The feast of Dedication or Hanukkah as it is also known, is a feast celebrated in honor of God's intervention on behalf of His people to free them of pagan rule. Assimilated into a heathen culture, the ways of God, honored for generations, were just about forgotten and lost. Their dress, mannerisms, banking, educational and religious systems were all contrary to God's instruction. In fact, there were very few of God's people left that even cared that they were at odds with God's will. They liked the world and the pagan ways of the foreign invaders, that is, all except a small group of priests led by Mattathias Maccabee and his five sons. "Enough is enough" they said as the pagan army confiscated God's temple, desecrating the tools and furniture, breaking their beautiful 75 pound gold Menorah. Roasting a hog on the altar, even demanding the presence of God's priests at their celebration, was more than those that had tried to walk holy could stand. Mattathias led the attack against them and guess what! This small band of loyal ones drove the pagan army out of Jerusalem, regaining control of God's city and once again took possession of their temple. They quickly refurbished the temple, cleansed the altar, repaired the lampstand. With only enough oil for one day, the Menorah miraculously burned for seven. It took eight days to make the holy oil, so on the 8th day they rededicated the temple as they poured the new holy oil in the lampstand. The light of God never went out! Did they accomplish this feat on their own? No way! That's why the occasion is celebrated unto God, to give Him the glory and remind the following generations how our miracle working God will intervene on behalf of His people that love Him and desire the restoration of His Kingdom. Is this not reason to celebrate Hanukkah?
Jesus Himself celebrated it as we see inJohn 10:22-23.
22 Now it was the Feast of Dedication(or Hanukkah) in Jerusalem, and it was winter.
23 And Jesuswalked in the temple, in Solomon's porch.
If we will admit it, the same intervention is much needed today. Most of the church, as in the days of the Maccabees, is quite happy with all the pagan traditions. They have involved Jesus in their celebrations of course in order to make their holidays acceptable as a holy day. Here is the truth however. It is the same abominable thinking that prompted sacrificing the hog on God's altar to the statue of Zeus in the era of the Maccabees, that urges God's people today to celebrate Saturnalia. It's a holiday celebrated in honor of the sun god that the church has renamed Christmas, trying to downplay its pagan origin by appearing Godly. How could this come about? Because people actually love its traditions, thus the drinking and evil customs that are now so widely enjoyed, accepted, and practiced. Look at some of the holy Christmas office parties.
Christmas is actually one of the most unholy holidays ever celebrated by the church! Because the truth concerning the holiday has been exposed in magazine articles, TV etc., most everyone today understands the Christmas traditions are pagan as can be. They know many of the customs are downright immoral, but they content themselves with the fact that the church is involved in the festivities. Hello church! Have you ever read Ezekiel 33? Many of God's shepherds understand the pagan customs and totally are aware we do not have a clue from scripture as to what the date of Christ's birth is. Do they care? No, they celebrate it anyway. Why? Because their flock would perhaps rebel as they love the traditions handed down through the years. It could split the church, cost them money or even get them fired if they took a hard stand. They obviously understand Santa is a lie, but it's OK they argue, it's meant well. They do not want to deprive little children of the excitement and fun, so in their minds this overrides the fact young children look to a jolly fat man for reward of their good behavior. What about God? Is this raising them up in the way they should go as the Bible says? Bottom line, Christmas is one big lie. At best it is good and evil. Sound like anyone you know? Yes, Satan is behind this world, its systems, holidays, culture and in many instances the church! If we really want to see the Lord's Kingdom come and His will to be done then we badly need His intervention and we, just as badly, need to change! It will truly take a miracle working God to clean up the mess man has made of this planet at the urging of Satan. As we defend Easter eggs, reindeer and elves, Christmas trees and mistletoe, even to dressing our children up in costumes of goblins and witches, we become as assimilated into pagan culture as were God's people in the days of the Maccabees. Even worse, we, the born again, unfortunately forfeit our rights to the promises of God. Let me explain.
Scripture informs us we are born again through the Word.
I Peter 1:23says:
23 having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever,
Whatever truth is released for a certain age of the church, those born through it are firstfruits or the firstborn of that age and that knowledge.
James 1:18tells us:
18 Of His own willHe brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.
As firstfruits or the firstborn we are, through God's covenants, entitled to the firstborn's blessings of God. To understand what those blessings are please read the blast, "It was All Ours". The enemy however certainly does not want us to receive these blessings. He does his best to cause us to rebel against God, sin and not repent, causing us to lose what we are entitled to as the children of God. Here is an example of being fooled out of our inheritance for those of you that love Christmas and the lovely tree.
Let us readJeremiah 10:2-4.
2 Thussays the LORD: "Do notlearn the way of the Gentiles(go back and read that again); do not be dismayed at the signs of heaven(the sun and moon), for the Gentilesare dismayed at them(are in awe and worship them).
3 For the customs of the peoples are futile; for onecuts a tree from the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the ax.
4 They decorate it with silver and gold; they fasten it with nails and hammers so that it will not topple.
We can see, God warned us against this pagan phallic symbol, the beloved Christmas tree, years ago. Yet Christian churches have them in the foyer of the church or even on the altar! Do you see how the enemy has put us at odds with God and the damage the enemy has accomplished in God's church? There have been firstborns in each age of the church, however, many have reverted back to their Adamic state. Because they were not informed or properly taught, they sinned, and without knowing they were wrong, did not repent and were therefore no longer eligible to be the blessed, no longer entitled to the covenants and promises of God. This is why so many of God's people are sick and dying, poverty ridden, always the tail and not the head of society. The body of Christ has never really come together to the defeat of the enemy. God's people have defended fiercely man's traditions even though the Bible says so clearly "the traditions of man make the Word of God of no effect".
Let God's people today not keep making the same mistakes. Let us be born again and mature in nature to the image of God. Let's change from our pagan ways and walk holy as He is holy. You see, the knowledge of God continues to increase, especially in these end times in fulfillment of Daniel 12:4. There really should be no way to form new traditions or even walk in the old ones any longer. So much change is required of us if we would listen and obey the Word of God that's been released for this era. If acted upon, this knowledge can bring us full circle back to the garden, prepare us to experience the promised restoration and fulfill all the beautiful promises of God in our lives. If we continue in our old culture and traditions however, we will remain in the image of the one Eve chose as our mentor and continue on the downhill path to alienate man from God and destroy all creation. Just look around you at the world we live in … Merry Christmas, ho, ho, ho!