Month 9:25, Week 4:3 (Shleshi/Bikkurim), Year:Day 5936:261 AM|
Gregorian Calendar: Saturday 8 December 2012
The Late Sukkot That Went Wrong
Introduction to Hanukkah
The 8 day-long Jewish festival of Hanukkah starts at sunset this evening (in two days' time at sunrise in the Creation Calendar), the first of the pagan winter solstice festivals gets under way, and is soon to be followed by Christmas (Yule, Jul) and the Afro-American Kwanzaa. From being a minor Jewish festival, Hanukkah has assumed proportions almost as great as the Western world's Christmas which it has also come to copy with its Hanukkah Bush (Christmas Tree), present-giving and Hanukkah Harry (Santa Claus). Christmas remains the most prominent Western religious and secular holiday in our modern Roman Gregorian Calendar whether in the northern hemisphere or southern.
Ancient Israel and Winter Festivals
Scroll back three thousand years to the reigns of King David and the early part of the reign of King Solomon before he fell into apostacy, zoom into the 10th month of the Hebrew calendar (corresponding roughly to the Roman December) on any year during that time period, and you will discover a huge contrast between Israel and the surrounding pagan nations: other than the regular monthly New Moon and weekly Sabbath, there were no religious observances at all during, immediately before, or immediately after the time of the winter solstice in Israel. There were no annual feasts or festivals whatsoever at that time. Scroll back even further to Israel wandering in the wilderness under Moses, to Israel in the Promised Land under Joshua, and to any period where Israel was living faithfully to Yahweh's Torah and you will find no annual celebrations at this time of the year.
Pagan Nations and the Winter Festivals
But by stark contrast, all the surrounding pagan nations had big fire and light festivals and made a great ado about them at this time. While Israel slumbered in the winter darkness, securely at peace with their Elohim (God), the pagan nations were in a frenzy trying to persuade their gods through ritual offerings to make the sun return for another year. If you are looking for a pagan winter solstice god or goddess, there are literally hundreds if not thousands to choose from. I have randomly picked a few of them from seven familiar cultures:
||Lord of Misrule
The Perfect Pattern Revealed
Yahweh never intended His people to observe anything to do with the winter solstice or with the winter months. He ordained winter to be a time of quietness. He scattered annual festivals in the spring (Pesach, Chag haMatzah and Yom haBikkurim), summer (Shavu'ot) and autumn/fall (Yom Teruah, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot) and then ordered Israel to desist. He wanted the winter months to be silent.
Yahweh's Stern Warning
Indeed, after Torah had been revealed again to Moses, Yahweh categorically said:
Do Not Add or Subtract Festivals
"Do not add to what I command you and do not subtract from it, but keep the mitzvot (commands) of Yahweh your Elohim (God) that I give you [here and now]" (Deut.4:1-2, NIV).
"Yahweh your Elohim (God) will cut off before you the nations you are about to invade and dispossess. But when you have driven them out and settled in their land, and after they have been destroyed before you, be careful not to be ensnared by inquiring about their gods, saying, 'How do these nations serve their gods? We will do the same.' You must not worship Yahweh your Elohim (God) in their way, because in worshiping their gods, they do all kinds of detestable things Yahweh hates. They even burn their sons and daughters in the fire as sacrifices to their gods (principally Moloch). See that you do all I command you; do not add to it or take away from it" (Deut.12:29-32, NIV).
This mitzvah (commandment) is very specific in regard to the corpus of revelation for the conduct of the affairs of Yahweh's people. It leaves no room for any religious additions or subtractions. Whilst, in the case of moedim (appointments) it leaves room for fulfilment of various prophetic types (such as the animal sacrifices being fulfilled by the Final Sacrifice of the Son of Man) it leaves none for the addition of new observances. As far as the annual festivals are concerned, they were given complete and are not to be added to or subtracted from. The seven annual festivals are the alef (alpha) and taw (omega) of Yahweh's divine tavnith and to add to or subtract from them destroys the messianic pointers, heavenly rhythms and purposes that the festivals sequentially represent:
Man's Excuse for Inventing New Festivals
Unsanctified mankind, in his arrogance and rebelliousness, will always invent excuses for adding to Yahweh's perfect system and will find ways to decorate them with scripture to make them appear kosher or pure. Thus one evangelical writer, seeking for an excuse to continue celebrating Christmas, wrote:
Commemorating Yah'shua's Birth?
"Christmas is a time that is set aside to remember when God became man and dwelt among us. I dare say that many would forget if we didn't have this holiday."
Set aside by whom? Those who refuse to obey Yahweh's mitzvot (commandments). Does Yahweh anywhere command us to commemorate the birth of His Son in Scripture? Does Yah'shua (Jesus) Himself even do so? No. But Yah'shua (Jesus) did command His talmidim (disciples) to specifically remember Him at Pesach (Passover) at which time He became the Paschal Lamb for our sins. Notice He didn't add a festival, He simply transformed the first of the annual ones which His Father had already commanded which He fulfilled. Do you specifically want a time to remember what Yah'shua (Jesus) did for us? Then do as He said: remember Him specifically at Pesach. And you might even be surprised to learn when Yah'shua (Jesus) was actually born! And, no, He was not conceived at Hanukkah and born at Sukkot! - see, Why We Believe Messiah was Born on Passover).
The Festivals are All About Messiah
The beauty of the Seven Annual Festivals is that they are all about Him! They all point to Him in one way or another. Every festival of Yahweh, which He commands us to observe in perpetuity, tells us something about Yah'shua (Jesus) and our spiritual walk in Him! They describe the Way of the Messiah:
Sukkot is the Last Annual Festival
Notice that Sukkot (Tabernacles), the seventh and final festival, represents the final cosummation or goal in life itself: the Marriage Feast of the Lamb! Adding anything else would suggest there was something more that we either had to aim for or do. It would imply that the Final Work of Messiah was not 'final'. It would blasphemously add something that Yahweh has nowhere commanded us to add.
The 8th and 9th Annual Festivals?
Go to any Jewish or Messianic assembly and you will find that with few exceptions that they have added two more festivals contrary to Yahweh's express command in Deuteronomy. They have added the man-made festivals of 'Hanukkah' and 'Purim', that are violently nationalistic festivals nowhere commanded by either Yahweh in the Torah or by any of Yahweh's prophets. Hanukkah was invented by the Pharisees and Purim by a Benjaminite Queen of Persia and then refashioned by the Pharisees who added much Babylonian leaven by putting a strong emphasis on the spirit of revenge.
Hanukkah and the Apostacies of Judaism
Hanukkah began initially as a late Sukkot and then evolved its own independent and separate festival, acquiring various myths and historical falsifications. This alone ought to make us wary and not plunge headlong into imitating the apostacies of Judaism - those of us called out of the false doctrines and practices of Roman Catholicism, which invented Christmas (it literally means 'Mass of Christ', a ritual in which Christ is blasphemously re-crucified again and again by its priests), and who submitted to Yahweh's Torah, were not called by him to exchange one set of winter gods for another.
Make Sure You are Properly Informed
If you're unfamiliar with the background of this festival and would like to make a careful study of it, then please take a look at the latest article on the subject on our website, The Heathen Roots Of The Hanukkah Bush or my more detailed earlier exposť, The Jewish Christmas: Exposing the Mithraic Lie of Hanukkah.
Before you partake of the paganism of Hanukkah this year, at least make sure you are informed. We, too, were duped by this concealed Moloch worship and had to repent. If you'd like to follow our journey as former Hanukkah celebrants and discover why we we stopped, please read the several articles on our Hanukkah website.
In the end it's your choice and you will be held accountable what you do with the knowledge you have received. As for me and my household, we are now free of the winter gods and find all we need in what Yahweh originally commanded. Amen.