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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,

14:14 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.

NLT Translation notes:
Mrk. 9:22 The [demon/spirit] often throws him into the fire or into water, trying to kill him. Have mercy on us and help us, if you can.”
25 When Jesus saw that the crowd of onlookers was growing, he rebuked the evil f spirit. “Listen, you [demon/spirit] [who/that] makes this boy unable to hear and speak,” he said. “I command you to come out of this child and never enter him again!”
26 Then the [evil/0] spirit screamed and threw the boy into another violent convulsion and left him. The boy appeared to be dead. A murmur ran through the crowd as people said, “He’s dead.”
29 Jesus replied, “[That/This] kind can be cast out only by prayer. ”
heading at 38:
[Doing thing for Jesus' cause//Using the Name of Jesus]
38 John said to Jesus, “Teacher, we saw someone using your name to cast out demons, but we told him to stop because he wasn’t in our group.”
31 for he wanted to spend more time with his disciples and teach them. He said to them, “[I, the//The] Son of Man, [am/is] going to be betrayed into the hands of [my/his] enemies. [I/He] will be killed, but three days later [I/he] will rise from the dead.” 32 [However/0] they didn’t understand what he was saying, however, and they were afraid to ask him what he meant.
39 “Don’t stop  him!” Jesus said. “No one who performs a miracle [on my behalf/in my name/using my name] will soon be able to speak evil of me.
[One thing I do not like about the NLT is the translation of 'in my name' as 'using my name' in places having to do with prayer like John 16. In v38 here, it works well. For believers in this age, when we pray 'in Jesus' name', the meaning is not simply that we end our prayers with an automatic 'in Jesus name'. The meaning of praying in Jesus' name is that we pray things for the cause of Jesus, on behalf of Jesus, or for Jesus' glory. This is why I end so many prayers on these podcasts with the idea of Jesus’ glory!]


Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.