What authenticated Jesus Christ claims to be God’s Son was His resurrection from the dead. Likewise the Master Deceiver will authenticate the Antichrist’s claims by seemingly raising him from the dead.
Let us look at the significance that the Bible puts on the seeming resurrection of the Antichrist from the dead. In the relatively short chapter of Revelation 13, it mentions the Antichrist’s fatal wound that was healed three times. The first instance is in verse 3: “And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death, and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast. And they worshiped the dragon, which gave power unto the beast: and they worshiped the beast, saying, ‘Who is like unto the beast? Who is able to make war with him?’” – Revelation13:3-4
Here it seems to imply that the world’s worship of the beast is directly connected to his deadly wound being healed. It says that they “wondered after him saying “Who can make war with him?” This is the exact same word used in our current verse: “wondered.” It is also in the exact same context, i.e., wonder from the earth dwellers, associated with worship, and the antichrist’s apparent resurrection from the dead.
This is one of the first descriptions of the antichrist we are given in Revelation 13, right after the symbolic imagery of verses 1 and 2. This is the first thing that we are told about the beast – that he has a deadly wound that is healed. The Bible, as we will see, considers this event very important. By the second reference to this event in verse 12, the idea of a healed deadly wound has become a title or an identifying description of the beast. Here it distinguishes the first beast from the second by adding the clarification: “whose deadly wound was healed.”
“And he [false prophet] exerciseth all the power of the first beast [Antichrist] before him and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.” – Revelation 13:12
And in the third reference in Rev: 13:14, we see that the healed deadly wound is used again as a title or distinguishing characteristic of the antichrist beast. Here it says:
“And [the false prophet] deceives them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had the power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.” – Revelation 13:14
So we see again this idea of a resurrection being used as a type of title and to distinguish which beast is in view. Therefore, this phrase “was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit” is basically just another way of saying the same thing. It is an identifier as to which beast we are talking about, the one that was (lived), is not (died), and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit (come back from the dead).
Arthur Pink, an early English Bible scholar who wrote extensively on the Antichrist, agrees. He said the following: “A further reference to the resurrection of the Antichrist, his coming forth from the Bottomless Pit, is found in Rev. 17:8…. It is to be noted that the earth-dwellers wonder when they behold the Beast that was (alive), and is not (now alive), and yet is (raised again). The world will then be presented with the spectacle of a man raised from the dead.”
Is it any wonder then that the Bible says the world will follow after him even the False Prophet, leader of the world’s religions. Check out my last post – “Proposed visit to Iraq by Pope Francis”.