The Antichrist will rise to power over ten countries that were part of the old Roman Empire. The Antichrist, with the ten kings under him, will rise to power very sudÂdenly. Probably seven of these countries will willingly submit to his rule, but the other three will have to be subdued by him.
And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and there was given to him authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation. (Rev. 13:7)
Although the Antichrist is given authority over every nation (the authority that Satan now has and gives to him), it does not say that he rules over every nation. The Antichrist will only rule actually over those ten countries and several others around the Mediterranean that he will gain power over either militarily or politically.
The Antichrist will be the ultimate and final expression of human government without any allegiance to God. He will lead and use the material and psychical powers at his disposal in direct defiance of the physical return of Christ, at Armageddon. Christ will totally annihilate this opposition, thus removing in one stroke the major obstacle to His rule on the Earth. How very obliging of the Antichrist to concentrate the opposition in one place. Once again we see that Satan inevitably furthers God’s purposes.
Then I desired to know the truth concerning the fourth beast which was diverse from all of them, exceedingly terrible, whose teeth were of iron, and its nails of brass; which devoured, brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with its feet; (Dan. 7:19)
What will be the ancestry of the Antichrist and why will he be such a different type of person from those before him?
Who are these seven Caesars (the original Greek word translated as the English word kings)?
Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar … (Luke 3:1)
Which came to pass in the days of Claudius Caesar. (Acts 11:28 KJV)
At the time John wrote the book of Revelation, Domitian, the sixth Caesar, was in power. Before the reign of Domitian, there had reigned five Caesars who had died unnatural deaths (are fallen) through murder or suicide. The first four of these (in chronological order) were Julius Caesar, Tiberius Caesar, Caligula, and Claudius Caesar. Physically, the Antichrist will rise to power suddenly as the seventh Caesar over a revived Roman Empire.
I saw one of his heads as though it had been smitten unto death; and his death”‘stroke was healed: and the whole earth wondered after the beast; … And he maketh the earth and them that dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose death stroke was healed…. that they should make an image to the beast who hath the stroke of the sword and lived. (Rev. 13:3, 12, 14)
The Antichrist, shortly after coming to power as the seventh Caesar, will die physically from a fatal wound. The Antichrist is the one of the seven heads of the beast that is wounded fatally”‘ this will not necessarily be a head wound”‘ Scripture does not specify where he is wounded, only that it is a fatal wound inflicted with a sword stroke. This possibly will, but may not necessarily, be a literal sword stroke. It is much likelier that this is merely the symbolic means used to indicate a violent death. The body of the Antichrist (probably after about three days) will then be brought back to life by Satan as a counterfeit of the resurrection of Christ. How does Satan do this?
The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and is about to come up out of the abyss, and to go into perdition. And they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, they whose name hath not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast, how that he was, and is not, and shall come. (Rev. 17:8)
In speaking of the Antichrist physically (as the seventh Caesar), John says that he is not yet come: the Antichrist has not yet appeared and we will not know for sure who he is until his body is brought back to life. Yet in this verse here, John says that at the time that he wrote this, the Antichrist had already been on the earth but was not on the earth then, and would come out of the abyss when appears again on the earth. This seems to be a contradiction with Rev. 17:10, where John says that He is not yet come. What is the reality here?
What is under the abyss? Hades, where the souls of dead people are imprisoned until the day of their judgment. When the body of the Antichrist is brought back to life, it will be brought to life not with the soul that was in it before the infliction of the fatal wound but with the soul of someone who had already lived on the earth and died before John wrote the book of Revelation. Whose soul will this be?
And the beast that was, and is not, is himself also an eighth, and is of the seven; and he goeth into perdition. (Rev 17:11)
The Antichrist will arise physically as the seventh Caesar, die of a fatal wound, and be brought back to life (reanimated) as the eighth Caesar. As the eighth Caesar, he will have the body of the seventh and the soul of one of the first five Caesars who suffered unnatural deaths.
Here is wisdom. He that hath understanding let him count the number of the beast; for it is the number of a man: and his number is Six hundred and sixty and six. (Rev. 13:18)
At the time that John wrote Revelation, Domitian was in power”‘ John could not come right out and name the actual name of the Caesar whose soul would reanimate the Antichrist’s body, if he did he would have been put to death immediately. So John signified the name of that Caesar with a number, the number 666.
In the original language of the New Testament, Greek, every letter of the alphabet has a specific number associated with it. To say that the Antichrist’s number is six hundred and sixty”‘six is to say that the numbers corresponding to the letters of the Greek name of that Caesar add up to 666. Which one of the five Caesar’s names is this true for?
The second epistle unto Timotheus, ordained the first bishop of the church of the Ephesians, was written from Rome, when Paul was brought before Nero the second time. (Superscription to 2 Timothy, KJV)
The fifth Caesar (before Domitian) to die an unnatural death, and the only one of the five for whom the numbers corresponding to his other than name in Greek add up to 666, is none other than Nero. Nero is the Caesar who initiated the persecution of the Christians by the Roman Empire, throwing them to the lions and burning them as torches.
Who indeed is like the beast? No one before or after will be like him. The Antichrist will embody all of the desirable natural human attributes. He will be highly intelligent, tremendously charismatic, and probably very handsome physically. He will have the body of one man and the soul of another, and the spirit in him will be Satan himself. In this way, Satan, a spiritual being, will be able to fully express himself in physical form on the earth but with none of the consequent limitations of power necessitated by taking on a physical existence, as occurred with the fallen angels in Genesis Chapter Six.
It is at the time of sounding of the fifth trumpet (seventh seal) that Satan, having been just cast out of heaven and given the key to the pit of the abyss, descends to the pit (Sheol and Tartarus) and releases not only the imprisoned demonic beings but also the soul of Nero. Therefore, it will be at that time that the Antichrist’s body is reanimated
Since the Antichrist will be an intentional counterfeit by Satan of Christ, we should expect many more major similarities between the events of his life and those of the life of Christ. A great earthquake occurred at the time of the death of Christ. For this reason, I am certain that the Antichrist will suffer his physical death at the time of the great earthquake of the sixth seal and also that there will elapse three days (as with Christ) between this earthquake and the fifth trumpet of the seventh seal (when the Antichrist’s body is reanimated), as a further counterfeit detail of Christ’s death and Resurrection.