2012 in review

January 6, 2013

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 4,400 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 7 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

Advertisements

Reality of Halloween. What ARE you Celebrating?

1 Peter 2:11-12 “Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.”

Your eternal home and allegiance is to God, not to man. While we spend this time on earth we are to honor our Lord, lead others to Him, and prepare for the day when we will finally stand with Him in Heaven. A popular item among Christians today is a little bracelet that had WWJD on it. Well, what would Jesus do? Would He dress up as a goblin or a ghost and go door to door yelling “Trick or Treat”? Would He, as an Orthodox Jew, smile at references of Witches and Familiars? Do you remember Jesus, even once, worshipping the dead? How is the Gospel promoted by the House of Horror? You may not like these questions, but as a Christian you should certainly ask them of yourself, and answer them honestly.  

Romans 13:12-14 “The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.”

There is a spiritual conflict going on all around us, Christians! We should be spreading the Gospel message, encouraging one another in spiritual growth, and not following after the world.The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.

Remember, too, as Strangers in this world there are many deceivers out there who do not have your welfare in mind. There are many out there that say, “It’s fine, it’s just a little harmless fun”. God’s Word warns us who are His children:

2 Corinthians 11:13-15 “For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.”

Which brings up the point: If the Bible doesn’t support it, how can we condone it? It’s time all believers stopped living on the edge of the old sinful life, and started living the new life that is their birthright in Christ. If the historical presentation of this study differs from what you were told, then are you released from making a Godly choice? Is the Scripture null and void because you disagree with this author? It’s your choice, believer. Be careful what you choose! Now, on with the study.
 

What Is Happy About Halloween?

Halloween originated from the witch and warlock religions of Britain, France, Germany, and the Celtic countries. The practicing witches, called druids, lived 100 years before the incarnation of Christ.

The celebration of “Hallow’s Eve” honored the pagan gods, particularly the lord of the dead. The celebration was held on the last day of October, the Eve of the Celtic New Year. On Hallow’s Eve the lord of the dead was supposed to call all of the wicked dead back from the prison of hell, and place them in lower animal bodies (dogs, cats, wolves, bats, etc.). The Celts felt that if they pleased this god with their worship, then he in turn would protect them from these resurrected demons.

Judaism and Christianity ignored Hallow’s Eve because of it’s Satanic overtones. The worship of Hallow’s Eve nearly died out until the reign of the Roman Emperor Hadrian (100 AD). He built a Temple of the Dead to appease the druids. The Temple gave the people a reason to start backing the festival again.

Rome went through a series of battles until Rome itself fell under barbarian conquerors. By 607 AD the Roman emperor Phocas recaptured the city. From the time Rome first fell until 607 AD, the Church of Christ had moved into Catholicism. Phocas wanted to insure the Rome remained a part of the Roman empire, so he gave the city to Pope Boniface IV. Boniface reconsecrated the Temple of the Dead, dedicating it to Mary, the “Mother of God”.

It was a long standing policy of the Catholic Church to avoid making religious waves among the pagans. The Catholics began to wrongly equate physical growth with spiritual growth, so they would modify Church doctrine in an attempt to make it more pleasing to the pagan. “Certainly”, the bishops reasoned, “If the pagan joins the Church, they will be converted to Christ in time”. Actually their tactic had the reverse effect, and the Church doctrine became more and more muddied by pagan influence. When the city of Rome was given to Boniface IV, he decided to allow worship of the lord of the dead to continue as long as the pagans joined the Church. The legacy of Boniface is that many Catholic Christians, even today, light candles and pray for the dead, just as the druids did nearly 1400 years ago. The Catholics, rather than praying to the lord of the dead, pray to Mary, the Mother of God. This practice, fermented out of the religions of the druids, finds no support in the Holy Bible. The druids day of worship, Hallow’s Eve, was modified to be called All Saints Day.

For two centuries the yearly celebration of the dead was called “All Saints Day”, and was held on the last day of October. In 834 AD the celebration was moved to November 1st, though it still retained the name of All Saints Day. As I said before, Catholics still pray to Mary (just as the druids prayed to the lord of the dead) for the souls of the dead. Their reasoning is that, since Mary was Jesus’ mother, surely she’ll convince Jesus to let these unrepentant souls into Heaven. The Bible, however, makes it plain that you can only be saved if you accept Jesus as Savior while you are in this life:

Acts 4:10-12 “Then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. He is ‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the capstone. Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.’”

Why The Children Shout
“Trick or Treat”

The most effective ploy that Satan ever uses is to try and deceive as much of Christianity as is possible using the same trick in different ways. The Catholic Church, by allowing pagan ritual and worship, followed pagan god worship under the guise of All Saints Day. But what about the Reformed Protestant Church?

Ancient druidism had another practice that, up to now, we haven’t discussed. The druids demanded human sacrifice in order to show “proper respect” for the lord of the dead. In order to accomplish this, the druids went from castle to castle and demanded women so that they could be sacrificed.  The women were then taken to sacrificial altars and killed (one of the most prominent areas we know of today for human sacrifice was Stonehenge in England). If the sacrifice was willingly given, the druids left a hollow gourd outside of the castle walls filled with burning human fat. This burning fat was supposed to protect the castle from demonic attack. If the druids were refused the sacrifice, they drew a hexagram on the door or wall of the castle and left. Before dawn someone in the castle would be found dead from fear.

This practice of going “door to door” eventually found it’s way into society as a form of Halloween ritual. The earliest settlers in America encouraged their children to go door to door shouting “Trick or Treat”, little knowing that they were mimicking ritualized murder of days gone by. The children were given fruit, much like the druids were given human sacrifices. If the children were refused a treat, they were allowed to play a little “trick” on the household. Parents put candles inside of pumpkin gourds (just as the druids put human fat inside of hollow gourds) to commemorate Halloween. By making it all seem like harmless fun, Satan drew both Catholic and Protestant, believer and unbeliever into the web of druidic paganism.

What’s Wrong With A Little
Innocent Fun?

Most people, even Christian believers, defend Halloween as only “A little innocent fun for the kids”. It may be innocent, but is it fun to mimic (however unknowingly) devil worship, female sacrifice, and witchcraft? Once the Christian household allows paganism into it’s midst, then how much harder is it for Satan to get us involved in real druidism? The Ouija board, seemingly harmless, is no less than a familiar spirit:

Leviticus 20:6-7 “‘I will set my face against the person who turns to mediums and spiritists to prostitute himself by following them, and I will cut him off from his people. Consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am the LORD your God.”

Deuteronomy 18:10-13 “Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the LORD, and because of these detestable practices the LORD your God will drive out those nations before you. You must be blameless before the LORD your God.”

The question that the Christian must ask his or her self is this: “Do I want to play Satan’s game? Do I want to participate in a festival that originates from human sacrifice and demon worship? What do I want my children to learn?” Take a hard look at these questions and the evidence presented: your spiritual condition (as well as that of your children) may well depend on your answer.

Are there alternatives to Halloween? Absolutely! Many Churches have begun promoting “Fall Festivals” on Halloween night. The festivals are held at Church, children are offered Christian activities and adults have valuable time in which to fellowship with each other. Other Christians use Halloween night as a time to take their children out to eat, to skate, to a clean movie, or just to spend quality time with them. You do not need to deprive your children of fun in order to avoid Satan’s traps. Christians may even use Halloween as an opportunity to witness to the “visitors”. Rather than decorating your yard with ghosts and ghouls, focus on the Christian theme of love and salvation through Jesus. If you feel compelled to give out “treats” to the children, give out salvation tracts as well while telling the children about your Savior. Reclaim the night for Jesus!


What follows is an article from New Wine magazine. All copyrights belong to New Wine Magazine and the author John Stanko:

Should Christians Celebrate Halloween?
by John Stanko, New Wine Magazine, 1984

Every October 31, Christian parents face a number of questions about Halloween, such as, “Should we allow our children to be out trick or treating?” and Should we answer the door and give out candy  or tracts? ” Without a sufficient knowledge of Halloween’s history and what the Bible says, it is difficult for a Christian to adequately answer these and other questions about participation in Halloween.

 The celebration of what we know as Halloween dates back to before the time of Christ.  In the Celtic countries of Britain, Germany, and France, the Druids (the priests and teachers of the Celts) set aside October 31 to  honor Samhain, the lord of the dead.  At this time of year the  crops were harvested and it was a  time of general decay. The day honoring Samhain highlighted the gloom and cold of the coming season.  The Celts believed that Samhain assembled all the souls of the dead on October 31, the eve of the Celtic new year. This freed them to return to their homes, where their families were to entertain them. If they didn’t find an acceptable welcome the spirits would cast spells or cause other problems for the living (the first form of trick or treat) To prepare for the arrival of these spirits the Druids built huge bonfires, sacrificing animals, crops, and even humans.  This fire was also used for divinations (they studied the remains of the sacrificed animals). During this ritual, many people wore costumes made of animal heads and skins.  When the Romans conquered the Celts, they combined the festival to Samhain with their own festival honoring Pomona, the goddess of fruit and trees, making apples and nuts an important part of the rituals.

Despite the prevalence of Christianity this pagan rite continued. The Irish held parades to honor Muck Olla, one of their gods. A leader wearing a white robe and an animal head marched at the head of the parade. Those who followed him asked for food to help celebrate the October 31 festival, punishing farmers who refused to cooperate (another form of trick or treat).  Bonfires raged throughout Wales, Scotland, England on October 31. In the year 834 Pope Boniface IV moved the church feast of All Saints’ Day (also known as All Hallows’ Day) from May to November 1 to counter this growing pagan rite.  October 31 naturally was called All Hallows’  Evening – eventually abbreviated  Halloween.

In medieval times satanic witches took Halloween as an opportunity to mock the saints of the church commemorated on All Saints’ Day. The witches supposedly flew on broomsticks accompanied by black cats (also believed to be a type of witch).  In later years the poor in England went door to door for food on November 2, All Souls’ Day.  Beggars received “soul cakes” in return for their promise to pray for the dead of  that household. In America however, because of the strong religious convictions of the early settlers, Halloween celebrations were banned. In the early 1800’s,  as more immigrants of Celtic origin arrived, Halloween celebrations were instituted

Despite the contemporary decline in trick or treating (perhaps because of dangers such as poisoned candy) Halloween lives on.  School parties, the media, and peer pressure all serve to make Halloween a fun and necessary time in children’s eyes. Christian parents face extreme difficulty in deciding what their family should do about the annual celebration.

Considering Halloween’s origins, it should not be difficult to establish a Scriptural position on the holiday. Deuteronomy 18.9-12 states:When you enter the land the LORD your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there.Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the LORD, and because of these detestable practices the LORD your God will drive out those nations before you.”

As  Christians seek to make a firm decision regarding participation in Halloween, it is important to keep in mind that  believers are called to:

  1. “Be separate from the world”:1 Peter 4:1-4 “Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin. As a result, he does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God. For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do—living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry. They think it strange that you do not plunge with them into the same flood of dissipation, and they heap abuse on you.”
  2.  Be transformed:Romans 12:2 “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
  3. Be obedient and holy: 1 Peter 1:14-15 “As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do.”
  4. Be God pleasers:James 4:4 “You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.”
  5. Be leaders:Ephesians 5:11 “Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.”

In answering questions about distributing candy on Halloween or allowing children to ‘trick-or-treat’, we must look at the roots of Halloween and what the Bible says, we now have the firm foundation we need to base our decisions on.

 

HALLOWEEN GLORIFIES SATAN AND WITCHCRAFT

Halloween is filled with darkness and paganism, and it is saturated with the influences of Satan. Satan is a very real person. Jesus used personal pronouns when referring to Satan (John 8:44). To accomplish his purposes, Satan uses many “devices” (2 Corinthians 2:11). He has his own synagogue (Revelation 2:9); his own gospel (Galatians 1:6-9); his own ministers (2 Corinthians 11:14-15); his own doctrines (1 Timothy 4:1); and his own communion service (1 Corinthians 10:20-21).

Halloween is not just a fun day. For witches and worshippers of Satan Halloween is serious business. Halloween is a time when Satan makes light of his own operations. He presents himself as a hoodlum–a kind of cartoon character rather than who he is–the real arch-enemy of God. Witchcraft today embraces dozens of unbiblical beliefs and practices, and has many thousands of adherents. The Old Testament and the New Testament make repeated references to the practice of witchcraft, and God always condemns all such practices. Note the following references:

“Do not turn to mediums or wizards; do not seek them out, to be defiled by them: I am the Lord your God” (Leviticus 19:31). They used divination and augury; and they sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the Lord…therefore the Lord was very angry with Israel and removed them out of his sight” (2 Kings 17:17- “Now the works of the flesh are obvious: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery…those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:19-21).

The initiation rites for those involved in witchcraft and the worship of Satan are indeed very gruesome. Two girls described their experience. They had to go to a graveyard in the dead of the night, step on and walk across a large wooden cross, and renounce any belief in Christ; and then they had to drink the blood of animals that had been skinned alive. Surely these are gruesome anti-christian activities. Halloween is the chief holiday of Satanists, and those who practice witchcraft. To participate in the celebration of the pagan festival called Halloween, is to give an open invitation to the forces of Satan to gain more influence on our lives.

HALLOWEEN CLEARLY HAS THE APPEARANCE OF EVIL

One of the wholesome principles which God’s people are to carefully observe, is expressed in the words of 1 Thessalonians 5:22, “Abstain from all appearance of evil.

All the symbols of Halloween are evil. Note briefly each of the following symbols:

Jack-o’-lanterns–were originally carved images of demonic beings and thus have been in league with Halloween celebrations. The carved out pump-kin was lighted with a candle to scare off ghosts and witches and goblins and other supernatural forces wandering around on “the night of the dead.”

Black cats–have long been associated with witchcraft and miscellaneous superstitions related to sorcery and Satanism. Ancients believed that black cats had once been humans who had changed into animals because of evil deeds which they had committed.

Bats and owls–have been related to Halloween since early times. The pagan Celts believed that bats and owls were able to communicate with the dead.

Skeletons, skulls, and corpses–belong to Halloween because it is really a festival celebrating death.

Trick-or-treating--is nothing less than extortion. The concept of “You either give me a treat, or I’ll play a trick on you” is hardly in keeping with the Integrity and second-mile honesty which Jesus taught. (Historically, food and drink were often left on outside porches in the hope of appeasing the demonic night creatures who were roaming around seeking shelter. Mischievous children capitalized on this practice, and disguised themselves with a costume and mask to scare off the ghosts–and then they themselves would steal the food set out for the spirits. This is the origin of the “trick or treat” custom.)

Halloween has been a time dedicated to ghosts and ghouls and goblins and monsters and senseless vandalism. Malicious people have hidden drugs in candy and rarer blades in apples. Getting involved in Halloween celebrations cannot be consistent with the Brethren peace position. Also, police departments in various parts of the country have warned people to guard their animals on Halloween night, because frequently dogs and cats and other animals are mutilated as a result of the ritualist slaughter of animals in sacrifice to Satan at Halloween time. Actually, Halloween not only has the appearance of evil; it is clearly associated with the wicked practices of the god of this world.

Those who get involved with Halloween celebrations, must remember that what was once the accepted practice of European pagans, has now become the accepted practice of many American church members. Many church-goers despise the vandalism and destructive behavior often associated with Halloween, but they go along with it as a necessary once-a-year evil. What was once modified from the pagan Festival of Samhain to the Christian All Saints Eve has now been further modified to become a semi-pagan ritual honoring ghosts and goblins and witches. Many youth fellowships sponsor Halloween parties in church recreation halls and award prizes for the most outlandish costumes. They usually have some group singing and a short devotional to make the evening seem more sanctimonious.

What’s wrong with Halloween? Everything about it is wrong. It does not have one single redeeming virtue. Halloween is a festival which glorifies the devil. Those who go by the name “Christian” should have nothing to do with Halloween celebrations. It is time that we expose Halloween for what it is–a ritual for the occult.

We should never make fun of Satan’s power. Celebrating Halloween can encourage children to take lightly the forces of darkness (Jude 8-10). God’s people are not to be conformed to the world. We are not expected to Wit in” with the practices of our society (Romans 12:1-2). How seriously do we take the words of Jesus about being “in” the world, but not “of it? (See John 17:14-15).

It is proper for children to have good times. “Having fun” is not what is wrong with Halloween. Parents and church youth leaders should provide plenty of family and group activities for children and youth. If there must be an activity on October 31, you can plan an evening of Bible study on demons and sorcery and death. October 31 is a good time to study the Reformation period of church history (Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses on October 31, 1517). You can spend an evening reading a youth version of Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress. You can have a Harvest Festival, gathering foods and grocery items and delivering them to the poor and to those who may have had a variety of misfortunes.

Another alternative, which could be a worthwhile event, is to plan for an “All Saints Eve.” The first weeks after a death in the congregation, the bereaved family receives much attention, but a year or two later, many widows scarcely hear their husband’s name mentioned. People who were once a major part of a congregation’s life are easily forgotten (except by the family of loved ones). Perhaps on an “All Saints Eve” the pastor (or an older member of the church) could give some vignettes of numerous departed saints from the congregation, and point out specific characteristics of that person’s life and faith that are worth remembering.

It is our prayer that Brethren across the land will resolve to stand apart from the crowd, and dare to stand alone for the truth like the young man Daniel did when he was carried into the land of Babylon many years ago (Daniel 1:8-20). Let us decide to no longer participate in a pagan holiday which commemorates the activities of the powers of darkness.

Halloween glorifies Satan.

      When America and the world celebrates the powers of darkness by masquerading as evil creatures or decorating our homes, schools, businesses and churches with occult symbols, Satanic power is glorified. While you may have participated “all in fun”, be assured, Halloween is serious business for Satanists and Witches.

      Anyone familiar with witchcraft would tell you that there are certain rituals and spells that can only be cast on Halloween night. That is the night when the “veil” believed to separate the living from the dead is thought to be the thinnest, and futures are easier and more accurately foretold by diviners.

      Those who oppose Christ are known to organize on Halloween to observe Satanic rituals, to cast spells, to oppose churches and families, to perform sacrilegious acts, and to even offer blood sacrifices to Satan. Last year, Newscasters in numerous cities warned their viewers to guard their animals on Halloween night. Dogs and cats are thought to be the most often sacrificed animals on Halloween, and many S. P. C. A. centers will not allow black cats to be adopted until after Halloween. In rural communities, it is not uncommon for farmers to awake to find the mutilated remains of their farm animals (cows, calves, chickens, even horses) that were ritualistically slaughtered in Satanic sacrifices. The practices that accompany such sacrificial rites are almost too revolting to believe-the drinking of animal (or human) blood and urine, the digestion of entrails and organs, orgiastic rituals, substance abuse, and something becoming more frighteningly common across the U.S.-human sacrifice. The 700 CLUB interviewed several people last Halloween (several of which were teenagers) who actually participated in or witnessed human sacrifices while involved in Satanism. No one scoffs at such stories anymore, as police departments around the country have had to scurry to develop a whole new field of investigation dealing with the gruesome reality of Satanic sacrifices.

      Isn’t it sad that while Satanist, Witches, Occultists and Police are taking Halloween very seriously, many in the church protest our “spoiling all of the fun for the children,” by urging Christians not to participate in it.

It is the Appearance of Evil.

      The Bible says, “Abstain from all appearance of evil.” (1 Thess.5:22).

      Who can deny that virtually all of the symbols of Halloween are evil? Witches, monsters, ogres, vampires, ghosts, ghouls, goblins, devils and demons all portray evil! On the other hand, Christians are called to be “followers of God” (Eph.5:1), and “lights” to a sin darkened world. How can we justify our masquerading as creatures of darkness in the light of the Scriptures? And if our houses and churches are dedicated to God and are to glorify Christ, how do we justify decorating them with demonic and occult symbols?

      Virtually all of the common Halloween decorations represent something Demonic or Occult. For instance:

      The “Jack-o-lantern” is the ancient symbol of a damned soul.

      The “black cat” has long been associated with Witchcraft and numerous superstitions are still connected to it.

      Witches and Witchcraft are a dominant theme of the holiday, but are an abomination to God (Exodus 22:18; Deuteronomy 18:8-14; Leviticus 18:24-30).

      Even the “trick-or-treat” is a threat! It’s nothing less than extortion! “You either give me a treat or I’ll play a trick on you.”

What Should Our Position Be? 

      Clearly, we should have nothing to do with the Halloween celebration whatsoever. If Christians assemble on Halloween it should be to worship, sing, praise, pray, intercede, wage Spiritual warfare and pull down demonic strong-holds. Under no circumstance should we compromise with this celebration or attempt to imitate the world in any manner. It should not be observed as any kind of a festival or “party” (masquerades, apple-bobbing, games, treats, etc.), but rather as a time to wage holy warfare and be separate from the world.

      The Christian should not fear Halloween or any of the powers of darkness, for we have authority over them (Mk.16:15; Lu.10:19), and “God has not given us the spirit of fear…” (2 Tim.l:7). But at the same time, “We are not ignorant of Satan’s devices” (2 Cor.2:11)

      Some may call me “legalistic” for doing so, but I have forsaken this pagan celebration altogether. Perhaps its time you considered doing the same.

“For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light.” (Eph.5:8).

  

 

Verses depicting God’s opinion on participating with evil:

 

Deuteronomy 18:9-14

Detestable Practices

 9 When you enter the land the LORD your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there. 10 Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, 11 or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. 12 Anyone who does these things is detestable to the LORD, and because of these detestable practices the LORD your God will drive out those nations before you. 13 You must be blameless before the LORD your God.

The Prophet

 14 The nations you will dispossess listen to those who practice sorcery or divination. But as for you, the LORD your God has not permitted you to do so.

Exodus 7:11-1211 Pharaoh then summoned wise men and sorcerers, and the Egyptian magicians also did the same things by their secret arts: 12 Each one threw down his staff and it became a snake. But Aaron’s staff swallowed up their staffs.

Exodus 22:18 18 “Do not allow a sorceress to live.”

Leviticus 19:26 26 ” ‘Do not eat any meat with the blood still in it. Do not practice divination or sorcery.”

Leviticus 19:31 31 ” ‘Do not turn to mediums or seek out spiritists, for you will be defiled by them. I am the LORD your God.'”

Leviticus 20:6 6 ” ‘I will set my face against the person who turns to mediums and spiritists to prostitute himself by following them, and I will cut him off from his people.

Leviticus 20:27 27 ” ‘A man or woman who is a medium or spiritist among you must be put to death. You are to stone them; their blood will be on their own heads.’ “

1 Chronicles 10:13-14 13 Saul died because he was unfaithful to the LORD; he did not keep the word of the LORD and even consulted a medium for guidance, 14 and did not inquire of the LORD. So the LORD put him to death and turned the kingdom over to David son of Jesse.

2 Kings 21:5-6  In both courts of the temple of the LORD, he built altars to all the starry hosts.  He sacrificed his own son in  the fire, practiced sorcery and divination, and consulted mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the eyes of the LORD, provoking him to anger.

Isaiah 2:6 The Day of the Lord 6 You have abandoned your people,
       the house of Jacob.
       They are full of superstitions from the East;
       they practice divination like the Philistines
       and clasp hands with pagans.

Jeremiah 27:9-10 9 So do not listen to your prophets, your diviners, your interpreters of dreams, your mediums or your sorcerers who tell you, ‘You will not serve the king of Babylon.’ 10 They prophesy lies to you that will only serve to remove you far from your lands; I will banish you and you will perish.

Zechariah 10:2 2 The idols speak deceit,
       diviners see visions that lie;
       they tell dreams that are false,
       they give comfort in vain.
       Therefore the people wander like sheep
       oppressed for lack of a shepherd.

Malachi 3:5

 5 “So I will come near to you for judgment. I will be quick to testify against sorcerers, adulterers and perjurers, against those who defraud laborers of their wages, who oppress the widows and the fatherless, and deprive aliens of justice, but do not fear me,” says the LORD Almighty.

Acts 8:9 Simon the Sorcerer

 9Now for some time a man named Simon had practiced sorcery in the city and amazed all the people of Samaria. He boasted that he was someone great,

Acts 16:16 Paul and Silas in Prison  16Once when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit by which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling.

Acts 19:19 A number who had practiced sorcery brought their scrolls together and burned them publicly. When they calculated the value of the scrolls, the total came to fifty thousand drachmas.

Galatians 1

 1Paul, an apostle—sent not from men nor by man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead— 2and all the brothers with me,
      To the churches in Galatia:

 3Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, 4who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, 5to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

No Other Gospel

 6I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! 9As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!

 10Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.

Paul Called by God

 11I want you to know, brothers, that the gospel I preached is not something that man made up. 12I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ.

 13For you have heard of my previous way of life in Judaism, how intensely I persecuted the church of God and tried to destroy it. 14I was advancing in Judaism beyond many Jews of my own age and was extremely zealous for the traditions of my fathers. 15But when God, who set me apart from birth and called me by his grace, was pleased 16to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not consult any man, 17nor did I go up to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before I was, but I went immediately into Arabia and later returned to Damascus.

 18Then after three years, I went up to Jerusalem to get acquainted with Peter and stayed with him fifteen days. 19I saw none of the other apostles—only James, the Lord’s brother. 20I assure you before God that what I am writing you is no lie. 21Later I went to Syria and Cilicia. 22I was personally unknown to the churches of Judea that are in Christ. 23They only heard the report: “The man who formerly persecuted us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.” 24And they praised God because of me.

Galatians 5:16-21 Life by the Spirit

 16So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. 17For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. 18But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.

 19The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

2 Timothy 3:88Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these men oppose the truth—men of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected.

Revelation 21:88But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”

Revelation 22:1515Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.

Exodus 7:11-1211 Pharaoh then summoned wise men and sorcerers, and the Egyptian magicians also did the same things by their secret arts: 12 Each one threw down his staff and it became a snake. But Aaron’s staff swallowed up their staffs.

Exodus 22:18 18 “Do not allow a sorceress to live.

Leviticus 19:2626 ” ‘Do not eat any meat with the blood still in it.
      ” ‘Do not practice divination or sorcery.

Leviticus 19:31 31 ” ‘Do not turn to mediums or seek out spiritists, for you will be defiled by them. I am the LORD your God.

As believers, we are calledto “Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil. [1 Thessalonians 5:21-22] Who can deny that virtually all of the symbols of Halloween are evil? Witches, monsters, ogres, vampires, ghosts, ghouls, goblins, devils and demons all portray evil. Christians are to “… have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” [Ephesians 5:11]

 “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” [Romans 12:2]

“For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial?” [2 Corinthians 6:14, 15]

Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. [1 Peter 5:8]

Originally published 30 Oct., 2009 at www.justinlessard.wordpress.com.

This important new video, offered for free, is a must see. Street preacher/ evangelist Ray Comfort produced this powerful 33 minute video with real life reactions to real life questions. One of the nicest things about this work is the not just the underlying message, but the fact that all participants are random people- not actors. This is real life at its most crucial.

CLICK HERE and watch for FREE: http://180movie.com/

Consider this article from WND.com:

The new movie “180,” with its “power of truth” is turning out to be an abortionist’s worst nightmare.

The intensely stunning new production from author, evangelist and street preacher Ray Comfort has drawn more than 600,000 views in just a few days, and hundreds more are purchasing a copy for their home.

And the reactions have been flooding in.

“I watched this today – three times,” wrote Sonya Shirk. “Each time I was overwhelmed with the power of truth. I have shared this everywhere I can think of. I can’t begin to tell you how this video has changed my perspective.”

Added another poignantly, and to the point: “Your film just led a 17-year-old girl away from abortion.”

“I am very thankful for the Internet,” Comfort told WND. “It is so often used for evil, but in this case it is being used for good. In just 10 days 180Movie.com has had over 600,000 views.

“Keep in mind that this isn’t a one-minute humorous clip that doesn’t bite into your day. This is a commitment of 33 minutes of intense film, giving the viewer a rollercoaster ride of emotions,” he said.

For those quick with math, that’s more than 12,500 days that have been dedicated to watching “180.” Or more than 34 years.

“In an age where there’s more chance of flossing the back teeth of hungry lions at the LA Zoo at feeding time than getting ‘180’ on secular television, millions are going to see it uncensored via the Internet … and many will change their minds about abortion,” he said.

Wrote one viewer, “It’s so powerful. And although I have thought about abortion and Hitler on a passing note, this really made me think and did change my mind about abortion. I am not Christian or even know if God exists but this really does make you think. Thank you, it could be life-changing.”

Another: “The day after wearing a 180movie T-shirt to school, my daughter found out fellow classmates had seen the shirt and went to the site. Several commented they had never really thought about the issue of abortion but now know it’s wrong.”

Of course, Comfort noted, there’s another perspective. He cited this comment, “You rude anti-choice pig! Pro-choice doesn’t mean pro-death; Pro-choice just means freedom for women to choose! If you don’t want abortion, don’t get one! Oh, and no one cares about that stupid 180 *$@!*! Grow up, you zombified, conservatarded hypocrite!”

“These emails make me smile, because when a person has no justification for the killing of a child in the womb, they will resort to personal abuse, something called ‘ad hominem,'” Comfort said.

Comfort initially thought he would produce a video to go with an upcoming book called “Hitler, God, and the Bible” to be published by WND Books and soon to be available at the WND Superstore.

Join the discussion about “180,” at WND’s Forums.

That book is soaring on Amazon even though it’s not scheduled to come out until February.

It exposes Hitler’s theology and abuse of religion as a means to seize political power and ultimately instigate World War II and genocide. It mines the depths of Hitler’s beliefs and convincingly argues that without Hitler’s misuse of Christianity, the Third Reich would not have had its terrible rise, resulting in the deaths of millions.

“‘180’ wasn’t the video I meant to produce,” Comfort told WND.

Comfort explained his idea: “I decided to go out to the streets with a camera and find out what people believed about Hitler.

“I ended up with 14 people – mainly university students – who had no idea who Adolf Hitler was. This really bothered me, because I believe that when we forget our history we are more apt to repeat it,” he said.

In fact, recent media reports highlighted a sports day at a school in Thailand where students proudly paraded in Nazi costumes, including one student dressed as Hitler, to celebrate.

According to the London Daily Mail, the students and teachers were oblivious to “what all the fuss was about.”

It’s about life and death, Comfort explained, and not just during World War II

Comfort said his research for the book turned up a recurring theme regarding the Holocaust and the deaths of an estimated 11 million people, including some 6 million Jews: Moral apathy.

“I realized that the same kind of moral apathy that permitted such an incident to take place is still present today when it comes to the matter of abortion,” he said.

“While making the video I was amazed at how quickly people did a complete 180 after this connection was pointed out to them in a particularly effective way. They changed from being adamantly pro-abortion to being pro-life in a matter of seconds.”

The name “180” came from just that observation.

“As we watched ‘Steve’ – a proud, Jew-hating, foul-mouthed, anti-black, ‘I hate America’ neo-Nazi atheist with a 14-inch blue Mohawk – do a complete 180 and almost become likeable, it suddenly dawned on us that the same thing happened to most of the people on the video. They were all doing a 180 … their worldviews radically changed,” Comfort said.

The video follows Comfort’s winning formula of colorful, fast paced street interviews popular in the award-winning “Way of the Master” television series.

The series, in its fifth season, is co-hosted by Kirk Cameron and is viewed in 70 countries on 42 networks.

Comfort told WND that “180” is already considered “transforming.”

Message after message that reach his desk say things such as:

“I confess, I have committed 7 murders! GOD forgive me, I will never NEVER AGAIN trivialize abortion. NEVER again will I agree with the lie.”

And:

“This video has been popping up all over Facebook. I finally clicked on the link. I am a history buff with a passion for WW2. My attention was immediately grabbed. As soon as the switch to abortion began I wanted to stop watching, but I couldn’t. Part of me needed to keep watching. I don’t know what to do with this information, but I think it is changing the way I view these things. I might need to watch it again. That’s something I never thought I’d say.”

And

“I had always thought I was an ‘open-minded person’ when it came to abortion. But after viewing this movie, my stance has changed.”

Not everyone is thrilled with the powerful message of “180,” though. One Internet forum for atheists featured a number of bloggers scheming on how to ruin the video release or even hack into the video for an “atheist version.”

One post said this:

“There are many ways to spoil his release …

“For one, link up to every group of interest and offer a download. This will really hurt the b——. A lot of money went into this video production and an atheist-controlled version which he cannot profit from would hurt his finances.”

But it’s only $5 for a DVD.

Comfort said the project has nothing to do with profit and everything to do with transforming lives.

“We will also distribute 200,000 free copies of the ‘180’ DVD in 100 of the top U.S. universities (in one day) sometime in 2011, and we will invite pro-life organizations, churches, and individuals to join us by having additional giveaways in their own area,” the movie website says.

In a WND interview, Comfort said about the atheists that attack him: “We have a love/hate relationship. They hate me. I love them.”

He said the issue today is that there is a generation “that has been hardened.”

“I was horrified that youth I spoke to lacked compassion for other human beings.”

“180” tells how many of the people of Germany also lacked compassion while Hitler murdered 11 million people, 6 million of them Jews.

By comparison, “This country [the USA] has killed over 50 million babies,” Comfort said.

Comfort believes that “180” has the ability to change peoples view on abortion and maybe the way they vote for candidates who favor abortion.

“In ‘180’ we have a nation changer,” says Comfort.

Viewers of the movie have been deeply moved. Living Waters recently checked into the possibility of billboard advertising for “180” in California.

“When we looked into billboard advertising, a woman representative asked us what ‘180’ was about, so we invited her to come to the ministry for a special screening,” Comfort said. “She did, and afterwards she sat there biting her pencil. She said that it made her rethink her stance on abortion, and she wanted her teenage daughter to see it.

“We ended up praying with the woman for salvation.”

Read more: Video facts and logic becoming abortionists’ nightmare http://www.wnd.com/?pageId=352741#ixzz1abM0synF

Read more: Video facts and logic becoming abortionists’ nightmare http://www.wnd.com/?pageId=352741#ixzz1abLu7Zbn

Read more: Video facts and logic becoming abortionists’ nightmare http://www.wnd.com/?pageId=352741#ixzz1abLpYSjY

Read more: Video facts and logic becoming abortionists’ nightmare http://www.wnd.com/?pageId=352741#ixzz1abLdSBUy

Read more: Video facts and logic becoming abortionists’ nightmare http://www.wnd.com/?pageId=352741#ixzz1abLJxAqQThe new movie “180,” with its “power of truth” is turning out to be an abortionist’s worst nightmare.

The intensely stunning new production from author, evangelist and street preacher Ray Comfort has drawn more than 600,000 views in just a few days, and hundreds more are purchasing a copy for their home.

And the reactions have been flooding in.

“I watched this today – three times,” wrote Sonya Shirk. “Each time I was overwhelmed with the power of truth. I have shared this everywhere I can think of. I can’t begin to tell you how this video has changed my perspective.”

Added another poignantly, and to the point: “Your film just led a 17-year-old girl away from abortion.”

“I am very thankful for the Internet,” Comfort told WND. “It is so often used for evil, but in this case it is being used for good. In just 10 days 180Movie.com has had over 600,000 views.

“Keep in mind that this isn’t a one-minute humorous clip that doesn’t bite into your day. This is a commitment of 33 minutes of intense film, giving the viewer a rollercoaster ride of emotions,” he said.

For those quick with math, that’s more than 12,500 days that have been dedicated to watching “180.” Or more than 34 years.

“In an age where there’s more chance of flossing the back teeth of hungry lions at the LA Zoo at feeding time than getting ‘180’ on secular television, millions are going to see it uncensored via the Internet … and many will change their minds about abortion,” he said.

Wrote one viewer, “It’s so powerful. And although I have thought about abortion and Hitler on a passing note, this really made me think and did change my mind about abortion. I am not Christian or even know if God exists but this really does make you think. Thank you, it could be life-changing.”

Another: “The day after wearing a 180movie T-shirt to school, my daughter found out fellow classmates had seen the shirt and went to the site. Several commented they had never really thought about the issue of abortion but now know it’s wrong.”

Of course, Comfort noted, there’s another perspective. He cited this comment, “You rude anti-choice pig! Pro-choice doesn’t mean pro-death; Pro-choice just means freedom for women to choose! If you don’t want abortion, don’t get one! Oh, and no one cares about that stupid 180 *$@!*! Grow up, you zombified, conservatarded hypocrite!”

“These emails make me smile, because when a person has no justification for the killing of a child in the womb, they will resort to personal abuse, something called ‘ad hominem,'” Comfort said

Skeptics may say that no one could possibly change their mind so quickly. Comfort would have shared that thought had he not seen the extraordinary changes before his own eyes.

A viewer had this to say on the “180” Facebook page: “When I first saw the link [to the video], I knew it wasn’t the best time for me to view it, so I clicked on it to watch the first five minutes. Needless to say, I did not stop viewing it to the very end.”

Many big names in Christian circles have wholeheartedly endorsed “180.”

  • “Brilliant and powerful,” says Joseph Farah, CEO of WND.com
  • “Riveting,” says Joni Eareckson Tada of Joni & Friends
  • “You don’t view this video. You experience it!” declares Gary T Ansdell, pastor of Hosanna Christian Fellowship

Mark Hall, the lead singer for Casting Crowns, said the video rocked his world: “I dare you to watch ‘180.’”

There even have been endorsements from the unexpected.

“I’m not a fan of Ray Comfort, but I have to hand it to him, he did a great job putting this video together. As a prolife atheist, I was afraid this video was going to be arguing against abortion using Christian rhetoric once again … good job Ray, and as a pro-life atheist – I support this video!” wrote one person.

“I am a witch but am prolife and have always been. I have no desire to share the Gospel part of this but some of it seemed pretty interesting,” added another.

Evident throughout the “180” video is Comfort’s passion for exposing the abortion lie. He told WND why he has such passion for the issue.

“The taking of the life of an unborn child is murder, and for that we should all be more than concerned. We should be horrified,” he says.

He tells of a time in the 1980s when he learned about a new Christian named “Fran” who was scheduled for an abortion.

“When I found that she had already checked into a hospital, I jumped into my car, sped into the city and ran to the second floor and into her room. She was sitting on a bed and had already been given the pre-operation medication. I pleaded, ‘Please don’t do this!’

“She smiled and said, ‘It’s okay. I’m not going to have an abortion. I just prayed, God, if you don’t want me to have an abortion, make Ray Comfort come and see me.’ I didn’t have to say a thing.”

Two years later, Comfort had the privilege of seeing Fran’s child at a picnic.

“Then it dawned on me that I had been used in a small way to help save a human life,” he said.

On abortion, Comfort said, “We should all be horrified. I think that there are many people out there that want to do something to stop this horror, but they don’t know what to do.

“If they stand outside an abortion clinic and protest, the media paints them as doctor-killing, narrow-minded, hate-mongering religious bigots,” he said.

But he believes “180” has the potential to change many lives.

“It already has,” he said.
Read more: Video facts and logic becoming abortionists’ nightmare http://www.wnd.com/?pageId=352741#ixzz1abMPAwse

Christmas Tree Truth

December 20, 2009

TREE TRUTH- CHRISTMAS IS THE REASON

THE CONFLICT

This year, my family has decided NOT to have a Christmas tree in our home. After much research, we have discovered that the origins and symbolism is- to be plain- ungodly. Now, we are a Christian family, and we take our faith quite seriously. In order for me to share our decision, I first need you, reader, to have an open mind.

If you are Christian, consider this: When you speak to an unbeliever, you hope for them to abandon their ways and turn to Christ. If they have believed for their entire life that we came from nothing and evolved from fish and monkey hybrids, you want them to accept truth and reject those false teachings. If they are grounded in a false religion, you hope that they see the folly of their way and believe in Christ Jesus as Savior. It is with the same principal that we must also approach a subject such as this. Are you willing to accept the possibility that you and your beliefs may be wrong in at least one area? Just as you expect them to listen with an open mind, you also must have the same mind, to acknowledge the idea that, just as evolution, even though millions believe something is true, it may not be.

Imagine if a pastor or some mega-preacher, wanting to draw in the worldly, decided to publicly reestablish the meaning of the symbols of Halloween. “From now on, we’ll call ‘trick-or-treat’ the Exodus journey. The passing out candy will be representative of Christ‘s gift to us. We‘ll call the costumes a depiction of 2 Corinthians 11:16.” Now, any real Christian knows the real root of Halloween is evil. It’s a reenactment of witchcraft rituals, Satanic practices, and it honors death, Satan, demons, and wickedness. No real believer in Jesus, the Son of the Living God, would follow this practice. So again, we must be willing to consider that our heritage in some rituals are formed in the same fashion. What if, generations ago, our ancestors weren’t so cautious about adopting pagan practices? The same way the world picks up trends so easily today?

 THE STORY

A few years ago, while listening to one of my favorite radio programs, a subject was mentioned which I had never before considered- The discussion made mention of not having a Christmas tree in a Christian home. My first response was disappointment. Here, one of my favorite personalities had turned, as I thought, too radical. He was obviously taking things too far. I mean, what Christian wouldn’t want a Christmas tree? The whole holiday is about Christ, right? This bothered me for a period, but I quickly put it out of my mind.

It wasn’t long, though, before I heard the issue again, this time in greater detail. Christmas trees, I was told, are idols of pagan worship. We only call them Christmas trees, but that doesn’t make them represent Christ. I decided to investigate a bit more. What I found was shocking.

THE REASON

As it turns out, we have a cultural and spiritual dilemma. An icon of an annual seasonal major event has a history unbecoming to its modern supposed purpose. I took a step back, decided to investigate impartially, allowing for whatever I found to affect me as truth, no matter my personal position or history. It is a difficult thing to be impartial to something that affects all of our society. Christmas trees are not only used in Christian homes, but secular as well, store windows, town squares, at Rockefeller Center, and even in atheist homes. So, as with most research I do, I pretended I had never heard of such a thing. How strange to take a few steps back and consider why we cut down a tree, fix it up in our home, put lights and decorations on it, and store gifts beneath it. An odd practice, don’t you think?

I had heard that it was a practice of a pagan god, so I wanted to find out who this “god” was, and what the practices involved were. I found that the god was named “Asherah”. Asherah is also known as the “Queen of Heaven” in Scripture (see Jeremiah 7:18; 44:18-19), and as Artemis (Acts 19:27, 34) by the Ephesians. Some even liken her/ it to the Roman goddess Venus. Asherah was worshipped in ancient Israel as the consort of El, and also in Judah as the consort of Yahweh. This may be linked to the term “Mother Nature”, which is also found in paganism and forms of witchcraft. The Hebrews involved burnt offerings, the baking of small cakes, and poured out drink offerings as worship, and plainly refused to adhere to the Word of the True God (Jeremiah 44:16-19). Asherah poles are mentioned in the Biblical books of Exodus, Deuteronomy, Judges, both first and second Kings, the second Book of Chronicles, and the books of Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Micah.

Scholars have indicated, however, that the plural use of the term Asherahs, as Asherim or Asherot, provides ample evidence that reference is being made to objects of worship rather than a transcendent figure. Typical practice included cutting a tree down to affix in a central or convenient location for worship. They would often carve a figure into the base of the tree trunk to give an image to the deity. (Similar to the statues at temples, the Israelites golden calf, Egyptian stone carvings, etc.) Decorations were often fashioned of silver, gold, wood, or were woven. (See Jeremiah 10:4; 2 Kings 23:7) The tree was meant as a phallic symbol, the hanging balls as testes, types of tinsel & garlands signified semen, and wreathes as a symbol of the womb, yet still representing a male sun deity.

During the late middle ages, the little balls were interpreted by Christians to be “witch balls”, borrowed from witchcraft, to attract, then capture “evil” spirits. Gift offerings were placed under the tree to the god. (Sound familiar yet?)

 Trees were put in an accessible location. So are Christmas trees. Both are decorated, often with spherical balls. Both are often accompanied by a wreath. Both have gifts put under them, although we’ve turned the gifts into a teaching of a commercialized approval of greed and selfishness for children, not a representation of Christ’s gift as some claim. (Jesus gave us a gift of salvation, so I’m giving you an ipod and a bike and candy and Play Station. And we get up at 3 a.m. on Black Friday and angrily fight crowds for the latest toy or gadget because…? Sure, it’s all about Jesus’ birth…)

Additionally, in the ancient lunar calendar that became the Islamic calendar, the Day of Ashurah, transliterated also as Aashurah, Ashura, Ashora or Aashoorah, falls on the 10th day of Muharram. On that day, in the year of the Hejira 61 (AD 680), Husayn bin Ali, the grandson of Muhammad was killed by Umayyad forces at the Battle of Karbala (now in Iraq). Still called by its ancient name, the Day of Ashurah, (also spelled Ashora) it has been observed ever since as a day of mourning by Shī`ites.

Even the date, proven to be linked to many other wicked practices and traditions, is nowhere near the actual birth of Jesus. How do we know this? Jesus was visited by shepherds the night of His birth. In late December, the area is easily frosted and entirely too cold for flocks to be out. Meteorological science has shown no appreciable differences is the average temperatures in the time since. The very latest time of year would have been sometime in October. Just for informational sake- the magi, or wise men, never were at the manger at all. They were following a star and showed up sometime later, at a house Mary, Joseph & Jesus were staying, well after Jesus‘ circumcision, which would have been on His eighth day. This is found in Matthew 2:11, the only verse that indicates the actual place the magi met the Christ child. This makes most nativity sets incorrect, showing yet again how little we know about our heritage in Christ. If we easily miss this straightforward fact, how about something more complicated like a tree in our house?

 In Europe, during the Roman celebration of the feast of Saturnalia, Pagans decorated their houses with clippings of evergreen shrubs. They also decorated living trees with bits of metal and replicas of their God, Bacchus. Tertullian (circa 160 – 230), an early Christian leader and a prolific writer, complained that too many fellow-Christians had copied the Pagan practice of adorning their houses with lamps and with wreathes of laurel. They also placed 12 candles on the tree in honor of their sun god.” Their mid-winter festival of Saturnalia started on DEC-17 and often lasted until a few days after the Solstice.

Writes T. G. Crippen in Christmas and Christmas Lore, “Now in December and the beginning of January there were several festivals which were intimately associated with the daily life of the Roman people. First, from the 17th to the 21st December, was the Saturnalia, the great Roman holiday….One might call it the Feast of Topsy-turveydom; when slaves were allowed for a few days to enjoy the semblance of freedom, were waited upon by their masters, and chose from amongst themselves a mock king to preside over their revels. Next, on the 22nd, came Sigillaria, the Feast of Dolls, when a fair was held, and dolls and other toys, mostly of earthenware, were given to children. Then, on 25th, came Brumalia, otherwise Dies Natalis Invicti Solis, The Birthday of the Unconquered Sun, when the days began to lengthen after the solstice….It is believed to have been instituted … by the emperor Aurelian, in honour of Mithras, the Persian sun-god…” (p. 8-9).

From Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saturnalia): Christians in the fourth century assigned December 25 (the Winter Solstice on the Julian calendar) as Christ’s birthday (and thus Christmas) because pagans already observed this day as a holiday. As the dates of Saturnalia are not precisely coincident with Christmas, a more refined argument is that Christmas was set on the feast of Sol Invictus, which was on December 25, and which had supplanted Saturnalia. However, with many of the traditions of Saturnalia incorporated into Sol Invictus, it is likely that some of those traditions — such as the exchanging of gifts — were also carried forward as a part of the Christian holiday.

Christians went deeper and deeper into apostasy as they ADOPTED the Pagan customs from those around them. The green ivy and holly were common symbols of “Saturn”, the Roman deity. Early believers thought that if they decorated their homes with these trappings, they would appear to be conforming to the Pagan culture as everyone around them was observing Saturnalia. Thus they would “blend-in”, and they would suffer less persecution. As time passed, the custom became part of the Christian world, and you will see the wreaths and Asherim trees in their assemblies and homes today. If we don’t “join-in” with the celebration, we’re considered to be freaks, or “Scrooges”.

This tradition, like so many others, is rooted and grounded not in Christ, but in Roman and Grecian mythology, paganism, and Muslim celebratory tradition, and accompanies several sexual and fertility based rituals. As their popularity grew, the church did what it thought was best: join in. It is believed that during the reign of Constantine the church accepted some of the practices and “Christianized” them as a way of drawing pagans into the church. This was during a time of prominent political standing of the Catholic church, and the pagans were growing in number and strength. The tradition was carried to the early United States. There, Christians initially protested the idea of Christmas trees, and even the celebration of Jesus’ birth being placed in late December, “conveniently” the week of Saturnalia, the Yule Tide and Asherah. The Pilgrim’s second governor, William Bradford, a Puritan, tried hard to stamp out all “pagan mockery” at Christmas time. Christmas trees were not used by Puritans in colonial times. In 1851, Pastor Henry Schwan of Cleveland, OH appears to have been the person responsible for decorating the first Christmas tree in an American church. His parishioners condemned the idea as a Pagan practice; some even threatened the pastor with harm.

Some argue- “It still doesn’t mean that now! We do it for other reasons- not those things.” But the question I must submit is this- At what point does an evil, pagan ritual; a practice rooted in self-mutilation, anti-Christianity and witchcraft; when does it suddenly become acceptable to our never-changing Lord? If He is the same yesterday, today and forever as the Bible says, then what is the cause of His mind change? I don’t believe there is one. An evil practice remains evil, no matter what we fallen humans call it.

THE CORRECTION

 As we reflect on the true meaning of Christmas, perhaps it would be best to choose a symbol that actually represents the birth of a Savior, the Christ Child. One of the most beloved themes of the Holy Day is the nativity. My family is creating a nativity ourselves- a simple one, and we plan to improve bit by bit as an annual tradition. Of course, I won’t have the wise men (or magi), because they weren’t at the actual birthplace. Let’s make it about Christ, about the birth of our Lord in body and blood and bone, the Word become flesh who would one day die a cruel and unjust death because He loves us so much. Let’s celebrate Him. Even though we aren’t exactly sure of the date Jesus came to be with us as a helpless babe, we can still honor Him. Let us honor Him with a practice worthy of His respect. Find a symbol that your family can focus around that emphasizes Christ, not tradition. The nativity, the child, the reason for His coming, something that centralizes the day of remembrance on Jesus Christ, the Son of God and the Son of Man who came to us a baby so He could be killed as a man.

 

Tags: Asherah, Asherahs, Asherim, Asherot, Ashurah, Birth of Christ, celebration, Christmas, Christmas Tree, Day of Asherah, Day of Ashurah, gift exchange, Islamic, Islamic caladar, Muhammad, pagan trees, paganism, Roman, Saturn, Saturnalia, Sol Invictus, truth, William Bradford, Winter Solstice, christmas tree evil, evil tree, lies, pagan christmas tree, gifts under the tree, presents under the tree, gift exchange, meaning of Chirstmas,

 

Coming soon!

November 7, 2009

See What’s Coming Soon!

NEWEST EDITION ADDITIONS:

What’s being worked on:

I’m working on a new series that will discuss some of the most controversial and denominationally dividing issues; issues that, if we read Scripture correctly, would have no quarrel. Some topics are:

  • The Trinity/ Oneness argument
  • A short(er) summary on the timing & placement of the rapture. (See also the article Will There Be A Rapture?)
  • Baptism: Water vs. Spirit
  • Tongues- Types & Uses in the Church
  • Dependability on the Bible- Literal, Metaphorical, or False?
  • As always, the fight between Creationism and Evolution marches on. I will provide a list and summary of more evidence that the earth is young, not million of years old. (See also the article The Evolutionary Lie: Biblical Reality Proved)

As always, I’m researching and working on my book, Confessions and Professions. In the book, I examine the gifts of speech and language, and their impacts on our lives both physically and spiritually.

Please take a few minutes to read the articles in the links below. If these plans are true, and I have no reason to doubt them, then this will be the biggest religious event in recent history, possibly since the resurrection of Christ! A church in Ethiopia has, for 3,000 years, claimed to have the Ark of the Covenant, which contains the original Ten Commandments, in a secure location (details in the articles). It has been secured by a guardian constantly since its arrival there. The guardians, over 30 have had the task, live their entire lives inside the confines of a fenced area containing the small building where the Ark is kept. When a guardian dies, a new one is appointed. The patriarch, a religious official of the Orthodox Church in Ethiopia, has announced plans to unveil this treasure to the world.

Rendition of the Ark of the Covenant

Rendition of the Ark of the Covenant

 
http://wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=102119
http://wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=102200

For more on Bob Cornuke, the biblical investigator, international explorer and best-selling author who was one of the first to publically discover the whereabouts of the Ark, please visit: http://www.baseinstitute.org/ 

 3Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

 4Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

 5Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.

 6Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

 7Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.

 8Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

 9Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

 

 10Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

 11Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.

 12Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matthew 5:3-12)

 

“Persecuted.” “…people insult you…” “…evil against you…”

Upon Jesus’ saying this, the outlook of being a follower of Jesus changes greatly. Prior to this, all of the “Blessed are…” verses contain instruction on being humble, merciful, pure in heart, and peacemakers. Then the whammy: You will be hated, pursued, bullied and harassed because of Jesus. You may die for Jesus.

To many, this is a shock to the system. Churches and evangelists often paint the picture of coming to Christ and having a peaceful, wonderful life without worry or fear. Many falsely believe that they will become a Christian and no longer have financial burden, family struggles, relationship issues, or disrespect.

Unfortunately, saying, “I’m a Christian,” is not a magical phrase that makes all needs and problems go away. Jesus never said, “I’ll make your life easy.” In fact, those last verses point to life being anything but easy. Jesus let us know that you may die for His cause, being persecuted for being righteous, by Jesus’ Godly standard. Yet, the reward is heaven. Jesus let us know that they will revile, mistreat and abuse us, and even persecute us because we belong to Jesus. Of course, the ultimate persecutions are torture and even death. And let us not forget the prophesied end-times in which all believers will be hated, sought and killed based entirely on their faith.

This is not to say that there are no benefits to being Christian. First of all, there’s heaven. We also do have immeasurable amounts of mercy upon us, peace that surpasses understanding, Spiritual gifts, such as tongues, prophecy, wisdom, etc. We are allotted blessing upon blessing for both the present life and our eternal life, all according to the Holy Spirit. The rewards always outweigh the concerns of being Christian.

What many do not understand is that being persecuted is not all bad. Surely, it is terrible for the moment. It is horrific to undergo the suffering that some brothers and sisters in Christ endure, even to this day. Yet in the end the reward is amazing. We live eternally in the presence of God; we get to look on the face of Jesus the Christ.

Jesus also said, “Whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” (Matthew 16:25) He will give in return an eternal reward. A blessing that lasts not for a day, but forever. The joy is forever. The peace is unending. The harmony is eternal. The presence of the Almighty, Creator God, the Christ who died in our place, such a presence you will be in ceaselessly. These will never, ever go away. Should you suffer for Christ for your entire life of 70, 80, even 100 years, yet in ten-thousand-million years your joyous reward will have only begun.