Five Reasons why the Antichrist will come from the Middle East

Category: The End Times 2,374 8

The location for the origins of the Antichrist is a hotly debated topic among Christians. The popular beliefs teach that he will arise either out of a revived Roman Empire or even the United States. However, there are five biblical reasons why the Antichrist will not come from Europe or America, but instead he will come from the Middle East.[1]

1. The Islamic Caliphate is the only empire to fulfill the requirements of Daniel 2, 7 and Revelation 13.

Daniel 2 and 7 provide the reader with details about four great kingdoms that will emerge throughout history. The first three are generally seen as the ancient empires of Babylon, Medo-Persia, and Greece. Rome is usually thought to be the last kingdom. Thus, it is believed that the Antichrist will come from the area once ruled by Rome (some people try to squeeze America in there somehow). However, there are some major problems with Rome being the fourth empire.

First, the fourth kingdom is said to crush the first three empires (Daniel 2:40). Rome never did this. They never conquered Persia, most of the Greek empire, and held on to Babylon for only a very short period of time. Second, the fourth kingdom is symbolized by the legs of a giant statue in Daniel 2. The third kingdom, Greece, is presented as the bronze belly and thighs of the statue. The belly represents Alexander the Great while the two thighs are the two main kingdoms that emerged from Alexander’s mighty empire: the Seleucids and Ptolemaic Egypt.

The point is that the fourth kingdom (the legs) emerge from the two thighs (the Seleucids and Ptolemaic Empires). This is sometimes thought to have been fulfilled by the Roman Empire’s split into eastern and western empires (as the Seleucid and Ptolemaic Empires were east-west divisions of the Greek Empire). However, this does not match up with the Seleucid and Ptolemaic Empires because they were Middle Eastern. The divide between east and west would have been Syria and Iraq (around the Euphrates River), not the middle of Europe as with Rome. Rome simply does not match up geographically with Syria and Egypt. Instead, the fourth kingdom must cover the same general geography as the divisions of Alexander’s empire.

Both of these details (the “crushing” and the division between east and west in the Middle East) were fulfilled not by Rome, but only by the Islamic Caliphate which was a Middle Eastern empire (see maps). This is also important since the fourth kingdom in Daniel 7 and the beast in Revelation 13 are the same empire as the legs of iron in Daniel 2. The beast of Revelation 13 is a composite of the first three beasts of Daniel 7 (a lion, bear, and leopard) which were all Middle Eastern empires!

The Ptolemaic Empire is in green. The Seleucid Empire is in yellow. c. 300 BC.
The Ptolemaic Empire is in green. The Seleucid Empire is in yellow. c. 300 BC.
Roman Empire at its height in 117 AD (source: wikipedia.org)
Roman Empire at its height in 117 AD (source: wikipedia.org)
Islamic Caliphate in 661 AD. Notice that it covered the same basic area as Babylonian, Persian, and Greek Empires? (source: wikipedia.org)
Islamic Caliphate in 661 AD. Notice that it covered the same basic area as Babylonian, Persian, and Greek Empires? (source: wikipedia.org)

 

2. Revelation 17 teaches that the Antichrist will come from a kingdom that exists after the Roman Empire.

Revelation 17 gives us some very interesting details about the kingdom of the Antichrist. The beast that appears in this chapter is the same beast that appears in chapter 13, and is thus the fourth kingdom in Daniel 2 and 7. However, chapter 17 reveals for us some additional information. Verse 9 teaches that the seven heads on the beast (which first make an appearance in 13:1) are seven kingdoms/kings. By the time John was writing Revelation five of them had fallen (generally believed to be Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, and Greece) and the sixth was currently in existence (Rome). The seventh, however, was still in the future and the beast itself was an eighth king/kingdom.

Revelation 13:3 tells says that one of the heads had a fatal wound that was healed, and 17:11 says that the beast, the eighth king, belongs to the seven. The kingdom of the Antichrist is a revival of one of the first seven empires (the fatal wound that is healed indicates that one of the seven kingdoms will be healed/revived). The question is which one of the seven?

As I mentioned above the fourth kingdom of Daniel 2 and 7 is the kingdom of the Antichrist, so it must come after Greece which is the fifth empire in the sequence provided by Revelation 17. Since Rome is the sixth head, but is not the place of origin for the Antichrist, than it must be the seventh kingdom that will emerge at some point in history, decline, and then be revived during the end of days.

The Islamic Caliphate fits these details once again. The empire was founded after the fall of the Western Roman Empire. It existed as a dominant force (iron) from 632-750 AD. Afterwards it would slowly weaken until we see the conditions of the Middle East today (fitting the details of Daniel 2 very well).

3. Gog of Magog is the Antichrist and he comes from the Middle East.

Ezekiel 38 and 39 give details about an invasion of Israel in the last days. It is led by a man called Gog. It is commonly thought that he will be a Russian ruler who attacks Israel before or in the earlier part of the Tribulation. Instead there are many details on these two chapters that point to Gog actually being the Antichrist.

First, God calls the day of Gog’s invasion “the day of which I have spoken” (Ezekiel 39:8). Second, God calls Gog the Antichrist when he says, “Are you not the one I spoke of in former days…” (Ezekiel 38:17). Only the Antichrist is given any mention in the context of the end times.

Third, there are many similarities between Gog’s battle and Armageddon. For example, both Gog and the Antichrist are destroyed by an earthquake (Ezekiel 39:19-20; Revelation 16:18-20), both armies are stricken by plagues (Ezekiel 38:22; Zechariah 14:12; Habakkuk 3:3-6), both armies turn on themselves at the last hour (Ezekiel 38:21; Zechariah 14:13), and the call for the animals to come feast on God’s enemies (Ezekiel 39:17-20; Revelation 19:17-18). Fourth, both Gog and the Antichrist use peace to wage war (Ezekiel 38:12-13; Daniel 8:25, 9:27, 11:24).

This map shows us one of the popular interpretations of the nations in Ezekiel 38-39. However, it is not entirely correct. Rosh may or may not be a nation, but if it is, it should be placed in the western portion of Iran, not in Russia. Magog should be in Turkey. Source for map: http://www.lamblion.us/2010/04/gog-magog-battle-ezekiel-387-17.html
This map shows us one of the popular interpretations of the nations in Ezekiel 38-39. However, it is not entirely correct. Rosh may or may not be a nation, but if it is, it should be placed in the western portion of Iran, not in Russia. Magog should be in Turkey. Source for map: http://www.lamblion.us/2010/04/gog-magog-battle-ezekiel-387-17.html

Lastly, certain details happen during the aftermath of Gog’s defeat such as 1) God’s name will no longer be blasphemed (Ezekiel 38:23, 39:7). How could this happen before the Antichrist when he will be the greatest blasphemer (Daniel 7:25). 2) The Gentile nations will come to know God (Ezekiel 38:23, 39:6-7). How can this occur before the Antichrist takes power when he will take over the Gentile nations and then demand to be worshipped? 3) The Jewish people are delivered (Ezekiel 39:25-28). How can they be delivered when the Antichrist is still to come and will be the worst persecutor of God’s people in all of history? 4) The Israelites will dwell in their land safely forever (Ezekiel 39:26). Once again, how can they dwell forever in safety if the Antichrist is still to come? 5) God will pour his spirit out on his people (Ezekiel 39:29; Zechariah 12:9-11). 6) Jesus himself will be present in the land (Ezekiel 38:19-20). See the article here for more. 7) The phrase “the Holy One in Israel” is only used here in Scripture. I noted in another article:

“Ezekiel 39:7 says that the Lord is the Holy One in Israel. This is the only time in the Bible that the phrase ‘the Holy One in Israel’ is used. The phrase ‘the Holy One of Israel’ is used numerous times, but the former phrase appears only here. Ezekiel seems to be making the specific point that God is actually in the land at the defeat of Gog.”

All of this is important since Gog comes from the Middle East (particularly the region known today as Turkey). Ezekiel 38:2-6 says that Gog will be from Magog and be a prince over Meshech and Tubal. Each of these places are located in modern-day Turkey, not Russia. Persia, Put, and Cush are Iran, Libya, and Sudan (all Muslim nations) and Gomer and Beth Togarmah are in Turkey as well. See the previous link for a more in-depth analysis of this.

4. Daniel 8 implies that the Antichrist will come from the Middle East. 

Daniel 8 records a vision about the Medo-Persian and Greek empires. It also gives us a glimpse at Antiochus Epiphanes, the Seleucid ruler who harshly persecuted the Jewish people in the middle of the second century BC. However, there are details within the chapter that seem to point to a possible double fulfillment. Daniel 8:17, 19 speak about this vision ultimately being fulfilled during “the time of the end,” “in the time of wrath,” and “the appointed time of the end.”

Also, many of the details given about Antiochus also correspond with the known details about the Antichrist. Antiochus is seen by many scholars to be a type of Antichrist (think of foreshadowing). What is interesting is that Antiochus comes from the Seleucid Empire which as I noted earlier was a Middle Eastern empire. This could very well point to the place of origin of the Antichrist in the former Seleucid Empire which included the nations of Syria, Turkey, Iraq, Lebanon, and regions east of Iraq. This corresponds with the origin place of Gog.

5. Daniel 11 places the origins of the Antichrist in the Middle East.

Daniel 11:36-45 is a passage that has caused a lot of debate. Does it refer to Antiochus Epiphanes or the Antichrist? The passage comes at the end of a section on the interaction of the Seleucid and Ptolemaic Empires. The verses prior to 36-45 concern Antiochus. However, many scholars believe that the section in question (36-45) fast forwards to the Antichrist. Here is a summary of the evidence:

“1) 12:1 uses the phrase ‘at that time’ to connect 11:36-45 to the resurrection and judgment of the dead. 2) 11:35-36 gives us the transition verse between Antiochus and the Antichrist by noting ‘until the time of the end.’ 3) Verse 36 says that the king will be successful until the ‘time of wrath’ is completed. Antiochus did not live during the ‘time of wrath.’ The Antichrist, however, will live during that period. 4) Verse 40 puts the passage ‘at the time of the end.’ 5) The life and career of Antiochus does not fit with the details of 11:36-45. 6) The descriptions of the king in verses 36-45 fit very well with what we know of the Antichrist. 7) 12:1 notes that a great time of distress will occur in connection with the events in 11:36-45. Jesus brings this up in Matthew 24:21 and adds that this great distress will never be equaled again. This time of distress had yet not happened by the time of Christ and he connects it with his second coming.”

All of this strongly implies that the Antichrist is the one in view and not Antiochus. This also points to a Middle Eastern origin for the end-time dictator. Why? The verses about the Antichrist flow naturally from the preceding section of Antiochus and the Seleucid realm (which is, once again, Middle Eastern). The passage even refers to the Antichrist as “the King of the North” which was a title for the Seleucid kings in Daniel. (Many people try to counter this with various arguments, but these criticisms have logical answers for them.)

Conclusion

In my opinion, Scripture points to a Middle Eastern origin for the Antichrist. Rome simply does not fit the details that the Prophets and Apostles provide us. I know many of you are thinking of some possible counter arguments such as Daniel 9:26, the Antichrist claiming to be god, or that the Islamic Antichrist theory is racist or even popular because of terrorism. These arguments fall apart upon close examination.

What do you think? Leave a comment below or on our Facebook page.

[1] This article is a summary of a series that I wrote on the Antichrist. Links to that series are found throughout this article. My sources can be found in those articles.

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8 thoughts on “Five Reasons why the Antichrist will come from the Middle East

  1. Merril Dail

    Bible says JESUS will return like a thief in the dark. Just be ready for JESUS when that time happens and all will be great!

    Reply
  2. David McMurtry

    The End Times and anti-Christ teaching metrics by the inspired writers were intended to inspire, focus, encourage and provide hope toward helping their audiences to hold on in difficult times. None of these things actually had to happen (obviously) for those audiences. Nor do they ever have to happen. Growing in spirit is the goal; these prophetic dynamics aid that effort. But after 2,000 years we should realize their intent while not thinking they will ever occur

    Reply
  3. brandy byron

    Lots of people these days ramble on about how these prophecies are nothing we need to concern ourselves with. These people ignore Bible verses such as 2 Peter 1:19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts.// We are told to know these prophecies so that we wont be in the dark, we are to heed the words-> Not dismiss the words as things that will never happen. God tells us many times in the Bible to meditate on His word and He tells us in 1 Thessalonians 5:4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. we are to know the WORD. The words on paper , the law, the prophecies and to know our Savior – otherwise, we are ill prepared like the unwise virgins. Never let anyone one tell you that ->2 Timothy 2:15 Study (studying) to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth =is a waste of your mental and emotional energy. God never says such a thing. Those are not His words and as such can not be a message from your Creator and Savior. Know the book front to back- otherwise you will fall prey to: Jude 1:4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. Anyone telling you not to study the word- any portion of it, is Not of God. Period. If they are, they have been fooled and are passing along a fools message.

    Reply
    1. David McMurtry

      We were not the intended audiences so everything written must be first passed through the circumstances and times of the intended audience before assigning any relevance to specific theological concepts presented in Scripture. So it is not pertinent whether anything written to inhabitants of modern day Turkey in Revelation by John to inspire them, ever happens, since those words were presented to encourage them to hold on during difficult times.

      Reply
  4. Pingback: Revelation 13:1-10 Seven Characteristics of the Antichrist - JimErwin.com

  5. Josh

    The seven heads in Rev 17 are the same seven heads on the four beasts of Dan 7 and Rev 13. The lion had one head the bear had one head and the leopard had four heads. John said that 5 of the heads (kingdoms) had fallen and one is and that one would be the unconquered territory of the Seleucid empire and wouldn’t have anything to do with Rome.

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