Chanukah – A Picture of the End Times
R. Dennis Richards connects the celebration of Chanukah with the original story of the Maccabean revolt under persecution, the Messiah’s quoting of Daniel’s prophecies, and how it all comes together to form a picture what will happen in the end times. This a pertinent and timely message for everyone that professes to believe in the God of Israel.
Because technical difficulties prevented recording, only the notes for this message could be presented here.
Chanukah: A Picture of the End Times
Notes for a message by Rabbi Dennis Richards, 12/23/17
There is more to this eight-day holiday which has been called Chanukah, while it is never actually mention in the Tenach yet part of Chanukah’s is in the single mention of Chanukah found in the Book of John where it is called by its English name, “The Feast of Dedication.”
Yet Chanukah actually holds a big, prophetic end-time revelation. And as the years go by and time progresses we draw closer and closer to biblical prophecies that will be fulfilled.
- • Chanukah presents a preview of end times events mentioned in the Tenach and the teaching of Messiah. It tells of the spirit that will envelop the world, and the strategies for believers’ endurance more than any other biblical holiday.
Many Christians and secular Jews have no idea why this is also significant for them and yet the Orthodox involved in Cabbala understand. Messiah gave us a clue to its mystery validated in the Book of John where it mentions that He celebrated Chanukah.
John 10:22-23 states, when He “walked in the temple in Solomon’s porch” during the “Feast of Dedication.”
- • The word Chanukah means “dedication” and revolves the continued Salvation of Israel.”
Yeshua takes us to go back the 9th chapter of Daniel to see the mystery of how Daniel’s prophecy ties into Chanukah.
It is here where when the 70-year period of Israel’s captivity is virtually over, and the return to their own land is imminent. It is with this hope, Daniel begins to pray for himself and his people. His prayer of confession and petition is answered, but certainly not in a way Daniel would have expected.
- • YHVH sent Gabriel, His messenger, to give Daniel the understanding and insight into the vision Daniel had received, enabling him to see the near future in perspective.
- • He wanted Daniel to understand the relationship between Israel’s soon return to the land and the rebuilding of the temple in the light of His promise to restore His people and establish His kingdom on the earth.
- • He wanted Daniel to know that Israel’s imminent return to the land was not the coming of the kingdom of God.
The angel Gabriel is a messenger who was entrusted to deliver several important messages on YHVH’s behalf. Gabriel appears to at least three people in the Bible, the first was to the prophet Daniel (Daniel 8:16). Gabriel’s appearance and announcement provides Daniel and his reader with an increasing level of understanding of the vision YHVH had previously revealed.
“Seventy weeks are decreed for your people and for your holy city: Then transgression will stop and sin will end, guilt will be expiated, Everlasting justice will be introduced, vision and prophecy ratified, and a holy of holies will be anointed. Know and understand: From the utterance of the word that Jerusalem was to be rebuilt until there is an anointed ruler, there shall be seven weeks. In the course of sixty-two weeks it shall be rebuilt, With squares and trenches, in time of affliction. After the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one “Messiah” shall be cut down with no one to help him. And the people of a leader who will come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. His end shall come in a flood; until the end of the war, which is decreed, there will be desolation. 27: For one week, he shall make a firm covenant with the many; Half the week he shall abolish sacrifice and offering; In their place shall be the desolating abomination until the ruin that is decreed is poured out upon the desolator.”
This very verse (Daniel 9:27) Messiah specifically pointed to in His confidential briefing on returning to His disciples. It is from this background that, two centuries later, Messiah warned His disciples that:
When you see the desolating, abomination spoken of through Daniel the prophet standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), 16 then those in Judea must flee to the mountains, 17 a person on the housetop must not go down to get things out of his house, 18 a person in the field must not return to get his cloak. 19 Woe to pregnant women and nursing mothers in those days. 20 Pray that your flight not be in winter or on the Sabbath, 21 for at that time there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will be. 22 And if those days had not been shortened, no one would be saved; but for the sake of the elect they will be shortened. 23 If anyone says to you then, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24 False messiahs and false prophets will arise, and they will perform signs and wonders so great as to deceive, if that were possible, even the elect.
It will be helpful here to insert a passage which is another part of the coming tribulation which connects the pertinent passages. But you must understand the prologue of Revelation describes the source, contents, and audience of the book:
1The revelation of Yeshua Messiah, which YHVH gave to him, to show his servants what must happen soon. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John,2 who gives witness to the word of YHVH and to the testimony of Yeshua Messiah by reporting what he saw.
Then I was given a measuring rod like a staff and I was told, “Come and measure the temple of YHVH and the altar, and count those who are worshiping in it. But exclude the outer court of the temple; do not measure it, for it has been handed over to the Gentiles, who will trample the holy city for forty-two months.
The forty-two months, or 3 ½ years, is the period of time wherein the gentiles will “trample” Jerusalem. The first part of this period is the covenant made with the people by the anti- Messiah.
Both Daniel and the Messiah warn that “then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.”
Notice Messiah says, “let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains” and “pray that your flight may not be . . . on the Sabbath.”
There is an explicit Jewish element to this entire passage. This is because the events are related to the Time of Jacob’s Trouble described by
‘For behold, the days are coming,’ says YHVH, ‘that I will bring back from captivity My people Israel and Judah,’ says YHVH. ‘And I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it.’ Now these are the words that YHVH spoke concerning Israel and Judah. For thus says YHVH: ‘We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace. Ask now, and see, whether a man is ever in labor with child? So why do I see every man with his hands on his loins like a woman in labor, and all faces turned pale? Alas! For that day is great, so that none is like it; and it is the time of Jacob’s trouble, but he shall be saved out of it.
We may not agree on the meaning of these verses, yet we can agree they provide very specific information concerning the end of days.
For the first time in Daniel’s prophecy, the suffering and death of Messiah is introduced.
Chanukah foreshadows the Anti-Messiah, the abomination that causes desolation, the calling of evil, “good,” and good, “evil,” the removing of God from the public square, the banning of God’s Word, sexual immorality, and the persecution of YHVH’s people.”
In our politically correct system we are approaching a time when believers can be thrown in jail for what they teach about Torah and the majority of Americans applaud it.
Chanukah celebrates the story of the Maccabean revolt against Greek oppression in the period between the Tenach and Apostolic Writings This revolt was predicted by Daniel more than 300 years before it occurred, and the miraculous success of that revolution was still being celebrated during the time of Yeshua’s earthly ministry.
If it had not been successful, the Jewish religion and culture would have been wiped out, and the Messiah could not have been born into the House of David as predicted by the prophesied of the prophets in the Tenach.
Daniel 12 speaks of a period when “there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation, and at that time your people shall be delivered: “But you, Daniel, close up and seal the words of the scroll until the time of the end.”
- • “How long shall the fulfillment of these wonders be?” Daniel asks.
- • The angel answers saying his prophecies would be sealed until the end of the age, but when the time comes, “the wise will understand.”
Chanukah and the Maccabees are best understood in light of prophecies by Daniel and The Revelation given to John.
- • Without the Feast of Dedication and the victory of the Maccabees you could not have the birth of Messiah.
- • You would not have Christianity, without Chanukah.”
- • The Syrian Greek dictator, Antiochus Epiphanes, like many before him, and many today are hell bent on destroying Israel thinking that would eliminate the God of Israel, who is and was the God of eternity before the creation of the world.
Daniel prophesied about Antiochus Epiphanes (his name means “God manifest”) arising from the north and invading the Promised land.
- • Much like the Islamic State has declared war on Jews and Christians today, Antiochus set out to erase every trace, every memory that could lead anyone to the Eternal God or the history of his people.
- • Families had circumcised their sons secretly.
- • They observed Sabbath secretly. To be caught meant certain death.
- • This also happened in the Spanish inquisition, and still going on in modern Russia
Antiochus comes into the temple with a mission to defile it, slaughters a pig, sets up an idol in the temple, and launches an all-out war on Israel’s God.
The Israelites had a choice: offer sacrifices to the idols or die.
Today in our country and in Europe:
- • Every teaching is tolerated, even blessed by the state, except one.
- • The world’s major religions are taught to children in public schools as being equal.
- • Clearly the seeds of Jewish persecution have extended to Christians and have been planted in America, and have been growing in leaps and bounds.
- • Yet we will find answers on how to deal with persecution in the Chanukah story.
Daniel’s prophecies carry a dual meaning for the period of Antiochus in 167 BCE, and the period when the Anti-Messiah will arise in the end times.
It looked like Antiochus was going to wipe out the faith of the God of Israel in the world and it looked like it would be the end of Israel. But YHVH had other plans. Salvation!
The true believers and Israel in the last days will be overcomers, like the Maccabees, and
the Chanukah story contains a blueprint for how to prevail against the overwhelming odds of the world and its anti- Israel stance.
- • You have God’s people but then you have apostasy breaking out all around them.
- • You see evil overtaking the land, you see a new morality that seeks to eradicate faith in YHVH, it’s imposed by the secular courts but also many are going along with it freely.
- • Antiochus makes this law that everyone is to abandon their faith.
- • He proclaims himself God.
- • Man proclaiming himself God; He is a foreshadow of the Anti-Messiah.
Just as Revelation speaks of a temple in Jerusalem being defiled, so there is an idol set up in the temple in the Chanukah story. In each story, a man proclaims himself as God, sitting in the Holy Place.
- • All the people of Antiochus’ empire were to become one people culturally, mixed into one multicultural cesspool of paganism.
- • This can be seen today with the migration of peoples from one region of the world to another, with radical Muslims flooding into once-Christian Europe and America.
- • Politicians like those in Europe invite them and preach that everyone should be welcoming of this antagonistic culture.
- • The policies of these leaders are encouraged by the United Nations which is a den of inequities and financed by atheist billionaires.
YHVH in the Maccabees’ time would be replaced with Zeus. Today, he is replaced with Allah, or the god of the secular state, or humanism.
In Revelation, the Anti-Messiah begins to oppress the people of YHVH and have changed the “set times” and laws.
We are living in such times! If you are a true believer, you’re going to be a thorn in the side of the world. We are already witnessing it. There is a spirit of Anti-Messiah in the world. It starts with little things. Even things that represent Christian holy days:
- • Christmas gets changed to a winter recess.
- • Manger scenes spark lawsuits by the ACLU,
- • as do prayers by high-school football coaches.
Meanwhile, Muslim students get coddled by the state, which sets up foot baths in public high schools to accommodate their prayer times.
- • Army officers get banned from praying in Messiah’s name while Muslims are encouraged to pray five times a day to Allah.
- • School children are taught to memorize the As-Shahadah: “There is no god but Allah. Muhammad is his messenger,” the Muslim prayer of conversion.
The ACLU is silent. The American Civil Liberties Union started out as a nonpartisan nonprofit organization whose stated mission is “to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country.”
- • “Did anyone think, years ago, a manger scene would be controversial?
- • And that things that were considered abominations are no longer controversial?
- • The data on abortions based on the latest statistics on worldwide abortions published by the World Health Organization. According to the World Health Organization, every year in the world there are an estimated 40-50 million abortions. This corresponds to approximately 125,000 abortions per day.
So, the same war that has been going on for thousands of years make it appear as it did in the days of Antiochus, a war going on against anything that’s linked to the God of Israel and His Messiah. There’s a spirit of Antichrist that wars against anything Godly.
An anti-God society will produce someone like an Alexander the Great or a Caesar, a Hitler or a Stalin, and lastly the Anti-Messiah.”
The spirit of anti-messiah seeks to remove YHVH from every corner of the culture:
- • The Bible and prayer were removed from schools in 1960s.
- • The Ten Commandments were later removed from courthouses, a process that continues.
- • “Hate laws” have been passed in many cities making it a crime to say anything that they feel is not politically correct in their views.
- • What that means is that the Bible itself becomes a criminal offense.
- • They’re not daring to enforce the implications of these laws, but it’s there; it’s just the beginning, but they will.
- • Most Hollywood productions as well as the computer targeting young people are likely to feature blatantly unbiblical themes.
This is the kind of cultural rot that the Maccabees resisted.
Chanukah unlocks and gives the end-time picture of a spirit behind the age, which is the same god or spirit behind the origin of Europe, the same god that was behind the war against Israel in Chanukah, the war against the saints in The Revelation, the same god that desecrated the temple.
- • Both Judaism and Christianity have become lulled into passivity meaning their acceptance of what happens, without active response or resistance.
- • Chanukah is a reminder that there will need to remember the Maccabees and fight off the enemy—the enemies of YHVH, the people of Israel, and those who are Christians. I believe we are coming to these times.
- • Iran said Israel has no roots in the Middle East and would be “eliminated.”
- • The PLO Charter still calls for Israel’s destruction
- • Israeli war of independence (November 1947 – July 1949) –after the UN declaration of independence of Israel several Arab armies looked to eradicate them.
- • The enemy has atomic missals to use against us.
Here is something of which I am pretty sure: the Anti- Messiah will be in Israel and a new temple will be rebuilt during the first three years of Jacobs trouble, as Messiah warned. “When you see the desolating abomination spoken of through Daniel the prophet standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), 16 then those in Judea must flee to the mountains.”
But remember this if you’re in God’s will and you keep going: The Maccabees reigned with YHVH over His people in Jerusalem.
Understand, you’re on the winning side. Don’t ever give in to the enemy’s lies that you’re on the losing side because that’s what he wants. If you think you’re on the losing side, you’re going to act like it. You’re going to mess up.
And what happens at the very end? The Revelation speaks of the saints, who separated themselves for YHVH. Choose the way of righteousness, and you’ll have the power and the victory of God.