The King of the North is Not the Papacy

By George Burnside

Before me is a paper prepared by a group of Seventh day Adventist laymen. As I have been asked by several friends to answer some of the theories advanced, I feel I am duty bound to do so. The divine instruction is clear:

1 PETER 3:15 “Be ready always to give an answer to every man that asks you a reason of the hope that is in you.”

PROVERBS 15:28 “The heart of the religious studies to answer.”

So I will do my best to follow this instruction. On page two, near the bottom of the first column of the paper we read:-

“The papacy is the last king of the north. Daniel 11:29-45 compared with Daniel 7 and 8.”

The writers claim that from verse 29 to the end of Daniel 11 the prophecy is dealing with the papacy. To them the papacy is the subject of the closing verse. Hence their statement “The papacy is the last king of the north.” How they can take that position and be true to the prophecy is beyond me. For instance we read in:

Number 1

DANIEL 11:40 “The king of the north shall come against him.”

That the “him” is not the king of the north is certain, for the “king of the north shall come against ‘him’.”

They are different powers. They are two separate powers. They fight each other.

Number 2

Further on page three in the middle of the second column we read: “Verse 45 indicates that the papacy will endeavor to come between the people and the sanctuary, but will come to an end right at the last before the Second Coming.”

That is the only logical conclusion they could come to if they take the position that this “he” power is the papacy. If “he” is the papacy “he” “shall come to his end” just before the-standing up of Michael, or the close of human probation. But again their conclusion is contrary to God’s “Scripture of Truth.” For instance when writing of the “man of sin,” “the son of perdition,” “the mystery of iniquity,” “that Wicked,” we read:

2 THESSALONIANS 2:8 “And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming.”

The papacy, the subject of this tremendous prophecy will continue to the “Second Advent” when it will be struck to nothingness “with the brightness of His coming.” Again we read the papal power would:

DANIEL 8:24 “Destroy the mighty and the holy people,” and they.

DANIEL 8:25 “shall be broken without hands.”

This anti-Christ power will continue to the end, to the Second Advent. It will be there after Michael stands up. It will suffer under the seven last plagues. It certainly does not escape the seven last plagues which follow the standing up of Michael, the Great Prince of the saints of Christ. The papacy is not the “king of the north.” “The papacy will come in for the seven last plagues.” Note the clear teaching of Scripture:

REVELATION 16:10 “And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain.”

The Seat of the Beast

“The seat of the beast” is Rome – the Vatican. It is the subject of Christ’s prophecy.

REVELATION 13:2 “The dragon gave him his power, his seat and his great authority.”

We often read in the press of “the Roman See.” That is the Roman seat. His position of power and authority in the ancient capital of the world, the “Eternal City” The magnet of Kings and Rulers. Soon that “seat” of power and splendor will become “full of darkness”. They have poured out “darkness” on the nations until today how tragically true is the prophecy.

ISAIAH 60:2 “Behold the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people.”

As a result the “seat of the beast” will be darkness in the plagues.”

No! The papacy will not escape the seven last plagues. It continues to the very end. The papacy is not the power mentioned in Dan.11:45, “who will come to his end,” as “Michael stands up.” The papacy is not “the King of the North” of Daniel 11. Our friends are not correct in writing:

“The papacy will come to an end right at the last before the Second Coming. This is associated with the close of probation.”

Therefore the papacy is not the “he” of Daniel 11. Daniel, like its companion book, Revelation, closes not with Rome, but with Jerusalem. That “holy” place, where “the dear Lord was crucified,” will be the eternal centre of the universe. Old Jerusalem, was the centre. Think for a little of this unique place. Of all the cities that have affected humanity, Jerusalem is the smallest. It is a walled city of barely two and a half square miles, yet for Christian, Jew and Moslem, it is the heart of the earth.

Everybody is interested in Jerusalem. Its strange, timeless magnetism still draws. What memories it awakens, what histories it could tell. Jerusalem was ancient when Rome was but a collection of mud huts. There is no other city like it or equal to it, or ever shall be while the world lasts. It is “the glorious holy mountain” mentioned in Daniel 11:45, or “the mountain of delight of holiness,” (margin). This was where the holy temple stood, which in the Jewish mind was the holiest spot on earth. It is of interest to note that the word “sanctuary” was synonymous with “holy.” the Hebrew word “kodesh” which is translated sanctuary, is likewise translated “holy.” “The glorious holy mountain” was the location of God’s holy temple or sanctuary.

It was “the sacred spot which the Eternal, your God chooses for His presence,” Deuteronomy 14:24, (Moftatt).

“For the Lord hath chosen Zion; He hath desired it for His habitation. This is my rest forever, here will I dwell; for I have desired it.” Psalms 132:13,14.

Jerusalem is mentioned in the first book in the Bible and also in the last. It is mentioned 144,000 times in God’s infallible Word. The last time is in Revelation 21:2 where the holy city, “New Jerusalem” comes down to this earth and will rest on the site of old Jerusalem. This world has seen many cities – great cities that have numbered their inhabitants by the millions, weighed their treasures by the tons and decked their palaces with the spoils of conquered nations. But no city has had the eminence of Jerusalem. It stands without a rival.

“Between the seas,” (Daniel 11:45) at 2,550 feet above sea level stands Jerusalem. Thirty-two miles to the west lap the waters of the Mediterranean, while eighteen miles to the east is found the world’s deepest rift, the incomparable deep trough in which lie the waters of the “Sea of Lot” as the Dead Sea is called by the Arabs. Truly Jerusalem is the world’s wonder city. Its history is a mass of contradictions. It is known as “the holy city” yet it is the most desecrated; the most loved, yet the most despised; the most glorious, yet the most dishonored. No city has had such titles of glory and honor and yet none has had such guilt attached to it. It is the city that crucified our Lord. Satan hates it. Christ wept over it. The Holy Spirit descended on believers there. There Christ will reign eternally in the New Jerusalem. It will be the centre of interest after all the other cities have disappeared. There the red drops of Christ’s blood blackened its soil. No spot on earth is so sacred as Jerusalem.

It was the capital of God’s only earthly kingdom. There tradition states that the garden was located and it was the original centre of Adam’s dominion and there he was buried. There, Abraham, honored by Jews, Christians and Mohammedanism – faced his supreme test. There, Jacob’s ladder connected heaven and earth. There the temple, called the throne of the Lord, stood. There our Lord lived, died and rose again.

There He ascended and there His restored kingdom will be. There, Sabbath by Sabbath, the redeemed will come to worship. These white hot thoughts raced through my mind as I walked across the flat stone area where once stood the temple of Solomon. There in the centre of one of the most sacred places to both Jew, Christian, and Moslem, stands a superb mosque with an enormous shimmering blue dome. The lower walls are of grey veined marble and the upper part of green and blue tiles, on which inscribed in Arabic is a passage from the Koran which runs right round the building. Inside the floor is covered with rich Persian carpets of blue and crimson. It has been proclaimed the world’s “most beautiful building.”

Dove grey pillars of marble rise from the carpeted floor to support the dome on high, which is encrusted with mosaics of blue green and gold. What is found within this enshrined loveliness? Nothing but a huge black monolith, it juts bluntly from the polished floor. Here on this rock Abraham was called to offer his son. Here the altar of sacrifice of the temple stood, and the hole is still to be seen through which the blood of sacrifice was poured. Yes, here Solomon built his temple. Here Nehemiah built his temple and Herod also. Here Constantine built a Christian church with an altar on the rock and here finally, the third great religion, Mohammedanism built its mosque. This is the oldest Arabic building in the world and the ancestor of all great mosques scattered throughout the Moslem world from Persia to Spain, from India to Africa. This mosque with its companion, the mosque of Al Aska, both situated on Mount Moriah, features in one of the greatest last day prophecies of the Bible.

“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.” Daniel 11:45.

Mount Moriah

Note its eventful history

1. The place where Abraham offered up Isaac (Genesis 22:2).

2. The place where the hand of the death angel was stayed in David’s time (1 Chronicles 21:15-29).

David then bought this area from a Jebusite named Oman.

3. The place where Solomon built the first Temple (2 Chronicles 3:1).

4. The place where the second Temple was constructed.

a. Begun by Zerubbabel (Ezra 3).

b. Greatly enlarged by King Herod (John 2:20).

5. In AD 135 Roman Emperor Hadrian built a statue of Jupiter on this spot.

6. The earliest Christians looked upon Moriah as a place cursed by God.

7. In AD 534 Emperor Justinian built a church dedicated to St. Mary.

8. In AD. 639 Jerusalem fell to Islam and Moriah became a Moslem shrine.

9. In AD 691 the famous Dome of the Rock was completed.

This shrine, the second holiest in the Moslem world, is an octagonal building, each side measuring sixty-six feet, for a total of 528 feet in circumference.

The diameter is 176 feet, and the height 108 feet.

The walls are thirty-six feet high.

It remains standing today.

10. In the tenth century the Crusaders captured Jerusalem and worshiped God in this building on Mt. Moriah, believing it was actually the second temple! They called it the Lord’s temple.

11. A century later the Arabs took it again, this time for keeps.

Daniel 11:41. The Mohammedan Turks moved down into “the glorious land” – Palestine, Edom, Moab and Ammon (Modern Jordan) became Mohammedan and went with them as believers.

Daniel 11:42. “The land of Egypt shall not escape,” “Will be occupied.

Mohammed Ali captured Egypt and thus the king of the south was swallowed up and they became one power. Mohammedanism united them in a common cause against Christian Europe. Mohammedanism covered all of the Middle East including the Libyans and a large section of Ethiopia as predicted in Daniel 11:43. Out again where does the Papacy fit in here? When did that apostate power dominate Egypt and Libya?

Daniel 11:45. “He shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain.”

This Mohammedanism has done! For over a thousand years the Dome of the Rock and the Mosque of Al Aska. It is self evident, the papacy is not and never has been the King of the North! The facts rebel against this modern and popular theory.

The papacy as the king of the north was not the belief of the Advent pioneers. Before me are the works-of Uriah Smith, S.N. Haskell, A.G. Daniels; Loughborough and W. A. Spicer. To them the King of the North was the power to the north of Palestine. Not one of them taught it was the papacy.


Note this letter from J. N. Loughborough.

Sanitarium, California. March 25, 1915.

Wilfrid Belleau, College Place, Washington, (Box 3)

Dear Brother,

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.

I am not sure that they have any of “prophetic gift” at the Pacific Press. They had sold out last year. I suppose they still have the plates. Whether they have printed any more I do not know. If they have any I suppose they will mail one to you. If not you will perhaps fail to get a copy. It is a book that they handled and owned, and not I.

Yours in the blessed hope, J. N. Loughborough.

Ellen White and the Eastern Question

Sunday morning boats and trains poured their living freight upon the ground in thousands. Elder Smith spoke in the morning upon the Eastern question. The subject was of special interest, and the people listened with the most earnest attention. In the afternoon it was difficult to make my way to the desk through the standing crowd. Upon reaching it, a sea of heads was before me. The mammoth tent was full, and thousands stood outside, making a living wall several feet deep. TESTIMONY FOR THE CHURCH, Volume 4, pages 278-279.

We have already noted two reasons why the papacy is not the King of the North of Daniel 11. May I present a few more reasons why I could not preach this unscriptural theory. To me the facts of history, and the clear statements of divine prophecy just rebel against this theory.

Number 3

DANIEL 11:36 “And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvelous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done.”

The statement “shall do according to his will” as we have already noticed is always linked with a new power. It is therefore not a continuation of the papacy as some have theorized. Further the time is significant. We have been brought down to “the time of the end” in the previous verse. In 1798 the papacy did certainly not “do according to its will.” The papacy wanted to continue persecution. But the reign of the papacy in its twelve hundred and sixty years of domination was ended. Ended by revolutionary France. Commentating on this event we have these interesting and revealing words.

The persecution of the church did not continue throughout the entire period of the 1260 years. God in mercy to His people cut short the time of their fiery trial. In foretelling the “great tribulation” to befall the church, the Savior said: “Except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.” Matthew 24:22. Through the influence of the Reformation the persecution was brought to an end prior to 1798. [Great Controversy, page 266]

As revealed by the words, “the king shall do according to his will,” a new power is brought to view – we read: “But here is brought to view a new manifestation of satanic power.” [Great Controversy, page 269]

Through the twelve hundred and sixty years of the reign of Rome, France had been probably her greatest supporter. Now God uses France to break the power of Rome. It was all too apparent that “the king” here referred to was not the papacy, but France.

Number 4

DANIEL 11:37 “Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all.”

One could hardly say this of the papacy. But how true were the prophecy’s words of France. Here rises a power that does not regard “any god.” History states: “For the first time in the annals of mankind, a great nation had thrown off all religious principle, and openly defied the power of Heaven itself.” History of Europe, Volume 3, chapter 14, paragraph 45, by Sir Archibald Alison.


When asked if he thought God was on his side, Napoleon answered, “God is on the side with the heaviest artillery.” Speaking to his Council of the Ancients, Napoleon said: “I have always followed the God of War. Fortune and the God of War are with me.” History continues: “For twenty years the flower of her youth was marched away by a relentless power to the harvest of death. Allured by the phantom of military, the  glory, they fell down and worshipped the power which was consuming them.” History of Europe Vo1ume 3, Chapter 19, paragraph 72, by Alison.

Certainly the papacy did not “do according to his will” but Napoleon did. To me the facts revolted against this theory. Bad as was the Reign of Terror of the French Revolution, it was as little compared with the centuries of horror and sustained terror of papal domination in her 1260 years of reign. As historian Michelet so truly wrote “What are the twelve thousand men guillotined of the one, to the millions of men butchered, hung, broken on the wheel – to the pyramid of burning stakes – to those masses of burnt flesh which piled up to heaven “Honor the God of forces (margin, munitions)” says the prophecy. History records that the word “Conscription” was first heard in October 1789 in the debates in the French Assembly. The first conscript army was formed and the first step toward total war was made. “Thus 1793,” rightly says the Encyclopedia Britannica, “saw the birth of a new system of war.” Volume 9, page 807. In a special sense revolutionary France did “honor the God of forces.”

Number 5

DANIEL 11:40 “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.”

When Rome, the power that “shall do according to his own will” in verse 16, pushed itself into the area of the “glorious land” – Palestine, it found the king of the north” – to the north of Palestine and “the king of the south” – Egypt, in conflict. These two powers, one to the north and one to the south of Palestine, are geographically set in Scripture. Within a few decades Rome had destroyed them both, and absorbed their territories. Thus they drop out of the prophetic picture, and we hear no more of them until the prophecy brings us to “the time of the end.” Thus we learn that these two powers, that prophecy geographically sets north and south of the Holy Land, again enter the prophecy. That the kings of “north” and “south” did disappear completely for nearly two millenniums, is one of the outstanding and remarkable facts of history .

Throughout the history of “the iron monarchy of Rome there was no room for north, south, east or west. All was swallowed up within its iron grasp. With the break up of pagan Rome, the power of papal Rome ruled the Middle East until the seventh century when the great Moslem power arose and swallowed up all. Now at “the time appointed” – the time of the end – they again leap onto the stage of prophecy with France’s move into-Egypt in 1798. France wanted to cut the life line between Britain and India. France moved into Egypt, and the “Battle of the Nile” was fought in 1798. Two thousand years before divine prophecy declared: “At the-time of the end shall the king of the south push at him.” The efforts of Egypt were feeble but out of the north came the hoards of Turks. As the prophecy foresaw they-came “like a whirlwind” as again the prophecy says “with horsemen and with many ships”. The French defeated the first onslaught of the Turks, but thousands more Turks from the “North” turned Napoleon. Now notice carefully: In 1798 we have a triangular war between France and the king of the South and the King of the North, but pray tell me when did the Papacy fight Egypt? What three sided war did the papacy engage-in, in 1798? NONE.

Further reading;

From the website –

About The Typist

Sabbath Sermons is a small resource information ministry in Australia standing upon the original platform of the Adventist truth. We are dedicated to spreading the special 'testing truths' for our time and are not affiliated with the various denominations. This website is administered by lay members only

Posted on 21/07/2010, in Daniel, The King of the North and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Jenkin smith

    bretheren, we cannot be striving about points. This will salvage no soul what so ever. These things do not save the people. They need to KNOW HIM. I am most sure you would agree. Since the Prophet did not deal with this point any further, what business do we have, we must be walking in love with the Father : )


  2. Jenkin smith

    Ellen White’s message to her husband was a reproof for taking a course that would lead the people to observe differences of opinion among leaders and to lower their confidence in them. For the church leaders to stand in a divided position before the people was hazardous. James White accepted the reproof, but it was one of the most difficult experiences he was called to cope with, for he felt he was doing the right thing. At no time did Ellen White reveal which man was right in the position he held. That was not the issue. The crux of the matter was the importance of leaders presenting a united front before the people. {3BIO 97.1}

  3. Jenkin smith

    I cannot find this quote you put as a statement that “your friend is not right to say.. “The papacy will come to an end right at the last before the Second Coming. This is associated with the close of probation.”

    Please send the exact quote or the document with this quote is much better.

    thx for this sermon.. I dont see the diff yet, until I get the quote and reserach further.

    God Bless

  4. That’s not true. EGW never said it wasn’t the papacy and strongly implied in several ways that it was.

  5. Raymond F. Cottrell’s outline in his “Summary”, pp. 21-23,
    he says: “the view making Rome the power of the last verses of Daniel eleven and the battle of
    Armageddon the last conflict of the great Controversy between Christ and Satan was held unanimously by
    the pioneers of the Advent message to the year 1863, and may therefore be designated appropriately the
    ‘Pioneer View’. More than a third of a century after 1844 it was spoken of in the Review as one of the
    ‘landmarks’ of the Advent message…The view emphasizing Turkey in Daniel 11 and in Armageddon has
    no valid claim either to being original with Seventh-day Adventists or to being the view of the pioneers.
    But was borrowed directly and exclusively from non- Adventist sources…The Return to the Pioneer View .
    Finding that neither Turkey nor an East-West conflict could be established upon the evidence of . .
    inspiration, they [our Bible teachers] abandoned the Traditional View and ere long discovered that their
    ‘new view’ was in reality the position of the early pioneers. At the present time, the Bible teachers in every
    college of North America have, individually and by personal Bible study, become convinced that the view
    of the pioneers is in reality the correct one and have accepted it without reservation. The chairman of the
    recent revision committee for Daniel and the Revelation personally concurred in this, as do many of our
    ablest evangelists and other experienced and consecrated men in all lines of activity from the General
    Conference down through all ranks of workers.”

  6. John Trainor


    I wanted to ask a question. I have a paper, “The King of the North” by George Burnside.

    In it he makes the statement:

    The papacy as the king of the north was not the belief of the Advent pioneers. Before me are the works-of Uriah Smith, S.N. Haskell, A.G. Daniels; Loughborough and W. A. Spicer. To them the King of the North
    was the power to the north of Palestine. Not one of them taught it was the papacy.

    But another paper by “study group appointed by the Committee on Biblical Study and Research to give study to Daniel 11” states:

    The pioneers of this movement were for the first twenty-five or thirty years of our history unanimous in stating that papal Rome is the power referred to by the prophet Daniel in these verses. No other conclusion could be reached after a careful study of the literature of the church during this period.

    William Miller held this view as far back as 1842 (see Evidences From Scripture and Prophecy, by J. V. Himes, pp. 97, 98). This was the interpretation presented by James White on many occasions, the first being in A Word to the “Little Flock,” published in 1847, pages 8, 9. He says: “Michael is to stand up at the time that the last power in chap. 11, comes to his end, and none to help him. This power is the last that treads down the true church of God. . . This last power that treads down the saints is brought to view in Rev. 13:11-18. His number is 666.”

    My question is, how can both statements be true?

    Thank you very much for your insights.

%d bloggers like this: