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Summary: How to know what is truth and error, real or not real based on Simon the sourcerer.

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Real or Not Real?

12.07.09 JCC am

(From the game show, deal or no deal?)

What is truth and what is error?

You will have a son and you will name him Jesus.

There is a tall man who will enter your life

You will win a fortune within the next year

You will cast out demons in my name

It’s not easy to spot the real thing some times

We have to make a choice which to choose

Throughout the centuries, people have made claims to the future and to having the truth; here are a few:

Joseph Smith founder of the Mormon cult

Joseph Smith-as prophet, teacher, and beloved leader of the “Saints” (as members of the Church are called)-was the prophet of the “Restoration.” That is, he did not establish a new religion, but restored the ancient Church of Christ. He was able to do this, because he was called of God, given authority directly from God, and he taught truths which he received directly from God. Through his ministry, what was a handful of believers in 1830, has become a worldwide Church.

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Jehovah’s Witnesses trace their origins to the nineteenth century Adventist movement in America. That movement began with William Miller, a Baptist lay preacher who, in the year 1816, began proclaiming that Christ would return in 1843. His predictions of the Second Coming or Second Advent captured the imagination of thousands in Baptist and other mainline churches. Perhaps as many as 50,000 followers put their trust in Miller’s chronological calculations and prepared to welcome the Lord, while, as the appointed time approached, others watched nervously from a distance. Recalculations moved the promised second advent from March, 1843 to March, 1844, and then to October of that year. But, that date too passed uneventfully.

Charles Taze Russell then took control

In the decades following the death of founder Charles Taze Russell, his successor J. F. Rutherford found himself forced to re-write many of the sect’s major doctrines.

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"Heaven’s Gate" was the latest of three organizations founded by Marshall Herff Applewhite and Bonnie which they organized in 1975.

Heaven’s Gate is a destructive, doomsday cult centered in California. 21 women and 18 men voluntarily committed suicide in three groups on three successive days starting on 1997-MAR-23. Most were in their 40’s; the rest covered an age range of 26 to 72.

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Wicca: a Neopagan, Earth-centered religion

"We are not evil. We don’t harm or seduce people. We are not dangerous. We are ordinary people like you. We have families, jobs, hopes, and dreams. We are not a cult. This religion is not a joke. We are not what you think we are from looking at T.V. We are real. We laugh, we cry. We are serious. We have a sense of humor. You don’t have to be afraid of us. We don’t want to convert you. And please don’t try to convert us. Just give us the same right we give you--to live in peace. We are much more similar to you than you think." Margot Adler

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Hubbard established the Church of Scientology in 1954, based on theories he conceived in his best-selling book, “Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health.” Today, the Los Angeles-based church claims 10 million members and more than 7,000 churches, missions and other groups around the world

Downtown Clearwater is an international Scientology stronghold and a destination for elite members (including celebrity devotees like Tom Cruise and John Travolta) who come from all over the world for the highest levels of the church’s spiritual training.

So let’s look at what the Bible says:

Reading: Acts 8:9-25

Simon was "giving out that he was some great one"

Yearning for his place of prestige and power

Within all of us is there is a tendency to exalt ourselves

From the Garden of Eden until now human nature wants to be god rather than to exalt the living God

That’s Simon’s pretension…he was putting out that he was some great one

People didn’t realize that he was energized by Satan himself!

He bewitched people with signs

He was skilled in the art of magic

The secrets of the ancients

As a leader

1. Followed by deceived people

2. They thought he was the power of God

a. He made them think that

3. Highly regarded by people

"Satan shall throw strong delusion; people believe a lie rather than truth.”

Simon had been there a long time, in this city, using sorceries; perhaps he came there by the instigation of the devil, soon after Jesus had been there, to undo what he had been doing there; for it is always Satan’s way to crush a good work in its bud and infancy

This is why we must be careful here

There’s nothing better to Satan than seeing God’s work here stopped or distracted

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