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Ghostly Conflict

Mon, Oct 28th, 2013
Posted in All Faith & Worship

People ask, “Do you believe in ghosts?” The answer is, “Yes,” but not in the ghosts of literary imagination or the misguided belief in spirits of the “dead departed.” The word “spirit” is often used by Bible translators in place of the word “ghost.” There are numerous Bible references to “impure spirits” which are always demons. These “ghosts” did not just inhabit haunted houses and push items around; they directly controlled the thoughts and lives of people. There is a good example in Luke, “In the synagogue there was a man possessed by a demon, an impure spirit. He cried out at the top of his voice, ‘Go away! What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!’ ‘Be quiet!’ Jesus said sternly. ‘Come out of him!’ Then the demon threw the man down before them all and came out without injuring him (Luke 4:33-35 NIV).” This man’s experience with “ghosts” ended in a safe release because of Jesus. This kind of ghost today always seeks to undermined belief in God and continues to mislead.

“Impure spirits” are not the only kind of ghost mentioned in the Bible. Due to the translators of the King James Version of the Bible, the third person of the Godhead became known as the Holy Ghost. Modern translators chose to use the term Holy Spirit. Sent from God the Father and Jesus, the Holy Ghost works faith in the heart of believers. He seeks entry to the thoughts and lives of people, but for good purposes. An example of this is found in Acts, “Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: ‘Rulers and elders of the people….! It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed (Acts 4:8-10 NIV).” Peter, the fearful disciple who denied that even knew Jesus, has the courage to boldly witness the truth of Jesus’ power over death and Satan to the same men who condemned Jesus. The difference was that Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit.

A battle for the minds and hearts of people continues in this world. Distraction, unbelief and despair are fruits of impure spirits. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23a NIV).” Want the Holy Ghost to win? See you in church!

Rev. Paul Ibisch, with 28 years of parish ministry, continues to teach the Bible, guest preach, publish devotionals, and encourage the work of local congregations. Telephone: 608-799-0990.

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