A BETTER THEORY OF THE ANTICHRIST — BACK TO THE BIBLE
An Islamic Antichrist, by definition, would rule out other possible candidates for the man of lawlessness. The first and foremost issue is, “What theory best fits the facts as presented in the Bible, as taught throughout Christian history by the most noteworthy futurist scholars, and stands the test of time against geopolitical realities?”
Therefore, allow me to summarize the Islamic Antichrist scenario first, and then I will move on to discuss a theory I believe better explains what will happen in these last days, over the years ahead.
I take this tact because while the Islamic Antichrist Theory (IAT) offers a most compelling and well-argued position, I believe in a much different scenario as popularized by many peers in the author/researcher community. For convenience in treatment, I will refer to it as the “Anglo-American/Luciferian Theory” or ALT, an “alternative theory” which offers a more complete scenario explaining who the “final” Antichrist will be and the origin of his power, both spiritually and geopolitically.
First to summarize the IAT: The IAT not only asserts the Antichrist will be Muslim, but comes from the Middle East, specifically from Turkey, and prophetically is called the “Assyrian” which connotes that he will necessarily be of Middle Eastern extraction.[i] In contrast, the conventional view proposes that the Antichrist would be a leader of the “revived Roman Empire” – and therefore, presumably a European (Lindsey, Jeffrey, Hitchcock, Ice, and Salus among many others). Since 1970 (beginning with Hal Lindsey’s Late Great Planet Earth), futurism rested upon the unification of Europe. Lindsey made too much of The Treaty of Rome (1957) believing that Europe would become the most powerful geo-political confederation on the globe. Rome has not revived. His view proved to be untrue, especially so during the past decade. Today, even the Euro appears near death.
IAT rightly rejects this view; but it substitutes an even less likely scenario. The old Turkish caliphate, the Ottoman Empire, rather than the Roman Empire, revives in the last days. Turkey becomes a dominant Middle Eastern power and (apparently) subdues the Shi’ites (Iraq, Iran, and Syria). Thus, IAT assumes Sunnis prevail over Shia OR that the conflict was inflated. The Islamic Antichrist eventually attacks Israel to eliminate Zionism and kill or disperse Israeli Jews. Later, the Antichrist will be defeated in the final battle by the Messiah Himself. However, IAT confuses the personage of Antichrist, his geopolitical powerbase, and the sequence of wars in the end times.
Both the IAT and the ALT assume the prophecies of the prophet Zechariah are fulfilled in space/time. Zechariah prophesies that the LORD brings salvation to the nation of Israel. While peace does come, Zechariah indicates the process will NOT be painless:
Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the Lord of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones.
And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the Lord, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein.
And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, “It is my people”: and they shall say, “The Lord is my God”.
Furthermore, Zechariah indicates that this time of trial will be tumultuous and horrific:
Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. (Zechariah 14:1-2)
He also predicts that plagues will beset those nations that come against Jerusalem:
And this shall be the plague wherewith the Lord will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth.
And it shall come to pass in that day, that a great tumult from the Lord shall be among them; and they shall lay hold every one on the hand of his neighbor, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbor. (Zechariah 14:12-13)
The IAT strongly asserts it will be Turkey that confederates the Islamic nations surrounding Israel, while the ALT asserts it will be Russia who leads the nations listed in Ezekiel 38-39 that attack Israel.
The IAT contends Islam becomes the one-world religion – but it truly controls only the “world” of the Middle East. All “nations, tongues, and peoples” dominated by the Antichrist are limited to those dwelling in the region demarcated (if I understand it correctly) by the extent of the old Ottoman Empire (the Middle East, Northern Africa, Eastern Asia, the Balkans, and portions of the Eurasian steppes). The Antichrist and his kingdom are NOT global. For the most part, the Western Hemisphere is only tangentially involved. Even Europe and Russia play limited roles.
Friend John Price, author of The End of America proposes that the Antichrist is a Muslim, but John proposes that the Antichrist obtains power from Europe. John’s position constitutes a compromise of sorts built on the conventional view but revised with Islamic elements. Price regards Islam as the final global “one-world religion” held in the conventional view. And John would agree with the IAT regarding jihad against Israel, the martyrdom of Christians as declared in the IAT perspective, but not the confluence of Gog with the Antichrist, or the Wars of Gog/Magog with Armageddon. Additionally, John does not believe that Babylon on the Euphrates will be rebuilt nor would it be the capital of the Beast Empire as some propose (Richardson suggests that Jerusalem will become the capital of the Antichrist while some conventionalists like Dr. Mark Hitchcock believe Babylon will be rebuilt and become his capital).
I should first point out the conventional view has undergone considerable development since the 1970’s scenario made popular by The Late Great Planet Earth and The Left Behind Series of Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins. This has led to the ALT. Most notably, I find the work of J.R. Church and Gary Stearman to be particularly helpful. These two opened the door to some key advances in our thinking.
In his book, Daniel’s Predicts the Bloodline of the Antichrist, Church studies the genealogy of the Antichrist from the Book of Daniel and proposes that the Antichrist comprises a person of Greek, Roman, and Jewish ancestry – all three converging into his bloodline. Going back to the Church Fathers who speculated on the origin of the Antichrist, J.R. proposed that the Antichrist would be from the tribe of Dan. “Dan is a lion’s whelp.” (Deuteronomy 33:22) We should recall the Tribe of Dan was associated with the strange goings-on at Mount Hermon, i.e., the Nephilim of Genesis 6 and the Book of Enoch. We should also make note that it was the Canaanites (the Phoenicians) of Tyre and Sidon that dominated the seas for at least one full millennium before the time of Christ. J.R. assumed Dan was the father of the Danites. The sea-worthy Danites came to inhabit many of the Greek Isles when they left their lands in Canaan (refusing to fight the Philistines who troubled them). The person of antiquity to whom J.R. devoted much attention was the heroic Aeneas (Virgil’s Aeneid, his namesake[ii]). Aeneas came from the people who would eventually be known as the Spartans, but who fled Troy after the Trojan War (and before the Danites became the Spartans) winding up in what is today’s Italy, becoming a great grandfather of the (perhaps) mythical twins, Romulus and Remus (Rome being named after Romulus). Thus, Aeneas was Hebrew, Greek, and Roman.
Author Tom Horn in his book, Apollyon Rising 2012, also contributed to a more contemporary perspective, arguing that Antichrist is the seed of Satan, incarnated by the principality or power of Apollyon or Abaddon (the destroyer) from the “bottomless pit” mentioned in Revelation 9. While the antichrist wasn’t revealed in 2012 as Horn intimated he might be, Horn’s other assertion was that the U.S.A. comprises a fulfillment of many aspects of the mythic Greek, Roman, and esoteric aspects of the false Messiah, pointing out the many Masonic and Rosicrucian elements in American symbolism (in Washington D.C. in particular), and the tight connection between Freemasonry and Luciferianism that dominates the New Age teachings promulgated by Americans in the twentieth century (Baily, Ferguson, Spangler). My own books, POWER QUEST, BOOK ONE: AMERICAN’S OBSESSION WITH THE PARANORMAL and POWER QUEST, BOOK TWO: THE ASCENSION OF ANTICHRIST IN AMERICA took friend Tom Horn’s work to an even deeper level, substantiating Tom’s theses with considerable additional research. My contention from that point forward: America plays a crucial part in the last days. Far from not being mentioned in the Bible, the U.S.A. plays a central role. Unfortunately, it is not a positive one.
The theory I advanced was built upon an updated conventional view but switched the identity of the “revived Roman Empire” from the European Union to the U.S. and secondarily the U.K. (an Anglo-American axis). THE FINAL BABYLON (co-authored with Douglas Krieger and Dene McGriff), posited that an American leader would likely become the Antichrist. The United States would fulfill not only the Old Testament prophecies of the Daughter of Babylon but would also incarnate (comprise the final instance of) Mystery Babylon (i.e., be “the final Babylon”). In the scenario we offered in 2013, the U.S. would persist deep into the Great Tribulation and not be destroyed by God’s judgment (or the Beast and the 10 kings of Revelation 17) until late in Daniel’s 70th Week. From my perspective, we did not distinguish the destruction of the Daughter of Babylon from Mystery Babylon’s demise.
While the two “entities” could be the same as we asserted then, I now believe them distinct. Based upon further study, and conferring with friends Price and Benjamin Baruch, and studying Douglas Berner’s The Silence is Broken, I now believe the Daughter of Babylon is the United States and will be decimated slightly before Daniel’s 70th week; while Mystery Babylon – representing the global gentile system opposing God – will not be consumed entirely by the God’s wrath until Antichrist’s reign concludes.[iii]
John the Revelator supplies many details regarding the Beast, the ten kings empowering him, and the harlot they burn with fire:
And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.
And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.
These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.
These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.
And he saith unto me, “The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.
“And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire.
For God hath put in their hearts to fulfill his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.
And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth. (Revelation 17:11-18)
Reconciling Revelation’s harlot with the Daughter of Babylon prophesied against by Old Testament prophets seems logical (both are feminine characters). However, the “woman” is also a city and Jeremiah’s Daughter of Babylon (chapters 50-51) is both a city and a nation (referred to as Babylon and Chaldea). Additionally, I contend Babylon as a “city” divided into three parts (Revelation 16:19), consists of a religious system, an economic power, and a political/military colossus. Thus, all things considered, Mystery Babylon still comprises and remains a profound mystery.
The scenario put forth in The Final Babylon, was based upon considerable research into the reality behind the King of Tyre (Ezekiel 28); the connection of the Phoenicians (i.e., Canaanites) to the New World; the identification of the Bible’s “Merchants of Tarshish”; the connection of the Queen of Heaven to Ishtar (and Jezebel as an antitype of the harlot of Babylon); and a bit of Old Testament numerology thanks to Krieger.
My view as elaborated in all three books touching on “America as Babylon” (speaking only for myself, not for Krieger and McGriff) is that the principal religion of the last days is not Islamic, but Luciferian. The conventional view holds that Satan possesses the Antichrist, whoever the “son of perdition” is. But as Tom Horn contends, in some sense he is also literally “the seed of Satan” (other writer researchers today speculate the same, implying some sort of genetic connection!)
The Beast will also be aided by the False Prophet, who welds satanically derived power, despite the superficial appearance as a great leader of the Christian faith.
In this respect, the Antichrist would fall right in line with the figure of Adolf Hitler whose SS was a knightly order fashioned on the Teutonic Knights and the deep occult teachings of Karl Maria Wiligut, Heinrich Himmler’s “Rasputin”. Furthermore, the Antichrist will rely upon a powerbase that will comprise, at minimum, the elite leaders in the Western World; but more generally “the kings of the earth” (Psalm 2 et al) which may in fact be equated with the ten kings of Revelation. It is possible that the so-called Thirteen Bloodlines of the Illuminati (as documented by Fritz Springmeier) will be made manifest through this conspiracy. Individuals (whether members of a real Illuminati or not) would be at the heart of The New World Order (NWO), globalism, its manifestation in the United Nations, and even the key financial institutions of the world such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the International Bank of Settlements dominated by the Anglo-American axis. Collectively, this special elite comprises the very heart and soul of the Luciferian conspiracy to establish a one-world government and a Luciferian one-world religion. The Anglo-American “banksters” (so-called) dominating Wall Street and the City of London, as well as many power players of global corporations, will be mainstays in the power structure of this final installment of the worldwide shadow government. Operating behind the scenes, the elite scions of the Illuminist bloodlines constitute yet another reason why Mystery Babylon continues to be so mysterious.
It is my belief and the belief of many other writer-researchers, that these elites are already infused with satanic power activated ritualistically to maintain their position and place in the world. Their prominence owes in no small part to unspeakable actions in which they participate. (I speak to this in depth at the conclusion of Power Quest, Book Two: The Ascendancy of Antichrist in America).
Today, the United States is the principal incarnation of Mystery Babylon. Its military is the principal enforcer of the NWO. The petrodollar, for the time being at least, remains the one-world currency and facilitates a one-world economy. The Anglo-American power elite possesses the spirit of Antichrist just as much as darkest elements of the Islamic religion and personages whom Islamic eschatology reveres.
However, the power elite of the West possesses far more power than leaders in the Muslim world. In many ways, Islam is a religion of the third world, while Luciferianism is the religion of the first world. The best-selling book The Babylon Code of Paul McGuire and Troy Anderson (which kindly quotes me on numerous occasions) tends to confirm many of these assertions although the book does not explicitly draw the conclusion that the U.S. or the Anglo-American axis comprises the final incarnation of the Beast system.
To recap as well as extend this scenario: the U.S. represents the Daughter of Babylon described in detail by many of the Bible’s prophets, but most specifically by Jeremiah, Isaiah, Obadiah, and Zechariah. It is my view that the United States and Russia (not Turkey) will come to blows at the outset of the War of Gog and Magog, and that this war is the “next great war” in the Middle East (not the now commonly cited war known as the “Psalm 83 War”). As I described in Is Russia Destined to Nuke the U.S.? as well as the prequel to this book, THE NEXT GREAT WAR IN THE MIDDLE EAST, I speculate (as have many other authors) that Russia will attack and decimate the U.S; but soon afterwards, God Himself will judge Russia (who I believe constitutes Ezekiel’s Gog) and destroys at least five-sixths of the combined military of Russia and its confederate nations who are predominantly Islamic. (Ezekiel 39:2-4) Unlike the IAT, I believe the personage of Gog is distinct from the Antichrist and the War of Gog and Magog is distinct from the War of Armageddon (more about this later).
As stated above, my personal view has progressed to no longer identify the U.S. as the “final” Babylon; rather it is the U.S.A.’s conflict with Russia that brings the world to the brink of the Tribulation Period. Post-Ezekiel 39, after the U.S. and Russia are no longer the most dominating powers in the world, it is likely that the Antichrist appears prominently on the scene and becomes the leader to whom all the remaining nations of the world look – to establish the New World Order in an official, formal fashion. He may or may not have a Muslim background. If not a former American leader, he will likely be of royal blood and in my view, likely from Western Europe (England, France, Italy, or even more intriguingly, from Germany).
Hence, the concept of the “revived Roman Empire” of conventional futurist eschatology may ultimately come true, at least in part. Antichrist will consolidate the remaining political, economic, and military power in the world and institute a single monetary system through the so-called “Mark of the Beast”. His domination will be substantial but probably not absolute. Powers in Asia (notably China, India, and perhaps Japan) may oppose him to some extent, but ultimately will be influenced to make war against Israel and its Messiah (the “Armageddon Campaign”).
The discussion of the Kings of the North, the South, and the so-called third king considered to be Antichrist (the ‘Three King Theory’ of Daniel 11), constitutes a subject we will take up later. [iv] The complexity of that discussion increases the confusion of Gog with Antichrist. This may be resolved by discovering that all of Daniel 11 has been fulfilled already – and that there remains no future King of the North, the South, and a third King that appears in Daniel 11. But that is getting ahead of the story.
In summary, I argue that the conventional scenario with the updates suggested here, for the most part reflects a much more widely held view among a majority of leading eschatology scholars today, than does the IAT. From my vantage point, the Islamic Antichrist Theory fails to align all the facts biblically and geopolitically as coherently as the view I label the Anglo-American /Luciferian theory, which is the conventional view, updated and expanded.
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[i] Ancient Assyria (circa 800-620 B.C.) did include a large portion of the Anatolia Peninsula (today’s Turkey) although its “home base” was in northern Iraq, modern day Mosul. Islam would capture Anatolia in the eleventh century (1,700 years after Assyria was at the peak of its power); however, notably Constantinople (today’s Istanbul), the capital of the Byzantine (Christian) Empire, was not conquered until 1453 another 700 years later. Assyrians were a people long before most Syrians were Christian or Muslim. The modern ear mixes these distinct peoples together as if they were one and the same.
[ii] “The Aeneid (/ᵻˈniːɪd/; Latin: Aenēis [ae̯ˈneːɪs]) is a Latin epic poem, written by Virgil between 29 and 19 BC, that tells the legendary story of Aeneas, a Trojan who travelled to Italy, where he became the ancestor of the Romans.” (See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aeneid).
[iii] In chapter 10 of The Next Great War in the Middle East, I list a long list of scholars of Bible prophecy that have written extensively on the War of Gog and Magog and take a stand on when it occurs. Those who agree with me that the Gog/Magog War transpires BEFORE the Tribulation and especially the Great Tribulation includes important figures like Tim LaHaye and the late Grant Jeffrey just to name two.
[iv] Richardson holds to two kings only in Daniel 11, with the Antichrist and Gog comprising the same personage and identified in this passage as the King of the North. Conventional eschatology generally sees three kings once the Antichrist is introduced in Daniel 11:40 and thereafter. Then the King of the North is distinct from the Antichrist and the King of the South. Exactly who these other two kings are is a matter for debate even among those who argue ‘three kings’ (yet future) are being discussed in Daniel’s prophecy. I take up the issue in the last segment of Part II.