The identity of the King of the North (KON) of Dan. 11: 40-45, in our short Adventist history has turned out to be a colossal theological embarrassment to our church. I have looked on the paltry evidence we have produced on this subject and immediately realized that they lack content, context, and the support of history.
Let’s look first at the KON = Papacy
This view is discredited from the internal evidence of the prophecy: “And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over.” Dan. 11: 40.
Observe that in our SDA vernacular, “the time of the end” commences in 1798, so what happened that year? According to the prophecy, the King of the South (KOS) should spark a conflict with the KON, and the KON would wipe him out, and take most all his possessions—his lands. This is what the prophecy teaches. But what does our SDA theology teach?
“Turkey Becomes King of the North. Respecting the application of this portion of the prophecy to Napoleon or to France under his leadership, we do not find events which we can urge with any degree of assurance as the fulfillment of the remaining part of this chapter. Hence we do see how it can be thus applied. It must, then, be fulfilled by Turkey, unless it can be shown that the expression “king of the north” does not apply to Turkey, or that there is some other power besides either France or the king of the north which fulfilled this part of the prediction. But if Turkey, now occupying the territory which constituted the northern division of Alexander’s empire, is not the king of the north of this prophecy, then we are left without any principle to guide us in the interpretation. We presume all will agree that there is no room for the introduction of any other power here. France and the king of the north are the only ones to whom the prediction can apply. The fulfillment must lie between them…
The king of the north with the aid of his allies gained the day in this contest; and the French, foiled in their efforts, were driven back into Egypt. Now it would seem to be the more natural application to refer the “overflowing and passing over” to that power which emerged in triumph from that struggle, and that power was Turkey.” Daniel and Revelation by Uriah Smith pp. 111, 112;
What are the facts of history though? In as much as the prophecy calls for the military victory and expansion of the KON, we find the Adventist KON in exile at the very time he should be taking on more territory! Clearly, this position does not fit the prediction of the prophecy or the records of history, hence we can safely label it as erroneous.
What is more though, Turkey would never again wield sway over the Holy Land, as it was humiliated by Russia, and the other powers of Europe. At the end of WW1 Turkey lost all that she had ever possessed, save for the land of Anatolia. Here is the historical evidence:
“At the time of the First World War the English tried to persuade the Ottomans to stay neutral but the local military chiefs where convinced the Germans could not loose and joined the German side. The Germans lost, Turkey lost, and all their remaining territories were split between the English (Palestine, Iraq, Egypt, Kuwait, Bahrain, Emirates) and the French (Lebanon, Syria, Iran). The final end of the Ottoman Empire.” http://www.historyofengland.net/british-empire/ottomans
Whereas revealed history shows the “final end of the ottoman empire” through the assault of other external forces, the Word of God declares that the KON shall “come to his end and none shall help him.” (Dan. 11: 45). The Ottoman Turks had the help of Germany, Italy, and Japan, when they came to their “end” in 1922.
Here is a statement from one our former GC President who also knew Sister White:
“What power has held dominion over this territory in modern times? — The Turkish or Ottoman Empire. At this time Turkey holds almost the identical dominion of the ancient king of the north — from the Euphrates to the sea, and northward over Asia Minor and the shores of the Dardanelles. Then today Turkey is certainly the king of the north, according to the prophecy of Daniel 11.”—WA Spicer, 1918, Our Day in the Light of Prophecy, p. 326
He was “certainly” sure that Turkey is the prophetic KON, but what an embarrassment that was! This view was so troubling that another former GC President, AG Daniells, also very close to Sister White, called for the 1919 Bible Conference [read about it here, http://docs.adventistarchives.org//documents.asp?CatID=19&SortBy=1&ShowDateOrder=True ], when they all saw that the theology of the Church on “the eastern question,” did not square with reality, because our leaders were expecting a Turkish victory in WW1, and that Turkey would take over Jerusalem and set up their HQ there! This move, it was taught, would usher in the great battle of Armageddon, at the end of which Michael would stand up.
Look at this Letter from J. N. Loughborough.
Sanitarium, California. March 25, 1915.
Wilfrid Belleau, College Place, Washington, (Box 3)
Your letter of recent date received. Yesterday I mailed to you a copy of the book on the sealing message. And I have sent a dime to the Pacific Press requesting them to mail to you a copy of “Prophetic Gift in the Gospel Church.” As to where you can get information on “the king of the North,” I think you will find it in Bro. Daniel’s book on “The World War.” Brother Uriah Smith laid no claims to “inspiration,” but his view on the king of the North is well established by Sister White in speaking of one occasion when he spoke on the “Eastern Question.” This you can read in Volume 4 of the Testimonies, page 278-279 where she called the discourse “a subject of special interest.” etc. It would bother those holding another view than what he advocated to find a word from her favoring their views.
One Brother who had intimated in his writing on the subject that the king of the North might be the pope, told me that Sister White told him he “never should have intimated any such thing, and that his idea would only create confusion.” This was not put in print, but it was what he told me in Autumn 1878.
Yours in the blessed hope,
[Signed] J. N. Loughborough.
I could say more on this point, but I believe the evidence is sufficient that the view held concerning turkey has been an embarrassment from both the prophetic and historical points of view.
The Old and, Revised and Current teaching that the KOS is the Papacy, has already been addressed above and shown to be grossly errant. So how do we “rightly divide the word of truth,” to accurately identify the KON for the latter days? Easy, let’s examine.
First of all, we must see the prophetic signature marks of the KON, not in a disjointed way, but in full support of the context of the Bible:
“41 He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown: but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon. 42 He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries: and the land of Egypt shall not escape. 43 But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt: and the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps. 44 But tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him: therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many. 45 And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him.” Dan. 11: 41-45
I have highlighted a number of key identifying statements concerning the KON of Prophecy:
- He shall enter also into the glorious land—the Bible calls the promised land—“the pleasant land,” Palestine—“the glorious land.” “Yea, they [Israel] despised the pleasant land, they believed not his word.” Ps. 106:24. The “pleasant land” here mentioned is Palestine (Canaan). Positioned in Babylon—north-east of Jerusalem, Daniel recorded, “And out of one of them came forth a little horn, which waxed exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land.” Dan. 8:9. Then Zechariah backs up Daniel’s record by declaring: “But I scattered them [Israel] with a whirlwind among all the nations whom they knew not. Thus the land [Palestine] was desolate after them that no man passed through nor returned: for they laid the pleasant land” Zech. 7:14. See also Jer. 3:19.
- Many countries shall be overthrown—defeated, and be taken from the control of the KOS.
- These shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon.—Since these are all Muslim countries, it is very clear that the KOS was the HQ of the Islamic world—the only one that both history and prophecy so identify is Turkey! Notice that prophecy calls Turkey (Ottoman Empire) the KOS, not the KON!
- The land of Egypt shall not escape.—Egypt too, was and is a part of the Islamic world, but prophecy shows that his interests and influence will be towards the KON, for he shall “not escape.” Is it true that Egypt today is still a close ally of the Western Nations, though it is a densely populated Islamic country?
- He shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt:–the power known as the KON must control the world’s money supply—“the treasures of gold and silver.” This points unmistakably to the United States and her allies.
- The Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps. –this means that Libya and Ethiopia (highly populated Muslim countries) should be Western-leaning countries in the latter days. Is this true today? The short answer is Yes.
- Tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him: therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many. Using Jerusalem and our coordinates reference point, we can see that the attacks on Pearl Harbor by Japan, in the East, and the near simultaneous attack on Europe by Germany in the North, are the precipitating factors which dragged the United States and her allies into WWII. Not only that but the historical record is even clearer: “Until 1915, when England declared Turkish suzerainty at an end and established a protectorate, Egypt was nominally a Turkish dependency. But since 1883, following Arabi Pasha’s rebellion, Egypt had been practically ruled by Great Britain under a consul-general.” — The New Student’s Reference Book.
- “Palestine [the glorious land], for long years the home of the Hebrew race, was under control of Rome in the time of Christ. In the seventh century it passed under the Moslem power, and from 1516 to 1919 was in the hands of the Turks and a part of the Turkish Empire.” — The World Book. Clearly, whomsoever took Palestine from the hands of the Turks is known in prophecy as the KON! Who did this? Great Britain, and since WWII, even Great Britain has looked to the leadership of the great USA for both military and economic support. Clearly the latter-day KON is the USA.
- He shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain. Which country in this wide world of ours has made it a part of their National Law to relocate its embassy to Jerusalem—the glorious Holy Mountain of Prophecy? Is it Russia? No. It is China? No? Is it Great Britain? No? Is it Argentina? No. There is only one country that has this ambition, she is the United States of America! Since 1995 Congress has passed a law to relocate its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and under the Trump presidency this has gained renewed focus. Whether or not it will be done under his presidency, time alone will tell, but the fact is that it MUST happen, and America is the ONLY country in the world with this objective!
- He shall come to his end, and none shall help him. Out of this act of situating his palace—embassy in the glorious Holy Mountain—Jerusalem, this will foment a war that will break all peace accords. The alliance or coalition will be broken, and rather than having the Muslims as his helpers, the US and Israel will find themselves on their own in the midst of turn-coats, who will have them for dinner! This will also hasten on the time of Jacobs Trouble for all of us.
At the end of this conflagration—time of trouble— is when Michael Will Stand Up (Dan. 12: 1), to deliver his faithful saints from the tyranny of the Mark of the Beast system—time of trouble.
Notice that prophecy shows the Papacy coming to its end by the brightness of Christ’s Second Coming (2 Thess. 2: 2-12), but the KON here described “comes to his end” BEFORE Michael stands up! They cannot be the same personality, yet coming to their end at two separate times. Hence the Papacy is one thing, the KON is another thing and still yet the standing up of Michael is another. All are discrete events overlapping each other, but never merging into the other.
As long as we SDA’s hold that the glorious mountain is the SDA church, as well as the Pleasant Land, we will be completely blinded to the prophetic realities of Dan. 11: 40-45 and other kindred prophecies.
I have written a more expanded documentation on the entire chapter of Daniel 11, which is located here: Exposing The King Of The North
Garrick Augustus, July 1, 2017