Saul was consenting to his death. A great persecution arose against the assembly which was in Jerusalem in that day. They were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except for the apostles.
Devout men buried Stephen, and lamented greatly over him.
But Saul ravaged the assembly, entering into every house, and dragged both men and women off to prison.
Therefore those who were scattered abroad went around preaching the word.
Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and proclaimed to them the Christ.
The multitudes listened with one accord to the things that were spoken by Philip, when they heard and saw the signs which he did.
For unclean spirits came out of many of those who had them. They came out, crying with a loud voice. Many who had been paralyzed and lame were healed.
There was great joy in that city.
But there was a certain man, Simon by name, who used to practice sorcery in the city, and amazed the people of Samaria, making himself out to be some great one,
to whom they all listened, from the least to the greatest, saying, "This man is that great power of God."
They listened to him, because for a long time he had amazed them with his sorceries.
But when they believed Philip preaching good news concerning the Kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.
Simon himself also believed. Being baptized, he continued with Philip. Seeing signs and great miracles occuring, he was amazed.
Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them, who, when they had come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Spirit; for as yet he had fallen on none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of Christ Jesus. Then they laid their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.
Now when Simon saw that the Holy Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles' hands, he offered them money, saying, "Give me also this power, that whoever I lay my hands on may receive the Holy Spirit."
But Peter said to him, "May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money!
You have neither part nor lot in this matter, for your heart isn't right before God.
Repent therefore of this, your wickedness, and ask God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you.
For I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and in the bondage of iniquity."
Simon answered, "Pray for me to the Lord, that none of the things which you have spoken happen to me."
Insight- After Stephen was murdered, a great persecution came upon the believers in Jesus Christ and they were scattered, but that resulted in the Gospel being preached in many places. Saul of Tarsus created havoc by persecuting believers. Philip proclaimed Christ in Samaria and many people were healed of their sicknesses and delivered from demonic spirits. Peter and John came down to Samaria and prayed for the new believers to recieve the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Simon, a sorcerer offered money to the disciples to get the anointing, but was sharply rebuked by Peter.
Question- Are you aware that some who claim that they are believers in Jesus Christ are like Simon the sorcerer, who have ulterior motives?
Prayer- Dear Father in heaven, grant me discernment to know who are true believers and those who falsely say that they are believers. In Jesus name. Amen.
Listen/Download Audios- Male & Female Voices