|The Miracle of Lights
When In Darkness
By John Stembridge
"Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path" (Psalm 119:105).
One of the famous expressions after the New York blackout some years ago was, "Where were you when the lights went out?"
Norman Geier, author of "Heroes of the Holocaust", was fleeing Germany with his father, mother and sister, December 25, 1938. That evening was the last night of Chanukah, the Jewish Festival of Lights. The month before, they had survived the infamous Kristallnacht (night of broken glass) when rioting Nazis broke the windows of synagogues and stores owned by Jews.
Fortunately for the Geier family, they had papers to leave Germany for Holland and then to America. Normans father, Juda, was a Cantor and an Orthodox Jew.
Just before leaving Germany for Holland, the train pulled into a border station for a final check of passports and travel documents. It was already dark. While the border police and Gestapo Agents were checking everyones papers, all the lights went out.
Normans father, being an observant Jew, had meticulously lit all eight Chanukah candles with the appropriate blessings with the ninth (servant candle) and placed it to the side of the others. When the agents saw the lights, they ran to the car of the Geiers and checked everyones papers by the Chanukah lights.
As they finished checking everyones papers, the lights came on. One of the officers complimented Mr. Geier for being wise enough to take along "travel candles." Cantor Geier turned to his son Norman and admonished him, "Remember this moment, son . . . like in the days of the Maccabees, a great miracle happened here."
God through His prophet Joel in chapter 2, warns us that the Day of the Lord is a day of gloom and darkness. This is confirmed by most of the other prophets. There will be immense evil, disease, plagues, famines, poverty, wars and rumors of wars. Mans hatred of one another will know no limits at the end of this age of evil.
Any Murder is too many
The headline of the Miami Herald November 23,1998, read: Murder Rate Reaches Lowest Level in 30 Years. The article touted the fact that 18,209 Americans were murdered last year down 8.1%. This means 20-25,000 people on average were murdered each year. If you multiply those figures by 30, you can see that 600,000 to 750,000 Americans were murdered during the past 30 years.
During the same time frame there were approximately 3 million rapes, nearly 31 million aggravated assaults, 15 million robberies, 73 million burglaries, 231 million larceny thefts, 40 million auto thefts. There were fifteen million killed by cigarettes, 1,260,000 traffic deaths largely due to drivers under the influence of alcohol and drugs; plus a staggering number 35 million innocents aborted (murdered! How many may have been prophets, teachers, artists, professionals of all kinds?).
Once this picture comes into focus, one realizes that America is without question one of the most violent and lawless nations on earth. Secular leaders in government, education, media, entertainment, law, medicine, industry, labor, management have gone out of their way to usurp Gods authority with man-made, self-centered rules and legislation.
When our executive, legislative and judicial branches of government are unconstitutionally controlled by lawyers and fueled by special interest money, we can see how justice, truth, honesty, love of family and neighbor are trampled underfoot by those who choose to advance themselves no matter what the cost in human lives. I feel our murder rate is nothing to brag about, instead we should all weep.
Prevailing & Available Light
America will soon crash on the ash heaps of history unless our Jewish, Arab and Gentile society returns to a Godly family lifestyle of teaching and obeying those 10 original commandments of God in the home, in the school, in the workplace, and in our leisure activities.
In such an hour as this, the Messiah will appear over Jerusalem as the "Sun of Righteousness". At the brightness of His appearing, the wicked will cry out for the rocks and mountains to hide them from the brilliance of that Light.
Many will die of fear, seeing the calamities that will take place. The threat of a worldwide holocaust has never been more real than right now. So many nations have nuclear, chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction that we do not know where or when the last domino will drop.
The Commandments of God will be the only light available to us in such an hour as this. An obedient lifestyle to those Commandments will be the only remedy to the pervasive lawlessness in the earth today.
The "Shma" means to hear and observe! May God give us an ear so close to His heart that we begin to think like He thinks and love what He loves and hate what He hates.
Yahshua was not only an observant Jew, circumcised on the 8th day, bar-mitzvahed, kept the weekly Shabbat, kept the Feasts of Pesach (Passover), unleavened bread, first fruits, Shavuot (Pentecost) Rosh HaShanah (Trumpets) and Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) not only did He keep all the feasts of Lev. 23 but Chanukah, the festival of light. Chanukah happened between Malachi and Matthew during a dark time when Antiochus, a pagan ruler, captured Jerusalem and killed a pig in the sacred area and offered the swines blood, polluting the Temple.
What is Chanukahs lesson for us who are about to enter the 21st Century?
When we connect the above with Isaiah 66, we can see the reason for some of the end-time judgments which are coming upon this generation. Our bodies are temples of Gods Spirit. Why should we put anything unclean in it when Gods Spirit is inside us? Im not suppose to eat blood in my meat and Im not suppose to eat swine or shell fish (pork, shrimp, crab, lobster, catfish, etc.). However, all of these God forbidden items (Lev. 11) are prominent today in the diets of both Jews and Christians.
Yahshua kept the Feast of Dedication in John 10:22. Interestingly, the Bible is careful to note that it was winter. Chanukah is always in December. He went into the Temple for the feast of Chanukah which means "Dedication". It is also called The Festival of Lights.
Now, why did He honor that feast? Because it signifies the cleansing and sanctification of the Temple for the worship of Gods holiness. A perfect example as to how we are to cleanse and sanctify our bodies and souls for worship of God today.
How the feast came about is described in more detail elsewhere in this publication. The resistance to the wicked edits of Antiochus began with Mattathias, a priest in the town of Modiin when he refused to sacrifice a pig on the altar of God and proclaimed, "I, my sons and my brothers are determined to remain loyal to the covenant which our God made with our ancestors."
Mattathias, like Daniel, refused to eat the kings meat. He wouldnt eat the unclean pork. Also Esthers uncle, Mordecai, as an observant Jew, refused to bow down to man or to eat the unclean, therefore he was hated by the pagan Haman. These three, Daniel, Mordecai and Mattathias, are examples to the true believers today.
We have accepted the pagan religion of Baal and culture of "Babylon" instead of the teaching that was given to us at Sinai. God cannot give us anything evil, brothers and sisters. The Law is just; its good; it converts the soul; its to keep you from guilt, a heavy heart, mental and emotional stress, all sickness, disease, and poverty. Keep His commandments and prosper and be in health. "My son, forget not my Law. Keep my Commandments: For length of days, and long life, and peace shall they add to thee" (Proverbs 3:1&2 and many others). Gods commands are the Chanukah lights that will lead you to long life, health and peace.
Learn to love Gods commandments and His statutes. The happy man of God meditates in the Law day and night! Day and night! Why do the Jewish people read the five books of Moses over and over again? Because they are meditating in it and wanting to make it their way of living. We Christians have despised the Law which is a significant part of our faith. God forgive us.
Its time for drastic change. The church is now in a paradigm shift. Its time we turn away from the weak and the beggarly elements, and time to accept the WHOLE Law of God as a gift the same as we accept our salvation. Then we will begin to praise and thank God for His statutes and His ordinances and know that they are for our good. They are lights for our edification. They are for our health, our long life and our peace of heart, soul, and mind in harmony with God and with our neighbor. "That thy way may be known upon earth. Thy saving health among all nations" (Psalm 67:2).