The King of the North

The King of the North

W. Fraser Naismith

Part 6 of a series on Prophetic Subjects

It is not uncommon to find some prophetic student referring to Russia as “the King of the North.” A careful examination of Scripture will readily reveal that this cannot be so.

The King of the North will be a prime operator in the “battle of that great day of God Almighty” (Rev. 16:14); when east meets west, and when the pride of the west shall be destroyed by the hammer blows of the eastern forces.

In the vision given to John, when the sixth angel sounded his trumpet (Rev. 9:14), the four angels which were bound in the great river Euphrates were loosed. A third part of men were then slain, and the number of the army of horsemen was two hundred millions. When the sixth angel poured out his vial (Rev. 16:12), the waters of the river Euphrates were dried up that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared. This force enters Immanuel’s land from the north, and the commander in chief will be the Assyrian, or King of the North. The eastern forces, gathered from the countries of Asia east of Immanuel’s land, will meet the opposing forces of the Beast and the anti-Christ at a “place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon” (Rev. 16:16).

In Isaiah 28:2, we are assured, “The Lord hath a mighty and strong one, which as a tempest of hail and a destroying storm, as a flood of mighty waters overflowing, shall cast down to the earth with the hand.” The Lord Himself is Chief of the

Headquarters Staff, and “He worketh all things after the counsel of His own will” (Eph. 1:11). The prophecy of Joel synchronizes with that of Isaiah, and harmonizes with the only prophetic book of the New Testament, the Book of the Revelation. In Joel 2:3, we are told, “The land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape them.” In this chapter God says, “Jehovah shall utter His voice before His army: for His camp is very great: for He is strong that executeth His word” (vs. 11).

Isaiah affirms, “Behold, the Lord bringeth up upon them the waters of the river, strong and many, even the king of Assyria, and all his glory: . . And he shall pass through Judah; he shall reach even to the neck: and the stretching out of his wings shall fill the breadth of Thy land, O Immanuel” (Isa. 8:7-8). The “mighty and strong one” and the “strong and many” allude to the Assyrian under the designation of the “King of the North.”

God calls attention in Isaiah 10:5, saying, “O Assyrian, the rod of Mine anger, and the staff in their hand is Mine indignation. I will send him against an hypocritical nation, and against the people of My wrath will I give him a charge, to take the spoil, and to take the prey, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets. Howbeit, he meaneth not so.” It is Jehovah who sends the Assyrian against the apostate portion of Judah together with those with whom they are confederated, the ten kingdom confederacy of Western Europe under the two devil-inspired leaders, the anti-Christ and the Head of the Revived Roman Empire. God declares, “I will punish the fruit of the stout heart of the King of Assyria, and the glory of his high looks” (vs. 12). Then in verses 24-25, the Lord God of Hosts says, “Be not afraid of the Assyrian: he shall smite thee with a rod, and shall lift up his staff against thee, after the manner of Egypt. For yet a little while, and the indignation shall cease, and Mine anger in their destruction.”

The “little horn” of Daniel 8:9, is the King of the North, and his characteristics mentioned here are in harmony with those already examined in Isaiah 10. “It waxed great, even to the host of Heaven” is descriptive of the vaunting pride of the King of the North, the Assyrian.

The battle of the great day of God Almighty having been fought and won by the eastern forces of the King of the North paves the way for these forces to smite Egypt under the King of the South (Dan 11). The southern forces of Egypt are made to lick the dust as the treasures of that land are appropriated by the victorious leader, the King of the North. Just at this juncture, he shall hear ominous tidings in the rear of his army: “Tidings out of the east and north shall trouble him: therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many. 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. 11:44-45).

I suggest that the ominous tidings which he hears from the east and north is the return of the ten tribes to the land of Immanuel. Their return is described in Ezekiel 20. God, addressing the House of Israel states, “I will bring you with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out (Ezek. 20:34). He proceeds to intimate that He will bring them into the wilderness of the people, and there He will plead with them face to face. The process of elimination is indicated in verses 37-38. They will pass under the rod, as a shepherd would make his sheep, numbering every one: then He will bring them into the bond of the covenant. “This is the covenant that I will make with the House of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put My laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to Me a people” (Heb. 8:10). God will purge out the rebels, and the transgressors, and such shall not enter into the land of Israel.

As indicated, God is the Chief at Headquarters, and He will make this victorious arm turn about, ostensibly to smite the new force which is arriving from the countries wherein it has been scattered; but it would seem apparent that God’s purposes are being wrought out even in the seeming victory of the eastern forces under the leadership of the Assyrian or King of the North; for He states in Joel 2:20, “I will remove far off from you the northern army, and will drive him into a land barren and desolate, with his face toward the east sea, and his hinder part toward the utmost sea, and his stink shall come up, and his ill savour shall come up, because he hath done great things.” The East Sea geographically is from the point where he swings his army around to deal with the new arrivals in the land of Israel, and would be the Persian Gulf. The Utmost Sea would be the Meditteranean. Somewhere in the Arabian desert, a land barren and desolate, will that great force perish by divine intervention, and not in battle with a physical enemy.

In Isaiah 30:30, we are informed, “The Lord (Jehovah) shall cause His glorious voice to be heard, and shall show the lighting down of His arm.” Now we see the glorious harmony between this prophecy and that of Joel. Here we read, “Through the voice of the Lord shall the Assyrian be beaten down, which smote with a rod” (vs. 31). In Joel we read, “The Lord (Jehovah) also shall roar out of Zion, and utter His voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake” (Joel 3:16). It is the voice of Jehovah that brings defeat to the Assyrian and his forces, and not any pitched battle.

The final doom of the King of the North may be seen in Isaiah 30:33, “For Tophet is ordained of old; yea, for the king it is prepared; he hath made it deep and large: the pile thereof is fire and much wood; the breath of the Lord, like a stream of brimstone, doth kindle it.”

Similar language is used in the New Testament to indicate the awful punishment that awaits such godless powers. We read, “The Beast (The head of the Revived Roman Empire) was taken, and with him the false prophet (The anti-Christ) that wrought miracles before him, … These both were cast alive into a lake burning with brimstone” (Rev. 19:20). There will be no need for a trial as far as these two apostate and defiant leaders of the future are concerned. Caught red-handed in their rebellion, they will be cast into the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone.

It would seem that a similar doom will be the portion of the Assyrian, the King of the North. From the reading of Isaiah 20:33, we know that the king, probably the King of the North, who said, “By the strength of mine hand I have done it, and by my wisdom,” failed to realize that he was only a rod in Jehovah’s hand to chastise an apostate people. His final doom, consequently, appears to be in the lake of fire and brimstone, which the breath of Jehovah will kindle, “where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched” (Mark 9:44).