Monday, December 21, 2015

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Jesus, Hanukkah and Christmas

QUESTION: Should Christians honor and celebrate Hanukkah?

ANSWER: Yes, Jesus did. John 10:22


ANSWER: Because a Born Again Christian has been adopted into the root and family of Judaism. Any celebration the Lord honors should be honored by every Christian and Jew. 

          In all probability, Jesus was conceived (placed by the
Ruach HaKodesh[1]) in Mary's womb during the celebration of Hanukkah.[2] If you take the conception of Jesus to be during Hanukkah, count forward 9 months, you will come to the middle of September - where some scientists say is the actual birth time for Jesus. The time of  the Feast of Tabernacles, Sukkot and Rosh Hashanah.

          Hanukkah is a Hebrew holiday commemorating the rededication of the Holy Temple (the Second Temple), it is the Festival of lights, and Jesus is the Light Of The World. As we know, Light is the smallest particle we know of and is the substance of which all things are made.

          Laminin is a cell adhesion molecule. That's what holds all of our cells together.
This is the structure of Laminin.

          Now we know that is was Jesus who made us, Jesus is the light of which we are made and the Cross is the stuff that holds us together.

          There is a difference between the Temple Menorah and the Hanukkah menorah. The Temple Menorah represents the 7 days of creation, where the Hanukkah Menorah stands for the 8 days the oil lasted. The word Hanukkah means "Dedication". The first Menorah represents the creation of the world and the second represents God's willingness to supply continuing Salvation.

          Many say that the Sheppard's were the first human visitors and were the lowliest of people; to show Jesus humility. Please keep in mind that Sheppard's were the protectors of the sheep. They kept the sheep safe from wolves, bears and lions. These were not wimpy uneducated men. Think in terms of King David and Gideon. David was a Shepard, while Gideon was a wheat farmer.  David became a king over Israel, while Gideon became a judge over IsraelJesus was, and still is, the Good Shepard, but also the King of Kings.

Why Bethlehem?
Bethlehem means" House of Bread" and Jesus said He is the bread of life.
He was born, and lain in a manger feeding trough for a crib.
Bethlehem is where the lambs for the temple sacrifice were raised. Jesus was born for the sacrifice. Micah 5:2 says: "But thou, Bethlehem Ephrata, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall He come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting[3]."

          In the Old Testament prophesies, the Messiah was predicted to come from Bethlehem.  This is one reason some of the Jewish leaders rejected Him. They knew that the Messiah would not come out of Nazareth, where they thought Jesus was born. Truth is always truth, but sometimes it must be sought out. True study of the scriptures would have told them where to look, and questioning about the birth place would have yielded the truth. Throughout history, men have gone about half cocked and swearing by it. God does not hide the truth from His people. There are many people today who study church doctrine more than they study the scriptures.

          The Shepard's of Bethlehem were the first to greet the birth of the Lamb. Bethlehem is where the kingdom of David begins. It is where David was a Shepard. It is prophesied that Jesus will rule from the throne of His father David.

          Simeon and Anna were in the Temple in Jerusalem when Joseph and Mary brought Jesus in to fulfill the custom of the law.  Simeon and Anna had a special understanding with God, that they would see the salvation of the world before they died.  They both proclaimed it to be Jesus.[4] "And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him."[5]

          When Jesus was about 18 months old, the Magi came to worship Him. He was in the "terrible two's" at the time. My wife says that since Jesus was God, he couldn't be in the "terrible two's". Perception is everything. If you were Satan, you would think that Jesus had come out of the terrible one's, was in the terrible two's and entering the terrible three's.

          By now, some of you are saying that there is at least some of this that I can't prove. You are right. So, at this point, you need to take my advice and study the scriptures for yourself. I will admit that some of this is a result of taking scriptural studies to "the next step", where common sense takes over, from information gained by listening to biblical teachers and application of the Bible to science. History and science are perfectly good study disciplines, if we realize that where they disagree with scripture, it is science and history that are not trustworthy. All things must be judged by the Word of God. Regardless of what date or season we choose to celebrate the birth of Jesus, I will join in. I will give celebration and honor to Jesus at any time. For the church's first three centuries, Christmas wasn't in December—or on the calendar at all[6]. The Puritan's and Pilgrim's, when they came here from Europe, did not celebrate Christmas at all: they considered it to Holy for celebration.

          It is not that important when we celebrate Jesus. The important thing is that we recognize who and what He is. When we accept His offer of Salvation, and make Him the Lord of our life, we become members in the family and kingdom of God.

[1] Holy Spirit
[2] Hilke Dokter  offers three indicators from the Bible that Jesus was born during the Jewish month of Tishri (our September/October).
The approximate month of Jesus birth can actually be calculated with reference to the conception of John the Baptist:
Luke 1:5 says that John's father, Zacharias, was "a member of the Abijah division of the Temple service corps." (Living Bible)
1 Chronicles 24:15 assigned the priests of the Abijah division to begin temple service at the start of the 9th week of the year. But at the end of the week, Pentecost had begun, so he would have remained on duty until the end of the 10th week.
Luke 1:23-24 records that Zacharias returned immediately to his home, and that John was conceived shortly thereafter - probably during the last half of Sivan, the 3rd month in the Jewish calendar.
Allowing for a normal 9 months pregnancy, John would have been born in the springtime.
Luke 1:36 records that the angel came to Mary when John's mother Elizabeth was 6 months pregnant.
Luke 1:31 reports that Mary conceived very shortly after the angel's visit.
Assuming a normal, 9 month pregnancy, Jesus would have been born about 6 months after John - sometime in the fall of the year.
[3] John 1:1-4
[4] Luke 2:22-39
[5] Luke 22:40


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