By Michael Snyder/End Of The American Dream December 01, 2017
Should Christians celebrate Halloween? Opinions differ between Christian leaders, lay people and church members.
According to a CBN News Facebook poll, 87% of believers feel that Christians should not celebrate Halloween, while 13% believe it’s okay.
Former Satanist John Ramirez recently joined Charlene Aaron on CBN News show Prayer Link to talk about Christians and Halloween.
“I was a general to the kingdom of darkness in witchcraft,” Ramirez said. “I would sit with the Devil and talk to him like I’m talking to you today. It was that kind of communication. It was that kind of relationship.”
Ramirez warns Halloween isn’t just about costumes and candy–there’s a much darker reality.
“Sometimes people say ‘I celebrated Halloween 10 years ago, I did this 15 years ago, I did this 20 years ago.’ But the doors still open. You just cursed your family from three to four generations,” Ramirez told CBN News.
“You have to be aware it’s a curse. You have to go back to the place where you started, that year that you started that Halloween thing, the celebration, when you started having that encounter with the dark side. You have to go back to that same spot and renounce and renounce it in the name of Jesus Christ and ask God to forgive you for that so that God can have mercy and close that door so your whole family can move forward,” he continued.
Ramirez, now a pastor, knows all about the dark reality of Halloween. He once sacrificed animals as part of satanic rituals and his friends even knew him as “Lucifer’s son.”
Now as a born again believer, he strongly warns Christians against celebrating Halloween and participating in harvest festivals.
“The only harvest we should celebrate is the harvest of souls,” he adds.
Ramirez says that in his opinion the other events Christians hold instead of Halloween, such as “Trunk or Treat” nights, are really no different.
“Do you know any Satanists who say ‘Hey we’re going to come into Good Friday and we’re going to hang out with the Christians and we’re just going to call it a different name?”
However, Pastor Alan Rudnick (link below) believes that Christians should take back Halloween.
“Halloween is often associated with the pagan concept of Samhain, the festival where ancient pagans believed that the worlds of the living and dead would been thinly divided,” he writes on his blog. “But, we have seen from the other ancient pagan festivals associated with Christmas and Easter that these pagan connections do not serve as a reason why we cannot celebrate a Christian holiday.”
According to the website Equipping Godly Women, Halloween can be a good opportunity for outreach and to teach about good vs. evil.
However, Anton LaVey, the late founder of the Church of Satan, once said he took joy believers taking part in the tradition.
“I am glad that Christian parents let their children worship the devil at least one night out of the year,” he said. “Welcome to Halloween.”
You can watch the entire Prayer Link interview with Ramirez here:
Ramirez shares more about his warnings regarding Halloween here:
“As for those peoples that warred against Yerushalayim, Hashem will smite them with this plague: Their flesh shall rot away while they stand on their feet; their eyes shall rot away in their sockets; and their tongues shall rot away in their mouths.” Zechariah 14:12 (The Israel Bible™)
Bubonic plague, a terrifying disease that once killed off half the world’s population, is breaking out in Madagascar, defying the best efforts of world health organizations attempting to prevent its spread through East Africa. The key to understanding this dread disease lays in the Bible, which describes its Egyptian origins – and its terrifying role in the end-of-days.
The number of deaths in Madagascar has almost doubled in the past week, with 124 dead and over 1,200 infections diagnosed. The majority of cases, 67 percent, were the pneumonic form of the disease, which is airborne and highly contagious, spread via coughing or sneezing. Though international health officials insist the risk of the disease spreading to other regions is low, they have set up operations to prepare for such an occurrence in the nine East African nations adjacent to Madagascar.
The strong reaction to the recent outbreak is understandable. Bubonic plague in the 14th century, also known as the Black Death, was one of the most devastating pandemics in human history, resulting in the deaths of an estimated 75 to 200 million people in Eurasia and in Europe. If untreated, the disease has a 100 percent mortality rate, and the pneumonic form can be fatal within 12-24 hours.
But the disease may have even deeper roots in human history. The sixth plague in Egypt, boils, may very well have been bubonic plague, whose characteristic symptom is boil-like skin lesions that form black ulcers.
An outbreak of the bubonic plague in Egypt would be consistent with what scientists know about the disease. In 2010, scientists traced the plague to ancient Egypt. Ancient cultures lived close to their livestock, and the plague was transferred from the animals by fleas. While exploring ruins in Egypt, Egyptologists found 3,000-year-old remains of Nile rats and used fine sieves to discover the remains of fleas, both carriers of plague.
The Black Death may have made another Biblical appearance. The fifth and sixth chapters of the Book of Samuel describe how the Philistines captured the Ark of the Covenant, placing it in their pagan temple in Ashdod. The idol in the temple was overturned and the city was struck by a disease, leading the people to return the Ark. Along with the Ark, the Philistines gave the Jews “aphlei zahav”. This is normally translated as golden hemorrhoids, though some Biblical scholars translate this item as golden boils.
You shall make figures of your hemorrhoids/boils and of the mice that are ravaging your land; thus you shall honor the God of Yisrael, and perhaps He will lighten the weight of His hand upon you and your gods and your land. I Samuel 6:5
Significantly, five golden rats, hosts to the flies that carry bubonic plague, were included in the Philistines’ gift. When describing this gift, the narrative in Samuel makes reference to the plagues in Egypt.
Though the numbers of deaths and infections resulting from the current outbreak may seem relatively small, any outbreak of bubonic plague is cause for concern. Rabbi Rami Levy, an end-of-days lecturer from Jerusalem, does not believe this outbreak is a significant threat, but he warned that it may become one in the apocalyptic future.
“There will certainly be another plague that destroys a significant part of the world population,” Rabbi Levy told Breaking Israel News. “But not until after the War of Gog and Magog,and specifically against the people who came out against the Jews.”
Rabbi Levy cited the prophecies of Zechariah.
As for those peoples that warred against Yerushalayim, Hashem will smite them with this plague: Their flesh shall rot away while they stand on their feet; their eyes shall rot away in their sockets; and their tongues shall rot away in their mouths. Zechariah 14:12
“All of the catastrophes that are happening now, the storms and earthquakes, are exceptional but they are not nearly on the scale of what we will see before Moshiach (Messiah),” Rabbi Levy said. “Right now we are just seeing wake-up calls, reminders that Moshiach is on the way.
“The plague that comes after Gog and Magog will be even worse than what the world saw in the Middle Ages,” the rabbi stated.
A number of major international health organizations are currently involved in aiding Madagascar and preventing the spread of the plague. The World Health Organization, Unicef, the Red Cross, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control have all mobilised emergency plans in the country, while also setting up programs in South Africa, Mauritius, Tanzania, La Réunion, Mozambique, Kenya, Ethiopia and Comoros, to prevent a pandemic. They are also operating in Seychelles, where several cases of the disease have been diagnosed.
Thus says Hashem, “By this you shall know that I am Hashem.” See, I shall strike the water in the Nile with the rod that is in my hand, and it will be turned into blood.” Exodus 7:17 (The Israel Bible™)
In the midst of a festival celebrating a tribal exodus, a river in Ghana turned blood red, causing a dispute between local chieftains, who dismissed the significance of the shocking phenomenon, and religious leaders who insisted on exorcising demons from the cursed waters. The festival, commemorating a story with several parallels to the Biblical account of the Hebrews’ miraculous escape from Egypt, is the focus of tensions between Christians and the local culture.
Residents of Koforidua, the regional capital in Southern Ghana, were shocked when they woke up and discovered the waters of the Nsukwao River had turned blood-red in the early hours of October 7.
According to witnesses, the colorless water was running normally until at 5 AM when it turned blood red in the space of just a few minutes. At the time, the cause of the strange phenomenon was unclear. Kumikasa, a local news service reported that some locals believe butchers poured a large quantity of blood from animals slaughtered into the river.
One resident said, “The really weird thing is that we have always been able to catch fish and can even drink sometimes because it’s just normally so good. Nobody has any idea how it could have ended up being polluted because there are no factories that dump anything in the water here.”
A local religious conflict arose in the wake of the phenomenon. Dr. Lawrence Tetteh and Bishop Yaw Adu, local Evangelical leaders, quickly rushed to the scene with other Christians to offer prayers. They attributed the change in color to the “wrath of God that had visited the people of Koforidua because of their sins”.
Upon arrival at the blood red river, Dr. Tetteh said, “We cast out every demon. We say Koforidua shall be peaceful. There will not be bloodshed; there will not be anything evil. The people of Koforidua will be blessed.”
He added, “As we see this thing in the river, the river is looking like blood. Whatever it is and wherever it comes from, we bless it…, Amen!”
Bishop Yaw Adu stated his belief that God had “turned the water into blood” because “the traditional authorities placed a ban on crusades (Christian celebrations) in the town as a result of the ongoing Akwantukese festival.”
The Akwantukese festival, celebrated to mark the epic journey of the Gyaman people from Juaben in the Ashanti Region of Ghana some 135 years ago, has several similarities to the Biblical account of the Exodus from Egypt. The Gyamans migrated from their original home in Akwamu near the Volta River Volta due to harsh family feud, reminiscent of the fraternal discord that led to Biblical Joseph being taken to Egypt as a slave as a precursor to the Exodus of the Hebrews. Similar to the Hebrew Exodus, the Gyamans wandered in the wilderness, sojourning in several places before finally arriving at Koforidua. The celebrations began on August 24th but the main event was held last Friday, less than one week after the river turned red.
The festival has been the source of tension between Christians and the local culture. During the month-long celebrations, Christian celebrations and services are restricted to church premises and funerals.
The Krontihene (honorific of sub-chief/local leader) of New Juaben, Baffuor Tutu Boateng Nyantakyi, reacted strongly to the Evangelical response, holding an emergency press briefing. He dismissed the pastors’ claims as deceptive and baseless.
“The incident has nothing to do with miracles,” the Krontihene told the press. “It is a criminal offense and the traditional council wants the police to arrest the suspect.”
He claimed a nearby dye manufacturer based in Tema with a connecting stream was responsible for the shocking change in the appearance of the river. As yet, there have been no arrests in connection with these claims of industrial pollution.
“I have personally gone round and realized this is not blood. The Nsukwa River has not turned into blood; it is just color from somebody doing his tie-and-dye,” the Krontihene stated, relating to the underlying tensions between the local culture and the Christians. “It has nothing to do with the Akwantukesie that we are going to celebrate. It has nothing to do with human blood; it has nothing to do with goat blood.”
“Three times a year—on the festival of Pesach, on the festival of Shavuot, and on the festival of Sukkot—all your males shall appear before Hashem your God in the place that He will choose. They shall not appear before Hashem empty-handed.” Deuteronomy 16:16 (The Israel Bible™)
Christian tourists are flooding Jerusalem during the holiday of Sukkot, bringing a blessing to the economy in a manner reminiscent of Jerusalem in the days of the Temple, when pilgrims filled the city’s markets. This faith-based tourism has its own special flavor, connecting Jews and Christians in unexpected ways.
In what is shaping up to be a record year for tourism, the Sukkot holiday was an especially blessed period. According to the Israeli Ministry of Tourism, 739,000 tourists visited Israel in the first quarter of the year, a 24 percent increase from the same period last year, giving an estimated $1.14 billion boost to the economy.
In addition to the holy sites and other tourist attractions that have always attracted people of all religions to Israel, the Sukkot holiday offers a special atmosphere created by the festive booths and many activities and events, both religious and secular. The Ministry of Tourism estimated that the week-long holiday attracted an astounding 47,000 Christians.
Undoubtedly the largest draw for Christians during Sukkot is the week-long Feast of Tabernacles hosted by the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ). The event brings over 5,000 Christians from 85 nations to Jerusalem, and though their intention is to bless the nation of Abraham and to be blessed in return, hosting these well-minded pilgrims brings an economic blessing as well.
Most of the activities are centered around the Jerusalem Pais Arena, where spiritual leaders and teachers address the crowds. Like secular conferences, the Feast attracts vendors that offer a special brand of merchandise for their special customers.
D’ganit owns the Ora gift shop in Jerusalem with her husband. For the last 25 years she has had a booth at the Feast.
“These are wonderful people, honest and straightforward,” D’ganit told Breaking Israel News. “They come here because they love Israel and they want to help support the country. They aren’t rich, but their love for Israel comes through loud and clear. We try to give them the best prices so that they go away with an even greater love for Israel. For our store, this has worked, because we see the same people year after year.”
D’ganit has a large and eye-catching array of items in her booth, but the Christian tourists who come to Jerusalem for Sukkot have a specific type of souvenir in mind.
“They love everything connected to Judaism,” she explained. Her booth is easy to find because of the shofar blasts. Baskets containing a dazzling array of horns fill the front of her shop.
Arik Agassi, whose family’s booth reflects this, offers a similar array of merchandise. Via their online family business called Holyland Webstore, the Agassi family, led by father Amnon, enjoys connecting face-to-face with their international Christian clientele at the Feast, where they have had a booth for the past three years.
“The people always tell us how much they love Israel and how much they want to help support us,” Arik told Breaking Israel News.
Many items needed for Jewish life are on display: Passover seder plates, shofars, and Sabbath candlesticks.
Arik was quick to model the beautiful prayer shawls, and even had a beautiful sample draped over his shoulders as he hawked his wares. One surprising item for sale, unique to the Christian clientele, are seven-branched menorahs. Menorahs with nine branches are used in the holiday of Hanukkah, but the seven branched version is modeled after the menorah that stood in Solomon’s Temple.
“For them it really represents something that was very holy,” Amnon said. “This just shows how they feel their connection to the Jewish people very deeply, going back to the roots of their religion.”
“Thus said Hashem: Do not learn to go the way of the nations, And do not be dismayed by portents in the sky; Let the nations be dismayed by them!” Jeremiah 10:2
When the solar eclipse crossed over the continental United States two weeks ago, it was immediately followed by a hurricane of epic proportions in a manner that conformed precisely to prophetic sources. Two weeks ago, a rare solar eclipse transversed the US, the first time in 99 years such an event had occurred. Four days later, Hurricane Harvey hit Texas. The connection between the eclipse and the hurricane was implicit in how events unfolded.
When the eclipse’s path of totality passed out to sea over the Atlantic Ocean, it crossed over three storm systems. At the time, meteorologists stated that “the odds for development of those systems is very low”, but one of the systems revealed itself to be far more than the scientists anticipated. One of the systems touched by the dark path of the eclipse was the now infamous Hurricane Harvey, currently the second-most costly natural disaster in US history.
The connection was explicitly prophetic. One week before the solar eclipse, Breaking Israel News presented an article describing a prophecy in the Yalkut Moshe, written by Rabbi Moshe ben Yisrael Benyamin in Safed in 1894. Rabbi Benyamin predicted that when a solar eclipse occurs at the beginning of the Hebrew month of Elul, as this one did, “It is a bad sign for the other nations, bringing great damage to the kings of the East, and bringing great storms.”
But the Yalkut Moshe promised “storms”, and now the second storm system over which the eclipse passed is poised to inflict more damage. Irma is now a category three hurricane lingering off the coast, gaining strength and threatening to wreak havoc in an already devastated region.
“Prophecy is meant to reinforce that God is behind all these events. If God says that he is going to do something, and then it happens right in front of your eyes, you should believe the entire message,” Rabbi Yosef Berger, rabbi of King David’s Tomb on Mount Zion, told Breaking Israel News of the storms.
“If a person sees totally unanticipated events, wonders of nature arriving in unexpected fashion, if that person still refuses to believe the prophecy that predicted them, then there is nothing you can say to such a person.”
At the time of the eclipse, Rabbi Berger explained that the prophecy concerning “kings of the east” referred to Kim Jong Un, the despotic leader of North Korea. In the wake of the devastation wreaked by Hurricane Harvey, less attention has been focused on the conflict with North Korea, but that political situation has also progressed in its prophesied manner.
One week after the eclipse, North Korea fired a missile over Japanese airspace. The American response, live-fire runs by heavy bombers, contained an unmistakable threat any sane leader would heed. But in the most illogical manner that seemed intended to lead the rogue Asian nation to destruction, North Korea exploded a hydrogen bomb in their most powerful nuclear test to date. The underground test generated a 6.3 magnitude tremor under the earth and perhaps even greater tremors in international relations.
Rabbi Daniel Asore, a member of the nascent Sanhedrin, also understood current events as part of a prophetic process.
“The eclipse transversed the entire US so it was clearly a message for that nation,” Rabbi Asore told Breaking Israel News. Rabbi Asore quoted the Talmud (Sukkot 29a), which stated that a solar eclipse was a bad sign for the non-Jewish nations, who are represented by the sun and figure their calendar according to the solar year.
“It comes as a natural phenomenon, but it is really meant to affect the people,” Rabbi Asore told Breaking Israel News. “Natural disasters are meant as a warning, like a father slapping the table in order to warn his children that they are doing something that angers him.”
The rabbi noted that the prophecy had two parts: storms, which are entirely natural disasters, and wars, which are entirely man-made.
“Man is the connecting point, made up of body and soul,” the rabbi said. “The two are connected and play off of each other. If you look at America, they are seeing these extreme natural phenomena, but at the same time, there has been rise in Nazism on the right and the extreme left, both sides united by a hatred for Israel.”
The rabbi explained that by emphasizing the physical and denying the spiritual, man gives himself over to nature and is at the mercy of natural disasters. He cited this as the basis of the verse in Jeremiah.
Thus said Hashem: Do not learn to go the way of the nations, And do not be dismayed by portents in the sky; Let the nations be dismayed by them! Jeremiah 10:2
“By accepting God’s rule and his commandments, man can transcend nature and offset disaster,” Rabbi Asore explained.