Is ISIS a Harbinger of the Antichrist?

Joel Richardson WND

Seven years ago, Al Gore was warning us that all of the polar ice caps would be completely gone by now. I was warning of a caliphate.

For the past 10 years, I’ve diligently sought to awaken the Church to the fact that the Hebrew prophets point to a Middle Eastern Antichrist who will emerge from the region of Turkey, Syria or Iraq. Some have examined the evidence and recognized the solid scriptural basis for this view. Others have questioned, debated, or even maligned this perspective. The truth, however, is that although some naysayers have tried to cast this view as a “lone ranger” perspective, in broad historical terms, I have been far from alone in espousing it. In fact, many great Christian expositors have recognized the biblical evidence for this view. Many even foresaw that a last-days caliphate would be established in the region of Turkey, Syria and Iraq. In light of the astounding re-establishment of an Islamic caliphate for the first time in over 80 years in Iraq and Syria, let us consider a few of the great Christian expositors and teachers who foresaw precisely what we are witnessing today.

Read the full article at WND.

  • Adam N.
    Posted at 05:45h, 06 September

    Excellent Article!

  • linda keyes
    Posted at 12:26h, 06 September

    I genuinely don’t understand how any one can think that ac comes from anywhere
    but the middle east, Daniel makes it perfectly clear.
    I find that a lot of ordinary Christians as myself, see what’s happening and are seeking truth, however its leadership that wont seem to budge from their long held positions, and sometimes you feel you’re dishonouring them for sharing other than the norm, i suppose its about heart intentions.

  • Bo
    Posted at 15:22h, 06 September

    The article is right on target!

  • daniel silva
    Posted at 03:52h, 07 September

    Let me first say that I am thankful for your heart toward the lost (especially the Muslims) and your dedication to studying God’s Word. I’m trying to understand why you quote HIPPOLYTUS as if he thought the antichrist was Assyrian? In his writings, TREATISE ON CHRIST AND ANTICHRIST, he says emphatically that the antichrist is Jewish. He goes as far as to declare that he will come from the tribe of Dan. Do you have any thoughts as to the antichrist being Jewish? Even more specifically, the antichrist declaring to be the Jewish Messiah? Thank you for your time!!!

    God Bless,

  • Joel
    Posted at 10:16h, 07 September

    Hi Daniel,

    I cite all of these teachers only to show that the notion of the AC being from Assyria is a common one across history. It is a point that I agree with, as it can be established biblically. But of course I do not agree with everything any of these men taught.

    Hippolytus specifically taught that the AC would be from Assyria, but ethnically Jewish. I agree concerning the issue of Assyria, but thoroughly reject the idea that he will be Jewish. Antiochus IV Epiphanes, a gentile, is the greatest type of the AC in all of the Bible. This is why the Jewish Antichrist proponents often seek to distort a sound exegesis of Daniel 8 and 11, which establish the role of Antiochus as a type of the Antichrist.

    But back to the early Church writers. In some of their writings, even as the idea that the Antichrist would be from the region of Assyria, so also can we find the idea that he would be Jewish. But so also can we find abundant anti-semitism in general. The wrong idea of the Antichrist being Jewish arose for the simple reason that replacement theology, and with it, a rabid hatred of the Jews, crept into the Church very early. Sad to say, the idea that the Antichrist would be Jewish, is a legacy that has often remained in the Church over the years. But like replacement theology, it is something to be rejected for the simple reason that it is unbiblical. From a Scriptural perspective, it is rooted in the misinterpretion of only a few key passages, and a whole lot of assumptions.

    In analyzing the early Church Fathers, as a Protestant who rejects replacement theology, one must know what to consider, as a matter of historical observation, and what to throw out. The anti-semitism and wrong doctrines that came with it, such as the idea that the AC would be a false Jewish Messiah are the first things to throw out. I hope this has helped.


  • David W. Lincoln
    Posted at 21:51h, 07 September

    I encourage people to look for the novel “Vatican” by Malachi Martin, and look at the pages that deal with P1 & P2.

    The interaction between ISIS and the enemy of our souls looks remarkably the same, as what Malachi Martin wrote.

    Next week the Coptic Pope will be in my neck of the woods, and he will be reassured, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that the Copts, indeed all persecuted Christians do not stand alone. The host of heaven is energetically being kept in the loop, and their prayers are interceded for.

  • Peter
    Posted at 12:02h, 08 September

    Read this in a newspaper this morning. (excerpt below only for brevity)

    ..the United States sought to quell lingering uncertainties about its goals and strategy for Iraq and Syria by announcing at a NATO summit the establishment of a “10 country core coalition” to tackle the Islamic State.

    At least four major Scripture passages make a contribution to this subject (Dan 2:31-35, 40-45; 7:7-8, 19-24; Rev 13:1-2; 17:3, 7, 12-16).
    These passages either directly or by implication prophesy a ten-kingdom confederation which will be an important aspect of the end-time political situation.

    Is end-time prophecy is about to be fulfilled?

  • Li
    Posted at 00:14h, 09 September

    Hi Peter,
    When the AC arises (Rev 13:1) accompanying him are the 10 kings but scripture points out these kings have no kingdom (Rev 17:12). The 10 that surround the AC are powerful men of persuasion and passion. Their acts of evil (Dan7:6) will be visible before the AC comes on the scene. The 4th evil beast of Daniel may be forming now.

    Joel, in Rev 13 accompanying the AC and the 10 kings, are 7 heads with blasphemy written on them. We know from Rev 17 that the Woman, Mystery Babylon, is described sitting on the 7 heads full of blasphemy (17:9). Babylon is identified as that great city where the world’s wealth is displayed and traded. My question is this. If the 7 heads are visible in Rev 13:1 and we know the AC’s kingdom is only 42 months (Rev 13:5) then shouldn’t Babylon that great city be built and functioning when the AC emerges? The 10 would be visible first but Babylon would need to be developing around the same time as a world’s economic empire. Am I thinking correctly?

    Is there a city in existence today that could become that picture of opulence and business savvy yet also fulfill Rev 17:6?


  • Joel
    Posted at 00:24h, 09 September

    The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia fulfills the financial side, while Mecca the spiritual. Just my opinion.

  • Azim
    Posted at 13:27h, 09 September

    Hi Joel,

    In Revelations 18 we see specific details about Babylon.
    – It should be a great international trading and financial center.
    – It should be located at seashore, or even have a seaport. (look at the map of the major seaports, map of the busiest sea ports, map of Saudi Arabia Note that Mecca is very close to Jeddah seaport, but I still doubt that nowadays Mecca is a candidate for the latter day Babylon. It may develop as such in future, I don’t know.
    It’s interesting that even the ancient Babylon does not meet the latter criteria. Li might be right, this latter days Babylon may appear sometime in future. Out of potential cities in Middle East nowadays, only Intanbul comes to my mind.
    Verses 8-10 indicate that it will be burnt and it will be destroyed within a day or even an hour. The reason for the destruction might be some cosmic disaster (verse 21).
    Another very interesting detail about Babylon is that ‘souls of men’ are traded in that city. Not sure how to interpret it, but it might be a unique feature of that city.

  • Nelson
    Posted at 12:37h, 10 September

    These are just thoughts of mine, random musings while we “watch”.

    1. I find it incredibly interesting that the caliphate was established within 2 months of the first “blood moon” of the current tetrad.
    2. Is it possible that we have witnessed the arising of the Beast from the the abyss? (Rev. 17: 9-10). We know that the “fatal head wound” of Rev. 13 was applied to the 7th head of the Beast (the Ottoman Caliphate) in 1924. Could the Beast be on the earth again in the form of the IS caliphate?
    3. Is it possible the 4 horsemen of Rev. 6 are 4 Caliphs who will reign as this Caliphate morphs into its final form? (the final one being Antichrist)
    4. Is this related to the prophecy of Daniel 8 and the Sunni-Shia war it predicts? Will Iran assume the Caliphate, then Turkey, then finally the AC after the ten Kings are established?

    I don’t know the answers. This is me thinking out loud and seeing how prophecy MIGHT fit together in these events. One thing is certain, the world is “wondering” after this caliphate and did from the moment it formed.

  • Dave
    Posted at 14:36h, 11 September

    Here is a link which convinced me that Babylon is Mecca.

    I don’t think ISIS, as it currently exists, is the Antichrist as it seems to be dividing Islam rather than uniting it. What comes out of the mess they create could lead to the Antichrist though.

  • Robert Young
    Posted at 16:01h, 11 September


    From your writings Joel I always thought that you were quite insistent that the AC would come from Turkey/Magog. That he will be Gog from Ezekiel 38. Are you changing your stance on this?

    Do you not believe Chris White’s interpretation of Daniel 8? If you do, like #4 of the above post, ISIS cannot be the final caliphate. Just because a group declares themselves the caliphate I do not feel that it makes them one. Just like many who claim to be the Mahdi. My thought is if we see Iran invade Iraq, and if White is correct, then we know we are getting close.

    What say you?


  • AtHisFeet
    Posted at 18:21h, 11 September

    Now it’s a coalition of 10 arab states.

  • Joel
    Posted at 19:16h, 11 September


    To be clear, I do not believe the ISIS Caliphate will produce the AC specifically. I actually think they will be defeated. I think there will be some regional wars that will re-write the borders of some nations in the region. Thus Turkey will eventually expand. Then out of the eastern segment (most likely including some of Syria and Iraq), will the AC arise.

    I disagree with Chris concerning Daniel 11. Chris takes the three king position which in my opinion is completely unfeasible. Not sure what he says concerning chapter 8.

  • Nelson
    Posted at 18:28h, 12 September

    Robert, I have never read Chris White (maybe I should). These were my musing. My thoughts on Daniel 8 are found on my website Although this was written pre-Islamic State. As we “watch” we are able to better understand prophecy.

    I don’t think IS will be THE caliphate that launches the AC. I am thinking however that the caliphate cat is now out of the bag. I anticipate a regional Sunni-Shia was as per Daniel 8. After Iran invades we may see IS defeated and a Shia caliphate declared, then after Turkey responds and crushes Iran, the “prominent horn” of Turkey may declare himself Caliph and form yet a third Caliphate, a Sunni one again. Then after he is “broken off” and the borders are redrawn, the AC will begin his conquest which will eventually reunite Sunni and Shia in one caliphate, the final one. All this is conjecture of course. We must watch to know. The prophetic scriptures give us a clue but not all the details, thus the need to watch.

    My point was to watch and see if these potential 4 caliphs match the 4 horsemen? It is possible.

  • David Englund
    Posted at 21:52h, 12 September


    At one level I’m all for our leaders forming a coalition to get tough on ISIS/ISIL. At another level I have a gut feeling that ultimately this will not go well. If ISIS is a true harbinger of Antichrist, then it would seem there will be disappointments in store for one or more of the coalition members that is taking it to them. Will pray for peace through strength, knowing God has a plan for this world that He is working out after the council of his will, and it will at some point include disappointments and tragedies the likes we have never seen before. Praying for the saints in Iraq and Syria, and all places of persecution – that they may shine forth an eternal hope that will shock the world! (Romans 15:13).

  • Robert Young
    Posted at 19:05h, 13 September


    Thank you for your comments. Chris White interprets the below verses as the ram being Iran/Persia who will invade Iraq since it is just west of them. They will also invade Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States. Turkey/Greece who is the goat, will eventually destroy them.

    If you look at Daniel 7 Chris sees the lion as Iraq, who was given a heart of a man. He sees this as the US war with them. The next war would be with Iran who is the bear in Daniel 7. I guess you can make a case for Iraq being the lion but I am not sure.

    I would love to hear your take on all of this.


    Daniel 8: 3 Then I lifted my eyes and saw, and there, standing beside the river, was a ram which had two horns, and the two horns were high; but one was higher than the other, and the higher one came up last. 4 I saw the ram pushing westward, northward, and southward, so that no animal could withstand him; nor was there any that could deliver from his hand, but he did according to his will and became great.

    5 And as I was considering, suddenly a male goat came from the west, across the surface of the whole earth, without touching the ground; and the goat had a notable horn between his eyes. 6 Then he came to the ram that had two horns, which I had seen standing beside the river, and ran at him with furious power. 7 And I saw him confronting the ram; he was moved with rage against him, attacked the ram, and broke his two horns. There was no power in the ram to withstand him, but he cast him down to the ground and trampled him; and there was no one that could deliver the ram from his hand.

    17 So he came near where I stood, and when he came I was afraid and fell on my face; but he said to me, “Understand, son of man, that the vision refers to the time of the end.”

    20 The ram which you saw, having the two horns—they are the kings of Media and Persia. 21 And the male goat is the kingdom[b] of Greece. The large horn that is between its eyes is the first king

  • Michael
    Posted at 23:22h, 13 September


    In 2009 after a 4&1/2 month self imposed prophecy study I concluded that the ac & beast would come from the Middle East. My original thought was that “no one in the world thinks this.” But after about 3 days I Googled to see if anyone else did come to the same concluding opinion and thankfully I started finding them. You and Walid Shoebat etc. all beat me to the punch.

    One day back in the late 70s sitting in our Pastors Office, I asked him his opinion of Clarence Larkin; after seeing some of his charts but not really knowing that much about him. Our Pastor said, “I think he’s about 90% right.” My question is, how to you rate Clarence Larkin, today?

  • O. A. Fish
    Posted at 02:11h, 15 September

    As I’ve stated before, I believe that ISIS is the prostitute of Rev, 17 who will be made desolate by the true Calif (Erdogan) and in doing so will endure himself to the whole world.

  • Carlos
    Posted at 15:50h, 21 September

    Joel, I believe that ISIS was created to resurrect Osiris/Nimrod/The beast in the same way it tells the ancient egyptian legend. I don’t think that the name ISIS is any coincidence at all. Thank you for your teachings. God Bless you

  • Denese
    Posted at 19:34h, 21 September

    Hi Joel,
    I’ve read all your books and love them…..agree with your Islamic Antichrist viewpoint.
    Do you have any other prophecy books that you recommend?

    Be blessed and keep up the good work!

  • good4u
    Posted at 13:19h, 22 September

    Hi Denese!

    Obviously, I’m not Joel…just a Joel wannabe…LOL!

    I am a long-time poster here, I can tell you what Joel has recommended in his past posts on his blog. I have read three out of the five books personally. You can also search the author’s names on this site to see what Joel has said about them as well. The search bar is at the bottom of Joel’s home web page on the right. I’m sure any bookseller online would have them such as Here is what I have remembered:

    Antichrist: Before the Day of the Lord, Alan Kurschner

    Daniel Revisited, Mark Davidson

    The Controversy of Zion: The Time of Jacob’s Trouble, Dalton Thomas

    Unto Death: Martyrdom, Mission, and the Maturity of the Church, Dalton Thomas

    The Last Shofar! Donald Zollar and Josephe Lenard

    Any or all of these books will help you understand and comprehend prophetic scripture more thoroughly. Happy reading!


  • Janae
    Posted at 23:12h, 22 September

    Joel: What do you think of Jonathan Cahn’s new book, “Year of the Shemitah”? Do you think the American economy, and maybe even America as a whole nation, is going to collapse one year from now?

  • Joel
    Posted at 09:04h, 23 September

    I have not read the book. Time will tell.

  • Bob
    Posted at 23:13h, 23 September

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see Turkey eventually propose itself as an alternative Caliphate to destroy this upstart. This (a new Caliphate headed by Turkey) is actually something that has been in the planning stages prior to ISIS coming forth. There is a strong movement in Turkey to revive the Caliphate and the Ottoman Empire by uniting the Muslim world once again behind it and behind a new Caliph who would likely be considered the Mahdi. If after years of conflict with ISIS this were to happen, the world would actually probably welcome it and breathe a sigh of relief saying “peace and safety” thinking that Turkey will bring a “moderate” peaceful Caliphate to the world. Combine this with a few signs and wonders inspired by Satan and the reality this could quickly be a Caliphate with Nuclear weapons as Pakistan already has nukes. At first it would be peaceful, but with the Muslim world in possession of nukes and united, an attack on Israel and a debilitating surprise attack on the west (think a few key port cities, ie, NYC, DC, LA, etc., nuked via fishing boats (w/ suicide bombers) putting the west out of the picture in terms of military attack (due to nuclear blackmail), and the world would suddenly be horrified to find itself defenseless against the onslaught of Islam. As the scripture says, they will worship the beast by saying, “Who can wage war against him?”.

  • Bob
    Posted at 23:17h, 23 September


    Any thoughts on my comments above.


  • Lee Hicks
    Posted at 15:40h, 27 September

    I believe that not only is ISIS a forerunner of the Antichrist, but all of Islam is. There is a fictional line drawn in the minds of many between “moderate and radical” Muslims, but Jihad is inherent in the religion at the most fundamental level.

    Every Muslim is obligated to seek the promotion of Jihad, or Holy Warfare, by any means, including deeds and violence, deception, lies, and any speech written or spoken. Violence, hatred for women and children, deception, murder, open warfare and more began with Mohammad, and are acceptable practices and doctrines sanctioned by the false god Allah.

    What I believe that we are seeing, is that Satan is redoubling his efforts, knowing that his time is short, and Islam itself gives a startlingly clear view of Satan through its teachings and practices. He is the false god behind the mask of Allah, and the entire religion is intended to usher in the Turkish Antichrist.

    While many are being saved and converted from Islam to service to the Lord, often through dreams and visions, it is vital for believers and non-believers to recognize the real nature of Islam on the whole, and to see the fictional nature of supposed moderates. Is ISIS a harbinger of the Antichrist? I firmly believe so, but I also extend it to the whole of Islam as well.

  • Matt
    Posted at 00:07h, 30 September

    Thanks for your work. I understand ISIS is getting close to taking control of Baghdad, – bringing further threat to the Shia majority/control in the south. Could this be the catalyst for Iran (the ram) to intervene? Any thoughts here?
    I guess it’s a matter of wait, pray and see.
    Also, is there online access to your recent talks at Blessed Hope Chapel?
    Best Regards,
    Matt from Oz.

  • Joel
    Posted at 03:46h, 30 September

    Hi Matt,

    I don’t believe Iran will allow ISIS to take Baghdad. But as you said, we’ll see.

    Not sure concerning recent talks. Presently in the Balkans. Internet very spotty. Hpe this goes through.

    Bless you!

  • Dave
    Posted at 18:47h, 03 October

    I saw a report on the news on how ISIS is getting closer to the tomb of Suleiman Shah on the Turkish/Syrian border. He is apparently a revered person of Turkey’s past whose tomb, while in Syria, is guarded by Turkish troops. The commentator (Walid Phares) said that Turkey would likely respond militarily if ISIS tried to take over the tomb. He said that Turkey was letting ISIS drive the Kurds out so that Turkey could come back into the region as a “humanitarian” gesture but that they would install someone favorable to their government. As so much speculation revolves around the role of Turkey and the region of Turkey/Iraq/Iran, I found this rather interesting.

  • Bob
    Posted at 03:11h, 04 October

    Hi Joel:

    I agree that Iran will not let Isis take Baghdad. But as I said before in my earlier comment and is now confirmed by the vote in the Turkish parliament, I suspect Turkey will go in and will probably eventually defeat and replace ISIS with its own so-called “moderate” caliphate. Two years ago a friend of mine who works as a reporter in this part of the world, confirmed through direct contacts in the Turkish government that indeed there are plans at the highest levels of the Turkish government to restore the Caliphate. This thing is snowballing. It’s just a matter of time.

    Posted at 15:21h, 12 November

    Joel and Nelson,

    I stand corrected on the book I was referencing. It was “Daniel Revisited” by Mark Davidson. Chris White’s book is “Daniel”. Thank you both for your comments and I do value both of your works.


    Posted at 15:23h, 12 November


    I know that Nelson and Mark believe this but do you see Iraq as the lion in Daniel 7 and that the wings were plucked off by the US in the Iraq war?


    Posted at 15:33h, 12 November


    All of the “blood moons” in the bible, Mt 24, Joel2, Rev 6, are in context of a post tribulation event. I am wondering how people relate these current eclipses as a possible fulfillment of these?


  • Joel
    Posted at 23:44h, 12 November

    Hi Robert,

    I am not convinced of the interpretation you just mentioned. However, I do see a futurist interpretation of Daniel 8 as being quite likely. If so, then Mark Davidson’s general view for the future would still hold true.

  • Joel
    Posted at 23:49h, 12 November


    Briefly, my biggest problem with White’s interpretation of Daniel is his interpretation of Dan. 8 and 11. He takes the “three king” interpretation of Daniel 11:36-45. In order for White’s Jewish Antichrist view to hold water, he must interpret Daniel in such a way as to not see Antiochus Epiphanies as a type of the Antichrist. I would argue that he is the greatest and clearest type of the Antichrist in all of Scripture.

  • Robert Young
    Posted at 14:25h, 28 November


    Chis White makes a pretty good case that Iraq is not the lion in Dan. 7. Babylon had many animals as symbols and if I remember correctly, more bulls than lions. Ishtar was associated with lions but not necessarily Babylon. I think you are right that Dan. 8 is more clear and I think as well that Mark Davidson is spot on with this one.

    Thanks again. I so appreciate your insight!


  • Mariion
    Posted at 19:12h, 27 February

    The Economic Cooperation Organisation (ECO) is a ten member organisation of Middle East countries started by Iran. Iraq has signed MOU s with Iran and other countries ( May be the covenant with many for a week)

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