At the church in Antioch, there were elders and prophets who were worshipping the Lord in fasting and prayer. The Holy Spirit instructed them to lay hands on Paul and Barnabas and set them apart for the work which they had been called to do. After they laid hands on them, they sent them out and they were led by the Holy Spirit to visit Cyprus. As they went through the island, they came upon a magician, a Jewish false prophet called Bar-Jesus. This false prophet was with the proconsul Sergius Paulus, who summoned Paul and Barnabas to hear the word of God. The Magician opposed them and sought to turn the proconsul away from the faith.
Paul being full of the spirit rebuked the magician and pronounced righteous judgement. “And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you will be blind and unable to see the sun for a time.” Immediately mist and darkness fell upon him, and he went about seeking people to lead him by the hand” (Acts 13:11). After this happened, the proconsul believed and was amazed. This judgement was handed out by the Holy Spirit through Paul. Like earthly courts, there are courts of heaven that operate in our sphere of influence. In this instance, the Magician’s sin was defying the plan and purpose of God to lead the proconsul to Christ. His judgement was immediate and blindness fell on him for a season.
We see a similar scenario with Ananias and Sapphira who conspired to lie to Peter. His question to Ananias was, “why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit…?” Peter told Ananias that he had not lied to man but unto God. Ananias immediately fell down dead and was carried off and buried. Three hours later his wife came in and repeated the same story. The result was the same for her. Death and burial was her judgment because they tested the spirit of God. “And great fear came upon the whole church and upon all who heard of these things” (Acts 5:11). The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and these lessons are hard ones to expound on.
Someone may say that their judgment and that of the Magician was harsh. On each occasion, we saw the manifestation of the Holy Spirit. Peter and Paul did not speak through their flesh or from a place of carnality. We should not devise in our minds to judge someone, or plan to speak death or blindness on others. On each occasion, Paul and Peter spoke as the Holy Spirit gave them utterance. In essence it was God’s judgement spoken by the Holy Spirit through human vessels. We saw the prophets in the Old Testament such as Elijah and Elisha, execute judgement against the enemies of God. Judgement did not end in the Old Testament as we saw the Holy Spirit rendering judgement through Peter and Paul in Acts.
We are taught not to quench the Holy Spirit or to grieve Him. The Magician tried to exalt himself and his worldly doctrine against God. The devil used him to oppose the plan of God and the Holy Spirit judged him. Ananias and Sapphira sought to exalt themselves and used deception to make themselves out to be who they were not. They walked into the the presence of God to meet with Peter, who led the church and lied. Their sin was carefully crafted and premeditated. On each occasion the fear of the Lord fell upon those who witnessed judgement. The proconsul feared at the Magician’s blindness and saw first hand what the power of God could do. Ananias and Sapphira should have known better as they were among the saints. Either way, the Holy Spirit was grieved by their actions and judgment fell upon them.
“And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption” (Ephesians 4:30).
3 thoughts on “Righteous Judgement”
Yes, we who know must walk respectfully in whom we believe.
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