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The New Testament tells us about a famous sorcerer named Simon Magus, who was so empowered by occult magic, that he had bewitched a whole town. The following scriptures are constructive in helping us to understand the enemy's power to deceive a mass of people.
Acts 8:5 Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them. 6 And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. 7 For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed [with them]: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed. 8 And there was great joy in that city. 9 But there was a certain man, called Simon, which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one: 10 To whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God. 11 And to him they had regard, because that of long time he had bewitched them with sorceries.
Thus, before the disciples arrived, a whole city had been bewitched by Simon's sorcery, through which many became possessed by unclean spirits and demons. They were convinced that they believed in God, because over time Simon deceived them into believing he was of God - and even was God - but they were obviously actually following Satan and his messengers. The same forces are overtly at work today in the "New Age" movement, and more covertly involved in other groups, that have been deceived into believing they worship the one true God of the scriptures.
Acts 8:12 But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. 13 Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done.
So having witnessed the miracles that were performed, Simon believed, and he was even baptized. But let's see if just "believing in Jesus" - as some folks mistakenly believe they do - and even getting baptized as Simon did, assures us of salvation.
Acts 8:14 Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: 15 Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: 16 (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) 17 Then laid they [their] hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost. 18 And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, 19 Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost.
Simon's effort to purchase the Holy Spirit and the gifts of God is where the term "simony" comes from (the term used for paying for sacraments and church offices).
Acts 8:20 But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. 21 Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God.
We can see that even though Simon "believed in Jesus", and was even baptized, he was never born again in the Spirit and given a new heart.
Acts 8:22 Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.
It seems Simon was more interested in how much he could enhance his stature and income as a magician if he could perform the miracles the disciples were. Even though Simon "believed in Jesus", as Muhammad's followers believe they do, Simon didn't receive a new heart because he remained unrepentant. Perhaps not so unlike those that had deceived themselves into believing they were once Christians that claim to have "converted" to Muhammad's religion.
Acts 8:23 For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and [in] the bond of iniquity. 24 Then answered Simon, and said, Pray ye to the Lord for me, that none of these things which ye have spoken come upon me. 25 And they, when they had testified and preached the word of the Lord, returned to Jerusalem, and preached the gospel in many villages of the Samaritans.
Simon the Magician was eventually dubbed "the father of heresies" by our early church fathers, not only because he declared himself to be God, but because he penned Gnostic doctrine that cults like the Ebionites later adopted and disseminated.
Early church father Irenaeus in "Against Heresies" begins this section with an exegesis of the same passage and then explains:
Chapter XXIII.—Doctrines and practices of Simon Magus and Menander.
"This Simon, then—who feigned faith, supposing that the apostles themselves performed their cures by the art of magic, and not by the power of God; and with respect to their filling with the Holy Ghost, through the imposition of hands, those that believed in God through Him who was preached by them, namely, Christ Jesus—suspecting that even this was done through a kind of greater knowledge of magic, and offering money to the apostles, thought he, too, might receive this power of bestowing the Holy Spirit on whomsoever he would,—was addressed in these words by Peter: “Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God can be purchased with money: thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter, for thy heart is not right in the sight of God; for I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity."
Irenaeus continues regarding Simon after his unsuccessful attempt to purchase the Holy Spirit.....
"He then, not putting faith in God a whit the more, set himself eagerly to contend against the apostles, in order that he himself might seem to be a wonderful being, and applied himself with still greater zeal to the study of the whole magic art, that he might the better bewilder and overpower multitudes of men. Such was his procedure in the reign of Claudius Cæsar, by whom also he is said to have been honoured with a statue, on account of his magical power."
Thus Simon Magus - through Satan's power - went on to become an even more famous magician. Simon the sorcerer contended against the apostles, as so many of Muhammad's followers do today with falsehood about "corruption" of the scriptures for example, while professing the exact opposite of the whole subject of the Gospel.
"This man, then, was glorified by many as if he were a god; and he taught that it was himself who appeared among the Jews as the Son, but descended in Samaria as the Father while he came to other nations in the character of the Holy Spirit. He represented himself, in a word, as being the loftiest of all powers, that is, the Being who is the Father over all, and he allowed himself to be called by whatsoever title men were pleased to address him."
As a poser - having claimed to be God Himself - Simon taught the following view of the crucifixion.
"For since the angels ruled the world ill because each one of them coveted the principal power for himself, he [Jesus] had come to amend matters, and had descended, transfigured and assimilated to powers and principalities and angels, so that he might appear among men to be a man, while yet he was not a man; and that thus he was thought to have suffered in Judæa, when he had not suffered."
Simon suggesting that Jesus was "thought to have suffered in Judæa, when he had not suffered." Simon, through Satan's power, deceived multitudes. Just as multitudes in the world today are similarly deceived.
According to early church father Hippolytus:
"Until he came to Rome also and fell foul of the Apostles. Peter withstood him on many occasions. At last he came [. . .] and began to teach sitting under a plane tree. When he was on the point of being shown up, he said, in order to gain time, that if he were buried alive he would rise again on the third day. So he bade that a tomb should be dug by his disciples and that he should be buried in it. Now they did what they were ordered, but he remained there until now: for he was not the Christ."
So Simon Magus even had disciples that followed him, that prepared a special tomb for him, and expected him to rise again on the third day after he died.
Regarding one of his disciples from Tertullian in "Against All Heresies"
"After him [Simon Magus] Menander, his disciple (likewise a magician), saying the same as Simon. Whatever Simon had affirmed himself to be, this did Menander equally affirm himself to be, asserting that none could possibly have salvation without being baptized in his name."
"Afterwards, again, followed Saturninus: he, too, affirming ..... that Christ had not existed in a bodily substance, and had endured a quasi-passion in a phantasmal shape merely; that a resurrection of the flesh there will by no means be."
Thus Simon Magus' Gnosticism and rejection of Jesus' crucifixion lived on through his disciples.
"Afterwards broke out the heretic Basilides. He affirms that there is a supreme Deity, by name Abraxas .... there ensued infinite issues and processions of angels; that by these angels 365 heavens were formed ...."
You get the picture, and predictably, Satan's spirit of antichrist in them degenerating them into such a state that some decided it was best to worship Satan himself.
"To these are added those heretics likewise who are called Ophites: for they magnify the serpent to such a degree, that they prefer him even to Christ Himself; for it was he, they say, who gave us the origin of the knowledge of good and of evil."
Let's get back to Irenaeus, regarding Basilides, on the crucifixion of Christ:
Chapter XXIV.—Doctrines of Saturninus and Basilides.
4. "He appeared, then, on earth as a man, to the nations of these powers, and wrought miracles. Wherefore he did not himself suffer death, but Simon, a certain man of Cyrene, being compelled, bore the cross in his stead; so that this latter being transfigured by him, that he might be thought to be Jesus, was crucified, through ignorance and error, while Jesus himself received the form of Simon, and, standing by, laughed at them."
Might that sound familiar to Muhammad's followers? Even down to the fable of switching of faces detail, that is so frequently taught by Islamic Imams and Muftis:
"al-Baydawi said (p. 135) - "A group of Jews cursed Christ and his mother. He invoked evil on them and, may He be exalted, turned them into monkeys and swine. The Jews gathered together to kill him, but God, may He be exalted, informed him (Jesus) that He was going to lift him up to heaven. Thus, (Jesus) said to his companions, `Who would like to have my likeness cast on him and be killed and crucified, then enter the paradise?' One of them volunteered (to do so) and God cast on him Christ's likeness. He was then arrested, crucified and killed. It is also said that (the crucified one) was a traitor who went with the mob to guide them to Christ (he meant Judas), thus God cast on him the likeness of Jesus and he was arrested, crucified and killed."
Qurtubi - "While explaining the words of the Qur'an: (but they were deluded by resemblance), master exegete, Dahhak says: It so transpired that, following the intention of Jews to kill Sayyidna 'Isa (A.S) his disciples assembled at a given place. Sayyidna 'Isa (A.S) joined them there. It was Iblis who gave the address of Sayyidna 'Isa (A.S) to the execution squad standing ready for the mission. Four thousand men surrounded the suspected house. Sayyidna 'Isa (A.S) said to his disciples: 'Is one of you willing to go out and be killed and then be in Paradise with me?' One of them offered to do so. Sayyidna 'Isa (A.S) gave him his shirt and head-cover. Then, cast on him was the resemblance of Jesus and as soon as he came out, the Jews, believing him to be Jesus, caught him and crucified him, and Sayyidna 'Isa (A.S) was lifted.
Mazhari - "According to some reports, the Jews had sent a person known to Arabs as Teetlanoos to kill Sayyidna 'Isa (A.S). He did not find Sayyidna 'Isa (A.S) in the house for he was already lifted by Allah towards Himself. So, when this person came out of the house, he had been made to resemble the looks of Sayyidna 'Isa (A.S). The Jews took him to be Sayyidna 'Isa (A.S). Thus, they took away their own man and killed him."
So it would seem we found the origins, of the mystery man replacement of Jesus on the cross, as alluded to by so many teachers in Islam.
Over the last nearly 2,000 years there has never been a single CHRISTian - a follower of Christ Jesus, the sinless Messiah - that has denied the crucifixion, death and resurrection of the spotless Lamb of God, since the Messiah's sacrifice and our faith in His shed blood, is the source of our salvation and the WHOLE SUBJECT of the Gospel. Nor is there a sect of Judaism that does not believe that Jesus was killed in the first century. While Christians and Jews are in complete resolve as to WHO WAS killed, we can see from the Islamic teacher's accounts above, that they are the ones who are better described as "...those who differ therein are full of doubts, with no (certain) knowledge, but only conjecture to follow...".
So Muhammad's suggestion that it only appeared that Christ was crucified, and his followers suggestion that Christ exchanged Himself with someone else that suffered instead, was born of a first century sorcerer named Simon Magus, an early Christian era Gnostic and famous magician that was dubbed the "father of heresies". A man that tried to buy the Holy Spirit, and bewitched people into believing that he was God, followed by a disciple of his named Basilides, who embellished Simon's blasphemy with the more explicit detail of substitution on the cross.
Today we find many of Muhammad's followers driven by a spirit that causes them to "contend against the apostles" just as Simon the Sorcerer did. Following a false prophet that filled them with complete resolve to DISbelieve the crucifixion of Christ, DENY the Son of God, and REJECT the blood of the Lamb of God that was shed for us all. Some Muslims protest that "Allah" wouldn't let his "messengers" get hurt, but that flies in the face of not only the martyrdom of Jesus and His prophets, apostles, disciples and witnesses, but of the Quran itself.
Sura 2.61 ....and killed the prophets wrongfully.
But Muhammad wasn't born until over 400 years after Simon the Sorcerer and he lived over 1200 kilometers away from the Holy Land, so how could he have known about his Gnostic doctrine of DISbelief in Jesus' crucifixion and substitution on the cross, that Muhammad's followers cling to so tenaciously today? At one point Muhammad got into a suicidal depression in which he wanted to throw himself off a mountain because his "revelations" had ceased. Like the one in which a spirit appeared to him in a cave, as an "angel of light", claiming to be Gabriel.
2Corinthians 11:14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
Muhammad's wife Khadijah came up with a remedy to help get Muhammad out of his depression. Quoting a paper from - first-language Arabic - Dr. Rafat Amari's 20 year full-time study of Arabia and Islam, "Occultism in the family of Muhammad" .....
"Khadijah, the first wife of Mohammed, came from a family of prominent occult leaders. Among them we mentioned Ruchieh, a Kahineh of Jinn-devils at Mecca. Ruchieh was the sister of Waraqa bin Naufal,[xxvii] the Ebionite occult priest who was the cousin of Khadijah."
"After the negative experiences which depressed Mohammed, Khadijah sent him to her cousin, Waraqa, to convince him that Mohammed was called to be a prophet of Allah. Waraqa succeeded in his task and became responsible for most of the Qur’anic verses at the beginning. Waraqa inserted Ebionite doctrines about Jesus in the Qur’an, stating that Jesus was a prophet, and that He was not crucified, but God made someone to resemble Jesus. That one was crucified because the crowd thought he was Jesus. This doctrine was first initiated by Simon, the magician from Samaria, who later founded a heresy which took his name, Simonianism. In reality, Simon created the root for such doctrine, before it was developed by the Gnostics in later times. Here, I present Simon the magician’s idea about Jesus, which Hyppolytus reported in “The Refutation of all heresies”:
"Jesus Christ being transformed, and being assimilated to the rulers and powers and angels, came for the restoration (of things). And so (it was that Jesus) appeared as man, when in reality he was not a man. And (so it was) that likewise he suffered, though not actually undergoing suffering, but appearing to the Jews to do so."
Christians that have had any experience in discussion with Muslims on YouTube and chat forums will recognize that they could for the most part insert "Muslims", in place of "Ebionites", in this Wikipedia paragraph example:
"The majority of Church Fathers agree that the Ebionites rejected many of the precepts central to Nicene orthodoxy, such as his pre-existence, divinity, virgin birth, atoning death, and physical resurrection. The Ebionites are described as emphasizing the oneness of God and the humanity of Jesus as the biological son of both Mary and Joseph, who by virtue of his righteousness, was chosen by God to be the messianic "prophet like Moses" (foretold in Deuteronomy 18:14–22) when he was anointed with the Holy Spirit at his baptism. Origen (Contra Celsum 5.61) and Eusebius (Historia Ecclesiastica 3.27.3) recognize some variation in the Christology of Ebionite groups; for example that while all Ebionites denied Christ's pre-existence there was a sub-group which did not deny the virgin birth."
The article at the following link compares Ebionites and Muslims side by side. (link to article)
Muhammad's followers believe Jesus was carried physically to "paradise" without ever having died, perhaps presuming Jesus to be enjoying sex with multiple virgins, fruit, chicken and wine that Muhammad offers in his blasphemous version of "paradise". Yet because of a sura regarding Jesus speaking from a cradle, that Muhammad plagiarized from a 2nd century Arabic apocryphal fable ("The First Gospel of the Infancy of Jesus Christ") and edited to fit, Muhammad's followers are actually compelled to believe that a conspicuously immortal Jesus - who they believe has not died for nearly two thousand years - will come again, only to die after He returns!
Sura 19:33 "So peace is on me the day I was born, the day that I die, and the day that I shall be raised up to life (again)"!
Not only that, but Muhammad's followers have been taught that Jesus is to be buried next to the blaspheming false prophet Muhammad, in a tomb Muhammad's followers already prepared for Him! It should come as no surprise then, to find that the spirit antichrist from the "prince of the power of the air" that guides magicians, sorcerers, demons, Gnostics and other blasphemers - to "contend against the apostles" like Simon the Magician - would compel Muhammad's followers to believe that when Jesus returns He will "break the cross"!
Bukhari B43 #656 Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah's Apostle said, "the Hour will not be established until the son of Mary (i.e. Jesus) descends amongst you as a just ruler, he will break the cross, kill the pigs, and abolish the Jizya tax. Money will be in abundance so that nobody will accept it (as charitable gifts).
Jesus apparently to return and reverse the testimonies of all of His prophets, disciples, apostles and witnesses, to proclaim the EXACT OPPOSITE of that bequeathed to us as the WHOLE SUBJECT of the Gospel!
No surprise it is accompanied by a promise that - "money will be in abundance", with Muhammad seeming to never pass up an opportunity to attract his followers with the things of the flesh.
Galatians 4:22 For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. 23 But he [who was] of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman [was] by promise. 24 Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. 25 For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. 26 But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.
Romans 9:6 Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they [are] not all Israel, which are of Israel: 7 Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, [are they] all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. 8 That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these [are] not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed. 9 For this [is] the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sara shall have a son.
Internet and YouTube Christians, engage Yahweh's enemies in this epic battle every day, with the sword that God gave us to get the job done:
Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places]. 13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
The same weapon our military should be using overseas. Instead Afghani translations of the Gospel, were collected up from our soldiers and burned, for fear of offending the Afghans. So more American blood and treasure is spent instead. Imagine how different things might have gone if we had air dropped millions of Gospel tracts throughout the Middle East.
If you believe that God is about Muhammad's imperialistic conquest and beheading of innocent Jewish farm boys and their dads and grandpas, while sexually violating and enslaving their little sisters, mothers and grandmothers, and then stealing their property, perhaps you deserve to follow Muhammad until you stand in judgment before the very Son of God you deny. (video on Muhammad's massacre by beheading of the innocent Banu Qurayza farm boys)
John 5:22 For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son:
Sura 2.23 And if ye are in doubt as to what We have revealed from time to time to Our servant, then produce a sura like thereunto; and call your witnesses or helpers (If there are any) besides Allah, if your (doubts) are true.
Let's call on a witness of the Messiah from almost 500 years before to produce one like it:
1John 4:5 They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. 6 We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error. 7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. 8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. 9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. 10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son [to be] the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.
John 13:35 By this shall all [men] know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
As we learned from the example of the Samarians, mass psychology, particularly when driven by forces of evil, can convince large masses of people to believe something that is in fact the exact opposite of truth. It is obvious to us non-Samarians today, that Simon the Magician was not God, but was actually of Satan. Yet Muhammad's followers have been compelled to DISbelieve the whole subject of the Gospel which is the crucifixion of Christ, DENY the Son of God, and REJECT the blood of the Lamb of God that was shed for us all, because of their faith in the stand-alone 23 year 7th century record of Muhammad - and Simon Magus - by way of the Ebionites. The tragedy becomes even more apparent when we discover that they engage in thinly repackaged Mecca-centered Quraish pagan Star Family and jinn-devil worship rituals, with further influence by the Sabians and Zoroastrians.
If you are a follower of Muhammad through his stand-alone 7th century religion, why not at least read the Gospel to learn about the love of the ONE true God YHWH - as so beautifully expressed through His Messiah, Yeshua. The one true God who revealed Himself through ALL of His prophets and witnesses of His 1600 year record, whose people have followed Him through two covenants, for 3500 years. Why not start with the Gospel of John on this website?
One of these two groups has necessarily been tragically and horrifically deceived, by the enemy of the God of the scriptures. To those that have been as deceived by THE false prophet Muhammad, haven't you known in your heart for a long time, that something is very wrong with the STAND-ALONE 7th century "religion" of your self-proclaimed "prophet"? A man whose character is revealed the way that it is through your own books.
Jesus can fix that hole in your heart, and fill the emptiness that comes from praying in the "vain repetitions of the heathen", while prostrating yourself toward the Quraish pagan's black stone idol in Mecca.
How can a Muslim even obey Muhammad's commandment to: "Believe in ... the scripture which He sent to those before (him)." if you haven't even read the Gospel?
Please visit the thread in the "Islam and the Bible" forum to view testimonies of former Muslims.
Your ETERNAL LIFE hangs in the balance. You could die this very day.
John 5:22 For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son:
1 John 2:22 .... He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. 23 Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father.....
John 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.
Revelation 20:10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet [are], and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.