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     [23] Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces. [24] And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings. [25] And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.

When a best selling book was written in the fifties about six emerging European Common Market nations, it began to cause many theologians to rapidly change their minds as to where the antichrist would eventually arise.  Prior to that time most had believed he would arise out of the old Seleucid dynasty, which was formed by one of the generals who divided Alexander’s Grecian Empire into four sections.  Many believed the Assyrian, in the fifth chapter of Micah, would be the antichrist, and that he would arise in, and come out of, modern day Syria. 

Before the European Common Market theory arose, a majority believed antichrist would come out of the southern half of the old Roman Empire, rather than out of the European northern half.  But the great popularity of the aforementioned book ascended to the highest levels of acceptability, and previous beliefs were dwarfed to obscurity.  The book indicated that the six original members of the Common Market would soon be joined by four other nations to reach ten, and then be joined by the eleventh horn, who would be the antichrist of Daniel’s fourth beast in chapter seven.  However, soon there were ten horns, then there were eleven, then more, then fifteen, and soon more will come to be added.  But the astounding popularity of this book, and the thousands of preachers and other teachers who have taught it, have left a legacy that is difficult to convince they might not be correct in what they have taught, and are still teaching.

I have been concerned, since the book was first published, about the possibility it might cause many to be deceived when he does not arise in Europe, but in Syria.  Quite frankly, I watch both Europe and Syria just like a hawk, and, if I do see him rising in Europe, I most assuredly will accept it.  I am prepared for both.  But many are so convinced he must come out of Europe, I doubt if anything would change their minds.  In any case, in future updates I will show my reasons for believing he will come out of the Syria area.

The beast of Daniel 7:23 does indeed represent the old Roman Empire, and it certainly did tread down “the whole world,” that is, the “known” world of Daniel’s day.  Have you ever thought that perhaps we were meant to take the expressions of Daniel’s day concerning the world, and believe that is the only part of the present world the antichrist will dominate completely?  The ten horns will arise out of “the whole world” of Daniel’s day.  But why do they have to be European nations?  Were not Syria,  Lebanon, Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Egypt, northern Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, and northern Sudan part of the old Roman Empire under the Emperor Trajan?  And are not these countries the descendants of Ishmael, the first son of Abraham, and Keturah’s six sons by Abraham, and the two sons of Abraham’s nephew Lot, Moab and Ammon by his two daughters?  Are not these descendants of Abraham the ones who have hated and battled the sons of Abraham through Israel for many centuries?  In any case, since I believe the attack is likely to occur before 2006, I expect to know where he will arise one way or the other in the next few years, that is, if I survive the grave before Jesus returns. 

I do not question that Europe will come down as part of the mass of many nations that join antichrist in Jerusalem for the final battle of Armageddon, but I am confident that the initial attack of the tribulation period will be by the antichrist leading Islamic nations against Israel.