“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, and all the people, both high and low, gave him their attention and exclaimed, “This man is rightly called the Great Power of God.” They followed him because he had amazed them for a long time with his sorcery. But when they believed Philip as he proclaimed the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Simon himself believed and was baptized. And he followed Philip everywhere, astonished by the great signs and miracles he saw. When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to Samaria. When they arrived, they prayed for the new believers there that they might receive the Holy Spirit, because the Holy Spirit had not yet come on any of them; they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit. When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money and said, “Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.” Peter answered: “May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money! You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God. 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. For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin.”
Acts 8:9-23 NIV
Gulp. I thought we just read that he also believed and was baptized. Discernment on Peter’s part, exposed Simon’s heart.
I was having a conversation with someone who had recently had surgery. She used these words to describe the good news she received after surgery: “God gave the doctor the magic stick because they found no major problems.” I know this was spoken in ignorance of the truth about Jesus’ goodness in healing us. But people who believe in luck attribute their successes to themselves, not God.
Simon the sorcerer in today’s text was dealing in magic arts before Philip the evangelist showed up. He had his own followers, people drawn to his magic influenced by demonic forces. Tarot cards, fortune telling, horoscopes, clairvoyance, mind reading, Ouija boards, levitation and the like, have their origins in one source; Satan the father of lies. He has sought to pervert everything he’s seen the Father do. He creates nothing, but he’s a slick duplicator.
In Exodus we saw him try to duplicate everything Aaron and Moses did. But the supernatural ate up the natural. He’s limited, but our God is limitless in His power. Satan will use anyone willing to be possessed. Simon the sorcerer “believed” but wasn’t converted. There’s a big difference, and I want you in my audience to recognize that fact. Participation alone is not a sign of receiving the truth of the gospel. Simon believed in the miracles he witnessed, because it mimicked the sorcery he practiced, but was it a sign of being converted? It was only the first step. Magic and the supernatural without the indwelling Holy Spirit to discern between the two, can almost seem like they’re operating by the same spirit. This is why Simon was able to deceive so many. We’ll be looking at other accounts as we continue this study. Let me caution you: If you’re participating in anything connected to sorcery-Beware! IT IS NOT INNOCENT and IT IS NOT GODLY!
The apostle Peter, under the influence of the Holy Spirit, was able to expose the fact that Simon May have believed but he wasn’t converted. What he saw the apostles do appeared similar to what he had been doing. Spiritism and the Holy Spirit workings, has a fine line. The ability to foretell someone’s future can be intriguing but it’s a revelation produced by demonic influence. In James chapter 2 verse 19 we read. You believe that there is One God. Good! Even the demons believe that-and shudder. Believing in the message about God, believing in Jesus isn’t enough. You have to take the next step to receiving by confession and conversion. The total package. Simon the sorcerer believed. But Peter revealed his unconverted heart.He said “your heart is not right before God”
Whenever you open your heart, mind and spirit to what you may consider innocent fun, You’re opening yourself up to being influenced or possessed by demonic forces. There’s nothing innocent about the devil!
Let’s read another account of a life controlled by demons yet saying all the right spiritual things. Wherever the Holy Spirit is present, the enemy will always try to create a deflection. Trying to hide or protect his motives or territory. You can’t make these things up.
“It happened that as we were on our way to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave-girl who had a spirit of divination [that is, a demonic spirit claiming to foretell the future and discover hidden knowledge], and she brought her owners a good profit by fortune-telling. She followed after Paul and us and kept screaming and shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God! They are proclaiming to you the way of salvation!” She continued doing this for several days. Then Paul, being greatly annoyed and worn out, turned and said to the spirit [inside her], “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ [as His representative] to come out of her!” And it came out at that very moment.”
Acts 16:16-18 AMP
Did you read what I underlined? Wasn’t she telling the truth? They were men of God, bringing the message of salvation. It was all true, but spoken by one possessed by a demon. Paul, by the Holy Spirit, was able to discern the difference between the message and the messenger. I’m warning you, don’t touch, don’t handle, don’t play with the devil. You are powerless against him without the Holy Spirit. For days she repeated the same message, all true, free advertisement. She was hiding the real agenda, deflection. Satan did not want to be exposed. He had gained ground and wasn’t about to lose it. I don’t know why it took so long for Paul to get fed up, maybe it was the deception of the message. That’s why we cannot entertain praise from folks who have no interest or intention of coming to Christ. They agree with everything we’re saying, BUT, it’s a deflection from total submission. The Holy Spirit had had enough! Whenever you stand up to people of this nature, expect a backlash. As long as you allow the status quo you’re their friend. Call them out and watch out. Let’s continue reading:
“But when her owners saw that their hope of profit was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them before the authorities in the market place [where trials were held], and when they had brought them before the chief magistrates, they said, “These men, who are Jews, are throwing our city into confusion and causing trouble. They are publicly teaching customs which are unlawful for us, as Romans, to accept or observe.” Acts 16:19-21 AMP
Did you catch that? When Satan saw that his deception had been exposed he was mad. Did not the demon say they were men of God bringing the message of salvation? Now that he’s exposed, they’re teaching what is unlawful. Lol
I don’t know how the woman became a slave to demons and her owners. But she must’ve been a willing participant. Like most are who call the psychic hotlines. You’re inviting demonic activity into your lives and homes. You’re possessed without even knowing it. Can’t stop calling, tormented, can’t sleep. I’ve heard the accounts of those who have been set free by the power of Jesus Christ. Once you’ve opened that door, only the blood and Name of Jesus can close it. I’m always amazed that my future is worth $5 or $10 dollars. If they’re charging to tell you your future, that should be a sure sign they’re not of God.
I’ve encountered sorcerers. I met one at a flea market who told me she had a word for me. I said, “honey you have that wrong, I have a Word for you!” I proceeded to call her out, right in the middle of the marketplace, I called out her deception and told her to stop lying to gullible people. I had one show up in my Bible study. But the Lord prepared me and exposed her motives before she showed up. That night she came to prove what she had been told-That the Spirit of God moved among us. She sat in the second row in my living room directly in front of me. As the Spirit of God began to move and called her out, she literally was almost under the chair in front of her. I could not see her. The warning that night was: Repent! Or God would wash His hands of her. Like Simon, she had believed and left the life but was still operating under the influence of her past. Prophelying yes that’s what I meant, to folks by divination. It’s not MAGIC! It’s SUPERNATURAL!
How can someone tell you your future for $5 dollars and can’t tell their own? Like the owners of the girl enslaved by demons, they were being made rich. So while they lie to you, they become wealthy🤣 The psychic network is a million dollar business. Why? Gullible people who will entrust their hard earned money for a quick fix or wanting to know about tomorrow. A tomorrow that only God sees. The devil was saying all truths through the female slave. And not for nothing! How come it’s mostly women who are involved in these schemes? How come women are taken captive? Emotions! That’s the answer. We’re too emotional. We need to guard our emotions against attacks that makes us slaves. We’re gullible without the indwelling Holy Spirit. Speak in the right tone of voice and we fall prey🤦♀️God help us be wise. James 1:5
In that same chapter he further wrote: ““Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God” [for temptation does not originate from God, but from our own flaws]; for God cannot be tempted by [what is] evil, and He Himself tempts no one. But each one is tempted when he is dragged away, enticed and baited [to commit sin] by his own [worldly] desire (lust, passion).”
James 1:13-14 AMP
IT’S not MAGIC! IT’S SUPERNATURAL! We’re called to be wise people of God! We’re not supposed to be so emotional and loving the praises of men, in a hurry for answers, that we don’t know when we’re being conned. Thank God for these scriptures! Eye opening! Written for our examples so we know how to walk, recognizing the subtlety of Satan. There are many Simon’s dressed up as truth tellers, many demonically possessed agents of Satan. Saying all the right things but not of God. How will we know the difference? Be filled with the Spirit of God. Go from believing to being converted. If you’re dabbling in any way innocent or willfully, in demonic activity, Repent! There’s nothing innocent about it. It will rob you of a relationship with Jesus.
Satan desires worship by any means he can get it. A clairvoyant claims to know. The Holy Spirit discerns and knows the intent, thought and purpose of every heart. Healing isn’t magic. Simon the sorcerer, the slave girl, the magicians in pharaoh’s court, in Nebuchadnezzar’s court, all operated by divination. The witch at Endor in king Saul’s day. They all operated by demonic influences. But we, the children of God, operate by the supernatural power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. For us, it isn’t magic. Jesus warned his disciples and us against false prophets, pretending to know the truth, agents of Satan. Performing great magical acts. Things that dazzle. Jesus said, let’s read it.
“For false Christs and false prophets will appear and they will provide great signs and wonders, so as to deceive, if possible, even the elect (God’s chosen ones). Listen carefully, I have told you in advance.”
Matthew 24:24-25 AMP
It’s nothing new! Only recycled. Still the gullible falls for it. Jesus warned, “I’ve told you in advance.”Children of God, we’re not to be deceived. Jesus said “to deceive, if possible” “if” study the real to identify the counterfeit. In these last days, make the Word a priority. Strengthen your spiritual muscles. Lock in your relationship with Jesus Christ. Don’t allow any falsehood to penetrate your heart. Don’t be dazzled by performances in the pulpits. Don’t be impressed by the praises of men. We are encouraged to test every spirit: “Beloved, do not believe every spirit [speaking through a self-proclaimed prophet]; instead test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets and teachers have gone out into the world.” 1John 4:1
It’s not MAGIC! It’s SUPERNATURAL!
If everyone likes your message and loves you, do a spirit test. Jesus Himself was not loved by, nor was His messages embraced by everyone. The same people crying hosanna also shouted crucify Him. The Word we have been entrusted with is both loving and corrective. But if we’re sons we won’t despise His chastening. I love my daughter, but I will chasten her. It’s not pleasant, but if received the fruit is sweet. Healing isn’t magic, it’s a gift from God. I can only imagine how the demoniac with numerous demons living inside him felt when Jesus freed him. This is real folks! Don’t deny the power Satan has to possess people’s lives. Don’t let curiosity lead you into darkness. But we see Jesus! Hallelujah! “But we do see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while [by taking on the limitations of humanity], crowned with glory and honor because of His suffering of death, so that by the grace of God [extended to sinners] He might experience death for [the sins of] everyone.” Hebrews 2:9
We’re free from the deception and clutches of Satan! Hallelujah! Jesus experienced sin for us. Have you believed and received that? Satan, try though he may, cannot deceive us. We have the Spirit of God living inside us. We recognize the supernatural. We have been given power over the darkness the magic of this world. We are more than conquerors through Christ! Hallelujah! Miracles, signs and wonders through the power of Christ, happens in and through our lives. We’re children of the Light! Hallelujah! Put off the old man! Ephesians 4:22. Put on the new self! Oh my, I have to let you read it! Hallelujah!
“If in fact you have [really] heard Him and have been taught by Him, just as truth is in Jesus [revealed in His life and personified in Him], that, regarding your previous way of life, you put off your old self [completely discard your former nature], which is being corrupted through deceitful desires, and be continually renewed in the spirit of your mind [having a fresh, untarnished mental and spiritual attitude], and put on the new self [the regenerated and renewed nature], created in God’s image, [godlike] in the righteousness and holiness of the truth [living in a way that expresses to God your gratitude for your salvation].”
Ephesians 4:21-24 AMP
So yes my friends, I don’t believe in magic, but I do believe in the supernatural. My salvation through Jesus is supernatural. How could a wretch like me be transformed? It couldn’t be magic. I’d still be lost. Slide of hand did not win my salvation. The supernatural miracle of the cross and the blood of Jesus wrought a great work in me. Hallelujah! Do you have the same testimony? Then we’re blood brothers and sisters. Thicker than even the blood of natural family relationships. This blood is so supernatural, it makes me love my enemies. Hallelujah!! If it was magic, how come freed people are still locked up in jail? Haha. It’s Supernatural!! Jesus answered that when Nicodemus asked “how can an old man be born again?” It’s not magic! It’s Supernatural! There’s no physic who can answer that question. Pay the five dollars lol you’re still broke, single, disgusted, sad, depressed whatever lies they peddle these days. Only the supernatural power of the water and blood of Jesus will free you.
So no -IT’S NOT MAGIC! IT’S SUPERNATURAL!!
Father in the mighty Name of Jesus Christ, whose Name makes the darkness tremble, the Name that saves, delivers, heals and sets free. I declare to the forces of darkness that the supernatural power of the Name of Jesus has set us free. Liberated us from the enemy’s grasps. We renounce any known sin of dabbling in evil practices no matter how innocent they may appear. Anything that deceives and denies your supernatural power we reject. Thank you for exposing Satan and his works by Your inspired Word. In Jesus Name. Amen
“But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”
Written by permission of the Holy Spirit