I don’t want to read the Bible fast. I might miss some things. I want to eat the Word, chew it up, savor it and taste it like a chocolate bar.
Small things excite me. Pieces of scriptures that have a deeper meaning.
“And it was at Jerusalem the Feast of the Dedication, and it was winter. And Jesus walked in the temple in SOLOMON’S porch” (John 10:22 KJB).
Yes, this one verse is so rich. The Feast of Dedication is Hanukah.
Yeshua walks up on that porch, and in chapter ten of John, He tells them He is the good Shepherd. He is the one who knows His sheep, and His sheep know His voice. He shows them that He and His Father are ONE–(echad).
“Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The LORD our God is the one and only LORD” (Mark 12:29 NASB).
They, of course, want to kill him.
The Feast of Dedication is a Feast day rich in meaning, but many have not delved into it. In Christianity, we mostly weren’t taught the importance of the Feast Days, or that they are all about Yeshua. This in itself is a shame. We know of it as “Hanukah,” and we think in our Western minds that it has something to do with the Christmas season for Jews. They light some candles and so forth.
Daniel chapter eight goes into detail about the Greek empire, Alexander the Great and then a man named General Seleucus had a son, and his name was, “ANTIOCHUS.”
“Out of one of them came forth a rather small horn which grew exceedingly great toward the south, toward the east, and toward the Beautiful Land. It grew up to the host of heaven and caused some of the host and some of the stars to fall to the earth, and it trampled them down. It even magnified itself to be equal with the Commander of the host, and it removed the regular sacrifice from Him, and the place of His sanctuary was thrown down. And on account of transgression, the host will be given over to the horn along with the regular sacrifice; and it will fling truth to the ground and perform its will and prosper” (Daniel 8:10-12 NASB).
When we think about evil and world history, we often picture Hitler, but I want to tell you about a man named Antiochus. This man killed over 80,000 Jews. He took over 40,000 as prisoners and sold many into slavery. He placed a statue of Zeus in HaShem’s holy Temple and commanded worship of his Greek gods. He outlawed circumcision.
Then he outlawed “SABBATH KEEPING.”
David Vaughn Elliott explains more in his written insights into prophecy,
“Antiochus Epiphanes went too far. He outlawed circumcision and Sabbath keeping. He demanded idolatry and eating swine. He replaced God’s Levitical High Priest with a Benjamite. In Jerusalem, he built a heathen altar on top of God’s altar. He ripped and burned all the Holy Scriptures he could find.”
Oh, my! A heathen altar on top of HaShem’s altar. What would that look like today? No circumcision may not mean much to us, but when we go to The Father’s Word, it means everything. IT IS THE CUTTING AWAY OF THE FLESH. It is the oath passed down to Abraham.
(Jeremiah 4:4) tells us it’s a matter of the heart. “Circumcise yourselves to the Lord; remove the foreskin of your hearts, O men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem; lest my wrath go forth like fire, and burn with none to quench it, because of the evil of your deeds.”
Or as Colossians 2:11-12 ESV says: “In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the BODY OF THE FLESH, by the circumcision of Christ, having been buried with him in baptism.”
Next, we have Sabbath-keeping:
The Torah is worth more than gold, but many know little about the Ten Commandments or Sayings, as they are called. If all important, why don’t we keep the Sabbath? The Sabbath is our wedding ring. This evil man Antiochus took away the people’s rest. God created the heavens and the earth, and on the 7th day, He rested. He set the day apart. He said it was holy. He told us to guard it. He sanctified it. He rested from all His work. We think we don’t need to rest anymore. We believe our businesses, jobs, family functions, and so forth are more critical. If the truth is known, We Americans, don’t know how to rest anymore.
Daniels said, “He will speak out against the Most High and wear down the saints of the Highest One, and he will intend to make alterations in times and in law; and they will be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time” (Daniel 7:25 NASB).
Although Sunday is not the Sabbath, they used to close the stores on Sunday, and no one would even mow their grass. My mother wouldn’t cook. We laid around. My parents read their Bibles and napped. The whole town shut down. There was something called Blue Laws.
“A blue law is a type of law designed to enforce religious standards, particularly the observance of a day of worship or rest. In the US, most blue laws have been repealed, declared unconstitutional, or are unenforced; though prohibitions on the sale of alcoholic beverages or prohibitions of almost all commerce on Sundays are still enforced in many areas.”
Yes, we used to have blue laws. Then something happened. How can a shopping mall thrive when people have money on Sundays to spend? Don’t Restaurants need money? Let’s put on the Grammy awards, or the CMA awards, or a Super Bowl game on Sunday. We can even add a half-time show of striptease dancing and skip Sunday night worship altogether. Add some ATM’s on Sunday and no fear, you have 24-hour banking. Somehow, we have begun to think we are superpowers; More powerful than the One who created it all and commanded us to rest. We think we are beyond rest.
The next thing Antiochus did was remove the priest from Hashem’s house and put in one that was of the tribe of Benjamin. But you see, The Father chose the Levites to be the priest. No one else was to be the priest.
Once a king in the Bible tried to offer sacrifices like the priest, and he became leprous.
(Titus 1:11)“They must be silenced because they are disrupting whole households by teaching things they ought not to teach–and that for the sake of dishonest gain.”
Not only do they get money, but many get stardom.
So much of the Greek world has crept in and crept in. American’s think holidays are standard and Feast Days are a law that was hammered away at the cross. We forget what “Church” used to be– what Sabbath used to be–what an altar used to be, what Blue Laws are and so forth.
“Thou son of man, shew the house to the house of Israel, that they may be ashamed of their iniquities: and let them measure the pattern” (Ezekiel 43:10 KJB).
So back to Antiochus:
The king’s men tried to force an older scribe named Eleazar to eat swine’s flesh or face death. He was 90 years old and bravely went to his death. But the next story is the one that makes me cringe. There were seven brothers and a mother who would not disobey God’s laws (Torah Instructions). Antiochus had one of the brother’s tongues cut out, and then his privates cut off, thrown into a frying pan, while his brothers and mother watched. One by one they were tortured and murdered until the youngest was left and the mother. Then he offered wealth and fame to the youngest and asked the mother to convince him to disobey God and worship in adultery. Therefore she would save his life.
They both died waiting for a better resurrection!!!
Finally, a few men cast ashes on their heads and made great lamentation, and cried out to God and fought. Yes, they fought and cleansed the entire area of the temple. They built a new altar and made new holy vessels and put the lampstand, the menorah, the shewbread table back in the right place God had set them up. The Feast of Hanukkah means “Dedication.” It last 8 days. Funny thing, babies are circumcised on the 8th day. The 8th day is also a day set aside after Sukkot–a day of unspeakable joy.
“Then came the festival of dedication at Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus walked into the temple, in Solomon’s porch” (John 10:22 KJB).
Solomon’s porch was called the porch of judgment.
One last thing before I go, I want to show you how not only did Antiochus Epiphanes remove all of the Torah and the Commandments, but so did a man named Constantine.
“Constantine had his own confession of faith for all Jewish converts and here is where you will see how his religion took over Yahweh’s followers of “The Way.”
Constantine’s confession The Jew’s had to read says this,
“I renounce all customs, rites, legalisms, unleavened breads and sacrifices of lambs of the Hebrews, and all the other FEAST of the Hebrews, sacrifices, PRAYERS, aspirations, purifications, sanctifications, and propitiations, and FASTS and new moons, and SABBATHS, and superstitions, and hymns and chants, and observations and synagogues. Absolutely everything Jewish, every law and rite, and custom and if afterwards I shall wish to deny and return to Jewish superstition, or shall be found eating with Jews, or feasting with them, or secretly conversing and condemning the Christian religion instead of openly confronting them and condemning THEIR VAIN FAITH, then let the trembling of Cain and the leprosy of Gehazi cleave to me, as well as the legal punishments to which I acknowledge myself liable. And may I be an anathema in the world to come, and may my soul be set down with Satan and the devils.” (Stefano Assemani, Acta Sanctorium Martyrum Orientalium at Occidentalium, Vol. 1, Rome 1748, page 105)
I think He is looking for the men and women who will place the ashes on their head and circumcise their hearts. He is looking for those who will put the things back in order in their lives and get back to the truth. This truth is ancient and unchanged. Every detail has meaning and depth and honor to The One who gave it. If you adopted a child from China, you being an American believer in Yeshua-Jesus, would you teach it to speak Chinese and eat with chopsticks, and worship Buddhism, Confucianism or Taoism? No, he or she would be engrafted into the vine.
- Jump up ^ com: American “blue laws” were so named because they were originally printed on blue paper.. Retrieved July 12, 2006.
- Jump up ^ Volk, Kyle G. (2014). Moral Minorities and the Making of American Democracy. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 019937192X.
- Jump up ^ Good Question: Why Can’t We Buy Alcohol On Sunday?, WCCO-TV, November 20, 2006[dead link]