Daniel Agee

Chanukah: Will this happen again?

Daniel AgeeThe fact that Yeshua celebrated Chanukah is not the focus of today’s talk. What we are going to focus on is Yeshua’s message in the Temple on the Festival of Dedication — Chanukah — and what the scribes and Pharisees asked Yeshua at that time about His being the Messiah. What did He tell them, and why didn’t He directly answer their question? The lessons of Chanukah applied then and to the coming Day of the Lord.

Passages: John 10:22-42; Dan. 11:36-39; Haggai 2

Antiochus Epiphanies and Nebuchadnezzar are very similar men, they both set up themselves as gods and living above God Himself. They desecrated God’s temple and replaced the Temple service with service to themselves. 

The memory of the Maccabees is a much fresher memory to them than us. The scribes and Pharisees ask Yeshua a key question: “How long will you keep us in suspense, if you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” They are asking Yeshua if he claiming to be God, just as Antiochus and Nebuchadnezzar had done before. When Yeshua answered the question, he points the scribes and the Pharisees to His “works.” 

The Anti-Christ is going to come someday and we will expect him to claim to be God. The way we will be able to identify the difference between the Anti-Christ and the real Christ will be from their works. When the Pharisees rise up to stone Yeshua, he asks them, “What works are you going to stone me?” They reply that it isn’t His actions that they are going to stone Him but His claim to be God. Yeshua replies that you don’t look at the words, but at the works of a man to judge the man. 

Yeshua tells them, “The works that I do in my Father’s name bear witness about me…” (John 10:25).

The Pharisee’s were getting lost in words and not looking at works and actions. Why would Yeshua tell them to look at His works? Actions speak louder than words and you know a person by their works, by what they do. 

Since we know that the Anti-Christ can’t do the works of the Father, all he can do is speak the same words and those words will deceive many. For example, in Islam, they also believe that Yeshua is going to return and he will speak similar words but his actions will not be the same. The counterfeit Yeshua will be able to speak the same words but will not be able to perform the actions of the real Yeshua. 

You have to know the word, what the works of the Father are to be able to discern who is the Anti-Christ. 

Haggai tells us about the building of the second temple after the exile in Babylon. He discusses a number of points. Hag. 2:10-14 tells us that once a clean thing is touched by an unclean thing, it becomes unclean too. 

What purpose does it serve to God to allow His saints to be cut down and killed? How does God fix the uncleanliness of the people? God either cleans with water or purges with death. 

Will the Anti-Christ do God’s will? Yes, because God will allow him to rise up for His ultimate purpose. Will the Anti-Christ perform God’s works? No. For example, Nebuchadnezzar did the will of God when he attacked the country of Judah but he did not perform the works of God because he was not a righteous man. Good people will die at the Anti-Christ’s hand, God will sort it out at the end. 

Hag. 2:18 tells us that after the events that will occur on the 24th day of the ninth month — the day before Chanukah — the Temple would be established and the people will be blessed and be a blessing.

Yeshua did God’s will and performed God’s works while Nebuchadnezzar, Antiochus and the future Anti-Christ will do God’s will but will not perform God’s works. Nebuchadnezzar, Antiochus and anti-Christs’ works will be a curse and a punishment. Punishment is not a blessing. A blessing may come from it but the punishment itself is not a blessing. 

Yeshua’s works were not about stuff, about material things. Yeshua’s blessing was His love, His regard for all those who He came into contact as individuals. He healed them physically, He also forgave their sins. Yeshua’s works had a purpose beyond the work itself. 

Justice is a blessing from God. When God grants justice to a person, it not only affects the person but those around him or her as well. Love, Freedom and Mercy are also works and gifts of the Father. We can discern who the Anti-Christ is by the results of his actions, his works. Do his actions produce freedom, love and mercy or oppression, hatred and bondage?

In the end, the first “Christ” that comes will not be the real Christ, but he will come with similar power.

Speaker: Daniel Agee. Summary: Tammy.

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