Can Satan Raise The Dead? Toward A Biblical View Of The Beast’s Wound -- By: Gregory H. Harris

Journal: Masters Seminary Journal
Volume: TMSJ 18:1 (Spring 2007)
Article: Can Satan Raise The Dead? Toward A Biblical View Of The Beast’s Wound
Author: Gregory H. Harris


Can Satan Raise The Dead? Toward A Biblical View Of The Beast’s Wound

Gregory H. Harris

Professor of Bible Exposition

If the beast referred to in Rev 13:3–4 is an individual, is it God or Satan who raises the beast from the dead? Either answer raises issues to be settled. Some sources leave the issue unresolved, but biblical evidence indicates that God the Father has given His Son power to raise the dead. A third position seeks a compromise between the two positions. The text of Revelation does not resolve this issue directly, but whatever answer one gives has implications for the book’s teaching about the beast in Revelation 13 and 17. When Christ returns to judge the lost, the only two humans who will be cast into the lake of fire while living are the two beasts. The two will be the first to inhabit the lake of fire, a punishment that will require special bodies to keep them from being annihilated while there. They will probably receive those supernatual bodies in connection with the resurrection of the first beast in Rev 13:3, but certainly no later than the action of Rev 19:20. The beast’s ascent from the abyss could not refer to a revival of the Roman Empire, which would not attract worldwide amazement as a resurrected person would. If the beast can survive being in the lake of fire, he surely can survive the abyss, so Rev 17:18 is probably another reference to his resurrection. The text has no reference to a resurrection of the beast from the earth, but his relegation to the lake of fire before the Great White Throne judgment implies that he too must die and be raised.

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In a recent article on the death and resurrection of the satanic beast, Thomas Ice notes the tension between two diametrically opposed explanations of Rev 13:3–4.1

John wrote about the fatal wound of the first beast2 and his subsequent return to life: “And I saw one of his heads as if it had been slain, and his fatal wound was healed. And the whole earth was amazed and followed after the beast; and they worshiped the dragon, because he gave his authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, ‘Who is like the beast, and who is able to wage war with him?’”3 Mul...

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