"Who is the Restrainer?
I feel rather nervous entering into this debate. However, I wanted to make a few points relevant to my article on 2 Thessalonians chapter 2, and also the one on "Jesus or Peter: Will you withstand the Testing of the Last Days?"
People have been puzzling over this for centuries and even in the original Greek it's not entirely clear who this refers to.
However, the Greek word translated "restrain" in 2 Thessalonians means to "hold down" like a prison guard holding a violent prisoner, to restrain him from action.
(The Greek word actually refers to a wrestling hold. This 3rd century BC statue depicts the Greek form of wrestling. The apostle Paul does seem to have enjoyed watching sports and wrestling, from the references he makes in his letters.)
There's been some discussion on the subject of the one holding satan back from his earthly activities being the Archangel Michael, although aspects of that discussion would take me into areas I'm not comfortable with.
None the less, Daniel chapter 10 does say that Michael will be standing up to do something important at a crucial point of the Tribulation; compare that with Revelation 12 where it is Michael who leads the war in the heavenlies to cast satan OUT onto the earth.
Does all restraint end when that happens? Satan is loosed to do as he pleases, because the Bride has gone up and the work of redemption is completed?
The Warlike role of Michael, that Great Prince
There's some validity to the idea that Michael is the "wrestler" with the antichrist, just as it was Michael who wrestled with the prince of Persia in Daniel chapter 10. I know some writers have taken it to extremes, but in the scriptures about Michael, he DOES appear to have a contending and restraining role. See below:
Dan 10:12-13 Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.
Dan 10:21 and there is none that holdeth with me in these things, but Michael your prince.
Dan 12:1 And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.
Jude 9 Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.
Rev 12:7-8 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.
After the fall of Lucifer, taking with him a host of fallen angels, it may be that God set Michael over those fallen spiritual rulers, especially Lucifer, to restrain their evil activities over the earth. it would therefore make sense that Michael will be told to back off, in order to let that 'dragon' have his way in the endtimes.
Obviously, evil would increase, just as the bible says. This is just something to ponder.
© 2013 Tricia Tillin-Booth. All rights reserved. Birthpangs Website: http://www.birthpangs.org/ This document is the property of its author and is not to be displayed on other websites, redistributed, sold, reprinted, or reproduced in printed in any other format without permission. Websites may link to this article, if they provide proper title and author information. One copy may be downloaded, stored and/or printed for personal research. All spelling and phraseology is UK English. .