The problem I see with how the translators went about translating the word "ho" is that in some translations they capitalize the word to He, where when capitalized as such, people are trained to see this as God doing the restraining. The word in Greek is "the" not He. The NKJV states "only He[a] who now restrains will do so until He[b] is taken out of the way. " - the sub-notes say "or he", removing the capital H. Every other version I have looked at so far has not made such a change, referring to the one who restrains or the restrainer ... something like that. This is where the confusion comes from.
Thanks for explaining. But what do you thnk about equating the removal of Satan from heaven in Rev 12 that results in great troubles on earth... to the removal of the restrainer/withholder in 2 Thessalonians 2 that results in great troubles on earth?
I think they are two different and separate occasions. The first, from Revelation is speaking about the birth of Christ and the battle where Satan was thrown out of heaven and the second is during the tribulation, which is future events. Instead of trying to find the similarities, look at the content in its context.
Ok let's look at the context of Revelation 12. It is central to this topic, because obviously I'm placing the 1260 days of protection of Israel and the persecution of the saints directly into the Great Tribulation.
For the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night,has been hurled down. They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea,because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short
Yes you are correct that Rev 12 concerns the birth of Jesus, but if you read the above wording you see that Rev 12 continues to describe events well after the crucifixion when Christianity was birthed. Firstly the term "brothers and sisters" is used to denote Christians, this is confirmed by the phrase "blood of the lamb" , and "word of our testimony". The order of events is , birth of Jesus, then the accuser accuses Christians until Christians overcome Satan. Then Satan falls down to earth for a short period of wrath.
This short period of wrath is after Satan is hurled down, and is for exactly 3.5 years ( a time, times and half a time), Israel is kept safe during this period of wrath:
When the dragon saw that he had been hurled to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the wilderness, where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time, out of the serpent’s reach.
Yet Christians are persecuted during this short period of 3.5 years of Israel's protection and Satan's wrath:
Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to wage war against the rest of her offspring—those who keep God’s commands and hold fast their testimony about Jesus.
This fits in with Daniel 7 that also refers to this 3.5 years of persecution just before the second coming:
25 He will speak against the Most High and oppress his holy people and try to change the set times and the laws. The holy people will be delivered into his hands for a time, times and half a time. “‘But the court will sit, and his power will be taken away and completely destroyed forever. Then the sovereignty, power and greatness of all the kingdoms under heaven will be handed over to the holy people of the Most High
This also fits in with Rev 13 which also talks of the 3.5 years of persecution of the beast:
5 The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise its authority for forty-two months. It opened its mouth to blaspheme God, and to slander his name and his dwelling place and those who live in heaven. It was given power to wage war against God’s holy people and to conquer them. And it was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation.
So let's not be immature about this, its the bible speaking here, not the words of man. The bible is saying that after Christians have been accused for a period, we will overcome Satan who will be removed from his heavenly place , and come to earth for 3.5 years of wrath and persecution of Christians. This fits in with other verses like 2 Thessalonians 2 , Daniel 7, Rev 13 which also speak of a short period or 3.5 years of Satan's wrath and persecution, known as the great tribulation.
So if you read your bible carefully you can see that the timing of Satan's removal from heaven occurs at the same moment as the timing of the restrainer's removal, and both result in the same short period of Satan's manifestation on earth.