Ask anyone you meet: "Do you believe in the devil?"
First, you will receive looks as though you are mad! Then, as likely as not, the person will hurry on without so much as a backward glance. The few answers you receive will almost certainly be along the lines of, "Of course not! Do you think I'm stupid?"
Yet every year at the end of October, in North America (and many other countries today) people celebrate the existence of the devil! You may be among them, if you go to Halloween parties or dress up your children in witch or wizard costumes or masks with hideous faces or outfits that represent demons and goblins. Or if you decorate your home with ghosts or carved out images of evil spirits using hollowed-out pumpkins.
"Oh, but that's just a little innocent fun," some may say. "Everybody does it, and I don't really believe the tradition behind it. I am not encouraging my children to expose themselves to the occult."
But then, why celebrate and worship something you don't believe in?
Halloween: what's behind the disguise?
Just where does Halloween come from? The Pagan Book of Days, by Nigel Pennick, explains: "Hallowe'en parties are a modern expression of the pagan festival of the remembrance of death and the departed." The Festival of the Dead—called Samhain—falls on Nov. 1 (which the Roman Catholic Church adopted as All Saints' Day).
Halloween retains these dark and demonic themes. "Halloween was thought to be the most favourable time for divinations concerning marriage, luck, health, and death. It was the only day on which the help of the devil was invoked for such purposes" (Encyclopaedia Britannica, 15th edition, Micropaedia, Vol. 4, p. 862, "Halloween"). (For more about the origins of Halloween, see "Halloween: A Celebration of Evil.")
What does God say?
The devil is not just a generalized concept of evil. Satan the Devil is a powerful spiritual being who rebelled against God. Right now Satan's plans are influencing the whole world more than you may ever have imagined!
Isaiah 14:13-14 explains the extent of Satan's arrogance and sin: "For you said to yourself, 'I will ascend to heaven and set my throne above God's stars... I will climb to the highest heavens and be like the Most High'" (New Living Translation throughout).
The Bible states quite unequivocally that God commands us to have nothing to do with Satan, his demons or anyone who contacts them in any shape or form. "And do not let your people practice fortune-telling or sorcery, or allow them to interpret omens, or engage in witchcraft, or cast spells, or function as mediums or psychics, or call forth the spirits of the dead. Anyone who does these things is an object of horror and disgust to the Lord" (Deuteronomy 18:10-12).
Why? Because these are methods used by the devil to deceive and destroy his unsuspecting victims! We need to be constantly on guard against the dangers of the occult.
Do we wish to live contrary to our Savior's example? Luke 7:21 tells us how Jesus healed many people and cast out evil spirits. Yet today people celebrate Halloween by engaging in occult practices that originated with Satan the Devil! Surely, dressing up like a witch or a demon seems to make light of evil instead of denouncing it.
Like it or not, this world is under the deceptive influence of the devil and his cohorts (Revelation 12:9; 2 Corinthians 4:4). It is up to us to stand up to such influences and reject them. James 4:7 instructs us: "So humble yourselves before God. Resist the Devil, and he will flee from you." That is our Creator's instruction to us! Therefore, do not join with others in celebrating the devil. Do not participate in Halloween and its occult customs.
We need to recognize the evil nature of Satan and his demons, and our need for the celebrating days that teach us about the plan of the Lord our God. For more information, read our free booklets Is There Really a Devil? and Holidays or Holy Days: Does It Matter Which Days We Observe?