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- October 31, 1999
Notice: Received via e-mail forward. Occasional misspellings appear to be OCR-type errors; perhaps scanned from a 'printed' original? It is posted here as received.
DISCLAIMER: posting of this article should not suggest a general endorsement of the author, his life, or other teachings; he is not known to this ministry personally. Please read this article for its own intrinsic value of what -it- presents via the words of the article.
Halloween, Innocent Fun and Games
or
Ancient Satan Worship?

By Pastor Steve Harmon Th.G., B.S., Th.M., Th.D.

History

The Celts and Druids:

The Celts lived more than 2,000 years ago in the area from Great Britain to Germany. The Celtic Vigil of Samhain, named after their God Samhain, the lord of the dead, is the source of the present day Halloween celebration. Their new year began on November 1. They believed that Samhain gathered all the souls of those who had died in the past year. These souls had been confined to the bodies of animals to atone for their sins. At the New Year, the sins of these departed souls were considered atoned, and they were freed to go to the Druid Heaven. Human beings and animals were sacrificed as part of the rites. The human sacrifices were usually criminals. They were locked in wicker and thatch cages which were set afire by priests to roast the victims alive. This practice continued until 61 A.D. when it was outlawed by the Roman government; the Romans had conquered the area in 43 A.D. After the outlawing of human sacrifice the Druids, Celtic priests, would put black cats into wicker cages and burned them. Cat sacrifices grew out of the conviction that these animals were the familiars of witches, perhaps even witches themselves. As late as 400 A.D. in Britain, horses were still being sacrificed at the feast of Samhain. Even after the Christians had taken over the pagan temples and consecrated them to the worship of the Christian God (in Britain), oxen continued to be sacrificed on Hallowmas, sometimes being led down the church aisle to the alter.

The Romans:

After Rome conquered Britain, two of their Roman festivals were combined with the Celtic Vigil of Samhain. The first of these is called Feralia, which was held in October to honor the dead. The other honored Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruit and trees. Apples probably became associated with Halloween because of this goddess.

The Catholics:

All Saints' or All Hallows' Day is November 1, which according to Jewish tradition starts at sundown on the evening before. This is a festival for the dead, it was made into a celebration of all the known and unknown saints and martyrs of the Catholic Church by Pope Boniface IV in the seventh century. It was originally celebrated on May 13, but was moved to November 1, by Gregory lIl in the eight century. It would seem consistent that the Catholic celebration for the dead would coincide with the Witch's or Occult celebration for the dead. All Saints' Day was followed by All-Souls' Day, November 2, unless that was a Sunday then it was November 3, this was another Catholic adaptation of pagan festivals for the dead. Prayers for the dead are an integral part of the traditional All Saint's Day services, which are scheduled in Catholic churches on November 1, and on the next Sunday. Halloween gets its name from the Catholic holiday, it is a Hallowed evening, because it precedes All Hallows' Day. Thus: Hallow'en.

The Irish in America:

In Ireland people begged for food in a parade that honored Muck Olla, the sun god. The leader of the parade wore a white robe and a mask made out of the head of an animal. In the 1840's large numbers of immigrants arrived in the United States from Ireland and Scotland, the customs of Halloween were introduced to the general public at that time. Until the 1840's Halloween was not much celebrated because of the strict biblical views of the fundamentalists in the United States.

Modern Halloween:

There has arisen a grave danger to the "trick-or-treator's." There are many reports of candies, marshmallows, apples, etc., having razor blades embedded in them, dope, articles of filth, etc. why should we allow our children to be subjected to this type of horror? Some children have been enticed into dens of dope pushers and sex maniacs on this dark night of mischief.

The Witches:

Modem witches celebrate eight main holidays, the most important of these is Samhain (Halloween). These celebrations include: 1. Oimelc- February 2. 2. Ostara (spring equinox) - March 21. 3. Beltane - April 30. 4. Summer solstice (the longest day of the year) - June 22. 5. Lughnasadh - July 31. 6. Autumn equinox - September 21 7. Samhain (Halloween) - October 31. 8. Winter solstice (the longest night of the year) - December 22.

Samhain is considered the most important because the veil between the world's of the living and the dead is at its thinnest point in the year, making communication easier. The souls of the dead are reported to come to the land of the living. The Internal Revenue Service has given tax exempt status to the church of Wicca (the official church of Witchcraft). Their financial gifts are tax deductible just as your tithes would be to this church!

Anton LeVey, Satanist:

Anton LeVey head of the worshippers of Satan, said that he was glad the Christian parents let their children worship the devil at least one night out of the year. This is something to make us think; is it not?

Customs

Costumes and masks:

The Druids adorned themselves in frightening masks to scare the evil spirits away and protect them from being snatched into the world of the dead. Archbishop of Canterbury, England set punishments for "those who goeth about in the masque of a stag of bull-calf ... those who by their craft raise storms ... sacrifice to demons ... consulteth soothsayers who divine by birds." The Roman Catholic church, staged many pageants, with their participants dressing up as patron saints and guardians. Those who did not play a part of a 'holy one' played the parts of devils. Their dressing in these costumes are considered and alternative history for the costuming of the trick-or-treator's.

Jack-o'-lantems:

An Irish man named Jack who was notorious for drunkenness and for being stingy, one evening at the local pub, was faced with the Devil, come to claim his soul. Jack convinced the devil to have a drink with him, then when time came to pay he asked the devil to turn into a gold coin for the price, he could later turn back and the drinks would have cost nothing. Jack took the coin and placed it in his pocket with a silver cross which kept the Devil from turning back into himself. When the Devil promised to leave Jack for another year, Jack released him. At the end of the year, as the Devil returned, Jack tricked him into climbing an apple tree for an apple. He quickly carved a cross in the tree so the Devil could not climb down. Jack finally let the Devil down after promising never to return for Jack's soul. Jack's body finally wore out and he went to the gates of Heaven, where he was refused entrance because of his stingy and drunken life. Jack proceed then to go to Hell where he was again refused entrance. Jack was then forced to walk the earth until judgment day with his only light a burning ember from Hell's fire caught in a tumip. In the United States the use of pumpkins replaced the Irish use of turnips and beets.

Trick-or-Treating:

Groups of pheasants, wearing masks, went from house to house, led by Lair Bhan (which means white mare) a leader wearing a white robe and a horse head (the horse was sacred, a symbol of fertility, to Muck Olla), went begging for money for which to buy luxuries for a feast. Also demanding that fatted calves and black sheep be prepared for the feast. These contributions were requested in the name of Muck Olla, the sun god of the Druids. Prosperity was assured liberal givers, and threats were voiced against those who were stingy.

Apple Bobbing:

Apples have long been a token of love and fertility. Early Hebrew women who wanted children washed themselves in water mixed with the sap of an apple tree. "Etemal Youth" was said to come to the Norse gods by the eating of apples.

What does the Bible say?

  1. God commanded those who practice witchcraft to die.

    Exodus 22:18 Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. Micah 5:12 And I will cut off witchcrafts out of thine hand; and thou shalt have no more soothsayers:

  2. You are defiled if you try to communicate with spirits.

    Leviticus 19:31 Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I am the LORD your God.

  3. God cuts you off from among the people if you turn to mediums for help.

    Leviticus 20:27 A man also or woman that hath a familiar spirit, or that is a wizard, shall surely be put to death: they shall stone them with stones: their blood shall be upon them.

  4. God commanded capital punishment for any who called up spirits.

    Leviticus 20:27 A man also or woman that hath a familiar spirit, or that is a wizard, shall surely be put to death: they shall stone them with stones: their blood shall be upon them. 2 Kings 23:24 Moreover the workers with familiar spirits, and the wizards, and the images, and the idols, and all the abominations that were spied in the land of Judah and in Jerusalem, did Josiah put away, that he might perform the words of the law which were written in the book that Hilkiah the priest found in the house of the LORD.

  5. God condemns witchcraft, fortune-telling, crystal reading, necromancy, astrology, and palmistry as part of spiritism.

    Deuteronomy 18:10-11 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. Joshua 13:22 Balaam also the son of Beor, the soothsayer, did the children of Israel slay with the sword among them that were slain by them.

  6. God destroyed the Canaanites for their back magic related practices.

    Deuteronomy 18:10-12 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.

  7. Saul likened rebellion to witchcraft, to show how serious it was.

    1 Samuel 15-23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.

  8. King Saul when, faithful to God cleared all the land of spiritual mediums.

    1 Samuel 28:3 Now Samuel was dead, and all Israel had lamented him, and buried him in Ramah, even in his own city. And Saul had put away those that had familiar spirits, and the wizards, out of the land.

  9. King Saul later sought a medium because his sin kept God from answering him.

    1 Samuel 28:6-7 And when Saul inquired of the LORD, the LORD answered him not, neither by dreams, nor by Urim, nor by prophets. Then said Saul unto his servants, Seek me a woman that hath a familiar spirit, that I may go to her, and inquire of her. And his servants said to him, Behold, there is a woman that hath a familiar spirit at Endor.

  10. God judged and killed Saul for his dealings of spiritism.

    1 Chronicle 10:13 So Saul died for his transgression which he committed against the LORD, even against the word of the LORD, which he kept not, and also for asking counsel of one that had a familiar spirit, to inquire of it;.

  11. Wicked King Manasseh's sins Included consulting with spirits, mediums, fortune tellers and sorcerers.

    2 Chronicles 33:6 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.

  12. God rejected Israel because they practiced magic and communicated with evil spirits.

    Isaiah 2:6 Therefore thou hast forsaken thy people the house of Jacob, because they be replenished from the east, and are soothsayers like the Philistines, and they please themselves in the children of strangers.

  13. It is insulting to God to consult the dead when you could Inquire of Him.

    Isaiah 8:19 And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead?

  14. A fortune teller may be possessed with devils.

    Acts 16:18 And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying: The same followed Paul and us, and Cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which show unto us the way of salvation. And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour.

  15. True Christians have nothing to do with black magic and its related practices.

    Acts 19:19 Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver.

  16. Sorcery is included in the works of the flesh listed in the Bible, and those who practice it cannot inherit the kingdom of God.

    Galatlana 5:19-21 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

  17. There is no place in Heaven for the practice of sorcery.

    Revelation 22:15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.

  18. Teachings of spiritism are doctrines of devils.

    1 Timothy 4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;

  19. The devils are subject to God's greater power and tremble before Him.

    James 2:19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

  20. The increased following of this spiritism is a sign of the end times and God's coming judgement.

    1 Timothy 4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;

  21. The Use of enchantments and witchcraft anger the LORD.

    Leviticus 19:26 Ye shall not eat any thing with the blood: neither shall ye use enchantment, nor observe times.

    Numbers 24:1 And when Balaam saw that it pleased the LORD to bless Israel, he went not, as at other times, to seek for enchantments, but he set his face toward the wilderness.

    2 Kings 17:17 And they caused their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire, and used divination and enchantments, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger.

    2 Kings 21:6 And he made his son pass through the fire, and observed times, and used enchantments, and dealt with familiar spirits and wizards: he wrought much wickedness in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger.

    2 Chronicles 33:6 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.

  22. God's people are always better than the devils.

    Daniel 1:20 And in all matters of wisdom and understanding, that the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm.

    Isaiah 47:12-15 Stand now with thine enchantments, and with the multitude of thy sorceries, wherein thou hast laboured from thy youth; if so be thou shalt be able to profit, if so be thou mayest prevail. Thou art wearied in the multitude of thy counsels. Let now the astrologers, the stargazers, the monthly prognosticators, stand up, and save thee from these things that shall come upon thee. Behold, they shall be as stubble; the fire shall bum them; they shall not deliver themselves from the power of the flame: there shall not be a coal to warm at, nor fire to sit before it. Thus shall they be unto thee with whom thou hast laboured, even thy merchants, from thy youth: they shall wander every one to his quarter; none shall save thee.

  23. There can be no peace as long as there is witchcrafts.

    2 Kings 9:22 And it came to pass, when Joram saw Jehu, that he said, Is it peace, Jehu? And he answered, What peace, so long as the whoredoms of thy mother Jezebel and her witchcrafts are so many? Nahum 3:4 Because of the multitude of the whoredoms of the wellfavoured harlot, the mistress of witchcrafts, that selleth nations through her whoredoms, and families through her witchcrafts.

Written in 1992

by: Steve Harmon
Maineville Baptist Church
57 East Foster-Maineville Road
Maineville, Ohio 45039
(513) 683-6708
E-Mail: drsteve@iglou.com



Bibliography

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Cohen, Hennig & Tristam Potter Coffin, Editors. "The Folklore of
American Holidays". Detroit, Michigan: Gale Research Company, 1987.

Dobler, Lavinia. "Customs and Holidays Around the World". New York,
New York: Fleet Publishing Corporation, [nd].

Cosman, Madeleine Pelner. "Medieval Holidays and Festivals". New York,
New York: Charles Scribners Sons, [nd].

"Encyclopedia Americana", International Edition. Danbury, Connecticut:
Grolier Incorporated, 1992.

Guiley, Rosemary Ellen. "The Encyclopedia of Witches and Witchcraft".
New York, New York: Facts of File, 1989.

Gwinn, Robert P., Chairman, Board of Directors. "The New Encyclopaedia
Britannica". Chicago, Illinois: Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc., 1991.

"Halloween & Witchcraft". Independent Baptist Voice September-October
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Hatch, Jane M. "The American Book of Days". New York, New York: The H.
W. Wilson Company, 1978.

Krythe, Maymie R. "All About American Holidays". New York, New York:
Harper & Row, Publishers, 1962.

Larson, Bob. "Should Christians Celebrate Halloween". Denver,
Colorado: Bob Larson Ministries, [nd].

Mossman, Jennifer, Editor. "Holidays and Anniversaries of the World".
Detroit, Michigan: Gale Research Company, 1990.

Myers, Robert J. "Celebrations - The Complete Book of American
Holidays". Chicago, Illinois: Doubleday & Company, 1972.

Phillips, Rob & Joan Hake Robie. "Halloween and Satanism". Lancaster,
Pennsylvania: Starburst Publishers, 1990.

Walsh, William S. "Curiosities of Popular Customs and of Rites,
Ceremonies, Observances, and Miscellaneous Antiquities". Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania: J. B. Lippincott Company, [nd].

"World Book Encyclopedia". Chicago, lilinois: World Book, Inc., 1991.

Dr. Steve Harmon, Pastor drsteve@iglou.com Maineville Baptist Church
57 E. Foster-Maineville Road Maineville, OH  45039 (513) 683-6708

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