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The LORD is near - Thursday, December 12, 2013
by Jacob Redekop, Brian Reynolds, John van Dijk, Eugene P. Vedder, Jr

A certain man a magician, a false prophet, a Jew, whose name was Bar-Jesus, who was with the proconsul Sergius Paulus, an intelligent man…Elymas the magician (for so his name is by interpretation) opposed them, seeking to turn away the proconsul from faith. But…Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, fixing his eyes upon him, said, O full of all deceit and all craft; son of the devil, enemy of all righteousness; wilt thou not cease perverting the right paths of the Lord?
(Acts 13:6-10)

In the New Testament we have an outstanding example of a false prophet in whom we see many of the characteristic features of all such opponents of God and His truth. This wicked deceiver confronted Paul and Barnabas at Paphos in the court of the Roman proconsul of Cyprus, Sergius Paulus. This official, Scripture tells us, was an intelligent man who wanted to hear God’s Word.
Elymas, who was also known as Bar-Jesus or Son of the Saviour, was a magician, a man who worked with satanic powers. There is no fellowship between Christ and Satan; consequently we see this man trying to turn the proconsul away from the faith. Note that the Bible speaks of Christianity as “the faith,” not merely as a “a faith”. Like the Lord Jesus speaking to His adversaries in John 8:44, Paul called this man son of the devil rather than what his name was, son of the Saviour. Full of all deceit and all craft, enemy of all righteousness, Elymas was perverting the right ways of the Lord. The Bible does not call every unbeliever “son of the devil,” but applies the term to active opponents of the gospel. Let us be careful whom we label thus!
The Lord’s power is greater than that of Satan. The Lord made this opponent of the gospel experience physical blindness that matched the blindness of his wicked heart. The proconsul, seeing what had happened, amazed at the teaching of the Lord, believed.
E.P Vedder, Jr


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