Satan and Antichrist


We know that the will of God is always contested and that there is great evil throughout the world.  Wars and famines rage, families are destroyed and great injustices occur.  In the Bible we read that it is Satan who is the chief opponent of God and the originator of sin and evil.  He is uniquely committed to the destruction of everything good and godly and dedicated to stopping people returning to God in repentance and faith.

Rebellion in Heaven

When Satan, in the form of a serpent, tempted Adam and Eve to sin in Genesis 3 there had already been a great rebellion against God in heaven resulting in the casting down of many angels and Satan.  The New Testament speaks of this in two places.  In 2 Peter 2:4 it says ‘For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them in gloomy dungeons to be held for judgement’ and in Jude 6 it says ‘And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their own home – these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgement on the great Day.’

The sin of pride

The sin the angels were guilty of committing was not keeping their positions of authority which is another way of saying they became proud.  They, particularly Satan, were seeking positions of greater honour, even the greatest honour, than they had been given by God.  Consequently they were thrown out of his presence and their activity restricted.  The prophet Isaiah seemed to be referring to the demise of Satan when he said:

How far you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn!  You have been cast down to earth, you who once laid low the nations!  You said in your heart, 'I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain.  I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.'  But you are brought down to the grave, to the depths of the pit’ (Isaiah 14:12-15).

The sin of idolatry

Satan’s evil ambition was to usurp God and this characterises all subsequent sin.  D.A. Carson describes it this way:

‘Yet the heart of all evil is idolatry itself.  It is the de-godding of God.  It is the creature swinging his puny fist in the face of his Maker and saying, in effect, 'If you do not see things my way, I’ll make my own gods!  I’ll be my own god!'  Small wonder that the sin most frequently said to arouse God’s wrath is not murder, say, or pillage, or any other 'horizontal' barbarism, but idolatry - that which dethrones God’ (D A Carson, Christ and Culture Revisited, p 46).


The name Satan is a Hebrew word meaning adversary and this describes his role as an adversary to the purposes of God’s heart.  Satan is seen as the enemy of God in the book of Job and the source of Job’s temptations (Job 1:6, 1:7-2:7).  He is also depicted as the opponent of Israel (1 Chronicles 21:1) and the accuser of God’s servants (Zechariah 3:1).  He purposed to get Jesus to sin and thus fail in his messianic mission (Matthew 4:1-11) and he uses lies (John 8:44), deception (Revelation 12:9) and murder (Psalms 106:37; John 8:44) to achieve his ends.  He is also the chief obstacle to unbelievers returning to God when they hear the gospel (2 Corinthians 4:4).

Satan’s role as the adversary of God is seen clearly in Matthew 16:23.  Here Jesus rebukes Peter, saying ‘Get behind me, Satan!’, for attempting to keep him from suffering and dying on the cross.  Jesus’ response indicates that opposition to the will of God ultimately comes not from the human heart but from Satan himself. 

End-Times: Satan and Antichrist

Satan, as the chief opponent of God, has a unique part to play in the closing stages of this present age just prior to the final victory of Christ.  His role is manifest on earth through the reign of someone the Bible calls the Antichrist.  The Antichrist (or Beast) will be given authority over the people of the earth and will speak great blasphemes against God (Revelation 13:5-6).  The people under his rule will oppress Jerusalem and the people of God (Daniel 7:25; Revelation 11:2) and Israel’s strength will be completely destroyed by the Antichrist just prior to her rescue (Daniel 12:7).  All this occurs during the time of the tribulation, the final 3½ years of this present age.

According to Grant R Jeffrey:

We are part of the first generation in human history that can identify the trends and understand how current political and technological developments will make it possible for a future dictator to achieve the totalitarian control of the world's population.  Technology will be a primary tool used to implement the system of the Mark of the Beast

Judgement on Satan and Antichrist

The eventual demise of the Antichrist is described in Revelation 19:20 where we read that he (the Beast) is thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulphur.  Satan’s eventual downfall is described in similar terms.  After his release from prison, in which he will be bound during Christ’s Millennial reign, he goes on one last offensive against the people of God and inhabitants of Jerusalem.  Finally, however, he too is thrown into the lake of burning sulphur and destroyed for all eternity (Revelation 20:10).

Not equal to God

When considering Satan and the Antichrist we must remember that they are not forces equal to God.  God is not engaged in a cosmic battle with violent evil forces with the outcome still unsettled.  There is only one God and he is sovereign over evil as well as good.  The story of Job shows that Satan can only do what God allows him to do (Job 1:12; 2:6) and through the authority of Christ he can be successfully resisted by Christians (James 4:7).  Although Satan is devoted to opposing God his eventual downfall is certain as Christ has already won the decisive battle in his death and resurrection and will shortly be returning as King over all the earth.

When considering Satan and the Antichrist we must remember that they are not forces equal to God. God is not engaged in a cosmic battle with violent evil forces with the outcome still unsettled. There is only one God and he is sovereign over evil as well as good

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