Summary: Once again the Bible is a wonderful commentary on the practical struggles of the Christian life. Tonight we want to look at the activity of Satan, as he attempts to thwart the efforts of saints. We see this clearly in the character of a fellow named Bar
THE DEVIL IN DISGUISE
A Look At Those Who Thwart the Ministry of the Saints!
INTRODUCTION: Once again the Bible is a wonderful commentary on the practical struggles of the Christian life. Tonight we want to look at the activity of Satan, as he attempts to thwart the efforts of saints. We see this clearly in the character of a fellow named Bar-Jesus or Elymas.
Just to set the stage – here is where we are: According to Acts 13:2 the church of Antioch had commissioned Barnabas and Saul as missionaries-- Acts 13:2 While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, "Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them."
At hits point in time, barnabas is the leader of the two, with Paul playing the role of student. Barnabas, you will remember, is the more mature of the two in the things of Christ:
§ Barnabas was associated with the early church in Jerusalem
§ Barnabas was one who sold his land and gave the money to the church
§ Barnabas was the one who befriended Paul after his conversion
Acts 9:26-28 When he came to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he really was a disciple. 27But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. He told them how Saul on his journey had seen the Lord and that the Lord had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had preached fearlessly in the name of Jesus. 28So Saul stayed with them and moved about freely in Jerusalem, speaking boldly in the name of the Lord.
§ Barnabas was the one sent from the church to Antioch to investigate what was going on there for Jesus
Acts 11:25-26 Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, 26and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch. So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.
§ Barnabas also sought out Paul there
§ Under the ministry of Barnabas, the believers took the name Christians
Acts 13:6-8 They traveled through the whole island until they came to Paphos. There they met a Jewish sorcerer and false prophet named Bar-Jesus, 7who 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. 8But Elymas the sorcerer (for that is what his name means) opposed them and tried to turn the proconsul from the faith.
I SPIRITUAL HINDRANCES TO THE CAUSE OF CHRIST
A Simon Magnus
Acts 8:9 Now for some time a man named Simon had practiced sorcery in the city and amazed all the people of Samaria. He boasted that he was someone great,
B The Woman of Macedonia
Acts 16:16-19 Once when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit by which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling. 17This girl followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, "These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved." 18She kept this up for many days. Finally Paul became so troubled that he turned around and said to the spirit, "In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!" At that moment the spirit left her.