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Our 2010 Series On The Halloween Celebration…

SIH ICONFor all the new followers of SIH blog…We previously posted a series on the Bible’s teachings concerning different aspects of the world’s celebration of the Halloween holiday.

Well worth the time to read/listen to the series.  It better helps us to understand our responsibility as Christians when we are invited to the season’s celebrations.  And be sure to answer the poll question at the end of part #1!

 

 Halloween Part #1 – The Celebration: http://wp.me/pU88A-8q

Halloween Part #2 – The Death Symbols Of Halloween: http://wp.me/pU88A-8G

Halloween Part #3 – The Sorcery Symbols: http://wp.me/pU88A-8V

Halloween Part #4 – The Necromancy Symbols: http://wp.me/pU88A-94

Halloween Part #5 – What Should Christians Do?: http://wp.me/pU88A-9b

Halloween Part #3 – The Sorcery Symbols

SIH STSTA ICONWith the Halloween holiday just around the corner, I thought it would be a good idea to take time to study the history and characters surrounding the holiday.

As Christians, we have the responsibility to…

“Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil.” (1Th 5:21-22)

So with this as our motive and the desire of our hearts, let’s look at part  3 of our 5 part series on Halloween:

A Study of The Halloween Celebration (All Hallows Eve)

  1. A Study of The Death Symbols – Skeletons, Ghosts, Jack O’ Lanterns, Frankenstein, Vampires, and Bats
  2. A Study of The Sorcery Symbols – Witches, Black Cats, Spiders, Werewolves, and Full Moons
  3. A Study of The Necromancy Symbols – Séances and Ouija Boards
  4. A Summary of Our Study On Halloween

May the Lord be glorified in our study….

THE SCRIPTURE:

There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee.(Deu 18:10-12)

Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign, and he reigned fifty and five years in Jerusalem: But did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, like unto the abominations of the heathen, whom the LORD had cast out before the children of Israel. For he built again the high places which Hezekiah his father had broken down, and he reared up altars for Baalim, and made groves, and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served them. Also he built altars in the house of the LORD, whereof the LORD had said, In Jerusalem shall my name be for ever. And he built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of the LORD. And he caused his children to pass through the fire in the valley of the son of Hinnom: also he observed times, and used enchantments, and used witchcraft, and dealt with a familiar spirit, and with wizards: he wrought much evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger.(2Ch 33:1-6)

If there be found among you, within any of thy gates which the LORD thy God giveth thee, man or woman, that hath wrought wickedness in the sight of the LORD thy God, in transgressing his covenant, And hath gone and served other gods, and worshipped them, either the sun, or moon, or any of the host of heaven, which I have not commanded; And it be told thee, and thou hast heard of it, and enquired diligently, and, behold, it be true, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought in Israel: Then shalt thou bring forth that man or that woman, which have committed that wicked thing, unto thy gates, even that man or that woman, and shalt stone them with stones, till they die.(Deu 17:2-5)

Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. (Exo 22:18)

THE STUDY:

The History of Black Cats, Witches, Spiders, Werewolves and Full Moons:

Black Cats & Witches – In ancient times, people believed that souls of the dead appeared as black cats.  The black cat was commonly used as an idol to worship the wiccan goddess Diana (the goddess of heaven and nature) There were some that believed that witches could change into black cats or that perhaps, they were reincarnated witches from a past lifetime. Others thought that cats were the “evil assistants” of witches who aided the witches in the casting of spells and other enchantments.

Witches were thought to have traveled on broomsticks to gather twice a year to honor and worship Satan (April 30 and Oct 31).

These beliefs made the witch and the black cat prime candidates to be included in the Halloween celebration.

http://www.suite101.com/content/black-cats-and-halloween-a162217

http://www.theholidayspot.com/halloween/witches.htm

 Spiders – It was believed that spiders hid in witches’ robes, and whispered instructions in witches’ ear. Also cobwebs are associated with places not frequented by life.  Cobwebs are signs of death and desertion.   Also many people share in the fear of spiders.  This all combines to a possible explanation why spiders have become a part of the Halloween festival.http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0EPG/is_1998_Nov_1/ai_53101480/

Werewolves & Full Moons  – Werewolves come out at night with the full moon.  Full moons are also related to witches, who are said to come out and play during full moons.  Many aspects of Satan worship takes place under the light of full moons.  The full moon was also an astronomical representation for Diana, the wiccan goddess.  Full Moons were also believed to enhance the power of spells and enchantments. http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/411347/halloween_moon_omens_a_look_at_whats.html

In many variations of the Werewolf legend, human beings had a spell cast upon them which resulted in them becoming werewolves. Te spells either come from Satan, or witches, desiring to use them to attack or kill others.  Also, it was believed that making a pact with the devil would give a human the ability to “shape shift” allowing them to transform into a werewolf. http://www.trueghosttales.com/werewolves.php

In all of the above Halloween symbols, a common thread is that of spells, enchantments, and acts of magic.  Again, lets ask the question, what does the Bible say about these things?

In our texts, and throughout the Bible, sorcery, witchcraft, or an enchanter or charmer was described as an “abomination” (disgusting and abhorred, something that must be put off).  In other words, the Lord says it disgusts Him, He is abhorred by it and cannot stand to have it near Him.

“…, or that useth divination,… or an enchanter, or a witch, Or a charmer, … or a wizard,… For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee.” (Deu 18:10-12)

“Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign, and he reigned fifty and five years in Jerusalem: But did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, like unto the abominations of the heathen,… he built altars for all the host of heaven … used enchantments, and used witchcraft, …and dealt with… wizards: he wrought much evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger.” (2Ch 33:1-6)

This was such a horrible sin, in Old Testament times, it was punishable by death…

“Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.” (Exo 22:18)

Also in our texts, the worship of the sun, moon or stars was an abomination punishable by death…

“…And hath gone and served other gods, and worshipped them, either the sun, or moon, or any of the host of heaven, which I have not commanded; … that such abomination is wrought in Israel: Then shalt thou bring forth that man or that woman, which have committed that wicked thing, unto thy gates, even that man or that woman, and shalt stone them with stones, till they die.”  (Deu 17:2-5)

These heinous crimes, are emphasized, when we think of how kind, gracious and loving our Lord is.  For the Lord, in the Old Testament, to demand capital punishment in response to these sins, speaks volumes about the wickedness and dangerous nature of these actions.

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION

For the Christian….

Do we feel uncomfortable about participating in a holiday that is so closely joined with these atrocious sins?  Although we all understand that taking part in the Halloween festival is not literally committing these sins, does it matter that these sins are symbolized by the holiday?

“….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 be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” (2Co 6:14-18)

For those who have never trusted in Christ…

There are many who have dabbled in the occult religions.  The Lord made it plain that these sins are grave, serious sins that will bring about eternal punishment.  However, the Lord also made it plain that these sins, if repented of, will be forgiven through the work of Christ on the cross.

For thy name’s sake, O LORD, pardon mine iniquity; for it is great. (Psa 25:11)

Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.  (Isa 1:18)

And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting. (1Ti 1:12-16)

 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord. (Rom 5:19-21)

For more information on the forgiveness of God for our sins please refer to my blog page “How To Have A Relationship With God…. Forgiveness… Salvation

Halloween Part #2 – The Death Symbols

SIH STSTA ICONWith the Halloween holiday just around the corner, I thought it would be a good idea to take time to study the history and characters surrounding the holiday.

As Christians, we have the responsibility to…

“Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil.” (1Th 5:21-22)

So with this as our motive and the desire of our hearts, let’s look at part 2 of our series on Halloween:

  1. A Study of The Halloween Celebration (All Hallows Eve)
  2. A Study of The Death Symbols – Skeletons, Ghosts, Jack O’ Lanterns, Frankenstein Vampires, and Bats
  3. A Study of The Sorcery Symbols – Witches, Black Cats, Spiders, Werewolves, and Full Moons
  4. A Study of The Necromancy Symbols – Séances and Ouija Boards
  5. A Summary of Our Study On Halloween

May the Lord be glorified in our study….

THE SCRIPTURE:

For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit. Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences. (2Co 5:1-11)

Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it. (Ecc 12:7)

According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not. For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you. (Php 1:20-24)

And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise. (Luk 23:42-43)

THE STUDY:

The History of Skeletons, Ghosts, Jack O’ Lanterns, Frankenstein, Vampires, and Bats:

Skeletons & Ghosts – Both were reminders of the death and the afterlife.  Keep in mind, the central theme of the Samhain eve festival was to honor and pacify the souls of the dead who walked upon the earth.  (Please refer to Halloween Part #1 – The Celebration)   The skeleton and the idea of ghosts were the ideal symbols for death.  The skeleton refers to a dead body; while a ghost refers to the spirit after its departure from the body at the time of death.

Jack O Lantern – Based on a legend about Jack, a lazy drunken farmer, who had trapped Satan with the use of a cross.  In exchange for his release Satan agrees to never take Jack’s soul.  At his death, Jack, who couldn’t enter heaven due to his sinfulness, nor could he enter hell due to his agreement with Satan, is trapped forever wandering the earth looking for a resting place.  He uses a hollowed out turnip with a burning coal in it to light his way.  This turnip that gave forth light was gradually changed to a pumpkin over time.

In some societies, the lighted pumpkin face was symbolic of the god of the darkness, Samhain, who would turn away other weaker evil spirits.  The people would place these pumpkins on display to ward off the evil spirits.

For more information about the history of Jack O Lanterns please refer to:  http://www.history.com/topics/jack-olantern-history

Frankenstein – The story of the Frankenstein monster was presented in a book by Mary Shelley, “The Modern Prometheus” or “Frankenstein”.  The tale of “Frankenstein,” revolves around Dr. Victor Frankenstein’s attempt to assemble a human body from parts derived from various dead bodies that were obtained from a graveyard.  Once assembled, Frankenstein then successfully brings the body to life. Over time, the monster demands to have a mate created by the Doctor.  After a failed attempt to create the mate, the monster rebels against the doctor. Dr. Frankenstein is forced to destroy his own creation.

The basic idea of this book was derived from a dream of Mrs. Shelley in 1815. In this dream, Mary saw her dead daughter suspended over a fire, warmed, and then brought back to life.

It is plain to see how easily the Frankenstein monster fits into the Halloween scheme.  Once again, we have the story of one who was once dead, possessing life and walking upon the earth.

http://www.thingsinthebasement.com/index.php/site/comments/the_history_of_the_frankenstein_monster/

http://www.phobos-deimos.com/History/Frankenstein/Frankenstein%20History.htm

Bats & Vampires – According to legend the Vampires, also know as “the living dead”, came out at night to feed upon the blood of their victims.  They soon became associated with bats due to the vampire bat of South America that came out at night, drank blood of animals to survive.

Most historians believe that both of these then became associated with Halloween due to their nighttime activity and their association with evil and death.

Vampires were ideal characters for Halloween due to their status as the living dead.

Bats, became associated with Halloween from their activity in ancient times. The druids would build fires to offer sacrifices and worship their false gods.  These fires would attract insects, who in turn would attract bats who feed off of them.  With the bats flying and congregating over the fires, they soon became associated with the spirits of the dead who were seeking a resting place.

http://www.hauntedbay.com/history/bat.shtml

All four of these groups of Halloween symbols share a common thread… death and restless spirits wandering on the earth.

What does the Bible say about the spirits of dead men walking the earth?

In our texts, the Bible makes it plain, that once a spirit departs from it’s earthly house (human body), the spirit goes into it’s eternal state:

“We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.”

“Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.”

“For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:”

“To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.” Note: this was spoken by Christ to the thief on the cross moments before His death.

This is one of the greatest of all Christian desires… that once we are done being used of God on earth, He will take us to our eternal home….

“For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven:”

“According to my earnest expectation and my hope,”

“For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”

“For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ;”

For those who are not saved, physical death and the accompanying entrance into the afterlife is a dreaded event.

“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men;”

There is not a shred of Scripture that indicates that once a spirit leaves a body the spirit continues on in the earth, not entering it’s eternal state.  This teaching is made to order for Satan to mislead the lost into thinking that there is a way to escape eternal punishment for sins.   And yet, the Bible is clear…. All lost mankind will be punished eternally for the sins they have committed.

“Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ. But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.” (Col 3:24-25)

“And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”(Rev 20:12-15)

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION

For the Christian….

Can we honestly say that we “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil.” (1Th 5:21-22) when we participate in the Halloween festival?  Please prayerfully, consider this question.

For those who have never trusted in Christ…

Remember, the Bible is plain…. After death we all must face a final judgment, answering for what we have done in our lives.  There is no escaping this.  If you realize you have committed sin and desire for to live your life for Him, then turn to Him realizing you can do nothing to save yourself.

The Lord gives us clear teaching on the way of salvation:

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.  (Joh 14:6)

Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. (Act 4:10-12)

For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: (1Pe 3:18)

 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.  (Rom 5:1-2)

Turn from your sins and come before the Lord, and trust only in Him for your salvation.

If you would like further information about salvation please refer to the page on my blog entitled “How to have a relationship with God”.

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May the Lord bless your study of His Word.  Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

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