Holy Spirit (Restrainer) Taken Out of The Way…

The RestrainerWhat Happens After the Holy Spirit (Restrainer) is Taken Out of the Way

I had someone comment on DTW and ask what happens when the Holy Spirit (Restrainer) is removed from earth, what happens during the Tribulation.  He said;  “If your PTR doctrine was sound, how can anyone become a child of God if the Holy Spirit is taken away? Never! But still PTR doctrine indicate that the Holy Spirit is taken away.”    [DTW note:  PTR stands for Pre-Tribulation Rapture]

DTW reply:

How were people saved in the Old Testament? Does New Apostolic Reformation teaching imply that no one was saved until the Holy Spirit (the Restrainer) came to indwell believers at Pentecost 2000+ years ago?

Israel and the Old Testament

Israel’s salvation was individual and national. They believed by faith based on blood sacrifice that foreshadowed the True sacrifice of their Messiah (Jesus Christ) to come; this salvation was presented to them as an inheritance, a salvation that they would be receiving in the future. They also awaited for a future salvation of the nation of Israel at Jesus’ Second Coming. In the Old Testament, the Israelites had to build the Temple of God, the Holy Spirit did not indwell in them as a temple. The Israelites of the Old Testament never had the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, yet when they believed by faith, their salvation was by the working of the Holy Spirit.

John 3:5-6 5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

Who is the Restrainer?

Now, Pre-Trib Rapture doctrine is sound because quite simply put, the Holy Spirit who is the Restrainer, is removed from earth right before the Tribulation starts;  to give Satan the freedom to release the antichrist on mankind, so that he can make himself known.  The Holy Spirit is the Restrainer because:

  • He is the 3rd person of the Godhead.
  • He is a Person and He is a Spiritual being.
  • He is more powerful than Satan and can keep him in his place.   (1 John 4:4)
    • The Holy Spirit even restrained Satan in the Old Testament.

Isaiah 59:19  So shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him.

The Holy Spirit’s ministry during our Church dispensation is to: empower each believer as it was in the OT and as it will be during the Tribulation. The big difference is that during the Church dispensation (the Bride of Christ) the Holy Spirit indwells each believer, each Saint’s body is a temple of God (1 Corinthians 6:19), and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit joins all Saints together in union as the Bride of Christ:  the Temple of God.  In the OT, the Temple was built by Israel, sacrifices took place in the Temple. Now in the Church dispensation, the Bride of Christ indwelt by the Holy Spirit is the Temple of God and Jesus Christ who is the Lamb died on the cross for our sins.

The church has taught us incorrectly that salvation equates to the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in a believer’s life.  If this is true then no one in the OT could have been saved as the Holy Spirit never indwelt believers, He was however WITH THEM.   And The Holy Spirit will be WITH believers during the Tribulation and empower them.

The Pre-Tribulation Rapture

When the Bride of Christ is ‘caught up’ to meet Jesus Christ in the air. The Holy Spirit who is the Restrainer who abides in (indwells) the Church then leaves the earth. Repeat: The Church leaves the earth. But we must NEVER VIEW this as though the Holy Spirit leaving the earth, or that the Holy Spirit is not omnipresent or that He becomes inoperative, or that the Holy Spirit has now left the earth permanently.  Never!  This is a lie that people who are against a pre-tribulation rapture love to promote.

The Holy Spirit’s who is the Restrainer, His office during the Church dispensation was that of indwelling the believer. Once the rapture takes place and the Restrainer who indwells the Church has been taken out of the way in a split second – a new dispensation will start, the Holy Spirit then stays, He will remain, He is eternal, omniscient and omnipresent.

Psalm 139:7-13  “Where shall I go from your spirit? or where shall I flee from your presence?”

Faith as always and the Holy Spirit

During the Tribulation salvation will be solely based on FAITH as it was in the Old and New Testament.  Hebrews 11:1-40 makes that very clear. Faith is based on the cross, the once and for all sacrifice of Jesus Christ for our sins. The Holy Spirit who was the Restrainer during the Church dispensation will not indwell believers during the Tribulation as He did during the church age. Believers will however still be born again during the Tribulation just as believers were during the Old Testament and the Holy Spirit will be with those during the Tribulation as He was with a child of God during the church dispensation.  Tribulation Saints will not be without the Holy Spirit! They will be empowered!

“The special presence of the Spirit as the indweller of saints will terminate abruptly at the parousia as it began abruptly at Pentecost.  Once the body of Christ has been caught away to heaven, the Spirit’s ministry will revert back to what he did for believers during the OT period. . . .  His function of restraining evil through the body of Christ (John 16:7-11; 1 John 4:4) will cease similarly to the way he terminated his striving in the days of Noah (Gen. 6:3).  At that point the reins will be removed from lawlessness and the Satanically inspired rebellion will begin.  It appears that to katechon (‘what is holding back’) was well known at Thessalonica as a title for the Holy Spirit on whom the readers had come to depend in their personal attempts to combat lawlessness”. (1 Thess. 1:6; 4:8; 5:19; 2 Thess. 2:13).  —Robert L. Thomas, 2 Thessalonians, in The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, Vol. 11, ed. Frank E. Gaebelein (Grand Rapids:  Zondervan, 1978), pp. 324-25.

Outpouring of the Holy Spirit during the Tribulation

In Joel 2:28-32 it explains the salvation of Israel with regards to the ministry of the Holy Spirit during the Tribulation before the 2nd Coming of Jesus Christ.

Joel 2:28-32 28 And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: 29 And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit. 30 And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. 31 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come. 32 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.

John 3:1-21 is another passage where Jesus speaks to Nicodemus and explains that there will be salvation during the tribulation and that it will be the work of the Holy Spirit.

John 3:1-21 1 There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: 2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. 3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. 4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? 5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. 8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. 9 Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be? 10 Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things? 11 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. 12 If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? 13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven. 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: 15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. 21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.


It is important to note that during the coming Tribulation, as it was in the Old Testament, that even though the Holy Spirit did not indwell believers, people were born again, just as we are today.  Salvation of all believers depends solely on the work of Jesus Christ on the cross and only the Holy Spirit can baptize you INTO Jesus Christ by faith and faith alone in his finished work on the cross.  We are in a New Covenant, and it will remain so even though the dispensation changes at the time the Tribulation starts.  To believe by faith in the blood of the Lamb, that being Jesus Christ and his saving work on the cross, salvation will be made effect by the working of the Holy Spirit from the beginning of time (Genesis) right until the end of time (Revelation).

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Deborah (Discerning the World)

Deborah Ellish is the author of the above article. Discerning the World is an internet Christian Ministry based in Johannesburg South Africa. Tom Lessing and Deborah Ellish both own Discerning the World. For more information see the About this Website page below the comments section.

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Hi Debs,
Found the following on a Messianic Jewish site….

‘Although Noah’s entire family is saved physically, each one still has to choose the way of spiritual salvation—a transformation of the heart. Shem and Yafet show a right heart and right spirit, while their brother Ham, shows that his heart needs to be regenerated.

This curse over Ham did not end with him, but carried on down the generations.

‘One of Ham’s sons was Cush. His son, Nimrod, began the kingdom of Babel (modern day Iraq). Nimrod also built the wicked city of Nineveh, to which God sent Jonah to preach repentance.

We may also unknowingly carry curses upon our lives from generational sins of our family before us.’

Is this really true?

Have heard some such statements in the past, but did not think that in Christ, that is possible……..

Is there something amiss in how we should understand Scripture?

Your or Tom’s comments will be appreciated.


Hi Debs,
thanks for the reply..
This may not be the correct section to pose the following, but here goes..

1John 1:7, says that the blood of Jesus ‘cleanses’, us from sin…we are justified, we have redemption,
but to be ‘covered’, is there any Biblical evidence of/for this statement?
Personally I have not read that….does the fact that He shed His Blood for us…Heb9:22, mean that we are now ‘under ‘the blood…being covered.?
there are churches that actually preach this way…..and they ‘plead’ the Blood of Christ on most everything.
Is there an article that you or Tom may have written on this subject?


Hi Deborah, I am curious.

What Scripture in Revelation indicates that the church will be raptured?
What Scripture in Revelation indicates that the Holy Spirit will be taken away, so that God;s wrath can be pured out on the earth?


Hi Deborah, Not sure why you ask this at all, as I was only asking a simple straightforward question.

To answer you, yes I am born again, dedicated follower of Jessu Christ, and evangelist for last 10 years.
I have committed my life to Jesus to be His disciple, and left my luxurious job as Operations manager to work for Him full time.
When I study the Bible, the Holy Spirit leads me in EVERYTHING, no other opinnions count.

Can you please answer it, as I could not find ANY scripture in Revelation that the Church would be pre raptured.

Secondly I could also not find ANY scripture in Revelation that the Holy Spirit is taken away in the great tribulation.

That is why I come to you to please help me.

Tom Lessing (Discerning the World)


Jesus promised, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. (John 8:32). He also said, “Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.” (Joh 14:17).

How is it possible that someone who claims that the Spirit of TRUTH indwells him believes the lie that Satan (the father of all lies) is the Restrainer? The indwelling Spirit of God will never teach you such lies because He CANNOT lie. He is the SPIRIT of TRUTH. I suggest that you do the following.

Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? (2 Co 13:5)


[DELETED by DTW – As I said, you don’t want to understand, you want to argue with us – I have told you to read our articles that answer your questions.]

Tom (Discerning the World)

Hi Johan,

Thus saith the Lord,

The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own sin. (Deu 24:16)


Hi Tom, Deborah,

To me, it makes more sense that the Restrainer is the Big Angel Micheal in the prophet Daniel 12 v 1. The Bible does not say exactly who this Restrainer is. It remains speculation for the believers of today as to who is the Restrainer. But the believers in Jesus time did actually know who was holding back the lawless one.  :read: Would be nice to know, though.


Are you familiar with Scofield and Darby being Freemasons? The Scofield Bible and theologians are teaching a Pre-Trib Rapture theory which goes with the Left Behind Hollywood movies. The Lord has shown us the FEMA Camps, etc and Revelation 20:4. The test will be the RFID chip Revelation 13:16-18. The Holy Spirit has shown me will be here and be tested if we are still alive to reject the Mark of the Beast. God bless you Jesus name.

Tom Lessing (Discerning the World)

HI Sheri,

The Gospel, including the Pre-Trib Rapture, was revealed to Paul of Tarsus in a revelation he had of Jesus Christ (Galatians 1:11-12). Were they also satanically inspired Freemasons?

Read this article


It will not let me sign up for e mails, why?


Glad I found this site.Great work. God Bless.


Deb, Great work on the Pre-trib rapture. I’m stunned by it.


Deb, did you know of this?
by Grant Jeffrey
(October 5, 1948 – May 11, 2012)
“For all the saints and Elect of God are gathered, prior to the Tribulation that is to come, and are taken to the Lord lest they see the confusion that is to overwhelm the world because of our sins”
– Ephraem the Syrian, A.D. 373
 I am always delighted when God leads me to new information that confirms His Word. In my ongoing research into recent archaeolological discoveries and into writings of Early Church leaders I have made several exciting new discoveries that I want to share with my readers.
In this chapter we will explore a number of interesting discoveries about the following subjects: the finding of a teaching about the pre-Tribulation Rapture from the first centuries of the Early Church; the archaeological discoveries of the tombs of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus that prove the historical accuracy of the Gospels; and the proof that miraculous healings, raising of the dead, and the charismatic gifts were common among believers during the first three centuries following the resurrection of Christ.
The Pre-Tribulation Rapture Was Taught by the Early Church
Obviously, the truth about the timing of the Rapture will ultimately be found only in Scripture. The Protestant Reformation was based essentially on this return to the authority of the Bible. The Latin phrase Sola Scriptura, meaning “Scripture Alone,” became the rallying cry of the reformers who ignored centuries of tradition and church councils in there insistence that truth could only be discovered in the Word of God. While the ultimate resolution of this discussion must be based on our interpretation of Scripture, it is important to answer the errors of our opponents who disparage “the blessed hope” of the Rapture with misinformation about the modem rediscovery of the truth about the pre-Tribulation Rapture.
Many post-tribulationist writers have attacked the pre-Tribulation Rapture doctrine by claiming that it cannot be true because no Church writer or reformer ever taught this doctrine until approximately 170 years ago. While the real question for sincere students of Scripture must be whether or not the Bible truly teaches this doctrine, the argument that no one ever saw this “truth” throughout the 1,800 years of Church history has been very effective, causing many Christians to abandon their belief in the pre-Tribulation Rapture. The only problem with their argument is that they are totally wrong.
Many contemporary writers claim that the pre-Tribulation Rapture theory first originated around A.D. 1820. They ascribe the theory’s initial creation to either Emmanuel Acurnza (Ben Ezra, 1812), Edward Irving (1816), or Margaret Macdonald (1830), and finally to John Darby (1830). For example, Dave MacPherson in The Incredible Cover-Up, written in 1975, stated, “Margaret Macdonald was the first person to teach a coming of Christ that would precede the days of Antichrist.”‘ Before 1830 Christians had always believed in a single future coming, that the catching up of I Thessalonians 4 will take place after the Great Tribulation of Matthew 24 at the glorious coming of the Son of Man when He shall send His angels to gather together all of His elect.” Reverend John Bray, in The Origin of the Pre- Tribulation Rapture Teaching (1980), declared, “People who are teaching the pre-Tribulation Rapture today are teaching something that never was taught until 1812…. Not one of those Early Church fathers taught a pre-Tribulation Rapture…. I make the offer of five hundred dollars to anybody who will find a statement, a sermon, article in a commentary, or anything, prior to 1812 that taught a twophase coming of Christ separated by a stated period of time, such as the pre-Tribulation rapturists teach.
Those writers, among others who despise the teaching of the pre-Tribulation Rapture, dogmatically assert that it was taught for the first time in 1830 by John Darby and the Plymouth Brethren or one of the other individuals mentioned above.
A number of these authors will have to drastically revise the next edition of there books based on two remarkable textual discoveries that conclusively prove that a number of Christian teachers, centuries before John Darby rediscovered this biblical teaching, clearly taught that the Rapture would occur before the tribulation period. During the summer of 1994, after more than a decade of searching, I discovered several fascinating manuscripts that contain clear evidence of the teaching of the pre-Tribulation Rapture in the Early Church.
Ephraem’s Teaching on the Pre-Tribulation Rapture
“For all the saints and Elect of God are gathered, prior to the Tribulation that is to come, and are taken to the Lord lest they see the confusion that is to overwhelm the world because of our sins” (On the Last Times, the Antichrist, and the End of the World, by Ephraem the Syrian, A.D. 373).
The early Christian writer and poet, Ephraem the Syrian (who lived from A.D. 306 to 373), was a major theologian of the early Byzantine Eastern Church. He was born near Nisbis in the Roman province of Syria, near present-day Edessa, Turkey. Ephraem displayed a profound love of the Scriptures in his writings as illustrated by several of his written comments quoted in Works of Nathaniel Lardner (vol. 4, 1788). “1 esteem no man more happy than him who diligently reads the Scriptures delivered to us by the Spirit of God, and thinks how he may order his conversation by the precepts of them.” To this day his hymns and homilies are used in the liturgy of the Greek Orthodox and Middle Eastern Nestorian Church. While the 16-volume Post-Nicene Library includes a number of homilies and psalms by Ephraem the Syrian, the editors noted that he also wrote a large number of commentaries that have never been translated into English.
Ephraem’s fascinating teaching on the Antichrist has never been published in English until now. This critically important prophecy manuscript from the fourth century of the Church era reveals a literal method of interpretation and a teaching of the pre-millennial return of Christ. More importantly, Ephraem’s text revealed a very clear statement about the pre-tribulational return of Christ to take His elect saints home to heaven to escape the coming Tribulation. In addition, Ephraem declares his belief in a personal, Jewish Antichrist, who will rule the Roman Empire during the last days, a rebuilt temple, the two witnesses, and a literal Great Tribulation lasting 1,260 days. It is also fascinating to note that he taught that the war of God and Magog would precede the tribulation period. I discovered another text by Ephraem called The Book of the Cave of Treasure that revealed he taught that Daniel’s seventieth week will be fulfilled in the final seven years at the end of this age that will conclude with Christ’s return at the Battle of Armageddon to establish His kingdom.
The following section includes key passages from Ephraem’s important text, written about A.D. 373, and translated by Professor Cameron Rhoades of Tyndale Theological Seminary at my request.
On the Last Times, the Antichrist, and the End of the World
1. Most dearly beloved brothers, believe the Holy Spirit who speaks- in us. Now we have spoken before, because the end of the world is very near, and the consummation remains. Has not the first faith withered away in men? …
2. We ought to understand thoroughly therefore, my brothers, what is imminent or overhanging. Already there have been hunger and plagues, violent movements of nations and signs, which have been predicted by the Lord, they have already been fulfilled, and there is not other which remains, except the advent of the wicked one in the completion of the Roman kingdom. Why therefore are we occupied with worldly business, and why is our mind held fixed on the lusts of the world or the anxieties of the ages? Why therefore do we not reject every care of earthly actions and prepare ourselves for the meeting of the Lord Christ, so that He may draw us from the confusion, which overwhelms the world? Believe you me, dearest brothers, because the coming of the Lord is nigh, believe you me, because the end of the world is at hand, believe me, because it is the very last time…. Because all saints and the Elect of the Lord are gathered together before the tribulation which is about to come and are taken to the Lord, in order that they may not see at any time the confusion which overwhelms the world because of our sins [italics added]. And so, brothers, most dear to me, it is the eleventh hour, and the end of this world comes to the harvest, and angels, armed and prepared, hold sickles in their hands, awaiting the empire of the Lord….
3. When therefore the end of the world comes, there arise diverse wars, commotions on all sides, horrible earthquakes, perturbations of nations, tempests throughout the lands, plagues, famine, drought throughout the thoroughfares, great danger throughout the sea and dry land, constant persecutions, slaughters and massacres everywhere….

Deseree Russouw

May I disagree, the Arabs are not the descendants of Ham, they are the descendants of Abraham’s son Ismael. Abraham was descended from Shem, son of Noah and Ismael was Abrahams first born, illegitimate son and also the father of the12 Arab tribes. Later becoming the different Arab nations, constantly warring with each other until the end of days. Abraham wanted YahWeh to bless Ismael as well, which YahWeh did by giving Ismael 12 sons as well but they would constantly war with each other as I have already mentioned. Throughout scripture the genealogy of a family is through the male line of descend, which totally rules out the Arabs descending from Ham through Canaan

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