Halloween - What You Do Not Know!
Halloween: Should believers in Yeshua/Jesus be participating in or having anything to do with Halloween? It always helps to make the “right” decisions when we have the “facts.” This is part of being a Berean. One who “test all things.” Believers in Yeshua/Jesus are to be Set-Apart [Holy] as He is Set-Apart. (1 Peter 1:16)
“Trick?” or “Treat?”
Americans spend $9 billion on Halloween each year. It is the second largest holiday, after Christmas. What is the true origin of Halloween? Is it harmless fun—or something much different? How did it become a common practice? Should you observe Halloween?
Trick or treat! When said by children, these three words bring back a flood of childhood memories to most adults. Memories of masquerading as vampires, ghosts, witches, ghouls, monsters and fairies. Memories of canvassing the neighborhood, going door to door, shouting those three little words, and watching their bags fill up with all sorts of candies, apples, nuts and other goodies. Memories of parades, parties and playing “tricks,” like soaping the neighbors’ windows, “decorating” their trees with toilet tissue, or playing “baseball” with their roadside mailboxes.
Yes, hearing the words “trick or treat” from little children can cause adults to wish they were kids again.
“After all,” one might reason, “what’s so wrong with Halloween?” Most believe that it is just another harmless childhood indulgence—much the way they view Christmas and birthday parties. Many wonder, “What’s so wrong with having a little fun?”
Besides teaching children that it is alright to beg for something instead of earning it through work, and also turning them into extortionists (“trick or treat” essentially means “give me a treat or I’ll play a trick on you”), Halloween—its spooky costumes, scary jack-o-lanterns, juvenile tricks and colorful parades—may look like clean, innocent fun. But its traditions, customs and practices are rooted in a past far darker, far more sinister and far more demonic than you may realize.
Where did Halloween actually come from? How did it originate? How did it get to be so widely observed, especially in the United States? And what does YHWH think about it? Does He view Halloween as clean innocent fun?
To find the answers, we must look into the history of Halloween. We will see that it is filled with pagan customs, masquerading as Christian traditions!
Let’s begin with the ancient Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago, in what is now Ireland, Great Britain and Northern France. The Celts were pagan nature worshippers who had many gods, including the sun, which they believed commanded their work and rest times. They believed the sun maintained the earth and kept it beautiful, and caused their crops to grow.
The Celts observed their new year on November 1, which marked the end of the harvest and summer (“the season of the sun”), as well as the beginning of the cold, dark winter ahead (“the season of darkness and cold”).
From October 31 to November 2, the Celts celebrated a 48-hour festival, the Vigil of Samhain (pronounced “sow-in”). They believed that Samhain, the pagan lord of the dead, assembled the souls of those who had died during the previous year and decided what form they would take for the next year. The souls would either pass on to human bodies or would be condemned to live within animals (the most evil of the bad souls or spirits would take the form of cats). Hoping to coax Samhain into giving lighter sentences, the Celtic worshippers tried to bribe him with gifts and prayers.
The Encyclopedia Britannica says the following: “Samhain (Celtic: ‘End of Summer’), one of the most important and sinister calendar festivals of the Celtic year. At Samhain, held on November 1, the world of the gods was believed to be made visible to mankind, and the gods played many tricks on their mortal worshippers; it was a time fraught with danger, charged with fear, and full of supernatural episodes. Sacrifices and propitiations of every kind were thought to be vital, for without them the Celts believed they could not prevail over the perils of the season or counteract the activities of the deities. Samhain was an important precursor to Halloween.”
On the night of October 31, the eve of the new year, the Celts, after harvesting their crops and storing them for the coming winter, began their festival. First, they extinguished the cooking fires in their homes. Then the Druids (Celtic priests) met on hilltops in the dark oak forests (they viewed oak trees as sacred), and built huge sacred bonfires to frighten away evil spirits and to honor the sun god. Next, the people would burn crop and animal sacrifices to their gods, dancing around the fires as the “season of the sun” passed and the “season of darkness” began. The Celts wore costumes of animal heads and skins, and told each other their fortunes. The next morning, they re-lit their cooking fires from the sacred bonfires, in order to free them from evil spirits—as well as to help protect them during the coming winter season.
“In ancient Britain and Ireland, the Celtic festival of Samhain eve was observed on October 31, at the end of summer. (It) was the occasion for one of the ancient fire festivals when huge bonfires were set on hilltops to frighten away evil spirits…The souls of the dead were thought to revisit their homes on this day, and the autumnal festival acquired sinister significance, with ghosts, witches, hobgoblins, black cats, fairies, and demons of all kinds said to be roaming about. In addition, Halloween was thought to be the most favorable time for divinations concerning marriage, luck, health, and death” (Encyclopedia Britannica).
Who Is the “Lord of the Dead”?
Now what about Samhain, the so-called lord of the dead? YHWH tells us about “…him who had the power of death, that is, the devil” (Hebrews 2:14). Satan the devil was lord, or master, of the dead! The ancient Celts, who thought they were serving YHWH, were deceived into worshiping the god of this world, who is the father of lies and religious deception. We will see that this same being stands behind the modern-day festival of Samhain (Galatians 4:8; Revelation 12:9; 2 Corinthians 4:4; John 8:44).
We have established that Satan once had the power over death—but he does not anymore. So who is the lord of the dead today? At this point, we need to briefly consider several scriptures.
Notice Matthew 22:31-32, where Yeshua/Jesus answers the Sadducees concerning the resurrection. “But concerning the resurrection of the dead, have you not read that which was spoken to you by God, saying, ‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob?’ God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.” Since the patriarchs are dead and God is only the God of the living—the dead do not serve God (Psalm 6:5, 115:17)—then there must be a resurrection from the dead so that they might live and serve Him.
But in order to make the resurrection possible, “Christ died and rose and lived again, that He might be Lord of both the dead and the living” (Romans 14:9). Christ became the Lord and Master of the dead through His resurrection, and gained the keys of the grave and death (Revelation 1:18). Yeshua/Jesus Christ will resurrect the dead back to life so that they will serve Him and YHWH the Father in the soon-coming world tomorrow.
As the Encyclopedia Britannica states, “[The festival of] Samhain was an important precursor to Halloween.” So far, Halloween’s origins do not seem so innocent.
And Then Came the Romans
During the first century, the Roman Empire invaded Ireland and the British Isles, conquering most of Celtic territory. The Romans ruled over them for hundreds of years, influencing Celtic and Anglo-Saxon customs and traditions. During this time period, two Roman festivals mixed in with the Celts’ festival of Samhain—Feralia and Pomona Day. Several American cities bear the pagan name Pomona, thereby unwittingly endorsing “Pomona Day.” There are 14 cities in America that are named Pomona (1) Washington State (2) Virginia (3) Texas (4) Tennessee (5) North Carolina (6) New York (7) New Jersey (8) Missouri (9) Michigan (10) Maryland (11) Kansas (12) Illinois (13) Georgia (14) California.
Feralia, which was held on February 21, was a Roman holiday designed to honor the dead, but essentially amounted to mass drunkenness and orgies, not unlike the other Roman holidays.
Pomona Day, celebrated on November 1, was a festival held in honor of Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruit, trees and fertility. Her sacred symbol was the apple.
Over the next three centuries, the customs of the festival of Samhain mixed with the practices of Feralia and Pomona Day. That is, until they were “white-washed” and “cleansed” by another religious power.
Next Came the Catholic Church
During the first, second and third centuries, all professing Christians—both true and false—suffered periodic persecution from the Roman Empire, which viewed any form of Christianity as an illegal religion. But in A.D. 313, that changed for some. The Roman Catholic Church—which began with the sorcerer Simon Magus, who is mentioned in chapter eight of the Book of Acts—found favor in the eyes of Emperor Constantine. (To learn more, read the book Where Is the True Church? – and Its Incredible History!) For the first time in the history of the Roman Empire, the pope, now backed by Roman civil authority, had free reign to determine what was “Christian”—and what was not.
Throughout the early years of the Catholic Church, worshippers observed special anniversaries for martyrs who had been executed for their beliefs. Soon there weren’t enough days in the calendar year to dedicate a specific day for each individual martyr, so the Catholics observed one feast day for all martyrs.
“In the fourth century, neighboring dioceses began to interchange feasts, to transfer relics, to divide them, and to join in a common feast; as is shown by the invitation of St. Basil of Caesarea (A.D. 397) to the bishops of the province of Pontus. Frequently groups of martyrs suffered on the same day, which naturally led to a joint commemoration…[T]he number of martyrs became so great that a separate day could not be assigned to each. But the Church, feeling that every martyr should be venerated, appointed a common day for all” (Catholic Encyclopedia).
So the Catholic Church, with the backing of the government, decided to “white-wash” a Roman holiday. Tired of admonishing the Romans for engaging in drunken revelries as an excuse to honor the dead (and desiring more converts), Pope Boniface IV, in A.D. 609, declared Feralia to be Christian. Instead of honoring all of the dead, they were now just to honor dead “saints.” Instead of drunken revelries, it would be a day of prayer and meditation. Instead of calling it Feralia, he changed it to All Saints’ Day. And he moved the date of its observance from February 21 to May 13. “Boniface IV, [on] 13 May, 609, or 610, consecrated the Pantheon in Rome to the Blessed Virgin and all the martyrs, ordering an anniversary” (Ibid.).
Then, Pope Gregory III, who reigned 731-741, “consecrated a chapel in the Basilica of St. Peter to all the saints and fixed the anniversary for 1 November” (Catholic Encyclopedia). He broadened “the festival [of All Saints’ Day] to include all saints as well as all martyrs” (Encyclopedia Britannica).
Meanwhile, the Celts were still observing the festival of Samhain in one form or another. The Catholic Church took note and Pope Gregory IV (827-844) attempted to replace it by moving All Saints’ Day from May 13 to November 1—the same day as Samhain—officially extending the festival to the entire church. All Saints’ Day became known as All Hallows Day, while October 31 became All Hallows Eve and, eventually, Halloween.
More Festival Changes
But the white-washing process was not finished. In A.D. 988, the Catholic Church instituted another day—All Souls’ Day—to commemorate “all the faithful departed, those baptized Christians who are believed to be in purgatory because they have died with guilt of lesser sins on their souls. It is celebrated on November 2. Roman Catholic doctrine holds that the prayers of the faithful on earth will help cleanse these souls in order to fit them for the vision of God in heaven…The date, which became practically universal before the end of the 13th century, was chosen to follow All Saints’ Day. Having celebrated the feast (All Saints’ Day) of all the members of the church who are believed to be in heaven, the church on earth turns, on the next day, to commemorate those souls believed to be suffering in purgatory” (Encyclopedia Britannica).
Now all of the souls of the dead had their own day of worship—saints, martyrs, and even lowly believers who were not worthy to be declared either saints or martyrs.
As with the festival of Samhain, the Catholic believers celebrated with huge bonfires, parades and costumes, masquerading as dead saints, angels and demons. Altogether, All Saints’ Eve (October 31), All Saints’ Day (November 1), and All Souls’ Day (November 2) combined into Hallowmas—mirroring the Celtic Vigil of Samhain! What was proclaimed Christian and clean and wholesome originated from drunken revelries, pagan superstitions and false doctrines dating back to the Garden of Eden.
The Hallowmas festival—and especially Halloween—was so popular that, in 1517, Martin Luther chose Halloween night to post his ninety-five theses on the door of the church in Wittenberg, Germany (which effectively started the Protestant Reformation). He picked this night because he understood that large crowds of people would be moving through the streets that evening!
Pagan Customs Come to America
As European immigrants began settling in the United States, while it was still in its infancy, they brought customs, traditions, superstitions and religious practices, including Halloween, from their homelands.
The biggest Halloween influence in America came with the millions of Irish settlers who immigrated to the U.S., after fleeing Ireland’s potato famine of 1846. Soon, Halloween, like Christmas, became a secular holiday for all. The day’s festivities included parades, parties, costumes, treats and mischief.
And so today’s Halloween customs (black cats, parades, dressing up as ghouls and witches, parties, bonfires, tricks and mischievous pranks)—which most people take for granted—point directly back to the Vigil of Samhain, the false lord of the dead, pagan Roman holidays filled with immoral revelries, and the Catholic Church’s Hallowmas.
In light of its historical pagan origin, can we honestly view Halloween as merely an innocent childhood indulgence? Is this the kind of tradition we want to pass on to our children?
Human nature will always argue, “Hold on, I don’t worship the sun or pray to some pagan ‘lord of the dead.’ I like Halloween because it’s fun. What’s wrong with that?”
What does YHWH think? How does He view Halloween?
Engulfed in False Doctrines
Let’s review. We have established that Halloween originated with the Celts, who worshiped nature—the creation—rather than the one true YHWH, who created nature and everything in it.
The apostle Paul wrote, “Because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed beasts and creeping things. Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the [creation] rather than the Creator” (Romans 1:21-25, NKJV throughout).
They had trusted the sun, as their god, to provide them with enough harvest crops to get them through the winter, rejecting YHWH as their Provider. “ ‘…do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?…do not worry, saying, “What shall we eat?” or…“What shall we wear?” For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you’ ” (Matthew 6:25-33).
They had put their trust in “sacred bonfires” to protect them from evil spirits, instead of trusting YHWH as their Protector. “The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised; So shall I be saved from my enemies…For by You I can run against a troop, and by my God I can leap over a wall. As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the LORD is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him. For who is God, except the LORD? And who is a rock, except our God?…It is God who avenges me, and subdues the peoples under me; He delivers me from my enemies. You also lift me up above those who rise against me; You have delivered me from the violent man” (Psalm 18:2-3, 29-31, 47-48).
The Celts believed in the immortality of the soul, a false doctrine Satan had taught man in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:1-5)—and has used to deceive the whole world ever since that time (Revelation 12:9).
He says Sin is the breaking of YHWH’s Law (1 John 3:4). “For the wages [what you earn] of sin is death” (Romans 6:23), not eternal life, as most professing Christians falsely believe. Halloween sprang from direct opposition to YHWH’s truth.
Notice what YHWH says about pagan customs, traditions, practices and beliefs in general: “Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. For the customs of the people are vain” (Jeremiah 10:2-3, KJV).
YHWH took a nation of slaves, Israel, and He freed them from their cruel Egyptian masters. Leading them out of Egypt, He commanded them, saying, “According to the doings of the land of Egypt, where you dwelt, you shall not do; and according to the doings of the land of Canaan, where I am bringing you, you shall not do; nor shall you walk in their ordinances” (Leviticus 18:3). YHWH ordered the Israelites not to defile themselves with the practices and customs of the surrounding nations (vs. 24-29). “Therefore you shall keep My ordinance, so that you do not commit any of these abominable customs which were committed before you, and that you do not defile yourselves by them: I am the LORD your God” (vs. 30).
YHWH gave Israel His laws, statutes and judgments. He gave them a way of life completely alien to mankind; a way that, if kept diligently and from the heart, will produce peace, joy, and prosperity—every good thing that He wants to abundantly share with all of humanity (John 10:10). YHWH told the Israelites that they would be blessed beyond human imagination if they carefully kept His laws (Leviticus 26:3-13). And that they would be greatly cursed if they rejected Him and replaced His ways with pagan customs, practices and traditions—no matter how innocent or harmless they seemed (vs. 14-39).
Yet, despite YHWH’s warnings, Israel would not listen. Even after YHWH had sent them servant after servant, throughout their turbulent history, they still would not repent and whole-heartedly turn to Him. “And the LORD God of their fathers sent warnings to them by His messengers, rising up early and sending them, because He had compassion on His people and on His dwelling place. But they mocked the messengers of God, despised His words, and scoffed at His prophets” (2 Chronicles 36:15-16). Because of their spiritual adultery and affinity for pagan practices, calling them holy when YHWH calls them profane (Ezekiel 22:26), YHWH had no choice but to punish Israel. And, unfortunately, the modern-day descendants of Israel—the United States, Canada, Britain, Australia, Israel, and others—will very soon be severely punished for failing to discern what is holy from what is profane (Jeremiah 30:4-7; Ezekiel 24:13-14).
The one true Mighty One/God—the Creator, Teacher, Lawgiver and Judge—does not take pagan practices lightly!
Satan Blinds the World
Most people do not believe that Satan the Devil exists—and that best suits his game plan. His goal is to keep the people of his world, his society, blind to his lies and deceits (2 Corinthians 4:4; Revelation 12:9). He even uses false ministers, who seem to be ministers of light, but they are in reality Satan’s ministers of darkness.
Paul wrote, “And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness” (2 Corinthians 11:14-15). Satan wants us to be so wrapped up in the customs and practices of this world—his world—that when presented with the plain truth about Halloween, we will shrug our shoulders and say, “I’m just celebrating it to have fun—what’s the big deal?”
Throughout mankind’s turbulent history, Satan has always managed to find a way to separate man from YHWH (Isaiah 59:1-3) by tempting him into various sins and false ideas that may seem right—that may seem innocent and harmless—but they are in direct opposition to YHWH! Jeremiah said, “O LORD, I know the way of man is not in himself; it is not in man who walks to direct his own steps” (10:23), and “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” (17:9). Even when the Roman Catholic Church attempted to gloss over strange pagan practices of the Celts and Romans, it introduced its own false, Satanic doctrines, passing them off as Christian. Halloween is riddled with deceit and falsehoods.
Yet, even after all the historical evidence and biblical insights are brought to light, there will still be those who continue to view Halloween as just another harmless childhood practice. Nothing will convince them otherwise. Like a gleaming, white-washed tomb (Matthew 23:27), Halloween may sparkle on the surface, but in YHWH’s eyes, it is filled with every spiritually unclean and filthy thing imaginable, a foul stench to His nostrils (Isaiah 65:5).
No man or religious organization has the power to “white-wash” Halloween and declare it to be Christian. YHWH has unmasked Halloween and other pagan practices and He sees it for exactly what it is!
ORIGINS OF HALLOWEEN CUSTOMS
Below is a list of widely-held customs and their ancient roots:
Mischief-making, playing tricks: Celts believed that the ghosts of the dead who returned to earth on the night of Oct. 31 caused trouble and damaged crops; they also believed that their gods played tricks on them.
Black cats: Celts believed that bad spirits would take the form of cats and other animals on the night of Oct. 31.
Costumes: Celts (and other Europeans) wore masks when they left their homes after dark to avoid being recognized by ghosts who might mistake them for fellow spirits. “Guisers” dressed up to impersonate the returning dead, singing and dancing to keep evil spirits away. Catholics dressed up as saints, angels and devils during Hallowmas.
“Trick or treat”: Prior to the Protestant Reformation, women and girls went “souling,” visiting houses and begging for “soul cakes.” Seventeenth-century Irish peasants went door to door asking for donations for a feast to honor St. Columba (whom they believed had replaced the Lord of the Dead). Up until the early 1900s, the Irish went about asking for contributions in the name of “Muck Olla,” a legendary, gigantic boar.
Bonfires: Druids built sacred bonfires to frighten off evil spirits on Oct. 31, eve of the new year. Worshippers used them to burn animal and crop offerings to their sun god; they also rekindled their cooking fires to protect their homes from evil spirits. The Scots built bonfires, called Samhnagan, not for Samhain, but for Halloween merry-making and as a defiant welcome to the coming winter. The Catholic Church continued with the bonfire tradition on All Souls’ Day, Nov. 2.
Fruits, nuts and other goodies: Handing out fruits and nuts may have originated from Pomona Day, named for the Roman goddess of fruits, trees, gardens, harvests and fertility. Later used for divination games.
Apple-bobbing, apple-ducking: May have come from Pomona Day; the Romans viewed the apple as a sacred symbol of their goddess Pomona. Apple-ducking was a divination game used to predict future love and marriage; for example, if a girl peeled an apple in front of a mirror in a room lighted by a candle, an apparition of her future husband would appear behind her in a mirror. Also, apple-ducking represented soul symbols (apples) in the Cauldron of Regeneration (the water), similar to the lord of the dead gathering dead souls to regenerate those who had been condemned to inhabit animals for the past year.
Parades, parties: The Scots, Celts and Welsh built bonfires for parading, dancing and merry-making; the Celts did so, wearing costumes made from animal skins and heads. The Scots assembled marriage-minded young people for divination games. Europeans who migrated to America brought with them “play parties” and public events to celebrate the harvest, as well as telling ghost stories and pulling pranks.
Jack-o’-lantern: The name may have come from a night watchman. In the British Isles, turnips and rutabagas were commonly used; pumpkins are the American tradition. In Britain, people hollowed out turnips and placed candles inside them to make food offerings to the dead; later on, they were posted just outside homes to keep away evil spirits.
Sources: Encyclopedia Britannica; “History Channel Exhibits: The History of Halloween” (www.historychannel.com/exhibits/halloween/hallowmas.html); “The History of Halloween” (www.auburn.edu/~willik5/halloween.html)
Halloween Is a Demonic Festival Honoring Baal
“He gathers for himself all nations and collects as his own all peoples”
“Behold, his soul is puffed up; it is not upright within him”
People in Africa understand the spiritual world. People in the West have been deceived to believe the spiritual world does not exist. This is not true. The demonic spiritual world is desperately active today--the latter days. They KNOW their time is now short. The West celebrates Halloween and in doing so actually honors Baal. The prophet Habakkuk told us in the latter days a beast like spirit that wanted to be God and would “gather for himself all nations.” This is the Revelation beast Baal, released from the Abyss to give a false story of Jesus to Mohammad. The false story became the Qur’an. Habakkuk 2: 2-5 (ESV) And the Lord answered me: “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it. For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay. “Behold, his soul is puffed up; it is not upright within him, but the righteous shall live by his faith. “Moreover, wine is a traitor, an arrogant man who is never at rest. His greed is as wide as Sheol; like death he has never enough. He gathers for himself all nations and collects as his own all peoples.” Halloween started as the Druid festival called Samhain. Halloween (Samhain) is the chief demonic festival set up by the Druids to worship Baal--who the Druids called “Bel.” This is the same demonic spirit worshipped by Muslims as Allah, the Greeks as Zeus, and the Romans as Jupiter, as well as the chief Hindu God called Shiva.
The Druids, Wiccans and Muslims all worship Baal. They all have the universal symbol of Baal-the crescent moon. Among the Druids, Bel was the name given to the Supreme, the meaning of which is “He that is.” To the Druids the name also means, “I am all that has been, is, or shall be.” [ “I AM” ] Baal is the Man of Lawlessness, the spirit of the antichrist, that fight the truth of Jesus Christ. Satan and Baal lost at the cross and had to come up with lies about Jesus.
Muslims, Druids and Wiccans all have the same symbol for the demonic spirit they worship-the crescent moon. This is the ancient symbol of Baal. Mohammad did not “invent” Islam. Mohammad could not read or write (see Zechariah 11:15-17). Mohammad is the “worthless shepherd” with the “bad eye” and “bad arm.” Islam came from the spirit (the “lawless one”) that was revealed to Mohammad.
Jesus said a false Revelation would come into the world. Jesus said this some 550 years before the Qur’an was given to Mohammad.
Revelation 22:18 (NIV)
I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll.
Revelation 22:19 (NIV)
And if anyone takes words away from this scroll of prophecy, God will take away from that person any share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in this scroll.
THE QUR’AN IS NOT THE FINAL REVELATION. JESUS WARNED US.
Jesus is returning soon.
The truth is Jesus is the Son of God, died for our sins, and is the only path to the Father and eternal life.
Revelation 14:11-12 (NIV)
“And the smoke of their torment will rise for ever and ever. There will be no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and its image, or for anyone who receives the mark of its name.” This calls for patient endurance on the part of the people of God who keep his commands and remain faithful to Jesus.
Revelation is directly from Jesus Christ. It is the most important book in the Bible for the world today.
THE ORIGIN OF HALLOWEEN
by Gerhard O. Marx
The Plain Truth October 1967
What about this strange festival? What have goblins, witches and ghosts to do with this feast of All Hallows Eve? And why the demoniacal masks and gaudy decorations?
EACH YEAR millions around the world observe the strangest of all festivals, Hallowe’en -- All Hallows Evening. Especially so in Great Britain, Scandinavia and the United States. Every autumn, young and old alike anticipate its revels. It’s a night of frolicking fun and frivolous foolishness. All kinds of nonsense and superstitions are associated with this festival.
On the eve of this night children dress in outrageous costumes and put on witch-like masks. Then they are turned loose to frighten or otherwise induce people into giving them food items and other gifts. Millions are familiar with the “trick-or-treat” threat associated with Hallowe’en. Buildings are desecrated, windows broken and other fooleries are resorted to.
WHY do so many keep Hallowe’en? What useful purpose does such a celebration fulfill in this “enlightened” scientific twentieth century? [Now the twenty-first century] What purpose did it ever serve? Is it merely a harmless celebration to amuse our children? It’s about time we checked into this observance to see WHERE and WHEN it really originated and FOR WHAT PURPOSE it was established.
You may not have realized it, but the ancient pre-Christian Druids in Britain, the pagan Romans and Greeks, and even the Babylonians, among others, kept a Hallowe’en festival.
Yes, Hallowe’en long antedates Christianity! It was only later introduced into the professing Christian world -- centuries AFTER the death of the Apostles.
Notice! “The earliest Hallowe’en celebrations [in Britain] were held by the Druids in honour of Samhain, Lord of the Dead, whose festival fell on November 1” (see Halloween Through Twenty Centuries, by Ralph Linton, p. 4). “It is clearly a RELIC OF PAGAN TIMES”! (The Book of Days, Chambers, v. 2, p. 519.)
Further, “It was a Druidical belief that on the eve of this festival Saman, lord of death, called together the wicked spirits that within the past 12 months had been condemned to inhabit the bodies of animals” (Enc. Brit., 11th ed., v. 12, pp.857-8). Read what this November celebration was like! It was a pagan belief that on one night of the year the souls of the dead return to their original homes, there to be entertained with food. If food and shelter were not provided, these spirits, it was believed, would cast spells and cause havoc towards those failing to fulfill their requests. “It was the night for the universal walking about of all sorts of spirits, airies, and ghosts, all of whom had liberty on that night” (Highland Superstitions, Alexander Macgregor, p. 44). Literal sacrifices were offered on this night to the spirits of the dead, when, so the belief went, they visited their earthly haunts and their friends.
There was a reason why November was chosen for that particular event. The Celts and other Northern people considered the beginning of November as their New Year.
This was the time when the leaves were falling and a general seasonal decay was taking place everywhere. Thus, it was a fitting time, so they reasoned, for the commemoration of the dead. Since the Northern nations at that time began their day in the evening, the eve leading up to November 1st was the beginning of the festival.
According to the Roman calendar it was the evening October 31 -- hence, Hallowe’en -- the evening of All Hallows.
Hallowe’en, or “All Souls Eve,” was kept throughout the ancient pagan world. The observance was widespread. “There was a prevailing belief AMONG ALL NATIONS that at death the souls of good men were taken possession of by good spirits and carried to paradise; but the souls of wicked men were left to wander in the space between the earth and moon, or consigned to the unseen world. These wandering spirits were in the habit of HAUNTING THE LIVING ... BUT THERE WERE MEANS BY WHICH THESE GHOSTS MIGHT BE EXORCISED” (Folklore, James Napier, p. 11).
To exorcise these ghosts, that is, to free yourself from their supposed evil sway, you would have to set out food and provide shelter for them during the night. If they were satisfied with your offerings, it was believed they would leave you in peace. If not, they were believed to cast an evil spell on you. “In Wales it was firmly believed that on All Hallows Eve the spirit of a departed person was to be seen at midnight on every crossroad and every stile” (Folklore and Folk-Stories of Wales, Marie Trevelyan, p. 254).
In Cambodia people used to chant: “O all you our ancestors, who are departed, deign to come and eat what we have prepared for you, and to bless your posterity and to make it happy” (Notice sur le Cambodge, Paris 1875, E. Aymonièr, p. 59).
This sort of Hallowe’en festival was strenuously observed throughout the non-Christian world. Pagans would pray to their false gods to prevent “DEMONS” and “witches” from molesting them. Notice! “The Miatecs of Mexico believed that the souls of the dead came back in the twelfth month of the year, WHICH CORRESPONDED TO OUR NOVEMBER. On this day of All Souls the houses were decked out to welcome the spirits. Jars of food and drink were set on a table in the principal room, and the family went out with the torches to meet the ghosts and invite them to enter. Then, returning to the house they knelt around the table, and with their eyes bent on the ground, prayed the souls to accept the offerings” (Adonis, Frazer, p. 244).
This, then, is the way the heathen world celebrated their Hallowe’en, their “All Souls Day.” Although some aspects of the Hallowe’en festival varied with each country, the overall pattern and purpose remained the same.
But how did the professing Christian world come to accept and keep such a day? Here is what you, probably, haven’t been told. In 607 A.D. the Roman Emperor Phocus defeated the Barbarians who were in control of Rome. The Pantheon in Rome, a pagan edifice which had been wrested from the barbarians, was given to Pope Boniface IV. Originally, Emperor Hadrian built the Pantheon -- around 100 A.D. He dedicated it to the pagan goddess Cybele and to the other Roman deities. This temple became the central place in Rome where the pagans honored and commemorated their gods. With this splendid edifice now falling into the hands of professing Christians, the question was, “What should be done with it?”
The pagans had dedicated it to Cybele and all their gods. But the Roman bishop now CONSECRATED IT TO THE VIRGIN MARY AND ALL THE SAINTS of both sexes (see The Mysteries of All Nations, Grant, p. 120). Thus, this pagan building became “holy.” No more did the pagan Romans use this edifice to pray for their dead. It was now the professing Christians who employed the Pantheon in praying for their dead.
This re-dedication of the pagan temple to Mary and others occurred in 610 A.D. Now converted into a Christian shrine, an annual festival was instituted to commemorate the event. The day chosen was May 13.
This May 13 commemoration of the dead saints was known by the name of “All Saints Day.” It continued to be held in May for over two centuries -- until 834 A.D. In that year the NAME and the DATE WERE CHANGED. Notice! “The time of celebration was altered to the FIRST OF NOVEMBER, and it was then called ALL HALLOW” -- from where we get the name Hallowe’en, ALL HALLOW merely meaning ALL HOLY, and the “een” is a contraction of evening (Folklore, James Napier, p. 177).
Thus in 834 A.D. the Church in the Middle Ages began to celebrate Hallowe’en on the FIRST OF NOVEMBER for the first time. This was the very same day the Druids in Britain, the Norsemen in Scandinavia, and the pagan Germans among others were keeping their festival of ALL SOULS EVE, in commemoration of Saman, lord of death, and his demons.
Reason for Change
Why did the church change the date to November 1st, thus coinciding with the pagans’ feast of ALL SOULS? There is a reason!
It was a general practice of the restored Roman Empire, now professing Christianity, to “convert” the pagans within the empire as quickly and on as large a scale as possible. Changing dates of festivals often made it easier to influence newly conquered peoples.
Ever since the time of Constantine -- who made a state religion out of Christianity -- the Roman emperors realized how essential it was to have a UNIFIED empire, in which as many as possible would be of ONE MIND. The civil and religious leaders saw how important it was for the sake of unity to ALLOW ONLY ONE RELIGION within the restored Roman domain. It became therefore a stringent state policy to force all non-Christians to accept the new state religion. Here is how the plan was carried out.
Conversion of Germans
When the German Frankish king Charlemagne invaded and conquered parts of Eastern Germany, he compelled the conquered German king, Wittekind, to be baptized and to accept Christianity. Having no choice and seeing his life was at stake, this heathen ruler who knew little or nothing about Christ -- was forced into this “conversion.” And with him his entire people. This policy brought complex problems.
These pagans, who were usually baptized EN MASSE, were still pagans at heart.
Even though they became nominal Christians, they still yearned for many of their heathen practices, which they were expected to discard.
With Wittekind’s baptism, for example, a vast number of barbarians were suddenly added to the roll call of the church. Wittekind’s Germans, now professing Christians, and other conquered pagans, had a profound influence on the ecclesiastical affairs of the church in the early 800’s A. D. These barbaric and uncultured people brought with them many outright pagan practices and celebrations, Hallowe’en merely being one of many. They were fervent in clinging to their past ceremonies and observed them openly -- yet supposedly converted to Christianity. What was the church to do?
Excommunicate them and thus reduce her membership? This she would not do. Was she to force them into discarding their heathen practices and adopt Italian or Roman ones? This, as she had learned in past times, was not possible.
There remained only one other way. Let the recently converted pagans keep certain of their heathen festivals, such as Hallowe’en or All Souls Day -- but label it “Christian.” Of course, the Germans were asked not to pray to their ancient pagan gods on this day. They must now use this day to commemorate the death of the saints.
To make it easy for them, the Roman Church even CHANGED HER DATE of All Saints Day from May 13 to November 1st to satisfy the growing numbers of Germanic adherents. The Church understood the yearnings the Germans and others had for their old ways.
Throughout history, the Christian-professing world has resorted to this action. We have the theological explanation of this given to us by Pope Innocent. He refers to a heathen festival the pagans kept in the early part of the Roman Empire and explained how the professing Christian world should treat this day: “The heathen dedicated this month [2 Feb.] to the infernal gods ... In the beginning of this month the idolaters walked about the city with lighted candles, and as some of the holy fathers COULD NOT EXTIRPATE SUCH A CUSTOM, they ORDAINED that Christians should carry about candles IN HONOUR OF THE “VIRGIN MARY” (Folklore, James Napier, p. 181).
If a pagan practice or festival could not be forbidden, it was reasoned, “let it be tamed.” Thus, many were persuaded to TRANSFER devotion from their former gods to the Christian God. So, it was with the festival of ALL SOULS EVE. Notice this admission: “Thus, at the first promulgation of Christianity to the Gentile nations ... THEY COULD NOT BE PERSUADED TO RELINQUISH many of their superstitions, which, rather than forego altogether, they chose to blend and INCORPORATE with the new faith” (Popular Antiquities of Great Britain, John Brand, p. xi).
What About Our Time?
Now come down to the twentieth century [now the twenty-first century]. You’ll be surprised to what extent we have inherited pagan rites and ceremonies from our forefathers, so obvious in the celebration of Hallowe’en. Note this classic example. “In many Catholic countries the belief that the DEAD RETURN on this day is so strong, that food is left on the tables and people still decorate the graves of the dead [on this day]” (Dictionary of Folklore, Funk and Wagnalls, v. 1, p. 38).
In Protestant countries many pagan superstitious beliefs and practices have become an integral part of each year’s celebration.
In many parts of Britain, BONFIRES are set alight on the eve of Hallowe’en. Of course, fire has nothing to do with praying for dead saints. The original reason for the fire, however, was to frighten away witches and evil spirits on this night. Fire has always been an essential part of Hallowe’en in Great Britain.
You and Your Children
What about you and your children? What comes to your mind when thinking about Hallowe’en? The truth of the Bible? Not at all! Instead, weird and FRIGHTENING MASKS -- persons PORTRAYED AS WITCHES AND DEMONS. Pumpkins and turnips hollowed out in the shape of EERIE-LOOKING faces! Lighted candles are placed inside to help bring out the more frightful side of these carvings. Dough is baked into small figurines RESEMBLING WITCHES AND SPIDER’S WEB CAKES are baked by the dozen for this occasion. Children, dressed up in the most revolting garments, are let loose on the neighbors, trying to scare the daylights out of them.
Let’s be honest. I have before me the Good Housekeeping’s Book of Entertainment, which my wife picked up from the local library. On page 168 of this much-read book, there is a section on what to do on Hallowe’en. Notice the astonishing advice given!
“Halloween decorations are quite as important as the food. When planning them, remember that if the room is to be dimly lit (preferably by candle and FIRELIGHT) the decorations must be bold to be effective. Orange, black and red, THE DEVIL’S COLOURS, are the colours associated with Halloween and THIS SCHEME SHOULD BE CARRIED OUT as far as possible ... Have paper streamers and lanterns hanging from the ceiling, or, if you would like to have something less usual, you could make a giant SPIDER’S web with black and orange strings, or in narrow strips of crepe paper coming from the four corners of the room, complete with a LARGE SPIDER -- one of the DEVIL’S FAVOURITE FOLLOWERS.”
Notice where the stress lies! Read further of the black magic associated with this festival. “To decorate the walls, make large silhouettes of CATS, BATS, OWLS AND WITCHES ON BROOMSTICKS ... For the supper table small WITCHES WITH BROOMSTICKS can be made by using lollipops on 4-inch sticks.”
Weird lanterns, witch-balls, and witches’ cauldrons are some other objects, the book suggests, which must fit into the evening somehow. How pagan can you get?
NOWHERE does the Bible command us to observe Hallowe’en. Hallowe’en and other common festivals which people observe in the Christian-professing world have NO BIBLICAL BASIS.
They originated in paganism. The testimony of history stamps Hallowe’en as a HEATHEN festival. It’s built on a PAGAN FOUNDATION.
Your Bible warns: “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 3:11). Which is the BASIS of YOUR practice and belief?
Turn to Deuteronomy 12:29-31 and read God’s condemnation of Hallowe’en!
For further reading, please check out these links:
YHWH is very clear that He does NOT want those who belong to Him (believers in Yeshua/Jesus) to be doing what the heathen do. You are to be “Set-Apart [Holy].” A more relevant word would be “Dedicated.” Believers in Yeshua/Jesus are to be Dedicated to Him as He is to His children. DO NOT defile yourself by having anything to do with Halloween. This celebration is a stench in His nostrils.
Are YOU Holy/Dedicated to Him as He is to YOU?
“Do not learn the way of the [pagan] nations...”
(Jeremiah 10:2, Amplified Bible [AMP], emphasis added)
“You shall not do what is done in the land of Egypt where you lived, and you shall not do what is done in the land of Canaan where I am bringing you. You shall not follow their statutes (practices, customs).”
(Leviticus 18:3, Amplified Bible [AMP], emphasis added)
“beware that you are not lured (ensnared) into following them, after they have been destroyed before you, and that you do not inquire about their gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods, so that I too may do likewise?’ ”
(Deuteronomy 12:30, Amplified Bible [AMP], emphasis added)
“When you enter the land which the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not learn to imitate the detestable (repulsive) practices of those nations.”
(Deuteronomy 18:9, Amplified Bible [AMP], emphasis added)
“And you will know [without any doubt] that I am the Lord; for you have not walked in My statutes nor have you executed My ordinances, but you have acted in accordance with the ordinances of the nations around you.”
(Ezekiel 11:12, Amplified Bible [AMP], emphasis added)
“What comes into your mind will never happen, when you say, ‘We will be like the [pagan] nations, like the tribes of the [Gentile] countries, serving [idols made of] wood and stone.’ ”
(Ezekiel 20:32, Amplified Bible [AMP], emphasis added)
“So this I say, and solemnly affirm together with the Lord [as in His presence], that you must no longer live as the [unbelieving] Gentiles live, in the futility of their minds [and in the foolishness and emptiness of their souls],”
(Ephesians 4:17, Amplified Bible [AMP], emphasis added)
“For the time already past is [more than] enough for doing what the [unsaved] Gentiles like to do—[Literally having gone] living [unrestrained as you have done] in a course of [shameless] sensuality, lusts, drunkenness, carousing, drinking parties, and wanton idolatries.”
(1 Peter 4:3, Amplified Bible [AMP], emphasis added)
If you celebrate Halloween or have anything to do with it, you are slapping YHWH in the face and letting Him know that you know better and that you do not believe what He has said about this pagan practice. WOE be to all who have anything to do with Halloween.
I am One Crying In The Wilderness. Calling the Body of Yeshua/Jesus to repent and turn to Him and to do things His Way. Be Set-Apart (Holy/Dedicated) as He is Set-Apart.