Facing Demonic Opposition: Paul Rebukes Elymas the False Prophet

Facing Demonic OppositionNo one can stand in the way of the power of the gospel. This was exemplified in the story of Saul and Barnabas' encounter with the sorcerer Elymas, who tried to prevent the governor of Paphos from hearing the word of God. But the Apostle Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, rebuked Elymas and brought about the governor's conversion, proving that no force of darkness can stand against the truth and power of the gospel.

After Saul and Barnabas were sent out of the local church in Antioch, they made their way to Paphos, where they ran into a sorcerer named Elymas. Elymas was an advisor to the island governor and tried to stop the governor from hearing the word of God. This is an example of the powers of darkness trying to stop the gospel from advancing. It is also revealing demonic activity in the highest places of governing authority.  

The Bible calls Elymas a sorcer. Scripture declares,"But Elymas the sorcerer (for so is his name by interpretation) withstood them, seeking to turn away the deputy from the faith (Acts 13:8). The verse is describing a scene in which Paul and Barnabas have come to a city and have started preaching the gospel. They meet with resistance from Elymas, a sorcerer who is trying to prevent the Deputy (or ruler) of the city from believing in the gospel. He is using witchcraft or other occult practices to prevent the deputy from converting to Christianity.

In the Bible, a sorcerer (or sorcerer) is someone who practices magic or other forms of occultism. This can include divination, astrology, necromancy, and other forms of witchcraft. Sorcery was strictly forbidden in the Old Testament and was associated with false gods and idolatry.

In the New Testament, sorcerers are mentioned most prominently in the book of Acts and are often seen as an obstacle to the spread of the gospel.  "And when they had gone through the isle to Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew, whose name was Barjesus, who was with the deputy of the country, Sergius Paulus, a prudent man; who called for Barnabas and Saul and desired to hear the word of God.But Elymas the sorcerer (as his name implies) stood firm, attempting to persuade the deputy to abandon his faith. "Then Saul, also known as Paul, who is filled with the Holy Spirit, sets his gaze on him" (Acts 13:6–9).

This demonic evil worker was not ignored by the Apostle Paul. Again, in this passage, Paul and Barnabas have traveled to the island of Paphos, where they encounter a sorcerer named Barjesus. He is working with the Deputy of the country, Sergius Paulus, and is trying to persuade him to reject the gospel. Paul and Barnabas attempt to preach the gospel to the Deputy, but Elymas the sorcerer (which is his name in Greek) opposes them and attempts to turn the Deputy away from the faith. Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, confronts Elymas and rebukes him for trying to pervert the truth of the gospel.

Scripture declares, "Then Saul (who is also called Paul) was filled with the Holy Ghost, and he set his eyes on him. And he said, "O full of all subtilty (hard to see) and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?" And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you shall be blind, not seeing the sun for a season. And then a mist and darkness descended on him, and he went about looking for someone to lead him by the hand. Then the deputy, when he saw what was done, believed, being astonished at the doctrine of the Lord" (Acts 13:9–12).

This text describes the moment Paul confronts Elymas the sorcerer. Paul is filled with the Holy Spirit and speaks to Elymas with Holy Spirit authority, calling him a "child of the devil" and an "enemy of all righteousness." Paul then pronounces a divine judgment on Elymas, causing him to become blind and unable to see the sun for a season. The Deputy, witnessing this miracle, is astonished and believes in the Lord. The scripture also shows that Elymas' attempt to stop the spread of the gospel did not succeed. Instead, it served as a catalyst for the Deputy's conversion.

By showing the power of God in the face of spiritual opposition, Paul is able to demonstrate the truth and power of the gospel. This is an important lesson for all Christians today, as we must remember that the gospel will always prevail, no matter how much opposition it may face. This passage also serves as a reminder of the importance of resisting evil and standing firm in the faith.

Paul's rebuke of Elymas serves as an example of how we should respond to those who would seek to lead us astray from the truth. We must always be ready to stand firm and defend the gospel, no matter what opposition we may face. continue Paul is only able to confront Elymas and bring about the Deputy's conversion because he is filled with the Holy Spirit. This is a reminder to all Christians that we must always seek the guidance and power of the Holy Spirit in our lives if we want to be effective witnesses for the gospel. The good news is no weapon formed against you shall prosper.

© Your partner,
Apostle Jonas Clark

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