“Be on guard, keep awake. For you do not know when the appointed time will come.” (Mark 13: 33)
By Christine Darg
Behold, the Bridegroom Comes!
The Bride of Christ must awaken and be ready for the return of the Lord, for He is coming in an hour when many are complacent and not expecting him.
Israel was divided and complacent and was caught off guard October 7 when Hamas attacked so viciously.
May we not be caught off guard when the Lord returns. Let our lamps be filled with oil, not just for 8 days as was the Temple Menorah oil miracle, but full and prepared, overflowing, until He comes!
The historical events of Hanukkah were like a dress rehearsal of the Antichrist.
In fact, Daniel 11 and 12 foretold the reign of the Seleucid dynasty of the Hellenistic Syrian kingdom, culminating in the cruel reign of Antiochus IV who regarded himself as God—hence his title, Epiphanes, meaning “God Manifest.”
History records much about this villain who was the prophetic anticipation of Antichrist foreshadowed in Daniel 11:36—12:3.
Antichrist will also claim to be God. (2 Thessalonians 2:4)
Antiochus enacted a decree prohibiting Jewish religious practices which led to the Maccabean Revolt.
Antichrist will also put a stop to Jewish worship. But the Lord Yeshua will return and destroy him. (2 Thessalonians 2:8)
Some Jews wanted to be Hellenized to fit in…. just as some want to assimilate today.
The daily Global Prayer Gatherings of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem led by Dr. Jürgen Bühler via Zoom have been profound. We have been reviewing this week during Hanukkah how the Maccabean warriors threw off Hellenistic culture.
Because of the victory of Hanukkah, thankfully the Jews were kept as a separate nation— otherwise there would be no Messiah born at Bethlehem!
Zechariah 9:13 is a prophecy of the wars of Hanukkah, declaring that God enabled the Sons of Zion to defeat the Sons of Greece.
The Sons of Zion have a biblical worldview and the Sons of Greece have a man-centered world view.
This battle is ongoing today in Israel and the Church.
Zechariah 9: 13, “For I will bend Judah as My bow, I will fill the bow with Ephraim. And I will stir up your sons, Zion, against your sons, Greece; And I will make you like a warrior’s sword.”
As Israeli commentator Caroline Glick said this week, the Hamas war is the new test of our time.
Hanukkah commemorates a battle for Jewish identity in the midst of Hellenization. This time the Jews have an existential battle in the midst of progressive wokeness and globalism.
Yet as Chuck Cohen wrote in the prayer points of Intercessors for Israel, Jesus proclaimed himself as the Good Shepherd in Jerusalem at the time of Hanukkah. (John 10:14, 22)
Therefore we continue to thank the Almighty that He is still shepherding his people Israel as he promised in Jeremiah 31: 10,
Hear the word of the Lord, you nations, And declare it in the coastlands far away, And say, “He who scattered Israel will gather him, And He will keep him as a shepherd keeps his flock.”
My friend Eliyahu Berkowitz, chief writer at Israel365 News, says Israelis are on the verge of tears and need a hug.
Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God.
Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the Lord’s hand double for all her sins. (Isaiah 40: 1-2)
The nations are being tested. We must partner with God’s plans for Israel!
We grieve because we as intercessors warned Israel not to disengage from Gaza. We knew it would only end in more lives lost.
When Israel signed the Oslo Accords in 1993, they agreed to carve out large portions of the Biblical heartland. Both the Oslo process and disengagement from Gaza in 2005 have resulted in the creation of a terrorist enclave and the spilling of more Jewish blood.
The cream of Israel’s youth are losing their lives because Israel has not fully believed that God gave them the Land. Many Gazans are also dying because they have been fed a lie that the Jews are colonists when, in fact, God bequeathed the Land of Israel to Abraham, Issac and Jacob and their descendants. While there are 55 Muslim majority nations, the Jews have nowhere else to go but the Land of Israel!
Ben Sussman (photo via social media above) died last week defending Israel in this present war. Only 22 years old, he possessed the maturity and sense of purpose of a much older person. This is his final letter, to be released in case of his capture or death:
“I’m writing this letter to you as I’m heading to the base. If you’re reading this, something must have happened to me. You know me. No one could be happier than me right now. It was no coincidence that I was on the verge of fulfilling my dream.
“I am happy and grateful for the privilege I have to defend our beautiful land and beautiful people of Israel. In case something happened to me, I forbid you from sulking in sorrow. I had the privilege of fulfilling my dream and destiny.
“You can be certain that I’m looking down on you with a huge smile. I’ll probably sit next to Grandpa and catch up on what we’ve missed. Each of us will share our experiences and what changed between the wars. Maybe we’ll also talk a little politics and I’ll ask him what he thinks.
“If, God forbid, you are sitting Shiva, transform it into a week of friends, family, and fun. There will be good food, meat, of course, soft beer, soft drinks, nuts, and, of course, mom’s cookies. Tell jokes, share stories. You’ll get to meet all the rest of my friends you haven’t met.
“You know, I envy you. I would want to sit there and see everyone. Another matter is very important. If, God forbid, I fall into captivity, dead or alive, I will not allow a single soldier citizen to be harmed because of some bargaining made by my release. I forbid you to conduct a campaign or struggle or anything of the sort. I am not willing to have terrorists released in exchange for me in no way, shape, or form. Don’t misconstrue my words, please. I say it again. I left the house without even being called up to reserve duty.
“I am filled with pride and a sense of purpose, and I always said that if I had to die, I wish I would be in defense of others and the state.”
May his name never be forgotten.
To pray for or to support the ongoing work of Christine Darg and Exploits Ministry as well as her Jerusalem Channel, please visit www.JerusalemChannel.tv/donate/