“It’s such a fun time!”  “We’re just having fun!”  “The kids really like dressing up and getting candy.”  It’s party time! These are some of the comments made by many Christians when asked about Halloween.  But are they valid reasons for celebrating that day?

Let’s look at the origins of Halloween.  It started in what is now Ireland as Samhain (pronounced SOW-win).

Samhain, (Celtic: “End of Summer”) also spelled Samain, in ancient Celtic religion, one of the most important and sinister calendar festivals of the year. At Samhain, held on November 1, the world of the gods was believed to be made visible to humankind, and the gods played many tricks on their mortal worshippers; it was a time fraught with danger, charged with fear, and full of supernatural episodes. Sacrifices and propitiations of every kind were thought to be vital, for without them the Celts believed they could not prevail over the perils of the season or counteract the activities of the deities. Samhain was an important precursor to Halloween.  (Per Brittanica.com)

In other cultures, it is celebrated as The Day of the Dead.  “On the Day of the Dead, it’s believed that the border between the spirit world and the physical world dissolve. During this brief period, the souls of the dead awaken and return to the living world to feast, drink, dance and play music with their loved ones. In turn, the living family members treat the deceased as honored guests in their celebrations.” (Per History.com)

All the various cultures’ holidays seem to have this in common.  Whatever day is celebrated, October 31st – November 2nd (in the southern hemisphere, May 1st because their seasons are reversed), it is believed that the veil between the living and the dead is either very thin or gone.  The dead can visit the living, and the living and dead can interact.  This can seem comforting to those who’ve lost loved ones.

It is natural for people to seek the supernatural.  After all, we are spiritual beings who have a soul and live in a body.  We were created specifically for relationship with Father God.  That connection was broken by Adam’s sin, but it hasn’t changed Father God’s heart.  He still wants relationship with His kids.  He hasn’t given up on us; He’s gone to great lengths to get us back from Satan’s kingdom.  Jesus had to suffer, die and rise again to take the punishment for our sin to redeem us – buy us back.  Deep inside each of us is a longing for Him.

Now we’ll look at some spiritual truths, which are true for everyone in all cultures and times, whether they know it, believe it, or like it.

In the beginning… God created the earth and every physical thing on it.  That includes people, plants, animals, the solar system, etc.  Even before this, God existed.  He is spirit, not physical (at least until Jesus came to earth.)  He also created other spiritual beings – the angels.  There was no death.  None.  So, no “need” for connecting with the dead.  Everything was perfect, beautiful.  God was worshipped.  He held all of creation in His hands, and all functioned perfectly in peace and order.

The angels were not created as robots.  They were created to serve, and they have free will.  Robots cannot worship.  One angel, Lucifer – which means light bearer – was especially beautiful.  In Ezechiel 28, God speaking through the prophet, tells us of the spiritual King of Tyre behind the earthly king. He is speaking of Lucifer.

“You were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.  You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone adorned you. … You were anointed as a guardian cherub, for so I ordained you.  You were on the holy mount of God; you walked among the fiery stones. You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created till wickedness was found in you. … So I drove you in disgrace from the mount of God, and I expelled you, guardian cherub, from among the fiery stones.  Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor.  So I threw you to the earth.

Lucifer didn’t get thrown out alone.  Scripture tells us there was a war in heaven and one third of the angels joined the revolt against God.  They lost the war and were thrown to earth.

Earth.  That’s where mankind lives.  And God gave mankind – human beings – dominion, sovereignty, and control over earth.

Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”  (Genesis 1:26-28)

This didn’t make Lucifer any happier.  Here God walked and talked with Adam and Eve.  They had fellowship with God – and he’d lost it. They had the earth and rulership of it.  And they worshipped God, their Creator, their Father.  They were to exercise authority over creation and to take care of it.

Again, Lucifer was not Number One.  He couldn’t rule here on earth either.  He wanted to be god so badly he could taste it.  Somehow, he had to get the earth away from the authority of Adam and Eve and under his control.  He’d have a kingdom and worship.  He’d be a god!

This brings us to Genesis 3 where Lucifer takes the form of a snake and tempts Adam and Eve to disobey the one commandment they’d been given – to not eat of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. (There had to be some way for them to choose God.  They weren’t robots either.) Satan’s tactics?  “Did God really say?”  “Is God holding out on you?”  His tactics haven’t changed much.

There were at least two main consequences to what Adam and Eve did.  It just wasn’t a matter of eating the apple – or whatever it was.

First, God said if they ate of the forbidden tree, they’d die.  They didn’t die physically right then and there, but their spirits (the part of them that could be in God’s family, have fellowship with Him and live with Him forever) died.  And they eventually died physically.  Adam lived 930 years, still a long time, but he died.  Death didn’t exist at creation.

Secondly, Adam lost dominion of the earth.  Satan was now in charge.  That explains much of what upsets us in the Old Testament and today – child sacrifice, worshipping false gods, wars and so on.  Cruelty, hatred, jealousy, rebellion, sorcery, and so much more evil, pain and death.  Judges 21:25 explains how things got so bad.

In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit.  (Judges 21:25)


To be continued …

Here is a link to Part 2.

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