The Following Message Has Been Transcribed And Edited For
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Glory to God. We're going to be in the book of Acts. The name of this message is Two Kinds Of Sorcerers. We're in the book of Acts, Chapter 8. Glory to God. Saul was consenting unto his death, that's unto Stephen's death. I'm sorry, let's start at Verse 5. "Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ unto them, and the people, with one accord, gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. For unclean spirits crying with loud voice came out of many that were possessed with them and many taken with palsy and that were lame were healed. And there was great joy in that city, but there was a certain man called Simon, which before time in the same city used sorcery and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one, to whom they all gave heed from the least to the greatest saying, this man is the great power of God. And to him they had regard because that of long time he had bewitched them with sorceries." Glory to God.
"But when they believed Philip's preaching, the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.
Then Simon, himself, believed also and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done. Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John, who when they were come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Ghost. For as yet he was fallen upon none of them, only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then laid they their hands on them and they received the Holy Ghost. And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, saying, give me also this power that on whom soever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost. But Peter said unto him, thy money perish with thee because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. 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. Then answered Simon and said, pray ye to the Lord for me that none of these things which ye have spoken come upon me. And they when they had testified and preached the word of the Lord, returned to Jerusalem and preached the gospel in many villages of the Samaritans."
Well, we see here an account of someonethat the Scripture calls Simon the sorcerer in Verse 9. As I understand this Scripture, I believe he is a man that did not claim to have the Holy Ghost. He did not set himself up as the spokesman of the Christ, but in the absence of any knowledge or spiritual presence of God in Samaria, this man whatever he was preaching (we're really not told here what he was preaching) but he had the hearts of the people because....why? Because he was the only thing that was available to them.
I suggest to you that in the absence of a powerful move of God, man, who has an inherent spiritual need, will fall prey to all kinds of false doctrine and witchcraft. We see a lot of people in the church today preaching their hearts out against what they call cults, some of which are cults and some may or may not be cults, but have a lot of truth because no one has the whole truth today. And we see a lot of well-meaning Christians thinking that they have to go out there and save people from this false doctrine. Well, I'm declaring to you, brethren, that in the hour that the Lord Jesus Christ manifests in power by His Spirit and by His word, the peoples of the world will be drawn and come to the Spirit of Almighty God and His word.
When we look around our country today, at our local area today, we see a lot of Christian churches all upset because of the numbers of the people involved with the Jehovah Witnesses and involved with Armstrong.
We see a lot of them raising up a big fuss telling people to not even have a relationship with someone that is a Jehovah Witness. If you should go to work and find a Jehovah Witness at work, the people are taught to not even talk to them, to just say good morning and goodnight and pass them by. Well brethren, if you don't talk to them, how are they going to hear the truth? What that Scripture means by don't eat with them is, don't open your soul to their false doctrine. But that doesn't mean you can't talk to them. It doesn't mean you can't be polite with them. It doesn't mean you can't have mercy or compassion upon them if they have a need. How are they going to see the love of Jesus if you condemn them because of what they believe?
What the Scripture means, do not let them into your house, is that your house is your mind, brethren. It means, don't let them invade you spiritually. Of course, if you come up against a Jehovah Witness, and they're working mind control on you, well you may have to stand up to them and say to them, now look, I have no intention of trying to force my beliefs on you, and I do not want you forcing your beliefs on me. We're working in the same office, and if you would like to have a working relationship with me, I will desire to honor you and respect you and will expect the same. You don't let your mind be invaded. You don't "let them into your house," and "you don't eat with them," but that doesn't mean that you don't treat them like a human being. Glory to God.
So what we see here in Simon the sorcerer is a man in the absence of a move or the presence or any form of knowledge of God. This is Samaria now, and I remind you that Samaria is the place where the ten tribes of Israel are indwelling, where Jeroboam set up the golden calves. They had fallen into all kinds of idolatry and there's no present move of the Spirit of God, just total confusion. I'm sure they had some measure of His word. They must have had the Bible somewhere, unless it was totally buried. This man moved in and he took the hearts or the souls and the minds of the people. Why? I suggest to you, brethren, because he wanted power. He wanted power.
Before I start expounding on the Scripture verses, I would like to put on this tape that the true ministers of God do not desire power. They desire to serve the Lord Jesus Christ, and the way you serve the Lord Jesus Christ is to minister to His people. I'll take it a step further. The true ministers of Almighty God would not be ministers if they desired power. The Lord God will not permit His true ministers to desire power. He will crush them. He will crush them or He will reject them from the ministry.
Now that doesn't mean that if you meet up with a natural man that's serving God and every once in awhile a desire for power flicks through his mind, that he can't be of God. Brethren, he has to be dealing with it like every other sin. When it rises up in his mind, he has to be denouncing it as sin and rejecting it and crying out to God to have mercy on him, that his true heart is to serve the Lord Jesus Christ and that he does not want to fall prey to this.
This is the true minister of Almighty God that is continually on his face before the Lord. I keep preaching about the problems in the church, and a big problem that we have in the church today is that many, if not most, of the believers have a problem discerning between true mind control and true witchcraft. When a minister is manifesting a righteous rebuke of the Lord Jesus Christ in their direction, they only hear a strong voice. They see a strong personality, they hear a hard word, they hear a rebuke, they hear an admonishment, they hear a correction that tells them that their thinking is wrong or tells them what they're doing is wrong, and their own pride rises up and calls it witchcraft and mind control.
This is what I see in the church today. I see people that are either overtaken by the ministers that are preaching by a wrong spirit, believing that's it's God and then I see a group of believers that have come out from under that and go to the ministers that are really preaching the truth (no one is perfect in this hour) but that are on their face before God trying to minister and are, in fact, ministering by the Spirit of God. Every time they rise up in righteousness and speak a word that these believers don't want to hear or use a stern tone of voice, they're accused of mind control and witchcraft. This is what I see in the church today, with a few exceptions. There are a very few exceptions that have the ability to discern Christ in a minister, a very few exceptions. Most of the believers are incredibly immature, both spiritually and emotionally as well.
Brethren, the church is a mess. I'm so glad it's not my job to clean it up, and that it's the job of the Lord Jesus Christ. It's hard enough just being His servant. It's hard enough just doing what He tells me to do and manifesting His righteousness and manifesting His truth and manifesting His rebuke and hearing all these people accusing me and others in my position of manifesting mind control and witchcraft. They can't even recognize the Spirit of God. They think that God only manifests in sweetness and light and pats on the head.
Well it's not true. Read the Old Testament. The church is in such a mess today that He is going to be manifesting as the Jehovah of the Old Testament. He is doing it, and He shall be doing it more extensively and in more power because judgments are already being executed today, but most of the people cannot discern that it's judgment. They think that it's Satan, so something has to happen. God has to get the word out to these people that it's their God that's judging them, and the reason that He's doing it is because they're in sin, and they cannot go around sinning because they have the Holy Spirit.
So somehow He's got to open the minds of the church to this truth so that repentance can come forth. I believe that, that move of God is directly associated with the appearance of Christ in the first fruits company that is coming very soon. Glory to God.
So here we see Simon the sorcerer. He must have had some measure of the word of God. I would venture to say, no move of the Spirit at all, just some perverted Scripture. We know that even people in witchcraft use the Bible. I personally met a lot of people that are in witchcraft that use the Bible, so that doesn't mean anything.
Okay, let's pick up on Chapter 8 in the book of Acts, Verse 5. Philip went down to Samaria and he preached Christ unto them. The first thing he did was preach the true gospel. "And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did." I declare to you that the people believed the gospel when they saw the miracles. We know that the gospel is coming forth today, the true gospel of the kingdom, and there are miracles, but we know that the miracles are very limited. The miracles are very limited, and we know how few people are receiving the word of God, and we know the resistance that's coming against the gospel of the kingdom that's coming forth.
Verse 6 of Chapter 8 of the book of Acts said that the people with one accord, without any exception, gave heed. They believed the things which Philip spake when they heard and when they saw the miracles which he did.
I declare to you that in this hour, this glorious word, this glorious word that is being received by so few people is not going to be received with one mind in one accord by the people until it is accompanied by the miracles that cause it to be believed. I personally believe that it was not just a question of these people seeing miracles that made them believe because I've had a personal experience where God has sent me to a man that called himself a man of God and I believe he is a man of God. God showed him signs and wonders through me, and when the word came forth, the man rejected me and has not spoken a word to me since. He treats me like I'm vermin. He would not even answer phone calls or respond to letters. I believe that the man believes that this is how I am to be treated, how someone is treated when they make a judgment, that's it's a false word.
So what am I suggesting to you? I'm suggesting that it's more than the hearing of the word and the viewing of the miracles. I believe that associated with the revival that's coming and associated with what we're reading about in the book of Acts, Chapter 8, that there was a move of the Spirit that went forth and touched the minds of the people. It enabled them to discern that this was the Spirit of God doing the miracles, and that this was the true word. Glory to God.
So we're looking for three things in this revival that's coming, the gospel of the kingdom, the working of miracles, and an accompanying move of the Spirit that is touching the hearts and the minds of men and witnessing to them that this is His Spirit, this is His word, this is His minister. Yield up, put down your pride, put down your rebellion and submit. Repent and submit to Almighty God and to the men that He sent to you. Glory to God.
Verse 7, "For unclean spirits crying with loud voice came out of the many that were possessed with them and many taken with palsy and that were lame were healed." So we see three kinds of healings here. We see evil spirits coming out, and when we started in deliverance many years ago, by and large, the church didn't believe a Christian could have a demon and things are changing. I remember Win Worley came and preached at a church, and he said, you just wait and, in a few years, deliverance is going to be as respectable as the Holy Spirit.
I was out at a meeting last Saturday night with a lot of Christians that are not where we are and there's a lot of talk about demons. The Lord sent another sister and me, and we had to talk about demons. It was ministry about demons, and the people were not shocked, and they were not upset. There were still a few trying to start up a controversy over whether a Christian can be oppressed or possessed, which is ridiculous because I don't even know what they're talking about. I said to the woman, sister, why get hung up on the word? I've received deliverance, and I'm well and that's all that matters to me. So I wouldn't even enter into the discussion with her because my personal opinion is that it is ridiculous. That was what the Lord had me to say to her.
But my point is that several of the people responded to me and one woman said, I've been hearing a lot about demons lately. The mediator that was there leading the discussion was not shocked at all. There was no condemnation towards me whatsoever because the Lord had me give my testimony that I had five years of hard deliverance and I really expected to be persecuted, but I wasn't.
So we see that the miracle s that accompany the gospel of the kingdom was that the demons were cast out, and that those taken with palsy were healed. Palsy is when you shake, a physical infirmity that could be seen. And those that were lame were healed. So there were those that were getting up out of wheelchairs, etc. etc. So there was a full spectrum of miracles, plus I suggest to you the Spirit of God moved upon the thousands of people, witnessing to their hearts that this was indeed the Spirit of Almighty God.
Verse 8, "And there was great joy in that city, but there was a certain man called Simon, which before time in the same city used sorcery and bewitched the people of Samaria giving out that himself was some great one." This word, sorcery, is from a word that means oriental scientist or in the Hebrew, Babylonian official. I'm suggesting to you that there is a spiritual application here, and there was great joy in that city, and there was great joy in the cities of the men because we are each a city.
We are each a city for spiritual life, and I'm suggesting to you that each of the men that were there, God calls them one city, because they were of one mind and one accord. They were ruled by the spirit of Satan and they were manifestations of the living soul. Now there was great joy in that city because the Spirit of God had been revealed to them, where there was all darkness.
The light was shining. The light of Almighty God through His Son, Jesus Christ, was shining and there was indeed great joy in the minds and hearts of those men. But there was a certain man called Simon, which before time in the same city, in the same people, in the same mind, in the same vessel, he used sorcery. I suggest to you he's the living soul. He used sorcery in the minds of the people where Jesus Christ shall rule and reign. Hallelujah. And before time in that same city, in the city through which I'm speaking to you now, a fore time there was a man and he had bewitched me and those that were in my condition by the use of sorcery. I remind you that a man ruled by Satan, he is even the witch, the unconscious mind of man.
If you are a carnal man, if you are a carnal Christian, you are a city in which there is a man that is ruling you and bewitching you by the use of sorcery. But in the hour that the Lord Jesus Christ is revealed within you, a great light shall shine upon you and there shall be great joy in your city. Glory to God.
To this man, they had all given great heed from the least to the greatest saying, "this man is the great power of Almighty God." Brethren, if you don't have a revelation that this whole world system, including many Christians in the church, whether they know it or not, are saying that man ruled by Satan, that this man is the great power of Almighty God, you are mistaken. The world is doing it for sure. They are calling man, God, and in the church, although they're naming the name of Jesus, in many instances carnal Christians are submitting their will and their life unto a man which is ruled by Satan.
Verse 11, And to him they had regard because that of a long time, he had bewitched them with sorceries. Brethren, the whole human race has great regard for the living soul. Why? Because he is all that they know. He is all that they know, and they are so bewitched by him that when Christ enters into their vessel, when He enters into their city, frequently, they cannot even recognize Him.
They'll read the Bible, they'll hear His name, they'll speak in tongues, but when someone with a deep anointing confronts them, a man in whom Christ is actually appearing, they will call him a witch. They cannot discern the anointing. They call it witchcraft time and time and time again. The Lord has shown it to me.
He was speaking to me today about the crucifixion. I always thought that the men that were responsible for the crucifixion had a real revelation of who He was and they did it anyway. But I'm starting to wonder now. They might have gotten a revelation at the beginning that it was the Christ, and when their own greed didn't want it to be the Christ, I believe they were taken over by their own carnal mind, that man that had lived in their city for so many years. They were bewitched because the Scripture said, had they known, they would have never crucified the Lord of glory.
I believe at the beginning they had a revelation that it was the Lord. When their greed overtook them, and their pride and their rebellion overtook them, their minds were blinded. By the time they crucified Him, I really believe that they did not know who He was because they were so bewitched by the sorceries of their own carnal mind.
Verse 12, "But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women." Brethren, that's water baptism. You'll find out as we read down a few verses from here, this is specifically talking about water baptism. So they believed the gospel of the kingdom. They believed what Philip preached concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ. Now we have a lot of Christians today believing some of the things about the name of Jesus Christ. I remind you that the name of Jesus Christ is the Spirit of Jesus Christ.
We have quite a few Christians in the church that believe on the name, at least to the extent that they can use the name of Jesus Christ, but brethren, they don't believe the true preaching about the kingdom. They're out there believing in the "rapture." They're out there believing in escapism, and some of them are out there denying the hard part of the Bible. Brethren, God has children of all ages and Paul said, "when I was a child, I acted like a child, I spake like a child, but when I was a man, I grew up and I spake like a man."
Brethren, I'm declaring unto you, and I'm saying this as gently as I can, if you are called to spiritual manhood, you have to expect persecution. Jesus said, "by much tribulation we enter into the kingdom." Paul said, "endure hardship like a good soldier."
I'm not trying to steal anything from you, and I'm not trying to take anything from you. If anything that I've said along these lines has upset you, I'm really sorry, but I would be remiss in my responsibility to God and in my responsibility to whoever is listening to this tape or reading this transcript if I denied the truth to you. When you are a spiritual child, you sing and dance, and God meets your every need, and you get the job, and you get the money, and you get your heart's desire very, very, very frequently, but when you're called into spiritual manhood, brethren, that changes.
I'm not going to put God in a box, and I'm not going to make a judgment on your personal life and tell you what God will give you and what God will not give you. But I will tell you what the Scripture says, that when you enter into spiritual manhood you can expect to have to endure hardship like a good soldier. You can expect great tribulation because we enter into the kingdom by much tribulation. That was the word of the Lord, Himself, and the word of the Lord, Himself, is also specifically associated with the hundred-fold, which is the appearance of Christ in you.
He specifically said in at least two of the gospels, that you can expect persecutions. I don't mean to hurt anybody in any way, but I have to preach the truth of the word as God has shown it to me. Now you seek God. What He gives you, He gives you. I'm not making any judgment on your life as to what you can have or what you can't have or what you'll go through or what you won't go through, but the Scripture says these things, and they are a reality that is associated with spiritual maturity. Glory to God. How did I get off on that? Hallelujah.
Okay, we're talking about Verse 12, that there was water baptism. We're saying that the church believes a lot about the Spirit of Jesus Christ, but they believe very little about the kingdom of God. They tend to think that it's not a spiritual place, but that's it's a physical place that they're going to. There's a lot of false doctrine in the church today that needs to be corrected.
Verse 13, "Then Simon himself believed also and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip and wondered beholding the miracles and signs which were done." Now brethren, Simon the sorcerer believed the gospel of the kingdom. He was a false prophet that received the gospel of the kingdom. Do you hear the spiritual implications of this, brethren? Don't be deceived. Everybody that has a revelation of the kingdom is not necessarily manifesting the Spirit of God.
What did we say in the prior verse? Many in the church have a revelation of the Spirit of Jesus, but not of the kingdom. In the very next Verse 13, we see that Simon had a revelation of the kingdom, but we're going to find out as we go on, that he did not have the Spirit of God. Brethren, this is an hour of great travail and great trial and great challenge to those going on with God. One of those challenges is to be able to discern who is truly in Christ because everyone that names the name of Jesus is not in Christ. Simon the sorcerer believed the gospel of the kingdom, and he believed that the miracles were of God, and he wondered beholding the miracles and signs which were done. He believed that these spiritual signs occurred, and he believed they were of the Spirit of God. Hallelujah.
Verse 14, "Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard." Well let me back up here and let me put this on the tape. I know that I mentioned it earlier, but let me put it on the tape. A couple of years ago, I went before the Lord and I asked Him what was the sign of someone entering into spiritual maturity? I said, was it revelation of the gospel of the kingdom or was it a knowledge of deliverance? The Lord said to me that it was neither one and I didn't understand. I'm suggesting to you that Simon the sorcerer believed the gospel of the kingdom, he had revelation, and I suggest to you that he believed in deliverance because he wondered beholding the miracles and signs which were done.
So what is the sign? How do we know that this man was not truly of Christ? I'm suggesting to you, brethren, that there are two signs that someone is of Christ. That sign is the agape love, the presence of the agape love of the Lord Jesus Christ, and that only appears when you are being crucified, brethren. If you see a derelict on the street, and you have mercy on him and give him ten dollars, that is not necessarily the sign of the agape love functioning in you. When they're putting the nails in you, brethren, when they're lying about you, when they're cursing you, when they're praying psychic prayers about you, when they're coming against you from a witchcraft spirit in their mind after you've poured your life out to try to help them, brethren, if you could truly love them, then Christ is appearing in you, and there is a measure of the agape love of the Lord Jesus Christ in you.
The second sign is a love of righteousness. A love of righteousness that will cause you to stand with the Lord when unrighteousness appears in someone that you love dearly, not someone that you don't know, not someone who's not important to you. When unrighteousness appears in your pastor, when unrighteousness appears in your wife or husband, when unrighteousness appears in your parents or your children, will you stand with God against that unrighteousness? Now I'm not talking about condemning the person, but will you expose that unrighteousness? Will you call it what it is even knowing that you are risking the loss of this relationship? That is the second sign that Christ is being formed in you.
Now these two signs might be associated with revelation and a knowledge of and belief in deliverance. They might be associated with them and they might not. They might not. But I will tell you one thing for sure that they have to be associated with and that's some knowledge of God's law because you cannot stand for the righteousness of God if you don't know what He thinks on any given issue. You have to know how God feels and what is truly sin. So you have to have an inherent knowledge of God's law of right and wrong, and you have to be willing to stand with God no matter what kind of persecution comes against you for standing with God. Hallelujah. Glory to God.
Verse 14, "Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John." Now why would they send unto them Peter and John? Why would they send two apostles? Samaria had the word of God. They had received the gospel of the kingdom and it had been demonstrated with signs and wonders. Why would they send apostles? What did the apostles need to do that Philip could not do? Philip was an evangelist, brethren.
Verse 15, Who when they were come down (the apostles) prayed for who? For the people of Samaria that they might receive the Holy Ghost. Philip was casting out demons and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and we're not told whether he had the Holy Ghost or not. But I would really tend to doubt that he was preaching the gospel of the kingdom, healing the sick and casting out evil spirits without the anointing. I really doubt it. Yet, he did not have the authority to impart the baptism with the Holy Spirit to Samaria. The apostles had to come down.
We have a very interesting tape called The Signs of Apostleship, in which we establish a very little known fact that not everybody can impart the Holy Spirit to somebody else. It's something that apostles do, or it is a sign of apostleship if someone has the power to impart the Holy Spirit to you. It doesn't mean they are necessarily an apostle though. You have to have all of the signs, you have to fulfill all of the requirements to be an apostle, but this is one of the signs. An apostle will be able to impart the Holy Spirit and apparently Philip could not.
Verse 16, "For as yet he was fallen upon none of them." For as yet, the Holy Spirit was fallen upon no one in Samaria, only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. That's water baptism, brethren. Simon believed the gospel of the kingdom. He believed the signs and wonders. He believed in deliverance, and he was baptized and his heart was wicked. Do you hear this? He was baptized in water, he believed the gospel of the kingdom, and he was probably out there trying to cast out demons himself, and his heart was as black as the ace of spades.
Verse 17, "And the apostles laid their hands on the people of Samaria and the people of Samaria received the Holy Ghost." When Simon saw that, through the laying on of the apostles' hands, the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money. Why? They had something he didn't have. He now had the gospel of the kingdom. He now had a revelation of deliverance and, for all we know, was casting out demons, maybe even by witchcraft power. He was water baptized, and he found out that there was another step. He wanted the spiritual power but there was no repentance in his heart, brethren. There was no love of God and there was no love of the righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ, so he offered them money for it. Hallelujah.
Verse 19, "Saying to the apostles, give me also this power that whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost." You see, he went into a Holy Ghost meeting and he got all excited. Remember those hot days in deliverance ministry? He entered in, and he saw spiritual power and he wanted it too. Maybe he wasn't casting out demons. Maybe he saw the demons being cast out and the sick being healed, and he got the revelation that to do this too, he needed the Holy Ghost. He wanted to enter into the fun. He wanted to manifest the power. He wanted the glory. He wanted to feel good in his soul for the Holy Ghost.
Did you ever meet anybody that loves casting out demons, for no reason other than that it makes them a big shot? These deliverance ministries are filled with these people, brethren. Sit down, brother, I'll cast it out of you, if I have to sit here all night.
Verse 20, "But Peter said unto him, thy money perish with thee because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money." Peter cursed him; "thy money perish with thee." Now I wonder how many Christians today would recognize this as the Spirit of God? I'm telling you, they would go running down the street saying, that brother Peter that's calling himself an apostle of God, he's manifesting witchcraft. He just cursed poor Simon. He told him to perish. He told him to go into poverty and to perish, and he has the nerve to call himself a man of God.
Doesn't the Scripture say in the last days they'll call good evil and evil good? Brethren, they can't tell who's who, with a very few exceptions, with a very few exceptions. Hallelujah.
Verse 21, "Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. You cannot have the Holy Ghost, you cannot have this power because your heart is wrong. Your motive is a desire for power, and there's no love of righteousness in you. You're wicked and you can't have it. Repent therefore of this thy wickedness and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee." Peter gave him a chance. He said repent. Maybe if your heart changes, God will answer your prayer, but there's no way you're getting it without repentance. "For I perceive thou art in the gall of bitterness." God is not bitter, brethren. That's the carnal spirit. "And in the bond of iniquity." That means that you're chained or a servant of Satan. Paul said, "I am in bonds to the Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ."
This is saying that Simon the sorcerer is the bond servant of Satan, and that his soul is in bitterness. Then answered Simon and said, "pray ye to the Lord for me."
Now listen to this. The man won't repent. I've been dealing with this personally for the last few months. The man won't repent. God has cursed him. His petition has been denied, and he asks the apostle for help and the apostle tells him what to do, repent. And he turns around and he won't repent, but he says," pray ye to the Lord for me that none of these things which ye have spoken will come upon me." He wouldn't repent, but he wanted the man of God to remove the curse.
Now what's really interesting here is that I believe Simon had a revelation that Peter cursed him under the anointing because he didn't turn around and say, "you just cursed me, Peter." He turned around and said, "pray ye to the Lord for me that none of these things ye have spoken come upon me." So I suggest to you that Simon had a revelation that, that was an anointed curse, that it was a curse of God. But all the carnal Christians hanging out were running down the street already blackening Peter's name, saying that he cursed this poor innocent man. No repentance whatsoever. He just didn't want the judgment. Do you know anybody that refuses to repent? They want to get out of the judgment. They don't want the judgment on them, but they won't repent.
Verse 25, "And they when they had testified and preached the word of the Lord, returned to Jerusalem and preached the gospel in many villages of the Samaritans." Now I call to your attention, and I'm not going to take too much time on it, it says, "when they had testified and preached the word of the Lord." I declare to you that they did not stand up and give their story of how the Lord called them. When they testified, brethren, what that means is that Jesus Christ appeared in them and when He appeared in them, He did signs and wonders and showed Himself by His Spirit.
We have many teachings on the true testimony, and that the overcoming by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony means the testimony of Christ is in their flesh, and He appeared through them and manifested through them in mighty signs and wonders. That was their testimony. They did not stand up in front of a congregation and say, "my name is Peter and I was saved so and so many years ago when the Lord called me when I was fishing on my boat." That's not what the apostle Peter did. Glory to God.
So we see here someone that was moving in an ungodly spiritual power that got a revelation of the spiritual move of God and tried to enter into it. He believed the gospel of the kingdom. He believed in deliverance, but his heart was black and his motives were evil. Brethren, open your eyes, open your eyes.
Okay now, we're going to look at a different kind of sorcerer in Chapter 13 of the book of Acts. Glory to God. "Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas and Simeon that was called Niger and Lucius of Cyrene and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch and Saul. As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work where unto I have called them. And when they had fasted and prayed and laid their hands on them, they sent them away. So they being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed into Salamis and from thence they sailed to Cypress. And when they were at Salamis, they preached the word of God in the synagogues to the Jews and they had also John to their minister."
"And when they had gone through the isle unto Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew, whose name was Bar-Jesus, which was with the deputy of the country Sergius Paulus, a prudent man who called for Barnabas and Saul and desired to hear the word of God. But Elymas the sorcerer, for so is his name by interpretation withstood them seeking to turn away the deputy from the faith. Then Saul who was called Paul, filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him and said, O full of all subtlety and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord, and now behold the hand of the Lord is upon thee and thou shalt be blind, not seeing the sun for a season and immediately there fell on him a mist and a darkness and he went about seeking some to lead him by the hand. Then the deputy when he saw what was done, believed, being astonished at the doctrine of the Lord. Now when Paul and his company loosed from Paphos, they came to Perga and Pamphylia," etc. etc.
Now I'd like to point out to you here that the first account that we went over in Acts, Chapter 8 was an account that took place in Samaria where the word of God had been utterly perverted. The Judaeans considered them so perverse, they wouldn't even talk to them. They were half breeds. Those people in Samaria gladly received the word of God when it came to them. Now I also call your attention to the fact that Simon, the sorcerer, did not stand up and tell these Samaritans that this was not the word of God. He did not come to them and tell them that the gospel was an untrue gospel. He did not tell them that the miracles were by a false power. What happened was that he wanted the power for himself, and I'm likening the Samaritans and the account in Acts Chapter 8 to worldly peoples, worldly peoples.
I don't know exactly where the line is going to be drawn. I believe there are going to be two categories of people when this big revival comes. There will be one category that will be likened unto the Pharisees, and they certainly will include the Christians that are in the deep realms of the church. I don't know where the line will be drawn and whether or not the second category will include main line denominations or whatever. Maybe you won't even be able to break it down that way. Maybe it will just be individuals, but I know that there are going to be two groups of people when this revival comes. One group of people, even though they will have some spiritual life, will not be blocked by the ministers of their spiritual life.
The word of God and the ministry of the Lord will come into town, and there will be no opposition. They're just going to receive it, and they're going to go with it, and their own ministers are going to want it too, but they're going to be denied it if their hearts are wrong. Here in Chapter 13, we see a second group of people. Glory to God. I call your attention to Verse 5 of Chapter 13 and that is to say that Paul and his associates preached in the synagogues of the Jews. They did not go to the heathen. They did not go to the half breed. They went to the people that had the pure word of God, and I'm likening this unto the Christians that are moving in the deep realms of the Spirit in this hour.
Now look at the difference as to what happened in Samaria and what happened here at Seleucia, where these were Jews that were practicing the word of God. Verse 6, "And when they had gone through the isle of Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew, who's name was Bar-Jesus." Now I want to go back here to Chapter 8. In Verse 9 of Chapter 8 it says, "There was a certain man called Simon, which before time in the same city used sorcery and bewitched the people giving himself out to be a great one." But the Scripture does not say that he was a false prophet.
The Scripture does not call him a false prophet. He was preaching an untrue word. He was preaching or doing whatever he was doing by an ungodly power, but he was not standing up there and saying that he was Christ. Simon, the sorcerer, recognized God when he came into town but was denied the anointing. Why? Because he would not repent. Glory to God.
Now we're back to Chapter 13. We see John and his associates ministering to the Jews that are keeping the law, and we see the other sorcerer. They're both called sorcerers. God calls both Simon and Bar-Jesus a sorcerer. But Bar-Jesus, also known as Elymas, is a false prophet. I declare to you, spiritually they were in the same condition, but one man admitted what he was, and the other man called himself a man of God. Hallelujah.
When they had gone through the isle into Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet. He was a Jew whose name was Bar-Jesus. Brethren, it's a Christian. It's a preacher. It's a minister, and he's a sorcerer and he's a false prophet. You don't think it's possible? You better pray about it.
Verse 7, "Which was with the deputy of the country." This is Bar-Jesus, the false prophet. He was with the deputy of the country. That's a high ranking official. His name was Sergius Paulus, a prudent man, very wise, who called for Barnabas and Saul and desired to hear the word of God. He wanted to hear this gospel of the kingdom that was being preached, but he was in another man's congregation, a man that called himself a man of God. He was a Jew. He was a member of that synagogue. What did this preacher stand up and do?
Verse 8, "But Elymas, the sorcerer, for so is his name by interpretation, withstood them seeking to turn away the deputy from the faith." Brethren, the people that are in false religion in this hour, when the truth comes to them, they're all going to turn towards it including the people without repentance. Simon was very sad that he couldn't get it, but when you come into the deep realms of the church, brethren, when you get into the religious circles, especially when you get into those that are preaching the gospel of the kingdom, there's going to be opposition.
You mean everybody that's in a church that's preaching the gospel of the kingdom is not manifesting Christ? No, and neither are all the preachers. So if you come to a church like that, brethren, if God sends you as an apostle, and there's a false prophet that's calling himself a pastor over that church, he is going to turn his people away from the truth. Do you know any pastors today that are standing between the members of their congregation and the true gospel of the kingdom telling them not to listen to it, telling them not to pray about it, telling them to shun it like it's pure death?
Brethren, I declare to you they are false prophets. This is one of the signs of a false prophet, and they're preachers in the Pentecostal and end-time churches. Glory to God.
" Then Saul who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him." Now this is really interesting because in Verse 10, we're going to see that Paul curses Elymas, but when we go back to Chapter 8, and we see Peter cursing Simon in Verse 20, we are not told that Peter was filled with the Holy Ghost. We're not told that Peter was filled with the Holy Ghost. The Lord requires us to know that, that an apostle of the caliber of Peter would never be cursing anybody unless it was under the anointing. Hallelujah.
But we're told in Chapter 13 of the book of Acts that Paul was under the anointing, and we're specifically told because we're dealing with the church here, brethren. We're dealing with all the religious people that are reading this book of Acts, Chapter 13, that are going to try and make excuses. But I declare to you that Elymas typifies many of the pastors today that will frighten their flock into not listening to the gospel of the kingdom and having the opportunity in Christ to pray about it.
I declare to you that the hour is coming that Christ is appearing in men, and He is going to fill those men with the Holy Ghost, and He's going to say something along the lines of this. "O full of all iniquity and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness; Wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord. And the whole congregation rose up in one mind and in one accord and said witchcraft, mind control." Listen to what that man is saying to our pastor. He's trying to tell him what to preach. He's trying to take authority over that man in his own church.
Brethren, I declare to you that the word spoken and that the situations involved will be exactly the same whether you're talking about the Son of God or the false prophet. If someone rises up in a church and genuinely tries to take authority over that minister or that pastor or if someone stands up in a church and curses someone by a witchcraft spirit, they're going to be saying the same words in the same exact situation or similar situation that a true apostle of God will. When you hear him rebuking the false prophet, if you can't discern the spirit, you're not going to be able to tell the difference.
You're not only not going to be able to tell the difference, the chances are that you're going to think that the true apostle is not of God and that the false prophet (I'm not talking about the pastor now) but the false person that's rebuking the pastor is righteous. I want to tell you something, brethren, the only way this could happen to you is when your heart is filled with sin. I've seen people that have moved in the Spirit of God that had a very keen discernment and when their heart filled up with sin, they couldn't tell that they were manifesting a wrong spirit. They thought they were rebuking the pastor in righteousness and it was a spirit of witchcraft.
Brethren, I counsel you to be on your face daily for God to reveal sin in you and for God to not let you be destroyed because when your heart is filled with sin, you will not be able to tell that you're manifesting a wrong spirit. When you perceive that the spirit on the minister or the other party is a different spirit than is upon you, you will draw the conclusion that you are in Christ and they are in witchcraft, but the opposite will be the truth, brethren. You will not be able to tell. You must be in a continual ongoing state of repentance of petitioning the Lord to not let you fall prey to this. If you're going to wait until it happens to you to pray, you won't pray, because you won't be aware that it's happening to you. You will be under a delusion. Glory to God.
" O full of all subtlety and all mischief." I call to your attention the choice of Paul's words, "subtlety." And the Serpent, he was the most subtle of all the beasts of the field. I suggest to you that Paul knew exactly what he was saying when he used this word subtlety, and that he was indeed suggesting that Elymas was filled with the Serpent or the carnal mind of man. "O full of all subtlety and mischief," the subtlety of the unconscious mind of man, Satan, and the mischief of the conscious mind of the carnal man. Mischief, that's what the carnal man does, mischief.
"Thou child of the devil." And what is the offspring of the devil? Anybody remember? The carnal mind. Paul is saying to him, "you are a natural man manifesting the carnal mind. You are the offspring of the devil and you are manifesting his personality in the realm of appearance and what is that? Subtlety and mischief. Thou enemy of all righteousness." There is no love of the righteousness of God here, and this is a man that is the leader of the synagogue, and he is without the love of righteousness.
Brethren, the casting out of evil spirits, the healing of the sick and the preaching of the gospel of the kingdom is not enough if you're going to follow a preacher. He must be thirsting and lusting and panting after the righteousness of Almighty God. "Wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?" A leader of the synagogue, a preacher, a pastor, perverting the right ways of the Lord? Brethren, you better know that it's possible, and you better stop being deceived or ask God to help you to stop being deceived by somebody's title, by their office or by a spirit of authority that they manifest. You better ask God for His mind as to who you are dealing with in every relationship that you have. "Lord, what do you think of this person? What is your evaluation of them? Who are they, Lord? Have they truly repented, Lord? Are they truly serving you, God? Are they my friend, Lord, or are they my enemy?"
You better stop knowing men after the flesh because as you get called into the realm of the Spirit, you are going to be hurt very severely, if you don't start knowing men after the Spirit. Because when Christ starts appearing in you, the carnal minds of men will rise up to attack you, and, in many instances, to destroy you if they can, and there are many carnal minds in the church, brethren.
You have to know who you are dealing with because the spiritual reality of what's happening is that this whole population of humankind, this many-membered living soul, is an organism. It's a body with many cells in it and, for all intents and purposes, Christ is a virus that is invading this body. Christ intends to bring down the existence of this living soul as it is currently known to man. For all intents and purposes, He intends to destroy it and the living soul is reacting to Christ as if He were an invading force, and they're trying to destroy it.
If you are living for Christ in any measure, if your heart is turned towards Christ, the carnal minds of men in the church and outside of the church are going to be hating you and rejecting you and if God permits it, persecuting you and in many instances trying to destroy you. It's important that you understand this, and it's important that you pray to the Lord for the ability to respond in the Christ-like manner which is to forgive them, to love them, to pray for them and to bless them. If God brings you to a place where He starts sending you as a prophet, you will have to tell them the truth as Paul is doing here, sometimes even rebuke them, even at the risk of carnal Christians saying that you're practicing witchcraft and mind control.
"O full of all subtlety and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord." This is a leader of the synagogue that Paul is talking to. "Now behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thee and thou shalt be blind, not seeing the sun for a season and immediately there fell on him a mist and darkness and he went about seeking some to lead him by the hand." Now what happened to Simon the sorcerer? Look at the difference here. This is just really interesting.
In Verse 20 of Chapter 8, "But Peter said unto him, thy money perish with thee (he cursed him with death and with financial loss) because thou hast thought the gift of God may be purchased with money. Thou hast neither part nor lot in the matter for thy heart is not right in the sight of God, repent therefore." Peter gave Simon a chance to get out from under the judgment; someone that was a sorcerer, but not a false prophet. He was in deep sin and the Lord, through Peter, gave him an opportunity to repent. But in Chapter 13, when we're dealing with the church, brethren, there is no opportunity to repent offered here, just the pronouncement of the curse.
I declare to you that the Lord must have looked upon Simon's heart and made a judgment that, that man was really in ignorance. He never came against the Lord. He never came against the word of God or the ministry of God. He did not try to prevent the people, and God gave him a chance to repent. Apparently, he didn't repent, at least not at that time. But we see with Elymas, with the leader of the synagogue, with the pastors of all the churches that fall into this category, there's no opportunity for repentance. Why? Because the Lord would expect them to know better. He would expect them to know better than to keep their parishioners from the true word of God and from the true apostles. They're supposed to be able to discern Christ, and they're turning their people away from Him. No opportunity for repentance to the pastors that fall into this category and here's the judgment. Hallelujah.
" Now behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thee (judgment) and thou shalt be blind." Now I don't know whether he went blind in the natural or not, but I suggest to you that whether he went blind in the natural or not, he went blind in the spiritual. I'm suggesting to you the spiritual knowledge that he had, that should have enabled him to know enough to not try and keep his people away from the truth, that, that's what he was blinded to, the true spiritual truth. "And thou shalt be blind, not seeing the sun for a season."
Brethren, this Elymas, he had a relationship with Jesus Christ. He knew the Lord. These pastors, they know the Lord. I don't know, and I don't understand it completely, but I personally believe that a lot of pastors out there really listen to these tapes and don't understand it's the word of God. But the Scripture is telling me that there's a category of pastors out there that really knows that this is the truth, yet they don't have the message in their heart to preach it. They're not called to this ministry of the kingdom and they don't want to lose their congregation.
Whatever is going through their mind, this Scripture tells me that there's a category of pastors out there that know that this is the truth, that sonship is the truth, that the message that's being preached here is the truth, and they're turning their people away from it for the wrong reason. In the cases of these men, there is no repentance offered to them, but they are losing their relationship with the Lord for a season. It's not a permanent judgment. What does this mean? To me it means that the Lord is bringing them under judgment for the purpose of bringing them to repentance.
Now to Simon the sorcerer it was said, repent, and Simon did not. We really don't know what happened to him. But in the instance of the pastor, he was not given the opportunity to repent. Judgment immediately fell upon him and the Lord, by His own will, is bringing him to repentance. He shall be blind. He's going to lose his spiritual sight, and he shall not see the Lord for a season. Immediately there fell on him a mist and a darkness.
Now this word, mist, is Strong's #887 and Strong says that it means a shade that comes down and it can be a cataract. From what I know about cataracts, they are literally a membrane that grows over the eye. Is that correct? The lens becomes opaque, right, so you can't see through it. Okay, so something fell over his spiritual eyes that he couldn't see and darkness fell upon him. The word darkness merely means shadiness, and I suggest to you that, that is the darkness of coming under the dominion of the carnal mind of man, of the living soul. A mist went over his eyes and he could no longer see the sun of Almighty God and he again fell prey to the dominion of the living soul ruled by Satan. This pastor went about seeking some to lead him by the hand. He had been lead by Jesus, brethren. He had been lead by the anointing. He had wisdom and knowledge and the anointing of the powerful and mighty Spirit of God and now he had to go around looking for some to lead him.
Brethren, don't take that literally. Well maybe it happened in the natural; I don't know. But in the spiritual, what it means is he couldn't make a decision. He couldn't think things through, whereas he was a leader of the synagogue and men came to him for counsel, he had to go to someone else to help him make a decision. He lost his manhood, brethren, and he became a spiritual woman. Glory to God.
"Then the deputy, when he saw what was done, believed, being astonished at the doctrine of the Lord." So after God pronounced judgment through Paul on this ungodly pastor, the man that was in his congregation witnessed the judgment and believed. Now this is interesting because in Acts, Chapter 8, they believed when they heard the word of God and when they saw the miracles. But over here it says, when the deputy saw the judgment fall he believed. So we have two categories of people. People that are unbelievers are going to believe when they hear the gospel and they see the signs and wonders, but the church, brethren, they're not going to believe when they hear the gospel and when they see the signs and wonders.
Brethren, just look around at how few people are glorying in this glorious gospel that's coming forth. The church doesn't believe. They listen to it, they read the books, they tell you right to your face, it's not true. Even if you manifest spiritual power to them, they don't believe it. But they shall believe it brethren, when the judgment falls. Isn't that exciting? The unbeliever is going to believe when they hear the truth and when they see the signs and wonders, and the church is going to believe when they see the judgment fall.
I suggest to you, brethren, that it's not going to be enough for them to see the judgment fall. They're going to have to hear it pronounced by an apostle of God because the judgments are falling today, brethren, and they don't know that it's the judgments of God. I don't believe the judgments of God ever stop falling. They're falling outside of the church, and they're falling within the church, but the church cannot discern them for what they are. The church cannot discern them for what they are. But the hour is coming brethren, when Christ is going to appear in men in full stature and be pronouncing judgment upon the elders of the church. When the members of the congregation that are being victimized by them in this hour see this, they're going to believe. When they see the pastor that they idolize, have judgment pronounced upon them and see that judgment come to pass, they're going to get the revelation that this was not the Spirit of God manifesting in this man, calling himself their pastor. They're going to receive the gospel of the kingdom, and Christ shall be formed in them too. Glory to God. Hallelujah. Come quickly Lord Jesus. Glory to God.
Verse 13, "Now when Paul and his company loosed from Paphos, they came to Perga and Pamphylia and John departing from them returned to Jerusalem." Glory to God. Hallelujah. Glory to God. Glory to God. I suggest to you, and I really believe that God is telling me that back in Chapter 8 when Simon the sorcerer could not repent that he went forth and that he came under the judgment that would bring him to repentance, as the judgment falls upon the heathen.
You see, Peter gave him information because the Lord, through Peter, recognized that this man really did not have an understanding of the things of God. Peter said to him, the proper way to react to me, to what I just said to you, is that you should repent and that you should pray God to forgive you. That's what you have to do because I believe that you're bound by the enemy. But Simon didn't understand what he said, and that's why he said, "pray ye to the Lord for me that none of these things happen to me." He didn't understand what Peter said. I suggest to you that he went forth, and that this judgment was upon him and I don't know how long it took, but I believe that the Lord was moving in his life to teach him and to show him and to bring him to repentance.
In Chapter 13, in the case of Elymas, we're not told that he repents, but we're told that he lost his relationship with the Lord for a season, and I don't believe that the Lord would return unto him if he didn't repent. So both categories of men were brought unto repentance. Different techniques used with both of them. More compassion shown to the sinner and the unbeliever than to the Christian. I just want to say it one more time, brethren, because we have agonized in this ministry and in ministries like this, knowing that we cannot get to the people because as soon as God sends us to minister to them, if they hear a tape or they talk to us, they immediately go and tell it to their pastor who turns them away from us like we're lepers. We've agonized over it saying we can't get past these pastors.
I declare to you that here is the answer right here. When God appears in full stature in men, which is coming real soon, and the rebuke and the judgments are pronounced through a man in front of the congregation and those judgments come to pass, the congregation will be set free to receive the gospel of the kingdom and to move on to maturity in Christ. That's a very exciting word to me because a lot of Christians, including myself, at certain times in my life, get very frustrated not understanding what's happening.
The answer is, you just do what God has called you to do at the moment. You do the best you can. You repent when you fall into sin. You bless your enemies. You pray for those who despitefully use you, and you take it a day at a time because, brethren, there is enough evil in one day to occupy your mind. You don't have to worry about tomorrow. Glory to God.
I hope this message blessed you. It really blessed me and I learned something myself. I didn't even know before I preached it, that, that is the key. I am going to say it one more time. To the heathen, they're going to receive the gospel and they're going to believe the signs and wonders, and they're going to move right in. But the Christian, he's going to have to see judgment pronounced and fall upon his pastor to get free from him before he can believe. But I also want to call your attention to the fact that in Verse 7 that there was a prudent man, Sergius Paulus, who desired to hear the word of God.
So there's a category of members of the congregation that have a true desire for the word of God in their heart. I don't know what's going to happen to those that don't truly desire the word of God, but God has a people in the main line denominations, in the Pentecostal churches, in the churches that are bound with false doctrine. He has a people that truly desire the word of God that can't get past their pastors. He is coming to set those people free, and He's going to set them free by executing judgment in their presence upon their pastors. Glory to God. Any questions about this message? Hallelujah.