Antichrist’s Death and Resurrection

Is it real or fake?



John Hoole – November 4, 2012



Revelation 13:1-3 NKJV


1       Then I stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name.

2       Now the beast which I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like the feet of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority.

3       And I saw one of his heads as if it had been mortally wounded, and his deadly wound was healed. And all the world marveled and followed the beast.


In verse 3, we read about a seemingly mortal head wound that is suffered by the Antichrist.  There has been much debate and speculation through the centuries regarding what this passage may be referring to.  Some believe it is referring to the ancient Roman Empire, which died in the past but will be revived in the end times.  Others say it is a reference to an historic character of the past that will come back to life and fulfill the role of the Antichrist in the end times.  Some names as possible candidates are Nero, Judas Iscariot, Hitler, etc..  Still others say the Antichrist will be killed and then be resurrected back to life.  And then there are those who say that perhaps the antichrist will be merely wounded, and Satan will supernaturally heal this wound so that it seems that the Antichrist is brought back from the dead.  Let’s look briefly at these options so that we have at least a flavor of the thoughts in them.


Roman nation revived


Some believe that the death and resurrection described here refers to the ending of the Roman Empire in 476 A.D and its resuscitation in the end times.  In other words, these passages are talking about the Empire coming back to life, not a man.  It is it true that the beast in Revelation is both the empire and its emperor – the kingdom and its king.  As has often happened in history, a great leader at times can hardly be distinguished from his kingdom.  Louis XIV is quoted as saying at one point, “I am France.”


I think there are several reason for favoring a person, a king, rather than an empire.  First, the language of Revelation 13, for the most part, appears to be referring to an individual.  Personal pronouns “he” and “his” are used repeatedly.  And, later in the same chapter, the second beast, the False Prophet, will make an image of the first beast, “whose fatal wound was healed.”  It would be strange for the second beast to construct an image of an empire that died and came back to life.  It makes more sense, then, to understand the beast as a person.


I quote from Mark Hitchcock’s book, Who is the Antichrist?”  He says, referring to Revelation 13:3:


“This verse says that after the beast is slain and comes back to life, ‘the whole earth’ will be ‘amazed’ and follow after the beast.  This is the event that propels the beast to great popularity and causes all the world to fall at his feet.  Such a response would be much more likely if this were referring to a man rather than an empire.”


I agree – a healing or revival of the Roman Empire would hardly leave the world dumbstruck.  But if a world leader appears to come back from the dead after being assassinated, then we would expect such an overwhelming response.


Historical person resurrected


Next, does Revelation 13 refer to a historical person of the past coming back to life to fulfill the role of the antichrist in the end times?  This hypothesis is a fascinating one, but I personally reject it.


There is Scriptural support for bringing back from the grave two Old Testament individuals who will be the Two Witnesses mention in Revelation 11.  But there is nothing that would remotely support an ungodly person from the past back to life to be the right hand person of Satan in the end times.  It is a rather speculative view in my opinion.


Passages such as Daniel 2, Daniel 7, 2 Thessalonians 2, and the book of Revelation point to the emergence of a unique person who is ultimately unlike any other person who has ever lived.


A future person resurrected


Now, let’s turn to discussing a future person as the Antichrist being resurrected back to life.  Is it a reality or a parody?  This brings up a question many Christians ask: Is this resurrection of the Antichrist during the Tribulation for real, or is it just a cheap trick of Satan?  Is it authentic or just another counterfeit?  Many reputable and solid Bible commentators and prophecy teachers hold to either view concerning the resurrection of the Antichrist.




Although Satan is a created being with creature limitation, the Scriptures picture him as extremely powerful and influential in the world.


         We have seen that he is “the ruler of this world” (John 12:31).


         He is the “god of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4).


         He is the “prince of the power of the air” (Ephesians 2:2).


         He deceives the whole world (Revelation 12:9; 20:3).


         He has power in the physical realm (Luke 13:11, 16; Acts 10:38).


         He has power in the angelic realm (Ephesians 6:11-12).


So at the outset, we must recognize that Satan certainly has supernatural abilities.  But is he powerful enough to actually resurrect people from the dead?  In other words, can he create life?


Do you know what kind of animal is called a “simian?”  The 4th century theologian, Augustine, called the devil Simius DeiThe Ape of God.  He mimics or copies God in many ways.  We had a lesson several months ago on the end-time counterfeits of Satan.  Satan’s plan is to establish a rival to God’s kingdom by counterfeiting God in as many ways as possible.  But, while Satan has powers and knowledge greater than mankind, he does not have either equal to God.


2 Thessalonians 2:8-9 (NKJV) speaks of one of Satan’s attributes:


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.

9       The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders,


Satan, we are told here, has the ability to perform signs and wonders that are in fact false.  Here they are called “lying wonders.”  The NIV renders it “counterfeit miracles.”  The NAS puts it, “false wonders.”  If Satan could pull off a resurrection, even a false resurrection, it would be in perfect keeping with his character as the “ape of God.”


Consider a couple of Scripture Passages with me.  What des it means when Jesus says, in John 11:25, “I am the resurrection and the life.”  Is He saying that He alone can be described with these terms?  I think he is.


What happens in Revelation 13, with a deadly wound being healed, puts at stake nothing less than the deity of Christ and His resurrection.  Christianity is the only religion that can claim a living founder and Savior.  If we claim Satan can also resurrect or give life, it would put this in jeopardy.  Christianity would lose the basis for believing that Christ’s resurrection vindicated His claim to deity.


John 5:21-22 is another verse I want you to consider.


21     For as the Father raises the dead and gives life to them, even so the Son gives life to whom He will.

22     For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son,


The beginning of verse 21 – “the Father raises the dead,”  would have been understood and believed by the Jews of Christ’s day.


Deuteronomy 32:39 NKJV


39     Now see that I, even I, am He, And there is no God besides Me; I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; Nor is there any who can deliver from My hand.


For the Jew, only God could give life.  It was He, and He alone, who breathed into Adam, causing him to become a living soul.  Giving life was part of what it meant for Jehovah to be divine.  But, in John 5:21, Christ is saying He also has that capability.  This is just another of many place where Christ alludes to His own divinity.


While there are esteemed Bible scholars who believe the Antichrist actually dies and is resurrected, with all due respect, I disagree.  Everything Satan does is meant to deceive and is a lie.  Satan is the father of lies, which is his native language.


So how does he pull it off so it looks like a real resurrection?  It looks so real, that it becomes the linchpin in establishing the credibility of the Antichrist.  It is this act that causes the world to worship the Antichrist.  Walter Price is representative of those who hold that the Antichrist will appear to be dead but not actually be dead.  He brings up the experience of the apostle Paul in Acts 14.


Acts 14:19 NKJV


19     Then Jews from Antioch and Iconium came there; and having persuaded the multitudes, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing him to be dead.


                   Every one of the Jews from Antioch and Iconium believed Paul was dead.


A similar thing happens to the Antichrist.  Sometime during his reign as Caesar of the revived Roman Empire, he will receive a death stroke by way of a sword.  But, he probably will be no more dead than was the apostle Paul.  Is it possible he may have had an out-of-body experience?  If so, he would have appeared dead until his spirit returned to his body.


In view of the Scriptural evidence, it seems reasonable to conclude that Satan will either engage in a limited grade-B miracle in healing of the wound, or he will engage in some kind of masterful deception.  In any event, the world will be amazed.  They will witness what seems to be a mighty miracle – the supposed resurrection of the Antichrist.  And many will worship him because of it.


My assessment is that only God can do grade-A miracles, such as resurrecting people from the dead.  However, I also believe that Satan has supernatural abilities,  Also, Satan is a master trickster, having thousands of years of experience duping human beings.  All of this will probably come to play in the future tribulation period, when Satan pulls off one of the greatest hoaxes of all time, making it appear that the Antichrist has actually risen from the dead just as Jesus did.