An Islamic Antichrist? – Part 9 of 10 (Problems with the Theory?)

The height of the Islamic Empire in the year 750 AD. This was just before it began to be divided into smaller kingdoms.

[The series “An Islamic Antichrist?” is currently being revised. Each part of the series will be reposted individually when each one is finished.]

Throughout this series, I have given many different arguments that the Antichrist will be a Muslim. However, critics have a list of arguments that they think confirm that the Antichrist cannot be a Muslim. In the last two articles of this series, I will detail these arguments and show that, in fact, they do not disprove the Islamic Antichrist theory at all.

A Divided Kingdom

Some think that it is impossible for the Antichrist to be Muslim because: 1) The Arabs are said to be a divided people, and so cannot be united like the kingdom of the Antichrist will be; and 2) the fact that Daniel 11 mentions that the Antichrist will invade Muslim nations begs the question “why would an Islamic Antichrist invade and conquer other Islamic nations?” One supporter of the Roman Antichrist theory says:

“Another problem with Muslim unity is that the whole idea is contradictory to one of the promises God made in His covenant with Ishmael (Genesis 16:10-12). In that covenant, in which God promised that the descendants of Ishmael would be greatly multiplied and would be given all the land east of Israel, God also stated that the Arab peoples would be like wild donkeys for they would always be in conflict with each other.

As Jacob Prasch has pointed out in his writings on this subject, this aspect of the covenant with Ishmael has been manifested throughout history to this day through the internecine wars between the Arabs. They fought each other for centuries in pre-Islamic Arabia. Mohammed believed that he could unite them through the advocacy of a monotheistic religion, but he failed. Sunis and Shi’ites have hated and warred with each other since the 8th Century. Consider the modern day war between Iran and Iraq, and the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, with the intent of conquering all the Middle East.

Prasch sums up the problem of Arab unity by declaring, “The curse of Genesis prevents Islamic unity from developing a united empire over-running the West.” He further observes: ‘…the greatest Islamic Empire was strategically dominated by Ottoman Turks who subjugated the Arab Moslems as serfs and slaves…’”[1]

There are many problems with this interpretation. First, the book of Daniel itself says that the kingdom of the Antichrist will be a divided empire. In Daniel 2:41-43, it is said that after the feet and toes of the statue are a mix of clay and iron. This shows that the legs of iron, the Islamic Caliphate, would be divided.

The Kingdoms of the   Beast

Daniel 2 Daniel 7 Revelation 17 Kingdoms
Not included Not included 1st head Egyptian
Not included Not included 2nd head Assyrian
Head of gold Lion 3rd head Babylonian
Chest and arms of silver Bear 4th head Medo-Persian
Belly and thighs of bronze Leopard 5th head Greek
Not included Not included 6th head Roman
Legs of Iron Fourth Beast 7th head Islamic
Feet and toes of iron and clay Ten Horns Healed 7th head Antichrist/Revived Islamic Empire

Second, there are passages that specifically say that the armies of the antichrist will fight against each other. Ezekiel 38:21 says, “I will summon a sword against Gog on all my mountains, declares the Sovereign Lord. Every man’s sword will be against his brother.” Zechariah 14:13 says, “On that day people will be stricken by the Lord with great panic. They will seize each other by the hand and attack one another.”

What about the Antichrist invading other Muslim nations? Daniel 11:40-45 speaks about the Antichrist invading and subduing three nations that are today Islamic: Egypt, Libya, and Sudan. This makes perfect sense because Daniel 7:8, 24 specifically say that the Antichrist will uproot three of the ten horns. In fact, ancient Christians tended to view Egypt, Libya, and Sudan as the three horns as well, including Hippolytus and Jerome.[2]

However, revelation 17:12 says that the ten horns are ten kings who have never been given a kingdom, but will only receive authority with the Antichrist. Remember from part 2 that revelation 17 speaks about the seven heads of the Beast as being seven kingdoms (see the chart above). The sixth kingdom/head, the one contemporary with John, was the Roman Empire. The first five are usually considered to be Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, and Greece. In part 2, I gave my interpretation that the seventh was the Islamic Caliphate, and that the eighth king was the Revived Islamic Caliphate, the kingdom of the Antichrist.

If Egypt is the first kingdom/head, then it cannot be one of the ten kings. I do, however, believe that another kingdom can be interpreted as the first head. There is a common theme among the seven heads: each one of them conquered the preceding empire. Islam conquered the Eastern Roman Empire, Rome conquered Greece, Greece conquered Persia, Persia conquered Babylon, and Babylon conquered Assyria. Each of these kingdoms also took the land of Israel and Jerusalem from the preceding empire.

However, something changes at this point. Assyria conquered the northern kingdom of Israel in 722 BC, but not Egypt. Egypt had not been a superpower for centuries by the time of the great Assyrian Empire. It is clear that we now have a gap between the first and second head. Israel is, of course, not counted among the seven heads. So, who could be the first head? It is generally thought that Egypt was the first head because they enslaved the Israelites before the Exodus.

We must remember that the Bible is written from an Israel/Jerusalem centric viewpoint. Who had control of the land of Israel and Jerusalem before the Israelites. The Canaanites, of course, who were conquered by the Israelites in the book of Joshua. This would mean that the first head of the Beast was Canaan, not Egypt.

Skipping Rome

Another problem that some may see in the Islamic Antichrist theory is that Daniel 2 and 7 skip the Roman Empire (see the chart above). Why does Daniel go from the Greek Empire to the Islamic Caliphate? The answer to this is very simple. We must remember that context of the book of Daniel is the Babylonian Empire. Daniel was living in the city of Babylon, very close to present-day Baghdad, Iraq. The statue of Daniel 2 and the beasts of Daniel 7 were given in a Babylonian context. The dream of a statue was given to Nebuchadnezzar, who was king of Babylon. The vision was giving a look into the future of his kingdom. The Roman Empire never conquered all the lands of the three kingdoms in Daniel 2 and 7. The next kingdom after Greece to conquer Persia was Islam, not Rome.

A Short Time

Revelation 17:10 says that the seventh head will remain for only a short time. This seems like a contradiction since the Islamic Caliphate lasted from 632-1924. This is not a short time. However, there is a possible solution to this problem. Remember that the legs of iron in Daniel 2 became a divided kingdom. The Islamic Empire was only politically united for a little more than a hundred years: from 632-750. In the year 750 it became divided between a dynasty in Spain, and another that existed throughout the rest of the Muslim world. Over the next couple of centuries, Islam would become more and more divided. In fact, the seeds of division had been sowed before 750 when Islam slowly began to split into two main factions: the Sunnis and the Shi’a. The iron portion of the empire only lasted for a short time. Islam has been divided for most of its history.

Gog of Magog

I will finish this article by presenting a few problems that some have with equating Gog with the Antichrist (see parts 4 and 5).

1)      Gog comes from the far north; Turkey is not in the far north.

2)      The armies of the Antichrist and Gog are destroyed in different places, so they cannot be the same.

3)      The weapons of Gog are burned for fuel. Why would they need to burn the weapons for fuel if Jesus has returned?

4)      Gog is killed, whereas the Antichrist is thrown alive into the lake of fire.

Gog comes from the far north

Ezekiel 38:14-16 and 39:1-3 specifically say that Gog will come from the “uttermost parts of the north.” As I noted in parts 4 and 5 of this series, the common belief is that Gog will come from Russia, which is far north of Israel. Some, of course, think that this confirms that Gog will come from Russia since Turkey is not in the “uttermost parts of the north.” Quite simply, Gog cannot come from Turkey.[3]

J. Paul Tanner notes the problem with this:

“Those who often equate the Ezekiel passage with Russia point out that Gog and its allies do not simply come from ‘the north’ but from the ‘remote parts of the north’ (Ezek 38:6, 15; 39:2). In fact, the NASB [translation of the Bible] reads “the remotest part of the north” in Ezek 39:2. In the NT, however, the three phrases are essentially the same: yrkty spwn. Hence there is no reason to translate Ezek 39:2 differently than the previous two references. The noun yrkh has the basic idea of ‘extreme portion,’ ‘extremity.’ But other occurrences of the word when used geographically reveal that the term does not have to mean the farthest point away. The expression myrkty-rs (“from the remote parts of the earth”) occurs four times in Jeremiah. In Jer 6:22 we read:  ‘Behold, a people is coming from the north land, and a great nation will be aroused from the remote parts of the earth.’ There is general agreement that this refers to Babylon in this context. Jeremiah 50:41 reads: ‘Behold a people is coming from the north, and a great nation and many kings will be aroused from the remotest parts of the earth.’ The context is dealing with God’s judgment upon Babylon and the enemies that he will bring upon Babylon. Although the invaders are not clearly specified, there is mention of the ‘kings of the Medes’ in the general context (51:11; cf. 51:27, 28). In two other verses (25:32; 31:8) God is depicted as stirring up nations from the remote parts of the earth, but the reference is quite vague. Outside of Ezekiel 38-39 yrkh is used in a geographical sense of nations from the Middle East, thereby demonstrating that the expression need not be taken to mean the farthest point possible.”[4]

The armies of the Antichrist and Gog are destroyed in different places.

Ezekiel 38:21 says that God will summon a sword against Gog on the mountains. 39:17 says that Gog’s army will be a sacrifice on the mountains of Israel. Yet the battle of Armageddon is said to be at Jerusalem; and Megiddo, the city whom Armageddon is named for, is in a plain in northern Israel.

This is not that strong of an argument since Ezekiel 39:5 speaks of Gog falling in the open field. Also, “the mountains of Israel” is a synecdoche for the entire land of Israel. Richardson notes that “the mountains of Israel” is similar to the phrase “all across the fruited plains” as a reference to the entirety of the United States.[5]

The weapons of Gog are burned

Ezekiel 39:9-10 says that the Israelites will burn the weapons of Gog’s army for fuel for seven years. Why would the Jewish people need fuel if Jesus has returned and can provide for everyone’s needs?

Isaiah 2:4 and Micah 4:3 say that the people of the earth will beat their swords into plowshares. This is a very poetic description of taking something for military use in a sinful world and turning it into something peaceful for the coming age of peace.

Gog is killed but the Antichrist will be thrown alive into Hell

Ezekiel teaches that Gog will die but that the Antichrist goes directly to Hell alive. However, this misses some very important data. For instance, 2 Thessalonians 2:8 says that the Antichrist will be slain by Jesus when he returns. Daniel 11:45 also says that the Antichrist will meet his end in Israel. Remember that the dead are still alive in the lake of fire since they are resurrected before being thrown into the fire.[6]

What do you think? Do these explanations help the Islamic Antichrist theory?

[1] David Reagan. “The Muslim Antichrist Theory: An Evaluation.”

[2] Joel Richardson. Mideast Beast. Washington D.C.: WND Books, 2012. Pg. 122-123.

[3] David Reagan. “The Antichrist: Will He Be a Muslim?”

[4] Tanner, “Daniel’s ‘King of the North.’” Quoted in Richardson, 219.

[5] Richardson, 190-191.

[6] Ibid. 194-195.

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