Revelation 1:12-16 & 20 — When I turned to see who was speaking to me, I saw seven gold lampstands. And standing in the middle of the lampstands was the Son of Man. He was wearing a long robe with a gold sash across his chest. His head and his hair were white like wool, as white as snow. And his eyes were bright like flames of fire. His feet were as bright as bronze refined in a furnace, and his voice thundered like mighty ocean waves. He held seven stars in his right hand, and a sharp two-edged sword came from his mouth. And his face was as bright as the sun in all its brilliance. As for the mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand, and the seven golden lampstands: the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.
These seven lampstands, meant to evoke the temple menorah (Exodus 25:31-40) and translate it into the church age, are not precisely the same as the nine-branched Hanukkah menorah. Nonetheless, the similarities far outweigh the differences.
(Hanukkah, and the Hanukkah menorah, are not described in scripture, since the events which they commemorate took place during — and were emblematic of — the inter-testamental period of silent waiting: after Malachi, before Matthew.)
The center candle, symbolic of Christ, is the main focus in both. In the Hanukkah menorah, it’s used to light all of the others. In the temple menorah, according to the Talmud, it’s the one which was kept burning even when the others were put out. Same idea.
Note that Jesus’ face, “bright as the sun in all its brilliance” and specifically his eyes, “like flames of fire” are the centerpiece. This is not “through a glass darkly”. No wonder John “fell at his feet as though dead”! As Jesus declared, on his last Hanukkah on earth, He (the humble incarnation of the Great “I am”, YHWH) is “the light of the world”.
Christ Jesus gives light to each in-dwelt believer, through His Holy Spirit and also to and through the seven angels (closely related to the seven spirits of God, it would seem), each of whom is attached to a lampstand — referring both to a specific church in existence at that time, as well as to a broader church ‘type’ or movement, spanning time.
As those chapters make clear, the angels — the association of the light (Holy Spirit) of God with any particular institution, people-group, or place — are revocable. So too with any leader or regime, as we’ll see in a moment.
Whatever the mechanism of their elevation, whether by vote, by coup or some other kind of process, and however opposed to God’s purposes they may seem to be in their disobedience to Him, leaders would have no authority whatsoever were it not somehow part of YHWH’s plan (see John 19:11, for example, as Jesus is examined, or John 10:18 — part of Jesus’ dialogue with the Jewish leaders… at Hanukkah, the Feast of Dedication.)
As brother Jeff put it in an especially astute comment the other day:
…the President is changing the face of America. Because of their sins, the people are powerless to do anything but watch.
I wish everyone hanging on the next primary or poll, regarding whatever supposed political ‘savior’ would read that, re-read it, and take it to heart. Sadly, few will.
Recounting another change-over of power — the events leading up to 70AD and the destruction of the Jerusalem temple at that time, as prophesied by Jesus as a result of their failure to recognize their specifically prophesied Messiah — Flavius Josephus writes in ‘Wars of the Jews’, book 6, chapter 6, paragraphs 2 & 3 (also here) (H/T: William E. Males):
Now there was then a great number of false prophets suborned by the tyrants to impose on the people, who denounced this to them, that they should wait for deliverance from God; and this was in order to keep them from deserting…
Thus were the miserable people persuaded by these deceivers, and such as belied God himself; while they did not attend nor give credit to the signs that were so evident, and did so plainly foretell their future desolation, but, like men infatuated, without either eyes to see or minds to consider, did not regard the denunciations that God made to them. Thus there was a star resembling a sword, which stood over the city, and a comet, that continued a whole year. Thus also before the Jews’ rebellion, and before those commotions which preceded the war…
Thus also before the Jews’ rebellion, and before those commotions which preceded the war, when the people were come in great crowds to the feast of unleavened bread, on the eighth day of the month Xanthicus, [Nisan,] and at the ninth hour of the night, so great a light shone round the altar and the holy house, that it appeared to be bright day time; which lasted for half an hour. This light seemed to be a good sign to the unskillful, but was so interpreted by the sacred scribes, as to portend those events that followed immediately upon it. At the same festival also, a heifer, as she was led by the high priest to be sacrificed, brought forth a lamb in the midst of the temple.
Moreover, the eastern gate of the inner [court of the] temple, which was of brass, and vastly heavy, and had been with difficulty shut by twenty men, and rested upon a basis armed with iron, and had bolts fastened very deep into the firm floor, which was there made of one entire stone, was seen to be opened of its own accord about the sixth hour of the night. Now those that kept watch in the temple came hereupon running to the captain of the temple, and told him of it; who then came up thither, and not without great difficulty was able to shut the gate again. This also appeared to the vulgar to be a very happy prodigy, as if God did thereby open them the gate of happiness. But the men of learning understood it, that the security of their holy house was dissolved of its own accord, and that the gate was opened for the advantage of their enemies. So these publicly declared that the signal foreshowed the desolation that was coming upon them.
That’s scarcely the half of it. Note how the opening up of what was thought to be an impenetrable barrier to enemy invasion is similar to what took place when the Persians, under Cyrus, captured Babylon without a battle, the night of October 12/13, 539BC — events described in Daniel, chapter 5, as Daniel tells King Belshazzar (of Babylon) what the handwriting on the wall means (v22-28):
“You… Belshazzar, have not humbled your heart, though you knew all this [how his father's pride was brought down] but you have lifted up yourself against the Lord of heaven. And the vessels of his house have been brought in before you, and you and your lords, your wives, and your concubines have drunk wine from them. And you have praised the gods of silver and gold, of bronze, iron, wood, and stone, which do not see or hear or know, but the God in whose hand is your breath, and whose are all your ways, you have not honored… God has numbered the days of your kingdom and brought it to an end… you have been weighed in the balances and found wanting… your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians.”
The Medes and the Persians are (essentially) modern-day Iran.
Garden Girl expounds on the same text, and its relation to the president, in her post about the White House Hanukkah: “A Good Excuse for a Party”. Here’s an excerpt from Chuck Missler’s notes on the Book of Daniel, page 25:
Toward the end of September [539 BC], the armies of Cyrus [the Great], under the able command of Ugbaru, district governor of Gutium, attacked Opis on the Tigris River and defeated the Babylonians. This gave the Persians control of the vast canal system of Babylon. On October 10, Sippar was taken without a battle and Nabonidus fled. Two days later, on October 12, 539 BC, Ugbaru’s troops were able to enter Babylon without a battle.
Herodotus describes how the Persians diverted the River Euphrates into a canal upriver so that the water level dropped “to the height of the middle of a man’s thigh,” which thus rendered the flood defenses useless and enabled the invaders to march through the river bed to enter by night. (Herodotus1.191.)
All of these events were prophesied about 150 years prior, by Isaiah (Isaiah 44:21- Isaiah 45:13), even naming Cyrus by name — a fact which, when he was presented with it, is said to have caught his attention, leading to positive treatment of the Jews later-on. However flawed the comparison may be, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad styles himself as a modern Cyrus — a subject I addressed last year in ‘Persian Football; Cyrus and the Anointed of YHWH’.
Now, note the similarities to the story that began breaking on Sunday the 4th of December (the beginning of the week in which the president lit the entire menorah):
The Hill, Dec. 4th, 11:30AM: Iran claims to have shot down U.S. drone
It didn’t take long for the dire implications of story to unfold:
YNet News, Dec. 10th: Lost drone exposes covert US-Iran conflict: Capture of advanced CIA surveillance technology by Iran peels back another layer of secrecy from expanding US operations against Tehran’s nuclear program.
Telegraph, Dec. 12th: Iran to ‘reverse engineer’ US drone: Iran claimed that it had begun exploiting a US drone equipped with the latest radar evading technology on Monday as officials warned that the downed machine could be shared with America’s rivals.
UPDATE: ‘Christian’ ‘Science’ Monitor, Dec. 15th: Exclusive: Iran hijacked US drone, says Iranian engineer. In an exclusive interview, an engineer working to unlock the secrets of the captured RQ-170 Sentinel says they exploited a known vulnerability and tricked the US drone into landing in Iran.
Note that the photo of the drone was released December 8th — the same day the president chose to celebrate his own personal Hanukkah on our behalf.
As was the case with Cyrus entering Babylon, most people had no idea what was going on until the quiet, decisive conquest was a fait accompli. They were too busy partying. Sorta like our Christmas season… which is really a Babylonian holiday in multiple aspects, its Jewish roots having been so processed and pasteurized out of it that my Jewish friends scoff at any substantive connection to the birth of Messiah. I can’t blame them!
Ooooh, shiny! …
Her sleeveless cobalt dress glowed like the menorah…
For why that may be significant, in the context of a lot of other stuff that’s clearly significant (which we’ll get to) see Part II, regarding “the shining one”, aka Lucifer.
On Thursday, December 8th, twelve days short of the proper day for it, (the day after the 70th anniversary of another sneak attack — Pearl Harbor) and with all of the candles on the Menorah already lit (who lit them and when, I don’t know; they’re supposed to be lit one-a-day, the whole point being patient, reflective, expectant waiting for God to act) a jocular, hurry-up American National version of the Feast of Dedication of the Temple got underway. Barack Hussein Obama made the following remarks:
Well, good evening, everybody. Welcome to the White House. Thank you all for joining us tonight to celebrate Hanukkah — even if we’re doing it a little bit early. (Laughter.) [he points out and greets several individuals]…
Now, as I said, we’re jumping the gun just a little bit. The way I see it, we’re just extending the holiday spirit. We’re stretching it out. (Laughter.)
But we do have to be careful that your kids don’t start thinking Hanukkah lasts 20 nights instead of eight. (Laughter.) That will cause some problems.
Several things are worth noting here, in my opinion.
First, it’s clear he’s aware of having moved up the date. See Daniel 7:23-27, especially verse 25, where the LORD describes one way to identify the ultimate antichrist (as well as all the precursor ‘types’ who would pave the way for him, e.g., Antiochus Epiphanes IV whose desecration of the temple led to its re-dedication, at Hanukkah):
He shall speak words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and shall think to change the times and the law.
Second, he makes no apology for doing so. Instead, he declares what he’s decided (“The way I see it…”) then makes excuses, using the collective ‘we’ to make it sound less directive. (“We’re doing… We’re jumping… “We’re just extending… We’re stretching…).
Third, he uses joviality to deflect concern. He used the same approach on May 9th, 2009 at the White House Correspondents’ dinner (another big party; see video here or here) when, paraphrasing Genesis 2:2-3, (“and on the 73rd day, I will rest”) he put himself, however-much tongue-in-cheek, in the place of the Most High God.
Fourth, note that both situations (5-9-09 and 12-8-11) are focused on sanctification and dedication (holiness and separation) — of a day in the first case (the Sabbath), and of a place (the temple) in the second. The first occasion dealt with the creation, in Genesis. The second bears more than a striking resemblance to Jesus’ appearance in Revelation, as well as the inter-testamental period. In other words, between these two occasions, we have both Old and New Testaments neatly ‘bracketed’.
Fifth, note his allusions to manipulating (“extending”) a “spirit,” and of having to “be careful,” lest this “cause some problems” with the children. These hint (at least to me) that he knows, on some level, and perhaps only Caiaphus-subconscious-prophetic (John 18:14), that what he’s doing has much larger, and profoundly dangerous implications.
Matthew 18:6, Mark 9:42, Luke 17:2 — “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea.”
There’s much more I could (and hope) to write on this, but I’m outta time for today. One final note: The White House fake-Hanukkah story is practically subterranean in terms of news coverage. When I told my Jewish colleague (a former Obama supporter) about it he didn’t believe it at first, then was quite shocked and offended. As well he should be. Followers of Y’Shuah Jesus, our coming King… those who take to heart both the amazing words which He spoke at this festival (John 8, John 9 & John 10) as well as the fact that he chose this festival as the time to speak them, should take close notice also.
ALMOST FORGOT… Two days later (beginning ~36 hours later, and ending ~44 hours later, to be precise), a blood red moon (total lunar eclipse)… the last one until 2014. It was visible everywhere except South America and West Africa. On the East Coast, i.e., in Washington, DC, it would have appeared as an eclipsed setting moon — sorta like a certain campaign logo of a certain sitting president, if I recall correctly.