Gnostic Doctrine

Thursday, 21 February 2019

Simon Magus was not a Wicked Man Acts 8:24

Simon The Great One, Simon the Sorcerer or Simon the Magician,

A Sorcerer in the city of Samaria who so amazed the nation with his magical arts that the people said of him: “Everyone, from the least to the greatest, often spoke of him as “the Great One—the Power of God.” (Acts 8:10 New Living Translation compare Berean Study Bible)

In Acts 8:9-13 he is represented as having been held in awe by the Samaritans as the manifestation of the hidden power of God, and as being called by them "The Great One."

The early Christian Clementine "Recognitiones" (vii.-x.) represent Simon as a Jewish magician instead of a Samaritan, stating that he was a member of a Jewish household in Cæsarea, and that, when pursued by Peter, he fled to Judea. Mention is made, moreover, of a magician named Simon who lived in this very city of Cæsarea about the year 40 of the common era (Josephus, "Ant." xx. 7, § 2); so that some scholars consider the two to be identical (Hilgenfeld, "Ketzergeschichte," p. 170; Albert, "Die Ersten Fünfzehn Jahre der Christlichen Kirche," p. 114, Münster, 1900; Waitz, in "Zeitschrift für Neutestamentliche Wissenschaft," v. 128). (Jewish encyclopedia)

Because of Philip’s ministry, Simon “became a believer” and was baptized.

But to what extent was Simon really converted to the Truth (Acts 8:18-21)? His old way of life reasserted itself. Why? Because he reacted to the miracles rather than the Word. He acted in much the same way as those whom he had previously deceived! Which means that his "conversion" was not complete.

When the apostles became aware of the increase that was taking place in Samaria, they sent Peter and John there. Upon arriving, the two apostles laid their hands on the new disciples, whereupon each one received the holy spirit. When Simon saw this, he was fascinated. “Give me also this authority,” he told the apostles, “that anyone upon whom I lay my hands may receive holy spirit.” Simon even offered them money, hoping to buy this sacred privilege!—Acts 8:14-19

Simon decided to make a profession of true religion. His motivation was open to question. It is possible for men and women to profess an acceptance of the Truth, but without possessing a genuine motive.

Peter strongly reproved Simon, telling him that his heart was not right in God’s sight and urging him to repent and pray for forgiveness. In response, Simon asked these apostles to pray to the Lord on his behalf.—Acts 8:9-24.

Repent, therefore, of this badness of yours,” Peter urged Simon, “and supplicate the Lord that, if possible, the device of your heart [“this scheme of yours,” New Jerusalem Bible] may be forgiven you; for I see you are a poisonous gall and a bond of unrighteousness.”—Acts 8:22, 23.

Happily, Simon saw the seriousness of his wrong desire. He begged the apostles: “You men, make supplication for me to the Lord that none of the things you have said may come upon me.” (Acts 8:24)

Undoubtedly, Simon was not a wicked man; he wanted to do what was right, but he was momentarily misguided. So he pleaded with the apostles: “Both of you pray to the Lord for me that none of the things you have said will happen to me.”—Acts 8:20-24.
Simon the sorcerer as an allegory
Simon the sorcerer is the ambition of the ego or the sin consciousness to possess the power of Spirit without paying the price through faith and love. The offer of money for spiritual power involves the thought of man's putting a price on the free gift of God.

The power of the Holy Spirit is obtained only by unselfish service; therefore one's own power and glorification have "neither part nor lot" in the spiritual realm, the kingdom of heaven.

The only way to loose the bonds of self-hood, to make the heart right toward God, is through repentance, Sincere prayer, and meditation, which transforms selfishness into unselfishness, the ego into the true self;.

Romans 12:2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Col 3:10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:

Tit 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

1 comment:

  1. (Acts 8) 18 When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money 19 and said, “Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.”
    20 Peter answered: “May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money! 21 You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God. 22 Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord in the hope that he may forgive you for having such a thought in your heart. 23 For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin.”
    24 Then Simon answered, “Pray to the Lord for me so that nothing you have said may happen to me.”

    Simon was doing what he thought was right, he was in error and he was rebuked and we all know when a wise man is rebuked he learns from it, where as the fool does not.