Posts Tagged ‘halloween’

The Reason for this Season Isn’t Christian

The Reason for the Season
The Reason for the Season

“There must not be found among you anyone who makes his son or daughter pass through fire, a diviner, soothsayer, an enchanter, a sorcerer, a spell-caster, a consulter of ghosts or spirits, or a necromancer. For whoever does these things is detestable to Adonai, and because of these abominations Adonai your God is driving them out ahead of you. You must be wholehearted with Adonai your God. For these nations, which you are about to dispossess, listen to soothsayers and diviners; but you, Adonai your God does not allow you to do this” (Deuteronomy 18:10-14).

As I have been reading some articles on Halloween and its history, I am confused as to why there are so many articles written by and for Christians encouraging their participation in this holiday.  It really doesn’t matter to me what each person decides to do, however, I believe that God, Elohim does.

Within the plethora of Samhain articles, greeting cards and wiccan/pagan blogs, there are also as many articles written by Christians for Christians.   One article I perused said that because Halloween isn’t mentioned in the Bible (?), we are free to take part, but always use caution and wisdom when celebrating.  I guess the above Scripture isn’t in ‘their’ Bibles?

Similarly, I have read articles over the years written by Christians for Christians that say because the Sabbath isn’t reiterated in the New Testament, it isn’t for Christians.   These two concepts together bring me to the following questions:  When celebrations rooted in evil are not in Scripture, we are free to celebrate with wisdom?  When celebrations are rooted in God’s Word, we are ‘free from them?’

Isaiah clearly prophesies about such confusion of good and evil and darkness and light:

“Woe to those who call evil good  and good evil,  who put darkness for light and light for darkness who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter” (Isaiah 5:20).

Halloween is not in the Bible for a reason.  Samhain is a celebration of evil and darkness and death by the servants of the evil one.   The Bible holds the keys to righteousness, light and life and is held out by those who are servants of the Holy One of Israel, the Most High God, the one who brought us out of darkness and into the light – Yeshua.

“For you used to be darkness; but now, united with the Lord, you are light. Live like children of light, for the fruit of the light is in every kind of goodness, rightness and truth –  try to determine what will please the Lord. Have nothing to do with the deeds produced by darkness, but instead expose them, for it is shameful even to speak of the things these people do in secret” (Ephesians 5:7-12).

©2012 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing.

A Soldier’s Story

Management at Victoria’s Secret (NYC),

Three weeks ago I requested to have October 31st off as the celebration of Halloween goes against my religious beliefs therefore I do not work or even leave my house on this day.  As my request was rejected, here is a written statement and comparison showing my religious convictions and reasons why I do not take part in Halloween.  I also choose to not leave my home as a precautionary measure to my safety, as traveling alone late at night on Halloween is not a wise option.  All one has to do is read the newspaper the following day to know the dangers and the tragedies.

The History: taken from wikipedia.com and paganwiccan.about.com

Halloween’s origins date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhein which marked the end of harvest and the beginning of winter, a time of year associated with death. The pagan Celts believed that on that night, the boundary between the worlds of the living and dead blurred, and the ghosts of the dead returned to the earth. It was a night for preternatural communication with the dead, various forms of divination and prophecy, and sexual rituals.

Samhain is one of the eight annual festivals in the Wicca Wheel of the Year, often referred to as ‘Sabbats‘, observed as part of the Wiccan Wheel of the Year. It is considered by most Wiccans to be the most important of the four ‘greater Sabbats’. It is generally observed on October 31 in the Northern Hemisphere, starting at sundown. Samhain is considered by some Wiccans as a time to celebrate the lives of those who have passed on, and it often involves paying respect to ancestors, family members, elders of the faith, friends, pets and other loved ones who have died. In some rituals the spirits of the departed are invited to attend the festivities. It is seen as a festival of darkness.

Samhain is known as the witch’s new year, and it’s a time when the veil between our world and the next is at its thinnest. It’s a season of death and dying and darkness, and hearkens the coming of winter’s chill.  Halloween imagery includes themes of death, evil, the occult, or mythical monsters.

My Religious Beliefs: taken from The Torah and The Bible

Deuteronomy 18:10-12 “Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to The Lord.”

Ephesians 5:7-12  “So don’t have anything to do with anyone like that. You used to be like people living in the dark, but now you are people of the light because you belong to the Lord. So act like people of the light and make your light shine. Be good and honest and truthful, as you try to please the Lord. Don’t take part in doing those worthless things that are done in the dark. Instead, show how wrong they are. It is disgusting even to talk about what is done in the dark.”

John 8:12 “When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’”

2 Corinthians 6:17 “Come out from among them and be separate.”

Thank you for your time and I apologize if this causes any inconvenience to the scheduling and coverage of that day.  I attempted to avoid such problems by giving an advanced notice of my intentions, which in the future I will make clearer at a much earlier date.  I am more than willing to work my scheduled Monday shift of 1 to 7 with a call-in to 10 pm if moved to the following day, Tuesday the 1st of November.

Josi

©2011 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing.

Enoch and Samhain

October 31 is a unique day in the spiritual realm.   It is known by wiccan and pagan communities as Samhein.  According to one pagan website, it is the one day of the year when the veil between our world and the spirit world thins and makes it the perfect time to make contact with the dead.  The average unknowing, uninformed person calls Samhein, Halloween.

Halloween has grown from a Celtic high holy day celebrated quietly by pagans and wiccans to the second highest retail holiday next to Christmas.  Spiritual lines between evil and righteousness have been blurred to the point that many who dress up in costumes, go trick-or-treating, or visit haunted houses actually say they aren’t celebrating Halloween!   There are some who admit to being pagan and are proud to celebrate in every way imaginable from orgies to sacrificing animals and children.

Witchcraft has become an accepted religious practice through television and movies beginning with 1960s programs like “Bewitched” and “Dark Shadows” and coming into obvious fruition with “Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Harry Potter.”   Divinations, seances and casting spells are commonplace with young girls who are intrigued with being ‘white witches’ or ‘good witches.’ Communicating with dead people is one of the activities of paranormal societies that exist even in my little midwest town.  Sorcery is about power.  It is an art that manipulates the energy fields of human beings in order to seduce people for whatever purpose: peace, love, prosperity, healing – all of which are obtained, but in a corrupt manner.

Halloween involves a spiritual battle that began long before today’s TV shows, the witchcraft trials of New England, the Dark Ages, the time of Yeshua, King Saul or even Abraham.  It began before the flood and its beginnings are recorded in great detail in the Book of Enoch, written for those who live in the time of the end.  Unfortunately the book of Enoch was removed from the canon of Scriptures despite the fact that both Peter and Jude refer to its contents.  Today, believers are ‘in the dark’ about what may be coming on the world at the end of the age.

“The word of the blessing of Enoch, how he blessed the elect and the righteous, who were to exist in the time of trouble…. Enoch a righteous man, was with God, answered and spoke, while his eyes were open and while he saw a holy vision ….  I (Enoch) heard all things, and understood what I saw; that which will not take place in this generation, but in a generation which is to succeed at a distant period, on account of the elect” (Enoch 1:1-3).

A preview is found in Genesis when angels, called the ‘sons of God,’ left their place of authority in the heavenly realm and came to earth.  According to Enoch, these angels were attracted to the beauty and alluring uncovered hair of young women, called the ‘daughters of men’ (Enoch 7:1-2).  These spiritual beings had sexual relationships with human women.  From these relationships children were born who were half human/half spirit.

Genesis 6 calls these children the heroes of old or men of reknown, their Biblical name: Nephilim.   Nephilim in Aramaic means ‘to fall’ (like the fallen ones), but in Hebrew, it  means  ‘giants’.  Genesis also says the Nephilim were on the earth ‘in those days of Noah and afterwards.’  What does this mean?  Could it be the Greek or Roman mythological heroes like Achilles or Hercules were actually offspring of these half breeds?  Wasn’t everyone destroyed in the flood?  Enoch explains what happened.

“Then he spoke and said: ‘Hear, neither be afraid, O Enoch, O righteous man, and scribe of righteousness:  come here and hear my voice. Go, say to the Watchers of heaven, who have sent you to pray for them ….

‘You being spiritual, holy, and living a life which is eternal, have polluted yourselves with women; have begotten in carnal blood … and have done as those who are flesh and blood do.  These however die and perish.  Therefore I have given them wives, that they might live with them; that sons might be born of them, and that this might be transacted upon earth.  But you, from the beginning were made spiritual, living a life which is eternal, and not subject to death in all the generations of the world.  Therefore I made not wives for you, because being spiritual, your dwelling is in heaven.

“Now the giants, who have been born of spirit and of flesh, shall call upon earth evil spirits, and on earth shall be their habitation.  Evil spirits shall proceed from their flesh, because they were created from above; from the holy Watchers was their beginning and primary foundation.  Evil spirits they shall be upon earth, and the spirits of the wicked shall they be called.  The habitation of the spirits of heaven shall be in heaven; but upon earth shall be the habitation of terrestrial spirits, who are born in earth (i.e. 1 Cor. 15:40). 

“The spirits of the giants shall be like clouds, which shall oppress, corrupt, fall, contend, and bruise upon earth.  They shall cause lamentation.  No food shall they eat; and they shall be thirsty; they shall be concealed, and those spirits shall rise up against the sons of men and against women; for they come forth (from them) … (i.e. Luke 4:33,36, Matthew 8:28-34).

“And as to the death of the giants –  wheresoever their spirits depart from their bodies, let their flesh, that which is perishable, be without judgment.  Thus shall they perish, until the day of the great consummation of the world.

“And now to the Watchers, who have sent you to pray for them, who in the beginning were in heaven, Say, ‘In heaven you have been; secret things however have not been manifested to you; yet have you known an immoral mystery.  And this you have related to women in the hardness of your heart, and by that mystery have women and mankind multiplied evil upon the earth (i.e. Jude 4,6,13).  Say to them: ‘Never therefore shall you obtain peace” (Enoch chapters 15, 16).

God says in Genesis 8 that he would not contend with man forever because he is mortal.  This means that men die.  During the time before the flood, men lived  nearly 1000 years, but after the judgment man’s days on earth would be about 80 years – a much shorter lifespan (Psalm 90:10).

God could not allow the fallen angels to remain on the earth.  They taught humanity things that they should not know … “teaching them sorcery, incantation, and the dividing of roots and trees” (Enoch 7:10).  They ‘devoured’ everything in their path

These (the Nephilim children) devoured all which the labor of men produced; until it became impossible to feed them; when they turned themselves against men, in order to devour them; and began to injure birds, beasts, reptiles, and fishes, to eat their flesh one after another, and to drink their blood” (Enoch 7:12-14).

In order to cleanse the the earth from its corruption,  God sent a flood to destroy all of mankind except Noah and his family. Noah’s family had a pure lineage; only Noah’s family had not be infected with the disgusting practices with the fallen angels.

As for the angels that left their heavenly realm, God put them in darkness and chains until the day of judgment.  “And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their own home—these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day” (Jude 6, Enoch 10:15).

What happened to the offspring, the Nephilim?  They didn’t have a home on earth as they weren’t fully human; they didn’t have a home in heaven as they weren’t fully spiritual.  They also weren’t the cause of the problem so God didn’t put them in chains.  According to Enoch, their physical flesh died without judgment, but spiritually they birthed evil spirits.  These spirits became known as wandering spirits that look for a ‘home’ to claim as their own such as a hollowed out turnip or pumpkin.   A more inviting ‘home’ for these evil spirits is taking possession of a human body making the person a ‘demoniac.’

There are evidences of Nephilim in the Scriptures after the flood.  They are called giants “whose stature is 300 cubits” which is about 200 yards or 600 feet (Genesis 6:4-6, Enoch 7:12,).  Note: the life span of man and the earth’s atmosphere changed after the flood, the size of the Nephilim also decreased exponentially.   Incidentally, the Ark that Noah built was also 300 cubits long!

In Numbers 13 is the account of the 12 spies going into the Promised Land.  Remember how the branch having a single cluster of grapes needed to be carried by two men on a pole?   The spies reported seeing Nephilim in the Land.  They described the same thing that Enoch described:  large people devouring the land and everyone in it.

“They said, ‘The land we explored devours those living in it.  All the people we saw there are of great size.  We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim).  We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them” (Numbers 13: 32-33).  From this we know that whenever we see the word,  Anakim, we know they are descendants of Nephilim.

Goliath, who was killed by David, was also a giant.  “A champion Goliath, who was from Gath, came out of the Philistine camp.  He was over nine feet tall…” (1 Samuel 17:4-5).   Second Samuel 17:16-22 also speaks of more descendants of Rapha who were Goliath’s brothers.  Three of their names are recorded in Scripture:  Ishbi-Benob, Saph, Goliath the gittite.  “These four were descendants of Rapha in Gath ….”  

Deuteronomy 3:11 speaks of Og the King of Bashan.  He was also a descendant of the Rephaites.    His bed was made of iron  more than 13 feet long and 6 feet wide.  The Rephaites are mentioned in Joshua 12:4, 13:12, 15:8, 17:15, 18:16; 2 Samuel 5:11, 22, 23:13; 1 Chronicles 11:15, 14:9, 20:4.

While the Israelites were in Egypt for 430 years, the Nephilim had time to proliferate. This puts a different perspective as to what was going on in Canaan and why the LORD had to raise up an army against these ‘beings’.  He wanted to remove the flesh of the Nephilim from the land He promised to Abraham even though their spirits remained along with the detestable practices they taught to the Canaanites. The LORD warned the Israelites about these detestable practices because he didn’t want them imitating them when they entered the land of the giants.   He wanted to rid the Promised Land of evil so His people would be blameless.

“Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft,  or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead.  Anyone who does these things is detestable to the LORD, and because of these detestable practices the LORD your God will drive out those nations before you.  You must be blameless before the LORD your God” (Deuteronomy 18:12-14).

Yeshua prophesies about the time of his return, “As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of man”  (Luke 17:36).  From Biblical evidence as well as the account from Enoch, it appears that the ‘days of Noah’ had enormous spiritual activity blending into the human race which was destructive to earth and humanity.  The people in the ‘days of Noah’ were not prepared for the spiritual warfare they encountered, but we are not in darkness; we have prophecies and the Commander of the LORD’s armies, Yeshua.

The gospels have a lot to say about Yeshua casting out evil spirits. In Mark 9 there is an  account of a young boy who had an evil spirit that threw him into convulsions.  When the spirit was rebuked by Yeshua as a ‘deaf and mute spirit’, it left the boy violently.  Later his disciples asked him about the spirit and why they couldn’t drive it out.  Yeshua responded, “This kind can come out only by prayer (and fasting).”  He didn’t suggest that the boy had an illness that needed medication, but an evil spirit that needed to be dealt with prayerfully.

Spiritual warfare is not against witches or sorcerers,  but against the powers and principalities that witches and sorcerers divine   The devil, a fallen angel himself, has quite creatively set up his own world with  evil spirits and, as the ‘god of this world, he has blinded the mind of unbelievers…’ (2 Corinthians 4:4).   Consequently, as believers we are commanded in Ephesians 6 to put on the armor of God so we can stand against the devil’s schemes in the day of evil.

Prayer is the most important part of our battle armor.  Keeping in touch with Commander Yeshua is key to being alerted to the battles that must be stood against.   Through the Spirit, Yeshua will reveal when to use our sword, when our breastplate is not on properly, when dents in our helmet are about to occur, when our belt needs to be tightened, when our feet need to be ready with a message of shalom, and when to raise our shield to protecting your fellow soldiers who are battling the same enemy and need support. (Read about one 22-year old soldier’s battle stand in New York City.)

“Finally, pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests, be alert, and always keep praying for all the saints” (Ephesians 6:13-18).

For those who have young children and are just learning about the evils of Halloween, it can be a difficult journey if you have already taken part in the ‘fun and sinful’ activities of darkness.  All you can do is continue to teach your children their identity is not in this world, but in the Messiah.  Always use Scripture to reinforce the Truth of the Word in their minds and it will eventually go into their hearts.

Teach them the truth about Halloween as appropriate to their understanding.  Use all of the visual aids of witches, skeletons, spider’s webs, black cats that are displayed everywhere through the entire month of October as examples of darkness and death in the world.   Don’t wait until the last minute to enlighten them to what is being represented around them.

Timothy was taught Scripture on his grandmother’s lap.   I’m sure she didn’t water down the Bible avoiding the ‘scary parts’  or make up silly stories using flowers, animals or vegetables to tell the ‘tales’.    She taught him the Truth using all of the Scriptures, including Enoch, which is why he grew into a wise young man.  Your goal is to raise a soldier who knows how to fight each battle that will come into their life.

“Dear friends, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good.  Anyone who does what is good is from God.  Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God” (3 John 1:11).

Take and make a stand against the enemy with your children.  Don’t be deceived,  what you sow, you will reap.  Alternatives, rationalizations and excuses about why you aren’t ‘really’  celebrating Halloween are the same as celebrating it.  Don’t be a double-minded believer.   Don’t let them do some things, but not others.  Don’t let them not buy a costume, but allow candy because it’s cheap.  Don’t tell them they can’t go to a haunted house, but allow them to go to a corn maze where a witch greets them!  Make the day (and the season) very black and white – not black and orange!

I write to you dear children … (1 John 2)

Children,  it is important that you obey your parents who are teaching you about the ways of God.  It is the right thing for you to do (Ephesians 6:1).  Though you may not like the rules, if you obey your parents without complaining or arguing, you will be protected from  evil. They are actually training you to grow into maturity so that you can learn to distinguish good from evil (Hebrews 5:14).  Through your obedience you will receive the incredible blessing of being a pure child of God.  You will become one of those shining stars in the universe that brings light to those in the darkness.

“Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God, without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like starts in the universe as you hold out the word of life …” (Philippians 2:14-15).

Children’s booklet

©2011 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing.

Hallowe’en Should Christians Be A Part?

by Albert James Dager

It’s that time of year when the world holds its festival to honor the powers of darkness – the time when stores stock up on all the goodies that children seek as they make their way from door to door with their wails of “Trick or treat.”  

Doting parents take pictures of them in their little costumes, dressed as witches, demons, monsters and their favorite media characters.  They no doubt think of how cute their kiddies look as they waddle about the neighborhood working their peculiar brand of blackmail.

Humor aside, it’s important that Christian parents consider the true meaning of this holiday called Hallowe’en.  Whether or not Christians should be a part of these festivities is a legitimate question.  It’s one among many concerning the affairs of the world and how they relate to God’s people.  If we are called to be holy and separated unto Him, we are to walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise (Ephesians 5:15).

It seems as if many Christians think that Hallowe’en is an outgrowth of Christian tradition honoring the saints of the Church.  While the name and most recent influences of this holiday appear to be Christian (the name means the evening before All Hallows, or All Saints’ Day), most of its customs are remnants of ancient pagan superstitions connected with the Druidic new year.  It was a joint festival known as Samhain (or, Sowein), held in honor of their sun god and their Lord of the Dead.

Common to new year festivals around the world, to the Druids this was a time when the dead came back to mingle among the living.  the Celts believed that the sinful souls of  those who had died during the year had been transferred to the bodies of animals.  Through gifts and sacrifices their sins could be expiated and the souls freed to claim a heavenly reward.  The Lord of the Dead judged the souls and decreed the form in which their existence was to continue, whether as humans or animals.

Some modern witches claim the day as a time to give thanks to their great goddess and god for their abundance in harvest.  As the start of the pagan new year, Hallowe’en is the time they also invoke the help of spirits for the coming year, since the veil between the dead and the living is believed to be at its thinnest.

“CHRISTIAN INFLUENCE”

The reason some Christians associate Hallowe’en with Christianity is that in the eighth century, Pope Gregory III had the Roman Catholic festival honoring the dead moved to November 1.  Then, in the ninth century, Pope Gregory IV decreed that the day was to be universally observed by the Roman Catholic Church which, at that time, held the greatest influence among the Christian populous because of its political strength.  In reality, then, Hallowe’en was at first a pagan festival which  was later converted into a Roman Catholic festival.  During the Middle Ages, the even of All Saints’ Day became known as the time most favored by witches, sorcerers, and devil worshippers.

It should be stated here that not all witches are Satanists, since they believe that Satan is a fabrication of the Christian faith.   Today’s witches in the Celtic tradition adhere to “wicca,” a form of witchcraft that worships nature.  Satanism is a form of witchcraft which invokes the powers of Satan specifically, and whose traditions and practices are in many cases similar to those of wicca.  To both forms of witchcraft Hallowe’en is their most sacred day of the year.

PHYSICAL & SPIRITUAL DANGERS

The physical dangers that Hallowe’en presents to children are easily recognizable.  There are plenty of warnings on radio, television and in other mass media outlets of what to beware of in the way of contaminated food, how to dress to avoid the hazards of fire and to be easily seen at night, as well as what to give children to offset the aches in their little tummies from gorging themselves on too many sweets.

“…it’s only in fun and the kids don’t know the difference anyway.”

The physical dangers of Hallowe’en are minimal, however, when compared to the spiritual dangers.  Whether Christians should allow their children to join in the festivities has been a hot issue for some time.  The common argument in favor of their doing so is that it’s only fun and the kids don’t know the difference anyway.

And that’s the problem:  It’s all in fun and they don’t know the difference.  When we engage in celebrations that are tributes to Satan and pagan gods, either we are failing to acknowledge the reality of those demonic forces and their influence in the world, or we think they’re something with which we can align ourselves and not be affected.

The argument that Hallowe’en isn’t what it was originally doesn’t hold up in view of the fact that even today witches observe that day as a celebration of their fall harvest festival in honor of their pagan gods.  On that day Satanists continue to engage in all sorts of perversions including animal and human sacrifices.  Whether we believe in these things or not, the traditions linked to Hallowe’en carry evil connotations, and the fact remains that it’s still a feast of Satan, and its practices must be exposed for the evil they represent.

TRICK OR TREAT

The modern custom of going from door to door begging candy, nuts, apples, and pennies while masked and dressed in grotesque costumes goes back to the pagan new year’s feast.  The spirits that were thought to throng about the houses of the living were greeted with banquet-laden tables.  At the end of the feast, masked and costumed villagers, representing the souls of the dead, paraded to the outskirts of town leading the spirits away.  This was done to avoid any calamities the dead might bring upon them should they not be provided for.  Were the living to fail in their provisions they might find their lives disrupted by such things as having their livestock die, their milk turn sour, their food spoil, or whatever other mischief the spirits of the dead might devise.

This appeasement of the spirits was celebrated in various ways according to locale and custom, with minor differences.  One way to appease the dead was to set out bowls of fruit and other treats so they could partake of them and, once satisfied, they would leave in peace.  Your child, when he goes door to door in the ritual of “trick or treat,” is reenacting that ancient superstition.

JACK – O – LANTERNS

The jack-o-lantern (also known as will-o-the-wisp, fox fire, fairie fire, friar’s lantern, and corpse lantern, among other things) was believed to be a wandering soul which could not find refuge in either Heaven or Hell because of a particularly evil deed committed in its lifetime.  Some believed it to be a malignant imp.  The Finns believed that it was the soul of a child buried in the forest.

According to ancient folklore from many places, a will-o-the-wisp wanders about swamp areas, enticing victims to follow.  Should a person succumb to curiosity to follow the light of this spirit, he may become hopelessly lost or led to his death in a bog or pool.  There are also tales of these mischievous spirits chasing terrified victims through mud and brambles until confused, and then leaving them stranded with the sound of mocking laughter ringing in their ears.  today’s leering pumpkin face is symbolic of that mocking spirit.

A corpse candle is said to be a small flame moving through the air in the dark and is believed by the superstitious to be an omen of the observer’s imminent death, or the death of a loved one.  These strange fires, thought by the more rational to originate from the atmospheric ignition of swamp gases, were also known as “Ignun Fastuus,” or “Foolish Fire,” because only a fool would follow them.

BONFIRES

Most everyone is familiar with the Hallowe’en bonfire which had its origins in the Celtic fire festivals that had specific purposes in ancient pagan superstition.

In North Wales every family built a bonfire into which each member would throw a stone he had marked with his own identification.  The family would recite prayers to their gods while gathered around the fire.  Should a stone be missing when they returned to the site the next morning, it was believed that the owner of that particular stone would die within the coming year.  A similar belief existed in the Scottish Highlands, and many forms of fortune telling would accompany the festivities.  This is probably because the Celtic new year provided a suitable time for predicting the future due to the closeness of the spirits.  Even today during this time of year, modern “mystics” fill the newspapers with their predictions for the next year.

It is believed that the bonfires were first meant to provide light and heat to compensate for the feeble sun during the darkening and chilling period of winter.  On this particular night all the people would extinguish their fires at home and congregate at a great community bonfire consecrated through sacred rites during the fire festival.  In order to receive fire for the next year it was necessary to engage in pagan rituals, many of which included human and animal sacrifices to the gods of nature.

BLACK CATS & OTHER TALISMANS

Witches of many persuasions own living talismans – animals indwelt by evil spirits through which they derive their power.  Common talismans are dogs, owls, snakes, and swine, but among the most common are cats.  The witches invoke the familiar spirits to enter the bodies of their talismans for the exorcising of dark powers.

The black cat in particular has come to symbolize these familiar spirits because black represents evil, death, and darkness, commodities with which evil spirits are obsessed.

THE UNHOLY MADE HOLY?

The other trappings of Hallowe’en are all steeped in magic and the occultic practices of ancient civilizations.  With the advent of Christianity, rationalizations were given to these practices in order to make them palatable to the Church, while providing for appeasement of pagans forced to become “Christians” or lose their lives at the hands of the Roman clergy.

One variation on trick-or-treat, for example, was for children to go around on the eve of All Souls’ Day (the day following All Saints’ Day) offering to fast for the departed souls of loved ones in exchange for money or some other offering.

Like so many pagan festivals that were conveniently adapted for Christian usage, Hallowe’en is today accepted as Christian in origin and practice.  But the darkness that permeated the minds of those within the Roman Church at that time resulted in the taking of that which was consecrated to Satan and the pagan gods of nature, and offering them to God.  We have numerous Scriptures that tell us such a practice is an abomination to God, punishable by death.  That’s how much God detests such practices, regardless of whom one says they honor.

Jeremiah the prophet wrote: “Learn not the way of the heathen” (Jeremiah 10:2).

Lest those “under grace” think this doesn’t apply to the present, I remind them of Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 6:14-18:

“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness?  And what communion hath light with darkness?  And what concord hath Christ with Belial?  Or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?  And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols?  For ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.  Wherefore come out from among them, and touch not the unclean thing: and I will receive you.  and I will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.”

To engage in revelry associated with such an anti-Christ festivity as Hallowe’en is a slap in our Lord’s face.  Yet because of “vain traditions,” Christian parents, and even some churches, go all out to make Hallowe’en a special time of celebration.  Some churches and Christian organizations even go public with “haunted” houses designed to scare the wits out of people for profit in order to finance their programs.  Yet God says that He has not given us a spirit of fear, but of love and power and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7).

Is it suitable for the body of Christ to embrace the symbols of Satan for any cause, and, for the excuse of “fun,” induce fear in people?   How easy it is to become oppressed by evil spirits if we don’t keep our guard up and continue in the peace and joy of Christ, but instead allow ourselves to indulge our sense in momentary pleasures revolving around Satan and his dominion.

There is nothing on this earth, least of all some bits and pieces of candy, which can justify embracing Satan in his unholy day’s celebrations.  Yet the Church has accepted so many things of this world because of ignorance or tradition.  Hallowe’en has captivated the minds of Christian children and adults alike to the detriment of their spiritual lives for too long.  It’s time that pastors and teachers take responsibility to educate their flocks to God’s requirement of holiness for His people.

ALTERNATIVES

As pastors and teachers have responsibility of educating parents, the responsibility of educating children in the commandments of God weighs heavily upon the shoulders of parents.  But no more so in this age or society than in ages past.  The difference is that today children rule many homes, Christian and non-Christian alike.  For that reason compromise is the easy way out for parents who, thinking they are showing love by acquiescence, are really destroying their children’s spiritual life.  No matter what the evil, parents are forever searching for alternatives in order that their children not feel deprived of the world’s fun.  When it comes to Hallowe’en, Christians decided to substitute their own parties for the  world’s.  Instead of calling their festivities “Hallowe’en parties,” they call them “Harvest Festivals” and dress them in biblical costumes.  But that’s what Hallowe’en is: a harvest festival.  And many children wear biblical costumes for Hallowe’en anyway, so what the difference except in the compromise of their minds?  You can be sure that to most children it’s still Hallowe’en that they’re celebrating.

It is a religious spirit that persuades Christians that, by substituting angel costumes for witch costumes they are somehow pleasing God.  His Word calls for total separation, not compromise.

It isn’t going to traumatize children if they aren’t allowed to join in somethings just because “everyone else is doing it.”  It’s the responsibility of Christian parents to teach their children the Truth from the beginning; not wait until they’ve been sufficiently infected by the world that they must be deprogrammed at a later date.

Children who are taught to love Jesus will understand that, because of that love, they shouldn’t have anything to do with  a celebration that glorifies the power of God’s enemies.  Even if they rebel and, for a time reject the Truth, parents can trust God’s promise: “TRAIN up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6).  If parents will be faithful in their responsibility to bring their children up in the knowledge of God’s righteousness He will keep His hand upon their children and will guide them back to the Truth.

On the other hand, Jesus’ warning in Matthew 18:6 applies no less to parents and the Church leaders than to child molesters and abusers:  “…whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.”

There is an alternative to Hallowe’en: Christians should gather together in a special service to wage spiritual warfare against the powers of darkness that are particularly active that evening due to the prevalence of the world’s involvement with them, whether knowingly or not.  A church service which educates Christians to these and other dangers, and which continues in worship, praise, and prayer against demonic influences in the community is an idea whose time has come.

And the longer the services lasts through the evening, from sundown to midnight if possible, the more we’ll display to God our seriousness wanting to stand for His righteousness to reign in the hearts of our fellow citizens.

This is no trivial matter.  Satan is alive, and souls are being lost in great numbers daily.  But so, too, is God alive.  And He is working His plan of redemption.  If we want to be a part of that plan and, just as importantly, if Christian parents want their children to be a part of that plan, we must once and for all let God have His way at any expense.

That is a tremendous responsibility; hardly worth sacrificing on the altars of worldly pleasure.

©1986 Media spotlight, Costa Mesa, CA Used with Permission