Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday commemorating the re-dedication of the Second Temple in 165 B.C., at the time of the Maccabean Revolt against Syria.
During the time of the Maccabees, Antiochus IV had his forces desecrate the Jerusalem Temple and its altar of worship, by slaughtering a swine on the altar and erecting a statue of Zeus with his own likeness in the sanctuary. Antiochus IV was a type of the future Antichrist. After three years, his army was defeated by Judah Maccabee, and he was overthrown. The Temple was cleansed and rededicated to the worship of the God of Israel.
Hanukkah actually means “dedication,” and refers to the re-dedication of the Temple to the service of God after it had been defiled with the pagan images and practices. According to the intertestamental Book of Maccabees, Hanukkah was a second, belated Feast of Tabernacles. The temple wasn’t ready to be rededicated at the Biblically prescribed time of the Feast of Tabernacles, so the Jews rededicated the cleansed temple roughly two months later in the ninth month (in December).
Waving palm branches and crying Hosanna were associated with the festivals of Tabernacles and Hanukkah, both of which celebrated a ruler riding in to free Jerusalem. Palm branches were waved at the first Hanukkah as the people celebrated the victory of Judah Maccabee. The palm branches of Jesus’ final entrance into Jerusalem encapsulated the hope of the people that he, like Judah Maccabee, would lead the people to freedom.
The first Biblical mention of Hanukkah—the Feast of Dedication—appears in the Book of John:
Then the Festival of Dedication took place in Jerusalem, and it was winter. Jesus was walking in the temple complex in Solomon’s Colonnade. Then the Jews surrounded Him and asked, “How long are You going to keep us in suspense? If You are the Messiah, tell us plainly.”
“I did tell you and you don’t believe,” Jesus answered them. “The works that I do in My Father’s name testify about Me. But you don’t believe because you are not My sheep. My sheep hear My voice, I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish—ever! No one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all. No one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. The Father and I are one.” (John 10:22)
In history, another great event occurred around the time of Hanukkah, one of our 3 “super signs.” That was the British capture of Jerusalem from the Turks in 1917 during the closing battles of WWI. British general Allenby took Jerusalem from four hundred years of Turkish control on the day before Hanukkah, 1917.
This Hanukkah in 2017 will mark exactly 100 years since that day. Hanukkah 2017 will begin in the evening of Tuesday, December 12 and ends in the evening of
Wednesday, December 20.
In Ezekiel, chapters 38-39 prophesy that Russia, along with several Arab and North African nations, will rally together in these last days and mount a massive military operation against the Nation of Israel. Ezekiel prophesies that a “hook in the jaw” will be placed in Russia’s mouth and she will be dragged into this war. This Ezekiel war is being prepared right now.
We can already see the Ezekiel timetable moving into position, as Iran, Hezbollah, and Syria join with Russia, and turn into a threat to Israel. Because of the crisis in Syria, all the players are moving into position now:
Pence to visit Israel during Hanukkah / Israel National News, October 26, 2017
Pence’s visit to the region is at President Donald Trump’s request, the report said.
The vice president will visit Israel during the holiday of Hanukkah, according to AP. While there, he will discuss the prospects for a Middle East peace agreement in separate meetings with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas.
Pence is also expected to address U.S. policy toward Iran and highlight Israel’s space program.
From Israel, Pence will head to Egypt where he will meet with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi and highlight U.S.-Egypt cooperation on security issues, according to the report.
After IAF strikes anti-aircraft battery, Syria warns of ‘dangerous consequences’ / The Times of Israel, October 16, 2017
The Syrian military on Monday threatened Israel with “dangerous consequences” for the airstrikes it has carried out in the country, after Israeli Air Force jets bombed an anti-aircraft battery near Damascus earlier in the day.
On Monday morning, the Syrian air defense battery fired an interceptor missile at Israeli reconnaissance planes. In response, a second IAF sortie, reportedly made up of F-16 fighter jets, attacked the SA-5 missile defense system that launched the interceptor, some 50 kilometers (31 miles) east of the Syrian capital.
Russia emerging as new player in Middle East balance of power / Asia Times, October 16, 2017
The ceasefire plans now in place in Syria allow Iranian forces to range within 5 kilometers of the Golan Heights, the great escarpment overlooking northern Israel that Israeli took in the 1967 War.
With the help of Russian air power, Iranian Revolutionary Guards units supported by Hezbollah, as well as Pakistani and Afghan Shi’ite mercenaries, have become the dominant power in Syria, changing the regional power balance to Israel’s disadvantage. Israel reportedly demanded a buffer zone for Iranian forces of at least 60 kilometers from its border last summer, and Russia refused. Washington also signed on to the Syrian ceasefire, leaving Israel the odd man out.
Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman warned last week: “If once we spoke about the Lebanese front — there is no longer such a front. There is the northern front. In any development there may be, it will be one front, Syria and Lebanon together, Hezbollah, the Assad regime and all the Assad regime supporters.” The Israeli government has warned Lebanon that any attacks on Israel by Hezbollah — which reportedly has an arsenal of more than 100,000 ballistic missiles —would elicit a devastating counterattack against Lebanon’s infrastructure.
Russian air cover allowed Iran a bridgehead to the Mediterranean through Syria that it could not have imagined five years ago, and Iran will be reluctant to lose the opportunity to establish a Shi’ite corridor from Persia through Lebanon. Moscow may not be in a position to forestall an Israeli-Iranian war.
Iran to cooperate with Syria to destroy ‘the Zionist enemy’ / Israel National News, October 18, 2017
Iran’s Chief of Staff declared on Wednesday that he will cooperate with other countries in order to destroy the “Zionist enemy.”
“We arrived in Damascus in order to coordinate and cooperate to confront our common enemies: the Zionists and the terrorists,” Iranian General Mohammad Baqeri told Syria’s state television channel. He added that in his opinion, it is “not acceptable for the Zionist regime to violate Syria anytime it wants.”
U.S. Launches Missiles at Syrian Base After Chemical Weapons Attack / NBC News, April 7, 2017
The United States fired 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at Syria overnight in response to what it believes was a chemical weapons attack that killed more than 100 people.
The missiles were launched from the USS Ross and the USS Porter in the Mediterranean Sea toward Shayrat Airfield. American officials believe it was used by the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad to carry out a strike on Tuesday involving chemical weapons that resulted in the deaths of more than 100 people.
“Assad choked out the lives of helpless men, women and children,” Trump said in remarks from Mar-a-Lago, his family compound in Palm Beach, Florida. “It is in this vital national security interest of the United States to prevent and deter the spread and use of deadly chemical weapons.”
The president also called on other countries to end the bloodshed in Syria.
Note that this attack was on the 100 year anniversary of when the United States entered into World War I. It may be hard to accept, but we are now entering World War III. Watch as the U.S. and Russia battle, backing their allies in a global game of chess.
Trump’s strike signals to Russia, Iran, Hezbollah, Assad: The party’s over / Times of Israel, April 7, 2017
After years of inaction under Obama, the new president delivered the overdue message: There will be a price to be paid for massacres, for terror attacks, for the use of chemical weapons.
Russian frigate armed with missiles said heading for Tartus / Debka, April 8, 2017
Russian state media reported Saturday that the Admiral Grigorovich frigate, armed with cruise missiles, has entered the Mediterranean and would call at Russia’s logistic base at Tartus. This step followed Russia’s pledge to help strengthen Syria’s air defenses after the US strike on the western Syrian Shayrat air base Friday in retaliation for Bashar Assad’s chemical attack on Khan Sheikhoun.
A great battle is brewing, but it is primarily a religious war. The battle is between the two main branches of Islam – Sunni and Shia.
Sunni followers believe that their prophet Muhammad did not appoint a specific successor before his death. Sunnis believe that the Imam, an important position within Islam, is the formal prayer leader.
Shia followers believe that their prophet Muhammad chose his son-in-law as successor. Their Imams are central figures and leaders of the community in Shia belief, they are the perfect manifestation of God.
The majority of Muslim countries are Sunni. The United States is actively working with the Sunni countries to form a Middle East peace agreement, because of their shared concern about Iranian hegemony in the region.
Trump and king of Jordan promise to make peace in the Middle East / New York Post, April 5, 2017
President Trump met with King Abdullah II of Jordan at the White House Wednesday as a report revealed that the administration wants to host a Mideast summit between Israel and the Palestinians as soon as this summer.
The two leaders, Trump said, would “advance the cause of peace in the Middle East, including peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians, and I’m working very, very hard when trying to finally create peace between the Palestinians and Israel.”
With the agreement to back his case, Abdullah told Trump that Arab leaders are serious about achieving what Jordan’s foreign minister, Ayman Safadi, described as the “historic reconciliation between Israel and the whole Arab world,” USA Today reported.
Russia supports the Shia governments in Syria and Iran. In Syria, the conflict is divided along Shia-Sunni lines. The majority of the population is Sunni, however, the government is Shia. Iran has been supporting Shia efforts to counter Sunni opposition by funding militia and sending troops.
Russia, Iran, Hizballah set up joint command in Syria / DEBKA, April 9, 2017
A new joint command center made up of the forces of Russia, Iran and the pro-Iranian Shiite militias supporting Syrian President Bashar Assad accused America Sunday of waging aggression on Syria and crossing red lines. The center issued this warning: “From now on we will respond with force to any aggressor or any breach of red lines from whoever it is [against the Assad regime] and America knows our ability to respond well,” said the statement.
What will happen next? Does the Bible give us clues?
The Bible describes this imminent battle in exacting detail:
Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal, and prophesy against him, and say, ‘Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I am against you, O Gog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal. I will turn you around, put hooks into your jaws, and lead you out, with all your army, horses, and horsemen, all splendidly clothed, a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords. Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya are with them, all of them with shield and helmet; Gomer and all its troops; the house of Togarmah from the far north and all its troops-many people are with you. (Ezekiel 38:1-6)
“And it will come to pass at the same time, when Gog comes against the land of Israel,” says the Lord God, “that My fury will show in My face. For in My jealousy and in the fire of My wrath I have spoken: ‘Surely in that day there shall be a great earthquake in the land of Israel, so that the fish of the sea, the birds of the heavens, the beasts of the field, all creeping things that creep on the earth, and all men who are on the face of the earth shall shake at My presence. The mountains shall be thrown down, the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground.’ I will call for a sword against Gog throughout all My mountains,” says the Lord God. “Every man’s sword will be against his brother. And I will bring him to judgment with pestilence and bloodshed; I will rain down on him, on his troops, and on the many peoples who are with him, flooding rain, great hailstones, fire, and brimstone. Thus I will magnify Myself and sanctify Myself, and I will be known in the eyes of many nations. Then they shall know that I am the Lord.”‘
The Bible describes the destruction of Israel’s enemies as total and complete. Workers will need to spend seven years just to clean the fields of bodies and weapons:
Then those who dwell in the cities of Israel will go out and set on fire and burn the weapons, both the shields and bucklers, the bows and arrows, the javelins and spears; and they will make fires with them for seven years. (Ezekiel 39:9)
Many readers miss the fact that these seven years are the Tribulation years, and are a clue as to the timing and sequence of the End Times.
According to Haggai, the day before Hanukkah, God will deliver Israel as He did twice before on this day:
The word of the Lord came to Haggai a second time on the twenty-fourth day of the month: “Speak to Zerubbabel, governor of Judah: I am going to shake the heavens and the earth. I will overturn royal thrones and destroy the power of the Gentile kingdoms. I will overturn chariots and their riders. Horses and their riders will fall, each by his brother’s sword. (Haggai 2:20-22)
With the preparations for the Ezekiel battle being seen daily in our news headlines, our need to be prepared for the Rapture has never been greater!
Yes, it is coming, and it will happen.” This is the declaration of the Lord God. “This is the day I have spoken about. (Ezekiel 39:8).