Elymas Acts 13:6-12 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
Elymas was the sorcerer who withstood Paul and Barnabas when they came to preach the word of God to Sergius Paulus. He was “seeking to turn away the deputy from the faith,” [Acts 13:8]. Paul knew what Elymas was up to and he stopped him by blinding him for a season. By what means did Elymas withstand Paul and Barnabas? He withstood them with:
Subtilty – Acts 6:10 – it probably wasn’t obvious to most people just how wicked Elymas really was. He was subtil just like the devil in the serpent in Gen 3. Wicked men who seek to turn others away from the faith are slick [Rom 16:17-18]. They use good words and fair speeches. So, these guys can be hard to detect if you just listen to the clever things they say and how they say them.
Spiritual wickedness – Acts 6:10 – Paul called Elymas a child of the devil. The Pharisees were squeaky clean on the outside but they were of their father the devil [Jn 8:44]. In Matt 23 Jesus called them serpents and vipers, hypocrites and blind guides. Judas was used by the devil to betray Jesus. The devil even spoke through Peter [Matt 16:23]. Years ago in Southern Baptist seminaries, young Bible believing Christians were talked out of their faith in the virgin birth, the bodily resurrection of Jesus, the literal return of Jesus Christ, and the inerrancy and infallibility of the Bible. That kind of thing is the work of the devil.
Opposition – Acts 6:10 – Elymas was an enemy of all righteousness. He was opposed to God and he was disobedient to the truth. In this he was like Saul in 1 Sam 15:22-23. When a man doesn’t obey the Bible he is a rebel and rebellion is like witchcraft. A rebel may come across as an acceptable sort of fellow. But he is an enemy of all righteousness, and you can’t forget that.
Perversion – Acts 6:10 – In Paul’s day there were many who were corrupting the word of God [2 Cor 2:17]. If many were corrupting it back then, you can be sure that many are corrupting it today, as well. That’s why we call modern English Bibles perversions. They pervert the right ways of the Lord just enough to throw you off track. The King James Bible is the word of God. There are many who would seek to turn away your faith in God’s words in the King James Bible.
Conclusion: beware of smooth, subtil scholars and preachers. You might be dealing with an Elymas. If he withstands men who are preaching the truth, you can be sure is an Elymas.