Happy Chanukah

THE CHANUKAH STORY

Chanukah is the time when Christ was conceived, made flesh to tabernacle (temporarily dwell) among us, because He was always in the beginning and is mentioned all through out Old Testament scripture (Torah).  The story of Chanukah is also just one of many examples where the enemy attempted to destroy the blood line of Christ before Christ could be conceived.  Mary as His mother (and even Joseph as his adopted father in the natural) were pre-destined from the beginning to be Christ’s parents.  This is very evident when you research both of their lineages and find out that, from Mary, comes the priesthood lineage and from Joseph comes the Kingly lineage of King David.  So Christ is both King and High Priest and passed the rights of those two lineages down to us, His disciples when He tore the veil open between us and the Father.

Chanukah ~ Feast of Dedication – Luana Fabry
Beit Y’shua Ministries Australia

Chanukah is a memorial Feast to remember the rededication of the
Temple in Jerusalem, under the leadership of Judah Maccabea in the
year 167 BCE. Maccabea is a derivative of the Hebrew word for “hammer”
and it is also an acrostic created by combining the first letter of
the Hebrew words “Mi Kamocha Be’Elim Adonai,” – “Who is like you, O
Lord, from amongst the gods?”

The Festival of Chanukah was established by Judah Maccabea himself in
167 BCE. Although not one of God’s “appointed times”, Chanukah was
celebrated in (Jesus’) Yeshua’s time and observed by him. In John 10:22 we
read, Then came Chanukah in Jerusalem. It was winter, and Yeshua was
walking around inside the Temple area, in Solomon’s Colonnade.

There is much to be learned in the story of Chanukah. In a nutshell,
this is how it goes:

In the fourth century BC, Alexander the Great ruled most of the
known world. He dominated all of the Near East, which included the
land of Israel. During this time, the Greek (Hellenistic) culture was
enforced. Jewish practices, such as the keeping of the Sabbath and
circumcision were forbidden and the Jews were commanded to sacrifice
pigs to Zeus in the Temple. In order to “fit in”, many Jews
assimilated into the Hellenistic culture: Come, let us reach an
understanding with the pagans surrounding us, for since we have
separated ourselves from them, many misfortunes have overtaken us.
Some Jews resisted and upheld the Torah, keeping themselves separate
to YHVH. Many of these were brutally murdered.

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In Jerusalem, the Greeks built a gymnasium. Because those who
frequented the gymnasiums did so naked, Jews disguised their
circumcision and abandoned the Torah for philosophy, submitting to
heathen rule and the so called “New World Order”.

When Alexander the Great died, his kingdom was divided into four parts
(Daniel 8:21-25). Antiochus Epiphanes (god manifests), won rule over
Egypt and Israel. The Jews continued to submit until it was  too late
– Antiochus broke into the Holy Place in the Temple and stole the
Golden Altar and Menorah. Two years later, he set himself up as god
and supreme ruler in Jerusalem, putting the following laws into
effect:

* All are to be a single people.
* Disobedience will be punished by death.
* Torah study is banned.
* All books of the Torah are to be burned.
* Those who circumcise their children will be flayed alive with their
child.

Antiochus Epiphanes’ final desecration was the sacrificing of a pig in
the Temple. He forced the Priests to eat the flesh of swine and then
poured the blood on the Altar.

A rebellion began led by Mattathias the Priest and his five sons. This
family was respected and influential and they led the Jewish people
into fasting and repentance. During the rebellion against the Greeks,
many Jews were martyred, but many battles were also won. When
Mattathias died, his son Judah took over. Judah was a man of great
courage and fully trusted in God – he was known as Judah Maccabea –
the hammer!

Although outnumbered 4 to 1, Judah’s army won every battle against the
Greeks and turned many Jews back to Torah. In the last battle, the
Maccabim killed over 8000 pagans.

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On the 24th of Kislev, the Temple was rededicated and purified –
exactly three years to the day since it was desecrated. The Talmud
says that a miracle occurred in that while the Temple Menorah only had
enough oil to last one day, it remained burning for eight days. Judah
and the Maccabim decreed that from then on, this rededication of the
Temple was to be an eight day memorial, beginning on the 24th of
Kislev, every year. And it has been ever since.

The story of Chanukah is very relevant to the days in which we live.
Society and religion have become very Hellenistic – body worship
(through the overwhelming focus on gymnasiums etc), lawlessness, new
world orders, and the pressure to “assimilate”. The compromising Jews
of the days before the  Maccabim, surely did not want to see their
Temple desecrated, their Torah burned, nor their people killed. Yet,
their lack of love for God’s Commandments, their desire to be like
everyone else, and disregard for being a people set-apart, all led to
the inevitable consequences which followed. Today we seriously need to
make some choices before it becomes too difficult or too late. Will we
obey God or follow the leading of men? Do we desire acceptance from
the world, or of YHVH the Creator?

Spiritually speaking, Paul warns believers that their bodies are the
Temple of God: “What agreement is there between the temple and idols?
For we are the temple of the living God… Therefore come out from
them and be separate, says the Lord” (2 Corinthians 6:16,17).  “Do not
be conformed to the pattern (culture & practices) of this world, but
be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (Romans 12:2).

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Naturally speaking, in every era of Israel’s Temple history, the Jews’
desire to assimilate with the pagan inhabitants of the land resulted
in an abomination to be set up in the Temple. The first Temple was
desecrated by Antiochus Epiphanes, the Second Temple in 70 CE, by
Vespasian of Rome. With the plans to rebuild the Third Temple pretty
well in motion, no doubt another Antiochus or another Vespasian will
come, who will desecrate it one last time.

Like the Maccabim, we are to sing the “Song of Moses” (Exodus 15:11):
“Mi Kamocha Be’Elim Adonai”  – “Who among the gods is like you, O
LORD? Who is like you – majestic in holiness, awesome in glory,
working wonders?”

“And I saw what looked like a sea of glass mixed with fire, and
standing beside the sea, those who had been victorious over the beast
and his image and over the number of his name. They held harps given
them by God and sang the song of Moses and the song of the Lamb…”
(Revelation 15:2)

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