I heard a preacher say once that the only thing we knew about the antichrist was the number of his name; that is 666. There is, however, a lot more information about the antichrist in the Bible. There are more than 20 names for him. Each name reveals something of his character. There is even a physical description of him in Zechariah 11:17.
Daniel 7 indicates the Antichrist will arise from the Roman Empire. Since the Roman Empire broke up into separate nations, Bible scholars believe that the Roman Empire will be revived and have looked to the European Union as a Revived Roman Empire (RRE). However, Europe was only the western half of the Roman Empire. The Apostle Paul was a Roman (Acts 22:25-29); and he was born in Turkey. St Augustine was a Roman; he was born in Algeria. Daniel 8 says the Antichrist will be Greek. Bible scholars have pointed to Daniel 9, saying he’ll have Roman blood, i.e. “the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary.” The Prince who destroyed the city and sanctuary was General Titus of the Roman Army. Scholars have pointed to this verse and said it was an allegory since Titus was a general and not a prince. However, Titus was the son of the Roman Emperor Vespasian. What do you call the son of an emperor? He is called a prince.
The angel continues: “Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week…” Scholars have said this must be an allegory since Titus died years ago without making a covenant. But there is Biblical precedent for interpreting this as literal. In Ezekiel 28, God speaks to the King of Tyre and says “You are a man and not a god…´ He then describes the real king of Tyre as Satan. If we look at the description of Titus as the demon empowering Titus, then the whole passage makes sense in a literal sense. Daniel 10 says the “vile person” will carry a Grecian bloodline, specifically the eastern half, which consisted of Syria and Egypt
The most common name for the antichrist in the Old Testament is ‘the Assyrian,’ so let’s have a look at the Assyrian people. The Assyrian people derives their name from Ashur the second son of Shem. He founded the cities of Asshur, Nineveh, Rehoboth, and Cala. It was in Assyria where locks and keys were first used, also paved roads, the first postal system, the first use of iron, the first magnifying glasses, the first libraries, the first plumbing and flush toilets, the first electric batteries, the first guitars, the first aqueducts, the first arch, and on and on.
Their first golden age of Assyria began with Sargon of Akkad in 2371 B.C. and ended with the fall of Nineveh in 612 B.C. The Babylonian army allied with Medes and Persians, rebelling Chaldeans together with Scythians and Cimmerians attacked and sacked Nineveh that year. The Assyrian Empire collapsed, but the Assyrian people survived the loss of their state, and they remained mostly inconspicuous for the next 600 years. The Persians mention employing Assyrians as troops, and there is the failed attempt at re-establishing an Assyrian Kingdom in 350 B.C.; the Persians squelched this attempt and castrated 400 Assyrian leaders as punishment.
The Assyrians were the first people, outside Jerusalem to accept Christianity. The Assyrian Church was founded in 33 A.D. by Thomas, Bartholomew and Thaddeus and at one time was larger than the Roman and Eastern Orthodox churches combined and had missionaries in China.
When Arabs and Islam swept through the Middle East in 630 A.D., they encountered 600 years of Assyrian Christian civilization, with a rich heritage, a highly developed culture, and advanced learning institutions. It is this Assyrian civilization which became the foundation of the Arab civilization. The Assyrian Church was weakened greatly by the Dhimini tax the Muslim Imams imposed on non-Muslims. Many Assyrians converted to avoid the tax.
In 1300 AD, Timurlane the Mongol swept westward and destroyed everything in his path. The Assyrian Church of the East was decimated. Assyrians were forced to retreat into the mountains of eastern Turkey in fulfilment of Nahum 3:18 “Your shepherds slumber, O king of Assyria; Your nobles rest in the dust. Your people are scattered on the mountains and no one gathers them.”
In 1843 50,000 Assyrians are massacred by the Kurds
In 1918 A.D. the Ottoman Empire collapses and three of four Assyrians (750,000 total) are killed by Turks and Kurds. The surviving Assyrians flee to Iraq and Syria (British and French mandates).
The Assyrian town of Semile, and its surroundings, is massacred by Iraqi troops on August 7th, 1933. Because this was a massacre specifically targeted against Assyrians as a nation, as opposed to a Christian group as in World War One, Assyrians would eventually adopt August 7th as official martyr’s day.
Between 1970 and 1997 the great Assyrian diaspora begins, which would see one million Assyrians flee their homeland, mostly to America and Europe
Today there are 4 million Assyrian Christians worldwide. Although there are five divisions of the church, those four million Assyrians trace their genetic heritage to Assur, the first Assyrian. The Assyrian International News Agency (AINA) announced that on Monday, 3 June, 2013, the Australian Federal Parliament voted to support the establishment of an autonomous province for Assyrians in the Nineveh Plains in northern Iraq.
Micah 5:2 gives the birthplace of the Messiah, ”But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.” Then several verses later, “And this man shall be the peace, when the Assyrian shall come into our land: and when he shall tread in our palaces.” This prophecy has not come to pass….yet.
Isaiah 10:5-6 is also a prophecy about the Assyrian that hasn’t come to pass yet. “O Assyrian, the rod of mine anger, and the staff in their hand is mine indignation. I will send him against an hypocritical nation, and against the people of my wrath will I give him a charge, to take the spoil, and to take the prey, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets.”
Notice the phrase about what will happen in the streets, and the Micah parallel passage in Micah 5 that reveals the Assyrian in the palaces. King Sennacherib was on the verge of invading Jerusalem when this was written. Yet his army was destroyed by an angel of the Lord before he was able to enter Jerusalem. This prophecy has yet to be fulfilled. In order for it to be fulfilled, Assyria must rise to power again.
Isaiah also predicted the nation of Assyria would have a place in the Millennial Kingdom. “In that day shall there be a highway out of Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrian shall come into Egypt, and the Egyptian into Assyria, and the Egyptians shall serve with the Assyrians. In that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt and with Assyria, even a blessing in the midst of the land: Whom the LORD of hosts shall bless, saying, blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel mine inheritance.” (Isaiah 19:23-25)
Why will Assyria have an honored place in the Millennial Kingdom if they produce the antichrist ? It must be a testament of God’s grace.