He’s The Light

November 27th, 2013

Hanukkah :: Nov 27-Dec 5, 2013

November 27th, 2013
Happy Hanukkah

What is Hanukkah?

The joyous festival of Hanukkah begins on 25 Kislev of the Jewish calendar. It celebrates two miracles –a great Jewish military victory and a miraculous supply of oil for the Temple.
Hanukkah marks the Macabees’ long-ago defeat of the much-larger Greek-Syrian army that had invaded Israel. The Macabees were just a small group of Jews led by Mattathias and his five sons, including Judah Macabee. But they organized themselves into a guerrilla army and, with God’s help, proved stronger than their powerful enemy.
Following the Macabees’ victory, the Jews rededicated the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and, once again, were able to worship freely.
Although Hanukkah celebrates a military victory, its major symbol — the Hanukkah menorah, or hanukkiah — reminds us of the miracle of the oil. As the Jews purified the Holy Temple, they found only one flask of the oil for the eternal lamp — enough to keep it burning for just one day. But a miracle occurred, and the oil lasted eight days and nights until more oil could be brought from afar. That miracle explains why we celebrate Hanukkah for eight days and also why Hanukkah is called the Festival of Lights.
The Hanukkah menorah holds nine candles, one for each of the eight nights and an additional candle that’s used to light the others. One candle is lit on the first night of Hanukkah, two on the second night, until all eight candles are lit on the eighth night.
Hanukkah is a time to celebrate with family and friends, to eat yummy holiday treats, to give gifts (especially to children) and to play the dreidel game.
Hanukkah will be celebrated on the following dates:
November 27- December 5, 2013

What Does Christ Have To Do With Hanukkah?

November 26th, 2013

Jesus Is The Light

Hanukkah :: Feast Of Dedication :: Festival of Lights
Did Jesus Understand The Importance Of Hanukkah? 

Yes, while Jesus was walking in the Temple during Hanukkah, they demanded that he tell them whether He was the Messiah. 

The scripture records that, He told them who He was (John 10:7-23). 

This “Feast of Dedication”, is the time when the Jewish nation was celebrating a holiday about deliverance from a false ruler who had declared he was to be their god. Think of the Godly wisdom and timing for Jesus to choose this place and celebration to reveal that He is God! Antiochus of Epiphanies’ made a similar claim, the coming anti-Christ will do the same and now here is Jesus confronting the cultural, political and religious leaders with the truth that He is the Messiah; “I and my Father are one. 31 Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him.” John 10:30-31 (KJV)

He has just declared to them, He is God. He was saying that He is equal to God in all aspects and that He is “God in the flesh”. To have chosen the Feast of Hanukkah to declare, “I and my Father are one,” is strategic! God is one God, but He exists in a plurality of beings, God The Father, God The Son and God The Holy Spirit. The religious leaders were enraged and picked up stones to stone Him.

 It is no different today; there are many who prefer the religious traditions of men and stone throwing instead of truth (John 10:32-33).
The primary Jewish declaration of faith proclaims that; “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD” Deut 6:4 (KJV). The multitude that heard Him was taken back. They understood exactly what Jesus meant (John 17:21). At this very moment Israel was celebrating their deliverance from such a declaration made by Antiochus the oppressive king and the pagan practices he tried to force upon the people of God. He portrayed that he was a god to them two hundred years earlier on the Temple Mount. Daniels prophecies declare that another anti-Christ will be coming in the future that will do the same. It is no mistake that Jesus chose Hanukkah to proclaim His deity (John 10:37-38). There is a weapon that every generation has against godlessness, lawlessness, and the traditions of man. Hanukkah teaches us that the weapon that combats, “assimilation” into ungodly practices and religious acceptance is unwavering obedience to The Word of God and removal of every high place. Just like the Maccabees we cannot allow one to remain in place, even if the odds are thirteen to one against you! The story of the Maccabees (the hammer people) is a reminder of the unswerving devotion of people who dedicated themselves to uncompromised obedience and faith (Rom 12:1).
“But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.” (John 4:23-26 NKJV)

Authors Personal Exhortation

Hanukkah is not an alternative to the winter solstice celebrations of man. It is the story of a people who said enough, re-dedicated and separated themselves from an anti-christ spirit and the religious practices it represented. Jesus was not born on December 25th.. His conception was near or during the period of Hanukkah and His birth came during the Fall Feast of Tabernacles (Sept. / Oct.). Because Spirit and Truth Worship are foundational to the Christian way of life, I want to encourage you to research where the Yule Tide, Winter Solstice and Christmas celebrations originated from. Then ask yourself, how did these practices and symbols became interwoven into the worship of the Messiah? How did His birth become a celebration during the Winter Solstice instead of the biblical time of Tabernacles?
The biblical “Feasts of The Lord” and other Hebrew celebrations mentioned in the bible have nothing in common with the spring Easter, fall Halloween and winter Xmas celebrations that have become part of Christianity. The feasts of the bible are recorded in Leviticus 23. God told Moses they are; “a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you,” (Ex. 31:12-13). Zechariah tells us they will be celebrated during the thousand year millennial reign of Jesus Christ (Zec. 14:15-16). Isaiah tells us that they continue on in eternity after the new heaven and earth is completed (Isa. 66:22-23). If they are celebrated during the millennium and in eternity what makes us think we can change or replace them? Will you understand the relevance of Hanukkah and be a modern Maccabee (a hammer) and declare as they did? “Yet I and my sons and my brothers will live by the covenant of our fathers. Far be it for us to desert the law and the ordinances”.
Let me conclude this overview by sharing three simple truths that I have learned during the process of teaching about the Bibles Holy Days.
  1. Sacred Cows make Gourmet hamburgers.
  2. All truth passes through three stages. First it is ridiculed. Second it is violently opposed. Third it is perceived as self evident.
  3. Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin James 4:17.
Hanukkah is a celebration of conception and deliverance, it is a time to express hope and renew our dedication to serve Him. It is time to throw off the mentality that biblical feasts and celebrations are just Jewish! The scriptures reveal that Jesus and His original twelve apostles celebrated the feasts and other biblical holidays. They didn’t quit celebrating them just because churches were planted in gentile nations. History actually reveals that the apostles and their disciples actually taught the gentiles these celebrations and practiced them together. It wasn’t until the Roman Church began systematically replacing Hebrew teachings and practices with non biblical dates and pagan celebrations that they began disappearing from the linage of the original churches (in 325 A.D).
You celebrate what you want…, “but as for me and my house we will chose the biblical patterns seen in the life of Jesus Christ and His apostles, including the historical practices of the churches that originated from the twelve apostles.” During the Feast of Dedication (Hanukkah) I renew and re-dedicate myself and my household to not practicing the pagan and religious co-opted practices of the Roman Church and the pagan traditions of men. Certainly all believers in Jesus have important reasons to remember the Feast of Dedication, Jesus did (Jn.10).

THE PROPHETIC FULFILLMENT

As with all the biblical holy days, there are spiritual lessons to be learned from HanukkahÑlight, courage, and faith, to name a few. Perhaps the most vital one is seen in its name. This festival commemorates a time when true worship of God was restored and the pagan practices completely removed from the House of God in Jerusalem. The Temple in Jerusalem no longer stands today. The heart of each true believer in Jesus Christ the Messiah and savior is the temple where the Spirit of God dwells. Too often believers endanger the cleanliness of this Temple by allowing idolatry and pagan practices into their lives. Hence the timeless exhortation from Scripture:
“Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.” – Col 2:8 KJV

A PRACTICAL GUIDE FOR A NEW TESTAMENT HANUKKAH CELEBRATION

  1. Hanukkah Reading Night One:

    Ps 27:1-3 The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the defense of my life; whom shall I dread?

  2. Hanukkah Reading Night Two:

    Ps 119:130 The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.

  3. Hanukkah Reading Night Three:

    Matt 5:16 “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

  4. Hanukkah Reading Night Four:

    Acts 26:18 to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.

  5. Hanukkah Reading Night Five:

    John 8:12 Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”

  6. Hanukkah Reading Night Six:

    Eph 5:11-15 Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret. 13 But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light. For this reason it says, “Awake, sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise,

  7. Hanukkah Reading Night Seven:

    1 Pet 2:9 But you are a CHOSEN RACE, a royal PRIESTHOOD, a HOLY NATION, a PEOPLE FOR {God’s} OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;

  8. Hanukkah Reading Night Eight:

    Phil 2:14-16 Do all things without grumbling or disputing; 15 so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, 16 holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain. (NAU)

How Do You Light The Hanukkiah?

Each night, you light the Shammas (servant) candle first. Then you use the Shammas to light the others. Then every night, you light one more candle. You light from the right to left, starting with the candle for the newest night. On the last night, all 8 candles are burning brightly including the Shammas (servant) in celebration of the miracle.
The Children’s Guide To Hanukkah by Susan Fischer Weis

HOW TO PLAY THE DREIDEL GAME

Each side of the dreidel bears a letter of the Hebrew alphabet: Nun, Gimel, Hay and Shin. Together, they form the acronym for “Nes”, “Gadol”, “Haya”, and “Sham” which means “a great miracle happened there”.
These letters also form a mnemonic for the rules for playing the dreidel game:
  • Nun stands for the Yiddish word “nit” which means ‘nothing’
  • Hay stands for “halb” which means ‘half’
  • Gimel for “gants” which means ‘all’
  • Shin for “shteln” which means ‘put in’

Game Instructions
  1. Give each person the same amount of money, candy or nuts.
  2. Each player puts one piece in the pot.
  3. The first player spins the dreidel and does what the dreidel says.
  4. After a player gets money, everyone puts one more piece into the pot.
  5. Everyone gets a turn. When you are finished playing, you can keep the money or eat your candy or nuts.

HANUKKAH RECIEPES

POTATO LATKES
Ingredients: 2 eggs, 3 cups grated, drained potatoes, 4 Tbls. grated onion, 1/4 tsp. pepper, 2 Tbls. cracker or matzah meal, 1/2 cup oil or butter.
Directions: Beat the eggs and add the potatoes, onion, salt, pepper and meal. Heat half the oil or butter in a frying pan and drop the potato mixture into it by the tablespoon. Fry until browned on both sides. Keep pancakes hot until all are fried and add more oil or butter as required. Serves 8. Serve with applesauce or sour cream.
HANUKKAH BRISKET
Yield: 12 servings
1 1/2 Cups Sun-Dried Tomatoes, packed in oil
1 Cup Boiling Water
1 Beef Brisket (About 4 1/2 Pounds), trim all visible fat
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Paprika
1 Teaspoon Pepper
1/2 Cup Ketchup
1/4 Cup Packed Brown Sugar
2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
8 Bunches Baby Carrots, trimmed
1/2 Pound Green Beans
3 Onions, sliced
In cup, combine sun-dried tomatoes and water: let stand 15 minutes or until softened. Meanwhile, season beef with salt, pepper and paprika. In sauce pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, brown beef in 1 TBS. hot oil 10 minutes, turning once. Remove to plate; keep warm. In the same pot over medium heat, cook onion in remaining 1 TBS. hot oil, stirring, 10 minutes or until tender. Add tomatoes with their liquid, ketchup, brown sugar and lemon juice; bring to a boil. Add brisket; reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 2 hours, 40 minutes. Add carrots and beans; continue simmering 20 minutes or until tender. Remove beef; let stand 15 minutes before carving.
ROAST CHICKEN
Ingredients:
1 (3 1/2 lb.) chicken
1/3 teaspoon salt
1/4teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon oil
Matzah and onion stuffing
Instructions:

Beware Of The Nimrod Spirit

Over spiritualizing Old Testament Scripture can be dangerous, because we might mistakenly believe that God will do something that He has no intention of doing. However, being too literal can be almost as dangerous.
Believers who are overly aggressive about building any type of physical building, end time organization, or religious program run the risk of being seduced by the Nimrod spirit, which is always saying, “Come let us build for ourselves a city and a tower whose top will reach into heaven, and let us make for ourselves a name; lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth” (Gen. 11:4).
This spirit always wants to build some religious program that becomes an idol it can identify with. When that happens, the builders generally find themselves manipulating people, circumstances, money, and Scripture to keep their program (city and tower) going.
The Lord has shown me that much of the confusion in the church surrounding many of the different religious programs is coming from Him. It’s the same confusion that He released on Nimrod’s program at the tower of Babel, when they tried to build something that was not of God (Gen. 11:7). It’s also the same confusion that he allows to come on His people when they walk in rebellion to His commandments and trust in the ways of Babylon (the world) for their provision (Ezra 9:7; Ps. 44:15; Is. 30:1-6 KJV).
Building the church is not about religious programs. It’s about Yeshua (Jesus) building the individual members of His body up into a temple made of living stones that are being transformed into His image (1Pet. 2:4-5; Rom. 8:29; 2 Cor. 3:18).

Where Are All the Josephs?

Many times I hear rich people referred to as Josephs. However, I don’t believe that this is necessarily the case. Most of today’s rich people are rich in debt: debt based investments, leverage stocks, mortgaged real estate, and empty paper promises called currency. Although, they have the image of prosperity, they are actually slaves to their lenders.
When the full shaking comes on the world’s financial system, these will find themselves to be among the church of Laodicea who thought they were rich and wealthy and had need of nothing, but they were really poor and blind and wretched and miserable and naked (Rev. 3:14-22). These are not the Josephs of the last days.
Joseph didn’t even know he was a Joseph until after his brothers came to Egypt (Gen. 45:5-7). I believe that most end time Josephs are still in the pit or serving in Potiphar’s house, where God’s Word is testing them just like it did Joseph before he came into the fullness of his ministry (Ps. 105:16-19). When they are thoroughly tested and found to be faithful to God’s ways in the small things, God will bring them out and give them charge over much (Ps. 105:20-22; Luke 12:35-44).
Some true end time Josephs are just beginning to emerge. Everyone who is working to build up the body of Christ and restore God’s commandments in the market-place during these last days, are end time Josephs. As we are faithful to study and teach and do God’s Word (Ezra 7:10), He will send us Joseph projects that will be above all we can ask, hope or think possible.

A Delicate Balance

God is working in both the natural and the spiritual realm. Therefore, the allegorical application of any Old Testament anointings to God’s people today must be done with the utmost care. I believe that there are six basic allegorical applications of the Joseph anointing that the end time church should expect to function in:
  1. End time Josephs are forerunners who are called to warn government, church and business leaders that both a physical and spiritual famine are coming on the earth. This is only done at the direction of the Lord as He authorizes and opens the doors.
  2. Josephs primary anointing is to extract real wealth out of the world’s system and judiciously channel it into the Kingdom of God as the Lord directs them. The goal is to use the finances of the world system to deliver the message of the Gospel, which saves and sanctifies man from sin and the world and teaches him to obey God’s commandments.
  3. Josephs, who are government officials, influence their governments to legislate biblically based law. They also use their influence to persuade their legislature that it would be wise to build up the nation’s food and other crisis supplies.
  4. Josephs, who are pastors of churches or one of the other five-fold ministries (Eph. 4:12), are actively writing God’s Torah on the hearts of the people in preparation for the spiritual famine that is coming. They also work closely with marketplace ministers to establish Joseph projects as the Lord leads. They teach their people the Joseph principal of having a physical storehouse in preparation for the physical famine and other crisis. If the Lord leads, they prepare a food storage project that will allow them to minister to their immediate community during the coming famines (Act 11:27-30).
  5. Josephs, who are marketplace ministers, actively transfer the wealth of the world into the work of the Gospel. The Gospel of the Kingdom not only wins the lost, but also teaches, trains, actives and releases believers in the ways and purposes of God. In other words, they should be actively discipling others who are called as marketplace ministers and assist in financing other end time Joseph projects.
  6. Individually, Josephs are writing God’s Torah indelibly on their own hearts, so they can spiritually feed their family and others during the coming spiritual famine. They aggressively seek the Holy Spirit on what church programs and Joseph projects to support. As the Lord leads and provides, they also provide a storehouse of natural food to sustain their families during the coming crises.

Conclusion

Being a Joseph is not a glamorous ministry like so many think it is. Most of the time, you are either in the pit of preparation or battling the false accusations of a Jezebel. There can be no love of money in you or any willingness to compromise God’s word. Only when you pass God’s testing does He grant you this vital end time anointing.
From: Money and Wealth and the New Millennium, page 243 [slightly edited].
1 The difference between a Joseph project and a religious program is that a Joseph project is a Spirit empowered campaign that produces the fruit of God’s kingdom for a specific time and purpose, while a religious program is a work of the flesh, which becomes an icon that goes nowhere and never seems to end.
source:   www.ascension ministries.com 

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