Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Antichrist a Muslim? The Assyrian Connection

Dr. David R. ReaganBy Dr. David R. Reagan

Could the Antichrist possibly be a Muslim? This is a new idea that seems to be catching fire today due to the awakening of Islam and the revival of its territorial goal of conquering the world for Allah.

I recently read four books that relate to this topic. One lays the biblical foundation without asserting that the Antichrist will actually be a Muslim. The other three use that foundation to make the assertion.

The book that provides the biblical foundation — and the best book of the four — is entitled The Assyrian Connection.1 It was written in 1993 by Phillip Goodman. A revised edition was published in 2003.

Goodman is the director of Thy Kingdom Come Ministries in Tulsa, Oklahoma, a Bible prophecy ministry founded by Dr. Charles Pack. He and Dr. Pack co-host a television program called "Prophecy Watch." Like his mentor, Dr. Pack, Phillip Goodman is an astute Bible student and gifted teacher who bases all that he writes and says on Scripture.

Goodman's Book

In his book, Goodman argues that the Antichrist will rise from the Eastern wing of the old Roman Empire, coming from the ancient Greek sphere of influence that was incorporated into that empire. Getting even more specific, he argues that the Antichrist will come from the Seleucid area of the Greek sphere — specifically, from Assyria, meaning either modern-day Syria or Iraq. Although he never specifically states that the Antichrist will be a Muslim, he leaves this distinct impression by claiming that he will come from Syria or Iraq.

For scriptural evidence of his thesis, Goodman points to the description of the Antichrist in Revelation 13:2 where he is portrayed symbolically as being like a leopard, with the feet of a bear, and the mouth of a lion. This imagery comes right out of Daniel 7 where the Empire of Babylon is pictured as a lion, the Medo-Persian Empire is depicted as a bear, and the Macedonian or Greek Empire of Alexander the Great is described as a leopard.

Goodman argues that since the dominate feature of the Antichrist in Revelation 13:2 is his leopard body, it is an indication that the Antichrist will rise out of the area of the Greek Empire that was incorporated into the Roman Empire.

Next, he narrows the geographical search by pointing to Micah 5:5 where an end time prophecy refers to "the Assyrian" invading the land of Israel. He argues this is a reference to the Antichrist.

He then buttresses his argument by referencing Daniel 8 where Daniel tells about a vision he was given of a succession of empires. Daniel says he saw a ram representing the Medo-Persian Empire (vs. 3 and 20) and that it was trampled by a male goat, representing the Greek Empire (vs. 5-7 and 21). The male goat had a "conspicuous horn between his eyes" representing Alexander the Great. But then Daniel reports that he saw the large horn "broken" (symbolizing the death of Alexander) and that "in its place there came up four conspicuous horns," representing the four divisions of the Greek Empire that were created after Alexander's death.

Out of one of those four divisions of Alexander's Empire Daniel witnessed the emergence of "a little horn which grew exceedingly great" (verse 9).

Antiochus Epiphanes

Nearly all Bible scholars agree that this little horn represents Antiochus Epiphanes, a tyrant who arose out of the Seleucid section of Alexander's Empire. He is described in detail in verses 23-26 in what sounds like a classic depiction of the Antichrist, making it clear that Antiochus was a type of the Antichrist. In fact, this is made rather clear in verses 17 and 19 where Daniel is told by Gabriel that the prophecy will not find its fulfillment until the "time of the end."

So, if the type of the Antichrist — Antiochus Epiphanes — was from Seleucia, then Goodman argues the Antichrist will also come from that same area (Syria/Iraq) and will thus be an Assyrian.

A Succession of Empires

Another argument Goodman uses to substantiate the Assyrian connection of the Antichrist is based on a passage in Revelation 17:9-11 where there is a reference to seven empires. Five are referred to as "fallen" (Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, and Greece). The sixth is "the one that is" — namely, the one that existed at that time (Rome). The seventh is called the one that "has not yet come" (the empire that will give birth to the Antichrist). Revelation 13:1-3 also refers to these seven empires and states that the Antichrist will arise out of the one that comes back to life in the end times. The traditional interpretation is that this is a reference to a revival of the Roman Empire.

But Goodman says no. He argues that all the kingdoms continued to exist to one degree or another except the Assyrian. He argues it was the only one that totally ceased to exist and therefore, it is the one that will be resurrected from the dead in the end times. To support this conclusion from Scripture, Goodman quotes Daniel 7:12 where Daniel is told that "an extension of life" for "an appointed time" had been granted to the beasts that were symbolic of world empires.

Goodman offers a number of other arguments in behalf of his thesis, but these are the key ones. Let's now evaluate them.

Responding to Goodman

With regard to the symbolic description of the Antichrist in Revelation 13:2 as being like a leopard with the feet of a bear and the mouth of a lion, I see no reason to seize on the mention of the leopard to conclude that the Antichrist will come out of the Greek sphere of the old Roman Empire. I believe all this passage is saying is that the kingdom of the Antichrist will have characteristics of these three kingdoms — swift as a leopard, strong as a bear, and deadly as a lion.

And surely that will be the case, for keep in mind that the book of Revelation reveals that the Antichrist will conquer the entire world in only three and a half years!

Micah 5:5

Nor do I believe there is any validity to the use of Micah 5:5 to determine the national identity of the Antichrist. Micah 5:3-15 is entirely about the Millennium. The Antichrist will be dead and gone during that time. Revelation 19:20-21 says that at the Second Coming of Jesus — at the end of the Tribulation — the Antichrist and his False Prophet will be thrown into the lake of fire where they will be tormented eternally (20:10).

I believe that all the prophet is saying in Micah 5:5-6 is that during the Millennium the Lord will protect Israel from all its natural enemies — as symbolized by Assyria (the enemy of Israel at the time the prophet wrote).

Daniel 8

Regarding Daniel 8, there is no doubt that this chapter is a prophecy that Antiochus Epiphanes, who is a biblical type of the Antichrist, will rise out of one of the four divisions of Alexander's Empire that were created after his death. It is also clear that the chapter states that what is said about the nature of Antiochus applies to the Antichrist in the end times (Daniel 8:17 and 19). But the primary focus of the chapter is on the personality and character of the Antichrist (verses 23-26), not on his origin.

Keep in mind that there are many other symbolic types of the Antichrist in Scripture besides Antiochus. They include such persons as the Pharaoh of the Exodus, King Saul of Israel, David's son, Absalom, and King Herod. Some of these are Jewish, but that doesn't mean the Antichrist will be Jewish. One of the most significant, the Pharaoh of the Exodus, was from Egypt, but that doesn't mean the Antichrist will be an Egyptian.

They, like Antiochus, are types of the Antichrist because of their rebellion against God and because they attempted to exalt themselves above God. Remember also that symbolic types are never exactly the same as what they are symbols of. Joseph, for example, is a symbolic type of Jesus.

But even more important is the fact that Antiochus Epiphanes was of Greek heritage. He was not an Assyrian. So, if the prophecy in Daniel 8 is pointing to the heritage of the Antichrist, it is indicating that he will be a Roman of Greek heritage.

Revelation 17

The weakest argument Goodman attempts to use is the one he bases on Revelation 17:9-11. His assertion that all the empires included in this passage have continued to this day, except the Assyrian, simply cannot be justified in history. The Babylonian Empire ceased to exist overnight when it was overthrown by the Medo-Persian Empire. Two hundred years later, when Alexander the Great visited the site of the Empire's capital city, there was nothing left but ruins.

The Bible specifically prophesies that Babylon will be overthrown by the Medes, and that thereafter, it will "never be inhabited or lived in from generation to generation" (Isaiah 13:17-20). That prophecy was partially fulfilled in 539 BC when the Medes and the Persians conquered Babylon. It was completely fulfilled in the years that followed as the city went into a slow decline, ultimately ending up in ruins. And just as prophesied, the city has remained desolate to this day (despite persistent rumors of it being "rebuilt").

The bottom line is that there is no way around the fact that the Egyptian, Assyrian, Babylonian, Medo-Persian, and Roman Empires ceased to exist. And there is no way to sensibly argue that all of them have continued to this day except the Assyrian, and therefore it is the one that will be resurrected in the end times. The context of Daniel's succession of world empires as portrayed in chapters 2 and 7 is that the empire of the Antichrist will be a revival of the last of the empires in the series — the Roman Empire.

This discussion reminds me of the Holy Roman Empire that existed from about 800 AD to 1806. It was an attempt by Germanic tribes to keep the Roman Empire alive. But it was very limited in scope and existed primarily on paper, prompting Voltaire to observe, "It is neither holy, Roman, nor an empire."

A Major Revision

In the 2003 revision of his book, Goodman decided that the seventh empire of Revelation 17 should be changed from a revival of the Roman Empire to the Ottoman Empire (1299-1923). But he continued to argue that the Antichrist would arise out of the revived Assyrian Empire.2

Let's take a careful look at the Revelation 17 passage. It begins by referring to the scarlet beast (the Antichrist) on which a great harlot (the Antichrist's apostate religion) sits. It says the beast has seven heads.

9) Here is the mind which has wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits,

10) and they are seven kings; five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; and when he comes, he must remain a little while.

11) And the beast which was and is not, is himself also an eighth, and is one of the seven, and he goes to destruction.

Considering the time when this passage was written (95 AD), the five kings "fallen" would be the following empires: Egyptian, Assyrian, Babylonian, Medo-Persian, and Grecian. The "one is" empire — the one existing at the time Revelation was written — would be the Roman. The one to come would be the revival of the Roman Empire which will give birth to the Antichrist (the European Union). The eighth empire would be the worldwide empire of the Antichrist which he will establish through military conquest during the first half of the Tribulation.

The Ottoman Empire cannot be inserted in this passage. To do so would make it the seventh empire. The eighth, according to Goodman, would be the revival of the Assyrian Empire, making the worldwide empire of the Antichrist the ninth empire. But the passage provides for only eight empires.

Furthermore, to deny that the empire to be revived is the Roman Empire is to deny the significance of the miraculous revival of that empire in our day and time in the form of the European Union — an event that has been predicted by prophecy experts for several hundred years.


  1. Phillip Goodman, The Assyrian Connection (Tulsa, Oklahoma: Prophecy Watch Books, 1993 — revised edition in 2003), 136 pages.

  2. Ibid., pp. 124-130.


hart_thizzle10_9 said...

sandra, i agree with your comment about him being roman with jewish blood. Great article. I will have to do more research and rethiink my position. I personally think he COULD come from syria but CANNOT be muslem but more likeley from europe

hart_thizzle10_9 said...

by the way the reason i believe he will be part jewish is cause if i am correct the phrase GOD OF HIS FATHERS is exclusively a jewish phrase and he CANT be a moslem cus 1. Islam will tolorate no other religion and 2. Gog/magog will all but destroy islam. My understanding is hell be roman/jew and MAYBE part greek

hart_thizzle10_9 said...

oh just one more thing. I just want to be clear that if i were placing a bet i'd say he rises out of the european union. My point is simply that there is enough evidence to leave just a little doubt. While i believe he COULD come from syria the evidence stacks in favor of him coming out of europe. I just dont want to be dogmatic so ill wait and see what is said on the remaining posts since they are the experts and prolly heard all the theories

elizzyha said...

I don't know where the antichrist will come from, but I do know he will make peace where there has been no peace. I have a question regarding Revelation 17:8, what does it mean?

Todd said...

You can download a free chart of nearly 100 characteristics of end-time Babylon, to help you draw your own conclusion to the question, "Who or what is Babylon?. The characteristics are grouped in categories (geo-political, socio-economic, cultural, etc.), with
scripture references. It is 9 pages, available as a free download from
(cick on the word "Register" on the top right of the screen to create an account for you to login to download this and a dozen other free ebooks, including one about the timing of the Rapture). You will find it very interesting and provocative to see all the references stacked together!

Paul said...

I find myself being irritated by your comments David, that contend your opinions are more accurate than other peoples. Example: I believe all this passage is saying is that the kingdom of the Antichrist will have characteristics of these three kingdoms — swift as a leopard, strong as a bear, and deadly as a lion.' Couldn't it be true, and more probable, that a prophet would use word pictures and descriptions that point to other prophesies, than to just pull something out of the air that is very similar but has nothing to do with the previous prophesy?

Nathan Jones said...

Elizzyha, check out The Great Prostitute of Revelation 17 for a detailed analysis of Revelation 17.

Anonymous said...

The Lion with wings of an eagle is Great Britain with USA as the wings. The lion is the national animal for GB and the eagle for USA. GB is USA's mother country. The Bear is the national animal for Russia. The leopard with four heads is Germany. Leopard Tank from Germany is known as the most advanced/poplular tank out there. Four heads represent the 4 Reichs. 1st, 2nd,3d(Hitlers) & 4th(now rising). The 4 wings of fowel that were coming out of the back of the Leopard is France. French national animal is the Rooster. As per the Franco/German alliance.
The beast with 10 horns. 1 nation, 10 kings supporting the Antichrist. Little horn is the Antichrist. Please see Out of all the information out there. In my opinion, Irvine Baxter is insightfull and knows his bible as well as his politics. Watch his teachings. They will blow you away.

Groovy Writer said...

In the novel Something Coming, the Assyrians rise again through the awakening of reincarnated souls from that kingdom. Antiochus Epiphanes returns to life as a world messiah and also an Antichrist, depending on what you believe. It's a fascinating read that puts the scriptures into historical context.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you. The Antichrist will be coming from Greece. Daniel prophecy predicts that there will be a leader coming to protect Israel, who is named, Michael, the Archangel, and when he is gone (dead), then the Antichrist comes after 200 years when Michael, the leader who will rise an empire which shall be never taken and be built in United States, when he is gone or dead, then the Antichrist comes.

Assyrian Princess said...

Well it is impossible to suggest that the Anti-Christ would be from Assyria or be Assyrian because if you look at the history of Assyrians they are one of the few ethnicities that coincide with christianity. By that I mean if you're Assyrian you must be a Christian. The Assyrian population dismisses any converts to other religions and would refer to this anomolie group as either Arab or which ever citizenship they wish to follow. That is how strong the correlation is between christianity and the Assyrian people. The reason for this is due the history of the Assyrians. The only way they could be saved from their pagan and sinful ways was to embrace Jesus Christ, and they are now paying the consequences for their past actions. We as a body of people are deteriorating and being overcome by not only secular systems but most importantly and unfortunately Islamic Doctrine. The Assyrian nation has decreased in number dramatically due to every opportunity taken to prosecute and massacre these people. No country wil even acknowledge their massacres even though 3/4 of a million were killed by Muslim Turks. It's outrageous. But to conclude I definately dismiss that notion completely, if we look historically at the Assyrian Empire it was the case that a specific King Ashur wanted to battle with God, but their Pagan and idoletry ways were ceased ince the first church of christianity was bulit and used by the Assyrians, as described in the journeys of St Bartholomew and others in addition. The anti-christ cannot be Christian.

johnny joe said...

It is fairly obvious that the beast
will arise in the Middle East.The Grecian empire was divided into four parts(Daniel chapters 8 & 11).
Alexander the Great died at or just
before his 33rd birthday and conquered for about 13 years.The 7
seals and 7 trumpets are in the first 3 and a half years of the 70the week.The 5th trumpet is 5 months and then the 6th trumpet will sound.What is the time duration of the 6th trumpet?Multiplying the number 33 x 37 = 1221.The 6th trumpet is verses 12-21.A day,a month,and a year totals 396 days in a solar year and 391 days in a prophetic year.The number 33 x 12 = 396.The 6th trumpet will sound exactly 3 years from the opening of the first seal.The number 3-9-6
was revealed as an indicator that there is one chronology of the timing of the 21 judgement events in the Book of Revelation,and not a
few dozen or more.The number 396 + 48 = 444.This number is a sign of the end,just like it was on Jan.20th 1981,when 52 U.S. hostages flew to freedom after 444 days in captivity in Iran,and Ronald Reagan
became the 40th president.This man
was "the prophetic president".The
angel of the bottomless pit is called Apollyon in the Greek tongue.Four angels will be loosed from the Euphrates river to command an army of 200,000,000.This
Antichrist will rise to power with the help of demonic forces of Rev. chapter 9.This future empire of ten kings will include the territory of the former Grecian empire and the Roman empire.

dennis yap said...

I agree with Goodman. All other interpretations are not as historically founded as with Goodman's.

Anonymous said...

Well, time has proven that this prophecy was talking about the Middle East and not Rome, hasn't it? Shows you how important it is to look at prophecy through God's eyes and not man's.

Tony Conrad said...

Obviously there are various different ideas on where the Anti Christ comes from.

I have great respect for Goodman who has really opened my eyes regarding 10 horns and 7 heads.

I haven't read this Assyrian book but knowing Goodman he would have probably surmised the location of the Anti Christ without being dogmatic. I can't see how knowing his location would help us with ife just now.

Yosua said...

So what is the seventh king of Rev. 17? It cannot be Rome because the prophecy says "one is" (the 6th King, Rome) and also says about the 7th King "has not yet come". Rome existed at that time, so Rome cannot be at the same time both existing ("one is") and not yet existing ("not yet come").