The origin of the Antichrist is a hotly debated topic within Christianity. The most common belief is that the Antichrist will come from a revived Roman Empire. However, there is abundant biblical evidence that the Antichrist will come from the Middle East, specifically the modern nation of Turkey. I have already written a ten-part series on this topic. This article is a short summary of the arguments presented in that series. I have included links to that series below.
Passages that point to a Middle Eastern origin for the Antichrist
The book of Daniel, contrary to common belief, tells us that the Antichrist will come from the Middle East and not Europe as most think.
- Daniel 2 records for us King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. The dream was of a large statue that was divided into five different parts (2:31-35): a) a head of gold; b) chest and arms made of silver; c) belly and thighs of bronze; d) legs of iron; and e) feet and toes mixed with clay and iron. It is during the time of the feet and toes that Christ returns to set up his kingdom (2:44).The first three sections (gold, silver, and bronze) are the Babylonian, Medo-Persian, and Greek Empires. The iron and mixed sections are usually thought to be Rome and a revived Roman Empire. However, there is a major problem with this interpretation. Daniel 2:40 says that the iron kingdom will destroy the first three. Rome never conquered the Persian Empire and a good portion of the lands ruled by Greece. The only empire in history that did this was the Islamic Caliphate (632-1924 AD).
- Daniel 7 is one of the most well-known chapters in the Bible concerning the end-times. It parallels Daniel 2 as it gives us four beasts (Lion, Bear, Leopard, and a terrifying Beast) that correspond to Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and the final Beast with iron claws. This final beast has ten horns which correspond to the fifth section (feet and toes) of the statue. The fourth beast of chapter 7 is the same as the fourth and fifth sections of the statue in chapter 2.
- Daniel 8 and 11 also place the origins of the Antichrist in the Middle East, specifically the Empire of the Seleucids. The main lands of the Seleucids were Turkey, Iraq, Lebanon, and Syria (although it did include other lands earlier in its history). Daniel 8:9-13; 23-25 give us details about the Antichrist and 8:17, 19 specifically tell us that the vision has its primary fulfillment at “the time of the end,” “the time of wrath,” and “the appointed time of the end.” 11:36-45 identifies the Antichrist as “the King of the North” which in this context was the region of Turkey, Syria, and Iraq.
- Revelation 13 records that the Beast/Antichrist is a composite of the first three beasts of Daniel 7 (13:1-2). Similar characteristics that we are told about the Antichrist in Daniel 7, 8, and 11 are given in Revelation 13:1-8. It is not unreasonable to conclude that the Beast in Revelation 13 is the same as the fourth and final beast in Daniel 7 and the final two sections of the statue of Daniel 2.
- Revelation 17 gives us a vision of a woman that is riding on the Beast of Revelation 13. The Beast’s seven heads, which were first introduced in Revelation 13:1, are now identified as kingdoms (17:9-11). Five of them had already fallen by the time John had lived (usually identified as Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, and Greece), while the sixth (Rome), was in existence at the time. The seventh was to come later. The Beast/Antichrist is an eighth kingdom and it is a rebirth of the seventh (13:3; 17:11). Identifying the seventh kingdom will allow us to understand where the Antichrist will come from. As I noted earlier, the book of Daniel tells us that the kingdom of the Antichrist will emerge after the Greek Empire (the fifth kingdom), but that it cannot be Rome for reasons that I explained above and in another article (who is the sixth here). Thus, the kingdom of the Antichrist must come after Rome. The only empire to emerge after Rome and have any relationship with the Holy Land (a commonality of the first six kingdoms) was the Islamic Caliphate, which conforms well to what we know about the Antichrist from Daniel.
- It is in Ezekiel 38 and 39 that we are told that the Antichrist will come out of Turkey. The following evidence summarizes what I write about in another article: a) God refers to Gog in a way that only makes sense if Gog is the Antichrist (38:17; 39:8); b) there are many parallels between Gog’s battle and Armageddon (see my article on Gog for all the different Scriptures); c) both Gog and the Antichrist use peace as a way to wage war (Daniel 8:25; 9:27; 1 Thessalonians 5:2-3; Ezekiel 38:12-13); d) there are many details given about the aftermath of Gog’s battle that will only occur at the second coming of Christ. These include God’s name no longer being blasphemed (38:23; 39:7), the non-Jewish nations coming to know the Lord (38:23; 39:6-7), the Jews dwelling in their land safely forever (39:26), God pouring out his spirit upon Israel (38:29), and Ezekiel telling us that the Lord will actually be present at the defeat of Gog (39:29).
- Ezekiel 38:2-6 teaches us that Gog is of Magog and is the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. It is also said that Persia, Cush, Put, Gomer, and Beth Togarmah fight with Gog. Persia, Cush, and Put are the easiest to identify as they are Iran, Sudan, and Libya respectively. However, the other five nations have been misidentified. Magog, Meshech, and Tubal are usually said to be Russia, but an in-depth study of these nations shows that they were areas in what is today Turkey. Gomer and Beth Togarmah were also in Turkey.
The Antichrist will not emerge from Europe; he will come from the Middle East. Daniel 2, 8, 11, and Ezekiel 38-39 are the chapters in Scripture that specifically point to this. Sadly, most Christians are completely unaware and are still looking at the European Union for any sign of the man of lawlessness.