Archive for October, 2023

Happy Halloween

Ghosts, goblins, demons, and vampires celebrate their day Halloween. Are they real? Let me qualify the answer a moment. First, a reality.

Behind them all are demons. Different demons have different capacities. One is to speak though individuals. A very extremely rare reality. We had a worship service in which a man came forward and asked to testify. Another voice came from him as he began to use profanity and vulgarity. I got right in his face and in a loud voice said, “By the power of the shed blood of Jesus Christ I command you to shut up.” Immediately he went silent and limp. He was escorted out.

Another form is to physically manifest themselves as people. Both are deceptive.

In the White House there is a demon who presents himself as the ghost of Abraham Lincoln. Though he represents himself as Lincoln, he is not Lincoln. Lincoln is in heaven or hell, not on earth.

As a guest in the Lincoln bedroom in the White House, I was told of the ghost of Lincoln while sitting on the Lincoln bed. Across the hall from the bedroom is the Queen’s bedroom. My host said the doors of both bedrooms across the hall from each were open.  As the Queen sat on her bed and looked up Lincoln came and sat on the bed where I was. President Kennedy allegedly saw the ghost in the hall of the living quarters. There have been five other appearances.

That was not Abraham Lincoln, nor the spirit of any other deceased person. On earth with Lincoln during his lifetime there were demons. As we are unaware of demons in our life sphere doubtless Lincoln was unaware of them. They however observed him, his appearance, style, his total persona. They would have known how to best be his doppelgänger, lookalike. A satanic ploy to confuse persons such a demon does occasionally manifest himself. What better place or person to fraudulently represent. One reason is to spread fear and support false doctrine.

Not all thought to be demon possession is. Some other conditions prevail. Demon obsession is when a person is obsessed with the subject. Halloween stimulates this. A third factor is demon oppression involving demons causing oppressions. Got it: demon possession, demon obsessing, and demon oppression. 

Here is our manual of defense in the Lord and in the power of His might. “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” 

Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” (Ephesians 6: 10 – 17)

Origin of Halloween

The seismic social change in our society is seen in the celebration of Halloween. For years it was a minor event participated in innocently by little children with little public attention given the spiritual significance. It comes the day before a long held Christian celebration of paying tribute to dead loved ones by putting flowers on their graves. The day is called All Saints Day. The latter was given a lot of attention and proved to be a good day for florists. Now little attention is given All Saints Day and Halloween is one of the five most celebrated days of the year.

Halloween has its roots dating back before the time of Christ. The ancient Druids in Britain, France, Germany, and the Celtic countries had a celebration honoring some fo their deities. A primary one was Samhain, Lord of the Dead. Reputedly Samhain called together all souls of those who had died during the last twelve months and had them condemned to inhabit animal bodies. It was a celebration of the dead conducted on the first day of the Celtic new year, the last day of October.

Trick-or-Treat grew out of the belief all souls of the dead returned to their former homes on this night to be entertained by the living. If acceptable food and drink was not provided for these evil spirits, they would cast a spell causing havoc and terror. Trick-or-Treat!

Around 100 AD the Christian community began imperceptible to identify indirectly with the event. About this time Roman Emperor Hadrian built the Roman Pantheon as a temple to the goddess Cybele and other deities. Romans gathered there to pray for the dead. When the pagans sacked Rome, the Pantheon fell into disrepair. When Emperor Phocas recaptured Rome in 607 AD, he gave the Pantheon to Pope Boniface IV. Boniface did not want to offend those who esteemed the Pantheon as a place to pray for the dead. To “Christianize” the place Boniface reconsecrated the Pantheon to the Virgin Mary and urged Catholics to gather there to pray for the dead. The mass initially celebrated in May each year on a day called All Saints Day was called “Allhallowsmas.”

In 834 AD the holiday was moved to the October date to coincide with the Druids celebration of the dead, which was being transformed into a Christian holiday. It eventually became known as Halloween.

There is a tendency to interpret an event in light of our experience with it. Most adults were reared in a time when it was safe to go door to door and enjoy neighbors giving them candy, a fun innocent event. Not so now.

Because of what the day has become, many parents are replacing it with a “Fall Festival Party” or an “All Saints Party” and having children costume like “good guys” and not evil demented characters. Such events have little Christian inclusion, but provide a good alternative to the preoccupation with ghouls and ghosts. Games and goodies are a vital part of such events.

As a safety feature some churches are providing “Trunk-or-Treat.” Persons put treats that might normally be given out at homes in their trunks and park in the church parking lot. It provides a much safer environment than going door to door.


A striking young successful man expressed a selfish idea to his mother which was his nature. His mom quoted from “It’s Not About Me,” by Max Lucado, the popular line saying, “Remember, it’s not about me.”

Sarcastically he replied, “But it is about me.” That framed his life. He meant it and he lived it.

He became exhibit A of a me-ite personality.  His wife divorced him. His daughters renounced his faux faith, dropped out of school and became social outcasts. He became a loner whose friends were so few they could not play a game of solitaire.

It is about me is another way of saying what a person of such a mentality would never admit: “I am a selfish narcissist.” It is another way of saying my world circles around me and it is a small orb. At the core of such a life is sin. You cannot be the Christian you were saved to be if you are selfish. Jesus said it plainly, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” (Matthew 16: 24)

Selfish people are unable to love others. 

Selfishness can be defined as the trait that leads people to frequently act in their own interest without any regard for how their actions could impact others.

Some people act selfishly on occasion. Some are at their core selfish.            

In Greek mythology there lived a beautiful young nymph.  One day he observed his beauty reflected in a pool and became so enraptured he fell in and drowned. 

His name was Narcissus’. Such inordinate self-love bears his name.  Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) involves a pattern of self-centered, arrogant thinking and behavior, a lack of empathy and consideration for other people, and an excessive need for admiration. Others often describe such people as cocky, manipulative, selfish, patronizing, and demanding.

The issue of living a “selfie” life is addressed in Romans 12:3 “For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.”

This point is driven home in Hebrews 10:24-25 — “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works.”

Lest the point not be understood, Scripture repeats the concept. “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.” (Philippians 2: 3,4)

Your Master Craftsman – Part Two

“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Romans 8: 28

All things work together for good. You have got to be kidding! No, they do.

The Good Lord is in the “GOOD” business. That is, He deals in doing good. Things aren’t always good, but He is. Don’t confuse things with God. Things are not always good. God is always good. Fire is always hot, water is always wet, and God is always good. Always, it is His nature, He can’t be any other way.

Let’s do a security check on this verse. Does it really mean “all” things? Does that include such things as suffering, struggles, and sin? Yes!

Suffering often is used by the Lord to purify us. 

“…that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,”  (I Peter 1:7).  In our suffering God can be made all the more real to us and we can reveal Him all the more to others.

 Suffering often is used by the Lord to develop our patience.

“…the testing of your faith works patience….” (James 1: 3).

Suffering often is used by the Lord to perfect us.

“…after you have suffered awhile, [the Lord] will make you perfect…” (I Peter 5: 10).

It helps us to see and acknowledge our sin. It drives us to God.

It conforms us to Jesus by causing us to share in the “the fellowship of His suffering”  (Phil. 3: 10).

It reveals God’s compassion and capacity.

Struggles as used here is a reference to temptation. Does it work together for good for us also? Yes. 

Temptation makes us prayerful.

It devastates our pride, revealing to ourselves our own vulnerability.

It modifies us to help others in need. Knowing what it is like to struggle, we are motivated to want to relieve others when they suffer.

It makes us depend on the Lord when we suffer. It introduces us to the Lord.

Sin is always wrong. It is deplorable in the eyes of God.

When we see sin in the lives of others it is despicable. It makes us thankful we have been delivered.

Personal sin should be avoided, but even when it happens God overrules it and forgives us when we repent. Thus, our gratitude and indebtedness to Jesus is increased and draws us to Him.

If He can and will work in that trinity of adversity He will work in ALL things, enabling them to work together for good. Even any adversity presently in your life.

Your Master Craftsman – Part One

Jesus is there for us when life comes crashing down. He is there with us when life’s expectancy is exceeded and our accomplishments go beyond our wildest imagination. He is our companion in the shadows and the sunlight. 

Jesus lives to work by His Spirit in every event of your life. He was a realist. He never tried to con people into following Him by offering them health, wealth, and prosperity. He never tried to buy our loyalty. With candor he warned: “In this world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16: 33).

You have the potential of joining the all time overcomers championship team called “the Christians.” Hear the following as though spoken in our spiritual locker room:

“For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world; our faith” (I John 5:4).

As part of His farewell address Jesus exalted: “To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne” (Rev 3:21).

This affords every believer great confidence, even holy boldness.

Upon hearing this some people respond, “I just can’t see how!”  They can’t see because they don’t know.

Many people develop a negative attitude because they don’t know foundational truth.  Students of conversation have concluded that over 90% of the average person’s conversation is negative.  Think about that. Many seem not to be able to wait until they can drop the next negative nugget.

Their world is like the granddad who took a nap in his favorite chair. His mischievous grandchildren were intrigued by his handlebar mustache. While he napped they rubbed limburger cheese in his mustache. Soon he was awakened by the odor and exclaimed, “This room smells bad.” He rushed out doors and rapidly concluded, “The whole world stinks.”

Even in our odorous world “All things work together for good.”

Let’s not be pretentious and advocate that everything that happens is good. The text doesn’t say that. Reality reveals not all things are good.

When the cumulative effect is applied we can see how they work together for good. An insight into how the cumulative effect works can be illustrated. Start with one penny and double it every day for 30 days. Sounds simple doesn’t. The first day there is one penny. Day two there are two pennies. Day three there are four. God the picture! Keep that up for 30 days and guess what the cumulative effect is. In 30 days you would have 536,870,912 pennies or $5,368,709.12.  Little things add up.

When the events of life are added up they work together for good.

“Work together” is present tense meaning they keep working together for good.  That results in trust of the Lord. Evaluate what is going on in your life in light of that.