Yahweh offers life, but few choose to follow the instructions in His Torah for obtaining it. That’s why those who choose disobedience face the wrath of Yahweh that is coming upon the whole world.
Ephesians 5:6, “Let no one deceive you with empty words, for through these the wrath of Yahweh comes on the sons of disobedience.”
Job 21:30, “For the wicked is kept for the day of calamity; they shall be brought to the day of wrath.”
Matthew 3:7-8, ”But seeing many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he (John) said to them, Offspring of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Therefore, bring forth fruits worthy of repentance.”
But first, before that day arrives, the stage has to be set; and the background of the Feast of Chanukah is a good place to begin.
In John 10:22-23, “And the Feast of Dedication (Chanukah) took place in Jerusalem, and it was winter. And Y’hoshua was walking in the temple in Solomon’s Porch.”
The Hebrew word for dedication is Chanukah. Also, the phrase, “and it was winter” supplies another clue. The dedication ceremonies for the first and second temples did not occur in winter, and are not celebrated. Only the rededication of the temple by the Maccabees occurred in winter, on the twenty-fifth day of Kislev. That rededication ceremony became known as The Feast of Chanukah, which is celebrated annually by the Jewish people.
Why, you may ask, did they have to rededicate the temple?
To answer that question, we must first return to the prophecies of Daniel in Daniel 7:25 and 11:31-35, because “. . .What shall be has been before.” [Ecclesiastes 3:15].
Daniel 7:25, “And he shall speak words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High. And he intends to change times (#2166, same as #2165) -- appointed occasion) and law (the Torah).”
Daniel 11:31-35, “And forces shall be mustered by him, and they shall defile the sanctuary fortress; then they shall take away the daily sacrifices, and place there the abomination of desolation. Those who do wickedly against the covenant he shall corrupt with flattery; but the people who know their Elohim shall be strong, and carry out great exploits. And those of the people who understand shall instruct many; yet for many days they shall fall by sword and flame, by captivity and plundering. And when they fall, they shall be aided with a little help; but many shall join with them by hypocrisy. And some of those of understanding shall fall, to refine them, purify them, and make them white, until the time of the end; because it is for the appointed time.”
Note that these verses prophesy about a future leader CHANGING THE APPOINTED TIMES AND LAW.
There was a partial fulfillment of this prophecy by Antiochus IV, the Syrian-Greek emperor from 175 until his death in 164 BCE. He set out to destroy the obedient people of Yahweh, because they refused to act like everyone else in the Greek culture. Specifically, the king wanted them to disregard the commandments of Yahweh, so he created laws that made it a crime to keep the Torah. Why? Because its commandments set the people apart and made them “different,” for they refused to worship any but the one, true Elohim.
To further highlight his character: Antiochus had a coin made with a likeness of himself on the front. The reverse side showed Apollo seated on an omphalos (sacred stone pillar). The inscription read, “Antiochus, image of God, bearer of victory.” This was in keeping with the name he took upon himself, Epiphanes, which means “God Manifest.”
We have to ask ourselves: Under such a ruler as this, and the savage edicts he installed, would we still choose to be obedient to Yahweh and follow His Torah? Remember,
1 John 3:4 informs us that, “Whoever commits sin also transgresses the law (the Torah) for sin is the transgression of the Torah.”
Transgression of the Torah is lawlessness. The true Messiah was the Torah made flesh; and the false messiah is called the lawless one because he transgresses the Torah.
However, during this particular time there were many Jewish people who chose to forsake Yahweh and consent to the religion proscribed by Antiochus, for they sacrificed to idols and profaned the Sabbath in accordance with his laws that forbade burnt offerings and sacrifices; and required the people to profane the Sabbath and festival days; to pollute the sanctuary, and set up pagan altars, groves and chapels of idols for sacrificing swine’s flesh and other unclean beasts.
He also demanded that they leave their sons uncircumcised. His goal was to make them forget the Law (the Torah), and change all the ordinances -- and to disobey the king meant death! An example: Women who had their infant sons circumcised were put to death, and their baby boys were hung about their necks until they were both decomposed.
To follow the Word of Yahweh sometimes comes at great cost!
Finally, on the fifteenth day of Kislev, King Antiochus set up a statue of Zeus on the altar of Yahweh; and, on the twenty-fifth day of Kislev, unclean sacrifices were offered on the idol altar. This was the abomination that makes desolate.
He slaughtered a pig and roasted it on the altar in the Temple, then tried to force some Jewish men to eat it. If they would not, he cut out their tongues, scalped them, cut off their hands and feet and burned them on the altar.
However, throughout these perilous times, many still chose Yahweh, even over life itself.
One such righteous family was Mattathias and his five sons, who lived in the village of Modin.
Now, the king’s officers were going throughout the countryside and compelling the people to revolt and sacrifice swine’s flesh upon unholy altars. So they came to the village of Modin and to Mattathias, a faithful priest.
With much flattery and promises of honor and wealth, they tried to entice him to betray Yahweh and break His commandments. They wanted Mattathias to be the first in the village to comply, because the rest of the populace would surely follow his lead.
Mattathias responded, “God forbid that we should forsake the law and the ordinances.”
When Mattathias had finished all his words, one of the Jews came to sacrifice on the altar set up by the king’s command.
Therefore, when Mattathias saw that this abomination was about to take place before his eyes, he was filled with righteous anger and he fell upon that Jew and killed him. He also killed the king’s commissioner and pulled down the altar.
After that, he cried out to all men in the village, who cherished the Torah, to follow him. Then Mattathias and his sons fled into the mountains, leaving behind all their earthly possessions.
Mattathias died in 166 BCE and his son Judah assumed leadership in accordance with his father’s deathbed instructions. `
Yahweh was with Judah and his band of Torah defenders, and they succeeded in defeating the mighty army of the Seleucid Empire.
They tore down the defamed altar and rebuilt it. They also cleansed and purified the other areas that had been contaminated by the pagans and set the rededication ceremony on the twenty-fifth day of Kislev, exactly three years after it had been desecrated.
The rededication of the Temple is celebrated every year as the Feast of Chanukah (the Feast of Dedication), which tells you what Y’hoshua was celebrating in John 10:22-23.
The Messiah celebrated Chanukah -- do you?
Unless you are Jewish, you probably do not. Even though the only place in Scripture that Chanukah is mentioned is in the Gospel of John, Christians do not celebrate it. This is despite the vital significance of this day!
Antiochus IV was the precursor to the coming false Messiah. What were some of his actions that foretold what the coming lawless one will do? He persecuted those who kept the commandments of Yahweh and rewarded those who broke the covenant and did not keep the Appointed Times (the feasts) of Yahweh.
Think carefully: Who in today’s world does this remind you of?
Doesn’t Christianity teach that Jesus died on the cross to set them free from that “old law”? Isn’t this in spite of the fact that the Messiah Y’hoshua (His true name) said, in Matthew 5:18, “Truly I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass away from the law until ALL has been fulfilled.” Emphasis added.
Do Christians keep the Appointed Times of YHVH, or have they substituted “Christianized” pagan feasts to replace them?
Have they added to or taken away from the Word of Yahweh? If you believe they have not, then please research Sunday worship, the trinity, and other doctrines of the church. A good place to start would be the Catholic Encyclopedia.
Consider this question: Would Christians have any trouble eating roasted pig’s flesh? This isn’t asked in a mean spirit, but in broken heartedness, for many who are dear to our hearts fall into this category.
But, do you not agree that our culture and the Christian religion have trained them to accept the coming lawless one? How could they find his laws offensive when they are in agreement with the Christian teachings and the culture in which most of us have been brought up? After all, one doesn’t necessarily have to be a Christian to participate in Christmas and Easter egg hunts.
But how does the Messiah look upon these practices?
In Matthew 15:9 and Mark 7:7, He said, “And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.”
But these things are only in preparation for the reign of the prophesied lawless one, who will come during the Great Tribulation, the time of Wrath that will soon come upon the whole world!
Luke 17:26-27, “And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.” Remember, out of all the people on the earth at that time, only Noah and his family were protected and delivered – eight people!
Also, in the days of Noah the world was destroyed by water, but the approaching destruction will be by fire! And, like Noah, only the obedient ones will be delivered. Now, before that day comes, you have an opportunity to repent and become obedient to the instructions for having life, the Torah. Don’t forget: Y’hoshua was the Torah (the instructions for having life) made flesh, the one whose life of total obedience is the example we are to follow.
Just before the Terrible Day commences, the shofar will blow on Yom Teruah and the faithful ones, the Bride, will be caught up in the air to be with Y’hoshua. The Bride is not only the obedient ones who are alive at that time, but also the ones who died in the Messiah and those who died looking forward to the coming of their promised Messiah.
There also will be those who choose to become obedient after the Bride has been caught away, but they will be tried and tested in a world filled with horror that has never been seen or experienced before – ever! Even under these conditions, there will be some who choose the Creator over life itself.
Which path will you choose: The way of the world, or the way of Life?
Those who choose the way of the world and the traditions of men will suffer the judgment given in Matthew 7:21-23, “Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, will enter into the kingdom of Heaven, but the ones who obey the will of My Father in Heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name do many works of power? And then I will declare to them, I never knew you; depart from Me, those working lawlessness (transgressing the Torah).”
The choice is yours, and yours alone:
1. “. . . No one is good except One, Yahweh! But if you desire to enter into life, keep the commandments.” Matthew 19:17
2. “I never knew you; depart from Me, those doing lawlessness.” Matthew 7:23
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