The Miracles, Mysteries and Histories of Hanukkah | Part 8
Hanukkah and the End Times
In the days of the Maccabees, Antiochus “Epiphanes”--continuing in the ways of his predecessor Alexander the Great--threatened to assimilate the Jewish People into the Greek way of life, and in so doing strip away the very identity of God’s People. In the Last Days, there will be another--the one called “Anti-christ” in the Bible--who will “attempt to ‘assimilate’ all of humanity into a ‘New World Order.’” (Parsons) Observe these warnings from apocalyptic passages in both the Old and New Covenants:
Let no one in any way deceive you, for [the Day of the Lord] will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness [i.e. the antichrist] is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.
- 2 Thess. 2:3-4
It was also given to [the beast, or the antichrist] to make war with the saints and to overcome them, and authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation was given to him. All who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain. If anyone has an ear, let him hear. If anyone is destined for captivity, to captivity he goes; if anyone kills with the sword, with the sword he must be killed. Here is the perseverance and the faith of the saints.
- Rev. 13:7-9
Yet this antichrist’s hour will be short. Just as the “dominion of darkness” had its “hour” at the time of Yeshua’s betrayal, arrest, and crucifixion, but saw its demise at the Messiah’s resurrection, so too will the anti-Messiah meet his end when the LORD deals him a final and fatal blow.
The Book of Revelation paints the picture like so, first with the appearance of our Lord Yeshua, Faithful and True:
And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war. His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself. He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses. From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”
Then, a few verses later, we witness the Enemy’s downfall:
It is then that “the final victory of God will be established when Yeshua returns to destroy this Messiah of Evil at His Second Coming.” In a prophetic fulfillment of Chanukah, “the Holy Temple will then be rebuilt and dedicated by the hand of the true Mashiach of Israel.” (Parsons)
As for those believers who endure to the end of the many trials that await them during this period of the antichrist, the prophet Daniel foresaw them shining even brighter than all the chanukiahs combined, with the brilliance of the heavenly hosts:
Those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.
Commenting on the “new Antiochus” and his imminent defeat by Yeshua, Messianic Rabbi Derek Leman’s words of exhortation below serve as a suitable conclusion to our series on Chanukah:
When a new Antiochus will arise, as foretold in Daniel, and will greatly trouble Israel again, it will be Yeshua who comes to deliver his people. In the meantime, we are the Hasidei Yeshua, the pious ones of Yeshua, who stand firm in faithfulness to God’s ways and who do not compromise. Great movements of salvation do not usually look impressive, but when the times get difficult, the ones who shine are revealed.
Thank you so very much for joining us for The Miracles, Mysteries and Histories of Chanukah!
Blessings and Shalom to you in the name of Yeshua--The Prince of Peace!