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In Acts 8 is the story of a man named Simon. He was some dude with a big following in Samaria. He amazed the Samaritans with magic [“mageia”]. He claimed to be great because of God. Then, the Apostle Philip went into Samaria and began preaching the truth of Jesus; and, his words opened the hearts of the Samaritans, baptizing them with water. However, water was only symbolic of a temporary engagement period, marking a soul as a bridesmaid [men and women] to Yahweh.
When Simon the magician saw how the speech of Philip mesmerized the Samaritans, he went down with them, following Philip, so he too could be baptized by water. Simon, being a trickster, knew the art of careful observation … kind of like an antique, real-life version of Sherlock Holmes … so he only went to be baptized because he wanted to see what Philip’s ‘trick’ was. All magicians know that the harder to observe a trick is, the easier it is to tell people, “It’s magic,” and they will believe.
Believers will pay a lot of money to watch hard to spot tricks being used.
Well, Philip sent out a prayer for help bringing on the Spirit of Yahweh in marriage to the Samaritans, making them become true Christians. The prayer was heard ninety miles away, in Jerusalem; so, Peter and John of Zebedee were dispatched to go to join Philip in Samaria and lead the Samaritans to be filled with the Spirit of Yahweh in divine marriage.
Now, the only reason Peter and John were sent to assist Philip in the marriage of Samaritans was the newlywed souls would need more than one Saint to help them receive the Spirit. When Peter and John arrived, Simon the magician watched and saw them touching the Samaritans, which immediately made them rejoice with the Spirit. Simon the magician thought they had some special trick that involved touch.
Simon the magician went to Peter and asked him to sell the trick of touch that made people rejoice. A trick like that would easily repay whatever the cost would be to purchase that power.
Peter told Simon, “May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain God’s gift with money! You have no part or share in this, for your heart is not right before God. Repent therefore of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that, if possible, the intent of your heart may be forgiven you. For I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and the chains of wickedness.” [Acts 8:20-23, NRSV]
In the apocryphal book The Acts of Peter, we find Simon the magician had found his way to Rome and was doing tricks that had him fly in the air. He amazed the Emperor Nero, who said only a man of God could fly. This became a contest that pitted Peter against Simon, in a battle of those led by divine spirits – elohim – with Peter led by Yahweh and Simon led by Satan. It was kinda like Elijah challenging the priests of Baal to light a fire on a sacrificial altar. Peter, like Elijah, won the battle, with Simon falling to earth, crashing and burning in a heap. He would die after licking his wounds. Still, Peter would be crucified because he did no acts of magic that entertained the Emperor.
These stories are fun to read and marvel at, when they are read only as difficult to believe Biblical stories. When one thinks, “Nothing like that happens anymore,” nothing is gained from reading divine Scripture.
Simon the magician is alive and well today. He uses the tricks that claim he is a man of God, where he can touch the cripples and make them walk – HEAL in the name of God – they scream in their magic acts.
They have television networks that say they need as much money as their viewers can spare, “To do the Lord’s work.” They are flying through the air of Rome (and all other international cities of importance) in private jets purchased by the lucrative business that is modern evangelism.
Modern Christianity has become an act of entertainment. It does not teach the truth, which others see as tricks. It does not make calls for true Saints to come assist those who have been taught, “Yahweh wants to marry your soul; but you have to welcome that divine union.” None are around to come and help officiate that holy matrimony, helping the new Saints to understand what it means to be reborn as the Son of Yahweh, as told by another who personally knows that experience.
Self-sacrifice needs others who have self-sacrificed to support one another and share in the realization of what it means to have one’s soul married to Yahweh. That support is the truth of a "church" or "assembly of those in the name of Jesus [all Christs]." That union means picking up the cross of ministry, the same ministry Jesus began. It means being Jesus reborn; and, that ministry … taken up by one who was prior just an ordinary soul in flesh … can no longer be held back by ordinary human lusts for selfish pleasures.
Simon the magician is the epitome of what being an ordinary soul in human flesh strives to achieve in the material realm, in a linear view of eternity that only sees birth and death as beginning and end … nothing beyond. Simon the magician saw everyone else as sheep to be fleeced. Those who have become the resurrections of Simon the magician show the past becoming the present and future. His reborn sons of sleight of hand know how people get rich by tricking the people to believe God makes individuals great, because people need great individuals to follow blindly.
Simon the magician shows what happens to those souls in human flesh that think like him. They crash and burn, licking their wounds from the coffin to their Judgement before Yahweh. Then, they will hear how Peter was not speaking for Peter, when he said, “this wickedness of yours will be your chains of ruin.” Peter opened his mouth and Yahweh, through His Son Jesus resurrected in Peter, spoke that condemnation.
The sin of “simony” was invented and named after Simon Magus. It means, “the buying or selling of ecclesiastical privileges, for example pardons or benefices.” Think about how many times someone has suggested, “Give and it will be given to you,” so some organization, so televangelist, or some trickster can get what he, she or it wants, at your expense. When Jesus said, “Give and it will be given to you,” think about that. The only thing spiritual you have that Yahweh has any desire for is your soul. If you give your soul, then your soul will be given eternal life … forever in union with His realm. The lesson of Simon the magician is you cannot buy God’s gift of eternal life. That only comes through divine marriage and being reborn as His Son.