I was thinking about Hanukkah and thought I would update a post that I previously posted on this site. Here it is:
I apologize for being like the boy who cried wolf or who cried Rapture. But I tend to notice patterns that may point to the Rapture in each of the biblical feasts and I just want to share them. Hanukkah is no different. It has symbolism, prophetic patterns and types that connect it to Jesus Christ, the Church, Israel, and the end times. Chapter 1 of the book of Revelation begins with Jesus walking among the Seven Lampstands or Menorahs, Significantly, Hanukkah, is often symbolized by the menorah or Temple lampstand. So, do the lampstands in Revelation1 give us a clue as to the timing of the events in the vision? If so, Hanukkah may be an important time to watch.
Hanukkah and Enoch
The plain meaning of the word “Hanukkah” means “dedication” in Hebrew.
Coincidentally, the name “Enoch,” also means “dedicated,” and is derived from the same Hebrew root used for the word Hanukkah. They even sound similar. So, the Feast of Dedication (or Hanukkah) could also be called the Feast of Enoch.
This is exciting since Enoch was translated into heaven solely because of his faith:
“By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” Hebrews 11:5-6.
“And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.” Genesis 5:24.
If Enoch’s translation is a pattern for those who are to be raptured, then perhaps his very name provides a clue as to the timing of the Rapture.
Jesus and the Feast of Dedication
Although Hanukkah is not one of the Seven Feasts of the Lord described in Leviticus 23, it is specifically mentioned in the Bible as being observed by Jesus:
“And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter. And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon's porch. Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly. Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness of me. But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. I and my Father are one.” John 10:22-30.
Here we see Jesus at the Temple walking in Solomon’s Porch on the Feast of Dedication (i.e. Hanukkah). Solomon’s Porch was also to be a future meeting place for the early Church. (“And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people; and they were all with one accord in Solomon's porch.” Acts 5:12.)
So, it was on a Hanukkah that Jesus tells the Jews that His sheep hear His voice. He also states that no one can pluck or snatch them out of His hand or from the hand of His Father. The Greek word used in this passage for “pluck” is “harpazo.” And it is the same word we use to describe the Rapture today. It is translated “caught up” in 1 Thessalonians 4:17:
“Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”
Is there significance in the fact that Jesus used the word “harpazo” twice in connection with His sheep and during Hanukkah? Someday we, His sheep, will hear His voice and shall be caught up with Him in the clouds. Remember when John heard a voice speaking to him in the book of Revelation it sounded like a trumpet. (“After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.” Revelation 4:1.)
Dedication of the Temple
Hanukkah celebrates the cleansing and rededication of the Temple after it had been desecrated by Antiochus Epiphanes – a type for the Antichrist. As such, it may also foreshadow the future cleansing of the Tribulation temple and the dedication of a Millennial temple (see Ezekiel 40 to 43).
But we should also remember that while there have been and will be earthly temples, there is also a heavenly one. In fact, the earthly tabernacle and subsequent temples are patterned after the temple in heaven.
“Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary. For there was a tabernacle made; the first, wherein was the candlestick, and the table, and the shewbread; which is called the sanctuary …. Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God. But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people …. But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us …. And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission. It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us ….” Hebrews 9:1-24.
It is also important to remember that, in a spiritual sense, we are also the temple of God.
“Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 2:5.
“Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” Ephesians 2:19-22.
At the time of the Rapture, the Church will be assembled into the Body of Christ or into the Temple finally and entirely. The Temple will be complete. (“But he spake of the temple of his body.” John 2:21.) We, who are spiritual stones, will be built together into “a spiritual house, an holy priesthood.” So, perhaps our own dedication as the temple of God will be scheduled on a future celebration of Hanukkah.
Haggai 2:18 and the Earthquake Resurrection or Shaking
A few years ago, I read a book by David Lowe called Earthquake Resurrection. It detailed a possible biblical pattern that links earthquakes to resurrection events. (For example, the earthquake-resurrection pattern is established in the Bible by Jesus in Matthew 27:50-51, by some Old Testament Saints in Matthew 27:52, and by the 2 Witnesses in Revelation 11:11-13.) If this pattern is true, then there could be an unprecedentedly large earthquake following the Rapture due to the energy expended to transform a large number of people worldwide from mortality into immortality. Because of this we might be able to speculate on the timing of the Rapture based upon any worldwide earthquakes or shakings described in the Bible. For example, there will be a global earthquake at the end of the Gog Magog War of Ezekiel 38-39. Significantly, Haggai 2:18 and 2:20-21 also suggests that there will be a world-wide shaking on or about the 24th day of the ninth month (which coincidentally happens to be first day of Hanukkah) and simultaneous with a war. Revelation 6 also talks about a global earthquake and heavenly shaking. Since the scale of these earthquakes and shakings are similar, they may depict the same event. So, if we see war breaking out around Hanukkah, please be on alert. It could very well mean the time of our departure and the fulfillment of the prophecy in Haggai!
“Consider now from this day and upward, from the four and twentieth day of the ninth month, even from the day that the foundation of the LORD'S temple was laid, consider it …. And again the word of the LORD came unto Haggai in the four and twentieth day of the month, saying, Speak to Zerubbabel, governor of Judah, saying, I will shake the heavens and the earth; And I will overthrow the throne of kingdoms, and I will destroy the strength of the kingdoms of the heathen; and I will overthrow the chariots, and those that ride in them; and the horses and their riders shall come down, every one by the sword of his brother.” Haggai 2:18-22.
The twenty-fourth day of the ninth month happens to be the first night that a Hanukkah menorah is lit. This passage also implies that there is also a battle going on as God will “overthrow the chariots, and those that ride in them; and the horses and their riders shall come down, every one by the sword of his brother.” It should be noted that the Gog Magog war of Ezekiel 38-39 has similar imagery : “And it shall come to pass at the same time when Gog shall come against the land of Israel, saith the Lord GOD, that my fury shall come up in my face. For in my jealousy and in the fire of my wrath have I spoken, Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel. So that the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the heaven, and the beasts of the field, and all creeping things that creep upon the earth, and all the men that are upon the face of the earth, shall shake at my presence, and the mountains shall be thrown down, and the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground. And I will call for a sword against him throughout all my mountains, saith the Lord GOD: every man's sword shall be against his brother. And I will plead against him with pestilence and with blood; and I will rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many people that are with him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone. Thus will I magnify myself, and sanctify myself; and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the LORD.” Ezekiel 38:18-19, 21.
Others have already made a connection between this passage in Haggai and the possible timing of the Gog Magog war of Ezekiel 38-39, due to similarities in both prophecies. So, I will only add that the shaking of the heavens and earth could be a consequence of the power expended in the Rapture, which is a resurrection event — and maybe the ultimate earthquake/resurrection event!
A revelation of God
An interesting thing happens at the end of the Gog Magog war and in John 10, when Jesus talks to the people on Hanukkah, we see God revealing Himself: “Thus will I magnify myself, and sanctify myself; and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the LORD.” Ezekiel 38:23. Jesus also said at Hanukkah: “I and my Father are one. Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him. Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me? The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.” John 10:30-33. Perhaps Hanukkah is just a time when God reveals Himself. Historically, it was a time of miracles. Prophetically, it will be a time of great shaking – a time when God makes His presence known in a big way. Perhaps it also will be a time when He reveals Himself to us on a face to face level. “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.” 1 John 3:2.
Meteors and the Festival of Lights
The passage about the Gog Magog War also talks about hailstones and burning sulfur falling down upon Gog. (“And I will plead against him with pestilence and with blood; and I will rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many people that are with him, an overflowing rain, and hailstones, fire, and brimstone.” Ezekiel 38:22.) Revelation 6:13, states that stars will fall to the earth like ripe figs from a fig tree. A meteor shower (or asteroid impacts) could fit this description. If we imagine the sky lit up by fire and brimstone, it could be a very appropriate and literal fulfillment of the Festival of Lights. (It would also be like the judgment on Sodom and Gomorrah as in the days of Lot.) This year, the annual Geminid Meteor Shower is scheduled to occur between November 19 to December 24, 2021, which includes Hanukkah. There will be other celestial activity in December: Comet Leonard will be swinging by and there will be a total solar eclipse on December 4. Scripture tells us that God keeps a storehouse of hail: “ Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow? or hast thou seen the treasures of the hail, Which I have reserved against the time of trouble, against the day of battle and war?” Job 38: 22-23. So, God is always ready to fulfill His prophecies.
7 Lampstands and the Menorah and the Church
When we first see Jesus in the book of Revelation, He is standing among seven candlesticks or lampstands. We are expressly told in Revelation 1:20 that these candlesticks represent the seven churches.
“I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea. And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; And of the seven in the midst candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle …. And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength …. The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.” Revelation 1:10-20.
Significantly, the primary symbol of Hanukkah is the menorah. According to Jewish tradition, the Maccabean forces who delivered Jerusalem found one jar of oil left in the Temple. They lit the menorah with it, even though there was enough oil to burn for only one day. A miracle occurred, however, and the oil burned for a total of eight days.
Since we learned that the menorah is also the symbol for the Church, could the seven candlesticks of Revelation 1:20 link the Church to the Hanukkah menorah – and, consequently, to the Festival of Lights? If so, we might have an image of Jesus in the heavenly temple standing with the Church on a future Hanukkah.
Pattern from the Conception of Christ
Although we are not given an exact date for the birth of Christ, some scholars believe that He was born in the Fall – possibly during one of the Fall feasts. If so, His conception could have been around the time of Hanukkah. Of course, it would be fitting for the Light of the World to arrive on the earth at Hanukkah.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God …. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not …. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” John 1:1-14. (Note: the Greek word used for “dwelt” here means to live in a tabernacle.)
“Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” John 8:12.
I personally like to think that Jesus was born on the eight-day Feast of Tabernacles because He could have been born on the first day and circumcised on the last day of the feast. His birth (and His dwelling in a mortal body with mankind) could also be the fulfillment of the feast which commemorated a period of time in which God literally dwelled on earth in a Tabernacle, which happened to be covered with animal skins. In fact, the Apostle Peter called his own body a tabernacle (“Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance; Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me.” 1 Peter 1:13-14. So, Christ’s fulfillment of the Feast of Tabernacles could arguably extend back to the time of His conception when He dwelled in the tabernacle of Mary’s womb. It is amazing to consider that even now God dwells in tabernacles – the tabernacles of our own bodies. Someday, the Feast of Tabernacles will be ultimately fulfilled when God dwells with us forever.
“And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.” Revelation 21:3.
Okay, so there must have been a specific point in time when Jesus was conceived into mortality. And since there is a similar point of conception for every human beings, shouldn’t there be a point of conception for immortal bodies, too? I think that the Rapture might represent that conception point for us.
If the Rapture is a type of conception event, then Jesus may have set a pattern for us if He was conceived during Hanukkah. It may represent the time period of our conception into immortality.
So here is the proposed pattern: Jesus left heaven and became mortal being at the time of His conception, afterwards He remained hidden in a womb while His body became fully formed. It was only after the normal period of human gestation that He was revealed to the world through the birth of His mortal body.
Someday, we will leave earth at the time of the Rapture and be changed into immortality, afterwards we will remain hidden (in a heavenly womb) for a period of time. (“Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast.” Isaiah 26:20.) Then, we will be revealed to the world in our immortal bodies at the time of Christ’s Second Coming. “And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.” Revelation 19:14.
The conception of Jesus Christ is a mystery. The invisible action of the Holy Spirit. Mary was not even aware of it happening inside her. It resulted in the miraculous translation of Christ from heaven to earth, from immortality into mortality. Likewise the conception of our immortal bodies at the Rapture will be by an invisible action of the Holy Spirit – that will result in our translation from earth to heaven.
“And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS …. And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible.” Luke 1:31-37.
“In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.” 1 Corinthians 15:52-54.
Jesus explained that we must go through the process of a second birth before we can enter His kingdom. Which makes sense because how else can we bear to be in the presence of a Holy God while still in our mortal, sinful bodies? Remember how Isaiah reacted when he first saw God? (“Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.” Isaiah 6:5) We must be made immortal and incorruptible if we are to live forever in the holy environment of heaven. We must become like Him. “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.” 1 John 3:2.
“Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3:3.
“Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.” 1 Peter 1:23.
So, if Hanukkah was the season for the conception of Christ, could it also be the season for our conception?
I have come to suspect that many things in our world are modeled after or patterned around spiritual truths. Please forgive my crudeness, but I see a parallel between human conception and the Rapture. The Bible compares people to seed. “And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.” Genesis 17:7.
Well, prior to conception, we see multiple sperm rushing toward one egg and at the Rapture, we see multiple people (or seed) rushing toward the one Christ. Human conception results in a mortal body and the Rapture will result in an immortal body. There is a usual gestation period where a baby is hidden in the womb. Likewise, we will be hidden in heaven. (Remember that Noah, his family and the animals were hidden in the Ark (a wooden womb?) – the many into the one. (The flood waters a type of amniotic fluid?)
There is an interesting verse in Haggai 2:19 that is connected to the future earth shaking prophecy that will take place around Hanukkah: “Is the seed yet in the barn? yea, as yet the vine, and the fig tree, and the pomegranate, and the olive tree, hath not brought forth: from this day will I bless you.” The phrase “is the seed yet in the barn” could roughly mean is the seed yet in the womb? I know that I am stretching things a bit, but if human birth is compared to spiritual birth then human conception should also have a spiritual parallel.
Well, all this to say that if Jesus was conceived during Hanukkah, perhaps we will be as well.
If I had to pick a feast day for the Rapture it would be the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot), so I was very excited to find out that Hanukkah was also modeled after Sukkot. According to tradition, because the Jews were prohibited from celebrating Sukkot by the Syrians, God granted them another 8 day festival in Hanukkah.
The Jews were finally able to celebrate Sukkot again after the rededication of the Temple. Like Sukkot, Hanukkah is observed for 8 days.
We are lights
We should remember that we are lights. “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16. This is a good time of year for us to remember that and to act accordingly.
Remember that the wise virgins kept their lamps trimmed and burning.
While all of the above is just speculation, someday, Jesus will walk by each one of us, His Church and His candlesticks. I am convinced that we shall hear His voice soon, like the apostle John: “I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet …. And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.” Revelation 1:10-13.
Keep looking up and Maranatha. God bless all of you as we remember the birth of Christ and look forward to His coming again. Oh come, oh come Emmanuel.
– Lisa Taylor