Satan will use all sorts of lying signs and wonders to deceive the world during the end times. False prophets and false Christs will deceive many people, but this is not the biggest end time deception that Satan has up his sleeve. I believe Revelation 17:8 reveals what will be Satan’s biggest end time deception which I will describe in this article.
Revelation 17:8 Overview
Revelation 17:8 says the beast (the man who will be the Antichrist) “was, and is not, and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit”.
“The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.” (Revelation 17:8)
In the vision (which is being viewed from the perspective of those living in the future), the beast once lived (was). However, there is a paradox in phrasing because:
- The beast also “is not”, which indicates that the beast presently does not live.
- And the beast “yet is”, which indicates that the beast presently does live.
This description is in stark contrast to how Revelation 4:8 describes God who lives forever: (“was, and is, and is to come”):
“And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.” (Revelation 4:8)
The beast ascends from the bottomless pit, a place described by the Bible where wicked souls go; his soul leaves the bottomless pit. At first glance, we could compare this event to the resurrection that the Bible teaches that Jesus Christ executed:
“He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.” (Acts 2:31)
The False Resurrection
To compare the resurrection of Christ to the accession of the beast, we need to look at the key verses of Revelation 1:17-18 where He said:
(17) And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: (18) I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.
The beast and Christ will have both have faced temporary death because one already rose from it and another is foretold to rise from it. However the beast’s condition when he returns to earth will differ greatly from when Jesus returned.
- Jesus was (after He rose) the “Living One” and will live forever while the beast “is not” and “yet is”.
The paradox of living for the beast suggests that what the beast will perform is not a real resurrection. Though the beast appears on the earth after rising from the bottomless pit, he cannot do what Jesus did.
A consequence of this false rise is that the beast can only be on Earth for a short time after his return.
- The beast “is”, but not always will be; the beast “will go to his destruction”.
- In contrast, Christ taught that those who are truly resurrected will not die again:
“(35) But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage: (36) Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.” (Luke 20:35-36)
From this, we can conclude that Satan’s biggest end time deception is that Antichrist will appear as if he’s been raised from the dead. He will not truly be resurrected, but it will look like he is.
I am not 100% sure how Satan will stage this end time deception as this is his biggest one. Satan would likely want to keep information regarding this deception a secret because so much is at stake.
Unfortunately for Satan, Revelation 17:8 warns us that Satan will use a false resurrection to deceive many alive at that time. As a result, some people on the earth at that time will not fall for his deception.
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