Therefore, those who had been scattered went about preaching the word. Philip went down to the city of Samaria and began proclaiming Christ to them. The crowds with one accord were giving attention to what was said by Philip, as they heard and saw the signs which he was performing. For in the case of many who had unclean spirits, they were coming out of them shouting with a loud voice; and many who had been paralyzed and lame were healed. So there was much rejoicing in that city.. Acts 8:4-8.
Today your LORD (יהוה) God (אלהים) says:
Be careful how you live and what you say. Everyday matters and there are many spiritual ears and your words set things in motion—angels, demons, and a cloud of witnesses, but above all, all your words return to Me. Do not let them be idle, void of power. I am depending on you to bring the Kingdom to this hour.
I watch over My Word to perform it and Jesus is the High Priest of your confession (homologia, which means saying the same word that He says in perfect agreement by faith). Consider him, the High Priest of your confession when you speak. Give Him words that He can bring to Me to perform, words that edify, exhort, and encourage. I will not perform evil but I am swift to do justice, to heal, to provide, to prosper, to give you wisdom and revelation.
When you know Me, problems are no longer insurmountable mountains they are opportunities to exercise your delegated authority from Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit in you and on you. They are opportunities to bring glory down—the manifestation of My goodness, My presence and My power. The kiss of Heaven to the earth. “Surely His salvation is near to those who fear Him,that glory may dwell in our land. Lovingkindness (grace) and truth have met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other. Truth springs from the earth, and righteousness looks down from heaven. Indeed, the LORD will give what is good, and our land will yield its produce. righteousness will go before Him and will make His footsteps into a way.” Psalm 85:9-13. Grace and truth come through Jesus Christ. In Jesus, Heaven and earth have kissed the kiss of reconciliation and peace. “This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will, towards men.” Luke 2:12-14.
You have the Light of the world in you and on you. On you My glory shines. So rise up to do the works of Jesus and greater works as you call upon His Name as He commanded you. “You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16.
And that is what you will find believers doing in the Book of the Acts of the Apostles. Why not you? It is time that the church made a difference and you as a member of the body of Christ took your royal priesthood that Jesus has made you seriously and as I told the prophet Haggai to tell My people, “all you people of the land take courage,’ declares the LORD, ‘and work; for I am with you,’ declares the LORD of hosts.” Haggai 2:4. Jesus cautioned you this, “We must work the works of Him who sent Me as long as it is day; night is coming when no one can work.” John 9:4. You are no longer darkness, no, you are light in Me, children of the Light amid a dark world blinded by the “god” of this world, Satan, where you shine as bright lights, bringing the light of Heaven to the earth as you go forth, like Jesus, to preach, heal, and teach, that is, to undo the works of the devil.
In the book of Acts, after miracles we spoke of in our prior Life Lesson, the apostles dedicated their lives to prayer and the ministry of My Word, and asked the congregation to select seven men of good reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom the apostles could put in charge of the task of distributing the provisions to the community of believers. This request found approval with the whole congregation; and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas and Nicolas, a proselyte from Antioch. And these they brought before the apostles; and after praying, they laid their hands on them. Acts 6:4-6. And Stephen, full of grace and power, was performing great wonders and miracles among the people. Certain Jews argued with Stephen and accused him falsely of blaspheming and brought him before the Sanhedrin. As I had promised, My Holy Spirit gave him just what to say and gave him such wisdom and insight that no one could contradict or refute him. They were so angered and convicted by the truth he spoke that they stoned him to death as Saul of Tarsus, later to become My apostle Paul, approved.
I honor those who honor Me. Jesus Himself came to the defense of Stephen and when Stephen looked into Heaven and saw Him he asked Him to receive his spirit, Jesus did. It was Stephen’s choice to stay (as Paul did after he was stoned by the crowd and left for dead) or to go then, and he chose to come home with Me.
And on that day a great persecution began against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles. Some devout men buried Stephen, and made loud lamentation over him. But Saul began ravaging the church, entering house after house, and dragging off men and women, he would put them in prison. Acts 8:1-3.
Now the community of believers went out as My Son had commanded, “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” Acts 1:8.
Therefore, those who had been scattered went about preaching and teaching the Word. They became My witnesses. Philip, one of the seven chosen for the task of distributing the provisions and waiting on the tables for the believers, now went down to the city of Samaria and began proclaiming Jesus as Messiah to them. The crowds with one accord were giving attention to what was said by Philip, as they heard and saw the miracles and signs which he was performing. For in the case of many who had unclean spirits, they were coming out of them shouting with a loud voice; and many who had been paralyzed and lame were healed. So there was much rejoicing in that city. Acts 8:4-8.
This is the way it should be when you come to a town, city, your workplace, your family, your church—miracles, signs, and wonders setting people free from the captivity of the devil—going about anointed with the Holy Spirit and power doing good and healing all those oppressed of the devil. But these miracles follow and confirm the proclaiming of the Word that Jesus is Messiah and Lord. Hear and be healed.
You will note here too that this is Samaria. Do you recall the woman that Jesus spoke to at the well there one day about noon? She brought her whole town to Jesus and they believed that He was the promised Messiah, just as she had. After she left her water pot at the well and ran to tell the good news in the city that she had found the Messiah, something wonderful happened on her testimony to them. “From that city many of the Samaritans believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, “He told me all the things that I have done.” So when the Samaritans came to Jesus, they were asking Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days. Many more believed because of His word; and they were saying to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves and know that this One is indeed the Savior of the world.” John 4:39-42.
Samaria was ready for more about the Messiah whom they had met. And there was faith there and Philip filled in the gaps in their faith with the resurrection, the Kingdom, the Name of Jesus, and eternal life. And a great awaking to Jesus and to righteousness too place in Samaria.
Now there was a man named Simon, who formerly was practicing magic in the city and astonishing the people of Samaria, claiming to be someone great; and they all, from smallest to greatest, were giving attention to him, saying, “This man is what is called the Great Power of God.” He was very skillful in the art of illusion and darkness. And they were giving him attention because he had for a long time astonished them with his magic arts. But when they believed Philip preaching the good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were being baptized, men and women alike. Even Simon himself believed; and after being baptized, he continued on with Philip, and as he observed signs and great miracles taking place, he was constantly amazed. Acts 8:9-13. These were true and awesome. He had never been able to do anything with his diabolical magical arts that did good for people, such as healing and restoring. That is not the modus operandi of the devil, he comes to steal, kill, and destroy.
Now when the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received My Word, they sent them Peter and John, who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. For He had not yet fallen upon any of them; they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they began laying their hands on them, and they were receiving the Holy Spirit. Acts 8:24-17.
When you are baptized into Jesus the Holy Spirit is the one who baptizes you, you are born again by water and the Holy Spirit. “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” John 3:5-6. When you are baptized into Jesus the Holy Spirit comes to dwell in you, He witnesses with your spirit and shares My thoughts with you. But there is more, Jesus baptizes you with the Holy Spirit and that is what He called clothing you with power from on High. The Holy Spirit is then on you to fill you. The Holy Spirit baptizes you into Christ so you are clothed in Christ, His merits and His righteousness, and then Jesus baptizes you with the Holy Spirit so you are clothed with power from on High to do the greater works.
“But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” Titus 3:4-7. You see in this passage that the Holy Spirit washes and regenerates your spirit which had, because of the sin of Adam, died to Me and became alive to sin, but now it is dead to sin and alive to Me. And then I pour the Holy Spirit on you through Jesus you Savior.
So the people of Samaria had been born again by the water and the Holy Spirit when they believed the good news of salvation, and then Peter and John came to make sure they went the step farther and were baptized in the gift of the Holy Spirit.
And it was evident they had received the Spirit as they spoke in tongues and began to do miracles as well. And when the former magician Simon saw that the Spirit was bestowed through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money, saying, “Give this authority to me as well, so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.” He thought this wonderous GIFT could be bought but it was already bought and paid for by the Blood of My Son. He redeemed you. So Peter set him straight, saying to him, “May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money! You have no part or portion in this matter, for your heart is not right before God. Therefore repent of this wickedness of yours, and pray the Lord that, if possible, the intention of your heart may be forgiven you. For I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and in the bondage of iniquity.” This may sound harsh to someone that was born again just a few days before but Peter discerned that the intentions of Simon’s heart were not right and that he was being fueled by the spirit of mammon. And you cannot serve Me and mammon, which is the spirit of self-glorification and worldly gain without good intentions but selfish ones. This humbled Simon and brought him to renewal of his mind in this area, for Simon answered and said, “Pray to the Lord for me yourselves, so that nothing of what you have said may come upon me.” Acts 8:18-24.
I love you. Be a Kingdom seeker, not a seeker of the life of empty show, that seeks glory for yourself but not for Me. Let the Light in you and on you shine for all the world to see as you partner with Me to set My people free.