Troublesome Topic: The Restrainer

2 Thessalonians 2:6


And now, you already know

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that which restrains, so that he

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will be revealed in his time.


But you have known and still know what is holding him back so that he will be disclosed for what he really is at the time appointed for him.

2 Thessalonians 2:7


For the mystery of lawlessness is already working, but the one who restrains

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[will do so] until he is completely taken out of the middle.


For the hidden secrets that give lawlessness its power are already at work, but the one who restrains him will keep doing so until he is taken completely out of the way.

Some think this act of taking the “restrainer” out of the way is an indication of the rapture. They say that the Holy Spirit will be taken out of the world when the church is raptured. The problem with that is this: Even most of those who believe in 7 years of unique tribulation think there will be opportunity for some to repent during that time. That would require the work of the Holy Spirit to convince them and then guide them in their new relationship with God. The book of Revelation is clear that there will be many opportunities to repent even during events that are partial judgments from God. It appears that, until the time of the final judgment, there will be time for repenting which, in my opinion, means the Holy Spirit will still be at work on this earth.

The next lesson is: A Summary of All the Visions Given to Daniel



This is probably referring to things Paul taught them while he was with them.

2: “he”

In neither of these two verses is there anything that tells us whether it is a person, a thing, or a force that is being restrained. However, here we see that it is a “he” which is being restrained until the time for him to be revealed for what he really is, a deceiver.


Here it is a person who does the restraining, in verse 6 it is expressed in an impersonal manner, meaning “the thing that restrains.” It seems to me that both are referring to the Holy Spirit.