*Pastor’s Note: We will continue, in no particular order questions posed from the excellent book by Mark Hitchcock entitled, The Complete Book of Bible Prophecy. My hope and prayer is that it will give some insight into much of the end-times prophecy the Bible speaks of and hopefully alleviates some of the fears and confusion people have about studying prophecy. The following is the next in a line of questions I present to you from his book:
Is the Antichrist a Resurrected Individual from the Past?
As we have already observed, the Antichrist is Satan’s complete parody or counterfeit of the true Christ. Part of Satan’s masterfully deceptive work will be a counterfeit of the greatest event of Christianity—the death and resurrection of Christ. There are several fascinating verses that refer to the death of the Antichrist and his resurrection back to life. Among them are Revelation 13:3, 12-14; 17:8; and Daniel 11:45.
In the early church, a well-accepted theory concerning the identity of the Antichrist was the Nero redivivus, that is, that Antichrist would be Nero revived or raised back to life. Nero died by suicide in A.D. 68, and a series of imposters pretending to be Nero returned in A.D. 69 and 80. In A.D. 88 a serious Nero impostor appeared in Parthia.
Another popular theory is that Antichrist will be Judas Iscariot brought back from the grave. There are three main arguments used to support this view. First, Luke 22:3 says that “Satan entered into Judas Iscariot.” John 6:70–71 is even stronger: “Jesus said, ‘I chose the twelve of you, but one is a devil.’ He was speaking of Judas, son of Simon Iscariot, one of the Twelve, who would betray him.”
Second, in John 17:12, our Lord refers to Judas Iscariot as “the son of perdition” or “the one headed for destruction.” The only other place this title appears in the New Testament is in 2 Thessalonians 2:3, in reference to the Antichrist.
Third, Acts 1:25 states that when Judas died, he went to the place “where he belongs.” Some interpret this as meaning that Judas went to a special place when he died to await the time when he would be brought back as the final Antichrist. Those who adhere to this view correlate Acts 1:25 with Revelation 17:8, identifying that special place as the abyss or “bottomless pit.” Revelation 17:8 says, “The beast you saw was alive but isn’t now. And yet he will soon come up out of the bottomless pit and go to eternal destruction.”
While it is certainly possible that the Antichrist could be Nero, Judas Iscariot, or some other nefarious individual from the past brought back to life, the Bible never clearly identifies any person from the past as the future Antichrist. Therefore, without any direct biblical proof, it seems best to view the Antichrist as a future world ruler who will be under the total control of Satan and not a resurrected character from the past.
Mr. Hitchcock’s teachings are informative and enlightening as well as inspirational and any book you can get for yourself from his writings will most definitely be well-worth it. I hope you are blessed AND informed and some of these questions and answers will give you a greater strength to walk in confidence and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Bible prophecy ALWAYS points to God and His plans for this world that He created through Christ Jesus. Therefore, for true Christians, it is meant to be a comfort that God continues as always to have everything under control despite what it might appear to the average person.