Amir Tsarafti: What is the Restrainer?

Amir Tsarfati Bible Bite: What is the Restrainer?

“In this world, we are the representative of God on earth, in Him we are to live and move and have our being. When they see us, they see Jesus. When they see Jesus, they see the Father. You understand, our very existence here is the restraining power here in this world for judgment not yet to come. First Corinthians 6:19. Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit? Who is in you, whom you have from God and you are not your own?

Second Peter 3:8-9, “But beloved, do not forget this one thing. That with the Lord, one is a thousand years and a thousand years is one day. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise as some count slackness, but is long suffering towards us.” This is why we’re still here. But He’s not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. He is keeping us here. He is not removing us from this world as of yet because He’s long suffering. He is not willing that any should perish because the minute we are removed judgment comes and people will perish.” 

Many in our world today are longing for and seeking to bring about a utopian society that they believe can be accomplished by the removal of all types of authority, moral restrictions or boundaries. They believe that when everyone does what is right in their own eyes, then the world will be as it should…as long as everyone agrees with them.

There are two major problems with this kind of thinking. The first is what we just mentioned. They want everyone to be able to believe and do what is right in their own eyes – making them free – unless you’re a Jew or Christian.

The second problem is this:

Jeremiah 17:9 KJV – “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”

The assumption that when people are not restricted by the boundaries of religious beliefs or government authority, that people will be happier and the world will be a better place, is false. The biggest problem with that line of thinking is that is assumes mankind is basically good, and it is not.

Psalm 14:2-3 KJV – “The Lord looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.”

Romans 3:10-18 KJV – “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: Their feet are swift to shed blood: Destruction and misery are in their ways: And the way of peace have they not known: There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

Paul, the author of Romans, and King David, the author of Psalm 14, wrote 1000 years apart and the condition of man had not improved since King David’s time. As a matter of fact, Paul’s addition of quotes from Psalm 5:9, 140:3, 10:7, Isaiah 59:7-8 and Psalm 36:1 in his letter to the Romans would indicate that Jeremiah’s words were as true in Paul’s day as they were in Jeremiah’s. This means that man’s wickedness was growing worse. 

The idea that the absence of any moral boundaries will bring about a better world couldn’t be further from the truth.

2 Thessalonians 2:6-7 KJV – “And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.”

The word “restrain” means; to hold back or hinder the progress of. What a thing to consider in times such as these. As we see evil men growing worse and the love of many growing cold, the advance of loveless hearts and evil actions is being held back by the Holy Spirit working through the church. He is also holding back and hindering the progress of the rise of the antichrist to power, who is described as the lawless one.

While many would consider the absence of the church on earth to be a blessing, the holding back of lawlessness that will be removed when the church is raptured will usher in a time like the world has never seen. It will be a time of unparalleled evil when Satan gives his power to a man who will deceive the world into following and even worshipping him. A time when no one can buy or sell without a mark that signifies allegiance to the satanically empowered “man of sin.” A time when anyone who defies his authority (keeping the word of God and having the testimony of Jesus) will be beheaded for their “crimes.” 

We are already seeing evil called good and good called evil. Only the Holy Spirit’s purifying and preserving work through the Church is holding back complete and utter lawlessness. 

The importance of this fact cannot be overstated as it reminds us of our role and responsibility in this world. We are the light of the world. Light meaning bearers of truth and representatives of righteousness. We are the salt of the earth, which means we’re the world’s preserving and purifying influence. When Jesus identified us as such in Matthew 5:13-15, He did not say we’re “a” salt of the earth or “a” light in the world. He said we’re the world’s only source of truth and purity.

When we’re removed, lawlessness will no longer be restrained and the man of sin will rise to power soon after. Having said we’re the salt of the earth and the light of the world, Jesus then said this:

Matthew 5:16 KJV – “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

There is coming a day when the light of the world will go out (figuratively speaking) and a time of darkness like never before seen will fill the earth. Time is running out to let our light shine before mankind. The lawless one, the man of sin, the son of perdition, is most certainly alive today and waiting for his hour to come. The only reason he cannot rise to power is because the Church is still here and the Holy Spirit is still working through the saints, using their good works to bring glory to the Father in heaven.

With the unprecedented advancement of evil in our day, let us also remember the admonition of Paul to the Galatians:

Galatians 6:9 KJV – “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”

There is still time to bring God glory here on earth, but it’s running out. Tell someone about Jesus today. The Lord of the Harvest is still reaping souls through the Church today, but we’ll soon be taken out of the way to forever be with the Lord.

Even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus!