“Who / What is the restrainer in 2 Thessalonians 2:6?”

Question: “Who / What is the restrainer in 2 Thessalonians 2:6?”

Answer: 2 Thessalonians 2:6-7 mentions a “restrainer” that is holding back sin and lawlessness. What or who that restraining force is, Paul does not say specifically in this letter. Many have speculated as to the identity of the restrainer, naming the restraining force as 1) human government; 2) gospel preaching; 3) the binding of Satan; 4) the providence of God; 5) the Jewish state; 6) the church; 7) the Holy Spirit; and 8) Michael. Whatever now restrains the Antichrist of vv. 3, 4, 8–10 from being revealed in the fullness of his apostasy and evil must be more than human or even angelic power. The power that holds back Satan from bringing the final apostasy and unveiling of his Satan-possessed false Christ (the Antichrist) must be supernatural. It must be God’s power in operation that holds back Satan, so that the “man of sin,” “the son of destruction” (v. 3) won’t be able to come until God permits it by removing the restraining power. The reason for the restraint was so that the Antichrist would be revealed at God’s appointed time and no sooner, just as was Christ (Gal. 4:4), because God controls Satan.

The Holy Spirit of God is the only Person with sufficient (supernatural) power to do this restraining. How does He do it? Through Christians, He works in society to hold back the swelling tide of lawless living. At some point, though, He will be removed from the earth, allowing sin to have dominion over mankind. This can only happen when the Church—all true believers in Jesus Christ—is removed. This is because the Holy Spirit lives within each believer. When the church leaves the earth at the rapture, the Holy Spirit will be taken out of the way in the sense that His unique lawlessness-restraining ministry—through God’s people— will be removed (see Genesis 6:3).

The removal of the Restrainer at the time of the rapture must obviously precede the “day of the Lord.” But as soon as individuals again start placing their faith in Christ during the tribulation, the Holy Spirit will again be “present” in the world. His ministry of restraining, though, seems limited to the time before the tribulation.

Recommended Resource: Understanding End Times Prophecy by Paul Benware

https://gotquestions.org/restrainer.html

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About ptl2010

Jesus Christ is Lord. It is no longer I that liveth, but Christ that liveth in me. All Glory to His Name,
This entry was posted in A CLICK A BLESSING TODAY, CHRISTIAN FOUNDATIONS OF BELIEF and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to “Who / What is the restrainer in 2 Thessalonians 2:6?”

  1. rickroehm says:

    When the Holy Spirit is viewed as more than a reprover and sanctifier “He” can be seen as a hinderer of God’s Wrath. The Holy Spirit hinders the Wrath of God… withholds the Wrath of God… and steps aside from the Divine Wrath of God – at the Rapture of the Church. The hindering work of the Holy Spirit is the only thing keeps the Antichrist from stepping into our present Church Age! Here’s the best verse in the Bible that describes the hindering work of the Holy Spirit that is holding back the reign of the Antichrist in this present Church Age.

    2 Thess 2:4-8… Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God (the Antichrist). Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now ye know what withholdeth (the Holy Spirit) that he (the Antichrist) might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let (the Holy Spirit), until he be taken out of the way (the Holy Spirit steps aside). And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming (the Antichrist);

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