CEG/PCG/RCG and the King of the South

جامعة الدول العربية
Jāmaʻat ad-Duwwal al-ʻArabiyya Arab League Flag


Over the years, I have been surprised that so many groups that have leaders that were once part of the late Herbert W. Armstrong’s church do not understand that he believed that there will be a future King of the South that would emerge from an Arabic-African Islamic federation.

RCG’s David Pack, for example, teaches:

The King of the South is Ethiopia (Pack, David. The MID-EAST in Bible Prophecy. RCG Booklet, online 12/17/06)

PCG’s Gerald Flurry, for example, teaches:

Iran leads this “king of the south” (Flurry G. From the Editor: Why You Must Watch Europe. Philadelphia Trumpet. Nov-Dec 2006).

CEG has the following as part of its Question and Answers on the subject:

It is true that there have been occasional articles published in the Church, suggesting or stating that there still will be a future king of the South. None of these articles were written by Mr. Armstrong. It is correct that in December of 1980 and in June of  1983, a staff writer wrote in two Plain Truth articles that some type of Arab-Moslem confederation is coming as a king of the South, but Mr. Armstrong  did not teach this. In his articles, the staff writer omitted to mention Mr. Armstrong’s strong belief that Daniel 11:40 HAS already been fulfilled. (Church of the Eternal God.  Frequently Asked Questions, #532)

Well, the above is misleading as there were other articles prior to that time as well as around that time–the idea of an Arab-Moslem confederation was taught since the early 1960s–it did not just appear in the 1980s.  It also was NOT Herbert Armstrong’s strong belief that there remained no future fulfillment of Daniel 11:40. But it is true that some articles under Herbert W. Armstrong name were often slightly updated copies of his earlier writings, and since his vision was not very good in his latter days, he sometimes allowed items to be printed that suggested views he no longer held.

Now, although those in CEG do not seem to care, I have personally spoken with evangelists Roderick C. Meredith (the last of the original evangelists that HWA ordained), Dibar Apartian (the evangelist who lived into his 90s), and Richard Ames (an evangelist that HWA selected to be a presenter on the telecast after his death) and they all told me that Herbert W. Armstrong believed and taught that there would be a future King of the South.  This was also confirmed to me by people such as Charles Bryce (EnCG) and the late Carl and Raymond McNair.

Since those in the top leadership did not apparently know Herbert W. Armstrong well, they like many, have misinterpreted certain written materials.  So, first of all let me show that Herbert W. Armstrong himself did in fact believe that Daniel 11 had a future fulfillment.

And the abomination that maketh desolate set up.” What is this abomination? This refers to Daniel 11:31 and Matthew 24:15…From this time (Daniel 12:11) to Christ’s coming will be 1290 days. Now, verse 12, “Blessed is he that waiteth, and comes to the 1335 days.” Never before have we understood these periods of 1260, 1290. and 1335 days. But it seems evident, now, a blessing is pronounced on us–GOD”S CHURCH–who wait and endure until the 1335 days–approximately 1335 days prior to Christ’s coming. But since no one can know the day or hour of His coming, we probably shall not be able to know the exact day this 1335 days begins. But apparently that is the time when OUR WORK SHALL END. That will be a time when the UNITED Europe shall appear–the revival of the medieval “Holy Roman Empire.” We shall then be warned, and readied to be taken to a place of refuge and safety from the Great Tribulation. Forty-five days later “the beasts armies” will surround Jerusalem PASTOR GENERAL’S REPORT – VOL.1, NO.15 NOVEMBER 20, 1979 The Time We Are In, Now by Herbert W. Armstrong. Page 2; see also Armstrong HW. Personal. Good News magazine January 1980).

As the above shows, HWA himself admitted that he had questions about some of his earlier writings about the fulfilling of the sequence of Daniel 11.  And notice that he was teaching that there would be a future fulfillment no later than Daniel 11:31 in the above.

I should add that, according to Herbert W. Armstrong, the future fulfillment of Daniel 11 started much earlier than verse 40:

In Daniel 11:21, referring in original, typical fulfillment to Antiochus Epiphanes, there shall stand up a vile person…So once again before the second coming of Christ, a vile leader will stop the daily sacrifices being offered…This same prophecy spoken by Jesus is also reported by Luke…21:20-24 (Armstrong HW. Personal, Plain Truth magazine, June 1967).

Thus, Herbert W. Armstrong clearly taught that starting at least from verse 21, that Daniel 11 had a future fulfillment.

The Bible Teaches About the King of the South

Of course, the main issue is whether or not the Bible teaches that there must be a future King of the South, and the 11th chapter of the book of Daniel (the only place where the term ‘king of the South’ is mentioned) does make this clear.

Daniel wrote:

He [the king of the North] shall stir up his power and his courage against the king of the South…Both these kings’ hearts shall be bent on evil, and they shall speak lies at the same table; but it shall not prosper, for the end will still be at the appointed time (Daniel 11:25,27).

Notice that these two kings make a deal together, but both sides are lying to each other. Thus, whatever agreement they make is not destined to be permanent.

Now when is the “end”? Verse 29 states:

At the appointed time he shall return and go toward the south; but it shall not be like the former or the latter.

The ‘he’ in verse 29 is the king of the North. This verse says that the ‘appointed time’ is not only different than before, but, combined with vs. 27, that it is the appointed time that leads to the final end of both the king of the North and the king of the South (cf. vs. 27).

I state this because there is an ‘appointed time’ (Strong’s word #7150) in both vs. 27 which suggest it is in the future and vss. 29 and 35 which appear to be the specific time. The specific word translated as ‘the end’ is the same word (Strong’s 4150) in vs. 27 and vs. 45 where the king of the North comes to his final end it is also in vs. 40 when the king of the North invades the king of the South (which is the last time the term ‘king of the South’ is mentioned as this leads to his end).

Daniel 11:35 states:

And some of those of understanding shall fall, to refine them, purify them, and make them white, until the time of the end; because it is still for the appointed time.

Daniel 11:40 states:

At the time of the end the king of the South shall attack him; and the king of the North shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter the countries, overwhelm them, and pass through.

Since the king of the South is prophesied in vs. 27 to come to his end at the appointed time, and I believe the Bible is clear that this particular appointed time of coming to his end has not come yet (especially since the king of the North is also supposed to come to his end during that appointed time), the Bible thus demonstrates the need of a future king of the South.

So, the Bible is clear that there is a future fulfillment of Daniel 11:40.  The end simply was not in the 1930s as CEG implies that particular end must have been.  That is utter nonsense.

The literature produced under the old Radio Church of God and Worldwide Church of God clearly recognized this.

The Radio/Worldwide Church of God Taught About the King of the South

Now, it is easy to demonstrate that HWA’s WCG did teach that there would be a future King of the South and who WCG believed it would be.

Here is a quote from the July 1963 Plain Truth article by Garner Ted Armstrong titled “And when you see the Abomination…”:

Daniel was given specific visions of events to occur in OUR TIME!…Notice! And at the TIME OF THE END (this prophecy, then, is absolutely DATED as pertaining to OUR DAY, NOW) shall the king of the south push at him (the “king of the north”) 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” (verse 40). Bible scholars have recognized the FIRST, TYPICAL fulfillment of this surprising prophecy, but have failed to see its LITERAL application to OUR TIMES!…

But what of tbe MODERN powers meant by these desig· nations? Remember-the Bible is written, SPIRITUALLY and GEOGRAPHICALLY, from the point of view of PALESTINE! If you were to look on a map, and try to find two powers fitting this description, you would have a fairly easy task…Who else could this be, then, except the coming UNITED STATES OF EUROPE, a resurrection of the ancient ROMAN EMPIRE, JUSt as we have been fearlessly proclaiming…A rearmed GERMANY, heading up a final union…IN EUROPE -THIS is the Biblical KING OF THE NORTH!

The king of the South? EGYPT, of course. But not Egypt of today. Egypt of a few more years from now–Egypt as she continues to expand the U.A.R., bringing more and more of the North Africa Mohammedan nations into the same Afro-Arabian power block! (p. 22).

Why groups like CEG, PCG, and RCG cannot accept that the COG long taught that there would be a King of the South and that it would be an Afro-Arabian Islamic power block (and not Ethiopia or Iran) suggests that they need to study relatively recent church history a bit closer.

Here is a quote from the August 1974 Good News article by Raymond McNair titled Watch the Middle East where he stated:

The longest prophecy of the Bible, the eleventh chapter of Daniel, specifically concerns the Middle East…verses 40-45 are yet to be fulfilled. They reveal that startling events are yet to take place in the Middle East… (p.12).

Thus, WCG was teaching, under HWA for at least the last 22 1/2 years of his life, that at least from verses 40 and on, that portions of Daniel 11 were yet to be fulfilled (also HWA specifically taught that Daniel 11:21 had final fulfillment back in 1967, see the article on the King of the North). Any who teach that HWA did not teach that there were future fulfillments of Daniel 11 simply have not understood the totality of his writings.

Garner Ted Armstrong in a May 3, 1975 Plain Truth article titled Watch the Middle East wrote

Prophecy says some sort of a ‘shoving match’ precipitated by the ‘King of the South’ will unleash whirlwind lightening-like MILITARY response by a ‘King of the North’.

In a December 1979 Plain Truth article by Keith Stump titled The Arab World in Prophecy it states

But who is the “king of the south”?…in verse 40 we skip to “the time of the end”…The verse undoubtedly found partial fulfillment in the offensive of 1896…But Mussolini did not finish the prophecy…Just as there is yet to be a final “king of the north”…there may very well emerge in the same manner a final “king of the south”–an overall leader of an Arab-Moslem confederation, possibly bearing the very title Mahdi……a prophetic psalm (Psalm 83) provides additional insight into the Mideast picture. Germany (Assyria in Bible prophecy) and perhaps the rest of Europe will be in league in the future with a union of Arab nations…But in the end, this European-Arab alliance will prove short-lived…And the king of the north shall come against him [the king of the south]…The Arab-Moslem Confederation will, of course, be thrown into chaotic disarray in the fact of invasion.

(Note: There is actually a Shiite prophecy that some believe points to Barack Obama as one who will help the final “Mahdi” (Arabic for “the guided one”), please see Obama in Islamic Prophecy?,Prophecies of Barack Obama?, and The Arab World In the Bible, History, and Prophecy.)

In the Plain Truth of December 1980–the year that HWA often claimed he now had the Church back on track–another article states:

Bible prophecy reveals the coming emergence of an Arab-Moslem confederation in the Middle East. It is referred to in prophecy as the ‘king of the south’ (Daniel 11:40). This confederation will play a crucial role in end-time events (Stump, K. Plain Truth. December 1980, p.26).

A related Plain Truth article states:

Bible prophecy reveals the coming emergence of an Arab-Moslem confederation in the Middle East. It is referred to in prophecy as “the king of the south” (Dan. 11:40). This confederation will play a crucial role in end-time events. (Stump K. Seeing the World Through Islamic Eyes. Plain Truth, June 1983, p.44).

These quotes make it clear that WCG’s written position was that there would be a future King of the South–an Arabic-Islamic confederation.

As far as Ethiopia goes, this was changed in writing no later than 1972:

Verse 43 says the Libyans and Ethiopians (observe that after its conquest by Mussolini, Ethiopia is not again referred to as the king of the south) shall be at his steps” (Armstrong, HW. Middle East in Prophecy (1972 version).

The fact is that the idea that there would be a future Arab-Islamic King of the South was taught for decades.

LCG’s Roderick Meredith still teaches:

The final fulfillment of the prophecies about the coming King of the South are certainly yet to come. But, even now, it is obvious that many events now indicate that the stage is being set for the powerful Muslim leader indicated in Daniel 11:40–43. Our recent attack on Iraq, our constant backing of the state of Israel, and many other acts by the U.S. and Europe, have infuriated the Muslim world. The current situations in Israel and Iraq are causing the Arab world to unite in a manner unprecedented in recent times. This will certainly carry over into their backing for a truly powerful pan-Arab leader when God’s time comes.(Meredith RC.  Living Church News.  July-August 2004)

Groups that do not realize this need to re-read the Bible and better understand world events in the light of biblical prophecy.

Two articles of possibly related interest may include:

The Arab World In the Bible, History, and Prophecy The Bible discusses the origins of the Arab world and discusses the Middle East in prophecy. What is ahead for the Middle East and those who follow Islam?
Is There A Future King of the South? Some no longer believe there needs to be. Might Egypt, Islam, Iran, Arabs, or Ethiopia be involved? What does the Bible say?

Get news like the above sent to you on a daily basis

Your email will not be shared. You may unsubscribe at anytime.