Paul now turns his attention to the restraining ministry of the Holy Spirit. At least, I believe he is referring to the Holy Spirit as he writes these next few verses: “5 Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? 6 And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. 7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. 8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.” Paul seems to be saying that there is a restraining influence on the evil of this world. If he is referring to the Holy Spirit then this positive influence will be removed as part of God’s judgment and Satan will be allowed an additional measure of influence in this world. However, it will be short-lived as verse 9 indicates. I’d like to ask you to think about the restraining influence of the Holy Spirit. This world can get pretty evil. We read about some very horrific things that happen on an individual and national level. I don’t understand all of the intricate details about the struggle between good and evil. I do believe that if God were to remove His hand from this place, and allow the evil in the human heart to run free, the devastation would be beyond our wildest imagination. The human heart is truly deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. I hope that you appreciate the work of the Holy Spirit in your life if you’ve received Jesus Christ as Savior. Not only does He bring the fruit of peace, love, joy, etc…but He serves as a powerful restrainer against the power of sin. You don’t want to live in a world where evil runs free.