The signs of the times indicate that we are on the threshold of the Tribulation — a time of unparalleled carnage that will befall the earth. The earth will plunge into a period of time that the Bible describes will be the most horrific in all of human history.
The central figure of the Tribulation — the Antichrist — will rise out of what region?
For the answers to these questions and many others concerning the Tribulation, Dr. David Reagan and Nathan E. Jones address these important end times questions. The full discussion can be found on a special television episode of Christ in Prophecy.
The European Antichrist
Nathan Jones: The biblical origins of the Antichrist begin with his rule as one of Ten Kings. These Ten Kings will either rule over a repartitioned European Union as the Revived Roman Empire, or the whole world will eventually be partitioned into ten regions. The text doesn’t clearly make that distinction.
The Little Horn, as the Vision of the Four Beasts as Daniel 7 describes, is one of those ten kings who will rise up and overthrow three of the other kings. The Antichrist is that Little Horn, and he will eventually become the head of a new global government with himself inaugurated as the center of all global government. His government will then stretch out and eventually encompass the entire world.
The masses allow this one man to rule the entire world. The Antichrist will ascend likely because of the destruction and chaos that results from the Rapture. Or, he could answer the world’s cry for security and stability after the cataclysmic War of Gog and Magog. In this war God supernaturally steps in and destroys the Islamic countries of the Middle East and Russia.
Daniel 9 tells us specifically that the Antichrist rises out of Europe. He gains his power in the EU first. He will ascend as a peacemaker, according to the First Seal Judgment of Revelation 6, but he will eventually secure leadership of the world through massive wars and bloodshed. By the time the Antichrist has the world fully crushed under his heal, billions will have died. Satan finally gets to rule the world through this Man of Lawlessness.
Again, Daniel 9:26 reveals that the Antichrist rises out of Europe. “And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary.” The city is Jerusalem, the sanctuary the Second Temple, and the people the Romans. The Roman legions destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple in 70 AD. Daniel reveals the Antichrist will descend from the people who destroyed the Temple, and the people who destroyed the Temple were the Romans made up of the legions around present-day Italy.
The Antichrist will definitely arise out of the Western leg of the Roman Empire as the Prophet Daniel foretold. The people who destroyed the Temple would be the people of the Antichrist, and those people were European.The #Antichrist will arise out of the Western #RomanEmpire as the #ProphetDaniel foretold. Click To Tweet
The Muslim Antichrist
Dr. Reagan: Some Bible prophecy teachers are claiming the Antichrist will be a Muslim.
Nathan Jones: That claim has become a very popular theory as of late because Islam has become so prevalent since 9/11. All statistics and probability make it appear that given another 50 years Islam could well take over the entire world.
I personally do not believe the Antichrist will be a Muslim. Daniel very directly points out that the Antichrist will rise out of the historically Italian-controlled area of Western Europe. History attests to the Italian makeup of the Roman legions that destroyed Jerusalem in 70 AD.
My primary reason for doubting the Antichrist could ever be a Muslim stands on the prophetic timeline. Two prophetic wars will lead up to the beginning of the Tribulation — the Psalm 83 War and the Gog and Magog War of Ezekiel 38-39.
With the Psalm 83 War, Israel finally subjugates the hostile countries that surround them. These are the nations that share a common border with Israel including Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Syria and Gaza.
The staggering defeat of their fellow Muslims would cause a violent reaction throughout the Islamic world. We read in Ezekiel 38-39 that the nations that form an outer ring of influence in the Middle East such as Iran, Turkey, Libya, Sudan, the ‘Stans and so forth, all join up with a leader designated as Gog who rules over Russia. Some people today would point to Russia’s Vladimir Putin as a good candidate for Gog.
In the Gog and Magog War, Russia and this Islamic circle of nations form a coalition in order to unite against Israel. Gog’s obsession is to try to plunder and destroy Israel. The hordes of Gog look overwhelming! Israel doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in Hell of winning against such a massive coalition. All hope seems lost.
And then, God Himself steps into the fray. Not only does God obliterate Gog’s armies with storms and hail and earthquakes and infighting, but then He sends fire down upon their countries and destroys them as well. In one fair swoop, God guts Islam in the Middle East, proving Allah has no power. Russia can no longer exert any influence over the world. The geo-political powers that have long stood against Israel will have drastically forever been changed as the result of this epic war.In one fair swoop, #God guts #Islam in the #MiddleEast, proving #Allah has no power. Click To Tweet
It’s at this point in the end times narrative that we read about how a potential one-world ruler steps into the chaos. He promises peace and safety. He makes a covenant of peace with the God of Israel. Under that protection of peace, the Man of Lawlessness strikes out and bloodily conquers the rest of the world.
What nations does the Antichrist strike down, killing a third of the world’s population? Are they the remaining Islamic countries, such as Indonesia? With Islam so weakened, that would be a logical move on his part. This strategy would play in well with the Antichrist’s ultimate goal — having the world worship him. Satan through the Antichrist wants God’s creations to worship him rather than the Creator, and that means he must annihilate any other monotheistic religion that would compete with himself.
And so, I do not believe that the Antichrist will be a Muslim because it appears that on the onset of the Tribulation Islam is pretty much wiped off the earth. God guts Islam as the result of these two prophetic wars. Where then could the Antichrist derive power if his religion is so thoroughly defeated by God Himself? With Islam so weakened, and the world for so long threatened by the specter of Islam, the Antichrist would seem like the savior of the world by eliminating this global threat, even if it means purging the world through nuclear fire.
Dr. Reagan: I agree with your assessment wholeheartedly. At least Islam in the Middle East will be eliminated by the Psalm 83 and Gog and Magog Wars. Another reason the Antichrist will not be a Muslim is the fact that we are told by the Apostle Paul in 2 Thessalonians that at the middle of the Tribulation the Antichrist will go to Jerusalem, enter into the Temple which must have been newly built, and declare himself to be God. No Muslim would ever declare himself to be God. All the other Muslims would kill him on the spot for such a blasphemy.
Nathan Jones: Notice, too, that in Paul’s description the Jewish people have full control of the Temple Mount and have a Temple constructed. Where has Islam’s power gone that would have resisted the building of a new temple? In this day, a Jew can’t even walk up onto the Temple Mount without Muslims rioting worldwide.
Dr. Reagan: And what Jewish leader in his right mind is going to put enough trust in a Muslim to keep some kind peace treaty? The Muslims have a terrible track record of keeping their promises when it comes to the Jews.
Nathan Jones: Agreed! The Jews would be looking for somebody outside of their country, beyond their hated enemies, to somebody they could trust. Israel’s wary of the West, but trusts them far more than they’d ever trust a Muslim.