Chapter Two: Satan and Antichrist
“How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’ Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, to the lowest depths of the pit.” Isaiah 14:12-15.
The ancient Book of Job has never been accurately dated but is believed by many to recount events roughly from the time of Abraham. In it Satan famously receives God’s permission to test Job’s faith and puts this blameless man, figuratively speaking, “through hell.”
In Job 1:7, “The LORD said to Satan, ‘From where do you come?” Then Satan answered the LORD and said, ‘From roaming about on the earth and walking around on it.’”
If the Book of Job is taken literally, it confirms that Satan’s casting down to earth by God in Isaiah 14 is a past, not future event. It also supports the belief that demons “roam” the earth in a disembodied form but can “walk around on it” in a human host. Jesus described this phenomenon in Matthew 12:43-45
“Now when the unclean spirit goes out of a man, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came’; and when it comes, it finds it unoccupied, swept, and put in order. Then it goes and takes along with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there; and the last state of that man becomes worse than the first. That is the way it will also be with this evil generation.”
The Book of Job indicates that Satan takes possession of human hosts in the same manner as unclean spirits do. That host then becomes the literal embodiment (in-body-ment) of evil on the earth, the person we call the Antichrist.
The Bible provides special insight into the relationship of Satan and Antichrist in Ezekiel Chapter 28. In this chapter, God gives the prophet Ezekiel two messages to deliver to the King of Tyre, an Antichrist figure. The first message in verses 1-10 address the king in his Antichrist role, while the second message in verses 11-19 speak “past” or “through” the King of Tyre to Satan himself.
The first message is to the King of Tyre as the Antichrist:
“The word of the LORD came again unto me, saying, Son of man, say unto the prince of Tyre, Thus says the Lord GOD; Because your heart is lifted up, and you have said, I am a God, I sit in the seat of God, in the midst of the seas; yet you are a man, and not God, though you set your heart as the heart of God: Behold, you are wiser than Daniel; there is no secret that they can hide from you: With your wisdom and with your understanding you have gotten yourself riches, and have gotten gold and silver into your treasuries: By your great wisdom and by your trade have you increased your riches, and your heart is lifted up because of your riches#: Therefore thus says the Lord GOD; Because you have set your heart as the heart of God; Behold, therefore I will bring strangers upon you, the terrible of the nations: and they shall draw their swords against the beauty of your wisdom, and they shall defile your brightness. They shall bring you down to the pit, and you shall die the deaths of them that are slain in the midst of the seas. Will you yet say before him that slays you, I am a god? but you shall be a man, and no god, in the hand of him that slays you. You shall die the deaths of the uncircumcised by the hand of strangers: for I have spoken it, says the Lord GOD” (Ezekiel 28:1-10).
The second message speaks “past” or “through” the King of Tyre to Satan:
“Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyre, and say unto him, Thus says the Lord GOD; You were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. You have been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of your timbrels and of your pipes was prepared in you in the day that you were created. You are the anointed cherub that covers; and I have set you so: you were upon the holy mountain of God; you have walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. You were perfect in your ways from the day that you were created, till iniquity was found in you. By the multitude of your trade they have filled the midst of you with violence, and you have sinned#: therefore I will cast you as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy you, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty, you have corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor: I will cast you to the ground, I will lay you before kings, that they may behold you. You have defiled your sanctuaries by the multitude of your iniquities, by the iniquity of your trading; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of you, it shall devour you, and I will bring you to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold you. All they that know you among the people shall be astonished at you: you shall be a horror, and never shall you be anymore” (Ezekiel 28:11-19).
The Bible reveals quite plainly here that this King of Tyre was the Antichrist of his time, possessed by Satan.
Satan on the Earth
Again, the devil took [Jesus] up into an exceedingly high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And said unto him, All these things will I give you, if you will fall down and worship me. Then said Jesus unto him, Begone, Satan: for it is written, You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve (Matthew 4:8-10)
As Matthew 4 notes, Satan has authority to delegate political power and wealth to his followers in this world. He is “the god of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4) and “the prince of the power of the air” (Ephesians 2:2). He will remain “the ruler of this world” (John 12:31) until the Second Coming of Christ (Revelation 19:11-18; 20:2).
He is a “murderer from the beginning,” and the “Father of lies,” whose “native language” is lying and deceit (John 8:44). His purpose is to “steal, kill and destroy” (John 10:10) and to enslave (cite).
The Satanic Attributes of the Antichrist
In his spiritual form, Satan “prowls around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8), but when he has taken a host he can actually work in the physical world to accomplish his objectives. The host takes on the personality of Satan and reflects his nature in a variety of ways.
The following scriptures offer details about the personality of Satan/Antichrist:
“Let no one in any way deceive you, for [the Day of the Lord] 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…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. Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming; that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved” (2 Thessalonians 2:3-9)
“By your wisdom and understanding You have acquired riches for yourself And have acquired gold and silver for your treasuries. By your great wisdom, by your trade You have increased your riches And your heart is lifted up because of your riches” (Ezekiel 28:4-5).
“Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds” (2 Corinthians (11:14-15).
We find additional details in the Apocryphal books 1st and 2nd Maccabees. While not inspired scripture, these books are nevertheless highly reliable historical records which document the partial fulfillment of events prophesied in Daniel 11and the actions of the Antichrist figure Antiochus IV Epiphanes.
“He shed much blood, and spoke with great arrogance…. He plundered the city, burned it with fire, and tore down its houses and its surrounding walls. They took captive the women and children, and seized the livestock….On every side of the sanctuary they shed innocent blood; they even defiled the sanctuary….they erected a desolating sacrilege on the altar of burnt offering. They also built altars in the surrounding towns of Judah…The books of the law that they found they tore to pieces and burned with fire. Anyone found possessing the book of the covenant, or anyone who adhered to the law, was condemned to death by decree of the king…they put to death the women who had their children circumcised, and their families and those who circumcised them; and they hung the infants from their mothers’ necks” (1 Maccabees 1:24-61).
We can also recognize attributes of Satan and the Antichrist in the specific worship rituals by which Satan’s human followers were degraded: primarily human sacrifice of children and extreme sexual perversions involving incest, homosexuality and bestiality (Leviticus 18; 1 Kings 11:4-7). And, of course, there are various extra-biblical records that can assist us in our study.
By the examination of these sources, and looking for common denominators in the lives and actions of the individuals in Biblical history most clearly associated with Satan, we can establish a core profile of the Antichrist through the ages. We are thus looking for especially evil individuals whose actions are directed against Hebrews and/or Christians, and who display one or more of six key satanic attributes:
Extreme megalomania. Often expecting worship, especially as head of a pantheon of gods.# Sometimes employing vast slave armies to build monuments to himself.
Wanton cruelty and sadism. Often involving torture, mass murder, genocide, infanticide or war, most especially targeting Jews and/or Christians.
Enormous wealth and power — through inheritance, theft and/or commerce.
Sexual perversion — especially incest, homosexuality and/or bestiality.
Habitual lawlessness and deceitfulness.
Importantly, the Antichrist does not demand worship only for himself but allows and even encourages the worship of all of his demonic underlings as well. The earthly influence of Satan’s demonic kingdom is thus perpetuated even when he is absent from a host body.
End of Chapter Two