(2 Thessalonians 2:4) “He opposes and exults himself over everything that is called God or is worshipped, and even sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.”
In the Bible there are many characters that, in some way or another, teach us about the final Antichrist to come. In this study we will look at the more prominent ones. The one single feature of all of them collectively is that they all sought to be deified in some way, to be honoured and even worshipped by men. In fact wherever you see manipulation, domination and control being perpetuated in the world or in the Church for that matter, you have a manifestation of the spirit of antichrist. Now let’s look at the first character that is really the archetype of the final one to come and what he did teaches us what the final Antichrist will do and the geographical location from which he will come.
1. Nimrod. (Genesis 10: 8-12, 11:1-8)
In Genesis we have the first character who teaches us about the final Antichrist to come. His name was Nimrod and we read about him in Genesis chapter ten and eleven. Now let’s look at this character. We will look at Genesis chapter ten verses eight to twelve and then chapter eleven verses one to eight.
(Vs. 8-9) “Cush was the father of Nimrod, who grew to be a mighty warrior on the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the LORD; that is why it is said, “Like Nimrod, a mighty hunter before the LORD.”
Nimrod we are told was, “a mighty hunter before the LORD;” however, it does not mean he was a Godly man. In fact in the original Hebrew language it literally reads, “He was a mighty hunter in the face of God.” His name comes from the Hebrew word “marad,” meaning, “rebel.” Nimrod was, “The rebel in the face of God.” In the literature of the ancient Near East it is a well-known tale, common in Sumerian literature, of a man who fits the description of Nimrod. In addition to the Sumerians, the Babylonians wrote about this person, the Assyrians likewise, and the Hittites. Even in Palestine, tablets have been found with this man’s name on them. He was obviously the most popular hero in the Ancient Near East. He was not only a prominent figure of his generation but also founded the empire of Babylon that was ultimately destined to dominate the known world.
(Vs. 10-12) ”The first centers of his kingdom were Babylon, Erech, Akkad and Calneh, in Shinar. From that land he went to Assyria, where he built Nineveh, Rehoboth Ir, Calah and Resen, which is between Nineveh and Calah; that is the great city.”
The two prominent nations, mentioned here were Babylon and Assyria, both major world empires, which conquered the world and invaded Israel. Both the Kings of Babylon and Assyria in Bible prophecy are major rulers in whose character and likeness will be reflected in the Antichrist to come. Nimrod is the first antichrist to come and he came from the Babylonian region and the last Antichrist will also come from the same geographical location. Remember that Antiochus was a major type of the Antichrist and he also came from the same geographical region as Nimrod. There is no doubt that the final Antichrist will be a great military and political leader who will be “the rebel in the face of God” and also called “the Assyrian.” It was his supreme ambition to build a global empire that would dominate the known world and be an affront to God. Now let’s continue into chapter eleven of Genesis.
(Chapter 11:1-2) “Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. As men moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar (Babylonia) and settled there.”
Nimrod’s empire found its roots in the region of Babylon (modern Iraq) whose main city lay on the banks of the River Euphrates. When the prophet Daniel mentioned the head of gold on the statue and the first beast as the nation of Babylon he was not only referring to the Kingdom of Nebuchadnezzar but also, by association, to Nimrod’s kingdom. In fact “the beast that was wounded by the sword yet lived” in the thirteenth chapter of Revelation may well be the Babylonian Empire reborn and the only force capable of bringing this about is Islam. Historically the city of Babylon was never destroyed. Both King Cyrus and Alexander the Great lived in that great city and the mystery religions, social, religious, political and economic ideologies flowed from these cultures into the Ancient Roman world.
Mt Babel arising
Today our Western civilization with its political, social, economic philosophies and multi-faith, multi religious culture has its roots in ancient Babylon going all the way back to Nimrod whose tower they say had a Zodiac at its apex. The tower of Babel itself was an occult controlled global form of government. The culture and ideologies of Nimrod’s time were passed on down to the Egyptians who passed it down to the Assyrians who passed it to the Babylonians who in turn passed it down to the Persians and they passed it down to the Greeks and the Greeks passed it down to the Romans who have passed it on down to us in the western world. Today in Mecca you have the clock towers overlooking the Kaaba that houses the black stone. The Muslims call this clock tower Mt Babel and on its highest pinnacle you have the crescent moon of Islam. A symbol of the ancient Mesopotamian moon-god of war going all the way back to Nimrod who had himself deified.
Today Babylon is rising again, however it is not a western European confederation but a Middle-Eastern federation. This empire will ultimately dominate many western nations especially in the continent of Europe before the Lord Jesus comes back. The final global empire will be the Babylonian empire reborn. The only religious, political and military power arising in that region today is Islam. Through its oil supplies to the West ‘Babylon’ will ultimately to a major degree control the economy of the western nations. This is where we are heading today. Ultimately one will come in the character of Nimrod, Nebuchadnezzar, Alexander and Antiochus and he will be the Antichrist. (Daniel 11:36-45) Now let’s continue…
(Vs. 3- 4) “They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth.”
Today with the invention of binary codes the whole world is now able to speak with one voice. Communication is once again possible globally. The global technology is rapidly advancing now where interpreters will no longer be needed at global conferences, as through the binary codes interpretations will be instantaneous for the delegates. Already this is being advanced in the EU and the UN today as “globalization” becomes the key word of these institutions. For some years now the UN has a document already prepared called “The Alliance of Civilizations Document” and its aim is to unite all nations in culture, politics, religion and the economy. For some time now the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is pumping millions of dollars into Babylon and several other historical sites in Iraq. With the help of private donors the UN is hoping to turn Babylon in to a thriving centre of tourism and commerce. If everything goes according to plan, Babylon will be a cultural centre complete with shopping malls, hotels, and maybe even a theme park.
Where is Babylon?
A quote from Chuck Missler states: “Babylon may well be destined to be the capital of the final world dictator, commonly called the Antichrist. It is mentioned over 300 times in the Bible – and many of the prophecies concerning this fascinating have yet to be fulfilled. Don’t be misled by confusing the Fall of Babylon in history with the Destruction of Babylon, as prophesied in the Bible. Many Bible handbooks, dictionaries, and commentaries give you the impression that Babylon was “destroyed” in 539 BC. But it is important to realize that when Cyrus the Great captured Babylon he was able to take it over without a battle. In fact, this feat is celebrated in the famed Cylinder of Cyrus that is featured in the British Museum in London. Babylon served as a secondary capital of the Persian Empire for two centuries until Alexander the Great conquered the Persians in 325 BC.
He made it his capital; in fact, he died there. Four of his generals then divided up the empire, and subsequently Babylon gradually atrophied over the centuries. The prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah each spend two chapters detailing the catastrophic destruction that awaits this fabled city. The result of this final devastation will leave it uninhabitable; even the building materials will never be reused. This clearly has never happened in its history.
Clearly Babylon, as a literal city on banks of the Euphrates, has a climactic destiny yet ahead of it. The destruction described in both the Old and New Testaments has never happened, and if we take the Bible seriously then Babylon is destined to rise again to power to receive the judgment that Isaiah, Jeremiah, and the Apostle John have described. It is important to note that there is a great deal of debate among Bible scholars on the subject of Babylon. Are the prophetic references to “Babylon” to be taken literally or metaphorically? Is the Bible really referring to an actual city on the banks of the Euphrates? There are many good scholars on both sides of this debate. It may well be that both views are true.” (End of quote)
There is a “Tower of Babel” rising again and one that is ultimately destined to be ruled by another “Nimrod.” Its structure includes the deification and centrality of the race of man to be masters of their own destiny and to forge a global society that has political, social and economic harmony and prosperity. However, Satan will never allow mankind to worship itself but will ultimately turn the nations of the world to worship him through the Antichrist. However, God will not permit this man to stay in power. After three and a half years God will topple his kingdom. Islam will be destroyed forever!
(Vs. 5-9) “But the LORD came down to see the city and the tower that the men were building. The LORD said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.” So the LORD scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. That is why it was called Babel—because there the LORD confused the language of the whole world. From there the LORD scattered them over the face of the whole earth.”
Once before God intervened confusing the languages and scattering this attempt of man to build a global empire that was an affront to Him and God must intervene again and He will at the Second Coming of Jesus Christ when His Kingdom shall topple all earthly kingdoms and smash them to pieces. The Great “boulder” of Christ’s Kingdom will smash Nebuchadnezzar’s “statue” to pieces. Then God’s kingdom will “fill the whole earth” inaugurating the Millennial reign of the Lord Jesus Christ, the KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS! Amen! Even so come Lord Jesus!
2. King Solomon.
King Solomon was the wisest king that ever lived. God had entrusted him with a wonderful spiritual gifting and the results are clearly seen in the wisdom and insights contained in the Book of Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and the Song of Solomon. However Solomon became a backslider even though he still continued to write scripture. The gifts and calling of God are irrevocable and even though one may be spiritually gifted it does not mean that they are spiritual. Even King Saul prophesied after he had backslidden. God’s Word clearly tells us that Solomon backslid. He accumulated horses from Egypt (a symbol of the world) and married too many foreign wives and they turned his heart from the Lord. He also became a backslider accumulated large amounts of silver and gold. (1 Kings 10:25-29 11:1-8) The Lord forbade all these things to the kings of Israel. (Deuteronomy 17:16-17) Solomon also built a lavish throne and virtually had himself deified. Now when we look at certain aspects of King Solomon lifestyle we can see in him a type of the Antichrist.
A supernatural wisdom
The Antichrist will have supernatural wisdom but it will be from Satan and not God and Daniel alludes to this aspect of the Antichrist when describing the character of Antiochus. Daniel wrote concerning this man; “In the latter part of their reign, when rebels have become completely wicked, a stern-faced king, a master of intrigue, will arise.” (Daniel 8:23) The Antichrist will seek to be deified and worshipped. Daniel also said this would be so; “The king will do as he pleases. He will exalt and magnify himself above every god and will say unheard-of things against the God of gods. He will be successful until the time of wrath is completed, for what has been determined must take place. He will show no regard for the gods of his fathers or for the one desired by women, nor will he regard any god, but will exalt himself above them all.” (Daniel 11:36-37) Again Paul referred to this same character when he wrote in his Epistle; “He (the Antichrist) will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.” (2 Thessalonians 2:4)
The Antichrist will have masses of wealth at his disposal and we are told that each year Solomon received 666 talents of gold in tribute. Of course when we see anything in the Bible associated with the number 666 it is always connected to the Antichrist’s system of government. The Apostle John said; “This calls for wisdom. If anyone has insight, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is man’s number. His number is 666.” (Rev 13:18) The original Greek text does not say “a man” but “man” and refers to the whole race of man and not to a single individual. It is also an interesting fact that there are 666 Surah’s in the Koran. The number 666 is a sacred number to Muslims.
Now King Solomon was also into interfaith worship and allowed false religions to flourish in his empire. We read about this in the book of Kings where it is written; “He had seven hundred wives of royal birth and three hundred concubines, and his wives led him astray. As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to the LORD his God, as the heart of David his father had been. He followed Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and Molech the detestable god of the Ammonites. So Solomon did evil in the eyes of the LORD; he did not follow the LORD completely, as David his father had done.” (1 Kings 11:4-6)
For a time, for political expediency, the Antichrist will also allow other religions to flourish as Solomon did. Today Ecumenism and the interfaith movements are trying to amalgamate with Islam to a degree, however, Islam cannot assimilate with other religions as the Koran clearly teaches that there is only one alone to be worshipped and that is Allah and Mohammad is his prophet. In fact Islam is not really a religion as such but more an ideology, a socio-political and militaristic movement that subjugates people with the sword and imposes Sharia Law. In the end the Antichrist will destroy all religion except his own and of course he will want to be worshipped as the only God. Ultimately the Antichrist will have a vast empire whose tentacles are even now spreading across Europe and into other western nations. The only “religion” that is superseding all religions today is Islam. Could it be that the religion of Islam will dominate many western nations just before Jesus comes back? So then there are aspects of King Solomon’s character and reign that have an allusion to the character and conduct of the Antichrist.
3. King Nebuchadnezzar.
King Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold and set it up on the plain in Babylon and its dimensions in the Aramaic text actually adds up to 666. He commanded everyone in his kingdom to worship the image and if they didn’t they were thrown into the fiery furnace and burned alive. Everyone in the empire including the Jewish people themselves bowed down to the image however there were certain men who refused to bow the knee. God always has a faithful remnant in every age. Now the religious astrologers in Nebuchadnezzar’s court betrayed these three faithful men. These faithful men were Shadrach, Mesach and Abednego and they were brought before the king. When the king challenged their commitment to the One True God they replied, “If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and He will rescue us from your hand O king. But even if He does not, we want you to know, O king that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” These men knew that the Lord could deliver them if He wanted to but they also knew that if He decided not to deliver them they would still live on in eternity with Him. Whether they lived or died they had already decided in their hearts what they would do. They had already received deliverance in their hearts. They were thrown alive into the fire but were miraculously preserved by a fourth person in the fire with them. Of course it was their Messiah the pre-incarnate Son of God. These men came out of the fire completely unharmed or affected in any way and the pagan king was forced to his knees to worship the true and Living God as the One and only God.
Bow the Knee?
During the great Tribulation the Antichrist and his empire will want everyone to worship his image and to take his mark of ownership. Everyone will have to comply if they want to survive. Ultimately everyone who refuses to bow the knee will be beheaded. The only religion today that beheads people who will not bow the knee to their god Allah is Islam. Now the mark of the beast empire may be a microchip under the skin or possibly swearing allegiance to the Koran itself, or the wearing of an armband and headband with the Muslim creed sitting across the forehead on the headband, however, whatever it is, no one will be exempt. However there will be “‘Shadracks,” “‘Meshach’s”’ and “Abednego’s” who will not bow the knee and will pass through the fire of persecution, however, the Lord Jesus will be with them to deliver them through it and ultimately from it through the Resurrection from the dead! Though they physically die they will rise again to rule and to reign with Christ forever and ever! In the end Satan himself will be forced to acknowledge the One True God!
4. Caesar Augustus.
Caesar Augustus was the first Roman emperor to be deified. In fact Pergamum was the place where emperor worship began. In the book of Revelation the city of Pergamum was the place where, “Satan has his throne and the city where Satan lives.”(Revelation 2:13) Just before the first coming of Jesus, Augustus instigated a census throughout the whole of his empire to number people’s heads to gain economic and political control. Just before the Second Coming of Jesus the Antichrist will number people’s heads throughout his empire. John tells us this in the book of revelation chapter thirteen that; “He (the Antichrist’s system of government) also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name” (Revelation 13:16-17)
Today we see Erdogan of Turkey ascending to power in the Middle-East and entertaining ideas of divinity. His desire is to resurrect the Turkish Ottoman Caliphate which previously dominated the Middle –east for over 600 years and was the empire that toppled the remaining eastern leg of the Ancient Roman Empire. With this also came the mass extermination of Christendom going all the way back to Constantine who had his headquarters in Constantinople which today is the modern city of Istanbul located in Turkey. It is prophetically significant that the apostle John wrote to the seven Churches in Turkey and said that Pergamum was the city where Satan lived and had his throne. Pergamum is not too far from Istanbul. Turkey, not Rome, will be a major player on the stage of the political scene in these last days. Caesar Augustus was the pagan emperor that really kick started Emperor Worship.
5. King Herod (Herod the Great 40-4BC)
This King Herod ordered the massacre of the Jewish babies in Bethlehem but the baby Jesus escaped. The Antichrist cannot kill Jesus so he will make war on His offspring the Jews and the Christians, “the People of the Book.” The Antichrist’s global empire will persecute faithful believers. During this time the Lord will enable His faithful followers to persevere in the persecution. Many will die, others will go to prison but others will escape. During the Great Tribulation (1,260 days or 42 months) the Antichrist will try to eliminate the Jews and the Christians but he will not succeed. In this aspect King Herod the Great typifies the Antichrist.
The Apostle John said concerning this; “A great and wondrous sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head.(Israel) She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth (The birth of the Messiah). Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon (Satan) with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on his heads (the Antichrist’s empire). His tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth.(the final Apostasy) The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that he might devour her child the moment it was born (Herod’s time). She gave birth to a son, a male child, who will rule all the nations with an iron sceptre (The Lord Jesus). And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne (The Ascension). The woman (Israel) fled into the desert to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days. (The Divinely protected Remnant in Israel) Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring—those who obey God’s commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus” (The Church). (Rev 12:1-6, 17)
6. King Herod Agrippa. (The Grandson of Herod the Great)
King Herod persecuted the Church and killed James the brother of Jesus with the sword and imprisoned Peter hoping to stop the spread of Christianity and the proclamation that there was already a King of Israel who would inherit David’s throne. He succeeded in killing James but did not succeed in killing Peter. During the night Peter was delivered from the prison supernaturally and the next morning Herod’s soldiers could not find him. Peter escaped with his life. Later Herod dressed himself up in his best royal robes and made a speech and the crowd went wild almost raising him up to the status of a god.
King Herod went right along with this and stood on an elevated platform above the people. They were hypnotised by his oratory and suddenly, without warning, an angel struck Herod down and he died. During the Great Tribulation the Antichrist will be worshipped by the masses and persecute the faithful believers. Some will die like James while others like Peter will escape. It was during the night that Peter was taken out of the prison and rescued from Herod’s grasp. Right at the end of the “night” of the Great Tribulation the faithful Church will be caught up to meet Jesus in the air at His Coming and be delivered from the clutches of the Antichrist. As the Church goes up to meet Jesus in the air He returns with His saints to rescue Israel and strike down the Antichrist just as the angel struck down King Herod. What Herod did and how he was destroyed teaches us about the Antichrist and his ultimate destruction at the hands of the Lord Jesus Christ when He comes back.
7. Judas Iscariot.
Judas was the only man in history to be called “the son of perdition.” As he went out to betray Jesus Satan entered him personally. Not only that Judas was very close to Jesus and to the other apostles and managed to fool them all accept the Lord Himself who knew what Judas was from the beginning. Judas was also into money, being the treasurer for the group, and he was a thief. He was religious and could even work miracles, but the Holy Spirit had never regenerated him and the Lord Jesus even called Judas “a devil.” In the end Judas walked away from the light into the darkness and came to a horrible end.
The Antichrist will at first seem to favour Christianity and tolerate its existence. He will succeed in deceiving multitudes in the professing Christian Church by his satanically inspired hypnotic power, the same power that controlled Adolph Hitler to sway the masses. However, he will be unique in that Satan himself will be personally living on the inside of this man. He will show his true colours just like Antiochus did in the time of the Maccabees. This man, the Antichrist, will deny the Lord Jesus and betray his faithful followers. He will be into money and have a distorted view of the Lord Jesus the Messiah just as Judas had. When you look at Islam today it has a distorted view of the Lord Jesus yet there are multitudes of Christians including many church leaders who are trying to get along with Islam to the point where many of them are calling Allah the God of Abraham Isaac and Jacob. Of course they could not be further from the truth!
Ultimately the empire of the Antichrist will turn on the apostate religious system and destroy it! However in the end the Antichrist and his empire will be destroyed. Satan had his first defeat at Jerusalem and he will have his last defeat there as well. This is why he wants to destroy Israel today because he knows that God’s prophetic purposes for Israel and the world are bound up in His promises to politically and spiritually restore the nation of Israel. This is what he is up to today in Israel. This is what multitudes both in the world and even in the Church do not see. In the Valley of Jehoshaphat he will go to his end with no one to help him. The prophet Daniel said concerning the Antichrist; “He will pitch his royal tents between the sea and the beautiful holy mountain. Yet he will come to an end, and no one will help him.” (Daniel 11:48)
When we look at the historical and Biblical characters collectively we can see a much clearer picture of the Antichrist to come. While much more is said about him even in type and shadow there are certain characteristics which scripture clearly points out concerning his character and conduct. 1. He will arise from the region of ancient Babylon. 2. He will have only one religion with himself as its god. 3.He will desecrate the Temple Mount and try to change the laws. 4. His will demand to be worshiped as God incarnate. 5. He will be a great political leader. 6. He will command a vast army unlike anything in history. 7. He will have great wealth and satanic supernatural wisdom. 8. He will deceive multitudes in the world and in the Church. 9. He will have an empire reaching into many countries. 10. He will control most of the world’s economy. 11. He will persecute Israel and the faithful Church globally.
When our Lord Jesus comes back the Antichrist, his army and his empire will be destroyed by the fiery judgement coming out from the mouth of the rider on the white horse. When Jesus comes again to stand on the Mount of Olives, there will no place to hide from His splendour, His majesty or from His power! The sky will recede like a scroll, rolling up, and every mountain and island will be removed from its place. The kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and every slave and every free man will hide in caves and among the rocks of the mountains and calling to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?”
Daniel also describes the end of the Antichrist and his empire when he prophesied; “Then I continued to watch because of the boastful words the horn was speaking. I kept looking until the beast was slain and its body destroyed and thrown into the blazing fire.” (Dan 7:11) Likewise, Isaiah the prophet also said concerning the demise of the Antichrist’s empire; “And they (those who have been redeemed and those who have survived the Great Tribulation) will go out and look upon the dead bodies of those who rebelled against Me; their worm will not die, nor will their fire be quenched, and they will be loathsome to all mankind.”(Isaiah 66:24)