My question is with regards to the Anti-Christ. Is he just a normal human being who will be unknowingly influenced and used as a puppet by Satan, or is he the Devil in the flesh (kind of how Jesus was God in the flesh), either born that way or possessed by him? Would he be aware of the distinct purpose he holds or is it simply a matter of one man’s unfortunate fate?
I believe that the anti-Christ will have a close relationship with Satan all his life, although he might not know it as such. It seems clear that his rise to prominence will be guided by supernatural forces. But when Satan is finally driven from Heaven and confined to Earth (Rev. 12:7-12) I believe he actually inhabits the anti-Christ just as he had done with Judas Iscariot (John 13:27).
I don’t believe anyone is the captive of his fate, but rather creates it through a long string of choices, each one in the progression making a change of course more difficult.
For example, when unbelievers stand before the Great White Throne claiming that they never had a chance to accept God, I believe He’ll review with them each time they heard the gospel and each choice they made as a result, to show how they hardened their hearts against Him.
Paul confirms this in 2 Thes, 2:9-11 saying that unbelievers will be deceived by the anti-Christ’s lies and will perish because they had earlier refused to believe God’s truth and be saved.