– by Dr. Peter Hammond

“Test all things; hold fast to what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.” 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22

Day of Death
Halloween has strong roots in paganism and witchcraft. It began as the Druid festival of Samhain. The Celts considered November 1st the day of death, because, in the Northern hemisphere, this was the beginning of winter, the leaves were falling, it was getting darker earlier, and temperatures were dropping. They believed that their sun god was losing strength and Samhain, the lord of death, was overpowering the sun god. The druids also taught that on 31 October, on the eve of the feast, Samhain assembled the spirits of all who had died during the previous year to return to their former home to visit the living.

Human and Animal Sacrifices
On Halloween, for thousands of years, druid priests have conducted diabolical worship ceremonies in which cats, horses, sheep, oxen, human beings and other offerings were rounded up, stuffed into wicca cages and burned to death. These human and animal sacrifices were apparently required to appease Samhain and keep the spirits from harming them.

Trick or Treat
To obtain these sacrifices, druid priests would go from house to house asking for fatted calves, black sheep and human beings. Those who gave were promised prosperity, and those who refused to give were threatened and cursed. This is the origin of “trick or treat.”

Jack-O-Lantern
The Jack-O-Lantern has its origin in the candle-lit pumpkin or skull, which served as a signal to mark those farms and homes that supported the druids’ religion, and thus were seeking the “treat” when the terror of Halloween began. The World Book Encyclopaedia says: “The apparently harmless lighted pumpkin face of the Jack-O-Lantern is an ancient symbol of a damned soul.”

Dance of Death
While people and animals were screaming in agony, being burnt to death, the druids and their followers would dress in costumes made of animal skins and heads. They would dance, chant and jump through the flames in the hope of warding off evil spirits.

The Word of God
“When you come into the land, which the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord…” Deuteronomy 18:9-14

Participating in Paganism
Instead of participating in paganism, walking with Wicca, being in harmony with Halloween, having our children celebrate cruelty, and dabbling in a day of death, we should focus our family and congregation on celebrating Reformation Day this 31 October.

“And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness but rather expose them.” Ephesians 5:11

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Dr. Peter Hammond is a Missionary, Bible Teacher and Author. Tel: 021-689-4480; email: mission@frontline.org.za; website: www.frontline.org.za.

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