7th December 2016


John, celebrate Yeshua and theFestival of Lights with us.

‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.'” (John 8:12)

On the Hanukkah menorah (called a hanukkiah), the shamash (servant candle)sits higher than the other eight candles and is used to light them.

What a wonderful picture of how Yeshua, the Light of the World,gives us the “light of life,” through Ruach HaKodesh (the Holy Spirit).

Tonight is the first night of , John

All over the world, the Jewish People will be lighting their hanukkiahs (Hanukkah menorahs) in remembrance of the miracles that God performed about 2200 years ago in the HolyCity of Jerusalem.

The first miracle was God’s deliverance.After years of being oppressed by the Syrian/Greeks, who desecrated the HolyTemple by sacrificing a pig on the altar, enforced idol worship, and forbade Jews from reading and following the Torah.

God delivered the Jewish people through Jewish priest name Mattathias and his sons who led a small group of Jewish men to rise up against the 25,000 soldiers of the Syrian/Greek army.

When the Jewish priests entered the Temple to re-dedicate it and light the Menorah, only one small bottle of oil was found enough to last only one day.

Miraculously, that tiny supply of oil lasted eight full days.

This second miracle gave the priests enough time to create more sanctified oil to keep the TempleMenorah burning, as it had to be lit 24 hours a day.

In the Brit Chadashah (New Testament), Yeshua was at the Holy Temple on Hanukkah when He was asked directly, “Are you the Messiah?”

“Then came the Feast of Dedication (Hanukkah) at Jerusalem. It was winter and Yeshua (Jesus) was in the Temple area walking in Solomon's Colonnade.

“The Jews gathered around him, saying, ‘How long will you keep us in suspense? “If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.’" (John 10:22-23)

A father lights the hanukkiah (eight-branched menorah) with his child.

We will be thinking of YOU Tonight, as we light the first candle

on the hanukkiah. Let us Rejoice in God’s miracles of Hanukkahand the miracles that He is doing today in our lives.

May your holiday season be illuminated with theLight of the World Yeshua HaMashiach.

Hanukkah dreidels

Happy Hanukkah, John!

Here in Jerusalem it now getting dark as we enter the 3rd night of Hanukkah and light our 3rd candle!

On the Hebrew calendar, Hanukkah is celebrated from Kislev 25 to Tevet 2.This year, Hanukkah is celebrated between December 8 and December 16.Here is Israel, it is customary to place the Hanukkahmenorah in the window facing the street, as a testimonyto the miracles of Hanukkah.

The most common custom on Hanukkah is lighting the hanukkiah.This special menorah is used only at Hanukkah, and although it is reminiscent of the seven-branch light stand that stood in the Temple, it is different.

Instead of the Menorah’s seven branches, the hanukkiah has eight candles that are kindled with a special candle called a shamash. Since the shamash is used to light all the other candles, it is considered to be the servant candle.

This ninth candle is most often elevated over the eight other candles in the hanukkiah.

For each night of Hanukkah, one additional candle is added to the hanukkiah until the last night when the shamash lights all eight candles.

Since the third day of Hanukkah begins tonight, a third candle will be added to the hanukkiah. With the shamash, there will be four lights. Delicious potato latkes served with generous dollops of sour cream andapplesauce-a real Hanukkah delight!

Besides the lighting of the hanukkiah, it is also customary to read stories, spin the dreidel, sing Hanukkah songs, and eat foods fried in oil.

Sufganyot(donuts), which are a favorite in Israel, and latkes (potato pancakes) served with sour cream and applesauce, are two traditional Hanukkah foods.

As fattening as these deep fried foods are, they are prepared to memorialize the miracle God did in restoring the Temple in Jerusalem and saving the Jewish People from the Greek/Syrian army. (It's all about the story of the olive oil!)Sufganyot (donuts): The fried foods of Hanukkah memorializethe miracle of a one-day supply of holy oil burning for eight dayswhen the Temple was rededicated. Sufganyot are soldeverywhere in Israel during Hanukkah.Hanukkah: A Great Miracle Happened Here

The Prophet Daniel wrote: "His armed forces will rise up to desecrate the temple fortress and will abolish the daily sacrifice. Then they will set up the abomination that causes desolation. With flattery he will corrupt those who have violated the covenant, but the people who know their God will firmly resist him." (Daniel 11: 31ÔÇô32)

The word "Hanukkah" comes from the Hebrew word hanukh, which means dedication or education.

Hanukkah is celebrated as the Feast of Dedication to remember the re-dedication of the Temple after God faithfully delivered Israel from her oppressors.

In fact, the reason for lighting eight candles and celebrating Hanukkah for eight nights relates to God’s faithfulness and the miraculous story of Hanukkah.Between the years 175 to 163 BC, after the death of Alexander the Great, who had conquered and divided the entire ancient world of the Eastern Mediterranean, the area of Judea came under control of Antiochus IV Epiphanes.Antiochus tried to force the Jews to accept Greek culture. He even defiled the Beit HaMikdash (Temple in Jerusalem) by sacrificing a pig on the altar and desecrating this holy place with the blood of this unclean animal.Since the Greeks outlawed the study of the Torah, it was hiddenwhenever someone approached. Instead, the dreidels were taken outand played like a game of chance. The letters nun, gimmel, hey, shinstand for nes gadol haya sham, a great miracle happened there. In Israelthe letters nun, gimmel, hey, pey mean a great miracle happened here.

As described in the book of the Maccabees in the Apocrypha, this wicked ruler forbade the Jewish people from keeping God's laws. In fact, the penalty for keeping the Torah was death. Many Jewish people chose martyrdom over defying God's commandments.

Antiochus also erected a statue of the Greek false god, Zeus, in the Holy of Holies! As horrible as this was, it was fulfillment of the Hebrew Prophet Daniel’s prophecy concerning the "abomination of desolation." (Daniel 11:31├ö├ç├┤32).A Jewish revolt against this assault on Judaism rose up. It was led by the courageous freedom fighters called the Maccabees. This word is an acronym standing for the Hebrew phrase Mi kamocha ba'elim Adonai, which means Who is like you, Lord, among the gods?Although greatly outnumbered and overpowered, Yehudah (Judah) the Maccabee led his brothers and some other Jewish men in a valiant battle to drive out tens of thousands of Greeks and re-claim the Temple.God helped this small group of men, and they won the victory in 163 BC, taking back Jerusalem and rededicating the Temple to God. Tradition has it that they only found a one-day supply of sealed, consecrated oil for the TempleMenorahhowever, miraculously the oil burned for a whole eight days, the time it took to prepare the sanctified oil.The most common tradition at Hanukkah is lighting the hanukkiah. It’slit in remembrance of the eight days that the Golden Menorah in theHolyTemple kept burning on a one day supply of oil.Yeshua: the Shamash that Kindled the Light in our Hearts and Lives

“For even the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45)

Since Hanukkah is not a holiday ordained by God in the Torah, some wonder if Yeshua (Jesus) actually celebrated it. The answer is a resounding yes!"It was winter, and the Festival of the Dedication was being held in Jerusalem. Yeshua was walking in the Temple precincts, in Solomon’s Portico. The Jews gathered round Him and asked: 'How long must you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah say so plainly.'" (John 10:22├ö├ç├┤24)Yeshua went to Jerusalem for the Feast of Dedication (Hanukkah), and while in the Temple area He proclaimed,"I and the Father are one." (John 10:30)Shamash: Yeshua the Messiah, like the shamash candle, kindles the lightin our hearts and brings us out of darkness into the light of life.

Just as the shamash (the elevated candle in the middle) is the servant candle that lights all the candles on the hanukkiah, Yeshua the Messiah came as a servant to be the light that shines in and through us to others.

John confirms that Yeshua is the light that darkness cannot overcome.

"In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it." (John 1: 4├ö├ç├┤5)Darkness has no power over the light. When the lights are turned on, the darkness disappears immediately! It's never a struggle or a contest. Light wins every time!"When Yeshua spoke again to the people, He said, 'I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.'" (John 8:12)Replica of the Temple‘s Golden Menorah in Jerusalem:This Menorah is no mere replica; it has been created byThe Temple Institute for use in the inevitable ThirdTemple.The Significance of the Menorah

When the HolyTemple was restored during the time of the Maccabees, the act of re-lighting the Menorah in the Temple represented restoring God's presence there.The Temple was set up so that the Jewish people would have a place to come and meet with God.

Without the presence and Light of God, we are all lost.While the Bible makes it clear that the Temple will once again be rebuilt, today, those who know Yeshua do have spiritual light and are the dwelling place for His Holy Spirit (Ruach HaKodesh).

"Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in your midst?" (1 Corinthians 3:16)

John, during this joyous eight-day season of Hanukkah,please help us reach out to the Jewish people here in Israel and around the world with the Good News that Yeshua is the Light of the World.

“I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.” (John 12:46)

From all of our ministry staff in Israel

Wishing you a Very Happy Hanukkah and a Joyous Holiday Season filled with many blessings!

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