It is not normal for so many people to receive the word and be baptised, while none of them receives the Holy Spirit

“And the multitudes with one accord heeded the things spoken by Philip, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. For unclean spirits, crying with a loud voice, came out of many who were possessed; and many who were paralysed and lame were healed. And there was great joy in that city.” Acts 8:6-8

While meditating on this passage, it is possible to observe that Philip’s work was based only on miracles and manifestations of the power of God, without giving emphasis to the Holy Spirit – In the same way that some pastors work only for achievements and movements of faith, while focusing on material and physical welfare.

That being said, it was necessary for the leadership at the time to send Peter and John to fill this gap and solve the problem. This is because it is not normal for so many people to receive the word and be baptised, while none of them receives the Holy Spirit!

“… they sent Peter and John to them, who, when they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. For as yet He had fallen upon none of them. They had only been baptised in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.” Acts 8:14-17

There were so many people who were sincere and ready that it was enough for the apostles to lay hands on them in order for them to be baptised with the Holy Spirit. There! – More disciples were born!

However, in this same passage, we find a man called Simon, who used to perform magic tricks and deceive people with signs, and who was highly regarded by the people. Even he, having seen an even greater power in Philip, “gave himself up” to this faith and was even baptised. Simon walked with Philip so as not to lose the prestige and admiration people had for him, but he had neither repented nor knew God…

“And when Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money, saying, ‘Give me this power also, that anyone on whom I lay hands may receive the Holy Spirit.’” Acts 8:18-19

His action revealed who he was and the ambition he carried, for he saw a lucrative business opportunity!

How much could he profit with this power in his hands? He just didn’t know that this power could not be bought with money, but with the “death of one’s self” on the altar!

And then I remembered pastors who attracted attention with a miraculous faith. They gathered crowds and it even seemed like they belonged to God. However, in times of struggle and trials… whenever they were contradicted, they showed that they only wanted glory, fame and the power of the world.

These are the ones who preached a God they never knew. They were even healed and experienced a miracle. However, they carried iniquity in them and, therefore, are fallen, empty, bitter and want to defend their good name and prestige at any cost!

“But Peter said to him, “Your money perish with you, because you thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money! You have neither part nor portion in this matter, for your heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you. For I see that you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity.” Acts 8:20-23

Even after hearing these words from Peter, instead of repenting and humbling himself, Simon replied, ” Pray to the Lord for me, that none of the things which you have spoken may come upon me.

Unfortunately, he understood nothing and kept thinking about his own welfare…

May God have mercy on the “Simons” who are out there!

On the other hand, the Holy Spirit has descended on many sincere people.

It is glorious to know that the right to the Fountain of Life is reserved to the sincere!

Bishop Ricardo Souza

Bishop Ricardo Souza

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