Hanukkah brought in a revival in Israel.  This revival, like all revivals in Israel and in Church history, was temporary and partial.  The victory of the Maccabees over the Hellenists among the Jewish people reestablished the worship of God without the paganism of the Greek influence, and the altar of the Temple was rededicated to YHVH, from which the name of the holiday came – Hanukkah (which means dedication).

The hanukkiah (the special candle/lamp stand) differs from the menorah in that the menorah has a central lamp and six other lamps, with three on either side of the central stem; whereas the hanukkiah has nine candles, one of which is called the Shamash/Servant light (which is essentially the same word for the sun/shemesh).  This ‘servant light’ is lit first, and then used to light the other eight candles.  (There is no prescribed order for the arrangement of the lights on the hanukkiah.  Another difference is that the menorah in the Tabernacle and in the two Temples was to always be kept lit.  The hanukkiah is used only during the eight days of Hanukkah, and the tradition is to light the shamash and each of the other candles according to the corresponding days of the holiday.)  Continue reading “REVIVALS ARE TEMPORARY – 8 Dec 2012”

Worship God in Spirit and Truth – 20 Dec 2003

(Modified Dec 15, 2017)

Jude 3 – contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints
Mt 5:14-16  we are light to be seen, and to honor the true Light source
–light to be seen publicly
–draws attention for friend and foe

The Feast of Dedication (Hanukkah) reminds us of the battle within Israel amongst the Jewish people over the worship of God in the Temple.  This was about 160 years before Jesus was born.  The LORD helped the Maccabees win the victory to re-establish the worship of God according to the truth as understood under the Law and the Prophets.  And the LORD was with them in the victory!  But the Maccabees, too, were but men like us, and before long, the decline reached to the point of no return.  There remained a remnant that sought true freedom, not only from the Roman powers which the Maccabees invited into Israel, but freedom to worship God with all their hearts, soul, mind, and strength, and to see Israel redeemed from all her unrighteousness. Continue reading “Worship God in Spirit and Truth – 20 Dec 2003”