The people living in darkness have seen a great light; upon those living in the land that lies in the shadow of death, light has dawned.”(Isaiah 9:2)
The human memory has surprising features. We easily forget, not only that what we must do all our life, but also that what we must pass on to the next generation. Today, probably, like never before, people are neglecting their lessons on history. And the most dangerous, in my opinion, is neglecting the lessons that the Lord God taught to the people.
Today, we became witnesses of how the priests, of different faiths, attack that, that once used to be the foundation of their faith. This applies to the Law of Moshe, the feasts, services on Saturdays, circumcision, clean and unclean regulations and so on.
Not wanting to dig deep in the theological research, so that not to arise useless arguments, I will only bring up facts that are tied with the history of the relationship between God and His nation. The subject will be about the holiday “CHANUKAH” which is a traditional holiday of the Jewish nation, that arose from historical events, in which God had gotten involved in.
Paying tribute to the truth, we must accept that in the present time, even in Israel the real meaning of this holiday Chanukah is at its minimum. Today to many in Israel, not mentioning the territories outside of Israel, Chanukah is associated with the pastries “sufganiyot” which are buns cooked in a large amount of oil and are consumed in large amounts. And also with the gyroscope “the draidle” that children spin, with this, reminding each other of the miracle of the multiplying of oil in the menorah in Jerusalem, which God performed in these days a lot time ago in history. The brightest event to witness today in most of the Jewish homes, is the lighting of candles in a special candelabrum lamp called the “Chanukkiya”
However, I would like to return to the historical past, that was the foundation of this national tradition and extract a lesson from the events that took place many centuries ago.
The history of Israel is the history of rises and falls. From 8 centuries BC, Jews suffered from a series of captivities in Babylon. After that 236 years Israel was under the rule of Persia. In the year 333 BC, Alexander of Macedonia had victory over the king of Persia, Dariya, and created an enormous empire. The cruel ruling of Alexander of Macedonia affected many nations, however Israel lived safely. Why did Alexander set apart Israel from all other nations? The answer lies in the relationship between Israel and the Creator.
During the siege of Alexander in Tzur, he demanded from the high priest of the JerusalemTemple to send him an army to strengthen him. But he refused, motivated by the oath of faithfulness to the Persian king. From Tzur Alexander moved towards Egypt through Jerusalem, in order to punish the disobedient priest. The high priest sent his grandson Shimon as the head of the delegation of honored citizens of Jerusalem, dressed in white, towards Alexander. In the SharonPlain, not too far from the fortresses of Antipater, the delegation was stopped by the Macedonian wars. With heavy hearts the Jews came up to the king’s camp. But here a miracle happened! King Alexander jumped off his horse and kneeled before Shimon. The shocked Macedonians, not believing their eyes, were gazing at what was happening. Alexander told the Jews standing before him, that on the eve of his decision to fight, in front of his eyes an image of a priest appeared, which resembled Shimon, that foretold him of his victory. The great conqueror granted the Jews the right and privilege of becoming Greek citizens, and promised them that he would not touch Jerusalem and the holy Temple, and even not require the rejection of following the commandants of the Torah.
I want to ask a simple question: Who sent the dream to Alexander of Macedonia? Yes, of course, the Lord God. But why did God decide to interfere? The answer is obvious: God interfered because of the faithfulness of Israel.
After the death of Alexander, Israel was under the rule of Ptolemy for an 100-year period. Ptolemy was not as loyal to Israel as Alexander was, but he showed interest in the Jewish faith. And as a result of this, the Hebrew Scriptures were translated into Greek. This was an absolute victory over paganism. God had opened a path for Israel to fulfill the special mission directed to the pagan nations. However, Israel was not successful in fully influencing paganism under the rule of Ptolemy. On the contrary, Israel gave in to the temptations of the Greek culture and moved away from the roots of the Jewish faith. The war was between two perpendicular views and the Jews lost this war. Here is what the Scripture tells us: This proposal appealed to many people, and some of them became so enthusiastic about it that they went to the king and received from him permission to follow Gentile customs. They built in Jerusalem a stadium like those in the Greek cities. They had surgery performed to hide their circumcision, abandoned the holy covenant, started associating with Gentiles, and did all sorts of other evil things. (1 Macc. 1:12-16)
Did God like this? Obviously not. And as a result, the Seleucids came to power and from them the most cruel and non-reconcilable opponent against Judaism, king Antiochus IV. He gives out a decree: They were even ordered to defile the Temple and the holy things in it. They were commanded to build pagan altars, temples, and shrines, and to sacrifice pigs and other unclean animals there. They were forbidden to circumcise their sons and were required to make themselves ritually unclean in every way they could, so that they would forget the Law which the Lord had given through Moses and would disobey all its commands. The penalty for disobeying the king’s decree was death. The king not only issued the same decree throughout his whole empire, but he also appointed officials to supervise the people and commanded each town in Judea to offer pagan sacrifices. Many of the Jews were ready to forsake the Law and to obey these officials. They defiled the land with their evil, (1 Macc. 1:46-52)
In the year 190 BC Antiochus came into Jerusalem, robbed the Temple and defiled it. He took all the gold and silver that belonged to the Temple and on the alter of the Temple brought a sacrifice of a pig to the god Jupiter. Not only the faithful to God but the Greeks also were horrified at this event. 1000 years, the Jews were the only nation to believe in One God. And here, the Temple is destroyed and they are forced to worship idols. The shocking events awoke the consciousness of the people and the war of the Maccebees began, for the pureness of faith and the cleansing of the Temple. The Lord did not delay in His reaction to the ambition of the people, and granted victory over the superiority of the strong armies of the enemy to the Maccabees, and performed a miracle, multiplying the oil that was used to light the TempleMenorah.
One is tempted to conclude: that every time that the people would step away from God, pressure from the enemies would come, desolation and exile. But just when the nation in unison would return to the path of God, the Lord forgave them and supported His people.
Satan never ceased to attack those who truly serve the Lord. However, in recent times, his aggression towards the children of God, who wholeheartedly serve the Lord, has an unprecedented scale. The demands that we are hearing today from the mouths of the priests of different churches fully matches and even copies the demands of Antiochus IV in what he says: “commanded them to treat Sabbaths and festivals as ordinary work days…They were forbidden to circumcise their sons and were required to make themselves ritually unclean in every way they could, so that they would forget the Law which the Lord had given” 1 Macc. 1
One thing is clear, with Antiochus and with modern false prophets of today, is that they both have the same inspiration and its name is – satan. The well-known desire of satan is to abolish the Law, to distort the festivals beyond recognition, to do way with circumcision – an eternal commandment, to defile our soul with all types of filth, to change all the commandments of the Law and to distort the teaching of Yeshua.
The Hillsong church opened its doors to homosexuals, the influential pastor Jae Rock Lee, who was announced a heretic, is freely traveling the world and adds to his movement more and more churches. The main pastor of the network of churches “the Word of Life” Ulf Ekman, blessed his son in converting to catholic. And these are protestants?! And everyday we get more and more examples like these. The teaching of Yeshua is distorted beyond recognition. It is not possible to call this Christianity. THIS IS PAGANISM. Stop calling this Christianity! Heaven forbid!!!
Many believers, who reject the Law of God, eat pork. But this is the same exact meat that Antiochus chose for the desecration of the altar. If the flesh of a pig can especially defile the altar, which was done by the hands of people, then how can a man stay undefiled consuming it?
What can we say in conclusion? Who belongs to God! Raise your voices! Don’t allow the false prophets to defile our holy faith in our Lord Yeshua, and to lead us away from the true path and to destroy us!