Saturday, December 8 2012
Why Did The Messiah Observe Hanukkah?
"And it was at Jerusalem the Feast of the Dedication, and it was winter. And Jesus walked in the Temple in Solomon's porch"
An excerpt from an online encyclopedia article about Hanukkah:
"Hanukkah (also rendered as Chanukah, Chanukkah, or Chanuka), also known as the Festival of Lights, is an eight-day Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Holy Temple (the Second Temple) in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt of the 2nd century BCE. Hanukkah is observed for eight nights and days, starting on the 25th day of Kislev according to the Hebrew calendar, which may occur at any time from late November to late December in the Gregorian calendar.
The festival is observed by the kindling of the lights of a unique candelabrum, the nine-branched Menorah or Hanukiah, one additional light on each night of the holiday, progressing to eight on the final night. The typical Menorah consists of eight branches with an additional raised branch. The extra light is called a shamash (Hebrew: "attendant" or "sexton") and is given a distinct location, usually above or below the rest. The purpose of the shamash is to have a light available for use, as using the Hanukkah lights themselves is forbidden."
(From the Wikipedia page for "Hanukkah" on December 19 2011)
There is a recorded time gap of about three centuries between the end of the "Old" Testament and the beginning of the "New" Testament (see What Does Word of God Mean To You?). It was during that time that "Hanukkah" was established by the Hasmoneans. The events of "Hanukkah" are therefore not recorded in the Holy Bible as they happened "live" - although, as we will read below, "Hanukkah" was most-definitely recorded in the Holy Scriptures in prophecy, by Daniel, and then referred to as a historical event by Jesus Christ (in effect, Jesus Christ verified the record in the first Book of Maccabees regarding the events that resulted in Hanukkah being instituted by Jews i.e. the rebellion against the abomination of desolation in the Temple); the Messiah then made another prophecy about the original event, all as we will read further below.
Other historic documents exist that recorded the original events of Hanukkah, however the primary one is the non-Biblical ("Apocrypha"), but historically correct (as Christ said) regarding Hanukkah, First Book of Maccabees (it is the only book of the Apocrypha that isn't historic and religious garbage). A few excerpts from the record of the establishment of Hanukkah, and the original "abomination of desolation" that caused it to happen:
"1:20 And after that Antiochus had smitten Egypt, he returned again in the hundred forty and third year, and went up against Israel and Jerusalem with a great multitude, 1:21 And entered proudly into the sanctuary, and took away the golden altar, and the candlestick of light, and all the vessels thereof, 1:22 And the table of the shewbread, and the pouring vessels, and the vials. and the censers of gold, and the veil, and the crown, and the golden ornaments that were before the temple, all which he pulled off. 1:23 He took also the silver and the gold, and the precious vessels: also he took the hidden treasures which he found. 1:24 And when he had taken all away, he went into his own land, having made a great massacre, and spoken very proudly. 1:25 Therefore there was a great mourning in Israel, in every place where they were; 1:26 So that the princes and elders mourned, the virgins and young men were made feeble, and the beauty of women was changed. 1:27 Every bridegroom took up lamentation, and she that sat in the marriage chamber was in heaviness, 1:28 The land also was moved for the inhabitants thereof, and all the house of Jacob was covered with confusion." (1 Maccabees 1:20-28, as rendered by the King James Version Apocrypha)
"1:54 Now the fifteenth day of the month Casleu, in the hundred forty and fifth year, they set up the abomination of desolation upon the altar, and builded idol altars throughout the cities of Juda on every side;
1:55 And burnt incense at the doors of their houses, and in the streets. 1:56 And when they had rent in pieces the books of the law which they found, they burnt them with fire. 1:57 And whosoever was found with any the book of the testament, or if any committed to the law, the king's commandment was, that they should put him to death. 1:58 Thus did they by their authority unto the Israelites every month, to as many as were found in the cities. 1:59 Now the five and twentieth day of the month they did sacrifice upon the idol altar, which was upon the altar of God. 1:60 At which time according to the commandment they put to death certain women, that had caused their children to be circumcised. 1:61 And they hanged the infants about their necks, and rifled their houses, and slew them that had circumcised them." (1 Maccabees 1:54-61, as rendered by the King James Version Apocrypha)
"4:36 Then said Judas and his brethren, Behold, our enemies are discomfited: let us go up to cleanse and dedicate the sanctuary. 4:37 Upon this all the host assembled themselves together, and went up into mount Sion. 4:38 And when they saw the sanctuary desolate, and the altar profaned, and the gates burned up, and shrubs growing in the courts as in a forest, or in one of the mountains, yea, and the priests' chambers pulled down 4:39 They rent their clothes, and made great lamentation, and cast ashes upon their heads, 4:40 And fell down flat to the ground upon their faces, and blew an alarm with the trumpets, and cried toward heaven.
4:41 Then Judas appointed certain men to fight against those that were in the fortress, until he had cleansed the sanctuary.
4:42 So he chose priests of blameless conversation, such as had pleasure in the law: 4:43 Who cleansed the sanctuary, and bare out the defiled stones into an unclean place. 4:44 And when as they consulted what to do with the altar of burnt offerings, which was profaned; 4:45 They thought it best to pull it down, lest it should be a reproach to them, because the heathen had defiled it: wherefore they pulled it down, 4:46 And laid up the stones in the mountain of the temple in a convenient place, until there should come a prophet to shew what should be done with them. 4:47 Then they took whole stones according to the law, and built a new altar according to the former; 4:48 And made up the sanctuary, and the things that were within the temple, and hallowed the courts. 4:49 They made also new holy vessels, and into the temple they brought the candlestick, and the altar of burnt offerings, and of incense, and the table. 4:50 And upon the altar they burned incense, and the lamps that were upon the candlestick they lighted, that they might give light in the temple. 4:51 Furthermore they set the loaves upon the table, and spread out the veils, and finished all the works which they had begun to make.
4:52 Now on the five and twentieth day of the ninth month, which is called the month Casleu, in the hundred forty and eighth year, they rose up betimes in the morning, 4:53 And offered sacrifice according to the law upon the new altar of burnt offerings, which they had made. 4:54 Look, at what time and what day the heathen had profaned it, even in that was it dedicated with songs, and citherns, and harps, and cymbals. 4:55 Then all the people fell upon their faces, worshipping and praising the God of heaven, who had given them good success. 4:56 And so they kept the dedication of the altar eight days and offered burnt offerings with gladness, and sacrificed the sacrifice of deliverance and praise. 4:57 They decked also the forefront of the temple with crowns of gold, and with shields; and the gates and the chambers they renewed, and hanged doors upon them. 4:58 Thus was there very great gladness among the people, for that the reproach of the heathen was put away.
4:59 Moreover Judas and his brethren with the whole congregation of Israel ordained, that the days of the dedication of the altar should be kept in their season from year to year by the space of eight days, from the five and twentieth day of the month Casleu, with mirth and gladness." (1 Maccabees 4:36-59)
"The whole congregation of Israel ordained, that the days of the dedication of the altar should be kept in their season from year to year"
Although Hanukkah was instituted by Jews (because the event happened in their country, not just their religion), and is observed by Jews (as a Jew, Jesus Christ observed Hanukkah i.e. "10:22 And it was at Jerusalem the Feast of the Dedication, and it was winter. 10:23 And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon's porch." John 10:22-23 KJV), the event that triggered Hanukkah is Christian - historically and yet-future prophetically.
The prophet Daniel recorded the same events of the "abomination of desolation" as is recorded in Maccabees. The only difference is that the writer of Maccabees recorded it as it was happening, while Daniel recorded it before it happened (the primary criticism of non-believer historians is that the book of Daniel is "too accurate" to have been written before i.e. they deny prophecy). Below is Daniel's writing about the "abomination of desolation" that resulted in the institution of Hanukkah; note carefully that Daniel knew that his prophecy about the "abomination of desolation" was dual - Daniel described it in original occurrence and in "end time" fulfillment - just as Jesus Christ also did, after the original had happened (both were prophecy to Daniel, while one was historic and one was prophetic to the Messiah).
"9:25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. 9:26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. 9:27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate." (Daniel 9:25-27 KJV)
"11:29 At the time appointed he shall return, and come toward the south; but it shall not be as the former, or as the latter. 11:30 For the ships of Chittim shall come against him: therefore he shall be grieved, and return, and have indignation against the holy covenant: so shall he do; he shall even return, and have intelligence with them that forsake the holy covenant.
11:31 And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate. 11:32 And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.
11:33 And they that understand among the people shall instruct many: yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many days. 11:34 Now when they shall fall, they shall be holpen with a little help: but many shall cleave to them with flatteries. 11:35 And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed." (Daniel 11:29-35 KJV)
Daniel wrote that the ultimate fulfillment of the "abomination of desolation" (the original event that caused "Hanukkah" to be observed) will happen just before the time of Christ's return.
"12:1 And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. 12:2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. 12:3 And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever. 12:4 But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased." (Daniel 12:1-4 KJV)
It was from all of that historic and prophetic documentation that Jesus Christ included the "abomination of desolation" in His famous Olivet Prophecy (named after the Mount of Olives, where He spoke it - and where His return will happen; see When And Where Your Eternal Life Will Begin).
"24:1 And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to show him the buildings of the temple. 24:2 And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down [see What Did Jesus Christ Say About Those Stones?].
24:3 And as he sat upon the Mount Of Olives [see The Ascent From Bethany], the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?
24:4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. 24:5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many [see Is Your Church A Cult?]. 24:6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet [see The Horsemen Of The Apocalypse, Locusts In History And Prophecy and The End Of The World?]. 24:7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. 24:8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.
24:9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake. 24:10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. 24:11 And many false prophets [see What's The Bible Word For False Prophet?] shall rise, and shall deceive many. 24:12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. 24:13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations [see The Elijah To Come]; and then shall the end come.
24:15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation [see Abomination of Desolation - Where?], spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, whoso readeth, let him understand: 24:16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: 24:17 Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: 24:18 Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. 24:19 And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! 24:20 But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day [see How To Be A True Christian - Lesson 4]: 24:21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. 24:22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened. 24:23 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. 24:24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. 24:25 Behold, I have told you before.
24:26 Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. 24:27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east [see Why Did They Face East?], and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 24:28 For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the Eagles be gathered together.
24:29 Immediately after the tribulation [see The Great Tribulation] of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
24:30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory [see Behold, He Cometh With Clouds]. 24:31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet [see Christ's Feast of Trumpets], and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other [see To Meet The Lord In The Air].
24:32 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: 24:33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. 24:34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. 24:35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away." (Matthew 24:1-35 KJV)
The mythical "rapture" doctrine is merely a misunderstanding of the very real resurrections that are coming (see The Raptures).
"24:36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. 24:37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 24:38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, 24:39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 24:40 Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 24:41 Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
24:42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come [see Could Christ Return Tonight?].
24:43 But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. 24:44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.
24:45 Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? 24:46 Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. 24:47 Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods. 24:48 But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; 24:49 And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; 24:50 The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, 24:51 And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." (Matthew 24:36-51 KJV)
Fact Finder: How are the Temple vessels involved in the prophecy of the "abomination of desolation"?
See The Temple Vessel Prophecies Today
This Day In History, December 8
1587: Mary, Queen of Scots, was beheaded for her plotting to kill Queen Elizabeth I.
1854: Pope Pius IX proclaimed the anti-Biblical heresy of the "immaculate conception" of Mary (see also What Would Mary Really Say About Idolatry?).
1869: The Vatican I Council began in Rome (see Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy).
1914: During the First World War (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars), the German cruisers Scharnhorst, Gneisenau, Nurnberg, and Liepzig were sunk by Britain's Royal Navy at the Battle of the Falkland Islands.
1915: The poem In Flanders Fields first appeared in print, in Punch magazine. It was written by Canadian medical officer Lt. Col. John McCrae at Ypres, Belgium.
1940: During the Second World War, a heavy overnight raid by German bombers on London caused the first serious damage to the House of Commons and the Tower of London.
1941: The first large Nazi death camp, Chelmno, started functioning. There were to be 6 such death camps: Chelmno and Auschwitz in the Polish territories incorporated into Germany, and Treblinka, Sobibor, Majdanek and Belzec in the Polish "General Government" area. Besides these 6 "death camps", there were to be 1,634 "concentration" camps and their satellites, and over 900 "labor" camps. Of the over 8,860,000 Jews in countries of Europe directly or indirectly under German control, over 5,930,000 were murdered during the war (see Hate Jews? and Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion).
1948: South Korea was recognized by the United Nations.
1965: The Vatican II Council officially closed after over 3 years.
1978: Former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir died in Jerusalem at age 80.
1980: John Lennon was shot to death at age 40 while entering his apartment building in New York City by Mark Chapman, 25.
1991: Russia, Byelorussia and the Ukraine formed the Commonwealth of Independent States.