Acts 13:4-12 – The two of them, sent on their way by the Holy Spirit, went down to Seleucia and sailed from there to Cyprus. 5 When they arrived at Salamis, they proclaimed the word of God in the Jewish synagogues. John was with them as their helper. 6 They traveled through the whole island until they came to Paphos. There they met a Jewish sorcerer and false prophet named Bar-Jesus, 7 who was an attendant of the proconsul, Sergius Paulus. The proconsul, an intelligent man, sent for Barnabas and Saul because he wanted to hear the word of God. 8 But Elymas the sorcerer (for that is what his name means) opposed them and tried to turn the proconsul from the faith. 9 Then Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked straight at Elymas and said, 10 “You are a child of the devil and an enemy of everything that is right! You are full of all kinds of deceit and trickery. Will you never stop perverting the right ways of the Lord? 11 Now the hand of the Lord is against you. You are going to be blind for a time, not even able to see the light of the sun.” Immediately mist and darkness came over him, and he groped about, seeking someone to lead him by the hand.12 When the proconsul saw what had happened, he believed, for he was amazed at the teaching about the Lord.
“Now the hand of the Lord is against you. You are going to be blind for a time, not even able to see the light of the sun.” As we have already noted from 1 Corinthians 12:7, the manifestations of the Spirit are meant to glorify God. Of course they are. When a person is sharing the Word of God and the about the glory of God and a supernatural gift is displayed, such as supernatural discernment, or supernatural healing, or supernatural knowledge, then people that the Lord meant to touch will know it in their hearts and minds. When God speaks there is always a reaction! The desired reaction is to glorify God and to save or edify souls. The souls of men react to the touch of God’s Spirit, to His Word and to His supernatural gifts. Some respond appropriately and are saved such as in Acts 2, and unfortunately some famously have not (Exodus 7-12) and have suffered for their hard heartedness.
The sentence against what the evil Elymas was doing came quickly after Paul, filled with the Spirit spoke a prophetic word concerning Elymas. Although the Lord could still do this today, I pray that none of us ever have to be corrected in such a way. We have the Spirit of God within and should have no fear of that.
“Immediately mist and darkness came over him, and he groped about, seeking someone to lead him by the hand. The sentence of full blindness, him not even being able to see the sun, immediately was fulfilled. Put yourself in his place and imagine the fear he felt as he became blind. He was “seeking someone to lead him by the hand.” This proud man who thought he could thwart the will of God was now pleading for someone, anyone, to lead him about by the hand.
In the preceding verse we see that the blindness of Elymas would be “for a time.” Noting that Ananias and Sapphira died for their deceit (Acts 5:1-11), Elymas got off easy. Ananias and Sapphira received a permanent sentence. Elymas received a temporary one. A thought of why Elymas received the temporary punishment was because Paul, by the Holy Spirit, discerned that Elymas need not die. That Paul was informed by the Holy Spirit that Elymas would, after having been blinded, repent and come to Jesus. We don’t know that, but we can always hope that it is true. We should never take pleasure in the punishment of the wicked but always hope for their redemption since that displays the heart of God in us (Ezekiel 18:23). We must remember that when with transformed hearts we hate the evil that the world does, we also formerly did the same things (Titus 3:3-8). Let us have the love of God for the lost (John 3:16) and always desire people to turn from evil and to worship God through Jesus.
“When the proconsul saw what had happened, he believed, for he was amazed at the teaching about the Lord.” As we have noted, the purpose of the supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit is to glorify God and to lead people to Jesus. Here we see that the Holy Spirit operating through Paul brought the proconsul to belief in Jesus. Now it is in error taught that we don’t need these supernatural gifts of the Spirit in the world today. Family, don’t believe it. Today the gifts are still invaluable in sharing the love of God with the world. They are also invaluable in ministering to others, and even ourselves (1 Corinthians 14:4). After all we know that we all have times when we would like to hear from God about something, or when we have been under attack and desire a word from Him to lift us up. These gifts are still an extremely valuable tool of the Spirit to save souls and to minister to already saved souls. Trust God! Trust His Holy Spirit. Do not fight against God and attempt to quench the Spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:19). Paul’s desire for all of us is that the supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit would flow through us (1 Corinthians 14:4). He thanked God for his own speaking in tongues (prayer language)(1 Corinthians 14:18). Paul said to not forbid speaking in tongues (1 Corinthians 14:39). He was not writing specifically to other apostles, but rather to an undisciplined church. He was writing to all of our churches today, disciplined or undisciplined. He told them that they should not forbid speaking in tongues. He was in essence saying the same thing as 1 Thessalonians 5:19. Let me again state that if one has not seen the gifts of the Spirit flow through oneself that is not a sign that one is not saved. We are saved only by faith in the work of God through Jesus our Savior. The gifts are not given to exclude, but to include and build us up and to save souls. The gifts do not cull people who are saved, but they are evidence of the Holy Spirit that we are saved. They are meant to prove that we belong to Jesus and we come with the Eternal Truth of the Gospel.
I would like to say that many may have unknowingly had a gift of the Spirit flow through them. Not understanding what the gifts are and how they are used is entirely possible. However, whether one has one gift or another, God has received us all and loves us all. The Word says that how we are known as belonging to Jesus is by our love one for another (John 13:35). Let us do so to the praise of God! Praise God!
Psalm 150:6 – Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord!
Micah 7:7 – But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me.
Micah 6:8 – He has shown You, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of You but to do justly, to love mercy, And to walk humbly with Your God.This entry was posted in Devotion and tagged Acts, Corinthians, Exodus, Ezekiel, John, Micah, Psalm, Thessalonians, Titus by Bob with