The Holy Spirit is by no means a silent partner in the Godhead. Before Jesus was tortured and killed, He assured the disciples that He would send the Comforter—the Holy Spirit, also called the Helper. In John 16:7-10 (ESV), He said, “Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send Him to you. And when He comes, He will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: concerning sin because they do not believe in me; concerning righteousness because I go to the Father and you will see me no longer; concerning judgment because the ruler of this world is judged.”
How valuable it is to have the Spirit of God comforting and helping us as we face the evils of this world. The devil’s purpose is to dominate the world and destroy God’s power, so we see the evil of unparalleled proportions mounting now. Along with comforting and helping, the Holy Spirit is also restraining the devil's work on earth. He is called the “Restrainer” for this very reason, as He works to restrain the Antichrist and his efforts to mock and destroy the Lord’s plan for salvation and life.
The spirit of Antichrist is on the move throughout the earth as wars, rumors of wars, famine, disease, and poverty try to snuff out the breath and power of God. It will not succeed, for the Lord’s excellent battle plan against satan will yield ultimate victory over evil. 2 Thessalonians 2:6-8 (ESV) declares this: And you know what is restraining him [Antichrist] now so that he may be revealed in his time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only He who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of His mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of His coming.
The Holy Spirit holds back and hinders the full power of satan, which, when unleashed, will be more horrible than anything we have ever witnessed, past or present. That reign of terror will not be fully released on the earth until the Restrainer is gone. Although the world is very dark and evil now, it will get darker at that time.
We who are believers in Christ will be spared of enduring that time of tribulation, for just before complete darkness and evil descend on the earth, the Lord Jesus will snatch us away to be with Him. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord (1 Thessalonians 5:16-17 NASB). “Caught up” is the Greek “harpazo,” meaning to arise, catch up, pluck, pull.
Satan’s plan of evil destruction will be unleashed, and the Restrainer will no longer be on the earth. Evil power will have no boundaries, as the Helper leaves with the taking out of Christians from the earth. The Restrainer leaves the earth at that time because, in the remarkable plan of God, the Holy Spirit lives within those who love Jesus. Mormons, Muslims, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Wiccans, and all unbelievers do not have the presence of the Holy Spirit in them. The Apostle Paul explains this phenomenon in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NLT), where he says, “Don't you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.”
We are the temple or home of the Holy Spirit. Wherever WE go, HE goes. When a person accepts the Lordship of Jesus, the Holy Spirit moves into His new “home” and begins to change the new believer into His likeness and image—affecting his thoughts, words, and actions. Our Helper enables us to gain power over sin and become effective witnesses to others who do not know the Savior.
When the Lord takes us to be with Him, there will be a mass exodus of the Holy Spirit from the earth as we leave. The final battle between Jesus Christ and satan (which we will get to watch!) will occur after a period of intense, unthinkable evil occurs on the earth. The rumblings of it are more apparent every day as the enemy moves his players into place.
Why doesn’t the Lord pull the plug and be done with all this evil? He keeps the Restrainer here, in us, because He doesn’t want anyone to perish and, by not knowing Him, go to hell. The Lord isn't really being slow about His promise, as some people think. No, He is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed but wants everyone to repent (2 Peter 3:9-10 NLT).
Wow, oh wow. What exciting times we live in! Does the Holy Spirit have a home in you? Your loved ones? Your doctors and friends? What about your mailman or mayor? Now is the time to tell others about Christ and make sure they will enjoy Heaven with you. No one knows when the last soul will be saved, and the Lord descends with a shout, while the voice of the archangel and trumpet of God are heard, to call us to be snatched away forever.
Until then, the Restrainer will hold back the full force of the enemy’s evil while at the same time comfort and help us in doing the Lord’s work. Thank God for the Restrainer! Thank God for the Comforter!
© 2023, Chris Custer Werre