A Mighty Fortress
Is Our God
Words & Music
by Martin Luther, 1529
A mighty fortress is our God,
a bulwark never failing;
Our helper He, amid the flood
of mortal ills
For still our ancient foe
doth seek to work us
His craft and power are great,
and, armed with cruel
On earth is not his equal!`
And though this world,
should threaten to undo
We will not fear,
His truth to triumph
The Prince of Darkness grim,
we tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure,
for lo, his doom is
One little word shall fell him!
to this hymn, see words, download sheet
music, read devotional and hymn story at songsandhymns.org.
Jackson singing this hymn.
What To Do
What To Do About Halloween
Each year as stores and homes begin
to decorate for Halloween, we can either
ignore the holiday or respond to it in a way
that will edify our families and others while
honoring the Lord.
Halloween is an opportunity to
teach the history of this holiday and what
God says about the unseen, but real,
spiritual world around us of Satan's evil and
Historically, Halloween was a pagan,
occultic worship day. Even today we see
that the primary focus of Halloween is the
occult, the devil, evil, death, fear, and
online booklet "The
Tricks and Treats of Halloween" by John
By not celebrating this holiday as
the unbelieving world does, we are
acknowledging that as Christians we are
different from the world and are obeying
"Have nothing to do
with the evil deeds
but rather expose them."
As citizens of Heaven who have been
given the mission of being ambassadors for
Christ, learn how your family can practice
evangelism with Halloween tracts.
These will be invaluable life lessons for
your family and an occasion to fulfill your
family's goal of influencing our society for
1. Teach Truth
The first truth to teach is the pagan,
occult, and satanic origin and present
practices of Halloween.
Halloween Page: A Christian Perspective
on the Holiday and Annie's
Halloween History Page, as well as the
article on the occult at the right.
Use a few of your family's daily
devotional times to do a Bible study.
Look up and discuss all the Scriptures you
can find related to the occult. Use a
Bible dictionary, your Bible's chain
reference, and/or a topical Bible.
Be sure to balance your study of Satan and
evil with the glorious attributes of God, His
power, and Christ's victory over Satan by His
death and resurrection.
A word of warning: when we expose Satan
and his works and reveal God's Words to our
family, the enemy of our souls will target us
for attack. We must put on "the whole
armor of God," for this spiritual battle is
Passages to Study
These are a few topics and passages to get
and Darkness: Eph. 5:1-17
Deut. 18:9-14; Lev. 20:27; I Sam. 28:3-25
John 8:44; I John 5:19; Luke 22:31; I Pet.
Matt. 10:28; Ps. 118:6; 27
Luke 16:19-31; Rev. 19:20; 21:8.
Love: John 3:16; I John 3:1; Rom. 8:31-39
Power: Rom. 16:20; I Cor. 15:51-58; Luke
Protection: Ps. 23; John 10:27-30; Ps. 91
Presence: Ps. 145:18; Matt. 28:20; James
Warfare: Eph. 6:10-18; II Cor. 10:3-5
You may want to select some verses that
promise God's love and protection to memorize
and be used to comfort and reassure your
children when they are afraid.
2. Evangelize –
Spread the Good News
Many families use Halloween for an
outreach ministry of tract evangelism.
can turn your light on and welcome
trick-or-treaters with candy and a gospel
family goes out on the sidewalks and offers
candy and tracts to those who pass by.
you could wrap up plates of home-made cookies
with tracts enclosed and take them around to
To prepare for your ministry
appropriate tracts from your local Christian
bookstore or make your own (see below).
your children the courtesies of distributing
tracts and the importance of being a good
testimony while doing so.
for the fruitfulness of the seed, God's Word,
you will be sowing in the lives of people
receiving the tracts.
Print or Make Your Own Halloween
1. Life Saver Tract
Hand out this tract with the 5-flavor roll
of Life Saver candy. Free to download
and print. Also in Spanish.
for folding (1 tract on 8.5" x 11" sheet)
or for printing two sides (2 tracts on 8.5" x
2. Your Own Tract
Write and print your own tract. Read
To Write a Tract" and give out with a
treat similar to this online
Many families respond to the evils of
Halloween with alternatives such as a harvest
festival at their church.
For another view, read "A
Biblical View of Halloween," including
"Are Harvest Parties for Christians?"
Some families celebrate Reformation Day on
Oct. 31. An excellent resource for that
celebration is "A
Night of Reformation" by Doorposts.
This 170-page notebook contains a short play
about Martin Luther plus instructions and
illustrations for games, carnival booths,
crafts, food, music, costumes, decorations,
and art and writing projects.
Anticipate questions that your children
may be asked about Halloween and help them
prepare an answer that would honor our Lord.
The Lord can help your family to turn
Halloween into an opportunity to teach your
children Biblical truth, disciple them in
evangelism, and experience a fruitful time of
Unit Study on the Reformation
#53 contains a unit study on the
Reformation that can lead up to Reformation
Day and/or follow it. This unit study
• Teaching Our
Children the Whole Truth
• Internet links
for studies in writing, reading, history,
geography, art, vocabulary, speech, music,
science, and more.
Also Read "The
Faithful Few," tracing those who have
remained faithful to God and His Word from
Adam to today.
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In This Issue
The Occult & Halloween
2. What Is the Occult?
3. What Does God Say?
4. Does It Affect My Family?
5. How To Protect Your Family
6. Helpful Resources
What To Do About Halloween
Reformation Day: October 31st
Link to Unit Study on the
• Christian Liberty Academy
• Steward Ship: Unit Study
• Doorposts: Character
Training Books and Charts
• Jackson Hole Bible
As our culture is bombarded with the
celebration of Halloween, we have an
appropriate and compelling opportunity to
teach our children what God says about the
occult and its dangers.
The following thoughts are intended to
raise your consciousness about the occult in
our society and to suggest appropriate
responses for Christian families.
May the Lord bless you and your family for
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1. The Occult: A
The study of the occult can become
oppressive and should not be taken
lightly. Any contact with the occult,
even studying it, can progressively draw a
person into a fascination with the occult and
place him in a vulnerable position.
God warns us of Satan's overt and covert
"Satan disguises himself
as an angel of light."
"Be of sober spirit, be on
Your adversary, the devil,
prowls around like a roaring lion,
seeking someone to devour."
(1 Peter 5:8)
Because of this very real danger, we need
to teach our children to keep their distance
from anything remotely connected with Satan
and his power. Instead we are told:
"Resist the devil and he
will flee from you.
Draw near to God and He will draw near to
(James 4:7, 8)
2. What Is the Occult?
The occult is real, not imagined or made
up. We are in a spiritual battle:
"against the rulers,
against the powers,
against the world forces of this darkness,
against the spiritual forces of wickedness
in the heavenly
The occult refers to secret knowledge and
practices involving the supernatural.
Occultism has been rapidly growing in its
influence and acceptability. Read many
informative articles on the Christian
Answers and Spotlight
Wicca (another word for Witchcraft) and
Paganism are now recognized "religions"
listed and described in manuals for chaplains
in the U.S. military and correctional
The list of 77 occultic practices on
Christian Answers' website
will open your eyes to the many forms of the
occult. Some examples are astrology,
magic, spells, enchantments, charms, sorcery,
wizardry, witchcraft, divination,
fortune-telling, mediums, spiritism,
necromancy, familiar spirits, wizardry,
seances, channeling, clairvoyance, and
The occult is also a part of yoga and
transcendental meditation (a form of
yoga). Dave Hunt, author of Yoga
and the Body of Christ, says, "The
greatest yoga teachers all declare that the
repetition of a mantra is a call to that god
(i.e., the demon it represents) to come and
possess the meditator." Read online
Any time a person gives up control of
himself, except for a deliberate yielding to
the Lord, he opens himself to be controlled
by Satan. This can include some martial
arts, some so-called "Christian"
(non-biblical) forms of meditation,
hypnotism, and Theosophy.
Man seeks and hungers for a power higher
than himself. When he refuses to
accept the true God, he is open to the
alternative power of Satan.
All real super-human power is either from
God or Satan. There is no neutral
power, nor is there any good power that comes
from Satan (e.g., there are no good witches
or "white witchcraft"). This should be
remembered when encountering attempts to call
good "evil" and evil "good," to blur the
lines between good and evil, or to condone
choosing a "lesser" evil as a way of avoiding
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3. What Does God Say?
God has zero tolerance for the occult and
treats it very seriously.
"There shall not be found
among you anyone who . . .
practices witchcraft, or one who interprets
or a sorcerer, or one who casts a spell, or a
or a spiritist, or one who calls up the
For whoever does these
things is detestable
to the Lord."
"You shall not
. . . practice divination or
Do not turn to mediums or spiritists."
4. Does It Affect My Family?
Both children and adults are being constantly
exposed to the pervading presence of the
occult in our culture through books, movies,
TV, music, and games.Even the seemingly supernatural power in some
religious experiences needs to be identified
with biblical discernment.
"But the Spirit explicitly
that in later times some will fall away from
paying attention to deceitful spirits
and doctrines of demons."
(1 Timothy 4:1)
"Beloved, do not believe
every spirit,When studying pagan cultures, be aware that
many ethnic objects and practices are
actually satanic.We must take the occult's presence in our
homes and children's lives seriously. It is
not just innocent fun. We never know where a
very little influence or involvement can lead.
but test the spirits to see whether they are
because many false prophets have gone out
into the world."
(1 John 4:1)
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5. How To Protect Your Family
1. Teach Your Children
What God Says about
Do a Bible study, reading and discussing
the Scripture passages in this newsletter and
others that are chain-linked in your Bible
(or use a concordance).
2. Identify the Occult in Your
As an exercise, identify and list any
occultic influences in your home. They may
come mainly through books, gaming, movies,
in Books and Movies. Writers such
as C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien, while
accepted by many Christians, can provide an
initiation into the genre of fantasy (read online
article). As the line between
acceptable and unacceptable fantasy keeps
being pushed further and further, this can
lead to many works of dubious value and
potential danger, still being rationalized by
"good conquering evil."
On their website,
Spotlight Ministries points out "A big area
where the occult realm is making headway
these days is the whole realm of fiction and
fantasy. Young people, especially, are
being drawn to witchcraft and other areas of
the occult initially by becoming interested
in fictional aspects of it. From this,
the jump into the real world of the occult is
an easy, more familiar one to make."
Many video games, including Internet games,
involve the occult, even though the "good"
occult is fighting to conquer the
"bad." A good rule for games is that a
child should not pretend to do something that
would be wrong to do in real life.
3. Guide and Supervise
You may determine that some things are not
really occultic, but need to be explained and
• Fairy Tales.
Provide parental guidance to your children
when they encounter impossible or
supernatural things in fairy tales.
Explain the difference between "magic"
tricks (illusions) and the supernatural power
of either God or Satan.
• Limit Involvement.
It is important to limit the amount of time
that a child is immersed in such questionable
reading, watching, or playing. He
should not read only fantasy or spend hours
each day playing a fantasy game.
4. Remove Objectionable Material
You may need to do a purge of
over-the-line or too-close-to-the line items
from your home.
Talk about these items with your children,
explain why you believe it would be better
for them and please the Lord if they were
removed from your home.
Pray together to ask for the Lord's wisdom
and power to do His will. If your children
are unwilling to give up a questionable
activity, that might be a sign that it needs
Remove. The world derides "book
burning," but the Lord records in His Word,
for our edification, that after an evil
spirit was sent out of a man in Ephesus:
"Fear fell upon them all
and the name of the Lord Jesus was being
Many also of those who had believed kept
confessing and disclosing their practices.
And many of those who
practiced magic brought
their books together and began burning them
in the sight of everyone;
and they counted up the price of them
and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver.
So the word of the Lord was
Satanic Items. Of course, overtly
satanic games such as the ouija board and
tarot cards should be strictly
5. Fill Your Home with Godly
When we remove undesirable activities from
our family's lives, we must fill the vacuum
with Godly influences (see Christ's parable
of the unclean spirit who was banished, then
replaced with seven more wicked spirits in
Matthew 12:43-45). Fill your home and
children's lives with:
Word – reading, discussing, studying,
Christian music, such as the old hymns of the
faith. Check out music sold by Sound
Forth or listen to Christian music online
Radio or Old
Christian Music Radio where you can also
buy the music you hear.
reading materials and images.
Everything in our lives should meet God's
"Whatever is true,
whatever is honorable,
whatever is right, whatever is pure,
whatever is lovely, whatever is of good
if there is any excellence
and if anything worthy of praise,
dwell on these things."
6. Arm Your Children with God's
Teach your children to resist Satan, his
temptations, and his power as Christ did with
Scriptures that they have memorized.
"Be strong in the Lord and
in the strength of His might.
"Put on the full armor of
God, so that you will be able
to stand firm against the schemes of the
devil . . .
having girded your loins with truth,
and having put on the breastplate of
and having shod your feet with the
of the Gospel of
in addition to all, taking up
the shield of faith
with which you will be able to extinguish
all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
"And take the helmet of
and the sword of the Spirit,
which is the word of God with all prayer
and . . . be on the alert with all
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Excursions to Yellowstone, Mt. St.
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6. Helpful Resources
Information. Read many articles
about the occult at Christian
Answers and Spotlight
- Trick or Treat? DVD
Informative DVD traces the pagan origins,
history and rituals of Halloween, one of the
highest holy days of the Pagan/Occult
calendar of Druids, Witches, and
Satanists. The rituals seen in this
documentary are real (too graphic for young
Good Book Alternatives
Order good character-building books for
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from the following publishers:
of the Faith.
Historical fiction, adventure, and
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Forum. Books by G.A.
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Hodges Audio Books. Unabridged
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Reviews from a Christian Worldview
You might not agree 100% with these
reviews, but they are a place to start and to
alert you to undesirable elements.
Online. Reviews of movies,
video/DVD, music, and television.
Spotlight on Entertainment. Reviews
of movies, Christian films, television, and
We need to recognize, but not fear, the
power of Satan and his demons, which is
nothing compared to God's power.
"For I am convinced
that neither death, nor life,
nor angels, nor principalities,
nor things present, nor things to come,
nor powers, nor height, nor depth,
nor any other created thing,
will be able to separate us
from the love of God,
which is in Christ Jesus our Lord"
"At the name of Jesus
every knee will bow,
of those who are in heaven
and on earth and under the earth."
"And the great dragon was
the serpent of old who is called the devil
who deceives the whole world . . .
"Then I heard a loud voice in
'Now the salvation, and the power,
and the kingdom of our God
and the authority of His Christ have come . .
And they overcame him
because of the blood of the Lamb
and because of the word of their