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Jan 15, 2022

In yesterday's reading we read the history of Isaac and Rebecca's family before the narrative focuses on their dissimilar twin sons— and especially Jacob.

JOB 15:
God has revealed so much more to us in our day than what Job could know in his day. One thing was shown yesterday. Job asked,

15:14 GNT If a man dies, can he come back to life? …

MARK 9b:
After coming down the mountain with three of his disciples, Jesus met his other disciples who were having two difficulties simultaneously with people arguing with them and with failing to heal a man’s son— who was possessed by an evil spirit or a demon.

Repeating a little of what I said in an earlier podcast: In Greek, ‘demon’ is daimonia, and the other term, ‘evil spirit’, is more literally ‘unclean spirit’. As someone who has worked in another culture and seen what has happened over my lifetime in the USA, I hope it will be helpful to some readers if I share about this topic. Some of you— particularly those of the older generation in the USA, will say, “What people called demons in Jesus’ day were just what we call mental illness.” While, paradoxically, it is the younger generation in the USA who more readily believe that demons actually exist. I think the younger generation have it right this time. Demons do exist.

Here’s what I have observed: Where demons are not believed in, they are happy to stay in the background— where they are very adept at promoting falsehood and sin. Where demons are feared, worshipped, where people listen to satanic music and take part in occult rituals, demons come out more openly— to increase people’s fear of them and to manipulate people.

As believers in Jesus, remember that Jesus has complete power over Satan and all demons. We who belong to Jesus should not fear them. Nor should we seek communication with such beings. Remember two things from yesterday’s story: The father wisely cried out, “Help my unbelief!” So the first thing to remember is to fully believe in Christ Jesus. The second is the answer Jesus gave to the disciples question: Prayer is of vital importance in this area of spiritual warfare.

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GNT Translation notes:
Job 15:25 That is the fate of those
who shake their fists at God
and defy the Almighty [— like you].
Mrk. 9:42“If anyone should cause one of these little ones [who believe in me to fall away//to lose faith in me], it would be better for that person to have a large millstone tied around the neck and be thrown into the sea.43 So if your hand makes you [fall away from me//lose your faith], cut it off! It is better for you to enter life without a hand than to keep both hands and go off to hell, to the fire that never goes out.45 And if your foot makes you [fall away from me//lose your faith], cut it off! It is better for you to enter life without a foot than to keep both feet and be thrown into hell. 47 And if your eye makes you [fall away from me//lose your faith], take it out! It is better for you to enter the Kingdom of God with only one eye than to keep both eyes and be thrown into hell. 48 There ‘the worms that eat them never die, and the fire that burns them is never put out.’
[Jesus also taught using these sayings:]
49 “Everyone will be purified by fire as a sacrifice is purified by salt.