Beth Elohenu Messianic Congregation
P.O. Box 335761
N. Las Vegas, NV. 89033
Shalom and Happy Hanukkah. Today is the fourth day of Hanukkah. It’s an eight day Holiday, and although it is not a commanded Festival of The LORD’S Feasts written in Leviticus 23, Hanukkah is a celebrated and important time for Israel and all Jewish people, and all those who love Israel and the Jewish People. And there is a lesson to be learned from the events that lead up to Hanukkah, not only for Jewish People, but for everybody.
Thus our message this morning will be about Hanukkah and the events found in prophecy that led to the Jewish Holiday Hanukkah, and the heroism and bravery that brought it about. But first, let’s look at some background on Hanukkah, The Festival of Lights.
– Hanukkah in Hebrew means Dedication.
– It’s also known as hag-ha-urim, the Festival of Lights.
– Hanukkah honors the memory of the rededication of the second Temple in 165 B.C.E., B.C., the same Temple Yeshua The Messiah walked in, and taught in.
– The rededication took place immediately after the Jewish People were victorious over the Syrian armies who persecuted the Jews, killing thousands and auctioning thousands into slavery. This is the Hanukkah story.
– The Syrians polluted the Temple of GOD with their Greek idols and pig sacrifices inside the Temple, the House of The Holy One Of Israel.
– The King of Syria, Antiochus Epiphanes also ordered the end of all Torah observance including Saturday Sabbath observance and the end of circumcision, as some European nations are trying to enforce today. Possession of a Torah scroll was unlawful, all punishable by death. These atrocities are called pogroms. Pogroms, which are organized massacres especially against Jews have been committed against the Jewish People for thousands of years throughout Europe.
The Holocaust killed six million Jews in Europe, almost 1/2 of Judaism. Its Nazi hatred destroyed and burned one thousand Synagogues. Seven thousand Jewish businesses were destroyed or damaged, Jews were beaten to death by Nazis while many Jews were forced to watch. Jewish cemeteries were destroyed. Torah scrolls, prayer books, Jewish artwork and philosophy books, and the works of Talmud were burned.
– Antiochus Epiphanes, the king of Syria in the days of Hanukkah was not the first. Thus the historical ethical failure of various organized religions of the nations.
– No wonder Israel is concerned about a nuclear treaty with Iran and the major powers of the world. Iran threatens to wipe Israel off the map.
– It is interesting to note that the Torah scrolls which contain the Laws GOD gave to Moses for the Jewish People and all mankind is still rejected, and hated by much of the world’s population today. All a work of satan who was the engine of Antiochus Epiphanes, and Hitler and all anti-Semites.
– However Hanukkah, remembering the rededication of the Temple, is an eight day holiday, and a time of joy and thanksgiving because of the Jewish victory over the Syrians, and the miracle that The GOD Of Israel brought about for the Jewish People in The Land of Israel .
– Hanukkah is not a commanded Festival of GOD. It is not a fast or a Sabbath, except the Sabbath from Friday at sundown to Saturday at sundown during the Hanukkah week.
– Hanukkah became a great holiday when the Maccabees defeated the Syrian armies and drove them out of Israel on the 25th of Kislev, 165 B.C.E., B.C. The 25th of the Hebrew month Kislev was this past Wednesday.
– The Hanukkah Menorah, the eight branched candlestick is lit every evening for eight days starting with one candle and adding a candle every evening. Why? Because when the Temple was rededicated, pure oil that was found in the Temple was only sufficient to burn the great menorah inside the Temple for one day. But miraculously, the oil burned for eight days until other oil was provided for the Menorah to burn continuously.
– Spinning the dreidel and giving little gifts to children are popular during Hanukkah. The Sephardim, Jewish People originally from Spain and Portugal recite Psalm 30 on Hanukkah, while Psalms 113-118 called The Hallel or Praise, are read by most Jewish People on the Holiday, because GOD is our Salvation Who delivers us from the enemy. Let’s read PSALM 30.
Hanukkah is about an historical event and a maniacal Syrian king Antiochus Epiphanes, a forewarning of Adolph Hitler and the soon coming anti-Christ who hated the Jewish People, and despised The Torah, The Word of GOD that contains GOD’S Laws that are written in The Law of Moses for the world. And Antiochus Epiphanes sought to convert the Jewish People to his own religion. Somewhat like the great anti-Semite, Martin Luther in the 1500s.
Antiochus Epiphanes killed thousands of Jews, but finally the Jewish Maccabees, a guerilla warfare group, defeated the Syrian army in Israel, and booted them out of the land.
The historical source of Hanukkah is found in 1 Maccabees in the apocrypha, meaning “hidden” in Greek. And Hanukkah is prophesied in Daniel chapter 8.
Let’s examine that prophecy.
DANIEL 8.1 King Belshazzar was the king of Babylon. The time of the prophecy was around 535 B.C.E., B.C. some 370 years before Hanukkah. The Babylonian empire consisted of today’s Israel, Syria, and Iraq up to and north of the Tigris River. And the Jews were in exile in Babylon because all the officers of the Priests, and the People committed many trespasses following the abominable practices of the nations. And they polluted the House Of The LORD which He had hallowed in Jerusalem. 2 Chronicles 36.14 .
THE VISION WAS ABOUT THE PAINFUL EVENTS THAT WOULD LEAD UP TO HANUKKAH.
DANIEL 8.2 Shushan was a palace in Elam, today’s Iran.
DANIEL 8.3 The ram, explained later, is symbolic of the great Persian empire, 2,500 years ago.
– The 2 horns are symbolic of the kings of Persia and Media. Media was northern Iran. Persia is today’s Iran.
– The Persian empire included the entire middle east including Israel and Ethiopia to India. Today’s Iran was the head of the empire.
– The one horn higher than the other symbolizes Cyrus the great, the founder of the Persian empire.
DANIEL 8.4 No army could stand against the great Persian empire. Persia, under Cyrus the great, conquered the Babylonian empire in 539 B.C.E., B.C.
DANIEL 8.5 The he goat explained later is symbolic for Greece which is west of Persia/Iran. The notable or great horn was Alexander the great.
DANIEL 8.6-7 The Persian empire, the ram, was defeated by the Greek armies, the he goat, led by Alexander the great who was 20 years old at the time. This prophecy of GOD was given to Daniel some 200 years before Alexander the great was born. DANIEL 4.17, DANIEL 5.21
DANIEL 8.8 These events all lead to Hanukkah and the maniac Antiochus Epiphanes, who persecuted the Jews.
– Greece became a great empire.
– The great horn that was broken was Alexander. He died at 33 years of age.
– The four notable or great horns that took Alexander’s place were four of his generals that ruled four kingdoms.
General Cassander ruled Macedonia – N.W. Greece, and S. Albania north of Greece.
General Lysimachos ruled N.E. Greece and N.E. Turkey
General Seleucus ruled Syria, Babylon, today’s Iraq, Phonecia, today’s Lebanon, and Israel.
General Ptolomy ruled Egypt.
Toward the four winds of Heaven. Perhaps meaning GOD gave them power to be the most powerful kingdoms on earth.
DANIEL 8.9 The little horn came out of Seleucus, the king of Syria.
– This little horn is not the anti-Christ, but he is like the anti-Christ of the future. This little horn is Antiochus Epiphanes, the Jew hater, and madman who persecuted Israel, despised Torah, and desecrated The Temple. The same evil spirit as the future anti-Christ. And the Pleasant Land is Israel, ruled then by the Syrian king Antiochus Epiphanes.
DANIEL 8.10 It, Antiochus the tyrant became great. Host also means a host or mass of persons and servants. This host of Heaven is the Jewish People who Antiochus Epiphanes and his armies stomped upon. They killed and persecuted the Jews, and sold them into slavery. REVELATION 12.1-17
BACK TO DANIEL 8.11 Antiochus magnified himself saying he was theos Epiphanes, GOD manifested.
– The Prince of the Host is GOD Almighty, The Holy One of Israel.
– And Antiochus stopped the daily sacrifice which GOD commanded should be offered daily at The Temple. NUMBERS 28.1-4
– The place of his sanctuary was cast down. I believe Antiochus had his offices in the sanctuary inside The Temple. And he polluted The Temple with his idolatry, and pig sacrifices, and pagan worship. And the anti-Christ also will set up his idols in The Temple that will be built during the future seven year peace treaty. DANIEL 9.27, MATTHEW 24.11-15, 31
– Antiochus dedicated The Temple to his Greek gods, Olympia and Zeus. He abominated it with idols.
DANIEL 8.12 A host was given to the Syrian king. The host were the Jewish People. 40,000 killed, and 40,000 auctioned into slavery.
– Against the daily sacrifice means the Syrians were given the charge of the daily sacrifice; they used pigs for sacrifice.
– By reason of transgression. GOD brought this judgment upon the Jewish People because of their transgression against The LORD their GOD. They disobeyed The Law of Moses. Transgression is sin, breaking GOD’S Laws that are written in the Law of Moses. The only religion in the world that teaches the Law Of Moses is Judaism. All the other religions reject it.
Thus Hanukkah is a lesson for the world to take to heart including Judaism because of the repercussions of transgressing against the LORD GOD Of Creation. And every human being requires atonement for theirs sins. Yeshua, The Jewish Messiah is that atonement. That was His purpose 2,000 years ago.
– It cast down the truth. Antiochus abolished the truth, GOD’s Law of Moses. Who obeys Torah today? Very few.
– It practiced and prospered. Antiochus had success in killing and persecuting Jews, and polluting The Temple, because of Jewish disobedience to GOD. 1 SAMUEL 12.14-15 applies to all humanity.
DANIEL 8.13-14 How long will the Jews be persecuted? 2,300 days. For 6 1/2 years, and then The Temple will be cleansed of all its idolatry. When it was cleansed, Hanukkah was declared.
DANIEL 8.15-17 Gabriel and Michael are two of Israel’s Guardian Angels. The time of the end is the end of Syrian rule, and persecution of the Jewish People in Israel.
DANIEL 8.18-19 this indignation is GOD’S fury and anger because of Jewish disobedience to The LORD Their GOD. GOD’S indignation can be seen throughout the world today because of man’s disobedience to GOD.
DANIEL 8.20-22 The power is the power of GOD. The first king is Alexander the great. The four are the four generals of Alexander. DANIEL 8.8
DANIEL 8.23 When the transgressors are come to the full. When Israel’s sin is full and complete in a bad sense, and GOD has had enough, The LORD will bring Antiochus the madman to judge GOD’S Jewish People with persecution because of their continuous sinning against The LORD their GOD, transgressing The Law of Moses. And this Antiochus was of fierce countenance. He was ugly, strong, harsh, greedy, and rough leading up to Hanukkah.
– And he understood dark sentences, tricks, deceit, dishonesty, the characteristics of satan. And he, Antiochus will stand up. Antiochus was appointed by GOD to judge GOD’S Jewish People because of their disobedience to Him.
DANIEL 8.24 Antiochus’ power was from satan, and all power is from GOD. You will know any anti-Christ. They reject The Law of Moses. Thus Antiochus prospered destroying the Mighty and Holy Jewish People 2 THESSALONIANS 2.8-13
BACK TO DANIEL 8.25 His policy, that is Antiochus, his evil wisdom and understanding, caused craft to prosper. His lies and deceit succeeded. His peace was a false peace. And he stood up against the Prince of Princes, The Messiah Yeshua, The Almighty GOD, The GOD Of Israel. And he was broken without hand. GOD killed Antiochus by disease one year after the first Hanukkah.
DANIEL 8.26-27 The vision was from evening to morning. And no one understood it. But we understand it because it’s history. It is Hanukkah. The vision was 370 years before Hanukkah.
The Maccabees, Judah Maccabee, and Jonathan, Johanan, Eleazar, and Simon formed a guerilla army of fighters, and defeated the Syrians, and kicked them out of Israel. And the People returned to The Temple and saw pigs on altars, and idols, and torn Torah scrolls, and they cleansed it, and rededicated The Temple to their GOD, The GOD of Israel, Who is Messiah Yeshua.
“For His anger endures but a moment; in His favor is life. Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. ” Psalm 30.5
Shalom. Ira Weinstein, Congregational Leader