Yeshua warns about false Christs and false prophets.
In the days leading up to His final Passover, Yeshua refers to Hanukkah when He warns His disciples not to be deceived.
Matthew 24:3-5 MKJV 3 And as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? And what shall be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the world? 4 And Jesus answered and said to them, Take heed that no man deceive you. 5 For many will come in My name, saying, I am Christ, and will deceive many.
Daniel warned that many people would be fooled by the flattery of the Antiochus IV Epiphanes.
Daniel 11:32 NKJV 32 "Those who do wickedly against the covenant he shall corrupt with flattery; but the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits.
Those Jews who wanted to follow “modern” ways, fell to the flattery of Antiochus, but Judah Maccabeus and his followers did indeed carry out great feats.
Yeshua goes on to describe the signs of His coming including the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel. He instructs those who read Daniel to understand!
Matthew 24:15-22 MKJV 15 Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place (whoever reads, let him understand). 16 Then let those in Judea flee into the mountains. 17 Let him on the housetop not come down to take anything out of his house; 18 nor let him in the field turn back to take his clothes. 19 And woe to those who are with child, and to those who give suck in those days! 20 But pray that your flight is not in the winter, nor on the sabbath day; 21 for then shall be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world to this time; no, nor ever shall be. 22 And unless those days should be shortened, no flesh would be saved. But for the elect's sake, those days shall be shortened.
This is a direct reference to Hanukah. The abomination set up by Antiochus IV was set up in the winter. He set his generals to killing the people of Jerusalem on the Sabbath.
2 Maccabees 5:24-27 The king also sent the mysarch Appolonius at the head of an army twenty-two thousand strong, with orders to put to death all men in their prime and to sell the women and children. Arriving in Jerusalem and posing as a man of peace, this man waited until the holy day of the Sabbath and then, taking advantage of the Jews as they rested from work, ordered his men to parade fully armed; all those who came out to watch he put to the sword; then running through the city with his armed troops, he cut down an immense number of people.
Those in Judea who refused to sacrifice to Zeus, fled to the desert taking all their goods with them. Antiochus’ men pursued and slaughtered them on the Sabbath.
1 Maccabees 2:29-30 At this many who were concerned for virtue and justice went down to the desert and stayed there, taking with them their sons, their wives and their cattle, for the burden of their wrongs had become unendurable.
Yeshua is warning that in the days of antichrist, they should flee to the mountains and not go back for their goods. Finally, any woman who gave birth to a son and had him circumcised was subject to a horrendous death.
1 Maccabees 1:63-64 Women who had their children circumcised were put to death according to the edict with their babies hung around their necks, and the members of their household and those who had performed the circumcision were executed with them.
The tribulation in the days of the antichrist will be worse than in the days of Antiochus IV. Paul says that the antichrist will set himself up as God.
2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 MKJV 3 Let not anyone deceive you by any means. For that Day shall not come unless there first comes a falling away, and the man of sin shall be revealed, the son of perdition, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, setting himself forth, that he is God.
Antiochus IV Epiphanes thought of himself as a god to be worshipped. His name, under which he ruled, Epiphanes, was self selected and means “God Manifest.”
As we light the Hanukkiah, we remember that we are not in darkness that we should be deceived. We are of the light and as children of the light, we are to keep watch.
1 Thessalonians 5:4-6 MKJV 4 But you, brothers, are not in darkness, that the Day should overtake you like a thief. 5 You are all the sons of light and the sons of the day. We are not of the night, or of darkness. 6 Therefore let us not sleep as the rest do, but let us watch and be calm.
Shalom and be blessed
Dan & Brenda Cathcart
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