- Religion and Philosophy
HALLOWEEN: Bizarre and Freaky Things are Really Out There!
Anytime we look into the "dark side" of the forces that are active in our world, we potentially "open doors" into the arena of Spiritual Warfare. Always be prepared - keep the WORD of GOD and Lord with you.
"Heavenly Father, we pray for your guidance and discernment as we strive to further understand the ways that your adversary works against us all. Keep your mighty hand with us Lord and send forth your ministering spirits to protect us at all times. We rebuke all evil influences and bind their spirits in your Holy name, through the blood of your son Jesus Christ and by the power of your Holy Spirit -AMEN"
Once upon a time in a galaxy, far, far away...
That's what it seems like to me sometimes when looking back at the many things I have actually and first-hand bore witness to and physically seen in the course of my life (and still survived). And I can tell you, that course was NOT a straight and narrow one. It was a winding path and very often was more like a roller coaster ride without seat belts! Sometimes it makes me feel ancient in my years (even though I am not), like I have seen and experienced more than what can normally be fit into one single person's lifetime (and I am not talking about reincarnation either--that's a whole other false doctrine issue).
The following article and accompanying story are not just about the historical aspects of "Halloween" and its relationship with the church, but also a very unique testimonial of faith, salvation and redemption, as can be personally attested to by myself, the author (Rev.Ted).
I am writing this HubPage for a member's question (SEE Side Bar) that was asked quite some time ago but was never answered by anyone (even by the person in was originally directed to) probably because of the open identity that they presented. It jogged a distant memory of mine however and with what the current season is, I stand strong enough in my faith to feel confident in responding.
I was raised Christian (Episcopal) and had been around various friend's families growing up that were of the Jewish faith, Italian Catholic, and Greek Orthodox religions, so I had experienced a variety of people and cultures before even reaching my early adult life.
I was an avid explorer of science and philosophical matters, and even though I always had believed in our Lord Jesus Christ, I never truly got to "know" him until much later in life. I also avidly studied archaeology and anthropology at an early age became a "junior expert", and because "religion" had never really answered all the questions for me, I also dabbled in seeking more of the truth and an explanation for the bizarre and unexplained phenomena that exists, both in the historical past as well as the present modern-day world. There were just too many unanswered questions at the time and I became fascinated by topics such as the mythology of different cultures, UFOlogy, the paranormal sciences, and even metaphysics. I still considered myself a "Christian" however in fundamental faith and beliefs and remained a regular "church goer".
I understand and believe now (more than ever) that God has a plan and purpose for all of us and all things, both good and evil, that somehow fits into and ultimately serves His greater glory, and His will for the outcome of ALL events; past, present, and future to come.
"Your faithfulness continues through all generations; you established the earth, and it endures. Your laws endure to this day, for all things serve you. If your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction." (Psalm 119:90-92 NIV)
It is because of my belief and faith in these things, that I also can now understand that the things I HAVE SEEN and can now bear witness to, were for the purpose of providing an expert testimony that serves our Lord's will in glorifying Him. That is why I am now sharing the following story especially with the upcoming "Halloween" events that are normally celebrated around this time of the year. This is one of the few select times that I have told this story in its entirety, but "something" told me to open the door.
"You are my witnesses", declares the LORD, "and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me. I, even I, am the LORD, and apart from me there is no savior. I have revealed and saved and proclaimed- I, and not some foreign god among you. You are my witnesses," declares the LORD, "that I am God." (Isaiah 43:10-12 NIV)
I would also like to add that when "opening a door" to such subjects, we should do so with caution, careful prayer and firm faith, because the power of the spoken word (like the Word of God) or as in prayers and curses, does have a real effect in the material world we live in. Therefore, we should be very cautious of what words we speak and what doors are opened, because it works both ways.
"For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart." (Hebrews 4:12 NIV)
"All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
HALLOWEEN - Night of the Dead
Halloween (Hallowe'en or All Hallow's Eve) is an annual holiday observed on October 31, primarily in the United States, Canada, Ireland, and the United Kingdom. It has roots in the Gaelic festival of Samhain and the Christian holiday All Saints' Day, but is largely a secular celebration today.
Samhain is derived from the "Old Irish" (and I am of Irish descent) or Gaelic customs meaning "summer's end". It was basically a fall harvest festival that had its ancient roots in Celtic polytheism (worship of "many" gods). It was also linked to festivals held around the same time and was consistent in other Celtic cultures, which were predominantly Pagan or "Druidic" in their system of beliefs. The festival continued to be celebrated well into the late medieval times and due to its time of the year it later became associated with the Christian festival "All Saints' Day", and thus greatly influenced the modern-day celebration of Halloween.
The Gaelic custom of wearing costumes and masks, was an attempt to emulate the spirits or placate them. They were impersonated by young men wearing masked, with veiled or blackened faces, and dressed in white. This is where the customary "masquerade" practices have come from. Not to mention that what may have been originally started in modern times as innocent costume-party-type celebrations, has now evolved to become an over commercialized event (similar to what has happened to Christmas) that promotes a celebration with an emphasis on witches, spirits and death (NOT pertaining to Christmas in that last regard).
"The man that wandereth out of the way of understanding shall remain in the congregation of the dead." (Proverbs 21:16 KJV)
La Calavera Catrina
"Festival of the Dead"?
Hallowe'en was traditionally celebrated over the course of several days and many scholars believe that it was the beginning of the Celtic calendar year. It also has some elements of a "festival of the dead", which is held by many cultures throughout the world, and the "Day of the Dead" celebrated by many Latin Christian-Catholic societies. These festivals all honor and recognize deceased family members and other patriarchs of the community. The Gaels believed that the border between this world and the "netherworld" became thin on Samhain; because some animals and plants were dying in the fall season, and it was believed that this allowed the dead to reach back through the veil that separated them from the living. Bonfires played a large part in these festivals and people with their livestock would often walk between two bonfires as a "cleansing ritual", and then the bones of slaughtered livestock were also cast into its flames, which of course is more of a Pagan sacrificial practice as well.
Traditionally, this also was a time of the year to take stock of the herds and grain supplies, and to decide which animals would need to be slaughtered in order for the people and livestock to survive the winter. That custom is still observed today by many who farm and raise livestock because since the freeze has come, it is when meat is best kept in storage and also because free foraging on the grasslands is no longer possible. Even though this may sound innocent enough, it is these type of rituals and ceremonial practice that are still Pagan in origin none-the-less.
For more great information on the biblical aspects of the observance of Halloween,
SEE "einron's" Hub @: http://hubpages.com/hub/halloweenapaganrite
Ghost Festivals & Moon Deities
Even on the other side of the world, there is the Buddhist holiday or "Ghost Festival" and a similar Chinese "Qingming Festival" or "Ancestors Day" celebrated in the spring, all off which are intended to honor the dead, but likewise involve a dedication ritual involving statuettes and offerings for altars attributed to them.
"Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;..." (Exodus 20:3-5 KJV)
It should be understood that most of the Pagan belief system is simply built around observing nature and survival in the natural environment. However, it is in the practice of "honoring" nature in this way that makes it go against God's laws and scripture. Most of these festivals are built around the lunar cycles and the lunar calendar because many cultures studied it intently with regard to the changing seasons of the year and as a result, held a great respect and awe for the moon. This connection with the moon however is also rooted in Pagan worship, which of course the moon (as in the various "moon goddesses" or "Al-ilah" the moon god, for example) represented traditional major deities in Pagan beliefs. Many cultures and religions today still hold remnants from these ancestrial roots in Pagan worship.
"Old World" vs."New World" Beliefs and Customs
Christian attitudes towards Halloween are quite diverse. In the Anglican Church, some dioceses have chosen to emphasize the tradition of All Saints’ Day, while some other Protestants celebrate the holiday as Reformation Day, a day to remember the Protestant Reformation. Throughout the history of the early Christian church it was quite common to replace Pagan holidays and festival observances with Christian "religious" days during that same time, that were in honor of a certain Saint or event in the church's history. This was done specifically in an attempt to lure the "common folk" away from their traditional cultural practices and into celebrating a more "Christianized" type of holiday or festival as a replacement. This in itself is very close to a form of "idolatry" (and I am being fair in that remark) and is considered by many to have been the wrong approach to the situation, versus educating people more clearly on actual scripture and the understanding of Jesus Christ as our savior and redeemer, as a method to have people converted from Paganism instead. Of course in the "Dark Ages" and the later reformation periods, there was plague, famine, and common people were dirt poor, destitute, ignorant and illiterate, so I guess "desperate times call for desperate measures", OR the "ends justify the means"; and all that other garbage applied to them.
"Thou hast forsaken me, saith the LORD, thou art gone backward: therefore will I stretch out my hand against thee, and destroy thee; I am weary with repenting." (Jeremiah 15:6 KJV)
Keep in mind also, that once the observance of "holy days" and the acknowledgement of the persons or events they represent, including the edification of statues and monuments that symbolize the same, becomes even vaguely like a form of worship (regardless of the religion) then it has no doubt crossed the line into violating our Lord God's primary commandments: "...No OTHER gods before me."
I know that many people (especially in our more modern and technological world) have simply forgotten the origin of many of these things and the aspects that they tend to represent, or have never been properly educated about them to begin with. Also to mention the fact that many "modern" and educated people just deny the existence of the spirit realm, the supernatural, and things of a more "mythological" nature all together to begin with. This however is just one more of the many ways that the enemy (Satan) builds his shroud of deceit and deception over the world, in our disbelieving that things of this nature can even exist, or in the apathy that many people have taken with respect to what we tend to tolerate or allow as "innocent" and "acceptable" practices in our modern culture and societies. By allowing the levels of tolerance to rise and the overall morality of society to decline, we then become just as guilty of the crime as the ones who actually perpetrate it.
"Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints. For certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord." (Jude 1:3-4 NIV)
This all now brings me to the point of my own personal testimony...
After my later "wild and crazy" high school senior days and then introduction into the "college life", which was a combination of simply having fun, partying and cramming for tests, I was "saved" somewhere in the midst of all that and reaquainted with the God of the Bible and Christ, but was never re-introduced into a proper Christian environment. I later met some of Jehovah's Witnesses and was refreshed to see that there was actually a "newer" revial going on in the understanding of scripture. They even had their own special Bible interpreted for them by the hand of god. A short time after that, I met and lived with some people of the Mormon faith and was thrilled to find out that there were some other more "modern" ways (with documentation?) of confirming the existence of Jesus Christ and His validity as being sent from God. It seemed to me that there was now a lot of "new" messages being sent out into the modern world based on the beliefs of our biblical ancestors. I was still sure however that god had to be some kind of "greater being" that was above all these things that we knew and understood. It appeared as all of humanity had only found little pieces of the whole truth and there still had to be some form of "hybrid" out there, a method of understanding that brought together the sum total of all our beliefs as one system under this god and "supreme being".
I had in the mean time become an advocate of preserving nature as well. I enjoyed going out into the vast wilderness areas available for us to experience in the mid-western parts of my country (USA). I then met some Pagans (actually Wiccan) who became friends and roomates, that likewise seemed to believe in a revival of god. They incorporated the use of many "natural arts" that were all in reverance to nature. At the end of the school semester, we decided to move a little more north and be closer to the wilderness lands. There we camped a lot during that summer and enjoyed the peace and harmony of the great outdoors. I ended up getting an apatment with two of the guys and we all gots jobs working in the local area doing various things.
One fellow later confided with me that he was a "White Warlock" and that the approaching time of year (fall season) was an important time in the celebration of nature. I had previously (by the time of college) also studied the martial arts and had been indoctrinated into "eastern" thinking as well. I knew there was "Karma" and a "Yin" and "Yang" or some equivalent, a flow of positive energy and negative energy in the cosmos which equated as translating into good and evil in our world. So I now had a full fledged "hybrid" thought process going on (still trying to better understand what "God" is) that was a combination of traditional Christendom, "new age" reasoning, other more modern neo-Christian faiths, eastern philosophy, and with a more liberal tolerance or attitude of "just live and let live", along a wish to have harmony towards our natural world and environment. Whew!
It was my understanding also at the time, that those who dabled in the "dark" arts were of the occult sciences and those that pursued the "light" were merely "gifted" with a renewed vision of living in harmony with all the natural elements. This all made good sense and explained many of the things I could not. So, what my roomate had claimed at that point seemed of no consequence really in comparison and when he suggested that I go with them to a few ceremonies and "observe", I chalked it up to my quest for "seeking more knowledge and truth". At first everything seemed like just another way of honoring our "creator". There were no really "wierd" things going on, no freaky costumes, animal sacrifices, or anything of that sort. They did however use props with a lot of astrologically based symbols and chant in an unusual language, which didn't seem much different than "speaking in tongues" to me at that time. Nothing out of the ordinary really ever happened either, in my "opinion" at that point.
As we moved into the month of October however that's when things changed a bit. My friend told me he was "up for a promotion" and that he had "been called". He said that in order to achieve this he had to observe certain "practices" and that there was "another" that was likewise up for this same promotion that he would have to contend with. I shrugged it all off for the most part and just kept to my own work. I noticed however that the closer we came to the end of the month, things just started feeling "funny" around our apartment. I started also having the feeling of "being watched" and frequently saw cats just hanging out around our place like newly adopted friends. He said that some of these were probably what were termed as "familiars" and were sent to spy on him by his intended opponent. He explained that people that practiced like he did, could bond with these animals and "see" though their eyes.
And the spirit of Egypt shall fail in the midst thereof; and I will destroy the counsel thereof: and they shall seek to the idols, and to the charmers, and to them that have familiar spirits, and to the wizards. (Isaiah 19:3 KJV)
A Night of Mystery and Magic
One night I was up late and went to the bathroom, and got one of those chills where all the hairs on your body feel like they've been electrified. Out of the corner of my eyes, I saw a pair of red eyes in the bathroom mirror, but as I turned they were gone. The next day my friend seemed a bit tense and said it was because that evening would be the "challenge" he'd been preparing for. I mentioned what I thought I had seen during the night and he looked a bit taken by the remark, but explained once again it was probably just the same "thing" as the cats. At that point I thought nothing more of it either. Then later, as I made dinner and was sitting down to watch television, my friend had drawn one of his "magic circles" out of powder on the floor in the living room, he had other items with rune markings on them placed in different places within the circle as well.
He would usually sit this way and pray in his gym shorts and this evening was no different. As he sat there and chanted for several minutes I just continued watching televsion. Then all of a sudden, he stopped and stood up with a concerned and somewhat frightened look. As he looked at me I saw welts rise up on the flesh of his chest almost instantaneously. They looked like "claw marks" forming a large "x" pattern that then began to slightly bleed. As he turned I noticed the same was on his back and then he just fell to his knees inside the circle he had drawn. Now this had gotten a little bizarre and even I was concerned. I helped him clean up the mess and noticed that his black candles had an odd odor to them. He explained that it was because human blood was actually mixed in with the wax when they made the candles. I asked him where do you even get candles like that? He said they were common but had to be specially made and could only be purchased at "special" stores. We then left the apartment and went out for a drink. While at the bar, he further confided with me: that his challenge was now over, the "other person" had won (he had lost), and that they would no longer be a threat to him (I think he really meant it was the other way around). He was upset however because he remarked that he had hoped to be a part of a special "coven" that presided over the people in the county we lived in. I don't remember completely, but I know it was around the weekend of "Halloween" or within a few days of it. The year was approximately 1980 and the town was just a small place in the middle of Wyoming (I'm being intentionally vague here).
"Bad Luck" turns into Good Directions
From there on, we seemed to have a run of nothing but "bad luck". I won't go into all the sorted details but I finally parted company with those people and went back down to Colorado where I returned to school. I never saw any of them again but for many months afterwards I kept getting the odd feeing that I was still being "watched". I would see glimpses of figures out of the corner of my eyes that would then vanish when I turned around. Sometimes even the shadows would just move in irregular ways.
This went on for some time longer until I finally ran into a few of the people that I had originally been "saved" and baptised with a year or so previously. Their travelling missionary group was already moving on again but they were at least able to pray over me for this bizarre chain of events that had occured. This time however, I was actually able to "plug-in" with a good group of faithful people locally. I received the right leadership and discipline that I required to continue on in proper faith with our Lord Jesus Christ.
"Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding." (Proverbs 9:6 KJV)
I soon finished off my schooling and then moved back east where other members of my family were already living. My uncle, who was attending the Seminary in Nashville at the time, had recently finshed a course on paganism and demonology. He confirmed with me what I expected at this point about these accounts and what I had witnessed. I was very fortunate to have Jesus Christ as my Lord and savior, and that because even though I was "away" from the flock, and being the good shepherd that He is, He had probably sent his Angels to watch over and protect me while I was astray. I now know that the lord will work many miracles through this story, which is only one of the many unusual things that I can now bear witness to, as a testimony for our Lord Jesus Christ.
“This is what the LORD says- your Redeemer, who formed you in the womb: I am the LORD, who has made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by myself, who foils the signs of false prophets and makes fools of diviners, who overthrows the learning of the wise and turns it into nonsense,...”
(Isaiah 44:24-25 NIV)
More Information and Testimony about Halloween and Paganism
SUMMARY and CONCLUSION
And by-the-way, since then in later years while in the process of gathering undercover information for a true Christian perspective, I had the opportunity to also speak with some very intelligent people of the Pegan and Wiccan belief (and I said intelligent but not "smart" as in Godly wisdom), who likewise practiced "the craft" and other arcane arts. They explained to me that basically the only difference between "White Magic" and "Black Magic", was in how it was evoked and/or the "intention" for which it was used. So in my conclusion and from a Biblical standpoint, this belief system is a LIE! They claim an association with either "the light" or "the dark" in practice and belief ONLY, but acknowledge that the source of the "power" just comes from "the universe" or nature in general (not from a distinct positive or negative source). Therefore, the origin and source of this "energy" for both "magics" are one and the same, so don't be fooled by some "new age" rant about it being either positive or negative energy. Likewise, according to my renewed Christ-based belief and understanding of scripture, it IS NOT "nature" or some form of "mother earth" (which are also Pagan polytheistic beliefs). I'll give you one guess as to where it comes from OR from whom... (and it's NOT God either)!
"Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world. You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world." (1 John 4:1-4 NIV)
So the point of all this is, that we should not take anything for granted. A lot of effort has been put forth to "hide" what some seemingly innocent festivals and practices in fact represent. Even more effort has gone into deluding people to believe things to be otherwise. Do not fall into the class of the naive, succumb to ignorance, or either be apathetic in regard to what DOES EXIST in the invisible spirit realm and what still occurs in our modern world today. We do have power and protection over these things through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit of God, and we are at war for the sake of all humanity!
"Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded." (James 4:7 NKJ)
And I DO NOT mean any of this as just a "strange story for the campfire" or to scare people about "Halloween" or the occult. I have only shared this story and its events a few times, but now that I am stronger in my faith and and fully convicted in my understanding and realtionship with our Lord God, I know that this tetimony is His tool by which he uses me to bear witness to others. It is meant to help raise the awareness of everyone out there, about what is going on right now and what season is at hand in the coming Kingdom of our Lord.
"And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof." (Romans 13:11-15 KJV)
It is important for us Christians to understand what we are up against and be fully aware of what is out there in the world, just "beneath our noses", in our own neighborhoods and backyards, and even most likely in plain sight. Many of these things we also just cannot see. There is another entire supernatural realm in which the Holy Spirit moves, the Angels administer to us, and of course in which the forces of the enemy likewise work diligently to hinder the efforts of the good and righteous.
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
(Ephesians 6:10-12 NIV)
SO - In Answer to that original HubPage member's question:
Get out while you still can! Save your life and seek ye the Lord... the one real and true King of kings and God above all others.
*And a NOTE: that "tyaonmyy66" apparently is MIA for several months and without a single hub being published. Hopefully they did not loose their "appointment for a promotion" as well.
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