We spent this time last week studying Yah'shua's (Jesus') teachings given in the Temple during Hanukkah and learned that it is important for us to remember this Festival as an affirmation of the Messiah's deity. As increasing numbers of liberal Christians and Messianic Jews reject His Deity, we must even more forcefully restate and emphasise it. In this cardinal doctrine lies the whole hope of eternity: for without an infinite atonement by an Infinite Being there could be no purchasing of Eternal Life for us as believers. Not surprisingly, then, over the last year, one of Satan's most vigorous attacks in my life has been over this central doctrine. And had it not been for the fact that I have experienced - and therefore know - that this is the linchpin of deliverance ministry, I might well have been intellectually seduced. The truth, for me, in this instance, was in the eating rather than in the viewing.
Which leads me to my last thought for this secular year, which I want to amplify and more sharply focus on, and that is the nature of light and the importance of cleansing which are key themes in Hanukkah. For we are commemorating the cleansing of the Temple and altar by Judas Maccabeus in 165 BC, three years to the day after their defilement by Antiochus Epiphanes. In many ways, it resembles the mode of celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles (2 Macc.10:6), which I am sure was deliberate, though unlike the great feasts, it was permissible to celebrate it outside Jerusalem. It is also called the 'Festival of Lights', and it was probably during its days that Yah'shua (Jesus) declared: "I am the light of the world" (Jn.9:5, HRV).
So the important elements of this Festival for New Covenant Christians are that Yah'shua (Jesus) is the Light of Hanukkah, He is Deity, and by virtue of His infinite, atoning sacrifice, He is the cleanser of the Temple, which is our physical bodies, which we shall be one day resurrected in. Our bodies become Menorahs, and that light is supposed to burn - not just for 8 days - but for ever. It is an Eternal Light.
Yah'shua (Jesus) is the light of the world - however, I have a question to ask you concerning this: when is He that light? We perhaps ought to look at the preceding verses of this statement to better understand what I am driving at where He says:
"It is necessary for Me to do the works of Him [Yahweh] who sent Me while it is day. The night will come when man will not be able to labour. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world" (Jn.9:4-5, HRV).
Now please pay close attention here. Yah'shua (Jesus) was driven by this urgency to carry out His mission while it was yet day. In other words, it was important for Him to work while He and His works were still visible because "the night will come when man will not be able to labour". A darkness is coming to the earth making evangelism impossible. Are we not reminded of what national life was like in the days of Antiochus Epiphanes when no Jew could live his religion? Only revolt enabled light to shine in national life - only revolt allowed spiritual daylight to return. And Yah'shua (Jesus) said that He was the light of the world only as long as He was in it. Don't miss the significance of this point. Did He then cease to be the light of the world after He ascended into Heaven? In one sense, yes, He did. The bulk of the Jews had by then rejected Him and were persecuting His followers, and the Gospel was taken to the Gentiles who were more willing to embrace it. These words He said at Hanukkah, prophetically tying together the past with the present and with the future. For as I have preached to you at this time of the year before, Hanukkah is also a foreshadowing of a great evil which is to come which will swallow the whole world into complete and total darkness for a ghastly 7 year period the likes of which have never before been seen and will never be seen again. And many, if not most, of you listening to me today will live through that time.
A month ago we were talking about the Divine Eagle and how Yahweh throws us out of our infancy nests. Hanukkah reminds us that in the not too distant future the whole of humanity will be thrown out of its nest in an orgy of persecution to either rise into the presence of Yahweh for ever or to crash to the ground and be swallowed up by the Abyss. And that time, my friends, is not very far off - a matter of years. Are you prepared for it?
Far too many people are wasting their time - they are not gathering oil for their lamps, and will be rudely unprepared for the calamity that will suddenly descend upon them. They are not grasping the light while it remains in the world - for soon that light will be extinguished.
When Yah'shua (Jesus) was in the world, He was the physical and spiritual Light of the world. When He left the world, he passed that torch to us - to Ten Virgins, five wise and five foolish. But the question of being supplied with oil He left to us. It isn't handed to us on a plate. Yes, we get a free sample on the day of our salvation, but if we don't keep replenishing those torches, they will dim and go out. And don't tell me you don't know how to do that!
We, believers, are the Torches, the invisible Christ is the Light, and the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) is the oil. Two thousand years ago a certain cruise of oil burned for 8 days - the new oil of the Ruach (Spirit) burns for ever. But it will only burn for ever if the Temple and alter of our own soul is rededicated to Yahweh and purified from all sin.
Yah'shua (Jesus) prophesied that a time was coming when there would be no more light in the world because it would be enveloped by darkness. This will occur when believers are martyred by the latter-day Antichrist - an even more monstrous, global Antiochus Epiphanes - and the firstborn withdraw from the world to the Twelve Cities of Refuge. When those torches have gone out and the remaining lights have been hidden away, there will be no more preaching of the Word, no more message of salvation, and no more saved people. At that time - during the second half of the Great Tribulation - there will only be a giant, bloody, satanic holocaust. At that time, whose who have not repented and who have not refused the mark of the beast, will be sealed the devil's forever, and will be swallowed up into the Abyss. That, brethren and sisters, is how serious the dark side of Hanukkah is, and what we are called to remember it for.
The earth today is in a terrible darkness already. Demonic powers have gained tremendous power and control on account of the wickedness of mankind. And it's not going to get any better, no matter what some naïve and uninformed Christians tell you about revival sweeping the world. If they had bothered to understand the Festivals they would know otherwise.
So we have seen that the context of Yah'shua's (Jesus') words, "I am the light of the world", was only so long as He was in it, and by extension, only as long as His servants are in it. When they are withdrawn of killed, the light disappears, and Judgement commences. That is what happened in the days of Noah, which Yah'shua (Jesus) told us would be identical to the last days. Once Noah and his family of 8 were withdrawn to the ark, the world was doomed, for there was no light in it anymore. Once the last of the firstborn saints are gathered into the Cities of Refuge, the world will be doomed again ... and Satan and his hosts with it. Preventing that gathering from happening therefore is a double-edged sword - it not only gives more time for people to repent and be saved, but also gives Satan a longer lease of life, for he knows that he is doomed. Like the Nazis towards the end of the war, when they knew all was lost, who said to one another: "Enjoy the war while you can," Satan is saying the same thing to his demons - enjoy the suffering and misery you can inflict while you can, because your days are numbered."
Because so many different events are combining and hurtling with ever increasing speed towards an apocalyptic end, we must at all times retain and maintain our spiritual focus. We must not be side-tracked by specific events either in the world as a whole or in our individual lives. Do you remember the circumstances in which Yah'shua (Jesus) said that He was the Light of the world? Yes, it was Hanukkah, but it also concerned a specific event, which we must not neglect to examine. Let's read the preceding verses:
"And as He passed by, He saw a blind man who was [blind] from the womb of his mother. And His talmidim (disciples) asked Him, who sinned, this [blind] man or his parents, so that he was born blind? Yah'shua (Jesus) said to them, Neither did he sin or his parents, but that the works of Eloah (God) might be seen in him" (Jn.9:1-3, HRV).
And then He goes on to explain why it is necessary for Him to labour while it is yet day, declaring that He is the Light of the world. So what is the connection between these two parts and Hanukkah? The message concerns the blindness of mankind and a repudiation of the occultic doctrine of karma. Ultimately, everything - good and evil - is to glorify Yahweh, our Heavenly Father. Ultimately, it is to reveal the works of the Most High in human flesh.
Yah'shua (Jesus) proceeded to heal the blind man. This was the occasion on which he spat in mud and rubbed it on the eyes of that blind man. That was the time the man was told to go and wash his face in the pool of Siloam from which he emerged seeing. This was the blind man who had been a beggar because of his disability. This was the blind man who testified before the religious leaders of the day and was excommunicated for his testimony. And these were the same disbelieving Jews who refused to believe that he had been blind in the first place until they had got his parents to confirm his history, who told these doubters to ask their son for themselves as he was old enough, because they were afraid of what the Jews might do to them if they even gave a hint of acknowledging that Yah'shua (Jesus) was who He claimed to be. These were the same hypocritical leaders who commanded the healed man to give glory to Yahweh whilst insisting that the Saviour of the World was a sinner. These were the same hardhearted Jews who claimed a special legal status because they were the followers of Moses. And in the middle of this mass of spiritual confusion is the man who was healed, baffled at the insanity that was going on around him. And this man exposes the religious hypocrites and silences the disbelief of the Jews by saying:
"We know that Eloah (God) does not hear the voice of sinners, but whoever fears Him and does His will, He hears. From the ages it has not been heard that a man has opened the eyes of one who was born blind. If this [one] (Yah'shua/Jesus) were not from Eloah (God), He would not be able to do this" (v.30-33).
Simple logic but it enraged those pompous religious leaders living in darkness, who yelled with the spirit of John Calvin hovering over them: "you (who) were born entirely in sins, and you [dare to] teach us?" (v.35). And so they excommunicated him.
In this drama the whole of the end-time religious scene is being played out. The Pharisees were the religiously and politically correct ones. They thought they were in the light when they were in total darkness. They couldn't see the obvious because they weren't living in reality. Because what happened contradicted what they expected and wanted, they were enraged.
This blind man, brothers and sisters, is a type of the end-time Christian. We have suffered dreadfully in many cases. And why? Is it because we "were born entirely in sins" as our accusers level against us, claiming that our poverty and ill health are the fruits of our evil, or might it be because Yahweh has a big demonstration of His power that He intends to unleash before the unbelieving? If you are a true Christian you are going to be scorned, hated, and persecuted by religious hypocrites and atheists alike and without a just cause, because justice is not a principle they adhere to. "Why," Yah'shua (Jesus) asked the Pharisees, as He does to modern man today, "do you break the commandment of Yahweh for the sake of your tradition? ... you nullify the word of Yahweh for the sake of your tradition. You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you: 'These people honour Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship Me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men'" (Mt.15:3,6-9, NIV).
People have chosen blindness rather than sight, for the sake of their traditions. Christianity is drowning in the traditions of men and rules taught by men. And then when simple blind people whom Yah'shua (Jesus) has restored sight to, for Yahweh's glory, come and teach the plain truth of scripture, they are enraged! Why? Because their hearts do not belong to Yahweh but to someone else. Thus the apostle Peter, at the beginning of his ministry, would quote King David, saying: "Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things? The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against Yahweh, and against His Messiah" (Ac.4:25-26, KJV). Rage - blind, naked, hatred. It doesn't matter what you profess with your lips if your hearts are consumed in this way, because it is testimony that you, like the Pharisees, belong to Satan.
These are the realities of those who are fighting the true fight. The children of light - the children of New Covenant Hanukkah - were born 'blind' and have been given their sight by Yah'shua (Jesus) not because of some terrible wrong they have done, or their parents - we're not talking about generational sins here - but simply to expose the hidden depths of wickedness and religious hypocrisy which presents itself as truth, in order to beguile perishing mankind in his death throes. For goodness' sake, wake up and stop procrastinating the day of your repentance! "Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!" (Mt.3:2, NKJV; 4:17; Mk.1:15).
As the voices of Yahweh's servants get fewer and fewer, and as the darkness gets darker and darker, it will become increasingly harder to hear a true Word of Yahweh. Some of you may go away from here and into the world and never hear a true word again - such voices are becoming as rare as Noah preaching alone in the antediluvian world. You may hear plenty of religion but you may not actually encounter the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) at all. As I reminded you three weeks ago, the substance of preaching is not words but the Ruach (Spirit).
If I appear urgent today, it is because I am. It is because Yahweh has put that urgency into my heart. Don't you know that the whole antichrist system is now nearly fully in place? Haven't you noticed all the power cuts that have been happening on a vast scale across the whole world - a few weeks ago, nearly the whole of Italy was plunged into darkness? The whole of the south of Sweden was plunged into darkness recently. And you all know what happened in the north-east USA. These are all Illuminate signals that they are taking the reigns of power - it's a signal to those who love and worship the Antichrist that the New World Order is being put in place. The concentration camps are built. The public educational system has been subverted. The Beast computer in Brussels has been set up. Europe is nearly a single state. Microchips the size of a rice grain are ready to replace credit cards and cash which can be inserted under the skin without which no one will be allowed to trade. The programs that run the Internet use coding named after demons like Lillith. Cameras are appearing in every big city so that we can be spied on as never before. Europe and America are turning into states more oppressive than the former Soviet Union whilst maintaining an outer mask of democracy.
This is a serious matter! You have been warned of these things for years. It's the same cycle that took place in the 1930s which resulted in the rise of Nazism and a barbaric Second World War. The news you see is utterly unreliable - it is all controlled. The Islamic terror is just a mask behind which the occultists have been enacting oppressive fascist laws supposedly for security but in fact to eliminate all Christians and Christianity. Fundamentalist Islam is being used and fuelled by these powers to scare us into turning to them for protection, just as Hitler did.
For goodness sake, wake up and repent! There are those here who have not yet received Christ, some who have only made a token surrender, who are gambling with their spiritual lives. We need men and women of courage and truth who are willing to stand up for life and secure an eternal salvation for themselves and share it with others. In this the darkest time of the year, reminding us of the darkness that will spiritually engulf the whole planet and extinguish all light outside the Twelve Colonies, let us make Hanukkah a time to dedicate or rededicate our temples - our bodies, our lives. Examine your hearts carefully, and please talk to your pastor or an elder afterwards, and get your life straightened out before it is too late. Redeem your time wisely - don't waste it with useless pursuits or inactivity. Present yourselves before Yahweh, that the altar of your hearts may be dedicated to Yah'shua (Jesus), so that He can ignite a Light in you that will never go out, and shine for the redemption of many. This is my word at the conclusion of Hanukkah and it is my most fervent prayer that it will find fertile soil. Amen.