Posted by: rshalomw | December 13, 2011

A LESSON FROM CHANUKAH FOR CHRISTMAS

The following information came from the Watchman International Ministry in Israel:

 

With flattery he will corrupt those who have violated the covenant, but the people who know their God will firmly resist him. (Dan 11:32)

These words by Daniel prophesied about the events that took place during Chanukah. At the same time we know that they also describe what will happen in the end times. It is therefore very important for all followers of Messiah today to remember the Feast of Chanukah and learn the lessons from it.

Chanukah, the Festival of Lights, begins on the 25th of Kislev on the Biblical calendar and lasts for eight days. It usually falls in December during Christmas time. This year it begins in the evening on Tuesday, December 20 and lasts until sundown on December 28. A few words of comparison between Christmas and Chanukah are therefore fitting.

First of all, without Chanukah we would not be able to celebrate the coming of Messiah! This is very important to remember and we will explain more about that in a moment. Secondly, the Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 10:14, “Therefore, my dear friends, flee from idolatry.” Likewise the Apostle John wrote, “Dear children, keep yourselves from idols.” (1 Jn 5:21) While Christmas originated in the fourth century from what originally was a purely pagan festival and many, if not most, of its traditions even today are steeped in paganism, idolatry, and materialism, Chanukah is a Feast with a strong message of repentance from all forms of paganism and idolatry.

Thirdly, Yeshua who is the Light of the World, was most likely conceived during Chanukah and born nine months later during the Feast of Trumpets, or possibly Tabernacles. There are strong arguments for both, however, we personally believe that it happened during the Feast of Trumpets, just like he also will return on this Feast, see when-was-messiah-born/ In any case, since life starts at conception, Chanukah is the Festival when we truly can celebrate the miracle when “the word became flesh.” (Jn 1:14) A new Temple full of the glory of God was dedicated in Miriam’s womb.

Chanukah is a Hebrew word that means “dedication.” This Feast is celebrated in memory of the rededication of the Temple unto God, after the miraculous victory of the small Maccabee army over the mighty forces of the Greek ruler Antiochus Epiphanes, who is the clearest picture we have in the Bible of the final anti-Messiah, the “man of lawlessness.” (See Matthew 24:15 and 2 Th 2:3-4.)

Greek culture was introduced in Jerusalem and the Temple was desecrated. On Kislev 15, 168 BCE, Antiochus Epiphanes erected a statue of Zeus, but with his own face, on top of the holy altar in the Temple. Ten days later, on Kislev 25, the birthday of Zeus, he offered a pig on this altar. He sprinkled its blood in the Holy of Holies and poured out its broth over the Torah scrolls before he cut them to pieces and burnt them. The Temple was converted to a shrine to Zeus. Antiochus forbid circumcision, Sabbath observance, Torah studies etc, with punishment of death, in order to destroy the Jewish people before the Messiah was born.

One priestly father and his five sons decided to go against the ungodly decrees, and obey God’s Word rather than man. It started an insurrection that eventually completely overthrew Antiochus and all of his forces. Without this victory, the Messiah could not have been born. The rededication of the Temple under the Maccabees was necessary in order for Yeshua to be presented in the Temple “as it is written in the Law of the Lord.” (Lk 2:23)

If the Syrian king Antiochus Epiphanes had succeeded to wipe out the Jewish people’s obedience to the Torah, as he tried to do by desecrating the temple, and forbidding the Jews to keep the Sabbath and circumcising their children, Joseph and Mary would have been pagans. The Savior of the world could not have come as

Gal 4:4 describes, “But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law.”

Chanukah is a feast of great prophetic significance for us today.Yeshua will also return, “as it is written in the Law of the Lord!” If the antichrist, “the lawless one,” and his forces succeed to wipe out the Jewish people and faith in the Word of God, the Messiah cannot return! Chanukah is a story of miracles and the victory of the Word of God over all anti-Messiah forces that we ought to celebrate today. We all need to be living temples made ready for the King!

 

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