3 Dimensions of the Spirit (Part One)

17 01 2011

“…becuause thou knewest not the time of thy visititatioin” Luke 19:44

 

The bible teaches us that there are three ways in which God revals himself to man. He visits man, he manifest himself to man and he inhabits man and in each varying degree there is a deeper revelation, understanding and commitment to God. I have often wondered why God would chose to reveal himself to man in varying degrees of revelation. I beleive that the reason God does this is to test the faith, commitment and desire that we have to really know him. We can see throughout scripture that many different men and women  were given the opportunitty to know God but many of them becuase of the degree of their commitment fell short of what God had truly intended and purposed for their lives. If we truly want to become everything God has intended us to be we cannot neglect our time of visitation.

VISITATION

Sadly like in the days of Jesus there are many who never knew that God had visitied them and that God what was willing and ready to pour out his mercy, love and blessings upon them. So many people  and more specifically so many Christians are so caught up with this world, with success and with their  finances that often time they fail to see that God is in the midst of their dilema, that God is willing, ready and able to do a great work in them. I would like to say that I have learned in my time walking with God that he is not as concerned about some of things we concern ourselves with but what God is truly concerned about is his ultimate purpose for our lives. The reality is that God often times is waiting for us to recognize him in our dilemna, to recognize him in our everyday lives, to recognize that he is truly in the midst of us if we would only open our eyes. I am reminded of the Apostle Pauls conversation with the Athenians in Acts chapter 17, in speaking to them about their religion and superstitions he reveals to them that God was there all along despite their blindness, “His purpose in all of this was that  the nations should seek after God and feel their way toward him and find him, though he is not far from anyone of us” (NLT). Recognizing that God is in your midst and that he is worthy of your attention is the first step in moving deeper into what God has truly intended for your life. This is where many fall short, they recognize that God was in their midst, they recognize that God had visited them but they failed to embrace and give attention to this visitation of God. They fail to realize that this visitation from God was meant to be a launching pad for the rest of their lives, this visitation was meant to reveal the power of God in your life and in your dilemnas, this visitation was intended to take you from the ordinary to the extadordinary. How sad it will be when you come to the end of your life and you realize that God had visited you and you did not fully embrace this opportunity of supernatural change, direction and provisison for your life. So many will never go to the next level with God because they fall into one of these two categories, they have had a visitation and did not embrace this visitiationor the failed to ever recognize that God was visiting them. There have been many who have had a visistation of the divine but that will be the extent of their experience with God. If we fail to embrace and commit to the moment of divine visitation we will never see the supernatural manifestation of  God in our lives. Living for God should be a expereince of glory to glory, in other words one experience with God should lead to a deeper experience with God or in this case divine visitation should lead to supernatural manifestation.

God Bless,

© 2011 Apostolic Messenger

 

 





Personal Private Suffering II

1 11 2009

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“Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him” James 1:12

I just read a blog I posted some time back. Man it hit me so hard. I have been going through one of the hardest trials in my life and have forgotten how to practice enduring until God has done what He needs to do to get His glory out of the trial.

BLESSED

Consider the very fact that you are in a trial is the very evidence that you are divinely positioned in the will of God. Often times we look for signs and prophetic words to give us evidence that we are in the will of God. I believe that God does give signs and uses men and women in a prophetic manner but often times the most powerful evidence we have  that we are divinely positioned in the perfect will of God is that all hell is breaking loose against us. The very evidence of trial and affliction is the evidence that God is divinely at work in our lives. The apostle James considered the man who was in the midst of affliction and trials as a man that is blessed and loved by God. I guess at this point in my life I am extremely blessed and loved by God.

ENDURETH

The dictionary defines the word endure as, “To undergo (as hardship) especially without giving in: to suffer without giving in.” It is one thing to understand the definition of endure and another thing to understand God’s spiritual purpose for allowing affliction and hardship in our lives. The revelation is this, “God allows us to endure things that are often to hard to bear so that He would bring glory out of our tribulation”. God will literally strip us and chastise us to prove to us that He is the one in control, that He is the one that blesses, that He is the provision, that He is the source of our joy, our peace, our strength and if anything ever gets in the way of that and begins to take credit for who He is and what He does He will strip us of it.

ENDURING

Enduring isn’t a pleasant thing to undergo in our christian lives but it is God’s divine tool for forming us and chastising us. It is the very evidence that God is at work in us. The funny thing about enduring is that you cannot run from it and the reality is that if you do try to run from it you can often times extend the timeframe for which you must endure. It is hard to endure, it is hard to undergo God’s chastening, ” No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way” (Hebrews 12:1 NLT). Enduring is painful, it hurts, it often times is confusing because we have so many questions which go unanswered by God during the time of affliction. But regardless it is the divine evidence that you are in the perfect will of God. We must all stubbornly or peaceably learn to endure while God is at work in our lives.

HE SHALL RECEIVE

What a promise! James says that the man that endureth shall receive. We might not receive what what we want but we shall recieve what God had intended. There is not a man or woman alive who can stop the perfect will of God in your life when you come into a place of complete surrender and trust to God. Someone told me recently, ” You cant reason with God” that is so true. We often times in the affliction try to reason, to bargain or deal with God. We give Him the big “IF” if I endure this will you give me what I desire, if I stick around will you bless me with what I want, that is not trusting God during your time of affliction. To trust God is to say, God I hope yet I dont hope, I want yet I dont want, I wish yet I dont wish. In other words whatever the outcome of this enduring my heart will be content with your perfect provision in my life. To trust God is to honestly say, “God I leave it all in your hands whether it seems to work in my favor or not, I will trust that your provision is perfect and far better than what I could have planned or desired for myself. The promise is clear that once you have endured you shall receive Gods intended provision for your life.

PRAISE HIM IN THE PAIN

Praise Him in the pain, because one day the pain will end but the praise will have been stored up in heaven as treasure. Praise Him in the confusion because one day the confusion will end. Praise Him when you have no answer because one day He will give you an answer. Praise Him in the discipline because one day the discipline will end. Praise Him because you shall receive. Praise Him because the prophet said, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end” (Jeremiah 29:11).

MY FAVORITE QUOTE

“It is in the quiet crucible of your personal private sufferings that your noblest dreams are born and God’s greatest gifts are given in compensation for what you’ve been through” Wintley Phipps

© 2009 Apostolic Messenger





PRAYER THAT STIRS

30 11 2007

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Satan does not care how many people read about prayer if he can only keep them from praying. – Paul E. Billheimer

I ran into an article today about a prayer that was ministered by Pastor Joe Wright in the Kansas House in Topeka, Kansas. The prayer was so stirring and powerful that it caused some people to walk out of the session. How could a simple prayer offend so many and how could a simple prayer stir the hearts of so many. Prayer is the single most effective tool that God has given us in His kingdom as a matter of fact Paul’s exhortation to the church was to “Pray always” to “Pray without ceasing”. It is awesome to understand what God does through the power of prayer most of you probably have heard the old saying, “Even when weakest of saints gets on their knees to pray, satan begins to tremble”. Do you want to stir up the kingdom of God, do you want to make your enemy feel uncomfortable (satan), do you want to see God really move in your life then the answer is simple, the act is simple and maybe even the words you may say are simple, the answer is pray.

THE ARTICLE

Thought you might enjoy this interesting prayer given in Kansas at the opening session of their Senate. It seems prayer still upsets some people.

When Minister Joe Wright was asked to open the new session of the Kansas Senate, everyone was expecting the usual generalities, but this is what they heard:Heavenly Father,We come before You today to ask Your Forgiveness and seek Your direction and guidance. We know Your Word says, ”Woe to those who call evil good,” but that’s exactly what we have done. We have lost our Spiritual equilibrium and inverted our values. We confess that; we have ridiculed the absolute truth of Your Word and called it pluralism; We have worshipped other gods and called it multiculturalism; We have endorsed perversion and called it an alternative lifestyle; We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery; We have neglected the needy and called it self preservation; We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare; We have killed our unborn and called it choice; We have shot abortionists and called it justifiable; We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building self-esteem; We have abused power and called it political savvy; We have coveted our neighbor’s possessions and called it ambition; We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of expression; We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers and called it enlightenment. Search us, O God, and know our hearts today; try us and see if there be some wicked way in us; cleanse us from every sin and set us free. Guide and bless these men and women who have been sent here by the people of this state and who have been ordained by You, to govern this great state of Kansas. Grant them your wisdom to rule and may their decisions direct us to the center of Your Will.I ask in in the name of your Son, The Living Savior, Jesus Christ

The response was immediate. A number of legislators walked out during the prayer in protest. In 6 short weeks, Central Christian Church, where Rev. Wright is pastor, logged more than 5,000 phone calls with only 47 of those calls responding negatively. The church is now receiving international requests for copies of this prayer from India, Africa, and Korea.Commentator Paul Harvey aired this prayer on “The Rest of the Story” on the radio and received a larger response to this program than any other he has ever aired.

PRAYER THAT STIRS

This is the kind of prayer that we as Christians should practice. Prayer that moves the hand of God and prayer that angers our enemies. We should have such faith that when we pray we are sure that God will move on our behalf in regards to the prayer we have prayed in His will. If their is one thing that our enemy wants to keep us from doing it is praying. He understands that in prayer our mind is sanctified, our spirits are uplifted, our faith increases and our boldness for God is magnified. Prayer simply put begins to shatter the power of the enemy – prayer that is truly prayer will always bring supernatural spiritual results in God’s kingdom.

PRAY IN FAITH

Pray believing that it is God’s will for you to pray. Pray believing that it is God calling you to pray. Pray believing that God hears your very voice and thoughts when you pray and pray believing that God will answer your prayer.

Prayer is asking for rain; faith is carrying the umbrella. – John Mason

The great work of the church, the saint is to pray and find God’s will. How can we know God’s will if we don’t pray? How can we practice our faith if we don’t pray? If the Apostles and the early church relied on prayer as their source, their connection to God and His ordained power then how can you and I neglect the need to pray?

“Prayer does not equip us for greater works – prayer is the greater work.” Oswald Chambers

DEDICATION TO PRAYER

Maybe your prayer life has not been as strong as you know it could be. Maybe life and the holidays have kept you real busy and it has affected your devotion time to God. Maybe its just been a spiritual struggle that you cant explain or it could be the enemy has been working against you in your prayer life. I would like to just encourage you to know that you can rededicate your prayer life to God today. You can come into His presence ask Him for forgiveness, ask Him to restore your prayer life and through His Spirit He will reknew the strength and the passion you need to continue in your desire to pray. Maybe you have a strong devotional life, pray that God would encourage and empower those who are struggling in their walk with God. Pray that God would use you to remind and encourage the saints on the supreme necessity of prayer. Remember a church that prays together is church that stay together. Paul said, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” this is true if you pray but if you don’t pray Christ can not strengthen you. We are in the last days and the hour is near and now more than ever my brothers and sisters we must pray fervently in the Kingdom of God.

God Bless,

 





What Prophets and Angels Desire

21 11 2007

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 “As to this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you made careful searches and inquiries, seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow. It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven–things into which angels long to look.”

1 Peter 1:10-12 NASB

THE PROPHETS

What a wonderful thought the scripture gives us. Imagine the prophets inquiring of God what they were prophesying about? They did not understand the words that the Spirit of God was putting in their hearts concerning the times of the gentiles. They only new that their would come a suffering messiah to redeem the gentiles but they did not know who or in what time or dispensation this would come to pass. The only revelation they were given concerning this glorious Gospel is that they were ministering to a people who had not yet come into existence. The bible teaches us that these prophets preached unto us the Gospel through the power of the Holy Ghost before the appointed time. The awesome revelatiion about this is that you and I are the aforementioned people living in the aforementioned time which the prophets were inquiring about. We are the gentile people of biblical prophecy, we have our proper place in God’s word it is you and I that have been born into the season of biblical fulfilment. The blessing that you and I possess is the full revelation of God’s plan and mystery concerning His perfect will. What a blessing it is to understand this.

CONSIDER THIS

Have you ever really stopped and considered how blessed we are to have the understanding that we have. To have access to the fullness of God’s counsel, to be able to diligently look into the fullness of His word and come away from it with a perfect understanding of His plan, purpose and work. Have you ever considered that prophets like Isaiah, Jeremiah, Hosea, Amos and Daniel to a name a few who did not have the privilege to know the things that you now know, “And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things? And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.” Many great and righteous men have wanted to know and understand what we now have free access to the complete revelation of God’s word. Look what Jesus said to his disciples concerning the mysteries of the Kingdom, “For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.” Wow! That is the only thing I can think of when I consider that I have an understanding that great men and prophets of God desired to have.

EVEN THE ANGELS

Even the angels desire to look into the things we understand. This is an amazing thought because the angels have been there with God since the beginning. They were there when Lucifer was cast out of heaven, they were there when God created Adam, they were there when Jesus Christ was born, they were there when He was crucified, they were there when He rose from the dead and they were there when He resurrected. Yet they do not have a full, complete understanding of why? Why did He die, why does He love them so much, why did He choose this way? Yet you and I understand, “…thou has made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.”

CREATED FOR GLORY

How wonderful to know that man was created in the likeness and image of God. Adam created to reflect the perfect virtues of God. Hence when God fellow-shipped with Adam His son, He would always see Himself in Adam. That was the pinnacle of man’s glory the moment that God was able to see Himself in His creation. That is the glory of God in man, when man reflects the perfect virtue and love of Christ. When relationship with God is so profound that words are not needed to tell people how much I love Christ they need only to look at my life and see God reflected. This is the glory of God in man, the fulness of His Spirit radiating through the life of men and women who have been redeemed by His precious blood.

THE PRECIOUS BLOOD

This is what the angels and the prophets did not understand. They did not understand in the plan of redemption, His creation that had fallen into a sinful nature would be restored back into a position where they could reflect and radiate the glory of God. They did not understand that to accomplish this it would take the perfect blood of Jesus Christ. They did not understand that this perfect blood without spot or blemish would not only cover man’s sin but completely wash them out, “how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”

CONSIDER THE WORD

Consider this. God has chosen you. He has chosen you to understand, He has chosen you because you were born in the time of prophetic fulfilment. Consider that God has blessed to understand His plan, His purpose, His work and His love for you. Consider that God has given you a place in His word and in His divine plan. Consider the fact that you were born for a specific time, reason and place. When the prophets were moving under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit they were speaking about the time in which you would be living, they were prophesying about events that would take place within the contextual timeframe of your lifespan. They spoke of things they did not completely understand but were positive would come to pass. Consider that you and I are living the prophetic time-line of God and are blessed to have an understanding of these things. Remember Jesus words, “For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.”

God Bless,

© 2007 Apostolic Messenger Minister Daniel Bracamonte





Christian Halloween?

31 10 2007

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ARTICLE BY ART BRAIDIC AND DENNIS FISCHER FROM BLOW THE TRUMPET

Every year, millions of children throughout the world celebrate the custom of Halloween. During this celebration, they dress up in costumes, parade through neighborhoods knocking on doors, and declare the words “trick or treat,” expecting to receive candy or some sort of gift. But is Halloween something Christians should celebrate? Is this the kind of festival Jesus Christ would want us to observe?

First, understand that although Halloween professes to be a Christian holiday, it is anything but Christian. This custom was celebrated by the pagan world centuries before the New Testament Church was ever founded and it was not introduced into the professing Christian world until centuries after the deaths of the apostles. In fact, if you search the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, you will not find a single line advocating the observance of this holiday or anything like it. On the contrary, God condemns such practices throughout the scriptures.

A Strange Superstition
Halloween is one of the strangest holidays mankind celebrates. It is an amazing paradox, an unusual mixture of Christian terms and ancient pagan religious rites. Moreover, despite the technological and intellectual advancements our society has made, it still clings to ignorance of the past. As a result, we celebrate ancient superstitions by partaking in pagan rites, dressing up as witches, goblins, ghosts, skeletons, and demons.
What is this holiday? Where did it come from and why is it celebrated? It certainly did not come from the Bible or the early Christian Church raised up by Jesus Christ and the apostles (Mt. 16:13-17). Consider what authorities say regarding the origin and practice of Halloween.

Ralph Linton, on page four of his book, Halloween Through Twenty Centuries, explains the connection between the current practice of Halloween and a pagan rite practiced by the ancient Druids.

The American celebration rests upon Scottish and Irish folk customs which can be traced in direct line from pre-Christian times. Although Halloween has become a night of rollicking fun, superstitious spells, and eerie games that people take only half seriously, its beginnings were quite otherwise. The earliest Halloween celebrations were held by the Druids in honor of Samhain, Lord of the Dead, whose festival fell on November 1.

Furthermore, the Encyclopedia Britannica, 11th edition, Volume 12 says:

It was a Druidic belief that on the eve of this festival, Saman, lord of death, called together the wicked souls that within the past 12 months had been condemned to inhabit the bodies of animals… (pp. 847-858)

The Yearbook of English Festivals by Dorothy Gladys Spicer adds the following:

All Hallows’ Eve or All Hallow E’en, with its tradition of witches, ghosts, hobgoblins and spirits, its games and incantations, still is a gay time for pranks and parties in many North country homes. Fun-loving Americans have borrowed from their British ancestors many Hallow E’en games such as apple-bobbing, nut roasting and tossing of apple parings. Transplanted to the New World soil, the old practices have become revitalized, and currently are observed with more enthusiasm than in the country of their birth.

To ancient Druids, the end of October commemorated the festival of the waning year, when the sun began his downward course and ripened grain was garnered from the fields.” “Samhain, or ‘Summer’s End,’ as this feast to the dying sun was called, was celebrated with human sacrifice, augury and prayers; for at this season spirits walked, and evil had power over souls of men.

Not until the fourth century did the pagan vigil for the god of light give way to All Hallows, the mass for Christian saints; and not until the tenth, did the Druids’ death feast become All Souls’ the day of prayer for souls that had entered rest. Cakes for the dead were substituted for human sacrifice, fortune-telling for heathen augury, lighted candles for the old Baal fires.

Far from being Christian, Halloween is an old pagan holiday masquerading as though it were one of the customs of the Church. Despite this, professing Christians encourage their children to get into the spirit of this pagan custom! The celebration of Halloween is clearly a relic of pagan times and superstitious tradition. Notice what the authoritative Encyclopedia Britannica says about this holiday. It long antedates Christianity. The two chief characteristics of ancient Halloween were the lighting of bonfires and the belief that this is the one night in the year during which ghosts and witches are most likely to wander about. History shows that the main celebrations of Halloween were purely ‘Druidical,’ and this is further proved by the fact that in parts of Ireland October 31 is still known as Oidhch Shamhna, ‘Vigil of Saman.

Saman or Samhain was the pagan lord of the dead among the Druids. However, this pagan holiday was not celebrated among the Druids alone. It has been and is currently celebrated around the world in different forms, but always with the same general pattern and meaning.

Halloween was also a Roman festival. Consider the words of the Encyclopedia Britannica regarding this celebration.

On the Druidic ceremonies were grafted some of the characteristics of the Roman festival in honor of Pomona held about November 1, in which nuts and apples, representing the winter store of fruits, played an important part.

Halloween can be identified in various forms all around the world. It is found in both Christian and non-Christian countries. This is because its origins predate Christianity. Marie Trevelyan, in her book Folk Stories of Wales, writes the following.

In Wales it was firmly believed that on All Hallows’ Eve the spirit of a departed person was to be seen at midnight on every crossroad and every stile. (p. 254)

The practices involved in Halloween are also found in Mexico. In the book Adonis by Frazer, the practice of Halloween is clearly identified, not only by its date, but also by its symbolism and rituals.

The Miztecs of Mexico believed that the dead came back in the twelfth month of the year, which corresponded to our November. On this day of All Souls the houses were decked out to welcome the spirits. Jars of food and drink were set on a table in the principal room, and the family went out with the torches to meet the ghosts and invite them to enter. Then, returning to the house they knelt around the table, and with their eyes bent on the ground, prayed the souls to accept the offerings. (p. 244)
The elements of this holiday are also found in Cambodia. According to E. Aymonier in the work Notice sur le Cambodge, people would chant,

O all your ancestors, who are departed, deign to come and eat what we have prepared for you, and to bless your posterity and to make it happy. (p. 59)

It is clear that the trappings of Halloween have covered nations around the world. It is equally clear that the practices embraced by this holiday are not Christian at all.

Its Symbols and Superstitions

Understand the shocking truth from history as to why this holiday was celebrated! Ruth Kelly, a recognized authority on Halloween, wrote that because the Druids believed in the immortality of the soul, they concluded that a person’s spirit would pass from them at death and seek out another body in which to reside.

[The pagan Druid priests] . . . taught the immortality of the soul, that it passed from one body to another at death . . . They believed that on the last night of the old year the lord of death gathered together the souls of all those who had died in the passing year and had been condemned to live in the bodies of animals, to decree what forms they should inhabit for the next twelve months. He could be coaxed to give the lighter sentence by gifts and prayers. (The Book of Halloween, p. 10)

Many Druids believed that black cats were in fact reincarnated human beings, and that the Priest had the ability to divine the future through them. If any crossed your path, however, it would mean they might posses you, a very bad omen. Halloween was celebrated to preserve in the minds of the people the false doctrine that the soul is immortal and that the dead are not really dead. The Celtic peoples believed that the souls of good men went to paradise while the souls of those who did evil were reincarnated in the form of animals for a year. The only chance these disembodied souls had for a decent afterlife was to return on this day of Samhain, and find a human body to possess. It is important to understand that November was regarded by the Celtic people as the beginning of the New Year. Therefore, it was a perfect time for their priests to remember and celebrate the dead.

All Saints Day

Today, Halloween is celebrated on the evening of All Hallows or All Saints Day. Because days were customarily reckoned as beginning at sunset, Halloween was celebrated in anticipation of November 1, which was dedicated to the Lord of the Dead. Halloween is founded on a fear of the spirits of the dead possessing those who are alive. This fear is driven by a belief that man has an immortal soul. It is important to understand that the Bible clearly declares that only God has immortality at this time. The apostle Paul, when writing to Timothy about Jesus Christ, said,

Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; Whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to Whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen. (1 Tim. 6:16)

The clear teaching in the Bible is that the soul is mortal and that it is appointed unto all men once to die (see Hebrews 9:27). The book of Ecclesiastes actually states that the same fate befalls both man and beast.

For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them; as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast; for all is vanity. All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again. (Eccl. 3:19-20)

God’s Word repeatedly explains that the dead are in their graves awaiting a resurrection. The dead have no contact with the living. However, because almost all heathen nations have no knowledge of the true God, they have created times and superstitions that honor their dead.

Who is the Lord of the Dead?

Shortly before his crucifixion, Jesus was questioned by the Sadducees about the concept of a resurrection. In order to demonstrate that there will be a future resurrection from the dead, Jesus told them:

But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken to you by God, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living. (Mt. 22:31-32)

It is important to understand what Jesus meant by these profound words “God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.” The Sadducees to whom Jesus was speaking did not believe in a resurrection. They also accepted only the Torah as holy scripture. With this in mind, Jesus quoted the Torah (Ex. 3:6) to prove that a resurrection would one day occur. He did this by illustrating that long after the death of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, God continued to refer to Himself as their God: “I am the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob,” not “I was the God…”
The point Jesus was making was that although these patriarchs were dead (Heb. 11:13), they will live again in the resurrection, as will all of God’s people (Dan. 12:2; Lk 14:14; Jn 5:28; Rev. 20:4-6). Although these men were dead, they were as good as alive at that moment because God’s promise of a resurrection is immutable (Rom. 4:17). With this understanding, Jesus’ words take on greater meaning. The God of the Bible is the GOD OF THE LIVING, not the God of the dead! To worship the true God, we should not celebrate rites dedicated to the dead. However, among the heathen Druids, Samhain or Saman, is the lord of the dead and that lord is none other than Satan himself! Therefore, when people celebrate the dead, they unknowingly honor the devil!

Is Ignorance an Excuse?

What if people don’t know who it is they serve when they celebrate Halloween? Is it alright to keep this holiday if you do not know what it represents? The resounding answer to this question is NO! When writing to the Church at Galatia, the apostle Paul indicated it was possible to worship something that didn’t even exist.

Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods. (Galatians 4:8).

The heathen who thought they were worshiping the true God were actually serving demons. Young people today who dress up in weird costumes and demand “trick or treat” are not serving the true God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Rather, they are unwittingly serving the god of this world who has blinded them (2 Cor. 4:4). Do you want to serve the lord of the dead? Halloween is a holiday dedicated to worshiping the lord of the dead. The true God is the God of the living

Trick Or Treat

Do you know where the practice of children knocking on doors and shouting “trick or treat” originated? At this special time of the year, it was believed that there was a very thin line between the living and the dead. During the time of Samhain, people believed ghosts of the dead were able to mingle with the living. It was feared that the dead would come back in search of bodies to possess the next year. This was the only means for these spirits to have an after-life. Fearing possession, the townsfolk did many things to trick the spirits or scare them away.
At this time, Druid priests wore masks so they would not be recognized and attacked by evil spirits. Some believed that the spirits would leave you alone if you tricked them by dressing up to look like them. Others thought the wearing of frightening costumes would scare the evil spirits away. Many people even carved demonic faces in turnips or potatoes and put candles inside them, an early Jack-o-lantern, to frighten the spirits.
The “treat” part of this holiday came from attempts by some to “buy off” these evil spirits by giving them gifts. Some believed these spirits imprisoned the bodies of animals and could be released by giving gifts or tribute to the lord of the dead. James Napier, in his book Folklore, wrote about this practice.

There was a prevailing belief among all nations that at death the souls of good men were taken possession of by good spirits and carried to paradise, but the souls of the wicked men were left to wander in the space between the earth and moon, or consigned to the unseen world. These wandering spirits were in the habit of haunting the living… But there were means by which these ghosts might be exorcized. (p. 11)

The idea that spirits possessed animals was just one belief. Others believed that the souls of the dead returned to their original homes and were to be entertained there with food and drink. If they were not given the things they desired, these spirits would cast spells and cause absolute havoc to the inhabitants of the home. Alexander MacGregor, in his book Highland Superstitions, writes,

It was the night for the universal walking about of all sorts of spirits, fairies, and ghosts, all of whom had liberty on that night. (p. 44)

In an effort to exorcize these ghosts, people were encouraged to set out food as a form of treat. If the demons were satisfied, they would leave the individual in peace. If not, they would leave an evil spell.
Ralph Linton (Halloween Through Twenty Centuries) concludes that the practice of leaving gifts for spirits is the origin of today’s practice of trick or treat when he states “…certainly it comes from pagan times.” In Ireland up to the turn of the century, it was customary to have a procession “led by a man in a white robe wearing a horse-head mask… The horse was sacred to the Sun God,” says Linton, which indicated that this custom was a survival of a Druid rite. “The procession levied a contribution from the farmers in the perverted name of what probably was an old Druid god. Unless the procession was “treated liberally with gifts,” the farmers were “tricked” with the threat of a curse that would ruin next year’s crops! The present day practice of “trick or treat” is nothing less than a continuation of these degenerate and absurd customs which came out of paganism.

How Did Halloween Become Christian?

The first of November, celebrated among pagans in honor of Samhain, is celebrated today in thousands of Christian churches around the world. The Catholic Encyclopedia states that the purpose of this day is to “honor all the saints, known and unknown.” Additionally, according to Pope Urban IV, this day was designed to address “any deficiencies in the faithful’s celebration of saints’ feasts during the year.”
But how did the veneration of saints, supposedly alive in heaven, come to be celebrated on the same day used by pagans to honor evil spirits? According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, the Church believed that every martyr should be honored and it appointed a common day for all of them.

At this point, It is important to understand that the general practice of the Christianized Roman Empire was to convert pagans as quickly as possible. From the time of Constantine who made Christianity the state religion, the pagan religion and practices were appropriated for use in order to encourage conversion by those who were deeply tied to paganism. To do this, the names of pagan gods were changed to those of Christ, Mary, and the saints.
The book, The Mysteries of All Nations by Grant, records the story of how the pagan celebration we call Halloween became a Christian practice. Grant explains that the Emperor Hadrian rebuilt the Pantheon about 100 A.D. and dedicated it to the goddess Cybele and other Roman gods. The Pantheon became the central edifice for worship. However, before the sixth century, Rome was invaded and controlled by barbaric tribes. After the defeat of the Barbarians by Emperor Phocas, the Pantheon was retaken and given to Pope Boniface IV as a gift. As a result, this great temple now became “holy” and was dedicated to the Virgin Mary and all the saints. It became a shrine where Christians could pay homage to Mary and others who had died in the faith. An annual holiday was commemorated to this end. May 13 was first chosen and this day became known as “All Saints Day.” Later, the date was changed to November 1 and the name changed to “All Hallows,” and ultimately to “Halloween.” The book, Strange Stories, Amazing Facts, by the Readers Digest Association explains how pagan practices became a part of Christian worship:

Although Christianity has swept the world in a relatively short time, as the histories of great religions go, the early missionaries faced an up-hill task. The pagans were reluctant to give up their false gods and ancient practices. So the missionaries, unable to convert them easily to an entirely new code of worship, did the next best thing. They took the pagan festivals as they were, and gradually grafted the observances of the new faith onto these festivals and rites and customs surrounding them.

Like Christmas and Easter, the festival of Halloween originated in a pagan celebration, even though its name is derived from the Christian festival of Al Hallows’ or All Saints’ Eve.

It was introduced in the seventh century to commemorate all those saints and martyrs who had no special day to themselves and was held on May 13th. But in the eighth century, All Hallows’ day was moved to November 1, to counteract the pagan celebrations held on that date. Only since the late 18th and early 19th centuries has Halloween developed into a festive time for children, with costumes, lanterns, and games. Before then it was regarded as a night of fear, and wise men, respectful of hobgoblins and wandering demons, stayed indoors.

On page 6 of his book, Ralph Linton explains how All Saints’ Day became a Christian practice.

All Saints Day was introduced into the church calendar because the year was not long enough to make it possible to dedicate a special day for each spirit of the Catholic Church.. The day chosen was one already associated in the popular mind with a thronging of spirits of the dead, which was quite in line with church policy of incorporating harmless pagan folk ideas… Gregory III (731-741) consecrated a chapel in the basilica of St. Peter to all the saints and fixed the anniversary [honoring them] on November 1. (Halloween Through Twenty Centuries)

Notice what once was a memorial for each martyr on different days became a general day in honor of the dead who were believed to be alive in heaven. Protestants have continued the celebration of Halloween in part because “it was on this day in 1517, that Martin Luther posted his epoch-making ninety-five theses on the door of the castle church at Wittenberg” which started the Protestant Reformation. “He chose Halloween night because he knew that the townsfolk would be coming to the church that night.” (Halloween Through Twenty Centuries, Ralph Linton, pp 9-10).

Because the leaders of the Reformation did not believe in Saints, there could be no “All Saints Day.” No “All Saints Day” meant no “Halloween.” Therefore, to please those who still wanted to celebrate these festivities, the Halloween revelries were moved to November fifth and renamed “Guy Fawkes Day.” Guy Fawkes was one of a group who plotted to blow up the Protestant English Parliament. Guy Fawkes Day celebrated the failure of this plot. Still it was Halloween in spirit; bon fires were lit, lanterns were carved in turnips, and children went begging for money. Halloween survived the Protestant reformation to live on with all its ancient and pagan traditions.

Should Christians Celebrate Halloween?

When the average person thinks of Halloween, there are visions of jack-o-lanterns with candles inside to make the jeering faces look even more eerie. There are thoughts of skeletons and ghosts, goblins and devils. Black is a favorite color of Halloween and rooms are made to be dark and scary.

Consider for a moment the symbolism of Halloween. What has that symbolism to do with the true God or Christianity? The symbols of Halloween are blackness and darkness. These are symbols of Satan. God is light and there is no darkness in Him (I John 1:5). Does the symbolism surrounding this holiday reflect what God would appreciate? Does this holiday, with it’s dark symbolism, seem like something God would accept from us? Would Jesus Christ celebrate Halloween, considering its symbolism and images?

What about the whole concept of “trick or treat”? In principle, this is no less than simple extortion. Halloween encourages wrong by suggesting that if you don’t get what you demand, you are justified in causing harm or damage. Such a belief goes totally contrary to the scriptures.

Halloween is the very antithesis of Christianity. Jesus Christ tells us in John 8:12, “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” God further tells us, “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20).
There is nothing connected to Halloween that is even remotely Christian. Its images are of death, demons, the spirit world, ghosts, goblins and mysticism. All this is totally contrary to God’s word. Halloween is pagan in origin and it’s symbols and practices are not of God. Halloween is about the dead. God is the God of the living.
Furthermore, we need to understand that Halloween is not just an ancient pagan festival of the past. It is still celebrated by the occult in our land today. One practicing witch writes the following in the Leaves Of Wonder Website.

Samhain… is the most important of the Wiccan Sabbats… The deities are in their darkest, most fearsome aspects… Though fearsome, he [the Lord of Death] is also comforter and teacher of the dead, preparing them for the next lifetime.

Speaking through the prophet Jeremiah, God admonished Israel to refrain from learning pagan practices and indicated that there would be severe consequences for failing to obey.

Hear ye the word which the Lord speaketh unto you, O house of Israel: Thus saith the Lord, “Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. (Jer. 10:1-2)

But the Lord is the true God, He is the living God, and an everlasting king: at His wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide His indignation. Thus shall ye say unto them, “The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth, even they shall perish from the earth, and from under these heavens… (Jer. 10:10-11)

God’s word is clear. Pagan practices, including Halloween, are to be rejected by His children. He not only forbids inquiring after false gods and practicing their ways, but He outlines the consequences for violating His command.

God’s Holy Days

But God does want us to worship Him and that worship must be in spirit and in truth (Jn 4:24). In order for us to properly honor God, He has created specific festivals. These festivals outline His plan of salvation and identify who He is and how He will accomplish His purpose for all mankind. These Holy Days, which are commanded assemblies, include the Passover, the Days of Unleavened Bread, Pentecost, the Feast of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, and the Feast of Tabernacles. These great feasts, which were designed personally by God, were kept by the champions of faith in the Old Testament as well as Jesus Christ and the apostles in the New Testament. The book of Acts indicates that the early Church celebrated these Holy Days (Acts 18:21; 20:6; 27:9). The great prophet Zechariah indicated that the time would come when the entire world, under Christ’s millennial rule, will keep His feasts (Zech. 14).

A Final Thought

Understand the truth about Halloween: it is a spiritual counterfeit! It is a pagan holiday. It is based on the worship of the dead. In short, Halloween is the trick, not the treat. It is the trick that has been played on an unsuspecting world. Fortunately, the Bible declares that the time will come when Jesus Christ will rule the entire world and the knowledge of God will cover the earth as the waters cover the sea (Isa. 11:9). In that day, people will honor God’s Sabbaths and His Holy Days. Once people begin to celebrate God’s true Holy Days, Halloween will begin to look “hollow” instead of “hallow.”

 To see this article in it orginal content click www.blowthetrumpet.org Bro. Noe thanks for the link to this great article.

God Bless,





Incomparable Christ

31 10 2007

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THE POEM

More than nineteen hundred years ago there was a man born contrary to the laws of life. This man lived in poverty and was reared in obscurity. He received no formal education and never possessed wealth or wide-spread influence. He never traveled extensively. He only once crossed the boundary of the country in which He lived. But this man’s life has changed the course of history. In infancy He startled a king; in childhood he puzzled doctors; in man hood He ruled the course of nature, walked upon the waves, and hushed the sea to sleep. He healed the multitudes without medicine and made no charge for His services. He never wrote a book. Yet His life has inspired more books than any other man. He never wrote a song. Yet He has furnished the theme for more songs than all songwriters combined. He never founded a college. But all the schools put together cannot boast of having as many students. He never marshaled an army, nor drafted a soldier, nor fired a gun. Yet no leader ever had more rebels surrender to Him without a shot fired. He never practiced psychiatry. Yet He has healed more broken hearts than all the doctors far and near. Once each week the wheels of commerce cease their turning, and multitudes gather to pay homage and respect to Him. Though time has spread nineteen hundred years between the people of this generation and His birth, He still lives. His enemies could not destroy Him, and the grave could not hold Him. This man stands forth upon the highest pinnacle of heavenly glory, proclaimed of God, acknowledged by angels, adored by His people, and feared by devils, as the risen Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

-Author Unknown





A Devotion’s Question?

30 10 2007

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A DEVOTIONAL FROM THE POCKET TESTAMENT

LISTENING TO THE INHERIT PROMISE

Acts 3:21-26

[Peter continues to speak] “He must remain in heaven until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets. For Moses said, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own people; you must listen to everything he tells you. Anyone who does not listen to him will be completely cut off from among his people.’ Indeed, all the prophets from Samuel on, as many as have spoken, have foretold these days. And you are heirs of the prophets and of the covenant God made with your fathers. He said to Abraham, ‘Through your offspring all peoples on earth will be blessed.’ When God raised up his servant, he sent him first to you to bless you by turning each of you from your wicked ways.”

THOUGHT FOR TODAY:

Peter is preaching on the porch of the temple, referencing Genesis, Deuteronomy, and 1 Samuel. How is it possible that Peter can speak with such force, confidence and clarity? He was certainly empowered by the Spirit, but he also knew the Scriptures and had paid careful attention to what Jesus said and did. In these verses, Peter is providing his listeners with an Old Testament prophecy road map to Jesus, the Messiah.

What do you think Moses meant when he said, “You must listen to everything he tells you,” and “Anyone who does not listen to him will be completely cut off from among his people”? Jesus gives us the answer to these questions in John 15:5-6 when He says, “I am the vine, you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.”

Peter is telling his audience that Jesus is the fulfillment of the promise, He is Abraham’s “seed” or “offspring” through which “all people on earth will be blessed.” Peter’s message is simple: all scripture was fulfilled in Jesus — so you better pay attention to what He said. That promise and instruction extends to you and me.

QUESTIONS TO PONDER:

Are you guilty of listening to some things in Scripture, yet disagreeing or ignoring other Scripture? What needs to change? Are you paying careful attention? How can you pay more careful attention?

God Bless,