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by Steve Ashburn


According to the book of Revelation, the Antichrist will be the leader of the one-world government of the tribulation period. He will be a ruthless dictator and a deceitful and cunning politician. Elsewhere in Scripture, he also is called the Assyrian, the man of sin, the beast and the son of perdition. At the midpoint of the tribulation, he will sit in the temple in Jerusalem and demand that everyone on earth worship him as God or else be killed. Jesus called this the “abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet” (Matthew 24:15; cf. Daniel 9:27).  

Revelation 6:2 provides a description of the Antichrist’s malignant character: “And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.” The Greek word translated “bow” (toxon) occurs only this one time in the Bible, and also can be translated “bow: of the simplest fabric”; therefore, our text verse can be translated, “he that sat on him had a simple fabric bow.” The Greek word translated “conquer” (nikon) also can be translated “subdue.” 

In light of current events, this “fabric bow” most likely is a face mask, which the Antichrist uses to “subdue” the world through medical tyranny. We see the same strategy employed today, whereby people are “locked down” because of a coronavirus hoax, their constitutional rights suspended, “social distancing” enforced and independent businesses destroyed. Scripture suggests that the Antichrist will use this same ruse to “subdue” the world. Eventually an “immunity passport” will be encoded into an RFID chip, combined with financial information, and injected beneath the skin, so that “no man might buy or sell” without it (Revelation 13:17). So you see where all this is leading.  

I believe that the Antichrist will appear during the end times period, which in my opinion and according to Ezekiel 29, is a 40-year period beginning with a nuclear war in the Middle East and ending with the second coming of Christ. According to my understanding of Scripture, this war will result in the destruction of Israel’s neighboring nations, including Iraq. Psalm 83 and Amos 1-2 provide a general account of this war, while other chapters in the Old Testament provide more specific details about individual nations. I describe this war in detail in my book, END TIMES DAWNING (available from Please read it! 

 Apparently the Assyrian will be a young professional (e.g., engineer or financial type) who will be instrumental in rebuilding Iraq (in part) after the third US-led coalition of nations invades and destroys it—which is described in Isaiah 13 and Jeremiah 50-51, and occurs just after the Psalm 83 war. He probably will be from the northern region of Iraq, since this area was ancient Assyria (It’s interesting to note that the city of Mosul is located very close to the ancient capital of Nineveh—more on this later.)  

In my opinion, Isaiah 23:13 describes this: “Behold the land of the Chaldeans; this people was not, till the Assyrian founded it for them that dwell in the wilderness: they set up the towers thereof, they raised up the palaces thereof; and he brought it to ruin.” In this passage, the Antichrist is described as “the Assyrian”; his capital apparently will be an international city built in a vacant area of Iraq (“the wilderness”), populated by non-Iraqis (“this people was not”) and set up to distribute oil and other spoils of war to coalition member nations. It is this city, which Revelation calls “Babylon” that will be destroyed at the end of the tribulation (“and he brought it to ruin”). 

But where exactly would his capital be located? Zephaniah 2 has an intriguing account of this: 

And he will stretch out his hand against the north, and destroy Assyria; and will make Nineveh a desolation, and dry like a wilderness. And flocks shall lie down in the midst of her, all the beasts of the nations: both the cormorant and the bittern shall lodge in the upper lintels of it; their voice shall sing in the windows; desolation shall be in the thresholds: for he shall uncover the cedar work. This is the rejoicing city that dwelt carelessly, that said in her heart, I am, and there is none beside me: how is she become a desolation, a place for beasts to lie down in! every one that passeth by her shall hiss, and wag his hand. (Zephaniah 2:13-15) 

The context of this chapter is end times, and in particular the Psalm 83 war in which the Arab nations who surround Israel will invade her, and then be destroyed. Zephaniah 2:1-12 mentions Gaza, Moab & Ammon (present-day Jordan) and Ethiopia (present-day Sudan) specifically as being destroyed in this war. But what about Nineveh, whose account also appears here?  

Ancient Nineveh was sacked in 612 BC by a coalition of Babylonians, Medes, Scythians and Cimmerians. However, the Assyrians fought back, and were not finally defeated until the battle of Carchemish in 605 BC by Nebuchadnezzar.

After this, though, Nineveh continued as a city, and was continuously inhabited over the centuries until it developed into the modern city of Mosul. Today, the ruins of Nineveh are in the Mosul city limits, and appear as a couple of giant mounds of rubble (“tells”) on the east side of the Tigris River. However, it was never destroyed permanently, without an inhabitant, as Zephaniah 2 suggests. Therefore, this judgment must still be in the future. 

The wording of Nineveh’s destruction here is very similar to that of the end-times destruction of Babylon, the capital city of the Antichrist as recorded in Isaiah 13 and Jeremiah 50-51: 

And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees' excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah. It shall never be inhabited, neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation: neither shall the Arabian pitch tent there; neither shall the shepherds make their fold there. But wild beasts of the desert shall lie there; and their houses shall be full of doleful creatures; and owls shall dwell there, and satyrs shall dance there. And the wild beasts of the islands shall cry in their desolate houses, and dragons in their pleasant palaces: and her time is near to come, and her days shall not be prolonged. (Isaiah 13:19-22)  

Therefore the wild beasts of the desert with the wild beasts of the islands shall dwell there, and the owls shall dwell therein: and it shall be no more inhabited for ever; neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation. As God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah and the neighbour cities thereof, saith the LORD; so shall no man abide there, neither shall any son of man dwell therein. (Jeremiah 50:39-40) 

And Babylon shall become heaps, a dwellingplace for dragons, an astonishment, and an hissing, without an inhabitant. (Jeremiah 51:37) 

In fact, there are only two places in the Bible which will be permanently destroyed and remain like “Sodom and Gomorrah” forever: the capital of the Antichrist (Isaiah 13:19-20) and Edom (present-day southern Jordan): 

Also Edom shall be a desolation: every one that goeth by it shall be astonished, and shall hiss at all the plagues thereof. As in the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah and the neighbour cities thereof, saith the LORD, no man shall abide there, neither shall a son of man dwell in it. (Jeremiah 49:17-18) 

These two places are destroyed at or just before the battle of Armageddon. During the millennium, they will not be restored, but remain as sort of a “national monument” to God’s judgment upon these areas.  

In addition, Isaiah 34 is a parallel passage to God’s judgment upon Edom. Notice the similar wording here to God’s judgment upon Nineveh in Zephaniah 2, and upon Babylon in Isaiah 13 and Jeremiah 50-51 (emphasis mine): 

And the streams thereof shall be turned into pitch, and the dust thereof into brimstone, and the land thereof shall become burning pitch. It shall not be quenched night nor day; the smoke thereof shall go up for ever: from generation to generation it shall lie waste; none shall pass through it for ever and ever. But the cormorant and the bittern shall possess it; the owl also and the raven shall dwell in it: and he shall stretch out upon it the line of confusion, and the stones of emptiness. They shall call the nobles thereof to the kingdom, but none shall be there, and all her princes shall be nothing. And thorns shall come up in her palaces, nettles and brambles in the fortresses thereof: and it shall be an habitation of dragons, and a court for owls. The wild beasts of the desert shall also meet with the wild beasts of the island, and the satyr shall cry to his fellow; the screech owl also shall rest there, and find for herself a place of rest. There shall the great owl make her nest, and lay, and hatch, and gather under her shadow: there shall the vultures also be gathered, every one with her mate. (Isaiah 34:9-15) 

Notice that the “cormorant and the bittern” and “beasts” are present in both Edom and Nineveh—indicative of God’s final judgment. And, in both Babylon and Nineveh, “beasts,” “hissing” and “astonishment” (“wag his hand”) imply that these are identical, and the same as the end-times city of Babylon.  

Nineveh is further described as “the rejoicing city [wealthy] that dwelt carelessly [securely and without fear], that said in her heart, I am, and there is none beside me [capital of world government]: how is she become a desolation, a place for beasts to lie down in! every one that passeth by her shall hiss, and wag his hand.” This description matches the Babylon of Revelation, which is described as: 

And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning, Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come.  

And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more: The merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and all thyine wood, and all manner vessels of ivory, and all manner vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble, And cinnamon, and odours, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men.

And the fruits that thy soul lusted after are departed from thee, and all things which were dainty and goodly are departed from thee, and thou shalt find them no more at all.

The merchants of these things, which were made rich by her, shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing, And saying, Alas, alas, that great city, that was clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls! For in one hour so great riches is come to nought.

 And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off, And cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like unto this great city! And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas, that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate. (Revelation 18:9-19)

 Do you see the similarity between the Nineveh of Zephaniah 2 and Babylon, the capital city of the Antichrist? As is the case with Nineveh, Babylon is also “the rejoicing city that dwelt carelessly, that said in her heart, I am, and there is none beside me…” until, of course, “in one hour is thy judgment come.”  

In view of all of the above evidence, and the end-times context of Zephaniah 2, I must conclude that the “Nineveh” mentioned in this chapter is not the historical Nineveh of the seventh century BC, but in fact is the capital of the Antichrist—which Revelation calls “Babylon”—and will be located in the vicinity of present-day Mosul, Iraq. 

But what about Mosul?—and present-day Iraq? How do we get from there to the Babylon of Revelation? 

Apparently the answer is that Iraq will be completely destroyed in the third US-led coalition invasion, as described in Isaiah 13 and Jeremiah 50-51. And by that I mean every man, woman, child and animal in Iraq will be killed: 

Every one that is found shall be thrust through; and every one that is joined unto them shall fall by the sword. Their children also shall be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their houses shall be spoiled, and their wives ravished. Behold, I will stir up the Medes [Iran] against them, which shall not regard silver; and as for gold, they shall not delight in it. Their bows also shall dash the young men to pieces; and they shall have no pity on the fruit of the womb; their eye shall not spare children [a total slaughter]. (Isaiah 13:15-18) 

For out of the north there cometh up a nation against her [the US], which shall make her land desolate, and none shall dwell therein [empty]: they shall remove, they shall depart, both man and beast [even animals!]. (Jeremiah 50:3) 

And Chaldea shall be a spoil: all that spoil her shall be satisfied, saith the LORD [Iraq = spoils of war]. Because ye were glad, because ye rejoiced, O ye destroyers of mine heritage, because ye are grown fat as the heifer at grass, and bellow as bulls [arrogant]; Your mother [the US] shall be sore confounded; she that bare you shall be ashamed [after all that work to establish a democratic government, Iraq turns around and attacks Israel]: behold, the hindermost of the nations [most recent] shall be a wilderness [empty], a dry land [semi-arid], and a desert [arid]. Because of the wrath of the LORD it shall not be inhabited, but it shall be wholly desolate: every one that goeth by Babylon shall be astonished, and hiss at all her plagues. (Jeremiah 50:10-13) 

The sea is come up upon Babylon: she is covered with the multitude of the waves thereof. Her cities are a desolation [wasted], a dry land, and a wilderness, a land wherein no man dwelleth, neither doth any son of man pass thereby. (Jeremiah 51:42-43)

 This, of course, includes Mosul, the site of ancient Nineveh. This being a “wilderness” then would allow the Antichrist to build an international city there according to Isaiah 23:13, for the purpose of distributing Iraqi oil as spoils of war to coalition members.  

We also know from Revelation 7 and from Isaiah 30 that during the tribulation, atmospheric circulation will be canceled and the sun’s heat output increased sevenfold, most likely melting the Antarctic and Greenland ice caps, and raising sea level by about 200 feet. At this time, the site of ancient Babylon (eighty feet above sea level) will be under water (“The sea is come up upon Babylon”), as will Baghdad (112 feet above sea level); however, Mosul (elevation 732 feet) will not, and that is another reason for the Antichrist to locate his capital here, in ancient Assyria. 

We’ll cover more about the Antichrist in Part 2 of this series, including his capital city, background and place of birth. You read that correctly! So stay tuned for Part 2! 

I provide more details of this and many other end-times prophecies in my recently published book, END TIMES DAWNING: Get Ready! (available from Please read it! Also if you would, please leave a book review on Amazon! 

Yours in Christ, 

Steve Ashburn



[This article was published on September 10, 2020]


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