“Now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent to them Peter and John, who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit; for it had not yet fallen on any of them, but they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid their hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit.”

“Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money, saying, “Give me also this power, that any one on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.”

“But Peter said to him, “Your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money! You have neither part nor lot in this matter, for your heart is not right before God. Repent therefore of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that, if possible, the intent of your heart may be forgiven you. For I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity.” (Acts 8:5-23 RSV)

I am reminded of this story of Simon Magus, the sorcerer, who so desired spiritual gifts, he offered money so that he could command the worship of others. He was admonished for his wickedness, yet, he continued with his counterfeit religion, the fruits of which are still with us. You can see it in many of today’s televangelists, indeed, also in so many of our political, economic and theological leaders, who seek power, perhaps altruistically initially, but ultimately to glorify themselves. They have become the devil’s pawns in his attempt to subvert mankind, in particular, our brethren of the Israel Truth.

Remember, we are exhorted to keep our souls in holiness and not to seek power over others, in any nefarious way or to try to impress others with our eminence or qualities, whether vanity or gain. For earthly ambition to achieve human adoration is a most dangerous pursuit and will result in that pride that comes before a fall. I repeat, there are so many today and yesteryear, whose motivation is/was to seek adoration, power and wealth.

And sadly, I remind you that the more that we are influenced by what is called social media, the more that we will be subject to mental oppression or illusion; for the evil forces are intent on using these conduits to take over the collective unconsciousness of humanity. For example, think how the social media has played its part in the endemic use of hallucinatory drugs, or almost universal acceptance of the once outlawed use of marijuana. Where is this leading? Indeed, small doses of social media may be okay, but prayers for protection against its unsuspected influences should accompany the use. Pray always that we may discern correctly and not be fooled in any way by what may be apparitions. In particular, our young people need this prayer mightily, for they are under furious assault by the enemy. We know that the Lord has placed many gifted young people on Earth as part of His army, and God willing, they will survive to play their part. Remember, they are our future leaders and need our fervent prayer, that they may provide an additional witness to the eternal truths that Jesus taught.

We look forward to a continued presence of the Lord’s anointed, so that we will be worthy of the opportunity to progress spiritually. Still, caution is key, because the closer we get to the end times, the greater the forces of delusion will intensify. Remember, 1 Peter 5:8 tells us that our adversary, the devil, is as a roaring lion, seeking who he may devour. Don’t let it be one of us! Accordingly, we need to be extra, extra diligent to all that is happening in the world. Indeed, if any of us have not already done so, we must, as we are told in Ephesians 8:10-11, “Be strong in the LORD and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” And as Jesus told us, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness …”

Come quickly, Lord Jesus.