Revelation 13:4-5

And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?

The Paradox of Power: The Antichrist, the Dragon, and Divine Sovereignty

In the foreboding imagery of Revelation 13:4, we find a world enraptured by awe and terror: “And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?” This passage not only encapsulates the formidable sway the Antichrist holds over humanity but also hints at the complex relationship between divine sovereignty, the force of evil represented by the dragon or Satan, and the agency of humanity. The Antichrist’s power, derived from Satan, presents a theological puzzle that intertwines themes of authority, rebellion, and the ultimate purpose of God’s plan. Through a tapestry of biblical references, we will explore how the Antichrist, paralleled with Christ as a “morning star” and operating under the permissive will of God, embodies the culmination of humanity’s spiritual battle.

The Source of the Antichrist’s Power

The Book of Revelation vividly depicts the dragon giving power to the beast, a symbolic representation of Satan’s role in empowering the Antichrist. This imagery resonates with the broader biblical narrative where power and authority on earth can be influenced by spiritual forces, both divine and demonic. The title “morning star” attributed to both Christ (Revelation 22:16) and a fallen Lucifer (Isaiah 14:12) symbolizes the ultimate contrast between the source of true light and a counterfeit brilliance aimed not at deception but end time enlightenment.

The Sovereignty of God and the Role of Satan

The biblical account of Job provides a profound insight into the relationship between God and Satan. Despite Satan’s significant power, he operates within the boundaries set by God (Job 1:12, 2:6). This dynamic is crucial for understanding the Antichrist’s power; it is allowed, or perhaps more accurately, utilized within God’s sovereign plan. The temptation of Christ in the wilderness further illuminates this concept, with Satan offering Jesus the kingdoms of the world (Matthew 4:8-9), a testament to his authority over earthly realms but also a clear demarcation of his subservience to divine will, as Jesus rebukes him with scripture, affirming God’s supreme authority.

The Dual Role of the Antichrist in God’s Plan

The empowerment of the Antichrist by Satan, under the permissive will of God, serves a dual role within the divine narrative. On one hand, it represents the culmination of humanity’s rebellion against God, a final, stark illustration of the consequences of turning away from divine truth. On the other, it sets the stage for the ultimate demonstration of God’s sovereignty and the redemption of creation.

The notion that the Antichrist, in his quest to oppose God, inadvertently furthers the divine plan is a paradox that underscores the complexity of free will, divine foreknowledge, and the permissive allowance of evil. It illustrates how God’s purposes can be served even through the actions of those in opposition to Him, leading to a greater revelation of His glory and justice.

The Antichrist’s Defeat and the Victory of God

The eventual defeat of the Antichrist and the dragon is a foregone conclusion within the biblical narrative. Revelation 20:10 foretells the fate of Satan, thrown into the lake of fire, with the beast and the false prophet—symbols of ultimate rebellion against God—already condemned. This defeat is not merely a victory over two adversaries but a definitive statement on the nature of power, authority, and the sovereignty of God over all creation.

The narrative thread that weaves through the Bible presents a profound exploration of the nature of power, knowledge, and the origin and consequences of evil. The dynamics of the relationship between God, Satan, and humanity are intricate, especially when considering the events in the Garden of Eden and the broader implications of the fall of humanity. The assertion that Satan gets his power from God, and the suggestion that the knowledge of good and evil—imbued to humanity through Adam and Eve’s transgression—plays a pivotal role in the cosmic narrative, invites a nuanced theological examination.

The Nature of Satan’s Power

To understand the nature of Satan’s power and its source, it’s essential to acknowledge that within Christian theology, God is the sovereign creator of all things. This sovereignty implies that nothing exists outside of God’s will or power, including Satan himself. The narrative of Lucifer’s fall from grace, often derived from passages in Isaiah 14:12-15 and Ezekiel 28:12-17, illustrates the origin of Satan as a created being who rebelled against God. His power, therefore, is not independent but permitted by God within the bounds of divine sovereignty and for purposes that ultimately serve God’s plan.

The Knowledge of Good and Evil

The account of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2-3) introduces the concept of the knowledge of good and evil. This knowledge, represented by the forbidden fruit, was not inherently evil but became a source of sin through disobedience. The aftermath of this event unveiled the capacity for both good and evil within humanity, a duality that reflects the complex nature of free will and moral responsibility.

Satan’s temptation of Eve with the promise that eating the fruit would make them “like God, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:5) underscores a critical aspect of Satan’s deception: the insinuation that divine-like knowledge is attainable and desirable for creation. This episode reveals that knowledge, apart from divine wisdom and intention, leads to separation from God, not to equivalence with the divine.

The Cosmic Consequence of Knowledge

The suggestion that the knowledge of good and evil leads to the end of creation unless this truth is forgotten taps into deep theological themes concerning the nature of sin, redemption, and the ultimate restoration of all things. In Christian eschatology, the trajectory of creation is not towards destruction but towards redemption and new creation (Revelation 21-22). This eschatological vision encompasses the healing of the rift caused by sin, including the knowledge of good and evil used apart from God’s will.

The Role of Knowledge in God’s Plan

The unfolding narrative of the Bible reveals that the knowledge of good and evil, rather than leading inexorably to the end of creation, plays a role in God’s redemptive plan. This plan is most profoundly embodied in the person of Jesus Christ, who, in taking on human nature, fully experienced the duality of good and evil yet without sin (Hebrews 4:15). Through Christ’s life, death, and resurrection, the power of sin and death is broken, offering restoration and reconciliation to God.

In this context, Satan’s power and the knowledge of good and evil serve as instruments within the divine narrative that highlight the need for redemption, the depths of God’s love, and the ultimate sovereignty of God over all creation. The end of the biblical story is not the erasure of knowledge but the transformation of creation into a place where God dwells with his people, where “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away” (Revelation 21:4).


The dynamics between God, Satan, and humanity, particularly regarding the knowledge of good and evil, underscore the profound theological themes of power, rebellion, and redemption. Within Christian theology, Satan’s power is understood as derivative and permitted within the scope of divine sovereignty, serving ultimately to fulfill God’s redemptive purposes. The biblical narrative, from Genesis to Revelation, moves towards a vision of new creation where knowledge is no longer a source of separation but part of the redeemed relationship between God and humanity.

The awe and terror inspired by the Antichrist and his power, derived from the dragon, serves as a profound narrative on the nature of evil, the sovereignty of God, and the spiritual journey of humanity. The paradox of the Antichrist—empowered by Satan yet ultimately serving the purposes of God—invites reflection on the deeper truths of the biblical account: the limits of evil, the purpose of free will, and the ultimate triumph of divine will. Through the lens of scripture, we see not just a story of conflict and resolution but a revelation of the character of God, who brings light from darkness, order from chaos, and redemption from rebellion.