While doing research into the Antichrist, I came across an article that suggested Satan will possess and control the Antichrist, the first beast that comes out of the sea. Revelation 13:5 says that this beast receives power from the dragon (Satan):

The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise his authority for forty-two months. He opened his mouth to blaspheme God, and to slander his name and his dwelling place and those who live in heaven. He was given power to make war against the saints and to conquer them. And he was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation. All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast—all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world. (Revelation 13:5-8)

Then came a statement that made me stop and think:

>Satan works through the Antichrist, for Satan himself is not able to become incarnate.

I began to investigate what it means to be incarnate. Here are a couple of partial quotes:

The word incarnation means “the act of being made flesh.” It comes from the Latin version of John 1:14, which in English reads, “The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us.” Because of the near-exclusive use of the Latin Vulgate in the church through the Middle Ages, the Latin term became standard. https://www.gotquestions.org/incarnation-of-Christ.html

When Christ took on the form of a human, His nature did not change, but His position did. Jesus, in His original nature of God in spirit form, humbled Himself by laying aside His glory and privileges (Philippians 2:6–8). God can never stop being God because He is immutable (Hebrews 13:8) and infinite (Revelation 1:8). If Jesus stopped being fully God for even a split second, all life would die (see Acts 17:28). The doctrine of the Incarnation says that Jesus, while remaining fully God, became fully man. https://www.gotquestions.org/God-incarnate.html

While angels are spiritual beings (Hebrews 1:14), they can appear in human, physical form (Mark 16:5) - but that is not an incarnation.

Jude verse 6 refers to those fallen angels who abandoned their own home (heaven) whom God "has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgement on the great Day."

2 Corinthians 11:14 says that Satan is still free to "masquerade as an angel of light" - but that is not an incarnation.

What, then, does it mean or imply for Satan, a created, fallen, angel to become incarnate? Can Satan take on human flesh as Jesus did, i.e., be born as a human being? Or can Satan only take on the outward appearance of a human?

As for the Antichrist, if Satan is unable to become incarnate, is that why Satan has to possess and control him?

I am looking for a Christian overview on this specific question and am pleased to receive both Protestant and Catholic views.

  • Interesting. Can you link to the article that you mention in first paragraph?
    – Kris
    Dec 2, 2020 at 14:08
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    I regret I did not take a note of the article that suggested Satan will possess and control the Antichrist, but here is the link to the article about the Beast of Revelation: gotquestions.org/beast-of-Revelation.html
    – Lesley
    Dec 2, 2020 at 14:21
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    The question is baded on the quotation "Satan himself is not able to become incarnate". But where does that quotation come from? Dec 12, 2020 at 1:31
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    If that link doesn't work it can be found for free at ellisskolfield.net/essays Dec 12, 2020 at 13:19
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    @jongricafort Can you establish the "fiat" from Scripture? Dec 13, 2020 at 13:39

3 Answers 3


As Christ is manifest in His Body on earth (the Church) so will the created spirit (the entity known as Diabolos and Satan and Serpent) seek to be manifested, not in one human being, but in all of humanity on earth.

This is quite obvious in the book of the Revelation. The mark of the beast, none buying or selling without that mark, all being pressed upon to worship, and so forth, see all of Revelation chapter thirteen. This is global, it is all humanity.

And it is also clear in what Paul expresses in Thessalonians regarding :

Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. [2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 KJV]

'Man' of sin is anthropos (not aner) and can be translated 'humanity' rather than an individual human (aner). Thus it is the manifestation of a spirit within all humanity that is in view. The 'humanity of sin' may be seen as all of the sons of Adam who are not in Christ by repentance and faith and a new birth in the Holy Spirit.

We see the desire of spirit to be embodied when the demons begged Jesus to be permitted to go into the swine, rather then be cast out into the abyss.

Spirit desires manifestation.

There are many who assume a degree, more or less, of 'messianic' pretension and there are always a few of them scattered around the earth. But I believe that is an actual distraction to the reality of 666 - humanity (the number 6) in a triune and conglomerate structure, as one : a global entity, motivated and energised by a single, diabolic, serpentine and draconian . . .. spirit, whose diverse power becomes more and more fluid within humanity with increasing electronic ability and decreasing barriers of nation, of human structure and of previously accepted rules and laws.

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    MANIFEST: to show something clearly, through signs or actions. So Satan becomes manifest - he does not incarnate. Appreciate that insight into the meaning of the "man of sin" - that it refers to humanity rather than to one individual.
    – Lesley
    Dec 11, 2020 at 16:09
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    @Lesley There are many who assume a degree, more or less, of 'messianic' pretension and there are always a few of them scattered around the earth. But I believe that is an actual distraction to the reality of 666 - humanity (the number 6) in a triune. conglomerate structure, as one : a global entity, motivated and energised by a single, diabolic, serpentine and draconian . . .. spirit, whose diverse power becomes more and more fluid within humanity with increasing electronic ability and decreasing barriers of nation, of human structure and of previously accepted rules and laws.
    – Nigel J
    Dec 11, 2020 at 17:32
  • This article agrees: storage.googleapis.com/wzukusers/user-27638348/documents/… Dec 12, 2020 at 13:20

Satan, The Beast, and The False Prophet are 3 different personalities that are also the same entity just as The Father, The Son, and The Holy Ghost.

A common tactic of Satan is to imitate or counterfeit the things of God in order to make himself appear to be like God. What is commonly referred to as the “unholy trinity,” described vividly in Revelation 12 and 13, is no exception. The Holy Trinity consists of God the Father, the Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. Their counterparts in the unholy trinity are Satan, the Antichrist, and the False Prophet. While the Holy Trinity is characterized by infinite truth, love, and goodness, the unholy trinity portrays the diametrically opposite traits of deception, hatred, and unadulterated evil. - What is the unholy trinity in the end times?

The whole idea of an "indwelling" as opposed to the AntiChrist being literally Satan in the flesh on Earth never made much sense to me. We already know from scripture that Angels can incarnate themselves at will into human bodies, so why would this be any different ? Why would Satan...the one entity in the entire Universe powerful enough to even presume to oppose God need some random human host to proceed with his final and greatest assault ?

Genesis 18:1-19, God and two angels appeared as men and actually ate a meal with Abraham....(Joshua 5:13-14; Mark 16:5), etc

  • Roundabout way of answering the question at hand. But right or wrong this is an interesting perspective, I never thought of.
    – Ken Graham
    Jan 30, 2022 at 14:56

If Satan is unable to become incarnate will he possess and control the Antichrist?

The short answer is: possibly!

The only inspired books which contain the word "antichrist" are the Epistles of St. John (I, ii. 18, 22, iv. 3; II, 7). As far as we can ascertain, he is the first Christian writer to employ the term. Whether he coined it to express an idea already familiar to his readers under another designation, or found it ready-made in Christian tradition, remains uncertain. Etymologically, in accordance with one meaning of the Greek preposition anti, it denotes an "opponent of Christ." Hence, St. John uses it in the plural, without the article, to characterize certain apostate members of the Christian community (I, ii. 18). In addition, he speaks of the Antichrist, using the noun in the singular with the article to designate an opponent of Christ in the preeminent sense, whose coming at the end of time his readers had been taught to expect.

From the passages referring to Antichrist, par excellence, the Fathers of the Church borrowed the term to designate an individual human adversary of Christ, of unequalled malevolence, who is to come at the end of time. This Patristic doctrine is reaffirmed by practically all the theologians both ancient and modern. The picture which the Fathers draw of Antichrist is based partly upon conjecture, partly upon Jewish apocalyptic literature, partly upon the Scriptures, and partly upon unknown sources. It follows that the only part of their teaching on Antichrist which can lay any claim to our acceptance is that which is derived from the Scriptures. The Biblical interpretations of the Fathers and the theologians are binding only if they are proposed with moral unanimity as pertaining to the deposit of faith or as necessary to guard this deposit. It is difficult, however, to found an argument on the agreement of the Fathers, for they frequently commingle details concerning Antichrist, without stating which particular feature is derived with certainty from Biblical sources.

Modern theologians base their definition of Antichrist on the passages of St. John's Epistles cited above and on the words of St. Paul in II Thess., ii. 1-12. On the authority of these texts they regard it as certain that Antichrist will be an individual human being endowed with the qualities outlined in these texts, who will appear at the end of time and will be destroyed by Christ at His second coming. It is apparent that this explanation of the texts in question does not belong to the deposit of faith and is not necessarily connected with this deposit, for the theologians do not declare that it must be accepted as such; they merely pronounce it as certain. - Antichrist in the Scriptures

Will Satan take possession of the the Antichrist? Like Satan entered the heart of Judas Iscariot? Anything is possible. We can assume that it is a real possibility, but there is definitive teachings on this aspect about the Antichrist. There are interpretations and aspects of Scripture that tend to affirm this possibility.

If one of the Twelve was not be spared from Satan entering into a satanic possession, then perhaps the Antichrist will be possessed also.

Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, one of the Twelve. - Luke 22:3

Some modern leaders such as Hitler were believe to be possessed by Church leaders. I do not this is confined Catholics only. Hitler was really a bad scandral.

Far from being pro-Hitler, the wartime pope Pius XII used to get up in the middle of the night and perform exorcisms on the German dictator, believing him to be possessed by the devil. - Author claims ‘weak’ wartime Pope tried to exorcise Hitler

Thus it is quite possible that the Antichrist will in fact be possessed Satan and his Minions. Time will tell.

Nevertheless, there will always be some who will believe that the Antichrist will be possessed by Satan. He is the one who wishes to deceive the world and be worshipped as God.

Could a mere man resist the final temptation that Christ overcame while he was in the desert? For the final temptation, the Devil took Jesus to a high place, which Matthew explicitly identifies as a very high mountain, where all the kingdoms of the world can be seen and said: **"All these things I will give you if you fall down and do an act of worship to me." Jesus replies "Get away, Satan! It is written: 'You shall worship the Lord your God and only Him shall you serve.'" (Matthew 4: 1-11)

5 The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. 6 And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. 7 If you worship me, it will all be yours.” - Luke 4:1-13

Can the Antichrist resist resist such a temptation as Our Lord did or will he try to worshipped by all of mankind? The Devil has his hands in many things!

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    I put in some Catholic sources, but I believe they are simple general Christian thought on this subject matter. Hope that is okay. I can always delete it.
    – Ken Graham
    Dec 2, 2020 at 19:23
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    No need to delete anything - it's always useful to hear from a wide range of sources.
    – Lesley
    Dec 11, 2020 at 16:02

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