- Acts 8:11-15
- Acts 8:11 (KJB)
- And to him they had regard, because that of long time he had bewitched
them with sorceries.
- Simon must have lived for a long time among the Samaritans because he
had established himself as one who they could come to for anything. People
probably sought him out because of all the signs and wonders that he did.
What ever advice he gave, they would obey, since they paid great attention
to him for in their mind he was Godís representative to them because
unfortunately they did not know any better. It is just like the stories
which many missionaries tell that they will go to a remote area and there
will be someone like a witch doctor who will have control over the entire
village. Since they are using the satanic arts, the people will cower in
fear of them not knowing any better.
- Acts 8:12 (KJB)
- But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the
kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men
- Now the satanic arts of Simon had competition by a power greater than
his. As Philip was preaching the Gospel of Christ, people were believing the
Gospel and becoming saved. As they were becoming saved, they were being
baptized. It seems that the people were seeing a stark difference in the
miracles that Philip did than the ones Simon did. They probably never saw a
man who was paralyzed or one who was lame become fully healed and functional
instantly. This would have been beyond the powers that Simon had exuded. His
small miracles in no way could ever match what Philip was doing nor could it
create such a joy in the people who became saved.
- Acts 8:13 (KJB)
- Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued
with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done.
- Here was the reason that Simon was mentioned in this passage. Simon no
doubt was filled with devils who did the satanic miracles he did. Once Simon
heard the true Gospel, he became saved and believed. In fact, he not only
believed but he wanted to stay with Philip and travel with him. Perhaps
Simon was one who was used to doing signs and wonders and had watched Philip
very close to see the miracles and signs that he did. Simon was convinced
that Philip was the real deal and wanted to stay with him. Simon was also
baptized along with the other believers. It now seems that the true Gospel
had won over the town witch doctor who was now a Christian and that they
would no longer be bewitched by him.
- Acts 8:14 (KJB)
- Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had
received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John:
- As soon as the word came to Jerusalem that the Gospel was being preached
in Samaria, the disciples had sent Peter and John to them. They probably
heard that the Gospel was being welcomed and taught openly without any
opposition and they figured that maybe Philip would be overwhelmed and that
is why Peter and John were dispatched. They did not come to take over
Philipís ministry but to help him. (Acts 1:8 KJV) But ye shall
receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be
witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and
unto the uttermost part of the earth. The Lord had
specifically mentioned Samaria before He ascended into Heaven and maybe that
is why Peter and John headed up there.
- Acts 8:15 (KJB)
- Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive
the Holy Ghost:
- Here was a different situation than normal. When a person becomes saved,
they receive the baptism in or indwelling of the Holy Spirit at that time.
Here we have a situation where the Samaritans had believed yet they did not
receive the Holy Spirit at that time. When the Lord had told the Samaritans
about the living water, here was the Apostles who were the direct
representatives of the Lord Jesus Christ laying their hands on the Samaritan
believers and then receiving the fullness of salvation. God may have
withheld the giving of the Holy Spirit until two Jewish believers came to
them from the Jerusalem church. The Samaritans were hated by the Jews but
the true Gospel has now bound together as one, the Jerusalem church and the
Samaritan church. The true Gospel was fixing the rift between the two people
groups. While the unsaved Jews were practicing their hatred for the
Samaritans, the saved Jews were binding themselves to the saved Samaritans.
In Acts 19, Paul came to Ephesus and he met up with some believers who were
only baptized into Johnís baptism, which was not salvation. He laid his
hands on them and they received the baptism in the Holy Spirit and spoke in
tongues. This means they became saved at that moment. Some may try to use
these verses as proof texts for the second blessing or the second work of
grace by the Holy Spirit so a person can speak in tongues but these are
special situations which were peculiar to the early church. After the Bible
was completed, everyone who becomes saved receives the Holy Spirit at the
moment of salvation.