|Acts 8 |
1 And Saul gave consent to his [Stephen's] death. And at that time a great persecution began against the church in Jerusalem, scattering everyone except the apostles throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria.
2 Now devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and they made great lamentation over him.
3 But as for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering house after house, dragging men and women out, and committing them to prison.
4 And those who had been scattered abroad, were preaching the word wherever they went.
5 Philip went down to a city of Samaria and preached Christ to them.
6 And the people with one accord heeded those things of which Philip spoke, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did.
7 For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many who were possessed with them; and many of those who were paralyzed and lame were healed.
8 And there was great joy in that city.
9 But there was a certain man, called Simon, who had previously practiced sorcery in that city, fascinating the people of Samaria, claiming that he was someone great.
10 All of the people, from the least to the greatest, regarded him, saying, "This man is showing the great power of God."
11 And they held him in esteem because for a long time he had amazed them with his sorceries.
12 But when they believed what Philip preached 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 had been baptized,1 he followed Philip, amazed to see all the miracles and signs which were done.
14 Now when the apostles who were in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them,
15 Who, when they had arrived, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit.
16 (For as yet he [the Spirit] had fallen on none of them; they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)
17 Then they laid their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.
18 And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money,
19 Saying, "Give me this power also so that when I lay my hands on someone, he may receive the Holy Spirit."
20 But Peter said to him, "May you and your money perish because you have thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.
21 You have no part or portion in this ministry because your heart is not right in the sight of God.
22 Therefore repent of your wickedness and pray to God that perhaps you may be forgiven for your heart's thought.
23 For I perceive that you are in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity."
24 Then Simon answered and said, "Pray to the LORD for me that none of these things that you have spoken will happen to me."
25 Now when they [Peter and John] had testified and preached the word of the Lord, they returned to Jerusalem, preaching the gospel in many villages of the Samaritans [along the way].
26 Then an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying, "Arise, and go toward the south to the way that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza, which is desert."
27 So he arose and went, and he saw an Ethiopian eunuch of great authority under Candace, the queen of the Ethiopians. He was responsible for of all of her treasure, and he had come to Jerusalem to worship.
28 He was on his return journey and sat in his chariot reading Isaiah the prophet.
29 Then the Spirit said to Philip, "Go near, and stand next to this chariot."
30 So Philip ran to him there, and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah, and said, "Do you understand what you are reading? "
31 And he said, "How can I, except some man should guide me? " And he asked Philip to come up and sit with him.
32 Now the place in the scripture that he read was this, "He was led like a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, he did not open his mouth.
33 In his humiliation his judgment was taken away; yet who of his generation considered that he was cut off from the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people, to whom the blow was due."
34 And the eunuch answered Philip saying, "Please tell me of whom the prophet is speaking — of himself, or of some other man? "
35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at the same scripture preached to him [the new covenant of] Jesus.
36 And as they went on their way, they came to a some water; and the eunuch said, "See, here is water; what hinders me from being baptized? "
37 [And Philip said, "If you believe with all your heart, you may. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.]2
38 And he commanded the chariot to halt, and Both Phillip and the eunuch entered the water, and then Philip baptized him.
39 When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord took Philip away, that the eunuch could no longer see him; and he [the eunuch] continued on his journey rejoicing.
40 But Philip next appeared at Azotus, and passing through the area he preached in all the cities, until he came to Caesarea.
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1 These verses, Acts 8:13-22, clearly show that believing that Jesus is Lord and being baptized does not result in salvation, or even the assurance of salvation: Simon the magician believed and was baptized. He tried to buy the power of laying on of hands. Acts 8:13-18
But, Peter said to him, "Repent therefore of your wickedness and pray to God that perhaps you may be forgiven for your heart's thought. For I perceive that you are in the gall of bitterness, and the bond of iniquity." Acts 8:22-23
Does this sound like a man saved by believing or baptism? You can't be "saved' and still be in bitterness and the bond of iniquity!
So believing and being baptized don't save you. Peter said "perhaps" he could be forgiven, if he repented and prayed for forgiveness.
But forgiven is not saved. He was forgiven before. Saved is to be delivered from sin, to have your heart purged of all evil.
2 According to the Net Bible and all Bibles except the King James Version, this entire verse, (8:37), was missing in earlier manuscripts. It was obviously added to later copies in an attempt to justify the false church's doctrine that believing with water baptism is salvation. In addition, it is impossible for a man to know whether "he believes with his whole heart" or not. The Lord has to show a man the secret sins in his heart; secret means what is in a man's heart of which the man is not even aware: You have set our iniquities before you, and our secret sins in the light of your countenance. Psa 90:8. Neither is it possible for a man to "give his whole heart to Jesus." The Lord has to destroy all the sin in a man's heart before it is cleansed, to become pure, and possessed by Jesus; and this destruction takes place over time, one sin at a time. The destruction of sin is by grace: grace shows a man his sins; man repents of his condition; grace removes the desire to sin from his heart. Salvation is to be delivered from all sin (evil) in a man's heart. We have prayed "deliver us from evil" a thousand times, without a clue that it is the evil in our hearts, from which we must be delivered.
Notice! Only the King James Version has retained this verse, and yet there are many people who think the King James Version is the only true Bible; and this is not the only mistake that King James Version has retained, which all the others have recognized and removed.
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