Who Is the Antichrist? Part 1:: By Steve Ashburn

According to the book of Revelation, the Antichrist will be the leader of the one-world government of the tribulation period. He will be a ruthless dictator and a deceitful and cunning politician. Elsewhere in Scripture, he also is called the Assyrian, the man of sin, the beast and the son of perdition. At the midpoint of the tribulation, he will sit in the temple in Jerusalem and demand that everyone on Earth worship him as God or else be killed. Jesus called this the “abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet” (Matthew 24:15; Daniel 9:27).

I believe that the Antichrist will arise during the end-times period, which in my opinion and according to Ezekiel 29, is a 40-year period beginning with a nuclear war in the Middle East and ending with the Second Coming of Christ.

According to my reading of Scripture, this war will result in the destruction of Israel’s neighboring nations, including Iraq. I believe Amos 1-2 provides a general account of this war, while other chapters in the Old Testament provide more specific details about individual nations.

Apparently the Assyrian will be a young professional (e.g., engineer or financial type) who will be instrumental in rebuilding Iraq (in part) after the US-led coalition of nations invades and destroys it, which invasion I believe is described in Isaiah 13 and Jeremiah 50-51.

He probably will be from the northern region of Iraq since this area was ancient Assyria (it’s interesting to note that the city of Mosul is located very close to the ancient capital of Nineveh).

In my opinion, Isaiah 23:13 describes this: “Behold the land of the Chaldeans; this people was not, till the Assyrian founded it for them that dwell in the wilderness: they set up the towers thereof, they raised up the palaces thereof; and he brought it to ruin.”

In this passage, the Antichrist is described as “the Assyrian.” His capital apparently will be an international city built in a vacant area of Iraq (“the wilderness”), populated by non-Iraqis (“this people was not”) and set up to distribute oil and other spoils of war to coalition nations. It is this city, which Revelation calls “Babylon” that will be destroyed at the end of the tribulation (“and he brought it to ruin”).

Daniel 8 also describes the Antichrist as a “little horn,” meaning in context that he will be descended from one of Alexander the Great’s four generals who divided his empire amongst themselves after his death. Since the Antichrist also will be an Assyrian, the general of interest would be Seleucus, who took Syria and Babylonia after Alexander’s death in 323 BC. Daniel 8:9 also describes the little horn “which waxed exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land.”

This makes sense if the Antichrist is an Assyrian, because establishing a capital in northern Iraq would allow him to extend his influence south (toward the oilfields in southern Iraq), east (toward Iran), and west (toward Israel).

Daniel 11:37 adds that he shall not “regard the God of his fathers.” This indicates that the Antichrist will come from a Christian family. Since the end times probably are no more than twenty years away at the time of this writing, the Antichrist likely already has been born into a Christian family in the northern region of Iraq.

It may be possible to identify him by obtaining birth records for all males born to Christian families in this area in the past twenty years, translating their names into Greek, and then adding up the number of their names according to the numerical value assigned to each Greek letter. Probably one of those names will add up to 666—that’s him, the Antichrist.

On the other hand, many of Iraq’s 1.5 million Christians are underground, so it might not be that easy. In any case, the Antichrist quickly will rise to prominence after the beginning of the end times, allowing him to be identified by his background and name.

Zechariah 5 also describes the world’s financial center (symbolized by an ephah, a unit of measure) being established in Iraq. “Then said I to the angel that talked with me, Whither do these bear the ephah? And he said unto me, To build it an house in the land of Shinar: and it shall be established, and set there upon her own base” (Zechariah 5:10–11).

Not only will the Antichrist rebuild Iraq, but he will turn his capital into a financial center, which will become the hub of world commerce and trade during the tribulation. The destruction of this financial center at the end of the tribulation wreaks havoc with merchants worldwide and all those that worship money, as described in Revelation 18.

“And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning, Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come. And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more” (Revelation 18:9–11).

Daniel 8:23–25 indicates the Antichrist will be fierce, and a master of the occult (“of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences”); by deception “shall destroy many;” shall be powerful, “but not by his own power” (possessed by Satan); is successful (“shall prosper, and practice”); supports industry (“shall cause craft to prosper”); and is supremely egotistical (“shall magnify himself in his heart”).

Daniel 7:25 also indicates that he will persecute the saints (“shall wear out the saints of the most High”); try to “change times and laws;” and that this will go on for three-and-one-half years (“until a time and times and the dividing of time”).

Habakkuk 2 is a parallel passage which also describes the Antichrist and his kingdom. Verse 3 establishes the timeline: “For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end [the end times] it shall speak;” the term “time appointed” also is used in Daniel 8:19 and 11:35 in reference to the end times.

In addition, verse 14 clearly is millennial: “For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea,” clearly establishing this passage as end times. Generally speaking, Habakkuk 1 contains the prophet’s complaint against the armies of historical Babylon; Habakkuk 2 is the Lord’s answer to this complaint in terms of a description of the tribulation; and Habakkuk 3 describes the Second coming of Christ.

The Antichrist apparently has a problem with alcohol, is arrogant, restless, greedy as Hell, like death never satisfied, and conquers for himself all nations and people. In turn, the surviving remnant of the tribulation (“the remnant of the people”) will spoil the Antichrist at the end, mocking him for stealing their property for three-and-one-half years, and also mocking his image.

In addition, Daniel 11:37 says that he will have no regard for “the desire of women.” While some commentators have suggested this means he will be a homosexual, our passage in verse 5 infers that he will be a restless philanderer. Therefore, it seems more likely that “the desire of women” refers to the desire of all women to be the mother of the Messiah—the Lord Jesus Christ—for whom the Antichrist has no regard.

“Yea also, because he transgresseth by wine [drunk], he is a proud man [arrogant], neither keepeth at home [restless philanderer], who enlargeth his desire as hell [greedy], and is as death, and cannot be satisfied [never satisfied], but gathereth unto him all nations, and heapeth unto him all people [insatiable conqueror]:

“Shall not all these take up a parable against him, and a taunting proverb against him, and say, Woe to him that increaseth that which is not his [stealing their property]! how long [three-and-one-half years]? and to him that ladeth himself with thick clay [mocking also his image]!

“Shall they not rise up suddenly that shall bite thee, and awake that shall vex thee, and thou shalt be for booties unto them [at the Second Coming]? Because thou hast spoiled [robbed] many nations, all the remnant of the people [tribulation survivors] shall spoil thee; because of men’s blood [murder], and for the violence of the land [persecution], of the city, and of all that dwell therein” (Habakkuk 2:5–8).

This passage also contains an intriguing description of the image of the beast. Isaiah 45:20 indicates that this image will be made of wood (“that set up the wood of their graven image, and pray unto a god that cannot save”), and our text passage says that it apparently will be overlaid with clay (“ladeth himself with thick clay”), which probably will be used to mold specific body features. In addition, verse 19 suggests that it will be “laid over with gold and silver.”

Habakkuk then twice pronounces woe upon the Antichrist and his government for establishing his kingdom based on blood and unjust gain, and warns that all these works will be burned up and are in vain (does this remind anyone today of Wall Street banks and their manipulation of worldwide markets?):

“Woe to him that coveteth an evil covetousness to his house [builds his house by unjust gain], that he may set his nest on high [have a secure bunker], that he may be delivered from the power of evil [be safe from attack]! Thou hast consulted shame to thy house by cutting off [killing] many people, and hast sinned against thy soul. For the stone shall cry out of the wall [their blood shall cry out], and the beam out of the timber shall answer it.

“Woe to him that buildeth a town with blood [murder], and stablisheth a city [Babylon] by iniquity [corruption]! Behold, is it not of the Lord of hosts that the people [government of the beast] shall labour in the very fire [their works shall be burned up], and the people shall weary themselves for very vanity [they labor in vain]?” (Habakkuk 2:9–13).

These woes pronounced upon the Antichrist’s government and corporate institutions by Habakkuk are identical to the judgment on Babylon in Jeremiah 51:58: “the people shall labour in vain, and the folk in the fire, and they shall be weary.” This indicates that the judgments are the same—on the capital city of the beast (and of one-world government) at the end of the tribulation.

The overall picture we get here of the Antichrist (and his minions) is one of a deceitful manipulator, thief, and murderer. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if he turned out to be a former Goldman Sachs prop trader, and is installed by them to oversee the rebuilding of Iraq and international distribution of its oil resources. (That oil revenue would pay for a lot of the interest on our national debt!—and US banks [including the Federal Reserve] hold more than $4.5 trillion in treasury bonds as of 2018.)

Our Scripture passage then pronounces the third woe against the beast for enticing the entire world to sin (“makest him drunken also”) and then mocking them for it; in return, he will receive shame and disgrace for his own sin from the cup of God’s judgment (“the cup of the Lord’s right hand”).

This is a parallel account of Revelation 18:3, whereby the entire world is seduced into worshipping the beast and his image (“For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication”) which causes God to pour out furious judgment upon Babylon (“the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath”; Revelation 16:19).

Interestingly, it appears from this passage that the Antichrist will not be circumcised (“let thy foreskin be uncovered”) which is another identifying characteristic of his. It is in this shameful condition, covered with abominable filth (“shameful spewing”) that he will be “tormented day and night for ever and ever” in the lake of fire and brimstone (Revelation 20:10).

“Woe unto him that giveth his neighbour drink [induces the world to sin], that puttest thy bottle to him, and makest him drunken also, that thou mayest look on their nakedness [mock them]! Thou art filled with shame for glory: drink thou also [of your own sin], and let thy foreskin be uncovered [uncircumcised]: the cup of the Lord’s right hand shall be turned unto thee, and shameful spewing [vomit] shall be on thy glory.

“For the violence of Lebanon [judgment for your murders] shall cover thee, and the spoil of beasts [theft and murder by your subordinate dictators], which made them [your victims] afraid, because of men’s blood [murder], and for the violence of the land [persecution], of the city, and of all that dwell therein” (Habakkuk 2:15–17).

The concluding section of Habakkuk 2 contains a warning against idol worship, which in the context of the passage proscribes worship of the image of the beast:

“What profiteth the graven image that the maker thereof hath graven it [carved wood]; the molten image [molded clay], and a teacher of lies, that the maker of his work trusteth therein, to make dumb idols? Woe unto him that saith to the wood, Awake; to the dumb stone [hardened clay], Arise, it shall teach! Behold, it is laid over with gold and silver, and there is no breath at all in the midst of it. But the LORD is in his holy temple [suggesting that the idol in v. 18-19 is in the earthly temple]: let all the earth keep silence before him” (Habakkuk 2:18–20).

The fourth and final woe is pronounced here against the Antichrist, because he commands this wooden image to “Awake…Arise, it shall teach!” However, this image, which has the ability to speak through demonic manifestation (Revelation 13:15), is “a teacher of lies” (vv. 18–19). Finally, in view of worldwide idol worship during the tribulation, the prophet reminds men soberly: “But the Lord is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him” (v. 20).

We’ll discuss the fate of the Antichrist in Part 2 of this series, especially his assassination and subsequent resurrection from the dead to rule over the earth during the last half of the tribulation.

I provide more details of this and many other end-times prophecies in my recently published book, END TIME DAWNING (available from www.endtimesrecord.com); also if you would, please “like” my Facebook page at www.facebook.com/endtimesrecord!

Yours in Christ,

Steve Ashburn