Summary: Simon the sorcerer is an illustration of Counterfeit Christianity or false faith. It begins with a false self perception, and foolish pride. Trying to show folks that the rituals we use in the church do not save, instead it is the life changing presence
Online Encyclopedia, Wikipedia this to say about Counterfits
“Today the finest counterfeit banknotes are claimed to be U.S. dollar bills produced in North Korea, which are used to finance the North Korean government, among other uses. The fake North Korean copies are called Superdollars because of their high quality.
The notes are of a very high quality. The US government calls them "highly deceptive". They are made with the highest quality ink and paper, designed to recreate the various security features of United States currency, such as the red and blue security fibers, the security thread, and the watermark. Even experts need to study them for a long time before they notice that they are forgeries.”
2 Reasons they are circulated
· A source of Income
· A way of undermining the US economy
Wherever there is money and wealth to be earned their will be honest laborers and workers and there will be dishonest counterfeiters.
Today we will see in this passage in Acts 8 an illustration of a counterfeit. Just like the Superdollar from North Korea, the “highly deceptive,” nature of the counterfeit takes close examination by “experts.”
Where ever God is at work planting saving faith (a genuine response to the Gospel), you can gurantee the devil is hard at work planting false faith (counterfeit Christianity).
In matthew 7.21-23 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you depart from Me you who practice Lawlessness.”
Dr Johnny Hunt “Jesus is here talking about a faith that says but does not do.”
James half brother of Jesus Bishop of Jerusalem said in James 3.26 “For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.”
It always helps us to interprit scripture in light of scripture. James also said in 1.22 “But prove yourself doers of the word and not merely hearers who delude themselves.”
Ephesians 2.10 “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared befoe hand so that we would walk in them.”
In light of what the Bibles says, I can boldly say with Dr Johnny Hunt,
“Genuine faith will always produce the fruit of good works.”
Matthew 13.24-30 Jesus tells the parable of the wheat and tares, 13.36-43 he explains the meaing to His hard headed disicples. There will be tares in the church until the rapture.
Truth: Where God’s wheat (His people) is grown, right beside the devil’s tares are sown.
Here in this text we see the devil trying his best to plant the very first tare in the middle of a field white to harvest.
I. Simon’s Practices
“Now there was a man named Simon, who formerly was practicing magic in the city and astonishing the people of Samaria.”
(Jesus might very well have been speaking of Simon when he said the words in Matthew 7.21-23)
· The occult, sorcery, witchcraft, Wicca, Satan Worship these are not new to this world.
· It has simply been repackaged so that unsuspecting boys, girls, men and women will fall prey and be astonished by their false miracles and distracted from the greatest miracle of all Salvation by Grace.
People that are called magicians usually deal in illusion. That is what Simon was doing, it will help us to understand something of our adversary the devil.
If he cannot completely devour us as a roaring lion then he will try to completely deceive us as a serpent or the dragon of old.
A) False self Perception
Postmodern Theory and Biblical Theology, By Brian Ingraffia
Whereas modernism tried to elevate man into God’s place, postmodern theory seeks to destroy or deconstruct the very place and attributes of God. (From Postmodern Theory and Biblical Theology by Brian Ingraffia)
In English the culture we are in now denies there is a God and that man is by our nature sinful because of the fall in Genesis 3. Our culture sees man as basically good and capable of “earning” God’s acceptance.
What is the problem with this thinking?
It deadens people to the reality of sin, and God’s truth, as well as the need for a Savior.
1) Simon accepted the title “the Great Power of God.”
This was a way of claiming Deity. Simon obviously as scripture shows had a hard time accepting God’s perspective of himself.
One of the biggest reasons people are lost in our churches and our country is because of a false self-perception. That ultimately begins with foolish pride.