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I am a devout follower of Christ but I am a staunch supporter of Israel (The coming of Jews by airplanes and ships to Israel in 1948 and after is a fulfillment of Biblical prophecy:  “Who are these that fly as a cloud, and as the doves to their windows?  Surely the isles shall wait for me, and the ships of Tarshish first, to bring thy sons from afar,…”  Isaiah 60: 8-9 [KJV]) and respect the Jewish people, their customs and holidays.  There is no excuse for anything other than that kind of respect coming from a follower of Christ Jesus.  Isaiah tells in two places (49:22 and 66:23) that in the future end times Jews will be honored by the Gentiles (“…they [the Gentiles] will bring thy sons in their arms,…” [KJV]) and their “new moon” festivals will be celebrated by all men on the earth.  Many of the holidays, e.g., Passover (Exodus 12), Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah (Leviticus 23:24, 27), Purim (Esther 9:26, 28) are found in the Old Testament of the Bible.  Virtually every major positive character in the Old Testament is Jewish:  Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David, Solomon, Daniel and many others.  Hanukkah (or Chanukah as it is spelled here) is an inspiring holiday for all lovers of liberty, especially religious liberty.  Thanks to for much of this historical account.  (Why this is not a movie I do not know.)

Alexander the Great conquered much of the Near East but died before he could consolidate his gains.  Four of his generals fought for his empire but none completely conquered all of it.  Israel fell into the hands of a descendant of one Alexander general, Antiochus IV.  Antiochus would have fit right in as a 20th Century dictator:  He decided to wipe out the Jewish people, their culture and their religion.  But when this dictator took on the God of the Bible, he went too far.

Among other things Antiochus did was sacrifice pigs in the Temple in Jerusalem.  He also upon pain of death and torture tried to force the Children of Israel to renounce their faith.  Outrages like this caused a priest and his seven sons to begin a revolt. They killed Syrian soldiers and destroyed pagan altars.  Finally, miraculously, Mattiyahu and his sons won the war and freed their nation.  Israel was independent again for the first time since 586 B.C. (and not again until 1948 A.D.).

When they entered the Temple (not Solomon’s Temple but the one discussed in Haggai and Ezra built after the return of the Jewish people from Babylon/Persia see below) they had to light the menorah for eight days.

“And the elders of the Jews builded, and they prospered through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo.  And they builded, and finished it, according to the commandment of the God of Israel…”  Ezra 6:14 (KJV)

There was only one day’s worth of properly cleansed oil; miraculously the oil lasted for the eight days.  That was the 25th day of Kislev.  This year that day is December 1, 2010 at sundown.

Do I believe in the miracle?  The First Book of the Maccabees (found in a Catholic Bible but not in most Protestant ones) does not mention the miracle but the Talmud (a collection of Jewish laws and history) does.  I do believe that God could have done it.  It is clear the successful revolution really happened and that was a miracle in and of itself.  The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob could do it.  My prayer is that all people, Jews and Gentiles will be one under the Lordship of Jesus Christ, who is the Messiah and the fulfillment of Biblical prophecy!

One of my readers might say:  Where’s your proof, Sanders?  It’s a fair question.  I can’t prove matters of faith but try these Old Testament prophecies.

Messiah is to be born in Bethlehem:

“But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be a ruler in Israel…”  Micah 5:2 (KJV)

Here’s is the New Testament fulfillment:

“When Herod the king…he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born.  And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet, and thou Bethlehem, int he land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda:  for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel…”  (Matthew 2:3-6 [KJV])

Try these related prophecies:

Psalm 22:18 says: “They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.”  In the Gospel of John, it says, “Then the soldiers, [who were supervising Jesus’ crucifixion] …said therefore among themselves, Let us not rend it [his “coat”], but cast lots for it, whose it shall be…”  (John 19: 23-24 [KJV])

Two verses earlier, David says, “…they pierced my hands and my feet.”  Psalm 22:16(KJV).  John 19:37 cites this verse in reference to Jesus.

Finally, Isaiah 53 is the suffering servant who carries the sins of the world.  For example, verse 9 says:  “…he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death…”  Jesus was buried in a ordinary grave owned by a rich man:

“…there came a rich man of Arimathea, named Joseph, who also himself was Jesus’ disciple:  He went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus.  *  *  *  Joseph…laid it in his own new tomb…”  Matthew 28:57, 58 (KJV).

I’ll let my readers decide if Jesus is the Messiah or not.  If someone what to know how to know Christ as Savior and Lord, go here for information.  (This is not in any way an endorsement of this message or this blog by the BGEA.)  Someday, persons from every nation and people group – Jew and Gentile both – will worship eternally before the King of Kings!  May all I know be there!

“After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; And cried with a loud voice saying , Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.”  Revelation 7:10-11 (KJV)

Until that time, let this be my humble respectful effort to honor all our readers of the Jewish faith.  My all lovers of liberty will be inspired by the fight for freedom to worship without fear or persecution.

About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)

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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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