Q. First let me thank you for providing such a great website. What a wealth of info you have for us here! I’ve been greatly blessed by reading and studying, and am currently enjoying your Revelation Studies.
My question is: Is Michael the Restrainer? I had always been taught that the Holy Spirit was the Restrainer, but recently I read that Michael was the restrainer. They referenced Daniel 12:1 in support of this. Here’s their quote.
This statement in the Bible tells us without doubt that it is not the Holy Spirit who restrains. Daniel 12:1;
At that time, Michael, prince and guardian of your people, shall arise. (remove his protection) It shall be a time unsurpassed in distress. At that time your people shall escape.
In 2 Thess. 2:7 it says, There is one who holds him back (the lawless one) until he be TAKEN out of the way.
The Holy Spirit is God and no one will TAKE him out of the way. But Michael, guardian of the people, is a created being under the command of GOD and can be taken or commanded to remove his protection. (End of quote.)
I don’t agree with this as in regards to Michael being the restrainer, but I’m not sure how to answer the person who made the above statement. I hope you can help me out.
A. There’s no Biblical justification for interpreting the actions of Michael in Daniel 12:1 as removing his protection. The Hebrew word translated “arise, or stand up” is used 521 times in the Old Testament but is never given that meaning. And Strong’s concordance does not even offer that meaning as an alternate. In fact it means just the opposite. Rather than removing his protection from something, He’s coming to the defense of Daniel’s people, Israel, to provide protection for them during the Great Tribulation. The view you’ve quoted completely reverses the meaning of the verse.
And yes it happens sometime before the beginning of the Great Tribulation, around the middle of Daniel’s 70 th week because the Jews are not promised escape from the end times judgments but protection through them. Daniel 12 has nothing to do with the Holy Spirit’s role in the Church but rather Michael’s role as Israel’s defender.
An as an aside, Michael didn’t even dare to accuse Satan during their dispute over the body of Moses (Jude 9). But he’s going to single handedly restrain Satan’s influence in the world? It doesn’t make sense.
There’s also no justification for interpreting the word “taken” in 2 Thes 2:7 as if it’s an act of force, or against the Holy Spirit’s will. In fact the primary use of the Greek word is “to begin to be” showing in effect that the Holy Spirit removes Himself. In 678 uses, this is the only place the Greek word is translated taken.
In short everything you’ve quoted is the interpreter’s attempt to twist the true meaning of Scripture to match his or her preconceived idea. It is true that the Holy Spirit is never directly named in 2 Thes. 2 But the only force restraining evil in the world today is clearly the will of God, expressed by the Holy Spirit resident in the church. All attempts to make the scriptures say anything else fail miserably.