Month 9:22, Week 3:7 (Shibi'i/Sukkot), Year 5935:252 AM|
Gregorian Calendar: Saturday 17 December 2011
In the Shadow of the Winter Gods
Shabbat shalom kol beit Yisra'el!
This is the time of the year when I upset more of my friends than at any other - when the winter gods come out to revel, particularly around the time of the winter solstice, when trees, bushes and nine-armed candlesticks are revered, adored by almost everyone, including nazis and communists. First Christians get upset with me because I expose and condemn Christmas celebration (as I did yesterday), then Swedes because of the pagan Lucia festival, and last - but not least - most Messianics who have their own Jewish version of Christmas called Hanukkah, or the Festival of Lights. As Jewish Hanukkah is only now a couple of days away, it is now my painful duty to once more speak out with even more revelations of its past.
There are strong, violent religious spirits behind Hanukkah. And like Christmas, it is not at all what it seems to be. Both are light festivals dedicated to the memory of Lucifer, the counterfeit malak (angel) of light, and both hearken back to Nimrod, the first anti-messiah (antichrist), born of an incestuous relationship with his mother Semiramis who pretended that her dead son/husband reincarnated as the god Tammuz represented by the evergreen tree.
Christians and Messianics usually refuse to believe these things - religious spirits rooted in deep-seated traditions are hard to break with and there is considerable opposition usually. Breaking with Hanukkah particularly upsets the spirit of nationalism and strikes the raw nerves of many with persecution complexes. Christmas has been so cleverly wrapped up in its modern version that one sometimes gets the impression that you are a child-hater for wanting nothing to do with it. The emet (truth) is you can - and should - show good-will to all men throughout the year, and you can - and should - give gifts to children: the objection is not to these things but in honouring the enemy of our souls and of our Heavenly Father by doing so at this particular time of the year. Yahweh has deliberately not commanded us to honour Him with special festivals at this time of the year other than on the regular sabbaths and new moons. There are no winter festivals in Yahweh's calendar because he knew that Satan would prey on the superstitious minds of unregenerated men and play on their fear of the cold, darkness, shadows and death, especially in northern latitudes.
One thing I didn't know until the Messianic apologist, Michael Rood, pointed it out, was that the Pharisee festival of Hanukkah was founded on 25 December, 165 BC! Should we be overwhelmed by surprise? Not I. It is interesting that as each tare comes to maturity in the last days that we begin to see the lies that connect them all together. There was no miracle of the menorah staying miraculously lit for eight days on one small cruise of oil. This was a fabrication of the Pharisees who always seem to have their fingers in the pot of corruption. The original Hanukkah was simply a late Sukkot for those unable to attend the latter owing to the persecutions of the Greeks, imitating the provision in Torah for a late Pesach a month later for those unable to attend the first one. The original intention was a good one as a one-off event - but now there are no longer any grounds whatsoever for a 'late Sukkot' - we are not being prevented from honouring Yahweh on the authentic Sukkot, are we?
Let us imagine that we are being persecuted and for some reason we are unable to observe Pesach (Passover). We postpone a month and observe a late Passover. What would you say if someone then decided to incorporate elements of that persecution, stories of the heroism of believers and their sacrifices, add a few myths, and then create a new festival in addition to Pesach and call it something else...like the 'Festival of Birth', for instance? What do you think Yahweh would say about that?
Well, that is exactly the rationale behind Hanukkah - and it's an affront to the Most High. Man has not been given the right to invent his own religious festivals apart from the ones Yahweh has ordained, let alone make up false events to spice it up with a bit of mysticism. That's how Christmas, Easter, Lent, and all the other religious abominations came into existence, combining pagan observances with Christianity. Know that Yahweh hates them. How do I know? Because He says so in the Scriptures. Let the pagans have their copyright and let the authentic believers have theirs.
The single piece of evidence marshalled by Messianics that Hanukkah is supposedly acceptable is an incident recorded in the Gospel of John where Yah'shua (Jesus) is found in the temple courtyard during this Jewish observance. He doesn't say He acknowledges or approves of it but simply uses it as an opportunity to preach the Besorah (Gospel) and call His countrymemn to make teshuvah (repent), much as I do at Hanukkah and Christmas because this is when ordinary folks have broken their usual routine and are more likely to therefore pay attention. I don't talk about Christmas at other times of the year because I know that most people won't be interested. Same with Hanukkah.
So what of the claim by most Messianics that Yah'shua (Jesus) must have approved of Hanukkah simply because He was, as it were, in situ along with the celebrants? That actually proves nothing. In the past you would find me among the Christmas trees and lights in town, and maybe even talking to people about the Besorah (Gospel) but this did not mean I was celebrating Christmas with them, does it? As another Messianic minister, Joseph Drummond, has pointed out, when people like us who don't celebrate Christmas get time off work because of the season this does not mean we approve or support the festival. That Yah'shua (Jesus) was outside preaching to the throngs gathered for a man-made festival called Hanukkah doesn't mean He was observing it Himself. At least be honest and admit that, in the absence of any other evidence whatsoever, this is a more than likely explanation.
Building a messianic doctrine around a single vague scripture reference is hardly grounds for the claims made by messianics. And the fact that Yah'shua (Jesus) ate and preached in the houses of sinners likewise does not mean that He was approving of sin. The fact that Scripture mentions that Yah'shua (Jesus) was there 'then' is simply a time-stamp - nothing more.
But really the bigger issue, in my opinion, is this: why do believers hanker for more festivals? Why aren't they content with the ones Yahweh has commanded? What is it that drives people for more? It is, in my view, because they have not connected to the spirit of the ones authorised by Torah and so they are looking for other ways to connect - a bit like those cionstantly searching for more scriptures and spending more time rummaging around the Apocrypha, Psuedepigrapha, Talmud, Zohar and other dubious texts instead of the Bible. They hope that by having more and more observances they will be able to fill in the gaps in their lives. People who are disconnected, but don't want to be, and won't connect Yahweh's way, desperately try to fill in time any way they can. Sinners have to keep themselves busy so that there is no time to face the real issues. We all do it, alas. That's why Christmas is so potent in the post-Christian West and why it has survived - it's something 'big' to 'do'. And everyone else is doing it, so that must make it fine.
Yahweh has given us all the 'observances' at the right times in our weekly, monthly and yearly cycles temporally and in the right balance that we need to be fully connected in divine tavnith (pattern) to Him, to each other, and to ourselves. All the other junk throws off this set-apart order and simply creates interference and adds confusion - it disturbs the harmony and tavnith of the created order, of which we are intimately a part. Yahweh wants us to be whole-minded, whole-hearted and whole in body and what He has given us is a complete course of 'spiritual exercises', as it were.
One lame excuse I read about trying to justify Hanukkah (and Purim for that matter, or the latest messianic invention, Chag Yeshua or 'Festival of Salvation' - we already have that in the 7 annual moedim!) or adding to Torah, is that there is already more than Torah, namely the Nevi'im (Prophets) and Kethuvim (Writings - psalms, proverbs, etc.)...not to mention the B'rit Chadashah Scriptures (New Testament). And it is true - these are also Torah but they are not primary Torah but expansions, amplifications and completing revelations to the basic divine tavnith or pattern. "But what about the four minor festivals celebrated by the House of Judah?" someone might ask. Two things need to be said about these which are fasts commemorating the breach of Jerusalem's walls, the destruction of the temple, the murder of Gelaliah, and the Fall of Jerusalem:
They do not represent cosmic cycles or stages in salvation as the annual moedim or appointments do and therefore do not, other than in the vaguest possible sense, point to Yah'shua (Jesus). These were local observances of only historical interest that now have no relevence in the B'rit Chadashah (New Covenant) at all. Yet there are some Messianics, who want to cram as many festivals into their annual calendar as possible to keep their people busy and occupied with external things, who insist we must observe these too. We don't.
- 1. They were sanctioned through a bona fide prophet of Yahweh, Zechariah - Hanukkah and Purim have not but by the Pharisees and a Benjamite Queen of Persia, respectively;
- 2. These are fasts of teshuvah (repentance), not festivals per se, and solely for the House of Judah, and though they are annual events, they have more in common with a mikveh (baptism/immersion) than with an annual moed; the main fast for teshuvah (repentance) is Yom Kippur.
So, no, these four minor Judahite festivals, though divinely sanctioned under a former covenant, are not adding to Torah in the same way that Hanukkah and Purim are.
There is, alas, a human tendency and weakness to either add, subtract or modify Yahweh's Plan of Salvation, and we have to watch ourselves very carefully. We also have a tendency to either dilute or complexify as part of the strategy of the flesh - which is ruled by the demonic - to avoid teshuvah (repentance) from error at all costs. We love to invent our own religion to make ourselves look spiritual outwardly instead of sticking to the simplicity and reality of Yahweh's Way. That is why this ministry inisists on adhering to the original mitzvot (commandments) and not embellishing anything, remembering that the ordinances are aids and not the object themselves of our observance. Just as the "the Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath" (Mark 2:27, NKJV) so all the moedim (appointments) were made for man, not man for the moedim. "Therefore the Son of Man is also Master of the Sabbath" (Mark 2:28, NKJV) and all the other Yahweh-appointed moedim too. One thing He is not is Master of Hanukkah, Purim, Christmas, Easter, St.Valentine's Day, Halloween, Lag B'Omer, Advent, St.Lucy's Day (Lucia), and all the other man-made festivals invented by the fallen Houses of Israel and Judah - the Pharisees, Popes, Talmudic Jews, pagans and others - and their steering spirits - are the masters of these. So I must, in all urgency, at this deceptive time of the year, reitterate the words of the apostle Paul:
I urge everyone, therefore, to return to the uncluttered, pure and integrated simplicity of the roots of our emunah (faith) which is in Messiah Yah'shua (Jesus). Now understand that this 'simplicity' is not some antinomian or lawless version of the Besorah (Gospel) where all the mitzvot (commandmets) have been stripped away as they have been by some sects of Protestantism. This is not the "simplicity" Paul is talking about. The Greek word haplotes which we render 'simplicity' means 'singleness', 'sincerity' and 'generosity'/'liberality'/'bountifulness'. In other words, we are to make Messiah the centre of everything, including our moed observances, for it is out of Him alone that we are liberally and generously blessed. We do not add Messiah to the moedim (festivals) but rather the moedim are to flow out of our connection to Messiah. And one thing that does not flow out of Messiah is Hanukkah.
"For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Messiah (Christ). But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Messiah (Christ). For if he who comes preaches another Yah'shua (Jesus) whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different ruach (spirit) which you have not received, or a different besorah (gospel) which you have not accepted -- you may well put up with it!" (2 Cor.11:2-4, NKJV).
And that was the whole point of Yah'shua's (Jesus') 'Hanukkah Discourse' - if I dare call it that:
This was a condemnation of the Hanukkah event as well as the whole Pharisaic edifice of which Hanukkah was a major part. Their murderous spirit - that demonic power supporting and maintaining of the whole counterfeit edifice - quickly surfaced in offended pride and demonic rage:
"Now it was the Feast of Dedication (Hanukkah) in Jerusalem, and it was winter. And Yah'shua (Jesus) walked in the temple, in Solomon's porch. Then the Judeans surrounded Him and said to Him, 'How long do You keep us in doubt? If You are the Messiah, tell us plainly.' Yah'shua (Jesus) answered them, 'I told you (Hanukkah celebrants), and you do not believe. The works that I do in My Father's name, they bear witness of Me. But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father's hand. I and My Father are echad (one)'" (John 10:22-30, NKJV).
Yah'shua (Jesus) did not one defend Hanuukah or accuse the Judeans of perverting it, as He did the Sabbath, for example, did He? Indeed, in this short discouse he exposes the whole heresy of Pharisaism and (and like Islam) its absolutely anti-messianic unitarianism. The Judeans had by this time totally rejected the concept that Elohim (God) as Echad (One) meant that he was a Divine Family and not a single entity as their god was. And who did Yah'shua (Jesus) say was their god?
"Then the Judeans took up stones again to stone Him. Yah'shua (Jesus) answered them, 'Many good works I have shown you from My Father. For which of those works do you stone Me?' The Jews answered Him, saying, 'For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a Man, make Yourself Elohim (God).' Yah'shua (Jesus) answered them, 'Is it not written in your Torah (Law), 'I said, 'You are elohim (gods)''? If He called them elohim (gods), to whom the word of Elohim (God) came (and the Scripture cannot be broken), do you say of Him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, 'You are blaspheming,' because I said, 'I am the Son of Elohim (God)'? If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; but if I do, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and believe that the Father is in Me, and I in Him.' Therefore they sought again to seize Him, but He escaped out of their hand" (John 10:31-39, NKJV).
Hanukkah, then, is seen as the religion of unitarian devil-worship, the counterfeit light - "Satan himself transforms himself into a malak (angel) of light" (2 Cor.11:14, NKJV), whereas the true Moedim are the festivals of the Divine Family of which Yahweh is its Head and Father. And where was it that Yah'shua (Jesus) escaped to from the murderous, Hanukkah-celebrating stone-laden hands of these demonised Satan-worshippers?
"You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the emet (truth), because there is no emet (truth) in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. But because I tell the emet (truth), you do not believe Me" (John 8:44-45, NKJV).
And what had John done there? He had administered the mikveh (baptism/immersion) of teshuvah (repentance). What happened to Yah'shua (Jesus) there? It was where the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) - His Mother - descended on Him as a dove to validate His Messiahship before the people. This was a symbolic full circle - back to the beginning, back to the simplicity of the emet (truth) and away from the murderous clamour that was Hanukkah. Yah'shua (Jesus) has here symbolically turned His back on Hanukkah the whole Pharisaic monstrosity and lie. And in that place, away from the City of Hagar (Gal.4:25), the City of Sodom and Egypt (Rev.11:8), the place of sexual perversion and occultism, in the wilderness where Yahweh had testified of His Son, a simple emet (truth) dawned on the people:
"And He went away again beyond the Jordan to the place where John was baptizing at first, and there He stayed" (John 10:40, NKJV).
We come full circle back to Yah'shua (Jesus) and Yah'shua (Jesus) alone. Here we begin and end, and have our alef and taw - our alpha and omega, with the correct festivals in between, depicting the journey from alef to taw:
"Then many came to Him and said, 'John performed no sign, but all the things that John spoke about this Man were true.' And many believed in Him there" (John 10:41-42, NKJV).
At this winter time I ask you to abandon the pagan compromises of the Houses of Israel and Judah and return to the simplicity of Messiah, follow the simple tavnith (pattern) of Torah and observe only the divinely mandated festivals, sabbaths and new moons. Let us rather delight in this Sabbath Day, knowing it is Yahweh's, and the one next week that falls during the Hanukkah counterfeit, and then have a great and glorious Rosh Chodesh which falls this year on 25 December, the day Hanukkah was founded 2,183 years ago by apostate Pharisees for their own devilish political ends, the descendants of those who murdered Yah'shua (Jesus) and brought down curses upon their own children by sending Him to the Cross. May we have nothing to do with that evil combination and flee Hanukkah as we have fled Christmas! That is my prayer in Yah'shua's (Jesus') Name, Amen.