Simon the sorcerer

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Nicholas25, Apr 9, 2006.

  1. Nicholas25

    Nicholas25
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    Acts 8:13 says Simon believed and was baptized. Later in verses 18-23 Simon wanted to buy the power to lay hands on people so they could receive the Holy Ghost. Peter rebuked him saying, "Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee. For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity."

    Romans 10:9 tells us if we believe in our heart that God raised Jesus from the dead, we will be saved. Acts 8:13 tells us Simon believed. I understand this to mean that he believed they had power he didn't have but wanted. I interpret this to be head belief as opposed to heart belief. It does not say he repented. Most would say he was lost and I would tend to agree with that. What are some other opinions on Acts 8:9-24 and Simon the sorcerer.
     
  2. Frenchy

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    Yeah Judas had the same problem he followed Christ for the wrong reasons too. Jesus said " many will say Lord , Lord didn't we do all these things in your name. And Jesus will reply DEPART from me i never knew you" Matt 7:20-23
    Simon didn't really "KNOW" God personally.
    James 2:19
     
  3. Aaron

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    Simon was in it for monetary gain, obviously. So, no, it wasn't a genuine conversion.
     
  4. rjprince

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    Nothing in the text indicates that Simon’s profession was anything less than sincere. “He believed and was baptized...”

    His off base request could easily be attributed to the darkness and deceit from which he had come.

    Peter’s words to Simon were certainly no stronger than Jesus’ words to Peter – “Get thee behind me Satan!”

    And of course we must keep in mind that Peter was not always a rock of emotional stability. His flamboyant personality was given to thoughtless outburst.

    Scripture simply does not give us enough information to conclude that Simon was anything less than an immature believer, who may well have been caused to stumble by Peter’s harsh rebuke. Peter’s inconsistency even had an impact on Barnabas at one point (Gal 2:13). Does that in any way diminish the tremendous impact that Peter has had upon the church down through the centuries? I think not, but it does demonstrate that Peter was human.

    Regarding the James 2 passage, he is clearly drawing a contrast between saving faith and mere intellectual consent. Simon is not mentioned by James and there is no certain way to INSIST that the word “believe” in Acts 2:13 means any less than it does in 2:12...

    In fact, the natural flow of the passage indicates that Simon believed and was baptized JUST LIKE the others.

    One more thought regarding whether or not a new believer can still cling to his old ways after being saved...

    In Acts 19:19 we read that after the demon possessed man beat up the seven sons of Sceva, many who had believed came and confessed and shewed their deeds. The “magic” books that they destroyed on this occasion were worth 50,000 pieces of silver! ONE KEY POINT, the Greek indicates that their belief had taken place some time earlier, and that they had continued to dabble in the “curious arts” after their salvation. The shock of this incident prompted them to totally break their connection with the old ways...
     
  5. AVL1984

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    As the OP states, Simon did believe and was baptized. It doesn't say that he had just head knowledge, and the Apostle didn't rebuke him for being unsaved. He stated that Simon wasn't right with God. So, does this mean that every time we're not right with God, or desire something that we shouldn't that we, too are unsaved? I don't think so.

    Judas was flat out called the "Son of Perdition". That's a pretty clear indication that he wasn't saved.
     
  6. Frenchy

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    Acts 8:14-24

    14: Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them,
    15: who, when they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit.
    16: For as yet He had fallen upon none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
    17: Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.
    18: And when Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money,
    19: saying, "Give me this power also, that anyone on whom I lay hands may receive the Holy Spirit."
    20: But Peter said to him, "Your money perish with you, because you thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money!
    21: You have neither part nor portion in this matter, for your heart is not right in the sight of God.
    22: Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you.
    23: For I see that you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity."
    24: Then Simon answered and said, "Pray to the Lord for me, that none of the things which you have spoken may come upon me."

    I do not see where Simon repented as peter asked him to do, his responce was "pray for me, that God may not harm me" no real repentance, if he had i think it would have been recorded.

    Kind of reminds me of the parable of the seeds. which shows different reactions to the gospel. some receive the gospel emotionally (not saved) some receive the gospel intellecually (not saved) and some received it completely in their MIND HEART and WILL (SAVED!)

    Simon saw something unique and powerful and agreed to it by his "words" and his "actions" (baptism) his motives were for selfish gain, not in counting the cost and following Jesus. same motivation that Judas had.
     
  7. rjprince

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    The passage does not support your conclusions. There is no distinction between the description of the belief of the many and the belief of Simon. Verse 13 clearly says...

    Act 8:13

    (ALT) Then Simon himself also believed. And having been baptized, he was continuing with Philip...
    (ASV) And Simon also himself believed: and being baptized, he continued with Philip...
    (BBE) And Simon himself had faith and, having had baptism, he went with Philip...
    (CEV) Even Simon believed and was baptized. He stayed close to Philip...
    (EMTV) Then Simon himself also believed; and having been baptized, he was continuing with Philip...
    (ESV) Even Simon himself believed, and after being baptized he continued with Philip...
    (GNB) Simon himself also believed; and after being baptized, he stayed close to Philip...
    (GW) Even Simon believed, and after he was baptized, he became devoted to Philip....
    (ISV) Even Simon believed, and after he was baptized he became devoted to Philip...
    (KJ2000) Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized...
    (KJV) Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip...
    (LITV) And Simon himself also believed, and being baptized was continuing steadfastly with Philip...
    (MKJV) Then Simon himself believed also, and being baptized, he continued with Philip...
    (MSG) Even Simon himself believed and was baptized. From that moment he was like Philip's shadow...
    (NASB) Even Simon himself believed; and after being baptized, he continued on with Philip...
    (YLT) and Simon also himself did believe, and, having been baptized, he was continuing with Philip...

    All of the versions state Simon’s belief as a matter of fact with no indication that it was anything less than sincere. Yes it is true that in the parable of the sower, some seed falls on stony ground. Yet, the clear wording of the account of Simon’s belief gives no indication that such was the case for him.

    As far as the allegation that there was no real repentance, this is following his salvation experience as recorded in v. 13 and would have no bearing on salvation, only chastening...

    As far as a comparison with Judas, there is no such comparison warranted by the text. In fact if we are going to compare, let’s compare Judas with Simon Peter, “one of you is a devil” with “get thee behind me Satan”... As already noted, Peter’s words to Simon were no more intense that the words of Jesus to Peter, AND we should note that in that passage, there is no indication that Simon Peter repented at that time either (Matt 16:23; Mark 8:33).
     
  8. Frenchy

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    Jesus wasn't calling Peter Satan, he was rebuking the one who was INFLUENCING Peter and that would be Satan. Peter had evidence or fruit that he was saved throughout his walk with Christ. Judas did not. Simon folowed for the wrong motives which was even more evident when Peter layed hands on those who were to receive the Holy Spirit, yet he wanted the power for himself.

    Baptism doesn't save! you will agree with me on that right? I am sure all the disciples were baptized yet not all were saved (Judas wasn't)all followed or continued with Christ right? Yet not all were saved (Judas wasn't) we have evidence in scripture that Pter and all the disciples were truly saved and evidence in scripture that shows Judas was NOT. why are we not shown MORE scripture that Simon was saved. i believe it is because he wasn't because he never really repented or had the right motivs for salvation.
     
  9. rjprince

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    OK,

    I admit it. With the comparison between Simon Peter and Judas, I was doing a little bit of cage rattling. Sorry. Not sure I agree that Jesus was not addressing Peter, who was being influenced by Satan -- "But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan" (Matt 16:23). No question that Peter was saved and Judas was not. As to the twelve being baptized, I have never been able to find ANY Scripture that says they were... You know of one?

    Of course I agree that water baptism does not save. Faith saves. That is why I am unwilling to say that Simon was UNSAVED. Because the text clearly declares, "Simon himself believed". You cannot show one instance where that term is ever applied to a person who was then shown to be unsaved.

    As far as not being able to show more Scripture that Simon was saved, can you show me any passage that proves that Cornelius was saved? (Acts 10) The silence of Scripture on the matter does not demonstrate the point. The best we can say is that there is no clear reference to Simon beyond Acts 8. AND, in that passage we are told, "Simon himself believed and was baptized". Phillip certainly seemed convinced of the authenticity of his faith. Phillip demanded a clear profession of faith from the eunuch before he would baptize him! (Acts 8:35-38)
     
  10. Marcia

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    I once did a study of the word used for "faith" and "believe" in the book of Acts, and every time it is used, it indicates by context a true belief in Christ.

    Having a ministry dealing with the occult and New Age, I can tell you that many coming out of the occult are often still emotionally attached to their past, and it takes some of them awhile to be convicted by the Holy Spirit. So yes, some still dabble after coming to faith in Christ.

    It took me almost 2 years to see that astrology was evil. I knew it was wrong, but I did not understand the depths of the evil involved. In fact, I did not understand evil for awhile -- the Lord was very gentle with me because (I am guessing) my life had such a huge turn-around at rather a late age, and it was almost too much to take in. There was no way I could take it all in at once. God works on new believers with his own timing, just as he does on unbelievers he draws to Christ and as he does on all believers in the sanctification process.
     
  11. Frenchy

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    rjprince good points i will have to study it further.

    James 2:19 comes to mind. "you believe that God is one, you do well; the demons also believe and tremble"

    Luke 8:13 "And those on rocky soil are those who, when they HEAR and RECEIVE the word with JOY; and these have NO FIRM ROOT; they BELIEVE FOR AWHILE, and in time of TEMPTATION fall away"

    14, is another indicator of false belief
    "And the seed which fell among the thorns, these are the ones who have HEARD, and as they GO ALONG their way they are choked with the worries and RICHES and PLEASURES of this life, and bring NO fruit to maturity.

    meaning they were NEVER saved. sounds a lot like Simon and Judas
     
  12. Nicholas25

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    It doesn't say he quit being a sorcerer. One can't be saved and be a sorcerer! Just a thought.
     
  13. Marcia

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    One can be saved and dabble in the occult. I see it all the time.

    The text says he believed, and in all cases in Acts when it says this, the meaning is that people had a saving faith.

    What really bothers me is that on the BB people will say that Balaam was saved (in past threads) when there is no indication he was at all, but they will say Simon wasn't when there is indication.

    Are Baptists just of a contrary nature??
     
  14. Frenchy

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    this is what i have found on baptism and the disciples.

    John 4:1, When therefore the Lord knew that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making and BAPTIZING more DISCIPLES than John.

    PAUL MEETS TWELVE "DISCIPLES"...
    ACTS 19:7 He finds some "disciples", who were twelve men in number. Upon questioning, he learns they were disciples of John the Baptist. Ac 19:2-3

    1, While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples 2, and asked them, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?" They answered, "No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit."
    3, So Paul asked, "Then what baptism did you receive?" "John's baptism," they replied.

    4, Paul said, "John's baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus." 5, On hearing this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. 6, When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied. 7,There were about twelve men in all.


    Jesus baptized his own disciples, some of which were baptized by John the Baptist. they went from John's circle of disciples into Jesus fold by REBAPTISM in the name of Jesus.

    Jesus later commanded his disciples to go into all the world make disciples and BAPTIZE them in his name. how could he ask them to do something that already hadn't been done to them?
    Even Jesus was baptized as an example to others of following his father.
     
  15. UnchartedSpirit

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    I hope this isn't a different topic, but I think in Galations it says that people can peform miracles or even become matyrs, but without love its profits nothing? Does that mean if you cannot love with Christ, you arn't saved?
     
  16. Frenchy

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    I don't know Marcia was Judas saved?
     
  17. Marcia

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    No. Jesus called Judas the "son of perdition" and said it would have been better for him to have never been born!
     
  18. J.D.

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    I'll side with Frenchy on this one, but I don't think we can get to any level of certainty on this. Both schools are supported on this:

    1. The bible is clear that there is a false belief of sorts - call it head faith, or feigned faith, or believing "in vain", and as she said, the parable of the sower teaches this, although some assume that because it says of those seeds that fell on rocky soil that they "believed", nevertheless they did not preservere, showing their pretense.

    2. The bible is also clear that believers must GROW in grace, and not only sometimes, but USUALLY, retain elements of their sinful past and false religion in their new walk.

    So I say take it either way you want and I think it works. I just happen to favor the school that says he was not saved, because it does seem to me to be a living illustration of the aforementioned parable.
     
  19. Marcia

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    At least R J Prince agrees with me! [​IMG]
     
  20. Frenchy

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    I am right with you J.D. there is No certainty.
     

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