"The Day of the Dead" (Dia de los Muertos)


November 2, 2017

Speaker 1: Death is only one character more. It comes to life. It interacts with humans. We can play with death. We can, whatever we want.

Lauren: If you're looking for a little culture this Halloween, you might want to head out to the Cottonwood Center for the Arts for their Dia de los Muertos celebration. Jon Khoury, the Executive Director of the Center is here tonight. This is a really interesting kind of morbid celebration, right?

Jon Khoury: In a way it is Lauren it's a ...

Speaker 4: ... because people hear Day of the Dead, and they think that it's spooky, but it really sounds like a very sentimental and meaningful holiday?

Speaker 5: It really is. It really in Southwest Detroit. There are altars all over the city. There are events going around. Yesterday, there was a procession around Clark Park. It was beautiful. I also brought in this ofrenda. This is an offering to somebody who has passed away.

Speaker 6: [Spanish language 00:01:39]

Bruce Mejia: What is Dia de los Muertos? Dia de los Muertos is a practice that came from the pagan indigenous of culture of the Aztecs. The Aztecs are wicked people, very wicked, and obsessed with death. They were violent. They commit a mass genocide. They committed sacrifices in large numbers. They were pagans. They had many deities that they pray to and worship. In fact, their main god was a god who they called the god of war and the god of human sacrifices. They were so obsessed with death and sacrificing their own people, they even said, "You know what? In order for life to continue, gods even have to be sacrificed. Death is such an important aspect of our lives." They said, "In order for life to continue, death must be present."

Speaker 8: [Spanish language 00:02:59]

Bruce Mejia: You study the history of these wicked Aztecs, they were simply a people who loved death. Why? Because they were a bunch of reprobates who hated God. That's why.

Speaker 9: And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind to do those things, which are not convenient; being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity, whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: who knowing the judgment of God, that they, which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same but have pleasure in them that do them.

Bruce Mejia: During the post-classical era, the Spaniards conquered Mexico and simply blended the Catholic religion with these Aztecs. That's all they did. Let me say this. Anytime Catholics went to conquer anywhere, they simply compromised and blended their beliefs.

Speaker 10: It all began with the Celts, a people whose culture had spread across Europe more than 2,000 years ago. October 31st was the day they celebrated the end of the harvest season in a festival called Samhain. As the Catholic Church's influenced grew in Europe, it frowned on the pagan rituals like Samhain. In the 7th century, the Vatican began to merge it with a church-sanctioned holiday. November 1st was designated All Saints' Day to honor martyrs and the deceased faithful.

Bruce Mejia: When they conquered the Aztecs, all they did was simply change the name, Day of the Dead. What is it? On November 1st, they honor, it's called the Day of Innocence. It's a day where they honor and worship the death of children. Then, on November 2nd is the rest of the souls.

Speaker 11: Skeletons, painted faces, and lots of sweet treats. No, it's not Halloween. It's Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead. Day of the Dead is a holiday celebrated in Mexico and some parts of Latin America that honors and commemorates death. It combines indigenous rituals with the Catholic holidays of All Souls and All Saints' Day.

Bruce Mejia: It's basically the same thing. Why is that? Because it's the same devil. It's the same satanic rituals, and he can't come up with anything original so he picks and chooses what he wants from different cultures, and applies it to that era right there.

Speaker 12: Day of the Dead as well is something to show us how the colonizations and the changes in the history of our country may include the new things but preserving tradition.

Laura Osorio S.: What we're really talking about is what you see in a lot of cultures, which is material culture or images and ideas being transferred through time. Obviously, evolving as they come into contact with other cultures. Mexican culture is very much a mix of the different pre-Hispanic Mesoamerican cultures that existed before the Spanish conquest and all of the influence that came from Europe, which wasn't just from Spain. The Day of the Dead is a festival and in that sense is very much a celebration. I supposed that is something that appeals to European and North American people because that's not the way that we understand death. Death is for us a sad moment. We do remember our dead but we remember them in times of solemnity.

Bruce Mejia: I can't look at the sales ad without seeing altars, without seeing Day of the Dead bread, without seeing a bunch of pagan things. Use this for your deceased. Use this for your altars. Use this marigold flowers. Use this bread, and the sugar skulls, and all these pagan worship. People are just buying this by the droves. This is a present thing. This is not just 3,000 years ago with the Aztecs. It's present today. Go to first Corinthians chapter number 10.

Speaker 9: What say I then? That the idol is anything, or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is anything? But I say that the things, which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God. I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils. Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord's table, and of the table of devils. Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than he?

Bruce Mejia: You see, these altars or altares is what they call them. They are reared up to honor the deceased. You know what they're doing? They're actually worshiping devils. You think they're honoring their grandfather, their children, or their deceased loved ones? What are they doing? They're actually offering this unto devils, unto Satan himself, and they don't know these things. The bible says that what are they doing? They're provoking God to jealousy. Go with me towards Exodus chapter 20.

Exodus chapter number 20, why is it that God says that they're provoking the Lord to jealousy? We're going to look here next to this chapter number 20 and verse number three. The bible reads here, "Thou shall have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any what? Graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquities of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me," the bible says.

What does it say? "I am a jealous God." Why? Because when we bow down to altars to wicked things, we're not doing it to the deceased according to the bible. Who are they doing it to? The devil's. Then that is idolatry. They hate God. Why? Because they love death. In fact, the adage or the maxim for Aztecs was this.

Speaker 14: Aztecs always celebrated death. Life they said is just a dream. Only in death is when we truly awake.

Bruce Mejia: Let's see if that's actually true according to the Word of God. Luke chapter 16 in verse number 19.

Speaker 9: There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day. There was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, and desiring to be fed with the crumbs, which fell from the rich man's table; moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. It came to pass that the beggar died and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. In hell, he lift up his eyes being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom and he cried and said, "Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame."

Bruce Mejia: There was some truth to what they were saying. Why is that? Because they say, "Oh, you know this is only a dream, only in life are we truly awake." It's called the rude awakening. Why? Because they're lifting up their eyes in hell. You know what? Every single Aztec that has ever died, they're in hell today. Yes, it's true. Now, they're fully awake and they're realizing that they're in hell, and then they're worshiping false gods. They should have looked for the true and living God, and what is it? It's a false pagan religion that teaches people how to go to hell.

Speaker 15: [Spanish language 00:10:45]

Speaker 16: I connect with Dia de los Muertos just being in California and being a part of the Hispanic culture that's blended from Southern California up to Northern California; and definitely believing that this time of year is when the veil is thinnest between the worlds, and being able to connect, and honor the dead, and remember them. It's really beautiful to put them on altars, and remember their faces, and have a dance with them.

Speaker 17: Locals dressed up as skeletons. Men dressed as women, and parties are thrown in graveyards to welcome death.

Bruce Mejia: What are some of the practices that these people who practiced Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead? What is it that they practice? Number one, they practice this matter of constructing altars or what they call altares to honor the dead. Altars are often decorated with an array of flowers, fruits, and favorite foods, candles, Day of the Dead breads, skeletons, and skulls. Very nice, isn't it? We're just to use all that to honor the dead. It's very nice thing to do, isn't it? Child altars are filled with candy and toys, whereas liquor and cigarettes are left for the adults for their long journey back. Yeah, that's really honoring. Let's put some pot right here. Let's put some Marlboro cigarettes over here, and some liquor, which probably killed this person due to cirrhosis of the liver.

Let's see what the bible says about altars here. You're in Deuteronomy chapter 12 verse number one. The bible says here. "These are the statutes and judgments, which ye shall observe to do in the land, which the Lord God of thy fathers giveth thee to possess it, all the days that ye live upon the earth. Ye shall utterly destroy all the places wherein the nations, which ye shall possess served their gods, upon the high mountains, and upon the hills, and under every green tree. Ye shall overthrow their altars and break their pillars, and burn their groves with fire; and ye shall hew down the graven images of their gods, and destroy the names of them out of that place."

What does he say? "I don't want nothing to do with this." That's what God said. When you come into a land and you see the altars where they worship their false gods, tear it down, burn it. I want nothing to do with it. Let me say this. There's places here in Los Angeles especially in Detroit where altars are not just in the homes of people, they're in the streets. There's people who say, "Yeah, we filled the streets with altars, so all the spirits can just roam and come into the homes." That's wicked. Filled with bones, and skulls, and things that are morbid. This a very wicked practice.

Go to 2 Kings chapter 21. It's obvious the altars is not a good thing, all right. Yet we see today, we'll see in a couple of weeks, they're everywhere. People don't even wince at it. They think it's a good thing. They think it's a beautiful thing. They decorate it with all kinds of flower and make them look all pretty. It's a loving of death.

Flor Alvarez: [Spanish language 00:13:53] I've been waiting three weeks for this. I love the skulls. I love the culture. It fascinates me. I'm delighted by the parade. It met all my expectations.

Bruce Mejia: 2 Kings 21 verse 1, the bible says here. Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign, and reigned 50 and five years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Hephzibah. He did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord, after the abominations of the heathen, whom the Lord cast out before the children of Israel. Why? For he built up again the high places, which Hezekiah his father had destroyed; and he reared up altars for who? For Baal, and made a grove, as did Ahab king of Israel; and worshiped all the host of heaven, and served them.

You see, Manasseh was a wicked king and the bible says that he reared up these altars. Why? To worship the host of heaven. What about Satan? No, you're worshiping Baal. You see, he thought he was worshiping the host of heaven whoever was in heaven. God says, "No. I don't care what you think you're worshiping. It's Baal." By the way, Baal all throughout the scriptures, we know who that is. That's Satan. Satan comes in different names and one of them is Baal. When these people are rearing up these altars in their homes, on the streets, at the schools, wherever it may be, they think they're worshiping the host of heaven, their family members. Who are they do really worshiping? Baal. That's what God says.

This holiday ... By the way, it's not a holiday. Holiday is a holy day, but this isn't a holiday for us. October 31st, obviously is Halloween. This day ironically is where they say that the spirits arrive. They say, this is the day where the children come. This is the day when the deceased comes. This is when they arrive.

Speaker 17: This is the way when those who died as children return. All across Mexico, people are in their homes tending their altars and waiting for the dead infants to arrive. I'm not particularly some sentimental person, I don't think. I don't believe in ghosts, but there is a huge sense of a build up to a something and it's these sensual things, foods, and smells, and sounds. The idea of being here where people truly believe that the dead are coming back.

Bruce Mejia: I hope I never lose my children. I hope they never pass away before I die. That's almost ... It's a horrible thing to think about. You know what? If it happens, according to God's will, then so be it. At least I have the promises of the Word of God that I will see them again one day. That they're on the streets of Jerusalem. I know that they'll be in heaven because babies go to heaven, amen.

Congregation: Amen.

Bruce Mejia: They don't believe that. They think they're in the land of the dead. They believe that the spirits of the children had come on the 31st, and they visit them on November 1st.

Speaker 17: It's 3:00. We're about to receive the souls of dead children. Catalina's family have never lost any infants, but they'll be receiving the souls of kids who don't have any family left alive to remember them. Andres prepares the room as the local church bells ring to let everyone in the town know that the dead are on their way.

Bruce Mejia: Let's see if the bible, if that's true. 2 Samuel chapter 12 verse 18. The bible reads here. It came to pass on the seventh day that the child died. What child are we talking about here? This is David's child that was born of adultery. The servants of David feared to tell him that the child was dead for they said, "Behold, while the child was yet alive, we spake unto him, and he would not hearken unto our voice. How will he then vex himself, if we tell him that the child is dead?" When David saw that his servants whispered, David perceived that the child was dead, therefore David said unto his servants, "Is the child dead?" They said, "He is dead."

Then David arose from the earth, and washed, and anointed himself, and changed his apparel, and came into the house of the Lord and worshiped. Then, he came to his own house and when he required, they set bread before him, and he did eat. Then said his servants unto him, "What thing is this that thou hast done? Thou didst fast and weep for the child, while it was yet alive; but when the child was dead, thou didst rise and eat bread." He said, "While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept for I said, who can tell whether God will be gracious to me that the child may live?" Verse 23, "But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me."

What is the bible teaching there? That when children die, they will be in heaven. The bible teaches us that. What does it says? We will go to them, but they shall not return back into us. If children are not returning back to us in the form of a spirit, what is returning? What is being invoked? It's a demon. It's what it is. People who practice this need to ... By the way, it's a lot more comforting to know if we were to teach these people who practice this, for them to know that their children are in heaven and that they will see them one day if they accept Christ as their personal savior. It's a lot better.

Speaker 17: Is everyone looking forward to the Day of the Dead?

Speaker 20: [Spanish language 00:19:17]

Speaker 21: We really believe the grandmother, grandfather, and all the people who passed away that you loved, they're coming back. Actually ...

Speaker 17: Are they actually physically coming back?

Speaker 21: The spirit is what is coming.

Speaker 17: Spirit is coming. Okay.

Speaker 21: The spirit is what is coming back.

Bruce Mejia: Again, I don't believe it's a bad thing to remember the deceased loved ones or even visit the graves of lost loved ones. I don't think that's a bad thing to do, to remember them. This practice of the Day of the Dead is meant to evoke spirits who have died. We obviously understand that, that's impossible. That can't be done, but they don't know that. What are they doing? They're evoking these spirits. What are they? They're demons. They're satanic demons. They're in the form of their family members, and these people don't know that they're making sacrifices unto devils.

Look what Deuteronomy chapter number 18, verse 10 says, "There shall not be found among you anyone that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, or a charmer, or a consulter with what? Familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord, and because of these abominations the Lord thy God doth drive them out from before thee."

What does it say? These are consulter with familiar spirits; family, familiar spirits. What they think they're doing? They think they're evoking these family spirits out? No, no, no. These are devils. In the Old Testament, look ... If we live under Old Testament law, there'll be a lot of deaths on October 31st, 1st, and 2nd. Why? It's a bunch of people taking the form of wizards, and witches, necromancers, and they're trying to evoke familiar spirits. In the Old Testament, they're put to death. Why? Because it was an abominable thing to do.

Speaker 17: Do you have a sensation of them being here now?

Speaker 22: [Spanish language 00:21:21].

Speaker 17: Just after the bell started ringing, there was a big rush of air outside and the incense poured out of [inaudible 00:21:39].

Speaker 22: [Spanish language 00:21:39].

Speaker 17: Okay. Say, did I have the same experience that they did and think the souls of the dead were coming in? No, I didn't. Did I have some kind of spiritual journey? Of course, I did. I was concentrating so much on the idea that the children had died and their lives are worth celebrating. Yes, you do getting some sensation that the dead are here with us. As night falls, we head towards the graveyard. Looking forward to seeing the cemetery. We're going to decorate the tomb that hold several of Catalina's family including her beloved great-grandmother.

Bruce Mejia: Not only that, but they offer ... They do offerings for the dead. I mean, I saw a lady who said, "Yeah, we offer, and here's my offering, and all the bread, and candy. I mean, this is for the dead. They're offering things to the dead." Look what Deuteronomy 26 verse 13 says. "Then thou shalt say before the Lord thy God, I have brought away the hallowed things out of mine house, and also have given them unto the Levite, and unto the stranger, to the fatherless, and to the widow, according to all thy commandments, which thou hast commanded me. I have not transgressed thy commandments, neither have I forgotten them. I have not eaten thereof in my mourning, neither have I taken away ought thereof for any unclean use, nor given ought thereof for the dead; but I have hearkened to the voice of the Lord my God, and have done according to all that thou hast commanded me."

He says, "I'm not going to offer anything to the dead." Why? Because that's a pagan practice to do. Genesis chapter number four, we obviously see Cain. What is he doing? He's bringing an offering unto the Lord of the fruits of the ground. What does God say? The bible says that he had not respect to Cain's offering. Why? Because really what it was, it was just a words-based salvation. What is this Day of the Dead and Dia de los Muertos? It's simply a fleshing out of working out their salvation. Trying to appease God by offering things unto idols, and it's a wicked practice. Genesis chapter four, we see that.

We see here also that they have this thing called sugar skulls. How many of you have ever heard of this, sugar skulls? If you haven't heard of it, you'll see it soon. One thing about Dia de los Muertos is death is everywhere. I mean, they paint their faces like death. They have skeletons every ... How do you even celebrate that one? It's just death everywhere. What they do is they take these sugar skulls, and they place it all around the ... They scattered these bones and skulls all around the altar of the people that they're worshiping.

Look at what 2 Kings 23 verse 16 says, "As Josiah turned himself, he spied the sepulchres that were there in the mount, and sent, and took the bones out of the sepulchres, and burned them upon the altar, and polluted it, according to the word of the Lord, which the man of God proclaimed, who proclaimed these words." These people who practiced Day of the Dead, what are they doing? They think they're honoring their dead by scattering the bones on the altar. Here in the bible we see that anytime bones were scattered by a king, it's a way to dishonor them. Why? Because God is saying that these were wicked people, therefore we're going to scatter their bones and burn them on the altar. It was a way to dishonor. How ironic, that they think we're just honoring our loved ones. We're honoring the dead and God says, "No. That's a way to dishonor it." Go to Ezekiel chapter number six.

Speaker 17: Aztecs, always celebrated death. Life they said is just a dream. Only in death are we truly awake.

Bruce Mejia: Have you seen these sugar skulls? It can't get any worse. They actually put the names of their dead loved ones on the forehead of the skull. To say that's him, that's her, that's the child, that's the person, what are they doing? They think they're honoring but it's actually the most dishonoring thing you can do. Ezekiel chapter number six verse number four, the bible reads here, "Your altars shall be desolate, and your images shall be broken." This is God speaking here. "I will cast down your slain men before your idols, and I will lay the dead carcasses of the children of Israel before their idols. I will scatter your bones round about your altars."

Verse six, "In all your dwelling places, the cities shall be laid waste, and the high places shall be desolate. That your altars may be laid waste and made desolate, and your idols may be broken and cease, and your images may be cut down, and your works may be abolished." He said, I'm going to scatter your bones just like the Day of the Dead. When you are following the traditions and rituals of a pagan people ... By the way, it is said that the Aztecs were the least ... They're the most barbaric out of all of the tribes. I mean, you have to be if you're doing mass genocide in huge numbers. They're the ones who came up with this stuff. We think that we've gotten so much better, and we know so much more. No, you're following pagans who murdered their own children and sacrificed virgins.

Isaiah chapter number 11. Another thing that they do is they make ... What they do is they'll go to the graveyards and they'll put what's called marigold flowers. You guys ever heard of that? You'll see that a lot. These orange flowers that actually go from the graves all the way up to the houses with candles. What they believe, they basically say this. They say, "We're doing that to lead the spirits from the grave to our homes." I mean, it's bad enough that they're evoking the spirits, but now they're actually leading. They say, "Come, we're going to show you where it's at." They'll lead and the streets will be packed with flowers and candles to lead these spirits.

Look what Isaiah chapter number 11 says. Let me say this also, again anytime God comes up with an idea, or a concept, Satan is just a copycat. All he does is just take God's concepts and he perverts it. Isaiah 11 verse 10 the bible says, "In that day, there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the gentiles seek, and his rest shall be glorious." Who's that referring to? The Lord Jesus Christ. What does the bible say about the Lord Jesus Christ? I am the way, the truth, and the life, and no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

What does the bible say in John chapter 15? I am the what? True vine, and my Father is the husbandman. You know who's the true flower? You know who's the mighty rose of Sharon as they would say in that song? It's the Lord Jesus Christ. He's the one that guides us, not some flowers that will guide us for home. No, he's the one that leads us. He's the one that shows us the way how to get to heaven. Knowing that after salvation, he's the one that leads us in this world.

The bible says that the Word of God is a lamp into our feet and a light into our path. Why? Because Jesus Christ is the Word, and he's the one that leads us; not some flowers, not some traditions that teaches something wrong to do. Go to Psalms chapter 23, in verse number four the bible says here, "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me, thy rod and thy staff they comfort me." You see the shepherd is the one who leads us, not some flowers, not some candles, not anything of that matter. It's the Lord. It's the shepherd.

One of the things that you also see during the Day of the Dead is this thing called Pan de Muertos. Okay. Now, I don't even know how that can be appetizing when they tell you this is Pan ... Pan de Muertos is dead bread or bread of the dead. How would you even want to eat something like that? Yes, this dead bread are ... It's like, "I don't want that." What they do is they make this odd thing called Pan de Muertos and they basically they put ... They make it look like it's bones. Luke 22 verse 19, the bible says ...

Speaker 9: He took bread, and gave thanks, and break it, and gave unto them saying, "This is my body, which is given for you. This do in remembrance of me."

Bruce Mejia: We see that again, it's a concept that God came up with and what does Satan do? He perverts it. What they do in the Day of the Dead is they have this bread and that's what they do. They have atole, and they have bread, and they eat that; and they remember their dead. Go to Jeremiah chapter number seven. Jeremiah chapter number seven verse 18 the bible says here, "The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead their dough to make cakes to who? To the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto other gods that they may provoke me to anger."

We see again, they're doing something that's ungodly. They're baking cakes. They're kneading dough, but who's it for? For the queen of heaven, for some devil. What does the bible say about that? They're provoking God's anger. You see, this isn't something ... God doesn't look down and say, "The [inaudible 00:31:13]. Everyone's living in peace. Everyone is in one accord. Everyone is just eating, and drinking, and being merry. I guess that's okay." No, what does he say? "You guys are provoking me to anger. This makes me angry because thou shall have no other gods before me," the bible says. You know why? I hope people listen to this and realize whoever is practicing this, that this is not for the deceased loved ones. This is not to honor their memory. This is a worship of Satan and his devils.

Go to Matthew 23. Most of us have family members that are involved in this stuff. We need to expose it in a loving way. We need to teach them what the bible has to say about that. It's important. In fact, also I work with them. He was talking to a friend of his that's at work. The guy makes his, "Hey, are you celebrating Halloween and All Soul's?" "No, it's wicked. I'm a Christian." The guy says, "Oh, yeah. Me, neither." He says, "We just worship the Day of the Dead." He said, "We just do Day of the Dead." "Oh, okay." "I guess that's better. That's a lot better." "No, it's not. It's the same thing. It's just a Mexican Halloween. It's what it is." That's all it is.

It's something that's celebrated in Central America, Mexico, and now in the United States. By the way, now it's going to across the seas to Europe. I mean, this has taken a toll on the world. People are practicing this everywhere. Why? Because people don't know what to do when people die. When you don't have God, you don't have the Word of God, they're trying to comfort themselves using the ungodly means, and they're looking for an answer somewhere. You know what they're looking for? They're looking for God, but instead what do they do? Satan is there to show them the wicked ways. The wicked rituals to appease them, to help them, to comfort them. No, it's wicked. What are they really doing? They're provoking God to anger.

Another thing we see in the Day of the Dead is this thing called La Catrina. Have you guys ever heard anything like that? La Catrina or El Catrin. It's basically, and you'll see this everywhere. It's skeletons that are dressed up very nicely. Statue of a woman, and in fact the biggest statue they have. This Nebuchadnezzar size statue is actually in Mexico. It has the Guinness world records for the largest La Catrina in the world. It is a huge skeleton that's dressed in a very long dress with a very huge hat, and they love it. They're like, "Oh, we're so proud of what we accomplished to edify this huge statue, this La Catrina. It's so wonderful."

It's not wonderful. The reason they do it is because what they say is that we're just making a mock of death. That's what it is. We're making light of death. Isn't there a verse in the bible that says, "Fools make a mock at sin." They're looking at death and they're saying, "Oh yeah. It's funny. It's great. It's just ... In death are we truly awake." No, no, no. There's no laughing matter when you die.

Speaker 23: [Spanish language 00:34:04] I came here to reaffirm my country's customs where we laugh at death. Sometimes, death makes us sad, but mainly we accept it as part of life without having to suffer.

Bruce Mejia: Because if you die without Christ, you're going to be in hell where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. There is no laughing matter according to the bible. All throughout California and Los Angeles, you're going to see skeletons and people who even paint their faces like skeletons. What are they doing? They're making a mock of sin. They're making a mock of death. Who do they have influenced in them in this area? The devil. Yeah, make fun of death. It's okay. It's just another stage. It's another path. It's all right. Make fun of it. Eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow you die. Guess what? "It is appointed for men once to die, but after this the judgment," the bible says.

Congregation: Amen.

Speaker 24: [Spanish language 00:34:53]

Bruce Mejia: Look what the bible says in Luke 12 verse 20. God said unto him. I like that. When people have their opinions, it's like, "Okay. Have your opinion, but God said." God said unto him. "Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee. Then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?" You can think that way. You can have your wicked philosophies. You can have a good time, eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow you die; but tonight, thy soul shall be required of thee. What happens? You're going to die and go to hell. Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.

Verse 33, being deceived. What are we telling people today? Don't be deceived. "Boy are we doing ..." No, no, no. Don't be deceived by that. Evil communications corrupt good manners. Manners are simply is this, a conduct of living. These evil communications, we're just going to eat, drink, and be merry. Everything's going to be okay. No, no, no. The bible says it's going to corrupt your good manners. What are you going to do? You're going to provoke God to anger because of it.

I want those who are watching this and listening to this, to really ... We're not necessary ... We're not trying to just expose and just shove it on their face on this. We want them to be saved because there's a lot of sincere people out in this, in El Monte, in the Los Angeles area, in Long Beach, and all across California and the United States who are sincere and really ... You hear these interviews. People are just like, "Man, I couldn't come to grips with the death of my family member until I came across Dia de los Muertos." Why? Because they're looking for an avenue to comfort themselves. You know what we want? We want these people to be saved.

Congregation: Amen.

Bruce Mejia: We want these people to come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ so they can go to heaven. All these people, I mean from very young, they're taught these things. All these people are on their way to hell. They're going to hell. Yes, for them it's like this life is but a dream and only in death are we truly awake, but they're going to have a rude awakening. They're going to lift up their eyes in hell. See, we as Christians, we comfort ourselves. We understand that there is a biblical resurrection, but this Day of the Dead practice and these rituals that they have, what is it for? It's simply this. To resurrect the spirits of the dead for three days. That is a very wicked, and ungodly, unbiblical practice that no Christian should ever be a part of.

We will live again. We will see our bodies once again. God will resurrect us one day because we have a hope that's coming. We have a real resurrection that's coming. Yeah, it doesn't come once a year on November 1st, and 2nd, and on Halloween on the 31st, but it will come one day and it's going to be a permanent resurrection. The resurrection of the dead is a biblical teaching but you know what we've noticed is that Satan always takes an idea that God made, and he perverts it. He takes a concept that God made whether it's the Word of God, its doctrine, and what does he do? He perverts it to fit his own agenda. This is what we see here in this matter of Dia de los Muertos. Though the resurrection from the dead is biblical, today we see an unbiblical, wicked, satanic method of resurrecting the deceased through ungodly practices.

Have you not read that which was spoken unto you by God saying, "I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob." God is not the god of the dead but of the living, amen. That goes to show that when someone dies, they're not necessarily really dead. I mean the physical body is in the grave, yes, but you know what? They're still alive. These people are not unconscious. We don't believe in annihilation of the soul. We don't believe that they're in the land of the dead or in purgatory. Where are they? They're in the presence of God. Why? Because God is not a god of the dead, but he is of the living.

I'm going to read to you from Proverbs chapter eight. You don't have to turn there. The bible says here, "For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favor of the Lord. He that sinneth against me wrongeth his soul. All they that hate me, love death." The bible says the wages of sin is death. Death is not a good thing. Now, for the Christian it's the best thing. Amen. The bible says that to be absent from the body, is to be present with the Lord. The bible says that "For me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain." It's a good thing for us to die. The only good thing about us living here is we get to serve God. We get to live for God. We get to earn our rewards. We get to work for God so we could have a better resurrection. God has promised us a resurrection already. The best thing that could ever happen to anyone of us is we die and we go to heaven.

Congregation: Amen.

Bruce Mejia: Best thing, 1 Corinthians 15:53, the bible says here, "For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."

You see, those who practice the Day of the Dead, they're feeling the sting of death. The pain, the sorrow because of death without Christ. Us? O death, where is thy sting? I'm coming back man. I got the resurrection. God has promised me the resurrection. I will be back. Those who die without Christ will never come back. Matter of fact, let me correct that. They will come back to be judged and cast into the lake because whosoever shall ... Whosoever his name was not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.

Now this morning. What I'm trying to do here? I'm trying to really get us to have a greater heart for souls simply because here in El Monte, there's a lot of Hispanics. I guarantee you, a good majority of them practices or part of Dia de los Muertos. We need to go out and reach them and realize that, it's a wicked practice to provoking God to anger. We need to tell them about the Lord Jesus Christ; how they can be saved if they just believe upon his name. By the way, once they do, what can they do? They can help with one another with these books. Amen.

Congregation: Amen.

Bruce Mejia: Let's bow our heads and have a word of prayer. Father we thank you for your word. We're thankful for the promise of eternal life. We're thankful for the promise of the resurrection. We can comfort one another with these words. Yes, it's going to hurt when our loved ones passed on. Those of us who stayed, it's going to hurt; but we can rest assured that we'll see them in a little bit. They'll come back. You promised [inaudible 00:41:47] but you tell the truth. I pray that many of those who have depended on this wicked practice of Dia de los Muertos will turn to the true living God. They will turn to Christ and be saved, and believe upon him, and be saved and that they would comfort themselves with the Word of God. Thank you for all that you do for us Lord. Bless us as we go on our way, in Jesus name we pray. Amen.