Things That Go Bump in the Night 10/31/99

Hebrews 9:24-28

JESUS CHRIST believed in the devil, demons, and evil spirits. Do you?

The outcome of Christ’s encounters with demonic powers is summed up in Colossians 2: 15, “Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.” There is victory in Jesus.

In America today there is a celebration of the spiritual underworld life style called Halloween. That holiday isn’t what it was when many of us adults were children, and it isn’t what it was long before that.

Fear sells. A recent survey among teens showed more of them know who Freddy Kruger is than Abraham Lincoln.

What a couple of decades ago was a fun filled night of collecting goodies has changed. Today more personal property is destroyed on this day than any. Costly vandalism reaches a peak on this night. Razor blades and needles are buried in fruit. Hallucinogenics are put in candy. It is not simply the scary night it used to be. It is now a frightening night.


The word Halloween comes from the event called “All Hallows Eve.” It is now the evening before All Saints Day. In certain parts of the country, such as our former home state of Louisiana, All Saints Day is a very special occasion when our dead loved ones are remembered and honored. It is a custom to put flowers on graves on this day. It is second only to Mother’s Day in the sale of flowers in Louisiana.

Even before the time of Christ, the ancient Druids had a holiday honoring their lord of the dead, Samhain. It was on the last day of October, the Celtic new year.

Druids believed that on this night Samhain called forth the souls of all who had died during the last twelve months and had during the time following their death been inhabiting animal bodies. These spirits returned to their former homes where the occupants were to treat them by providing food and entertainment for them. If it wasn’t acceptable, these spirits played tricks on the residents. From this emerged our “Trick or Treat.”

Legend says a man named Jack tricked the devil into not bothering him during his life. At death, Jack was denied both heaven and hell. He groped his way through the dark by carrying a glowing coal in a carved out turnip. From this came our Jack-o-lantern.

Halloween is one of the highest and holiest days of the occult year. Though witchcraft and Satanism are separate, both celebrate this day. Certain hard core Satanist make 33 living sacrifices on this night. One for each year of Christ’s earthly life. One of these sacrifices is to be a human.

Several years ago a satanic castle built in the north Georgia mountains was pillaged, and the two Satanists who lived there were murdered. I was privileged to visit the scene the morning after the night of horror. I spent a bit of time in the library and found their diary. The descriptions of their celebrations on Halloween confirm the rituals associated with the event.


Yes, I do. However, I want to share a Biblical perspective of what they are and what their limits are.

On occasion, while visiting the White House, I had the honor of staying in the Lincoln Bedroom —- free. The usher assigned to accommodate me told me of the sightings of Mr. Lincoln’s ghost in the White House. Queen Elizabeth, and several presidents have reported seeing him. Is Mr. Lincoln there? Emphatically, NO!

How do we know that? Our texts says, “It is appointed for men to die once, but after that the judgement” (Heb. 9:27). “After that” means immediately. Mr. Lincoln is either in heaven or hell.

Because of his professed faith in Jesus Christ, we know he is in heaven.

Well, what is it?

It is a demonic representation of him intended to deceive persons. Before persons become alarmed and apprehensive, let me hasten to say such is a rare phenomenon and not likely to happen to a believer. What it does prove is that demon spirits do exist.


I have had former fortune tellers inform me that they could tell people things about their departed loved ones they had no way of knowing. They said they actually saw the dead relatives while in a trance and talked with them.

Were these actually their departed dead? NO! “It is appointed unto man once to die and after that the judgement…” The revelation they received was from deceptive demonic spirits representing the deceased in appearance and with information. They had lived around the dead relatives during their lives and knew all about them.

These admitted mediums, that have shared this confidence, said they came to realize this ability did not come from God and could be from only one other source — the devil.

This led them to renounce the practice and repentantly receive Christ.

According to Colossians 1: 13 Jesus “delivered them from the power of darkness.”

Demons do exist, but often are not recognized as such.

We also encounter supernatural forces masquerading as angels of light. Their disguise is often so effective we do not recognize them for what they are.

The Bible speaks of them deceiving even “the elect,” that is, Christians. A deceived Christian acts little different from a devout Christian. A legitimate question is, “In what ways is this done?” How do they mislead people?

1. They give “wisdom” that is contrary to the wisdom of God. “This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic” (James 3: 15).

2. They work to control the lives of persons. There are individuals who assert they don’t want to establish a close relationship with Christ because they want their freedom. Little do they know they aren’t free, but rather that a supernatural power is at work in them.

“And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience” (Eph. 2:1,2).

3. They afflict some people with sickness. I want to hasten to confirm not all sickness is of such origin. I know of too many dear Christians who suffer frustration because they have heard that Satan causes sickness. He does some. Some believers go through prolonged repentance hoping it will cure them. Ask God once to forgive your sins and it is done. Thereafter, rejoice over His cleansing.

Some, NOT ALL, sickness is caused by demonic forces. Jesus related to such a woman: “So ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound; think of it; for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath?” (Luke 13:16)

4. According to II Peter 2: 1, Satan dispenses error among people and seeks to reduce believer’s effectiveness. This texts speaks of false prophets. If you were going to make a counterfeit $20.00 bill, what would you make it look like? If you were Satan and were going to create an effective false prophet, what would you make him or her like? The nearer the resemblance, the more effective the deception and the more destructive the work.

Major deceptions are being marketed in glossy print and glitzy films by charismatic personalities. Some are:
a. “All is one.” All the plants, animals, and earth are part of one large living organism.

b. “All is a god.” This is ancient pantheism which abandons the view of a personal God in favor of an impersonal energy, force, or consciousness.

c. “We are all gods” whether we realize it or not. Actress Shirley Maclaine said her spirit guide informed her, “If everyone was taught one basic spiritual law, your world would be a happier, healthier place. And that law is this: Everyone is God. Everyone.”

d. “A consciousness awakening” is needed, a new way of interpreting life. Eastern meditation, yoga, hypnosis, or drugs can help.

In summary, this teaches we are all self- realized gods and as such inherit the supernatural. All this is of the devil.

5. They can buffet us. Paul had a “thorn in the flesh” which was described as “a messenger of Satan” (II Cor. 12: 7). The thorn isn’t identified in order that we can all relate to the situation and realize that as the text says God’s grace is sufficient.

I am convinced it was Alexander the coppersmith whom he described as having done him much evil (II Timothy 4: 14).

Sometimes thorns are personal.

6. They cause contention among God’s people.

“For it has been declared to me concerning you, my brethren, by those of Chloe’s household, that there are contentions among you” (I Corinthians 1:11).

7. They give some a spirit of fear.

“God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and of a sound mind” (II Timothy 1:7).

Guilt is a major factor in many lives. It is “the blood of Christ” that can “purge your conscience” (Hebrews 9: 14).

If you have a spirit of fear it doesn’t come from God.

8. They tempt people with unclean thoughts, such as the man in Mark 5. When Jesus cast the legion of demons out of him, they entered into a bunch of hogs. Jesus shouted “Suey” to them and they committed hogacide.

Satanic influences are contaminating the minds of people as never before. Pornography is rampant. The Internet, TV, videos, and various publications flaunt it. It is one of the greatest stimulants to promiscuity. It is a major contributor to marital discord and break-up.

9. They lull persons into spiritual apathy, indifference, and delay. C.S. Lewis the brilliant British author put this into perspective in his classic Screwtape Letters. In the book there is a dialogue between the chief devil, Screwtape, and his nephew Wormwood. Wormwood is being sent on assignment to interfere with the spiritual lives of individuals and disrupt the church. The wise old devil gives this council on how to undermine the faith and repentance of a young Christian. In this conversation Christ is spoken of by Screwtape as “the Enemy.” The idea of repentance and faith in Christ is called a “disaster.”

It remains to consider how we can retrieve this disaster. The great thing is to prevent his doing anything. As long as he does not convert it into action, it does not matter how much he thinks about this new repentance. Let the little bruit wallow in it. Let him, if he has any bent that way, write a book about it; that is often an excellent way of sterilizing the seeds which the Enemy plants in a human soul. Let him do anything but act. No amount of piety in his imagination and affections will harm us if we can keep it out of his will. As one of the humans has said, active habits are strengthened by repetition but passive ones are weakened. The more often he feels without acting, the less he will be able ever to act, and, in the long run, the less he will be able to feel.”

In the initial moments of this message, I spoke of the victory of Jesus Christ over demonic forces. Hear these texts:

“He came to destroy the works of Satan” (I John 3:8).

“He brought to nothing the forces of evil” (Hebrews 2:14,15).

“He triumphed over the forces of evil” (Colossians 2:15).

The purpose and power of the cross is to bring people back into a relationship with Christ. The very essence of Christianity is the restored relationship. The love expressed by Christ on the cross has the power to turn rebellion into surrender, and resentment of God into love for God.

“He came to set the captive free” (Luke 4:18).