Open the gates of righteousness for me;
I will enter through them
and give thanks to the Lord.
This is the gate of the Lord;
the righteous will enter through it.
I will give thanks to You
because You have answered me
and have become my salvation.
The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone.
This came from the Lord;
it is wonderful in our eyes.
This is the day the Lord has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Hanukkah 2018 will begin in the evening of Sunday, December 2 and ends in the evening of Monday, December 10. The year is winding up, and with it, the Lord’s plan for our 6,000 years of rule. This year is taking on significance like another great year – the year our Lord was born. Soon, He is returning for His bride, and that will be the end of the Church Age. After that day, the world will experience the 7 years of the Tribulation.
In fact, 2018 has many signs of being a year of new beginnings:
1. Biblical chronology: The creation of Adam around 3,983 BC. plus 6,000 years = 2018
2. The Last Generation: 70 years from 1948 (the re-birth of Israel).
3. Ben Samuel’s prophecy: 2018 is the year of Messiah.
4. The Prophecy in the Psalms: Psalm 118 = 2018. Psalm 118 is placed in between the shortest and the longest Psalm, making it stand out from all others.
5. The Hallel prophetic countdown: (Psalms 113 – 118) showing the Rapture and 7 year Tribulation are imminent.
* Current events: the Sunni vs. Shia battle brewing, that leads to the Ezekiel 38-39 invasion; the Trump Arab-Israel “ultimate deal” peace plan; the rise of the Beast (Erdogan of Turkey); the rise of the False Prophet (Pope Francis); the revival of the Roman Empire (the Federal Union of European States); the Sanhedrin call for the Third Temple; and many more signs.
In fact, the beginnings of the Ezekiel battle appears to be starting now:
Hezbollah issues warning video to Israel: Attack and you will regret it / The Times of Israel, December 1, 2018
Clip that appears to show satellite imagery and locations of strategic Israeli sites comes a day after an alleged Israeli strike on Iranian and Hezbollah targets in Syria
…the Hezbollah video showed what appeared to be satellite imagery of several strategic Israeli sites, superimposed with targets and their coordinates. Among the sites in the video was the IDF military headquarters in Tel Aviv, several air force bases, an oil refinery and Israel’s nuclear reactor in Dimona.
This Thanksgiving had a special significance for the Church. Our Thanksgiving takes on the properties of the Jewish Hanukkah. There are amazing similarities between the Pilgrims’ quest for religious freedom and what the Maccabees were fighting for.
The Hanukkah story is about Judah Maccabee, who led the Hebrews’ fight for freedom and military victory over the Greeks in the 2nd century B.C. Both Hanukkah and Thanksgiving have roots in the Jewish harvest festival of Tabernacles. They are both about freedom from tyranny.
The Feast of Tabernacles, also known as the Feast of the Ingathering, has multiple meanings.
The one mentioned in the Book of Exodus is agricultural in nature – Observe the Festival of Weeks with the firstfruits of the wheat harvest, and the Festival of Ingathering at the turn of the agricultural year. (Exodus 34:22)
The more elaborate religious significance from the Book of Leviticus is that of commemorating the Exodus and the dependence of the People of Israel on the will of God – You are to live in booths for seven days. All the native-born of Israel must live in booths, so that your generations may know that I made the Israelites live in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt; I am Yahweh your God. (Leviticus 23:42-43)
It is noteworthy to see that they were directed to build temporary shelters and to live in them for seven days. Noah was told to build an Ark – a floating “tabernacle” – and all of his family and the animals lived in it for 7 days:
Then the Lord said to Noah, “Enter the ark, you and all your household, for I have seen that you alone are righteous before Me in this generation. You are to take with you seven pairs, a male and its female, of all the clean animals, and two of the animals that are not clean, a male and its female, and seven pairs, male and female, of the birds of the sky—in order to keep offspring alive on the face of the whole earth. Seven days from now I will make it rain on the earth 40 days and 40 nights, and I will wipe off from the face of the earth every living thing I have made.” And Noah did everything that the Lord commanded him. (Genesis 7:1-4)
The Church is rescued by the Rapture, just like Noah’s family and the animals were saved in the Ark. The Lord tells us:
Your dead will live; their bodies will rise.
Awake and sing, you who dwell in the dust!
For you will be covered with the morning dew,
and the earth will bring out the departed spirits.
Go, my people, enter your rooms
and close your doors behind you.
Hide for a little while until the wrath has passed.
For look, the Lord is coming from His place
to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity. (Isaiah 26:19-21)
In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if not, I would have told you. I am going away to prepare a place for you. If I go away and prepare a place for you, I will come back and receive you to Myself, so that where I am you may be also. (John 14:2-3)
The next example of the Rapture is the Transfiguration:
After six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John and led them up on a high mountain by themselves to be alone. He was transformed in front of them, and His clothes became dazzling—extremely white as no launderer on earth could whiten them. Elijah appeared to them with Moses, and they were talking with Jesus.
Then Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it’s good for us to be here! Let us make three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah”— because he did not know what he should say, since they were terrified.
A cloud appeared, overshadowing them, and a voice came from the cloud:
This is My beloved Son;
listen to Him!
Then suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone with them except Jesus alone. (Mark 9:2-8)
In this “Transfiguration” we see a perfect representation of the future Rapture. In the original Greek, the word was metamorphothe, which was translated into Latin as Trans Figura, the changing of appearance or of the body itself.
Notice who is present:
- The Godhead, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
- The Old Testament believers, represented by Moses as the law-giver and Elijah as the first prophet
- The New Testament believers, represented by Peter, James, and John
The Rapture representation is complete when considering the word Mark uses for the transformation: stilbein. This is the Greek word used for the glistening gleam of burnished brass or gold, or of polished steel, or of the golden glare of the sunlight. This radiance is the natural state of Jesus the Messiah. At the Rapture, we will also shine with this radiance.
Dear friends, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet been revealed. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him because we will see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself just as He is pure. (1 John 3:2-3)
Since the Transfiguration happened on the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles, Peter made the suggestion of building a tabernacle for each of them. He probably expected that God would usher in the new age, the “Day of the Lord,” during the Feast of Tabernacles.
There are also some who believe that it was likely during the Feast of Tabernacles that Jesus was born. Note that He was born in a shelter:
The dedication of Solomon’s Temple also occurred on the Feast of Tabernacles.
So Solomon and all Israel with him—a very great assembly, from the entrance to Hamath to the Brook of Egypt—observed the festival at that time for seven days. On the eighth day[b] they held a sacred assembly, for the dedication of the altar lasted seven days and the festival seven days. On the twenty-third day of the seventh month he sent the people away to their tents, rejoicing and with happy hearts for the goodness the Lord had done for David, for Solomon, and for His people Israel. (2 Chronicles 7:8-10)
When Jonah finished his preaching against Nineveh, he rested on the Feast of Tabernacles.
Jonah left the city and sat down east of it. He made himself a shelter there and sat in its shade to see what would happen to the city. (Jonah 4:5)
Have you confessed with your mouth and believed in your heart that Jesus is Lord?
On the last and most important day of the festival, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone is thirsty, he should come to Me and drink! The one who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, will have streams of living water flow from deep within him.” He said this about the Spirit. (John 7:37-39)
If you are not sure that you are saved, you can accept Christ into your life right now, by praying:
“Lord Jesus, I believe you are the Son of God. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. Please forgive my sins and give me the gift of eternal life. I ask you in to my life and heart to be my Lord and Savior.”