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The Scripture Reading: Deuteronomy 18:9-12.
The Solo by Benjamin Kincaid Griffith: "Hold the Fort" by Philip P. Bliss (1838-1876).


by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord's Day Evening, October 21, 2001

"And many that believed came, and confessed, and shewed their deeds. Many of them also which used curious arts (practiced magic) brought their books together, and burned them before all men…" (Acts 19:18-19).

I am quoting at length from a pamphlet titled "Halloween - The Devil's Birthday" by Dr. D. A. Waite:

Halloween, as we know it, originated in Europe… we Americans continued that fall festival of pumpkin faces…and "trick or treating." The truth is, it was brought over from the Satanic Druid culture of the Celts.

It's on Halloween…that the witch covens have their great annual worship service and offer a blood sacrifice to Satan. All through the year the Satanists sacrifice cats, dogs, and other animals; but on this special day they offer a human being - one of their own children - which they select for this ghoulish murder! This is shocking! It's the Devil's birthday.

The ancient Celtic empire extended to France, England, and Ireland…The folklore of early Ireland depicts Druids as a priesthood, offering human sacrifices. One of the chief Druid doctrines which is prevalent today, [was the belief] that men's souls do not perish but transmigrate after death…This is a very serious Satanic [belief]. Many people today believe in the transmigration of souls. We hear them interviewed on radio and television shows.

I have heard two different women on "Larry King Live" who say they contact the souls of dead people. They are practicing this Druid custom Dr. Waite spoke about. They believe that our souls roam around on earth after we die, rather than going directly to Heaven or Hell, as the Bible teaches.

Dr. Waite said:

The Druids were Satanic to the core in their worship and pagan practices. Halloween is a Druid holiday that we in America have received from Satanic paganism…The Druid priests believed that on Halloween "Samhain, Lord of Death," called together the wicked spirits [or souls] that within the last 12 months had [died], and allowed them to inhabit the bodies of animals (Halloween - The Devil's Birthday, by D. A. Waite, Th.D., Ph.D., Southwest Radio Church, P.O. Box 1144, Oklahoma City, OK 73101).

Dr. Waite showed that the idea of ghosts wandering around at Halloween comes directly from the Satan-worship of the Druids.

And there is a great interest in ghosts today. We can tell from the Halloween horror movies that young people are flocking to see, "From Hell," "Vampire Hunter," "The Nightmare Before Christmas," "The Others" and "Thirteen Ghosts." I hope none of you go to these movies! They are Satanic!

Disneyland advertises "Haunted Mansion Holiday! Creepy, kooky characters have left no tombstone unturned, [a] spooky experience." Knott's Berry Farm has become "Knott's Scary Farm," full of Halloween ghosts and witches. "The Haunted Queen Mary" presents its seventh annual "Terror Fest" with "seven horrifying mazes!" Sea World and Six Flags Magic Mountain have "ghost shows," and "Frankenstein" with Boris Karloff will be shown at the Alex Theatre in Glendale.

All of this Halloween activity focuses people's minds on death and darkness, and on ghosts.

As I pointed out in the sermon this morning, the Bible teaches that there are no real ghosts. What seem to be ghosts are really demons - under the control of Satan. The demons pretend to be ghosts walking around on earth, to make people think that there is no Heaven or Hell after death. Satan's demons want you to think that your soul will stay on earth, floating around in the air, after you die. But the Bible teaches that you will go directly to Heaven or Hell.

So, the Scriptures clearly tell us that all of this emphasis on ghosts is from the Devil and his demons. And it's dangerous to have anything to do with ghosts and Satan.

Now, I want us to think about how God told us to deal with Halloween across the ages, in each dispensation.

I. In the last dispensation, God's people were told not to have anything to do with witchcraft or the demonic.

In the last dispensation, God was dealing with the world through the Jews, and the nations of Israel and Judah. And God told His people to have nothing to do with witchcraft, "ghosts," or demons. The Old Testament says:

"There shall not be found among you any one that…useth divination, or an observer of times (an astrologer), or an enchanter (a sorcerer), or a witch, Or a charmer (one who casts spells), or a consulter with familiar spirits (a medium), or a wizard (a spiritist), or a necromancer (one who consults the dead). For all that do these things are an abomination unto (hated by) the Lord…" (Deuteronomy 18:10-12).

Again, the Bible says:

"Regard not them that have familiar spirits (mediums), neither seek after wizards (spiritists), to be defiled by them: I am the Lord" (Leviticus 19:31).

Mediums and spiritists are people who contact "ghosts," which are really demons. These mediums and spiritists bring back messages that they claim are from "the dead" - but are really from the Devil and the demons. "The Sixth Sense" was a movie about a little boy who contacted demons pretending to be ghosts. All of this is evil and Satanic. And God told His people to have nothing to do with it. You should be in church instead of playing with demons on Halloween! You should be in church every Sunday as well. Let the fools in the world run after the demons of Halloween! You come to church! You come to Christ! Only Christ can give you eternal life!

Peter said, "Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life" (John 6:68). No one but Jesus Christ can give you eternal life and cleanse your sin by His Blood. Jesus said:

"I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me" (John 14:6).

And that's why the Bahai religion is wrong.Bahai teaches that all religions have the same origin, and that all religions are to be united together. Actually this is the religion of the Antichrist. What's wrong with it? Bahai says that Buddha, Moses, and Jesus are on the same level as Mohammed - as the founders of religions. That is a demonic lie! Jesus Christ is not on the same level as Moses or Buddha, or Mohammed! Jesus Christ is the Lord of history, the Second Person of the Godhead - the only Redeemer of mankind! Jesus said, "No man cometh unto the Father but by me" (John 14:6).

"Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" (Acts 4:12).

No one but Jesus Christ died on the Cross to pay for your sins. No one but Jesus Christ shed His Blood so your sins could be washed away! No one but Jesus Christ rose physically from the dead to give you everlasting life! Get back here to church every Sunday. Turn to Jesus Christ fully and wholeheartedly!

II. And then, secondly, in this present dispensation, early Christians got rid of their occult books and turned away from demonic practices.

These Christians lived right at the beginning of this dispensation. They turned away from their pagan beliefs, and turned fully to Jesus Christ. The Bible says:

"And many that believed came, and confessed, and shewed their deeds. Many of them also which used curious arts (practiced magic) brought their books together, and burned them before all men…" (Acts 19:18-19).

These people turned away from their sins. They didn't just talk about becoming Christians - they actually turned away from their sinful way of life - and they turned to Christ. That's what happens when a person is truly converted to Christ. The Greek word translated "convert" is "strepho." It means "to turn." To be converted, you have to turn - you have to turn away from the sinful world - and you turn to Jesus Christ.

It isn't enough to just believe in Christ mentally.That won't save you. The demons believe mentally - but they are lost forever. Mental belief never saved anyone from judgment. There must be a turning of your heart - from sin to Christ. The Bible tells us that the early Christians

"turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God"

(I Thessalonians 1:9).

That's what you must do - turn to Christ and turn away from sin with your heart and with your life.

It begins by coming to church every Sunday. I have no patience with so-called Christianity that makes no change in a person's way of living. Sure - you never went to church much before. Neither did those people in the early church who burned their magic books. Real Christianity was new to them. But they wanted to be sure their sins were forgiven by Christ. They wanted to go to Heaven. They were even willing to burn their magic books. They came to the church every Sunday - "And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved" (Acts 2:47). Their entire lives were changed. That's real Christianity! That's what you need!

Now, why do you need to come into the church and be converted?

First, because you are lost. The Bible says you are "lost" in Matthew 18:11; Luke 19:10; II Corinthians 4:3 - and in other passages. What does it mean to be "lost"? It means that you have lost your way. It means that you don't know how to find the right path or the right road. It means that you are in the dark - like a person who is lost in the woods - late at night. And you can't find the way home by yourself. Only Jesus Christ can bring you out of darkness. Only He can lead you out of your lost condition. "For the Son of man (Jesus Christ) is come to save that which was lost" (Matthew 18:11). You need Christ to convert you and save you because you are lost.

Then, secondly, you need to come to church and be converted because you are under the curse of God's judgment, because of your sin. The Bible says:

"Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse…a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the Lord your God…" (Deuteronomy 11:26, 28).

That's why you are under a curse. You have not obeyed the commandments of God. The curse of breaking God's eternal moral law hangs over your head. You are living a cursed life. You will die a cursed death. You will spend eternity under the curse of God - in Hell - because you have broken God's laws. You are guilty! And you are cursed for your guilt!

And nothing you do can take that curse off of you. Only Jesus Christ can remove the curse! And He did it by going to the Cross - to pay for your sins by suffering there to pay the price for sin. The Bible says:

"Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree [on a cross]" (Galatians 3:13).

That's why you need Jesus Christ! That's why you need to come back to church. That's why you need to turn away from your sinful and selfish way of life. That's why you need to turn yourself over to Jesus Christ completely. Only Christ can save you from being lost. Only Christ can take the curse of judgment for sin away and save you from punishment!

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The Scripture Reading: Deuteronomy 18:9-12.
The Solo by Benjamin Kincaid Griffith: "Hold the Fort" by Philip P. Bliss (1838-1876).



by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

"And many that believed came, and confessed, and shewed their deeds. Many of them also which used curious arts (practiced magic) brought their books together, and burned them before all men…" (Acts 19:18-19).

I.   In the last dispensation, God's people were told not to have
anything to do with witchcraft or the demonic,
Deuteronomy 18:10-12; Leviticus 19:31; John 6:68;
John 14:6; Acts 4:12.

II.  In this present dispensation, early Christians got rid of their
Occult books and turned away from demonic practices,
Acts 19:18-19; I Thessalonians 1:9; Acts 2:47;
Matthew 18:11; Deuteronomy 11:26, 28; Galatians 3:13.