“Now when they had gone through the island to Paphos , they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew whose name was Bar-Jesus, who was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, an intelligent man. This man called for Barnabas and Saul and sought to hear the word of God. But Elymas the sorcerer (for so his name is translated) withstood them, seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith. Then Saul, who also is called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him and said,
“O full of all deceit and all fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease perverting the straight ways of the Lord [YHWH]? Now, indeed, the hand of the Lord [YHWH] is upon you, and you shall be blind, not seeing the sun for a time.”
And immediately a dark mist fell on him, and he went around seeking someone to lead him by the hand. Then the proconsul believed, when he saw what had been done, being astonished at the teaching of the Lord.” – Acts 13:6-12, NKJV
The apostles were the first Christians sent out full of the Holy Spirit – set apart or dedicated for a special mission. Are you dedicated for a special mission? We sincerely desire that you allow your Heavenly Father to use you for the benefit of His Kingdom! (Acts 13:2-3, see Acts 2; “Called to Have Confidence in Messiah“; “Your Purpose in the Body of Christ“; “The Call of YHWH’s Watchman“)
Very often, writers and authors make a big deal about the roles of pastors, missionaries and Christian workers. The truth of the matter is that this is church talk. All Christians are answerable to YHWH to be re-purposed through Messiah and to listen to the Holy Spirit. This means taking action in being a vital part of a special mission to do the work of teaching and spreading Bible truth by any means possible. This is a matter of training and growing. You persevere, fixing your eyes on the Messiah. Even when you aren’t part of a ‘church group’ you can still magnify YHWH’s Kingdom in this world [kosmos] by doing His Will. This is not about exclusions because of church hierarchy or about leaving the masses to do the work of supporting the priests or religious leaders by working for the world. It’s about running the Christian race on YHWH’s track of righteousness! (Hebrews 12:1-2; 1 Corinthians 9:24; “The Importance of Practical Repentance“; “Christians: Focused on the Messiah & His Purpose“)
A pastor might say, “Give me the tithe and I’ll do the work.” Do they really – or is it just corporate busy work that has been invented by man. They invest and promote buildings and infrastructure. They build corporations under state control, bending to government restrictions on what they can say to keep their tax-exempt status. Everything has been commercialized and secularized. The salvation of people is somehow assumed in the process. You must know that this is the stuff of the world, mere decoration. These church leaders are as confused and lost as the people they pretend to save. Salvation is the purpose of Christianity, but only the Messiah saves. This is done one person at a time, born anew as a new person through Yahshua [Jesus] the Messiah in the power of the Holy Spirit. Yet in the vast multitude of places, finding the lost is usually left to chance – and this is the norm rather than the exception. Is this the norm where you live? Sadly, these fallen people aren’t worshiping YHWH at all, but a device of their own making. (“Christianity: A Crisis in Prayer & Spirit“; “Hardened Hearts: Strengthening the Brotherhood in Christ“)
The mindset of national and religious organized slavery should have died long ago, but professed Christians have embraced it through the agenda of the world. (Ezekiel 34:1-31) It is a counterfeit, a false set of scales. Continuing to live a mindset out of the past is akin to Israel’s slavery in Egypt. Truly, nothing new is under the sun. Men use the same methods to rule, to coerce, to threaten, to entice. YHWH’s Kingdom is nearly upon us. (Ecclesiastes 1:9; “The Unpardonable Sin“)
In the first century, the apostles prepared for spiritual battle through fasting and prayer. Hands were laid on them in preparation for their round of ministry. The churches of man generally don’t involve themselves in any such thing. Instead, most choose to wait around for people to come to them. Even worse, so many ‘church leaders’ and their followers quench the Holy Spirit, worried that He will come around and interrupt their business. (Matthew 6:19-20, 24) Most of the members are consigned as pew-sitters, spiritual do-nothings in a pep rally – that is when they show up. Do they even pick up their Bibles to learn or is scripture used in outreach to others? Often, bake sales and soup kitchens minister to the physical, but most people live in a spiritually arid atmosphere. (“Prayer & Christian Life“; “Christians Need Strong Communication“; “YHWH’s Prayer Shawl of Protection“)
Some leaders might try to find an original style to attract your allegiance and your pocketbook – no names here. Many times this becomes another form of false religion, apostasy, idolatry, witchcraft – full of delusion and unclean spirits. (2 Thessalonians 2:3; Acts 8:4) How many people are full of uncleanness, deception and injury in this day? In fact, science, business, commerce and government are built on it. Babylon and its religion is the framework of the world. Uncleanness is the sustenance of the world. Most professed Christians have forgotten this reality, choosing to guild man’s system with their own. These Christians look to science, propaganda and the knowledge of man for healing and wholeness in their lives. Then they add their trust in YHWH to that. This is not success in YHWH’s eyes. (Matthew 4:4, 6:25-33; John 6:35; Isaiah 41:17-20; Deuteronomy 11:14; “Life Healing & Belief“)
“The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God [YHWH] will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” – 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12, NKJV
Yahshua [Jesus] said:
“Not all that say to Me, ‘Master, Master,’ enter into the purpose of the Kingdom of Heaven. To the contrary, he that yields the purpose of My Father in Heaven. Many say to Me in that Day, ‘Master, Master, have we not prophesied in Your Name, and in Your Name cast out devils and in Your Name yielded many miracles? Then at that time I will agree with the authority of Heaven, them I never knew. You! Depart from Me ministers of wickedness.” – Matthew 7:21-23, direct translation
The apostles went out preaching the word. This story proves that even the Magi can be saved.
“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 Elohim.’ And to him they had regard, because that of long time he had bewitched them with sorceries.
But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of YHWH, and the name of Yahshua the Messiah, 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 YHWH, they sent unto them Kepha and John: who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Spirit: (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Saviour Yahshua.) Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.
And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money, saying, ‘Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Spirit.’ But Kepha said unto him, ‘Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of YHWH may be purchased with money. Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of YHWH. Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray Elohim, 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 Saviour 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 YHWH, returned to Jerusalem, and preached the gospel in many villages of the Samaritans.”- Acts 8:9-25, RNKJV
In the days of the first century church, sorcerers or magi were numerous and influential. Consider the scientists and doctors as the magi of today. Like the prophet Daniel, not all have abandoned YHWH. A few are not lost. Lawyers and politicians insert their magic in much the same way. They talk about the magical admirable qualities of the law and about how great democracy (or whatever philosophy they admire) is. Can even one of them be saved eternally? In the world, a little personal charisma goes a long way towards winning whatever popularity contest that is going on at the moment. Truth isn’t really necessary in the scheme of the world. Life in man’s world is about appearance and about whatever version of history is expedient and wise-sounding. Promoting the appearance of the common-good , which can be just about anything at a given moment, is a real favorite today. These sages work ‘wonders’ and will work ‘wonders’, just as it was in the past. (“Filling Your Life with Truth Instead of Deception“; “What is God’s Church?“; “The Unapologetic Christian“; “The Miracle of Living Water“)
In the past, magi worked wonders, performed healings, practiced exorcisms and made forecasts through astrology. Their wonders may have been magic tricks or they may have been empowered by dark spirit forces. Perhaps they were a little more technologically inclined than we give them credit for. It is little different today. The magi of today aren’t usually on YHWH’s side. (Matthew 24:24; 2 Thessalonians 2:9) The first century reality shown in Acts 8 was that Simon had performed so many wonders that some thought that he WAS the Messiah. The Bible was clear that his powers did not come from YHWH. (Acts 8:18-24; “Do You See Miracles in Your Life?“; “The Image & Mark of the Beast System“)
Peter and John were sent to Samaria to find out whether the Samaritans were becoming well-grounded believers. The Jewish Christians of that day, even the apostles, were still uncertain whether non-Jews and half-Jews could receive the Holy Spirit. They prayed that the Holy Spirit would come to dwell among the non-Jews in Samaria, fully convinced that the Holy Spirit was for all people. After all, that is what Yahshua [Jesus] said. The Samaritans had been baptized in the name of Yahshua [Jesus], but the Holy Spirit was not among them. The same is going on today except that most churches today don’t believe – either in the Holy Spirit or in the laying of hands. (“Healing Wounds That People Can’t See“; “A Doctrine of Demons“; “Spiritual Fruit & Renewing Your Mind“)
When Simon saw that the Holy Spirit was received after the apostles laid their hands on believers, he offered the apostles money for that power. He was still into his old way of thinking, accustomed to buying tricks and accumulating knowledge as a magus usually did. You and I know from history that false religion sells the ‘favor of God’ for money. Happily, Simon had the humility to accept rebuke and instruction as he came out of old ways. (“Living in an Apostate World“)
It is taught or assumed by multitudes of Christians that upon baptism the Holy Spirit resides in them. Scripture shows that the Holy Spirit is not automatic even when you know about Him. Yet, organized religion often says the opposite of this truth. A person is often baptized into Christianity without knowing about the role of the Holy Spirit at all. Other times, Christians are and remain woefully misinformed. (“Holy Spirit 101“)
Polls can be a decent indicator of what people are thinking. Indications are that most Christians in the Untied States don’t believe that the Holy Spirit is a person or living force. Overall, 68% agreed that the Holy Spirit is “a symbol of God’s power or presence but is not a living entity.” Yet, a majority of Christians believe that a person can be under the influence of spiritual forces such as demons or evil spirits. You see that played out in culture today. Just look at television and movies. 28% of those polled rejected the influence of supernatural forces and 8% were undecided. Another poll indicates that belief in the Christian “gifts of the Holy Spirit” decline with age, especially for those that claim to be familiar with them. The older a person is, the more likely he or she is to reject prophecy or speaking in tongues as modern reality. The more familiar poll respondents were with speaking in tongues, the more likely they were to have spoken in tongues, and the less likely they were to believe the gift is valid. Many have been disappointed by the counterfeits of man and machinations of Satan. Secular thinking rules in many modern cultures today, which further whittles down the belief of the some faithful. Opinions and beliefs are often swayed by experience, even when the Bible speaks against their experience. (“The Wheels of Ezekiel“; “Testing for YHWH’s Spirit“)
The specifics of the Holy Spirit may be silenced out of fear. Power and authority are always involved. (Acts 2:38; 1 Corinthians 13:6; 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12) Even worse for those involved, the Holy Spirit won’t dwell with Christians that are full of the world around them. (Romans 12:1-2)
“Yahshua [Jesus] answered and said unto him, ‘If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me. These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” – John 14:23-26, RNKJV
The magi of this world in want your obedience, for you to know that they are significant. They must be right, to somehow justify their existence. Some of them even pretend to be agents of God [YHWH, Elohim Most High]. That is the way of the world, the kosmos: the decoration of man’s system apart from God. ‘Agents of God’, agents of divine authority are what many folks pretend to be, even those with worldly authority. They will even attempt to use the Bible as their tool. As in the first century, world leaders of many kinds, the magi of today, seek to lead you down the wide road of destruction along a primrose path after seductive philosophies and traditions. (Matthew 7:13-14) Remember that the Messiah Yahshua [Jesus] is the narrow gate, for all salvation is through Him alone. (“The Great Tribulation & End Time Rapture“; “Freaky Science, Food and Rebellion“)