“Now there was a man named Simon, who formerly was practicing magic in the city and astonishing the people of Samaria, claiming to be someone great; and they all, from smallest to greatest, were giving attention to him, saying, ‘This man is what is called the Great Power of God.’ And they were giving him attention because he had for a long time astonished them with his magic arts. ” (Acts 8:9-11).

Modern Judaism and ancient “Samaritanism” have much in common. While both religions claim to follow Moses, each have allowed practices forbidden by the Torah to become a part of their popular spirituality. Though magic is forbidden in the Torah, the Samaritans permitted themselves to fall captive to the evil tricks of a magician. Within modern Judaism, it is normal to use charms to ward off the evil eye (ptu, ptu, ptu; the hamsah; red cords on the wrist), practice mysticism (Kabbalah), and even seek for blessings at the gravesites of famous rabbis. But whenever the Torah’s message is properly preached, those with eyes to see and ears to hear will flee from these unbiblical forms of spirituality and put their faith in Jesus (see Matt 5:17-19; John 5:46; Rom 10:4)!

“Philip went down to the city of Samaria and began proclaiming the Christ to them…. But when they believed Philip preaching the good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were being baptized, men and women alike” (Acts 8:5, 12).

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