The Antichrist, the Islamic Caliphate, and the Seven Heads of the Beast

Category: The End Times 1,657 9

One of the most popular topics among Christians is the Antichrist (aka, the Beast). The most common belief is that the Antichrist will come from Europe, or maybe even America. However, as I have shown in other articles, my belief is that the Antichrist will come from the Middle East, and will be a Muslim. However, like all beliefs, there are differences of opinion among those who believe in an Islamic Antichrist. Some think that the Antichrist will re-establish the Ottoman Empire, while others look at the Islamic Caliphate in general. This difference of opinion deals with Revelation 13 and 17, and can be considered by some to be a problem with the Islamic Antichrist theory.

Revelation 13 and 17 and a problem with the Islamic Antichrist

In Revelation 17, we read about a woman who rides the beast. The beast in this chapter is the same beast that is described in Revelation 13:1-10 and Daniel 7:7-8, 19-25. Revelation 13 speaks about how this beast (a symbol for the Antichrist and his kingdom) will have seven heads and ten horns. For this article, only the seven heads are important to examine.

It is in Revelation 17 that we are told exactly what the seven heads (also called mountains) are: seven different kingdoms. In a previous article, I examined the popular belief that the seven mountains/heads are thought to be a reference to the city of Rome, thus leading many people to accept that the Antichrist will come from a revived Roman Empire. However, as I showed, the seven mountains have nothing to do with the Seven Hills of Rome.

The seven mountains of the beast represent seven different kingdoms throughout history:

1)      Egypt or Canaan

2)      Assyria

3)      Babylon

4)      Medo-Persia

5)      Greece (Alexander the Great’s empire)

6)      Rome

7)      A Future Kingdom

The text specifically says that five of the kingdoms had fallen by John’s time, and that one “is.” The sixth one is Rome since it was the kingdom in power during John’s lifetime. However, the seventh kingdom has been interpreted to mean many different things. Some examples include: the United States, Great Britain, Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union, the Holy Roman Empire, to name but just a few. In a previous article, I showed that only Islam fulfills the seventh head.

Among those who believe in an Islamic Antichrist the seventh head has been interpreted in a couple different ways. First, the seventh head is the entire Islamic Caliphate between the year 632 (the death of Muhammad) and 1924 when the Caliphate came to an end in the aftermath of World War I. The word “caliph” means the “successor” of Muhammad. The Islamic Caliphate (the government/empire of Islam) took Jerusalem from the Eastern Roman Empire in the year 637.

The second interpretation is that the seventh head of the beast is the Ottoman Empire. The Ottoman Empire was a Turkish empire that existed from 1299 until 1924 (technically speaking, the government of the Ottomans fell a couple years earlier, but the office of the caliph wasn’t abolished until 1924.) It finished off the Roman Empire (the sixth head) when it conquered the city of Constantinople in 1453. Constantinople was the capital city of the Byzantine, or the Eastern Roman Empire.

Problems with the Two Interpretations

However, both of these theories run into problems. The first, the Islamic Caliphate from the seventh century until 1924, runs into a problem in that Revelation 17:10 says that the seventh kingdom will be rule only for “a short time” (or “a little while”). This naturally implies that the seventh kingdom will last only for a short period of time. The Islamic Caliphate lasted almost 1500 years. This is not usually considered a short time.

The second theory, the Ottoman Empire, has a problem with the basic description of the kingdom of the Antichrist – namely that the kingdom of the Antichrist will look like the kingdom of Alexander the Great according to Revelation 13:2, Daniel 7:6, and Daniel 2:36-45 – an empire that ruled from Egypt and Turkey in the west to Afghanistan, Pakistan, and western India to the east. The Ottoman Empire never ruled farther east than the western portion of Iran – it never ruled Afghanistan or Pakistan. Nor did it rule any part of Central Asia whereas the Greek Empire and Islamic Caliphate did.

The Empire of Alexander the Great.
The Empire of Alexander the Great. (source: Wikipedia.org)
The Islamic Caliphate in the year 750 AD. Notice that it looks like Alexander's kingdom, but is bigger.
The Islamic Caliphate in the year 750 AD. Notice that it looks like Alexander’s kingdom, but is bigger. (source: Wikipedia.org)
The Ottoman Empire at the height of its power. Notice that it does not look like Alexander's kingdom.
The Ottoman Empire at the height of its power. Notice that it does not look like Alexander’s kingdom as much as the second map above. (source: Wikipedia.org)

The strength of the first view (the Islamic Caliphate) is that the Islamic empire as a whole looks a lot like Alexander’s kingdom which fulfills the prophecies about the kingdom of the Antichrist. However, it did not conquer the Roman Empire like the Ottomans did. It only took Jerusalem and the land of Israel away from the Romans.

The difference between the two views is whether or not the seventh kingdom in Revelation 17 should have conquered the sixth kingdom (Rome). My opinion is that the Islamic Empire in the seventh century AD should be seen as the seventh head since it looks like the leopard of Daniel 7, whereas the Ottoman Empire does not fulfill this prophecy. It was also the Early Islamic kingdom that conquered Jerusalem which is one of the most important parts of biblical prophecy.

Solving the Problem

Either way we have a problem. Neither model fits the description of the seventh head of Revelation 17. Is there a solution to this problem? I believe there is.

We must first understand that the Antichrist’s empire is a rebirth of one of the seven heads. I argued in a previous article that it is the seventh head. Revelation 13 says that one of the heads had a fatal wound but that it had been healed. This is telling us that the beast (Antichrist) is a revived kingdom from the past. Notice however, that the text says that the head seemed to have had a fatal wound. The kingdom/head starts out strong, becomes so weak that it seems like it is dead, and then becomes strong again with the Antichrist.

This goes along with Daniel 2:36-45 where it speaks about the legs of iron. The legs of iron become the feet and toes of iron and clay – a kingdom that has some strength in it, but is also divided and weak. The ten toes correspond with the ten kings and horns of Daniel 7 and Revelation 13 and 17. It is during the days of the ten kings that the Antichrist will emerge and soon afterwards Christ will return to set up his kingdom.

How does this information correlate with Revelation 17 where the seventh head will rule for “a short time”? Before giving my theory, let me briefly explain Islamic history. After the death of Muhammad in 632 AD, his first four successors (caliphs) ruled Islam until the year 661, a total of only 29 years. Between 661 and 750, the Umayyad dynasty ruled the world of Islam. After 750, the Islamic world entered into a long phase where it became weak and divided. Since 750, the Muslim world has seen both strong and weak kingdoms just like what Daniel 2 teaches us.

The seventh head of Revelation 17 and the legs of Iron in Daniel 2 correspond and represent the same kingdom. This would be the Early Islamic Empire from 632-750 AD. This was the only period in Islamic history where Muslims were unified politically and as strong as iron.

Legs of Iron/Seventh Head Islamic Caliphate (632-750 AD)
Feet and Toes of Iron and Clay/Fatal Wound Divided Islamic Caliphate (750-present)
Antichrist/Ten Toes The revived Islamic Caliphate/Antichrist

Conclusion

The fact that there is a difference of interpretation among those who believe that the Antichrist is a Muslim is not a problem. A popular belief that the Ottoman Empire is the kingdom that the Antichrist will rebuild does not fulfill Bible prophecy. Although the Antichrist will come from Turkey, it is clear that the Early Islamic Empire fulfills the seventh kingdom of Revelation 17 and will be the empire that the Antichrist will revive in the future.

What do you think? Does this help explain a “problem” with the Islamic Antichrist theory? Leave your opinion below or on our Facebook page.

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9 thoughts on “The Antichrist, the Islamic Caliphate, and the Seven Heads of the Beast

  1. Judith T. Harding

    I find great merit and insight into your thought that the 7th head of Revelation may be limited to the Early Islamic Empire of 632-750 A.D. I checked out locations of the ancient map: Kairounan = Tunisia; Isfahan = Persia/Iran; Kufa = Iraq; Fustat = Egypt.

    I was pleased to discover your site, learned a lot from your article about the Caliphate, and will keep my eyes open about these particular territories, as far as an 8th head of the 7th developing! Jesus is LORD, and He’s coming soon!!!

  2. Judith T. Harding

    Your article on the Caliphate spurred me to research its modern-day aspirations. An article from the website Jadaliyya reports on a new book (coming out of an international conference of Muslims, if I understand correctly) about current aspirations for the Caliphate. This article can be found at this link:

    http://www.jadaliyya.com/pages/index/13267/new-texts-out-now_madawi-al-rasheed-carool-kersten

    The name of the book is “Demystifying The Caliphate: Historical Memory and Contemporary Contexts, ed. by Madawi Al-Rasheed, Carool Kersten, and Marat Shterin; New York & Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2013. (These editors are listed as authoring the article from which I will quote in a moment.)

    This book is a collection of input from scholars and other interested Muslims, investigating current Musliim-world interest in, or opposition to, re-establishing an Islamic Caliphate. From a Biblical perspective, I particularly noted two things from Jadaliyya’s article about the book:

    1. The Introduction of this book notes that the Ottoman Empire was “the longest-surviving Caliphate in Islamic history.” This fact, juxtaposed upon the fact that the 7th head of the Revelation beast only continues a SHORT time, is quite note-worthy. How can the longest, become short? The Ottoman Empire does not seem to fit the Bible’s description, as you have aptly emphasized.

    2. From an excerpt in the Introduction of this book, one sees a strong link to Palestinian issues — and thus to God’s Holy Land. This connection the editors note, in spite of the fact that they analyze many varied reasons for Muslims desiring the Caliphate. Those of us who love God’s Word are once more reminded how world conflicts and longings keep returning to the area of our globe that God shall make “a cup of trembling” for all nations.

    The excerpt reads:

    “It is unsurprising that Taqi al-Din al-Nabhani, who was forcibly ‘de-territorialized’ from his Palestinian homeland, was the first to systematically theorize the resurrection of the caliphate in the mid-twentieth century, a call that finds echoes among some from the second and third generation of Muslims living in the West or from young activists emerging out of decades of Soviet rule in Central Asia and Northern Caucasus, or among urban youths in Jakarta and elsewhere. Consequently, calls to re-establish the caliphate are not anchored in a pristine, traditional, scholastic longing for a bygone past but are a response to modernity and its conditions. Within this framework we can begin to comprehend the twentieth-century response to the fall of the caliphate and the contemporary calls for its revival, either as a restoration of the historical polity or as a concept and vision of the ideal global society. Rather than being brushed aside as dreams and fantasies, these responses and calls can be better understood as modern manifestations of conditions that many Muslims have experienced in various degrees. The caliphate becomes an old idea, rejuvenated by contemporary reflections on the modern conditions that can only persist and intensify.”

    Bottom line for me? Our Almighty God is LORD of all — and that includes all of history! “Even so, come, LORD Jesus.”

  3. mmcclellan2

    Thanks for your comment. Sorry for not getting back with you sooner, I have been very busy this past week. I remember about a year ago seeing a video on the current crisis in Syria. It showed the rebels chanting for “an Islamic Caliphate.” I’ll look and see if I can find the video. One of the primary motivations for terrorists and the Muslim Brotherhood is to establish a new Caliphate that will conquer the world.

    An excellent website for news concerning Islam and its attempt at global domination is barenakedislam.com. Be warned though. The site does have videos and pictures of beheadings and other horrible things that Muslims do. The site shows these things to tell the truth about Islam, and to give proof that it is not “a religion of peace.”

    The article and book that you mentioned sound interesting. I need to read them, and maybe use them to write another article on the Islamic Antichrist.

  4. Alan

    I reccomend “The Islamic Anti-Christ” by Joel Richardson

  5. mmcclellan2

    Alan, thanks for the comment. I have read Richardson’s book. I thought it was a great read, and I recommend it to everyone with an interest in the Antichrist.

  6. donal

    – 10 horns
    1. muhamad
    2 Abu bakr
    3 umar
    4 utman
    5 ali
    6 hasan
    7 husein
    8 khalid ibn al walid
    9 Abu ubaidah
    10 jafar bin abi talib
    >> 10 horns purpose to give power and authority to the beast (rev 17:13) they will rule for one hour that’s 41 years (one prophetic day equal to 1000 years) started 620 (islam perfected when mohamed ascend to heaven-isra mijrad and receive allah order to pray 5 times/day) until 661 when ali,hasan,husein subdue to muawiyah

    Small horn: muawiyah

    after mohamed died he replaced by 4 caliphs, abu bakr, umar both father in law, utman, ali both son in law of mohamed so all blood related to mohamed. problem arise when utman replaced by ali, muawiyah who’s blood related to utman but not to ali protest said no need blood related to mohamed to rule islam anyone can as long as justified and starting rebellion. in 660 AD muawiyah gain control most of islamic caliphate territory and jan 661 ali died months later ali sons hasan (5th caliph) and husain(2nd imam of shiah) surrender to muawiyah new caliphate sytem (non blood/sunni) last for 1260 years from 660 (muawiyah gain control of IC) until 1920 (first meeting of league of nation, fall of ottoman)

    7 heads are kings/kingdom, 5 fallen, one is, the other not come (rev 17:10)
    1 egypt
    2 asiria
    3 babylon
    4 persia
    5 greece
    6 rome
    7 islamic caliphate – blood related leadership
    8 islamic caliphate – non blood related

  7. donal

    REVELATION 13 by each verse

    1. Beast appeared (look daniel 7 4th beast), this is symbol of islam/allah as whole
    2. resembled of lion, bear and leopard only islam ever conquer 3 beasts territory and it is HISTORICAL FACT you will never seen rome map reach persian.
    3. one head wounded but heal, it is the first fitna when muawiyah fight against ali which cost many jihadist troops but finally muawiyah wins and his umayah caliphate conquer from spain to persia
    4. who can fight the beast? islam is so powerfull under rashidun and umayah and most of her conquest last until now (while rome suffer many defeats, split even lost its territory) men worship islam as religion not rome
    5. 42 month represent power of new system calliphate that replace blood related from 660 (muawiyah gain most IC territory) until 1920 (end of WW1, first meeting of league of nation held in january, fall of ottoman empire)
    6. islam insult god and his dwelling place, islam called jesus as man, replace true israel god with pagan deity and build mosque in jerusalem salomn temple
    7. islam fight against jew and christian even defeating christian byzantium empire and also islam/allah spread throughout the world.
    8 there are 1.5 B muslim now from all over the world
    9/10. islam spread her teaching with sword (war)

    11. islam claimed to believe prophet isa/jesus believe in all prophet and their book of torah and sabur/psalm (look like a lamb) but insult him by reject jesus divinity, claim all prophet were muslim and claimed bible is a fake (speak like dragon). the beast is early jihadist(when they are still in small number then gaining more follower), two horns represent rashidun and umayah caliphate

    12. rashidun and umayah are moslim and they forced people to follow islam

    13-15. muslim always claim mohamed split the moon and it is known they respect /using demonic jinn (genie) even dark magic and claimed thats all from allah almighty. they will kill those who insult islam. in war islam bring cannon which unknown to christian that weapon can cause explosion (fire from heaven)

    16-18 under rashidun and umayah caliphate islam expand its territory with war/sword they commit forced religious convertion with death penalty or paying high taxes (jizyah) so non converter will become very poor (unable to buy/sell – rev 13:16).

    666 beast – triscore
    1. it is a mark, those who embrace islam will receive mark in head (belief the idea of pagan deity) and work in way of islam (hand mark).
    2.it is a number , the mark of the beast 666 which greece numerical known as tri score and the number is allah
    3 it is a name, a converter/mualaf must said syahadat word which mention name of beast/allah (rev 13:17) .
    4. it is man, name allah is a name for male deity for female is al lat just like christiano for male and christiana for female

  8. Robb Sansonetti

    The only thing I see a problem with is the legs of Iron. I believe this was Rome. That was the kingdom that ruled after Grecia. Then the Ottoman Empire began its rule.

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