Editorial: "This is That..."

Norman Crawford

"This is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel" (Acts 2:16). The subject of Joel 2 is the "Day of the Lord." Acts 2:19-20 says that God will "show wonders in heaven above ... the sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood." These cataclysmic events did not happen in Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost. They will happen, but Peter, speaking by the power of the Holy Spirit said, "This is that which was spoken." As the Author of Holy Scripture, the Spirit has the right to give a secondary and higher meaning to OT prophecies. Matthew 2:15 gives a higher meaning to Hosea 11:1, that speaks of Israel being called out of Egypt. In Matthew 2, the Spirit uses it of the Son of God. Although the Holy Spirit has the right to interpret Scripture like this, we do not.

The events of September 11th, 2001 have changed America and the world. With the eyes of every nation turned toward the Middle East and on the Israeli-Arab ongoing conflict, many are tempted to say, "This is that..." The reason we cannot do this is because we live in the interval between the 69th and 70th week of Daniel 9:25-27. This period of time is also found in the Feasts (Lev 23:5-25). The prophecies that are related to Jerusalem, Israel, and the end time cannot be fulfilled until after the rapture (Rev 4:1). We have often heard this teaching, but recent questions make it imperative to re-emphasize it.

As a young believer, I heard a dear man say from a platform in Toronto, "Mark my words, Italy will never join in an alliance with Germany. It is against all biblical prophecy." But within days Germany announced the Axis alliance.

Many have said that if America invades Iraq to destroy the evil Saddam Hussein, Armageddon will be the result. We cannot confirm or deny this. Coming events are most certainly "casting their shadow." However, it is the imminent coming of the Lord to the air that is to fill our hearts and minds. We cannot say, "This is that..."

This warning is necessary, but current events are significant and are a foreview of end time events. Russia is allied with the Arab enemies of Israel, and the U.K. and U.S. are involved in the defence of Israel. Armageddon will be the converging of the great armies of the nations in the Middle East. They will come from the north, south, east, and west, drawn by satanic power, yet each with its own agenda (Rev 16-14-16).

This great war will be precipitated by a covenant made with Israel by the world leader of the end time. In August, 1993, Israeli and PLO officials met in Oslo, Norway. Ritzchak Rabin and Yasir Arafat met again in Washington on Sept 9, 1993 to sign the Oslo Accords. It was to be implemented on December 15th, 1999. On Nov 4, 1995, Rabin was assassinated. In 1998, Benjamin Netanyahu and Arafat met in Wye Mills, Md. There was some further agreement, and Arafat denied funding terrorist attacks. Three critical issues were not resolved: who would lead the PLO and its reform to a democratic government, the drawing of borders, and the status of Jerusalem. These problems have not yet been resolved. The "Peace Process" in the Middle East refers to the Oslo Accords, which are not yet confirmed. We cannot say, "This is that...", but there will be such a covenant. The world dictator of the end time, will "confirm the covenant with many for one week," giving protection to Israel, but in the middle of the 7 years, he will break the covenant (Dan 7:27).

"Knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand..." (Rom 13:11-12).

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