Just prior to the mid-point of the week, there will be a major confrontation
in heaven between the angels of God under the leadership of Michael, and
The progress of the 70th week of Daniel as recorded in the book of The Revelation
is chronological from chapters 6 through 11 and embraces -
1. The beginning of the week (seal #1)
2. The tribulation period (seals #2-5)
3. The arrival of the Day of The LORD (seal #6)
4. And the administration of God's wrath via the 7 trumpets.
5. Chapter 11 brings us to the end of the 70th week and the sounding of
the 7th trumpet.
It is at this point that the book backs up in its focus and gives information
dealing with the mid-point of the week forward.
Chapter 12 gives us a summary of the beast's oppression of the saints
and national Israel.
Chapter 13 gives information concerning the "revealing" of the
man of lawlessness (the beast) and the length of his "reign."
Chapter 14 Summarizes the Day of the LORD activity from the rapture until
the final battle at Armageddon.
Chapter 15-16 picks up from 11:19 and relates the "final"
outpouring of God's wrath via the 7 bowls during the 30 day period after
the 70th week ends.
Chapter 17-18 is parenthetical to deal with the history and
final disposition of Babylonian evil.
Chapter 19 picks up from 16:21 and presents the final bowl of God's wrath
which is the final "physical" battle of the Armageddon campaign
which began at bowl #6.
Chapter 20 begins and completes the 1000 year reign of the Messiah and
presents the Last Judgment at the end of that reign.
Chapter 21-22 describes life in the New Jerusalem both during the 1000
year reign of Messiah and also afterwards throughout eternity when there
will exist a new heaven and earth.
WAR IN HEAVEN
And there was war in heaven,
Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon.
And the dragon and his angels waged war,
and they were not strong enough,
and there was no longer a place found for them in heaven.
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.
Michael prevails and kicks Satan and his angels physically out of heaven
and down to the earth. This initiates the events that will bring about the
Day of the LORD and the establishment of the Messianic kingdom on the earth.
And 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,
This victory was actually anticipated by Jesus as He commented on the success
of the 70 disciples over all the power of the enemy.
"I saw Satan falling from heaven ..."
It also fulfills the prophecy of Ezekiel 28:17b where a physical fall from
heaven is mentioned concerning Satan (symbolized by the king of Tyre).
At this time Satan begins stage 6 of his plan to discredit God and destroy
God's plan for the promotion of the Messiah and the people of Israel.
Stage 1 is Satan's attack on man in the garden.
Stage 2 is Satan's attack on the line of the Messiah between
Adam and Jacob.
Stage 3 includes all Satan's attacks on the Messianic promise
and the line of Messiah as it was narrowed down
to the nation of Israel. (represented at Rev. 12:2)
Stage 4 includes all Satan's attacks on the Messiah at the
1st advent and is represented at Rev. 12:4-5
Stage 5 includes Satan's attacks on the church from AD 30
until he is kicked out of heaven (1 Pet. 5:8).
This is represented at Rev. 12:10.
"for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down,
who accuses them before our God day and night."
(This is viewed as his present activity)
Stage 6 includes Satan's attacks during the great tribulation and will
end with the Day of the LORD judgments which culminate in Satan being chained
in the abyss for 1000 years.
(Rev.20:1-3) Rev. 12:12-13
Stage 7 is carried out when Satan is released from the abyss at the end
of Messiah's 1000 year kingdom. Rev.20:7-10
So when Satan is kicked out, his primary concern is to attack the Messianic
people whom God has chosen to inherit the earthly kingdom.
And when the dragon saw
that he was thrown down to the earth,
he persecuted the woman
who gave birth to the child.
Prior to this, the "mystery of lawlessness" which is "already
at work" in the world (2 Thes. 2:7), had been restrained from such
intensity of oppressive action against Israel, by Michael, the guardian
angel of Israel. But once this battle takes place and Satan is kicked down
to the earth, Michael stands aside and now allows him to carry out his own
agenda as a final "last ditch" attempt to defeat the plan and
character of God.
"knowing that he has only a short time."
THE RESTRAINER of 2 THES. 2:6-7
2 Thes. 2.5-7
Do you not remember that while I was with you,
I was telling you these things?
And you know what restrains him now,
so that in his time he may be revealed.
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.
The key in this passage is to recognize that the information
regarding the man of lawlessness is viewed from a context concerning ISRAEL
and the temple of God in Jerusalem.
TRANSLATION and Commentary:
At 2 Thes. 2:6-7, there are two places where we must add some "helping"
words in order to smooth out what the Greek says.
1. In the first clause: And now you know -
A. What do they know? The Greek just says, "the (thing) restraining".
1. This is because we have a present active participle plus a NEUTER
definite article, so that it must be either as above or as, "the restraining."
2. Is Paul suggesting that they actually KNOW the restrainer? The Greek
seems to indicate that, as well as the NASB translation, "what restrains
3. What they know is based on v.5 where Paul reminds them that he was
telling them about these things while he was present with them.
4. The point being, that they know of the reality of this restraining
5. The word, "now" goes with the restraining. There is nothing
in the context that suggests their knowledge is something that is "now"
acquired, but rather knowledge about something that is NOW or presently
going on. Thus, what is restraining at the present time. This is further
confirmed by the contrast with the next clause, "that he may be revealed
IN HIS TIME." The idea of NOW is contrasted with a FUTURE, "in
B. Let me suggest the addition of either: "there is" or even
"that there is," or as the NASB renders it, "what."
Thus, "And (what is, or that there is) now the restraining, you know."
C. The neuter suggests that the focus is on the "function"
of restraining rather than the one who actually does it. Especially since
the next time the "idea" of restraint is mentioned (v.7) , the
masculine form is used. This sets up a contrast to indicate an amplification
beyond the "activity" of restraining to the "agent"
of restraint. Thus, the translation, "the restraining" is best.
D. The translation continues, "so that he can be revealed in his
time." This refers to the beast AT the point of his revealing, which
is the midpoint of the week when he takes his seat in the temple.
2. The last clause also requires an addition of words.
A. What seems to fit best is "there is."
B. But this time we have a present active participle, Masculine singular
WITH the masculine singular definite article (the) which requires it to
be translated as "the one restraining" or "the restrainer,"
as long as we make it a "person" and a "he" at that.
C. That is why the pronoun in the verb (becomes) must be rendered as
"he" because it corresponds with the masculine form of the restrainer.
D. This then goes beyond the "function" of restraining in v.
6 and speaks of the actual "person" who is doing the restraining.
E. The idea that the pronoun of the verb, "becomes (or comes),"
refers to a different subject than "restrainer" does not agree
with the context.
1. First, the nearest subject is what is in view UNLESS the context
indicates CLEARLY otherwise.
2. But the whole idea of "restraint" is EXPLAINED by the clause,
"comes out of the middle." It is that "coming out"
that constitutes the removal of the restraint and allows the revealing
of the man of lawlessness.
3. Notice the parallels:
a. V. 6, restrains - revealed
b. V. 7-8, restrains, comes out, revealed.
Once we establish that the restrainer IS indeed a "person"
we then need to determine "WHO" exactly he is and from what "middle"
he comes. Our choices are God (in general), The Spirit (specifically), Michael
the archangel, and anyone else who might "fit the bill."
The use of the masculine for restrainer, rules out the idea that it refers
to the church for the church is never spoken of as a "he."
OUT OF THE MIDDLE
Literally: Until HE (necessary now) becomes (or
comes) out from the midst (ek mesos).
The midst of what?
1. The middle of the activity which is described as "the mystery
of lawlessness" presently working in the world. This mystery of lawlessness
is Satan's plan to discredit and usurp God's character and plan and ultimately
replace Him as the God of the universe.
2. IN other words, the restrainer is in the
midst of the advance of
lawlessness, placing a restraint on the activities of Satan who is seeking to
actually take the place of God in the human race; usurp His authority and remove
Him from being a factor in the affairs of humanity (The 5 "I wills" of Isaiah
He is seeking to discredit God and prove Him incapable of ruling over His own
In order to do this he is seeking
to destroy God's chosen people, Israel, and Christ's ambassadors, the church.
So far, he has been "limited" in that endeavor, although both
groups have been severely oppressed since 30 AD.
3. But there will come a time in the plan of God when the restraint will
be removed, and the restrained one, knowing that his time is short will
endeavor to "pull no punches" as he tries to establish himself
as the fulfillment of the Messianic promises made to Abraham, Isaac and
4. In the meantime then, there is a very real and powerful restraint
and restrainer preventing the man of lawlessness from beginning his oppressive
reign which starts as an attack against God's chosen nation of Israel and
extends world-wide as this man seeks to establish his own Messianic kingdom
separate and independent from God.
It makes perfect sense that the restrainer comes out of the
the advance of lawlessness in the world. Not because he is a "part"
of that lawlessness, but because he is actively engaged in "holding
it in check" until the perfect timing within the plan of God.
God is not the restrainer, directly, for he is not going to come out
of the progress of those "lawless" events here on the earth.
NOT GOD HIMSELF
Point of logic: Kind of a "duhhh" point. Yes of course, God is in control of
everything and nothing will occur except as He permits it according to His own
wisdom and timing.
It is kind of a redundancy to say that the man of lawlessness will not be
revealed until God "becomes out of" the mystery of lawlessness. Kind of like,
"God will not allow the revealing until God allows it."
Point of logic: If the restrainer were God, why would he be spoken of in such an
And the Spirit is not coming out of those events nor out of the world.
NOT THE HOLY SPIRIT
There is no passage that indicates the Holy Spirit is restraining evil or Satan.
There is no indication that the Holy Spirit will leave the earth when the church
The Holy Spirit has always been "present." He is omnipresent.
He was in the world for John the baptizer. When John died, the Holy Spirit did
not leave the world.
The Spirit was present, in the world, WITH the disciples during Christ's
ministry. John 14:17, "He abides WITH you and will be IN you."
This refers to the personal indwelling of the Holy Spirit in each individual
The Spirit will not stop being WITH or IN the world when the church age
believers are raptured.
NOT THE CHURCH
The church is everywhere described as a feminine entity.
The restrainer is clearly described as a "HE who restrains."
The restrainer is a masculine being, not an entity.
The church can't stop Satan from "roaming about as a roaring lion, seeking
someone to devour," 1 Peter 5:8.
The church can't stop Satan from disguising himself as "an angel of light," 2
The church can't stop the ever progressing advance of evil in the world, as Paul
indicates, evil will progress "to the worse" (2 Tim. 3:13). Nor can it prevent
the advance of "deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons," (1 Tim. 4:1).
The New Testament teaches that church age believers combat Satan and his demons
on an individual level (Eph. 6:11-16; 1 Peter 5:8). No where does it teach that
the church has a collective influence on combating (restraining) Satan.
The church has not prevented the killing of multitudes of Christians throughout
How can we imagine that the church, as an entity, is somehow preventing Satan
from doing anything, let alone indwelling the man of lawlessness?
Since the Thessalonians are of the church, it seems strange to refer to the
church (the restrainer) as something other than they themselves are as part of
the church body.
What about Satan?
There is no passage that indicates Satan is holding himself in check or
restraining himself from doing all kinds of evil and lawlessness.
Of course, he cannot do anything without the allowance of God. Furthermore, he
cannot do anything that is outside the time parameters of God's plan.
Those time factors involve the progress of human history until God allows for
the establishment of the 7-year covenant of Daniel 9:27.
At 2 Thes. 2:7-9, the "he who restrains" of verse 7 is different from "the
activities of Satan" at verse 9.
Since Satan is doing everything he can to defeat the authority and influence of
God's kingdom, why would he hold himself back or retrain himself from all that
God allows as possible?
He did not restrain himself when he did EVERYTHING he could to destroy Job.
He was not restraining himself when he offered "everything" to Jesus.
He is not restraining himself as he "prowls about as a roaring lion, seeking
someone to devour."
He is not restraining himself from doing all that he can to DECEIVE people by
appearing as an angel of light.
But it is after the restraint is removed that "the activity of Satan" is
unleashed with "ALL power and signs and false wonders," and "ALL deceitfulness
Who of all that we find in scripture is actively involved in the spiritual
conflict between God and Satan who is shown to have a direct bearing on
"when" this oppression by the man of lawlessness begins?
There must be a reason why John tells us about the war in heaven and
the fact that Michael kicks Satan to the earth - which is what actually
precipitates the "revealing" of the man of lawlessness (Rev. 12:7-17).
Furthermore the "frame of reference" of these people would
know about Daniel 12. It would be included in what Paul taught (2 Thes.
2:5, "I was telling you these things).
At Daniel 12:1, "And at that time (the time of the end) Michael,
the great prince (guardian angel of Israel) who stands over (present function)
the sons of your people, will stand up (and away - implied, because of what
happens). And there will be a time of distress (the oppression by the man
of lawlessness) . . ."
This "standing up" perfectly corresponds with what Michael
does at Rev. 12 when he kicks Satan out to the earth at the mid point of
"And at that time (the time of the end) Michael,
the great prince (guardian angel of Israel)
who stands over (present function) the sons of your people,
will stand up (and away, implied, because of what happens).
And there will be a time of distress
(the oppression by the man of lawlessness) . "
THE RESTRAINER STEPS ASIDE
1. "Now at that time . . ."
That time refers to the general time of the end mentioned at Dan. 11:35,
which is the 70th week of Daniel. It does not refer to the specific event
mentioned in the previous verse but to the over-all general period of time
introduced at v. 11:35 as the "end time."
2. "Michael, the great prince who stands (as guardian) over the sons
of your people, will stand up (or ASIDE) . . ."
Michael is the guardian angel of Israel as demonstrated from Dan. 10:13
and 21 as well as the first part of Dan. 12:1. But the 2nd part of this
verse indicates that something different takes place. The rendering in most
translations for "stand aside" is stand up. The Hebrew word for
stand (Amadh) occurs two times in this verse, but with a different focus
the second time. The idea presented is that, Michael, who clearly "stands
over" Israel in a protective capacity, will cease that protective activity
so that the result will be a time of distress for Israel that is unparalleled
in history. The best way to summarize the significance here is to quote
from Marvin Rosenthal's, The PreWrath Rapture of the Church, page 258.
"But what does the Hebrew word for 'stand up'
Rashi, one of Israel's greatest scholars and one who had no
concern regarding the issue of the timing of the rapture
under discussion in this book, understood 'stand up' to
literally mean 'stand still.' The meaning, according to one
of Israel's greatest scholars, would be to 'stand aside' or
'be inactive.' Michael, the guardian of Israel, had earlier
fought for her (Dan. 10:13,21), but now this one 'who
standeth for the children of thy [Daniel's] people' would
stand still or stand aside. He would not restrain; he would
not hold down. The Midrash, commenting on this verse, says, "The Holy
One, Blessed be He, said to Michael, 'you are silent? You do not defend
Continuing at Dan. 12:1,
3. "And there will be a time of distress such as never
occurred since there was a nation until that time;. . ."
The cause of the time of distress is Satan, who "having great wrath,"
uses the man of lawlessness to oppress both Israel and the church.
"Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come
down to you, having great wrath . . ."
Notice at 2 Thes. 2, what results when this "restrainer"
V.4, "who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god
or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying
himself as being God."
V. 9-10, "the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan,
with all power and signs and false wonders and with all the deception of
wickedness . . ."
And this is what happens at Mat. 24:15 and 21,
"Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation
which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet,
standing in the Holy Place . . .
for then there will be a great tribulation. . ."
4. ". . and at that time your people, everyone who
is found written in the book, will be rescued."
Again, we have the phrase, "at that time,"
and it still refers to the general time period began at verse 11:35. However,
several things take place within this over-all time period and there is
a chronological progression in Daniel 12:1-3.
A. First is the standing aside of Michael
B. Then, the time of distress
C. Then the rescue which is the protection of the "woman"
at Rev. 12.
D. Then the resurrection in two general categories.
1. The just at the day of the Lord return of Jesus
2. The unjust after the millennial reign of Jesus.
E. Then the believers who are alive after the beast
is conquered "will shine brightly" in the kingdom (v. 3).
This rescue is in reference to faithful Israel who will be delivered from
the oppressive reign of the beast when Jesus returns at the Day of the LORD.
The nation will then undergo the final stage of God's purifying process
to prepare them to inherit the physical kingdom over which Jesus will reign
for 1000 years.
The church also will be delivered at this time, but through removal from
the earth by rapture. However, the deliverance of the church is not in view
at Daniel 12:1. Only the nation of Israel can be viewed as "your (Daniel's)
people." The church would not qualify under that designation.
So once he finds himself kicked out of heaven and limited now to the earth,
he feels the time of his demise approaching fast upon his heels and must
take major steps to escape his assigned destiny, the lake of fire (Mat.
"Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has
come down to you, having great wrath,
knowing that he has a short time."