Who is the Restrainer & Man of Sin in 2 Thessalonians?

Author: Michele at ScriptureStudy.Guide
Posted: September 20, 2022
. Updated September 22, 2022.

The book of Second Thessalonians was written by Paul in the early 50’s AD. This study will cover chapter 2 which you can read on Bible Gateway here.

2 Thessalonians 2 is translated to read as if Paul is giving a warning about the second coming of Jesus that will come after a “restrainer” figure is taken away, causing the Antichrist to appear, but that is not at all what is happening in this chapter.

Paul is warning the Thessalonians of the apostasy that is within their church, and of the coming son of perdition that will rise up from within their church. He also assures the redeemed that they will not suffer the wrath that is coming on the church because Jesus Christ’s kingdom is here within them.

Verses 1 & 2

Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, 2That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.

2 Thessalonians 2:1-2

Paul explains in 2 Thessalonians 2:2 that the people should not be troubled from what he is about to tell them because the day of Christ is at hand. That phrase “at hand” is ACTIVE tense and also means “present” defined as “time now passing.” The proper translation would have been “is here” or “is present.” Note: The phrase “at hand” here in 2 Thessalonians 2:2 (G1764) is not the same Strong’s word as what is in Matthew 4:17 & 10:7 “at hand” (G1448).

The “day” of Christ being present is everyday since the cross as the church age is ONE Sabbath (details in this article, section titled “The Church Age is ONE Sabbath”).

Paul is only declaring that the kingdom of Christ is present within them…. he is not speaking of a future coming of Christ, but of the present spiritual kingdom where Christ is reigning as King inside each individual saint.

Verse 3

Let no man deceive you by any means: for (that day shall not come), except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

2 Thessalonians 2:3

Paul tells the Thessalonians in verse 3 that they will not be deceived if they heed what he is about to tell them. He warns that there will first come a falling away (this is apostasy/lawlessness among their church), then “that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.” The Greek word for “then” here is poorly translated into English as “and.” Paul is proclaiming that they will experience apostasy of the church — false teachers spreading a false gospel — but the son of perdition is to come later.

In the KJV, the translators added the phrase “that day shall not come” to verse 3. This phrase is italicized because it is not in the original Greek. Paul is NOT warning the church of Thessalonica about the second coming of the Lord — he is warning them of a false Christianity that is moving in their church, but they should not worry because they are in Christ, even if every other member of the church is not in Christ.

Paul is explaining that each church member is now judged and reprimanded by God on an individual basis and no longer as a collective group as it was in the Old Testament under the Old Covenant.

Verses 4 & 5

Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. 5Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?

2 Thessalonians 2:4-5

Verse 2:4 gives us attributes of the man of sin:

  • Exalts himself above all that is called God
  • Exalts himself to be worshipped
  • He sits as God in the temple of God showing himself as God

I have always had a problem with this verse saying that the antichrist sits in the “temple of God” because the physical bodies of the elect are God’s temple in this church age (1 Corinthians 3:16-17 & 6:19-20; Ephesians 2:2; 2 Corinthians 2:16). God is no longer in buildings made with hands (Acts 7:48, 17:24). So I finally took the time and looked at this verse in the Greek and it’s clear to me now. Verse 5 actually reads:

“He opposes and raises himself over all laid forth by God or worshipped, so too he’s into (entered/reached) the dwelling of God to sit down and shew himself that he is God.”

In the Greek, we can see that the antichrist has entered the SPIRITUAL dwelling of God which is the hearts and minds of men where God lays forth His laws. It also references the tens of millions of physical bodies of the martyrs (the 3rd temple) who were murdered by the Roman Catholic Church from 538-1798.

This verse does not reference a brick and mortar church house where the Pope parks his behind on a literal throne, but rather a false Christianity that is accepted by the deceived masses and has caused them all to receive the spiritual mark of the beast (details here). Antichrist’s false Christianity is SITTING DOWN — has parked itself — in the hearts and minds of men… there is now no longer room for God’s laws within those who are deceived.

Verse 6

And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.

2 Thessalonians 2:6

Verse 2:6 is where Paul is explaining that the man of sin is held down until it is time for him to be revealed. The translated phrase “what withholdeth” in the KJV actually reads “[he’s] held down” in the original Greek (“he” being implied here because of the second “he” in the verse).

Verse 6 reads:

“And now ye know that he’s held down that he might be revealed in his time.” Not in Paul’s time (50 AD), but in the son of perdition’s time (476 AD).

Verse 7

For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth (will let), until he be taken out of the way.

2 Thessalonians 2:7

Verse 2:7, Paul is explaining that the mystery of lawlessness/unrighteousness is ALREADY AT WORK in the church of the Thessalonians. So false teachers preaching false doctrines were already present in the church in 50 AD.

In the original Greek, 2 Thessalonians 2:7 reads as follows:

“For the mystery of lawlessness/unrighteousness is already at work, but held down until he’s come into being from the midst” (or from “among” the church).

In the KJV translation, 2 Thessalonians 2:7b reads:

“…..only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.” This is nothing at all like the Greek text.

The correct interpretation in the Greek is “…..but held down until he’s come into being from the midst.”

Paul is explaining that the man of sin, the son of perdition, the antichrist, will be coming from within their church. He is not talking about a restrainer being “taken out of the way.” Rather, he is explaining that God is holding down the lawless one until God’s appointed time for him to appear within the church.

Interestingly, the Thessalonica of 50 AD is still in the same place today. You can see it’s location by searching for “Thessaloniki, Greece” on Google Maps. That location was a Roman den of pagans in Paul’s day.

Who is this Restrainer?

The word “restrainer” is not found anywhere in the bible. It is just a reference given to whatever is behind the action of “held down,” which is God’s power and sovereign will.

Studying history can explain a great deal of biblical prophecy.

According to the historicist view, the power that indirectly prevented the son of perdition from appearing was the Roman Empire who was ruling at the time that Paul wrote 2 Thessalonians. Because the Emperors ruled Rome, the governmental seat of control was not available to be occupied by the Papacy until Rome collapsed.

The Man of Sin’s Identity

When the restraining Roman Empire fell in 476 AD, the Papacy took governmental control and fulfilled the traits of the antichrist given in 2 Thessalonians 2:4 (details here and here).

Verse 8

And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:

2 Thessalonians 2:8

Verse 8 explains that the Wicked/the Popes through the church age will be destroyed at Jesus’ second coming.

The Roman beast developed in stages (explanation here).

The Roman Empire was the Revelation 12 beast (source here).

The Roman Empire and the Roman Catholic Church make up the Sea Beast of Revelation 13 (info here).

The Jesuits – the white and black Popes since 2013 – are the 2 horns on the Revelation 13 Earth Beast which are the false prophets who cause all to worship Babylon/the Sea Beast (details here). There have been false prophets all throughout the church age, but the end-time 2-horn world ruling power are the Zionist Jesuits who have also taken total control of the Roman Catholic Church.

Verse 9

(Even him,) whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,

2 Thessalonians 2:9

Verse 9 is explaining that this son of perdition, the Papacy, will have “all power and signs and lying wonders.” This phrase mirrors 2 other verses in the bible which are speaking of a different event, the 70 AD destruction of Jerusalem.

In Matthew 24:24 and Mark 13:22, Jesus explains that there will arise false Christs and false prophets that will show great signs and wonders. In those two passages, He is speaking specifically of the 70 AD Jerusalem temple destruction by the Romans in these accounts (details here).

But in both the 70 AD and 476 AD accounts, the one who shows power, signs and wonders is Rome.

Verse 10

And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

2 Thessalonians 2:10

Verse 10 says those who received not the truth will perish. This applies to the apostate Jewish rabbis (the gospel went out first to them), and also to the pagan Romans who received not the gospel from Paul and the church.

Verses 11 & 12

And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

2 Thessalonians 2:11

This verse says that God sent them a strong delusion that they should believe a lie so that they might be damned for not believing the truth and taking pleasure in unrighteousness. This also applies to both the apostate Jews and the pagan Romans. There is no longer Jew nor Greek after the cross. All those who love unrighteousness will believe a lie and be damned.

Verses 13-17

Paul closes this chapter with encouragement to those whom the Lord has called out from before the foundation of the world, to be receivers of the gospel, of salvation, and of sanctification of the Spirit.

13But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: 14 Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. 15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle. 16 Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given (us) everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, 17 Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.

2 Thessalonians 2:13-17

In Summary

The restrainer in 2 Thessalonians 2 was God’s sovereign will which was shown in the Roman Emperors whose position prevented the Roman Catholic Church’s Papacy from taking governmental power until 476.

There is no holding down (“restrainer”) of the man of sin any longer because the antichrist has appeared and showed his full power when he started the 1,260-year Great Tribulation in 538 AD (details here and here).

The Jesuit black and white Popes are actively carrying out their Zionist apostate Jewry NWO plan to bring the entire world under Communism (their entire process is explained within this article).

But as Paul pointed out, we are currently in the spiritual kingdom of God through Christ Jesus and need not worry — all is in God’s perfect will and He loves His children. Under the New Covenant of grace, we are now judged as individual souls and not with the collective.

For help in studying your bible in the original Hebrew and Greek, a how-to is here. God bless!

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