They say a picture is worth a thousand words; the picture above is worth ten thousand. I don’t remember ever seeing a picture that tells such a disturbing story.
The picture shows Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and his wife, Nehama, lighting the menorah. Looking on is U.S. President Barack Obama, along with his wife. The Rivlins joined the Obamas on December 9, 2015 for the first of two Hanukkah receptions in the East Room of the White House.
History of Hanukkah
Hanukkah is an eight-day Jewish holiday that commemorates the rededication of the temple in Jerusalem. Why did the temple need to be rededicated? What happened to it?
Antiochus was a king of the Seleucid Empire in the second century B.C. He controlled Jerusalem and the Jews. During one of his invasions of Egypt, it was reported that he had died. The two factions of Jews at Jerusalem launched into open conflict. The high priest that Antiochus had appointed was forced out.
But Antiochus wasn’t dead. He was alive, and he was incensed. His success against Egypt had been stopped in its tracks by the Roman Republic. He was ordered to withdraw his troops, which he did.
Unger’s Bible Dictionary says that after this, Antiochus hastily came against Jerusalem. He besieged the city and took it. Then the slaughter began. Antiochus’s forces killed men, women and children. One history says that 40,000 inhabitants were put to death and 40,000 more were enslaved.
But Antiochus did not stop there. “He despoiled the temple of its precious vessels and furniture and returned to Antioch laden with the treasure,” Unger’s continues. “He burned the city, erected a fort on an eminence commanding the temple, so that the worshipers approaching it were slain: while the place itself was defiled with every abomination; and the daily sacrifice was made to cease according to the prediction of Daniel (8:9-12; 11:31)” (ibid). Even though the Jewish religion at this point had fallen far from God, God’s temple was still revered. Antiochus hatefully desecrated the temple and spat on the religion of the Jews. Yet he still was not done.
Some years later, he attacked the Jews again, “commissioning his lieutenant Apollonius with an army of 22,000 men to destroy Jerusalem. Taking advantage of the Sabbath he came upon the people assembled in their synagogues, massacred the men and made the women and children captives” (ibid).
This ruler harbored a special and murderous hatred for the Jews. But why?
“Matters were brought to a height by the famous decree of Antiochus commanding that all the people should conform to the religion of the sovereign on pain of death. This brought about the Maccabean war” (ibid).
For Antiochus, it wasn’t enough to kill tens of thousands of Jews. He tried to kill their religion. He slaughtered people as they worshiped on their holy Sabbath.
Any time a person like Antiochus is involved, it’s more than just Antiochus that you are dealing with. There is a God-hating evil spirit power at work. That is the whole lesson here.
Daniel 8 (cited above) is more than a prediction; it is a prophecy of God about what Antiochus will do in modern times! God says this prophecy is going to prevail three different times here in this last end. This is prophecy for the end time, and it’s in the Bible of the Jewish people.
Today, we have a modern, political Antiochus leading the United States. And now, that Antiochus is interacting with the president of Judah—the Jewish nation!
God made a scepter promise to the Jews (Genesis 49:10). They were also chosen to preserve God’s Laws and Holy Day calendar.
This gets to the heart of why any Antiochus hates the Jews!
The modern descendants of ancient Judah are the Jews. Their nation is known as Israel to the world.
President Obama said on December 9, “Earlier today, we had an excellent meeting where we reaffirmed the unbreakable bond between the United States and Israel.” President Rivlin said this about Mr. Obama: “The president expressed both his concern and his uncompromising commitment to Israel.” Those are beautiful words, woefully false. Anybody who looks at the facts of what America’s president has done to Israel knows that he has done the exact opposite.
That is Antiochus—and it is satanic!
The president also took the opportunity to voice “the need for the Israelis and Palestinians to find mechanisms in which to dialog and arrive at peace.” Read that closely. The president is saying the Israelis are equally at fault with the Palestinians, who use terrorists to blow up civilians—men, women and children. The president says they just need to get together and negotiate and compromise. That is another monstrous lie! It is obvious the Palestinians could have peace tomorrow if they wanted it. But they don’t want peace—they want to conquer Judah!
President Obama continued: “All of us come together along with Jews around the world to celebrate a band of Maccabees who inspire us even today.” Is that true? Does that history inspire him today? When you look at the diplomatic insults and the hatred the Obama administration has poured on Israel and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, when you look at the pressure this administration has put on Israel to negotiate with people who use terrorism, and when you look at how openly it has enabled Iran to obtain nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, wouldn’t you say that a leader like that finds Antiochus more of a model to follow than Judas Maccabeus?
When you know what is happening in the Middle East right now, it’s the most horrifying thing you could imagine for modern Judah. The Jews are in grave danger.
There is a grave and deadly irony in President Obama acknowledging the Maccabees, who threw off the ancient Antiochus and rededicated and restored worship in the temple, even though that worship fell short of what God commanded in their own Bible.
“The Maccabees’ sense of faith and courage and righteousness continue to animate the Jewish community even now,” President Obama said, “and that’s certainly the story of the menorah that we light this afternoon” (emphasis mine throughout). President Obama is even participating in the Jewish religion!
Listen to those words. If you focus only on the words, how could you doubt that he loves the Jews and wants peace in the Middle East? But what do words mean without deeds to reinforce them? And his deeds are the opposite of those words.
At the event, President Rivlin said, “We remember the brave Maccabees. Hanukkah is the only day of spiritual activism. It is a holiday which represents the spirit of human beings created equally in the image of God. Each night of Hanukkah we add a new light to the menorah. Today we are looking for strong and clear moral leadership of the kind you represent, President Obama”—this statement brought a big round of applause—“leadership committed to the safety of its people, to the opportunity and the dignity of every human being.”
Hanukkah celebrates the Maccabees, the Jewish leaders who fought off the armies of Antiochus Epiphanes. And here you have an end-time Jewish leader celebrating that event with an end-time political Antiochus!
What do Israel’s leaders have to see this administration do before they know that isn’t true? Where will such reasoning lead? For Israel to trust the United States under this administration is extremely dangerous! Such thinking is leading to Israel’s demise as a nation!
But God doesn’t blame President Obama; He blames the Jewish, American and British peoples because of their sins!
“Before Wednesday’s candle lighting, Rivlin compared Obama to the Shamash, the helper candle in a Hanukkah menorah, which is used to light all the other candles” (ibid). That is putting President Obama up on the level of a saint!
Rivlin concluded: “We know, Mr. President, that you have lit the candle for the last seven years to show the right way for your people and for the entire world. And we are very sure that the eighth candle that you will light in the next year will be the same and show the whole world how to fight what we should not accept.”
How could anyone reason this way, looking at what has been done?
The end-time Antiochus just loves this. Believe me! he says. Just believe my words—don’t pay any attention to my deeds! We worship the will! Listen to my words and worship the will! That is the voice of an evil spirit! Yet a leader of Israel says he trusts the president to “show the right way for your people and for the entire world” and to show “strong and clear moral leadership.” God describes this attitude in Isaiah 1:5: “the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint”!
Too many are abysmally gullible about what is going on.
Does America really have an “unbreakable bond” with Judah today? Well, in ending economic sanctions as part of the nuclear deal, the Obama administration just gave over $100 billion to Iran, the top terrorist-sponsoring nation in the world—by far! Iran is famous for sponsoring some of the most violent terrorists on Earth, terrorists who continually attack Jews.
The U.S. led an air attack against the Islamic State in Ramadi, Iraq. One television program said American airpower was the most significant part of that assault. On the ground were Iraqi and Iranian soldiers. The U.S. was fighting alongside Iran! And even then, the Iranians refused to fight unless they won additional concessions. The Obama administration will send our military to fight alongside Iran, but it can’t get together with the Jews on much of anything!
Iran has promised to wipe Israel off the map. It supports Islamic terrorists who want to do the same. And they want to wipe President Obama’s own nation off the map as well! They call America the “big Satan” and the Jewish state the “little Satan.” Is this cooperation with Iran good for the Jews?
The Iranians declare that they are going to destroy the Jews and the Americans, and they are continually amassing the means to do it. They have already tested intercontinental ballistic missiles that will reach the United States, even though they were supposed to wait eight years to do that, according to the nuclear agreement. They are already breaking the agreement, which they say they never actually signed. Yet the Obama administration is honoring its terms and giving billions of dollars in concessions to Iran.
In many ways, the Islamic State, or ISIS, is a cover for what Iran is doing; it distracts people from the real threat in the region. The Islamic State is a significant problem, but it is nothing compared to Iran. Iran has terrorist cells just like the Islamic State, plus it is a force and a power that is taking over the Middle East! It is the number one sponsor of terror—and America’s president has U.S. servicemen fighting beside Iranians, and he is giving them over $100 billion. What can a terrorist-sponsoring state do with $100 billion? Didn’t President Obama’s “unbreakable bond with Israel” break a long time ago?
The U.S. radical-left administration is exacerbating the deadly wound of the Jewish nation (Hosea 5:13). That wound is the “peace process” where Islamists use terrorism and Israel coughs up territory and other concessions. The Obama administration has even said that if Israel attacks Iran, the U.S. will shoot down Israel’s planes!
Are we dealing with a fan of the Maccabees, or a fan of Antiochus?
President Obama can say all these nice words—and the president of the Jewish nation sits there and believes every bit of it despite having absolutely no reason to do so! They are just words! You had better be afraid when people start believing the words of an Antiochus.
We have to realize that the whole movement in the U.S. from the top is about destruction! The Bible characterizes Antiochus as a “son of perdition,” or destruction. There isn’t anything except a lot of deceit and lies.
The Prophesied Antiochus
Notice what the Prophet Daniel says about Antiochus: “And in his estate shall stand up a vile person, to whom they shall not give the honour of the kingdom: but he shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries” (Daniel 11:21). This is the way an Antiochus operates, wherever he may be.
“And after the league made with him he shall work deceitfully: for he shall come up, and shall become strong with a small people. … And both these kings’ hearts shall be to do mischief, and they shall speak lies at one table; but it shall not prosper: for yet the end shall be at the time appointed. … And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily,” or the work of God (verses 23, 27, 31). Verse 32 reveals that he shall “corrupt by flatteries.”
“And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods” (verse 36). He exalts himself above every god. That is exactly what Satan the devil did and does (Isaiah 14:12-14; Ezekiel 28:15-17). This Antiochus speaks against the God of gods. His message is against God, but it is cloaked in deceit.
Cambridge Bible Commentary states this about “magnify himself” in Daniel 11:36: “Antiochus, moreover, assumed divine honors. This is particularly evident … on his coins. His best portraits appear to be those on the coins of his early years, which bear simply the inscription ‘King Antiochus.’ At a later period of his reign a star appears on his forehead, implying that he has assumed divine honors. Then in coins with the legend, ‘King Antiochus, God’ (or ‘God Manifest’ [Epiphanes]), the star disappears, but the portrait is idealized, the features approximating in type to those of Apollo. Other coins of the same type exhibit the head surrounded by a diadem with rays—another mark of divine rank. (Babelon states that Antiochus Epiphanes is the first Seleucid king who is represented constantly on his coins with a crown of rays.) Lastly, on coins with the legend ‘King Antiochus, God Manifest, Victory-bearer,’ the head approximates even to that of Zeus Olympios, whose distinctive epithet [‘Victory-bearer’] the king himself assumes.”
Antiochus and his prophetic types are heavily influenced and even possessed by the devil!
His actions are not those of a normal human being!
He loves only those who have an attitude of worship toward him and the evil spirit behind his deeds.
This message sounds strange only to people who do not know their Bibles.
Antiochus obtains rule through deceitful lies and flatteries. He gains control by acting like he is somebody that he certainly is not.
Werner Keller writes in The Bible as History: “Israel had been spared none of the horror and ignominy which could befall a nation. But never before, neither under the Assyrians nor under the Babylonians, had it received such a blow as the edict issued by Antiochus Epiphanes by which he hoped to crush and destroy the faith of Israel.” That was his goal, to destroy the faith of Israel.
“He shall enter peaceably even upon the fattest places of the province; and he shall do that which his fathers have not done”—nobody has acted like this before—“nor his fathers’ fathers; he shall scatter among them the prey, and spoil, and riches: yea, and he shall forecast his devices against the strong holds, even for a time” (verse 24).
Verse 28 says “his heart shall be against the holy covenant ….” He is against anything of God.
Some believe that the book of Daniel is untrue or that its prophecies were fulfilled long ago. But these prophecies are for the American and the British peoples (two specific birthright nations of Israel), and the Jewish nation in the Middle East today!
[On December 23, United States President Barak Obama allowed an extremely anti-Israel United Nations Security Council resolution to pass, breaking from decades-old precedent set by previous American administrations. In light of that event, Watch Jerusalem has decided to republish this powerfully prophetic article written by our editor in chief Gerald Flurry. Original publish date: February 1, 2016]