Amidst my studies, I offer to share with you some of my research as well as significance I find in the celebration of Hanukkah, also commonly called the feast of dedication, dedication of the altar, and the festival of lights (this name is widely known due to the writings of Josephus, though other religions also use this term for ungodly worship). This document will share studies about how the celebration started, but will not focus much on traditions related to celebrating Hanukkah.
My goal is to write to you the reader unto growth in worship that God Himself is the author of. The Word became flesh to redeem us to know God as our Father. Jesus/Yeshua gave Himself as the spotless lamb of God, that those who put their faith in Him as the promised Messiah/Christ, following Him as Lord/Master become a new creation that can and are called to be filled with His Spirit. Through Him in us, we present our entire being a holy sacrifice unto God in true worship, living out His will in abundant life of righteousness, peace and joy. The redeemed are willingly and gratefully His own holy possession.
In the Old Testament, we read of God’s deliberate directive of the temple and those serving in the temple, as being anointed, separated for His use. The redeemed are the temple made without hands, houses to be filled with His glory unto true dedication of worship.
Straight out of Wikipedia:
In the Christian Greek Scriptures, John 10:22–23 says Jesus walked in Solomon's Porch at the Jerusalem Temple during "the Feast of Dedication and it was winter." The Greek term that is used is "the renewals" (Greek ta enkainia τὰ ἐγκαίνια).
“Chanukah” derives from the word “chinuch”, which is “dedication”. Chanukah then meaning, “there you have it, the story of ‘dedication’”.
Click here to read the context in John chapter 10, in which our Holy Bible does make reference to this celebration.
The wording of dedication and renewal is entirely relevant to the story of Hanukkah. I see it as a great story of revival. To revive something infers that it is being restored back to it’s whole original state. Those who are truly redeemed (not self-proclaimed, but have the witness of the Spirit of God that they are His own) are resurrected unto newness of life. As those who are born-again, they are also constantly being renewed unto the life Jesus purchased for them, and also have important moments of being revived from deception. God wants to revive the body unto sincerity of faith.
Recall how the Israelites were in bondage in Egypt, literally as physical slaves, but not conscious of slavery that had reached their souls. The Egyptians of that time were in a culture directly shaped by demon-inspired teaching. We read evidence of the influence this had on the Israelites when they built a golden calf in worship even after experiencing such great signs from the true God. They called something worship, that the ordained priest himself (Aaron, the brother of Moses) was the leader of, that had nothing to do with worship that God was the author of. God had separated them to be a holy people unto Him.
We see this concept of bad influence further in the scriptures in that they were commanded not to marry wives that followed other gods because it would draw them to their gods. When someone joins as one in sexual engagement, they become one in many ways, ideally for the better (as in holy marriage), but often for the worse because it’s outside of God’s will.
Whatever we submit to (even in complacency) will have an aspect of dominion upon us, even if that is not God’s desire. In others words, God is faithful to keep the door shut on His end, but in our own will, we can push away God’s protective hand and leave the door open to darkness through rebellion to God’s way. We are in a battle that God has enabled His children to walk through victoriously. We are called to be sober and vigilant, watchful in prayer, in an abiding fellowship with the Holy Spirit. A little leaven leavens the whole lump. The justified, the just, walk and live by faith. Through sincere saving faith in Jesus, we are a new creation enabled to carry our crosses where it is “not my will, but Thy will be done”; where true life is found. Thank God for the power of the blood that such doors can be quickly shut when we let God shut them.
Throughout the OT, we read of the Israelites and even the leaders getting pulled into such defilement that they consciously worship other false gods.
And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word. (1 Kings 18:21, KJV)
The Israelites had the directive of God, but were not a new creation that could be continually filled with the Holy Spirit. Those who are born-again are literally a holy peculiar people unto Him, called to show forth His praise to the glory of His grace. The blood-washed remnant who walk with God are evidence of the restoration of the tabernacle of David; those who worship in spirit and in truth.
Interestingly in relation to the afore-mentioned deception of Aaron, as you read on, you will see how the Maccabean family, which is from the line of Aaron (the ordained priestly line), led the fight unto restoration of the temple, which is what the story of Hanukkah is about. The Jews had become so influenced by Greek culture that many had agreed to the temple being used for false worship.
There are other texts that directly relate to Hanukkah besides the book of John, but are not part of our Bibles. The next portion of this document will point to excerpts from the book of 1st and 2nd Maccabees, the writings of Josephus, and the Talmud.
The book of Maccabees:
The Spirit bears witness that this was the right decision that it is not a part of our canon, that is, God’s ordained, God-inspired words for doctrine, reproof, correction and instruction in righteousness, thereby revealing the holiness of the true God. This document I am writing is in deliberate reverence to God, but is not to be taken as the infallible direct Word of God. One of the honorable values of the book of Maccabees is that it, along with other historical writings point to that an actual event happened.
Here are some excerpts taken from the NRSV translation with the goal to paint a general picture of what was happening as it relates to the story of Hanukkah. Again, these following texts are not being presented as the infallible Word of God. Notice the similarity of the 41st verse to the agenda of false peace through compromise being pushed today.
1 Maccabees, Chapter 1
10 From them came forth a sinful root, Antiochus Epiphanes, son of King Antiochus…began to reign in the one hundred thirty-seventh year of the kingdom of the Greeks. 11 In those days certain renegades came out from Israel and misled many, saying, “Let us go and make a covenant with the Gentiles around us, for since we separated from them many disasters have come upon us.” 12 This proposal pleased them, 13 and some of the people eagerly went to the king, who authorized them to observe the ordinances of the Gentiles. 14 So they built a gymnasium in Jerusalem, according to Gentile custom, 15 and removed the marks of circumcision, and abandoned the holy covenant. They joined with the Gentiles and sold themselves to do evil…
41 Then the king wrote to his whole kingdom that all should be one people, 42 and that all should give up their particular customs. 43 All the Gentiles accepted the command of the king. Many even from Israel gladly adopted his religion; they sacrificed to idols and profaned the sabbath. 44 And the king sent letters by messengers to Jerusalem and the towns of Judah; he directed them to follow customs strange to the land, 45 to forbid burnt offerings and sacrifices and drink offerings in the sanctuary, to profane sabbaths and festivals, 46 to defile the sanctuary and the priests, 47 to build altars and sacred precincts and shrines for idols, to sacrifice swine and other unclean animals, 48 and to leave their sons uncircumcised. They were to make themselves abominable by everything unclean and profane, 49 so that they would forget the law and change all the ordinances. 50 He added “And whoever does not obey the command of the king shall die.”…
15 The king’s officers who were enforcing the apostasy came to the town of Modein to make them offer sacrifice. 16 Many from Israel came to them; and Mattathias and his sons were assembled. 17 Then the king’s officers spoke to Mattathias as follows: “You are a leader, honored and great in this town, and supported by sons and brothers. 18 Now be the first to come and do what the king commands, as all the Gentiles and the people of Judah and those that are left in Jerusalem have done. Then you and your sons will be numbered among the Friends of the king, and you and your sons will be honored with silver and gold and many gifts.”
19 But Mattathias answered and said in a loud voice: “Even if all the nations that live under the rule of the king obey him, and have chosen to obey his commandments, every one of them abandoning the religion of their ancestors, 20 I and my sons and my brothers will continue to live by the covenant of our ancestors. 21 Far be it from us to desert the law and the ordinances. 22 We will not obey the king’s words by turning aside from our religion to the right hand or to the left.”
23 When he had finished speaking these words, a Jew came forward in the sight of all to offer sacrifice on the altar in Modein, according to the king’s command. 24 When Mattathias saw it, he burned with zeal and his heart was stirred. He gave vent to righteous anger; he ran and killed him on the altar. 25 At the same time he killed the king’s officer who was forcing them to sacrifice, and he tore down the altar. 26 Thus he burned with zeal for the law, just as Phinehas did against Zimri son of Salu.
27 Then Mattathias cried out in the town with a loud voice, saying: “Let every one who is zealous for the law and supports the covenant come out with me!”
Then his son Judas, who was called Maccabeus, took command in his place. 2 All his brothers and all who had joined his father helped him; they gladly fought for Israel…
58 And Judas said, “Arm yourselves and be courageous. Be ready early in the morning to fight with these Gentiles who have assembled against us to destroy us and our sanctuary. 59 It is better for us to die in battle than to see the misfortunes of our nation and of the sanctuary. 60 But as his will in heaven may be, so shall he do.”…
23 Then Judas returned to plunder the camp, and they seized a great amount of gold and silver, and cloth dyed blue and sea purple, and great riches. 24 On their return they sang hymns and praises to Heaven—“For he is good, for his mercy endures forever.” 25 Thus Israel had a great deliverance that day…
36 Then Judas and his brothers said, “See, our enemies are crushed; let us go up to cleanse the sanctuary and dedicate it.” 37 So all the army assembled and went up to Mount Zion. 38 There they saw the sanctuary desolate, the altar profaned, and the gates burned. In the courts they saw bushes sprung up as in a thicket, or as on one of the mountains. They saw also the chambers of the priests in ruins. 39 Then they tore their clothes and mourned with great lamentation; they sprinkled themselves with ashes 40 and fell face down on the ground. And when the signal was given with the trumpets, they cried out to Heaven. 41 Then Judas detailed men to fight against those in the citadel until he had cleansed the sanctuary. 42 He chose blameless priests devoted to the law, 43 and they cleansed the sanctuary and removed the defiled stones to an unclean place. 44 They deliberated what to do about the altar of burnt offering, which had been profaned. 45 And they thought it best to tear it down, so that it would not be a lasting shame to them that the Gentiles had defiled it. So they tore down the altar, 46 and stored the stones in a convenient place on the temple hill until a prophet should come to tell what to do with them. 47 Then they took unhewn stones, as the law directs, and built a new altar like the former one. 48 They also rebuilt the sanctuary and the interior of the temple, and consecrated the courts. 49 They made new holy vessels, and brought the lampstand, the altar of incense, and the table into the temple. 50 Then they offered incense on the altar and lit the lamps on the lampstand, and these gave light in the temple. 51 They placed the bread on the table and hung up the curtains. Thus they finished all the work they had undertaken. 52 Early in the morning on the twenty-fifth day of the ninth month, which is the month of Chislev, in the one hundred forty-eighth year, 53 they rose and offered sacrifice, as the law directs, on the new altar of burnt offering that they had built. 54 At the very season and on the very day that the Gentiles had profaned it, it was dedicated with songs and harps and lutes and cymbals. 55 All the people fell on their faces and worshiped and blessed Heaven, who had prospered them. 56 So they celebrated the dedication of the altar for eight days, and joyfully offered burnt offerings; they offered a sacrifice of well-being and a thanksgiving offering. 57 They decorated the front of the temple with golden crowns and small shields; they restored the gates and the chambers for the priests, and fitted them with doors. 58 There was very great joy among the people, and the disgrace brought by the Gentiles was removed.
59 Then Judas and his brothers and all the assembly of Israel determined that every year at that season the days of dedication of the altar should be observed with joy and gladness for eight days, beginning with the twenty-fifth day of the month of Chislev…
2 Maccabees 10 (different author than previous book):
Now Maccabeus and his followers, the Lord leading them on, recovered the temple and the city; 2 they tore down the altars that had been built in the public square by the foreigners, and also destroyed the sacred precincts. 3 They purified the sanctuary, and made another altar of sacrifice; then, striking fire out of flint, they offered sacrifices, after a lapse of two years, and they offered incense and lighted lamps and set out the bread of the Presence. 4 When they had done this, they fell prostrate and implored the Lord that they might never again fall into such misfortunes, but that, if they should ever sin, they might be disciplined by him with forbearance and not be handed over to blasphemous and barbarous nations. 5 It happened that on the same day on which the sanctuary had been profaned by the foreigners, the purification of the sanctuary took place, that is, on the twenty-fifth day of the same month, which was Chislev. 6 They celebrated it for eight days with rejoicing, in the manner of the festival of booths, remembering how not long before, during the festival of booths, they had been wandering in the mountains and caves like wild animals. 7 Therefore, carrying ivy-wreathed wands and beautiful branches and also fronds of palm, they offered hymns of thanksgiving to him who had given success to the purifying of his own holy place. 8 They decreed by public edict, ratified by vote, that the whole nation of the Jews should observe these days every year. 9 Such then was the end of Antiochus, who was called Epiphanes.
Antiquities of the Jews, written by Josephus:
The following excerpt of text was written by the historian Josephus (37 AD - 100 AD) in the Antiquities of the Jews. This victory celebrated during Hanukkah is noted to have taken place in 164 BC, between the writings of the OT and New Testament.
When therefore he had carefully purged it; and had brought in new vessels; the candlestick; the table [of shew-bread,] and the altar [of incense;] which were made of gold; he hung up the veils at the gates, and added doors to them. He also took down the altar [of burnt-offering;] and built a new one of stones that he gathered together, and not of such as were hewn with iron tools. So on the five and twentieth day of the month Casleu, which the Macedonians call Apelleus, they lighted the lamps that were on the candlestick; and offered incense upon the altar [of incense;] and laid the loaves upon the table [of shewbread;] and offered burnt offerings upon the new altar [of burnt-offering.] Now it so fell out, that these things were done on the very same day on which their divine worship had fallen off, and was reduced to a profane and common use, after three years time. For so it was, that the temple was made desolate by Antiochus, and so continued for three years. For this desolation happened to the temple in the hundred forty and fifth year; on the twenty fifth day of the month Apelleus; and on the hundred fifty and third Olympiad. But it was dedicated anew, on the same day, the twenty fifth of the month Apelleus, on the hundred forty eighth year; and on the hundred fifty fourth Olympiad. And this desolation came to pass according to the prophecy of Daniel, which was given four hundred and eight years before. For he declared that the Macedonians would dissolve that worship, [for some time.]
7. Now Judas celebrated the festival of the restoration of the sacrifices of the temple for eight days; and omitted no sort of pleasures thereon: but he feasted them upon very rich and splendid sacrifices; and he honoured God, and delighted them, by hymns and psalms. Nay they were so very glad at the revival of their customs, when, after a long time of intermission, they unexpectedly had regained the freedom of their worship, that they made it a law for their posterity, that they should keep a festival on account of the restoration of their temple worship for eight days. And from that time to this we celebrate this festival, and call it Lights. I suppose the reason was, because this liberty beyond our hopes appeared to us; and that thence was the name given to that festival. Judas also rebuilt the walls round about the city; and reared towers of great height against the incursions of enemies; and set guards therein. He also fortified the city Bethsura, that it might serve as a citadel against any distresses that might come from our enemies.
Notice the intentional statement of not assuredly knowing why this celebration was called “Lights”. The victory unto restoration of the temple is a well-accepted fact, when known of. There is often, however, debate about what is coined as “the miracle of Hanukah” as noted in the Talmud (read below).
From the Babylonian Talmud:
There are claims that the original version of this excerpt contains Eastern Aramaic (which came to Babylonia between 300-500 AD), leading people to believe this was written about 600 years after the victory we read about in Maccabees.
The following is an excerpt from this 1918 translation:
(Labeled as being in Chapter 2, on page 34)
What is 'Hanukah? The rabbis taught: "On the twenty-fifth day of Kislev 'Hanukah commences and lasts eight days, on which lamenting (in commemoration of the dead) and fasting are prohibited. When the Hellenists entered the sanctuary, they defiled all the oil that was found there. When the government of the House of Asmoneans prevailed and conquered them, oil was sought (to feed the holy lamp in the sanctuary) and only one vial was found with the seal of the high priest intact. The vial contained sufficient oil for one day only, but a miracle occurred, and it fed the holy lamp eight days in succession. These eight days were the following year established as days of good cheer, on which psalms of praise and acknowledgment (of God's wonders) were to be recited.
In response to these documents:
It is very evident that an event happened unto a restoration of the temple, which is widely agreed upon by those who celebrate Hanukah. Again, this happened only a few generations before Christ came in the flesh. In reading the gospels, we see much evidence of there being a temple in Jerusalem during the days of Jesus being in the flesh, yet Jesus prophesied it would be destroyed (Mt 24:2, Mk 13:2, Lk 19:44). The redeemed are the tabernacle of the Holy Spirit. Mark 14:58, KJV: We heard him say, I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and within three days I will build another made without hands (Related: John 2:18-22). Jesus is the chief cornerstone holding together the temple of true worship.
It is a miracle worthy of celebration that a small band of zealous Jews were a great instrument of righteousness unto restoration of the temple.
There is debate however regarding the validity of the story referred to as the “miracle of Hanukah”. This is referenced in the Talmud as there being only one approved (undefiled) vial of oil left for lighting the Menorah, which would have technically been enough for one night. The story is that it miraculously lasted for 8 days and nights until more oil was brought. It is considered an 8-day trip to and from Galilee for oil. As we read in the first few verses of Leviticus 24, the lamp stand (the temple menorah) was to burn continually. It is very unlikely that 8 days would be widely accepted without initially having special significance (one theory being as stated in 2 Maccabees 10:6). I believe God ordained the imagery of the menorah to be integral in this celebration. When considering how to first celebrate Hanukah, I heard Him say to light the candles.
The Chanukah menorah has 9 branches, while the temple menorah (golden lamp stand) has 7 (more on this later). In the tradition related to the Hanukah menorah, 8 of the branches represent the days, while the ninth branch is used to hold the “helper" or "servant” candle that lights the other branches (more on this later). There have been different customs proclaimed on how to use the menorah in celebration of Hanukkah, but all relate to acknowledging the 8 days; more commonly lighting one on the first day, 2 on the second, etc… Today, many foods that relate to the use of oil are also eaten by those who celebrate Hanukkah.
This paragraph will briefly point to some of the arguments made in relation to the oil story. Those who refute it point to how there is no widely known documentation of this miracle until hundreds of years later (in the Talmud), perhaps (in their words, per-say) in order to have a story splendid enough to justify a celebration. The book of Maccabees and writings of Josephus were before this was written in the Talmud. Also, there are those who have trouble believing in miracles outside of canonical texts, or even that the holy texts point to literal miracles, and not mere symbolism. Devoted followers of Christ know however that we serve the God of miracles. Some say that political reasons (in order to not upset the wrong people) justify certain focuses in the texts. To those who defend the story of the oil miracle, they make cases such as: Josephus still called it “lights”, perhaps to discreetly elude to the miracle, or as a result of oral tradition which may point to such a miracle. They say that Josephus tended to be associated with those who would not admit to such a miracle.
Regarding the physically built temple: There has been an agenda in attempt to deny that the Jews ever had a temple in Jerusalem. Though this may seem ridiculous for people to believe, manipulators are aware of the influence of continuous false reports. This is also evident in shadow government political agendas in American through various media outlets. The story of Hanukkah is of great significance as it relates to the purpose of the temple, which is dedication unto the true God. Again, we (followers of the real Jesus) are the tabernacle of the Holy Spirit. In John 4:21 we read “Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.” Jesus made the way for worship in spirit and in truth.
Today, funds have been raised and articles made in readiness to build a physical temple again, but not with understanding unto true worship. It is easy to check into this online in order to at least be able to see that there is something to this. Scriptures, if taken literally, point to a physical temple being built again before Christ's return, including unto what we read in 2 Thessalonians 2:3-6 and onwards in the chapter:
Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.
Some take this verse as symbolic of the anti-christ spirit operation in people, but the next verse clarifies that this is already happening, pointing to the literalness of the preceding verses. Those who are the temple of God are those whom Jesus is Lord of and inside of, whereby Satan is not able to lie about being God in them. For those in whom the enemy is enthroned, they are not the temple of God in the first place. Humans are a threat to the kingdom of darkness because they have the potential to be the temple of God, and all that can come with being the temple of God. Those who live dedicated to the Messiah Jesus are vessels in line to be continually filled with the Spirit of God.
Restoration of Dedication:
Those who sincerely have turned to Christ, follow Jesus as their Master, and are born-again of God’s Spirit, a new creation. That which is born of Spirit is spirit. (John 3:3-6, 1 John 5:1, 2 Corinthians 5:17). This is a literal change that has happened, whereby we have the mind of Christ and know all things. They are seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. Their lives are hidden in Him. BUT, regarding the transformation to be here in a conscious experience where while here in the flesh we live out and experience this truth, we read in Romans 12:1:
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
A person may look to this story of Hanukkah in unbelief that the Jews could really turn so far from worshiping God, but we see the similar things happening today to those who claim that Jesus is their Lord, as well as those who are sincerely born-again. Our being (spirit, soul and body) are meant to be dedicated unto God, which is our right act of worship, yet we are constantly surrounded by bad influence being in the world (though not of it). When we are not intentional to die daily, to carry our crosses (that is, living through the Father’s will), and be deliberate about serving God, we deny ourselves of more fully living out resurrection life, walking in the Spirit. When we (who are born-again) lose sight of who we are in Christ, we allow bad influence to sow seeds into the garden of our hearts (from which spring the issues of life). Though we may be born-again, our minds may have been contaminated, and we bear the fruit or results of it.
Fasting is often a great resource used to intentionally dedicate one’s self, humbling one’s soul from unnecessary carnal pleasures, where we operate from Spirit to spirit to soul to body, versus ungodly desire unto warring of the soul. God has called us to wholeness.
The point is, though we (who are born-again) are called and enabled to live a lifestyle of worship, it’s scripturally right to examine ourselves (1 Cor 11:31, 2 Cor 13:5). Have we believed a lie? Are we truly loving God with all that we are? Are we (on our end) a fully dedicated vessel of worship unto Him? Salvation is by through faith, by God’s grace. The primary imperative goal is to know Him. Those who know Him desire Him, and are grieved when they are quenched from true worship.
Like fasting, is Hanukkah necessary for examination unto dedication? No, but it can be a great focal point along with celebration. The Jewish customs (not God’s command) actually state that there is to be no mourning or fasting during Hanukah. Such regulations can be read here.
Concerning dedication, consider the parable of the 10 virgins we read in Matthew 25:1-13. The custom for marriage was that the husband would go and prepare a place, and that the virgin’s lamp was to be burning for him unto his return for her. If he returned and her lamp was off, it was her way (on her end) of saying she’s calling it off. Someone who earnestly loves the one who is coming back for them is sure to keep plenty of oil for her lamp as he may return without her knowing he is about to come. It is those who know God, not the workers of iniquity, that Jesus is bringing with Him. We love Him because He first loved us. In this parable, to those who did not have oil, whom he would not let in, we read that the bridegroom says “I tell you the truth, I do not know you!” God knows whose lamp is burning for Him. Jesus gives light to all mankind, but not all mankind’s spirit loves Him. Those who truly come to Him to receive His salvation, receive Him on the inside. Christ dwells in our hearts through true faith in Him and we literally have a new spirit whereby we long for God, crying “Abba, Father” (ref: Rom 8:15). It is written to not be drunk in excess with wine, but be filled with His Spirit (ref: Eph 5:18). An unavoidable result of loving God is being filled with with His Spirit, likened symbolically as oil. Jesus baptizes us with the Holy Spirit and with fire. Are we burning for the Lord? Are we a bride loving His return? Have we said yes, AND given Him our heart?
Revelation 2:4-5, KJV:
Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.
Jesus Is The Light:
Even if the oil story is not true, again, the menorah is a very relevant symbol for restoration of the temple. Jesus said that He is the light of the world, and that those who receive Him are the light of the world. The Holy Spirit was upon Christ without limitation (see Psalm 45:7, John 3:34). The menorah gave light to the temple.
The same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead dwells within the redeemed, those who have sincerely received His sacrifice (see Rom 8:11).
In the book of Revelations, we read often of the language of the 7 Spirits which are before His throne, the 7 golden candlesticks. A few intentional examples:
And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God. (Rev 4:5)
Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks; (Rev 2:1)
And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. (Rev 3:1)
Jesus is the light to the temple of the redeemed, and will be the light to the New Jerusalem.
I hope to share more teaching on this topic, but it is interesting how in the Hanukkah celebration with the 9 -branch menorah, the “servant” candle is used every evening to give light to the other candles, attributed in remembrance that one vial of oil kept the menorah burning for 8 days. Jesus humbled Himself in obedience to the cross, exemplifying how the last shall be first, the greatest being the servant of all (Ref: Mark 10:43-45, Mt 23:11-12, Phl 2:1-11). Currently, thoughts on why “8” would be speculation... such as: “8” often seeming to refer to new beginnings in the Bible, and the promised Christ was coming to bring mankind unto true worship, as a vessel that could be filled with the Spirit of God.
Perhaps it is within God’s humor that while he is at the temple (as we read in John 10:28), Jesus the true light says:
And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
In preparation for my first celebration of Hanukkah, after looking for the right menorah to buy, I had a short vision as I was falling asleep. I saw a menorah that was in a manner interchangeable to a dove, with (to me were as) countless lights, in my understanding as God’s people. Very shortly after this vision, I found a used menorah online likened to a dove, which I was blessed to purchase.
Those who are joined to the Lord are one spirit, one body (ref: 1 Cor 6:17, 12:13).
The Holy Spirit rested upon the promised Messiah, Jesus as a dove (Ref: Luke 3:22).
Doves rest in peaceful environments. We are reconciled unto God, having peace with God (see Rom 5:1). Through this, we are able to grow in walking in the Spirit with an abiding peace, not grieving Him, or quenching Him, or resisting Him (see Eph 4:30-32, 1 Thess 5:19, Acts 7:51). Unlike in the OT, we (who are born-again) are sealed by His Spirit, where He has promised to never leave us, yet there is undeniably a reality we can walk in of experiencing His Spirit upon us in great measures. David who cried “take not your Holy Spirit from me” was anointed, but not born-again. Those who are born-again are being matured in their relationship with God, which also yields further being a vessel meet for the Master’s use (see 2 Tim 2:21). As our lives are dedicated in sincerity of worship, we further develop into being a vessel of honor where the Holy Spirit can more fully reveal Himself, not just in power, but also in character. The body of Christ reveals Christ.
Jesus quoted Isaiah 61:1, as we read in Luke 4:18
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
Again, this is the same Spirit that dwells in His redeemed children.
The Temple Menorah:
…shall be of one piece. “And six branches shall come out of its sides: three branches of the lampstand out of one side, and three branches of the lampstand out of the other side…one hammered piece of pure gold. “You shall make seven lamps for it, and they shall arrange its lamps so that they give light in front of it… (See Exodus 25:31-39)
Recall in the book of Revelations, the language of the 7 candles as the seven Spirits of God.
In Isaiah 11, we read how the Spirit of the LORD (translated as “LORD” from the 4-letter name, Yod-Hay-Vav/Wav-Hay, often said as “Jehovah” or “Yahweh”, the self-existent one) would rest upon the Christ. The redeemed can call Him “Father”.
And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD; And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.
(For additional study: notice the deliberate directive of the 3 branches each having two lamps in relation to the language in Isaiah 11)
I encourage you to consider this excerpt of scripture (Isaiah 11) in relation to other scriptures referenced with the attributes of the Messiah that the Spirit would rest upon, and how this relates to you. He is fully the perfect vessel in every way for the fullness of the Spirit.
As you consider your dedication of worship unto God, I encourage you to recognize that Jesus has made a way for you to be filled with all the fullness of God (see Eph 3:19, 2 Pet 1:3).
Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? (1 Cor 3:16)
Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body. (1 Cor 6:13b)
Jesus/Yeshua is The Way of true worship.