The origins of the Antichrist is perhaps one of the most popular topics among Christians. Over the years there have been many different theories ranging from an Antichrist that lived two thousand years ago, to an Antichrist that will come from Europe or the Middle East, to Barack Obama, George Bush, and everything in between. The debate can become very emotional, as every side can become very dogmatic. However, in this article, I want to purpose something that most Christians would never consider – that the Antichrist will originate from a nation that does not exist yet.
Before we actually begin to consider this I need to make some things clear. First, I believe that the biblical evidence strongly suggests that the Antichrist will emerge from the Middle East (see below for more on this). Second, please understand that I am not dogmatic concerning the nation that I will propose in this article as the homeland for the Antichrist. This is just an idea. I think that looking at the evidence for this will help Christians to stay on their toes and understand that there are different ways that the Antichrist could fulfill prophecy. I am not saying that this theory is correct. It very well may not be, but I do believe that it should be considered.
Details about the rise of the Antichrist
As I noted above, I personally believe that Scripture teaches that the Antichrist will come from the Middle East. Passages such as Daniel 2 and Revelation 17 are more consistent with the region of the Middle East, particularly the empire known as the Islamic Caliphate, rather than the Roman Empire. Daniel 8 and 11 compare the Antichrist to Antiochus IV Epiphanies and refer to both as “the king of the North” which was the region of the northern Middle East. Antiochus was the ruler of the Seleucid Empire which extended from Syria, Iraq, parts of Turkey all the way to the borders of India. Ezekiel 38 and 39 present Gog as the Antichrist and his homeland as the same general region as Daniel 8 and 11, as does Micah 5 which tells us that Christ will defeat an enemy known as the “Assyrian” when he returns. All of these place the origin of the Antichrist in the region known today as Turkey, Syria, and northern Iraq. (I have provided links to articles that I have written about the Middle Eastern origins of the Antichrist. If you want to argue against it, that’s fine, but please do so in the comment sections of those articles. For those who do not understand the arguments in favor for the theory please read the original articles for this current article is dependent on them.)
Now that I have summarized (very briefly) why I believe such things let me explain why I believe that the Antichrist could come from a nation that does not yet exist. First, Daniel 7:7-8 tells us about a kingdom that will emerge from the earth that will be terrible and dreadful. Daniel explains to us this beast has ten horns and he then says something curious: “While I was thinking about the horns, there before me was another horn, a little one, which came up among them; and three of the first horns were uprooted before it. This horn had eyes like the eyes of a man and a mouth that spoke boastfully.”
The prophet adds in verses 23-25: “He [the angel] gave me this explanation: ‘The fourth beast is a fourth kingdom that will appear on earth. It will be different from all the other kingdoms and will devour the whole earth, trampling it down and crushing it. The ten horns are ten kings who will come from this kingdom. After them another king will arise, different from the earlier ones; he will subdue three kings. He will speak against the Most High and oppress his saints and try to change the set times and the laws. The saints will be handed over to him for a time, times and half a time.”
The book of Revelation adds a few details concerning the Antichrist and these ten kings. 13:1 notes, “And I saw a beast coming out of the sea. He had ten horns and seven heads, with ten crowns on his horns, and on each head a blasphemous name.” Verses 2-10 go on to give more details of the beast in which are very similar to those found concerning the little horn that appears in Daniel 7. Lastly, 17:12-14 tells us that “The ten horns you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but who for one hour will receive authority as kings along with the beast. They have one purpose and will give their power and authority to the beast. They will make war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will overcome them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings–and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers.”
In these passages we learn the following: 1) the ten horns are ten kings that will emerge from the final kingdom (the ten kings are equivalent to the ten toes of the Daniel 2 statue); 2) an eleventh horn, the Antichrist, comes up among them as a little horn and defeats three of them. This seems to strongly imply that the ten kings are contemporaneous; 3) the ten kings are said to have crowns in Revelation 13, but nowhere in any of these Scriptures is the Antichrist said to have a crown; and 4) the ten kings give their authority to the Antichrist.
Points 2 and 3 are to be especially noted. The Antichrist will begin with little power (a little horn) among kings who have the authority to rule (this is what their crowns imply). Thus, the text seems to be pointing to the fact that the Antichrist will come from a background that does not give him the authority to rule over nations and peoples. He begins as a man with little power among rulers who have it, and he gains power and authority by defeating three of the ten.
Scholar Robert Mounce, in his commentary on Revelation, makes an interesting observation, “There are a number of suggestions as to why the diadems [crowns] are placed on the horns rather than on the heads of the beast. The most plausible is that his claim to authority rests on brute force.”
All of this paints an interesting picture: 1) the Antichrist will emerge from the region that once constituted the Seleucid Empire, the Assyrian Empire and other ancient peoples such as Meshech and Tubal (these two nations appear in Ezekiel 38 – see my articles on the Antichrist); 2) he will rise up with little to no authority of his own among a group of ten kings who do have the authority and military might that he does not have access to.
As you can see from the maps above, the only major nations in this region that could make up the nation of the Antichrist are Turkey, Syria, or Iraq. However, there is a problem with these three nations being the little horn that springs up – none of these powers are exactly little. Turkey, for example, is one of the most powerful nations in the world and Syria and Iraq are not exactly the weakest among the nations in that region, and all three of them have authority to rule (Iraq is Babylon for example).
It is possible that a powerful nation like Turkey could grow weak in the future (become a little kingdom) then come back strong. But I also think it is a possibility that the Antichrist will come from a country with no historical right to kingship. An example would be ISIS. They have rose up in that exact area and are quickly trying to turn the lands they rule into a state. (I have already written on this topic and I note that although it is possible that the Antichrist could come from ISIS, it is unlikely).
However, I think there is another possible nation that could fulfill the exact role of the kingdom of the Antichrist. What nation could that possibly be? Take a look at the following map:
Notice something interesting? The lands highlighted above could very well make up a new nation someday – Kurdistan. The Kurds are an ethnic group that live throughout parts of Turkey, Iraq, Syria, and even Iran. Kurdistan makes up what was Magog, Meshech, and Tubal (where Gog of Ezekiel 38 will come from), the main areas of the Seleucid Empire (where Antiochus IV Epiphanies ruled), and Assyria (the “Assyrian” of Micah 5).
I am proposing that it is a possibility that the Antichrist could come from the area that may be known someday as the nation of Kurdistan. Again I want the reader to understand that I am not dogmatic on this. I only believe that it could happen. Kurdistan is situated perfectly in the exact region in which numerous passages of Scripture place the origin of the Antichrist. We must remember that many of the nations in the Middle East today (and many nations throughout the world) did not exist in their current form one hundred years ago. Look at Israel – a nation born overnight. Look at ISIS. So the idea that a Kurdistan could be born someday in the future is not impossible, and so is the idea that it could be the place of origin for the man of lawlessness.
What do you think? Is this plausible or just plain silly? Leave a comment below or on our Facebook page.
 Robert Mounce. The Book of Revelation. Revised. The New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997). 245.