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Philip the Deacon
Simon Magnus the Sorcerer
Now this would be a proven testament to the power in which the Lord had allowed Philip to operate his ministry in. For we must know that during this time, the Samaritans had been deceived and was following a guy named Simon Magnus; right before Philip had arrived.
Bible Study Article Covers : Acts 8:4-13
First off, we must not make the mistake of confusing this Philip, with Philip The Apostle. When it comes to this Philip, know that he was one of the first seven deacons that had been appointed by the early church. This was done during the time, when the apostles were needing help, when it came to waiting on tables. Philip was chosen along with Stephen, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas and Nicolas. It would be during this point from within the Scripture, we would learn about the tragic news that dealt with the death of Stephen.
For the Scriptures would confirm that Stephen had been stoned to death, after he had spoken the truth about Israel's rebellion and resistance, when it came to how they were behaving against the Almighty God at the Sanhedrin. Be that as it may, soon after this horrific event, the Scriptures would direct our attention to the early church, and how it had just entered into a season of great persecution: "On that day a great persecution broke out against the church at Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria." -- Acts 8:1
Now the Scriptures points out that fierce opposition had risen up against the church. And it's for this reason, Philip and the others ended up being scattered abroad. They did this, so that they may avoid dealing with the opposition, while they were trying to spread the gospel of Christ abroad:
"Those who had been scattered preached the Word wherever they went. Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Christ there." -- Acts 8:4
And it's for this reason, we now find Philip serving from within the office of evangelism. Philip would no longer serve the Lord in a way that dealt with waiting on tables in Jerusalem, but instead, he would now serve the Lord, while preaching and saving souls in Samaria. Now the Scriptures would also point out, Philip had great success when it came to his ministry, while he visited the city of Samaria. Understand that the city of Samaria, was the metropolis, or the main city from within that country that was also called Samaria:
"When the crowds heard Philip and saw the miraculous signs he did, they all paid close attention to what he said. With shrieks, evil spirits came out of many, and many paralytics and cripples were healed. So there was great joy in that city." -- Acts 8: 6-8
Biblical Christian Stories
The Great Soul Winner
Now I find it interesting, Jesus didn't do any miracles in that very city, when he'd visited it, and in spite of this, many still believed in Him, when He'd eventually visited Samaria. Now we have Philip three years later, continuing the work of our Lord Jesus Christ, by casting out evil spirits, healing the sick, and rescuing the afflicted. It was for these reasons, Philip was able to convince the people of Samaria, he was indeed commissioned, by the Eternal Kingdom of Heaven. And he proved this to the people, through the showing of great miracles and signs that God had chosen to do through him.
Needless to say, the Samaritans had received Philip's message well, and for that reason, many were baptized and saved, as great joy was to be found from throughout the entire city. Now this would be a proven testament to the power, in which the Lord had allowed Philip to operate his ministry. For we must also know that during this time, the Samaritans had been deceived and was following a guy named Simon Magnus. All of this was taking place right before Philip had arrived.
Now I want to point out, the name Magnus signifies: conjurer or sorcerer. So therefore, as the name implies, Simon Magus was known, and had the reputation of being a sorcerer or conjurer. The Scripture also confirms, Simon Magnus was able to bewitch, and fascinate the people in some strange kind of way, and so therefore, he had also earned the reputation of being a great deceiver:
"Now for some time a man named Simon had practiced sorcery in the city and amazed all the people of Samaria. He boasted that he was someone great, and all the people, both high and low, gave him their attention and exclaimed, 'This man is the divine power known as the Great Power.' They followed him because he had amazed them a long time with his magic." -- Acts 8: 9-11
Biblical Christian Stories
Bringing Truth to Power
Now things would be different, being that the Samaritans had heard the gospel, and saw the signs that were proving that Philip had been commissioned by the Almighty God, when it came to bringing the message of truth before the people. Now as I stated earlier, the Samaritans believed and were baptized, and followed the ways of the Lord Jesus Christ from this point forward: "But when they believed Philip as he preached the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women." -- Acts 8:12
Now to get an even further sense of how powerful of a message that Philip had brought before the people, we find that Simon Magnus himself, had become a believer: "Simon himself believed and was baptized. And he followed Philip everywhere, astonished by the great signs and miracles he saw." -- Acts 8:13
Related - Bible Study Online Articles - Links
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2) Peter & John and Simon Magnus the Sorcerer
3) Philip & The Ethiopian Eunuch Official