Volume. XXXIV, No. 4
Sunday, 28 July 2019

From the Pastor’s Heart: Jerusalem (6)

We have seen the historical importance of Antiochus Epiphanes in Jewish history from the previous article.  His significance is also found in Bible prophecies.  For example, Josephus says (please find it from the previous article) that (1) Antiochus Epiphanes came up to Jerusalem, (2) he entered into the sanctuary, and (3) he spoilt and desecrated everything there.  This man has been compared with the coming antichrist.  For example, Daniel 8:11-12 says, “Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down. 12 And an host was given him against the daily sacrifice by reason of transgression, and it cast down the truth to the ground; and it practised, and prospered.”  This is a prophecy fit to describe the coming antichrist.  Antiochus Epiphanes literally fulfilled these prophecies by offering the Jews false peace, and they believed him.  Then, he fell on the city and conquered it and killed many people in the city.  That is what Daniel 8:25 says, “And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand.”  Josephus says that Antiochus Epiphanes forbade the Jews to offer daily sacrifices.  Let me requote a portion of Josephus’ writing cited in the previous article.  “And when the King had built an idol altar upon God’s altar he slew swine upon it, and so offered a sacrifice neither according to the law, nor the Jewish religious worship in that country. He also compelled them to forsake the worship which they paid their own God, and to adore those whom he took to be Gods; and made them build temples, and raise idol altars in every city and village; and offer swine upon them every day.” 


Observe how the antichrist is described in the following references.  Daniel 9:26-27, “And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. 27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.”  2 Thessalonians 2:3-4, “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; 4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.”  We find lots of resemblances between the antichrist and Antiochus Epiphanes.  Thus, often he is called a type of antichrist.  It must be a great shock to the Jews that this wicked man sacrificed swine on the holy altar, and caused the high priest himself to partake in such a despicable act against God.  By all means, he suppressed the Jewish religion by trying to Hellenize the Jews.  He wanted to make Jerusalem a Greek city. 


Maccabean Rebellion


After the death of Antiochus Epiphanes, things began to change.  Understandably, Jewish resistance movements grew from strength to strength.  In order to understand the background of the Jewish revolt against him, we need to read some more from 1 Maccabees 1-4 at least.  (1) Read first from 1:43-67, “And king Antiochus wrote to all his kingdom, that all the people should be one: and every one should leave his own law. 44 And all nations consented according to the word of king Antiochus. 45 And many of Israel consented to his service, and they sacrificed to idols, and profaned the sabbath. 46 And the king sent letters by the hands of messengers to Jerusalem, and to all the cities of Juda: that they should follow the law of the nations of the earth, 47 And should forbid holocausts and sacrifices, and atonements to be made in the temple of God. 48 And should prohibit the sabbath, and the festival days, to be celebrated. 49 And he commanded the holy places to be profaned, and the holy people of Israel. 50 And he commanded altars to be built, and temples, and idols, and swine's flesh to be immolated, and unclean beasts. 51 And that they should leave their children uncircumcised, and let their souls be defiled with all uncleannesses, and abominations, to the end that they should forget the law, and should change all the justifications of God. 52 And that whosoever would not do according to the word of king Antiochus should be put to death. 53 According to all these words he wrote to his whole kingdom, and he appointed rulers over the people that should force them to do these things. 54 And they commanded the cities of Juda to sacrifice.


55 Then many of the people were gathered to them that had forsaken the law of the Lord: and they committed evils in the land: 56 And they drove away the people of Israel into lurking holes, and into the secret places of fugitives. 57 On the fifteenth day of the month Casleu, in the hundred and forty-fifth year, king Antiochus set up the abominable idol of desolation upon the altar of God, and they built altars throughout all the cities of Juda round about: 58 And they burnt incense, and sacrificed at the doors of the houses, and in the streets. 59 And they cut in pieces, and burnt with fire the books of the law of God: 60 And every one with whom the books of the testament of the Lord were found, and whosoever observed the law of the Lord, they put to death, according to the edict of the king. 61 Thus by their power did they deal with the people of Israel, that were found in the cities month after month. 62 And on the five and twentieth day of the month they sacrificed upon the altar of the idol that was over against the altar of God. 63 Now the women that circumcised their children, were slain according to the commandment of king Antiochus. 64 And they hanged the children about their necks in all their houses: and those that had circumcised them, they put to death. 65 And many of the people of Israel determined with themselves, that they would not eat unclean things: and they chose rather to die than to be defiled with unclean meats. 66 And they would not break the holy law of God, and they were put to death: 67 And there was very great wrath upon the people.”



Antiochus forbade the Jews from offering sacrifices and defiled the Temple.  He prohibited the Sabbath days and all religious feasts.  He kept the Jewish children from being circumcised and defied the law of God.  He in particular set up “the abominable idol of desolation” upon the altar of God.  All who desired to honor the law of God were put into death. 


(2) We find a godly family who initiated holy wars against the king, Antiochus Epiphanes.  1 Maccabees 2:1-9 reads, “In those days arose Mathathias the son of John, the son of Simeon, a priest of the sons of Joarib, from Jerusalem, and he abode in the mountain of Modin. 2 And he had five sons: John who was surnamed Gaddis: 3 And Simon, who was surnamed Thasi: 4 And Judas, who was called Machabeus: 5 And Eleazar, who was surnamed Abaron: and Jonathan, who was surnamed Apphus. 6 These saw the evils that were done in the people of Juda, and in Jerusalem. 7 And Mathathias said: Woe is me, wherefore was I born to see the ruin of my people, and the ruin of the holy city, and to dwell there, when it is given into the hands of the enemies? 8 The holy places are come into the hands of strangers: her temple is become as a man without honour. 9 The vessels of her glory are carried away captive: her old men are murdered in the streets, and her young men are fallen by the sword of the enemies.” 


Mathathias and his sons firmly stood against the orders from Antiochus Ephiphanes.  1 Maccabees 2:17-22 explains the situation he had to stand against.  We’ll see it next week.




Your Pastor


More Lively Hope



  • Special thanks to Rev Mark Chen for ministering to Hopefuls.
  • Missions trips to Batam & Phnom Penh in Jan 2020. If interested to go, please see Eld Michael D Lee or any Missions Committee member.
  • Audio recordings of Music Seminar available via church website. Contact Eld David Yeo for copies of seminar notes.
  • Annual Congregation Meeting: All members are expected to attend. Proxy forms available at the Foyer for those unable to attend.
  • Session requests early submission of questions for ACM to facilitate the preparation of any required information. Please provide these to the Clerk of Session Dn Kevin Low by the 4
  • Candidates for the 9th Session Election: Pastor Okman Ki, Elders David Yeo & Colin Gan; Deacons Wittawat Atijatuporn, Kevin Low, Sung Hyun Ma, Aaron Tan, John Wong & Wai Kin Wong; Bro Jason Tan.
  • For safety: parents of Sunday School Children are required to pick their children up immediately after the Service from today onwards.
  • IF Retreat forms available in the Foyer. Please complete & return with exact payment to Bros Daniel Volvricht or Danny Chu.
  • Sex Education starts next Sunday. Those who want their children to OPT OUT, please contact Dn John Wong by today.
  • Holiday Bible Club: parents please take note and register your children for this important church event.
  • Lunch Duty: This week: Neighbourhood Groups. Next week: Volunteers.  


Praise & Thanksgiving

  • Music Seminar last week.
  • GAPPI Filadelfia (Filadelfia B-P Church, Batam) 15th Anniversary Thanksgiving last Lord’s Day.
  • Working Bees
  • Journey mercies: Those who have travelled.



  • Healing: Pastor Ki; Rev George van Buuren; Rev Edward & Mrs Lehia Paauwe; & others in affliction.
  • Missions – Batam Missions: Sis Ang Liang Phoa’s request for funds for 6 computers for Primary School computer lab & school fence repairs (A$3,500); Rev Pong Sen Yiew (Malaysia, Batam).
  • ACM & Session Election.
  • Wellspring Bible Church in Glen Waverley, Melb. Elder Stephen Lim.
  • Journey mercies: Pastor Okman & Sis Myung Ki (Adl); Rev Mark Chen & family (Melb); & others who are travelling.






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