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by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord's Day Evening, October 23, 2016

“For the mystery of iniquity doth already work…”
(II Thessalonians 2:7).

The word translated “iniquity” means “lawlessness.” Dr. John F. Walvoord said, “The mystery is the revelation of a future climax of lawlessness in the world” (John F. Walvoord, Th.D. and Roy B. Zuck, Th.D., editors, The Bible Knowledge Commentary, Victor Books, 1984 edition, New Testament, p. 719; note on II Thessalonians 2:7).

Dr. J. Vernon McGee said, “‘The mystery of lawlessness’…will continue to grow worse and worse” (J. Vernon McGee, Th.D., Thru the Bible, Thomas Nelson Publishers, Volume V, p. 414; note on II Thessalonians 2:7).

The rise of Halloween is part of the “mystery of lawlessness,” “the mystery of iniquity,” as rebellion against God’s law grows “worse and worse.” Halloween is part of “the mystery of iniquity” in our time. I will answer three questions concerning the origin, rise, and current popularity of Halloween.

I. First, when did the lawlessness which produced Halloween begin? Where did it originate?

Some time ago a small boy in our church asked me, “Dr. Hymers, where did Halloween come from?” I gave him a short answer and told him I would speak on it. I told him about Ezekiel 28:12-15 and Isaiah 14:12-15 which says,

“How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit” (Isaiah 14:12-15).

Satan’s original name was Lucifer, which means, “morning star.” He was “the anointed cherub that covereth” (Ezekiel 28:14), covering and protecting the throne of God. Dr. Morris said Lucifer was “evidently the highest cherubim and, therefore, the highest of all God’s created angels” (Henry M. Morris, Ph.D., The Defender’s Study Bible, World Publishers, 1995 edition, p. 878; note on Ezekiel 28:14).

But Lucifer’s heart was lifted up in pride. He decided to revolt against God, and take over His throne. Lucifer said,

“I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God…I will be like the most High” (Isaiah 14:13-14).

But Lucifer was cast out of Heaven into the earth’s atmosphere. His name was changed from Lucifer to Satan when he was cast out by God. “Satan” means adversary, or enemy. Satan led one third of the angels against God. They too were cast out of Heaven and became demons. Satan is now called “the prince of the power of the air” (Ephesians 2:2) – because he rules the demonic forces in the atmosphere around the earth. Only in the future will Satan and the demons be cast into the Lake of Fire (Revelation 20:10).

Today Satan is God’s enemy, His adversary. He is

“The prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in [energizes] the children of disobedience” (Ephesians 2:2).

Satan works in, and energizes, unsaved mankind.

“For the mystery of iniquity doth already work…” (II Thessalonians 2:7).

Thus, Halloween, with its emphasis on death, demons, witches, vampires and ghosts, is “energized” by Satan, empowered by him.

II. Second, how did Halloween rise and become so popular?

Again, we must say,

“The mystery of iniquity doth already work…” (II Thessalonians 2:7).

The iniquity (lawlessness) began with Satan’s rebellion against God. It spread to mankind when Satan tempted Adam in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:1-5). Adam listened to Satan and rebelled against God.

“Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation…” (Romans 5:18).

The entire human race became sinful by nature, through our union with Adam, the first human being,

“And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5).

At the Tower of Babel, mankind tried to reach Heaven and dethrone God (Genesis 11:4). God judged them by “confounding” their languages and scattering them across the face of the earth. In their various countries, men began to forget about God. They replaced the worship of God with heathen practices and idol worship.

“Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things” (Romans 1:21-23).

Those who traveled from the Tower of Babel to Europe, were the Celts. Their Druid priests worshipped Samhain, “the Lord of Death,” who was actually Satan. Their new year began on November 1. They believed that on October 31, the last day of the old year, Samhain gathered the evil dead and put their souls into the bodies of animals. They believed that Samhain put the souls of the “good” dead into reincarnated human bodies. The Druids sought to please Samhain, “the Lord of Death,” because he decided whether their souls would go into animals or return as humans. They also believed that Samhain allowed the spirits of those who died in the previous twelve months to return and roam the earth on October 31.

Thus the Druids believed that ghosts, evil spirits and witches were active on the evening of October 31. On that night they believed evil spirits played tricks on people. The Druids put on ugly masks and danced around bonfires to scare away the evil spirits (cf. John Ankerberg, John Weldon, and Dillon Burroughs, The Facts on Halloween, Harvest House Publishers, 2008, pp. 11-14).

The Encyclopedia Britannica (1946 edition, volume 11, pp. 102-103) said that Halloween began long before Christ was born.

History shows that the main celebrations of Halloween were purely Druidical, and this is further proved by the fact that in parts of Ireland Oct. 31 is still known as…“vigil of Saman.” This is directly connected with the Druidic belief in the calling together of certain wicked souls on Halloween by Saman, lord of death. On the Druidic ceremonies were grafted some of the characteristics of the Roman festival in honour of Pomona held on Nov. 1, in which nuts and apples…played an important part. The custom of lighting Halloween fires survived until recently in the Highlands of Scotland and Wales.

In Ireland, “Halloween is actually a national holiday (celebrated with fireworks); children are even released from school for a week” (Ankerberg, ibid., p. 15).

All of the modern customs of Halloween come from the ancient pagan Druids, including jack-o’lanterns, trick or treating, Halloween costumes, asking for candy – and all the rest. Dr. D. A. 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 (D. A. Waite, Th.D., Ph.D., Halloween: the Devil’s Birthday, Southwest Radio Church Ministries, Box 100, Bethany, OK 73008).

The Roman Catholic church tried to “Christianize” Halloween by turning it into “All Saints’ Day.” In 835 A.D. Pope Gregory III ruled that All Saints’ Day must fall on the same day as Samhain. Yet the basic underlying features of Satanic Druidism remained, and were brought to America by Irish Catholics during the great potato famine in the 1840s. Hundreds of thousands of Irish Catholics immigrated to the United States and brought their Halloween practices with them. Before the 1840s Halloween was never observed at all in Protestant America.

We agree with Dr. Waite that this “holiday” is “Satanic to the core” (ibid.). The Bible says,

“Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them” (Ephesians 5:11).

III. Third, why is Halloween celebrated in the public schools, but not Christmas or Easter?

Again, the answer is given in our text,

“For the mystery of iniquity doth already work…” (II Thessalonians 2:7).

As America continues to reject her Christian heritage, this is inevitable. In 1962 the Supreme Court outlawed prayer in the public schools. It was an act of raw judicial power, not based on anything in the Constitution. How could it be? The men who wrote the Constitution never in their lives said one word against children praying in school! This was a decision of evil men in the Court, not a decision of the authors of our Constitution! About a year later President John Kennedy was assassinated. America came under the judgment of God. We have experienced one judgment after the other ever since.

One Sunday I read a “classic” reprint of a “Peanuts” comic strip that first appeared a few months after that Supreme Court decision in 1962. Sally Brown comes home from school. She says to her brother, Charlie Brown, “Guess what?” He says, “What?” They both look around to see if anyone is listening. She signals for him to follow her. They look behind a door to see if anyone is listening. They peek out a window to see if anyone is there. Then they crawl behind a couch and hide. Finally she whispers to him, “We prayed in school today!” He puts his hands over his mouth in horror! (The Los Angeles Times, Sunday, October 24, 2010, p. H4).

So, that’s what happened in the United States of America. A five-year-old girl in Florida bowed her head in silent prayer before eating lunch. The teacher rapped her on the head and said, “It’s against the law to pray!” The girl said, “My father told me it’s good to pray.” The teacher said, “Your father is wrong! It’s bad to pray!” Children are forbidden to pray in our schools. “Christmas” and “Easter” cannot be mentioned by name for fear of punishment. Yet every schoolroom has cardboard cut-outs of witches and skeletons, black cats, ghouls, ghosts, and vampires with blood dripping from their mouths! What’s a kid to think? I believe they ought to be told the truth! America has become a pagan, Godless nation! Satan and his holiday are honored – but the name of Jesus Christ cannot be spoken! And prayer is against the law! The Muslim religion is honored and praised, but Christianity is attacked in every high school and college classroom across America – as you young people know! As it was in the ancient world, so it is today,

“Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen” (Romans 1:21-25).

“For the mystery of iniquity doth already work…” (II Thessalonians 2:7).

I don’t know about you, but I always become a Protestant on Halloween! I’m a Baptist all year long. But on Halloween I become a Protestant! I protest against this pagan holiday! On Halloween I always remember that on October 31, 1517, the great Reformer Martin Luther nailed the 95 Theses on the door of his church at Wittenberg, Germany. It was 95 points against the sale of indulgences, 95 points against giving money to the Pope to release souls from the flames of purgatory. Luther was exactly right when he said, “If the Pope has the power to release souls from the flames of purgatory, why does he have to be paid money to do it? Why doesn’t he do it out of Christian love? Why doesn’t he instantly release every soul suffering there?” Nobody could answer that question – and the Great Reformation had begun! We will see a movie on Luther next Sunday!

By the way, there is no such thing as purgatory. It is not in the Bible, not one time! Why? Because there is no such place as purgatory! That’s why!

Let us all stand with Luther this Halloweenagainst the corruption of the churchesincluding the new-evangelical churches of our day that do not emphasize the Blood of Christ! Let us all be “Protestants” on this day, let us say Sola Scriptura (nothing but Scripture), Sola Fide (nothing but faith in Christ), Sola Gratia (nothing but the grace of God can save us). That’s what Luther said – and that is what I say. Away with Halloween! On this day we should all be “Protestants”! We should all trust Jesus alone to save us from our sin!

Let us preach Christ alone for salvation. He died on the Cross to pay for our sin. “The blood of Jesus Christ…cleanseth us from all sin” (I John 1:7). We need no priest to “absolve” us from our sins. Christ absolves us from our sins by His death on the Cross, and His resurrection from the dead! We need no “sacrament” of Holy Communion! Christ is our sacrament. We need no priest to stand between us and God. Christ stands between us and God!

“For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (I Timothy 2:5).

Do you want to become a real Christian? You must come under conviction of the sin in your life and heart. You must feel that you are a sinner. You must throw yourself on the mercy of Christ. Christ alone can save you! Christ alone can cleanse your sins with His Blood. Christ alone can justify you in the sight of a Holy God. Christ alone can clothe you in His righteousness! Christ alone can redeem you from sin, Hell, and the grave. Come to Christ – and He will save you from sin by the Blood He shed on the Cross! Amen.

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Scripture Read Before the Sermon by Mr. Abel Prudhomme: II Thessalonians 2:3-7.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:
“Then Jesus Came” (words by Dr. Oswald J. Smith, 1889-1986;
music by Homer Rodeheaver, 1880-1955).



by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

“For the mystery of iniquity doth already work…”
(II Thessalonians 2:7).

(II Thessalonians 2:3)

I.    First, when did the lawlessness which produced Halloween begin?
Where did it originate? Isaiah 14:12-15; Ezekiel 28:14;
Ephesians 2:2; Revelation 20:10.

II.   Second, how did Halloween rise and become so popular?
Genesis 3:1-5; Romans 5:18; Genesis 6:5; 11:4;
Romans 1:21-23; Ephesians 5:11.

III.  Third, why is Halloween celebrated in the public schools, but not
Christmas or Easter? Romans 1:21-25; I John 1:7; I Timothy 2:5.