Can the Final Antichrist be Islamic?

By COGwriter

Many people wonder about the final Antichrist.

Some wonder if the rise of Islamic terrorism is a sign that the final Antichrist might be Islamic.

Is there an Islamic Antichrist as opposed to a European one? 

What does the Bible teach? (A related sermon is available online titled: Is the Final Antichrist Islamic or European?)

Joel Richardson and "The Islamic Antichrist"

Years ago, someone forwarded me a couple of articles related to author Joel Richardson who believes that Europe will not rise up and become the Beast power that the Bible warns about.  Here is the beginning of one of them:

EU collapse: Doom for popular Bible prophesies?
WND – May 30, 2010
By Joel Richardson [author of "The Islamic Antichrist".]

Nearly 20 years ago, I intently watched as a very popular Christian television prophecy teacher declared, “The present formation of the European Union is literally the fulfillment of Bible prophecy right before our eyes!”

According to this teacher, the creation of the European Union represented a biblically prophesied revived Roman Empire. Because the last-days empire of the Antichrist, as described in the books of Daniel and Revelation, is portrayed as a 10-nation alliance, this teacher confidently declared that when the number of EU member states reached 10, this would signal the imminent return of Jesus Christ.

Soon, the number of EU member states reached the magic number 10, just as this teacher had predicted. Then the number reached 11, and then 12. Soon there were 20. Today there are 27 member states. The teacher’s very confident predictions failed. http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=160393

There are many problems with the above.  But the one to mention here is that the Bible does not say that the Beast power will only have ten nations.  Notice what the Bible actually states:

12 The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast. 13 These are of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast. (Revelation 17:12-13)

The above prophecy is clear that the Beast power will be composed of ten kings who did not previously have a specific kingdom.  Or in words, the prophecy in Revelation 17:12-13 is most certainly not teaching that the Beast power will be composed of ten nations in the form that they existed prior to some type of structural reorganization. (We have an extensive article on this point titled Must the Ten Kings of Revelation 17:12 Rule over Ten Currently Existing Nations?).  The fact that some prophecy “experts” may have indicated otherwise does not in fact change the actual prophecy from the Bible.

The term translated in English from the Greek in Revelation 17:12, basileís (Greek characters βασιλεïς), as “kings,” essentially means "possessor of the highest office of a political realm" (Bauer’s A Greek Lexicon of the New Testament and other Early Church Literature, 3rd edition. FW Danker editor. 2000, University of Chicago Press, pp. 169-170).

Also the biblical fact that these ‘kings’ had no kingdom prior to becoming kings also helps prove that this is not a reference to ten currently existing nations. Furthermore, the term translated in English as "kingdoms" from the Greek in Revelation 17:12, basileín (Greek characters βασιλεíαν), means "royal administrations" (Ibid, pp. 168-169) is not specifically referring to existing nations.

It also should be noted that the Greek terms normally translated as “nation” or “nations” (Strong’s word 1484) is not used in Revelation 17:12.  Although the term for nations is in that chapter (verse 15), it is not part of what is happening in Revelation 17:12 or 17:13. If God wanted to specify ten existing nations, He could have inspired Revelation 17:12 to be worded differently.

Yet, some have oddly concluded that Revelation 17:12 specifies that ten currently existing nations, and only ten currently existing nations, will turn their power over to ten new leaders (who will then give it to the final Beast).  But that limitations on ten existing nations is not consistent with what the Greek states.  And while one does not need to be an expert in Greek to understand the Bible, one should not insist that the Greek states something it does not if one truly wants to understand the Bible.

Joel Richardson also wrote:

Since 1993, with the official formation of the European Union, many prophecy teachers have set their prophetic imagination like flint on Europe, confident that someday soon, the EU would invade the Nation of Israel and actually dominate the whole earth.

Surely we are witnessing the emergence of the restored Roman Empire that will ultimately come to be controlled by the Antichrist himself, they would declare. But the present harsh realities in Europe may soon cause all of this Euro-centric, restored Roman Empire prognosticating to come crashing down...

As the world watches, the European Union seems to be teetering ever closer toward the brink of collapse with its massive debt crisis. Member nations are fighting to prop up the euro and maintain European unity through, you guessed it, a mega-billion dollar bailout. Meanwhile, Greece’s economic failure continues to metastasize across its borders. Numerous headlines across the globe are asking if the EU can survive.

However, it is precisely because there will be problems in Europe that it will need a powerful leader to rise up and lead it. The Bible is clear that the union in the Beast’s territories will be “fragile”:

41 Whereas you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter's clay and partly of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; yet the strength of the iron shall be in it, just as you saw the iron mixed with ceramic clay. 42 And as the toes of the feet were partly of iron and partly of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly fragile. 43 As you saw iron mixed with ceramic clay, they will mingle with the seed of men; but they will not adhere to one another, just as iron does not mix with clay. (Daniel 2:41-43).

Perhaps it should also be mentioned that while there are problems in Europe, Pope Francis says despite Europe's problems, he dreams of his church turning Europe into a utopia:

May 6, 2016

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,
I offer you a cordial welcome and I thank you for your presence. I am particularly grateful to Messrs Marcel Philipp, Jürgen Linden, Martin Schulz, Jean-Claude Juncker and Donald Tusk for their kind words. I would like to reiterate my intention to offer this prestigious award for Europe. For ours is not so much a celebration as a moment to express our shared hope for a new and courageous step forward for this beloved continent.

Creativity, genius and a capacity for rebirth and renewal are part of the soul of Europe. In the last century, Europe bore witness to humanity that a new beginning was indeed possible. After years of tragic conflicts, culminating in the most horrific war ever known, there emerged, by God’s grace, something completely new in human history. The ashes of the ruins could not extinguish the ardent hope and the quest of solidarity that inspired the founders of the European project. They laid the foundations for a bastion of peace, an edifice made up of states united not by force but by free commitment to the common good and a definitive end to confrontation. Europe, so long divided, finally found its true self and began to build its house. …

The roots of our peoples, the roots of Europe, were consolidated down the centuries by the constant need to integrate in new syntheses the most varied and discrete cultures. The identity of Europe is, and always has been, a dynamic and multicultural identity. …

In addressing the European Parliament, I used the image of Europe as a grandmother. I noted that there is a growing impression that Europe is weary, aging, no longer fertile and vital, that the great ideals that inspired Europe seem to have lost their appeal. There is an impression that Europe is declining, that it has lost its ability to be innovative and creative, and that it is more concerned with preserving and dominating spaces than with generating processes of inclusion and change. There is an impression that Europe is tending to become increasingly “entrenched”, rather than open to initiating new social processes capable of engaging all individuals and groups in the search for new and productive solutions to current problems. Europe, rather than protecting spaces, is called to be a mother who generates processes (cf. Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, 223). …

To the rebirth of a Europe weary, yet still rich in energies and possibilities, the Church can and must play her part. …

Only a Church rich in witnesses will be able to bring back the pure water of the Gospel to the roots of Europe. In this enterprise, the path of Christians towards full unity is a great sign of the times and a response to the Lord’s prayer “that they may all be one” (Jn 17:21).

With mind and heart, with hope and without vain nostalgia, like a son who rediscovers in Mother Europe his roots of life and faith, I dream of a new European humanism, one that involves “a constant work of humanization” and calls for “memory, courage, [and] a sound and humane utopian vision”. https://zenit.org/articles/popes-address-for-being-awarded-charlemagne-prize/

And a church being involved with the final Babylonian European power is prophesied in the Bible:

1 Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and talked with me, saying to me, "Come, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters, 2 with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication."

3 So he carried me away in the Spirit into the wilderness. And I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast which was full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. 4 The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication. 5 And on her forehead a name was written:

MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.

6 I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And when I saw her, I marveled with great amazement.

7 But the angel said to me, "Why did you marvel? I will tell you the mystery of the woman and of the beast that carries her, which has the seven heads and the ten horns. 8 The beast that you saw was, and is not, and will ascend out of the bottomless pit and go to perdition. And those who dwell on the earth will marvel, whose names are not written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world, when they see the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.

9 "Here is the mind which has wisdom: The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits. (Revelation 17:1-10)

15 Then he said to me, "The waters which you saw, where the harlot sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues. 16 And the ten horns which you saw on the beast, these will hate the harlot, make her desolate and naked, eat her flesh and burn her with fire. 17 For God has put it into their hearts to fulfill His purpose, to be of one mind, and to give their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God are fulfilled. 18 And the woman whom you saw is that great city which reigns over the kings of the earth." (Revelation 17:15-18)

Now, there certainly is a church in a city of seven hills that has ruled over many waters. It ruled over kings and governors in both the Eastern and Western Hemispheres of the world.

Some have said that the Church of Rome is ruled out because Vatican City is not within the seven hills of ancient Rome.

Yet, St. John’s Lateran church, which is its premier cathedral (as it supposedly holds the 'cathedra' of the Church of Rome) and which my wife and I have visited, has the following outside of it in many places:


(Photo by Joyce Thiel)

The inscription from Latin above translated into English means, “Sacred Lateran Church Mother and Head of All Churches of the City and the World.” It is within the seven hills of ancient Rome and is closest to Caelian Hill (Cælius, Celio).

Islam is not in the same league. A related video is titled Mystery Babylon USA, Mecca, or Rome?

The Beast who works with the Antichrist is NOT Islam. Europe is north of Jerusalem and the one that will become the King of the North (Daniel 11:40) will lead an empire that had roots in the old empire of Rome (Daniel 9:26-27).

This empire is European and has connections to a particular sea. Notice:

1 Then I stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name. 2 Now the beast which I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like the feet of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority. 3 And I saw one of his heads as if it had been mortally wounded, and his deadly wound was healed. And all the world marveled and followed the beast. 4 So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?” (Revelation 13:1-4)

2 Daniel spoke, saying, “I saw in my vision by night, and behold, the four winds of heaven were stirring up the Great Sea. 3 And four great beasts came up from the sea, each different from the other. 4 The first was like a lion, and had eagle’s wings. I watched till its wings were plucked off; and it was lifted up from the earth and made to stand on two feet like a man, and a man’s heart was given to it.   5 “And suddenly another beast, a second, like a bear. It was raised up on one side, and had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth. And they said thus to it: ‘Arise, devour much flesh!’   6 “After this I looked, and there was another, like a leopard, which had on its back four wings of a bird. The beast also had four heads, and dominion was given to it.  7 “After this I saw in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, exceedingly strong. It had huge iron teeth; it was devouring, breaking in pieces, and trampling the residue with its feet. It was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns.  (Daniel 7:2-8)

The “Great Sea” that bordered the ancient lands of Israel (Numbers 34:6-7; Joshua 1:4; 9:1; 23:4; Ezekiel 47:13-16) is the Mediterranean Sea--and that is the sea that Daniel was referring to.  Despite some false claims by some, the Beast power is not a nation like Russia, which does not border the Mediterranean Sea, but Europe which does (Russia, however, will be a factor in eliminating the European beast power, see also The Eurasian Union, the Kings of the East, and Bible Prophecy).  A comparison of the beasts in Revelation 13 and Daniel 7 shows that they share many of the same characteristics (for some details, you may wish to watch the YouTube video Can You Prove that the Beast to Come is European?).

Europe is the power that will control the "Great Sea." And while the southern border of the Mediterranean Sea is currently under Arab control, the Bible shows that the King of the North will take over the confederated power of nations in Africa and the Middle East that are primarily Islamic (Daniel 11:40-43; Ezekiel 30:1-9).

According to the Bible, it will be a European power that will rise up (Daniel 9:26-27). Notice what the book 2012 and the Rise of the Secret Sect teaches:

While there have been various understandings of the Daniel 9:26–27, notice what…Protestant commentators basically correctly state (bolding/italics in source):

Matthew Henrys Commentary: It is here foretold that the people of the prince that shall come shall be the instruments of this destruction, that is, the Roman armies, belonging to a monarchy yet to come…That the desolation shall be total and final: He shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, that is, he shall make it completely desolate…And when it is made desolate, it should seem, there is something more determined that is to be poured upon the desolate (v. 27), and what should that be but the spirit of slumber

Wycliffe Bible Commentary: C. F. Keil (Comm., in loco) is correct in asserting that the prince is said to be coming (habba’), because he has already been introduced and discussed in the prophecy of chapter 7…The Romans who destroyed Jerusalem (A.D. 70) were his people because they and he belong to the fourth stage (the Roman) of world empire (chs. 2; 7)…

The two commentariescorrectly identified this leader as one who will be part of a “Roman Empire,” and is also the leader warned about in Daniel 7:23–26…And lest some feel that the idea of a European deal with Israel is far-fetched, even within Israel, many suggested such a deal.

Getting back to his interpretation of the Bible, Joel Richardson also wrote:

In fact, going back to the first few centuries of the church, the consistent testimony of the early believers is that the Antichrist, his empire and his religion would arise from out of the Middle East, and not Europe.

That is simply not really the case. Here is more of what the book 2012 and the Rise of the Secret Sect teaches:

The first early writing that has been found suggests that a Roman, or the Roman Empire, is 666, was  by Irenaeus (who was likely influenced by Polycarp).  In the 2nd century, Irenaeus wrote:

Then also Lateinos (LATEINOS) has the number six hundred and sixty-six; and it is a very probable [solution], this being the name of the last kingdom [of the four seen by Daniel].

The late John Ogwyn wrote this about 666:

The earliest proposed solution to the meaning of 666 is a tradition attributed to Polycarp, the disciple of the same Apostle John who wrote Revelation. This tradition is preserved in the second century writings of Irenaeus. The number 666 is “…contained in the Greek letters of Lateinos (L=30; A=1; T=300; E,=5; I=10; N=50; O=70; S=200)” (Commentary on the Whole Bible, Jamieson, Fausset and Brown). Lateinos is a Greek term referring to the Romans. Interestingly, the Greek expression meaning “the Latin kingdom” (h Latine Basileia) also has a numeric value of 666. Greek writers commonly referred to the Roman Empire in this way. The book of Revelation was originally written in Greek, as it was written to Greek-speaking churches in ancient Asia Minor…

The founder of ancient Rome was Romulus, from whose name Rome and Roman are derived. The Latin name Romvlvs is written in Hebrew as Romiith. In the Hebrew language this also adds up to 666 (resh=200, vau=6, mem=40, yod=10, yod=10, tau=400). Thus, in both Greek and Hebrew, the two languages of the Bible, the number 666 is stamped upon the kingdom that derived from Rome

Thus, 666 will be the leader of the revived Roman Empire—an empire that seemed to suffer from a “deadly wound” (cf. Revelation 13:3) centuries ago, but that is now apparently in process of forming again.

Early writers basically all felt that the 666 was stamped on the Roman Empire. Nero was probably the first person that some in the Christian era suspected. To suggest that the early Christians did not consider that the European Roman Empire was to be the final Beast power is inaccurate. The Roman Empire, though having territories in the Middle East, was based in Europe.

Notice what The Catholic Encyclopedia reports:

St. Irenæus (Haer., V, xxx) does not hesitate to explain the number of the beast 666 (Revelation 13:18) by the word “Lateinos” since the numerical value of its constituent [Greek] letters yields the same total (30+1+330+5+10+50+70+200=666); while sober critics of our own day are inclined to solve the mystery upon the same principles by simply substituting for Latinus the words Nero Caesar written in Hebrew characters which give the same result (Thurston, Herbert. “Use of Numbers in the Church.” The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 11. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1911. 10 May 201631 May 2010 <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11151a.htm>).

For more on 666, please see the article Two Horned Beast of Revelation and 666.

Furthermore, both Protestant and Catholic commentators (Daniel 7:7-8. The Wycliffe Bible Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1962 by Moody Press) and The Prophecies of Daniel. The Original And True Douay Old Testament Of Anno Domini 1610, Volume 2.  Prepared and Edited by Dr. William von Peters, Ph.D. Copyright © 2005, Dr. William G. von Peters. Ph.D. 2005 copyright assigned to VSC Corp., p. 732) agree that the last of the four kingdoms in Daniel 7:7–8 is the Roman Empire.

Beyond that the King of the North is based NORTH of Jerusalem, and while that is possible for an Islamic leader, consider that there is a King of the South that the Bible mentions, with many of the territories south of Jerusalam and all of them dominated by Islam.

Further getting back to his interpretation of the Bible, Joel Richardson also wrote:

What many Westerners, and perhaps Americans most of all, often fail to recognize is the fact that the Bible is a thoroughly Eastern book. It always has been. As shocking as this may be to some, the Bible was not written primarily for Americans.

Today, many scholars, students and teachers alike are acknowledging the consistent testimony of the prophets as pointing us to the Middle East. As any realtor will tell you, it’s all about location, location, location. Likewise, as anyone astute Bible student should know, the first issue that must be established when attempting to properly interpret the Bible is context, context, context. And simply stated, the context of virtually all biblical prophecy is Israel and the Middle East.

But Joel Richardson has failed to notice several items related to the context of the location.  Notice some of what the book 2012 and the Rise of the Secret Sect teaches:

There is another reason to suspect that the area involves the territories of Europe.  Millennia ago, Daniel wrote a prophecy that discussed a little horn that would mainly expand to the south and east:

8 And out of one of them came a little horn which grew exceedingly great toward the south, toward the east, and toward the Glorious Land. 10 And it grew up to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and some of the stars to the ground, and trampled them. 11 He even exalted himself as high as the Prince of the host; and by him the daily sacrifices were taken away, and the place of His sanctuary was cast down. 12 Because of transgression, an army was given over to the horn to oppose the daily sacrifices; and he cast truth down to the ground. He did all this and prospered (Daniel 8:9-12).

And while the above has had a past fulfillment, this prophecy seems to be dual (compare with Daniel 11:27-–39)—and seems to be for our time.

What is now the EU began as a small organization involving three small countries located in the northern and western regions of Europe (Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg, called the Benelux nations)—they then helped form the European Economic Community. This European Economic Community expanded mainly south and east of the Benelux nations, into what had become the expanded European Union.  Now, about 500 million people are under a new (though not completely united) government headquartered in Brussels, Belgium.

…the Bible predicts that at the appointed time, a King of the North and a King of the South with rise.

The Bible is clear that there will be both a King of the North AND a King of the South (Daniel 11:27-45).  Only Europe meets all the biblical criteria for the final King of the North–and the one commonly called Antichrist (although there are many antichrists) is aligned with the King of the North.

Consider that Islam is in north Africa and the Middle East, and for it to go south and east, it only would cover Africa and possibly other regions only in the Southern Hemisphere. Islam cannot be the final Antichrist.

City of Seven Hills

Here are some quotes from Joel Richardson’s actual book The Islamic Empire:

Now the seven heads are seven mountains. The Bible often uses mountains as a symbol representing a kingdom or empire…the sixth empire was the Roman Empire…German Third Reich, some Bible teachers have speculated that Germany was the seventh empire and thus Germany will come back as the eighth…

There are, however, some glaring problems with this theory: First, Rome was the sixth empire. If Rome was the sixth, and will also be the last, what happened to the seventh?  There theory has a gaping hole (Richardson J.  The Islamic Antichrist: The Shocking Truth about the Real Nature of the Beast. WND Books. 2009, pp. 93-94)

He then tries to explain why he does not feel that the final empire can be Roman.  But there are several points that he did not seem to address well in that book. He seems to confuse the empires in Daniel with those in Revelation (which is apparently how he came up with his list), plus he adds two (Egyptian and Assyrian, which were pre-Daniel) in order to get to his list.

His book seems to forget about the “Holy Roman Empire” and its many revivals (his book does not use the term "Holy Roman Empire")--they fit into the so-called “glaring hole” (for specific details on the how the Holy Roman Empire fits the related prophecies in Revelation, check out the article Europa, the Beast, and the Book of Revelation).

Joel Richardson teaches that essentially each of the empires had a different religion. This is really not consistent with what the Book of Revelation teaches.

It is the same woman "drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus." There were no martyrs specifically of Jesus” until after He came. Yet, in Joel Richardson’s list, five of his empires were gone prior to the birth of Christ. This is part of his own "gaping hole."

Furthermore, notice some of what the book 2012 and the Rise of the Secret Sect teaches:

…a female can symbolize a false church according to Revelation 17:1-6…Since the Babylon in the Book of Revelation is a city on seven hills (Revelation 17:5-9), this is referring to a city such as Rome according to Catholic scholars as ancient Babylon was on a flat plain.

The above is important for at least two reasons.

The first is to remember that the Bible clearly shows that the “woman” is based in a city:

18 And the woman whom you saw is that great city which reigns over the kings of the earth. (Revelation 17:18)

Several of the six empires that Joel Richardson listed did not have anything to do with a specific "great city."

The second is that there is one very famous city that is located on seven hills/mountains. It is known as "the city of seven hills." It is universally recognized that Rome is the city of seven mountains. This fact is also noted by various Protestant and even Catholic theologians. One such Catholic writer would be Yves Dupont who wrote in his book Catholic Prophecies,

The seven headed city is probably Rome (septicolis– seven hills) (Dupont Yves. Catholic Prophecy. TAN Books, 1973, p.24).

Other than Ammon Jordan, Rome is apparently one of few great cities in the world to have precisely seven hills/mountains (though there may be some less important cities with seven mountains, and there may be seven near Constantinople/Istanbul). While Rome itself was the ruling city of the Western world for several centuries, the Roman Catholic Church, whose headquarters cathedra is completely within the boundaries of Rome, has maintained tremendous influence over kings and governments of the earth for even more centuries (and in the end, an Antipope is expected to rise up according to various prophecies).

Roman Catholic scholars, while differing on the timing, do admit that Rome is the city of seven hills in Revelation (for details, check out What Do Roman Catholic Scholars Actually Teach About Early Church History?).

Mecca is Not Mystery Babylon

Joel Richardson has also claimed that 'mystery Babylon' is Mecca:

February 5, 2017

Richardson says the Bible presents a clear image of “Mystery Babylon.”

“My position is that Mystery Babylon is an end-time reality, it’s an end-time entity, it’s an end-time city,” he explained. “And biblically speaking, Babylon represents, if you will, the spiritual stronghold of Satan in the Earth at any given time. So all the way back to Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylon – that is the prototype, that is the basis for the end times Babylon.

“Well in the last days, the question is, what is the reigning beast empire? We’ve got seven historical, Satanic empires? What is the empire of our day, where Satan’s stronghold is over the Earth?… The answer is that it’s the Islamic empire. Islam is the last beast empire. The system of the Antichrist, the religion of the Antichrist is Islam. And so if we look to the spiritual and financial capital of the Islamic world, it’s the city of Mecca and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.” http://www.wnd.com/2017/02/author-believes-hes-identified-city-of-antichrist/#oPp9GSEegq7E505U.99

Joel Richardson has various comments about the USA, Mecca, and ‘Mystery Babylon’:

March 11, 2017

Filth on television. The federal government promoting homosexuality around the world. Materialism, wealth and consumerism beyond measure.

Sometimes, it seems like America is less a “city on a hill” than a septic tank for sin. And some Christians have even gone so far as to claim it is America itself which represents the “Babylon” of the end times.

Joel Richardson, New York Times bestselling author of “The Islamic Antichrist,” believes he has identified the city of the Antichrist in his newest book, “Mystery Babylon.” And though he concedes America has serious problems, the prophecy simply doesn’t fit the United States.

“I understand the United States has profound influence around the world,” he said. “On the other hand, the United States does not represent the greatest system of false religion that mankind has ever known. The United States is not the great false religion. It is not the great false system of idolatry.”

America is sometimes accused of being the exemplar of a new “false religion” of selfishness or materialism, but as Richardson observes, it is not particularly unique in that regard.

“We can look to different things like consumerism, materialism or narcissism… but there are other nations around the world that are incredibly perverse,” Richardson observed. “And they are not that way because of the influence of the United States.”

Similarly, Richardson rejects the idea New York City, seat of Wall Street, the United Nations and the world financial elite, could be Babylon. But, he admits, he understands why some people could believe this.

“For clarity, there are some elements to New York City where I can look and say, I can see how people get this,” Richardson acknowledged. “It says that Babylon is this city that sits on many waters. You say, well, New York City sits on many waters, just look at it, Manhattan, Long Island, etc, etc. It’s surrounded by waters. Of course, the angel goes on to explain the waters that you saw are metaphors for peoples, tongues, tribes, that the woman exerts control over, that she has influence over… Wall Street has tremendous influence and sway over the Earth, of course it’s not the only economic powerhouse in the world, but it’s significant.” …

Richardson argues there are specific scriptural criteria “Mystery Babylon” must meet, which New York City and America simply doesn’t. The city of the Antichrist must serve as the seat of a great system of idolatry. It must persecute the body of Christ. And Richardson believes there are also references to it being located in a desert, as he argues at length in “Mystery Babylon.”

Richardson believes the city which best meets these and other criteria is Mecca, center of the Islamic faith and what he calls the locus of “Satanic power” in the world today. http://www.wnd.com/2017/03/is-america-city-on-a-hill-or-septic-tank-for-sin/#2gdTZSXdS0jyCGU7.99

First, let me state that I agree that there is much evil in the USA (see, for example, Is the USA now an Evil Empire?). Secondly, I agree with Joel Richardson that the USA is not the final end time Mystery Babylon the Great of Revelation 17 and 18.

But, Joel Richardson and others who believe that it is Mecca are totally wrong for many reasons.

What about the supposed prophecies that Mystery Babylon is in the desert?

Well, this is basically an erroneous interpretation of scriptures. The most commonly misinterpreted one for this is in Isaiah 21:

1 The burden against the Wilderness of the Sea.

As whirlwinds in the South pass through,
So it comes from the desert, from a terrible land.
2 A distressing vision is declared to me;
The treacherous dealer deals treacherously,
And the plunderer plunders.
Go up, O Elam!
Besiege, O Media!
All its sighing I have made to cease.

3 Therefore my loins are filled with pain;
Pangs have taken hold of me, like the pangs of a woman in labor.
I was distressed when I heard it;
I was dismayed when I saw it.
4 My heart wavered, fearfulness frightened me;
The night for which I longed He turned into fear for me.
5 Prepare the table,
Set a watchman in the tower,
Eat and drink.
Arise, you princes,
Anoint the shield!

6 For thus has the Lord said to me:
“Go, set a watchman,
Let him declare what he sees.”
7 And he saw a chariot with a pair of horsemen,
A chariot of donkeys, and a chariot of camels,
And he listened earnestly with great care.
8 Then he cried, “A lion, my Lord!
I stand continually on the watchtower in the daytime;
I have sat at my post every night.
9 And look, here comes a chariot of men with a pair of horsemen!”
Then he answered and said,
“Babylon is fallen, is fallen!
And all the carved images of her gods
He has broken to the ground.”

10 Oh, my threshing and the grain of my floor!
That which I have heard from the Lord of hosts,
The God of Israel,
I have declared to you. (Isaiah 21:1-10)

What the misinterpreters tend to do here is to try to try this in with passages that follow, which are warnings to other locations.

If you actually look at Isaiah 21, you will notice that it is a prophesy to the Wilderness of the Sea.

The Bible describes the Beast as being the Beast of the Sea:

1 Then I stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name. 2 Now the beast which I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like the feet of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority. 3 And I saw one of his heads as if it had been mortally wounded, and his deadly wound was healed. And all the world marveled and followed the beast. 4 So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?” (Revelation 13:1-4)

What sea? The Great Sea:

2 Daniel spoke, saying, “I saw in my vision by night, and behold, the four winds of heaven were stirring up the Great Sea. 3 And four great beasts came up from the sea, each different from the other. 4 The first was like a lion, and had eagle’s wings. I watched till its wings were plucked off; and it was lifted up from the earth and made to stand on two feet like a man, and a man’s heart was given to it.   5 “And suddenly another beast, a second, like a bear. It was raised up on one side, and had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth. And they said thus to it: ‘Arise, devour much flesh!’   6 “After this I looked, and there was another, like a leopard, which had on its back four wings of a bird. The beast also had four heads, and dominion was given to it.  7 “After this I saw in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, exceedingly strong. It had huge iron teeth; it was devouring, breaking in pieces, and trampling the residue with its feet. It was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns.  (Daniel 7:2-8)

The “Great Sea” that bordered the ancient lands of Israel (Numbers 34:6-7; Joshua 1:4; 9:1; 23:4; Ezekiel 47:13-16) is the Mediterranean Sea–and that is the sea that Daniel was referring to.  Despite some false claims by some, the Beast power is not a nation like Russia, which does not border the Mediterranean Sea, but Europe which does (Russia, however, will be a factor in eliminating the European beast power, see also The Eurasian Union, the Kings of the East, and Bible Prophecy).  A comparison of the beasts in Revelation 13 and Daniel 7 shows that they share many of the same characteristics (for some details, you may wish to watch the YouTube video Can You Prove that the Beast to Come is European?).

Europe is the power that will control the “Great Sea.” And while the southern border of the Mediterranean Sea is currently under Arab control, the Bible shows that the King of the North will take over the Arab powers (Daniel 11:40-43; Ezekiel 30:1-9). The Bible shows that the Kings of the Medes (essentially associated with certain nations once part of the old Soviet Union) will destroy end time Babylon (Jeremiah 51:11).

The city of Mecca is in a small valley:

Five hills used to form a rim around central Mecca … In early 2002, a few hundred feet from the Abdul Aziz gate, King Fahd demolished an ochre-colored Ottoman fortress that had been built in 1781 on Mt. Bulbul, one of the five hills that overlooked the Kaaba, to guard Mecca from tribal raids. …

T. R. Hamzah & Yeang, the Kuala Lumpur-based architectural firm … had calculated that the average height of the five hills that once circled the Grand Mosque area was almost fifteen hundred feet; the architects fixed that height as the limit for their high-rises.(Peer B. Modern Mecca. The New Yorker, April 16, 2012)

Joel Richardson has apparently overlooked the idea of the city of Mystery Babylon being on seven hills/mountains as he has falsely claimed that the seven mountains are only symbolic.

This is part of his "gaping hole."

A related video is titled Mystery Babylon USA, Mecca, or Rome?

Jack Smith Also Makes Claims

wrote a book titled Islam - the Cloak of Antichrist in Bible Prophecy. Here is what he says about it:

When antichrist is present, satan is present. Islam fulfills every antichrist identifier the New Testament describes.  This chapter will discuss those identifiers; and then show that each one of them is present in the Qur'an or Hadith, Islam's holy sources. ...

Since its inception in the 7th century AD, Islam has waged holy war, jihad, against anyone who stood in its way. This type of war, i.e., spiritual war, is described throughout the pages of prophetic scripture. The 4th part of King Nebuchadnezzar's statue wages war against the kingdom of God. The 4th beast of Daniel 7 wages war against the saints of God. The great red dragon (the devil) in Revelation 12 wages war against Jews and Christians. The scarlet beast of Revelation 17:14 does likewise, and the harlot that rides the scarlet beast is "drunk with the blood of the saints" (Rev 17:6).  All of these wars are spiritual in nature-- not political.  Islam is one of two world empires that has waged holy war against Jews and Christians.  ...

The great statue appears in the dream of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. It must not be overlooked for it begins Bible prophecy for the Last Days. A head of gold, chest and arms of silver, belly and thighs of bronze, legs of iron, and lastly, feet -- partly of iron and partly of clay. Each part of the statue represents a kingdom that will conquer. The kingdom that matters the most to those of the present day? The feet.  God's judgment begins with the feet of the statue; no wonder, iron and clay do not mix very well; and, so the weakness of the iron kingdom is revealed. It will be a divided kingdom. Islam is a divided kingdom -- ever since the death of Muhammad in 632 AD. ... We may not know much about Islam, but one thing we know. It is divided. Sunnis against Shias. Sunnis are the majority sect ( 85 - 90% ) and Shias the minority ( 10% ). ...

Ten horns, ten diadems, seven heads; all sported by a beast from the sea.  One of the heads is fatally wounded.  Yet, "he" recovers!  

In 632AD, when Islam was barely ten years old, Muhammad died unexpectedly. Islam, as a religion, somehow survived the death of the one so crucial to its existence.  Against all odds, Islam grew to be a voracious kingdom in an unbelievably short period of time. In this recovery of the "beast from the sea," seven separate periods in Islamic history begin. Each period includes an Islamic family/tribe whose length of rulership will constitute a dynasty in successive "caliphate periods" of Islam.  If you sum the separate caliphate periods, you come to seven periods beginning with the Umayyads in 661AD and concluding with the Ottomans in the early 20th century. At times, there will be two dynasties ruling simultaneously, one against the other; one from Baghdad and the other from Cairo. And, when you make your second count to include all of them, they will total ten in number. 
...

The Bible calls him, Abaddon, the Hebrew name for "destroyer." Islam calls him, al-Mahdi, "master of the sword," the "long awaited one," the one who will bring peace and justice to the world. In this interpretation, al-Mahdi is the last "false prophet, i.e., the Antichrist. He is the scarlet beast of Revelation 17; the man of lawlessness of 2 Thessalonians 2:3; the angel of the abyss of Revelation 9:11; the beast from the earth of Revelation 13:11f; and, the little horn of Daniel 7:24-25. 

If there ever was a time when one "person" can mean such different things to so many different people, it is now. 

Antichrist or Al-Mahdi.  You choose.
...

In the Last Days, Islam's divide will be removed. The caliphate of Islam will be a world-wide union. Led by Muhammad al-Mahdi, an alliance of ten Muslim nations or groups will combine forces. They will turn upon three other Muslim nations/groups, one of whom will be Saudi Arabia. After conquering the three, Islam will unite under Muhammad al-Mahdi. No longer will they fight one another. They will be one. This event, the "revived caliphate," will usher in the tribulation. It will act as the first step down a path of destruction that will eventually engulf the entire world. 

This chapter will reveal another detail of Revelation 17's scarlet beast.  The beast is al-Mahdi; the empire is the Revived (and last) Islamic caliphate. 

Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam. The owner of the world's largest proven oil and gas reserves.  As scripture prophesies, the world is addicted to these reserves. They have the made the merchants of the world wealthy and important; and the "kings of the earth" willing to turn their heads to immoral acts. Yet, in one hour, the Harlot's "wine" will become the instrument through which the harlot is destroyed; and, the world will never be the same. ...

We move to the final stages of the Last Days as an alliance of nations is prophesied to attack Israel. The leader of the attack is named in prophetic scripture: "Gog." He is "prince" of the "land of Magog," and the leader of three "nations" from the land of Magog, "Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal." These three are joined in their battle by nations of the Middle East, Asia, and Africa, including Iran, Turkey, Ethiopia, Armenia, and Libya. According to Ezekiel 38 and 39, this group, along with "many peoples" will launch their attack against Israel only to be utterly defeated. This chapter will interpret Russia to be the key nation in this alliance against Israel, along with Iran as the lead nation from the Middle East. It will also reveal a coming onslaught by Iran against other Muslim nations and groups. A most important element of this victory is not that the Muslim nations of the world are defeated, but that the Spirit of God is "poured out upon Israel," an event that can only be fulfilled with the return of Jesus Christ, and Israel's acknowledgment of Jesus as Messiah. http://whenthepiecesfit.org/ acessed 05/10/16

Let me also add here that Ezekiel 38 and 39 do not happen until well after Jesus returns. For more detials on that point, check out Ezekiel 38: For Russia & Iran in Our Day?

The Madhi is NOT the final Antichrist.

Could Turkey's President Erdoğan Be the Final Antichrist?

Not content to be wrong in general, Joel Richardson made a specific identification of an individual he claims could be the final Antichrist.

World News Daily is reporting that Joel Richardson believes that Turkey’s President Erdoğan is either the final Antichrist or essentially his close predecessor:

September 17, 2016

It’s one of the most controversial topics in Christianity. But biblical teacher Joel Richardson, the New York Times bestselling author of “The Islamic Antichrist” and the host of the new teaching series “The Battle for Jerusalem,” says he knows where the Antichrist is going to come from. And a familiar face in the headlines is, at the very least, a “foreshadow” of the Antichrist.

Turkey.

“The current president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is consolidating his power, his absolute, autocratic power, his dictatorship over this nation,” says Richardson in a new episode of his online television show “The Underground.”

“What’s unfolding in Turkey right now is incredible.”

Richardson has been a longtime critic of the Turkish strongman, whose autocratic tendencies have only grown since Erdogan crushed an attempted coup. There are even some reports the failed coup was a false flag operation because of how Erdogan has benefited from the aftermath.

Richardson argues Erdogan is taking on a quasi-divine status in the eyes of his supporters. …

Richardson concedes Erdogan himself may not be the Antichrist or the Gog of the Bible, who is prophesied in Ezekiel 38 to lead a great war against Israel. But he takes a strong stand in specifically identifying Turkey as the region from which the Antichrist will arise. …

Richardson claimed there are “dozens and dozens of examples which point to Turkey as the head, as the leader of the coming Ezekiel invasion.”

“I’m not saying that Erdogan is Gog. But I’m saying we need to be paying attention to Turkey because it’s out of Turkey, this culture, this society, this geography, this region, that I believe we will see the emergence of the Antichrist. I’m not saying Erdogan is the Antichrist. But if he’s not, and anyone could, he is certainly emerging as a clear foreshadow of the Antichrist. Even if you don’t believe in Bible prophecy, we need to be paying attention to what is happening in Turkey because the geopolitical ramifications are dramatic.” http://www.wnd.com/2016/09/turkey-source-of-the-antichrist/#UUF9wgSApISHcTGy.99

Ezekiel 38 is NOT to be fulfilled until well AFTER Jesus returns (see Ezekiel 38: For Russia & Iran in Our Day?).

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is not the final Antichrist (see Some Doctrines of Antichrist). Nor is the final Antichrist apt to come out of Turkey.

While Turkey is mentioned in biblical prophecies (watch What Should You Know About Turkey in Prophecy), Joel Richardson completely misunderstands both about Turkey as well as the possible identity of the final Antichrist.

As far as the final Antichrist goes, he will be primarily a religious, not political leader. All the verses in the Bible that mention the term ‘antichrist’ or antichrists’ are referring to someone in a religious context (see 2 John 7, 1 John 2:18, 1 John 2:22, and 1 John 4:3). Furthermore, the final Antichrist will claim to be some type of Christian (in my view, he will claim to accept some changed version of Roman Catholicism).

While I believe that Bible prophecy shows that Turkey will turn against the USA (cf. Psalm 83:3-8), that does not mean that the final Antichrist has to be Turkish (that seems quite unlikely as nearly all Turks are Muslim).

Joel Richardson is wrong about this.

The Final Antichrist is Not Islamic

Here are a couple of other statements from Joel Richardson's book The Islamic Antichrist:

…Islam is the future.  Yes, you read that correctly: Islam is the future.  (Richardson J.  The Islamic Antichrist: The Shocking Truth about the Real Nature of the Beast. WND Books. 2009, p. 3)

No, Joel Richardson, Islam is NOT the future.

After claiming that, Joel Richardson then explains that if present trends continue that Islam will be the predominant religion of the world in a relatively few years. Now, he is correct that Islam is growing, but what he does not realize is that this growth is fostering enough resentment in Europe, that this will lead a larger backlash against Islam. With the concern about immigrants, the banning of burqas and other rules, Europeans are starting to stand against Islam. And as Islam tries to intrude more into Europe, the re-emergence of a religious Europe to counter Islam is what will come to pass.

Now here is another article that discusses Joel Richardson and his views:

Author: European Antichrist looking more and more unlikely
Says atheists will have field day with popular Bible interpretation
WND – May 30, 2010

With Europe on the verge of economic collapse, what about all those popular predictions that the European Union would become the world’s political powerhouse, giving rise to the endtimes prophecies of a world dictator known to Bible students as the Antichrist?

Joel Richardson, author of a best-selling book on Bible prophecy, says atheists will have a field day mocking Christians for the incorrect interpretations about the last days…

His book makes the case that the biblical Antichrist is one and the same as the Quran’s Muslim Mahdi.

“The Bible abounds with proofs that the Antichrist’s empire will consist only of nations that are, today, Islamic,” says Richardson. http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=160357

Like some who even claim COG affiliation, this Joel Richardson gives his reasons, but they are in error.

The Islamic Mahdi better meets the geographic region for the final King of the South, not the King of the North. Most of the Arab nations are south of Jerusalem, while nearly all the European nations are basically north of it. Even Iran, a country that is working towards the emergence of the Mahdi, does not meet the geographic criteria for either King (though it may support the coming King of the South). Since the final Beast power is also the one known as the King of the North, Joel Richardson’s views of an Islamic Antichrist do not fit his own criteria about location. Antichrist, in the normally-used sense, will be involved with a European power (and he will be primarily a religious leader–the final Antichrist is the False Prophet of Revelation, as opposed to being the final Beast).

Here is some of what the book 2012 and the Rise of the Secret Sect teaches about the final Antichrist:

The terms ‘antichrist’ and ‘antichrists’ are only used in the Bible five times (four and one respectively), and are only found in four verses of the Bible—all written by the Apostle John.

Those verses are II John 7, I John 2:18, I John 2:22, and I John 4:3. As all of them discuss some aspect of theology, they suggest that the final Antichrist is mainly a religious figure…

This scripture similarly states that the “spirit of Antichrist” is not confessing that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh. It also shows that apparently some of Antichrist’s teachings began when John was still alive.

These verses specifically tie in the idea that false prophets have the spirit of Antichrist. Thus, it would seem consistent with these passages to conclude that the final Antichrist would be a false prophet (which is a term that John uses later in the Book of Revelation)…

Who is the Antichrist?

The first Beast, also known as 666, is not the Antichrist, because the first Beast of Revelation 13 is not mainly a religious leader.

The second beast in Revelation 13 is primarily a religious leader (even though he has political influence).  He promotes religious worship and is also referred to in other scriptures as “the false prophet” (Revelation 16:13; 19:20; 20:10).

As far as the final Mahdi is concerned, notice some of what the book 2012 and the Rise of the Secret Sect teaches:

Now, it needs to be made clear that the Bible predicts the rise in the end time of a Future King of the South (see Appendix B)—and this person may be the one that Muslims will consider to be their prophesied “Mahdi.”…

Some in Islam seem to believe that the reign of the Beast and Antichrist will happen after the Mahdi’s death. Now this is true, to a degree, for the Arab lands. However, the Beast (King of the North) and the final Antichrist (False Prophet) will rule in Europe and in some of the American land, prior to the European reign over Arab lands (hence the final Antichrist will have power prior to the death of the biblical King of the South, who seems to be the Islamic Mahdi)…

40 “At the time of the end the king of the South shall attack him; and the king of the North shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter the countries, overwhelm them, and pass through.”

The one called the King of the South in the above passage may be one with the title “Mahdi.”  And while Shi’ite (and some other Muslims) consider that he will be “a saviour” and establish an Islamic world, the Bible clearly shows that the King of the North will defeat him (see also Daniel 11:41-43).

The reality is that while an Islamic leader will rise up, he will be the final King of the South, not the final King of the North.  It is the Beast power of the King of the North that the final Antichrist will be aligned with.

Thus, Joel Richardson’s interpretations are in error from a biblical perspective.

Only Four Verses in the Bible Mention Antichrist

The terms 'antichrist' and 'antichrists' are only used in the Bible five times (four and one respectively) and are found in four verses of the Bible, all written by the Apostle John. Those verses are 2 John 7, 1 John 2:18, 1 John 2:22, and 1 John 4:3. And since all of them discuss some aspect of theology, it is clear that the final Antichrist is mainly a religious figure.

Let's examine all the "antichrist" verses Here are half of them:

7 For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist (2 John 7).

1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, 3 and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world. (I John 4:1-3).

This scripture says that antichrist is a deceiver who does 'not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh.' This existed prior to Islam which did not come on the scene until the early 7th century. Notice also that false prophets are called antichrists. And as it turns out, the one in the Bible who meets the criteria to be the final Antichrist is identified as the "false prophet" in the Book of Revelation.

John also wrote,

18 Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour. 19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us.

20 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things. 21 I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and that no lie is of the truth.

22 Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son. (1 John 2:18-22).

 So, we see that there are MANY antichrists. And there is also indicated that there is a particular, final Antichrist. John is also warning that the Antichrist will be one who claims to have been part of the true Christian church. That is not how Islam sees itself. (More on Antichrist can be found in the article Some Doctrines of Antichrist.)

While it can be safely assumed that the Islamic leader will be anti-Christ, the prophesied Antichrist that many expect is NOT Islamic, but will have European ties and claim (for a time) some version of modified 'Christianity.'

However, because of radical Islam and the affects of Islamic migrants around the world, many SEE Islam as the threat. But as Christians:

7 ... we walk by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7)

And the biblical faith is not pointing to Islam as the final Antichrist.

Joel Richardson's Documentary

Notice something about a documentary produced a while back by Joel Richardson:

October 26, 2015

Adnan Oktar, a media personality and prolific author, about what Islam expects to happen as the world grinds down to the last days. …

Just like many Christians, Oktar says the Muslim world is eagerly anticipating its messiah, also called the Mahdi. But Islam also expects the return of Jesus, who they call “Isa.”

The Muslim Jesus will tell the world that he is not the son of God, nor was he crucified and resurrected from the dead. He returns to tell everyone that he does exist and he is, indeed, a Muslim.

He will be very persuasive, this Jesus. …

The Mahdi and Jesus, according to the Muslim view expressed by Oktar, will get help in their work to convert the world to Islam from an even more demonstrative group of supernatural beings called the djinn, from which we get the English word for “genie.”

There are bad djinn and good djinn, with the good djinn being Muslim.

“Yes the Mahdi will communicate with the djinns,” Oktar says in the film. “Mahdi is the leader of both djinns and men. Muslim djinns, djinns that believe in God, will assist the Muslims in making Muslims prevail throughout the world.”

Oktar goes on to explain that the Mahdi will rule for seven years, which eerily resembles the reign of another character that the Bible warns Christians to beware of in the last days.

Richardson believes the Mahdi and the Muslim Jesus line up perfectly with the biblical description of the antichrist and false prophet, who will arise in the last days, the Bible says, to “deceive many.” …

Oktar expresses strong belief that the Mahdi and Jesus are likely already walking the earth.

“Yes. We believe that Hazrat Mahdi has come and is busy carrying on his activities,” he said. “We believe that he appeared in Istanbul, as that is how it is related in the Judaic accounts. This is how it is related in the Islamic accounts as well.”

Oktar, a Sunni Muslim, said even prominent Shiite leaders in Iran have said they expect the Mahdi to appear in Istanbul.

There is no other time for this,” he tells Richardson. “He should appear in a date between the years 1400 to 1500 according to Hijri calendar.”

The current Islamic year is 1435. http://www.wnd.com/2014/10/popular-muslim-personality-jesus-christ-is-among-us/#Llx0l0MmRdAXVu5w.99

Islam has many points wrong about Jesus. Jesus was NOT a Muslim nor will He attempt to convert the world to Islam nor will He use demonic spirits called the djinn to attempt to do so. Jesus is the Son of God, He was crucified, and He was resurrected from the dead. He did not inspire the Qur’an. Though the Mahdi is a type of antichrist, he is not THE Antichrist.

The Islamic year 1437 AH runs from approximately 14 October 2015 to 2 October 2016.

Islamic has the right time frame for its claimed Mahdi, but he still will not be THE Antichrist.

Notice also the following:

January 17, 2016

The Bible also speaks of an Antichrist who will rise up in the last days. Richardson said he believes the Antichrist will be a Muslim. In fact, the biblical description of the Antichrist closely resembles the Islamic Mahdi, who Muslims believe will come to rule the world before the Day of Judgment.

“When you look at the Islamic traditions concerning the Mahdi, he has many striking similarities to the biblical Antichrist,” Richardson said. “They actually teach that he will rule the world specifically from the Temple Mount, exactly as the Bible says the Antichrist will set up his seat, in the seat of God on the Temple Mount, proclaiming himself as God.” ...

“And so in many ways, the Jesus of Islamic eschatology has many similarities to the biblical false prophet that’s referenced in Revelation 13,” Richardson said.

Richardson said Muslims take their prophecies very seriously.

“If we are simply tracking what’s going on in the world, especially the Islamic world, which is supremely relevant to the nation of Israel, then we need to recognize how much the Islamic world is being guided by these prophecies and really how apocalyptic the Muslim world has become,” he said.

According to Richardson, ISIS is fighting so passionately because it believes it is fulfilling Islamic end-times prophecy.

“ISIS is a thoroughly apocalyptically driven movement, and they believe these prophecies are guiding them,” Richardson said. “They believe they’re in the last days, and that’s often why they have such a make-it-or-break-it fervor. This is the final game to them.” http://www.wnd.com/2015/01/warning-nations-turning-against-israel/#KrdIp05vsbIdbvxb.99

Perhaps I should mention that the idea of the Mahdi being the biblical King of the South was taught decades ago by the old Worldwide Church of God:

But who is the "king of the south"?...in verse 40 we skip to "the time of the end"...The verse undoubtedly found partial fulfillment in the offensive of 1896...But Mussolini did not finish the prophecy...Just as there is yet to be a final "king of the north"...there may very well emerge in the same manner a final "king of the south"--an overall leader of an Arab-Moslem confederation, possibly bearing the very title Mahdi...a prophetic psalm (Psalm 83) provides additional insight into the Mideast picture. Germany (Assyria in Bible prophecy) and perhaps the rest of Europe will be in league in the future with a union of Arab nations...But in the end, this European-Arab alliance will prove short-lived...And the king of the north shall come against him [the king of the south]...Daniel 11:40-41...The Arab-Moslem Confederation will, of course, be thrown into chaotic disarray in the fact of invasion. (Stump K. The Arab World in Prophecy. Plain Truth, December 1979, pp. 11-12).

And that is much more biblical than thinking that the Mahdi is the final Antichrist. Most Protestant prophecy watchers seem to misunderstand about the King of the South.

Catholic prophecy tells of the rise of an Islamic/Arabic power that that a Catholic leader will put an end to.

Pseudo-Methodius (7th century): This new Muslim invasion will be a punishment without limit and mercy…In France, people of Christians will fight and kill them…At that same time the Muslims will be killed and they will know the tribulation…The Lord will give them to the powers of the Christians whose empire will be elevated above all empires…The Roman King (Great Monarch) will show a great indignation against those who will have denied Christ in Egypt or in Arabia (Araujo, Fabio R. Selected Prophecies and Prophets. BookSurge LLC, Charlestown (SC), 2007, p. 103).

Rudolph Gekner (died 1675). "A great prince of the North with a most powerful army will traverse all Europe, uproot all republics, and exterminate all rebels. His sword moved by Divine power will most valiantly defend the Church of Jesus Christ. He will combat on behalf of the true orthodox faith, and shall subdue to his dominion the Mahometan Empire. A new pastor of the universal church will come from the shore (of Dalmatia) through a celestial prodigy, and in simplicity of heart adorned with the doctrines of Jesus Christ. Peace will come to the world." (Cited in Connor, Edward. Prophecy for Today. Imprimatur + A.J. Willinger, Bishop of Monterey-Fresno; Reprint: Tan Books and Publishers, Rockford (IL), 1984, p.36).

And while the Church of God and the Bible warn against this leader of the North (Daniel 11:36-38), Roman Catholics apparently will embrace him.

Perhaps it should be mentioned that there are many Catholic prophecies that indicate that the Turks will become Catholic and betray an Arab leader. And that although they will probably for a while support Muslim interest, notice the following one about betrayal:

Nostradamus: The Great Arab shall progress well forward, But betrayed shall be by the Byzantines. (Turks).

Comment on above from Catholic writer Yves Dupont: Here, we are told that Turkey will break its faith with the rest of the Arab world. (Dupont, Yves. Catholic Prophecy: The Coming Chastisement. TAN Books, Rockford (IL), 1973, p. 107).

The "Great Arab" is probably supposed to represent the Mahdi. This betrayal is consistent with biblical prophecy (see also The Arab and Islamic World In the Bible, History, and Prophecy; see also the video What Should You Know About Turkey in Prophecy):

25...The king of the south will march to war with a huge and powerful army but will not succeed, since he will be outwitted by trickery. 26 Those who shared his food will ruin him...(Daniel 11:25-26)

Some in Islam have taught several things about the Mahdi that suggest that he is the King of the South of the Bible. Notice the following:

Rasaullah [Muhammed] said: "There will be four peace agreements between you and the Romans [Christians]. The fourth agreement will be mediated through a person who will be the progeny of Hadrat Haroon [Honorable Aaron -- Moses' brother] and will be upheld for seven years (Richardson J. Antichrist: Islam's Awaited Messiah. Pleasant Word, 2006, p. 48)

The above sounds similar to the seven year (one week in biblical language) agreement discussed in Daniel 9:27 that involves a "prince" who appears to be the one the Bible warns will become the King of the North and apparently the nation of Israel. It certainly would make sense that there would be Muslim representation in a peace deal.

However, the Bible shows that this deal will be broken (Daniel 9:27) and the King of the North will invade Jerusalem (Daniel 11:31) and ultimately the King of the South (Daniel 11:40-43). Notice that this too, however, seems to be consistent with some Islamic prophecy:

...a life of peace as a result of a peace agreement between you and the Banil Asfaar (Romans) which they will break and attack you  (Ibn Zubair Ali, Mohammed Ali. The minor signs of Last Days from: The Signs of Qiyamah. http://www.islamawareness.net/Prophecies/minor.html viewed 06/21/09).

More on the Mahdi and Turkey can be found in the article The Arab World In the Bible, History, and Prophecy; Turkey is also the subject of the video What Should You Know About Turkey in Prophecy.

The King of the South will be An Antichrist

Even if some signs suggest to others that the final King of the South will be the final Antichrist (some Islamic prophecy indicates certain mystic signs associated with him), the fact is that the Bible clearly shows that the King of the South will be taken over by the King of the North:

40 At the time of the end the king of the South shall attack him; and the king of the North shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter the countries, overwhelm them, and pass through. (Daniel 11:40)

Notice the territories that will be allied with the King of the South:

41 He shall also enter the Glorious Land, and many countries shall be overthrown; but these shall escape from his hand: Edom, Moab, and the prominent people of Ammon. 42 He shall stretch out his hand against the countries, and the land of Egypt shall not escape. 43 He shall have power over the treasures of gold and silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt; also the Libyans and Ethiopians shall follow at his heels. (Daniel 11:41-43)

Notice also something else that discusses those associated with this leader:

1 The word of the LORD came to me: 2 "Son of man, prophesy and say: 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says:

"'Wail and say, "Alas for that day!" 3 For the day is near, the day of the LORD is near- a day of clouds, a time of doom for the nations. 4 A sword will come against Egypt, and anguish will come upon Cush. When the slain fall in Egypt, her wealth will be carried away and her foundations torn down.

5 Cush and Put, Lydia and all Arabia, Libya and the people of the covenant land will fall by the sword along with Egypt.

6 "'This is what the LORD says:

"'The allies of Egypt will fall and her proud strength will fail. From Migdol to Aswan they will fall by the sword within her, declares the Sovereign LORD. 7 "'They will be desolate among desolate lands, and their cities will lie among ruined cities. 8 Then they will know that I am the LORD, when I set fire to Egypt and all her helpers are crushed.

9 "'On that day messengers will go out from me in ships to frighten Cush out of her complacency. Anguish will take hold of them on the day of Egypt's doom, for it is sure to come (Ezekiel 30:1-9, NIV).

The King of the South, who is expected to be an Islamic leader, does not survive in the end. The King of the South does not meet the criteria for the Beast power in the Book of Revelation. The countries of the Middle East are overwhelmed by the King of the North.

Notice the Bible discusses what happens to the final Antichrist, who is referred to as the false prophet below:

19 And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. 20 Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. (Revelation 19:19-21)

The Beast and False Prophet get destroyed as shown in Revelation 19. The Islamic leader is destroyed prior to that as Daniel 11:40 shows.

Summary

While many in the world see Islam as a threat to Catholicism and Protestantism, the final Antichrist will be a religious leader who, for a time, will feign Christianity. He will not say he is Jesus, but he will, for a time, indicate he is here as the 'vicar of Christ'--one representing Jesus.

It is not that in no sense would a false religious leader, like the Islamic Mahdi Imam be an Antichrist, but the King of the South is not the final Antichrist.

The final Antichrist is associated with the Beast power called the King of the North. Islamic, Catholic, and other improper prophetic views will be factors in people being deceived in the end times.

The one commonly known as the final Antichrist will be supporting a European Beast power. That King of the North will destroy America (Daniel 11:39) and ultimately control much or all of the Middle East (Daniel 11:40-43) as Bible prophecy teaches.

The final Antichrist will not be an Islamic Antichrist. But should there be an Imam Mahdi, he will an antichrist as he will be against the true Christian religion.

A related sermon is available online titled: Is the Final Antichrist Islamic or European?

Thiel B. Can the Final Antichrist be Islamic? COGwriter (c) http://www.cogwriter.com/islamic-antichrist.htm 2016/2017 0319