Rabbi Schneider - The Miracle of Hanukkah
Rabbi Schneider: Hanukkah, Oh Hanukkah, come light the menorah. You ready babe for this year's Hanukkah?
Cynthia Schneider: I'm ready. I'm ready. It's exciting. I love Hanukkah. It's the same season as Christmas and it's about for me, lighting those candles and calling in Yeshua and His Spirit into our home. I love it.
Rabbi Schneider: Wow, it really is beautiful. You know any time we do something in the home where we're focusing so intently on God's goodness, His Spirit, the victory that He gives His people, it sanctifies the home. We could really change the atmosphere of our dwelling place by focusing on God and using liturgy and ceremony as a point of contact with Him.
Cynthia Schneider: Yes, that's why the Lord actually wanted us to celebrate His feasts, you know his time. He wants us to mark those times where we know that we know, that we know, that He's alive, that He's interacting with His people on earth, that He's here with us on earth. And these times just mark it to remind us, so as we trudge forward through the darkness of this world we remember He is with us and He always will.
Rabbi Schneider: You know honey some are probably watching the broadcast today and they're thinking Hanukkah and you know, they've never really seen Hanukkah as something relevant for them. They look at Hanukkah as the festival of the Jewish people, which it absolutely is. But we're gonna be teaching today that the first place and actually only place that Hanukkah is mentioned in the scriptures is in the New Testament, it's not mentioned in the Old Testament or the Hebrew Bible. So we're gonna give application today for our viewers, how they can take away a blessing from Hanukkah, even though so many of them are not Jewish.
Cynthia Schneider: Yes, yes.
Rabbi Schneider: Honey would you pray for our viewers today, that they'll just receive divine illumination and light as we celebrate today Hanukkah, which is known as the season of lights.
Cynthia Schneider: Amen and amen. Oh come light of Yeshua, come light the path before us. Show us the way. Come fill our homes, every viewer right now wherever they are, the light of Yeshua just penetrate into that environment.
Rabbi Schneider: God bless you and shalom beloved one. My name is Rabbi Schneider. Welcome today to this very important edition of Discovering the Jewish Jesus. I've got a very important episode that I want to share with you today. I'm calling it, Hanukkah the Miracle of Israel and You. Did you know that Hanukkah relates to you? In fact the only place that Hanukkah is mentioned in the entire Word of God is in the New Testament, in John chapter 10 verse 22, where we see Jesus worshiping God in the temple during what is called there, the Feast of Dedication. Dedication is the English translation for the Hebrew word Hanukkah.
Let me tell you the story. In around 167 BC or BCE, Jewish people say, Israel was occupying their own land, the geographical area that we call Israel. But even though they were occupying it the Greco-Assyrian's were controlling it. And one day Greco-Assyrian soldiers marched into a town called Modein, in the nation of Israel. They were forcing the Jewish people there to make sacrifices to pagan gods. When these Greco-Assyrian soldiers marched into Modein, there was a Jewish priest there by the name of Mattathias. Mattathias refused to make a sacrifice to the pagan god Zeus. Fearing that the Greco-Assyrian soldiers were gonna destroy all the Jews there, there was a Jewish onlooker there that said, "Well I'll do it," trying to appease them. When this Jewish onlooker compromised, agreeing to the Greco-Assyrian's demand to make a sacrifice to Zeus, the Jewish priest Mattathias became so enraged that he actually took out his sword and slew this Jewish compromiser.
As a result of the passion in this priest Mattathias, the rest of the Jewish bystanders there became unified in their attempt to resist these Greco-Assyrians and they turned on them, driving them out of this town of Modein. This began a war that we call the War of the Maccabees and the reason that we call it the War of the Maccabees, is because Mattathias' son Judah led the assault following Mattathias' inspiration. Mattathias' younger son was physically able to lead a war and they nicknamed him Judah the Hammer, Judah the Maccabee, the Hebrew word for hammer. So it was known as the Maccabean Wars. What happened was, under Mattathias' inspiration, that was then taken over by his son, the warrior Judah; who is known as Judah the Maccabee, Judah the Hammer.
The Jews were able to successfully drive the Greco-Assyrians out of their land and they recaptured the temple that the Greco-Assyrian soldiers had defiled. And when the Maccabees reentered the temple in Jerusalem, they dedicated it back to God and thus we call this feast today Hanukkah, or the feast known as the Feast of Dedication, referred to that in John chapter 10 verse 22. This all happened, again, between the time that the Old Testament books were done being written, but before the time that the New Testament books started being written. This time period between the end of the Old Testament books and the beginning of the New Testament books is known as the intertestamental period and this is why Hanukkah is not mentioned in the Old Testament, because it didn't happen until after the Old Testament books were done being written or canonized, we say today.
Now I want to share with you some insights into this miracle that we call today the Feast of Dedication. It's a miracle for two reasons. First of all beloved, Hanukkah is a miracle, because when the Jewish people were able to successfully drive out the Greco-Assyrians from their land, recapturing the temple and then dedicating the temple back to God; what they found was that there was only enough kosher, holy oil in the temple to burn in the menorah that was in the temple, one of God' holy pieces of furniture, there was only enough holy oil there to burn for one day. But what they found was, that when they lit the oil, rather than it only burning for one day, it supernaturally beloved one, burned for eight days. As a result of that, during the feast of Hanukkah Jewish people will light a menorah today like the one you see burning in back of me and like the one you see in front of me. They'll light the menorah every year. They'll put it in a window in front of their home, publicizing to the whole world that a miracle, that God did a miracle for them when they were able to rededicate the temple back to Him.
Again, this took place in 164 BCE or 164 BC. It again, the war began in 167, but the temple was rededicated in 164 BCE. So every year as a symbol of the miracle that happened, they light the menorah and they publicize it by putting it by a window so that all the people that walk by their home or drive by can see it. So Hanukkah beloved, is known as the season of miracles, because that menorah supernaturally burned for eight days when it only should have burned for one. And because it was such a miracle that this little band of Jewish soldiers was able to successfully drive out the huge Greco-Assyrian army. But I want to talk to you today about the fact that Hanukkah is just one of many examples of how God's supernatural anointing beloved, is on the Jewish people and the nation of Israel.
Beloved, Hanukkah is just one of so many examples where we see God's supernatural, miraculous hand upon the Jewish people. Listen to what David Ben-Gurion said. This is Israel's first prime minister. He said this, "A Jew who does not believe in miracles is not a realist". In other words, you look at Israel's history and you see so many miracles happen in their history that if you deny miracles you're not even being a realist, because the miraculous is so evident. Mark Twain similarly wrote this in 1899, "The Egyptians, the Babylonians and the Persians rose, filled the planet with sound and splendor and then faded and passed away. The Greek and Roman followed, made a vast noise and now they're gone. The Jew saw them all and beat them all. All things are mortal but the Jew. All other forces past, but he remains. What is the secret of his immortality"?
Let me give one more quote. This is Winston Churchill from 1920. "Some people like the Jews and some do not, but no thoughtful man can doubt the fact that they are beyond all question the most formidable and the most remarkable race which has ever appeared in the world". How do we explain all this? Listen, for 2,000 years the Jewish people were out of a homeland. They were scattered throughout the earth, yet miraculously in a day in 1948, God brought them back to their homeland. He gave them back their ancient language and now they're filling the earth. They've won more Nobel prizes proportionally in terms of the amount of Jewish people on the earth verses the amount of Nobel prizes they've won. They have won more Nobel prizes then any other peoples in the world. Listen, the Jewish people today make up only one fifth of 1% of the world's core population, yet they've won 22% of Nobel prizes.
The contributions that they've made in business, education, medicine, entertainment, I mean it's just phenomenal. The disproportionate influence of Jewish people in the world can only be explained beloved, by providence, by God's hand upon them; because God said to Abraham, "Abraham your seed is going to be blessed". God reaffirmed it through Moses when He said, "Moses I've chosen your people, I've chosen Israel to be a special, peculiar people for Myself out of all the peoples that are on the face of the earth".
Consider this, that when Israel was formed as a nation again in 1948 immediately they were attacked by their six Arab neighbors. They were disproportionately overwhelmed by the sheer number of people that were coming against them. Yet somehow, that can only be explained by a miracle, they were able to withstand their six Arab neighbors that came against them; Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Egypt all attacked them at the same time. And then in 1967 Israel again got into a war. They were disproportionately surrounded by their enemies that vastly outnumbered them. Yet at the end of the war in 1967 beloved, Israel had taken back Jerusalem and had outperformed their neighbors. Somehow their neighbors beloved, lost 18,000 of their soldiers, where Israel only lost 700 of their own. How do you explain this?
Then we have the Yom Kippur War in 1973. Egypt and Syria attacked Israel on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish year. The Jews were in the temple worshiping and all of a sudden they're attacked by their Arab neighbors. What happened beloved? Again, Israel survived. How did Israel survive and thrive all these years? God said to them, "I did not choose you because you were great in number". He said, "You were the fewest of all the people". But the Lord said, "I chose you, because I love you," and because listen now, "I'm honoring the promise I made to your forefathers".
You see when Abraham went to sacrifice his son in the book of Genesis, God said this to him. Listen to what God said to him. Hear the Word of God. "'By Myself I have sworn,' declares the Lord". God speaking to Abraham here. "Because you have done this thing and have not withheld your son, your only son, indeed I will greatly bless you and I will greatly multiply your seed as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which possess the seashore and your seed shall possess the gate of their enemies. In your seed Abraham all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you obeyed my voice". In other words, how do we explain this beloved, that when we look today at the fact that the Jewish people are only one fifth of 1% of the world's population, that they've survived all these years, that when all these other nations came against them to destroy them they still survived and thrived? How do we explain it?
Think about some of the Jewish people that you know, the most famous people in the world many of them are Jews. People like Albert Einstein, Billy Joel, Larry King, Calvin Klein, Leonard Nimoy. Did you know that 48% of the billionaires in the United States are Jewish? Consider developments in science and medicine that have been made by Jewish people. The development of the local anesthesia Novocaine, the development of penicillin, the development of aspirin, cancers chemotherapy treatment, the invention of LASIK surgery, which is performed on the eye, the breaking of the genetic code. This was all done beloved, by Jewish people. Think about in business people like Howard Schultz, the development or the founder of Starbucks, Levi Strauss from the Levi Strauss Corporation in clothing, Adolph Ochs, former owner of the New York Times, Steve Ballmer, former CEO of Microsoft, Larry Page co-founder of Google, Mark Zuckerberg CEO of Facebook, Allen Greenspan former Federal Reserve chairman; All these people beloved, are Jewish people.
There's a supernatural hand upon the Jewish people and it all goes back beloved, to Genesis chapter 22 where Abraham obeyed the voice of God. God said to him, "I want you to take your son up Abraham, the only son whom I've given you that you love and I want you to sacrifice him to Me". Abraham went to Mount Moriah, he sacrificed Isaac and when he was just about to take that knife and slay Isaac in obedience to God's voice, God stopped him. And God said, "Now I know that you love Me. Now I know Abram that you fear Me and because you've done this thing," God said to him, "In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed". There's a supernatural blessing on the seed of Abraham and Abraham's physical descendants beloved are the nation of Israel, the Jewish people today. This covenant was further ratified beloved, through Moses.
Listen to what God said to Moses in the book of Deuteronomy chapter 7 verse 6 through 8. The Lord said, "For you are a holy people to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. The Lord did not set His love on you or choose you because you were more in number than any of the peoples. For you were the fewest of all the peoples". God prophesied to Abraham they'd fill the earth as the stars of the heavens and as the sand of the sea. And when we look at the influence of Jewish people upon the world that's exactly what we're seeing. The Lord continued here beloved in Deuteronomy chapter 7 by saying this, "You were the fewest of all the peoples, because the Lord loved you and kept the oath which he swore to your forefathers, the Lord brought you out by a mighty hand and redeemed you".
Beloved Jesus your Messiah is a Jew. The point is as we're studying Hanukkah today, God's supernatural deliverance of His people back in 167 to 164 BC or BCE, beloved this is just one of the supernatural acts of God that we see happening through the life of Jewish people. Now the question is, how does this relate to you today? If you're a Gentile watching this, how does this relate to you? Well the Lord said to us in the book of Genesis, in Genesis chapter 12 verse 3, the Lord said this to Abraham, the Lord said, "I will bless those that bless you and I will curse those that curse you".
Beloved, what I'm trying to do today is to help you to understand that there's a supernatural blessing on the Jewish people and when you get into alignment with God's heart towards the Jewish people and embrace them, love them, pray for them and invest in their salvation, the blessing that's on the Jewish people in the flesh will come upon you. See the Bible says that when we receive a prophet and honor a prophet in the name of a prophet we receive a prophet's reward. And when we love Israel, the Lord said again, "I will bless those that bless thee". The Lord instructed us, "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem". And how is Jerusalem gonna have peace? When they receive the Prince of Peace, the Jewish Messiah. So when you get behind Jewish missions like Discovering the Jewish Jesus, beloved the blessing that is on the Jewish people comes upon you.
Now let me clarify, the blessing of Abraham is already upon you as a Gentile believer in Jesus. The book of Galatians tells us this, that you already have the blessing of Abraham upon you and the blessing of Abraham comes to you through Jesus the Messiah. When you receive Jesus you receive the spiritual seed of Abraham, who is Jesus the Messiah. But when you support God's purpose for Israel in the flesh, in other words, you're contending for the salvation of the Jewish people; when you love Jewish people, pray for Jewish people and support Jewish missions like mine beloved, I believe there's an additional anointing that comes upon you.
See the Bible tells us in Romans 11 that if you as a Gentile were blessed when the Jews rejected the Gospel, because as a result of the Jewish people rejecting the Gospel Paul was sent to the Gentiles. In other words, Paul first went to the Jewish people, but they rejected his testimony. And when they rejected his testimony God said to Paul, "Paul I'm gonna send you far away now to the Gentiles since they won't receive your testimony here in Jerusalem". So the result is that when Jewish people rejected the Gospel beloved one, beloved Gentile, Paul was sent to you. You were blessed when the Jews rejected the Gospel, because of their rejection.
Paul says in Romans 11, "Mr. and Mrs. Gentile, beloved one, if you were blessed when the Jews rejected the Gospel, how much more will you be blessed when the Jews receive the Gospel? It's gonna be like life from the dead for you". You see there's still a blessing coming to you beloved, as Jewish people like myself come to Jesus. Even those of you that love this ministry, your feeling, I've heard so many of you say you know, you watch a lot of Christian television, but many of you said, "Rabbi Schneider there's something different about your ministry. There's something transparent about it. There's something deep about it. There's something rich about it". That's because Paul said, "When the natural olive branch gets rooted back into the natural olive tree, there's gonna be a double blessing".
And so I want to continue to encourage you, love Jewish people, pray for Jewish people, bless Jewish people and support Jewish missions beloved, like Discovering the Jewish Jesus. As we close today, Hanukkah is just one of many examples beloved, of God's supernatural hand upon the Jewish people. His hand is still upon the Jewish people and especially during these last days. You know God said to the church through Zechariah in Zechariah 8:23, that in the last days ten men from all the nations will take a hold of the garment of a Jew and say, "We want to go with you for we know that God is with you".
Beloved, I want to encourage you, pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Pray for Jewish people. Support Jewish missions and you know what's gonna happen beloved, you're gonna see an even greater release of the anointing of God coming upon your life, because whenever we align our self with God's heart and God's purpose we receive beloved, His anointing upon us. You see beloved, the gift and the calling of God is irrevocable. Paul tells us in Romans 9-11 that even though Jewish people have been temporarily blinded, God still has a special call on them. And in the last days we're gonna see a mass of Jewish people come to faith in Jesus and this mass of Jewish people that's gonna come to faith in Jesus during these days, it's gonna be beloved, the instrument that God's gonna use to usher in Jesus' return.
You see the Bible says that when Jewish people come to faith the Deliverer is gonna come forth from Zion and every eye will see Him, even those that pierced Him and beloved, Jesus is gonna return to the world that He created and He's gonna set up His kingdom upon the earth. So I want you to know beloved, the God of Israel's alive. The Jewish people are still His people. The gift and call of God upon them is irrevocable. Let's during this season pray for the salvation of the Jewish people like never before and I want to thank you today beloved ones, for your support to Discovering the Jewish Jesus, for your love for me and for you prayers. I need you beloved, even as the church needs me. God bless you today. Happy Hanukkah. I love you and in Jesus' name shalom.