32. THE FEAST OF HANUKKAH
Hanukkah is the equivalent of the Jewish Christmas. It is an eight-day feast celebrating the retaking of Jerusalem and the Jewish temple from the Syrian Greeks in 164 BC, and the removal of the first abomination of desolation. To the Hebrew, any idol is an abomination, but an idol in the Jewish temple, especially the holy of holies where YHWH dwelled, was an abomination of desolation. From 175 to 164 BC, Antiochus IV Epiphanes was the ruler of the Seleucid Empire, which included Syria, Media, and Judea. He wished for his empire to be consistent in their worship, i.e. he wanted to Hellenize Judea, i.e. incorporate the Jews into worshipping as the Greeks. Some Jews resisted while others did not. Circa 169 BC, he went to conquer Egypt, but was repelled by a Roman emissary who promised war with Rome if he persisted. There was a rumor in Jerusalem that he had been killed or defeated, and the Jews rose against the Hellenizers in Jerusalem. Returning from Egypt in a fury, Antiochus IV captured Jerusalem and slew tens of thousands of Jews, sending tens of thousands more to the slave markets. He sacrificed a pig on the Jewish temple altar and spread the pig’s blood throughout the temple, thereby desecrating it. He outlawed the worship of YHWH, the Jewish God, and stopped His sacrifices. He placed a statue of Zeus in the holy of holies in the temple, the first abomination of desolation, on the 25th of Kislev, the birthday of Antiochus Epiphanes, circa 167 BC. The statue of Zeus had his face on it. He outlawed the Scriptures and the Jewish Sabbath was now to be just another day of the week. He banished male circumcision on the 8th day. If a male infant was found circumcised, the infant was killed and hanged around the mother’s neck. She was then marched to the highest point of walls of Jerusalem and thrown off to her death. Temple prostitutes were brought into the Jewish temple. Antiochus’ name Epiphanes meant God Manifest, but the Jews called him Epimanes, meaning “the madman.” He did everything in his power to destroy the Jewish religion.
As previously noted, Antiochus IV put up the first abomination of desolation. The anti-Christ will put up the second and last abomination of desolation in the soon to be rebuilt Jerusalem Temple. Dr. Chuck Missler, who died in 2018, noted an Egyptian Ptolemy had earlier tried to get into “the holy of holies,” but was struck with paralysis. Likewise, the Roman Emperor, Caligula (Little Boot), ordered his image placed in the Hebrew temple by his general, Petronius, who refused to do this, because he feared an insurrection. On learning of Petronius’ failure, Caligula ordered him to commit suicide. This message was sent by ship, but the ship was struck by a storm, and two weeks after Caligula dispatched the message, he was assassinated by his guards in 41 AD. Another message was sent detailing Caligula’s demise to Petronius, and this message reached him before Caligula’s order to commit suicide. Hence, Petronius was saved. Antiochus Epiphanes was “the little horn” of Daniel 7:20-25, 8:9-14, 23-26, and 11:21-36. Some of these references likely also refer to the coming anti-Christ. With regard to Caligula and the Egyptian Ptolemy, God only allows the desecration of His sanctuary for His own purposes.
In the town Modin near Jerusalem, Mattathias, a Levite, sought refuge with his five sons. A Syrian Greek lieutenant came to the town with a contingent of soldiers and demanded Mattathias sacrifice an unclean pig to the Greek gods. Mattathias refused but another town resident agreed to do so. Mattathias was so angry that he killed this man plus the Greek officer, while his sons dispatched the troops. Then they fled into the wilderness. Mattathias soon died but his middle son, Judas Maccabee (the hammer) was a military genius, who defeated several much larger Greek armies sent to destroy him. About three years after the first abomination of desolation was set up in the Jerusalem Temple, on the 25th of Kislev, he took Jerusalem and the temple. Immediately, he went about cleansing the temple but this required an eight-day supply of holy oil to light the temple. They had only a one-day supply of oil, and it took eight days to sanctify new oil, but they decided to use the oil they had. Miraculously, the oil lasted eight days, until a new supply could be prepared, hence, the eight day feast of Hanukkah.
I believe Hanukkah will end the final week (seven Biblical years of 360 days each) of Daniel based on the end of Daniel 12:11 “And from the time the daily sacrifice is taken away and the abomination of desolation is set up, there shall be 1,290 days. (But the Great Tribulation is 1260 days, and the anti-Christ is toast. Why the extra 30 days? This is the length of time to cleanse the temple.) 12:12 ”Blessed is he who waits, and comes to the 1,335 days. (Now, we have an extra 45 days for a total of 75 extra days. Why? I believe the LORD will return to reign on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of Judaism. He is fulfilling the Feasts of Moses. He was the Passover Lamb on 14 Nisan (feast #1) in the spring, in the grave during the one-week feast of Unleavened Bread (feast #2), and His body did not decay as He had no sin (no leaven, a symbol for sin). Within Unleavened Bread, He was the Firstfruit (feast #3) of the grave with His resurrection three days later. His church began on the Feast of Weeks (feast #4) fifty days after His resurrection. Some, including me, have speculated He will rapture His church on the fifth feast- Trumpets on Tishri 1 (-2) in the fall, though others believe Trumpets refers to one of the seven trumpet judgements of Revelation 8:2- 11:19. I believe He will come to reign on Yom Kippur, the holiest feast in Judaism on Tishri 10. Hanukkah is always 74 or 75 days after Yom Kippur, likely explaining Daniel 12:12. Tabernacles, the seventh feast of Moses, is the feast of His millennium per Zechariah 14:16. I believe the LORD will return for His own on a Hebrew feast, but which one?
In my prior writings, I have suggested Trumpets, the last day of Tabernacles, the day after Tabernacles, Hanukkah, and Purim, the salvation of God’s people, as possible dates for the rapture of the church. In one of his tapes, the late Chuck Missler suggested Weeks as a possibility. The Mosaic feasts are now complete for this Jewish religious year, leaving Hanukkah and Purim, which always begins about a month before Passover. This year, Hanukkah begins at sunset in Jerusalem on 10 December, only a few days away. It ends on 18 December at sunset as it is an eight-day feast. Jewish days go sunset to sunset.
Hanukkah was validated by Christ in John 10:22 Now it was the Feast of the Dedication in Jerusalem, and it was winter. This was Hanukkah. In John 10:27 (Jesus speaking during Hanukkah) ”My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. 28 And I give them eternal life…” In John 5:28 (Christ speaking) “…for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice.” Is John 10:27 a hint that He will come during Hanukkah in the rapture?
Hanukkah celebrates the Rededication of the Temple after the first abomination of desolation was put up. It is my belief it will end the final week of Daniel and celebrate the destruction of the second abomination of desolation also. 1 Corinthians 6:19 (Paul writing) Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own. Could it be that Hanukkah, the Rededication of the Temple is a double prophecy also referring to the rededication of the faithful Christians soon to be raptured and get a new body on Hanukkah?
I believe Christ will rapture His church on a Hebrew feast as a sign to the Jews and the lost tribes (soon to be found) who are left behind as well as the world. The two witnesses of Revelation 11:3-12 will likely identify the lost tribes and call them and the rest of the Jews home with terrible judgements on the nations who try to keep them from Israel.
Hanukkah is also known as the Feast of Lights. In Matthew 5:14, Christ referred to His followers as the light of the world. In John 8:12 Christ said He was the Light of the world. Now Hanukkah is the Feast of Lights. The Hanukkah menorah has a central elevated candle holder with four candle holders on each side. The central candle lights one outer candle, and every day thereafter, the nearest candle to the candle lit the day before is lit by the central candle till the last outer candle is lit on the beginning of the eighth day. Then the light is extinguished on sundown of the eighth day. Could this be when the rapture or removal of all true Christians occurs, when the light of the world is extinguished?
Hanukkah 2027 begins on Friday, December 24 and ends on Saturday, Jan 1, 2028 according to the internet. If this ends the final week of Daniel, it would begin 2,520 days earlier per Daniel 12:12, about the sixth of February of 2021.
I believe the final week of Daniel will soon begin from Matthew 24:32 “Now learn this parable from the fig tree. When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. 33 “So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near- at the doors! 34 “Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place.
How long is a generation? Psalm 90:10 The days of our lives are seventy years; and if by reason of strength they are eighty years… I take it from this the maximum number is eighty years. Per the internet, the average life span of an American in 2017 was 78.54 years, while the average Israeli lived to 82.60 years, while for Jews in Israel it was 84.7 in 2016. I would think the maximum number would be 84.7 years, so it may go a few years longer. If 80, the rapture should be near as the fig tree of Matthew 24:32 noted in the previous paragraph is political Israel according to the rabbis, with the grapevine being spiritual Israel. The nation of Israel came into being again at midnight on May 14-15 in 1948. A little over 72 ½ years have passed since then. If 80 is the maximum number for a generation, the final week of Daniel (2520 days) must begin soon. The last event Christ speaks of in Matthew 24 is His return to reign. Again, I believe that will be on Yom Kippur, usually in September of October of the year, but the final week of Daniel ends per Daniel 9:24 with the anointing of the Most Holy. I had thought this would be Christ, but the experts say this refers to the Temple, which I believe will be on Hanukkah, to celebrate the removal of the second abomination of desolation as well as the first. The earliest this could occur would be 30 days after the Great Tribulation per Daniel 12:11 since it takes 30 days to cleanse the Temple. Hence, the common teaching that the final week of Daniel consists of two equal parts of 1260 days seems to me to be impossible as the Temple could not be anointed till cleansed per Daniel 9:24.
One must also take into account the present political situation which would likely change completely if all the American Christians were removed at the end of Hanukkah on 18 December, a few days away. At present, America is the big gorilla in the world’s room, though China is rising, but America does not seem to be present in the End Time prophecies. Why? Perhaps our sins of abortion and worshipping science through the vast ages and evolution, instead of the one true God, catch up with us. The ungodly would say, “Good riddance!” to the removal of the church, but could the $ last? America would be a very different place if the church were removed. Not a good place to be- even for most of the heathen left.