The Season of Dedication
The celebration of Hanukkah commemorates one of Israel's greatest moments of deliverance from demonic oppression. Even though this Jewish holy day is mentioned but once in scripture, the details of what happened mirror a greater event that is yet future in Israel's prophetic calendar. The temple will be rebuilt, dedicated, desecrated and again delivered during the Great Tribulation. The difference between the first and second Hanukkah will be the fact that it will not be a Godly priest who leads the charge, but the Lord Jesus Christ Himself who will come to cleanse the temple and destroy the Antichrist
By Chris McDonald
TEXT: John 10:22 - And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter.
As we write this journal in mid-December we soon celebrate the Feast of Dedication, or as most Jewish people refer to it, Hanukkah. There are seven main feasts the Lord declares in Leviticus as being declared “holy convocations,” or required “meeting times” with Him– Passover, Unleavened Bread, Firstfruits, Pentecost, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur (Atonement) and Tabernacles. Two other feasts – Purim and of course the feast we are talking about today, Hanukkah – are not listed among these seven. Purim is described in great detail in the book of Esther, which tells the story of a bride with a Jewish heart, hiding her Jewish identity until the precise moment in history it becomes necessary in order to save her people from certain destruction. Hanukkah, the second feast not listed in the Law, has tremendously deep prophetic implications for the modern day church in these latter times. Even though the only mention of it is stated in the verse listed above, we want to make two important points. One, Jesus was at this feast and celebrated Hanukkah each year. He was the fulfillment of all the feasts but there are none more prophetic than the Feast of Dedication, which commemorates the revolt against and killing of Antiochus Epiphanies along with the cleansing and rededication of Israel’s temple under the exploits of Judas Maccabee and his family during Syrian rule in 194-196 B.C.
The Lord Jesus Christ fulfills this feast for one day in the near future it will be HE, not Judas Maccabee, who will come in the clouds of heaven, reveal Himself as Israel’s Messiah, and cleanse her temple one last time before ruling and reigning for 1,000 years over planet Earth from Jerusalem. Two, it further illustrates the Master’s total fulfillment and dedication to the Law of God, a law that sinful man cannot keep even in his most perfected state. Man is a sinner and cannot come to God through the Law, but by GRACE, the Grace of the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ!
Matthew 5:17 - Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.
As stated, Hanukkah was actually not in the Law of Moses as one of the required feasts Israel was commanded to observe. Three of those feasts – Pentecost, Passover, and Tabernacles, were feasts where the Lord required ALL the males of Israel to appear before Him in Jerusalem each year. Yet, though not required, Yeshua still observed Hanukkah. The reason we state this is that Yeshua’s fulfillment of the Law is why you and I are saved today. Fallen man could not fulfill God’s law with a sinful, wicked, decadent heart and nature. When Adam sinned and broke God’s law in the Garden, Adam forever plunged humanity into a curse as a result of our first parent’s disobedience.
For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)
The law’s penalty was death to the offender. In the LEVITICAL system of offerings, God instituted offerings whereby Israel could atone for their sins; yet not remove them from their conscience. The blood of bulls and goats can never TAKE AWAY sin. The bloods of animals were only a type of the coming Redeemer whom God had in mind to “tabernacle” and “temple” among us as a man Himself. A God-man if you would, who would come in total obedience to His Father, never committing one single sin or disobeying the Law one single time. Had Christ not fulfilled the Law in totality, His death, burial and resurrection, would have been in vain. A PERFECT sacrifice was required to atone for fallen humanity’s sin. In doing so, Yeshua’s death made it possible for man to stand before God “justified,” – not by our works – but because of God’s grace. Oh Praise God. For the LAW was given by MOSES, but GRACE and TRUTH came through Jesus Christ. Mercy, I feel the anointing of the Holy Ghost on that statement.
John 1:17 - For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.
It is by GRACE we are saved, not of works, lest any MAN should boast. No wonder John Newton wrote it, “Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me, I once was lost, but now I’m found, was BLIND, but now I see.” Coming out of darkness into the glorious light of the Messiah is a central theme to the Hanukkah celebration.
Eph. 2:8 - For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
This is a message Israel missed so many times. God never wanted to bring the nation under the bondage of the Law. He ALWAYS wanted to establish a nation of priests and kings unto Himself who would worship Him in Spirit and in Truth. The law was given only after Israel ASKED for it instead of seeking intimacy with God in the mount. (SEE, “Israel and the Mountain of Darkness”) I sense the hurt in God’s heart as His chosen people National Israel have tried so foolishly through the centuries to justify herself to Him through the observing of feasts, ceremony and laws. By the time Jesus came, the feasts became known as “the feasts of the Jews,” but the original seven convocations were meant to be seasons whereby the nation would be reminded of God’s GRACE. That’s why they were called the “feasts of the LORD!”
Israel did her best to observe times, offer sacrifices on an altar, and keep the Torah, but all that she did could never atone for sin. In the end, all the works the nation did became lifeless and without passion and stank in the nostrils of God. The very things God laid out for Israel to do became a noose around her neck which took her down a path of self-righteousness that blinded her to her true need and in the end her true Redeemer-Messiah. We in the church have that same noose around our neck today.
We in the modern church “world,” are so divided and carnal. We boast and brag about how spiritual we are across Christian television. Preachers of the gospel no longer preach on the sinfulness of man, but preach a gospel that promotes SELF and teaches man how to eat right, feel right, look right, do right and work right. Friend, man CAN’T do right because man is fallen. We can’t get this sinful nature of ours “RIGHT” no matter how hard we may try. It takes the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ to set us free and the LIGHT of His Spirit to keep us out of spiritual oblivion and darkness. That is the message of the Feast of Dedication. When we light those Menorah candles, one on the first night, two on the second and so on through eight straight nights, it is more than just a ritual to celebrate an ancient victory. We are in type illustrating the power of the Holy Spirit and His work in our “temples” today as He seeks to conform us to Christ. We are doing more than just a legalistic act to earn brownie points with God. We are honoring the work of Christ in our hearts and lives and in essence honoring His Second Coming. Oh Glory to God!
Many times the religious in Israel accused Yeshua of not keeping the Law but He kept it better than all those who accused Him. He fulfilled the letter of the law to the proverbial T. Had He not fulfilled the Law in such manner; all humanity would have been forever lost. James said that if we break just one part of the law we have broken it all. Yeshua never broke the smallest parts of the law, including observing and keeping the feasts of the Lord. As stated through His observance of the Feast of Dedication, He kept even those feasts not required by the Law.
This Feast of Dedication encompasses three important events – one past, one present and one future. The past Hanukkah was a historical event (physical), the current Hanukkah is spiritual and the future Hanukkah is prophetic. In many ways this feast is the most prophetic of all the feasts because in its reenactment in the future, Yeshua will reveal Himself to Israel as their Messiah through the repeat of its prophetic events. The world is soon to experience one of its greatest upheavals in its history prior to the Lord’s SECOND return just as Israel experienced prior to the advent of Messiah’s FIRST return to Earth.
Let that sink in friend, for the time we are living in right now is late. We are in the latter days when the church of the Lord Jesus is enter into one of its greatest conflicts against the power and rise of evil we have ever known. My brother Todd said something very profound not too long back when he said the plan of God is not just about the rise of evil in the last days, it’s the rise of a body of people who will fight for His cause on the earth as the Maccabees did during the Hanukkah of so long ago. We are nearing that time rapidly!
The First Hanukkah – Historical
And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter.  And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon's por
As stated before our text is the only place in the New Covenant where the Feast of Dedication or Hanukkah, is mentioned. This festival has been celebrated since the year 164 B.C. and continues to the present time. It starts on the 25th day of Kislev, the Jewish month, which usually falls sometimes in December. In the year 169 B.C. Antiochus Epiphanes, the Hellenized ruler of Syria (175-163 B.C.), a vile and godless man, campaigned against Egypt. In spite of his victory there, he was compelled to withdraw from Egypt at the command of powerful Rome. At that time, Palestine was under Syrian rule. Returning to Syria, Antiochus vented his wrath of defeat upon the hapless Judeans by entering Jerusalem, destroying a large part of the city, and slaughtering men, women and children. To crown his infamy, he invaded the Holy Temple, carried away the golden altar, the candlesticks, the golden vessels, and other sacred treasure. To show his utter contempt for Jehovah, he sacrificed a SOW to the Greek God Jupiter. No greater insult or blasphemy could be done to the Jewish race than that. This man many Bible scholars believe is a true type of the coming Antichrist who will do the exact same thing in the middle of the Great Tribulation period.
He also sternly forbade the Jews in the Holy Land to observe their religion, particularly the rite of circumcision, the observance of the Sabbath, and laws pertaining to clean animals. He commanded that only pigs be sacrificed in the Temple of God. He himself cooked a pig in the Temple and poured his broth on the holy scrolls of the Law and on the altar, thus polluting it sacrilegiously. Daniel foretold Antiochus’s blasphemy centuries before:
Daniel 11:30-31 -  For the ships of Chittim shall come against him: therefore he shall be grieved, and return, and have indignation against the holy covenant: so shall he do; he shall even return, and have intelligence with them that forsake the holy covenant.  And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that makes desolate
Syrian officers and supervisors were dispatched into every city and village of Palestine to enforce the cruel and blasphemous decrees of Antiochus Epiphanes. In terror many of the Jews fled to caves. Others, especially a number of Hellenized priests, complied with the Syrian ruler’s commands. But there was a small minority of the faithful who dared defy “Antiochus the Wicked,” as he became known in Jewish history. One day Apelles, an enforcement officer of Antiochus, arrived in the small township of Modin, three miles north of Jerusalem, and commanded the assembled Jews to sacrifice a hog. Mattathias (Matthew) the Maccabee, head of priestly family faithful to the Lord and father of give stalwart sons, was enraged by the ungodly decree and killed the first Jew about to comply with the order. Then he and his five sons fell upon Apelles and his group of soldiers and killed them all. This was the start of an uprising of the Jews against the Syrians, their enemies, and the enemies of their God. Soon after Mattathias died, his son Judas the Maccabee assembled a considerable number of courageous Jews and skillfully led them in battle against the Syrians.
Fired by the courage and devotion of Judas and his four brothers, the once timid and despairing now flocked to the side of their leader. They fought in the mountains and valleys of Judea. They attacked the invaders in guerilla fashion, giving them no respite. As they gained in strength they ventured to face their enemies in open battle and defeated them. Finally they drove the Syrians from Jerusalem, together with the disloyal priests who had collaborated with the invaders. After cleansing the Holy Temple, they demolished the polluted altar of God. On Kislev 25 (December), 164 B.C., the rededicated the temple of God amid great rejoicing and consecrated a new altar in place of the old, thus the “Feast of Dedication.”
They did not know however what to do with the stones of the old altar – sacred and precious to them but, at the same time, polluted and unfit for the offering of sacrifices. Jewish traditional and historical commentators say that the Maccabees decided to heap them together in a corner of the Temple and wait for the coming of Elijah or the Messiah to tell them what to do with these stones.
And said unto him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?
Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.
Since the days of Daniel and the prophets, all of Israel has always been concerned about a Temple made with stones. The Lord has always been concerned with a greater temple – the temple not made with hands – a beautiful type and picture of the New Covenant believer – both Jew and Gentile!
Hidden in the nooks of the Temple the Maccabees found a small jar of consecrated oil, used in the former days for the perpetual light in the Temple. The oil was sufficient only for one night, but miraculously the little cruse of oil lasted for eight days, until a new supply could be prepared and consecrated! Thus, the celebration of Hanukkah began, when it was decreed that for eight days eight candles be lit, one each night, in every Jewish household, beginning with one of the first day, two on the second, progressively until the eighth day.
Jewish tradition holds that the Maccabees were faith people and believed without a doubt that the cruse of oil would stay lit from the first night own. They believed God. They trusted Jehovah.
Daniel mentioned them in his writings when he wrote:
Daniel 11:32-33 - And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.  And they that understand among the people shall instruct many: yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many days.
The first Hanukkah was filled with conflict, captivity, sword, spoil and flame. It was a conflict that pictured a greater conflict on the horizon in these latter times. The Maccabees did great exploits because they KNEW THEIR GOD. The modern church world would do well to celebrate this feast and learn MUCH from the faith of these brave men. We need more Maccabees today to stand in the gap against evil. God is raising up such an army I believe. Praise God.
The Present Day Hanukkah – The Spiritual Temple of the Lord
Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.
1 Cor. 3:16-17
Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?  If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.
2 Cor. 6:16
And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
There is a present day Hanukkah as well. This one is spiritual and must take place in the lives of every single born again child of God reading this article today.
We are the New Covenant temple of God. Everyone of us reading this MUST have a modern-day Hanukkah experience. God created us body, soul, spirit. When we are born again our spirits become renewed with the power of the Holy Ghost who comes in and DWELLS with us. Christ is no longer an abstract person but He becomes “EMMANUEL” to us all – “GOD IN US,” the hope of glory.
Col 1:27 -To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
Eph 2:21-22 - In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.
Christ compared Himself to the physical temple of God. He came to die for fallen humanity so He could dwell in a human temple not made with hands and dwell among us, in us and work THROUGH us to a lost and dying world. John declared that He “tabernacled,” among us and “we beheld His glory.” What joy must have gripped the hearts of those He ministered to. What power and glory must have been felt with the words He spoke. What powerful current of energy those who sat on the ground must have felt during His Sermon on the Mount as He proclaimed the Kingdom of God and the principles on which all eternity must hangs. I can only imagine what it was like to see Him minister in person.
Yet, today, we have things so much better because NOW we have the ministry of Christ WITHIN us through the power of the Holy Ghost! When we are born again Jesus comes and LIVES INSIDE of us so that we have access to God at all times anywhere, under any circumstance, against any odds.
1 Cor 12:1-4 - Therefore I tell you that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, "Jesus be cursed," and no one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit.
It is the power of the Holy Spirit dwelling in our modern day temple that seeks to bring us and conform us into the image of Christ. His work is hindered so many times by the pollutions of our heart but none more wicked and demonic than the ROOT cause of all sin – the spirit of pride. When the Maccabees cleaned the temple, they were in type, illustrating what we must do today. Antiochus and his influence in our heart must GO! As a type of the coming Antichrist, the spirit of Antiochus is summed up in a few words – PRIDE, ARROGANCE and SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS. As the Antichrist to come will do, Antiochus exalted himself in the temple of God and sat in the temple of God claiming he was God.
This spirit was in the heart of the world’s first rebel – SATAN, and it sits in the heart of all rebellion today. Man wants to rule himself without God’s interference. The problem with that is that man can’t rule himself without destroying himself.
2 Thes. 2:3-8 - Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;  Who opposes and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.
I Jn 4:2-3 - This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, (3) but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.
This attitude and spirit of pride and arrogance is the Holy Ghost’s greatest obstacle in bringing us the grace that is needed to free us of the bondages and sin that so easily beset us. Self-righteousness and pride, self-will, arrogance are all terms that can describe this spirit that seeks to set up in our temples today.
Satan is a master deceiver and he plays his greatest trump card in this area of our heart. We will never know until eternity how much the spirit of pride hindered us on earth and kept us from the fullness of what the Lord wanted in our lives. It is the ROOT of all sin that must be destroyed and rooted out of the modern day temple.
John said the spirit of antichrist already is working, bringing the world together for the coming man of sin. I hate to say this but in reality the current apostasy in the modern church world is assisting in this process. John gives us a clear black and white line between that which is from the Holy Spirit and that, which is from the spirit of Antichrist. The line of conflict is over whether Jesus came from God “in the flesh.”
1 John 2:21-22
I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth.  Who is a liar but he that denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist that denies the Father and the Son.
I John 4:2-3 - This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, (3) but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.
John said the spirit of antichrist would DENY the Lord came in the flesh and draw men into error. What form does this take you may ask and how does it promote itself today in the modern church world. The connotation of this spirit revolves around man’s lack of faith in the finished work of Christ. Christ came “IN THE FLESH” to redeem fallen humanity from his sin. As a result, man has NO EXCUSE for sinning any longer. God became man, condemned sin “IN THE FLESH,” so we can be free from sin and alive unto God through the Spirit of God.
Rom 8:3- For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, (NIV VERSION)
Rom 8:3- For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: (KJV VERSION)
MOST of the modern gospel we hear today is being generated from the spirit of Antichrist. It is a humanistic laced gospel that declares man is not a sinner but just “ignorant,” or “dysfunctional.” One of the main components of this false gospel is the Jesus “died spiritually doctrine,” which says Jesus went to Hades, the sinful part of Paradise and burned in hell for three days as a sinner. Thus, He became “born again” and came out of the tomb. That is rank blasphemy and error. The horror of it is that it is not being promoted or preached by the Mormons, but by Charismatic leaders and teachers all over the Christian television networks. Christ went into the heart of the earth, not to burn in hell, but to preach the gospel to the spirits in prison and lead captivity captive. His message was simple – “SATAN YOU LOST!” In other words, Satan, you tried to destroy the human race by causing the first Adam to sin. The SECOND ADAM, one in the likeness of the FIRST ADAM, came in the same nature of the first, lived perfect without sinning and now has secured “eternal salvation,” for all those who trust in Him forever and forever.
But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.  And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification.  For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)  Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.
Why is this so important for us today? Because man’s total freedom from sin is tied into one thing – his faith in the finished work of Christ. If Jesus went into hell and became a “sinner” instead of a “sin offering,” we are all lost friend and are all doomed to hell forever. There is a God-man on the right hand of the throne of God today who is interceding for us as we write this journal. He is there right now – NOT because he went to hell and burned in the fire for three days – but because He fulfilled God’s Law without sin, became man’s substitute on the Cross, arose victorious over death, hell and the grave and destroyed the works of Satan for all those who will believe Him and trust in what He accomplished at the cross. Oh Praise God.
The conflict in our hearts is about faith and where we place our faith. PRIDE will cause us to place our faith in ourselves and not God! PRIDE and self-righteousness will cause us to seek victories in places where there will be no victory. Spiritual warfare today, which is what was the anti-type of the war between the Maccabees waged with Antiochus in ages past, is fought on a plain today in the modern church world that delivers precious few. Many try to fight a battle, which has already been fought and won by Christ.
This is an insult to the finished work of Christ and to Christ Himself and to be sure, it is a place and position that will ensure the Holy Spirit will NOT FUNCTION! The question is probably asked then ”well then what spirit are these so-called ‘deliverers’ operating in?” To be sure, it is not the Holy Spirit, but more than likely, “another spirit.”
The church world today equates miracles with deliverance. We equate “shouting,” and “being slain in the Spirit,” with deliverance. Some circles equate “12-step programs,” and “Christian psychology,” with deliverance. Along with these, a number of other “doctrines,” such as “possibility thinking and power of positive thinking,” are tied into a person’s deliverance. In instance after instance the church staggers in unbelief and refuses to preach the cross as man’s only hope, while at the same time offering false promises and formulas to the seeking soul crying out to be free from the nature that brings death. There is a war that wages in all our hearts today including many Christians. It’s the same war waged so long ago between the forces of God and the forces of Antiochus, the prototype of the coming Antichrist – the man of sin and pride. Many Christians are suffering today with the same emotional disorders and disturbances those in the world are. Many Christians are suffering with the same bondages, the same hates, the same lusts, and the same issues that many in the world suffer with. The question we must answer is WHY?
I have written many times recently on the issue of generational curses. Most in the church world just pass these “issues” Christians face off onto one of two possibilities – the person is not truly saved and is a hypocrite, or the person is the victim of a “generational curse.”
Most Christians engaged in this war are not hypocrites; they are God-fearing people, who are in the battle for their lives under the attack of Satan. To be sure, yes there are those who try to deceive others about their true state, but for the most part, this war wages against those seeking true faith in Christ. When the church sees its members engaged in this war and we can’t discard them as hypocrites, the second thing we do is declare the person’s problem to be the result of his/her upbringing and/or their “sins” past on to them by their fathers and ancestors. (We’re focusing on the wrong daddy – another time another place on that one) As a result we bring the bound and tormented soul up front and lay hands on them “screaming” over them and chanting our formulas. In some cases the individuals falls back “slain in the Spirit,” thinking that this “formula” we have given him for victory will somehow cease the demons from coming and the issues from keeping him/her in bondage. The poor soul gets up no more free than when they fell down only to find out in most cases within 24 hours all the shouting, all the screaming, all the falling, all the blowing, all the bragging, all the declaration, did not and does not set them free.
The problem is not that the Holy Spirit doesn’t want to work in their lives and deliver them; the problem is these individuals have put their faith in a formula instead of the cross. When this fails, the church turns them over to either psychology, which is a dead end street or disfellowships them declaring them to be hypocrites. As a result, we have Christians today in all types of deep depressions, despairs and other emotional disturbances that we don’t know how to deal with. There is not one church I know of off the top of my head in the mainline Pentecostal and Charismatic world that does not have a psychologist or some type of counselor on staff.
Neighbor, your victory today does not rest in that foolishness. Our victory today does not rest in a formula, miracles, gifts of the Spirit, being slain in the Spirit, Benny Hinn blowing on you (which I’m not against, don’t get me wrong) or any other preacher laying his hands on you (which is scriptural and I’m not opposing that either). WE MUST UNDERSTAND THAT VICTORY IN SPIRITUAL WARFARE HAS ALREADY BEEN WAGED AND WON THROUGH THE BLOOD STAINED AND BLOOD SOAKED HANDS OF THE WORLD’S REDEEMER, THE TEMPLE CLEANSER FROM GALILEE THE SON OF THE LIVING GOD, YESHUA HA'MASCHIAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh glory to God!
If miracles make us better Christians and set us free, Israel should have waltzed into the Promised Land after seeing all that God done in Egypt for her. Yet with all the miracles that God performed to bring Israel out of Egypt, these only set the stage they really affected no deliverance. It was totally and completely the CROSS OF CHRIST, registered in the symbolism in the slain Lamb, which brought Egypt to her knees and victory to Israel. It was the BLOOD that brought Israel out! AND Neighbor IT IS THE BLOOD that will bring us out of the bondage some may find themselves in today! It’s the blood and the power of the HOLY GHOST that will cleanse our temple. It’s the blood that will set the captive free. You don’t need a formula or a counseling session, you need a HANUKKAH session – a POWER session that removes the roots of pride and arrogance in our heart and brings victory to our lives.
Spiritual warfare is not cowboys and Indians like so many make it out to be in the church today. It’s not a game or a show. It’s not about a “word,” as I heard one female preacher proclaim over a major Christian network the other day. She was putting on a great performance for the crowd who was just going wild with her promises, but many of them listening needed more than a WORD, they needed a CLEANSING OF THE TEMPLE! They needed the OIL of the HOLY SPIRIT to set them free! AS WE ALL DO! I’m not pointing fingers at “them,” friend, I’m declaring this for us ALL! We ALL need a present-day Hanukkah experience. We need our temple cleansed.
God Resists The Proud, Gives Grace To The Humble
Prov. 3:34 - He mocks proud mockers but gives grace to the humble. (NIV)
James 4:6 - But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble." (NIV)
1 Pet 5:5 - Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble." (NIV)
This is one of the scariest scriptures in the Bible if you ask me. God RESISTS those who have Antiochus’ and his influence in their hearts but He gives GRACE to those who humble themselves and remove this root of pride from within.
Friend, hear me and hear me good. WE ALL NEED ALL THE GRACE WE CAN GET! NONE of us can survive this walk of life without the Grace of God. NONE of us – from the strongest Christian down to the weakest saint – are a match for the forces of darkness without the grace of God through the power of the Holy Spirit.
One of the greatest Biblical illustrations I believe of how God feels about pride and arrogance is found in the life of David, the sweet singer of Israel, her greatest king and a man after God’s own heart. When we read about David’s life, two great failures jump out at us through the pages of 1-2 Samuel, the Kings and Chronicles. Every Sunday school child who has ever heard of David’s life has been taught of his great sin of adultery and murder with Bathsheba. It was a horrible act for sure – taking another man’s wife through fornication, getting her pregnant, and then trying to get the husband to sleep with his wife so the sin would be hidden. When that failed, David had Urriah, the husband, killed on the field of battle. There is no one reading this who would not stand up immediately and say, “That is evil!” We’d declare, “That is wicked.”
And furthermore, if I asked any of you reading this which is worse, the act I just described for you, or the second great sin in David’s life, taking a census, every single one of us without a blink of an eye would immediately declare, “the adultery.” You see, we feel safe in the church world today talking about David’s adultery because in most cases, not all, but most, this will never affect us personally.
. Yes there are those in the body who fall into that sin but most don’t. Most recognize the hurt and harm it can do to a marriage, an individual and many times the families surrounding the offending parties. We have no problem identifying the EVIL of this sin and know we need to flee from it at all costs. We have no problem slamming our fists down on a pulpit and declaring that adultery is sin, which it is. We have no problem self-righteously declaring the wickedness of David’s fornication, as if we would never fall prey to such deception.
This reminds me of a recent home prayer meeting my wife attended not too terribly long ago when a lady stated that the reason people don’t come to church anymore is because of the sex-scandals of the 1980s and early 1990s. She called the two televangelists by name that were involved and said, “They hurt everybody by what they did.” The lady’s attitude stank but it highlights a deep-rooted problem in the church world today of self-righteousness. This lady’s “PRIDE” was not rebuked in the prayer meeting, as it should have been. Her comments were met with applause and agreement. She became a judge that night of the law and in essence brought judgment on herself without knowing it.
David’s adultery is the sin we always like to talk about when we mention his failures, yet as a result of his adultery, only one child died. The Lord’s anger was kindled hot at David but thousands of innocent men didn’t pay the ultimate price because of it – just the baby that resulted from David’s sexual encounter with Bathsheba. Was the adultery less wicked in God’s sight? NO! Did David pay a great price – yes! Did his kingdom suffer as a result? YES! Did David’s family of sons and daughters reap his sin? YES! This is not about justifying adultery. This is about recognizing a more horrible sin that is among us that is NOT talked about nor is it judged in the church today.
The second great sin in David’s life occurred when Satan provoked him to number the fighting people of Israel. In doing so, the writer of Chronicles says, Satan was “rising up” against Israel.
1 Chr 21:1 - Satan rose up against Israel and incited David to take a census of Israel.
Joab, a hardened, crusty general, who made no claims as knowing David’s God, the God of Israel, looked at what David was doing and said, “David, you don’t need to do this thing.” “WHY are you doing this?” Joab recognized the evil of the census and the judgment it would bring when he declared, “why do you want to bring GUILT on Israel?”
1 Chr 21:2-4 - So David said to Joab and the commanders of the troops, "Go and count the Israelites from Beersheba to Dan. Then report back to me so that I may know how many there are."
3 But Joab replied, "May the LORD multiply his troops a hundred times over. My lord the king, are they not all my lord's subjects? Why does my lord want to do this? Why should he bring guilt on Israel?"
4 The king's word, however, overruled Joab; so Joab left and went throughout Israel and then came back to Jerusalem.
The Bible says David’s word “overruled” Joab. You see when we have Antiochus living inside our temple, the taxi cab driver can look at the things we do and shake his head and say “WHY?” The local baker down the street can look at our lives and say, “WHY are you doing that?” The brother-in-law who doesn’t even know God can come to us and say, “You don’t need to do this, and this is evil.”
What David did in numbering the people was the ultimate act of arrogance, self-will and self-righteousness in the sight of God and it angered God greatly. It was the root of all sin and the same spirit by which Antiochus profaned the temple of the Lord. David was in essence saying, “God, I have fought these many battles but the victories over my enemies was NOT because of YOU, but because of the strength of the armies of Israel.”
Joab goes out and takes the census, “loathing” David, yet obeying. You see pride and self-righteousness makes people LOATHE us. It makes those who don’t know Christ want NOTHING to do with us. They see our attitudes that are laced with such hypocrisy, delusion and deceit. This is the spirit of Antiochus. It comes from the same source – SATAN. Satan is the lord of pride. Satan is the one who places his object of affection in our hearts and causes us to not see our true condition before the Lord. It’s called “spiritual blindness,” and without the lights of the Holy Spirit in our temples – we will stumble in the darkness.
Joab brings the numbers in, throws the census on the table and the Bible says David’s heart “SMOTE” him. At that moment, David realized the gravity of the sin he had committed against God and the judgment he had brought upon Israel.
2 Sam 24:10-12 - David was conscience-stricken after he had counted the fighting men, and he said to the LORD, "I have sinned greatly in what I have done. Now, O LORD, I beg you, take away the guilt of your servant. I have done a very foolish thing." Before David got up the next morning, the word of the LORD had come to Gad the prophet, David's seer: "Go and tell David, 'this is what the LORD says: I am giving you three options. Choose one of them for me to carry out against you.'"
1 Chr 21:7-9 - This command was also evil in the sight of God; so he punished Israel. Then David said to God, "I have sinned greatly by doing this. Now, I beg you, take away the guilt of your servant. I have done a very foolish thing."
I just want to interject one quick thought here about numbers and the modern church world. Our strength has never been in numbers. Our strength has never been about how big our buildings are. Our strength has never been how big the ministry staff is. Our strength has never been how many sing in our choirs or how many services we have each week. Our strength is not found in humanistic efforts or the poor pitiful efforts of man’s machinery today in the church. Our power comes from one source and it’s the fulfillment of this Feast of Dedication in those eight golden candleholders where that cruse of oil sat. It’s the POWER OF THE HOLY GHOST. It’s not by might, nor by power but by my SPIRIT, saith the Lord.
Preacher, it’s not your church. It’s not your denomination. It’s not your message. It’s not your ministry. It’s not your “word,” or your “show” or your “meeting,” or your “conference,” that sets captives free. It’s the preaching of the gospel of Almighty God, with the anointing of the Holy Spirit that convicts the souls of men and reveals to us our utter helplessness without Christ. It’s the Holy Spirit’s conviction that points us to the source of TRUE FREEDOM and that is the bloodstained hands of the Lord Jesus Christ!
It’s never been about numbers. I’m not saying it’s wrong to have big churches but if you have 5,000 people coming and only 300 are saved, what’s the trade off? So what if you have 10,000 coming to a local church, yet they hear a gospel that is sending 9,999 of them to hell. Why would we beat our chest and be proud of that? I know that sounds rough and cruel but neighbor the last days church has not been called to build churches, we have been called to be a prophetic voice to a lost and dying world. This prophetic voice is not sent to make men “RICH” and “INCREASED WITH GOODS” it’s a voice to bring them to repentance of not just what they do but of who they ARE! When we abhor ourselves, the Holy Spirit can then shine His light in our hearts and show us the path to life – YESHUA!
Man is lost. Man is a sinner. Man needs a Saviour, not a banker. Man needs a redeemer, not an educator. Man needs deliverance, not a psychologists’ couch.
2 Sam 24:12-13
12 "Go and tell David, 'This is what the LORD says: I am giving you three options. Choose one of them for me to carry out against you.'"
13 So Gad went to David and said to him, "Shall there come upon you three years of famine in your land? Or three months of fleeing from your enemies while they pursue you? Or three days of plague in your land? Now then, think it over and decide how I should answer the one who sent me."
God sends Gad the seer to David and says, “you have three choices – flee from your enemies, three days of plague or three years of famine.” David said “I’m in a great strait.” That’s what pride and arrogance and self-righteousness does to us – it puts us in a great strait.
David chooses the plague and 70,000 men of Israel die as a result. 70,000 men! Think about that. David commits adultery with a man’s wife and kills the man in battle and God takes the life of ONE BABY. David takes a census and 70,000 families lose a brother, a husband, a son, a nephew, an uncle. We lost 2,800 people on 9-11-2001 here in America and the nation is still mourning that loss even today. Can we imagine what would happen if 70,000 of our American men died? Let that sink in. This was not an attack from Satan; this was the death angel that God Himself sent over Israel as punishment for David’s pride and arrogance.
Before I move on from this story I want to share an interesting note. Most Bible commentators believe 1-2 Samuel and 1-2 Kings were perspectives written about the kings of Israel from Man’s point of view. The Chronicles were histories and events recorded from Heaven’s point of view. When we thumb through the story of David in 1-2 Samuel and the Kings, we see both the adultery and the numbering of the people listed. But in Chronicles, God does not mention the adultery but He mentions in full detail the numbering of the people.
Now I ask you a serious question. What sin was God most displeased with? When you answer that question, I pray you have gotten the picture and see the need to repent of our pride and arrogance before Him today. We need a present day Hanukkah in the church. Antiochus and the spirit of arrogance must GO. PRIDE must GO. We throw people out of our churches for adultery, but do we rebuke and remove those who exalt themselves and boast and brag instead of giving glory to God? We ostracize people who fall prey to fornication and adultery but do we rebuke this spirit of arrogance in our preachers today that has made them “television stars” instead of servants of the Lord?
NO we don’t. We applaud pride in the church today. We put it on Christian television and brag over the airwaves about how great we are and how much we’re doing for the Lord. We boast of things that we no right to be bragging about. How refreshing would it be to turn on T.B.N. and see the president of that network declare that the network is filled with pride and arrogance and have every single minister who ministers over the network repenting, weeping, mourning, crying out to God for mercy and forgiveness for the church’s pride and self-will?
The spirit of Antichrist is at work today. The spirit of arrogance is embedded in the temple of the Lord in the lives of millions of Christians. And until Antiochus is removed and eliminated through repentance, then the symptoms of his rule in our hearts – DEATH, depression, destruction and delusion – will remain and revival will tarry!
Some of you reading this are saying, “Well that is a real naïve way of looking at things. This so-called problem I got will work itself out. I don’t need to rid myself of the pride that is in my heart. I’m told by my preacher that my problem is just one of low self-esteem. Repent? You can’t be serious.”
Neighbor that is delusion. Things will not work themselves out. Deliverance will never come outside repentance and contrition before God. You cannot leave Antiochus in the temple or form unions with him – he must die. It’s hard for religious man to kill Antiochus and admit his need for God but kill Antiochus we must or be killed ourselves by his deception.
Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that follows me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
The eight candlesticks on the Hanukkah Menorah are in type a picture of the work of the Holy Spirit’s illumination in our hearts. It’s either the Holy Spirit or Antiochus friend. It’s either the light of the Lord or the darkness of Satan. This is not a gray area nor is it an area that we can concede to the enemy. We MUST have HIS LIGHT shining through us, in us and on us in this dark world. The darkness that is soon to envelope the earth is going to be a “GROSS” darkness as Isaiah called it. The only light will be the light IN US – the representatives of Christ on the earth. We need a fresh infilling of the Holy Spirit DAILY in this walk upon Planet Earth in the last days.
4 In him was life, and that life was the light of men.
5 The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.
We will finish this story in part two of this journal. I ask you today as we close this journal – “does HIS LIGHT shine in you as it should today?” Has pride and arrogance taken hold of your heart and soul and blinded you to your total need and dependence on HIM? Do Antiochus and the spirit of Antichrist bind you today? Are you lost in darkness and have no clue where to turn as you stumble through the veil of sin?
Neighbor there is a light that shines in the darkness and His name is YESHUA HaMashiach. He IS THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD. HE IS THE LIGHT OF MEN and will set us free today from the darkness of our hearts. The step we play is humbling ourselves before Him today so HE can destroy the vestiges of Antiochus in our temples. It’s getting late neighbor. If you need this present day Hanukkah experience in your heart and life pray with me:
Heavenly Father, in the name of Yeshua, I come to you today repenting of the pride and arrogance of my heart today. I ask you to deliver me from self-will and reveal the areas of my heart that are given over to self-righteousness. Allow the LIGHT of the Holy Spirit to rule and reign in me and deliver me from the bondages of my soul. I, as Job declared so long ago, ‘abhor myself and repent,’ before you today. I humble myself under Your mighty hand so you may lift me up. Lord, I don’t want you to resist me but give GRACE to me because I need your Grace every second and every hour upon this Earth. I cannot be saved without it and I cannot stay saved without it. I recognize my need today for a Hanukkah experience. I rededicate my temple to you today. I rededicate the temple of the Lord to you afresh this Hanukkah 2003 season. In Yeshuah’s name I pray, Amen.
This journal continued in "The Feast Of Dedication Part Two - The Temple Cleanser"