Bible Question:

Why are people confusing the Holy Spirit with the Restrainer, the Archangel, and Michael? It is the Restrainer (keeping Satan restrained) that will be called to Heaven and not the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is in each and everyone of us and it is a matter of whether or not we choose to acknowledge it. Some people call it our conscience.

Bible Answer:

There are three parts to this question. The first part is who is the Holy Spirit? The second part is in whom does the Holy Spirit live? The last part is who is the restrainer?

Who Is The Holy Spirit?

The Spirit of God is not a force or an impersonal, abstract power. He is a person who has emotion, a will and intelligence. He is known as the Spirit, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, and by many other names. The Spirit is never referred to as “it” in scripture but as “He” or “Him” (John 14:16, 17, 26; 15:26). In the table below are some of the characteristics of the Holy Spirit which show He is a person.

Eph. 4:30Spirit can be grieved.1 Thess 1:6Spirit has joy.
John 15:26Spirit helps us.1 Thess 5:19Spirit can be quenched.
Acts 10:19-21Spirit can speak to us.2 Peter 1:20-21Spirit moved men to write scripture.
Hebrews 2:4Spirit has a will and gives spiritual gifts to us.1 Cor. 2:13Spirit is a teacher of scripture.

Now that sounds like a person because He is a person.

The Holy Spirit is also God. Acts 5:3-5 is one important passage that proves this. Here we are told that a couple in the early church sold some land they owned, kept part of the money for themselves, and then went to church and claimed they were donating all of it. It was a lie. So, Peter says,

Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit, and to keep back some of the price of the land? While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not under your control? Why is it that you have conceived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men, but to God. (NASB) Acts 5:3-5

Peter says Ananias lied to the Holy Spirit (v. 3) and then he adds something remarkable, “You have not lied to men, but to God.” Peter makes it clear that the Holy Spirit and God are the same. Some other passages that show us the Holy Spirit is God are Hebrews 9:14, Job 33:4, Ps. 139:7, Isaiah 40:13-14, and Matthew 12:31. The Holy Spirit is not our conscience.

In Whom Does The Holy Spirit Live?

The book of Romans was written to the saints or to Christians (Rom. 1:7). Later in the book God says this,

However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. (NASB) Romans 8:9

But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who indwells you. (NASB) Romans 8:11

Romans 8:9 says that either the Holy Spirit lives in you or He does not. He does not live in everyone. He only lives in Christians.

Who is the Restrainer?

The restrainer is mentioned in 2 Thessalonians.

Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, 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. Do you not remember that while I was still with you, I was telling you these things? And you know what restrains him now, so that in his time he may be revealed. (NASB) 2 Thessalonians 2:3-6

The passage says the “restrainer” restrains the “man of lawlessness” or the “son of destruction.” The “man of lawlessness” is the Anti-Christ, a person who will some day show up on the pages of history as a world power. Only he is evil. His power can only come from Satan (2 Cor. 4:4). Who can oppose Satan? Only God has the power – the power to oppose this man. So it is the Holy Spirit who will restrain him.

You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. (NASB) 1 John 4:4

Conclusion:

The Holy Spirit is the guarantee that we are Christians. He lives in us, teaches us, helps us, prays with us, gives spiritual gifts, and empowers us. God has not left us alone to live as Christians on our own. I thank God for His goodness and love.