By Nathan Jones
Dr. David Reagan has recently released his eleventh and latest book titled The Man of Lawlessness: The Antichrist in the Tribulation. I interviewed him about his new book on the Antichrist and asked him his opinion on some very controversial eschatological questions.
Will the Antichrist be killed and resurrected?
Nathan Jones: Dr. Reagan, you touched on the question you asked the Bible prophecy panel in your new book The Man of Lawlessness concerning if the Antichrist will be killed and resurrected. Do you want to add anything more to that?
Dr. Reagan: Only to say that those that believe that the Antichrist will be killed and resurrected from the dead have a good biblical basis. This is not something that they just pulled out of the wild blue sky.
Nathan Jones: Think if the Antichrist really did die and was resurrected, what an influence that would have on the people of the Tribulation. They would conclude, "He must be a god."
Dr. Reagan: The biblical basis for this topic is found in Revelation 13 where the Apostle John talks about seeing a beast rising up out of the sea. He speaks about the fact that it has ten horns, seven heads, and he has ten diadems. It goes on to say that one of those heads appears as if it had been slain, as if there was a fatal wound but had been resurrected, meaning having been brought back from the dead.
First of all, those heads represent I believe the kingdoms of the world. The great empires of the world and the succession of those empires died. Every one of them died. But, one of them — the Roman Empire — Daniel said would come back in the end times. So, I think this is a reference to the Roman Empire and the Antichrist coming out of a resurrected Roman Empire. The resurrection is not really a reference to the Antichrist personally.
Nathan Jones: Could the resurrected Roman Empire be the European Union then?
Dr. Reagan: We are told over in Zechariah the Antichrist will suffer a wound. It says there the wound will appear as though it is fatal, but it doesn't say it really is. Although there is a basis there for arguing it, I don't think that passage is really teaching a genuinely terminal wound. I think that it's going to be a deception. I don't think it's going to be a fatal wound.
Where will the Antichrist be headquartered?
Nathan Jones: What about the Antichrist's headquarters? We have people write in saying his capital will be Washington D.C. Some folks believe it will be New York City. Others say Rome, like you just said. Others say the actual Babylon in Iraq will become the prophetic Babylon because the Bible references the Antichrist headquarters as Babylon, right?
Dr. Reagan: There are those who argue that the Antichrist's headquarters is going to be ancient Babylon rebuilt. I would say that's probably the majority viewpoint today among Pre-Millennialists, though only in recent years has that become their majority viewpoint. That's primarily because of what has been happening in the Middle East.
A belief is held that Iraq is going to use its oil to rebuild Babylon and so forth because Babylon is not rebuilt. In truth, all the Iraqis and Americans have done is rebuild some ancient ruins as a tourist attraction, but it's not a city that people actually live in. So, there is indeed a biblical basis in that it talks about how Babylon is going to be destroyed in the end times and that it's going to be the headquarters of the Antichrist.
I would agree then that, yes, there is a good biblical basis for Babylon being the Antichrist's future headquarters, but my belief is going to be Rome. The reasons for why I don't believe that it is going to be Babylon are a couple. For one thing, in the book of Revelation when it starts talking about Babylon in the end times, it says it is "Mystery Babylon." To me, that is a clear tip-off that the reference is speaking symbolically. John was under the control of the Romans when he wrote that. He could not write openly that it was going to be Rome.
Nathan Jones: No, indeed. Such a claim would be considered as insurrection.
Dr. Reagan: John would have probably been murdered. He would be killed immediately because he was already a prisoner in exile by Rome. So, John had to use the symbol Mystery Babylon as a symbol of Rome. We know this because the Scripture say so. Peter for example writing from Rome said, "I send you greetings from the Church in Babylon." Well, there wasn't a church in Babylon. Peter was in Rome, but he wasn't saying outright Rome. We know that in the First Century Babylon was used as a code word for Rome. So, I think John is also talking about Rome. I do not think Revelation is talking about a revived Babylon, because for one thing Isaiah says that once Babylon is destroyed by the Medes and the Persians it's never going to be rebuilt again.
Nathan Jones: Exactly!
The Antichrist topic can be really depressing and some people focus on it way too much. What I love about all your books is that you end with hope. Tell us a little bit about the hope you give at the end of your book.
Dr. Reagan: Let me just say very quickly that I have three chapters at the end that are all about hope. They are about the hope that the Church has in the Lord Jesus Christ in the Rapture. In those chapters I talk about the Rapture and its meaning. I also talk about the timing of the Rapture and why I believe it is going to happen before the Tribulation. So, it does end with a good dose of hope.