Monday, June 29, 2009

Antichrist Will Be Headquartered In Rome

Nathan JonesPDFBy Nathan Jones

Where will the headquarters of the Antichrist be located during the Great Tribulation? Will it be Rome, Jerusalem, New York, Babylon, or some other city? Twelve different Bible prophecy experts were asked this question. The following five answered that it would be some place else other than a rebuilt Babylon, or that it could be Babylon but they were not entirely convinced. Here are their responses.


Nathan Jones

I honestly don't know. I do believe that the Antichrist will rise from Rome. When it talks about the people destroying the Temple in 70 AD, the Romans destroyed Israel and the Temple. The Antichrist has to come out of Rome. Whether his capital, his actually physical capital building is in Rome, I am not sure. Babylon would be logical because if he has a peace treaty with Israel and it is all about the resources of the Middle East. It would be very smart to have a capital in the oil fields where you can defend it well.


Don Perkins

I believe it will be Rome. It may start off there and eventually go on to Jerusalem. I go back to 2 Thessalonians 2. I believe that it will end in Jerusalem because the heart of God is Jerusalem. I believe that Antichrist will eventually move his capital there because again he wants what God wants and Jerusalem is the apple of God's eye. But, I believe that it will start in Rome and eventually end up in Jerusalem.


Todd Strandberg

There are so many ways to look into that question. It says it will be destroyed and all the merchants of the world will mourn after it. That could be America or it could be Rome because of the revived Roman Empire. It could be Israel because the Antichrist will rule out of there. It could be Babylon and Iraq being rebuilt as some people propose. So, pick your choice there.


Ed Hindson

I personally believe that it will be Rome. I do not believe that it will literally be Babylon. I think that John is obviously using the term "Babylon" as a code word for Rome in the Book of the Revelation. The city that sits on seven hills in the ancient world was always understood as Rome. He is talking about a place where the martyrs of Jesus have been persecuted. He is talking about a place that has stood against the prophets of God and the people of God throughout the generations. I think he is making a very strong case for a great End Time system that will encompass the entire world.

The question is where will it be headquartered? Not likely in Babylon in Iraq. You are going to move the headquarters of the United Nations to Iraq and endure suicide bombers, Islamic threats, terrorism, etc? The Iraqis themselves have no real regard for Babylon. It is a pagan city, not an Islamic city. It is 50 miles from Bagdad. It's never been successfully rebuilt and it will never be successfully rebuilt according to Isaiah's prophecy. Alexander the Great tried to rebuild it and failed, Antiochus Epiphanies tried to rebuild it and failed, Saddam Hussein tried to rebuild it and failed, and if you try to rebuild it you'll fail.


David Reagan

I would agree that there are many prophecies in the Old Testament about Babylon that have not yet been fulfilled. And, I would agree that these prophecies apply to the End Time headquarters of the Antichrist. But, there is a problem with applying them to ancient Babylon. That problem is rooted in the fact that End Time Babylon is defined in the New Testament and the Book of Revelation, and I think those passages make it clear that the End Time Babylon will be Rome. For example, the End Time Babylon is identified in Revelation 17 as a "mystery" or as "Mystery Babylon" depending on the translations. But, either way, it seems to me to be a clear tip off that the author, the Apostle John, is speaking symbolically of some other city then ancient Babylon. In fact, John uses this very same literary technique a few chapters earlier in Revelation 11:8 when talking about the two witnesses of God that the Antichrist will kill in the middle of the Tribulation. The passage states that their bodies will lie in the streets of the great city which mystically is called Sodom and Egypt. He then goes on to identify the city as Jerusalem. He referred to it as Sodom because of its immorality, and he referred to it as Egypt because of its idolatry.

Returning to Revelation 17 where the End Time headquarters of the Antichrist is referred to as "Mystery Babylon," the rest of the chapter makes it clear I think that he is talking about Rome. In verse 9 he refers to it as the "city on seven mountains" which in that day and time could only refer to Rome. And, in verse 18, he refers to it as the great city which reigns over the kings of the earth. At the time John wrote this in the First Century, that could only apply to Rome. Further evidence that he was speaking of Rome is to be found in 1 Peter 5:13 where the Apostle Peter ends his epistle with the greetings from "the church that is in Babylon." Well, there was no church in Babylon at that time, and Peter was writing from Rome. This passage makes it obvious that Christians in the First Century used Babylon as a code word for Rome.

Finally, there is a prophecy in Isaiah that seems to me to state clearly that Babylon will never be built again once it falls to the Medes and the Persians. Here is how it reads, it reads, "Behold I am going to stir up the Medes against them, against the Babylonians, who will not value silver or take pleasure in gold and their bows will mow down the young men, they will not even have compassion on the fruit of the womb, nor will their eye pity children, and Babylon the beauty of kingdoms the glory of the Chaldeans pride will be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah. It will never be inhabited or lived in from generation to generation."

Now some people respond to this passage by saying it was not fulfilled in the time of the Medes because they did not destroy the city suddenly with fire the way Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed. But, the context makes it clear that it is talking about the conquering of Babylon by the Medes. And furthermore, it does not say Babylon will be destroyed in the same manner as Sodom and Gomorrah. Rather, it says that after the Medes conquer the city it will become like Sodom and Gomorrah. In another words, it will become desolate, and that is exactly what happened. The city went into a long decline and by 141 B.C. when the Parthian Empire took over the region, Babylon was in complete desolation and obscurity and that is the way it has remained ever since.

Today, rumors abound that Babylon is being rebuild for habitation, but those rumors are not true. Saddam Hussein built one of his many presidential palaces on the edge of the ancient city and rebuilt some of the ruins of Nebuchadnezzar's Palace complex, but all of this was built for tourism, not for habitation. You can see from aerial photos that the ancient site of Babylon stands barren to this day.

So, my conclusion is that just as Isaiah says ancient Babylon will never be rebuilt again, and the headquarters of the Antichrist during the Great Tribulation will be Rome.


Regardless of the Bible prophecy experts' differences over the location of the Antichrist's headquarters, all agree that the Bible teaches there will be an Antichrist who will rule the world from either Rome or Babylon. And, at the end of the Tribulation, his headquarters will be destroyed suddenly by fire from God in one hour of one day just as was the case with ancient Sodom and Gomorrah.

You can watch this Q&A at our website on Christ in Prophecy.

26 comments:

Gideon said...

Dr. Reagan,

Great article. I have a question. Jeremiah 51 appears to be speaking of the same event Isaiah described because both state that the Medes are going to come against and take down Babylon.

Jeremiah 51:26 states - And [O Babylon] they shall not take your cracked stones for a cornerstone, or any stone for foundations, but you shall be waste and [a]desolate forever, says the Lord.

If this has been fulfilled how is the town of Al Hillah in Iraq built almost entirely from stone and blocks from Babylon?

Am I missing something or getting something wrong?

Thanks!

Anonymous said...

If we believe that the end-times are at hand, we should also be able to observe already certain international trends that will in not too distant future lead the Antichrist ruling the world in Rome or Babylon. We need to follow of course what happens in the EU and in the Middle-East. Another interesting issue to follow is the G8, see http://www.g8italia2009.it

hartdawg said...

Gideon, i heard, tho not sure i believe it that its only a rumor al hillah is built from ancient Babylon stones. you asked an excellent question and i'm curious about it too.

son of thunder said...

If people are using stones from Babylon for building material, then I'd say that prophecy hasn't come to pass as of yet.

Nathan Jones said...

Thought provoking question, Gideon, so I've spent the last hour researching Al-Hillah, which is a town near (not on) the ancient city of Babylon (Britannica). Haven't been able to find any resource that says Al-Hillah is built using Babylonian ruins, though. May I ask you to cite your source?

Looks like excavations of Babylon since 1811 found it buried under a series of mounts/tells. As Al-Hillah was built 1,243 years after Babylon became a ghost town, if they did take any of the old stones they would have had to dig them out from under all that sand.

I had an interesting conversation with an Army intelligence officer this weekend who was stationed near Babylon and spent a lot of time there. He told me there's not much of anything there, and what Saddam built wasn't very impressive in scope.

tricia said...

Nope, I think it will be in Babylon. They are rebuilding it now.. I'm believing now, that the islam religion is going to be part of the anti-christ empire.. The roman empire split in two.. So why do people keep forgetting about that? You can't dismiss history.. Iron & clay will be the mix of the 8th empire for 7 years. Since iron & clay don't mix, Islam & democracy don't mix either. At this point, Islam is the only religion that is trying to conquer the whole world.. And NO LIBERAL or PROGRESSIVE ever speaks against it. So I'm studying scriptures & watching.. I'm not discounting anything..

Gideon said...

Nathan,

I've seen this on the internet, and books from different sources like these:

http://looklex.com/e.o/hillah.htm

http://www.1911encyclopedia.org/Hillah

http://www.discoverrevelation.com/8.html

This book was written in the 1880's and states this also:

http://books.google.com/books?id=ZMECAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA177&lpg=PA177&dq=hillah+built+using+bricks+from+babylon&source=bl&ots=uD58npFYii&sig=BMLzeae6HofpkMQ2hwuKP-I5l5I&hl=en&ei=expKSo6aIoWftgeboYilBg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=9

Maybe this information is just wrong like Hartdawg has said, but if this info has been around since the 1880's it is definitely not an internet rumor.

Has anyone seen the news that the UN and US are going to begin reconstruction at Babylon? The Obama admin has authorized $700,000 for reconstruction. This was reported by Joel Rosenberg:

http://bible-prophecy-today.blogspot.com/2009/02/us-to-help-rebuild-city-of-babylon-in.html

hartdawg said...

hi gideon, i only HEARD it MAY be wrong but if the info is that old maybe its not. as i previously state it (seems) anti-christ will have an economic(in babylon)headquarters, a religous headquartere (1st mystery "religous" babylon, catholisicm meshed with tolorance/humanism in Rome, then in jerusalem) and military (also 1st in Rome then in jerusalem prior to armegeddon,dan 12) and political headquarters in Rome. keep in mind the Babylon of rev 17 is different then Babylon of rev 18.

hartdawg said...

sorry, the reference to anti-christ moving is military headquarters to jerusalem is dan ch11 not ch12

son of thunder said...

Hey, Gideon, thanks for that link about rebuilding Babylon.

Bible Prophecy on the Web said...

Mystery Babylon is a CITY (Re.18:10, Re.18:16, Re.18:18-19). It is the CITY "where also our Lord was crucified" (Re.11:8, Heb.13:12).

The mystery of Babylon the great is that it is the holy city Jerusalem which will play a dual role once the false prophet sits in the temple of God showing himself that he is God (2 Thess.2:4).

The holy city Jerusalem is the pleasant land (Dan.8:9); it is the faithful city which has become an harlot (Isa.1:21),

There is a curse on Jerusalem in this earth; in the new earth there will be no more curse (Re.22:3). Because there is a curse, Jerusalem will play a dual role - one: the holy city Jerusalem, and, secondly, that great city Babylon (Re.18:10).

Also note at Re.21:10 that in the new earth the holy city Jerusalem's name is complete, "that great city, the holy Jerusalem".

Revelation17:9 states that the seven heads (Re.17:3) on the scarlet colored beast are seven mountain on which the woman sits. The seven continents of the earth are the seven mountains. In the beginning, the waters of the earth covered the mountains (Ps.104:6). Today we live upon that portion of the mountains protruding from the waters.

The many waters Babylon sits upon represents peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues (Re.17:15). Therefore, Babylon's power will be worldwide and will involve all of its people.

The beast of Revelation 13:11 (the false prophet) is seen as the scarlet colored beast once his sits in that great city Babylon.

The false prophet worships a god his fathers knew not (Dan.11:38), a god of forces, that great city Babylon, and honors her with riches (Re.17:4, Re.18:16).

The horns/kings on the scarlet colored beast’s head (Re.17:16-18) play their role upon the world scene as they come against the great city Babylon and fight the battle of Armageddon.



Patricia (1982 ©) Bible Prophecy on the Web
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BibleProphecy

Gideon said...

Hartdawg,

I understood what you meant, and I agree with you. I've only read this and have not seen any proof.

Son of Thunder,

You are very welcome!

Mitchell said...

Nathan says, "Haven't been able to find any resource that says Al-Hillah is built using Babylonian ruins, though."

Al Hilla - "A city of central Iraq on a branch of the Euphrates River south of Baghdad. It was built c. 1100, largely of material salvaged from the nearby ruins of Babylon. Population: 289,000."

From Columbia Encyclopedia (Sixth Edition, 2008): "Al Hillah (äl hĭl'lä), city (1987 pop. 268,834), provincial capital, central Iraq, on a branch of the Euphrates River. It was built (c.1100) largely of material taken from the nearby ruins of ancient Babylon. It is a port and the main cereal market of the middle Euphrates area."

According to Clarence Larkin in Dispensational Truth or God's Plan And Purpose in the Ages, "... many towns and cities have been built from the ruins of Babylon, among them Four Capital Cities, Seleucia, built by the Greeks; Ctesiphon, by the Parthians, Al Maiden, by the Persians; and Kufa, by the Caliphs. Hillah was entirelly constructed from the debris, and even in the houses of Bagdad, Babylonian stamped bricks may be frequently noticed.

But Isaiah is still more specific for he locates the Time when his prophecy will be fulfilled. He calls it the 'Day of the Lord.' Isa. 13:9. That is the Millennium. And he locates it at the beginning of the Millennium, or during the events that usher in the Millennium, for he says -- 'The stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light; the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine.' Isa. 13:10 (Luke 21:25-27)."

We can easily ascertain from Scripture that the Day of the Lord is immediately after the tribulation*, therefore it would appear that the prophecy concerning Babylon in Jeremiah 51:26 will not be fulfilled until after the tribulation (the Day of the Lord), which ushers in the Millennial Reign of Christ.

(* Joel 3:9-17 describes the gathering of the armies of the nations around Jerusalem for the battle of Armageddon, the cosmic signs, and the coming of the Lord. After the armies are gathered Joel wrote that the Day of the Lord is "near". Therefore, the Day of the Lord can only happen after the armies of the surrounding nations are gathered for Armageddon, which we all know is at the end of the tribulation.

* Joel 2:30-31 gives us specific celestial signs that happen before the Day of the Lord. (cf. Isa 13:10). These signs happen immediately after the tribulation according to Jesus in Matt 24:29.)

Nathan Jones said...

Thanks for those links, Gideon! I've also read DeYoung's and Rosenberg's articles as well - very interesting. Although, the funds the US is giving towards making Babylon a tourist attraction (not its former glory) is $700,000, which in this age wouldn't build much. For Babylon to be truly rebuilt and become the leading city and center of commerce for the world, some major cash and world consent would have to occur. We'll have to watch and see how these things play out.

Mitchell, Mitchell, Mitchell - and there is the crux of why our end-time interpretations are so vastly different. It is how we interpret "The Day of the Lord."

Gideon said...

Nathan,

You are welcome!

Yeah I know this was for restoration of the ruins, and the money is not much, but the amount did strike me as odd when I read $700,000! Why not one million?

It will be interesting to see what happens!

Sal said...

BPontheWeb, when you say "false prophet" you're really meaning "Anti-Christ", right? 2 different guys.

Mitchell said...

Nathan says, "Mitchell, Mitchell, Mitchell - and there is the crux of why our end-time interpretations are so vastly different. It is how we interpret "The Day of the Lord."

Hi Nathan, can you show me your interpretation of the Day of the Lord from a Scriptural standpoint and when it takes places in the eschaton?

son of thunder said...

Come on, guys. We've been over this "Day of the Lord" thing a thousand times. Let's just agree to disagree for right now.

As for the money we gave to Babylon AD: consider for a moment that other nations are probably going to put money in the pot. If I understand correctly, they want to turn Babylon into an international cultural center. What if 100 countries put in the equivalent? That's $70,000,000. Now let's assume that this is only a down payment. Everyone puts in $700,000 every year for 5 years. That's $350,000,000.

Of course it's all assumption on the payouts, but see how easily this could happen?

son of thunder said...

I don't know if it was intentional or not on Mr. Obama's part, but in numerology (I've been doing some homework) "7" is a spiritual or religious number.

I think it's interesting that we give 7 hundred thousand to help rebuild the brothel of the harlot religions.

SeanOsborne said...

"Where will the headquarters of the Antichrist be located during the Great Tribulation?"

Can somebody point me to the Biblical prophetic verse which states that "the beast" which ascends out of the abyss will be "headquatered" or rule the entire planet from one specific location?

Gideon said...

Son of Thunder,

That is exactly what hit me when I saw the number 700,000. It was just such an odd number, why not a million or 1.5 million! The number 7 means completion.

Nathan Jones said...

Sean, even the Antichrist needs a batcave! Seriously, though, I've wondered about the international space station's role in the future and the reference to Satan being the "morning star" in Isaiah 14:12. The station is actually visible as a morning star. Would be a safe place to hang out away from the chaos of the world. Hmm.

Mitchell, not to fuel your consuming love of debating all things Rapture, but concerning the Day of the Lord, read Zech. 14 and notice how many events fall under a supposed single day, and then also think of the phrase "back in my day." Our interpretations of Bible prophecy are so different because I read the Day of the Lord as much longer than one single day.

son of thunder said...

Biblically the number 7 signifies completion or perfection. In non-Christian spirituality, though, 7 signifies not perfection but holiness, spirituality, and godliness or one devoted to the gods or religion.

Interestingly enough, the site I was on used Pope Benedict 16 - the Bishop of Rome [hmmm] - and other popes (and unfortunately Jesus the Messiah) as an example, based on birthdays (they assumed Jesus was born on Dec. 25. They assume wrong: that's Tammuz the son of Nimrod founder of...Babylon - tahdah![again, hmmm]).

I'm beginning to think this more than an a cooincidence.

son of thunder said...

The Hebrew word "yome" used by Zechariah in Ch.14 means "to be hot", sometimes used to describe the time from sunrise to sunset but can also be applied to a season. Strong's Lexicon says this about the word: From an unused root meaning to be hot; 2274 occurrences; KJV translates as "day" 2008 times, "time" 64 times, "chronicles" 37 times, "daily" 32 times, "ever" 17 times, "year" 14 times, "continually" 10 times, "when" 10 times, "as" 10 times, "while" 8 times, "whole" 4 times, "alway" 4 times, and miscellaneously 44 times. 1 day, time, year.

The definition of the word depends on the use of the word.

The JPS Old Testament (1917) reads: Behold, a day of the LORD cometh, when thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, but the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against these nations, as when He fighteth in the day of battle.

The use of the word "day" in verse one implies "time". It's like when we say something like, "There will come a day...." We don't necessarily mean a 24 hour period, but a time will come.

I think what Zechariah is talking of here is the mid-point of the Tribulation when the Israelis run to Petra and AC sits in the Temple on towards the end when Messiah returns. I say that because the word "captivity" also means exiled. As in: And half the city shall go forth into exile [to Petra (we assume)].

hartdawg said...

hi sean, i agree with your assesment. i'm not sure just how accurate i am about him having multiple headquarters but it seems that way. i say that cuz as you asked i CANT see one specific location... still he'll be powerful and can do whatever he wants (with Gods' permission)

Juhani said...

- (Rev 13:1,2) And I stood on the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads the name of blasphemy.

2 And the beast which I saw was like to a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.



When we seek for the real reason behind the power of the Antichrist, we can see that the Bible says that he will get his power from the dragon, in other words from the devil, as the verses above indicate. The devil, whom the Bible calls the prince of this world, will give his seat to this person, which will enable him to gain great power and authority. Otherwise, he would certainly be like any other person but with the help of the devil, he will gain power and may even seem superhuman at times.

The following quote that is tens of years old points this issue out very well. The quote talks about how children in Adullam Orphanage in China saw this person in a vision and how a group of devils followed him. Most of them did not previously have knowledge of the issue in question, but the description of this person goes quite well with the truth that is in the Bible:



The children of Adullam saw that superman, whom the world is so hopefully awaiting, and whom the Buddhists, theosophists, Muslims, and supporters of other religions are ready to worship. They saw Satan personified in a beautiful, strong, young man.

They also saw the image that this atheist, the antichrist, is going to set up to be worshipped. This picture can speak and lead the world astray (Rev 13:14,15). When I asked the children how they knew that this handsome, powerful man was the Antichrist, they said that a group of devils followed him everywhere, obeying his every command, proceeding and stopping once having received the signal. (47)

Source: http://koti.phnet.fi/elohim/Lastdays8