Monday, December 7, 2020

Hanukkah or Chanukah - link to End Times!

 The Jewish holiday of Hanukkah is celebrated this year from December 10-18th.  This beautiful festival has a fascinating history and could potentially have a link to our blessed hope! 
Basically Chunukah is an 7-8 day holiday called the "Festival of Lights" that is celebrated by lighting a menorah candle each night, reciting prayers, and eating fried foods.  The Hebrew word Chanukah means “dedication,” and is thus named because it celebrates the rededication of the Holy Temple. Hence it is also called the Festival of Dedication.  Jesus also made reference to this feast as we shall see below

The history of how this festival began is a fascinating one. More than 2000 years ago, the Jewish people were under the strict rule of a Syrian-Greek empire. Several kings who ruled over Israel were very cruel to the people.  One of the kings who ruled was called Antiochus 1V or Antiochus Epiphanes (which means the gods beloved).  He was a madman who attempted to eradicate all the Jews. (sound familiar?) He also entered the Jewish temple and desecrated it by setting up an altar to Zeus and sacrificing a pig on it, proclaiming himself to be God. He butchered thousands of Jews and is a precursor to the Antichrist. Throughout the Bible we see stories that are foreshadows or types of what is to come, and the story of Antiochus IV is just that--a foreshadow of the Antichrist, who according to Scripture, will also enter the Jewish Temple and set up the "desolation that causes " and proclaim himself to be God. 
Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week;
But in the middle of the week, he shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, Even until the consummation, which is determined, is poured out on the desolate.
” Daniel 9:27 

Jesus warns the Jews that this very thing will happen again when the Antichrist takes over
Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand),  “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Matthew 24:15-16
Anyway, a group of Jews called the Maccabees rose up against Antiochus's oppression.  It's a long story, but an interesting one. If you want to read more detail about it, this is a great Article .

They finally were successful in defeating Antiochus IV and marched into Jerusalem to liberate it.  They cleared the temple of all the idols and built a new altar, which they dedicated on the Jewish month of Kislev, the 25th.  The Golden Menorah or lampstand had been stolen by the Syrians, so the Jews quickly made a replacement, but they only had enough oil for one of 7 lamps. This oil was a particular type that needed to be processed and prayed over before used and it would be days before they could make some. The miracle of Hanukkah is that God provided the oil they needed for each day for each lamp!
Any serious Bible student knows that oil, light, and lamps have great significance to our faith in Jesus. Jesus said he was the Light of the World. He described His followers as having His light and not hiding it under a bushel. Oil is a type of the Holy Spirit and lamps represent the church. 

The 10 Virgins

In the parable of the 10 Virgins in Mathew 25, there were 5 wise virgins and 5 foolish ones. They all start out with their lamps lit and oil in their lamps. (They are Christians, saved, lights of the world, and they have the Holy Spirit)  But Jesus doesn't come when they expect Him and half of them run out of Oil. Half of them give up, go back to the world, and lose the Holy Spirit.  Whether that means they are no longer saved is up for debate, but one thing we know they are left behind when the Bridegroom comes!

Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’ 12 But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’  Matthew 25:11-12
Hence, we see that oil represents the Holy Spirit and the lamp lit represents the Holy Spirit indwelling the believer and shining the light of Jesus throughout the world. When the Holy Spirit leaves, our lamps are no longer lit, and the light of Jesus can no longer shine from within us. 

The Seven Lamp Stands

Are you noticing a theme of light and lamps and oil throughout Scripture? In Revelation 1, John sees a vision of the risen Lord standing in heaven in the midst of 7 lampstands. (It's important to note that the Scripture does not say at this point that the lamps are lit)  Later Jesus tells John that the lampstands represent the church.
The mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lampstands: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands which you saw are the seven churches. Revelation 1:20

In Exodus 25, God gives Moses very detailed instructions on how to make the Tabernacle and everything to do with it, including all the utensils, altar, etc. He instructs him to build a lampstand with 7 lamps, the first Menorah! We know that this earthly Tabernacle, along with the Temple that followed, is an exact replica of the Temple in Heaven, so it would make sense that these 7 lampstands around Jesus are also represented by the 7 lampstands God instructs Moses to build on earth.

It's very interesting to consider that these 7 lamps, both on earth and in heaven represent the church. And a church without oil is a church that has no light, and a church that has no light will not make it in the rapture!  

Could there be a connection with Hanukkah and our soon departure? Is God trying to tell us something through the Hanukkah ceremony of lighting each of the lamps that represent the church one by one on each day? 

Is Hanukkah ever mentioned in the Gospels? Yes. In John 10

And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter.
And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon's porch.
Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly.
Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness of me.
But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand
.  V 22-28
How interesting that here on the Feast of Dedication, Jesus is being tested by the Jewish authorities and asked whether He was the Messiah. Even more interesting that Jesus replied by talking about His sheep and how only His Sheep hear His voice and He gives them eternal life!  Hmm.

Something to ponder. Something to hope. Never give up. Keep walking down the Narrow Path! Keep your oil lamps full!  Keep falling more and more in love with Jesus every day! Soon and very soon, you will see your Savior!


  1. Great renewal of the heartfelt joy and anticipation through this--thank you! Blessings on you and yours for seasons to come, MaryLu!

  2. Mary Lu you are one awesome lady thanks so much for the continued inspiration. Pam