Are You Standing In Hot Coals?
Lesson Thirty: by turtle

Deception is dangerous tool used by many con artist as well as those involved in witchcraft. I often wonder what is going on
in the world the people have to believe in deception. It is like the old magic acts of sawing a woman in half, or making three
connecting rings become separated. Most have probably watch magicians and seen the talent of illusion. However there are
many that live in areas around the world that those that perform sorcery techniques also use mind control. There are case of
those in tribal customs, where a person is cursed and then dies. The power of the mind control is such that it causes the
rejected person to loose hope. There are cases where some are killed because they do not die. However whatever happens to
the person after being cursed from the tribe, only God knows and maybe those who torment the person. It is scary how
magic arts are used today and even hundred years ago to control people. God is in control, but He gives choices, speaks truth
and loves. God does not deceive.

Today lesson comes from Acts chapter eight. It is important to know several things here. Phillip enters a town with sorcery in
it. Yet Philip performed many miracles. One thing about a true miracle of God there is no deception. This gave an open door
for the gospel to be preached.

Acts 8:5-12 KJV
(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.
(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.

I have witnessed several miracles in my own life and know for a fact that God is real. Even with experiencing a miracle, one
has to understand that one often wonders why not more miracles. Then I wonder what right do I have to ask God after
receiving such wonderful gifts from Him already. To have that one stumbling block out of my life that prevented me from
serving Him removed. That pain that racked my body for years gone. However the truth is no matter how much I testify of
this fact, only those that lived around me and knew me know from my attitude and actions how much pain I was in. It like
hearing of a tornado. Back in in the seventies when a tornado came through Wichita, Oklahoma, I got to see the aftermath
first hand. I was only about eight or so. I seen the destruction pictures on the news. It left impact in my life. The storm left
some building standing and others were completely destroyed, and sign post that were steel bent over in a shape not meant
for that sign. The images on the news did not seem real until I seen them myself. That how it is with unbelief and belief in a
person life. Not until Samaria witnessed these great miracles did they believe in the power of the true God. It open the door
for the preaching of the gospel. People were healed and demons cased out. It help them know the difference in deception and
reality.

When Christ walked this earth He did many miracles and wonders. The truth of miracles followed him to the next city and
town were people knew someone that was healed or delivered. It like wild fire once it starts, it hard to contain. And truth it is
best not to contain what God is going to do.

However God’s gifts are not for sale. Though many came to Christ in Samaria, including the sorceress. The sorceress was
tempted by the need of power. Power in the hands of the wrong person is dangerous. He seen the healing art and wanted it.
He had always been able to buy what he wanted in the religious realm. This time he could not.  

Peter and John had come to Samaria to see what God was doing and while there they laid hands on the people to receive the
Holy Spirit. They had received Christ and the preaching of the word, but not the Holy Spirit. They knew not of the Holy
Spirit. Philip had not taught them. Philip focus was salvation. He was evangelist. His concern was to see them receive Christ
as Savior. Peter and John came so that these believers would be filled with the Holy Spirit. They would know the power of
God was not just for the minister but them too. One can not control the power of God, one must allow God to use His power
through them.

While Peter and John were in Samaria, Simeon came to them and ask what it would cost to have the power of God. In his
mind he thought it was something that could be bought. Peter and John rebuke him. The power of God is something not to be
sold or something to be bought. However some try and do just that. Now let us read the passage in Acts 8 concerning these
things.

Acts 8:13-25 KJV
(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.
(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.
(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.
(22)  Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.
(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.

It angers me to hear how some use and abuse the gifts of God in today’s world. Ministers need to be called on it. God is not
for sale. Neither are God’s servants. Gifts of God are free. However in order to use the gifts of God, one must be saved and
filled with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will instruct you in what to do.