Here is the story: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts+8%3A5-24&version=KJV
Simon Magi knew spiritual power. He used to trade in it, he made a living with it and it fed his ego.
He was greatly admired by the people in his area. He became a true believer, otherwise the bible would not have said so. One thing was missing in his life, and he knew it. Others received the Holy Spirit just like that, but he didn’t. He did not covet this gift for himself, but coveted it so that he could give it to others, and so that he might again be seen as the great power of God. We all scold him as a crook, and that his heart was not right, and full of the gall of bitterness and bond of iniquity. What shameful statement, this statement that stuck with him. He did not seek repentance but asked Peter to pray that God may spare him.
My question is this: If a corrupt and crooked man values the gift of the Spirit to such a degree that he was willing to pay a great sum of money for it, why do so few people seek the power of the Holy Spirit? Many rather go to seminary and pay a substantial six figure sum to finally end up with a some capital letters next to their name, Doctor of Divinity. Thus they get credit within the religious world, rather than seeking to power of the Holy Spirit to penetrate their life. I am not against Ph.Ds in theology and there are many good theologians who have Ph.Ds. Good theology is the base for a proper walk with God and I thank God for it.
What we lack in this generation is not so much theological knowledge. We can comfortably study what the Anabaptist, Reformers, Puritans, Nonconformists etc. risked their life for.
We study even recent church history and can analyse their strengths and fallacies of movements that shook nations. We critique the theology of great men of God like Wesley, Finney, Moody, Watchman Nee and whoever, but we do not pursue what they pursued with great intensity, wrestling in prayer, agonizing over lost souls, bemoaning their own dull hearts and lack of love for the lost.
Simon Magi, as crooked and twisted this man was; one thing he valued greatly, even if it was for all the wrong reasons: It was the filling of the Holy Ghost. He could have received Him for free, but he was willing to part from a substantial sum of money to have this power.
How badly to we covet the power of the Holy Spirit in our life? Are we happy with hearing so many good sermons and YouTubes (I am talking to myself) giving “likes”. Simon Magi was willing to pay and you do not even bother to ask for this free gift.
God needs men and women filled with the Holy Spirit more than clever theologians. Satan knows full well, when he can keep men occupied with debating among each other they are less dangerous for him.
When God wants every Christian to be filled with the Holy Spirit, why are most Christians not filled with the Holy Spirit. We scorn tongue speaking and despise prophesies, but why do we not desire the gift of the Holy Spirit? If it is from God, it must be good, and I must have it. If Simon Magi offered a big sum of money for it, and I can have it for just asking, why not ask?
Why do we not desire that we can prophesy to the edification of the church and bring conviction to the wayward, heal the sick to the glory of Jesu, and speak the word with great boldness and conviction, be filled with great joy and have great grace upon us all? Why do we not pray until the building shakes and prison doors fly open? Why do we not see sinners coming into our church who are convicted by a widows word of knowledge, revealing their sins in public? When the church was alive, tumults and persecutions were all around, but today Satan just yawns about much churches and spares is gunpowder for more worthy targets.
Are you, who is reading this, truly filled with the Spirit of God? If yes, where, when and what happened in you and through you? Is the Holy Spirit still affecting your life and the people around you or has it faded like Moses glowing face?
I need this power. I preached 11 sermons on the Holy Spirit from through the Old and New Testament up to Revelation and they still did not get it – yet.
Why is it such contentious and ignored topic? I received the Spirit when I just came to faith in Jesus and had repented, and knew next to ZERO about the Bible, but all I could get from God I wanted so badly, because I had been tormented by demons for a long time.
Why is it that some of the cleverest theologians do not get it? You must be filled with the Holy Spirit, ask for him, until you are filled. What is simpler than that?
Simon Magi knew when people where filled with the Holy Spirit, that fell on the believers AFTER the apostles prayed for them. Those who received the Holy Spirit fell on their faces speaking the high praised of God, they spoke in tongues and prophesied spontaneously. It was so wonderful and powerful that he coveted that gift and was willing to pay a lump sum for it.
Why do so many theologians stipulate that you got your filling of the Spirit at conversion and that settles it. Nothing more to expect, just go to church listen to their clever and well researched sermons, give your tithes and be good. If the devil cannot cause Christians to fall into sin, he tries at least to prevent them getting filled with the Holy Spirit by telling him that they got Him at conversion and that there is no more to receive.
What wonders me, is that those theologians, who do not believe in the baptism of the Holy Spirit as a subsequent experience go to great lengths to speak about why this is a false, why this is emotionalism and what dangers there are lurking for those who want to pursue it. They try to prove by their non-experience that this is something that does not exist. Like a blind mole who claims no one can fly. This is deception by half-truth. Yes, everyone who repents and believes in Jesus has the Holy Spirit, but not the yet the infilling from Above, that Pentecostal Fire that birthed a church that turned the world upside down so much that they never recovered from it.
Yes, there has come great confusion by counterfeit movements like Lakeland and Toronto, and they did great damage. There are many swindler even today that believe gain is godliness, that have brought this doctrine and experience into disrepute.
The devil makes people think that every Pentecostal or Charismatic most be a phoney like those.
There are eight passages in Acts where the believers were filled with the Holy Spirit. Only one states the baptism of the Holy Spirit straight at conversion, and that was Acts 10:44. All the other passages state that the baptism was received after conversion.
Matthew 3:11I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance. but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:
Luke 12:49 I am come to send fire on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled?
As this world was once inundated with water so it will soon go up in fire and most people will end up in unquenchable fire, too. Better to have the fire of the Holy Spirit and be consumed with God’s holy fire than to end up in unquenchable fire.
What fire do we prefer? Fire of love, fire of the Spirit, fire to burn away our dross or the fire of judgment and eternal wrath?
Ah, some of you say you want to pursue good Christianity but do not want to go to extremes. Go to church, hear a good sermon, sing some nice songs while the worship band rocks, give some alms, go home watch the football or a soap and pursue your own dream and hope peace and prosperity will last throughout your life.
Want to settle in the middle like the Laodiceans. Serious? Want to become Gods vomit?
Are you sure you have received the baptism of the Holy Spirit? If you are not sure, you most likely have not. Go into your chamber and ask until you have him. Do not settle for less. You are meant to be filled with the Spirit, all of you.
If the filling of the Spirit has been just a distant past experience, rekindle the fire. Pray, fast, weep, clean your dirty hands and feet and have you loose limbs strengthened.
Lord help us! Amen