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7 Great Reasons Christians Can and Should Celebrate Hallowe’en

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We are getting to that stage of year where Christians suddenly turn into pagans.  Not because they are dressing up, getting some free sweets, and enjoying Hallowe’en – that’s not pagan.  But because some Christians actually believe that demons get more powerful based on a day of the year!  That’s paganism, not Christianity.  Being scared of demons is utterly incompatible with being a child of the living God.

So, in honour of the season, here are 7 great reasons Christians should celebration Hallowe’en:

1.  Hallowe’en has never been about evil.  In Victorian times, children dressed up as tramps, as burglars, as pirates.  It was creativity, it was escapism, it was using our imagination.  So much of success in life depends on our imagination, and our ability to conceive a future above and beyond what we are doing right now, realizing we have a God who is above and beyond anything we have right now and can conceive naturally.  Let your children practice and rehearse using theirs!  If you are uncomfortable with them going door to door alone that is nothing to do with Hallowe’en, that’s just good parenting.  Take your children out – spend some time with them!  Enjoy “guising” with them.  Or take them to a party.  Let this day be a day you invest in your children!

2.  Don’t let the pagan past of the day bother you.  Colossians 2.16 says not to let anyone judge you on the day you keep – we are free to observe or not observe days.  Both the dates of Easter and Christmas in this country are pagan in history – so are the days of the week: Thursday is Thor’s Day, Friday is Frei Day.  They are the names of pagan gods.  January is named after a two-faced god called Janus.  So – if you feel bad about celebrating Hallowe’en because it is “pagan” then don’t give anyone a Christmas card, don’t celebrate your pagan birthday in pagan January, and certainly don’t go to church on the day named by people who worship the Sun!

3.  Get a grip on rumours and conjecture.  Here is the truth: no one actually knows what Wiccans and pagans did during the ancient festival of Samhain.  What we do know is the Pope moved All Saint’s Day to November 1st so that people had something to celebrate at this time of year.  If that sounds familiar it should – that’s how we have the current dates for Christmas. 

4.  Realize that satan has been utterly and completely and totally and irreversibly defeated.  I mean seriously – if I dress up as a dog I am eating at the table of the devil, falling into the devil’s pit and walking into the devil’s trap?  Did you forget about Calvary?  Did you forget that the devil has a squished head.  Did you forget that Jesus beat him once and for all for all eternity?  If you think the devil is so powerful that he can demonize someone for dressing up or eating candy, or bob for apples, or carving a face into a pumpkin, then you don’t have a Biblical paradigm, you have a pagan one.

5. This wonderful quote from Martin Luther: The best way to drive out the devil, if he will not yield to texts of Scripture, is to jeer and flout him, for he cannot bear scorn.  Have a good laugh at the devil.  Here is this day that some Christians are scared of, some Christians will hate you for embracing, some Christians will not sleep at night because of the imaginary extra demon activity – you may even hear stories of witches praying and fasting – here is this scary, scary day and you are getting time with your children, you are getting free sweets, you are oblivious to him and his ridiculous fear-tactics.  Have a good laugh about now, because that’s awesome.   Don’t spend the night concerned and worried – that’s not the fruit of redemption.  Have some fun and have a laugh at the no-powered, flat-headed, wannabe that tried so hard to give you the heebie jeebies.

6. All Saint’s Day (November 1st) is a really important thing.  I know some people think that you have to be really really special to be a saint.  Nah!  Every single born again Christian is a saint – is a holy one.  You were made holy by Jesus the moment you accepted his life into yourself.  Your spirit was transformed into righteousness and your life changed so significantly Jesus called it being born again.  It’s great to take some time to remember all the saints who have influenced you, helped you, mentored you, inspired you with their books and biographies.  It’s important to remember that generation after generation the church has grown, survived and helped people and that you are currently where you are only because you are standing on the shoulders of giants.  Hallowe’en is from “Hallow’s eve” which is the night before All Hallow’s or All Saint’s day – the day of remembering the saints.

7.  Hallowe’en is a great day to smash a stereotype.  Some people think Christians are a bunch of frail-minded, superstitious fools who see a devil in every corner.  They think you are sitting under your covers rebuking the devil, warding them off with your HOLY Bible and separating yourself from people.  Get out there, smile at the neighbours as they go round the streets.  Get boxes full of sweets and hand them out.  Be the most generous giver of sweets on your street.  I would say don’t dare stick a tract in the bag unless you know that bag has the most sweets in it of anyone in your street.  Get yourself talked about – get the whole street talking about your generosity, which is spelled L O V E.   Then when someone asks why give an answer about the love and life of God inside you.

When Dreams Come True

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I have just uploaded our fourth and fifth parts to our building a foundation for success series:

http://treeoflifelondon.weebly.com/january-2010.html

Part 4: Gifts, Operations and Offices

Every Christian has something they can bring to the local church. Every Christian can operate in the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Every Christian can flow in the power of God.

This message will show you and inspire you to take your place in your church and be all you can be in Christ!

Part 5: A Dream Fulfilled

Your dream is from God. it is not from the flesh, not from the devil – it is from God. And God is not a tease. He wants you to walk in the fullness of your dream and your destiny.

Thie simple and practical message will inspire you and encourage you to step out in faith and see what God sees and do what God calls you to do in your life

The Naked devil

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Angels and Demons – Tree of Life Church London

One of the greatest dangers for the charismatic church at the end of the age is an obsession with the devil – that the church magnifies the devil and minimizes God and His greatness.

In this powerful and Biblical message, Benjamin shares what the devil really is and who we really are and what spiritual warfare really is. This message will deal with some of the charismatic traditions that steal our freedom in Christ and our victory.

Hagin – The Devil’s Under My Feet

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The devil IS under your FEET. Enjoy!

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T.D Jakes- How to fight the devil

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Get ready! Get ready! Get ready! (couldn’t resist!)Enjoy this message!

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Dealing With Temptation (Andrew Wommack)

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Everyone faces temptation. But the truth is, very few people deal with it effectively. That shouldn’t be the case, and it doesn’t have to be the case for believers. There are some very simple and effective ways of dealing with temptation that you should know, and if you’ll put them into practice, I guarantee, you’ll come out the winner.

It has been said, “Fail to plan and you’re planning to fail.” That statement could not be truer when it’s applied to temptation. I don’t know anyone who gets up in the morning and prays to fail when faced with temptation, but I know many people who get up each morning and fail to plan for what the Bible says we will all certainly face. So, first and most important, you must be prepared. That’s so simple, you have to have someone’s help to misunderstand. But, we must have had a lot of help because very few people have taken the time or made the effort to prepare.

Second Chronicles 12:14 says it this way,

“And he did evil, because he prepared not his heart to seek the LORD.”

This was speaking of Rehoboam, the king of Judah and the son of Solomon. He started off as a good king who was seeking the Lord. But just like many people today, he wasn’t prepared for what would inevitably come his way. When Satan throws temptation your way, if you’re not already prepared, it’s too late. You’ll probably lose the fight.

Jesus prepared Himself. He spent thirty years getting ready for His encounter with the devil, and He started preparing early. At the age of twelve, He was asking questions of the doctors of the Law and astounding them with His answers. He had obviously spent many hours reading and studying the Scriptures. I’m sure that study continued all His life, but even Jesus needed more.

Before He was tempted by Satan face to face, He was anointed with the Holy Spirit at His baptism by John in the Jordan River. Jesus went into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil, full of the power of the Holy Spirit.

Being filled with the Holy Spirit is an absolute necessity for overcoming temptation. There are many Christians who received the Holy Spirit years ago and haven’t been full of the Holy Spirit a day since. It’s not about what happened to us long ago; we have to stay full of the Holy Spirit. One way of doing that is to speak in tongues on a regular basis. Jude 1:20-21 says,

“But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.”

Praying in tongues builds us up on our most holy faith. How many times have you needed your most holy faith to take you through a certain trial, and yet you haven’t used this gift of the Holy Spirit? Verse 21 also says we keep ourselves in the love of God when we speak in tongues. Have you ever asked the Lord to pour out His love on you? I imagine you have, but this doesn’t say to pray that way; it says we are to keep ourselves in the love of God. We do that by speaking in tongues. We don’t ask God for that which He’s already given, we simply stir up the love that has already been commended toward us, by speaking in tongues. This is a powerful gift. Isaiah 28:11-12 says,

“For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.”

Do you ever need rest or refreshing? I guarantee that you do, and this verse says speaking in tongues is the way to get it. We have a tremendously powerful gift available to us through the Holy Spirit, but few people take advantage of it. Instead, we ask God to do what He told us to do. We need to use this gift of speaking in tongues to stir ourselves up, or we risk sinking to the bottom.

You must also know who you are. Matthew 4 and Luke 4 record the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness. One of the most amazing aspects of those temptations was that Satan began two of the three temptations with the words, “If thou be the Son of God.” Many people have missed this point. The real temptation was Satan’s attempt to get Jesus to doubt who He was. That’s the same way he attacked Adam and Eve. The serpent told Eve that if she would eat the forbidden fruit, she would be like God (Gen. 3:5). The truth was that she was already like God, but she didn’t know it. The first Adam sinned, because he didn’t know who he really was. The second Adam, Jesus, didn’t sin, because He did know who he was. Knowing your true identity in Christ is one of the greatest defenses you can possibly have against temptation.

Jesus had just heard His Father speak to Him in an audible voice saying,

“This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matt. 3:17).

There was also a visible sign from God when the Holy Spirit descended on Jesus in the shape of a dove. Jesus had to anchor His faith in who His Father said He was. But immediately, Satan came to Him saying,

“If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread” (Matt. 4:3).

The real temptation was never about turning stones into bread. It was Satan’s attempt to manipulate Jesus into doubting His Father’s Word and doing something to prove who He was. Satan was trying to find and exploit any insecurity in Jesus.

When you were a kid, I’m sure someone at some time dared you to do something stupid. The real issue wasn’t whether or not you could do it but whether you were “afraid” to do it. And sad to say, many of us took the dare and did something that hurt us or shamed us just to prove that we weren’t. All we really succeeded in proving was that we feared their disapproval so much that we weren’t willing to do what was right. The truly fearless response would have been to walk away, secure in who we were, earning their respect through character rather than performance.

Satan was daring Jesus—”If You’re really the Son of God, if what You heard from the Father in an audible voice is really true, then prove it, and turn this stone into bread.” Turning a stone into bread would not have been sin. It would have been sin if Jesus had doubted the words of His heavenly Father declaring who He was by placing more faith in what a miracle could say about Him. You must know who you are if you want to overcome temptation. No matter what form Satan’s temptations may take, they are all directed at causing us to doubt who we are.

It’s also important to understand that all temptation is rooted in selfishness. In fact, our selfishness is really Satan’s beachhead. Jesus stripped him of his power two thousand years ago, so the only thing he can really do is deceive us through our own selfish desires. The Bible tells us exactly what they are in 1 John 2:16,

“For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.”

And in James 1:14 we read,

“But every many is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.”

Satan is not limitless; deception is his only weapon. All he can do is try to deceive us into thinking that God really can’t or won’t fulfill our lives. Every single temptation of the enemy is packaged in the form of the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, or the pride of life. But they’re all designed to entice us and cause us to doubt that God will meet our needs. Selfishness is always the favorite playground of the devil, and when selfishness rules in our lives, we open the door to his deceptive schemes.

You can’t be tempted unless you have first thought about it. All temptation is linked to what you think on. Therefore, control your thoughts, and you will control temptation. This is a simple but profound truth. It’s the reason most people fall into temptation. It’s like a woman who doesn’t want to get pregnant but continues to have sexual relations without any contraception. Sooner or later, she will get pregnant. Think on the wrong things long enough, and sooner or later you will fall into sin when tempted.

Philippians 4:8 says this,

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

Temptation will come, but it’s hard for the devil to deceive you when your mind is stayed on those things. Satan can only work with what you give him, so don’t give him any space in your mind. You’ll be able to avoid many of the temptations you face if you will put this into practice.

The Word is powerful—use it. Jesus countered every temptation of the devil with the Word. Think about it, Jesus was the Word, and everything He said would have been Scripture and more than sufficient to rebuke the devil. Yet He would say, “It is written” then He quoted God’s Word. If it was important for Jesus to quote the Word, it’s even more important for us to do the same. We must know God’s Word to effectively overcome temptation. That goes back to being prepared; you can’t quote scripture you haven’t learned, and there isn’t any power in what you don’t know or understand.

Life Lessons From Road Runner #2: Read the Fine Print

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Lesson 2: Not effective on Road Runners (or Read the Small Print)

In one episode of Road Runner, the Wile E Coyote buys a bottle of earthquake pills. These earthquake pills are designed to cause an earthquake in the live of anyone who eats them.

Road Runner eats all the pills, because they are disguised as bird seed, and runs off. Wile E Coyote waits and waits, but there is no earthquake. He takes some of the pills himself as he is upset they are defective. Only then does he read the small print: CAUTION: Not Effective on Road Runners.

I want you to know that the devil has slipped things into your life, into your family, into your workplace, into your church. He wants earthquakes of depression and strife and envy to explode everywhere you go. But the devil has forgotten to read the small print: Not Effective on People Who Walk in Love.

If you walk in love, you can walk with anyone. Walking in love never has gone to the divorce court, walking in love has never split a church. You can be immune to the attacks of the enemy – immune to the lies he wants to feed you – by choosing to walk in love. You don’t have to find the love – it is already in your heart because God poured it out there (Romans 5.5).

The next time the devil tempts you to have an earthquake in your life: to shout and scream and swear at someone, to cut someone out of your life, to run away from a place you know you should be in, remember the fine print.

Caution: Not Effective on Road Runners.

And walk on by, singing BEEP BEEP as you, immune to the wiles of the devil.

Blessings,
Ben

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