Where Will the Antichrist Come From?
The Antichrist will come from a revived Roman Empire which will start off in Western Europe. His military conquests encompass an area north of Israel, Israel itself, as well as Egypt and other parts of North Africa. But if the Antichrist goes to war with all these places, then where is he attacking from? By process of elimination, we can determine that the Antichrist’s origin and military base is in Western Europe. Furthermore, Daniel 9 says that the Antichrist will be of Roman descent.
Revived Roman Empire
Daniel 2 and 7 teach that there will be four empires that rise up in world history, one after another. In chapter 7, Daniel sees a vision of these four empires symbolized by four “beasts” that come up out of the great sea, which is a Biblical term for the Mediterranean. However, God defeats the fourth beast and sets up an eternal kingdom.
Daniel 2 describes the same four kingdoms, but from a different angle. King Nebuchadnezzar had a dream of a giant statue. The statue’s body had four sections, each of which represent a different empire. Then a rock hits the feet of the statue, causing it to come tumbling down. The rock then grows into a mountain that fills the whole Earth.
Daniel 2 identifies the first empire as Babylon. Daniel 5 tells us that the Medo-Persian Empire came after the Babylonian Empire. Furthermore, Daniel 8 also says that Greece came after the Medo-Persian Empire. This leaves the fourth empire, which came after Greece. This was none other than the Roman empire. It was terrifying and violent, just like Daniel 7 describes. Furthermore, imagery of these four beasts in Daniel 7 match the historical descriptions of these four empires. (1)
Dr. John Walvoord, former President of Dallas Theological Seminary, states that: “Conservative scholars with few exceptions generally identify the fourth beast as Rome.” (2)
Daniel 7 says that God violently destroys the final ruler of the Roman Empire when he sets up his eternal kingdom, led by the Messiah. Daniel 7:27 says: “And the kingdom and the dominion and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High; his kingdom shall be an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.
But this poses a serious problem. The Roman Empire fell in 476 AD. It was not violently destroyed by God, setting up a global kingdom in its place. Therefore, in order for this prophecy to come true, the Roman Empire must be reborn in the end times. This is why Dr. John Walvoord anticipated the “revival of the Roman Empire.” (3)
As a result, we can conclude that the Antichrist comes from a revived Roman Empire in the end times.
Yet the Roman empire was a very big place. It varied in size, based on various wars and conquests. But at its largest point, it encompassed Western Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa.
Daniel 11:36-45 describe the personality and military conquests of the Antichrist. The Antichrist is attacked by someone north of Israel. Theologians usually often identify this with Russia. The Antichrist is attacked by Egypt, which is south of Israel. During his counterattack, the Antichrist sweeps through the countries and invades Israel as well. He then goes on to take over Egypt, Libya, and other parts of north Africa. But if the Antichrist goes to war with all of these places, then where is he attacking from? Where is his home-base, from which he conducts his military operations? The only place left, is Western Europe.
Furthermore, Daniel 9:26-27 indicate that the Antichrist will be of Roman decent.
And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its end shall come with a flood, and to the end there shall be war. Desolations are decreed. 27 And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week, and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator.” (Daniel 9:26b-27)
This passages says that a certain group of people will destroy both Jerusalem (the city) and the temple (the sanctuary). This happened in 70 A.D. when the Romans, led by general Titus, sacked Jerusalem and destroyed the temple. However, notice it does not say that “the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary.” It only says that the people of the coming prince destroy Jerusalem and its temple. The people who laid siege to Jerusalem were the Romans. Therefore the coming ruler is not general Titus, but some other future Roman ruler.
The passage goes on, saying that “he” will make a covenant for one week (7 years). “He” refers back to the “prince” mentioned in verse 26. This prince is none other than the Antichrist, who will be a future Roman ruler immediately prior to the Second Coming of Christ. The Antichrist makes or confirms a 7-year covenant with Israel, and possibly many others. But halfway through this covenant, he stops the sacrifices and offerings in the rebuilt Jewish temple. He goes on to commit the abomination of desolation, setting himself up as God in the temple. These specific events have not happened in history. Therefore, they await a future fulfillment prior to the Second Coming of Christ.
Will the Antichrist Be Italian?
Since the Antichrist is “Roman,” some may assume that he comes from Italy. However, this is not necessarily true. As long as he comes from the area of the old Roman Empire, he still qualifies as being a “Roman.” Furthermore, though most Roman emperors came from Italia (Italy), at least one was born in Gallia (France), and two were even born in Hispania (Spain). (4) Therefore we shouldn’t assume that the Antichrist comes from Italy, since Roman rulers came from various parts of the empire.
Top Antichrist candidate, Javier Solana, was born in Madrid Spain. He has fulfilled three prophecies about the Antichrist’s rise to power, and could be poised to fulfill another prophecy about the Antichrist.
Will the Antichrist Be A US President?
Since the Antichrist is of “Roman” origin, no U.S. President will qualify. Some may counter this, saying that the US is the new Roman Empire, since it is the world power. However, the four beasts in Daniel 7, including the Roman Empire, come up out of “the great sea.”
Throughout the Bible, this is a term for the Mediterranean Sea. For example, when describing Israel’s borders, God tells Joshua:
Behold, I have allotted to you as an inheritance for your tribes those nations that remain, along with all the nations that I have already cut off, from the Jordan to the Great Sea in the west. (Joshua 23:6)
In the book of Numbers, God tells Moses the borders of the future land of Israel. When describing the western border, he says:
For the western border, you shall have the Great Sea and its coast. This shall be your western border. (Numbers 34:6)
Therefore, the end-times Roman Empire is situated around the Mediterranean Sea. As a result, the Antichrist, who leads this Roman Empire, cannot be from the United States.
Will the Antichrist Come from Israel?
A popular view in Church history is that the Antichrist will be a Jew. (5) However this is unlikely, since the Antichrist will come from a revived Roman Empire in Western Europe. Nevertheless, Jesus does warn of false christs in the end times:
For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. (Matthew 24:24)
Some people say that the Antichrist must be Jewish in order to pose as the Messiah (i.e. “christ”). However, lots of people pose as the Messiah today, and are not Jewish. The Antichrist wouldn’t need to be Jewish in order to claim to be the christ. However, it appears his claim is more general, in that he claims to be God.
who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God. (2 Thessalonians 2:4)
The Antichrist invades Israel (Daniel 11:41), and also declares himself to be God at the abomination of desolation. Similar to the abomination of desolation in the past, this will cause the Jews to abandon the area in disgust and horror. Furthermore, the abomination causes Jews to flee to the mountains.
15 “So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let the one who is on the housetop not go down to take what is in his house, 18 and let the one who is in the field not turn back to take his cloak. (Matthew 24:15-16)
The Antichrist will be a persecutor of the Jews, and will not likely be a Jew himself.
- Walvoord, John F., and Roy B. Zuck. The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures. CO Springs, CO: Victor, an Imprint of Cook Communications Ministries, 2004. Old Testament Edition
- Walvoord, John F. “7. Daniel's Vision Of Future World History.” 7. Daniel's Vision Of Future World History | Bible.org. Accessed August 3, 2020. https://bible.org/seriespage/7-daniel-s-vision-future-world-history.
- Walvoord, John F. “Revival of Rome.” Walvoord.com. Accessed August 3, 2020. https://walvoord.com/article/114.
- “List of Roman Emperors.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, August 2, 2020. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Roman_emperors.
- Ice, Thomas D., "The Ethnicity of the Antichrist" (2009). Article Archives. 93. https://digitalcommons.liberty.edu/pretrib_arch/93
- Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations are from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”
- Roman Empire: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Roman_Empire_Trajan_117AD.png
- Fall of Jerusalem: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ercole_de_Roberti_Destruction_of_Jerusalem_Fighting_Fleeing_Marching_Slaying_Burning_Chemical_reactions_b.jpg
- Mediterranean sea: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Mediterranee_02_EN.jpg