New Living Translation (NLT)
9 A man named Simon had been a sorcerer there for many years, amazing the people of Samaria and claiming to be someone great.10 Everyone, from the least to the greatest, often spoke of him as “the Great One—the Power of God.” 11 They listened closely to him because for a long time he had astounded them with his magic.
12 But now the people believed Philip’s message of Good News concerning the Kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ. As a result, many men and women were baptized. 13 Then Simon himself believed and was baptized. He began following Philip wherever he went, and he was amazed by the signs and great miracles Philip performed.
14 When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that the people of Samaria had accepted God’s message, they sent Peter and John there. 15 As soon as they arrived, they prayed for these new believers to receive the Holy Spirit. 16 The Holy Spirit had not yet come upon any of them, for they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.17 Then Peter and John laid their hands upon these believers, and they received the Holy Spirit.
18 When Simon saw that the Spirit was given when the apostles laid their hands on people, he offered them money to buy this power.19 “Let me have this power, too,” he exclaimed, “so that when I lay my hands on people, they will receive the Holy Spirit!”
20 But Peter replied, “May your money be destroyed with you for thinking God’s gift can be bought! 21 You can have no part in this, for your heart is not right with God. 22 Repent of your wickedness and pray to the Lord. Perhaps he will forgive your evil thoughts, 23 for I can see that you are full of bitter jealousy and are held captive by sin.”
24 “Pray to the Lord for me,” Simon exclaimed, “that these terrible things you’ve said won’t happen to me!”
There are many different views of this sorcerer depending on what writings you read from different churches. But in all that I have read, it seems this was just the begging of the great false church. A church or group of people who use some of the truth of Jesus Christ and mixed it with the pagan celebrations of the time to get more followers. More followers equal more money in those who lead the people. That is the bottom line. Still is today.
I have used bold type to show two interesting things.
#1 The bible says the people thought this peter had the power of God in him. So they were basically worshipping HIM not God.
#2 Peter was wanting POWER and greed was in his heart.
This behavior is from satan and selfishness. You know, Selfishness is really setting ourselves up as god in a way.
As history went on, man made customs like christmas, easter, etc were mingled with religion to appear that they are for Jesus or to worship Him. Oh you did not know they were based in pagan holidays? Go research it yourself.
Look up Astarte or Ishtar pronounced Easter in some semitic dialects . Or Christmas origins of.
As a child I kept all the man made holiday but without really knowing why we kept them. We were not worshipping a tree, but the commercialized pressure to BUY stuff for people had no real worship to Christ, I do not really like Halloween which is obvious not a christ like thing to celebrate.
This is a christmas reindeer I did one year for a large window display. It was fun. I love the sparkly lights, the funny movies of cartoons, the pretty music. I love getting gifts and giving gifts. However, God is really not IN them! I love being with family. Family is a God thing if we live the life of love.
I will tell you after over 40 yrs now of study that I know God HATES our man made holidays when our real attitude is only about GET and not about Giving to others. He says so! His word covers that. It is not the day but the intent we have. What if we took a man made holiday and used the day to go help the poor, feed the poor and did nothing for ourselves that day. Would God be pleased? I believe He would.
What about Thanksgiving Day? What if you call this day a day to Give Thanks to God instead of "turkey day". You gather your family and actually PRAY and sing songs to God as you share a meal, would God be pleased? YES!
I KNOW God wants us to learn His ways. His way of life. To be like God in attitude, in love toward others, in Not being like the world. Not being false , deceitful, and number one, to Worship GOD not things, other people, nor worshipping yourself. It is not about you, it is about God and the plan for all mankind.
Simon Peter was all about Simon Peter. He cared nothing for the people. He was the rock star of the moment that others like him used to corrupt the true teaching of Jesus Christ.
We can chop down a tree and put all kinds of decorations on it , charge up all kinds of money buying everyone on our lists gifts that many return and in one week our kids no longer play with. But is this honoring God? IS it really???? IF you can say yes it does for you then you can choose to keep doing it. Have you really prayed and asked God if HE wants you to do it? And on Easter why Sunday morning facing the sun rise?? is that not worshipping the SUN like the old Ishtar celebration or would God want you to every day just worship HIM and Act like a follower of Christ?