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|December, 2017 (5778)||Vol. 43 No. 12|
THE BIRTH OF JESUS
DR. AND MRS. ELIAS E. HIDALGO
IN THE BOOK OF GENESIS WE FIND THE FIRST MENTION AND PREDICTION OF THE COMING BIRTH OF JESUS, ALSO KNOWN AS THE SEED OF THE WOMAN IN GENESIS 3: 15.
IN STUDYING THE SCRIPTURES FROM THE BEGINNING OF CREATION, WE KNOW THAT THE ALMIGHTY GOD HAD SET IN MOTION CERTAIN RULES BEFORE ADAM AND EVE. THEY WERE SIMPLE AND STRAIGHT FORWARD SUCH AS,
And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
THE GARDEN WHERE ADAM AND EVE LIVED MUST HAVE BEEN BEAUTIFUL AND MAJESTIC AND SUPPLIED WITH THE NECESSARY NUTRITION AS WELL AS SURROUNDING BEAUTY. THEY HAD ONE COMMAND TO OBEY, THOU SHALT NOT EAT OF THE TREE OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL.
NOW, LET US SEE IF OUR PARENTS OF LONG AGO OBEYED OR DISOBEYED THE LORD.
Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
ACCORDING TO THE ABOVE SCRIPTURES THEY BOTH DISOBEYED THE LORD GOD AND THE CONSEQUENCE OF THEIR ACTIONS ARE AS FOLLOWS.
Genesis 3: 9-15
And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.
And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat? And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.
And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:
And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
SUCH A SIMPLE COMMAND TO OBEY, AND YET, THE SEED OF DOUBT HAD BEEN PLANTED IN BOTH OF THEIR MINDS AND HEARTS, SO THEY WILLINGLY CHOSE TO GO AGAINST THE WORD OF GOD. JUST IMAGINE HOW MANY MILLIONS OF INDIVIDUALS IN OUR DAY HAVE CHOSEN TO DO THE SAME THING, THAT IS, THEY HEAR AND KNOW THE WORD OF GOD, NEVERTHELESS, THEY OF THEIR OWN VOLITION, GO CONTRARY TO THE VOICE OF THE LORD.
Psalm 19: 1-3
The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.
Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.
There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.
AS IN THE DAYS OF ADAM AND EVE, THUS IT IS TODAY, EVEN CREATION DECLARES THE GRACE AND MERCY OF GOD, BUT WHY ARE MEN AND WOMEN SO NEGLECTFUL TO LISTEN TO AND TO OBEY THE LORD? IT IS BECAUSE OF SIN THAT ENTERED THE WORLD BECAUSE OF THE DISOBEDIENCE THAT OUR PRIMAL DESCENDANTS (ADAM AND EVE) COMMITED TOWARDS THE ALMIGHTY GOD.
SO WHAT IS THE SOLUTION?
THE PREDICTION OF THE SEED OF THE WOMAN WHO IS NONE OTHER THAN THE MESSIAH THROUGH WHOM SALVATION COMES TO EVERY INDIVIDUAL THAT WILL BY FAITH BELIEVE AND RECEIVE HIM, WHOSE NAME IS YSHUA (JESUS), WHICH BY THE WAY MEANS SALVATION IN HEBREW.
THIS GREAT AND GRAND PREDICTION WAS TO BE REALIZED THROUGH THE ANNALS OF HISTORY, CENTURY AFTER CENTURY WOULD PASS, THEN ULTIMATELY, THE FULFILLMENT WOULD ARRIVE.
NOW, WE WILL TRAVEL QUICKLY THROUGH BIBLICAL HISTORY TO FIND THE PROPHECIES THAT WOULD BRING THE REDEMPTION OF MANKIND IN AND THROUGH THE PERSON OF THE ANOINTED ONE.
LET US LOOK AT A FEW PROPHETICAL SCRIPTURES THAT GIVE US A ROAD MAP THAT ANTICIPATES THE SOON APPEARANCE OF THE ULTIMATE PROPHET, THE SON OF GOD.
Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.
The Lord sent a word into Jacob, and it hath lighted upon Israel.
THESE VERSES GIVE TO US GODS PROPHETICAL SCHEME IN BRINGING INTO THIS WORLD THE PREDICTED AND PROPHETIC COMING OF THE SEED OF THE WOMAN TO REDEEM MANKIND FROM THE ORIGINAL SIN WHICH CAME AS A RESULT OF DISOBEDIENCE IN THE GARDEN OF EDEN, LONG, LONG AGO.
IMAGINE A JEWISH VIRGIN WOULD BE CHOSEN BY GOD HIMSELF TO BRING FORTH A SON AND HIS NAME WOULD BE CALLED IMMANUEL (WHICH MEANS GOD WITH US).
IN ADDITION TO HIS ADVENT, HE IS GOING TO HAVE SOME BEAUTIFUL TITLE NAMES, SUCH AS, THE MIGHTY GOD, THE EVERLASTING FATHER, THE PRINCE OF PEACE.
THIS CHILD, THAT THE PROPHET ISAIAH SPOKE OF WOULD BE BORN FROM WITHIN ISRAEL AND THIS SON THAT IS TO BE GIVEN TO ISRAEL WOULD ULTIMATELY BRING FORTH THE PARDON FOR SIN AND THE PEACE OF GOD THAT PASSETH ALL UNDERSTANDING TO ALL WHO WOULD BOW THEIR HEARTS AND MINDS TO HIM, YSHUA (JESUS).
EVEN THE PLACE OF HIS BIRTH IS PROPHETICAL IN NATURE FOUND IN THE WORD OF GOD.
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 ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.
TODAY IN THE LAND OF ISRAEL, THE CITY OF BETHLEHEM IS SCRIPTURALLY RECOGNIZED AS THE BIRTH PLACE OF JESUS OUR LORD. THIS PROPHECY CAME BY INSPIRATION OF GOD TO THE PROPHET OF ISRAEL BY THE NAME OF MICAH CENTURIES BEFORE ITS FULFILLMENT. TODAY THE CITY OF BETHLEHEM IS MISSING ITS RIGHTFUL INHABITANTS, THE JEWISH PEOPLE FROM WHOM THE MESSIAH JESUS CAME FROM. IT IS ALMOST IN TOTAL AN ARAB CONCLAVE WITH A SMATTERING OF JEWS. WE BELIEVE WHEN THIS SAME JESUS RETURNS TO THIS EARTH WHO IS THE MESSIAH AND SAVIOUR OF ISRAEL AND THE WORLD, WHEN HE RETURNS AND ESTABLISHES HIS MESSIANIC KINGDOM IN JERUSALEM, THEN, ALL THINGS WILL BE AS GOD INTENDED FROM THE BEGINNING WITH NO INTERFERENCES FROM MANKIND.
WE ANXIOUSLY AWAIT THIS TIME.
LET US NOW BE REMINDED OF HOW ALL OF THE ABOVE CAME TO FRUITION AND THE PERFORMANCE THEREOF.
Galatians 4: 4-5
But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
HOW WONDERFULLY CLEAR THIS NEW TESTAMENT SCRIPTURE IS THAT REMINDS US THAT IT WAS GOD HIMSELF WHO MOVED HEAVEN AND EARTH AFTER OVER 5,000 YEARS OF WAITING, THAT IS, FROM GENESIS 3: 15, TO BRING FORTH HIS SON THAT WAS MADE OF A WOMAN (JEWISH VIRGIN), MADE UNDER THE LAW TO BRING ADOPTION OF SALVATION TO MANKIND.
WE ARE ALSO REMINDED OF THE WAY THIS TOOK PLACE.
Luke 1: 26-33
And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,
To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.
And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.
He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
THERE IS A HEBREW EXPRESSION THAT GOES LIKE THIS, NES GADOL HAYAH SHAM WHICH MEANS, A GREAT MIRACLE HAPPENED THERE
TRULY, WE ARE SO AMAZED AND HUMBLED THAT THE ALMIGHTY GOD WOULD VISIT THIS EARTH WITH THE GOOD NEWS OF SALVATION, WHO IS JESUS, GOD'S ONLY BEGOTTEN SON AND SAVIOUR OF THE WORLD, TO ALL PEOPLE.
Luke 2: 4-11
And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
THE GOOD NEWS IS THAT OUR MESSIAH WAS BORN IN BETHLEHEM, GREW UP IN NAZARETH AND SPOKE THE WORD OF GOD THROUGHOUT ERETZ YISRAEL THE LAND OF ISRAEL, OFFERING HIMSELF AS THE LAMB OF GOD THAT TAKETH AWAY THE SIN OF THE WORLD.
WELL, SOME BELIEVED IN HIM AND SOME DID NOT. SUCH IS THE CASE TODAY. HOW SAD THAT THE FREE GIFT OF SALVATION OFFERED TO ALL OF MANKIND BY GRACE THROUGH FAITH IS CONSTANTLY REJECTED, BUT PRAISE BE TO GOD THAT THERE ARE THOSE OF US THAT HAVE BELIEVED AND HAVE BEEN GIVEN LIFE ETERNAL THROUGH HIS ULTIMATE DEATH, BURIAL AND RESURRECTION. THANK YOU JESUS FOR LOVING US WHILE WE WERE YET SINNERS.
THE END RESULT IS THIS, THAT GOD HAS GIVEN TO ALL WHO BELIEVE THE STATUS OF SAINTS (CHASIDS) SEPARATED ONES, TO LOVE AND SERVE THIS WONDERFUL ONLY BEGOTTEN SON OF GOD, YSHUA HA MASSHIACH ADONAI (THE LORD JESUS CHRIST)
EVEN AS WE HAVE BRIEFLY LOOKED INTO THE PREDICTION, PROPHECY AND PERFORMANCE OF THE COMING OF JESUS OUR LORD TO THIS EARTH, THERE IS STILL ONE MORE ASPECT OF GODS GRACE TO US WHO BELIEVE IN HIM YSHUA (JESUS).
AND THAT IS OF COURSE THE PROMISE OF HIS RETURN THAT FOLLOWS AFTER ALMOST 5,000 YEARS OF ANTICIPATION OF THE ADVENT OF OUR MESSIAH, THIS PROMISE IS ADDRESSED IN THE FOLLOWING MANNER.
John 14: 1-4
Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.
THERE IT IS, THE PROMISE, OF JESUS RETURNING VERY SOON. OUR BLESSED SAVIOUR IS COMING AGAIN TO RECEIVE US UNTO HIMSELF AND TAKE US TO A PLACE THAT HE HAS PREPARED FOR US.
AS THE APOSTLE JOHN SPEAKS OUT IN THE LAST BOOK AND IN THE LAST CHAPTER OF THE HOLY BIBLE,
He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.
WE ALSO ANTICIPATE WITH JOY UNSPEAKABLE AND FULL OF GLORY FOR THIS COMING EVENT WHICH IS A PROMISE FROM GOD TO US, AND REMEMBER, THAT GOD IS NOT A MAN THAT HE SHOULD LIE, THEREFORE WITH FULL CONFIDENCE IN HIM AND HIS WORD WE ALSO SAY, EVEN SO, COME, LORD JESUS.
Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,
To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen
History of Chanukah
Upon assuming the Seleucid throne in 175 B.C.E., Antiochus IV, who vainly called himself "Epiphanes" (god manifest), dedicated himself fanatically to the total Hellenization of all the peoples under his rule. Of those peoples, the Jews alone refused to be Hellenized. So Antiochus decided to force Hellenization upon them. He banned the Torah and the Commandments; he sacked and defiled the Beit ha-Mikdash, inaugurating the sacrifice of pigs, and erecting there a statue of Zeus; and he decreed the death penalty for all Jews who refused to worship the Hellenic idols and who remained loyal to the Torah and the Commandments.
The Jewish revolt against this oppressive regime began in 168 B.C.E., when Mattathias the Hasmonean, a priest who had settled in Modi'in (a village northwest of Jerusalem), refused to permit idolatrous worship there, saying:
"Even if all the nations that live under the rule of the king obey him and have chosen to do his commandments, departing each one from the religion of his fathers, yet I and my sons and my brothers will live by the covenant of our fathers!" (I Mac. 2:19)
When a Jew then arose to sacrifice to an idol, Mattathias killed both him and a royal officer who was present.
Then, Mattathias and his sons and followers fled to the hills, and organized to wage a guerilla war, which culminated three years later in the miraculous victory, led by Judah the Maccabee.
However, the eight days of Chanukah do not directly commemorate the spectacular victory of a tiny people over the imperialist ogre. Rather, they directly commemorate the purification of the Beit ha-Mikdash and the rededication of the altar. To the question "What is Chanukah?", our rabbis answered:
When the Greeks entered the Beit ha-Mikdash, they defiled all the oils in the sanctuary. When the Hasmoneans prevailed and conquered them, they conducted a search and found but one tin of oil, which lay with the seal of the High Priest, and there was in it an amount sufficient for kindling only one day. But a miracle was wrought concerning it, and they were able to kindle with it for eight days, until they could crush olives and produce pure oil. (Shabbat 21b; Maimonides, Hilk. Han. 3:2)
To Jewish people, the miracle of Chanukah is the miracle of Jewish history. Despite the cruelest persecutions of imperialist powers and evil rulers, and despite the temptations of collaboration and assimilation, the light of our Torah and the lamp of the Commandments have never been extinguished. Even in the darkest times of apostasy and genocide, even when it has indeed appeared that we could not possibly preserve the light for more than one day, we have refused to surrender, we have defied the logic of history, and miraculously, time and again, the light continued to burn until we could regroup ourselves and generate new strength.
The true miracle of the Festival of Lights -- which is the miracle of all Jewish history -- was not military but spiritual. The portion of Scripture recited in synagogues for Chanukah is, "Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts". (Zechariah 4:6)
Before kindling the lights, say these Blessings:
Baruch atta adonai elohenu melech ha-olam, asher kidshanu b'mitzvotav v'tzeevanu l'hadlik ner shel Chanukah
Blessed are You, O Lord our God, King of the universe, Who has sanctified us by Your commandments, and commanded us to kindle the light of Chanukah.
Baruch atta adonai elohenu melech ha-olam, she-assa nissim la'avotenu bayamim ha-hem ba-z'man ha-ze.
Blessed are You, O Lord our God, King of the universe, who wrought miracles for our fathers in days of old, at this season.
On the First Evening only, add this Blessing:
Baruch atta adonai elohenu melech ha-olam she-hecheyanu v'kee-y'manu v'hee-gi-yanu la-z'man ha-ze.
Blessed are You, O Lord our God, King of the universe, who has given us life, and has sustained us, and has brought us to this season.
Each evening, after kindling the first light, say this while lighting the others:
Ha-ner-oht ha-lahlu anachnu mahd lee-keen al ha-nissim ve al ha-t'shu-oht v'al ha-neef la-oht shey ahsee-tah la-ahvohteynu al y'dey koh ha-ney cha ha-k'dohsheem v'kol sh'monaht y'mey chanukah ha-ner-oht ha-lahlu kodesh v'eyn lah-nu r'shoot l'heesh'tamesh ba-hem elah lir-ohtam bil'vad. K'dey l'hodoht l'shimcha al nisecha v'al y'shuatecha v'al neef-le-oh teh cha.
We light these candles because of the miracles, the deliverances, and for the wonders that You did perform for our fathers by the hands of Your holy priests. And these lights are holy all eight days of Chanukah. And we do not have a right to use them improperly, but only to look at them in order to thank Your name for Your miracles, for Your deliverances, and for Your wonders.
The Second Temple.
The nine-branched candelabra used on Chanukah.
English word for Chanukah.
FEAST OF LIGHTS
Another name for Chanukah.
Psalms of praise to God.
Family name of Mattathias the Priest.
Name of the Hebrew month during which Chanukah falls.
The name given in later times to the Hasmoneans.
Song sung on Chanukah.
The Everlasting Light which burned in the Second Temple.
THE EIGHT DAYS OF CHANUKKAH
FOR OUR YEARLY CHANUKKAH CELEBRATIONS, MY WIFE AND I, MANY YEARS AGO DEVISED THE WORDS TO A SONG COMMEMORATING SOME HIGHLIGHTS FOR THE FEAST OF DEDICATION (CHANUKKAH). SINCE WE BELIEVE THAT 'WITHOUT CHANUKKAH THERE WOULD BE NO CHRISTMAS', WE WERE PROVOKED TO USE THE MUSIC OF 'THE TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS' AND WROTE SOME WORDS FOR OUR CHANUKKAH SONG, TO ACCOMPANY THIS BEAUTIFUL MELODY. HERE IS AN EXAMPLE: ON THE FIRST DAY OF CHANUKKAH MY TRUE LOVE GAVE TO ME A PICTURE OF JUDAH MACCABEE ON THE SECOND DAY OF CHANUKKAH MY TRUE LOVE GAVE TO ME TWO POTATO LATKES AND A PICTURE OF JUDAH MACCABEE ON THE THIRD DAY OF CHANUKKAH MY TRUE LOVE GAVE TO ME THREE STARS OF DA YID, TWO POTATO LATKES AND A PICTURE OF JUDAH MACCABEE ETC, ETC, ETC, ... UNTIL YOU REACH THE EIGHTH DAY MAZOL TOY (GOOD LUCK) AND THE LORD HIMSELF BLESS YOU. SHALOM, DR. AND MRS. ELIAS E. HIDALGO
Credits: The authors for the words and music for the Twelve Days of Christmas are unknown. The words to the Eight Days of Chanukkah authored by Dr. and Mrs. Hidalgo. the artwork rendered by: Amer Olson and J.A.Molloy
IS AN ENGLISH WORD THAT MEANS