The personal ambitions and even the educational systems of this world are often aimed at temporal and worthless objectives! Millions of people spend their lives and energy:
Every year when October rolls around and long before, the signs of the approach of Halloween are obvious everywhere; stores begin to carry Halloween candy, Halloween costumes, Halloween party favours, Halloween greeting cards, Halloween decorations, scary soundtracks and lighting effects, ghoulish make-up, pumpkins, bundled corn stalks and other paraphernalia. One sees advertisements for "haunted houses", "haunted hayrides", and other "haunted" attractions published in newspapers, posted in store windows, and plastered on signposts at major intersections. Businesses and homeowners begin to decorate for the holiday with skeletons, ghosts and witches, black cats, bats, fake spider webs, gravemarkers, and jack o' lanterns.
On October 31st millions of children and adults don costumes that range from the frightening to the fanciful and either take to the streets to go "Trick or treating." or more recently, to go to a mall or other "safe" place to go "Trick or treating", or they go to parties to celebrate the occasion. In some areas of the country October 30th is included in the festival as "Mischief Night".
According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, who quotes Ad Age, this Halloween will account for $200 million in advertising for products as diverse as McDonald's, Coors, FTD, Oreos, greeting cards, make-up, costumes, masks and decorations. It's one of the three or four biggest snack food days of the year with product manufacturers packaging special versions of their products ( like orange filled Oreos ) especially for Halloween.
Halloween is the third biggest party of the year, preceded only by Super Bowl Sunday, and New Year's Day. Approximately 17 million dollars worth of candy will be purchased this year ( 2006 ) for Halloween. It's the single biggest day for costume sales, the 2nd biggest for party paper goods and plastic accessories and for home decorating. The magazine, Selling Halloween, boasts that marketing has been, "taking a season that really didn't have a lot of product, and creating lines of product that will get the consumer into the store". Halloween has become big business and will continue to be promoted without any moral considerations for as long as consumers will buy.
Ultimately, though, Halloween remains popular because of only one reason - it is the date when Satan receives glory from a vast horde of mankind, knowingly or unknowingly.
Canada and America loves a holiday. Today, they celebrate holidays with more enthusiasm than ever before. And probably no holiday has gained in popularity in the last 20 years than Halloween. Once just a children's night out in costume, Halloween has become a million dollar industry to business, and a day of numerous opportunities for entertainment.
Let me note in passing here that, as TRUE Christians, we DO NOT, and I repeat, we DO NOT condone the concept of Halloween. It began, and remains, a pagan holiday. The ancient catholic holiday of All Saints Day was November 1st. It was the day designated for the long-dead "saints" of the Catholic church to be praised and venerated. If the religious crowd was going to have a day for their dead saints, the pagans of the day crafted for themselves a holiday. The night before All Saints Day, All Hallows Eve ( or Halloween ) would be the time for ghosts, ghouls, and witches to be praised and venerated.
And thus the tradition continues to this day. TV networks run horror flicks; offices have their own Halloween parties and workers even dress in costume for their work day; spook houses and haunted trails dot the roadside where folks pay $5 to be frightened by costumed creatures.
But with all the "so called frightening fun" of the day, a major thought has
been lost. Humankind is the author of real-life horror and hatred.
While people are celebrating the evil of a make-believe world, many men and women are
reveling in real-life terror and evil. What can we possibly say to address this
evil? Does the Bible have an answer? What is God's message to this world in
the midst of this yearly celebration of evil?
And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: ( Acts 17:32 )
Repentance is a forgotten doctrine in pulpits today. Even in Bible-believing churches the concept of REAL TRUE repentance is not explained fully and taught completely. The Prophet Elijah preached TRUE repentance. John the Baptist preached TRUE repentance. More importantly, Jesus Christ preached TRUE repentance. The early church fathers preached TRUE repentance. The preachers in the Church's golden age preached TRUE repentance. AVITW - Canada teach and preach TRUE repentance via the internet to the whole world today. However, very few will listen, let alone practice faith and obedience !
I propose that we examine the doctrine of repentance in it's entirety. What is it? What does it mean to us? How do we repent? Must we repent to be saved?
This is where WISDOM comes in and exposes Satan and his evil metropolis ! Let's now begin our journey on wisdom.
Biblical objectives are seldom discussed or aimed at. If they are mentioned, they are mostly sneered at or ignored as irrelevant in this day and age. Yet Biblical objectives are by far the most important and most valuable of all. This Sabbath we will consider the Biblical objective of Wisdom and that pagan festival of Halloween. You can than make up your own mind to either ask for, and obtain wisdom or to paint the town red with the pagan festival of Halloween. The choice is yours.
King Solomon, one of the wisest, richest and most famous men who ever lived said these words:
|Prov. 4:||7: Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom...|
|Prov. 8:||11: For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it.|
|Prov. 16:||16: How much better is it to get wisdom than gold!|
|Prov. 19:||8: He that getteth wisdom loveth his own soul:|
2. WHAT IS WISDOM?
These are powerful words; but what is wisdom? The Scriptures abound with texts as to what wisdom can do for a person; what wisdom is worth, what benefits wisdom brings in its wake and from where wisdom can be obtained. But again I ask: "What is wisdom?" The answer is found in these verses:
|Job. 28:||28: And unto man he said, Behold, the FEAR OF THE LORD, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.|
|Psalm 111:||10: The FEAR OF THE LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.|
|Prov. 9:||10: The FEAR OF THE LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.|
To fear the LORD means:
3. WISE BELIEVERS
Wisdom often manifests itself in high class work; especially in work for the LORD. Men, women and even children can have wisdom. Here are a few examples:
|Gen. 41:||39: And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Forasmuch as God hath shewed thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou art.|
|Exodos 35:|| 30: And Moses said unto the children of Israel, See, the LORD hath
called by name Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah;|
31: And he hath filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship;
32: And to devise curious works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass,
33: And in the cutting of stones, to set them, and in carving of wood, to make any manner of cunning work.
34: And he hath put in his heart that he may teach, both he, and Aholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan.
35: Them hath he filled with wisdom of heart, to work all manner of work, of the engraver, and of the cunning workman, and of the embroiderer, in blue, and in purple, in scarlet, and in fine linen, and of the weaver, even of them that do any work, and of those that devise cunning work.
|Exodus 35:||25: And all the women that were wise hearted did spin with their hands,
and brought that which they had spun, both of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet,
and of fine linen.|
26: And all the women whose heart stirred them up in wisdom spun goats' hair.
|2 Chron. 1:||11: And God said to Solomon, Because this was in thine heart, and thou hast not asked riches, wealth, or honour, nor the life of thine enemies, neither yet hast asked long life; but hast asked wisdom and knowledge for thyself, that thou mayest judge my people, over whom I have made thee king:|
|Luke 2:||40: And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom:
and the grace of God was upon him...|
52: And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.
Moses, speaking to the children of Israel, said these words about the Almighty's commandments:
|Deut. 4:||6: Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.|
|Ezra 7:||25: And thou, Ezra, after the wisdom of thy God, that is in thine hand, set magistrates and judges, which may judge all the people that are beyond the river, all such as know the laws of thy God; and teach ye them that know them not.|
5. HUMILTY / PRIDE
Wisdom only flourishes in the atmosphere of humility. When pride enters, wisdom is corrupted; it withers and dies.
|Prov. 11:||2: When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom.|
|Jer. 9:||23: Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom,
neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches:|
24: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD.
When he was first created, Lucifer was a being of great beauty and wisdom. But Lucifer became proud and fell. His fall corrupted his wisdom and he became Satan the Devil.
|Ezek. 28:||17: Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee.|
6. THE GOSPEL OF SALVATION
The world's population is basically foolish! People are not born wise. None of us ( including myself ) instinctively 'fears God.' In fact the very opposite is true. The human heart, yours, mine and everyone else's, is by nature corrupt! That's the stunning Scriptural verdict on the human heart ( mind ). It is deceitful and desperately wicked!
|Jeremiah 17:||9: The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?|
In order to reach and save the wicked human mind, the Almighty made available the Gospel of Salvation which is to be preached in all the world. To most people the Gospel of Salvation comes across as a farce; as a discourse of pure foolishness. But to some, to those who are called and believe, it is the "power of God unto salvation!" From the following texts, you can easily assess yourself and see in which camp you lie: with the foolish or with the wise.
|1 Cor. 1:|| 18: For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness;
but unto us which are saved it is the power of God...|
23: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;
24: But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.
|Rom. 1:||16: For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.|
7. WISDOM COMES FROM GOD
Now that we know something about wisdom, the next question is: 'How does one obtain wisdom?' One cannot attend a university or college and sign up for a course on Wisdom! So how do we get wisdom? The Bible provides the answer.
|1 Chron. 22:||11: Now, my son, ( king David speaking to his son Solomon ) the LORD
be with thee; and prosper thou, and build the house of the LORD thy God,
as he hath said of thee.|
12: Only the LORD give thee wisdom and understanding, and give thee charge concerning Israel, that thou mayest keep the law of the LORD thy God.
|Prov. 2:||6: For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.|
|Dan. 2:||23: I thank thee, and praise thee, O thou God of my fathers, who hast given me wisdom and might, and hast made known unto me now what we desired of thee: for thou hast now made known unto us the king's matter.|
8. ASK YAHWEH FOR WISDOM
If you want wisdom, you must ask the Almighty God for it. For He is the fountainhead of wisdom. He is more eager to give wisdom to the foolish than we are to ask for it. Ask and ye shall receive. The Saviour once said:
|Luke 11:||11: If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he
give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent?|
12: Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?
13: If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?
|James 1:||5: If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.|
|Prov. 3:||13: Happy is the man that findeth wisdom...
|Psalm 90:||12: So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.|
Even if there was no basis for saying that Halloween is pagan, the principles of ( Philippians 4: 8 - 9 ) preclude our participation of such. Paul wrote,
What Will Your Choice Be ?
Obtaining Wisdom or Carousing With Halloween ?
The choice is yours ! Make it with care !