In Part 3 of this series, we saw how the Antichrist became the leader of the one-world government of the tribulation. He apparently got his start as a young professional [engineer or financial type] in charge of reconstructing Iraq (in part) after the US and its allies virtually obliterated the country, in retaliation for Iraq’s complicity in initiating an Arab invasion of Israel. This invasion, in my opinion, and according to Ezekiel 29, began the forty-year period known as the end times.
As part of the reconstruction of Iraq, the Antichrist will build a new international city for the distribution of spoils of war to coalition member nations, again, in my opinion, and according to Isaiah 23:13: which city “was not, till the Assyrian [the Antichrist] founded it for them that dwell in the wilderness [vacant part of Iraq].” The context of Isaiah 23 is an end-times judgment upon Lebanon, which shall be “laid waste”; verse 13 is inserted to describe a special city in Chaldea [Iraq] built afterwards by “the Assyrian.”
Since the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets almost certainly will melt during the tribulation (raising sea level by more than 200 feet), this city will need to be located at a higher elevation than lower Mesopotamia, in what is now northern Iraq or extreme eastern Syria (ancient Assyria).
[The earth’s great winds will cease during the tribulation, being held back by “four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree” (Revelation 7:1), resulting in extreme polar temperatures. In addition, Isaiah 30:26 indicates the sun’s output will be increased “sevenfold” during this time. Thus, the site of ancient Babylon, having an elevation of about 8o ft, will be covered by “waves” during the tribulation—just as Jeremiah 51:42 predicts.]
It is this new city—destined to become the commercial and financial hub of the world—that the Bible refers to as end-times “Babylon.”
We saw in Parts 1-2 of this series how the Antichrist likely would build this city in the vicinity of present-day Mosul, Iraq (ancient Nineveh), and that he also would be a native of Mosul. I suppose he also will reconstruct the Mosul Dam—properly this time!
The Antichrist, being a cunning and deceitful politician, who “by peace shall destroy many” (Daniel 8:25), will have ingratiated himself to become the head of world government by the time the tribulation begins. This, of course, implies a power vacuum of global proportions caused first by the evacuation of the church at the rapture and the subsequent Russian invasion of North America (which I believe is described in Isaiah 18 and Daniel 7:4-5); and then by the Ezekiel 38-39 Russian defeat (by divine intervention) as they and their allies attempt to invade Israel. Not to let a good crisis go to waste, the Antichrist confirms the Abrahamic covenant with Israel for a period of seven years. This event begins the tribulation.
The Antichrist—apparently not the most popular guy on earth after 3½ years of agonizing divine judgments—is killed by a sword at the midpoint of the tribulation, but then ascends out of the bottomless pit. Habakkuk 3 describes his head wound, and Revelation 17 his ascending up from hell:
“Thou wentest forth for the salvation of thy people, even for salvation with thine anointed; thou woundedst the head out of the house of the wicked, by discovering the foundation unto the neck. Selah” (Habakkuk 3:13).
“The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is” (Revelation 17:8).
The “foundation unto the neck” is the base of the skull, where the spinal cord emerges from the foramen magnum; this means someone will almost cut the Antichrist’s head off.
Thinking more about this, I suppose Scripture would support the idea that he’s actually decapitated. Now that would explain, without question, why “all the world wondered after the beast” (Revelation 13:3)!
The Antichrist’s descent into hell is recorded in Isaiah 14. The specific part of hell he is taken to is “the stones of the pit,” where he is met by previous kings, “even all the chief ones of the earth.”
“Hell from beneath is moved for thee to meet thee at thy coming: it stirreth up the dead for thee, even all the chief ones of the earth; it hath raised up from their thrones all the kings of the nations. All they shall speak and say unto thee, Art thou also become weak as we? art thou become like unto us? Thy pomp is brought down to the grave, and the noise of thy viols: the worm is spread under thee, and the worms cover thee….
“They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms; That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners? All the kings of the nations, even all of them, lie in glory, every one in his own house. But thou art cast out of thy grave like an abominable branch, and as the raiment of those that are slain, thrust through with a sword, that go down to the stones of the pit; as a carcase trodden under feet. Thou shalt not be joined with them in burial, because thou hast destroyed thy land, and slain thy people: the seed of evildoers shall never be renowned” (Isaiah 14:9-11, 16-20).
[Although verses 12-15 of this chapter clearly describe Satan and his fall from heaven, this passage parenthetically was inserted into a general description of the Millennium and end times; verse 16 clearly defines the subject of our text passage to be a “man,” who in verse 25 also is called, “the Assyrian.” The weight of scriptural evidence therefore leans toward identifying this man as the Antichrist.]
All the kings of earlier nations who are in hell welcome the Antichrist: He has become weak, and his pomp and majesty and praises are brought down to hell, where worms cover him. He is described as the man who wasted the world, destroyed its cities, and refused to release his prisoners. He is covered with blood, abominable and cast out of his grave, slain with the sword, and as a trampled carcass. Revelation and Habakkuk say that he will be slain by the sword, and that he will be captured at the end of the tribulation and thrown directly into the lake of fire, and therefore not have a grave.
The beast is allowed by God to ascend out of the bottomless pit—only God can allow this—and enter the body of the Antichrist. Since he is described as “the beast that was, and is not, and yet is,” this brings up the intriguing possibility that another spirit—the one that ascends out of the bottomless pit—takes the Antichrist’s place, with the original Antichrist remaining in hell. Only two men in the Bible are called “the son of perdition”: The Antichrist and Judas Iscariot (John 17:12; 2 Thessalonians 2:3). Judas is said to have gone “to his own place” (Acts 1:25)—something said of no one else in Scripture. He was also possessed by Satan, as the Antichrist will be.
It’s interesting to speculate that since Judas Iscariot probably was redheaded (the name “Iscariot” derives from an Aramaic word meaning “red-colored”), the Antichrist also might have red hair. As an example, a current prominent Iraqi leader is Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri (born July 1, 1942), who has bright red hair and is from a Christian family from Tikrit, in northern Iraq (formerly Assyria). He was voted head of the banned Baath party in 2007 following Saddam Hussein’s execution in 2006.
Of course, this is all speculation, but it illustrates the point that prominent red-haired Iraqis from Christian families in former Assyria do exist—and it’s possible that al-Douri’s family or relatives might be the family of the Antichrist. Al-Douri himself is too old to be the Antichrist, and Daniel 11:37 says that the Antichrist will not regard “the God of his fathers,” which implies that his fathers are Christians; therefore al-Douri genuinely may be a Christian, if he is related to the future Antichrist.
Interestingly, al-Douri also is left-handed. Some research on left-handedness turned up a few interesting facts. Left-handedness is slightly heriditary and is present in about ten percent of the population. However, for some reason five out of the last seven US presidents have been left-handed: Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, George H. W. Bush, Ronald Reagan (ambidextrous), and Gerald Ford. In addition, six presidential candidates also have been left-handed: John McCain, John Kerry, John Edwards, Al Gore, Bob Dole, and H. Ross Perot. The last time a presidential election featured no left-handed candidate from a major party was 1972. Why are so many political leaders left-handed? We have no idea, but this suggests (and again this is only speculation) that the Antichrist may be left-handed.
The beast is described in Revelation 17. He is the eighth king following seven world rulers and their nations.
“And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth. And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space. And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition” (Revelation 17:9–11).
The seven kings are seven rulers of world kingdoms (“seven mountains”) from ancient history to the tribulation from the apostle John’s perspective; five were fallen: Babylon, Assyria, Egypt, Medo-Persia, and Greece. One is: the Roman empire of John’s time. The other is “not yet come”: the kingdom of the Antichrist. The beast is the eighth king. This could mean that the beast takes control of the one-world government of the tribulation, which is the seventh kingdom (described as “he must continue a short space”—note carefully the personal pronoun “he” which indicates a person, the Antichrist)—or more probably it could mean that another spirit enters the Antichrist’s body, and thereby becomes the eighth king.
Since Isaiah describes the Antichrist’s descent into hell, it would seem unreasonable for him to suddenly leave that awful place and come back into his original body; therefore, we favor the explanation that the eighth king is some other spirit which becomes the beast of the great tribulation.
We’ll discuss more about the Antichrist in Part 5 of this series, especially his worldwide rule during the second half of the tribulation; his war against the remnant of Israel and their special protection in “the wilderness” (Revelation 12:14) during this time; and his ultimate destiny in the lake of fire. So stay tuned for Part 5!
I provide more details of this and many other end-times prophecies in my recently published book, END TIME DAWNING: Get Ready! (available from www.endtimesrecord.com). Please read it! Also, if you would, please leave a book review on Amazon!
Yours in Christ,