“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist on the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm” (Ephesians 6:12-13).
The Feast of Hanukkah – also known as the Festival of Lights or Dedication – is close at hand (December 18 eve through December 26 twilight). Some see this holiday as a Jewish parallel to Christmas, with glowing menorahs being a Jewish equivalent to Christmas trees, and traditional Yuletide gifts vying with eight days of Hanukkah presents. But the Festival of Lights shines lessons of faith upon mankind, bringing strength as we struggle for truth in these days of darkness.
Daniel. Michael and the prince of Greece
“And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon. The dragon and his angels waged war, and they did not prevail, and there was no longer a place found for them in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world. He was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him” (Revelation 12:7-9).
Spiritual warfare and physical battle are often connected. This is revealed in the scriptural description of the Archangel Michael, who holds the divine portfolio for the Jewish people (Daniel 10:21 “Michael your prince” and Daniel 12:1 12 “Michael, the great prince who stands guard over the sons of your people”). In the above-quoted future scenario Michael is surrounded by his angelic warriors, locked in hand-to-hand combat with Satan and his fallen angels.
The Book of Daniel reveals a hierarchy among the powers of spiritual wickedness, with lesser devils commanded by higher demonic principalities. The Persian Empire and the Greek Empire were overseen by demonic principalities called ‘the princes of Persia and Greece’ (see Daniel 10:13, 20). The demonic principality of Persia opposed God’s purposes in freeing the Jewish people and returning them to the land of Israel. That demon tried to use Haman to commit genocide against the entire Jewish nation, as revealed in the Book of Esther. God’s reinforcements (called in and directed by Michael) won the day and preserved Israel.
Daniel the prophet was informed that the angel would soon need to leave and rejoin the battle against Persia. But after the Persian demonic overlord would be defeated, another demonic prince – the prince of Greece – would then arise. Daniel 11:21-35 prophesies that Greek forces in the days of Antiochus IV Epiphanes would attempt to destroy the Jewish people. That is the background to the Feast of Hanukkah.
The defenders of the faith
The Maccabees have been described as Jewish defenders of the faith. In the historical book 2 Maccabees 8:34-36, the Greek-Syrian General Nicanor “proclaimed that the Jews had a Defender” in Judah the Maccabee. Both in the Book of Daniel and in the Letter to the Hebrews, the same testimony rings out about these commandos of God:
- “The people who know their God will be strong and take action. And those who have insight among the people will give understanding to the many; yet they will fall by sword and by flame, by captivity and by plunder for many days. Now when they fall they will be granted a little help . . . And some of those who have insight will fall” (Daniel 11:32-35)
- “These, having gained approval through their faith, who by faith . . . conquered kingdoms, performed acts of righteousness, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, from weakness were made strong, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight . . .” (Hebrews 11:33-34, 39)
Is YHVH a pacifist?
Some Christians and Jews do not know what to make of Moses’ bold declaration that “YHVH is a warrior! YHVH is His name!” (Exodus 15:3). Their pietistic and pacifist upbringing has made them skittish of military issues in general and of warriors in particular. But King David did not hesitate to proclaim: “Blessed be YHVH my rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle!” (Psalm 144:1). David’s reputation in Israel was described in rather non-pacifistic terms: “Then one of the young men responded and said, ‘Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite who is a skillful musician, a valiant mighty man, a warrior, skillful in speech, and a handsome man; and YHVH is with him’” (1 Samuel 16:18).
David’s top Special Operations Forces soldiers are heartily described in 2 Samuel 23:8-39 – men who won battles when the odds were 800 to one, or 300 to one; men who jumped into snow-filled pits to wrestle lions, etc. And let’s not forget the last of the Judges and the first of the Prophets – Samuel – who “cut Agag to pieces before YHVH at Gilgal” (1 Samuel 15:33).
In the same way as young men look up to Navy Seals Team VI or to Delta Force warriors, in the same was as Israeli youth admire Sayeret Matkal or Shayetet 13, so the Bible speaks highly of warriors who defend the Jewish people and defeat Israel’s enemies. Zechariah prophecies about the Last Days Jewish army who will do exploits in the Battle of Jerusalem:
- Then the clans of Judah will say in their hearts, “The inhabitants of Jerusalem are a strong support for us through YHVH of armies, their God.” On that day I will make the clans of Judah like a firepot among pieces of wood and a flaming torch among sheaves, so they will consume on the right and on the left all the surrounding peoples, while the inhabitants of Jerusalem again live on their own sites in Jerusalem. YHVH also will save the tents of Judah first, so that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem will not be greater than Judah. On that day YHVH will protect the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and the one who is feeble among them on that day will be like David, and the House of David will be like God, like the angel of YHVH before them. And on that day I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem (Zechariah 12:5-9).
The Maccabean warriors are a prophetic foreshadowing of Ezekiel 37:9-10:
- Then He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, ‘YHVH God says this: Come from the four winds, breath, and breathe on these slain, so that they come to life.’” So I prophesied as He commanded me, and the breath entered them, and they came to life and stood on their feet, an exceedingly great army.
The Hebrew Scriptures certainly prophesy about hard times coming to the whole world, to the Middle East and to the Jewish people. But they also speak of Jewish warriors who will stop the enemy dead in his tracks. Both sides of this prophetic message are biblical, and both sides should be part of our Last Days vision and message.
Dragons in Bethlehem
A well-loved Christmas carol proclaims that Bethlehem’s silent night is filled with calm and heavenly peace. Yet the Gospels add context that reveal satanic origins behind Herod’s murderous attempt to slay the infant Messiah (see Matthew 2:1-20):
- A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. And she was pregnant and she cried out, being in labor and in pain to give birth. Then another sign appeared in heaven: and behold, a great red dragon . . . And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she gave birth he might devour her Child. And she gave birth to a Son, a male, who is going to rule all the nations with a rod of iron. And her Child was caught up to God and to His throne (Revelation 12:1-5)
Spiritual warfare targets the Jewish people, using world empires (like Persian and Greece) and world rulers (like Herod, Hitler and Haman) in a concerted attempt to destroy the seed of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
Sleeping dragons in Manhattan
Quite recently, in World War II, Satan used the Nazi empire in similar ways. He also used powerful industrialists and bankers in the USA and across Europe in his genocidal plans. Here are three books which expose these demonically energized schemes:
- The Secret War Against the Jews: How Western Espionage Betrayed The Jewish People (by John Loftus & Mark Aarons)
- Unholy Trinity: How the Vatican’s Nazi Networks Betrayed Western Intelligence to the Soviets (by Mark Aarons & John Loftus)
- Trading with the Enemy: An exposé of the Nazi-American Money Plot 1933-1949 (by Charles Higham)
There was deep involvement by the cream of American, British and German industries, companies and banks in supporting and enabling the Nazi death machine. These sobering facts are mostly unknown to the majority of citizens in the West. The leaders in question and their followers have not yet repented for being accessories to murder and enablers of genocidal against the Jewish people.
As we consider how the God of Israel has responded throughout Scripture to those who threaten and harm Israel the apple of His eye (see Zechariah 2:8), we are challenged to press in through prayer regarding current international and Islamist efforts to weaken and crush the regathered Jewish people and their state.
How should we then pray?
- Pray that YHVH will reveal current demonic plans being crafted against the seed of Jacob
- Pray for God to grant repentance to those who have been or who are still part of such plans
- Pray for God to grant strategies to all believers and to the Jewish people on how to thwart and nullify such plans
- Pray for the raising up of Ezekiel’s prophetic Jewish army throughout the earth
Your prayers and support hold up our arms and are the very practical enablement of God to us in the work He has called us to do.
In Messiah Yeshua,
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