|The Power To Change “You cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils; you cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils. Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than He?” – 1Corinthians 10:21-22 |
One of the great truths of the Gospel is the power to change. We are changed to become new creatures by the power of Jesus Christ working in the life of the authentic believer. We are changed from lost to saved; from enemies of God to being part of the family of God; from hell to heaven; and from darkness to light. We are changed and by the indwelling power of God The Holy Spirit, we have the power to change. The question is not do we have the power to change, but rather will we change when confronted with the truth of God’s will for our lives. More and more these days we find those who declare as spiritual children of God looking more and more like the world. It is as if we don’t know who we are in Christ, who God is, or that we don’t operate from a Biblical world view. In fact, if the decisions we make are an accurate barometer of what we really believe, it would reveal that we are more concerned about our political affiliation, the color of our skin, or our financial portfolio than we are about doing what most honors the God of the Holy Scriptures.
It is good for us to be reminded that as spiritual children of God we are representatives of Christ in the earth. This obviously means that we can’t act the way that the unsaved act; the way the world acts, if we are to fulfill our mission of winning souls for Christ and advancing His kingdom here on earth. We can’t do what they do, go where they go, and participate in what they participate in, because we are “a peculiar people” – we are spiritual children of God. We supernaturally have the power to change, to do that which most honors Christ. We have the power to change, no matter how long we have been doing something or what our mindset may have been about it. Once The Holy Spirit reveals to the authentic child of God a better way to honor their risen King, we know that not only do they have the power to change, but that more times than not, they will change.
HALLOWEEN “The Truth” Halloween is one of the oldest holidays that Americans celebrate. It is older than Christmas and Easter. The people who began the festival that we now call Halloween were the Celts. The Celts were the ancestors of the Irish, Welsh and British. They lived in northern Europe a thousand years before Jesus Christ was born. They were wild and quick-tempered, and they loved war, boasting, drinking and fighting. The religion of the Celts was Druidism. Their priests were called Druids. The Druids practiced astrology, fortune-telling, witchcraft, and casting spells and curses on people. The great god of the Druids was Samhain (pronounced “Sawain”). He was their god of death. Religious ceremonies of Samhain were performed at dusk in moon-lit oak groves or foggy marshes. The Celts counted time by the number of nights and moons, not by the number of days. They preferred darkness. The Celtic new year was November 1, the beginning of their winter. November 1 was their greatest holiday of the year. It was dedicated to Samhain, the god of death. Since November 1 was New Year’s Day, the Celts celebrated their New Year’s Eve on October 31. On this night the Celts believed that Samhain and his demons, goblins and witches would gather the spirits of those people who had died and all these ghosts and evil spirits would walk about the earth, scaring and playing tricks on the people who were still alive. The Celtic families would come together to worship Samhain on the night of October 31. They would dress up and have parties, eating and drinking tasty things. They would pass out treats. They thought that anyone who did not dress up and give treats would have horrible tricks played on them by Samhain’s demons.
The people would also bob for apples, believing that anyone who could take an apple out of the bucket of water without using his hands would have good luck in the New Year. Though hard to conceive they would build great bonfires and make human sacrifices to Samhain. The Celts believed the torment of the dying people who were sacrificed made Samhain happy.
When Celts became members of the Catholic Church around 300 years after Jesus Christ was born, they still wanted to have a holiday on October 31. The church knew that Samhain was evil and worshipping him was evil. The Catholic Church began holding a Christian celebration November 1 to honor the saints and called it “All Saints Day.” The night before All Saint’s Day was called “All Hallows Eve.” People who would not give up their Druidic practices began calling the partying and “trick or treating” they did on October 31, “Halloween,” which is short for All Hallows Eve.
For the first 200 years, Americans did not celebrate Halloween. It was brought to this country in the late 1800’s by the Irish. Because many of us don’t know the history of Halloween, we think that it is just a night of fun. We dress up, ask for treats, play fortune-telling games, do tricks and bob for apples, just like the Druids did when they worshipped Samhain. We decorate in orange and black (the devil’s colors). We carve the jack-o-lantern with scary faces (the Celts believed a dead man named “Jack” wandered about at night carrying a lantern). We tell stories about witches, ghosts and goblins. We do not realize that Halloween began as a religious holiday for the god of death and his evil spirit. We thought you’d like to know!
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