the support of the Lord.

    3. Satan is an Arch angel and he is the prince of the power of the air and the ruler of this world according to the scriptures, so obviously Satan’s angels do dominate what happens on earth among unregenerate man. Angels also watch over those in Christ according to scripture. Man has not had dominion over the earth since the fall. The earth is under the administration of angels for good reason. Man without God without restraint will be the predators that they are. Angels have real power that should be quite event from their display in the OT and what Satan and His angels will do to those that dwell on the earth when they are cast down unto the earth. Not to mention that God’s Judgments are carried out by angels. Even Jesus could have called on angels to fight for Him so obviously they have physical power. We also see in Daniel that Gabriel was being hindered from coming by another angel until Michael came to help. So obviously angels can restrain.

    4. Has nothing to do with the price of tea in China.

    5. Has nothing to do with the price of tea in China.

    Bill, we are discussing who or what is keeping the Son of Perdition from coming out of the Abysis not giving a Sunday sermon.

    Prayer restrains?? Not directly it does not, unless you like the Word Faith people believe that your words have force! No. God answers prayer but quite often in scripture an answer to prayer was accompanied or carried out by a visitation from an Angel.

    Sure I agree that there is spiritual warfare going on and Christian need to pray but I don’t really see the point of bringing that into the discussion of determining who the restrainer of 2th 2;7 is?

  136. Bill V,

    Re: “It has been pointed out here that it is some THING as opposed to some ONE. Is that accurate?”

    From my understanding of the Greek this sudden change in the gender of what appears to be the same restrainer in 2Thess 2:6-7 is the problem. All the translations seem to render the restrainer as being SOMETHING as well as SOMEONE.

    You say you don’t accept it as being the Holy Spirit because of his omnipresence etc. but as I wrote in a comment on the 13th; Where was the Holy Spirit whilst he was “not yet given”?
    My thought being if the Holy Spirit can be ‘given’, the restrainer ’caused to become out of the way’ may be a similar type of dispensation in the Holy Spirit’s ministry.

    You raise some good points as to the Church’s ministry to the world; perhaps the restrainer is some interdependence between the ministries of the Church and the Holy Spirit? It is conjecture I know, and the problem of the gender difference makes it so.

  137. Re my last comment:
    Instead of saying ‘a similar type of dispensation in the Holy Spirit’s ministry’ I should perhaps have used the phrase ‘a reversal or removal of that first dispensation’, i.e. Pentecost.

  138. Ed ThomasNo Gravatar says:

    Don
    I did not mean to be rude or want to give you the impression that I was intentionally ignoring your question, and I ask that you kindly accept my apologize for this.
    Although I was born in America, I’ve lived here in Sweden for over twenty years where Swedish is spoken, so I’m afraid my English is quite rusty.
    I used the now apparently defunk colloqiulism “Mexican stand off” because I simply didn’t know how to give you the answer because of the way you worded it, and I didn’t quite understand what it was your were driving at?
    our main topic was this wholly out of place word “Restrainer”…when the actual Greek word means: “to hold something fast”.
    If someone has you locked in room with thick walls and steel bars on doors and windows, or has chained you to a stake buried in a concrete floor, are you being held fast, or are they restraining you?
    I think there’s a difference between the Greek word Katecho and the English word restrainer.
    to my mind, the English word always implies the motion of a continuous act of physical exertion applied against something attempting to move away.
    While hold fast implies a stationary or static, inanimate object or thing blocking or holding something attempting to move away. Like the door on the prisonhouse of the Abyss.

    It seems to me that your suggestion that the infernal king Apollyon was the one doing the restraining ignores, I think, what John tells us he saw in the heavenly vision. He said that he saw a star fall from heaven: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit.
    Our Lord had already told us previously who that star was, and john repeat the words to that affect as to give us Yeshua’s very description: ” and I beheld Satan as ligtning fall from Heaven.”
    My argument therefore, is that it will be Satan who is given the key to the bottomless pit, as Apollyon does not appear until after Satan opens it. Because Apollyon is himself being held fast there until he and his army of infernal supernatural creatures are released upon the world.
    Along with Judas Iscariot, who will be in his supernatural form. He would have to have taken on such a form because he was quite and truly dead when cast in there. And if we can trust what Scripture says about his being there, it must be in some form other than what is natural to humans now.

    A side comment:
    Titles used in the Bible is a big subject covering the entire word of God in its wide diversity. I have study them, and I would have to argue that when a title appears, and that one is given to one person or thing or nation as the subject, then I don’t think you can show that titele was given to another subject. And far as I can tell, there is only one exception to this rule. The title: christ, or anointed one.

  139. DonNo Gravatar says:

    Ed,

    I think what we have here is a failure to communicate.

    I was not implying that Apollyon was the one restraining. What I tried to say is that it has been suggested to me that Apollonian is the Demon that once was in one of those kings of Revelation 17:10 and now is in the Abyss and will come again in the Beast. I just said it has been suggested to me, I did say I believe it. I believe that explanation was suggested because Apollyon is the King over the locusts that come out after the bottomless pit is opened and so I guess it is possible for someone to also assume that Apollyon comes out of the pit and and possesses the Beast. It is never said that Satan ever went into the pit or comes out of it although I guess the suggestion that it was Satan can be one reasonable explanation. Anyway, that is a different topic. I would think if Judas was the Son of Perdition coming out of the pit that he would be king over the demons rather than Apollyon?

    Then I implied that your idea that Judas will fulfill Revelation 17:10 does not fly because Rev 17:10 clearly says that they were actual living Kings and Judas was not a physical King.

    So I ask again, How can Judas fulfill Revelation 17:10 as you clearly said he will, when Judas never was physically a king and never had a kingdom? How did Judas get resurrected into being a supernatural being? And if Judas is a supernatural being who is keeping him in the prison house of angels that you said he is in? And were can you get any of this conjecture from the scriptures?

    Also, I do not deny titles have meaning. I already said Judas and the Beast are both called the Son of Perdition because they were both possessed by Satan. And yes there are places in the Bible where the same title identifies more than one being. For example the King of Tire and Satan or even Caesar. There are other examples.

    Really if you cannot answer these questions I will have to blow off your Judas theory even though the Son of Perdition being trapped in the pit as an explanation for 2Th 2:7 still remains integrating. Where you lost me is when you brought in a physical Judas and Revelation 17:10.

  140. Ed ThomasNo Gravatar says:

    Don
    Thanks for your clarification, yes I see how I miss the boat on your question. okay now I think I see where you were going with your question re Revelations 17: 10 about Judas not a actual being living a physical King.

    First of all, Let me just say what I should have mentioned earlier in this thread which is that, I believe what Paul revealed to the Thessalonians was two of the most profound and shocking mysteries on earth, when he gave us the address not only of Satan, who is at this minute holding fast to his place in the Heavenlies, but of the Beast of Revelations too, who is also at this very moment being held fast in the Abyss.

    “The Lawless one”, “the Son of perdition” and “the Beast” must be one and the same, not only because two of them share the same title, but all three share the same address: all are seen in the immediate area of the Abyss.

    It is sure Yahweh, bless His name, intended us to understand these things as mysteries we are to unravel, and right there in Revelations 17: 9 John pauses to warn us “here [what is about to immediately follow] is[ an important clue to] the mind that has wisdom”.
    He shows us seven historical empires, and then he tells us that the Beast, or Judas lived, and was born, in the seventh empire, i.e., Roman, but will be the Antichrist leader of the eighth and final empire: the other, Eastern leg of Daniel’s statue: the Islamic empire now rising in Turkey, the modern day revival of the old caliphate ( an extremely frightening prospect for us living here in Europe!).
    But nowhere does John tell us that the Beast is one of the kings. And Apollyon who we are told, was of the order of fallen angels, was never on earth reigning as a King.
    Indeed, all the cohort of rebel angels incarcerated in the bottomless pit, are awaiting a penal visit because they left their first estate in the celestial realm and violated the Law of cohabitation with human women.

  141. DonNo Gravatar says:

    Ed,

    Your not being true to the text of the Rev 17:10 passage. John is clearly talking about Kings and Judas was not a King. I see you also buy into the Islamic Antichrist theory and that does not hold water with me either. I have posts that explain why. At least one is highly ranked on my sidebar if you want to read it. Even so, we are not going to get into the Islamic Antichrist theory here.

    But, just to answer your idea that the eight kingdom comes out one leg of the Roman Empire. According to the statute that Daniel described the last Kingdom comes out of both legs of the Roman Empire in the form of feet (plural) and ten toes unless you think the statute in Daniel did not tell the whole future and later one of his legs was amputated along with a foot and then five toes were transplanted to the remaining foot. :grin:

    Rev 7:10 And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space.
    11 And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.

    Revelation 7: 10-11 is clearly saying that the Beast was also one of the first six kings, not that he just live in their kingdom. Verse 11 says when HE (one of the Kings) comes HE will continue a short space. Therefore, it is not talking about the eight kingdom it is talking about a person who will be King in the eight Kingdom.

    As for Apollyon, you are still not comprehending what I have been saying. I said it has been suggested that the same demon (or fallen angel if you wish, but they probably are not the same) named Apollyon possessed both kings. Nobody was saying that Apollyon was one of the Kings but that both kings were possessed by Apollyon. I happen to believe demons do take over willing bodies and can move from one body to another especially after the body dies. (That is why the belief in reincarnation is so popular in paganism. If the same demonic spirit controls different souls in different generations the individual souls will have similarities.)

    You still have not answered how Judas became supernatural? And you have not explained who or what is keeping these supernatural beings in the pit? Just saying that they are in a prison house does not explain to me who the jailer is?

    I simply am not seeing any foundation in scripture for your Judas conjecture.

  142. JoshNo Gravatar says:

    I’m doing a paper on the identity of the restrainer and this blog discussion has been very helpful (I haven’t read every single word, but it has still been helpful.)

    I have ran across some arguements against the church view. For one, they are never asked to restrain; and secondly, obviously the Thessalonians knew the identity of the restrainer and if it was them (either through prayer…as proposed by Bill V. or because of the fact they were indwelt by the Spirit) why would they be so worried they missed the Day of the Lord in vs. 2?

    It seems to be if it was them (or something they were doing) they wouldn’t be so worried.

    To me, the only possible views would either be human government because they seem to “restrain” sin in Rom. 13 or the Holy Spirit who “strives” in Gen. 6:3. Don, you claim in your original post “the church is always feminine” and vs. 7 restrainer is masculine…have you address the fact that the restrainer in vs. 6 is neuter? This would give credance to the Holy Spirit view because He is often referred to in the neuter.

    There just doesn’t seem to be enough support for Michael being the restrainer, Michael’s “restraint” against Satan regarding Moses’ body and his conflict with Satan in Daniel are paper thin support. You also claim “other support” for Michael in restraint of Satan, what is it?

  143. DonNo Gravatar says:

    Josh,

    Verse 6 says this in the ASV
    6 And now ye know that which restraineth, to the end that he may be revealed in his own season.

    It seems to me “ye know that which restraineth” just points out that there is something that restraineth. It is like saying that the Antichrist cannot come until what I told you about happens. This verse does not in any way nullify the “He” in verse 7. And the He in the second half of verse 6 is talking about the lawless one.

    You will have to read my comments on this post; I think most of the arguments for Michael were discussed. I am not going to try to repeat them. There is not a whole lot of support for any position from the scriptures. If there were everyone would agree but there are at least a half dozen common positions on who the restrainer is.

  144. JoshNo Gravatar says:

    Like I say, I did read nearly every post except the ones that seemed to go off topic. I’m not asking for you to repeat things, but your original post said, “So from these passage and others it becomes clear that there are angelic powers over world empires and leaders and nobody is going to come to power in the land of Israel if the angel of Israel (Michael) prevents them.” I was just curious about the “others”…if you are saying now that you have since discussed the others I must have missed it.

    The NKJV says “and now you know what is restraining” NASB is “and you know what restrains him now”…even the ASV seems to indicate that the Thess. church members knew the identity of the restrainer. I feel that fact is important, and you definately understand that based upon your original post. It is almost unbelieveable that they knew for certain the identity of the restrainer and we don’t!

    The word translated “restrainer” is neuter and the word translated “restrainer” in vs. 7 is masculine…I’m not trying to nulify the “he” of vs. 7. Just trying to explain that the same thing (the restrainer) is referred to in the neuter and masculine genders in the same context. The restrainer in vs. 6 seems like an impersonal force and in vs. 7 seems like a person which closely resembles the Holy Spirit (at least more so than Michael). And other passages in Scripture would identify the Spirit as neuter and still others as a person, “He.”

    I would agree, there are no “smoking guns”…as far as concrete evidence goes.

    With that being said, with the impersonal/personal idea and the fact that the Holy Spirit has been involved in similar restraining ministry in the past (Gen. 6:3, which He stopped and then apparently started again)…to me, the Holy Spirit seems like the safest and easiest position. But like you (or someone, I’ve been doing a considerable amount of research) said earlier, even if it is Michael; he would be enabled by the Holy Spirit. I will summarize what Paul Feinberg wrote in his artle “2 Thess 2 and the Rapture” It takes osmething supernatural to go on the offense against Satan…so, either the Holy Spirit or Michael would work within that fram of thinking. But additional support is given to the Holy Spirit after one reads Eph. 6…the Sword of the Spirit is the only offensive weapon against Satan.

    Charles Powell wrote in DTS’s scholarly journal Bibliotheca Sacra “The view that the Holy Spirit is the restrainer fits the particulars of the passage just as well as, if not better than, any other interpretation.” While we cannot be certain, I would tend to agree with Powell’s assessment.

  145. DonNo Gravatar says:

    Josh,

    I was speaking about passages where angels are identified with world powers. There is the example of the Angel being restrained by the Angel called the Prince of Persia in Daniel 10. Then there is the scripture where Michael stands up for God’s people in Daniel 12. There are other examples where an Angel delivered Israel. Satan is an angel and he is mentioned being behind the King of Tyrus in Ez 28 and the King of Babylon in Isa 14.

    The neuter thing was brought up by the fellow that suggested the restrainer was a place and not a being. I think people already pointed out why the Holy Spirit cannot be taken out of the world but if you are suggesting that it is the spirit filled church the arguments why I think it is more like to be Michael than that view is given in the original post.

    I don’t think Gen 6:3 means what you suggest. The Holy Spirit did not stop and start again. This passage is probably talking about 120 Jubilees where God’s Spirit will deal with man to bring them to salvation through His Messiah but that is a rabbit trail I do not want to go down.

    I agree that it really does not matter who the Restrainer is because all of the reasonable choices are controlled by God. If you go to where the buck stops the restrainer is God but in context someone working for God is doing the restraining because he can be removed. God cannot be removed. Eph 6 does not say that the sword of the Spirit is the ONLY offensive weapon again Satan. God’s angels are at least a defensive weapon against Satan and they are watching over the sons of light. In any case, the restrainer in this passage is playing defense.

    It does not matter what Charles Powell said because that does not make him correct. We know that many other Christian scholars have said other things.

  146. “I think people already pointed out why the Holy Spirit cannot be taken out of the world”

    The phrase is not ‘taken out of the world’, but to ‘become – away from – the midst’.

    None of the people you mention have given a rebuttal to my comment regarding the giving of the Spirit at Pentecost etc., therefore it must have some credence.

    If He can be ‘not yet’ because Jesus was ‘not yet’ glorified, surely he can also ‘become away from the midst’.

  147. Bill VigueNo Gravatar says:

    Josh,

    Trying to find out “who” might be the restrainer seems to miss the point. I have always suggested we spend more time doing what we know does restrain evil than discuss it.

    Praying does restrain wickedness. One references that contrasts prayer with and against wickedness is Pro 15:29: The LORD is far from the wicked: but he heareth the prayer of the righteous.

    Another precept that supports prayer as the restrainer is Jas 5:16b… The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

    The fact that church prayer meetings and strong teaching that would call us to pray are on the decrease while wickedness is on the increase should provoke some that prayer plays an important place is restraining evil.

    As to the suggestion that human government might be the restrainer? My take is that our paraphrase Bible presentations have done us much damage in interpreting Rom 13:1. They say flat out that it refers to civil government. Now, I do not want to be misunderstood on this point, so I will say up front, of course we are to respect, submit and pray for all that are in authority, including kings.

    However, regarding the phrase; “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers”? The Greek uses these two words: (????????? ?????????) or (huperecho? exousia).

    These terms do not translate as civil or human government. I don’t think the authorities of the Roman government was in Paul or the Holy Spirits mind. The phrase can be translated: “the superior delegated authorities” or “the prominent masteries”. The Greek Word Study explained that “exousia” combines the two ideas of right and might.

    “Exousia” is regularily translated in the KJV as “power”. It is the same word Jesus used time and again such as when he commissioned His apostles and 70 other disciples when He gave them power (delegated to them supernatural aurhority) over over sickness, disease and unclean spirits. (Luke 9 & 10)

    My point is this: and I make it in support of restraining wickedness; the “higher powers” that Paul was referring too are the authorities God appoints in the Body of Christ, not civil authorities. In other words the five fold ministry gifts of Apostles, Prophets, Evangelist, Pastors and Teachers. (Eph 4:11) Those appointed authorities of God not only call the church to pray but do so themselves. (Matt 21:13, Luke 6:12, Acts 1:14, 3:1, 6:4 etc….)

    Now, as regarding the issue where Paul wrote to the Thess church; “now you know WHAT restrains” I would claim that they knew after only three weeks of ministry from the apostle Paul, a higher power sent from God. I would also say it is not only effectual, fervent prayer, but also teaching, preaching, testifying of Christ and doing all that the Lord commands us to do. These things are confirmed in scripture to restrain wickedness and I remain convinced this is what Paul was referring to.

  148. DonNo Gravatar says:

    Brian,

    Good try, but your position does not stand just because no one specifically addressed it. Anyone taking the position that it is the Holy Spirit in the Church has been addressing your position.

    Nevertheless, some read the same Greek and do not think it is talking about that or they would not be suggesting the Holy Spirit, or Michael, or human government or a half dozen other things that people have believed over the years. It just is not that simple.

    Why where they concerned that the Day of the Lord had arrived anyway? The usual argument you hear from pre-trib Rapture people is that they were worried that they missed the Rapture. But how could they have believed that they missed something that they did not even remember that Paul taught?

  149. DonNo Gravatar says:

    Bill,

    The five fold ministry and prayer?? Now that is a new one. I am suppose to believe they were worried about being in the Day of the Lord because they were not ministering or praying? That does not fly. Prayer is not a force anyway and it restrains nothing unless your one who things your own words have power.

  150. Hi Don

    My only object was to refute the argument that the Holy Spirit could not be ‘taken out of the way’ because he is omnipresent. I believe that thought does not hold water in the light of the other scripture.

    Re the last question. My pre-trib conjecture is that Paul IS reminding the Thessalonians of what he had taught them face to face and tells them to ignore anything, even forged letters that say otherwise. They (we) are still here, therefore the day of the LORD is not.

  151. JoshNo Gravatar says:

    Don, I am not suggesting that the Spirit indwelling the church is the Restrainer. I am saying, straight up that is a ministry of the Holy Spirit.

    You say, basically, the agent carrying out this ministry is Michael, correct?

    others say, the agent is the church. I am simply saying it is the Holy Spirit.

    And of course, Charles Powell isn’t the end all be all; but that is what researches do…they cite other researchers and scholars! I’m even going to cite you in my paper. No offense was intended by quoting Powell.

    The Genesis 6:3 verse says I will not strive with man forever, doesn’t that mean He had been striving with man and would eventually stop? Implying a start and a stop? I know some people take that as the time until the actual flood would come, but in context it looks similar to a restraining ministry. He stops striving and then what happens? All the thoughts of their hearts where only evil continually.

  152. JoshNo Gravatar says:

    Bill, how could the powers in context in Rom 13 not be government? You can argue all you want, but vs. 6 speaks about paying taxes. You are not paying taxes to God or your pastor, there would have been much different wording if it was speaking about apostles or something.

    Just to clarify, Don, I am citing your argument that the restrainer cannot be the church because “the church is always feminine.” You will be given proper credit for that idea and after all the research I’ve read, you are the only one who makes that statement.

    I am also quoting Bill Vigue who purports a previously unheard of (at least by me) suggestion for the restrainer, that it is not a who, but a what…specifically prayer.

    Bill, your suggestion that prayer meetings and Bible teaching (on prayer) are on the decrease while evil is on the increase is frankly, a fallacy. Is there concrete evidence that your assumption is true? I’m not aware of any studies that have been ongoing for the last 2,000 years tracking church prayer meetings and the increase in evil. I think that is a fallacy, called, exploitation of strong feelings.

    But Bill, in regards to your position,

  153. DonNo Gravatar says:

    Josh,

    A ministry of the Holy Spirit really does not fit the passage. If you are really saying it is the Holy Spirit that is taken out of the way, almost nobody agrees with that anymore. I do not want to repeat the arguments against the restrainer being the Holy Spirit they are already posted within this comments section.

    I had no problem with you quoting Powell but just quoting a favorite scholar means nothing when favorite scholars are all over the board on this issue.

    Also, if you are going to cite me in your writings keep in mind that I do not put my theories in cement. I post arguments like this on this blog to stimulate thought and to try to advance knowledge. I really am not sure who the restrainer is. I say Michael now, but I will be just as pleased if someone can come up with a better argument.

    As for the Gen 6:3 passage, I think God was probably talking about the 6000 years or 120 Jubilees that the Spirit would strive with man to bring them to the knowledge of Christ. The Holy Spirit was not starting and stopping a ministry as you suggest; the ministry is ongoing since Adam and completed after 6000 years because it is fulfilled in the millennial reign of Christ. Whatever anyone thinks of this passage, it really is a stretch to use it to try to support this restrainer topic. So I suggest we end Gen 6:3 there.

  154. DonNo Gravatar says:

    Josh,

    “the church is always feminine.” was not a thought originated by me. I believe someone brought that point up within these comments. You will have to do some more research to find out who. :grin:

    I also do not want to go down the Romans 13 road. It is a rabbit trail that will get this post off topic.

    You also seemed to have cut yourself off before you finished.

  155. JoshNo Gravatar says:

    You have some quick replies! With any internet blog the dates have to be given in any citation, because as you say most things aren’t concrete. However, I doubt you will be changing you mind about the church being referred to as feminine and I think it is a valid statement when arguing aginst the church as the restrainer.

    Also, Powell isn’t a “favorite scholar”, just searched through some journals looking for information on the “restrainer.”

    I am saying restraining is a ministry like comforting is a ministry of the Holy Spirit. He is called the “comforter”, and He is also called the “restrainer.”

    You say almost no one agrees that the restrainer is the Holy Spirit anymore, am I correct? Maybe I’m not understanding what you mean, but Richard Mayhue, the President of Master’s Seminary (MacArthur’s school) states in his book on 1 & 2 Thessalonians from 1999 on page 187,188 “taken out of the way. This does not mean that the Holy Spirit is removed or departs because believers have been raptured. The Holy Spirit will maintain His presence in the world after the Rapture. The phrase taken out of the way means ‘moved to one side’. It is like the closed doors of a dam, which hold back the waters of a lake or river, being opened, or pulled aside, to let the torrent of formerly restrained water freely cascade forward. The restraining doors are still present, but they no longer restrain. In similar fashion, this is what Paul refers to here.” Obviously he still thinks the restrainer is the Holy Spirit, perhaps his position has changed…I can email him and ask. Mike Stallard holds the same position in a book written in 2009 (the Holy Spirit).

    I would counter your statement with, almost no one holds that Michael is the restrainer! I’ve seen it listed, along with many other suggestions in lists as large as 12; but J. Dwight Pentacost doesn’t even bother to offer a rebuttal in Things to Come (he offers rebuttals against viewing the restrainer as the Roman Empire, human government, Satan, and the church) against the Michael view…perhaps because it isn’t a widely held belief.

    By the way, several well-respected scholars see a connection to Gen. 6:3…Mayhue being one of them; but this is your blog so I will end the Gen. 6:3 comments.

  156. JoshNo Gravatar says:

    “The church is always feminine.” Your statement, 11th paragraph in your orginal post from 8-8-2011

  157. DonNo Gravatar says:

    Josh,

    I know you are saying the restrainer is a ministry of the Holy Spirit but I just do not think you can build a reasonable case for that view from scripture. Now if you said that the Holy Spirit was working through angels or people a case can be built from the scriptures.

    Just about everything you can imagine has been suggested in one place or another on this passage, so it does not surprise me that some people think the Holy Spirit will be moved to one side.

    I never suggested that Michael was the most popular position. The popular position in modern times has been the Holy Spirit indwelt Church and in past times it was government. That does not make those positions correct. If you do a Google search you will see quite a few people that believe that the restrainer is Michael. There would be no point in even writing this post if I was taking the usual position.

    One can read many things into difficult scriptures like these and we do. The passage really does not tell us who the restrainer is, and moving the Holy Spirit aside is just more reading into the scripture. When one is reading into scripture conjecture, that position does not have to be any more valid than any other conjecture. So, a thousand scholars can be cited as saying it is thus-and-thus and it means nothing because they do not even agree among themselves about their conjectures.

    You are claiming the Spirit of God is doing the restraining without working through angels. Can you show me anywhere in scripture where God does this direct restraining by His Holy Spirit other than reading into Gen 6:3? Off the top of my head it seems to me that God uses angels or people to do His will on earth.

  158. DonNo Gravatar says:

    Josh,

    Okay, I said the Church is always feminine in the original post and she is, but I did not come up with that thought. I must have got it when researching for the article.

  159. DonNo Gravatar says:

    I trashed Bill’s last comment. People are going to have to learn to read. When I said we are not going down the Roman 13 road in the comment section of this post I meant it. Stay on the post topic.

    The first part to the post to Josh about prayer being the restrainer was also deleted. This is nonsense in context of this passage and most of what was said is talking about Bill and has nothing to do with the post subject. By the way, in this same comment section you said the restrainer was a place (the pit). If your going to fly all over the board offering bazaar conjectures your not going to get posted here. I suggest all read my commenting policy or you will be wasting your time!

  160. Hi Josh,

    Don’s point about keeping the comments on the section topic is understood and deserves respect. I’m sorry Don. However Josh, you raised the point about Rom 13 so my reply was really meant for you not for the forum. If you’re interested in reading my point about WHAT not WHO restrains evil drop me a personal email at: Billyvigs@sbcglobal.net and I’ll send it to you directly. We all should listen for ourselves rather than trust what others say someone said.

  161. DonNo Gravatar says:

    Actually you posted what you think restrains on this post. So Josh could also just read your previous comments.

  162. Don,

    I believe the restrainer in Paul’s understanding was active ministry under the unction of the Holy Spirit. What section topic might I ask and gain clarity of your insight on prayer… the exhortation to pray… the import of prayer.. and of course the ministry of the Holy Spirit working in faithful believers who are doers of what Jesus taught?

    I hate to have the impression that you do not believe prayer and the ministry of the Holy Spirit, working through His own appointed and selected ministry gifts is unimportant or not worthy of honor. I just don’t think anyone here, including you believe such a thing.

  163. DonNo Gravatar says:

    Bill,

    I have a good search box on the bottom of my website homepage. If you cannot find anything using that box I probably did not write about it. The restrainer in 2Th 2:7 obviously is not prayer and you said yourself that you think the restrainer is a place that is restraining the immortal body of Judas (The pit). This topic is on the restrainer of 2th 2:7, we do not need a lecture on prayer, and frankly I do not give a hoot what you think that I think about prayer. That never was the topic here. Instead of staying on topic you get off topic and start preaching and that is why some of your stuff is not posted. You can preach in your own church.

  164. Don,

    I’d like to address two points to your assessments. First, it was not I who made any suggestion about the “immortal body of Judas” as the restrainer or coming up from the pit. Second, I did not suggest prayer alone is the restrainer of 2 Thess 2:7. I’m sure you’re very busy which includes monitoring your forum here. But I hope you will set an example and use better listening skills and stay open to other views throughly before you trash it.

    Now, if what restrains is the topic of this thread then let all slogicalides be heard. How can any be a threat to anyone or a waste of time if as you have suggested we don’t know what it is?

    My points on the matter are well thought out, biblically principled and more consistant with Christs teachings than guess work. It is well spelled out that the active ministry of men of God like Abraham and Moses and others, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit did much to restrain evil in their generation. Why should we not really on those things God revealed to us as evidence instead of pandering ‘private interpretations”?

    God went to great lengths to report the examples of men like Abraham whose intercession for Sodom was a restrainer before the judgment. He interceeded for nephew Lot who the angel said he could not destroy Sodom until he came out. Moses was the protective covering over Israel restraining what they deserved in Judgment. I believe the context of Paul’s explanation regarding the restrainer clearly includes reference to a rapture. Like the parable of the 10 virgins the faithful and wise, watching and ready virgins were taken while the unfaithful, unwise and unprepared virgins were left behind.

  165. DonNo Gravatar says:

    Bill,

    Sorry, you are correct, It was Ed Thomas that had the pit and Judas suggestion. I lost track because you were in the middle of that discussion. I have well over a thousand posts and over ten thousand comments on this blog. I have many discussions going on and I cannot always go back and reread who said what in prior comments and never make a mistake.

    I think I already answered your arguments on the restrainer being prayer. There is not one whit of any suggestion that prayer was the restrainer although the Church being on earth could be the restrainer.

    I misspoke when I first posted this comment so I rewrote this one paragraph. Your examples of intercession are valid. Intercession is just that, but there is no example of the Holy Spirit being hindered because of anyone’s Intercession. In both examples you gave the judgments were modified to accommodate the intercession. I think the Sodom example just proves my point. The angels were hindered until righteous Lot was out and it was the angels that carried out the judgment. Angels carry out the will of God in the supernatural so although prayer might change what God was going to do, it is still the angels that carry the will of God out. For example, Peter was delivered from the prison because of prayer but angels brought Peter out. Daniel was protected from the lions in the lions den but there were angels in there that shut their mouth. There are many examples of angels carrying out the will of God in creation but none I can think of that has the Holy Spirit directly doing the restraining in creation.

    Your last paragraph was edited out because I do not need you lecturing me or other people that they are swallowing camels because they think the restrainer is someone other than what you believe it is. If you will read back in your own comments you first said Michael was plausible! So now believing that it is Michael that is the restrainer is swallowing a camel while believing it is prayer, is a gnat???

    Hi Don,

    Just read this article after finding your web site. I think your thoughts about the Arch angel Michael being the restrainer is interesting and plausible. It’s a view I’ve never heard. The timing of Satan’s defeat in the heavens and cast into the earth for the last 42 months does fit chronologically. I’m not convinced, (yet) but I am reflective and open to reconsider my own view. One thing for sure, it’s good to stay diligent in searching out the truths of God’s Word and staying open is necessary.

    After reading the paper that you emailed me on your multiple partial rapture theory that had obvious errors. I hardly think that you have any room to talk about others swallowing camels. By the way, that gnat camel passage was not talking about discussing points of scripture, learn to use scripture in correct context. You might also put your self serving lecturing on your own blog rather than wanting to post it on mine.

  166. JoshNo Gravatar says:

    Don, this is a reply to the very first post you wrote back to me from Feb. 3…I’ve been busy with my sermon!

    I believe the Restrainer is the Holy Spirit, and I don’t think I nor Mayhue was “reading into” the text. His illustration about the flood gates was just that, an illustration of what “taking out of the way” could mean in the Greek. I definately agree that with total certainty the identity cannot be known.

    I also think I’ve said, and maybe I haven’t said it; but I’ve thought it…I believe the restrainer in this context is the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is and always is working on this earth (even involved in creation) and certainly He might use the gov. (Rom 13) or a nation (Israel in the OT) a person or the church or even an angel at times. But the power to restrain sin would have to be supernatural in origin. It would have to be the power of God. I am not opposed to the idea that the Spirit would use Michael, but if it was Michael in this context it would only be because God gave him the power.

    Earlier Don, someone or you suggested we look up what John Macarther had to say, it was a sermon from 1992…I read it and here is John’s take on the issue. The restrainer cannot be Satan because “If he had his way the antichrist would have already been here.” And I would add Jesus’ words when He was accused of casting out demons by Satan’s power “as house divided cannot stand.” John Macarthur added that God restrains the lawless one (the antichrist) Gal. 4:4 explains that it is God who is in control of all “timing”

  167. JoshNo Gravatar says:

    Furthermore, MacArther stated “The Holy Spirit is the person who exerts the force that holds back Satan.” And about Michael, Macarther said, “Michael is limited”, meaning he cannot be everywhere at once.

    Another favorite pastoral writer of John Butler, he explains “God restrained Satan in his dealings with Job.”

    I’ve also seen other passages of scriptures listed to support the Holy Spirit view. To me, these scriptures don’t necessarily support, but they certainly don’t refute the Holy Spirit view: John 16:8-11, Isa. 59:19 and a 1 John passage that I can’t seem to find the reference too.

  168. JoshNo Gravatar says:

    I am so glad I found this blog Don, I appreciate the work you are doing! When writing a research paper there are so many variables to consider and you really need to see how other people will react to your statements (argument),support (evidence).

    This discussion has enabled me to concretely “decide” who the Restrainer is. I’ve considered several arguments…Michael, the church, government, etc. and looked at some evidence for each. Don, I respect your position on Michael as the restrainer. I do believe he has had a restraining ministry at times; however, in the 2 Thess. passage I don’t think Michael is the restrainer in mind. I also don’t think it is prayer, can’t be…the word is masculine. Now, if Bill would have suggested it was a person praying at different times I’m sure an individual’s prayer for someone else has restrained something. After all, the prayer of a righteous man avails much…but an individual praying doesn’t fit the context either. I will hold the opinion (just an opinion) that the restrainer is the Holy Spirit of God. At different times throughout history the Spirit has used Michael or other angels, He has used the church and the government and even individual Christians…but the overall job of restraining evil is the Holy Spirit. The verses in 2 Thess 2 are so vague and so general it seems to fit my idea very well. The vagueness is on purpose (and the Holy Spirit was behind that too!), so there you go! Thanks guys, and I will continue to check back occasionally and see what else has been said…and then I’ll let you know what grade I get!

  169. DonNo Gravatar says:

    Josh,

    I agree, and that is why the Holy Spirit has been a popular opinion. I am just suggesting that God restrains the demonic through angels. John MacArthur’s point that Satan cannot be everywhere is really besides the point. Whatever that is being restrained from coming out of the pit is not everywhere and although Michael cannot be everywhere his angelic army can be just about everywhere.

  170. DonNo Gravatar says:

    Josh,

    I am glad this post helped you form from scripture something that you can believe and give a defense on. The real purpose of my posts is to get people to think through things. Believe me, I am not convinced the restrainer is Michael, but if I took the obvious positions I would be talking to the choir. I think one of my main points is that the more recent position of the restrainer being the Spirit indwelt Church does not fit as cleanly as some want to lead us to believe.

  171. Hi Josh,

    RE to your comment: Now, if Bill would have suggested it was a person praying at different times I’m sure an individual’s prayer for someone else has restrained something. After all, the prayer of a righteous man avails much…but an individual praying doesn’t fit the context either.

    Actually Josh that is what i’ve been saying here. But Don has trashed my explanation at his discretion and instead stated his opinion of what I said. If you want to here exactly what I wrote to you write me at Billyvigs@sbcglobal.net. I’ll send you my comments. I agree with you in part the the restrainer is the Holy Spirit’s power. All I have added by way of explanation is that the Holy Spirit does it through people who obey, respond and do what the Holy Spirit says to do, which includes once again: watching, praying, teaching, preaching and keeping the commandments of Jesus (not the OT Law).

  172. DonNo Gravatar says:

    Bill,

    I am posting this for Josh, otherwise you are no longer welcomed to comment here because you will not abide by my commenting policy.
    You have already made your view known on this issue in your many comments here. The only thing I trashed was your sermonizing, your off topic comments, your insinuations about my motives, your gnat and camel insult, and your last blog telling me what I have to do on my own blog to be Christ like.

    Contrary to what you think this is not a debate forum. I make that clear in my comment policy. Blog comments cannot stay on topic once that starts and any readers are soon lost and the file gets much to big. You already single highhandedly about killed any other insight on this topic.

    You have a blog, if you want to lecture people showing your superior spirituality you might actually consider allowing comments on your own blog posts. Than you can have all the fun of deciding what you will allow. Here I do.

  173. JosephNo Gravatar says:

    Remember you not that when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And you know what is holding down that he might be revealed at his appointed time. For the secret of lawlessness is already operating. Only that which at present is holding down will do so until he become out of the midst. And then shall that lawless one be unveiled…”

    “…the dangerous beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them…” Rev. 11:7

    “And I saw a messenger come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold of the dragon, that primeval serpent, which is the slanderer, and the adversary, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled, and after that he must be loosed a little season.” Rev. 20:1-3

    The adversary (satan) is held down in the bottomless pit by a seal during the 1000 year kingdom. Messengers are given keys to open the pit to let beings out. So the best I can see using scripture to interpret scripture is that the beast is being held down in the bottomless pit until his appointed time. A messenger ( maybe Michael, as like as not) will probably be sent to open the pit for him like in the case of Apolluon in Rev. 9.

    I think the word “restrainer” is confusing and more flexible in interpretation than the Greek word “holding-down” (KATEXWN – KATA meaning “down” and ECHO meaning “to hold”).

    The grammar doesn’t make it clear if its a person holding down since it uses the third person pronoun he/she/it (I’ll have to look deeper into that). The immediate context doesn’t help either. But according to Revelations the lawless one is in a locked pit, probably with a seal placed on him. So my unbiased opinion is that the translation should read something like “that which at present is holding down”.

    Anyway, Keep on fighting the good fight.
    Joseph

  174. RodNo Gravatar says:

    I have believed for some time now that Michael IS the restrainer. In my humble opinion, I believe Daniel 12:1 confirms this, and Daniel 12:2 clearly speaks of the resurrection [rapture] of the dead that follows. Daniel 12:1-2(NASB) “(1)Now at that time Michael, the great prince who stands guard over the sons of your people, will arise. And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time; and at that time your people, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued. (2)Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt.” Compare Daniel 12:2 to 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17(NASB) “(16)For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. (17)Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.”

  175. margaretNo Gravatar says:

    whoever the restrainer is is a He. a tangible being. also, the angel of the lord came down to investigate sodom and gommorah, so regular angels do not always do earthly missions. great blog by the way

  176. Dr.H.DavisNo Gravatar says:

    I believe based on Greek which I have studied since 1963 that in llThess.2: Now you know the thing holding back for him[Antichrist] to be revealed in his[Antichrist] time.
    The thing is an institution not a person it is the true church as opposed to those who are ‘Christian’ institutions in name only.
    “Him” and “his” has to refer to the Antichrist grammatically and in the context here. As long as the church is here no Antichrist.Paul told them you are here(“Now you know…”) so no tribulation. Antichrist can’t be “revealed” as long as the church is functioning on earth!
    “For the mystery of lawlessness works already,only he[Holy Spirit of Christ]holding back now until He be caused to be removed out of the midst[the entire world of mankind] …”

    Only the Holy Spirit can hold back lawlessness and the Antichrist knowing the precise time for the revelation of antichrist,etc., as it is He that is ‘in the midst'(the earth or world-Michael does not hold this position only the Spirit does)and when He is withdrawn then all believers leave thus finishing the church as an institution on earth.I am not saying all believers belong to a true church. They -we all-that truly believe in Jesus belong to the family of God. Not all are members of a local church as Jesus commanded.
    All believers of all ages will meet as one assembly(ekklesia Gk.’church’ only as an assembly of all believers)in heaven at the Rapture.Heb.12:23

    I consulted with a Greek scholar who had 55 years of research in the Greek NT and he confirmed my findings both grammatically as well as theologically -as to the work and nature of the Holy Spirit,etc.

  177. DonNo Gravatar says:

    Dr. Davis,

    I would agree that the Church is removed before the Antichrist is revealed. The question is who is restraining the Beast from coming out of the pit? Believe it or not, the prevailing view before modern times was that the restrainer was human government and these early scholars knew the same Greek. If it was all that simple there would not be a debate.

    I do agree that the spirit of God and Jesus restrains the Devil but the question is how does God go about doing this restraining of evil? Does He use His created angels to restrain Satan’s angels, or is God bypassing the powers and order that He set up?

    I gave examples of God using angels and there are many more in scripture. It did not end at the cross either because the last judgments of God are carried out by angels and people are gathered by angels and Satan is bound by an angel of the Lord in the pit for a thousand years. So if an angel of the lord can bind Satan for a thousand years, I do not see why Michael and his angels cannot be restraining demons from coming out of the pit today.

    I do agree that the true Church will be taken before the restrainer is revealed, but the institutional church will still be here as the Harlot, since most that identify with Christianity are just cultural Christians and have no place in the Body of Christ.

    Anyway, read the comments if you have not. I think most of issues have already been addressed to no definitive conclusion

  178. KimNo Gravatar says:

    And also, where do people get this idea that “many people will be saved after the rapture?” Where is that in the scripture? Actually I have scripture proving the exact opposite: because they loved not the truth God sent them STRONG DELUSION to believe the lie!!!! Only one time in the book of revelation is anyone mentioned as giving glory to God: Rev 11:13. That’s the only time in the whole 21 chapters of the book! NO one is said to be saved but the 144,000. Again, I dont know where people are coming up with this stuff…..

  179. DonNo Gravatar says:

    Kim,

    Your other comment will not get posted. It is way off topic and you are way wrong about many things that you said. This comment is also off topic but I will answer your question but that will be the end of the discussion.

    The Bible clearly indicates that people will get saved after the Rapture if you believe the Rapture is before the great tribulation. The following is the scripture given right after the 144,000 Israelites are sealed. So obviously then, these 144,000 that were sealed went out to convert a great number of people that no one could number and these people will be killed in the great tribulation. So that and elsewhere is where people come up with this stuff.

    Rev 7:13 And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?
    14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
    15 Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.

  180. JoshNo Gravatar says:

    Kim, you say, “where do people come up with this stuff?”…have you read the Bible? Have you read any basic theology books? Well respected scholars like John MacArthur and Charles Ryrie believe people will be saved during the tribulation period. MacArthur says the 144,00 sealed Jews are the greatest missionaries the world will ever know; furthermore, who are those “martyers” during the tribulation period? The word martyr implies the individual was saved.

    Read chapters 86 and 87 of Ryrie’s Basic Theology for some of the reasoning why people people are obviously saved during the tribulation.

  181. JoshNo Gravatar says:

    By the way, I did get an A on my paper about the identity of the Restrainer.

    Is there an article on here discussing the apostacy in 2 Thess. 2:3…a man at church is talking to me about something Wuest said that it might not mean “falling away”. Apparently Wuest breaks the Greek word down into its individual parts to gain the mean. I was recently taught in my master’s level hermenuetics class that that is usually a bad idea.

  182. DonNo Gravatar says:

    Josh,

    The Apostasy of 2 Th 2:3 has been discussed on this Blog as possibly meaning the Rapture, but that is not the usual view and it also cannot be backed up elsewhere. Anyway, discussing those arguments again will just distract from the topic. Again, the way to search this website for what is written on it is “Keyword or Keywords” site:www.thepropheticyears.com – I wish people would learn how to do their own searches.

    By the way, congratulations on your A. From what I see I think you did the work to earn it. And as a present, I came up with this argument by Dr. Thomas Ice.

    http://www.worldviewweekend.com/worldview-times/article.php?articleid=7586

  183. Dr.H.DavisNo Gravatar says:

    It was the Holy Spirit that restrained the flood(Gen.6:3 contend/restrain Heb.)until the ark was ready and Noah and his family went into the ark. It will be the same when the ‘flood’ of judgment comes in the form of the tribulation. Since He or the Holy Spirit watches over the church and is the Comforter-in place of Christ Gk. – when He takes us up the Church(the “it”Paul refers to) will be instantly dissolved as an organization(although the Church marries Christ in heaven) just as the Old Testament sacrifices,temple-synagogue, priesthood,etc.,were done away with when Christ was resurrected.The Paul becomes more defined and uses “He” the one Who takes the Church and believers up to heaven so as to remove any ‘restraint’ for anti Christ to appear. Then the two witnesses take over as ‘Old Testament’ type prophets with an ‘eye for an eye’ demo so that if anyone tries to harm them “fire comes out of their mouths” and they slay their enemies-not Church doctrine today!(Rev.11:1-14)
    Only God knows when the rapture is to be and it’s the Holy Spirit that initiates it then the angels know it is happening.
    ONLY the Holy Spirit could hold back all evil and the start of the tribulation and antichrist appearance -no angel would be given such responsibility,etc.

  184. DonNo Gravatar says:

    Dr. Davis,

    I see nothing in Gen 6:3 about the Holy Spirit restraining the flood. The flood was determined to come after Noah built the Ark so that air-breathing life could be saved. I do not think the flood was a work in process where God needed to restrain the waters. Even if it were, the most likely agents doing the restraining would be God’s angels. Throughout scripture we see angels restraining, but off the top of my head I see none where the Spirit of God is working outside His created beings to directly restrain what He created.

    The price was paid for Adam’s sin by Christ at the cross so through Jesus we can go directly to the Father but Ezekiel 40 through 48 tells us there will be a temple, priesthood and sacrifices in the millennial reign. The reason’s why are not for the same reasons under the Old Covenant, and all that is off topic so we will not be getting into that here.

    I only bring that up because you used it as an example of the Holy Spirit watching over the Church. The one who watches over the Church is Jesus Christ. What you said might lend support for the Holy Spirit filled Church doing the restraining but as you know the Spirit of God also exists outside of the Christ bought Church. And the Holy Spirit will still exist on Earth after the Church is taken. So the Holy Spirit is not doing the restraining unless He is now doing it through human agents in the Body of Christ. And who looks after the elect of God on earth? The same beings that looked after Jesus when He was in human form and the same beings that delivered Peter so that he could strengthen the Church. Angels.

    The Holy Spirit is not holding back all evil as you indicate. Have you looked at the deteriorating condition of the world lately? The tribulation is after the Rapture at a time set by God for sure, but Revelation says the judgments are carried out by God’s agents (angels).

    This idea that the Holy Spirit is directly doing the restraining might fly if anyone can show me in scripture where God uses forces outside of His creation in His creation. Throughout scripture we see angels and men doing God’s will or opposing God’s will. If God chose a different way I do not think there would be any redemption possible. God might have to then just admit defeat and destroy this corrupted creation along with those trusting in Him and start over with a new creation. However, obviously God choose to redeem His creation because that has always been part of His plan before He even made his creation. His creation was not a failure, even Satan was created for a purpose and it will all lead where God has determined.

  185. Caitlin LaneNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Don. I am somewhat confused. In his article Thomas Ice talks about the restrainer holding back the revealing of the anti Christ. [I see he believes it's the Holy Spirit. I'm not convinced but that isn't what I'm referring to.] Is the discussion about holding back the anti Christ or the revealing of the anti Christ? Obviously he has to be born first and conditions have to be ripe for him to step in and take over. Michael as the restrainer makes more sense to me than the Holy Spirit or the church but my question is still what is being restrained?

  186. DonNo Gravatar says:

    Caitlin,

    The Son of Perdition is a Satanic entity that is now being restrained in the pit. He cannot come out and enter a human until he that restrains is removed. Therefore, it is wrong to assume that any person of flesh will be that person until this entity is revealed in Him.

  187. Caitlin LaneNo Gravatar says:

    That just clears up a lot. Thank you. I wasn’t even playing in the right ball park. I wonder how many other’s haven’t discerned correctly what this scripture is referring to. It does make Michael sound more plausible as the restrainer than the Holy Spirit.

  188. Dr.H.DavisNo Gravatar says:

    Nowhere in all of Scripture does it say the Michael is the restrainer of sin,etc.
    “My [God]Spirit[not an archangel] shall not always strive with man.”
    “Strive” is din Heb. a few meanings: judge,punish,plead,defend,contend,hinder,restrain,execute,to administer justice/judgment,exert,impede,,endeavor,curb,dissuade,prohibit,moderate,etc.
    The Spirit-not any created being or angel- does ALL this as Jesus said it was the ‘worldwide’ function of the Holy Spirit Jn.14-16

    Michael cannot see and know everything that goes on as per se in this world. He -unlike the Spirit- is not omniscient or all knowing. But the Holy Spirit yes says Paul He ‘knows even the mind of God even the deep things of God’ says Paul.

    He restrains evil and antichrist because He KNOWS what is in men’s hearts their plans and proposes. He knows what and when Satan and antichrist are going to do and when,etc
    He has all power and knows when to act and how to act.

  189. DonNo Gravatar says:

    Dr. Davis,

    No where is scripture does it say the Holy Spirit is the restrainer of sin. If that were the case there would be no free will, there would be no need for Jesus to atone for sin and no need for man to repent from sin. Besides, it is not sin that is being restrained it is an entity that is bound in the pit that is being restrained.

    You sure are stretching the meaning of “strive” and that Genesis passage about 120 time periods does not really relate to the 2 Th 2:3 passage in any case. The whole striving argument proofs nothing about the identity of the restrainer. In fact, I think you even misunderstand what the Spirit striving with man for 120 time periods really means. I think if you do the math the flood came 100 years after the Lord’s statement not 120 years. I could be wrong about that but we are not going down that rabbit trail and this Genesis passage is not support for the Holy Spirit being the restrainer either.

    Michael does not have to see and know everything that goes on in this world. Michael is in communications with God and Michael has an army of angels. However, again, that observation has nothing to do with who the restrainer is, we are talking about Michael restraining an entity, Nobody is saying that Michael has to know everything that is going on in the world. If you read my article, I say when I think Michael will stop restraining the Beast from rising unto the earth. I say it is at the same time that Michael will have to fight a war in Heaven and when Satan and his angels are bound by Michael and his army unto the earth.

    The Spirit of antichrist has already come on the earth but there is one restraining the Son of Perdition entity from coming out of the pit and appearing as a god/man. Satan and this entity might know what they plan to do but they do not have a clue when God will allow it. In fact, it can’t even happen until the fulness of the Gentiles comes in and only the Father determines that.

    If these are the best arguments that you can come up with to convince us that the restrainer is the Holy Spirit you have brought little worthwhile to the table. Once Again, I ask, where does the Holy Spirit directly bind spirits in the Bible other than through the actions of a created being.

    Unless you can come up with a better argument, your line of reasoning is proving nothing worthwhile that we have not already addressed on this post. The comments section of this popular post is getting too lengthy to keep rehashing the same arguments.

  190. trishNo Gravatar says:

    Hi
    better late than never. The archangel Michel is protector of both the jewish faith and the true church when they no longer exist, in my humble opinion, because they will choose to veer from the true path. If they didn’t choose/are led away they would still be protected God doesn’t offer inadaquate protection but free will. However at the time when the truth is lost/changed there will be nothing to protect his job will be done and the restrainer will be removed. I believe you are right. Probably not that long to find out, my first time to your site I shall cruise with interest. thank you
    Trish

  191. SusanNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Don,

    I have been taught that the Holy Spirit (and hence His indwelling) was the restrainer also from Chuck Smith, et. al. I was never completely comfortable with this idea. Your logic is resonating with mine in this case. Thanks

  192. TheresaNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Don,

    I have been studying the end times and so much of what you have said makes sense but I have one question. You say that people won’t know who the anti-christ is until Satan indwells him at the mid-point of the tribulation but the anti-christ will be the person who signs the peace covenant with Israel at the beginning of the tribulation. So shouldn’t people know who will become the anti-christ simply because of the peace treaty?

  193. DonNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Theresa,

    The prince to come confirms a covenant with the many for seven years according to the Daniel prophecy. That starts the last seven years that remain for Israel until she attains her Kingdom. That leader could be one of many world leaders that is involved in that seven year confirmation, if this prince is the Antichrist at all.

    Nobody is the Son of Perdition until that which hinders is taken out of the way and he ascends out of the abyss and defiles the Temple to start the last 42 months called the Great Tribulation or Day of the Lord.

    Keep in mind, that no human has the power to be Satan’s Lord on the earth until Satan offers a human that position and the person by free will accepts that role. Satan offered that role to Jesus but Jesus was not going to put Himself under the Devil. He could only offer it to Jesus because he was not being hindered at that point.

  194. TwylaNo Gravatar says:

    Your premise of Michael as the restrainer is right on. The Thess.2 verses should lead us to Daniel 12:1, “At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then.” It is my understanding that the Hebrew word for arise also means to stand down or stop. So there it is. Michael is told to “stand down” from protecting God’s people and the outcome will be too horrible to even think about.

  195. JenNo Gravatar says:

    In the shadow of Joshua 6 and Jericho. Who visited Joshua? The captain of the Lord of Hosts.. On the seventh day, the wall fell at a shout.. The wall restrained..

  196. DonNo Gravatar says:

    Jen,

    I am not exactly sure what you are saying here. Is the restrainer a wall of stones?

Comments are closed.

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  70. Those obsessed with Bible prophecy might become unprofitable servants
  71. America chooses judgment through the fascist tyranny of Obama
  72. 2 Ch 7:14: If My people read the context there would be less presumption
  73. Will the fallen angels claim to be Aliens or Gods, that is the question?
  74. Mary apparitions may be the deception that unifies world religions into becoming the Harlot of Revelation
  75. The Satanic world system is rapidly progressing toward Antichrist
  76. What if Muhammad was a myth and Islam a Gnostic teaching?
  77. Beware of getting snared by legalistic churches that love to put heavy burdens on your soul.
  78. Joel's Army the manifest sons of deception!
  79. Seventh millennium in two decades, these are the prophetic years
  80. Christians will be caught unaware because they gave up premillennialism.
  81. Disbanding of the United States of America now grows inevitable
  82. Mark of the Beast communication system may now be under development
  83. If Bible prophecy will be fulfilled, why expect worldly solutions?
  84. An EMP strike and the end of our nation as a superpower is more likely than not within a decade.
  85. The revived Mediterranean Union will also be the revived Roman Empire
  86. Muslims rage over the false prophet that promotes a demonic god
  87. Will the Antichrist be a Jew or a Gentile? - A bakers dozen different views.
  88. Christians of America accept demonic choice for President in 2012?
  89. The demonic progressive agenda to turn man into rebellious beasts
  90. "I Am" beckoning by Glenn Beck
  91. Bible Prophecy wars over an Antichrist out of Islam
  92. Bill Salus teaching blazes an alternate path to Revelation Road
  93. From 2010 until the Messianic Age Millennial Kingdom of Yeshua.
  94. America will default on national debt or have Hyperinflation before 2020
  95. Evangelicals and Apostates Together: Warren Osteen and Oprah
  96. Spiritual formation is gearing the Church up for self delusion
  97. United States EMP aftermath preparedness discussion
  98. Global elite believe world turmoil leads to their utopian end
  99. Those optimistic about America's future are not living in reality.
  100. Are these tornadoes God's judgment on America or a test of faith?