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*** < < < Acts 8: Philip in Samaria.  Simon the Sorcerer > > > ***
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~ The Church Persecuted and Scattered.  Saul Persecutes the Church.

Act 8:1  And Saul was consenting unto his [Stephen's] death.  And at that time there was a great persecution against the church [ congregation ] which was at Jerusalem; and they [the church [ congregation ]] were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles.

Act 8:2  And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him.

Act 8:3  As for Saul, he made havock of the church [ congregation ], entering into every house, and haling [dragging off] men and women [and] committed [put] them [in] to prison.

~ Philip in Samaria  (Since the apostles were still at Jerusalem (see Act 8:1 above), this is likely Philip, the apostle, going down from Jerusalem to Samaria.)

Act 8:4  Therefore they [the church [ congregation ]] that were scattered abroad [throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria] went every where preaching the word.

Act 8:5  Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them.

Act 8:6  And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did.

Act 8:7  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.

Act 8:8  And there was great joy in that city [Samaria].

~ A Sorcerer named Simon becomes a believer in Jesus Christ (is born again), and was baptized.

Act 8:9  But there was a certain man, called Simon, which beforetime [for some time] in the same city used [practiced] sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out [boasting] that [he] himself was some great one [someone great]:

Act 8:10  To whom they all gave heed [attention], from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God [ "This man is the divine power known as the Great Power"].

Act 8:11  And to him they had regard [followed him], because that of [for a] long time he [Simon] had bewitched them with sorceries.

Act 8:12  But when they believed Philip preaching the things [the good news] concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.

Act 8:13  Then Simon himself believed also [in Jesus Christ]: and when he was baptized, he continued with [followed] Philip [everywhere], and wondered [was astonished by], beholding the miracles and signs which were done.

~ Peter and John pray for Samaritans to receive the Holy Ghost

Act 8:14  Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John:

Act 8:15  Who [Peter and John], when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost:

Act 8:16  (For as yet he [the Holy Ghost] was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)

Act 8:17  Then laid they [Peter and John] their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.

Act 8:18  And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money,

Act 8:19  Saying, Give me [Simon] also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost.

Act 8:20  But Peter said unto him [Simon], Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.

Act 8:21  Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God.

Act 8:22  Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.

Act 8:23  For I [Peter] perceive that thou [Simon] art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity.

Act 8:24  Then answered Simon, and said, Pray ye to the Lord for me, that none of these things which ye have spoken come upon me.

Act 8:25  And they [Peter and John], when they had testified and preached the word of the Lord, returned to Jerusalem, and preached the gospel in many villages of the Samaritans.

~ Philip goes to the Desert where an Ethiopian Receives Christ.  (This is likely Philip, the evangelist, who it says, at the end of this chapter (Act 8:40), "... preached in all the cities, till he came to Caesarea".  We learn later in Act 21:8 that "the house of Philip the evangelist" is located in Caesarea.)

Act 8:26  And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert.

Act 8:27  And he [Philip] arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship,

Act 8:28  [the eunuch] Was returning [on his way home], and sitting in his chariot [was] read [reading the book of] Esaias [Isaiah] the prophet.

Act 8:29  Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to [stay near] this chariot.

Act 8:30  And Philip ran thither to him [the eunuch], and heard him [the eunuch] read the prophet Esaias [Isaiah], and [Philip] said, Understandest thou what thou readest?

Act 8:31  And he [the eunuch] said, How can I, except some man should guide me?  And he desired [invited] Philip that he would come up and sit with him [the eunuch].

Act 8:32  The place of the scripture which he [the eunuch] read was this [quoting Isa 53:7-8 ],

Act 8:34  And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee [tell me], of whom speaketh the prophet this?  of himself, or of some other man?

Act 8:35  Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him [the good news about] Jesus.

Act 8:36  And as they went on their way [along the road], they came unto a certain [some] water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to [why shouldn't I] be baptized?

Act 8:37  And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest.  And he [the eunuch] answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

Act 8:38  And he commanded the chariot to stand still [stop]: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.

Act 8:39  And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away [suddenly took] Philip [away], that the eunuch saw him [Philip] no more: and he [the eunuch] went on his way rejoicing.

Act 8:40  But Philip was found [appeared] at Azotus: and passing through [traveling about] he preached [the gospel] in all the cities, till he came to Caesarea.
 
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