Can Satan Raise the Dead? Toward a Biblical View of the Beast’s Wound

Gregory Harris | May 21, 2010

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 supernatural bodies in connection with the resurrection of the first beast in Rev 13:3, but certainly no later than 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 this event does. If the beast can survive 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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Gregory Harris Professor of Bible Exposition B.A., Campbell University M.A., North Carolina Central University M.Div., Talbot Theological Seminary Th.M., Talbot Theological Seminary Th.D., Dallas Theological Seminary While pursuing his graduate and post-graduate education, Dr. Harris was actively involved in pastoring various churches in California and Texas. In 1989, following the completion of his doctoral studies, he joined the faculty of Washington Bible College, a position he held for seven years. Then for ten years, Dr. Harris taught at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, teaching Bible and Greek. He continues to serve as an international faculty member of the Jordan Evangelical Theological Seminary in Amman, and maintains an ongoing conference and pulpit ministry. Dr. Harris has also completed short-term graduate study at the Institute of Holy Land Studies in Jerusalem. He is the author of The Cup and the Glory , The Darkness and the Glory, and The Stone and the Glory and numerous journal articles, and is an active participant in scholarly societies. He joined the TMS family in 2006 and also teaches as an adjunct professor at The Master's College. Dr. Harris is the teaching pastor at Lake Hills Community Church in Castaic, CA. Find more information about Dr. Harris and his ministry at

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