Monday, December 9, 2013


Hanukkah came and went.
Hanukkah came and went by so quickly. I reflect on the applicability of Hanukkah to me and to those close to me.  Reading the first chapter of Maccabees,  Antiochus Epiphanes   directed for Jerusalem and the cities of Judah to :-
(a)    forbid burnt offerings, sacrifices and drink offerings in the temple
(b)   defile priests and the temple
(c)    build altars and shrines for idols
(d)   sacrifice swine and unclean animals at the altars
(e)   leave sons uncircumcised
(f)     make themselves abominable by everything unclean
(g)    forget the law (Torah) and change all the ordinances.
All of the above directly against and in opposition to God’s commands. And certainly to adapt, to survive and to fit in, many did indeed became Torah-less i.e lawless.  Only those who were prepared to die stood firmly and kept to God’s commands. Many were martyred  but in the end, the keepers of God’s way stood victorious.

Today we disciples know that we are the temple of God or is it merely head knowledge?  We know that we house the holy God.  2 Corinthians 6: 16 “What agreement can there be between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God – as God said “ I will house myself in them... and I will walk among you. I will be their God and they will be my people”

If God who is absolute holiness is to dwell in us, are we to defile this temple or preserve and maintain it as HE wants us to preserve and maintain it? We are to be holy as HE is holy! If the most important person in our life visits our home, do we not  do it up to the best of our ability? This is why HE said “ Go out from their midst: separate yourselves; don’t even touch what is unclean. Then I myself will receive you. In fact, I will be your Father and you will be my sons and daughters” When we house the light, we do not also house the dark. We do not become or allow any darkness to set foot in the temple.
 We are to be in the world but not of it. A cliché yes but do we practice it?
“He gave himself up on our behalf in order to free us from all violation of Torah and purify for himself a people who would be his own, eager to do good” Titus 2:14
So we are to be separate and different. We bear the behaviour, the practice, the mark, the daily living of followers of the living God. If we look at (a) –(g) above, do we not do these today? We defile His temple when we fail to die to self and make Him Lord and King. Our burnt offerings and sacrifice go to ourselves, our work, our hobbies, our spouse, our partner, our kids, money or the pursuit of it etc. Yeshua quoted the Tanakh (OT) “My House is to be a house of prayer” By defiling His house, are we not making it into a “den or robbers”? We are “robbing” Him of what is His. We are His. (Luke 19: 45 & 46). Being in prayer is to be constantly with Him, close to Him, separated for Him.
We are saved and called to obey Torah not be Torah (law)- less. We are to sacrifice what He wants us to sacrifice- not “swine” We are to be the ones who stand firm as the heroes of Hanukkah did. We are to be the light in every aspect not only the ones we choose.  The selection of light and separation is to be habitual, natural.

We are given new life, a clean slate, a chance to start over: “For you have been delivered by grace through trusting and even this not your accomplishment but God’s gift” Ephesians 2:8
Therefore we live it remembering we are His temple. He sits and King and Lord:
“For we are of God’s making, created in union with the Messiah Yeshua for a life of good actions already prepared by God for us to do” Ephesians 2:10
The way we can be sure we know Him is if we are obeying His commands. Anyone who says “I know Him” but isn’t obeying His commands is a liar- the truth is not in Him” 1 John 2: 3-4

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