By:  David Montaigne

Author: Endtimes and 2019 and Antichrist 2016-2019

Nelson: One of our readers asked a question why the restrainer could not be the Church or the Holy Spirit.  This is a common misconception of those who follow the pretribulation rapture theory.  I promised a post to explain this fallacy.  Another reader, fellow author David Montaigne, provided me with this quote from his recent book which did most of my work for me!  So I am posting it as a guest blog.  After David’s fine teaching on who is the restrainer, I add a few thoughts of my own.


David: “In 2 Thessalonians 2:7 the Bible refers to the restrainer as “he” not “it” or some organization or set of beliefs. This rules out the United Nations or U.S. Congress or government in general as the restraining influence. The personal pronoun “he” also rules out the idea that the saints (a multitude of people) hold back the restrainer until a pre-tribulation or mid-tribulation rapture removes their restraining influence. It rules out the idea that the church is thereby removed at the rapture as a restrainer.

The King James Bible in particular helps portray the restrainer… as the Holy Spirit. At least this suggestion is both singular and supernatural. But the idea that we will be abandoned by the Holy Spirit at the time of our greatest need is a false doctrine. Let’s consider a few verses . . .

John 14:16-17 previously clarified “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth.” This is the Holy Spirit, sometimes thought of as God’s active force (as “sunshine” here gives us light and warmth while the “sun” it comes from is too intense to have right here with us) or as an integral part of the godhead/trinity. More importantly, these verses portray the Helper as the Holy Spirit and the “He” who will “be with you forever.” Does this sound like “he” will leave us when we need him most? Note also that the Holy Spirit always has a capitalized letter H in “He” (being part of the divine godhead/trinity) but the restrainer, who is not, has a lowercase letter h in “he” and must be a separate individual.

In Joel 2:28-32 God tells us after we start to see the signs of the Last Day “It will come about after this that I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind…. I will pour out My Spirit in those days. I will display wonders in the sky and on the earth, blood, fire and columns of smoke. The sun will be turned into darkness and the moon into blood before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes. And it will come about that whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be delivered.” This does not sound like the Holy Spirit has been taken away in the end times; it sounds like the time when the greatest outpouring of Holy Spirit occurs….

Revelation 7:13-14 says “’These who are clothed in the white robes, who are they, and where have they come from?’ I said to him, ‘My lord, you know.’ And he said to me, ‘These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.’” These are the “tribulation saints” who were saved after the wrath of the Antichrist is underway. How were they saved? 1 Corinthians 12:3 tells us “no one can say, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ except by the Holy Spirit.” NO ONE is saved except through the Holy Spirit. Therefore the Holy Spirit – “the Renewer of the Face of the Earth”   – cannot have abandoned us during the tribulation, when these saints are saved.

But if this popular view that the Holy Spirit is the “he” who is “the restrainer” is wrong; then who is the removed restrainer that allows the Antichrist to reveal himself? Since the Antichrist is a supernatural being of great power, the restrainer must be at least his equal….

The Antichrist’s restrainer must be a powerful spirit being capable of chaining demonic spirits in the abyss. The great angel of Revelation 20:1-3 fits the bill: “Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him.” This is a future event, but whoever “he” is, if he can handle Satan himself, and chain him in the abyss, he could be the restrainer of the Antichrist.”

The only thing being removed at the mid-point of the tribulation is the restraining action of the Archangel Michael – not all Christian believers in the rapture.”  – David Montaigne


Nelson: The Greek word “restrains” means to “hold down” or “to hold fast.”  Because this word does not appear in the Septuagint OT, scholars have had to make assumptions as to the identity of the “restrainer” just as David does above.  We can’t have a definitive reference without use of the same word.  We must prove the restrainer’s identity by context.

There is some linguistic proof, however.  In Daniel 10, we observe Michael “standing firm” against demonic forces:

But I (the messenger angel) shall now return to fight against the prince (archon) of Persia; so I am going forth, and behold, the prince (archon) of Greece is about to come.  However, I will tell you what is inscribed in the writing of truth. Yet there is no one who stands firmly with me against these forces except Michael your (Jewish) prince (archon). (Dan. 10: 20-21 NASB, clarification and emphasis mine)

Although the Greek word translated “stands firm” is not identical to the Greek word found in 2 Thessalonians translated as “restains”, it has an identical meaning!  It means “to hold fast to.”  So Michael is pictured as “holding fast to” or restraining demonic powers.  These forces listed are two of the seven heads or kings of the Beast of Rev. 17.  It makes logical sense that when the final king is about to arise, he will also be restained (held fast to) by Michael.

The Greek term parerchomai is found in Daniel 12:1 of the Septuagint (LXX) and means, “to pass by” or “to withdraw” which shows Michael withdrawing (from his restraint of the Antichrist).  Immediately after this we see the Great Tribulation beginning.  This corresponds perfectly with  Thessalonians 2:6–7 and the revealing of the Antichrist.

Revelation 12:7–17 links Michael’s war against the dragon with the great tribulation as well.  This war with Satan is the reason that Michael withdraws from his restraint.  This war with Satan also silences critics who claim only the Holy Spirit is Satan’s equal and capable of restraint.  Please note that Michael wins the war with Satan.

I also highly suggest you review this post DID SATAN FEAR THIS PROPHECY AND TRY TO KEEP IT SECRET? that details what an “archon” is (an angelic ruler) and the spiritual battle that is depicted in Daniel Chapter 10.


Another interesting phrase occurs in 2 Thessalonians and is often mistranslated.

until             he be         (taken)      out of        the midst.

heos           genetai                               ek                     mesou

This is the phrase traditionally translated “until he is taken out of the way.”  But that is not what the phrase says.  The Greek word genetai actually means “becomes” or “is revealed” just as the “Word became flesh and dwelt among us.”  Also notice the word “taken” doesn’t appear anywhere in the passage.  It was inserted by some translators.

The passage actually says “until he is revealed out of the midst.”  It is speaking of the Antichrist not the restrainer, and means that the restrainer will restrain the Antichrist until he (the Antichrist) arises.  No one is “taken out of the way.”  Michael “withdraws” as we learned in Daniel 12:1.  He withdraws to fight against Satan and his fallen angels as we learn in Revelation 12.  It is at this point he no longer “holds fast” and restrains the lawless one.

Thanks to David for his assistance on this post.  Hopefully all this scriptural evidence has been helpful to you in your quest to identify the “Restrainer.”




  1. Hello Nelson,

    The reason why some people believe the church is the restrainer is from a scripture that has been taken out of context.

    Hebrews 10:12-13 ‘but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, SAT DOWN AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD,waiting from that time onward UNTIL HIS ENEMIES BE MADE A FOOTSTOOL FOR HIS FEET.’ Jesus is the head & we are the body.

    What they believe is because we are the body of Christ then Satan is literally under our feet. Once we are raptured the body of Christ removes their feet off his head.

    Of course this is not an accurate representation of the scripture but is taught as a part of the pre-trib position .

    BJ & Alisa

  2. All the above is incorrect ! As the ‘restrainer’ refers to the ‘second order of the ‘Firstfruits’, (the 24 ELDERS, seen in rev.4:1-4 ) as the ‘First order’ of the “firstfruits” wers the ‘graves that opened’.(Mt.27:50-53) and are seen in heaven in Rev. chapt.4 and 5 , as the “4 LIVING CREATURES”
    Visit my website where you all can peruse the first four “Early”chapters of my book, entitled; “THE RAPTURE AND ITS SEVEN DIFFERENT ORDERS”

    1. Hi Morgan, Thank you for reading.

      In answer to your second question, (on a separate post), I do censor some comments if they are mean spirited. I don’t censor based on whether a reader agrees. Your comment however was censored by my spam blocker. I don’t know why, but I found it and posted it.

      First of all your comment “all the above is incorrect” is a very broad statement without any scripture to back it up. Please be specific about a point or two and provide backup. God does nothing without first telling his prophets. We cannot assume. I will check out your website. I am open minded enough to look at your site. – Okay, checked out your site – it’s a book! Sorry don’t have time for a book.


  3. Nelson,

    I agree with you and David that the “restrainer” is not the Holy Spirit. If people are coming to Yeshua during the Great Tribulation, they cannot do so without the Holy Spirit, without the convicting power of the Holy Spirit. However, there are those, as you probably are aware, who believe the restrainer is Satan, and that what is being “restrained”, or withheld, is the revelation of the Mystery of Iniquity.

    In Daniel 12 and Revelation 12, we see Michael prevailing over Satan and Satan is cast out of heaven forever. Some believe this is the trigger for the beginning of Great Tribulation of the last 3 1/2 years, when Satan enters the man who is the anti-Christ and completely animates his body.

    Going back to Daniel 10, it seems to me that what was happening here is that the “prince of the kingdom of Persia” was “withstanding” because he did not want this vision to be revealed to Daniel. We know that the book of Daniel is under attack, and we know that Satan does not want us to understand it, of course. We also know from Matthew 24 that Jesus specifically commanded us to read and understand it. So of course Satan would NOT want us to read or understand Daniel. But since the book of Daniel will be “unsealed” in the latter days, we can infer that we will now be able to understand it and discern what is going on, and know that the last seven years are near. (I believe Daniel’s 70th week is at our doorstep.)

    So in Daniel 10, immediately after the angel tells Daniel of his fight with the prince of the kingdom of Persia, we read in verse 14 that the angel has “now” come to give Daniel the understanding of the vision that “pertains to the days yet future.” IMO, this infers that the angel had actually wanted to come to Daniel sooner, but could not, because he was fighting Satan, and then Michael came and helped him and now the vision could be revealed to Daniel.

    Furthermore, as we see in Daniel 12 and Revelation 12, Michael is once again in a fight with Satan, and this time prevails over him, casting him out of heaven forever. Satan does not want to be cast out of heaven because he knows his time is short, as we read in Revelation 12:12. When he is cast out, he will no longer be accusing the brethren day and night; our prayers will not be hindered, and there will be the greatest harvest of souls ever:

    “9 And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. 10 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night. 11 And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death. 12 For this reason, rejoice, O heavens and you who [dwell in them. Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, knowing that he has only a short time.”

    I’m not dogmatic on this view, but I’d really be interested in hearing your and David’s thoughts on it.

    1. This is a good summary of my views Jeanne. The only disagreement I might have is iMO the prince (archon) of Persia is not Satan. I believe this is a separate fallen angel under Satan’s command. At some point I probably need to do an “Armor of God” post to coordinate with the casting out of Satan and his angels. I’ll put that on my to write list. Nelson

      1. Oh yes Satan has many powerful ranks of fallen angels ….we know this Anti Christ will be like Judas who was directly used of by Lucifer himself .. When arguing with the devil Michael didn’t dare bring accusation against him but merely said the Lord rebukes you! Ephesians 6 paints a good picture of wicked forces!

  4. I’m not gonna say the restrainer is not Michael the archangel and I think it’s quite possible that it is.. Just looking to share a thought. I’ve had whole reading 2thess.2 that is that the restrainer is anti Christ or more than that Satan himself. In the early passage of 2thess.2 it says that the man of lawlessness must be revealed before we can be gathered together to be with the Lord! Certainly no one would argue that Satan restrains the gospel . throughout history Satan has sought to restrain God’s work .. ..then what is being restrained , that would be the coming of the Lord which it says that wicked one who comes with all supernatural power of the evil one.. The scripture then says that wicked one will be revealed and destroyed by the glory of his brightness .. That’s it for now .. Just a thought is all

    1. Mike, Interesting idea. I think the word “until” undoes this thinking. If this idea were correct it would the one who restrains does so UNTIL he is revealed out of the midst. (remember this is the correct translation of the end of the phrase.) That would mean the demonic nature of the AC would restrain the gospel UNTIL he is revealed. That obviously can’t be right. But we must always challenge our current mindset on end times. Much is being revealed and unsealed. New ideas are always worth examining

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