Posts Tagged ‘abomination of desolation’

Hanukkah Word: Assimilation

“Many peoples will go and say, “Come, let’s go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob! He will teach us about his ways, and we will walk in his paths.” For out of Tziyon will go forth Torah, the word of Adonai from Jerusalem” (Isaiah 2:3).

Watching a documentary recently on the history of Hanukkah, it became clear that the Jewish people did not want to assimilate into the Greek Hellenistic culture being forced upon them. They did not want to lose their identity to be a light to the nations, their Biblical calling as the people of God.

My husband and I discussed how we had to come out of ‘Rome’ and leave behind all the doctrines of Roman catholicism that the modern-day evangelical, protestant church has embraced. It was difficult to drop cherished family traditions that were contrary to the Word of God. Sometimes it seemed as insurmountable as the rag tag Jewish army fighting the great and mighty Syrian military on elephants. Our families didn’t understand this change. Moreover, our church brothers and sisters denounced us as legalists fallen from grace! Some said we even ‘left the fellowship of God’!

The documentary stated that the four-year battle was more than a fight to regain the Temple in Jerusalem and the ordinances given by God of Sabbath and circumcision, it was a battle for the very existence of the nation of Isra’el. Without an Israel, there could never have been the birth of the Messiah, Yeshua. Without an Israel today, there can never be his return. The battle still rages even among those who have embraced the Biblical holy days, but deny the foundation for the Feast of Dedication.

As we watched the documentary, we could see how Christianity, by negating and removing much of the history of the Jewish people from their Scriptures, has lost the understanding of what Yeshua/Jesus meant when he spoke of the ‘abomination of desolation’ and the ‘man of lawlessness’ that is at work already in this world. Without the foundational prophets, they must create their own prophetic perspective rather than having eyes to see that Yeshua was referring to the days before Hanukkah and the battle of assimilating into a world religious system contrary to the Hebrew Scriptures. It is much easier to assimilate into the world and its culture and create rationalizations than it is to stand as Mattathias did against the Syrian generals who wanted him to sacrifice to a false god or fight as the Maccabees did with few weapons, or to follow the Jewish Jesus, the Lion of Judah.

Yeshua said it clearly in Matthew 5:14-16:“You are light for the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.  Likewise, when people light a lamp, they don’t cover it with a bowl but put it on a lampstand, so that it shines for everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before people, so that they may see the good things you do and praise your Father in heaven.”

We are the lights of the world.  As lights in a dark world, we cannot join the darkness, but must shine in the darkness. We must set our Hanukkah lights on by a window for everyone who passes by to see.   We cannot assimilate into the darkness or we will lose ‘the light’ and be no better than those Jewish people who succumbed to the Greeks and became Hellenized.   Sha’ul told the non-Jewish followers of Yeshua in Corinth how important it is to remain separate and full of light; what the result is of remaining righteous in a world of lawlessness – a concept that was new to them living in an unclean and blasphemous culture.

“Do not yoke yourselves together in a team with unbelievers. For how can righteousness and lawlessness be partners? What fellowship does light have with darkness? What harmony can there be between the Messiah and B’liya‘al? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?  What agreement can there be between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God — as God said,

“I will house myself in them, . . . and I will walk among you. I will be their God, and they will be my people.” Therefore Adonai says, “‘Go out from their midst; separate yourselves; don’t even touch what is unclean. Then I myself will receive you’ says Adonai-Tzva’ot.”  Therefore, my dear friends, since we have these promises, let us purify ourselves from everything that can defile either body or spirit, and strive to be completely holy, out of reverence for God.”  (2 Corinthians 6:17-7:1).

Hanukkah is more than just jelly-filled donuts, lights and candles, it is about purifying ourselves from everything that contaminates our Temples and purifying our walk with God.  It is about standing firm in the faith and not assimilating into the culture around us. It is about being willing to die for what we believe in order to remain ‘set apart’ for Yeshua and His coming Kingdom.

It is about the miracle of Yeshua becoming the Temple of the Living God. It is about the miracle of the Spirit of God living in us as we become living stones of His Temple. It is about allowing His light to shine through us in the darkness around us.  It is about lighting a symbolic lamp, placing it in a prominent place to show the world that your light in the Jewish Messiah continues to shine brightly in the darkness.

“Likewise, when people light a lamp, they don’t cover it with a bowl but put it on a lampstand, so that it shines for everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before people, so that they may see the good things you do and praise your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:15-16).

©2016 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing. 

Hanukkah vs. Christmas, the Alternative?

For numerous Biblical reasons, our family stopped celebrating Christmas many years ago.  Our relatives didn’t understand our reasonings, but accepted the decision as best they could.  One side still sent Christmas presents that we reminded our children to accept with gratefulness because ‘every good and perfect gift comes down from the Father of lights” (James 1:17).   The other side began wrapping Christmas gifts in Hanukkah paper.  Though that was their way of respecting our decision, Hanukkah is not a Jewish substitute, replacement, or alternative to Christmas.  Hanukkah and Christmas have two very different historical, spiritual backgrounds and have nothing in common with one another.

The roots and traditions of Christmas can be found in the Roman celebration of Saturnalia on which the Catholic church sprinkled holy water. They incorporated the birth of a non-Jewish Jesus and created the Christ Mass (which ironically means ‘death sacrifice’).   Those who embrace Christmas believing it Jesus’ birthday  are doing nothing more than acknowledging catholicism as the roots of their faith (even if they are protestants who reject everything catholic).   In fact, all of Christianity and secular society for this one day of the year become catholic in their celebrations and promote the idolatrous Saturnalia with a holiday of stars, wreathes, greenery, and gift giving.  

“Then came Hanukkah in Yerushalayim. It was winter …” (John 10:22)

The events surrounding Hanukkah, the Festival of Dedication (John 10:22), are found in the Apocrypha. Its roots are in Jewish history during the time when Alexander the Great wanted to Hellenize the world.  It was during this time period that the Emperor Hadrian changed the name of Judea to the Greek Palestine in order to expedite the destruction of the nation and people of Isra’el.

Alexander’s cohort Antiochus Epiphanes (means ‘antichrist manifest’) went about ‘Palestine’  forcing the Jewish people to renounce their faith in the God of Isra’el or die.  He sought to destroy the people and the lineage through whom the Messiah would come. 

The Jewish people were not allowed to circumcise their children, celebrate Passover nor any of God’s other holy days, or offer sacrifices in the Temple.  As Antiochus’ armies entered Jerusalem, they desecrated the Most Holy Place in the Temple with pig’s blood.  This is the same Temple that Muslim world leaders claim never existed; the same place where an Islamic mosque stands.   

Our family is not nor ever was catholic thus we do not celebrate Christmas by taking part in the Christ Mass.   Our children were raised to understand the historically pagan roots of Christmas and have never felt as if they were missing some great holiday.

Once we read that the prophet Jeremiah warned God’s people about cutting down a tree and bringing it into the house, we stopped cutting down a Christmas tree and decorating it with all its lights, ornaments, and angels. We stopped following the customs of the world like Advent calendars and candle wreaths.

Instead, we taught our children about Hanukkah and the anti-semitism of the Greek/Roman world, the same anti-semitism that exists today in the church because of its catholic-rooted heritage along with the growing ideology of hatred for Isra’el in the much-tolerated religion of Islam.  We taught our children that obeying the commands of God are more important than traditions of men and the culture in which we live.

Our children are grown and have their own lives, but each still remembers the Maccabees and their fight to free the Jews from being Hellenized with paganism.   They light their menorahs for eight days to remember the re-dedication of the Temple Altar back to Elohim.  Each night with the candle light they remember the prophecies for when the Messiah Yeshua returns and sets His feet on the Mount of Olives. He will enter the Eastern Gate of Jerusalem and the Temple area and will cleanse a newly-built Temple from the ‘abomination of desolation’ (Matthew 24:15-26, 2 Thessalonians 2:4). Yeshua will restore Jerusalem and the nation of Isra’el to the Millennial glory promised in the Scriptures.  

Hanukkah is not a Jewish alternative to Christmas.  Changing the wrapping paper on a present or saying “Happy Hanukkah” rather than “Merry Christmas” changes nothing about the deeply rooted differences between the two. One is a celebration with unBiblical roots and decorated to entice the world into idolatry; the other is a memorial to those who fought against anti-semitism and stood against the destruction of  their faith in the God of Isra’el – the very thing the Christ Mass has done for centuries. Unlike the Christmas holiday, Hanukkah is a reminder from a century before the birth of Yeshua that no one, especially a modern ‘antiochus’ can remove the Torah that comes out of Zion, and the Word of the LORD that comes from Jerusalem; including the Vatican or the pope.

“For out of Tziyon will go forth Torah, the word of Adonai from Yerushalayim” (Micah 4:2).

©2015 Tentstake Ministries Publishing,  all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing.