Where will the Antichrist be headquartered? Find out as Dr. David Reagan interviews a panel of Bible prophecy experts on the Christ in Prophecy.
Last aired on April 3, 2011.
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Dr. Reagan: 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? For the viewpoints of 11 different Bible prophecy experts, stay tuned.
Dr. Reagan: Greetings in the name of Jesus our blessed hope and welcome to Christ in Prophecy. This week we are going to continue with the interviews I conducted with 11 Bible prophecy experts who were attending a Bible Prophecy Conference in Dallas Texas. The interviews were video taped at a hotel near the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport. In past weeks we have looked at such questions as: Will the Antichrist be a Jew? Could he possibly be a Muslim? Will he be killed and resurrected from the dead? Is he alive today? The consensus among the experts was the Antichrist will be a Gentile, he will not be a Muslim. He will not be killed and resurrected from the dead, although there may be a deception to make people think so. And he is very likely alive today. Incidentally if you did not see these programs about the Antichrist that we have already broadcast, you can view them at our website at lamblion.com. In this session we will be taking a look at where the experts believe the Antichrist headquarters will be located. Will it be Rome, Jerusalem, New York, Babylon or some other city?
Daymond Duck: Well I believe it will be Babylon. I have believed that Babylon will be rebuilt for several years, for several reasons. First Zechariah 5:5-11 teaches about a wicked women, a women called wickedness who represents commerce and false religion will be moved to the land of Shinar at the end of the age. And I believe that, that women called wickedness is mystery Babylon the Great the mother of harlots. So I think she will go to Babylon. Second virtually all scholars trace false religion and world government back to the Tower of Babel and Babylon. And that is where I believe it will go back to. Revelation 17:10 teaches us this false religious system existed in Egypt and Assyria and Babylon, and Medo-Persia and Greece before Rome ever came on the scene. Third I think there are several prophecies about the final destruction of Babylon that have not been fulfilled. Isaiah 13:4 indicates that Babylon’s final destruction will be by many nations, but ancient Babylon was not destroyed by many nations. The Medes and the Persians a two nation attack conquered it and eventually ancient Babylon was buried under sand. Isaiah 13:5 indicates that Babylon’s final destruction will be during the indignation or the Tribulation period. Ancient Babylon was not destroyed during the indignation or the Tribulation period that is still future. Isaiah 13:19 says Babylon’s final destruction will be like the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, ancient Babylon wasn’t destroyed by fire and brimstone like Sodom and Gomorrah were. In fact if you go to the book of Revelation it tells us three times that Babylon will be destroyed by fire in one hour. It seems to me that God is going out of his way to tell us that there is going to be a Babylon that is going to be destroyed differently from the way ancient Babylon was destroyed. Isaiah 13:20 says Babylon will never be inhabited again. Uh, we do know that a few people are living in the part that Saddam Hussein has rebuilt. Isaiah 14 says Israel will be in the land when Babylon is destroyed. Well ancient Babylon, when ancient Babylon was captured by the Medes and Persians, Israel was not in the land. One more of these, the bricks will never be reused again Jeremiah 51:26, Saddam Hussein reused some of the bricks when he started rebuilding Babylon. Six there are many prophecies if you will read Jeremiah 50 and 5, and Isaiah 13 and 14 there are many prophecies about Babylon’s final destruction that appear in both of those chapters. I think that God links all of that together. For example Isaiah 13:21 says satyrs or demons, devils and false spirits will dance in Babylon after its final destruction. We go over to the book of Revelation chapter 18:2 and we read there that Babylon will become the habitation of devils and false spirits. Jeremiah 50:15 says, “As she, Babylon, as she has done, do unto her.” We go over to the book or Revelation chapter 18:6 and we read, “Reward her even as she has rewarded you.” We go back to Jeremiah 51:7 Babylon has been a golden cup in the Lord’s hand, we go over to Revelation 17 verse 4 and we read mystery Babylon has a golden cup in her hand. Jeremiah 51:7 the nations have been drunk on Babylon’s wine, in Revelation 18:3 we read Babylon has made the nations drunk on wine. Jeremiah 51:8 says Babylon has suddenly fallen, Revelation 18:2 we read that Babylon is fallen, is fallen. Jeremiah 51:9 says forsake her, Revelation 18:4 says come out of her my people. One more Jeremiah 51:13 says Babylon sits upon many waters, Revelation 17:1, we read mystery Babylon sits upon many waters. In other words there is a lot of ties between what is in the Old Testament that is a prophecy about ancient Babylon and what’s in the new prophecy, the New Testament that is a prophecy about rebuilt Babylon. I think God tied them together and we’ve always believe that those Old Testament prophecies were about ancient Babylon, not Rome and that kind of thing.
Arnold Fruchtenbaum: I personally take the Bible more literally so I would say that Babylon would be, the capital of the Antichrist would be both a political and economic capital. According to both Zechariah chapter 5 as well as Revelation chapter 18, his religions capital will be Jerusalem where he will set up his image in the Jewish Temple, his religious capital. Where his economic and public capital will be Babylon the city.
Al Gist: Generally speaking I try to always interpret the Bible literally I think that’s by far the best approach. So when we read Revelation 17 and 18 where it talks about the city of Babylon I tend to take that literally as well. I believe that Babylon will be his capital city, uh, during his Tribulation reign. Possibly the events that we are seeing take place right now in Iraq are leading up to that. Iraq is becoming a central focal point of the world, of course since our invasion in Iraq. And I don’t know where this is going to lead, or how it is going to develop, but I personally do believe in the revival of Babylon itself on the Euphrates River. I have heard the arguments you know about Rome being you know the leadership city I guess you would say of the Antichrist. And I am not a 100% opposed to that but again I just lean more towards the literal acceptance of the city of Babylon.
Dr. Reagan: Welcome back to Christ in Prophecy. We are in the process of interviewing 11 Bible prophecy experts about where they think the Antichrist’s headquarters will be located during the Great Tribulation. Thus far we have heard from three and all three have said they think it will be located in Babylon. Let’s continue now with the interviews.
Phillip Goodman: I believe that it will be Babylon, and I believe that because the Bible speaks of a literal Babylon in the Last Days. If we are to take as an example the prophecy of the first coming of Jesus that he would be born in Bethlehem, Ephrathah uh, Micah 5:2, very specifically a city a Messianic prophecy that fulfilled literally. Then we got to take the prophecy that Babylon will be overthrown as Sodom and Gomorrah and never to rise again a very specific prophecy that has to be fulfilled in every detail, and that prophecy of course has never been fulfilled. So it requires the rise of Babylon in the Last Days. You find again in Revelation chapter 16 that Babylon exists right along with Jerusalem and all the cities of the nations they are literal, so is Babylon. The cities of the nations will fall Jerusalem will be split in three parts. Babylon will also fall at that time, very literally renderings of that city. Finally I want to make one last point. Babylon in Revelation chapter 18 has an exact correspondence with the Babylon that is described in the two lengthy chapters of Jeremiah 50 and 51 precise parallels all the way down through those chapters. So we know that Jeremiah chapter 50 and 51 at least in parts of that has a prophecy of Babylon in the Last Days. I want to read you a passage out of there that specifically geo-physically tells us that this is a literal city in the Last Days. And that it is the Babylon that is on the Euphrates River as we know it in modern day Iraq. Going back to Jeremiah chapter 50 here and let’s look at verse 45 it says this it is talking about Babylon in the context of the Last Days of the End times it says, “That Babylon and His purposes which He has proposed against the land of the Chaldeans.” So the land of the Chaldeans is not Rome it is not New York City, its Babylon on the Euphrates. You come on down to verse 35 in chapter 51 and it tells us this, “May the violence be done to me, may the violence done to me and to my flesh be upon Babylon the inhabitant of Zion will say the inhabitant of Jerusalem the literal Jerusalem will say and upon the inhabitant of Chaldea.” So we have a geo-political designation for a literal Babylon in the Last Days. And so at least we know this much, Babylon is going to be the mega-city that Revelation chapter 18 talks about, it is going to be a literal. And if the whole economy of the world is centered in Babylon and the Antichrist controls the economy of the World. The demand and supply that he has on buying and selling that the Scriptures say he will then his capital will surely will be Babylon in the Last Days.
Ray Gano: Uh, again I am a person who reads Scripture literally. I believe that the End Time capital will be Babylon. It is interesting to find out that Saddam Hussein started to rebuild the ancient city of Babylon. And it was his intent to actually create this area as a Wall Street of the Middle East. Babylon today is highly wired they got all this going on, he was turning it into a visitors center or a business center and then the war took place, construction stopped, things like that. The interesting thing is, is that the UN just announced that they are going to start working and rebuilding Babylon. In fact just this last November 14 America jumped on board and they are going to start giving money to the process and since quote on quote I guess our soldiers went in and occupied parts of Babylon as a fortress of something. They are going to help rebuild it, repay for it. And back in early 2003 Israel Today reported that the quartet and that’s being the US, UN, EU, and Russia, they all came together and they started talking about the UN actually moving their headquarters from New York to Babylon. And so I do see Babylon being the seat of the Antichrist.
Mark Hitchcock: I think the Antichrist End Time capital is gonna be a revived city of Babylon there on the Euphrates in what’s modern day Iraq. The reasons for that is you have the word Babylon, Babylonian, Chaldea those are used about 300 times through the Bible. And the book of Revelation is called the Apocalypse of Jesus Christ it is an unveiling it is not a veiling. It seems odd to me that when you get to the very last couple chapters in the Bible all of a sudden Babylon wouldn’t mean Babylon anymore, after 300 times or so of this being stated that that’s what the word indeed refers to. Also when you go back to the Scriptures to the very beginning that’s where, after the flood, that’s where the first world empire began, Nimrod build this city. And from the very beginning it is kind of like some have likened this to the Tall of Two Cities. You have the city of Babylon mentioned in Genesis 10 and 11 with the Tower of Babel and Jerusalem is first introduced in Genesis 14 and you kind of trace these cities all the way through. Then in Revelation 17 and 18 you have Babylon again, and in Revelation 21 and 22 you have the New Jerusalem. It also says about Babylon in Revelation 17 this great city that rules over the kings of the Earth in the End Times. It says that this city is the mother of all harlotry it’s the fountain head of all harlotry. And when you go back to the Bible into the very beginning the fountain head of all false religion and all idolatry was the city of Babylon. So I think it’s going to be rebuilt in the End Times as a great economic, political, religious center for the final world leader. So history is going to kind of come full circle, from Nimrod and the first world empire to Antichrist in the final world empire of Babylon.
Dr. Reagan: Okay we have interviewed six people thus far and all six have stated that they believe the headquarters of the Antichrist will be Babylon. And they have given some very good reasons for coming to that conclusion. In a moment we will present the responses of five others who are not so sure Babylon will be the place. But first here is some information about a Bible Prophecy study resource that you might find helpful.
Dr. Reagan: Welcome back to our quest for the headquarters of the Antichrist. Thus far we have presented the interviews we have conducted with six of our Bible prophecy experts and all six said they believed the headquarters of the Antichrist will be Babylon. The other five said it would be some place else or that it could be Babylon but they were not convinced, here are their interviews.
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 over 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 McGee: That’s a question I still struggle with. For years I thought it was going to be Rome, but I am beginning to lean in the direction in Babylon. And one of the reasons for that, one of the reasons I did not think so for many years is because of the decayed state of that part of the world. But when you look at what is happening in Dubai and other places in the Middle East you can see the magnificence structures can be built and great cities can be built in very, very short periods of time. And I think that if you step back from the whole aspect of Scripture and look at I think Babylon means exactly that, Babylon.
Don Perkins: I believe Rome it may start off there and eventually go on to Jerusalem. I go back to Second Thessalonians chapter 2, I believe that it will end in Rome, I mean end in Jerusalem, because the heart of God’s heart is Jerusalem. And I believe that Antichrist will eventually move his capital there because again he wants what God wants and uh, 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: Oh, there are so many ways to look into that question. Uh, it says it will be destroyed and all the merchants of the world will mourn after it. That could be America 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, there, there’s, so pick your choice there.
Ed Hindson: I personally believe that it will be Rome. I do not believe that it will be 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 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.
Dr. Reagan: Well that was certainly a fascinating series of responses. Let’s see we had one who said he didn’t know for sure where the Antichrist headquarters might be located, and incidentally I like that answer. There are many questions about Bible prophecy that I don’t know the answer to and in that case it is always best to say, “I just don’t know for sure.”
Another person said the headquarters could be located in a variety of places, a third said he wasn’t sure but he was leaning towards Babylon. And two said they thought the headquarters might be in Rome. So overall the tally comes to 6 Babylon, 3 uncertain, 2 for Rome so there is definitely a consensus for Babylon.
Well, this is the only time in all these interviews were I am personally going to have to disagree with the consensus opinion. But before I do let me say that, I highly respect the viewpoint of my colleagues who have decided that the headquarters will be Babylon. And the reason is that they base that conclusion on a literal interpretation of Bible prophecy for which I commend them.
But, I’ve come to a different conclusion and let me briefly explain why. 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 mysterious 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 chapter 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 of 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. I can’t 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 First Peter chapter 5:13 where the Apostle Peter ends his epistle with the greetings from “the church that is in Babylon.” Well folks, 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, 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 further more it does not say Babylon will be destroyed in the same manor a 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 desolation, and folks that is exactly what happened. The city went into a long decline and by 141 BC 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 tourist not for habitation. And you can see from this aerial photo the ancient site of Babylon stands barren to this day. Here is the palace Saddam Hussein built and here are the partially reconstructed remains of Nebuchadnezzar’s Palace complex. Here is another view of the area from the ground once again you can see how barren it remains. 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. But regardless of our difference over the location of the Antichrist headquarters we 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. Well I hope that you have enjoyed this Bible study. I urge you to study these matters for yourself and draw your own conclusions.
And now we would like to bless you with a portion of a song by our featured singer Jack Hollingsworth of Acts 29 Ministries. The song is titled We Shall See Jesus.
Dr. Reagan: Wow! Every time I hear that song I want to shout, “Maranatha come quickly Lord Jesus.” Well that’s our program for this week. Until next week the Lord willing this is Dave Reagan speaking for Lamb and Lion Ministries’ saying, “Look up, be watchful for our redemption is drawing near.”
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