He Holds The Demon
Of The Antichrist
In The Bottomless Pit.
Art used by permission of Shelli Baker. - Visit her studio
A devotional/exhortational essay
by Gavin Finley MD
WHO IS THE RESTRAINER?
IS IT HUMAN GOVERNMENT?One of the most active subjects of discussion in the realm of Bible prophecy has been the question of 'the restrainer' of 2Thessalonians 2 spoken of by our Apostle Paul. Just who is he? And yes, the scriptures refer to him as a 'he'. This is our first clue. The restrainer is a person.
See this excellent YouTube video.
Throughout the centuries Christian believers have pointed out that God ordained government restrains evil and this is certainly true. Bible students over time have variously identified the restrainer as being such non-personal entities as "human government", the Roman Empire, European Christendom, and even the Christian Church. Let us take a look at these possibilities.
So what about human government being the restrainer of 2Thessalonians 2? Does human government restrain the coming of the Antichrist? Nations have often been inclined to regard the leader of a much feared enemy as being an antichrist of sorts. They would view themselves, (the good guys in their view), as being the restrainer of this personification of ultimate evil. During the Napoleonic wars many Christians in the British Isles viewed the French Emperor Napoleon as an antichrist. Later, during the first half of the 20th Century, they would come to demonize the German Kaiser Wilhelm and dictator Adolph Hitler as antichrists of their day. They then viewed the great British Empire as a restrainer of an anti-Christian regime led by Hitler as German antichrist. Now we hear some American Christians asking themselves if the USA might be the restrainer of a new antichrist Osama Bin Laden. And so the pattern continues. Looking out on the world scene they quite rightly conclude that the US is beginning to look like being the last of the great national superpowers left to champion the Christian West. Even the stirring Battle Hymn of the Republic draws the listener into the awe and the glory of a great contest of the ages that climaxes in the Apocalypse. Self-respecting human governments entering into conflicts are inclined to wrap themselves in religion and present themselves as the champions and restrainers against the rise of Anti-Christian foes.
This is all well and good to a degree. Human governmental agencies such as our police and law enforcement agencies are ordained by God. And yes, the certainly do act to restrain evildoers here below. -Heb.13:17, Rom. 13:1-7 And the raising of armies by nations to wage war against despotic regimes have indeed managed to put some restraint on the manifestation of evil in history, at least down at the earthly or human level. (That is, of course, when those nations were not operating in evil themselves!) But let us keep one thing in mind here. We are talking here of earthly evil. The Antichrist and this abominably evil blaspheming spirit is other-worldly. The monstrous thing is is not from this world.
THE RESTRAINER IS HOLDING BACK A BEASTLY DEMONIC EVIL, AN ABOMINABLY MALEVOLENT BLASPHEMER AGAINST GOD OPERATING TO A DEGREE NOT USUALLY SEEN ON EARTH AND AMONG MENSo all these discussions of earthly restraint are missing the point. Here in 2Thes.2 we are seeing a restrainer of a horrendous entity of evil that this world does not usually see, even with Napoleon or Hitler. We are looking here at an abominable spirit who possesses a man who then shakes his fist and rages against the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The hideous thing is a blasphemer and a destroyer of all that is sacred. He has set himself against God's holy city Jerusalem. We have not seen such evil in a ruler for a long long time.
And have we seen this abominable spirit acting out in times past? Oh yes. We saw it happen back during the time of the Greek Empire. We saw it raise its ugly head during the days of Antiochus Epiphanes in 168 B.C. This is that beast demon spirit begins to talk about in Daniel chapter 11. As the prophecy goes on we realize that a shift is taking place. Gabriel, speaking to Daniel is now talking about someone who appears in the latter days. The hideous thing will apparently rise up and possess a world leader once again, just as it did in the days of Antiochus and Judas Maccabeas. The formerly smooth and persuasive deal-making peace-making phase I Antichrist will be transformed into the phase II Antichrist, the abominable 666 Beast of the Apocalypse.
We are speaking here of an Anti-Christian force of the ultimate, climactic, and abominable evil kind. We have not seen such unrestrained evil for over 2100 years. The prophet Daniel and the Apostle John describe a malevolent and godless personage who speaks abominable and unheard of things against the God of heaven. We are looking here at a person of ultimate evil. He will evidence a level of wickedness we have not seen since the days of the Greek Syrian ruler Antiochus Epiphanes. This was the Seleucid general who came to Jerusalem in the second century B.C. This monster came in to the Holy Land blaspheming God and His holy people. He capped off all his outrages by stopping the daily sacrifices and desecrating the Jewish Temple by slaughtering a pig on the altar. The monster then went on to commit bloody mayhem against Jerusalem and its citizens.
Here is something we need to keep in mind. The restraining of the Antichrist spirit, and this is what the Bible seems to be talking about, has been going on for a long time. If the restrainer is a "he" as we have been told then he has been about his duties for over two millennia. No human champion or agency could live long enough to cover a time period which now stretches out over two thousand years. Clearly this restraining work is going on beyond the scope of a human lifespan or a governmental regime. Clearly, the restrainer must operate beyond the realm of earthly politics. If the conflict between good and evil is being waged up in the angelic spirit realm as well as down here in the realm of human affairs then shouldn't we also take a look up there in the angelic realm as we carry out our search for the restrainer?
Christians who know God and intercede before God understand that they are in a spiritual warfare that goes beyond the politics and earthly doings of men. As men intercede here below events happen up in the spirit realm. We see this demonstrated and outlined for us repeatedly in Daniel chapters 8 through to chapter 12.
So just what is spiritual warfare? Here is how it happens. As saints intercede and evil men make covenants and compromises here on earth the spirit realm sees the angels over those realms released. The angelic messengers then begin to make their play into history as it unfolds here below. These angels are both holy and unholy. As God's agents here below begin to pray and to intercede before the throne of God holy angels are summoned and sent into the action according to God's sovereign Word. God's angelic messengers are seen either holding back or warring against the unholy angelic principalities, powers and rulers of darkness.
The Apostle Paul in 2Thes. 2 describes the restrainer of the Antichrist as a 'he' or a person. And this "mystery of iniquity/lawlessness" the restrainer is holding back is "the big one", apparently the ultimate spirit of evil. This abominable ruler of darkness is presently being held or restrained from entering into earthly history. And why? Because when he does emerge he will enter history and take over human government at the superpower or New World Order level. The angel Gabriel speaking to the prophet Daniel refers to him an "alien/foreign god". And here is our first big clue. The entity being restrained by the restrainer is not human. (-Dan.11:39) So we must consider the strong possibility that the restrainer holding this monstrous spirit is also not human.
Here is our scripture.2 Thessalonians 2:1-9 NASBSo the "mystery of lawlessness/iniquity" (vs. 2 above), is an evil spirit.
2:1 Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you,
2:2 not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come.
2:3 Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition,
2:4 who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.
2:5 Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things?
2:6 And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time.
2:7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way.
2:8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.
2:9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders,
And the "lawless one" or "man of sin" is the human being in whom that awful evil spirit is destined to be "revealed" in future history.
So who is the restrainer of this alien demon? Who is this person, (and as we have seen, not a human being), who over 2100 years is preventing the abominable thing from coming out onto the earth?
Leaving the earthly and fleshly realm of human government we take our search for the restrainer of the antichrist into the spiritual realm. Well, let us pause halfway. Is the Church the restrainer of the Antichrist?
The popular opinion among evangelicals is that the restrainer is either the Church or the Holy Spirit or both. First of all let us ask ourselves this question. Is the church the 'he who restrains' our Apostle Paul was referring to? It doesn't fit very well, does it. The church is not a 'he'. Nevertheless the identification of the church as the restrainer remains a favorite in popular evangelical circles. And why? Because it can be made to fit the dispensationalist Pre-Tribulation Rapture scenario.
The reasoning goes something like this. "When the church is raptured, (and they say before the tribulation), and the restrainer, (which they say is "the church"), is 'taken out of the way', Then, as the saying goes, "all hell breaks loose". World events will spin out of control. The world will scream for "somebody to do something". This departure of the church through rapture, (or so they reason), will leave the world in chaos. This, (they believe), sets the scene for the entrance of the peacemaking Antichrist. He makes his entrance into open political history in the sovereignty sharing mega-deal, the seven year treaty of Daniel 9:27. His coming on the world scene initiates the last 7 years of this age. So ecclesiastical as well as governmental bodies have been brought up for consideration as possible candidates for the restrainer of 2 Thes. 2. But there is a problem. As with human government, the church is not a 'he'. And as we have seen, the restrainer of this "mystery of iniquity" spirit according to 2Thes. 2:6-7 is a "he". So he must be a person.
Let us turn our attention now to spirit beings. What are we to say about the Holy Spirit being a possible contender for the role of the restrainer of the Antichrist? He is certainly a person. The New King James Bible has curiously 'helped' to promote this interpretation of the Holy Spirit as the restrainer of the Antichrist. The NKJV translation committee has presumed to interpret the 'he who restrains' as a 'He', that is, Deity.
This is most unfortunate. They had no textual basis for doing this. The original Greek manuscripts provide no basis whatsoever for assigning capital letters. There is no upper or lower case lettering in the Greek manuscripts themselves. The New King James is a very good version generally and more readable for us today than the KJV. The author uses it a lot. But here we see another of many occasions in which the 1611 King James version brings us the more reliable and truthful translation. The passage above is from the New American Standard Bible. This version, (along with the KJV), would in this instance appear to render a more trustworthy translation of this critical portion of scripture in 2Thes. 2.
The identification of the restrainer as the Holy Spirit is a reckoning of last resort. Or as we say in medicine, it is a "dustbin diagnosis". Classically pre-trib teachers have begged the question. They ask rhetorically, "Who else but the Holy Spirit can restrain the Antichrist from being revealed?" Since no alternatives are offered they then proceed to construct a scenario in which the omnipotent, omnipresent Holy Spirit takes up guard duty to be the restrainer of the Antichrist.
So the popular view is that the Holy Spirit is the restrainer of this alien Antichrist monster. The Holy Spirit is the He, (as they see it), who is 'taken out of the way' after a pre-trib Rapture. Apparently the omnipresent, omnipotent Holy Spirit, (according to this shaky line of reasoning), must depart off the planet with the rapturing Church!
This is truly a strange business. Is the omnipresent Holy Spirit somehow unable or incompetent to operate without the present day Church? Without the Church being here to preside over the planet must the Holy Spirit walk off, abandon the "144,00 flaming Jewish evangelists", and take leave of His divine omnipresence? and prevent the Antichrist from appearing. This fits the early rapture scenario. But the proposal of a Holy Spirit vacuum on earth at the end of this age is impossible. It is also a very very unfortunate mistake of interpretation.
The doctrine stating that the Holy Spirit will depart from the planet during the last 7 years of this age is more than just wrong. This is grievous disinformation being fed to the Church. Such misinformation will have dark and dire consequences if it is not corrected. Left as it is it will continue to demoralize the Church and keep it "dumbed down" and "destroyed for lack of knowledge".
Dear saints, we are in a spiritual war. And our faithful witness is our divine calling in Christ. Of all times that the faithful church needs to be briefed with the correct information it is surely now. The epic drama of the last days may well be approaching. At some point in the future the end-time church will indeed take the stage. Apparently it will be of a different nature to the present merchant Church. God's people are destined to bring the "final witness" of history. The bride of Christ also needs encouragement and cheer as she prepares herself for this great and glorious role.
The Holy Spirit cannot be "taken out of the way". King David testified that even if he went down into hell the wonderful Presence of God would be there with Him. False and depressing information of the Holy Spirit departing the planet in the End-Time can and does quite effectively demoralize the church. The saints are given no encouragement at all to stay the course, and obey the Great Commission as it states, - "until the end of the age". This is a very bad rap for pre-trib rapturism. This eschatology is truly abandonment theology. pure and simple. At is a denial of God's end time provision and a denial of the end time outpouring of the Holy Spirit. The prophet Joel saw the peak of the Holy Spirit outpouring after the Great Tribulation at the opening of the 6th seal when the sun will turn to darkness and the moon to blood. The notion that the Holy Spirit id the restrainer that gets "taken out of the way" is not only grievously misleading demoralizing error, It is a denial of the blood covenant Christianity to which we have been called. This dispensationalist pre-trib doctrine that bundles off the Holy Spirit and hustles Him off the planet for seven years is something the evangelical Church needs to repent of, and soon. The doctrine is responsible for much of our present malaise where "Christians" are no longer the salt of the earth. They are not much different to run-of-the-mill people out in the pagan world. Quite obviously our present Church doctrines relating to the final witness of the Church in the latter days are seriously flawed. But worse than this the saints are not being built up in our most holy faith, the faith that was once delivered to the saints. Our end time doctrines are not providing the necessary guidance and encouragement for the faithful preparation of the saints in the End-Time. This is a matter of serious concern.
Pause for a moment and picture, if you can, the Holy Spirit deserting the Church, the congregation of Israel, the single Elect of God. See Him walk out on the Tribulation saints in their hour of need. See Him walk out on our Jewish brethren before they are saved en-masse late in the 70th Week during the final seven years of this age. Is this likely? Would that be like our God to do such a thing?
I will submit to you that the very notion of such an abandonment by our God is unthinkable. Furthermore, it is an insult to God Almighty and to the blood covenant He has cut with us. To even suggest that God would pull the Comforter from His people just when they will be in such desperate need of His covering is truly outrageous.
Jesus Himself said,"I will never leave you or forsake you." -Heb.13:5
Furthermore, He has given us the Great Commission wherein He gave each and every one of his saints this promise,"Lo, I am with you always,
even until the end of the age." -Mat.28:19-20
Pre-trib rapturism would have God the Holy Spirit abandoning His people, even His tribulation saints, (-Rev. 7:9-16) and absenting Himself from the earth during the final climactic years of this age. But is a 7 year Holy Spirit vacuum on earth possible? Is it in keeping with the 'whole counsel of God' as revealed to us elsewhere in the Holy Scriptures?
Let us take a look.
Through the following poetry the Bible tells us categorically that we can never be in a place or time where God's Holy Spirit is unable to find us. Let us pause for a moment and reflect on the wonderful message of assurance God is giving us in this inspired poetry below.Psalm 139:1-12
1. .... O Lord, You have searched me and known me.
2 You know my sitting down and my rising up;
You understand my thought afar off.
3 You comprehend my path and my lying down,
And are acquainted with all my ways.
4 For there is not a word on my tongue, But behold, O Lord, You know it altogether.
5 You have hedged me behind and before,
And laid Your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
It is high, I cannot attain it.
7 Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
8 If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
9 If I take the wings of the morning,
And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
10 Even there Your hand shall lead me,
And Your right hand shall hold me.
11 If I say, "Surely the darkness shall fall on me,"
Even the night shall be light about me;
12 Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You,
But the night shines as the day;
The darkness and the light are both alike to You.
As we see from the scripture passage above the Holy Spirit simply cannot take leave of His cosmos. Nor can He stop being who He is, our omnipresent God who inhabits and under girds all matter, all time, and all space. He simply cannot be banned from any part of the cosmos in any part of its space or time, even by high churchmen or Hellenized theologians. The proposition of a spiritual "dead zone" anywhere in the universe in light of what we have been told about the omnipresence of the Holy Spirit is simply impossible. Such eschatology and theology is hopelessly and fatally flawed. And even if The Holy Spirit was "taken out of the way" and ended up deserting the planet and God's people for the last 7 years of this age then how, pray tell, will that huge multinational multitude of Tribulation Saints be brought to salvation? - Rev.7:9-17. Let us take a close look at these dear saints as they come into glory during the Great tribulation. Dispensationalists claim they do not belong to the Church since they have "missed the Rapture". Is this true? Would we admit them to membership in our church?Revelation 7Here we see the Tribulation Saints. They are a magnificent and victorious company. Was the Holy Spirit involved in the salvation of these hundreds of millions of Tribulation Saints? What saith the scripture?
7:9 After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands,
7:10 and crying out with a loud voice, saying, "Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!"
7:11 All the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God,
7:12 saying: "Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom, Thanksgiving and honor and power and might, Be to our God forever and ever. Amen."
7:13 Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, "Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?"
7:14 And I said to him, "Sir, you know." So he said to me, "These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
7:15 Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them.
7:16 They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat;
7:17 for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."".....no man can say that Jesus is the Lord but by the Holy Spirit". -1Cor.12:3As we see here, salvation without the Holy Spirit is absolutely and totally impossible. If a multitude is to be saved during the Great Tribulation then there is no question about it.
The Holy Spirit will be there!
Let us take a look at another epic End-Time event. As we have seen the armies of the nations will muster at Armageddon in the final crisis of the age. God says that in the 6th seal days of the sun turning to darkness and the moon to blood that His Holy Spirit will descend in climactic saving power upon "all flesh". And "whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved". -Joel 2:28-32. But that is not all. A wonder of wonders is yet to be seen. The Holy Spirit will also be poured out upon our brothers and sisters in the Jewish nation, bringing them salvation and deliverance at long last! (See Zechariah 12) Glory be to God!
Here is our scripture."I will pour upon the house of David and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and of supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn." - Zechariah 12:10 NKJVWhat a wonderful day that will be! The royal Jewish house of Judah will come to salvation at long last. They will cry out to God even as Jerusalem lies surrounded by armies at the end of the age."And whosoever shall call upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved/delivered.No one comes to the Father unless the Holy Spirit draws Him. Oh yes. Even as the final 7 years are wrapped up under a darkened sun and a bloody moon, yes even in the midst of the falling of the angelic stars the Holy Spirit will not be absent. He will be there!
If the restrainer is a "he" and He is not a human being and not the Holy Spirit then who is he? Is this person an angelic being? What if this restraining action of 2Thes. 2 is being done against the Antichrist demon spirit and not in this earthly realm among human beings at all? If such is the case then we must assume that whoever is restraining this demon spirit has been keeping him locked up for a very long time.
If the restrainer has prevented the beast demon from emerging into history since Roman times then he, the restrainer, cannot be the Roman Empire. Nor can he be a human being. Human beings do not live for two thousand years. He must be a spirit being. But as we have seen he cannot be the Holy Spirit or Deity. So then. We are left with one category of beings that we have not discussed. Is the restrainer of the Antichrist an angelic spirit being?
It seems that the restrainer, whoever he is, must be a spirit being given the charge of restraining or incarcerating demons of the most horrendously evil order. The abominable thing has been held/restrained in the bottomless pit/abyss by a certain "he" since the days before John wrote the book of Revelation. John had reported back in his day, late in the 1st century, that the beast "was" and now "is not". - Rev.17:8 So it seems that this beast demon had emerged into history on a previous occasion, this being before Roman times. John said that the beast "is not". (-Rev.17:8) So in John's day the demon was not possessing any person on the earth, not even the Roman Caesars. Therefore we may surmise that the abominably evil demon was being reserved, locked up in the bottomless pit until the end time. John goes on to say that the beast demon "will ascend out of the bottomless pit"/abyss in the future. Then he will "go to perdition". Here is our scripture. The NRSV provides the most faithful rendering on this occasion since it does not mince words and spells out clearly in the future tense the essential truth that the beast "is to come"."The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is about to ascend from the bottomless pit and go to destruction. And the inhabitants of the earth, whose names have not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, will be amazed when they see the beast, because it was and is not and is to come." - Rev. 17:8 NRSVThis abominable antichrist spirit apparently possessed a man before John's time over two millennia ago. And the alien spirit will yet again be released to possess a man in the endtime. This demon is apparently released from restraint and let loose from out of the Abyss. At the midpoint of the final seven years he will be become manifest and erupt into human history. This will only happen after human moral decline has come to the bottom of a long skid. Then at the appointed time God gives the signal to the restrainer and sovereignly allows this abominable Antichrist spirit to come out onto the earth. Oh yes, Beauty continues to have a crush on that Beast. But the long affair of Gomer is about to come to an end.
The apostle John, writing late in the first century, said that the beast "was" and "is not". So if it "was" then it must have come out and possessed someone before John's time. But at the time of John's writing he "was not". If the beast demon did emerge into history before John's time then at what point in past history would that have been? And just who did the alien antichrist spirit possess back then? Well if we look through the last two chapters of Daniel's prophecy we can see the story laid out for us quite clearly. The angel Gabriel begins in chapter 11 speaking about an abominable ruler who arose in pre-Roman times. This was the Seleucid general Antiochus who took over the northern (Syrian) kingdom of the Greeks after the death of Alexander the Great. Then Gabriel slides into prophecy relating to the end time antichrist finishing up in chapter 12. This would seem to indicate that it was Antiochus Epiphanes, who was the man possessed by this hideous demon in former times. In the winter of 167 B.C. Jerusalem did see this abominable ruler arrive on the scene.He came out waging war on God's people and blaspheming God Almighty. Antiochus was the most monstrous ruler history has ever witnessed thus far. He was the only ruler ever to profane the Hebrew temple. Most rulers had given it respect and honor. Even the Roman general Titus during the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. had wanted to save the temple. He actually fought against his own men who were trying to set the temple on fire. Antiochus, on the other hand, was abominably evil. He slaughtered a pig on the temple altar. This would certainly fit the bill for the beast that "was".-Rev.17:12
Of course by the time that John wrote the book of Revelation Antiochus was dead and the demon that possessed him "was not". The 'restrainer' had him locked up in the bottomless pit again. And there he stays. But John said that at a future time this same abominable demon would be released into end-time history and possess a man yet again. This would be the end-time Antichrist at midweek. Then after the Beast is terminated at the end he will go on to perdition, or the lake of fire. - Rev.17:11 At the second coming of Christ and as the 70th week ends the antichrist and all those who have taken his 666 mark will be hurled alive into the Lake of Fire. - Rev.19:20
So what is this drama at the midpoint of the final 7 years all about? The global peacemaker leaves his roundtables, boardrooms, and treaty accords and comes out to commit the "abomination that makes desolate". In Jerusalem on the temple mount he blasphemes God Almighty, sets up an image and demands that worship be directed towards himself. He institutes his 666 system. The Antichrist, who had previously been the peacemaking antichrist and consort to the harlot is possessed by this awful demon of the bottomless pit. He is thereby "revealed" for the beast that he really is. The harlot church system who has been 'sleeping with the enemy' is in for a rude shock at midweek. It is at this time that the 'Beauty and the Beast' story leaves the Disney studios. The story will be played out into history before men and angels. When the stardust is blown away the true story will be told. The destiny of compromising Christianity will then be fully revealed. No longer a melodrama it will suddenly emerge as raw uncut video. For many Christians who have compromised the faith it will become a real life drama too awful for words to describe.
And so the Antichrist, or Beast, is not unveiled or "revealed" until the moment this demon takes possession of him. As the peacemaker, power broker, the Mr. Niceguy phase 1 antichrist will artfully clinch the epic global deal of Dan.9:27. This will involve a surrender of the sovereignty of Israel and the nations to him for safekeeping. He will promise peace and security for 7 years. He will then work closely with the harlot system during the first three and a half years of those final 7 years of this age. Then, at the midpoint crisis, the peacemaker will be possessed by this abominable a demon spirit of the abyss. That will cause him to change character and become the 666 beast of scripture and legend. This demon spirit, is right now being held in chains of darkness (See Jude 6) awaiting his moment to emerge into history and possess the man of sin.
Who then is the restrainer, the jailer, of this despicable demon? Whoever he is he has been doing this for over two millennia. He cannot be human. And as we have seen he cannot be the Holy Spirit since deity is omnipresent and never "taken out of the way" as the restrainer will be. -2Thes.2:7. And for those who would insist that the restrainer is the Holy Spirit here is another issue which must be addressed. Is there any scripture at all showing the Holy Spirit operating as a warrior angel against dark spirits in the second heaven? And do we see anywhere in the Bible any inkling at all that the Holy Spirit might do guard duty in the nether realms? Do we ever see in scripture the Holy Spirit holding down demons at the gates of the abyss? Or might this sort of spiritual police work be delegated to God's holy angels? Just who is it that chains demons at the bottomless pit anyway? Is it the Holy Spirit? If not, then just who is it that does this guard duty? To find our answer let us let the Bible speak.
And may God help us to listen and to hear.Revelation 20
20:1 Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.
20:2 He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years;
20:3 and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while.
So if God's holy angels restrain evil spirits could the 'restrainer' of the antichrist/beast spirit be such an angel? Might he even be a key angel seen throughout scripture as working on behalf of God's people? Who is this captain of the angelic host? Who is the angelic guardian of God's people? Well let us take a walk back in time over 2500 years and visit with Daniel. At that time he was a captive in Babylon interceding on behalf of God's people. Let us see if we can see some restraining work being done by certain angels of God. And let us see if we can discover just who this restraining angel might be.
10:12 Then he said to me, "Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words.
10:13 But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days; and behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left alone there with the kings of Persia.
10:20 Then he said, "Do you know why I have come to you? And now I must return to fight with the prince of Persia; and when I have gone forth, indeed the prince of Greece will come.
In Daniel 10:12,13 & 20 who was it that was restraining the angelic powers of Medo-Persia and allowing Gabriel, the angelic messenger from God's throne to get through to Daniel with the End-Time information? Just who executes God's will concerning spirits of darkness, principalities and powers and the ruling angelic princes? Well fortunately we do not need to guess. The Bible tells us quite clearly who it is that holds back or restrains hostile spirit forces on behalf of God's covenant people. Gabriel is speaking here and he says,
10:21 "But I will tell you what is inscribed in the.....Book of Truth. There is no one who holds with me or strengthens himself against these hostile spirit forces except Michael your prince, (national guardian angel). -Dan.10:21 AMPLV
So here we have some good evidence from scripture that the abominable antichrist demon of the abyss is right now held in the abyss/bottomless pit. This demon is destined to emerge at midweek to possess the future antichrist and turn him into the "beast". The one restraining him, the restrainer of 2Thes.2, is none other than the guardian angel of God's elect, the archangel Michael.