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Among all the holidays celebrated in this country today, few have histories stranger than that of "Halloween." It was at some point (and even now in some "religions") considered "Eve of All Saints Day."  But as we know, "Christianity" was perverted in the third century into a new religion which would compromise with Satan in order to attract pagans and assimilate their festivals. "Halloween" actually commemorates rites and beings with which followers of Elohim1 have always been at war. It's a mix of pagan customs, religious traditions and superstitions.

The earliest Halloween celebrations took place among the Celts who lived more than two thousand years ago in what is now England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and northern France. The Celtic order of priests, the Druids, honored Samhain, "lord of the dead," on the evening of October 31 and November 1. According to ancient Celtic legend, Samhain could control the spirits of the dead. On October 31 he assembled the souls of all those who died during the previous year. To pay for their sins these souls were put into bodies of animals and people who were sacrificed by the Druids by fire. It was believed this would keep Samhain happy, who would then give them clues about the future in the ashes.

November 1 marked New Years Day for the Celts. It was the beginning of winter and the time of the "light that loses, the night that wins." Another tradition of Celtic belief was that on November 1, demons witches and evil spirits roamed the earth to greet the long, dark winter months, "their season." The only way humans could escape their pranks would be to dress up as one of them or put out sweets and other good things to eat to placate the evil spirits. This is the custom from which the modern-day "celebration" of Halloween finds its roots. When Rome conquered the Gauls, a Celtic people in what is now France, they brought their customs with them into the man-made and constantly changing  religions of the area. The Roman festival honoring their goddess Pomona, to whom they dedicated their gardens and orchards, made apples a part of Halloween celebrations.

Rome, in 61 CE (common era), ordered the Celtic groves destroyed which were used for human and animal sacrifices. "Christianity" spread throughout Europe, and "the Church" was faced with the dilemma of new "converts" missing their pagan festivals. By 600 CE many Celts had become "Christians." "The Church" felt its membership numbers threatened by Celtic holidays, and wanted to do something to help bring pagans into the fold.

In 615 the Roman Church created a new holiday. It was called "All Hallows Day" (later called "All Saints Day") to honor all those who died as martyrs. At first it was held on May 13, 615, to celebrate the dedication of the Roman temple of Pantheon to Mary and all the martyrs. Two hundred years later Pope Gregory IV (844) transferred the celebration to November 1, one reason being to provide a substitute for the pagan Germanic celebrations at that time, making it easier to recruit pagans. In 1484 Pope Sixtus IV established it as a holy day of obligation for the entire Latin church. Outside the Church the belief in Halloween as a gathering time for evil spirits, demons and witches continued with little change. To the ghosts assembled were added goblins and fairies.

Long after "the Church" had "triumphed" over (actually absorbed) paganism, country people everywhere in Europe continued in their ancient practice of placating local spirits. When the Church appropriated Halloween (and other pagan practices) as its own, witchcraft emerged as an organized cult in opposition. During the Middle Ages Halloween became known as "the night of the witch," when the devil and his followers would gather. They would mock the Churchs coming festival of All Saints Day on November 1 by performing unholy acts the night before. As "the Church" further imbedded this "holiday" in its religion, the enemy (Satan and his cohorts) saw it as a way into the life and practice of Christians. While "All Hallows" was a day for religious observance, "All Hallows Even" (Hallowe'en for short) remained a night for magic and superstition. When the Puritans left their homes and settled in America in the 1600s, they did not celebrate Halloween at all. To them it was a heathen event and the work of the devil. It was not until the last century, when the Irish and Scots came to America in large numbers, that Halloween became a "holiday".

So, isn't Halloween just a fun "holiday" for children to have fun?  No. It's not. It's just another example of how the enemy wheedles his way into the lives of people when they don't depend on the strength of Elohim. Evil, death, magic and witchcraft is nothing for those who claim to be followers of Yahshua2 to play around with.

What does the Bible say?

1 Kefa (Peter) 2:9 But you are a chosen people, the Kings cohanim3, a holy nation, a people for Elohim to possess! Why? In order for you to declare the praises of the One who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

Romans 12:2 In other words, do not let yourselves be conformed to the standards of the 'olam hazeh [this world.] Instead, keep letting yourselves be transformed by the renewing of you your minds;...

2 Corinthians 6:17 Therefore YHVH says, "Go out from their midst; separate yourselves; dont even touch what is unclean. Then I myself will receive you."

Revelation 18:4 Then I heard another voice out of heaven say: "My people, come out of her! so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not be infected by her plagues, for her sins are a sticky mass piled up to heaven, and Elohim has remembered her crimes."

I Thess. 5:19-22 Dont quench the Spirit, dont despise inspired messages. But do test everything hold onto what is good, but keep away from every form of evil.

1. Elohim is the correct title of the Creator of the universe. It is used here instead of the word which is derived from the name used for pagan Germanic deities ("God").

2. Yahshua is the original, correct, Hebrew name of the Messiah.  It means "Yah's salvation" (Yah being a short form of the correct Name of the Creator of the Universe).

3. YHVH represents the Hebrew letters which make up the Name of the Creator of the universe.  The correct pronunciation is "Yahuveh" or "Yahveh."

ęCopyright 1998, Association of Torah Observant Messianics.  All Rights Reserved.   This article may be copied and distributed for non-profit purposes if copied in full, including this statement.

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