The festival of Hanukkah is under way, and one of the most important voices in American Christianity has an important message for believers – this is your holiday, too. Because every Christian in the world is called to be a part of “God’s resistance.”
Jonathan Cahn, bestselling author of “The Harbinger” and “The Mystery of the Shemitah” and the subject of a new smash hit documentary movie called “The Harbinger Man,” believes Hanukkah holds an important lesson for Christians preparing for persecution at the hands of state authorities.
Cahn says Hanukkah is related to the end times as well as the coming of the Messiah. He recently discussed his awe-inspiring discoveries about the meaning of Hanukkah on the “Jim Bakker Show.”
Hanukkah focuses on the story of the Jewish people under Antiochus I, the ruler of the Seleucid Empire, one of the successor kingdoms created after the death of Alexander the Great. As Cahn notes, Antiochus called himself “Epiphanes,” relating to the word “epiphany,” meaning “God manifest.” And as Cahn explains, this “evil” king who calls himself “God manifest” is the “foreshadow of the Antichrist in the Bible.”
As a result, Cahn says, Christians interested in eschatology and the end times need to pay careful attention to the story of Hanukkah.
“Hanukkah in a sense is a harbinger of what is happening at the end,” said Cahn. “Because what he [Antiochus] did is he went to the Temple and he desecrated it with an idol as we’ll see in Revelation. Same thing, it’s all there in Hanukkah. So Hanukkah really gives a blueprint of how to live, and also how to live in the last days.”
Antiochus IV Epiphanes, besides putting Greek idols in the Temple, waged a cultural war on Jewish traditionalists.
Cahn explained: “What happens is that he declares God’s Word illegal. If you’re caught with a Torah scroll, you’re killed. So, just like during the end times, it looked like he was going to wipe out the faith.”
Cahn says one of the most important facts to understand about this history is how most people actually compromised with this campaign of persecution, becoming, in Cahn’s words, “collaborators.”
“The thing is, most of the people of Israel go along with it,” said Cahn. “Why? Because that’s how people are. Whichever way the wind is blowing, they’ll go along with it. ‘I don’t want to stick my neck out, I don’t want to be the one [who is caught], I’ll just go along with the majority,’ it’s like a herd thing. So that happens there.”
Cahn draws a parallel to those Jews who compromised with Antiochus IV to those who collaborated with the Nazi occupation of France. During that time, Cahn argued, most people went along with the German authorities, even to the point of going along with the Holocaust. But more than simply obeying the current political authorities, Cahn argued “collaborators” went along with a total reversal of morality. The Nazis told the people of France to “change your morality, change everything,” in Cahn’s words, and most people did.
In the Israel of Antiochus’ day, most Jews also went along with this program. But a small remnant did not. Cahn paid tribute to the Maccabees, who led the revolt against the Hellenized monarch oppressing their people.
“They are people who say, you know what, we don’t care if we’re going to get killed, we are going to follow the God of our fathers,” said Cahn. “We are not going to walk away from the Word of God, we’re going to stand for the Word of God, no matter what the cost, we are going to resist, we’re going to become the resistance. And when they come and tell us we are going to have to bow our knee to Zeus, we’re going to refuse to do that and we’re going to show others of our nation that you can resist, that you do not have to go along with it, and that’s what begins the resistance. God’s going to lead and going to honor it. The few are going to become the many and what’s going to come is the cleansing of the land and redemption and Hanukkah.”
Ultimately, the Maccabees succeed in driving out the forces of Antiochus. They liberate the Temple, repurifying it and rededicating it to God. Hanukkah celebrates the miracle of how only one’s night supply of the sacred oil burned for eight nights, allowing the people to properly follow the rituals needed to purify the Temple.
Cahn compared the Maccabees to the French Resistance. As with the Maccabees, the French Resistance began with only small pockets of people. As with the Maccabees, the majority of people did not participate in the Resistance. But also as with the Maccabees, history remembers the Resistance as heroes, while the collaborators are disgraced.
“They are the resistance, they are the few, they stuck their neck out, and there were those who were killed, but you look back in history, the collaborators are in shame, the resistance stands,” Cahn taught.
Cahn explained “the enemy” was with Antiochus and with Hitler and everyone else who sides against God’s people and biblical morality. And today, he warns, Christians are the ones who the enemy is targeting through attacks on biblical standards.
“These are the Last Days,” Cahn told Bakker and his audience. “The same dynamics are in place. They say whatever is good is now bad, whatever is bad is now good, whatever you stood for, give it up now, go along with the new morality, go along because everybody is. You’re on the wrong side of history is what they’ll say if you stand for God. We are in the exact same time.”
Cahn said Christians must understand most people, even those of their own faith, will go along with this kind of social and political pressure.
“Most of the people end up being collaborators,” he said sadly. ‘It’s right there in politics, it’s everywhere, but even in the church. So-called churches are going along with the new morality, going along with new sexual morality, going along against the Word of God. They are the collaborators with evil. That’s the problem.
“And even among born-again evangelicals there are many who are giving in and saying, ‘Well, it’s not so bad,’ or ‘We won’t talk about that, we won’t do that anymore.’ And that is collaborating with the enemy. God has called us to be the resistance. God has called his children – you must be part of the resistance.”
Cahn’s fiery call for Christians to be part of the “resistance” was met with applause and cries of “Amen” from the audience. However, Cahn warns obedience to God carries with it a “price.”
“‘Well, it’s hard,’ well of course it’s hard. That’s what we talked about, but that’s the glory of it,” Cahn said. “We are called to resist. We have to get to the same point of the resistance, the same point of the Maccabees saying, we don’t care what happens, we don’t care what they do to us, we don’t care if people call us intolerant or whatever. As for me and my household, I will follow God. We choose the Lord God of our fathers.”
Finally, Cahn said the main struggle is an individual, spiritual struggle. Depression, defeatism and giving into temptation are all forms of “collaboration” with the enemy. The solution, Cahn said, is to resist.
“Resist, resist, resist!” Cahn thundered. “Submit to God. Resist the devil; he shall flee. We’ve got the Messiah. We’ve got the power, just like they did, just like the Maccabees did.”
Cahn’s conclusion brought the audience to its feet.
“We’ve got the power to resist. We’ve got the power to resist things that are so much bigger than us. Resist the sin, resist the compromise, resist the intimidation, resist the fear, resist the discouragement, resist the depression, resist! For you are a member of God’s resistance.”