How Do You Like This Moving Design?
Acts 8: 14-24 ~ "14 Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: 15Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: 16(For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) 17Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost. 18And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, 19Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost. 20But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. 21Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. 22Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee. 23For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity. 24Then answered Simon, and said, Pray ye to the Lord for me, that none of these things which ye have spoken come upon me."
This scripture was recorded by Luke approximately 50- 57 AD in Samaria, an arising "hot spot" for spirituality. The gospel had spread from Jerusalem, and the Power of the Holy Ghost was falling every where the word was being preached and received. A magician named Simon aka Simon Magus began to follow the church by examining the demeanor of the Apostles and hearing the message. This man was himself beforehand gaining in popularity but hadn’t quite found his niche or reached his stride of fame. Now seemed to be his time to expand and flex his muscle.
After observing the Apostles, Peter and John, Simon was so excited about the potential of his new found spiritual resource that he decided to take the short route in obtaining what he thought was sure to bring him fame, prosperity, wealth and popularity. He was convinced that this was his "season of Passover" and he surely heard "chi-ching money coming"…being short on patience and long on ambition he decided to offer money for "the gift of God"
He was met by the Spirit of God through the Apostles, dis-fellowshipped from the early church, and ultimately embarrassed, without admitting that his heart wasn’t right.
Was Simon so tricked that he tricked and deceived himself into believing that he was in fellowship with Christ? Was he so self-centered that he did not have the ability to accurately judge his own actions?
Although the evidence is spotty it has been reported throughout history that Simon Magus did ultimately achieve the fame that he was looking for. It is reported that he was one of the first teachers of Gnosticism and Gnostic concepts that would make entry into the culture during the Second Century after the Apostles began to transition from earth to Heaven.
These philosophies were non-Christian, and heavily promoted fame, material wealth, a mythic (non-material) Jesus and no resurrection from the dead. Gnostics also taught an "enlightenment" (knowledge based) salvation and a creation brought to pass by an evil god called Demiurge. There was no code of Gnosticism, no Gnostic church or rules of living other than the message of self-promotion.
Slight Of Hand- David Blaine Ain't got Nuthin'on This!
It is reported that Simon Magus became so popular in Samaria that he converted almost the entire city to himself. According to Justin Martyr (A Christian Apologist) in AD 160, Simon tricked so many people that they begin to call him "holy god" and even had a statue erected on the Tiber River between the 2 common bridges that were used for traffic. Iraneus in AD 180 reported that Simon had married a prostitute named Helena and claimed that he had created her by his very thoughts.
It was further reported by Justin Martyr in 160AD that Simon’s disciple "Meander The Heretic" was "possessed by devils" claiming that he had received the "primary power" and had been sent forth from the presence of "invisible beings" to be the savior and deliverer of men.
Tertullian AD 210, later reported that it was "Saturnius" a disciple of Meander the Heretic, that claimed and taught that "man was made by angels".
And The People Followed The Parlor Trick
I was speaking to a friend one day and we were discussing a certain pastor who had taken advantage of his followers by scheming to get "mo-money", sleeping around (men and women) and flirting with whomever he could. The person told me that one day he saw his pastor in an inappropriate situation with a particular female member of his church, but immediately his mind told him that he DID NOT see what he thought he saw. The pastor "played off" his actions as if they were normal.
Later, after leaving that church, he came under conviction because he felt that he had wasted far too much time serving in a ministry that was immoral and dysfunctional at it's leadership. Unfortunately, while he was there however, he wrote what he saw off as nothing.
He Wrote it off as nothing.
I wondered did this Pastor use the same sort of slight of hand that Simon Magus used to gain his following?…So much so that the people would call him "holy god" and build a statue to him while living. Slight of hand so much that in many cases today, people still call him PASTOR, MINISTER, PROPHET, EVANGELIST and even APOSTLE, ARCH-APOSTLE, ARCH-BISHOP, ARCH-PROPHET, and the list goes on...
Then it occurred to me that Simon Magus is one of the most popular ministers in the church today. These are the type of things that he does:
Simon Magus has babies on his wife outside of marriage, with a "barely legal" church member, presents them (at least one baby) and a girlfriend with a lame excuse to the church, appears during fund raising campaigns on TBN (That's Television) like nothing ever happened and continues to book appointments in subsidizing the $300,000 annual income that helps pay for and buy more Bentleys and Multi-Million Dollar homes.
Simon Magus fights for marriage during the power conferences, instigates
a fight a few days later, appears on TV in support of her husband (accused) abuser, and then files for divorce the next day, shows up at Priestess Oprah's ranch as a "The New face Of Domestic Violence"
Simon Magus molests church members for over 20 years, paddles and spanks adult women, and collects offering from some of the largest
churches in the country and then when the "cat's out of the bag" says that he was never REALLY a part of any organization. That's a real "trick"
Simon Magus has illicit affairs, appears on TBN as one of the best and brightest upcoming mega-ministers in the country, but when he's confronted with his sins initially refuses but reluctantly resigns from ministry and assumes that everything will just be OK after a while.
Simon Magus appears on TBN (Which has Become The Popular Meeting Place) claiming that he had AIDS and was suffering from anal hemorrhages, professing that he
has been healed by God, but refused and failed to denounce the homosexual lifestyle that facilitated his problems. This simply opens the door for other with his same problems to continue in their sins as well.
Simon Magus creates the largest child prostitution ring ever in US history from pulpits across America, defiling an estimated 800 children over 20 years of ministry transporting children given to him willingly by their parents (unknowingly) to OTHER MINISTERS and perverts willing to pay for services…but then after being released on parole takes flight, on a forged passport, is captured and in 3 months develops terminal skin cancer that kills him in jail in less than a year.
It Must Be Parlor Tricks & Magic
The End Of Tricks
It was reported by Arnobius in AD 305 that Apostle Peter’s last encounter with Simon Magus was said to have concluded with a powerful and miraculous event in which God exacted his judgement. Simon Magus supposedly visited Rome to try to convert Christians to his belief. He specifically targeted Peter in effort to try to put him to shame. Arnobius reported that when Simon targeted Peter, "God then targeted him". Arnobius reported that at the mouth of Peter, Simon’s lavish BENTLEY (OOPS) I mean his chariot was blown away and destroyed at "the name of Christ", "throwing Simon into the air and depositing him headfirst to the earth laying him in the street dead with noticeably broken legs."
The master of making things appear differently than what they really were couldn't make God change from judgement against ungodliness. By the mid second century Origen AD 248 would write that there were probably no more than 30 followers of Simon Magus' apostasy and that the only reason he was remembered in the earth was because TRUE Christians told about how God brought judgement upon Simon after Luke recorded the initial incident in scripture mid first century.
Ironically, Simon Magus Got every bit of the Fame he sought so desperately.
Revelation 2:14-17 ~ But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. 15 So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate. 16Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth. 17He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.
By the way, that design at the beginning of this blog ISN'T really moving at all. It must be some sort of "trick".