Russia and the King of the North -- By: Carl Armerding

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 120:477 (Jan 1963)
Article: Russia and the King of the North
Author: Carl Armerding

Russia and the King of the North

Carl Armerding

[Carl Armerding, Foreign Secretary, Greater Europe Mission.]

Present interest in Biblical prophecy is a healthy sign. Previous to World War I such interest was limited, more or less, to those known as fundamentalists, or conservatives, except for the cults such as Seventh-Day Adventists and Jehovah’s Witnesses which have always made much of prophecy. But their interpretations are not always acceptable to conservative expositors of the Word of God.

The achievement of nuclear fission plus man’s penetration into outer space have had a part in stimulating interest in what the Bible has to say about the universe and its future. Theologians and laymen have been studying the Scriptures with a zeal which is most commendable. But some of the conclusions arrived at have not been too well founded. In that connection we recall that during World War I some prominent Bible teachers stated quite emphatically that the German Kaiser was the Antichrist, and that the conflict then raging in Europe was the battle of Armageddon. But the fact that the Kaiser ended his days quite peacefully in Holland, devoting much time to the reading of the Bible, would indicate that he was not the one “whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,” whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming (2 Thess 2:8–9). Moreover, we know of no place in Western Europe which is “called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon” (Rev 16:16).

World War II produced similar speculations concerning certain leaders in that conflict. Opinion was divided as to whether Hitler or Mussolini was the Antichrist. The fact that Mussolini “annexed” Ethiopia, and then proclaimed the

revival of the Roman Empire, led some to believe that he was one of the two beasts described in Revelation 13. But a careful reading of that chapter should make it quite clear that neither Hitler nor Mussolini are in view there. Both of these monsters were anti-Semitic but I am not aware of any statement which would identify either one of them as the Antichrist (cf. 1 John 2:22).

The current interest in Russia has led to further attempts to identify the leader of that country with “the king of the north” (Dan 11:40ff). That “Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal” (Ezek 39:1) will be a R...

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