Channukah , Pardes and the Books of the Maccabees

Channukah , Pardes and the Books of the Maccabees

By James Trimm



The Channukah story is found in the Apocrypha in the four Books of the Maccabees.  Interestingly these four books recount the Channukah story on each of the Four levels of understanding known in Judaism as PaRDeS.

PARDES

The Hebrew/Aramaic word PARDES is spelled in Hebrew and Aramaic without vowels as PRDS. PaRDeS refers to a park or garden, esp. the Garden of Eden. The word appears three times in the Aramaic New Testament (Lk. 23:43; 2Cor. 12:4 & Rev. 2:7).  The word PRDS is also an acronym (called in Judaism “notarikon”) for:

[P]ashat  (Heb. “simple”)

[R]emez  (Heb. “hint”)

[D]rash  (Heb. “search”)

[S]od  (Heb. “hidden”)

These are the four levels of understanding the scriptures. Each layer is deeper and more intense than the last, like the layers of an onion.


PASHAT

The first level of understanding is PASHAT (simple). The Pashat is the literal meaning. It is similar to what Protestant hermeneutics calls “Grammatical Historical Exogesis” and also similar to what Protestant Hermeneutics calls “The Literal Principle.”

The PASHAT is the plain, simple meaning of the text; understanding scripture in its natural, normal sense using the customary meanings of the words being used, in accordance with the primary exegetical rule in the Talmud that no passage loses its PASHAT (b.Shab. 63a; b.Yeb. 24a). While there is figurative language (Ps. 36:7) symbolism (like Rom. 5:14); allegory (like Gal. 4:19-31) and hidden meanings (like Rev. 13:18; see also 1Cor. 2:7) in the Scriptures, the first thing to look for is the literal meaning or PASHAT.

The following rules of thumb can be used to determine if a passage is figurative and therefore figurative even in its PASHAT:

When an inanimate object is used to describe a living being, the statement is figurative.  (Example: Prov. 18:10)
When life and action are attributed to an inanimate object the statement is figurative.  (Example: same example Prov. 18:10)
When an expression is out of character with the thing described, the statement is figurative.  (Example: Ps. 17:8)

PASHAT is the keystone of Scripture understanding. If we discard the PASHAT we lose any real chance of an accurate understanding, left with a no-holds-barred game of pure imagination in which we are no longer objectively deriving meaning from the Scriptures (exogesis), but subjectively reading meaning into the scriptures (eisogesis) (see 2Pt. 1:20-21; 1Tim. 4:3-4). Thus Talmud twice warns us: “No passage loses its PASHAT” (b.Shab. 63a; b.Yeb. 24a).


REMEZ

The next level of understanding is called in Hebrew REMEZ (hint). This is the implied meaning of the text. Peculiarities in the text are regarded as hinting at a deeper truth than that conveyed by its PASHAT.

An example of implied “REMEZ” meaning may be found in Ex. 21:26-26-27 where we are told of our liability regarding eyes and teeth. By the “REMEZ” understanding we know that this liability also applies to other body parts.


DRASH

Another level of understanding the Scriptures is called in Hebrew “drash” meaning “search”, this is the allegorical, typological or homiletical application of the text. Creativity is used to search the text in relation to the rest of the Scriptures, other literature, or life itself in order to develop an allegorical, typological or homiletical application of the text. This process involves eisogesis (reading of the text) of the text.

Three important rules in utilizing the drash level of understanding a scripture are:
[1] A drash understanding can not be used to strip a passage of its PASHAT meaning, nor may any such understanding contradict any PASHAT meaning of any other scripture passage. As the Talmud states “No passage loses its PASHAT.” (b.Shab. 63a; bYeb. 24a)

[2] Let scripture interpret scripture. Look for the scriptures themselves to define the components of an allegory. For example use Mt. 12:18-23 to understand Mt. 13:3-9; Rev. 1:20 to understand Rev. 1:12-16; Rev. 17:7-18 to understand Rev. 17:2-8 etc.

[3] The primary components of an allegory represent specific realities. We should limit ourselves to these primary components when understanding the text.

EXAMPLES OF DRASH UNDERSTANDINGS:      Mt. 2:15 on Hosea 11:1
Mt. 3:11 on Is. 40:3
Rom. 5:14 (14-21) on Gen. 3:1-24
I Cor. 4:6
Gal. 4:24(21-31) on Gen. 17-22
Col 2:17
Heb. 8:5 on priesthood
Heb. 9:9, 24 on the Tabernacle
Heb. 10:1 on the Torah
Heb. 11:19 on Gen. 22:1f
1Pt. 3:21 on Gen. 6-9


SOD

The final level of understanding the Scriptures is called in Hebrew “SOD” meaning “hidden”. This understanding is the hidden, secret or mystic meaning of a text. (See I Cor. 2:7-16 esp. 2:7). This process often involves returning the letters of a word to their prime-material state and giving them new form in order to reveal a hidden meaning. An example may be found in Rev. 13:18 where the identity of the Beast is expressed by its numeric value.


THE FOUR GOSPELS

The Four Gospels each express one of these four levels of understanding of The Gospel according to the Hebrews. Each also expresses a different aspect of the Messiah and
corresponds to each of the four faces of the living beings in Ezekiel 1.

The Pashat Gospel is Mark. Mark presents the Messiah as the servant (the
servant who purifies the Goyim in Is. 52:13, 15) the “my servant the
Branch” of Zech.3:8 who is symbolized by the face of the Ox in Ezekiel 1
(the Ox being a servant, a beast of burden). Mark does not begin with an
account of the birth of Messiah as do Matthew and Luke because, unlike the
birth of a King, the birth of a servant is unimportant, all that is
important is his work as a servant which begins with his immersion by
Yochanan. Thus Mark’s simplified account omits any account of Yeshua’s
birth or preexistence and centers on his work as a servant who purifies
the Goyim.

The Remez Gospel is Luke. Luke wrote a more detailed account for the High
Priest Theophilus (a Sadducee). The Sadducees were rationalists and
sticklers for details. Luke presents Yeshua as the “Son of Man” and as
“the man whose name is the Branch” (Zech
6:12) who is presented as a High Priest and is symbolized by the face of
the man in Ezekiel 1. Luke wants to remind by remez (by implication) the
High Priest Theophilus about the redemption of the filthy High Priest
Joshua (Zech. 6) and its prophetic foreshadowing of a “man” who is a
Messianic “Priest” and who can purify even a
High Priest.

The Drash Gospel is Matthew. Matthew presents his account of Yeshua’s life
as a Midrash to the Pharisees, as a continuing story tied to various
passages from the Tanak (for example Mt. 2:13-15 presents an allegorical
understanding of Hosea 11:1).. As a drash level account Matthew also
includes a number of parables in his account. Matthew presents Messiah as
the King Messiah, the Branch of David (Jer. 23:5-6 & Is. 11:1f) symbolized
by the face of the lion in Ezekiel 1.

The Sod Gospel is Yochanan (John). Yochanan addresses the Mystical Essene
sect and concerns himself with mystical topics like light, life, truth,
the way and the Word. Yochanan includes many Sod interpretations in his
account. For example Yochanan 1:1 presents a Sod understanding of Gen.
1:1. Yochanan 3:14; 8:28 & 12:32 present a Sod understanding of Num. 21:9
etc.).


THE FOUR BOOKS OF SOLOMON

Now lets look at these levels in relation to the four books of Solomon:

1. Ecclesiastes is written on the PASHAT level. Solomon was inspired by Elohim to write a book about how the world appears without the revelation of Elohim “under the sun” or “under heaven”. This book is not YHWH’s revelation on the subjects it touches, but YHWH’s revelation of how those subjects seem to mean WITHOUT YHWH’s revelation.

2. Proverbs is written on the REMEZ level. This book digs deeper and implies the revelation of YHWH, examining its topics in light of that revelation.

3. The Song of Solomon is written on the Drash level and gives an allegory of YHWH and his relationship to Israel as His bride.

4. The Wisdom of Solomon “hidden” in the apocrypha (“Apocrypha means “hidden”) this book deals with much deeper subjects of the light of YHWH’s revelation.


THE FOUR BOOKS OF THE MACCABEES

Finally there are the Four Books of the Maccabees. These give the story of Channukah.  Channukah is the Jewish holiday which celebrates the rededication of the Temple after it had been defiled by Antiochus Epiphanies. This festival celebrates the victory of the Jewish rebels known as the “Maccabees” over the Greco-Syrians who had outlawed Torah observance and were attempting to force all Jews to embrace Greek Paganism and Greek customs. The exploits of the Maccabees are to be found in the four Books of the Maccabees.

These four books give the Channukah story on each of the four levels of understanding known as PaRDeS:

PASHAT
1st Maccabees gives the plain simple account using only seven chapters to cover the same material covered in all 2Maccabees

REMEZ
2nd Maccabees digs into the details not included in 1Maccabees.

DRASH
3rd Maccabees tells a related story of another persecution some fifty years earlier in Egypt under Ptolemy, which illustrates the same point.

SOD
4th Maccabees is a treaty making the case that the Torah is divine reason, and as such is supreme and thus the mind is sovereign over emotions.

As you know we have been digging ourselves out of a budget shortfall.  As I have said to you many times, I look on this work as a co-operative one with me, and all of you combining our resources together in order to get the job done of helping to teach this great truth to all in the world who will listen. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart for your continued support, you are the ones who make it all possible by your contributions and your prayers for our work. I truly appreciate your help in every way.

If you can make a one time donation of $500 or $1,000 dollars to support this work.


Donations can be sent by paypal to donations@wnae.org.

Donations can also be made out to “Nazarene Judaism” and sent to:

Nazarene Judaism
PO Box 471
Hurst, TX 76053

And don’t forget to join the conversations at the NazareneSpace Social Network

Check out the Latke recipe for Channukah at the new Messianic Home Space at NazareneSpace!

Channukah at Valley Forge

Channukah at Valley Forge
by
James Scott Trimm


In December, 1778, General George Washington had supper at the home of Michael Hart, a Jewish merchant in Easton, Pennsylvania. It was during the Hanukkah celebration, and Hart began to explain the customs of the holiday to his guest. Washington replied that he already knew about Hanukkah. He told Hart and his family of meeting a Jewish soldier at Valley Forge the previous year. Hart’s daughter Louisa wrote the story down in her diary.


The lights of the Hanukkah menorah had inspired General George Washington to forge on when everything looked bleak when his cold and hungry Continental Army camped at Valley Forge. Washington was walking among his troops when he saw one soldier sitting apart from the others, huddled over what looked like two tiny flames.


Washington approached the soldier and asked him what he was doing. The soldier explained that he was a Jew, a Polish immigrant who said he had fled his homeland because he could not practice his Jewish faith under the Prussian government there. He had lit the candles to celebrate Hanukkah, the festival commemorating the miraculous victory of his people so many centuries ago over the tyranny of a much better equipped and more powerful enemy who had sought to deny them their freedom. The soldier then expressed his confidence that just as, with the help of God, the Jews of ancient times were ultimately victorious, so too would they be victorious in their just cause for freedom. Washington thanked the soldier and walked back to where the rest of the troops camped, warmed by the inspiration of those little flames and the knowledge that miracles are possible.


The parallels with the American Revolution are obvious and these parallels were not lost on our founding fathers. Benjamin Rush, in his editorials denouncing the Tea Act, wrote:


What did not Moses forsake and suffer for his countrymen! What shining examples of patriotism do we behold in Joshua, Samuel, [the] Maccabees and all the illustrious princes, captains and prophets among the Jews.

Our rent is due today (12/1/21) and we still need to raise $225! In these uncertain times, we need your support more than ever. The time is short, and there is much work to be done. This is no time to pull back from the great work in front of us!

As I have said to you many times, I look on this work as a co-operative one with me, and all of you combining our resources together in order to get the job done of helping to teach this great truth to all in the world who will listen. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart for your continued support, you are the ones who make it all possible by your contributions and your prayers for our work. I truly appreciate your help in every way.

If you can make a one time donation of $500 or $1,000 dollars to support this work.

Now is time to step up to the plate!

Donations can be sent by Paypal to donations@wnae.org.


Or click HERE to donate






And don’t forget to join the conversations at the NazareneSpace Social Network

Check out the Latke recipe for Channukah at the new Messianic Home Space at NazareneSpace!

Channukah and Spiritual Warfare

Channukah and Spiritual WarfareBy James Scott TrimmPart 1
The Channukah story teaches us all about spiritual warfare and the Full Armor of Elohim.
There is special importance of wearing all the armor of Elohim imbedded in the events surrounding the first Channukah.

In the Hebrew text of 1st Maccabees there are six additional verses imbedded in the midst of 1Maccabees 7:33 (more correctly additional material which naturally breaks down into six verses) including three verses which parallel 2Maccabees 15:1-3.  Especially interesting is the 6th of these verses which speaks of the full armor in referring to the Jews in Nicanor occupied Jerusalem, says:

And they put on the full armor,
and not chain mail and lances
but rather prayers and supplications.
(1Macc. 7:33a6 HRV)

The Apocryphal book of 4th Maccabees deals with the martyrs who were oppressed under Antiochus Epiphanies. 4th Maccabees is a handbook on using the armor, especially in dealing with oppression. 4th Maccabees opens saying:

            The word of philosophy that I am about to discuss before you:
            If the true mind of shalom (peace) is sovereign to the fear
            of Elohim.  I am an upright advisor to you, that you should
            pay earnest attention in philosophy.
            (4Macc. 1:1 – HRV)

4th Maccabees then discusses the martyrdom of Eleazer saying:

            No city besieged ever held out against
            mighty vessels coming against its walls
            and its various parts like this. He was
            dressed in all the armor. For while his
            soul was suffering, consumed by torture,
            and by tribulation, and by burning, he
            conquered the tribulation because of his
            mind was fighting with the shield of truth.
            (4Macc. 7:4 – HRV)

4th Maccabees discusses the martyrdom of Hanna and her seven sons saying:

            Therefore put on the full armor of authority over the passions,
            which belongs to the mind that fears Eloah.
            (4Macc. 13:16 – HRV)

And finally concludes:

15:31 For like the ark of Noach, in the flood of all the world, were the throes within him. And he kept to the covenant and was sustained, and his strong word was fixed.
15:32 Thus also you keeper of the Torah, from every way overwhelmed with emotion you are drawn in and the violent winds of the torture of your sons, here and there weeping they blow. Strong is hope [over] the storm against shield of truth.
(4Macc. 15:31-32 HRV)

The 4th Book of the Maccabees is a guidebook to using all the armor of Elohim to overcome the Tribulation. Unfortunately the original Hebrew of this book has been lost, and the Aramaic version has never been translated into English (The HRV version will be the first English version based primarily on the Aramaic text).

In the Hebrew text of 1st Maccabees there are six additional verses imbedded in the midst of 1Maccabees 7:33 (more correctly additional material which naturally breaks down into six verses) including three verses which parallel 2Maccabees 15:1-3.  Especially interesting is the 6th of these verses which speaks of the full armor in referring to the Jews in Nicanor occupied Jerusalem, says:

And they put on the full armor,
and not chain mail and lances
but rather prayers and supplications.
(1Macc. 7:33a6 HRV)

The festival of Channukah is a picture of the last days.  I have written an entire book on that subject titled “Channukah and the Last Days”


The last days apostasy (2Thes. 2:3) parallels the Paganization of Israel (1Macc. 1:11-15).

The false prophet who causes people to follow the beast (Rev. 13:11-18; 19:20) parallels the purchase of the priesthood by a certain “Yeshua” who prefers to go by his Greek name “Jason” and who leads the people to adopt pagan customs. (2Macc. 4:1-22).

The beast of Rev. 13 commits the abomination of desolation referred to by Daniel. (Mt. 24:15; 2Thes. 2:1-4). This parallels the desecration of the Temple by Antiochus Epiphanies. (1Macc. 1:41-64 & 2Macc. 6:1-6).

In the last days there are three and one half years in which Y’hudah spends having fled into the wilderness. (Luke 21:20-24 & Rev. 12).  This parallels the fact that Judas (Y’hudah) Maccabee and his family and allies to retreated into the Judean wilderness for three years.

In the last days Messiah who is both a Cohen (Priest) and a King prevails. In the Maccabean period Y’hudah who becomes both a Cohen (Priest) and a King ultimately prevailed.

In the last days a new Temple is dedicated (Ezek. 40-48) and Tabernacles is celebrated by the world in the Kingdom. (Zech. 14:16-19). In the Maccabean era the Temple was rededicated to YHWH with a belated celebration of Tabernacles. (1Macc. 4:36-61; 2Macc. 10:1-9).

In the last days only a small sealed remnant are found at Messiah’s return (Rev. 12:17; Rev. 8)and the Ark reveals its position (2Macc. 2:4-8). By parallel in the days of the Maccabees only one bottle of oil sealed by the High Priest was found hidden in the Temple (b.Shabbat 21b).

Thus the martyrs of the Tribulation (Mt. 24:9-13, 29) parallel the martyrs of the Maccabean period (2Macc. 6:7-31; 7; 4Macc. 5-18). Like the last days martyrs of Revelation 12:11 they did not love their souls, even onto death.

Revelation tells us that in the last days there will be a major war in heaven between Micka’el and his angels, and HaSatan and his angels:

            And there was war in heaven and Mikha’el and his angels
            were fighting with the dragon, and the dragon and his angels
            fought.
            (Rev. 12:7 – HRV)

HaSatan will lose this heavenly war and be cast down to the earth:

            8 And they did not prevail and no place was found for
            them in heaven.
            9 And the great dragon was cast out, that head serpent who
            is called ‘Akel Kartza and HaSatan, who deceived the whole
            earth.  And he was cast out upon the earth and his angels were
            cast out with him.
            10 And I heard a great voice from heaven saying,
            Behold, there is deliverance and power and the kingdom
            of our Eloah, for the accuser of our brothers is cast out,
            who accused them night and day before our Eloah.
            (Rev. 12:8-10 – HRV)

But the next verse reveals to us that Torah Observant believers in
Messiah will actually bring about Michael’s victory:

            11 And they overcame by the blood of the lamb
            and through the word of his testimony;
            and they did not love their own nefeshot,
            even unto death.
            (Rev. 12:11 – HRV)

We know this must refer to the Torah Observant believers, because they bring the victory about because “they did not love their own nefeshot (souls), even onto death”. This cannot refer to angels.

How is it that Torah Observant believers in Messiah will impact this war? A clue is found in the Book of Daniel. In this book we read of a battle between Michael and the “Prince of the Kingdom of Paras (Persia)”:

            Then said he unto me: ` Fear not, Daniel;
            for the first day that you did set your heart to understand,
            and to humble yourself before your Elohim,
            your words were heard; and I am come because
            of your words. But the prince of the Kingdom of Paras
            withstood me one and twenty days; but, behold, Mikha’el,
            one of the chief princes, came to help
            me; and I was left over there beside the kings of Paras.
            (Dan. 10:12-13)

Daniel impacted this battle with intercessory prayer and fasting here on earth:

            In those days I Daniel was mourning three whole weeks.
            I ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh nor wine in
            my mouth, neither did I anoint myself at all, till three
            whole weeks were fulfilled.”
            (Dan. 10:2-3)

It should be noted that the message YHWH sent Daniel (Daniel 11) itself deals in parallel both with the rise of Antiochus Epiphanies and with the rise of the Anti-Messiah.

Now Paul tells us more specifically that putting on the full armor of Elohim allows us to participate in the same heavenly “struggle” with HaSatan through intercessory prayer:

            10 Henceforth, my brothers, be strong in our Adon
            and in the might of his power,
            11 and put on all the armor of Eloah, so that you may be able to
            stand against the strategies of ‘Akel Kartza,
            12 because your struggle is not with flesh and blood,
            but with principalities and with authorities and with
            the possessors             of this dark world and with the evil spirits
             that are under heaven.
            13 Because of this, put on all the armor of Eloah that you may
            be able to meet the evil one, and being prepared in everything,
            you may stand firm.
            14 Stand therefore, and gird up your loins with truth
            and put on the breastplate of righteousness
            15 And bind on your feet the preparation of the good news
            of shalom.
            16 And with these, take to you the shield of faith,
            by which you will have power to quench all the fiery darts
            of the wicked.
            17 And put on the helmet of salvation and take hold of the
            sword of the spirit, which is the word of Eloah.
            18 And with all prayers, and with all petitions,
            pray at all times in the spirit, and in prayer,
            be watchful in every season while praying
            continually and making supplication on behalf of all
            the set-apart-ones,
            (Eph. 6:10-18 HRV)

Revelation tells us that HaSatan will, having been defeated, come to earth to make war with those very Torah Observant believers who had brought about his defeat in the heavens:

            12 Because of this, rejoice, [O] heavens
            and those who dwell in them.
            Woe to the earth and to the sea,
            because the ‘Akel Kartza, who has great fury,
            has come down to them while knowing that the time
            is short for him.
            13 And when the dragon saw that he was cast upon the
            earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the
            male child.
            14 And two wings of a great eagle were given to the woman
            that she might fly to the wilderness to her place to be fed there

[for]

a time, times, and half of a time, from before the face
            of the serpent.
            15 And the serpent cast water as a river out of his mouth
            after the woman that the water might cause her to be
            carried away.
            16 And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened
            its mouth and swallowed the river that the dragon cast out
            of its mouth.
            17 And the dragon was angry concerning the woman and
            he went to wage war with the remnant of her seed, those
            who keep the commandments of Eloah and have the
            testimony of Yeshua.
            (Rev. 12:12-17)

This is the three and one half years of the Great Tribulation. In the period leading up to this time and during this Tribulation, believers will, using all the armor of Elohim, help Michael defeat HaSatan.  Remember this time parallels the time in which Judas Maccabee and the Chasidim were fighting gorilla warfare against Antiouchus Epiphanies in the Judean Hills.

This last days battle which parallels the battle between Judas Maccabee and the Greco-Syrians is what the Wisdom of Solomon refers to when it says:

            15: But the righteous live for evermore;
            their reward also is with YHWH,
            and the care of them is with the Most High.
            16: Therefore shall they receive a glorious kingdom,
            and a beautiful crown from the hand of YHWH:
            for with his right hand shall he cover them,
            and with his arm shall he protect them.
            17: He shall take to him in his zeal all the armor,
            and shall armor with him all his creation.
            For the desolation of the detestable ones.
            18: He shall put on righteousness as a breastplate,
            and judgment that is not false instead of an helmet.
            19: He shall take holiness for an invincible shield.
            20: His severe wrath shall he sharpen for a sword,
            and the world shall fight with him against the foolish.
            (Wisdom of Solomon 5:15-20 HRV)

Another evidence of the last days importance of the armor of Elohim is in 1Thes. 5:2-10 where we read:

            2 For you truly know that the day of our Adon will so
            come like a thief in the night,
            3 as they are saying, shalom and quiet. And then suddenly,
            destruction will come upon them, as birth pains upon
            a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.
            4 But you, my brothers, are not in darkness so that that
            day should overtake you as a thief.
            5 For you are all sons of light and sons of the day. And you
            are not sons of the night or sons of darkness.
            6 Therefore, let us not sleep as others, but let us be
            watchful and wise,
            7 For those who are asleep sleep in the night, and those
            who are drunk are drunk in the night.
            8 But we who are sons of the day [should] be watchful in
            our mind and be clothed with the breastplate of faith and
            of love and put on the helmet of the hope of life,
            9 Because Eloah has not appointed us to wrath, but to
            the obtaining of life in our Adon Yeshua the Messiah,
            10 who died for us, that whether we are awake or asleep,
            we would live as one with him.
            (1Thes. 5:2-10)

Now in reading this passage we should recall the Thief in the Night parable that is clearly being referred to here.

One of the catch phrases used by prior-rapturists is the phrase “thief in the night.” The prior-rapturists use this term to describe their prior rapture as a “secret rapture” in which the Church is secretly snatched away. This is however a complete misuse of the biblical term “thief in the night.” The “thief in the night” parable is one of the many parables Yeshua told (Mt. 24:42-51) it is referred to in the scriptures on three additional places (1Thes. 5:2-10; 2Pt. 3:10; Rev. 3:3 & Rev. 16:15). A true analysis of the term “thief in the night” as it is used in the scriptures will reveal a post-trib rapture which is anything but a secret prior-rapture.

The first place to look is the parable itself. The thief in the night parable is given by Yeshua in Mt. 24:42-44:

            Watch therefore: for you know not what hour your
            Adom does come.  But know this, that if the good-man
            of he house had known in what watch the thief would come,
            he would have watched, and would not have
            suffered his house to be broken up. Therefore be you
            also ready: for in such an hour as you think not the Son
            of Man comes.

There are a number of important elements to this parable. First it should be noted that the “thief” in this parable is clearly the Messiah. However in the parable of the Thief in the Night the Messiah is a thief who comes at an unexpected time. He is not pictured as
“stealing the church away” If anything the assembly is the victim of his surprise visit, but not the thing being stolen. Secondly we not that the thief/Messiah comes at a time that the Assembly does not expect him. Finally it is significant that the thief comes at a time
later than the Assembly expected and found the Assembly sleeping. Throughout the scriptures sleeping is a type of apostasy (see Is. 29:10 = Rom. 11:8).

The Thief in the Night parable is part of a section of scripture beginning in Mt. 24:42 and ending in Mt. 25:13 in which Yeshua illustrates that the Messiah comes later than expected to a sleeping assembly which expected him earlier. Yeshua first states this theme in verse 42. Then in Mt. 24:43 Yeshua give the thief in the night parable. Then in verse 44 Yeshua restates this theme. Then in Mt. 24:45-51 Yeshua gives the parable of the “faithful and wise servant.”  In this parable also the Messiah comes at a time later than the servant expected (verses 48 & 50) to find an apostate servant (verses 48-49). Finally Yeshua gives the illustration of the “ten virgins” (Mt. 25:1-12) in which the bridegroom comes later than the virgins expected. The virgins (at least some of them) are clearly believers for five of them have oil in their lamps. The bridegroom comes to find
the virgins sleeping. Even though many of them had oil in their lamps,  they thought the Messiah would come sooner than he did and as a result the fell into a sleep of apostasy. Rather than teaching a pre-trib rapture this section of scripture warns us that much of the assembly will expect the Messiah sooner than he comes (pre-trib), and when the
Messiah comes later than the Assembly thought he was supposed to (post-trib) these believers fall into apostate sleep. The pretribbers have been falsely taught by many of the teachers of Christendom that the Bible teaches Messiah will rescue them from the tribulation before it comes. When this does not happen many of them will lose faith and think that the scriptures are a lie. They will fall into an apostate sleep.

In 1Thes. 5 we learn that the sleeping apostates will be duped by a “shalom and quiet” (KJV: “peace and safety”) doctrine (verse 3) however “suddenly destruction will come upon them…and they will not escape” (verse 3). Here those that expect the Messiah to come later than he does believe in a “peace and safety” teaching and fall into apostasy when the Messiah does not come as soon as they expect but instead “sudden destruction comes upon them” something they apparently expected to “escape.” At this point they seem to fall into a sleep of apostasy. A great falling away comes when pretribbers are disappointed when they enter the tribulation instead of escaping it in a pre-trib rapture. But wait! Look at 1Thes 5:1! This whole section of scripture refers to the timing of the “rapture” event of 1Thes. 4:16-18. In fact, the chapter change from 1Thes. 4:18 to 5:1 occurs in the middle of a paragraph!

The reference to the thief in the night parable in 1Thes. 4:16-5:10 is also important for another reason. This reference gives us some context for the “rapture” event of 1Thes. 4:16-17. The thief in the night parable of Mt. 24:43 takes place in a large segment of Matthew (Mt. 24:29-25:46) which clearly discusses the post-trib (Mt. 24:29) second coming of Messiah. The thief of Mt. 24:42-44 comes at a time that is like “the days of Noah… before the flood” (Mt. 24:37-41 with Mt, 24:42-51). Luke also discusses this time that is like the days of Noah (Mt. 24:37-41 = Lk. 26-36). Luke goes on to say that those “taken” in Mt.24:37-41 = Lk. 17:26-36 will be consumed by birds of prey (see Lk. 17:37 = Mt. 24:28). These men consumed by birds of prey are those who come against Israel and are destroyed at the second coming (Rev. 19:11-21 esp. 19:17-18, 21). The timing of the “thief” event is therefore that of the second coming of Messiah in Rev.
19:11-21. Since the timing of “thief” event of 1Thes. 5:2-10 is that of the “rapture” event of 1Thes. 4:16-18 (1Thes. 5:1 states clearly that 1Thes. 5:2-10 refers to the timing of 1Thes. 4:16-18) then the “rapture” of 1Thes. 4:16-18 is simply a part of the post-trib coming of the Messiah.

Now look what Paul says in 1Thes. 5:5-8:

            5 For you are all sons of light and sons of the day. And you
            are not sons of the night or sons of darkness.
            6 Therefore, let us not sleep as others, but let us be watchful
             and wise,
            7 For those who are asleep sleep in the night, and those who       
             are drunk are drunk in the night.
            8 But we who are sons of the day [should] be watchful in our
            mind and be clothed with the breastplate of faith and of love
            and put on the   helmet of the hope of life,
            (1Thes. 5:5-9)

Paul is telling us that during this Great Tribulation (which parallels the time of the Channukah story) it will be important for believers to be wearing all the armor of Elohim.  This is because we will be like the Maccabees who wore the Full Armor in their battle with Antiochus Epiphanies.  The Channukah story is all about Spiritual Warfare!

As you know we have been digging ourselves out of a budget shortfall.  As I have said to you many times, I look on this work as a co-operative one with me, and all of you combining our resources together in order to get the job done of helping to teach this great truth to all in the world who will listen. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart for your continued support, you are the ones who make it all possible by your contributions and your prayers for our work. I truly appreciate your help in every way.

If you can make a one time donation of $500 or $1,000 dollars to support this work.


Donations can be sent by paypal to donations@wnae.org.

Donations can also be made out to “Nazarene Judaism” and sent to:

Nazarene Judaism
PO Box 471
Hurst, TX 76053

And don’t forget to join the conversations at the NazareneSpace Social Network

Check out the Latke recipe for Channukah at the new Messianic Home Space at NazareneSpace!

Let’s Build It!

So you complain about Facebook? There is an alternative!

NazareneSpace is a community-based social network dedicated to uniting believers in both Torah and Messiah by providing an open forum to discuss, educate, share and unite with others through member-driven content.

Member-driven content is the key! NazareneSpace needs you, the members, to contribute content! We need you to share your ideas and interact. We offer a platform so you can make your voice heard in a respectful, mature manner. Create content on your own page, or on the various discussion forum “Spaces”. You can even create your own forum “space” for your own topic.

We invite you to dialog with over 3,000 other members on the various issues of the day that face believers: community, theology, conflicts, politics and world events.

“Let’s Build it” was a phrase used by the old “Messianic Center” social network.

There is a world outside of Facebook! NazareneSpace is about to start our twelfth year, with new software!

But above all, we need your participation! A social network thrives on member contributed content! Don’t be afraid to post blogs or questions for discussion! (To post to the main NazareneSpace Forum/Space click “Forum” on the top menu.)

See you there! Just click HERE

Nazarenespace Welcomes Former Messianic Center Members!

The NazareneSpace Social Network is pleased to welcome former members of the Messianic Center Social Network.

Back in 2008, the same year that NazareneSpace began, another Messianic Social Network started up: The Messianic Center.

The Messianic Center was heavily promoted. Mailers were sent by surface mail to Messianic believers:

A Messianic Center team set up a booth at Messianic conferences to promote the new social network:

At these conferences they interviewed Messianic Believers:


They also produced promotional videos:

The network flourished for several years:

Then one day, members of The Messianic Center Social Network came to the website, only to see this message:

However, the promised “Re-Construction” never happened, and the site disappeared altogether.

We at NazareneSpace are very pleased to announce that we have now acquired the www.themessianiccenter.com domain name! We welcome all former members of the Messianic Center, and all Messianic and Hebraic Roots believers, to join the recently reconstructed NazareneSpace Social Network.

The Messianic Center URL www.the messianiccenter.com now forwards to the NazareneSpace Social Network!

Join the discussions and member-driven content at NazareneSpace.com

Channukah and the First Hasidim

Channukah and the First Hasidim
By
James Scott Trimm

Did you know that the first Hasidim played a very important part in the Chabbukah story? 

At this time of the apostasy leading to the Channukah story (175-140 BCE) many who wished to remain true to Torah escaped into the wilderness:

Howbeit many in Israel were fully resolved and confirmed in themselves
not to eat any unclean thing.
Wherefore the rather to die, that they might not be defiled with meats,
and that they might not profane the holy covenant:
so then they died.
And there was very great wrath upon Israel….
Then many that sought after justice and judgment
went down into the wilderness, to dwell there:
(1Macc. 1:62-64; 2:29)

These refugees became know as the Hassidim:

Then came there unto him a company of Hassidim
who were mighty men of Israel,
even all such as were voluntarily devoted unto the law.
(1Macc. 2:42)

Those of the Jews that he called Hassidim,
whose captain is Judas Maccabeus, nourish war and are seditious,
and will not let the rest be in peace.
(2Macc. 14:6)

These Hasidim were led by a certain Antigones of Soko.  The Mishnah says of him:

Antigones of Soko received [Torah] from Simeon the Righteous.
He used to say,
“Be not like servants who serve their master for the sake of wages,
but be like servants who serve their master with no thought of a wage –
and let the awe of Heaven be upon you.”
(m.Avot 1:3)

This was the core teaching of the Hasidim, and it became the core teaching of the 18th century restoration of Hasidic Judaism by the Ba’al Shem Tov. 

Antigones of Soko’s brightest student was Yose ben Yozer (known also as Yose Qatnuta):

Yose ben Yozer… received it from them.
Yose ben Yozer used to say:
Let your house be a gathering place for sages.
And wallow in the dust of their feet.
And drink in their words with gusto.
(m.Avot 1:4)

Yose Ben Yozer was the last of the Hassidim:

When Rabbi Yose Qatnuta died, the Hasidim passed away.
And why was he called “Qatnuta”?
Because he was least of the Hasidim.
(m.Sotah 9:15)

Yose ben Yozer was said to be among the sixty Hasidim who, at the instigation of the high priest Alcimus, the son of his sister, were crucified by the Syrian general Bacchides in 161 BCE:

Then did there assemble unto Alcimus and Bacchides a company of scribes, to require justice.
Now the Hasidim were the first among the children of Israel that sought peace of them:
For said they, One that is a priest of the seed of Aaron is come with this army, and he will do us no wrong.
So he spake unto them, peaceably, and sware unto them, saying, we will procure the harm neither of you nor your friends.
Whereupon they believed him: howbeit he took of them threescore men, and slew them in one day, according to the words which he wrote,
(1Macc. 7:12-16)

The Midrash Rabba reports the following dialogue between Alcimus and Yose ben Yozer while he was on the way to execution:

Alcimus: “See the profit and honors that have fallen to my lot in consequence of what I have done, while you, for your obstinacy, have the misfortune to die as a criminal.”

Yose, quietly: “if such is the lot of those who anger Elohim, what shall be the lot of those who accomplish His will?”

Alcimus: “Is there any one who accomplished His will more than thou?”

Yose: “If this is the end of those who accomplish His will, what awaits those who anger Him?”

On this Alcimus was seized with remorse and committed suicide.
(Genesis Rabba 1:65)

Rebbe Zalman laid out the intellectual basis of the teaching of Hasidism in the 18th century in a book called the Tanya, which became the foundation for the Hasidic movement known as Chabad.

The Tanya teaches that each Jew actually has two souls (from the perspective of the Tanya a “Jew” is a believer, just as in a Christian book the term “Christian” would refer to a believer),  One soul is the animal soul, which has only selfish motives, while the higher soul is a divine soul, and is actually a spark of Elohim Himself. 

The animal soul tends to give heed to the evil inclination, while the divine soul tends to give heed to the good inclination.

The Tanya teaches that our goal is to reach a point where we are guided by the divine soul and do not give heed to the animal soul at all.  

Moreover the Tanya teaches that if our motive in keeping Torah is at all selfish, such as a desire to earn something, or a desire to avoid a punishment, then ultimately that act is rooted in our animal soul and is not from a pure motive.  Instead our Torah observance should be rooted in our divine soul, and be motivated only by a natural inclination to observe Torah simply from a love for and an awe of Elohim.

It is for this reason that the book of Maccabees says that the Hassidim “were voluntarily devoted unto the law” because their Torah observance was of their own free will, and not motivated by any inducement. 

And this is the meaning of Antigones of Soko’s words:

“Be not like servants who serve their master for the sake of wages,
but be like servants who serve their master with no thought of a wage –
and let the awe of Heaven be upon you.”
(m.Avot 1:3)

Now there are actually four books of the Maccabees and these are each written on each of the four levels of understanding known as PaRDeS.  PaRDeS is the Hebrew word for “paradise” and is an acronym (notarikon) for the words Pashat (literal); Remez (implied); Drash (allegorical or homiletical) and Sod (Hidden, Secret, Mystical).

The First Book of Maccabees gives the plain literal version of the story (Pashat).

The Second Book of Maccabees is written on the Remez level, giving the details only implied by the first book.

The Third Book of Maacabees is written on the Homiletical/Allegorical (Drash) level.  This book actually has nothing to do with the Maccabees, but tells a story with a similar theme about another attempt to destroy the Jews that took place about fifty years earlier in Egypt.

But it is the Fourth Book of Maccabees that I want to discuss here.  The Fourth Book is written on the Sod level, and it deals with the same general subject as the Tanya.

The Tanya teaches that by programming our minds with Torah, the intellect of a man’s divine soul allows him to subdue the seven emotions of his animal soul, allowing him to follow Elohim with a pure motive, set free from the selfish motives of his animal soul:

For when the intellect in the rational soul deeply contemplates and immerses itself exceedingly in the greatness of G-d, how He fills all worlds and encompasses all worlds, and in the presence of Whom everything is considered as nothing— there will be born and aroused in his mind and thought the emotion of awe for the Divine Majesty, to fear and be humble before His blessed greatness, which is without end or limit, and to have the dread of G-d in his heart. Next, his heart will glow with an intense love, like burning coals, with a passion, desire and longing, and a yearning soul, towards the greatness of the blessed En Sof. This constitutes the culminating passion of the soul, of which Scripture speaks, as “My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth,.. .” and “My soul thirsteth for G-d,…” and “My soul thirsteth for Thee….” This thirst is derived from the element of Fire, which is found in the divine soul. As students of natural science affirm, and so it is in Etz Chayim, the element of Fire is in the heart, whilst the source of [the element of] Water and moisture is in the brain, which is explained in Etz Chayim, Portal 50, to refer to the faculty of chochmah, called “The water of the divine soul.” The rest of the middot are all offshoots of fear and love and their derivations, as is explained elsewhere.

Similarly is it with the human soul, which is divided in two— sechel (intellect) and middot (emotional attributes). The intellect includes chochmah, binah and da at (ChaBaD), whilst the middot are love of G-d, dread and awe of Him, glorification of Him, and so forth. ChaBaD [the intellectual faculties] are called “mothers” and source of the middot, for the latter are “offspring” of the former.

The explanation of the matter is as follows:

The intellect of the rational soul, which is the faculty that conceives any thing, is given the appellation of chochmah—כ”ח מ”ה— the “potentiality” of “what is.” When one brings forth this power from the potential into the actual, that is, when [a person] cogitates with his intellect in order to understand a thing truly and profoundly as it evolves from the concept which he has conceived in his intellect, this is called binah. These [chochmah and binah] are the very “father” and “mother” which give birth to love of G-d, and awe and dread of Him.
(Tanya; Likutei Amarim; Chapter 3)(Tanya; Likutei Amarim; Chapter 3)

This is also the message of the Fourth Book of Maccabees.  The Fourth Book tells us how many of the martyrs from the Hasidim of the Channukah story were able to endure their tortures and resist the temptation to recant their testimony even in the face of the most torturous deaths.  According to this book, the Torah our minds allows our mind to have sovereignty over the seven emotions.

1:1 The word of philosophy that I am about to discuss before you:
If the true mind of shalom (peace) is sovereign to the fear of Elohim. I am an upright adviser to you, that you should pay earnest attention in philosophy.
1:2 For it is also necessary for all men to suffer, more especially these are steps to virtue.
1:3 For I bear a good report:
If the mind of balance is over the emotions that stand against temperance, showing that the mind of virtue rules over gluttony [and] over lust.
1:4 And it is not only over the walk, but also over the other emotions that hinder righteousness. It is shown to be sovereign, over fornication evil and over other emotions that impede courage, over rage, and that a man be not soft before tribulation, and over fear.

1:13 The question therefore is this: If the mind is sovereign over emotion.
1:14 But you may ask: What is the mind? And what is emotion? And what are the kinds of emotion? And is the mind sovereign over all of them?
1:15 The mind therefore is thus: That in uprightness we choose the life of wisdom.
1:16 Now wisdom is knowledge of the hosts, of the Godhead, and of manhood and of their effects.
1:17 Now this is the discipline that is in the Torah, that through it also you learn of the Godhead greatly and of manhood to our advantage and obtaining favor.
1:18 Now the forms of wisdom are these: prudence, righteousness, [courage] and temperance.
1:19 Now the head of all of them is prudence because through it the mind rules over all emotions.

1:30 For reasoning is the leader of the virtues, but it is the sole ruler of the passions. Observe then first, through the very things which stand in the way of temperance, that reasoning is absolute ruler of the passions.
1:31 Now temperance consists of a command over the lusts.
1:32 But of the lusts, some belong to the soul, others to the body: and over each of these classes the reasoning appears to bear sway.
(4Macc. 1:4, 13-19, 30-32 HRV)

20 Of the passions, pleasure and pain are the two most comprehensive; and they also by nature refer to the soul.
21 And there are many attendant affections surrounding pleasure and pain.
22 Before pleasure is lust; and after pleasure, joy.
23 And before pain is fear; and after pain is sorrow.
24 Wrath is an affection, common to pleasure and to pain, if any one will pay attention when it comes upon him.
25 And there exists in pleasure a malicious disposition, which is the most multiform of all the affections.
26 In the soul it is arrogance, and love of money, and vain gloriousness, and contention, and faithlessness, and the evil eye .
27 In the body it is greediness and gormandizing, and solitary gluttony.
(4Macc. 1:20-27 HRV)

Let us learn to be like the Hasidim of the Channukah story.  Let us internalize the Torah in the wisdom, understanding and knowledge of our divine soul, and overcome the selfish motives of our animal soul.  Let us observe the Torah not as one seeking a reward, or wanting to avoid punishment, but from a natural inclination from the pure motive to serve Elohim.  If we do this, when tribulation comes, we may be able to endure the suffering and emotions of our animal soul and follow Elohim with the pure motives of our divine soul.

We must raise $500 by the end of the day today (Monday 12/14/20) or our account will go into the negative.

The last two years have been a real trial for us, and the last two months especially so. As you all probably know, our lives have never been the same since my wife returned home from a nearly two month hospitalization and septic shock in 2018.

Then recently in October 2020 my wife was hospitalized for two weeks and and had two surgeries beginning October 9th. She was sent home with a antibiotic resistant infection, under home health care with I.V. antibiotics at home, with visiting nurses. Not long after we got home, we both started having Covid-19 symptoms (mine were only mild), and we both tested positive for Covid-19 about three weeks ago. We were both recently retested, and are now negative.

All of this has been a financial burden on us. The I.V. antibiotics were almost $200 a week, and she needs a prescription filled soon which is just over $200!

I am now “back in the saddle” on projects like the Scripture Restoration Project

Also, by popular request, start looking for ne YouTube teaching videos soon!

We need your help to continue the ongoing work, bringing the message of Messiah to the Jewish people, and bringing the message of Torah to the world. We need your help with the ongoing work of Scripture Restoration, as restore the original Hebrew of the “New Testament” books, a project which will bless all mankind, especially the Jewish people of Israel.

In these uncertain times, we need your support more than ever. The time is short, and there is much work to be done. As you might imagine, donations are low. If you can, please donate. This is no time to pull back from the great work in front of us!

Help us to continue to do important work, like posting important Hebrew and Aramaic texts at Scripture Nexus

As I have said to you many times, I look on this work as a co-operative one with me, and all of you combining our resources together in order to get the job done of helping to teach this great truth to all in the world who will listen. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart for your continued support, you are the ones who make it all possible by your contributions and your prayers for our work. I truly appreciate your help in every way.

If you can make a one time donation of $500 or $1,000 dollars to support this work.


Donations can be sent by paypal to donations@wnae.org.

Donations can also be made out to “Nazarene Judaism” and sent to:

Nazarene Judaism
PO Box 471
Hurst, TX 76053





And don’t forget to join the conversations at the NazareneSpace Social Network

Thru the Book of Romans Now on NazareneSpace

Now you can go line by line Thru the Book of Romans with James Trimm, complete with PDF class handouts! Check out this Free Five part class on Romans! and be sure to share it with your friends! Its all part of the NEW NazareneSpace!

Click Here: Thru the Book of Romans

As you know we have been digging ourselves out of a budget shortfall.  As I have said to you many times, I look on this work as a co-operative one with me, and all of you combining our resources together in order to get the job done of helping to teach this great truth to all in the world who will listen. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart for your continued support, you are the ones who make it all possible by your contributions and your prayers for our work. I truly appreciate your help in every way.

If you can make a one time donation of $500 or $1,000 dollars to support this work.


Donations can be sent by paypal to donations@wnae.org.

Donations can also be made out to “Nazarene Judaism” and sent to:

Nazarene Judaism
PO Box 471
Hurst, TX 76053

And don’t forget to join the conversations at the NazareneSpace Social Network

Yeshua and Tradition

Yeshua and Tradition
by
James Scott Trimm

Yeshua himself seems to have also accepted the “traditions of our fathers” which had been passed down orally.

In John 7:37-38 we read:

“And on the great day, which is the last of the feast, Yeshua stood and cried out and said, If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scriptures have said, rivers of water of life will flow from his belly.”

The occasion is the last great day of Sukkot (Jn. 7:2) and the setting appears to be the water libation ceremony at the Temple as prescribed by the Oral Law. A priest had a flask of gold filled with water and another has a flask of gold filled with wine. There were two silver bowls perforated with holes like a narrow snout. One was wide for the water the other is narrow for the wine. The priests poured the wine and water into each of their bowls. The wine and water mixed together. The wine flowing slowly through the narrow snout and the water flowing quickly through the wider snout. (m.Sukkot 4:9) Yeshua said that this ritual from the Oral Law was actually prophetic and symbolic of himself!

In all four Gospels Yeshua participates in the Passover Sader. The elements of the sader, such as the “cup of redemption”; dipping in bitter herbs; and the afikomen (the last piece of unleavened bread passed around and eaten at the end) all come from the Oral Law as recorded in the Mishna (m.Pes. 10). Yeshua not only accepted and kept these Oral Law rituals, but also spoke of them being prophetic of himself.

In Matthew 23:35 Yeshua says  “…upon you may come all the righteous blood which has been shed upon the earth, from Hevel the righteous, to Z’kharyah Ben Berekhyah, whom you slew between the Temple and the alter.”

Yeshua here relies heavily on the Oral Law in this passage in that he ties together two separate Oral Law traditions to make his point.  The first is an Oral Law tradition concerning the murder of Havel (Able) that understands the plural word “bloods” crying out from the ground in Gen. 4:10 to signify that whoever kills one person is guilty of killing everyone:

…it is said , “The bloods of your brother cry” (Gen. 4:10)
It does not say, “The blood of your brother,” but.
“The bloods of your brother”—his blood and the blood
of all those who were destined to be born from him.
Another matter—the bloods of your brother—
for his blood was splattered on trees and stones….
whoever destroys a single Israelite soul
is deemed by Scripture as if he had destroyed the whole world
and whoever saves a single Israelite soul
by Scripture as if he had saved the whole world…
(m.San. 4:5)

The second Oral Law tradition is one surrounding Zechariah ben Jehoidai (2Chron. 24:20-21).  The extant text of Matt. 23:35 reads “Zechariah ben Berechiah”.  This, however, seems to be a scribal error.  A scribe seems to have confused “Zechariah ben Jehoidai”(2Chron. 24:20-21) with “Zechariah ben Berechiah” (Zech. 1:1).  The original Hebrew text used by the ancient Nazarenes read correctly with “Zechariah ben Jehoidai”

The fourth century “Church Father” Jerome writes:

In the Gospel which the Nazarenes use,
instead of “son of Barachias”
we have found written “son of Joiada.”
(Jerome; Commentary on Matthew 23:35)

Yeshua draws on a tradition surrounding Zechariah ben Jehoidai which is recorded in the Talmud.  This tradition parallels the tradition concerning Abel above.  In this tradition Zechariah’s blood also cries out for vengence but ceases its cry lest all Israel be destroyed.  The Babylonian Talmud records the story this way:

Nebuzaradan, [After that] he saw the blood of Zechariah
seething. ‘What is this?’ cried he. ‘It is the blood of sacrifices,
which has been spilled,’ they answered. ‘Then,’ said he,
‘bring [some animal blood] and I will compare them, to see
whether they are alike.’ So he slaughtered animals and
compared them, but they were dissimilar. ‘Disclose [the secret]
to me, or if not, I will tear your flesh with iron combs,’ he
threatened.  They replied: ‘This is [the blood of] a priest and a
prophet, who foretold the destruction of Jerusalem to the
Israelites, and they killed him.’ ‘I,’ said he, ‘will appease him.’
So he brought the scholars and slew them over him,
yet it did not cease [to boil]. He brought schoolchildren
and slew them over him, still it did not rest; he brought the
young priests and slew them over him, and still it did not rest,
until he had slain ninety four thousand, and still it did not rest.
Whereupon he approached him and cried out, ‘Zechariah,
Zechariah,  I have destroyed the flower of them: dost thou
desire me to massacre them all?’ Straightway it rested.
Thoughts of repentance came into his mind: if they, who killed
one person only, have been so [severely punished], what will
be my fate?  So he fled, sent his testament to his house, and
became a proselyte.
(b.San 96b)

While the Jerusalem Talmud has:

Rabbi Jochanan said, Eighty thousand priests were slain
for the blood of Zachariah.
Rabbi Judas asked Rabbi Achan, Where did they kill
Zachariah?  Was it in the woman’s court, or in the court of
Israel?  He answered:  Neither in the court of Israel, nor in the
court of women, but in the court of the priests; and they did not
treat his blood in the same manner as they were wont to treat
the blood of a ram or a young goat.  For of these it is written,
He shall pour out his blood, and cover it with dust.  But it is
written here, The blood is in the midst of her:  she set it upon
the top of the rock; she poured it not upon the ground.  (Ezek.
xxiv. 7.)  But why was this? That it might cause
fury to come up to take vengeance: I have set his blood upon
the top of a rock, that it should not be covered.  They
committed seven evils that day: they murdered a priest, a
prophet, and a king; they shed the blood of the innocent: they
polluted the court: that day was the Sabbath : and the day of
expiation. When therefore Nebuzaradan came there (viz.
Jerusalem), he saw his blood bubbling, and said to them,
What meaneth this?  They answered, It is the blood of calves,
lambs, and rams, which we have offered upon the altar.  He
commanded them, that they should bring calves, and lambs,
and rams, and said I will try whether this be their blood:
accordingly they brought and slew them, but the blood of
(Zachariah) still bubbled, but the blood of these
did not bubble.  Then he said, Declare to me the truth of the
matter, or else I will comb your flesh with iron combs.  Then
said they to him, He was a priest, prophet, and judge, who
prophesied to Israel all these calamities which we have
suffered from you; but we arose against him, and slew him.
Then, said he, I will appease him: then he took the rabbis
and slew them upon his (viz. Zachariah’s) blood, and he was
not yet appeased.  Next he took the young boys from the
schools, and slew them upon his blood, and yet it bubbled.
Then he brought the young priests and slew them in the same
place, and yet it still bubbled. So he slew at length ninety-four
thousand persons upon his blood, and it did not as yet cease
bubbling.  Then he drew near to it and said,
O Zachariah, Zachariah, thou hast occasioned the death of the
chief of thy countrymen; shall I slay them all? Then the blood
ceased, and did bubble no more.
(j.Ta’anit 69)

Notice Yeshua says “between the Temple and the alter” Here Yeshua specifies the location of Zechariah’s murder more specifically than the written Tanak does.  The Tanak says only that the murder occurred “in the court of the House of YHWH”.  However the oral tradition recorded in the Talmud is more specific:

Rabbi Judas asked Rabbi Achan, Where did they kill
Zachariah?  Was it in the woman’s court, or in the court of
Israel?  He answered:  Neither in the court of Israel,
nor in the court of women, but in the court of the priests
(j.Ta’anit 69)

While the Tanak places the murder simply “in the court of the House of YHWH”, Yeshua places it more specificly in the Court of Priests located “between the Temple and the alter” just as the Talmud proclaims it.  Yeshua’s source here is Oral tradition and not the written Tanak.

These two murders are connected by the tradition that their blood cried out for vengence, but this is a connection built upon TRADITION.

I could go on and on with examples, but I think I have made my point.

As you know we have been digging ourselves out of a budget shortfall.  As I have said to you many times, I look on this work as a co-operative one with me, and all of you combining our resources together in order to get the job done of helping to teach this great truth to all in the world who will listen. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart for your continued support, you are the ones who make it all possible by your contributions and your prayers for our work. I truly appreciate your help in every way.

If you can make a one time donation of $500 or $1,000 dollars to support this work.


Donations can be sent by paypal to donations@wnae.org.

Donations can also be made out to “Nazarene Judaism” and sent to:

Nazarene Judaism
PO Box 471
Hurst, TX 76053

And don’t forget to join the conversations at the NazareneSpace Social Network

FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions about Christmas

(The following was published in the old Plain Truth Magazine each year)


QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

EACH YEAR our Personal Correspondence Department answers numerous inquiries regarding the holiday season.

1. You say that Christmas observance does not come from the Bible. Where does it come from, then?

Where Christmas customs came from is really no secret. You can read the origins of Christmas customs in encyclopedias and other reference works, as well as in newspaper and magazine articles that often appear during the Christmas season. The facts are readily accessible.

At the end of December and the beginning of January festive celebrations were taking place in various nations of Europe centuries before Jesus was born! When that festive season rolled around, little children were filled with anticipation and excitement. The whole family got busily involved in putting up decorations. Boughs of holly and evergreen were assembled and placed about the house. The mistletoe was hung. A tree was chosen and decorated with ornaments. It was a season of giving and receiving presents, a time to sing songs, admire all the pretty lights and burn the Yule log. There were parades with special floats, sumptuous meals and merrymaking.

All this and Jesus wasn’t even born yet! In ancient times, many of the earth’s inhabitants, realizing their dependence upon the sun for light, heat and the growing of crops, watched the sun’s yearly course in the heavens with deep interest. At different seasons, feasts and celebrations were held to help, it was thought, the solar orb on its way.

The end of December was an especially significant time in the Northern Hemisphere. The days were short. The sun was at its lowest point. Special festivals of thanksgiving and encouragement to the sun were held. When, at the winter solstice, the days began to lengthen, there was great celebration lasting into the first part of January. The sun–the light of the world–had been (re)born! Such festivities, once meant to honor the sun and its god, were freely adopted by the spreading and increasingly popular “Christian” religion.

Why not, in the same way, honor Jesus–the real light of the world (even though He was not actually born in December)? The modern version of the Christmas tree is supposed to have originated in German lands in the Middle Ages. Since evergreens were green throughout the dead of winter, people looked upon them as especially imbued with life. It was in honor of the tree spirit or the spirit of growth and fertility that greenery was a prominent part of ancient pagan winter celebrations.

The Romans trimmed trees with trinkets and toys at that time of the year. The Druids tied gilded apples to tree branches. To certain peoples an evergreen decorated with orbs and other fruit-like objects symbolized the tree of life in the garden in Eden. Branches of holly and mistletoe were likewise revered. Not only do these plants remain green through the winter months, but they actually bear fruit at that time, once again a type of the spirits of fertility. Still today, catching someone under a branch of mistletoe can serve as a convenient springboard for romantic activity.

Few people stop to wonder what in the world such strange customs have to do with the birth of Jesus! The ancients lit festive fires in the last part of December to encourage the waning sun god, just as Christmas bonfires, candles and other lights burn today at the same time of the year. Use of the “Yule log,” part of the “Yuletide” season, hearkens back to the ritual burning of a carefully chosen log by the Druids. The word Yule comes from the old Anglo-Saxon word hweol, meaning “wheel,” a round wheel being an appropriate symbol for the sun.

You thought the Christmas shopping spree was a 20th century phenomenon? Listen to how fourth-century writer Libanius described end-of-the-year gift-giving and partying in the ancient non-Christian Roman Empire: “Everywhere may be seen … well-laden tables…. The impulse to spend seizes everyone. He who through the whole year has taken pleasure in saving … becomes suddenly extravagant…. A stream of presents pours itself out on all sides” (as quoted in Christmas in Ritual and Tradition).

Of all times in the year, it was indeed the season to be jolly. Drunkenness was widespread. Fortunately, however, the modes of transportation in those days did not lend themselves to the high rate of drunken-driver-induced traffic fatalities that are part of the Christmas season in many nations today.

An important part of the pagan harvest festivities–beginning in October-November with what has become Halloween–involved good and bad spirits. In many lands, visitors–usually bringers of good or evil–made their appearance in the winter season. Through blending pagan legends with traditions about saints, certain figures emerged, with similar personalities.

We recognize them today in different nations as Santa Claus, Father Christmas, St. Nicholas, St. Martin, the Weihnachtsmann, Pere Noel. Whatever name is used, all these winter visitors fulfill a similar role. These fictional persons–Christianizations of the pagan Germanic deities- -clearly perpetuate certain folk-ritual themes wherein varying degrees of rewards and punishments were dealt out to the celebrants.

Through the centuries these customs came to be centered around children. It is not too hard to see a connection between Santa using the chimney or the shoes and stockings hung by the fireplace and the ancient superstitions about hearth spirits. For thousands of years, especially among the Chinese, it was customary to sweep and scour the house in preparation for the visit of the hearth spirit. Each year, dressed in a pointed, fiery red cap and red jacket, this fire god traveled from the distant heavens to visit homes and distribute favors or punishments.

Today he is welcomed in the Western world each Christmas season. Popular Christmas customs, as we can see, plainly reflect non-Christian legends and practices. Some of the very Christmas customs observed today were once banned by the Catholic Council of Rome, the English Parliament and the Puritans of New England. The logical question to ask is, What is there about Christmas that is Christian?

2. All right. So Christmas is based on pagan traditions and myths. What is wrong with borrowing some of those customs and using them to honor Jesus on His birthday?

If we are supposed to celebrate Jesus’ birthday, why doesn’t the Bible give us the date of that event? Elsewhere in the Scriptures, when God revealed certain days He wanted His people to observe, no room was left for doubt as to when those days occurred. The instructions were specific because God wanted His people to observe those particular days.

Why, then, the silence as to which day Christ was born? The plain truth is that the Bible nowhere commands us to observe birthdays in the first place! But an even more important point to consider is this: When Jesus’ name is applied to borrowed pagan ideas and practices, does Jesus really feel honored? After all, it was Jesus Himself who told His people Israel not to seek to worship Him with customs borrowed from other religions (Deut. 12:29-32). Time and again He made it clear through His prophets that He wanted His people to remain “cleansed … of everything pagan” (Neh. 13:30, Revised Authorized Version).

3. Even though I have ceased to celebrate Christmas, is there anything wrong in continuing to exchange gifts out of the motive of giving rather than wanting to follow pagan customs?

There is nothing wrong with giving to others. Part of God’s overall purpose for our existence is that we learn to give instead of seeking to get. But a Christian needs to be careful about giving a gift around Christmas time. The reason? Christians are to be lights to the world. They must set the example of righteous living. To engage in gift giving with those who are celebrating Christmas may give the appearance to them that you are participating right along with them in Christmas festivities. God tells us to come out of the religious system of this world and to be “separate” (11 Cor. 6:14-18). How can a person be separate from such goings on and continue at the same time to dabble in them? Why not give gifts at other times of the year when they will be appreciated as spontaneously sincere and heartfelt?

4. How do I tell my friends and relatives that I no longer wish to exchange presents?

With a smile! That’s right. Show firmness, yet at the same time be relaxed and friendly about it. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to come across as a religious fanatic fired up with purple-veined emotion on the subject. There’s no need to make friends and relatives feel condemned and guilty by what you say. Your example will be testimony enough to them. Most of them haven’t the faintest idea where Christmas customs came from or why they are following them. It’s more superstition than it is religion. They’re just doing what everyone around them does.

Many of the problems arising from the Christmas season can be resolved if you apply three principles:

(1) Stress your objection to the commercialism of the season. Immediately you have everyone, with the possible exception of some shopkeepers and commercial interests, on your side. Who can deny that Christmas is a crassly commercial holiday, that it is budget-bustingly expensive? Who would not–especially as general economic conditions worsen–rather spend the money on more needful items, like maybe heating the house?

Who does not dread the wearisome Christmas shopping experience, the time-consuming uncertainty as to what to buy for whom? All you have to say is you’ve had enough of it, that when you give a gift you want to do it spontaneously instead of as a slave to some custom. After the initial shock wears off, most people will respect your stand and secretly wish they had the courage to do likewise. Some, in fact, heartened by your example, may do just that!

(2) Maintain a sense of humor. Let’s face it, cutting trees down and then setting them back up loaded with ornaments, the whole gift-trading rigmarole, the thought of an overweight, bearded individual decked out in flamboyant red and traveling through the air in a sled or some other conveyance when he is not slithering up and down someone’s chimney–these and so many other traditions are ridiculous. Feel free to point that out. Who can deny it?

(3) Put the burden of proof on those who are celebrating Christmas. It’s not that there isn’t overwhelming proof to back you up in your decision to cease celebrating Christmas. There certainly is. But most people have neither the time nor the interest for a detailed explanation. So shift the burden of proof to them. Say, in effect, “If you can show me where the Bible says I ought to observe Christmas, or where it says early Christians celebrated Jesus’ birthday, I will celebrate it also!”

The discussion will probably end very suddenly at that point. Of course, if the person to whom you are speaking shows an obvious interest in learning about the real origin of Christmas, you should be prepared to give an appropriate answer.

5. What happens if someone gives me a gift anyway? Should I return it?

If a person is testing you to see how deeply your religious convictions lie, returning the gift is a proper response. On the other hand, in cases where the person sincerely doesn’t know or comprehend your stand, a polite note of thanks for the gift and a brief statement that you no longer observe the Christmas holiday may be sufficient. By the way, you will find that most people will stop giving you Christmas gifts anyway after a year or two of not receiving a gift from you in return.

6. My friends and relatives continue to send me Christmas cards. Should I write back to each of them and explain that I have quit celebrating Christmas?

A brief note to that effect may be in order. As with gifts, most people will cease sending Christmas cards when they stop getting them in return.

7. What do I tell my children now that they will no longer be receiving presents at Christmas?

Why not tell them the truth? Why not tell them that you have come to understand that the world is wrong in its observance of Christmas and that you are going to do God’s will because it is better than Christmas? Be sure to emphasize the positive side–that God’s way is better than Christmas.

As proof of this, tell your children you are going to give gifts to them throughout the year because you love them all year long, not just on Christmas Day. That, in turn, is precisely what they can tell their friends who will be showing off their Christmas gifts.

It is important not to leave a void in your children’s lives by removing Christmas observance and putting nothing in its place. Arrange special activities with them often, and especially centering around the Holy Days God has ordained in the Scriptures–the days He does want us to observe.

8. Is there anything I can do to prevent my child from having to participate in Christmas activities at school?

One of the most important steps you as a Christian parent can take is to discuss the subject with the children’s teachers, addressing the problem ahead of time. Politely inform the teachers involved that you do not observe certain holidays and that you do not want to have your children take part in celebrations centering around those days.

Seek to avoid, as much as possible, leaving a teacher in a difficult situation with children to teach but not knowing what to have them do while others, for example, are drawing Santas. You can advise that your children may draw winter scenes or snowmen instead of things immediately associated with Christmas. If the whole class is having a Christmas party perhaps you could offer to come to school and take your children home that afternoon to relieve the teacher from having to find something else for them to do. In any case, try to be very cooperative with school officials.

Above all, ask God for wisdom, grace and favor in their sight. Your children themselves, especially as they get older, will be a determining factor as to whether they become involved in worldly religious holiday activities at school or elsewhere away from home. You can’t be with them every minute. This underlines the absolute need to provide positive instruction at home. If children are convinced in their own minds that they should not participate in certain activities, much of the battle is already won.

9. It is a standard policy for the company where I work to give all employees a Christmas bonus. Should I accept this bonus?

Bonuses given at the end of the year are usually not considered as Christmas gifts. They are often given in gratitude for work done throughout the preceding year. It is logical to wait until the end of the year before giving such a bonus, and Christmas seems to be as good an occasion as any.

Most large companies are not interested one way or the other in the personal convictions of their employees and, when that’s the case, there is no reason to refuse the bonus. If you are working for a smaller company where you know your employer personally, it may be advisable to mention to him or her that you don’t celebrate Christmas. If he or she wants to give you the bonus regardless, as simply a gift or token of appreciation, you can accept it with a clear conscience.

10. Some relatives have invited me to their house for dinner on Christmas Day. Should I refuse the invitation?

Not necessarily. It depends on the nature of the occasion. Since you understand the truth about Christmas, to you the day will be just another ordinary day of the year. And to you the simple fact of eating a meal with others on that day is no different from eating one with them on any other day.

What matters in this case, though, is how your relatives will regard the occasion. If they look on the meal as part of Christmas festivities and place religious significance upon it, then you would be out of place there. Your attendance could give the impression that you are observing Christmas with them or, if they know about your beliefs, that you are willing to compromise on your beliefs.

On the other hand, if the meal is merely a convenient opportunity for a family get-together, and there is no objectionable connotation placed upon the meal, then it might be all right to accept the invitation. Better be prepared to answer some questions, though, because sooner or later the conversation is sure to focus on why you don’t observe Christmas.

11. What should I say when someone wishes me “Merry Christmas”?

It is often sufficient to respond with a question such as “Where has this last year gone?” or “It’s that time of year again, isn’t it?” or “Do you think it is going to snow?” or even a parting statement on an entirely unrelated subject such as “Good-bye now” or “Have a good day!”

The surprising fact is that few individuals will even notice that you haven’t wished “Merry Christmas” in return, so meaningless is the expression. At other times, a smile and a “Thank you” (meaning you are grateful for their concern) may be more appropriate. If you have a question regarding the Christmas holiday and it has not been answered here, please feel free to write [in the comments section below]

Donations this time of year are generally lower than normal, and this year (2021) has been no exception. As many of you know, my wife is chronically ill, disabled and suffering from chronic pain. We have been hit with unforeseen medical expenses this month. In these uncertain times, we need your support more than ever. The time is short, and there is much work to be done. This is no time to pull back from the great work in front of us!

As I have said to you many times, I look on this work as a co-operative one with me, and all of you combining our resources together in order to get the job done of helping to teach this great truth to all in the world who will listen. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart for your continued support, you are the ones who make it all possible by your contributions and your prayers for our work. I truly appreciate your help in every way.

If you can make a one time donation of $500 or $1,000 dollars to support this work.

Now is time to step up to the plate!

Donations can be sent by Paypal to donations@wnae.org.


Or click HERE to donate

And don’t forget to join the conversations at the NazareneSpace Social Network

Three Reasons to Celebrate Channukah

Three Reasons to Celebrate Channukah
by
James Scott Trimm


1. Yeshua observed Channukah.

John 7:1 tells us that starting at that time, Yeshua avoided going to Judea and taught only in Galil because the Judeans wanted to kill him:

After these things, Yeshua was walking in Galil,
for He did not want to walk in Y’hudah,
because the Judeans wanted to kill Him.
(John 7:1 HRV)


The next few verses tell us that when Sukkot came, Yeshua felt compelled to go to the Temple in Jerusalem, but came there secretly, not even letting his family know, and traveling apart from them:

2 And the Feast of Tabernacles of the Judeans was near.
3 And His brothers said to Yeshua, Depart from here and go into Y’hudah, that Your talmidim might see the works that You do:
4 For there is no one who does anything in secret, and desires that he be [known] in public. If you do these things, show your nefesh to the world:
5 For not even His brothers had trust in Yeshua.
6 Yeshua said to them: My time has not yet come, but your time is always ready.
7 The world is not able to hate you, but it hates Me because I testify against it; that its works are evil.
8 Go up to this feast: I will not go up now to this feast, because My time is not yet fulfilled.
9 He said these things, and He stayed in Galil.
10 And after His brothers had gone up to the feast, then He also went up: not in the open, but in a secret manner.
(John 7:2-10 HRV)


Yochanan then goes on to cover the events which transpired during this Sukkot visit (John 7:11-10:21).

John 10:22 then opens with:

Now the Feast of Chanukkah was held in Yerushalayim,
and it was winter. And Yeshua was walking in the Temple,
in the porch of Shlomo.
(John 10:22-23 HRV)


Clearly Yeshua had returned to Jerusalem, something he normally avoided doing at this point in time, just as he had come for Sukkot, now he had come for Channukah. In context John 10:22 is not simply incidental, it is intended to be read in context with John 7:1-10 to indicate that Yeshua risked his life to come to Jerusalem to be there for Channukah, juts as he had done so for Sukkot. Normally in this time he avoided Judah and taught only in Galil. Clearly Yeshua had come to observe Channukah just as he had come to observe Sukkot, despite the fat that many Judeans wished to kill him, because he thought it urgently important to observe the feast.

He who says, I am in Him,
ought to conduct himself
according to His conduct.
(1Jn. 2:6 HRV)



2. The Scripture instructs us to observe Channukah.

Moreover Judas and his brethren with the whole congregation of Israel ordained, that the days of the dedication of the altar should be kept in their season from year to year by the space of eight days, from the five and twentieth day of the month Casleu, with mirth and gladness.
(1Macc. 4:59 KJV)


And now see that ye keep the feast of tabernacles in the month Casleu.
(2Macc. 1:9 KJV)


Therefore whereas we are now purposed to keep the purification of the temple upon the five and twentieth day of the month Casleu, we thought it necessary to certify you thereof, that ye also might keep it, as the feast of the tabernacles, …

(2Macc. 1:18a KJV)

Whereas we then are about to celebrate the purification, we have written unto you, and ye shall do well, if ye keep the same days.
(2Macc. 2:16 KJV)


5 Now upon the same day that the strangers profaned the temple, on the very same day it was cleansed again, even the five and twentieth day of the same month, which is Casleu.
6 And they kept the eight days with gladness, as in the feast of the tabernacles, remembering that not long afore they had held the feast of the tabernacles, when as they wandered in the mountains and dens like beasts.
7 Therefore they bare branches, and fair boughs, and palms also, and sang psalms unto him that had given them good success in cleansing his place.
8 They ordained also by a common statute and decree, That every year those days should be kept of the whole nation of the Jews.
(2Macc. 10:5-8 KJV)

1st and 2nd Maccabees were originally part of the Canon.

All English-language Protestant Bibles in the 16th Century included the books of the Apocrypha—generally in a separate section between the Old and New Testaments; However, Puritan theologians were inclined to reject books which owed their inclusion in the Biblical canon to ecclesiastical authority. Starting in 1630, volumes of the Geneva Bible were occasionally bound with the pages of the Apocrypha section excluded. After the Restoration in 1660, Dissenters tended to discourage the reading of the Apocrypha in both public services and in private devotion.

The 1611 KJV included the Apocrypha but many publishers sought to satisfy a demand for cheaper and less bulky Bibles. In 1615 public notice was made that no Bibles were to be bound and sold without the Apocrypha with a penalty of one year in prison. None the less publishers continued seeking to increase their profit margin and soon it became difficult to find an ordinary edition of the KJV which contained the Apocrypha. (Today publishers are doing the same thing with the rest of the Tanak, simply printing the New Testament alone).


3. The Beit Din as Empowered by the Torah Established Channukah as Halachah.

We read in the Torah:

9: And thou shalt come unto the priests the Levites, and unto the judge that shall be in those days, and inquire; and they shall shew thee the sentence of judgment:
10: And thou shalt do according to the sentence, which they of that place which the LORD shall choose shall shew thee; and thou shalt observe to do according to all that they inform thee:
11: According to the sentence of the law which they shall teach thee, and according to the judgment which they shall tell thee, thou shalt do: thou shalt not decline from the sentence which they shall shew thee, to the right hand, nor to the left.
(Deut. 17:9-11 KJV)


2nd Maccabees opens with two attached letters from the Jerusalem Council, the first is addressed to the Jews in Egypt in general (1:1-9) and the second is to Aristobulus, a teacher of King Ptolemy and to the Jews in Egypt (1:10-2:32). The two letters are from “the people that were at Jerusalem and in Judea, and the council, and Judas” (1:10). 2nd Maccabees is very much like the letter from the Jerusalem Council in Acts 15:23-29 relaying an official decree from the Council to Jews in the Diaspora. That which we find written in 2Maccabees chapters 1-2 is “the sentence of judgment” of “the judge that shall be in those days” (Deut. 17:9) and we are therefore directed by Torah to “observe to do according to all that they inform you” (Deut. 17:10) and not “decline… to the right hand, nor to the left” (Deut. 17:11).

And now see that ye keep the feast of tabernacles in the month Casleu.
(2Macc. 1:9 KJV)


Therefore whereas we are now purposed to keep the purification of the temple upon the five and twentieth day of the month Casleu, we thought it necessary to certify you thereof, that ye also might keep it, as the feast of the tabernacles, …
(2Macc. 1:18a KJV)


Whereas we then are about to celebrate the purification, we have written unto you, and ye shall do well, if ye keep the same days.
(2Macc. 2:16 KJV)


And as we see also recorded in 1st and 2nd Maccabees:

Moreover Judas and his brethren with the whole congregation of Israel ordained, that the days of the dedication of the altar should be kept in their season from year to year by the space of eight days, from the five and twentieth day of the month Casleu, with mirth and gladness.
(1Macc. 4:59 KJV)


5 Now upon the same day that the strangers profaned the temple, on the very same day it was cleansed again, even the five and twentieth day of the same month, which is Casleu.
6 And they kept the eight days with gladness, as in the feast of the tabernacles, remembering that not long afore they had held the feast of the tabernacles, when as they wandered in the mountains and dens like beasts.
7 Therefore they bare branches, and fair boughs, and palms also, and sang psalms unto him that had given them good success in cleansing his place.
8 They ordained also by a common statute and decree, That every year those days should be kept of the whole nation of the Jews.
(2Macc. 10:5-8 KJV)


And as we also read in the Talmud:

What is the reason for Channukah? For our Rabbis taught: On
the 25th of Kislev begin the days of Channukah, which are
eight, during which lamentation for the dead and fasting are
forbidden. For when the Greeks entered the Temple, they
defiled all the oils in it, and when the Hasmonean dynasty
prevailed against and defeated them, they [the Maccabees]
searched and found only one cruse of oil which possessed the
seal of the High Priest, but which contained sufficient oil for
only one day’s lighting; yet a miracle occurred there and they
lit [the lamp] for eight days. The following year these days
were appointed a Festival with the recitation of Hallel and
thanksgiving.
(b.Shabbat 21b)

It was also recounted in the Megillat Antiochus (c. 200 CE):

The Hasmoneans entered the Sanctuary, rebuilt the gates,
closed the breaches, and cleansed the Temple court from the
slain and the impurities. They looked for pure olive oil to light
the Menorah, and found only one bottle with the seal of the
Kohen Gadol so that they were sure of its purity. Though its
quantity seemed sufficient only for one day’s lighting, it lasted
for eight days owing to the blessing of the Elohim of heaven
who had established His Name there. Hence, the Hasmoneans
and all the Jews alike instituted these eight days as a time of
feasting and rejoicing, like any festival prescribed in the Torah,
and of kindling lights to commemorate the victories Elohim
had given them.
(Megillat Antiochus)


The Torah commands us to “observe and to do” according to what the “judges that be in those days” direct us to do, and the Jerusalem Council at the time of Judas Maccabee officially directed us to observe Channukah.

I often ask the question, is this work worthy of your support? Ask yourself, have you learned anything from this ministry? If so then chip in and do your part to help spread this truth.

Our rent is due on the first and we do not have it! In these uncertain times, we need your support more than ever. The time is short, and there is much work to be done. This is no time to pull back from the great work in front of us!

As I have said to you many times, I look on this work as a co-operative one with me, and all of you combining our resources together in order to get the job done of helping to teach this great truth to all in the world who will listen. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart for your continued support, you are the ones who make it all possible by your contributions and your prayers for our work. I truly appreciate your help in every way.

If you can make a one time donation of $500 or $1,000 dollars to support this work.

Now is time to step up to the plate!

Donations can be sent by Paypal to donations@wnae.org.


Or click HERE to donate

And don’t forget to join the conversations at the NazareneSpace Social Network